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Sample records for distinct neuronal functions

  1. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus.

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    Hernández, Vivian M; Hegeman, Daniel J; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A; Fiske, Michael P; Glajch, Kelly E; Pitt, Jason E; Huang, Tina Y; Justice, Nicholas J; Chan, C Savio

    2015-08-26

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping expression of the

  2. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M.; Hegeman, Daniel J.; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A.; Fiske, Michael P.; Glajch, Kelly E.; Pitt, Jason E.; Huang, Tina Y.; Justice, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping

  3. Distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish Hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

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    Myron S Ignatius

    Full Text Available The regulation of gene expression is accomplished by both genetic and epigenetic means and is required for the precise control of the development of the neural crest. In hdac1(b382 mutants, craniofacial cartilage development is defective in two distinct ways. First, fewer hoxb3a, dlx2 and dlx3-expressing posterior branchial arch precursors are specified and many of those that are consequently undergo apoptosis. Second, in contrast, normal numbers of progenitors are present in the anterior mandibular and hyoid arches, but chondrocyte precursors fail to terminally differentiate. In the peripheral nervous system, there is a disruption of enteric, DRG and sympathetic neuron differentiation in hdac1(b382 mutants compared to wildtype embryos. Specifically, enteric and DRG-precursors differentiate into neurons in the anterior gut and trunk respectively, while enteric and DRG neurons are rarely present in the posterior gut and tail. Sympathetic neuron precursors are specified in hdac1(b382 mutants and they undergo generic neuronal differentiation but fail to undergo noradrenergic differentiation. Using the HDAC inhibitor TSA, we isolated enzyme activity and temporal requirements for HDAC function that reproduce hdac1(b382 defects in craniofacial and sympathetic neuron development. Our study reveals distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

  4. Distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish Hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

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    Ignatius, Myron S; Unal Eroglu, Arife; Malireddy, Smitha; Gallagher, Glen; Nambiar, Roopa M; Henion, Paul D

    2013-01-01

    The regulation of gene expression is accomplished by both genetic and epigenetic means and is required for the precise control of the development of the neural crest. In hdac1(b382) mutants, craniofacial cartilage development is defective in two distinct ways. First, fewer hoxb3a, dlx2 and dlx3-expressing posterior branchial arch precursors are specified and many of those that are consequently undergo apoptosis. Second, in contrast, normal numbers of progenitors are present in the anterior mandibular and hyoid arches, but chondrocyte precursors fail to terminally differentiate. In the peripheral nervous system, there is a disruption of enteric, DRG and sympathetic neuron differentiation in hdac1(b382) mutants compared to wildtype embryos. Specifically, enteric and DRG-precursors differentiate into neurons in the anterior gut and trunk respectively, while enteric and DRG neurons are rarely present in the posterior gut and tail. Sympathetic neuron precursors are specified in hdac1(b382) mutants and they undergo generic neuronal differentiation but fail to undergo noradrenergic differentiation. Using the HDAC inhibitor TSA, we isolated enzyme activity and temporal requirements for HDAC function that reproduce hdac1(b382) defects in craniofacial and sympathetic neuron development. Our study reveals distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

  5. Layer 5 Callosal Parvalbumin-Expressing Neurons: A Distinct Functional Group of GABAergic Neurons.

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    Zurita, Hector; Feyen, Paul L C; Apicella, Alfonso Junior

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that parvalbumin-expressing neurons (CC-Parv neurons) connect the two hemispheres of motor and sensory areas via the corpus callosum, and are a functional part of the cortical circuit. Here we test the hypothesis that layer 5 CC-Parv neurons possess anatomical and molecular mechanisms which dampen excitability and modulate the gating of interhemispheric inhibition. In order to investigate this hypothesis we use viral tracing to determine the anatomical and electrophysiological properties of layer 5 CC-Parv and parvalbumin-expressing (Parv) neurons of the mouse auditory cortex (AC). Here we show that layer 5 CC-Parv neurons had larger dendritic fields characterized by longer dendrites that branched farther from the soma, whereas layer 5 Parv neurons had smaller dendritic fields characterized by shorter dendrites that branched nearer to the soma. The layer 5 CC-Parv neurons are characterized by delayed action potential (AP) responses to threshold currents, lower firing rates, and lower instantaneous frequencies compared to the layer 5 Parv neurons. Kv1.1 containing K + channels are the main source of the AP repolarization of the layer 5 CC-Parv and have a major role in determining both the spike delayed response, firing rate and instantaneous frequency of these neurons.

  6. Tp53 gene mediates distinct dopaminergic neuronal damage in different dopaminergic neurotoxicant models

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    Tao Lu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Tp53, a stress response gene, is involved in diverse cell death pathways and its activation is implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. However, whether the neuronal Tp53 protein plays a direct role in regulating dopaminergic (DA neuronal cell death or neuronal terminal damage in different neurotoxicant models is unknown. In our recent studies, in contrast to the global inhibition of Tp53 function by pharmacological inhibitors and in traditional Tp53 knock-out mice, we examined the effects of DA-specific Tp53 gene deletion after 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and methamphetamine exposure. Our data suggests that the Tp53 gene might be involved in both neuronal apoptosis and neuronal terminal damage caused by different neurotoxicants. Additional results from other studies also suggest that as a master regulator of many pathways that regulate apoptosis and synaptic terminal damage, it is possible that Tp53 may function as a signaling hub to integrate different signaling pathways to mediate distinctive target pathways. Tp53 protein as a signaling hub might be able to evaluate the microenvironment of neurons, assess the forms and severities of injury incurred, and determine whether apoptotic cell death or neuronal terminal degeneration occurs. Identification of the precise mechanisms activated in distinct neuronal damage caused by different forms and severities of injuries might allow for development of specific Tp53 inhibitors or ways to modulate distinct downstream target pathways involved.

  7. Differential regulation of microtubule severing by APC underlies distinct patterns of projection neuron and interneuron migration

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    Eom, Tae-Yeon; Stanco, Amelia; Guo, Jiami; Wilkins, Gary; Deslauriers, Danielle; Yan, Jessica; Monckton, Chase; Blair, Josh; Oon, Eesim; Perez, Abby; Salas, Eduardo; Oh, Adrianna; Ghukasyan, Vladimir; Snider, William D.; Rubenstein, John L. R.; Anton, E. S.

    2014-01-01

    Coordinated migration of distinct classes of neurons to appropriate positions leads to the formation of functional neuronal circuitry in the cerebral cortex. Two major classes of cortical neurons, interneurons and projection neurons, utilize distinctly different modes (radial vs. tangential) and routes of migration to arrive at their final positions in the cerebral cortex. Here, we show that adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) modulates microtubule (MT) severing in interneurons to facilitate tangential mode of interneuron migration, but not the glial-guided, radial migration of projection neurons. APC regulates the stability and activity of the MT severing protein p60-katanin in interneurons to promote the rapid remodeling of neuronal processes necessary for interneuron migration. These findings reveal how severing and restructuring of MTs facilitate distinct modes of neuronal migration necessary for laminar organization of neurons in the developing cerebral cortex. PMID:25535916

  8. Extracellular Monomeric and Aggregated Tau Efficiently Enter Human Neurons through Overlapping but Distinct Pathways

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    Lewis D. Evans

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: In Alzheimer’s disease, neurofibrillary tangle pathology appears to spread along neuronal connections, proposed to be mediated by the release and uptake of abnormal, disease-specific forms of microtubule-binding protein tau MAPT. It is currently unclear whether transfer of tau between neurons is a toxic gain-of-function process in dementia or reflects a constitutive biological process. We report two entry mechanisms for monomeric tau to human neurons: a rapid dynamin-dependent phase typical of endocytosis and a second, slower actin-dependent phase of macropinocytosis. Aggregated tau entry is independent of actin polymerization and largely dynamin dependent, consistent with endocytosis and distinct from macropinocytosis, the major route for aggregated tau entry reported for non-neuronal cells. Anti-tau antibodies abrogate monomeric tau entry into neurons, but less efficiently in the case of aggregated tau, where internalized tau carries antibody with it into neurons. These data suggest that tau entry to human neurons is a physiological process and not a disease-specific phenomenon. : In contrast with predictions that transfer of the microtubule-associated protein tau between neurons is a toxic gain-of-function process in dementia, Evans et al. show that healthy human neurons efficiently take up both normal and aggregated tau, by distinct but overlapping uptake mechanisms. Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Tau, MAPT, iPSC, endocytosis, human neurons, intracellular transport

  9. Gene expression profiling of two distinct neuronal populations in the rodent spinal cord.

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    Jesper Ryge

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the field of neuroscience microarray gene expression profiles on anatomically defined brain structures are being used increasingly to study both normal brain functions as well as pathological states. Fluorescent tracing techniques in brain tissue that identifies distinct neuronal populations can in combination with global gene expression profiling potentially increase the resolution and specificity of such studies to shed new light on neuronal functions at the cellular level. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examine the microarray gene expression profiles of two distinct neuronal populations in the spinal cord of the neonatal rat, the principal motor neurons and specific interneurons involved in motor control. The gene expression profiles of the respective cell populations were obtained from amplified mRNA originating from 50-250 fluorescently identified and laser microdissected cells. In the data analysis we combine a new microarray normalization procedure with a conglomerate measure of significant differential gene expression. Using our methodology we find 32 genes to be more expressed in the interneurons compared to the motor neurons that all except one have not previously been associated with this neuronal population. As a validation of our method we find 17 genes to be more expressed in the motor neurons than in the interneurons and of these only one had not previously been described in this population. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We provide an optimized experimental protocol that allows isolation of gene transcripts from fluorescent retrogradely labeled cell populations in fresh tissue, which can be used to generate amplified aRNA for microarray hybridization from as few as 50 laser microdissected cells. Using this optimized experimental protocol in combination with our microarray analysis methodology we find 49 differentially expressed genes between the motor neurons and the interneurons that reflect the functional

  10. Gene expression profiling of two distinct neuronal populations in the rodent spinal cord

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    Ryge, Jesper; Westerdahl, Ann Charlotte; Alstøm, Preben

    2008-01-01

    Background: In the field of neuroscience microarray gene expression profiles on anatomically defined brain structures are being used increasingly to study both normal brain functions as well as pathological states. Fluorescent tracing techniques in brain tissue that identifies distinct neuronal p...

  11. EGL-13/SoxD Specifies Distinct O2 and CO2 Sensory Neuron Fates in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Gramstrup Petersen, Jakob; Rojo Romanos, Teresa; Juozaityte, Vaida

    2013-01-01

    that EGL-13 is sufficient to induce O2- and CO2-sensing cell fates in some cellular contexts. Thus, the same core regulatory factor, egl-13, is required and sufficient to specify the distinct fates of O2- and CO2-sensing neurons in C. elegans. These findings extend our understanding of mechanisms......Animals harbor specialized neuronal systems that are used for sensing and coordinating responses to changes in oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In Caenorhabditis elegans, the O2/CO2 sensory system comprises functionally and morphologically distinct sensory neurons that mediate rapid behavioral...

  12. Distinct Functions of Endophilin Isoforms in Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

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    Jifeng Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Endophilin isoforms perform distinct characteristics in their interactions with N-type Ca2+ channels and dynamin. However, precise functional differences for the endophilin isoforms on synaptic vesicle (SV endocytosis remain unknown. By coupling RNA interference and electrophysiological recording techniques in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, we investigated the functional differences of three isoforms of endophilin in SV endocytosis. The results showed that the amplitude of normalized evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents in endophilin1 knockdown neurons decreased significantly for both single train and multiple train stimulations. Similar results were found using endophilin2 knockdown neurons, whereas endophilin3 siRNA exhibited no change compared with control neurons. Endophilin1 and endophilin2 affected SV endocytosis, but the effect of endophilin1 and endophilin2 double knockdown was not different from that of either knockdown alone. This result suggested that endophilin1 and endophilin2 functioned together but not independently during SV endocytosis. Taken together, our results indicate that SV endocytosis is sustained by endophilin1 and endophilin2 isoforms, but not by endophilin3, in primary cultured hippocampal neurons.

  13. Two distinct populations of projection neurons in the rat lateral parafascicular thalamic nucleus and their cholinergic responsiveness.

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    Beatty, J A; Sylwestrak, E L; Cox, C L

    2009-08-04

    The lateral parafascicular nucleus (lPf) is a member of the intralaminar thalamic nuclei, a collection of nuclei that characteristically provides widespread projections to the neocortex and basal ganglia and is associated with arousal, sensory, and motor functions. Recently, lPf neurons have been shown to possess different characteristics than other cortical-projecting thalamic relay neurons. We performed whole cell recordings from lPf neurons using an in vitro rat slice preparation and found two distinct neuronal subtypes that were differentiated by distinct morphological and physiological characteristics: diffuse and bushy. Diffuse neurons, which had been previously described, were the predominant neuronal subtype (66%). These neurons had few, poorly-branching, extended dendrites, and rarely displayed burst-like action potential discharge, a ubiquitous feature of thalamocortical relay neurons. Interestingly, we discovered a smaller population of bushy neurons (34%) that shared similar morphological and physiological characteristics with thalamocortical relay neurons of primary sensory thalamic nuclei. In contrast to other thalamocortical relay neurons, activation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors produced a membrane hyperpolarization via activation of M(2) receptors in most lPf neurons (60%). In a minority of lPf neurons (33%), muscarinic agonists produced a membrane depolarization via activation of predominantly M(3) receptors. The muscarinic receptor-mediated actions were independent of lPf neuronal subtype (i.e. diffuse or bushy neurons); however the cholinergic actions were correlated with lPf neurons with different efferent targets. Retrogradely-labeled lPf neurons from frontal cortical fluorescent bead injections primarily consisted of bushy type lPf neurons (78%), but more importantly, all of these neurons were depolarized by muscarinic agonists. On the other hand, lPf neurons labeled by striatal injections were predominantly hyperpolarized by muscarinic

  14. Conditional Viral Tract Tracing Delineates the Projections of the Distinct Kisspeptin Neuron Populations to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neurons in the Mouse.

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    Yip, Siew Hoong; Boehm, Ulrich; Herbison, Allan E; Campbell, Rebecca E

    2015-07-01

    Kisspeptin neurons play an essential role in the regulation of fertility through direct regulation of the GnRH neurons. However, the relative contributions of the two functionally distinct kisspeptin neuron subpopulations to this critical regulation are not fully understood. Here we analyzed the specific projection patterns of kisspeptin neurons originating from either the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle (RP3V) or the arcuate nucleus (ARN) using a cell-specific, viral-mediated tract-tracing approach. We stereotaxically injected a Cre-dependent recombinant adenovirus encoding farnesylated enhanced green fluorescent protein into the ARN or RP3V of adult male and female mice expressing Cre recombinase in kisspeptin neurons. Fibers from ARN kisspeptin neurons projected widely; however, we did not find any evidence for direct contact with GnRH neuron somata or proximal dendrites in either sex. In contrast, we identified RP3V kisspeptin fibers in close contact with GnRH neuron somata and dendrites in both sexes. Fibers originating from both the RP3V and ARN were observed in close contact with distal GnRH neuron processes in the ARN and in the lateral and internal aspects of the median eminence. Furthermore, GnRH nerve terminals were found in close contact with the proximal dendrites of ARN kisspeptin neurons in the ARN, and ARN kisspeptin fibers were found contacting RP3V kisspeptin neurons in both sexes. Together these data delineate selective zones of kisspeptin neuron inputs to GnRH neurons and demonstrate complex interconnections between the distinct kisspeptin populations and GnRH neurons.

  15. EGL-13/SoxD specifies distinct O2 and CO2 sensory neuron fates in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jakob Gramstrup Petersen

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Animals harbor specialized neuronal systems that are used for sensing and coordinating responses to changes in oxygen (O2 and carbon dioxide (CO2. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the O2/CO2 sensory system comprises functionally and morphologically distinct sensory neurons that mediate rapid behavioral responses to exquisite changes in O2 or CO2 levels via different sensory receptors. How the diversification of the O2- and CO2-sensing neurons is established is poorly understood. We show here that the molecular identity of both the BAG (O2/CO2-sensing and the URX (O2-sensing neurons is controlled by the phylogenetically conserved SoxD transcription factor homolog EGL-13. egl-13 mutant animals fail to fully express the distinct terminal gene batteries of the BAG and URX neurons and, as such, are unable to mount behavioral responses to changes in O2 and CO2. We found that the expression of egl-13 is regulated in the BAG and URX neurons by two conserved transcription factors-ETS-5(Ets factor in the BAG neurons and AHR-1(bHLH factor in the URX neurons. In addition, we found that EGL-13 acts in partially parallel pathways with both ETS-5 and AHR-1 to direct BAG and URX neuronal fate respectively. Finally, we found that EGL-13 is sufficient to induce O2- and CO2-sensing cell fates in some cellular contexts. Thus, the same core regulatory factor, egl-13, is required and sufficient to specify the distinct fates of O2- and CO2-sensing neurons in C. elegans. These findings extend our understanding of mechanisms of neuronal diversification and the regulation of molecular factors that may be conserved in higher organisms.

  16. Precision of Discrete and Rhythmic Forelimb Movements Requires a Distinct Neuronal Subpopulation in the Interposed Anterior Nucleus

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    Aloysius Y.T. Low

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN represent output channels of the cerebellum, and they transmit integrated sensorimotor signals to modulate limb movements. But the functional relevance of identifiable neuronal subpopulations within the DCN remains unclear. Here, we examine a genetically tractable population of neurons in the mouse interposed anterior nucleus (IntA. We show that these neurons represent a subset of glutamatergic neurons in the IntA and constitute a specific element of an internal feedback circuit within the cerebellar cortex and cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway associated with limb control. Ablation and optogenetic stimulation of these neurons disrupt efficacy of skilled reach and locomotor movement and reveal that they control positioning and timing of the forelimb and hindlimb. Together, our findings uncover the function of a distinct neuronal subpopulation in the deep cerebellum and delineate the anatomical substrates and kinematic parameters through which it modulates precision of discrete and rhythmic limb movements.

  17. Precision of Discrete and Rhythmic Forelimb Movements Requires a Distinct Neuronal Subpopulation in the Interposed Anterior Nucleus.

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    Low, Aloysius Y T; Thanawalla, Ayesha R; Yip, Alaric K K; Kim, Jinsook; Wong, Kelly L L; Tantra, Martesa; Augustine, George J; Chen, Albert I

    2018-02-27

    The deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) represent output channels of the cerebellum, and they transmit integrated sensorimotor signals to modulate limb movements. But the functional relevance of identifiable neuronal subpopulations within the DCN remains unclear. Here, we examine a genetically tractable population of neurons in the mouse interposed anterior nucleus (IntA). We show that these neurons represent a subset of glutamatergic neurons in the IntA and constitute a specific element of an internal feedback circuit within the cerebellar cortex and cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway associated with limb control. Ablation and optogenetic stimulation of these neurons disrupt efficacy of skilled reach and locomotor movement and reveal that they control positioning and timing of the forelimb and hindlimb. Together, our findings uncover the function of a distinct neuronal subpopulation in the deep cerebellum and delineate the anatomical substrates and kinematic parameters through which it modulates precision of discrete and rhythmic limb movements. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Transgenic Mouse Lines Subdivide External Segment of the Globus Pallidus (GPe) Neurons and Reveal Distinct GPe Output Pathways

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    Mastro, Kevin J.; Bouchard, Rachel S.; Holt, Hiromi A. K.

    2014-01-01

    Cell-type diversity in the brain enables the assembly of complex neural circuits, whose organization and patterns of activity give rise to brain function. However, the identification of distinct neuronal populations within a given brain region is often complicated by a lack of objective criteria to distinguish one neuronal population from another. In the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe), neuronal populations have been defined using molecular, anatomical, and electrophysiological criteria, but these classification schemes are often not generalizable across preparations and lack consistency even within the same preparation. Here, we present a novel use of existing transgenic mouse lines, Lim homeobox 6 (Lhx6)–Cre and parvalbumin (PV)–Cre, to define genetically distinct cell populations in the GPe that differ molecularly, anatomically, and electrophysiologically. Lhx6–GPe neurons, which do not express PV, are concentrated in the medial portion of the GPe. They have lower spontaneous firing rates, narrower dynamic ranges, and make stronger projections to the striatum and substantia nigra pars compacta compared with PV–GPe neurons. In contrast, PV–GPe neurons are more concentrated in the lateral portions of the GPe. They have narrower action potentials, deeper afterhyperpolarizations, and make stronger projections to the subthalamic nucleus and parafascicular nucleus of the thalamus. These electrophysiological and anatomical differences suggest that Lhx6–GPe and PV–GPe neurons participate in different circuits with the potential to contribute to different aspects of motor function and dysfunction in disease. PMID:24501350

  19. Distinct neuronal interactions in anterior inferotemporal areas of macaque monkeys during retrieval of object association memory.

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    Hirabayashi, Toshiyuki; Tamura, Keita; Takeuchi, Daigo; Takeda, Masaki; Koyano, Kenji W; Miyashita, Yasushi

    2014-07-09

    In macaque monkeys, the anterior inferotemporal cortex, a region crucial for object memory processing, is composed of two adjacent, hierarchically distinct areas, TE and 36, for which different functional roles and neuronal responses in object memory tasks have been characterized. However, it remains unknown how the neuronal interactions differ between these areas during memory retrieval. Here, we conducted simultaneous recordings from multiple single-units in each of these areas while monkeys performed an object association memory task and examined the inter-area differences in neuronal interactions during the delay period. Although memory neurons showing sustained activity for the presented cue stimulus, cue-holding (CH) neurons, interacted with each other in both areas, only those neurons in area 36 interacted with another type of memory neurons coding for the to-be-recalled paired associate (pair-recall neurons) during memory retrieval. Furthermore, pairs of CH neurons in area TE showed functional coupling in response to each individual object during memory retention, whereas the same class of neuron pairs in area 36 exhibited a comparable strength of coupling in response to both associated objects. These results suggest predominant neuronal interactions in area 36 during the mnemonic processing, which may underlie the pivotal role of this brain area in both storage and retrieval of object association memory. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/349377-12$15.00/0.

  20. Area-specific development of distinct projection neuron subclasses is regulated by postnatal epigenetic modifications

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    Harb, Kawssar; Magrinelli, Elia; Nicolas, Céline S; Lukianets, Nikita; Frangeul, Laura; Pietri, Mariel; Sun, Tao; Sandoz, Guillaume; Grammont, Franck; Jabaudon, Denis; Studer, Michèle; Alfano, Christian

    2016-01-01

    During cortical development, the identity of major classes of long-distance projection neurons is established by the expression of molecular determinants, which become gradually restricted and mutually exclusive. However, the mechanisms by which projection neurons acquire their final properties during postnatal stages are still poorly understood. In this study, we show that the number of neurons co-expressing Ctip2 and Satb2, respectively involved in the early specification of subcerebral and callosal projection neurons, progressively increases after birth in the somatosensory cortex. Ctip2/Satb2 postnatal co-localization defines two distinct neuronal subclasses projecting either to the contralateral cortex or to the brainstem suggesting that Ctip2/Satb2 co-expression may refine their properties rather than determine their identity. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches reveal that the transcriptional adaptor Lmo4 drives this maturation program through modulation of epigenetic mechanisms in a time- and area-specific manner, thereby indicating that a previously unknown genetic program postnatally promotes the acquisition of final subtype-specific features. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09531.001 PMID:26814051

  1. Spatial distribution of intermingling pools of projection neurons with distinct targets: A 3D analysis of the commissural ganglia in Cancer borealis.

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    Follmann, Rosangela; Goldsmith, Christopher John; Stein, Wolfgang

    2017-06-01

    Projection neurons play a key role in carrying long-distance information between spatially distant areas of the nervous system and in controlling motor circuits. Little is known about how projection neurons with distinct anatomical targets are organized, and few studies have addressed their spatial organization at the level of individual cells. In the paired commissural ganglia (CoGs) of the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab Cancer borealis, projection neurons convey sensory, motor, and modulatory information to several distinct anatomical regions. While the functions of descending projection neurons (dPNs) which control downstream motor circuits in the stomatogastric ganglion are well characterized, their anatomical distribution as well as that of neurons projecting to the labrum, brain, and thoracic ganglion have received less attention. Using cell membrane staining, we investigated the spatial distribution of CoG projection neurons in relation to all CoG neurons. Retrograde tracing revealed that somata associated with different axonal projection pathways were not completely spatially segregated, but had distinct preferences within the ganglion. Identified dPNs had diameters larger than 70% of CoG somata and were restricted to the most medial and anterior 25% of the ganglion. They were contained within a cluster of motor neurons projecting through the same nerve to innervate the labrum, indicating that soma position was independent of function and target area. Rather, our findings suggest that CoG neurons projecting to a variety of locations follow a generalized rule: for all nerve pathway origins, the soma cluster centroids in closest proximity are those whose axons project down that pathway. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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    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.

  3. Relating neuronal firing patterns to functional differentiation of cerebral cortex.

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    Shigeru Shinomoto

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available It has been empirically established that the cerebral cortical areas defined by Brodmann one hundred years ago solely on the basis of cellular organization are closely correlated to their function, such as sensation, association, and motion. Cytoarchitectonically distinct cortical areas have different densities and types of neurons. Thus, signaling patterns may also vary among cytoarchitectonically unique cortical areas. To examine how neuronal signaling patterns are related to innate cortical functions, we detected intrinsic features of cortical firing by devising a metric that efficiently isolates non-Poisson irregular characteristics, independent of spike rate fluctuations that are caused extrinsically by ever-changing behavioral conditions. Using the new metric, we analyzed spike trains from over 1,000 neurons in 15 cortical areas sampled by eight independent neurophysiological laboratories. Analysis of firing-pattern dissimilarities across cortical areas revealed a gradient of firing regularity that corresponded closely to the functional category of the cortical area; neuronal spiking patterns are regular in motor areas, random in the visual areas, and bursty in the prefrontal area. Thus, signaling patterns may play an important role in function-specific cerebral cortical computation.

  4. 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

  5. Correlating Anatomy and Function with Gene Expression in Individual Neurons by Combining in Vivo Labeling, Patch Clamp, and Single Cell RNA-seq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten K. Pfeffer

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The classification of neurons into distinct types is an ongoing effort aimed at revealing and understanding the diversity of the components of the nervous system. Recently available methods allow us to determine the gene expression pattern of individual neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex to generate powerful categorization schemes. For a thorough understanding of neuronal diversity such genetic categorization schemes need to be combined with traditional classification parameters like position, axonal projection or response properties to sensory stimulation. Here we describe a method to link the gene expression of individual neurons with their position, axonal projection, or sensory response properties. Neurons are labeled in vivo based on their anatomical or functional properties and, using patch clamp pipettes, their RNA individually harvested in vitro for RNAseq. We validate the methodology using multiple established molecularly and anatomically distinct cell populations and explore molecular differences between uncharacterized neurons in mouse visual cortex. Gene expression patterns between L5 neurons projecting to frontal or contralateral cortex are distinct while L2 neurons differing in position, projection, or function are molecularly similar. With this method we can determine the genetic expression pattern of functionally and anatomically identified individual neurons.

  6. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-01-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons ar...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. 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.

  9. A chemical-genetic strategy reveals distinct temporal requirements for SAD-1 kinase in neuronal polarization and synapse formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shokat Kevan M

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurons assemble into a functional network through a sequence of developmental processes including neuronal polarization and synapse formation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the serine/threonine SAD-1 kinase is essential for proper neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. To determine if SAD-1 activity regulates the establishment or maintenance of these neuronal structures, we examined its temporal requirements using a chemical-genetic method that allows for selective and reversible inactivation of its kinase activity in vivo. Results We generated a PP1 analog-sensitive variant of SAD-1. Through temporal inhibition of SAD-1 kinase activity we show that its activity is required for the establishment of both neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. However, while SAD-1 activity is needed strictly when neurons are polarizing, the temporal requirement for SAD-1 is less stringent in synaptic organization, which can also be re-established during maintenance. Conclusion This study reports the first temporal analysis of a neural kinase activity using the chemical-genetic system. It reveals that neuronal polarity and synaptic organization have distinct temporal requirements for SAD-1.

  10. Dopaminergic Neurons Controlling Anterior Pituitary Functions: Anatomy and Ontogenesis in Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaine, Romain; Affaticati, Pierre; Bureau, Charlotte; Colin, Ingrid; Demarque, Michaël; Dufour, Sylvie; Vernier, Philippe; Yamamoto, Kei; Pasqualini, Catherine

    2015-08-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons located in the preoptico-hypothalamic region of the brain exert a major neuroendocrine control on reproduction, growth, and homeostasis by regulating the secretion of anterior pituitary (or adenohypophysis) hormones. Here, using a retrograde tract tracing experiment, we identified the neurons playing this role in the zebrafish. The DA cells projecting directly to the anterior pituitary are localized in the most anteroventral part of the preoptic area, and we named them preoptico-hypophyseal DA (POHDA) neurons. During development, these neurons do not appear before 72 hours postfertilization (hpf) and are the last dopaminergic cell group to differentiate. We found that the number of neurons in this cell population continues to increase throughout life proportionally to the growth of the fish. 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation analysis suggested that this increase is due to continuous neurogenesis and not due to a phenotypic change in already-existing neurons. Finally, expression profiles of several genes (foxg1a, dlx2a, and nr4a2a/b) were different in the POHDA compared with the adjacent suprachiasmatic DA neurons, suggesting that POHDA neurons develop as a distinct DA cell population in the preoptic area. This study offers some insights into the regional identity of the preoptic area and provides the first bases for future functional genetic studies on the development of DA neurons controlling anterior pituitary functions.

  11. Distinct Developmental Origins Manifest in the Specialized Encoding of Movement by Adult Neurons of the External Globus Pallidus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodson, Paul D.; Larvin, Joseph T.; Duffell, James M.; Garas, Farid N.; Doig, Natalie M.; Kessaris, Nicoletta; Duguid, Ian C.; Bogacz, Rafal; Butt, Simon J.B.; Magill, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Transcriptional codes initiated during brain development are ultimately realized in adulthood as distinct cell types performing specialized roles in behavior. Focusing on the mouse external globus pallidus (GPe), we demonstrate that the potential contributions of two GABAergic GPe cell types to voluntary action are fated from early life to be distinct. Prototypic GPe neurons derive from the medial ganglionic eminence of the embryonic subpallium and express the transcription factor Nkx2-1. These neurons fire at high rates during alert rest, and encode movements through heterogeneous firing rate changes, with many neurons decreasing their activity. In contrast, arkypallidal GPe neurons originate from lateral/caudal ganglionic eminences, express the transcription factor FoxP2, fire at low rates during rest, and encode movements with robust increases in firing. We conclude that developmental diversity positions prototypic and arkypallidal neurons to fulfil distinct roles in behavior via their disparate regulation of GABA release onto different basal ganglia targets. PMID:25843402

  12. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Bozorg Nia, Shahrzad; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I

    2014-02-10

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  13. Linking Neurons to Network Function and Behavior by Two-Photon Holographic Optogenetics and Volumetric Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dal Maschio, Marco; Donovan, Joseph C; Helmbrecht, Thomas O; Baier, Herwig

    2017-05-17

    We introduce a flexible method for high-resolution interrogation of circuit function, which combines simultaneous 3D two-photon stimulation of multiple targeted neurons, volumetric functional imaging, and quantitative behavioral tracking. This integrated approach was applied to dissect how an ensemble of premotor neurons in the larval zebrafish brain drives a basic motor program, the bending of the tail. We developed an iterative photostimulation strategy to identify minimal subsets of channelrhodopsin (ChR2)-expressing neurons that are sufficient to initiate tail movements. At the same time, the induced network activity was recorded by multiplane GCaMP6 imaging across the brain. From this dataset, we computationally identified activity patterns associated with distinct components of the elicited behavior and characterized the contributions of individual neurons. Using photoactivatable GFP (paGFP), we extended our protocol to visualize single functionally identified neurons and reconstruct their morphologies. Together, this toolkit enables linking behavior to circuit activity with unprecedented resolution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Tentonin 3/TMEM150c Confers Distinct Mechanosensitive Currents in Dorsal-Root Ganglion Neurons with Proprioceptive Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Gyu-Sang; Lee, Byeongjun; Wee, Jungwon; Chun, Hyeyeon; Kim, Hyungsup; Jung, Jooyoung; Cha, Joo Young; Riew, Tae-Ryong; Kim, Gyu Hyun; Kim, In-Beom; Oh, Uhtaek

    2016-07-06

    Touch sensation or proprioception requires the transduction of mechanical stimuli into electrical signals by mechanoreceptors in the periphery. These mechanoreceptors are equipped with various transducer channels. Although Piezo1 and 2 are mechanically activated (MA) channels with rapid inactivation, MA molecules with other inactivation kinetics have not been identified. Here we report that heterologously expressed Tentonin3 (TTN3)/TMEM150C is activated by mechanical stimuli with distinctly slow inactivation kinetics. Genetic ablation of Ttn3/Tmem150c markedly reduced slowly adapting neurons in dorsal-root ganglion neurons. The MA TTN3 currents were inhibited by known blockers of mechanosensitive ion channels. Moreover, TTN3 was localized in muscle spindle afferents. Ttn3-deficient mice exhibited the loss of coordinated movements and abnormal gait. Thus, TTN3 appears to be a component of a mechanosensitive channel with a slow inactivation rate and contributes to motor coordination. Identification of this gene advances our understanding of the various types of mechanosensations, including proprioception. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation.

  16. β1-adrenergic receptors activate two distinct signaling pathways in striatal neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meitzen, John; Luoma, Jessie I.; Stern, Christopher M.; Mermelstein, Paul G.

    2010-01-01

    Monoamine action in the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens plays essential roles in striatal physiology. Although research often focuses on dopamine and its receptors, norepinephrine and adrenergic receptors are also crucial in regulating striatal function. While noradrenergic neurotransmission has been identified in the striatum, little is known regarding the signaling pathways activated by β-adrenergic receptors in this brain region. Using cultured striatal neurons, we characterized a novel signaling pathway by which activation of β1-adrenergic receptors leads to the rapid phosphorylation of cAMP Response Element Binding Protein (CREB), a transcription-factor implicated as a molecular switch underlying long-term changes in brain function. Norepinephrine-mediated CREB phosphorylation requires β1-adrenergic receptor stimulation of a receptor tyrosine kinase, ultimately leading to the activation of a Ras/Raf/MEK/MAPK/MSK signaling pathway. Activation of β1-adrenergic receptors also induces CRE-dependent transcription and increased c-fos expression. In addition, stimulation of β1-adrenergic receptors produces cAMP production, but surprisingly, β1-adrenergic receptor activation of adenylyl cyclase was not functionally linked to rapid CREB phosphorylation. These findings demonstrate that activation of β1-adrenergic receptors on striatal neurons can stimulate two distinct signaling pathways. These adrenergic actions can produce long-term changes in gene expression, as well as rapidly modulate cellular physiology. By elucidating the mechanisms by which norepinephrine and β1-adrenergic receptor activation affects striatal physiology, we provide the means to more fully understand the role of monoamines in modulating striatal function, specifically how norepinephrine and β1-adrenergic receptors may affect striatal physiology. PMID:21143600

  17. The LIM and POU homeobox genes ttx-3 and unc-86 act as terminal selectors in distinct cholinergic and serotonergic neuron types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Feifan; Bhattacharya, Abhishek; Nelson, Jessica C; Abe, Namiko; Gordon, Patricia; Lloret-Fernandez, Carla; Maicas, Miren; Flames, Nuria; Mann, Richard S; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Hobert, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Transcription factors that drive neuron type-specific terminal differentiation programs in the developing nervous system are often expressed in several distinct neuronal cell types, but to what extent they have similar or distinct activities in individual neuronal cell types is generally not well explored. We investigate this problem using, as a starting point, the C. elegans LIM homeodomain transcription factor ttx-3, which acts as a terminal selector to drive the terminal differentiation program of the cholinergic AIY interneuron class. Using a panel of different terminal differentiation markers, including neurotransmitter synthesizing enzymes, neurotransmitter receptors and neuropeptides, we show that ttx-3 also controls the terminal differentiation program of two additional, distinct neuron types, namely the cholinergic AIA interneurons and the serotonergic NSM neurons. We show that the type of differentiation program that is controlled by ttx-3 in different neuron types is specified by a distinct set of collaborating transcription factors. One of the collaborating transcription factors is the POU homeobox gene unc-86, which collaborates with ttx-3 to determine the identity of the serotonergic NSM neurons. unc-86 in turn operates independently of ttx-3 in the anterior ganglion where it collaborates with the ARID-type transcription factor cfi-1 to determine the cholinergic identity of the IL2 sensory and URA motor neurons. In conclusion, transcription factors operate as terminal selectors in distinct combinations in different neuron types, defining neuron type-specific identity features.

  18. Differential subcellular distribution of ion channels and the diversity of neuronal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nusser, Zoltan

    2012-06-01

    Following the astonishing molecular diversity of voltage-gated ion channels that was revealed in the past few decades, the ion channel repertoire expressed by neurons has been implicated as the major factor governing their functional heterogeneity. Although the molecular structure of ion channels is a key determinant of their biophysical properties, their subcellular distribution and densities on the surface of nerve cells are just as important for fulfilling functional requirements. Recent results obtained with high resolution quantitative localization techniques revealed complex, subcellular compartment-specific distribution patterns of distinct ion channels. Here I suggest that within a given neuron type every ion channel has a unique cell surface distribution pattern, with the functional consequence that this dramatically increases the computational power of nerve cells. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Fragile X Proteins FMRP and FXR2P Control Synaptic GluA1 Expression and Neuronal Maturation via Distinct Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weixiang Guo

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP and its autosomal paralog FXR2P are selective neuronal RNA-binding proteins, and mice that lack either protein exhibit cognitive deficits. Although double-mutant mice display more severe learning deficits than single mutants, the molecular mechanism behind this remains unknown. In the present study, we discovered that FXR2P (also known as FXR2 is important for neuronal dendritic development. FMRP and FXR2P additively promote the maturation of new neurons by regulating a common target, the AMPA receptor GluA1, but they do so via distinct mechanisms: FXR2P binds and stabilizes GluA1 mRNA and enhances subsequent protein expression, whereas FMRP promotes GluA1 membrane delivery. Our findings unveil important roles for FXR2P and GluA1 in neuronal development, uncover a regulatory mechanism of GluA1, and reveal a functional convergence between fragile X proteins in neuronal development.

  20. 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...

  1. Functional Connectome Analysis of Dopamine Neuron Glutamatergic Connections in Forebrain Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mingote, Susana; Chuhma, Nao; Kusnoor, Sheila V; Field, Bianca; Deutch, Ariel Y; Rayport, Stephen

    2015-12-09

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a subpopulation of dopamine neurons express vesicular glutamate transporter 2 and make glutamatergic connections to nucleus accumbens (NAc) and olfactory tubercle (OT) neurons. However, their glutamatergic connections across the forebrain have not been explored systematically. To visualize dopamine neuron forebrain projections and to enable photostimulation of their axons independent of transmitter status, we virally transfected VTA neurons with channelrhodopsin-2 fused to enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (ChR2-EYFP) and used DAT(IREScre) mice to restrict expression to dopamine neurons. ChR2-EYFP-expressing neurons almost invariably stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, identifying them as dopaminergic. Dopamine neuron axons visualized by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence projected most densely to the striatum, moderately to the amygdala and entorhinal cortex (ERC), sparsely to prefrontal and cingulate cortices, and rarely to the hippocampus. Guided by ChR2-EYFP fluorescence, we recorded systematically from putative principal neurons in target areas and determined the incidence and strength of glutamatergic connections by activating all dopamine neuron terminals impinging on recorded neurons with wide-field photostimulation. This revealed strong glutamatergic connections in the NAc, OT, and ERC; moderate strength connections in the central amygdala; and weak connections in the cingulate cortex. No glutamatergic connections were found in the dorsal striatum, hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, or prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that VTA dopamine neurons elicit widespread, but regionally distinct, glutamatergic signals in the forebrain and begin to define the dopamine neuron excitatory functional connectome. Dopamine neurons are important for the control of motivated behavior and are involved in the pathophysiology of several major neuropsychiatric disorders. Recent studies have shown that some ventral midbrain dopamine neurons are

  2. Multiple functional attributes of glucose-monitoring neurons in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, István; Hormay, Edina; Csetényi, Bettina; Nagy, Bernadett; Lénárd, László; Karádi, Zoltán

    2018-02-01

    Multiple functional attributes of glucose-monitoring neurons in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 73(1) XXX-XXX, 2017.- Special chemosensory cells, the glucose-monitoring (GM) neurons, reportedly involved in the central feeding control, exist in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex (mVLPFC). Electrophysiological, metabolic and behavioral studies reveal complex functional attributes of these cells and raise their homeostatic significance. Single neuron recordings, by means of the multibarreled microelectrophoretic technique, elucidate differential sensitivities of limbic forebrain neurons in the rat and the rhesus monkey to glucose and other chemicals, whereas gustatory stimulations demonstrate their distinct taste responsiveness. Metabolic examinations provide evidence for alteration of blood glucose level in glucose tolerance test and elevation of plasma triglyceride concentration after destruction of the local GM cells by streptozotocin (STZ). In behavioral studies, STZ microinjection into the mVLPFC fails to interfere with the acquisition of saccharin conditioned taste avoidance, does cause, however, taste perception deficit in taste reactivity tests. Multiple functional attributes of GM neurons in the mVLPFC, within the frame of the hierarchically organized central GM neuronal network, appear to play important role in the maintenance of the homeostatic balance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Separate transcriptionally regulated pathways specify distinct classes of sister dendrites in a nociceptive neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Barbara M J; Palumbos, Sierra D; Novakovic, Michaela; Shang, Xueying; Sundararajan, Lakshmi; Miller, David M

    2017-12-15

    The dendritic processes of nociceptive neurons transduce external signals into neurochemical cues that alert the organism to potentially damaging stimuli. The receptive field for each sensory neuron is defined by its dendritic arbor, but the mechanisms that shape dendritic architecture are incompletely understood. Using the model nociceptor, the PVD neuron in C. elegans, we determined that two types of PVD lateral branches project along the dorsal/ventral axis to generate the PVD dendritic arbor: (1) Pioneer dendrites that adhere to the epidermis, and (2) Commissural dendrites that fasciculate with circumferential motor neuron processes. Previous reports have shown that the LIM homeodomain transcription factor MEC-3 is required for all higher order PVD branching and that one of its targets, the claudin-like membrane protein HPO-30, preferentially promotes outgrowth of pioneer branches. Here, we show that another MEC-3 target, the conserved TFIIA-like zinc finger transcription factor EGL-46, adopts the alternative role of specifying commissural dendrites. The known EGL-46 binding partner, the TEAD transcription factor EGL-44, is also required for PVD commissural branch outgrowth. Double mutants of hpo-30 and egl-44 show strong enhancement of the lateral branching defect with decreased numbers of both pioneer and commissural dendrites. Thus, HPO-30/Claudin and EGL-46/EGL-44 function downstream of MEC-3 and in parallel acting pathways to direct outgrowth of two distinct classes of PVD dendritic branches. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Diverse Intrinsic Properties Shape Functional Phenotype of Low-Frequency Neurons in the Auditory Brainstem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Hong

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available In the auditory system, tonotopy is the spatial arrangement of where sounds of different frequencies are processed. Defined by the organization of neurons and their inputs, tonotopy emphasizes distinctions in neuronal structure and function across topographic gradients and is a common feature shared among vertebrates. In this study we characterized action potential firing patterns and ion channel properties from neurons located in the extremely low-frequency region of the chicken nucleus magnocellularis (NM, an auditory brainstem structure. We found that NM neurons responsible for encoding the lowest sound frequencies (termed NMc neurons have enhanced excitability and fired bursts of action potentials to sinusoidal inputs ≤10 Hz; a distinct firing pattern compared to higher-frequency neurons. This response property was due to lower amounts of voltage dependent potassium (KV conductances, unique combination of KV subunits and specialized sodium (NaV channel properties. Particularly, NMc neurons had significantly lower KV1 and KV3 currents, but higher KV2 current. NMc neurons also showed larger and faster transient NaV current (INaT with different voltage dependence of inactivation from higher-frequency neurons. In contrast, significantly smaller resurgent sodium current (INaR was present in NMc with kinetics and voltage dependence that differed from higher-frequency neurons. Immunohistochemistry showed expression of NaV1.6 channel subtypes across the tonotopic axis. However, various immunoreactive patterns were observed between regions, likely underlying some tonotopic differences in INaT and INaR. Finally, using pharmacology and computational modeling, we concluded that KV3, KV2 channels and INaR work synergistically to regulate burst firing in NMc.

  5. Interaction function of coupled bursting neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi Xia; Zhang Jiadong

    2016-01-01

    The interaction functions of electrically coupled Hindmarsh–Rose (HR) neurons for different firing patterns are investigated in this paper. By applying the phase reduction technique, the phase response curve (PRC) of the spiking neuron and burst phase response curve (BPRC) of the bursting neuron are derived. Then the interaction function of two coupled neurons can be calculated numerically according to the PRC (or BPRC) and the voltage time course of the neurons. Results show that the BPRC is more and more complicated with the increase of the spike number within a burst, and the curve of the interaction function oscillates more and more frequently with it. However, two certain things are unchanged: ϕ = 0, which corresponds to the in-phase synchronization state, is always the stable equilibrium, while the anti-phase synchronization state with ϕ = 0.5 is an unstable equilibrium. (paper)

  6. Connectivity from OR37 expressing olfactory sensory neurons to distinct cell types in the hypothalamus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eBader

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory sensory neurons which express a member from the OR37 subfamily of odorant receptor genes are wired to the main olfactory bulb in a unique monoglomerular fashion; from these glomeruli an untypical connectivity into higher brain centers exists. In the present study we have investigated by DiI and transsynaptic tracing approaches how the connection pattern from these glomeruli into distinct hypothalamic nuclei is organized. The application of DiI onto the ventral domain of the bulb which harbors the OR37 glomeruli resulted in the labeling of fibers within the paraventricular and supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus; some of these fibers were covered with varicose-like structures. No DiI-labeled cell somata were detectable in these nuclei. The data indicate that projection neurons which originate in the OR37 region of the main olfactory bulb form direct connections into these nuclei. The cells that were labeled by the transsynaptic tracer WGA in these nuclei were further characterized. Their distribution pattern in the paraventricular nucleus was reminiscent of cells which produce distinct neuropeptides. Double labeling experiments confirmed that they contained vasopressin, but not the related neuropeptide oxytocin. Morphological analysis revealed that they comprise of magno- and parvocellular cells. A comparative investigation of the WGA-positive cells in the supraoptic nucleus demonstrated that these were vasopressin-positive, as well, whereas oxytocin-producing cells of this nucleus also contained no transsynaptic tracer. Together, the data demonstrate a connectivity from OR37 expressing sensory neurons to distinct hypothalamic neurons with the same neuropeptide content.

  7. Identification of distinct telencephalic progenitor pools for neuronal diversity in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Tsutomu; Li, Peijun; Lanuza, Guillermo M; Cocas, Laura A; Huntsman, Molly M; Corbin, Joshua G

    2009-02-01

    The development of the amygdala, a central structure of the limbic system, remains poorly understood. We found that two spatially distinct and early-specified telencephalic progenitor pools marked by the homeodomain transcription factor Dbx1 are major sources of neuronal cell diversity in the mature mouse amygdala. We found that Dbx1-positive cells of the ventral pallium generate the excitatory neurons of the basolateral complex and cortical amygdala nuclei. Moreover, Dbx1-derived cells comprise a previously unknown migratory stream that emanates from the preoptic area (POA), a ventral telencephalic domain adjacent to the diencephalic border. The Dbx1-positive, POA-derived population migrated specifically to the amygdala and, as defined by both immunochemical and electrophysiological criteria, generated a unique subclass of inhibitory neurons in the medial amygdala nucleus. Thus, this POA-derived population represents a previously unknown progenitor pool dedicated to the limbic system.

  8. The Brain–to–Pancreatic Islet Neuronal Map Reveals Differential Glucose Regulation From Distinct Hypothalamic Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosario, Wilfredo; Singh, Inderroop; Wautlet, Arnaud; Patterson, Christa; Flak, Jonathan; Becker, Thomas C.; Ali, Almas; Tamarina, Natalia; Philipson, Louis H.; Enquist, Lynn W.; Myers, Martin G.

    2016-01-01

    The brain influences glucose homeostasis, partly by supplemental control over insulin and glucagon secretion. Without this central regulation, diabetes and its complications can ensue. Yet, the neuronal network linking to pancreatic islets has never been fully mapped. Here, we refine this map using pseudorabies virus (PRV) retrograde tracing, indicating that the pancreatic islets are innervated by efferent circuits that emanate from the hypothalamus. We found that the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), ventromedial nucleus (VMN), and lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) significantly overlap PRV and the physiological glucose-sensing enzyme glucokinase. Then, experimentally lowering glucose sensing, specifically in the ARC, resulted in glucose intolerance due to deficient insulin secretion and no significant effect in the VMN, but in the LHA it resulted in a lowering of the glucose threshold that improved glucose tolerance and/or improved insulin sensitivity, with an exaggerated counter-regulatory response for glucagon secretion. No significant effect on insulin sensitivity or metabolic homeostasis was noted. Thus, these data reveal novel direct neuronal effects on pancreatic islets and also render a functional validation of the brain-to-islet neuronal map. They also demonstrate that distinct regions of the hypothalamus differentially control insulin and glucagon secretion, potentially in partnership to help maintain glucose homeostasis and guard against hypoglycemia. PMID:27207534

  9. The Brain-to-Pancreatic Islet Neuronal Map Reveals Differential Glucose Regulation From Distinct Hypothalamic Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosario, Wilfredo; Singh, Inderroop; Wautlet, Arnaud; Patterson, Christa; Flak, Jonathan; Becker, Thomas C; Ali, Almas; Tamarina, Natalia; Philipson, Louis H; Enquist, Lynn W; Myers, Martin G; Rhodes, Christopher J

    2016-09-01

    The brain influences glucose homeostasis, partly by supplemental control over insulin and glucagon secretion. Without this central regulation, diabetes and its complications can ensue. Yet, the neuronal network linking to pancreatic islets has never been fully mapped. Here, we refine this map using pseudorabies virus (PRV) retrograde tracing, indicating that the pancreatic islets are innervated by efferent circuits that emanate from the hypothalamus. We found that the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), ventromedial nucleus (VMN), and lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) significantly overlap PRV and the physiological glucose-sensing enzyme glucokinase. Then, experimentally lowering glucose sensing, specifically in the ARC, resulted in glucose intolerance due to deficient insulin secretion and no significant effect in the VMN, but in the LHA it resulted in a lowering of the glucose threshold that improved glucose tolerance and/or improved insulin sensitivity, with an exaggerated counter-regulatory response for glucagon secretion. No significant effect on insulin sensitivity or metabolic homeostasis was noted. Thus, these data reveal novel direct neuronal effects on pancreatic islets and also render a functional validation of the brain-to-islet neuronal map. They also demonstrate that distinct regions of the hypothalamus differentially control insulin and glucagon secretion, potentially in partnership to help maintain glucose homeostasis and guard against hypoglycemia. © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.

  10. Neurogenic Radial Glia-like Cells in Meninges Migrate and Differentiate into Functionally Integrated Neurons in the Neonatal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bifari, Francesco; Decimo, Ilaria; Pino, Annachiara; Llorens-Bobadilla, Enric; Zhao, Sheng; Lange, Christian; Panuccio, Gabriella; Boeckx, Bram; Thienpont, Bernard; Vinckier, Stefan; Wyns, Sabine; Bouché, Ann; Lambrechts, Diether; Giugliano, Michele; Dewerchin, Mieke; Martin-Villalba, Ana; Carmeliet, Peter

    2017-03-02

    Whether new neurons are added in the postnatal cerebral cortex is still debated. Here, we report that the meninges of perinatal mice contain a population of neurogenic progenitors formed during embryonic development that migrate to the caudal cortex and differentiate into Satb2 + neurons in cortical layers II-IV. The resulting neurons are electrically functional and integrated into local microcircuits. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified meningeal cells with distinct transcriptome signatures characteristic of (1) neurogenic radial glia-like cells (resembling neural stem cells in the SVZ), (2) neuronal cells, and (3) a cell type with an intermediate phenotype, possibly representing radial glia-like meningeal cells differentiating to neuronal cells. Thus, we have identified a pool of embryonically derived radial glia-like cells present in the meninges that migrate and differentiate into functional neurons in the neonatal cerebral cortex. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Amygdalar auditory neurons contribute to self-other distinction during ultrasonic social vocalization in rats

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    Jumpei Matsumoto

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although clinical studies reported hyperactivation of the auditory system and amygdala in patients with auditory hallucinations (hearing others’ but not one’s own voice, independent of any external stimulus, neural mechanisms of self/other attribution is not well understood. We recorded neuronal responses in the dorsal amygdala including the lateral amygdaloid nucleus to ultrasonic vocalization (USVs emitted by subjects and conspecifics during free social interaction in 16 adult male rats. The animals emitting the USVs were identified by EMG recordings. One-quarter of the amygdalar neurons (15/60 responded to 50 kHz calls by the subject and/or conspecifics. Among the responsive neurons, most neurons (Type-Other neurons (73%, 11/15 responded only to calls by conspecifics but not subjects. Two Type-Self neurons (13%, 2/15 responded to calls by the subject but not those by conspecifics, although their response selectivity to subjects vs. conspecifics was lower than that of Type-Other neurons. The remaining two neurons (13% responded to calls by both the subject and conspecifics. Furthermore, population coding of the amygdalar neurons represented distinction of subject vs. conspecific calls. The present results provide the first neurophysiological evidence that the amygdala discriminately represents affective social calls by subject and conspecifics. These findings suggest that the amygdala is an important brain region for self/other attribution. Furthermore, pathological activation of the amygdala, where Type-Other neurons predominate, could induce external misattribution of percepts of vocalization.

  12. Individual Neurons Confined to Distinct Antennal-Lobe Tracts in the Heliothine Moth: Morphological Characteristics and Global Projection Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian, Elena; Zhao, Xin C.; Lande, Andreas; Berg, Bente G.

    2016-01-01

    To explore fundamental principles characterizing chemosensory information processing, we have identified antennal-lobe projection neurons in the heliothine moth, including several neuron types not previously described. Generally, odor information is conveyed from the primary olfactory center of the moth brain, the antennal lobe, to higher brain centers via projection neuron axons passing along several parallel pathways, of which the medial, mediolateral, and lateral antennal-lobe tract are considered the classical ones. Recent data have revealed the projections of the individual tracts more in detail demonstrating three main target regions in the protocerebrum; the calyces are innervated mainly by the medial tract, the superior intermediate protocerebrum by the lateral tract exclusively, and the lateral horn by all tracts. In the present study, we have identified, via iontophoretic intracellular staining combined with confocal microscopy, individual projection neurons confined to the tracts mentioned above, plus two additional ones. Further, using the visualization software AMIRA, we reconstructed the stained neurons and registered the models into a standard brain atlas, which allowed us to compare the termination areas of individual projection neurons both across and within distinct tracts. The data demonstrate a morphological diversity of the projection neurons within distinct tracts. Comparison of the output areas of the neurons confined to the three main tracts in the lateral horn showed overlapping terminal regions for the medial and mediolateral tracts; the lateral tract neurons, on the contrary, targeted mostly other output areas in the protocerebrum. PMID:27822181

  13. GDNF family ligands display distinct action profiles on cultured GABAergic and serotonergic neurons of rat ventral mesencephalon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ducray, Angélique; Krebs, Sandra H:; Schaller, Benoft

    2006-01-01

    Glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), neurturin (NRTN), artemin (ARTN) and persephin (PSPN), known as the GDNF family ligands (GFLs), influence the development, survival and differentiation of cultured dopaminergic neurons from ventral mesencephalon (VM). Detailed knowledge about...... factors for VM GABAergic and serotonergic neurons, demonstrating characteristic individual action profiles emphasizing their important and distinct roles during brain development....

  14. Different requirements of functional telomeres in neural stem cells and terminally differentiated neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobanova, Anastasia; She, Robert; Pieraut, Simon; Clapp, Charlie; Maximov, Anton; Denchi, Eros Lazzerini

    2017-04-01

    Telomeres have been studied extensively in peripheral tissues, but their relevance in the nervous system remains poorly understood. Here, we examine the roles of telomeres at distinct stages of murine brain development by using lineage-specific genetic ablation of TRF2, an essential component of the shelterin complex that protects chromosome ends from the DNA damage response machinery. We found that functional telomeres are required for embryonic and adult neurogenesis, but their uncapping has surprisingly no detectable consequences on terminally differentiated neurons. Conditional knockout of TRF2 in post-mitotic immature neurons had virtually no detectable effect on circuit assembly, neuronal gene expression, and the behavior of adult animals despite triggering massive end-to-end chromosome fusions across the brain. These results suggest that telomeres are dispensable in terminally differentiated neurons and provide mechanistic insight into cognitive abnormalities associated with aberrant telomere length in humans. © 2017 Lobanova et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  15. The Striatal Balancing Act in Drug Addiction: Distinct Roles of Direct and Indirect Pathway Medium Spiny Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Kay eLobo

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The striatum plays a key role in mediating the acute and chronic effects of addictive drugs, with drugs of abuse causing long-lasting molecular and cellular alterations in both dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens (ventral striatum. Despite the wealth of research on the biological actions of abused drugs in striatum, until recently, the distinct roles of the striatum’s two major subtypes of medium spiny neuron (MSN in drug addiction remained elusive. Recent advances in cell-type specific technologies, including fluorescent reporter mice, transgenic or knockout mice, and viral-mediated gene transfer, have advanced the field toward a more comprehensive understanding of the two MSN subtypes in the long-term actions of drugs of abuse. Here we review progress in defining the distinct molecular and functional contributions of the two MSN subtypes in mediating addiction.

  16. Distinct projection targets define subpopulations of mouse brainstem vagal neurons that express the autism-associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamitakahara, Anna; Wu, Hsiao-Huei; Levitt, Pat

    2017-12-15

    Detailed anatomical tracing and mapping of the viscerotopic organization of the vagal motor nuclei has provided insight into autonomic function in health and disease. To further define specific cellular identities, we paired information based on visceral connectivity with a cell-type specific marker of a subpopulation of neurons in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV) and nucleus ambiguus (nAmb) that express the autism-associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase. As gastrointestinal disturbances are common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we sought to define the relationship between MET-expressing (MET+) neurons in the DMV and nAmb, and the gastrointestinal tract. Using wholemount tissue staining and clearing, or retrograde tracing in a MET EGFP transgenic mouse, we identify three novel subpopulations of EGFP+ vagal brainstem neurons: (a) EGFP+ neurons in the nAmb projecting to the esophagus or laryngeal muscles, (b) EGFP+ neurons in the medial DMV projecting to the stomach, and (b) EGFP+ neurons in the lateral DMV projecting to the cecum and/or proximal colon. Expression of the MET ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), by tissues innervated by vagal motor neurons during fetal development reveal potential sites of HGF-MET interaction. Furthermore, similar cellular expression patterns of MET in the brainstem of both the mouse and nonhuman primate suggests that MET expression at these sites is evolutionarily conserved. Together, the data suggest that MET+ neurons in the brainstem vagal motor nuclei are anatomically positioned to regulate distinct portions of the gastrointestinal tract, with implications for the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal comorbidities of ASD. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Distinct kinetics of inhibitory currents in thalamocortical neurons that arise from dendritic or axonal origin.

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    Sunggu Yang

    Full Text Available Thalamocortical neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN transfer visual information from retina to primary visual cortex. This information is modulated by inhibitory input arising from local interneurons and thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN neurons, leading to alterations of receptive field properties of thalamocortical neurons. Local GABAergic interneurons provide two distinct synaptic outputs: axonal (F1 terminals and dendritic (F2 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. By contrast, TRN neurons provide only axonal output (F1 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. It is unclear if GABAA receptor-mediated currents originating from F1 and F2 terminals have different characteristics. In the present study, we examined multiple characteristics (rise time, slope, halfwidth and decay τ of GABAA receptor-mediated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents (mIPSCs originating from F1 and F2 terminals. The mIPSCs arising from F2 terminals showed slower kinetics relative to those from F1 terminals. Such differential kinetics of GABAAR-mediated responses could be an important role in temporal coding of visual signals.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian-Kun Yang

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Distinctive features of Phox2b-expressing neurons in the rat reticular formation dorsal to the trigeminal motor nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagoya, Kouta; Nakamura, Shiro; Ikeda, Keiko; Onimaru, Hiroshi; Yoshida, Atsushi; Nakayama, Kiyomi; Mochizuki, Ayako; Kiyomoto, Masaaki; Sato, Fumihiko; Kawakami, Kiyoshi; Takahashi, Koji; Inoue, Tomio

    2017-09-01

    Phox2b encodes a paired-like homeodomain-containing transcription factor essential for development of the autonomic nervous system. Phox2b-expressing (Phox2b + ) neurons are present in the reticular formation dorsal to the trigeminal motor nucleus (RdV) as well as the nucleus of the solitary tract and parafacial respiratory group. However, the nature of Phox2b + RdV neurons is still unclear. We investigated the physiological and morphological properties of Phox2b + RdV neurons using postnatal day 2-7 transgenic rats expressing yellow fluorescent protein under the control of Phox2b. Almost all of Phox2b + RdV neurons were glutamatergic, whereas Phox2b-negative (Phox2b - ) RdV neurons consisted of a few glutamatergic, many GABAergic, and many glycinergic neurons. The majority (48/56) of Phox2b + neurons showed low-frequency firing (LF), while most of Phox2b - neurons (35/42) exhibited high-frequency firing (HF) in response to intracellularly injected currents. All, but one, Phox2b + neurons (55/56) did not fire spontaneously, whereas three-fourths of the Phox2b - neurons (31/42) were spontaneously active. K + channel and persistent Na + current blockers affected the firing of LF and HF neurons. The majority of Phox2b + (35/46) and half of the Phox2b - neurons (19/40) did not respond to stimulations of the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus, the trigeminal tract, and the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus. Biocytin labeling revealed that about half of the Phox2b + (5/12) and Phox2b - RdV neurons (5/10) send their axons to the trigeminal motor nucleus. These results suggest that Phox2b + RdV neurons have distinct neurotransmitter phenotypes and firing properties from Phox2b - RdV neurons and might play important roles in feeding-related functions including suckling and possibly mastication. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Multiple distinct subtypes of GABAergic neurons in mouse visual cortex identified by triple immunostaining

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    Yuri Gonchar

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The majority of cortical interneurons use GABA (gamma amino butyric acid as inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABAergic neurons are morphologically, connectionally, electrically and chemically heterogeneous. In rat cerebral cortex three distinct groups of GABAergic interneurons have been identifi ed by the expression of parvalbumin (PV, calretinin (CR and somatostatin (SOM. Recent studies in mouse cerebral cortex have revealed a different organization in which the CR and SOM populations are partially overlapping. Because CR and SOM neurons derive from different progenitors located in different embryonic structures, the coexpression of CR + SOM suggests that the chemical differentiation of interneurons is regulated postmitotically. Here, we have taken an important fi rst step towards understanding this process by triple immunostaining mouse visual cortex with a panel of antibodies, which has been used extensively for classifying developing interneurons. We have found at least 13 distinct groups of GABAergic neurons which include PV, CR, SOM, CCK (cholecystokinin, CR + SOM, CR + NPY (neuropeptide Y, CR + VIP (vasointestinal polypeptide, SOM + NPY, SOM + VIP, VIP + ChAT (choline acetyltransferase, CCK + NPY, CR + SOM + NPY and CR + SOM + VIP expressing cells. Triple immunostaining with PV, CR and SOM antibodies during postnatal development further showed that PV is never colocalized with CR and SOM. Importantly, expression of SOM and CR + SOM developed after the percentage of CR cells that do not express SOM has reached the mature level, suggesting that the chemical differentiation of SOM and CR + SOM neurons is a postnatal event, which may be controlled by transcriptional regulation.

  1. Multi-Scale Molecular Deconstruction of the Serotonin Neuron System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okaty, Benjamin W; Freret, Morgan E; Rood, Benjamin D; Brust, Rachael D; Hennessy, Morgan L; deBairos, Danielle; Kim, Jun Chul; Cook, Melloni N; Dymecki, Susan M

    2015-11-18

    Serotonergic (5HT) neurons modulate diverse behaviors and physiology and are implicated in distinct clinical disorders. Corresponding diversity in 5HT neuronal phenotypes is becoming apparent and is likely rooted in molecular differences, yet a comprehensive approach characterizing molecular variation across the 5HT system is lacking, as is concomitant linkage to cellular phenotypes. Here we combine intersectional fate mapping, neuron sorting, and genome-wide RNA-seq to deconstruct the mouse 5HT system at multiple levels of granularity-from anatomy, to genetic sublineages, to single neurons. Our unbiased analyses reveal principles underlying system organization, 5HT neuron subtypes, constellations of differentially expressed genes distinguishing subtypes, and predictions of subtype-specific functions. Using electrophysiology, subtype-specific neuron silencing, and conditional gene knockout, we show that these molecularly defined 5HT neuron subtypes are functionally distinct. Collectively, this resource classifies molecular diversity across the 5HT system and discovers sertonergic subtypes, markers, organizing principles, and subtype-specific functions with potential disease relevance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Hypocretin/Orexin Peptides Alter Spike Encoding by Serotonergic Dorsal Raphe Neurons through Two Distinct Mechanisms That Increase the Late Afterhyperpolarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishibashi, Masaru; Gumenchuk, Iryna; Miyazaki, Kenichi; Inoue, Takafumi; Ross, William N; Leonard, Christopher S

    2016-09-28

    Orexins (hypocretins) are neuropeptides that regulate multiple homeostatic processes, including reward and arousal, in part by exciting serotonergic dorsal raphe neurons, the major source of forebrain serotonin. Here, using mouse brain slices, we found that, instead of simply depolarizing these neurons, orexin-A altered the spike encoding process by increasing the postspike afterhyperpolarization (AHP) via two distinct mechanisms. This orexin-enhanced AHP (oeAHP) was mediated by both OX1 and OX2 receptors, required Ca(2+) influx, reversed near EK, and decayed with two components, the faster of which resulted from enhanced SK channel activation, whereas the slower component decayed like a slow AHP (sAHP), but was not blocked by UCL2077, an antagonist of sAHPs in some neurons. Intracellular phospholipase C inhibition (U73122) blocked the entire oeAHP, but neither component was sensitive to PKC inhibition or altered PKA signaling, unlike classical sAHPs. The enhanced SK current did not depend on IP3-mediated Ca(2+) release but resulted from A-current inhibition and the resultant spike broadening, which increased Ca(2+) influx and Ca(2+)-induced-Ca(2+) release, whereas the slower component was insensitive to these factors. Functionally, the oeAHP slowed and stabilized orexin-induced firing compared with firing produced by a virtual orexin conductance lacking the oeAHP. The oeAHP also reduced steady-state firing rate and firing fidelity in response to stimulation, without affecting the initial rate or fidelity. Collectively, these findings reveal a new orexin action in serotonergic raphe neurons and suggest that, when orexin is released during arousal and reward, it enhances the spike encoding of phasic over tonic inputs, such as those related to sensory, motor, and reward events. Orexin peptides are known to excite neurons via slow postsynaptic depolarizations. Here we elucidate a significant new orexin action that increases and prolongs the postspike

  3. 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.

  4. Orexins control intestinal glucose transport by distinct neuronal, endocrine, and direct epithelial pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducroc, Robert; Voisin, Thierry; El Firar, Aadil; Laburthe, Marc

    2007-10-01

    Orexins are neuropeptides involved in energy homeostasis. We investigated the effect of orexin A (OxA) and orexin B (OxB) on intestinal glucose transport in the rat. Injection of orexins led to a decrease in the blood glucose level in oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs). Effects of orexins on glucose entry were analyzed in Ussing chambers using the Na(+)-dependent increase in short-circuit current (Isc) to quantify jejunal glucose transport. The rapid and marked increase in Isc induced by luminal glucose was inhibited by 10 nmol/l OxA or OxB (53 and 59%, respectively). Response curves to OxA and OxB were not significantly different with half-maximal inhibitory concentrations at 0.9 and 0.4 nmol/l, respectively. On the one hand, OxA-induced inhibition of Isc was reduced by the neuronal blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) and by a cholecystokinin (CCK) 2R antagonist, indicating involvement of neuronal and endocrine CCK-releasing cells. The OX(1)R antagonist SB334867 had no effect on OxA-induced inhibition, which is likely to occur via a neuronal and/or endocrine OX(2)R. On the other hand, SB334867 induced a significant right shift of the concentration-effect curve for OxB. This OxB-preferring OX(1)R pathway was not sensitive to TTX or to CCKR antagonists, suggesting that OxB may act directly on enterocytic OX(1)R. These distinct effects of OxA and OxB are consistent with the expression of OX(1)R and OX(2)R mRNA in the epithelial and nonepithelial tissues, respectively. Our data delineate a new function for orexins as inhibitors of intestinal glucose absorption and provide a new basis for orexin-induced short-term control of energy homeostasis.

  5. Intraspinal serotonergic neurons consist of two, temporally distinct populations in developing zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Jacob E; Wiggin, Timothy D; Rivera-Perez, Luis M; Lillesaar, Christina; Masino, Mark A

    2016-06-01

    Zebrafish intraspinal serotonergic neuron (ISN) morphology and distribution have been examined in detail at different ages; however, some aspects of the development of these cells remain unclear. Although antibodies to serotonin (5-HT) have detected ISNs in the ventral spinal cord of embryos, larvae, and adults, the only tryptophan hydroxylase (tph) transcript that has been described in the spinal cord is tph1a. Paradoxically, spinal tph1a is only expressed transiently in embryos, which brings the source of 5-HT in the ISNs of larvae and adults into question. Because the pet1 and tph2 promoters drive transgene expression in the spinal cord, we hypothesized that tph2 is expressed in spinal cords of zebrafish larvae. We confirmed this hypothesis through in situ hybridization. Next, we used 5-HT antibody labeling and transgenic markers of tph2-expressing neurons to identify a transient population of ISNs in embryos that was distinct from ISNs that appeared later in development. The existence of separate ISN populations may not have been recognized previously due to their shared location in the ventral spinal cord. Finally, we used transgenic markers and immunohistochemical labeling to identify the transient ISN population as GABAergic Kolmer-Agduhr double-prime (KA″) neurons. Altogether, this study revealed a novel developmental paradigm in which KA″ neurons are transiently serotonergic before the appearance of a stable population of tph2-expressing ISNs. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Glass promotes the differentiation of neuronal and non-neuronal cell types in the Drosophila eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Carolyn A.; Chen, Hao; Cook, Tiffany; Brown, Stuart

    2018-01-01

    Transcriptional regulators can specify different cell types from a pool of equivalent progenitors by activating distinct developmental programs. The Glass transcription factor is expressed in all progenitors in the developing Drosophila eye, and is maintained in both neuronal and non-neuronal cell types. Glass is required for neuronal progenitors to differentiate as photoreceptors, but its role in non-neuronal cone and pigment cells is unknown. To determine whether Glass activity is limited to neuronal lineages, we compared the effects of misexpressing it in neuroblasts of the larval brain and in epithelial cells of the wing disc. Glass activated overlapping but distinct sets of genes in these neuronal and non-neuronal contexts, including markers of photoreceptors, cone cells and pigment cells. Coexpression of other transcription factors such as Pax2, Eyes absent, Lozenge and Escargot enabled Glass to induce additional genes characteristic of the non-neuronal cell types. Cell type-specific glass mutations generated in cone or pigment cells using somatic CRISPR revealed autonomous developmental defects, and expressing Glass specifically in these cells partially rescued glass mutant phenotypes. These results indicate that Glass is a determinant of organ identity that acts in both neuronal and non-neuronal cells to promote their differentiation into functional components of the eye. PMID:29324767

  7. Short- and long-term memory in Drosophila require cAMP signaling in distinct neuron types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Allison L; Li, Wanhe; Cressy, Mike; Dubnau, Josh

    2009-08-25

    A common feature of memory and its underlying synaptic plasticity is that each can be dissected into short-lived forms involving modification or trafficking of existing proteins and long-term forms that require new gene expression. An underlying assumption of this cellular view of memory consolidation is that these different mechanisms occur within a single neuron. At the neuroanatomical level, however, different temporal stages of memory can engage distinct neural circuits, a notion that has not been conceptually integrated with the cellular view. Here, we investigated this issue in the context of aversive Pavlovian olfactory memory in Drosophila. Previous studies have demonstrated a central role for cAMP signaling in the mushroom body (MB). The Ca(2+)-responsive adenylyl cyclase RUTABAGA is believed to be a coincidence detector in gamma neurons, one of the three principle classes of MB Kenyon cells. We were able to separately restore short-term or long-term memory to a rutabaga mutant with expression of rutabaga in different subsets of MB neurons. Our findings suggest a model in which the learning experience initiates two parallel associations: a short-lived trace in MB gamma neurons, and a long-lived trace in alpha/beta neurons.

  8. Mirror neurons: From origin to function

    OpenAIRE

    Cook, R; Bird, G; Catmur, C; Press, C; Heyes, C

    2014-01-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively...

  9. Direct projections from hypothalamic orexin neurons to brainstem cardiac vagal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dergacheva, Olga; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Schwartz, Alan R; Polotsky, Vsevolod Y; Mendelowitz, David

    2016-12-17

    Orexin neurons are known to augment the sympathetic control of cardiovascular function, however the role of orexin neurons in parasympathetic cardiac regulation remains unclear. To test the hypothesis that orexin neurons contribute to parasympathetic control we selectively expressed channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in orexin neurons in orexin-Cre transgenic rats and examined postsynaptic currents in cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs) in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). Simultaneous photostimulation and recording in ChR2-expressing orexin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus resulted in reliable action potential firing as well as large whole-cell currents suggesting a strong expression of ChR2 and reliable optogenetic excitation. Photostimulation of ChR2-expressing fibers in the DMV elicited short-latency (ranging from 3.2ms to 8.5ms) postsynaptic currents in 16 out of 44 CVNs tested. These responses were heterogeneous and included excitatory glutamatergic (63%) and inhibitory GABAergic (37%) postsynaptic currents. The results from this study suggest different sub-population of orexin neurons may exert diverse influences on brainstem CVNs and therefore may play distinct functional roles in parasympathetic control of the heart. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Functionally distinct dopamine signals in nucleus accumbens core and shell in the freely moving rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreyer, Jakob K.; Vander Weele, Caitlin M.; Lovic, Vedran

    2016-01-01

    Dynamic signaling of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons has been implicated in reward learning, drug abuse, and motivation. However, this system is complex because firing patterns of these neurons are heterogeneous; subpopulations receive distinct synaptic inputs, and project to anatomically...

  11. Distinct populations of GABAergic neurons in mouse rhombomere 1 express but do not require the homeodomain transcription factor PITX2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waite, Mindy R; Skaggs, Kaia; Kaviany, Parisa; Skidmore, Jennifer M; Causeret, Frédéric; Martin, James F; Martin, Donna M

    2012-01-01

    Hindbrain rhombomere 1 (r1) is located caudal to the isthmus, a critical organizer region, and rostral to rhombomere 2 in the developing mouse brain. Dorsal r1 gives rise to the cerebellum, locus coeruleus, and several brainstem nuclei, whereas cells from ventral r1 contribute to the trochlear and trigeminal nuclei as well as serotonergic and GABAergic neurons of the dorsal raphe. Recent studies have identified several molecular events controlling dorsal r1 development. In contrast, very little is known about ventral r1 gene expression and the genetic mechanisms regulating its formation. Neurons with distinct neurotransmitter phenotypes have been identified in ventral r1 including GABAergic, serotonergic, and cholinergic neurons. Here we show that PITX2 marks a distinct population of GABAergic neurons in mouse embryonic ventral r1. This population appears to retain its GABAergic identity even in the absence of PITX2. We provide a comprehensive map of markers that places these PITX2-positive GABAergic neurons in a region of r1 that intersects and is potentially in communication with the dorsal raphe. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael A

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons for manipulation fire both when the animal manipulates an object in a specific way and when it sees another animal (or the experimenter) perform an action that is more or less similar. Such neurons were originally found in macaque monkeys, in the ventral premotor cortex, area F5 and later also in the inferior parietal lobule. Recent neuroimaging data indicate that the adult human brain is endowed with a "mirror neuron system," putatively containing mirror neurons and other neurons, for matching the observation and execution of actions. Mirror neurons may serve action recognition in monkeys as well as humans, whereas their putative role in imitation and language may be realized in human but not in monkey. This article shows the important role of computational models in providing sufficient and causal explanations for the observed phenomena involving mirror systems and the learning processes which form them, and underlines the need for additional circuitry to lift up the monkey mirror neuron circuit to sustain the posited cognitive functions attributed to the human mirror neuron system. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Role of neuronal activity in regulating the structure and function of auditory neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Born, D.E.

    1986-01-01

    The role of afferent activity in maintaining neuronal structure and function was investigated in second order auditory neurons in nucleus magnocellularis (NM) of the chicken. The cochlea provides the major excitatory input to NM neurons via the eighth nerve. Removal of the cochlea causes dramatic changes in NM neurons. To determine if the elimination of neuronal activity is responsible for the changes in NM seen after cochlea removal, tetrodotoxin was used block action potentials in the cochlear ganglion cells. Tetrodotoxin injections into the perilymph reliably blocked neuronal activity in the cochlear nerve and NM. Far field recordings of sound-evoked potentials revealed that responses returned within 6 hours. Changes in amino acid incorporation in NM neurons were measured by giving intracardiac injections of 3 H-leucine and preparing tissue for autoradiographic demonstration of incorporated amino acid. Grain counts over individual neurons revealed that a single injection of tetrodotoxin produced a 40% decrease in grain density in ipsilateral NM neurons. It is concluded that neuronal activity plays an important contribution to the maintenance of the normal properties of NM neurons

  14. Multivesicular Bodies in Neurons: Distribution, Protein Content, and Trafficking Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    VON BARTHELD, CHRISTOPHER S.; ALTICK, AMY L.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Multivesicular bodies (MVBs) are intracellular endosomal organelles characterized by multiple internal vesicles that are enclosed within a single outer membrane. MVBs were initially regarded as purely prelysosomal structures along the degradative endosomal pathway of internalized proteins. MVBs are now known to be involved in numerous endocytic and trafficking functions, including protein sorting, recycling, transport, storage, and release. This review of neuronal MVBs summarizes their research history, morphology, distribution, accumulation of cargo and constitutive proteins, transport, and theories of functions of MVBs in neurons and glia. Due to their complex morphologies, neurons have expanded trafficking and signaling needs, beyond those of “geometrically simpler” cells, but it is not known whether neuronal MVBs perform additional transport and signaling functions. This review examines the concept of compartment-specific MVB functions in endosomal protein trafficking and signaling within synapses, axons, dendrites and cell bodies. We critically evaluate reports of the accumulation of neuronal MVBs based on evidence of stress-induced MVB formation. Furthermore, we discuss potential functions of neuronal and glial MVBs in development, in dystrophic neuritic syndromes, injury, disease, and aging. MVBs may play a role in Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Niemann-Pick diseases, some types of frontotemporal dementia, prion and virus trafficking, as well as in adaptive responses of neurons to trauma and toxin or drug exposure. Functions of MVBs in neurons have been much neglected, and major gaps in knowledge currently exist. Developing truly MVB-specific markers would help to elucidate the roles of neuronal MVBs in intra- and intercellular signaling of normal and diseased neurons. PMID:21216273

  15. Regulatory Mechanisms Controlling Maturation of Serotonin Neuron Identity and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, William C; Deneris, Evan S

    2017-01-01

    The brain serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) system has been extensively studied for its role in normal physiology and behavior, as well as, neuropsychiatric disorders. The broad influence of 5-HT on brain function, is in part due to the vast connectivity pattern of 5-HT-producing neurons throughout the CNS. 5-HT neurons are born and terminally specified midway through embryogenesis, then enter a protracted period of maturation, where they functionally integrate into CNS circuitry and then are maintained throughout life. The transcriptional regulatory networks controlling progenitor cell generation and terminal specification of 5-HT neurons are relatively well-understood, yet the factors controlling 5-HT neuron maturation are only recently coming to light. In this review, we first provide an update on the regulatory network controlling 5-HT neuron development, then delve deeper into the properties and regulatory strategies governing 5-HT neuron maturation. In particular, we discuss the role of the 5-HT neuron terminal selector transcription factor (TF) Pet-1 as a key regulator of 5-HT neuron maturation. Pet-1 was originally shown to positively regulate genes needed for 5-HT synthesis, reuptake and vesicular transport, hence 5-HT neuron-type transmitter identity. It has now been shown to regulate, both positively and negatively, many other categories of genes in 5-HT neurons including ion channels, GPCRs, transporters, neuropeptides, and other transcription factors. Its function as a terminal selector results in the maturation of 5-HT neuron excitability, firing characteristics, and synaptic modulation by several neurotransmitters. Furthermore, there is a temporal requirement for Pet-1 in the control of postmitotic gene expression trajectories thus indicating a direct role in 5-HT neuron maturation. Proper regulation of the maturation of cellular identity is critical for normal neuronal functioning and perturbations in the gene regulatory networks controlling

  16. 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.

  17. Activation of different neural precursor populations in the adult hippocampus: does this lead to new neurons with discrete functions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jhaveri, Dhanisha J; Taylor, Chanel J; Bartlett, Perry F

    2012-07-01

    Resident populations of stem and precursor cells drive the production of new neurons in the adult hippocampus. Recent discoveries have highlighted that a large proportion of these precursor cells are in fact quiescent and can be activated by distinct neuronal activity under both normal physiological and pathological conditions. As growing evidence indicates that newborn neurons play a critical role in cognitive functions such as learning and memory and in mood regulation, it is paramount that we obtain a better understanding of how the reservoirs of stem and precursor cells are maintained and activated. In this review, we critically examine the roles of key molecular mechanisms that have been shown to regulate hippocampal precursor cells, especially their activation. We believe that understanding the mechanistic details of the activity-driven regulation of precursor cells will equip us with the ability to develop tailored strategies to trigger the generation of new neurons, thereby improving the functional outcomes in various neurological and psychiatric conditions. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Beyond Neuronal Activity Markers: Select Immediate Early Genes in Striatal Neuron Subtypes Functionally Mediate Psychostimulant Addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramesh Chandra

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Immediate early genes (IEGs were traditionally used as markers of neuronal activity in striatum in response to stimuli including drugs of abuse such as psychostimulants. Early studies using these neuronal activity markers led to important insights in striatal neuron subtype responsiveness to psychostimulants. Such studies have helped identify striatum as a critical brain center for motivational, reinforcement and habitual behaviors in psychostimulant addiction. While the use of IEGs as neuronal activity markers in response to psychostimulants and other stimuli persists today, the functional role and implications of these IEGs has often been neglected. Nonetheless, there is a subset of research that investigates the functional role of IEGs in molecular, cellular and behavioral alterations by psychostimulants through striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN subtypes, the two projection neuron subtypes in striatum. This review article will address and highlight the studies that provide a functional mechanism by which IEGs mediate psychostimulant molecular, cellular and behavioral plasticity through MSN subtypes. Insight into the functional role of IEGs in striatal MSN subtypes could provide improved understanding into addiction and neuropsychiatric diseases affecting striatum, such as affective disorders and compulsive disorders characterized by dysfunctional motivation and habitual behavior.

  19. Magnocellular Neurons and Posterior Pituitary Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Colin H

    2016-09-15

    The posterior pituitary gland secretes oxytocin and vasopressin (the antidiuretic hormone) into the blood system. Oxytocin is required for normal delivery of the young and for delivery of milk to the young during lactation. Vasopressin increases water reabsorption in the kidney to maintain body fluid balance and causes vasoconstriction to increase blood pressure. Oxytocin and vasopressin secretion occurs from the axon terminals of magnocellular neurons whose cell bodies are principally found in the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus and paraventricular nucleus. The physiological functions of oxytocin and vasopressin depend on their secretion, which is principally determined by the pattern of action potentials initiated at the cell bodies. Appropriate secretion of oxytocin and vasopressin to meet the challenges of changing physiological conditions relies mainly on integration of afferent information on reproductive, osmotic, and cardiovascular status with local regulation of magnocellular neurons by glia as well as intrinsic regulation by the magnocellular neurons themselves. This review focuses on the control of magnocellular neuron activity with a particular emphasis on their regulation by reproductive function, body fluid balance, and cardiovascular status. © 2016 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 6:1701-1741, 2016. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  20. Lack of functional specialization of neurons in the mouse primary visual cortex that have expressed calretinin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela eCamillo

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Calretinin is a calcium-binding protein often used as a marker for a subset of inhibitory interneurons in the mammalian neocortex. We studied the labeled cells in offspring from a cross of a Cre-dependent reporter line with the CR-ires-Cre mice, which express Cre-recombinase in the same pattern as calretinin. We found that in the mature visual cortex, only a minority of the cells that have expressed calretinin and Cre-recombinase during their lifetime is GABAergic and only about 20% are immunoreactive for calretinin. The reason behind this is that calretinin is transiently expressed in many cortical pyramidal neurons during development. To determine whether neurons that express or have expressed calretinin share any distinct functional characteristics, we recorded their visual response properties using GCaMP6s calcium imaging. The average orientation selectivity, size tuning, and temporal and spatial frequency tuning of this group of cells, however, match the response profile of the general neuronal population, revealing the lack of functional specialization for the features studied.

  1. Functional circuits of new neurons in the dentate gyrus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen eVivar

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus is crucial for memory formation. New neurons are added throughout life to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG, a brain area considered important for differential storage of similar experiences and contexts. To better understand the functional contribution of adult neurogenesis to pattern separation processes, we recently used a novel synapse specific trans-neuronal tracing approach to identify the (sub cortical inputs to new dentate granule cells. It was observed that newly born neurons receive sequential innervation from structures important for memory function. Initially, septal-hippocampal cells provide input to new neurons, followed after about one month by perirhinal and lateral entorhinal cortex. These cortical areas are deemed relevant to encoding of novel environmental information and may enable pattern separation. Here, we review the developmental time-course and proposed functional relevance of new neurons, within the context of their unique neural circuitry.  

  2. Gene Expression and the Diversity of Identified Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Buck, L.; Stein, R.; Palazzolo, M.; Anderson, D. J.; Axel, R.

    1983-01-01

    Nervous systems consist of diverse populations of neurons that are anatomically and functionally distinct. The diversity of neurons and the precision with which they are interconnected suggest that specific genes or sets of genes are activated in some neurons but not expressed in others. Experimentally, this problem may be considered at two levels. First, what is the total number of genes expressed in the brain, and how are they distributed among the different populations of neurons? Second, ...

  3. Toxoplasma gondii Actively Inhibits Neuronal Function in Chronically Infected Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haroon, Fahad; Händel, Ulrike; Angenstein, Frank; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Kreutzmann, Peter; Lison, Holger; Fischer, Klaus-Dieter; Scheich, Henning; Wetzel, Wolfram; Schlüter, Dirk; Budinger, Eike

    2012-01-01

    Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii–infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca2+) imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host. PMID:22530040

  4. Toxoplasma gondii actively inhibits neuronal function in chronically infected mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fahad Haroon

    Full Text Available Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii-infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca(2+ imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca(2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca(2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca(2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host.

  5. Lineage Reprogramming of Astroglial Cells from Different Origins into Distinct Neuronal Subtypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malek Chouchane

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Astroglial cells isolated from the rodent postnatal cerebral cortex are particularly susceptible to lineage reprogramming into neurons. However, it remains unknown whether other astroglial populations retain the same potential. Likewise, little is known about the fate of induced neurons (iNs in vivo. In this study we addressed these questions using two different astroglial populations isolated from the postnatal brain reprogrammed either with Neurogenin-2 (Neurog2 or Achaete scute homolog-1 (Ascl1. We show that cerebellum (CerebAstro and cerebral cortex astroglia (CtxAstro generates iNs with distinctive neurochemical and morphological properties. Both astroglial populations contribute iNs to the olfactory bulb following transplantation in the postnatal and adult mouse subventricular zone. However, only CtxAstro transfected with Neurog2 differentiate into pyramidal-like iNs after transplantation in the postnatal cerebral cortex. Altogether, our data indicate that the origin of the astroglial population and transcription factors used for reprogramming, as well as the region of integration, affect the fate of iNs.

  6. The transfer function of neuron spike.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmieri, Igor; Monteiro, Luiz H A; Miranda, Maria D

    2015-08-01

    The mathematical modeling of neuronal signals is a relevant problem in neuroscience. The complexity of the neuron behavior, however, makes this problem a particularly difficult task. Here, we propose a discrete-time linear time-invariant (LTI) model with a rational function in order to represent the neuronal spike detected by an electrode located in the surroundings of the nerve cell. The model is presented as a cascade association of two subsystems: one that generates an action potential from an input stimulus, and one that represents the medium between the cell and the electrode. The suggested approach employs system identification and signal processing concepts, and is dissociated from any considerations about the biophysical processes of the neuronal cell, providing a low-complexity alternative to model the neuronal spike. The model is validated by using in vivo experimental readings of intracellular and extracellular signals. A computational simulation of the model is presented in order to assess its proximity to the neuronal signal and to observe the variability of the estimated parameters. The implications of the results are discussed in the context of spike sorting. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Toward functional classification of neuronal types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpee, Tatyana O

    2014-09-17

    How many types of neurons are there in the brain? This basic neuroscience question remains unsettled despite many decades of research. Classification schemes have been proposed based on anatomical, electrophysiological, or molecular properties. However, different schemes do not always agree with each other. This raises the question of whether one can classify neurons based on their function directly. For example, among sensory neurons, can a classification scheme be devised that is based on their role in encoding sensory stimuli? Here, theoretical arguments are outlined for how this can be achieved using information theory by looking at optimal numbers of cell types and paying attention to two key properties: correlations between inputs and noise in neural responses. This theoretical framework could help to map the hierarchical tree relating different neuronal classes within and across species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Elucidating distinct ion channel populations on the surface of hippocampal neurons via single-particle tracking recurrence analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikora, Grzegorz; Wyłomańska, Agnieszka; Gajda, Janusz; Solé, Laura; Akin, Elizabeth J.; Tamkun, Michael M.; Krapf, Diego

    2017-12-01

    Protein and lipid nanodomains are prevalent on the surface of mammalian cells. In particular, it has been recently recognized that ion channels assemble into surface nanoclusters in the soma of cultured neurons. However, the interactions of these molecules with surface nanodomains display a considerable degree of heterogeneity. Here, we investigate this heterogeneity and develop statistical tools based on the recurrence of individual trajectories to identify subpopulations within ion channels in the neuronal surface. We specifically study the dynamics of the K+ channel Kv1.4 and the Na+ channel Nav1.6 on the surface of cultured hippocampal neurons at the single-molecule level. We find that both these molecules are expressed in two different forms with distinct kinetics with regards to surface interactions, emphasizing the complex proteomic landscape of the neuronal surface. Further, the tools presented in this work provide new methods for the analysis of membrane nanodomains, transient confinement, and identification of populations within single-particle trajectories.

  9. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardy, Cedric; van den Hurk, Mark; Eames, Tameji; Marchand, Cynthia; Hernandez, Ruben V; Kellogg, Mariko; Gorris, Mark; Galet, Ben; Palomares, Vanessa; Brown, Joshua; Bang, Anne G; Mertens, Jerome; Böhnke, Lena; Boyer, Leah; Simon, Suzanne; Gage, Fred H

    2015-05-19

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely used to culture neurons. We found that classic basal media, as well as serum, impair action potential generation and synaptic communication. To overcome this problem, we designed a new neuronal medium (BrainPhys basal + serum-free supplements) in which we adjusted the concentrations of inorganic salts, neuroactive amino acids, and energetic substrates. We then tested that this medium adequately supports neuronal activity and survival of human neurons in culture. Long-term exposure to this physiological medium also improved the proportion of neurons that were synaptically active. The medium was designed to culture human neurons but also proved adequate for rodent neurons. The improvement in BrainPhys basal medium to support neurophysiological activity is an important step toward reducing the gap between brain physiological conditions in vivo and neuronal models in vitro.

  10. Neuron-specific feeding RNAi in C. elegans and its use in a screen for essential genes required for GABA neuron function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firnhaber, Christopher; Hammarlund, Marc

    2013-11-01

    Forward genetic screens are important tools for exploring the genetic requirements for neuronal function. However, conventional forward screens often have difficulty identifying genes whose relevant functions are masked by pleiotropy. In particular, if loss of gene function results in sterility, lethality, or other severe pleiotropy, neuronal-specific functions cannot be readily analyzed. Here we describe a method in C. elegans for generating cell-specific knockdown in neurons using feeding RNAi and its application in a screen for the role of essential genes in GABAergic neurons. We combine manipulations that increase the sensitivity of select neurons to RNAi with manipulations that block RNAi in other cells. We produce animal strains in which feeding RNAi results in restricted gene knockdown in either GABA-, acetylcholine-, dopamine-, or glutamate-releasing neurons. In these strains, we observe neuron cell-type specific behavioral changes when we knock down genes required for these neurons to function, including genes encoding the basal neurotransmission machinery. These reagents enable high-throughput, cell-specific knockdown in the nervous system, facilitating rapid dissection of the site of gene action and screening for neuronal functions of essential genes. Using the GABA-specific RNAi strain, we screened 1,320 RNAi clones targeting essential genes on chromosomes I, II, and III for their effect on GABA neuron function. We identified 48 genes whose GABA cell-specific knockdown resulted in reduced GABA motor output. This screen extends our understanding of the genetic requirements for continued neuronal function in a mature organism.

  11. Chemically Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes as Substrates for Neuronal Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Hui; Ni, Yingchun; Montana, Vedrana; Haddon, Robert C.; Parpura, Vladimir

    2009-01-01

    We report the use of chemically modified carbon nanotubes as a substrate for cultured neurons. The morphological features of neurons that directly reflect their potential capability in synaptic transmission are characterized. The chemical properties of carbon nanotubes are systematically varied by attaching different functional groups that confer known characteristics to the substrate. By manipulating the charge carried by functionalized carbon nanotubes we are able to control the outgrowth and branching pattern of neuronal processes. PMID:21394241

  12. 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.

  13. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bardy, C.; Hurk, M. van den; Eames, T.; Marchand, C.; Hernandez, R.V.; Kellogg, M.; Gorris, M.A.J.; Galet, B.; Palomares, V.; Brown, J.; Bang, A.G.; Mertens, J.; Bohnke, L.; Boyer, L.; Simon, S.; Gage, F.H.

    2015-01-01

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely

  14. 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.

  15. C. elegans STRADalpha and SAD cooperatively regulate neuronal polarity and synaptic organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Joanne S M; Hung, Wesley; Narbonne, Patrick; Roy, Richard; Zhen, Mei

    2010-01-01

    Neurons are polarized cells with morphologically and functionally distinct axons and dendrites. The SAD kinases are crucial for establishing the axon-dendrite identity across species. Previous studies suggest that a tumour suppressor kinase, LKB1, in the presence of a pseudokinase, STRADalpha, initiates axonal differentiation and growth through activating the SAD kinases in vertebrate neurons. STRADalpha was implicated in the localization, stabilization and activation of LKB1 in various cell culture studies. Its in vivo functions, however, have not been examined. In our present study, we analyzed the neuronal phenotypes of the first loss-of-function mutants for STRADalpha and examined their genetic interactions with LKB1 and SAD in C. elegans. Unexpectedly, only the C. elegans STRADalpha, STRD-1, functions exclusively through the SAD kinase, SAD-1, to regulate neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. Moreover, STRD-1 tightly associates with SAD-1 to coordinate its synaptic localizations. By contrast, the C. elegans LKB1, PAR-4, also functions in an additional genetic pathway independently of SAD-1 and STRD-1 to regulate neuronal polarity. We propose that STRD-1 establishes neuronal polarity and organizes synaptic proteins in a complex with the SAD-1 kinase. Our findings suggest that instead of a single, linear genetic pathway, STRADalpha and LKB1 regulate neuronal development through multiple effectors that are shared in some cellular contexts but distinct in others.

  16. Disruption of astrocyte-neuron cholesterol cross talk affects neuronal function in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenza, M; Marullo, M; Di Paolo, E; Cesana, E; Zuccato, C; Biella, G; Cattaneo, E

    2015-04-01

    In the adult brain, neurons require local cholesterol production, which is supplied by astrocytes through apoE-containing lipoproteins. In Huntington's disease (HD), such cholesterol biosynthesis in the brain is severely reduced. Here we show that this defect, occurring in astrocytes, is detrimental for HD neurons. Astrocytes bearing the huntingtin protein containing increasing CAG repeats secreted less apoE-lipoprotein-bound cholesterol in the medium. Conditioned media from HD astrocytes and lipoprotein-depleted conditioned media from wild-type (wt) astrocytes were equally detrimental in a neurite outgrowth assay and did not support synaptic activity in HD neurons, compared with conditions of cholesterol supplementation or conditioned media from wt astrocytes. Molecular perturbation of cholesterol biosynthesis and efflux in astrocytes caused similarly altered astrocyte-neuron cross talk, whereas enhancement of glial SREBP2 and ABCA1 function reversed the aspects of neuronal dysfunction in HD. These findings indicate that astrocyte-mediated cholesterol homeostasis could be a potential therapeutic target to ameliorate neuronal dysfunction in HD.

  17. Distinct membrane effects of spinal nerve ligation on injured and adjacent dorsal root ganglion neurons in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sapunar, Damir; Ljubkovic, Marko; Lirk, Philipp; McCallum, J. Bruce; Hogan, Quinn H.

    2005-01-01

    Painful peripheral nerve injury results in disordered sensory neuron function that contributes to the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. However, the relative roles of neurons with transected axons versus intact adjacent neurons have not been resolved. An essential first step is identification of

  18. Neurogenin3 restricts serotonergic neuron differentiation to the hindbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carcagno, Abel L; Di Bella, Daniela J; Goulding, Martyn; Guillemot, Francois; Lanuza, Guillermo M

    2014-11-12

    The development of the nervous system is critically dependent on the production of functionally diverse neuronal cell types at their correct locations. In the embryonic neural tube, dorsoventral signaling has emerged as a fundamental mechanism for generating neuronal diversity. In contrast, far less is known about how different neuronal cell types are organized along the rostrocaudal axis. In the developing mouse and chick neural tube, hindbrain serotonergic neurons and spinal glutamatergic V3 interneurons are produced from ventral p3 progenitors, which possess a common transcriptional identity but are confined to distinct anterior-posterior territories. In this study, we show that the expression of the transcription factor Neurogenin3 (Neurog3) in the spinal cord controls the correct specification of p3-derived neurons. Gain- and loss-of-function manipulations in the chick and mouse embryo show that Neurog3 switches ventral progenitors from a serotonergic to V3 differentiation program by repressing Ascl1 in spinal p3 progenitors through a mechanism dependent on Hes proteins. In this way, Neurog3 establishes the posterior boundary of the serotonergic system by actively suppressing serotonergic specification in the spinal cord. These results explain how equivalent p3 progenitors within the hindbrain and the spinal cord produce functionally distinct neuron cell types. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3415223-11$15.00/0.

  19. Somatomotor and oculomotor inferior olivary neurons have distinct electrophysiological phenotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Francisco J.; Simpson, John I.; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2006-01-01

    The electrophysiological properties of rat inferior olive (IO) neurons in the dorsal cap of Kooy (DCK) and the adjacent ventrolateral outgrowth (VLO) were compared with those of IO neurons in the principal olive (PO). Whereas DCK/VLO neurons are involved in eye movement control via their climbing fiber projection to the cerebellar flocculus, PO neurons control limb and digit movements via their climbing fiber projection to the lateral cerebellar hemisphere. In vitro patch recordings from DCK/VLO neurons revealed that low threshold calcium currents, Ih currents, and subthreshold oscillations are lacking in this subset of IO neurons. The recordings of activity in DCK neurons obtained by using voltage-sensitive dye imaging showed that activity is not limited to a single neuron, but rather that clusters of DCK neurons can be active in unison. These electrophysiological results show that the DCK/VLO neurons have unique properties that set them apart from the neurons in the PO nucleus. This finding indicates that motor control, from the perspective of the olivocerebellar system, is fundamentally different for the oculomotor and the somatomotor systems. PMID:17050678

  20. Comparative functional expression of nAChR subtypes in rodent DRG neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Nathan J; Hone, Arik J; Memon, Tosifa; Bossi, Simon; Smith, Thomas E; McIntosh, J Michael; Olivera, Baldomero M; Teichert, Russell W

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the functional expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in heterogeneous populations of dissociated rat and mouse lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons by calcium imaging. By this experimental approach, it is possible to investigate the functional expression of multiple receptor and ion-channel subtypes across more than 100 neuronal and glial cells simultaneously. Based on nAChR expression, DRG neurons could be divided into four subclasses: (1) neurons that express predominantly α3β4 and α6β4 nAChRs; (2) neurons that express predominantly α7 nAChRs; (3) neurons that express a combination of α3β4/α6β4 and α7 nAChRs; and (4) neurons that do not express nAChRs. In this comparative study, the same four neuronal subclasses were observed in mouse and rat DRG. However, the expression frequency differed between species: substantially more rat DRG neurons were in the first three subclasses than mouse DRG neurons, at all developmental time points tested in our study. Approximately 70-80% of rat DRG neurons expressed functional nAChRs, in contrast to only ~15-30% of mouse DRG neurons. Our study also demonstrated functional coupling between nAChRs, voltage-gated calcium channels, and mitochondrial Ca(2) (+) transport in discrete subsets of DRG neurons. In contrast to the expression of nAChRs in DRG neurons, we demonstrated that a subset of non-neuronal DRG cells expressed muscarinic acetylcholine receptors and not nAChRs. The general approach to comparative cellular neurobiology outlined in this paper has the potential to better integrate molecular and systems neuroscience by uncovering the spectrum of neuronal subclasses present in a given cell population and the functionally integrated signaling components expressed in each subclass.

  1. Human Nav1.8: enhanced persistent and ramp currents contribute to distinct firing properties of human DRG neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Chongyang; Estacion, Mark; Huang, Jianying; Vasylyev, Dymtro; Zhao, Peng; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D.

    2015-01-01

    Although species-specific differences in ion channel properties are well-documented, little has been known about the properties of the human Nav1.8 channel, an important contributor to pain signaling. Here we show, using techniques that include voltage clamp, current clamp, and dynamic clamp in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, that human Nav1.8 channels display slower inactivation kinetics and produce larger persistent current and ramp current than previously reported in other species. DRG neurons expressing human Nav1.8 channels unexpectedly produce significantly longer-lasting action potentials, including action potentials with half-widths in some cells >10 ms, and increased firing frequency compared with the narrower and usually single action potentials generated by DRG neurons expressing rat Nav1.8 channels. We also show that native human DRG neurons recapitulate these properties of Nav1.8 current and the long-lasting action potentials. Together, our results demonstrate strikingly distinct properties of human Nav1.8, which contribute to the firing properties of human DRG neurons. PMID:25787950

  2. Functionally distinct amygdala subregions identified using DTI and high-resolution fMRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderston, Nicholas L.; Schultz, Douglas H.; Hopkins, Lauren

    2015-01-01

    Although the amygdala is often directly linked with fear and emotion, amygdala neurons are activated by a wide variety of emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Different subregions within the amygdala may be engaged preferentially by different aspects of emotional and non-emotional tasks. To test this hypothesis, we measured and compared the effects of novelty and fear on amygdala activity. We used high-resolution blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) imaging and streamline tractography to subdivide the amygdala into three distinct functional subunits. We identified a laterobasal subregion connected with the visual cortex that responds generally to visual stimuli, a non-projecting region that responds to salient visual stimuli, and a centromedial subregion connected with the diencephalon that responds only when a visual stimulus predicts an aversive outcome. We provide anatomical and functional support for a model of amygdala function where information enters through the laterobasal subregion, is processed by intrinsic circuits in the interspersed tissue, and is then passed to the centromedial subregion, where activation leads to behavioral output. PMID:25969533

  3. The neuronal identity bias behind neocortical GABAergic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allene, Camille; Lourenço, Joana; Bacci, Alberto

    2015-09-01

    In the neocortex, different types of excitatory and inhibitory neurons connect to one another following a detailed blueprint, defining functionally-distinct subnetworks, whose activity and modulation underlie complex cognitive functions. We review the cell-autonomous plasticity of perisomatic inhibition onto principal excitatory neurons. We propose that the tendency of different cortical layers to exhibit depression or potentiation of perisomatic inhibition is dictated by the specific identities of principal neurons (PNs). These are mainly defined by their projection targets and by their preference to be innervated by specific perisomatic-targeting basket cell types. Therefore, principal neurons responsible for relaying information to subcortical nuclei are differentially inhibited and show specific forms of plasticity compared to other PNs that are specialized in more associative functions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Dicer maintains the identity and function of proprioceptive sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Toole, Sean M; Ferrer, Monica M; Mekonnen, Jennifer; Zhang, Haihan; Shima, Yasuyuki; Ladle, David R; Nelson, Sacha B

    2017-03-01

    Neuronal cell identity is established during development and must be maintained throughout an animal's life (Fishell G, Heintz N. Neuron 80: 602-612, 2013). Transcription factors critical for establishing neuronal identity can be required for maintaining it (Deneris ES, Hobert O. Nat Neurosci 17: 899-907, 2014). Posttranscriptional regulation also plays an important role in neuronal differentiation (Bian S, Sun T. Mol Neurobiol 44: 359-373, 2011), but its role in maintaining cell identity is less established. To better understand how posttranscriptional regulation might contribute to cell identity, we examined the proprioceptive neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), a highly specialized sensory neuron class, with well-established properties that distinguish them from other neurons in the ganglion. By conditionally ablating Dicer in mice, using parvalbumin (Pvalb)-driven Cre recombinase, we impaired posttranscriptional regulation in the proprioceptive sensory neuron population. Knockout (KO) animals display a progressive form of ataxia at the beginning of the fourth postnatal week that is accompanied by a cell death within the DRG. Before cell loss, expression profiling shows a reduction of proprioceptor specific genes and an increased expression of nonproprioceptive genes normally enriched in other ganglion neurons. Furthermore, although central connections of these neurons are intact, the peripheral connections to the muscle are functionally impaired. Posttranscriptional regulation is therefore necessary to retain the transcriptional identity and support functional specialization of the proprioceptive sensory neurons. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We have demonstrated that selectively impairing Dicer in parvalbumin-positive neurons, which include the proprioceptors, triggers behavioral changes, a lack of muscle connectivity, and a loss of transcriptional identity as observed through RNA sequencing. These results suggest that Dicer and, most likely by extension, micro

  5. Electrophysiological and pharmacological evidence for the existence of distinct subpopulations of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuron in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepard, P D; German, D C

    1988-11-01

    The electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of dopaminergic neurons were systematically examined throughout the anterior-posterior extent of the substantia nigra zona compacta in the rat. Cells were characterized in terms of their (1) firing pattern, (2) firing rate, (3) antidromic response properties, and (4) inhibition in firing rate following dopaminergic agonist administration. These properties were then related to the cell's position within one of four anterior-posterior segments of the nucleus. There were three types of neuronal discharge pattern encountered; irregular, burst and regular. Cells which exhibited different firing patterns exhibited different firing rates and anatomical locations within the substantia nigra zona compacta. All neurons were antidromically activated from the striatum, however, the burst- and regular-firing cells exhibited significantly faster estimated conduction velocities than irregular-firing cells. The irregular-firing cells were most sensitive to dopaminergic autoreceptor agonists whereas the burst-firing cells were most sensitive to an indirect-acting dopaminergic agonist. These experiments provide both electrophysiological and pharmacological evidence to indicate that nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons are composed of distinct subpopulations which are characterized by their firing pattern.

  6. Functionalized anatomical models for EM-neuron Interaction modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neufeld, Esra; Cassará, Antonino Mario; Montanaro, Hazael; Kuster, Niels; Kainz, Wolfgang

    2016-06-01

    The understanding of interactions between electromagnetic (EM) fields and nerves are crucial in contexts ranging from therapeutic neurostimulation to low frequency EM exposure safety. To properly consider the impact of in vivo induced field inhomogeneity on non-linear neuronal dynamics, coupled EM-neuronal dynamics modeling is required. For that purpose, novel functionalized computable human phantoms have been developed. Their implementation and the systematic verification of the integrated anisotropic quasi-static EM solver and neuronal dynamics modeling functionality, based on the method of manufactured solutions and numerical reference data, is described. Electric and magnetic stimulation of the ulnar and sciatic nerve were modeled to help understanding a range of controversial issues related to the magnitude and optimal determination of strength-duration (SD) time constants. The results indicate the importance of considering the stimulation-specific inhomogeneous field distributions (especially at tissue interfaces), realistic models of non-linear neuronal dynamics, very short pulses, and suitable SD extrapolation models. These results and the functionalized computable phantom will influence and support the development of safe and effective neuroprosthetic devices and novel electroceuticals. Furthermore they will assist the evaluation of existing low frequency exposure standards for the entire population under all exposure conditions.

  7. Molecular and cellular organization of taste neurons in adult Drosophila pharynx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yu-Chieh (David); Dahanukar, Anupama

    2017-01-01

    SUMMARY The Drosophila pharyngeal taste organs are poorly characterized despite their location at important sites for monitoring food quality. Functional analysis of pharyngeal neurons has been hindered by the paucity of molecular tools to manipulate them, as well as their relative inaccessibility for neurophysiological investigations. Here, we generate receptor-to-neuron maps of all three pharyngeal taste organs by performing a comprehensive chemoreceptor-GAL4/LexA expression analysis. The organization of pharyngeal neurons reveals similarities and distinctions in receptor repertoires and neuronal groupings compared to external taste neurons. We validate the mapping results by pinpointing a single pharyngeal neuron required for feeding avoidance of L-canavanine. Inducible activation of pharyngeal taste neurons reveals functional differences between external and internal taste neurons and functional subdivision within pharyngeal sweet neurons. Our results provide road maps of pharyngeal taste organs in an insect model system for probing the role of these understudied neurons in controlling feeding behaviors. PMID:29212040

  8. Neuronal coherence and its functional role in communication between neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeitler-Geurds, M.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal oscillations are observed in many brain areas in various frequency bands. Each of the frequency bands is associated with a particular functional role. Gamma oscillations (30-80 Hz) are thought to be related to cognitive tasks like memory and attention and possibly also involved in the

  9. Properties of Neurons in External Globus Pallidus Can Support Optimal Action Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogacz, Rafal; Martin Moraud, Eduardo; Abdi, Azzedine; Magill, Peter J.; Baufreton, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The external globus pallidus (GPe) is a key nucleus within basal ganglia circuits that are thought to be involved in action selection. A class of computational models assumes that, during action selection, the basal ganglia compute for all actions available in a given context the probabilities that they should be selected. These models suggest that a network of GPe and subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons computes the normalization term in Bayes’ equation. In order to perform such computation, the GPe needs to send feedback to the STN equal to a particular function of the activity of STN neurons. However, the complex form of this function makes it unlikely that individual GPe neurons, or even a single GPe cell type, could compute it. Here, we demonstrate how this function could be computed within a network containing two types of GABAergic GPe projection neuron, so-called ‘prototypic’ and ‘arkypallidal’ neurons, that have different response properties in vivo and distinct connections. We compare our model predictions with the experimentally-reported connectivity and input-output functions (f-I curves) of the two populations of GPe neurons. We show that, together, these dichotomous cell types fulfil the requirements necessary to compute the function needed for optimal action selection. We conclude that, by virtue of their distinct response properties and connectivities, a network of arkypallidal and prototypic GPe neurons comprises a neural substrate capable of supporting the computation of the posterior probabilities of actions. PMID:27389780

  10. Zebrafish transgenic constructs label specific neurons in Xenopus laevis spinal cord and identify frog V0v spinal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juárez-Morales, José L; Martinez-De Luna, Reyna I; Zuber, Michael E; Roberts, Alan; Lewis, Katharine E

    2017-09-01

    A correctly functioning spinal cord is crucial for locomotion and communication between body and brain but there are fundamental gaps in our knowledge of how spinal neuronal circuitry is established and functions. To understand the genetic program that regulates specification and functions of this circuitry, we need to connect neuronal molecular phenotypes with physiological analyses. Studies using Xenopus laevis tadpoles have increased our understanding of spinal cord neuronal physiology and function, particularly in locomotor circuitry. However, the X. laevis tetraploid genome and long generation time make it difficult to investigate how neurons are specified. The opacity of X. laevis embryos also makes it hard to connect functional classes of neurons and the genes that they express. We demonstrate here that Tol2 transgenic constructs using zebrafish enhancers that drive expression in specific zebrafish spinal neurons label equivalent neurons in X. laevis and that the incorporation of a Gal4:UAS amplification cassette enables cells to be observed in live X. laevis tadpoles. This technique should enable the molecular phenotypes, morphologies and physiologies of distinct X. laevis spinal neurons to be examined together in vivo. We have used an islet1 enhancer to label Rohon-Beard sensory neurons and evx enhancers to identify V0v neurons, for the first time, in X. laevis spinal cord. Our work demonstrates the homology of spinal cord circuitry in zebrafish and X. laevis, suggesting that future work could combine their relative strengths to elucidate a more complete picture of how vertebrate spinal cord neurons are specified, and function to generate behavior. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 1007-1020, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Possibilities of introducing different functional circuits on top of a structural neuron triplet: Where do the gains lie?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franović, Igor; Miljković, Vladimir

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► We identify different types of functional circuits in structural triplets. ► The approach utilizes the properties of synapses with fast-threshold modulation. ► We observe correspondence between sequences in the time series and the triads. ► Triads are assigned roles with respect to synchronization. ► Regularization of bursting series is explained by classifying all the bursts. - Abstract: Instigated by the research on clusterization phenomena in complex neural networks, we study a triplet of bursting Rulkov map neurons connected via inhibitory synapses with delay. It is demonstrated how on a background of structural motif one can build different types of functional circuits. The approach is based on utilizing the properties of the chemical synapses, whose gating is modeled by the fast threshold modulation, in conjunction with the phase plane analysis, allowing the system state to be represented in terms of maps the neurons reside on. For both the dynamical configurations, monitoring the layout of active neurons, and the functional motifs, following the maps where the synchronized neurons lie, we establish a one-on-one correspondence between sequences in the time series and the triads, making up the subgraphs of the original graph. By introducing the appropriate sets of quantities, one obtains not only the distributions of triads as a function of synaptic parameters, but is also able to identify a distinct triad whose presence may be viewed as a signature of the burst synchronization process. In another setup, the regularization of burst cycles for an arbitrary neuron is explained by classifying all the bursts as long or short, with their fractions linked to the abundances of triads under variation of synaptic parameters.

  12. The GluN2B subunit represents a major functional determinant of NMDA receptors in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cortical neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioana Neagoe

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Abnormal signaling pathways mediated by N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs have been implicated in the pathogenesis of various CNS disorders and have been long considered as promising points of therapeutic intervention. However, few efforts have been previously described concerning evaluation of therapeutic modulators of NMDARs and their downstream pathways in human neurons with endogenous expression of NMDARs. In the present study, we assessed expression, functionality, and subunit composition of endogenous NMDARs in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC-derived cortical neurons (iCell Neurons and iCell GlutaNeurons. We initially confirmed the expected pharmacological response of iCell Neurons and iCell GlutaNeurons to NMDA by patch-clamp recordings. Subsequent pharmacological interrogation using GluN2 subunit-selective antagonists revealed the predominance of GluN2B in both iCell Neurons and iCell GlutaNeurons. This observation was also supported by qRT-PCR and Western blot analyses of GluN2 subunit expression as well as pharmacological experiments using positive allosteric modulators with distinct GluN2 subunit selectivity. We conclude that iCell Neurons and iCell GlutaNeurons express functional GluN2B-containing NMDARs and could serve as a valuable system for development and validation of GluN2B-modulating pharmaceutical agents. Keywords: Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons, iCell Neurons, iCell GlutaNeurons, NMDA receptors, GluN2B, Positive allosteric modulators

  13. Visual Neurons in the Superior Colliculus Innervated by Islet2+ or Islet2− Retinal Ganglion Cells Display Distinct Tuning Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel B. Kay

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the visual system, different subtypes of neurons are tuned to distinct aspects of the visual scene, establishing parallel circuits. Defining the mechanisms by which such tuning arises has been a long-standing challenge for neuroscience. To investigate this, we have focused on the retina’s projection to the superior colliculus (SC, where multiple visual neuron subtypes have been described. The SC receives inputs from a variety of retinal ganglion cell (RGC subtypes; however, which RGCs drive the tuning of different SC neurons remains unclear. Here, we pursued a genetic approach that allowed us to determine the tuning properties of neurons innervated by molecularly defined subpopulations of RGCs. In homozygous Islet2-EphA3 knock-in (Isl2EA3/EA3 mice, Isl2+ and Isl2− RGCs project to non-overlapping sub-regions of the SC. Based on molecular and anatomic data, we show that significantly more Isl2− RGCs are direction-selective (DS in comparison with Isl2+ RGCs. Targeted recordings of visual responses from each SC sub-region in Isl2EA3/EA3 mice revealed that Isl2− RGC-innervated neurons were significantly more DS than those innervated by Isl2+ RGCs. Axis-selective (AS neurons were found in both sub-regions, though AS neurons innervated by Isl2+ RGCs were more tightly tuned. Despite this segregation, DS and AS neurons innervated by Isl2+ or Isl2− RGCs did not differ in their spatial summation or spatial frequency (SF tuning. Further, we did not observe alterations in receptive field (RF size or structure of SC neurons innervated by Isl2+ or Isl2− RGCs. Together, these data show that innervation by Isl2+ and Isl2− RGCs results in distinct tuning in the SC and set the stage for future studies investigating the mechanisms by which these circuits are built.

  14. Subthreshold membrane currents confer distinct tuning properties that enable neurons to encode the integral or derivative of their input

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eRatté

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurons rely on action potentials, or spikes, to encode information. But spikes can encode different stimulus features in different neurons. We show here through simulations and experiments how neurons encode the integral or derivative of their input based on the distinct tuning properties conferred upon them by subthreshold currents. Slow-activating subthreshold inward (depolarizing current mediates positive feedback control of subthreshold voltage, sustaining depolarization and allowing the neuron to spike on the basis of its integrated stimulus waveform. Slow-activating subthreshold outward (hyperpolarizing current mediates negative feedback control of subthreshold voltage, truncating depolarization and forcing the neuron to spike on the basis of its differentiated stimulus waveform. Depending on its direction, slow-activating subthreshold current cooperates or competes with fast-activating inward current during spike initiation. This explanation predicts that sensitivity to the rate of change of stimulus intensity differs qualitatively between integrators and differentiators. This was confirmed experimentally in spinal sensory neurons that naturally behave as specialized integrators or differentiators. Predicted sensitivity to different stimulus features was confirmed by covariance analysis. Integration and differentiation, which are themselves inverse operations, are thus shown to be implemented by the slow feedback mediated by oppositely directed subthreshold currents expressed in different neurons.

  15. Functional Characterization of Lamina X Neurons in ex-Vivo Spinal Cord Preparation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volodymyr Krotov

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Functional properties of lamina X neurons in the spinal cord remain unknown despite the established role of this area for somatosensory integration, visceral nociception, autonomic regulation and motoneuron output modulation. Investigations of neuronal functioning in the lamina X have been hampered by technical challenges. Here we introduce an ex-vivo spinal cord preparation with both dorsal and ventral roots still attached for functional studies of the lamina X neurons and their connectivity using an oblique LED illumination for resolved visualization of lamina X neurons in a thick tissue. With the elaborated approach, we demonstrate electrophysiological characteristics of lamina X neurons by their membrane properties, firing pattern discharge and fiber innervation (either afferent or efferent. The tissue preparation has been also probed using Ca2+ imaging with fluorescent Ca2+ dyes (membrane-impermeable or -permeable to demonstrate the depolarization-induced changes in intracellular calcium concentration in lamina X neurons. Finally, we performed visualization of subpopulations of lamina X neurons stained by retrograde labeling with aminostilbamidine dye to identify sympathetic preganglionic and projection neurons in the lamina X. Thus, the elaborated approach provides a reliable tool for investigation of functional properties and connectivity in specific neuronal subpopulations, boosting research of lamina X of the spinal cord.

  16. Human Na(v)1.8: enhanced persistent and ramp currents contribute to distinct firing properties of human DRG neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Chongyang; Estacion, Mark; Huang, Jianying; Vasylyev, Dymtro; Zhao, Peng; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Waxman, Stephen G

    2015-05-01

    Although species-specific differences in ion channel properties are well-documented, little has been known about the properties of the human Nav1.8 channel, an important contributor to pain signaling. Here we show, using techniques that include voltage clamp, current clamp, and dynamic clamp in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, that human Na(v)1.8 channels display slower inactivation kinetics and produce larger persistent current and ramp current than previously reported in other species. DRG neurons expressing human Na(v)1.8 channels unexpectedly produce significantly longer-lasting action potentials, including action potentials with half-widths in some cells >10 ms, and increased firing frequency compared with the narrower and usually single action potentials generated by DRG neurons expressing rat Na(v)1.8 channels. We also show that native human DRG neurons recapitulate these properties of Na(v)1.8 current and the long-lasting action potentials. Together, our results demonstrate strikingly distinct properties of human Na(v)1.8, which contribute to the firing properties of human DRG neurons.

  17. Progressive thalamocortical neuron loss in Cln5 deficient mice: Distinct effects in Finnish variant late infantile NCL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Schantz, Carina; Kielar, Catherine; Hansen, Stine N; Pontikis, Charlie C; Alexander, Noreen A; Kopra, Outi; Jalanko, Anu; Cooper, Jonathan D

    2009-05-01

    Finnish variant LINCL (vLINCL(Fin)) is the result of mutations in the CLN5 gene. To gain insights into the pathological staging of this fatal pediatric disorder, we have undertaken a stereological analysis of the CNS of Cln5 deficient mice (Cln5-/-) at different stages of disease progression. Consistent with human vLINCL(Fin), these Cln5-/- mice displayed a relatively late onset regional atrophy and generalized cortical thinning and synaptic pathology, preceded by early and localized glial responses within the thalamocortical system. However, in marked contrast to other forms of NCL, neuron loss in Cln5-/- mice began in the cortex and only subsequently occurred within thalamic relay nuclei. Nevertheless, as in other NCL mouse models, this progressive thalamocortical neuron loss was still most pronounced within the visual system. These data provide unexpected evidence for a distinctive sequence of neuron loss in the thalamocortical system of Cln5-/- mice, diametrically opposed to that seen in other forms of NCL.

  18. Electrophysiological Features of Neurons in the Mesencephalic Trigeminal Nuclei

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    Jun-Ling Xing

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus (Mes V neurons represent an uncommon class of primary sensory neurons. Besides receiving somatosensory information, Mes V neurons are also involved in regulating multisensory information. The present review first describes the passive features as well as three important currents, followed by a distinct excitability classification and a description of the excitability transition of Mes V neurons. Furthermore, their resonance property, the existence of membrane oscillation and electrical coupling which may promote strong synchronization, as well as their function in controlling stretch reflex activity, are discussed.

  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. Stochastic nanoroughness modulates neuron-astrocyte interactions and function via mechanosensing cation channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenthal, Nils R; Hermanson, Ola; Heimrich, Bernd; Shastri, V Prasad

    2014-11-11

    Extracellular soluble signals are known to play a critical role in maintaining neuronal function and homeostasis in the CNS. However, the CNS is also composed of extracellular matrix macromolecules and glia support cells, and the contribution of the physical attributes of these components in maintenance and regulation of neuronal function is not well understood. Because these components possess well-defined topography, we theorize a role for topography in neuronal development and we demonstrate that survival and function of hippocampal neurons and differentiation of telencephalic neural stem cells is modulated by nanoroughness. At roughnesses corresponding to that of healthy astrocytes, hippocampal neurons dissociated and survived independent from astrocytes and showed superior functional traits (increased polarity and calcium flux). Furthermore, telencephalic neural stem cells differentiated into neurons even under exogenous signals that favor astrocytic differentiation. The decoupling of neurons from astrocytes seemed to be triggered by changes to astrocyte apical-surface topography in response to nanoroughness. Blocking signaling through mechanosensing cation channels using GsMTx4 negated the ability of neurons to sense the nanoroughness and promoted decoupling of neurons from astrocytes, thus providing direct evidence for the role of nanotopography in neuron-astrocyte interactions. We extrapolate the role of topography to neurodegenerative conditions and show that regions of amyloid plaque buildup in brain tissue of Alzheimer's patients are accompanied by detrimental changes in tissue roughness. These findings suggest a role for astrocyte and ECM-induced topographical changes in neuronal pathologies and provide new insights for developing therapeutic targets and engineering of neural biomaterials.

  1. Distinct ASIC currents are expressed in rat putative nociceptors and are modulated by nerve injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poirot, Olivier; Berta, Temugin; Decosterd, Isabelle; Kellenberger, Stephan

    2006-10-01

    The H(+)-gated acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are expressed in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurones. Studies with ASIC knockout mice indicated either a pro-nociceptive or a modulatory role of ASICs in pain sensation. We have investigated in freshly isolated rat DRG neurones whether neurones with different ASIC current properties exist, which may explain distinct cellular roles, and we have investigated ASIC regulation in an experimental model of neuropathic pain. Small-diameter DRG neurones expressed three different ASIC current types which were all preferentially expressed in putative nociceptors. Type 1 currents were mediated by ASIC1a homomultimers and characterized by steep pH dependence of current activation in the pH range 6.8-6.0. Type 3 currents were activated in a similar pH range as type 1, while type 2 currents were activated at pH ASIC current density. Nerve injury induced differential regulation of ASIC subunit expression and selective changes in ASIC function in DRG neurones, suggesting a complex reorganization of ASICs during the development of neuropathic pain. In summary, we describe a basis for distinct cellular functions of different ASIC types in small-diameter DRG neurones.

  2. Optogenetic activation of CA1 pyramidal neurons at the dorsal and ventral hippocampus evokes distinct brain-wide responses revealed by mouse fMRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norio Takata

    Full Text Available The dorsal and ventral hippocampal regions (dHP and vHP are proposed to have distinct functions. Electrophysiological studies have revealed intra-hippocampal variances along the dorsoventral axis. Nevertheless, the extra-hippocampal influences of dHP and vHP activities remain unclear. In this study, we compared the spatial distribution of brain-wide responses upon dHP or vHP activation and further estimate connection strengths between the dHP and the vHP with corresponding extra-hippocampal areas. To achieve this, we first investigated responses of local field potential (LFP and multi unit activities (MUA upon light stimulation in the hippocampus of an anesthetized transgenic mouse, whose CA1 pyramidal neurons expressed a step-function opsin variant of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2. Optogenetic stimulation increased hippocampal LFP power at theta, gamma, and ultra-fast frequency bands, and augmented MUA, indicating light-induced activation of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Brain-wide responses examined using fMRI revealed that optogenetic activation at the dHP or vHP caused blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD fMRI signals in situ. Although activation at the dHP induced BOLD responses at the vHP, the opposite was not observed. Outside the hippocampal formation, activation at the dHP, but not the vHP, evoked BOLD responses at the retrosplenial cortex (RSP, which is in line with anatomical evidence. In contrast, BOLD responses at the lateral septum (LS were induced only upon vHP activation, even though both dHP and vHP send axonal fibers to the LS. Our findings suggest that the primary targets of dHP and vHP activation are distinct, which concurs with attributed functions of the dHP and RSP in spatial memory, as well as of the vHP and LS in emotional responses.

  3. Merkel cells and neurons keep in touch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Seung-Hyun; Lumpkin, Ellen A.; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2014-01-01

    The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a unique vertebrate touch receptor comprising two distinct cell types in the skin. Its presence in touch-sensitive skin areas was recognized more than a century ago, but the functions of each cell type in sensory transduction have been unclear. Three recent studies demonstrate that Merkel cells are mechanosensitive cells that function in touch transduction via Piezo2. One study concludes that Merkel cells rather than sensory neurons are principal sites of mechanotransduction, whereas the other two studies report that both Merkel cells and neurons encode mechanical inputs. Together, these studies settle a longstanding debate on whether Merkel cells are mechanosensory cells, and enable future investigations of how these skin cells communicate with neurons. PMID:25480024

  4. Expressing exogenous functional odorant receptors in cultured olfactory sensory neurons

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    Fomina Alla F

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Olfactory discrimination depends on the large numbers of odorant receptor genes and differential ligand-receptor signaling among neurons expressing different receptors. In this study, we describe an in vitro system that enables the expression of exogenous odorant receptors in cultured olfactory sensory neurons. Olfactory sensory neurons in the culture express characteristic signaling molecules and, therefore, provide a system to study receptor function within its intrinsic cellular environment. Results We demonstrate that cultured olfactory sensory neurons express endogenous odorant receptors. Lentiviral vector-mediated gene transfer enables successful ectopic expression of odorant receptors. We show that the ectopically expressed mouse I7 is functional in the cultured olfactory sensory neurons. When two different odorant receptors are ectopically expressed simultaneously, both receptor proteins co-localized in the same olfactory sensory neurons up to 10 days in vitro. Conclusion This culture technique provided an efficient method to culture olfactory sensory neurons whose morphology, molecular characteristics and maturation progression resembled those observed in vivo. Using this system, regulation of odorant receptor expression and its ligand specificity can be studied in its intrinsic cellular environment.

  5. Extracting neuronal functional network dynamics via adaptive Granger causality analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheikhattar, Alireza; Miran, Sina; Liu, Ji; Fritz, Jonathan B; Shamma, Shihab A; Kanold, Patrick O; Babadi, Behtash

    2018-04-24

    Quantifying the functional relations between the nodes in a network based on local observations is a key challenge in studying complex systems. Most existing time series analysis techniques for this purpose provide static estimates of the network properties, pertain to stationary Gaussian data, or do not take into account the ubiquitous sparsity in the underlying functional networks. When applied to spike recordings from neuronal ensembles undergoing rapid task-dependent dynamics, they thus hinder a precise statistical characterization of the dynamic neuronal functional networks underlying adaptive behavior. We develop a dynamic estimation and inference paradigm for extracting functional neuronal network dynamics in the sense of Granger, by integrating techniques from adaptive filtering, compressed sensing, point process theory, and high-dimensional statistics. We demonstrate the utility of our proposed paradigm through theoretical analysis, algorithm development, and application to synthetic and real data. Application of our techniques to two-photon Ca 2+ imaging experiments from the mouse auditory cortex reveals unique features of the functional neuronal network structures underlying spontaneous activity at unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. Our analysis of simultaneous recordings from the ferret auditory and prefrontal cortical areas suggests evidence for the role of rapid top-down and bottom-up functional dynamics across these areas involved in robust attentive behavior.

  6. Comprehensive analysis of alternative splicing and functionality in neuronal differentiation of P19 cells.

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    Hitoshi Suzuki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Alternative splicing, which produces multiple mRNAs from a single gene, occurs in most human genes and contributes to protein diversity. Many alternative isoforms are expressed in a spatio-temporal manner, and function in diverse processes, including in the neural system. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The purpose of the present study was to comprehensively investigate neural-splicing using P19 cells. GeneChip Exon Array analysis was performed using total RNAs purified from cells during neuronal cell differentiation. To efficiently and readily extract the alternative exon candidates, 9 filtering conditions were prepared, yielding 262 candidate exons (236 genes. Semiquantitative RT-PCR results in 30 randomly selected candidates suggested that 87% of the candidates were differentially alternatively spliced in neuronal cells compared to undifferentiated cells. Gene ontology and pathway analyses suggested that many of the candidate genes were associated with neural events. Together with 66 genes whose functions in neural cells or organs were reported previously, 47 candidate genes were found to be linked to 189 events in the gene-level profile of neural differentiation. By text-mining for the alternative isoform, distinct functions of the isoforms of 9 candidate genes indicated by the result of Exon Array were confirmed. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Alternative exons were successfully extracted. Results from the informatics analyses suggested that neural events were primarily governed by genes whose expression was increased and whose transcripts were differentially alternatively spliced in the neuronal cells. In addition to known functions in neural cells or organs, the uninvestigated alternative splicing events of 11 genes among 47 candidate genes suggested that cell cycle events are also potentially important. These genes may help researchers to differentiate the roles of alternative splicing in cell differentiation and cell

  7. Anorexia and Impaired Glucose Metabolism in Mice With Hypothalamic Ablation of Glut4 Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Ren, Hongxia; Lu, Taylor Y.; McGraw, Timothy E.; Accili, Domenico

    2014-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) uses glucose independent of insulin. Nonetheless, insulin receptors and insulin-responsive glucose transporters (Glut4) often colocalize in neurons (Glut4 neurons) in anatomically and functionally distinct areas of the CNS. The apparent heterogeneity of Glut4 neurons has thus far thwarted attempts to understand their function. To answer this question, we used Cre-dependent, diphtheria toxin?mediated cell ablation to selectively remove basal hypothalamic Glut4 ...

  8. 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.

  9. Distinct subclassification of DRG neurons innervating the distal colon and glans penis/distal urethra based on the electrophysiological current signature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, Kristofer K; Petruska, Jeffrey C; Cooper, Brian Y; Johnson, Richard D

    2014-09-15

    Spinal sensory neurons innervating visceral and mucocutaneous tissues have unique microanatomic distribution, peripheral modality, and physiological, pharmacological, and biophysical characteristics compared with those neurons that innervate muscle and cutaneous tissues. In previous patch-clamp electrophysiological studies, we have demonstrated that small- and medium-diameter dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons can be subclassified on the basis of their patterns of voltage-activated currents (VAC). These VAC-based subclasses were highly consistent in their action potential characteristics, responses to algesic compounds, immunocytochemical expression patterns, and responses to thermal stimuli. For this study, we examined the VAC of neurons retrogradely traced from the distal colon and the glans penis/distal urethra in the adult male rat. The afferent population from the distal colon contained at least two previously characterized cell types observed in somatic tissues (types 5 and 8), as well as four novel cell types (types 15, 16, 17, and 18). In the glans penis/distal urethra, two previously described cell types (types 6 and 8) and three novel cell types (types 7, 14, and 15) were identified. Other characteristics, including action potential profiles, responses to algesic compounds (acetylcholine, capsaicin, ATP, and pH 5.0 solution), and neurochemistry (expression of substance P, CGRP, neurofilament, TRPV1, TRPV2, and isolectin B4 binding) were consistent for each VAC-defined subgroup. With identification of distinct DRG cell types that innervate the distal colon and glans penis/distal urethra, future in vitro studies related to the gastrointestinal and urogenital sensory function in normal as well as abnormal/pathological conditions may be benefitted. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  10. α-Synuclein fibril-induced paradoxical structural and functional defects in hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froula, Jessica M; Henderson, Benjamin W; Gonzalez, Jose Carlos; Vaden, Jada H; Mclean, John W; Wu, Yumei; Banumurthy, Gokulakrishna; Overstreet-Wadiche, Linda; Herskowitz, Jeremy H; Volpicelli-Daley, Laura A

    2018-05-01

    Neuronal inclusions composed of α-synuclein (α-syn) characterize Parkinson's Disease (PD) and Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Cognitive dysfunction defines DLB, and up to 80% of PD patients develop dementia. α-Syn inclusions are abundant in the hippocampus, yet functional consequences are unclear. To determine if pathologic α-syn causes neuronal defects, we induced endogenous α-syn to form inclusions resembling those found in diseased brains by treating hippocampal neurons with α-syn fibrils. At seven days after adding fibrils, α-syn inclusions are abundant in axons, but there is no cell death at this time point, allowing us to assess for potential alterations in neuronal function that are not caused by neuron death. We found that exposure of neurons to fibrils caused a significant reduction in mushroom spine densities, adding to the growing body of literature showing that altered spine morphology is a major pathologic phenotype in synucleinopathies. The reduction in spine densities occurred only in wild type neurons and not in neurons from α-syn knockout mice, suggesting that the changes in spine morphology result from fibril-induced corruption of endogenously expressed α-syn. Paradoxically, reduced postsynaptic spine density was accompanied by increased frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and presynaptic docked vesicles, suggesting enhanced presynaptic function. Action-potential dependent activity was unchanged, suggesting compensatory mechanisms responding to synaptic defects. Although activity at the level of the synapse was unchanged, neurons exposed to α-syn fibrils, showed reduced frequency and amplitudes of spontaneous Ca 2+ transients. These findings open areas of research to determine the mechanisms that alter neuronal function in brain regions critical for cognition at time points before neuron death.

  11. Functional analysis of neuronal microRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans dauer formation by combinational genetics and Neuronal miRISC immunoprecipitation.

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    Minh T Than

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the physiological functions of microRNAs (miRNAs is often challenging because miRNAs commonly impact gene expression under specific physiological conditions through complex miRNA::mRNA interaction networks and in coordination with other means of gene regulation, such as transcriptional regulation and protein degradation. Such complexity creates difficulties in dissecting miRNA functions through traditional genetic methods using individual miRNA mutations. To investigate the physiological functions of miRNAs in neurons, we combined a genetic "enhancer" approach complemented by biochemical analysis of neuronal miRNA-induced silencing complexes (miRISCs in C. elegans. Total miRNA function can be compromised by mutating one of the two GW182 proteins (AIN-1, an important component of miRISC. We found that combining an ain-1 mutation with a mutation in unc-3, a neuronal transcription factor, resulted in an inappropriate entrance into the stress-induced, alternative larval stage known as dauer, indicating a role of miRNAs in preventing aberrant dauer formation. Analysis of this genetic interaction suggests that neuronal miRNAs perform such a role partly by regulating endogenous cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP signaling, potentially influencing two other dauer-regulating pathways. Through tissue-specific immunoprecipitations of miRISC, we identified miRNAs and their likely target mRNAs within neuronal tissue. We verified the biological relevance of several of these miRNAs and found that many miRNAs likely regulate dauer formation through multiple dauer-related targets. Further analysis of target mRNAs suggests potential miRNA involvement in various neuronal processes, but the importance of these miRNA::mRNA interactions remains unclear. Finally, we found that neuronal genes may be more highly regulated by miRNAs than intestinal genes. Overall, our study identifies miRNAs and their targets, and a physiological function of these miRNAs in

  12. Somatosensory neuron types identified by high-coverage single-cell RNA-sequencing and functional heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chang-Lin; Li, Kai-Cheng; Wu, Dan; Chen, Yan; Luo, Hao; Zhao, Jing-Rong; Wang, Sa-Shuang; Sun, Ming-Ming; Lu, Ying-Jin; Zhong, Yan-Qing; Hu, Xu-Ye; Hou, Rui; Zhou, Bei-Bei; Bao, Lan; Xiao, Hua-Sheng; Zhang, Xu

    2016-01-01

    Sensory neurons are distinguished by distinct signaling networks and receptive characteristics. Thus, sensory neuron types can be defined by linking transcriptome-based neuron typing with the sensory phenotypes. Here we classify somatosensory neurons of the mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) by high-coverage single-cell RNA-sequencing (10 950 ± 1 218 genes per neuron) and neuron size-based hierarchical clustering. Moreover, single DRG neurons responding to cutaneous stimuli are recorded using an in vivo whole-cell patch clamp technique and classified by neuron-type genetic markers. Small diameter DRG neurons are classified into one type of low-threshold mechanoreceptor and five types of mechanoheat nociceptors (MHNs). Each of the MHN types is further categorized into two subtypes. Large DRG neurons are categorized into four types, including neurexophilin 1-expressing MHNs and mechanical nociceptors (MNs) expressing BAI1-associated protein 2-like 1 (Baiap2l1). Mechanoreceptors expressing trafficking protein particle complex 3-like and Baiap2l1-marked MNs are subdivided into two subtypes each. These results provide a new system for cataloging somatosensory neurons and their transcriptome databases. PMID:26691752

  13. Myostatin-like proteins regulate synaptic function and neuronal morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustin, Hrvoje; McGourty, Kieran; Steinert, Joern R; Cochemé, Helena M; Adcott, Jennifer; Cabecinha, Melissa; Vincent, Alec; Halff, Els F; Kittler, Josef T; Boucrot, Emmanuel; Partridge, Linda

    2017-07-01

    Growth factors of the TGFβ superfamily play key roles in regulating neuronal and muscle function. Myostatin (or GDF8) and GDF11 are potent negative regulators of skeletal muscle mass. However, expression of myostatin and its cognate receptors in other tissues, including brain and peripheral nerves, suggests a potential wider biological role. Here, we show that Myoglianin (MYO), the Drosophila homolog of myostatin and GDF11, regulates not only body weight and muscle size, but also inhibits neuromuscular synapse strength and composition in a Smad2-dependent manner. Both myostatin and GDF11 affected synapse formation in isolated rat cortical neuron cultures, suggesting an effect on synaptogenesis beyond neuromuscular junctions. We also show that MYO acts in vivo to inhibit synaptic transmission between neurons in the escape response neural circuit of adult flies. Thus, these anti-myogenic proteins act as important inhibitors of synapse function and neuronal growth. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Extracting functionally feedforward networks from a population of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Kathleen; Tauskela, Joseph S; Thivierge, Jean-Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Neuronal avalanches are a ubiquitous form of activity characterized by spontaneous bursts whose size distribution follows a power-law. Recent theoretical models have replicated power-law avalanches by assuming the presence of functionally feedforward connections (FFCs) in the underlying dynamics of the system. Accordingly, avalanches are generated by a feedforward chain of activation that persists despite being embedded in a larger, massively recurrent circuit. However, it is unclear to what extent networks of living neurons that exhibit power-law avalanches rely on FFCs. Here, we employed a computational approach to reconstruct the functional connectivity of cultured cortical neurons plated on multielectrode arrays (MEAs) and investigated whether pharmacologically induced alterations in avalanche dynamics are accompanied by changes in FFCs. This approach begins by extracting a functional network of directed links between pairs of neurons, and then evaluates the strength of FFCs using Schur decomposition. In a first step, we examined the ability of this approach to extract FFCs from simulated spiking neurons. The strength of FFCs obtained in strictly feedforward networks diminished monotonically as links were gradually rewired at random. Next, we estimated the FFCs of spontaneously active cortical neuron cultures in the presence of either a control medium, a GABA(A) receptor antagonist (PTX), or an AMPA receptor antagonist combined with an NMDA receptor antagonist (APV/DNQX). The distribution of avalanche sizes in these cultures was modulated by this pharmacology, with a shallower power-law under PTX (due to the prominence of larger avalanches) and a steeper power-law under APV/DNQX (due to avalanches recruiting fewer neurons) relative to control cultures. The strength of FFCs increased in networks after application of PTX, consistent with an amplification of feedforward activity during avalanches. Conversely, FFCs decreased after application of APV

  15. The origin and function of mirror neurons: the missing link.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingnau, Angelika; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2014-04-01

    We argue, by analogy to the neural organization of the object recognition system, that demonstration of modulation of mirror neurons by associative learning does not imply absence of genetic adaptation. Innate connectivity defines the types of processes mirror neurons can participate in while allowing for extensive local plasticity. However, the proper function of these neurons remains to be worked out.

  16. Laser capture microdissection of enriched populations of neurons or single neurons for gene expression analysis after traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Deborah R; Sell, Stacy L; Hellmich, Helen Lee

    2013-04-10

    Long-term cognitive disability after TBI is associated with injury-induced neurodegeneration in the hippocampus-a region in the medial temporal lobe that is critical for learning, memory and executive function. Hence our studies focus on gene expression analysis of specific neuronal populations in distinct subregions of the hippocampus. The technique of laser capture microdissection (LCM), introduced in 1996 by Emmert-Buck, et al., has allowed for significant advances in gene expression analysis of single cells and enriched populations of cells from heterogeneous tissues such as the mammalian brain that contains thousands of functional cell types. We use LCM and a well established rat model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of TBI. Following fluid-percussion TBI, brains are removed at pre-determined times post-injury, immediately frozen on dry ice, and prepared for sectioning in a cryostat. The rat brains can be embedded in OCT and sectioned immediately, or stored several months at -80 °C before sectioning for laser capture microdissection. Additionally, we use LCM to study the effects of TBI on circadian rhythms. For this, we capture neurons from the suprachiasmatic nuclei that contain the master clock of the mammalian brain. Here, we demonstrate the use of LCM to obtain single identified neurons (injured and degenerating, Fluoro-Jade-positive, or uninjured, Fluoro-Jade-negative) and enriched populations of hippocampal neurons for subsequent gene expression analysis by real time PCR and/or whole-genome microarrays. These LCM-enabled studies have revealed that the selective vulnerability of anatomically distinct regions of the rat hippocampus are reflected in the different gene expression profiles of different populations of neurons obtained by LCM from these distinct regions. The results from our single-cell studies, where we compare the transcriptional profiles of dying and adjacent surviving

  17. 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.

  18. Analyzing the structure and function of neuronal circuits in zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer eFriedrich

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The clever choice of animal models has been instrumental for many breakthrough discoveries in life sciences. One of the outstanding challenges in neuroscience is the in-depth analysis of neuronal circuits to understand how interactions between large numbers of neurons give rise to the computational power of the brain. A promising model organism to address this challenge is the zebrafish, not only because it is cheap, transparent and accessible to sophisticated genetic manipulations but also because it offers unique advantages for quantitative analyses of circuit structure and function. One of the most important advantages of zebrafish is its small brain size, both at larval and adult stages. Small brains enable exhaustive measurements of neuronal activity patterns by optical imaging and facilitate large-scale reconstructions of wiring diagrams by electron microscopic approaches. Such information is important, and probably essential, to obtain mechanistic insights into neuronal computations underlying higher brain functions and dysfunctions. This review provides a brief overview over current methods and motivations for dense reconstructions of neuronal activity and connectivity patterns. It then discusses selective advantages of zebrafish and provides examples how these advantages are exploited to study neuronal computations in the olfactory bulb.

  19. Distinct types of feeding related neurons in mouse hypothalamus

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    Yan eTang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The last two decades of research provided evidence for a substantial heterogeneity among feeding-related neurons (FRNs in the hypothalamus. However, it remains unclear how FRNs differ in their firing patterns during food intake. Here, we investigated the relationship between the activity of neurons in mouse hypothalamus and their feeding behavior. Using tetrode-based in vivo recording technique, we identified various firing patterns of hypothalamic FRNs, which, after the initiation of food intake, can be sorted into four types: sharp increase (type I, slow increase (type II, sharp decrease (type III and sustained decrease (type IV of firing rates. The feeding-related firing response of FRNs was rigidly related to the duration of food intake and, to a less extent, associated with the type of food. The majority of these FRNs responded to glucose and leptin and exhibited electrophysiological characteristics of putative GABAergic neurons. In conclusion, our study demonstrated the diversity of neurons in the complex hypothalamic network coordinating food intake.

  20. 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.

  1. Molecular and Cellular Organization of Taste Neurons in Adult Drosophila Pharynx

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    Yu-Chieh David Chen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: The Drosophila pharyngeal taste organs are poorly characterized despite their location at important sites for monitoring food quality. Functional analysis of pharyngeal neurons has been hindered by the paucity of molecular tools to manipulate them, as well as their relative inaccessibility for neurophysiological investigations. Here, we generate receptor-to-neuron maps of all three pharyngeal taste organs by performing a comprehensive chemoreceptor-GAL4/LexA expression analysis. The organization of pharyngeal neurons reveals similarities and distinctions in receptor repertoires and neuronal groupings compared to external taste neurons. We validate the mapping results by pinpointing a single pharyngeal neuron required for feeding avoidance of L-canavanine. Inducible activation of pharyngeal taste neurons reveals functional differences between external and internal taste neurons and functional subdivision within pharyngeal sweet neurons. Our results provide roadmaps of pharyngeal taste organs in an insect model system for probing the role of these understudied neurons in controlling feeding behaviors. : Chen and Dahanukar carry out a large-scale, systematic analysis to understand the molecular organization of pharyngeal taste neurons. Taking advantage of the molecular genetic toolkit that arises from this map, they use genetic dissection strategies to probe the functional roles of selected pharyngeal neurons in food choice. Keywords: Drosophila, taste, pharynx, chemosensory receptors, gustatory receptors, ionotropic receptors, feeding

  2. Super-resolution microscopy reveals functional organization of dopamine transporters into cholesterol and neuronal activity-dependent nanodomains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek-Clemmensen, Troels; Lycas, Matthew D.; Erlendsson, Simon

    2017-01-01

    is dynamically sequestrated into cholesterol-dependent nanodomains in the plasma membrane of presynaptic varicosities and neuronal projections of dopaminergic neurons. Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy reveals irregular dopamine transporter nanodomains (∼70 nm mean diameter) that were highly sensitive...... to cholesterol depletion. Live photoactivated localization microscopy shows a similar dopamine transporter membrane organization in live heterologous cells. In neurons, dual-color dSTORM shows that tyrosine hydroxylase and vesicular monoamine transporter-2 are distinctively localized adjacent to...

  3. En masse in vitro functional profiling of the axonal mechanosensitivity of sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usoskin, Dmitry; Zilberter, Misha; Linnarsson, Sten; Hjerling-Leffler, Jens; Uhlén, Per; Harkany, Tibor; Ernfors, Patrik

    2010-09-14

    Perception of the environment relies on somatosensory neurons. Mechanosensory, proprioceptor and many nociceptor subtypes of these neurons have specific mechanosensitivity profiles to adequately differentiate stimulus patterns. Nevertheless, the cellular basis of differential mechanosensation remains largely elusive. Successful transduction of sensory information relies on the recruitment of sensory neurons and mechanosensation occurring at their peripheral axonal endings in vivo. Conspicuously, existing in vitro models aimed to decipher molecular mechanisms of mechanosensation test single sensory neuron somata at any one time. Here, we introduce a compartmental in vitro chamber design to deliver precisely controlled mechanical stimulation of sensory axons with synchronous real-time imaging of Ca(2+) transients in neuronal somata that reliably reflect action potential firing patterns. We report of three previously not characterized types of mechanosensitive neuron subpopulations with distinct intrinsic axonal properties tuned specifically to static indentation or vibration stimuli, showing that different classes of sensory neurons are tuned to specific types of mechanical stimuli. Primary receptor currents of vibration neurons display rapidly adapting conductance reliably detected for every single stimulus during vibration and are consistently converted into action potentials. This result allows for the characterization of two critical steps of mechanosensation in vivo: primary signal detection and signal conversion into specific action potential firing patterns in axons.

  4. Persistence of the cell-cycle checkpoint kinase Wee1 in SadA- and SadB-deficient neurons disrupts neuronal polarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Myriam; Lutter, Daniela; Püschel, Andreas W

    2010-01-15

    Wee1 is well characterized as a cell-cycle checkpoint kinase that regulates the entry into mitosis in dividing cells. Here we identify a novel function of Wee1 in postmitotic neurons during the establishment of distinct axonal and dendritic compartments, which is an essential step during neuronal development. Wee1 is expressed in unpolarized neurons but is downregulated after neurons have extended an axon. Suppression of Wee1 impairs the formation of minor neurites but does not interfere with axon formation. However, neuronal polarity is disrupted when neurons fail to downregulate Wee1. The kinases SadA and SadB (Sad kinases) phosphorylate Wee1 and are required to initiate its downregulation in polarized neurons. Wee1 expression persists in neurons that are deficient in SadA and SadB and disrupts neuronal polarity. Knockdown of Wee1 rescues the Sada(-/-);Sadb(-/-) mutant phenotype and restores normal polarity in these neurons. Our results demonstrate that the regulation of Wee1 by SadA and SadB kinases is essential for the differentiation of polarized neurons.

  5. Distinct Thalamic Reticular Cell Types Differentially Modulate Normal and Pathological Cortical Rhythms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Clemente-Perez

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Integrative brain functions depend on widely distributed, rhythmically coordinated computations. Through its long-ranging connections with cortex and most senses, the thalamus orchestrates the flow of cognitive and sensory information. Essential in this process, the nucleus reticularis thalami (nRT gates different information streams through its extensive inhibition onto other thalamic nuclei, however, we lack an understanding of how different inhibitory neuron subpopulations in nRT function as gatekeepers. We dissociated the connectivity, physiology, and circuit functions of neurons within rodent nRT, based on parvalbumin (PV and somatostatin (SOM expression, and validated the existence of such populations in human nRT. We found that PV, but not SOM, cells are rhythmogenic, and that PV and SOM neurons are connected to and modulate distinct thalamocortical circuits. Notably, PV, but not SOM, neurons modulate somatosensory behavior and disrupt seizures. These results provide a conceptual framework for how nRT may gate incoming information to modulate brain-wide rhythms.

  6. Dopaminergic neurons encode a distributed, asymmetric representation of temperature in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomchik, Seth M

    2013-01-30

    Dopaminergic circuits modulate a wide variety of innate and learned behaviors in animals, including olfactory associative learning, arousal, and temperature-preference behavior. It is not known whether distinct or overlapping sets of dopaminergic neurons modulate these behaviors. Here, I have functionally characterized the dopaminergic circuits innervating the Drosophila mushroom body with in vivo calcium imaging and conditional silencing of genetically defined subsets of neurons. Distinct subsets of PPL1 dopaminergic neurons innervating the vertical lobes of the mushroom body responded to decreases in temperature, but not increases, with rapidly adapting bursts of activity. PAM neurons innervating the horizontal lobes did not respond to temperature shifts. Ablation of the antennae and maxillary palps reduced, but did not eliminate, the responses. Genetic silencing of dopaminergic neurons innervating the vertical mushroom body lobes substantially reduced behavioral cold avoidance, but silencing smaller subsets of these neurons had no effect. These data demonstrate that overlapping dopaminergic circuits encode a broadly distributed, asymmetric representation of temperature that overlays regions implicated previously in learning, memory, and forgetting. Thus, diverse behaviors engage overlapping sets of dopaminergic neurons that encode multimodal stimuli and innervate a single anatomical target, the mushroom body.

  7. Midbrain and forebrain patterning delivers immunocytochemically and functionally similar populations of neuropeptide Y containing GABAergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaira, S K; Nefzger, C M; Beh, S J; Pouton, C W; Haynes, J M

    2011-09-01

    Neurons differentiated in vitro from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have the potential to serve both as models of disease states and in drug discovery programs. In this study, we use sonic hedgehog (SHH) and fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF-8) to enrich for forebrain and midbrain phenotypes from mouse ESCs. We then investigate, using Ca(2+) imaging and [(3)H]-GABA release studies, whether the GABAergic neurons produced exhibit distinct functional phenotypes. At day 24 of differentiation, reverse transcriptase-PCR showed the presence of both forebrain (Bf-1, Hesx1, Pgc-1α, Six3) and midbrain (GATA2, GATA3) selective mRNA markers in developing forebrain-enriched cultures. All markers were present in midbrain cultures except for Bf-1 and Pgc-1α. Irrespective of culture conditions all GABA immunoreactive neurons were also immunoreactive to neuropeptide Y (NPY) antibodies. Forebrain and midbrain GABAergic neurons responded to ATP (1 mM), L-glutamate (30 μM), noradrenaline (30 μM), acetylcholine (30 μM) and dopamine (30 μM), with similar elevations of intracellular Ca(2+)([Ca(2+)](i)). The presence of GABA(A) and GABA(B) antagonists, bicuculline (30 μM) and CGP55845 (1 μM), increased the elevation of [Ca(2+)](i) in response to dopamine (30 μM) in midbrain, but not forebrain GABAergic neurons. All agonists, except dopamine, elicited similar [(3)H]-GABA release from forebrain and midbrain cultures. Dopamine (30 μM) did not stimulate significant [(3)H]-GABA release in midbrain cultures, although it was effective in forebrain cultures. This study shows that differentiating neurons toward a midbrain fate restricts the expression of forebrain markers. Forebrain differentiation results in the expression of forebrain and midbrain markers. All GABA(+) neurons contain NPY, and show similar agonist-induced elevations of [Ca(2+)](i) and [(3)H]-GABA release. This study indicates that the pharmacological phenotype of these particular neurons may be independent of the addition of

  8. The functional significance of newly born neurons integrated into olfactory bulb circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Masayuki; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Imayoshi, Itaru

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory bulb (OB) is the first central processing center for olfactory information connecting with higher areas in the brain, and this neuronal circuitry mediates a variety of odor-evoked behavioral responses. In the adult mammalian brain, continuous neurogenesis occurs in two restricted regions, the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricle and the hippocampal dentate gyrus. New neurons born in the SVZ migrate through the rostral migratory stream and are integrated into the neuronal circuits of the OB throughout life. The significance of this continuous supply of new neurons in the OB has been implicated in plasticity and memory regulation. Two decades of huge investigation in adult neurogenesis revealed the biological importance of integration of new neurons into the olfactory circuits. In this review, we highlight the recent findings about the physiological functions of newly generated neurons in rodent OB circuits and then discuss the contribution of neurogenesis in the brain function. Finally, we introduce cutting edge technologies to monitor and manipulate the activity of new neurons.

  9. The functional significance of newly born neurons integrated into olfactory bulb circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki eSakamoto

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The olfactory bulb (OB is the first central processing center for olfactory information connecting with higher areas in the brain, and this neuronal circuitry mediates a variety of odor-evoked behavioral responses. In the adult mammalian brain, continuous neurogenesis occurs in two restricted regions, the subventricular zone (SVZ of the lateral ventricle and the hippocampal dentate gyrus. New neurons born in the SVZ migrate through the rostral migratory stream and are integrated into the neuronal circuits of the OB throughout life. The significance of this continuous supply of new neurons in the OB has been implicated in plasticity and memory regulation. Two decades of huge investigation in adult neurogenesis revealed the biological importance of integration of new neurons into the olfactory circuits. In this review, we highlight the recent findings about the physiological functions of newly generated neurons in rodent OB circuits and then discuss the contribution of neurogenesis in the brain function. Finally, we introduce cutting edge technologies to monitor and manipulate the activity of new neurons.

  10. Histamine influences body temperature by acting at H1 and H3 receptors on distinct populations of preoptic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundius, Ebba Gregorsson; Sanchez-Alavez, Manuel; Ghochani, Yasmin; Klaus, Joseph; Tabarean, Iustin V

    2010-03-24

    The preoptic area/anterior hypothalamus, a region that contains neurons that control thermoregulation, is the main locus at which histamine affects body temperature. Here we report that histamine reduced the spontaneous firing rate of GABAergic preoptic neurons by activating H3 subtype histamine receptors. This effect involved a decrease in the level of phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase and was not dependent on synaptic activity. Furthermore, a population of non-GABAergic neurons was depolarized, and their firing rate was enhanced by histamine acting at H1 subtype receptors. In our experiments, activation of the H1R receptors was linked to the PLC pathway and Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores. This depolarization persisted in TTX or when fast synaptic potentials were blocked, indicating that it represents a postsynaptic effect. Single-cell reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed expression of H3 receptors in a population of GABAergic neurons, while H1 receptors were expressed in non-GABAergic cells. Histamine applied in the median preoptic nucleus induced a robust, long-lasting hyperthermia effect that was mimicked by either H1 or H3 histamine receptor subtype-specific agonists. Our data indicate that histamine modulates the core body temperature by acting at two distinct populations of preoptic neurons that express H1 and H3 receptor subtypes, respectively.

  11. Overexpression of cypin alters dendrite morphology, single neuron activity, and network properties via distinct mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Ana R.; O'Neill, Kate M.; Swiatkowski, Przemyslaw; Patel, Mihir V.; Firestein, Bonnie L.

    2018-02-01

    Objective. This study investigates the effect that overexpression of cytosolic PSD-95 interactor (cypin), a regulator of synaptic PSD-95 protein localization and a core regulator of dendrite branching, exerts on the electrical activity of rat hippocampal neurons and networks. Approach. We cultured rat hippocampal neurons and used lipid-mediated transfection and lentiviral gene transfer to achieve high levels of cypin or cypin mutant (cypinΔPDZ PSD-95 non-binding) expression cellularly and network-wide, respectively. Main results. Our analysis revealed that although overexpression of cypin and cypinΔPDZ increase dendrite numbers and decrease spine density, cypin and cypinΔPDZ distinctly regulate neuronal activity. At the single cell level, cypin promotes decreases in bursting activity while cypinΔPDZ reduces sEPSC frequency and further decreases bursting compared to cypin. At the network level, by using the Fano factor as a measure of spike count variability, cypin overexpression results in an increase in variability of spike count, and this effect is abolished when cypin cannot bind PSD-95. This variability is also dependent on baseline activity levels and on mean spike rate over time. Finally, our spike sorting data show that overexpression of cypin results in a more complex distribution of spike waveforms and that binding to PSD-95 is essential for this complexity. Significance. Our data suggest that dendrite morphology does not play a major role in cypin action on electrical activity.

  12. From functional architecture to functional connectomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, R Clay

    2012-07-26

    "Receptive Fields, Binocular Interaction and Functional Architecture in the Cat's Visual Cortex" by Hubel and Wiesel (1962) reported several important discoveries: orientation columns, the distinct structures of simple and complex receptive fields, and binocular integration. But perhaps the paper's greatest influence came from the concept of functional architecture (the complex relationship between in vivo physiology and the spatial arrangement of neurons) and several models of functionally specific connectivity. They thus identified two distinct concepts, topographic specificity and functional specificity, which together with cell-type specificity constitute the major determinants of nonrandom cortical connectivity. Orientation columns are iconic examples of topographic specificity, whereby axons within a column connect with cells of a single orientation preference. Hubel and Wiesel also saw the need for functional specificity at a finer scale in their model of thalamic inputs to simple cells, verified in the 1990s. The difficult but potentially more important question of functional specificity between cortical neurons is only now becoming tractable with new experimental techniques. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Soft chitosan microbeads scaffold for 3D functional neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Maria Teresa; Di Lisa, Donatella; Massobrio, Paolo; Colistra, Nicolò; Pesce, Mattia; Catelani, Tiziano; Dellacasa, Elena; Raiteri, Roberto; Martinoia, Sergio; Pastorino, Laura

    2018-02-01

    The availability of 3D biomimetic in vitro neuronal networks of mammalian neurons represents a pivotal step for the development of brain-on-a-chip experimental models to study neuronal (dys)functions and particularly neuronal connectivity. The use of hydrogel-based scaffolds for 3D cell cultures has been extensively studied in the last years. However, limited work on biomimetic 3D neuronal cultures has been carried out to date. In this respect, here we investigated the use of a widely popular polysaccharide, chitosan (CHI), for the fabrication of a microbead based 3D scaffold to be coupled to primary neuronal cells. CHI microbeads were characterized by optical and atomic force microscopies. The cell/scaffold interaction was deeply characterized by transmission electron microscopy and by immunocytochemistry using confocal microscopy. Finally, a preliminary electrophysiological characterization by micro-electrode arrays was carried out. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  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. Reelin secreted by GABAergic neurons regulates glutamate receptor homeostasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Gonzalez Campo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Reelin is a large secreted protein of the extracellular matrix that has been proposed to participate to the etiology of schizophrenia. During development, reelin is crucial for the correct cytoarchitecture of laminated brain structures and is produced by a subset of neurons named Cajal-Retzius. After birth, most of these cells degenerate and reelin expression persists in postnatal and adult brain. The phenotype of neurons that bind secreted reelin and whether the continuous secretion of reelin is required for physiological functions at postnatal stages remain unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Combining immunocytochemical and pharmacological approaches, we first report that two distinct patterns of reelin expression are present in cultured hippocampal neurons. We show that in hippocampal cultures, reelin is secreted by GABAergic neurons displaying an intense reelin immunoreactivity (IR. We demonstrate that secreted reelin binds to receptors of the lipoprotein family on neurons with a punctate reelin IR. Secondly, using calcium imaging techniques, we examined the physiological consequences of reelin secretion blockade. Blocking protein secretion rapidly and reversibly changes the subunit composition of N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors (NMDARs to a predominance of NR2B-containing NMDARs. Addition of recombinant or endogenously secreted reelin rescues the effects of protein secretion blockade and reverts the fraction of NR2B-containing NMDARs to control levels. Therefore, the continuous secretion of reelin is necessary to control the subunit composition of NMDARs in hippocampal neurons. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data show that the heterogeneity of reelin immunoreactivity correlates with distinct functional populations: neurons synthesizing and secreting reelin and/or neurons binding reelin. Furthermore, we show that continuous reelin secretion is a strict requirement to maintain the composition of NMDARs. We propose

  17. The Role of Adult-Born Neurons in the Constantly Changing Olfactory Bulb Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Malvaut

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The adult mammalian brain is remarkably plastic and constantly undergoes structurofunctional modifications in response to environmental stimuli. In many regions plasticity is manifested by modifications in the efficacy of existing synaptic connections or synapse formation and elimination. In a few regions, however, plasticity is brought by the addition of new neurons that integrate into established neuronal networks. This type of neuronal plasticity is particularly prominent in the olfactory bulb (OB where thousands of neuronal progenitors are produced on a daily basis in the subventricular zone (SVZ and migrate along the rostral migratory stream (RMS towards the OB. In the OB, these neuronal precursors differentiate into local interneurons, mature, and functionally integrate into the bulbar network by establishing output synapses with principal neurons. Despite continuous progress, it is still not well understood how normal functioning of the OB is preserved in the constantly remodelling bulbar network and what role adult-born neurons play in odor behaviour. In this review we will discuss different levels of morphofunctional plasticity effected by adult-born neurons and their functional role in the adult OB and also highlight the possibility that different subpopulations of adult-born cells may fulfill distinct functions in the OB neuronal network and odor behaviour.

  18. The Role of Adult-Born Neurons in the Constantly Changing Olfactory Bulb Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malvaut, Sarah; Saghatelyan, Armen

    2016-01-01

    The adult mammalian brain is remarkably plastic and constantly undergoes structurofunctional modifications in response to environmental stimuli. In many regions plasticity is manifested by modifications in the efficacy of existing synaptic connections or synapse formation and elimination. In a few regions, however, plasticity is brought by the addition of new neurons that integrate into established neuronal networks. This type of neuronal plasticity is particularly prominent in the olfactory bulb (OB) where thousands of neuronal progenitors are produced on a daily basis in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and migrate along the rostral migratory stream (RMS) towards the OB. In the OB, these neuronal precursors differentiate into local interneurons, mature, and functionally integrate into the bulbar network by establishing output synapses with principal neurons. Despite continuous progress, it is still not well understood how normal functioning of the OB is preserved in the constantly remodelling bulbar network and what role adult-born neurons play in odor behaviour. In this review we will discuss different levels of morphofunctional plasticity effected by adult-born neurons and their functional role in the adult OB and also highlight the possibility that different subpopulations of adult-born cells may fulfill distinct functions in the OB neuronal network and odor behaviour. PMID:26839709

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-15

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

  20. Natural Microbial Assemblages Reflect Distinct Organismal and Functional Partitioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmes, P.; Andersson, A.; Kalnejais, L. H.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Lefsrud, M. G.; Wexler, M.; Singer, S. W.; Shah, M.; Bond, P. L.; Thelen, M. P.; Hettich, R. L.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    The ability to link microbial community structure to function has long been a primary focus of environmental microbiology. With the advent of community genomic and proteomic techniques, along with advances in microscopic imaging techniques, it is now possible to gain insights into the organismal and functional makeup of microbial communities. Biofilms growing within highly acidic solutions inside the Richmond Mine (Iron Mountain, Redding, California) exhibit distinct macro- and microscopic morphologies. They are composed of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life, including archaea, bacteria and eukarya. The proportion of each organismal type depends on sampling location and developmental stage. For example, mature biofilms floating on top of acid mine drainage (AMD) pools exhibit layers consisting of a densely packed bottom layer of the chemoautolithotroph Leptospirillum group II, a less dense top layer composed mainly of archaea, and fungal filaments spanning across the entire biofilm. The expression of cytochrome 579 (the most highly abundant protein in the biofilm, believed to be central to iron oxidation and encoded by Leptospirillum group II) is localized at the interface of the biofilm with the AMD solution, highlighting that biofilm architecture is reflected at the functional gene expression level. Distinct functional partitioning is also apparent in a biological wastewater treatment system that selects for distinct polyphosphate accumulating organisms. Community genomic data from " Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis" dominated activated sludge has enabled high mass-accuracy shotgun proteomics for identification of key metabolic pathways. Comprehensive genome-wide alignment of orthologous proteins suggests distinct partitioning of protein variants involved in both core-metabolism and specific metabolic pathways among the dominant population and closely related species. In addition, strain- resolved proteogenomic analysis of the AMD biofilms

  1. rCBF activation studies and neuronal circuitry related to vision

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    deJong, BM

    Three principles of neuronal interaction within cortically distributed networks are discussed PET-rCBF activation methods provide an opportunity to acquire insight in the distribution of functionally related areas of the human brain in vivo. The distinction of visual areas, activated by either

  2. Neurochemistry of neurons in the ventrolateral medulla activated by hypotension: Are the same neurons activated by glucoprivation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Lindsay M; Le, Sheng; Wearne, Travis A; Hardwick, Kate; Kumar, Natasha N; Robinson, Katherine J; McMullan, Simon; Goodchild, Ann K

    2017-06-15

    Previous studies have demonstrated that a range of stimuli activate neurons, including catecholaminergic neurons, in the ventrolateral medulla. Not all catecholaminergic neurons are activated and other neurochemical content is largely unknown hence whether stimulus specific populations exist is unclear. Here we determine the neurochemistry (using in situ hybridization) of catecholaminergic and noncatecholaminergic neurons which express c-Fos immunoreactivity throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the ventrolateral medulla, in Sprague Dawley rats treated with hydralazine or saline. Distinct neuronal populations containing PPCART, PPPACAP, and PPNPY mRNAs, which were largely catecholaminergic, were activated by hydralazine but not saline. Both catecholaminergic and noncatecholaminergic neurons containing preprotachykinin and prepro-enkephalin (PPE) mRNAs were also activated, with the noncatecholaminergic population located in the rostral C1 region. Few GlyT2 neurons were activated. A subset of these data was then used to compare the neuronal populations activated by 2-deoxyglucose evoked glucoprivation (Brain Structure and Function (2015) 220:117). Hydralazine activated more neurons than 2-deoxyglucose but similar numbers of catecholaminergic neurons. Commonly activated populations expressing PPNPY and PPE mRNAs were defined. These likely include PPNPY expressing catecholaminergic neurons projecting to vasopressinergic and corticotrophin releasing factor neurons in the paraventricular nucleus, which when activated result in elevated plasma vasopressin and corticosterone. Stimulus specific neurons included noncatecholaminergic neurons and a few PPE positive catecholaminergic neuron but neurochemical codes were largely unidentified. Reasons for the lack of identification of stimulus specific neurons, readily detectable using electrophysiology in anaesthetized preparations and for which neural circuits can be defined, are discussed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Electrophysiological localization of distinct calcium potentials at selective somatodendritic sites in the substantia nigra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J; Nedergaard, S; Greenfield, S A

    1992-01-01

    of differential polarization through applied electric fields, the cell body and dendrites have been activated in effective isolation during intracellular recordings from pars compacta neurons in the substantia nigra in vitro. In one class of neurons, which discharge in a "phasic" fashion and are located......The dendrites of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra play a pivotal role in the neurochemical homeostasis of the nucleus. It is conceivable therefore that the cell body and dendrites of these nigral neurons possess distinct and independent electro-responsive features. By means......, a high-threshold calcium spike is located principally in the cell body. The differential localization of these calcium conductances in sub-populations of neurons is likely to determine the functions for the calcium responses in each type of neuron, and moreover highlight the dendrites as dynamic...

  4. 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.

  5. Multiple Modes of Communication between Neurons and Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Paloma P; Angulo, María Cecilia

    2015-06-01

    The surprising discovery of bona fide synapses between neurons and oligodendrocytes precursor cells (OPCs) 15 years ago placed these progenitors as real partners of neurons in the CNS. The role of these synapses has not been established yet, but a main hypothesis is that neuron-OPC synaptic activity is a signaling pathway controlling OPC proliferation/differentiation, influencing the myelination process. However, new evidences describing non-synaptic mechanisms of communication between neurons and OPCs have revealed that neuron-OPC interactions are more complex than expected. The activation of extrasynaptic receptors by ambient neurotransmitter or local spillover and the ability of OPCs to sense neuronal activity through a potassium channel suggest that distinct modes of communication mediate different functions of OPCs in the CNS. This review discusses different mechanisms used by OPCs to interact with neurons and their potential roles during postnatal development and in brain disorders. © The Author(s) 2014.

  6. Differential compartmentalization and distinct functions of GABAB receptor variants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vigot, Réjan; Barbieri, Samuel; Bräuner-Osborne, Hans

    2006-01-01

    , while predominantly GABAB1b mediates postsynaptic inhibition. Electron microscopy reveals a synaptic distribution of GABAB1 isoforms that agrees with the observed functional differences. Transfected CA3 neurons selectively express GABAB1a in distal axons, suggesting that the sushi repeats, a conserved...... protein interaction motif, specify heteroreceptor localization. The constitutive absence of GABAB1a but not GABAB1b results in impaired synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent memory, emphasizing molecular differences in synaptic GABAB functions....

  7. Prediction of rat behavior outcomes in memory tasks using functional connections among neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hu Lu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Analyzing the neuronal organizational structures and studying the changes in the behavior of the organism is key to understanding cognitive functions of the brain. Although some studies have indicated that spatiotemporal firing patterns of neuronal populations have a certain relationship with the behavioral responses, the issues of whether there are any relationships between the functional networks comprised of these cortical neurons and behavioral tasks and whether it is possible to take advantage of these networks to predict correct and incorrect outcomes of single trials of animals are still unresolved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This paper presents a new method of analyzing the structures of whole-recorded neuronal functional networks (WNFNs and local neuronal circuit groups (LNCGs. The activity of these neurons was recorded in several rats. The rats performed two different behavioral tasks, the Y-maze task and the U-maze task. Using the results of the assessment of the WNFNs and LNCGs, this paper describes a realization procedure for predicting the behavioral outcomes of single trials. The methodology consists of four main parts: construction of WNFNs from recorded neuronal spike trains, partitioning the WNFNs into the optimal LNCGs using social community analysis, unsupervised clustering of all trials from each dataset into two different clusters, and predicting the behavioral outcomes of single trials. The results show that WNFNs and LNCGs correlate with the behavior of the animal. The U-maze datasets show higher accuracy for unsupervised clustering results than those from the Y-maze task, and these datasets can be used to predict behavioral responses effectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results of the present study suggest that a methodology proposed in this paper is suitable for analysis of the characteristics of neuronal functional networks and the prediction of rat behavior. These types of structures in cortical

  8. Astrocyte-neuron communication: functional consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Achour, Sarrah; Pascual, Olivier

    2012-11-01

    Astrocyte-neuron communication has recently been proposed as a potential mechanism participating to synaptic transmission. With the development of this concept and accumulating evidences in favor of a modulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes, has emerged the term gliotransmission. It refers to the capacity of astrocytes to release various transmitters, such as ATP, glutamate, D-serine, and GABA in the vicinity of synapses. While the cellular mechanisms involved in gliotransmission still need to be better described and, for some, identified, the aim of more and more studies is to determine the role of astrocytes from a functional point of view. This review will summarize the principal studies that have investigated a potential role of astrocytes in the various functions regulated by the brain (sleep, breathing, perception, learning and memory…). This will allow us to highlight the similarities and discrepancies in the signaling pathways involved in the different areas of the brain related to these functions.

  9. Niche-dependent development of functional neuronal networks from embryonic stem cell-derived neural populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siebler Mario

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The present work was performed to investigate the ability of two different embryonic stem (ES cell-derived neural precursor populations to generate functional neuronal networks in vitro. The first ES cell-derived neural precursor population was cultivated as free-floating neural aggregates which are known to form a developmental niche comprising different types of neural cells, including neural precursor cells (NPCs, progenitor cells and even further matured cells. This niche provides by itself a variety of different growth factors and extracellular matrix proteins that influence the proliferation and differentiation of neural precursor and progenitor cells. The second population was cultivated adherently in monolayer cultures to control most stringently the extracellular environment. This population comprises highly homogeneous NPCs which are supposed to represent an attractive way to provide well-defined neuronal progeny. However, the ability of these different ES cell-derived immature neural cell populations to generate functional neuronal networks has not been assessed so far. Results While both precursor populations were shown to differentiate into sufficient quantities of mature NeuN+ neurons that also express GABA or vesicular-glutamate-transporter-2 (vGlut2, only aggregate-derived neuronal populations exhibited a synchronously oscillating network activity 2–4 weeks after initiating the differentiation as detected by the microelectrode array technology. Neurons derived from homogeneous NPCs within monolayer cultures did merely show uncorrelated spiking activity even when differentiated for up to 12 weeks. We demonstrated that these neurons exhibited sparsely ramified neurites and an embryonic vGlut2 distribution suggesting an inhibited terminal neuronal maturation. In comparison, neurons derived from heterogeneous populations within neural aggregates appeared as fully mature with a dense neurite network and punctuated

  10. Unique functional properties of somatostatin-expressing GABAergic neurons in mouse barrel cortex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gentet, L.J.; Kremer, Y.; Taniguchi, H.; Huang, Z.J.; Staiger, J.F.; Petersen, C.C.H.

    2012-01-01

    Neocortical GABAergic neurons have diverse molecular, structural and electrophysiological features, but the functional correlates of this diversity are largely unknown. We found unique membrane potential dynamics of somatostatin-expressing (SOM) neurons in layer 2/3 of the primary somatosensory

  11. Mapping human temporal and parietal neuronal population activity and functional coupling during mathematical cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daitch, Amy L.; Foster, Brett L.; Schrouff, Jessica; Rangarajan, Vinitha; Kaşikçi, Itır; Gattas, Sandra; Parvizi, Josef

    2016-01-01

    Brain areas within the lateral parietal cortex (LPC) and ventral temporal cortex (VTC) have been shown to code for abstract quantity representations and for symbolic numerical representations, respectively. To explore the fast dynamics of activity within each region and the interaction between them, we used electrocorticography recordings from 16 neurosurgical subjects implanted with grids of electrodes over these two regions and tracked the activity within and between the regions as subjects performed three different numerical tasks. Although our results reconfirm the presence of math-selective hubs within the VTC and LPC, we report here a remarkable heterogeneity of neural responses within each region at both millimeter and millisecond scales. Moreover, we show that the heterogeneity of response profiles within each hub mirrors the distinct patterns of functional coupling between them. Our results support the existence of multiple bidirectional functional loops operating between discrete populations of neurons within the VTC and LPC during the visual processing of numerals and the performance of arithmetic functions. These findings reveal information about the dynamics of numerical processing in the brain and also provide insight into the fine-grained functional architecture and connectivity within the human brain. PMID:27821758

  12. Functional neuronal processing of body odors differs from that of similar common odors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundström, Johan N; Boyle, Julie A; Zatorre, Robert J; Jones-Gotman, Marilyn

    2008-06-01

    Visual and auditory stimuli of high social and ecological importance are processed in the brain by specialized neuronal networks. To date, this has not been demonstrated for olfactory stimuli. By means of positron emission tomography, we sought to elucidate the neuronal substrates behind body odor perception to answer the question of whether the central processing of body odors differs from perceptually similar nonbody odors. Body odors were processed by a network that was distinctly separate from common odors, indicating a separation in the processing of odors based on their source. Smelling a friend's body odor activated regions previously seen for familiar stimuli, whereas smelling a stranger activated amygdala and insular regions akin to what has previously been demonstrated for fearful stimuli. The results provide evidence that social olfactory stimuli of high ecological relevance are processed by specialized neuronal networks similar to what has previously been demonstrated for auditory and visual stimuli.

  13. Dopamine neurons projecting to the posterior striatum form an anatomically distinct subclass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menegas, William; Bergan, Joseph F; Ogawa, Sachie K; Isogai, Yoh; Umadevi Venkataraju, Kannan; Osten, Pavel; Uchida, Naoshige; Watabe-Uchida, Mitsuko

    2015-01-01

    Combining rabies-virus tracing, optical clearing (CLARITY), and whole-brain light-sheet imaging, we mapped the monosynaptic inputs to midbrain dopamine neurons projecting to different targets (different parts of the striatum, cortex, amygdala, etc) in mice. We found that most populations of dopamine neurons receive a similar set of inputs rather than forming strong reciprocal connections with their target areas. A common feature among most populations of dopamine neurons was the existence of dense ‘clusters’ of inputs within the ventral striatum. However, we found that dopamine neurons projecting to the posterior striatum were outliers, receiving relatively few inputs from the ventral striatum and instead receiving more inputs from the globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus, and zona incerta. These results lay a foundation for understanding the input/output structure of the midbrain dopamine circuit and demonstrate that dopamine neurons projecting to the posterior striatum constitute a unique class of dopamine neurons regulated by different inputs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10032.001 PMID:26322384

  14. Cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis reduces ASIC channel but enhances TRPV1 receptor function in rat bladder sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Khoa; Bielefeldt, Klaus; Gebhart, G F

    2013-07-01

    Using patch-clamp techniques, we studied the plasticity of acid-sensing ion channels (ASIC) and transient receptor potential V1 (TRPV1) channel function in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons retrogradely labeled from the bladder. Saline (control) or cyclophosphamide (CYP) was given intraperitoneally on days 1, 3, and 5. On day 6, lumbosacral (LS, L6-S2) or thoracolumbar (TL, T13-L2) DRG were removed and dissociated. Bladders and bladder DRG neurons from CYP-treated rats showed signs of inflammation (greater myeloperoxidase activity; lower intramuscular wall pH) and increased size (whole cell capacitance), respectively, compared with controls. Most bladder neurons (>90%) responded to protons and capsaicin. Protons produced multiphasic currents with distinct kinetics, whereas capsaicin always triggered a sustained response. The TRPV1 receptor antagonist A-425619 abolished capsaicin-triggered currents and raised the threshold of heat-activated currents. Prolonged exposure to an acidic environment (pH range: 7.2 to 6.6) inhibited proton-evoked currents, potentiated the capsaicin-evoked current, and reduced the threshold of heat-activated currents in LS and TL bladder neurons. CYP treatment reduced density but not kinetics of all current components triggered by pH 5. In contrast, CYP-treatment was associated with an increased current density in response to capsaicin in LS and TL bladder neurons. Correspondingly, heat triggered current at a significantly lower temperature in bladder neurons from CYP-treated rats compared with controls. These results reveal that cystitis differentially affects TRPV1- and ASIC-mediated currents in both bladder sensory pathways. Acidification of the bladder wall during inflammation may contribute to changes in nociceptive transmission mediated through the TRPV1 receptor, suggesting a role for TRPV1 in hypersensitivity associated with cystitis.

  15. 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

  16. Transcriptional profiling at whole population and single cell levels reveals somatosensory neuron molecular diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Isaac M; Barrett, Lee B; Williams, Erika K; Strochlic, David E; Lee, Seungkyu; Weyer, Andy D; Lou, Shan; Bryman, Gregory S; Roberson, David P; Ghasemlou, Nader; Piccoli, Cara; Ahat, Ezgi; Wang, Victor; Cobos, Enrique J; Stucky, Cheryl L; Ma, Qiufu; Liberles, Stephen D; Woolf, Clifford J

    2014-01-01

    The somatosensory nervous system is critical for the organism's ability to respond to mechanical, thermal, and nociceptive stimuli. Somatosensory neurons are functionally and anatomically diverse but their molecular profiles are not well-defined. Here, we used transcriptional profiling to analyze the detailed molecular signatures of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons. We used two mouse reporter lines and surface IB4 labeling to purify three major non-overlapping classes of neurons: 1) IB4+SNS-Cre/TdTomato+, 2) IB4−SNS-Cre/TdTomato+, and 3) Parv-Cre/TdTomato+ cells, encompassing the majority of nociceptive, pruriceptive, and proprioceptive neurons. These neurons displayed distinct expression patterns of ion channels, transcription factors, and GPCRs. Highly parallel qRT-PCR analysis of 334 single neurons selected by membership of the three populations demonstrated further diversity, with unbiased clustering analysis identifying six distinct subgroups. These data significantly increase our knowledge of the molecular identities of known DRG populations and uncover potentially novel subsets, revealing the complexity and diversity of those neurons underlying somatosensation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04660.001 PMID:25525749

  17. Spike timing precision of neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilinc, Deniz; Demir, Alper

    2018-04-17

    Spike timing is believed to be a key factor in sensory information encoding and computations performed by the neurons and neuronal circuits. However, the considerable noise and variability, arising from the inherently stochastic mechanisms that exist in the neurons and the synapses, degrade spike timing precision. Computational modeling can help decipher the mechanisms utilized by the neuronal circuits in order to regulate timing precision. In this paper, we utilize semi-analytical techniques, which were adapted from previously developed methods for electronic circuits, for the stochastic characterization of neuronal circuits. These techniques, which are orders of magnitude faster than traditional Monte Carlo type simulations, can be used to directly compute the spike timing jitter variance, power spectral densities, correlation functions, and other stochastic characterizations of neuronal circuit operation. We consider three distinct neuronal circuit motifs: Feedback inhibition, synaptic integration, and synaptic coupling. First, we show that both the spike timing precision and the energy efficiency of a spiking neuron are improved with feedback inhibition. We unveil the underlying mechanism through which this is achieved. Then, we demonstrate that a neuron can improve on the timing precision of its synaptic inputs, coming from multiple sources, via synaptic integration: The phase of the output spikes of the integrator neuron has the same variance as that of the sample average of the phases of its inputs. Finally, we reveal that weak synaptic coupling among neurons, in a fully connected network, enables them to behave like a single neuron with a larger membrane area, resulting in an improvement in the timing precision through cooperation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llinas, Rodolfo R.

    1988-12-01

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

  19. Distinct subsets of nucleus basalis neurons exhibit similar sensitivity to excitotoxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harkany, Tibor; Varga, Csaba; Grosche, Jens; Mulder, Jan; Luiten, Paul G.M.; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Penke, Botond; Härtig, Wolfgang

    2002-01-01

    Excitotoxic lesions in the magnocellular nucleus basalis (MBN) lead to a significant damage of cholinergic neurons concomitant with increased amyloid precursor protein (APP) expression in the cerebral cortex. However, the sensitivity of non-cholinergic neurons to excitotoxicity, and changes of APP

  20. Differentiation of Spermatogonia Stem Cells into Functional Mature Neurons Characterized with Differential Gene Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bojnordi, Maryam Nazm; Azizi, Hossein; Skutella, Thomas; Movahedin, Mansoureh; Pourabdolhossein, Fereshteh; Shojaei, Amir; Hamidabadi, Hatef Ghasemi

    2017-09-01

    Transplantation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. However, ESCs are not usable clinically due to immunological and ethical limitations. The identification of an alternative safe cell source opens novel options via autologous transplantation in neuro-regeneration circumventing these problems. Here, we examined the neurogenic capacity of embryonic stem-like cells (ES-like cells) derived from the testis using neural growth factor inducers and utilized them to generate functional mature neurons. The neuronal differentiation of ES-like cells is induced in three stages. Stage 1 is related to embryoid body (EB) formation. To induce neuroprogenitor cells, EBs were cultured in the presence of retinoic acid, N 2 supplement and fibroblast growth factor followed by culturing in a neurobasal medium containing B 27 , N 2 supplements for additional 10 days, to allow the maturation and development of neuronal progenitor cells. The neurogenic differentiation was confirmed by immunostaining for markers of mature neurons. The differentiated neurons were positive for Tuj1 and Tau1. Real-time PCR dates indicated the expression of Nestin and Neuro D (neuroprogenitor markers) in induced cells at the second stage of the differentiation protocol. The differentiated mature neurons exhibited the specific neuron markers Map2 and β-tubulin. The functional maturity of neurons was confirmed by an electrophysiological analysis of passive and active neural membrane properties. These findings indicated a differentiation capacity of ES-like cells derived from the testis to functionally mature neurons, which proposes them as a novel cell source for neuroregenerative medicine.

  1. Stimulation of neuronal neurite outgrowth using functionalized carbon nanotubes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsumoto, K; Sato, C; Shimizu, N [Graduate School of Life Sciences, Toyo University, 1-1-1 Izumino, Itakura-machi, Ora-gun, Gunma 374-0193 (Japan); Naka, Y [Bio-Nano Electronics Research Center, Toyo University, 2100 Kujirai, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama 350-8585 (Japan); Whitby, R, E-mail: shimizu@toyonet.toyo.ac.jp [School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Cockroft Building, Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4GJ (United Kingdom)

    2010-03-19

    Low concentrations (0.11-1.7 {mu}g ml{sup -1}) of functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which are multi-walled CNTs modified by amino groups, when added with nerve growth factor (NGF), promoted outgrowth of neuronal neurites in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and rat pheochromocytoma cell line PC12h cells in culture media. The quantity of active extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was higher after the addition of both 0.85 {mu}g ml{sup -1} CNTs and NGF than that with NGF alone. CNTs increased the number of cells with neurite outgrowth in DRG neurons and PC12h cells after the inhibition of the ERK signaling pathway using a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor. Active ERK proteins were detected in MEK inhibitor-treated neurons after the addition of CNTs to the culture medium. These results demonstrate that CNTs may stimulate neurite outgrowth by activation of the ERK signaling pathway. Thus, CNTs are biocompatible and are promising candidates for biological applications and devices.

  2. Dysfunction in endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria crosstalk underlies SIGMAR1 loss of function mediated motor neuron degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard-Marissal, Nathalie; Médard, Jean-Jacques; Azzedine, Hamid; Chrast, Roman

    2015-04-01

    Mutations in Sigma 1 receptor (SIGMAR1) have been previously identified in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and disruption of Sigmar1 in mouse leads to locomotor deficits. However, cellular mechanisms underlying motor phenotypes in human and mouse with disturbed SIGMAR1 function have not been described so far. Here we used a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches to investigate the role of SIGMAR1 in motor neuron biology. Characterization of Sigmar1(-/-) mice revealed that affected animals display locomotor deficits associated with muscle weakness, axonal degeneration and motor neuron loss. Using primary motor neuron cultures, we observed that pharmacological or genetic inactivation of SIGMAR1 led to motor neuron axonal degeneration followed by cell death. Disruption of SIGMAR1 function in motor neurons disturbed endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria contacts, affected intracellular calcium signalling and was accompanied by activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress and defects in mitochondrial dynamics and transport. These defects were not observed in cultured sensory neurons, highlighting the exacerbated sensitivity of motor neurons to SIGMAR1 function. Interestingly, the inhibition of mitochondrial fission was sufficient to induce mitochondria axonal transport defects as well as axonal degeneration similar to the changes observed after SIGMAR1 inactivation or loss. Intracellular calcium scavenging and endoplasmic reticulum stress inhibition were able to restore mitochondrial function and consequently prevent motor neuron degeneration. These results uncover the cellular mechanisms underlying motor neuron degeneration mediated by loss of SIGMAR1 function and provide therapeutically relevant insight into motor neuronal diseases. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. [Functional organization and structure of the serotonergic neuronal network of terrestrial snail].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikitin, E S; Balaban, P M

    2011-01-01

    The extension of knowledge how the brain works requires permanent improvement of methods of recording of neuronal activity and increase in the number of neurons recorded simultaneously to better understand the collective work of neuronal networks and assemblies. Conventional methods allow simultaneous intracellular recording up to 2-5 neurons and their membrane potentials, currents or monosynaptic connections or observation of spiking of neuronal groups with subsequent discrimination of individual spikes with loss of details of the dynamics of membrane potential. We recorded activity of a compact group of serotonergic neurons (up to 56 simultaneously) in the ganglion of a terrestrial mollusk using the method of optical recording of membrane potential that allowed to record individual action potentials in details with action potential parameters and to reveal morphology of the neurons rcorded. We demonstrated clear clustering in the group in relation with the dynamics of action potentials and phasic or tonic components in the neuronal responses to external electrophysiological and tactile stimuli. Also, we showed that identified neuron Pd2 could induce activation of a significant number of neurons in the group whereas neuron Pd4 did not induce any activation. However, its activation is delayed with regard to activation of the reacting group of neurons. Our data strongly support the concept of possible delegation of the integrative function by the network to a single neuron.

  4. Diverse Roles of Axonemal Dyneins in Drosophila Auditory Neuron Function and Mechanical Amplification in Hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karak, Somdatta; Jacobs, Julie S; Kittelmann, Maike; Spalthoff, Christian; Katana, Radoslaw; Sivan-Loukianova, Elena; Schon, Michael A; Kernan, Maurice J; Eberl, Daniel F; Göpfert, Martin C

    2015-11-26

    Much like vertebrate hair cells, the chordotonal sensory neurons that mediate hearing in Drosophila are motile and amplify the mechanical input of the ear. Because the neurons bear mechanosensory primary cilia whose microtubule axonemes display dynein arms, we hypothesized that their motility is powered by dyneins. Here, we describe two axonemal dynein proteins that are required for Drosophila auditory neuron function, localize to their primary cilia, and differently contribute to mechanical amplification in hearing. Promoter fusions revealed that the two axonemal dynein genes Dmdnah3 (=CG17150) and Dmdnai2 (=CG6053) are expressed in chordotonal neurons, including the auditory ones in the fly's ear. Null alleles of both dyneins equally abolished electrical auditory neuron responses, yet whereas mutations in Dmdnah3 facilitated mechanical amplification, amplification was abolished by mutations in Dmdnai2. Epistasis analysis revealed that Dmdnah3 acts downstream of Nan-Iav channels in controlling the amplificatory gain. Dmdnai2, in addition to being required for amplification, was essential for outer dynein arms in auditory neuron cilia. This establishes diverse roles of axonemal dyneins in Drosophila auditory neuron function and links auditory neuron motility to primary cilia and axonemal dyneins. Mutant defects in sperm competition suggest that both dyneins also function in sperm motility.

  5. Axon Initial Segment Cytoskeleton: Architecture, Development, and Role in Neuron Polarity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svitkina, Tatyana M.

    2016-01-01

    The axon initial segment (AIS) is a specialized structure in neurons that resides in between axonal and somatodendritic domains. The localization of the AIS in neurons is ideal for its two major functions: it serves as the site of action potential firing and helps to maintain neuron polarity. It has become increasingly clear that the AIS cytoskeleton is fundamental to AIS functions. In this review, we discuss current understanding of the AIS cytoskeleton with particular interest in its unique architecture and role in maintenance of neuron polarity. The AIS cytoskeleton is divided into two parts, submembrane and cytoplasmic, based on localization, function, and molecular composition. Recent studies using electron and subdiffraction fluorescence microscopy indicate that submembrane cytoskeletal components (ankyrin G, βIV-spectrin, and actin filaments) form a sophisticated network in the AIS that is conceptually similar to the polygonal/triangular network of erythrocytes, with some important differences. Components of the AIS cytoplasmic cytoskeleton (microtubules, actin filaments, and neurofilaments) reside deeper within the AIS shaft and display structural features distinct from other neuronal domains. We discuss how the AIS submembrane and cytoplasmic cytoskeletons contribute to different aspects of AIS polarity function and highlight recent advances in understanding their AIS cytoskeletal assembly and stability. PMID:27493806

  6. Functional properties and synaptic integration of genetically labelled dopaminergic neurons in intrastriatal grafts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Andreas Toft; Thompson, Lachlan; Kirik, Deniz

    2005-01-01

    in the dopamine-depleted striatum than of those in the intact striatum. Our findings define specific electrophysiological characteristics of transplanted fetal dopaminergic neurons, and we provide the first direct evidence of functional synaptic integration of these neurons into host neural circuitries......., the electrophysiological properties grafted cells need to have in order to induce substantial functional recovery are poorly defined. It has not been possible to prospectively identify and record from dopaminergic neurons in fetal transplants. Here we used transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein under control...... of the rat tyrosine hydroxylase promoter for whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of endogenous and grafted dopaminergic neurons. We transplanted ventral mesencephalic tissue from E12.5 transgenic mice into striatum of neonatal rats with or without lesions of the nigrostriatal dopamine system. The transplanted...

  7. Neuron-glia metabolic coupling and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistretti, Pierre J

    2006-06-01

    The coupling between synaptic activity and glucose utilization (neurometabolic coupling) is a central physiological principle of brain function that has provided the basis for 2-deoxyglucose-based functional imaging with positron emission tomography (PET). Astrocytes play a central role in neurometabolic coupling, and the basic mechanism involves glutamate-stimulated aerobic glycolysis; the sodium-coupled reuptake of glutamate by astrocytes and the ensuing activation of the Na-K-ATPase triggers glucose uptake and processing via glycolysis, resulting in the release of lactate from astrocytes. Lactate can then contribute to the activity-dependent fuelling of the neuronal energy demands associated with synaptic transmission. An operational model, the 'astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle', is supported experimentally by a large body of evidence, which provides a molecular and cellular basis for interpreting data obtained from functional brain imaging studies. In addition, this neuron-glia metabolic coupling undergoes plastic adaptations in parallel with adaptive mechanisms that characterize synaptic plasticity. Thus, distinct subregions of the hippocampus are metabolically active at different time points during spatial learning tasks, suggesting that a type of metabolic plasticity, involving by definition neuron-glia coupling, occurs during learning. In addition, marked variations in the expression of genes involved in glial glycogen metabolism are observed during the sleep-wake cycle, with in particular a marked induction of expression of the gene encoding for protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) following sleep deprivation. These data suggest that glial metabolic plasticity is likely to be concomitant with synaptic plasticity.

  8. Neurons the decision makers, Part I: The firing function of a single neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saaty, Thomas

    2017-02-01

    This paper is concerned with understanding synthesis of electric signals in the neural system based on making pairwise comparisons. Fundamentally, every person and every animal are born with the talent to compare stimuli from things that share properties in space or over time. Comparisons always need experience to distinguish among things. Pairwise comparisons are numerically reciprocal. If a value is assigned to the larger of two elements that have a given property when compared with the smaller one, then the smaller has the reciprocal of that value when compared with the larger. Because making comparisons requires the reciprocal property, we need mathematics that can cope with division. There are four division algebras that would allow us to use our reciprocals arising from comparisons: The real numbers, the complex numbers, the non-commutative quaternions and the non-associative octonions. Rather than inferring function as from electric flow in a network, in this paper we infer the flow from function. Neurons fire in response to stimuli and their firings vary relative to the intensities of the stimuli. We believe neurons use some kind of pairwise comparison mechanism to determine when to fire based on the stimuli they receive. The ideas we develop here about flows are used to deduce how a system based on this kind of firing determination works and can be described. Furthermore the firing of neurons requires continuous comparisons. To develop a formula describing the output of these pairwise comparisons requires solving Fredholm's equation of the second kind which is satisfied if and only if a simple functional equation has solutions. The Fourier transform of the real solution of this equation leads to inverse square laws like those that are common in physics. The Fourier transform applied to a complex valued solution leads to Dirac type of firings. Such firings are dense in the very general fields of functions known as Sobolev spaces and thus can be used to

  9. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young; Crooks, Daniel R.; Wilson-Ollivierre, Hayden; Ghosh, Manik C.; Sougrat, Rachid; Lee, Jaekwon; Cooperman, Sharon; Mitchell, James B.; Beaumont, Carole; Rouault, Tracey A.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2), which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  10. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice

    KAUST Repository

    Jeong, Suh Young

    2011-10-07

    Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2), which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  11. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction : Involvement of neuroinflammation and neuronal functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hovens, Iris B.; Schoemaker, Regien G.; van der Zee, Eddy A.; Absalom, Anthony R.; Heineman, Erik; van Leeuwen, Barbara L.

    Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) has been hypothesized to be mediated by surgery-induced inflammatory processes, which may influence neuronal functioning either directly or through modulation of intraneuronal pathways, such as the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mediated pathway.

  12. Towards a general theory of neural computation based on prediction by single neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D Fiorillo

    Full Text Available Although there has been tremendous progress in understanding the mechanics of the nervous system, there has not been a general theory of its computational function. Here I present a theory that relates the established biophysical properties of single generic neurons to principles of Bayesian probability theory, reinforcement learning and efficient coding. I suggest that this theory addresses the general computational problem facing the nervous system. Each neuron is proposed to mirror the function of the whole system in learning to predict aspects of the world related to future reward. According to the model, a typical neuron receives current information about the state of the world from a subset of its excitatory synaptic inputs, and prior information from its other inputs. Prior information would be contributed by synaptic inputs representing distinct regions of space, and by different types of non-synaptic, voltage-regulated channels representing distinct periods of the past. The neuron's membrane voltage is proposed to signal the difference between current and prior information ("prediction error" or "surprise". A neuron would apply a Hebbian plasticity rule to select those excitatory inputs that are the most closely correlated with reward but are the least predictable, since unpredictable inputs provide the neuron with the most "new" information about future reward. To minimize the error in its predictions and to respond only when excitation is "new and surprising," the neuron selects amongst its prior information sources through an anti-Hebbian rule. The unique inputs of a mature neuron would therefore result from learning about spatial and temporal patterns in its local environment, and by extension, the external world. Thus the theory describes how the structure of the mature nervous system could reflect the structure of the external world, and how the complexity and intelligence of the system might develop from a population of

  13. Non-Neuronal Functions of the M2 Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritva Tikkanen

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter whose effects are mediated by two classes of receptors. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are ion channels, whereas the muscarinic receptors belong to the large family of G protein coupled seven transmembrane helix receptors. Beyond its function in neuronal systems, it has become evident that acetylcholine also plays an important role in non-neuronal cells such as epithelial and immune cells. Furthermore, many cell types in the periphery are capable of synthesizing acetylcholine and express at least some of the receptors. In this review, we summarize the non-neuronal functions of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, especially those of the M2 muscarinic receptor in epithelial cells. We will review the mechanisms of signaling by the M2 receptor but also the cellular trafficking and ARF6 mediated endocytosis of this receptor, which play an important role in the regulation of signaling events. In addition, we provide an overview of the M2 receptor in human pathological conditions such as autoimmune diseases and cancer.

  14. Analyzing topological characteristics of neuronal functional networks in the rat brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Hu; Yang, Shengtao; Song, Yuqing; Wei, Hui

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we recorded spike trains from brain cortical neurons of several behavioral rats in vivo by using multi-electrode recordings. An NFN was constructed in each trial, obtaining a total of 150 NFNs in this study. The topological characteristics of NFNs were analyzed by using the two most important characteristics of complex networks, namely, small-world structure and community structure. We found that the small-world properties exist in different NFNs constructed in this study. Modular function Q was used to determine the existence of community structure in NFNs, through which we found that community-structure characteristics, which are related to recorded spike train data sets, are more evident in the Y-maze task than in the DM-GM task. Our results can also be used to analyze further the relationship between small-world characteristics and the cognitive behavioral responses of rats. - Highlights: • We constructed the neuronal function networks based on the recorded neurons. • We analyzed the two main complex network characteristics, namely, small-world structure and community structure. • NFNs which were constructed based on the recorded neurons in this study exhibit small-world properties. • Some NFNs have community structure characteristics

  15. Analyzing topological characteristics of neuronal functional networks in the rat brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Hu [School of Computer Science and Communication Engineering, Jiangsu University, Jiangsu 212003 (China); School of Computer Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Yang, Shengtao [Institutes of Brain Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Song, Yuqing [School of Computer Science and Communication Engineering, Jiangsu University, Jiangsu 212003 (China); Wei, Hui [School of Computer Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China)

    2014-08-28

    In this study, we recorded spike trains from brain cortical neurons of several behavioral rats in vivo by using multi-electrode recordings. An NFN was constructed in each trial, obtaining a total of 150 NFNs in this study. The topological characteristics of NFNs were analyzed by using the two most important characteristics of complex networks, namely, small-world structure and community structure. We found that the small-world properties exist in different NFNs constructed in this study. Modular function Q was used to determine the existence of community structure in NFNs, through which we found that community-structure characteristics, which are related to recorded spike train data sets, are more evident in the Y-maze task than in the DM-GM task. Our results can also be used to analyze further the relationship between small-world characteristics and the cognitive behavioral responses of rats. - Highlights: • We constructed the neuronal function networks based on the recorded neurons. • We analyzed the two main complex network characteristics, namely, small-world structure and community structure. • NFNs which were constructed based on the recorded neurons in this study exhibit small-world properties. • Some NFNs have community structure characteristics.

  16. 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.

  17. Intratelencephalic corticostriatal neurons equally excite striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons and their discharge activity is selectively reduced in experimental parkinsonism

    OpenAIRE

    Ballion, B. (B.); Mallet, N. (Nicolas); Bezard, E. (E.); Lanciego, J.L. (José Luis); Gonon, F. (Francois)

    2008-01-01

    Striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons form distinct populations of striatal projection neurons. Their discharge activity is imbalanced after dopaminergic degeneration in Parkinson's disease. Striatal projection neurons receive massive cortical excitatory inputs from bilateral intratelencephalic (IT) neurons projecting to both the ipsilateral and contralateral striatum and from collateral axons of ipsilateral neurons that send their main axon through the pyramidal tract (PT). Previous anat...

  18. Pharmacological Bypass of Cockayne Syndrome B Function in Neuronal Differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuming Wang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cockayne syndrome (CS is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by growth abnormalities, premature aging, and photosensitivity. Mutation of Cockayne syndrome B (CSB affects neuronal gene expression and differentiation, so we attempted to bypass its function by expressing downstream target genes. Intriguingly, ectopic expression of Synaptotagmin 9 (SYT9, a key component of the machinery controlling neurotrophin release, bypasses the need for CSB in neuritogenesis. Importantly, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, a neurotrophin implicated in neuronal differentiation and synaptic modulation, and pharmacological mimics such as 7,8-dihydroxyflavone and amitriptyline can compensate for CSB deficiency in cell models of neuronal differentiation as well. SYT9 and BDNF are downregulated in CS patient brain tissue, further indicating that sub-optimal neurotrophin signaling underlies neurological defects in CS. In addition to shedding light on cellular mechanisms underlying CS and pointing to future avenues for pharmacological intervention, these data suggest an important role for SYT9 in neuronal differentiation.

  19. Regulated appearance of NMDA receptor subunits and channel functions during in vitro neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelitai, Márta; Schlett, Katalin; Varju, Patrícia; Eisel, Ulrich; Madarász, Emília

    2002-04-01

    The schedule of NMDA receptor subunit expression and the appearance of functional NMDA-gated ion channels were investigated during the retinoic acid (RA) induced neuronal differentiation of NE-4C, a p53-deficient mouse neuroectodermal progenitor cell line. NR2A, NR2B, and NR2D subunit transcripts were present in both nondifferentiated and neuronally differentiated cultures, while NR2C subunits were expressed only transiently, during the early period of neural differentiation. Several splice variants of NR1 were detected in noninduced progenitors and in RA-induced cells, except the N1 exon containing transcripts that appeared after the fourth day of induction, when neuronal processes were already formed. NR1 and NR2A subunit proteins were detected both in nondifferentiated progenitor cells and in neurons, while the mature form of NR2B subunit protein appeared only at the time of neuronal process elongation. Despite the early presence of NR1 and NR2A subunits, NMDA-evoked responses could be detected in NE-4C neurons only after the sixth day of induction, coinciding in time with the expression of the mature NR2B subunit. The formation of functional NMDA receptors also coincided with the appearance of synapsin I and synaptophysin. The lag period between the production of the subunits and the onset of channel function suggests that subunits capable of channel formation cannot form functional NMDA receptors until a certain stage of neuronal commitment. Thus, the in vitro neurogenesis by NE-4C cells provides a suitable tool to investigate some inherent regulatory processes involved in the initial maturation of NMDA receptor complexes. Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Diversity of Internal Sensory Neuron Axon Projection Patterns Is Controlled by the POU-Domain Protein Pdm3 in Drosophila Larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Cheng Sam; Kaplow, Margarita; Lee, Jennifer K; Grueber, Wesley B

    2018-02-21

    Internal sensory neurons innervate body organs and provide information about internal state to the CNS to maintain physiological homeostasis. Despite their conservation across species, the anatomy, circuitry, and development of internal sensory systems are still relatively poorly understood. A largely unstudied population of larval Drosophila sensory neurons, termed tracheal dendrite (td) neurons, innervate internal respiratory organs and may serve as a model for understanding the sensing of internal states. Here, we characterize the peripheral anatomy, central axon projection, and diversity of td sensory neurons. We provide evidence for prominent expression of specific gustatory receptor genes in distinct populations of td neurons, suggesting novel chemosensory functions. We identify two anatomically distinct classes of td neurons. The axons of one class project to the subesophageal zone (SEZ) in the brain, whereas the other terminates in the ventral nerve cord (VNC). We identify expression and a developmental role of the POU-homeodomain transcription factor Pdm3 in regulating the axon extension and terminal targeting of SEZ-projecting td neurons. Remarkably, ectopic Pdm3 expression is alone sufficient to switch VNC-targeting axons to SEZ targets, and to induce the formation of putative synapses in these ectopic target zones. Our data thus define distinct classes of td neurons, and identify a molecular factor that contributes to diversification of axon targeting. These results introduce a tractable model to elucidate molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying sensory processing of internal body status and physiological homeostasis. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT How interoceptive sensory circuits develop, including how sensory neurons diversify and target distinct central regions, is still poorly understood, despite the importance of these sensory systems for maintaining physiological homeostasis. Here, we characterize classes of Drosophila internal sensory neurons (td

  1. Maternal creatine supplementation affects the morpho-functional development of hippocampal neurons in rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartini, S; Lattanzi, D; Ambrogini, P; Di Palma, M; Galati, C; Savelli, D; Polidori, E; Calcabrini, C; Rocchi, M B L; Sestili, P; Cuppini, R

    2016-01-15

    Creatine supplementation has been shown to protect neurons from oxidative damage due to its antioxidant and ergogenic functions. These features have led to the hypothesis of creatine supplementation use during pregnancy as prophylactic treatment to prevent CNS damage, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Unfortunately, very little is known on the effects of creatine supplementation during neuron differentiation, while in vitro studies revealed an influence on neuron excitability, leaving the possibility of creatine supplementation during the CNS development an open question. Using a multiple approach, we studied the hippocampal neuron morphological and functional development in neonatal rats born by dams supplemented with 1% creatine in drinking water during pregnancy. CA1 pyramidal neurons of supplemented newborn rats showed enhanced dendritic tree development, increased LTP maintenance, larger evoked-synaptic responses, and higher intrinsic excitability in comparison to controls. Moreover, a faster repolarizing phase of action potential with the appearance of a hyperpolarization were recorded in neurons of the creatine-treated group. Consistently, CA1 neurons of creatine exposed pups exhibited a higher maximum firing frequency than controls. In summary, we found that creatine supplementation during pregnancy positively affects morphological and electrophysiological development of CA1 neurons in offspring rats, increasing neuronal excitability. Altogether, these findings emphasize the need to evaluate the benefits and the safety of maternal intake of creatine in humans. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Confounding the origin and function of mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2014-04-01

    Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and that their function is determined by their origin. Both these claims are hard to accept. It is here suggested that a major role in the origin of the mirror mechanism is played by top-down connections rather than by associative learning.

  3. Species-Specific Mechanisms of Neuron Subtype Specification Reveal Evolutionary Plasticity of Amniote Brain Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadashi Nomura

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Highly ordered brain architectures in vertebrates consist of multiple neuron subtypes with specific neuronal connections. However, the origin of and evolutionary changes in neuron specification mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report that regulatory mechanisms of neuron subtype specification are divergent in developing amniote brains. In the mammalian neocortex, the transcription factors (TFs Ctip2 and Satb2 are differentially expressed in layer-specific neurons. In contrast, these TFs are co-localized in reptilian and avian dorsal pallial neurons. Multi-potential progenitors that produce distinct neuronal subtypes commonly exist in the reptilian and avian dorsal pallium, whereas a cis-regulatory element of avian Ctip2 exhibits attenuated transcription suppressive activity. Furthermore, the neuronal subtypes distinguished by these TFs are not tightly associated with conserved neuronal connections among amniotes. Our findings reveal the evolutionary plasticity of regulatory gene functions that contribute to species differences in neuronal heterogeneity and connectivity in developing amniote brains. : Neuronal heterogeneity is essential for assembling intricate neuronal circuits. Nomura et al. find that species-specific transcriptional mechanisms underlie diversities of excitatory neuron subtypes in mammalian and non-mammalian brains. Species differences in neuronal subtypes and connections suggest functional plasticity of regulatory genes for neuronal specification during amniote brain evolution. Keywords: Ctip2, Satb2, multi-potential progenitors, transcriptional regulation, neuronal connectivity

  4. Multiplexed Neurochemical Signaling by Neurons of the Ventral Tegmental Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, David J.; Root, David H.; Zhang, Shiliang; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is an evolutionarily conserved structure that has roles in reward-seeking, safety-seeking, learning, motivation, and neuropsychiatric disorders such as addiction and depression. The involvement of the VTA in these various behaviors and disorders is paralleled by its diverse signaling mechanisms. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of neuronal diversity in the VTA with a focus on cell phenotypes that participate in ‘multiplexed’ neurotransmission involving distinct signaling mechanisms. First, we describe the cellular diversity within the VTA, including neurons capable of transmitting dopamine, glutamate or GABA as well as neurons capable of multiplexing combinations of these neurotransmitters. Next, we describe the complex synaptic architecture used by VTA neurons in order to accommodate the transmission of multiple transmitters. We specifically cover recent findings showing that VTA multiplexed neurotransmission may be mediated by either the segregation of dopamine and glutamate into distinct microdomains within a single axon or by the integration of glutamate and GABA into a single axon terminal. In addition, we discuss our current understanding of the functional role that these multiplexed signaling pathways have in the lateral habenula and the nucleus accumbens. Finally, we consider the putative roles of VTA multiplexed neurotransmission in synaptic plasticity and discuss how changes in VTA multiplexed neurons may relate to various psychopathologies including drug addiction and depression. PMID:26763116

  5. Embarrassment: its distinct form and appeasement functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keltner, D; Buswell, B N

    1997-11-01

    The authors address 2 questions about embarrassment. First, Is embarrassment a distinct emotion? The evidence indicates that the antecedents, experience, and display of embarrassment, and to a limited extent its autonomic physiology, are distinct from shame, guilt, and amusement and share the dynamic, temporal characteristics of emotion. Second, What are the theoretical accounts of embarrassment? Three accounts focus on the causes of embarrassment, positioning that it follows the loss of self-esteem, concern for others' evaluations, or absence of scripts to guide interactions. A fourth account focuses on the effects of the remedial actions of embarrassment, which correct preceding transgressions. A fifth account focuses on the functional parallels between embarrassment and nonhuman appeasement. The discussion focuses on unanswered questions about embarrassment.

  6. Control of neuronal network organization by chemical surface functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Jie; Bibari, Olivier; Marchand, Gilles; Benabid, Alim-Louis; Sauter-Starace, Fabien; Appaix, Florence; De Waard, Michel

    2011-01-01

    Carbon nanotube substrates are promising candidates for biological applications and devices. Interfacing of these carbon nanotubes with neurons can be controlled by chemical modifications. In this study, we investigated how chemical surface functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube arrays (MWNT-A) influences neuronal adhesion and network organization. Functionalization of MWNT-A dramatically modifies the length of neurite fascicles, cluster inter-connection success rate, and the percentage of neurites that escape from the clusters. We propose that chemical functionalization represents a method of choice for developing applications in which neuronal patterning on MWNT-A substrates is required.

  7. Control of neuronal network organization by chemical surface functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube arrays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu Jie; Bibari, Olivier; Marchand, Gilles; Benabid, Alim-Louis; Sauter-Starace, Fabien [CEA, LETI-Minatec, 17 Rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9 (France); Appaix, Florence; De Waard, Michel, E-mail: fabien.sauter@cea.fr, E-mail: michel.dewaard@ujf-grenoble.fr [Inserm U836, Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, Site Sante la Tronche, Batiment Edmond J Safra, Chemin Fortune Ferrini, BP170, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 09 (France)

    2011-05-13

    Carbon nanotube substrates are promising candidates for biological applications and devices. Interfacing of these carbon nanotubes with neurons can be controlled by chemical modifications. In this study, we investigated how chemical surface functionalization of multi-walled carbon nanotube arrays (MWNT-A) influences neuronal adhesion and network organization. Functionalization of MWNT-A dramatically modifies the length of neurite fascicles, cluster inter-connection success rate, and the percentage of neurites that escape from the clusters. We propose that chemical functionalization represents a method of choice for developing applications in which neuronal patterning on MWNT-A substrates is required.

  8. Iron insufficiency compromises motor neurons and their mitochondrial function in Irp2-null mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suh Young Jeong

    Full Text Available Genetic ablation of Iron Regulatory Protein 2 (Irp2, Ireb2, which post-transcriptionally regulates iron metabolism genes, causes a gait disorder in mice that progresses to hind-limb paralysis. Here we have demonstrated that misregulation of iron metabolism from loss of Irp2 causes lower motor neuronal degeneration with significant spinal cord axonopathy. Mitochondria in the lumbar spinal cord showed significantly decreased Complex I and II activities, and abnormal morphology. Lower motor neurons appeared to be the most adversely affected neurons, and we show that functional iron starvation due to misregulation of iron import and storage proteins, including transferrin receptor 1 and ferritin, may have a causal role in disease. We demonstrated that two therapeutic approaches were beneficial for motor neuron survival. First, we activated a homologous protein, IRP1, by oral Tempol treatment and found that axons were partially spared from degeneration. Secondly, we genetically decreased expression of the iron storage protein, ferritin, to diminish functional iron starvation. These data suggest that functional iron deficiency may constitute a previously unrecognized molecular basis for degeneration of motor neurons in mice.

  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 due to loss of FUS function, but to the gain of toxic properties conferred by ALS mutations.

  10. Organization of Valence-Encoding and Projection-Defined Neurons in the Basolateral Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Beyeler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The basolateral amygdala (BLA mediates associative learning for both fear and reward. Accumulating evidence supports the notion that different BLA projections distinctly alter motivated behavior, including projections to the nucleus accumbens (NAc, medial aspect of the central amygdala (CeM, and ventral hippocampus (vHPC. Although there is consensus regarding the existence of distinct subsets of BLA neurons encoding positive or negative valence, controversy remains regarding the anatomical arrangement of these populations. First, we map the location of more than 1,000 neurons distributed across the BLA and recorded during a Pavlovian discrimination task. Next, we determine the location of projection-defined neurons labeled with retrograde tracers and use CLARITY to reveal the axonal path in 3-dimensional space. Finally, we examine the local influence of each projection-defined populations within the BLA. Understanding the functional and topographical organization of circuits underlying valence assignment could reveal fundamental principles about emotional processing.

  11. Reduced sensory synaptic excitation impairs motor neuron function via Kv2.1 in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Emily V; Simon, Christian M; Pagiazitis, John G; Chalif, Joshua I; Vukojicic, Aleksandra; Drobac, Estelle; Wang, Xiaojian; Mentis, George Z

    2017-07-01

    Behavioral deficits in neurodegenerative diseases are often attributed to the selective dysfunction of vulnerable neurons via cell-autonomous mechanisms. Although vulnerable neurons are embedded in neuronal circuits, the contributions of their synaptic partners to disease process are largely unknown. Here we show that, in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a reduction in proprioceptive synaptic drive leads to motor neuron dysfunction and motor behavior impairments. In SMA mice or after the blockade of proprioceptive synaptic transmission, we observed a decrease in the motor neuron firing that could be explained by the reduction in the expression of the potassium channel Kv2.1 at the surface of motor neurons. Chronically increasing neuronal activity pharmacologically in vivo led to a normalization of Kv2.1 expression and an improvement in motor function. Our results demonstrate a key role of excitatory synaptic drive in shaping the function of motor neurons during development and the contribution of its disruption to a neurodegenerative disease.

  12. 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.

  13. Polarized trafficking: the palmitoylation cycle distributes cytoplasmic proteins to distinct neuronal compartments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortosa, Elena; Hoogenraad, Casper C

    2018-02-01

    In neurons, polarized cargo distribution occurs mainly between the soma and axonal and dendritic compartments, and requires coordinated regulation of cytoskeletal remodeling and membrane trafficking. The Golgi complex plays a critical role during neuronal polarization and secretory trafficking has been shown to differentially transport proteins to both axons and dendrites. Besides the Golgi protein sorting, recent data revealed that palmitoylation cycles are an efficient mechanism to localize cytoplasmic, non-transmembrane proteins to particular neuronal compartments, such as the newly formed axon. Palmitoylation allows substrate proteins to bind to and ride with Golgi-derived secretory vesicles to all neuronal compartments. By allowing cytoplasmic proteins to 'hitchhike' on transport carriers in a non-polarized fashion, compartmentalized depalmitoylation may act as a selective retention mechanism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Late maturation of adult-born neurons in the temporal dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Jason S; Ferrante, Sarah C; Cameron, Heather A

    2012-01-01

    Hippocampal function varies along its septotemporal axis, with the septal (dorsal) pole more frequently involved in spatial learning and memory and the temporal (ventral) pole playing a greater role in emotional behaviors. One feature that varies across these subregions is adult neurogenesis. New neurons are more numerous in the septal hippocampus but are more active in the temporal hippocampus during water maze training. However, many other aspects of adult neurogenesis remain unexplored in the context of septal versus temporal subregions. In addition, the dentate gyrus contains another functionally important anatomical division along the transverse axis, with the suprapyramidal blade showing greater experience-related activity than the infrapyramidal blade. Here we ask whether new neurons differ in their rates of survival and maturation along the septotemporal and transverse axes. We found that neurogenesis is initially higher in the infrapyramidal than suprapyramidal blade, but these cells are less likely to survive, resulting in similar densities of neurons in the two blades by four weeks. Across the septotemporal axis, neurogenesis was higher in septal than temporal pole, while the survival rate of new neurons did not differ. Maturation was assessed by immunostaining for the neuronal marker, NeuN, which increases in expression level with maturation, and for the immediate-early gene, Arc, which suggests a neuron is capable of undergoing activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Maturation occurred approximately 1-2 weeks earlier in the septal pole than in the temporal pole. This suggests that septal neurons may contribute to function sooner; however, the prolonged maturation of new temporal neurons may endow them with a longer window of plasticity during which their functions could be distinct from those of the mature granule cell population. These data point to subregional differences in new neuron maturation and suggest that changes in neurogenesis could alter

  15. Network control principles predict neuron function in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Gang; Vértes, Petra E.; Towlson, Emma K.; Chew, Yee Lian; Walker, Denise S.; Schafer, William R.; Barabási, Albert-László

    2017-10-01

    Recent studies on the controllability of complex systems offer a powerful mathematical framework to systematically explore the structure-function relationship in biological, social, and technological networks. Despite theoretical advances, we lack direct experimental proof of the validity of these widely used control principles. Here we fill this gap by applying a control framework to the connectome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, allowing us to predict the involvement of each C. elegans neuron in locomotor behaviours. We predict that control of the muscles or motor neurons requires 12 neuronal classes, which include neuronal groups previously implicated in locomotion by laser ablation, as well as one previously uncharacterized neuron, PDB. We validate this prediction experimentally, finding that the ablation of PDB leads to a significant loss of dorsoventral polarity in large body bends. Importantly, control principles also allow us to investigate the involvement of individual neurons within each neuronal class. For example, we predict that, within the class of DD motor neurons, only three (DD04, DD05, or DD06) should affect locomotion when ablated individually. This prediction is also confirmed; single cell ablations of DD04 or DD05 specifically affect posterior body movements, whereas ablations of DD02 or DD03 do not. Our predictions are robust to deletions of weak connections, missing connections, and rewired connections in the current connectome, indicating the potential applicability of this analytical framework to larger and less well-characterized connectomes.

  16. Network control principles predict neuron function in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Gang; Vértes, Petra E; Towlson, Emma K; Chew, Yee Lian; Walker, Denise S; Schafer, William R; Barabási, Albert-László

    2017-10-26

    Recent studies on the controllability of complex systems offer a powerful mathematical framework to systematically explore the structure-function relationship in biological, social, and technological networks. Despite theoretical advances, we lack direct experimental proof of the validity of these widely used control principles. Here we fill this gap by applying a control framework to the connectome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, allowing us to predict the involvement of each C. elegans neuron in locomotor behaviours. We predict that control of the muscles or motor neurons requires 12 neuronal classes, which include neuronal groups previously implicated in locomotion by laser ablation, as well as one previously uncharacterized neuron, PDB. We validate this prediction experimentally, finding that the ablation of PDB leads to a significant loss of dorsoventral polarity in large body bends. Importantly, control principles also allow us to investigate the involvement of individual neurons within each neuronal class. For example, we predict that, within the class of DD motor neurons, only three (DD04, DD05, or DD06) should affect locomotion when ablated individually. This prediction is also confirmed; single cell ablations of DD04 or DD05 specifically affect posterior body movements, whereas ablations of DD02 or DD03 do not. Our predictions are robust to deletions of weak connections, missing connections, and rewired connections in the current connectome, indicating the potential applicability of this analytical framework to larger and less well-characterized connectomes.

  17. Focusing on neuronal cell-type specific mechanisms for brain circuit organization, function and dysfunction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lu Li

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian brain circuits consist of dynamically interconnected neurons with characteristic morphology, physiology, connectivity and genetics which are often called neuronal cell types. Neuronal cell types have been considered as building blocks of brain circuits, but knowledge of how neuron types or subtypes connect to and interact with each other to perform neural computation is still lacking. Such mechanistic insights are critical not only to our understanding of normal brain functions, such as perception, motion and cognition, but also to brain disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia and epilepsy, to name a few. Thus it is necessary to carry out systematic and standardized studies on neuronal cell-type specific mechanisms for brain circuit organization and function, which will provide good opportunities to bridge basic and clinical research. Here based on recent technology advancements, we discuss the strategy to target and manipulate specific populations of neuronsin vivo to provide unique insights on how neuron types or subtypes behave, interact, and generate emergent properties in a fully connected brain network. Our approach is highlighted by combining transgenic animal models, targeted electrophysiology and imaging with robotics, thus complete and standardized mapping ofin vivo properties of genetically defined neuron populations can be achieved in transgenic mouse models, which will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies for brain disorders.

  18. Functional architecture of reward learning in mushroom body extrinsic neurons of larval Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saumweber, Timo; Rohwedder, Astrid; Schleyer, Michael; Eichler, Katharina; Chen, Yi-Chun; Aso, Yoshinori; Cardona, Albert; Eschbach, Claire; Kobler, Oliver; Voigt, Anne; Durairaja, Archana; Mancini, Nino; Zlatic, Marta; Truman, James W; Thum, Andreas S; Gerber, Bertram

    2018-03-16

    The brain adaptively integrates present sensory input, past experience, and options for future action. The insect mushroom body exemplifies how a central brain structure brings about such integration. Here we use a combination of systematic single-cell labeling, connectomics, transgenic silencing, and activation experiments to study the mushroom body at single-cell resolution, focusing on the behavioral architecture of its input and output neurons (MBINs and MBONs), and of the mushroom body intrinsic APL neuron. Our results reveal the identity and morphology of almost all of these 44 neurons in stage 3 Drosophila larvae. Upon an initial screen, functional analyses focusing on the mushroom body medial lobe uncover sparse and specific functions of its dopaminergic MBINs, its MBONs, and of the GABAergic APL neuron across three behavioral tasks, namely odor preference, taste preference, and associative learning between odor and taste. Our results thus provide a cellular-resolution study case of how brains organize behavior.

  19. Complete functional characterization of sensory neurons by system identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Michael C-K; David, Stephen V; Gallant, Jack L

    2006-01-01

    System identification is a growing approach to sensory neurophysiology that facilitates the development of quantitative functional models of sensory processing. This approach provides a clear set of guidelines for combining experimental data with other knowledge about sensory function to obtain a description that optimally predicts the way that neurons process sensory information. This prediction paradigm provides an objective method for evaluating and comparing computational models. In this chapter we review many of the system identification algorithms that have been used in sensory neurophysiology, and we show how they can be viewed as variants of a single statistical inference problem. We then review many of the practical issues that arise when applying these methods to neurophysiological experiments: stimulus selection, behavioral control, model visualization, and validation. Finally we discuss several problems to which system identification has been applied recently, including one important long-term goal of sensory neuroscience: developing models of sensory systems that accurately predict neuronal responses under completely natural conditions.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

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    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

  3. Roles of Fukutin, the Gene Responsible for Fukuyama-Type Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, in Neurons: Possible Involvement in Synaptic Function and Neuronal Migration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hiroi, Atsuko; Yamamoto, Tomoko; Shibata, Noriyuki; Osawa, Makiko; Kobayashi, Makio

    2011-01-01

    Fukutin is a gene responsible for Fukuyama-type congenital muscular dystrophy (FCMD), accompanying ocular and brain malformations represented by cobblestone lissencephaly. Fukutin is related to basement membrane formation via the glycosylation of α-dystoglycan (α-DG), and astrocytes play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of the brain lesion. On the other hand, its precise function in neurons is unknown. In this experiment, the roles of fukutin in mature and immature neurons were examined using brains from control subjects and FCMD patients and cultured neuronal cell lines. In quantitative PCR, the expression level of fukutin looked different depending on the region of the brain examined. A similar tendency in DG expression appears to indicate a relation between fukutin and α-DG in mature neurons. An increase of DG mRNA and core α-DG in the FCMD cerebrum also supports the relation. In immunohistochemistry, dot-like positive reactions for VIA4-1, one of the antibodies detecting the glycosylated α-DG, in Purkinje cells suggest that fukutin is related to at least a post-synaptic function via the glycosylation of α-DG. As for immature neurons, VIA4-1 was predominantly positive in cells before and during migration with expression of fukutin, which suggest a participation of fukutin in neuronal migration via the glycosylation of α-DG. Moreover, fukutin may prevent neuronal differentiation, because its expression was significantly lower in the adult cerebrum and in differentiated cultured cells. A knockdown of fukutin was considered to induce differentiation in cultured cells. Fukutin seems to be necessary to keep migrating neurons immature during migration, and also to support migration via α-DG

  4. Functional characterisation of filamentous actin probe expression in neuronal cells.

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    Shrujna Patel

    Full Text Available Genetically encoded filamentous actin probes, Lifeact, Utrophin and F-tractin, are used as tools to label the actin cytoskeleton. Recent evidence in several different cell types indicates that these probes can cause changes in filamentous actin dynamics, altering cell morphology and function. Although these probes are commonly used to visualise actin dynamics in neurons, their effects on axonal and dendritic morphology has not been systematically characterised. In this study, we quantitatively analysed the effect of Lifeact, Utrophin and F-tractin on neuronal morphogenesis in primary hippocampal neurons. Our data show that the expression of actin-tracking probes significantly impacts on axonal and dendrite growth these neurons. Lifeact-GFP expression, under the control of a pBABE promoter, caused a significant decrease in total axon length, while another Lifeact-GFP expression, under the control of a CAG promoter, decreased the length and complexity of dendritic trees. Utr261-EGFP resulted in increased dendritic branching but Utr230-EGFP only accumulated in cell soma, without labelling any neurites. Lifeact-7-mEGFP and F-tractin-EGFP in a pEGFP-C1 vector, under the control of a CMV promoter, caused only minor changes in neuronal morphology as detected by Sholl analysis. The results of this study demonstrate the effects that filamentous actin tracking probes can have on the axonal and dendritic compartments of neuronal cells and emphasise the care that must be taken when interpreting data from experiments using these probes.

  5. Neuraminidases 3 and 4 regulate neuronal function by catabolizing brain gangliosides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xuefang; De Aragão, Camila De Britto Pará; Velasco-Martin, Juan P; Priestman, David A; Wu, Harry Y; Takahashi, Kohta; Yamaguchi, Kazunori; Sturiale, Luisella; Garozzo, Domenico; Platt, Frances M; Lamarche-Vane, Nathalie; Morales, Carlos R; Miyagi, Taeko; Pshezhetsky, Alexey V

    2017-08-01

    Gangliosides (sialylated glycolipids) play an essential role in the CNS by regulating recognition and signaling in neurons. Metabolic blocks in processing and catabolism of gangliosides result in the development of severe neurologic disorders, including gangliosidoses manifesting with neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation. We demonstrate that 2 mammalian enzymes, neuraminidases 3 and 4, play important roles in catabolic processing of brain gangliosides by cleaving terminal sialic acid residues in their glycan chains. In neuraminidase 3 and 4 double-knockout mice, G M3 ganglioside is stored in microglia, vascular pericytes, and neurons, causing micro- and astrogliosis, neuroinflammation, accumulation of lipofuscin bodies, and memory loss, whereas their cortical and hippocampal neurons have lower rate of neuritogenesis in vitro Double-knockout mice also have reduced levels of G M1 ganglioside and myelin in neuronal axons. Furthermore, neuraminidase 3 deficiency drastically increased storage of G M2 in the brain tissues of an asymptomatic mouse model of Tay-Sachs disease, a severe human gangliosidosis, indicating that this enzyme is responsible for the metabolic bypass of β-hexosaminidase A deficiency. Together, our results provide the first in vivo evidence that neuraminidases 3 and 4 have important roles in CNS function by catabolizing gangliosides and preventing their storage in lipofuscin bodies.-Pan, X., De Britto Pará De Aragão, C., Velasco-Martin, J. P., Priestman, D. A., Wu, H. Y., Takahashi, K., Yamaguchi, K., Sturiale, L., Garozzo, D., Platt, F. M., Lamarche-Vane, N., Morales, C. R., Miyagi, T., Pshezhetsky, A. V. Neuraminidases 3 and 4 regulate neuronal function by catabolizing brain gangliosides. © FASEB.

  6. Functional Properties of Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in Health and Disease

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    Jason P. Weick

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Stem cell-derived neurons from various source materials present unique model systems to examine the fundamental properties of central nervous system (CNS development as well as the molecular underpinnings of disease phenotypes. In order to more accurately assess potential therapies for neurological disorders, multiple strategies have been employed in recent years to produce neuronal populations that accurately represent in vivo regional and transmitter phenotypes. These include new technologies such as direct conversion of somatic cell types into neurons and glia which may accelerate maturation and retain genetic hallmarks of aging. In addition, novel forms of genetic manipulations have brought human stem cells nearly on par with those of rodent with respect to gene targeting. For neurons of the CNS, the ultimate phenotypic characterization lies with their ability to recapitulate functional properties such as passive and active membrane characteristics, synaptic activity, and plasticity. These features critically depend on the coordinated expression and localization of hundreds of ion channels and receptors, as well as scaffolding and signaling molecules. In this review I will highlight the current state of knowledge regarding functional properties of human stem cell-derived neurons, with a primary focus on pluripotent stem cells. While significant advances have been made, critical hurdles must be overcome in order for this technology to support progression toward clinical applications.

  7. EEG study of the mirror neuron system in children with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymaekers, Ruth; Wiersema, Jan Roelf; Roeyers, Herbert

    2009-12-22

    Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterised by an impaired imitation, thought to be critical for early affective, social and communicative development. One neurological system proposed to underlie this function is the mirror neuron system (MNS) and previous research has suggested a dysfunctional MNS in ASD. The EEG mu frequency, more precisely the reduction of the mu power, is considered to be an index for mirror neuron functioning. In this work, EEG registrations are used to evaluate the mirror neuron functioning of twenty children with high functioning autism (HFA) between 8 and 13 years. Their mu suppression to self-executed and observed movement is compared to typically developing peers and related to age, intelligence and symptom severity. Both groups show significant mu suppression to both self and observed hand movements. No group differences are found in either condition. These results do not support the hypothesis that HFA is associated with a dysfunctional MNS. The discrepancy with previous research is discussed in light of the heterogeneity of the ASD population.

  8. Gamma Radiation (5-10 Gy) Impairs Neuronal Function in the Guinea Pig Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    Radiation (5-10 Gy) Impairs Neuronal Function in the Guinea Pig Hippocampus TERRY C. PELLMAR AND DENNIS L. LEPINSKI Ph.vsiology Department..Irmned Forces...L. Gamma Radiation ioral effects. Within hours of irradiation with 10 Gy and (5- 10 Gy) Impairs Neuronal Function in the Guinea Pig Hippo- less...acti v- Guinea pigs were exposed to 5 and 10 Gy ’y radiation. Hippo- ity (9) are evident. campal brain slices were isolated 30 min, I day, 3 days and 5

  9. 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.

  10. Oxytocin Neurons Exhibit Extensive Functional Plasticity Due To Offspring Age in Mothers and Fathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Aubrey M; Hiura, Lisa C; Saunders, Alexander G; Ophir, Alexander G

    2017-09-01

    The needs of offspring change as they develop. Thus, parents should concomitantly change their investment based on the age-related needs of the offspring as they mature. Due to the high costs of parental care, it is optimal for parents to exhibit a shift from intense caregiving of young offspring to promoting independence in older offspring. Yet, the neural mechanisms that underlie shifts in parental behavior are poorly understood, and little is known about how the parental brain responds to offspring of different ages. To elucidate mechanisms that relate to shifts in parental behavior as offspring develop, we examined behavioral and neural responses of male and female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), a biparental rodent, to interactions with offspring at different stages of development (ranging from neonatal to weaning age). Importantly, in biparental species, males and females may adjust their behavior differentially as offspring develop. Because the nonapeptides, vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT), are well known for modulating aspects of parental care, we focused on functional activity of distinct VP and OT cell groups within the maternal and paternal brain in response to separation from, reunion (after a brief period of separation) with, or no separation from offspring of different ages. We found several differences in the neural responses of individual VP and OT cell groups that varied based on the age of pups and sex of the parent. Hypothalamic VP neurons exhibit similar functional responses in both mothers and fathers. However, hypothalamic and amygdalar OT neurons exhibit differential functional responses to being separated from pups based on the sex of the parent. Our results also reveal that the developmental stage of offspring significantly impacts neural function within OT, but not VP, cell groups of both mothers and fathers. These findings provide insight into the functional plastic capabilities of the nonapeptide system, specifically in relation

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Selective serotonergic excitation of callosal projection neurons

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    Daniel eAvesar

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Serotonin (5-HT acting as a neurotransmitter in the cerebral cortex is critical for cognitive function, yet how 5-HT regulates information processing in cortical circuits is not well understood. We tested the serotonergic responsiveness of layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PNs of the mouse medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, and found 3 distinct response types: long-lasting 5-HT1A (1A receptor-dependent inhibitory responses (84% of L5PNs, 5-HT2A (2A receptor-dependent excitatory responses (9%, and biphasic responses in which 2A-dependent excitation followed brief inhibition (5%. Relative to 5-HT-inhibited neurons, those excited by 5-HT had physiological properties characteristic of callosal/commissural (COM neurons that project to the contralateral cortex. We tested whether serotonergic responses in cortical pyramidal neurons are correlated with their axonal projection pattern using retrograde fluorescent labeling of COM and corticopontine-projecting (CPn neurons. 5-HT generated excitatory or biphasic responses in all 5-HT-responsive layer 5 COM neurons. Conversely, CPn neurons were universally inhibited by 5-HT. Serotonergic excitation of COM neurons was blocked by the 2A antagonist MDL 11939, while serotonergic inhibition of CPn neurons was blocked by the 1A antagonist WAY 100635, confirming a role for these two receptor subtypes in regulating pyramidal neuron activity. Selective serotonergic excitation of COM neurons was not layer-specific, as COM neurons in layer 2/3 were also selectively excited by 5-HT relative to their non-labeled pyramidal neuron neighbors. Because neocortical 2A receptors are implicated in the etiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia, we propose that COM neurons may represent a novel cellular target for intervention in psychiatric disease.

  14. Functional diversity of supragranular GABAergic neurons in the barrel cortex

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    Luc J Gentet

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Although the neocortex forms a distributed system comprised of several functional areas, its vertical columnar organization is largely conserved across areas and species, suggesting the existence of a canonical neocortical microcircuit. In order to elucidate the principles governing the organization of such a cortical diagram, a detailed understanding of the dynamics binding different types of cortical neurons into a coherent algorithm is essential. Within this complex circuitry, GABAergic interneurons, while forming approximately only 15-20% of all cortical neurons, appear critical in maintaining a dynamic balance between excitation and inhibition. Despite their importance, cortical GABAergic neurons have not been extensively studied in vivo and their precise role in shaping the local microcircuit sensory response still remains to be determined. Their paucity, combined with their molecular, anatomical and physiological diversity, has made it difficult to even establish a consensual nomenclature.However, recent technological advances in microscopy and mouse genetics have fostered a renewed interest in neocortical interneurons by putting them within visible reach of experimenters. The anatomically well-defined whisker-to-barrel pathway of the rodent is particularly amenable to studies attempting to link cortical circuit dynamics to behavior. To each whisker corresponds a discrete cortical unit equivalent to a single column, specialized in the encoding and processing of the sensory information it receives. In this review, we will focus on the functional role that each subtype of supragranular GABAergic neuron embedded within such a single neocortical unit may play in shaping the dynamics of the local circuit during somatosensory integration.

  15. Context-aware modeling of neuronal morphologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin eTorben-Nielsen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal morphologies are pivotal for brain functioning: physical overlap between dendrites and axons constrain the circuit topology, and the precise shape and composition of dendrites determine the integration of inputs to produce an output signal. At the same time, morphologies are highly diverse and variant. The variance, presumably, originates from neurons developing in a densely packed brain substrate where they interact (e.g., repulsion or attraction with other actors in this substrate. However, when studying neurons their context is never part of the analysis and they are treated as if they existed in isolation.Here we argue that to fully understand neuronal morphology and its variance it is important to consider neurons in relation to each other and to other actors in the surrounding brain substrate, i.e., their context. We propose a context-aware computational framework, NeuroMaC, in which large numbers of neurons can be grown simultaneously according to growth rules expressed in terms of interactions between the developing neuron and the surrounding brain substrate.As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that by using NeuroMaC we can generate accurate virtual morphologies of distinct classes both in isolation and as part of neuronal forests. Accuracy is validated against population statistics of experimentally reconstructed morphologies. We show that context-aware generation of neurons can explain characteristics of variation. Indeed, plausible variation is an inherent property of the morphologies generated by context-aware rules. We speculate about the applicability of this framework to investigate morphologies and circuits, to classify healthy and pathological morphologies, and to generate large quantities of morphologies for large-scale modeling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sossin, Wayne S

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Snapin-regulated late endosomal transport is critical for efficient autophagy-lysosomal function in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Qian; Lu, Li; Tian, Jin-Hua; Zhu, Yi-Bing; Qiao, Haifa; Sheng, Zu-Hang

    2010-10-06

    Neuron maintenance and survival require late endocytic transport from distal processes to the soma where lysosomes are predominantly localized. Here, we report a role for Snapin in attaching dynein to late endosomes through its intermediate chain (DIC). snapin(-/-) neurons exhibit aberrant accumulation of immature lysosomes, clustering and impaired retrograde transport of late endosomes along processes, reduced lysosomal proteolysis due to impaired delivery of internalized proteins and hydrolase precursors from late endosomes to lysosomes, and impaired clearance of autolysosomes, combined with reduced neuron viability and neurodegeneration. The phenotypes are rescued by expressing the snapin transgene, but not the DIC-binding-defective Snapin-L99K mutant. Snapin overexpression in wild-type neurons enhances late endocytic transport and lysosomal function, whereas expressing the mutant defective in Snapin-DIC coupling shows a dominant-negative effect. Altogether, our study highlights new mechanistic insights into how Snapin-DIC coordinates retrograde transport and late endosomal-lysosomal trafficking critical for autophagy-lysosomal function, and thus neuronal homeostasis. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Dynamical patterns of calcium signaling in a functional model of neuron-astrocyte networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Postnov, D.E.; Koreshkov, R.N.; Brazhe, N.A.

    2009-01-01

    We propose a functional mathematical model for neuron-astrocyte networks. The model incorporates elements of the tripartite synapse and the spatial branching structure of coupled astrocytes. We consider glutamate-induced calcium signaling as a specific mode of excitability and transmission...... in astrocytic-neuronal networks. We reproduce local and global dynamical patterns observed experimentally....

  19. Sonic hedgehog expressing and responding cells generate neuronal diversity in the medial amygdala

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    Machold Robert P

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mammalian amygdala is composed of two primary functional subdivisions, classified according to whether the major output projection of each nucleus is excitatory or inhibitory. The posterior dorsal and ventral subdivisions of the medial amygdala, which primarily contain inhibitory output neurons, modulate specific aspects of innate socio-sexual and aggressive behaviors. However, the development of the neuronal diversity of this complex and important structure remains to be fully elucidated. Results Using a combination of genetic fate-mapping and loss-of-function analyses, we examined the contribution and function of Sonic hedgehog (Shh-expressing and Shh-responsive (Nkx2-1+ and Gli1+ neurons in the medial amygdala. Specifically, we found that Shh- and Nkx2-1-lineage cells contribute differentially to the dorsal and ventral subdivisions of the postnatal medial amygdala. These Shh- and Nkx2-1-lineage neurons express overlapping and non-overlapping inhibitory neuronal markers, such as Calbindin, FoxP2, nNOS and Somatostatin, revealing diverse fate contributions in discrete medial amygdala nuclear subdivisions. Electrophysiological analysis of the Shh-derived neurons additionally reveals an important functional diversity within this lineage in the medial amygdala. Moreover, inducible Gli1CreER(T2 temporal fate mapping shows that early-generated progenitors that respond to Shh signaling also contribute to medial amygdala neuronal diversity. Lastly, analysis of Nkx2-1 mutant mice demonstrates a genetic requirement for Nkx2-1 in inhibitory neuronal specification in the medial amygdala distinct from the requirement for Nkx2-1 in cerebral cortical development. Conclusions Taken together, these data reveal a differential contribution of Shh-expressing and Shh-responding cells to medial amygdala neuronal diversity as well as the function of Nkx2-1 in the development of this important limbic system structure.

  20. Organization of Functional Long-Range Circuits Controlling the Activity of Serotonergic Neurons in the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus

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    Li Zhou

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Serotonergic neurons play key roles in various biological processes. However, circuit mechanisms underlying tight control of serotonergic neurons remain largely unknown. Here, we systematically investigated the organization of long-range synaptic inputs to serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN of mice with a combination of viral tracing, slice electrophysiological, and optogenetic techniques. We found that DRN serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons receive largely comparable synaptic inputs from six major upstream brain areas. Upon further analysis of the fine functional circuit structures, we found both bilateral and ipsilateral patterns of topographic connectivity in the DRN for the axons from different inputs. Moreover, the upstream brain areas were found to bidirectionally control the activity of DRN serotonergic neurons by recruiting feedforward inhibition or via a push-pull mechanism. Our study provides a framework for further deciphering the functional roles of long-range circuits controlling the activity of serotonergic neurons in the DRN.

  1. A novel dopamine transporter transgenic mouse line for identification and purification of midbrain dopaminergic neurons reveals midbrain heterogeneity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Mia Apuschkin; Stilling, Sara; Rahbek-Clemmensen, Troels

    2015-01-01

    Midbrain dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons are a heterogeneous cell group, composed of functionally distinct cell populations projecting to the basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex and limbic system. Despite their functional significance, the midbrain population of DAergic neurons is sparse, constituting...... of the dopamine transporter (DAT) promoter was characterized. Confocal microscopy analysis of brain sections showed strong eGFP signal reporter in midbrain regions and striatal terminals that co-localized with the DAergic markers DAT and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Thorough quantification of co...

  2. Neonatal rearing conditions distinctly shape locus coeruleus neuronal activity, dendritic arborization, and sensitivity to corticotrophin-releasing factor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinny, Jerome D.; O'Farrell, Eimear; Bingham, Brian C.; Piel, David A.; Valentino, Rita J.; Beck, Sheryl G.

    2010-01-01

    Early life events influence vulnerability to psychiatric illness. This has been modelled in rats and it has been demonstrated that different durations of maternal separation shape adult endocrine and behavioural stress reactivity. One system through which maternal separation may act is the locus coeruleus (LC)–norepinephrine system that regulates emotional arousal. Here we demonstrate that different durations of maternal separation have distinct effects on LC physiology and dendritic morphology. Rat pups were separated from the dam for 15 min/d (HMS-15) or 180 min/d (HMS-180) from post-natal days 2–14. Others were either undisturbed (HMS-0) or were vendor-purchased controls. LC characteristics were compared at age 22–35 d using whole-cell recordings in vitro. Cells were filled with biocytin for morphological analysis. LC neurons of HMS-180 rats were tonically activated compared to HMS-15 and control rats, with firing rates that were 2-fold higher than these groups. Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) application did not further activate LC neurons of HMS-180 rats but increased LC firing rate in HMS-0 and control rats. LC neurons of HMS-15 rats were resistant to excitation by CRF. Maternal separation also affected LC dendritic morphology. LC dendrites of HMS-15 rats exhibited less branching and decreased total dendritic length, an effect that could decrease the probability of contacting limbic afferents that terminate in the pericoerulear region. This effect may provide a structural basis for an attenuated magnitude of emotional arousal. Together, these results demonstrate long-term consequences of early life events on the LC–norepinephrine system that may shape adult behaviour. PMID:19653930

  3. Inhibition of autophagy with bafilomycin and chloroquine decreases mitochondrial quality and bioenergetic function in primary neurons

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    Matthew Redmann

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy is an important cell recycling program responsible for the clearance of damaged or long-lived proteins and organelles. Pharmacological modulators of this pathway have been extensively utilized in a wide range of basic research and pre-clinical studies. Bafilomycin A1 and chloroquine are commonly used compounds that inhibit autophagy by targeting the lysosomes but through distinct mechanisms. Since it is now clear that mitochondrial quality control, particularly in neurons, is dependent on autophagy, it is important to determine whether these compounds modify cellular bioenergetics. To address this, we cultured primary rat cortical neurons from E18 embryos and used the Seahorse XF96 analyzer and a targeted metabolomics approach to measure the effects of bafilomycin A1 and chloroquine on bioenergetics and metabolism. We found that both bafilomycin and chloroquine could significantly increase the autophagosome marker LC3-II and inhibit key parameters of mitochondrial function, and increase mtDNA damage. Furthermore, we observed significant alterations in TCA cycle intermediates, particularly those downstream of citrate synthase and those linked to glutaminolysis. Taken together, these data demonstrate a significant impact of bafilomycin and chloroquine on cellular bioenergetics and metabolism consistent with decreased mitochondrial quality associated with inhibition of autophagy.

  4. Passive immunization with phospho-tau antibodies reduces tau pathology and functional deficits in two distinct mouse tauopathy models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sethu Sankaranarayanan

    Full Text Available In Alzheimer's disease (AD, an extensive accumulation of extracellular amyloid plaques and intraneuronal tau tangles, along with neuronal loss, is evident in distinct brain regions. Staging of tau pathology by postmortem analysis of AD subjects suggests a sequence of initiation and subsequent spread of neurofibrillary tau tangles along defined brain anatomical pathways. Further, the severity of cognitive deficits correlates with the degree and extent of tau pathology. In this study, we demonstrate that phospho-tau (p-tau antibodies, PHF6 and PHF13, can prevent the induction of tau pathology in primary neuron cultures. The impact of passive immunotherapy on the formation and spread of tau pathology, as well as functional deficits, was subsequently evaluated with these antibodies in two distinct transgenic mouse tauopathy models. The rTg4510 transgenic mouse is characterized by inducible over-expression of P301L mutant tau, and exhibits robust age-dependent brain tau pathology. Systemic treatment with PHF6 and PHF13 from 3 to 6 months of age led to a significant decline in brain and CSF p-tau levels. In a second model, injection of preformed tau fibrils (PFFs comprised of recombinant tau protein encompassing the microtubule-repeat domains into the cortex and hippocampus of young P301S mutant tau over-expressing mice (PS19 led to robust tau pathology on the ipsilateral side with evidence of spread to distant sites, including the contralateral hippocampus and bilateral entorhinal cortex 4 weeks post-injection. Systemic treatment with PHF13 led to a significant decline in the spread of tau pathology in this model. The reduction in tau species after p-tau antibody treatment was associated with an improvement in novel-object recognition memory test in both models. These studies provide evidence supporting the use of tau immunotherapy as a potential treatment option for AD and other tauopathies.

  5. Circadian Activators Are Expressed Days before They Initiate Clock Function in Late Pacemaker Neurons from Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tianxin; Mahesh, Guruswamy; Houl, Jerry H; Hardin, Paul E

    2015-06-03

    Circadian pacemaker neurons in the Drosophila brain control daily rhythms in locomotor activity. These pacemaker neurons can be subdivided into early or late groups depending on whether rhythms in period (per) and timeless (tim) expression are initiated at the first instar (L1) larval stage or during metamorphosis, respectively. Because CLOCK-CYCLE (CLK-CYC) heterodimers initiate circadian oscillator function by activating per and tim transcription, a Clk-GFP transgene was used to mark when late pacemaker neurons begin to develop. We were surprised to see that CLK-GFP was already expressed in four of five clusters of late pacemaker neurons during the third instar (L3) larval stage. CLK-GFP is only detected in postmitotic neurons from L3 larvae, suggesting that these four late pacemaker neuron clusters are formed before the L3 larval stage. A GFP-cyc transgene was used to show that CYC, like CLK, is also expressed exclusively in pacemaker neurons from L3 larval brains, demonstrating that CLK-CYC is not sufficient to activate per and tim in late pacemaker neurons at the L3 larval stage. These results suggest that most late pacemaker neurons develop days before novel factors activate circadian oscillator function during metamorphosis. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358662-10$15.00/0.

  6. Two distinct forms of functional lateralization in the human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotts, Stephen J.; Jo, Hang Joon; Wallace, Gregory L.; Saad, Ziad S.; Cox, Robert W.; Martin, Alex

    2013-01-01

    The hemispheric lateralization of certain faculties in the human brain has long been held to be beneficial for functioning. However, quantitative relationships between the degree of lateralization in particular brain regions and the level of functioning have yet to be established. Here we demonstrate that two distinct forms of functional lateralization are present in the left vs. the right cerebral hemisphere, with the left hemisphere showing a preference to interact more exclusively with itself, particularly for cortical regions involved in language and fine motor coordination. In contrast, right-hemisphere cortical regions involved in visuospatial and attentional processing interact in a more integrative fashion with both hemispheres. The degree of lateralization present in these distinct systems selectively predicted behavioral measures of verbal and visuospatial ability, providing direct evidence that lateralization is associated with enhanced cognitive ability. PMID:23959883

  7. 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.

  8. Stimulus-response functions of single avian olfactory bulb neurones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeegan, Dorothy E F; Demmers, Theodorus G M; Wathes, Christopher M; Jones, R Bryan; Gentle, Michael J

    2002-10-25

    This study investigated olfactory processing in a functional context by examining the responses of single avian olfactory bulb neurones to two biologically important gases over relevant concentration ranges. Recordings of extracellular spike activity were made from 80 single units in the left olfactory bulb of 11 anaesthetised, freely breathing adult hens (Gallus domesticus). The units were spontaneously active, exhibiting widely variable firing rates (0.07-47.28 spikes/s) and variable temporal firing patterns. Single units were tested for their response to an ascending concentration series of either ammonia (2.5-100 ppm) or hydrogen sulphide (1-50 ppm), delivered directly to the olfactory epithelium. Stimulation with a calibrated gas delivery system resulted in modification of spontaneous activity causing either inhibition (47% of units) or excitation (53%) of firing. For ammonia, 20 of the 35 units tested exhibited a response, while for hydrogen sulphide, 25 of the 45 units tested were responsive. Approximate response thresholds for ammonia (median threshold 3.75 ppm (range 2.5-60 ppm, n=20)) and hydrogen sulphide (median threshold 1 ppm (range 1-10 ppm, n=25)) were determined with most units exhibiting thresholds near the lower end of these ranges. Stimulus response curves were constructed for 23 units; 16 (the most complete) were subjected to a linear regression analysis to determine whether they were best fitted by a linear, log or power function. No single function provided the best fit for all the curves (seven were linear, eight were log, one was power). These findings show that avian units respond to changes in stimulus concentration in a manner generally consistent with reported responses in mammalian olfactory bulb neurones. However, this study illustrates a level of fine-tuning to small step changes in concentration (<5 ppm) not previously demonstrated in vertebrate single olfactory bulb neurones.

  9. Toxic gain of function from mutant FUS protein is crucial to trigger cell autonomous motor neuron loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scekic-Zahirovic, Jelena; Sendscheid, Oliver; El Oussini, Hajer; Jambeau, Mélanie; Sun, Ying; Mersmann, Sina; Wagner, Marina; Dieterlé, Stéphane; Sinniger, Jérome; Dirrig-Grosch, Sylvie; Drenner, Kevin; Birling, Marie-Christine; Qiu, Jinsong; Zhou, Yu; Li, Hairi; Fu, Xiang-Dong; Rouaux, Caroline; Shelkovnikova, Tatyana; Witting, Anke; Ludolph, Albert C; Kiefer, Friedemann; Storkebaum, Erik; Lagier-Tourenne, Clotilde; Dupuis, Luc

    2016-05-17

    FUS is an RNA-binding protein involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Cytoplasmic FUS-containing aggregates are often associated with concomitant loss of nuclear FUS Whether loss of nuclear FUS function, gain of a cytoplasmic function, or a combination of both lead to neurodegeneration remains elusive. To address this question, we generated knockin mice expressing mislocalized cytoplasmic FUS and complete FUS knockout mice. Both mouse models display similar perinatal lethality with respiratory insufficiency, reduced body weight and length, and largely similar alterations in gene expression and mRNA splicing patterns, indicating that mislocalized FUS results in loss of its normal function. However, FUS knockin mice, but not FUS knockout mice, display reduced motor neuron numbers at birth, associated with enhanced motor neuron apoptosis, which can be rescued by cell-specific CRE-mediated expression of wild-type FUS within motor neurons. Together, our findings indicate that cytoplasmic FUS mislocalization not only leads to nuclear loss of function, but also triggers motor neuron death through a toxic gain of function within motor neurons. © 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

  10. From migration to settlement: the pathways, migration modes and dynamics of neurons in the developing brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    HATANAKA, Yumiko; ZHU, Yan; TORIGOE, Makio; KITA, Yoshiaki; MURAKAMI, Fujio

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal migration is crucial for the construction of the nervous system. To reach their correct destination, migrating neurons choose pathways using physical substrates and chemical cues of either diffusible or non-diffusible nature. Migrating neurons extend a leading and a trailing process. The leading process, which extends in the direction of migration, determines navigation, in particular when a neuron changes its direction of migration. While most neurons simply migrate radially, certain neurons switch their mode of migration between radial and tangential, with the latter allowing migration to destinations far from the neurons’ site of generation. Consequently, neurons with distinct origins are intermingled, which results in intricate neuronal architectures and connectivities and provides an important basis for higher brain function. The trailing process, in contrast, contributes to the late stage of development by turning into the axon, thus contributing to the formation of neuronal circuits. PMID:26755396

  11. Distinctive Correspondence Between Separable Visual Attention Functions and Intrinsic Brain Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin

    2018-01-01

    Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention

  12. Distinctive Correspondence Between Separable Visual Attention Functions and Intrinsic Brain Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L.; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J.; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin

    2018-01-01

    Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention

  13. Distinctive Correspondence Between Separable Visual Attention Functions and Intrinsic Brain Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana L. Ruiz-Rizzo

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality. However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI. Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable

  14. Neuronal Activation After Prolonged Immobilization: Do the Same or Different Neurons Respond to a Novel Stressor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marín-Blasco, Ignacio; Muñoz-Abellán, Cristina; Andero, Raül; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2018-04-01

    Despite extensive research on the impact of emotional stressors on brain function using immediate-early genes (e.g., c-fos), there are still important questions that remain unanswered such as the reason for the progressive decline of c-fos expression in response to prolonged stress and the neuronal populations activated by different stressors. This study tackles these 2 questions by evaluating c-fos expression in response to 2 different emotional stressors applied sequentially, and performing a fluorescent double labeling of c-Fos protein and c-fos mRNA on stress-related brain areas. Results were complemented with the assessment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation. We showed that the progressive decline of c-fos expression could be related to 2 differing mechanisms involving either transcriptional repression or changes in stimulatory inputs. Moreover, the neuronal populations that respond to the different stressors appear to be predominantly separated in high-level processing areas (e.g., medial prefrontal cortex). However, in low-hierarchy areas (e.g., paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) neuronal populations appear to respond unspecifically. The data suggest that the distinct physiological and behavioral consequences of emotional stressors, and their implication in the development of psychopathologies, are likely to be closely associated with neuronal populations specifically activated by each stressor.

  15. Studies on functional roles of the histaminergic neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice and positron emission tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watanabe, Takehiko; Yanai, Kazuhiko

    2001-01-01

    Since one of us, Takehiko Watanabe (TW), elucidated the location and distribution of the histaminergic neuron system in the brain with antibody raised against L-histidine decarboxylase (a histamine-forming enzyme, HDC) as a marker in 1984 and came to Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai, we have been collaborating on the functions of this neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice of the histamine-related genes, and, in some cases, positron emission tomography (PET). Many of our graduate students and colleagues have been actively involved in histamine research since 1985. Our extensive studies have clarified some of the functions of histamine neurons using methods from molecular techniques to non-invasive human PET imaging. Histamine neurons are involved in many brain functions, such as spontaneous locomotion, arousal in wake-sleep cycle, appetite control, seizures, learning and memory, aggressive behavior and emotion. Particularly, the histaminergic neuron system is one of the most important neuron systems to maintain and stimulate wakefulness. Histamine also functions as a biprotection system against various noxious and unfavorable stimuli (for examples, convulsion, nociception, drug sensitization, ischemic lesions, and stress). Although activators of histamine neurons have not been clinically available until now, we would like to point out that the activation of the histaminergic neuron system is important to maintain mental health. Here, we summarize the newly-discovered functions of histamine neurons mainly on the basis of results from our research groups. (author)

  16. Studies on functional roles of the histaminergic neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice and positron emission tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watanabe, Takehiko; Yanai, Kazuhiko [Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). Graduate School of Medicine

    2001-12-01

    Since one of us, Takehiko Watanabe (TW), elucidated the location and distribution of the histaminergic neuron system in the brain with antibody raised against L-histidine decarboxylase (a histamine-forming enzyme, HDC) as a marker in 1984 and came to Tohoku University School of Medicine in Sendai, we have been collaborating on the functions of this neuron system by using pharmacological agents, knockout mice of the histamine-related genes, and, in some cases, positron emission tomography (PET). Many of our graduate students and colleagues have been actively involved in histamine research since 1985. Our extensive studies have clarified some of the functions of histamine neurons using methods from molecular techniques to non-invasive human PET imaging. Histamine neurons are involved in many brain functions, such as spontaneous locomotion, arousal in wake-sleep cycle, appetite control, seizures, learning and memory, aggressive behavior and emotion. Particularly, the histaminergic neuron system is one of the most important neuron systems to maintain and stimulate wakefulness. Histamine also functions as a biprotection system against various noxious and unfavorable stimuli (for examples, convulsion, nociception, drug sensitization, ischemic lesions, and stress). Although activators of histamine neurons have not been clinically available until now, we would like to point out that the activation of the histaminergic neuron system is important to maintain mental health. Here, we summarize the newly-discovered functions of histamine neurons mainly on the basis of results from our research groups. (author)

  17. Characterization of Different Types of Excitability in Large Somatosensory Neurons and Its Plastic Changes in Pathological Pain States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Rou-Gang; Chu, Wen-Guang; Hu, San-Jue; Luo, Ceng

    2018-01-01

    Sensory neuron types have been distinguished by distinct morphological and transcriptional characteristics. Excitability is the most fundamental functional feature of neurons. Mathematical models described by Hodgkin have revealed three types of neuronal excitability based on the relationship between firing frequency and applied current intensity. However, whether natural sensory neurons display different functional characteristics in terms of excitability and whether this excitability type undergoes plastic changes under pathological pain states have remained elusive. Here, by utilizing whole-cell patch clamp recordings, behavioral and pharmacological assays, we demonstrated that large dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons can be classified into three classes and four subclasses based on their excitability patterns, which is similar to mathematical models raised by Hodgkin. Analysis of hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih) revealed different magnitude of Ih in different excitability types of large DRG neurons, with higher Ih in Class 2-1 than that in Class 1, 2-2 and 3. This indicates a crucial role of Ih in the determination of excitability type of large DRG neurons. More importantly, this pattern of excitability displays plastic changes and transition under pathological pain states caused by peripheral nerve injury. This study sheds new light on the functional characteristics of large DRG neurons and extends functional classification of large DRG neurons by integration of transcriptomic and morphological characteristics. PMID:29303989

  18. Characterization of Different Types of Excitability in Large Somatosensory Neurons and Its Plastic Changes in Pathological Pain States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rou-Gang Xie

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensory neuron types have been distinguished by distinct morphological and transcriptional characteristics. Excitability is the most fundamental functional feature of neurons. Mathematical models described by Hodgkin have revealed three types of neuronal excitability based on the relationship between firing frequency and applied current intensity. However, whether natural sensory neurons display different functional characteristics in terms of excitability and whether this excitability type undergoes plastic changes under pathological pain states have remained elusive. Here, by utilizing whole-cell patch clamp recordings, behavioral and pharmacological assays, we demonstrated that large dorsal root ganglion (DRG neurons can be classified into three classes and four subclasses based on their excitability patterns, which is similar to mathematical models raised by Hodgkin. Analysis of hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih revealed different magnitude of Ih in different excitability types of large DRG neurons, with higher Ih in Class 2-1 than that in Class 1, 2-2 and 3. This indicates a crucial role of Ih in the determination of excitability type of large DRG neurons. More importantly, this pattern of excitability displays plastic changes and transition under pathological pain states caused by peripheral nerve injury. This study sheds new light on the functional characteristics of large DRG neurons and extends functional classification of large DRG neurons by integration of transcriptomic and morphological characteristics.

  19. Single-cell Transcriptional Analysis Reveals Novel Neuronal Phenotypes and Interaction Networks involved In the Central Circadian Clock

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Park

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Single-cell heterogeneity confounds efforts to understand how a population of cells organizes into cellular networks that underlie tissue-level function. This complexity is prominent in the mammalian suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN. Here, individual neurons exhibit a remarkable amount of asynchronous behavior and transcriptional heterogeneity. However, SCN neurons are able to generate precisely coordinated synaptic and molecular outputs that synchronize the body to a common circadian cycle by organizing into cellular networks. To understand this emergent cellular network property, it is important to reconcile single-neuron heterogeneity with network organization. In light of recent studies suggesting that transcriptionally heterogeneous cells organize into distinct cellular phenotypes, we characterized the transcriptional, spatial, and functional organization of 352 SCN neurons from mice experiencing phase-shifts in their circadian cycle. Using the community structure detection method and multivariate analytical techniques, we identified previously undescribed neuronal phenotypes that are likely to participate in regulatory networks with known SCN cell types. Based on the newly discovered neuronal phenotypes, we developed a data-driven neuronal network structure in which multiple cell types interact through known synaptic and paracrine signaling mechanisms. These results provide a basis from which to interpret the functional variability of SCN neurons and describe methodologies towards understanding how a population of heterogeneous single cells organizes into cellular networks that underlie tissue-level function.

  20. Leptin and insulin engage specific PI3K subunits in hypothalamic SF1 neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jong-Woo Sohn

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH regulates energy balance and glucose homeostasis. Leptin and insulin exert metabolic effects via their cognate receptors expressed by the steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1 neurons within the VMH. However, detailed cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of these neurons by leptin and insulin remain to be identified. Methods: We utilized genetically-modified mouse models and performed patch-clamp electrophysiology experiments to resolve this issue. Results: We identified distinct populations of leptin-activated and leptin-inhibited SF1 neurons. In contrast, insulin uniformly inhibited SF1 neurons. Notably, we found that leptin-activated, leptin-inhibited, and insulin-inhibited SF1 neurons are distinct subpopulations within the VMH. Leptin depolarization of SF1 neuron also required the PI3K p110β catalytic subunit. This effect was mediated by the putative transient receptor potential C (TRPC channel. On the other hand, hyperpolarizing responses of SF1 neurons by leptin and insulin required either of the p110α or p110β catalytic subunits, and were mediated by the putative ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP channel. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that specific PI3K catalytic subunits are responsible for the acute effects of leptin and insulin on VMH SF1 neurons, and provide insights into the cellular mechanisms of leptin and insulin action on VMH SF1 neurons that regulate energy balance and glucose homeostasis. Author Video: Author Video Watch what authors say about their articles Keywords: Cellular mechanism, Conditional knockout mouse, Patch clamp technique, Functional heterogeneity, Homeostasis

  1. TRPA1 is functionally expressed primarily by IB4-binding, non-peptidergic mouse and rat sensory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie E Barabas

    Full Text Available Subpopulations of somatosensory neurons are characterized by functional properties and expression of receptor proteins and surface markers. CGRP expression and IB4-binding are commonly used to define peptidergic and non-peptidergic subpopulations. TRPA1 is a polymodal, plasma membrane ion channel that contributes to mechanical and cold hypersensitivity during tissue injury, making it a key target for pain therapeutics. Some studies have shown that TRPA1 is predominantly expressed by peptidergic sensory neurons, but others indicate that TRPA1 is expressed extensively within non-peptidergic, IB4-binding neurons. We used FURA-2 calcium imaging to define the functional distribution of TRPA1 among peptidergic and non-peptidergic adult mouse (C57BL/6J DRG neurons. Approximately 80% of all small-diameter (<27 µm neurons from lumbar 1-6 DRGs that responded to TRPA1 agonists allyl isothiocyanate (AITC; 79% or cinnamaldehyde (84% were IB4-positive. Retrograde labeling via plantar hind paw injection of WGA-Alexafluor594 showed similarly that most (81% cutaneous neurons responding to TRPA1 agonists were IB4-positive. Additionally, we cultured DRG neurons from a novel CGRP-GFP mouse where GFP expression is driven by the CGRPα promoter, enabling identification of CGRP-expressing live neurons. Interestingly, 78% of TRPA1-responsive neurons were CGRP-negative. Co-labeling with IB4 revealed that the majority (66% of TRPA1 agonist responders were IB4-positive but CGRP-negative. Among TRPA1-null DRGs, few small neurons (2-4% responded to either TRPA1 agonist, indicating that both cinnamaldehyde and AITC specifically target TRPA1. Additionally, few large neurons (≥27 µm diameter responded to AITC (6% or cinnamaldehyde (4%, confirming that most large-diameter somata lack functional TRPA1. Comparison of mouse and rat DRGs showed that the majority of TRPA1-responsive neurons in both species were IB4-positive. Together, these data demonstrate that TRPA1 is

  2. TRPA1 Is Functionally Expressed Primarily by IB4-Binding, Non-Peptidergic Mouse and Rat Sensory Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stucky, Cheryl L.

    2012-01-01

    Subpopulations of somatosensory neurons are characterized by functional properties and expression of receptor proteins and surface markers. CGRP expression and IB4-binding are commonly used to define peptidergic and non-peptidergic subpopulations. TRPA1 is a polymodal, plasma membrane ion channel that contributes to mechanical and cold hypersensitivity during tissue injury, making it a key target for pain therapeutics. Some studies have shown that TRPA1 is predominantly expressed by peptidergic sensory neurons, but others indicate that TRPA1 is expressed extensively within non-peptidergic, IB4-binding neurons. We used FURA-2 calcium imaging to define the functional distribution of TRPA1 among peptidergic and non-peptidergic adult mouse (C57BL/6J) DRG neurons. Approximately 80% of all small-diameter (neurons from lumbar 1–6 DRGs that responded to TRPA1 agonists allyl isothiocyanate (AITC; 79%) or cinnamaldehyde (84%) were IB4-positive. Retrograde labeling via plantar hind paw injection of WGA-Alexafluor594 showed similarly that most (81%) cutaneous neurons responding to TRPA1 agonists were IB4-positive. Additionally, we cultured DRG neurons from a novel CGRP-GFP mouse where GFP expression is driven by the CGRPα promoter, enabling identification of CGRP-expressing live neurons. Interestingly, 78% of TRPA1-responsive neurons were CGRP-negative. Co-labeling with IB4 revealed that the majority (66%) of TRPA1 agonist responders were IB4-positive but CGRP-negative. Among TRPA1-null DRGs, few small neurons (2–4%) responded to either TRPA1 agonist, indicating that both cinnamaldehyde and AITC specifically target TRPA1. Additionally, few large neurons (≥27 µm diameter) responded to AITC (6%) or cinnamaldehyde (4%), confirming that most large-diameter somata lack functional TRPA1. Comparison of mouse and rat DRGs showed that the majority of TRPA1-responsive neurons in both species were IB4-positive. Together, these data demonstrate that TRPA1 is functionally expressed

  3. Distinct populations of neurons respond to emotional valence and arousal in the human subthalamic nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieger, Tomáš; Serranová, Tereza; Růžička, Filip; Vostatek, Pavel; Wild, Jiří; Štastná, Daniela; Bonnet, Cecilia; Novák, Daniel; Růžička, Evžen; Urgošík, Dušan; Jech, Robert

    2015-03-10

    Both animal studies and studies using deep brain stimulation in humans have demonstrated the involvement of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in motivational and emotional processes; however, participation of this nucleus in processing human emotion has not been investigated directly at the single-neuron level. We analyzed the relationship between the neuronal firing from intraoperative microrecordings from the STN during affective picture presentation in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and the affective ratings of emotional valence and arousal performed subsequently. We observed that 17% of neurons responded to emotional valence and arousal of visual stimuli according to individual ratings. The activity of some neurons was related to emotional valence, whereas different neurons responded to arousal. In addition, 14% of neurons responded to visual stimuli. Our results suggest the existence of neurons involved in processing or transmission of visual and emotional information in the human STN, and provide evidence of separate processing of the affective dimensions of valence and arousal at the level of single neurons as well.

  4. Microglia Dictate the Impact of Saturated Fat Consumption on Hypothalamic Inflammation and Neuronal Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Valdearcos

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Diets rich in saturated fat produce inflammation, gliosis, and neuronal stress in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH. Here, we show that microglia mediate this process and its functional impact. Although microglia and astrocytes accumulate in the MBH of mice fed a diet rich in saturated fatty acids (SFAs, only the microglia undergo inflammatory activation, along with a buildup of hypothalamic SFAs. Enteric gavage specifically with SFAs reproduces microglial activation and neuronal stress in the MBH, and SFA treatment activates murine microglia, but not astrocytes, in culture. Moreover, depleting microglia abrogates SFA-induced inflammation in hypothalamic slices. Remarkably, depleting microglia from the MBH of mice abolishes inflammation and neuronal stress induced by excess SFA consumption, and in this context, microglial depletion enhances leptin signaling and reduces food intake. We thus show that microglia sense SFAs and orchestrate an inflammatory process in the MBH that alters neuronal function when SFA consumption is high.

  5. Activity of Tachykinin1-Expressing Pet1 Raphe Neurons Modulates the Respiratory Chemoreflex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennessy, Morgan L; Corcoran, Andrea E; Brust, Rachael D; Chang, YoonJeung; Nattie, Eugene E; Dymecki, Susan M

    2017-02-15

    Homeostatic control of breathing, heart rate, and body temperature relies on circuits within the brainstem modulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT). Mounting evidence points to specialized neuronal subtypes within the serotonergic neuronal system, borne out in functional studies, for the modulation of distinct facets of homeostasis. Such functional differences, read out at the organismal level, are likely subserved by differences among 5-HT neuron subtypes at the cellular and molecular levels, including differences in the capacity to coexpress other neurotransmitters such as glutamate, GABA, thyrotropin releasing hormone, and substance P encoded by the Tachykinin-1 ( Tac1 ) gene. Here, we characterize in mice a 5-HT neuron subtype identified by expression of Tac1 and the serotonergic transcription factor gene Pet1 , referred to as the Tac1-Pet1 neuron subtype. Transgenic cell labeling showed Tac1-Pet1 soma resident largely in the caudal medulla. Chemogenetic [clozapine -N- oxide (CNO)-hM4Di] perturbation of Tac1-Pet1 neuron activity blunted the ventilatory response of the respiratory CO 2 chemoreflex, which normally augments ventilation in response to hypercapnic acidosis to restore normal pH and PCO 2 Tac1-Pet1 axonal boutons were found localized to brainstem areas implicated in respiratory modulation, with highest density in motor regions. These findings demonstrate that the activity of a Pet1 neuron subtype with the potential to release both 5-HT and substance P is necessary for normal respiratory dynamics, perhaps via motor outputs that engage muscles of respiration and maintain airway patency. These Tac1-Pet1 neurons may act downstream of Egr2-Pet1 serotonergic neurons, which were previously established in respiratory chemoreception, but do not innervate respiratory motor nuclei. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Serotonin (5-HT) neurons modulate physiological processes and behaviors as diverse as body temperature, respiration, aggression, and mood. Using

  6. Metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation from aerobic glycolysis to neuronal oxidative phosphorylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xinde; Boyer, Leah; Jin, Mingji; Mertens, Jerome; Kim, Yongsung; Ma, Li; Ma, Li; Hamm, Michael; Gage, Fred H; Hunter, Tony

    2016-06-10

    How metabolism is reprogrammed during neuronal differentiation is unknown. We found that the loss of hexokinase (HK2) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDHA) expression, together with a switch in pyruvate kinase gene splicing from PKM2 to PKM1, marks the transition from aerobic glycolysis in neural progenitor cells (NPC) to neuronal oxidative phosphorylation. The protein levels of c-MYC and N-MYC, transcriptional activators of the HK2 and LDHA genes, decrease dramatically. Constitutive expression of HK2 and LDHA during differentiation leads to neuronal cell death, indicating that the shut-off aerobic glycolysis is essential for neuronal survival. The metabolic regulators PGC-1α and ERRγ increase significantly upon neuronal differentiation to sustain the transcription of metabolic and mitochondrial genes, whose levels are unchanged compared to NPCs, revealing distinct transcriptional regulation of metabolic genes in the proliferation and post-mitotic differentiation states. Mitochondrial mass increases proportionally with neuronal mass growth, indicating an unknown mechanism linking mitochondrial biogenesis to cell size.

  7. Intrinsically active and pacemaker neurons in pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illes, Sebastian; Jakab, Martin; Beyer, Felix; Gelfert, Renate; Couillard-Despres, Sébastien; Schnitzler, Alfons; Ritter, Markus; Aigner, Ludwig

    2014-03-11

    Neurons generated from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) self-organize into functional neuronal assemblies in vitro, generating synchronous network activities. Intriguingly, PSC-derived neuronal assemblies develop spontaneous activities that are independent of external stimulation, suggesting the presence of thus far undetected intrinsically active neurons (IANs). Here, by using mouse embryonic stem cells, we provide evidence for the existence of IANs in PSC-neuronal networks based on extracellular multielectrode array and intracellular patch-clamp recordings. IANs remain active after pharmacological inhibition of fast synaptic communication and possess intrinsic mechanisms required for autonomous neuronal activity. PSC-derived IANs are functionally integrated in PSC-neuronal populations, contribute to synchronous network bursting, and exhibit pacemaker properties. The intrinsic activity and pacemaker properties of the neuronal subpopulation identified herein may be particularly relevant for interventions involving transplantation of neural tissues. IANs may be a key element in the regulation of the functional activity of grafted as well as preexisting host neuronal networks.

  8. Organization of Functional Long-Range Circuits Controlling the Activity of Serotonergic Neurons in the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Li; Liu, Ming-Zhe; Li, Qing; Deng, Juan; Mu, Di; Sun, Yan-Gang

    2017-03-21

    Serotonergic neurons play key roles in various biological processes. However, circuit mechanisms underlying tight control of serotonergic neurons remain largely unknown. Here, we systematically investigated the organization of long-range synaptic inputs to serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) of mice with a combination of viral tracing, slice electrophysiological, and optogenetic techniques. We found that DRN serotonergic neurons and GABAergic neurons receive largely comparable synaptic inputs from six major upstream brain areas. Upon further analysis of the fine functional circuit structures, we found both bilateral and ipsilateral patterns of topographic connectivity in the DRN for the axons from different inputs. Moreover, the upstream brain areas were found to bidirectionally control the activity of DRN serotonergic neurons by recruiting feedforward inhibition or via a push-pull mechanism. Our study provides a framework for further deciphering the functional roles of long-range circuits controlling the activity of serotonergic neurons in the DRN. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Spatiotemporal intracellular dynamics of neurotrophin and its receptors. Implications for neurotrophin signaling and neuronal function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronfman, F C; Lazo, O M; Flores, C; Escudero, C A

    2014-01-01

    Neurons possess a polarized morphology specialized to contribute to neuronal networks, and this morphology imposes an important challenge for neuronal signaling and communication. The physiology of the network is regulated by neurotrophic factors that are secreted in an activity-dependent manner modulating neuronal connectivity. Neurotrophins are a well-known family of neurotrophic factors that, together with their cognate receptors, the Trks and the p75 neurotrophin receptor, regulate neuronal plasticity and survival and determine the neuronal phenotype in healthy and regenerating neurons. Is it now becoming clear that neurotrophin signaling and vesicular transport are coordinated to modify neuronal function because disturbances of vesicular transport mechanisms lead to disturbed neurotrophin signaling and to diseases of the nervous system. This chapter summarizes our current understanding of how the regulated secretion of neurotrophin, the distribution of neurotrophin receptors in different locations of neurons, and the intracellular transport of neurotrophin-induced signaling in distal processes are achieved to allow coordinated neurotrophin signaling in the cell body and axons.

  11. Sensory Neuron Fates Are Distinguished by a Transcriptional Switch that Regulates Dendrite Branch Stabilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Cody J.; O’Brien, Timothy; Chatzigeorgiou, Marios; Spencer, W. Clay; Feingold-Link, Elana; Husson, Steven J.; Hori, Sayaka; Mitani, Shohei; Gottschalk, Alexander; Schafer, William R.; Miller, David M.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Sensory neurons adopt distinct morphologies and functional modalities to mediate responses to specific stimuli. Transcription factors and their downstream effectors orchestrate this outcome but are incompletely defined. Here, we show that different classes of mechanosensory neurons in C. elegans are distinguished by the combined action of the transcription factors MEC-3, AHR-1, and ZAG-1. Low levels of MEC-3 specify the elaborate branching pattern of PVD nociceptors, whereas high MEC-3 is correlated with the simple morphology of AVM and PVM touch neurons. AHR-1 specifies AVM touch neuron fate by elevating MEC-3 while simultaneously blocking expression of nociceptive genes such as the MEC-3 target, the claudin-like membrane protein HPO-30, that promotes the complex dendritic branching pattern of PVD. ZAG-1 exercises a parallel role to prevent PVM from adopting the PVD fate. The conserved dendritic branching function of the Drosophila AHR-1 homolog, Spineless, argues for similar pathways in mammals. PMID:23889932

  12. New Pharmacotherapy Targeting Cognitive Dysfunction of Schizophrenia via Modulation of GABA Neuronal Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uehara, Takashi; Sumiyoshi, Tomiki; Kurachi, Masayoshi

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is considered a neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder. Cognitive impairment is a core symptom in patients with the illness, and has been suggested a major predictor of functional outcomes. Reduction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons has been associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, in view of the link between the abnormality of GABA neurons and cognitive impairments of the disease. It is assumed that an imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory (E-I) activity induced by low activity of glutamatergic projections and PV-positive GABA interneurons in the prefrontal cortex resulted in sustained neural firing and gamma oscillation, leading to impaired cognitive function. Therefore, it is important to develop novel pharmacotherapy targeting GABA neurons and their activities. Clinical evidence suggests serotonin (5-HT) 1A receptor agonist improves cognitive disturbances of schizophrenia, consistent with results from preclinical studies, through mechanism that corrects E-I imbalance via the suppression of GABA neural function. On the other hand, T-817MA, a novel neurotrophic agent, ameliorated loss of PV-positive GABA neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex and reduction of gamma-band activity, as well as cognitive dysfunction in animal model of schizophrenia. In conclusion, a pharmacotherapy to alleviate abnormalities in GABA neurons through 5-HT1A agonists and T-817MA is expected to prevent the onset and/or progression of schizophrenia.

  13. Identifying specific prefrontal neurons that contribute to autism-associated abnormalities in physiology and social behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brumback, A C; Ellwood, I T; Kjaerby, C

    2017-01-01

    Functional imaging and gene expression studies both implicate the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), particularly deep-layer projection neurons, as a potential locus for autism pathology. Here, we explored how specific deep-layer prefrontal neurons contribute to abnormal physiology and behavior...... in mouse models of autism. First, we find that across three etiologically distinct models-in utero valproic acid (VPA) exposure, CNTNAP2 knockout and FMR1 knockout-layer 5 subcortically projecting (SC) neurons consistently exhibit reduced input resistance and action potential firing. To explore how altered...... SC neuron physiology might impact behavior, we took advantage of the fact that in deep layers of the mPFC, dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) are mainly expressed by SC neurons, and used D2-Cre mice to label D2R+ neurons for calcium imaging or optogenetics. We found that social exploration preferentially...

  14. Endogenous opioids regulate moment-to-moment neuronal communication and excitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winters, Bryony L.; Gregoriou, Gabrielle C.; Kissiwaa, Sarah A.; Wells, Oliver A.; Medagoda, Danashi I.; Hermes, Sam M.; Burford, Neil T.; Alt, Andrew; Aicher, Sue A.; Bagley, Elena E.

    2017-01-01

    Fear and emotional learning are modulated by endogenous opioids but the cellular basis for this is unknown. The intercalated cells (ITCs) gate amygdala output and thus regulate the fear response. Here we find endogenous opioids are released by synaptic stimulation to act via two distinct mechanisms within the main ITC cluster. Endogenously released opioids inhibit glutamate release through the δ-opioid receptor (DOR), an effect potentiated by a DOR-positive allosteric modulator. Postsynaptically, the opioids activate a potassium conductance through the μ-opioid receptor (MOR), suggesting for the first time that endogenously released opioids directly regulate neuronal excitability. Ultrastructural localization of endogenous ligands support these functional findings. This study demonstrates a new role for endogenously released opioids as neuromodulators engaged by synaptic activity to regulate moment-to-moment neuronal communication and excitability. These distinct actions through MOR and DOR may underlie the opposing effect of these receptor systems on anxiety and fear. PMID:28327612

  15. Β-amyloid 1-42 oligomers impair function of human embryonic stem cell-derived forebrain cholinergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linn Wicklund

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD patients is associated with a decline in the levels of growth factors, impairment of axonal transport and marked degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs. Neurogenesis persists in the adult human brain, and the stimulation of regenerative processes in the CNS is an attractive prospect for neuroreplacement therapy in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. Currently, it is still not clear how the pathophysiological environment in the AD brain affects stem cell biology. Previous studies investigating the effects of the β-amyloid (Aβ peptide on neurogenesis have been inconclusive, since both neurogenic and neurotoxic effects on progenitor cell populations have been reported. In this study, we treated pluripotent human embryonic stem (hES cells with nerve growth factor (NGF as well as with fibrillar and oligomeric Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 (nM-µM concentrations and thereafter studied the differentiation in vitro during 28-35 days. The process applied real time quantitative PCR, immunocytochemistry as well as functional studies of intracellular calcium signaling. Treatment with NGF promoted the differentiation into functionally mature BFCNs. In comparison to untreated cells, oligomeric Aβ1-40 increased the number of functional neurons, whereas oligomeric Aβ1-42 suppressed the number of functional neurons. Interestingly, oligomeric Aβ exposure did not influence the number of hES cell-derived neurons compared with untreated cells, while in contrast fibrillar Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 induced gliogenesis. These findings indicate that Aβ1-42 oligomers may impair the function of stem cell-derived neurons. We propose that it may be possible for future AD therapies to promote the maturation of functional stem cell-derived neurons by altering the brain microenvironment with trophic support and by targeting different aggregation forms of Aβ.

  16. Reliable activation of immature neurons in the adult hippocampus.

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    Lucas A Mongiat

    Full Text Available Neurons born in the adult dentate gyrus develop, mature, and connect over a long interval that can last from six to eight weeks. It has been proposed that, during this period, developing neurons play a relevant role in hippocampal signal processing owing to their distinctive electrical properties. However, it has remained unknown whether immature neurons can be recruited into a network before synaptic and functional maturity have been achieved. To address this question, we used retroviral expression of green fluorescent protein to identify developing granule cells of the adult mouse hippocampus and investigate the balance of afferent excitation, intrinsic excitability, and firing behavior by patch clamp recordings in acute slices. We found that glutamatergic inputs onto young neurons are significantly weaker than those of mature cells, yet stimulation of cortical excitatory axons elicits a similar spiking probability in neurons at either developmental stage. Young neurons are highly efficient in transducing ionic currents into membrane depolarization due to their high input resistance, which decreases substantially in mature neurons as the inward rectifier potassium (Kir conductance increases. Pharmacological blockade of Kir channels in mature neurons mimics the high excitability characteristic of young neurons. Conversely, Kir overexpression induces mature-like firing properties in young neurons. Therefore, the differences in excitatory drive of young and mature neurons are compensated by changes in membrane excitability that render an equalized firing activity. These observations demonstrate that the adult hippocampus continuously generates a population of highly excitable young neurons capable of information processing.

  17. PINK1 is necessary for long term survival and mitochondrial function in human dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Wood-Kaczmar

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is a common age-related neurodegenerative disease and it is critical to develop models which recapitulate the pathogenic process including the effect of the ageing process. Although the pathogenesis of sporadic PD is unknown, the identification of the mendelian genetic factor PINK1 has provided new mechanistic insights. In order to investigate the role of PINK1 in Parkinson's disease, we studied PINK1 loss of function in human and primary mouse neurons. Using RNAi, we created stable PINK1 knockdown in human dopaminergic neurons differentiated from foetal ventral mesencephalon stem cells, as well as in an immortalised human neuroblastoma cell line. We sought to validate our findings in primary neurons derived from a transgenic PINK1 knockout mouse. For the first time we demonstrate an age dependent neurodegenerative phenotype in human and mouse neurons. PINK1 deficiency leads to reduced long-term viability in human neurons, which die via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Human neurons lacking PINK1 demonstrate features of marked oxidative stress with widespread mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial morphology. We report that PINK1 plays a neuroprotective role in the mitochondria of mammalian neurons, especially against stress such as staurosporine. In addition we provide evidence that cellular compensatory mechanisms such as mitochondrial biogenesis and upregulation of lysosomal degradation pathways occur in PINK1 deficiency. The phenotypic effects of PINK1 loss-of-function described here in mammalian neurons provides mechanistic insight into the age-related degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons seen in PD.

  18. Feline bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) show similar phenotype and functions with regards to neuronal differentiation as human MSCs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz, Jessian L; Greco, Steven J; Patel, Shyam A; Sherman, Lauren S; Bhatt, Suresh; Bhatt, Rekha S; Shrensel, Jeffrey A; Guan, Yan-Zhong; Xie, Guiqin; Ye, Jiang-Hong; Rameshwar, Pranela; Siegel, Allan

    2012-09-01

    Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) show promise for treatment of a variety of neurological and other disorders. Cat has a high degree of linkage with the human genome and has been used as a model for analysis of neurological disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease and motor disorders. The present study was designed to characterize bone marrow-derived MSCs from cats and to investigate the capacity to generate functional peptidergic neurons. MSCs were expanded with cells from the femurs of cats and then characterized by phenotype and function. Phenotypically, feline and human MSCs shared surface markers, and lacked hematopoietic markers, with similar morphology. As compared to a subset of human MSCs, feline MSCs showed no evidence of the major histocompatibility class II. Since the literature suggested Stro-1 as an indicator of pluripotency, we compared early and late passages feline MSCs and found its expression in >90% of the cells. However, the early passage cells showed two distinct populations of Stro-1-expressing cells. At passage 5, the MSCs were more homogeneous with regards to Stro-1 expression. The passage 5 MSCs differentiated to osteogenic and adipogenic cells, and generated neurons with electrophysiological properties. This correlated with the expression of mature neuronal markers with concomitant decrease in stem cell-associated genes. At day 12 induction, the cells were positive for MAP2, Neuronal Nuclei, tubulin βIII, Tau and synaptophysin. This correlated with electrophysiological maturity as presented by excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs). The findings indicate that the cat may constitute a promising biomedical model for evaluation of novel therapies such as stem cell therapy in such neurological disorders as Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Copyright © 2012 International Society of Differentiation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. New approach to equipment quality evaluation method with distinct functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milisavljević Vladimir M.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents new approach for improving method for quality evaluation and selection of equipment (devices and machinery by applying distinct functions. Quality evaluation and selection of devices and machinery is a multi-criteria problem which involves the consideration of numerous parameters of various origins. Original selection method with distinct functions is based on technical parameters with arbitrary evaluation of each parameter importance (weighting. Improvement of this method, presented in this paper, addresses the issue of weighting of parameters by using Delphi Method. Finally, two case studies are provided, which included quality evaluation of standard boilers for heating and evaluation of load-haul-dump (LHD machines, to demonstrate applicability of this approach. Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP is used as a control method.

  20. Distinction of neurons, glia and endothelial cells in the cerebral cortex: an algorithm based on cytological features

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    Miguel Ángel García-Cabezas

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The estimation of the number or density of neurons and types of glial cells and their relative proportions in different brain areas are at the core of rigorous quantitative neuroanatomical studies. Unfortunately, the lack of detailed, updated, systematic, and well-illustrated descriptions of the cytology of neurons and glial cell types, especially in the primate brain, makes such studies especially demanding, often limiting their scope and broad use. Here, following extensive analysis of histological materials and the review of current and classical literature, we compile a list of precise morphological criteria that can facilitate and standardize identification of cells in stained sections examined under the microscope. We describe systematically and in detail the cytological features of neurons and glial cell types in the cerebral cortex of the macaque monkey and the human using semithin and thick sections stained for Nissl. We used this classical staining technique because it labels all cells in the brain in distinct ways. In addition, we corroborate key distinguishing characteristics of different cell types in sections immunolabeled for specific markers counterstained for Nissl and in ultrathin sections processed for electron microscopy. Finally, we summarize the core features that distinguish each cell type in easy-to-use tables and sketches, and structure these key features in an algorithm that can be used to systematically distinguish cellular types in the cerebral cortex. Moreover, we report high inter-observer algorithm reliability, which is a crucial test for obtaining consistent and reproducible cell counts in unbiased stereological studies. This protocol establishes a consistent framework that can be used to reliably identify and quantify cells in the cerebral cortex of primates as well as other mammalian species in health and disease.

  1. Distinction of Neurons, Glia and Endothelial Cells in the Cerebral Cortex: An Algorithm Based on Cytological Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Cabezas, Miguel Á.; John, Yohan J.; Barbas, Helen; Zikopoulos, Basilis

    2016-01-01

    The estimation of the number or density of neurons and types of glial cells and their relative proportions in different brain areas are at the core of rigorous quantitative neuroanatomical studies. Unfortunately, the lack of detailed, updated, systematic and well-illustrated descriptions of the cytology of neurons and glial cell types, especially in the primate brain, makes such studies especially demanding, often limiting their scope and broad use. Here, following an extensive analysis of histological materials and the review of current and classical literature, we compile a list of precise morphological criteria that can facilitate and standardize identification of cells in stained sections examined under the microscope. We describe systematically and in detail the cytological features of neurons and glial cell types in the cerebral cortex of the macaque monkey and the human using semithin and thick sections stained for Nissl. We used this classical staining technique because it labels all cells in the brain in distinct ways. In addition, we corroborate key distinguishing characteristics of different cell types in sections immunolabeled for specific markers counterstained for Nissl and in ultrathin sections processed for electron microscopy. Finally, we summarize the core features that distinguish each cell type in easy-to-use tables and sketches, and structure these key features in an algorithm that can be used to systematically distinguish cellular types in the cerebral cortex. Moreover, we report high inter-observer algorithm reliability, which is a crucial test for obtaining consistent and reproducible cell counts in unbiased stereological studies. This protocol establishes a consistent framework that can be used to reliably identify and quantify cells in the cerebral cortex of primates as well as other mammalian species in health and disease. PMID:27847469

  2. Human iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells and Microengineered Organ-Chip Enhance Neuronal Development

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    Samuel Sances

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Human stem cell-derived models of development and neurodegenerative diseases are challenged by cellular immaturity in vitro. Microengineered organ-on-chip (or Organ-Chip systems are designed to emulate microvolume cytoarchitecture and enable co-culture of distinct cell types. Brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs share common signaling pathways with neurons early in development, but their contribution to human neuronal maturation is largely unknown. To study this interaction and influence of microculture, we derived both spinal motor neurons and BMECs from human induced pluripotent stem cells and observed increased calcium transient function and Chip-specific gene expression in Organ-Chips compared with 96-well plates. Seeding BMECs in the Organ-Chip led to vascular-neural interaction and specific gene activation that further enhanced neuronal function and in vivo-like signatures. The results show that the vascular system has specific maturation effects on spinal cord neural tissue, and the use of Organ-Chips can move stem cell models closer to an in vivo condition. : Sances et al. combine Organ-Chip technology with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived spinal motor neurons to study the maturation effects of Organ-Chip culture. By including microvascular cells also derived from the same patient line, the authors show enhancement of neuronal function, reproduction of vascular-neuron pathways, and specific gene activation that resembles in vivo spinal cord development. Keywords: organ-on-chip, spinal cord, iPSC, disease modeling, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, microphysiological system, brain microvascular endothelial cells, spinal motor neurons, vasculature, microfluidic device

  3. Leptin signaling in GABA neurons, but not glutamate neurons, is required for reproductive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuure, Wieteke A; Roberts, Amy L; Quennell, Janette H; Anderson, Greg M

    2013-11-06

    The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin acts in the brain to modulate the central driver of fertility: the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal system. This effect is indirect, as GnRH neurons do not express leptin receptors (LEPRs). Here we test whether GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons provide the intermediate pathway between the site of leptin action and the GnRH neurons. Leptin receptors were deleted from GABA and glutamate neurons using Cre-Lox transgenics, and the downstream effects on puberty onset and reproduction were examined. Both mouse lines displayed the expected increase in body weight and region-specific loss of leptin signaling in the hypothalamus. The GABA neuron-specific LEPR knock-out females and males showed significantly delayed puberty onset. Adult fertility observations revealed that these knock-out animals have decreased fecundity. In contrast, glutamate neuron-specific LEPR knock-out mice displayed normal fertility. Assessment of the estrogenic hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis regulation in females showed that leptin action on GABA neurons is not necessary for estradiol-mediated suppression of tonic luteinizing hormone secretion (an indirect measure of GnRH neuron activity) but is required for regulation of a full preovulatory-like luteinizing hormone surge. In conclusion, leptin signaling in GABAergic (but not glutamatergic neurons) plays a critical role in the timing of puberty onset and is involved in fertility regulation throughout adulthood in both sexes. These results form an important step in explaining the role of central leptin signaling in the reproductive system. Limiting the leptin-to-GnRH mediators to GABAergic cells will enable future research to focus on a few specific types of neurons.

  4. Anorexia and impaired glucose metabolism in mice with hypothalamic ablation of Glut4 neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Hongxia; Lu, Taylor Y; McGraw, Timothy E; Accili, Domenico

    2015-02-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) uses glucose independent of insulin. Nonetheless, insulin receptors and insulin-responsive glucose transporters (Glut4) often colocalize in neurons (Glut4 neurons) in anatomically and functionally distinct areas of the CNS. The apparent heterogeneity of Glut4 neurons has thus far thwarted attempts to understand their function. To answer this question, we used Cre-dependent, diphtheria toxin-mediated cell ablation to selectively remove basal hypothalamic Glut4 neurons and investigate the resulting phenotypes. After Glut4 neuron ablation, mice demonstrate altered hormone and nutrient signaling in the CNS. Accordingly, they exhibit negative energy balance phenotype characterized by reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure, without locomotor deficits or gross neuronal abnormalities. Glut4 neuron ablation affects orexigenic melanin-concentrating hormone neurons but has limited effect on neuropeptide Y/agouti-related protein and proopiomelanocortin neurons. The food intake phenotype can be partially normalized by GABA administration, suggesting that it arises from defective GABAergic transmission. Glut4 neuron-ablated mice show peripheral metabolic defects, including fasting hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance, decreased insulin levels, and elevated hepatic gluconeogenic genes. We conclude that Glut4 neurons integrate hormonal and nutritional cues and mediate CNS actions of insulin on energy balance and peripheral metabolism. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  5. Immunotoxic destruction of distinct catecholaminergic neuron populations disrupts the reproductive response to glucoprivation in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    I'Anson, Helen; Sundling, Lois A; Roland, Shannon M; Ritter, Sue

    2003-10-01

    We tested the hypothesis that hindbrain catecholamine (norepinephrine or epinephrine) neurons, in addition to their essential role in glucoprivic feeding, are responsible for suppressing estrous cycles during chronic glucoprivation. Normally cycling female rats were given bilateral injections of the retrogradely transported ribosomal toxin, saporin, conjugated to monoclonal dopamine beta-hydroxylase antibody (DSAP) into the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus to selectively destroy norepinephrine and epinephrine neurons projecting to the PVN. Controls were injected with unconjugated saporin. After recovery, we assessed the lesion effects on estrous cyclicity under basal conditions and found that DSAP did not alter estrous cycle length. Subsequently, we examined effects of chronic 2-deoxy-d-glucose-induced glucoprivation on cycle length. After two normal 4- to 5-d cycles, rats were injected with 2-deoxy-d-glucose (200 mg/kg every 6 h for 72 h) beginning 24 h after detection of estrus. Chronic glucoprivation increased cycle length in seven of eight unconjugated saporin rats but in only one of eight DSAP rats. Immunohistochemical results confirmed loss of dopamine beta-hydroxylase immunoreactivity in PVN. Thus, hindbrain catecholamine neurons with projections to the PVN are required for inhibition of reproductive function during chronic glucose deficit but are not required for normal estrous cyclicity when metabolic fuels are in abundance.

  6. A map of octopaminergic neurons in the Drosophila brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Sebastian; Selcho, Mareike; Ito, Kei; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2009-04-20

    The biogenic amine octopamine modulates diverse behaviors in invertebrates. At the single neuron level, the mode of action is well understood in the peripheral nervous system owing to its simple structure and accessibility. For elucidating the role of individual octopaminergic neurons in the modulation of complex behaviors, a detailed analysis of the connectivity in the central nervous system is required. Here we present a comprehensive anatomical map of candidate octopaminergic neurons in the adult Drosophila brain: including the supra- and subesophageal ganglia. Application of the Flp-out technique enabled visualization of 27 types of individual octopaminergic neurons. Based on their morphology and distribution of genetic markers, we found that most octopaminergic neurons project to multiple brain structures with a clear separation of dendritic and presynaptic regions. Whereas their major dendrites are confined to specific brain regions, each cell type targets different, yet defined, neuropils distributed throughout the central nervous system. This would allow them to constitute combinatorial modules assigned to the modulation of distinct neuronal processes. The map may provide an anatomical framework for the functional constitution of the octopaminergic system. It also serves as a model for the single-cell organization of a particular neurotransmitter in the brain. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Changes in the Excitability of Neocortical Neurons in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Are Not Specific to Corticospinal Neurons and Are Modulated by Advancing Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Juhyun; Hughes, Ethan G; Shetty, Ashwin S; Arlotta, Paola; Goff, Loyal A; Bergles, Dwight E; Brown, Solange P

    2017-09-13

    Cell type-specific changes in neuronal excitability have been proposed to contribute to the selective degeneration of corticospinal neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to neocortical hyperexcitability, a prominent feature of both inherited and sporadic variants of the disease, but the mechanisms underlying selective loss of specific cell types in ALS are not known. We analyzed the physiological properties of distinct classes of cortical neurons in the motor cortex of hSOD1 G93A mice of both sexes and found that they all exhibit increases in intrinsic excitability that depend on disease stage. Targeted recordings and in vivo calcium imaging further revealed that neurons adapt their functional properties to normalize cortical excitability as the disease progresses. Although different neuron classes all exhibited increases in intrinsic excitability, transcriptional profiling indicated that the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes are cell type specific. The increases in excitability in both excitatory and inhibitory cortical neurons show that selective dysfunction of neuronal cell types cannot account for the specific vulnerability of corticospinal motor neurons in ALS. Furthermore, the stage-dependent alterations in neuronal function highlight the ability of cortical circuits to adapt as disease progresses. These findings show that both disease stage and cell type must be considered when developing therapeutic strategies for treating ALS. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT It is not known why certain classes of neurons preferentially die in different neurodegenerative diseases. It has been proposed that the enhanced excitability of affected neurons is a major contributor to their selective loss. We show using a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease in which corticospinal neurons exhibit selective vulnerability, that changes in excitability are not restricted to this neuronal class and that excitability does not increase

  8. The design of a new spiking neuron using dual work function silicon nanowire transistors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bindal, Ahmet; Hamedi-Hagh, Sotoudeh

    2007-01-01

    A new spike neuron cell is designed using vertically grown, undoped silicon nanowire transistors. This study presents an entire design cycle from designing and optimizing vertical nanowire transistors for minimal power dissipation to realizing a neuron cell and measuring its dynamic power consumption, performance and layout area. The design cycle starts with determining individual metal gate work functions for NMOS and PMOS transistors as a function of wire radius to produce a 300 mV threshold voltage. The wire radius and effective channel length are subsequently varied to find a common body geometry for both transistors that yields smaller than 1 pA OFF current while producing maximum drive currents. A spike neuron cell is subsequently built using these transistors to measure its transient performance, power dissipation and layout area. Post-layout simulation results indicate that the neuron consumes 0.397 μW to generate a +1 V and 1.12 μW to generate a -1 V output pulse for a fan-out of five synapses at 500 MHz; the power dissipation increases by approximately 3 nW for each additional synapse at the output for generating either pulse. The neuron circuit occupies approximately 0.27 μm 2

  9. Functional significance of O-GlcNAc modification in regulating neuronal properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Hongik; Rhim, Hyewhon

    2018-03-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) covalently modify proteins and diversify protein functions. Along with protein phosphorylation, another common PTM is the addition of O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) to serine and/or threonine residues. O-GlcNAc modification is similar to phosphorylation in that it occurs to serine and threonine residues and cycles on and off with a similar time scale. However, a striking difference is that the addition and removal of the O-GlcNAc moiety on all substrates are mediated by the two enzymes regardless of proteins, O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) and O-GlcNAcase (OGA), respectively. O-GlcNAcylation can interact or potentially compete with phosphorylation on serine and threonine residues, and thus serves as an important molecular mechanism to modulate protein functions and activation. However, it has been challenging to address the role of O-GlcNAc modification in regulating protein functions at the molecular level due to the lack of convenient tools to determine the sites and degrees of O-GlcNAcylation. Studies in this field have only begun to expand significantly thanks to the recent advances in detection and manipulation methods such as quantitative proteomics and highly selective small-molecule inhibitors for OGT and OGA. Interestingly, multiple brain regions, especially hippocampus, express high levels of both OGT and OGA, and a number of neuron-specific proteins have been reported to undergo O-GlcNAcylation. This review aims to discuss the recent updates concerning the impacts of O-GlcNAc modification on neuronal functions at multiple levels ranging from intrinsic neuronal properties to synaptic plasticity and animal behaviors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Interaction of NMDA receptor and pacemaking mechanisms in the midbrain dopaminergic neuron.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joon Ha

    Full Text Available Dopamine neurotransmission has been found to play a role in addictive behavior and is altered in psychiatric disorders. Dopaminergic (DA neurons display two functionally distinct modes of electrophysiological activity: low- and high-frequency firing. A puzzling feature of the DA neuron is the following combination of its responses: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR activation evokes high-frequency firing, whereas other tonic excitatory stimuli (α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate receptor (AMPAR activation or applied depolarization block firing instead. We suggest a new computational model that reproduces this combination of responses and explains recent experimental data. Namely, somatic NMDAR stimulation evokes high-frequency firing and is more effective than distal dendritic stimulation. We further reduce the model to a single compartment and analyze the mechanism of the distinct high-frequency response to NMDAR activation vs. other stimuli. Standard nullcline analysis shows that the mechanism is based on a decrease in the amplitude of calcium oscillations. The analysis confirms that the nonlinear voltage dependence provided by the magnesium block of the NMDAR determine its capacity to elevate the firing frequency. We further predict that the moderate slope of the voltage dependence plays the central role in the frequency elevation. Additionally, we suggest a repolarizing current that sustains calcium-independent firing or firing in the absence of calcium-dependent repolarizing currents. We predict that the ether-a-go-go current (ERG, which has been observed in the DA neuron, is the best fit for this critical role. We show that a calcium-dependent and a calcium-independent oscillatory mechanisms form a structure of interlocked negative feedback loops in the DA neuron. The structure connects research of DA neuron firing with circadian biology and determines common minimal models for investigation of robustness of oscillations

  11. Conditional expression of Pomc in the Lepr-positive subpopulation of POMC neurons is sufficient for normal energy homeostasis and metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Daniel D; Attard, Courtney A; Mercer, Aaron J; Myers, Martin G; Rubinstein, Marcelo; Low, Malcolm J

    2015-04-01

    Peptides derived from the proopiomelanocortin (POMC) precursor are critical for the normal regulation of many physiological parameters, and POMC deficiency results in severe obesity and metabolic dysfunction. Conversely, augmentation of central nervous system melanocortin function is a promising therapeutic avenue for obesity and diabetes but is confounded by detrimental cardiovascular effects including hypertension. Because the hypothalamic population of POMC-expressing neurons is neurochemically and neuroanatomically heterogeneous, there is interest in the possible dissociation of functionally distinct POMC neuron subpopulations. We used a Cre recombinase-dependent and hypothalamus-specific reactivatable PomcNEO allele to restrict Pomc expression to hypothalamic neurons expressing leptin receptor (Lepr) in mice. In contrast to mice with total hypothalamic Pomc deficiency, which are severely obese, mice with Lepr-restricted Pomc expression displayed fully normal body weight, food consumption, glucose homeostasis, and locomotor activity. Thus, Lepr+ POMC neurons, which constitute approximately two-thirds of the total POMC neuron population, are sufficient for normal regulation of these parameters. This functional dissociation approach represents a promising avenue for isolating therapeutically relevant POMC neuron subpopulations.

  12. Optogenetic dissection of neuronal circuits in zebrafish using viral gene transfer and the Tet system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peixin Zhu

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The conditional expression of transgenes at high levels in sparse and specific populations of neurons is important for high-resolution optogenetic analyses of neuronal circuits. We explored two complementary methods, viral gene delivery and the iTet-Off system, to express transgenes in the brain of zebrafish. High-level gene expression in neurons was achieved by Sindbis and Rabies viruses. The Tet system produced strong and specific gene expression that could be modulated conveniently by doxycycline. Moreover, transgenic lines showed expression in distinct, sparse and stable populations of neurons that appeared to be subsets of the neurons targeted by the promoter driving the Tet activator. The Tet system therefore provides the opportunity to generate libraries of diverse expression patterns similar to gene trap approaches or the thy-1 promoter in mice, but with the additional possibility to pre-select cell types of interest. In transgenic lines expressing channelrhodopsin-2, action potential firing could be precisely controlled by two-photon stimulation at low laser power, presumably because the expression levels of the Tet-controlled genes were high even in adults. In channelrhodopsin-2-expressing larvae, optical stimulation with a single blue LED evoked distinct swimming behaviors including backward swimming. These approaches provide new opportunities for the optogenetic dissection of neuronal circuit structure and function.

  13. Contribution of synchronized GABAergic neurons to dopaminergic neuron firing and bursting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozova, Ekaterina O; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Zakharov, Denis; di Volo, Matteo; Gutkin, Boris; Lapish, Christopher C; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-10-01

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), interactions between dopamine (DA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are critical for regulating DA neuron activity and thus DA efflux. To provide a mechanistic explanation of how GABA neurons influence DA neuron firing, we developed a circuit model of the VTA. The model is based on feed-forward inhibition and recreates canonical features of the VTA neurons. Simulations revealed that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor (GABAR) stimulation can differentially influence the firing pattern of the DA neuron, depending on the level of synchronization among GABA neurons. Asynchronous activity of GABA neurons provides a constant level of inhibition to the DA neuron and, when removed, produces a classical disinhibition burst. In contrast, when GABA neurons are synchronized by common synaptic input, their influence evokes additional spikes in the DA neuron, resulting in increased measures of firing and bursting. Distinct from previous mechanisms, the increases were not based on lowered firing rate of the GABA neurons or weaker hyperpolarization by the GABAR synaptic current. This phenomenon was induced by GABA-mediated hyperpolarization of the DA neuron that leads to decreases in intracellular calcium (Ca 2+ ) concentration, thus reducing the Ca 2+ -dependent potassium (K + ) current. In this way, the GABA-mediated hyperpolarization replaces Ca 2+ -dependent K + current; however, this inhibition is pulsatile, which allows the DA neuron to fire during the rhythmic pauses in inhibition. Our results emphasize the importance of inhibition in the VTA, which has been discussed in many studies, and suggest a novel mechanism whereby computations can occur locally. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  14. Supraoptic oxytocin and vasopressin neurons function as glucose and metabolic sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhilin; Levin, Barry E; Stevens, Wanida; Sladek, Celia D

    2014-04-01

    Neurons in the supraoptic nuclei (SON) produce oxytocin and vasopressin and express insulin receptors (InsR) and glucokinase. Since oxytocin is an anorexigenic agent and glucokinase and InsR are hallmarks of cells that function as glucose and/or metabolic sensors, we evaluated the effect of glucose, insulin, and their downstream effector ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels on calcium signaling in SON neurons and on oxytocin and vasopressin release from explants of the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system. We also evaluated the effect of blocking glucokinase and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K; mediates insulin-induced mobilization of glucose transporter, GLUT4) on responses to glucose and insulin. Glucose and insulin increased intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)]i). The responses were glucokinase and PI3K dependent, respectively. Insulin and glucose alone increased vasopressin release (P glucose in the presence of insulin. The oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) responses to insulin+glucose were blocked by the glucokinase inhibitor alloxan (4 mM; P ≤ 0.002) and the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin (50 nM; OT: P = 0.03; VP: P ≤ 0.002). Inactivating K ATP channels with 200 nM glibenclamide increased oxytocin and vasopressin release (OT: P neurons functioning as glucose and "metabolic" sensors to participate in appetite regulation.

  15. Supraoptic oxytocin and vasopressin neurons function as glucose and metabolic sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhilin; Levin, Barry E.; Stevens, Wanida

    2014-01-01

    Neurons in the supraoptic nuclei (SON) produce oxytocin and vasopressin and express insulin receptors (InsR) and glucokinase. Since oxytocin is an anorexigenic agent and glucokinase and InsR are hallmarks of cells that function as glucose and/or metabolic sensors, we evaluated the effect of glucose, insulin, and their downstream effector ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels on calcium signaling in SON neurons and on oxytocin and vasopressin release from explants of the rat hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system. We also evaluated the effect of blocking glucokinase and phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K; mediates insulin-induced mobilization of glucose transporter, GLUT4) on responses to glucose and insulin. Glucose and insulin increased intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i). The responses were glucokinase and PI3K dependent, respectively. Insulin and glucose alone increased vasopressin release (P glucose in the presence of insulin. The oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) responses to insulin+glucose were blocked by the glucokinase inhibitor alloxan (4 mM; P ≤ 0.002) and the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin (50 nM; OT: P = 0.03; VP: P ≤ 0.002). Inactivating KATP channels with 200 nM glibenclamide increased oxytocin and vasopressin release (OT: P neurons functioning as glucose and “metabolic” sensors to participate in appetite regulation. PMID:24477542

  16. Pattern separation: a common function for new neurons in hippocampus and olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahay, Amar; Wilson, Donald A; Hen, René

    2011-05-26

    While adult-born neurons in the olfactory bulb (OB) and the dentate gyrus (DG) subregion of the hippocampus have fundamentally different properties, they may have more in common than meets the eye. Here, we propose that new granule cells in the OB and DG may function as modulators of principal neurons to influence pattern separation and that adult neurogenesis constitutes an adaptive mechanism to optimally encode contextual or olfactory information. See the related Perspective from Aimone, Deng, and Gage, "Resolving New Memories: A Critical Look at the Dentate Gyrus, Adult Neurogenesis, and Pattern Separation," in this issue of Neuron. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpova, Nina N; Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Samia R

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal network and plasticity change as a function of experience. Altered neural connectivity leads to distinct transcriptional programs of neuronal plasticity-related genes. The environmental challenges throughout life may promote long-lasting reprogramming of gene expression and the development of brain disorders. The modifications in neuronal epigenome mediate gene-environmental interactions and are required for activity-dependent regulation of neuronal differentiation, maturation and plasticity. Here, we highlight the latest advances in understanding the role of the main players of epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, transposons, and non-coding RNAs) in activity-dependent and long- term neural and synaptic plasticity. The review focuses on both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression levels, including the processes of promoter activation, alternative splicing, regulation of stability of gene transcripts by natural antisense RNAs, and alternative polyadenylation. Further, we discuss the epigenetic aspects of impaired neuronal plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental (Rett syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, genomic imprinting disorders, schizophrenia, and others), stressrelated (mood disorders) and neurodegenerative Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disorders. The review also highlights the pharmacological compounds that modulate epigenetic programming of gene expression, the potential treatment strategies of discussed brain disorders, and the questions that should be addressed during the development of effective and safe approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

  18. PROS-1/Prospero Is a Major Regulator of the Glia-Specific Secretome Controlling Sensory-Neuron Shape and Function in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Sean W; Singhvi, Aakanksha; Liang, Yupu; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai

    2016-04-19

    Sensory neurons are an animal's gateway to the world, and their receptive endings, the sites of sensory signal transduction, are often associated with glia. Although glia are known to promote sensory-neuron functions, the molecular bases of these interactions are poorly explored. Here, we describe a post-developmental glial role for the PROS-1/Prospero/PROX1 homeodomain protein in sensory-neuron function in C. elegans. Using glia expression profiling, we demonstrate that, unlike previously characterized cell fate roles, PROS-1 functions post-embryonically to control sense-organ glia-specific secretome expression. PROS-1 functions cell autonomously to regulate glial secretion and membrane structure, and non-cell autonomously to control the shape and function of the receptive endings of sensory neurons. Known glial genes controlling sensory-neuron function are PROS-1 targets, and we identify additional PROS-1-dependent genes required for neuron attributes. Drosophila Prospero and vertebrate PROX1 are expressed in post-mitotic sense-organ glia and astrocytes, suggesting conserved roles for this class of transcription factors. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Leaky Integrate-and-Fire Neuron Circuit Based on Floating-Gate Integrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornijcuk, Vladimir; Lim, Hyungkwang; Seok, Jun Yeong; Kim, Guhyun; Kim, Seong Keun; Kim, Inho; Choi, Byung Joon; Jeong, Doo Seok

    2016-01-01

    The artificial spiking neural network (SNN) is promising and has been brought to the notice of the theoretical neuroscience and neuromorphic engineering research communities. In this light, we propose a new type of artificial spiking neuron based on leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) behavior. A distinctive feature of the proposed FG-LIF neuron is the use of a floating-gate (FG) integrator rather than a capacitor-based one. The relaxation time of the charge on the FG relies mainly on the tunnel barrier profile, e.g., barrier height and thickness (rather than the area). This opens up the possibility of large-scale integration of neurons. The circuit simulation results offered biologically plausible spiking activity (circuit was subject to possible types of noise, e.g., thermal noise and burst noise. The simulation results indicated remarkable distributional features of interspike intervals that are fitted to Gamma distribution functions, similar to biological neurons in the neocortex. PMID:27242416

  20. Honeybee retinal glial cells transform glucose and supply the neurons with metabolic substrate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsacopoulos, M.; Evequoz-Mercier, V.; Perrottet, P.; Buchner, E.

    1988-01-01

    The retina of the honeybee drone is a nervous tissue in which glial cells and photoreceptor cells (sensory neurons) constitute two distinct metabolic compartments. Retinal slices incubated with 2-deoxy[ 3 H]glucose convert this glucose analogue to 2-deoxy[ 3 H]glucose 6-phosphate, but this conversion is made only in the glial cells. Hence, glycolysis occurs only in glial cells. In contrast, the neurons consume O 2 and this consumption is sustained by the hydrolysis of glycogen, which is contained in large amounts in the glia. During photostimulation the increased oxidative metabolism of the neurons is sustained by a higher supply of carbohydrates from the glia. This clear case of metabolic interaction between neurons and glial cells supports Golgi's original hypothesis, proposed nearly 100 years ago, about the nutritive function of glial cells in the nervous system

  1. Honeybee Retinal Glial Cells Transform Glucose and Supply the Neurons with Metabolic Substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsacopoulos, M.; Evequoz-Mercier, V.; Perrottet, P.; Buchner, E.

    1988-11-01

    The retina of the honeybee drone is a nervous tissue in which glial cells and photoreceptor cells (sensory neurons) constitute two distinct metabolic compartments. Retinal slices incubated with 2-deoxy[3H]glucose convert this glucose analogue to 2-deoxy[3H]glucose 6-phosphate, but this conversion is made only in the glial cells. Hence, glycolysis occurs only in glial cells. In contrast, the neurons consume O2 and this consumption is sustained by the hydrolysis of glycogen, which is contained in large amounts in the glia. During photostimulation the increased oxidative metabolism of the neurons is sustained by a higher supply of carbohydrates from the glia. This clear case of metabolic interaction between neurons and glial cells supports Golgi's original hypothesis, proposed nearly 100 years ago, about the nutritive function of glial cells in the nervous system.

  2. Infection and Transport of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Neurons: Role of the Cytoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a neuroinvasive human pathogen that has the ability to infect and replicate within epithelial cells and neurons and establish a life-long latent infection in sensory neurons. HSV-1 depends on the host cellular cytoskeleton for entry, replication, and exit. Therefore, HSV-1 has adapted mechanisms to promote its survival by exploiting the microtubule and actin cytoskeletons to direct its active transport, infection, and spread between neurons and epithelial cells during primary and recurrent infections. This review will focus on the currently known mechanisms utilized by HSV-1 to harness the neuronal cytoskeleton, molecular motors, and the secretory and exocytic pathways for efficient virus entry, axonal transport, replication, assembly, and exit from the distinct functional compartments (cell body and axon) of the highly polarized sensory neurons. PMID:29473915

  3. The zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (Zeb1) promotes the conversion of mouse fibroblasts into functional neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Long; Li, Yue; Shi, Zixiao; Lu, Xiaoyin; Ma, Jiao; Hu, Baoyang; Jiao, Jianwei; Wang, Hongmei

    2017-08-04

    The zinc finger E-box-binding transcription factor Zeb1 plays a pivotal role in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Numerous studies have focused on the molecular mechanisms by which Zeb1 contributes to this process. However, the functions of Zeb1 beyond the epithelial-mesenchymal transition remain largely elusive. Using a transdifferentiation system to convert mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into functional neurons via the neuronal transcription factors achaete-scute family bHLH (basic helix-loop-helix) transcription factor1 ( Ascl1 ), POU class 3 homeobox 2 (POU3F2/ Brn2 ), and neurogenin 2 (Neurog2, Ngn2 ) (ABN), we found that Zeb1 was up-regulated during the early stages of transdifferentiation. Knocking down Zeb1 dramatically attenuated the transdifferentiation efficiency, whereas Zeb1 overexpression obviously increased the efficiency of transdifferentiation from MEFs to neurons. Interestingly, Zeb1 improved the transdifferentiation efficiency induced by even a single transcription factor ( e.g. Asc1 or Ngn2 ). Zeb1 also rapidly promoted the maturation of induced neuron cells to functional neurons and improved the formation of neuronal patterns and electrophysiological characteristics. Induced neuron cells could form functional synapse in vivo after transplantation. Genome-wide RNA arrays showed that Zeb1 overexpression up-regulated the expression of neuron-specific genes and down-regulated the expression of epithelial-specific genes during conversion. Taken together, our results reveal a new role for Zeb1 in the transdifferentiation of MEFs into neurons. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. Gene expression pattern of functional neuronal cells derived from human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells

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    Bron Dominique

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuronal tissue has limited potential to self-renew or repair after neurological diseases. Cellular therapies using stem cells are promising approaches for the treatment of neurological diseases. However, the clinical use of embryonic stem cells or foetal tissues is limited by ethical considerations and other scientific problems. Thus, bone marrow mesenchymal stomal cells (BM-MSC could represent an alternative source of stem cells for cell replacement therapies. Indeed, many studies have demonstrated that MSC can give rise to neuronal cells as well as many tissue-specific cell phenotypes. Methods BM-MSC were differentiated in neuron-like cells under specific induction (NPBM + cAMP + IBMX + NGF + Insulin. By day ten, differentiated cells presented an expression profile of real neurons. Functionality of these differentiated cells was evaluated by calcium influx through glutamate receptor AMPA3. Results Using microarray analysis, we compared gene expression profile of these different samples, before and after neurogenic differentiation. Among the 1943 genes differentially expressed, genes down-regulated are involved in osteogenesis, chondrogenesis, adipogenesis, myogenesis and extracellular matrix component (tuftelin, AGC1, FADS3, tropomyosin, fibronectin, ECM2, HAPLN1, vimentin. Interestingly, genes implicated in neurogenesis are increased. Most of them are involved in the synaptic transmission and long term potentialisation as cortactin, CASK, SYNCRIP, SYNTL4 and STX1. Other genes are involved in neurite outgrowth, early neuronal cell development, neuropeptide signaling/synthesis and neuronal receptor (FK506, ARHGAP6, CDKRAP2, PMCH, GFPT2, GRIA3, MCT6, BDNF, PENK, amphiregulin, neurofilament 3, Epha4, synaptotagmin. Using real time RT-PCR, we confirmed the expression of selected neuronal genes: NEGR1, GRIA3 (AMPA3, NEF3, PENK and Epha4. Functionality of these neuron-like cells was demonstrated by Ca2+ influx through glutamate

  5. 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.

  6. AgRP Neurons Can Increase Food Intake during Conditions of Appetite Suppression and Inhibit Anorexigenic Parabrachial Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essner, Rachel A; Smith, Alison G; Jamnik, Adam A; Ryba, Anna R; Trutner, Zoe D; Carter, Matthew E

    2017-09-06

    To maintain energy homeostasis, orexigenic (appetite-inducing) and anorexigenic (appetite suppressing) brain systems functionally interact to regulate food intake. Within the hypothalamus, neurons that express agouti-related protein (AgRP) sense orexigenic factors and orchestrate an increase in food-seeking behavior. In contrast, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-expressing neurons in the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) suppress feeding. PBN CGRP neurons become active in response to anorexigenic hormones released following a meal, including amylin, secreted by the pancreas, and cholecystokinin (CCK), secreted by the small intestine. Additionally, exogenous compounds, such as lithium chloride (LiCl), a salt that creates gastric discomfort, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial cell wall component that induces inflammation, exert appetite-suppressing effects and activate PBN CGRP neurons. The effects of increasing the homeostatic drive to eat on feeding behavior during appetite suppressing conditions are unknown. Here, we show in mice that food deprivation or optogenetic activation of AgRP neurons induces feeding to overcome the appetite suppressing effects of amylin, CCK, and LiCl, but not LPS. AgRP neuron photostimulation can also increase feeding during chemogenetic-mediated stimulation of PBN CGRP neurons. AgRP neuron stimulation reduces Fos expression in PBN CGRP neurons across all conditions. Finally, stimulation of projections from AgRP neurons to the PBN increases feeding following administration of amylin, CCK, and LiCl, but not LPS. These results demonstrate that AgRP neurons are sufficient to increase feeding during noninflammatory-based appetite suppression and to decrease activity in anorexigenic PBN CGRP neurons, thereby increasing food intake during homeostatic need. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The motivation to eat depends on the relative balance of activity in distinct brain regions that induce or suppress appetite. An abnormal amount of activity in

  7. Involvment of cytosolic and mitochondrial GSK-3beta in mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal cell death of MPTP/MPP-treated neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès Petit-Paitel

    Full Text Available Aberrant mitochondrial function appears to play a central role in dopaminergic neuronal loss in Parkinson's disease (PD. 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium iodide (MPP(+, the active metabolite of N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP, is a selective inhibitor of mitochondrial complex I and is widely used in rodent and cell models to elicit neurochemical alterations associated with PD. Recent findings suggest that Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta, a critical activator of neuronal apoptosis, is involved in the dopaminergic cell death. In this study, the role of GSK-3beta in modulating MPP(+-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal death was examined in vivo, and in two neuronal cell models namely primary cultured and immortalized neurons. In both cell models, MPTP/MPP(+ treatment caused cell death associated with time- and concentration-dependent activation of GSK-3beta, evidenced by the increased level of the active form of the kinase, i.e. GSK-3beta phosphorylated at tyrosine 216 residue. Using immunocytochemistry and subcellular fractionation techniques, we showed that GSK-3beta partially localized within mitochondria in both neuronal cell models. Moreover, MPP(+ treatment induced a significant decrease of the specific phospho-Tyr216-GSK-3beta labeling in mitochondria concomitantly with an increase into the cytosol. Using two distinct fluorescent probes, we showed that MPP(+ induced cell death through the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential. Inhibition of GSK-3beta activity using well-characterized inhibitors, LiCl and kenpaullone, and RNA interference, prevented MPP(+-induced cell death by blocking mitochondrial membrane potential changes and subsequent caspase-9 and -3 activation. These results indicate that GSK-3beta is a critical mediator of MPTP/MPP(+-induced neurotoxicity through its ability to regulate mitochondrial functions. Inhibition of GSK-3beta activity might provide protection against

  8. Distinct Hippocampal Pathways Mediate Dissociable Roles of Context in Memory Retrieval.

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    Xu, Chun; Krabbe, Sabine; Gründemann, Jan; Botta, Paolo; Fadok, Jonathan P; Osakada, Fumitaka; Saur, Dieter; Grewe, Benjamin F; Schnitzer, Mark J; Callaway, Edward M; Lüthi, Andreas

    2016-11-03

    Memories about sensory experiences are tightly linked to the context in which they were formed. Memory contextualization is fundamental for the selection of appropriate behavioral reactions needed for survival, yet the underlying neuronal circuits are poorly understood. By combining trans-synaptic viral tracing and optogenetic manipulation, we found that the ventral hippocampus (vHC) and the amygdala, two key brain structures encoding context and emotional experiences, interact via multiple parallel pathways. A projection from the vHC to the basal amygdala mediates fear behavior elicited by a conditioned context, whereas a parallel projection from a distinct subset of vHC neurons onto midbrain-projecting neurons in the central amygdala is necessary for context-dependent retrieval of cued fear memories. Our findings demonstrate that two fundamentally distinct roles of context in fear memory retrieval are processed by distinct vHC output pathways, thereby allowing for the formation of robust contextual fear memories while preserving context-dependent behavioral flexibility. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Context Fear Learning Specifically Activates Distinct Populations of Neurons in Amygdala and Hypothalamus

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    Trogrlic, Lidia; Wilson, Yvette M.; Newman, Andrew G.; Murphy, Mark

    2011-01-01

    The identity and distribution of neurons that are involved in any learning or memory event is not known. In previous studies, we identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral amygdala that show learning-specific activation of a c-"fos"-regulated transgene following context fear conditioning. Here, we have extended these studies to…

  10. A neuronal acetylcholine receptor regulates the balance of muscle excitation and inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Maelle Jospin

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, cholinergic motor neurons stimulate muscle contraction as well as activate GABAergic motor neurons that inhibit contraction of the contralateral muscles. Here, we describe the composition of an ionotropic acetylcholine receptor that is required to maintain excitation of the cholinergic motor neurons. We identified a gain-of-function mutation that leads to spontaneous muscle convulsions. The mutation is in the pore domain of the ACR-2 acetylcholine receptor subunit and is identical to a hyperactivating mutation in the muscle receptor of patients with myasthenia gravis. Screens for suppressors of the convulsion phenotype led to the identification of other receptor subunits. Cell-specific rescue experiments indicate that these subunits function in the cholinergic motor neurons. Expression of these subunits in Xenopus oocytes demonstrates that the functional receptor is comprised of three alpha-subunits, UNC-38, UNC-63 and ACR-12, and two non-alpha-subunits, ACR-2 and ACR-3. Although this receptor exhibits a partially overlapping subunit composition with the C. elegans muscle acetylcholine receptor, it shows distinct pharmacology. Recordings from intact animals demonstrate that loss-of-function mutations in acr-2 reduce the excitability of the cholinergic motor neurons. By contrast, the acr-2(gf mutation leads to a hyperactivation of cholinergic motor neurons and an inactivation of downstream GABAergic motor neurons in a calcium dependent manner. Presumably, this imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory input into muscles leads to convulsions. These data indicate that the ACR-2 receptor is important for the coordinated excitation and inhibition of body muscles underlying sinusoidal movement.

  11. Expression and function of a CP339,818-sensitive K+ current in a subpopulation of putative nociceptive neurons from adult mouse trigeminal ganglia

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    Sforna, Luigi; D'Adamo, Maria Cristina; Servettini, Ilenio; Guglielmi, Luca; Pessia, Mauro; Franciolini, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    Trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons are functionally and morphologically heterogeneous, and the molecular basis of this heterogeneity is still not fully understood. Here we describe experiments showing that a subpopulation of neurons expresses a delayed-rectifying K+ current (IDRK) with a characteristically high (nanomolar) sensitivity to the dihydroquinoline CP339,818 (CP). Although submicromolar CP has previously been shown to selectively block Kv1.3 and Kv1.4 channels, the CP-sensitive IDRK found in TG neurons could not be associated with either of these two K+ channels. It could neither be associated with Kv2.1 channels homomeric or heteromerically associated with the Kv9.2, Kv9.3, or Kv6.4 subunits, whose block by CP, tested using two-electrode voltage-clamp recordings from Xenopus oocytes, resulted in the low micromolar range, nor to the Kv7 subfamily, given the lack of blocking efficacy of 3 μM XE991. Within the group of multiple-firing neurons considered in this study, the CP-sensitive IDRK was preferentially expressed in a subpopulation showing several nociceptive markers, such as small membrane capacitance, sensitivity to capsaicin, and slow afterhyperpolarization (AHP); in these neurons the CP-sensitive IDRK controls the membrane resting potential, the firing frequency, and the AHP duration. A biophysical study of the CP-sensitive IDRK indicated the presence of two kinetically distinct components: a fast deactivating component having a relatively depolarized steady-state inactivation (IDRKf) and a slow deactivating component with a more hyperpolarized V1/2 for steady-state inactivation (IDRKs). PMID:25652918

  12. Paradox of pattern separation and adult neurogenesis: A dual role for new neurons balancing memory resolution and robustness.

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    Johnston, Stephen T; Shtrahman, Matthew; Parylak, Sarah; Gonçalves, J Tiago; Gage, Fred H

    2016-03-01

    Hippocampal adult neurogenesis is thought to subserve pattern separation, the process by which similar patterns of neuronal inputs are transformed into distinct neuronal representations, permitting the discrimination of highly similar stimuli in hippocampus-dependent tasks. However, the mechanism by which immature adult-born dentate granule neurons cells (abDGCs) perform this function remains unknown. Two theories of abDGC function, one by which abDGCs modulate and sparsify activity in the dentate gyrus and one by which abDGCs act as autonomous coding units, are generally suggested to be mutually exclusive. This review suggests that these two mechanisms work in tandem to dynamically regulate memory resolution while avoiding memory interference and maintaining memory robustness. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Proliferative reactive gliosis is compatible with glial metabolic support and neuronal function

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    Fero Matthew

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The response of mammalian glial cells to chronic degeneration and trauma is hypothesized to be incompatible with support of neuronal function in the central nervous system (CNS and retina. To test this hypothesis, we developed an inducible model of proliferative reactive gliosis in the absence of degenerative stimuli by genetically inactivating the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 (p27 or Cdkn1b in the adult mouse and determined the outcome on retinal structure and function. Results p27-deficient Müller glia reentered the cell cycle, underwent aberrant migration, and enhanced their expression of intermediate filament proteins, all of which are characteristics of Müller glia in a reactive state. Surprisingly, neuroglial interactions, retinal electrophysiology, and visual acuity were normal. Conclusion The benign outcome of proliferative reactive Müller gliosis suggests that reactive glia display context-dependent, graded and dynamic phenotypes and that reactivity in itself is not necessarily detrimental to neuronal function.

  14. Distinct neuronal coding schemes in memory revealed by selective erasure of fast synchronous synaptic transmission.

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    Xu, Wei; Morishita, Wade; Buckmaster, Paul S; Pang, Zhiping P; Malenka, Robert C; Südhof, Thomas C

    2012-03-08

    Neurons encode information by firing spikes in isolation or bursts and propagate information by spike-triggered neurotransmitter release that initiates synaptic transmission. Isolated spikes trigger neurotransmitter release unreliably but with high temporal precision. In contrast, bursts of spikes trigger neurotransmission reliably (i.e., boost transmission fidelity), but the resulting synaptic responses are temporally imprecise. However, the relative physiological importance of different spike-firing modes remains unclear. Here, we show that knockdown of synaptotagmin-1, the major Ca(2+) sensor for neurotransmitter release, abrogated neurotransmission evoked by isolated spikes but only delayed, without abolishing, neurotransmission evoked by bursts of spikes. Nevertheless, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the hippocampal CA1 region did not impede acquisition of recent contextual fear memories, although it did impair the precision of such memories. In contrast, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the prefrontal cortex impaired all remote fear memories. These results indicate that different brain circuits and types of memory employ distinct spike-coding schemes to encode and transmit information. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Absence of alsin function leads to corticospinal motor neuron vulnerability via novel disease mechanisms.

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    Gautam, Mukesh; Jara, Javier H; Sekerkova, Gabriella; Yasvoina, Marina V; Martina, Marco; Özdinler, P Hande

    2016-03-15

    Mutations in the ALS2 gene result in early-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paraplegia and juvenile primary lateral sclerosis, suggesting prominent upper motor neuron involvement. However, the importance of alsin function for corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) health and stability remains unknown. To date, four separate alsin knockout (Alsin(KO)) mouse models have been generated, and despite hopes of mimicking human pathology, none displayed profound motor function defects. This, however, does not rule out the possibility of neuronal defects within CSMN, which is not easy to detect in these mice. Detailed cellular analysis of CSMN has been hampered due to their limited numbers and the complex and heterogeneous structure of the cerebral cortex. In an effort to visualize CSMN in vivo and to investigate precise aspects of neuronal abnormalities in the absence of alsin function, we generated Alsin(KO)-UeGFP mice, by crossing Alsin(KO) and UCHL1-eGFP mice, a CSMN reporter line. We find that CSMN display vacuolated apical dendrites with increased autophagy, shrinkage of soma size and axonal pathology even in the pons region. Immunocytochemistry coupled with electron microscopy reveal that alsin is important for maintaining cellular cytoarchitecture and integrity of cellular organelles. In its absence, CSMN displays selective defects both in mitochondria and Golgi apparatus. UCHL1-eGFP mice help understand the underlying cellular factors that lead to CSMN vulnerability in diseases, and our findings reveal unique importance of alsin function for CSMN health and stability. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  16. Roles for the VCP co-factors Npl4 and Ufd1 in neuronal function in Drosophila melanogaster.

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    Byrne, Dwayne J; Harmon, Mark J; Simpson, Jeremy C; Blackstone, Craig; O'Sullivan, Niamh C

    2017-10-20

    The VCP-Ufd1-Npl4 complex regulates proteasomal processing within cells by delivering ubiquitinated proteins to the proteasome for degradation. Mutations in VCP are associated with two neurodegenerative diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and inclusion body myopathy with Paget's disease of the bone and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD), and extensive study has revealed crucial functions of VCP within neurons. By contrast, little is known about the functions of Npl4 or Ufd1 in vivo. Using neuronal-specific knockdown of Npl4 or Ufd1 in Drosophila melanogaster, we infer that Npl4 contributes to microtubule organization within developing motor neurons. Moreover, Npl4 RNAi flies present with neurodegenerative phenotypes including progressive locomotor deficits, reduced lifespan and increased accumulation of TAR DNA-binding protein-43 homolog (TBPH). Knockdown, but not overexpression, of TBPH also exacerbates Npl4 RNAi-associated adult-onset neurodegenerative phenotypes. In contrast, we find that neuronal knockdown of Ufd1 has little effect on neuromuscular junction (NMJ) organization, TBPH accumulation or adult behaviour. These findings suggest the differing neuronal functions of Npl4 and Ufd1 in vivo. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Identification of sodium channel isoforms that mediate action potential firing in lamina I/II spinal cord neurons

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    Smith Paula L

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Voltage-gated sodium channels play key roles in acute and chronic pain processing. The molecular, biophysical, and pharmacological properties of sodium channel currents have been extensively studied for peripheral nociceptors while the properties of sodium channel currents in dorsal horn spinal cord neurons remain incompletely understood. Thus far, investigations into the roles of sodium channel function in nociceptive signaling have primarily focused on recombinant channels or peripheral nociceptors. Here, we utilize recordings from lamina I/II neurons withdrawn from the surface of spinal cord slices to systematically determine the functional properties of sodium channels expressed within the superficial dorsal horn. Results Sodium channel currents within lamina I/II neurons exhibited relatively hyperpolarized voltage-dependent properties and fast kinetics of both inactivation and recovery from inactivation, enabling small changes in neuronal membrane potentials to have large effects on intrinsic excitability. By combining biophysical and pharmacological channel properties with quantitative real-time PCR results, we demonstrate that functional sodium channel currents within lamina I/II neurons are predominantly composed of the NaV1.2 and NaV1.3 isoforms. Conclusions Overall, lamina I/II neurons express a unique combination of functional sodium channels that are highly divergent from the sodium channel isoforms found within peripheral nociceptors, creating potentially complementary or distinct ion channel targets for future pain therapeutics.

  18. 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 ...

  19. Glial tumors with neuronal differentiation.

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    Park, Chul-Kee; Phi, Ji Hoon; Park, Sung-Hye

    2015-01-01

    Immunohistochemical studies for neuronal differentiation in glial tumors revealed subsets of tumors having both characteristics of glial and neuronal lineages. Glial tumors with neuronal differentiation can be observed with diverse phenotypes and histologic grades. The rosette-forming glioneuronal tumor of the fourth ventricle and papillary glioneuronal tumor have been newly classified as distinct disease entities. There are other candidates for classification, such as the glioneuronal tumor without pseudopapillary architecture, glioneuronal tumor with neuropil-like islands, and the malignant glioneuronal tumor. The clinical significance of these previously unclassified tumors should be confirmed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Angiotensinergic and noradrenergic neurons in the rat and human heart.

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    Patil, Jaspal; Stucki, Silvan; Nussberger, Juerg; Schaffner, Thomas; Gygax, Susanne; Bohlender, Juergen; Imboden, Hans

    2011-02-25

    Although the physiological and pharmacological evidences suggest a role for angiotensin II (Ang II) with the mammalian heart, the source and precise location of Ang II are unknown. To visualize and quantitate Ang II in atria, ventricular walls and interventricular septum of the rat and human heart and to explore the feasibility of local Ang II production and function, we investigated by different methods the expression of proteins involved in the generation and function of Ang II. We found mRNA of angiotensinogen (Ang-N), of angiotensin converting enzyme, of the angiotensin type receptors AT(1A) and AT₂ (AT(1B) not detected) as well as of cathepsin D in any part of the hearts. No renin mRNA was traceable. Ang-N mRNA was visualized by in situ hybridization in atrial ganglial neurons. Ang II and dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) were either colocalized inside the same neuronal cell or the neurons were specialized for Ang II or DβH. Within these neurons, the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) was neither colocalized with Ang II nor DβH, but VAChT-staining was found with synapses en passant encircle these neuronal cells. The fibers containing Ang II exhibited with blood vessels and with cardiomyocytes supposedly angiotensinergic synapses en passant. In rat heart, right atrial median Ang II concentration appeared higher than septal and ventricular Ang II. The distinct colocalization of neuronal Ang II with DβH in the heart may indicate that Ang II participates together with norepinephrine in the regulation of cardiac functions: produced as a cardiac neurotransmitter Ang II may have inotropic, chronotropic or dromotropic effects in atria and ventricles and contributes to blood pressure regulation. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Characterization of Na+ and Ca2+ channels in zebrafish dorsal root ganglion neurons.

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    Yu-Jin Won

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dorsal root ganglia (DRG somata from rodents have provided an excellent model system to study ion channel properties and modulation using electrophysiological investigation. As in other vertebrates, zebrafish (Danio rerio DRG are organized segmentally and possess peripheral axons that bifurcate into each body segment. However, the electrical properties of zebrafish DRG sensory neurons, as compared with their mammalian counterparts, are relatively unexplored because a preparation suitable for electrophysiological studies has not been available. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We show enzymatically dissociated DRG neurons from juvenile zebrafish expressing Isl2b-promoter driven EGFP were easily identified with fluorescence microscopy and amenable to conventional whole-cell patch-clamp studies. Two kinetically distinct TTX-sensitive Na(+ currents (rapidly- and slowly-inactivating were discovered. Rapidly-inactivating I(Na were preferentially expressed in relatively large neurons, while slowly-inactivating I(Na was more prevalent in smaller DRG neurons. RT-PCR analysis suggests zscn1aa/ab, zscn8aa/ab, zscn4ab and zscn5Laa are possible candidates for these I(Na components. Voltage-gated Ca(2+ currents (I(Ca were primarily (87% comprised of a high-voltage activated component arising from ω-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive Ca(V2.2 (N-type Ca(2+ channels. A few DRG neurons (8% displayed a miniscule low-voltage-activated component. I(Ca in zebrafish DRG neurons were modulated by neurotransmitters via either voltage-dependent or -independent G-protein signaling pathway with large cell-to-cell response variability. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our present results indicate that, as in higher vertebrates, zebrafish DRG neurons are heterogeneous being composed of functionally distinct subpopulations that may correlate with different sensory modalities. These findings provide the first comparison of zebrafish and rodent DRG neuron electrical properties and

  2. The neuron identity problem: form meets function.

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    Fishell, Gord; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2013-10-30

    A complete understanding of nervous system function cannot be achieved without the identification of its component cell types. In this Perspective, we explore a series of related issues surrounding cell identity and how revolutionary methods for labeling and probing specific neuronal types have clarified this question. Specifically, we ask the following questions: what is the purpose of such diversity, how is it generated, how is it maintained, and, ultimately, how can one unambiguously identity one cell type from another? We suggest that each cell type can be defined by a unique and conserved molecular ground state that determines its capabilities. We believe that gaining an understanding of these molecular barcodes will advance our ability to explore brain function, enhance our understanding of the biochemical basis of CNS disorders, and aid in the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Distinctive changes in plasma membrane phosphoinositides underlie differential regulation of TRPV1 in nociceptive neurons.

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    Lukacs, Viktor; Yudin, Yevgen; Hammond, Gerald R; Sharma, Esseim; Fukami, Kiyoko; Rohacs, Tibor

    2013-07-10

    Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a polymodal, Ca(2+)-permeable cation channel crucial to regulation of nociceptor responsiveness. Sensitization of TRPV1 by G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) agonists to its endogenous activators, such as low pH and noxious heat, is a key factor in hyperalgesia during tissue injury as well as pathological pain syndromes. Conversely, chronic pharmacological activation of TRPV1 by capsaicin leads to calcium influx-induced adaptation of the channel. Paradoxically, both conditions entail activation of phospholipase C (PLC) enzymes, which hydrolyze phosphoinositides. We found that in sensory neurons PLCβ activation by bradykinin led to a moderate decrease in phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2), but no sustained change in the levels of its precursor PI(4)P. Preventing this selective decrease in PI(4,5)P2 inhibited TRPV1 sensitization, while selectively decreasing PI(4,5)P2 independently of PLC potentiated the sensitizing effect of protein kinase C (PKC) on the channel, thereby inducing increased TRPV1 responsiveness. Maximal pharmacological TRPV1 stimulation led to a robust decrease of both PI(4,5)P2 and its precursor PI(4)P in sensory neurons. Attenuating the decrease of either lipid significantly reduced desensitization, and simultaneous reduction of PI(4,5)P2 and PI(4)P independently of PLC inhibited TRPV1. We found that, on the mRNA level, the dominant highly Ca(2+)-sensitive PLC isoform in dorsal root ganglia is PLCδ4. Capsaicin-induced desensitization of TRPV1 currents was significantly reduced, whereas capsaicin-induced nerve impulses in the skin-nerve preparation increased in mice lacking this isoform. We propose a comprehensive model in which differential changes in phosphoinositide levels mediated by distinct PLC isoforms result in opposing changes in TRPV1 activity.

  4. Evaluation of mRNA expression levels and electrophysiological function of neuron-like cells derived from canine bone marrow stromal cells.

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    Nakano, Rei; Edamura, Kazuya; Sugiya, Hiroshi; Narita, Takanori; Okabayashi, Ken; Moritomo, Tadaaki; Teshima, Kenji; Asano, Kazushi; Nakayama, Tomohiro

    2013-10-01

    To investigate the in vitro differentiation of canine bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) into functional, mature neurons. Bone marrow from 6 adult dogs. BMSCs were isolated from bone marrow and chemically induced to develop into neurons. The morphology of the BMSCs during neuronal induction was monitored, and immunocytochemical analyses for neuron markers were performed after the induction. Real-time PCR methods were used to evaluate the mRNA expression levels of markers for neural stem or progenitor cells, neurons, and ion channels, and western blotting was used to assess the expression of neuronal proteins before and after neuronal induction. The electrophysiological properties of the neuron-like cells induced from canine BMSCs were evaluated with fluorescent dye to monitor Ca(2)+ influx. Canine BMSCs developed a neuron-like morphology after neuronal induction. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that these neuron-like cells were positive for neuron markers. After induction, the cells' mRNA expression levels of almost all neuron and ion channel markers increased, and the protein expression levels of nestin and neurofilament-L increased significantly. However, the neuron-like cells derived from canine BMSCs did not have the Ca(2)+ influx characteristic of spiking neurons. Although canine BMSCs had neuron-like morphological and biochemical properties after induction, they did not develop the electrophysiological characteristics of neurons. Thus, these results have suggested that canine BMSCs could have the capacity to differentiate into a neuronal lineage, but the differentiation protocol used may have been insufficient to induce development into functional neurons.

  5. Proliferative hypothalamic neurospheres express NPY, AGRP, POMC, CART and Orexin-A and differentiate to functional neurons.

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    Lígia Sousa-Ferreira

    Full Text Available Some pathological conditions with feeding pattern alterations, including obesity and Huntington disease (HD are associated with hypothalamic dysfunction and neuronal cell death. Additionally, the hypothalamus is a neurogenic region with the constitutive capacity to generate new cells of neuronal lineage, in adult rodents. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the expression of feeding-related neuropeptides in hypothalamic progenitor cells and their capacity to differentiate to functional neurons which have been described to be affected by hypothalamic dysfunction. Our study shows that hypothalamic progenitor cells from rat embryos grow as floating neurospheres and express the feeding-related neuropeptides Neuropeptide Y (NPY, Agouti-related Protein (AGRP, Pro-OpioMelanocortin (POMC, Cocaine-and-Amphetamine Responsive Transcript (CART and Orexin-A/Hypocretin-1. Moreover the relative mRNA expression of NPY and POMC increases during the expansion of hypothalamic neurospheres in proliferative conditions.Mature neurons were obtained from the differentiation of hypothalamic progenitor cells including NPY, AGRP, POMC, CART and Orexin-A positive neurons. Furthermore the relative mRNA expression of NPY, CART and Orexin-A increases after the differentiation of hypothalamic neurospheres. Similarly to the adult hypothalamic neurons the neurospheres-derived neurons express the glutamate transporter EAAT3. The orexigenic and anorexigenic phenotype of these neurons was identified by functional response to ghrelin and leptin hormones, respectively. This work demonstrates the presence of appetite-related neuropeptides in hypothalamic progenitor cells and neurons obtained from the differentiation of hypothalamic neurospheres, including the neuronal phenotypes that have been described by others as being affected by hypothalamic neurodegeneration. These in vitro models can be used to study hypothalamic progenitor cells aiming a therapeutic intervention to

  6. The Effects of NAD+ on Apoptotic Neuronal Death and Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Function after Glutamate Excitotoxicity

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    Wang, Xiaowan; Li, Hailong; Ding, Shinghua

    2014-01-01

    NAD+ is an essential co-enzyme for cellular energy metabolism and is also involved as a substrate for many cellular enzymatic reactions. It has been shown that NAD+ has a beneficial effect on neuronal survival and brain injury in in vitro and in vivo ischemic models. However, the effect of NAD+ on mitochondrial biogenesis and function in ischemia has not been well investigated. In the present study, we used an in vitro glutamate excitotoxicity model of primary cultured cortical neurons to study the effect of NAD+ on apoptotic neuronal death and mitochondrial biogenesis and function. Our results show that supplementation of NAD+ could effectively reduce apoptotic neuronal death, and apoptotic inducing factor translocation after neurons were challenged with excitotoxic glutamate stimulation. Using different approaches including confocal imaging, mitochondrial DNA measurement and Western blot analysis of PGC-1 and NRF-1, we also found that NAD+ could significantly attenuate glutamate-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and the impairment of mitochondrial biogenesis. Furthermore, NAD+ treatment effectively inhibited mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization and NADH redistribution after excitotoxic glutamate stimulation. Taken together, our results demonstrated that NAD+ is capable of inhibiting apoptotic neuronal death after glutamate excitotoxicity via preserving mitochondrial biogenesis and integrity. Our findings provide insights into potential neuroprotective strategies in ischemic stroke. PMID:25387075

  7. Planar polarity pathway and Nance-Horan syndrome-like 1b have essential cell-autonomous functions in neuronal migration.

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    Walsh, Gregory S; Grant, Paul K; Morgan, John A; Moens, Cecilia B

    2011-07-01

    Components of the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway are required for the caudal tangential migration of facial branchiomotor (FBM) neurons, but how PCP signaling regulates this migration is not understood. In a forward genetic screen, we identified a new gene, nhsl1b, required for FBM neuron migration. nhsl1b encodes a WAVE-homology domain-containing protein related to human Nance-Horan syndrome (NHS) protein and Drosophila GUK-holder (Gukh), which have been shown to interact with components of the WAVE regulatory complex that controls cytoskeletal dynamics and with the polarity protein Scribble, respectively. Nhsl1b localizes to FBM neuron membrane protrusions and interacts physically and genetically with Scrib to control FBM neuron migration. Using chimeric analysis, we show that FBM neurons have two modes of migration: one involving interactions between the neurons and their planar-polarized environment, and an alternative, collective mode involving interactions between the neurons themselves. We demonstrate that the first mode of migration requires the cell-autonomous functions of Nhsl1b and the PCP components Scrib and Vangl2 in addition to the non-autonomous functions of Scrib and Vangl2, which serve to polarize the epithelial cells in the environment of the migrating neurons. These results define a role for Nhsl1b as a neuronal effector of PCP signaling and indicate that proper FBM neuron migration is directly controlled by PCP signaling between the epithelium and the migrating neurons.

  8. Anti-Tribbles Pseudokinase 2 (TRIB2)-Immunization Modulates Hypocretin/Orexin Neuronal Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Susumu; Honda, Yoshiko; Honda, Makoto; Yamada, Hisao; Honda, Kazuki; Kodama, Tohru

    2017-01-01

    Recent findings showed that 16%-26% of narcolepsy patients were positive for anti-tribbles pseudokinase 2 (TRIB2) antibody, and the intracerebroventricular administration of immunoglobulin-G purified from anti-TRIB2 positive narcolepsy patients caused hypocretin/orexin neuron loss. We investigated the pathophysiological role of TRIB2 antibody using TRIB2-immunized rats and hypocretin/ataxin-3 transgenic (ataxin-3) mice. Plasma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and hypothalamic tissues from TRIB2-immunized rats were collected. Anti-TRIB2 titers, hypocretin contents, mRNA expressions, the cell count of hypocretin neurons, and immunoreactivity of anti-TRIB2 antibodies on hypocretin neurons were investigated. The plasma from ataxin-3 mice was also used to determine the anti-TRIB2 antibody titer changes following the loss of hypocretin neurons. TRIB2 antibody titers increased in the plasma and CSF of TRIB2-immunized rats. The hypothalamic tissue immunostained with the sera from TRIB2-immunized rats revealed positive signals in the cytoplasm of hypcretin neurons. While no changes were found regarding hypothalamic hypocretin contents or cell counts, but there were significant decreases of the hypocretin mRNA level and release into the CSF. The plasma from over 26-week-old ataxin-3 mice, at the advanced stage of hypocretin cell destruction, showed positive reactions against TRIB2 antigen, and positive plasma also reacted with murine hypothalamic hypocretin neurons. Our results suggest that the general activation of the immune system modulates the functions of hypocretin neurons. The absence of a change in hypocretin cell populations suggested that factors other than anti-TRIB2 antibody play a part in the loss of hypocretin neurons in narcolepsy. The increased anti-TRIB2 antibody after the destruction of hypocretin neurons suggest that anti-TRIB2 antibody in narcolepsy patients is the consequence rather than the inciting cause of hypocretin cell destruction. © Sleep Research

  9. Spliceosome integrity is defective in the motor neuron diseases ALS and SMA

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    Tsuiji, Hitomi; Iguchi, Yohei; Furuya, Asako; Kataoka, Ayane; Hatsuta, Hiroyuki; Atsuta, Naoki; Tanaka, Fumiaki; Hashizume, Yoshio; Akatsu, Hiroyasu; Murayama, Shigeo; Sobue, Gen; Yamanaka, Koji

    2013-01-01

    Two motor neuron diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), are caused by distinct genes involved in RNA metabolism, TDP-43 and FUS/TLS, and SMN, respectively. However, whether there is a shared defective mechanism in RNA metabolism common to these two diseases remains unclear. Here, we show that TDP-43 and FUS/TLS localize in nuclear Gems through an association with SMN, and that all three proteins function in spliceosome maintenance. We also show that in ALS, Gems are lost, U snRNA levels are up-regulated and spliceosomal U snRNPs abnormally and extensively accumulate in motor neuron nuclei, but not in the temporal lobe of FTLD with TDP-43 pathology. This aberrant accumulation of U snRNAs in ALS motor neurons is in direct contrast to SMA motor neurons, which show reduced amounts of U snRNAs, while both have defects in the spliceosome. These findings indicate that a profound loss of spliceosome integrity is a critical mechanism common to neurodegeneration in ALS and SMA, and may explain cell-type specific vulnerability of motor neurons. PMID:23255347

  10. Methyl-CpG binding-protein 2 function in cholinergic neurons mediates cardiac arrhythmogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, José A; Ward, Christopher S; Wehrens, Xander H T; Neul, Jeffrey L

    2016-11-15

    Sudden unexpected death occurs in one quarter of deaths in Rett Syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). People with RTT show a variety of autonomic nervous system (ANS) abnormalities and mouse models show similar problems including QTc interval prolongation and hypothermia. To explore the role of cardiac problems in sudden death in RTT, we characterized cardiac rhythm in mice lacking Mecp2 function. Male and female mutant mice exhibited spontaneous cardiac rhythm abnormalities including bradycardic events, sinus pauses, atrioventricular block, premature ventricular contractions, non-sustained ventricular arrhythmias, and increased heart rate variability. Death was associated with spontaneous cardiac arrhythmias and complete conduction block. Atropine treatment reduced cardiac arrhythmias in mutant mice, implicating overactive parasympathetic tone. To explore the role of MeCP2 within the parasympathetic neurons, we selectively removed MeCP2 function from cholinergic neurons (MeCP2 ChAT KO), which recapitulated the cardiac rhythm abnormalities, hypothermia, and early death seen in RTT male mice. Conversely, restoring MeCP2 only in cholinergic neurons rescued these phenotypes. Thus, MeCP2 in cholinergic neurons is necessary and sufficient for autonomic cardiac control, thermoregulation, and survival, and targeting the overactive parasympathetic system may be a useful therapeutic strategy to prevent sudden unexpected death in RTT.

  11. An image-free opto-mechanical system for creating virtual environments and imaging neuronal activity in freely moving Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Faumont

    Full Text Available Non-invasive recording in untethered animals is arguably the ultimate step in the analysis of neuronal function, but such recordings remain elusive. To address this problem, we devised a system that tracks neuron-sized fluorescent targets in real time. The system can be used to create virtual environments by optogenetic activation of sensory neurons, or to image activity in identified neurons at high magnification. By recording activity in neurons of freely moving C. elegans, we tested the long-standing hypothesis that forward and reverse locomotion are generated by distinct neuronal circuits. Surprisingly, we found motor neurons that are active during both types of locomotion, suggesting a new model of locomotion control in C. elegans. These results emphasize the importance of recording neuronal activity in freely moving animals and significantly expand the potential of imaging techniques by providing a mean to stabilize fluorescent targets.

  12. A role for Runx transcription factor signaling in dorsal root ganglion sensory neuron diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Ina; Sigrist, Markus; de Nooij, Joriene C; Taniuchi, Ichiro; Jessell, Thomas M; Arber, Silvia

    2006-02-02

    Subpopulations of sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) can be characterized on the basis of sensory modalities that convey distinct peripheral stimuli, but the molecular mechanisms that underlie sensory neuronal diversification remain unclear. Here, we have used genetic manipulations in the mouse embryo to examine how Runx transcription factor signaling controls the acquisition of distinct DRG neuronal subtype identities. Runx3 acts to diversify an Ngn1-independent neuronal cohort by promoting the differentiation of proprioceptive sensory neurons through erosion of TrkB expression in prospective TrkC+ sensory neurons. In contrast, Runx1 controls neuronal diversification within Ngn1-dependent TrkA+ neurons by repression of neuropeptide CGRP expression and controlling the fine pattern of laminar termination in the dorsal spinal cord. Together, our findings suggest that Runx transcription factor signaling plays a key role in sensory neuron diversification.

  13. Determinants of functional coupling between astrocytes and respiratory neurons in the pre-Bötzinger complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Schnell

    Full Text Available Respiratory neuronal network activity is thought to require efficient functioning of astrocytes. Here, we analyzed neuron-astrocyte communication in the pre-Bötzinger Complex (preBötC of rhythmic slice preparations from neonatal mice. In astrocytes that exhibited rhythmic potassium fluxes and glutamate transporter currents, we did not find a translation of respiratory neuronal activity into phase-locked astroglial calcium signals. In up to 20% of astrocytes, 2-photon calcium imaging revealed spontaneous calcium fluctuations, although with no correlation to neuronal activity. Calcium signals could be elicited in preBötC astrocytes by metabotropic glutamate receptor activation or after inhibition of glial glutamate uptake. In the latter case, astrocyte calcium elevation preceded a surge of respiratory neuron discharge activity followed by network failure. We conclude that astrocytes do not exhibit respiratory-rhythmic calcium fluctuations when they are able to prevent synaptic glutamate accumulation. Calcium signaling is, however, observed when glutamate transport processes in astrocytes are suppressed or neuronal discharge activity is excessive.

  14. Error-based analysis of optimal tuning functions explains phenomena observed in sensory neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Yaeli

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological systems display impressive capabilities in effectively responding to environmental signals in real time. There is increasing evidence that organisms may indeed be employing near optimal Bayesian calculations in their decision-making. An intriguing question relates to the properties of optimal encoding methods, namely determining the properties of neural populations in sensory layers that optimize performance, subject to physiological constraints. Within an ecological theory of neural encoding/decoding, we show that optimal Bayesian performance requires neural adaptation which reflects environmental changes. Specifically, we predict that neuronal tuning functions possess an optimal width, which increases with prior uncertainty and environmental noise, and decreases with the decoding time window. Furthermore, even for static stimuli, we demonstrate that dynamic sensory tuning functions, acting at relatively short time scales, lead to improved performance. Interestingly, the narrowing of tuning functions as a function of time was recently observed in several biological systems. Such results set the stage for a functional theory which may explain the high reliability of sensory systems, and the utility of neuronal adaptation occurring at multiple time scales.

  15. Error-based analysis of optimal tuning functions explains phenomena observed in sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaeli, Steve; Meir, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Biological systems display impressive capabilities in effectively responding to environmental signals in real time. There is increasing evidence that organisms may indeed be employing near optimal Bayesian calculations in their decision-making. An intriguing question relates to the properties of optimal encoding methods, namely determining the properties of neural populations in sensory layers that optimize performance, subject to physiological constraints. Within an ecological theory of neural encoding/decoding, we show that optimal Bayesian performance requires neural adaptation which reflects environmental changes. Specifically, we predict that neuronal tuning functions possess an optimal width, which increases with prior uncertainty and environmental noise, and decreases with the decoding time window. Furthermore, even for static stimuli, we demonstrate that dynamic sensory tuning functions, acting at relatively short time scales, lead to improved performance. Interestingly, the narrowing of tuning functions as a function of time was recently observed in several biological systems. Such results set the stage for a functional theory which may explain the high reliability of sensory systems, and the utility of neuronal adaptation occurring at multiple time scales.

  16. Target-specific M1 inputs to infragranular S1 pyramidal neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanselow, Erika E.; Simons, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    The functional role of input from the primary motor cortex (M1) to primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is unclear; one key to understanding this pathway may lie in elucidating the cell-type specific microcircuits that connect S1 and M1. Recently, we discovered that a subset of pyramidal neurons in the infragranular layers of S1 receive especially strong input from M1 (Kinnischtzke AK, Simons DJ, Fanselow EE. Cereb Cortex 24: 2237–2248, 2014), suggesting that M1 may affect specific classes of pyramidal neurons differently. Here, using combined optogenetic and retrograde labeling approaches in the mouse, we examined the strengths of M1 inputs to five classes of infragranular S1 neurons categorized by their projections to particular cortical and subcortical targets. We found that the magnitude of M1 synaptic input to S1 pyramidal neurons varies greatly depending on the projection target of the postsynaptic neuron. Of the populations examined, M1-projecting corticocortical neurons in L6 received the strongest M1 inputs, whereas ventral posterior medial nucleus-projecting corticothalamic neurons, also located in L6, received the weakest. Each population also possessed distinct intrinsic properties. The results suggest that M1 differentially engages specific classes of S1 projection neurons, thereby regulating the motor-related influence S1 exerts over subcortical structures. PMID:27334960

  17. Toxic effects of lead on neuronal development and function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freedman, R.; Olson, L.; Hoffer, B.J.

    1990-01-01

    The effects of lead on the development of the nervous system are of immediate concern to human health. While it is clear that lead can affect neuronal development at levels of exposure within the range found in the environment, the particular mechanism of the disruption is not readily ascertained. The goal of the authors research is to develop a model system in which the effects of lead on central nervous system development can be demonstrated. To study neuronal development in a system that minimizes such difficulties, the authors have grafted discrete brain regions derived from rat fetuses into the anterior chamber of the eye of adult hosts. The brain pieces continue organotypic development in the eye, but are isolated from possible secondary changes due to alterations in the development of the endocrine and other somatic systems because the adult host has these systems already fully developed. Using this system, they have discovered that lead induces a hypernoradrenergic innervation of central nervous system tissue. The increased innervation is observed not only structurally, but also functionally. Since norepinephrine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, this ingrowth may explain the profound slowing of discharge of cerebellar neurons recorded in grafts of lead-treated animals. Studies in other tissues suggest that increased axonal ingrowth may be a general problem of lead intoxication that encompasses many brain areas, as well as peripheral sympathetic systems

  18. Reward inference by primate prefrontal and striatal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xiaochuan; Fan, Hongwei; Sawa, Kosuke; Tsuda, Ichiro; Tsukada, Minoru; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2014-01-22

    The brain contains multiple yet distinct systems involved in reward prediction. To understand the nature of these processes, we recorded single-unit activity from the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and the striatum in monkeys performing a reward inference task using an asymmetric reward schedule. We found that neurons both in the LPFC and in the striatum predicted reward values for stimuli that had been previously well experienced with set reward quantities in the asymmetric reward task. Importantly, these LPFC neurons could predict the reward value of a stimulus using transitive inference even when the monkeys had not yet learned the stimulus-reward association directly; whereas these striatal neurons did not show such an ability. Nevertheless, because there were two set amounts of reward (large and small), the selected striatal neurons were able to exclusively infer the reward value (e.g., large) of one novel stimulus from a pair after directly experiencing the alternative stimulus with the other reward value (e.g., small). Our results suggest that although neurons that predict reward value for old stimuli in the LPFC could also do so for new stimuli via transitive inference, those in the striatum could only predict reward for new stimuli via exclusive inference. Moreover, the striatum showed more complex functions than was surmised previously for model-free learning.

  19. Functional integration of grafted neural stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons monitored by optogenetics in an in vitro Parkinson model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tønnesen, Jan; Parish, Clare L; Sørensen, Andreas T

    2011-01-01

    Intrastriatal grafts of stem cell-derived dopamine (DA) neurons induce behavioral recovery in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD), but how they functionally integrate in host neural circuitries is poorly understood. Here, Wnt5a-overexpressing neural stem cells derived from embryonic ventral...... of post-synaptic currents, and functional expression of DA D₂ autoreceptors. These properties resembled those recorded from identical cells in acute slices of intrastriatal grafts in the 6-hydroxy-DA-induced mouse PD model and from DA neurons in intact substantia nigra. Optogenetic activation...... using optogenetics that ectopically grafted stem cell-derived DA neurons become functionally integrated in the DA-denervated striatum. Further optogenetic dissection of the synaptic wiring between grafted and host neurons will be crucial to clarify the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying...

  20. Bayesian nonparametric modeling for comparison of single-neuron firing intensities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kottas, Athanasios; Behseta, Sam

    2010-03-01

    We propose a fully inferential model-based approach to the problem of comparing the firing patterns of a neuron recorded under two distinct experimental conditions. The methodology is based on nonhomogeneous Poisson process models for the firing times of each condition with flexible nonparametric mixture prior models for the corresponding intensity functions. We demonstrate posterior inferences from a global analysis, which may be used to compare the two conditions over the entire experimental time window, as well as from a pointwise analysis at selected time points to detect local deviations of firing patterns from one condition to another. We apply our method on two neurons recorded from the primary motor cortex area of a monkey's brain while performing a sequence of reaching tasks.

  1. REMOD: a computational tool for remodeling neuronal dendrites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panagiotis Bozelos

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, several modeling studies have indicated that dendritic morphology is a key determinant of how individual neurons acquire a unique signal processing profile. The highly branched dendritic structure that originates from the cell body, explores the surrounding 3D space in a fractal-like manner, until it reaches a certain amount of complexity. Its shape undergoes significant alterations not only in various neuropathological conditions, but in physiological, too. Yet, despite the profound effect that these alterations can have on neuronal function, the causal relationship between structure and function remains largely elusive. The lack of a systematic approach for remodeling neuronal cells and their dendritic trees is a key limitation that contributes to this problem. In this context, we developed a computational tool that allows the remodeling of any type of neurons, given a set of exemplar morphologies. The tool is written in Python and provides a simple GUI that guides the user through various options to manipulate selected neuronal morphologies. It provides the ability to load one or more morphology files (.swc or .hoc and choose specific dendrites to operate one of the following actions: shrink, remove, extend or branch (as shown in Figure 1. The user retains complete control over the extent of each alteration and if a chosen action is not possible due to pre-existing structural constraints, appropriate warnings are produced. Importantly, the tool can also be used to extract morphology statistics for one or multiple morphologies, including features such as the total dendritic length, path length to the root, branch order, diameter tapering, etc. Finally, an experimental utility enables the user to remodel entire dendritic trees based on preloaded statistics from a database of cell-type specific neuronal morphologies. To our knowledge, this is the first tool that allows (a the remodeling of existing –as opposed to the de novo

  2. Electrophysiology of glioma: a Rho GTPase-activating protein reduces tumor growth and spares neuron structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannini, Eleonora; Olimpico, Francesco; Middei, Silvia; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; de Graaf, Erik L; McDonnell, Liam; Schmidt, Gudula; Fabbri, Alessia; Fiorentini, Carla; Baroncelli, Laura; Costa, Mario; Caleo, Matteo

    2016-12-01

    Glioblastomas are the most aggressive type of brain tumor. A successful treatment should aim at halting tumor growth and protecting neuronal cells to prevent functional deficits and cognitive deterioration. Here, we exploited a Rho GTPase-activating bacterial protein toxin, cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 (CNF1), to interfere with glioma cell growth in vitro and vivo. We also investigated whether this toxin spares neuron structure and function in peritumoral areas. We performed a microarray transcriptomic and in-depth proteomic analysis to characterize the molecular changes triggered by CNF1 in glioma cells. We also examined tumor cell senescence and growth in vehicle- and CNF1-treated glioma-bearing mice. Electrophysiological and morphological techniques were used to investigate neuronal alterations in peritumoral cortical areas. Administration of CNF1 triggered molecular and morphological hallmarks of senescence in mouse and human glioma cells in vitro. CNF1 treatment in vivo induced glioma cell senescence and potently reduced tumor volumes. In peritumoral areas of glioma-bearing mice, neurons showed a shrunken dendritic arbor and severe functional alterations such as increased spontaneous activity and reduced visual responsiveness. CNF1 treatment enhanced dendritic length and improved several physiological properties of pyramidal neurons, demonstrating functional preservation of the cortical network. Our findings demonstrate that CNF1 reduces glioma volume while at the same time maintaining the physiological and structural properties of peritumoral neurons. These data indicate a promising strategy for the development of more effective antiglioma therapies. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Neuron-specific specificity protein 4 bigenomically regulates the transcription of all mitochondria- and nucleus-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit genes in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johar, Kaid; Priya, Anusha; Dhar, Shilpa; Liu, Qiuli; Wong-Riley, Margaret T T

    2013-11-01

    Neurons are highly dependent on oxidative metabolism for their energy supply, and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is a key energy-generating enzyme in the mitochondria. A unique feature of COX is that it is one of only four proteins in mammalian cells that are bigenomically regulated. Of its thirteen subunits, three are encoded in the mitochondrial genome and ten are nuclear-encoded on nine different chromosomes. The mechanism of regulating this multisubunit, bigenomic enzyme poses a distinct challenge. In recent years, we found that nuclear respiratory factors 1 and 2 (NRF-1 and NRF-2) mediate such bigenomic coordination. The latest candidate is the specificity factor (Sp) family of proteins. In N2a cells, we found that Sp1 regulates all 13 COX subunits. However, we discovered recently that in primary neurons, it is Sp4 and not Sp1 that regulates some of the key glutamatergic receptor subunit genes. The question naturally arises as to the role of Sp4 in regulating COX in primary neurons. The present study utilized multiple approaches, including chromatin immunoprecipitation, promoter mutational analysis, knockdown and over-expression of Sp4, as well as functional assays to document that Sp4 indeed functionally regulate all 13 subunits of COX as well as mitochondrial transcription factors A and B. The present study discovered that among the specificity family of transcription factors, it is the less known neuron-specific Sp4 that regulates the expression of all 13 subunits of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COX) enzyme in primary neurons. Sp4 also regulates the three mitochondrial transcription factors (TFAM, TFB1M, and TFB2M) and a COX assembly protein SURF-1 in primary neurons. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  4. 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.

  5. The autism-associated MET receptor tyrosine kinase engages early neuronal growth mechanism and controls glutamatergic circuits development in the forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Y; Lu, Z; Li, G; Piechowicz, M; Anderson, M; Uddin, Y; Wu, J; Qiu, S

    2016-07-01

    The human MET gene imparts a replicated risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and is implicated in the structural and functional integrity of brain. MET encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, MET, which has a pleiotropic role in embryogenesis and modifies a large number of neurodevelopmental events. Very little is known, however, on how MET signaling engages distinct cellular events to collectively affect brain development in ASD-relevant disease domains. Here, we show that MET protein expression is dynamically regulated and compartmentalized in developing neurons. MET is heavily expressed in neuronal growth cones at early developmental stages and its activation engages small GTPase Cdc42 to promote neuronal growth, dendritic arborization and spine formation. Genetic ablation of MET signaling in mouse dorsal pallium leads to altered neuronal morphology indicative of early functional maturation. In contrast, prolonged activation of MET represses the formation and functional maturation of glutamatergic synapses. Moreover, manipulating MET signaling levels in vivo in the developing prefrontal projection neurons disrupts the local circuit connectivity made onto these neurons. Therefore, normal time-delimited MET signaling is critical in regulating the timing of neuronal growth, glutamatergic synapse maturation and cortical circuit function. Dysregulated MET signaling may lead to pathological changes in forebrain maturation and connectivity, and thus contribute to the emergence of neurological symptoms associated with ASD.

  6. Neurotrophin-3 Enhances the Synaptic Organizing Function of TrkC-Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase σ in Rat Hippocampal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Naito, Yusuke; Craig, Ann Marie; Takahashi, Hideto

    2015-09-09

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its high-affinity receptor TrkC play crucial trophic roles in neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth, and synapse development and plasticity in the nervous system. We demonstrated previously that postsynaptic TrkC functions as a glutamatergic synapse-inducing (synaptogenic) cell adhesion molecule trans-interacting with presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ). Given that NT-3 and PTPσ bind distinct domains of the TrkC extracellular region, here we tested the hypothesis that NT-3 modulates TrkC/PTPσ binding and synaptogenic activity. NT-3 enhanced PTPσ binding to cell surface-expressed TrkC and facilitated the presynapse-inducing activity of TrkC in rat hippocampal neurons. Imaging of recycling presynaptic vesicles combined with TrkC knockdown and rescue approaches demonstrated that NT-3 rapidly potentiates presynaptic function via binding endogenous postsynaptic TrkC in a tyrosine kinase-independent manner. Thus, NT-3 positively modulates the TrkC-PTPσ complex for glutamatergic presynaptic assembly and function independently from TrkC kinase activation. Our findings provide new insight into synaptic roles of neurotrophin signaling and mechanisms controlling synaptic organizing complexes. Significance statement: Although many synaptogenic adhesion complexes have been identified in recent years, little is known about modulatory mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate a novel role of neurotrophin-3 in synaptic assembly and function as a positive modulator of the TrkC-protein tyrosine phosphatase σ complex. This study provides new insight into the involvement of neurotrophin signaling in synapse development and plasticity, presenting a molecular mechanism that may underlie previous observations of short- and long-term enhancement of presynaptic function by neurotrophin. Given the links of synaptogenic adhesion molecules to autism and schizophrenia, this study might also contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of

  7. Mycolactone-mediated neurite degeneration and functional effects in cultured human and rat DRG neurons: Mechanisms underlying hypoalgesia in Buruli ulcer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anand, U; Sinisi, M; Fox, M; MacQuillan, A; Quick, T; Korchev, Y; Bountra, C; McCarthy, T; Anand, P

    2016-01-01

    Mycolactone is a polyketide toxin secreted by the mycobacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans, responsible for the extensive hypoalgesic skin lesions characteristic of patients with Buruli ulcer. A recent pre-clinical study proposed that mycolactone may produce analgesia via activation of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R). In contrast, AT2R antagonist EMA401 has shown analgesic efficacy in animal models and clinical trials for neuropathic pain. We therefore investigated the morphological and functional effects of mycolactone in cultured human and rat dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons and the role of AT2R using EMA401. Primary sensory neurons were prepared from avulsed cervical human DRG and rat DRG; 24 h after plating, neurons were incubated for 24 to 96 h with synthetic mycolactone A/B, followed by immunostaining with antibodies to PGP9.5, Gap43, β tubulin, or Mitotracker dye staining. Acute functional effects were examined by measuring capsaicin responses with calcium imaging in DRG neuronal cultures treated with mycolactone. Morphological effects: Mycolactone-treated cultures showed dramatically reduced numbers of surviving neurons and non-neuronal cells, reduced Gap43 and β tubulin expression, degenerating neurites and reduced cell body diameter, compared with controls. Dose-related reduction of neurite length was observed in mycolactone-treated cultures. Mitochondria were distributed throughout the length of neurites and soma of control neurons, but clustered in the neurites and soma of mycolactone-treated neurons. Functional effects: Mycolactone-treated human and rat DRG neurons showed dose-related inhibition of capsaicin responses, which were reversed by calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine and phosphodiesterase inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-Methylxanthine, indicating involvement of cAMP/ATP reduction. The morphological and functional effects of mycolactone were not altered by Angiotensin II or AT2R antagonist EMA401. Mycolactone induces toxic effects in DRG

  8. Functional crosstalk in culture between macrophages and trigeminal sensory neurons of a mouse genetic model of migraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franceschini, Alessia; Nair, Asha; Bele, Tanja; van den Maagdenberg, Arn Mjm; Nistri, Andrea; Fabbretti, Elsa

    2012-11-21

    Enhanced activity of trigeminal ganglion neurons is thought to underlie neuronal sensitization facilitating the onset of chronic pain attacks, including migraine. Recurrent headache attacks might establish a chronic neuroinflammatory ganglion profile contributing to the hypersensitive phenotype. Since it is difficult to study this process in vivo, we investigated functional crosstalk between macrophages and sensory neurons in primary cultures from trigeminal sensory ganglia of wild-type (WT) or knock-in (KI) mice expressing the Cacna1a gene mutation (R192Q) found in familial hemiplegic migraine-type 1. After studying the number and morphology of resident macrophages in culture, the consequences of adding host macrophages on macrophage phagocytosis and membrane currents mediated by pain-transducing P2X3 receptors on sensory neurons were examined. KI ganglion cultures constitutively contained a larger number of active macrophages, although no difference in P2X3 receptor expression was found. Co-culturing WT or KI ganglia with host macrophages (active as much as resident cells) strongly stimulated single cell phagocytosis. The same protocol had no effect on P2X3 receptor expression in WT or KI co-cultures, but it largely enhanced WT neuron currents that grew to the high amplitude constitutively seen for KI neurons. No further potentiation of KI neuronal currents was observed. Trigeminal ganglion cultures from a genetic mouse model of migraine showed basal macrophage activation together with enhanced neuronal currents mediated by P2X3 receptors. This phenotype could be replicated in WT cultures by adding host macrophages, indicating an important functional crosstalk between macrophages and sensory neurons.

  9. Functional neuroanatomy of the central noradrenergic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabadi, Elemer

    2013-08-01

    The central noradrenergic neurone, like the peripheral sympathetic neurone, is characterized by a diffusely arborizing terminal axonal network. The central neurones aggregate in distinct brainstem nuclei, of which the locus coeruleus (LC) is the most prominent. LC neurones project widely to most areas of the neuraxis, where they mediate dual effects: neuronal excitation by α₁-adrenoceptors and inhibition by α₂-adrenoceptors. The LC plays an important role in physiological regulatory networks. In the sleep/arousal network the LC promotes wakefulness, via excitatory projections to the cerebral cortex and other wakefulness-promoting nuclei, and inhibitory projections to sleep-promoting nuclei. The LC, together with other pontine noradrenergic nuclei, modulates autonomic functions by excitatory projections to preganglionic sympathetic, and inhibitory projections to preganglionic parasympathetic neurones. The LC also modulates the acute effects of light on physiological functions ('photomodulation'): stimulation of arousal and sympathetic activity by light via the LC opposes the inhibitory effects of light mediated by the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus on arousal and by the paraventricular nucleus on sympathetic activity. Photostimulation of arousal by light via the LC may enable diurnal animals to function during daytime. LC neurones degenerate early and progressively in Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, leading to cognitive impairment, depression and sleep disturbance.

  10. Functional integration of grafted neural stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons monitored by optogenetics in an in vitro Parkinson model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tønnesen

    Full Text Available Intrastriatal grafts of stem cell-derived dopamine (DA neurons induce behavioral recovery in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD, but how they functionally integrate in host neural circuitries is poorly understood. Here, Wnt5a-overexpressing neural stem cells derived from embryonic ventral mesencephalon of tyrosine hydroxylase-GFP transgenic mice were expanded as neurospheres and transplanted into organotypic cultures of wild type mouse striatum. Differentiated GFP-labeled DA neurons in the grafts exhibited mature neuronal properties, including spontaneous firing of action potentials, presence of post-synaptic currents, and functional expression of DA D₂ autoreceptors. These properties resembled those recorded from identical cells in acute slices of intrastriatal grafts in the 6-hydroxy-DA-induced mouse PD model and from DA neurons in intact substantia nigra. Optogenetic activation or inhibition of grafted cells and host neurons using channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 and halorhodopsin (NpHR, respectively, revealed complex, bi-directional synaptic interactions between grafted cells and host neurons and extensive synaptic connectivity within the graft. Our data demonstrate for the first time using optogenetics that ectopically grafted stem cell-derived DA neurons become functionally integrated in the DA-denervated striatum. Further optogenetic dissection of the synaptic wiring between grafted and host neurons will be crucial to clarify the cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying behavioral recovery as well as adverse effects following stem cell-based DA cell replacement strategies in PD.

  11. BlastNeuron for Automated Comparison, Retrieval and Clustering of 3D Neuron Morphologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Yinan; Long, Fuhui; Qu, Lei; Xiao, Hang; Hawrylycz, Michael; Myers, Eugene W; Peng, Hanchuan

    2015-10-01

    Characterizing the identity and types of neurons in the brain, as well as their associated function, requires a means of quantifying and comparing 3D neuron morphology. Presently, neuron comparison methods are based on statistics from neuronal morphology such as size and number of branches, which are not fully suitable for detecting local similarities and differences in the detailed structure. We developed BlastNeuron to compare neurons in terms of their global appearance, detailed arborization patterns, and topological similarity. BlastNeuron first compares and clusters 3D neuron reconstructions based on global morphology features and moment invariants, independent of their orientations, sizes, level of reconstruction and other variations. Subsequently, BlastNeuron performs local alignment between any pair of retrieved neurons via a tree-topology driven dynamic programming method. A 3D correspondence map can thus be generated at the resolution of single reconstruction nodes. We applied BlastNeuron to three datasets: (1) 10,000+ neuron reconstructions from a public morphology database, (2) 681 newly and manually reconstructed neurons, and (3) neurons reconstructions produced using several independent reconstruction methods. Our approach was able to accurately and efficiently retrieve morphologically and functionally similar neuron structures from large morphology database, identify the local common structures, and find clusters of neurons that share similarities in both morphology and molecular profiles.

  12. Npas4: Linking Neuronal Activity to Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaochen; Lin, Yingxi

    2016-04-01

    Immediate-early genes (IEGs) are rapidly activated after sensory and behavioral experience and are believed to be crucial for converting experience into long-term memory. Neuronal PAS domain protein 4 (Npas4), a recently discovered IEG, has several characteristics that make it likely to be a particularly important molecular link between neuronal activity and memory: it is among the most rapidly induced IEGs, is expressed only in neurons, and is selectively induced by neuronal activity. By orchestrating distinct activity-dependent gene programs in different neuronal populations, Npas4 affects synaptic connections in excitatory and inhibitory neurons, neural circuit plasticity, and memory formation. It may also be involved in circuit homeostasis through negative feedback and psychiatric disorders. We summarize these findings and discuss their implications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial...... numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether...... for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various...

  14. Chronic activation of hypothalamic oxytocin neurons improves cardiac function during left ventricular hypertrophy-induced heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrott, Kara; Dyavanapalli, Jhansi; Cauley, Edmund; Dwyer, Mary Kate; Kuzmiak-Glancy, Sarah; Wang, Xin; Mendelowitz, David; Kay, Matthew W

    2017-09-01

    A distinctive hallmark of heart failure (HF) is autonomic imbalance, consisting of increased sympathetic activity, and decreased parasympathetic tone. Recent work suggests that activation of hypothalamic oxytocin (OXT) neurons could improve autonomic balance during HF. We hypothesized that a novel method of chronic selective activation of hypothalamic OXT neurons will improve cardiac function and reduce inflammation and fibrosis in a rat model of HF. Two groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent trans-ascending aortic constriction (TAC) to induce left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy that progresses to HF. In one TAC group, OXT neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus were chronically activated by selective expression and activation of excitatory DREADDs receptors with daily injections of clozapine N-oxide (CNO) (TAC + OXT). Two additional age-matched groups received either saline injections (Control) or CNO injections for excitatory DREADDs activation (OXT NORM). Heart rate (HR), LV developed pressure (LVDP), and coronary flow rate were measured in isolated heart experiments. Isoproterenol (0.01 nM-1.0 µM) was administered to evaluate β-adrenergic sensitivity. We found that increases in cellular hypertrophy and myocardial collagen density in TAC were blunted in TAC + OXT animals. Inflammatory cytokine IL-1β expression was more than twice higher in TAC than all other hearts. LVDP, rate pressure product (RPP), contractility, and relaxation were depressed in TAC compared with all other groups. The response of TAC and TAC + OXT hearts to isoproterenol was blunted, with no significant increase in RPP, contractility, or relaxation. However, HR in TAC + OXT animals increased to match Control at higher doses of isoproterenol. Activation of hypothalamic OXT neurons to elevate parasympathetic tone reduced cellular hypertrophy, levels of IL-1β, and fibrosis during TAC-induced HF in rats. Cardiac contractility parameters were

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. PINP: a new method of tagging neuronal populations for identification during in vivo electrophysiological recording.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Q Lima

    Full Text Available Neural circuits are exquisitely organized, consisting of many different neuronal subpopulations. However, it is difficult to assess the functional roles of these subpopulations using conventional extracellular recording techniques because these techniques do not easily distinguish spikes from different neuronal populations. To overcome this limitation, we have developed PINP (Photostimulation-assisted Identification of Neuronal Populations, a method of tagging neuronal populations for identification during in vivo electrophysiological recording. The method is based on expressing the light-activated channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 to restricted neuronal subpopulations. ChR2-tagged neurons can be detected electrophysiologically in vivo since illumination of these neurons with a brief flash of blue light triggers a short latency reliable action potential. We demonstrate the feasibility of this technique by expressing ChR2 in distinct populations of cortical neurons using two different strategies. First, we labeled a subpopulation of cortical neurons-mainly fast-spiking interneurons-by using adeno-associated virus (AAV to deliver ChR2 in a transgenic mouse line in which the expression of Cre recombinase was driven by the parvalbumin promoter. Second, we labeled subpopulations of excitatory neurons in the rat auditory cortex with ChR2 based on projection target by using herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1, which is efficiently taken up by axons and transported retrogradely; we find that this latter population responds to acoustic stimulation differently from unlabeled neurons. Tagging neurons is a novel application of ChR2, used in this case to monitor activity instead of manipulating it. PINP can be readily extended to other populations of genetically identifiable neurons, and will provide a useful method for probing the functional role of different neuronal populations in vivo.

  17. Embryonic Cell Grafts in a Culture Model of Spinal Cord Lesion: Neuronal Relay Formation is Essential for Functional Regeneration

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    Anne Tscherter

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Presently there exists no cure for spinal cord injury. However, transplantation of embryonic tissue into spinal cord lesions resulted in axon outgrowth across the lesion site and some functional recovery, fostering hope for future stem cell therapies. Although in vivo evidence for functional recovery is given, the exact cellular mechanism of the graft support remains elusive: either the grafted cells provide a permissive environment for the host tissue to regenerate itself or the grafts actually integrate functionally into the host neuronal network reconnecting the separated spinal cord circuits. We tested the two hypotheses in an in vitro spinal cord lesion model that is based on propagation of activity between two rat organotypic spinal cord slices in culture. Transplantation of dissociated cells from E14 rat spinal cord or forebrain re-established the relay of activity over the lesion site and, thus, provoked functional regeneration. Combining patch-clamp recordings from transplanted cells with network activity measurements from the host tissue on multi-electrode arrays we here show that neurons differentiate from the grafted cells and integrate into the host circuits. Optogenetic silencing of neurons developed from transplanted embryonic mouse forebrain cells provides clear evidence that they replace the lost neuronal connections to relay and synchronize activity between the separated spinal cord circuits. In contrast, transplantation of neurospheres induced neither the differentiation of mature neurons from the grafts nor an improvement of functional regeneration. Together these findings suggest, that the formation of neuronal relays from grafted embryonic cells is essential to re-connect segregated spinal cord circuits.

  18. Developmental profiles of the intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in preterm and term baboon neonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sei Eun; Lee, Seul Yi; Blanco, Cynthia L; Kim, Jun Hee

    2014-08-20

    The human fetus starts to hear and undergoes major developmental changes in the auditory system during the third trimester of pregnancy. Although there are significant data regarding development of the auditory system in rodents, changes in intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in developing primate brain at hearing onset are poorly understood. We performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of principal neurons in the medial nucleus of trapezoid body (MNTB) in preterm and term baboon brainstem slices to study the structural and functional maturation of auditory synapses. Each MNTB principal neuron received an excitatory input from a single calyx of Held terminal, and this one-to-one pattern of innervation was already formed in preterm baboons delivered at 67% of normal gestation. There was no difference in frequency or amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic synaptic currents between preterm and term MNTB neurons. In contrast, the frequency of spontaneous GABA(A)/glycine receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents, which were prevalent in preterm MNTB neurons, was significantly reduced in term MNTB neurons. Preterm MNTB neurons had a higher input resistance than term neurons and fired in bursts, whereas term MNTB neurons fired a single action potential in response to suprathreshold current injection. The maturation of intrinsic properties and dominance of excitatory inputs in the primate MNTB allow it to take on its mature role as a fast and reliable relay synapse. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3411399-06$15.00/0.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Cell-Type Specific Development of the Hyperpolarization-Activated Current, Ih, in Prefrontal Cortical Neurons

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    Sha-Sha Yang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available H-current, also known as hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih, is an inward current generated by the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN cation channels. Ih plays an essential role in regulating neuronal properties, synaptic integration and plasticity, and synchronous activity in the brain. As these biological factors change across development, the brain undergoes varying levels of vulnerability to disorders like schizophrenia that disrupt prefrontal cortex (PFC-dependent function. However, developmental changes in Ih in PFC neurons remains untested. Here, we examine Ih in pyramidal neurons vs. gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic parvalbumin-expressing (PV+ interneurons in developing mouse PFC. Our findings show that the amplitudes of Ih in these cell types are identical during the juvenile period but differ at later time points. In pyramidal neurons, Ih amplitude significantly increases from juvenile to adolescence and follows a similar trend into adulthood. In contrast, the amplitude of Ih in PV+ interneurons decreases from juvenile to adolescence, and does not change from adolescence to adulthood. Moreover, the kinetics of HCN channels in pyramidal neurons is significantly slower than in PV+ interneurons, with a gradual decrease in pyramidal neurons and a gradual increase in PV+ cells across development. Our study reveals distinct developmental trajectories of Ih in pyramidal neurons and PV+ interneurons. The cell-type specific alteration of Ih during the critical period from juvenile to adolescence reflects the contribution of Ih to the maturation of the PFC and PFC-dependent function. These findings are essential for a better understanding of normal PFC function, and for elucidating Ih’s crucial role in the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

  2. Functional crosstalk in culture between macrophages and trigeminal sensory neurons of a mouse genetic model of migraine

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    Franceschini Alessia

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Enhanced activity of trigeminal ganglion neurons is thought to underlie neuronal sensitization facilitating the onset of chronic pain attacks, including migraine. Recurrent headache attacks might establish a chronic neuroinflammatory ganglion profile contributing to the hypersensitive phenotype. Since it is difficult to study this process in vivo, we investigated functional crosstalk between macrophages and sensory neurons in primary cultures from trigeminal sensory ganglia of wild-type (WT or knock-in (KI mice expressing the Cacna1a gene mutation (R192Q found in familial hemiplegic migraine-type 1. After studying the number and morphology of resident macrophages in culture, the consequences of adding host macrophages on macrophage phagocytosis and membrane currents mediated by pain-transducing P2X3 receptors on sensory neurons were examined. Results KI ganglion cultures constitutively contained a larger number of active macrophages, although no difference in P2X3 receptor expression was found. Co-culturing WT or KI ganglia with host macrophages (active as much as resident cells strongly stimulated single cell phagocytosis. The same protocol had no effect on P2X3 receptor expression in WT or KI co-cultures, but it largely enhanced WT neuron currents that grew to the high amplitude constitutively seen for KI neurons. No further potentiation of KI neuronal currents was observed. Conclusions Trigeminal ganglion cultures from a genetic mouse model of migraine showed basal macrophage activation together with enhanced neuronal currents mediated by P2X3 receptors. This phenotype could be replicated in WT cultures by adding host macrophages, indicating an important functional crosstalk between macrophages and sensory neurons.

  3. Neuronal release of proBDNF

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Jianmin; Siao, Chia-Jen; Nagappan, Guhan; Marinic, Tina; Jing, Deqiang; McGrath, Kelly; Chen, Zhe-Yu; Mark, Willie; Tessarollo, Lino; Lee, Francis S; Lu, Bai; Hempstead, Barbara L

    2009-01-01

    Pro–brain-derived neurotrophic factor (proBDNF) and mature BDNF utilize distinct receptors to mediate divergent neuronal actions. Using new tools to quantitate endogenous BDNF isoforms, we found that mouse neurons secrete both proBDNF and mature BDNF. The highest levels of proBDNF and p75 were observed perinatally and declined, but were still detectable, in adulthood. Thus, BDNF actions are developmentally regulated by secretion of proBDNF or mature BDNF and by local expression of p75 and Trk...

  4. Direct evidence of impaired neuronal Na/K-ATPase pump function in alternating hemiplegia of childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Christine Q; Thompson, Christopher H; Cawthon, Bryan E; Westlake, Grant; Swoboda, Kathryn J; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Ess, Kevin C; George, Alfred L

    2018-03-19

    Mutations in ATP1A3 encoding the catalytic subunit of the Na/K-ATPase expressed in mammalian neurons cause alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) as well as an expanding spectrum of other neurodevelopmental syndromes and neurological phenotypes. Most AHC cases are explained by de novo heterozygous ATP1A3 mutations, but the fundamental molecular and cellular consequences of these mutations in human neurons are not known. In this study, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of neurons generated from AHC patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to ascertain functional disturbances underlying this neurological disease. Fibroblasts derived from two subjects with AHC, a male and a female, both heterozygous for the common ATP1A3 mutation G947R, were reprogrammed to iPSCs. Neuronal differentiation of iPSCs was initiated by neurogenin-2 (NGN2) induction followed by co-culture with mouse glial cells to promote maturation of cortical excitatory neurons. Whole-cell current clamp recording demonstrated that, compared with control iPSC-derived neurons, neurons differentiated from AHC iPSCs exhibited a significantly lower level of ouabain-sensitive outward current ('pump current'). This finding correlated with significantly depolarized potassium equilibrium potential and depolarized resting membrane potential in AHC neurons compared with control neurons. In this cellular model, we also observed a lower evoked action potential firing frequency when neurons were held at their resting potential. However, evoked action potential firing frequencies were not different between AHC and control neurons when the membrane potential was clamped to -80 mV. Impaired neuronal excitability could be explained by lower voltage-gated sodium channel availability at the depolarized membrane potential observed in AHC neurons. Our findings provide direct evidence of impaired neuronal Na/K-ATPase ion transport activity in human AHC neurons and demonstrate the potential

  5. Visualizing Metal Content and Intracellular Distribution in Primary Hippocampal Neurons with Synchrotron X-Ray Fluorescence.

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    Robert A Colvin

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that metal dyshomeostasis plays an important role in human neurodegenerative diseases. Although distinctive metal distributions are described for mature hippocampus and cortex, much less is known about metal levels and intracellular distribution in individual hippocampal neuronal somata. To solve this problem, we conducted quantitative metal analyses utilizing synchrotron radiation X-Ray fluorescence on frozen hydrated primary cultured neurons derived from rat embryonic cortex (CTX and two regions of the hippocampus: dentate gyrus (DG and CA1. Comparing average metal contents showed that the most abundant metals were calcium, iron, and zinc, whereas metals such as copper and manganese were less than 10% of zinc. Average metal contents were generally similar when compared across neurons cultured from CTX, DG, and CA1, except for manganese that was larger in CA1. However, each metal showed a characteristic spatial distribution in individual neuronal somata. Zinc was uniformly distributed throughout the cytosol, with no evidence for the existence of previously identified zinc-enriched organelles, zincosomes. Calcium showed a peri-nuclear distribution consistent with accumulation in endoplasmic reticulum and/or mitochondria. Iron showed 2-3 distinct highly concentrated puncta only in peri-nuclear locations. Notwithstanding the small sample size, these analyses demonstrate that primary cultured neurons show characteristic metal signatures. The iron puncta probably represent iron-accumulating organelles, siderosomes. Thus, the metal distributions observed in mature brain structures are likely the result of both intrinsic neuronal factors that control cellular metal content and extrinsic factors related to the synaptic organization, function, and contacts formed and maintained in each region.

  6. Nuclear organization in the spinal cord depends on motor neuron lamination orchestrated by catenin and afadin function

    OpenAIRE

    Dewitz, C.; Pimpinella, S.; Hackel, P.; Akalin, A.; Jessell, T.M.; Zampieri, N.

    2018-01-01

    Motor neurons in the spinal cord are found grouped in nuclear structures termed pools, whose position is precisely orchestrated during development. Despite the emerging role of pool organization in the assembly of spinal circuits, little is known about the morphogenetic programs underlying the patterning of motor neuron subtypes. We applied three-dimensional analysis of motor neuron position to reveal the roles and contributions of cell adhesive function by inactivating N-cadherin, catenin, a...

  7. A new organellar complex in rat sympathetic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt S Ramer

    Full Text Available Membranous compartments of neurons such as axons, dendrites and modified primary cilia are defining features of neuronal phenotype. This is unlike organelles deep to the plasma membrane, which are for the most part generic and not related directly to morphological, neurochemical or functional specializations. However, here we use multi-label immunohistochemistry combined with confocal and electron microscopy to identify a very large (approximately 6 microns in diameter, entirely intracellular neuronal organelle which occurs singly in a ubiquitous but neurochemically distinct and morphologically simple subset of sympathetic ganglion neurons. Although usually toroidal, it also occurs as twists or rods depending on its intracellular position: tori are most often perinuclear whereas rods are often found in axons. These 'loukoumasomes' (doughnut-like bodies bind a monoclonal antibody raised against beta-III-tubulin (SDL.3D10, although their inability to bind other beta-III-tubulin monoclonal antibodies indicate that the responsible antigen is not known. Position-morphology relationships within neurons and their expression of non-muscle heavy chain myosin suggest a dynamic structure. They associate with nematosomes, enigmatic nucleolus-like organelles present in many neural and non-neural tissues, which we now show to be composed of filamentous actin. Loukoumasomes also separately interact with mother centrioles forming the basal body of primary cilia. They express gamma tubulin, a microtubule nucleator which localizes to non-neuronal centrosomes, and cenexin, a mother centriole-associated protein required for ciliogenesis. These data reveal a hitherto undescribed organelle, and depict it as an intracellular transport machine, shuttling material between the primary cilium, the nematosome, and the axon.

  8. Spindle neurons of the human anterior cingulate cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Vogt, B. A.; Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The human anterior cingulate cortex is distinguished by the presence of an unusual cell type, a large spindle neuron in layer Vb. This cell has been noted numerous times in the historical literature but has not been studied with modern neuroanatomic techniques. For instance, details regarding the neuronal class to which these cells belong and regarding their precise distribution along both ventrodorsal and anteroposterior axes of the cingulate gyrus are still lacking. In the present study, morphological features and the anatomic distribution of this cell type were studied using computer-assisted mapping and immunocytochemical techniques. Spindle neurons are restricted to the subfields of the anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann's area 24), exhibiting a greater density in anterior portions of this area than in posterior portions, and tapering off in the transition zone between anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, a majority of the spindle cells at any level is located in subarea 24b on the gyral surface. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that the neurofilament protein triple was present in a large percentage of these neurons and that they did not contain calcium-binding proteins. Injections of the carbocyanine dye DiI into the cingulum bundle revealed that these cells are projection neurons. Finally, spindle cells were consistently affected in Alzheimer's disease cases, with an overall loss of about 60%. Taken together, these observations indicate that the spindle cells of the human cingulate cortex represent a morphological subpopulation of pyramidal neurons whose restricted distribution may be associated with functionally distinct areas.

  9. Barrier Function-Based Neural Adaptive Control With Locally Weighted Learning and Finite Neuron Self-Growing Strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Zi-Jun; Song, Yong-Duan

    2017-06-01

    This paper presents a new approach to construct neural adaptive control for uncertain nonaffine systems. By integrating locally weighted learning with barrier Lyapunov function (BLF), a novel control design method is presented to systematically address the two critical issues in neural network (NN) control field: one is how to fulfill the compact set precondition for NN approximation, and the other is how to use varying rather than a fixed NN structure to improve the functionality of NN control. A BLF is exploited to ensure the NN inputs to remain bounded during the entire system operation. To account for system nonlinearities, a neuron self-growing strategy is proposed to guide the process for adding new neurons to the system, resulting in a self-adjustable NN structure for better learning capabilities. It is shown that the number of neurons needed to accomplish the control task is finite, and better performance can be obtained with less number of neurons as compared with traditional methods. The salient feature of the proposed method also lies in the continuity of the control action everywhere. Furthermore, the resulting control action is smooth almost everywhere except for a few time instants at which new neurons are added. Numerical example illustrates the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

  10. Impact of sub and supra-threshold adaptation currents in networks of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colliaux, David; Yger, Pierre; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2015-12-01

    Neuronal adaptation is the intrinsic capacity of the brain to change, by various mechanisms, its dynamical responses as a function of the context. Such a phenomena, widely observed in vivo and in vitro, is known to be crucial in homeostatic regulation of the activity and gain control. The effects of adaptation have already been studied at the single-cell level, resulting from either voltage or calcium gated channels both activated by the spiking activity and modulating the dynamical responses of the neurons. In this study, by disentangling those effects into a linear (sub-threshold) and a non-linear (supra-threshold) part, we focus on the the functional role of those two distinct components of adaptation onto the neuronal activity at various scales, starting from single-cell responses up to recurrent networks dynamics, and under stationary or non-stationary stimulations. The effects of slow currents on collective dynamics, like modulation of population oscillation and reliability of spike patterns, is quantified for various types of adaptation in sparse recurrent networks.

  11. Neuronal Function in Male Sprague Dawley Rats During Normal Ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Idowu, A J; Olatunji-Bello, I I; Olagunju, J A

    2017-03-06

    During normal ageing, there are physiological changes especially in high energy demanding tissues including the brain and skeletal muscles. Ageing may disrupt homeostasis and allow tissue vulnerability to disease. To establish an appropriate animal model which is readily available and will be useful to test therapeutic strategies during normal ageing, we applied behavioral approaches to study age-related changes in memory and motor function as a basis for neuronal function in ageing in male Sprague Dawley rats. 3 months, n=5; 6 months, n=5 and 18 months, n=5 male Sprague Dawley Rats were tested using the Novel Object Recognition Task (NORT) and the Elevated plus Maze (EPM) Test. Data was analyzed by ANOVA and the Newman-Keuls post hoc test. The results showed an age-related gradual decline in exploratory behavior and locomotor activity with increasing age in 3 months, 6 months and 18 months old rats, although the values were not statistically significant, but grooming activity significantly increased with increasing age. Importantly, we established a novel finding that the minimum distance from the novel object was statistically significant between 3 months and 18 months old rats and this may be an index for age-related memory impairment in the NORT. Altogether, we conclude that the male Sprague Dawley rat show age-related changes in neuronal function and may be a useful model for carrying out investigations into the mechanisms involved in normal ageing.

  12. 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.

  13. The role of MAC1 in diesel exhaust particle-induced microglial activation and loss of dopaminergic neuron function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levesque, Shannon; Taetzsch, Thomas; Lull, Melinda E; Johnson, Jo Anne; McGraw, Constance; Block, Michelle L

    2013-06-01

    Increasing reports support that air pollution causes neuroinflammation and is linked to central nervous system (CNS) disease/damage. Diesel exhaust particles (DEP) are a major component of urban air pollution, which has been linked to microglial activation and Parkinson's disease-like pathology. To begin to address how DEP may exert CNS effects, microglia and neuron-glia cultures were treated with either nanometer-sized DEP (neuron function was assessed. All three treatments showed enhanced ameboid microglia morphology, increased H2 O2 production, and decreased DA uptake. Mechanistic inquiry revealed that the scavenger receptor inhibitor fucoidan blocked DEP internalization in microglia, but failed to alter DEP-induced H2 O2 production in microglia. However, pre-treatment with the MAC1/CD11b inhibitor antibody blocked microglial H2 O2 production in response to DEP. MAC1(-/-) mesencephalic neuron-glia cultures were protected from DEP-induced loss of DA neuron function, as measured by DA uptake. These findings support that DEP may activate microglia through multiple mechanisms, where scavenger receptors regulate internalization of DEP and the MAC1 receptor is mandatory for both DEP-induced microglial H2 O2 production and loss of DA neuron function. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  14. Mechanisms of Winner-Take-All and Group Selection in Neuronal Spiking Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yanqing

    2017-01-01

    A major function of central nervous systems is to discriminate different categories or types of sensory input. Neuronal networks accomplish such tasks by learning different sensory maps at several stages of neural hierarchy, such that different neurons fire selectively to reflect different internal or external patterns and states. The exact mechanisms of such map formation processes in the brain are not completely understood. Here we study the mechanism by which a simple recurrent/reentrant neuronal network accomplish group selection and discrimination to different inputs in order to generate sensory maps. We describe the conditions and mechanism of transition from a rhythmic epileptic state (in which all neurons fire synchronized and indiscriminately to any input) to a winner-take-all state in which only a subset of neurons fire for a specific input. We prove an analytic condition under which a stable bump solution and a winner-take-all state can emerge from the local recurrent excitation-inhibition interactions in a three-layer spiking network with distinct excitatory and inhibitory populations, and demonstrate the importance of surround inhibitory connection topology on the stability of dynamic patterns in spiking neural network.

  15. hESC Differentiation toward an Autonomic Neuronal Cell Fate Depends on Distinct Cues from the Co-Patterning Vasculature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisette M. Acevedo

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available To gain insight into the cellular and molecular cues that promote neurovascular co-patterning at the earliest stages of human embryogenesis, we developed a human embryonic stem cell model to mimic the developing epiblast. Contact of ectoderm-derived neural cells with mesoderm-derived vasculature is initiated via the neural crest (NC, not the neural tube (NT. Neurovascular co-patterning then ensues with specification of NC toward an autonomic fate requiring vascular endothelial cell (EC-secreted nitric oxide (NO and direct contact with vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs via T-cadherin-mediated homotypic interactions. Once a neurovascular template has been established, NT-derived central neurons then align themselves with the vasculature. Our findings reveal that, in early human development, the autonomic nervous system forms in response to distinct molecular cues from VSMCs and ECs, providing a model for how other developing lineages might coordinate their co-patterning.

  16. An electronic implementation for Liao's chaotic delayed neuron model with non-monotonous activation function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duan Shukai; Liao Xiaofeng

    2007-01-01

    A new chaotic delayed neuron model with non-monotonously increasing transfer function, called as chaotic Liao's delayed neuron model, was recently reported and analyzed. An electronic implementation of this model is described in detail. At the same time, some methods in circuit design, especially for circuit with time delayed unit and non-monotonously increasing activation unit, are also considered carefully. We find that the dynamical behaviors of the designed circuits are closely similar to the results predicted by numerical experiments

  17. Direct lineage reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts to functional midbrain dopaminergic neuronal progenitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han-Seop Kim

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The direct lineage reprogramming of somatic cells to other lineages by defined factors has led to innovative cell-fate-change approaches for providing patient-specific cells. Recent reports have demonstrated that four pluripotency factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc are sufficient to directly reprogram fibroblasts to other specific cells, including induced neural stem cells (iNSCs. Here, we show that mouse fibroblasts can be directly reprogrammed into midbrain dopaminergic neuronal progenitors (DPs by temporal expression of the pluripotency factors and environment containing sonic hedgehog and fibroblast growth factor 8. Within thirteen days, self-renewing and functional induced DPs (iDPs were generated. Interestingly, the inhibition of both Jak and Gsk3β notably enhanced the iDP reprogramming efficiency. We confirmed the functionality of the iDPs by showing that the dopaminergic neurons generated from iDPs express midbrain markers, release dopamine, and show typical electrophysiological profiles. Our results demonstrate that the pluripotency factors-mediated direct reprogramming is an invaluable strategy for supplying functional and proliferating iDPs and may be useful for other neural progenitors required for disease modeling and cell therapies for neurodegenerative disorders.

  18. Nested synchrony – a novel cross-scale interaction among neuronal oscillations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simo eMonto

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal interactions form the basis for our brain function, and oscillations and synchrony are the principal candidates for mediating them in the cortical networks. Phase synchrony, where oscillatory neuronal ensembles directly synchronize their phases, enables precise integration between separated brain regions. However, it is unclear how neuronal interactions are dynamically coordinated in space and over time. Cross-scale effects have been proposed to be responsible for linking levels of processing hierarchy and to regulate neuronal dynamics. Most notably, nested oscillations, where the phase of a neuronal oscillation modulates the amplitude of a faster one, may locally integrate neuronal activities in distinct frequency bands. Yet, hierarchical control of inter-areal synchrony could provide a more comprehensive view to the dynamical structure of oscillatory interdependencies in the human brain.In this study, the notion of nested oscillations is extended to a cross-frequency and inter-areal model of oscillatory interactions. In this model, the phase of a slower oscillation modulates inter-areal synchrony in a higher frequency band. This would allow cross-scale integration of global interactions and, thus, offers a mechanism for binding distributed neuronal activities.We show that inter-areal phase synchrony can be modulated by the phase of a slower neuronal oscillation using magnetoencephalography. This effect is the most pronounced at frequencies below 35 Hz. Importantly, changes in oscillation amplitudes did not explain the findings. We expect that the novel cross-frequency interaction could offer new ways to understand the flexible but accurate dynamic organization of ongoing neuronal oscillations and synchrony.

  19. Computer Modelling of Functional Aspects of Noise in Endogenously Oscillating Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, M. T.; Dewald, M.; Voigt, K.; Braun, H. A.; Moss, F.

    1998-03-01

    Membrane potential oscillations are a widespread feature of neuronal activity. When such oscillations operate close to the spike-triggering threshold, noise can become an essential property of spike-generation. According to that, we developed a minimal Hodgkin-Huxley-type computer model which includes a noise term. This model accounts for experimental data from quite different cells ranging from mammalian cortical neurons to fish electroreceptors. With slight modifications of the parameters, the model's behavior can be tuned to bursting activity, which additionally allows it to mimick temperature encoding in peripheral cold receptors including transitions to apparently chaotic dynamics as indicated by methods for the detection of unstable periodic orbits. Under all conditions, cooperative effects between noise and nonlinear dynamics can be shown which, beyond stochastic resonance, might be of functional significance for stimulus encoding and neuromodulation.

  20. Protein kinase inhibitor peptide (PKI): a family of endogenous neuropeptides that modulate neuronal cAMP-dependent protein kinase function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, George D; Dewey, William L

    2006-02-01

    Signal transduction cascades involving cAMP-dependent protein kinase are highly conserved among a wide variety of organisms. Given the universal nature of this enzyme it is not surprising that cAMP-dependent protein kinase plays a critical role in numerous cellular processes. This is particularly evident in the nervous system where cAMP-dependent protein kinase is involved in neurotransmitter release, gene transcription, and synaptic plasticity. Protein kinase inhibitor peptide (PKI) is an endogenous thermostable peptide that modulates cAMP-dependent protein kinase function. PKI contains two distinct functional domains within its amino acid sequence that allow it to: (1) potently and specifically inhibit the activity of the free catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase and (2) export the free catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase from the nucleus. Three distinct PKI isoforms (PKIalpha, PKIbeta, PKIgamma) have been identified and each isoform is expressed in the brain. PKI modulates neuronal synaptic activity, while PKI also is involved in morphogenesis and symmetrical left-right axis formation. In addition, PKI also plays a role in regulating gene expression induced by cAMP-dependent protein kinase. Future studies should identify novel physiological functions for endogenous PKI both in the nervous system and throughout the body. Most interesting will be the determination whether functional differences exist between individual PKI isoforms which is an intriguing possibility since these isoforms exhibit: (1) cell-type specific tissue expression patterns, (2) different potencies for the inhibition of cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity, and (3) expression patterns that are hormonally, developmentally and cell-cycle regulated. Finally, synthetic peptide analogs of endogenous PKI will continue to be invaluable tools that are used to elucidate the role of cAMP-dependent protein kinase in a variety of cellular processes throughout the nervous

  1. Predictive features of persistent activity emergence in regular spiking and intrinsic bursting model neurons.

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    Kyriaki Sidiropoulou

    Full Text Available Proper functioning of working memory involves the expression of stimulus-selective persistent activity in pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex (PFC, which refers to neural activity that persists for seconds beyond the end of the stimulus. The mechanisms which PFC pyramidal neurons use to discriminate between preferred vs. neutral inputs at the cellular level are largely unknown. Moreover, the presence of pyramidal cell subtypes with different firing patterns, such as regular spiking and intrinsic bursting, raises the question as to what their distinct role might be in persistent firing in the PFC. Here, we use a compartmental modeling approach to search for discriminatory features in the properties of incoming stimuli to a PFC pyramidal neuron and/or its response that signal which of these stimuli will result in persistent activity emergence. Furthermore, we use our modeling approach to study cell-type specific differences in persistent activity properties, via implementing a regular spiking (RS and an intrinsic bursting (IB model neuron. We identify synaptic location within the basal dendrites as a feature of stimulus selectivity. Specifically, persistent activity-inducing stimuli consist of activated synapses that are located more distally from the soma compared to non-inducing stimuli, in both model cells. In addition, the action potential (AP latency and the first few inter-spike-intervals of the neuronal response can be used to reliably detect inducing vs. non-inducing inputs, suggesting a potential mechanism by which downstream neurons can rapidly decode the upcoming emergence of persistent activity. While the two model neurons did not differ in the coding features of persistent activity emergence, the properties of persistent activity, such as the firing pattern and the duration of temporally-restricted persistent activity were distinct. Collectively, our results pinpoint to specific features of the neuronal response to a given

  2. The C. elegans Tailless/TLX transcription factor nhr-67 controls neuronal identity and left/right asymmetric fate diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarin, Sumeet; Antonio, Celia; Tursun, Baris; Hobert, Oliver

    2009-09-01

    An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of cell fate determination in the nervous system requires the elucidation of transcriptional regulatory programs that ultimately control neuron-type-specific gene expression profiles. We show here that the C. elegans Tailless/TLX-type, orphan nuclear receptor NHR-67 acts at several distinct steps to determine the identity and subsequent left/right (L/R) asymmetric subtype diversification of a class of gustatory neurons, the ASE neurons. nhr-67 controls several broad aspects of sensory neuron development and, in addition, triggers the expression of a sensory neuron-type-specific selector gene, che-1, which encodes a zinc-finger transcription factor. Subsequent to its induction of overall ASE fate, nhr-67 diversifies the fate of the two ASE neurons ASEL and ASER across the L/R axis by promoting ASER and inhibiting ASEL fate. This function is achieved through direct expression activation by nhr-67 of the Nkx6-type homeobox gene cog-1, an inducer of ASER fate, that is inhibited in ASEL through the miRNA lsy-6. Besides controlling bilateral and asymmetric aspects of ASE development, nhr-67 is also required for many other neurons of diverse lineage history and function to appropriately differentiate, illustrating the broad and diverse use of this type of transcription factor in neuronal development.

  3. 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....

  4. Neuronal DNA Methylation Profiling of Blast-Related Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighi, Fatemeh; Ge, Yongchao; Chen, Sean; Xin, Yurong; Umali, Michelle U; De Gasperi, Rita; Gama Sosa, Miguel A; Ahlers, Stephen T; Elder, Gregory A

    2015-08-15

    Long-term molecular changes in the brain resulting from blast exposure may be mediated by epigenetic changes, such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation, that regulate gene expression. Aberrant regulation of gene expression is associated with behavioral abnormalities, where DNA methylation bridges environmental signals to sustained changes in gene expression. We assessed DNA methylation changes in the brains of rats exposed to three 74.5 kPa blast overpressure events, conditions that have been associated with long-term anxiogenic manifestations weeks or months following the initial exposures. Rat frontal cortex eight months post-exposure was used for cell sorting of whole brain tissue into neurons and glia. We interrogated DNA methylation profiles in these cells using Expanded Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing. We obtained data for millions of cytosines, showing distinct methylation profiles for neurons and glia and an increase in global methylation in neuronal versus glial cells (pDNA methylation perturbations in blast overpressure-exposed animals, compared with sham blast controls, within 458 and 379 genes in neurons and glia, respectively. Differentially methylated neuronal genes showed enrichment in cell death and survival and nervous system development and function, including genes involved in transforming growth factor β and nitric oxide signaling. Functional validation via gene expression analysis of 30 differentially methylated neuronal and glial genes showed a 1.2 fold change in gene expression of the serotonin N-acetyltransferase gene (Aanat) in blast animals (pDNA methylation induced in response to multiple blast overpressure exposures. In particular, increased methylation and decreased gene expression were observed in the Aanat gene, which is involved in converting serotonin to the circadian hormone melatonin and is implicated in sleep disturbance and depression associated with traumatic brain injury.

  5. Divergent modulation of neuronal differentiation by caspase-2 and -9.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppa Pistritto

    Full Text Available Human Ntera2/cl.D1 (NT2 cells treated with retinoic acid (RA differentiate towards a well characterized neuronal phenotype sharing many features with human fetal neurons. In view of the emerging role of caspases in murine stem cell/neural precursor differentiation, caspases activity was evaluated during RA differentiation. Caspase-2, -3 and -9 activity was transiently and selectively increased in differentiating and non-apoptotic NT2-cells. SiRNA-mediated selective silencing of either caspase-2 (si-Casp2 or -9 (si-Casp9 was implemented in order to dissect the role of distinct caspases. The RA-induced expression of neuronal markers, i.e. neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM, microtubule associated protein-2 (MAP2 and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH mRNAs and proteins, was decreased in si-Casp9, but markedly increased in si-Casp2 cells. During RA-induced NT2 differentiation, the class III histone deacetylase Sirt1, a putative caspase substrate implicated in the regulation of the proneural bHLH MASH1 gene expression, was cleaved to a ∼100 kDa fragment. Sirt1 cleavage was markedly reduced in si-Casp9 cells, even though caspase-3 was normally activated, but was not affected (still cleaved in si-Casp2 cells, despite a marked reduction of caspase-3 activity. The expression of MASH1 mRNA was higher and occurred earlier in si-Casp2 cells, while was reduced at early time points during differentiation in si-Casp9 cells. Thus, caspase-2 and -9 may perform opposite functions during RA-induced NT2 neuronal differentiation. While caspase-9 activation is relevant for proper neuronal differentiation, likely through the fine tuning of Sirt1 function, caspase-2 activation appears to hinder the RA-induced neuronal differentiation of NT2 cells.

  6. Neurons derived from different brain regions are inherently different in vitro: a novel multiregional brain-on-a-chip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauth, Stephanie; Maoz, Ben M; Sheehy, Sean P; Hemphill, Matthew A; Murty, Tara; Macedonia, Mary Kate; Greer, Angie M; Budnik, Bogdan; Parker, Kevin Kit

    2017-03-01

    Brain in vitro models are critically important to developing our understanding of basic nervous system cellular physiology, potential neurotoxic effects of chemicals, and specific cellular mechanisms of many disease states. In this study, we sought to address key shortcomings of current brain in vitro models: the scarcity of comparative data for cells originating from distinct brain regions and the lack of multiregional brain in vitro models. We demonstrated that rat neurons from different brain regions exhibit unique profiles regarding their cell composition, protein expression, metabolism, and electrical activity in vitro. In vivo, the brain is unique in its structural and functional organization, and the interactions and communication between different brain areas are essential components of proper brain function. This fact and the observation that neurons from different areas of the brain exhibit unique behaviors in vitro underline the importance of establishing multiregional brain in vitro models. Therefore, we here developed a multiregional brain-on-a-chip and observed a reduction of overall firing activity, as well as altered amounts of astrocytes and specific neuronal cell types compared with separately cultured neurons. Furthermore, this multiregional model was used to study the effects of phencyclidine, a drug known to induce schizophrenia-like symptoms in vivo, on individual brain areas separately while monitoring downstream effects on interconnected regions. Overall, this work provides a comparison of cells from different brain regions in vitro and introduces a multiregional brain-on-a-chip that enables the development of unique disease models incorporating essential in vivo features. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Due to the scarcity of comparative data for cells from different brain regions in vitro, we demonstrated that neurons isolated from distinct brain areas exhibit unique behaviors in vitro. Moreover, in vivo proper brain function is dependent on the

  7. A Neuronal Network Model for Pitch Selectivity and Representation

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Chengcheng; Rinzel, John

    2016-01-01

    Pitch is a perceptual correlate of periodicity. Sounds with distinct spectra can elicit the same pitch. Despite the importance of pitch perception, understanding the cellular mechanism of pitch perception is still a major challenge and a mechanistic model of pitch is lacking. A multi-stage neuronal network model is developed for pitch frequency estimation using biophysically-based, high-resolution coincidence detector neurons. The neuronal units respond only to highly coincident input among c...

  8. Live Imaging of Calcium Dynamics during Axon Degeneration Reveals Two Functionally Distinct Phases of Calcium Influx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Yuya; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Calcium is a key regulator of axon degeneration caused by trauma and disease, but its specific spatial and temporal dynamics in injured axons remain unclear. To clarify the function of calcium in axon degeneration, we observed calcium dynamics in single injured neurons in live zebrafish larvae and tested the temporal requirement for calcium in zebrafish neurons and cultured mouse DRG neurons. Using laser axotomy to induce Wallerian degeneration (WD) in zebrafish peripheral sensory axons, we monitored calcium dynamics from injury to fragmentation, revealing two stereotyped phases of axonal calcium influx. First, axotomy triggered a transient local calcium wave originating at the injury site. This initial calcium wave only disrupted mitochondria near the injury site and was not altered by expression of the protective WD slow (WldS) protein. Inducing multiple waves with additional axotomies did not change the kinetics of degeneration. In contrast, a second phase of calcium influx occurring minutes before fragmentation spread as a wave throughout the axon, entered mitochondria, and was abolished by WldS expression. In live zebrafish, chelating calcium after the first wave, but before the second wave, delayed the progress of fragmentation. In cultured DRG neurons, chelating calcium early in the process of WD did not alter degeneration, but chelating calcium late in WD delayed fragmentation. We propose that a terminal calcium wave is a key instructive component of the axon degeneration program. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Axon degeneration resulting from trauma or neurodegenerative disease can cause devastating deficits in neural function. Understanding the molecular and cellular events that execute axon degeneration is essential for developing treatments to address these conditions. Calcium is known to contribute to axon degeneration, but its temporal requirements in this process have been unclear. Live calcium imaging in severed zebrafish neurons and temporally controlled

  9. Distinct types of glial cells populate the Drosophila antenna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jhaveri Dhanisha

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The development of nervous systems involves reciprocal interactions between neurons and glia. In the Drosophila olfactory system, peripheral glial cells arise from sensory lineages specified by the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Atonal. These glia wrap around the developing olfactory axons early during development and pattern the three distinct fascicles as they exit the antenna. In the moth Manduca sexta, an additional set of central glia migrate to the base of the antennal nerve where axons sort to their glomerular targets. In this work, we have investigated whether similar types of cells exist in the Drosophila antenna. Results We have used different P(Gal4 lines to drive Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP in distinct populations of cells within the Drosophila antenna. Mz317::GFP, a marker for cell body and perineural glia, labels the majority of peripheral glia. An additional ~30 glial cells detected by GH146::GFP do not derive from any of the sensory lineages and appear to migrate into the antenna from the brain. Their appearance in the third antennal segment is regulated by normal function of the Epidermal Growth Factor receptor and small GTPases. We denote these distinct populations of cells as Mz317-glia and GH146-glia respectively. In the adult, processes of GH146-glial cells ensheath the olfactory receptor neurons directly, while those of the Mz317-glia form a peripheral layer. Ablation of GH146-glia does not result in any significant effects on the patterning of the olfactory receptor axons. Conclusion We have demonstrated the presence of at least two distinct populations of glial cells within the Drosophila antenna. GH146-glial cells originate in the brain and migrate to the antenna along the newly formed olfactory axons. The number of cells populating the third segment of the antenna is regulated by signaling through the Epidermal Growth Factor receptor. These glia share several features of the sorting

  10. Female-biased dimorphism underlies a female-specific role for post-embryonic Ilp7 neurons in Drosophila fertility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos, Monica C.; Tang, Jonathan C. Y.; Allan, Douglas W.

    2013-01-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, much of our understanding of sexually dimorphic neuronal development and function comes from the study of male behavior, leaving female behavior less well understood. Here, we identify a post-embryonic population of Insulin-like peptide 7 (Ilp7)-expressing neurons in the posterior ventral nerve cord that innervate the reproductive tracts and exhibit a female bias in their function. They form two distinct dorsal and ventral subsets in females, but only a single dorsal subset in males, signifying a rare example of a female-specific neuronal subset. Female post-embryonic Ilp7 neurons are glutamatergic motoneurons innervating the oviduct and are required for female fertility. In males, they are serotonergic/glutamatergic neuromodulatory neurons innervating the seminal vesicle but are not required for male fertility. In both sexes, these neurons express the sex-differentially spliced fruitless-P1 transcript but not doublesex. The male fruitless-P1 isoform (fruM) was necessary and sufficient for serotonin expression in the shared dorsal Ilp7 subset, but although it was necessary for eliminating female-specific Ilp7 neurons in males, it was not sufficient for their elimination in females. By contrast, sex-specific RNA-splicing by female-specific transformer is necessary for female-type Ilp7 neurons in females and is sufficient for their induction in males. Thus, the emergence of female-biased post-embryonic Ilp7 neurons is mediated in a subset-specific manner by a tra- and fru-dependent mechanism in the shared dorsal subset, and a tra-dependent, fru-independent mechanism in the female-specific subset. These studies provide an important counterpoint to studies of the development and function of male-biased neuronal dimorphism in Drosophila. PMID:23981656

  11. Inflammatory mediator bradykinin increases population of sensory neurons expressing functional T-type Ca(2+) channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Dongyang; Liang, Ce; Zhang, Fan; Men, Hongchao; Du, Xiaona; Gamper, Nikita; Zhang, Hailin

    2016-04-29

    T-type Ca(2+) channels are important regulators of peripheral sensory neuron excitability. Accordingly, T-type Ca(2+) currents are often increased in various pathological pain conditions, such as inflammation or nerve injury. Here we investigated effects of inflammation on functional expression of T-type Ca(2+) channels in small-diameter cultured dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We found that overnight treatment of DRG cultures with a cocktail of inflammatory mediators bradykinin (BK), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), norepinephrine (NE) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) strongly increased the population size of the small-diameter neurons displaying low-voltage activated (LVA, T-type) Ca(2+) currents while having no effect on the peak LVA current amplitude. When applied individually, BK and ATP also increased the population size of LVA-positive neurons while NE and PGE2 had no effect. The PLC inhibitor U-73122 and B2 receptor antagonist, Hoe-140, both abolished the increase of the population of LVA-positive DRG neurons. Inflammatory treatment did not affect CaV3.2 mRNA or protein levels in DRG cultures. Furthermore, an ubiquitination inhibitor, MG132, did not increase the population of LVA-positive neurons. Our data suggest that inflammatory mediators BK and ATP increase the abundance of LVA-positive DRG neurons in total neuronal population by stimulating the recruitment of a 'reserve pool' of CaV3.2 channels, particularly in neurons that do not display measurable LVA currents under control conditions. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Differential activation of an identified motor neuron and neuromodulation provide Aplysia's retractor muscle an additional function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManus, Jeffrey M; Lu, Hui; Cullins, Miranda J; Chiel, Hillel J

    2014-08-15

    To survive, animals must use the same peripheral structures to perform a variety of tasks. How does a nervous system employ one muscle to perform multiple functions? We addressed this question through work on the I3 jaw muscle of the marine mollusk Aplysia californica's feeding system. This muscle mediates retraction of Aplysia's food grasper in multiple feeding responses and is innervated by a pool of identified neurons that activate different muscle regions. One I3 motor neuron, B38, is active in the protraction phase, rather than the retraction phase, suggesting the muscle has an additional function. We used intracellular, extracellular, and muscle force recordings in several in vitro preparations as well as recordings of nerve and muscle activity from intact, behaving animals to characterize B38's activation of the muscle and its activity in different behavior types. We show that B38 specifically activates the anterior region of I3 and is specifically recruited during one behavior, swallowing. The function of this protraction-phase jaw muscle contraction is to hold food; thus the I3 muscle has an additional function beyond mediating retraction. We additionally show that B38's typical activity during in vivo swallowing is insufficient to generate force in an unmodulated muscle and that intrinsic and extrinsic modulation shift the force-frequency relationship to allow contraction. Using methods that traverse levels from individual neuron to muscle to intact animal, we show how regional muscle activation, differential motor neuron recruitment, and neuromodulation are key components in Aplysia's generation of multifunctionality. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Computational model of neuron-astrocyte interactions during focal seizure generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide eReato

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Empirical research in the last decade revealed that astrocytes can respond to neurotransmitters with Ca2+ elevations and generate feedback signals to neurons which modulate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability. This discovery changed our basic understanding of brain function and provided new perspectives for how astrocytes can participate not only to information processing, but also to the genesis of brain disorders, such as epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures that can arise focally at restricted areas and propagate throughout the brain. Studies in brain slice models suggest that astrocytes contribute to epileptiform activity by increasing neuronal excitability through a Ca2+-dependent release of glutamate. The underlying mechanism remains, however, unclear. In this study, we implemented a parsimonious network model of neurons and astrocytes. The model consists of excitatory and inhibitory neurons described by Izhikevich's neuron dynamics. The experimentally observed Ca2+ change in astrocytes in response to neuronal activity was modeled with linear equations. We considered that glutamate is released from astrocytes above certain intracellular Ca2+ concentrations thus providing a non-linear positive feedback signal to neurons. Propagating seizure-like ictal discharges (IDs were reliably evoked in our computational model by repeatedly exciting a small area of the network, which replicates experimental results in a slice model of focal ID in entorhinal cortex. We found that the threshold of focal ID generation was lowered when an excitatory feedback-loop between astrocytes and neurons was included. Simulations show that astrocytes can contribute to ID generation by directly affecting the excitatory/inhibitory balance of the neuronal network. Our model can be used to obtain mechanistic insights into the distinct contributions of the different signaling pathways to the generation and

  14. A single hidden layer feedforward network with only one neuron in the hidden layer can approximate any univariate function

    OpenAIRE

    Guliyev , Namig; Ismailov , Vugar

    2016-01-01

    The possibility of approximating a continuous function on a compact subset of the real line by a feedforward single hidden layer neural network with a sigmoidal activation function has been studied in many papers. Such networks can approximate an arbitrary continuous function provided that an unlimited number of neurons in a hidden layer is permitted. In this paper, we consider constructive approximation on any finite interval of $\\mathbb{R}$ by neural networks with only one neuron in the hid...

  15. Spatial and Single-Cell Transcriptional Profiling Identifies Functionally Distinct Human Dermal Fibroblast Subpopulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippeos, Christina; Telerman, Stephanie B; Oulès, Bénédicte; Pisco, Angela O; Shaw, Tanya J; Elgueta, Raul; Lombardi, Giovanna; Driskell, Ryan R; Soldin, Mark; Lynch, Magnus D; Watt, Fiona M

    2018-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that mouse dermis is composed of functionally distinct fibroblast lineages. To explore the extent of fibroblast heterogeneity in human skin, we used a combination of comparative spatial transcriptional profiling of human and mouse dermis and single-cell transcriptional profiling of human dermal fibroblasts. We show that there are at least four distinct fibroblast populations in adult human skin, not all of which are spatially segregated. We define markers permitting their isolation and show that although marker expression is lost in culture, different fibroblast subpopulations retain distinct functionality in terms of Wnt signaling, responsiveness to IFN-γ, and ability to support human epidermal reconstitution when introduced into decellularized dermis. These findings suggest that ex vivo expansion or in vivo ablation of specific fibroblast subpopulations may have therapeutic applications in wound healing and diseases characterized by excessive fibrosis. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Von Economo Neurons and Fork Cells: A Neurochemical Signature Linked to Monoaminergic Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Anke A; Lin, Li-Chun; Nana, Alissa L; Gaus, Stephanie E; Seeley, William W

    2018-01-01

    The human anterior cingulate and frontoinsular cortices are distinguished by 2 unique Layer 5 neuronal morphotypes, the von Economo neurons (VENs) and fork cells, whose biological identity remains mysterious. Insights could impact research on diverse neuropsychiatric diseases to which these cells have been linked. Here, we leveraged the Allen Brain Atlas to evaluate mRNA expression of 176 neurotransmitter-related genes and identified vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor subunit θ (GABRQ), and adrenoreceptor α-1A (ADRA1A) expression in human VENs, fork cells, and a minority of neighboring Layer 5 neurons. We confirmed these results using immunohistochemistry or in situ hybridization. VMAT2 and GABRQ expression was absent in mouse cerebral cortex. Although VMAT2 is known to package monoamines into synaptic vesicles, in VENs and fork cells its expression occurs in the absence of monoamine-synthesizing enzymes or reuptake transporters. Thus, VENs and fork cells may possess a novel, uncharacterized mode of cortical monoaminergic function that distinguishes them from most other mammalian Layer 5 neurons. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. The function of mirror neurons in the learning process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, Neurosciences have developed very much, being elaborated many important theories scientific research in the field. The main goal of neuroscience is to understand how groups of neurons interact to create the behavior. Neuroscientists studying the action of molecules, genes and cells. It also explores the complex interactions involved in motion perception, thoughts, emotions and learning. Brick fundamental nervous system is the nerve cell, neuron. Neurons exchange information by sending electrical signals and chemical through connections called synapses. Discovered by a group of Italian researchers from the University of Parma, neurons - mirror are a special class of nerve cells played an important role in the direct knowledge, automatic and unconscious environment. These cortical neurons are activated not only when an action is fulfilled, but when we see how the same action is performed by someone else, they represent neural mechanism by which the actions, intentions and emotions of others can be understood automatically. In childhood neurons - mirror are extremely important. Thanks to them we learned a lot in the early years: smile, to ask for help and, in fact, all the behaviors and family and group norms. People learn by what they see and sense the others. Neurons - mirror are important to understanding the actions and intentions of other people and learn new skills through mirror image. They are involved in planning and controlling actions, abstract thinking and memory. If a child observes an action, neurons - mirror is activated and forming new neural pathways as if even he takes that action. Efficient activity of mirror neurons leads to good development in all areas at a higher emotional intelligence and the ability to empathize with others.

  18. Functional neuromuscular junctions formed by embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy A Umbach

    Full Text Available A key objective of stem cell biology is to create physiologically relevant cells suitable for modeling disease pathologies in vitro. Much progress towards this goal has been made in the area of motor neuron (MN disease through the development of methods to direct spinal MN formation from both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Previous studies have characterized these neurons with respect to their molecular and intrinsic functional properties. However, the synaptic activity of stem cell-derived MNs remains less well defined. In this study, we report the development of low-density co-culture conditions that encourage the formation of active neuromuscular synapses between stem cell-derived MNs and muscle cells in vitro. Fluorescence microscopy reveals the expression of numerous synaptic proteins at these contacts, while dual patch clamp recording detects both spontaneous and multi-quantal evoked synaptic responses similar to those observed in vivo. Together, these findings demonstrate that stem cell-derived MNs innervate muscle cells in a functionally relevant manner. This dual recording approach further offers a sensitive and quantitative assay platform to probe disorders of synaptic dysfunction associated with MN disease.

  19. Lipid-laden cells differentially distributed in the aging brain are functionally active and correspond to distinct phenotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimabukuro, Marilia Kimie; Langhi, Larissa Gutman Paranhos; Cordeiro, Ingrid; Brito, José M.; Batista, Claudia Maria de Castro; Mattson, Mark P.; de Mello Coelho, Valeria

    2016-01-01

    We characterized cerebral Oil Red O-positive lipid-laden cells (LLC) of aging mice evaluating their distribution, morphology, density, functional activities and inflammatory phenotype. We identified LLC in meningeal, cortical and neurogenic brain regions. The density of cerebral LLC increased with age. LLC presenting small lipid droplets were visualized adjacent to blood vessels or deeper in the brain cortical and striatal parenchyma of aging mice. LLC with larger droplets were asymmetrically distributed in the cerebral ventricle walls, mainly located in the lateral wall. We also found that LLC in the subventricular region co-expressed beclin-1 or LC3, markers for autophagosome or autophagolysosome formation, and perilipin (PLIN), a lipid droplet-associated protein, suggesting lipophagic activity. Some cerebral LLC exhibited β galactosidase activity indicating a senescence phenotype. Moreover, we detected production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α in cortical PLIN+ LLC. Some cortical NeuN+ neurons, GFAP+ glia limitans astrocytes, Iba-1+ microglia and S100β+ ependymal cells expressed PLIN in the aging brain. Our findings suggest that cerebral LLC exhibit distinct cellular phenotypes and may participate in the age-associated neuroinflammatory processes. PMID:27029648

  20. Lipid-laden cells differentially distributed in the aging brain are functionally active and correspond to distinct phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimabukuro, Marilia Kimie; Langhi, Larissa Gutman Paranhos; Cordeiro, Ingrid; Brito, José M; Batista, Claudia Maria de Castro; Mattson, Mark P; Mello Coelho, Valeria de

    2016-03-31

    We characterized cerebral Oil Red O-positive lipid-laden cells (LLC) of aging mice evaluating their distribution, morphology, density, functional activities and inflammatory phenotype. We identified LLC in meningeal, cortical and neurogenic brain regions. The density of cerebral LLC increased with age. LLC presenting small lipid droplets were visualized adjacent to blood vessels or deeper in the brain cortical and striatal parenchyma of aging mice. LLC with larger droplets were asymmetrically distributed in the cerebral ventricle walls, mainly located in the lateral wall. We also found that LLC in the subventricular region co-expressed beclin-1 or LC3, markers for autophagosome or autophagolysosome formation, and perilipin (PLIN), a lipid droplet-associated protein, suggesting lipophagic activity. Some cerebral LLC exhibited β galactosidase activity indicating a senescence phenotype. Moreover, we detected production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α in cortical PLIN(+) LLC. Some cortical NeuN(+) neurons, GFAP(+) glia limitans astrocytes, Iba-1(+) microglia and S100β(+) ependymal cells expressed PLIN in the aging brain. Our findings suggest that cerebral LLC exhibit distinct cellular phenotypes and may participate in the age-associated neuroinflammatory processes.

  1. Polysensory response characteristics of dorsal root ganglion neurones that may serve sensory functions during myocardial ischaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, M H; Horackova, M; Negoescu, R M; Wolf, S; Armour, J A

    1996-09-01

    To determine the response characteristics of dorsal root ganglion neurones that may serve sensory functions during myocardial ischaemia. Extracellular recordings were made from 54 spontaneously active and 5 normally quiescent dorsal root ganglion neurones (T2-T5) in 22 anaesthetized open-chest dogs under control conditions and during epicardial mechanical or chemical stimulation and myocardial ischaemia. The activity of 78% of spontaneously active and all quiescent neurones with left ventricular sensory fields was modified by left ventricular ischaemia. Forty-six spontaneously active neurones (85%) were polysensory with respect to mechanical and chemical stimuli. The 5 quiescent neurones responded only to chemical stimuli. Spontaneously active neurones associated with left ventricular mechanosensory endings (37 neurones) generated four different activity patterns in response to similar mechanical stimuli (high or low pressure active, high-low pressure active, high-low pressure inactive). A fifth group generated activity which was not related to chamber dynamics. Adenosine, adenosine 5'-triphosphate, substance P and bradykinin modified 72, 61, 65 and 63% of the spontaneously active neurones, respectively. Maximum local mechanical or chemical stimuli enhanced activity to similar degrees, as did ischaemia. Each ischaemia-sensitive neurone displayed unique activity patterns in response to similar mechanical or chemical stimuli. Most myocardial ischemia-sensitive dorsal root ganglion neurones associated with epicardial neurites sense mechanical and multiple chemical stimuli, a small population sensing only mechanical or chemical stimuli. Activity patterns generated by these neurones depend on their primary sensory characteristics or those of other neurones that may converge on them, as well as the type and magnitude of the stimuli that impinge upon their sensory fields, both normally and during ischaemia.

  2. Molecular cloning and pharmacology of functionally distinct isoforms of the human histamine H(3) receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wellendorph, Petrine; Goodman, M W; Burstein, E S

    2002-01-01

    The pharmacology of histamine H(3) receptors suggests the presence of distinct receptor isoforms or subtypes. We herein describe multiple, functionally distinct, alternatively spliced isoforms of the human H(3) receptor. Combinatorial splicing at three different sites creates at least six distinct...... receptor isoforms, of which isoforms 1, 2, and 4, encode functional proteins. Detailed pharmacology on isoforms 1 (unspliced receptor), and 2 (which has an 80 amino acid deletion within the third intracellular loop of the protein) revealed that both isoforms displayed robust responses to a series of known...... revealed a rank order of potency at both isoforms of clobenpropit>iodophenpropit>thioperamide, and these drugs are fivefold less potent at isoform 2 than isoform 1. To further explore the pharmacology of H(3) receptor function, we screened 150 clinically relevant neuropsychiatric drugs for H(3) receptor...

  3. Gender differences in human single neuron responses to male emotional faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newhoff, Morgan; Treiman, David M; Smith, Kris A; Steinmetz, Peter N

    2015-01-01

    Well-documented differences in the psychology and behavior of men and women have spurred extensive exploration of gender's role within the brain, particularly regarding emotional processing. While neuroanatomical studies clearly show differences between the sexes, the functional effects of these differences are less understood. Neuroimaging studies have shown inconsistent locations and magnitudes of gender differences in brain hemodynamic responses to emotion. To better understand the neurophysiology of these gender differences, we analyzed recordings of single neuron activity in the human brain as subjects of both genders viewed emotional expressions. This study included recordings of single-neuron activity of 14 (6 male) epileptic patients in four brain areas: amygdala (236 neurons), hippocampus (n = 270), anterior cingulate cortex (n = 256), and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (n = 174). Neural activity was recorded while participants viewed a series of avatar male faces portraying positive, negative or neutral expressions. Significant gender differences were found in the left amygdala, where 23% (n = 15∕66) of neurons in men were significantly affected by facial emotion, vs. 8% (n = 6∕76) of neurons in women. A Fisher's exact test comparing the two ratios found a highly significant difference between the two (p differences between genders at the single-neuron level in the human amygdala. These differences may reflect gender-based distinctions in evolved capacities for emotional processing and also demonstrate the importance of including subject gender as an independent factor in future studies of emotional processing by single neurons in the human amygdala.

  4. Cell Death, Neuronal Plasticity and Functional Loading in the Development of the Central Nervous System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefe, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    Research on the precise timing and regulation of neuron production and maturation in the vestibular and visual systems of Wistar rats and several inbred strains of mice (C57B16 and Pallid mutant) concentrated upon establishing a timing baseline for mitotic development of the neurons of the vestibular nuclei and the peripheral vestibular sensory structures (maculae, cristae). This involved studies of the timing and site of neuronal cell birth and preliminary studies of neuronal cell death in both central and peripheral elements of the mammalian vestibular system. Studies on neuronal generation and maturation in the retina were recently added to provide a mechanism for more properly defining the in utero' developmental age of the individual fetal subject and to closely monitor potential transplacental effects of environmentally stressed maternal systems. Information is given on current efforts concentrating upon the (1) perinatal period of development (E18 thru P14) and (2) the role of cell death in response to variation in the functional loading of the vestibular and proprioreceptive systems in developing mammalian organisms.

  5. Calcium signals in olfactory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tareilus, E; Noé, J; Breer, H

    1995-11-09

    Laser scanning confocal microscopy in combination with the fluorescent calcium indicators Fluo-3 and Fura-Red was employed to estimate the intracellular concentration of free calcium ions in individual olfactory receptor neurons and to monitor temporal and spatial changes in the Ca(2+)-level upon stimulation. The chemosensory cells responded to odorants with a significant increase in the calcium concentration, preferentially in the dendritic knob. Applying various stimulation paradigma, it was found that in a population of isolated cells, subsets of receptor neurons display distinct patterns of responsiveness.

  6. S phase entry causes homocysteine-induced death while ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related protein functions anti-apoptotically to protect neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Weizhen; Blain, Stacy W

    2010-08-01

    A major phenotype seen in neurodegenerative disorders is the selective loss of neurons due to apoptotic death and evidence suggests that inappropriate re-activation of cell cycle proteins in post-mitotic neurons may be responsible. To investigate whether reactivation of the G1 cell cycle proteins and S phase entry was linked with apoptosis, we examined homocysteine-induced neuronal cell death in a rat cortical neuron tissue culture system. Hyperhomocysteinaemia is a physiological risk factor for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. We found that in response to homocysteine treatment, cyclin D1, and cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 2 translocated to the nucleus, and p27 levels decreased. Both cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 2 regained catalytic activity, the G1 gatekeeper retinoblastoma protein was phosphorylated and DNA synthesis was detected, suggesting transit into S phase. Double-labelling immunofluorescence showed a 95% co-localization of anti-bromodeoxyuridine labelling with apoptotic markers, demonstrating that those cells that entered S phase eventually died. Neurons could be protected from homocysteine-induced death by methods that inhibited G1 phase progression, including down-regulation of cyclin D1 expression, inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 or 2 activity by small molecule inhibitors, or use of the c-Abl kinase inhibitor, Gleevec, which blocked cyclin D and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 nuclear translocation. However, blocking cell cycle progression post G1, using DNA replication inhibitors, did not prevent apoptosis, suggesting that death was not preventable post the G1-S phase checkpoint. While homocysteine treatment caused DNA damage and activated the DNA damage response, its mechanism of action was distinct from that of more traditional DNA damaging agents, such as camptothecin, as it was p53-independent. Likewise, inhibition of the DNA damage sensors, ataxia-telangiectasia mutant and ataxia telangiectasia and Rad

  7. Populations of subplate and interstitial neurons in fetal and adult human telencephalon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran; Pletikos, Mihovil; Jovanov-Milošević, Nataša

    2010-10-01

    In the adult human telencephalon, subcortical (gyral) white matter contains a special population of interstitial neurons considered to be surviving descendants of fetal subplate neurons [Kostovic & Rakic (1980) Cytology and the time of origin of interstitial neurons in the white matter in infant and adult human and monkey telencephalon. J Neurocytol9, 219]. We designate this population of cells as superficial (gyral) interstitial neurons and describe their morphology and distribution in the postnatal and adult human cerebrum. Human fetal subplate neurons cannot be regarded as interstitial, because the subplate zone is an essential part of the fetal cortex, the major site of synaptogenesis and the 'waiting' compartment for growing cortical afferents, and contains both projection neurons and interneurons with distinct input-output connectivity. However, although the subplate zone is a transient fetal structure, many subplate neurons survive postnatally as superficial (gyral) interstitial neurons. The fetal white matter is represented by the intermediate zone and well-defined deep periventricular tracts of growing axons, such as the corpus callosum, anterior commissure, internal and external capsule, and the fountainhead of the corona radiata. These tracts gradually occupy the territory of transient fetal subventricular and ventricular zones.The human fetal white matter also contains distinct populations of deep fetal interstitial neurons, which, by virtue of their location, morphology, molecular phenotypes and advanced level of dendritic maturation, remain distinct from subplate neurons and neurons in adjacent structures (e.g. basal ganglia, basal forebrain). We describe the morphological, histochemical (nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase) and immunocytochemical (neuron-specific nuclear protein, microtubule-associated protein-2, calbindin, calretinin, neuropeptide Y) features of both deep fetal interstitial neurons and deep (periventricular

  8. BigNeuron: Large-scale 3D Neuron Reconstruction from Optical Microscopy Images

    OpenAIRE

    Peng, Hanchuan; Hawrylycz, Michael; Roskams, Jane; Hill, Sean; Spruston, Nelson; Meijering, Erik; Ascoli, Giorgio A.

    2015-01-01

    textabstractUnderstanding the structure of single neurons is critical for understanding how they function within neural circuits. BigNeuron is a new community effort that combines modern bioimaging informatics, recent leaps in labeling and microscopy, and the widely recognized need for openness and standardization to provide a community resource for automated reconstruction of dendritic and axonal morphology of single neurons. Understanding the structure of single neurons is critical for unde...

  9. Role of developmental factors in hypothalamic function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob eBiran

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The hypothalamus is a brain region which regulates homeostasis by mediating endocrine, autonomic and behavioral functions. It is comprised of several nuclei containing distinct neuronal populations producing neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that regulate fundamental body functions including temperature and metabolic rate, thirst and hunger, sexual behavior and reproduction, circadian rhythm, and emotional responses. The identity, number and connectivity of these neuronal populations are established during the organism’s development and are of crucial importance for normal hypothalamic function. Studies have suggested that developmental abnormalities in specific hypothalamic circuits can lead to obesity, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression and autism. At the molecular level, the development of the hypothalamus is regulated by transcription factors, secreted growth factors, neuropeptides and their receptors. Recent studies in zebrafish and mouse have demonstrated that some of these molecules maintain their expression in the adult brain and subsequently play a role in the physiological functions that are regulated by hypothalamic neurons. Here, we summarize the involvement of some of the key developmental factors in hypothalamic development and function by focusing on the mouse and zebrafish genetic model organisms.

  10. Functional adaptation to loading of a single bone is neuronally regulated and involves multiple bones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sample, Susannah J; Behan, Mary; Smith, Lesley; Oldenhoff, William E; Markel, Mark D; Kalscheur, Vicki L; Hao, Zhengling; Miletic, Vjekoslav; Muir, Peter

    2008-09-01

    Regulation of load-induced bone formation is considered a local phenomenon controlled by osteocytes, although it has also been hypothesized that functional adaptation may be neuronally regulated. The aim of this study was to examine bone formation in multiple bones, in response to loading of a single bone, and to determine whether adaptation may be neuronally regulated. Load-induced responses in the left and right ulnas and humeri were determined after loading of the right ulna in male Sprague-Dawley rats (69 +/- 16 days of age). After a single period of loading at -760-, -2000-, or -3750-microepsilon initial peak strain, rats were given calcein to label new bone formation. Bone formation and bone neuropeptide concentrations were determined at 10 days. In one group, temporary neuronal blocking was achieved by perineural anesthesia of the brachial plexus with bupivicaine during loading. We found right ulna loading induces adaptive responses in other bones in both thoracic limbs compared with Sham controls and that neuronal blocking during loading abrogated bone formation in the loaded ulna and other thoracic limb bones. Skeletal adaptation was more evident in distal long bones compared with proximal long bones. We also found that the single period of loading modulated bone neuropeptide concentrations persistently for 10 days. We conclude that functional adaptation to loading of a single bone in young rapidly growing rats is neuronally regulated and involves multiple bones. Persistent changes in bone neuropeptide concentrations after a single loading period suggest that plasticity exists in the innervation of bone.

  11. PIP2 mediates functional coupling and pharmacology of neuronal KCNQ channels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Robin Y; Pless, Stephan A; Kurata, Harley T

    2017-01-01

    Retigabine (RTG) is a first-in-class antiepileptic drug that suppresses neuronal excitability through the activation of voltage-gated KCNQ2-5 potassium channels. Retigabine binds to the pore-forming domain, causing a hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of channel activation. To elucid......Retigabine (RTG) is a first-in-class antiepileptic drug that suppresses neuronal excitability through the activation of voltage-gated KCNQ2-5 potassium channels. Retigabine binds to the pore-forming domain, causing a hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of channel activation....... These findings reveal an important role for PIP2 in coupling retigabine binding to altered VSD function. We identify a polybasic motif in the proximal C terminus of retigabine-sensitive KCNQ channels that contributes to VSD-pore coupling via PIP2, and thereby influences the unique gating effects of retigabine....

  12. Nonenzymatic glucosylation of neuronal calmodulin and its functional consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kowluru, R.A.; Kowluru, A.; Bitensky, M.W.

    1986-01-01

    Glucosylation (NEG) (nonenzymatic) of proteins is a posttranslational protein modification that occurs readily in the diabetic environment. As a consequence of NEG some proteins are known to undergo a change in function. Their studies of red blood cell (RBC) cytoskeletal proteins indicate that calmodulin is glucosylated in the diabetic RBC and this is followed by a change in function. Here they present new data in support of their earlier findings. Purified bovine brain calmodulin was glucosylated in vitro in the presence of 28 mM glucose. After six days of incubation at room temperature 2.75 moles of glucose were incorporated per mole of calmodulin. Glucosylated calmodulin exhibited a marked reduction in calcium dependent functions. Its ability to stimulate neuronal phosphodiesterase (PDE) and adenylate cyclase was reduced by 65 and 80% respectively. Its ability to stimulate rat brain protein kinase was reduced by 40%. Glucosylated calmodulin exhibited a 56% drop in its 45 Ca binding as compared with unmodified calmodulin. These data provide an additional example in which NEG markedly alters protein function

  13. The Molecular Motor KIF1A Transports the TrkA Neurotrophin Receptor and Is Essential for Sensory Neuron Survival and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Yosuke; Niwa, Shinsuke; Dong, Ming; Farkhondeh, Atena; Wang, Li; Zhou, Ruyun; Hirokawa, Nobutaka

    2016-06-15

    KIF1A is a major axonal transport motor protein, but its functional significance remains elusive. Here we show that KIF1A-haploinsufficient mice developed sensory neuropathy. We found progressive loss of TrkA(+) sensory neurons in Kif1a(+/-) dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). Moreover, axonal transport of TrkA was significantly disrupted in Kif1a(+/-) neurons. Live imaging and immunoprecipitation assays revealed that KIF1A bound to TrkA-containing vesicles through the adaptor GTP-Rab3, suggesting that TrkA is a cargo of the KIF1A motor. Physiological measurements revealed a weaker capsaicin response in Kif1a(+/-) DRG neurons. Moreover, these neurons were hyposensitive to nerve growth factor, which could explain the reduced neuronal survival and the functional deficiency of the pain receptor TRPV1. Because phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling significantly rescued these phenotypes and also increased Kif1a mRNA, we propose that KIF1A is essential for the survival and function of sensory neurons because of the TrkA transport and its synergistic support of the NGF/TrkA/PI3K signaling pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Strategic neuronal encoding in medial prefrontal cortex of spatial working memory in the T-maze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Mailman, Richard B

    2018-05-02

    Strategic neuronal encoding in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of the rat was correlated with spatial working memory (sWM) assessed by behavior in the T-maze. Neurons increased their firing rate around choice, with the increase largely occurring before choice as a prospective encode of behavior. This could be classified as sensitive-to-spatial information or sensitive-to-choice outcome. The sensitivity-to-spatial choice was defined by distinct firing rate changes before left- or right-choice. The percentage of left-choice sensitive neurons was not different from the percentage of right-choice sensitive neurons. There was also location-related neuronal activity in which neurons fired at distinct rates when rats were in a left- or right-location. More neurons were sensitive to left-location, as most of them were recorded from rats preferring to enter the right-location. The sensitivity to outcome was defined by a distinct firing rate around correct or error choice. Significantly more neurons were sensitive to error outcome, and, among these, more preferred to encode prospectively, increasing firing in advance of an error outcome. Similar to single neuron activity, the mPFC enhanced its neuronal network as measured by the oscillation of local field potential. The maximum power of oscillation was around choice, and occurred slightly earlier before error versus before correct outcome. Thus, sWM modulation in the mPFC includes not only spatial, but also outcome-related inputs, and neuronal ensembles monitor behavioral outcome to make strategic adjustments ensuring successful task performance. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Nuclear Organization in the Spinal Cord Depends on Motor Neuron Lamination Orchestrated by Catenin and Afadin Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carola Dewitz

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons in the spinal cord are found grouped in nuclear structures termed pools, whose position is precisely orchestrated during development. Despite the emerging role of pool organization in the assembly of spinal circuits, little is known about the morphogenetic programs underlying the patterning of motor neuron subtypes. We applied three-dimensional analysis of motor neuron position to reveal the roles and contributions of cell adhesive function by inactivating N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin signaling. Our findings reveal that nuclear organization of motor neurons is dependent on inside-out positioning, orchestrated by N-cadherin, catenin, and afadin activities, controlling cell body layering on the medio-lateral axis. In addition to this lamination-like program, motor neurons undergo a secondary, independent phase of organization. This process results in segregation of motor neurons along the dorso-ventral axis of the spinal cord, does not require N-cadherin or afadin activity, and can proceed even when medio-lateral positioning is perturbed.

  16. Assessment of cardiac neuronal function with iodine-123 MIBG scintigraphy in children with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maunoury, Ch.; Sebahoun, St.; Hallaj, I.; Barritault, L.; Acar, Ph.; Sidi, D.; Kachaner, J.; Agostini, D.; Bouvard, G.

    2000-01-01

    The I-123 MIBG cardiac scintigraphy can assess norepinephrine uptake. It has been showed that cardiac adrenergic neuronal function was impaired in adults with dilated cardiomyopathy. The aim of this prospective study was to assess cardiac neuronal function in children with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and to compare cardiac uptake of I-123 MIBG with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). We studied 26 consecutive patients with idiopathic DCM, aged 44 ± 50 months, and 12 controls, aged 49 ±65 months. A planar scintigraphy was performed in all children 4 hours after intravenous injection of 20 to 75 MBq of I-123 MIBG. A static anterior view was acquired for 10 minutes. Cardiac uptake of I-123 MIBG was expressed as the heart to mediastinum count ratio (HMR). Equilibrium radionuclide angiography was performed following a standard protocol. Cardiac uptake of I-123 MIBG was significantly decreased in patients with idiopathic DCM when compared with cardiac uptake in controls (172±34% vs 277±14%, P<0.0001. There was a good correlation between RCM and LVEF in patients with idiopathic DCM (y = 2.5 x +113.3, r = 0.80, P < 0.0001). In conclusion, cardiac neuronal function was impaired in children with idiopathic DCM and related to impairment of left ventricular function. (author)

  17. Attractor dynamics in local neuronal networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Philippe eThivierge

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Patterns of synaptic connectivity in various regions of the brain are characterized by the presence of synaptic motifs, defined as unidirectional and bidirectional synaptic contacts that follow a particular configuration and link together small groups of neurons. Recent computational work proposes that a relay network (two populations communicating via a third, relay population of neurons can generate precise patterns of neural synchronization. Here, we employ two distinct models of neuronal dynamics and show that simulated neural circuits designed in this way are caught in a global attractor of activity that prevents neurons from modulating their response on the basis of incoming stimuli. To circumvent the emergence of a fixed global attractor, we propose a mechanism of selective gain inhibition that promotes flexible responses to external stimuli. We suggest that local neuronal circuits may employ this mechanism to generate precise patterns of neural synchronization whose transient nature delimits the occurrence of a brief stimulus.

  18. 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.

  19. Lychee Seed Saponins Improve Cognitive Function and Prevent Neuronal Injury via Inhibiting Neuronal Apoptosis in a Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiuling Wang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Lychee seed is a traditional Chinese medicine and possesses many activities, including hypoglycemia, liver protection, antioxidation, antivirus, and antitumor. However, its effect on neuroprotection is still unclear. The present study investigated the effects of lychee seed saponins (LSS on neuroprotection and associated mechanisms. We established a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD by injecting Aβ25–35 into the lateral ventricle of rats and evaluated the effect of LSS on spatial learning and memory ability via the Morris water maze. Neuronal apoptosis was analyzed by hematoxylin and eosin stain and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (Tdt-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling analysis, and mRNA expression of caspase-3 and protein expressions of Bax and Bcl-2 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The results showed that LSS remarkably improved cognitive function and alleviated neuronal injury by inhibiting apoptosis in the hippocampus of AD rats. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of caspase-3 and the protein expression of Bax were downregulated, while the protein expression of Bcl-2 and the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax were increased by LSS. We demonstrate that LSS significantly improves cognitive function and prevent neuronal injury in the AD rats via regulation of the apoptosis pathway. Therefore, LSS may be developed as a nutritional supplement and sold as a drug for AD prevention and/or treatment.

  20. Telomerase activity-independent function of telomerase reverse transcriptase is involved in acrylamide-induced neuron damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, P; Pan, H; Wang, J; Liu, X; Hu, X

    2014-07-01

    Polyacrylamide is used widely in industry, and its decomposition product, acrylamide (ACR), readily finds its way into commonly consumed cosmetics and baked and fried foods. ACR exerts potent neurotoxic effects in human and animal models. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), the catalytic subunit of telomerase, traditionally has been considered to play an important role in maintaining telomere length. Emerging evidence has shown, however, that TERT plays an important role in neuroprotection by inhibiting apoptosis and excitotoxicity, and by promoting angiogenesis, neuronal survival and neurogenesis, which are closely related to the telomere-independent functions of TERT. We investigated whether and how the TERT pathway is involved in ACR induced neurotoxicity in rat cortical neurons. We found that ACR 1) significantly reduced the viability of cortical neurons as measured by MTT assay, 2) induced neuron apoptosis as revealed by FITC-conjugated Annexin V/PI double staining and flow cytometry (FACS) analysis, 3) elevated expression of cleaved caspase-3, and 4) decreased bcl-2 expression of cortical neurons. ACR also increased intracellular ROS levels in cortical neurons, increased MDA levels and reduced GSH, SOD and GSH-Px levels in mitochondria in a dose-dependent manner. We found that TERT expression in mitochondria was increased by ACR at concentrations of 2.5 and 5.0 mM, but TERT expression was decreased by 10 mM ACR. Telomerase activity, however, was undetectable in rat cortical neurons. Our results suggest that the TERT pathway is involved in ACR induced apoptosis of cortical neurons. TERT also may exert its neuroprotective role in a telomerase activity-independent way, especially in mitochondria.

  1. Automatic classification of canine PRG neuronal discharge patterns using K-means clustering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuperku, Edward J; Prkic, Ivana; Stucke, Astrid G; Miller, Justin R; Hopp, Francis A; Stuth, Eckehard A

    2015-02-01

    Respiratory-related neurons in the parabrachial-Kölliker-Fuse (PB-KF) region of the pons play a key role in the control of breathing. The neuronal activities of these pontine respiratory group (PRG) neurons exhibit a variety of inspiratory (I), expiratory (E), phase spanning and non-respiratory related (NRM) discharge patterns. Due to the variety of patterns, it can be difficult to classify them into distinct subgroups according to their discharge contours. This report presents a method that automatically classifies neurons according to their discharge patterns and derives an average subgroup contour of each class. It is based on the K-means clustering technique and it is implemented via SigmaPlot User-Defined transform scripts. The discharge patterns of 135 canine PRG neurons were classified into seven distinct subgroups. Additional methods for choosing the optimal number of clusters are described. Analysis of the results suggests that the K-means clustering method offers a robust objective means of both automatically categorizing neuron patterns and establishing the underlying archetypical contours of subtypes based on the discharge patterns of group of neurons. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. To Ingest or Rest? Specialized Roles of Lateral Hypothalamic Area Neurons in Coordinating Energy Balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliette A. Brown

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Survival depends on an organism’s ability to sense nutrient status and accordingly regulate intake and energy expenditure behaviors. Uncoupling of energy sensing and behavior, however, underlies energy balance disorders such as anorexia or obesity. The hypothalamus regulates energy balance, and in particular the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA is poised to coordinate peripheral cues of energy status and behaviors that impact weight, such as drinking, locomotor behavior, arousal/sleep and autonomic output. There are several populations of LHA neurons that are defined by their neuropeptide content and contribute to energy balance. LHA neurons that express the neuropeptides melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH or orexins/hypocretins (OX are best characterized and these neurons play important roles in regulating ingestion, arousal, locomotor behavior and autonomic function via distinct neuronal circuits. Recently, another population of LHA neurons containing the neuropeptide Neurotensin (Nts has been implicated in coordinating anorectic stimuli and behavior to regulate hydration and energy balance. Understanding the specific roles of MCH, OX and Nts neurons in harmonizing energy sensing and behavior thus has the potential to inform pharmacological strategies to modify behaviors and treat energy balance disorders.

  3. Electrophysiological Assessment of Serotonin and GABA Neuron Function in the Dorsal Raphe during the Third Trimester Equivalent Developmental Period in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Russell A; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Valenzuela, C Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the development of the serotonin system can have prolonged effects, including depression and anxiety disorders later in life. Serotonin axonal projections from the dorsal raphe undergo extensive refinement during the first 2 weeks of postnatal life in rodents (equivalent to the third trimester of human pregnancy). However, little is known about the functional properties of serotonin and GABA neurons in the dorsal raphe during this critical developmental period. We assessed the functional properties and synaptic connectivity of putative serotoninergic neurons and GABAergic neurons in the dorsal raphe during early [postnatal day (P) P5-P7] and late (P15-P17) stages of the third trimester equivalent period using electrophysiology. Our studies demonstrate that GABAergic neurons are hyperexcitable at P5-P7 relative to P15-P17. Furthermore, putative serotonin neurons exhibit an increase in both excitatory and GABAA receptor-mediated spontaneous postsynaptic currents during this developmental period. Our data suggest that GABAergic neurons and putative serotonin neurons undergo significant electrophysiological changes during neonatal development.

  4. MicroRNAs define distinct human neuroblastoma cell phenotypes and regulate their differentiation and tumorigenicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samaraweera, Leleesha; Grandinetti, Kathryn B; Huang, Ruojun; Spengler, Barbara A; Ross, Robert A

    2014-01-01

    Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor in children. NB tumors and derived cell lines are phenotypically heterogeneous. Cell lines are classified by phenotype, each having distinct differentiation and tumorigenic properties. The neuroblastic phenotype is tumorigenic, has neuronal features and includes stem cells (I-cells) and neuronal cells (N-cells). The non-neuronal phenotype (S-cell) comprises cells that are non-tumorigenic with features of glial/smooth muscle precursor cells. This study identified miRNAs associated with each distinct cell phenotypes and investigated their role in regulating associated differentiation and tumorigenic properties. A miRNA microarray was performed on the three cell phenotypes and expression verified by qRT-PCR. miRNAs specific for certain cell phenotypes were modulated using miRNA inhibitors or stable transfection. Neuronal differentiation was induced by RA; non-neuronal differentiation by BrdU. Changes in tumorigenicity were assayed by soft agar colony forming ability. N-myc binding to miR-375 promoter was assayed by chromatin-immunoprecipitation. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of miRNA microarray data segregated neuroblastic and non-neuronal cell lines and showed that specific miRNAs define each phenotype. qRT-PCR validation confirmed that increased levels of miR-21, miR-221 and miR-335 are associated with the non-neuronal phenotype, whereas increased levels of miR-124 and miR-375 are exclusive to neuroblastic cells. Downregulation of miR-335 in non-neuronal cells modulates expression levels of HAND1 and JAG1, known modulators of neuronal differentiation. Overexpression of miR-124 in stem cells induces terminal neuronal differentiation with reduced malignancy. Expression of miR-375 is exclusive for N-myc-expressing neuroblastic cells and is regulated by N-myc. Moreover, miR-375 downregulates expression of the neuronal-specific RNA binding protein HuD. Thus, miRNAs define distinct NB cell phenotypes

  5. Corazonin neurons function in sexually dimorphic circuitry that shape behavioral responses to stress in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Zhao

    Full Text Available All organisms are confronted with dynamic environmental changes that challenge homeostasis, which is the operational definition of stress. Stress produces adaptive behavioral and physiological responses, which, in the Metazoa, are mediated through the actions of various hormones. Based on its associated phenotypes and its expression profiles, a candidate stress hormone in Drosophila is the corazonin neuropeptide. We evaluated the potential roles of corazonin in mediating stress-related changes in target behaviors and physiologies through genetic alteration of corazonin neuronal excitability. Ablation of corazonin neurons confers resistance to metabolic, osmotic, and oxidative stress, as measured by survival. Silencing and activation of corazonin neurons lead to differential lifespan under stress, and these effects showed a strong dependence on sex. Additionally, altered corazonin neuron physiology leads to fundamental differences in locomotor activity, and these effects were also sex-dependent. The dynamics of altered locomotor behavior accompanying stress was likewise altered in flies with altered corazonin neuronal function. We report that corazonin transcript expression is altered under starvation and osmotic stress, and that triglyceride and dopamine levels are equally impacted in corazonin neuronal alterations and these phenotypes similarly show significant sexual dimorphisms. Notably, these sexual dimorphisms map to corazonin neurons. These results underscore the importance of central peptidergic processing within the context of stress and place corazonin signaling as a critical feature of neuroendocrine events that shape stress responses and may underlie the inherent sexual dimorphic differences in stress responses.

  6. The function of mirror neurons in the learning process

    OpenAIRE

    Mara Daniel

    2017-01-01

    In the last years, Neurosciences have developed very much, being elaborated many important theories scientific research in the field. The main goal of neuroscience is to understand how groups of neurons interact to create the behavior. Neuroscientists studying the action of molecules, genes and cells. It also explores the complex interactions involved in motion perception, thoughts, emotions and learning. Brick fundamental nervous system is the nerve cell, neuron. Neurons exchange information...

  7. Recurrently connected and localized neuronal communities initiate coordinated spontaneous activity in neuronal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Hayder; Maccione, Alessandro; Nieus, Thierry

    2017-01-01

    Developing neuronal systems intrinsically generate coordinated spontaneous activity that propagates by involving a large number of synchronously firing neurons. In vivo, waves of spikes transiently characterize the activity of developing brain circuits and are fundamental for activity-dependent circuit formation. In vitro, coordinated spontaneous spiking activity, or network bursts (NBs), interleaved within periods of asynchronous spikes emerge during the development of 2D and 3D neuronal cultures. Several studies have investigated this type of activity and its dynamics, but how a neuronal system generates these coordinated events remains unclear. Here, we investigate at a cellular level the generation of network bursts in spontaneously active neuronal cultures by exploiting high-resolution multielectrode array recordings and computational network modelling. Our analysis reveals that NBs are generated in specialized regions of the network (functional neuronal communities) that feature neuronal links with high cross-correlation peak values, sub-millisecond lags and that share very similar structural connectivity motifs providing recurrent interactions. We show that the particular properties of these local structures enable locally amplifying spontaneous asynchronous spikes and that this mechanism can lead to the initiation of NBs. Through the analysis of simulated and experimental data, we also show that AMPA currents drive the coordinated activity, while NMDA and GABA currents are only involved in shaping the dynamics of NBs. Overall, our results suggest that the presence of functional neuronal communities with recurrent local connections allows a neuronal system to generate spontaneous coordinated spiking activity events. As suggested by the rules used for implementing our computational model, such functional communities might naturally emerge during network development by following simple constraints on distance-based connectivity. PMID:28749937

  8. Recurrently connected and localized neuronal communities initiate coordinated spontaneous activity in neuronal networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Lonardoni

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Developing neuronal systems intrinsically generate coordinated spontaneous activity that propagates by involving a large number of synchronously firing neurons. In vivo, waves of spikes transiently characterize the activity of developing brain circuits and are fundamental for activity-dependent circuit formation. In vitro, coordinated spontaneous spiking activity, or network bursts (NBs, interleaved within periods of asynchronous spikes emerge during the development of 2D and 3D neuronal cultures. Several studies have investigated this type of activity and its dynamics, but how a neuronal system generates these coordinated events remains unclear. Here, we investigate at a cellular level the generation of network bursts in spontaneously active neuronal cultures by exploiting high-resolution multielectrode array recordings and computational network modelling. Our analysis reveals that NBs are generated in specialized regions of the network (functional neuronal communities