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Sample records for central synapses insights

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, Naina; Jin, Yishi

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Complexins facilitate neurotransmitter release at excitatory and inhibitory synapses in mammalian central nervous system.

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    Xue, Mingshan; Stradomska, Alicja; Chen, Hongmei; Brose, Nils; Zhang, Weiqi; Rosenmund, Christian; Reim, Kerstin

    2008-06-03

    Complexins (Cplxs) are key regulators of synaptic exocytosis, but whether they act as facilitators or inhibitors is currently being disputed controversially. We show that genetic deletion of all Cplxs expressed in the mouse brain causes a reduction in Ca(2+)-triggered and spontaneous neurotransmitter release at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Our results demonstrate that at mammalian central nervous system synapses, Cplxs facilitate neurotransmitter release and do not simply act as inhibitory clamps of the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery.

  3. Permanent central synaptic disconnection of proprioceptors after nerve injury and regeneration. I. Loss of VGLUT1/IA synapses on motoneurons

    OpenAIRE

    Alvarez, Francisco J.; Titus-Mitchell, Haley E.; Bullinger, Katie L.; Kraszpulski, Michal; Nardelli, Paul; Cope, Timothy C.

    2011-01-01

    Motor and sensory proprioceptive axons reinnervate muscles after peripheral nerve transections followed by microsurgical reattachment; nevertheless, motor coordination remains abnormal and stretch reflexes absent. We analyzed the possibility that permanent losses of central IA afferent synapses, as a consequence of peripheral nerve injury, are responsible for this deficit. VGLUT1 was used as a marker of proprioceptive synapses on rat motoneurons. After nerve injuries synapses are stripped fro...

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

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    Rickmann Michael

    2008-10-01

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

  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. Cholesterol regulates multiple forms of vesicle endocytosis at a mammalian central synapse.

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    Yue, Hai-Yuan; Xu, Jianhua

    2015-07-01

    Endocytosis in synapses sustains neurotransmission by recycling vesicle membrane and maintaining the homeostasis of synaptic membrane. A role of membrane cholesterol in synaptic endocytosis remains controversial because of conflicting observations, technical limitations in previous studies, and potential interference from non-specific effects after cholesterol manipulation. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether cholesterol participates in distinct forms of endocytosis that function under different activity levels. In this study, applying the whole-cell membrane capacitance measurement to monitor endocytosis in real time at the rat calyx of Held terminals, we found that disrupting cholesterol with dialysis of cholesterol oxidase or methyl-β-cyclodextrin impaired three different forms of endocytosis, including slow endocytosis, rapid endocytosis, and endocytosis of the retrievable membrane that exists at the surface before stimulation. The effects were observed when disruption of cholesterol was mild enough not to change Ca(2+) channel current or vesicle exocytosis, indicative of stringent cholesterol requirement in synaptic endocytosis. Extracting cholesterol with high concentrations of methyl-β-cyclodextrin reduced exocytosis, mainly by decreasing the readily releasable pool and the vesicle replenishment after readily releasable pool depletion. Our study suggests that cholesterol is an important, universal regulator in multiple forms of vesicle endocytosis at mammalian central synapses.

  7. Permanent central synaptic disconnection of proprioceptors after nerve injury and regeneration. I. Loss of VGLUT1/IA synapses on motoneurons.

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    Alvarez, Francisco J; Titus-Mitchell, Haley E; Bullinger, Katie L; Kraszpulski, Michal; Nardelli, Paul; Cope, Timothy C

    2011-11-01

    Motor and sensory proprioceptive axons reinnervate muscles after peripheral nerve transections followed by microsurgical reattachment; nevertheless, motor coordination remains abnormal and stretch reflexes absent. We analyzed the possibility that permanent losses of central IA afferent synapses, as a consequence of peripheral nerve injury, are responsible for this deficit. VGLUT1 was used as a marker of proprioceptive synapses on rat motoneurons. After nerve injuries synapses are stripped from motoneurons, but while other excitatory and inhibitory inputs eventually recover, VGLUT1 synapses are permanently lost on the cell body (75-95% synaptic losses) and on the proximal 100 μm of dendrite (50% loss). Lost VGLUT1 synapses did not recover, even many months after muscle reinnervation. Interestingly, VGLUT1 density in more distal dendrites did not change. To investigate whether losses are due to VGLUT1 downregulation in injured IA afferents or to complete synaptic disassembly and regression of IA ventral projections, we studied the central trajectories and synaptic varicosities of axon collaterals from control and regenerated afferents with IA-like responses to stretch that were intracellularly filled with neurobiotin. VGLUT1 was present in all synaptic varicosities, identified with the synaptic marker SV2, of control and regenerated afferents. However, regenerated afferents lacked axon collaterals and synapses in lamina IX. In conjunction with the companion electrophysiological study [Bullinger KL, Nardelli P, Pinter MJ, Alvarez FJ, Cope TC. J Neurophysiol (August 10, 2011). doi:10.1152/jn.01097.2010], we conclude that peripheral nerve injuries cause a permanent retraction of IA afferent synaptic varicosities from lamina IX and disconnection with motoneurons that is not recovered after peripheral regeneration and reinnervation of muscle by sensory and motor axons.

  8. Nanodomain coupling explains Ca2+ independence of transmitter release time course at a fast central synapse

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    eLife digest The nervous system sends information around the body in the form of electrical signals that travel through cells called neurons. However, these electrical signals cannot cross the synapses between neurons. Instead, the information is carried across the synapse by molecules called neurotransmitters. Calcium ions control the release of neurotransmitters. There is a high concentration of calcium ions outside the neuron but they are not able to pass through the cell membrane under no...

  9. Synapse organization and modulation via C1q family proteins and their receptors in the central nervous system.

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    Matsuda, Keiko

    2016-11-12

    Several C1q family members, related to the C1q complement component are extensively expressed in the central nervous system. Cbln1, which belongs to the Cbln subfamily of C1q proteins and released from cerebellar granule cells, plays an indispensable role in the synapse formation and function at parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses. This is achieved by formation of a trans-synaptic tripartite complex which is composed of one unit of the Cbln1 hexamer, monomeric neurexin (NRX) containing a splice site 4 insertion at presynaptic terminals and the postsynaptic GluD2 dimers. Recently an increasing number of soluble or transmembrane proteins have been identified to bind directly to the amino-terminal domains of iGluR and regulate the recruitment and function of iGluRs at synapses. Especially at mossy fiber (MF)-CA3 synapses in the hippocampus, postsynaptic kainate-type glutamate receptors (KARs) are involved in synaptic network activity through their characteristic channel kinetics. C1ql2 and C1ql3, which belong to the C1q-like subfamily of C1q proteins, are produced by MFs and serve as extracellular organizers to recruit functional postsynaptic KAR complexes at MF-CA3 synapses via binding to the amino-terminal domains of GluK2 and GluK4 KAR subunits. In addition, C1ql2 and C1ql3 directly bind to NRX3 containing sequences encoded by exon 25b insertion at splice site 5. In the present review, we highlighted the generality of the strategy by tripartite complex formation of the specific type of NRX and iGluR via C1q family members.

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

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    Freddy Jeanneteau

    2016-01-01

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

  11. The Effect of Desflurane on Neuronal Communication at a Central Synapse

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    Mapelli, Jonathan; Gandolfi, Daniela; Giuliani, Enrico; Prencipe, Francesco P.; Pellati, Federica; Barbieri, Alberto; D’Angelo, Egidio; Bigiani, Albertino

    2015-01-01

    Although general anesthetics are thought to modify critical neuronal functions, their impact on neuronal communication has been poorly examined. We have investigated the effect induced by desflurane, a clinically used general anesthetic, on information transfer at the synapse between mossy fibers and granule cells of cerebellum, where this analysis can be carried out extensively. Mutual information values were assessed by measuring the variability of postsynaptic output in relationship to the variability of a given set of presynaptic inputs. Desflurane synchronized granule cell firing and reduced mutual information in response to physiologically relevant mossy fibers patterns. The decrease in spike variability was due to an increased postsynaptic membrane excitability, which made granule cells more prone to elicit action potentials, and to a strengthened synaptic inhibition, which markedly hampered membrane depolarization. These concomitant actions on granule cells firing indicate that desflurane re-shapes the transfer of information between neurons by providing a less informative neurotransmission rather than completely silencing neuronal activity. PMID:25849222

  12. 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.

  13. Serotonin modulates transmitter release at central Lymnaea synapses through a G-protein-coupled and cAMP-mediated pathway.

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    McCamphill, P K; Dunn, T W; Syed, N I

    2008-04-01

    Neuromodulation is central to all nervous system function, although the precise mechanisms by which neurotransmitters affect synaptic efficacy between central neurons remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we examined the neuromodulatory action of serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] at central synapses between identified neurons from the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. Using whole-cell voltage-clamp and sharp electrode recording, we show that 5-HT strongly depresses synaptic strength between cultured, cholinergic neuron visceral dorsal 4 (VD4 - presynaptic) and its serotonergic target left pedal dorsal 1 (LPeD1 - postsynaptic). This inhibition was accompanied by a reduction in synaptic depression, but had no effect on postsynaptic input resistance, indicating a presynaptic origin. In addition, serotonin inhibited the presynaptic calcium current (I(Ca)) on a similar time course as the change in synaptic transmission. Introduction of a non-condensable GDP analog, GDP-beta-S, through the presynaptic pipette inhibited the serotonin-mediated effect on I(Ca.) Similar results were obtained with a membrane-impermeable inactive cAMP analog, 8OH-cAMP. Furthermore, stimulation of the serotonergic postsynaptic cell also inhibited presynaptic currents, indicating the presence of a negative feedback loop between LPeD1 and VD4. Taken together, this study provides direct evidence for a negative feedback mechanism, whereby the activity of a presynaptic respiratory central pattern-generating neuron is regulated by its postsynaptic target cell. We demonstrate that either serotonin or LPeD1 activity-induced depression of presynaptic transmitter release from VD4 involves voltage-gated calcium channels and is mediated through a G-protein-coupled and cAMP-mediated system.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Intranasal exposure to manganese disrupts neurotransmitter release from glutamatergic synapses in the central nervous system in vivo.

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    Moberly, Andrew H; Czarnecki, Lindsey A; Pottackal, Joseph; Rubinstein, Tom; Turkel, Daniel J; Kass, Marley D; McGann, John P

    2012-10-01

    Chronic exposure to aerosolized manganese induces a neurological disorder that includes extrapyramidal motor symptoms and cognitive impairment. Inhaled manganese can bypass the blood-brain barrier and reach the central nervous system by transport down the olfactory nerve to the brain's olfactory bulb. However, the mechanism by which Mn disrupts neural function remains unclear. Here we used optical imaging techniques to visualize exocytosis in olfactory nerve terminals in vivo in the mouse olfactory bulb. Acute Mn exposure via intranasal instillation of 2-200 μg MnCl(2) solution caused a dose-dependent reduction in odorant-evoked neurotransmitter release, with significant effects at as little as 2 μg MnCl(2) and a 90% reduction compared to vehicle controls with a 200 μg exposure. This reduction was also observed in response to direct electrical stimulation of the olfactory nerve layer in the olfactory bulb, demonstrating that Mn's action is occurring centrally, not peripherally. This is the first direct evidence that Mn intoxication can disrupt neurotransmitter release, and is consistent with previous work suggesting that chronic Mn exposure limits amphetamine-induced dopamine increases in the basal ganglia despite normal levels of dopamine synthesis (Guilarte et al., J Neurochem 2008). The commonality of Mn's action between glutamatergic neurons in the olfactory bulb and dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia suggests that a disruption of neurotransmitter release may be a general consequence wherever Mn accumulates in the brain and could underlie its pleiotropic effects.

  17. Evolution of flatworm central nervous systems: Insights from polyclads

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    Quiroga, Sigmer Y.; Carolina Bonilla, E.; Marcela Bolaños, D.; Carbayo, Fernando; Litvaitis, Marian K.; Brown, Federico D.

    2015-01-01

    The nervous systems of flatworms have diversified extensively as a consequence of the broad range of adaptations in the group. Here we examined the central nervous system (CNS) of 12 species of polyclad flatworms belonging to 11 different families by morphological and histological studies. These comparisons revealed that the overall organization and architecture of polyclad central nervous systems can be classified into three categories (I, II, and III) based on the presence of globuli cell masses -ganglion cells of granular appearance-, the cross-sectional shape of the main nerve cords, and the tissue type surrounding the nerve cords. In addition, four different cell types were identified in polyclad brains based on location and size. We also characterize the serotonergic and FMRFamidergic nervous systems in the cotylean Boninia divae by immunocytochemistry. Although both neurotransmitters were broadly expressed, expression of serotonin was particularly strong in the sucker, whereas FMRFamide was particularly strong in the pharynx. Finally, we test some of the major hypothesized trends during the evolution of the CNS in the phylum by a character state reconstruction based on current understanding of the nervous system across different species of Platyhelminthes and on up-to-date molecular phylogenies. PMID:26500427

  18. Evolution of flatworm central nervous systems: Insights from polyclads

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    Sigmer Y. Quiroga

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The nervous systems of flatworms have diversified extensively as a consequence of the broad range of adaptations in the group. Here we examined the central nervous system (CNS of 12 species of polyclad flatworms belonging to 11 different families by morphological and histological studies. These comparisons revealed that the overall organization and architecture of polyclad central nervous systems can be classified into three categories (I, II, and III based on the presence of globuli cell masses -ganglion cells of granular appearance-, the cross-sectional shape of the main nerve cords, and the tissue type surrounding the nerve cords. In addition, four different cell types were identified in polyclad brains based on location and size. We also characterize the serotonergic and FMRFamidergic nervous systems in the cotylean Boninia divae by immunocytochemistry. Although both neurotransmitters were broadly expressed, expression of serotonin was particularly strong in the sucker, whereas FMRFamide was particularly strong in the pharynx. Finally, we test some of the major hypothesized trends during the evolution of the CNS in the phylum by a character state reconstruction based on current understanding of the nervous system across different species of Platyhelminthes and on up-to-date molecular phylogenies.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Presynaptic [Ca2+] and GCAPs: aspects on the structure and function of photoreceptor ribbon synapses

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    Frank eSchmitz

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Changes in intracellular calcium ions [Ca2+] play important roles in photoreceptor signalling. Consequently, intracellular [Ca2+] levels need to be tightly controlled. In the light-sensitive outer segments (OS of photoreceptors, Ca2+ regulates the activity of retinal guanylate cyclases (ret-GCs thus playing a central role in phototransduction and light-adaptation by restoring light-induced decreases in cGMP. In the synaptic terminals, changes of intracellular Ca2+ trigger various aspects of neurotransmission. Photoreceptors employ tonically active ribbon synapses that encode light-induced, graded changes of membrane potential into different rates of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. The active zones of ribbon synapses contain large electron-dense structures, synaptic ribbons, that are associated with large numbers of synaptic vesicles. Synaptic coding at ribbon synapses differs from synaptic coding at conventional (phasic synapses. Recent studies revealed new insights how synaptic ribbons are involved in this process. This review focuses on the regulation of [Ca2+] in presynaptic photoreceptor terminals and on the function of a particular Ca2+-regulated protein, the neuronal calcium sensor protein GCAP2 (guanylate cyclase-activating protein-2 in the photoreceptor ribbon synapse. GCAP2, an EF hand-containing protein plays multiple roles in the OS and in the photoreceptor synapse. In the OS, GCAP2 works as a Ca2+-sensor within a Ca2+-regulated feedback loop that adjusts cGMP levels. In the photoreceptor synapse, GCAP2 binds to RIBEYE, a component of synaptic ribbons, and mediates Ca2+-dependent plasticity at that site. Possible mechanisms are discussed.

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

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

    2014-05-01

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

  3. Determining the neurotransmitter concentration profile at active synapses.

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    Scimemi, Annalisa; Beato, Marco

    2009-12-01

    Establishing the temporal and concentration profiles of neurotransmitters during synaptic release is an essential step towards understanding the basic properties of inter-neuronal communication in the central nervous system. A variety of ingenious attempts has been made to gain insights into this process, but the general inaccessibility of central synapses, intrinsic limitations of the techniques used, and natural variety of different synaptic environments have hindered a comprehensive description of this fundamental phenomenon. Here, we describe a number of experimental and theoretical findings that has been instrumental for advancing our knowledge of various features of neurotransmitter release, as well as newly developed tools that could overcome some limits of traditional pharmacological approaches and bring new impetus to the description of the complex mechanisms of synaptic transmission.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. A bionics chemical synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Adenosine gates synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Kimberly A.; Nicoll, Roger A.; Schmitz, Dietmar

    2003-11-01

    The release properties of synapses in the central nervous system vary greatly, not only across anatomically distinct types of synapses but also among the same class of synapse. This variation manifests itself in large part by differences in the probability of transmitter release, which affects such activity-dependent presynaptic forms of plasticity as paired-pulse facilitation and frequency facilitation. This heterogeneity in presynaptic function reflects differences in the intrinsic properties of the synaptic terminal and the activation of presynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Here we show that the unique presynaptic properties of the hippocampal mossy fiber synapse are largely imparted onto the synapse by the continuous local action of extracellular adenosine at presynaptic A1 adenosine receptors, which maintains a low basal probability of transmitter release.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Astroglial cradle in the life of the synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verkhratsky, Alexei; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2014-10-19

    Astroglial perisynaptic sheath covers the majority of synapses in the central nervous system. This glial coverage evolved as a part of the synaptic structure in which elements directly responsible for neurotransmission (exocytotic machinery and appropriate receptors) concentrate in neuronal membranes, whereas multiple molecules imperative for homeostatic maintenance of the synapse (transporters for neurotransmitters, ions, amino acids, etc.) are shifted to glial membranes that have substantially larger surface area. The astrocytic perisynaptic processes act as an 'astroglial cradle' essential for synaptogenesis, maturation, isolation and maintenance of synapses, representing the fundamental mechanism contributing to synaptic connectivity, synaptic plasticity and information processing in the nervous system.

  11. Astroglial cradle in the life of the synapse

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Astroglial perisynaptic sheath covers the majority of synapses in the central nervous system. This glial coverage evolved as a part of the synaptic structure in which elements directly responsible for neurotransmission (exocytotic machinery and appropriate receptors) concentrate in neuronal membranes, whereas multiple molecules imperative for homeostatic maintenance of the synapse (transporters for neurotransmitters, ions, amino acids, etc.) are shifted to glial membranes that have substantia...

  12. Transfer characteristics of a thermosensory synapse in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Narayan, Anusha; Laurent, Gilles; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2011-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a compact, attractive system for neural circuit analysis. An understanding of the functional dynamics of neural computation requires physiological analyses. We undertook the characterization of transfer at a central synapse in C. elegans by combining optical stimulation of targeted neurons with electrophysiological recordings. We show that the synapse between AFD and AIY, the first stage in the thermotactic circuit, exhibits excitatory, tonic, and graded release. We...

  13. [A new role of GABA on synapses].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayama, Tatsuya; Kasai, Haruo

    2014-08-01

    Neurons connect and transmit information via synapses. The major excitatory and inhibitory (E-I) neurotransmitters are glutamate and γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), respectively. The E-I balance plays an important role in various brain functions. In this review, we summarize the role of GABA on synaptic integration and synaptic plasticity by introducing our own recent findings. In synaptic integration, GABA is considered to inhibit depolarization induced by glutamate and suppress action potentials. We found that GABA also has a more direct role on the synaptic plasticity of excitatory inputs. GABA effectively promotes the shrinkage and elimination of synapses by suppressing local dendritic Ca(2+) signaling, while keeping the Ca(2+) domain of the NMDA receptors intact. In this manner, GABA promoted the activation of calcineurin, which in turn activated cofilin. Interestingly, shrinkage tended to spread, likely due to the spread of cofilin, and induced competitive selection of synapses via its phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. The selection of synapses is key to the reorganization of the central nervous system during development and in adulthood, and GABA plays key roles in various mental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. Our results account well for the in vivo GABA functions on synaptic selection, and may help to develop new therapeutic compounds.

  14. The immunological synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

    The induction of a proper adaptive immune response is dependent on the correct transfer of information between antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and antigen-specific T cells. Defects in information transfer may result in the development of diseases, e.g. immunodeficiencies and autoimmunity. A disti......The induction of a proper adaptive immune response is dependent on the correct transfer of information between antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and antigen-specific T cells. Defects in information transfer may result in the development of diseases, e.g. immunodeficiencies and autoimmunity....... A distinct 3-dimensional supramolecular structure at the T cell/APC interface has been suggested to be involved in the information transfer. Due to its functional analogy to the neuronal synapse, the structure has been termed the "immunological synapse" (IS). Here, we review molecular aspects concerning...

  15. Transfer characteristics of a thermosensory synapse in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayan, Anusha; Laurent, Gilles; Sternberg, Paul W

    2011-06-07

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a compact, attractive system for neural circuit analysis. An understanding of the functional dynamics of neural computation requires physiological analyses. We undertook the characterization of transfer at a central synapse in C. elegans by combining optical stimulation of targeted neurons with electrophysiological recordings. We show that the synapse between AFD and AIY, the first stage in the thermotactic circuit, exhibits excitatory, tonic, and graded release. We measured the linear range of the input-output curve and estimate the static synaptic gain as 0.056 (<0.1). Release showed no obvious facilitation or depression. Transmission at this synapse is peptidergic. The AFD/AIY synapse thus seems to have evolved for reliable transmission of a scaled-down temperature signal from AFD, enabling AIY to monitor and integrate temperature with other sensory input. Combining optogenetics with electrophysiology is a powerful way to analyze C. elegans' neural function.

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular mechanism of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishina, Masayoshi; Uemura, Takeshi; Yasumura, Misato; Yoshida, Tomoyuki

    2012-01-01

    The cerebellum receives two excitatory afferents, the climbing fiber (CF) and the mossy fiber-parallel fiber (PF) pathway, both converging onto Purkinje cells (PCs) that are the sole neurons sending outputs from the cerebellar cortex. Glutamate receptor δ2 (GluRδ2) is expressed selectively in cerebellar PCs and localized exclusively at the PF-PC synapses. We found that a significant number of PC spines lack synaptic contacts with PF terminals and some of residual PF-PC synapses show mismatching between pre- and postsynaptic specializations in conventional and conditional GluRδ2 knockout mice. Studies with mutant mice revealed that in addition to PF-PC synapse formation, GluRδ2 is essential for synaptic plasticity, motor learning, and the restriction of CF territory. GluRδ2 regulates synapse formation through the amino-terminal domain, while the control of synaptic plasticity, motor learning, and CF territory is mediated through the carboxyl-terminal domain. Thus, GluRδ2 is the molecule that bridges synapse formation and motor learning. We found that the trans-synaptic interaction of postsynaptic GluRδ2 and presynaptic neurexins (NRXNs) through cerebellin 1 (Cbln1) mediates PF-PC synapse formation. The synaptogenic triad is composed of one molecule of tetrameric GluRδ2, two molecules of hexameric Cbln1 and four molecules of monomeric NRXN. Thus, GluRδ2 triggers synapse formation by clustering four NRXNs. These findings provide a molecular insight into the mechanism of synapse formation in the brain.

  18. Molecular mechanism of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayoshi eMishina

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The cerebellum receives two excitatory afferents, the climbing fiber (CF and the mossy fiber-parallel fiber (PF pathway, both converging onto Purkinje cells (PCs that are the sole neurons sending outputs from the cerebellar cortex. Glutamate receptor δ2 (GluRδ2 is expressed selectively in cerebellar PCs and localized exclusively at the PF-PC synapses. We found that a significant number of PC spines lack synaptic contacts with PF terminals and some of residual PF-PC synapses show mismatching between pre- and postsynaptic specializations in conventional and conditional GluRδ2 knockout mice. Studies with mutant mice revealed that in addition to PF-PC synapse formation, GluRδ2 is essential for synaptic plasticity, motor learning and the restriction of CF territory. GluRδ2 regulates synapse formation through the amino-terminal domain, while the control of synaptic plasticity, motor learning and CF territory is mediated through the carboxyl-terminal domain. Thus, GluRδ2 is the molecule that bridges synapse formation and motor learning. We found that the trans-synaptic interaction of postsynaptic GluRδ2 and presynaptic neurexins (NRXNs through Cbln1 mediates PF-PC synapse formation. The synaptogenic triad is composed of one molecule of tetrameric GluRδ2, two molecules of hexameric Cbln1 and four molecules of monomeric NRXN. Thus, GluRδ2 triggers synapse formation by clustering four NRXNs. These findings provide a molecular insight into the mechanism of synapse formation in the brain.

  19. 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.

  20. Relating structure and function of inner hair cell ribbon synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wichmann, C; Moser, T

    2015-07-01

    In the mammalian cochlea, sound is encoded at synapses between inner hair cells (IHCs) and type I spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). Each SGN receives input from a single IHC ribbon-type active zone (AZ) and yet SGNs indefatigably spike up to hundreds of Hz to encode acoustic stimuli with submillisecond precision. Accumulating evidence indicates a highly specialized molecular composition and structure of the presynapse, adapted to suit these high functional demands. However, we are only beginning to understand key features such as stimulus-secretion coupling, exocytosis mechanisms, exo-endocytosis coupling, modes of endocytosis and vesicle reformation, as well as replenishment of the readily releasable pool. Relating structure and function has become an important avenue in addressing these points and has been applied to normal and genetically manipulated hair cell synapses. Here, we review some of the exciting new insights gained from recent studies of the molecular anatomy and physiology of IHC ribbon synapses.

  1. Structural and functional characterization of synapse-associated protein-97

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei

    Synapse-associated protein-97 (SAP97) as a scaffold protein plays an important role in regulating neural signal transmission in the central nervous system by coupling with activated membrane receptors, ion channels, and downstream signaling proteins. SAP97 consists of six functional domains: L27, PDZ1, PDZ2, PDZ3, SH3, and GK. Each of these domains mediates the interactions of SAP97 with other proteins. Understanding the molecular mechanism of these interactions in neural signal transmission is a goal of this study. Here high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and fluorescence anisotropy are employed towards the goal of the structural and functional characterization of SAP97; specifically, we (a) characterize the binding of the PDZ domains of SAP97 with the C-terminus of NR2B, and determine the structure of the PDZ1-NR2B; (b) characterize the binding of the PDZ domains with the C-terminus of stargazin and multiple mutants, and identify the perturbed amino acids in PDZ2 upon the binding of stargazin; (c) characterize the binding specificity carried by the beta2/beta3 loop of the PDZ3 domain. These results provide insight into the molecular mechanism for the binding specificities of the PDZ domains of SAP97, thereby furthering the development of drugs that target these domains to treat neurological diseases.

  2. Intraflagellar transport: a new player at the immune synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finetti, Francesca; Paccani, Silvia Rossi; Rosenbaum, Joel; Baldari, Cosima T

    2011-04-01

    The assembly and maintenance of primary cilia, which orchestrate signaling pathways centrally implicated in cell proliferation, differentiation and migration, are ensured by multimeric protein particles in a process known as intraflagellar transport (IFT). It has recently been demonstrated that a number of IFT components are expressed in hematopoietic cells, which have no cilia. Here, we summarize data for an unexpected role of IFT proteins in immune synapse assembly and intracellular membrane trafficking in T lymphocytes, and discuss the hypothesis that the immune synapse could represent the functional homolog of the primary cilium in these cells.

  3. SKS splitting beneath the Pyrenees domain: an insight on the upper mantle deformation from central Iberia to French Massif Central

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnin, Mickael; Chevrot, Sébastien; Gaudot, Ianis; Haugmard, Méric

    2016-04-01

    We performed shear-wave splitting analysis for 270 permanent (French RLPB, CEA and Catalan) and temporary (PyrOPE and IberArray) broadband stations around the Pyrenees range. These measurements considerably enhance the spatial resolution and regional extent of seismic anisotropy pattern in that region. In particular, we determine the small-scale variations of splitting parameters φ and δt along three dense (5 km inter-station spacing) transects crossing the western, central and eastern Pyrenees. The anisotropy pattern in the Pyrenees is in good agreement with those in previous studies, with relatively constant N100° E directions of polarization of the fast waves and delay times around 1 s. However, the new stations from the PyrOPE experiment installed in the Aquitaine basin indicate a sharp transition both in directions (from N100° E to ˜ N60° E) and delay times (from 1 s to ˜ 0.5 s) just north of the North Pyrenean Fault. This could indicate the presence of the Iberian lithospheric "slab" beneath the North Pyrenean Zone. This transition also suggests that the main contribution to anisotropy is located inside the lithosphere. Further East, the analysis of the French permanent broadband stations complete the anisotropy map beneath western Alps. These new observations, especially in Savoie, confirm the overall N-80° E to N40° E smooth rotation of the directions of polarization following the curvature of the belt.

  4. 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.

  5. REVIEW ARTICLE: In vivo magnetic resonance imaging: insights into structure and function of the central nervous system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natt, Oliver; Frahm, Jens

    2005-04-01

    Spatially resolved nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques provide structural, metabolic and functional insights into the central nervous system and allow for repetitive in vivo studies of both humans and animals. Complementing its prominent role in diagnostic imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has evolved into an indispensable research tool in system-oriented neurobiology where contributions to functional genomics and translational medicine bridge the gap from molecular biology to animal models and clinical applications. This review presents an overview on some of the most relevant advances in MRI. An introduction covering the basic principles is followed by a discussion of technological improvements in instrumentation and imaging sequences including recent developments in parallel acquisition techniques. Because MRI is noninvasive in contrast to most other imaging modalities, examples focus on in vivo studies of the central nervous system in a variety of species ranging from humans to mice and insects.

  6. 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.

  7. Factor B structure provides insights into activation of the central protease of the complement system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Milder, F.J.; Gomes, L.; Schouten, A.; Janssen, B.J.C.; Huizinga, E.G.; Romijn, R.A.; Hemrika, W.; Roos, A; Daha, M.R.; Gros, P.

    2007-01-01

    Factor B is the central protease of the complement system of immune defense. Here, we present the crystal structure of human factor B at 2.3-A° resolution, which reveals how the five-domain proenzyme is kept securely inactive. The canonical activation helix of the Von Willebrand factor A (VWA) domai

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Central nervous system regulation of eating: Insights from human brain imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, Olivia M; Li, Chiang-Shan R; Mantzoros, Christos S

    2016-05-01

    Appetite and body weight regulation are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS) in a rather complicated manner. The human brain plays a central role in integrating internal and external inputs to modulate energy homeostasis. Although homeostatic control by the hypothalamus is currently considered to be primarily responsible for controlling appetite, most of the available evidence derives from experiments in rodents, and the role of this system in regulating appetite in states of hunger/starvation and in the pathogenesis of overeating/obesity remains to be fully elucidated in humans. Further, cognitive and affective processes have been implicated in the dysregulation of eating behavior in humans, but their exact relative contributions as well as the respective underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We briefly review each of these systems here and present the current state of research in an attempt to update clinicians and clinical researchers alike on the status and future directions of obesity research.

  12. Laminins containing the beta2 chain modulate the precise organization of CNS synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egles, Christophe; Claudepierre, Thomas; Manglapus, Mary K; Champliaud, Marie-France; Brunken, William J; Hunter, Dale D

    2007-03-01

    Synapses are formed and stabilized by concerted interactions of pre-, intra-, and post-synaptic components; however, the precise nature of the intrasynaptic components in the CNS remains obscure. Potential intrasynaptic components include extracellular matrix molecules such as laminins; here, we isolate beta2-containing laminins, including perhaps laminins 13 (alpha3beta2gamma3) and 14 (alpha4beta2gamma3), from CNS synaptosomes suggesting a role for these molecules in synaptic organization. Indeed, hippocampal synapses that form in vivo in the absence of these laminins are malformed at the ultrastructural level and this malformation is replicated in synapses formed in vitro, where laminins are provided largely by the post-synaptic neuron. This recapitulation of the in vivo function of laminins in vitro suggests that the malformations are a direct consequence of the removal of laminins from the synapse. Together, these results support a role for neuronal laminins in the structural integrity of central synapses.

  13. 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

  14. Styles of zoning in central Andean ignimbrites - Insights into magma chamber processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Silva, S. L.

    1991-01-01

    Data are presented showing that calc-alkaline high-K ignimbrites from the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex of the Central Volcanic Zone of the Andes, showing a variety of compositional zonations. The characteristics of the juvenile material from the zoned and heterogenous ignimbrites suggest that crystallization of the observed phenocrysts occurred in prezoned magma chambers consisting of two or more layers. It is suggested that the width/height ratio of a magma chamber plays a critical role in the control of the style of zonation that may develop in a closed magma chamber.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Montagne Noire migmatitic dome emplacement (French Massif Central): new insights from petrofabric and AMS studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, Nicolas; Faure, Michel; Chen, Yan

    2009-11-01

    In the southern French Massif Central, the Montagne Noire axial zone is a NE-SW elongated granite-migmatite dome emplaced within Visean south-verging recumbent folds and intruded by syn- to late-migmatization granitoids. The tectonic setting of this dome is still disputed, thus several models have been proposed. In order to better understand the emplacement mechanism of this dome, petrofabric and Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS) studies have been carried out. In the granites and migmatites that form the dome core, magmatic texture and to a lesser extent weak solid-state texture are dominant. As a paramagnetic mineral, biotite is the main carrier of the magnetic susceptibility. On the basis of 135 AMS sites, the magnetic fabrics appear as independent of the lithology but related to the dome architecture. Coupling our results with previous structural and geochronological studies, allows us to propose a new emplacement model. Between 340-325 Ma, the Palaeozoic series underwent a compressional deformation represented by nappes and recumbent folds involving the thermal event leading to partial melting. Until ˜325-310 Ma, the dome emplacement was assisted by diapiric processes. An extensional event took place at ˜300 Ma, after the emplacement of the late to post-migmatitic granitic plutons. In the northeast side of the dome, a brittle normal-dextral faulting controlled the opening of the Graissessac coal basin.

  1. Reconsidering the glacier to rock glacier transformation problem: New insights from the central Andes of Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monnier, Sébastien; Kinnard, Christophe

    2015-06-01

    The glacier to rock glacier transformation problem is revisited from a previously unseen angle. A striking case in the Juncal Massif (located in the upper Aconcagua Valley, Chilean central Andes) is documented. There, the Presenteseracae debris-covered glacier has advanced several tens of metres and has developed a rock glacier morphology in its lower part over the last 60 years. The conditions for a theoretically valid glacier to rock glacier transformation are discussed and tested. Permafrost probability in the area of the studied feature is highlighted by regional-scale spatial modelling together with on-site shallow ground temperature records. Two different methods are used to estimate the mean surface temperature during the summer of 2014, and the sub-debris ice ablation rates are calculated as ranging between 0.05 and 0.19 cm d- 1, i.e., 0.04 and 0.17 m over the summer. These low ablation rates are consistent with the development of a coherent surface morphology over the last 60 years. Furthermore, the rates of rock wall retreat required for covering the former glacier at Presenteseracae lie within the common 0.1-2 mm y- 1 range, assuming an average debris thickness and a range of debris-covering time intervals. The integration of the geomorphological observations with the numerical results confirms that the studied debris-covered glacier is evolving into a rock glacier.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 (fern stands. Regional pollen rain-e.g. grasses and wormwood-is scarcely represented. Golden algae dominate in the lower section. The results of the first palynological samples suggest a small sedimentation basin. Two 14C-dated charcoals out of the upper part of the section indicate mid-Holocene ages and a linear extrapolation based on a sediment accumulation rate of 1.4mma-1 would lead to tentative dates of ~8650 cal a BP for basal lacustrine sediments and ~4450 cal a BP for the cessation of this lacustrine sequence. The diatomites from the Era Kohor reflect a suite of sections that in total sum up to 145 cm of mostly silica-based sediments with very low carbon contents (< 2% TC). Calcite dominated sediments are only present in the topmost 15 cm. Grasses and wormword are dominating throughout the sequence, probably reflecting the main constituents of the regional vegetation. Cattail (Typha/Sparganium) and especially milfoil (Myriophyllum) are recorded abundantly and continuously throughout the sequence. In combination with green algae like Pediastrum the first pollen

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Astrocyte-Synapse Structural Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The function and efficacy of synaptic transmission are determined not only by the composition and activity of pre- and postsynaptic components but also by the environment in which a synapse is embedded. Glial cells constitute an important part of this environment and participate in several aspects of synaptic functions. Among the glial cell family, the roles played by astrocytes at the synaptic level are particularly important, ranging from the trophic support to the fine-tuning of transmissi...

  8. Astrocyte-Synapse Structural Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Bernardinelli

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The function and efficacy of synaptic transmission are determined not only by the composition and activity of pre- and postsynaptic components but also by the environment in which a synapse is embedded. Glial cells constitute an important part of this environment and participate in several aspects of synaptic functions. Among the glial cell family, the roles played by astrocytes at the synaptic level are particularly important, ranging from the trophic support to the fine-tuning of transmission. Astrocytic structures are frequently observed in close association with glutamatergic synapses, providing a morphological entity for bidirectional interactions with synapses. Experimental evidence indicates that astrocytes sense neuronal activity by elevating their intracellular calcium in response to neurotransmitters and may communicate with neurons. The precise role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic properties, function, and plasticity remains however a subject of intense debate and many aspects of their interactions with neurons remain to be investigated. A particularly intriguing aspect is their ability to rapidly restructure their processes and modify their coverage of the synaptic elements. The present review summarizes some of these findings with a particular focus on the mechanisms driving this form of structural plasticity and its possible impact on synaptic structure and function.

  9. Insights into deposition and deformation of intra-caldera ignimbrites, central Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, William D.; Palmer, H. Currie; Deino, Alan L.; Shen, Po-Yu

    2012-11-01

    Magnetic studies, together with structural and 40Ar/39Ar age analyses, were used to investigate the development and deformation of ignimbrites of the Caetano Tuff formation in central-north Nevada. Magnetic susceptibility, susceptibility anisotropy (AMS) and magnetic remanence approaches were used to decipher events accompanying emplacement and subsequent deformation of that tuff, for both intracaldera tuffs and outflow deposits. 40Ar/39Ar ages, both those presented here and previously published ages, indicate about 33.8 Ma for the age of Caetano ignimbrites, approximately at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary. Although extensive faulting associated with regional extension of the Great Basin region has dissected these deposits, the thickness of the intra-caldera ignimbrites has been estimated at 3.5 km or more. Thermal modeling for cooling of a caldera filling of 3.5 km thickness indicates acquisition of remanent magnetization can persist up to 25 ka, sufficient to average secular variation. This contrasts with rapid cooling and remanence acquisition in outflow ignimbrites typically only tens of meters thick. A 750 m thick reference section was selected for more detailed study about 10 km to the west of the type area. This reference section, fault-bounded at both base and top, represents the upper part of the formation. Its lower member includes the uppermost 250 m of the lower massive resistant unit of ignimbrites, a middle member of 375 m of well stratified pyroclastic deposits, vitrophyres and sediments, and an upper member of about 125 m of recessive ignimbrite and thin-bedded clastic and pyroclastic deposits. Structural and magnetic remanence measurements suggest 13° eastward tilting of the caldera floor occurred early during deposition of the middle member. Flow directions inferred from AMS Kmax axes in the middle member diverge about 45° relative to those in the underlying member and suggest a change in vent source accompanying the deposition of the middle

  10. Remodeling and Tenacity of Inhibitory Synapses: Relationships with Network Activity and Neighboring Excitatory Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinski, Anna; Ziv, Noam E

    2015-11-01

    Glutamatergic synapse size remodeling is governed not only by specific activity forms but also by apparently stochastic processes with well-defined statistics. These spontaneous remodeling processes can give rise to skewed and stable synaptic size distributions, underlie scaling of these distributions and drive changes in glutamatergic synapse size "configurations". Where inhibitory synapses are concerned, however, little is known on spontaneous remodeling dynamics, their statistics, their activity dependence or their long-term consequences. Here we followed individual inhibitory synapses for days, and analyzed their size remodeling dynamics within the statistical framework previously developed for glutamatergic synapses. Similar to glutamatergic synapses, size distributions of inhibitory synapses were skewed and stable; at the same time, however, sizes of individual synapses changed considerably, leading to gradual changes in synaptic size configurations. The suppression of network activity only transiently affected spontaneous remodeling dynamics, did not affect synaptic size configuration change rates and was not followed by the scaling of inhibitory synapse size distributions. Comparisons with glutamatergic synapses within the same dendrites revealed a degree of coupling between nearby inhibitory and excitatory synapse remodeling, but also revealed that inhibitory synapse size configurations changed at considerably slower rates than those of their glutamatergic neighbors. These findings point to quantitative differences in spontaneous remodeling dynamics of inhibitory and excitatory synapses but also reveal deep qualitative similarities in the processes that control their sizes and govern their remodeling dynamics.

  11. 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.

  12. Neuron-glia signaling: Implications for astrocyte differentiation and synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stipursky, Joice; Romão, Luciana; Tortelli, Vanessa; Neto, Vivaldo Moura; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2011-10-10

    Glial cells are currently viewed as active partners of neurons in synapse formation. The close proximity of astrocytes to the synaptic cleft implicates that they strongly influence synapse function as well as suggests that these cells might be potential targets for neuronal-released molecules. In this review, we discuss the signaling pathways of astrocyte generation and the role of astrocyte-derived molecules in synapse formation in the central nervous system. Further, we discuss the role of the excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) pathway in astrocyte generation and differentiation. We provide evidence that astrocytes surrounding synapses are target of neuronal activity and shed light into the role of astroglial cells into neurological disorders associated with glutamate neurotoxicity.

  13. Regulation of vesicular traffic at the T cell immune synapse: lessons from the primary cilium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finetti, Francesca; Onnis, Anna; Baldari, Cosima T

    2015-03-01

    The signals that orchestrate the process of T cell activation are coordinated at the specialized interface that forms upon contact with an antigen presenting cell displaying a specific MHC-associated peptide ligand, known as the immune synapse. The central role of vesicular traffic in the assembly of the immune synapse has emerged only in recent years with the finding that sustained T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling involves delivery of TCR/CD3 complexes from an intracellular pool associated with recycling endosomes. A number of receptors as well as membrane-associated signaling mediators have since been demonstrated to exploit this process to localize to the immune synapse. Here, we will review our current understanding of the mechanisms responsible for TCR recycling, with a focus on the intraflagellar transport system, a multimolecular complex that is responsible for the assembly and function of the primary cilium which we have recently implicated in polarized endosome recycling to the immune synapse.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Emerging themes in GABAergic synapse development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzirian, Marissa S; Paradis, Suzanne

    2011-09-15

    Glutamatergic synapse development has been rigorously investigated for the past two decades at both the molecular and cell biological level yet a comparable intensity of investigation into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of GABAergic synapse development has been lacking until relatively recently. This review will provide a detailed overview of the current understanding of GABAergic synapse development with a particular emphasis on assembly of synaptic components, molecular mechanisms of synaptic development, and a subset of human disorders which manifest when GABAergic synapse development is disrupted. An unexpected and emerging theme from these studies is that glutamatergic and GABAergic synapse development share a number of overlapping molecular and cell biological mechanisms that will be emphasized in this review.

  16. 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.

  17. Opioids potentiate electrical transmission at mixed synapses on the Mauthner cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachope, Roger; Pereda, Alberto E

    2015-07-01

    Opioid receptors were shown to modulate a variety of cellular processes in the vertebrate central nervous system, including synaptic transmission. While the effects of opioid receptors on chemically mediated transmission have been extensively investigated, little is known of their actions on gap junction-mediated electrical synapses. Here we report that pharmacological activation of mu-opioid receptors led to a long-term enhancement of electrical (and glutamatergic) transmission at identifiable mixed synapses on the goldfish Mauthner cells. The effect also required activation of both dopamine D1/5 receptors and postsynaptic cAMP-dependent protein kinase A, suggesting that opioid-evoked actions are mediated indirectly via the release of dopamine from varicosities known to be located in the vicinity of the synaptic contacts. Moreover, inhibitory inputs situated in the immediate vicinity of these excitatory synapses on the lateral dendrite of the Mauthner cell were not affected by activation of mu-opioid receptors, indicating that their actions are restricted to electrical and glutamatergic transmissions co-existing at mixed contacts. Thus, as their chemical counterparts, electrical synapses can be a target for the modulatory actions of the opioid system. Because gap junctions at these mixed synapses are formed by fish homologs of the neuronal connexin 36, which is widespread in mammalian brain, it is likely that this regulatory property applies to electrical synapses elsewhere as well.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Ice-free summers predominant in the late Miocene central Arctic Ocean - New insights from a proxy-modeling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten; Schreck, Michael; Knorr, Gregor; Forwick, Matthias; Lohmann, Gerrit; Niessen, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Lohmann, G., 2011. Towards quantitative sea ice reconstructions in the northern North Atlantic: A combined biomarker and numerical modelling approach. Earth Planetary Science Letters 306, 137-148. Stein, R. (Ed.), 2015. The Expedition PS87 of the Research Vessel Polarstern to the Arctic Ocean in 2014, Reports on Polar and Marine Research 688, Bremerhaven, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, 273 pp (http://epic.awi.de/37728/1/BzPM_0688_2015.pdf). Stein, R., K. Fahl, Schreck, M., Knorr, G., Niessen, F., Forwick, M., Gebhardt, C., Jensen, L., Kaminski, M., Kopf, A., Matthiessen, J., Jokat, W., Lohmann, G. and the PS87 Geoscience Party, 2016. Ice-free summers in the late Miocene central Arctic Ocean - New insights from proxy/model reconstruction. Nature Communications, revised version under review.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katori, Yuichi; Otsubo, Yosuke; Okada, Masato; Aihara, Kazuyuki

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. Comparative anatomy of phagocytic and immunological synapses

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    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.

  5. The Diversity of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

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    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.

  6. Gliotransmission and the tripartite synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santello, Mirko; Calì, Corrado; Bezzi, Paola

    2012-01-01

    In the last years, the classical view of glial cells (in particular of astrocytes) as a simple supportive cell for neurons has been replaced by a new vision in which glial cells are active elements of the brain. Such a new vision is based on the existence of a bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons at synaptic level. Indeed, perisynaptic processes of astrocytes express active G-protein-coupled receptors that are able (1) to sense neurotransmitters released from the synapse during synaptic activity, (2) to increase cytosolic levels of calcium, and (3) to stimulate the release of gliotransmitters that in turn can interact with the synaptic elements. The mechanism(s) by which astrocytes can release gliotransmitter has been extensively studied during the last years. Many evidences have suggested that a fraction of astrocytes in situ release neuroactive substances both with calcium-dependent and calcium-independent mechanism(s); whether these mechanisms coexist and under what physiological or pathological conditions they occur, it remains unclear. However, the calcium-dependent exocytotic vesicular release has received considerable attention due to its potential to occur under physiological conditions via a finely regulated way. By releasing gliotransmitters in millisecond time scale with a specific vesicular apparatus, astrocytes can integrate and process synaptic information and control or modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity.

  7. Fore-arc structure, plate coupling and isostasy in the Central Andes: Insight from gravity data modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutledge, Sophia; Mahatsente, Rezene

    2017-02-01

    The central segment of the Peru-Chile subduction zone has not seen a major earthquake of similar scale to the megathrust Iquique event in 1877 (Magnitude ∼8.8). The plate interface between the subducting and overriding plates in the central segment of the subduction zone is highly coupled and is accumulating elastic energy. Here, we assessed the locking mechanism and isostatic state of the Central Andes based on gravity models of the crust and upper mantle structure. The density models are based on satellite gravity data and are constrained by velocity models and earthquake hypocenters. The gravity models indicate a high density batholithic structure in the fore-arc, overlying the subducting Nazca plate. This high density crustal structure is pressing downward into the slab and locking the plate interface. Thus, plate coupling in the Central Andes may result from pressure exerted by high density fore-arc structures and buoyancy force on the subducting Nazca plate. The increased compressive stress closer to the trench, due to the increased contact between the subducting and overriding plates, may increase the intraplate coupling in the Central Andes. To assess the isostatic state of the Central Andes, we determined the residual topography of the region (difference between observed and isostatic topography). There is a residual topography of ∼800 m in the western part of the Central Andes that cannot be explained by the observed crustal thicknesses. The residual topography may be attributed to mantle wedge flow and subduction of the Nazca plate. Thus, part of the observed topography in the western part of the Central Andes may be dynamically supported by mantle wedge flow below the overriding plate.

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dalet, Farfán-García Eunice; Guadalupe, Trujillo-Ferrara José; María del Carmen, Castillo-Hernández; Humberto, Guerra-Araiza Christian; Antonio, Soriano-Ursúa Marvin

    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 allosteric binding sites are involved in the affinity and selectivity 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 disord...

  10. Developmental patterning of glutamatergic synapses onto retinal ganglion cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schubert Timm

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurons receive excitatory synaptic inputs that are distributed across their dendritic arbors at densities and with spatial patterns that influence their output. How specific synaptic distributions are attained during development is not well understood. The distribution of glutamatergic inputs across the dendritic arbors of mammalian retinal ganglion cells (RGCs has long been correlated to the spatial receptive field profiles of these neurons. Thus, determining how glutamatergic inputs are patterned onto RGC dendritic arbors during development could provide insight into the cellular mechanisms that shape their functional receptive fields. Results We transfected developing and mature mouse RGCs with plasmids encoding fluorescent proteins that label their dendrites and glutamatergic postsynaptic sites. We found that as dendritic density (dendritic length per unit area of dendritic field decreases with maturation, the density of synapses along the dendrites increases. These changes appear coordinated such that RGCs attain the mature average density of postsynaptic sites per unit area (areal density by the time synaptic function emerges. Furthermore, stereotypic centro-peripheral gradients in the areal density of synapses across the arbor of RGCs are established at an early developmental stage. Conclusion The spatial pattern of glutamatergic inputs onto RGCs arises early in synaptogenesis despite ensuing reorganization of dendritic structure. We raise the possibility that these early patterns of synaptic distributions may arise from constraints placed on the number of contacts presynaptic neurons are able to make with the RGCs.

  11. 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.

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

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    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

  13. Astrocytes, Synapses and Brain Function: A Computational Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2006-03-01

    Modulation of synaptic reliability is one of the leading mechanisms involved in long- term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) and therefore has implications in information processing in the brain. A recently discovered mechanism for modulating synaptic reliability critically involves recruitments of astrocytes - star- shaped cells that outnumber the neurons in most parts of the central nervous system. Astrocytes until recently were thought to be subordinate cells merely participating in supporting neuronal functions. New evidence, however, made available by advances in imaging technology has changed the way we envision the role of these cells in synaptic transmission and as modulator of neuronal excitability. We put forward a novel mathematical framework based on the biophysics of the bidirectional neuron-astrocyte interactions that quantitatively accounts for two distinct experimental manifestation of recruitment of astrocytes in synaptic transmission: a) transformation of a low fidelity synapse transforms into a high fidelity synapse and b) enhanced postsynaptic spontaneous currents when astrocytes are activated. Such a framework is not only useful for modeling neuronal dynamics in a realistic environment but also provides a conceptual basis for interpreting experiments. Based on this modeling framework, we explore the role of astrocytes for neuronal network behavior such as synchrony and correlations and compare with experimental data from cultured networks.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2010-07-01

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

  18. Interneurons are the source and the targets of the first synapses formed in the rat developing hippocampal circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gozlan, Henri; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel

    2003-06-01

    In hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, GABAergic synapses are established before glutamatergic synapses. GABAergic interneurons should therefore develop and acquire synapses at an earlier stage to provide the source for GABAergic synapses. We now report that this is indeed the case. At birth and in utero, when nearly all pyramidal neurons are not yet functional, most interneurons have already either GABAergic only or GABAergic and glutamatergic postsynaptic currents. At birth, the morphological maturation of interneurons parallels their individual functional responses. In addition, the formation of functional interneurons types appears to be a sequential process. Interneurons that innervate other interneurons acquire GABA(A) synapses before peridendritic interneurons, but also before perisomatic interneurons that are not yet functional at birth. Therefore, interneurons are the source and the targets of the first synapses formed in the developing circuit. Since GABA was shown to be excitatory in utero, interneurons provide all the excitatory drive at a time when the principal cells are silent. They could therefore play a central role in the formation of the cortical circuit at early developmental stages.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wołosiewicz, Bartosz

    2016-06-01

    The Białka river valley is directly related to a deep NNW-SSE oriented fault zone. According to the results of previous morphometric analyses, the Białka drainage basin is one of the most tectonically active zones in the Central Carpathians. It is also located within an area of high seismic activity. In this study Digital Elevation Model (DEM) based, morphometric analyses were used to investigate the morphotectonic conditions of the watershed. The results reveal the relationships between the main tectonic feature and the landforms within the research area. The lineaments, as obtained from the classified aspect map, seem to coincide with the orientation of the main structures as well as the trends revealed by the theoretical Riedel-Skempton shear model. Base-level and isolong maps support the conclusion that the Białka and Biały Dunajec fault zones exert a strong influence on the morphology of the adjacent area.

  20. 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....

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Ultrafast action potentials mediate kilohertz signaling at a central synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritzau-Jost, Andreas; Delvendahl, Igor; Rings, Annika; Byczkowicz, Niklas; Harada, Harumi; Shigemoto, Ryuichi; Hirrlinger, Johannes; Eilers, Jens; Hallermann, Stefan

    2014-10-01

    Fast synaptic transmission is important for rapid information processing. To explore the maximal rate of neuronal signaling and to analyze the presynaptic mechanisms, we focused on the input layer of the cerebellar cortex, where exceptionally high action potential (AP) frequencies have been reported in vivo. With paired recordings between presynaptic cerebellar mossy fiber boutons and postsynaptic granule cells, we demonstrate reliable neurotransmission up to ∼1 kHz. Presynaptic APs are ultrafast, with ∼100 μs half-duration. Both Kv1 and Kv3 potassium channels mediate the fast repolarization, rapidly inactivating sodium channels ensure metabolic efficiency, and little AP broadening occurs during bursts of up to 1.5 kHz. Presynaptic Cav2.1 (P/Q-type) calcium channels open efficiently during ultrafast APs. Furthermore, a subset of synaptic vesicles is tightly coupled to Ca(2+) channels, and vesicles are rapidly recruited to the release site. These data reveal mechanisms of presynaptic AP generation and transmitter release underlying neuronal kHz signaling.

  4. The mitochondrial fission factor dynamin-related protein 1 modulates T-cell receptor signalling at the immune synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baixauli, Francesc; Martín-Cófreces, Noa B; Morlino, Giulia; Carrasco, Yolanda R; Calabia-Linares, Carmen; Veiga, Esteban; Serrador, Juan M; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco

    2011-04-06

    During antigen-specific T-cell activation, mitochondria mobilize towards the vicinity of the immune synapse. We show here that the mitochondrial fission factor dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) docks at mitochondria, regulating their positioning and activity near the actin-rich ring of the peripheral supramolecular activation cluster (pSMAC) of the immune synapse. Mitochondrial redistribution in response to T-cell receptor engagement was abolished by Drp1 silencing, expression of the phosphomimetic mutant Drp1S637D and the Drp1-specific inhibitor mdivi-1. Moreover, Drp1 knockdown enhanced mitochondrial depolarization and T-cell receptor signal strength, but decreased myosin phosphorylation, ATP production and T-cell receptor assembly at the central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC). Our results indicate that Drp1-dependent mitochondrial positioning and activity controls T-cell activation by fuelling central supramolecular activation cluster assembly at the immune synapse.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda eCarroll-Portillo

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available In addition to their central role in allergy, mast cells are involved in a wide variety of cellular interactions during homeostasis and disease. In this review, we discuss the ability of mast cells to extend their mechanisms for intercellular communication beyond the release of soluble mediators. These include formation of mast cell synapses on antigen presenting surfaces, as well as cell-cell contacts with dendritic cells and T cells. Release of membrane-bound exosomes also provide for the transfer of antigen, mast cell proteins and RNA to other leukocytes. With the recognition of the extended role mast cells have during immune modulation, further investigation of the processes in which mast cells are involved is necessary. This reopens mast cell research to exciting possibilities, demonstrating it to be an immunological frontier.

  6. 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.

  7. Central Zagros fold-thrust belt (Iran): New insights from seismic data, field observation, and sandbox modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherkati, S.; Letouzey, J.; Frizon de Lamotte, D.

    2006-08-01

    We present five generalized cross sections across the central Zagros fold-and-thrust belt (Iran). These sections show that the fold geometry varies significantly both horizontally and vertically. The style is closely related to the changes in the mechanical behavior of the lithostratigraphic horizons and, in particular, to the presence of intermediate décollements within the sedimentary pile. Restoration of the sections shows amounts of shortening of the same order from one section to the other. However, it appears to be unequally distributed, suggesting variations in basal décollement shear strength. Analogue modeling has been performed to systematically investigate the effect of an intermediate décollement level at different depths on the style of folding. The models demonstrate that the position of intermediate décollements is an important factor controlling both structural style and fold wavelength. Models with shallow intermediate décollement show regularly and widely spaced anticlines. In these models, the fold wavelength depends directly on the thickness of the dominant competent layer and short-wavelength superficial structures mask broad anticlines at depth. Models with deep intermediate décollement are characterized by the rapid propagation of deformation (with small rate of shortening) along this décollement influencing localization of forthcoming anticlines in the upper levels. Such propagation favors the development of duplexes and multiwavelength folds. On this basis, fold kinematics in central Zagros is discussed using the variation of structural style along different folds as an indicator of the sequence of deformation. Detachment folding is the main folding style at least for the initial stages of deformation and thrust faults developed only at later stages. Some of these faults, branched on décollement levels, express the progression of folding, whereas others are linked to late basement faults cutting through early structures. In general

  8. How many sutures in the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt:Insights from East XinjiangeWest Gansu (NW China)?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenjiao Xiao; Jun Luo; Chunming Han; Wei Liu; Bo Wan; Ji’en Zhang; Songjian Ao; Zhiyong Zhang; Dongfang Song; Zhonghua Tian

    2014-01-01

    How ophiolitic mélanges can be defined as sutures is controversial with regard to accretionary orogenesis and continental growth. The Chinese Altay, East Junggar, Tianshan, and Beishan belts of the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) in Northwest China, offer a special natural laboratory to resolve this puzzle. In the Chinese Altay, the Erqis unit consists of ophiolitic mélanges and coherent assemblages, forming a Paleozoic accretionary complex. At least two ophiolitic mélanges (Armantai, and Kelameili) in East Junggar, characterized by imbricated ophiolitic mélanges, Nb-enriched basalts, adakitic rocks and volcanic rocks, belong to a DevonianeCarboniferous intra-oceanic island arc with some Paleozoic ophiolites, superimposed by Permian arc volcanism. In the Tianshan, ophiolitic mélanges like Kanggurtag, North Tianshan, and South Tianshan occur as part of some Paleozoic accretionary complexes related to amalgamation of arc terranes. In the Beishan there are also several ophiolitic mélanges, including the Hongshishan, XingxingxiaeShibangjing, HongliuheeXichangjing, and Liuyuan ophiolitic units. Most ophiolitic mélanges in the study area are characterized by ultramafic, mafic and other components, which are juxtaposed, or even emplaced as lenses and knockers in a matrix of some coherent units. The tectonic settings of various components are different, and some adjacent units in the same mélange show contrasting different tectonic settings. The formation ages of these various com-ponents are in a wide spectrum, varying from Neoproterozoic to Permian. Therefore we cannot assume that these ophiolitic mélanges always form in linear sutures as a result of the closure of specific oceans. Often the ophiolitic components formed either as the substrate of intra-oceanic arcs, or were accreted as lenses or knockers in subduction-accretion complexes. Using published age and paleogeographic con-straints, we propose the presence of (1) a major early Paleozoic

  9. How many sutures in the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt: Insights from East Xinjiang–West Gansu (NW China?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjiao Xiao

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available How ophiolitic mélanges can be defined as sutures is controversial with regard to accretionary orogenesis and continental growth. The Chinese Altay, East Junggar, Tianshan, and Beishan belts of the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB in Northwest China, offer a special natural laboratory to resolve this puzzle. In the Chinese Altay, the Erqis unit consists of ophiolitic mélanges and coherent assemblages, forming a Paleozoic accretionary complex. At least two ophiolitic mélanges (Armantai, and Kelameili in East Junggar, characterized by imbricated ophiolitic mélanges, Nb-enriched basalts, adakitic rocks and volcanic rocks, belong to a Devonian–Carboniferous intra-oceanic island arc with some Paleozoic ophiolites, superimposed by Permian arc volcanism. In the Tianshan, ophiolitic mélanges like Kanggurtag, North Tianshan, and South Tianshan occur as part of some Paleozoic accretionary complexes related to amalgamation of arc terranes. In the Beishan there are also several ophiolitic mélanges, including the Hongshishan, Xingxingxia–Shibangjing, Hongliuhe–Xichangjing, and Liuyuan ophiolitic units. Most ophiolitic mélanges in the study area are characterized by ultramafic, mafic and other components, which are juxtaposed, or even emplaced as lenses and knockers in a matrix of some coherent units. The tectonic settings of various components are different, and some adjacent units in the same mélange show contrasting different tectonic settings. The formation ages of these various components are in a wide spectrum, varying from Neoproterozoic to Permian. Therefore we cannot assume that these ophiolitic mélanges always form in linear sutures as a result of the closure of specific oceans. Often the ophiolitic components formed either as the substrate of intra-oceanic arcs, or were accreted as lenses or knockers in subduction-accretion complexes. Using published age and paleogeographic constraints, we propose the presence of (1 a major

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  11. A year in the life of a central California kelp forest: physical and biological insights into biogeochemical variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koweek, David A.; Nickols, Kerry J.; Leary, Paul R.; Litvin, Steve Y.; Bell, Tom W.; Luthin, Timothy; Lummis, Sarah; Mucciarone, David A.; Dunbar, Robert B.

    2017-01-01

    Kelp forests are among the world's most productive marine ecosystems, yet little is known about their biogeochemistry. This study presents a 14-month time series (July 2013-August 2014) of surface and benthic dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity measurements, along with accompanying hydrographic measurements, from six locations within a central California kelp forest. We present ranges and patterns of variability in carbonate chemistry, including pH (7.70-8.33), pCO2 (172-952 µatm), and the aragonite saturation state, ΩAr (0.94-3.91). Surface-to-bottom gradients in CO2 system chemistry were as large as the spatial gradients throughout the bottom of the kelp forest. Dissolved inorganic carbon variability was the main driver of the observed CO2 system variability. The majority of spatial variability in the kelp forest can be explained by advection of cold, dense high-CO2 waters into the bottom of the kelp forest, with deeper sites experiencing high-CO2 conditions more frequently. Despite the strong imprint of advection on the biogeochemical variability of the kelp forest, surface waters were undersaturated with CO2 in the spring through fall, indicative of the strong role of photosynthesis on biogeochemical variability. We emphasize the importance of spatially distributed measurements for developing a process-based understanding of kelp forest ecosystem function in a changing climate.

  12. Southern Hemisphere humpback whales wintering off Central America: insights from water temperature into the longest mammalian migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Kristin; Palacios, Daniel M; Calambokidis, John; Saborío, Marco T; Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Secchi, Eduardo R; Steiger, Gretchen H; Allen, Judith M; Stone, Gregory S

    2007-06-22

    We report on a wintering area off the Pacific coast of Central America for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrating from feeding areas off Antarctica. We document seven individuals, including a mother/calf pair, that made this migration (approx. 8300km), the longest movement undertaken by any mammal. Whales were observed as far north as 11 degrees N off Costa Rica, in an area also used by a boreal population during the opposite winter season, resulting in unique spatial overlap between Northern and Southern Hemisphere populations. The occurrence of such a northerly wintering area is coincident with the development of an equatorial tongue of cold water in the eastern South Pacific, a pattern that is repeated in the eastern South Atlantic. A survey of location and water temperature at the wintering areas worldwide indicates that they are found in warm waters (21.1-28.3 degrees C), irrespective of latitude. We contend that while availability of suitable reproductive habitat in the wintering areas is important at the fine scale, water temperature influences whale distribution at the basin scale. Calf development in warm water may lead to larger adult size and increased reproductive success, a strategy that supports the energy conservation hypothesis as a reason for migration.

  13. 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.

  14. The distribution of arsenic in shallow alluvial groundwater under agricultural land in central Portugal: insights from multivariate geostatistical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, A I A S S; Stigter, T Y

    2013-04-01

    In this study multivariate and geostatistical methods are jointly applied to model the spatial and temporal distribution of arsenic (As) concentrations in shallow groundwater as a function of physicochemical, hydrogeological and land use parameters, as well as to assess the related uncertainty. The study site is located in the Mondego River alluvial body in Central Portugal, where maize, rice and some vegetable crops dominate. In a first analysis scatter plots are used, followed by the application of principal component analysis to two different data matrices, of 112 and 200 samples, with the aim of detecting associations between As levels and other quantitative parameters. In the following phase explanatory models of As are created through factorial regression based on correspondence analysis, integrating both quantitative and qualitative parameters. Finally, these are combined with indicator-geostatistical techniques to create maps indicating the predicted probability of As concentrations in groundwater exceeding the current global drinking water guideline of 10 μg/l. These maps further allow assessing the uncertainty and representativeness of the monitoring network. A clear effect of the redox state on the presence of As is observed, and together with significant correlations with dissolved oxygen, nitrate, sulfate, iron, manganese and alkalinity, points towards the reductive dissolution of Fe (hydr)oxides as the essential mechanism of As release. The association of high As values with rice crop, known to promote reduced environments due to ponding, further corroborates this hypothesis. An additional source of As from fertilizers cannot be excluded, as the correlation with As is higher where rice is associated with vegetables, normally associated with higher fertilization rates. The best explanatory model of As occurrence integrates the parameters season, crop type, well and water depth, nitrate and Eh, though a model without the last two parameters also gives

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Whole organic electronic synapses for dopamine detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordani, Martina; Di Lauro, Michele; Berto, Marcello; Bortolotti, Carlo A.; Vuillaume, Dominique; Gomes, Henrique L.; Zoli, Michele; Biscarini, Fabio

    2016-09-01

    A whole organic artificial synapse has been fabricated by patterning PEDOT:PSS electrodes on PDMS that are biased in frequency to yield a STP response. The timescale of the STP response is shown to be sensitive to the concentration of dopamine, DA, a neurotransmitter relevant for monitoring the development of Parkinson's disease and potential locoregional therapies. The sensitivity of the sensor towards DA has been validated comparing signal variation in the presence of DA and its principal interfering agent, ascorbic acid, AA. The whole organic synapse is biocompatible, soft and flexible, and is attractive for implantable devices aimed to real-time monitoring of DA concentration in bodily fluids. This may open applications in chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.

  18. Double inverse stochastic resonance with dynamic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzuntarla, Muhammet; Torres, Joaquin J.; So, Paul; Ozer, Mahmut; Barreto, Ernest

    2017-01-01

    We investigate the behavior of a model neuron that receives a biophysically realistic noisy postsynaptic current based on uncorrelated spiking activity from a large number of afferents. We show that, with static synapses, such noise can give rise to inverse stochastic resonance (ISR) as a function of the presynaptic firing rate. We compare this to the case with dynamic synapses that feature short-term synaptic plasticity and show that the interval of presynaptic firing rate over which ISR exists can be extended or diminished. We consider both short-term depression and facilitation. Interestingly, we find that a double inverse stochastic resonance (DISR), with two distinct wells centered at different presynaptic firing rates, can appear.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Arland; Philipov, Dimiter

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Prevention of Noise Damage to Cochlear Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    antibody blocking buffer 5% horse serum / 0.1% bovine serum albumin / 0.1% Triton / 0.02% NaN3 for 60 min at room temperature. Immunostaining: The hair...the possibility that osmotic stress is responsible in part for excitotoxic damage to synapses. Alternatively, it may be that the in vitro excitotoxic... stress is exceptionally strong and is not an accurate model of noise exposure in vivo. Methodology Using neonatal (postnatal day 5, P5) rat

  6. Optical Mapping of Release Properties in Synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Pablo Ariel; Ryan, Timothy A.

    2010-01-01

    Synapses are important functional units that determine how information flows through the brain. Understanding their biophysical properties and the molecules that underpin them is an important goal of cellular neuroscience. Thus, it is of interest to develop protocols that allow easy measurement of synaptic parameters in model systems that permit molecular manipulations. Here, we used a sensitive and high-time resolution optical approach that allowed us to characterize two functional parameter...

  7. 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.

  8. MODULATING EXCITATION THROUGH PLASTICITY AT INHIBITORY SYNAPSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivien eChevaleyre

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning is believed to depend on lasting changes in synaptic efficacy such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression. As a result, a profusion of studies has tried to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these forms of plasticity. Traditionally, experience-dependent changes at excitatory synapses were assumed to underlie learning and memory formation. However, with the relatively more recent investigation of inhibitory transmission, it had become evident that inhibitory synapses are not only plastic, but also provide an additional way to modulate excitatory transmission and the induction of plasticity at excitatory synapses.Thanks to recent technological advances, progress has been made in understanding synaptic transmission and plasticity from particular interneuron subtypes. In this review article, we will describe various forms of synaptic plasticity that have been ascribed to two fairly well characterized populations of interneurons in the hippocampus, those expressing cholecystokinin (CCK and parvalbumin (PV. We will discuss the resulting changes in the strength and plasticity of excitatory transmission that occur in the local circuit as a result of the modulation of inhibitory transmission. We will focus on the hippocampus because this region has a relatively well-understood circuitry, numerous forms of activity-dependent plasticity and a multitude of identified interneuron subclasses.

  9. Presynaptic nanodomains: a tale of two synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu-Yang eWANG

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Here we summarize the evidence from two giant presynaptic terminals - the squid giant synapse and the mammalian calyx of Held - supporting the involvement of nanodomain calcium signals in triggering of neurotransmitter release. At the squid synapse, there are three main lines of experimental evidence for nanodomain signaling. First, changing the size of the unitary calcium channel current by altering external calcium concentration causes a non-linear change in transmitter release, while changing the number of open channels by broadening the presynaptic action potential causes a linear change in release. Second, low-affinity calcium indicators, calcium chelators, and uncaging of calcium all suggest that presynaptic calcium concentrations are as high as hundreds of micromolar, which is more compatible with a nanodomain type of calcium signal. Finally, neurotransmitter release is much less affected by the slow calcium chelator, EGTA, in comparison to the rapid chelator BAPTA. Similarly, as the calyx of Held synapse matures, EGTA becomes less effective in attenuating transmitter release while the number of calcium channels required to trigger a single fusion event declines. This suggests a developmental transformation of microdomain to nanodomain coupling between calcium channels and transmitter release. Calcium imaging and uncaging experiments, in combination with simulations of calcium diffusion, indicate the peak calcium concentration seen by presynaptic calcium sensors reaches at least tens of micromolar. Taken together, data from these provide a compelling argument that nanodomain calcium signaling gates very rapid transmitter release.

  10. New (but old) molecules regulating synapse integrity and plasticity: Cbln1 and the delta2 glutamate receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, M

    2009-09-01

    The delta2 glutamate receptor (GluRdelta2) is predominantly expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells and plays crucial roles in cerebellar functions: GluRdelta2-null mice display ataxia and impaired motor learning. Interestingly, the contact state of synapses between parallel fibers (PFs) and Purkinje cells is specifically and severely affected, and the number of normal PF synapses is markedly reduced in GluRdelta2-null Purkinje cells. Furthermore, long-term depression at PF-Purkinje cell synapses is abrogated. Cbln1, a member of the C1q/tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, is predominantly expressed and released from cerebellar granule cells. Unexpectedly, the behavioral, physiological and anatomical phenotypes of cbln1-null mice precisely mimic those of GluRdelta2-null mice. Thus, we propose that Cbln1, which is released from granule cells, and GluRdelta2, which is predominantly expressed in Purkinje cells, are involved in a common signaling pathway crucial for synapse formation/maintenance and plasticity in the cerebellum. Since molecules related to Cbln1 are expressed in various brain regions other than the cerebellum, other C1q/TNF superfamily proteins may also regulate various aspects of synapses in the CNS. Therefore, an understanding of the signaling mechanisms underlying Cbln1 and GluRdelta2 in the cerebellum will provide new insights into the roles of C1q/TNF superfamily proteins as new cytokines that regulate normal and abnormal brain functions.

  11. 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.

  12. Signaling by postsynaptic AMPA receptors in glutamatergic synapse maturation

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Excitatory transmission in the brain is largely mediated by synapses containing the neurotransmitter glutamate. Neuronal circuitry is first established early in brain development requiring the formation of vast numbers of glutamatergic synapses at individual sites of contact made between presynaptic axons and postsynaptic dendrites. Despite mounting efforts in the last decade to identify the complex molecular mechanisms underlying initial synaptogenesis and the subsequent steps of synapse m...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction as a model for scaffold complexes at glutamatergic synapses: benefits and limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Ulrich; Kobler, Oliver; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2010-09-01

    Based on unbeatable genetic accessibility and relative simplicity, the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction has become a widely used model system for studying functional and structural aspects of excitatory glutamatergic synapses. Membrane-associated guanylate kinase-like proteins (MAGUKs) are first-order scaffolding molecules enriched at many cellular junctions, including synapses, where they coordinate multiple binding partners, including cell adhesion molecules and ion channels. The enrichment of the prototypic MAGUK Discs-Large at larval NMJs apparently parallels the high abundance of its homologs at excitatory synapses in the mammalian central nervous system. Here, the authors review selected aspects of the long-standing work on Dlg at fly neuromuscular junctions, thereby scrutinizing its subcellular localization, function, and regulation with regard to corresponding aspects of MAGUKs in vertebrate neurons.

  17. Presynaptic nanodomains: a tale of two synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu-Yang; Augustine, George J

    2014-01-01

    Here we summarize the evidence from two "giant" presynaptic terminals-the squid giant synapse and the mammalian calyx of Held-supporting the involvement of nanodomain calcium signals in triggering of neurotransmitter release. At the squid synapse, there are three main lines of experimental evidence for nanodomain signaling. First, changing the size of the unitary calcium channel current by altering external calcium concentration causes a non-linear change in transmitter release, while changing the number of open channels by broadening the presynaptic action potential causes a linear change in release. Second, low-affinity calcium indicators, calcium chelators, and uncaging of calcium all suggest that presynaptic calcium concentrations are as high as hundreds of micromolar, which is more compatible with a nanodomain type of calcium signal. Finally, neurotransmitter release is much less affected by the slow calcium chelator, ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA), in comparison to the rapid chelator 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA). Similarly, as the calyx of Held synapse matures, EGTA becomes less effective in attenuating transmitter release while the number of calcium channels required to trigger a single fusion event declines. This suggests a developmental transformation of microdomain to nanodomain coupling between calcium channels and transmitter release. Calcium imaging and uncaging experiments, in combination with simulations of calcium diffusion, indicate the peak calcium concentration seen by presynaptic calcium sensors reaches at least tens of micromolar at the calyx of Held. Taken together, data from these provide a compelling argument that nanodomain calcium signaling gates very rapid transmitter release.

  18. Synapsin II desynchronizes neurotransmitter release at inhibitory synapses by interacting with presynaptic calcium channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medrihan, Lucian; Cesca, Fabrizia; Raimondi, Andrea; Lignani, Gabriele; Baldelli, Pietro; Benfenati, Fabio

    2013-01-01

    In the central nervous system, most synapses show a fast mode of neurotransmitter release known as synchronous release followed by a phase of asynchronous release, which extends over tens of milliseconds to seconds. Synapsin II (SYN2) is a member of the multigene synapsin family (SYN1/2/3) of synaptic vesicle phosphoproteins that modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity, and are mutated in epileptic patients. Here we report that inhibitory synapses of the dentate gyrus of Syn II knockout mice display an upregulation of synchronous neurotransmitter release and a concomitant loss of delayed asynchronous release. Syn II promotes γ-aminobutyric acid asynchronous release in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner by a functional interaction with presynaptic Ca(2+) channels, revealing a new role in synaptic transmission for synapsins.

  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. Modulation and metamodulation of synapses by adenosine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, J A; Sebastião, A M

    2010-06-01

    The presence of adenosine in all nervous system cells (neurones and glia) together with its intensive release following insults makes adenosine as a sort of 'regulator' of synaptic communication, leading to the homeostatic coordination of brain function. Besides the direct actions of adenosine on the neurosecretory mechanisms, to tune neurotransmitter release, adenosine receptors interact with other receptors as well as with transporters as part of its attempt to fine-tune synaptic transmission. This review will focus on examples of the different ways adenosine can use to modulate or metamodulate synapses, in other words, to trigger or brake the action of some neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, to cross-talk with other G protein-coupled receptors, with ionotropic receptors and with receptor kinases as well as with transporters. Most of these interactions occur through A2A receptors, which in spite of their low density in some brain areas, such as the hippocampus, may function as amplifiers of the signalling of other mediators at synapses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szoenyi, Michael; Mechler, Reinhard; McCallum, Ian

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Glutamatergic Signaling at the Vestibular Hair Cell Calyx Synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sadeghi, Soroush G.; Pyott, Sonja J.; Yu, Zhou; Glowatzki, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    In the vestibular periphery a unique postsynaptic terminal, the calyx, completely covers the basolateral walls of type I hair cells and receives input from multiple ribbon synapses. To date, the functional role of this specialized synapse remains elusive. There is limited data supporting glutamaterg

  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. 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.

  8. Synapse formation on neurons born in the adult hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toni, Nicolas; Teng, E Matthew; Bushong, Eric A; Aimone, James B; Zhao, Chunmei; Consiglio, Antonella; van Praag, Henriette; Martone, Maryann E; Ellisman, Mark H; Gage, Fred H

    2007-06-01

    Although new and functional neurons are produced in the adult brain, little is known about how they integrate into mature networks. Here we explored the mechanisms of synaptogenesis on neurons born in the adult mouse hippocampus using confocal microscopy, electron microscopy and live imaging. We report that new neurons, similar to mature granule neurons, were contacted by axosomatic, axodendritic and axospinous synapses. Consistent with their putative role in synaptogenesis, dendritic filopodia were more abundant during the early stages of maturation and, when analyzed in three dimensions, the tips of all filopodia were found within 200 nm of preexisting boutons that already synapsed on other neurons. Furthermore, dendritic spines primarily synapsed on multiple-synapse boutons, suggesting that initial contacts were preferentially made with preexisting boutons already involved in a synapse. The connectivity of new neurons continued to change until at least 2 months, long after the formation of the first dendritic protrusions.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Organizing polarized delivery of exosomes at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittelbrunn, Maria; Vicente-Manzanares, Miguel; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco

    2015-04-01

    Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that transport different molecules between cells. They are formed and stored inside multivesicular bodies (MVB) until they are released to the extracellular environment. MVB fuse along the plasma membrane, driving non-polarized secretion of exosomes. However, polarized signaling potentially directs MVBs to a specific point in the plasma membrane to mediate a focal delivery of exosomes. MVB polarization occurs across a broad set of cellular situations, e.g. in immune and neuronal synapses, cell migration and in epithelial sheets. In this review, we summarize the current state of the art of polarized MVB docking and the specification of secretory sites at the plasma membrane. The current view is that MVB positioning and subsequent exosome delivery requires a polarizing, cytoskeletal dependent-trafficking mechanism. In this context, we propose scenarios in which biochemical and mechanical signals could drive the polarized delivery of exosomes in highly polarized cells, such as lymphocytes, neurons and epithelia.

  12. Spine neck plasticity regulates compartmentalization of synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tønnesen, Jan; Katona, Gergely; Rózsa, Balázs; Nägerl, U Valentin

    2014-05-01

    Dendritic spines have been proposed to transform synaptic signals through chemical and electrical compartmentalization. However, the quantitative contribution of spine morphology to synapse compartmentalization and its dynamic regulation are still poorly understood. We used time-lapse super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) imaging in combination with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) measurements, two-photon glutamate uncaging, electrophysiology and simulations to investigate the dynamic link between nanoscale anatomy and compartmentalization in live spines of CA1 neurons in mouse brain slices. We report a diversity of spine morphologies that argues against common categorization schemes and establish a close link between compartmentalization and spine morphology, wherein spine neck width is the most critical morphological parameter. We demonstrate that spine necks are plastic structures that become wider and shorter after long-term potentiation. These morphological changes are predicted to lead to a substantial drop in spine head excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) while preserving overall biochemical compartmentalization.

  13. Production of adenosine from extracellular ATP at the striatal cholinergic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, S; Richardson, P J

    1993-01-01

    The components of the ectonucleotidase pathway at the immunoaffinity-purified striatal cholinergic synapse have been studied. The ecto-ATPase (EC 3.6.1.15) had a Km of 131 microM, whereas the ecto-ADPase (EC 3.6.1.6) had a Km of 58 microM, was Ca(2+)-dependent, and was inhibited by the ATP analogue 5'-adenylylimidodiphosphate (AMPPNP). The ecto-5'-nucleotidase (EC 3.1.3.5) had a Km of 21 microM, was inhibited by AMPPNP and alpha,beta-methylene ADP, and by a specific antiserum. The Vmax values of the ATPase, ADPase, and 5'-nucleotidase enzymes present at this synapse were in a ratio of 30:14:1. Very little ecto-adenylate kinase activity was detected on these purified synapses. The intraterminal 5'-nucleotidase enzyme, which amounted to 40% of the total 5'-nucleotidase activity, was inhibited by AMPPNP, alpha,beta-methylene ADP, and the antiserum, and also had the same kinetic properties as the ectoenzyme. The time course of ATP degradation to adenosine outside the nerve terminals showed a delay, followed by a period of sustained adenosine production. The delay in adenosine production was proportional to the initial ATP concentration, was a consequence of feedforward inhibition of the ADPase and 5'-nucleotidase, and was inversely proportional to the ecto-5'-nucleotidase activity. The function and characteristics of this pathway and the central role of 5'-nucleotidase in the regulation of extraterminal adenosine concentrations are discussed.

  14. Neurotransmitter transporters expressed in glial cells as regulators of synapse function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eulenburg, Volker; Gomeza, Jesús

    2010-05-01

    Synaptic neurotransmission at high temporal and spatial resolutions requires efficient removal and/or inactivation of presynaptically released transmitter to prevent spatial spreading of transmitter by diffusion and allow for fast termination of the postsynaptic response. This action must be carefully regulated to result in the fine tuning of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission, necessary for the proper processing of information in the central nervous system. At many synapses, high-affinity neurotransmitter transporters are responsible for transmitter deactivation by removing it from the synaptic cleft. The most prevailing neurotransmitters, glutamate, which mediates excitatory neurotransmission, as well as GABA and glycine, which act as inhibitory neurotransmitters, use these uptake systems. Neurotransmitter transporters have been found in both neuronal and glial cells, thus suggesting high cooperativity between these cell types in the control of extracellular transmitter concentrations. The generation and analysis of animals carrying targeted disruptions of transporter genes together with the use of selective inhibitors have allowed examining the contribution of individual transporter subtypes to synaptic transmission. This revealed the predominant role of glial expressed transporters in maintaining low extrasynaptic neurotransmitter levels. Additionally, transport activity has been shown to be actively regulated on both transcriptional and post-translational levels, which has important implications for synapse function under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. The analysis of these mechanisms will enhance not only our understanding of synapse function but will reveal new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of human neurological diseases.

  15. Ultrastructural and Functional Properties of a Giant Synapse Driving the Piriform Cortex to Mediodorsal Thalamus Projection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelzer, Patric; Horstmann, Heinz; Kuner, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Neocortico-thalamo-cortical loops represent a common, yet poorly understood, circuit employing giant synapses also referred to as "class I", giant, or driver synapses. Here, we characterize a giant synapse formed by projection neurons of the paleocortical piriform cortex (PIR) onto neurons of the mediodorsal thalamus (MD). Three-dimensional (3D) ultrastructure of labeled PIR-MD terminals, obtained by using serial-section scanning electron microscopy (EM) combined with photooxidation-based detection of labeled terminals, revealed a large terminal engulfing multiple postsynaptic dendritic excrescences. The terminal contained multiple synaptic contacts, a high density of synaptic vesicles and several central mitochondria. Using targeted stimulations of single identified PIR-MD terminals in combination with patch-clamp recordings from the connected MD neuron, we found large postsynaptic currents with fast kinetics and strong short-term depression, yet fast recovery upon repetitive stimulation. We conclude that the phylogenetically old paleocortex already developed giant synaptic connections exhibiting similar functional properties as connections formed by giant neocortico-thalamic projections.

  16. Ultrastructural and Functional Properties of a Giant Synapse Driving the Piriform Cortex to Mediodorsal Thalamus Projection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelzer, Patric; Horstmann, Heinz; Kuner, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Neocortico-thalamo-cortical loops represent a common, yet poorly understood, circuit employing giant synapses also referred to as “class I”, giant, or driver synapses. Here, we characterize a giant synapse formed by projection neurons of the paleocortical piriform cortex (PIR) onto neurons of the mediodorsal thalamus (MD). Three-dimensional (3D) ultrastructure of labeled PIR-MD terminals, obtained by using serial-section scanning electron microscopy (EM) combined with photooxidation-based detection of labeled terminals, revealed a large terminal engulfing multiple postsynaptic dendritic excrescences. The terminal contained multiple synaptic contacts, a high density of synaptic vesicles and several central mitochondria. Using targeted stimulations of single identified PIR-MD terminals in combination with patch-clamp recordings from the connected MD neuron, we found large postsynaptic currents with fast kinetics and strong short-term depression, yet fast recovery upon repetitive stimulation. We conclude that the phylogenetically old paleocortex already developed giant synaptic connections exhibiting similar functional properties as connections formed by giant neocortico-thalamic projections. PMID:28197093

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Electrical synapses and synchrony: the role of intrinsic currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeuty, Benjamin; Mato, Germán; Golomb, David; Hansel, David

    2003-07-16

    Electrical synapses are ubiquitous in the mammalian CNS. Particularly in the neocortex, electrical synapses have been shown to connect low-threshold spiking (LTS) as well as fast spiking (FS) interneurons. Experiments have highlighted the roles of electrical synapses in the dynamics of neuronal networks. Here we investigate theoretically how intrinsic cell properties affect the synchronization of neurons interacting by electrical synapses. Numerical simulations of a network of conductance-based neurons randomly connected with electrical synapses show that potassium currents promote synchrony, whereas the persistent sodium current impedes it. Furthermore, synchrony varies with the firing rate in qualitatively different ways depending on the intrinsic currents. We also study analytically a network of quadratic integrate-and-fire neurons. We relate the stability of the asynchronous state of this network to the phase-response function (PRF), which characterizes the effect of small perturbations on the firing timing of the neurons. In particular, we show that the greater the skew of the PRF toward the first half of the period, the more stable the asynchronous state. Combining our simulations with our analytical results, we establish general rules to predict the dynamic state of large networks of neurons coupled with electrical synapses. Our work provides a natural explanation for surprising experimental observations that blocking electrical synapses may increase the synchrony of neuronal activity. It also suggests different synchronization properties for LTS and FS cells. Finally, we propose to further test our predictions in experiments using dynamic clamp techniques.

  20. 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.

  1. Differential mechanisms of transmission and plasticity at mossy fiber synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBain, Chris J

    2008-01-01

    The last few decades have seen the hippocampal formation at front and center in the field of synaptic transmission. However, much of what we know about hippocampal short- and long-term plasticity has been obtained from research at one particular synapse; the Schaffer collateral input onto principal cells of the CA1 subfield. A number of recent studies, however, have demonstrated that there is much to be learned about target-specific mechanisms of synaptic transmission by study of the lesser known synapse made between the granule cells of the dentate gyrus; the so-called mossy fiber synapse, and its targets both within the hilar region and the CA3 hippocampus proper. Indeed investigation of this synapse has provided an embarrassment of riches concerning mechanisms of transmission associated with feedforward excitatory and inhibitory control of the CA3 hippocampus. Importantly, work from a number of labs has revealed that mossy fiber synapses possess unique properties at both the level of their anatomy and physiology, and serve as an outstanding example of a synapse designed for target-specific compartmentalization of synaptic transmission. The purpose of the present review is to highlight several aspects of this synapse as they pertain to a novel mechanism of bidirectional control of synaptic plasticity at mossy fiber synapses made onto hippocampal stratum lucidum interneurons. It is not my intention to pour over all that is known regarding the mossy fiber synapse since many have explored this topic exhaustively in the past and interested readers are directed to other fine reviews (Henze et al., 2000; Urban et al., 2001; Lawrence and McBain, 2003; Bischofberger et al., 2006; Nicoll and Schmitz, 2005).

  2. Axonal synapses utilize multiple synaptic ribbons in the mammalian retina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Lim Kim

    Full Text Available In the mammalian retina, bipolar cells and ganglion cells which stratify in sublamina a of the inner plexiform layer (IPL show OFF responses to light stimuli while those that stratify in sublamina b show ON responses. This functional relationship between anatomy and physiology is a key principle of retinal organization. However, there are at least three types of retinal neurons, including intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs and dopaminergic amacrine cells, which violate this principle. These cell types have light-driven ON responses, but their dendrites mainly stratify in sublamina a of the IPL, the OFF sublayer. Recent anatomical studies suggested that certain ON cone bipolar cells make axonal or ectopic synapses as they descend through sublamina a, thus providing ON input to cells which stratify in the OFF sublayer. Using immunoelectron microscopy with 3-dimensional reconstruction, we have identified axonal synapses of ON cone bipolar cells in the rabbit retina. Ten calbindin ON cone bipolar axons made en passant ribbon synapses onto amacrine or ganglion dendrites in sublamina a of the IPL. Compared to the ribbon synapses made by bipolar terminals, these axonal ribbon synapses were characterized by a broad postsynaptic element that appeared as a monad and by the presence of multiple short synaptic ribbons. These findings confirm that certain ON cone bipolar cells can provide ON input to amacrine and ganglion cells whose dendrites stratify in the OFF sublayer via axonal synapses. The monadic synapse with multiple ribbons may be a diagnostic feature of the ON cone bipolar axonal synapse in sublamina a. The presence of multiple ribbons and a broad postsynaptic density suggest these structures may be very efficient synapses. We also identified axonal inputs to ipRGCs with the architecture described above.

  3. Remodelling of cortical actin where lytic granules dock at natural killer cell immune synapses revealed by super-resolution microscopy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice C N Brown

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Natural Killer (NK cells are innate immune cells that secrete lytic granules to directly kill virus-infected or transformed cells across an immune synapse. However, a major gap in understanding this process is in establishing how lytic granules pass through the mesh of cortical actin known to underlie the NK cell membrane. Research has been hampered by the resolution of conventional light microscopy, which is too low to resolve cortical actin during lytic granule secretion. Here we use two high-resolution imaging techniques to probe the synaptic organisation of NK cell receptors and filamentous (F-actin. A combination of optical tweezers and live cell confocal microscopy reveals that microclusters of NKG2D assemble into a ring-shaped structure at the centre of intercellular synapses, where Vav1 and Grb2 also accumulate. Within this ring-shaped organisation of NK cell proteins, lytic granules accumulate for secretion. Using 3D-structured illumination microscopy (3D-SIM to gain super-resolution of ~100 nm, cortical actin was detected in a central region of the NK cell synapse irrespective of whether activating or inhibitory signals dominate. Strikingly, the periodicity of the cortical actin mesh increased in specific domains at the synapse when the NK cell was activated. Two-colour super-resolution imaging revealed that lytic granules docked precisely in these domains which were also proximal to where the microtubule-organising centre (MTOC polarised. Together, these data demonstrate that remodelling of the cortical actin mesh occurs at the central region of the cytolytic NK cell immune synapse. This is likely to occur for other types of cell secretion and also emphasises the importance of emerging super-resolution imaging technology for revealing new biology.

  4. Remodelling of cortical actin where lytic granules dock at natural killer cell immune synapses revealed by super-resolution microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Alice C N; Oddos, Stephane; Dobbie, Ian M; Alakoskela, Juha-Matti; Parton, Richard M; Eissmann, Philipp; Neil, Mark A A; Dunsby, Christopher; French, Paul M W; Davis, Ilan; Davis, Daniel M

    2011-09-01

    Natural Killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that secrete lytic granules to directly kill virus-infected or transformed cells across an immune synapse. However, a major gap in understanding this process is in establishing how lytic granules pass through the mesh of cortical actin known to underlie the NK cell membrane. Research has been hampered by the resolution of conventional light microscopy, which is too low to resolve cortical actin during lytic granule secretion. Here we use two high-resolution imaging techniques to probe the synaptic organisation of NK cell receptors and filamentous (F)-actin. A combination of optical tweezers and live cell confocal microscopy reveals that microclusters of NKG2D assemble into a ring-shaped structure at the centre of intercellular synapses, where Vav1 and Grb2 also accumulate. Within this ring-shaped organisation of NK cell proteins, lytic granules accumulate for secretion. Using 3D-structured illumination microscopy (3D-SIM) to gain super-resolution of ~100 nm, cortical actin was detected in a central region of the NK cell synapse irrespective of whether activating or inhibitory signals dominate. Strikingly, the periodicity of the cortical actin mesh increased in specific domains at the synapse when the NK cell was activated. Two-colour super-resolution imaging revealed that lytic granules docked precisely in these domains which were also proximal to where the microtubule-organising centre (MTOC) polarised. Together, these data demonstrate that remodelling of the cortical actin mesh occurs at the central region of the cytolytic NK cell immune synapse. This is likely to occur for other types of cell secretion and also emphasises the importance of emerging super-resolution imaging technology for revealing new biology.

  5. A New Fiji-Based Algorithm That Systematically Quantifies Nine Synaptic Parameters Provides Insights into Drosophila NMJ Morphometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijhof, B.; Castells Nobau, A.; Wolf, L.A.J.; Scheffer-de Gooyert, J.M.; Monedero, I.; Torroja, L.; Coromina, L.; Laak, J.A. van der; Schenck, A.

    2016-01-01

    The morphology of synapses is of central interest in neuroscience because of the intimate relation with synaptic efficacy. Two decades of gene manipulation studies in different animal models have revealed a repertoire of molecules that contribute to synapse development. However, since such studies o

  6. The role of Cbln1 on Purkinje cell synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito-Ishida, Aya; Okabe, Shigeo; Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2014-06-01

    Cbln1 is a glycoprotein which belongs to the C1q family. In the cerebellum, Cbln1 is produced and secreted from granule cells and works as a strong synapse organizer between Purkinje cells and parallel fibers, the axons of the granule cells. In this update article, we will describe the molecular mechanisms by which Cbln1 induces synapse formation and will review our findings on the axonal structural changes which occur specifically during this process. We will also describe our recent finding that Cbln1 has a suppressive role in inhibitory synapse formation between Purkinje cells and molecular layer interneurons. Our results have revealed that Cbln1 plays an essential role to establish parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapses and to regulate balance between excitatory and inhibitory input on Purkinje cells.

  7. Electronic system with memristive synapses for pattern recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sangsu; Chu, Myonglae; Kim, Jongin; Noh, Jinwoo; Jeon, Moongu; Hun Lee, Byoung; Hwang, Hyunsang; Lee, Boreom; Lee, Byung-Geun

    2015-05-01

    Memristive synapses, the most promising passive devices for synaptic interconnections in artificial neural networks, are the driving force behind recent research on hardware neural networks. Despite significant efforts to utilize memristive synapses, progress to date has only shown the possibility of building a neural network system that can classify simple image patterns. In this article, we report a high-density cross-point memristive synapse array with improved synaptic characteristics. The proposed PCMO-based memristive synapse exhibits the necessary gradual and symmetrical conductance changes, and has been successfully adapted to a neural network system. The system learns, and later recognizes, the human thought pattern corresponding to three vowels, i.e. /a /, /i /, and /u/, using electroencephalography signals generated while a subject imagines speaking vowels. Our successful demonstration of a neural network system for EEG pattern recognition is likely to intrigue many researchers and stimulate a new research direction.

  8. Agrin and the molecular choreography of synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nastuk, M A; Fallon, J R

    1993-02-01

    High concentrations of neurotransmitter receptors characterize neuromuscular junctions as well as neuron-neuron synapses in the brain and periphery. Synaptic function is critically dependent upon this marshalling of neurotransmitter receptors to the post-synaptic membrane. This review discusses agrin's role in orchestrating the molecular topography of the post-synaptic apparatus at nerve-muscle synapses and the emerging evidence suggesting a role for agrin in synaptogenesis in the brain.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate transporters influence synaptic function and behavior at sites distant from the synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mano, Itzhak; Straud, Sarah; Driscoll, Monica

    2007-11-23

    To ensure precise neurotransmission and prevent neurotoxic accumulation, l-glutamate (Glu), the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, is cleared from the synapse by glutamate transporters (GluTs). The molecular components of Glu synapses are highly conserved between Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals, yet the absence of synaptic insulation in C. elegans raises fundamental questions about Glu clearance strategies in the nematode nervous system. To gain insight into how Glu clearance is accomplished and how GluTs impact neurotransmission, we probed expression and function of all 6 GluTs found in the C. elegans genome. Disruption of each GluT impacts multiple Glu-dependent behaviors, with GluT combinations commonly increasing the severity of behavioral deficits. Interestingly, the sole GluT that we find expressed in neurons is localized predominantly in presynaptic neurons, in contrast to the postsynaptic concentration of neuronal GluTs typical in mammals. Moreover, 3 of the 6 GluT genes appear strongly expressed on the capillary excretory canal cell, where they affect Glu-dependent behaviors from positions distal to glutamatergic circuits. Indeed, our focused study of GLT-3, one of the distally expressed GluTs, shows that despite this distance, GLT-3 function can balance the activity mediated by synaptic release and synaptic receptors. The effects of distal GluTs on glutamatergic circuits support that Glu diffusion outside the vicinity of the synapse is a critical factor in C. elegans neurotransmission. Together with the presynaptic localization of neuronal GluTs, these observations suggest an unusual strategy for Glu clearance in C. elegans.

  14. 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.

  15. Dendrodendritic Synapses in the Mouse Olfactory Bulb External Plexiform Layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartel, Dianna L.; Rela, Lorena; Hsieh, Lawrence; Greer, Charles A.

    2014-01-01

    Odor information relayed by olfactory bulb projection neurons, mitral and tufted cells (M/T), is modulated by pairs of reciprocal dendrodendritic synaptic circuits in the external plexiform layer (EPL). Interneurons, which are accounted for largely by granule cells, receive depolarizing input from M/T dendrites and in turn inhibit current spread in M/T dendrites via hyperpolarizing reciprocal dendrodendritic synapses. Because the location of dendrodendritic synapses may significantly affect the cascade of odor information, we assessed synaptic properties and density within sublaminae of the EPL and along the length of M/T secondary dendrites. In electron micrographs the M/T to granule cell synapse appeared to predominate and were equivalent in both the outer and inner EPL. However, the dendrodendritic synapses from granule cell spines onto M/T dendrites, were more prevalent in the outer EPL. In contrast, individual gephyrin-IR puncta, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein at inhibitory synapses used here as a proxy for the granule to M/T dendritic synapse was equally distributed throughout the EPL. Of significance to the organization of intrabulbar circuits, gephyrin-IR synapses are not uniformly distributed along M/T secondary dendrites. Synaptic density, expressed as a function of surface area, increases distal to the cell body. Furthermore, the distributions of gephyrin-IR puncta are heterogeneous and appear as clusters along the length of the M/T dendrites. Consistent with computational models, our data suggest that temporal coding in M/T cells is achieved by precisely located inhibitory input and that distance from the soma is compensated with an increase in synaptic density. PMID:25420934

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. The Planar Cell Polarity Transmembrane Protein Vangl2 Promotes Dendrite, Spine and Glutamatergic Synapse Formation in the Mammalian Forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okerlund, Nathan D; Stanley, Robert E; Cheyette, Benjamin N R

    2016-07-01

    The transmembrane protein Vangl2, a key regulator of the Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, is involved in dendrite arbor elaboration, dendritic spine formation and glutamatergic synapse formation in mammalian central nervous system neurons. Cultured forebrain neurons from Vangl2 knockout mice have simpler dendrite arbors, fewer total spines, less mature spines and fewer glutamatergic synapse inputs on their dendrites than control neurons. Neurons from mice heterozygous for a semidominant Vangl2 mutation have similar but not identical phenotypes, and these phenotypes are also observed in Golgi-stained brain tissue from adult mutant mice. Given increasing evidence linking psychiatric pathophysiology to these subneuronal sites and structures, our findings underscore the relevance of core PCP proteins including Vangl2 to the underlying biology of major mental illnesses and their treatment.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Climbing fiber synapse elimination in cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Masahiko; Kano, Masanobu

    2011-11-01

    Innervation of Purkinje cells (PCs) by multiple climbing fibers (CFs) is refined into mono-innervation during the first three postnatal weeks of rodents' lives. In this review article, we will integrate the current knowledge on developmental process and mechanisms of CF synapse elimination. In the 'creeper' stage of CF innervation (postnatal day 0 (P0)∼), CFs creep among PC somata to form transient synapses on immature dendrites. In the 'pericellular nest' stage (P5∼), CFs densely surround and innervate PC somata. CF innervation is then displaced to the apical portion of PC somata in the 'capuchon' stage (P9∼), and translocate to dendrites in the 'dendritic' (P12∼) stage. Along with the developmental changes in CF wiring, functional and morphological distinctions become larger among CF inputs. PCs are initially innervated by more than five CFs with similar strengths (∼P3). During P3-7 only a single CF is selectively strengthened (functional differentiation), and it undergoes dendritic translocation from P9 on (dendritic translocation). Following the functional differentiation, perisomatic CF synapses are eliminated nonselectively; this proceeds in two distinct phases. The early phase (P7-11) is conducted independently of parallel fiber (PF)-PC synapse formation, while the late phase (P12-17) critically depends on it. The P/Q-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel in PCs triggers selective strengthening of single CF inputs, promotes dendritic translocation of the strengthened CFs, and drives the early phase of CF synapse elimination. In contrast, the late phase is mediated by the mGluR1-Gαq-PLCβ4-PKCγ signaling cascade in PCs driven at PF-PC synapses, whose structural connectivity is stabilized and maintained by the GluRδ2-Cbln1-neurexin system.

  5. 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.

  6. Meet the players: local translation at the synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra eFernandez Moya

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available It is widely believed that activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is the basis for learning and memory. Both processes are dependent on new protein synthesis at the synapse. Here, we describe a mechanism how dendritic mRNAs are transported and subsequently translated at activated synapses. Furthermore, we present the players involved in the regulation of local dendritic translation upon neuronal stimulation and their molecular interplay that maintain local proteome homeostasis. Any dysregulation causes several types of neurological disorders including muscular atrophies, cancers, neuropathies, neurodegenerative and cognitive disorders.

  7. The formation of synapses in amphibian striated muscle during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, M R; Pettigrew, A G

    1975-10-01

    1. A study has been made of the formation of synapses in developing reinnervated and cross-reinnervated amphibian twitch muscles which receive either a focal (iliofibularis) or a distributed (sartorius) innervation from 'en plaque' nerve terminals using histological, ultrastructural and electrophysiological techniques. 2. During the development of the tadpole through metamorphosis to the adult frog, the sartorius myofibres increased in length at about twice the rate of the iliofibularis myofibres, due to a fast rate of growth at their insertions on to the pelvic tendon. 3. The short iliofibularis and sartorius myofibres of young tadpoles (800 mum long) possessed only a single synapse and the iliofibularis myofibres did not receive any further innervation during development. However the sartorius myofibres received further transient innervation on the new muscle laid down during development at the fast growing pelvic insertion, until the distance between the original synapse formed on the myofibres and the synapse at the pelvic end of the muscle was about 12 mm. 4. During development synapses possessed either skewed, multimodal, or unimodal m.e.p.p. amplitude-frequency distributions; the intervals between m.e.p.p.s. were not distributed randomly according to a Poisson process, as m.e.p.p.s. of similar amplitudes tended to be separated by very short intervals; the unit-size e.p.p. had a similar amplitude-frequency distribution as the m.e.p.p.s. if these had a unimodal distribution. 5. Reinnervation or cross-reinnervation of the sartorius and the iliofibularis muscles in adults or at a late stage of development simply reconstituted the normal focal and distributed innervation patterns of the muscles, as found in the control muscles of the contralateral and unoperated legs. 6. These observations on synapse formation in amphibia are consistent with the hypothesis that during development the axon making the initial synaptic contact on the muscle cells induces a property

  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. Quantification of synapse formation and maintenance in vivo in the absence of synaptic release

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwman, J.J.; Maia, A.S.; Camoletto, P.G.; Posthuma, G.; Roubos, E.W.; Oorschot, V.M.J.; Klumperman, J.; Verhage, M.

    2004-01-01

    Outgrowing axons in the developing nervous system secrete neurotransmitters and neuromodulatory substances, which is considered to stimulate synaptogenesis. However, some synapses develop independent of presynaptic secretion. To investigate the role of secretion in synapse formation and maintenance

  10. Differential mechanisms of transmission at three types of mossy fiber synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, K; Suares, G; Lawrence, J J; Philips-Tansey, E; McBain, C J

    2000-11-15

    The axons of the dentate gyrus granule cells, the so-called mossy fibers, innervate their inhibitory interneuron and pyramidal neuron targets via both anatomically and functionally specialized synapses. Mossy fiber synapses onto inhibitory interneurons were comprised of either calcium-permeable (CP) or calcium-impermeable (CI) AMPA receptors, whereas only calcium-impermeable AMPA receptors existed at CA3 principal neuron synapses. In response to brief trains of high-frequency stimuli (20 Hz), pyramidal neuron synapses invariably demonstrated short-term facilitation, whereas interneuron EPSCs demonstrated either short-term facilitation or depression. Facilitation at all CI AMPA synapses was voltage independent, whereas EPSCs at CP AMPA synapses showed greater facilitation at -20 than at -80 mV, consistent with a role for the postsynaptic unblock of polyamines. At pyramidal cell synapses, mossy fiber EPSCs possessed marked frequency-dependent facilitation (commencing at stimulation frequencies >0.1 Hz), whereas EPSCs at either type of interneuron synapse showed only moderate frequency-dependent facilitation or underwent depression. Presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) decreased transmission at all three synapse types in a frequency-dependent manner. However, after block of presynaptic mGluRs, transmission at interneuron synapses still did not match the dynamic range of EPSCs at pyramidal neuron synapses. High-frequency stimulation of mossy fibers induced long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD), or no change at pyramidal neuron synapses, interneuron CP AMPA synapses, and CI AMPA synapses, respectively. Induction of LTP or LTD altered the short-term plasticity of transmission onto both pyramidal cells and interneuron CP AMPA synapses by a mechanism consistent with changes in release probability. These data reveal differential mechanisms of transmission at three classes of mossy fiber synapse made onto distinct targets.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen E Flores

    2014-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Along-Strike Variations in the Timing of Melt Crystallization and Metamorphism Across Central and Eastern Bhutan: New Insights from LASS Monazite Geochronology and Trace-Element Abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, S. M.; Kauffman, R.; Gonzales-Clayton, B.; Kylander-Clark, A. R.; Agustsson, K. S.; Long, S. P.

    2014-12-01

    Continent-continent collisional systems represent the largest orogens on Earth and provide locations to study processes that drive the transition from contraction and crustal thickening to extension and collapse. The Greater Himalayan Zone (GHZ) exposed along strike of the Himalayan orogen contains exhumed mid-crustal metasedimentary rocks. To better understand the history of burial, crustal flow, and partial melting during the early stages of Himalayan tectonics in the Eocene to ~40 Myr into its orogenic evolution, monazite was analyzed from five migmatitic gneisses and five host gneisses exposed across two transects within central and eastern Bhutan. Monazite was analyzed in situ by the split-stream laser-ablation (LASS) ICPMS technique, which allows simultaneous collection of U-Th-Pb isotopes and trace-element abundances. The migmatites from the eastern Bhutan transect yield monazite dates that record melt crystallization as young as ca. 15-13 Ma. The host gneisses yield similar to younger (down to ca. 11 Ma) dates, documenting coeval to continued metamorphism of the GHZ. In comparison, melt crystallization in the central Bhutan rocks ended by ca. 18 Ma, and metamorphic monazite from a metapelite record metamorphism until ca. 14 Ma. In the migmatite and host-rock samples from both transects, the trace-element data show an inverse correlation between date and the HREE concentration. This trend likely documents the breakdown of garnet, which probably coincides with the first stages of GHZ exhumation. Thus, the LASS data showed that garnet breakdown and GHZ exhumation occurred from ca. 18 to 14 Ma in eastern Bhutan and ca. 20 to 17 Ma in central Bhutan. The new monazite data suggest different histories for the melt crystallization, metamorphism, and exhumation of the GHZ rocks between central and eastern Bhutan, even though the present day rocks from the two transects are only exposed ~60 km apart. Moreover, in comparison to other parts of the eastern Himalaya, the

  17. Inhibitory synapse formation in a co-culture model incorporating GABAergic medium spiny neurons and HEK293 cells stably expressing GABAA receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Laura E; Fuchs, Celine; Nicholson, Martin W; Stephenson, F Anne; Thomson, Alex M; Jovanovic, Jasmina N

    2014-11-14

    Inhibitory neurons act in the central nervous system to regulate the dynamics and spatio-temporal co-ordination of neuronal networks. GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) is the predominant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. It is released from the presynaptic terminals of inhibitory neurons within highly specialized intercellular junctions known as synapses, where it binds to GABAA receptors (GABAARs) present at the plasma membrane of the synapse-receiving, postsynaptic neurons. Activation of these GABA-gated ion channels leads to influx of chloride resulting in postsynaptic potential changes that decrease the probability that these neurons will generate action potentials. During development, diverse types of inhibitory neurons with distinct morphological, electrophysiological and neurochemical characteristics have the ability to recognize their target neurons and form synapses which incorporate specific GABAARs subtypes. This principle of selective innervation of neuronal targets raises the question as to how the appropriate synaptic partners identify each other. To elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms, a novel in vitro co-culture model system was established, in which medium spiny GABAergic neurons, a highly homogenous population of neurons isolated from the embryonic striatum, were cultured with stably transfected HEK293 cell lines that express different GABAAR subtypes. Synapses form rapidly, efficiently and selectively in this system, and are easily accessible for quantification. Our results indicate that various GABAAR subtypes differ in their ability to promote synapse formation, suggesting that this reduced in vitro model system can be used to reproduce, at least in part, the in vivo conditions required for the recognition of the appropriate synaptic partners and formation of specific synapses. Here the protocols for culturing the medium spiny neurons and generating HEK293 cells lines expressing GABAARs are first described, followed by detailed

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Analog memristive synapse in spiking networks implementing unsupervised learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Covi

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Cardiac fibroblasts regulate sympathetic nerve sprouting and neurocardiac synapse stability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline Mias

    Full Text Available Sympathetic nervous system (SNS plays a key role in cardiac homeostasis and its deregulations always associate with bad clinical outcomes. To date, little is known about molecular mechanisms regulating cardiac sympathetic innervation. The aim of the study was to determine the role of fibroblasts in heart sympathetic innervation. RT-qPCR and western-blots analysis performed in cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts isolated from healthy adult rat hearts revealed that Pro-Nerve growth factor (NGF and pro-differentiating mature NGF were the most abundant neurotrophins expressed in cardiac fibroblasts while barely detectable in cardiomyocytes. When cultured with cardiac fibroblasts or fibroblast-conditioned medium, PC12 cells differentiated into/sympathetic-like neurons expressing axonal marker Tau-1 at neurites in contact with cardiomyocytes. This was prevented by anti-NGF blocking antibodies suggesting a paracrine action of NGF secreted by fibroblasts. When co-cultured with cardiomyocytes to mimic neurocardiac synapse, differentiated PC12 cells exhibited enhanced norepinephrine secretion as quantified by HPLC compared to PC12 cultured alone while co-culture with fibroblasts had no effect. However, when supplemented to PC12-cardiomyocytes co-culture, fibroblasts allowed long-term survival of the neurocardiac synapse. Activated fibroblasts (myofibroblasts isolated from myocardial infarction rat hearts exhibited significantly higher mature NGF expression than normal fibroblasts and also promoted PC12 cells differentiation. Within the ischemic area lacking cardiomyocytes and neurocardiac synapses, tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity was increased and associated with local anarchical and immature sympathetic hyperinnervation but tissue norepinephrine content was similar to that of normal cardiac tissue, suggesting depressed sympathetic function. Collectively, these findings demonstrate for the first time that fibroblasts are essential for the setting of

  2. 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.

  3. Vagal nerve stimulation modifies neuronal activity and the proteome of excitatory synapses of amygdala/piriform cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Georgia M; Huang, Yang Zhong; Soderblom, Erik J; He, Xiao-Ping; Moseley, M Arthur; McNamara, James O

    2017-02-01

    Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) Therapy(®) is a United States Food and Drug Administration approved neurotherapeutic for medically refractory partial epilepsy and treatment-resistant depression. The molecular mechanisms underlying its beneficial effects are unclear. We hypothesized that one mechanism involves neuronal activity-dependent modifications of central nervous system excitatory synapses. To begin to test this hypothesis, we asked whether VNS modifies the activity of neurons in amygdala and hippocampus. Neuronal recordings from adult, freely moving rats revealed that activity in both amygdala and hippocampus was modified by VNS immediately after its application, and changes were detected following 1 week of stimulation. To investigate whether VNS modifies the proteome of excitatory synapses, we established a label-free, quantitative liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry workflow that enables global analysis of the constituents of the postsynaptic density (PSD) proteome. PSD proteins were biochemically purified from amygdala/piriform cortex of VNS- or dummy-treated rats following 1-week stimulation, and individual PSD protein levels were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis. We identified 1899 unique peptides corresponding to 425 proteins in PSD fractions, of which expression levels of 22 proteins were differentially regulated by VNS with changes greater than 150%. Changes in a subset of these proteins, including significantly increased expression of neurexin-1α, cadherin 13 and voltage-dependent calcium channel α2δ1, the primary target of the antiepileptic drug gabapentin, and decreased expression of voltage-dependent calcium channel γ3, were confirmed by western blot analysis of PSD samples. These results demonstrate that VNS modulates excitatory synapses through regulating a subset of the PSD proteome. Our study reveals molecular targets of VNS and point to possible mechanisms underlying its beneficial effects

  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. An essential role of acetylcholine-glutamate synergy at habenular synapses in nicotine dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frahm, Silke; Antolin-Fontes, Beatriz; Görlich, Andreas; Zander, Johannes-Friedrich; Ahnert-Hilger, Gudrun; Ibañez-Tallon, Ines

    2015-12-01

    A great deal of interest has been focused recently on the habenula and its critical role in aversion, negative-reward and drug dependence. Using a conditional mouse model of the ACh-synthesizing enzyme choline acetyltransferase (Chat), we report that local elimination of acetylcholine (ACh) in medial habenula (MHb) neurons alters glutamate corelease and presynaptic facilitation. Electron microscopy and immuno-isolation analyses revealed colocalization of ACh and glutamate vesicular transporters in synaptic vesicles (SVs) in the central IPN. Glutamate reuptake in SVs prepared from the IPN was increased by ACh, indicating vesicular synergy. Mice lacking CHAT in habenular neurons were insensitive to nicotine-conditioned reward and withdrawal. These data demonstrate that ACh controls the quantal size and release frequency of glutamate at habenular synapses, and suggest that the synergistic functions of ACh and glutamate may be generally important for modulation of cholinergic circuit function and behavior.

  7. Astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1): A new player in the tripartite synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira da Cruz, J F; Robin, L M; Drago, F; Marsicano, G; Metna-Laurent, M

    2016-05-26

    The endocannabinoid system is an important regulator of physiological functions. In the brain, this control is mainly exerted through the type-1-cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. CB1 receptors are abundant at neuron terminals where their stimulation inhibits neurotransmitter release. However, CB1 receptors are also expressed in astrocytes and recent studies showed that astroglial cannabinoid signaling is a key element of the tripartite synapse. In this review we discuss the different mechanisms by which astroglial CB1 receptors control synaptic transmission and plasticity. The recent involvement of astroglial CB1 receptors in the effects of cannabinoids on memory highlights their key roles in cognitive processes and further indicates that astrocytes are central active elements of high-order brain functions.

  8. New insights on transcriptional responses of genes involved in carbon central metabolism, respiration and fermentation to low ATP levels in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soria, Sandra; de Anda, Ramón; Flores, Noemí; Romero-Garcia, Susana; Gosset, Guillermo; Bolívar, Francisco; Báez-Viveros, José Luis

    2013-04-01

    Adenosine-5-triphosphate (ATP) plays a fundamental role in many cellular processes such as transport, central carbon metabolism, biosynthetic reactions, macromolecular synthesis, signal transduction and cellular division. In addition, the intracellular [ATP]/[ADP] ratio in Escherichia coli plays an important role in controlling the specific rates of growth (µ), glucose consumption (qGlc ) and oxygen uptake (qO2), as well as the transcriptome pattern in the cell, as was recently reported. In the current study, the energetic level (expressed as [ATP]/[ADP] ratio) was substantially reduced in E. coli strains by either over-expressing the F1 -ATPase activity (JMAGD(+)) or inactivating ATP synthase (JMat(-)). The physiological characterization of the wild-type JM101 strain and its derivative JMAGD(+) and JMatp(-) strains was conducted in bioreactors containing minimal medium with glucose. The inactivation of the atp operon and F1 -ATPase overexpression significantly diminished the energetic level and cAMP concentration in derivative strains. Relative transcription levels of 105 genes involved in glucose transport, glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, fermentation, respiration, transcriptional regulators, transcription and genes involved in stress were determined by using qPCR. Interestingly, in the JMAGD(+) and JMatp(-) strains, having a reduced energetic level, many transcripts of glycolysis, TCA cycle and respiratory genes were down-regulated when compared to wild type JM101. The transcriptional responses, detected in the strains with reduced energetic level show down-regulation of genes involved in central carbon metabolism and respiration, these results are apposite to the observed trends of increased metabolic fluxes in glucose consumption, glycolysis, acetate synthesis, TCA cycle and respiration. Regulation mediated by CRP-cAMP complex may explain some observed transcriptional responses of TCA cycle genes, since cAMP concentration and crp transcript level

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-23

    controls (Figure 2A). To con- firm that the reduction of APs was caused by the loss of synap- tic drive rather than decreased intrinsic excitability, passive...indicates a P < 0.05; ** indicates a P < 0.01; *** indicates a P < 0.001. significantly increased IBI and APs per burst within 10min, con- firming network...A may undergo retrograde transport and be released from motor neurons to intoxicate central synapses (Restani et al., 2012a,b; Marchand-Pauvert et al

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Environmental variability between the penultimate deglaciation and the mid Eemian: Insights from Tana che Urla (central Italy) speleothem trace element record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regattieri, Eleonora; Zanchetta, Giovanni; Drysdale, Russell N.; Isola, Ilaria; Woodhead, Jon D.; Hellstrom, John C.; Giaccio, Biagio; Greig, Alan; Baneschi, Ilaria; Dotsika, Elissavet

    2016-11-01

    A trace element record (Mg, Sr, Ba, Al, Si, P, Y, Zn) covering the ca. 133 ka to ca. 124 ka time interval was acquired from a flowstone core from Tana che Urla Cave (central Italy). It was compared with stable isotope data to investigate the environmental evolution in response to regional and extra-regional climate changes in the period corresponding to the latter part of the Penultimate Deglaciation and the first part of the Last Interglacial (Eemian). Trace element geochemical changes on centennial and millennial time scales responded to changes in hydrological input, variations in the supply and transport of catchment erosion products to the cave, including those linked to intense rainfall events, and to the state of the overlying soil and vegetation. Abrupt increases in precipitation and the progressive development of soil and vegetation occurred at ca. 132 ka, in response to the development of the global deglacial phase. The major changes in trace element composition are coherent with the previous hydrological interpretation of speleothem oxygen stable isotope composition (δ18O) as predominantly a rainfall-amount proxy. However, reduced growth rate persisted until ca. 130 ka, suggesting still depressed temperatures. An abrupt event of climatic deterioration, with marked decrease in precipitation and soil degradation, is apparent between ca. 131 and 130 ka. Cool-wet conditions between ca. 132 and 131 ka and the subsequent dry period may represent the local hydrological response to an interval of North Atlantic cooling and ice-rafted-debris (IRD) deposition known as Heinrich event 11 (H11). After 129.6 ka there was a rapid recovery according to all of the studied speleothem properties, indicating the onset of full interglacial conditions. A minor amplitude event of reduced precipitation is recorded within the LIG at ca. 127 ka. The record highlights the growing regional evidence for a complex penultimate deglacial climate involving major reorganization of

  14. 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. 

  15. 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.

  16. Export of pre-aged, labile DOM from a central California coastal upwelling system: Insights from D/L amino acids and Δ14C signatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, B. D.; Shen, Y.; Benner, R. H.; Druffel, E. R. M.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal upwelling zones are among the most productive regions in the world and play a major role in global carbon and nitrogen cycles. Recent research suggests that a substantial fraction of newly fixed organic matter is exported offshore in the form of dissolved organic matter (DOM). However, to date only a few studies have examined DOM composition in the context of production and export from upwelling systems. The ultimate fate and geochemical impact of coastal DOM exported to offshore and mesopelagic ecosystems also remains largely unknown. Between 2007-2009 we conducted a high-resolution biogeochemical time series at the Granite Canyon Marine Pollution Studies Lab in part to evaluate the seasonal production and export of DOM from the Central CA coast. Our previous work demonstrated substantial, albeit disparate, seasonal production of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen (DOC, DON) - with high DON (and low C:N ratios) produced during upwelling and high DOC produced during summer/fall water column stratification (Walker and McCarthy, 2012). Here we present new total dissolved D/L amino acid (TDAA) and UV-oxidizable DOC radiocarbon (Δ14C) data with the goal of determining the relative sources (heterotrophic vs. autotrophic), bioavailability, microbial processing and 14C-ages of C-rich vs. N-rich DOM exported from this upwelling system. Our results suggest that C-rich DOM produced during water column stratification carries a large microbial signature (i.e. high D/L AA ratios and non-protein AA abundance), whereas N-rich DOM produced during upwelling appears to be fresh, autotrophic DOM (i.e. lowest D/L AA ratios and highest TDAA abundance). DOM Δ14C signatures also did not approximate in situ dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and instead were far more negative and highly correlated to water mass density. Together our results indicate a previously unrecognized source of highly labile yet pre-aged DOM potentially impacting offshore and mesopelagic ecosystems.

  17. 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.

  18. Early evolution of the human synapse: Identification of conserved elements of the protosynapse in prokaryotes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard David Emes

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The animal nervous system processes information from the environment and mediates learning and memory using molecular signaling pathways in the postsynaptic terminal of synapses. Postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors assemble to form multiprotein complexes that drive signal transduction pathways to downstream cell biological processes. Studies of mouse and Drosophila postsynaptic proteins have identified key roles in synaptic physiology and behaviour for a wide range of proteins including receptors, scaffolds, enzymes, structural, translational and transcriptional regulators. Comparative proteomic and genomic studies identified components of the postsynaptic proteome conserved in eukaryotes and early metazoans. We extend these studies, and examine the conservation of genes and domains found in the human postsynaptic density with those across the three superkingdoms, archaeal, bacteria and eukaryota. A conserved set of proteins essential for basic cellular functions were conserved across the three superkingdoms, whereas synaptic structural and many signaling molecules were specific to the eukaryote lineage. Genes involved with metabolism and environmental signaling in E. coli including the chemotactic and ArcAB Two-Component signal transduction systems shared homologous genes in the mammalian post-synaptic proteome. These data suggest conservation between prokaryotes and mammalian synapses of signaling mechanisms from receptors to transcriptional responses, a process essential to learning and memory in vertebrates. A number of human postsynaptic proteins with homologues in prokaryotes are mutated in human genetic diseases with nervous system pathology. These data also indicate that structural and signaling proteins characteristic of postsynaptic complexes arose in the eukaryotic lineage and rapidly expanded following the emergence of the metazoa, and provide an insight into the early evolution of synaptic mechanisms and conserved mechanisms of

  19. 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.

  20. Studying the Dynamics of TCR Internalization at the Immune Synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calleja, Enrique; Alarcón, Balbino; Oeste, Clara L

    2017-01-01

    Establishing a stable interaction between a T cell and an antigen presenting cell (APC) involves the formation of an immune synapse (IS). It is through this structure that the T cell can integrate all the signals provided by the APC. The IS also serves as a mechanism for TCR downregulation through internalization. Here, we describe methods for visualizing MHC-engaged T cell receptor (TCR) internalization from the IS in human cell lines and mouse primary T cells by confocal fluorescence microscopy techniques.

  1. Differential mechanisms of transmission and plasticity at mossy fiber synapses

    OpenAIRE

    McBain, Chris J.

    2008-01-01

    The last few decades have seen the hippocampal formation at front and center in the field of synaptic transmission. However, much of what we know about hippocampal short- and long-term plasticity has been obtained from research at one particular synapse; the Schaffer collateral input onto principal cells of the CA1 subfield. A number of recent studies, however, have demonstrated that there is much to be learned about target-specific mechanisms of synaptic transmission by study of the lesser k...

  2. Temporal coding at the immature depolarizing GABAergic synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guzel Valeeva

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In the developing hippocampus, GABA exerts depolarizing and excitatory actions and contributes to the generation of neuronal network driven Giant Depolarizing Potentials (GDPs. Here, we studied spike time coding at immature GABAergic synapses and its impact on synchronization of the neuronal network during GDPs in the neonatal (postnatal days P2-6 rat hippocampal slices. Using extracellular recordings, we found that the delays of action potentials (APs evoked by synaptic activation of GABA(A receptors are long (mean, 65 ms and variable (within a time window of 10-200 ms. During patch-clamp recordings, depolarizing GABAergic responses were mainly subthreshold and their amplification by persistent sodium conductance was required to trigger APs. AP delays at GABAergic synapses shortened and their variability reduced with an increase in intracellular chloride concentration during whole-cell recordings. Negative shift of the GABA reversal potential (EGABA with low concentrations of bumetanide, or potentiation of GABA(A receptors with diazepam reduced GDPs amplitude, desynchronized neuronal firing during GDPs and slowed down GDPs propagation. Partial blockade of GABA(A receptors with bicuculline increased neuronal synchronization and accelerated GDPs propagation. We propose that spike-timing at depolarizing GABA synapses is determined by intracellular chloride concentration. At physiological levels of intracellular chloride GABAergic depolarization does not reach the action potential threshold and amplification of GABAergic responses by non-inactivating sodium conductance is required for postsynaptic AP initiation. Slow and variable excitation at GABAergic synapse determines the level of neuronal synchrony and the rate of GDPs propagation in the developing hippocampus.

  3. Temporal coding at the immature depolarizing GABAergic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valeeva, Guzel; Abdullin, Azat; Tyzio, Roman; Skorinkin, Andrei; Nikolski, Evgeny; Ben-Ari, Yehezkiel; Khazipov, Rustem

    2010-01-01

    In the developing hippocampus, GABA exerts depolarizing and excitatory actions and contributes to the generation of neuronal network driven giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs). Here, we studied spike time coding at immature GABAergic synapses and its impact on synchronization of the neuronal network during GDPs in the neonatal (postnatal days P2-6) rat hippocampal slices. Using extracellular recordings, we found that the delays of action potentials (APs) evoked by synaptic activation of GABA(A) receptors are long (mean, 65 ms) and variable (within a time window of 10-200 ms). During patch-clamp recordings, depolarizing GABAergic responses were mainly subthreshold and their amplification by persistent sodium conductance was required to trigger APs. AP delays at GABAergic synapses shortened and their variability reduced with an increase in intracellular chloride concentration during whole-cell recordings. Negative shift of the GABA reversal potential (E(GABA)) with low concentrations of bumetanide, or potentiation of GABA(A) receptors with diazepam reduced GDPs amplitude, desynchronized neuronal firing during GDPs and slowed down GDPs propagation. Partial blockade of GABA(A) receptors with bicuculline increased neuronal synchronization and accelerated GDPs propagation. We propose that spike timing at depolarizing GABA synapses is determined by intracellular chloride concentration. At physiological levels of intracellular chloride GABAergic depolarization does not reach the action potential threshold and amplification of GABAergic responses by non-inactivating sodium conductance is required for postsynaptic AP initiation. Slow and variable excitation at GABAergic synapse determines the level of neuronal synchrony and the rate of GDPs propagation in the developing hippocampus.

  4. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Maliva,, Robert G.

    2011-03-01

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

  6. [Physiology of synapse: from molecular modules to retrograde modulation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brezhestovskiĭ, P D

    2010-09-01

    Synapses are highly organized, specific structures assuring rapid and highly selective interactions between cells. Synaptic transmission involves the release of neurotransmitter from presynaptic neurons and its detection by specific ligand-gated ion channels at the surface membrane of postsynaptic neurons. The protenomic analysis shows that for self-formation and functioning of synapses nearly 2000 proteins are involved in mammalian brain. The core complex in excitatory synapses includes glutamate receptors, potassium channels, CaMKII, scaffolding protein and actin. These proteins exist as part of a highly organized protein complex known as the postsynaptic density (PSD). The coordinated functioning of the different PSD components determines the strength of signalling between the pre- and postsynaptic neurons. Synaptic plasticity is regulated by changes in the amount of receptors on the postsynaptic membrane, changes in the shape and size of dendritic spines, posttranslational modification of PSD components, modulation kinetics of synthesis and degradation of proteins. Integration of these processes leads to long-lasting changes in synaptic function and neuronal networks underlying learning-related plasticity, memory and information treatment in nervous system of multicellular organisms.

  7. 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.

  8. Extracerebellar role for Cerebellin1: modulation of dendritic spine density and synapses in striatal medium spiny neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusnoor, S V; Parris, J; Muly, E C; Morgan, J I; Deutch, A Y

    2010-07-01

    Cerebellin1 (Cbln1) is a secreted glycoprotein that was originally isolated from the cerebellum and subsequently found to regulate synaptic development and stability. Cbln1 has a heterogeneous distribution in brain, but the only site in which it has been shown to have central effects is the cerebellar cortex, where loss of Cbln1 causes a reduction in granule cell-Purkinje cell synapses. Neurons of the thalamic parafascicular nucleus (PF), which provide glutamatergic projections to the striatum, also express high levels of Cbln1. We first examined Cbln1 in thalamostriatal neurons and then determined if cbln1 knockout mice exhibit structural deficits in striatal neurons. Virtually all PF neurons express Cbln1-immunoreactivity (-ir). In contrast, only rare Cbln1-ir neurons are present in the central medial complex, the other thalamic region that projects heavily to the dorsal striatum. In the striatum Cbln1-ir processes are apposed to medium spiny neuron (MSN) dendrites; ultrastructural studies revealed that Cbln1-ir axon terminals form axodendritic synapses with MSNs. Tract-tracing studies found that all PF cells retrogradely labeled from the striatum express Cbln1-ir. We then examined the dendritic structure of Golgi-impregnated MSNs in adult cbln1 knockout mice. MSN dendritic spine density was markedly increased in cbln1(-/-) mice relative to wildtype littermates, but total dendritic length was unchanged. Ultrastructural examination revealed an increase in the density of MSN axospinous synapses in cbln1(-/-) mice, with no change in postsynaptic density length. Thus, Cbln1 determines the dendritic structure of striatal MSNs, with effects distinct from those seen in the cerebellum.

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2016-05-06

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Elfn1 regulates target-specific release probability at CA1-interneuron synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Sylwestrak, Emily L.; Ghosh, Anirvan

    2012-01-01

    Although synaptic transmission may be unidirectional, the establishment of synaptic connections with specific properties can involve bidirectional signaling. Pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus form functionally distinct synapses onto two types of interneurons. Excitatory synapses onto oriens-lacunosum moleculare (O-LM) interneurons are facilitating and have a low release probability, whereas synapses onto parvalbumin interneurons are depressing and have a high release probability. Here, we ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luz, Liliana L; Currie, Stephen P; Daw, Michael I

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Genetic deletion of NR3A accelerates glutamatergic synapse maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maile A Henson

    Full Text Available Glutamatergic synapse maturation is critically dependent upon activation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs; however, the contributions of NR3A subunit-containing NMDARs to this process have only begun to be considered. Here we characterized the expression of NR3A in the developing mouse forebrain and examined the consequences of NR3A deletion on excitatory synapse maturation. We found that NR3A is expressed in many subcellular compartments, and during early development, NR3A subunits are particularly concentrated in the postsynaptic density (PSD. NR3A levels dramatically decline with age and are no longer enriched at PSDs in juveniles and adults. Genetic deletion of NR3A accelerates glutamatergic synaptic transmission, as measured by AMPAR-mediated postsynaptic currents recorded in hippocampal CA1. Consistent with the functional observations, we observed that the deletion of NR3A accelerated the expression of the glutamate receptor subunits NR1, NR2A, and GluR1 in the PSD in postnatal day (P 8 mice. These data support the idea that glutamate receptors concentrate at synapses earlier in NR3A-knockout (NR3A-KO mice. The precocious maturation of both AMPAR function and glutamate receptor expression are transient in NR3A-KO mice, as AMPAR currents and glutamate receptor protein levels are similar in NR3A-KO and wildtype mice by P16, an age when endogenous NR3A levels are normally declining. Taken together, our data support a model whereby NR3A negatively regulates the developmental stabilization of glutamate receptors involved in excitatory neurotransmission, synaptogenesis, and spine growth.

  15. Choline Uptake by Glomerular Synapses Isolated from Bovine Cerebellar Vermis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    28 034 UNCLASSIFIED -7t. holing uptake by glomerular aynapaea isolated from bovine cerebellar venni - . 1) N1 IrRRIAN.E L NfISINndwr EtIIOMAS86 .t...w. -%FAt~Jr~a~etn 0,oAAM TX78215-5301 IL’SAJ) A-xpid ( kaolin 22nd. 19W5) hh.lhoac-anln uplake -ainalnnn 177 DIOMIDICAL DmIVIIN,~ F-5’. . Brain...Research. 366 (1986) 401-404 401 Elsevier BRE 21387 Choline uptake by glomerular synapses isolated from bovine cerebellar vermis D.M. TERRIAN, E.L

  16. Chronic lead exposure reduces junctional resistance at an electrical synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audesirk, G; Audesirk, T

    1984-01-01

    Both acute and chronic lead exposure have been found to inhibit transmission at chemical synapses, possibly by interfering with inward calcium current. We have found that chronic lead exposure slightly reduces input resistance and greatly reduces the junctional resistance between two strongly electrically coupled neurons in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. The net effect is to increase the strength of electrical coupling. A reduction in gap junctional resistance would also be expected to increase the flow of small molecules between cells. However, Lucifer Yellow injections did not reveal dye-coupling between the cells. Lead exposure also increases the capacitance of the neurons.

  17. Mammalian Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration and Ribbon Synapse Reformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoling Lu

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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."

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Endogenous APP accumulates in synapses after BACE1 inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigam, Saket Milind; Xu, Shaohua; Ackermann, Frauke; Gregory, Joshua A; Lundkvist, Johan; Lendahl, Urban; Brodin, Lennart

    2016-08-01

    BACE1-mediated cleavage of APP is a pivotal step in the production of the Alzheimer related Aβ peptide and inhibitors of BACE1 are currently in clinical development for the treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD). While processing and trafficking of APP has been extensively studied in non-neuronal cells, the fate of APP at neuronal synapses and in response to reduced BACE1 activity has not been fully elucidated. Here we examined the consequence of reduced BACE1 activity on endogenous synaptic APP by monitoring N- and C-terminal APP epitopes by immunocytochemistry. In control rodent primary hippocampal neuron cultures, labeling with antibodies directed to N-terminal APP epitopes showed a significant overlap with synaptic vesicle markers (SV2 or synaptotagmin). In contrast, labeling with antibodies directed to C-terminal epitopes of APP showed only a limited overlap with these proteins. In neurons derived from BACE1-deficient mice, and in control neurons treated with a BACE1 inhibitor, both the N-terminal and the C-terminal APP labeling overlapped significantly with synaptic vesicle markers. Moreover, BACE1 inhibition increased the proximity between the APP C-terminus and SV2 as shown by a proximity ligation assay. These results, together with biochemical observations, indicate that BACE1 can regulate the levels of full-length APP at neuronal synapses.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Synaptic competition sculpts the development of GABAergic axo-dendritic but not perisomatic synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Frola

    Full Text Available The neurotransmitter GABA regulates many aspects of inhibitory synapse development. We tested the hypothesis that GABAA receptors (GABAARs work together with the synaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin 2 (NL2 to regulate synapse formation in different subcellular compartments. We investigated mice ("γ2 knockdown mice" with an engineered allele of the GABAAR γ2 subunit gene which produced a mosaic expression of synaptic GABAARs in neighboring neurons, causing a strong imbalance in synaptic inhibition. Deletion of the γ2 subunit did not abolish synapse formation or the targeting of NL2 to distinct types of perisomatic and axo-dendritic contacts. Thus synaptic localization of NL2 does not require synaptic GABAARs. However, loss of the γ2 subunit caused a selective decrease in the number of axo-dendritic synapses on cerebellar Purkinje cells and cortical pyramidal neurons, whereas perisomatic synapses were not significantly affected. Notably, γ2-positive cells had increased axo-dendritic innervation compared with both γ2-negative and wild-type counterparts. Moreover heterologous synapses on spines, that are found after total deletion of GABAARs from all Purkinje cells, were rare in cerebella of γ2 knockdown mice. These findings reveal a selective role of γ2 subunit-containing GABAARs in regulating synapse development in distinct subcellular compartments, and support the hypothesis that the refinement of axo-dendritic synapses is regulated by activity-dependent competition between neighboring neurons.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uzi eHadad

    2015-09-01

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

  10. Differential localization of delta glutamate receptors in the rat cerebellum: coexpression with AMPA receptors in parallel fiber-spine synapses and absence from climbing fiber-spine synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landsend, A S; Amiry-Moghaddam, M; Matsubara, A; Bergersen, L; Usami, S; Wenthold, R J; Ottersen, O P

    1997-01-15

    The delta 2 glutamate receptors are prominently expressed in Purkinje cells and are thought to play a key role in the induction of cerebellar long-term depression. The synaptic and subsynaptic localization of delta receptors in rat cerebellar cortex was investigated with sensitive and high-resolution immunogold procedures. After postembedding incubation with an antibody raised to a C-terminal peptide of delta 2, high gold particle densities occurred in all parallel fiber synapses with Purkinje cell dendritic spines, whereas other synapses were consistently devoid of labeling. Among the types of immunonegative synapse were climbing fiber synapses with spines and parallel fiber synapses with dendritic stems of interneurons. At the parallel fiber-spine synapse, gold particles signaling delta receptors were restricted to the postsynaptic specialization. By the use of double labeling with two different gold particle sizes, it was shown that delta and AMPA GluR2/3 receptors were colocalized along the entire extent of the postsynaptic specialization without forming separate domains. The distribution of gold particles representing delta receptors was consistent with a cytoplasmic localization of the C terminus and an absence of a significant presynaptic pool of receptor molecules. The present data suggest that the delta 2 receptors are targeted selectively to a subset of Purkinje cell spines and that they are coexpressed with ionotropic receptors in the postsynaptic specialization. This arrangement could allow for a direct interaction between the two classes of receptor.

  11. 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.

  12. F-actin-binding protein drebrin regulates CXCR4 recruitment to the immune synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Martínez, Manuel; Gordón-Alonso, Mónica; Cabrero, José Román; Barrero-Villar, Marta; Rey, Mercedes; Mittelbrunn, María; Lamana, Amalia; Morlino, Giulia; Calabia, Carmen; Yamazaki, Hiroyuki; Shirao, Tomoaki; Vázquez, Jesús; González-Amaro, Roberto; Veiga, Esteban; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco

    2010-04-01

    The adaptive immune response depends on the interaction of T cells and antigen-presenting cells at the immune synapse. Formation of the immune synapse and the subsequent T-cell activation are highly dependent on the actin cytoskeleton. In this work, we describe that T cells express drebrin, a neuronal actin-binding protein. Drebrin colocalizes with the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and F-actin at the peripheral supramolecular activation cluster in the immune synapse. Drebrin interacts with the cytoplasmic tail of CXCR4 and both proteins redistribute to the immune synapse with similar kinetics. Drebrin knockdown in T cells impairs the redistribution of CXCR4 and inhibits actin polymerization at the immune synapse as well as IL-2 production. Our data indicate that drebrin exerts an unexpected and relevant functional role in T cells during the generation of the immune response.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gainey, Melanie A; Wolfe, Renna; Pourzia, Olivia; Feldman, Daniel E

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Motor axon synapses on renshaw cells contain higher levels of aspartate than glutamate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dannette S Richards

    Full Text Available Motoneuron synapses on spinal cord interneurons known as Renshaw cells activate nicotinic, AMPA and NMDA receptors consistent with co-release of acetylcholine and excitatory amino acids (EAA. However, whether these synapses express vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs capable of accumulating glutamate into synaptic vesicles is controversial. An alternative possibility is that these synapses release other EAAs, like aspartate, not dependent on VGLUTs. To clarify the exact EAA concentrated at motor axon synapses we performed a quantitative postembedding colloidal gold immunoelectron analysis for aspartate and glutamate on motor axon synapses (identified by immunoreactivity to the vesicular acetylcholine transporter; VAChT contacting calbindin-immunoreactive (-IR Renshaw cell dendrites. The results show that 71% to 80% of motor axon synaptic boutons on Renshaw cells contained aspartate immunolabeling two standard deviations above average neuropil labeling. Moreover, VAChT-IR synapses on Renshaw cells contained, on average, aspartate immunolabeling at 2.5 to 2.8 times above the average neuropil level. In contrast, glutamate enrichment was lower; 21% to 44% of VAChT-IR synapses showed glutamate-IR two standard deviations above average neuropil labeling and average glutamate immunogold density was 1.7 to 2.0 times the neuropil level. The results were not influenced by antibody affinities because glutamate antibodies detected glutamate-enriched brain homogenates more efficiently than aspartate antibodies detecting aspartate-enriched brain homogenates. Furthermore, synaptic boutons with ultrastructural features of Type I excitatory synapses were always labeled by glutamate antibodies at higher density than motor axon synapses. We conclude that motor axon synapses co-express aspartate and glutamate, but aspartate is concentrated at higher levels than glutamate.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. LIME mediates immunological synapse formation through activation of VAV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Son, Myoungsun; Park, Inyoung; Lee, Ok-Hee; Rhee, Inmoo; Park, Changwon; Yun, Yungdae

    2012-04-01

    Lck Interacting Membrane protein (LIME) was previously characterized as a transmembrane adaptor protein mediating TCR-dependent T cell activation. Here, we show that LIME associates with Vav in response to TCR stimulation and is required for Vav guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) activity for Rac1. Consistent with this finding, actin polymerization at the immunological synapse (IS) was markedly enhanced by overexpression of LIME, but was reduced by expression of a LIME shRNA. Moreover, TCR-mediated cell adhesion to ICAM-1, laminin, or fibronectin was downregulated by expression of LIME shRNA. In addition, in the IS, LIME but not LAT was found to localize at the peripheral-supramolecular activation cluster (p-SMAC) where the integrins were previously shown to be localized. Together, these results establish LIME as a transmembrane adaptor protein linking TCR stimulation to IS formation and integrin activation through activation of Vav.

  19. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    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 prob...

  1. Glycine-mediated changes of onset reliability at a mammalian central synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp-Scheinpflug, C; Dehmel, S; Tolnai, S; Dietz, B; Milenkovic, I; Rübsamen, R

    2008-11-19

    Glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter activating a chloride conductance in the mammalian CNS. In vitro studies from brain slices revealed a novel presynaptic site of glycine action in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) which increases the release of the excitatory transmitter glutamate from the calyx of Held. Here, we investigate the action of glycine on action potential firing of single MNTB neurons from the gerbil under acoustic stimulation in vivo. Iontophoretic application of the glycine receptor antagonist strychnine caused a significant decrease in spontaneous and sound-evoked firing rates throughout the neurons' excitatory response areas, with the largest changes at the respective characteristic frequency (CF). The decreased firing rate was accompanied by longer and more variable onset latencies of sound-evoked responses. Outside the neurons' excitatory response areas, firing rates increased during the application of strychnine due to a reduction of inhibitory sidebands, causing a broadening of frequency tuning. These results indicate that glycine enhances the efficacy for on-CF stimuli, while simultaneously suppressing synaptic transmission for off-CF stimuli. These in vivo results provide evidence of multiple excitatory and inhibitory glycine effects on the same neuronal population in the mature mammalian CNS.

  2. The small GTPase Rab29 is a common regulator of immune synapse assembly and ciliogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onnis, A; Finetti, F; Patrussi, L; Gottardo, M; Cassioli, C; Spanò, S; Baldari, C T

    2015-01-01

    Accumulating evidence underscores the T-cell immune synapse (IS) as a site of intense vesicular trafficking, on which productive signaling and cell activation crucially depend. Although the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) is known to exploit recycling to accumulate to the IS, the specific pathway that controls this process remains to be elucidated. Here we demonstrate that the small GTPase Rab29 is centrally implicated in TCR trafficking and IS assembly. Rab29 colocalized and interacted with Rab8, Rab11 and IFT20, a component of the intraflagellar transport system that regulates ciliogenesis and participates in TCR recycling in the non-ciliated T cell, as assessed by co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence analysis. Rab29 depletion resulted in the inability of TCRs to undergo recycling to the IS, thereby compromizing IS assembly. Under these conditions, recycling TCRs accumulated in Rab11+ endosomes that failed to polarize to the IS due to defective Rab29-dependent recruitment of the dynein microtubule motor. Remarkably, Rab29 participates in a similar pathway in ciliated cells to promote primary cilium growth and ciliary localization of Smoothened. These results provide a function for Rab29 as a regulator of receptor recycling and identify this GTPase as a shared participant in IS and primary cilium assembly. PMID:26021297

  3. Patient-specific models of microglia-mediated engulfment of synapses and neural progenitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellgren, C M; Sheridan, S D; Gracias, J; Xuan, D; Fu, T; Perlis, R H

    2017-01-01

    Engulfment of synapses and neural progenitor cells (NPCs) by microglia is critical for the development and maintenance of proper brain circuitry, and has been implicated in neurodevelopmental as well as neurodegenerative disease etiology. We have developed and validated models of these mechanisms by reprogramming microglia-like cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and combining them with NPCs and neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells to create patient-specific cellular models of complement-dependent synaptic pruning and elimination of NPCs. The resulting microglia-like cells express appropriate markers and function as primary human microglia, while patient-matched macrophages differ markedly. As a demonstration of disease-relevant application, we studied the role of C4, recently implicated in schizophrenia, in engulfment of synaptic structures by human microglia. The ability to create complete patient-specific cellular models of critical microglial functions utilizing samples taken during a single clinical visit will extend the ability to model central nervous system disease while facilitating high-throughput screening. PMID:27956744

  4. Two Loci of expression for long-term depression at hippocampal mossy fiber-interneuron synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Saobo; McBain, Chris J

    2004-03-03

    Two distinct forms of long-term depression (LTD) exist at mossy fiber synapses between dentate gyrus granule cells and hippocampal CA3 stratum lucidum interneurons. Although induction of each form of LTD requires an elevation of postsynaptic intracellular Ca2+, at Ca2+-impermeable AMPA receptor (CI-AMPAR) synapses, induction is NMDA receptor (NMDAR) dependent, whereas LTD at Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptor (CP-AMPAR) synapses is NMDAR independent. However, the expression locus of either form of LTD is not known. Using a number of criteria, including the coefficient of variation, paired-pulse ratio, AMPA-NMDA receptor activity, and the low-affinity AMPAR antagonist gamma-D-glutamyl-glycine, we demonstrate that LTD expression at CP-AMPAR synapses is presynaptic and results from reduced transmitter release, whereas LTD expression at CI-AMPAR synapses is postsynaptic. The N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein-AP2-clathrin adaptor protein 2 inhibitory peptide pep2m occluded LTD expression at CI-AMPAR synapses but not at CP-AMPAR synapses, confirming that CI-AMPAR LTD involves postsynaptic AMPAR trafficking. Thus, mossy fiber innervation of CA3 stratum lucidum interneurons occurs via two parallel systems targeted to either Ca2+-permeable or Ca2+-impermeable AMPA receptors, each with a distinct expression locus for long-term synaptic plasticity.

  5. Cadherin-9 regulates synapse-specific differentiation in the developing hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2011-08-25

    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 downregulation of cadherin-9 in CA3 neurons leads to a selective decrease in the number and size of DG synapses onto CA3 neurons. In addition, loss of cadherin-9 from DG or CA3 neurons in vivo leads to striking defects in the formation and differentiation of the DG-CA3 mossy fiber synapse. These observations indicate that cadherin-9 bidirectionally regulates DG-CA3 synapse development and highlight the critical role of differentially expressed molecular cues in establishing specific connections in the mammalian brain.

  6. Motor neuron synapse and axon defects in a C. elegans alpha-tubulin mutant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renee Baran

    Full Text Available Regulation of microtubule dynamics underlies many fundamental cellular mechanisms including cell division, cell motility, and transport. In neurons, microtubules play key roles in cell migration, axon outgrowth, control of axon and synapse growth, and the regulated transport of vesicles and structural components of synapses. Loss of synapse and axon integrity and disruption of axon transport characterize many neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, mutations that specifically alter the assembly or stability of microtubules have been found to directly cause neurodevelopmental defects or neurodegeneration in vertebrates. We report here the characterization of a missense mutation in the C-terminal domain of C. elegans alpha-tubulin, tba-1(ju89, that disrupts motor neuron synapse and axon development. Mutant ju89 animals exhibit reduction in the number and size of neuromuscular synapses, altered locomotion, and defects in axon extension. Although null mutations of tba-1 show a nearly wild-type pattern, similar axon outgrowth defects were observed in animals lacking the beta-tubulin TBB-2. Genetic analysis reveals that tba-1(ju89 affects synapse development independent of its role in axon outgrowth. tba-1(ju89 is an altered function allele that most likely perturbs interactions between TBA-1 and specific microtubule-associated proteins that control microtubule dynamics and transport of components needed for synapse and axon growth.

  7. Normal distribution of VGLUT1 synapses on spinal motoneuron dendrites and their reorganization after nerve injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotterman, Travis M; Nardelli, Paul; Cope, Timothy C; Alvarez, Francisco J

    2014-03-05

    Peripheral nerve injury induces permanent alterations in spinal cord circuitries that are not reversed by regeneration. Nerve injury provokes the loss of many proprioceptive IA afferent synapses (VGLUT1-IR boutons) from motoneurons, the reduction of IA EPSPs in motoneurons, and the disappearance of stretch reflexes. After motor and sensory axons successfully reinnervate muscle, lost IA VGLUT1 synapses are not re-established and the stretch reflex does not recover; however, electrically evoked EPSPs do recover. The reasons why remaining IA synapses can evoke EPSPs on motoneurons, but fail to transmit useful stretch signals are unknown. To better understand changes in the organization of VGLUT1 IA synapses that might influence their input strength, we analyzed their distribution over the entire dendritic arbor of motoneurons before and after nerve injury. Adult rats underwent complete tibial nerve transection followed by microsurgical reattachment and 1 year later motoneurons were intracellularly recorded and filled with neurobiotin to map the distribution of VGLUT1 synapses along their dendrites. We found in control motoneurons an average of 911 VGLUT1 synapses; ~62% of them were lost after injury. In controls, VGLUT1 synapses were focused to proximal dendrites where they were grouped in tight clusters. After injury, most synaptic loses occurred in the proximal dendrites and remaining synapses were declustered, smaller, and uniformly distributed throughout the dendritic arbor. We conclude that this loss and reorganization renders IA afferent synapses incompetent for efficient motoneuron synaptic depolarization in response to natural stretch, while still capable of eliciting EPSPs when synchronously fired by electrical volleys.

  8. Vesicular Trafficking to the Immune Synapse: How to Assemble Receptor-Tailored Pathways from a Basic Building Set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onnis, Anna; Finetti, Francesca; Baldari, Cosima T

    2016-01-01

    The signals that orchestrate T-cell activation are coordinated within a highly organized interface with the antigen-presenting cell (APC), known as the immune synapse (IS). IS assembly depends on T-cell antigen receptor engagement by a specific peptide antigen-major histocompatibility complex ligand. This primary event leads to polarized trafficking of receptors and signaling mediators associated with recycling endosomes to the cellular interface, which contributes to IS assembly as well as signal termination and favors information transfer from T cells to APCs. Here, we will review recent advances on the vesicular pathways implicated in IS assembly and maintenance, focusing on the spatiotemporal regulation of the traffic of specific receptors by Rab GTPases. Based on accumulating evidence that the IS is a functional homolog of the primary cilium, which coordinates several central signaling pathways in ciliated cells, we will also discuss the similarities in the mechanisms regulating vesicular trafficking to these specialized membrane domains.

  9. BK potassium channels control transmitter release at CA3-CA3 synapses in the rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffaelli, Giacomo; Saviane, Chiara; Mohajerani, Majid H; Pedarzani, Paola; Cherubini, Enrico

    2004-05-15

    Large conductance calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels (BK channels) activate in response to calcium influx during action potentials and contribute to the spike repolarization and fast afterhyperpolarization. BK channels targeted to active zones in presynaptic nerve terminals have been shown to limit calcium entry and transmitter release by reducing the duration of the presynaptic spike at neurosecretory nerve terminals and at the frog neuromuscular junction. However, their functional role in central synapses is still uncertain. In the hippocampus, BK channels have been proposed to act as an 'emergency brake' that would control transmitter release only under conditions of excessive depolarization and accumulation of intracellular calcium. Here we demonstrate that in the CA3 region of hippocampal slice cultures, under basal experimental conditions, the selective BK channel blockers paxilline (10 microM) and iberiotoxin (100 nM) increase the frequency, but not the amplitude, of spontaneously occurring action potential-dependent EPSCs. These drugs did not affect miniature currents recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin, suggesting that their action was dependent on action potential firing. Moreover, in double patch-clamp recordings from monosynaptically interconnected CA3 pyramidal neurones, blockade of BK channels enhanced the probability of transmitter release, as revealed by the increase in success rate, EPSC amplitude and the concomitant decrease in paired-pulse ratio in response to pairs of presynaptic action potentials delivered at a frequency of 0.05 Hz. BK channel blockers also enhanced the appearance of delayed responses, particularly following the second action potential in the paired-pulse protocol. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that BK channels are powerful modulators of transmitter release and synaptic efficacy in central neurones.

  10. 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.

  11. Pathogenic SYNGAP1 mutations impair cognitive development by disrupting maturation of dendritic spine synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, James P; Aceti, Massimiliano; Creson, Thomas K; Ozkan, Emin D; Shi, Yulin; Reish, Nicholas J; Almonte, Antoine G; Miller, Brooke H; Wiltgen, Brian J; Miller, Courtney A; Xu, Xiangmin; Rumbaugh, Gavin

    2012-11-09

    Mutations that cause intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are commonly found in genes that encode for synaptic proteins. However, it remains unclear how mutations that disrupt synapse function impact intellectual ability. In the SYNGAP1 mouse model of ID/ASD, we found that dendritic spine synapses develop prematurely during the early postnatal period. Premature spine maturation dramatically enhanced excitability in the developing hippocampus, which corresponded with the emergence of behavioral abnormalities. Inducing SYNGAP1 mutations after critical developmental windows closed had minimal impact on spine synapse function, whereas repairing these pathogenic mutations in adulthood did not improve behavior and cognition. These data demonstrate that SynGAP protein acts as a critical developmental repressor of neural excitability that promotes the development of life-long cognitive abilities. We propose that the pace of dendritic spine synapse maturation in early life is a critical determinant of normal intellectual development.

  12. 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.

  13. Munc18-1 expression levels control synapse recovery by regulating readily releasable pool size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toonen, Ruud F. G.; Wierda, Keimpe; Sons, Michèle S.; de Wit, Heidi; Cornelisse, L. Niels; Brussaard, Arjen; Plomp, Jaap J.; Verhage, Matthijs

    2006-01-01

    Prompt recovery after intense activity is an essential feature of most mammalian synapses. Here we show that synapses with reduced expression of the presynaptic gene munc18-1 suffer from increased depression during intense stimulation at glutamatergic, GABAergic, and neuromuscular synapses. Conversely, munc18-1 overexpression makes these synapses recover faster. Concomitant changes in the readily releasable vesicle pool and its refill kinetics were found. The number of vesicles docked at the active zone and the total number of vesicles per terminal correlated with both munc18-1 expression levels and the size of the releasable vesicle pool. These data show that varying expression of a single gene controls synaptic recovery by modulating the number of docked, release-ready vesicles and thereby replenishment of the secretion capacity. PMID:17110441

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

  16. 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

    2016-03-14

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Characterization of Axo-Axonic Synapses in the Piriform Cortex of Mus musculus

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Xinjun; Sun, Qian-Quan

    2012-01-01

    Previous anatomical and physiological studies have established major glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal subtypes within the piriform cortical circuits. However, quantitative information regarding axo-axonic inhibitory synapses mediated by chandelier cells across major cortical subdivisions of piriform cortex is lacking. Therefore, we examined the properties of these synapses across the entire piriform cortex. Our results show the following. 1) γ-Aminobutyric acid membrane transporter 1-posi...

  19. Normal Distribution of VGLUT1 Synapses on Spinal Motoneuron Dendrites and Their Reorganization after Nerve Injury

    OpenAIRE

    Rotterman, Travis M.; Nardelli, Paul; Cope, Timothy C.; Alvarez, Francisco J.

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral nerve injury induces permanent alterations in spinal cord circuitries that are not reversed by regeneration. Nerve injury provokes the loss of many proprioceptive IA afferent synapses (VGLUT1-IR boutons) from motoneurons, the reduction of IA EPSPs in motoneurons, and the disappearance of stretch reflexes. After motor and sensory axons successfully reinnervate muscle, lost IA VGLUT1 synapses are not re-established and the stretch reflex does not recover; however, electrically evoked...

  20. Neuroligin-1 performs neurexin-dependent and neurexin-independent functions in synapse validation

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Postsynaptic neuroligins are thought to perform essential functions in synapse validation and synaptic transmission by binding to, and dimerizing, presynaptic α- and β-neurexins. To test this hypothesis, we examined the functional effects of neuroligin-1 mutations that impair only α-neurexin binding, block both α- and β-neurexin binding, or abolish neuroligin-1 dimerization. Abolishing α-neurexin binding abrogated neuroligin-induced generation of neuronal synapses onto transfected non-neurona...

  1. Activation of α7-containing nicotinic receptors on astrocytes triggers AMPA receptor recruitment to glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xulong; Lippi, Giordano; Carlson, David M; Berg, Darwin K

    2013-12-01

    Astrocytes, an abundant form of glia, are known to promote and modulate synaptic signaling between neurons. They also express α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-nAChRs), but the functional relevance of these receptors is unknown. We show here that stimulation of α7-nAChRs on astrocytes releases components that induce hippocampal neurons to acquire more α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors post-synaptically at glutamatergic synapses. The increase is specific in that no change is seen in synaptic NMDA receptor clusters or other markers for glutamatergic synapses, or in markers for GABAergic synapses. Moreover, the increases in AMPA receptors on the neuron surface are accompanied by increases in the frequency of spontaneous miniature synaptic currents mediated by the receptors and increases in the ratio of evoked synaptic currents mediated by AMPA versus NMDA receptors. This suggests that stimulating α7-nAChRs on astrocytes can convert 'silent' glutamatergic synapses to functional status. Astrocyte-derived thrombospondin is necessary but not sufficient for the effect, while tumor necrosis factor-α is sufficient but not necessary. The results identify astrocyte α7-nAChRs as a novel pathway through which nicotinic cholinergic signaling can promote the development of glutamatergic networks, recruiting AMPA receptors to post-synaptic sites and rendering the synapses more functional. We find that activation of nicotinic receptors on astrocytes releases a component that specifically recruits AMPA receptors to glutamatergic synapses. The recruitment appears to occur preferentially at what may be 'silent synapses', that is, synapses that have all the components required for glutamatergic transmission (including NMDA receptors) but lack sufficient AMPA receptors to generate a response. The results are unexpected and open up new possibilities for mechanisms underlying network formation and synaptic plasticity.

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-30

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

  4. Quantitative organization of GABAergic synapses in the molecular layer of the mouse cerebellar cortex.

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    Federica Briatore

    Full Text Available In the cerebellar cortex, interneurons of the molecular layer (stellate and basket cells provide GABAergic input to Purkinje cells, as well as to each other and possibly to other interneurons. GABAergic inhibition in the molecular layer has mainly been investigated at the interneuron to Purkinje cell synapse. In this study, we used complementary subtractive strategies to quantitatively assess the ratio of GABAergic synapses on Purkinje cell dendrites versus those on interneurons. We generated a mouse model in which the GABAA receptor alpha1 subunit (GABAARalpha1 was selectively removed from Purkinje cells using the Cre/loxP system. Deletion of the alpha1 subunit resulted in a complete loss of GABAAR aggregates from Purkinje cells, allowing us to determine the density of GABAAR clusters in interneurons. In a complementary approach, we determined the density of GABA synapses impinging on Purkinje cells using alpha-dystroglycan as a specific marker of inhibitory postsynaptic sites. Combining these inverse approaches, we found that synapses received by interneurons represent approximately 40% of all GABAergic synapses in the molecular layer. Notably, this proportion was stable during postnatal development, indicating synchronized synaptogenesis. Based on the pure quantity of GABAergic synapses onto interneurons, we propose that mutual inhibition must play an important, yet largely neglected, computational role in the cerebellar cortex.

  5. A Gata3-Mafb transcriptional network directs post-synaptic differentiation in synapses specialized for hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Wei-Ming; Appler, Jessica M; Kim, Ye-Hyun; Nishitani, Allison M; Holt, Jeffrey R; Goodrich, Lisa V

    2013-12-10

    Information flow through neural circuits is determined by the nature of the synapses linking the subtypes of neurons. How neurons acquire features distinct to each synapse remains unknown. We show that the transcription factor Mafb drives the formation of auditory ribbon synapses, which are specialized for rapid transmission from hair cells to spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). Mafb acts in SGNs to drive differentiation of the large postsynaptic density (PSD) characteristic of the ribbon synapse. In Mafb mutant mice, SGNs fail to develop normal PSDs, leading to reduced synapse number and impaired auditory responses. Conversely, increased Mafb accelerates synaptogenesis. Moreover, Mafb is responsible for executing one branch of the SGN differentiation program orchestrated by the Gata3 transcriptional network. Remarkably, restoration of Mafb rescues the synapse defect in Gata3 mutants. Hence, Mafb is a powerful regulator of cell-type specific features of auditory synaptogenesis that offers a new entry point for treating hearing loss. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01341.001.

  6. Early expression of KCC2 in rat hippocampal cultures augments expression of functional GABA synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudotvorova, Ilona; Ivanov, Anton; Rama, Sylvain; Hübner, Christian A; Pellegrino, Christophe; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Medina, Igor

    2005-08-01

    The development of GABAergic synapses is associated with an excitatory to inhibitory shift of the actions of GABA because of a reduction of [Cl-]i. This is due to a delayed postnatal expression of the K+ -Cl- cotransporter KCC2, which has low levels at birth and peaks during the first few postnatal weeks. Whether the expression of the cotransporter and the excitatory to inhibitory shift have other consequences on the operation of GABA(A) receptors and synapses is not yet known. We have now expressed KCC2 in immature neurones at an early developmental stage and determined the consequences on the formation of GABA and glutamate synapses. We report that early expression of the cotransporter selectively enhances GABAergic synapses: there is a significant increase of the density of GABA(A) receptors and synapses and an increase of the frequency of GABAergic miniature postsynaptic currents. The density of glutamate synapses and frequency of AMPA miniature postsynaptic currents are not affected. We conclude that the expression of KCC2 and the reduction of [Cl-]i play a critical role in the construction of GABAergic networks that extends beyond the excitatory to inhibitory shift of the actions of GABA.

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

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Nascent Proteome Remodeling following Homeostatic Scaling at Hippocampal Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schanzenbächer, Christoph T; Sambandan, Sivakumar; Langer, Julian D; Schuman, Erin M

    2016-10-19

    Homeostatic scaling adjusts the strength of synaptic connections up or down in response to large changes in input. To identify the landscape of proteomic changes that contribute to opposing forms of homeostatic plasticity, we examined the plasticity-induced changes in the newly synthesized proteome. Cultured rat hippocampal neurons underwent homeostatic up-scaling or down-scaling. We used BONCAT (bio-orthogonal non-canonical amino acid tagging) to metabolically label, capture, and identify newly synthesized proteins, detecting and analyzing 5,940 newly synthesized proteins using mass spectrometry and label-free quantitation. Neither up- nor down-scaling produced changes in the number of different proteins translated. Rather, up- and down-scaling elicited opposing translational regulation of several molecular pathways, producing targeted adjustments in the proteome. We discovered ∼300 differentially regulated proteins involved in neurite outgrowth, axon guidance, filopodia assembly, excitatory synapses, and glutamate receptor complexes. We also identified differentially regulated proteins that are associated with multiple diseases, including schizophrenia, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease.

  10. Resolution enhancement in neural networks with dynamical synapses

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    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Active zone stability: insights from fly neuromuscular junction

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    Xiaolin Tian

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Three-dimensional geological modelling of the Galilee and central Eromanga basins, Australia: New insights into aquifer/aquitard geometry and potential influence of faults on inter-connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio E. Moya

    2014-11-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: Major faults that have been described in previous studies have been confirmed within the 3D geological model domain and a preliminary assessment of their hydraulic significance has been conducted. Previously unknown faults such as the Thomson River Fault (herein named have also been identified in this study.

  14. 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.

  15. Rab3A deletion selectively reduces spontaneous neurotransmitter release at the mouse neuromuscular synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sons, Michèle S; Plomp, Jaap J

    2006-05-17

    Rab3A is a synaptic vesicle-associated GTP-binding protein thought to be involved in modulation of presynaptic transmitter release through regulation of vesicle trafficking and membrane fusion. Electrophysiological studies at central nervous system synapses of Rab3A null-mutant mice have indicated that nerve stimulation-evoked transmitter release and its short- and long-term modulation are partly dependent on Rab3A, whereas spontaneous uniquantal release is completely independent of it. Here, we studied the acetylcholine (ACh) release at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of diaphragm and soleus muscles from Rab3A-deficient mice with intracellular microelectrode methods. Surprisingly, we found 20-40% reduction of spontaneous ACh release but completely intact nerve action potential-evoked release at both high- and low-rate stimulation and during recovery from intense release. The ACh release induced by hypertonic medium was also unchanged, indicating that the pool of vesicles for immediate release is unaltered at the Rab3A-deficient NMJ. These results indicate a selective role of Rab3A in spontaneous transmitter release at the NMJ which cannot or only partly be taken over by the closely related Rab3B, Rab3C, or Rab3D isoforms when Rab3A is deleted. It has been hypothesized that Rab3A mutation underlies human presynaptic myasthenic syndromes, in which severely reduced nerve action potential-evoked ACh release at the NMJ causes paralysis. Our observation that Rab3A deletion does not reduce evoked ACh release at any stimulation rate at the mouse NMJ, argues against this hypothesis.

  16. 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

  17. Calcium regulates vesicle replenishment at the cone ribbon synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babai, Norbert; Bartoletti, Theodore M; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2010-11-24

    Cones release glutamate-filled vesicles continuously in darkness, and changing illumination modulates this release. Because sustained release in darkness is governed by vesicle replenishment rates, we analyzed how cone membrane potential regulates replenishment. Synaptic release from cones was measured by recording postsynaptic currents in Ambystoma tigrinum horizontal or OFF bipolar cells evoked by depolarization of simultaneously voltage-clamped cones. We measured replenishment after attaining a steady state between vesicle release and replenishment using trains of test pulses. Increasing Ca(2+) currents (I(Ca)) by changing the test step from -30 to -10 mV increased replenishment. Lengthening -30 mV test pulses to match the Ca(2+) influx during 25 ms test pulses to -10 mV produced similar replenishment rates. Reducing Ca(2+) driving force by using test steps to +30 mV slowed replenishment. Using UV flashes to reverse inhibition of I(Ca) by nifedipine accelerated replenishment. Increasing [Ca(2+)](i) by flash photolysis of caged Ca(2+) also accelerated replenishment. Replenishment, but not the initial burst of release, was enhanced by using an intracellular Ca(2+) buffer of 0.5 mm EGTA rather than 5 mm EGTA, and diminished by 1 mm BAPTA. This suggests that although release and replenishment exhibited similar Ca(2+) dependencies, release sites are replenishment sites are >200 nm away. Membrane potential thus regulates replenishment by controlling Ca(2+) influx, principally by effects on replenishment mechanisms but also by altering releasable pool size. This in turn provides a mechanism for converting changes in light intensity into changes in sustained release at the cone ribbon synapse.

  18. A silent synapse-based mechanism for cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Travis E; Lee, Brian R; Mu, Ping; Ferguson, Deveroux; Dietz, David; Ohnishi, Yoshinori N; Lin, Ying; Suska, Anna; Ishikawa, Masago; Huang, Yanhua H; Shen, Haowei; Kalivas, Peter W; Sorg, Barbara A; Zukin, R Suzanne; Nestler, Eric J; Dong, Yan; Schlüter, Oliver M

    2011-06-01

    Locomotor sensitization is a common and robust behavioral alteration in rodents whereby following exposure to abused drugs such as cocaine, the animal becomes significantly more hyperactive in response to an acute drug challenge. Here, we further analyzed the role of cocaine-induced silent synapses in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and their contribution to the development of locomotor sensitization. Using a combination of viral vector-mediated genetic manipulations, biochemistry, and electrophysiology in a locomotor sensitization paradigm with repeated, daily, noncontingent cocaine (15 mg/kg) injections, we show that dominant-negative cAMP-element binding protein (CREB) prevents cocaine-induced generation of silent synapses of young (30 d old) rats, whereas constitutively active CREB is sufficient to increase the number of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs) at synapses and to generate silent synapses. We further show that occupancy of CREB at the NR2B promoter increases and is causally related to the increase in synaptic NR2B levels. Blockade of NR2B-containing NMDARs by administration of the NR2B-selective antagonist Ro256981 directly into the NAc, under conditions that inhibit cocaine-induced silent synapses, prevents the development of cocaine-elicited locomotor sensitization. Our data are consistent with a cellular cascade whereby cocaine-induced activation of CREB promotes CREB-dependent transcription of NR2B and synaptic incorporation of NR2B-containing NMDARs, which generates new silent synapses within the NAc. We propose that cocaine-induced activation of CREB and generation of new silent synapses may serve as key cellular events mediating cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization. These findings provide a novel cellular mechanism that may contribute to cocaine-induced behavioral alterations.

  19. Cbln1 downregulates the formation and function of inhibitory synapses in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito-Ishida, Aya; Kakegawa, Wataru; Kohda, Kazuhisa; Miura, Eriko; Okabe, Shigeo; Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2014-04-01

    The formation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses must be tightly coordinated to establish functional neuronal circuitry during development. In the cerebellum, the formation of excitatory synapses between parallel fibers and Purkinje cells is strongly induced by Cbln1, which is released from parallel fibers and binds to the postsynaptic δ2 glutamate receptor (GluD2). However, Cbln1's role, if any, in inhibitory synapse formation has been unknown. Here, we show that Cbln1 downregulates the formation and function of inhibitory synapses between Purkinje cells and interneurons. Immunohistochemical analyses with an anti-vesicular GABA transporter antibody revealed an increased density of interneuron-Purkinje cell synapses in the cbln1-null cerebellum. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from Purkinje cells showed that both the amplitude and frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents were increased in cbln1-null cerebellar slices. A 3-h incubation with recombinant Cbln1 reversed the increased amplitude of inhibitory currents in Purkinje cells in acutely prepared cbln1-null slices. Furthermore, an 8-day incubation with recombinant Cbln1 reversed the increased interneuron-Purkinje cell synapse density in cultured cbln1-null slices. In contrast, recombinant Cbln1 did not affect cerebellar slices from mice lacking both Cbln1 and GluD2. Finally, we found that tyrosine phosphorylation was upregulated in the cbln1-null cerebellum, and acute inhibition of Src-family kinases suppressed the increased inhibitory postsynaptic currents in cbln1-null Purkinje cells. These findings indicate that Cbln1-GluD2 signaling inhibits the number and function of inhibitory synapses, and shifts the excitatory-inhibitory balance towards excitation in Purkinje cells. Cbln1's effect on inhibitory synaptic transmission is probably mediated by a tyrosine kinase pathway.

  20. 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.

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

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    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.

  2. Trans-synaptic interaction of GluRdelta2 and Neurexin through Cbln1 mediates synapse formation in the cerebellum

    OpenAIRE

    Uemura, T; Lee, S. J.; Yasumura, M.; Takeuchi, T.; Yoshida, T.; Ra, M.; Taguchi, R.; Sakimura, K; Mishina, M.

    2010-01-01

    Elucidation of molecular mechanisms that regulate synapse formation is required for the understanding of neural wiring, higher brain functions, and mental disorders. Despite the wealth of in vitro information, fundamental questions about how glutamatergic synapses are formed in the mammalian brain remain unanswered. Glutamate receptor (GluR) δ2 is essential for cerebellar synapse formation in vivo. Here, we show that the N-terminal domain (NTD) of GluRδ2 interacts with presynaptic neurexins (...

  3. Cbln1 regulates rapid formation and maintenance of excitatory synapses in mature cerebellar Purkinje cells in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito-Ishida, Aya; Miura, Eriko; Emi, Kyoichi; Matsuda, Keiko; Iijima, Takatoshi; Kondo, Tetsuro; Kohda, Kazuhisa; Watanabe, Masahiko; Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2008-06-04

    Although many synapse-organizing molecules have been identified in vitro, their functions in mature neurons in vivo have been mostly unexplored. Cbln1, which belongs to the C1q/tumor necrosis factor superfamily, is the most recently identified protein involved in synapse formation in the mammalian CNS. In the cerebellum, Cbln1 is predominantly produced and secreted from granule cells; cbln1-null mice show ataxia and a severe reduction in the number of synapses between Purkinje cells and parallel fibers (PFs), the axon bundle of granule cells. Here, we show that application of recombinant Cbln1 specifically and reversibly induced PF synapse formation in dissociated cbln1-null Purkinje cells in culture. Cbln1 also rapidly induced electrophysiologically functional and ultrastructurally normal PF synapses in acutely prepared cbln1-null cerebellar slices. Furthermore, a single injection of recombinant Cbln1 rescued severe ataxia in adult cbln1-null mice in vivo by completely, but transiently, restoring PF synapses. Therefore, Cbln1 is a unique synapse organizer that is required not only for the normal development of PF-Purkinje cell synapses but also for their maintenance in the mature cerebellum both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, our results indicate that Cbln1 can also rapidly organize new synapses in adult cerebellum, implying its therapeutic potential for cerebellar ataxic disorders.

  4. Critical involvement of postsynaptic protein kinase activation in LTP at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses on CA3 interneurons

    OpenAIRE

    Galván, Emilio J; Cosgrove, Kathleen E.; Mauna, Jocelyn C.; Card, J. Patrick; Thiels, Edda; Meriney, Stephen D.; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2010-01-01

    Hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) synapses on area CA3 lacunosum-moleculare (L-M) interneurons are capable of undergoing a Hebbian form of NMDAR-independent LTP induced by the same type of high-frequency stimulation (HFS) that induces LTP at MF synapses on pyramidal cells. LTP of MF input to L-M interneurons occurs only at synapses containing mostly calcium impermeable (CI)-AMPARs. Here, we demonstrate that HFS-induced LTP at these MF-interneuron synapses requires postsynaptic activation of protei...

  5. TwoB or not twoB: differential transmission at glutamatergic mossy fiber-interneuron synapses in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischofberger, Josef; Jonas, Peter

    2002-12-01

    Mossy fiber (MF) synapses are key stations for flow of information through the hippocampal formation. A major component of the output of the MF system is directed towards inhibitory interneurons. Recent studies have revealed that the functional properties of MF-interneuron synapses differ substantially from those of MF-CA3 pyramidal neuron synapses. Mossy-fiber-interneuron synapses in the stratum lucidum represent a continuum of functional subtypes, in which the subunit composition of postsynaptic AMPA receptors and NMDA receptors appears to be regulated in a coordinated manner.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. Myosin VI is required for the proper maturation and function of inner hair cell ribbon synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Isabelle; Hosie, Suzanne; Johnson, Stuart L; Bahloul, Amel; Cayet, Nadège; Nouaille, Sylvie; Kros, Corné J; Petit, Christine; Safieddine, Saaid

    2009-12-01

    The ribbon synapses of auditory inner hair cells (IHCs) undergo morphological and electrophysiological transitions during cochlear development. Here we report that myosin VI (Myo6), an actin-based motor protein involved in genetic forms of deafness, is necessary for some of these changes to occur. By using post-embedding immunogold electron microscopy, we showed that Myo6 is present at the IHC synaptic active zone. In Snell's waltzer mutant mice, which lack Myo6, IHC ionic currents and ribbon synapse maturation proceeded normally until at least post-natal day 6. In adult mutant mice, however, the IHCs displayed immature potassium currents and still fired action potentials, as normally only observed in immature IHCs. In addition, the number of ribbons per IHC was reduced by 30%, and 30% of the remaining ribbons were morphologically immature. Ca2+-dependent exocytosis probed by capacitance measurement was markedly reduced despite normal Ca2+ currents and the large proportion of morphologically mature synapses, which suggests additional defects, such as loose Ca2+-exocytosis coupling or inefficient vesicular supply. Finally, we provide evidence that Myo6 and otoferlin, a putative Ca2+ sensor of synaptic exocytosis also involved in a genetic form of deafness, interact at the IHC ribbon synapse, and we suggest that this interaction is involved in the recycling of synaptic vesicles. Our findings thus uncover essential roles for Myo6 at the IHC ribbon synapse, in addition to that proposed in membrane turnover and anchoring at the apical surface of the hair cells.

  9. Stochastic Properties of Neurotransmitter Release Expand the Dynamic Range of Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hua

    2013-01-01

    Release of neurotransmitter is an inherently random process, which could degrade the reliability of postsynaptic spiking, even at relatively large synapses. This is particularly important at auditory synapses, where the rate and precise timing of spikes carry information about sounds. However, the functional consequences of the stochastic properties of release are unknown. We addressed this issue at the mouse endbulb of Held synapse, which is formed by auditory nerve fibers onto bushy cells (BCs) in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus. We used voltage clamp to characterize synaptic variability. Dynamic clamp was used to compare BC spiking with stochastic or deterministic synaptic input. The stochastic component increased the responsiveness of the BC to conductances that were on average subthreshold, thereby increasing the dynamic range of the synapse. This had the benefit that BCs relayed auditory nerve activity even when synapses showed significant depression during rapid activity. However, the precision of spike timing decreased with stochastic conductances, suggesting a trade-off between encoding information in spike timing versus probability. These effects were confirmed in fiber stimulation experiments, indicating that they are physiologically relevant, and that synaptic randomness, dynamic range, and jitter are causally related. PMID:24005293

  10. 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.

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

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    Melanie A Gainey

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

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

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    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.

  13. Activity-dependent upregulation of presynaptic kainate receptors at immature CA3-CA1 synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Vernon R J; Molchanova, Svetlana M; Hirvonen, Teemu; Taira, Tomi; Lauri, Sari E

    2014-12-10

    Presynaptic kainate-type glutamate receptors (KARs) regulate glutamate release probability and short-term plasticity in various areas of the brain. Here we show that long-term depression (LTD) in the area CA1 of neonatal rodent hippocampus is associated with an upregulation of tonic inhibitory KAR activity, which contributes to synaptic depression and causes a pronounced increase in short-term facilitation of transmission. This increased KAR function was mediated by high-affinity receptors and required activation of NMDA receptors, nitric oxide (NO) synthetase, and postsynaptic calcium signaling. In contrast, KAR activity was irreversibly downregulated in response to induction of long-term potentiation in a manner that depended on activation of the TrkB-receptor of BDNF. Both tonic KAR activity and its plasticity were restricted to early stages of synapse development and were lost in parallel with maturation of the network due to ongoing BDNF-TrkB signaling. These data show that presynaptic KARs are targets for activity-dependent modulation via diffusible messengers NO and BDNF, which enhance and depress tonic KAR activity at immature synapses, respectively. The plasticity of presynaptic KARs in the developing network allows nascent synapses to shape their response to incoming activity. In particular, upregulation of KAR function after LTD allows the synapse to preferentially pass high-frequency afferent activity. This can provide a potential rescue from synapse elimination by uncorrelated activity and also increase the computational dynamics of the developing CA3-CA1 circuitry.

  14. Stochastic resonance enhancement of small-world neural networks by hybrid synapses and time delay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haitao; Guo, Xinmeng; Wang, Jiang

    2017-01-01

    The synergistic effect of hybrid electrical-chemical synapses and information transmission delay on the stochastic response behavior in small-world neuronal networks is investigated. Numerical results show that, the stochastic response behavior can be regulated by moderate noise intensity to track the rhythm of subthreshold pacemaker, indicating the occurrence of stochastic resonance (SR) in the considered neural system. Inheriting the characteristics of two types of synapses-electrical and chemical ones, neural networks with hybrid electrical-chemical synapses are of great improvement in neuron communication. Particularly, chemical synapses are conducive to increase the network detectability by lowering the resonance noise intensity, while the information is better transmitted through the networks via electrical coupling. Moreover, time delay is able to enhance or destroy the periodic stochastic response behavior intermittently. In the time-delayed small-world neuronal networks, the introduction of electrical synapses can significantly improve the signal detection capability by widening the range of optimal noise intensity for the subthreshold signal, and the efficiency of SR is largely amplified in the case of pure chemical couplings. In addition, the stochastic response behavior is also profoundly influenced by the network topology. Increasing the rewiring probability in pure chemically coupled networks can always enhance the effect of SR, which is slightly influenced by information transmission delay. On the other hand, the capacity of information communication is robust to the network topology within the time-delayed neuronal systems including electrical couplings.

  15. GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors promote glutamate synapse development in hippocampal interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelsch, Wolfgang; Li, Zhijun; Wieland, Sebastian; Senkov, Oleg; Herb, Anne; Göngrich, Christina; Monyer, Hannah

    2014-11-26

    In postnatal development, GluN2B-containing NMDARs are critical for the functional maturation of glutamatergic synapses. GluN2B-containing NMDARs prevail until the second postnatal week when GluN2A subunits are progressively added, conferring mature properties to NMDARs. In cortical principal neurons, deletion of GluN2B results in an increase in functional AMPAR synapses, suggesting that GluN2B-containing NMDARs set a brake on glutamate synapse maturation. The function of GluN2B in the maturation of glutamatergic inputs to cortical interneurons is not known. To examine the function of GluN2B in interneurons, we generated mutant mice with conditional deletion of GluN2B in interneurons (GluN2B(ΔGAD67)). In GluN2B(ΔGAD67) mice interneurons distributed normally in cortical brain regions. After the second postnatal week, GluN2B(ΔGAD67) mice developed hippocampal seizures and died shortly thereafter. Before the onset of seizures, GluN2B-deficient hippocampal interneurons received fewer glutamatergic synaptic inputs than littermate controls, indicating that GluN2B-containing NMDARs positively regulate the maturation of glutamatergic input synapses in interneurons. These findings suggest that GluN2B-containing NMDARs keep the circuit activity under control by promoting the maturation of excitatory synapses in interneurons.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Won Um

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauks, Juliane; Klemmer, Patricia; Farzana, Fatima; Karupothula, Ramesh; Zalm, Robbert; Cooke, Nancy E; Li, Ka Wan; Smit, August B; Toonen, Ruud; Verhage, Matthijs

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Nichole; Getz, Angela; Visser, Frank; Janes, Tara A.; 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 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. PMID:25347295

  3. Functional expression of the GABAA receptor alpha2 and alpha3 subunits at synapses between intercalated medial paracapsular neurons of mouse amygdala

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    Raffaella eGeracitano

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In the amygdala, GABAergic neurons in the intercalated medial paracapsular cluster (Imp have been suggested to play a key role in fear learning and extinction. These neurons project to the central amygdaloid nucleus and to other areas within and outside the amygdala. In addition, they give rise to local collaterals that innervate other neurons in the Imp. Several drugs, including benzodiazepines, are allosteric modulators of GABA-A receptors. Benzodiazepines have both anxiolytic and sedative actions, which are mediated through GABA-A receptors containing alpha2/3 and alpha1 subunits, respectively. To establish whether alpha1 or alpha2/3 subunits are expressed at Imp cell synapses, we used paired recordings of anatomically-identified Imp neurons and high resolution immunocytochemistry in the mouse. We observed that a selective alpha3 subunit agonist, TP003 (100 nM, significantly increased the decay time constant of the unitary IPSCs. A similar effect was also induced by zolpidem (10 microM or by diazepam (1 microM. In contrast, lower doses of zolpidem (0.1-1 microM did not significantly alter the kinetics of the unitary IPSCs. Accordingly, immunocytochemical experiments established that the alpha2 and alpha3, but not the alpha1 subunits of the GABA-A receptors, were present at Imp cell synapses of the mouse amygdala. These results define, for the first time, some of the functional GABA-A receptor subunits expressed at synapses of Imp cells. The data also provide an additional rationale to prompt the search of GABA-A receptor alpha3 selective ligands as improved anxiolytic drugs.

  4. 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.

  5. Selective localization of Shanks to VGLUT1-positive excitatory synapses in the mouse hippocampus

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    Christopher eHeise

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available AbstractMembers of the Shank family of multidomain proteins (Shank1, Shank2, and Shank3 are core components of the postsynaptic density (PSD of excitatory synapses. At synaptic sites Shanks serve as scaffolding molecules that cluster neurotransmitter receptors as well as cell adhesion molecules attaching them to the actin cytoskeleton. In this study we investigated the synapse specific localization of Shank1-3 and focused on well-defined synaptic contacts within the hippocampal formation. We found that all three family members are present only at VGLUT1-positive synapses, which is particularly visible at mossy fiber contacts. No costaining was found at VGLUT2-positive contacts indicating that the molecular organization of VGLUT2-associated PSDs diverges from classical VGLUT1-positive excitatory contacts in the hippocampus. In light of SHANK mutations in neuropsychiatric disorders, this study indicates which glutamatergic networks within the hippocampus will be primarily affected by shankopathies.

  6. Cbln1 is a ligand for an orphan glutamate receptor delta2, a bidirectional synapse organizer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Keiko; Miura, Eriko; Miyazaki, Taisuke; Kakegawa, Wataru; Emi, Kyoichi; Narumi, Sakae; Fukazawa, Yugo; Ito-Ishida, Aya; Kondo, Tetsuro; Shigemoto, Ryuichi; Watanabe, Masahiko; Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2010-04-16

    Cbln1, secreted from cerebellar granule cells, and the orphan glutamate receptor delta2 (GluD2), expressed by Purkinje cells, are essential for synapse integrity between these neurons in adult mice. Nevertheless, no endogenous binding partners for these molecules have been identified. We found that Cbln1 binds directly to the N-terminal domain of GluD2. GluD2 expression by postsynaptic cells, combined with exogenously applied Cbln1, was necessary and sufficient to induce new synapses in vitro and in the adult cerebellum in vivo. Further, beads coated with recombinant Cbln1 directly induced presynaptic differentiation and indirectly caused clustering of postsynaptic molecules via GluD2. These results indicate that the Cbln1-GluD2 complex is a unique synapse organizer that acts bidirectionally on both pre- and postsynaptic components.

  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. Neuroligins and neurexins: linking cell adhesion, synapse formation and cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Camin; Dresbach, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    Cell adhesion represents the most direct way of coordinating synaptic connectivity in the brain. Recent evidence highlights the importance of a trans-synaptic interaction between postsynaptic neuroligins and presynaptic neurexins. These transmembrane molecules bind each other extracellularly to promote adhesion between dendrites and axons. This signals the recruitment of presynaptic and postsynaptic molecules to form a functional synapse. Remarkably, neuroligins alone can induce the formation of fully functional presynaptic terminals in contacting axons. Conversely, neurexins alone can induce postsynaptic differentiation and clustering of receptors in dendrites. Therefore, the neuroligin-neurexin interaction has the unique ability to act as a bi-directional trigger of synapse formation. Here, we review several recent studies that offer clues as to how these proteins form synapses and how they might function in the brain to establish and modify neuronal network properties and cognition.

  9. Complex synchronous behavior in interneuronal networks with delayed inhibitory and fast electrical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Daqing; Wang, Qingyun; Perc, Matjaž

    2012-06-01

    Networks of fast-spiking interneurons are crucial for the generation of neural oscillations in the brain. Here we study the synchronous behavior of interneuronal networks that are coupled by delayed inhibitory and fast electrical synapses. We find that both coupling modes play a crucial role by the synchronization of the network. In addition, delayed inhibitory synapses affect the emerging oscillatory patterns. By increasing the inhibitory synaptic delay, we observe a transition from regular to mixed oscillatory patterns at a critical value. We also examine how the unreliability of inhibitory synapses influences the emergence of synchronization and the oscillatory patterns. We find that low levels of reliability tend to destroy synchronization and, moreover, that interneuronal networks with long inhibitory synaptic delays require a minimal level of reliability for the mixed oscillatory pattern to be maintained.

  10. Optogenetic mapping of cerebellar inhibitory circuitry reveals spatially biased coordination of interneurons via electrical synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jinsook; Lee, Soojung; Tsuda, Sachiko; Zhang, Xuying; Asrican, Brent; Gloss, Bernd; Feng, Guoping; Augustine, George J

    2014-06-12

    We used high-speed optogenetic mapping technology to examine the spatial organization of local inhibitory circuits formed by cerebellar interneurons. Transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2 exclusively in molecular layer interneurons allowed us to focally photostimulate these neurons, while measuring resulting responses in postsynaptic Purkinje cells. This approach revealed that interneurons converge upon Purkinje cells over a broad area and that at least seven interneurons form functional synapses with a single Purkinje cell. The number of converging interneurons was reduced by treatment with gap junction blockers, revealing that electrical synapses between interneurons contribute substantially to the spatial convergence. Remarkably, gap junction blockers affected convergence in sagittal slices, but not in coronal slices, indicating a sagittal bias in electrical coupling between interneurons. We conclude that electrical synapse networks spatially coordinate interneurons in the cerebellum and may also serve this function in other brain regions.

  11. 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.

  12. Characterization of axo-axonic synapses in the piriform cortex of Mus musculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xinjun; Sun, Qian-Quan

    2012-03-01

    Previous anatomical and physiological studies have established major glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal subtypes within the piriform cortical circuits. However, quantitative information regarding axo-axonic inhibitory synapses mediated by chandelier cells across major cortical subdivisions of piriform cortex is lacking. Therefore, we examined the properties of these synapses across the entire piriform cortex. Our results show the following. 1) γ-Aminobutyric acid membrane transporter 1-positive varicosities, whose appearance resembles chandelier cartridges, are found around the initial segments of axons of glutamatergic cells across layers II and III. 2) Both the density of axo-axonic cartridges and the degree of γ-aminobutyric acid membrane transporter 1 innervation in each axo-axonic synapse are significantly higher in the piriform cortex than in the neocortex. 3) Glutamate decarboxylase 67, vesicular GABA transporter, and parvalbumin, but not calbindin, are colocalized with the presynaptic varicosities, whereas gephyrin, Na-K-2Cl cotransporter 1, and GABA(A) receptor α1 subunit, but not K-Cl cotransporter 2, are colocalized at the presumed postsynaptic sites. 4) The axo-axonic cartridges innervate the majority of excitatory neurons and are distributed more frequently in putative centrifugal cells and posterior piriform cortex. We further describe the morphology of chandelier cells by using parvalbumin-immunoreactivity and single-cell labeling. In summary, our results demonstrate that a small population of chandelier cells mediates abundant axo-axonic synapses across the entire piriform cortex. Because of the critical location of these inhibitory synapses in relation to action potential regulation, our results highlight a critical role of axo-axonic synapses in regulating information flow and olfactory-related oscillations within the piriform cortex in vivo.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yin-Peng; Chiao, Chuan-Chin

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  15. Compartmentalization of signaling by vesicular trafficking: a shared building design for the immune synapse and the primary cilium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finetti, Francesca; Baldari, Cosima T

    2013-01-01

    Accumulating evidence underscores the immune synapse (IS) of naive T cells as a site of intense vesicular trafficking. At variance with helper and cytolytic effectors, which use the IS as a secretory platform to deliver cytokines and/or lytic granules to their cellular targets, this process is exploited by naive T cells as a means to regulate the assembly and maintenance of the IS, on which productive signaling and cell activation crucially depend. We have recently identified a role of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system, which is responsible for the assembly of the primary cilium, in the non-ciliated T-cell, where it controls IS assembly by promoting polarized T-cell receptor recycling. This unexpected finding not only provides new insight into the mechanisms of IS assembly but also strongly supports the notion that the IS and the primary cilium, which are both characterized by a specialized membrane domain highly enriched in receptors and signaling mediators, share architectural similarities and are homologous structures. Here, we review our current understanding of vesicular trafficking in the regulation of the assembly and maintenance of the naive T-cell IS and the primary cilium, with a focus on the IFT system.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Reevaluation of the role of parallel fiber synapses in delay eyeblink conditioning in mice using Cbln1 as a tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emi, Kyoichi; Kakegawa, Wataru; Miura, Eriko; Ito-Ishida, Aya; Kohda, Kazuhisa; Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2013-01-01

    The delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is a cerebellum-dependent type of associative motor learning. However, the exact roles played by the various cerebellar synapses, as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms, remain to be determined. It is also unclear whether long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fiber (PF)-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses is involved in EBC. In this study, to clarify the role of PF synapses in the delay EBC, we used mice in which a gene encoding Cbln1 was disrupted (cbln1(-/-) mice), which display severe reduction of PF-PC synapses. We showed that delay EBC was impaired in cbln1(-/-) mice. Although PF-LTD was impaired, PF-LTP was normally induced in cbln1(-/-) mice. A single recombinant Cbln1 injection to the cerebellar cortex in vivo completely, though transiently, restored the morphology and function of PF-PC synapses and delay EBC in cbln1(-/-) mice. Interestingly, the cbln1(-/-) mice retained the memory for at least 30 days, after the Cbln1 injection's effect on PF synapses had abated. Furthermore, delay EBC memory could be extinguished even after the Cbln1 injection's effect were lost. These results indicate that intact PF-PC synapses and PF-LTD, not PF-LTP, are necessary to acquire delay EBC in mice. In contrast, extracerebellar structures or remaining PF-PC synapses in cbln1(-/-) mice may be sufficient for the expression, maintenance, and extinction of its memory trace.

  20. Early sequential formation of functional GABA(A) and glutamatergic synapses on CA1 interneurons of the rat foetal hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennou, Sonia; Khalilov, Ilgam; Diabira, Diabé; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Gozlan, Henri

    2002-07-01

    During postnatal development of CA1 pyramidal neurons, GABAergic synapses are excitatory and established prior to glutamatergic synapses. As interneurons are generated before pyramidal cells, we have tested the hypothesis that the GABAergic interneuronal network is operative before glutamate pyramidal neurons and provides the initial patterns of activity. We patch-clamp recorded interneurons in foetal (69 neurons) and neonatal P0 (162 neurons) hippocampal slices and performed a morphofunctional analysis of biocytin-filled neurons. At P0, three types of interneurons were found: (i) non-innervated "silent" interneurons (5%) with no spontaneous or evoked synaptic currents; (ii) G interneurons (17%) with GABA(A) synapses only; and (iii) GG interneurons with GABA and glutamatergic synapses (78%). Relying on the neuronal capacitance, cell body size and arborization of dendrites and axons, the three types of interneurons correspond to three stages of development with non-innervated neurons and interneurons with GABA(A) and glutamatergic synapses being, respectively, the least and the most developed. Recordings from both pyramidal neurons and interneurons in foetuses (E18-20) revealed that the majority of interneurons (65%) had functional synapses whereas nearly 90% of pyramidal neurons were quiescent. Therefore, interneurons follow the same GABA-glutamate sequence of synapse formation but earlier than the principal cells. Interneurons are the source and the target of the first synapses formed in the hippocampus and are thus in a position to modulate the development of the hippocampus in the foetal stage.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Deployable centralizers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grubelich, Mark C.; Su, Jiann-Cherng; Knudsen, Steven D.

    2017-02-28

    A centralizer assembly is disclosed that allows for the assembly to be deployed in-situ. The centralizer assembly includes flexible members that can be extended into the well bore in situ by the initiation of a gas generating device. The centralizer assembly can support a large load carrying capability compared to a traditional bow spring with little or no installation drag. Additionally, larger displacements can be produced to centralize an extremely deviated casing.

  3. Timing and conditions of metamorphism and melt crystallization in Greater Himalayan rocks, eastern and central Bhutan: insight from U-Pb zircon and monazite geochronology and trace-element analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeiger, K.; Gordon, S. M.; Long, S. P.; Kylander-Clark, A. R. C.; Agustsson, K.; Penfold, M.

    2015-05-01

    Within the eastern Himalaya in central and eastern Bhutan, Greater Himalayan (GH) rocks are interpreted to have been thickened by the Kakhtang thrust (KT). In order to understand the metamorphic and exhumation history of the GH and to evaluate the structural significance of the KT, zircon and monazite from twenty samples were analyzed by laser-ablation split-stream ICPMS. In eastern Bhutan, zircon and monazite from samples collected in the KT hanging wall revealed ca. 36-28 Ma metamorphism. Subsequently, the initiation of melt crystallization shows a trend with structural distance above the KT, with early melt crystallization (ca. 27 Ma) in the structurally highest samples and younger melt crystallization (ca. 16 Ma) for leucosomes within the KT zone. Melt crystallization was protracted and continued until ca. 14-13 Ma in both the KT hanging wall and the footwall. In comparison, in central Bhutan, two leucosomes revealed extended melt crystallization from ca. 31 to 19 Ma. The youngest zircon dates from samples exposed structurally above and below the KT are similar, indicating that the KT was not as significant of a structure as other fault systems to which it has been correlated. However, the younging trend in the initiation of melt crystallization with decreasing structural distance above the KT argues that progressive underplating of ductile material assisted in the initial emplacement of the GH unit in central and eastern Bhutan. The KT likely represents a minor shear zone that aided in this underplating process.

  4. Propriétés de la synapse cortico-sous-thalamique : étude optogénétique chez le rongeur

    OpenAIRE

    Froux, Lionel

    2014-01-01

    Basal ganglia (BG) are a group of subcortical nuclei involved in action selection and in cognitive and motivational aspects of motor behavior. Dopamine is essential for proper functioning of BG. The cortico-subthalamic (cortico-STN) synapse is a glutamatergic (excitatory) synapse involved in signal transmission from cortex to subthalamic nucleus (STN). The cortico-STN synapse is the first synapse in the hyperdirect pathway, one of the three pathways of BG. Even if the cortico-STN pathway is i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booker, Sam A.; Campbell, Graham R.; Mysiak, Karolina S.; Brophy, Peter J.; Kind, Peter C.

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    Sijben John W.C.

    2011-09-01

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

  7. Role of Acetylcholinesterase on the Structure and Function of Cholinergic Synapses: Insights Gained from Studies on Knockout Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    and by the swelling of mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticular membranes (Laskowski et al. 1977; Adler et al. 1992). These were not observed in the...Adler M, Hinman D, Hudson CS (1992) Role of muscle fasciculations in the generation of myopathies in mammalian skeletal muscle. Brain Res Bull 29:179

  8. 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.

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

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    Christine Laura Dixon

    2015-12-01

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

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

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

    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 (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. PMID:26971394

  11. 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

  12. 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…

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

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

    2014-01-15

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

  14. Neurobeachin Regulates Glutamate- and GABA-Receptor Targeting to Synapses via Distinct Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farzana, F; Zalm, R; Chen, N; Li, K W; Grant, Seth G N; Smit, A B; Toonen, R F; Verhage, M

    2016-05-01

    Neurotransmission and synaptic strength depend on expression of post-synaptic receptors on the cell surface. Post-translational modification of receptors, trafficking to the synapse through the secretory pathway, and subsequent insertion into the synapse involves interaction of the receptor with A-kinase anchor proteins (AKAPs) and scaffolding proteins. Neurobeachin (Nbea), a brain specific AKAP, is required for synaptic surface expression of both glutamate and GABA receptors. Here, we investigated the role of Nbea-dependent targeting of postsynaptic receptors by studying Nbea interaction with synapse-associated protein 102 (SAP102/Dlg3) and protein kinase A subunit II (PKA II). A Nbea mutant lacking the PKA binding domain showed a similar distribution as wild-type Nbea in Nbea null neurons and partially restored GABA receptor surface expression. To understand the relevance of Nbea interaction with SAP102, we analysed SAP102 null mutant mice. Nbea levels were reduced by ~80% in SAP102 null mice, but glutamatergic receptor expression was normal. A single-point mutation in the pleckstrin homology domain of Nbea (E2218R) resulted in loss of binding with SAP102. When expressed in Nbea null neurons, this mutant fully restored GABA receptor surface expression, but not glutamate receptor expression. Our results suggest that the PKA-binding domain is not essential for Nbea's role in receptor targeting and that Nbea targets glutamate and GABA receptors to the synapse via distinct molecular pathways by interacting with specific effector proteins.

  15. Large somatic synapses on neurons in the ventral lateral lemniscus work in pairs.

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    Berger, Christina; Meyer, Elisabeth M M; Ammer, Julian J; Felmy, Felix

    2014-02-26

    In the auditory system, large somatic synapses convey strong excitation that supports temporally precise information transfer. The information transfer of such synapses has predominantly been investigated in the endbulbs of Held in the anterior ventral cochlear nucleus and the calyx of Held in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body. These large synapses either work as relays or integrate over a small number of inputs to excite the postsynaptic neuron beyond action potential (AP) threshold. In the monaural system, another large somatic synapse targets neurons in the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (VNLL). Here, we comparatively analyze the mechanisms of synaptic information transfer in endbulbs in the VNLL and the calyx of Held in juvenile Mongolian gerbils. We find that endbulbs in the VNLL are functionally surface-scaled versions of the calyx of Held with respect to vesicle availability, release efficacy, and synaptic peak currents. This functional scaling is achieved by different calcium current kinetics that compensate for the smaller AP in VNLL endbulbs. However, the average postsynaptic current in the VNLL fails to elicit APs in its target neurons, even though equal current suffices to generate APs in neurons postsynaptic to the calyx of Held. In the VNLL, a postsynaptic A-type outward current reduces excitability and prevents AP generation upon a single presynaptic input. Instead, coincidence detection of inputs from two converging endbulbs is ideal to reliably trigger APs. Thus, even large endbulbs do not guarantee one-to-one AP transfer. Instead, information flow appears regulated by circuit requirements.

  16. In vivo knockdown of Piccolino disrupts presynaptic ribbon morphology in mouse photoreceptor synapses

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    Hanna eRegus-Leidig

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Piccolo is the largest known cytomatrix protein at active zones of chemical synapses. A growing number of studies on conventional chemical synapses assign Piccolo a role in the recruitment and integration of molecules relevant for both endo- and exocytosis of synaptic vesicles, the dynamic assembly of presynaptic F-actin, as well as the proteostasis of presynaptic proteins, yet a direct function in the structural organization of the active zone has not been uncovered in part due to the expression of multiple alternatively spliced isoforms. We recently identified Piccolino, a Piccolo splice variant specifically expressed in sensory ribbon synapses of the eye and ear. Here we down regulated Piccolino in vivo via an adeno-associated virus-based RNA interference approach and explored the impact on the presynaptic structure of mouse photoreceptor ribbon synapses. Detailed immunocytochemical light and electron microscopical analysis of Piccolino knockdown in photoreceptors revealed a hitherto undescribed photoreceptor ribbon synaptic phenotype with striking morphological changes of synaptic ribbon ultrastructure.

  17. Evidence for a Clathrin-independent mode of endocytosis at a continuously active sensory synapse

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    Michaela eFuchs

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic vesicle exocytosis at chemical synapses is followed by compensatory endocytosis. Multiple pathways including Clathrin-mediated retrieval of single vesicles, bulk retrieval of large cisternae, and kiss-and-run retrieval have been reported to contribute to vesicle recycling. Particularly at the continuously active ribbon synapses of retinal photoreceptor and bipolar cells, compensatory endocytosis plays an essential role to provide ongoing vesicle supply. Yet, little is known about the mechanisms that contribute to endocytosis at these highly complex synapses. To identify possible specializations in ribbon synaptic endocytosis during different states of activity, we exposed mice to controlled lighting conditions and compared the distribution of endocytotic proteins at rod and cone photoreceptor, and ON bipolar cell ribbon synapses with light and electron microscopy. In mouse ON bipolar cell terminals, Clathrin-mediated endocytosis seemed to be the dominant mode of endocytosis at all adaptation states analyzed. In contrast, in mouse photoreceptor terminals in addition to Clathrin-coated pits, clusters of membranously connected electron-dense vesicles appeared during prolonged darkness. These clusters labeled for Dynamin3, Endophilin1, and Synaptojanin1, but not for AP180, Clathrin LC, and hsc70. We hypothesize that rod and cone photoreceptors possess an additional Clathrin-independent mode of vesicle retrieval supporting the continuous synaptic vesicle supply during prolonged high activity.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    Abigail Kalmbach

    2010-07-01

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

  1. Synchrony of fast-spiking interneurons interconnected by GABAergic and electrical synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Masaki; Fukai, Tomoki; Aoyagi, Toshio

    2003-09-01

    Fast-spiking (FS) interneurons have specific types (Kv3.1/3.2 type) of the delayed potassium channel, which differ from the conventional Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) type potassium channel (Kv1.3 type) in several aspects. In this study, we show dramatic effects of the Kv3.1/3.2 potassium channel on the synchronization of the FS interneurons. We show analytically that two identical electrically coupled FS interneurons modeled with Kv3.1/3.2 channel fire synchronously at arbitrary firing frequencies, unlike similarly coupled FS neurons modeled with Kv1.3 channel that show frequency-dependent synchronous and antisynchronous firing states. Introducing GABA(A) receptor-mediated synaptic connections into an FS neuron pair tends to induce an antisynchronous firing state, even if the chemical synapses are bidirectional. Accordingly, an FS neuron pair connected simultaneously by electrical and chemical synapses achieves both synchronous firing state and antisynchronous firing state in a physiologically plausible range of the conductance ratio between electrical and chemical synapses. Moreover, we find that a large-scale network of FS interneurons connected by gap junctions and bidirectional GABAergic synapses shows similar bistability in the range of gamma frequencies (30-70 Hz).

  2. From synapses to behavior: development of a sensory-motor circuit in the leech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin-Burgin, Antonia; Kristan, William B; French, Kathleen A

    2008-05-01

    The development of neuronal circuits has been advanced greatly by the use of imaging techniques that reveal the activity of neurons during the period when they are constructing synapses and forming circuits. This review focuses on experiments performed in leech embryos to characterize the development of a neuronal circuit that produces a simple segmental behavior called "local bending." The experiments combined electrophysiology, anatomy, and FRET-based voltage-sensitive dyes (VSDs). The VSDs offered two major advantages in these experiments: they allowed us to record simultaneously the activity of many neurons, and unlike other imaging techniques, they revealed inhibition as well as excitation. The results indicated that connections within the circuit are formed in a predictable sequence: initially neurons in the circuit are connected by electrical synapses, forming a network that itself generates an embryonic behavior and prefigures the adult circuit; later chemical synapses, including inhibitory connections, appear, "sculpting" the circuit to generate a different, mature behavior. In this developmental process, some of the electrical connections are completely replaced by chemical synapses, others are maintained into adulthood, and still others persist and share their targets with chemical synaptic connections.

  3. 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.

  4. Shank-cortactin interactions control actin dynamics to maintain flexibility of neuronal spines and synapses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mac Gillavry, H.D.; Kerr, JM; Kassner, J; Frost, NA; Blanpied, TA

    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 S

  5. 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,…

  6. 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.

  7. NeuroD2 regulates the development of hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

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    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.

  8. 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)…

  9. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  11. Structure and age of the Lower Magdalena Valley basin basement, northern Colombia: New reflection-seismic and U-Pb-Hf insights into the termination of the central andes against the Caribbean basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora-Bohórquez, J. Alejandro; Ibánez-Mejia, Mauricio; Oncken, Onno; de Freitas, Mario; Vélez, Vickye; Mesa, Andrés; Serna, Lina

    2017-03-01

    Detailed interpretations of reflection seismic data and new U-Pb and Hf isotope geochemistry in zircon, reveal that the basement of the Lower Magdalena Valley basin is the northward continuation of the basement terranes of the northern Central Cordillera, and thus that the Lower Magdalena experienced a similar pre-Cenozoic tectonic history as the latter. New U-Pb and Hf analyses of zircon from borehole basement samples retrieved in the basin show that the southeastern region consists of Permo-Triassic (232-300Ma) metasediments, which were intruded by Late Cretaceous (75-89 Ma) granitoids. In the northern Central Cordillera, west of the Palestina Fault System, similar Permo-Triassic terranes are also intruded by Late Cretaceous felsic plutons and display ESE-WNW-trending structures. Therefore, our new data and analyses prove not only the extension of the Permo-Triassic Tahamí-Panzenú terrane into the western Lower Magdalena, but also the along-strike continuity of the Upper Cretaceous magmatic arc of the northern Central Cordillera, which includes the Antioquia Batholith and related plutons. Hf isotopic analyses from the Upper Cretaceous Bonga pluton suggest that it intruded new crust with oceanic affinity, which we interpret as the northern continuation of a Lower Cretaceous oceanic terrane (Quebradagrande?) into the westernmost Lower Magdalena. Volcanic andesitic basement predominates in the northwestern Lower Magdalena while Cretaceous low-grade metamorphic rocks that correlate with similar terranes in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Guajira are dominant in the northeast, suggesting that the Tahamí-Panzenú terrane does not extend into the northern Lower Magdalena. Although the northeastern region of the Lower Magdalena has a similar NE-SW fabric as the San Lucas Ridge of the northeastern Central Cordillera and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, lithologic and geochronologic data suggest that the San Lucas terrane terminates to the north against the

  12. 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…

  13. The CcpA regulon of Streptococcus suis reveals novel insights into the regulation of the streptococcal central carbon metabolism by binding of CcpA to two distinct binding motifs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willenborg, Jörg; de Greeff, Astrid; Jarek, Michael; Valentin-Weigand, Peter; Goethe, Ralph

    2014-04-01

    Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is a neglected zoonotic streptococcus causing fatal diseases in humans and in pigs. The transcriptional regulator CcpA (catabolite control protein A) is involved in the metabolic adaptation to different carbohydrate sources and virulence of S. suis and other pathogenic streptococci. In this study, we determined the DNA binding characteristics of CcpA and identified the CcpA regulon during growth of S. suis. Electrophoretic mobility shift analyses showed promiscuous DNA binding of CcpA to cognate cre sites in vitro. In contrast, sequencing of immunoprecipitated chromatin revealed two specific consensus motifs, a pseudo-palindromic cre motif (WWGAAARCGYTTTCWW) and a novel cre2 motif (TTTTYHWDHHWWTTTY), within the regulatory elements of the genes directly controlled by CcpA. Via these elements CcpA regulates expression of genes involved in carbohydrate uptake and conversion, and in addition in important metabolic pathways of the central carbon metabolism, like glycolysis, mixed-acid fermentation, and the fragmentary TCA cycle. Furthermore, our analyses provide evidence that CcpA regulates the genes of the central carbon metabolism by binding either the pseudo-palindromic cre motif or the cre2 motif in a HPr(Ser)∼P independent conformation.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Courtney Knight

    2016-09-01

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

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  3. Modelling of the concentration--effect relationship of THC on central nervous system parameters and heart rate -- insight into its mechanisms of action and a tool for clinical research and development of cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strougo, A; Zuurman, L; Roy, C; Pinquier, J L; van Gerven, J M A; Cohen, A F; Schoemaker, R C

    2008-09-01

    Pharmacokinetics after pulmonary administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its major metabolites 11-OH-THC and 11-nor-9-COOH-THC was quantified. Additionally, the relationship between THC and its effects on heart rate, body sway and several visual analogue scales was investigated using pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) modelling. This provided insights useful for the research and development of novel cannabinoids and the physiology and pharmacology of cannabinoid systems. First, the PK-PD model gave information reflecting various aspects of cannabinoid systems. The delay between THC concentration and effect was quantified in equilibration half-lives of 7.68 min for heart rate and from 39.2 to 84.8 min for the CNS responses. This suggests that the effect of THC on the different responses could be due to different sites of action or different physiological mechanisms. Differences in the shape of the concentration-effect relationship could indicate various underlying mechanisms. Second, the PK-PD model can be used for prediction of THC concentration and effect profiles. It is illustrated how this can be used to optimise studies with entirely different trial designs. Third, many new cannabinoid agonists and antagonists are in development. PK-PD models for THC can be used as a reference for new agonists or as tools to quantitate the pharmacological properties of cannabinoid antagonists.

  4. New insights into the paleoclimatic interpretation of the temperature dependence of the magnetic susceptibility and magnetization of Mid-Late Pleistocene loess/palaeosols in Central Asia and the Chinese Loess Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zan, Jinbo; Fang, Xiaomin; Yan, Maodu; Li, Bingshuai

    2016-11-01

    The temperature dependence of magnetic susceptibility (χ-T curves) and magnetization (M-T curves) has been used as a routine rock magnetic tool to characterize the magnetic mineralogy and magnetic granulometry of Chinese loess/palaeosols. However, paleoclimatic interpretation of these thermomagnetic analyses remains controversial. In the present study, total organic carbon (TOC), thermomagnetic and low-temperature magnetic experiments on Mid-Late Pleistocene loess/palaeosols in Central Asia and the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) have been conducted. We found that the M (T) cooling curves at room temperature were mostly lower than the corresponding heating curves, whereas for the χ (T) analyses the cooling curves at room temperature were always much higher than the heating curves. Low-temperature magnetic measurements demonstrated that a large amount of superparamagnetic ferrimagnetic particles were produced during the thermal treatment and resulted in the aforementioned differences. This finding further indicated that the use of the M - T curves to estimate the relative content of maghemite in the loess/paleosols from the CLP was problematic. In addition, a positive correlation exists between the TOC and the frequency-dependent susceptibility (χFD) in the CLP, suggesting that stronger pedogenesis would result in the simultaneous increase in the content of both maghemite and organic matter. Consequently, the parameters △χ1 (representing the relative content of pedogenic maghemite), △χ2 ([χph-χ] +△χ1) and χph (related to the organic matter concentration), which can be calculated from the χ - T analyses, can potentially be used as new indicators of pedogenesis and paleoclimate in Central Asia and the CLP.

  5. New insights into the palaeoclimatic interpretation of the temperature dependence of the magnetic susceptibility and magnetization of Mid-Late Pleistocene loess/palaeosols in Central Asia and the Chinese Loess Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zan, Jinbo; Fang, Xiaomin; Yan, Maodu; Li, Bingshuai

    2017-02-01

    The temperature dependence of magnetic susceptibility (χ-T curves) and magnetization (M-T curves) has been used as a routine rock magnetic tool to characterize the magnetic mineralogy and magnetic granulometry of Chinese loess/palaeosols. However, palaeoclimatic interpretation of these thermomagnetic analyses remains controversial. In the present study, total organic carbon (TOC), thermomagnetic and low-temperature magnetic experiments on Mid-Late Pleistocene loess/palaeosols in Central Asia and the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) have been conducted. We found that the M (T) cooling curves at room temperature were mostly lower than the corresponding heating curves, whereas for the χ (T) analyses the cooling curves at room temperature were always much higher than the heating curves. Low-temperature magnetic measurements demonstrated that a large amount of superparamagnetic ferrimagnetic particles were produced during the thermal treatment and resulted in the aforementioned differences. This finding further indicated that the use of the M-T curves to estimate the relative content of maghemite in the loess/palaeosols from the CLP was problematic. In addition, a positive correlation exists between the TOC and the frequency-dependent susceptibility (χFD) in the CLP, suggesting that stronger pedogenesis would result in the simultaneous increase in the content of both maghemite and organic matter. Consequently, the parameters ▵χ1 (representing the relative content of pedogenic maghemite), ▵χ2 ([χph - χ] +▵χ1) and χph (related to the organic matter concentration), which can be calculated from the χ-T analyses, can potentially be used as new indicators of pedogenesis and palaeoclimate in Central Asia and the CLP.

  6. 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

  7. Reevaluation of the role of parallel fiber synapses in delay eyeblink conditioning in mice using Cbln1 as a tool

    OpenAIRE

    Kyoichi eEmi; Wataru eKakegawa; Eriko eMiura; Aya eIto-Ishida; Kazuhisa eKohda; Michisuke eYuzaki

    2013-01-01

    The delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is a cerebellum-dependent type of associative motor learning. However, the exact roles played by the various cerebellar synapses, as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms, remain to be determined. It is also unclear whether long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fiber (PF)–Purkinje cell synapses is involved in EBC. In this study, to clarify the role of PF synapses in the delay EBC, we used mice in which a gene encodin...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. BRP-170 and BRP190 Isoforms of Bruchpilot Protein Differentially Contribute to the Frequency of Synapses and Synaptic Circadian Plasticity in the Visual System of Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga eWoznicka

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In the first optic neuropil (lamina of the optic lobe of Drosophila melanogaster, two classes of synapses, tetrad and feedback, show daily rhythms in the number and size of presynaptic profiles examined at the level of transmission electron microscopy (TEM. Number of tetrad presynaptic profiles increases twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening, and their presynaptic ribbons are largest in the evening. In contrast, feedback synapses peak at night. The frequency of synapses is correlated with size of the presynaptic element measured as the platform size of so-called T-bars, with T-bar platforms being largest with increasing synapse frequency. The large scaffold protein Bruchpilot (BRP is a major essential constituent of T-bars, with two major isoforms of 190 and 170 kD forming T-bars of the peripheral NMJ synapses and in the brain. In addition to the analysis of cyclic plasticity of tetrad and feedback synapses in wild-type flies, we used TEM to examine daily changes in the size and distribution of synapses within isoform-specific BRP mutants, expressing BRP-190 (BRP170 or BRP-170 (BRP190 only. We found that the number and circadian plasticity of synapses depends on both isoforms. In the BRP190 lacking BRP-190 there was almost 50% less tetrad synapses demonstrable than when both isoforms were present. The lack of BRP-170 and BRP-190 increased and decreased, respectively the number of feedback synapses, indicating that BRP-190 forms most of the feedback synapses. In both mutants, the daily plasticity of tetrad and feedback presynaptic profiles was abolished, except for feedback synapses in BRP190. The oscillations in the number and size of presynaptic elements seem to depend on a different contribution of BRP isoforms in a presynaptic element at different time during the day and night and at various synapse types. The participation of both BRP isoforms may vary in different classes of synapses.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati eBanerjee

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASD are a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that display a triad of core behavioral deficits including restricted interests, often accompanied by repetitive behavior, deficits in language and communication, and an inability to engage in reciprocal social interactions. ASD is among the most heritable disorders but is not a simple disorder with a singular pathology and has a rather complex etiology. It is interesting to note that perturbations in synaptic growth, development and stability underlie a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including ASD, schizophrenia, epilepsy and intellectual disability. Biological characterization of an increasing repertoire of synaptic mutants in various model organisms indicates synaptic dysfunction as causal in the pathophysiology of ASD. Our understanding of the genes and genetic pathways that contribute towards the formation, stabilization and maintenance of functional synapses coupled with an in-depth phenotypic analysis of the cellular and behavioral characteristics is therefore essential to unraveling the pathogenesis of these disorders. In this review, we discuss the genetic aspects of ASD emphasizing on the well conserved set of genes and genetic pathways implicated in this disorder, many of which contribute to synapse assembly and maintenance across species. We also review how fundamental research using animal models is providing key insights into the various facets of human ASD.

  12. 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.

  13. New insight into the central benzodiazepine receptor-ligand interactions: design, synthesis, biological evaluation, and molecular modeling of 3-substituted 6-phenyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepines and related compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anzini, Maurizio; Valenti, Salvatore; Braile, Carlo; Cappelli, Andrea; Vomero, Salvatore; Alcaro, Stefano; Ortuso, Francesco; Marinelli, Luciana; Limongelli, Vittorio; Novellino, Ettore; Betti, Laura; Giannaccini, Gino; Lucacchini, Antonio; Daniele, Simona; Martini, Claudia; Ghelardini, Carla; Di Cesare Mannelli, Lorenzo; Giorgi, Gianluca; Mascia, Maria Paola; Biggio, Giovanni

    2011-08-25

    3-Substituted 6-phenyl-4H-imidazo[1,5-a][1,4]benzodiazepines and related compounds were synthesized as central benzodiazepine receptor (CBR) ligands. Most of the compounds showed high affinity for bovine and human CBR, their K(i) values spanning from the low nanomolar to the submicromolar range. In particular, imidazoester 5f was able to promote a massive flow of (36)Cl(-) in rat cerebrocortical synaptoneurosomes overlapping its efficacy profile with that of a typical full agonist. Compound 5f was then examined in mice for its pharmacological effects where it proved to be a safe anxiolytic agent devoid of the unpleasant myorelaxant and amnesic effects of the classical 1,4-benzodiazepines. Moreover, the selectivity of some selected compounds has been assessed in recombinant α(1)β(2)γ(2)L, α(2)β(1)γ(2)L, and α(5)β(2)γ(2)L human GABA(A) receptors. Finally, some compounds were submitted to molecular docking calculations along with molecular dynamics simulations in the Cromer's GABA(A) homology model.

  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. Natural factors and mining activity bearings on the water quality of the Choapa basin, North Central Chile: insights on the role of mafic volcanic rocks in the buffering of the acid drainage process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Amparo; Oyarzún, Jorge; Maturana, Hugo; Kretschmer, Nicole; Meza, Francisco; Oyarzún, Ricardo

    2011-10-01

    This contribution analyzes water chemical data for the Choapa basin, North Central Chile, for the period 1980-2004. The parameters considered are As, Cu Fe, pH, EC, SO₄⁻², Cl⁻¹, and HCO[Formula: see text], from samples taken in nine monitoring stations throughout the basin. Results show rather moderate contents of As, Cu, and Fe, with the exception of the Cuncumén River and the Aucó creek, explained by the influence of the huge porphyry copper deposit of Los Pelambres and by the presence of mining operations, respectively. When compared against results obtained in previous researches at the neighboring Elqui river basin, which host the El Indio Au-Cu-As district, a much reduced grade of pollution is recognized for the Choapa basin. Considering the effect of acid rock drainage (ARD)-related Cu contents on the fine fraction of the sediments of both river basins, the differences recorded are even more striking. Although the Los Pelambres porphyry copper deposit, on the headwaters of the Choapa river basin, is between one and two orders of magnitude bigger than El Indio, stream water and sediments of the former exhibit significantly lower copper contents than those of the latter. A main factor which may explain these results is the smaller degree of H( + )-metasomatism on the host rocks of the Los Pelambres deposit, where mafic andesitic volcanic rocks presenting propylitic hydrothermal alteration are dominant. This fact contrast with the highly altered host rocks of El Indio district, where most of them have lost their potential to neutralize ARD.

  16. 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.

  17. A VLSI array of low-power spiking neurons and bistable synapses with spike-timing dependent plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indiveri, Giacomo; Chicca, Elisabetta; Douglas, Rodney

    2006-01-01

    We present a mixed-mode analog/digital VLSI device comprising an array of leaky integrate-and-fire (I&F) neurons, adaptive synapses with spike-timing dependent plasticity, and an asynchronous event based communication infrastructure that allows the user to (re)configure networks of spiking neurons with arbitrary topologies. The asynchronous communication protocol used by the silicon neurons to transmit spikes (events) off-chip and the silicon synapses to receive spikes from the outside is based on the "address-event representation" (AER). We describe the analog circuits designed to implement the silicon neurons and synapses and present experimental data showing the neuron's response properties and the synapses characteristics, in response to AER input spike trains. Our results indicate that these circuits can be used in massively parallel VLSI networks of I&F neurons to simulate real-time complex spike-based learning algorithms.

  18. The role of neuronal activity and transmitter release on synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreae, Laura C; Burrone, Juan

    2014-08-01

    The long history of probing the role of neuronal activity in the development of nervous system circuitry has recently taken an interesting turn. Although undoubtedly activity plays a critical part in the maintenance and refinement of synaptic connections, often via competitive mechanisms, evidence is building that it also drives the process of synapse formation itself. Perhaps predictably, this turns out not to be a uniform process. It seems that different circuits, indeed specific synaptic connections, are differentially sensitive to the effects of activity. We examine possible ways in which neurotransmitter may drive synapse formation, and speculate on how the environment of the developing brain may allow a different spatiotemporal range for neuronal activity to operate in the generation of connectivity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-10

    Neurotransmitter release in chemical synapses is fundamental to diverse brain functions such as motor action, learning, cognition, emotion, perception, and consciousness. Moreover, improper functioning or abnormal release of neurotransmitter is associated with numerous neurological disorders such as epilepsy, sclerosis, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. We have utilized hysteresis engineering in a back-gated MoS2 field effect transistor (FET) in order to mimic such neurotransmitter release dynamics in chemical synapses. All three essential features, i.e., quantal, stochastic, and excitatory or inhibitory nature of neurotransmitter release, were accurately captured in our experimental demonstration. We also mimicked an important phenomenon called long-term potentiation (LTP), which forms the basis of human memory. Finally, we demonstrated how to engineer the LTP time by operating the MoS2 FET in different regimes. Our findings could provide a critical component toward the design of next-generation smart and intelligent human-like machines and human-machine interfaces.

  20. Cbln1 and its family proteins in synapse formation and maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2011-04-01

    Cbln1 is a newly identified synaptic organizer belonging to the C1q family. Unlike other synaptic organizers, a deficiency in Cbln1 is sufficient to cause a severe reduction in the number of synapses between cerebellar Purkinje cells and parallel fibers (PFs). Furthermore, Cbln1 can rapidly induce synaptogenesis and is necessary for maintaining normal synapses in the mature cerebellum in vivo. Cbln1 was recently identified as the missing ligand for the orphan glutamate receptor δ2 (GluD2), which is expressed in Purkinje cells. Furthermore, Cbln1 released from PFs binds to neurexin (NRX) expressed on the presynaptic PFs and GluD2 at the postsynaptic site. The NRX/Cbln1/GluD2 tripartite complex is resistant to low extracellular Ca2+ levels and serves as a unique bidirectional synaptic organizer.

  1. 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.

  2. Programmed death-1 concentration at the immunological synapse is determined by ligand affinity and availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pentcheva-Hoang, Tsvetelina; Chen, Lieping; Pardoll, Drew M; Allison, James P

    2007-11-06

    Despite the importance of programmed death-1 (PD-1) for T cell inhibition, little is known about its intracellular trafficking or requirements for localization to the immunological synapse. Here, we show that in activated T cells, PD-1 is present at the plasma membrane, near the Golgi and in the trans-Golgi network. Unlike CD28 and CTLA-4, PD-1 accumulation at the synapse is extensive only when T cells interact with dendritic cells (DCs) expressing high B7-DC levels. However, B7-H1 is also critically important, especially when the DCs have little B7-DC. Despite this preference, B7-H1(-/-) DCs elicit greater cytokine secretion than B7-DC(-/-) DCs during T cell restimulation, possibly because they also express less B7-DC. PD-1 and CD28 have similar kinetics of synaptic accumulation, suggesting that the process involves T cell receptor-triggered cytoskeletal reorganization followed by ligand binding.

  3. Multiple facets of GABAergic neurons and synapses: multiple fates of GABA signalling in epilepsies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cossart, Rosa; Bernard, Christophe; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel

    2005-02-01

    Because blocking GABAergic neurotransmission in control tissue generates seizures and because GABA boosters control epilepsy in many patients, studies on epilepsies have been dominated by the axiom that seizures are generated by a failure of GABA-mediated inhibition. However, GABAergic interneurons and synapses are heterogeneous and have many roles that go beyond the straightforward concept of "inhibition of the target". Operation of such a diversified system cannot be ascribed to a single mechanism. In epileptic tissue, GABAergic networks undergo complex rewiring at the anatomical, physiological and functional levels; GABAergic synapses are still operative but show unique features, including excitatory effects. Therefore, inhibition is not a uniform notion and the concept of "failure" of inhibition in epilepsies must be reassessed. Seizures are not generated in a normal circuit in which GABA-mediated inhibition is simply impaired, but in a profoundly rewired network in which several properties of GABA function are altered. This review is part of the TINS Interneuron Diversity series.

  4. [An analysis of the functional heterogeneity of the sensory motor neuron synapse of the frog].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ditiatev, A E

    1989-01-01

    Four models of the amplitude fluctuations of postsynaptic potentials have been compared. Better agreement of convolution of the two binomial distributions and beta-model as compared to the binomial model is demonstrated. The beta-model is based on the assumption that the probability of the transmitter quantum release is a random variable which has beta distribution. The number of the quantum generators estimated by the beta-model is close to the number of synaptic boutons in the sensory-motor synapses of the frog. Investigation of this model has shown that the number of generators estimated by the binomial model may be interpreted as the number of transmitter release sites functioning with probabilities exceeding 0.2. Results obtained confirm the hypothesis concerning the functional heterogeneity of release sites at the frog interneuronal synapses.

  5. Reevaluation of the role of parallel fiber synapses in delay eyeblink conditioning in mice using Cbln1 as a tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyoichi eEmi

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC is a cerebellum-dependent type of associative motor learning. However, the exact roles played by the various cerebellar synapses, as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms, remain to be determined. It is also unclear whether long-term potentiation (LTP or long-term depression (LTD at parallel fiber (PF–Purkinje cell synapses is involved in EBC. In this study, to clarify the role of PF synapses in the delay EBC, we used mice in which a gene encoding Cbln1 was disrupted (cbln1–/– mice, which display severe reduction of PF–Purkinje cell synapses. We showed that delay EBC was impaired in cbln1–/– mice. Although PF-LTD was impaired, PF-LTP was normally induced in cbln1–/– mice. A single recombinant Cbln1 injection to the cerebellar cortex in vivo completely, though transiently, restored the morphology and function of PF–Purkinje cell synapses and delay EBC in cbln1–/– mice. Interestingly, the cbln1–/– mice retained the memory for at least 30 d, after the Cbln1 injection’s effect on PF synapses had abated. Furthermore, delay EBC memory could be extinguished even after the Cbln1 injection’s effect were lost. These results indicate that intact PF–Purkinje cell synapses and PF-LTD, not PF-LTP, are necessary to acquire delay EBC in mice. In contrast, extracerebellar structures or remaining PF–Purkinje cell synapses in cbln1–/– mice may be sufficient for the expression, maintenance, and extinction of its memory trace.

  6. Excitatory synaptic activity is associated with a rapid structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells

    OpenAIRE

    Lushnikova, Irina; Skibo, Galina; Muller, Dominique; Nikonenko, Iryna

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic activity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), has been shown to induce morphological plasticity of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines through the spine head and postsynaptic density (PSD) enlargement and reorganization. Much less, however, is known about activity-induced morphological modifications of inhibitory synapses. Using an in vitro model of rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and electron microscopy, we studied activity-related morphological changes of somatic i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Marie Louise; Owczarek, Sylwia

    2013-06-01

    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 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.

  8. GluRδ2 assembles four neurexins into trans-synaptic triad to trigger synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sung-Jin; Uemura, Takeshi; Yoshida, Tomoyuki; Mishina, Masayoshi

    2012-03-28

    Elucidation of molecular mechanisms of synapse formation is a prerequisite for the understanding of neural wiring, higher brain functions, and mental disorders. The trans-synaptic interaction of postsynaptic glutamate receptor δ2 (GluRδ2) and presynaptic neurexins (NRXNs) through cerebellin precursor protein 1 (Cbln1) mediates synapse formation in vivo in the cerebellum. Here, we asked how the trans-synaptic triad induces synapse formation. Native GluRδ2 existed as a tetramer in the membrane, whereas the N-terminal domain (NTD) of GluRδ2 formed a stable homodimer. When incubated with cultured mouse cerebellar granule cells (GCs), dimeric GluRδ2-NTD and Cbln1 exerted little effect on the accumulation of punctate immunostaining signals for Bassoon and vesicular glutamate transporter 1 in GC axons. However, tetramerized GluRδ2-NTD stimulated the accumulation of these presynaptic proteins in the axons. Analysis of Cbln1 mutants suggested that the binding sites of GluRδ2 and NRXN1β on Cbln1 are differential. Furthermore, there was no competition in the binding to Cbln1 between GluRδ2-NTD and the extracellular domain (ECD) of NRXN1β. Thus, GluRδ2 and Cbln1 interacted with each other rather independently of Cbln1-NRXN1β interaction and vice versa. Gel filtration and isothermal titration calorimetry analyses consistently showed that dimeric GluRδ2-NTD and hexameric Cbln1 assembled in the 1:1 ratio, whereas hexameric Cbln1 and the laminin-neurexin-sex hormone-binding globulin domain of NRXN1β-ECD assembled in the 1:2 ratio. Thus, the synaptogenic triad is assembled from tetrameric GluRδ2, hexameric Cbln1, and monomeric NRXN in the ratio of 1:2:4. These results suggest that GluRδ2 triggers synapse formation by clustering four NRXNs through triad formation.

  9. Synapse-specific compartmentalization of signaling cascades for LTP induction in CA3 interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galván, E J; Pérez-Rosello, T; Gómez-Lira, G; Lara, E; Gutiérrez, R; Barrionuevo, G

    2015-04-02

    Inhibitory interneurons with somata in strata radiatum and lacunosum-molecular (SR/L-M) of hippocampal area CA3 receive excitatory input from pyramidal cells via the recurrent collaterals (RCs), and the dentate gyrus granule cells via the mossy fibers (MFs). Here we demonstrate that Hebbian long-term potentiation (LTP) at RC synapses on SR/L-M interneurons requires the concomitant activation of calcium-impermeable AMPARs (CI-AMPARs) and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). RC LTP was prevented by voltage clamping the postsynaptic cell during high-frequency stimulation (HFS; 3 trains of 100 pulses delivered at 100 Hz every 10s), with intracellular injections of the Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA (20mM), and with the NMDAR antagonist D-AP5. In separate experiments, RC and MF inputs converging onto the same interneuron were sequentially activated. We found that RC LTP induction was blocked by inhibitors of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII; KN-62, 10 μM or KN-93, 10 μM) but MF LTP was CaMKII independent. Conversely, the application of the protein kinase A (PKA) activators forskolin/IBMX (50 μM/25 μM) potentiated MF EPSPs but not RC EPSPs. Together these data indicate that the aspiny dendrites of SR/L-M interneurons compartmentalize synapse-specific Ca(2+) signaling required for LTP induction at RC and MF synapses. We also show that the two signal transduction cascades converge to activate a common effector, protein kinase C (PKC). Specifically, LTP at RC and MF synapses on the same SR/LM interneuron was blocked by postsynaptic injections of chelerythrine (10 μM). These data indicate that both forms of LTP share a common mechanism involving PKC-dependent signaling modulation.

  10. Synapse-specific compartmentalization of signaling cascades for LTP induction in CA3 interneurons

    OpenAIRE

    Galván, Emilio J; Pérez-Rosello, Tamara; Gómez-Lira, Gisela; Lara, Erika; Gutiérrez, Rafael; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2015-01-01

    Inhibitory interneurons with somata in strata radiatum and lacunosun-moleculare (SR/L-M) of hippocampal area CA3 receive excitatory input from pyramidal cells via the recurrent collaterals (RC), and the dentate gyrus granule cells via the mossy fibers (MFs). Here we demonstrate that Hebbian long-term potentiation (LTP) at RC synapses on SR/L-M interneurons requires the concomitant activation of calcium-impermeable AMPARs (CI- AMPARs) and NMDARs. RC LTP was prevented by voltage clamping the po...

  11. Latency of auditory evoked potential monitoring the effects of general anesthetics on nerve fibers and synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Bowan Huang; Feixue Liang; Lei Zhong; Minlin Lin; Juan Yang; Linqing Yan; Jinfan Xiao; Zhongju Xiao

    2015-01-01

    Auditory evoked potential (AEP) is an effective index for the effects of general anesthetics. However, it’s unknown if AEP can differentiate the effects of general anesthetics on nerve fibers and synapses. Presently, we investigated AEP latency and amplitude changes to different acoustic intensities during pentobarbital anesthesia. Latency more regularly changed than amplitude during anesthesia. AEP Latency monotonically decreased with acoustic intensity increase (i.e., latency-intensity curv...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    International audience; 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 memrist...

  13. Bidirectional Hebbian Plasticity at Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses on CA3 Interneurons

    OpenAIRE

    Galván, Emilio J; Calixto, Eduardo; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2008-01-01

    Hippocampal area CA3 is critically involved in the formation of non-overlapping neuronal subpopulations (“pattern separation”) to store memory representations as distinct events. Efficient pattern separation relies on the strong and sparse excitatory input from the mossy fibers (MF) to pyramidal cells and feed-forward inhibitory interneurons. However, MF synapses on CA3 pyramidal cells undergo LTP, which, if unopposed, will degrade pattern separation as MF activation will now recruit addition...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

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    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.

  19. Unsupervised learning in probabilistic neural networks with multi-state metal-oxide memristive synapses

    OpenAIRE

    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 cl...

  20. Temporal expression and cellular origin of CC chemokine receptors CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 in the central nervous system: insight into mechanisms of MOG-induced EAE

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    Ericsson-Dahlstrand Anders

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The CC chemokine receptors CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 are critical for the recruitment of mononuclear phagocytes to the central nervous system (CNS in multiple sclerosis (MS and other neuroinflammatory diseases. Mononuclear phagocytes are effector cells capable of phagocytosing myelin and damaging axons. In this study, we characterize the regional, temporal and cellular expression of CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 mRNA in the spinal cord of rats with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (MOG-EAE. While resembling human MS, this animal model allows unique access to CNS-tissue from various time-points of relapsing neuroinflammation and from various lesional stages: early active, late active, and inactive completely demyelinated lesions. Methods The expression of CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 mRNA was studied with in situ hybridization using radio labelled cRNA probes in combination with immunohistochemical staining for phenotypic cell markers. Spinal cord sections from healthy rats and rats with MOG-EAE (acute phase, remission phase, relapse phase were analysed. In defined lesion stages, the number of cells expressing CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 mRNA was determined. Data were statistically analysed by the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test. Results In MOG-EAE rats, extensive up-regulation of CCR1 and CCR5 mRNA, and moderate up-regulation of CCR2 mRNA, was found in the spinal cord during episodes of active inflammation and demyelination. Double staining with phenotypic cell markers identified the chemokine receptor mRNA-expressing cells as macrophages/microglia. Expression of all three receptors was substantially reduced during clinical remission, coinciding with diminished inflammation and demyelination in the spinal cord. Healthy control rats did not show any detectable expression of CCR1, CCR2 or CCR5 mRNA in the spinal cord. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that the acute and chronic-relapsing phases of MOG

  1. Subglacial bedrock topography of an active mountain glacier in a high Alpine setting - insights from high resolution 3D cosmic-muon radiography of the Eiger glacier (Bern, Central Alps, Switzerland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mair, David; Lechmann, Alessandro; Nishiyama, Ryuichi; Schlunegger, Fritz; Ariga, Akitaka; Ariga, Tomoko; Scampoli, Paola; Vladymyrov, Mykhailo; Ereditato, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Bedrock topography and therefore the spatial-altitudinal distribution of ice thickness constrain the ice flow as well as the erosional mechanisms of glaciers. Although the processes by which glaciers have shaped modern and past landscapes have been well investigated, little information is still available about the shape of the bedrock beneath active glaciers in steep Alpine cirques. Here, we we apply the cosmic-muon radiography technology, which uses nuclear emulsion detectors for imaging the bedrock surface. This method should provide information on the bedrock topography beneath a glacier and related ice thicknesses and subglacial meltwater pathways. We apply this technology to the cirque of the Eiger glacier, situated on the western flank of Eiger mountain, Central Swiss Alps. The Eiger glacier originates on the western flank of the Eiger at 3700 m a.s.l., from where it stretches along 2.6 km to the current elevation at 2300 m a.s.l.. The glacier consists of a concave cirque bordered by >40° steep flanks, thereby utilizing weaknesses within the fabric of the bedrock such as folds, joints and foliations. The middle reach hosts a bedrock ridge where glacier diffluence occurs. The lower reaches of the glacier are characterized by several transverse crevasses, while the terminal lobe hosts multiple longitudinal crevasses. A basal till and lateral margins border the ice flow along the lowermost reach. While subglacial erosion in the cirque has probably been accomplished by plucking and abrasion where the glacier might be cold-based, sub glacial melt water might have contributed to bedrock sculpting farther downslope where the ice flow is constrained by bedrock. Overdeepening of some tens of meters is expected in the upper reach of the glacier, which is quite common in cirques (Cook & Swift, 2012). Contrariwise, we expect several tens of meters-deep bedrock excavations (characterized by concave curvatures of bedrock surface) at the site of ice diffluence. The next

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Short-term plasticity and modulation of synaptic transmission at mammalian inhibitory cholinergic olivocochlear synapses

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    Eleonora eKatz

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The organ of Corti, the mammalian sensory epithelium of the inner ear, has two types of mechanoreceptor cells, inner hair cells (IHCs and outer hair cells (OHCs. In this sensory epithelium, vibrations produced by sound waves are transformed into electrical signals. When depolarized by incoming sounds, IHCs release glutamate and activate auditory nerve fibers innervating them and OHCs, by virtue of their electromotile property, increase the amplification and fine tuning of sound signals. The medial olivocochlear (MOC system, an efferent feedback system, inhibits OHC activity and thereby reduces the sensitivity and sharp tuning of cochlear afferent fibers. During neonatal development, IHCs fire Ca2+ action potentials which evoke glutamate release promoting activity in the immature auditory system in the absence of sensory stimuli. During this period, MOC fibers also innervate IHCs and are thought to modulate their firing rate. Both the MOC-OHC and the MOC-IHC synapses are cholinergic, fast and inhibitory and mediated by the alpha9alpha10 nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR coupled to the activation of calcium-activated potassium channels that hyperpolarize the hair cells.In this review we discuss the biophysical, functional and molecular data which demonstrate that at the synapses between MOC efferent fibers and cochlear hair cells, modulation of transmitter release as well as short-term synaptic plasticity mechanisms, operating both at the presynaptic terminal and at the postsynaptic hair-cell, determine the efficacy of these synapses and shape the hair cell response pattern.

  5. 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.

  6. The demise of the synapse as the locus of memory: A looming paradigm shift?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick C. Trettenbrein

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is widely considered to be the neurobiological basis of learning and memory by neuroscientists and researchers in adjacent fields, though diverging opinions are increasingly being recognised. From the perspective of what we might call classical cognitive science it has always been understood that the mind/brain is to be considered a computational-representational system. Proponents of the information-processing approach to cognitive science have long been critical of connectionist or network approaches to (neuro-cognitive architecture, pointing to the shortcomings of the associative psychology that underlies Hebbian learning as well as to the fact that synapses are practically unfit to implement symbols. Recent work on memory has been adding fuel to the fire and current findings in neuroscience now provide first tentative neurobiological evidence for the cognitive scientists’ doubts about the synapse as the (sole locus of memory in the brain. This paper briefly considers the history and appeal of synaptic plasticity as a memory mechanism, followed by a summary of the cognitive scientists’ objections regarding these assertions. Next, a variety of tentative neuroscientific evidence that appears to substantiate questioning the idea of the synapse as the locus of memory is presented. On this basis, a novel way of thinking about the role of synaptic plasticity in learning and memory is proposed.

  7. Positive and negative signaling through SLAM receptors regulate synapse organization and thresholds of cytolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Fang; Cannons, Jennifer L; Dutta, Mala; Griffiths, Gillian M; Schwartzberg, Pamela L

    2012-06-29

    X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome, characterized by fatal responses to Epstein-Barr virus infection, is caused by mutations affecting the adaptor SAP, which links SLAM family receptors to downstream signaling. Although cytotoxic defects in SAP-deficient T cells are documented, the mechanism remains unclear. We show that SAP-deficient murine CD8(+) T cells exhibited normal cytotoxicity against fibrosarcoma targets, yet had impaired adhesion to and killing of B cell and low-avidity T cell targets. SAP-deficient cytotoxic lymphocytes showed specific defects in immunological synapse organization with these targets, resulting in inefficient actin clearance. In the absence of SAP, signaling through the SLAM family members Ly108 and 2B4 resulted in increased recruitment of the SHP-1 phosphatase, associated with altered SHP-1 localization and decreased activation of Src kinases at the synapse. Hence, SAP and SLAM receptors regulate positive and negative signals required for organizing the T cell:B cell synapse and setting thresholds for cytotoxicity against distinct cellular targets.

  8. Rapid formation and selective stabilization of synapses for enduring motor memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Tonghui; Yu, Xinzhu; Perlik, Andrew J; Tobin, Willie F; Zweig, Jonathan A; Tennant, Kelly; Jones, Theresa; Zuo, Yi

    2009-12-17

    Novel motor skills are learned through repetitive practice and, once acquired, persist long after training stops. Earlier studies have shown that such learning induces an increase in the efficacy of synapses in the primary motor cortex, the persistence of which is associated with retention of the task. However, how motor learning affects neuronal circuitry at the level of individual synapses and how long-lasting memory is structurally encoded in the intact brain remain unknown. Here we show that synaptic connections in the living mouse brain rapidly respond to motor-skill learning and permanently rewire. Training in a forelimb reaching task leads to rapid (within an hour) formation of postsynaptic dendritic spines on the output pyramidal neurons in the contralateral motor cortex. Although selective elimination of spines that existed before training gradually returns the overall spine density back to the original level, the new spines induced during learning are preferentially stabilized during subsequent training and endure long after training stops. Furthermore, we show that different motor skills are encoded by different sets of synapses. Practice of novel, but not previously learned, tasks further promotes dendritic spine formation in adulthood. Our findings reveal that rapid, but long-lasting, synaptic reorganization is closely associated with motor learning. The data also suggest that stabilized neuronal connections are the foundation of durable motor memory.

  9. Multiple forms of long-term synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses on interneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galván, Emilio J; Cosgrove, Kathleen E; Barrionuevo, Germán

    2011-04-01

    The hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) pathway originates from the dentate gyrus granule cells and provides a powerful excitatory synaptic drive to neurons in the dentate gyrus hilus and area CA3. Much of the early work on the MF pathway focused on its electrophysiological properties, and ability to drive CA3 pyramidal cell activity. Over the last ten years, however, a new focus on the synaptic interaction between granule cells and inhibitory interneurons has emerged. These data have revealed an immense heterogeneity of long-term plasticity at MF synapses on various interneuron targets. Interestingly, these studies also indicate that the mechanisms of MF long-term plasticity in some interneuron subtypes may be more similar to pyramidal cells than previously appreciated. In this review, we first define the synapse types at each of the interneuron targets based on the receptors present. We then describe the different forms of long-term plasticity observed, and the mechanisms underlying each form as they are currently understood. Finally we highlight various open questions surrounding MF long-term plasticity in interneurons, focusing specifically on the induction and maintenance of LTP, and what the functional impact of persistent changes in efficacy at MF-interneuron synapses might be on the emergent properties of the inhibitory network dynamics in area CA3. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.

  10. Recurrent synapses and circuits in the CA3 region of the hippocampus: an associative network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Duigou, Caroline; Simonnet, Jean; Teleñczuk, Maria T; Fricker, Desdemona; Miles, Richard

    2014-01-08

    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 fibers 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.

  11. Recurrent synapses and circuits in the CA3 region of the hippocampus: an associative network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Perisomatic GABAergic synapses of basket cells effectively control principal neuron activity in amygdala networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veres, Judit M; Nagy, Gergő A; Hájos, Norbert

    2017-01-01

    Efficient control of principal neuron firing by basket cells is critical for information processing in cortical microcircuits, however, the relative contribution of their perisomatic and dendritic synapses to spike inhibition is still unknown. Using in vitro electrophysiological paired recordings we reveal that in the mouse basal amygdala cholecystokinin- and parvalbumin-containing basket cells provide equally potent control of principal neuron spiking. We performed pharmacological manipulations, light and electron microscopic investigations to show that, although basket cells innervate the entire somato-denditic membrane surface of principal neurons, the spike controlling effect is achieved primarily via the minority of synapses targeting the perisomatic region. As the innervation patterns of individual basket cells on their different postsynaptic partners show high variability, the impact of inhibitory control accomplished by single basket cells is also variable. Our results show that both basket cell types can powerfully regulate the activity in amygdala networks predominantly via their perisomatic synapses. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20721.001 PMID:28060701

  13. Spiking Neural Networks Based on OxRAM Synapses for Real-Time Unsupervised Spike Sorting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Thilo; Vianello, Elisa; Bichler, Olivier; Garbin, Daniele; Cattaert, Daniel; Yvert, Blaise; De Salvo, Barbara; Perniola, Luca

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we present an alternative approach to perform spike sorting of complex brain signals based on spiking neural networks (SNN). The proposed architecture is suitable for hardware implementation by using resistive random access memory (RRAM) technology for the implementation of synapses whose low latency (<1μs) enables real-time spike sorting. This offers promising advantages to conventional spike sorting techniques for brain-computer interfaces (BCI) and neural prosthesis applications. Moreover, the ultra-low power consumption of the RRAM synapses of the spiking neural network (nW range) may enable the design of autonomous implantable devices for rehabilitation purposes. We demonstrate an original methodology to use Oxide based RRAM (OxRAM) as easy to program and low energy (<75 pJ) synapses. Synaptic weights are modulated through the application of an online learning strategy inspired by biological Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity. Real spiking data have been recorded both intra- and extracellularly from an in-vitro preparation of the Crayfish sensory-motor system and used for validation of the proposed OxRAM based SNN. This artificial SNN is able to identify, learn, recognize and distinguish between different spike shapes in the input signal with a recognition rate about 90% without any supervision. PMID:27857680

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilke, Scott A; Raam, Tara; Antonios, Joseph K; Bushong, Eric A; Koo, Edward H; Ellisman, Mark H; Ghosh, Anirvan

    2014-01-01

    The earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by deficits in memory and cognition indicating hippocampal pathology. While it is now recognized that synapse dysfunction precedes the hallmark pathological findings of AD, it is unclear if specific hippocampal synapses are particularly vulnerable. Since the mossy fiber (MF) synapse between dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 regions underlies critical functions disrupted in AD, we utilized serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM) to analyze MF microcircuitry in a mouse model of familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). FAD mutant MF terminal complexes were severely disrupted compared to control - they were smaller, contacted fewer postsynaptic spines and had greater numbers of presynaptic filopodial processes. Multi-headed CA3 dendritic spines in the FAD mutant condition were reduced in complexity and had significantly smaller sites of synaptic contact. Significantly, there was no change in the volume of classical dendritic spines at neighboring inputs to CA3 neurons suggesting input-specific defects in the early course of AD related pathology. These data indicate a specific vulnerability of the DG-CA3 network in AD pathogenesis and demonstrate the utility of SBEM to assess circuit specific alterations in mouse models of human disease.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Analog VLSI Biophysical Neurons and Synapses With Programmable Membrane Channel Kinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Theodore; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2010-06-01

    We present and characterize an analog VLSI network of 4 spiking neurons and 12 conductance-based synapses, implementing a silicon model of biophysical membrane dynamics and detailed channel kinetics in 384 digitally programmable parameters. Each neuron in the analog VLSI chip (NeuroDyn) implements generalized Hodgkin-Huxley neural dynamics in 3 channel variables, each with 16 parameters defining channel conductance, reversal potential, and voltage-dependence profile of the channel kinetics. Likewise, 12 synaptic channel variables implement a rate-based first-order kinetic model of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics, accounting for NMDA and non-NMDA type chemical synapses. The biophysical origin of all 384 parameters in 24 channel variables supports direct interpretation of the results of adapting/tuning the parameters in terms of neurobiology. We present experimental results from the chip characterizing single neuron dynamics, single synapse dynamics, and multi-neuron network dynamics showing phase-locking behavior as a function of synaptic coupling strength. Uniform temporal scaling of the dynamics of membrane and gating variables is demonstrated by tuning a single current parameter, yielding variable speed output exceeding real time. The 0.5 CMOS chip measures 3 mm 3 mm, and consumes 1.29 mW.

  19. 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.

  20. A reconfigurable on-line learning spiking neuromorphic processor comprising 256 neurons and 128K synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Ning; Mostafa, Hesham; Corradi, Federico; Osswald, Marc; Stefanini, Fabio; Sumislawska, Dora; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2015-01-01

    Implementing compact, low-power artificial neural processing systems with real-time on-line learning abilities is still an open challenge. In this paper we present a full-custom mixed-signal VLSI device with neuromorphic learning circuits that emulate the biophysics of real spiking neurons and dynamic synapses for exploring the properties of computational neuroscience models and for building brain-inspired computing systems. The proposed architecture allows the on-chip configuration of a wide range of network connectivities, including recurrent and deep networks, with short-term and long-term plasticity. The device comprises 128 K analog synapse and 256 neuron circuits with biologically plausible dynamics and bi-stable spike-based plasticity mechanisms that endow it with on-line learning abilities. In addition to the analog circuits, the device comprises also asynchronous digital logic circuits for setting different synapse and neuron properties as well as different network configurations. This prototype device, fabricated using a 180 nm 1P6M CMOS process, occupies an area of 51.4 mm(2), and consumes approximately 4 mW for typical experiments, for example involving attractor networks. Here we describe the details of the overall architecture and of the individual circuits and present experimental results that showcase its potential. By supporting a wide range of cortical-like computational modules comprising plasticity mechanisms, this device will enable the realization of intelligent autonomous systems with on-line learning capabilities.

  1. Automated detection of synapses in serial section transmission electron microscopy image stacks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Kreshuk

    Full Text Available We describe a method for fully automated detection of chemical synapses in serial electron microscopy images with highly anisotropic axial and lateral resolution, such as images taken on transmission electron microscopes. Our pipeline starts from classification of the pixels based on 3D pixel features, which is followed by segmentation with an Ising model MRF and another classification step, based on object-level features. Classifiers are learned on sparse user labels; a fully annotated data subvolume is not required for training. The algorithm was validated on a set of 238 synapses in 20 serial 7197×7351 pixel images (4.5×4.5×45 nm resolution of mouse visual cortex, manually labeled by three independent human annotators and additionally re-verified by an expert neuroscientist. The error rate of the algorithm (12% false negative, 7% false positive detections is better than state-of-the-art, even though, unlike the state-of-the-art method, our algorithm does not require a prior segmentation of the image volume into cells. The software is based on the ilastik learning and segmentation toolkit and the vigra image processing library and is freely available on our website, along with the test data and gold standard annotations (http://www.ilastik.org/synapse-detection/sstem.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhongqiang; Ambrogio, Stefano; Balatti, Simone; Ielmini, Daniele

    2014-01-01

    Resistive (or memristive) switching devices based on metal oxides find applications in memory, logic and neuromorphic computing systems. Their small area, low power operation, and high functionality meet the challenges of brain-inspired computing aiming at achieving a huge density of active connections (synapses) with low operation power. This work presents a new artificial synapse scheme, consisting of a memristive switch connected to 2 transistors responsible for gating the communication and learning operations. Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is achieved through appropriate shaping of the pre-synaptic and the post synaptic spikes. Experiments with integrated artificial synapses demonstrate STDP with stochastic behavior due to (i) the natural variability of set/reset processes in the nanoscale switch, and (ii) the different response of the switch to a given stimulus depending on the initial state. Experimental results are confirmed by model-based simulations of the memristive switching. Finally, system-level simulations of a 2-layer neural network and a simplified STDP model show random learning and recognition of patterns.

  3. 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.

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

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    Ewan West

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ and the loss of synapses. Aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrPC by Aβ oligomers induced synapse damage in cultured neurons. PrPC is attached to membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI anchor, the composition of which affects protein targeting and cell signaling. Monoacylated PrPC incorporated into neurons bound “natural Aβ”, sequestering Aβ outside lipid rafts and preventing its accumulation at synapses. The presence of monoacylated PrPC reduced the Aβ-induced activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2 and Aβ-induced synapse damage. This protective effect was stimulus specific, as treated neurons remained sensitive to α-synuclein, a protein associated with synapse damage in Parkinson’s disease. In synaptosomes, the aggregation of PrPC by Aβ oligomers triggered the formation of a signaling complex containing the cPLA2.a process, disrupted by monoacylated PrPC. We propose that monoacylated PrPC acts as a molecular sponge, binding Aβ oligomers at the neuronal perikarya without activating cPLA2 or triggering synapse damage.

  5. Physiological and chemical analysis of neurotransmitter candidates at a fast excitatory synapse in the jellyfish Cyanea capillata (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter A V; Trapido-Rosenthal, H G

    2009-12-01

    Motor nerve net (MNN) neurons in the jellyfish Cyanea capillata communicate with one another by way of fast, bidirectional excitatory chemical synapses. As is the case with almost all identified chemical synapses in cnidarians, the identity of the neurotransmitter at these synapses is unclear. MNN neurons are large enough for stable intracellular recordings. This, together with the fact that they can be exposed, providing unlimited access to them and to their synapses, prompted a study of the action of a variety of neurotransmitter candidates, including those typically associated with fast synapses in higher animals. Only the amino acids taurine and beta-alanine produced physiological responses consistent with those of the normal EPSP in these cells. Moreover, chemical analysis revealed that both taurine and beta-alanine are present in the neurons and released by depolarization. These various findings strongly suggest that either or both of these amino acids, or a closely related compound is the neurotransmitter at the fast chemical synapses between MNN neurons.

  6. Pan-neurexin perturbation results in compromised synapse stability and a reduction in readily releasable synaptic vesicle pool size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Dylan P.; Kolar, Annette; Wigerius, Michael; Gomm-Kolisko, Rachel N.; Atwi, Hanine; Fawcett, James P.; Krueger, Stefan R.

    2017-01-01

    Neurexins are a diverse family of cell adhesion molecules that localize to presynaptic specializations of CNS neurons. Heterologous expression of neurexins in non-neuronal cells leads to the recruitment of postsynaptic proteins in contacting dendrites of co-cultured neurons, implicating neurexins in synapse formation. However, isoform-specific knockouts of either all α- or all β-neurexins show defects in synaptic transmission but an unaltered density of glutamatergic synapses, a finding that argues against an essential function of neurexins in synaptogenesis. To address the role of neurexin in synapse formation and function, we disrupted the function of all α- and β-neurexins in cultured hippocampal neurons by shRNA knockdown or by overexpressing a neurexin mutant that is unable to bind to postsynaptic neurexin ligands. We show that neurexin perturbation results in an attenuation of neurotransmitter release that is in large part due to a reduction in the number of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. We also find that neurexin perturbation fails to alter the ability of neurons to form synapses, but rather leads to more frequent synapse elimination. These experiments suggest that neurexins are dispensable for the formation of initial synaptic contacts, but play an essential role in the stabilization and functional maturation of synapses. PMID:28220838

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  10. 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

  11. La roca de caja del Batolito de la Patagonia Central en Gastre: nuevas evidencias sobre la deformación del Triásico tardío - Jurásico temprano en la región The Host Rock Of The Central Patagonian Batholith In Gastre: Further Insights On The Late Triassic To Early Jurassic Deformation In The Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Beatriz Zaffarana

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available El hallazgo de dos pequeños afloramientos de esquistos biotítico-anfibólicos y de anfibolitas en dos localidades sugiere que la Formación Cushamen es roca de caja del Batolito de la Patagonia Central en Gastre. Las características de estas rocas metamórficas fueron analizadas mediante estudios petrográficos, microestructurales, de fábrica magnética y de zonación química de granates. Los resultados indican que el granate es producto tardío de metamorfismo de contacto. Los datos estructurales en las localidades estudiadas y en otras áreas de la región no condicen con los modelos de deformación homogénea de transcurrencia dextral propuestos para el sistema de Fallas de Gastre durante el Mesozoico. En cambio, los datos sugieren que la deformación en estado sólido que muestran los granitoides es local y heterogénea, y con posible edad triásica tardía. Nosotros relacionamos esta deformación de baja temperatura con el acomodamiento de los sucesivos pulsos magmáticos que construyeron el Batolito de la Patagonia Central.Small outcrops of biotitic-amphibolic schists and amphibolites found in two localities suggest that the Cushamen Formation is host rock of the Central Patagonian Batholith in Gastre. The characteristics of these rocks were investigated using structural, petrographic, magnetic fabric, and garnet chemicalzonation studies. Garnet is observed as a late product of contact metamorphism. Structural data from the studied area and from other localities in the region are in conflict with models that invoke the occurrence of uniform, large-scale dextral displacements along the Gastre lineament in Mesosoic times. Rather, the data suggest that the Gastre granitoids record heterogeneous low-temperature deformation of likely Late Triassic age. This low-temperature deformation appears as small, localized outcrops, and we suggest that it is related to the accommodation of the successive magma batches that built the Central

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Cav2-type calcium channels encoded by cac regulate AP-independent neurotransmitter release at cholinergic synapses in adult Drosophila brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Huaiyu; Jiang, Shaojuan Amy; Campusano, Jorge M; Iniguez, Jorge; Su, Hailing; Hoang, Andy An; Lavian, Monica; Sun, Xicui; O'Dowd, Diane K

    2009-01-01

    Voltage-gated calcium channels containing alpha1 subunits encoded by Ca(v)2 family genes are critical in regulating release of neurotransmitter at chemical synapses. In Drosophila, cac is the only Ca(v)2-type gene. Cacophony (CAC) channels are localized in motor neuron terminals where they have been shown to mediate evoked, but not AP-independent, release of glutamate at the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Cultured embryonic neurons also express CAC channels, but there is no information about the properties of CAC-mediated currents in adult brain nor how these channels regulate transmission in central neural circuits where fast excitatory synaptic transmission is predominantly cholinergic. Here we report that wild-type neurons cultured from late stage pupal brains and antennal lobe projection neurons (PNs) examined in adult brains, express calcium currents with two components: a slow-inactivating current sensitive to the spider toxin Plectreurys toxin II (PLTXII) and a fast-inactivating PLTXII-resistant component. CAC channels are the major contributors to the slow-inactivating PLTXII-sensitive current based on selective reduction of this component in hypomorphic cac mutants (NT27 and TS3). Another characteristic of cac mutant neurons both in culture and in whole brain recordings is a reduced cholinergic miniature excitatory postsynaptic current frequency that is mimicked in wild-type neurons by acute application of PLTXII. These data demonstrate that cac encoded Ca(v)2-type calcium channels regulate action potential (AP)-independent release of neurotransmitter at excitatory cholinergic synapses in the adult brain, a function not predicted from studies at the larval NMJ.

  15. Granular cells of the mormyrid electrosensory lobe and postsynaptic control over presynaptic spike occurrence and amplitude through an electrical synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianmei; Han, Victor Z; Meek, Johannes; Bell, Curtis C

    2007-03-01

    Primary afferent fibers from the electroreceptors of mormyrid electric fish use a latency code to signal the intensity of electrical current evoked by the fish's own electric organ discharge (EOD). The afferent fibers terminate centrally in the deep and superficial granular layers of the electrosensory lobe with morphologically mixed chemical-electrical synapses. The granular cells in these layers seem to decode afferent latency through an interaction between primary afferent input and a corollary discharge input associated with the EOD motor command. We studied the physiology of deep and superficial granular cells in a slice preparation with whole cell patch recording and electrical stimulation of afferent fibers. Afferent stimulation evoked large all-or-none electrical excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and large all or none GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) in both superficial and deep granular cells. The amplitudes of the electrical EPSPs depended on postsynaptic membrane potential, with maximum amplitudes at membrane potentials between -65 and -110 mV. Hyperpolarization beyond this level resulted in either the abrupt disappearance of EPSPs, a step-like reduction to a smaller EPSP, or a graded reduction in EPSP amplitude. Depolarization to membrane potentials lower than that yielding a maximum caused a linear decrease in EPSP amplitude, with EPSP amplitude reaching 0 mV at potentials between -55 and -40 mV. We suggest that the dependence of EPSP size on postsynaptic membrane potential is caused by close linkage of pre- and postsynaptic membrane potentials through a high-conductance gap junction. We also suggest that this dependence may result in functionally important nonlinear interactions between synaptic inputs.

  16. 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.

  17. Mixed Electrical-Chemical Synapses in Adult Rat Hippocampus are Primarily Glutamatergic and Coupled by Connexin-36.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamzei-Sichani, Farid; Davidson, Kimberly G V; Yasumura, Thomas; Janssen, William G M; Wearne, Susan L; Hof, Patrick R; Traub, Roger D; Gutiérrez, Rafael; Ottersen, Ole P; Rash, John E

    2012-01-01

    Dendrodendritic electrical signaling via gap junctions is now an accepted feature of neuronal communication in mammalian brain, whereas axodendritic and axosomatic gap junctions have rarely been described. We present ultrastructural, immunocytochemical, and dye-coupling evidence for "mixed" (electrical/chemical) synapses on both principal cells and interneurons in adult rat hippocampus. Thin-section electron microscopic images of small gap junction-like appositions were found at mossy fiber (MF) terminals on thorny excrescences of CA3 pyramidal neurons (CA3pyr), apparently forming glutamatergic mixed synapses. Lucifer Yellow injected into weakly fixed CA3pyr was detected in MF axons that contacted four injected CA3pyr, supporting gap junction-mediated coupling between those two types of principal cells. Freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling revealed diverse sizes and morphologies of connexin-36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus. Of 20 immunogold-labeled gap junctions, seven were large (328-1140 connexons), three of which were consistent with electrical synapses between interneurons; but nine were at axon terminal synapses, three of which were immediately adjacent to distinctive glutamate receptor-containing postsynaptic densities, forming mixed glutamatergic synapses. Four others were adjacent to small clusters of immunogold-labeled 10-nm E-face intramembrane particles, apparently representing extrasynaptic glutamate receptor particles. Gap junctions also were on spines in stratum lucidum, stratum oriens, dentate gyrus, and hilus, on both interneurons and unidentified neurons. In addition, one putative GABAergic mixed synapse was found in thin-section images of a CA3pyr, but none were found by immunogold labeling, suggesting the rarity of GABAergic mixed synapses. Cx36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus suggest the possibility of reciprocal modulation of electrical and chemical signals in diverse hippocampal neurons.

  18. Mixed electrical-chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus are primarily glutamatergic and coupled by connexin-36

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farid eHamzei-Sichani

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Dendrodendritic electrical signaling via gap junctions is now an accepted feature of neuronal communication in the mammalian brain, whereas axodendritic and axosomatic gap junctions have rarely been described. We present ultrastructural, immunocytochemical, and dye-coupling evidence for mixed (electrical/chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus on both principal cells and interneurons. Thin-section electron microscopic images of small gap junction-like appositions were found at mossy fiber (MF terminals on thorny excrescences of CA3 pyramidal neurons (CA3pyr, apparently forming glutamatergic mixed synapses. Lucifer Yellow injected into four weakly-fixed CA3pyr was detected in MF axons that contacted the injected CA3pyr, supporting gap junction-mediated coupling between those two types of principal cells. Freeze-fracture replica immunogold-labeling revealed diverse sizes and morphologies of connexin36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus. Of 20 immunogold-labeled gap junctions, seven were large (328-1140 connexons, three of which were consistent with electrical synapses between interneurons; but nine were at axon terminal synapses, three of which were immediately adjacent to distinctive glutamate receptor-containing postsynaptic densities, forming mixed glutamatergic synapses. Four others were adjacent to small clusters of immunogold-labeled 10-nm E-face intramembrane particles, apparently representing extrasynaptic glutamate receptor particles. Gap junctions also were on spines in stratum lucidum, stratum oriens, dentate gyrus, and hilus, on both interneurons and unidentified neurons. In addition, one putative GABAergic mixed synapse was found in thin section images of a CA3pyr, but none found by immunogold-labeling were at GABAergic mixed synapses, suggesting their rarity. Cx36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus suggest the possibility of reciprocal modulation of electrical and chemical signals in diverse hippocampal

  19. Excitatory synaptic activity is associated with a rapid structural plasticity of inhibitory synapses on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lushnikova, Irina; Skibo, Galina; Muller, Dominique; Nikonenko, Irina

    2011-04-01

    Synaptic activity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), has been shown to induce morphological plasticity of excitatory synapses on dendritic spines through the spine head and postsynaptic density (PSD) enlargement and reorganization. Much less, however, is known about activity-induced morphological modifications of inhibitory synapses. Using an in vitro model of rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures and electron microscopy, we studied activity-related morphological changes of somatic inhibitory inputs triggered by a brief oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) episode, a condition associated with a synaptic enhancement referred to as anoxic LTP and a structural remodeling of excitatory synapses. Three-dimensional reconstruction of inhibitory axo-somatic synapses at different times before and after brief OGD revealed important morphological changes. The PSD area significantly and markedly increased at synapses with large and complex PSDs, but not at synapses with simple, macular PSDs. Activity-related changes of PSD size and presynaptic bouton volume developed in a strongly correlated manner. Analyses of single and serial sections further showed that the density of inhibitory synaptic contacts on the cell soma did not change within 1 h after OGD. In contrast, the proportion of the cell surface covered with inhibitory PSDs, as well as the complexity of these PSDs significantly increased, with less macular PSDs and more complex, segmented shapes. Together, these data reveal a rapid activity-related restructuring of somatic inhibitory synapses characterized by an enlargement and increased complexity of inhibitory PSDs, providing a new mechanism for a quick adjustment of the excitatory-inhibitory balance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Synaptic Plasticity & Interneurons'.

  20. Symmetric spike timing-dependent plasticity at CA3–CA3 synapses optimizes storage and recall in autoassociative networks

    OpenAIRE

    Mishra, Rajiv K; Kim, Sooyun; Guzman, Segundo J.; Jonas, Peter

    2016-01-01

    CA3–CA3 recurrent excitatory synapses are thought to play a key role in memory storage and pattern completion. Whether the plasticity properties of these synapses are consistent with their proposed network functions remains unclear. Here, we examine the properties of spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) at CA3–CA3 synapses. Low-frequency pairing of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and action potentials (APs) induces long-term potentiation (LTP), independent of temporal order....

  1. 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...

  2. Central line infections - hospitals

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... infection; Central venous catheter - infection; CVC - infection; Central venous device - infection; Infection control - central line infection; Nosocomial infection - central line infection; Hospital acquired ...

  3. The role of extracellular proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the central nervous system 

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Konopka

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The extracellular matrix (ECM of the central nervous system has a specific structure and protein composition that are different from those in other organs. Today we know that the ECM not only provides physical scaffolding for the neurons and glia, but also actively modifies their functions. Over the last two decades, a growing body of research evidence has been collected, suggesting an important role of ECM proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the brain. So far the majority of data concern two large families of proteases: the serine proteases and the matrix metalloproteinases. The members of these families are localized at the synapses, and are secreted into the extracellular space in an activity-dependent manner. The proteases remodel the local environment as well as influencing synapse structure and function. The structural modifications induced by proteases include shape and size changes, as well as synapse elimination, and synaptogenesis. The functional changes include modifications of receptor function in the postsynaptic part of the synapse, as well as the potentiation or depression of neurotransmitter secretion by the presynaptic site. The present review summarizes the current view on the role of extracellular proteolysis in the physiological synaptic plasticity underlying the phenomena of learning and memory, as well as in the pathological plasticity occurring during epileptogenesis or development of drug addiction. 

  4. Synaptic connectivity in the midget-parvocellular pathway of primate central retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jusuf, Patricia R; Martin, Paul R; Grünert, Ulrike

    2006-01-10

    The synaptic connectivity of OFF midget bipolar cells was investigated in the central retina of two primate species, the New World common marmoset monkey, Callithrix jacchus, and the Old World macaque monkey, Macaca fascicularis. In marmosets, dichromatic and trichromatic animals were compared. Bipolar output synapses were identified with antibodies against ribbon proteins (kinesin, C-terminal binding protein 2) or with an antiserum that recognizes postsynaptic glutamate receptor clusters (GluR4). The midget bipolar cells were identified immunocytochemically with antibodies to CD15 (marmoset) or an antiserum to recoverin (macaque). In marmosets, midget ganglion cells were retrogradely labeled from the parvocellular layers of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus. Consistent with previous studies of Old World primates, in marmoset, midget bipolar cells contacted midget ganglion cells at a ratio of 1:1. The number of output synapses made by OFF midget bipolar cells was quantified for 104 cells in two dichromatic marmosets, 108 cells in one trichromatic marmoset, and 118 cells in one macaque. The number of output synapses was comparable for all animals, ranging from 10-71 in the dichromatic marmoset (average 29.7 +/- 12.4 SD), 12-86 in the trichromatic marmoset (average 28.6 +/- 11.7 SD) and 9-48 in the macaque (average 26.5 +/- 9.3 SD) per axon terminal. In all animals the number of output synapses per axon terminal showed a unimodal distribution. Our results suggest that the midget circuitry is comparable in dichromatic and trichromatic animals.

  5. 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.

  6. Multisensory Bayesian Inference Depends on Synapse Maturation during Training: Theoretical Analysis and Neural Modeling Implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursino, Mauro; Cuppini, Cristiano; Magosso, Elisa

    2017-03-01

    Recent theoretical and experimental studies suggest that in multisensory conditions, the brain performs a near-optimal Bayesian estimate of external events, giving more weight to the more reliable stimuli. However, the neural mechanisms responsible for this behavior, and its progressive maturation in a multisensory environment, are still insufficiently understood. The aim of this letter is to analyze this problem with a neural network model of audiovisual integration, based on probabilistic population coding-the idea that a population of neurons can encode probability functions to perform Bayesian inference. The model consists of two chains of unisensory neurons (auditory and visual) topologically organized. They receive the corresponding input through a plastic receptive field and reciprocally exchange plastic cross-modal synapses, which encode the spatial co-occurrence of visual-auditory inputs. A third chain of multisensory neurons performs a simple sum of auditory and visual excitations. The work includes a theoretical part and a computer simulation study. We show how a simple rule for synapse learning (consisting of Hebbian reinforcement and a decay term) can be used during training to shrink the receptive fields and encode the unisensory likelihood functions. Hence, after training, each unisensory area realizes a maximum likelihood estimate of stimulus position (auditory or visual). In cross-modal conditions, the same learning rule can encode information on prior probability into the cross-modal synapses. Computer simulations confirm the theoretical results and show that the proposed network can realize a maximum likelihood estimate of auditory (or visual) positions in unimodal conditions and a Bayesian estimate, with moderate deviations from optimality, in cross-modal conditions. Furthermore, the model explains the ventriloquism illusion and, looking at the activity in the multimodal neurons, explains the automatic reweighting of auditory and visual inputs

  7. The Cdk5 Inhibitor Roscovitine Increases LTP Induction in Corticostriatal Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Miranda-Barrientos

    2014-02-01

    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.

  8. Cbln family proteins promote synapse formation by regulating distinct neurexin signaling pathways in various brain regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Keiko; Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2011-04-01

    Cbln1 (a.k.a. precerebellin) is a unique bidirectional synaptic organizer that plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of excitatory synapses between granule cells and Purkinje cells in the mouse cerebellum. Cbln1 secreted from cerebellar granule cells directly induces presynaptic differentiation and indirectly serves as a postsynaptic organizer by binding to its receptor, the δ2 glutamate receptor. However, it remains unclear how Cbln1 binds to the presynaptic sites and interacts with other synaptic organizers. Furthermore, although Cbln1 and its family members Cbln2 and Cbln4 are expressed in brain regions other than the cerebellum, it is unknown whether they regulate synapse formation in these brain regions. In this study, we showed that Cbln1 and Cbln2, but not Cbln4, specifically bound to its presynaptic receptor -α and β isoforms of neurexin carrying the splice site 4 insert [NRXs(S4+)] - and induced synaptogenesis in cerebellar, hippocampal and cortical neurons in vitro. Cbln1 competed with synaptogenesis mediated by neuroligin 1, which lacks the splice sites A and B, but not leucine-rich repeat transmembrane protein 2, possibly by sharing the presynaptic receptor NRXs(S4+). However, unlike neurexins/neuroligins or neurexins/leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins, the interaction between NRX1β(S4+) and Cbln1 was insensitive to extracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. These findings revealed the unique and general roles of Cbln family proteins in mediating the formation and maintenance of synapses not only in the cerebellum but also in various other brain regions.

  9. 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.

  10. Alcohol Impairs Long-Term Depression at the Cerebellar Parallel Fiber–Purkinje Cell Synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belmeguenai, Amor; Botta, Paolo; Weber, John T.; Carta, Mario; De Ruiter, Martijn; De Zeeuw, Chris I.; Valenzuela, C. Fernando; Hansel, Christian

    2008-01-01

    Acute 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 long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) at excitatory parallel fiber (PF) to Purkinje cell synapses, which are assumed to mediate forms of cerebellar motor learning. To examine ethanol effects on PF synaptic transmission and plasticity, we performed whole cell patch-clamp recordings from Purkinje cells in rat cerebellar slices. We found that ethanol (50 mM) selectively blocked PF–LTD induction, whereas it did not change the amplitude of excitatory postsynaptic currents at PF synapses. In contrast, ethanol application reduced voltage-gated calcium currents and type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR1)–dependent responses in Purkinje cells, both of which are involved in PF–LTD induction. The selectivity of these effects is emphasized by the observation that ethanol did not impair PF–LTP and that PF–LTP could readily be induced in the presence of the group I mGluR antagonist AIDA or the mGluR1a antagonist LY367385. Taken together, these findings identify calcium currents and mGluR1-dependent signaling pathways as potential ethanol targets and suggest that an ethanol-induced blockade of PF–LTD could contribute to the motor coordination deficits resulting from alcohol consumption. PMID:18922952

  11. Progressive alterations of hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses in an animal model of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Hui; An, Shu-Cheng; Ren, Wei; Ma, Xin-Ming

    2014-12-15

    Major depressive disorder is the most prevalent psychiatric condition, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this disorder are largely unknown, although multiple hypotheses have been proposed. The aim of this study was to characterize the progressive alteration of neuronal plasticity in the male rat hippocampus during depression induced by chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS), an established animal model of depression. The data in the hippocampus were collected on days 7, 14 and 21 after the onset of three-week CUMS. When analyzed on day 21, three-week CUMS induced typically depressive-like behaviors, impaired LTP induction, and decreased basal synaptic transmission at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses recorded in vivo, which was accompanied by decreased density of dendritic spines in CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neurons. The levels of both Kalirin-7 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus were decreased at the same time. On day 14 (middle phase), some depressive-like behaviors were observed, which was accompanied by depressed basal synaptic transmission and enhanced LTP induction at the CA3-CA1 synapses. However, BDNF expression was decreased without alteration of Kalirin7 expression in comparison with no-stress control. Depressed basal synaptic transmission occurred in the middle phase of CUMS may contribute to decreased expression of BDNF. On day 7, depressive-like behaviors were not observed, and LTP induction, spine density, Kalirin-7 and BDNF expression were not altered by CUMS in comparison with no-stress control. These results showed that the functional changes at CA3-CA1synapses occurred earlier than the structural alteration during three-week CUMS as a strategy of neural adaptation, and rats required three weeks to develop depressive-like behaviors during CUMS. Our results suggest an important role of Kalirin-7 in CUMS-mediated alterations in spine density, synaptic function and overall depressive-like behaviors on day 21.

  12. Homeostatic regulation of excitatory synapses on striatal medium spiny neurons expressing the D2 dopamine receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, Dominic; Giguère, Nicolas; Loustalot, Fabien; Bourque, Marie-Josée; Ducrot, Charles; El Mestikawy, Salah; Trudeau, Louis-Éric

    2016-05-01

    Striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) are contacted by glutamatergic axon terminals originating from cortex, thalamus and other regions. The striatum is also innervated by dopaminergic (DAergic) terminals, some of which release glutamate as a co-transmitter. Despite evidence for functional DA release at birth in the striatum, the role of DA in the establishment of striatal circuitry is unclear. In light of recent work suggesting activity-dependent homeostatic regulation of glutamatergic terminals on MSNs expressing the D2 DA receptor (D2-MSNs), we used primary co-cultures to test the hypothesis that stimulation of DA and glutamate receptors regulates the homeostasis of glutamatergic synapses on MSNs. Co-culture of D2-MSNs with mesencephalic DA neurons or with cortical neurons produced an increase in spines and functional glutamate synapses expressing VGLUT2 or VGLUT1, respectively. The density of VGLUT2-positive terminals was reduced by the conditional knockout of this gene from DA neurons. In the presence of both mesencephalic and cortical neurons, the density of synapses reached the same total, compatible with the possibility of a homeostatic mechanism capping excitatory synaptic density. Blockade of D2 receptors increased the density of cortical and mesencephalic glutamatergic terminals, without changing MSN spine density or mEPSC frequency. Combined blockade of AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors increased the density of cortical terminals and decreased that of mesencephalic VGLUT2-positive terminals, with no net change in total excitatory terminal density or in mEPSC frequency. These results suggest that DA and glutamate signaling regulate excitatory inputs to striatal D2-MSNs at both the pre- and postsynaptic level, under the influence of a homeostatic mechanism controlling functional output of the circuit.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Sequential generation of two distinct synapse-driven network patterns in developing neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allène, Camille; Cattani, Adriano; Ackman, James B; Bonifazi, Paolo; Aniksztejn, Laurent; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Cossart, Rosa

    2008-11-26

    Developing cortical networks generate a variety of coherent activity patterns that participate in circuit refinement. Early network oscillations (ENOs) are the dominant network pattern in the rodent neocortex for a short period after birth. These large-scale calcium waves were shown to be largely driven by glutamatergic synapses albeit GABA is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the cortex at such early stages, mediating synapse-driven giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) in the hippocampus. Using functional multineuron calcium imaging together with single-cell and field potential recordings to clarify distinct network dynamics in rat cortical slices, we now report that the developing somatosensory cortex generates first ENOs then GDPs, both patterns coexisting for a restricted time period. These patterns markedly differ by their developmental profile, dynamics, and mechanisms: ENOs are generated before cortical GDPs (cGDPs) by the activation of glutamatergic synapses mostly through NMDARs; cENOs are low-frequency oscillations (approximately 0.01 Hz) displaying slow kinetics and gradually involving the entire network. At the end of the first postnatal week, GABA-driven cortical GDPs can be reliably monitored; cGDPs are recurrent oscillations (approximately 0.1 Hz) that repetitively synchronize localized neuronal assemblies. Contrary to cGDPs, cENOs were unexpectedly facilitated by short anoxic conditions suggesting a contribution of glutamate accumulation to their generation. In keeping with this, alterations of extracellular glutamate levels significantly affected cENOs, which are blocked by an enz