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Sample records for cortical motor neurons

  1. Associative Memory Extinction Is Accompanied by Decayed Plasticity at Motor Cortical Neurons and Persistent Plasticity at Sensory Cortical Neurons.

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    Guo, Rui; Ge, Rongjing; Zhao, Shidi; Liu, Yulong; Zhao, Xin; Huang, Li; Guan, Sodong; Lu, Wei; Cui, Shan; Wang, Shirlene; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2017-01-01

    Associative memory is essential for cognition, in which associative memory cells and their plasticity presumably play important roles. The mechanism underlying associative memory extinction vs. maintenance remains unclear, which we have studied in a mouse model of cross-modal associative learning. Paired whisker and olfaction stimulations lead to a full establishment of odorant-induced whisker motion in training day 10, which almost disappears if paired stimulations are not given in a week, and then recovers after paired stimulation for an additional day. In mice that show associative memory, extinction and recovery, we have analyzed the dynamical plasticity of glutamatergic neurons in layers II-III of the barrel cortex and layers IV-V of the motor cortex. Compared with control mice, the rate of evoked spikes as well as the amplitude and frequency of excitatory postsynaptic currents increase, whereas the amplitude and frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSC) decrease at training day 10 in associative memory mice. Without paired training for a week, these plastic changes are persistent in the barrel cortex and decayed in the motor cortex. If paired training is given for an additional day to revoke associative memory, neuronal plasticity recovers in the motor cortex. Our study indicates persistent neuronal plasticity in the barrel cortex for cross-modal memory maintenance as well as the dynamical change of neuronal plasticity in the motor cortex for memory retrieval and extinction. In other words, the sensory cortices are essential for long-term memory while the behavior-related cortices with the inability of memory retrieval are correlated to memory extinction.

  2. Associative Memory Extinction Is Accompanied by Decayed Plasticity at Motor Cortical Neurons and Persistent Plasticity at Sensory Cortical Neurons

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    Rui Guo

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Associative memory is essential for cognition, in which associative memory cells and their plasticity presumably play important roles. The mechanism underlying associative memory extinction vs. maintenance remains unclear, which we have studied in a mouse model of cross-modal associative learning. Paired whisker and olfaction stimulations lead to a full establishment of odorant-induced whisker motion in training day 10, which almost disappears if paired stimulations are not given in a week, and then recovers after paired stimulation for an additional day. In mice that show associative memory, extinction and recovery, we have analyzed the dynamical plasticity of glutamatergic neurons in layers II–III of the barrel cortex and layers IV–V of the motor cortex. Compared with control mice, the rate of evoked spikes as well as the amplitude and frequency of excitatory postsynaptic currents increase, whereas the amplitude and frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSC decrease at training day 10 in associative memory mice. Without paired training for a week, these plastic changes are persistent in the barrel cortex and decayed in the motor cortex. If paired training is given for an additional day to revoke associative memory, neuronal plasticity recovers in the motor cortex. Our study indicates persistent neuronal plasticity in the barrel cortex for cross-modal memory maintenance as well as the dynamical change of neuronal plasticity in the motor cortex for memory retrieval and extinction. In other words, the sensory cortices are essential for long-term memory while the behavior-related cortices with the inability of memory retrieval are correlated to memory extinction.

  3. Dynamics of human subthalamic neuron phase-locking to motor and sensory cortical oscillations during movement.

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    Lipski, Witold J; Wozny, Thomas A; Alhourani, Ahmad; Kondylis, Efstathios D; Turner, Robert S; Crammond, Donald J; Richardson, Robert Mark

    2017-09-01

    Coupled oscillatory activity recorded between sensorimotor regions of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop is thought to reflect information transfer relevant to movement. A neuronal firing-rate model of basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuitry, however, has dominated thinking about basal ganglia function for the past three decades, without knowledge of the relationship between basal ganglia single neuron firing and cortical population activity during movement itself. We recorded activity from 34 subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons, simultaneously with cortical local field potentials and motor output, in 11 subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) undergoing awake deep brain stimulator lead placement. STN firing demonstrated phase synchronization to both low- and high-beta-frequency cortical oscillations, and to the amplitude envelope of gamma oscillations, in motor cortex. We found that during movement, the magnitude of this synchronization was dynamically modulated in a phase-frequency-specific manner. Importantly, we found that phase synchronization was not correlated with changes in neuronal firing rate. Furthermore, we found that these relationships were not exclusive to motor cortex, because STN firing also demonstrated phase synchronization to both premotor and sensory cortex. The data indicate that models of basal ganglia function ultimately will need to account for the activity of populations of STN neurons that are bound in distinct functional networks with both motor and sensory cortices and code for movement parameters independent of changes in firing rate. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Current models of basal ganglia-thalamocortical networks do not adequately explain simple motor functions, let alone dysfunction in movement disorders. Our findings provide data that inform models of human basal ganglia function by demonstrating how movement is encoded by networks of subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons via dynamic phase synchronization with cortex. The data also

  4. Parallel changes in cortical neuron biochemistry and motor function in protein-energy malnourished adult rats.

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    Alaverdashvili, Mariam; Hackett, Mark J; Caine, Sally; Paterson, Phyllis G

    2017-04-01

    While protein-energy malnutrition in the adult has been reported to induce motor abnormalities and exaggerate motor deficits caused by stroke, it is not known if alterations in mature cortical neurons contribute to the functional deficits. Therefore, we explored if PEM in adult rats provoked changes in the biochemical profile of neurons in the forelimb and hindlimb regions of the motor cortex. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging using a synchrotron generated light source revealed for the first time altered lipid composition in neurons and subcellular domains (cytosol and nuclei) in a cortical layer and region-specific manner. This change measured by the area under the curve of the δ(CH 2 ) band may indicate modifications in membrane fluidity. These PEM-induced biochemical changes were associated with the development of abnormalities in forelimb use and posture. The findings of this study provide a mechanism by which PEM, if not treated, could exacerbate the course of various neurological disorders and diminish treatment efficacy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Cortical Motor Organization, Mirror Neurons, and Embodied Language: An Evolutionary Perspective

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    Leonardo Fogassi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The recent conceptual achievement that the cortical motor system plays a crucial role not only in motor control but also in higher cognitive functions has given a new perspective also on the involvement of motor cortex in language perception and production. In particular, there is evidence that the matching mechanism based on mirror neurons can be involved in both pho-nological recognition and retrieval of meaning, especially for action word categories, thus suggesting a contribution of an action–perception mechanism to the automatic comprehension of semantics. Furthermore, a compari-son of the anatomo-functional properties of the frontal motor cortex among different primates and their communicative modalities indicates that the combination of the voluntary control of the gestural communication systems and of the vocal apparatus has been the critical factor in the transition from a gestural-based communication into a predominantly speech-based system. Finally, considering that the monkey and human premotor-parietal motor system, plus the prefrontal cortex, are involved in the sequential motor organization of actions and in the hierarchical combination of motor elements, we propose that elements of such motor organization have been exploited in other domains, including some aspects of the syntactic structure of language.

  6. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  7. Electronic bypass of spinal lesions: activation of lower motor neurons directly driven by cortical neural signals.

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    Li, Yan; Alam, Monzurul; Guo, Shanshan; Ting, K H; He, Jufang

    2014-07-03

    Lower motor neurons in the spinal cord lose supraspinal inputs after complete spinal cord injury, leading to a loss of volitional control below the injury site. Extensive locomotor training with spinal cord stimulation can restore locomotion function after spinal cord injury in humans and animals. However, this locomotion is non-voluntary, meaning that subjects cannot control stimulation via their natural "intent". A recent study demonstrated an advanced system that triggers a stimulator using forelimb stepping electromyographic patterns to restore quadrupedal walking in rats with spinal cord transection. However, this indirect source of "intent" may mean that other non-stepping forelimb activities may false-trigger the spinal stimulator and thus produce unwanted hindlimb movements. We hypothesized that there are distinguishable neural activities in the primary motor cortex during treadmill walking, even after low-thoracic spinal transection in adult guinea pigs. We developed an electronic spinal bridge, called "Motolink", which detects these neural patterns and triggers a "spinal" stimulator for hindlimb movement. This hardware can be head-mounted or carried in a backpack. Neural data were processed in real-time and transmitted to a computer for analysis by an embedded processor. Off-line neural spike analysis was conducted to calculate and preset the spike threshold for "Motolink" hardware. We identified correlated activities of primary motor cortex neurons during treadmill walking of guinea pigs with spinal cord transection. These neural activities were used to predict the kinematic states of the animals. The appropriate selection of spike threshold value enabled the "Motolink" system to detect the neural "intent" of walking, which triggered electrical stimulation of the spinal cord and induced stepping-like hindlimb movements. We present a direct cortical "intent"-driven electronic spinal bridge to restore hindlimb locomotion after complete spinal cord injury.

  8. Neurochemical, morphologic, and laminar characterization of cortical projection neurons in the cingulate motor areas of the macaque monkey

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    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Hof, P. R.; Young, W. G.; Morrison, J. H.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The primate cingulate gyrus contains multiple cortical areas that can be distinguished by several neurochemical features, including the distribution of neurofilament protein-enriched pyramidal neurons. In addition, connectivity and functional properties indicate that there are multiple motor areas in the cortex lining the cingulate sulcus. These motor areas were targeted for analysis of potential interactions among regional specialization, connectivity, and cellular characteristics such as neurochemical profile and morphology. Specifically, intracortical injections of retrogradely transported dyes and intracellular injection were combined with immunocytochemistry to investigate neurons projecting from the cingulate motor areas to the putative forelimb region of the primary motor cortex, area M1. Two separate groups of neurons projecting to area M1 emanated from the cingulate sulcus, one anterior and one posterior, both of which furnished commissural and ipsilateral connections with area M1. The primary difference between the two populations was laminar origin, with the anterior projection originating largely in deep layers, and the posterior projection taking origin equally in superficial and deep layers. With regard to cellular morphology, the anterior projection exhibited more morphologic diversity than the posterior projection. Commissural projections from both anterior and posterior fields originated largely in layer VI. Neurofilament protein distribution was a reliable tool for localizing the two projections and for discriminating between them. Comparable proportions of the two sets of projection neurons contained neurofilament protein, although the density and distribution of the total population of neurofilament protein-enriched neurons was very different in the two subareas of origin. Within a projection, the participating neurons exhibited a high degree of morphologic heterogeneity, and no correlation was observed between somatodendritic morphology and

  9. Distinct Laterality in Forelimb-Movement Representations of Rat Primary and Secondary Motor Cortical Neurons with Intratelencephalic and Pyramidal Tract Projections.

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    Soma, Shogo; Saiki, Akiko; Yoshida, Junichi; Ríos, Alain; Kawabata, Masanori; Sakai, Yutaka; Isomura, Yoshikazu

    2017-11-08

    Two distinct motor areas, the primary and secondary motor cortices (M1 and M2), play crucial roles in voluntary movement in rodents. The aim of this study was to characterize the laterality in motor cortical representations of right and left forelimb movements. To achieve this goal, we developed a novel behavioral task, the Right-Left Pedal task, in which a head-restrained male rat manipulates a right or left pedal with the corresponding forelimb. This task enabled us to monitor independent movements of both forelimbs with high spatiotemporal resolution. We observed phasic movement-related neuronal activity (Go-type) and tonic hold-related activity (Hold-type) in isolated unilateral movements. In both M1 and M2, Go-type neurons exhibited bias toward contralateral preference, whereas Hold-type neurons exhibited no bias. The contralateral bias was weaker in M2 than M1. Moreover, we differentiated between intratelencephalic (IT) and pyramidal tract (PT) neurons using optogenetically evoked spike collision in rats expressing channelrhodopsin-2. Even in identified PT and IT neurons, Hold-type neurons exhibited no lateral bias. Go-type PT neurons exhibited bias toward contralateral preference, whereas IT neurons exhibited no bias. Our findings suggest a different laterality of movement representations of M1 and M2, in each of which IT neurons are involved in cooperation of bilateral movements, whereas PT neurons control contralateral movements. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In rodents, the primary and secondary motor cortices (M1 and M2) are involved in voluntary movements via distinct projection neurons: intratelencephalic (IT) neurons and pyramidal tract (PT) neurons. However, it remains unclear whether the two motor cortices (M1 vs M2) and the two classes of projection neurons (IT vs PT) have different laterality of movement representations. We optogenetically identified these neurons and analyzed their functional activity using a novel behavioral task to monitor movements

  10. Neurons other than motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

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    Ruffoli, Riccardo; Biagioni, Francesca; Busceti, Carla L; Gaglione, Anderson; Ryskalin, Larisa; Gambardella, Stefano; Frati, Alessandro; Fornai, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically defined by a loss of motor neurons in the central nervous system. Accordingly, morphological analysis for decades considered motor neurons (in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord) as the neuronal population selectively involved in ALS. Similarly, this was considered the pathological marker to score disease severity ex vivo both in patients and experimental models. However, the concept of non-autonomous motor neuron death was used recently to indicate the need for additional cell types to produce motor neuron death in ALS. This means that motor neuron loss occurs only when they are connected with other cell types. This concept originally emphasized the need for resident glia as well as non-resident inflammatory cells. Nowadays, the additional role of neurons other than motor neurons emerged in the scenario to induce non-autonomous motor neuron death. In fact, in ALS neurons diverse from motor neurons are involved. These cells play multiple roles in ALS: (i) they participate in the chain of events to produce motor neuron loss; (ii) they may even degenerate more than and before motor neurons. In the present manuscript evidence about multi-neuronal involvement in ALS patients and experimental models is discussed. Specific sub-classes of neurons in the whole spinal cord are reported either to degenerate or to trigger neuronal degeneration, thus portraying ALS as a whole spinal cord disorder rather than a disease affecting motor neurons solely. This is associated with a novel concept in motor neuron disease which recruits abnormal mechanisms of cell to cell communication.

  11. Spinal cord: motor neuron diseases.

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    Rezania, Kourosh; Roos, Raymond P

    2013-02-01

    Spinal cord motor neuron diseases affect lower motor neurons in the ventral horn. This article focuses on the most common spinal cord motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which also affects upper motor neurons. Also discussed are other motor neuron diseases that only affect the lower motor neurons. Despite the identification of several genes associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the pathogenesis of this complex disease remains elusive. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Cerebellar Shaping of Motor Cortical Firing Is Correlated with Timing of Motor Actions

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    Abdulraheem Nashef

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Summary: In higher mammals, motor timing is considered to be dictated by cerebellar control of motor cortical activity, relayed through the cerebellar-thalamo-cortical (CTC system. Nonetheless, the way cerebellar information is integrated with motor cortical commands and affects their temporal properties remains unclear. To address this issue, we activated the CTC system in primates and found that it efficiently recruits motor cortical cells; however, the cortical response was dominated by prolonged inhibition that imposed a directional activation across the motor cortex. During task performance, cortical cells that integrated CTC information fired synchronous bursts at movement onset. These cells expressed a stronger correlation with reaction time than non-CTC cells. Thus, the excitation-inhibition interplay triggered by the CTC system facilitates transient recruitment of a cortical subnetwork at movement onset. The CTC system may shape neural firing to produce the required profile to initiate movements and thus plays a pivotal role in timing motor actions. : Nashef et al. identified a motor cortical subnetwork recruited by cerebellar volley that was transiently synchronized at movement onset. Cerebellar control of cortical firing was dominated by inhibition that shaped task-related firing of neurons and may dictate motor timing. Keywords: motor control, primates, cerebellar-thalamo-cortical, synchrony, noise correlation, reaction time

  13. Premotor and Motor Cortices Encode Reward.

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    Pavan Ramkumar

    Full Text Available Rewards associated with actions are critical for motivation and learning about the consequences of one's actions on the world. The motor cortices are involved in planning and executing movements, but it is unclear whether they encode reward over and above limb kinematics and dynamics. Here, we report a categorical reward signal in dorsal premotor (PMd and primary motor (M1 neurons that corresponds to an increase in firing rates when a trial was not rewarded regardless of whether or not a reward was expected. We show that this signal is unrelated to error magnitude, reward prediction error, or other task confounds such as reward consumption, return reach plan, or kinematic differences across rewarded and unrewarded trials. The availability of reward information in motor cortex is crucial for theories of reward-based learning and motivational influences on actions.

  14. Mapping cortical mesoscopic networks of single spiking cortical or sub-cortical neurons.

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    Xiao, Dongsheng; Vanni, Matthieu P; Mitelut, Catalin C; Chan, Allen W; LeDue, Jeffrey M; Xie, Yicheng; Chen, Andrew Cn; Swindale, Nicholas V; Murphy, Timothy H

    2017-02-04

    Understanding the basis of brain function requires knowledge of cortical operations over wide-spatial scales, but also within the context of single neurons. In vivo, wide-field GCaMP imaging and sub-cortical/cortical cellular electrophysiology were used in mice to investigate relationships between spontaneous single neuron spiking and mesoscopic cortical activity. We make use of a rich set of cortical activity motifs that are present in spontaneous activity in anesthetized and awake animals. A mesoscale spike-triggered averaging procedure allowed the identification of motifs that are preferentially linked to individual spiking neurons by employing genetically targeted indicators of neuronal activity. Thalamic neurons predicted and reported specific cycles of wide-scale cortical inhibition/excitation. In contrast, spike-triggered maps derived from single cortical neurons yielded spatio-temporal maps expected for regional cortical consensus function. This approach can define network relationships between any point source of neuronal spiking and mesoscale cortical maps.

  15. Motor cortical plasticity in Parkinson's disease.

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    Udupa, Kaviraja; Chen, Robert

    2013-09-04

    In Parkinson's disease (PD), there are alterations of the basal ganglia (BG) thalamocortical networks, primarily due to degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. These changes in subcortical networks lead to plastic changes in primary motor cortex (M1), which mediates cortical motor output and is a potential target for treatment of PD. Studies investigating the motor cortical plasticity using non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) have found altered plasticity in PD, but there are inconsistencies among these studies. This is likely because plasticity depends on many factors such as the extent of dopaminergic loss and disease severity, response to dopaminergic replacement therapies, development of l-DOPA-induced dyskinesias (LID), the plasticity protocol used, medication, and stimulation status in patients treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS). The influences of LID and DBS on BG and M1 plasticity have been explored in animal models and in PD patients. In addition, many other factors such age, genetic factors (e.g., brain derived neurotropic factor and other neurotransmitters or receptors polymorphism), emotional state, time of the day, physical fitness have been documented to play role in the extent of plasticity induced by TMS in human studies. In this review, we summarize the studies that investigated M1 plasticity in PD and demonstrate how these afore-mentioned factors affect motor cortical plasticity in PD. We conclude that it is important to consider the clinical, demographic, and technical factors that influence various plasticity protocols while developing these protocols as diagnostic or prognostic tools in PD. We also discuss how the modulation of cortical excitability and the plasticity with these non-invasive brain stimulation techniques facilitate the understanding of the pathophysiology of PD and help design potential therapeutic possibilities in this disorder.

  16. Relating normalization to neuronal populations across cortical areas.

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    Ruff, Douglas A; Alberts, Joshua J; Cohen, Marlene R

    2016-09-01

    Normalization, which divisively scales neuronal responses to multiple stimuli, is thought to underlie many sensory, motor, and cognitive processes. In every study where it has been investigated, neurons measured in the same brain area under identical conditions exhibit a range of normalization, ranging from suppression by nonpreferred stimuli (strong normalization) to additive responses to combinations of stimuli (no normalization). Normalization has been hypothesized to arise from interactions between neuronal populations, either in the same or different brain areas, but current models of normalization are not mechanistic and focus on trial-averaged responses. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying normalization, we examined interactions between neurons that exhibit different degrees of normalization. We recorded from multiple neurons in three cortical areas while rhesus monkeys viewed superimposed drifting gratings. We found that neurons showing strong normalization shared less trial-to-trial variability with other neurons in the same cortical area and more variability with neurons in other cortical areas than did units with weak normalization. Furthermore, the cortical organization of normalization was not random: neurons recorded on nearby electrodes tended to exhibit similar amounts of normalization. Together, our results suggest that normalization reflects a neuron's role in its local network and that modulatory factors like normalization share the topographic organization typical of sensory tuning properties. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  17. Changes of motor-cortical oscillations associated with motor learning.

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    Pollok, B; Latz, D; Krause, V; Butz, M; Schnitzler, A

    2014-09-05

    Motor learning results from practice but also between practice sessions. After skill acquisition early consolidation results in less interference with other motor tasks and even improved performance of the newly learned skill. A specific significance of the primary motor cortex (M1) for early consolidation has been suggested. Since synchronized oscillatory activity is assumed to facilitate neuronal plasticity, we here investigate alterations of motor-cortical oscillations by means of event-related desynchronization (ERD) at alpha (8-12 Hz) and beta (13-30 Hz) frequencies in healthy humans. Neuromagnetic activity was recorded using a 306-channel whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) system. ERD was investigated in 15 subjects during training on a serial reaction time task and 10 min after initial training. The data were compared with performance during a randomly varying sequence serving as control condition. The data reveal a stepwise decline of alpha-band ERD associated with faster reaction times replicating previous findings. The amount of beta-band suppression was significantly correlated with reduction of reaction times. While changes of alpha power have been related to lower cognitive control after initial skill acquisition, the present data suggest that the amount of beta suppression represents a neurophysiological marker of early cortical reorganization associated with motor learning. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

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    Pamphlett, Roger; Kum Jew, Stephen

    2013-12-12

    The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons.

  19. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Results Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Conclusions Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons. PMID:24330485

  20. Pathogenesis of motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuefei Wang

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To summarize and analyze the factors and theories related to the attack of motor neuron disease, and comprehensively investigate the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease.DATA SOURCES: A search of Pubmed database was undertaken to identify articles about motor neuron disease published in English from January 1994 to June 2006 by using the keywords of "neurodegenerative diseases". Other literatures were collected by retrieving specific journals and articles.STUDY SELECTION: The data were checked primarily, articles related to the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease were involved, and those obviously irrelated to the articles were excluded.DATA EXTRACTION: Totally 54 articles were collected, 30 of them were involved, and the other 24 were excluded.DATA SYNTHESIS: The pathogenesis of motor neuron disease has multiple factors, and the present related theories included free radical oxidation, excitotoxicity, genetic and immune factors, lack of neurotrophic factor,injury of neurofilament, etc. The studies mainly come from transgenic animal models, cell culture in vitro and patients with familial motor neuron disease, but there are still many restrictions and disadvantages.CONCLUSION: It is necessary to try to find whether there is internal association among different mechanisms,comprehensively investigate the pathogenesis of motor neuron diseases, in order to provide reliable evidence for the clinical treatment.

  1. Cortical cell and neuron density estimates in one chimpanzee hemisphere.

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    Collins, Christine E; Turner, Emily C; Sawyer, Eva Kille; Reed, Jamie L; Young, Nicole A; Flaherty, David K; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-01-19

    The density of cells and neurons in the neocortex of many mammals varies across cortical areas and regions. This variability is, perhaps, most pronounced in primates. Nonuniformity in the composition of cortex suggests regions of the cortex have different specializations. Specifically, regions with densely packed neurons contain smaller neurons that are activated by relatively few inputs, thereby preserving information, whereas regions that are less densely packed have larger neurons that have more integrative functions. Here we present the numbers of cells and neurons for 742 discrete locations across the neocortex in a chimpanzee. Using isotropic fractionation and flow fractionation methods for cell and neuron counts, we estimate that neocortex of one hemisphere contains 9.5 billion cells and 3.7 billion neurons. Primary visual cortex occupies 35 cm(2) of surface, 10% of the total, and contains 737 million densely packed neurons, 20% of the total neurons contained within the hemisphere. Other areas of high neuron packing include secondary visual areas, somatosensory cortex, and prefrontal granular cortex. Areas of low levels of neuron packing density include motor and premotor cortex. These values reflect those obtained from more limited samples of cortex in humans and other primates.

  2. Motor Neuron Diseases

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    ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ...

  3. Synaptic Circuit Organization of Motor Corticothalamic Neurons

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    Yamawaki, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Corticothalamic (CT) neurons in layer 6 constitute a large but enigmatic class of cortical projection neurons. How they are integrated into intracortical and thalamo-cortico-thalamic circuits is incompletely understood, especially outside of sensory cortex. Here, we investigated CT circuits in mouse forelimb motor cortex (M1) using multiple circuit-analysis methods. Stimulating and recording from CT, intratelencephalic (IT), and pyramidal tract (PT) projection neurons, we found strong CT↔ CT and CT↔ IT connections; however, CT→IT connections were limited to IT neurons in layer 6, not 5B. There was strikingly little CT↔ PT excitatory connectivity. Disynaptic inhibition systematically accompanied excitation in these pathways, scaling with the amplitude of excitation according to both presynaptic (class-specific) and postsynaptic (cell-by-cell) factors. In particular, CT neurons evoked proportionally more inhibition relative to excitation (I/E ratio) than IT neurons. Furthermore, the amplitude of inhibition was tuned to match the amount of excitation at the level of individual neurons; in the extreme, neurons receiving no excitation received no inhibition either. Extending these studies to dissect the connectivity between cortex and thalamus, we found that M1-CT neurons and thalamocortical neurons in the ventrolateral (VL) nucleus were remarkably unconnected in either direction. Instead, VL axons in the cortex excited both IT and PT neurons, and CT axons in the thalamus excited other thalamic neurons, including those in the posterior nucleus, which additionally received PT excitation. These findings, which contrast in several ways with previous observations in sensory areas, illuminate the basic circuit organization of CT neurons within M1 and between M1 and thalamus. PMID:25653383

  4. Frontal lobe atrophy in motor neuron diseases.

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    Kiernan, J A; Hudson, A J

    1994-08-01

    Neuronal degeneration in the precentral gyrus alone cannot account for the occurrence of spastic paresis in motor neuron diseases. To look for more extensive cortical atrophy we measured MRIs of the upper parts of the frontal and parietal lobes in 11 sporadic cases of classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), eight patients with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) and an age- and sex-matched group of 49 neurologically normal people. None of the patients had overt dementia or other mental diseases. In PLS there is progressive spastic paresis but in contrast to ALS there is no lower motor neuron degeneration. The surface area of the precentral gyri and the amount of underlying white matter in PLS were consistently approximately 75% of the normal size. By contrast, there was some shrinkage of the precentral gyri in some of the ALS patients but the mean measurements for the group did not differ significantly from the controls. Anterior to the precentral sulci, the cortical surface area in PLS was approximately 85% of that of the controls, with correspondingly reduced white matter. In ALS the cortical surface areas of the anterior frontal lobes did not differ from those of the controls, but the amount of underlying white matter was reduced almost as much in ALS as it was in PLS. The measured changes in the frontal lobes suggest that in PLS there is simultaneous atrophy of the primary, premotor and supplementary motor areas of the cortex, with consequent degeneration of corticospinal and corticoreticular axons descending through the underlying white matter. These changes could account for the progressive upper motor neuron syndrome. In ALS, with no significant frontal cortical atrophy, the shrinkage of the white matter may be due to degeneration of axons projecting to the frontal cortex from elsewhere. Deprivation of afferents could explain the diminution of motor functions of the frontal lobes in ALS and also the changes in word fluency, judgement and attention that

  5. Cholinergic systems are essential for late-stage maturation and refinement of motor cortical circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramanathan, Dhakshin S.; Conner, James M.; Anilkumar, Arjun A.

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies reported that early postnatal cholinergic lesions severely perturb early cortical development, impairing neuronal cortical migration and the formation of cortical dendrites and synapses. These severe effects of early postnatal cholinergic lesions preclude our ability to understand the contribution of cholinergic systems to the later-stage maturation of topographic cortical representations. To study cholinergic mechanisms contributing to the later maturation of motor cortical circuits, we first characterized the temporal course of cortical motor map development and maturation in rats. In this study, we focused our attention on the maturation of cortical motor representations after postnatal day 25 (PND 25), a time after neuronal migration has been accomplished and cortical volume has reached adult size. We found significant maturation of cortical motor representations after this time, including both an expansion of forelimb representations in motor cortex and a shift from proximal to distal forelimb representations to an extent unexplainable by simple volume enlargement of the neocortex. Specific cholinergic lesions placed at PND 24 impaired enlargement of distal forelimb representations in particular and markedly reduced the ability to learn skilled motor tasks as adults. These results identify a novel and essential role for cholinergic systems in the late refinement and maturation of cortical circuits. Dysfunctions in this system may constitute a mechanism of late-onset neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett syndrome and schizophrenia. PMID:25505106

  6. High-Degree Neurons Feed Cortical Computations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas M Timme

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent work has shown that functional connectivity among cortical neurons is highly varied, with a small percentage of neurons having many more connections than others. Also, recent theoretical developments now make it possible to quantify how neurons modify information from the connections they receive. Therefore, it is now possible to investigate how information modification, or computation, depends on the number of connections a neuron receives (in-degree or sends out (out-degree. To do this, we recorded the simultaneous spiking activity of hundreds of neurons in cortico-hippocampal slice cultures using a high-density 512-electrode array. This preparation and recording method combination produced large numbers of neurons recorded at temporal and spatial resolutions that are not currently available in any in vivo recording system. We utilized transfer entropy (a well-established method for detecting linear and nonlinear interactions in time series and the partial information decomposition (a powerful, recently developed tool for dissecting multivariate information processing into distinct parts to quantify computation between neurons where information flows converged. We found that computations did not occur equally in all neurons throughout the networks. Surprisingly, neurons that computed large amounts of information tended to receive connections from high out-degree neurons. However, the in-degree of a neuron was not related to the amount of information it computed. To gain insight into these findings, we developed a simple feedforward network model. We found that a degree-modified Hebbian wiring rule best reproduced the pattern of computation and degree correlation results seen in the real data. Interestingly, this rule also maximized signal propagation in the presence of network-wide correlations, suggesting a mechanism by which cortex could deal with common random background input. These are the first results to show that the extent to

  7. Loss of MeCP2 From Forebrain Excitatory Neurons Leads to Cortical Hyperexcitation and Seizures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wen; Peterson, Matthew; Beyer, Barbara; Frankel, Wayne N.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations of MECP2 cause Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder leading to loss of motor and cognitive functions, impaired social interactions, and seizure at young ages. Defects of neuronal circuit development and function are thought to be responsible for the symptoms of RTT. The majority of RTT patients show recurrent seizures, indicating that neuronal hyperexcitation is a common feature of RTT. However, mechanisms underlying hyperexcitation in RTT are poorly understood. Here we show that deletion of Mecp2 from cortical excitatory neurons but not forebrain inhibitory neurons in the mouse leads to spontaneous seizures. Selective deletion of Mecp2 from excitatory but not inhibitory neurons in the forebrain reduces GABAergic transmission in layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal and somatosensory cortices. Loss of MeCP2 from cortical excitatory neurons reduces the number of GABAergic synapses in the cortex, and enhances the excitability of layer 5 pyramidal neurons. Using single-cell deletion of Mecp2 in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons, we show that GABAergic transmission is reduced in neurons without MeCP2, but is normal in neighboring neurons with MeCP2. Together, these results suggest that MeCP2 in cortical excitatory neurons plays a critical role in the regulation of GABAergic transmission and cortical excitability. PMID:24523563

  8. Mirror neurons and motor intentionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Sinigaglia, Corrado

    2007-01-01

    Our social life rests to a large extent on our ability to understand the intentions of others. What are the bases of this ability? A very influential view is that we understand the intentions of others because we are able to represent them as having mental states. Without this meta-representational (mind-reading) ability their behavior would be meaningless to us. Over the past few years this view has been challenged by neurophysiological findings and, in particular, by the discovery of mirror neurons. The functional properties of these neurons indicate that intentional understanding is based primarily on a mechanism that directly matches the sensory representation of the observed actions with one's own motor representation of those same actions. These findings reveal how deeply motor and intentional components of action are intertwined, suggesting that both can be fully comprehended only starting from a motor approach to intentionality.

  9. How to make spinal motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis-Dusenbery, Brandi N; Williams, Luis A; Klim, Joseph R; Eggan, Kevin

    2014-02-01

    All muscle movements, including breathing, walking, and fine motor skills rely on the function of the spinal motor neuron to transmit signals from the brain to individual muscle groups. Loss of spinal motor neuron function underlies several neurological disorders for which treatment has been hampered by the inability to obtain sufficient quantities of primary motor neurons to perform mechanistic studies or drug screens. Progress towards overcoming this challenge has been achieved through the synthesis of developmental biology paradigms and advances in stem cell and reprogramming technology, which allow the production of motor neurons in vitro. In this Primer, we discuss how the logic of spinal motor neuron development has been applied to allow generation of motor neurons either from pluripotent stem cells by directed differentiation and transcriptional programming, or from somatic cells by direct lineage conversion. Finally, we discuss methods to evaluate the molecular and functional properties of motor neurons generated through each of these techniques.

  10. Motor cortical plasticity in Parkinson’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaviraja eUdupa

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In Parkinson’s disease (PD, there are alterations of the basal ganglia (BG thalamo-cortical networks, primarily due to degeneration of nigrostrial dopaminergic neurons. These changes in subcortical networks lead to plastic changes in primary motor cortex (M1, which mediates cortical motor output and is a potential target for treatment of PD. Studies investigating the motor cortical plasticity using non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS have found altered plasticity in PD, but there are inconsistencies among these studies. This is likely because plasticity depends on many factors such as the extent of dopaminergic loss and disease severity, response to dopaminergic replacement therapies, development of L-dopa-induced dyskinesias (LID, the plasticity protocol used, medication and stimulation status in patients treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS. The influences of LID and DBS on BG and M1 plasticity have been explored in animal models and in PD patients. In addition, many other factors such age, genetic factors (e.g. brain derived neurotropic factor and other neurotransmitters or receptors polymorphism, emotional state, time of the day, physical fitness have been documented to play role in the extent of plasticity induced by TMS in human studies. In this review, we summarize the studies that investigated M1 plasticity in PD and demonstrate how these afore-mentioned factors affect motor cortical plasticity in PD. We conclude that it is important to consider the clinical, demographic and technical factors that influence various plasticity protocols while developing these protocols as diagnostic or prognostic tools in PD. We also discuss how the modulation of cortical excitability and the plasticity with these non-invasive brain stimulation techniques facilitate the understanding of the pathophysiology of PD and help design potential therapeutic possibilities in this disorder.

  11. Reward-timing-dependent bidirectional modulation of cortical microcircuits during optical single-neuron operant conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hira, Riichiro; Ohkubo, Fuki; Masamizu, Yoshito; Ohkura, Masamichi; Nakai, Junichi; Okada, Takashi; Matsuzaki, Masanori

    2014-11-24

    Animals rapidly adapt to environmental change. To reveal how cortical microcircuits are rapidly reorganized when an animal recognizes novel reward contingency, we conduct two-photon calcium imaging of layer 2/3 motor cortex neurons in mice and simultaneously reinforce the activity of a single cortical neuron with water delivery. Here we show that when the target neuron is not relevant to a pre-trained forelimb movement, the mouse increases the target neuron activity and the number of rewards delivered during 15-min operant conditioning without changing forelimb movement behaviour. The reinforcement bidirectionally modulates the activity of subsets of non-target neurons, independent of distance from the target neuron. The bidirectional modulation depends on the relative timing between the reward delivery and the neuronal activity, and is recreated by pairing reward delivery and photoactivation of a subset of neurons. Reward-timing-dependent bidirectional modulation may be one of the fundamental processes in microcircuit reorganization for rapid adaptation.

  12. Lateralization of cortical negative motor areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borggraefe, Ingo; Catarino, Claudia B; Rémi, Jan; Vollmar, Christian; Peraud, Aurelia; Winkler, Peter A; Noachtar, Soheyl

    2016-10-01

    The lateral and mesial aspects of the central and frontal cortex were studied by direct electrical stimulation of the cortex in epilepsy surgery candidates in order to determine the localization of unilateral and bilateral negative motor responses. Results of electrical cortical stimulation were examined in epilepsy surgery candidates in whom invasive electrodes were implanted. The exact localization of subdural electrodes was defined by fusion of 3-dimensional reconstructed MRI and CT images in 13 patients and by analysis of plane skull X-rays and intraoperative visual localization of the electrodes in another 7 patients. Results of electrical stimulation of the cortex were evaluated in a total of 128 patients in whom invasive electrodes were implanted for planning resective epilepsy surgery. Twenty patients, in whom negative motor responses were obtained, were included in the study. Bilateral upper limb negative motor responses were more often elicited from stimulation of the mesial frontal cortex whereas stimulation of the lateral central cortex leads to contralateral upper limb negative motor responses (pfrontal gyrus whereas contralateral negative motor responses localized predominantly in the anterior part of the precentral gyrus (pgyrus and the mesial fronto-central cortex showing functional differences with regard to unilateral and bilateral upper limb representation. The lateral fronto-central negative motor area serves predominantly contralateral upper limb motor control whereas the mesial frontal negative motor area represents bilateral upper limb movement control. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Beta-band intermuscular coherence: a novel biomarker of upper motor neuron dysfunction in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Karen M.; Zaaimi, Boubker; Williams, Timothy L.; Baker, Stuart N.

    2012-01-01

    In motor neuron disease, the focus of therapy is to prevent or slow neuronal degeneration with neuroprotective pharmacological agents; early diagnosis and treatment are thus essential. Incorporation of needle electromyographic evidence of lower motor neuron degeneration into diagnostic criteria has undoubtedly advanced diagnosis, but even earlier diagnosis might be possible by including tests of subclinical upper motor neuron disease. We hypothesized that beta-band (15–30 Hz) intermuscular coherence could be used as an electrophysiological marker of upper motor neuron integrity in such patients. We measured intermuscular coherence in eight patients who conformed to established diagnostic criteria for primary lateral sclerosis and six patients with progressive muscular atrophy, together with 16 age-matched controls. In the primary lateral sclerosis variant of motor neuron disease, there is selective destruction of motor cortical layer V pyramidal neurons and degeneration of the corticospinal tract, without involvement of anterior horn cells. In progressive muscular atrophy, there is selective degeneration of anterior horn cells but a normal corticospinal tract. All patients with primary lateral sclerosis had abnormal motor-evoked potentials as assessed using transcranial magnetic stimulation, whereas these were similar to controls in progressive muscular atrophy. Upper and lower limb intermuscular coherence was measured during a precision grip and an ankle dorsiflexion task, respectively. Significant beta-band coherence was observed in all control subjects and all patients with progressive muscular atrophy tested, but not in the patients with primary lateral sclerosis. We conclude that intermuscular coherence in the 15–30 Hz range is dependent on an intact corticospinal tract but persists in the face of selective anterior horn cell destruction. Based on the distributions of coherence values measured from patients with primary lateral sclerosis and control

  14. Cortical Motor Circuits after Piano Training in Adulthood: Neurophysiologic Evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise Houdayer

    Full Text Available The neuronal mechanisms involved in brain plasticity after skilled motor learning are not completely understood. We aimed to study the short-term effects of keyboard training in music-naive subjects on the motor/premotor cortex activity and interhemispheric interactions, using electroencephalography and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS. Twelve subjects (experimental group underwent, before and after a two week-piano training: (1 hand-motor function tests: Jamar, grip and nine-hole peg tests; (2 electroencephalography, evaluating the mu rhythm task-related desynchronization (TRD during keyboard performance; and (3 TMS, targeting bilateral abductor pollicis brevis (APB and abductor digiti minimi (ADM, to obtain duration and area of ipsilateral silent period (ISP during simultaneous tonic contraction of APB and ADM. Data were compared with 13 controls who underwent twice these measurements, in a two-week interval, without undergoing piano training. Every subject in the experimental group improved keyboard performance and left-hand nine-hole peg test scores. Pre-training, ISP durations were asymmetrical, left being longer than right. Post-training, right ISPAPB increased, leading to symmetrical ISPAPB. Mu TRD during motor performance became more focal and had a lesser amplitude than in pre-training, due to decreased activity over ventral premotor cortices. No such changes were evidenced in controls. We demonstrated that a 10-day piano-training was associated with balanced interhemispheric interactions both at rest and during motor activation. Piano training, in a short timeframe, may reshape local and inter-hemispheric motor cortical circuits.

  15. Multimodal structural MRI in the diagnosis of motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraro, Pilar M; Agosta, Federica; Riva, Nilo; Copetti, Massimiliano; Spinelli, Edoardo Gioele; Falzone, Yuri; Sorarù, Gianni; Comi, Giancarlo; Chiò, Adriano; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    This prospective study developed an MRI-based method for identification of individual motor neuron disease (MND) patients and test its accuracy at the individual patient level in an independent sample compared with mimic disorders. 123 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), 44 patients with predominantly upper motor neuron disease (PUMN), 20 patients with ALS-mimic disorders, and 78 healthy controls were studied. The diagnostic accuracy of precentral cortical thickness and diffusion tensor (DT) MRI metrics of corticospinal and motor callosal tracts were assessed in a training cohort and externally proved in a validation cohort using a random forest analysis. In the training set, precentral cortical thickness showed 0.86 and 0.89 accuracy in differentiating ALS and PUMN patients from controls, while DT MRI distinguished the two groups from controls with 0.78 and 0.92 accuracy. In ALS vs controls, the combination of cortical thickness and DT MRI metrics (combined model) improved the classification pattern (0.91 accuracy). In the validation cohort, the best accuracy was reached by DT MRI (0.87 and 0.95 accuracy in ALS and PUMN vs mimic disorders). The combined model distinguished ALS and PUMN patients from mimic syndromes with 0.87 and 0.94 accuracy. A multimodal MRI approach that incorporates motor cortical and white matter alterations yields statistically significant improvement in accuracy over using each modality separately in the individual MND patient classification. DT MRI represents the most powerful tool to distinguish MND from mimic disorders.

  16. Neuromodulation of vertebrate motor neuron membrane properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hultborn, Hans; Kiehn, Ole

    1992-01-01

    The short-term function of motor neurons is to integrate synaptic inputs converging onto the somato-dendritic membrane and to transform the net synaptic drive into spike trains. A set of voltage-gated ion channels determines the electro-responsiveness and thereby the motor neuron's input-output f...

  17. The changing roles of neurons in the cortical subplate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Friedlander

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Neurons may serve different functions over the course of an organism’s life. Recent evidence suggests that cortical subplate neurons including those that reside in the white matter may perform longitudinal multi-tasking at different stages of development. These cells play a key role in early cortical development in coordinating thalamocortical reciprocal innervation. At later stages of development, they become integrated within the cortical microcircuitry. This type of longitudinal multi-tasking can enhance the capacity for information processing by populations of cells serving different functions over the lifespan. Subplate cells are initially derived when cells from the ventricular zone underlying the cortex migrate to the cortical preplate that is subsequently split by the differentiating neurons of the cortical plate with some neurons locating in the marginal zone and others settling below in the subplate (SP. While the cortical plate neurons form most of the cortical layers (layers 2-6, the marginal zone neurons form layer 1 and the SP neurons become interstitial cells of the white matter as well as forming a compact sublayer along the bottom of layer 6. After serving as transient innervation targets for thalamocortical axons, most of these cells die and layer 4 neurons become innervated by thalamic axons. However, 10-20% survives, remaining into adulthood along the bottom of layer 6 and as a scattered population of interstitial neurons in the white matter. Surviving subplate cells’ axons project throughout the overlying laminae, reaching layer 1 and issuing axon collaterals within white matter and in lower layer 6. This suggests that they participate in local synaptic networks, as well. Moreover, they receive excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs, potentially monitoring outputs from axon collaterals of cortical efferents, from cortical afferents and/or from each other. We explore our understanding of the functional connectivity of

  18. Real-time prediction of hand trajectory by ensembles of cortical neurons in primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessberg, Johan; Stambaugh, Christopher R.; Kralik, Jerald D.; Beck, Pamela D.; Laubach, Mark; Chapin, John K.; Kim, Jung; Biggs, S. James; Srinivasan, Mandayam A.; Nicolelis, Miguel A. L.

    2000-11-01

    Signals derived from the rat motor cortex can be used for controlling one-dimensional movements of a robot arm. It remains unknown, however, whether real-time processing of cortical signals can be employed to reproduce, in a robotic device, the kind of complex arm movements used by primates to reach objects in space. Here we recorded the simultaneous activity of large populations of neurons, distributed in the premotor, primary motor and posterior parietal cortical areas, as non-human primates performed two distinct motor tasks. Accurate real-time predictions of one- and three-dimensional arm movement trajectories were obtained by applying both linear and nonlinear algorithms to cortical neuronal ensemble activity recorded from each animal. In addition, cortically derived signals were successfully used for real-time control of robotic devices, both locally and through the Internet. These results suggest that long-term control of complex prosthetic robot arm movements can be achieved by simple real-time transformations of neuronal population signals derived from multiple cortical areas in primates.

  19. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  20. MicroRNA-338 modulates cortical neuronal placement and polarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kos, Aron; de Mooij-Malsen, Annetrude J; van Bokhoven, Hans; Kaplan, Barry B; Martens, Gerard J; Kolk, Sharon M; Aschrafi, Armaz

    2017-07-03

    The precise spatial and temporal regulation of gene expression orchestrates the many intricate processes during brain development. In the present study we examined the role of the brain-enriched microRNA-338 (miR-338) during mouse cortical development. Reduction of miR-338 levels in the developing mouse cortex, using a sequence-specific miR-sponge, resulted in a loss of neuronal polarity in the cortical plate and significantly reduced the number of neurons within this cortical layer. Conversely, miR-338 overexpression in developing mouse cortex increased the number of neurons, which exhibited a multipolar morphology. All together, our results raise the possibility for a direct role for this non-coding RNA, which was recently associated with schizophrenia, in the regulation of cortical neuronal polarity and layer placement.

  1. Basal Forebrain Gating by Somatostatin Neurons Drives Prefrontal Cortical Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, Nelson; Alonso, Alejandra; Morales, Cristian; Espinosa, Pedro; Chávez, Andrés E; Fuentealba, Pablo

    2017-11-17

    The basal forebrain provides modulatory input to the cortex regulating brain states and cognitive processing. Somatostatin-expressing neurons constitute a heterogeneous GABAergic population known to functionally inhibit basal forebrain cortically projecting cells thus favoring sleep and cortical synchronization. However, it remains unclear if somatostatin cells can regulate population activity patterns in the basal forebrain and modulate cortical dynamics. Here, we demonstrate that somatostatin neurons regulate the corticopetal synaptic output of the basal forebrain impinging on cortical activity and behavior. Optogenetic inactivation of somatostatin neurons in vivo rapidly modified neural activity in the basal forebrain, with the consequent enhancement and desynchronization of activity in the prefrontal cortex, reflected in both neuronal spiking and network oscillations. Cortical activation was partially dependent on cholinergic transmission, suppressing slow waves and potentiating gamma oscillations. In addition, recruitment dynamics was cell type-specific, with interneurons showing similar temporal profiles, but stronger responses than pyramidal cells. Finally, optogenetic stimulation of quiescent animals during resting periods prompted locomotor activity, suggesting generalized cortical activation and increased arousal. Altogether, we provide physiological and behavioral evidence indicating that somatostatin neurons are pivotal in gating the synaptic output of the basal forebrain, thus indirectly controlling cortical operations via both cholinergic and non-cholinergic mechanisms. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Neurons in primary motor cortex engaged during action observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dushanova, Juliana; Donoghue, John

    2010-01-01

    Neurons in higher cortical areas appear to become active during action observation, either by mirroring observed actions (termed mirror neurons) or by eliciting mental rehearsal of observed motor acts. We report the existence of neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1), an area that is generally considered to initiate and guide movement performance, responding to viewed actions. Multielectrode recordings in monkeys performing or observing a well-learned step-tracking task showed that approximately half of the M1 neurons that were active when monkeys performed the task were also active when they observed the action being performed by a human. These 'view' neurons were spatially intermingled with 'do' neurons, which are active only during movement performance. Simultaneously recorded 'view' neurons comprised two groups: approximately 38% retained the same preferred direction (PD) and timing during performance and viewing, and the remainder (62%) changed their PDs and time lag during viewing as compared with performance. Nevertheless, population activity during viewing was sufficient to predict the direction and trajectory of viewed movements as action unfolded, although less accurately than during performance. 'View' neurons became less active and contained poorer representations of action when only subcomponents of the task were being viewed. M1 'view' neurons thus appear to reflect aspects of a learned movement when observed in others, and form part of a broadly engaged set of cortical areas routinely responding to learned behaviors. These findings suggest that viewing a learned action elicits replay of aspects of M1 activity needed to perform the observed action, and could additionally reflect processing related to understanding, learning or mentally rehearsing action.

  3. APLP2 regulates neuronal stem cell differentiation during cortical development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shariati, S Ali M; Lau, Pierre; Hassan, Bassem A; Müller, Ulrike; Dotti, Carlos G; De Strooper, Bart; Gärtner, Annette

    2013-03-01

    Expression of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its two paralogues, APLP1 and APLP2 during brain development coincides with key cellular events such as neuronal differentiation and migration. However, genetic knockout and shRNA studies have led to contradictory conclusions about their role during embryonic brain development. To address this issue, we analysed in depth the role of APLP2 during neurogenesis by silencing APLP2 in vivo in an APP/APLP1 double knockout mouse background. We find that under these conditions cortical progenitors remain in their undifferentiated state much longer, displaying a higher number of mitotic cells. In addition, we show that neuron-specific APLP2 downregulation does not impact the speed or position of migrating excitatory cortical neurons. In summary, our data reveal that APLP2 is specifically required for proper cell cycle exit of neuronal progenitors, and thus has a distinct role in priming cortical progenitors for neuronal differentiation.

  4. Structural and functional evaluation of cortical motor areas in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosottini, Mirco; Pesaresi, Ilaria; Piazza, Selina; Diciotti, Stefano; Cecchi, Paolo; Fabbri, Serena; Carlesi, Cecilia; Mascalchi, Mario; Siciliano, Gabriele

    2012-03-01

    cortical damage within the motor circuit of ALS patients. The functional changes in non-primary motor cortices pertaining to fronto-parietal circuit suggest an over-recruitment of a pre-existing physiological sensory-motor network. However, the concomitant fronto-parietal cortical atrophy arises the possibility that such a hyper-activation reflects cortical hyper-excitability due to loss of inhibitory inter-neurons. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L.F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. PMID:25088365

  6. A computational model of motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L F

    2014-08-20

    To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. mGluR5 ablation in cortical glutamatergic neurons increases novelty-induced locomotion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris P Jew

    Full Text Available The group I metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5 has been implicated in the pathology of various neurological disorders including schizophrenia, ADHD, and autism. mGluR5-dependent synaptic plasticity has been described at a variety of neural connections and its signaling has been implicated in several behaviors. These behaviors include locomotor reactivity to novel environment, sensorimotor gating, anxiety, and cognition. mGluR5 is expressed in glutamatergic neurons, inhibitory neurons, and glia in various brain regions. In this study, we show that deleting mGluR5 expression only in principal cortical neurons leads to defective cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R dependent synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex. These cortical glutamatergic mGluR5 knockout mice exhibit increased novelty-induced locomotion, and their locomotion can be further enhanced by treatment with the psychostimulant methylphenidate. Despite a modest reduction in repetitive behaviors, cortical glutamatergic mGluR5 knockout mice are normal in sensorimotor gating, anxiety, motor balance/learning and fear conditioning behaviors. These results show that mGluR5 signaling in cortical glutamatergic neurons is required for precisely modulating locomotor reactivity to a novel environment but not for sensorimotor gating, anxiety, motor coordination, several forms of learning or social interactions.

  8. IGF-1: elixir for motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papanikolaou, Theodora; Ellerby, Lisa M

    2009-08-13

    Modulation of testosterone levels is a therapeutic approach for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), a polyglutamine disorder that affects the motor neurons. The article by Palazzolo et al. in this issue of Neuron provides compelling evidence that the expression of insulin growth hormone is a potential therapeutic for SBMA.

  9. Multimodal structural MRI in the diagnosis of motor neuron diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar M. Ferraro

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This prospective study developed an MRI-based method for identification of individual motor neuron disease (MND patients and test its accuracy at the individual patient level in an independent sample compared with mimic disorders. 123 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, 44 patients with predominantly upper motor neuron disease (PUMN, 20 patients with ALS-mimic disorders, and 78 healthy controls were studied. The diagnostic accuracy of precentral cortical thickness and diffusion tensor (DT MRI metrics of corticospinal and motor callosal tracts were assessed in a training cohort and externally proved in a validation cohort using a random forest analysis. In the training set, precentral cortical thickness showed 0.86 and 0.89 accuracy in differentiating ALS and PUMN patients from controls, while DT MRI distinguished the two groups from controls with 0.78 and 0.92 accuracy. In ALS vs controls, the combination of cortical thickness and DT MRI metrics (combined model improved the classification pattern (0.91 accuracy. In the validation cohort, the best accuracy was reached by DT MRI (0.87 and 0.95 accuracy in ALS and PUMN vs mimic disorders. The combined model distinguished ALS and PUMN patients from mimic syndromes with 0.87 and 0.94 accuracy. A multimodal MRI approach that incorporates motor cortical and white matter alterations yields statistically significant improvement in accuracy over using each modality separately in the individual MND patient classification. DT MRI represents the most powerful tool to distinguish MND from mimic disorders.

  10. Local-circuit phenotypes of layer 5 neurons in motor-frontal cortex of YFP-H mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianing Yu

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Layer 5 pyramidal neurons comprise an important but heterogeneous group of cortical projection neurons. In motor-frontal cortex, these neurons are centrally involved in the cortical control of movement. Recent studies indicate that local excitatory networks in mouse motor-frontal cortex are dominated by descending pathways from layer 2/3 to 5. However, those pathways were identified in experiments involving unlabeled neurons in wild type mice. Here, to explore the possibility of class-specific connectivity in this descending pathway, we mapped the local sources of excitatory synaptic input to a genetically labeled population of cortical neurons: YFP-positive layer 5 neurons of YFP-H mice. We found, first, that in motor cortex, YFP-positive neurons were distributed in a double blade, consistent with the idea of layer 5B having greater thickness in frontal neocortex. Second, whereas unlabeled neurons in upper layer 5 received their strongest inputs from layer 2, YFP-positive neurons in the upper blade received prominent layer 3 inputs. Third, YFP-positive neurons exhibited distinct electrophysiological properties, including low spike frequency adaptation, as reported previously. Our results with this genetically labeled neuronal population indicate the presence of distinct local-circuit phenotypes among layer 5 pyramidal neurons in mouse motor-frontal cortex, and present a paradigm for investigating local circuit organization in other genetically labeled populations of cortical neurons.

  11. Nanomolar Bifenthrin Alters Synchronous Ca2+ Oscillations and Cortical Neuron Development Independent of Sodium Channel Activity

    OpenAIRE

    Cao, Zhengyu; Cui, Yanjun; Nguyen, Hai M.; Jenkins, David Paul; Wulff, Heike; Pessah, Isaac N.

    2014-01-01

    Bifenthrin, a relatively stable type I pyrethroid that causes tremors and impairs motor activity in rodents, is broadly used. We investigated whether nanomolar bifenthrin alters synchronous Ca 2+ oscillations (SCOs) necessary for activity-dependent dendritic development. Primary mouse cortical neurons were cultured 8 or 9 days in vitro (DIV), loaded with the Ca2+ indicator Fluo-4, and imaged using a Fluorescence Imaging Plate Reader Tetra. Acute exposure to bifenthrin rapidly increased the fr...

  12. Hereditary motor neuropathies and motor neuron diseases: which is which.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanemann, Clemens O; Ludolph, Albert C

    2002-12-01

    When Charcot first defined amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) he used the clinical and neuropathological pattern of vulnerability as a guideline. Similarly other motor neuron diseases such as the spinal muscular atrophies (SMA) and the motor neuropathies (MN) were grouped following clinical criteria. However, ever since the etiology of these diseases has started to be disclosed by genetics, we have learnt that the limits of the syndromes are not as well defined as our forefathers thought. A mutation leading to ALS can also be associated with the clinical picture of spinal muscular atrophy; even more unexpected is the overlap of the so-called motor neuropathies with the clinical syndrome of slowly progressive ALS or that primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) can be caused by the same gene as that responsible for some cases of ALS. In this review we summarise recent work showing that there is a considerable overlap between CMT, MN, SMA, ALS and PLS. Insights into these phenotypes should lead to study of the variants of motor neuron disease and possibly to a reclassification. This comprehensive review should help to improve understanding of the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration and finally may aid the research for urgently needed new treatment strategies, perhaps with validity for the entire group of motor neuron diseases.

  13. Synchronization of motor neurons during locomotion in the neonatal rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tresch, Matthew C.; Kiehn, Ole

    2002-01-01

    We describe here the robust synchronization of motor neurons at a millisecond time scale during locomotor activity in the neonatal rat. Action potential activity of motor neuron pairs was recorded extracellularly using tetrodes during locomotor activity in the in vitro neonatal rat spinal cord....... Approximately 40% of motor neuron pairs recorded in the same spinal segment showed significant synchronization, with the duration of the central peak in cross-correlograms between motor neurons typically ranging between ∼ 30 and 100 msec. The percentage of synchronized motor neuron pairs was considerably higher...... between motor neurons persisted. On the other hand, both local and distant coupling between motor neurons were preserved after antagonism of gap junction coupling between motor neurons. These results demonstrate that motor neuron activity is strongly synchronized at a millisecond time scale during...

  14. Cortical ensemble activity increasingly predicts behaviour outcomes during learning of a motor task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laubach, Mark; Wessberg, Johan; Nicolelis, Miguel A. L.

    2000-06-01

    When an animal learns to make movements in response to different stimuli, changes in activity in the motor cortex seem to accompany and underlie this learning. The precise nature of modifications in cortical motor areas during the initial stages of motor learning, however, is largely unknown. Here we address this issue by chronically recording from neuronal ensembles located in the rat motor cortex, throughout the period required for rats to learn a reaction-time task. Motor learning was demonstrated by a decrease in the variance of the rats' reaction times and an increase in the time the animals were able to wait for a trigger stimulus. These behavioural changes were correlated with a significant increase in our ability to predict the correct or incorrect outcome of single trials based on three measures of neuronal ensemble activity: average firing rate, temporal patterns of firing, and correlated firing. This increase in prediction indicates that an association between sensory cues and movement emerged in the motor cortex as the task was learned. Such modifications in cortical ensemble activity may be critical for the initial learning of motor tasks.

  15. Reduced Synaptic Vesicle Recycling during Hypoxia in Cultured Cortical Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Fedorovich, Sergei; Hofmeijer, Jeannette; van Putten, Michel Johannes Antonius Maria; le Feber, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    Improvement of neuronal recovery in the ischemic penumbra, an area around the core of a brain infarct with some remaining perfusion, has a large potential for the development of therapy against acute ischemic stroke. However, mechanisms that lead to either recovery or secondary damage in the penumbra largely remain unclear. Recent studies in cultured networks of cortical neurons showed that failure of synaptic transmission (referred to as synaptic failure) is a critical factor in the penumbra...

  16. Spinal Accessory Motor Neurons in the Mouse: A Special Type of Branchial Motor Neuron?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Charles; Tvrdik, Petr

    2018-04-16

    The spinal accessory nerve arises from motor neurons in the upper cervical spinal cord. The axons of these motor neurons exit dorsal to the ligamentum denticulatum and form the spinal accessory nerve. The nerve ascends in the spinal subarachnoid space to enter the posterior cranial fossa through the foramen magnum. The spinal accessory nerve then turns caudally to exit through the jugular foramen alongside the vagus and glossopharyngeal nerves, and then travels to supply the sternomastoid and trapezius muscles in the neck. The unusual course of the spinal accessory nerve has long prompted speculation that it is not a typical spinal motor nerve and that it might represent a caudal remnant of the branchial motor system. Our cell lineage tracing data, combined with images from public databases, show that the spinal accessory motor neurons in the mouse transiently express Phox2b, a transcription factor that is required for development of brain stem branchial motor nuclei. While this is strong prima facie evidence that the spinal accessory motor neurons should be classified as branchial motor, the evolutionary history of these motor neurons in anamniote vertebrates suggests that they may be considered to be an atypical branchial group that possesses both branchial and somatic characteristics. Anat Rec, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Alterations of cortical GABA neurons and network oscillations in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Hashimoto, Takanori; Lewis, David A

    2010-08-01

    The hypothesis that alterations of cortical inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are a central element in the pathology of schizophrenia has emerged from a series of postmortem studies. How such abnormalities may contribute to the clinical features of schizophrenia has been substantially informed by a convergence with basic neuroscience studies revealing complex details of GABA neuron function in the healthy brain. Importantly, activity of the parvalbumin-containing class of GABA neurons has been linked to the production of cortical network oscillations. Furthermore, growing knowledge supports the concept that gamma band oscillations (30-80 Hz) are an essential mechanism for cortical information transmission and processing. Herein we review recent studies further indicating that inhibition from parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons is necessary to produce gamma oscillations in cortical circuits; provide an update on postmortem studies documenting that deficits in the expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase67, which accounts for most GABA synthesis in the cortex, are widely observed in schizophrenia; and describe studies using novel, noninvasive approaches directly assessing potential relations between alterations in GABA, oscillations, and cognitive function in schizophrenia.

  18. Retinoic acid from the meninges regulates cortical neuron generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegenthaler, Julie A; Ashique, Amir M; Zarbalis, Konstantinos; Patterson, Katelin P; Hecht, Jonathan H; Kane, Maureen A; Folias, Alexandra E; Choe, Youngshik; May, Scott R; Kume, Tsutomu; Napoli, Joseph L; Peterson, Andrew S; Pleasure, Samuel J

    2009-10-30

    Extrinsic signals controlling generation of neocortical neurons during embryonic life have been difficult to identify. In this study we demonstrate that the dorsal forebrain meninges communicate with the adjacent radial glial endfeet and influence cortical development. We took advantage of Foxc1 mutant mice with defects in forebrain meningeal formation. Foxc1 dosage and loss of meninges correlated with a dramatic reduction in both neuron and intermediate progenitor production and elongation of the neuroepithelium. Several types of experiments demonstrate that retinoic acid (RA) is the key component of this secreted activity. In addition, Rdh10- and Raldh2-expressing cells in the dorsal meninges were either reduced or absent in the Foxc1 mutants, and Rdh10 mutants had a cortical phenotype similar to the Foxc1 null mutants. Lastly, in utero RA treatment rescued the cortical phenotype in Foxc1 mutants. These results establish RA as a potent, meningeal-derived cue required for successful corticogenesis.

  19. ALS and other motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiryaki, Ezgi; Horak, Holli A

    2014-10-01

    This review describes the most common motor neuron disease, ALS. It discusses the diagnosis and evaluation of ALS and the current understanding of its pathophysiology, including new genetic underpinnings of the disease. This article also covers other motor neuron diseases, reviews how to distinguish them from ALS, and discusses their pathophysiology. In this article, the spectrum of cognitive involvement in ALS, new concepts about protein synthesis pathology in the etiology of ALS, and new genetic associations will be covered. This concept has changed over the past 3 to 4 years with the discovery of new genes and genetic processes that may trigger the disease. As of 2014, two-thirds of familial ALS and 10% of sporadic ALS can be explained by genetics. TAR DNA binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43), for instance, has been shown to cause frontotemporal dementia as well as some cases of familial ALS, and is associated with frontotemporal dysfunction in ALS. The anterior horn cells control all voluntary movement: motor activity, respiratory, speech, and swallowing functions are dependent upon signals from the anterior horn cells. Diseases that damage the anterior horn cells, therefore, have a profound impact. Symptoms of anterior horn cell loss (weakness, falling, choking) lead patients to seek medical attention. Neurologists are the most likely practitioners to recognize and diagnose damage or loss of anterior horn cells. ALS, the prototypical motor neuron disease, demonstrates the impact of this class of disorders. ALS and other motor neuron diseases can represent diagnostic challenges. Neurologists are often called upon to serve as a "medical home" for these patients: coordinating care, arranging for durable medical equipment, and leading discussions about end-of-life care with patients and caregivers. It is important for neurologists to be able to identify motor neuron diseases and to evaluate and treat patients affected by them.

  20. Rich-Club Organization in Effective Connectivity among Cortical Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigam, Sunny; Shimono, Masanori; Ito, Shinya; Yeh, Fang-Chin; Timme, Nicholas; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Lapish, Christopher C; Tosi, Zachary; Hottowy, Pawel; Smith, Wesley C; Masmanidis, Sotiris C; Litke, Alan M; Sporns, Olaf; Beggs, John M

    2016-01-20

    The performance of complex networks, like the brain, depends on how effectively their elements communicate. Despite the importance of communication, it is virtually unknown how information is transferred in local cortical networks, consisting of hundreds of closely spaced neurons. To address this, it is important to record simultaneously from hundreds of neurons at a spacing that matches typical axonal connection distances, and at a temporal resolution that matches synaptic delays. We used a 512-electrode array (60 μm spacing) to record spontaneous activity at 20 kHz from up to 500 neurons simultaneously in slice cultures of mouse somatosensory cortex for 1 h at a time. We applied a previously validated version of transfer entropy to quantify information transfer. Similar to in vivo reports, we found an approximately lognormal distribution of firing rates. Pairwise information transfer strengths also were nearly lognormally distributed, similar to reports of synaptic strengths. Some neurons transferred and received much more information than others, which is consistent with previous predictions. Neurons with the highest outgoing and incoming information transfer were more strongly connected to each other than chance, thus forming a "rich club." We found similar results in networks recorded in vivo from rodent cortex, suggesting the generality of these findings. A rich-club structure has been found previously in large-scale human brain networks and is thought to facilitate communication between cortical regions. The discovery of a small, but information-rich, subset of neurons within cortical regions suggests that this population will play a vital role in communication, learning, and memory. Significance statement: Many studies have focused on communication networks between cortical brain regions. In contrast, very few studies have examined communication networks within a cortical region. This is the first study to combine such a large number of neurons (several

  1. Rich-Club Organization in Effective Connectivity among Cortical Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimono, Masanori; Ito, Shinya; Yeh, Fang-Chin; Timme, Nicholas; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Lapish, Christopher C.; Tosi, Zachary; Hottowy, Pawel; Smith, Wesley C.; Masmanidis, Sotiris C.; Litke, Alan M.; Sporns, Olaf; Beggs, John M.

    2016-01-01

    The performance of complex networks, like the brain, depends on how effectively their elements communicate. Despite the importance of communication, it is virtually unknown how information is transferred in local cortical networks, consisting of hundreds of closely spaced neurons. To address this, it is important to record simultaneously from hundreds of neurons at a spacing that matches typical axonal connection distances, and at a temporal resolution that matches synaptic delays. We used a 512-electrode array (60 μm spacing) to record spontaneous activity at 20 kHz from up to 500 neurons simultaneously in slice cultures of mouse somatosensory cortex for 1 h at a time. We applied a previously validated version of transfer entropy to quantify information transfer. Similar to in vivo reports, we found an approximately lognormal distribution of firing rates. Pairwise information transfer strengths also were nearly lognormally distributed, similar to reports of synaptic strengths. Some neurons transferred and received much more information than others, which is consistent with previous predictions. Neurons with the highest outgoing and incoming information transfer were more strongly connected to each other than chance, thus forming a “rich club.” We found similar results in networks recorded in vivo from rodent cortex, suggesting the generality of these findings. A rich-club structure has been found previously in large-scale human brain networks and is thought to facilitate communication between cortical regions. The discovery of a small, but information-rich, subset of neurons within cortical regions suggests that this population will play a vital role in communication, learning, and memory. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many studies have focused on communication networks between cortical brain regions. In contrast, very few studies have examined communication networks within a cortical region. This is the first study to combine such a large number of neurons (several

  2. Motor features in posterior cortical atrophy and their imaging correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Natalie S; Shakespeare, Timothy J; Lehmann, Manja; Keihaninejad, Shiva; Nicholas, Jennifer M; Leung, Kelvin K; Fox, Nick C; Crutch, Sebastian J

    2014-12-01

    Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome characterized by impaired higher visual processing skills; however, motor features more commonly associated with corticobasal syndrome may also occur. We investigated the frequency and clinical characteristics of motor features in 44 PCA patients and, with 30 controls, conducted voxel-based morphometry, cortical thickness, and subcortical volumetric analyses of their magnetic resonance imaging. Prominent limb rigidity was used to define a PCA-motor subgroup. A total of 30% (13) had PCA-motor; all demonstrating asymmetrical left upper limb rigidity. Limb apraxia was more frequent and asymmetrical in PCA-motor, as was myoclonus. Tremor and alien limb phenomena only occurred in this subgroup. The subgroups did not differ in neuropsychological test performance or apolipoprotein E4 allele frequency. Greater asymmetry of atrophy occurred in PCA-motor, particularly involving right frontoparietal and peri-rolandic cortices, putamen, and thalamus. The 9 patients (including 4 PCA-motor) with pathology or cerebrospinal fluid all showed evidence of Alzheimer's disease. Our data suggest that PCA patients with motor features have greater atrophy of contralateral sensorimotor areas but are still likely to have underlying Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Motor features in posterior cortical atrophy and their imaging correlates☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Natalie S.; Shakespeare, Timothy J.; Lehmann, Manja; Keihaninejad, Shiva; Nicholas, Jennifer M.; Leung, Kelvin K.; Fox, Nick C.; Crutch, Sebastian J.

    2014-01-01

    Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome characterized by impaired higher visual processing skills; however, motor features more commonly associated with corticobasal syndrome may also occur. We investigated the frequency and clinical characteristics of motor features in 44 PCA patients and, with 30 controls, conducted voxel-based morphometry, cortical thickness, and subcortical volumetric analyses of their magnetic resonance imaging. Prominent limb rigidity was used to define a PCA-motor subgroup. A total of 30% (13) had PCA-motor; all demonstrating asymmetrical left upper limb rigidity. Limb apraxia was more frequent and asymmetrical in PCA-motor, as was myoclonus. Tremor and alien limb phenomena only occurred in this subgroup. The subgroups did not differ in neuropsychological test performance or apolipoprotein E4 allele frequency. Greater asymmetry of atrophy occurred in PCA-motor, particularly involving right frontoparietal and peri-rolandic cortices, putamen, and thalamus. The 9 patients (including 4 PCA-motor) with pathology or cerebrospinal fluid all showed evidence of Alzheimer's disease. Our data suggest that PCA patients with motor features have greater atrophy of contralateral sensorimotor areas but are still likely to have underlying Alzheimer's disease. PMID:25086839

  4. Motor neuron, nerve, and neuromuscular junction disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finsterer, Josef; Papić, Lea; Auer-Grumbach, Michaela

    2011-10-01

    The aim is to review the most relevant findings published during the last year concerning clinical, genetic, pathogenic, and therapeutic advances in motor neuron disease, neuropathies, and neuromuscular junction disorders. Studies on animal and cell models have improved the understanding of how mutated survival motor neuron protein in spinal muscular atrophy governs the pathogenetic processes. New phenotypes of SOD1 mutations have been described. Moreover, animal models enhanced the insight into the pathogenetic background of sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Novel treatment options for motor neuron disease have been described in humans and animal models. Considerable progress has been achieved also in elucidating the genetic background of many forms of inherited neuropathies and high clinical and genetic heterogeneity has been demonstrated. Mutations in MuSK and GFTP1 have been shown to cause new types of congenital myasthenic syndromes. A third type of autoantibodies (Lrp4) has been detected to cause myasthenia gravis. Advances in the clinical and genetic characterization of motor neuron diseases, neuropathies, and neuromuscular transmission defects have important implications on the fundamental understanding, diagnosis, and management of these disorders. Identification of crucial steps of the pathogenetic process may provide the basis for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

  5. Protective effect of parvalbumin on excitotoxic motor neuron death

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van den Bosch, L.; Schwaller, B.; Vleminckx, V.

    2002-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, AMPA receptor, calcium-binding proteins, calcium buffering, excitotoxity, kainic acid, motor neuron, parvalbumin......Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, AMPA receptor, calcium-binding proteins, calcium buffering, excitotoxity, kainic acid, motor neuron, parvalbumin...

  6. File list: InP.Neu.05.AllAg.Cortical_neuron [Chip-atlas[Archive

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  6. Methamphetamine induces heme oxygenase-1 expression in cortical neurons and glia to prevent its toxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, Y.-N.; Wu, C.-H.; Lin, T.-C.; Wang, J.-Y.

    2009-01-01

    The impairment of cognitive and motor functions in humans and animals caused by methamphetamine (METH) administration underscores the importance of METH toxicity in cortical neurons. The heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) exerts a cytoprotective effect against various neuronal injures; however, it remains unclear whether HO-1 is involved in METH-induced toxicity. We used primary cortical neuron/glia cocultures to explore the role of HO-1 in METH-induced toxicity. Exposure of cultured cells to various concentrations of METH (0.1, 0.5, 1, 3, 5, and 10 mM) led to cytotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner. A METH concentration of 5 mM, which caused 50% of neuronal death and glial activation, was chosen for subsequent experiments. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed that METH significantly induced HO-1 mRNA and protein expression, both preceded cell death. Double and triple immunofluorescence staining further identified HO-1-positive cells as activated astrocytes, microglia, and viable neurons, but not dying neurons. Inhibition of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway significantly blocked HO-1 induction by METH and aggravated METH neurotoxicity. Inhibition of HO activity using tin protoporphyrine IX significantly reduced HO activity and exacerbated METH neurotoxicity. However, prior induction of HO-1 using cobalt protoporphyrine IX partially protected neurons from METH toxicity. Taken together, our results suggest that induction of HO-1 by METH via the p38 signaling pathway may be protective, albeit insufficient to completely protect cortical neurons from METH toxicity.

  7. Disassociation between primary motor cortical activity and movement kinematics during adaptation to reach perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, X; Shimansky, Y P; Weber, D J; He, Jiping

    2004-01-01

    The relationship between movement kinematics and motor cortical activity was studied in monkeys performing a center-out reaching task during their adaptation to force perturbations applied to the wrist. The main feature of adaptive changes in movement kinematics was anticipatory deviation of hand paths in the direction opposite to that of the upcoming perturbation. We identified a group of neurons in the dorsal lateral portion of the primary motor cortex where a gradual buildup of spike activity immediately preceding the actual (in perturbation trials) or the "would-be" (in unperturbed/catch trials) perturbation onset was observed. These neurons were actively involved in the adaptation process, which was evident from the gradual increase in the amplitude of their movement-related modulation of spike activity from virtual zero and development of certain directional tuning pattern (DTP). However, the day-to-day dynamics of the kinematics adaptation was dramatically different from that of the neuronal activity. Hence, the adaptive modification of the motor cortical activity is more likely to reflect the development of the internal model of the perturbation dynamics, rather than motor instructions determining the adaptive behavior.

  8. What is happening to motor neuron disease in Nigeria? | Imam ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Systematic studies of motor neuron disease were last reported from Ibadan, Nigeria, more than two decades ago. Since then, information about motor neuron disease has become limited making it necessary to review the current status of the disease. Methods: The clinical records of all cases of motor neuron ...

  9. Signal transfer within a cultured asymmetric cortical neuron circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isomura, Takuya; Shimba, Kenta; Takayama, Yuzo; Takeuchi, Akimasa; Kotani, Kiyoshi; Jimbo, Yasuhiko

    2015-12-01

    Simplified neuronal circuits are required for investigating information representation in nervous systems and for validating theoretical neural network models. Here, we developed patterned neuronal circuits using micro fabricated devices, comprising a micro-well array bonded to a microelectrode-array substrate. The micro-well array consisted of micrometre-scale wells connected by tunnels, all contained within a silicone slab called a micro-chamber. The design of the micro-chamber confined somata to the wells and allowed axons to grow through the tunnels bidirectionally but with a designed, unidirectional bias. We guided axons into the point of the arrow structure where one of the two tunnel entrances is located, making that the preferred direction. When rat cortical neurons were cultured in the wells, their axons grew through the tunnels and connected to neurons in adjoining wells. Unidirectional burst transfers and other asymmetric signal-propagation phenomena were observed via the substrate-embedded electrodes. Seventy-nine percent of burst transfers were in the forward direction. We also observed rapid propagation of activity from sites of local electrical stimulation, and significant effects of inhibitory synapse blockade on bursting activity. These results suggest that this simple, substrate-controlled neuronal circuit can be applied to develop in vitro models of the function of cortical microcircuits or deep neural networks, better to elucidate the laws governing the dynamics of neuronal networks.

  10. Coordinated scaling of cortical and cerebellar numbers of neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana Herculano-Houzel

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available While larger brains possess concertedly larger cerebral cortices and cerebella, the relative size of the cerebral cortex increases with brain size, but relative cerebellar size does not. In the absence of data on numbers of neurons in these structures, this discrepancy has been used to dispute the hypothesis that the cerebral cortex and cerebellum function and have evolved in concert and to support a trend towards neocorticalization in evolution. However, the rationale for interpreting changes in absolute and relative size of the cerebral cortex and cerebellum relies on the assumption that they reflect absolute and relative numbers of neurons in these structures across all species – an assumption that our recent studies have shown to be flawed. Here I show for the first time that the numbers of neurons in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum are directly correlated across 19 mammalian species of 4 different orders, including humans, and increase concertedly in a similar fashion both within and across the orders Eulipotyphla (Insectivora, Rodentia, Scandentia and Primata, such that on average a ratio of 3.6 neurons in the cerebellum to every neuron in the cerebral cortex is maintained across species. This coordinated scaling of cortical and cerebellar numbers of neurons provides direct evidence in favor of concerted function, scaling and evolution of these brain structures, and suggests that the common notion that equates cognitive advancement with neocortical expansion should be revisited to consider in its stead the coordinated scaling of neocortex and cerebellum as a functional ensemble.

  11. Signal transfer within a cultured asymmetric cortical neuron circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isomura, Takuya; Shimba, Kenta; Takayama, Yuzo; Takeuchi, Akimasa; Kotani, Kiyoshi; Jimbo, Yasuhiko

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Simplified neuronal circuits are required for investigating information representation in nervous systems and for validating theoretical neural network models. Here, we developed patterned neuronal circuits using micro fabricated devices, comprising a micro-well array bonded to a microelectrode-array substrate. Approach. The micro-well array consisted of micrometre-scale wells connected by tunnels, all contained within a silicone slab called a micro-chamber. The design of the micro-chamber confined somata to the wells and allowed axons to grow through the tunnels bidirectionally but with a designed, unidirectional bias. We guided axons into the point of the arrow structure where one of the two tunnel entrances is located, making that the preferred direction. Main results. When rat cortical neurons were cultured in the wells, their axons grew through the tunnels and connected to neurons in adjoining wells. Unidirectional burst transfers and other asymmetric signal-propagation phenomena were observed via the substrate-embedded electrodes. Seventy-nine percent of burst transfers were in the forward direction. We also observed rapid propagation of activity from sites of local electrical stimulation, and significant effects of inhibitory synapse blockade on bursting activity. Significance. These results suggest that this simple, substrate-controlled neuronal circuit can be applied to develop in vitro models of the function of cortical microcircuits or deep neural networks, better to elucidate the laws governing the dynamics of neuronal networks.

  12. Learning-induced Dependence of Neuronal Activity in Primary Motor Cortex on Motor Task Condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, X; Shimansky, Y; He, Jiping

    2005-01-01

    A brain-computer interface (BCI) system such as a cortically controlled robotic arm must have a capacity of adjusting its function to a specific environmental condition. We studied this capacity in non-human primates based on chronic multi-electrode recording from the primary motor cortex of a monkey during the animal's performance of a center-out 3D reaching task and adaptation to external force perturbations. The main condition-related feature of motor cortical activity observed before the onset of force perturbation was a phasic raise of activity immediately before the perturbation onset. This feature was observed during a series of perturbation trials, but were absent under no perturbations. After adaptation has been completed, it usually was taking the subject only one trial to recognize a change in the condition to switch the neuronal activity accordingly. These condition-dependent features of neuronal activity can be used by a BCI for recognizing a change in the environmental condition and making corresponding adjustments, which requires that the BCI-based control system possess such advanced properties of the neural motor control system as capacity to learn and adapt.

  13. Rapid Identification of Cortical Motor Areas in Rodents by High-Frequency Automatic Cortical Stimulation and Novel Motor Threshold Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitsuaki Takemi

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Cortical stimulation mapping is a valuable tool to test the functional organization of the motor cortex in both basic neurophysiology (e.g., elucidating the process of motor plasticity and clinical practice (e.g., before resecting brain tumors involving the motor cortex. However, compilation of motor maps based on the motor threshold (MT requires a large number of cortical stimulations and is therefore time consuming. Shortening the time for mapping may reduce stress on the subjects and unveil short-term plasticity mechanisms. In this study, we aimed to establish a cortical stimulation mapping procedure in which the time needed to identify a motor area is reduced to the order of minutes without compromising reliability. We developed an automatic motor mapping system that applies epidural cortical surface stimulations (CSSs through one-by-one of 32 micro-electrocorticographic electrodes while examining the muscles represented in a cortical region. The next stimulus intensity was selected according to previously evoked electromyographic responses in a closed-loop fashion. CSS was repeated at 4 Hz and electromyographic responses were submitted to a newly proposed algorithm estimating the MT with smaller number of stimuli with respect to traditional approaches. The results showed that in all tested rats (n = 12 the motor area maps identified by our novel mapping procedure (novel MT algorithm and 4-Hz CSS significantly correlated with the maps achieved by the conventional MT algorithm with 1-Hz CSS. The reliability of the both mapping methods was very high (intraclass correlation coefficients ≧0.8, while the time needed for the mapping was one-twelfth shorter with the novel method. Furthermore, the motor maps assessed by intracortical microstimulation and the novel CSS mapping procedure in two rats were compared and were also significantly correlated. Our novel mapping procedure that determined a cortical motor area within a few minutes could help

  14. Motor-cortical interaction in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Franzkowiak

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS increased activation of the primary motor cortex (M1 before and during movement execution followed by increased inhibition after movement termination was reported. The present study aimed at investigating, whether this activation pattern is due to altered functional interaction between motor cortical areas. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 10 GTS-patients and 10 control subjects performed a self-paced finger movement task while neuromagnetic brain activity was recorded using Magnetoencephalography (MEG. Cerebro-cerebral coherence as a measure of functional interaction was calculated. During movement preparation and execution coherence between contralateral M1 and supplementary motor area (SMA was significantly increased at beta-frequency in GTS-patients. After movement termination no significant differences between groups were evident. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present data suggest that increased M1 activation in GTS-patients might be due to increased functional interaction between SMA and M1 most likely reflecting a pathophysiological marker of GTS. The data extend previous findings of motor-cortical alterations in GTS by showing that local activation changes are associated with alterations of functional networks between premotor and primary motor areas. Interestingly enough, alterations were evident during preparation and execution of voluntary movements, which implies a general theme of increased motor-cortical interaction in GTS.

  15. Connectivities and synchronous firing in cortical neuronal networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jia, L.C.; Sano, M.; Lai, P.-Y.; Chan, C.K.

    2004-01-01

    Network connectivities (k-bar) of cortical neural cultures are studied by synchronized firing and determined from measured correlations between fluorescence intensities of firing neurons. The bursting frequency (f) during synchronized firing of the networks is found to be an increasing function of k-bar. With f taken to be proportional to k-bar, a simple random model with a k-bar dependent connection probability p(k-bar) has been constructed to explain our experimental findings successfully

  16. Retrograde Neuroanatomical Tracing of Phrenic Motor Neurons in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandeweerd, Jean-Michel; Hontoir, Fanny; De Knoop, Alexis; De Swert, Kathleen; Nicaise, Charles

    2018-02-22

    Phrenic motor neurons are cervical motor neurons originating from C3 to C6 levels in most mammalian species. Axonal projections converge into phrenic nerves innervating the respiratory diaphragm. In spinal cord slices, phrenic motor neurons cannot be identified from other motor neurons on morphological or biochemical criteria. We provide the description of procedures for visualizing phrenic motor neuron cell bodies in mice, following intrapleural injections of cholera toxin subunit beta (CTB) conjugated to a fluorophore. This fluorescent neuroanatomical tracer has the ability to be caught up at the diaphragm neuromuscular junction, be carried retrogradely along the phrenic axons and reach the phrenic cell bodies. Two methodological approaches of intrapleural CTB delivery are compared: transdiaphragmatic versus transthoracic injections. Both approaches are successful and result in similar number of CTB-labeled phrenic motor neurons. In conclusion, these techniques can be applied to visualize or quantify the phrenic motor neurons in various experimental studies such as those focused on the diaphragm-phrenic circuitry.

  17. A novel cortical target to enhance hand motor output in humans with spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Jinyi; Federico, Paolo; Perez, Monica A

    2017-06-01

    A main goal of rehabilitation strategies in humans with spinal cord injury is to strengthen transmission in spared neural networks. Although neuromodulatory strategies have targeted different sites within the central nervous system to restore motor function following spinal cord injury, the role of cortical targets remain poorly understood. Here, we use 180 pairs of transcranial magnetic stimulation for ∼30 min over the hand representation of the motor cortex at an interstimulus interval mimicking the rhythmicity of descending late indirect (I) waves in corticospinal neurons (4.3 ms; I-wave protocol) or at an interstimulus interval in-between I-waves (3.5 ms; control protocol) on separate days in a randomized order. Late I-waves are thought to arise from trans-synaptic cortical inputs and have a crucial role in the recruitment of spinal motor neurons following spinal cord injury. Motor evoked potentials elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation, paired-pulse intracortical inhibition, spinal motor neuron excitability (F-waves), index finger abduction force and electromyographic activity as well as a hand dexterity task were measured before and after both protocols in 15 individuals with chronic incomplete cervical spinal cord injury and 17 uninjured participants. We found that motor evoked potentials size increased in spinal cord injury and uninjured participants after the I-wave but not the control protocol for ∼30 to 60 min after the stimulation. Intracortical inhibition decreased and F-wave amplitude and persistence increased after the I-wave but not the control protocol, suggesting that cortical and subcortical networks contributed to changes in corticospinal excitability. Importantly, hand motor output and hand dexterity increased in individuals with spinal cord injury after the I-wave protocol. These results provide the first evidence that late synaptic input to corticospinal neurons may represent a novel therapeutic target for improving motor function

  18. Sensory experience regulates cortical inhibition by inducing IGF1 in VIP neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mardinly, A R; Spiegel, I; Patrizi, A; Centofante, E; Bazinet, J E; Tzeng, C P; Mandel-Brehm, C; Harmin, D A; Adesnik, H; Fagiolini, M; Greenberg, M E

    2016-03-17

    Inhibitory neurons regulate the adaptation of neural circuits to sensory experience, but the molecular mechanisms by which experience controls the connectivity between different types of inhibitory neuron to regulate cortical plasticity are largely unknown. Here we show that exposure of dark-housed mice to light induces a gene program in cortical vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-expressing neurons that is markedly distinct from that induced in excitatory neurons and other subtypes of inhibitory neuron. We identify Igf1 as one of several activity-regulated genes that are specific to VIP neurons, and demonstrate that IGF1 functions cell-autonomously in VIP neurons to increase inhibitory synaptic input onto these neurons. Our findings further suggest that in cortical VIP neurons, experience-dependent gene transcription regulates visual acuity by activating the expression of IGF1, thus promoting the inhibition of disinhibitory neurons and affecting inhibition onto cortical pyramidal neurons.

  19. Motor cortical encoding of serial order in a context-recall task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, A F; Georgopoulos, A P; Pellizzer, G

    1999-03-12

    The neural encoding of serial order was studied in the motor cortex of monkeys performing a context-recall memory scanning task. Up to five visual stimuli were presented successively on a circle (list presentation phase), and then one of them (test stimulus) changed color; the monkeys had to make a single motor response toward the stimulus that immediately followed the test stimulus in the list. Correct performance in this task depends on memorization of the serial order of the stimuli during their presentation. It was found that changes in neural activity during the list presentation phase reflected the serial order of the stimuli; the effect on cell activity of the serial order of stimuli during their presentation was at least as strong as the effect of motor direction on cell activity during the execution of the motor response. This establishes the serial order of stimuli in a motor task as an important determinant of motor cortical activity during stimulus presentation and in the absence of changes in peripheral motor events, in contrast to the commonly held view of the motor cortex as just an "upper motor neuron."

  20. Altered cortical processing of motor inhibition in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindberg, Påvel G; Térémetz, Maxime; Charron, Sylvain; Kebir, Oussama; Saby, Agathe; Bendjemaa, Narjes; Lion, Stéphanie; Crépon, Benoît; Gaillard, Raphaël; Oppenheim, Catherine; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Amado, Isabelle

    2016-12-01

    Inhibition is considered a key mechanism in schizophrenia. Short-latency intracortical inhibition (SICI) in the motor cortex is reduced in schizophrenia and is considered to reflect locally deficient γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic modulation. However, it remains unclear how SICI is modulated during motor inhibition and how it relates to neural processing in other cortical areas. Here we studied motor inhibition Stop signal task (SST) in stabilized patients with schizophrenia (N = 28), healthy siblings (N = 21) and healthy controls (n = 31) matched in general cognitive status and educational level. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were used to investigate neural correlates of motor inhibition. SST performance was similar in patients and controls. SICI was modulated by the task as expected in healthy controls and siblings but was reduced in patients with schizophrenia during inhibition despite equivalent motor inhibition performance. fMRI showed greater prefrontal and premotor activation during motor inhibition in schizophrenia. Task-related modulation of SICI was higher in subjects who showed less inhibition-related activity in pre-supplementary motor area (SMA) and cingulate motor area. An exploratory genetic analysis of selected markers of inhibition (GABRB2, GAD1, GRM1, and GRM3) did not explain task-related differences in SICI or cortical activation. In conclusion, this multimodal study provides direct evidence of a task-related deficiency in SICI modulation in schizophrenia likely reflecting deficient GABA-A related processing in motor cortex. Compensatory activation of premotor areas may explain similar motor inhibition in patients despite local deficits in intracortical processing. Task-related modulation of SICI may serve as a useful non-invasive GABAergic marker in development of therapeutic strategies in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Mutual information and redundancy in spontaneous communication between cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczepanski, J; Arnold, M; Wajnryb, E; Amigó, J M; Sanchez-Vives, M V

    2011-03-01

    An important question in neural information processing is how neurons cooperate to transmit information. To study this question, we resort to the concept of redundancy in the information transmitted by a group of neurons and, at the same time, we introduce a novel concept for measuring cooperation between pairs of neurons called relative mutual information (RMI). Specifically, we studied these two parameters for spike trains generated by neighboring neurons from the primary visual cortex in the awake, freely moving rat. The spike trains studied here were spontaneously generated in the cortical network, in the absence of visual stimulation. Under these conditions, our analysis revealed that while the value of RMI oscillated slightly around an average value, the redundancy exhibited a behavior characterized by a higher variability. We conjecture that this combination of approximately constant RMI and greater variable redundancy makes information transmission more resistant to noise disturbances. Furthermore, the redundancy values suggest that neurons can cooperate in a flexible way during information transmission. This mostly occurs via a leading neuron with higher transmission rate or, less frequently, through the information rate of the whole group being higher than the sum of the individual information rates-in other words in a synergetic manner. The proposed method applies not only to the stationary, but also to locally stationary neural signals.

  2. Short-term memory in networks of dissociated cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dranias, Mark R; Ju, Han; Rajaram, Ezhilarasan; VanDongen, Antonius M J

    2013-01-30

    Short-term memory refers to the ability to store small amounts of stimulus-specific information for a short period of time. It is supported by both fading and hidden memory processes. Fading memory relies on recurrent activity patterns in a neuronal network, whereas hidden memory is encoded using synaptic mechanisms, such as facilitation, which persist even when neurons fall silent. We have used a novel computational and optogenetic approach to investigate whether these same memory processes hypothesized to support pattern recognition and short-term memory in vivo, exist in vitro. Electrophysiological activity was recorded from primary cultures of dissociated rat cortical neurons plated on multielectrode arrays. Cultures were transfected with ChannelRhodopsin-2 and optically stimulated using random dot stimuli. The pattern of neuronal activity resulting from this stimulation was analyzed using classification algorithms that enabled the identification of stimulus-specific memories. Fading memories for different stimuli, encoded in ongoing neural activity, persisted and could be distinguished from each other for as long as 1 s after stimulation was terminated. Hidden memories were detected by altered responses of neurons to additional stimulation, and this effect persisted longer than 1 s. Interestingly, network bursts seem to eliminate hidden memories. These results are similar to those that have been reported from similar experiments in vivo and demonstrate that mechanisms of information processing and short-term memory can be studied using cultured neuronal networks, thereby setting the stage for therapeutic applications using this platform.

  3. Impairments in Motor Neurons, Interneurons and Astrocytes Contribute to Hyperexcitability in ALS: Underlying Mechanisms and Paths to Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do-Ha, Dzung; Buskila, Yossi; Ooi, Lezanne

    2018-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by the loss of motor neurons leading to progressive paralysis and death. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and nerve excitability tests, several clinical studies have identified that cortical and peripheral hyperexcitability are among the earliest pathologies observed in ALS patients. The changes in the electrophysiological properties of motor neurons have been identified in both sporadic and familial ALS patients, despite the diverse etiology of the disease. The mechanisms behind the change in neuronal signalling are not well understood, though current findings implicate intrinsic changes in motor neurons and dysfunction of cells critical in regulating motor neuronal excitability, such as astrocytes and interneurons. Alterations in ion channel expression and/or function in motor neurons has been associated with changes in cortical and peripheral nerve excitability. In addition to these intrinsic changes in motor neurons, inhibitory signalling through GABAergic interneurons is also impaired in ALS, likely contributing to increased neuronal excitability. Astrocytes have also recently been implicated in increasing neuronal excitability in ALS by failing to adequately regulate glutamate levels and extracellular K + concentration at the synaptic cleft. As hyperexcitability is a common and early feature of ALS, it offers a therapeutic and diagnostic target. Thus, understanding the underlying pathways and mechanisms leading to hyperexcitability in ALS offers crucial insight for future development of ALS treatments.

  4. Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons.

  5. Risk factors for motor neuron diseases : genes, environment and lifestyle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sutedja, N.A.

    2010-01-01

    The main focus of this thesis is to identify susceptibility factors in diseases affecting the motor neuron: both motor neuron disease (MND), in which primarily the cell body is affected, and multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), in which primarily the axon is affected, are covered. Due to its

  6. Dense neuron clustering explains connectivity statistics in cortical microcircuits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimir V Klinshov

    Full Text Available Local cortical circuits appear highly non-random, but the underlying connectivity rule remains elusive. Here, we analyze experimental data observed in layer 5 of rat neocortex and suggest a model for connectivity from which emerge essential observed non-random features of both wiring and weighting. These features include lognormal distributions of synaptic connection strength, anatomical clustering, and strong correlations between clustering and connection strength. Our model predicts that cortical microcircuits contain large groups of densely connected neurons which we call clusters. We show that such a cluster contains about one fifth of all excitatory neurons of a circuit which are very densely connected with stronger than average synapses. We demonstrate that such clustering plays an important role in the network dynamics, namely, it creates bistable neural spiking in small cortical circuits. Furthermore, introducing local clustering in large-scale networks leads to the emergence of various patterns of persistent local activity in an ongoing network activity. Thus, our results may bridge a gap between anatomical structure and persistent activity observed during working memory and other cognitive processes.

  7. Computational Study of Subdural Cortical Stimulation: Effects of Simulating Anisotropic Conductivity on Activation of Cortical Neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon Seo

    Full Text Available Subdural cortical stimulation (SuCS is an appealing method in the treatment of neurological disorders, and computational modeling studies of SuCS have been applied to determine the optimal design for electrotherapy. To achieve a better understanding of computational modeling on the stimulation effects of SuCS, the influence of anisotropic white matter conductivity on the activation of cortical neurons was investigated in a realistic head model. In this paper, we constructed pyramidal neuronal models (layers 3 and 5 that showed primary excitation of the corticospinal tract, and an anatomically realistic head model reflecting complex brain geometry. The anisotropic information was acquired from diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI and then applied to the white matter at various ratios of anisotropic conductivity. First, we compared the isotropic and anisotropic models; compared to the isotropic model, the anisotropic model showed that neurons were activated in the deeper bank during cathodal stimulation and in the wider crown during anodal stimulation. Second, several popular anisotropic principles were adapted to investigate the effects of variations in anisotropic information. We observed that excitation thresholds varied with anisotropic principles, especially with anodal stimulation. Overall, incorporating anisotropic conductivity into the anatomically realistic head model is critical for accurate estimation of neuronal responses; however, caution should be used in the selection of anisotropic information.

  8. Lower layers in the motor cortex are more effective targets for penetrating microelectrodes in cortical prostheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parikh, Hirak; Marzullo, Timothy C.; Kipke, Daryl R.

    2009-04-01

    Improving cortical prostheses requires the development of recording neural interfaces that are efficient in terms of providing maximal control information with minimal interface complexity. While the typical approaches have targeted neurons in the motor cortex with multiple penetrating shanks, an alternative approach is to determine an efficient distribution of electrode sites within the layers of the cortex with fewer penetrating shanks. The objective of this study was to compare unit activity in the upper and lower layers of the cortex with respect to movement and direction in order to inform the design of penetrating microelectrodes. Four rats were implanted bilaterally with multi-site single-shank silicon microelectrode arrays in the neck/shoulder region of the motor cortex. We simultaneously recorded unit activity across all layers of the motor cortex while the animal was engaged in a movement direction task. Localization of the electrode array within the different layers of the cortex was determined by histology. We denoted units from layers 2 and 3 and units as upper layer units, and units from layers 5 and 6 as lower layer units. Analysis of unit spiking activity demonstrated that both the upper and lower layers encode movement and direction information. Unit responses in either cortical layer of the cortex were not preferentially associated with contralateral or ipsilateral movement. Aggregate analysis (633 neurons) and best session analysis (75 neurons) indicated that units in the lower layers (layers 5, 6) are more likely to encode direction information when compared to units in the upper layers (layers 2, 3) (p< 0.05). These results suggest that electrode sites clustered in the lower layers provide access to more salient control information for cortical neuroprostheses.

  9. Abstract Art and Cortical Motor Activation: an EEG study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Alessandra eUmilta'

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The role of the motor system in the perception of visual art remains to be better understood. Earlier studies on the visual perception of abstract art (from Gestalt theory, as in Arnheim 1954 and 1988, to balance preference studies as in Locher and Stappers, 2002, and more recent work by Locher et al 2007, Redies, 2007, and Taylor et al, 2011, neglected the question, while the field of neuroesthetics (Zeki, 1999; Ramachandran and Hirstein, 1999 mostly concentrated on figurative works. Much recent work has demonstrated the multimodality of vision, encompassing the activation of motor, somatosensory and viscero-motor brain regions. The present study investigated whether the observation of high-resolution digitized static images of abstract paintings by Lucio Fontana is associated with specific cortical motor activation in the beholder’s brain. Mu rhythm suppression was evoked by the observation of original art works but not by control stimuli (as in the case of graphically modified versions of these works. Most interestingly, previous visual exposure to the stimuli did not affect the mu rhythm suppression induced by their observation. The present results clearly show the involvement of the cortical motor system in the viewing of static abstract art works.

  10. Motor cortical representation of the pelvic floor muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrum, A; Wolff, S; van der Horst, C; Kuhtz-Buschbeck, J P

    2011-07-01

    Pelvic floor muscle training involves rhythmical voluntary contractions of the external urethral sphincter and ancillary pelvic floor muscles. The representation of these muscles in the motor cortex has not been located precisely and unambiguously. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine brain activity during slow and fast pelvic floor contractions. Cerebral responses were recorded in 17 healthy male volunteers, 21 to 47 years old, with normal bladder control. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed during metronome paced slow (0.25 Hertz) and fast (0.7 Hertz) contractions of the pelvic floor that mimicked the interruption of voiding. To study the somatotopy of the cortical representations, flexion-extension movements of the right toes were performed as a control task. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during pelvic floor contractions detected activity of the supplementary motor area in the medial wall and of the midcingulate cortex, insula, posterior parietal cortex, putamen, thalamus, cerebellar vermis and upper ventral pons. There were no significant differences in activation between slow and fast contractions. Toe movements involved significantly stronger activity of the paracentral lobule (ie the medial primary motor cortex) than did the pelvic floor contractions. Otherwise the areas active during pelvic floor and leg muscle contractions overlapped considerably. The motor cortical representation of pelvic floor muscles is located mostly in the supplementary motor area. It extends further ventrally and anteriorly than the representation of distal leg muscles. Copyright © 2011 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Suicide in patients with motor neuron disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Søren; Stenager, E N; Stenager, Egon

    1994-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess, through an epidemiological study, whether suicide risk is increased in patients with motor neuron disease (MND). The study involved 116 patients with MND. In the study period 92 patients died, 47 males and 45 females. No patients committed suicide....... The number of expected suicides was 0.27 for males and 0.12 for females, a total of 0.38. The difference between observed and expected suicides was not statistically significant for males and females....

  12. Growth of cortical neuronal network in vitro: Modeling and analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lai, P.-Y.; Jia, L. C.; Chan, C. K.

    2006-01-01

    We present a detailed analysis and theoretical growth models to account for recent experimental data on the growth of cortical neuronal networks in vitro [Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 088101 (2004)]. The experimentally observed synchronized firing frequency of a well-connected neuronal network is shown to be proportional to the mean network connectivity. The growth of the network is consistent with the model of an early enhanced growth of connection, but followed by a retarded growth once the synchronized cluster is formed. Microscopic models with dominant excluded volume interactions are consistent with the observed exponential decay of the mean connection probability as a function of the mean network connectivity. The biological implications of the growth model are also discussed

  13. Motor cortical processing is causally involved in object recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decloe, Rebecca; Obhi, Sukhvinder S

    2013-12-14

    Motor activity during vicarious experience of actions is a widely reported and studied phenomenon, and motor system activity also accompanies observation of graspable objects in the absence of any actions. Such motor activity is thought to reflect simulation of the observed action, or preparation to interact with the object, respectively. Here, in an initial exploratory study, we ask whether motor activity during observation of object directed actions is involved in processes related to recognition of the object after initial exposure. Single pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was applied over the thumb representation of the motor cortex, or over the vertex, during observation of a model thumb typing on a cell-phone, and performance on a phone recognition task at the end of the trial was assessed. Disrupting motor processing over the thumb representation 100 ms after the onset of the typing video impaired the ability to recognize the phone in the recognition test, whereas there was no such effect for TMS applied over the vertex and no TMS trials. Furthermore, this effect only manifested for videos observed from the first person perspective. In an additional control condition, there was no evidence for any effects of TMS to the thumb representation or vertex when observing and recognizing non-action related shape stimuli. Overall, these data provide evidence that motor cortical processing during observation of object-directed actions from a first person perspective is causally linked to the formation of enduring representations of objects-of-action.

  14. Motor cortical processing is causally involved in object recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Motor activity during vicarious experience of actions is a widely reported and studied phenomenon, and motor system activity also accompanies observation of graspable objects in the absence of any actions. Such motor activity is thought to reflect simulation of the observed action, or preparation to interact with the object, respectively. Results Here, in an initial exploratory study, we ask whether motor activity during observation of object directed actions is involved in processes related to recognition of the object after initial exposure. Single pulse Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was applied over the thumb representation of the motor cortex, or over the vertex, during observation of a model thumb typing on a cell-phone, and performance on a phone recognition task at the end of the trial was assessed. Disrupting motor processing over the thumb representation 100 ms after the onset of the typing video impaired the ability to recognize the phone in the recognition test, whereas there was no such effect for TMS applied over the vertex and no TMS trials. Furthermore, this effect only manifested for videos observed from the first person perspective. In an additional control condition, there was no evidence for any effects of TMS to the thumb representation or vertex when observing and recognizing non-action related shape stimuli. Conclusion Overall, these data provide evidence that motor cortical processing during observation of object-directed actions from a first person perspective is causally linked to the formation of enduring representations of objects-of-action. PMID:24330638

  15. Inhibitory neurons modulate spontaneous signaling in cultured cortical neurons: density-dependent regulation of excitatory neuronal signaling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serra, Michael; Guaraldi, Mary; Shea, Thomas B

    2010-01-01

    Cortical neuronal activity depends on a balance between excitatory and inhibitory influences. Culturing of neurons on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) has provided insight into the development and maintenance of neuronal networks. Herein, we seeded MEAs with murine embryonic cortical/hippocampal neurons at different densities ( 1000 cells mm −2 ) and monitored resultant spontaneous signaling. Sparsely seeded cultures displayed a large number of bipolar, rapid, high-amplitude individual signals with no apparent temporal regularity. By contrast, densely seeded cultures instead displayed clusters of signals at regular intervals. These patterns were observed even within thinner and thicker areas of the same culture. GABAergic neurons (25% of total neurons in our cultures) mediated the differential signal patterns observed above, since addition of the inhibitory antagonist bicuculline to dense cultures and hippocampal slice cultures induced the signal pattern characteristic of sparse cultures. Sparsely seeded cultures likely lacked sufficient inhibitory neurons to modulate excitatory activity. Differential seeding of MEAs can provide a unique model for analyses of pertubation in the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory function during aging and neuropathological conditions where dysregulation of GABAergic neurons is a significant component

  16. Order-based representation in random networks of cortical neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goded Shahaf

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The wide range of time scales involved in neural excitability and synaptic transmission might lead to ongoing change in the temporal structure of responses to recurring stimulus presentations on a trial-to-trial basis. This is probably the most severe biophysical constraint on putative time-based primitives of stimulus representation in neuronal networks. Here we show that in spontaneously developing large-scale random networks of cortical neurons in vitro the order in which neurons are recruited following each stimulus is a naturally emerging representation primitive that is invariant to significant temporal changes in spike times. With a relatively small number of randomly sampled neurons, the information about stimulus position is fully retrievable from the recruitment order. The effective connectivity that makes order-based representation invariant to time warping is characterized by the existence of stations through which activity is required to pass in order to propagate further into the network. This study uncovers a simple invariant in a noisy biological network in vitro; its applicability under in vivo constraints remains to be seen.

  17. Visualization of migration of human cortical neurons generated from induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamba, Yohei; Kanemura, Yonehiro; Okano, Hideyuki; Yamasaki, Mami

    2017-09-01

    Neuronal migration is considered a key process in human brain development. However, direct observation of migrating human cortical neurons in the fetal brain is accompanied by ethical concerns and is a major obstacle in investigating human cortical neuronal migration. We established a novel system that enables direct visualization of migrating cortical neurons generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We observed the migration of cortical neurons generated from hiPSCs derived from a control and from a patient with lissencephaly. Our system needs no viable brain tissue, which is usually used in slice culture. Migratory behavior of human cortical neuron can be observed more easily and more vividly by its fluorescence and glial scaffold than that by earlier methods. Our in vitro experimental system provides a new platform for investigating development of the human central nervous system and brain malformation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Action observation and mirror neuron network: a tool for motor stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, P; Franceschini, M

    2012-06-01

    Mirror neurons are a specific class of neurons that are activated and discharge both during observation of the same or similar motor act performed by another individual and during the execution of a motor act. Different studies based on non invasive neuroelectrophysiological assessment or functional brain imaging techniques have demonstrated the presence of the mirror neuron and their mechanism in humans. Various authors have demonstrated that in the human these networks are activated when individuals learn motor actions via execution (as in traditional motor learning), imitation, observation (as in observational learning) and motor imagery. Activation of these brain areas (inferior parietal lobe and the ventral premotor cortex, as well as the caudal part of the inferior frontal gyrus [IFG]) following observation or motor imagery may thereby facilitate subsequent movement execution by directly matching the observed or imagined action to the internal simulation of that action. It is therefore believed that this multi-sensory action-observation system enables individuals to (re) learn impaired motor functions through the activation of these internal action-related representations. In humans, the mirror mechanism is also located in various brain segment: in Broca's area, which is involved in language processing and speech production and not only in centres that mediate voluntary movement, but also in cortical areas that mediate visceromotor emotion-related behaviours. On basis of this finding, during the last 10 years various studies were carry out regarding the clinical use of action observation for motor rehabilitation of sub-acute and chronic stroke patients.

  19. Motor neuron disease in blacks | Cosnett | South African Medical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A series of 86 black, Indian and white patients with motor neuron disease were analysed retrospectively. Although the material does not allow statistically valid conclusions, there are sufficient cases among blacks to allow two prima facie observations in this population group: (i) motor neuron disease has an earlier age of ...

  20. Motor neuron disease associated with carcinoma | Gritzman | South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Paraneoplastic complications are obscure and difficult to understand. The association of motor neuron disease and carcinoma may sometimes be more than coincidental, and 2 cases are described. One patient had motor neuron disease, limbic encephalitis (a recognized paraneoplastic disorder) and carcinoma of the ...

  1. Subthalamic stimulation modulates cortical motor network activity and synchronization in Parkinson’s disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klotz, Rosa; Govindan, Rathinaswamy B.; Scholten, Marlieke; Naros, Georgios; Ramos-Murguialday, Ander; Bunjes, Friedemann; Meisner, Christoph; Plewnia, Christian; Krüger, Rejko

    2015-01-01

    coherence in the beta band was significantly attenuated over the bilateral sensorimotor areas. Similarly, the global cortico-cortical phase synchronization was attenuated, and the topographic differentiation revealed stronger desynchronization over the (ipsilateral) right-hemispheric prefrontal, premotor and sensorimotor areas compared to ‘stimulation off’. We further demonstrated that the cortico-cortical phase synchronization was largely dominated by genuine neuronal coupling. The clinical improvement with ‘stimulation on’ compared to ‘stimulation off’ could be predicted from this cortical decoupling with multiple regressions, and the reduction of synchronization over the right prefrontal area showed a linear univariate correlation with clinical improvement. Our study demonstrates wide-spread activity and synchronization modulations of the cortical motor network, and highlights subthalamic stimulation as a network-modulating therapy. Accordingly, subthalamic stimulation may release bilateral cortical computational resources by facilitating movement-related desynchronization. Moreover, the subthalamic nucleus is critical to balance inhibitory and facilitatory cortical players within the motor program. PMID:25558877

  2. Subthalamic nucleus high-frequency stimulation restores altered electrophysiological properties of cortical neurons in parkinsonian rat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bertrand Degos

    Full Text Available Electrophysiological recordings performed in parkinsonian patients and animal models have confirmed the occurrence of alterations in firing rate and pattern of basal ganglia neurons, but the outcome of these changes in thalamo-cortical networks remains unclear. Using rats rendered parkinsonian, we investigated, at a cellular level in vivo, the electrophysiological changes induced in the pyramidal cells of the motor cortex by the dopaminergic transmission interruption and further characterized the impact of high-frequency electrical stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, a procedure alleviating parkinsonian symptoms. We provided evidence that a lesion restricted to the substantia nigra pars compacta resulted in a marked increase in the mean firing rate and bursting pattern of pyramidal neurons of the motor cortex. These alterations were underlain by changes of the electrical membranes properties of pyramidal cells including depolarized resting membrane potential and increased input resistance. The modifications induced by the dopaminergic loss were more pronounced in cortico-striatal than in cortico-subthalamic neurons. Furthermore, subthalamic nucleus high-frequency stimulation applied at parameters alleviating parkinsonian signs regularized the firing pattern of pyramidal cells and restored their electrical membrane properties.

  3. Scaling of motor cortical excitability during unimanual force generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Monica A; Cohen, Leonardo G

    2009-10-01

    During performance of a unimanual force generation task primary motor cortices (M1s) experience clear functional changes. Here, we evaluated the way in which M1s interact during parametric increases in right wrist flexion force in healthy volunteers. We measured the amplitude and the slope of motor evoked potentials (MEP) recruitment curves to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the left and right flexor carpi radialis (FCR) muscles at rest and during 10%, 30% and 70% of maximal wrist flexion force. At rest, no differences were observed in the amplitude and slope of MEP recruitment curves in the left and right FCR muscles. With increasing right wrist flexion force, MEP amplitudes increased in both FCR muscles, with larger amplitudes in the right FCR. We found a significant correlation between the left and right MEP amplitudes across conditions. The slope of right and left FCR MEP recruitment curve was significantly steeper at 70% of force compared to rest and 10% of force. A significant correlation between the slope of left and right FCR MEP amplitudes was found at 70% of force only. Our results indicate a differential scaling of excitability in the corticospinal system controlling right and left FCR muscles at increasing levels of unimanual force generation. Specifically, these data highlights that at strong levels of unimanual force the increases in motor cortical excitability with increasing TMS stimulus intensities follow a similar pattern in both M1s, while at low levels of force they do not.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agosta, Federica; Ferraro, Pilar M; Riva, Nilo; Spinelli, Edoardo Gioele; Domi, Teuta; Carrera, Paola; Copetti, Massimiliano; Falzone, Yuri; Ferrari, Maurizio; Lunetta, Christian; Comi, Giancarlo; Falini, Andrea; Quattrini, Angelo; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-09-01

    This study investigated structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in hexanucleotide repeat expansion in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) motor neuron disease (MND) relative to disease severity-matched sporadic MND cases. We enrolled 19 C9orf72 and 67 disease severity-matched sporadic MND patients, and 22 controls. Sporadic cases were grouped in patients with: no cognitive/behavioral deficits (sporadic-motor); same patterns of cognitive/behavioral impairment as C9orf72 cases (sporadic-cognitive); shorter disease duration versus other sporadic groups (sporadic-early). C9orf72 patients showed cerebellar and thalamic atrophy versus all sporadic cases. All MND patients showed motor, frontal, and temporoparietal cortical thinning and motor and extramotor white matter damage versus controls, independent of genotype and presence of cognitive impairment. Compared with sporadic-early, C9orf72 patients revealed an occipital cortical thinning. C9orf72 patients had enhanced visual network functional connectivity versus sporadic-motor and sporadic-early cases. Structural cerebellar and thalamic damage and posterior cortical alterations are the brain magnetic resonance imaging signatures of C9orf72 MND. Frontotemporal cortical and widespread white matter involvement are likely to be an effect of the disease evolution rather than a C9orf72 marker. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. GDE2 regulates subtype-specific motor neuron generation through inhibition of Notch signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabharwal, Priyanka; Lee, Changhee; Park, Sungjin; Rao, Meenakshi; Sockanathan, Shanthini

    2011-09-22

    The specification of spinal interneuron and motor neuron identities initiates within progenitor cells, while motor neuron subtype diversification is regulated by hierarchical transcriptional programs implemented postmitotically. Here we find that mice lacking GDE2, a six-transmembrane protein that triggers motor neuron generation, exhibit selective losses of distinct motor neuron subtypes, specifically in defined subsets of limb-innervating motor pools that correlate with the loss of force-generating alpha motor neurons. Mechanistically, GDE2 is expressed by postmitotic motor neurons but utilizes extracellular glycerophosphodiester phosphodiesterase activity to induce motor neuron generation by inhibiting Notch signaling in neighboring motor neuron progenitors. Thus, neuronal GDE2 controls motor neuron subtype diversity through a non-cell-autonomous feedback mechanism that directly regulates progenitor cell differentiation, implying that subtype specification initiates within motor neuron progenitor populations prior to their differentiation into postmitotic motor neurons. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Reprogramming movements: Extraction of motor intentions from cortical ensemble activity when movement goals change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter James Ifft

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The ability to inhibit unwanted movements and change motor plans is essential for behaviors of advanced organisms. The neural mechanisms by which the primate motor system rejects undesired actions have received much attention during the last decade, but it is not well understood how this neural function could be utilized to improve the efficiency of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs. Here we employed linear discriminant analysis (LDA and a Wiener filter to extract motor plan transitions from the activity of ensembles of sensorimotor cortex neurons. Two rhesus monkeys, chronically implanted with multielectrode arrays in primary motor (M1 and primary sensory (S1 cortices, were overtrained to produce reaching movements with a joystick towards visual targets upon their presentation. Then, the behavioral task was modified to include a distracting target that flashed for 50, 150 or 250 ms (25% of trials each followed by the true target that appeared at a different screen location. In the remaining 25% of trials, the initial target stayed on the screen and was the target to be approached. M1 and S1 neuronal activity represented both the true and distracting targets, even for the shortest duration of the distracting event. This dual representation persisted both when the monkey initiated movements towards the distracting target and then made corrections and when they moved directly towards the second, true target. The Wiener filter effectively decoded the location of the true target, whereas the LDA classifier extracted the location of both targets from ensembles of 50-250 neurons. Based on these results, we suggest developing real-time BMIs that inhibit unwanted movements represented by brain activity while enacting the desired motor outcome concomitantly.

  7. Upper motor neuron and extra-motor neuron involvement in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A clinical and brain imaging review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Graaff, M. M.; de Jong, J. M. B. V.; Baas, F.; de Visser, M.

    2009-01-01

    There is an ongoing discussion whether ALS is primarily a disease of upper motor neurons or lower motor neurons. We undertook a review to assess how new insights have contributed to solve this controversy. For this purpose we selected relevant publications from 1995 onwards focussing on (1) primary

  8. Properties of bilateral spinocerebellar activation of cerebellar cortical neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pontus eGeborek

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available We aimed to explore the cerebellar cortical inputs from two spinocerebellar pathways, the spinal border cell-component of the ventral spinocerebellar tract (SBC-VSCT and the dorsal spinocerebellar tract (DSCT, respectively, in the sublobule C1 of the cerebellar posterior lobe. The two pathways were activated by electrical stimulation of the contralateral lateral funiculus (coLF and the ipsilateral LF (iLF at lower thoracic levels. Most granule cells in sublobule C1 did not respond at all but part of the granule cell population displayed high-intensity responses to either coLF or iLF stimulation. As a rule, Golgi cells and Purkinje cell simple spikes responded to input from both LFs, although Golgi cells could be more selective. In addition, a small population of granule cells responded to input from both the coLF and the iLF. However, in these cases, similarities in the temporal topography and magnitude of the responses suggested that the same axons were stimulated from the two LFs, i.e. that the axons of individual spinocerebellar neurons could be present in both funiculi. This was also confirmed for a population of spinal neurons located within known locations of SBC-VSCT neurons and dorsal horn DSCT neurons. We conclude that bilateral spinocerebellar responses can occur in cerebellar granule cells, but the VSCT and DSCT systems that provide the input can also be organized bilaterally. The implications for the traditional functional separation of VSCT and DSCT systems and the issue whether granule cells primarily integrate functionally similar information or not are discussed.

  9. Ketamine-induced apoptosis in cultured rat cortical neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takadera, Tsuneo; Ishida, Akira; Ohyashiki, Takao

    2006-01-01

    Recent data suggest that anesthetic drugs cause neurodegeneration during development. Ketamine is frequently used in infants and toddlers for elective surgeries. The purpose of this study is to determine whether glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is involved in ketamine-induced apoptosis. Ketamine increased apoptotic cell death with morphological changes which were characterized by cell shrinkage, nuclear condensation or fragmentation. In addition, insulin growth factor-1 completely blocked the ketamine-induced apoptotic cell death. Ketamine decreased Akt phosphorylation. GSK-3 is known as a downstream target of Akt. The selective inhibitors of GSK-3 prevented the ketamine-induced apoptosis. Moreover, caspase-3 activation was accompanied by the ketamine-induced cell death and inhibited by the GSK-3 inhibitors. These results suggest that activation of GSK-3 is involved in ketamine-induced apoptosis in rat cortical neurons

  10. Rapid Integration of Artificial Sensory Feedback during Operant Conditioning of Motor Cortex Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prsa, Mario; Galiñanes, Gregorio L; Huber, Daniel

    2017-02-22

    Neuronal motor commands, whether generating real or neuroprosthetic movements, are shaped by ongoing sensory feedback from the displacement being produced. Here we asked if cortical stimulation could provide artificial feedback during operant conditioning of cortical neurons. Simultaneous two-photon imaging and real-time optogenetic stimulation were used to train mice to activate a single neuron in motor cortex (M1), while continuous feedback of its activity level was provided by proportionally stimulating somatosensory cortex. This artificial signal was necessary to rapidly learn to increase the conditioned activity, detect correct performance, and maintain the learned behavior. Population imaging in M1 revealed that learning-related activity changes are observed in the conditioned cell only, which highlights the functional potential of individual neurons in the neocortex. Our findings demonstrate the capacity of animals to use an artificially induced cortical channel in a behaviorally relevant way and reveal the remarkable speed and specificity at which this can occur. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Human temporal cortical single neuron activity during working memory maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  12. Human Temporal Cortical Single Neuron Activity During Working Memory Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-01-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  13. Finger extension weakness and downbeat nystagmus motor neuron disease syndrome: A novel motor neuron disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delva, Aline; Thakore, Nimish; Pioro, Erik P; Poesen, Koen; Saunders-Pullman, Rachel; Meijer, Inge A; Rucker, Janet C; Kissel, John T; Van Damme, Philip

    2017-12-01

    Disturbances of eye movements are infrequently encountered in motor neuron diseases (MNDs) or motor neuropathies, and there is no known syndrome that combines progressive muscle weakness with downbeat nystagmus. To describe the core clinical features of a syndrome of MND associated with downbeat nystagmus, clinical features were collected from 6 patients. All patients had slowly progressive muscle weakness and wasting in combination with downbeat nystagmus, which was clinically most obvious in downward and lateral gaze. Onset was in the second to fourth decade with finger extension weakness, progressing to other distal and sometimes more proximal muscles. Visual complaints were not always present. Electrodiagnostic testing showed signs of regional motor axonal loss in all patients. The etiology of this syndrome remains elusive. Because finger extension weakness and downbeat nystagmus are the discriminating clinical features of this MND, we propose the name FEWDON-MND syndrome. Muscle Nerve 56: 1164-1168, 2017. © 2017 The Authors Muscle & Nerve Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Deficits in Beam-Walking After Neonatal Motor Cortical Lesions are not Spared by Fetal Cortical Transplants in Rats

    OpenAIRE

    Swenson, R. S.; Danielsen, E. H.; Klausen, B. S.; Erlich, E.; Zimmer, J.; Castro, A. J.

    1989-01-01

    Adult rats that sustained unilateral motor cortical lesions at birth demonstrated deficits in traversing an elevated narrow beam. These deficits, manifested by hindlimb slips off the edge of the beam, were not spared in animals that received fetal cortical transplants into the lesion cavity immediately after lesion placement.

  15. Output Properties of the Cortical Hindlimb Motor Area in Spinal Cord-Injured Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Shawn B; Dunham, Caleb L; Barbay, Scott; Krizsan-Agbas, Dora; Winter, Michelle K; Guggenmos, David J; Nudo, Randolph J

    2015-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine neuronal activity levels in the hindlimb area of motor cortex following spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats and compare the results with measurements in normal rats. Fifteen male Fischer-344 rats received a 200 Kdyn contusion injury in the thoracic cord at level T9-T10. After a minimum of 4 weeks following SCI, intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) and single-unit recording techniques were used in both the forelimb and hindlimb motor areas (FLA, HLA) under ketamine anesthesia. Although movements could be evoked using ICMS in the forelimb area with relatively low current levels, no movements or electromyographical responses could be evoked from ICMS in the HLA in any of the injured rats. During the same procedure, electrophysiological recordings were obtained with a single-shank, 16-channel Michigan probe (Neuronexus) to monitor activity. Neural spikes were discriminated using principle component analysis. Neural activity (action potentials) was collected and digitized for a duration of 5 min. Despite the inability to evoke movement from stimulation of cortex, robust single-unit activity could be recorded reliably from hindlimb motor cortex in SCI rats. Activity in the motor cortex of SCI rats was significantly higher compared with uninjured rats, and increased in hindlimb and forelimb motor cortex by similar amounts. These results demonstrate that in a rat model of thoracic SCI, an increase in single-unit cortical activity can be reliably recorded for several weeks post-injury.

  16. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berghuis, K. M. M.; Veldman, M. P.; Solnik, S.; Koch, G.; Zijdewind, I.; Hortobagyi, T.

    It is controversial whether or not old adults are capable of learning new motor skills and consolidate the performance gains into motor memory in the offline period. The underlying neuronal mechanisms are equally unclear. We determined the magnitude of motor learning and motor memory consolidation

  17. Single-photon emission computed tomographic findings and motor neuron signs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terao, Shin-ichi; Sobue, Gen; Higashi, Naoki; Takahashi, Masahiko; Suga, Hidemichi; Mitsuma, Terunori [Aichi Medical Univ., Nagakute (Japan)

    1995-03-01

    {sup 123}I-amphetamine-single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 16 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to investigate the correlation between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and upper motor neuron signs. Significant decreased blood flow less than 2 SDs below the mean of controls was observed in the frontal lobe in 4 patients (25%) and in the frontoparietal lobe including the cortical motor area in 4 patients, respectively. The severity of extermity muscular weakness was significantly correlate with decrease in blood flow through the frontal lobe (p<0.05) and through the frontoparietal lobe (p<0.001). A significant correlation was also noted to exist between the severity of bulbar paralysis and decrease in blood flow through the frontoparietal lobe. No correlation, however, was observed between rCBF and severity of spasticity, presence or absence of Babinski`s sign and the duration of illness. Although muscular weakness in the limbs and bulbar paralysis are not pure upper motor neuron signs, the observed reduction in blood flow through the frontal or frontoparietal lobes appears to reflect extensive progression of functional or organic lesions of cortical neurons including the motor area. (author).

  18. Single-photon emission computed tomographic findings and motor neuron signs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terao, Shin-ichi; Sobue, Gen; Higashi, Naoki; Takahashi, Masahiko; Suga, Hidemichi; Mitsuma, Terunori

    1995-01-01

    123 I-amphetamine-single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was performed on 16 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to investigate the correlation between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and upper motor neuron signs. Significant decreased blood flow less than 2 SDs below the mean of controls was observed in the frontal lobe in 4 patients (25%) and in the frontoparietal lobe including the cortical motor area in 4 patients, respectively. The severity of extermity muscular weakness was significantly correlate with decrease in blood flow through the frontal lobe (p<0.05) and through the frontoparietal lobe (p<0.001). A significant correlation was also noted to exist between the severity of bulbar paralysis and decrease in blood flow through the frontoparietal lobe. No correlation, however, was observed between rCBF and severity of spasticity, presence or absence of Babinski's sign and the duration of illness. Although muscular weakness in the limbs and bulbar paralysis are not pure upper motor neuron signs, the observed reduction in blood flow through the frontal or frontoparietal lobes appears to reflect extensive progression of functional or organic lesions of cortical neurons including the motor area. (author)

  19. Area-specific temporal control of corticospinal motor neuron differentiation by COUP-TFI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomassy, Giulio Srubek; De Leonibus, Elvira; Jabaudon, Denis; Lodato, Simona; Alfano, Christian; Mele, Andrea; Macklis, Jeffrey D.; Studer, Michèle

    2010-01-01

    Transcription factors with gradients of expression in neocortical progenitors give rise to distinct motor and sensory cortical areas by controlling the area-specific differentiation of distinct neuronal subtypes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this area-restricted control are still unclear. Here, we show that COUP-TFI controls the timing of birth and specification of corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) in somatosensory cortex via repression of a CSMN differentiation program. Loss of COUP-TFI function causes an area-specific premature generation of neurons with cardinal features of CSMN, which project to subcerebral structures, including the spinal cord. Concurrently, genuine CSMN differentiate imprecisely and do not project beyond the pons, together resulting in impaired skilled motor function in adult mice with cortical COUP-TFI loss-of-function. Our findings indicate that COUP-TFI exerts critical areal and temporal control over the precise differentiation of CSMN during corticogenesis, thereby enabling the area-specific functional features of motor and sensory areas to arise. PMID:20133588

  20. Current status of gene therapy for motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xingkai An; Rong Peng; Shanshan Zhao

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Although the etiology and pathogenesis of motor neuron disease is still unknown, there are many hypotheses on motor neuron mitochondrion, cytoskeleton structure and functional injuries. Thus, gene therapy of motor neuron disease has become a hot topic to apply in viral vector, gene delivery and basic gene techniques.DATA SOURCES: The related articles published between January 2000 and October 2006 were searched in Medline database and ISl database by computer using the keywords "motor neuron disease, gene therapy", and the language is limited to English. Meanwhile, the related references of review were also searched by handiwork. STUDY SELECTION: Original articles and referred articles in review were chosen after first hearing, then the full text which had new ideas were found, and when refer to the similar study in the recent years were considered first.DATA EXTRACTION: Among the 92 related articles, 40 ones were accepted, and 52 were excluded because of repetitive study or reviews.DATA SYNTHESIS: The viral vectors of gene therapy for motor neuron disease include adenoviral, adeno-associated viral vectors, herpes simplex virus type 1 vectors and lentiviral vectors. The delivery of them can be achieved by direct injection into the brain, or by remote delivery after injection vectors into muscle or peripheral nerves, or by ex vivo gene transfer. The viral vectors of gene therapy for motor neuron disease have been successfully developed, but the gene delivery of them is hampered by some difficulties. The RNA interference and neuroprotection are the main technologies for gene-based therapy in motor neuron disease. CONCLUSION : The RNA interference for motor neuron disease has succeeded in animal models, and the neuroprotection also does. But, there are still a lot of questions for gene therapy in the clinical treatment of motor neuron disease.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Rakesh

    2004-05-01

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

  2. [The mirror neuron system in motor and sensory rehabilitation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oouchida, Yutaka; Izumi, Shinichi

    2014-06-01

    The discovery of the mirror neuron system has dramatically changed the study of motor control in neuroscience. The mirror neuron system provides a conceptual framework covering the aspects of motor as well as sensory functions in motor control. Previous studies of motor control can be classified as studies of motor or sensory functions, and these two classes of studies appear to have advanced independently. In rehabilitation requiring motor learning, such as relearning movement after limb paresis, however, sensory information of feedback for motor output as well as motor command are essential. During rehabilitation from chronic pain, motor exercise is one of the most effective treatments for pain caused by dysfunction in the sensory system. In rehabilitation where total intervention unifying the motor and sensory aspects of motor control is important, learning through imitation, which is associated with the mirror neuron system can be effective and suitable. In this paper, we introduce the clinical applications of imitated movement in rehabilitation from motor impairment after brain damage and phantom limb pain after limb amputation.

  3. The challenges of dysphagia in treating motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesey, Siobhan

    2017-07-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is a relatively rare degenerative disorder. Its impacts are manifested in progressive loss of motor function and often accompanied by wider non-motor changes. Swallowing and speech abilities are frequently severely impaired. Effective management of dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) symptoms and nutritional care requires a holistic multidisciplinary approach. Care must be patient focused, facilitate patient decision making, and support planning towards end of life care. This article discusses the challenges of providing effective nutritional care to people living with motor neurone disease who have dysphagia.

  4. Strength Testing in Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shefner, Jeremy M

    2017-01-01

    Loss of muscle strength is a cardinal feature of all motor neuron diseases. Functional loss over time, including respiratory dysfunction, inability to ambulate, loss of ability to perform activities of daily living, and others are due, in large part, to decline in strength. Thus, the accurate measurement of limb muscle strength is essential in therapeutic trials to best understand the impact of therapy on vital function. While qualitative strength measurements show declines over time, the lack of reproducibility and linearity of measurement make qualitative techniques inadequate. A variety of quantitative measures have been developed; all have both positive attributes and limitations. However, with careful training and reliability testing, quantitative measures have proven to be reliable and sensitive indicators of both disease progression and the impact of experimental therapy. Quantitative strength measurements have demonstrated potentially important therapeutic effects in both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinobulbar muscular atrophy, and have been shown feasible in children with spinal muscular atrophy. The spectrum of both qualitative and quantitative strength measurements are reviewed and their utility examined in this review.

  5. Localization of the kinesin adaptor proteins trafficking kinesin proteins 1 and 2 in primary cultures of hippocampal pyramidal and cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loss, Omar; Stephenson, F Anne

    2015-07-01

    Neuronal function requires regulated anterograde and retrograde trafficking of mitochondria along microtubules by using the molecular motors kinesin and dynein. Previous work has established that trafficking kinesin proteins (TRAKs),TRAK1 and TRAK2, are kinesin adaptor proteins that link mitochondria to kinesin motor proteins via an acceptor protein in the mitochondrial outer membrane, etc. the Rho GTPase Miro. Recent studies have shown that TRAK1 preferentially controls mitochondrial transport in axons of hippocampal neurons by virtue of its binding to both kinesin and dynein motor proteins, whereas TRAK2 controls mitochondrial transport in dendrites resulting from its binding to dynein. This study further investigates the subcellular localization of TRAK1 and TRAK2 in primary cultures of hippocampal and cortical neurons by using both commercial antibodies and anti-TRAK1 and anti-TRAK2 antibodies raised in our own laboratory (in-house). Whereas TRAK1 was prevalently localized in axons of hippocampal and cortical neurons, TRAK2 was more prevalent in dendrites of hippocampal neurons. In cortical neurons, TRAK2 was equally distributed between axons and dendrites. Some qualitative differences were observed between commercial and in-house-generated antibody immunostaining. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Population decoding of motor cortical activity using a generalized linear model with hidden states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawhern, Vernon; Wu, Wei; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas; Paninski, Liam

    2010-06-15

    Generalized linear models (GLMs) have been developed for modeling and decoding population neuronal spiking activity in the motor cortex. These models provide reasonable characterizations between neural activity and motor behavior. However, they lack a description of movement-related terms which are not observed directly in these experiments, such as muscular activation, the subject's level of attention, and other internal or external states. Here we propose to include a multi-dimensional hidden state to address these states in a GLM framework where the spike count at each time is described as a function of the hand state (position, velocity, and acceleration), truncated spike history, and the hidden state. The model can be identified by an Expectation-Maximization algorithm. We tested this new method in two datasets where spikes were simultaneously recorded using a multi-electrode array in the primary motor cortex of two monkeys. It was found that this method significantly improves the model-fitting over the classical GLM, for hidden dimensions varying from 1 to 4. This method also provides more accurate decoding of hand state (reducing the mean square error by up to 29% in some cases), while retaining real-time computational efficiency. These improvements on representation and decoding over the classical GLM model suggest that this new approach could contribute as a useful tool to motor cortical decoding and prosthetic applications. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Population Decoding of Motor Cortical Activity using a Generalized Linear Model with Hidden States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawhern, Vernon; Wu, Wei; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G.; Paninski, Liam

    2010-01-01

    Generalized linear models (GLMs) have been developed for modeling and decoding population neuronal spiking activity in the motor cortex. These models provide reasonable characterizations between neural activity and motor behavior. However, they lack a description of movement-related terms which are not observed directly in these experiments, such as muscular activation, the subject's level of attention, and other internal or external states. Here we propose to include a multi-dimensional hidden state to address these states in a GLM framework where the spike count at each time is described as a function of the hand state (position, velocity, and acceleration), truncated spike history, and the hidden state. The model can be identified by an Expectation-Maximization algorithm. We tested this new method in two datasets where spikes were simultaneously recorded using a multi-electrode array in the primary motor cortex of two monkeys. It was found that this method significantly improves the model-fitting over the classical GLM, for hidden dimensions varying from 1 to 4. This method also provides more accurate decoding of hand state (lowering the Mean Square Error by up to 29% in some cases), while retaining real-time computational efficiency. These improvements on representation and decoding over the classical GLM model suggest that this new approach could contribute as a useful tool to motor cortical decoding and prosthetic applications. PMID:20359500

  8. Genetics of Pediatric-Onset Motor Neuron and Neuromuscular Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-24

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy; Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease; Muscular Dystrophy; Spinal Muscular Atrophy With Respiratory Distress 1; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Motor Neuron Disease; Neuromuscular Disease; Peroneal Muscular Atrophy; Fragile X Syndrome

  9. associated neuron disease carCInoma Motor with

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1983-02-19

    Feb 19, 1983 ... Department of Anatomical Pathology, School of Pathology,. South Mrican Institute ... drooling from the mouth, a spastic tongue, a positive jaw jerk, pout and glabellar tap .... The possibility that the coexistence of motor neuron ...

  10. Selective disruption of acetylcholine synthesis in subsets of motor neurons: a new model of late-onset motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, Marie-José; Bertolus, Chloé; Santamaria, Julie; Bauchet, Anne-Laure; Herbin, Marc; Saurini, Françoise; Misawa, Hidemi; Maisonobe, Thierry; Pradat, Pierre-François; Nosten-Bertrand, Marika; Mallet, Jacques; Berrard, Sylvie

    2014-05-01

    Motor neuron diseases are characterized by the selective chronic dysfunction of a subset of motor neurons and the subsequent impairment of neuromuscular function. To reproduce in the mouse these hallmarks of diseases affecting motor neurons, we generated a mouse line in which ~40% of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brainstem become unable to sustain neuromuscular transmission. These mice were obtained by conditional knockout of the gene encoding choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the biosynthetic enzyme for acetylcholine. The mutant mice are viable and spontaneously display abnormal phenotypes that worsen with age including hunched back, reduced lifespan, weight loss, as well as striking deficits in muscle strength and motor function. This slowly progressive neuromuscular dysfunction is accompanied by muscle fiber histopathological features characteristic of neurogenic diseases. Unexpectedly, most changes appeared with a 6-month delay relative to the onset of reduction in ChAT levels, suggesting that compensatory mechanisms preserve muscular function for several months and then are overwhelmed. Deterioration of mouse phenotype after ChAT gene disruption is a specific aging process reminiscent of human pathological situations, particularly among survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis. These mutant mice may represent an invaluable tool to determine the sequence of events that follow the loss of function of a motor neuron subset as the disease progresses, and to evaluate therapeutic strategies. They also offer the opportunity to explore fundamental issues of motor neuron biology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Brain activation in motor sequence learning is related to the level of native cortical excitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Lissek

    Full Text Available Cortical excitability may be subject to changes through training and learning. Motor training can increase cortical excitability in motor cortex, and facilitation of motor cortical excitability has been shown to be positively correlated with improvements in performance in simple motor tasks. Thus cortical excitability may tentatively be considered as a marker of learning and use-dependent plasticity. Previous studies focused on changes in cortical excitability brought about by learning processes, however, the relation between native levels of cortical excitability on the one hand and brain activation and behavioral parameters on the other is as yet unknown. In the present study we investigated the role of differential native motor cortical excitability for learning a motor sequencing task with regard to post-training changes in excitability, behavioral performance and involvement of brain regions. Our motor task required our participants to reproduce and improvise over a pre-learned motor sequence. Over both task conditions, participants with low cortical excitability (CElo showed significantly higher BOLD activation in task-relevant brain regions than participants with high cortical excitability (CEhi. In contrast, CElo and CEhi groups did not exhibit differences in percentage of correct responses and improvisation level. Moreover, cortical excitability did not change significantly after learning and training in either group, with the exception of a significant decrease in facilitatory excitability in the CEhi group. The present data suggest that the native, unmanipulated level of cortical excitability is related to brain activation intensity, but not to performance quality. The higher BOLD mean signal intensity during the motor task might reflect a compensatory mechanism in CElo participants.

  12. Reconstruction of phrenic neuron identity in embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Carolina Barcellos; Kanning, Kevin C; Kreis, Patricia; Stevenson, Danielle; Crossley, Martin; Nowak, Magdalena; Iacovino, Michelina; Kyba, Michael; Chambers, David; Blanc, Eric; Lieberam, Ivo

    2014-02-01

    Air breathing is an essential motor function for vertebrates living on land. The rhythm that drives breathing is generated within the central nervous system and relayed via specialised subsets of spinal motor neurons to muscles that regulate lung volume. In mammals, a key respiratory muscle is the diaphragm, which is innervated by motor neurons in the phrenic nucleus. Remarkably, relatively little is known about how this crucial subtype of motor neuron is generated during embryogenesis. Here, we used direct differentiation of motor neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells as a tool to identify genes that direct phrenic neuron identity. We find that three determinants, Pou3f1, Hoxa5 and Notch, act in combination to promote a phrenic neuron molecular identity. We show that Notch signalling induces Pou3f1 in developing motor neurons in vitro and in vivo. This suggests that the phrenic neuron lineage is established through a local source of Notch ligand at mid-cervical levels. Furthermore, we find that the cadherins Pcdh10, which is regulated by Pou3f1 and Hoxa5, and Cdh10, which is controlled by Pou3f1, are both mediators of like-like clustering of motor neuron cell bodies. This specific Pcdh10/Cdh10 activity might provide the means by which phrenic neurons are assembled into a distinct nucleus. Our study provides a framework for understanding how phrenic neuron identity is conferred and will help to generate this rare and inaccessible yet vital neuronal subtype directly from pluripotent stem cells, thus facilitating subsequent functional investigations.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  14. eGFP expression under the Uchl1 promoter labels corticospinal motor neurons and a subpopulation of degeneration resistant spinal motor neurons in ALS mouse models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasvoina, Marina V.

    Current understanding of basic cellular and molecular mechanisms for motor neuron vulnerability during motor neuron disease initiation and progression is incomplete. The complex cytoarchitecture and cellular heterogeneity of the cortex and spinal cord greatly impedes our ability to visualize, isolate, and study specific neuron populations in both healthy and diseased states. We generated a novel reporter line, the Uchl1-eGFP mouse, in which cortical and spinal components of motor neuron circuitry are genetically labeled with eGFP under the Uchl1 promoter. A series of cellular and anatomical analyses combined with retrograde labeling, molecular marker expression, and electrophysiology were employed to determine identity of eGFP expressing cells in the motor cortex and the spinal cord of novel Uchl1-eGFP reporter mice. We conclude that eGFP is expressed in corticospinal motor neurons (CSMN) in the motor cortex and a subset of S-type alpha and gamma spinal motor neurons (SMN) in the spinal cord. hSOD1G93A and Alsin-/- mice, mouse models for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), were bred to Uchl1-eGFP reporter mouse line to investigate the pathophysiology and underlying mechanisms of CSMN degeneration in vivo. Evidence suggests early and progressive degeneration of CSMN and SMN in the hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. We show an early increase of autophagosome formation in the apical dendrites of vulnerable CSMN in hSOD1G93A-UeGFP mice, which is localized to the apical dendrites. In addition, labeling S-type alpha and gamma SMN in the hSOD1G93A-UeGFP mice provide a unique opportunity to study basis of their resistance to degeneration. Mice lacking alsin show moderate clinical phenotype and mild CSMN axon degeneration in the spinal cord, which suggests vulnerability of CSMN. Therefore, we investigated the CSMN cellular and axon defects in aged Alsin-/- mice bred to Uchl1-eGFP reporter mouse line. We show that while CSMN are preserved and lack signs of degeneration, CSMN axons

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Cheever

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The proper localization of ß-actin mRNA and protein is essential for growth cone guidance and axon elongation in cultured neurons. In addition, decreased levels of ß-actin mRNA and protein have been identified in the growth cones of motor neurons cultured from a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA, suggesting that ß-actin loss-of-function at growth cones or pre-synaptic nerve terminals could contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease. However, the role of ß-actin in motor neurons in vivo and its potential relevance to disease has yet to be examined. We therefore generated motor neuron specific ß-actin knock-out mice (Actb-MNsKO to investigate the function of ß-actin in motor neurons in vivo. Surprisingly, ß-actin was not required for motor neuron viability or neuromuscular junction maintenance. Skeletal muscle from Actb-MNsKO mice showed no histological indication of denervation and did not significantly differ from controls in several measurements of physiologic function. Finally, motor axon regeneration was unimpaired in Actb-MNsKO mice, suggesting that ß-actin is not required for motor neuron function or regeneration in vivo.

  16. Racial differences in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gundogdu, Betul; Al-Lahham, Tawfiq; Kadlubar, Fred; Spencer, Horace; Rudnicki, Stacy A

    2014-03-01

    Our objective was to compare and contrast clinical features of black and white patients seen in the UAMS ALS/Motor Neuron Disease (MND) clinic from January 2001 to December 2010. Death certificate information was reviewed to determine race of Arkansans who died of ALS/MND between 1999 and 2006. We used a retrospective chart review of patients with ALS/MND seen at least once in our clinic and reviewed state death certificate data. Results showed that from 1999 to 2006, 466 Arkansas deaths were attributed (immediate or contributory) to ALS/MND; 17 (3.6%) were black, four (0.9%) other, and 445 (95.5%) white. During this period, the proportion of black Arkansans was 17%. From 2001 to 2010, we saw 330 patients with ALS/MND: 30 (9.1%) black, six (1.8%) other, 294 (89.1%) white. Average onset age for whites was 58.1 + 12.4 years, for blacks 52.8 + 13.0 (p = 0.038). Gender, onset site, time from symptom onset to first clinic visit and initial vital capacity were similar between the groups. Initial ALSFRS-R was 37.5 + 7.2 for whites and 30.8 + 8.5 (p = 0.004) for blacks. A first or second degree relative with ALS/MND was reported by 8.1% of whites and by none of the black patients (p = 0.15). Riluzole, PEG and non-invasive ventilation use was similar between the groups. Median tracheostomy-free survival was 36 months for white and 40 months for black patients (p = 0.475). In conclusion, although blacks appear relatively spared from ALS/MND, they present at an earlier age and are functionally worse at their first visit. Investigating the genetic make-up of blacks with the disease may help identify genes that modify risk of developing ALS/MND.

  17. Evidence that the cortical motor command for the initiation of dynamic plantarflexion consists of excitation followed by inhibition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taube, Wolfgang; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Schubert, Martin

    2011-01-01

    by conditioning the soleus H-reflex with different interstimulus intervals by cervicomedullary stimulation (CMS-conditioning) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of M1 (M1-conditioning). This technique provides a precise time course of facilitation and inhibition. CMS- and M1-conditioning produced......At the onset of dynamic movements excitation of the motor cortex (M1) is spatially restricted to areas representing the involved muscles whereas adjacent areas are inhibited. The current study elucidates whether the cortical motor command for dynamic contractions is also restricted to a certain...... population of cortical neurons responsible for the fast corticospinal projections. Therefore, corticospinal transmission was assessed with high temporal resolution during dynamic contractions after both, magnetic stimulation over M1 and the brainstem. The high temporal resolution could be obtained...

  18. The Effects of Motor Neurone Disease on Language: Further Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Thomas H.; Hodges, John R.

    2004-01-01

    It might sound surprising that Motor Neurone Disease (MND), regarded still by many as the very example of a neurodegenerative disease affecting selectively the motor system and sparing the sensory functions as well as cognition, can have a significant influence on language. In this article we hope to demonstrate that language dysfunction is not…

  19. Catecholaminergic consolidation of motor cortical neuroplasticity in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitsche, Michael A; Grundey, Jessica; Liebetanz, David; Lang, Nicolas; Tergau, Frithjof; Paulus, Walter

    2004-11-01

    Amphetamine, a catecholaminergic re-uptake-blocker, is able to improve neuroplastic mechanisms in humans. However, so far not much is known about the underlying physiological mechanisms. Here, we study the impact of amphetamine on NMDA receptor-dependent long-lasting excitability modifications in the human motor cortex elicited by weak transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Amphetamine significantly enhanced and prolonged increases in anodal, tDCS-induced, long-lasting excitability. Under amphetamine premedication, anodal tDCS resulted in an enhancement of excitability which lasted until the morning after tDCS, compared to approximately 1 h in the placebo condition. Prolongation of the excitability enhancement was most pronounced for long-term effects; the duration of short-term excitability enhancement was only slightly increased. Since the additional application of the NMDA receptor antagonist dextromethorphane blocked any enhancement of tDCS-driven excitability under amphetamine, we conclude that amphetamine consolidates the tDCS-induced neuroplastic effects, but does not initiate them. The fact that propanolol, a beta-adrenergic antagonist, diminished the duration of the tDCS-generated after-effects suggests that adrenergic receptors play a certain role in the consolidation of NMDA receptor-dependent motor cortical excitability modifications in humans. This result may enable researchers to optimize neuroplastic processes in the human brain on the rational basis of purpose-designed pharmacological interventions.

  20. Hand Dominance and Age Have Interactive Effects on Motor Cortical Representations

    OpenAIRE

    Bernard, Jessica A.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2012-01-01

    Older adults exhibit more bilateral motor cortical activity during unimanual task performance than young adults. Interestingly, a similar pattern is seen in young adults with reduced hand dominance. However, older adults report stronger hand dominance than young adults, making it unclear how handedness is manifested in the aging motor cortex. Here, we investigated age differences in the relationships between handedness, motor cortical organization, and interhemispheric communication speed. We...

  1. Generation of Spinal Motor Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, David P; Kiskinis, Evangelos

    2017-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are characterized by their unique ability to self-renew indefinitely, as well as to differentiate into any cell type of the human body. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) share these salient characteristics with ESCs and can easily be generated from any given individual by reprogramming somatic cell types such as fibroblasts or blood cells. The spinal motor neuron (MN) is a specialized neuronal subtype that synapses with muscle to control movement. Here, we present a method to generate functional, postmitotic, spinal motor neurons through the directed differentiation of ESCs and iPSCs by the use of small molecules. These cells can be utilized to study the development and function of human motor neurons in healthy and disease states.

  2. Neuronal mechanisms of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berghuis, K M M; Veldman, M P; Solnik, S; Koch, G; Zijdewind, I; Hortobágyi, T

    2015-06-01

    It is controversial whether or not old adults are capable of learning new motor skills and consolidate the performance gains into motor memory in the offline period. The underlying neuronal mechanisms are equally unclear. We determined the magnitude of motor learning and motor memory consolidation in healthy old adults and examined if specific metrics of neuronal excitability measured by magnetic brain stimulation mediate the practice and retention effects. Eleven healthy old adults practiced a wrist extension-flexion visuomotor skill for 20 min (MP, 71.3 years), while a second group only watched the templates without movements (attentional control, AC, n = 11, 70.5 years). There was 40 % motor learning in MP but none in AC (interaction, p learn a new motor skill and consolidate the learned skill into motor memory, processes that are most likely mediated by disinhibitory mechanisms. These results are relevant for the increasing number of old adults who need to learn and relearn movements during motor rehabilitation.

  3. Reward-modulated motor information in identified striatum neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isomura, Yoshikazu; Takekawa, Takashi; Harukuni, Rie; Handa, Takashi; Aizawa, Hidenori; Takada, Masahiko; Fukai, Tomoki

    2013-06-19

    It is widely accepted that dorsal striatum neurons participate in either the direct pathway (expressing dopamine D1 receptors) or the indirect pathway (expressing D2 receptors), controlling voluntary movements in an antagonistically balancing manner. The D1- and D2-expressing neurons are activated and inactivated, respectively, by dopamine released from substantia nigra neurons encoding reward expectation. However, little is known about the functional representation of motor information and its reward modulation in individual striatal neurons constituting the two pathways. In this study, we juxtacellularly recorded the spike activity of single neurons in the dorsolateral striatum of rats performing voluntary forelimb movement in a reward-predictable condition. Some of these neurons were identified morphologically by a combination of juxtacellular visualization and in situ hybridization for D1 mRNA. We found that the striatal neurons exhibited distinct functional activations before and during the forelimb movement, regardless of the expression of D1 mRNA. They were often positively, but rarely negatively, modulated by expecting a reward for the correct motor response. The positive reward modulation was independent of behavioral differences in motor performance. In contrast, regular-spiking and fast-spiking neurons in any layers of the motor cortex displayed only minor and unbiased reward modulation of their functional activation in relation to the execution of forelimb movement. Our results suggest that the direct and indirect pathway neurons cooperatively rather than antagonistically contribute to spatiotemporal control of voluntary movements, and that motor information is subcortically integrated with reward information through dopaminergic and other signals in the skeletomotor loop of the basal ganglia.

  4. Phrenic motor neuron adenosine 2A receptors elicit phrenic motor facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seven, Yasin B; Perim, Raphael R; Hobson, Orinda R; Simon, Alec K; Tadjalli, Arash; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2018-04-15

    Although adenosine 2A (A 2A ) receptor activation triggers specific cell signalling cascades, the ensuing physiological outcomes depend on the specific cell type expressing these receptors. Cervical spinal adenosine 2A (A 2A ) receptor activation elicits a prolonged facilitation in phrenic nerve activity, which was nearly abolished following intrapleural A 2A receptor siRNA injections. A 2A receptor siRNA injections selectively knocked down A 2A receptors in cholera toxin B-subunit-identified phrenic motor neurons, sparing cervical non-phrenic motor neurons. Collectively, our results support the hypothesis that phrenic motor neurons express the A 2A receptors relevant to A 2A receptor-induced phrenic motor facilitation. Upregulation of A 2A receptor expression in the phrenic motor neurons per se may potentially be a useful approach to increase phrenic motor neuron excitability in conditions such as spinal cord injury. Cervical spinal adenosine 2A (A 2A ) receptor activation elicits a prolonged increase in phrenic nerve activity, an effect known as phrenic motor facilitation (pMF). The specific cervical spinal cells expressing the relevant A 2A receptors for pMF are unknown. This is an important question since the physiological outcome of A 2A receptor activation is highly cell type specific. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that the relevant A 2A receptors for pMF are expressed in phrenic motor neurons per se versus non-phrenic neurons of the cervical spinal cord. A 2A receptor immunostaining significantly colocalized with NeuN-positive neurons (89 ± 2%). Intrapleural siRNA injections were used to selectively knock down A 2A receptors in cholera toxin B-subunit-labelled phrenic motor neurons. A 2A receptor knock-down was verified by a ∼45% decrease in A 2A receptor immunoreactivity within phrenic motor neurons versus non-targeting siRNAs (siNT; P phrenic motor neurons. In rats that were anaesthetized, subjected to neuromuscular blockade and ventilated, p

  5. Racial differences in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    GUNDOGDU, BETUL; AL-LAHHAM, TAWFIQ; SPENCER, HORACE; RUDNICKI, STACY A.

    2014-01-01

    Our objective was to compare and contrast clinical features of black and white patients seen in the UAMS ALS/Motor Neuron Disease (MND) clinic from January 2001 to December 2010. Death certificate information was reviewed to determine race of Arkansans who died of ALS/MND between 1999 and 2006. We used a retrospective chart review of patients with ALS/MND seen at least once in our clinic and reviewed state death certificate data. Results showed that from 1999 to 2006, 466 Arkansas deaths were attributed (immediate or contributory) to ALS/MND; 17 (3.6%) were black, four (0.9%) other, and 445 (95.5%) white. During this period, the proportion of black Arkansans was 17%. From 2001 to 2010, we saw 330 patients with ALS/MND: 30 (9.1%) black, six (1.8%) other, 294 (89.1%) white. Average onset age for whites was 58.1 ± 12.4 years, for blacks 52.8 ± 13.0 (p = 0.038). Gender, onset site, time from symptom onset to first clinic visit and initial vital capacity were similar between the groups. Initial ALSFRS-R was 37.5 ± 7.2 for whites and 30.8 ± 8.5 (p = 0.004) for blacks. A first or second degree relative with ALS/MND was reported by 8.1% of whites and by none of the black patients (p = 0.15). Riluzole, PEG and non-invasive ventilation use was similar between the groups. Median tracheostomy-free survival was 36 months for white and 40 months for black patients (p = 0.475). In conclusion, although blacks appear relatively spared from ALS/MND, they present at an earlier age and are functionally worse at their first visit. Investigating the genetic make-up of blacks with the disease may help identify genes that modify risk of developing ALS/MND. PMID:24067242

  6. Overexpression of survival motor neuron improves neuromuscular function and motor neuron survival in mutant SOD1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Bradley J; Alfazema, Neza; Sheean, Rebecca K; Sleigh, James N; Davies, Kay E; Horne, Malcolm K; Talbot, Kevin

    2014-04-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy results from diminished levels of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein in spinal motor neurons. Low levels of SMN also occur in models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and genetic reduction of SMN levels exacerbates the phenotype of transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice. Here, we demonstrate that SMN protein is significantly reduced in the spinal cords of patients with sporadic ALS. To test the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS, we overexpressed SMN in 2 different strains of SOD1(G93A) mice. Neuronal overexpression of SMN significantly preserved locomotor function, rescued motor neurons, and attenuated astrogliosis in spinal cords of SOD1(G93A) mice. Despite this, survival was not prolonged, most likely resulting from SMN mislocalization and depletion of gems in motor neurons of symptomatic mice. Our results reveal that SMN upregulation slows locomotor deficit onset and motor neuron loss in this mouse model of ALS. However, disruption of SMN nuclear complexes by high levels of mutant SOD1, even in the presence of SMN overexpression, might limit its survival promoting effects in this specific mouse model. Studies in emerging mouse models of ALS are therefore warranted to further explore the potential of SMN as a modifier of ALS. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Joint cross-correlation analysis reveals complex, time-dependent functional relationship between cortical neurons and arm electromyograms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Katie Z.; Lebedev, Mikhail A.

    2014-01-01

    Correlation between cortical activity and electromyographic (EMG) activity of limb muscles has long been a subject of neurophysiological studies, especially in terms of corticospinal connectivity. Interest in this issue has recently increased due to the development of brain-machine interfaces with output signals that mimic muscle force. For this study, three monkeys were implanted with multielectrode arrays in multiple cortical areas. One monkey performed self-timed touch pad presses, whereas the other two executed arm reaching movements. We analyzed the dynamic relationship between cortical neuronal activity and arm EMGs using a joint cross-correlation (JCC) analysis that evaluated trial-by-trial correlation as a function of time intervals within a trial. JCCs revealed transient correlations between the EMGs of multiple muscles and neural activity in motor, premotor and somatosensory cortical areas. Matching results were obtained using spike-triggered averages corrected by subtracting trial-shuffled data. Compared with spike-triggered averages, JCCs more readily revealed dynamic changes in cortico-EMG correlations. JCCs showed that correlation peaks often sharpened around movement times and broadened during delay intervals. Furthermore, JCC patterns were directionally selective for the arm-reaching task. We propose that such highly dynamic, task-dependent and distributed relationships between cortical activity and EMGs should be taken into consideration for future brain-machine interfaces that generate EMG-like signals. PMID:25210153

  8. Inducible nitric oxide inhibitors block NMDA antagonist-stimulated motoric behaviors and medial prefrontal cortical glutamate efflux

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadley C Bergstrom

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO plays a critical role in the motoric and glutamate releasing action of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA-antagonist stimulants. Earlier studies utilized neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitors (nNOS for studying the neurobehavioral effects of noncompetitive NMDA-antagonist stimulants such as dizocilpine (MK-801 and phencyclidine (PCP. This study explores the role of the inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibitors (iNOS aminoguanidine (AG and (--epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG in NMDA-antagonist induced motoric behavior and prefrontal cortical glutamate efflux. Adult male rats were administered a dose range of AG, EGCG or vehicle prior to receiving NMDA antagonists MK-801, PCP or a conventional psychostimulant (cocaine and tested for motoric behavior in an open arena. Glutamate in the medial prefrontal cortex was measured using in vivo microdialysis after a combination of AG or EGCG prior to MK-801. Acute administration of AG or EGCG dose-dependently attenuated the locomotor and ataxic properties of MK-801 and PCP. Both AG and EGCG were unable to block the motoric effects of cocaine, indicating the acute pharmacologic action of AG and EGCG is specific to NMDA antagonism and not generalizable to all stimulant class drugs. AG and EGCG normalized MK-801-stimulated medial prefrontal cortical glutamate efflux. These data demonstrate that AG and EGCG attenuates NMDA antagonist-stimulated motoric behavior and cortical glutamate efflux. Our results suggest that EGCG-like polyphenol nutraceuticals (contained in green tea and chocolate may be clinically useful in protecting against the adverse behavioral dissociative and cortical glutamate stimulating effects of NMDA antagonists. Medications that interfere with NMDA antagonists such as MK-801 and PCP have been proposed as treatments for schizophrenia.

  9. Three Types of Cortical L5 Neurons that Differ in Brain-Wide Connectivity and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Euiseok J.; Juavinett, Ashley L.; Kyubwa, Espoir M.; Jacobs, Matthew W.; Callaway, Edward M.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception. PMID:26671462

  10. Three Types of Cortical Layer 5 Neurons That Differ in Brain-wide Connectivity and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Euiseok J; Juavinett, Ashley L; Kyubwa, Espoir M; Jacobs, Matthew W; Callaway, Edward M

    2015-12-16

    Cortical layer 5 (L5) pyramidal neurons integrate inputs from many sources and distribute outputs to cortical and subcortical structures. Previous studies demonstrate two L5 pyramid types: cortico-cortical (CC) and cortico-subcortical (CS). We characterize connectivity and function of these cell types in mouse primary visual cortex and reveal a new subtype. Unlike previously described L5 CC and CS neurons, this new subtype does not project to striatum [cortico-cortical, non-striatal (CC-NS)] and has distinct morphology, physiology, and visual responses. Monosynaptic rabies tracing reveals that CC neurons preferentially receive input from higher visual areas, while CS neurons receive more input from structures implicated in top-down modulation of brain states. CS neurons are also more direction-selective and prefer faster stimuli than CC neurons. These differences suggest distinct roles as specialized output channels, with CS neurons integrating information and generating responses more relevant to movement control and CC neurons being more important in visual perception. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Intracortical Microstimulation (ICMS) Activates Motor Cortex Layer 5 Pyramidal Neurons Mainly Transsynaptically.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussin, Ahmed T; Boychuk, Jeffery A; Brown, Andrew R; Pittman, Quentin J; Teskey, G Campbell

    2015-01-01

    Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) is a technique used for a number of purposes including the derivation of cortical movement representations (motor maps). Its application can activate the output layer 5 of motor cortex and can result in the elicitation of body movements depending upon the stimulus parameters used. The extent to which pyramidal tract projection neurons of the motor cortex are activated transsynaptically or directly by ICMS remains an open question. Given this uncertainty in the mode of activation, we used a preparation that combined patch clamp whole-cell recordings from single layer 5 pyramidal neurons and extracellular ICMS in slices of motor cortex as well as a standard in vivo mapping technique to ask how ICMS activated motor cortex pyramidal neurons. We measured changes in synaptic spike threshold and spiking rate to ICMS in vitro and movement threshold in vivo in the presence or absence of specific pharmacological blockers of glutamatergic (AMPA, NMDA and Kainate) receptors and GABAA receptors. With major excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission blocked (with DNQX, APV and bicuculline methiodide), we observed a significant increase in the ICMS current intensity required to elicit a movement in vivo as well as to the first spike and an 85% reduction in spiking responses in vitro. Subsets of neurons were still responsive after the synaptic block, especially at higher current intensities, suggesting a modest direct activation. Taken together our data indicate a mainly synaptic mode of activation to ICMS in layer 5 of rat motor cortex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Nanomolar bifenthrin alters synchronous Ca2+ oscillations and cortical neuron development independent of sodium channel activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Zhengyu; Cui, Yanjun; Nguyen, Hai M; Jenkins, David Paul; Wulff, Heike; Pessah, Isaac N

    2014-04-01

    Bifenthrin, a relatively stable type I pyrethroid that causes tremors and impairs motor activity in rodents, is broadly used. We investigated whether nanomolar bifenthrin alters synchronous Ca(2+) oscillations (SCOs) necessary for activity-dependent dendritic development. Primary mouse cortical neurons were cultured 8 or 9 days in vitro (DIV), loaded with the Ca(2+) indicator Fluo-4, and imaged using a Fluorescence Imaging Plate Reader Tetra. Acute exposure to bifenthrin rapidly increased the frequency of SCOs by 2.7-fold (EC50 = 58 nM) and decreased SCO amplitude by 36%. Changes in SCO properties were independent of modifications in voltage-gated sodium channels since 100 nM bifenthrin had no effect on the whole-cell Na(+) current, nor did it influence neuronal resting membrane potential. The L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker nifedipine failed to ameliorate bifenthrin-triggered SCO activity. By contrast, the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)5 antagonist MPEP [2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine] normalized bifenthrin-triggered increase in SCO frequency without altering baseline SCO activity, indicating that bifenthrin amplifies mGluR5 signaling independent of Na(+) channel modification. Competitive [AP-5; (-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid] and noncompetitive (dizocilpine, or MK-801 [(5S,10R)-(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate]) N-methyl-d-aspartate antagonists partially decreased both basal and bifenthrin-triggered SCO frequency increase. Bifenthrin-modified SCO rapidly enhanced the phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). Subacute (48 hours) exposure to bifenthrin commencing 2 DIV-enhanced neurite outgrowth and persistently increased SCO frequency and reduced SCO amplitude. Bifenthrin-stimulated neurite outgrowth and CREB phosphorylation were dependent on mGluR5 activity since MPEP normalized both responses. Collectively these data identify a new mechanism by which bifenthrin potently alters Ca(2

  13. Neuronal firing in the globus pallidus internus and the ventrolateral thalamus related to parkinsonian motor symptoms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Hai; ZHUANG Ping; ZHANG Yu-qing; LI Jian-yu; LI Yong-jie

    2009-01-01

    Background It has been proposed that parkinsonian motor signs result from hyperactivity in the output nucleus of the basal ganglia, which suppress the motor thalamus and cortical areas. This study aimed to explore the neuronal activity in the globus pallidus internus (GPi) and the ventrolateral thalamic nuclear group (ventral oral posterior/ventral intermediate, Vop/Vim) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).Methods Twenty patients with PD who underwent neurosurgery were studied. Microelectrode recording was performed in the GPi (n=10) and the Vop/Vim (n=10) intraoperatively. Electromyography (EMG) contralateral to the surgery was simultaneously performed. Single unit analysis was carried out. The interspike intervals (ISI) and coefficient of variation (CV) of ISI were calculated. Histograms of ISI were constructed. A unified Parkinson's disease rating scale (UPDRS) was used to assess the clinical outcome of surgery.Results Three hundred and sixty-three neurons were obtained from 20 trajectories. Of 175 GPi neurons, there were 15.4% with tremor frequency, 69.2% with tonic firing, and 15.4% with irregular discharge. Of 188 thalamic neurons, there were 46.8% with tremor frequency, 22.9% with tonic firing, and 30.3% with irregular discharge. The numbers of three patterns of neuron in GPi and Vop/Vim were significantly different (P <0.001). ISI analysis revealed that mean firing rate of the three patterns of GPi neurons was (80.9±63.9) Hz (n=78), which was higher than similar neurons with 62.9 Hz in a normal primate. For the Vop/Vim group, ISI revealed that mean firing rate of the three patterns of neurons (n=95) was (23.2±17.1) Hz which was lower than similar neurons with 30 Hz in the motor thalamus of normal primates. UPDRS indicated that the clinical outcome of pallidotomy was (64.3±9.5)%, (83.4±19.1)% and (63.4±36.3)%, and clinical outcome of thalamotomy was (92.2±12.9)%, (68.0±25.2)% and (44.3±27.2)% for tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia, respectively

  14. The spectrum of lower motor neuron syndromes : classification, natural course and treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg-Vos, R.M. van den

    2002-01-01

    This thesis focusses on patients with lower motor neuron syndromes. This relatively rare group of syndromes is clinically not well described and the pathogenesis is largely unknown. Two subgroups can be distinguished: patients in whom motor neurons (lower motor neuron disease (LMND)) or motor

  15. [Patterns of action potential firing in cortical neurons of neonatal mice and their electrophysiological property].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furong, Liu; Shengtian, L I

    2016-05-25

    To investigate patterns of action potential firing in cortical heurons of neonatal mice and their electrophysiological properties. The passive and active membrane properties of cortical neurons from 3-d neonatal mice were observed by whole-cell patch clamp with different voltage and current mode. Three patterns of action potential firing were identified in response to depolarized current injection. The effects of action potential firing patterns on voltage-dependent inward and outward current were found. Neurons with three different firing patterns had different thresholds of depolarized current. In the morphology analysis of action potential, the three type neurons were different in rise time, duration, amplitude and threshold of the first action potential evoked by 80 pA current injection. The passive properties were similar in three patterns of action potential firing. These results indicate that newborn cortical neurons exhibit different patterns of action potential firing with different action potential parameters such as shape and threshold.

  16. Dysregulation of RNA Mediated Gene Expression in Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Inês do Carmo G; Rehorst, Wiebke A; Kye, Min Jeong

    2016-01-01

    Recent findings indicate an important role for RNA-mediated gene expression in motor neuron diseases, including ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and SMA (spinal muscular atrophy). ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is an adult-onset progressive neurodegenerative disorder, whereby SMA or "children's Lou Gehrig's disease" is considered a pediatric neurodevelopmental disorder. Despite the difference in genetic causes, both ALS and SMA share common phenotypes; dysfunction/loss of motor neurons that eventually leads to muscle weakness and atrophy. With advanced techniques in molecular genetics and cell biology, current data suggest that these two distinct motor neuron diseases share more than phenotypes; ALS and SMA have similar cellular pathological mechanisms including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and dysregulation in RNA-mediated gene expression. Here, we will discuss the current findings on these two diseases with specific focus on RNA-mediated gene regulation including miRNA expression, pre-mRNA processing and RNA binding proteins.

  17. ATF3 expression improves motor function in the ALS mouse model by promoting motor neuron survival and retaining muscle innervation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seijffers, Rhona; Zhang, Jiangwen; Matthews, Jonathan C; Chen, Adam; Tamrazian, Eric; Babaniyi, Olusegun; Selig, Martin; Hynynen, Meri; Woolf, Clifford J; Brown, Robert H

    2014-01-28

    ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterized by a progressive loss of motor neurons and atrophy of distal axon terminals in muscle, resulting in loss of motor function. Motor end plates denervated by axonal retraction of dying motor neurons are partially reinnervated by remaining viable motor neurons; however, this axonal sprouting is insufficient to compensate for motor neuron loss. Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) promotes neuronal survival and axonal growth. Here, we reveal that forced expression of ATF3 in motor neurons of transgenic SOD1(G93A) ALS mice delays neuromuscular junction denervation by inducing axonal sprouting and enhancing motor neuron viability. Maintenance of neuromuscular junction innervation during the course of the disease in ATF3/SOD1(G93A) mice is associated with a substantial delay in muscle atrophy and improved motor performance. Although disease onset and mortality are delayed, disease duration is not affected. This study shows that adaptive axonal growth-promoting mechanisms can substantially improve motor function in ALS and importantly, that augmenting viability of the motor neuron soma and maintaining functional neuromuscular junction connections are both essential elements in therapy for motor neuron disease in the SOD1(G93A) mice. Accordingly, effective protection of optimal motor neuron function requires restitution of multiple dysregulated cellular pathways.

  18. Curtailing effect of awakening on visual responses of cortical neurons by cholinergic activation of inhibitory circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Rui; Safari, Mir-Shahram; Mirnajafi-Zadeh, Javad; Kimura, Rie; Ebina, Teppei; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Sohya, Kazuhiro; Tsumoto, Tadaharu

    2014-07-23

    Visual responsiveness of cortical neurons changes depending on the brain state. Neural circuit mechanism underlying this change is unclear. By applying the method of in vivo two-photon functional calcium imaging to transgenic rats in which GABAergic neurons express fluorescent protein, we analyzed changes in visual response properties of cortical neurons when animals became awakened from anesthesia. In the awake state, the magnitude and reliability of visual responses of GABAergic neurons increased whereas the decay of responses of excitatory neurons became faster. To test whether the basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic projection is involved in these changes, we analyzed effects of electrical and optogenetic activation of BF on visual responses of mouse cortical neurons with in vivo imaging and whole-cell recordings. Electrical BF stimulation in anesthetized animals induced the same direction of changes in visual responses of both groups of neurons as awakening. Optogenetic activation increased the frequency of visually evoked action potentials in GABAergic neurons but induced the delayed hyperpolarization that ceased the late generation of action potentials in excitatory neurons. Pharmacological analysis in slice preparations revealed that photoactivation-induced depolarization of layer 1 GABAergic neurons was blocked by a nicotinic receptor antagonist, whereas non-fast-spiking layer 2/3 GABAergic neurons was blocked only by the application of both nicotinic and muscarinic receptor antagonists. These results suggest that the effect of awakening is mediated mainly through nicotinic activation of layer 1 GABAergic neurons and mixed nicotinic/muscarinic activation of layer 2/3 non-fast-spiking GABAergic neurons, which together curtails the visual responses of excitatory neurons. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3410122-12$15.00/0.

  19. The Neuronal Network Orchestration behind Motor Behaviors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Peter Christian

    to motoneurons during rhythmic motor behaviors, and specifically the hypothesis that motoneurons receive concurrent excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) inputs. Berg et al. (2007) presented the concurrent hypothesis, which goes against the classical feed forward reciprocal model for spinal motor networks that has...... gained widespread acceptance. We developed an adult turtle preparation where the spinal motor network was intact, which also allowed us to perform intracellular recordings from motoneurons during rhythmic motor activity. We estimated the synaptic excitatory and inhibitory conductances by two individual...... (Buzsáki and Mizuseki, 2014). Roxin et al. (2011) detailed the firing rate distribution in networks in the balanced regime, and found it to be similar to a lognormal distribution and describing the data from the population studies very well. Our experimental observations and analysis are in agreement...

  20. Catenin-dependent cadherin function drives divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bello, Sanusi M; Millo, Hadas; Rajebhosale, Manisha; Price, Stephen R

    2012-01-11

    Motor neurons that control limb movements are organized as a neuronal nucleus in the developing ventral horn of the spinal cord called the lateral motor column. Neuronal migration segregates motor neurons into distinct lateral and medial divisions within the lateral motor column that project axons to dorsal or ventral limb targets, respectively. This migratory phase is followed by an aggregation phase whereby motor neurons within a division that project to the same muscle cluster together. These later phases of motor neuron organization depend on limb-regulated differential cadherin expression within motor neurons. Initially, all motor neurons display the same cadherin expression profile, which coincides with the migratory phase of motor neuron segregation. Here, we show that this early, pan-motor neuron cadherin function drives the divisional segregation of spinal motor neurons in the chicken embryo by controlling motor neuron migration. We manipulated pan-motor neuron cadherin function through dissociation of cadherin binding to their intracellular partners. We found that of the major intracellular transducers of cadherin signaling, γ-catenin and α-catenin predominate in the lateral motor column. In vivo manipulations that uncouple cadherin-catenin binding disrupt divisional segregation via deficits in motor neuron migration. Additionally, reduction of the expression of cadherin-7, a cadherin predominantly expressed in motor neurons only during their migration, also perturbs divisional segregation. Our results show that γ-catenin-dependent cadherin function is required for spinal motor neuron migration and divisional segregation and suggest a prolonged role for cadherin expression in all phases of motor neuron organization.

  1. 运动神经元病%Motor Neuron Disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蒋雨平

    2014-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) represents a group of sporadic or genetic neurodegenerative diseases which principally affect the motor neurons and result in progressive paralysis and death. The epidemiology, genetics, clinical manifestation, diagnostic criteria of MND were reviewed.%运动神经元病是一组散发或遗传的神经变性病。主要累及运动神经元,病程进展而死亡。文中就其临床表现和诊断标准、流行病学和遗传学进行综述。

  2. Monoclonal antibody identification of subpopulations of cerebral cortical neurons affected in Alzheimer's disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, C.A.; Rudnicka, M.; Hinton, D.R.; Blanks, J.C.; Kozlowski, M.

    1987-01-01

    Neuronal degeneration is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Given the paucity of molecular markers available for the identification of neuronal subtypes, the specificity of neuronal loss within the cerebral cortex has been difficult to evaluate. With a panel of four monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) applied to central nervous system tissues from AD patients, the authors have immunocytochemically identified a population of vulnerable cortical neurons; a subpopulation of pyramidal neurons is recognized by mAbs 3F12 and 44.1 in the hippocampus and neocortex, and clusters of multipolar neurons in the entorhinal cortex reactive with mAb 44.1 show selective degeneration. Closely adjacent stellate-like neurons in these regions, identified by mAb 6A2, show striking preservation in AD. The neurons recognized by mAbs 3F12 and 44.1 do not comprise a single known neurotransmitter system. mAb 3A4 identifies a phosphorylated antigen that is undetectable in normal brain but accumulates early in the course of AD in somas of vulnerable neurons. Antigen 3A4 is distinct from material reactive with thioflavin S or antibody generated against paired helical filaments. Initially, antigen 3A4 is localized to neurons in the entorhinal cortex and subiculum, later in the association neocortex, and, ultimately in cases of long duration, in primary sensory cortical regions. mAb 3F12 recognizes multiple bands of immunoblots of homogenates of normal and AD cortical tissues, whereas mAb 3A4 does not bind to immunoblots containing neurofilament proteins or brain homogenates from AD patients. Ultrastructurally, antigen 3A4 is localized to paired-helical filaments. Using these mAbs, further molecular characterization of the affected cortical neurons is now possible

  3. Cortical Divergent Projections in Mice Originate from Two Sequentially Generated, Distinct Populations of Excitatory Cortical Neurons with Different Initial Axonal Outgrowth Characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatanaka, Yumiko; Namikawa, Tomohiro; Yamauchi, Kenta; Kawaguchi, Yasuo

    2016-05-01

    Excitatory cortical neurons project to various subcortical and intracortical regions, and exhibit diversity in their axonal connections. Although this diversity may develop from primary axons, how many types of axons initially occur remains unknown. Using a sparse-labeling in utero electroporation method, we investigated the axonal outgrowth of these neurons in mice and correlated the data with axonal projections in adults. Examination of lateral cortex neurons labeled during the main period of cortical neurogenesis (E11.5-E15.5) indicated that axonal outgrowth commonly occurs in the intermediate zone. Conversely, the axonal direction varied; neurons labeled before E12.5 and the earliest cortical plate neurons labeled at E12.5 projected laterally, whereas neurons labeled thereafter projected medially. The expression of Ctip2 and Satb2 and the layer destinations of these neurons support the view that lateral and medial projection neurons are groups of prospective subcortical and callosal projection neurons, respectively. Consistently, birthdating experiments demonstrated that presumptive lateral projection neurons were generated earlier than medial projection neurons, even within the same layer. These results suggest that the divergent axonal connections of excitatory cortical neurons begin from two types of primary axons, which originate from two sequentially generated distinct subpopulations: early-born lateral (subcortical) and later-born medial (callosal) projection neuron groups. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Distinct roles of visual, parietal, and frontal motor cortices in memory-guided sensorimotor decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goard, Michael J; Pho, Gerald N; Woodson, Jonathan; Sur, Mriganka

    2016-08-04

    Mapping specific sensory features to future motor actions is a crucial capability of mammalian nervous systems. We investigated the role of visual (V1), posterior parietal (PPC), and frontal motor (fMC) cortices for sensorimotor mapping in mice during performance of a memory-guided visual discrimination task. Large-scale calcium imaging revealed that V1, PPC, and fMC neurons exhibited heterogeneous responses spanning all task epochs (stimulus, delay, response). Population analyses demonstrated unique encoding of stimulus identity and behavioral choice information across regions, with V1 encoding stimulus, fMC encoding choice even early in the trial, and PPC multiplexing the two variables. Optogenetic inhibition during behavior revealed that all regions were necessary during the stimulus epoch, but only fMC was required during the delay and response epochs. Stimulus identity can thus be rapidly transformed into behavioral choice, requiring V1, PPC, and fMC during the transformation period, but only fMC for maintaining the choice in memory prior to execution.

  5. Populations of auditory cortical neurons can accurately encode acoustic space across stimulus intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Lee M; Recanzone, Gregg H

    2009-04-07

    The auditory cortex is critical for perceiving a sound's location. However, there is no topographic representation of acoustic space, and individual auditory cortical neurons are often broadly tuned to stimulus location. It thus remains unclear how acoustic space is represented in the mammalian cerebral cortex and how it could contribute to sound localization. This report tests whether the firing rates of populations of neurons in different auditory cortical fields in the macaque monkey carry sufficient information to account for horizontal sound localization ability. We applied an optimal neural decoding technique, based on maximum likelihood estimation, to populations of neurons from 6 different cortical fields encompassing core and belt areas. We found that the firing rate of neurons in the caudolateral area contain enough information to account for sound localization ability, but neurons in other tested core and belt cortical areas do not. These results provide a detailed and plausible population model of how acoustic space could be represented in the primate cerebral cortex and support a dual stream processing model of auditory cortical processing.

  6. MicroRNA-338 Attenuates Cortical Neuronal Outgrowth by Modulating the Expression of Axon Guidance Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kos, Aron; Klein-Gunnewiek, Teun; Meinhardt, Julia; Loohuis, Nikkie F M Olde; van Bokhoven, Hans; Kaplan, Barry B; Martens, Gerard J; Kolk, Sharon M; Aschrafi, Armaz

    2017-07-01

    MicroRNAs (miRs) are small non-coding RNAs that confer robustness to gene networks through post-transcriptional gene regulation. Previously, we identified miR-338 as a modulator of axonal outgrowth in sympathetic neurons. In the current study, we examined the role of miR-338 in the development of cortical neurons and uncovered its downstream mRNA targets. Long-term inhibition of miR-338 during neuronal differentiation resulted in reduced dendritic complexity and altered dendritic spine morphology. Furthermore, monitoring axon outgrowth in cortical cells revealed that miR-338 overexpression decreased, whereas inhibition of miR-338 increased axonal length. To identify gene targets mediating the observed phenotype, we inhibited miR-338 in cortical neurons and performed whole-transcriptome analysis. Pathway analysis revealed that miR-338 modulates a subset of transcripts involved in the axonal guidance machinery by means of direct and indirect gene targeting. Collectively, our results implicate miR-338 as a novel regulator of cortical neuronal maturation by fine-tuning the expression of gene networks governing cortical outgrowth.

  7. Communications Technology and Motor Neuron Disease: An Australian Survey of People With Motor Neuron Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackenzie, Lynette; Bhuta, Prarthna; Rusten, Kim; Devine, Janet; Love, Anna; Waterson, Penny

    2016-01-25

    People with Motor Neuron Disease (MND), of which amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common form in adults, typically experience difficulties with communication and disabilities associated with movement. Assistive technology is essential to facilitate everyday activities, promote social support and enhance quality of life. This study aimed to explore the types of mainstream and commonly available communication technology used by people with MND including software and hardware, to identify the levels of confidence and skill that people with MND reported in using technology, to determine perceived barriers to the use of technology for communication, and to investigate the willingness of people with MND to adopt alternative modes of communication. An on-line survey was distributed to members of the New South Wales Motor Neuron Disease Association (MND NSW). Descriptive techniques were used to summarize frequencies of responses and cross tabulate data. Free-text responses to survey items and verbal comments from participants who chose to undertake the survey by telephone were analyzed using thematic analysis. Responses from 79 MND NSW members indicated that 15-21% had difficulty with speaking, writing and/or using a keyboard. Commonly used devices were desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Most participants (84%) were connected to the Internet and used it for email (91%), to find out more about MND (59%), to follow the news (50%) or for on-line shopping (46%). A third of respondents used Skype or its equivalent, but few used this to interact with health professionals. People with MND need greater awareness of technology options to access the most appropriate solutions. The timing for people with MND to make decisions about technology is critical. Health professionals need skills and knowledge about the application of technology to be able to work with people with MND to select the best communication technology options as early as possible

  8. [Effect of intermittent hypoxia of sleep apnea on embryonic rat cortical neurons in vitro].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chanjuan; Li, Yanzhong; Wang, Yan

    2015-05-01

    To investigate the effects of different pattens of intermittent hypoxia on the activity and apoptosis of primary cultured rat embryonic cortical neurons, and to evaluate the role of intermittent hypoxia in the mechanism of obstructive sleep syndrom induced cognitive function loss. The embryonic cerebral cortical neurons were cultured in vitro and were identified by immunofluorescence. Cultured neurons were randomly divided into intermittent hypoxia group, intermittent normal oxygen group, persistent hypoxia group and the control group, and intermittent hypoxia group was divided into five subgroups according to different frequency and time-bound. Neurons were exposed in different modes of hypoxia. MTT colorimetry was used to detect the viability of the neurons, and DAPI colorated measurement was used to calculate the percentages of neuron apoptosis. There were significantly different effects between all subgroups of intermittent hypoxia and the continued hypoxia group on neuronal activity and apoptosis (P Intermittent hypoxia groups with different frequency and time had no difference in neuronal activity and apoptosis (P > 0.05). The effect of intermittent hypoxia was more serious than that of continued hypoxia on neuronal activity and apoptosis; The impact of intermittent hypoxia on neuronal activity and apoptosis may be an important factor in obstructive sleep apnea related cognitive impairment.

  9. Progranulin is expressed within motor neurons and promotes neuronal cell survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kay Denis G

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Progranulin is a secreted high molecular weight growth factor bearing seven and one half copies of the cysteine-rich granulin-epithelin motif. While inappropriate over-expression of the progranulin gene has been associated with many cancers, haploinsufficiency leads to atrophy of the frontotemporal lobes and development of a form of dementia (frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin positive inclusions, FTLD-U associated with the formation of ubiquitinated inclusions. Recent reports indicate that progranulin has neurotrophic effects, which, if confirmed would make progranulin the only neuroprotective growth factor that has been associated genetically with a neurological disease in humans. Preliminary studies indicated high progranulin gene expression in spinal cord motor neurons. However, it is uncertain what the role of Progranulin is in normal or diseased motor neuron function. We have investigated progranulin gene expression and subcellular localization in cultured mouse embryonic motor neurons and examined the effect of progranulin over-expression and knockdown in the NSC-34 immortalized motor neuron cell line upon proliferation and survival. Results In situ hybridisation and immunohistochemical techniques revealed that the progranulin gene is highly expressed by motor neurons within the mouse spinal cord and in primary cultures of dissociated mouse embryonic spinal cord-dorsal root ganglia. Confocal microscopy coupled to immunocytochemistry together with the use of a progranulin-green fluorescent protein fusion construct revealed progranulin to be located within compartments of the secretory pathway including the Golgi apparatus. Stable transfection of the human progranulin gene into the NSC-34 motor neuron cell line stimulates the appearance of dendritic structures and provides sufficient trophic stimulus to survive serum deprivation for long periods (up to two months. This is mediated at least in part through

  10. Multiple neuropeptides in cholinergic motor neurons of Aplysia: evidence for modulation intrinsic to the motor circuit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cropper, E.C.; Lloyd, P.E.; Reed, W.; Tenenbaum, R.; Kupfermann, I.; Weiss, K.R.

    1987-01-01

    Changes in Aplysia biting responses during food arousal are partially mediated by the serotonergic metacerebral cells (MCCs). The MCCs potentiate contractions of a muscle utilized in biting, the accessory radula closer (ARCM), when contractions are elicited by stimulation of either of the two cholinergic motor neurons B15 or B16 that innervate the muscle. The authors have now shown that ARCM contractions may also be potentiated by peptide cotransmitters in the ARCM motor neurons. They found that motor neuron B15 contains small cardioactive peptides A and B (SCP/sub A/ and SCP/sub B/) i.e., whole B15 neurons were bioactive on the SCP-sensitive Helix heart, as were reverse-phase HPLC fractions of B15 neurons that eluted like synthetic SCP/sub A/ and SCP/sub B/. Furthermore, [ 35 S]methionine-labeled B15 peptides precisely coeluted with synthetic SCP/sub A/ and SCP/sub B/. SCP/sub B/-like immunoreactivity was associated with dense-core vesicles in the soma of B15 and in neuritic varicosities and terminals in the ARCM. B16 motor neurons did not contain SCP/sub A/ or SCP/sub B/ but contained an unidentified bioactive peptide. RP-HPLC of [ 35 S]methionine-labeled B16s resulted in one major peak of radioactivity that did not coelute with either SCP and which, when subject to Edman degradation, yielded [ 35 S]methionine in positions where there is no methionine in the SCPs. Exogenously applied B16 peptide potentiated ARCM contractions elicited by stimulation of B15 or B16 neurons. Thus, in this system there appear to be two types of modulation; one type arises from the MCCs and is extrinsic to the motor system, whereas the second type arises from the motor neurons themselves and hence is intrinsic

  11. Gamma motor neurons survive and exacerbate alpha motor neuron degeneration in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalancette-Hebert, Melanie; Sharma, Aarti; Lyashchenko, Alexander K; Shneider, Neil A

    2016-12-20

    The molecular and cellular basis of selective motor neuron (MN) vulnerability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is not known. In genetically distinct mouse models of familial ALS expressing mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1), TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), and fused in sarcoma (FUS), we demonstrate selective degeneration of alpha MNs (α-MNs) and complete sparing of gamma MNs (γ-MNs), which selectively innervate muscle spindles. Resistant γ-MNs are distinct from vulnerable α-MNs in that they lack synaptic contacts from primary afferent (I A ) fibers. Elimination of these synapses protects α-MNs in the SOD1 mutant, implicating this excitatory input in MN degeneration. Moreover, reduced I A activation by targeted reduction of γ-MNs in SOD1 G93A mutants delays symptom onset and prolongs lifespan, demonstrating a pathogenic role of surviving γ-MNs in ALS. This study establishes the resistance of γ-MNs as a general feature of ALS mouse models and demonstrates that synaptic excitation of MNs within a complex circuit is an important determinant of relative vulnerability in ALS.

  12. Antioxidant and protective mechanisms against hypoxia and hypoglycaemia in cortical neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, José Joaquín; Roncero, César; Oset-Gasque, María Jesús; Naddaf, Ahmad; González, María Pilar

    2014-02-12

    In the present work, we have studied whether cell death could be induced in cortical neurons from rats subjected to different period of O2 deprivation and low glucose (ODLG). This "in vitro" model is designed to emulate the penumbra area under ischemia. In these conditions, cortical neurons displayed loss of mitochondrial respiratory ability however, nor necrosis neither apoptosis occurred despite ROS production. The absence of cellular death could be a consequence of increased antioxidant responses such as superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) and GPX3. In addition, the levels of reduced glutathione were augmented and HIF-1/3α overexpressed. After long periods of ODLG (12-24 h) cortical neurons showed cellular and mitochondrial membrane alterations and did not recuperate cellular viability during reperfusion. This could mean that therapies directed toward prevention of cellular and mitochondrial membrane imbalance or cell death through mechanisms other than necrosis or apoptosis, like authophagy, may be a way to prevent ODLG damage.

  13. Optimal staining methods for delineation of cortical areas and neuron counts in human brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uylings, H B; Zilles, K; Rajkowska, G

    1999-04-01

    For cytoarchitectonic delineation of cortical areas in human brain, the Gallyas staining for somata with its sharp contrast between cell bodies and neuropil is preferable to the classical Nissl staining, the more so when an image analysis system is used. This Gallyas staining, however, does not appear to be appropriate for counting neuron numbers in pertinent brain areas, due to the lack of distinct cytological features between small neurons and glial cells. For cell counting Nissl is preferable. In an optimal design for cell counting at least both the Gallyas and the Nissl staining must be applied, the former staining for cytoarchitectural delineaton of cortical areas and the latter for counting the number of neurons in the pertinent cortical areas. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  14. Assessment of the upper motor neuron in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, William; Simon, Neil G; Grosskreutz, Julian; Turner, Martin R; Vucic, Steve; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2016-07-01

    Clinical signs of upper motor neuron (UMN) involvement are an important component in supporting the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but are often not easily appreciated in a limb that is concurrently affected by muscle wasting and lower motor neuron degeneration, particularly in the early symptomatic stages of ALS. Whilst recent criteria have been proposed to facilitate improved detection of lower motor neuron impairment through electrophysiological features that have improved diagnostic sensitivity, assessment of upper motor neuron involvement remains essentially clinical. As a result, there is often a significant diagnostic delay that in turn may impact institution of disease-modifying therapy and access to other optimal patient management. Biomarkers of pathological UMN involvement are also required to ensure patients with suspected ALS have timely access to appropriate therapeutic trials. The present review provides an analysis of current and recently developed assessment techniques, including novel imaging and electrophysiological approaches used to study corticomotoneuronal pathology in ALS. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Dysarthria of Motor Neuron Disease: Clinician Judgments of Severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seikel, J. Anthony; And Others

    1990-01-01

    This study investigated the relationship between the temporal-acoustic parameters of the speech of 15 adults with motor neuron disease. Differences in predictions of the progression of the disease and clinician judgments of dysarthria severity were found to relate to the linguistic systems of both speaker and judge. (Author/JDD)

  16. Motor neuron disease: the impact of decreased speech intelligibility ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: The onset of motor neuron disease (MND), a neurodegenerative disease, results in physical and communication disabilities that impinge on an individual's ability to remain functionally independent. Multiple aspects of the marital relationship are affected by the continuously changing roles and responsibilities.

  17. Genetic overlap between apparently sporadic motor neuron diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Blitterswijk, Marka; Vlam, Lotte; van Es, Michael A.; van der Pol, W.-Ludo; Hennekam, Eric A. M.; Dooijes, Dennis; Schelhaas, Helenius J.; van der Kooi, Anneke J.; de Visser, Marianne; Veldink, Jan H.; van den Berg, Leonard H.

    2012-01-01

    Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are devastating motor neuron diseases (MNDs), which result in muscle weakness and/or spasticity. We compared mutation frequencies in genes known to be associated with MNDs between patients with apparently sporadic PMA and

  18. Decreased function of survival motor neuron protein impairs endocytic pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitriadi, Maria; Derdowski, Aaron; Kalloo, Geetika; Maginnis, Melissa S; O'Hern, Patrick; Bliska, Bryn; Sorkaç, Altar; Nguyen, Ken C Q; Cook, Steven J; Poulogiannis, George; Atwood, Walter J; Hall, David H; Hart, Anne C

    2016-07-26

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by depletion of the ubiquitously expressed survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, with 1 in 40 Caucasians being heterozygous for a disease allele. SMN is critical for the assembly of numerous ribonucleoprotein complexes, yet it is still unclear how reduced SMN levels affect motor neuron function. Here, we examined the impact of SMN depletion in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that decreased function of the SMN ortholog SMN-1 perturbed endocytic pathways at motor neuron synapses and in other tissues. Diminished SMN-1 levels caused defects in C. elegans neuromuscular function, and smn-1 genetic interactions were consistent with an endocytic defect. Changes were observed in synaptic endocytic proteins when SMN-1 levels decreased. At the ultrastructural level, defects were observed in endosomal compartments, including significantly fewer docked synaptic vesicles. Finally, endocytosis-dependent infection by JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) was reduced in human cells with decreased SMN levels. Collectively, these results demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that SMN depletion causes defects in endosomal trafficking that impair synaptic function, even in the absence of motor neuron cell death.

  19. Sensory neurons do not induce motor neuron loss in a human stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder leading to paralysis and early death due to reduced SMN protein. It is unclear why there is such a profound motor neuron loss, but recent evidence from fly and mouse studies indicate that cells comprising the whole sensory-motor circuit may contribute to motor neuron dysfunction and loss. Here, we used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from SMA patients to test whether sensory neurons directly contribute to motor neuron loss. We generated sensory neurons from SMA induced pluripotent stem cells and found no difference in neuron generation or survival, although there was a reduced calcium response to depolarizing stimuli. Using co-culture of SMA induced pluripotent stem cell derived sensory neurons with control induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neurons, we found no significant reduction in motor neuron number or glutamate transporter boutons on motor neuron cell bodies or neurites. We conclude that SMA sensory neurons do not overtly contribute to motor neuron loss in this human stem cell system.

  20. Transcriptomics of aged Drosophila motor neurons reveals a matrix metalloproteinase that impairs motor function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

    The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is responsible for transforming nervous system signals into motor behavior and locomotion. In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, an age-dependent decline in motor function occurs, analogous to the decline experienced in mice, humans, and other mammals. The molecular and cellular underpinnings of this decline are still poorly understood. By specifically profiling the transcriptome of Drosophila motor neurons across age using custom microarrays, we found that the expression of the matrix metalloproteinase 1 (dMMP1) gene reproducibly increased in motor neurons in an age-dependent manner. Modulation of physiological aging also altered the rate of dMMP1 expression, validating dMMP1 expression as a bona fide aging biomarker for motor neurons. Temporally controlled overexpression of dMMP1 specifically in motor neurons was sufficient to induce deficits in climbing behavior and cause a decrease in neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular synapses. These deficits were reversible if the dMMP1 expression was shut off again immediately after the onset of motor dysfunction. Additionally, repression of dMMP1 enzymatic activity via overexpression of a tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases delayed the onset of age-dependent motor dysfunction. MMPs are required for proper tissue architecture during development. Our results support the idea that matrix metalloproteinase 1 is acting as a downstream effector of antagonistic pleiotropy in motor neurons and is necessary for proper development, but deleterious when reactivated at an advanced age. © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Piriform cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons express coordinated plasticity for whisker-induced odor recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yahui; Gao, Zilong; Chen, Changfeng; Wen, Bo; Huang, Li; Ge, Rongjing; Zhao, Shidi; Fan, Ruichen; Feng, Jing; Lu, Wei; Wang, Liping; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2017-11-10

    Neural plasticity occurs in learning and memory. Coordinated plasticity at glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons during memory formation remains elusive, which we investigate in a mouse model of associative learning by cellular imaging and electrophysiology. Paired odor and whisker stimulations lead to whisker-induced olfaction response. In mice that express this cross-modal memory, the neurons in the piriform cortex are recruited to encode newly acquired whisker signal alongside innate odor signal, and their response patterns to these associated signals are different. There are emerged synaptic innervations from barrel cortical neurons to piriform cortical neurons from these mice. These results indicate the recruitment of associative memory cells in the piriform cortex after associative memory. In terms of the structural and functional plasticity at these associative memory cells in the piriform cortex, glutamatergic neurons and synapses are upregulated, GABAergic neurons and synapses are downregulated as well as their mutual innervations are refined in the coordinated manner. Therefore, the associated activations of sensory cortices triggered by their input signals induce the formation of their mutual synapse innervations, the recruitment of associative memory cells and the coordinated plasticity between the GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, which work for associative memory cells to encode cross-modal associated signals in their integration, associative storage and distinguishable retrieval.

  2. Assessment of sensorimotor cortical representation asymmetries and motor skills in violin players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwenkreis, Peter; El Tom, Susan; Ragert, Patrick; Pleger, Burkhard; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R

    2007-12-01

    As a model for use-dependent plasticity, the brains of professional musicians have been extensively studied to examine structural and functional adaptation to unique requirements of skilled performance. Here we provide a combination of data on motor performance and hand representation in the primary motor and somatosensory cortex of professional violin players, with the aim of assessing possible behavioural consequences of sensorimotor cortical asymmetries. We studied 15 healthy right-handed professional violin players and 35 healthy nonmusician controls. Motor and somatosensory cortex asymmetry was assessed by recording the motor output map after transcranial magnetic stimulation from a small hand muscle, and by dipole source localization of somatosensory evoked potentials after electrical stimulation of the median and ulnar nerves. Motor performance was examined using a series of standardized motor tasks covering different aspects of hand function. Violin players showed a significant right-larger-than-left asymmetry of the motor and somatosensory cortex, whereas nonmusician controls showed no significant interhemispheric difference. The amount of asymmetry in the motor and somatosensory cortices of musicians was significantly correlated. At the behavioural level, motor performance did not significantly differ between musicians and nonmusicians. The results support a use-dependent enlargement of the left hand representation in the sensorimotor cortex of violin players. However, these cortical asymmetries were not paralleled by accompanying altered asymmetries at a behavioural level, suggesting that the reorganisation might be task-specific and does not lead to improved motor abilities in general.

  3. Neurofeedback using real-time near-infrared spectroscopy enhances motor imagery related cortical activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahito Mihara

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence indicates that motor imagery and motor execution share common neural networks. Accordingly, mental practices in the form of motor imagery have been implemented in rehabilitation regimes of stroke patients with favorable results. Because direct monitoring of motor imagery is difficult, feedback of cortical activities related to motor imagery (neurofeedback could help to enhance efficacy of mental practice with motor imagery. To determine the feasibility and efficacy of a real-time neurofeedback system mediated by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS, two separate experiments were performed. Experiment 1 was used in five subjects to evaluate whether real-time cortical oxygenated hemoglobin signal feedback during a motor execution task correlated with reference hemoglobin signals computed off-line. Results demonstrated that the NIRS-mediated neurofeedback system reliably detected oxygenated hemoglobin signal changes in real-time. In Experiment 2, 21 subjects performed motor imagery of finger movements with feedback from relevant cortical signals and irrelevant sham signals. Real neurofeedback induced significantly greater activation of the contralateral premotor cortex and greater self-assessment scores for kinesthetic motor imagery compared with sham feedback. These findings suggested the feasibility and potential effectiveness of a NIRS-mediated real-time neurofeedback system on performance of kinesthetic motor imagery. However, these results warrant further clinical trials to determine whether this system could enhance the effects of mental practice in stroke patients.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egawa, Junji; Schilling, Jan M; Cui, Weihua; Posadas, Edmund; Sawada, Atsushi; Alas, Basheer; Zemljic-Harpf, Alice E; Fannon-Pavlich, McKenzie J; Mandyam, Chitra D; Roth, David M; Patel, Hemal H; Patel, Piyush M; Head, Brian P

    2017-08-01

    Studies in vitro and in vivo demonstrate that membrane/lipid rafts and caveolin (Cav) organize progrowth receptors, and, when overexpressed specifically in neurons, Cav-1 augments neuronal signaling and growth and improves cognitive function in adult and aged mice; however, whether neuronal Cav-1 overexpression can preserve motor and cognitive function in the brain trauma setting is unknown. Here, we generated a neuron-targeted Cav-1-overexpressing transgenic (Tg) mouse [synapsin-driven Cav-1 (SynCav1 Tg)] and subjected it to a controlled cortical impact model of brain trauma and measured biochemical, anatomic, and behavioral changes. SynCav1 Tg mice exhibited increased hippocampal expression of Cav-1 and membrane/lipid raft localization of postsynaptic density protein 95, NMDA receptor, and tropomyosin receptor kinase B. When subjected to a controlled cortical impact, SynCav1 Tg mice demonstrated preserved hippocampus-dependent fear learning and memory, improved motor function recovery, and decreased brain lesion volume compared with wild-type controls. Neuron-targeted overexpression of Cav-1 in the adult brain prevents hippocampus-dependent learning and memory deficits, restores motor function after brain trauma, and decreases brain lesion size induced by trauma. Our findings demonstrate that neuron-targeted Cav-1 can be used as a novel therapeutic strategy to restore brain function and prevent trauma-associated maladaptive plasticity.-Egawa, J., Schilling, J. M., Cui, W., Posadas, E., Sawada, A., Alas, B., Zemljic-Harpf, A. E., Fannon-Pavlich, M. J., Mandyam, C. D., Roth, D. M., Patel, H. H., Patel, P. M., Head, B. P. Neuron-specific caveolin-1 overexpression improves motor function and preserves memory in mice subjected to brain trauma. © FASEB.

  5. EMG analysis in 78 cases with motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Qiubin

    2000-01-01

    This paper analysed the FMGs of 78 cases with the motor neuron disease(MND). The EMG of all patients showed following characteristics that the average duration of wave prolonged, the average voltage increased and it was found that fibrillation and fasciculatton potentials appeared spontaneously. The fibrillation potential of ENG waa related to course of disease. In the patients whose course of disease was short, the fibri llation potential increased obviously, while in the cases of chronic MND, It usually decreased. The motor nerve conduction velocity of most pa tients (41%) reduced, however, the sensory nerve conduction velocity was normal but two. We reviewed some references about EMG of the motor neuron disease and discussed their characteristics and mechanism

  6. Do motor neurons contain functional prejunctional cholinoceptors?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bierkamper, C.G.; Aizenman, E.; Millington, W.R.

    1986-01-01

    This paper focuses on negative feedback by nicotinic cholinoceptors (nAChR) on motor nerve terminals. The authors attempt to prove the existence of the receptor, determine its pharmacologic characteristics, and demonstrate that it can alter ACh release. Acetylcholine release from the vascular perfused rat phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm prepareation is assessed by three methods; measurement of force of contraction; direct assay of released ACh by radioenzymatic assay; and intracellular recording from the endplate region of the myofiber

  7. Sleep-Active Neurons: Conserved Motors of Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bringmann, Henrik

    2018-01-01

    Sleep is crucial for survival and well-being. This behavioral and physiological state has been studied in all major genetically accessible model animals, including rodents, fish, flies, and worms. Genetic and optogenetic studies have identified several neurons that control sleep, making it now possible to compare circuit mechanisms across species. The “motor” of sleep across animal species is formed by neurons that depolarize at the onset of sleep to actively induce this state by directly inhibiting wakefulness. These sleep-inducing neurons are themselves controlled by inhibitory or activating upstream pathways, which act as the “drivers” of the sleep motor: arousal inhibits “sleep-active” neurons whereas various sleep-promoting “tiredness” pathways converge onto sleep-active neurons to depolarize them. This review provides the first overview of sleep-active neurons across the major model animals. The occurrence of sleep-active neurons and their regulation by upstream pathways in both vertebrate and invertebrate species suggests that these neurons are general and ancient components that evolved early in the history of nervous systems. PMID:29618588

  8. Contribution of LFP dynamics to single-neuron spiking variability in motor cortex during movement execution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rule, Michael E.; Vargas-Irwin, Carlos; Donoghue, John P.; Truccolo, Wilson

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the sources of variability in single-neuron spiking responses is an important open problem for the theory of neural coding. This variability is thought to result primarily from spontaneous collective dynamics in neuronal networks. Here, we investigate how well collective dynamics reflected in motor cortex local field potentials (LFPs) can account for spiking variability during motor behavior. Neural activity was recorded via microelectrode arrays implanted in ventral and dorsal premotor and primary motor cortices of non-human primates performing naturalistic 3-D reaching and grasping actions. Point process models were used to quantify how well LFP features accounted for spiking variability not explained by the measured 3-D reach and grasp kinematics. LFP features included the instantaneous magnitude, phase and analytic-signal components of narrow band-pass filtered (δ,θ,α,β) LFPs, and analytic signal and amplitude envelope features in higher-frequency bands. Multiband LFP features predicted single-neuron spiking (1ms resolution) with substantial accuracy as assessed via ROC analysis. Notably, however, models including both LFP and kinematics features displayed marginal improvement over kinematics-only models. Furthermore, the small predictive information added by LFP features to kinematic models was redundant to information available in fast-timescale (spiking history. Overall, information in multiband LFP features, although predictive of single-neuron spiking during movement execution, was redundant to information available in movement parameters and spiking history. Our findings suggest that, during movement execution, collective dynamics reflected in motor cortex LFPs primarily relate to sensorimotor processes directly controlling movement output, adding little explanatory power to variability not accounted by movement parameters. PMID:26157365

  9. Motor Cortical Plasticity to Training Started in Childhood: The Example of Piano Players.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaella Chieffo

    Full Text Available Converging evidence suggest that motor training is associated with early and late changes of the cortical motor system. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS offers the possibility to study plastic rearrangements of the motor system in physiological and pathological conditions. We used TMS to characterize long-term changes in upper limb motor cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition associated with bimanual skill training in pianists who started playing in an early age. Ipsilateral silent period (iSP and cortical TMS mapping of hand muscles were obtained from 30 strictly right-handed subjects (16 pianists, 14 naïve controls, together with electromyographic recording of mirror movements (MMs to voluntary hand movements. In controls, motor cortical representation of hand muscles was larger on the dominant (DH than on the non-dominant hemisphere (NDH. On the contrary, pianists showed symmetric cortical output maps, being their DH less represented than in controls. In naïve subjects, the iSP was smaller on the right vs left abductor pollicis brevis (APB indicating a weaker inhibition from the NDH to the DH. In pianists, interhemispheric inhibition was more symmetric as their DH was better inhibited than in controls. Electromyographic MMs were observed only in naïve subjects (7/14 and only to voluntary movement of the non-dominant hand. Subjects with MM had a lower iSP area on the right APB compared with all the others. Our findings suggest a more symmetrical motor cortex organization in pianists, both in terms of muscle cortical representation and interhemispheric inhibition. Although we cannot disentangle training-related from preexisting conditions, it is possible that long-term bimanual practice may reshape motor cortical representation and rebalance interhemispheric interactions, which in naïve right-handed subjects would both tend to favour the dominant hemisphere.

  10. BAD-LAMP defines a subset of early endocytic organelles in subpopulations of cortical projection neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Alexandre; Tiveron, Marie-Catherine; Defays, Axel; Beclin, Christophe; Camosseto, Voahirana; Gatti, Evelina; Cremer, Harold; Pierre, Philippe

    2007-01-15

    The brain-associated LAMP-like molecule (BAD-LAMP) is a new member of the family of lysosome associated membrane proteins (LAMPs). In contrast to other LAMPs, which show a widespread expression, BAD-LAMP expression in mice is confined to the postnatal brain and therein to neuronal subpopulations in layers II/III and V of the neocortex. Onset of expression strictly parallels cortical synaptogenesis. In cortical neurons, the protein is found in defined clustered vesicles, which accumulate along neurites where it localizes with phosphorylated epitopes of neurofilament H. In primary neurons, BAD-LAMP is endocytosed, but is not found in classical lysosomal/endosomal compartments. Modification of BAD-LAMP by addition of GFP revealed a cryptic lysosomal retention motif, suggesting that the cytoplasmic tail of BAD-LAMP is actively interacting with, or modified by, molecules that promote its sorting away from lysosomes. Analysis of BAD-LAMP endocytosis in transfected HeLa cells provided evidence that the protein recycles to the plasma membrane through a dynamin/AP2-dependent mechanism. Thus, BAD-LAMP is an unconventional LAMP-like molecule and defines a new endocytic compartment in specific subtypes of cortical projection neurons. The striking correlation between the appearance of BAD-LAMP and cortical synatogenesis points towards a physiological role of this vesicular determinant for neuronal function.

  11. High-order motor cortex in rats receives somatosensory inputs from the primary motor cortex via cortico-cortical pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunori, Nobuo; Takashima, Ichiro

    2016-12-01

    The motor cortex of rats contains two forelimb motor areas; the caudal forelimb area (CFA) and the rostral forelimb area (RFA). Although the RFA is thought to correspond to the premotor and/or supplementary motor cortices of primates, which are higher-order motor areas that receive somatosensory inputs, it is unknown whether the RFA of rats receives somatosensory inputs in the same manner. To investigate this issue, voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging was used to assess the motor cortex in rats following a brief electrical stimulation of the forelimb. This procedure was followed by intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) mapping to identify the motor representations in the imaged cortex. The combined use of VSD imaging and ICMS revealed that both the CFA and RFA received excitatory synaptic inputs after forelimb stimulation. Further evaluation of the sensory input pathway to the RFA revealed that the forelimb-evoked RFA response was abolished either by the pharmacological inactivation of the CFA or a cortical transection between the CFA and RFA. These results suggest that forelimb-related sensory inputs would be transmitted to the RFA from the CFA via the cortico-cortical pathway. Thus, the present findings imply that sensory information processed in the RFA may be used for the generation of coordinated forelimb movements, which would be similar to the function of the higher-order motor cortex in primates. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. A Dutch family with autosomal recessively inherited lower motor neuron predominant motor neuron disease due to optineurin mutations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beeldman, Emma; van der Kooi, Anneke J.; de Visser, Marianne; van Maarle, Merel C.; van Ruissen, Fred; Baas, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Approximately 10% of motor neuron disease (MND) patients report a familial predisposition for MND. Autosomal recessively inherited MND is less common and is most often caused by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene. In 2010, autosomal recessively inherited mutations in the optineurin

  13. Viability of dielectrophoretically trapped neuronal cortical cells in culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heida, Tjitske; Vulto, P; Rutten, Wim; Marani, Enrico

    2001-01-01

    Negative dielectrophoretic trapping of neural cells is an efficient way to position neural cells on the electrode sites of planar micro-electrode arrays. The preservation of viability of the neural cells is essential for this approach. This study investigates the viability of postnatal cortical rat

  14. Disruption of Transient Serotonin Accumulation by Non-Serotonin-Producing Neurons Impairs Cortical Map Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoning Chen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Polymorphisms that alter serotonin transporter SERT expression and functionality increase the risks for autism and psychiatric traits. Here, we investigate how SERT controls serotonin signaling in developing CNS in mice. SERT is transiently expressed in specific sets of glutamatergic neurons and uptakes extrasynaptic serotonin during perinatal CNS development. We show that SERT expression in glutamatergic thalamocortical axons (TCAs dictates sensory map architecture. Knockout of SERT in TCAs causes lasting alterations in TCA patterning, spatial organizations of cortical neurons, and dendritic arborization in sensory cortex. Pharmacological reduction of serotonin synthesis during the first postnatal week rescues sensory maps in SERTGluΔ mice. Furthermore, knockdown of SERT expression in serotonin-producing neurons does not impair barrel maps. We propose that spatiotemporal SERT expression in non-serotonin-producing neurons represents a determinant in early life genetic programming of cortical circuits. Perturbing this SERT function could be involved in the origin of sensory and cognitive deficits associated with neurodevelopmental disorders.

  15. TETRAMETHRIN AND DDT INHIBIT SPONTANEOUS FIRING IN CORTICAL NEURONAL NETWORKS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The insecticidal and neurotoxic effects of pyrethroids result from prolonged sodium channel inactivation, which causes alterations in neuronal firing and communication. Previously, we determined the relative potencies of 11 type I and type II pyrethroid insecticides using microel...

  16. Magnetic resonance imaging applied to motor neuron disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markarian, Maria F.; Villarroal, Gonzalo M.; Giavitto, Enrique; Nagel, Jorge

    2005-01-01

    Objective: Differentiate Motor Neuron Disease by MRI. Material and Methods: 10 patients were studied, 7 patients had a diagnosis of definite ALS by the El Escorial criteria, 2 patients had lower motor neuron signs (LMN) and hyperreflexia and one patient had LMN signs without pain. MRI was performed: slices brain: Sagittal T1-weighted, sagittal and axial FSE T2, axial and coronal FLAIR, diffusion, singlevoxel spectroscopy in protuberances. Functional MRI with motor test; slices in cervical spine: Sagittal T1-weighted, sagittal and axial FSE T2, sagittal FSIR. Results: The 7 patients with definite ALS by El Escorial criteria and 2 patients with LMN signs and hyperreflexia: hyperintensity signal in FSE T2 and FLAIR extending from the motor cortex down to the corona radiate, posterior limb of internal capsules, cerebral peduncles and protuberance base; FSE T2: hypointensity sign in motor cortex; elevation in diffusivity and hyperintensity signal in ADC in posterior limb of internal capsule; reduction of NAA, high levels of Glutamine-Glutamate and of Colina. One of these 9 patients showed disc hernia in C4-5, and other patient in C3-C4, C4-C5 without cord lesion. The patient with LMN signs without pain showed normal brain and disc hernia C5-C6, hypertrophy yellow ligament, anterior-posterior diminution of medullar canal, hyperintensity signal in spine cord in the same level in sagittal FSIR. fMRI: increase signal in contralateral, ipsilateral motor area, and areas involved in initiation and planning movement. Conclusion: MRI allow differentiation between ALS and myelopathy cervical spondylitis and others motor neuron disease. (author) [es

  17. Genetic deficiency of GABA differentially regulates respiratory and non-respiratory motor neuron development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Fogarty

    Full Text Available Central nervous system GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic activity switches from postsynaptic excitation to inhibition during the stage when motor neuron numbers are being reduced, and when synaptic connections are being established onto and by motor neurons. In mice this occurs between embryonic (E day 13 and birth (postnatal day 0. Our previous work on mice lacking glycinergic transmission suggested that altered motor neuron activity levels correspondingly regulated motor neuron survival and muscle innervation for all respiratory and non respiratory motor neuron pools, during this period of development [1]. To determine if GABAergic transmission plays a similar role, we quantified motor neuron number and the extent of muscle innervation in four distinct regions of the brain stem and spinal cord; hypoglossal, phrenic, brachial and lumbar motor pools, in mice lacking the enzyme GAD67. These mice display a 90% drop in CNS GABA levels ( [2]; this study. For respiratory-based motor neurons (hypoglossal and phrenic motor pools, we have observed significant drops in motor neuron number (17% decline for hypoglossal and 23% decline for phrenic and muscle innervations (55% decrease. By contrast for non-respiratory motor neurons of the brachial lateral motor column, we have observed an increase in motor neuron number (43% increase and muscle innervations (99% increase; however for more caudally located motor neurons within the lumbar lateral motor column, we observed no change in either neuron number or muscle innervation. These results show in mice lacking physiological levels of GABA, there are distinct regional changes in motor neuron number and muscle innervation, which appear to be linked to their physiological function and to their rostral-caudal position within the developing spinal cord. Our results also suggest that for more caudal (lumbar regions of the spinal cord, the effect of GABA is less influential on motor neuron development compared to

  18. Neuronal Population Activity in Spinal Motor Circuits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.

    2017-01-01

    The core elements of stereotypical movements such as locomotion, scratching and breathing are generated by networks in the lower brainstem and the spinal cord. Ensemble activities in spinal motor networks had until recently been merely a black box, but with the emergence of ultra-thin Silicon multi......-electrode technology it was possible to reveal the spiking activity of larger parts of the network. A series of experiments revealed unexpected features of spinal networks, such as multiple spiking regimes and lognormal firing rate distributions. The lognormality renders the widespread idea of a typical firing rate...

  19. Comparison of independent screens on differentially vulnerable motor neurons reveals alpha-synuclein as a common modifier in motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Rachel A; Kaifer, Kevin A; Osman, Erkan Y; Carella, Francesco; Tiberi, Ariana; Ross, Jolill; Pennetta, Giuseppa; Lorson, Christian L; Murray, Lyndsay M

    2017-03-01

    The term "motor neuron disease" encompasses a spectrum of disorders in which motor neurons are the primary pathological target. However, in both patients and animal models of these diseases, not all motor neurons are equally vulnerable, in that while some motor neurons are lost very early in disease, others remain comparatively intact, even at late stages. This creates a valuable system to investigate the factors that regulate motor neuron vulnerability. In this study, we aim to use this experimental paradigm to identify potential transcriptional modifiers. We have compared the transcriptome of motor neurons from healthy wild-type mice, which are differentially vulnerable in the childhood motor neuron disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), and have identified 910 transcriptional changes. We have compared this data set with published microarray data sets on other differentially vulnerable motor neurons. These neurons were differentially vulnerable in the adult onset motor neuron disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), but the screen was performed on the equivalent population of neurons from neurologically normal human, rat and mouse. This cross species comparison has generated a refined list of differentially expressed genes, including CELF5, Col5a2, PGEMN1, SNCA, Stmn1 and HOXa5, alongside a further enrichment for synaptic and axonal transcripts. As an in vivo validation, we demonstrate that the manipulation of a significant number of these transcripts can modify the neurodegenerative phenotype observed in a Drosophila line carrying an ALS causing mutation. Finally, we demonstrate that vector-mediated expression of alpha-synuclein (SNCA), a transcript decreased in selectively vulnerable motor neurons in all four screens, can extend life span, increase weight and decrease neuromuscular junction pathology in a mouse model of SMA. In summary, we have combined multiple data sets to identify transcripts, which are strong candidates for being phenotypic modifiers

  20. Influenza Virus Induces Inflammatory Response in Mouse Primary Cortical Neurons with Limited Viral Replication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gefei Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike stereotypical neurotropic viruses, influenza A viruses have been detected in the brain tissues of human and animal models. To investigate the interaction between neurons and influenza A viruses, mouse cortical neurons were isolated, infected with human H1N1 influenza virus, and then examined for the production of various inflammatory molecules involved in immune response. We found that replication of the influenza virus in neurons was limited, although early viral transcription was not affected. Virus-induced neuron viability decreased at 6 h postinfection (p.i. but increased at 24 h p.i. depending upon the viral strain. Virus-induced apoptosis and cytopathy in primary cortical neurons were not apparent at 24 h p.i. The mRNA levels of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and type I interferons were upregulated at 6 h and 24 h p.i. These results indicate that the influenza virus induces inflammatory response in mouse primary cortical neurons with limited viral replication. The cytokines released in viral infection-induced neuroinflammation might play critical roles in influenza encephalopathy, rather than in viral replication-induced cytopathy.

  1. Regulator of G protein signaling 5 (RGS5) inhibits sonic hedgehog function in mouse cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chuanliang; Hu, Qiongqiong; Jing, Jia; Zhang, Yun; Jin, Jing; Zhang, Liulei; Mu, Lili; Liu, Yumei; Sun, Bo; Zhang, Tongshuai; Kong, Qingfei; Wang, Guangyou; Wang, Dandan; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Xijun; Zhao, Wei; Wang, Jinghua; Feng, Tao; Li, Hulun

    2017-09-01

    Regulator of G protein signaling 5 (RGS5) acts as a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for the Gαi subunit and negatively regulates G protein-coupled receptor signaling. However, its presence and function in postmitotic differentiated primary neurons remains largely uncharacterized. During neural development, sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling is involved in cell signaling pathways via Gαi activity. In particular, Shh signaling is essential for embryonic neural tube patterning, which has been implicated in neuronal polarization involving neurite outgrowth. Here, we examined whether RGS5 regulates Shh signaling in neurons. RGS5 transcripts were found to be expressed in cortical neurons and their expression gradually declined in a time-dependent manner in culture system. When an adenovirus expressing RGS5 was introduced into an in vitro cell culture model of cortical neurons, RGS5 overexpression significantly reduced neurite outgrowth and FM4-64 uptake, while cAMP-PKA signaling was also affected. These findings suggest that RGS5 inhibits Shh function during neurite outgrowth and the presynaptic terminals of primary cortical neurons mature via modulation of cAMP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. iPSC-derived Insights into Motor Neuron Disease and Inflammatory Neuropathies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Härschnitz, O.

    2017-01-01

    The proper function of the motor circuit is essential for normal interaction as a human being with external cues. While the motor circuit consists of a variety of cell types, one of its core components is the motor neuron itself. Dysfunction of motor neurons is a hallmark of many neuromuscular

  3. Combinatorial Motor Training Results in Functional Reorganization of Remaining Motor Cortex after Controlled Cortical Impact in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combs, Hannah L; Jones, Theresa A; Kozlowski, Dorothy A; Adkins, DeAnna L

    2016-04-15

    Cortical reorganization subsequent to post-stroke motor rehabilitative training (RT) has been extensively examined in animal models and humans. However, similar studies focused on the effects of motor training after traumatic brain injury (TBI) are lacking. We previously reported that after a moderate/severe TBI in adult male rats, functional improvements in forelimb use were accomplished only with a combination of skilled forelimb reach training and aerobic exercise, with or without nonimpaired forelimb constraint. Thus, the current study was designed to examine the relationship between functional motor cortical map reorganization after experimental TBI and the behavioral improvements resulting from this combinatorial rehabilitative regime. Adult male rats were trained to proficiency on a skilled reaching task, received a unilateral controlled cortical impact (CCI) over the forelimb area of the caudal motor cortex (CMC). Three days post-CCI, animals began RT (n = 13) or no rehabilitative training (NoRT) control procedures (n = 13). The RT group participated in daily skilled reach training, voluntary aerobic exercise, and nonimpaired forelimb constraint. This RT regimen significantly improved impaired forelimb reaching success and normalized reaching strategies, consistent with previous findings. RT also enlarged the area of motor cortical wrist representation, derived by intracortical microstimulation, compared to NoRT. These findings indicate that sufficient RT can greatly improve motor function and improve the functional integrity of remaining motor cortex after a moderate/severe CCI. When compared with findings from stroke models, these findings also suggest that more intense RT may be needed to improve motor function and remodel the injured cortex after TBI.

  4. Different patterns of motor activity induce differential plastic changes in pyramidal neurons in the motor cortex of rats: A Golgi study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Hernández, Nallely; González-Tapia, Diana C; Martínez-Torres, Nestor I; González-Tapia, David; González-Burgos, Ignacio

    2017-09-14

    Rehabilitation is a process which favors recovery after brain damage involving motor systems, and neural plasticity is the only real resource the brain has for inducing neurobiological events in order to bring about re-adaptation. Rats were placed on a treadmill and made to walk, in different groups, at different velocities and with varying degrees of inclination. Plastic changes in the spines of the apical and basal dendrites of fifth-layer pyramidal neurons in the motor cortices of the rats were detected after study with the Golgi method. Numbers of dendritic spines increased in the three experimental groups, and thin, mushroom, stubby, wide, and branched spines increased or decreased in proportion depending on the motor demands made of each group. Along with the numerical increase of spines, the present findings provide evidence that dendritic spines' geometrical plasticity is involved in the differential performance of motor activity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Cre-expressing neurons in the cortical white matter of Ntsr1-Cre GN220 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundberg, Sofie C; Granseth, Björn

    2018-03-23

    Genetically modified mouse strains that express Cre-recombinase in specific neuronal sub-populations have become widely used tools for investigating neuronal function. The Ntsr1-Cre GN220 mouse expresses this enzyme in corticothalamic neurons in layer 6 of cerebral cortex. We observed that about 7% of Cre-expressing cells in the primary visual cortex are found within the white matter bordering layer 6. By using the immunohistochemical marker for layer 6 neurons, Forkhead box protein 2 (FoxP2), and fluorescently conjugated latex beads injected into the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, we show that about half of these cells are similar to and could belong to the layer 6 corticothalamic neuron population. The other half seems to be a distinct white matter (WM) neuron sub-population that we estimate to constitute 2-4% of the total cortical Cre-expressing population. Staining for the neuronal marker Neuronal nuclei (NeuN) revealed that about 15-40% of WM neurons are Cre-expressing. Thus, the potential contribution from WM neurons needs to be considered when interpreting the results from experiments using the Ntsr1-Cre GN220 mouse for investigating corticothalamic neuronal function. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Patterns of Weakness, Classification of Motor Neuron Disease, and Clinical Diagnosis of Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Statland, Jeffrey M; Barohn, Richard J; McVey, April L; Katz, Jonathan S; Dimachkie, Mazen M

    2015-11-01

    When approaching a patient with suspected motor neuron disease (MND), the pattern of weakness on examination helps distinguish MND from other diseases of peripheral nerves, the neuromuscular junction, or muscle. MND is a clinical diagnosis supported by findings on electrodiagnostic testing. MNDs exist on a spectrum, from a pure lower motor neuron to mixed upper and lower motor neuron to a pure upper motor neuron variant. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive mixed upper and lower motor neuron disorder, most commonly sporadic, which is invariably fatal. This article describes a pattern approach to identifying MND and clinical features of sporadic ALS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Network bursts in cortical neuronal cultures: 'noise - versus pacemaker'- driven neural network simulations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gritsun, T.; Stegenga, J.; le Feber, Jakob; Rutten, Wim

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we address the issue of spontaneous bursting activity in cortical neuronal cultures and explain what might cause this collective behavior using computer simulations of two different neural network models. While the common approach to acivate a passive network is done by introducing

  8. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Streeter, K.A.; Baker-Herman, T.L.

    2014-01-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30 min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons...

  9. Functional MRI (fMRI) on lesions in and around the motor and the eloquent cortices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hara, Yoshie; Nakamura, Mitsugu; Tamura, Shogo; Tamaki, Norihiko; Kitamura, Junji

    1999-01-01

    From the view point of neurosurgeons, to aim the preoperative localized diagnosis on the motor and the eloquent cortices and postoperative preservation of neurological functions, fMRI was carried for patients with lesions in and around the motor and the eloquent cortices. Even in cases of mechanical oppression or brain edema, the motor and the eloquent cortices are localized on cerebral gyri. In perioperative period, identification and preserving the motor and the eloquent cortices are important for keeping brain function. Twenty six preoperative cases and 3 normal healthy subjects were observed. Exercise enhanced fMRI was performed on 3 normal healthy subjects, fMRI with motor stimulation in 24 cases and fMRI with speech stimulation in 4 cases. The signal intensity increased in all cases responsing to both stimulations. But the signal intensity in 8 cases decreased in some regions by motor stimulation and 1 case by speech stimulation. The decrease of signal intensity in this study seems to be a clinically important finding and it will be required to examine the significance in future. (K.H.)

  10. Hand dominance and age have interactive effects on motor cortical representations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica A Bernard

    Full Text Available Older adults exhibit more bilateral motor cortical activity during unimanual task performance than young adults. Interestingly, a similar pattern is seen in young adults with reduced hand dominance. However, older adults report stronger hand dominance than young adults, making it unclear how handedness is manifested in the aging motor cortex. Here, we investigated age differences in the relationships between handedness, motor cortical organization, and interhemispheric communication speed. We hypothesized that relationships between these variables would differ for young and older adults, consistent with our recent proposal of an age-related shift in interhemispheric interactions. We mapped motor cortical representations of the right and left first dorsal interosseous muscles using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS in young and older adults recruited to represent a broad range of the handedness spectrum. We also measured interhemispheric communication speed and bimanual coordination. We observed that more strongly handed older adults exhibited more ipsilateral motor activity in response to TMS; this effect was not present in young adults. Furthermore, we found opposing relationships between interhemispheric communication speed and bimanual performance in the two age groups. Thus, handedness manifests itself differently in the motor cortices of young and older adults and has interactive effects with age.

  11. Membrane potential and response properties of populations of cortical neurons in the high conductance state

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreno-Bote, Ruben; Parga, Nestor

    2005-01-01

    Because of intense synaptic activity, cortical neurons are in a high conductance state. We show that this state has important consequences on the properties of a population of independent model neurons with conductance-based synapses. Using an adiabaticlike approximation we study both the membrane potential and the firing probability distributions across the population. We find that the latter is bimodal in such a way that at any particular moment some neurons are inactive while others are active. The population rate and the response variability are also characterized

  12. Coconut oil attenuates the effects of amyloid-β on cortical neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nafar, Firoozeh; Mearow, Karen M

    2014-01-01

    Dietary supplementation has been studied as an approach to ameliorating deficits associated with aging and neurodegeneration. We undertook this pilot study to investigate the effects of coconut oil supplementation directly on cortical neurons treated with amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide in vitro. Our results indicate that neuron survival in cultures co-treated with coconut oil and Aβ is rescued compared to cultures exposed only to Aβ. Coconut oil co-treatment also attenuates Aβ-induced mitochondrial alterations. The results of this pilot study provide a basis for further investigation of the effects of coconut oil, or its constituents, on neuronal survival focusing on mechanisms that may be involved.

  13. Early and unintentional release of planned motor actions during motor cortical preparation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colum D MacKinnon

    Full Text Available Voluntary movements are often preceded by a movement-related potential beginning as much as two seconds prior to the onset of movement. In light of evidence that motor actions can be prepared and initiated in less than 200 ms, the function of this early activity has remained enigmatic. We hypothesized that the movement-related potential reflects the state of preparation of the planned movement. This was tested by delivering a startling acoustic stimulus during the preparation phase of a load-release task. The cue to release the load was presented either 3.5 seconds after a warning cue (PREDICT condition or randomly between 4-12 seconds (REACT condition. Electroencephalographic, electromyographic and limb and load kinematic signals were recorded. In a subset of trials, a startle stimulus was delivered at -1500, -1000, -500, -250, -100 or 0 ms before the release cue. A contingent-negative variation (CNV waveform, with a late phase of slow-rising negativity beginning an average of 1459 ms prior to movement, was observed for the PREDICT condition but not the REACT condition. For both conditions, the startle stimulus frequently evoked the early and unintentional release of the load-release sequence. The incidence of release was significantly (p<0.001 correlated with the late phase of the CNV for the PREDICT condition but not the REACT condition. For the REACT condition, the incidence of movement release was subject-specific, constant across the preparation interval, and uncorrelated with cortical activity. The onset of movement release by the startle stimulus was significantly shorter (p<0.001 for the PREDICT compared to the REACT condition. These findings provide evidence that the late phase of the CNV reflects cortical activity mediating the progressive preparation and storage of the forthcoming movement and that during this phase an intense sensory stimulus can evoke early and unintentional release of the planned action.

  14. Brain-wide neuronal dynamics during motor adaptation in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Misha B; Li, Jennifer M; Orger, Michael B; Robson, Drew N; Schier, Alexander F; Engert, Florian; Portugues, Ruben

    2012-05-09

    A fundamental question in neuroscience is how entire neural circuits generate behaviour and adapt it to changes in sensory feedback. Here we use two-photon calcium imaging to record the activity of large populations of neurons at the cellular level, throughout the brain of larval zebrafish expressing a genetically encoded calcium sensor, while the paralysed animals interact fictively with a virtual environment and rapidly adapt their motor output to changes in visual feedback. We decompose the network dynamics involved in adaptive locomotion into four types of neuronal response properties, and provide anatomical maps of the corresponding sites. A subset of these signals occurred during behavioural adjustments and are candidates for the functional elements that drive motor learning. Lesions to the inferior olive indicate a specific functional role for olivocerebellar circuitry in adaptive locomotion. This study enables the analysis of brain-wide dynamics at single-cell resolution during behaviour.

  15. Towards a theory of cortical columns: From spiking neurons to interacting neural populations of finite size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerstner, Wulfram

    2017-01-01

    Neural population equations such as neural mass or field models are widely used to study brain activity on a large scale. However, the relation of these models to the properties of single neurons is unclear. Here we derive an equation for several interacting populations at the mesoscopic scale starting from a microscopic model of randomly connected generalized integrate-and-fire neuron models. Each population consists of 50–2000 neurons of the same type but different populations account for different neuron types. The stochastic population equations that we find reveal how spike-history effects in single-neuron dynamics such as refractoriness and adaptation interact with finite-size fluctuations on the population level. Efficient integration of the stochastic mesoscopic equations reproduces the statistical behavior of the population activities obtained from microscopic simulations of a full spiking neural network model. The theory describes nonlinear emergent dynamics such as finite-size-induced stochastic transitions in multistable networks and synchronization in balanced networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. The mesoscopic equations are employed to rapidly integrate a model of a cortical microcircuit consisting of eight neuron types, which allows us to predict spontaneous population activities as well as evoked responses to thalamic input. Our theory establishes a general framework for modeling finite-size neural population dynamics based on single cell and synapse parameters and offers an efficient approach to analyzing cortical circuits and computations. PMID:28422957

  16. Towards a theory of cortical columns: From spiking neurons to interacting neural populations of finite size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwalger, Tilo; Deger, Moritz; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2017-04-01

    Neural population equations such as neural mass or field models are widely used to study brain activity on a large scale. However, the relation of these models to the properties of single neurons is unclear. Here we derive an equation for several interacting populations at the mesoscopic scale starting from a microscopic model of randomly connected generalized integrate-and-fire neuron models. Each population consists of 50-2000 neurons of the same type but different populations account for different neuron types. The stochastic population equations that we find reveal how spike-history effects in single-neuron dynamics such as refractoriness and adaptation interact with finite-size fluctuations on the population level. Efficient integration of the stochastic mesoscopic equations reproduces the statistical behavior of the population activities obtained from microscopic simulations of a full spiking neural network model. The theory describes nonlinear emergent dynamics such as finite-size-induced stochastic transitions in multistable networks and synchronization in balanced networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. The mesoscopic equations are employed to rapidly integrate a model of a cortical microcircuit consisting of eight neuron types, which allows us to predict spontaneous population activities as well as evoked responses to thalamic input. Our theory establishes a general framework for modeling finite-size neural population dynamics based on single cell and synapse parameters and offers an efficient approach to analyzing cortical circuits and computations.

  17. Characterization of neurons in the cortical white matter in human temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Zsófia; Janszky, József; Sétáló, György; Horváth, Réka; Horváth, Zsolt; Dóczi, Tamás; Seress, László; Ábrahám, Hajnalka

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the present work was to characterize neurons in the archi- and neocortical white matter, and to investigate their distribution in mesial temporal sclerosis. Immunohistochemistry and quantification of neurons were performed on surgically resected tissue sections of patients with therapy-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy. Temporal lobe tissues of patients with tumor but without epilepsy and that from autopsy were used as controls. Neurons were identified with immunohistochemistry using antibodies against NeuN, calcium-binding proteins, transcription factor Tbr1 and neurofilaments. We found significantly higher density of neurons in the archi- and neocortical white matter of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy than in that of controls. Based on their morphology and neurochemical content, both excitatory and inhibitory cells were present among these neurons. A subset of neurons in the white matter was Tbr-1-immunoreactive and these neurons coexpressed NeuN and neurofilament marker SMI311R. No colocalization of Tbr1 was observed with the inhibitory neuronal markers, calcium-binding proteins. We suggest that a large population of white matter neurons comprises remnants of the subplate. Furthermore, we propose that a subset of white matter neurons was arrested during migration, highlighting the role of cortical maldevelopment in epilepsy associated with mesial temporal sclerosis. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Reduction in spontaneous firing of mouse excitatory layer 4 cortical neurons following visual classical conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekisz, Marek; Shendye, Ninad; Raciborska, Ida; Wróbel, Andrzej; Waleszczyk, Wioletta J.

    2017-08-01

    The process of learning induces plastic changes in neuronal network of the brain. Our earlier studies on mice showed that classical conditioning in which monocular visual stimulation was paired with an electric shock to the tail enhanced GABA immunoreactivity within layer 4 of the monocular part of the primary visual cortex (V1), contralaterally to the stimulated eye. In the present experiment we investigated whether the same classical conditioning paradigm induces changes of neuronal excitability in this cortical area. Two experimental groups were used: mice that underwent 7-day visual classical conditioning and controls. Patch-clamp whole-cell recordings were performed from ex vivo slices of mouse V1. The slices were perfused with the modified artificial cerebrospinal fluid, the composition of which better mimics the brain interstitial fluid in situ and induces spontaneous activity. The neuronal excitability was characterized by measuring the frequency of spontaneous action potentials. We found that layer 4 star pyramidal cells located in the monocular representation of the "trained" eye in V1 had lower frequency of spontaneous activity in comparison with neurons from the same cortical region of control animals. Weaker spontaneous firing indicates decreased general excitability of star pyramidal neurons within layer 4 of the monocular representation of the "trained" eye in V1. Such effect could result from enhanced inhibitory processes accompanying learning in this cortical area.

  19. Cholinergic neuromodulation changes phase response curve shape and type in cortical pyramidal neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus M Stiefel

    Full Text Available Spike generation in cortical neurons depends on the interplay between diverse intrinsic conductances. The phase response curve (PRC is a measure of the spike time shift caused by perturbations of the membrane potential as a function of the phase of the spike cycle of a neuron. Near the rheobase, purely positive (type I phase-response curves are associated with an onset of repetitive firing through a saddle-node bifurcation, whereas biphasic (type II phase-response curves point towards a transition based on a Hopf-Andronov bifurcation. In recordings from layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in cortical slices, cholinergic action, consistent with down-regulation of slow voltage-dependent potassium currents such as the M-current, switched the PRC from type II to type I. This is the first report showing that cholinergic neuromodulation may cause a qualitative switch in the PRCs type implying a change in the fundamental dynamical mechanism of spike generation.

  20. Development of Cortical GABAergic Neurons: Interplay of progenitor diversity and environmental factors on fate specification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana Alves Brandão

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Cortical GABAergic interneurons constitute an extremely diverse population of cells organized in a well-defined topology of precisely interconnected cells. They play a crucial role regulating inhibitory-excitatory balance in brain circuits, gating sensory perception and regulating spike timing to brain oscillations during distinct behaviors. Dysfunctions in the establishment of proper inhibitory circuits have been associated to several brain disorders such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia. In the rodent adult cortex, inhibitory neurons are generated during the second gestational week from distinct progenitor lineages located in restricted domains of the ventral telencephalon. However, only recently, studies have revealed some of the mechanisms generating the heterogeneity of neuronal subtypes and their modes of integration in brain networks. Here we will discuss some the events involved in the production of cortical GABAergic neuron diversity with focus on the interaction between intrinsically driven genetic programs and environmental signals during development.

  1. Anti-correlated cortical networks arise from spontaneous neuronal dynamics at slow timescales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodama, Nathan X; Feng, Tianyi; Ullett, James J; Chiel, Hillel J; Sivakumar, Siddharth S; Galán, Roberto F

    2018-01-12

    In the highly interconnected architectures of the cerebral cortex, recurrent intracortical loops disproportionately outnumber thalamo-cortical inputs. These networks are also capable of generating neuronal activity without feedforward sensory drive. It is unknown, however, what spatiotemporal patterns may be solely attributed to intrinsic connections of the local cortical network. Using high-density microelectrode arrays, here we show that in the isolated, primary somatosensory cortex of mice, neuronal firing fluctuates on timescales from milliseconds to tens of seconds. Slower firing fluctuations reveal two spatially distinct neuronal ensembles, which correspond to superficial and deeper layers. These ensembles are anti-correlated: when one fires more, the other fires less and vice versa. This interplay is clearest at timescales of several seconds and is therefore consistent with shifts between active sensing and anticipatory behavioral states in mice.

  2. Bottom-up and Top-down Input Augment the Variability of Cortical Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassi, Jonathan J.; Kreiman, Gabriel; Born, Richard T.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Neurons in the cerebral cortex respond inconsistently to a repeated sensory stimulus, yet they underlie our stable sensory experiences. Although the nature of this variability is unknown, its ubiquity has encouraged the general view that each cell produces random spike patterns that noisily represent its response rate. In contrast, here we show that reversibly inactivating distant sources of either bottom-up or top-down input to cortical visual areas in the alert primate reduces both the spike train irregularity and the trial-to-trial variability of single neurons. A simple model in which a fraction of the pre-synaptic input is silenced can reproduce this reduction in variability, provided that there exist temporal correlations primarily within, but not between, excitatory and inhibitory input pools. A large component of the variability of cortical neurons may therefore arise from synchronous input produced by signals arriving from multiple sources. PMID:27427459

  3. GPNMB ameliorates mutant TDP-43-induced motor neuron cell death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagahara, Yuki; Shimazawa, Masamitsu; Ohuchi, Kazuki; Ito, Junko; Takahashi, Hitoshi; Tsuruma, Kazuhiro; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Hara, Hideaki

    2017-08-01

    Glycoprotein nonmetastatic melanoma protein B (GPNMB) aggregates are observed in the spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, but the detailed localization is still unclear. Mutations of transactive response DNA binding protein 43kDa (TDP-43) are associated with neurodegenerative diseases including ALS. In this study, we evaluated the localization of GPNMB aggregates in the spinal cord of ALS patients and the effect of GPNMB against mutant TDP-43 induced motor neuron cell death. GPNMB aggregates were not localized in the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive astrocyte and ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba1)-positive microglia. GPNMB aggregates were localized in the microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2)-positive neuron and neurofilament H non-phosphorylated (SMI-32)-positive neuron, and these were co-localized with TDP-43 aggregates in the spinal cord of ALS patients. Mock or TDP-43 (WT, M337V, and A315T) plasmids were transfected into mouse motor neuron cells (NSC34). The expression level of GPNMB was increased by transfection of mutant TDP-43 plasmids. Recombinant GPNMB ameliorated motor neuron cell death induced by transfection of mutant TDP-43 plasmids and serum-free stress. Furthermore, the expression of phosphorylated ERK1/2 and phosphorylated Akt were decreased by this stress, and these expressions were increased by recombinant GPNMB. These results indicate that GPNMB has protective effects against mutant TDP-43 stress via activating the ERK1/2 and Akt pathways, and GPNMB may be a therapeutic target for TDP-43 proteinopathy in familial and sporadic ALS. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Agonist contraction during intermittent theta burst stimulation enhances motor cortical plasticity of the wrist flexors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirdamadi, J L; Suzuki, L Y; Meehan, S K

    2015-03-30

    Differences in cortical control across the different muscles of the upper limb may mitigate the efficacy of TMS interventions targeting a specific muscle. The current study sought to determine whether weak concurrent contraction during TMS could enhance the efficacy of intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) in the forearm flexors. Motor evoked potentials (MEP) were elicited from the flexor (FCR) and extensor carpi radialis (ECR) motor cortical hotspots before and after iTBS over the FCR cortical hotspot. During iTBS the FCR was either relaxed (iTBS-Relax) or tonically contracted to 10% of maximum voluntary force (iTBS-Contract). iTBS-Relax failed to produce consistent potentiation of MEPFCR amplitude. Individuals with a relatively lower RMTFCR compared RMTECR demonstrated MEPFCR facilitation post-iTBS-Relax. Individuals with relatively higher RMTFCR demonstrated less facilitation and even suppression of MEPFCR amplitude. iTBS-Contract facilitated MEPFCR amplitude but only for MEPFCR evoked from the ECR hotspot. Interactions between overlapping cortical representations determine the efficacy of iTBS. Tonic contraction increases the efficacy of iTBS by enhancing the volume of the cortical representation. However, metaplastic effects may attenuate the enhancement of MEP gain at the motor cortical hotspot. The use of TMS as an adjunct to physical therapy should account for inter-muscle interactions when targeting muscles of the forearm. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Hereditary spastic paraplegia: More than an upper motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parodi, L; Fenu, S; Stevanin, G; Durr, A

    2017-05-01

    Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a group of rare inherited neurological diseases characterized by extreme heterogeneity in both their clinical manifestations and genetic backgrounds. Based on symptoms, HSPs can be divided into pure forms, presenting with pyramidal signs leading to lower-limb spasticity, and complex forms, when additional neurological or extraneurological symptoms are detected. The clinical diversity of HSPs partially reflects their underlying genetic backgrounds. To date, 76 loci and 58 corresponding genes [spastic paraplegia genes (SPGs)] have been linked to HSPs. The genetic diagnosis is further complicated by the fact that causative mutations of HSP can be inherited through all possible modes of transmission (autosomal-dominant and -recessive, X-linked, maternal), with some genes showing multiple inheritance patterns. The pathogenic mutations of SPGs primarily lead to progressive degeneration of the upper motor neurons (UMNs) comprising corticospinal tracts. However, it is possible to observe lower-limb muscle atrophy and fasciculations on clinical examination that are clear signs of lower motor neuron (LMN) involvement. The purpose of this review is to classify HSPs based on their degree of motor neuron involvement, distinguishing forms in which only UMNs are affected from those involving both UMN and LMN degeneration, and to describe their differential diagnosis from diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  6. Motor neurone disease presenting with raised serum Troponin T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamo, Jonathan P

    2015-05-01

    Myocardial damage indicated by a rise in cardiac Troponin may not necessarily be due to a cardiac event. Many diseases such as sepsis, pulmonary embolism, heart and renal failure can also be associated with an elevated cardiac Troponin level. This brief report discusses the rare event of a patient with motor neurone disease, where the possible diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction arose due to an elevated cardiac Troponin. A 69-year-old gentleman presented with a history of a central chest ache of mild intensity, lasting a total of 2 h prior to complete resolution. Multiple cardiac Troponin assays were elevated, and echocardiography did not show any acute changes of myocardial damage. His electrocardiogram was also normal. This patient's raised cardiac Troponin was therefore explained on the basis of his active motor neurone disease. This rare case outlines the importance of considering motor neurone disease as a cause of elevated cardiac Troponin in the absence of clinical evidence of an acute coronary event. © The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

  7. Spinal Muscular Atrophy: More than a Disease of Motor Neurons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, L A; Burns, J K; Chardon, J Warman; Kothary, R; Parks, R J

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common genetically inherited neurodegenerative disease resulting in infant mortality. SMA is caused by genetic deletion or mutation in the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, which results in reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN protein deficiency preferentially affects α- motor neurons, leading to their degeneration and subsequent atrophy of limb and trunk muscles, progressing to death in severe forms of the disease. More recent studies have shown that SMN protein depletion is detrimental to the functioning of other tissues including skeletal muscle, heart, autonomic and enteric nervous systems, metabolic/endocrine (e.g. pancreas), lymphatic, bone and reproductive system. In this review, we summarize studies discussing SMN protein's function in various cell and tissue types and their involvement in the context of SMA disease etiology. Taken together, these studies indicate that SMA is a multi-organ disease, which suggests that truly effective disease intervention may require body-wide correction of SMN protein levels. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  8. Respiratory function after selective respiratory motor neuron death from intrapleural CTB-saporin injections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L; Vinit, Stéphane; Bauernschmidt, Lorene; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2015-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes progressive motor neuron degeneration, paralysis and death by ventilatory failure. In rodent ALS models: 1) breathing capacity is preserved until late in disease progression despite major respiratory motor neuron death, suggesting unknown forms of compensatory respiratory plasticity; and 2) spinal microglia become activated in association with motor neuron cell death. Here, we report a novel experimental model to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on compensatory responses without many complications attendant to spontaneous motor neuron disease. In specific, we used intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB-SAP) to selectively kill motor neurons with access to the pleural space. Motor neuron survival, CD11b labeling (microglia), ventilatory capacity and phrenic motor output were assessed in rats 3-28days after intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB-SAP (25 and 50μg), or 2) unconjugated CTB and SAP (i.e. control; (CTB+SAP). CTB-SAP elicited dose-dependent phrenic and intercostal motor neuron death; 7days post-25μg CTB-SAP, motor neuron survival approximated that in end-stage ALS rats (phrenic: 36±7%; intercostal: 56±10% of controls; n=9; pneuron death and provides an opportunity to study compensation for respiratory motor neuron loss. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Correlated conductance parameters in leech heart motor neurons contribute to motor pattern formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Damon G; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2013-01-01

    Neurons can have widely differing intrinsic membrane properties, in particular the density of specific conductances, but how these contribute to characteristic neuronal activity or pattern formation is not well understood. To explore the relationship between conductances, and in particular how they influence the activity of motor neurons in the well characterized leech heartbeat system, we developed a new multi-compartmental Hodgkin-Huxley style leech heart motor neuron model. To do so, we evolved a population of model instances, which differed in the density of specific conductances, capable of achieving specific output activity targets given an associated input pattern. We then examined the sensitivity of measures of output activity to conductances and how the model instances responded to hyperpolarizing current injections. We found that the strengths of many conductances, including those with differing dynamics, had strong partial correlations and that these relationships appeared to be linked by their influence on heart motor neuron activity. Conductances that had positive correlations opposed one another and had the opposite effects on activity metrics when perturbed whereas conductances that had negative correlations could compensate for one another and had similar effects on activity metrics.

  10. Growth and structural discrimination of cortical neurons on randomly oriented and vertically aligned dense carbon nanotube networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Nick

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The growth of cortical neurons on three dimensional structures of spatially defined (structured randomly oriented, as well as on vertically aligned, carbon nanotubes (CNT is studied. Cortical neurons are attracted towards both types of CNT nano-architectures. For both, neurons form clusters in close vicinity to the CNT structures whereupon the randomly oriented CNTs are more closely colonised than the CNT pillars. Neurons develop communication paths via neurites on both nanoarchitectures. These neuron cells attach preferentially on the CNT sidewalls of the vertically aligned CNT architecture instead than onto the tips of the individual CNT pillars.

  11. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streeter, K.A.; Baker-Herman, T.L.

    2014-01-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30 min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons from medullary respiratory neurons that innervate one phrenic motor pool; during procaine injections, contralateral phrenic neural activity was maintained. Once axon conduction resumed, a prolonged increase in phrenic burst amplitude was observed in the ipsilateral phrenic nerve, demonstrating inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and atypical PKC (aPKC) activity in spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus impaired ipsilateral iPMF, suggesting a key role for spinal TNFα and aPKC in iPMF following unilateral axon conduction block. A small phrenic burst amplitude facilitation was also observed contralateral to axon conduction block, indicating crossed spinal phrenic motor facilitation (csPMF). csPMF was independent of spinal TNFα and aPKC. Ipsilateral iPMF and csPMF following unilateral withdrawal of phrenic synaptic inputs were associated with proportional increases in phrenic responses to chemoreceptor stimulation (hypercapnia), suggesting iPMF and csPMF increase phrenic dynamic range. These data suggest that local, spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. We hypothesize that iPMF and csPMF may represent compensatory mechanisms that assure adequate motor output is maintained in a physiological system in which prolonged inactivity ends life. PMID:24681155

  12. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streeter, K A; Baker-Herman, T L

    2014-06-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons from medullary respiratory neurons that innervate one phrenic motor pool; during procaine injections, contralateral phrenic neural activity was maintained. Once axon conduction resumed, a prolonged increase in phrenic burst amplitude was observed in the ipsilateral phrenic nerve, demonstrating inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and atypical PKC (aPKC) activity in spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus impaired ipsilateral iPMF, suggesting a key role for spinal TNFα and aPKC in iPMF following unilateral axon conduction block. A small phrenic burst amplitude facilitation was also observed contralateral to axon conduction block, indicating crossed spinal phrenic motor facilitation (csPMF). csPMF was independent of spinal TNFα and aPKC. Ipsilateral iPMF and csPMF following unilateral withdrawal of phrenic synaptic inputs were associated with proportional increases in phrenic responses to chemoreceptor stimulation (hypercapnia), suggesting iPMF and csPMF increase phrenic dynamic range. These data suggest that local, spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. We hypothesize that iPMF and csPMF may represent compensatory mechanisms that assure adequate motor output is maintained in a physiological system in which prolonged inactivity ends life. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Feedforward motor information enhances somatosensory responses and sharpens angular tuning of rat S1 barrel cortex neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khateb, Mohamed; Schiller, Jackie; Schiller, Yitzhak

    2017-01-06

    The primary vibrissae motor cortex (vM1) is responsible for generating whisking movements. In parallel, vM1 also sends information directly to the sensory barrel cortex (vS1). In this study, we investigated the effects of vM1 activation on processing of vibrissae sensory information in vS1 of the rat. To dissociate the vibrissae sensory-motor loop, we optogenetically activated vM1 and independently passively stimulated principal vibrissae. Optogenetic activation of vM1 supra-linearly amplified the response of vS1 neurons to passive vibrissa stimulation in all cortical layers measured. Maximal amplification occurred when onset of vM1 optogenetic activation preceded vibrissa stimulation by 20 ms. In addition to amplification, vM1 activation also sharpened angular tuning of vS1 neurons in all cortical layers measured. Our findings indicated that in addition to output motor signals, vM1 also sends preparatory signals to vS1 that serve to amplify and sharpen the response of neurons in the barrel cortex to incoming sensory input signals.

  14. Dopamine replacement modulates oscillatory coupling between premotor and motor cortical areas in Parkinson's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herz, Damian Marc; Florin, Esther; Christensen, Mark Schram

    2014-01-01

    PM to SMA and significantly strengthened coupling in the feedback connection from M1 to lPM expressed as β-β as well as θ-β coupling. Enhancement in cross-frequency θ-β coupling from M1 to lPM was correlated with levodopa-induced improvement in motor function. The results show that PD is associated...... with an altered neural communication between premotor and motor cortical areas, which can be modulated by dopamine replacement....

  15. Enhancement of synaptic transmission induced by BDNF in cultured cortical neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Jun; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun; Li, Yanling; Luo, Qingming

    2005-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), like other neurotrophins, has long-term effects on neuronal survival and differentiation; furthermore, BDNF has been reported to exert an acute potentiation of synaptic activity and are critically involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). We found that BDNF rapidly induced potentiation of synaptic activity and an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in cultured cortical neurons. Within minutes of BDNF application to cultured cortical neurons, spontaneous firing rate was dramatically increased as were the frequency and amplitude of excitatory spontaneous postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Fura-2 recordings showed that BDNF acutely elicited an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]c). This effect was partially dependent on [Ca2+]o; The BDNF-induced increase in [Ca2+]c can not be completely blocked by Ca2+-free solution. It was completely blocked by K252a and partially blocked by Cd2+ and TTX. The results demonstrate that BDNF can enhances synaptic transmission and that this effect is accompanied by a rise in [Ca2+]c that requires two route: the release of Ca2+ from intracellular calcium stores and influx of extracellular Ca2+ through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in cultured cortical neurons.

  16. MicroRNA-128 governs neuronal excitability and motor behavior in mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Chan Lek; Plotkin, Joshua L.; Venø, Morten Trillingsgaard

    2013-01-01

    The control of motor behavior in animals and humans requires constant adaptation of neuronal networks to signals of various types and strengths. We found that microRNA-128 (miR-128), which is expressed in adult neurons, regulates motor behavior by modulating neuronal signaling networks and excita...

  17. In search for a gold-standard procedure to count motor neurons in the spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrucci, Michela; Lazzeri, Gloria; Flaibani, Marina; Biagioni, Francesca; Cantini, Federica; Madonna, Michele; Bucci, Domenico; Limanaqi, Fiona; Soldani, Paola; Fornai, Francesco

    2018-03-14

    Counting motor neurons within the spinal cord and brainstem represents a seminal step to comprehend the anatomy and physiology of the final common pathway sourcing from the CNS. Motor neuron loss allows to assess the severity of motor neuron disorders while providing a tool to assess disease modifying effects. Counting motor neurons at first implies gold standard identification methods. In fact, motor neurons may occur within mixed nuclei housing a considerable amount of neurons other than motor neurons. In the present review, we analyse various approaches to count motor neurons emphasizing both the benefits and bias of each protocol. A special emphasis is placed on discussing automated stereology. When automated stereology does not take into account site-specificity and does not distinguish between heterogeneous neuronal populations, it may confound data making such a procedure a sort of "guide for the perplex". Thus, if on the one hand automated stereology improves our ability to quantify neuronal populations, it may also hide false positives/negatives in neuronal counts. For instance, classic staining for antigens such as SMI-32, SMN and ChAT, which are routinely considered to be specific for motor neurons, may also occur in other neuronal types of the spinal cord. Even site specificity within Lamina IX may be misleading due to neuronal populations having a size and shape typical of motor neurons. This is the case of spinal border cells, which often surpass the border of Lamina VII and intermingle with motor neurons of Lamina IX. The present article discusses the need to join automated stereology with a dedicated knowledge of each specific neuroanatomical setting.

  18. Visualization of Sensory Neurons and Their Projections in an Upper Motor Neuron Reporter Line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genç, Barış; Lagrimas, Amiko Krisa Bunag; Kuru, Pınar; Hess, Robert; Tu, Michael William; Menichella, Daniela Maria; Miller, Richard J; Paller, Amy S; Özdinler, P Hande

    2015-01-01

    Visualization of peripheral nervous system axons and cell bodies is important to understand their development, target recognition, and integration into complex circuitries. Numerous studies have used protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 [a.k.a. ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1)] expression as a marker to label sensory neurons and their axons. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) expression, under the control of UCHL1 promoter, is stable and long lasting in the UCHL1-eGFP reporter line. In addition to the genetic labeling of corticospinal motor neurons in the motor cortex and degeneration-resistant spinal motor neurons in the spinal cord, here we report that neurons of the peripheral nervous system are also fluorescently labeled in the UCHL1-eGFP reporter line. eGFP expression is turned on at embryonic ages and lasts through adulthood, allowing detailed studies of cell bodies, axons and target innervation patterns of all sensory neurons in vivo. In addition, visualization of both the sensory and the motor neurons in the same animal offers many advantages. In this report, we used UCHL1-eGFP reporter line in two different disease paradigms: diabetes and motor neuron disease. eGFP expression in sensory axons helped determine changes in epidermal nerve fiber density in a high-fat diet induced diabetes model. Our findings corroborate previous studies, and suggest that more than five months is required for significant skin denervation. Crossing UCHL1-eGFP with hSOD1G93A mice generated hSOD1G93A-UeGFP reporter line of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and revealed sensory nervous system defects, especially towards disease end-stage. Our studies not only emphasize the complexity of the disease in ALS, but also reveal that UCHL1-eGFP reporter line would be a valuable tool to visualize and study various aspects of sensory nervous system development and degeneration in the context of numerous diseases.

  19. Differential distribution of voltage-gated ion channels in cortical neurons: implications for epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Child, Nicholas D; Benarroch, Eduardo E

    2014-03-18

    Neurons contain different functional somatodendritic and axonal domains, each with a characteristic distribution of voltage-gated ion channels, synaptic inputs, and function. The dendritic tree of a cortical pyramidal neuron has 2 distinct domains, the basal and the apical dendrites, both containing dendritic spines; the different domains of the axon are the axonal initial segment (AIS), axon proper (which in myelinated axons includes the node of Ranvier, paranodes, juxtaparanodes, and internodes), and the axon terminals. In the cerebral cortex, the dendritic spines of the pyramidal neurons receive most of the excitatory synapses; distinct populations of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons target specific cellular domains and thus exert different influences on pyramidal neurons. The multiple synaptic inputs reaching the somatodendritic region and generating excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) sum and elicit changes in membrane potential at the AIS, the site of initiation of the action potential.

  20. Contributions of intrinsic motor neuron properties to the production of rhythmic motor output in the mammalian spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, O; Kjaerulff, O; Tresch, M C

    2000-01-01

    Motor neurons are endowed with intrinsic and conditional membrane properties that may shape the final motor output. In the first half of this paper we present data on the contribution of I(h), a hyperpolarization-activated inward cation current, to phase-transition in motor neurons during rhythmic...... firing. Motor neurons were recorded intracellularly during locomotion induced with a mixture of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and serotonin, after pharmacological blockade of I(h). I(h) was then replaced by using dynamic clamp, a computer program that allows artificial conductances to be inserted into real...... neurons. I(h) was simulated with biophysical parameters determined in voltage clamp experiments. The data showed that electronic replacement of the native I(h) caused a depolarization of the average membrane potential, a phase-advance of the locomotor drive potential, and increased motor neuron spiking...

  1. Localization of Motor Neurons and Central Pattern Generators for Motor Patterns Underlying Feeding Behavior in Drosophila Larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Hückesfeld

    Full Text Available Motor systems can be functionally organized into effector organs (muscles and glands, the motor neurons, central pattern generators (CPG and higher control centers of the brain. Using genetic and electrophysiological methods, we have begun to deconstruct the motor system driving Drosophila larval feeding behavior into its component parts. In this paper, we identify distinct clusters of motor neurons that execute head tilting, mouth hook movements, and pharyngeal pumping during larval feeding. This basic anatomical scaffold enabled the use of calcium-imaging to monitor the neural activity of motor neurons within the central nervous system (CNS that drive food intake. Simultaneous nerve- and muscle-recordings demonstrate that the motor neurons innervate the cibarial dilator musculature (CDM ipsi- and contra-laterally. By classical lesion experiments we localize a set of CPGs generating the neuronal pattern underlying feeding movements to the subesophageal zone (SEZ. Lesioning of higher brain centers decelerated all feeding-related motor patterns, whereas lesioning of ventral nerve cord (VNC only affected the motor rhythm underlying pharyngeal pumping. These findings provide a basis for progressing upstream of the motor neurons to identify higher regulatory components of the feeding motor system.

  2. Microstructure of transcallosal motor fibers reflects type of cortical (re-)organization in congenital hemiparesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juenger, Hendrik; Koerte, Inga K; Muehlmann, Marc; Mayinger, Michael; Mall, Volker; Krägeloh-Mann, Ingeborg; Shenton, Martha E; Berweck, Steffen; Staudt, Martin; Heinen, Florian

    2014-11-01

    Early unilateral brain lesions can lead to different types of corticospinal (re-)organization of motor networks. In one group of patients, the contralesional hemisphere exerts motor control not only over the contralateral non-paretic hand but also over the (ipsilateral) paretic hand, as the primary motor cortex is (re-)organized in the contralesional hemisphere. Another group of patients with early unilateral lesions shows "normal" contralateral motor projections starting in the lesioned hemisphere. We investigated how these different patterns of cortical (re-)organization affect interhemispheric transcallosal connectivity in patients with congenital hemiparesis. Eight patients with ipsilateral motor projections (group IPSI) versus 7 patients with contralateral motor projections (group CONTRA) underwent magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The corpus callosum (CC) was subdivided in 5 areas (I-V) in the mid-sagittal slice and volumetric information. The following diffusion parameters were calculated: fractional anisotropy (FA), trace, radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD). DTI revealed significantly lower FA, increased trace and RD for group IPSI compared to group CONTRA in area III of the corpus callosum, where transcallosal motor fibers cross the CC. In the directly neighboring area IV, where transcallosal somatosensory fibers cross the CC, no differences were found for these DTI parameters between IPSI and CONTRA. Volume of callosal subsections showed significant differences for area II (connecting premotor cortices) and III, where group IPSI had lower volume. The results of this study demonstrate that the callosal microstructure in patients with congenital hemiparesis reflects the type of cortical (re-)organization. Early lesions disrupting corticospinal motor projections to the paretic hand consecutively affect the development or maintenance of transcallosal motor fibers. Copyright © 2014 European Paediatric Neurology Society

  3. Subcortical frontal lesions on MRI in patients with motor neurone disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andreadou, E.; Sgouropoulos, P.; Varelas, P.; Papageorgiou, C. [Eginition Hospital, Athens (Greece); Gouliamos, A. [Department of Radiology, CT/MRI Unit, Areteion Hospital, University of Athens (Greece)

    1998-05-01

    MRI was performed in 32 patients with motor neurone disease (26 men and 6 women, aged 40-77 years) and in a control group of 21 subjects. Of the patients studied, 19 had definite and 11 probable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and two had progressive bulbar palsy. In 10 patients there were asymmetrical bilateral foci of increased signal intensity on proton-density and T{sub 2}-weighted images, confined to the white matter. Two patients had only cortical frontal atrophy and slightly increased ventricular size, whereas 20 had normal MRI. The focal lesions were not confined to corticospinal tracts, but were also observed in subcortical frontal areas. While the lesions along the corticospinal tracts correspond to pyramidal tract degeneration, the subcortical foci correlate with degeneration of the frontal bundles and indicate generalised involvement of the central nervous system. (orig.) With 3 figs., 2 tabs., 25 refs.

  4. Subcortical frontal lesions on MRI in patients with motor neurone disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreadou, E.; Sgouropoulos, P.; Varelas, P.; Papageorgiou, C.; Gouliamos, A.

    1998-01-01

    MRI was performed in 32 patients with motor neurone disease (26 men and 6 women, aged 40-77 years) and in a control group of 21 subjects. Of the patients studied, 19 had definite and 11 probable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and two had progressive bulbar palsy. In 10 patients there were asymmetrical bilateral foci of increased signal intensity on proton-density and T 2 -weighted images, confined to the white matter. Two patients had only cortical frontal atrophy and slightly increased ventricular size, whereas 20 had normal MRI. The focal lesions were not confined to corticospinal tracts, but were also observed in subcortical frontal areas. While the lesions along the corticospinal tracts correspond to pyramidal tract degeneration, the subcortical foci correlate with degeneration of the frontal bundles and indicate generalised involvement of the central nervous system. (orig.)

  5. Role of association cortices and cerebellum during motor consolidation process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagata, Ken; Wright, David K.; Box, Georgia A.

    2008-01-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) studies of cerebral circulation activated during the first (naive) and second (learned) visual-motor tasks were performed to confirm the hypothesis that activated brain regions are different before and after the motor work. Subjects were 30 normal healthy right-handed volunteers (av. age 21 y), who had the first 10 tasks of cursor tracing (regular tracing, rt), as rapidly and accurately as possible, along the given star features and then second 15 tasks of tracing with the cursor with inverse polarity (mirror tracing, mt). During the tasks, PET images were obtained at 7th and 9th rt, and 10 times (1st-15th) during mt, with the high-resolution positron camera (HEADTOME V) to measure the cerebral blood flow after intravenous 15 O-water and were processed into 3D for statistics. At the 1st mt (under the most unfamiliar condition), stimulated were the right frontal and supplementary motor areas and temporal lobe, bilateral centriciput lobe, anterior cingulated gyrus, and left cerebellum hemisphere. Under the learned condition (at 15th mt), the primary motor area, lingual gyrus, cuneus, anterior cuneus, occipital lobe involving posterior cingulated gyrus and left cerebellum hemisphere were activated. Thus the hypothesis above was confirmed: reconfirmation of the brain plasticity. (R.T.)

  6. Respiratory function after selective respiratory motor neuron death from intrapleural CTB–saporin injections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L.; Vinit, Stéphane; Bauernschmidt, Lorene; Mitchell, Gordon S.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes progressive motor neuron degeneration, paralysis and death by ventilatory failure. In rodent ALS models: 1) breathing capacity is preserved until late in disease progression despite major respiratory motor neuron death, suggesting unknown forms of compensatory respiratory plasticity; and 2) spinal microglia become activated in association with motor neuron cell death. Here, we report a novel experimental model to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on compensatory responses without many complications attendant to spontaneous motor neuron disease. In specific, we used intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB–SAP) to selectively kill motor neurons with access to the pleural space. Motor neuron survival, CD11b labeling (microglia), ventilatory capacity and phrenic motor output were assessed in rats 3–28 days after intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB–SAP (25 and 50 μg), or 2) unconjugated CTB and SAP (i.e. control; (CTB + SAP). CTB–SAP elicited dose-dependent phrenic and intercostal motor neuron death; 7 days post-25 μg CTB–SAP, motor neuron survival approximated that in end-stage ALS rats (phrenic: 36 ± 7%; intercostal: 56 ± 10% of controls; n = 9; p phrenic motor nucleus, indicating microglial activation; 2) decreased breathing during maximal chemoreceptor stimulation; and 3) diminished phrenic motor output in anesthetized rats (7 days post-25 μg, CTB–SAP: 0.3 ± 0.07 V; CTB + SAP: 1.5 ± 0.3; n = 9; p < 0.05). Intrapleural CTB–SAP represents a novel, inducible model of respiratory motor neuron death and provides an opportunity to study compensation for respiratory motor neuron loss. PMID:25476493

  7. Responses of vibrissa-sensitive cortical neurons in normal and prenatally x-irradiated rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ito, M.; Kawabata, M.; Shoji, R.

    1979-01-01

    Rats were irradiated by 200 R of x ray on day 17 of gestation through the body wall of the mother. When they underwent the following electrophysiological tests at the age of 3 to 4 month, the somatosensory cortex showed a lack of layers II, III, IV, and Va. Spike responses to quick whisker deflections were recorded from single cells in the somatosenory cortex of normal and prenatally x-irradiated rats. For the irradiated rats the response latency was prolonged when compared to the normal controls. Cortical laminar analysis of field potentials revealed that there was no difference in the latency of these potentials between the two groups, suggesting that vibrissal sensory signals reach the cortical level normally even in the irradiated rats. The prolonged latency of the irradiated cortical neuronal response could thus be ascribed to an abnormal intracortical delay, which was most likely associated with the failure of development of layer IV stellate cells in these preparations

  8. Isl1 is required for multiple aspects of motor neuron development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Xingqun; Song, Mi-Ryoung; Xu, ZengGuang; Lanuza, Guillermo M; Liu, Yali; Zhuang, Tao; Chen, Yihan; Pfaff, Samuel L; Evans, Sylvia M; Sun, Yunfu

    2011-07-01

    The LIM homeodomain transcription factor Islet1 (Isl1) is expressed in multiple organs and plays essential roles during embryogenesis. Isl1 is required for the survival and specification of spinal cord motor neurons. Due to early embryonic lethality and loss of motor neurons, the role of Isl1 in other aspects of motor neuron development remains unclear. In this study, we generated Isl1 mutant mouse lines expressing graded doses of Isl1. Our study has revealed essential roles of Isl1 in multiple aspects of motor neuron development, including motor neuron cell body localization, motor column formation and axon growth. In addition, Isl1 is required for survival of cranial ganglia neurons. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Probing the corticospinal link between the motor cortex and motoneurones: some neglected aspects of human motor cortical function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Nicolas Caesar; Butler, Jane E.; Taylor, Janet L.

    2010-01-01

    of the discharge of motor units have revealed that the rapidly conducting corticospinal axons (stimulated at higher intensities) contribute to drive motoneurones in normal voluntary contractions. There are also major non-linearities generated at a spinal level in the relation between corticospinal output...... magnetic stimulation of the human motor cortex have highlighted the capacity of the cortex to modify its apparent excitability in response to altered afferent inputs, training and various pathologies. Studies using cortical stimulation at 'very low' intensities which elicit only short-latency suppression...

  10. Slow cortical potential and theta/beta neurofeedback training in adults: effects on attentional processes, and motor system excitability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra eStuder

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurofeedback (NF is being successfully applied, among others, in children with ADHD and as a peak performance training in healthy subjects. However, the neuronal mechanisms mediating a successful NF training have not yet been sufficiently uncovered for both theta/beta (T/B, and slow cortical potential (SCP training, two protocols established in NF in ADHD. In the present randomized controlled investigation in adults without a clinical diagnosis (n = 59, the specificity of the effects of these two NF protocols on attentional processes, and motor system excitability were to be examined, focusing on the underlying neuronal mechanisms. NF training consisted of 10 double sessions, and self-regulation skills were analyzed. Pre- and post-training assessments encompassed performance and event-related potential measures during an attention task, and motor system excitability assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Some NF protocol specific effects have been obtained. However, due to the limited sample size medium effects didn’t reach the level of significance. Self-regulation abilities during negativity trials of the SCP training were associated with increased contingent negative variation amplitudes, indicating improved resource allocation during cognitive preparation. Theta/beta training was associated with increased response speed and decreased target-P3 amplitudes after successful theta/beta regulation suggested reduced attentional resources necessary for stimulus evaluation. Motor system excitability effects after theta/beta training paralleled the effects of methylphenidate. Overall, our results are limited by the non-sufficiently acquired self-regulation skills, but some specific effects between good and poor learners could be described. Future studies with larger sample sizes and sufficient acquisition of self-regulation skills are needed to further evaluate the protocol specific effects on attention and motor system excitability

  11. Crambescidin 816 induces calcium influx though glutamate receptors in primary cultures of cortical neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Martín Vázquez

    2014-06-01

    In summary, our data suggest that the cytotoxic effect of 10 μM Cramb816 in cortical neurons may be related to an increase in the cytosolic calcium concentration elicited by the toxin, which is shown to be mediated by glutamate receptor activation. Further studies analyzing the effect of glutamate receptor blockers on the cytotoxic effect of Cramb816 are needed to confirm this hypothesis.

  12. [Pulse flows of populations of cortical neurons under low-intensity pulsed microwave: interspike intervals].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chizhenkova, R A

    2014-01-01

    Pulse flows of populations of cortical neurons were investigated on unanesthetized nonimmobilized rabbits prior, during, and after 1-min microwave irradiation (wavelength 37.5 cm, power density 0.5-1.0 mW/cm2) in continuous and pulse-modulated modes with a frequency of 5, 20 and 100 Hz. The changes in the characteristics of interspike intervals resulted from these exposures. The peculiarity of rearrangements of pulse flows and their dynamics was determined by modes of irradiation.

  13. Motor impairment and neuronal damage following hypothermia in tropical amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daló, Nelson L; Bracho, Gustavo A; Piña-Crespo, Juan C

    2007-02-01

    Although the induction of mild to moderate cerebral hypothermia in mammals can have neuroprotective activity, some deleterious effects have been described when inducing deep hypothermia during cooling of the brain. In the spinal cord, rapid deep cooling can induce seizure activity accompanied by release of the excitatory neurotransmitters, glutamate and aspartate. We used cold-sensitive tropical amphibians as a model to determine (a) the critical temperature inside the central nervous system necessary to induce seizures during rapid cooling; (b) the survival rate during slow deep cooling of the whole animal; and (c) whether deep cooling can cause neuronal cell damage. Seizures induced by deep rapid (or=30 min) deep cooling of the whole animal (12 h at 2-3 degrees C), around 70% of animals died. Spinal reflexes were enhanced when temperatures within the spinal cord reached between 9.0 degrees C and 11.6 degrees C. A fivefold increase in blood glucose level was observed during slow deep cooling. Recovery after slow deep cooling was accompanied by motor impairment and the main histological findings were condensation of the cytoplasm and nuclear pyknosis. Severe neuronal cell damage was characterized by swelling, vacuolated cytoplasm with distended neuronal bodies. These results indicate that deep cooling can easily induce neuronal cell damage in the central nervous system of cold-sensitive animals. They also warn us to the potential sequels associated with the use of deep brain cooling as a neuroprotective strategy.

  14. Establishing the UK DNA Bank for motor neuron disease (MND).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Lucy; Cupid, B C; Dickie, B G M; Al-Chalabi, A; Morrison, K E; Shaw, C E; Shaw, P J

    2015-07-14

    In 2003 the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association, together with The Wellcome Trust, funded the creation of a national DNA Bank specific for MND. It was anticipated that the DNA Bank would constitute an important resource to researchers worldwide and significantly increase activity in MND genetic research. The DNA Bank houses over 3000 high quality DNA samples, all of which were donated by people living with MND, family members and non-related controls, accompanied by clinical phenotype data about the patients. Today the primary focus of the UK MND DNA Bank still remains to identify causative and disease modifying factors for this devastating disease.

  15. Antioxidant and Protective Mechanisms against Hypoxia and Hypoglycaemia in Cortical Neurons in Vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Joaquín Merino

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In the present work, we have studied whether cell death could be induced in cortical neurons from rats subjected to different period of O2 deprivation and low glucose (ODLG. This “in vitro” model is designed to emulate the penumbra area under ischemia. In these conditions, cortical neurons displayed loss of mitochondrial respiratory ability however, nor necrosis neither apoptosis occurred despite ROS production. The absence of cellular death could be a consequence of increased antioxidant responses such as superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1 and GPX3. In addition, the levels of reduced glutathione were augmented and HIF-1/3α overexpressed. After long periods of ODLG (12–24 h cortical neurons showed cellular and mitochondrial membrane alterations and did not recuperate cellular viability during reperfusion. This could mean that therapies directed toward prevention of cellular and mitochondrial membrane imbalance or cell death through mechanisms other than necrosis or apoptosis, like authophagy, may be a way to prevent ODLG damage.

  16. Microtubule-targeting drugs rescue axonal swellings in cortical neurons from spastin knockout mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coralie Fassier

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in SPG4, encoding the microtubule-severing protein spastin, are responsible for the most frequent form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP, a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases characterized by degeneration of the corticospinal tracts. We previously reported that mice harboring a deletion in Spg4, generating a premature stop codon, develop progressive axonal degeneration characterized by focal axonal swellings associated with impaired axonal transport. To further characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this mutant phenotype, we have assessed microtubule dynamics and axonal transport in primary cultures of cortical neurons from spastin-mutant mice. We show an early and marked impairment of microtubule dynamics all along the axons of spastin-deficient cortical neurons, which is likely to be responsible for the occurrence of axonal swellings and cargo stalling. Our analysis also reveals that a modulation of microtubule dynamics by microtubule-targeting drugs rescues the mutant phenotype of cortical neurons. Together, these results contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of SPG4-linked HSP and ascertain the influence of microtubule-targeted drugs on the early axonal phenotype in a mouse model of the disease.

  17. Effects of continuous hypoxia on energy metabolism in cultured cerebro-cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malthankar-Phatak, Gauri H; Patel, Anant B; Xia, Ying; Hong, Soonsun; Chowdhury, Golam M I; Behar, Kevin L; Orina, Isaac A; Lai, James C K

    2008-09-10

    Mechanisms underlying hypoxia-induced neuronal adaptation have not been fully elucidated. In the present study we investigated glucose metabolism and the activities of glycolytic and TCA cycle enzymes in cerebro-cortical neurons exposed to hypoxia (3 days in 1% of O2) or normoxia (room air). Hypoxia led to increased activities of LDH (194%), PK (90%), and HK (24%) and decreased activities of CS (15%) and GDH (34%). Neurons were incubated with [1-(13)C]glucose for 45 and 120 min under normoxic or hypoxic (120 min only) conditions and 13C enrichment determined in the medium and cell extract using 1H-{13C}-NMR. In hypoxia-treated neurons [3-(13)C]lactate release into the medium was 428% greater than in normoxia-treated controls (45-min normoxic incubation) and total flux through lactate was increased by 425%. In contrast glucose oxidation was reduced significantly in hypoxia-treated neurons, even when expressed relative to total cellular protein, which correlated with the reduced activities of the measured mitochondrial enzymes. The results suggest that surviving neurons adapt to prolonged hypoxia by up-regulation of glycolysis and down-regulation of oxidative energy metabolism, similar to certain other cell types. The factors leading to adaptation and survival for some neurons but not others remain to be determined.

  18. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in lower motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attarian, S; Azulay, J-Ph; Lardillier, D; Verschueren, A; Pouget, J

    2005-01-01

    To study the diagnostic value of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in a group of patients with lower motor neuron disease (LMND). Among LMND, several chronic immune mediate motor neuropathies may simulate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Forty patients with LMND were included TMS was performed at the first visit. The patients were seen prospectively every 3 months for a period of 1-4 years. Three different groups were distinguished at the end of follow-up: (1) ALS group with 7 patients, (2) Pure motor neuropathy with 14 patients and (3) Other LMND including 12 patients with hereditary spinal amyotrophy, 3 patients with Kennedy's disease and 4 patients with post-poliomyelitis. On the basis of the results of TMS variables, 6 out of 7 ALS patients had abnormality of silent period (SP) associated or not with abnormality of excitatory threshold or amplitude ratio. Patients with pure motor neuropathy had normal SP and amplitude ratio. Four out of 14 patients had increased central motor conduction time (CMCT), one had increased CMCT and excitatory threshold, and one patient had a slightly increased excitatory threshold. Considering the abnormality of TMS variables in the groups, SP, excitatory threshold, and amplitude ratio were chosen in a post-hoc attempt to select variables yielding high sensitivity and specificity. The overall sensitivity of TMS for diagnosis of ALS among LMND was 85.7%, its specificity was 93.9%. When only the abnormality of SP was taken into account, the sensitivity was unchanged. But the specificity was improved to 100%. TMS helped to distinguish suspected ALS from pure motor neuropathy.

  19. Short-term immobilization influences use-dependent cortical plasticity and fine motor performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opie, George M; Evans, Alexandra; Ridding, Michael C; Semmler, John G

    2016-08-25

    Short-term immobilization that reduces muscle use for 8-10h is known to influence cortical excitability and motor performance. However, the mechanisms through which this is achieved, and whether these changes can be used to modify cortical plasticity and motor skill learning, are not known. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of short-term immobilization on use-dependent cortical plasticity, motor learning and retention. Twenty-one adults were divided into control and immobilized groups, both of which underwent two experimental sessions on consecutive days. Within each session, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to assess motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitudes, short- (SICI) and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), and intracortical facilitation (ICF) before and after a grooved pegboard task. Prior to the second training session, the immobilized group underwent 8h of left hand immobilization targeting the index finger, while control subjects were allowed normal limb use. Immobilization produced a reduction in MEP amplitudes, but no change in SICI, LICI or ICF. While motor performance improved for both groups in each session, the level of performance was greater 24-h later in control, but not immobilized subjects. Furthermore, training-related MEP facilitation was greater after, compared with before, immobilization. These results indicate that immobilization can modulate use-dependent plasticity and the retention of motor skills. They also suggest that changes in intracortical excitability are unlikely to contribute to the immobilization-induced modification of cortical excitability. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Nonmotor symptoms in patients suffering from motor neuron diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene Günther

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The recently postulated disease spreading hypothesis has gained much attention, especially for Parkinson’s disease (PD. The various nonmotor symptoms (NMS in neurodegenerative diseases would be much better explained by this hypothesis than by the degeneration of disease-specific cell populations. Motor neuron disease (MND is primarily known as a group of diseases with a selective loss of motor function. Recent evidence, however, suggests disease spreading into nonmotor brain regions also in MND. The aim of this study was to comprehensively detect NMS in patients suffering from MND.Methods: We used a self-rating questionnaire including 30 different items of gastrointestinal, autonomic, neuropsychiatric and sleep complaints (NMSQuest which is an established tool in PD patients. 90 MND patients were included and compared to 96 controls.Results: In total, MND patients reported significantly higher NMS scores (median: 7 points in comparison to controls (median: 4 points. Dribbling, impaired taste/smelling, impaired swallowing, weight loss, loss of interest, sad/blues, falling and insomnia were significantly more prevalent in MND patients compared to controls. Interestingly excessive sweating was more reported in the MND group. Correlation analysis revealed an increase of total NMS score with disease progression.Conclusions: NMS in MND patients seemed to increase with disease progression which would fit with the recently postulated disease spreading hypothesis. The total NMS score in the MND group significantly exceeded the score for the control group, but only 8 of the 30 single complaints of the NMSQuest were significantly more often reported by MND patients. Dribbling, impaired swallowing, weight loss and falling could primarily be connected to motor neuron degeneration and declared as motor symptoms in MND.

  1. Chronic ciguatoxin treatment induces synaptic scaling through voltage gated sodium channels in cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Víctor; Vale, Carmen; Rubiolo, Juan A; Roel, Maria; Hirama, Masahiro; Yamashita, Shuji; Vieytes, Mercedes R; Botana, Luís M

    2015-06-15

    Ciguatoxins are sodium channels activators that cause ciguatera, one of the most widespread nonbacterial forms of food poisoning, which presents with long-term neurological alterations. In central neurons, chronic perturbations in activity induce homeostatic synaptic mechanisms that adjust the strength of excitatory synapses and modulate glutamate receptor expression in order to stabilize the overall activity. Immediate early genes, such as Arc and Egr1, are induced in response to activity changes and underlie the trafficking of glutamate receptors during neuronal homeostasis. To better understand the long lasting neurological consequences of ciguatera, it is important to establish the role that chronic changes in activity produced by ciguatoxins represent to central neurons. Here, the effect of a 30 min exposure of 10-13 days in vitro (DIV) cortical neurons to the synthetic ciguatoxin CTX 3C on Arc and Egr1 expression was evaluated using real-time polymerase chain reaction approaches. Since the toxin increased the mRNA levels of both Arc and Egr1, the effect of CTX 3C in NaV channels, membrane potential, firing activity, miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), and glutamate receptors expression in cortical neurons after a 24 h exposure was evaluated using electrophysiological and western blot approaches. The data presented here show that CTX 3C induced an upregulation of Arc and Egr1 that was prevented by previous coincubation of the neurons with the NaV channel blocker tetrodotoxin. In addition, chronic CTX 3C caused a concentration-dependent shift in the activation voltage of NaV channels to more negative potentials and produced membrane potential depolarization. Moreover, 24 h treatment of cortical neurons with 5 nM CTX 3C decreased neuronal firing and induced synaptic scaling mechanisms, as evidenced by a decrease in the amplitude of mEPSCs and downregulation in the protein level of glutamate receptors that was also prevented by tetrodotoxin

  2. Ablation of the Ferroptosis Inhibitor Glutathione Peroxidase 4 in Neurons Results in Rapid Motor Neuron Degeneration and Paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liuji; Hambright, William Sealy; Na, Ren; Ran, Qitao

    2015-11-20

    Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), an antioxidant defense enzyme active in repairing oxidative damage to lipids, is a key inhibitor of ferroptosis, a non-apoptotic form of cell death involving lipid reactive oxygen species. Here we show that GPX4 is essential for motor neuron health and survival in vivo. Conditional ablation of Gpx4 in neurons of adult mice resulted in rapid onset and progression of paralysis and death. Pathological inspection revealed that the paralyzed mice had a dramatic degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord but had no overt neuron degeneration in the cerebral cortex. Consistent with the role of GPX4 as a ferroptosis inhibitor, spinal motor neuron degeneration induced by Gpx4 ablation exhibited features of ferroptosis, including no caspase-3 activation, no TUNEL staining, activation of ERKs, and elevated spinal inflammation. Supplementation with vitamin E, another inhibitor of ferroptosis, delayed the onset of paralysis and death induced by Gpx4 ablation. Also, lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial dysfunction appeared to be involved in ferroptosis of motor neurons induced by Gpx4 ablation. Taken together, the dramatic motor neuron degeneration and paralysis induced by Gpx4 ablation suggest that ferroptosis inhibition by GPX4 is essential for motor neuron health and survival in vivo. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. Improved Discriminability of Spatiotemporal Neural Patterns in Rat Motor Cortical Areas as Directional Choice Learning Progresses

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    Hongwei eMao

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Animals learn to choose a proper action among alternatives to improve their odds of success in food foraging and other activities critical for survival. Through trial-and-error, they learn correct associations between their choices and external stimuli. While a neural network that underlies such learning process has been identified at a high level, it is still unclear how individual neurons and a neural ensemble adapt as learning progresses. In this study, we monitored the activity of single units in the rat medial and lateral agranular (AGm and AGl, respectively areas as rats learned to make a left or right side lever press in response to a left or right side light cue. We noticed that rat movement parameters during the performance of the directional choice task quickly became stereotyped during the first 2-3 days or sessions. But learning the directional choice problem took weeks to occur. Accompanying rats’ behavioral performance adaptation, we observed neural modulation by directional choice in recorded single units. Our analysis shows that ensemble mean firing rates in the cue-on period did not change significantly as learning progressed, and the ensemble mean rate difference between left and right side choices did not show a clear trend of change either. However, the spatiotemporal firing patterns of the neural ensemble exhibited improved discriminability between the two directional choices through learning. These results suggest a spatiotemporal neural coding scheme in a motor cortical neural ensemble that may be responsible for and contributing to learning the directional choice task.

  4. Activity strengths of cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons are correlated with transgenerational inheritance of learning ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yulong; Ge, Rongjing; Zhao, Xin; Guo, Rui; Huang, Li; Zhao, Shidi; Guan, Sudong; Lu, Wei; Cui, Shan; Wang, Shirlene; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2017-12-22

    The capabilities of learning and memory in parents are presumably transmitted to their offsprings, in which genetic codes and epigenetic regulations are thought as molecular bases. As neural plasticity occurs during memory formation as cellular mechanism, we aim to examine the correlation of activity strengths at cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons to the transgenerational inheritance of learning ability. In a mouse model of associative learning, paired whisker and odor stimulations led to odorant-induced whisker motion, whose onset appeared fast (high learning efficiency, HLE) or slow (low learning efficiency, LLE). HLE male and female mice, HLE female and LLE male mice as well as HLE male and LLE female mice were cross-mated to have their first generation of offsprings, filials (F1). The onset of odorant-induced whisker motion appeared a sequence of high-to-low efficiency in three groups of F1 mice that were from HLE male and female mice, HLE female and LLE male mice as well as HLE male and LLE female mice. Activities related to glutamatergic neurons in barrel cortices appeared a sequence of high-to-low strength in these F1 mice from HLE male and female mice, HLE female and LLE male mice as well as HLE male and LLE female mice. Activities related to GABAergic neurons in barrel cortices appeared a sequence of low-to-high strength in these F1 mice from HLE male and female mice, HLE female and LLE male mice as well as HLE male and LLE female mice. Neuronal activity strength was linearly correlated to learning efficiency among three groups. Thus, the coordinated activities at glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons may constitute the cellular basis for the transgenerational inheritance of learning ability.

  5. Cerebellar motor learning: when is cortical plasticity not enough?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Porrill

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Classical Marr-Albus theories of cerebellar learning employ only cortical sites of plasticity. However, tests of these theories using adaptive calibration of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR have indicated plasticity in both cerebellar cortex and the brainstem. To resolve this long-standing conflict, we attempted to identify the computational role of the brainstem site, by using an adaptive filter version of the cerebellar microcircuit to model VOR calibration for changes in the oculomotor plant. With only cortical plasticity, introducing a realistic delay in the retinal-slip error signal of 100 ms prevented learning at frequencies higher than 2.5 Hz, although the VOR itself is accurate up to at least 25 Hz. However, the introduction of an additional brainstem site of plasticity, driven by the correlation between cerebellar and vestibular inputs, overcame the 2.5 Hz limitation and allowed learning of accurate high-frequency gains. This "cortex-first" learning mechanism is consistent with a wide variety of evidence concerning the role of the flocculus in VOR calibration, and complements rather than replaces the previously proposed "brainstem-first" mechanism that operates when ocular tracking mechanisms are effective. These results (i describe a process whereby information originally learnt in one area of the brain (cerebellar cortex can be transferred and expressed in another (brainstem, and (ii indicate for the first time why a brainstem site of plasticity is actually required by Marr-Albus type models when high-frequency gains must be learned in the presence of error delay.

  6. Additivity of Pyrethroid Actions on Sodium Influx in Cortical Neurons in Cerebrocortical Neurons in Primary Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    BACKGROUND: Pyrethroid insecticides bind to voltage-gated sodium channels and modify their gating kinetics, thereby disrupting neuronal function. Although previous work has tested the additivity of pyrethroids in vivo, this has not been assessed directly at the primary molecular ...

  7. Cortical motor representation of the rectus femoris does not differ between the left and right hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Sarah; Bryant, Adam L; Pietrosimone, Brian; Bennell, Kim L; Clark, Ross; Pearce, Alan J

    2016-06-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) involves non-invasive magnetic stimulation of the brain, and can be used to explore the corticomotor excitability and motor representations of skeletal muscles. However there is a lack of motor mapping studies in the lower limb and few conducted in healthy cohorts. The cortical motor representations of muscles can vary between individuals in terms of center position and area despite having a general localized region within the motor cortex. It is important to characterize the normal range for these variables in healthy cohorts to be able to evaluate changes in clinical populations. TMS was used in this cross-sectional study to assess the active motor threshold (AMT) and cortical representation area for rectus femoris in 15 healthy individuals (11M/4F 27.3±5.9years). No differences were found between hemispheres (Left vs. Right P=0.130) for AMT. In terms of y-axis center position no differences were found between hemispheres (Left vs. Right P=0.539), or for the x-axis center position (Left vs. Right P=0.076). Similarly, no differences in calculated area of the motor representation were found (Left vs. Right P=0.699) indicating symmetry between hemispheres. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Fishing for causes and cures of motor neuron disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Shunmoogum A; Armstrong, Gary A B; Lissouba, Alexandra; Kabashi, Edor; Parker, J Alex; Drapeau, Pierre

    2014-07-01

    Motor neuron disorders (MNDs) are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons, and share some common pathological pathways. Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of these diseases, no curative treatment for MNDs exists. To better understand the pathogenesis of MNDs and to help develop new treatments, the establishment of animal models that can be studied efficiently and thoroughly is paramount. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly becoming a valuable model for studying human diseases and in screening for potential therapeutics. In this Review, we highlight recent progress in using zebrafish to study the pathology of the most common MNDs: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). These studies indicate the power of zebrafish as a model to study the consequences of disease-related genes, because zebrafish homologues of human genes have conserved functions with respect to the aetiology of MNDs. Zebrafish also complement other animal models for the study of pathological mechanisms of MNDs and are particularly advantageous for the screening of compounds with therapeutic potential. We present an overview of their potential usefulness in MND drug discovery, which is just beginning and holds much promise for future therapeutic development. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Fishing for causes and cures of motor neuron disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shunmoogum A. Patten

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron disorders (MNDs are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons, and share some common pathological pathways. Despite remarkable advances in our understanding of these diseases, no curative treatment for MNDs exists. To better understand the pathogenesis of MNDs and to help develop new treatments, the establishment of animal models that can be studied efficiently and thoroughly is paramount. The zebrafish (Danio rerio is increasingly becoming a valuable model for studying human diseases and in screening for potential therapeutics. In this Review, we highlight recent progress in using zebrafish to study the pathology of the most common MNDs: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP. These studies indicate the power of zebrafish as a model to study the consequences of disease-related genes, because zebrafish homologues of human genes have conserved functions with respect to the aetiology of MNDs. Zebrafish also complement other animal models for the study of pathological mechanisms of MNDs and are particularly advantageous for the screening of compounds with therapeutic potential. We present an overview of their potential usefulness in MND drug discovery, which is just beginning and holds much promise for future therapeutic development.

  10. Expression of diverse neuropeptide cotransmitters by identified motor neurons in Aplysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Church, P.J.; Lloyd, P.E.

    1991-01-01

    Neuropeptide synthesis was determined for individual identified ventral-cluster neurons in the buccal ganglia of Aplysia. Each of these cells was shown to be a motor neuron that innervates buccal muscles that generate biting and swallowing movements during feeding. Individual neurons were identified by a battery of physiological criteria and stained with intracellular injection of a vital dye, and the ganglia were incubated in 35S-methionine. Peptide synthesis was determined by measuring labeled peptides in extracts from individually dissected neuronal cell bodies analyzed by HPLC. Previously characterized peptides found to be synthesized included buccalin, FMRFamide, myomodulin, and the 2 small cardioactive peptides (SCPs). Each of these neuropeptides has been shown to modulate buccal muscle responses to motor neuron stimulation. Two other peptides were found to be synthesized in individual motor neurons. One peptide, which was consistently observed in neurons that also synthesized myomodulin, is likely to be the recently sequenced myomodulin B. The other peptide was observed in a subset of the neurons that synthesize FMRFamide. While identified motor neurons consistently synthesized the same peptide(s), neurons that innervate the same muscle often express different peptides. Neurons that synthesized the SCPs also contained SCP-like activity, as determined by snail heart bioassay. Our results indicate that every identified motor neuron synthesizes a subset of these methionine-containing peptides, and that several neurons consistently synthesize peptides that are likely to be processed from multiple precursors

  11. Homocysteine Aggravates Cortical Neural Cell Injury through Neuronal Autophagy Overactivation following Rat Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion

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    Yaqian Zhao

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Elevated homocysteine (Hcy levels have been reported to be involved in neurotoxicity after ischemic stroke. However, the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood to date. In the current study, we hypothesized that neuronal autophagy activation may be involved in the toxic effect of Hcy on cortical neurons following cerebral ischemia. Brain cell injury was determined by hematoxylin-eosin (HE staining and TdT-mediated dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL staining. The level and localization of autophagy were detected by transmission electron microscopy, western blot and immunofluorescence double labeling. The oxidative DNA damage was revealed by immunofluorescence of 8-Hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG. Hcy treatment aggravated neuronal cell death, significantly increased the formation of autophagosomes and the expression of LC3B and Beclin-1 in the brain cortex after middle cerebral artery occlusion-reperfusion (MCAO. Immunofluorescence analysis of LC3B and Beclin-1 distribution indicated that their expression occurred mainly in neurons (NeuN-positive and hardly in astrocytes (GFAP-positive. 8-OHdG expression was also increased in the ischemic cortex of Hcy-treated animals. Conversely, LC3B and Beclin-1 overexpression and autophagosome accumulation caused by Hcy were partially blocked by the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA. Hcy administration enhanced neuronal autophagy, which contributes to cell death following cerebral ischemia. The oxidative damage-mediated autophagy may be a molecular mechanism underlying neuronal cell toxicity of elevated Hcy level.

  12. Induction of superficial cortical layer neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells by valproic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juliandi, Berry; Abematsu, Masahiko; Sanosaka, Tsukasa; Tsujimura, Keita; Smith, Austin; Nakashima, Kinichi

    2012-01-01

    Within the developing mammalian cortex, neural progenitors first generate deep-layer neurons and subsequently more superficial-layer neurons, in an inside-out manner. It has been reported recently that mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) can, to some extent, recapitulate cortical development in vitro, with the sequential appearance of neurogenesis markers resembling that in the developing cortex. However, mESCs can only recapitulate early corticogenesis; superficial-layer neurons, which are normally produced in later developmental periods in vivo, are under-represented. This failure of mESCs to reproduce later corticogenesis in vitro implies the existence of crucial factor(s) that are absent or uninduced in existing culture systems. Here we show that mESCs can give rise to superficial-layer neurons efficiently when treated with valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor. VPA treatment increased the production of Cux1-positive superficial-layer neurons, and decreased that of Ctip2-positive deep-layer neurons. These results shed new light on the mechanisms of later corticogenesis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Visual and Motor Recovery After "Cognitive Therapeutic Exercises" in Cortical Blindness: A Case Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Patre, Daniele; Van de Winckel, Ann; Panté, Franca; Rizzello, Carla; Zernitz, Marina; Mansour, Mariam; Zordan, Lara; Zeffiro, Thomas A; OʼConnor, Erin E; Bisson, Teresa; Lupi, Andrea; Perfetti, Carlo

    2017-07-01

    Spontaneous visual recovery is rare after cortical blindness. While visual rehabilitation may improve performance, no visual therapy has been widely adopted, as clinical outcomes are variable and rarely translate into improvements in activities of daily living (ADLs). We explored the potential value of a novel rehabilitation approach "cognitive therapeutic exercises" for cortical blindness. The subject of this case study was 48-year-old woman with cortical blindness and tetraplegia after cardiac arrest. Prior to the intervention, she was dependent in ADLs and poorly distinguished shapes and colors after 19 months of standard visual and motor rehabilitation. Computed tomographic images soon after symptom onset demonstrated acute infarcts in both occipital cortices. The subject underwent 8 months of intensive rehabilitation with "cognitive therapeutic exercises" consisting of discrimination exercises correlating sensory and visual information. Visual fields increased; object recognition improved; it became possible to watch television; voluntary arm movements improved in accuracy and smoothness; walking improved; and ADL independence and self-reliance increased. Subtraction of neuroimaging acquired before and after rehabilitation showed that focal glucose metabolism increases bilaterally in the occipital poles. This study demonstrates feasibility of "cognitive therapeutic exercises" in an individual with cortical blindness, who experienced impressive visual and sensorimotor recovery, with marked ADL improvement, more than 2 years after ischemic cortical damage.Video Abstract available for additional insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at: http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A173).

  14. Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  15. Non-Motor Symptoms in Patients Suffering from Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Günther, René; Richter, Nicole; Sauerbier, Anna; Chaudhuri, Kallol Ray; Martinez-Martin, Pablo; Storch, Alexander; Hermann, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The recently postulated "disease spreading hypothesis" has gained much attention, especially for Parkinson's disease (PD). The various non-motor symptoms (NMS) in neurodegenerative diseases would be much better explained by this hypothesis than by the degeneration of disease-specific cell populations. Motor neuron disease (MND) is primarily known as a group of diseases with a selective loss of motor function. However, recent evidence suggests disease spreading into non-motor brain regions also in MND. The aim of this study was to comprehensively detect NMS in patients suffering from MND. We used a self-rating questionnaire including 30 different items of gastrointestinal, autonomic, neuropsychiatric, and sleep complaints [NMS questionnaire (NMSQuest)], which is an established tool in PD patients. 90 MND patients were included and compared to 96 controls. In total, MND patients reported significantly higher NMS scores (median: 7 points) in comparison to controls (median: 4 points). Dribbling, impaired taste/smelling, impaired swallowing, weight loss, loss of interest, sad/blues, falling, and insomnia were significantly more prevalent in MND patients compared to controls. Interestingly, excessive sweating was more reported in the MND group. Correlation analysis revealed an increase of total NMS score with disease progression. NMS in MND patients seemed to increase with disease progression, which would fit with the recently postulated "disease spreading hypothesis." The total NMS score in the MND group significantly exceeded the score for the control group, but only 8 of the 30 single complaints of the NMSQuest were significantly more often reported by MND patients. Dribbling, impaired swallowing, weight loss, and falling could primarily be connected to motor neuron degeneration and declared as motor symptoms in MND.

  16. Contribution of NMDA receptor hypofunction in prefrontal and cortical excitatory neurons to schizophrenia-like phenotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory R Rompala

    Full Text Available Pharmacological and genetic studies support a role for NMDA receptor (NMDAR hypofunction in the etiology of schizophrenia. We have previously demonstrated that NMDAR obligatory subunit 1 (GluN1 deletion in corticolimbic interneurons during early postnatal development is sufficient to confer schizophrenia-like phenotypes in mice. However, the consequence of NMDAR hypofunction in cortical excitatory neurons is not well delineated. Here, we characterize a conditional knockout mouse strain (CtxGluN1 KO mice, in which postnatal GluN1 deletion is largely confined to the excitatory neurons in layer II/III of the medial prefrontal cortex and sensory cortices, as evidenced by the lack of GluN1 mRNA expression in in situ hybridization immunocytochemistry as well as the lack of NMDA currents with in vitro recordings. Mutants were impaired in prepulse inhibition of the auditory startle reflex as well as object-based short-term memory. However, they did not exhibit impairments in additional hallmarks of schizophrenia-like phenotypes (e.g. spatial working memory, social behavior, saccharine preference, novelty and amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, and anxiety-related behavior. Furthermore, upon administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801, there were no differences in locomotor activity versus controls. The mutant mice also showed negligible levels of reactive oxygen species production following chronic social isolation, and recording of miniature-EPSC/IPSCs from layer II/III excitatory neurons in medial prefrontal cortex suggested no alteration in GABAergic activity. All together, the mutant mice displayed cognitive deficits in the absence of additional behavioral or cellular phenotypes reflecting schizophrenia pathophysiology. Thus, NMDAR hypofunction in prefrontal and cortical excitatory neurons may recapitulate only a cognitive aspect of human schizophrenia symptoms.

  17. Contribution of NMDA receptor hypofunction in prefrontal and cortical excitatory neurons to schizophrenia-like phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rompala, Gregory R; Zsiros, Veronika; Zhang, Shuqin; Kolata, Stefan M; Nakazawa, Kazu

    2013-01-01

    Pharmacological and genetic studies support a role for NMDA receptor (NMDAR) hypofunction in the etiology of schizophrenia. We have previously demonstrated that NMDAR obligatory subunit 1 (GluN1) deletion in corticolimbic interneurons during early postnatal development is sufficient to confer schizophrenia-like phenotypes in mice. However, the consequence of NMDAR hypofunction in cortical excitatory neurons is not well delineated. Here, we characterize a conditional knockout mouse strain (CtxGluN1 KO mice), in which postnatal GluN1 deletion is largely confined to the excitatory neurons in layer II/III of the medial prefrontal cortex and sensory cortices, as evidenced by the lack of GluN1 mRNA expression in in situ hybridization immunocytochemistry as well as the lack of NMDA currents with in vitro recordings. Mutants were impaired in prepulse inhibition of the auditory startle reflex as well as object-based short-term memory. However, they did not exhibit impairments in additional hallmarks of schizophrenia-like phenotypes (e.g. spatial working memory, social behavior, saccharine preference, novelty and amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, and anxiety-related behavior). Furthermore, upon administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801, there were no differences in locomotor activity versus controls. The mutant mice also showed negligible levels of reactive oxygen species production following chronic social isolation, and recording of miniature-EPSC/IPSCs from layer II/III excitatory neurons in medial prefrontal cortex suggested no alteration in GABAergic activity. All together, the mutant mice displayed cognitive deficits in the absence of additional behavioral or cellular phenotypes reflecting schizophrenia pathophysiology. Thus, NMDAR hypofunction in prefrontal and cortical excitatory neurons may recapitulate only a cognitive aspect of human schizophrenia symptoms.

  18. Monte Carlo point process estimation of electromyographic envelopes from motor cortical spikes for brain-machine interfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Yuxi; She, Xiwei; Wang, Yiwen; Zhang, Shaomin; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Zheng, Xiaoxiang; Principe, Jose C.

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Representation of movement in the motor cortex (M1) has been widely studied in brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). The electromyogram (EMG) has greater bandwidth than the conventional kinematic variables (such as position, velocity), and is functionally related to the discharge of cortical neurons. As the stochastic information of EMG is derived from the explicit spike time structure, point process (PP) methods will be a good solution for decoding EMG directly from neural spike trains. Previous studies usually assume linear or exponential tuning curves between neural firing and EMG, which may not be true. Approach. In our analysis, we estimate the tuning curves in a data-driven way and find both the traditional functional-excitatory and functional-inhibitory neurons, which are widely found across a rat’s motor cortex. To accurately decode EMG envelopes from M1 neural spike trains, the Monte Carlo point process (MCPP) method is implemented based on such nonlinear tuning properties. Main results. Better reconstruction of EMG signals is shown on baseline and extreme high peaks, as our method can better preserve the nonlinearity of the neural tuning during decoding. The MCPP improves the prediction accuracy (the normalized mean squared error) 57% and 66% on average compared with the adaptive point process filter using linear and exponential tuning curves respectively, for all 112 data segments across six rats. Compared to a Wiener filter using spike rates with an optimal window size of 50 ms, MCPP decoding EMG from a point process improves the normalized mean square error (NMSE) by 59% on average. Significance. These results suggest that neural tuning is constantly changing during task execution and therefore, the use of spike timing methodologies and estimation of appropriate tuning curves needs to be undertaken for better EMG decoding in motor BMIs.

  19. CNTF-ACM promotes mitochondrial respiration and oxidative stress in cortical neurons through upregulating L-type calcium channel activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Meiqun; Liu, Hongli; Xu, Huanbai; Wang, Hongtao; Wang, Xiaojing

    2016-09-01

    A specialized culture medium termed ciliary neurotrophic factor-treated astrocyte-conditioned medium (CNTF-ACM) allows investigators to assess the peripheral effects of CNTF-induced activated astrocytes upon cultured neurons. CNTF-ACM has been shown to upregulate neuronal L-type calcium channel current activity, which has been previously linked to changes in mitochondrial respiration and oxidative stress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate CNTF-ACM's effects upon mitochondrial respiration and oxidative stress in rat cortical neurons. Cortical neurons, CNTF-ACM, and untreated control astrocyte-conditioned medium (UC-ACM) were prepared from neonatal Sprague-Dawley rat cortical tissue. Neurons were cultured in either CNTF-ACM or UC-ACM for a 48-h period. Changes in the following parameters before and after treatment with the L-type calcium channel blocker isradipine were assessed: (i) intracellular calcium levels, (ii) mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), (iii) oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) formation, (iv) intracellular nitric oxide (NO) levels, (v) mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and (vi) susceptibility to the mitochondrial complex I toxin rotenone. CNTF-ACM neurons displayed the following significant changes relative to UC-ACM neurons: (i) increased intracellular calcium levels (p ACM (p ACM promotes mitochondrial respiration and oxidative stress in cortical neurons through elevating L-type calcium channel activity.

  20. Comparison of frailty of primary neurons, embryonic, and aging mouse cortical layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fugistier, Patrick; Vallet, Philippe G; Leuba, Geneviève; Piotton, Françoise; Marin, Pascale; Bouras, Constantin; Savioz, Armand

    2014-02-01

    Superficial layers I to III of the human cerebral cortex are more vulnerable toward Aβ peptides than deep layers V to VI in aging. Three models of layers were used to investigate this pattern of frailty. First, primary neurons from E14 and E17 embryonic murine cortices, corresponding respectively to future deep and superficial layers, were treated either with Aβ(1-42), okadaic acid, or kainic acid. Second, whole E14 and E17 embryonic cortices, and third, in vitro separated deep and superficial layers of young and old C57BL/6J mice, were treated identically. We observed that E14 and E17 neurons in culture were prone to death after the Aβ and particularly the kainic acid treatment. This was also the case for the superficial layers of the aged cortex, but not for the embryonic, the young cortex, and the deep layers of the aged cortex. Thus, the aged superficial layers appeared to be preferentially vulnerable against Aβ and kainic acid. This pattern of vulnerability corresponds to enhanced accumulation of senile plaques in the superficial cortical layers with aging and Alzheimer's disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Near infrared radiation rescues mitochondrial dysfunction in cortical neurons after oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhanyang; Liu, Ning; Zhao, Jianhua; Li, Yadan; McCarthy, Thomas J; Tedford, Clark E; Lo, Eng H; Wang, Xiaoying

    2015-04-01

    Near infrared radiation (NIR) is known to penetrate and affect biological systems in multiple ways. Recently, a series of experimental studies suggested that low intensity NIR may protect neuronal cells against a wide range of insults that mimic diseases such as stroke, brain trauma and neurodegeneration. However, the potential molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection with NIR remain poorly defined. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that low intensity NIR may attenuate hypoxia/ischemia-induced mitochondrial dysfunction in neurons. Primary cortical mouse neuronal cultures were subjected to 4 h oxygen-glucose deprivation followed by reoxygenation for 2 h, neurons were then treated with a 2 min exposure to 810-nm NIR. Mitochondrial function markers including MTT reduction and mitochondria membrane potential were measured at 2 h after treatment. Neurotoxicity was quantified 20 h later. Our results showed that 4 h oxygen-glucose deprivation plus 20 h reoxygenation caused 33.8 ± 3.4 % of neuron death, while NIR exposure significantly reduced neuronal death to 23.6 ± 2.9 %. MTT reduction rate was reduced to 75.9 ± 2.7 % by oxygen-glucose deprivation compared to normoxic controls, but NIR exposure significantly rescued MTT reduction to 87.6 ± 4.5 %. Furthermore, after oxygen-glucose deprivation, mitochondria membrane potential was reduced to 48.9 ± 4.39 % of normoxic control, while NIR exposure significantly ameliorated this reduction to 89.6 ± 13.9 % of normoxic control. Finally, NIR significantly rescued OGD-induced ATP production decline at 20 min after NIR. These findings suggest that low intensity NIR can protect neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation by rescuing mitochondrial function and restoring neuronal energetics.

  2. Human endothelial progenitor cells rescue cortical neurons from oxygen-glucose deprivation induced death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigaluppi, Susanna; Donzelli, Elisabetta; De Cristofaro, Valentina; Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi; D'Amico, Giovanna; Scuteri, Arianna; Tredici, Giovanni

    2016-09-19

    Cerebral ischemia is characterized by both acute and delayed neuronal injuries. Neuro-protection is a major issue that should be properly addressed from a pharmacological point of view, and cell-based treatment approaches are of interest due to their potential pleiotropic effects. Endothelial progenitor cells have the advantage of being mobilized from the bone marrow into the circulation, but have been less studied than other stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells. Therefore, the comparison between human endothelial progenitor cells (hEPC) and human mesenchymal progenitor cells (hMSC) in terms of efficacy in rescuing neurons from cell death after transitory ischemia is the aim of the current study, in the effort to address further directions. In vitro model of oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) on a primary culture of rodent cortical neurons was set up with different durations of exposure: 1, 2 and 3hrs with assessment of neuron survival. The 2hrs OGD was chosen for the subsequent experiments. After 2hrs OGD neurons were either placed in indirect co-culture with hMSC or hEPC or cultured in hMSC or hEPC conditioned medium and cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay. At day 2 after 2hrs OGD exposure, mean neuronal survival was 47.9±24.2%. In contrast, after treatment with hEPC and hMSC indirect co-culture was 74.1±27.3%; and 69.4±18.8%, respectively. In contrast, treatment with conditioned medium did not provide any advantage in terms of survival to OGD neurons The study shows the efficacy of hEPC in indirect co-culture to rescue neurons from cell death after OGD, comparable to that of hMSC. hEPC deserve further studies given their potential interest for ischemia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Motor cortical representation in two different strength-training modalities revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Rune Refsgaard; Osuna-Florentz, Patrick; Stevenson, Andrew James Thomas

    2017-01-01

    stimulation was used for mapping motor cortical representations (MAP) of VL and BF in an active state (~5-10% of a squat). The stimulation intensity used was slightly above active motor threshold (~105%). Results The MAP area for VL was significantly larger for the explosively trained than for the resistance...... trained (8448 ± 6121 μV and 3350 ± 1920 μV, respectively, p= 0.04). There was no difference in MAP area for BF. Discussion The larger cortical map area for VL in the explosively trained group may be due to the training of their leg muscles being more structured and frequent (i.e., number of times the leg...

  4. Motor Cortical Networks for Skilled Movements Have Dynamic Properties That Are Related to Accurate Reaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F. Putrino

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurons in the Primary Motor Cortex (MI are known to form functional ensembles with one another in order to produce voluntary movement. Neural network changes during skill learning are thought to be involved in improved fluency and accuracy of motor tasks. Unforced errors during skilled tasks provide an avenue to study network connections related to motor learning. In order to investigate network activity in MI, microwires were implanted in the MI of cats trained to perform a reaching task. Spike trains from eight groups of simultaneously recorded cells (95 neurons in total were acquired. A point process generalized linear model (GLM was developed to assess simultaneously recorded cells for functional connectivity during reaching attempts where unforced errors or no errors were made. Whilst the same groups of neurons were often functionally connected regardless of trial success, functional connectivity between neurons was significantly different at fine time scales when the outcome of task performance changed. Furthermore, connections were shown to be significantly more robust across multiple latencies during successful trials of task performance. The results of this study indicate that reach-related neurons in MI form dynamic spiking dependencies whose temporal features are highly sensitive to unforced movement errors.

  5. Conditional Deletion of PDK1 in the Forebrain Causes Neuron Loss and Increased Apoptosis during Cortical Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congyu Xu

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Decreased expression but increased activity of PDK1 has been observed in neurodegenerative disease. To study in vivo function of PDK1 in neuron survival during cortical development, we generate forebrain-specific PDK1 conditional knockout (cKO mice. We demonstrate that PDK1 cKO mice display striking neuron loss and increased apoptosis. We report that PDK1 cKO mice exhibit deficits on several behavioral tasks. Moreover, PDK1 cKO mice show decreased activities for Akt and mTOR. These results highlight an essential role of endogenous PDK1 in the maintenance of neuronal survival during cortical development.

  6. Developmental Connectivity and Molecular Phenotypes of Unique Cortical Projection Neurons that Express a Synapse-Associated Receptor Tyrosine Kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kast, Ryan J; Wu, Hsiao-Huei; Levitt, Pat

    2017-11-28

    The complex circuitry and cell-type diversity of the cerebral cortex are required for its high-level functions. The mechanisms underlying the diversification of cortical neurons during prenatal development have received substantial attention, but understanding of neuronal heterogeneity is more limited during later periods of cortical circuit maturation. To address this knowledge gap, connectivity analysis and molecular phenotyping of cortical neuron subtypes that express the developing synapse-enriched MET receptor tyrosine kinase were performed. Experiments used a MetGFP transgenic mouse line, combined with coexpression analysis of class-specific molecular markers and retrograde connectivity mapping. The results reveal that MET is expressed by a minor subset of subcerebral and a larger number of intratelencephalic projection neurons. Remarkably, MET is excluded from most layer 6 corticothalamic neurons. These findings are particularly relevant for understanding the maturation of discrete cortical circuits, given converging evidence that MET influences dendritic elaboration and glutamatergic synapse maturation. The data suggest that classically defined cortical projection classes can be further subdivided based on molecular characteristics that likely influence synaptic maturation and circuit wiring. Additionally, given that MET is classified as a high confidence autism risk gene, the data suggest that projection neuron subpopulations may be differentially vulnerable to disorder-associated genetic variation. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Sonic hedgehog promotes neurite outgrowth of cortical neurons under oxidative stress: Involving of mitochondria and energy metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Weiliang; Cui, Lili; Zhang, Cong; Zhang, Xiangjian; He, Junna; Xie, Yanzhao; Chen, Yanxia

    2017-01-01

    Oxidative stress has been demonstrated to be involved in the etiology of several neurobiological disorders. Sonic hedgehog (Shh), a secreted glycoprotein factor, has been implicated in promoting several aspects of brain remodeling process. Mitochondria may play an important role in controlling fundamental processes in neuroplasticity. However, little evidence is available about the effect and the potential mechanism of Shh on neurite outgrowth in primary cortical neurons under oxidative stress. Here, we revealed that Shh treatment significantly increased the viability of cortical neurons in a dose-dependent manner, which was damaged by hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ). Shh alleviated the apoptosis rate of H 2 O 2 -induced neurons. Shh also increased neuritogenesis injuried by H 2 O 2 in primary cortical neurons. Moreover, Shh reduced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), increased the activities of SOD and and decreased the productions of MDA. In addition, Shh protected mitochondrial functions, elevated the cellular ATP levels and amelioratesd the impairment of mitochondrial complex II activities of cortical neurons induced by H 2 O 2 . In conclusion, all these results suggest that Shh acts as a prosurvival factor playing an essential role to neurite outgrowth of cortical neuron under H 2 O 2 -induced oxidative stress, possibly through counteracting ROS release and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction and ATP as well as mitochondrial complex II activities against oxidative stress. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Embryonic stem cells and prospects for their use in regenerative medicine approaches to motor neurone disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christou, Y A; Moore, H D; Shaw, P J; Monk, P N

    2007-10-01

    Human embryonic stem cells are pluripotent cells with the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the presence of appropriate stimulatory factors and environmental cues. Their broad developmental potential has led to valuable insights into the principles of developmental and cell biology and to the proposed use of human embryonic stem cells or their differentiated progeny in regenerative medicine. This review focuses on the prospects for the use of embryonic stem cells in cell-based therapy for motor neurone disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that specifically affects upper and lower motor neurones and leads ultimately to death from respiratory failure. Stem cell-derived motor neurones could conceivably be used to replace the degenerated cells, to provide authentic substrates for drug development and screening and for furthering our understanding of disease mechanisms. However, to reliably and accurately culture motor neurones, the complex pathways by which differentiation occurs in vivo must be understood and reiterated in vitro by embryonic stem cells. Here we discuss the need for new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of motor neurone disease, the developmental processes that result in motor neurone formation in vivo, a number of experimental approaches to motor neurone production in vitro and recent progress in the application of stem cells to the treatment and understanding of motor neurone disease.

  9. Oligodendrocyte- and Neuron-Specific Nogo-A Restrict Dendritic Branching and Spine Density in the Adult Mouse Motor Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemmar, Ajmal; Chen, Chia-Chien; Weinmann, Oliver; Kast, Brigitt; Vajda, Flora; Bozeman, James; Isaad, Noel; Zuo, Yi; Schwab, Martin E

    2018-06-01

    Nogo-A has been well described as a myelin-associated inhibitor of neurite outgrowth and functional neuroregeneration after central nervous system (CNS) injury. Recently, a new role of Nogo-A has been identified as a negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the uninjured adult CNS. Nogo-A is present in neurons and oligodendrocytes. However, it is yet unclear which of these two pools regulate synaptic plasticity. To address this question we used newly generated mouse lines in which Nogo-A is specifically knocked out in (1) oligodendrocytes (oligoNogo-A KO) or (2) neurons (neuroNogo-A KO). We show that both oligodendrocyte- and neuron-specific Nogo-A KO mice have enhanced dendritic branching and spine densities in layer 2/3 cortical pyramidal neurons. These effects are compartmentalized: neuronal Nogo-A affects proximal dendrites whereas oligodendrocytic Nogo-A affects distal regions. Finally, we used two-photon laser scanning microscopy to measure the spine turnover rate of adult mouse motor cortex layer 5 cells and find that both Nogo-A KO mouse lines show enhanced spine remodeling after 4 days. Our results suggest relevant control functions of glial as well as neuronal Nogo-A for synaptic plasticity and open new possibilities for more selective and targeted plasticity enhancing strategies.

  10. 3-Hydroxybutyrate regulates energy metabolism and induces BDNF expression in cerebral cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marosi, Krisztina; Kim, Sang Woo; Moehl, Keelin; Scheibye-Knudsen, Morten; Cheng, Aiwu; Cutler, Roy; Camandola, Simonetta; Mattson, Mark P

    2016-12-01

    During fasting and vigorous exercise, a shift of brain cell energy substrate utilization from glucose to the ketone 3-hydroxybutyrate (3OHB) occurs. Studies have shown that 3OHB can protect neurons against excitotoxicity and oxidative stress, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Neurons maintained in the presence of 3OHB exhibited increased oxygen consumption and ATP production, and an elevated NAD + /NADH ratio. We found that 3OHB metabolism increases mitochondrial respiration which drives changes in expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in cultured cerebral cortical neurons. The mechanism by which 3OHB induces Bdnf gene expression involves generation of reactive oxygen species, activation of the transcription factor NF-κB, and activity of the histone acetyltransferase p300/EP300. Because BDNF plays important roles in synaptic plasticity and neuronal stress resistance, our findings suggest cellular signaling mechanisms by which 3OHB may mediate adaptive responses of neurons to fasting, exercise, and ketogenic diets. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. An in silico agent-based model demonstrates Reelin function in directing lamination of neurons during cortical development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffrey, James R; Hughes, Barry D; Britto, Joanne M; Landman, Kerry A

    2014-01-01

    The characteristic six-layered appearance of the neocortex arises from the correct positioning of pyramidal neurons during development and alterations in this process can cause intellectual disabilities and developmental delay. Malformations in cortical development arise when neurons either fail to migrate properly from the germinal zones or fail to cease migration in the correct laminar position within the cortical plate. The Reelin signalling pathway is vital for correct neuronal positioning as loss of Reelin leads to a partially inverted cortex. The precise biological function of Reelin remains controversial and debate surrounds its role as a chemoattractant or stop signal for migrating neurons. To investigate this further we developed an in silico agent-based model of cortical layer formation. Using this model we tested four biologically plausible hypotheses for neuron motility and four biologically plausible hypotheses for the loss of neuron motility (conversion from migration). A matrix of 16 combinations of motility and conversion rules was applied against the known structure of mouse cortical layers in the wild-type cortex, the Reelin-null mutant, the Dab1-null mutant and a conditional Dab1 mutant. Using this approach, many combinations of motility and conversion mechanisms can be rejected. For example, the model does not support Reelin acting as a repelling or as a stopping signal. In contrast, the study lends very strong support to the notion that the glycoprotein Reelin acts as a chemoattractant for neurons. Furthermore, the most viable proposition for the conversion mechanism is one in which conversion is affected by a motile neuron sensing in the near vicinity neurons that have already converted. Therefore, this model helps elucidate the function of Reelin during neuronal migration and cortical development.

  12. An in silico agent-based model demonstrates Reelin function in directing lamination of neurons during cortical development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James R Caffrey

    Full Text Available The characteristic six-layered appearance of the neocortex arises from the correct positioning of pyramidal neurons during development and alterations in this process can cause intellectual disabilities and developmental delay. Malformations in cortical development arise when neurons either fail to migrate properly from the germinal zones or fail to cease migration in the correct laminar position within the cortical plate. The Reelin signalling pathway is vital for correct neuronal positioning as loss of Reelin leads to a partially inverted cortex. The precise biological function of Reelin remains controversial and debate surrounds its role as a chemoattractant or stop signal for migrating neurons. To investigate this further we developed an in silico agent-based model of cortical layer formation. Using this model we tested four biologically plausible hypotheses for neuron motility and four biologically plausible hypotheses for the loss of neuron motility (conversion from migration. A matrix of 16 combinations of motility and conversion rules was applied against the known structure of mouse cortical layers in the wild-type cortex, the Reelin-null mutant, the Dab1-null mutant and a conditional Dab1 mutant. Using this approach, many combinations of motility and conversion mechanisms can be rejected. For example, the model does not support Reelin acting as a repelling or as a stopping signal. In contrast, the study lends very strong support to the notion that the glycoprotein Reelin acts as a chemoattractant for neurons. Furthermore, the most viable proposition for the conversion mechanism is one in which conversion is affected by a motile neuron sensing in the near vicinity neurons that have already converted. Therefore, this model helps elucidate the function of Reelin during neuronal migration and cortical development.

  13. Mutant TDP-43 within motor neurons drives disease onset but not progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ditsworth, Dara; Maldonado, Marcus; McAlonis-Downes, Melissa; Sun, Shuying; Seelman, Amanda; Drenner, Kevin; Arnold, Eveline; Ling, Shuo-Chien; Pizzo, Donald; Ravits, John; Cleveland, Don W; Da Cruz, Sandrine

    2017-06-01

    Mutations in TDP-43 cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal paralytic disease characterized by degeneration and premature death of motor neurons. The contribution of mutant TDP-43-mediated damage within motor neurons was evaluated using mice expressing a conditional allele of an ALS-causing TDP-43 mutant (Q331K) whose broad expression throughout the central nervous system mimics endogenous TDP-43. TDP-43 Q331K mice develop age- and mutant-dependent motor deficits from degeneration and death of motor neurons. Cre-recombinase-mediated excision of the TDP-43 Q331K gene from motor neurons is shown to delay onset of motor symptoms and appearance of TDP-43-mediated aberrant nuclear morphology, and abrogate subsequent death of motor neurons. However, reduction of mutant TDP-43 selectively in motor neurons did not prevent age-dependent degeneration of axons and neuromuscular junction loss, nor did it attenuate astrogliosis or microgliosis. Thus, disease mechanism is non-cell autonomous with mutant TDP-43 expressed in motor neurons determining disease onset but progression defined by mutant acting within other cell types.

  14. Intermediate Progenitor Cohorts Differentially Generate Cortical Layers and Require Tbr2 for Timely Acquisition of Neuronal Subtype Identity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anca B. Mihalas

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Intermediate progenitors (IPs amplify the production of pyramidal neurons, but their role in selective genesis of cortical layers or neuronal subtypes remains unclear. Using genetic lineage tracing in mice, we find that IPs destined to produce upper cortical layers first appear early in corticogenesis, by embryonic day 11.5. During later corticogenesis, IP laminar fates are progressively limited to upper layers. We examined the role of Tbr2, an IP-specific transcription factor, in laminar fate regulation using Tbr2 conditional mutant mice. Upon Tbr2 inactivation, fewer neurons were produced by immediate differentiation and laminar fates were shifted upward. Genesis of subventricular mitoses was, however, not reduced in the context of a Tbr2-null cortex. Instead, neuronal and laminar differentiation were disrupted and delayed. Our findings indicate that upper-layer genesis depends on IPs from many stages of corticogenesis and that Tbr2 regulates the tempo of laminar fate implementation for all cortical layers.

  15. Sensory-parietal cortical stimulation improves motor recovery in severe capsular infarct.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ra Gyung; Cho, Jongwook; Ree, Jinkyue; Kim, Hyung-Sun; Rosa-Neto, Pedro; Kim, Jin-Myung; Lee, Min-Cheol; Kim, Hyoung-Ihl

    2016-12-01

    The prevalence of subcortical white matter strokes in elderly patients is on the rise, but these patients show mixed responses to conventional rehabilitative interventions. To examine whether cortical electrical stimulation can promote motor recovery after white matter stroke, we delivered stimulation to a small or wide region of sensory-parietal cortex for two weeks in a rodent model of circumscribed subcortical capsular infarct. The sham-operated group (SOG) showed persistent and severe motor impairments together with decreased activation in bilateral sensorimotor cortices and striatum. In contrast, sensory-parietal cortex stimulation significantly improved motor recovery: final recovery levels were 72.9% of prelesion levels in the wide stimulation group (WSG) and 37% of prelesion levels in the small stimulation group (SSG). The microPET imaging showed reversal of cortical diaschisis in both groups: in both hemispheres for the WSG, and in the hemisphere ipsilateral to stimulation in the SSG. In addition, we observed activation of the corpus callosum and subcortical corticostriatal structures after stimulation. The results from the c-Fos mapping study were grossly consistent with the microPET imaging. Sensory-parietal cortex stimulation may therefore be a useful strategy for overcoming the limits of rehabilitative training in patients with severe forms of subcortical capsular infarct. © The Author(s) 2015.

  16. Mapping the dynamics of cortical neuroplasticity of skilled motor learning using micro X-ray fluorescence and histofluorescence imaging of zinc in the rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaverdashvili, Mariam; Paterson, Phyllis G.

    2017-01-01

    Synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence imaging (XFI) of zinc (Zn) has been recently implemented to understand the efficiency of various therapeutic interventions targeting post-stroke neuroprotection and neuroplasticity. However, it is uncertain if micro XFI can resolve neuroplasticity-induced changes. Thus, we explored if learning-associated behavioral changes would be accompanied by changes in cortical Zn concentration measured by XFI in healthy adult rats. Proficiency in a skilled reach-to-eat task during early and late stages of motor learning served as a functional measure of neuroplasticity. c-Fos protein and vesicular Zn expression were employed as indirect neuronal measures of brain plasticity. A total Zn map (20 × 20 × 30 μm3 resolution) generated by micro XFI failed to reflect increases in either c-Fos or vesicular Zn in the motor cortex contralateral to the trained forelimb or improved proficiency in the skilled reaching task. Remarkably, vesicular Zn increased in the late stage of motor learning along with a concurrent decrease in the number of c-fos-ip neurons relative to the early stage of motor learning. This inverse dynamics of c-fos and vesicular Zn level as the motor skill advances suggest that a qualitatively different neural population, comprised of fewer active but more efficiently connected neurons, supports a skilled action in the late versus early stage of motor learning. The lack of sensitivity of the XFI-generated Zn map to visualize the plasticity-associated changes in vesicular Zn suggests that the Zn level measured by micro XFI should not be used as a surrogate marker of neuroplasticity in response to the acquisition of skilled motor actions. Nanoscopic XFI could be explored in future as a means of imaging these subtle physiological changes. PMID:27840249

  17. NMDA receptors mediate neuron-to-glia signaling in mouse cortical astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalo, Ulyana; Pankratov, Yuri; Kirchhoff, Frank; North, R Alan; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2006-03-08

    Chemical transmission between neurons and glial cells is an important element of integration in the CNS. Here, we describe currents activated by NMDA in cortical astrocytes, identified in transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein under control of the human glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter. Astrocytes were studied by whole-cell voltage clamp either in slices or after gentle nonenzymatic mechanical dissociation. Acutely isolated astrocytes showed a three-component response to glutamate. The initial rapid component was blocked by 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-nitro-2,3-dioxo-benzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide (NBQX), which is an antagonist of AMPA receptors (IC50, 2 microM), and the NMDA receptor antagonist D-AP-5 blocked the later sustained component (IC50, 0.6 microM). The third component of glutamate application response was sensitive to D,L-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate, a glutamate transporter blocker. Fast application of NMDA evoked concentration-dependent inward currents (EC50, 0.3 microM); these showed use-dependent block by (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo [a,d] cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801). These NMDA-evoked currents were linearly dependent on membrane potential and were not affected by extracellular magnesium at concentrations up to 10 mM. Electrical stimulation of axons in layer IV-VI induced a complex inward current in astrocytes situated in the cortical layer II, part of which was sensitive to MK-801 at holding potential -80 mV and was not affected by the AMPA glutamate receptor antagonist NBQX. The fast miniature spontaneous currents were observed in cortical astrocytes in slices as well. These currents exhibited both AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated components. We conclude that cortical astrocytes express functional NMDA receptors that are devoid of Mg2+ block, and these receptors are involved in neuronal-glial signal transmission.

  18. 14,15-EET promotes mitochondrial biogenesis and protects cortical neurons against oxygen/glucose deprivation-induced apoptosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Lai; Chen, Man; Yuan, Lin; Xiang, Yuting; Zheng, Ruimao; Zhu, Shigong

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • 14,15-EET inhibits OGD-induced apoptosis in cortical neurons. • Mitochondrial biogenesis of cortical neurons is promoted by 14,15-EET. • 14,15-EET preserves mitochondrial function of cortical neurons under OGD. • CREB mediates effect of 14,15-EET on mitochondrial biogenesis and function. - Abstract: 14,15-Epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (14,15-EET), a metabolite of arachidonic acid, is enriched in the brain cortex and exerts protective effect against neuronal apoptosis induced by ischemia/reperfusion. Although apoptosis has been well recognized to be closely associated with mitochondrial biogenesis and function, it is still unclear whether the neuroprotective effect of 14,15-EET is mediated by promotion of mitochondrial biogenesis and function in cortical neurons under the condition of oxygen–glucose deprivation (OGD). In this study, we found that 14,15-EET improved cell viability and inhibited apoptosis of cortical neurons. 14,15-EET significantly increased the mitochondrial mass and the ratio of mitochondrial DNA to nuclear DNA. Key makers of mitochondrial biogenesis, peroxisome proliferator activator receptor gamma-coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α), nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), were elevated at both mRNA and protein levels in the cortical neurons treated with 14,15-EET. Moreover, 14,15-EET markedly attenuated the decline of mitochondrial membrane potential, reduced ROS, while increased ATP synthesis. Knockdown of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB) by siRNA blunted the up-regulation of PGC-1α and NRF-1 stimulated by 14,15-EET, and consequently abolished the neuroprotective effect of 14,15-EET. Our results indicate that 14,15-EET protects neurons from OGD-induced apoptosis by promoting mitochondrial biogenesis and function through CREB mediated activation of PGC-1α and NRF-1

  19. 14,15-EET promotes mitochondrial biogenesis and protects cortical neurons against oxygen/glucose deprivation-induced apoptosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Lai; Chen, Man; Yuan, Lin; Xiang, Yuting [Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing (China); Zheng, Ruimao, E-mail: rmzheng@pku.edu.cn [Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing (China); Zhu, Shigong, E-mail: sgzhu@bjmu.edu.cn [Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing (China)

    2014-07-18

    Highlights: • 14,15-EET inhibits OGD-induced apoptosis in cortical neurons. • Mitochondrial biogenesis of cortical neurons is promoted by 14,15-EET. • 14,15-EET preserves mitochondrial function of cortical neurons under OGD. • CREB mediates effect of 14,15-EET on mitochondrial biogenesis and function. - Abstract: 14,15-Epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (14,15-EET), a metabolite of arachidonic acid, is enriched in the brain cortex and exerts protective effect against neuronal apoptosis induced by ischemia/reperfusion. Although apoptosis has been well recognized to be closely associated with mitochondrial biogenesis and function, it is still unclear whether the neuroprotective effect of 14,15-EET is mediated by promotion of mitochondrial biogenesis and function in cortical neurons under the condition of oxygen–glucose deprivation (OGD). In this study, we found that 14,15-EET improved cell viability and inhibited apoptosis of cortical neurons. 14,15-EET significantly increased the mitochondrial mass and the ratio of mitochondrial DNA to nuclear DNA. Key makers of mitochondrial biogenesis, peroxisome proliferator activator receptor gamma-coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α), nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), were elevated at both mRNA and protein levels in the cortical neurons treated with 14,15-EET. Moreover, 14,15-EET markedly attenuated the decline of mitochondrial membrane potential, reduced ROS, while increased ATP synthesis. Knockdown of cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB) by siRNA blunted the up-regulation of PGC-1α and NRF-1 stimulated by 14,15-EET, and consequently abolished the neuroprotective effect of 14,15-EET. Our results indicate that 14,15-EET protects neurons from OGD-induced apoptosis by promoting mitochondrial biogenesis and function through CREB mediated activation of PGC-1α and NRF-1.

  20. Intracerebroventricular Delivery in Mice for Motor Neuron Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nizzardo, M; Rizzuti, M

    2017-01-01

    The use of antisense oligonucleotides to target specific mRNA sequences represents a promising therapeutic strategy for neurological disorders. Recent advances in antisense technology enclose the development of phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (MO), which is one of the best candidates for molecular therapies due to MO's excellent pharmacological profile.Nevertheless, the route of administration of antisense compounds represents a critical issue in the neurological field. Particularly, as regards motor neuron diseases, intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection is undoubtedly the most efficient procedure to directly deliver therapeutic molecules in the central nervous system (CNS). Indeed, we recently demonstrated the outstanding efficacy of the MO antisense approach by its direct administration to CNS of the transgenic mouse models of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).Here, we describe methods to perform the ICV delivery of MO in neonatal SMA mice and in adult ALS mice.

  1. Pragmatics in action: indirect requests engage theory of mind areas and the cortical motor network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ackeren, Markus J; Casasanto, Daniel; Bekkering, Harold; Hagoort, Peter; Rueschemeyer, Shirley-Ann

    2012-11-01

    Research from the past decade has shown that understanding the meaning of words and utterances (i.e., abstracted symbols) engages the same systems we used to perceive and interact with the physical world in a content-specific manner. For example, understanding the word "grasp" elicits activation in the cortical motor network, that is, part of the neural substrate involved in planned and executing a grasping action. In the embodied literature, cortical motor activation during language comprehension is thought to reflect motor simulation underlying conceptual knowledge [note that outside the embodied framework, other explanations for the link between action and language are offered, e.g., Mahon, B. Z., & Caramazza, A. A critical look at the embodied cognition hypothesis and a new proposal for grouding conceptual content. Journal of Physiology, 102, 59-70, 2008; Hagoort, P. On Broca, brain, and binding: A new framework. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 416-423, 2005]. Previous research has supported the view that the coupling between language and action is flexible, and reading an action-related word form is not sufficient for cortical motor activation [Van Dam, W. O., van Dijk, M., Bekkering, H., & Rueschemeyer, S.-A. Flexibility in embodied lexical-semantic representations. Human Brain Mapping, doi: 10.1002/hbm.21365, 2011]. The current study goes one step further by addressing the necessity of action-related word forms for motor activation during language comprehension. Subjects listened to indirect requests (IRs) for action during an fMRI session. IRs for action are speech acts in which access to an action concept is required, although it is not explicitly encoded in the language. For example, the utterance "It is hot here!" in a room with a window is likely to be interpreted as a request to open the window. However, the same utterance in a desert will be interpreted as a statement. The results indicate (1) that comprehension of IR sentences activates cortical

  2. Studies on motor neuron disease with cranial magnetic resonance imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitsui, Yoshiyuki; Takahashi, Mitsuo; Nakamura, Yusaku; Kitaguchi, Masataka; Yagi, Yuji (Kinki Univ., Osaka (Japan). School of Medicine)

    1992-05-01

    The present study was performed to examine the pyramidal tracts of the brain in both 51 normal subjects (21 male and 30 female subjects; mean age of 43.5[+-]16.1 years) and 12 patients with motor neuron disease (6 male and 6 female patients; mean age of 57.4[+-]7.9 years), using the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The 12 patients with motor neuron disease (MND) comprised 7 suffering from spinal progressive muscular atrophy (SPMA) and 5 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The MRI used in this study was of both short spin echo and long spin echo sequence. Of the 52 normal subjects, 24 of them (47%) had the T2 prolonged small areas (high signal intensity areas) at the posterior limb of internal capsule. These findings were not found in the normal subjects over fifty years old. No similar finding was detected in the pyramidal tracts except the posterior limb of internal capsule. On the other hand, 8 patients with MND (67%) proved to have the high signal intensity areas in the pyramidal tracts. Moreover, these high intensity areas were extended from the crus cerebri to corona radiata in 7 patients (58%). In all patients with ALS, these areas were extended in whole areas of the pyramidal tracts, and the similar findings were also found in two patients with SPMA. These findings were demonstrated to be more extensive than those in the normal subjects. The results thus obtained warrant us to conclude that cranial MRI is useful to detect the degeneration of the pyramidal tracts of MND patients. (author).

  3. Studies on motor neuron disease with cranial magnetic resonance imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitsui, Yoshiyuki; Takahashi, Mitsuo; Nakamura, Yusaku; Kitaguchi, Masataka; Yagi, Yuji

    1992-01-01

    The present study was performed to examine the pyramidal tracts of the brain in both 51 normal subjects (21 male and 30 female subjects; mean age of 43.5±16.1 years) and 12 patients with motor neuron disease (6 male and 6 female patients; mean age of 57.4±7.9 years), using the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The 12 patients with motor neuron disease (MND) comprised 7 suffering from spinal progressive muscular atrophy (SPMA) and 5 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The MRI used in this study was of both short spin echo and long spin echo sequence. Of the 52 normal subjects, 24 of them (47%) had the T2 prolonged small areas (high signal intensity areas) at the posterior limb of internal capsule. These findings were not found in the normal subjects over fifty years old. No similar finding was detected in the pyramidal tracts except the posterior limb of internal capsule. On the other hand, 8 patients with MND (67%) proved to have the high signal intensity areas in the pyramidal tracts. Moreover, these high intensity areas were extended from the crus cerebri to corona radiata in 7 patients (58%). In all patients with ALS, these areas were extended in whole areas of the pyramidal tracts, and the similar findings were also found in two patients with SPMA. These findings were demonstrated to be more extensive than those in the normal subjects. The results thus obtained warrant us to conclude that cranial MRI is useful to detect the degeneration of the pyramidal tracts of MND patients. (author)

  4. Motor thalamus integration of cortical, cerebellar and basal ganglia information: implications for normal and parkinsonian conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clémentine eBosch-Bouju

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Motor thalamus (Mthal is implicated in the control of movement because it is strategically located between motor areas of the cerebral cortex and motor-related subcortical structures, such as the cerebellum and basal ganglia (BG. The role of BG and cerebellum in motor control has been extensively studied but how Mthal processes inputs from these two networks is unclear. Specifically, there is considerable debate about the role of BG inputs on Mthal activity. This review summarises anatomical and physiological knowledge of the Mthal and its afferents and reviews current theories of Mthal function by discussing the impact of cortical, BG and cerebellar inputs on Mthal activity. One view is that Mthal activity in BG and cerebellar-receiving territories is primarily driven by glutamatergic inputs from the cortex or cerebellum, respectively, whereas BG inputs are modulatory and do not strongly determine Mthal activity. This theory is steeped in the assumption that the Mthal processes information in the same way as sensory thalamus, through interactions of modulatory inputs with a single driver input. Another view, from BG models, is that BG exert primary control on the BG-receiving Mthal so it effectively relays information from BG to cortex. We propose a new super-integrator theory where each Mthal territory processes multiple driver or driver-like inputs (cortex and BG, cortex and cerebellum, which are the result of considerable integrative processing. Thus, BG and cerebellar Mthal territories assimilate motivational and proprioceptive motor information previously integrated in cortico-BG and cortico-cerebellar networks, respectively, to develop sophisticated motor signals that are transmitted in parallel pathways to cortical areas for optimal generation of motor programmes. Finally, we briefly review the pathophysiological changes that occur in the BG in parkinsonism and generate testable hypotheses about how these may affect processing of inputs

  5. Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome protein SIL1 regulates motor neuron subtype-selective ER stress in ALS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Filézac de L'Etang, Audrey; Maharjan, Niran; Cordeiro Braña, Marisa; Ruegsegger, Céline; Rehmann, Ruth; Goswami, Anand; Roos, Andreas; Troost, Dirk; Schneider, Bernard L.; Weis, Joachim; Saxena, Smita

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying motor neuron subtype-selective endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and associated axonal pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain unclear. Here we show that the molecular environment of the ER between motor neuron subtypes is distinct, with characteristic

  6. Non-viral gene therapy that targets motor neurons in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary-Louise eRogers

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available A major challenge in neurological gene therapy is safe delivery of transgenes to sufficient cell numbers from the circulation or periphery. This is particularly difficult for diseases involving spinal cord motor neurons such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. We have examined the feasibility of non-viral gene delivery to spinal motor neurons from intraperitoneal injections of plasmids carried by ‘immunogene’ nanoparticles targeted for axonal retrograde transport using antibodies. PEGylated polyethylenimine (PEI-PEG12 as DNA carrier was conjugated to an antibody (MLR2 to the neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR. We used a plasmid (pVIVO2 designed for in vivo gene delivery that produces minimal immune responses, has improved nuclear entry into post mitotic cells and also expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP. MLR2-PEI-PEG12 carried pVIVO2 and was specific for mouse motor neurons in mixed cultures containing astrocytes. While only 8% of motor neurons expressed GFP 72 h post transfection in vitro, when the immunogene was given intraperitonealy to neonatal C57BL/6J mice GFP specific motor neuron expression was observed in 25.4% of lumbar, 18.3% of thoracic and 17.0 % of cervical motor neurons, 72 h post transfection. PEI-PEG12 carrying pVIVO2 by itself did not transfect motor neurons in vivo, demonstrating the need for specificity via the p75NTR antibody MLR2. This is the first time that specific transfection of spinal motor neurons has been achieved from peripheral delivery of plasmid DNA as part of a non-viral gene delivery agent. These results stress the specificity and feasibility of immunogene delivery targeted for p75NTR expressing motor neurons, but suggests that further improvements are required to increase the transfection efficiency of motor neurons in vivo.

  7. Interaction of motor training and intermittent theta burst stimulation in modulating motor cortical plasticity: influence of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mina Lee

    Full Text Available Cortical physiology in human motor cortex is influenced by behavioral motor training (MT as well as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation protocol such as intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS. This study aimed to test whether MT and iTBS can interact with each other to produce additive changes in motor cortical physiology. We hypothesized that potential interaction between MT and iTBS would be dependent on BDNF Val66Met polymorphism, which is known to affect neuroplasticity in the human motor cortex. Eighty two healthy volunteers were genotyped for BDNF polymorphism. Thirty subjects were assigned for MT alone, 23 for iTBS alone, and 29 for MT + iTBS paradigms. TMS indices for cortical excitability and motor map areas were measured prior to and after each paradigm. MT alone significantly increased the motor cortical excitability and expanded the motor map areas. The iTBS alone paradigm also enhanced excitability and increased the motor map areas to a slightly greater extent than MT alone. A combination of MT and iTBS resulted in the largest increases in the cortical excitability, and the representational motor map expansion of MT + iTBS was significantly greater than MT or iTBS alone only in Val/Val genotype. As a result, the additive interaction between MT and iTBS was highly dependent on BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Our results may have clinical relevance in designing rehabilitative strategies that combine therapeutic cortical stimulation and physical exercise for patients with motor disabilities.

  8. Interaction of motor training and intermittent theta burst stimulation in modulating motor cortical plasticity: influence of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mina; Kim, Song E; Kim, Won Sup; Lee, Jungyeun; Yoo, Hye Kyung; Park, Kee-Duk; Choi, Kyoung-Gyu; Jeong, Seon-Yong; Kim, Byung Gon; Lee, Hyang Woon

    2013-01-01

    Cortical physiology in human motor cortex is influenced by behavioral motor training (MT) as well as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation protocol such as intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS). This study aimed to test whether MT and iTBS can interact with each other to produce additive changes in motor cortical physiology. We hypothesized that potential interaction between MT and iTBS would be dependent on BDNF Val66Met polymorphism, which is known to affect neuroplasticity in the human motor cortex. Eighty two healthy volunteers were genotyped for BDNF polymorphism. Thirty subjects were assigned for MT alone, 23 for iTBS alone, and 29 for MT + iTBS paradigms. TMS indices for cortical excitability and motor map areas were measured prior to and after each paradigm. MT alone significantly increased the motor cortical excitability and expanded the motor map areas. The iTBS alone paradigm also enhanced excitability and increased the motor map areas to a slightly greater extent than MT alone. A combination of MT and iTBS resulted in the largest increases in the cortical excitability, and the representational motor map expansion of MT + iTBS was significantly greater than MT or iTBS alone only in Val/Val genotype. As a result, the additive interaction between MT and iTBS was highly dependent on BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Our results may have clinical relevance in designing rehabilitative strategies that combine therapeutic cortical stimulation and physical exercise for patients with motor disabilities.

  9. Spinal muscular atrophy: Selective motor neuron loss and global defect in the assembly of ribonucleoproteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beattie, Christine E; Kolb, Stephen J

    2018-08-15

    Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by deletions or mutations in the SMN1 gene that result in reduced expression of the SMN protein. The SMN protein is an essential molecular chaperone that is required for the biogenesis of multiple ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes including spliceosomal small nuclear RNPs (snRNPs). Reductions in SMN expression result in a reduced abundance of snRNPs and to downstream RNA splicing alterations. SMN is also present in axons and dendrites and appears to have important roles in the formation of neuronal mRNA-protein complexes during development or neuronal repair. Thus, SMA is an exemplar, selective motor neuron disorder that is caused by defects in fundamental RNA processing events. A detailed molecular understanding of how motor neurons fail, and why other neurons do not, in SMA will yield important principals about motor neuron maintenance and neuronal specificity in neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Mitochondrial dysfunction precedes depression of AMPK/AKT signaling in insulin resistance induced by high glucose in primary cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yunhua; Liu, Jing; Shi, Le; Tang, Ying; Gao, Dan; Long, Jiangang; Liu, Jiankang

    2016-06-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated brain insulin signaling impairment and mitochondrial dysfunction in diabetes. Hyperinsulinemia and hyperlipidemia arising from diabetes have been linked to neuronal insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia induces peripheral sensory neuronal impairment and mitochondrial dysfunction. However, how brain glucose at diabetic conditions elicits cortical neuronal insulin signaling impairment and mitochondrial dysfunction remains unknown. In the present study, we cultured primary cortical neurons with high glucose levels and investigated the neuronal mitochondrial function and insulin response. We found that mitochondrial function was declined in presence of 10 mmol/L glucose, prior to the depression of AKT signaling in primary cortical neurons. We further demonstrated that the cerebral cortex of db/db mice exhibited both insulin resistance and loss of mitochondrial complex components. Moreover, we found that adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) inactivation is involved in high glucose-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance in primary cortical neurons and neuroblastoma cells, as well as in cerebral cortex of db/db mice, and all these impairments can be rescued by mitochondrial activator, resveratrol. Taken together, our results extend the finding that high glucose (≥10 mmol/L) comparable to diabetic brain extracellular glucose level leads to neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction and resultant insulin resistance, and targeting mitochondria-AMPK signaling might be a promising strategy to protect against diabetes-related neuronal impairment in central nerves system. We found that high glucose (≥10 mmol/L), comparable to diabetic brain extracellular glucose level, leads to neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction and resultant insulin resistance in an AMPK-dependent manner, and targeting mitochondria-AMPK signaling might be a promising strategy to protect against diabetes-related neuronal impairment in central

  11. State and location dependence of action potential metabolic cost in cortical pyramidal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallermann, Stefan; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Stuart, Greg J; Kole, Maarten H P

    2012-06-03

    Action potential generation and conduction requires large quantities of energy to restore Na(+) and K(+) ion gradients. We investigated the subcellular location and voltage dependence of this metabolic cost in rat neocortical pyramidal neurons. Using Na(+)/K(+) charge overlap as a measure of action potential energy efficiency, we found that action potential initiation in the axon initial segment (AIS) and forward propagation into the axon were energetically inefficient, depending on the resting membrane potential. In contrast, action potential backpropagation into dendrites was efficient. Computer simulations predicted that, although the AIS and nodes of Ranvier had the highest metabolic cost per membrane area, action potential backpropagation into the dendrites and forward propagation into axon collaterals dominated energy consumption in cortical pyramidal neurons. Finally, we found that the high metabolic cost of action potential initiation and propagation down the axon is a trade-off between energy minimization and maximization of the conduction reliability of high-frequency action potentials.

  12. BDNF heightens the sensitivity of motor neurons to excitotoxic insults through activation of TrkB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Peter; Kalb, Robert G.; Walton, K. D. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    The survival promoting and neuroprotective actions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are well known but under certain circumstances this growth factor can also exacerbate excitotoxic insults to neurons. Prior exploration of the receptor through which BDNF exerts this action on motor neurons deflects attention away from p75. Here we investigated the possibility that BDNF acts through the receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkB, to confer on motor neurons sensitivity to excitotoxic challenge. We blocked BDNF activation of TrkB using a dominant negative TrkB mutant or a TrkB function blocking antibody, and found that this protected motor neurons against excitotoxic insult in cultures of mixed spinal cord neurons. Addition of a function blocking antibody to BDNF to mixed spinal cord neuron cultures is also neuroprotective indicating that endogenously produced BDNF participates in vulnerability to excitotoxicity. We next examined the intracellular signaling cascades that are engaged upon TrkB activation. Previously we found that inhibition of the phosphatidylinositide-3'-kinase (PI3'K) pathway blocks BDNF-induced excitotoxic sensitivity. Here we show that expression of a constitutively active catalytic subunit of PI3'K, p110, confers excitotoxic sensitivity (ES) upon motor neurons not incubated with BDNF. Parallel studies with purified motor neurons confirm that these events are likely to be occuring specifically within motor neurons. The abrogation of BDNF's capacity to accentuate excitotoxic insults may make it a more attractive neuroprotective agent.

  13. Cortical neurons and networks are dormant but fully responsive during isoelectric brain state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altwegg-Boussac, Tristan; Schramm, Adrien E; Ballestero, Jimena; Grosselin, Fanny; Chavez, Mario; Lecas, Sarah; Baulac, Michel; Naccache, Lionel; Demeret, Sophie; Navarro, Vincent; Mahon, Séverine; Charpier, Stéphane

    2017-09-01

    A continuous isoelectric electroencephalogram reflects an interruption of endogenously-generated activity in cortical networks and systematically results in a complete dissolution of conscious processes. This electro-cerebral inactivity occurs during various brain disorders, including hypothermia, drug intoxication, long-lasting anoxia and brain trauma. It can also be induced in a therapeutic context, following the administration of high doses of barbiturate-derived compounds, to interrupt a hyper-refractory status epilepticus. Although altered sensory responses can be occasionally observed on an isoelectric electroencephalogram, the electrical membrane properties and synaptic responses of individual neurons during this cerebral state remain largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to characterize the intracellular correlates of a barbiturate-induced isoelectric electroencephalogram and to analyse the sensory-evoked synaptic responses that can emerge from a brain deprived of spontaneous electrical activity. We first examined the sensory responsiveness from patients suffering from intractable status epilepticus and treated by administration of thiopental. Multimodal sensory responses could be evoked on the flat electroencephalogram, including visually-evoked potentials that were significantly amplified and delayed, with a high trial-to-trial reproducibility compared to awake healthy subjects. Using an analogous pharmacological procedure to induce prolonged electro-cerebral inactivity in the rat, we could describe its cortical and subcortical intracellular counterparts. Neocortical, hippocampal and thalamo-cortical neurons were all silent during the isoelectric state and displayed a flat membrane potential significantly hyperpolarized compared with spontaneously active control states. Nonetheless, all recorded neurons could fire action potentials in response to intracellularly injected depolarizing current pulses and their specific intrinsic

  14. The Gemin associates of survival motor neuron are required for motor function in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Rebecca; Cauchi, Ruben J

    2013-01-01

    Membership of the survival motor neuron (SMN) complex extends to nine factors, including the SMN protein, the product of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) disease gene, Gemins 2-8 and Unrip. The best-characterised function of this macromolecular machine is the assembly of the Sm-class of uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) particles and each SMN complex member has a key role during this process. So far, however, only little is known about the function of the individual Gemin components in vivo. Here, we make use of the Drosophila model organism to uncover loss-of-function phenotypes of Gemin2, Gemin3 and Gemin5, which together with SMN form the minimalistic fly SMN complex. We show that ectopic overexpression of the dead helicase Gem3(ΔN) mutant or knockdown of Gemin3 result in similar motor phenotypes, when restricted to muscle, and in combination cause lethality, hence suggesting that Gem3(ΔN) overexpression mimics a loss-of-function. Based on the localisation pattern of Gem3(ΔN), we predict that the nucleus is the primary site of the antimorphic or dominant-negative mechanism of Gem3(ΔN)-mediated interference. Interestingly, phenotypes induced by human SMN overexpression in Drosophila exhibit similarities to those induced by overexpression of Gem3(ΔN). Through enhanced knockdown we also uncover a requirement of Gemin2, Gemin3 and Gemin5 for viability and motor behaviour, including locomotion as well as flight, in muscle. Notably, in the case of Gemin3 and Gemin5, such function also depends on adequate levels of the respective protein in neurons. Overall, these findings lead us to speculate that absence of any one member is sufficient to arrest the SMN-Gemins complex function in a nucleocentric pathway, which is critical for motor function in vivo.

  15. Proneural Transcription Factors Regulate Different Steps of Cortical Neuron Migration through Rnd-Mediated Inhibition of RhoA Signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacary, Emilie; Heng, Julian; Azzarelli, Roberta; Riou, Philippe; Castro, Diogo; Lebel-Potter, Mélanie; Parras, Carlos; Bell, Donald M.; Ridley, Anne J.; Parsons, Maddy; Guillemot, François

    2011-01-01

    Summary Little is known of the intracellular machinery that controls the motility of newborn neurons. We have previously shown that the proneural protein Neurog2 promotes the migration of nascent cortical neurons by inducing the expression of the atypical Rho GTPase Rnd2. Here, we show that another proneural factor, Ascl1, promotes neuronal migration in the cortex through direct regulation of a second Rnd family member, Rnd3. Both Rnd2 and Rnd3 promote neuronal migration by inhibiting RhoA signaling, but they control distinct steps of the migratory process, multipolar to bipolar transition in the intermediate zone and locomotion in the cortical plate, respectively. Interestingly, these divergent functions directly result from the distinct subcellular distributions of the two Rnd proteins. Because Rnd proteins also regulate progenitor divisions and neurite outgrowth, we propose that proneural factors, through spatiotemporal regulation of Rnd proteins, integrate the process of neuronal migration with other events in the neurogenic program. PMID:21435554

  16. The Marine Guanidine Alkaloid Crambescidin 816 Induces Calcium Influx and Cytotoxicity in Primary Cultures of Cortical Neurons through Glutamate Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Aida G; Juncal, Andrea Boente; Silva, Siguara B L; Thomas, Olivier P; Martín Vázquez, Víctor; Alfonso, Amparo; Vieytes, Mercedes R; Vale, Carmen; Botana, Luís M

    2017-07-19

    Crambescidin 816 is a guanidine alkaloid produced by the sponge Crambe crambe with known antitumoral activity. While the information describing the effects of this alkaloid in central neurons is scarce, Cramb816 is known to block voltage dependent calcium channels being selective for L-type channels. Moreover, Cramb816 reduced neuronal viability through an unknown mechanism. Here, we aimed to describe the toxic activity of Cramb816 in cortical neurons. Since calcium influx is considered the main mechanism responsible for neuronal cell death, the effects of Cramb816 in the cytosolic calcium concentration of cortical neurons were studied. The alkaloid decreased neuronal viability and induced a dose-dependent increase in cytosolic calcium that was also related to the presence of calcium in the extracellular media. The increase in calcium influx was age dependent, being higher in younger neurons. Moreover, this effect was prevented by glutamate receptor antagonists, which did not fully block the cytotoxic effect of Cramb816 after 24 h of treatment but completely prevented Cramb816 cytotoxicity after 10 min exposure. Therefore, the findings presented herein provide new insights into the cytotoxic effect of Cramb816 in cortical neurons.

  17. Imaging separation of neuronal from vascular effects of cocaine on rat cortical brain in vivo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan, Z.; Du, C.; Luo, Z.; Volkow, N.D.; Pan, Y.

    2011-01-01

    MRI techniques to study brain function assume coupling between neuronal activity, metabolism and flow. However, recent evidence of physiological uncoupling between neuronal and cerebrovascular events highlights the need for methods to simultaneously measure these three properties. We report a multimodality optical approach that integrates dual-wavelength laser speckle imaging (measures changes in blood flow, blood volume and hemoglobin oxygenation), digital-frequency-ramping optical coherence tomography (images quantitative 3D vascular network) and Rhod2 fluorescence (images intracellular calcium for measure of neuronal activity) at high spatiotemporal resolutions (30 (micro)m, 10 Hz) and over a large field of view (3 x 5 mm 2 ). We apply it to assess cocaine's effects in rat cortical brain and show an immediate decrease 3.5 ± 0.9 min, phase (1) in the oxygen content of hemoglobin and the cerebral blood flow followed by an overshoot 7.1 ± 0.2 min, phase (2) lasting over 20 min whereas Ca 2+ increased immediately (peaked at t = 4.1 ± 0.4 min) and remained elevated. This enabled us to identify a delay (2.9 ± 0.5 min) between peak neuronal and vascular responses in phase 2. The ability of this multimodality optical approach for simultaneous imaging at high spatiotemporal resolutions permits us to distinguish the vascular versus cellular changes of the brain, thus complimenting other neuroimaging modalities for brain functional studies (e. g., PET, fMRI).

  18. Imaging separation of neuronal from vascular effects of cocaine on rat cortical brain in vivo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuan, Z.; Du, C.; Yuan, Z.; Luo, Z.; Volkow, N.D.; Pan, Y.; Du, C.

    2010-09-08

    MRI techniques to study brain function assume coupling between neuronal activity, metabolism and flow. However, recent evidence of physiological uncoupling between neuronal and cerebrovascular events highlights the need for methods to simultaneously measure these three properties. We report a multimodality optical approach that integrates dual-wavelength laser speckle imaging (measures changes in blood flow, blood volume and hemoglobin oxygenation), digital-frequency-ramping optical coherence tomography (images quantitative 3D vascular network) and Rhod2 fluorescence (images intracellular calcium for measure of neuronal activity) at high spatiotemporal resolutions (30 {micro}m, 10 Hz) and over a large field of view (3 x 5 mm{sup 2}). We apply it to assess cocaine's effects in rat cortical brain and show an immediate decrease 3.5 {+-} 0.9 min, phase (1) in the oxygen content of hemoglobin and the cerebral blood flow followed by an overshoot 7.1 {+-} 0.2 min, phase (2) lasting over 20 min whereas Ca{sup 2+} increased immediately (peaked at t = 4.1 {+-} 0.4 min) and remained elevated. This enabled us to identify a delay (2.9 {+-} 0.5 min) between peak neuronal and vascular responses in phase 2. The ability of this multimodality optical approach for simultaneous imaging at high spatiotemporal resolutions permits us to distinguish the vascular versus cellular changes of the brain, thus complimenting other neuroimaging modalities for brain functional studies (e. g., PET, fMRI).

  19. Global ablation of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter increases glycolysis in cortical neurons subjected to energetic stressors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Matthew; Elustondo, Pia A; Warford, Jordan; Thirumaran, Aruloli; Pavlov, Evgeny V; Robertson, George S

    2017-08-01

    The effects of global mitochondrial calcium (Ca 2+ ) uniporter (MCU) deficiency on hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury, neuronal Ca 2+ handling, bioenergetics and hypoxic preconditioning (HPC) were examined. Forebrain mitochondria isolated from global MCU nulls displayed markedly reduced Ca 2+ uptake and Ca 2+ -induced opening of the membrane permeability transition pore. Despite evidence that these effects should be neuroprotective, global MCU nulls and wild-type (WT) mice suffered comparable HI brain damage. Energetic stress enhanced glycolysis and depressed Complex I activity in global MCU null, relative to WT, cortical neurons. HI reduced forebrain NADH levels more in global MCU nulls than WT mice suggesting that increased glycolytic consumption of NADH suppressed Complex I activity. Compared to WT neurons, pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) was hyper-phosphorylated in MCU nulls at several sites that lower the supply of substrates for the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Elevation of cytosolic Ca 2+ with glutamate or ionomycin decreased PDH phosphorylation in MCU null neurons suggesting the use of alternative mitochondrial Ca 2+ transport. Under basal conditions, global MCU nulls showed similar increases of Ca 2+ handling genes in the hippocampus as WT mice subjected to HPC. We propose that long-term adaptations, common to HPC, in global MCU nulls compromise resistance to HI brain injury and disrupt HPC.

  20. Alteration of protein folding and degradation in motor neuron diseases : Implications and protective functions of small heat shock proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carra, Serena; Crippa, Valeria; Rusmini, Paola; Boncoraglio, Alessandra; Minoia, Melania; Giorgetti, Elisa; Kampinga, Harm H.; Poletti, Angelo

    Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are neurodegenerative disorders that specifically affect the survival and function of upper and/or lower motor neurons. Since motor neurons are responsible for the control of voluntary muscular movement, MNDs are characterized by muscle spasticity, weakness and atrophy.

  1. Cortical disconnection of the ipsilesional primary motor cortex is associated with gait speed and upper extremity motor impairment in chronic left hemispheric stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Denise M; Fridriksson, Julius; Stewart, Jill C; Richardson, Jessica D; Rorden, Chris; Bonilha, Leonardo; Middleton, Addie; Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Fritz, Stacy L

    2018-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging have enabled the mapping of white matter connections across the entire brain, allowing for a more thorough examination of the extent of white matter disconnection after stroke. To assess how cortical disconnection contributes to motor impairments, we examined the relationship between structural brain connectivity and upper and lower extremity motor function in individuals with chronic stroke. Forty-three participants [mean age: 59.7 (±11.2) years; time poststroke: 64.4 (±58.8) months] underwent clinical motor assessments and MRI scanning. Nonparametric correlation analyses were performed to examine the relationship between structural connectivity amid a subsection of the motor network and upper/lower extremity motor function. Standard multiple linear regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship between cortical necrosis and disconnection of three main cortical areas of motor control [primary motor cortex (M1), premotor cortex (PMC), and supplementary motor area (SMA)] and motor function. Anatomical connectivity between ipsilesional M1/SMA and the (1) cerebral peduncle, (2) thalamus, and (3) red nucleus were significantly correlated with upper and lower extremity motor performance (P ≤ 0.003). M1-M1 interhemispheric connectivity was also significantly correlated with gross manual dexterity of the affected upper extremity (P = 0.001). Regression models with M1 lesion load and M1 disconnection (adjusted for time poststroke) explained a significant amount of variance in upper extremity motor performance (R 2  = 0.36-0.46) and gait speed (R 2  = 0.46), with M1 disconnection an independent predictor of motor performance. Cortical disconnection, especially of ipsilesional M1, could significantly contribute to variability seen in locomotor and upper extremity motor function and recovery in chronic stroke. Hum Brain Mapp 39:120-132, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Sensorimotor rhythm-based brain-computer interface training: the impact on motor cortical responsiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichiorri, F.; De Vico Fallani, F.; Cincotti, F.; Babiloni, F.; Molinari, M.; Kleih, S. C.; Neuper, C.; Kübler, A.; Mattia, D.

    2011-04-01

    The main purpose of electroencephalography (EEG)-based brain-computer interface (BCI) technology is to provide an alternative channel to support communication and control when motor pathways are interrupted. Despite the considerable amount of research focused on the improvement of EEG signal detection and translation into output commands, little is known about how learning to operate a BCI device may affect brain plasticity. This study investigated if and how sensorimotor rhythm-based BCI training would induce persistent functional changes in motor cortex, as assessed with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and high-density EEG. Motor imagery (MI)-based BCI training in naïve participants led to a significant increase in motor cortical excitability, as revealed by post-training TMS mapping of the hand muscle's cortical representation; peak amplitude and volume of the motor evoked potentials recorded from the opponens pollicis muscle were significantly higher only in those subjects who develop a MI strategy based on imagination of hand grasping to successfully control a computer cursor. Furthermore, analysis of the functional brain networks constructed using a connectivity matrix between scalp electrodes revealed a significant decrease in the global efficiency index for the higher-beta frequency range (22-29 Hz), indicating that the brain network changes its topology with practice of hand grasping MI. Our findings build the neurophysiological basis for the use of non-invasive BCI technology for monitoring and guidance of motor imagery-dependent brain plasticity and thus may render BCI a viable tool for post-stroke rehabilitation.

  3. Cortical Contribution to Linear, Non-linear and Frequency Components of Motor Variability Control during Standing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    König Ignasiak, Niklas; Habermacher, Lars; Taylor, William R; Singh, Navrag B

    2017-01-01

    Motor variability is an inherent feature of all human movements and reflects the quality of functional task performance. Depending on the requirements of the motor task, the human sensory-motor system is thought to be able to flexibly govern the appropriate level of variability. However, it remains unclear which neurophysiological structures are responsible for the control of motor variability. In this study, we tested the contribution of cortical cognitive resources on the control of motor variability (in this case postural sway) using a dual-task paradigm and furthermore observed potential changes in control strategy by evaluating Ia-afferent integration (H-reflex). Twenty healthy subjects were instructed to stand relaxed on a force plate with eyes open and closed, as well as while trying to minimize sway magnitude and performing a "subtracting-sevens" cognitive task. In total 25 linear and non-linear parameters were used to evaluate postural sway, which were combined using a Principal Components procedure. Neurophysiological response of Ia-afferent reflex loop was quantified using the Hoffman reflex. In order to assess the contribution of the H-reflex on the sway outcome in the different standing conditions multiple mixed-model ANCOVAs were performed. The results suggest that subjects were unable to further minimize their sway, despite actively focusing to do so. The dual-task had a destabilizing effect on PS, which could partly (by 4%) be counter-balanced by increasing reliance on Ia-afferent information. The effect of the dual-task was larger than the protective mechanism of increasing Ia-afferent information. We, therefore, conclude that cortical structures, as compared to peripheral reflex loops, play a dominant role in the control of motor variability.

  4. Inferior frontal gyrus links visual and motor cortices during a visuomotor precision grip force task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadelis, Christos; Arfeller, Carola; Erla, Silvia; Nollo, Giandomenico; Cattaneo, Luigi; Braun, Christoph

    2016-11-01

    Coordination between vision and action relies on a fronto-parietal network that receives visual and proprioceptive sensory input in order to compute motor control signals. Here, we investigated with magnetoencephalography (MEG) which cortical areas are functionally coupled on the basis of synchronization during visuomotor integration. MEG signals were recorded from twelve healthy adults while performing a unimanual visuomotor (VM) task and control conditions. The VM task required the integration of pinch motor commands with visual sensory feedback. By using a beamformer, we localized the neural activity in the frequency range of 1-30Hz during the VM compared to rest. Virtual sensors were estimated at the active locations. A multivariate autoregressive model was used to estimate the power and coherence of estimated activity at the virtual sensors. Event-related desynchronisation (ERD) during VM was observed in early visual areas, the rostral part of the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the right IFG, the superior parietal lobules, and the left hand motor cortex (M1). Functional coupling in the alpha frequency band bridged the regional activities observed in motor and visual cortices (the start and the end points in the visuomotor loop) through the left or right IFG. Coherence between the left IFG and left M1 correlated inversely with the task performance. Our results indicate that an occipital-prefrontal-motor functional network facilitates the modulation of instructed motor responses to visual cues. This network may supplement the mechanism for guiding actions that is fully incorporated into the dorsal visual stream. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. D2 receptor genotype and striatal dopamine signaling predict motor cortical activity and behavior in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazio, Leonardo; Blasi, Giuseppe; Taurisano, Paolo; Papazacharias, Apostolos; Romano, Raffaella; Gelao, Barbara; Ursini, Gianluca; Quarto, Tiziana; Lo Bianco, Luciana; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Mancini, Marina; Popolizio, Teresa; Rubini, Giuseppe; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2011-02-14

    Pre-synaptic D2 receptors regulate striatal dopamine release and DAT activity, key factors for modulation of motor pathways. A functional SNP of DRD2 (rs1076560 G>T) is associated with alternative splicing such that the relative expression of D2S (mainly pre-synaptic) vs. D2L (mainly post-synaptic) receptor isoforms is decreased in subjects with the T allele with a putative increase of striatal dopamine levels. To evaluate how DRD2 genotype and striatal dopamine signaling predict motor cortical activity and behavior in humans, we have investigated the association of rs1076560 with BOLD fMRI activity during a motor task. To further evaluate the relationship of this circuitry with dopamine signaling, we also explored the correlation between genotype based differences in motor brain activity and pre-synaptic striatal DAT binding measured with [(123)I] FP-CIT SPECT. Fifty healthy subjects, genotyped for DRD2 rs1076560 were studied with BOLD-fMRI at 3T while performing a visually paced motor task with their right hand; eleven of these subjects also underwent [(123)I]FP-CIT SPECT. SPM5 random-effects models were used for statistical analyses. Subjects carrying the T allele had greater BOLD responses in left basal ganglia, thalamus, supplementary motor area, and primary motor cortex, whose activity was also negatively correlated with reaction time at the task. Moreover, left striatal DAT binding and activity of left supplementary motor area were negatively correlated. The present results suggest that DRD2 genetic variation was associated with focusing of responses in the whole motor network, in which activity of predictable nodes was correlated with reaction time and with striatal pre-synaptic dopamine signaling. Our results in humans may help shed light on genetic risk for neurobiological mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of disorders with dysregulation of striatal dopamine like Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Cortical Plasticity Induction by Pairing Subthalamic Nucleus Deep-Brain Stimulation and Primary Motor Cortical Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udupa, Kaviraja; Bahl, Nina; Ni, Zhen; Gunraj, Carolyn; Mazzella, Filomena; Moro, Elena; Hodaie, Mojgan; Lozano, Andres M; Lang, Anthony E; Chen, Robert

    2016-01-13

    Noninvasive brain stimulation studies have shown abnormal motor cortical plasticity in Parkinson's disease (PD). These studies used peripheral nerve stimulation paired with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to primary motor cortex (M1) at specific intervals to induce plasticity. Induction of cortical plasticity through stimulation of the basal ganglia (BG)-M1 connections has not been studied. In the present study, we used a novel technique of plasticity induction by repeated pairing of deep-brain stimulation (DBS) of the BG with M1 stimulation using TMS. We hypothesize that repeated pairing of subthalamic nucleus (STN)-DBS and M1-TMS at specific time intervals will lead to plasticity in the M1. Ten PD human patients with STN-DBS were studied in the on-medication state with DBS set to 3 Hz. The interstimulus intervals (ISIs) between STN-DBS and TMS that produced cortical facilitation were determined individually for each patient. Three plasticity induction conditions with repeated pairings (180 times) at specific ISIs (∼ 3 and ∼ 23 ms) that produced cortical facilitation and a control ISI of 167 ms were tested in random order. Repeated pairing of STN-DBS and M1-TMS at short (∼ 3 ms) and medium (∼ 23 ms) latencies increased M1 excitability that lasted for at least 45 min, whereas the control condition (fixed ISI of 167 ms) had no effect. There were no specific changes in motor thresholds, intracortical circuits, or recruitment curves. Our results indicate that paired-associative cortical plasticity can be induced by repeated STN and M1 stimulation at specific intervals. These results show that STN-DBS can modulate cortical plasticity. We introduced a new experimental paradigm to test the hypothesis that pairing subthalamic nucleus deep-brain stimulation (STN-DBS) with motor cortical transcranial magnetic stimulation (M1-TMS) at specific times can induce cortical plasticity in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). We found that repeated pairing of STN

  7. Posterior Thalamic Nucleus Modulation of Tactile Stimuli Processing in Rat Motor and Primary Somatosensory Cortices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Casas-Torremocha

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Rodents move rhythmically their facial whiskers and compute differences between signals predicted and those resulting from the movement to infer information about objects near their head. These computations are carried out by a large network of forebrain structures that includes the thalamus and the primary somatosensory (S1BF and motor (M1wk cortices. Spatially and temporally precise mechanorreceptive whisker information reaches the S1BF cortex via the ventroposterior medial thalamic nucleus (VPM. Other whisker-related information may reach both M1wk and S1BF via the axons from the posterior thalamic nucleus (Po. However, Po axons may convey, in addition to direct sensory signals, the dynamic output of computations between whisker signals and descending motor commands. It has been proposed that this input may be relevant for adjusting cortical responses to predicted vs. unpredicted whisker signals, but the effects of Po input on M1wk and S1BF function have not been directly tested or compared in vivo. Here, using electrophysiology, optogenetics and pharmacological tools, we compared in adult rats M1wk and S1BF in vivo responses in the whisker areas of the motor and primary somatosensory cortices to passive multi-whisker deflection, their dependence on Po activity, and their changes after a brief intense activation of Po axons. We report that the latencies of the first component of tactile-evoked local field potentials in M1wk and S1BF are similar. The evoked potentials decrease markedly in M1wk, but not in S1BF, by injection in Po of the GABAA agonist muscimol. A brief high-frequency electrical stimulation of Po decreases the responsivity of M1wk and S1BF cells to subsequent whisker stimulation. This effect is prevented by the local application of omega-agatoxin, suggesting that it may in part depend on GABA release by fast-spiking parvalbumin (PV-expressing cortical interneurons. Local optogenetic activation of Po synapses in different

  8. Dysregulated Expression of Neuregulin-1 by Cortical Pyramidal Neurons Disrupts Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuregulin-1 (NRG1 gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an “optimal” level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect.

  9. Neuroprotective effect of the endogenous neural peptide apelin in cultured mouse cortical neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeng, Xiang Jun; Yu, Shan Ping; Zhang, Like; Wei, Ling

    2010-01-01

    The adipocytokine apelin and its G protein-coupled APJ receptor were initially isolated from a bovine stomach and have been detected in the brain and cardiovascular system. Recent studies suggest that apelin can protect cardiomyocytes from ischemic injury. Here, we investigated the effect of apelin on apoptosis in mouse primary cultures of cortical neurons. Exposure of the cortical cultures to a serum-free medium for 24 h induced nuclear fragmentation and apoptotic death; apelin-13 (1.0-5.0 nM) markedly prevented the neuronal apoptosis. Apelin neuroprotective effects were mediated by multiple mechanisms. Apelin-13 reduced serum deprivation (SD)-induced ROS generation, mitochondria depolarization, cytochrome c release and activation of caspase-3. Apelin-13 prevented SD-induced changes in phosphorylation status of Akt and ERK1/2. In addition, apelin-13 attenuated NMDA-induced intracellular Ca 2+ accumulation. These results indicate that apelin is an endogenous neuroprotective adipocytokine that may block apoptosis and excitotoxic death via cellular and molecular mechanisms. It is suggested that apelins may be further explored as a potential neuroprotective reagent for ischemia-induced brain damage.

  10. Cytotoxic and biological effects of bulk fill composites on rat cortical neuron cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamalak, Hakan; Kamalak, Aliye; Taghizadehghalehjoughi, Ali; Hacımüftüoğlu, Ahmet; Nalcı, Kemal Alp

    2018-03-28

    The aim of this study was to investigate potential cellular responses and biological effects of new generation dental composites on cortical neuron cells in two different exposure times. The study group included five different bulk-fill flow able composites; Surefil SDR Flow, X-tra Base Flow, Venus Bulk Flow, Filtek Bulk Flow and Tetric-Evo Flow. They were filled in Teflon molds (Height: 4 mm, Width: 6 mm) and irradiated for 20 s. Cortical neuron cells were inoculated into 24-well plates. After 80% of the wells were coated, the 3 µm membrane was inserted and dental filling materials were added. The experiment was continued for 24 and 72 h. Cell viability measured by MTT assay test, total antioxidant and total oxidant status were examined using real assay diagnostic kits. The patterns of cell death (apoptosis) were analyzed using annexin V-FITC staining with flow cytometry. Β-defensins were quantitatively assessed by RT-PCR. IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 cytokines were measured from the supernatants. All composites significantly affected analyses parameters during the exposure durations. Our data provide evidence that all dental materials tested are cytotoxic in acute phase and these effects are induced cellular death after different exposure periods. Significant cytotoxicity was detected in TE, XB, SS, FBF and VBF groups at 24 and 72 h, respectively.

  11. Neuronal Oscillations Indicate Sleep-dependent Changes in the Cortical Memory Trace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köster, Moritz; Finger, Holger; Kater, Maren-Jo; Schenk, Christoph; Gruber, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Sleep promotes the consolidation of newly acquired associative memories. Here we used neuronal oscillations in the human EEG to investigate sleep-dependent changes in the cortical memory trace. The retrieval activity for object-color associations was assessed immediately after encoding and after 3 hr of sleep or wakefulness. Sleep had beneficial effects on memory performance and led to reduced event-related theta and gamma power during the retrieval of associative memories. Furthermore, event-related alpha suppression was attenuated in the wake group for memorized and novel stimuli. There were no sleep-dependent changes in retrieval activity for missed items or items retrieved without color. Thus, the sleep-dependent reduction in theta and gamma oscillations was specific for the retrieval of associative memories. In line with theoretical accounts on sleep-dependent memory consolidation, decreased theta may indicate reduced mediotemporal activity because of a transfer of information into neocortical networks during sleep, whereas reduced parietal gamma may reflect effects of synaptic downscaling. Changes in alpha suppression in the wake group possibly index reduced attentional resources that may also contribute to a lower memory performance in this group. These findings indicate that the consolidation of associative memories during sleep is associated with profound changes in the cortical memory trace and relies on multiple neuronal processes working in concert.

  12. Dysregulated expression of neuregulin-1 by cortical pyramidal neurons disrupts synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Amit; Zhang, Mingyue; Trembak-Duff, Irina; Unterbarnscheidt, Tilmann; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Dibaj, Payam; Martins de Souza, Daniel; Boretius, Susann; Brzózka, Magdalena M; Steffens, Heinz; Berning, Sebastian; Teng, Zenghui; Gummert, Maike N; Tantra, Martesa; Guest, Peter C; Willig, Katrin I; Frahm, Jens; Hell, Stefan W; Bahn, Sabine; Rossner, Moritz J; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Zhang, Weiqi; Schwab, Markus H

    2014-08-21

    Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD)-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an "optimal" level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Subset of Cortical Layer 6b Neurons Selectively Innervates Higher Order Thalamic Nuclei in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoerder-Suabedissen, Anna; Hayashi, Shuichi; Upton, Louise; Nolan, Zachary; Casas-Torremocha, Diana; Grant, Eleanor; Viswanathan, Sarada; Kanold, Patrick O; Clasca, Francisco; Kim, Yongsoo; Molnár, Zoltán

    2018-05-01

    The thalamus receives input from 3 distinct cortical layers, but input from only 2 of these has been well characterized. We therefore investigated whether the third input, derived from layer 6b, is more similar to the projections from layer 6a or layer 5. We studied the projections of a restricted population of deep layer 6 cells ("layer 6b cells") taking advantage of the transgenic mouse Tg(Drd1a-cre)FK164Gsat/Mmucd (Drd1a-Cre), that selectively expresses Cre-recombinase in a subpopulation of layer 6b neurons across the entire cortical mantle. At P8, 18% of layer 6b neurons are labeled with Drd1a-Cre::tdTomato in somatosensory cortex (SS), and some co-express known layer 6b markers. Using Cre-dependent viral tracing, we identified topographical projections to higher order thalamic nuclei. VGluT1+ synapses formed by labeled layer 6b projections were found in posterior thalamic nucleus (Po) but not in the (pre)thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN). The lack of TRN collaterals was confirmed with single-cell tracing from SS. Transmission electron microscopy comparison of terminal varicosities from layer 5 and layer 6b axons in Po showed that L6b varicosities are markedly smaller and simpler than the majority from L5. Our results suggest that L6b projections to the thalamus are distinct from both L5 and L6a projections.

  14. A synergy-based hand control is encoded in human motor cortical areas

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    Leo, Andrea; Handjaras, Giacomo; Bianchi, Matteo; Marino, Hamal; Gabiccini, Marco; Guidi, Andrea; Scilingo, Enzo Pasquale; Pietrini, Pietro; Bicchi, Antonio; Santello, Marco; Ricciardi, Emiliano

    2016-01-01

    How the human brain controls hand movements to carry out different tasks is still debated. The concept of synergy has been proposed to indicate functional modules that may simplify the control of hand postures by simultaneously recruiting sets of muscles and joints. However, whether and to what extent synergic hand postures are encoded as such at a cortical level remains unknown. Here, we combined kinematic, electromyography, and brain activity measures obtained by functional magnetic resonance imaging while subjects performed a variety of movements towards virtual objects. Hand postural information, encoded through kinematic synergies, were represented in cortical areas devoted to hand motor control and successfully discriminated individual grasping movements, significantly outperforming alternative somatotopic or muscle-based models. Importantly, hand postural synergies were predicted by neural activation patterns within primary motor cortex. These findings support a novel cortical organization for hand movement control and open potential applications for brain-computer interfaces and neuroprostheses. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13420.001 PMID:26880543

  15. The cortical signature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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    Federica Agosta

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to explore the pattern of regional cortical thickness in patients with non-familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and to investigate whether cortical thinning is associated with disease progression rate. Cortical thickness analysis was performed in 44 ALS patients and 26 healthy controls. Group differences in cortical thickness and the age-by-group effects were assessed using vertex-by-vertex and multivariate linear models. The discriminatory ability of MRI variables in distinguishing patients from controls was estimated using the Concordance Statistics (C-statistic within logistic regression analyses. Correlations between cortical thickness measures and disease progression rate were tested using the Pearson coefficient. Relative to controls, ALS patients showed a bilateral cortical thinning of the primary motor, prefrontal and ventral frontal cortices, cingulate gyrus, insula, superior and inferior temporal and parietal regions, and medial and lateral occipital areas. There was a significant age-by-group effect in the sensorimotor cortices bilaterally, suggesting a stronger association between age and cortical thinning in ALS patients compared to controls. The mean cortical thickness of the sensorimotor cortices distinguished patients with ALS from controls (C-statistic ≥ 0.74. Cortical thinning of the left sensorimotor cortices was related to a faster clinical progression (r = -0.33, p = 0.03. Cortical thickness measurements allowed the detection and quantification of motor and extramotor involvement in patients with ALS. Cortical thinning of the precentral gyrus might offer a marker of upper motor neuron involvement and disease progression.

  16. The cortical signature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agosta, Federica; Valsasina, Paola; Riva, Nilo; Copetti, Massimiliano; Messina, Maria Josè; Prelle, Alessandro; Comi, Giancarlo; Filippi, Massimo

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the pattern of regional cortical thickness in patients with non-familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to investigate whether cortical thinning is associated with disease progression rate. Cortical thickness analysis was performed in 44 ALS patients and 26 healthy controls. Group differences in cortical thickness and the age-by-group effects were assessed using vertex-by-vertex and multivariate linear models. The discriminatory ability of MRI variables in distinguishing patients from controls was estimated using the Concordance Statistics (C-statistic) within logistic regression analyses. Correlations between cortical thickness measures and disease progression rate were tested using the Pearson coefficient. Relative to controls, ALS patients showed a bilateral cortical thinning of the primary motor, prefrontal and ventral frontal cortices, cingulate gyrus, insula, superior and inferior temporal and parietal regions, and medial and lateral occipital areas. There was a significant age-by-group effect in the sensorimotor cortices bilaterally, suggesting a stronger association between age and cortical thinning in ALS patients compared to controls. The mean cortical thickness of the sensorimotor cortices distinguished patients with ALS from controls (C-statistic ≥ 0.74). Cortical thinning of the left sensorimotor cortices was related to a faster clinical progression (r = -0.33, p = 0.03). Cortical thickness measurements allowed the detection and quantification of motor and extramotor involvement in patients with ALS. Cortical thinning of the precentral gyrus might offer a marker of upper motor neuron involvement and disease progression.

  17. Motor Cortex and Motor Cortical Interhemispheric Communication in Walking After Stroke: The Roles of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Animal Models in Our Current and Future Understanding.

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    Charalambous, Charalambos C; Bowden, Mark G; Adkins, DeAnna L

    2016-01-01

    Despite the plethora of human neurophysiological research, the bilateral involvement of the leg motor cortical areas and their interhemispheric interaction during both normal and impaired human walking is poorly understood. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we have expanded our understanding of the role upper-extremity motor cortical areas play in normal movements and how stroke alters this role, and probed the efficacy of interventions to improve post-stroke arm function. However, similar investigations of the legs have lagged behind, in part, due to the anatomical difficulty in using TMS to stimulate the leg motor cortical areas. Additionally, leg movements are predominately bilaterally controlled and require interlimb coordination that may involve both hemispheres. The sensitive, but invasive, tools used in animal models of locomotion hold great potential for increasing our understanding of the bihemispheric motor cortical control of walking. In this review, we discuss 3 themes associated with the bihemispheric motor cortical control of walking after stroke: (a) what is known about the role of the bihemispheric motor cortical control in healthy and poststroke leg movements, (b) how the neural remodeling of the contralesional hemisphere can affect walking recovery after a stroke, and (c) what is the effect of behavioral rehabilitation training of walking on the neural remodeling of the motor cortical areas bilaterally. For each theme, we discuss how rodent models can enhance the present knowledge on human walking by testing hypotheses that cannot be investigated in humans, and how these findings can then be back-translated into the neurorehabilitation of poststroke walking. © The Author(s) 2015.

  18. More than a bystander: the contributions of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects in motor neuron diseases.

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    Boyer, Justin G; Ferrier, Andrew; Kothary, Rashmi

    2013-12-18

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) are devastating diseases characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons. Although the molecular causes underlying these diseases differ, recent findings have highlighted the contribution of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects in motor neuron diseases. The use of cell culture and animal models has led to the important finding that muscle defects occur prior to and independently of motor neuron degeneration in motor neuron diseases. In SMA for instance, the muscle specific requirements of the SMA disease-causing gene have been demonstrated by a series of genetic rescue experiments in SMA models. Conditional ALS mouse models expressing a muscle specific mutant SOD1 gene develop atrophy and muscle degeneration in the absence of motor neuron pathology. Treating SBMA mice by over-expressing IGF-1 in a skeletal muscle-specific manner attenuates disease severity and improves motor neuron pathology. In the present review, we provide an in depth description of muscle intrinsic defects, and discuss how they impact muscle function in these diseases. Furthermore, we discuss muscle-specific therapeutic strategies used to treat animal models of SMA, ALS, and SBMA. The study of intrinsic skeletal muscle defects is crucial for the understanding of the pathophysiology of these diseases and will open new therapeutic options for the treatment of motor neuron diseases.

  19. Trophic factors as modulators of motor neuron physiology and survival: implications for ALS therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis B Tovar-y-Romo

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron physiology and development depend on a continuous and tightly regulated trophic support from a variety of cellular sources. Trophic factors guide the generation and positioning of motor neurons during every stage of the developmental process. As well, they are involved in axon guidance and synapse formation. Even in the adult spinal cord an uninterrupted trophic input is required to maintain neuronal functioning and protection from noxious stimuli. Among the trophic factors that have been demonstrated to participate in motor neuron physiology are vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1. Upon binding to membrane receptors expressed in motor neurons or neighboring glia, these trophic factors activate intracellular signaling pathways that promote cell survival and have protective action on motor neurons, in both in vivo and in vitro models of neuronal degeneration. For these reasons these factors have been considered a promising therapeutic method for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, although their efficacy in human clinical trials have not yet shown the expected protection. In this review we summarize experimental data on the role of these trophic factors in motor neuron function and survival, as well as their mechanisms of action. We also briefly discuss the potential therapeutic use of the trophic factors and why these therapies may have not been yet successful in the clinical use.

  20. Generation of human cortical neurons from a new immortal fetal neural stem cell line

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cacci, E.; Villa, A.; Parmar, M.; Cavallaro, M.; Mandahl, N.; Lindvall, O.; Martinez-Serrano, A.; Kokaia, Z.

    2007-01-01

    Isolation and expansion of neural stem cells (NSCs) of human origin are crucial for successful development of cell therapy approaches in neurodegenerative diseases. Different epigenetic and genetic immortalization strategies have been established for long-term maintenance and expansion of these cells in vitro. Here we report the generation of a new, clonal NSC (hc-NSC) line, derived from human fetal cortical tissue, based on v-myc immortalization. Using immunocytochemistry, we show that these cells retain the characteristics of NSCs after more than 50 passages. Under proliferation conditions, when supplemented with epidermal and basic fibroblast growth factors, the hc-NSCs expressed neural stem/progenitor cell markers like nestin, vimentin and Sox2. When growth factors were withdrawn, proliferation and expression of v-myc and telomerase were dramatically reduced, and the hc-NSCs differentiated into glia and neurons (mostly glutamatergic and GABAergic, as well as tyrosine hydroxylase-positive, presumably dopaminergic neurons). RT-PCR analysis showed that the hc-NSCs retained expression of Pax6, Emx2 and Neurogenin2, which are genes associated with regionalization and cell commitment in cortical precursors during brain development. Our data indicate that this hc-NSC line could be useful for exploring the potential of human NSCs to replace dead or damaged cortical cells in animal models of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Taking advantage of its clonality and homogeneity, this cell line will also be a valuable experimental tool to study the regulatory role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in human NSC biology

  1. Optogenetically enhanced axon regeneration: motor versus sensory neuron-specific stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Patricia J; Clanton, Scott L; English, Arthur W

    2018-02-01

    Brief neuronal activation in injured peripheral nerves is both necessary and sufficient to enhance motor axon regeneration, and this effect is specific to the activated motoneurons. It is less clear whether sensory neurons respond in a similar manner to neuronal activation following peripheral axotomy. Further, it is unknown to what extent enhancement of axon regeneration with increased neuronal activity relies on a reflexive interaction within the spinal circuitry. We used mouse genetics and optical tools to evaluate the precision and selectivity of system-specific neuronal activation to enhance axon regeneration in a mixed nerve. We evaluated sensory and motor axon regeneration in two different mouse models expressing the light-sensitive cation channel, channelrhodopsin (ChR2). We selectively activated either sensory or motor axons using light stimulation combined with transection and repair of the sciatic nerve. Regardless of genotype, the number of ChR2-positive neurons whose axons had regenerated successfully was greater following system-specific optical treatment, with no effect on the number of ChR2-negative neurons (whether motor or sensory neurons). We conclude that acute system-specific neuronal activation is sufficient to enhance both motor and sensory axon regeneration. This regeneration-enhancing effect is likely cell autonomous. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Diversity of layer 5 projection neurons in the mouse motor cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oswald, Manfred J.; Tantirigama, Malinda L. S.; Sonntag, Ivo; Hughes, Stephanie M.; Empson, Ruth M.

    2013-01-01

    In the primary motor cortex (M1), layer 5 projection neurons signal directly to distant motor structures to drive movement. Despite their pivotal position and acknowledged diversity these neurons are traditionally separated into broad commissural and corticofugal types, and until now no attempt has been made at resolving the basis for their diversity. We therefore probed the electrophysiological and morphological properties of retrogradely labeled M1 corticospinal (CSp), corticothalamic (CTh), and commissural projecting corticostriatal (CStr) and corticocortical (CC) neurons. An unsupervised cluster analysis established at least four phenotypes with additional differences between lumbar and cervical projecting CSp neurons. Distinguishing parameters included the action potential (AP) waveform, firing behavior, the hyperpolarisation-activated sag potential, sublayer position, and soma and dendrite size. CTh neurons differed from CSp neurons in showing spike frequency acceleration and a greater sag potential. CStr neurons had the lowest AP amplitude and maximum rise rate of all neurons. Temperature influenced spike train behavior in corticofugal neurons. At 26°C CTh neurons fired bursts of APs more often than CSp neurons, but at 36°C both groups fired regular APs. Our findings provide reliable phenotypic fingerprints to identify distinct M1 projection neuron classes as a tool to understand their unique contributions to motor function. PMID:24137110

  3. Diversity of Layer 5 Projection Neurons in the Mouse Motor Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manfred J Oswald

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In the primary motor cortex (M1, layer 5 projection neurons signal directly to distant motor structures to drive movement. Despite their pivotal position and acknowledged diversity these neurons are traditionally separated into broad commissural and corticofugal types, and until now no attempt has been made at resolving the basis for their diversity. We therefore probed the electrophysiological and morphological properties of retrogradely labelled M1 corticospinal (CSp, corticothalamic (CTh, and commissural projecting corticostriatal (CStr and corticocortical (CC neurons. An unsupervised cluster analysis established at least four phenotypes with additional differences between lumbar and cervical projecting CSp neurons. Distinguishing parameters included the action potential (AP waveform, firing behaviour, the hyperpolarisation-activated sag potential, sublayer position, and soma and dendrite size. CTh neurons differed from CSp neurons in showing spike frequency acceleration and a greater sag potential. CStr neurons had the lowest AP amplitude and maximum rise rate of all neurons. Temperature influenced spike train behaviour in corticofugal neurons. At 26 ºC CTh neurons fired bursts of APs more often than CSp neurons, but at 36 ºC both groups fired regular APs. Our findings provide reliable phenotypic fingerprints to identify distinct M1 projection neuron classes as a tool to understand their unique contributions to motor function.

  4. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression clusters in motor neurons following spinal cord injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Westerdahl Ann-Charlotte

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spinal cord injury leads to neurological dysfunctions affecting the motor, sensory as well as the autonomic systems. Increased excitability of motor neurons has been implicated in injury-induced spasticity, where the reappearance of self-sustained plateau potentials in the absence of modulatory inputs from the brain correlates with the development of spasticity. Results Here we examine the dynamic transcriptional response of motor neurons to spinal cord injury as it evolves over time to unravel common gene expression patterns and their underlying regulatory mechanisms. For this we use a rat-tail-model with complete spinal cord transection causing injury-induced spasticity, where gene expression profiles are obtained from labeled motor neurons extracted with laser microdissection 0, 2, 7, 21 and 60 days post injury. Consensus clustering identifies 12 gene clusters with distinct time expression profiles. Analysis of these gene clusters identifies early immunological/inflammatory and late developmental responses as well as a regulation of genes relating to neuron excitability that support the development of motor neuron hyper-excitability and the reappearance of plateau potentials in the late phase of the injury response. Transcription factor motif analysis identifies differentially expressed transcription factors involved in the regulation of each gene cluster, shaping the expression of the identified biological processes and their associated genes underlying the changes in motor neuron excitability. Conclusions This analysis provides important clues to the underlying mechanisms of transcriptional regulation responsible for the increased excitability observed in motor neurons in the late chronic phase of spinal cord injury suggesting alternative targets for treatment of spinal cord injury. Several transcription factors were identified as potential regulators of gene clusters containing elements related to motor neuron hyper

  5. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression clusters in motor neurons following spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryge, Jesper; Winther, Ole; Wienecke, Jacob; Sandelin, Albin; Westerdahl, Ann-Charlotte; Hultborn, Hans; Kiehn, Ole

    2010-06-09

    Spinal cord injury leads to neurological dysfunctions affecting the motor, sensory as well as the autonomic systems. Increased excitability of motor neurons has been implicated in injury-induced spasticity, where the reappearance of self-sustained plateau potentials in the absence of modulatory inputs from the brain correlates with the development of spasticity. Here we examine the dynamic transcriptional response of motor neurons to spinal cord injury as it evolves over time to unravel common gene expression patterns and their underlying regulatory mechanisms. For this we use a rat-tail-model with complete spinal cord transection causing injury-induced spasticity, where gene expression profiles are obtained from labeled motor neurons extracted with laser microdissection 0, 2, 7, 21 and 60 days post injury. Consensus clustering identifies 12 gene clusters with distinct time expression profiles. Analysis of these gene clusters identifies early immunological/inflammatory and late developmental responses as well as a regulation of genes relating to neuron excitability that support the development of motor neuron hyper-excitability and the reappearance of plateau potentials in the late phase of the injury response. Transcription factor motif analysis identifies differentially expressed transcription factors involved in the regulation of each gene cluster, shaping the expression of the identified biological processes and their associated genes underlying the changes in motor neuron excitability. This analysis provides important clues to the underlying mechanisms of transcriptional regulation responsible for the increased excitability observed in motor neurons in the late chronic phase of spinal cord injury suggesting alternative targets for treatment of spinal cord injury. Several transcription factors were identified as potential regulators of gene clusters containing elements related to motor neuron hyper-excitability, the manipulation of which potentially could be

  6. Combined small-molecule inhibition accelerates the derivation of functional, early-born, cortical neurons from human pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yuchen; Zhang, Xin-Jun; Renier, Nicolas; Wu, Zhuhao; Atkin, Talia; Sun, Ziyi; Ozair, M. Zeeshan; Tchieu, Jason; Zimmer, Bastian; Fattahi, Faranak; Ganat, Yosif; Azevedo, Ricardo; Zeltner, Nadja; Brivanlou, Ali H.; Karayiorgou, Maria; Gogos, Joseph; Tomishima, Mark; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Shi, Song-Hai; Studer, Lorenz

    2017-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in converting human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into functional neurons. However, the protracted timing of human neuron specification and functional maturation remains a key challenge that hampers the routine application of hPSC-derived lineages in disease modeling and regenerative medicine. Using a combinatorial small-molecule screen, we previously identified conditions for the rapid differentiation of hPSCs into peripheral sensory neurons. Here we generalize the approach to central nervous system (CNS) fates by developing a small-molecule approach for accelerated induction of early-born cortical neurons. Combinatorial application of 6 pathway inhibitors induces post-mitotic cortical neurons with functional electrophysiological properties by day 16 of differentiation, in the absence of glial cell co-culture. The resulting neurons, transplanted at 8 days of differentiation into the postnatal mouse cortex, are functional and establish long-distance projections, as shown using iDISCO whole brain imaging. Accelerated differentiation into cortical neuron fates should facilitate hPSC-based strategies for disease modeling and cell therapy in CNS disorders. PMID:28112759

  7. Phrenic long-term facilitation requires PKCθ activity within phrenic motor neurons.

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    Devinney, Michael J; Fields, Daryl P; Huxtable, Adrianne G; Peterson, Timothy J; Dale, Erica A; Mitchell, Gordon S

    2015-05-27

    Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) induces a form of spinal motor plasticity known as phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF); pLTF is a prolonged increase in phrenic motor output after AIH has ended. In anesthetized rats, we demonstrate that pLTF requires activity of the novel PKC isoform, PKCθ, and that the relevant PKCθ is within phrenic motor neurons. Whereas spinal PKCθ inhibitors block pLTF, inhibitors targeting other PKC isoforms do not. PKCθ is highly expressed in phrenic motor neurons, and PKCθ knockdown with intrapleural siRNAs abolishes pLTF. Intrapleural siRNAs targeting PKCζ, an atypical PKC isoform expressed in phrenic motor neurons that underlies a distinct form of phrenic motor plasticity, does not affect pLTF. Thus, PKCθ plays a critical role in spinal AIH-induced respiratory motor plasticity, and the relevant PKCθ is localized within phrenic motor neurons. Intrapleural siRNA delivery has considerable potential as a therapeutic tool to selectively manipulate plasticity in vital respiratory motor neurons. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358107-11$15.00/0.

  8. PINK1 regulates mitochondrial trafficking in dendrites of cortical neurons through mitochondrial PKA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das Banerjee, Tania; Dagda, Raul Y; Dagda, Marisela; Chu, Charleen T; Rice, Monica; Vazquez-Mayorga, Emmanuel; Dagda, Ruben K

    2017-08-01

    Mitochondrial Protein Kinase A (PKA) and PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), which is linked to Parkinson's disease, are two neuroprotective serine/threonine kinases that regulate dendrite remodeling and mitochondrial function. We have previously shown that PINK1 regulates dendrite morphology by enhancing PKA activity. Here, we show the molecular mechanisms by which PINK1 and PKA in the mitochondrion interact to regulate dendrite remodeling, mitochondrial morphology, content, and trafficking in dendrites. PINK1-deficient cortical neurons exhibit impaired mitochondrial trafficking, reduced mitochondrial content, fragmented mitochondria, and a reduction in dendrite outgrowth compared to wild-type neurons. Transient expression of wild-type, but not a PKA-binding-deficient mutant of the PKA-mitochondrial scaffold dual-specificity A Kinase Anchoring Protein 1 (D-AKAP1), restores mitochondrial trafficking, morphology, and content in dendrites of PINK1-deficient cortical neurons suggesting that recruiting PKA to the mitochondrion reverses mitochondrial pathology in dendrites induced by loss of PINK1. Mechanistically, full-length and cleaved forms of PINK1 increase the binding of the regulatory subunit β of PKA (PKA/RIIβ) to D-AKAP1 to enhance the autocatalytic-mediated phosphorylation of PKA/RIIβ and PKA activity. D-AKAP1/PKA governs mitochondrial trafficking in dendrites via the Miro-2/TRAK2 complex and by increasing the phosphorylation of Miro-2. Our study identifies a new role of D-AKAP1 in regulating mitochondrial trafficking through Miro-2, and supports a model in which PINK1 and mitochondrial PKA participate in a similar neuroprotective signaling pathway to maintain dendrite connectivity. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  9. The dynamic brain: from spiking neurons to neural masses and cortical fields.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Deco

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available The cortex is a complex system, characterized by its dynamics and architecture, which underlie many functions such as action, perception, learning, language, and cognition. Its structural architecture has been studied for more than a hundred years; however, its dynamics have been addressed much less thoroughly. In this paper, we review and integrate, in a unifying framework, a variety of computational approaches that have been used to characterize the dynamics of the cortex, as evidenced at different levels of measurement. Computational models at different space-time scales help us understand the fundamental mechanisms that underpin neural processes and relate these processes to neuroscience data. Modeling at the single neuron level is necessary because this is the level at which information is exchanged between the computing elements of the brain; the neurons. Mesoscopic models tell us how neural elements interact to yield emergent behavior at the level of microcolumns and cortical columns. Macroscopic models can inform us about whole brain dynamics and interactions between large-scale neural systems such as cortical regions, the thalamus, and brain stem. Each level of description relates uniquely to neuroscience data, from single-unit recordings, through local field potentials to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, electroencephalogram (EEG, and magnetoencephalogram (MEG. Models of the cortex can establish which types of large-scale neuronal networks can perform computations and characterize their emergent properties. Mean-field and related formulations of dynamics also play an essential and complementary role as forward models that can be inverted given empirical data. This makes dynamic models critical in integrating theory and experiments. We argue that elaborating principled and informed models is a prerequisite for grounding empirical neuroscience in a cogent theoretical framework, commensurate with the achievements in the

  10. Language and motor function thresholds during pediatric extra-operative electrical cortical stimulation brain mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zea Vera, Alonso; Aungaroon, Gewalin; Horn, Paul S; Byars, Anna W; Greiner, Hansel M; Tenney, Jeffrey R; Arthur, Todd M; Crone, Nathan E; Holland, Katherine D; Mangano, Francesco T; Arya, Ravindra

    2017-10-01

    To examine current thresholds and their determinants for language and motor mapping with extra-operative electrical cortical stimulation (ECS). ECS electrocorticograph recordings were reviewed to determine functional thresholds. Predictors of functional thresholds were found with multivariable analyses. In 122 patients (age 11.9±5.4years), average minimum, frontal, and temporal language thresholds were 7.4 (± 3.0), 7.8 (± 3.0), and 7.4 (± 3.1) mA respectively. Average minimum, face, upper and lower extremity motor thresholds were 5.4 (± 2.8), 6.1 (± 2.8), 4.9 (± 2.3), and 5.3 (± 3.3) mA respectively. Functional and after-discharge (AD)/seizure thresholds were significantly related. Minimum, frontal, and temporal language thresholds were higher than AD thresholds at all ages. Minimum motor threshold was higher than minimum AD threshold up to 8.0years of age, face motor threshold was higher than frontal AD threshold up to 11.8years age, and lower subsequently. UE motor thresholds remained below frontal AD thresholds throughout the age range. Functional thresholds are frequently above AD thresholds in younger children. These findings raise concerns about safety and neurophysiologic validity of ECS mapping. Functional and AD/seizure thresholds relationships suggest individual differences in cortical excitability which cannot be explained by clinical variables. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Characterization of energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in cortical glutamatergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells: A novel approach to study metabolism in human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldana, Blanca I; Zhang, Yu; Lihme, Maria Fog; Bak, Lasse K; Nielsen, Jørgen E; Holst, Bjørn; Hyttel, Poul; Freude, Kristine K; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2017-06-01

    Alterations in the cellular metabolic machinery of the brain are associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Novel human cellular disease models are essential in order to study underlying disease mechanisms. In the present study, we characterized major metabolic pathways in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). With this aim, cultures of hiPSC-derived neurons were incubated with [U- 13 C]glucose, [U- 13 C]glutamate or [U- 13 C]glutamine. Isotopic labeling in metabolites was determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, and cellular amino acid content was quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. Additionally, we evaluated mitochondrial function using real-time assessment of oxygen consumption via the Seahorse XF e 96 Analyzer. Moreover, in order to validate the hiPSC-derived neurons as a model system, a metabolic profiling was performed in parallel in primary neuronal cultures of mouse cerebral cortex and cerebellum. These serve as well-established models of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, respectively. The hiPSC-derived neurons were previously characterized as being forebrain-specific cortical glutamatergic neurons. However, a comparable preparation of predominantly mouse cortical glutamatergic neurons is not available. We found a higher glycolytic capacity in hiPSC-derived neurons compared to mouse neurons and a substantial oxidative metabolism through the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. This finding is supported by the extracellular acidification and oxygen consumption rates measured in the cultured human neurons. [U- 13 C]Glutamate and [U- 13 C]glutamine were found to be efficient energy substrates for the neuronal cultures originating from both mice and humans. Interestingly, isotopic labeling in metabolites from [U- 13 C]glutamate was higher than that from [U- 13 C]glutamine. Although the metabolic profile of hiPSC-derived neurons in vitro was

  12. A comparative study of the effect of oxidative stress on the cytoskeleton in human cortical neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allani, Pramod K.; Sum, Tak; Bhansali, Suraj G.; Mukherjee, Suman K.; Sonee, Manisha

    2004-01-01

    Cytoskeleton disruption is a process by which oxidative stress disrupts cellular function. This study compares and contrasts the effect of oxidative stress on the three major cytoskeleton filaments, microfilaments (MFs), microtubule (MT), and vimentin in human cortical neuronal cell line (HCN2). HCN2 cells were treated with 100 μM tertiary butylhydroperoxide (t-BuOOH), a free radical generating neurotoxin for 1, 3, or 6 h. Cell viability studies demonstrated significant cell death although the morphology studies showed that there was a substantial loss in neurites of neurons treated with t-BuOOH for 6 h. Because the cytoskeleton plays a role in neurite outgrowth, the effect of oxidative stress on the cytoskeletal was studied. In neurons subjected to oxidative stress for 30 min or 1 h, there were no major changes in microfilament distribution though there was altered distribution of microtubule and vimentin filaments as compared to controls. However, loss and disruption of all the three cytoskeletal filaments was observed at later times (3 and 6 h), which was confirmed by Western Blot analysis. Further studies were done to measure the gene expression levels of actin, tubulin, and vimentin. Results indicated that the overall loss of the cytoskeletal proteins in neurons treated with free radical generating toxin might not be a direct result of the downregulation of the cytoskeletal genes. This study shows that free radical generation in human neurons leads to the disruption of the cytoskeleton, though there may be a difference in the susceptibility to oxidative stress among the individual components of the cytoskeletal filaments

  13. DISC1 Protein Regulates γ-Aminobutyric Acid, Type A (GABAA) Receptor Trafficking and Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Cortical Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jing; Graziane, Nicholas M; Gu, Zhenglin; Yan, Zhen

    2015-11-13

    Association studies have suggested that Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) confers a genetic risk at the level of endophenotypes that underlies many major mental disorders. Despite the progress in understanding the significance of DISC1 at neural development, the mechanisms underlying DISC1 regulation of synaptic functions remain elusive. Because alterations in the cortical GABA system have been strongly linked to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, one potential target of DISC1 that is critically involved in the regulation of cognition and emotion is the GABAA receptor (GABAAR). We found that cellular knockdown of DISC1 significantly reduced GABAAR-mediated synaptic and whole-cell current, whereas overexpression of wild-type DISC1, but not the C-terminal-truncated DISC1 (a schizophrenia-related mutant), significantly increased GABAAR currents in pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex. These effects were accompanied by DISC1-induced changes in surface GABAAR expression. Moreover, the regulation of GABAARs by DISC1 knockdown or overexpression depends on the microtubule motor protein kinesin 1 (KIF5). Our results suggest that DISC1 exerts an important effect on GABAergic inhibitory transmission by regulating KIF5/microtubule-based GABAAR trafficking in the cortex. The knowledge gained from this study would shed light on how DISC1 and the GABA system are linked mechanistically and how their interactions are critical for maintaining a normal mental state. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. Curcumin protects microglia and primary rat cortical neurons against HIV-1 gp120-mediated inflammation and apoptosis.

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    Luyan Guo

    Full Text Available Curcumin is a molecule found in turmeric root that has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor properties and has been widely used as both an herbal drug and a food additive to treat or prevent neurodegenerative diseases. To explore whether curcumin is able to ameliorate HIV-1-associated neurotoxicity, we treated a murine microglial cell line (N9 and primary rat cortical neurons with curcumin in the presence or absence of neurotoxic HIV-1 gp120 (V3 loop protein. We found that HIV-1 gp120 profoundly induced N9 cells to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1. HIV-1 gp120 also induced apoptosis of primary rat cortical neurons. Curcumin exerted a powerful inhibitory effect against HIV-1 gp120-induced neuronal damage, reducing the production of ROS, TNF-α and MCP-1 by N9 cells and inhibiting apoptosis of primary rat cortical neurons. Curcumin may exert its biological activities through inhibition of the delayed rectification and transient outward potassium (K(+ current, as curcumin effectively reduced HIV-1 gp120-mediated elevation of the delayed rectification and transient outward K(+ channel current in neurons. We conclude that HIV-1 gp120 increases ROS, TNF-α and MCP-1 production in microglia, and induces cortical neuron apoptosis by affecting the delayed rectification and transient outward K(+ channel current. Curcumin reduces production of ROS and inflammatory mediators in HIV-1-gp120-stimulated microglia, and protects cortical neurons against HIV-1-mediated apoptosis, most likely through inhibition of HIV-1 gp120-induced elevation of the delayed rectification and transient outward K(+ current.

  15. Suppression of motor cortical excitability in anesthetized rats by low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.

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    Paul A Muller

    Full Text Available Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS is a widely-used method for modulating cortical excitability in humans, by mechanisms thought to involve use-dependent synaptic plasticity. For example, when low frequency rTMS (LF rTMS is applied over the motor cortex, in humans, it predictably leads to a suppression of the motor evoked potential (MEP, presumably reflecting long-term depression (LTD -like mechanisms. Yet how closely such rTMS effects actually match LTD is unknown. We therefore sought to (1 reproduce cortico-spinal depression by LF rTMS in rats, (2 establish a reliable animal model for rTMS effects that may enable mechanistic studies, and (3 test whether LTD-like properties are evident in the rat LF rTMS setup. Lateralized MEPs were obtained from anesthetized Long-Evans rats. To test frequency-dependence of LF rTMS, rats underwent rTMS at one of three frequencies, 0.25, 0.5, or 1 Hz. We next tested the dependence of rTMS effects on N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDAR, by application of two NMDAR antagonists. We find that 1 Hz rTMS preferentially depresses unilateral MEP in rats, and that this LTD-like effect is blocked by NMDAR antagonists. These are the first electrophysiological data showing depression of cortical excitability following LF rTMS in rats, and the first to demonstrate dependence of this form of cortical plasticity on the NMDAR. We also note that our report is the first to show that the capacity for LTD-type cortical suppression by rTMS is present under barbiturate anesthesia, suggesting that future neuromodulatory rTMS applications under anesthesia may be considered.

  16. The threshold of cortical electrical stimulation for mapping sensory and motor functional areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guojun, Zhang; Duanyu, Ni; Fu, Paul; Lixin, Cai; Tao, Yu; Wei, Du; Liang, Qiao; Zhiwei, Ren

    2014-02-01

    This study aimed to investigate the threshold of cortical electrical stimulation (CES) for functional brain mapping during surgery for the treatment of rolandic epilepsy. A total of 21 patients with rolandic epilepsy who underwent surgical treatment at the Beijing Institute of Functional Neurosurgery between October 2006 and March 2008 were included in this study. Their clinical data were retrospectively collected and analyzed. The thresholds of CES for motor response, sensory response, and after discharge production along with other threshold-related factors were investigated. The thresholds (mean ± standard deviation) for motor response, sensory response, and after discharge production were 3.48 ± 0.87, 3.86 ± 1.31, and 4.84 ± 1.38 mA, respectively. The threshold for after discharge production was significantly higher than those of both the motor and sensory response (both pstimulation frequency of 50 Hz and a pulse width of 0.2 ms, the threshold of sensory and motor responses were similar, and the threshold of after discharge production was higher than that of sensory and motor response. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Functional Organization and Cortical Connections of Motor Cortex in Squirrels

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    Cooke, Dylan F.; Padberg, Jeffrey; Zahner, Tony

    2012-01-01

    Despite extraordinary diversity in the rodent order, studies of motor cortex have been limited to only 2 species, rats and mice. Here, we examine the topographic organization of motor cortex in the Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and cortical connections of motor cortex in the California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi). We distinguish a primary motor area, M1, based on intracortical microstimulation (ICMS), myeloarchitecture, and patterns of connectivity. A sensorimotor area between M1 and the primary somatosensory area, S1, was also distinguished based on connections, functional organization, and myeloarchitecture. We term this field 3a based on similarities with area 3a in nonrodent mammals. Movements are evoked with ICMS in both M1 and 3a in a roughly somatotopic pattern. Connections of 3a and M1 are distinct and suggest the presence of a third far rostral field, termed “F,” possibly involved in motor processing based on its connections. We hypothesize that 3a is homologous to the dysgranular zone (DZ) in S1 of rats and mice. Our results demonstrate that squirrels have both similar and unique features of M1 organization compared with those described in rats and mice, and that changes in 3a/DZ borders appear to have occurred in both lineages. PMID:22021916

  18. PSD-95 uncoupling from NMDA receptors by Tat-N-dimer ameliorates neuronal depolarisation in cortical spreading depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kucharz, Krzysztof; Søndergaard Rasmussen, Ida; Bach, Anders

    2017-01-01

    during the first hour after i.v. injection. The Tat-N-dimer suppressed stimulation-evoked synaptic activity by 2-20%, while cortical blood flow and cerebral oxygen metabolic (CMRO2) responses were preserved. During cortical spreading depression, the Tat-N-dimer reduced the average amplitude...... depression on cortical blood flow and CMRO2 We suggest that uncoupling of PSD-95 from NMDA receptors reduces overall neuronal excitability and the amplitude of the spreading depolarisation wave. These findings may be of interest for understanding the neuroprotective effects of the nNOS/PSD-95 uncoupling...

  19. Birth of projection neurons in adult avian brain may be related to perceptual or motor learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez-Buylla, A.; Kirn, J.R.; Nottebohm, F.

    1990-01-01

    Projection neurons that form part of the motor pathway for song control continue to be produced and to replace older projection neurons in adult canaries and zebra finches. This is shown by combining [3H]thymidine, a cell birth marker, and fluorogold, a retrogradely transported tracer of neuronal connectivity. Species and seasonal comparisons suggest that this process is related to the acquisition of perceptual or motor memories. The ability of an adult brain to produce and replace projection neurons should influence our thinking on brain repair

  20. Potential protection of green tea polyphenols against 1800 MHz electromagnetic radiation-induced injury on rat cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Mei-Li; Wen, Jian-Qiang; Fan, Yu-Bo

    2011-10-01

    Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) are harmful to public health, but the certain anti-irradiation mechanism is not clear yet. The present study was performed to investigate the possible protective effects of green tea polyphenols against electromagnetic radiation-induced injury in the cultured rat cortical neurons. In this study, green tea polyphenols were used in the cultured cortical neurons exposed to 1800 MHz EMFs by the mobile phone. We found that the mobile phone irradiation for 24 h induced marked neuronal cell death in the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide) and TUNEL (TdT mediated biotin-dUTP nicked-end labeling) assay, and protective effects of green tea polyphenols on the injured cortical neurons were demonstrated by testing the content of Bcl-2 Assaciated X protein (Bax) in the immunoprecipitation assay and Western blot assay. In our study results, the mobile phone irradiation-induced increases in the content of active Bax were inhibited significantly by green tea polyphenols, while the contents of total Bax had no marked changes after the treatment of green tea polyphenols. Our results suggested a neuroprotective effect of green tea polyphenols against the mobile phone irradiation-induced injury on the cultured rat cortical neurons.

  1. Motor-auditory-visual integration: The role of the human mirror neuron system in communication and communication disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bel, Ronald M; Pineda, Jaime A; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an integration of motor-auditory-visual information processing related to aspects of language learning including action understanding and recognition. Such integration may also form the basis for language-related constructs such as theory of mind. In this article, we review the MNS system as it relates to the cognitive development of language in typically developing children and in children at-risk for communication disorders, such as children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or hearing impairment. Studying MNS development in these children may help illuminate an important role of the MNS in children with communication disorders. Studies with deaf children are especially important because they offer potential insights into how the MNS is reorganized when one modality, such as audition, is deprived during early cognitive development, and this may have long-term consequences on language maturation and theory of mind abilities. Readers will be able to (1) understand the concept of mirror neurons, (2) identify cortical areas associated with the MNS in animal and human studies, (3) discuss the use of mu suppression in the EEG for measuring the MNS in humans, and (4) discuss MNS dysfunction in children with (ASD).

  2. Neuroprotection with metformin and thymoquinone against ethanol-induced apoptotic neurodegeneration in prenatal rat cortical neurons

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    Ullah Ikram

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Exposure to ethanol during early development triggers severe neuronal death by activating multiple stress pathways and causes neurological disorders, such as fetal alcohol effects or fetal alcohol syndrome. This study investigated the effect of ethanol on intracellular events that predispose developing neurons for apoptosis via calcium-mediated signaling. Although the underlying molecular mechanisms of ethanol neurotoxicity are not completely determined, mitochondrial dysfunction, altered calcium homeostasis and apoptosis-related proteins have been implicated in ethanol neurotoxicity. The present study was designed to evaluate the neuroprotective mechanisms of metformin (Met and thymoquinone (TQ during ethanol toxicity in rat prenatal cortical neurons at gestational day (GD 17.5. Results We found that Met and TQ, separately and synergistically, increased cell viability after ethanol (100 mM exposure for 12 hours and attenuated the elevation of cytosolic free calcium [Ca2+]c. Furthermore, Met and TQ maintained normal physiological mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔψM, which is typically lowered by ethanol exposure. Increased cytosolic free [Ca2+]c and lowered mitochondrial transmembrane potential after ethanol exposure significantly decreased the expression of a key anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2, increased expression of Bax, and stimulated the release of cytochrome-c from mitochondria. Met and TQ treatment inhibited the apoptotic cascade by increasing Bcl-2 expression. These compounds also repressed the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 and reduced the cleavage of PARP-1. Morphological conformation of cell death was assessed by TUNEL, Fluoro-Jade-B, and PI staining. These staining methods demonstrated more cell death after ethanol treatment, while Met, TQ or Met plus TQ prevented ethanol-induced apoptotic cell death. Conclusion These findings suggested that Met and TQ are strong protective agents against ethanol

  3. Remote memory and cortical synaptic plasticity require neuronal CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Somi; Yu, Nam-Kyung; Shim, Kyu-Won; Kim, Ji-Il; Kim, Hyopil; Han, Dae Hee; Choi, Ja Eun; Lee, Seung-Woo; Choi, Dong Il; Kim, Myung Won; Lee, Dong-Sung; Lee, Kyungmin; Galjart, Niels; Lee, Yong-Seok; Lee, Jae-Hyung; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2018-04-30

    The molecular mechanism of long-term memory has been extensively studied in the context of the hippocampus-dependent recent memory examined within several days. However, months-old remote memory maintained in the cortex for long-term has not been investigated much at the molecular level yet. Various epigenetic mechanisms are known to be important for long-term memory, but how the three-dimensional (3D) chromatin architecture and its regulator molecules contribute to neuronal plasticity and systems consolidation are still largely unknown. CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is an eleven-zinc finger protein well known for its role as a genome architecture molecule. Male conditional knockout (cKO) mice in which CTCF is lost in excitatory neurons during adulthood showed normal recent memory in the contextual fear conditioning and spatial water maze tasks. However, they showed remarkable impairments in remote memory in both tasks. Underlying the remote memory-specific phenotypes, we observed that female CTCF cKO mice exhibit disrupted cortical long-term potentiation (LTP), but not hippocampal LTP. Similarly, we observed that CTCF deletion in inhibitory neurons caused partial impairment of remote memory. Through RNA-sequencing, we observed that CTCF knockdown in cortical neuron culture caused altered expression of genes that are highly involved in cell adhesion, synaptic plasticity, and memory. These results suggest that remote memory storage in the cortex requires CTCF-mediated gene regulation in neurons while recent memory formation in the hippocampus does not. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT CTCF is a well-known 3D genome architectural protein that regulates gene expression. Here, we use two different CTCF conditional knockout mouse lines and reveal for the first time that CTCF is critically involved in the regulation of remote memory. We also show that CTCF is necessary for appropriate expression of genes, many of which we found to be involved in the learning and memory related

  4. Dysfunctions of the basal ganglia-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical system produce motor tics in Tourette syndrome.

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    Daniele Caligiore

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Motor tics are a cardinal feature of Tourette syndrome and are traditionally associated with an excess of striatal dopamine in the basal ganglia. Recent evidence increasingly supports a more articulated view where cerebellum and cortex, working closely in concert with basal ganglia, are also involved in tic production. Building on such evidence, this article proposes a computational model of the basal ganglia-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical system to study how motor tics are generated in Tourette syndrome. In particular, the model: (i reproduces the main results of recent experiments about the involvement of the basal ganglia-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical system in tic generation; (ii suggests an explanation of the system-level mechanisms underlying motor tic production: in this respect, the model predicts that the interplay between dopaminergic signal and cortical activity contributes to triggering the tic event and that the recently discovered basal ganglia-cerebellar anatomical pathway may support the involvement of the cerebellum in tic production; (iii furnishes predictions on the amount of tics generated when striatal dopamine increases and when the cortex is externally stimulated. These predictions could be important in identifying new brain target areas for future therapies. Finally, the model represents the first computational attempt to study the role of the recently discovered basal ganglia-cerebellar anatomical links. Studying this non-cortex-mediated basal ganglia-cerebellar interaction could radically change our perspective about how these areas interact with each other and with the cortex. Overall, the model also shows the utility of casting Tourette syndrome within a system-level perspective rather than viewing it as related to the dysfunction of a single brain area.

  5. Dysfunctions of the basal ganglia-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical system produce motor tics in Tourette syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caligiore, Daniele; Mannella, Francesco; Arbib, Michael A; Baldassarre, Gianluca

    2017-03-01

    Motor tics are a cardinal feature of Tourette syndrome and are traditionally associated with an excess of striatal dopamine in the basal ganglia. Recent evidence increasingly supports a more articulated view where cerebellum and cortex, working closely in concert with basal ganglia, are also involved in tic production. Building on such evidence, this article proposes a computational model of the basal ganglia-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical system to study how motor tics are generated in Tourette syndrome. In particular, the model: (i) reproduces the main results of recent experiments about the involvement of the basal ganglia-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical system in tic generation; (ii) suggests an explanation of the system-level mechanisms underlying motor tic production: in this respect, the model predicts that the interplay between dopaminergic signal and cortical activity contributes to triggering the tic event and that the recently discovered basal ganglia-cerebellar anatomical pathway may support the involvement of the cerebellum in tic production; (iii) furnishes predictions on the amount of tics generated when striatal dopamine increases and when the cortex is externally stimulated. These predictions could be important in identifying new brain target areas for future therapies. Finally, the model represents the first computational attempt to study the role of the recently discovered basal ganglia-cerebellar anatomical links. Studying this non-cortex-mediated basal ganglia-cerebellar interaction could radically change our perspective about how these areas interact with each other and with the cortex. Overall, the model also shows the utility of casting Tourette syndrome within a system-level perspective rather than viewing it as related to the dysfunction of a single brain area.

  6. Deficiency of the Survival of Motor Neuron Protein Impairs mRNA Localization and Local Translation in the Growth Cone of Motor Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fallini, Claudia; Donlin-Asp, Paul G; Rouanet, Jeremy P; Bassell, Gary J; Rossoll, Wilfried

    2016-03-30

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurodegenerative disease primarily affecting spinal motor neurons. It is caused by reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein, which plays an essential role in the biogenesis of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins in all tissues. The etiology of the specific defects in the motor circuitry in SMA is still unclear, but SMN has also been implicated in mediating the axonal localization of mRNA-protein complexes, which may contribute to the axonal degeneration observed in SMA. Here, we report that SMN deficiency severely disrupts local protein synthesis within neuronal growth cones. We also identify the cytoskeleton-associated growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43) mRNA as a new target of SMN and show that motor neurons from SMA mouse models have reduced levels ofGAP43mRNA and protein in axons and growth cones. Importantly, overexpression of two mRNA-binding proteins, HuD and IMP1, restoresGAP43mRNA and protein levels in growth cones and rescues axon outgrowth defects in SMA neurons. These findings demonstrate that SMN plays an important role in the localization and local translation of mRNAs with important axonal functions and suggest that disruption of this function may contribute to the axonal defects observed in SMA. The motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by reduced levels of the survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein, which plays a key role in assembling RNA/protein complexes that are essential for mRNA splicing. It remains unclear whether defects in this well characterized housekeeping function cause the specific degeneration of spinal motor neurons observed in SMA. Here, we describe an additional role of SMN in regulating the axonal localization and local translation of the mRNA encoding growth-associated protein 43 (GAP43). This study supports a model whereby SMN deficiency impedes transport and local translation of mRNAs important for neurite outgrowth and stabilization

  7. Cultured Cortical Neurons Can Perform Blind Source Separation According to the Free-Energy Principle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isomura, Takuya; Kotani, Kiyoshi; Jimbo, Yasuhiko

    2015-01-01

    Blind source separation is the computation underlying the cocktail party effect––a partygoer can distinguish a particular talker’s voice from the ambient noise. Early studies indicated that the brain might use blind source separation as a signal processing strategy for sensory perception and numerous mathematical models have been proposed; however, it remains unclear how the neural networks extract particular sources from a complex mixture of inputs. We discovered that neurons in cultures of dissociated rat cortical cells could learn to represent particular sources while filtering out other signals. Specifically, the distinct classes of neurons in the culture learned to respond to the distinct sources after repeating training stimulation. Moreover, the neural network structures changed to reduce free energy, as predicted by the free-energy principle, a candidate unified theory of learning and memory, and by Jaynes’ principle of maximum entropy. This implicit learning can only be explained by some form of Hebbian plasticity. These results are the first in vitro (as opposed to in silico) demonstration of neural networks performing blind source separation, and the first formal demonstration of neuronal self-organization under the free energy principle. PMID:26690814

  8. Lycopene Prevents Amyloid [Beta]-Induced Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress and Dysfunctions in Cultured Rat Cortical Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Mingyue; Jiang, Zheng; Liao, Yuanxiang; Song, Zhenyao; Nan, Xinzhong

    2016-06-01

    Brains affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD) show a large spectrum of mitochondrial alterations at both morphological and genetic level. The causal link between β-amyloid (Aβ) and mitochondrial dysfunction has been established in cellular models of AD. We observed previously that lycopene, a member of the carotenoid family of phytochemicals, could counteract neuronal apoptosis and cell damage induced by Aβ and other neurotoxic substances, and that this neuroprotective action somehow involved the mitochondria. The present study aims to investigate the effects of lycopene on mitochondria in cultured rat cortical neurons exposed to Aβ. It was found that lycopene attenuated Aβ-induced oxidative stress, as evidenced by the decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species generation and mitochondria-derived superoxide production. Additionally, lycopene ameliorated Aβ-induced mitochondrial morphological alteration, opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pores and the consequent cytochrome c release. Lycopene also improved mitochondrial complex activities and restored ATP levels in Aβ-treated neuron. Furthermore, lycopene prevented mitochondrial DNA damages and improved the protein level of mitochondrial transcription factor A in mitochondria. Those results indicate that lycopene protects mitochondria against Aβ-induced damages, at least in part by inhibiting mitochondrial oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function. These beneficial effects of lycopene may account for its protection against Aβ-induced neurotoxicity.

  9. Cultured Cortical Neurons Can Perform Blind Source Separation According to the Free-Energy Principle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takuya Isomura

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Blind source separation is the computation underlying the cocktail party effect--a partygoer can distinguish a particular talker's voice from the ambient noise. Early studies indicated that the brain might use blind source separation as a signal processing strategy for sensory perception and numerous mathematical models have been proposed; however, it remains unclear how the neural networks extract particular sources from a complex mixture of inputs. We discovered that neurons in cultures of dissociated rat cortical cells could learn to represent particular sources while filtering out other signals. Specifically, the distinct classes of neurons in the culture learned to respond to the distinct sources after repeating training stimulation. Moreover, the neural network structures changed to reduce free energy, as predicted by the free-energy principle, a candidate unified theory of learning and memory, and by Jaynes' principle of maximum entropy. This implicit learning can only be explained by some form of Hebbian plasticity. These results are the first in vitro (as opposed to in silico demonstration of neural networks performing blind source separation, and the first formal demonstration of neuronal self-organization under the free energy principle.

  10. Exendin-4 improved rat cortical neuron survival under oxygen/glucose deprivation through PKA pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, M-D; Huang, Y; Zhang, G-P; Mao, L; Xia, Y-P; Mei, Y-W; Hu, B

    2012-12-13

    Previous studies demonstrated that exendin-4 (Ex-4) may possess neurotrophic and neuroprotective functions in ischemia insults, but its mechanism remained unknown. Here, by using real-time PCR and ELISA, we identified the distribution of active GLP-1Rs in the rat primary cortical neurons. After establishment of an in vitro ischemia model by oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD), neurons were treated with various dosages of Ex-4. The MTT assay showed that the relative survival rate increased with the dosage of Ex-4 ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 μg/ml (Pglucose-regulated proteins 78 (GRP78) and reduced C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP). Western blot analysis demonstrated that, after neurons were treated with Ex-4, GRP78 was up-regulated over time (Pneurons, down-regulated the expression of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and up-regulated the Bax expression 3h after ODG (Pneurons against OGD by modulating the unfolded protein response (UPR) through the PKA pathway and may serve as a novel therapeutic agent for stroke. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Functional characterization of GABAA receptor-mediated modulation of cortical neuron network activity in microelectrode array recordings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bader, Benjamin M; Steder, Anne; Klein, Anders Bue

    2017-01-01

    The numerous γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABAAR) subtypes are differentially expressed and mediate distinct functions at neuronal level. In this study we have investigated GABAAR-mediated modulation of the spontaneous activity patterns of primary neuronal networks from murine frontal...... of the information extractable from the MEA recordings offers interesting insights into the contributions of various GABAAR subtypes/subgroups to cortical network activity and the putative functional interplay between these receptors in these neurons....... cortex by characterizing the effects induced by a wide selection of pharmacological tools at a plethora of activity parameters in microelectrode array (MEA) recordings. The basic characteristics of the primary cortical neurons used in the recordings were studied in some detail, and the expression levels...

  12. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a motor neuron disease. Case report

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    Maja Rubinowicz-Zasada

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Charcot’s disease and motor neuron disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately, respiratory failure. The aetiology and the pathogenesis of the syndrome remain unknown. Most people live 2–5 years after their first signs of the disease. There is no cure or effective treatment. We present a case of a female patient affected by progressing Charcot’s disease. On the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale – Revised (ALSFRS-R, the patient obtained 21 points. Atrophy and muscle spasm were very extended. Electromyography revealed features of coexisting denervation and reinnervation in the examined muscles. A growing number of Charcot’s disease cases require multidirectional actions to meet patient’s physical, emotional, and nutritional needs. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an incurable disease. However, it is possible to relieve its symptoms by applying systematic physical rehabilitation.

  13. The effect of 24S-hydroxycholesterol on cholesterol homeostasis in neurons: quantitative changes to the cortical neuron proteome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuqin; Muneton, Sabina; Sjövall, Jan; Jovanovic, Jasmina N; Griffiths, William J

    2008-04-01

    In humans, the brain represents only about 2% of the body's mass but contains about one-quarter of the body's free cholesterol. Cholesterol is synthesized de novo in brain and removed by metabolism to oxysterols. 24S-Hydoxycholesterol represents the major metabolic product of cholesterol in brain, being formed via the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme CYP46A1. CYP46A1 is expressed exclusively in brain, normally by neurons. In this study, we investigated the effect of 24S-hydroxycholesterol on the proteome of rat cortical neurons. With the use of two-dimensional liquid chromatography linked to nanoelectrospray tandem mass spectrometry, over 1040 proteins were identified including members of the cholesterol, isoprenoid and fatty acid synthesis pathways. With the use of stable isotope labeling technology, the protein expression patterns of enzymes in these pathways were investigated. 24S-Hydroxycholesterol was found to down-regulate the expression of members of the cholesterol/isoprenoid synthesis pathways including 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-Coenzyme A synthase 1 (EC 2.3.3.10), diphosphomevalonate decarboxylase (EC 4.1.1.33), isopentenyl-diphosphate delta isomerase (EC 5.3.3.2), farnesyl-diphosphate synthase (Geranyl trans transferase, EC 2.5.1.10), and dedicated sterol synthesis enzymes, farnesyl-diphosphate farnesyltransferase 1 (squalene synthase, EC 2.5.1.21) and methylsterol monooxygenase (EC 1.14.13.72). The expression of many enzymes in the cholesterol/isoprenoid and fatty acid synthesis pathways are regulated by the membrane-bound transcription factors named sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs), which themselves are both transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally regulated. The current proteomic data indicates that 24S-hydroxycholesterol down-regulates cholesterol synthesis in neurons, possibly, in a post-transcriptional manner through SREBP-2. In contrast to cholesterol metabolism, enzymes responsible for the synthesis of fatty acids were not

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharyn L Rossi

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Motor neuron loss is characteristic of cervical spinal cord injury (SCI and contributes to functional deficit.In order to investigate the amenability of the injured adult spinal cord to motor neuron differentiation, we transplanted spinal cord injured animals with a high purity population of human motor neuron progenitors (hMNP derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs. In vitro, hMNPs displayed characteristic motor neuron-specific markers, a typical electrophysiological profile, functionally innervated human or rodent muscle, and secreted physiologically active growth factors that caused neurite branching and neuronal survival. hMNP transplantation into cervical SCI sites in adult rats resulted in suppression of intracellular signaling pathways associated with SCI pathogenesis, which correlated with greater endogenous neuronal survival and neurite branching. These neurotrophic effects were accompanied by significantly enhanced performance on all parameters of the balance beam task, as compared to controls. Interestingly, hMNP transplantation resulted in survival, differentiation, and site-specific integration of hMNPs distal to the SCI site within ventral horns, but hMNPs near the SCI site reverted to a neuronal progenitor state, suggesting an environmental deficiency for neuronal maturation associated with SCI.These findings underscore the barriers imposed on neuronal differentiation of transplanted cells by the gliogenic nature of the injured spinal cord, and the physiological relevance of transplant-derived neurotrophic support to functional recovery.

  15. Acute changes in motor cortical excitability during slow oscillatory and constant anodal transcranial direct current stimulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergmann, Til Ole; Groppa, Sergiu; Seeger, Markus

    2009-01-01

    Transcranial oscillatory current stimulation has recently emerged as a noninvasive technique that can interact with ongoing endogenous rhythms of the human brain. Yet, there is still little knowledge on how time-varied exogenous currents acutely modulate cortical excitability. In ten healthy...... individuals we used on-line single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to search for systematic shifts in corticospinal excitability during anodal sleeplike 0.8-Hz slow oscillatory transcranial direct current stimulation (so-tDCS). In separate sessions, we repeatedly applied 30-s trials (two blocks...... at 20 min) of either anodal so-tDCS or constant tDCS (c-tDCS) to the primary motor hand area during quiet wakefulness. Simultaneously and time-locked to different phase angles of the slow oscillation, motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) as an index of corticospinal excitability were obtained...

  16. Upper motor neuron predominant degeneration with frontal and temporal lobe atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konagaya, M; Sakai, M; Matsuoka, Y; Konagaya, Y; Hashizume, Y

    1998-11-01

    The autopsy findings of a 78-year-old man mimicking primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) are reported. He showed slowly progressive spasticity, pseudobulbar palsy and character change, and died 32 months after the onset of symptoms. Autopsy revealed severe atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes, remarkable neuronal loss and gliosis in the precentral gyrus, left temporal lobe pole and amygdala, mild degeneration of the Ammon's horn, degeneration of the corticospinal tract, and very mild involvement of the lower motor neurons. The anterior horn cells only occasionally demonstrated Bunina body by cystatin-C staining, and skein-like inclusions by ubiquitin staining. This is a peculiar case with concomitant involvement in the motor cortex and temporal lobe in motor neuron disease predominantly affecting the upper motor neuron.

  17. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  18. Characterization of Some Morphological Parameters of Orbicularis Oculi Motor Neurons in the Monkey

    OpenAIRE

    McNeal, DW; Ge, J; Herrick, JL; Stilwell-Morecraft, KS; Morecraft, RJ

    2007-01-01

    The primate facial nucleus is a prominent brainstem structure that is composed of cell bodies giving rise to axons forming the facial nerve. It is musculotopically organized, but we know little about the morphological features of its motor neurons. Using the Lucifer yellow intracellular filling method, we examined 17 morphological parameters of motor neurons innervating the monkey orbicularis oculi (OO) muscle, which plays an important role in eye lid closure and voluntary and emotional facia...

  19. Phrenic long-term facilitation following intrapleural CTB-SAP-induced respiratory motor neuron death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L; Craig, Taylor A; Tanner, Miles A

    2017-08-16

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating disease leading to progressive motor neuron degeneration and death by ventilatory failure. In a rat model of ALS (SOD1 G93A ), phrenic long-term facilitation (pLTF) following acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) is enhanced greater than expected at disease end-stage but the mechanism is unknown. We suggest that one trigger for this enhancement is motor neuron death itself. Intrapleural injections of cholera toxin B fragment conjugated to saporin (CTB-SAP) selectively kill respiratory motor neurons and mimic motor neuron death observed in SOD1 G93A rats. This CTB-SAP model allows us to study the impact of respiratory motor neuron death on breathing without many complications attendant to ALS. Here, we tested the hypothesis that phrenic motor neuron death is sufficient to enhance pLTF. pLTF was assessed in anesthetized, paralyzed and ventilated Sprague Dawley rats 7 and 28days following bilateral intrapleural injections of: 1) CTB-SAP (25μg), or 2) un-conjugated CTB and SAP (control). CTB-SAP enhanced pLTF at 7 (CTB-SAP: 162±18%, n=8 vs. 63±3%; n=8; pSAP: 64±10%, n=10 vs. 60±13; n=8; p>0.05). Thus, pLTF at 7 (not 28) days post-CTB-SAP closely resembles pLTF in end-stage ALS rats, suggesting that processes unique to the early period of motor neuron death enhance pLTF. This project increases our understanding of respiratory plasticity and its implications for breathing in motor neuron disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Targeted disruption of the Mast syndrome gene SPG21 in mice impairs hind limb function and alters axon branching in cultured cortical neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Mast syndrome (SPG21) is a childhood-onset, autosomal recessive, complicated form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) characterized by dementia, thin corpus callosum, white matter abnormalities, and cerebellar and extrapyramidal signs in addition to spastic paraparesis. A nucleotide insertion resulting in premature truncation of the SPG21 gene product maspardin underlies this disorder, likely leading to loss of protein function. In this study, we generated SPG21−/− knockout mice by homologous recombination as a possible animal model for SPG21. Though SPG21−/− mice appeared normal at birth, within several months they developed gradually progressive hind limb dysfunction. Cerebral cortical neurons cultured from SPG21−/− mice exhibited significantly more axonal branching than neurons from wild-type animals, while comprehensive neuropathological analysis of SPG21−/− mice did not reveal definitive abnormalities. Since alterations in axon branching have been seen in neurons derived from animal models of other forms of HSP as well as motor neuron diseases, this may represent a common cellular pathogenic theme. PMID:20661613

  1. Glutamate stimulates the formation of N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine in cortical neurons in culture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Harald S.; Lauritzen, L.; Strand, A.M.

    1995-01-01

    The formation of anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine), N-acylethanolamine, and N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine was studied in primary cultures of rat cortical neurons. The cells were incubated for 22 h with [C]ethanolamine, [U-C]arachidonic acid, [H]arachidonic acid, [P]phosphate, [C]stearic acid......-acylethanolamine. Compound I could be labelled with [C]stearic acid and [H]myristic acid, but not with [H]- or [C]arachidonic acid. Exogenous [H]anandamide was metabolised with a t( 1/2 ) of 2.6 h. The labelling of the two compounds identified as N-acylethanolamine and N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine were more pronounced......, or [H]myristic acid. The lipids from the cells and media were separated by thin layer chromatography. [C]Ethanolamine labelling revealed two compounds (I and II), which on different thin layer chromatography systems migrated as N-acylethanolamine (0.06-0.55% of total radioactivity) and N...

  2. Potential Protection of Coeloglossum viride var. Bracteatum Extract against Oxidative Stress in Rat Cortical Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhe Guo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study explored the neuroprotective effect of Coeloglossum viride var. bracteatum extract (CE against oxidative stress in rat cortical neurons. The results demonstrated that administration of CE inhibited hydrogen peroxide-induced neurotoxicity tested by MTT, LDH release, and TUNEL assays. We further found that CE inhibited the activation of caspase-3 (Csp3 induced by hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, CE was found to reverse the hydrogen peroxide-induced downregulation of active AKT and Bcl-2. We then showed that the neuroprotective effect of CE was blocked by adding the AKT inhibitor, Ly294002. Thus, our data strongly indicated that CE played a neuroprotective role against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity.

  3. Abbreviated exposure to hypoxia is sufficient to induce CNS dysmyelination, modulate spinal motor neuron composition, and impair motor development in neonatal mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens O Watzlawik

    Full Text Available Neonatal white matter injury (nWMI is an increasingly common cause of cerebral palsy that results predominantly from hypoxic injury to progenitor cells including those of the oligodendrocyte lineage. Existing mouse models of nWMI utilize prolonged periods of hypoxia during the neonatal period, require complex cross-fostering and exhibit poor growth and high mortality rates. Abnormal CNS myelin composition serves as the major explanation for persistent neuro-motor deficits. Here we developed a simplified model of nWMI with low mortality rates and improved growth without cross-fostering. Neonatal mice are exposed to low oxygen from postnatal day (P 3 to P7, which roughly corresponds to the period of human brain development between gestational weeks 32 and 36. CNS hypomyelination is detectable for 2-3 weeks post injury and strongly correlates with levels of body and brain weight loss. Immediately following hypoxia treatment, cell death was evident in multiple brain regions, most notably in superficial and deep cortical layers as well as the subventricular zone progenitor compartment. PDGFαR, Nkx2.2, and Olig2 positive oligodendrocyte progenitor cell were significantly reduced until postnatal day 27. In addition to CNS dysmyelination we identified a novel pathological marker for adult hypoxic animals that strongly correlates with life-long neuro-motor deficits. Mice reared under hypoxia reveal an abnormal spinal neuron composition with increased small and medium diameter axons and decreased large diameter axons in thoracic lateral and anterior funiculi. Differences were particularly pronounced in white matter motor tracts left and right of the anterior median fissure. Our findings suggest that 4 days of exposure to hypoxia are sufficient to induce experimental nWMI in CD1 mice, thus providing a model to test new therapeutics. Pathological hallmarks of this model include early cell death, decreased OPCs and hypomyelination in early postnatal life

  4. Contribution of transcranial magnetic stimulation to the understanding of cortical mechanisms involved in motor control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Janine; Swayne, Orlando B; Vandermeeren, Yves; Camus, Mickael; Dimyan, Michael A; Harris-Love, Michelle; Perez, Monica A; Ragert, Patrick; Rothwell, John C; Cohen, Leonardo G

    2008-01-15

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was initially used to evaluate the integrity of the corticospinal tract in humans non-invasively. Since these early studies, the development of paired-pulse and repetitive TMS protocols allowed investigators to explore inhibitory and excitatory interactions of various motor and non-motor cortical regions within and across cerebral hemispheres. These applications have provided insight into the intracortical physiological processes underlying the functional role of different brain regions in various cognitive processes, motor control in health and disease and neuroplastic changes during recovery of function after brain lesions. Used in combination with neuroimaging tools, TMS provides valuable information on functional connectivity between different brain regions, and on the relationship between physiological processes and the anatomical configuration of specific brain areas and connected pathways. More recently, there has been increasing interest in the extent to which these physiological processes are modulated depending on the behavioural setting. The purpose of this paper is (a) to present an up-to-date review of the available electrophysiological data and the impact on our understanding of human motor behaviour and (b) to discuss some of the gaps in our present knowledge as well as future directions of research in a format accessible to new students and/or investigators. Finally, areas of uncertainty and limitations in the interpretation of TMS studies are discussed in some detail.

  5. The human motor neuron pools receive a dominant slow‐varying common synaptic input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Francesco; Yavuz, Utku Şükrü

    2016-01-01

    Key points Motor neurons in a pool receive both common and independent synaptic inputs, although the proportion and role of their common synaptic input is debated.Classic correlation techniques between motor unit spike trains do not measure the absolute proportion of common input and have limitations as a result of the non‐linearity of motor neurons.We propose a method that for the first time allows an accurate quantification of the absolute proportion of low frequency common synaptic input (60%) of common input, irrespective of their different functional and control properties.These results increase our knowledge about the role of common and independent input to motor neurons in force control. Abstract Motor neurons receive both common and independent synaptic inputs. This observation is classically based on the presence of a significant correlation between pairs of motor unit spike trains. The functional significance of different relative proportions of common input across muscles, individuals and conditions is still debated. One of the limitations in our understanding of correlated input to motor neurons is that it has not been possible so far to quantify the absolute proportion of common input with respect to the total synaptic input received by the motor neurons. Indeed, correlation measures of pairs of output spike trains only allow for relative comparisons. In the present study, we report for the first time an approach for measuring the proportion of common input in the low frequency bandwidth (60%) proportion of common low frequency oscillations with respect to their total synaptic input. These results suggest that the central nervous system provides a large amount of common input to motor neuron pools, in a similar way to that for muscles with different functional and control properties. PMID:27151459

  6. Electrophysiological Evidences of Organization of Cortical Motor Information in the Basal Ganglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirokazu Iwamuro

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available During the last two decades, the many developments in the treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson disease and dystonia have enhanced our understanding on organization of the basal ganglia, and this knowledge has led to other advances in the field. According to many electrophysiological and anatomical findings, it is considered that motor information from different cortical areas is processed through several cortico-basal ganglia loops principally in a parallel fashion and somatotopy from each cortical area is also well preserved in each loop. Moreover, recent studies suggest that not only the parallel processing but also some convergence of information occur through the basal ganglia. Information from cortical areas whose functions are close to each other tends to converge in the basal ganglia. The cortico-basal ganglia loops should be comprehended more as a network rather than as separated subdivisions. However, the functions of this convergence still remain unknown. It is important even for clinical doctors to be well informed about this kind of current knowledge because some symptoms of movement disorders may be explained by disorganization of the information network in the basal ganglia.

  7. Motor cortex stimulation does not lead to functional recovery after experimental cortical injury in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönfeld, Lisa-Maria; Jahanshahi, Ali; Lemmens, Evi; Bauwens, Matthias; Hescham, Sarah-Anna; Schipper, Sandra; Lagiere, Melanie; Hendrix, Sven; Temel, Yasin

    2017-01-01

    Motor impairments are among the major complications that develop after cortical damage caused by either stroke or traumatic brain injury. Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) can improve motor functions in animal models of stroke by inducing neuroplasticity. In the current study, the therapeutic effect of chronic MCS was assessed in a rat model of severe cortical damage. A controlled cortical impact (CCI) was applied to the forelimb area of the motor cortex followed by implantation of a flat electrode covering the lesioned area. Forelimb function was assessed using the Montoya staircase test and the cylinder test before and after a period of chronic MCS. Furthermore, the effect of MCS on tissue metabolism and lesion size was measured using [18F]-fluorodesoxyglucose (FDG) μPET scanning. CCI caused a considerable lesion at the level of the motor cortex and dorsal striatum together with a long-lasting behavioral phenotype of forelimb impairment. However, MCS applied to the CCI lesion did not lead to any improvement in limb functioning when compared to non-stimulated control rats. Also, MCS neither changed lesion size nor distribution of FDG. The use of MCS as a standalone treatment did not improve motor impairments in a rat model of severe cortical damage using our specific treatment modalities.

  8. Restoration of Progranulin Expression Rescues Cortical Neuron Generation in an Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Model of Frontotemporal Dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna Raitano

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available To understand how haploinsufficiency of progranulin (PGRN causes frontotemporal dementia (FTD, we created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs from patients carrying the GRNIVS1+5G > C mutation (FTD-iPSCs. FTD-iPSCs were fated to cortical neurons, the cells most affected in FTD. Although generation of neuroprogenitors was unaffected, their further differentiation into CTIP2-, FOXP2-, or TBR1-TUJ1 double-positive cortical neurons, but not motorneurons, was significantly decreased in FTD-neural progeny. Zinc finger nuclease-mediated introduction of GRN cDNA into the AAVS1 locus corrected defects in cortical neurogenesis, demonstrating that PGRN haploinsufficiency causes inefficient cortical neuron generation. RNA sequencing analysis confirmed reversal of the altered gene expression profile following genetic correction. We identified the Wnt signaling pathway as one of the top defective pathways in FTD-iPSC-derived neurons, which was reversed following genetic correction. Differentiation of FTD-iPSCs in the presence of a WNT inhibitor mitigated defective corticogenesis. Therefore, we demonstrate that PGRN haploinsufficiency hampers corticogenesis in vitro.

  9. Evaluation of the Neuroactivity of ToxCast Compounds Using Multi-well Microelectrode Array Recordings in Primary Cortical Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evaluation of the Neuroactivity of ToxCast Compounds Using Multi-well Microelectrode Array Recordings in Primary Cortical Neurons P Valdivia1, M Martin2, WR LeFew3, D Hall3, J Ross1, K Houck2 and TJ Shafer3 1Axion Biosystems, Atlanta GA and 2NCCT, 3ISTD, NHEERL, ORD, US EPA, RT...

  10. Primary Lateral Sclerosis and Early Upper Motor Neuron Disease: Characteristics of a Cross-Sectional Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Christina N; Murphy, Alyssa; Loci, Lorena; Mitsumoto, Hiroshi; Lomen-Hoerth, Catherine; Kisanuki, Yasushi; Simmons, Zachary; Maragakis, Nicholas J; McVey, April L; Al-Lahham, Tawfiq; Heiman-Patterson, Terry D; Andrews, Jinsy; McDonnell, Erin; Cudkowicz, Merit; Atassi, Nazem

    2016-03-01

    The goals of this study were to characterize clinical and electrophysiologic findings of subjects with upper motor neuron disease and to explore feasibility of clinical trials in this population. Twenty northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis consortium (northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) sites performed chart reviews to identify active clinical pure upper motor neuron disease patients. Patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia or meeting revised El Escorial electrodiagnostic criteria for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis were excluded. Patients were classified into 2 groups according to the presence or absence of minor electromyography (EMG) abnormalities. Two hundred thirty-three subjects with upper motor neuron disease were identified; 217 had available EMG data. Normal EMGs were seen in 140 subjects, and 77 had minor denervation. Mean disease duration was 84 (±80) months for the entire cohort with no difference seen between the 2 groups. No difference was seen in clinical symptoms, disability, or outcome measures between the 2 groups after correcting for multiple comparisons. Minor EMG abnormalities were not associated with phenotypic differences in a clinical upper motor neuron disease population. These findings suggest that subtle EMG abnormalities can not necessarily be used as a prognostic tool in patients with clinical upper motor neuron disease. This study also demonstrates the availability of a large number of patients with upper motor neuron diseases within the northeast amyotrophic lateral sclerosis network and suggests feasibility for conducting clinical trials in this population.

  11. Is Spinal Muscular Atrophy a disease of the motor neurons only: pathogenesis and therapeutic implications?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone, Chiara; Ramirez, Agnese; Bucchia, Monica; Rinchetti, Paola; Rideout, Hardy; Papadimitriou, Dimitra; Re, Diane B.; Corti, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a genetic neurological disease that causes infant mortality; no effective therapies are currently available. SMA is due to homozygous mutations and/or deletions in the Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene and subsequent reduction of the SMN protein, leading to the death of motor neurons. However, there is increasing evidence that in addition to motor neurons, other cell types are contributing to SMA pathology. In this review, we will discuss the involvement of non-motor neuronal cells, located both inside and outside the central nervous system, in disease onset and progression. These contribution of non-motor neuronal cells to disease pathogenesis has important therapeutic implications: in fact, even if SMN restoration in motor neurons is needed, it has been shown that optimal phenotypic amelioration in animal models of SMA requires a more widespread SMN correction. It will be crucial to take this evidence into account before clinical translation of the novel therapeutic approaches that are currently under development. PMID:26681261

  12. Converging Mechanisms of p53 Activation Drive Motor Neuron Degeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian M. Simon

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The hallmark of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA, an inherited disease caused by ubiquitous deficiency in the SMN protein, is the selective degeneration of subsets of spinal motor neurons. Here, we show that cell-autonomous activation of p53 occurs in vulnerable but not resistant motor neurons of SMA mice at pre-symptomatic stages. Moreover, pharmacological or genetic inhibition of p53 prevents motor neuron death, demonstrating that induction of p53 signaling drives neurodegeneration. At late disease stages, however, nuclear accumulation of p53 extends to resistant motor neurons and spinal interneurons but is not associated with cell death. Importantly, we identify phosphorylation of serine 18 as a specific post-translational modification of p53 that exclusively marks vulnerable SMA motor neurons and provide evidence that amino-terminal phosphorylation of p53 is required for the neurodegenerative process. Our findings indicate that distinct events induced by SMN deficiency converge on p53 to trigger selective death of vulnerable SMA motor neurons.

  13. Intrinsic Membrane Hyperexcitability of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patient-Derived Motor Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J. Wainger

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of the motor nervous system. We show using multielectrode array and patch-clamp recordings that hyperexcitability detected by clinical neurophysiological studies of ALS patients is recapitulated in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons from ALS patients harboring superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1, C9orf72, and fused-in-sarcoma mutations. Motor neurons produced from a genetically corrected but otherwise isogenic SOD1+/+ stem cell line do not display the hyperexcitability phenotype. SOD1A4V/+ ALS patient-derived motor neurons have reduced delayed-rectifier potassium current amplitudes relative to control-derived motor neurons, a deficit that may underlie their hyperexcitability. The Kv7 channel activator retigabine both blocks the hyperexcitability and improves motor neuron survival in vitro when tested in SOD1 mutant ALS cases. Therefore, electrophysiological characterization of human stem cell-derived neurons can reveal disease-related mechanisms and identify therapeutic candidates.

  14. Zebrafish embryos exposed to alcohol undergo abnormal development of motor neurons and muscle fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvain, Nicole J; Brewster, Daniel L; Ali, Declan W

    2010-01-01

    Children exposed to alcohol in utero have significantly delayed gross and fine motor skills, as well as deficiencies in reflex development. The reasons that underlie the motor deficits caused by ethanol (EtOH) exposure remain to be fully elucidated. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of embryonic alcohol exposure (1.5%, 2% and 2.5% EtOH) on motor neuron and muscle fiber morphology in 3 days post fertilization (dpf) larval zebrafish. EtOH treated fish exhibited morphological deformities and fewer bouts of swimming in response to touch, compared with untreated fish. Immunolabelling with anti-acetylated tubulin indicated that fish exposed to 2.5% EtOH had significantly higher rates of motor neuron axon defects. Immunolabelling of primary and secondary motor neurons, using znp-1 and zn-8, revealed that fish exposed to 2% and 2.5% EtOH exhibited significantly higher rates of primary and secondary motor neuron axon defects compared to controls. Examination of red and white muscle fibers revealed that fish exposed to EtOH had significantly smaller fibers compared with controls. These findings indicate that motor neuron and muscle fiber morphology is affected by early alcohol exposure in zebrafish embryos, and that this may be related to deficits in locomotion. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. In Vivo Neuromechanics: Decoding Causal Motor Neuron Behavior with Resulting Musculoskeletal Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartori, Massimo; Yavuz, Utku Ş; Farina, Dario

    2017-10-18

    Human motor function emerges from the interaction between the neuromuscular and the musculoskeletal systems. Despite the knowledge of the mechanisms underlying neural and mechanical functions, there is no relevant understanding of the neuro-mechanical interplay in the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. This currently represents the major challenge to the understanding of human movement. We address this challenge by proposing a paradigm for investigating spinal motor neuron contribution to skeletal joint mechanical function in the intact human in vivo. We employ multi-muscle spatial sampling and deconvolution of high-density fiber electrical activity to decode accurate α-motor neuron discharges across five lumbosacral segments in the human spinal cord. We use complete α-motor neuron discharge series to drive forward subject-specific models of the musculoskeletal system in open-loop with no corrective feedback. We perform validation tests where mechanical moments are estimated with no knowledge of reference data over unseen conditions. This enables accurate blinded estimation of ankle function purely from motor neuron information. Remarkably, this enables observing causal associations between spinal motor neuron activity and joint moment control. We provide a new class of neural data-driven musculoskeletal modeling formulations for bridging between movement neural and mechanical levels in vivo with implications for understanding motor physiology, pathology, and recovery.

  16. Abnormal cortical synaptic plasticity in primary motor area in progressive supranuclear palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conte, Antonella; Belvisi, Daniele; Bologna, Matteo; Ottaviani, Donatella; Fabbrini, Giovanni; Colosimo, Carlo; Williams, David R; Berardelli, Alfredo

    2012-03-01

    No study has yet investigated whether cortical plasticity in primary motor area (M1) is abnormal in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). We studied M1 plasticity in 15 PSP patients and 15 age-matched healthy subjects. We used intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) to investigate long-term potentiation (LTP) and continuous TBS (cTBS) to investigate long-term depression (LTD)-like cortical plasticity in M1. Ten patients underwent iTBS again 1 year later. We also investigated short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) in M1 with paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation, tested H reflex from upper limb flexor muscles before and after iTBS, and measured motor evoked potential (MEP) input-output (I/O) curves before and after iTBS. iTBS elicited a significantly larger MEP facilitation after iTBS in patients than in healthy subjects. Whereas in healthy subjects, cTBS inhibited MEP, in patients it significantly facilitated MEPs. In patients, SICI was reduced, whereas ICF was normal. H reflex size remained unchanged after iTBS. Patients had steeper MEP I/O slopes than healthy subjects at baseline and became even more steeper after iTBS only in patients. The iTBS-induced abnormal MEP facilitation in PSP persisted at 1-year follow-up. In conclusion, patients with PSP have abnormal M1 LTP/LTD-like plasticity. The enhanced LTP-like cortical synaptic plasticity parallels disease progression.

  17. TDP-43 pathology in familial frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease without Progranulin mutations.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seelaar, H.; Schelhaas, H.J.; Azmani, A.; Kusters, B.; Rosso, S.; Majoor-Krakauer, D.F.; Rijik, M.C. de; Rizzu, P.; Brummelhuis, M. Ten; Doorn, P.A. van; Kamphorst, W.; Willemsen, R.; Swieten, J. van

    2007-01-01

    Frontotemporal dementia is accompanied by motor neuron disease (FTD + MND) in approximately 10% of cases. There is accumulating evidence for a clinicopathological overlap between FTD and MND based on observations of familial aggregation and neuropathological findings of ubiquitin-positive neuronal

  18. TDP-43 pathology in familial frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease without Progranulin mutations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Seelaar (Harro); H. Jurgen Schelhaas; A. Azmani (Asma); B. Küsters (Benno); S.M. Rosso (Sonia); D.F. Majoor-Krakauer (Danielle); M.C. de Rijik (Maarten); P. Rizzu (Patrizia); M. ten Brummelhuis (Ming); P.A. van Doorn (Pieter); W. Kamphorst (Wouter); R. Willemsen (Rob); J.C. van Swieten (John)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractFrontotemporal dementia is accompanied by motor neuron disease (FTD + MND) in ∼10% of cases. There is accumulating evidence for a clinicopathological overlap between FTD and MND based on observations of familial aggregation and neuropathological findings of ubiquitin-positive neuronal

  19. Attention modulates specific motor cortical circuits recruited by transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirdamadi, J L; Suzuki, L Y; Meehan, S K

    2017-09-17

    Skilled performance and acquisition is dependent upon afferent input to motor cortex. The present study used short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) to probe how manipulation of sensory afference by attention affects different circuits projecting to pyramidal tract neurons in motor cortex. SAI was assessed in the first dorsal interosseous muscle while participants performed a low or high attention-demanding visual detection task. SAI was evoked by preceding a suprathreshold transcranial magnetic stimulus with electrical stimulation of the median nerve at the wrist. To isolate different afferent intracortical circuits in motor cortex SAI was evoked using either posterior-anterior (PA) or anterior-posterior (PA) monophasic current. In an independent sample, somatosensory processing during the same attention-demanding visual detection tasks was assessed using somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEP) elicited by median nerve stimulation. SAI elicited by AP TMS was reduced under high compared to low visual attention demands. SAI elicited by PA TMS was not affected by visual attention demands. SEPs revealed that the high visual attention load reduced the fronto-central P20-N30 but not the contralateral parietal N20-P25 SEP component. P20-N30 reduction confirmed that the visual attention task altered sensory afference. The current results offer further support that PA and AP TMS recruit different neuronal circuits. AP circuits may be one substrate by which cognitive strategies shape sensorimotor processing during skilled movement by altering sensory processing in premotor areas. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Immunocytochemistry and fluorescence imaging efficiently identify individual neurons with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene disruption in primary cortical cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsunematsu, Hiroto; Uyeda, Akiko; Yamamoto, Nobuhiko; Sugo, Noriyuki

    2017-08-01

    CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful method to investigate the role of genes by introducing a mutation selectively and efficiently to specific genome positions in cell and animal lines. However, in primary neuron cultures, this method is affected by the issue that the effectiveness of CRISPR/Cas9 is different in each neuron. Here, we report an easy, quick and reliable method to identify mutants induced by the CRISPR/Cas9 system at a single neuron level, using immunocytochemistry (ICC) and fluorescence imaging. Dissociated cortical cells were transfected with CRISPR/Cas9 plasmids targeting the transcription factor cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). Fluorescence ICC with CREB antibody and quantitative analysis of fluorescence intensity demonstrated that CREB expression disappeared in a fraction of the transfected neurons. The downstream FOS expression was also decreased in accordance with suppressed CREB expression. Moreover, dendritic arborization was decreased in the transfected neurons which lacked CREB immunoreactivity. Detection of protein expression is efficient to identify individual postmitotic neurons with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene disruption in primary cortical cultures. The present method composed of CRISPR/Cas9 system, ICC and fluorescence imaging is applicable to study the function of various genes at a single-neuron level.

  1. Transcriptomic Analysis of Ciguatoxin-Induced Changes in Gene Expression in Primary Cultures of Mice Cortical Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Andrés Rubiolo

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Ciguatoxins are polyether marine toxins that act as sodium channel activators. These toxins cause ciguatera, one of the most widespread nonbacterial forms of food poisoning, which presents several symptoms in humans including long-term neurological alterations. Earlier work has shown that both acute and chronic exposure of primary cortical neurons to synthetic ciguatoxin CTX3C have profound impacts on neuronal function. Thus, the present work aimed to identify relevant neuronal genes and metabolic pathways that could be altered by ciguatoxin exposure. To study the effect of ciguatoxins in primary neurons in culture, we performed a transcriptomic analysis using whole mouse genome microarrays, for primary cortical neurons exposed during 6, 24, or 72 h in culture to CTX3C. Here, we have shown that the effects of the toxin on gene expression differ with the exposure time. The results presented here have identified several relevant genes and pathways related to the effect of ciguatoxins on neurons and may assist in future research or even treatment of ciguatera. Moreover, we demonstrated that the effects of the toxin on gene expression were exclusively consequential of its action as a voltage-gated sodium channel activator, since all the effects of CTX3C were avoided by preincubation of the neurons with the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin.

  2. Discontinuous Galerkin finite element method for solving population density functions of cortical pyramidal and thalamic neuronal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    Compared with the Monte Carlo method, the population density method is efficient for modeling collective dynamics of neuronal populations in human brain. In this method, a population density function describes the probabilistic distribution of states of all neurons in the population and it is governed by a hyperbolic partial differential equation. In the past, the problem was mainly solved by using the finite difference method. In a previous study, a continuous Galerkin finite element method was found better than the finite difference method for solving the hyperbolic partial differential equation; however, the population density function often has discontinuity and both methods suffer from a numerical stability problem. The goal of this study is to improve the numerical stability of the solution using discontinuous Galerkin finite element method. To test the performance of the new approach, interaction of a population of cortical pyramidal neurons and a population of thalamic neurons was simulated. The numerical results showed good agreement between results of discontinuous Galerkin finite element and Monte Carlo methods. The convergence and accuracy of the solutions are excellent. The numerical stability problem could be resolved using the discontinuous Galerkin finite element method which has total-variation-diminishing property. The efficient approach will be employed to simulate the electroencephalogram or dynamics of thalamocortical network which involves three populations, namely, thalamic reticular neurons, thalamocortical neurons and cortical pyramidal neurons. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Transcriptional regulation of gene expression clusters in motor neurons following spinal cord injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryge, J.; Winther, Ole; Wienecke, J.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Spinal cord injury leads to neurological dysfunctions affecting the motor, sensory as well as the autonomic systems. Increased excitability of motor neurons has been implicated in injury-induced spasticity, where the reappearance of self-sustained plateau potentials in the absence of ...

  4. Inflammation and neuronal death in the motor cortex of the wobbler mouse, an ALS animal model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahlke, Carolin; Saberi, Darius; Ott, Bastian

    2015-01-01

    microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy techniques, we analyze the proliferation behavior of microglial cells and astrocytes. We also investigate possible motor neuron death in the mouse motor cortex at different stages of the wobbler disease, which so far has not received much attention. Results...

  5. The Fas/Fas ligand death receptor pathway contributes to phenylalanine-induced apoptosis in cortical neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaodong Huang

    Full Text Available Phenylketonuria (PKU, an autosomal recessive disorder of amino acid metabolism caused by mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH gene, leads to childhood mental retardation by exposing neurons to cytotoxic levels of phenylalanine (Phe. A recent study showed that the mitochondria-mediated (intrinsic apoptotic pathway is involved in Phe-induced apoptosis in cultured cortical neurons, but it is not known if the death receptor (extrinsic apoptotic pathway and endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress-associated apoptosis also contribute to neurodegeneration in PKU. To answer this question, we used specific inhibitors to block each apoptotic pathway in cortical neurons under neurotoxic levels of Phe. The caspase-8 inhibitor Z-IETD-FMK strongly attenuated apoptosis in Phe-treated neurons (0.9 mM, 18 h, suggesting involvement of the Fas receptor (FasR-mediated cell death receptor pathway in Phe toxicity. In addition, Phe significantly increased cell surface Fas expression and formation of the Fas/FasL complex. Blocking Fas/FasL signaling using an anti-Fas antibody markedly inhibited apoptosis caused by Phe. In contrast, blocking the ER stress-induced cell death pathway with salubrinal had no effect on apoptosis in Phe-treated cortical neurons. These experiments demonstrate that the Fas death receptor pathway contributes to Phe-induced apoptosis and suggest that inhibition of the death receptor pathway may be a novel target for neuroprotection in PKU patients.

  6. Classic cadherin expressions balance postnatal neuronal positioning and dendrite dynamics to elaborate the specific cytoarchitecture of the mouse cortical area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egusa, Saki F; Inoue, Yukiko U; Asami, Junko; Terakawa, Youhei W; Hoshino, Mikio; Inoue, Takayoshi

    2016-04-01

    A unique feature of the mammalian cerebral cortex is in its tangential parcellation via anatomical and functional differences. However, the cellular and/or molecular machinery involved in cortical arealization remain largely unknown. Here we map expression profiles of classic cadherins in the postnatal mouse barrel field of the primary somatosensory area (S1BF) and generate a novel bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic (BAC-Tg) mouse line selectively illuminating nuclei of cadherin-6 (Cdh6)-expressing layer IV barrel neurons to confirm that tangential cellular assemblage of S1BF is established by postnatal day 5 (P5). When we electroporate the cadherins expressed in both barrel neurons and thalamo-cortical axon (TCA) terminals limited to the postnatal layer IV neurons, S1BF cytoarchitecture is disorganized with excess elongation of dendrites at P7. Upon delivery of dominant negative molecules for all classic cadherins, tangential cellular positioning and biased dendritic arborization of barrel neurons are significantly altered. These results underscore the value of classic cadherin-mediated sorting among neuronal cell bodies, dendrites and TCA terminals in postnatally elaborating the S1BF-specific tangential cytoarchitecture. Additionally, how the "protocortex" machinery affects classic cadherin expression profiles in the process of cortical arealization is examined and discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  7. Basal Dendritic Morphology of Cortical Pyramidal Neurons in Williams Syndrome: Prefrontal Cortex and Beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Hanson, Kari L; Lew, Caroline H; Stefanacci, Lisa; Jacobs, Bob; Bellugi, Ursula; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2017-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a unique neurodevelopmental disorder with a specific behavioral and cognitive profile, which includes hyperaffiliative behavior, poor social judgment, and lack of social inhibition. Here we examined the morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons in the cortex of two rare adult subjects with WS. Specifically, we examined two areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC)-the frontal pole (Brodmann area 10) and the orbitofrontal cortex (Brodmann area 11)-and three areas in the motor, sensory, and visual cortex (BA 4, BA 3-1-2, BA 18). The findings suggest that the morphology of basal dendrites on the pyramidal neurons is altered in the cortex of WS, with differences that were layer-specific, more prominent in PFC areas, and displayed an overall pattern of dendritic organization that differentiates WS from other disorders. In particular, and unlike what was expected based on typically developing brains, basal dendrites in the two PFC areas did not display longer and more branched dendrites compared to motor, sensory and visual areas. Moreover, dendritic branching, dendritic length, and the number of dendritic spines differed little within PFC and between the central executive region (BA 10) and BA 11 that is part of the orbitofrontal region involved into emotional processing. In contrast, the relationship between the degree of neuronal branching in supra- versus infra-granular layers was spared in WS. Although this study utilized tissue held in formalin for a prolonged period of time and the number of neurons available for analysis was limited, our findings indicate that WS cortex, similar to that in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, Fragile X, and idiopathic autism, has altered morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons, which appears more prominent in selected areas of the PFC. Results were examined from developmental perspectives and discussed in the context of other neurodevelopmental disorders

  8. Basal Dendritic Morphology of Cortical Pyramidal Neurons in Williams Syndrome: Prefrontal Cortex and Beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branka Hrvoj-Mihic

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Williams syndrome (WS is a unique neurodevelopmental disorder with a specific behavioral and cognitive profile, which includes hyperaffiliative behavior, poor social judgment, and lack of social inhibition. Here we examined the morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons in the cortex of two rare adult subjects with WS. Specifically, we examined two areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC—the frontal pole (Brodmann area 10 and the orbitofrontal cortex (Brodmann area 11—and three areas in the motor, sensory, and visual cortex (BA 4, BA 3-1-2, BA 18. The findings suggest that the morphology of basal dendrites on the pyramidal neurons is altered in the cortex of WS, with differences that were layer-specific, more prominent in PFC areas, and displayed an overall pattern of dendritic organization that differentiates WS from other disorders. In particular, and unlike what was expected based on typically developing brains, basal dendrites in the two PFC areas did not display longer and more branched dendrites compared to motor, sensory and visual areas. Moreover, dendritic branching, dendritic length, and the number of dendritic spines differed little within PFC and between the central executive region (BA 10 and BA 11 that is part of the orbitofrontal region involved into emotional processing. In contrast, the relationship between the degree of neuronal branching in supra- versus infra-granular layers was spared in WS. Although this study utilized tissue held in formalin for a prolonged period of time and the number of neurons available for analysis was limited, our findings indicate that WS cortex, similar to that in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, Fragile X, and idiopathic autism, has altered morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons, which appears more prominent in selected areas of the PFC. Results were examined from developmental perspectives and discussed in the context of other

  9. MRI and neuropathological validations of the involvement of air pollutants in cortical selective neuronal loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejaz, Sohail; Anwar, Khaleeq; Ashraf, Muhammad

    2014-03-01

    Vehicles are a major source of air pollution, especially particulate matter (PM) pollution, throughout the world and auto-rickshaws are considered main contributors to this air pollution. PM, in addition to causing respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, has potential to gain access to the brain and could induce neuroinflammation leading to different neurological disorders. Therefore, in the current project, MRI and immunohistochemistry techniques were adopted to ascertain the neurotoxic potential of the chronic exposure to different PM generated by two-stroke auto-rickshaws (TSA), four-stroke auto-rickshaws (FSA), and aluminum sulfate (AS) solution in rats. The results highlighted that all treated groups followed a pattern of dose-dependent increase in pure cortical neuronal loss, selective neuronal loss (SNL), nuclear pyknosis, karyolysis, and karyorrhexis. Mild to moderate areas of penumbra were also observed with increase in the population of activated microglia and astrocytes, while no alteration in the intensities of T2W MRI signals was perceived in any group. When comparing the findings, TSA possess more neurotoxic potential than FSA and AS, which could be associated with increased concentration of certain elements in TSA emissions. The study concludes that chronic exposure to PM from TSA, FSA, and AS solutions produces diverse neuropathies in the brain, which may lead to different life-threatening neurological disorders like stroke, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disorders. Government and environmental agencies should take serious notice of this alarming situation, and immediate steps should be implemented to improve the standards of PM emissions from auto-rickshaws.

  10. Effects of ambroxol on the autophagy-lysosome pathway and mitochondria in primary cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magalhaes, J; Gegg, M E; Migdalska-Richards, A; Schapira, A H

    2018-01-23

    Glucocerebrosidase (GBA1) mutations are the major genetic risk factor for Parkinson's Disease (PD). The pathogenic mechanism is still unclear, but alterations in lysosomal-autophagy processes are implicated due to reduction of mutated glucocerebrosidase (GCase) in lysosomes. Wild-type GCase activity is also decreased in sporadic PD brains. Small molecule chaperones that increase lysosomal GCase activity have potential to be disease-modifying therapies for GBA1-associated and sporadic PD. Therefore we have used mouse cortical neurons to explore the effects of the chaperone ambroxol. This chaperone increased wild-type GCase mRNA, protein levels and activity, as well as increasing other lysosomal enzymes and LIMP2, the GCase transporter. Transcription factor EB (TFEB), the master regulator of the CLEAR pathway involved in lysosomal biogenesis was also increased upon ambroxol treatment. Moreover, we found macroautophagy flux blocked and exocytosis increased in neurons treated with ambroxol. We suggest that ambroxol is blocking autophagy and driving cargo towards the secretory pathway. Mitochondria content was also found to be increased by ambroxol via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC1-α). Our data suggest that ambroxol, besides being a GCase chaperone, also acts on other pathways, such as mitochondria, lysosomal biogenesis, and the secretory pathway.

  11. GABA neurons and the mechanisms of network oscillations: implications for understanding cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Lewis, David A

    2008-09-01

    Synchronization of neuronal activity in the neocortex may underlie the coordination of neural representations and thus is critical for optimal cognitive function. Because cognitive deficits are the major determinant of functional outcome in schizophrenia, identifying their neural basis is important for the development of new therapeutic interventions. Here we review the data suggesting that phasic synaptic inhibition mediated by specific subtypes of cortical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons is essential for the production of synchronized network oscillations. We also discuss evidence indicating that GABA neurotransmission is altered in schizophrenia and propose mechanisms by which such alterations can decrease the strength of inhibitory connections in a cell-type-specific manner. We suggest that some alterations observed in the neocortex of schizophrenia subjects may be compensatory responses that partially restore inhibitory synaptic efficacy. The findings of altered neural synchrony and impaired cognitive function in schizophrenia suggest that such compensatory responses are insufficient and that interventions aimed at augmenting the efficacy of GABA neurotransmission might be of therapeutic value.

  12. Diversification of C. elegans Motor Neuron Identity via Selective Effector Gene Repression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerk, Sze Yen; Kratsios, Paschalis; Hart, Michael; Mourao, Romulo; Hobert, Oliver

    2017-01-04

    A common organizational feature of nervous systems is the existence of groups of neurons that share common traits but can be divided into individual subtypes based on anatomical or molecular features. We elucidate the mechanistic basis of neuronal diversification processes in the context of C.elegans ventral cord motor neurons that share common traits that are directly activated by the terminal selector UNC-3. Diversification of motor neurons into different classes, each characterized by unique patterns of effector gene expression, is controlled by distinct combinations of phylogenetically conserved, class-specific transcriptional repressors. These repressors are continuously required in postmitotic neurons to prevent UNC-3, which is active in all neuron classes, from activating class-specific effector genes in specific motor neuron subsets via discrete cis-regulatory elements. The strategy of antagonizing the activity of broadly acting terminal selectors of neuron identity in a subtype-specific fashion may constitute a general principle of neuron subtype diversification. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Impact of Non-Invasively Induced Motor Deficits on Tibial Cortical Properties in Mutant Lurcher Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alena Jindrová

    Full Text Available It has been shown that Lurcher mutant mice have significantly altered motor abilities, regarding their motor coordination and muscular strength because of olivorecebellar degeneration. We assessed the response of the cross-sectional geometry and lacuno-canalicular network properties of the tibial mid-diaphyseal cortical bone to motor differences between Lurcher and wild-type (WT male mice from the B6CBA strain. The first data set used in the cross-sectional geometry analysis consists of 16 mice of 4 months of age and 32 mice of 9 months of age. The second data set used in the lacunar-canalicular network analysis consists of 10 mice of 4 months of age. We compared two cross-sectional geometry and four lacunar-canalicular properties by I-region using the maximum and minimum second moment of area and anatomical orientation as well as H-regions using histological differences within a cross section. We identified inconsistent differences in the studied cross-sectional geometry properties between Lurcher and WT mice. The biggest significant difference between Lurcher and WT mice is found in the number of canaliculi, whereas in the other studied properties are only limited. Lurcher mice exhibit an increased number of canaliculi (p < 0.01 in all studied regions compared with the WT controls. The number of canaliculi is also negatively correlated with the distance from the centroid in the Lurcher and positively correlated in the WT mice. When the Lurcher and WT sample is pooled, the number of canaliculi and lacunar volume is increased in the posterior Imax region, and in addition, midcortical H-region exhibit lower number of canaliculi, lacuna to lacuna distance and increased lacunar volume. Our results indicate, that the importance of precise sample selection within cross sections in future studies is highlighted because of the histological heterogeneity of lacunar-canalicular network properties within the I-region and H-region in the mouse cortical

  14. Effects of somatosensory electrical stimulation on motor function and cortical oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu-Chan, Adelyn P; Natraj, Nikhilesh; Godlove, Jason; Abrams, Gary; Ganguly, Karunesh

    2017-11-13

    Few patients recover full hand dexterity after an acquired brain injury such as stroke. Repetitive somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) is a promising method to promote recovery of hand function. However, studies using SES have largely focused on gross motor function; it remains unclear if it can modulate distal hand functions such as finger individuation. The specific goal of this study was to monitor the effects of SES on individuation as well as on cortical oscillations measured using EEG, with the additional goal of identifying neurophysiological biomarkers. Eight participants with a history of acquired brain injury and distal upper limb motor impairments received a single two-hour session of SES using transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Pre- and post-intervention assessments consisted of the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), finger fractionation, pinch force, and the modified Ashworth scale (MAS), along with resting-state EEG monitoring. SES was associated with significant improvements in ARAT, MAS and finger fractionation. Moreover, SES was associated with a decrease in low frequency (0.9-4 Hz delta) ipsilesional parietomotor EEG power. Interestingly, changes in ipsilesional motor theta (4.8-7.9 Hz) and alpha (8.8-11.7 Hz) power were significantly correlated with finger fractionation improvements when using a multivariate model. We show the positive effects of SES on finger individuation and identify cortical oscillations that may be important electrophysiological biomarkers of individual responsiveness to SES. These biomarkers can be potential targets when customizing SES parameters to individuals with hand dexterity deficits. NCT03176550; retrospectively registered.

  15. Fear conditioning leads to alteration in specific genes expression in cortical and thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Ira K; Lamprecht, Raphael

    2015-02-01

    RNA transcription is needed for memory formation. However, the ability to identify genes whose expression is altered by learning is greatly impaired because of methodological difficulties in profiling gene expression in specific neurons involved in memory formation. Here, we report a novel approach to monitor the expression of genes after learning in neurons in specific brain pathways needed for memory formation. In this study, we aimed to monitor gene expression after fear learning. We retrogradely labeled discrete thalamic neurons that project to the lateral amygdala (LA) of rats. The labeled neurons were dissected, using laser microdissection microscopy, after fear conditioning learning or unpaired training. The RNAs from the dissected neurons were subjected to microarray analysis. The levels of selected RNAs detected by the microarray analysis to be altered by fear conditioning were also assessed by nanostring analysis. We observed that the expression of genes involved in the regulation of translation, maturation and degradation of proteins was increased 6 h after fear conditioning compared to unpaired or naïve trained rats. These genes were not expressed 24 h after training or in cortical neurons that project to the LA. The expression of genes involved in transcription regulation and neuronal development was altered after fear conditioning learning in the cortical-LA pathway. The present study provides key information on the identity of genes expressed in discrete thalamic and cortical neurons that project to the LA after fear conditioning. Such an approach could also serve to identify gene products as targets for the development of a new generation of therapeutic agents that could be aimed to functionally identified brain circuits to treat memory-related disorders. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  16. Transplantation of Xenopus laevis tissues to determine the ability of motor neurons to acquire a novel target.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen L Elliott

    Full Text Available The evolutionary origin of novelties is a central problem in biology. At a cellular level this requires, for example, molecularly resolving how brainstem motor neurons change their innervation target from muscle fibers (branchial motor neurons to neural crest-derived ganglia (visceral motor neurons or ear-derived hair cells (inner ear and lateral line efferent neurons. Transplantation of various tissues into the path of motor neuron axons could determine the ability of any motor neuron to innervate a novel target. Several tissues that receive direct, indirect, or no motor innervation were transplanted into the path of different motor neuron populations in Xenopus laevis embryos. Ears, somites, hearts, and lungs were transplanted to the orbit, replacing the eye. Jaw and eye muscle were transplanted to the trunk, replacing a somite. Applications of lipophilic dyes and immunohistochemistry to reveal motor neuron axon terminals were used. The ear, but not somite-derived muscle, heart, or liver, received motor neuron axons via the oculomotor or trochlear nerves. Somite-derived muscle tissue was innervated, likely by the hypoglossal nerve, when replacing the ear. In contrast to our previous report on ear innervation by spinal motor neurons, none of the tissues (eye or jaw muscle was innervated when transplanted to the trunk. Taken together, these results suggest that there is some plasticity inherent to motor innervation, but not every motor neuron can become an efferent to any target that normally receives motor input. The only tissue among our samples that can be innervated by all motor neurons tested is the ear. We suggest some possible, testable molecular suggestions for this apparent uniqueness.

  17. Prognostic Value of Cortically Induced Motor Evoked Activity by TMS in Chronic Stroke: Caveats from a Revealing Single Clinical Case

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Amengual, Julià L

    2012-06-08

    AbstractBackgroundWe report the case of a chronic stroke patient (62 months after injury) showing total absence of motor activity evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of spared regions of the left motor cortex, but near-to-complete recovery of motor abilities in the affected hand.Case presentationMultimodal investigations included detailed TMS based motor mapping, motor evoked potentials (MEP), and Cortical Silent period (CSP) as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of motor activity, MRI based lesion analysis and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Tractography of corticospinal tract (CST). Anatomical analysis revealed a left hemisphere subinsular lesion interrupting the descending left CST at the level of the internal capsule. The absence of MEPs after intense TMS pulses to the ipsilesional M1, and the reversible suppression of ongoing electromyographic (EMG) activity (indexed by CSP) demonstrate a weak modulation of subcortical systems by the ipsilesional left frontal cortex, but an inability to induce efficient descending volleys from those cortical locations to right hand and forearm muscles. Functional MRI recordings under grasping and finger tapping patterns involving the affected hand showed slight signs of subcortical recruitment, as compared to the unaffected hand and hemisphere, as well as the expected cortical activations.ConclusionsThe potential sources of motor voluntary activity for the affected hand in absence of MEPs are discussed. We conclude that multimodal analysis may contribute to a more accurate prognosis of stroke patients.

  18. Prognostic value of cortically induced motor evoked activity by TMS in chronic stroke: Caveats from a revealing single clinical case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amengual Julià L

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We report the case of a chronic stroke patient (62 months after injury showing total absence of motor activity evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS of spared regions of the left motor cortex, but near-to-complete recovery of motor abilities in the affected hand. Case presentation Multimodal investigations included detailed TMS based motor mapping, motor evoked potentials (MEP, and Cortical Silent period (CSP as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI of motor activity, MRI based lesion analysis and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI Tractography of corticospinal tract (CST. Anatomical analysis revealed a left hemisphere subinsular lesion interrupting the descending left CST at the level of the internal capsule. The absence of MEPs after intense TMS pulses to the ipsilesional M1, and the reversible suppression of ongoing electromyographic (EMG activity (indexed by CSP demonstrate a weak modulation of subcortical systems by the ipsilesional left frontal cortex, but an inability to induce efficient descending volleys from those cortical locations to right hand and forearm muscles. Functional MRI recordings under grasping and finger tapping patterns involving the affected hand showed slight signs of subcortical recruitment, as compared to the unaffected hand and hemisphere, as well as the expected cortical activations. Conclusions The potential sources of motor voluntary activity for the affected hand in absence of MEPs are discussed. We conclude that multimodal analysis may contribute to a more accurate prognosis of stroke patients.

  19. Markers of Pluripotency in Human Amniotic Epithelial Cells and Their Differentiation to Progenitor of Cortical Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Castro, Irma Lydia; García-López, Guadalupe; Ávila-González, Daniela; Flores-Herrera, Héctor; Molina-Hernández, Anayansi; Portillo, Wendy; Ramón-Gallegos, Eva; Díaz, Néstor Fabián

    2015-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) have promise for regenerative medicine due to their auto-renovation and differentiation capacities. Nevertheless, there are several ethical and methodological issues about these cells that have not been resolved. Human amniotic epithelial cells (hAEC) have been proposed as source of pluripotent stem cells. Several groups have studied hAEC but have reported inconsistencies about their pluripotency properties. The aim of the present study was the in vitro characterization of hAEC collected from a Mexican population in order to identify transcription factors involved in the pluripotency circuitry and to determine their epigenetic state. Finally, we evaluated if these cells differentiate to cortical progenitors. We analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively the expression of the transcription factors of pluripotency (OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, KLF4 and REX1) by RT-PCR and RT-qPCR in hAEC. Also, we determined the presence of OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, SSEA3, SSEA4, TRA-1-60, E-cadherin, KLF4, TFE3 as well as the proliferation and epigenetic state by immunocytochemistry of the cells. Finally, hAEC were differentiated towards cortical progenitors using a protocol of two stages. Here we show that hAEC, obtained from a Mexican population and cultured in vitro (P0-P3), maintained the expression of several markers strongly involved in pluripotency maintenance (OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, TFE3, KLF4, SSEA3, SSEA4, TRA-1-60 and E-cadherin). Finally, when hAEC were treated with growth factors and small molecules, they expressed markers characteristic of cortical progenitors (TBR2, OTX2, NeuN and β-III-tubulin). Our results demonstrated that hAEC express naïve pluripotent markers (KLF4, REX1 and TFE3) as well as the cortical neuron phenotype after differentiation. This highlights the need for further investigation of hAEC as a possible source of hPSC. PMID:26720151

  20. Therapeutic opportunities and challenges of induced pluripotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Manoj Kumar Jaiswal

    2017-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are progressive neurodegenera-tive diseases that affect nerve cells in the brain affecting upper and lower motor neurons (UMNs/LMNs), brain stem and spinal cord.The clinical phenotype is characterized by loss of motor neurons (MNs), mus-cular weakness and atrophy eventually leading to paralysis and death due to respiratory failure within 3–5 years after disease onset. No effective treatment or cure is currently available that halts or reverses ALS and MND except FDA approved drug riluzole that only modestly slows the progression of ALS in some patients. Recent advances in human derived induced pluripotent stem cells have made it possible for the first time to obtain substantial amounts of human cells to recapitulate in vitro"disease in dish"and test some of the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms involved in ALS and MNDs. In this review, I discussed the opportunities and challenges of induced pluropotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of ALS and MND patients with special emphasis on their implications in finding a cure for ALS and MNDs.

  1. Therapeutic opportunities and challenges of induced pluripotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaiswal, Manoj Kumar

    2017-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are progressive neurodegenerative diseases that affect nerve cells in the brain affecting upper and lower motor neurons (UMNs/LMNs), brain stem and spinal cord. The clinical phenotype is characterized by loss of motor neurons (MNs), muscular weakness and atrophy eventually leading to paralysis and death due to respiratory failure within 3-5 years after disease onset. No effective treatment or cure is currently available that halts or reverses ALS and MND except FDA approved drug riluzole that only modestly slows the progression of ALS in some patients. Recent advances in human derived induced pluripotent stem cells have made it possible for the first time to obtain substantial amounts of human cells to recapitulate in vitro " disease in dish " and test some of the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms involved in ALS and MNDs. In this review, I discussed the opportunities and challenges of induced pluropotent stem cells-derived motor neurons for treatment of ALS and MND patients with special emphasis on their implications in finding a cure for ALS and MNDs.

  2. Rhythmic activity of feline dorsal and ventral spinocerebellar tract neurons during fictive motor actions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fedirchuk, Brent; Stecina, Katinka; Kristensen, Kasper Kyhl

    2013-01-01

    (without phasic afferent feedback). In this study, we compared the activity of DSCT and VSCT neurons during fictive rhythmic motor behaviors. We used decerebrate cat preparations in which fictive motor tasks can be evoked while the animal is paralyzed and there is no rhythmic sensory input from hindlimb......Neurons of the dorsal spinocerebellar tracts (DSCT) have been described to be rhythmically active during walking on a treadmill in decerebrate cats, but this activity ceased following deafferentation of the hindlimb. This observation supported the hypothesis that DSCT neurons primarily relay...

  3. Dynamics of action potential backpropagation in basal dendrites of prefrontal cortical pyramidal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Wen-Liang; Yan, Ping; Wuskell, Joseph P; Loew, Leslie M; Antic, Srdjan D

    2008-02-01

    Basal dendrites of neocortical pyramidal neurons are relatively short and directly attached to the cell body. This allows electrical signals arising in basal dendrites to strongly influence the neuronal output. Likewise, somatic action potentials (APs) should readily propagate back into the basilar dendritic tree to influence synaptic plasticity. Two recent studies, however, determined that sodium APs are severely attenuated in basal dendrites of cortical pyramidal cells, so that they completely fail in distal dendritic segments. Here we used the latest improvements in the voltage-sensitive dye imaging technique (Zhou et al., 2007) to study AP backpropagation in basal dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons of the rat prefrontal cortex. With a signal-to-noise ratio of > 15 and minimal temporal averaging (only four sweeps) we were able to sample AP waveforms from the very last segments of individual dendritic branches (dendritic tips). We found that in short- (< 150 microm) and medium (150-200 microm in length)-range basal dendrites APs backpropagated with modest changes in AP half-width or AP rise-time. The lack of substantial changes in AP shape and dynamics of rise is inconsistent with the AP-failure model. The lack of substantial amplitude boosting of the third AP in the high-frequency burst also suggests that in short- and medium-range basal dendrites backpropagating APs were not severely attenuated. Our results show that the AP-failure concept does not apply in all basal dendrites of the rat prefrontal cortex. The majority of synaptic contacts in the basilar dendritic tree actually received significant AP-associated electrical and calcium transients.

  4. Activation of Wnt Signaling in Cortical Neurons Enhances Glucose Utilization through Glycolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Silva-Álvarez, Carmen; Barros, L Felipe; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C

    2016-12-09

    The Wnt signaling pathway is critical for a number of functions in the central nervous system, including regulation of the synaptic cleft structure and neuroprotection against injury. Deregulation of Wnt signaling has been associated with several brain pathologies, including Alzheimer's disease. In recent years, it has been suggested that the Wnt pathway might act as a central integrator of metabolic signals from peripheral organs to the brain, which would represent a new role for Wnt signaling in cell metabolism. Energy metabolism is critical for normal neuronal function, which mainly depends on glucose utilization. Brain energy metabolism is important in almost all neurological disorders, to which a decrease in the capacity of the brain to utilize glucose has been linked. However, little is known about the relationship between Wnt signaling and neuronal glucose metabolism in the cellular context. In the present study, we found that acute treatment with the Wnt3a ligand induced a large increase in glucose uptake, without changes in the expression or localization of glucose transporter type 3. In addition, we observed that Wnt3a treatment increased the activation of the metabolic sensor Akt. Moreover, we observed an increase in the activity of hexokinase and in the glycolytic rate, and both processes were dependent on activation of the Akt pathway. Furthermore, we did not observe changes in the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase or in the pentose phosphate pathway. The effect of Wnt3a was independent of both the transcription of Wnt target genes and synaptic effects of Wnt3a. Together, our results suggest that Wnt signaling stimulates glucose utilization in cortical neurons through glycolysis to satisfy the high energy demand of these cells. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. Cortical Gene Expression After a Conditional Knockout of 67 kDa Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase in Parvalbumin Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiev, Danko; Yoshihara, Toru; Kawabata, Rika; Matsubara, Takurou; Tsubomoto, Makoto; Minabe, Yoshio; Lewis, David A; Hashimoto, Takanori

    2016-07-01

    In the cortex of subjects with schizophrenia, expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67), the enzyme primarily responsible for cortical GABA synthesis, is reduced in the subset of GABA neurons that express parvalbumin (PV). This GAD67 deficit is accompanied by lower cortical levels of other GABA-associated transcripts, including GABA transporter-1, PV, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), tropomyosin receptor kinase B, somatostatin, GABAA receptor α1 subunit, and KCNS3 potassium channel subunit mRNAs. In contrast, messenger RNA (mRNA) levels for glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65), another enzyme for GABA synthesis, are not altered. We tested the hypothesis that this pattern of GABA-associated transcript levels is secondary to the GAD67 deficit in PV neurons by analyzing cortical levels of these GABA-associated mRNAs in mice with a PV neuron-specific GAD67 knockout. Using in situ hybridization, we found that none of the examined GABA-associated transcripts had lower cortical expression in the knockout mice. In contrast, PV, BDNF, KCNS3, and GAD65 mRNA levels were higher in the homozygous mice. In addition, our behavioral test battery failed to detect a change in sensorimotor gating or working memory, although the homozygous mice exhibited increased spontaneous activities. These findings suggest that reduced GAD67 expression in PV neurons is not an upstream cause of the lower levels of GABA-associated transcripts, or of the characteristic behaviors, in schizophrenia. In PV neuron-specific GAD67 knockout mice, increased levels of PV, BDNF, and KCNS3 mRNAs might be the consequence of increased neuronal activity secondary to lower GABA synthesis, whereas increased GAD65 mRNA might represent a compensatory response to increase GABA synthesis. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Plasticity Induced by Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation in Bilateral Motor Cortices Is Not Altered in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daina S. E. Dickins

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have reported that plasticity induced in the motor cortex by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS is attenuated in older adults. Those investigations, however, have focused solely on the stimulated hemisphere. Compared to young adults, older adults exhibit more widespread activity across bilateral motor cortices during the performance of unilateral motor tasks, suggesting that the manifestation of plasticity might also be altered. To address this question, twenty young (65 years underwent intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS whilst attending to the hand targeted by the plasticity-inducing procedure. The amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs elicited by single pulse TMS was used to quantify cortical excitability before and after iTBS. Individual responses to iTBS were highly variable, with half the participants showing an unexpected decrease in cortical excitability. Contrary to predictions, however, there were no age-related differences in the magnitude or manifestation of plasticity across bilateral motor cortices. The findings suggest that advancing age does not influence the capacity for, or manifestation of, plasticity induced by iTBS.

  7. Plasticity Induced by Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation in Bilateral Motor Cortices Is Not Altered in Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickins, Daina S. E.; Sale, Martin V.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies have reported that plasticity induced in the motor cortex by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is attenuated in older adults. Those investigations, however, have focused solely on the stimulated hemisphere. Compared to young adults, older adults exhibit more widespread activity across bilateral motor cortices during the performance of unilateral motor tasks, suggesting that the manifestation of plasticity might also be altered. To address this question, twenty young (65 years) underwent intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) whilst attending to the hand targeted by the plasticity-inducing procedure. The amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by single pulse TMS was used to quantify cortical excitability before and after iTBS. Individual responses to iTBS were highly variable, with half the participants showing an unexpected decrease in cortical excitability. Contrary to predictions, however, there were no age-related differences in the magnitude or manifestation of plasticity across bilateral motor cortices. The findings suggest that advancing age does not influence the capacity for, or manifestation of, plasticity induced by iTBS. PMID:26064691

  8. Neuron activity in rat hippocampus and motor cortex during discrimination reversal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disterhoft, J F; Segal, M

    1978-01-01

    Chronic unit activity and gross movement were recorded from rats during two discrimination reversals in a classical appetitive conditioning situation. The anticipatory movement decreased in response to the former CS+ tone and increased to the previous CS- tone after each reversal. Hippocampus and motor cortex were differently related to these two kinds of behavioral change. Response rates of hippocampal neurons were more closely related to the increased movement response to the former CS- which now signaled food. Motor cortex neuron responses were more closely correlated with the decrease in movement responses to the former CS+ which became neutral after the reversal. It appeared that hippocampal neurons could have been involved in one cognitive aspect of the situation, motor cortex neurons in another. The data were related to current functional concepts of these brain regions.

  9. ALS-associated mutant FUS induces selective motor neuron degeneration through toxic gain of function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Aarti; Lyashchenko, Alexander K; Lu, Lei; Nasrabady, Sara Ebrahimi; Elmaleh, Margot; Mendelsohn, Monica; Nemes, Adriana; Tapia, Juan Carlos; Mentis, George Z; Shneider, Neil A

    2016-02-04

    Mutations in FUS cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), including some of the most aggressive, juvenile-onset forms of the disease. FUS loss-of-function and toxic gain-of-function mechanisms have been proposed to explain how mutant FUS leads to motor neuron degeneration, but neither has been firmly established in the pathogenesis of ALS. Here we characterize a series of transgenic FUS mouse lines that manifest progressive, mutant-dependent motor neuron degeneration preceded by early, structural and functional abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction. A novel, conditional FUS knockout mutant reveals that postnatal elimination of FUS has no effect on motor neuron survival or function. Moreover, endogenous FUS does not contribute to the onset of the ALS phenotype induced by mutant FUS. These findings demonstrate that FUS-dependent motor degeneration is not