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Sample records for excitatory post-synaptic currents

  1. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

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    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Neurophysiological experiments on monkeys have reported highly irregular persistent activity during the performance of an oculomotor delayed-response task. These experiments show that during the delay period the coefficient of variation (CV of interspike intervals (ISI of prefrontal neurons is above 1, on average, and larger than during the fixation period. In the present paper, we show that this feature can be reproduced in a network in which persistent activity is induced by excitatory feedback, provided that (i the post-spike reset is close enough to threshold , (ii synaptic efficacies are a non-linear function of the pre-synaptic firing rate. Non-linearity between presynaptic rate and effective synaptic strength is implemented by a standard short-term depression mechanism (STD. First, we consider the simplest possible network with excitatory feedback: a fully connected homogeneous network of excitatory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, using both numerical simulations and analytical techniques. The results are then confirmed in a network with selective excitatory neurons and inhibition. In both the cases there is a large range of values of the synaptic efficacies for which the statistics of firing of single cells is similar to experimental data.

  2. Miniature excitatory synaptic currents in cultured hippocampal neurons.

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    Finch, D M; Fisher, R S; Jackson, M B

    1990-06-04

    We performed patch clamp recordings in the whole cell mode from cultured embryonic mouse hippocampal neurons. In bathing solutions containing tetrodotoxin (TTX), the cells showed spontaneous inward currents (SICs) ranging in size from 1 to 100 pA. Several observations indicated that the SICs were miniature excitatory synaptic currents mediated primarily by non-NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) excitatory amino acid receptors: the rising phase of SICs was fast (1 ms to half amplitude at room temperature) and smooth, suggesting unitary events. The SICs were blocked by the broad-spectrum glutamate receptor antagonist gamma-D-glutamylglycine (DGG), but not by the selective NMDA-receptor antagonist D-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (5-APV). SICs were also blocked by desensitizing concentrations of quisqualate. Incubating cells in tetanus toxin, which blocks exocytotic transmitter release, eliminated SICs. The presence of SICs was consistent with the morphological arrangement of glutamatergic innervation in the cell cultures demonstrated immunohistochemically. Spontaneous outward currents (SOCs) were blocked by bicuculline and presumed to be mediated by GABAA receptors. This is consistent with immunohistochemical demonstration of GABAergic synapses. SIC frequency was increased in a calcium dependent manner by bathing the cells in a solution high in K+, and application of the dihydropyridine L-type calcium channel agonist BAY K 8644 increased the frequency of SICs. Increases in SIC frequency produced by high K+ solutions were reversed by Cd2+ and omega-conotoxin GVIA, but not by the selective L-type channel antagonist nimodipine. This suggested that presynaptic L-type channels were in a gating mode that was not blocked by nimodipine, and/or that another class of calcium channel makes a dominant contribution to excitatory transmitter release.

  3. Effects of Ketamine on Neuronal Spontaneous Excitatory Postsynaptic Currents and Miniature Excitatory Postsynaptic Currents in the Somatosensory Cortex of Rats

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    Chengdong Yuan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Ketamine is a commonly used intravenous anesthetic which produces dissociation anesthesia, analgesia, and amnesia. The mechanism of ketamine-induced synaptic inhibition in high-level cortical areas is still unknown. We aimed to elucidate the effects of different concentrations of ketamine on the glutamatergic synaptic transmission of the neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex by using the whole-cell patch-clamp method. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats (11–19 postnatal days, n=36 were used to obtain brain slices (300 μM. Spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (data from 40 neurons were recorded at a command potential of -70 mV in the presence of bicuculline (a competitive antagonist of GABAA receptors, 30 μM and strychnine (glycine receptor antagonist, 30 μM. Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (data from 40 neurons were also recorded when 1 μM of tetrodotoxin was added into the artificial cerebrospinal fluid. We used GraphPad Prism5for statistical analysis. Significant differences in the mean amplitude and frequency were tested using the Student paired 2-tailed t test. Values of P<0.05 were considered significant. Results: Different concentrations of ketamine inhibited the frequency and amplitude of the spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents as well as the amplitude of the miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in a concentration-dependent manner, but they exerted no significant effect on the frequency of the miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. Conclusion: Ketamine inhibited the excitatory synaptic transmission of the neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex. The inhibition may have been mediated by a reduction in the sensitivity of the postsynaptic glutamatergic receptors.

  4. Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase Is a Regulator of Alcohol Consumption and Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell

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    Regina A. Mangieri

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK is a receptor tyrosine kinase recently implicated in biochemical, physiological, and behavioral responses to ethanol. Thus, manipulation of ALK signaling may represent a novel approach to treating alcohol use disorder (AUD. Ethanol induces adaptations in glutamatergic synapses onto nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh medium spiny neurons (MSNs, and putative targets for treating AUD may be validated for further development by assessing how their manipulation modulates accumbal glutamatergic synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we report that Alk knockout (AlkKO mice consumed greater doses of ethanol, relative to wild-type (AlkWT mice, in an operant self-administration model. Using ex vivo electrophysiology to examine excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity at NAcSh MSNs that express dopamine D1 receptors (D1MSNs, we found that the amplitude of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs in NAcSh D1MSNs was elevated in AlkKO mice and in the presence of an ALK inhibitor, TAE684. Furthermore, when ALK was absent or inhibited, glutamatergic synaptic plasticity – long-term depression of evoked EPSCs – in D1MSNs was attenuated. Thus, loss of ALK activity in mice is associated with elevated ethanol consumption and enhanced excitatory transmission in NAcSh D1MSNs. These findings add to the mounting evidence of a relationship between excitatory synaptic transmission onto NAcSh D1MSNs and ethanol consumption, point toward ALK as one important molecular mediator of this interaction, and further validate ALK as a target for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of AUD.

  5. Spike Train Auto-Structure Impacts Post-Synaptic Firing and Timing-Based Plasticity

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    Scheller, Bertram; Castellano, Marta; Vicente, Raul; Pipa, Gordon

    2011-01-01

    Cortical neurons are typically driven by several thousand synapses. The precise spatiotemporal pattern formed by these inputs can modulate the response of a post-synaptic cell. In this work, we explore how the temporal structure of pre-synaptic inhibitory and excitatory inputs impact the post-synaptic firing of a conductance-based integrate and fire neuron. Both the excitatory and inhibitory input was modeled by renewal gamma processes with varying shape factors for modeling regular and temporally random Poisson activity. We demonstrate that the temporal structure of mutually independent inputs affects the post-synaptic firing, while the strength of the effect depends on the firing rates of both the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. In a second step, we explore the effect of temporal structure of mutually independent inputs on a simple version of Hebbian learning, i.e., hard bound spike-timing-dependent plasticity. We explore both the equilibrium weight distribution and the speed of the transient weight dynamics for different mutually independent gamma processes. We find that both the equilibrium distribution of the synaptic weights and the speed of synaptic changes are modulated by the temporal structure of the input. Finally, we highlight that the sensitivity of both the post-synaptic firing as well as the spike-timing-dependent plasticity on the auto-structure of the input of a neuron could be used to modulate the learning rate of synaptic modification. PMID:22203800

  6. Glucose rapidly induces different forms of excitatory synaptic plasticity in hypothalamic POMC neurons.

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    Jun Hu

    Full Text Available Hypothalamic POMC neurons are required for glucose and energy homeostasis. POMC neurons have a wide synaptic connection with neurons both within and outside the hypothalamus, and their activity is controlled by a balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Brain glucose-sensing plays an essential role in the maintenance of normal body weight and metabolism; however, the effect of glucose on synaptic transmission in POMC neurons is largely unknown. Here we identified three types of POMC neurons (EPSC(+, EPSC(-, and EPSC(+/- based on their glucose-regulated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs, using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Lowering extracellular glucose decreased the frequency of sEPSCs in EPSC(+ neurons, but increased it in EPSC(- neurons. Unlike EPSC(+ and EPSC(- neurons, EPSC(+/- neurons displayed a bi-phasic sEPSC response to glucoprivation. In the first phase of glucoprivation, both the frequency and the amplitude of sEPSCs decreased, whereas in the second phase, they increased progressively to the levels above the baseline values. Accordingly, lowering glucose exerted a bi-phasic effect on spontaneous action potentials in EPSC(+/- neurons. Glucoprivation decreased firing rates in the first phase, but increased them in the second phase. These data indicate that glucose induces distinct excitatory synaptic plasticity in different subpopulations of POMC neurons. This synaptic remodeling is likely to regulate the sensitivity of the melanocortin system to neuronal and hormonal signals.

  7. Glucose rapidly induces different forms of excitatory synaptic plasticity in hypothalamic POMC neurons.

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    Hu, Jun; Jiang, Lin; Low, Malcolm J; Rui, Liangyou

    2014-01-01

    Hypothalamic POMC neurons are required for glucose and energy homeostasis. POMC neurons have a wide synaptic connection with neurons both within and outside the hypothalamus, and their activity is controlled by a balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Brain glucose-sensing plays an essential role in the maintenance of normal body weight and metabolism; however, the effect of glucose on synaptic transmission in POMC neurons is largely unknown. Here we identified three types of POMC neurons (EPSC(+), EPSC(-), and EPSC(+/-)) based on their glucose-regulated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Lowering extracellular glucose decreased the frequency of sEPSCs in EPSC(+) neurons, but increased it in EPSC(-) neurons. Unlike EPSC(+) and EPSC(-) neurons, EPSC(+/-) neurons displayed a bi-phasic sEPSC response to glucoprivation. In the first phase of glucoprivation, both the frequency and the amplitude of sEPSCs decreased, whereas in the second phase, they increased progressively to the levels above the baseline values. Accordingly, lowering glucose exerted a bi-phasic effect on spontaneous action potentials in EPSC(+/-) neurons. Glucoprivation decreased firing rates in the first phase, but increased them in the second phase. These data indicate that glucose induces distinct excitatory synaptic plasticity in different subpopulations of POMC neurons. This synaptic remodeling is likely to regulate the sensitivity of the melanocortin system to neuronal and hormonal signals.

  8. Glucose Rapidly Induces Different Forms of Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in Hypothalamic POMC Neurons

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    Hu, Jun; Jiang, Lin; Low, Malcolm J.; Rui, Liangyou

    2014-01-01

    Hypothalamic POMC neurons are required for glucose and energy homeostasis. POMC neurons have a wide synaptic connection with neurons both within and outside the hypothalamus, and their activity is controlled by a balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Brain glucose-sensing plays an essential role in the maintenance of normal body weight and metabolism; however, the effect of glucose on synaptic transmission in POMC neurons is largely unknown. Here we identified three types of POMC neurons (EPSC(+), EPSC(−), and EPSC(+/−)) based on their glucose-regulated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Lowering extracellular glucose decreased the frequency of sEPSCs in EPSC(+) neurons, but increased it in EPSC(−) neurons. Unlike EPSC(+) and EPSC(−) neurons, EPSC(+/−) neurons displayed a bi-phasic sEPSC response to glucoprivation. In the first phase of glucoprivation, both the frequency and the amplitude of sEPSCs decreased, whereas in the second phase, they increased progressively to the levels above the baseline values. Accordingly, lowering glucose exerted a bi-phasic effect on spontaneous action potentials in EPSC(+/−) neurons. Glucoprivation decreased firing rates in the first phase, but increased them in the second phase. These data indicate that glucose induces distinct excitatory synaptic plasticity in different subpopulations of POMC neurons. This synaptic remodeling is likely to regulate the sensitivity of the melanocortin system to neuronal and hormonal signals. PMID:25127258

  9. Reversed synaptic effects of hypocretin and NPY mediated by excitatory GABA-dependent synaptic activity in developing MCH neurons.

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    Li, Ying; Xu, Youfen; van den Pol, Anthony N

    2013-03-01

    In mature neurons, GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. In contrast, in developing neurons, GABA exerts excitatory actions, and in some neurons GABA-mediated excitatory synaptic activity is more prevalent than glutamate-mediated excitation. Hypothalamic neuropeptides that modulate cognitive arousal and energy homeostasis, hypocretin/orexin and neuropeptide Y (NPY), evoked reversed effects on synaptic actions that were dependent on presynaptic GABA release onto melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons. MCH neurons were identified by selective green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in transgenic mice. In adults, hypocretin increased GABA release leading to reduced excitation. In contrast, in the developing brain as studied here with analysis of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, paired-pulse ratios, and evoked potentials, hypocretin acted presynaptically to enhance the excitatory actions of GABA. The ability of hypocretin to enhance GABA release increases inhibition in adult neurons but paradoxically enhances excitation in developing MCH neurons. In contrast, NPY attenuation of GABA release reduced inhibition in mature neurons but enhanced inhibition during development by attenuating GABA excitation. Both hypocretin and NPY also evoked direct actions on developing MCH neurons. Hypocretin excited MCH cells by activating a sodium-calcium exchanger and by reducing potassium currents; NPY reduced activity by increasing an inwardly rectifying potassium current. These data for the first time show that both hypocretin and NPY receptors are functional presynaptically during early postnatal hypothalamic development and that both neuropeptides modulate GABA actions during development with a valence of enhanced excitation or inhibition opposite to that of the adult state, potentially allowing neuropeptide modulation of use-dependent synapse stabilization.

  10. Efficient Coding and Energy Efficiency Are Promoted by Balanced Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Currents in Neuronal Network.

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    Yu, Lianchun; Shen, Zhou; Wang, Chen; Yu, Yuguo

    2018-01-01

    Selective pressure may drive neural systems to process as much information as possible with the lowest energy cost. Recent experiment evidence revealed that the ratio between synaptic excitation and inhibition (E/I) in local cortex is generally maintained at a certain value which may influence the efficiency of energy consumption and information transmission of neural networks. To understand this issue deeply, we constructed a typical recurrent Hodgkin-Huxley network model and studied the general principles that governs the relationship among the E/I synaptic current ratio, the energy cost and total amount of information transmission. We observed in such a network that there exists an optimal E/I synaptic current ratio in the network by which the information transmission achieves the maximum with relatively low energy cost. The coding energy efficiency which is defined as the mutual information divided by the energy cost, achieved the maximum with the balanced synaptic current. Although background noise degrades information transmission and imposes an additional energy cost, we find an optimal noise intensity that yields the largest information transmission and energy efficiency at this optimal E/I synaptic transmission ratio. The maximization of energy efficiency also requires a certain part of energy cost associated with spontaneous spiking and synaptic activities. We further proved this finding with analytical solution based on the response function of bistable neurons, and demonstrated that optimal net synaptic currents are capable of maximizing both the mutual information and energy efficiency. These results revealed that the development of E/I synaptic current balance could lead a cortical network to operate at a highly efficient information transmission rate at a relatively low energy cost. The generality of neuronal models and the recurrent network configuration used here suggest that the existence of an optimal E/I cell ratio for highly efficient energy

  11. Location-dependent excitatory synaptic interactions in pyramidal neuron dendrites.

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    Bardia F Behabadi

    Full Text Available Neocortical pyramidal neurons (PNs receive thousands of excitatory synaptic contacts on their basal dendrites. Some act as classical driver inputs while others are thought to modulate PN responses based on sensory or behavioral context, but the biophysical mechanisms that mediate classical-contextual interactions in these dendrites remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that if two excitatory pathways bias their synaptic projections towards proximal vs. distal ends of the basal branches, the very different local spike thresholds and attenuation factors for inputs near and far from the soma might provide the basis for a classical-contextual functional asymmetry. Supporting this possibility, we found both in compartmental models and electrophysiological recordings in brain slices that the responses of basal dendrites to spatially separated inputs are indeed strongly asymmetric. Distal excitation lowers the local spike threshold for more proximal inputs, while having little effect on peak responses at the soma. In contrast, proximal excitation lowers the threshold, but also substantially increases the gain of distally-driven responses. Our findings support the view that PN basal dendrites possess significant analog computing capabilities, and suggest that the diverse forms of nonlinear response modulation seen in the neocortex, including uni-modal, cross-modal, and attentional effects, could depend in part on pathway-specific biases in the spatial distribution of excitatory synaptic contacts onto PN basal dendritic arbors.

  12. Unsupervised discrimination of patterns in spiking neural networks with excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

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    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cho, Youngkwan

    2014-01-01

    A spiking neural network model is described for learning to discriminate among spatial patterns in an unsupervised manner. The network anatomy consists of source neurons that are activated by external inputs, a reservoir that resembles a generic cortical layer with an excitatory-inhibitory (EI) network and a sink layer of neurons for readout. Synaptic plasticity in the form of STDP is imposed on all the excitatory and inhibitory synapses at all times. While long-term excitatory STDP enables sparse and efficient learning of the salient features in inputs, inhibitory STDP enables this learning to be stable by establishing a balance between excitatory and inhibitory currents at each neuron in the network. The synaptic weights between source and reservoir neurons form a basis set for the input patterns. The neural trajectories generated in the reservoir due to input stimulation and lateral connections between reservoir neurons can be readout by the sink layer neurons. This activity is used for adaptation of synapses between reservoir and sink layer neurons. A new measure called the discriminability index (DI) is introduced to compute if the network can discriminate between old patterns already presented in an initial training session. The DI is also used to compute if the network adapts to new patterns without losing its ability to discriminate among old patterns. The final outcome is that the network is able to correctly discriminate between all patterns-both old and new. This result holds as long as inhibitory synapses employ STDP to continuously enable current balance in the network. The results suggest a possible direction for future investigation into how spiking neural networks could address the stability-plasticity question despite having continuous synaptic plasticity.

  13. Selective synaptic targeting of the excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic organizers FGF22 and FGF7.

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    Terauchi, Akiko; Timmons, Kendall M; Kikuma, Koto; Pechmann, Yvonne; Kneussel, Matthias; Umemori, Hisashi

    2015-01-15

    Specific formation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses is crucial for proper functioning of the brain. Fibroblast growth factor 22 (FGF22) and FGF7 are postsynaptic-cell-derived presynaptic organizers necessary for excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic differentiation, respectively, in the hippocampus. For the establishment of specific synaptic networks, these FGFs must localize to appropriate synaptic locations - FGF22 to excitatory and FGF7 to inhibitory postsynaptic sites. Here, we show that distinct motor and adaptor proteins contribute to intracellular microtubule transport of FGF22 and FGF7. Excitatory synaptic targeting of FGF22 requires the motor proteins KIF3A and KIF17 and the adaptor protein SAP102 (also known as DLG3). By contrast, inhibitory synaptic targeting of FGF7 requires the motor KIF5 and the adaptor gephyrin. Time-lapse imaging shows that FGF22 moves with SAP102, whereas FGF7 moves with gephyrin. These results reveal the basis of selective targeting of the excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic organizers that supports their different synaptogenic functions. Finally, we found that knockdown of SAP102 or PSD95 (also known as DLG4), which impairs the differentiation of excitatory synapses, alters FGF7 localization, suggesting that signals from excitatory synapses might regulate inhibitory synapse formation by controlling the distribution of the inhibitory presynaptic organizer. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Inferring Trial-to-Trial Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Inputs from Membrane Potential using Gaussian Mixture Kalman Filtering

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    Milad eLankarany

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Time-varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs govern activity of neurons and process information in the brain. The importance of trial-to-trial fluctuations of synaptic inputs has recently been investigated in neuroscience. Such fluctuations are ignored in the most conventional techniques because they are removed when trials are averaged during linear regression techniques. Here, we propose a novel recursive algorithm based on Gaussian mixture Kalman filtering for estimating time-varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs from single trials of noisy membrane potential in current clamp recordings. The Kalman filtering is followed by an expectation maximization algorithm to infer the statistical parameters (time-varying mean and variance of the synaptic inputs in a non-parametric manner. As our proposed algorithm is repeated recursively, the inferred parameters of the mixtures are used to initiate the next iteration. Unlike other recent algorithms, our algorithm does not assume an a priori distribution from which the synaptic inputs are generated. Instead, the algorithm recursively estimates such a distribution by fitting a Gaussian mixture model. The performance of the proposed algorithms is compared to a previously proposed PF-based algorithm (Paninski et al., 2012 with several illustrative examples, assuming that the distribution of synaptic input is unknown. If noise is small, the performance of our algorithms is similar to that of the previous one. However, if noise is large, they can significantly outperform the previous proposal. These promising results suggest that our algorithm is a robust and efficient technique for estimating time varying excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances from single trials of membrane potential recordings.

  15. Dynamic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by astrocyte-derived ATP in hippocampal cultures

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    Koizumi, Schuichi; Fujishita, Kayoko; Tsuda, Makoto; Shigemoto-Mogami, Yukari; Inoue, Kazuhide

    2003-09-01

    Originally ascribed passive roles in the CNS, astrocytes are now known to have an active role in the regulation of synaptic transmission. Neuronal activity can evoke Ca2+ transients in astrocytes, and Ca2+ transients in astrocytes can evoke changes in neuronal activity. The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate has been shown to mediate such bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. We demonstrate here that ATP, a primary mediator of intercellular Ca2+ signaling among astrocytes, also mediates intercellular signaling between astrocytes and neurons in hippocampal cultures. Mechanical stimulation of astrocytes evoked Ca2+ waves mediated by the release of ATP and the activation of P2 receptors. Mechanically evoked Ca2+ waves led to decreased excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmission in an ATP-dependent manner. Exogenous application of ATP does not affect postsynaptic glutamatergic responses but decreased presynaptic exocytotic events. Finally, we show that astrocytes exhibit spontaneous Ca2+ waves mediated by extracellular ATP and that inhibition of these Ca2+ responses enhanced excitatory glutamatergic transmission. We therefore conclude that ATP released from astrocytes exerts tonic and activity-dependent down-regulation of synaptic transmission via presynaptic mechanisms.

  16. An N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor mediated large, low-frequency, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current in neonatal rat spinal dorsal horn neurons.

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    Thomson, L M; Zeng, J; Terman, G W

    2006-09-01

    Examples of spontaneous oscillating neural activity contributing to both pathological and physiological states are abundant throughout the CNS. Here we report a spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current located in lamina I of the neonatal rat spinal cord dorsal horn. The spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current is characterized by its large amplitude, slow decay time, and low-frequency. We demonstrate that post-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) mediate the spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current, as it is inhibited by magnesium, bath-applied d-2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV), or intracellular MK-801. The NR2B subunit of the NMDAR appears important to this phenomenon, as the NR2B subunit selective NMDAR antagonist, alpha-(4-hydroxphenyl)-beta-methyl-4-benzyl-1-piperidineethanol tartrate (ifenprodil), also partially inhibited the spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current. Inhibition of spontaneous glutamate release by the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) or the mu-opioid receptor agonist [D-Ala2, N-Me-Phe4, Gly5] enkephalin-ol (DAMGO) inhibited the spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current frequency. Marked inhibition of spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current frequency by tetrodotoxin (TTX), but not post-synaptic N-(2,6-dimethylphenylcarbamoylmethyl)triethylammonium bromide (QX-314), suggests that the glutamate release important to the spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current is dependent on active neural processes. Conversely, increasing dorsal horn synaptic glutamate release by GABAA or glycine inhibition increased spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current frequency. Moreover, inhibiting glutamate transporters with threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartic acid (DL-TBOA) increased spontaneous oscillating intermittent synaptic current frequency and decay time. A possible functional role of this spontaneous NMDAR

  17. TGF-β Signaling in Dopaminergic Neurons Regulates Dendritic Growth, Excitatory-Inhibitory Synaptic Balance, and Reversal Learning

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    Sarah X. Luo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits involving midbrain dopaminergic (DA neurons regulate reward and goal-directed behaviors. Although local GABAergic input is known to modulate DA circuits, the mechanism that controls excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in DA neurons remains unclear. Here, we show that DA neurons use autocrine transforming growth factor β (TGF-β signaling to promote the growth of axons and dendrites. Surprisingly, removing TGF-β type II receptor in DA neurons also disrupts the balance in TGF-β1 expression in DA neurons and neighboring GABAergic neurons, which increases inhibitory input, reduces excitatory synaptic input, and alters phasic firing patterns in DA neurons. Mice lacking TGF-β signaling in DA neurons are hyperactive and exhibit inflexibility in relinquishing learned behaviors and re-establishing new stimulus-reward associations. These results support a role for TGF-β in regulating the delicate balance of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic input in local microcircuits involving DA and GABAergic neurons and its potential contributions to neuropsychiatric disorders.

  18. Purines released from astrocytes inhibit excitatory synaptic transmission in the ventral horn of the spinal cord

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    Carlsen, Eva Maria Meier; Perrier, Jean-Francois Marie

    2014-01-01

    by different neuromodulators. These substances are usually thought of being released by dedicated neurons. However, in other networks from the central nervous system synaptic transmission is also modulated by transmitters released from astrocytes. The star-shaped glial cell responds to neurotransmitters....... Neurons responded to electrical stimulation by monosynaptic EPSCs (excitatory monosynaptic postsynaptic currents). We used mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter of the glial fibrillary acidic protein to identify astrocytes. Chelating calcium with BAPTA in a single...... neighboring astrocyte increased the amplitude of synaptic currents. In contrast, when we selectively stimulated astrocytes by activating PAR-1 receptors with the peptide TFLLR, the amplitude of EPSCs evoked by a paired stimulation protocol was reduced. The paired-pulse ratio was increased, suggesting...

  19. GABAergic activities control spike timing- and frequency-dependent long-term depression at hippocampal excitatory synapses

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    Makoto Nishiyama

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available GABAergic interneuronal network activities in the hippocampus control a variety of neural functions, including learning and memory, by regulating θ and γ oscillations. How these GABAergic activities at pre- and post-synaptic sites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells differentially contribute to synaptic function and plasticity during their repetitive pre- and post-synaptic spiking at θ and γ oscillations is largely unknown. We show here that activities mediated by postsynaptic GABAARs and presynaptic GABABRs determine, respectively, the spike timing- and frequency-dependence of activity-induced synaptic modifications at Schaffer collateral-CA1 excitatory synapses. We demonstrate that both feedforward and feedback GABAAR-mediated inhibition in the postsynaptic cell controls the spike timing-dependent long-term depression of excitatory inputs (“e-LTD” at the θ frequency. We also show that feedback postsynaptic inhibition specifically causes e-LTD of inputs that induce small postsynaptic currents (<70 pA with LTP timing, thus enforcing the requirement of cooperativity for induction of long-term potentiation at excitatory inputs (“e-LTP”. Furthermore, under spike-timing protocols that induce e-LTP and e-LTD at excitatory synapses, we observed parallel induction of LTP and LTD at inhibitory inputs (“i-LTP” and “i-LTD” to the same postsynaptic cells. Finally, we show that presynaptic GABABR-mediated inhibition plays a major role in the induction of frequency-dependent e-LTD at α and β frequencies. These observations demonstrate the critical influence of GABAergic interneuronal network activities in regulating the spike timing and frequency dependences of long-term synaptic modifications in the hippocampus.

  20. Carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine, but not eslicarbazepine, enhance excitatory synaptic transmission onto hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells through an antagonist action at adenosine A1 receptors.

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    Booker, Sam A; Pires, Nuno; Cobb, Stuart; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício; Vida, Imre

    2015-06-01

    This study assessed the anticonvulsant and seizure generation effects of carbamazepine (CBZ), oxcarbazepine (OXC) and eslicarbazepine (S-Lic) in wild-type mice. Electrophysiological recordings were made to discriminate potential cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying anti- and pro-epileptic actions. The anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant effects were evaluated in the MES, the 6-Hz and the Irwin tests. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were used to investigate the effects on fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1. The safety window for CBZ, OXC and eslicarbazepine (ED50 value against the MES test and the dose that produces grade 5 convulsions in all mice), was 6.3, 6.0 and 12.5, respectively. At high concentrations the three drugs reduced synaptic transmission. CBZ and OXC enhanced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) at low, therapeutically-relevant concentrations. These effects were associated with no change in inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) resulting in altered balance between excitation and inhibition. S-Lic had no effect on EPSC or IPSC amplitudes over the same concentration range. The CBZ mediated enhancement of EPSCs was blocked by DPCPX, a selective antagonist, and occluded by CCPA, a selective agonist of the adenosine A1 receptor. Furthermore, reduction of endogenous adenosine by application of the enzyme adenosine deaminase also abolished the CBZ- and OXC-induced increase of EPSCs, indicating that the two drugs act as antagonists at native adenosine receptors. In conclusion, CBZ and OXC possess pro-epileptic actions at clinically-relevant concentrations through the enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission. S-Lic by comparison has no such effect on synaptic transmission, explaining its lack of seizure exacerbation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Calcium current homeostasis and synaptic deficits in hippocampal neurons from Kelch-like 1 knockout mice

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    Paula Patricia Perissinotti

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Kelch-like 1 (KLHL1 is a neuronal actin-binding protein that modulates voltage-gated CaV2.1 (P/Q-type and CaV3.2 (α1H T-type calcium channels; KLHL1 knockdown experiments (KD cause down-regulation of both channel types and altered synaptic properties in cultured rat hippocampal neurons (Perissinotti et al., 2014. Here, we studied the effect of ablation of KLHL1 on calcium channel function and synaptic properties in cultured hippocampal neurons from KLHL1 knockout (KO mice. Western blot data showed the P/Q-type channel α1A subunit was less abundant in KO hippocampus compared to wildtype (WT; and PQ-type calcium currents were smaller in KO neurons than WT during early days in vitro, although this decrease was compensated for at late stages by increases in L-type calcium current. In contrast, T-type currents did not change in culture. However, biophysical properties and western blot analysis revealed a differential contribution of T-type channel isoforms in the KO, with CaV3.2 α1H subunit being down-regulated and CaV3.1 α1G up-regulated. Synapsin I levels were reduced in the KO hippocampus; cultured neurons displayed a concomitant reduction in synapsin I puncta and decreased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC frequency. In summary, genetic ablation of the calcium channel modulator resulted in compensatory mechanisms to maintain calcium current homeostasis in hippocampal KO neurons; however, synaptic alterations resulted in a reduction of excitatory synapse number, causing an imbalance of the excitatory-inhibitory synaptic input ratio favoring inhibition.

  2. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

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    Christian Bonansco

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks.

  3. Wavelet analysis of nonstationary fluctuations of Monte Carlo-simulated excitatory postsynaptic currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aristizabal, F; Glavinovic, M I

    2003-10-01

    currents is not highly accurate owing to the varying number of the activatable AMPA channels caused by desensitization. The spatial nonuniformity of open, bound, and desensitized AMPA channels, and the time dependence and spatial nonuniformity of the glutamate concentration in the synaptic cleft, further reduce the accuracy of estimates of the number of AMPA channels from synaptic currents. In conclusion, wavelet analysis of nonstationary fluctuations of patch and synaptic currents expands our ability to determine accurately the variance and frequency of current fluctuations, demonstrates the limits of applicability of techniques currently used to evaluate the single channel current and number of AMPA channels, and offers new insights into the mechanisms involved in the generation of unitary quantal events at excitatory central synapses.

  4. Robust Synchronization in an E/I Network with Medium Synaptic Delay and High Level of Heterogeneity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han Fang; Wang Zhi-Jie; Gong Tao; Fan Hong

    2015-01-01

    It is known that both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal networks can achieve robust synchronization only under certain conditions, such as long synaptic delay or low level of heterogeneity. In this work, robust synchronization can be found in an excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) neuronal network with medium synaptic delay and high level of heterogeneity, which often occurs in real neuronal networks. Two effects of post-synaptic potentials (PSP) to network synchronization are presented, and the synaptic contribution of excitatory and inhibitory neurons to robust synchronization in this E/I network is investigated. It is found that both excitatory and inhibitory neurons may contribute to robust synchronization in E/I networks, especially the excitatory PSP has a more positive effect on synchronization in E/I networks than that in excitatory networks. This may explain the strong robustness of synchronization in E/I neuronal networks. (paper)

  5. The importance of the excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    E. Bjørn-Yoshimoto, Walden; Underhill, Suzanne M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The neuronal excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3) is fairly ubiquitously expressed in the brain, though it does not necessarily maintain the same function everywhere. It is important in maintaining low local concentrations of glutamate, where its predominant post-synaptic localiza......Abstract The neuronal excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3) is fairly ubiquitously expressed in the brain, though it does not necessarily maintain the same function everywhere. It is important in maintaining low local concentrations of glutamate, where its predominant post...

  6. Hyperactivity of newborn Pten knock-out neurons results from increased excitatory synaptic drive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Michael R; DeSpenza, Tyrone; Li, Meijie; Gulledge, Allan T; Luikart, Bryan W

    2015-01-21

    Developing neurons must regulate morphology, intrinsic excitability, and synaptogenesis to form neural circuits. When these processes go awry, disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or epilepsy, may result. The phosphatase Pten is mutated in some patients having ASD and seizures, suggesting that its mutation disrupts neurological function in part through increasing neuronal activity. Supporting this idea, neuronal knock-out of Pten in mice can cause macrocephaly, behavioral changes similar to ASD, and seizures. However, the mechanisms through which excitability is enhanced following Pten depletion are unclear. Previous studies have separately shown that Pten-depleted neurons can drive seizures, receive elevated excitatory synaptic input, and have abnormal dendrites. We therefore tested the hypothesis that developing Pten-depleted neurons are hyperactive due to increased excitatory synaptogenesis using electrophysiology, calcium imaging, morphological analyses, and modeling. This was accomplished by coinjecting retroviruses to either "birthdate" or birthdate and knock-out Pten in granule neurons of the murine neonatal dentate gyrus. We found that Pten knock-out neurons, despite a rapid onset of hypertrophy, were more active in vivo. Pten knock-out neurons fired at more hyperpolarized membrane potentials, displayed greater peak spike rates, and were more sensitive to depolarizing synaptic input. The increased sensitivity of Pten knock-out neurons was due, in part, to a higher density of synapses located more proximal to the soma. We determined that increased synaptic drive was sufficient to drive hypertrophic Pten knock-out neurons beyond their altered action potential threshold. Thus, our work contributes a developmental mechanism for the increased activity of Pten-depleted neurons. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/350943-17$15.00/0.

  7. Electrophysical properties, synaptic transmission and neuromodulation in serotonergic caudal raphe neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y W; Bayliss, D A

    1998-06-01

    1. We studied electrophysiological properties, synaptic transmission and modulation by 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) of caudal raphe neurons using whole-cell recording in a neonatal rat brain slice preparation; recorded neurons were identified as serotonergic by post-hoc immunohistochemical detection of tryptophan hydroxylase, the 5-HT-synthesizing enzyme. 2. Serotonergic neurons fired spontaneously (approximately 1 Hz), with maximal steady state firing rates of < 4 Hz. 5-Hydroxytryptamine caused hyperpolarization and cessation of spike activity in these neurons by activating inwardly rectifying K+ conductance via somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptors. 3. Unitary glutamatergic excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSP) and currents (EPSC) were evoked in serotonergic neurons by local electrical stimulation. Evoked EPSC were potently inhibited by 5-HT, an effect mediated by presynaptic 5-HT1B receptors. 4. In conclusion, serotonergic caudal raphe neurons are spontaneously active in vitro; they receive prominent glutamatergic synaptic inputs. 5-Hydroxytryptamine regulates serotonergic neuronal activity of the caudal raphe by decreasing spontaneous activity via somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptors and by inhibiting excitatory synaptic transmission onto these neurons via presynaptic 5-HT1B receptors. These local modulatory mechanisms provide multiple levels of feedback autoregulation of serotonergic raphe neurons by 5-HT.

  8. Genetic controls balancing excitatory and inhibitory synaptogenesis in neurodevelopmental disorder models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl L Gatto

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Proper brain function requires stringent balance of excitatory and inhibitory synapse formation during neural circuit assembly. Mutation of genes that normally sculpt and maintain this balance results in severe dysfunction, causing neurodevelopmental disorders including autism, epilepsy and Rett syndrome. Such mutations may result in defective architectural structuring of synaptic connections, molecular assembly of synapses and/or functional synaptogenesis. The affected genes often encode synaptic components directly, but also include regulators that secondarily mediate the synthesis or assembly of synaptic proteins. The prime example is Fragile X syndrome (FXS, the leading heritable cause of both intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders. FXS results from loss of mRNA-binding FMRP, which regulates synaptic transcript trafficking, stability and translation in activity-dependent synaptogenesis and plasticity mechanisms. Genetic models of FXS exhibit striking excitatory and inhibitory synapse imbalance, associated with impaired cognitive and social interaction behaviors. Downstream of translation control, a number of specific synaptic proteins regulate excitatory versus inhibitory synaptogenesis, independently or combinatorially, and loss of these proteins is also linked to disrupted neurodevelopment. The current effort is to define the cascade of events linking transcription, translation and the role of specific synaptic proteins in the maintenance of excitatory versus inhibitory synapses during neural circuit formation. This focus includes mechanisms that fine-tune excitation and inhibition during the refinement of functional synaptic circuits, and later modulate this balance throughout life. The use of powerful new genetic models has begun to shed light on the mechanistic bases of excitation/inhibition imbalance for a range of neurodevelopmental disease states.

  9. Excitatory amino acid transmitters in epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, B S

    1991-01-01

    For the majority of human epilepsy syndromes, the molecular and cellular basis for the epileptic activity remains largely conjectural. The principal hypotheses currently concern: defects in membrane ionic conductances or transport mechanisms; defects in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated inhibitory processes; and enhanced or abnormal excitatory synaptic action. Substantial evidence exists in humans and animals for acquired abnormalities in excitatory amino acid neurotransmission that may participate in the abnormal patterns of neuronal discharge, and this could provide the morphological basis for a recurrent excitatory pathway sustaining seizure discharges in temporal lobe epilepsy. In practice, two approaches appear significant in the suppression of seizures. One is to act postsynaptically on receptors to decrease the excitation induced by glutamate, and the other is to decrease synaptic release of glutamate and aspartate. Agents acting upon adenosine or GABAB receptors decrease glutamate release in vitro but do not have significant anticonvulsant activity, probably because of their predominant actions at other sites. Lamotrigine blocks stimulated release of glutamate and shows anticonvulsant activity in a wide range of animal models.

  10. The backbone of the post-synaptic density originated in a unicellular ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans

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    Manuel Michaël

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative genomics of the early diverging metazoan lineages and of their unicellular sister-groups opens new window to reconstructing the genetic changes which preceded or accompanied the evolution of multicellular body plans. A recent analysis found that the genome of the nerve-less sponges encodes the homologues of most vertebrate post-synaptic proteins. In vertebrate excitatory synapses, these proteins assemble to form the post-synaptic density, a complex molecular platform linking membrane receptors, components of their signalling pathways, and the cytoskeleton. Newly available genomes from Monosiga brevicollis (a member of Choanoflagellata, the closest unicellular relatives of animals and Trichoplax adhaerens (a member of Placozoa: besides sponges, the only nerve-less metazoans offer an opportunity to refine our understanding of post-synaptic protein evolution. Results Searches for orthologous proteins and reconstruction of gene gains/losses based on the taxon phylogeny indicate that post-synaptic proteins originated in two main steps. The backbone scaffold proteins (Shank, Homer, DLG and some of their partners were acquired in a unicellular ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans. A substantial additional set appeared in an exclusive ancestor of the Metazoa. The placozoan genome contains most post-synaptic genes but lacks some of them. Notably, the master-scaffold protein Shank might have been lost secondarily in the placozoan lineage. Conclusions The time of origination of most post-synaptic proteins was not concomitant with the acquisition of synapses or neural-like cells. The backbone of the scaffold emerged in a unicellular context and was probably not involved in cell-cell communication. Based on the reconstructed protein composition and potential interactions, its ancestral function could have been to link calcium signalling and cytoskeleton regulation. The complex later became integrated into the evolving

  11. Streptozotocin Inhibits Electrophysiological Determinants of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in CA1 Pyramidal Neurons of Rat Hippocampal Slices: Reduction of These Effects by Edaravone

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    Ting Ju

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Streptozotocin (STZ has served as an agent to generate an Alzheimer's disease (AD model in rats, while edaravone (EDA, a novel free radical scavenger, has recently emerged as an effective treatment for use in vivo and vitro AD models. However, to date, these beneficial effects of EDA have only been clearly demonstrated within STZ-induced animal models of AD and in cell models of AD. A better understanding of the mechanisms of EDA may provide the opportunity for their clinical application in the treatment of AD. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the underlying mechanisms of STZ and EDA as assessed upon electrophysiological alterations in CA1 pyramidal neurons of rat hippocampal slices. Methods: Through measures of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs, AMPAR-mediated eEPSCs (eEPSCsAMPA, evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs, evoked excitatory postsynaptic current paired pulse ratio (eEPSC PPR and evoked inhibitory postsynaptic current paired pulse ratio (eIPSC PPR, it was possible to investigate mechanisms as related to the neurotoxicity of STZ and reductions in these effects by EDA. Results: Our results showed that STZ (1000 µM significantly inhibited peak amplitudes of eEPSCs, eEPSCsAMPA and eIPSCs, while EDA (1000 µM attenuated these STZ-induced changes at holding potentials ranging from -60mV to +40 mV for EPSCs and -60mV to +20 mV for IPSCs. Our work also indicated that mean eEPSC PPR were substantially altered by STZ, effects which were partially restored by EDA. In contrast, no significant effects upon eIPSC PPR were obtained in response to STZ and EDA. Conclusion: Our data suggest that STZ inhibits glutamatergic transmission involving pre-synaptic mechanisms and AMPAR, and that STZ inhibits GABAergic transmission by post-synaptic mechanisms within CA1 pyramidal neurons. These effects are attenuated by EDA.

  12. Excitatory amino acid transporters: recent insights into molecular mechanisms, novel modes of modulation and new therapeutic possibilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Anders A.; Fahlke, Christoph; Bjørn-Yoshimoto, Walden Emil

    2015-01-01

    The five excitatory amino acid transporters (EAAT1–5) mediating the synaptic uptake of the major excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate are differently expressed throughout the CNS and at the synaptic level. Although EAATs are crucial for normal excitatory neurotransmission, explorations into the ......The five excitatory amino acid transporters (EAAT1–5) mediating the synaptic uptake of the major excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate are differently expressed throughout the CNS and at the synaptic level. Although EAATs are crucial for normal excitatory neurotransmission, explorations...

  13. Plasticity of cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C

    2015-07-08

    Synapses are highly plastic and are modified by changes in patterns of neural activity or sensory experience. Plasticity of cortical excitatory synapses is thought to be important for learning and memory, leading to alterations in sensory representations and cognitive maps. However, these changes must be coordinated across other synapses within local circuits to preserve neural coding schemes and the organization of excitatory and inhibitory inputs, i.e., excitatory-inhibitory balance. Recent studies indicate that inhibitory synapses are also plastic and are controlled directly by a large number of neuromodulators, particularly during episodes of learning. Many modulators transiently alter excitatory-inhibitory balance by decreasing inhibition, and thus disinhibition has emerged as a major mechanism by which neuromodulation might enable long-term synaptic modifications naturally. This review examines the relationships between neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity, focusing on the induction of long-term changes that collectively enhance cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance for improving perception and behavior.

  14. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Julie G; Mendelowitz, David

    2012-01-01

    GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67) gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA). These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+) currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a framework for

  15. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie G Frank

    Full Text Available GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67 gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA. These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+ currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a

  16. Alterations of excitatory transmission in the lateral amygdala during expression and extinction of fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hui-Ching; Mao, Sheng-Chun; Su, Chun-Lin; Gean, Po-Wu

    2010-04-01

    Understanding the neurophysiology of fear extinction has important implications for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders. Here we report that fear conditioning resulted in an increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio as well as depression of paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) in neurons of the lateral nucleus of amygdala. These conditioning-induced changes in synaptic transmission were not affected by extinction training. D-cycloserine (DCS), a partial agonist at the glycine-binding site of the NMDA receptor, facilitated extinction and reversed the increase in AMPA/NMDA ratio without altering the depression of PPF when administered before extinction training. Extinction training, however, significantly increased the frequency and amplitude of miniature inhibitory post-synaptic currents and these effects were unaffected by the DCS treatment. Disruption of AMPA receptor endocytosis with a synthetic peptide containing a short C-terminal sequence of GluR2 (869YKEGYNVYG877, GluR23Y) specifically blocked DCS-induced reversal of AMPA/NMDA ratio and the facilitation of extinction. These results suggest that extinction training mainly increases inhibitory transmission leaving conditioning-induced excitatory association unaltered. DCS does not affect inhibitory transmission but reverses the conditioning-induced post-synaptic memory trace when administered before extinction training.

  17. The Hyperpolarization-Activated Current Determines Synaptic Excitability, Calcium Activity and Specific Viability of Substantia Nigra Dopaminergic Neurons

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    Carmen Carbone

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Differential vulnerability between Substantia Nigra pars compacta (SNpc and Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA dopaminergic (DAergic neurons is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Understanding the molecular bases of this key histopathological aspect would foster the development of much-needed disease-modifying therapies. Non-heterogeneous DAergic degeneration is present in both toxin-based and genetic animal models, suggesting that cellular specificity, rather than causing factors, constitutes the background for differential vulnerability. In this regard, we previously demonstrated that MPP+, a neurotoxin able to cause selective nigrostriatal degeneration in animal rodents and primates, inhibits the Hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih in SNpc DAergic neurons and that pharmacological Ih antagonism causes potentiation of evoked Excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs. Of note, the magnitude of such potentiation is greater in the SNpc subfield, consistent with higher Ih density. In the present work, we show that Ih block-induced synaptic potentiation leads to the amplification of somatic calcium responses (SCRs in vitro. This effect is specific for the SNpc subfield and largely mediated by L-Type calcium channels, as indicated by sensitivity to the CaV 1 blocker isradipine. Furthermore, Ih is downregulated by low intracellular ATP and determines the efficacy of GABAergic inhibition in SNpc DAergic neurons. Finally, we show that stereotaxic administration of Ih blockers causes SNpc-specific neurodegeneration and hemiparkinsonian motor phenotype in rats. During PD progression, Ih downregulation may result from mitochondrial dysfunction and, in concert with PD-related disinhibition of excitatory inputs, determine a SNpc-specific disease pathway.

  18. Electric Dipole Theory of Chemical Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ling Y.

    1968-01-01

    In this paper we propose that chemicals such as acetylcholine are electric dipoles which when oriented and arranged in a large array could produce an electric field strong enough to drive positive ions over the junction barrier of the post-synaptic membrane and thus initiate excitation or produce depolarization. This theory is able to explain a great number of facts such as cleft size, synaptic delay, nonregeneration, subthreshold integration, facilitation with repetition, and the calcium and magnesium effects. It also shows why and how acetylcholine could act as excitatory or inhibitory transmitters under different circumstances. Our conclusion is that the nature of synaptic transmission is essentially electrical, be it mediated by electrical or chemical transmitters. PMID:4296121

  19. Neonatal Nicotine Exposure Increases Excitatory Synaptic Transmission and Attenuates Nicotine-stimulated GABA release in the Adult Rat Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damborsky, Joanne C.; Griffith, William H.; Winzer-Serhan, Ursula H.

    2014-01-01

    Developmental exposure to nicotine has been linked to long-lasting changes in synaptic transmission which may contribute to behavioral abnormalities seen in offspring of women who smoke during pregnancy. Here, we examined the long-lasting effects of developmental nicotine exposure on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission, and on acute nicotine-induced glutamate and GABA release in the adult hippocampus, a structure important in cognitive and emotional behaviors. We utilized a chronic neonatal nicotine treatment model to administer nicotine (6 mg/kg/day) to rat pups from postnatal day (P) 1–7, a period that falls developmentally into the third human trimester. Using whole-cell voltage clamp recordings from CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices, we measured excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents in neonatally control- and nicotine-treated young adult males. Neonatal nicotine exposure significantly increased AMPA receptor-mediated spontaneous and evoked excitatory signaling, with no change in glutamate release probability in adults. Conversely, there was no increase in spontaneous GABAergic neurotransmission in nicotine-males. Chronic neonatal nicotine treatment had no effect on acute nicotine-stimulated glutamate release in adults, but acute nicotine-stimulated GABA release was significantly attenuated. Thus, neonatal nicotine exposure results in a persistent net increase in excitation and a concurrent loss of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-mediated regulation of presynaptic GABA but not glutamate release, which would exacerbate excitation following endogenous or exogenous nAChR activation. Our data underscore an important role for nAChRs in hippocampal excitatory synapse development, and suggest selective long-term changes at specific presynaptic nAChRs which together could explain some of the behavioral abnormalities associated with maternal smoking. PMID:24950455

  20. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arruda-Carvalho, Maithe; Wu, Wan-Chen; Cummings, Kirstie A; Clem, Roger L

    2017-03-15

    A brain network comprising the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala plays important roles in developmentally regulated cognitive and emotional processes. However, very little is known about the maturation of mPFC-amygdala circuitry. We conducted anatomical tracing of mPFC projections and optogenetic interrogation of their synaptic connections with neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) at neonatal to adult developmental stages in mice. Results indicate that mPFC-BLA projections exhibit delayed emergence relative to other mPFC pathways and establish synaptic transmission with BLA excitatory and inhibitory neurons in late infancy, events that coincide with a massive increase in overall synaptic drive. During subsequent adolescence, mPFC-BLA circuits are further modified by excitatory synaptic strengthening as well as a transient surge in feedforward inhibition. The latter was correlated with increased spontaneous inhibitory currents in excitatory neurons, suggesting that mPFC-BLA circuit maturation culminates in a period of exuberant GABAergic transmission. These findings establish a time course for the onset and refinement of mPFC-BLA transmission and point to potential sensitive periods in the development of this critical network. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human mPFC-amygdala functional connectivity is developmentally regulated and figures prominently in numerous psychiatric disorders with a high incidence of adolescent onset. However, it remains unclear when synaptic connections between these structures emerge or how their properties change with age. Our work establishes developmental windows and cellular substrates for synapse maturation in this pathway involving both excitatory and inhibitory circuits. The engagement of these substrates by early life experience may support the ontogeny of fundamental behaviors but could also lead to inappropriate circuit refinement and psychopathology in adverse situations. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/372976-10$15.00/0.

  1. Mechanism underlying unaltered cortical inhibitory synaptic transmission in contrast with enhanced excitatory transmission in CaV2.1 knockin migraine mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchia, Dania; Tottene, Angelita; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M.J.M.; Pietrobon, Daniela

    2014-01-01

    Familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1), a monogenic subtype of migraine with aura, is caused by gain-of-function mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) calcium channels. In FHM1 knockin mice, excitatory neurotransmission at cortical pyramidal cell synapses is enhanced, but inhibitory neurotransmission at connected pairs of fast-spiking (FS) interneurons and pyramidal cells is unaltered, despite being initiated by CaV2.1 channels. The mechanism underlying the unaltered GABA release at cortical FS interneuron synapses remains unknown. Here, we show that the FHM1 R192Q mutation does not affect inhibitory transmission at autapses of cortical FS and other types of multipolar interneurons in microculture from R192Q knockin mice, and investigate the underlying mechanism. Lowering the extracellular [Ca2+] did not reveal gain-of-function of evoked transmission neither in control nor after prolongation of the action potential (AP) with tetraethylammonium, indicating unaltered AP-evoked presynaptic calcium influx at inhibitory autapses in FHM1 KI mice. Neither saturation of the presynaptic calcium sensor nor short duration of the AP can explain the unaltered inhibitory transmission in the mutant mice. Recordings of the P/Q-type calcium current in multipolar interneurons in microculture revealed that the current density and the gating properties of the CaV2.1 channels expressed in these interneurons are barely affected by the FHM1 mutation, in contrast with the enhanced current density and left-shifted activation gating of mutant CaV2.1 channels in cortical pyramidal cells. Our findings suggest that expression of specific CaV2.1 channels differentially sensitive to modulation by FHM1 mutations in inhibitory and excitatory cortical neurons underlies the gain-of-function of excitatory but unaltered inhibitory synaptic transmission and the likely consequent dysregulation of the cortical excitatory–inhibitory balance in FHM1. PMID:24907493

  2. Disruption of Fgf13 causes synaptic excitatory-inhibitory imbalance and genetic epilepsy and febrile seizures plus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puranam, Ram S; He, Xiao Ping; Yao, Lijun; Le, Tri; Jang, Wonjo; Rehder, Catherine W; Lewis, Darrell V; McNamara, James O

    2015-06-10

    We identified a family in which a translocation between chromosomes X and 14 was associated with cognitive impairment and a complex genetic disorder termed "Genetic Epilepsy and Febrile Seizures Plus" (GEFS(+)). We demonstrate that the breakpoint on the X chromosome disrupted a gene that encodes an auxiliary protein of voltage-gated Na(+) channels, fibroblast growth factor 13 (Fgf13). Female mice in which one Fgf13 allele was deleted exhibited hyperthermia-induced seizures and epilepsy. Anatomic studies revealed expression of Fgf13 mRNA in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons of hippocampus. Electrophysiological recordings revealed decreased inhibitory and increased excitatory synaptic inputs in hippocampal neurons of Fgf13 mutants. We speculate that reduced expression of Fgf13 impairs excitability of inhibitory interneurons, resulting in enhanced excitability within local circuits of hippocampus and the clinical phenotype of epilepsy. These findings reveal a novel cause of this syndrome and underscore the powerful role of FGF13 in control of neuronal excitability. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358866-16$15.00/0.

  3. A Ca2+-based computational model for NDMA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity at individual post-synaptic spines in the hippocampus

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    Owen Rackham

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Associative synaptic plasticity is synapse specific and requires coincident activity in presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons to activate NMDA receptors (NMDARs. The resultant Ca2+ influx is the critical trigger for the induction of synaptic plasticity. Given its centrality for the induction of synaptic plasticity, a model for NMDAR activation incorporating the timing of presynaptic glutamate release and postsynaptic depolarization by back-propagating action potentials could potentially predict the pre- and post-synaptic spike patterns required to induce synaptic plasticity. We have developed such a model by incorporating currently available data on the timecourse and amplitude of the postsynaptic membrane potential within individual spines. We couple this with data on the kinetics of synaptic NMDARs and then use the model to predict the continuous spine [Ca2+] in response to regular or irregular pre- and post-synaptic spike patterns. We then incorporate experimental data from synaptic plasticity induction protocols by regular activity patterns to couple the predicted local peak [Ca2+] to changes in synaptic strength. We find that our model accurately describes [Ca2+] in dendritic spines resulting from NMDAR activation during presynaptic and postsynaptic activity when compared to previous experimental observations. The model also replicates the experimentally determined plasticity outcome of regular and irregular spike patterns when applied to a single synapse. This model could therefore be used to predict the induction of synaptic plasticity under a variety of experimental conditions and spike patterns.

  4. Male-specific alteration in excitatory post-synaptic development and social interaction in pre-natal valproic acid exposure model of autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Chan; Kim, Pitna; Go, Hyo Sang; Choi, Chang Soon; Park, Jin Hee; Kim, Hee Jin; Jeon, Se Jin; Dela Pena, Ike Campomayor; Han, Seol-Heui; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Ryu, Jong Hoon; Shin, Chan Young

    2013-03-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by three main behavioral symptoms including social deficits, impaired communication, and stereotyped and repetitive behaviors. ASD prevalence shows gender bias to male. Prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA), a drug used in epilepsy and bipolar disorder, induces autistic symptoms in both human and rodents. As we reported previously, prenatally VPA-exposed animals at E12 showed impairment in social behavior without any overt reproductive toxicity. Social interactions were not significantly different between male and female rats in control condition. However, VPA-exposed male offspring showed significantly impaired social interaction while female offspring showed only marginal deficits in social interaction. Similar male inclination was observed in hyperactivity behavior induced by VPA. In addition to the ASD-like behavioral phenotype, prenatally VPA-exposed rat offspring shows crooked tail phenotype, which was not different between male and female groups. Both male and female rat showed reduced GABAergic neuronal marker GAD and increased glutamatergic neuronal marker vGluT1 expression. Interestingly, despite of the similar increased expression of vGluT1, post-synaptic marker proteins such as PSD-95 and α-CAMKII expression was significantly elevated only in male offspring. Electron microscopy showed increased number of post-synapse in male but not in female at 4 weeks of age. These results might suggest that the altered glutamatergic neuronal differentiation leads to deranged post-synaptic maturation only in male offspring prenatally exposed to VPA. Consistent with the increased post-synaptic compartment, VPA-exposed male rats showed higher sensitivity to electric shock than VPA-exposed female rats. These results suggest that prenatally VPA-exposed rats show the male preponderance of ASD-like behaviors including defective social interaction similar to human autistic patients, which

  5. A computational study of astrocytic glutamate influence on post-synaptic neuronal excitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronac Flanagan

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The ability of astrocytes to rapidly clear synaptic glutamate and purposefully release the excitatory transmitter is critical in the functioning of synapses and neuronal circuits. Dysfunctions of these homeostatic functions have been implicated in the pathology of brain disorders such as mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. However, the reasons for these dysfunctions are not clear from experimental data and computational models have been developed to provide further understanding of the implications of glutamate clearance from the extracellular space, as a result of EAAT2 downregulation: although they only partially account for the glutamate clearance process. In this work, we develop an explicit model of the astrocytic glutamate transporters, providing a more complete description of the glutamate chemical potential across the astrocytic membrane and its contribution to glutamate transporter driving force based on thermodynamic principles and experimental data. Analysis of our model demonstrates that increased astrocytic glutamate content due to glutamine synthetase downregulation also results in increased postsynaptic quantal size due to gliotransmission. Moreover, the proposed model demonstrates that increased astrocytic glutamate could prolong the time course of glutamate in the synaptic cleft and enhances astrocyte-induced slow inward currents, causing a disruption to the clarity of synaptic signalling and the occurrence of intervals of higher frequency postsynaptic firing. Overall, our work distilled the necessity of a low astrocytic glutamate concentration for reliable synaptic transmission of information and the possible implications of enhanced glutamate levels as in epilepsy.

  6. Loss of mTOR repressors Tsc1 or Pten has divergent effects on excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in single hippocampal neuron cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weston, Matthew C; Chen, Hongmei; Swann, John W

    2014-01-01

    The Pten and Tsc1 genes both encode proteins that repress mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. Disruption of either gene in the brain results in epilepsy and autism-like symptoms in humans and mouse models, therefore it is important to understand the molecular and physiological events that lead from gene disruption to disease phenotypes. Given the similar roles these two molecules play in the regulation of cellular growth and the overlap in the phenotypes that result from their loss, we predicted that the deletion of either the Pten or Tsc1 gene from autaptic hippocampal neurons would have similar effects on neuronal morphology and synaptic transmission. Accordingly, we found that loss of either Pten or Tsc1 caused comparable increases in soma size, dendrite length and action potential properties. However, the effects of Pten and Tsc1 loss on synaptic transmission were different. Loss of Pten lead to an increase in both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, while loss of Tsc1 did not affect excitatory neurotransmission and reduced inhibitory transmission by decreasing mIPSC amplitude. Although the loss of Pten or Tsc1 both increased downstream mTORC1 signaling, phosphorylation of Akt was increased in Pten-ko and decreased in Tsc1-ko neurons, potentially accounting for the different effects on synaptic transmission. Despite the different effects at the synaptic level, our data suggest that loss of Pten or Tsc1 may both lead to an increase in the ratio of excitation to inhibition at the network level, an effect that has been proposed to underlie both epilepsy and autism.

  7. PET measures of pre- and post-synaptic cardiac beta adrenergic function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Link, Jeanne M.; Stratton, John R.; Levy, Wayne; Poole, Jeanne E.; Shoner, Steven C.; Stuetzle, Werner; Caldwell, James H. E-mail: jcald@u.washington.edu

    2003-11-01

    Positron Emission Tomography was used to measure global and regional cardiac {beta}-adrenergic function in 19 normal subjects and 9 congestive heart failure patients. [{sup 11}C]-meta-hydroxyephedrine was used to image norepinephrine transporter function as an indicator of pre-synaptic function and [{sup 11}C]-CGP12177 was used to measure cell surface {beta}-receptor density as an indicator of post-synaptic function. Pre-synaptic, but not post-synaptic, function was significantly different between normals and CHF patients. Pre-synaptic function was well matched to post-synaptic function in the normal hearts but significantly different and poorly matched in the CHF patients studied. This imaging technique can help us understand regional sympathetic function in cardiac disease.

  8. Pain-related increase of excitatory transmission and decrease of inhibitory transmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala are mediated by mGluR1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neugebauer Volker

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Neuroplasticity in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA, particularly its latero-capsular division (CeLC, is an important contributor to the emotional-affective aspects of pain. Previous studies showed synaptic plasticity of excitatory transmission to the CeLC in different pain models, but pain-related changes of inhibitory transmission remain to be determined. The CeLC receives convergent excitatory inputs from the parabrachial nucleus in the brainstem and from the basolateral amygdala (BLA. In addition, feedforward inhibition of CeA neurons is driven by glutamatergic projections from the BLA area to a cluster of GABAergic neurons in the intercalated cell masses (ITC. Using patch-clamp in rat brain slices we measured monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs and polysynaptic inhibitory currents (IPSCs that were evoked by electrical stimulation in the BLA. In brain slices from arthritic rats, input-output functions of excitatory synaptic transmission were enhanced whereas inhibitory synaptic transmission was decreased compared to control slices from normal untreated rats. A non-NMDA receptor antagonist (NBQX blocked the EPSCs and reduced the IPSCs, suggesting that non-NMDA receptors mediate excitatory transmission and also contribute to glutamate-driven feed-forward inhibition of CeLC neurons. IPSCs were blocked by a GABAA receptor antagonist (bicuculline. Bicuculline increased EPSCs under normal conditions but not in slices from arthritic rats, which indicates a loss of GABAergic control of excitatory transmission. A metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1 (mGluR1 antagonist (LY367385 reversed both the increase of excitatory transmission and the decrease of inhibitory transmission in the arthritis pain model but had no effect on basal synaptic transmission in control slices from normal rats. The inhibitory effect of LY367385 on excitatory transmission was blocked by bicuculline suggesting the involvement of a GABAergic

  9. SynGAP regulates protein synthesis and homeostatic synaptic plasticity in developing cortical networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Chieh Wang

    Full Text Available Disrupting the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the developing brain has been causally linked with intellectual disability (ID and autism spectrum disorders (ASD. Excitatory synapse strength is regulated in the central nervous system by controlling the number of postsynaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs. De novo genetic mutations of the synaptic GTPase-activating protein (SynGAP are associated with ID and ASD. SynGAP is enriched at excitatory synapses and genetic suppression of SynGAP increases excitatory synaptic strength. However, exactly how SynGAP acts to maintain synaptic AMPAR content is unclear. We show here that SynGAP limits excitatory synaptic strength, in part, by suppressing protein synthesis in cortical neurons. The data presented here from in vitro, rat and mouse cortical networks, demonstrate that regulation of translation by SynGAP involves ERK, mTOR, and the small GTP-binding protein Rheb. Furthermore, these data show that GluN2B-containing NMDARs and the cognitive kinase CaMKII act upstream of SynGAP and that this signaling cascade is required for proper translation-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity of excitatory synapses in developing cortical networks.

  10. Correlating Fluorescence and High-Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (HRSEM) for the study of GABAA receptor clustering induced by inhibitory synaptic plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta

    2017-10-17

    Both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic contacts display activity dependent dynamic changes in their efficacy that are globally termed synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying glutamatergic synaptic plasticity have been extensively investigated and described, those responsible for inhibitory synaptic plasticity are only beginning to be unveiled. In this framework, the ultrastructural changes of the inhibitory synapses during plasticity have been poorly investigated. Here we combined confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) with high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM) to characterize the fine structural rearrangements of post-synaptic GABAA Receptors (GABAARs) at the nanometric scale during the induction of inhibitory long-term potentiation (iLTP). Additional electron tomography (ET) experiments on immunolabelled hippocampal neurons allowed the visualization of synaptic contacts and confirmed the reorganization of post-synaptic GABAAR clusters in response to chemical iLTP inducing protocol. Altogether, these approaches revealed that, following the induction of inhibitory synaptic potentiation, GABAAR clusters increase in size and number at the post-synaptic membrane with no other major structural changes of the pre- and post-synaptic elements.

  11. Correlating Fluorescence and High-Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (HRSEM) for the study of GABAA receptor clustering induced by inhibitory synaptic plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta; Ravasenga, Tiziana; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Falqui, Andrea; Marotta, Roberto; Barberis, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic contacts display activity dependent dynamic changes in their efficacy that are globally termed synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying glutamatergic synaptic plasticity have been extensively investigated and described, those responsible for inhibitory synaptic plasticity are only beginning to be unveiled. In this framework, the ultrastructural changes of the inhibitory synapses during plasticity have been poorly investigated. Here we combined confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) with high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM) to characterize the fine structural rearrangements of post-synaptic GABAA Receptors (GABAARs) at the nanometric scale during the induction of inhibitory long-term potentiation (iLTP). Additional electron tomography (ET) experiments on immunolabelled hippocampal neurons allowed the visualization of synaptic contacts and confirmed the reorganization of post-synaptic GABAAR clusters in response to chemical iLTP inducing protocol. Altogether, these approaches revealed that, following the induction of inhibitory synaptic potentiation, GABAAR clusters increase in size and number at the post-synaptic membrane with no other major structural changes of the pre- and post-synaptic elements.

  12. Correlating Fluorescence and High-Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (HRSEM) for the study of GABAA receptor clustering induced by inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Marta; Ravasenga, Tiziana; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Falqui, Andrea; Marotta, Roberto; Barberis, Andrea

    2017-10-23

    Both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic contacts display activity dependent dynamic changes in their efficacy that are globally termed synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying glutamatergic synaptic plasticity have been extensively investigated and described, those responsible for inhibitory synaptic plasticity are only beginning to be unveiled. In this framework, the ultrastructural changes of the inhibitory synapses during plasticity have been poorly investigated. Here we combined confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) with high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM) to characterize the fine structural rearrangements of post-synaptic GABA A Receptors (GABA A Rs) at the nanometric scale during the induction of inhibitory long-term potentiation (iLTP). Additional electron tomography (ET) experiments on immunolabelled hippocampal neurons allowed the visualization of synaptic contacts and confirmed the reorganization of post-synaptic GABA A R clusters in response to chemical iLTP inducing protocol. Altogether, these approaches revealed that, following the induction of inhibitory synaptic potentiation, GABA A R clusters increase in size and number at the post-synaptic membrane with no other major structural changes of the pre- and post-synaptic elements.

  13. Enhanced excitatory input to MCH neurons during developmental period of high food intake is mediated by GABA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; van den Pol, Anthony N.

    2010-01-01

    In contrast to the local axons of GABA neurons of the cortex and hippocampus, lateral hypothalamic neurons containing melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) and GABA send long axons throughout the brain and play key roles in energy homeostasis and mental status. In adults, MCH neurons maintain a hyperpolarized membrane potential and most of the synaptic input is inhibitory. In contrast, we found that developing MCH neurons received substantially more excitatory synaptic input. Based on gramicidicin-perforated patch recordings in hypothalamic slices from MCH-GFP transgenic mice, we found that GABA was the primary excitatory synaptic transmitter in embryonic and neonatal ages up to postnatal day 10. Surprisingly, glutamate assumed only a minor excitatory role, if any. GABA plays a complex role in developing MCH neurons, with its actions conditionally dependent on a number of factors. GABA depolarization could lead to an increase in spikes either independently or in summation with other depolarizing stimuli, or alternately, depending on the relative timing of other depolarizing events, could lead to shunting inhibition. The developmental shift from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing occurred later in the dendrites than in the cell body. Early GABA depolarization was based on a Cl− dependent inward current. An interesting secondary depolarization in mature neurons that followed an initial hyperpolarization was based on a bicarbonate mechanism. Thus during the early developmental period when food consumption is high, MCH neurons are more depolarized than in the adult, and an increased level of excitatory synaptic input to these orexigenic cells is mediated by GABA. PMID:19955372

  14. Inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission in the trigeminal motor nucleus by the nitric oxide-cyclic GMP signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pose, Inés; Silveira, Valentina; Morales, Francisco R

    2011-06-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) suppressed glutamatergic synaptic transmission to trigeminal motoneurons in brain stem slices of neonatal rats. Histological studies showed guanylate cyclase (GC) containing fibers in the trigeminal motor pool. Glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded from neonatal trigeminal motoneurons in response to stimulation of the supratrigeminal nucleus (SuV). The NO donors DETA/NONOate (DETA/NO), at a concentration which released 275.1 nM of NO, and Spermine/NONOate (Sper/NO) reduced the amplitude of the EPSC to 52.7±0.6% and 60.1±10.8% of control values, respectively. These actions were not blocked by the GC inhibitors, ODQ or NS-2028. However, in the presence of YC-1 or BAY41-2272, modulators of GC that act as NO sensitizers, lower and otherwise ineffective concentrations of DETA/NO induced a reduction of the EPSC to 60.6±5.2%. Moreover, NO effects were mimicked by 8BrcGMP and by Zaprinast, an inhibitor of Phosphodiesterase 5. Glutamatergic currents evoked by exogenous glutamate were not reduced by DETA/NO nor 8BrcGMP. Paired-pulse facilitation was increased by NO donors. Under "minimal stimulation" conditions NO donors and cGMP increased the failure rate of evoked EPSCs. Protein kinase inhibitors antagonized cGMP effects. The results suggest that NO, through the synthesis of cGMP, presynaptically inhibits glutamatergic synaptic transmission on trigeminal motoneurons. We propose that NO has complex actions on motor pools; specific studies are needed to elucidate their physiological significance in the behaving animal. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Synaptic damage underlies EEG abnormalities in postanoxic encephalopathy: A computational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruijter, B J; Hofmeijer, J; Meijer, H G E; van Putten, M J A M

    2017-09-01

    In postanoxic coma, EEG patterns indicate the severity of encephalopathy and typically evolve in time. We aim to improve the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these EEG abnormalities. We used a mean field model comprising excitatory and inhibitory neurons, local synaptic connections, and input from thalamic afferents. Anoxic damage is modeled as aggravated short-term synaptic depression, with gradual recovery over many hours. Additionally, excitatory neurotransmission is potentiated, scaling with the severity of anoxic encephalopathy. Simulations were compared with continuous EEG recordings of 155 comatose patients after cardiac arrest. The simulations agree well with six common categories of EEG rhythms in postanoxic encephalopathy, including typical transitions in time. Plausible results were only obtained if excitatory synapses were more severely affected by short-term synaptic depression than inhibitory synapses. In postanoxic encephalopathy, the evolution of EEG patterns presumably results from gradual improvement of complete synaptic failure, where excitatory synapses are more severely affected than inhibitory synapses. The range of EEG patterns depends on the excitation-inhibition imbalance, probably resulting from long-term potentiation of excitatory neurotransmission. Our study is the first to relate microscopic synaptic dynamics in anoxic brain injury to both typical EEG observations and their evolution in time. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Emergent spatial patterns of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic strengths drive somatotopic representational discontinuities and their plasticity in a computational model of primary sensory cortical area 3b

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil A. Grajski

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms underlying the emergence and plasticity of representational discontinuities in the mammalian primary somatosensory cortical representation of the hand are investigated in a computational model. The model consists of an input lattice organized as a three-digit hand forward-connected to a lattice of cortical columns each of which contains a paired excitatory and inhibitory cell. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity of feedforward and lateral connection weights is implemented as a simple covariance rule and competitive normalization. Receptive field properties are computed independently for excitatory and inhibitory cells and compared within and across columns. Within digit representational zones intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field extents are concentric, single-digit, small, and unimodal. Exclusively in representational boundary-adjacent zones, intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field properties diverge: excitatory cell receptive fields are single-digit, small, and unimodal; and the paired inhibitory cell receptive fields are bimodal, double-digit, and large. In simulated syndactyly (webbed fingers, boundary-adjacent intracolumnar receptive field properties reorganize to within-representation type; divergent properties are reacquired following syndactyly release. This study generates testable hypotheses for assessment of cortical laminar-dependent receptive field properties and plasticity within and between cortical representational zones. For computational studies, present results suggest that concurrent excitatory and inhibitory plasticity may underlie novel emergent properties.

  17. Enhanced excitatory input to melanin concentrating hormone neurons during developmental period of high food intake is mediated by GABA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; van den Pol, Anthony N

    2009-12-02

    In contrast to the local axons of GABA neurons of the cortex and hippocampus, lateral hypothalamic neurons containing melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) and GABA send long axons throughout the brain and play key roles in energy homeostasis and mental status. In adults, MCH neurons maintain a hyperpolarized membrane potential and most of the synaptic input is inhibitory. In contrast, we found that developing MCH neurons received substantially more excitatory synaptic input. Based on gramicidin-perforated patch recordings in hypothalamic slices from MCH-green fluorescent protein transgenic mice, we found that GABA was the primary excitatory synaptic transmitter in embryonic and neonatal ages up to postnatal day 10. Surprisingly, glutamate assumed only a minor excitatory role, if any. GABA plays a complex role in developing MCH neurons, with its actions conditionally dependent on a number of factors. GABA depolarization could lead to an increase in spikes either independently or in summation with other depolarizing stimuli, or alternately, depending on the relative timing of other depolarizing events, could lead to shunting inhibition. The developmental shift from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing occurred later in the dendrites than in the cell body. Early GABA depolarization was based on a Cl(-)-dependent inward current. An interesting secondary depolarization in mature neurons that followed an initial hyperpolarization was based on a bicarbonate mechanism. Thus during the early developmental period when food consumption is high, MCH neurons are more depolarized than in the adult, and an increased level of excitatory synaptic input to these orexigenic cells is mediated by GABA.

  18. Effect of calcium on excitatory neuromuscular transmission in the crayfish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracho, H.; Orkand, R. K.

    1970-01-01

    1. The effects of varying the external Ca concentration from 1·8 to 30 mM/l. (⅛-2 times normal) have been studied at the in vitro crayfish excitatory neuromuscular junction. Electrophysiological techniques were used to record transmembrane junctional potentials from muscle fibres and extracellular junctional currents from the vicinity of nerve terminals. 2. The excitatory junctional potential amplitude was proportional to [Ca]0n, where n varied between 0·68 and 0·94 (mean 0·82) when [Ca]0 was varied from 1·8 to 15 mM/l. 3. The increase in junctional potential amplitude on raising [Ca]0 resulted primarily from an increase in the average number of quanta of excitatory transmitter released from the presynaptic nerve terminal by the nerve impulse. 4. The size of the quanta, synaptic delay, presynaptic potential and electrical properties of the muscle membrane were little affected by changes in calcium concentration in the range studied. PMID:5498460

  19. Spatially structured oscillations in a two-dimensional excitatory neuronal network with synaptic depression

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2009-10-29

    We study the spatiotemporal dynamics of a two-dimensional excitatory neuronal network with synaptic depression. Coupling between populations of neurons is taken to be nonlocal, while depression is taken to be local and presynaptic. We show that the network supports a wide range of spatially structured oscillations, which are suggestive of phenomena seen in cortical slice experiments and in vivo. The particular form of the oscillations depends on initial conditions and the level of background noise. Given an initial, spatially localized stimulus, activity evolves to a spatially localized oscillating core that periodically emits target waves. Low levels of noise can spontaneously generate several pockets of oscillatory activity that interact via their target patterns. Periodic activity in space can also organize into spiral waves, provided that there is some source of rotational symmetry breaking due to external stimuli or noise. In the high gain limit, no oscillatory behavior exists, but a transient stimulus can lead to a single, outward propagating target wave. © Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009.

  20. Spatially structured oscillations in a two-dimensional excitatory neuronal network with synaptic depression

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2009-01-01

    We study the spatiotemporal dynamics of a two-dimensional excitatory neuronal network with synaptic depression. Coupling between populations of neurons is taken to be nonlocal, while depression is taken to be local and presynaptic. We show that the network supports a wide range of spatially structured oscillations, which are suggestive of phenomena seen in cortical slice experiments and in vivo. The particular form of the oscillations depends on initial conditions and the level of background noise. Given an initial, spatially localized stimulus, activity evolves to a spatially localized oscillating core that periodically emits target waves. Low levels of noise can spontaneously generate several pockets of oscillatory activity that interact via their target patterns. Periodic activity in space can also organize into spiral waves, provided that there is some source of rotational symmetry breaking due to external stimuli or noise. In the high gain limit, no oscillatory behavior exists, but a transient stimulus can lead to a single, outward propagating target wave. © Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009.

  1. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Freche

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

  2. The effect of STDP temporal kernel structure on the learning dynamics of single excitatory and inhibitory synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yotam Luz

    Full Text Available Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP is characterized by a wide range of temporal kernels. However, much of the theoretical work has focused on a specific kernel - the "temporally asymmetric Hebbian" learning rules. Previous studies linked excitatory STDP to positive feedback that can account for the emergence of response selectivity. Inhibitory plasticity was associated with negative feedback that can balance the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Here we study the possible computational role of the temporal structure of the STDP. We represent the STDP as a superposition of two processes: potentiation and depression. This allows us to model a wide range of experimentally observed STDP kernels, from Hebbian to anti-Hebbian, by varying a single parameter. We investigate STDP dynamics of a single excitatory or inhibitory synapse in purely feed-forward architecture. We derive a mean-field-Fokker-Planck dynamics for the synaptic weight and analyze the effect of STDP structure on the fixed points of the mean field dynamics. We find a phase transition along the Hebbian to anti-Hebbian parameter from a phase that is characterized by a unimodal distribution of the synaptic weight, in which the STDP dynamics is governed by negative feedback, to a phase with positive feedback characterized by a bimodal distribution. The critical point of this transition depends on general properties of the STDP dynamics and not on the fine details. Namely, the dynamics is affected by the pre-post correlations only via a single number that quantifies its overlap with the STDP kernel. We find that by manipulating the STDP temporal kernel, negative feedback can be induced in excitatory synapses and positive feedback in inhibitory. Moreover, there is an exact symmetry between inhibitory and excitatory plasticity, i.e., for every STDP rule of inhibitory synapse there exists an STDP rule for excitatory synapse, such that their dynamics is identical.

  3. Excitatory amino acid transporters as potential drug targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bunch, Lennart; Erichsen, Mette Navy; Jensen, Anders Asbjørn

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) are transmembrane proteins responsible for the uptake of (S)-glutamate (Glu) from the synaptic cleft, thereby terminating the glutamatergic neurotransmitter signal. Today five subtypes have been identified. Except for EAAT2, their individual...

  4. Estimation of Synaptic Conductances in Presence of Nonlinear Effects Caused by Subthreshold Ionic Currents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vich, Catalina; Berg, Rune W.; Guillamon, Antoni

    2017-01-01

    Subthreshold fluctuations in neuronal membrane potential traces contain nonlinear components, and employing nonlinear models might improve the statistical inference. We propose a new strategy to estimate synaptic conductances, which has been tested using in silico data and applied to in vivo...... recordings. The model is constructed to capture the nonlinearities caused by subthreshold activated currents, and the estimation procedure can discern between excitatory and inhibitory conductances using only one membrane potential trace. More precisely, we perform second order approximations of biophysical...... models to capture the subthreshold nonlinearities, resulting in quadratic integrate-and-fire models, and apply approximate maximum likelihood estimation where we only suppose that conductances are stationary in a 50–100 ms time window. The results show an improvement compared to existent procedures...

  5. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic mechanisms at the first stage of integration in the electroreception system of the shark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rotem, Naama; Sestieri, Emanuel; Hounsgaard, Jørn Dybkjær

    2014-01-01

    High impulse rate in afferent nerves is a common feature in many sensory systems that serve to accommodate a wide dynamic range. However, the first stage of integration should be endowed with specific properties that enable efficient handling of the incoming information. In elasmobranches...... of this afferent pathway. We found that stimulating the afferent nerve activates a mixture of excitatory and inhibitory synapses mediated by AMPA-like and GABAA receptors, respectively. The excitatory synapses that are extremely efficient in activating the postsynaptic neurons display unusual voltage dependence......, enabling them to operate as a current source. The inhibitory input is powerful enough to completely eliminate the excitatory action of the afferent nerve but is ineffective regarding other excitatory inputs. These observations can be explained by the location and efficiency of the synapses. We conclude...

  6. Excitatory Synaptic Drive and Feedforward Inhibition in the Hippocampal CA3 Circuit Are Regulated by SynCAM 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Kellie A; Ribic, Adema; Laage Gaupp, Fabian M; Coman, Daniel; Huang, Yuegao; Dulla, Chris G; Hyder, Fahmeed; Biederer, Thomas

    2016-07-13

    Select adhesion proteins control the development of synapses and modulate their structural and functional properties. Despite these important roles, the extent to which different synapse-organizing mechanisms act across brain regions to establish connectivity and regulate network properties is incompletely understood. Further, their functional roles in different neuronal populations remain to be defined. Here, we applied diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), a modality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to map connectivity changes in knock-out (KO) mice lacking the synaptogenic cell adhesion protein SynCAM 1. This identified reduced fractional anisotropy in the hippocampal CA3 area in absence of SynCAM 1. In agreement, mossy fiber refinement in CA3 was impaired in SynCAM 1 KO mice. Mossy fibers make excitatory inputs onto postsynaptic specializations of CA3 pyramidal neurons termed thorny excrescences and these structures were smaller in the absence of SynCAM 1. However, the most prevalent targets of mossy fibers are GABAergic interneurons and SynCAM 1 loss unexpectedly reduced the number of excitatory terminals onto parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons in CA3. SynCAM 1 KO mice additionally exhibited lower postsynaptic GluA1 expression in these PV-positive interneurons. These synaptic imbalances in SynCAM 1 KO mice resulted in CA3 disinhibition, in agreement with reduced feedforward inhibition in this network in the absence of SynCAM 1-dependent excitatory drive onto interneurons. In turn, mice lacking SynCAM 1 were impaired in memory tasks involving CA3. Our results support that SynCAM 1 modulates excitatory mossy fiber inputs onto both interneurons and principal neurons in the hippocampal CA3 area to balance network excitability. This study advances our understanding of synapse-organizing mechanisms on two levels. First, the data support that synaptogenic proteins guide connectivity and can function in distinct brain regions even if they are expressed broadly

  7. β2-Adrenergic Receptor Activation Suppresses the Rat Phenethylamine Hallucinogen-Induced Head Twitch Response: Hallucinogen-Induced Excitatory Post-synaptic Potentials as a Potential Substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marek, Gerard J.; Ramos, Brian P.

    2018-01-01

    5-Hydroxytryptamine2A (5-HT2A) receptors are enriched in layers I and Va of the rat prefrontal cortex and neocortex and their activation increases the frequency of glutamatergic excitatory post-synaptic potentials/currents (EPSP/Cs) onto layer V pyramidal cells. A number of other G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are also enriched in cortical layers I and Va and either induce (α1-adrenergic and orexin2) or suppress (metabotropic glutamate2 [mGlu2], adenosine A1, μ-opioid) both 5-HT-induced EPSCs and head twitches or head shakes induced by the phenethylamine hallucinogen 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI). Another neurotransmitter receptor also localized to apparent thalamocortical afferents to layers I and Va of the rat prefrontal cortex and neocortex is the β2-adrenergic receptor. Therefore, we conducted preliminary electrophysiological experiments with rat brain slices examining the effects of epinephrine on electrically-evoked EPSPs following bath application of DOI (3 μM). Epinephrine (0.3–10 μM) suppressed the late EPSPs produced by electrical stimulation and DOI. The selective β2-adrenergic receptor antagonist ICI-118,551 (300 nM) resulted in a rightward shift of the epinephrine concentration-response relationship. We also tested the selective β2-adrenergic receptor agonist clenbuterol and the antagonist ICI-118,551 on DOI-induced head twitches. Clenbuterol (0.3–3 mg/kg, i.p.) suppressed DOI (1.25 mg/kg, i.p.)-induced head twitches. This clenbuterol effect appeared to be at least partially reversed by the selective β2-adrenergic receptor antagonist ICI-118,553 (0.01–1 mg/kg, i.p.), with significant reversal at doses of 0.1 and 1 mg/kg. Thus, β2-adrenergic receptor activation reverses the effects of phenethylamine hallucinogens in the rat prefrontal cortex. While Gi/Go-coupled GPCRs have previously been shown to suppress both the electrophysiological and behavioral effects of 5-HT2A receptor activation in the mPFC, the present work appears

  8. Enhanced pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn contributes to calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 protein-mediated spinal sensitization and behavioral hypersensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dickenson Anthony H

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Nerve injury-induced expression of the spinal calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 subunit (Cavα2δ1 has been shown to mediate behavioral hypersensitivity through a yet identified mechanism. We examined if this neuroplasticity modulates behavioral hypersensitivity by regulating spinal glutamatergic neurotransmission in injury-free transgenic mice overexpressing the Cavα2δ1 proteins in neuronal tissues. The transgenic mice exhibited hypersensitivity to mechanical stimulation (allodynia similar to the spinal nerve ligation injury model. Intrathecally delivered antagonists for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA and α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA/kainate receptors, but not for the metabotropic glutamate receptors, caused a dose-dependent allodynia reversal in the transgenic mice without changing the behavioral sensitivity in wild-type mice. This suggests that elevated spinal Cavα2δ1 mediates allodynia through a pathway involving activation of selective glutamate receptors. To determine if this is mediated by enhanced spinal neuronal excitability or pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn, we examined wide-dynamic-range (WDR neuron excitability with extracellular recording and glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents with whole-cell patch recording in deep-dorsal horn of the Cavα2δ1 transgenic mice. Our data indicated that overexpression of Cavα2δ1 in neuronal tissues led to increased frequency, but not amplitude, of miniature excitatory post synaptic currents mediated mainly by AMPA/kainate receptors at physiological membrane potentials, and also by NMDA receptors upon depolarization, without changing the excitability of WDR neurons to high intensity stimulation. Together, these findings support a mechanism of Cavα2δ1-mediated spinal sensitization in which elevated Cavα2δ1 causes increased pre-synaptic glutamate release that leads to reduced excitation thresholds of post-synaptic dorsal

  9. Enhanced pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn contributes to calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 protein-mediated spinal sensitization and behavioral hypersensitivity

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    Nguyen, David; Deng, Ping; Matthews, Elizabeth A; Kim, Doo-Sik; Feng, Guoping; Dickenson, Anthony H; Xu, Zao C; Luo, Z David

    2009-01-01

    Nerve injury-induced expression of the spinal calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 subunit (Cavα2δ1) has been shown to mediate behavioral hypersensitivity through a yet identified mechanism. We examined if this neuroplasticity modulates behavioral hypersensitivity by regulating spinal glutamatergic neurotransmission in injury-free transgenic mice overexpressing the Cavα2δ1 proteins in neuronal tissues. The transgenic mice exhibited hypersensitivity to mechanical stimulation (allodynia) similar to the spinal nerve ligation injury model. Intrathecally delivered antagonists for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptors, but not for the metabotropic glutamate receptors, caused a dose-dependent allodynia reversal in the transgenic mice without changing the behavioral sensitivity in wild-type mice. This suggests that elevated spinal Cavα2δ1 mediates allodynia through a pathway involving activation of selective glutamate receptors. To determine if this is mediated by enhanced spinal neuronal excitability or pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn, we examined wide-dynamic-range (WDR) neuron excitability with extracellular recording and glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents with whole-cell patch recording in deep-dorsal horn of the Cavα2δ1 transgenic mice. Our data indicated that overexpression of Cavα2δ1 in neuronal tissues led to increased frequency, but not amplitude, of miniature excitatory post synaptic currents mediated mainly by AMPA/kainate receptors at physiological membrane potentials, and also by NMDA receptors upon depolarization, without changing the excitability of WDR neurons to high intensity stimulation. Together, these findings support a mechanism of Cavα2δ1-mediated spinal sensitization in which elevated Cavα2δ1 causes increased pre-synaptic glutamate release that leads to reduced excitation thresholds of post-synaptic dorsal horn neurons to innocuous

  10. Mechanisms of glycine release, which build up synaptic and extrasynaptic glycine levels: the role of synaptic and non-synaptic glycine transporters.

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    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

    Glycine is an amino acid neurotransmitter that is involved in both inhibitory and excitatory neurochemical transmission in the central nervous system. The role of glycine in excitatory neurotransmission is related to its coagonist action at glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. The glycine levels in the synaptic cleft rise many times higher during synaptic activation assuring that glycine spills over into the extrasynaptic space. Another possible origin of extrasynaptic glycine is the efflux of glycine occurring from astrocytes associated with glutamatergic synapses. The release of glycine from neuronal or glial origins exhibits several differences compared to that of biogenic amines or other amino acid neurotransmitters. These differences appear in an external Ca(2+)- and temperature-dependent manner, conferring unique characteristics on glycine as a neurotransmitter. Glycine transporter type-1 at synapses may exhibit neural and glial forms and plays a role in controlling synaptic glycine levels and the spill over rate of glycine from the synaptic cleft into the extrasynaptic biophase. Non-synaptic glycine transporter type-1 regulates extrasynaptic glycine concentrations, either increasing or decreasing them depending on the reverse or normal mode operation of the carrier molecule. While we can, at best, only estimate synaptic glycine levels at rest and during synaptic activation, glycine concentrations are readily measurable via brain microdialysis technique applied in the extrasynaptic space. The non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor may obtain glycine for activation following its spill over from highly active synapses or from its release mediated by the reverse operation of non-synaptic glycine transporter-1. The sensitivity of non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors to glutamate and glycine is many times higher than that of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors making the former type of receptor the primary target for drug action. Synaptic

  11. Estimation of Synaptic Conductances in Presence of Nonlinear Effects Caused by Subthreshold Ionic Currents

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    Catalina Vich

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Subthreshold fluctuations in neuronal membrane potential traces contain nonlinear components, and employing nonlinear models might improve the statistical inference. We propose a new strategy to estimate synaptic conductances, which has been tested using in silico data and applied to in vivo recordings. The model is constructed to capture the nonlinearities caused by subthreshold activated currents, and the estimation procedure can discern between excitatory and inhibitory conductances using only one membrane potential trace. More precisely, we perform second order approximations of biophysical models to capture the subthreshold nonlinearities, resulting in quadratic integrate-and-fire models, and apply approximate maximum likelihood estimation where we only suppose that conductances are stationary in a 50–100 ms time window. The results show an improvement compared to existent procedures for the models tested here.

  12. Structure and function of the amygdaloid NPY system: NPY Y2 receptors regulate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the centromedial amygdala.

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    Wood, J; Verma, D; Lach, G; Bonaventure, P; Herzog, H; Sperk, G; Tasan, R O

    2016-09-01

    The amygdala is essential for generating emotional-affective behaviors. It consists of several nuclei with highly selective, elaborate functions. In particular, the central extended amygdala, consisting of the central amygdala (CEA) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is an essential component actively controlling efferent connections to downstream effectors like hypothalamus and brain stem. Both, CEA and BNST contain high amounts of different neuropeptides that significantly contribute to synaptic transmission. Among these, neuropeptide Y (NPY) has emerged as an important anxiolytic and fear-reducing neuromodulator. Here, we characterized the expression, connectivity and electrophysiological function of NPY and Y2 receptors within the CEA. We identified several NPY-expressing neuronal populations, including somatostatin- and calretinin-expressing neurons. Furthermore, in the main intercalated nucleus, NPY is expressed primarily in dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons but also in interspersed somatostatin-expressing neurons. Interestingly, NPY neurons did not co-localize with the Y2 receptor. Retrograde tract tracing experiments revealed that NPY neurons reciprocally connect the CEA and BNST. Functionally, the Y2 receptor agonist PYY3-36, reduced both, inhibitory as well as excitatory synaptic transmission in the centromedial amygdala (CEm). However, we also provide evidence that lack of NPY or Y2 receptors results in increased GABA release specifically at inhibitory synapses in the CEm. Taken together, our findings suggest that NPY expressed by distinct populations of neurons can modulate afferent and efferent projections of the CEA via presynaptic Y2 receptors located at inhibitory and excitatory synapses.

  13. Npas4 regulates excitatory-inhibitory balance within neural circuits through cell-type-specific gene programs.

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    Spiegel, Ivo; Mardinly, Alan R; Gabel, Harrison W; Bazinet, Jeremy E; Couch, Cameron H; Tzeng, Christopher P; Harmin, David A; Greenberg, Michael E

    2014-05-22

    The nervous system adapts to experience by inducing a transcriptional program that controls important aspects of synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity are well characterized in excitatory neurons, the mechanisms that regulate this process in inhibitory neurons are only poorly understood. Here, we describe a transcriptional program that is induced by neuronal activity in inhibitory neurons. We find that, while neuronal activity induces expression of early-response transcription factors such as Npas4 in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons, Npas4 activates distinct programs of late-response genes in inhibitory and excitatory neurons. These late-response genes differentially regulate synaptic input to these two types of neurons, promoting inhibition onto excitatory neurons while inducing excitation onto inhibitory neurons. These findings suggest that the functional outcomes of activity-induced transcriptional responses are adapted in a cell-type-specific manner to achieve a circuit-wide homeostatic response. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Adenosine A2A Receptors Control Glutamatergic Synaptic Plasticity in Fast Spiking Interneurons of the Prefrontal Cortex

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    Amber Kerkhofs

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR are activated upon increased synaptic activity to assist in the implementation of long-term plastic changes at synapses. While it is reported that A2AR are involved in the control of prefrontal cortex (PFC-dependent behavior such as working memory, reversal learning and effort-based decision making, it is not known whether A2AR control glutamatergic synapse plasticity within the medial PFC (mPFC. To elucidate that, we tested whether A2AR blockade affects long-term plasticity (LTP of excitatory post-synaptic potentials in pyramidal neurons and fast spiking (FS interneurons in layer 5 of the mPFC and of population spikes. Our results show that A2AR are enriched at mPFC synapses, where their blockade reversed the direction of plasticity at excitatory synapses onto layer 5 FS interneurons from LTP to long-term depression, while their blockade had no effect on the induction of LTP at excitatory synapses onto layer 5 pyramidal neurons. At the network level, extracellularly induced LTP of population spikes was reduced by A2AR blockade. The interneuron-specificity of A2AR in controlling glutamatergic synapse LTP may ensure that during periods of high synaptic activity, a proper excitation/inhibition balance is maintained within the mPFC.

  15. Synaptic Homeostasis and Allostasis in the Dentate Gyrus Caused by Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain Conditions

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    Rui-Rui Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been generally accepted that pain can cause imbalance between excitation and inhibition (homeostasis at the synaptic level. However, it remains poorly understood how this imbalance (allostasis develops in the CNS under different pain conditions. Here, we analyzed the changes in both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and modulation of the dentate gyrus (DG under two pain conditions with different etiology and duration. First, it was revealed that the functions of the input-output (I/O curves for evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs following the perforant path (PP stimulation were gained under both acute inflammatory and chronic neuropathic pain conditions relative to the controls. However, the functions of I/O curves for the PP-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs differed between the two conditions, namely it was greatly gained under inflammatory condition, but was reduced under neuropathic condition in reverse. Second, both the frequency and amplitude of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs were increased under inflammatory condition, however a decrease in frequency of mIPSCs was observed under neuropathic condition. Finally, the spike discharge of the DG granule cells in response to current injection was significantly increased by neuropathic pain condition, however, no different change was found between inflammatory pain condition and the control. These results provide another line of evidence showing homeostatic and allostatic modulation of excitatory synaptic transmission by inhibitory controls under different pathological pain conditions, hence implicating use of different therapeutic approaches to maintain the homeostasis between excitation and inhibition while treating different conditions of pathological pain.

  16. Dynamical responses to external stimuli for both cases of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization in a complex neuronal network.

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    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Lim, Woochang

    2017-10-01

    For studying how dynamical responses to external stimuli depend on the synaptic-coupling type, we consider two types of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization (i.e., synchronization via synaptic excitation and inhibition) in complex small-world networks of excitatory regular spiking (RS) pyramidal neurons and inhibitory fast spiking (FS) interneurons. For both cases of excitatory and inhibitory synchronization, effects of synaptic couplings on dynamical responses to external time-periodic stimuli S ( t ) (applied to a fraction of neurons) are investigated by varying the driving amplitude A of S ( t ). Stimulated neurons are phase-locked to external stimuli for both cases of excitatory and inhibitory couplings. On the other hand, the stimulation effect on non-stimulated neurons depends on the type of synaptic coupling. The external stimulus S ( t ) makes a constructive effect on excitatory non-stimulated RS neurons (i.e., it causes external phase lockings in the non-stimulated sub-population), while S ( t ) makes a destructive effect on inhibitory non-stimulated FS interneurons (i.e., it breaks up original inhibitory synchronization in the non-stimulated sub-population). As results of these different effects of S ( t ), the type and degree of dynamical response (e.g., synchronization enhancement or suppression), characterized by the dynamical response factor [Formula: see text] (given by the ratio of synchronization degree in the presence and absence of stimulus), are found to vary in a distinctly different way, depending on the synaptic-coupling type. Furthermore, we also measure the matching degree between the dynamics of the two sub-populations of stimulated and non-stimulated neurons in terms of a "cross-correlation" measure [Formula: see text]. With increasing A , based on [Formula: see text], we discuss the cross-correlations between the two sub-populations, affecting the dynamical responses to S ( t ).

  17. BACE1 Is Necessary for Experience-Dependent Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity in Visual Cortex

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    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is the most common form of age-related dementia, which is thought to result from overproduction and/or reduced clearance of amyloid-beta (Aβ peptides. Studies over the past few decades suggest that Aβ is produced in an activity-dependent manner and has physiological relevance to normal brain functions. Similarly, physiological functions for β- and γ-secretases, the two key enzymes that produce Aβ by sequentially processing the amyloid precursor protein (APP, have been discovered over recent years. In particular, activity-dependent production of Aβ has been suggested to play a role in homeostatic regulation of excitatory synaptic function. There is accumulating evidence that activity-dependent immediate early gene Arc is an activity “sensor,” which acts upstream of Aβ production and triggers AMPA receptor endocytosis to homeostatically downregulate the strength of excitatory synaptic transmission. We previously reported that Arc is critical for sensory experience-dependent homeostatic reduction of excitatory synaptic transmission in the superficial layers of visual cortex. Here we demonstrate that mice lacking the major neuronal β-secretase, BACE1, exhibit a similar phenotype: stronger basal excitatory synaptic transmission and failure to adapt to changes in visual experience. Our results indicate that BACE1 plays an essential role in sensory experience-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the neocortex.

  18. Short-term Synaptic Depression in the Feedforward Inhibitory Circuit in the Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus.

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    Augustinaite, Sigita; Heggelund, Paul

    2018-05-24

    Synaptic short-term plasticity (STP) regulates synaptic transmission in an activity-dependent manner and thereby has important roles in the signal processing in the brain. In some synapses, a presynaptic train of action potentials elicits post-synaptic potentials that gradually increase during the train (facilitation), but in other synapses, these potentials gradually decrease (depression). We studied STP in neurons in the visual thalamic relay, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). The dLGN contains two types of neurons: excitatory thalamocortical (TC) neurons, which transfer signals from retinal afferents to visual cortex, and local inhibitory interneurons, which form an inhibitory feedforward loop that regulates the thalamocortical signal transmission. The overall STP in the retino-thalamic relay is short-term depression, but the distinct kind and characteristics of the plasticity at the different types of synapses are unknown. We studied STP in the excitatory responses of interneurons to stimulation of retinal afferents, in the inhibitory responses of TC neurons to stimulation of afferents from interneurons, and in the disynaptic inhibitory responses of TC neurons to stimulation of retinal afferents. Moreover, we studied STP at the direct excitatory input to TC neurons from retinal afferents. The STP at all types of the synapses showed short-term depression. This depression can accentuate rapid changes in the stream of signals and thereby promote detectability of significant features in the sensory input. In vision, detection of edges and contours is essential for object perception, and the synaptic short-term depression in the early visual pathway provides important contributions to this detection process. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Biphasic synaptic Ca influx arising from compartmentalized electrical signals in dendritic spines.

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    Brenda L Bloodgood

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Excitatory synapses on mammalian principal neurons are typically formed onto dendritic spines, which consist of a bulbous head separated from the parent dendrite by a thin neck. Although activation of voltage-gated channels in the spine and stimulus-evoked constriction of the spine neck can influence synaptic signals, the contribution of electrical filtering by the spine neck to basal synaptic transmission is largely unknown. Here we use spine and dendrite calcium (Ca imaging combined with 2-photon laser photolysis of caged glutamate to assess the impact of electrical filtering imposed by the spine morphology on synaptic Ca transients. We find that in apical spines of CA1 hippocampal neurons, the spine neck creates a barrier to the propagation of current, which causes a voltage drop and results in spatially inhomogeneous activation of voltage-gated Ca channels (VGCCs on a micron length scale. Furthermore, AMPA and NMDA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs and NMDARs, respectively that are colocalized on individual spine heads interact to produce two kinetically and mechanistically distinct phases of synaptically evoked Ca influx. Rapid depolarization of the spine triggers a brief and large Ca current whose amplitude is regulated in a graded manner by the number of open AMPARs and whose duration is terminated by the opening of small conductance Ca-activated potassium (SK channels. A slower phase of Ca influx is independent of AMPAR opening and is determined by the number of open NMDARs and the post-stimulus potential in the spine. Biphasic synaptic Ca influx only occurs when AMPARs and NMDARs are coactive within an individual spine. These results demonstrate that the morphology of dendritic spines endows associated synapses with specialized modes of signaling and permits the graded and independent control of multiple phases of synaptic Ca influx.

  20. Cell-specific gain modulation by synaptically released zinc in cortical circuits of audition.

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    Anderson, Charles T; Kumar, Manoj; Xiong, Shanshan; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2017-09-09

    In many excitatory synapses, mobile zinc is found within glutamatergic vesicles and is coreleased with glutamate. Ex vivo studies established that synaptically released (synaptic) zinc inhibits excitatory neurotransmission at lower frequencies of synaptic activity but enhances steady state synaptic responses during higher frequencies of activity. However, it remains unknown how synaptic zinc affects neuronal processing in vivo. Here, we imaged the sound-evoked neuronal activity of the primary auditory cortex in awake mice. We discovered that synaptic zinc enhanced the gain of sound-evoked responses in CaMKII-expressing principal neurons, but it reduced the gain of parvalbumin- and somatostatin-expressing interneurons. This modulation was sound intensity-dependent and, in part, NMDA receptor-independent. By establishing a previously unknown link between synaptic zinc and gain control of auditory cortical processing, our findings advance understanding about cortical synaptic mechanisms and create a new framework for approaching and interpreting the role of the auditory cortex in sound processing.

  1. Developmental profiles of the intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in preterm and term baboon neonates.

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    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.

  2. Replacement of asymmetric synaptic profiles in the molecular layer of dentate gyrus following cycloheximide in the pilocarpine model in rats.

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    Simone eBittencourt

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Mossy fiber sprouting is among the best-studied forms of post-lesional synaptic plasticity and is regarded by many as contributory to seizures in both humans and animal models of epilepsy. It is not known whether mossy fiber sprouting increases the number of synapses in the molecular layer or merely replaces lost contacts. Using the pilocarpine model of status epilepticus to induce mossy fiber sprouting, and cycloheximide to block this sprouting, we evaluated at the ultrastructural level the number and type of asymmetric synaptic contacts in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. As expected, whereas pilocarpine-treated rats had dense silver grain deposits in the inner molecular layer (reflecting mossy fiber sprouting, pilocarpine+cycloheximide-treated animals did not differ from controls. Both groups of treated rats (Pilo group and CHX+Pilo group had reduced density of asymmetric synaptic profiles (putative excitatory synaptic contacts, which was greater for cycloheximide-treated animals. For both treated groups the loss of excitatory synaptic contacts was even greater in the outer molecular layer than in the best studied inner molecular layer (in which mossy fiber sprouting occurs. These results indicate that mossy fiber sprouting tends to replace lost synaptic contacts rather than increase the absolute number of contacts. We speculate that the overall result is more consistent with restored rather than with increased excitability.

  3. Effects of Neuromodulation on Excitatory-Inhibitory Neural Network Dynamics Depend on Network Connectivity Structure

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    Rich, Scott; Zochowski, Michal; Booth, Victoria

    2018-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh), one of the brain's most potent neuromodulators, can affect intrinsic neuron properties through blockade of an M-type potassium current. The effect of ACh on excitatory and inhibitory cells with this potassium channel modulates their membrane excitability, which in turn affects their tendency to synchronize in networks. Here, we study the resulting changes in dynamics in networks with inter-connected excitatory and inhibitory populations (E-I networks), which are ubiquitous in the brain. Utilizing biophysical models of E-I networks, we analyze how the network connectivity structure in terms of synaptic connectivity alters the influence of ACh on the generation of synchronous excitatory bursting. We investigate networks containing all combinations of excitatory and inhibitory cells with high (Type I properties) or low (Type II properties) modulatory tone. To vary network connectivity structure, we focus on the effects of the strengths of inter-connections between excitatory and inhibitory cells (E-I synapses and I-E synapses), and the strengths of intra-connections among excitatory cells (E-E synapses) and among inhibitory cells (I-I synapses). We show that the presence of ACh may or may not affect the generation of network synchrony depending on the network connectivity. Specifically, strong network inter-connectivity induces synchronous excitatory bursting regardless of the cellular propensity for synchronization, which aligns with predictions of the PING model. However, when a network's intra-connectivity dominates its inter-connectivity, the propensity for synchrony of either inhibitory or excitatory cells can determine the generation of network-wide bursting.

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

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    Ji Won Um

    2016-02-01

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

  5. Synaptic integration of transplanted interneuron progenitor cells into native cortical networks.

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    Howard, MacKenzie A; Baraban, Scott C

    2016-08-01

    Interneuron-based cell transplantation is a powerful method to modify network function in a variety of neurological disorders, including epilepsy. Whether new interneurons integrate into native neural networks in a subtype-specific manner is not well understood, and the therapeutic mechanisms underlying interneuron-based cell therapy, including the role of synaptic inhibition, are debated. In this study, we tested subtype-specific integration of transplanted interneurons using acute cortical brain slices and visualized patch-clamp recordings to measure excitatory synaptic inputs, intrinsic properties, and inhibitory synaptic outputs. Fluorescently labeled progenitor cells from the embryonic medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) were used for transplantation. At 5 wk after transplantation, MGE-derived parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons received excitatory synaptic inputs, exhibited mature interneuron firing properties, and made functional synaptic inhibitory connections to native pyramidal cells that were comparable to those of native PV+ interneurons. These findings demonstrate that MGE-derived PV+ interneurons functionally integrate into subtype-appropriate physiological niches within host networks following transplantation. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  6. Synaptic Impairment in Layer 1 of the Prefrontal Cortex Induced by Repeated Stress During Adolescence is Reversed in Adulthood

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    Negrón-Oyarzo, Ignacio; Dagnino-Subiabre, Alexies; Muñoz Carvajal, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Chronic stress is a risk factor for the development of psychiatric disorders, some of which involve dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). There is a higher prevalence of these chronic stress-related psychiatric disorders during adolescence, when the PFC has not yet fully matured. In the present work we studied the effect of repeated stress during adolescence on synaptic function in the PFC in adolescence and adulthood. To this end, adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to seven consecutive days of restraint stress. Afterward, both synaptic transmission and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity were evaluated in layer 1 of medial-PFC (mPFC) slices from adolescent and adult rats. We found that repeated stress significantly reduced the amplitude of evoked field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP) in the mPFC. Isolation of excitatory transmission reveled that lower-amplitude fEPSPs were associated with a reduction in α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor-mediated transmission. We also found that repeated stress significantly decreased long-term depression (LTD). Interestingly, AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated transmission and LTD were recovered in adult animals that experienced a three-week stress-free recovery period. The data indicates that the changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in the mPFC induced by repeated stress during adolescence are reversed in adulthood after a stress-free period. PMID:26617490

  7. Alterations in Brain Inflammation, Synaptic Proteins, and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis during Epileptogenesis in Mice Lacking Synapsin2.

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    Deepti Chugh

    Full Text Available Synapsins are pre-synaptic vesicle-associated proteins linked to the pathogenesis of epilepsy through genetic association studies in humans. Deletion of synapsins causes an excitatory/inhibitory imbalance, exemplified by the epileptic phenotype of synapsin knockout mice. These mice develop handling-induced tonic-clonic seizures starting at the age of about 3 months. Hence, they provide an opportunity to study epileptogenic alterations in a temporally controlled manner. Here, we evaluated brain inflammation, synaptic protein expression, and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the epileptogenic (1 and 2 months of age and tonic-clonic (3.5-4 months phase of synapsin 2 knockout mice using immunohistochemical and biochemical assays. In the epileptogenic phase, region-specific microglial activation was evident, accompanied by an increase in the chemokine receptor CX3CR1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, and a decrease in chemokine keratinocyte chemoattractant/ growth-related oncogene. Both post-synaptic density-95 and gephyrin, scaffolding proteins at excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, showed a significant up-regulation primarily in the cortex. Furthermore, we observed an increase in the inhibitory adhesion molecules neuroligin-2 and neurofascin and potassium chloride co-transporter KCC2. Decreased expression of γ-aminobutyric acid receptor-δ subunit and cholecystokinin was also evident. Surprisingly, hippocampal neurogenesis was reduced in the epileptogenic phase. Taken together, we report molecular alterations in brain inflammation and excitatory/inhibitory balance that could serve as potential targets for therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers. In addition, the regional differences in brain inflammation and synaptic protein expression indicate an epileptogenic zone from where the generalized seizures in synapsin 2 knockout mice may be initiated or spread.

  8. Effects of 17beta-estradiol on glutamate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability in the rat medial vestibular nuclei.

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    Grassi, S; Frondaroli, A; Scarduzio, M; Dutia, M B; Dieni, C; Pettorossi, V E

    2010-02-17

    We investigated the effects of the neurosteroid 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) on the evoked and spontaneous activity of rat medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons in brainstem slices. E(2) enhances the synaptic response to vestibular nerve stimulation in type B neurons and depresses the spontaneous discharge in both type A and B neurons. The amplitude of the field potential, as well as the excitatory post-synaptic potential (EPSP) and current (EPSC), in type B neurons, are enhanced by E(2). Both effects are long-term phenomena since they outlast the drug washout. The enhancement of synaptic response is mainly due to facilitation of glutamate release mediated by pre-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), since the reduction of paired pulse ratio (PPR) and the increase of miniature EPSC frequency after E(2) are abolished under D-(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP-5). E(2) also facilitates post-synaptic NMDARs, but it does not affect directly alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) and group I-metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs-I). In contrast, the depression of the spontaneous discharge of type A and type B neurons appears to depend on E(2) modulation of intrinsic ion conductances, as the effect remains after blockade of glutamate, GABA and glycine receptors (GlyRs). The net effect of E(2) is to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of the synaptic response in type B neurons, relative to resting activity of all MVN neurons. These findings provide evidence for a novel potential mechanism to modulate the responsiveness of vestibular neurons to afferent inputs, and so regulate vestibular function in vivo.

  9. Mice lacking the transcriptional regulator Bhlhe40 have enhanced neuronal excitability and impaired synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

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    Kelly A Hamilton

    Full Text Available Bhlhe40 is a transcription factor that is highly expressed in the hippocampus; however, its role in neuronal function is not well understood. Here, we used Bhlhe40 null mice on a congenic C57Bl6/J background (Bhlhe40 KO to investigate the impact of Bhlhe40 on neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Bhlhe40 KO CA1 neurons had increased miniature excitatory post-synaptic current amplitude and decreased inhibitory post-synaptic current amplitude, indicating CA1 neuronal hyperexcitability. Increased CA1 neuronal excitability was not associated with increased seizure severity as Bhlhe40 KO relative to +/+ (WT control mice injected with the convulsant kainic acid. However, significant reductions in long term potentiation and long term depression at CA1 synapses were observed in Bhlhe40 KO mice, indicating impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Behavioral testing for spatial learning and memory on the Morris Water Maze (MWM revealed that while Bhlhe40 KO mice performed similarly to WT controls initially, when the hidden platform was moved to the opposite quadrant Bhlhe40 KO mice showed impairments in relearning, consistent with decreased hippocampal synaptic plasticity. To investigate possible mechanisms for increased neuronal excitability and decreased synaptic plasticity, a whole genome mRNA expression profile of Bhlhe40 KO hippocampus was performed followed by a chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq screen of the validated candidate genes for Bhlhe40 protein-DNA interactions consistent with transcriptional regulation. Of the validated genes identified from mRNA expression analysis, insulin degrading enzyme (Ide had the most significantly altered expression in hippocampus and was significantly downregulated on the RNA and protein levels; although Bhlhe40 did not occupy the Ide gene by ChIP-Seq. Together, these findings support a role for Bhlhe40 in regulating neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in

  10. Modulation of NMDA Receptor Properties and Synaptic Transmission by the NR3A Subunit in Mouse Hippocampal and Cerebrocortical Neurons

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    Tong, Gary; Takahashi, Hiroto; Tu, Shichun; Shin, Yeonsook; Talantova, Maria; Zago, Wagner; Xia, Peng; Nie, Zhiguo; Goetz, Thomas; Zhang, Dongxian; Lipton, Stuart A.; Nakanishi, Nobuki

    2015-01-01

    Expression of the NR3A subunit with NR1/NR2 in Xenopus oocytes or mammalian cell lines leads to a reduction in N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced currents and decreased Mg2+ sensitivity and Ca2+ permeability compared with NR1/NR2 receptors. Consistent with these findings, neurons from NR3A knockout (KO) mice exhibit enhanced NMDA-induced currents. Recombinant NR3A can also form excitatory glycine receptors with NR1 in the absence of NR2. However, the effects of NR3A on channel properties in neurons and synaptic transmission have not been fully elucidated. To study physiological roles of NR3A subunits, we generated NR3A transgenic (Tg) mice. Cultured NR3A Tg neurons exhibited two populations of NMDA receptor (NMDAR) channels, reduced Mg2+ sensitivity, and decreased Ca2+ permeability in response to NMDA/glycine, but glycine alone did not elicit excitatory currents. In addition, NMDAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in NR3A Tg hippocampal slices showed reduced Mg2+ sensitivity, consistent with the notion that NR3A subunits incorporated into synaptic NMDARs. To study the function of endogenous NR3A subunits, we compared NMDAR-mediated EPSCs in NR3A KO and WT control mice. In NR3A KO mice, the ratio of the amplitudes of the NMDAR-mediated component to α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isox-azolepropionic acid receptor-mediated component of the EPSC was significantly larger than that seen in WT littermates. This result suggests that NR3A subunits contributed to the NMDAR-mediated component of the EPSC in WT mice. Taken together, these results show that NR3A subunits contribute to NMDAR responses from both synaptic and extra-synaptic receptors, likely composed of NR1, NR2, and NR3 subunits. PMID:18003876

  11. Schaffer collateral inputs to CA1 excitatory and inhibitory neurons follow different connectivity rules.

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    Kwon, Osung; Feng, Linqing; Druckmann, Shaul; Kim, Jinhyun

    2018-05-04

    Neural circuits, governed by a complex interplay between excitatory and inhibitory neurons, are the substrate for information processing, and the organization of synaptic connectivity in neural network is an important determinant of circuit function. Here, we analyzed the fine structure of connectivity in hippocampal CA1 excitatory and inhibitory neurons innervated by Schaffer collaterals (SCs) using mGRASP in male mice. Our previous study revealed spatially structured synaptic connectivity between CA3-CA1 pyramidal cells (PCs). Surprisingly, parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PVs) showed a significantly more random pattern spatial structure. Notably, application of Peters' Rule for synapse prediction by random overlap between axons and dendrites enhanced structured connectivity in PCs, but, by contrast, made the connectivity pattern in PVs more random. In addition, PCs in a deep sublayer of striatum pyramidale appeared more highly structured than PCs in superficial layers, and little or no sublayer specificity was found in PVs. Our results show that CA1 excitatory PCs and inhibitory PVs innervated by the same SC inputs follow different connectivity rules. The different organizations of fine scale structured connectivity in hippocampal excitatory and inhibitory neurons provide important insights into the development and functions of neural networks. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding how neural circuits generate behavior is one of the central goals of neuroscience. An important component of this endeavor is the mapping of fine-scale connection patterns that underlie, and help us infer, signal processing in the brain. Here, using our recently developed synapse detection technology (mGRASP and neuTube), we provide detailed profiles of synaptic connectivity in excitatory (CA1 pyramidal) and inhibitory (CA1 parvalbumin-positive) neurons innervated by the same presynaptic inputs (CA3 Schaffer collaterals). Our results reveal that these two types of CA1 neurons follow

  12. Anatomical and pharmacological characterization of excitatory amino acid receptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monaghan, D.T.

    1985-01-01

    The majority of the excitatory neurotransmission in the vertebrate Central Nervous System is thought to be mediated by acidic amino acid neurotransmitters. However, relatively little is known about the excitatory amino acid receptors and their distribution within the CNS. By analyzing radioligand binding to purified synaptic plasma membranes and to thin tissue sections processed for autoradiography, multiple distinct binding sites were found. These binding sites exhibited the pharmacological properties indicative of the excitatory amino acid receptors, which had been identified by electrophysiological techniques. Specifically, L-[ 3 H]-glutamate and D-[ 3 H]-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate appear to label N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, L-[ 3 H]-glutamate and [ 3 H]-kainic acid appear to label kainic acid receptors, and L-[ 3 H]-glutamate and [ 3 H]-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate appear to label quisqualate receptors. Together, these results confirm the three receptor scheme proposed for excitatory amino acid neurotransmission. These results also show that these transmitter-receptor systems are differentially distributed in the brain, and that the total distribution is consistent with that found by other markers for excitatory amino acid-using neurons

  13. Exogenous Alpha-Synuclein Alters Pre- and Post-Synaptic Activity by Fragmenting Lipid Rafts

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    Marco Emanuele

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Alpha-synuclein (αSyn interferes with multiple steps of synaptic activity at pre-and post-synaptic terminals, however the mechanism/s by which αSyn alters neurotransmitter release and synaptic potentiation is unclear. By atomic force microscopy we show that human αSyn, when incubated with reconstituted membrane bilayer, induces lipid rafts' fragmentation. As a consequence, ion channels and receptors are displaced from lipid rafts with consequent changes in their activity. The enhanced calcium entry leads to acute mobilization of synaptic vesicles, and exhaustion of neurotransmission at later stages. At the post-synaptic terminal, an acute increase in glutamatergic transmission, with increased density of PSD-95 puncta, is followed by disruption of the interaction between N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR and PSD-95 with ensuing decrease of long term potentiation. While cholesterol loading prevents the acute effect of αSyn at the presynapse; inhibition of casein kinase 2, which appears activated by reduction of cholesterol, restores the correct localization and clustering of NMDARs.

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

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    Yin-Peng Chen

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

  15. Galantamine Prevents Long-Lasting Suppression of Excitatory Synaptic Transmission in CA1 Pyramidal Neurons of Soman-Challenged Guinea Pigs

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    Alexandrova, E. A.; Alkondon, M.; Aracava, Y.; Pereira, E. F. R.; Albuquerque, E. X.

    2014-01-01

    Galantamine, a drug currently approved for treatment of Alzheimer's disease, has recently emerged as an effective pretreatment against the acute toxicity and delayed cognitive deficits induced by organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents, including soman. Since cognitive deficits can result from impaired glutamatergic transmission in the hippocampus, the present study was designed to test the hypothesis that hippocampal glutamatergic transmission declines following an acute exposure to soman and that this effect can be prevented by galantamine. To test this hypothesis, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded from CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices obtained at 1 h, 24 h, or 6-9 days after guinea pigs were injected with: (i) 1xLD50 soman (26.3 μg/kg, s.c.); (ii) galantamine (8 mg/kg, i.m.) followed 30 min later by 1xLD50 soman, (iii) galantamine (8 mg/kg, i.m.), or (iv) saline (0.5 ml/kg, i.m.). In soman-injected guinea pigs that were not pretreated with galantamine, the frequency of EPSCs was significantly lower than that recorded from saline-injected animals. There was no correlation between the severity of soman-induced acute toxicity and the magnitude of soman-induced reduction of EPSC frequency. Pretreatment with galantamine prevented the reduction of EPSC frequency observed at 6-9 days after the soman challenge. Prevention of soman-induced long-lasting reduction of hippocampal glutamatergic synaptic transmission may be an important determinant of the ability of galantamine to counter cognitive deficits that develop long after an acute exposure to the nerve agent. PMID:25064080

  16. Transmission to interneurons is via slow excitatory synaptic potentials mediated by P2Y(1 receptors during descending inhibition in guinea-pig ileum.

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    Peter D J Thornton

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The nature of synaptic transmission at functionally distinct synapses in intestinal reflex pathways has not been fully identified. In this study, we investigated whether transmission between interneurons in the descending inhibitory pathway is mediated by a purine acting at P2Y receptors to produce slow excitatory synaptic potentials (EPSPs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Myenteric neurons from guinea-pig ileum in vitro were impaled with intracellular microelectrodes. Responses to distension 15 mm oral to the recording site, in a separately perfused stimulation chamber and to electrical stimulation of local nerve trunks were recorded. A subset of neurons, previously identified as nitric oxide synthase immunoreactive descending interneurons, responded to both stimuli with slow EPSPs that were reversibly abolished by a high concentration of PPADS (30 μM, P2 receptor antagonist. When added to the central chamber of a three chambered organ bath, PPADS concentration-dependently depressed transmission through that chamber of descending inhibitory reflexes, measured as inhibitory junction potentials in the circular muscle of the anal chamber. Reflexes evoked by distension in the central chamber were unaffected. A similar depression of transmission was seen when the specific P2Y(1 receptor antagonist MRS 2179 (10 μM was in the central chamber. Blocking either nicotinic receptors (hexamethonium 200 μM or 5-HT(3 receptors (granisetron 1 μM together with P2 receptors had no greater effect than blocking P2 receptors alone. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Slow EPSPs mediated by P2Y(1 receptors, play a primary role in transmission between descending interneurons of the inhibitory reflexes in the guinea-pig ileum. This is the first demonstration for a primary role of excitatory metabotropic receptors in physiological transmission at a functionally identified synapse.

  17. Maturation- and sex-sensitive depression of hippocampal excitatory transmission in a rat schizophrenia model.

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    Patrich, Eti; Piontkewitz, Yael; Peretz, Asher; Weiner, Ina; Attali, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with behavioral and brain structural abnormalities, of which the hippocampus appears to be one of the most consistent region affected. Previous studies performed on the poly I:C model of schizophrenia suggest that alterations in hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity take place in the offspring. However, these investigations yielded conflicting results and the neurophysiological alterations responsible for these deficits are still unclear. Here we performed for the first time a longitudinal study examining the impact of prenatal poly I:C treatment and of gender on hippocampal excitatory neurotransmission. In addition, we examined the potential preventive/curative effects of risperidone (RIS) treatment during the peri-adolescence period. Excitatory synaptic transmission was determined by stimulating Schaffer collaterals and monitoring fiber volley amplitude and slope of field-EPSP (fEPSP) in CA1 pyramidal neurons in male and female offspring hippocampal slices from postnatal days (PNDs) 18-20, 34, 70 and 90. Depression of hippocampal excitatory transmission appeared at juvenile age in male offspring of the poly I:C group, while it expressed with a delay in female, manifesting at adulthood. In addition, a reduced hippocampal size was found in both adult male and female offspring of poly I:C treated dams. Treatment with RIS at the peri-adolescence period fully restored in males but partly repaired in females these deficiencies. A maturation- and sex-dependent decrease in hippocampal excitatory transmission occurs in the offspring of poly I:C treated pregnant mothers. Pharmacological intervention with RIS during peri-adolescence can cure in a gender-sensitive fashion early occurring hippocampal synaptic deficits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Polymer-electrolyte-gated nanowire synaptic transistors for neuromorphic applications

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    Zou, Can; Sun, Jia; Gou, Guangyang; Kong, Ling-An; Qian, Chuan; Dai, Guozhang; Yang, Junliang; Guo, Guang-hua

    2017-09-01

    Polymer-electrolytes are formed by dissolving a salt in polymer instead of water, the conducting mechanism involves the segmental motion-assisted diffusion of ion in the polymer matrix. Here, we report on the fabrication of tin oxide (SnO2) nanowire synaptic transistors using polymer-electrolyte gating. A thin layer of poly(ethylene oxide) and lithium perchlorate (PEO/LiClO4) was deposited on top of the devices, which was used to boost device performances. A voltage spike applied on the in-plane gate attracts ions toward the polymer-electrolyte/SnO2 nanowire interface and the ions are gradually returned after the pulse is removed, which can induce a dynamic excitatory postsynaptic current in the nanowire channel. The SnO2 synaptic transistors exhibit the behavior of short-term plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation and self-adaptation, which is related to the electric double-effect regulation. In addition, the synaptic logic functions and the logical function transformation are also discussed. Such single SnO2 nanowire-based synaptic transistors are of great importance for future neuromorphic devices.

  19. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

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    Skaper, Stephen D; Facci, Laura; Zusso, Morena; Giusti, Pietro

    2017-01-01

    Neuroplasticity is not only shaped by learning and memory but is also a mediator of responses to neuron attrition and injury (compensatory plasticity). As an ongoing process it reacts to neuronal cell activity and injury, death, and genesis, which encompasses the modulation of structural and functional processes of axons, dendrites, and synapses. The range of structural elements that comprise plasticity includes long-term potentiation (a cellular correlate of learning and memory), synaptic efficacy and remodelling, synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and dendritic remodelling, and neurogenesis and recruitment. Degenerative diseases of the human brain continue to pose one of biomedicine's most intractable problems. Research on human neurodegeneration is now moving from descriptive to mechanistic analyses. At the same time, it is increasing apparently that morphological lesions traditionally used by neuropathologists to confirm post-mortem clinical diagnosis might furnish us with an experimentally tractable handle to understand causative pathways. Consider the aging-dependent neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) which is characterised at the neuropathological level by deposits of insoluble amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) in extracellular plaques and aggregated tau protein, which is found largely in the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. We now appreciate that mild cognitive impairment in early AD may be due to synaptic dysfunction caused by accumulation of non-fibrillar, oligomeric Aβ, occurring well in advance of evident widespread synaptic loss and neurodegeneration. Soluble Aβ oligomers can adversely affect synaptic structure and plasticity at extremely low concentrations, although the molecular substrates by which synaptic memory mechanisms are disrupted remain to be fully elucidated. The dendritic spine constitutes a primary locus of excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. These structures protruding from dendritic

  20. Mapping synaptic pathology within cerebral cortical circuits in subjects with schizophrenia

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    Robert Sweet

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Converging lines of evidence indicate that schizophrenia is characterized by impairments of synaptic machinery within cerebral cortical circuits. Efforts to localize these alterations in brain tissue from subjects with schizophrenia have frequently been limited to the quantification of structures that are non-selectively identified (e.g. dendritic spines labeled in Golgi preparations, axon boutons labeled with synaptophysin, or to quantification of proteins using methods unable to resolve relevant cellular compartments. Multiple label fluorescence confocal microscopy represents a means to circumvent many of these limitations, by concurrently extracting information regarding the number, morphology, and relative protein content of synaptic structures. An important adaptation required for studies of human disease is coupling this approach to stereologic methods for systematic random sampling of relevant brain regions. In this review article we consider the application of multiple label fluorescence confocal microscopy to the mapping of synaptic alterations in subjects with schizophrenia and describe the application of a novel, readily automated, iterative intensity/morphological segmentation algorithm for the extraction of information regarding synaptic structure number, size, and relative protein level from tissue sections obtained using unbiased stereological principles of sampling. In this context, we provide examples of the examination of pre- and post-synaptic structures within excitatory and inhibitory circuits of the cerebral cortex.

  1. The Secreted Protein C1QL1 and Its Receptor BAI3 Control the Synaptic Connectivity of Excitatory Inputs Converging on Cerebellar Purkinje Cells

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    Séverine M. Sigoillot

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Precise patterns of connectivity are established by different types of afferents on a given target neuron, leading to well-defined and non-overlapping synaptic territories. What regulates the specific characteristics of each type of synapse, in terms of number, morphology, and subcellular localization, remains to be understood. Here, we show that the signaling pathway formed by the secreted complement C1Q-related protein C1QL1 and its receptor, the adhesion-GPCR brain angiogenesis inhibitor 3 (BAI3, controls the stereotyped pattern of connectivity established by excitatory afferents on cerebellar Purkinje cells. The BAI3 receptor modulates synaptogenesis of both parallel fiber and climbing fiber afferents. The restricted and timely expression of its ligand C1QL1 in inferior olivary neurons ensures the establishment of the proper synaptic territory for climbing fibers. Given the broad expression of C1QL and BAI proteins in the developing mouse brain, our study reveals a general mechanism contributing to the formation of a functional brain.

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

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    Adel Zeidan

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Repeated Neck Restraint Stress Bidirectionally Modulates Excitatory Transmission in the Dentate Gyrus and Performance in a Hippocampus-dependent Memory Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spyrka, Jadwiga; Hess, Grzegorz

    2018-05-21

    The consequences of stress depend on characteristics of the stressor, including the duration of exposure, severity, and predictability. Exposure of mice to repeated neck restraint has been shown to bidirectionally modulate the potential for long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus (DG) in a manner dependent on the number of restraint repetitions, but the influence of repeated brief neck restraint on electrophysiology of single DG neurons has not yet been investigated. Here, we aimed at finding the effects of 1, 3, 7, 14, or 21 daily neck restraint sessions lasting 10 min on electrophysiological characteristics of DG granule cells as well as excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to these neurons. While the excitability of DG granule cells and inhibitory synaptic transmission were unchanged, neck restraint decreased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory currents after three repetitions but enhanced it after 14 and 21 repetitions. The consequences of repeated neck restraint on hippocampus-dependent memory were investigated using the object location test (OLT). Neck restraint stress impaired cognitive performance in the OLT after three repetitions but improved it after 14 and 21 repetitions. Mice subjected to three neck restraint sessions displayed an increase in the measures of depressive and anxiety-like behaviors, however, prolongation of the exposure to neck restraint resulted in a gradual decline in the intensity of these measures. These data indicate that stress imposed by an increasing number of repeated neck restraint episodes bidirectionally modulates both excitatory synaptic transmission in the DG and cognitive performance in the object location memory task. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Dysregulated Expression of Neuregulin-1 by Cortical Pyramidal Neurons Disrupts Synaptic Plasticity

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    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuregulin-1 (NRG1 gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an “optimal” level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect.

  6. Dysregulated expression of neuregulin-1 by cortical pyramidal neurons disrupts synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Amit; Zhang, Mingyue; Trembak-Duff, Irina; Unterbarnscheidt, Tilmann; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Dibaj, Payam; Martins de Souza, Daniel; Boretius, Susann; Brzózka, Magdalena M; Steffens, Heinz; Berning, Sebastian; Teng, Zenghui; Gummert, Maike N; Tantra, Martesa; Guest, Peter C; Willig, Katrin I; Frahm, Jens; Hell, Stefan W; Bahn, Sabine; Rossner, Moritz J; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Zhang, Weiqi; Schwab, Markus H

    2014-08-21

    Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD)-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an "optimal" level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents in Spinal Dorsal Horn Astrocytes

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    Dougherty Patrick M

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Removing and sequestering synaptically released glutamate from the extracellular space is carried out by specific plasma membrane transporters that are primarily located in astrocytes. Glial glutamate transporter function can be monitored by recording the currents that are produced by co-transportation of Na+ ions with the uptake of glutamate. The goal of this study was to characterize glutamate transporter function in astrocytes of the spinal cord dorsal horn in real time by recording synaptically evoked glutamate transporter currents. Results Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were obtained from astrocytes in the spinal substantia gelatinosa (SG area in spinal slices of young adult rats. Glutamate transporter currents were evoked in these cells by electrical stimulation at the spinal dorsal root entry zone in the presence of bicuculline, strychnine, DNQX and D-AP5. Transporter currents were abolished when synaptic transmission was blocked by TTX or Cd2+. Pharmacological studies identified two subtypes of glutamate transporters in spinal astrocytes, GLAST and GLT-1. Glutamate transporter currents were graded with stimulus intensity, reaching peak responses at 4 to 5 times activation threshold, but were reduced following low-frequency (0.1 – 1 Hz repetitive stimulation. Conclusion These results suggest that glutamate transporters of spinal astrocytes could be activated by synaptic activation, and recording glutamate transporter currents may provide a means of examining the real time physiological responses of glial cells in spinal sensory processing, sensitization, hyperalgesia and chronic pain.

  8. Synaptic Mechanisms Generating Orientation Selectivity in the ON Pathway of the Rabbit Retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkataramani, Sowmya; Taylor, W Rowland

    2016-03-16

    Neurons that signal the orientation of edges within the visual field have been widely studied in primary visual cortex. Much less is known about the mechanisms of orientation selectivity that arise earlier in the visual stream. Here we examine the synaptic and morphological properties of a subtype of orientation-selective ganglion cell in the rabbit retina. The receptive field has an excitatory ON center, flanked by excitatory OFF regions, a structure similar to simple cell receptive fields in primary visual cortex. Examination of the light-evoked postsynaptic currents in these ON-type orientation-selective ganglion cells (ON-OSGCs) reveals that synaptic input is mediated almost exclusively through the ON pathway. Orientation selectivity is generated by larger excitation for preferred relative to orthogonal stimuli, and conversely larger inhibition for orthogonal relative to preferred stimuli. Excitatory orientation selectivity arises in part from the morphology of the dendritic arbors. Blocking GABAA receptors reduces orientation selectivity of the inhibitory synaptic inputs and the spiking responses. Negative contrast stimuli in the flanking regions produce orientation-selective excitation in part by disinhibition of a tonic NMDA receptor-mediated input arising from ON bipolar cells. Comparison with earlier studies of OFF-type OSGCs indicates that diverse synaptic circuits have evolved in the retina to detect the orientation of edges in the visual input. A core goal for visual neuroscientists is to understand how neural circuits at each stage of the visual system extract and encode features from the visual scene. This study documents a novel type of orientation-selective ganglion cell in the retina and shows that the receptive field structure is remarkably similar to that of simple cells in primary visual cortex. However, the data indicate that, unlike in the cortex, orientation selectivity in the retina depends on the activity of inhibitory interneurons. The

  9. Long-term relationships between cholinergic tone, synchronous bursting and synaptic remodeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya Kaufman

    Full Text Available Cholinergic neuromodulation plays key roles in the regulation of neuronal excitability, network activity, arousal, and behavior. On longer time scales, cholinergic systems play essential roles in cortical development, maturation, and plasticity. Presumably, these processes are associated with substantial synaptic remodeling, yet to date, long-term relationships between cholinergic tone and synaptic remodeling remain largely unknown. Here we used automated microscopy combined with multielectrode array recordings to study long-term relationships between cholinergic tone, excitatory synapse remodeling, and network activity characteristics in networks of cortical neurons grown on multielectrode array substrates. Experimental elevations of cholinergic tone led to the abrupt suppression of episodic synchronous bursting activity (but not of general activity, followed by a gradual growth of excitatory synapses over hours. Subsequent blockage of cholinergic receptors led to an immediate restoration of synchronous bursting and the gradual reversal of synaptic growth. Neither synaptic growth nor downsizing was governed by multiplicative scaling rules. Instead, these occurred in a subset of synapses, irrespective of initial synaptic size. Synaptic growth seemed to depend on intrinsic network activity, but not on the degree to which bursting was suppressed. Intriguingly, sustained elevations of cholinergic tone were associated with a gradual recovery of synchronous bursting but not with a reversal of synaptic growth. These findings show that cholinergic tone can strongly affect synaptic remodeling and synchronous bursting activity, but do not support a strict coupling between the two. Finally, the reemergence of synchronous bursting in the presence of elevated cholinergic tone indicates that the capacity of cholinergic neuromodulation to indefinitely suppress synchronous bursting might be inherently limited.

  10. Long-term Relationships between Cholinergic Tone, Synchronous Bursting and Synaptic Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Maya; Corner, Michael A.; Ziv, Noam E.

    2012-01-01

    Cholinergic neuromodulation plays key roles in the regulation of neuronal excitability, network activity, arousal, and behavior. On longer time scales, cholinergic systems play essential roles in cortical development, maturation, and plasticity. Presumably, these processes are associated with substantial synaptic remodeling, yet to date, long-term relationships between cholinergic tone and synaptic remodeling remain largely unknown. Here we used automated microscopy combined with multielectrode array recordings to study long-term relationships between cholinergic tone, excitatory synapse remodeling, and network activity characteristics in networks of cortical neurons grown on multielectrode array substrates. Experimental elevations of cholinergic tone led to the abrupt suppression of episodic synchronous bursting activity (but not of general activity), followed by a gradual growth of excitatory synapses over hours. Subsequent blockage of cholinergic receptors led to an immediate restoration of synchronous bursting and the gradual reversal of synaptic growth. Neither synaptic growth nor downsizing was governed by multiplicative scaling rules. Instead, these occurred in a subset of synapses, irrespective of initial synaptic size. Synaptic growth seemed to depend on intrinsic network activity, but not on the degree to which bursting was suppressed. Intriguingly, sustained elevations of cholinergic tone were associated with a gradual recovery of synchronous bursting but not with a reversal of synaptic growth. These findings show that cholinergic tone can strongly affect synaptic remodeling and synchronous bursting activity, but do not support a strict coupling between the two. Finally, the reemergence of synchronous bursting in the presence of elevated cholinergic tone indicates that the capacity of cholinergic neuromodulation to indefinitely suppress synchronous bursting might be inherently limited. PMID:22911726

  11. Long-term relationships between cholinergic tone, synchronous bursting and synaptic remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Maya; Corner, Michael A; Ziv, Noam E

    2012-01-01

    Cholinergic neuromodulation plays key roles in the regulation of neuronal excitability, network activity, arousal, and behavior. On longer time scales, cholinergic systems play essential roles in cortical development, maturation, and plasticity. Presumably, these processes are associated with substantial synaptic remodeling, yet to date, long-term relationships between cholinergic tone and synaptic remodeling remain largely unknown. Here we used automated microscopy combined with multielectrode array recordings to study long-term relationships between cholinergic tone, excitatory synapse remodeling, and network activity characteristics in networks of cortical neurons grown on multielectrode array substrates. Experimental elevations of cholinergic tone led to the abrupt suppression of episodic synchronous bursting activity (but not of general activity), followed by a gradual growth of excitatory synapses over hours. Subsequent blockage of cholinergic receptors led to an immediate restoration of synchronous bursting and the gradual reversal of synaptic growth. Neither synaptic growth nor downsizing was governed by multiplicative scaling rules. Instead, these occurred in a subset of synapses, irrespective of initial synaptic size. Synaptic growth seemed to depend on intrinsic network activity, but not on the degree to which bursting was suppressed. Intriguingly, sustained elevations of cholinergic tone were associated with a gradual recovery of synchronous bursting but not with a reversal of synaptic growth. These findings show that cholinergic tone can strongly affect synaptic remodeling and synchronous bursting activity, but do not support a strict coupling between the two. Finally, the reemergence of synchronous bursting in the presence of elevated cholinergic tone indicates that the capacity of cholinergic neuromodulation to indefinitely suppress synchronous bursting might be inherently limited.

  12. Fast voltage-sensitive dye imaging of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the rat granular retrosplenial cortex.

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    Nixima, Ken'ichi; Okanoya, Kazuo; Ichinohe, Noritaka; Kurotani, Tohru

    2017-09-01

    Rodent granular retrosplenial cortex (GRS) has dense connections between the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and hippocampal formation. GRS superficial pyramidal neurons exhibit distinctive late spiking (LS) firing property and form patchy clusters with prominent apical dendritic bundles. The aim of this study was to investigate spatiotemporal dynamics of signal transduction in the GRS induced by ATN afferent stimulation by using fast voltage-sensitive dye imaging in rat brain slices. In coronal slices, layer 1a stimulation, which presumably activated thalamic fibers, evoked propagation of excitatory synaptic signals from layers 2-4 to layers 5-6 in a direction perpendicular to the layer axis, followed by transverse signal propagation within each layer. In the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonists, inhibitory responses were observed in superficial layers, induced by direct activation of inhibitory interneurons in layer 1. In horizontal slices, excitatory signals in deep layers propagated transversely mainly from posterior to anterior via superficial layers. Cortical inhibitory responses upon layer 1a stimulation in horizontal slices were weaker than those in the coronal slices. Observed differences between coronal and horizontal planes suggest anisotropy of the intracortical circuitry. In conclusion, ATN inputs are processed differently in coronal and horizontal planes of the GRS and then conveyed to other cortical areas. In both planes, GRS superficial layers play an important role in signal propagation, which suggests that superficial neuronal cascade is crucial in the integration of multiple information sources. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Superficial neurons in the rat granular retrosplenial cortex (GRS) show distinctive late-spiking (LS) firing property. However, little is known about spatiotemporal dynamics of signal transduction in the GRS. We demonstrated LS neuron network relaying thalamic inputs to deep layers and anisotropic distribution of

  13. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

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    Escobar, Gina

    Learning and long-term memory rely on plasticity of neural circuits. In adult cerebral cortex plasticity can be mediated by modulation of existing synapses and structural reorganization of circuits through growth and retraction of dendritic spines. In the first part of this thesis, we describe a theoretical framework for the analysis of spine remodeling plasticity. New synaptic contacts appear in the neuropil where gaps between axonal and dendritic branches can be bridged by dendritic spines. Such sites are termed potential synapses. We derive expressions for the densities of potential synapses in the neuropil. We calculate the ratio of actual to potential synapses, called the connectivity fraction, and use it to find the number of structurally different circuits attainable with spine remodeling. These parameters are calculated in four systems: mouse occipital cortex, rat hippocampal area CA1, monkey primary visual (V1), and human temporal cortex. The neurogeometric results indicate that a dendritic spine can choose among an average of 4-7 potential targets in rodents, while in primates it can choose from 10-20 potential targets. The potential of the neuropil to undergo circuit remodeling is found to be highest in rat CA1 (4.9-6.0 nats/mum 3) and lowest in monkey V1 (0.9-1.0 nats/mum3). We evaluate the lower bound of neuron selectivity in the choice of synaptic partners and find that post-synaptic excitatory neurons in rodents make synaptic contacts with more than 21-30% of pre-synaptic axons encountered with new spine growth. Primate neurons appear to be more selective, making synaptic connections with more than 7-15% of encountered axons. Another plasticity mechanism is included in the second part of this work: long-term potentiation and depression of excitatory synaptic connections. Because synaptic strength is correlated with the size of the synapse, the former can be inferred from the distribution of spine head volumes. To this end we analyze and compare 166

  14. Synaptic E-I Balance Underlies Efficient Neural Coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Shanglin; Yu, Yuguo

    2018-01-01

    Both theoretical and experimental evidence indicate that synaptic excitation and inhibition in the cerebral cortex are well-balanced during the resting state and sensory processing. Here, we briefly summarize the evidence for how neural circuits are adjusted to achieve this balance. Then, we discuss how such excitatory and inhibitory balance shapes stimulus representation and information propagation, two basic functions of neural coding. We also point out the benefit of adopting such a balance during neural coding. We conclude that excitatory and inhibitory balance may be a fundamental mechanism underlying efficient coding.

  15. Neuronal pentraxin 1: A synaptic-derived plasma biomarker in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Qiu-Lan; Teng, Edmond; Zuo, Xiaohong; Jones, Mychica; Teter, Bruce; Zhao, Evan Y; Zhu, Cansheng; Bilousova, Tina; Gylys, Karen H; Apostolova, Liana G; LaDu, Mary Jo; Hossain, Mir Ahamed; Frautschy, Sally A; Cole, Gregory M

    2018-06-01

    Synaptic neurodegeneration is thought to be an early event initiated by soluble β-amyloid (Aβ) aggregates that closely correlates with cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease (AD). Apolipoprotein ε4 (APOE4) is the most common genetic risk factor for both familial AD (FAD) and sporadic AD; it accelerates Aβ aggregation and selectively impairs glutamate receptor function and synaptic plasticity. However, its molecular mechanisms remain elusive and these synaptic deficits are difficult to monitor. AD- and APOE4-dependent plasma biomarkers have been proposed, but synapse-related plasma biomarkers are lacking. We evaluated neuronal pentraxin 1 (NP1), a potential CNS-derived plasma biomarker of excitatory synaptic pathology. NP1 is preferentially expressed in brain and involved in glutamate receptor internalization. NP1 is secreted presynaptically induced by Aβ oligomers, and implicated in excitatory synaptic and mitochondrial deficits. Levels of NP1 and its fragments were increased in a correlated fashion in both brain and plasma of 7-8 month-old E4FAD mice relative to E3FAD mice. NP1 was also found in exosome preparations and reduced by dietary DHA supplementation. Plasma NP1 was higher in E4FAD+ (APOE4 +/+ /FAD +/- ) relative to E4FAD- (non-carrier; APOE4 +/+ /FAD -/- ) mice, suggesting NP1 is modulated by Aβ expression. Finally, relative to normal elderly, plasma NP1 was also elevated in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and elevated further in the subset who progressed to early-stage AD. In those patients, there was a trend towards increased NP1 levels in APOE4 carriers relative to non-carriers. These findings indicate that NP1 may represent a potential synapse-derived plasma biomarker relevant to early alterations in excitatory synapses in MCI and early-stage AD. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Voluntary nicotine consumption triggers in vivo potentiation of cortical excitatory drives to midbrain dopaminergic neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Caillé, S.; Guillem, K.; Cador, M.; Manzoni, O.; Georges, F.

    2009-01-01

    Active response to either natural or pharmacological reward causes synaptic modifications to excitatory synapses on dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Here, we examine these modifications using nicotine, the main addictive component of tobacco, which is a potent regulator of

  17. Age-related deficits in synaptic plasticity rescued by activating PKA or PKC in sensory neurons of Aplysia californica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Kempsell

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Brain aging is associated with declines in synaptic function that contribute to memory loss, including reduced postsynaptic response to neurotransmitters and decreased neuronal excitability. To understand how aging affects memory in a simple neural circuit, we studied neuronal proxies of memory for sensitization in mature versus advanced age Aplysia. Glutamate- (L-Glu- evoked excitatory currents were facilitated by the neuromodulator serotonin (5-HT in sensory neurons (SN isolated from mature but not aged animals. Activation of PKA and PKC signaling rescued facilitation of L-Glu currents in aged SN. Similarly, PKA and PKC activators restored increased excitability in aged tail SN. These results suggest that altered synaptic plasticity during aging involves defects in second messenger systems

  18. Synaptic behaviors of thin-film transistor with a Pt/HfO x /n-type indium–gallium–zinc oxide gate stack

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    Yang, Paul; Park, Daehoon; Beom, Keonwon; Kim, Hyung Jun; Kang, Chi Jung; Yoon, Tae-Sik

    2018-07-01

    We report a variety of synaptic behaviors in a thin-film transistor (TFT) with a metal-oxide-semiconductor gate stack that has a Pt/HfO x /n-type indium–gallium–zinc oxide (n-IGZO) structure. The three-terminal synaptic TFT exhibits a tunable synaptic weight with a drain current modulation upon repeated application of gate and drain voltages. The synaptic weight modulation is analog, voltage-polarity dependent reversible, and strong with a dynamic range of multiple orders of magnitude (>104). This modulation process emulates biological synaptic potentiation, depression, excitatory-postsynaptic current, paired-pulse facilitation, and short-term to long-term memory transition behaviors as a result of repeated pulsing with respect to the pulse amplitude, width, repetition number, and the interval between pulses. These synaptic behaviors are interpreted based on the changes in the capacitance of the Pt/HfO x /n-IGZO gate stack, the channel mobility, and the threshold voltage that result from the redistribution of oxygen ions by the applied gate voltage. These results demonstrate the potential of this structure for three-terminal synaptic transistor using the gate stack composed of the HfO x gate insulator and the IGZO channel layer.

  19. Synaptic behaviors of thin-film transistor with a Pt/HfO x /n-type indium-gallium-zinc oxide gate stack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Paul; Park, Daehoon; Beom, Keonwon; Kim, Hyung Jun; Kang, Chi Jung; Yoon, Tae-Sik

    2018-07-20

    We report a variety of synaptic behaviors in a thin-film transistor (TFT) with a metal-oxide-semiconductor gate stack that has a Pt/HfO x /n-type indium-gallium-zinc oxide (n-IGZO) structure. The three-terminal synaptic TFT exhibits a tunable synaptic weight with a drain current modulation upon repeated application of gate and drain voltages. The synaptic weight modulation is analog, voltage-polarity dependent reversible, and strong with a dynamic range of multiple orders of magnitude (>10 4 ). This modulation process emulates biological synaptic potentiation, depression, excitatory-postsynaptic current, paired-pulse facilitation, and short-term to long-term memory transition behaviors as a result of repeated pulsing with respect to the pulse amplitude, width, repetition number, and the interval between pulses. These synaptic behaviors are interpreted based on the changes in the capacitance of the Pt/HfO x /n-IGZO gate stack, the channel mobility, and the threshold voltage that result from the redistribution of oxygen ions by the applied gate voltage. These results demonstrate the potential of this structure for three-terminal synaptic transistor using the gate stack composed of the HfO x gate insulator and the IGZO channel layer.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Husseini Alaa

    2005-03-01

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

  1. Contribution of presynaptic HCN channels to excitatory inputs of spinal substantia gelatinosa neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, S-C; Wu, J; Zhang, D-Y; Jiang, C-Y; Xie, C-N; Liu, T

    2017-09-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels are pathological pain-associated voltage-gated ion channels. They are widely expressed in central nervous system including spinal lamina II (also named the substantia gelatinosa, SG). Here, we examined the distribution of HCN channels in glutamatergic synaptic terminals as well as their role in the modulation of synaptic transmission in SG neurons from SD rats and glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 (GAD67)-GFP mice. We found that the expression of the HCN channel isoforms was varied in SG. The HCN4 isoform showed the highest level of co-localization with VGLUT2 (23±3%). In 53% (n=21/40 neurons) of the SG neurons examined in SD rats, application of HCN channel blocker, ZD7288 (10μM), decreased the frequency of spontaneous (s) and miniature (m) excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) by 37±4% and 33±4%, respectively. Consistently, forskolin (FSK) (an activator of adenylate cyclase) significantly increased the frequency of mEPSCs by 225±34%, which could be partially inhibited by ZD7288. Interestingly, the effects of ZD7288 and FSK on sEPSC frequency were replicated in non-GFP-expressing neurons, but not in GFP-expressing GABAergic SG neurons, in GAD67-GFP transgenic C57/BL6 mice. In summary, our results represent a previously unknown cellular mechanism by which presynaptic HCN channels, especially HCN4, regulate the glutamate release from presynaptic terminals that target excitatory, but not inhibitory SG interneurons. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Preparation of synaptic plasma membrane and postsynaptic density proteins using a discontinuous sucrose gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermejo, Marie Kristel; Milenkovic, Marija; Salahpour, Ali; Ramsey, Amy J

    2014-09-03

    Neuronal subcellular fractionation techniques allow the quantification of proteins that are trafficked to and from the synapse. As originally described in the late 1960's, proteins associated with the synaptic plasma membrane can be isolated by ultracentrifugation on a sucrose density gradient. Once synaptic membranes are isolated, the macromolecular complex known as the post-synaptic density can be subsequently isolated due to its detergent insolubility. The techniques used to isolate synaptic plasma membranes and post-synaptic density proteins remain essentially the same after 40 years, and are widely used in current neuroscience research. This article details the fractionation of proteins associated with the synaptic plasma membrane and post-synaptic density using a discontinuous sucrose gradient. Resulting protein preparations are suitable for western blotting or 2D DIGE analysis.

  3. Regulation of the Postsynaptic Compartment of Excitatory Synapses by the Actin Cytoskeleton in Health and Its Disruption in Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly Stefen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Disruption of synaptic function at excitatory synapses is one of the earliest pathological changes seen in wide range of neurological diseases. The proper control of the segregation of neurotransmitter receptors at these synapses is directly correlated with the intact regulation of the postsynaptic cytoskeleton. In this review, we are discussing key factors that regulate the structure and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton, the major cytoskeletal building block that supports the postsynaptic compartment. Special attention is given to the complex interplay of actin-associated proteins that are found in the synaptic specialization. We then discuss our current understanding of how disruption of these cytoskeletal elements may contribute to the pathological events observed in the nervous system under disease conditions with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

  4. Serotonin increases synaptic activity in olfactory bulb glomeruli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brill, Julia; Shao, Zuoyi; Puche, Adam C; Wachowiak, Matt; Shipley, Michael T

    2016-03-01

    Serotoninergic fibers densely innervate olfactory bulb glomeruli, the first sites of synaptic integration in the olfactory system. Acting through 5HT2A receptors, serotonin (5HT) directly excites external tufted cells (ETCs), key excitatory glomerular neurons, and depolarizes some mitral cells (MCs), the olfactory bulb's main output neurons. We further investigated 5HT action on MCs and determined its effects on the two major classes of glomerular interneurons: GABAergic/dopaminergic short axon cells (SACs) and GABAergic periglomerular cells (PGCs). In SACs, 5HT evoked a depolarizing current mediated by 5HT2C receptors but did not significantly impact spike rate. 5HT had no measurable direct effect in PGCs. Serotonin increased spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs and sIPSCs) in PGCs and SACs. Increased sEPSCs were mediated by 5HT2A receptors, suggesting that they are primarily due to enhanced excitatory drive from ETCs. Increased sIPSCs resulted from elevated excitatory drive onto GABAergic interneurons and augmented GABA release from SACs. Serotonin-mediated GABA release from SACs was action potential independent and significantly increased miniature IPSC frequency in glomerular neurons. When focally applied to a glomerulus, 5HT increased MC spontaneous firing greater than twofold but did not increase olfactory nerve-evoked responses. Taken together, 5HT modulates glomerular network activity in several ways: 1) it increases ETC-mediated feed-forward excitation onto MCs, SACs, and PGCs; 2) it increases inhibition of glomerular interneurons; 3) it directly triggers action potential-independent GABA release from SACs; and 4) these network actions increase spontaneous MC firing without enhancing responses to suprathreshold sensory input. This may enhance MC sensitivity while maintaining dynamic range. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Age-related deficits in synaptic plasticity rescued by activating PKA or PKC in sensory neurons of Aplysia californica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempsell, Andrew T; Fieber, Lynne A

    2015-01-01

    Brain aging is associated with declines in synaptic function that contribute to memory loss, including reduced postsynaptic response to neurotransmitters and decreased neuronal excitability. To understand how aging affects memory in a simple neural circuit, we studied neuronal proxies of memory for sensitization in mature vs. advanced age Aplysia californica (Aplysia). L-Glutamate- (L-Glu-) evoked excitatory currents were facilitated by the neuromodulator serotonin (5-HT) in sensory neurons (SN) isolated from mature but not aged animals. Activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling rescued facilitation of L-Glu currents in aged SN. Similarly, PKA and PKC activators restored increased excitability in aged tail SN. These results suggest that altered synaptic plasticity during aging involves defects in second messenger systems.

  6. Diurnal rhythms in neurexins transcripts and inhibitory/excitatory synapse scaffold proteins in the biological clock.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mika Shapiro-Reznik

    Full Text Available The neurexin genes (NRXN1/2/3 encode two families (α and β of highly polymorphic presynaptic proteins that are involved in excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance. Recent studies indicate that neuronal activation and memory formation affect NRXN1/2/3α expression and alternative splicing at splice sites 3 and 4 (SS#3/SS#4. Neurons in the biological clock residing in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus (SCN act as self-sustained oscillators, generating rhythms in gene expression and electrical activity, to entrain circadian bodily rhythms to the 24 hours day/night cycles. Cell autonomous oscillations in NRXN1/2/3α expression and SS#3/SS#4 exons splicing and their links to rhythms in excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in the circadian clock were explored. NRXN1/2/3α expression and SS#3/SS#4 splicing, levels of neurexin-2α and the synaptic scaffolding proteins PSD-95 and gephyrin (representing excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively were studied in mRNA and protein extracts obtained from SCN of C3H/J mice at different times of the 24 hours day/night cycle. Further studies explored the circadian oscillations in these components and causality relationships in immortalized rat SCN2.2 cells. Diurnal rhythms in mNRXN1α and mNRXN2α transcription, SS#3/SS#4 exon-inclusion and PSD-95 gephyrin and neurexin-2α levels were found in the SCN in vivo. No such rhythms were found with mNRXN3α. SCN2.2 cells also exhibited autonomous circadian rhythms in rNRXN1/2 expression SS#3/SS#4 exon inclusion and PSD-95, gephyrin and neurexin-2α levels. rNRXN3α and rNRXN1/2β were not expressed. Causal relationships were demonstrated, by use of specific siRNAs, between rNRXN2α SS#3 exon included transcripts and gephyrin levels in the SCN2.2 cells. These results show for the first time dynamic, cell autonomous, diurnal rhythms in expression and splicing of NRXN1/2 and subsequent effects on the expression of neurexin-2α and postsynaptic

  7. Leucine-rich repeat-containing synaptic adhesion molecules as organizers of synaptic specificity and diversity.

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    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

    The brain harbors billions of neurons that form distinct neural circuits with exquisite specificity. Specific patterns of connectivity between distinct neuronal cell types permit the transfer and computation of information. The molecular correlates that give rise to synaptic specificity are incompletely understood. Recent studies indicate that cell-surface molecules are important determinants of cell type identity and suggest that these are essential players in the specification of synaptic connectivity. Leucine-rich repeat (LRR)-containing adhesion molecules in particular have emerged as key organizers of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Here, we discuss emerging evidence that LRR proteins regulate the assembly of specific connectivity patterns across neural circuits, and contribute to the diverse structural and functional properties of synapses, two key features that are critical for the proper formation and function of neural circuits.

  8. Synaptic Conductance Estimates of the Connection Between Local Inhibitor Interneurons and Pyramidal Neurons in Layer 2/3 of a Cortical Column

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Jochen H.O.; Meyer, H. S.; Schmitt, Arno C.; Straehle, Jakob; Weitbrecht, Trinh; Sakmann, Bert; Helmstaedter, Moritz

    2015-01-01

    Stimulation of a principal whisker yields sparse action potential (AP) spiking in layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal neurons in a cortical column of rat barrel cortex. The low AP rates in pyramidal neurons could be explained by activation of interneurons in L2/3 providing inhibition onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons. L2/3 interneurons classified as local inhibitors based on their axonal projection in the same column were reported to receive strong excitatory input from spiny neurons in L4, which are also the main source of the excitatory input to L2/3 pyramidal neurons. Here, we investigated the remaining synaptic connection in this intracolumnar microcircuit. We found strong and reliable inhibitory synaptic transmission between intracolumnar L2/3 local-inhibitor-to-L2/3 pyramidal neuron pairs [inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP) amplitude −0.88 ± 0.67 mV]. On average, 6.2 ± 2 synaptic contacts were made by L2/3 local inhibitors onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons at 107 ± 64 µm path distance from the pyramidal neuron soma, thus overlapping with the distribution of synaptic contacts from L4 spiny neurons onto L2/3 pyramidal neurons (67 ± 34 µm). Finally, using compartmental simulations, we determined the synaptic conductance per synaptic contact to be 0.77 ± 0.4 nS. We conclude that the synaptic circuit from L4 to L2/3 can provide efficient shunting inhibition that is temporally and spatially aligned with the excitatory input from L4 to L2/3. PMID:25761638

  9. TrkB and PKMζ regulate synaptic localization of PSD-95 in developing cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshii, Akira; Murata, Yasunobu; Kim, Jihye; Zhang, Chao; Shokat, Kevan M.; Constantine-Paton, Martha

    2011-01-01

    Post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95), the major scaffold at excitatory synapses, is critical for synapse maturation and learning. In rodents, eye opening, the onset of pattern vision, triggers a rapid movement of PSD-95 from visual neuron somata to synapses. We previously showed that the PI3 kinase-Akt pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB signaling stimulates synaptic delivery of PSD-95 via vesicular transport. However, vesicular transport requires PSD-95 palmitoylation to attach it to a lipid membrane. Also PSD-95 insertion at synapses is known to require this lipid modification. Here, we show that BDNF/TrkB signaling is also necessary for PSD-95 palmitoylation and its transport to synapses in mouse visual cortical layer 2/3 neurons. However, palmitoylation of PSD-95 requires the activation of another pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB, namely signaling through PLCγ and the brain-specific PKC variant PKMζ. We find that PKMζ selectively regulates phosphorylation of the palmitoylation enzyme ZDHHC8. Inhibition of PKMζ results in a reduction of synaptic PSD-95 accumulation in vivo, which can be rescued by over-expression ZDHHC8. Therefore, TrkB and PKMζ, two critical regulators of synaptic plasticity, facilitate PSD-95 targeting to synapses. These results also indicate that palmitoylation can be regulated by a trophic factor. Our findings have implications for neurodevelopmental disorders as well as ageing brains. PMID:21849550

  10. Monte carlo simulation of vesicular release, spatiotemporal distribution of glutamate in synaptic cleft and generation of postsynaptic currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavinovíc, M I

    1999-02-01

    The release of vesicular glutamate, spatiotemporal changes in glutamate concentration in the synaptic cleft and the subsequent generation of fast excitatory postsynaptic currents at a hippocampal synapse were modeled using the Monte Carlo method. It is assumed that glutamate is released from a spherical vesicle through a cylindrical fusion pore into the synaptic cleft and that S-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy -5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors are uniformly distributed postsynaptically. The time course of change in vesicular concentration can be described by a single exponential, but a slow tail is also observed though only following the release of most of the glutamate. The time constant of decay increases with vesicular size and a lower diffusion constant, and is independent of the initial concentration, becoming markedly shorter for wider fusion pores. The cleft concentration at the fusion pore mouth is not negligible compared to vesicular concentration, especially for wider fusion pores. Lateral equilibration of glutamate is rapid, and within approximately 50 micros all AMPA receptors on average see the same concentration of glutamate. Nevertheless the single-channel current and the number of channels estimated from mean-variance plots are unreliable and different when estimated from rise- and decay-current segments. Greater saturation of AMPA receptor channels provides higher but not more accurate estimates. Two factors contribute to the variability of postsynaptic currents and render the mean-variance nonstationary analysis unreliable, even when all receptors see on average the same glutamate concentration. Firstly, the variability of the instantaneous cleft concentration of glutamate, unlike the mean concentration, first rapidly decreases before slowly increasing; the variability is greater for fewer molecules in the cleft and is spatially nonuniform. Secondly, the efficacy with which glutamate produces a response changes with time. Understanding

  11. Maximum likelihood estimation of biophysical parameters of synaptic receptors from macroscopic currents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey eStepanyuk

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Dendritic integration and neuronal firing patterns strongly depend on biophysical properties of synaptic ligand-gated channels. However, precise estimation of biophysical parameters of these channels in their intrinsic environment is complicated and still unresolved problem. Here we describe a novel method based on a maximum likelihood approach that allows to estimate not only the unitary current of synaptic receptor channels but also their multiple conductance levels, kinetic constants, the number of receptors bound with a neurotransmitter and the peak open probability from experimentally feasible number of postsynaptic currents. The new method also improves the accuracy of evaluation of unitary current as compared to the peak-scaled non-stationary fluctuation analysis, leading to a possibility to precisely estimate this important parameter from a few postsynaptic currents recorded in steady-state conditions. Estimation of unitary current with this method is robust even if postsynaptic currents are generated by receptors having different kinetic parameters, the case when peak-scaled non-stationary fluctuation analysis is not applicable. Thus, with the new method, routinely recorded postsynaptic currents could be used to study the properties of synaptic receptors in their native biochemical environment.

  12. Emergence of Functional Specificity in Balanced Networks with Synaptic Plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In rodent visual cortex, synaptic connections between orientation-selective neurons are unspecific at the time of eye opening, and become to some degree functionally specific only later during development. An explanation for this two-stage process was proposed in terms of Hebbian plasticity based on visual experience that would eventually enhance connections between neurons with similar response features. For this to work, however, two conditions must be satisfied: First, orientation selective neuronal responses must exist before specific recurrent synaptic connections can be established. Second, Hebbian learning must be compatible with the recurrent network dynamics contributing to orientation selectivity, and the resulting specific connectivity must remain stable for unspecific background activity. Previous studies have mainly focused on very simple models, where the receptive fields of neurons were essentially determined by feedforward mechanisms, and where the recurrent network was small, lacking the complex recurrent dynamics of large-scale networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Here we studied the emergence of functionally specific connectivity in large-scale recurrent networks with synaptic plasticity. Our results show that balanced random networks, which already exhibit highly selective responses at eye opening, can develop feature-specific connectivity if appropriate rules of synaptic plasticity are invoked within and between excitatory and inhibitory populations. If these conditions are met, the initial orientation selectivity guides the process of Hebbian learning and, as a result, functionally specific and a surplus of bidirectional connections emerge. Our results thus demonstrate the cooperation of synaptic plasticity and recurrent dynamics in large-scale functional networks with realistic receptive fields, highlight the role of inhibition as a critical element in this process, and paves the road for further computational

  13. Synaptic Plasticity and Excitation-Inhibition Balance in the Dentate Gyrus: Insights from In Vivo Recordings in Neuroligin-1, Neuroligin-2, and Collybistin Knockouts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedlicka, Peter; Muellerleile, Julia; Schwarzacher, Stephan W

    2018-01-01

    The hippocampal dentate gyrus plays a role in spatial learning and memory and is thought to encode differences between similar environments. The integrity of excitatory and inhibitory transmission and a fine balance between them is essential for efficient processing of information. Therefore, identification and functional characterization of crucial molecular players at excitatory and inhibitory inputs is critical for understanding the dentate gyrus function. In this minireview, we discuss recent studies unraveling molecular mechanisms of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic transmission, long-term synaptic plasticity, and dentate granule cell excitability in the hippocampus of live animals. We focus on the role of three major postsynaptic proteins localized at excitatory (neuroligin-1) and inhibitory synapses (neuroligin-2 and collybistin). In vivo recordings of field potentials have the advantage of characterizing the effects of the loss of these proteins on the input-output function of granule cells embedded in a network with intact connectivity. The lack of neuroligin-1 leads to deficient synaptic plasticity and reduced excitation but normal granule cell output, suggesting unaltered excitation-inhibition ratio. In contrast, the lack of neuroligin-2 and collybistin reduces inhibition resulting in a shift towards excitation of the dentate circuitry.

  14. Synaptic Plasticity and Excitation-Inhibition Balance in the Dentate Gyrus: Insights from In Vivo Recordings in Neuroligin-1, Neuroligin-2, and Collybistin Knockouts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Jedlicka

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampal dentate gyrus plays a role in spatial learning and memory and is thought to encode differences between similar environments. The integrity of excitatory and inhibitory transmission and a fine balance between them is essential for efficient processing of information. Therefore, identification and functional characterization of crucial molecular players at excitatory and inhibitory inputs is critical for understanding the dentate gyrus function. In this minireview, we discuss recent studies unraveling molecular mechanisms of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic transmission, long-term synaptic plasticity, and dentate granule cell excitability in the hippocampus of live animals. We focus on the role of three major postsynaptic proteins localized at excitatory (neuroligin-1 and inhibitory synapses (neuroligin-2 and collybistin. In vivo recordings of field potentials have the advantage of characterizing the effects of the loss of these proteins on the input-output function of granule cells embedded in a network with intact connectivity. The lack of neuroligin-1 leads to deficient synaptic plasticity and reduced excitation but normal granule cell output, suggesting unaltered excitation-inhibition ratio. In contrast, the lack of neuroligin-2 and collybistin reduces inhibition resulting in a shift towards excitation of the dentate circuitry.

  15. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

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    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We fabricate a biometric laser fiber synaptic sensor to transmit information from one neuron cell to the other by an optical way. The optical synapse is constructed on the base of an erbium-doped fiber laser, whose pumped diode current is driven by a pre-synaptic FitzHugh–Nagumo electronic neuron, and the laser output controls a post-synaptic FitzHugh–Nagumo electronic neuron. The implemented laser synapse displays very rich dynamics, including fixed points, periodic orbits with different frequency-locking ratios and chaos. These regimes can be beneficial for efficient biorobotics, where behavioral flexibility subserved by synaptic connectivity is a challenge.

  16. Synaptic Changes in AMPA Receptor Subunit Expression in Cortical Parvalbumin Interneurons in the Stargazer Model of Absence Epilepsy

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    Nadia K. Adotevi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Feedforward inhibition is essential to prevent run away excitation within the brain. Recent evidence suggests that a loss of feed-forward inhibition in the corticothalamocortical circuitry may underlie some absence seizures. However, it is unclear if this aberration is specifically linked to loss of synaptic excitation onto local fast-spiking parvalbumin-containing (PV+ inhibitory interneurons, which are responsible for mediating feedforward inhibition within cortical networks. We recently reported a global tissue loss of AMPA receptors (AMPARs, and a specific mistrafficking of these AMPARs in PV+ interneurons in the stargazer somatosensory cortex. The current study was aimed at investigating if cellular changes in AMPAR expression were translated into deficits in receptors at specific synapses in the feedforward inhibitory microcircuit. Using western blot immunolabeling on biochemically isolated synaptic fractions, we demonstrate a loss of AMPAR GluA1–4 subunits in the somatosensory cortex of stargazers compared to non-epileptic control mice. Furthermore, using double post-embedding immunogold-cytochemistry, we show a loss of GluA1–4-AMPARs at excitatory synapses onto cortical PV+ interneurons. Altogether, these data indicate a loss of synaptic AMPAR-mediated excitation of cortical PV+ inhibitory neurons. As the cortex is considered the site of initiation of spike wave discharges (SWDs within the corticothalamocortical circuitry, loss of AMPARs at cortical PV+ interneurons likely impairs feed-forward inhibitory output, and contributes to the generation of SWDs and absence seizures in stargazers.

  17. The distribution of excitatory amino acid receptors on acutely dissociated dorsal horn neurons from postnatal rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arancio, O; Yoshimura, M; Murase, K; MacDermott, A B

    1993-01-01

    Excitatory amino acid receptor distribution was mapped on acutely dissociated neurons from postnatal rat spinal cord dorsal horn. N-methyl D-aspartate, quisqualate and kainate were applied to multiple locations along the somal and dendritic surfaces of voltage-clamped neurons by means of a pressure application system. To partially compensate for the decrement of response amplitude due to current loss between the site of activation on the dendrite and the recording electrode at the soma, a solution containing 0.15 M KCl was applied on the cell bodies and dendrites of some cells to estimate an empirical length constant. In the majority of the cells tested, the dendritic membrane had regions of higher sensitivity to excitatory amino acid agonists than the somatic membrane, with dendritic response amplitudes reaching more than seven times those at the cell body. A comparison of the relative changes in sensitivity between each combination of two of the three excitatory amino acid agonists along the same dendrite showed different patterns of agonist sensitivity along the dendrite in the majority of the cells. These data were obtained from dorsal horn neurons that had developed and formed synaptic connections in vivo. They demonstrate that in contrast to observations made on ventral horn neurons, receptor density for all the excitatory amino acid receptors on dorsal horn neurons, including the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, are generally higher on the dendrites than on the soma. Further, these results are similar to those obtained from dorsal horn neurons grown in culture.

  18. Experience-Dependent Equilibration of AMPAR-Mediated Synaptic Transmission during the Critical Period

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    Kyung-Seok Han

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Experience-dependent synapse refinement is essential for functional optimization of neural circuits. However, how sensory experience sculpts excitatory synaptic transmission is poorly understood. Here, we show that despite substantial remodeling of synaptic connectivity, AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission remains at equilibrium during the critical period in the mouse primary visual cortex. The maintenance of this equilibrium requires neurogranin (Ng, a postsynaptic calmodulin-binding protein important for synaptic plasticity. With normal visual experience, loss of Ng decreased AMPAR-positive synapse numbers, prevented AMPAR-silent synapse maturation, and increased spine elimination. Importantly, visual deprivation halted synapse loss caused by loss of Ng, revealing that Ng coordinates experience-dependent AMPAR-silent synapse conversion to AMPAR-active synapses and synapse elimination. Loss of Ng also led to sensitized long-term synaptic depression (LTD and impaired visually guided behavior. Our synaptic interrogation reveals that experience-dependent coordination of AMPAR-silent synapse conversion and synapse elimination hinges upon Ng-dependent mechanisms for constructive synaptic refinement during the critical period.

  19. Long-lasting alterations in membrane properties, K+ currents and glutamatergic synaptic currents of nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons in a rat model of alcohol dependence

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    Igor eSpigelman

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Chronic alcohol exposure causes marked changes in reinforcement mechanisms and motivational state that are thought to contribute to the development of cravings and relapse during protracted withdrawal. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc is a key structure of the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system. Although the NAcc plays an important role in mediating alcohol-seeking behaviors, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced neuroadaptive changes in NAcc function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE treatment, a rat model of alcohol withdrawal and dependence, on intrinsic electrical membrane properties and glutamatergic synaptic transmission of medium spiny neurons (MSNs in the NAcc core during protracted withdrawal. We show that CIE treatment followed by prolonged withdrawal increased the inward rectification of MSNs observed at hyperpolarized potentials. In addition, MSNs from CIE-treated animals displayed a lower input resistance, faster action potentials (APs and larger fast afterhyperpolarizations (fAHPs than MSNs from vehicle-treated animals, all suggestive of increases in K+-channel conductances. Significant increases in the Cs+-sensitive inwardly-rectifying K+-current accounted for the increased input resistance, while increases in the A-type K+-current accounted for the faster APs and increased fAHPs in MSNs from CIE rats. We also show that the amplitude and the conductance of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR-mediated mEPSCs were enhanced in CIE-treated animals due to an increase in a small fraction of functional postsynaptic GluA2-lacking AMPARs. These long-lasting modifications of excitability and excitatory synaptic receptor function of MSNs in the NAcc core could play a critical role in the neuroadaptive changes underlying alcohol withdrawal and dependence.

  20. Spatiotemporal discrimination in neural networks with short-term synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shlaer, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

    Cells in recurrently connected neural networks exhibit bistability, which allows for stimulus information to persist in a circuit even after stimulus offset, i.e. short-term memory. However, such a system does not have enough hysteresis to encode temporal information about the stimuli. The biophysically described phenomenon of synaptic depression decreases synaptic transmission strengths due to increased presynaptic activity. This short-term reduction in synaptic strengths can destabilize attractor states in excitatory recurrent neural networks, causing the network to move along stimulus dependent dynamical trajectories. Such a network can successfully separate amplitudes and durations of stimuli from the number of successive stimuli. Stimulus number, duration and intensity encoding in randomly connected attractor networks with synaptic depression. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 7:59., and so provides a strong candidate network for the encoding of spatiotemporal information. Here we explicitly demonstrate the capability of a recurrent neural network with short-term synaptic depression to discriminate between the temporal sequences in which spatial stimuli are presented.

  1. Amyloid precursor protein overexpression depresses excitatory transmission through both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Ting, Jonathan T.; Kelley, Brooke G.; Lambert, Talley J.; Cook, David G.; Sullivan, Jane M.

    2006-01-01

    Overexpression of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in hippocampal neurons leads to elevated β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) production and consequent depression of excitatory transmission. The precise mechanisms underlying APP-induced synaptic depression are poorly understood. Uncovering these mechanisms could provide insight into how neuronal function is compromised before cell death during the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Here we verify that APP up-regulation leads to depression of transm...

  2. Synaptic conductances during interictal discharges in pyramidal neurons of rat entorhinal cortex

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    Dmitry V. Amakhin

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In epilepsy, the balance of excitation and inhibition underlying the basis of neural network activity shifts, resulting in neuronal network hyperexcitability and recurrent seizure-associated discharges. Mechanisms involved in ictal and interictal events are not fully understood, in particular, because of controversial data regarding the dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances. In the present study, we estimated AMPAR-, NMDAR-, and GABAAR-mediated conductances during two distinct types of interictal discharge (IID in pyramidal neurons of rat entorhinal cortex in cortico-hippocampal slices. Repetitively emerging seizure-like events and IIDs were recorded in high extracellular potassium, 4-aminopyridine, and reduced magnesium-containing solution. An original procedure for estimating synaptic conductance during IIDs was based on the differences among the current-voltage characteristics of the synaptic components. The synaptic conductance dynamics obtained revealed that the first type of IID is determined by activity of GABAAR channels with depolarized reversal potential. The second type of IID is determined by the interplay between excitation and inhibition, with prominent early AMPAR and prolonged depolarized GABAAR and NMDAR-mediated components. The study then validated the contribution of these components to IIDs by intracellular pharmacological isolation. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms of seizures generation, development, and cessation.

  3. Opposing effects of traumatic brain injury on excitatory synaptic function in the lateral amygdala in the absence and presence of preinjury stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Rebecca C; Acheson, Shawn K; Qadri, Laura H; Dawson, Alina A; Rodriguiz, Ramona M; Wetsel, William C; Moore, Scott D; Laskowitz, Daniel T; Dawson, Hana N

    2016-06-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability among young adults and is highly prevalent among recently deployed military personnel. Survivors of TBI often experience cognitive and emotional deficits, suggesting that long-term effects of injury may disrupt neuronal function in critical brain regions, including the amygdala, which is involved in emotion and fear memory. Amygdala hyperexcitability has been reported in both TBI and posttraumatic stress disorder patients, yet little is known regarding the effects of combined stress and TBI on amygdala structure and function at the neuronal level. The present study seeks to determine how the long-term effects of preinjury foot-shock stress and TBI interact to influence synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA) of adult male C57BL/6J mice by using whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology 2-3 months postinjury. In the absence of stress, TBI resulted in a significant increase in membrane excitability and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in LA pyramidal-like neurons. Foot-shock stress in the absence of TBI also resulted in increased sEPSC activity. In contrast, when preinjury stress and TBI occurred in combination, sEPSC activity was significantly decreased compared with either condition alone. There were no significant differences in inhibitory activity or total dendritic length among any of the treatment groups. These results demonstrate that stress and TBI may be contributing to amygdala hyperexcitability via different mechanisms and that these pathways may counterbalance each other with respect to long-term pathophysiology in the LA. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. SynDIG4/Prrt1 Is Required for Excitatory Synapse Development and Plasticity Underlying Cognitive Function

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    Lucas Matt

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Altering AMPA receptor (AMPAR content at synapses is a key mechanism underlying the regulation of synaptic strength during learning and memory. Previous work demonstrated that SynDIG1 (synapse differentiation-induced gene 1 encodes a transmembrane AMPAR-associated protein that regulates excitatory synapse strength and number. Here we show that the related protein SynDIG4 (also known as Prrt1 modifies AMPAR gating properties in a subunit-dependent manner. Young SynDIG4 knockout (KO mice have weaker excitatory synapses, as evaluated by immunocytochemistry and electrophysiology. Adult SynDIG4 KO mice show complete loss of tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP, while mEPSC amplitude is reduced by only 25%. Furthermore, SynDIG4 KO mice exhibit deficits in two independent cognitive assays. Given that SynDIG4 colocalizes with the AMPAR subunit GluA1 at non-synaptic sites, we propose that SynDIG4 maintains a pool of extrasynaptic AMPARs necessary for synapse development and function underlying higher-order cognitive plasticity.

  5. The Impact of Stimulation Induced Short Term Synaptic Plasticity on Firing Patterns in the Globus Pallidus of the Rat

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    Jenia eBugaysen

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Electrical stimulation in the globus pallidus (GP leads to complex modulations of neuronal activity in the stimulated nucleus. Multiple in-vivo studies have demonstrated the modulation of both firing rates and patterns during and immediately following the GP stimulation. Previous in-vitro studies, together with computational studies, have suggested the involvement of short-term synaptic plasticity (STP during the stimulation. The aim of the current study was to explore in-vitro the effects of STP on neuronal activity of GP neurons during local repetitive stimulation. We recorded synaptic potentials and assessed the modulations of spontaneous firing in a postsynaptic neuron in acute brain slices via a whole-cell pipette. Low-frequency repetitive stimulation locked the firing of the neuron to the stimulus. However, high-frequency repetitive stimulation in the GP generated a biphasic modulation of the firing frequency consisting of inhibitory and excitatory phases. Using blockers of synaptic transmission, we show that GABAergic synapses mediated the inhibitory and glutamatergic synapses the excitatory part of the response. Furthermore, we report that at high stimulation frequencies both types of synapses undergo short-term depression leading to a time dependent modulation of the neuronal firing. These findings indicate that STP modulates the dynamic responses of pallidal activity during electrical stimulation, and may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS like protocols.

  6. Targeting of NF-κB to Dendritic Spines Is Required for Synaptic Signaling and Spine Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dresselhaus, Erica C; Boersma, Matthew C H; Meffert, Mollie K

    2018-04-25

    Long-term forms of brain plasticity share a requirement for changes in gene expression induced by neuronal activity. Mechanisms that determine how the distinct and overlapping functions of multiple activity-responsive transcription factors, including nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), give rise to stimulus-appropriate neuronal responses remain unclear. We report that the p65/RelA subunit of NF-κB confers subcellular enrichment at neuronal dendritic spines and engineer a p65 mutant that lacks spine enrichment (p65ΔSE) but retains inherent transcriptional activity equivalent to wild-type p65. Wild-type p65 or p65ΔSE both rescue NF-κB-dependent gene expression in p65-deficient murine hippocampal neurons responding to diffuse (PMA/ionomycin) stimulation. In contrast, neurons lacking spine-enriched NF-κB are selectively impaired in NF-κB-dependent gene expression induced by elevated excitatory synaptic stimulation (bicuculline or glycine). We used the setting of excitatory synaptic activity during development that produces NF-κB-dependent growth of dendritic spines to test physiological function of spine-enriched NF-κB in an activity-dependent response. Expression of wild-type p65, but not p65ΔSE, is capable of rescuing spine density to normal levels in p65-deficient pyramidal neurons. Collectively, these data reveal that spatial localization in dendritic spines contributes unique capacities to the NF-κB transcription factor in synaptic activity-dependent responses. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Extensive research has established a model in which the regulation of neuronal gene expression enables enduring forms of plasticity and learning. However, mechanisms imparting stimulus specificity to gene regulation, ensuring biologically appropriate responses, remain incompletely understood. NF-κB is a potent transcription factor with evolutionarily conserved functions in learning and the growth of excitatory synaptic contacts. Neuronal NF-κB is localized in both synapse and

  7. Intense synaptic activity enhances temporal resolution in spinal motoneurons.

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    Rune W Berg

    Full Text Available In neurons, spike timing is determined by integration of synaptic potentials in delicate concert with intrinsic properties. Although the integration time is functionally crucial, it remains elusive during network activity. While mechanisms of rapid processing are well documented in sensory systems, agility in motor systems has received little attention. Here we analyze how intense synaptic activity affects integration time in spinal motoneurons during functional motor activity and report a 10-fold decrease. As a result, action potentials can only be predicted from the membrane potential within 10 ms of their occurrence and detected for less than 10 ms after their occurrence. Being shorter than the average inter-spike interval, the AHP has little effect on integration time and spike timing, which instead is entirely determined by fluctuations in membrane potential caused by the barrage of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic activity. By shortening the effective integration time, this intense synaptic input may serve to facilitate the generation of rapid changes in movements.

  8. Synaptic Modifications in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Susceptibility and Resilience to Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Minghui; Perova, Zinaida; Arenkiel, Benjamin R.

    2014-01-01

    When facing stress, most individuals are resilient whereas others are prone to developing mood disorders. The brain mechanisms underlying such divergent behavioral responses remain unclear. Here we used the learned helplessness procedure in mice to examine the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain region highly implicated in both clinical and animal models of depression, in adaptive and maladaptive behavioral responses to stress. We found that uncontrollable and inescapable stress induced behavioral state-dependent changes in the excitatory synapses onto a subset of mPFC neurons: those that were activated during behavioral responses as indicated by their expression of the activity reporter c-Fos. Whereas synaptic potentiation was linked to learned helplessness, a depression-like behavior, synaptic weakening, was associated with resilience to stress. Notably, enhancing the activity of mPFC neurons using a chemical–genetic method was sufficient to convert the resilient behavior into helplessness. Our results provide direct evidence that mPFC dysfunction is linked to maladaptive behavioral responses to stress, and suggest that enhanced excitatory synaptic drive onto mPFC neurons may underlie the previously reported hyperactivity of this brain region in depression. PMID:24872553

  9. Contextual Learning Requires Functional Diversity at Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses onto CA1 Pyramidal Neurons

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    Dai Mitsushima

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the hippocampus is processing temporal and spatial information in particular context, the encoding rule creating memory is completely unknown. To examine the mechanism, we trained rats on an inhibitory avoidance (IA task, a hippocampus-dependent rapid one-trial contextual learning paradigm. By combining Herpes virus-mediated in vivo gene delivery with in vitro patch-clamp recordings, I reported contextual learning drives GluR1-containing AMPA receptors into CA3-CA1 synapses. The molecular event is required for contextual memory, since bilateral expression of delivery blocker in CA1 successfully blocked IA learning. Moreover, I found a logarithmic correlation between the number of delivery blocking cells and learning performance. Considering that one all-or-none device can process 1-bit of data per clock (Nobert Wiener 1961, the logarithmic correlation may provides evidence that CA1 neurons transmit essential data of contextual information. Further, I recently reported critical role of acetylcholine as an intrinsic trigger of learning-dependent synaptic plasticity. IA training induced ACh release in CA1 that strengthened not only AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory synapses, but also GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory synapses on each CA1 neuron. More importantly, IA-trained rats showed individually different excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs with wide variation on each CA1 neuron. Here I propose a new hypothesis that the diversity of synaptic inputs on CA1 neurons may depict cell-specific outputs processing experienced episodes after training.

  10. The influence of single bursts vs. single spikes at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masurkar, Arjun V.; Chen, Wei R.

    2015-01-01

    The synchronization of neuronal activity is thought to enhance information processing. There is much evidence supporting rhythmically bursting external tufted cells (ETCs) of the rodent olfactory bulb glomeruli coordinating the activation of glomerular interneurons and mitral cells via dendrodendritic excitation. However, as bursting has variable significance at axodendritic cortical synapses, it is not clear if ETC bursting imparts a specific functional advantage over the preliminary spike in dendrodendritic synaptic networks. To answer this question, we investigated the influence of single ETC bursts and spikes with the in-vitro rat olfactory bulb preparation at different levels of processing, via calcium imaging of presynaptic ETC dendrites, dual electrical recording of ETC–interneuron synaptic pairs, and multicellular calcium imaging of ETC-induced population activity. Our findings supported single ETC bursts, vs. single spikes, driving robust presynaptic calcium signaling, which in turn was associated with profound extension of the initial monosynaptic spike-driven dendrodendritic excitatory postsynaptic potential. This extension could be driven by either the spike-dependent or spike-independent components of the burst. At the population level, burst-induced excitation was more widespread and reliable compared with single spikes. This further supports the ETC network, in part due to a functional advantage of bursting at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses, coordinating synchronous activity at behaviorally relevant frequencies related to odor processing in vivo. PMID:22277089

  11. Enhanced quantal release of excitatory transmitter in anterior cingulate cortex of adult mice with chronic pain

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    Zhao Ming-Gao

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC is a forebrain structure that plays important roles in emotion, learning, memory and persistent pain. Our previous studies have demonstrated that the enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission was induced by peripheral inflammation and nerve injury in ACC synapses. However, little information is available on their presynaptic mechanisms, since the source of the enhanced synaptic transmission could include the enhanced probability of neurotransmitter release at existing release sites and/or increases in the number of available vesicles. The present study aims to perform quantal analysis of excitatory synapses in the ACC with chronic pain to examine the source of these increases. The quantal analysis revealed that both probability of transmitter release and number of available vesicles were increased in a mouse model of peripheral inflammation, whereas only probability of transmitter release but not number of available vesicles was enhanced in a mouse model of neuropathic pain. In addition, we compared the miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials (mEPSCs in ACC synapses with those in other pain-related brain areas such as the amygdala and spinal cord. Interestingly, the rate and amplitude of mEPSCs in ACC synapses were significantly lower than those in the amygdala and spinal cord. Our studies provide strong evidences that chronic inflammatory pain increases both probability of transmitter release and number of available vesicles, whereas neuropathic pain increases only probability of transmitter release in the ACC synapses.

  12. Effect of Aggregated β-Amyloid (1-42 on Synaptic Plasticity of Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus Granule Cells in Vivo

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    Shirin Babri

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a common neurodegenerative disorder in elderly people with an impairment of cognitive decline and memory loss. β-amyloid (Aβ as a potent neurotoxic peptide has a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of AD. This disease begins with impairment in synaptic functions before developing into later neuro­degeneration and neuronal loss. The aim of this study was to evaluate the synaptic plasticity and electrophysiological function of granule cells in hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v. administration of aggregated Aβ (1-42 peptide in vivo. Methods: Animals were divided to control and Aβ (1-42 groups. Long-term potentia­tion (LTP in perforant path-DG synapses was assessed in order to investigate the effect of aggregated Aβ (1-42 on synaptic plasticity. Field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP slope and population spike (PS amplitude were measured. Results: Administration of Aβ (1-42 significantly decreased fEPSP slope and PS amplitude in Aβ (1-42 group comparing with the control group and had no effect on baseline activity of neurons. Conclusion: The present study indicates that administration of aggregated form of Aβ (1-42 into the lateral ventricle effectively inhibits LTP in granular cells of the DG in hippocampus in vivo.

  13. The role of cAMP in synaptic homeostasis in response to environmental temperature challenges and hyperexcitability mutations

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    Atsushi eUeda

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Homeostasis is the ability of physiological systems to regain functional balance following environment or experimental insults and synaptic homeostasis has been demonstrated in various species following genetic or pharmacological disruptions. Among environmental challenges, homeostatic responses to temperature extremes are critical to animal survival under natural conditions. We previously reported that axon terminal arborization in Drosophila larval neuromuscular junctions is enhanced at elevated temperatures; however, the amplitude of excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs remains unaltered despite the increase in synaptic bouton numbers. Here we determine the cellular basis of this homeostatic adjustment in larvae reared at high temperature (HT, 29 ˚C. We found that synaptic current focally recorded from individual synaptic boutons was unaffected by rearing temperature (30 ˚C. However, HT rearing decreased the quantal size (amplitude of spontaneous miniature EJPs, or mEJPs, which compensates for the increased number of synaptic releasing sites to retain a normal EJP size. The quantal size decrease is accounted for by a decrease in input resistance of the postsynaptic muscle fiber, indicating an increase in membrane area that matches the synaptic growth at HT. Interestingly, a mutation in rutabaga (rut encoding adenylyl cyclase (AC exhibited no obvious changes in quantal size or input resistance of postsynaptic muscle cells after HT rearing, suggesting an important role for rut AC in temperature-induced synaptic homeostasis in Drosophila. This extends our previous finding of rut-dependent synaptic homeostasis in hyperexcitable mutants, e.g. slowpoke (slo. In slo larvae, the lack of BK channel function is partially ameliorated by upregulation of presynaptic Sh IA current to limit excessive transmitter release in addition to postsynaptic glutamate receptor recomposition that reduces the quantal size.

  14. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlevan, Cengiz; Sengupta, Anirvan

    Memories are thought to be stored in the attractor states of recurrent neural networks. Here we explore how resource constraints interplay with memory storage function to shape synaptic connectivity of attractor networks. We propose that given a set of memories, in the form of population activity patterns, the neural circuit choses a synaptic connectivity configuration that minimizes a resource usage cost. We argue that the total synaptic weight (l1-norm) in the network measures the resource cost because synaptic weight is correlated with synaptic volume, which is a limited resource, and is proportional to neurotransmitter release and post-synaptic current, both of which cost energy. Using numerical simulations and replica theory, we characterize optimal connectivity profiles in resource-efficient attractor networks. Our theory explains several experimental observations on cortical connectivity profiles, 1) connectivity is sparse, because synapses are costly, 2) bidirectional connections are overrepresented and 3) are stronger, because attractor states need strong recurrence.

  15. Chronic stress enhances synaptic plasticity due to disinhibition in the anterior cingulate cortex and induces hyper-locomotion in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Hiroshi; Nagano, Masatoshi; Suzuki, Hidenori; Murakoshi, Takayuki

    2010-01-01

    The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is involved in the pathophysiology of a variety of mental disorders, many of which are exacerbated by stress. There are few studies, however, of stress-induced modification of synaptic function in the ACC that is relevant to emotional behavior. We investigated the effects of chronic restraint stress (CRS) on behavior and synaptic function in layers II/III of the ACC in mice. The duration of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) was longer in CRS mice than in control mice. The frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) recorded by whole-cell patch-clamping was reduced in CRS mice, while miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) remained unchanged. Paired-pulse ratios (PPRs) of the fEPSP and evoked EPSC were larger in CRS. There was no difference in NMDA component of evoked EPSCs between the groups. Both long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression of fEPSP were larger in CRS mice than in control mice. The differences between the groups in fEPSP duration, PPRs and LTP level were not observed when the GABA(A) receptor was blocked by bicuculline. Compared to control mice, CRS mice exhibited hyper-locomotive activity in an open field test, while no difference was observed between the groups in anxiety-like behavior in a light/dark choice test. CRS mice displayed decreased freezing behavior in fear conditioning tests compared to control mice. These findings suggest that CRS facilitates synaptic plasticity in the ACC via increased excitability due to disinhibition of GABA(A) receptor signalling, which may underlie induction of behavioral hyper-locomotive activity after CRS. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Inverse stochastic resonance induced by synaptic background activity with unreliable synapses

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    Uzuntarla, Muhammet, E-mail: muzuntarla@yahoo.com

    2013-11-15

    Inverse stochastic resonance (ISR) is a recently pronounced phenomenon that is the minimum occurrence in mean firing rate of a rhythmically firing neuron as noise level varies. Here, by using a realistic modeling approach for the noise, we investigate the ISR with concrete biophysical mechanisms. It is shown that mean firing rate of a single neuron subjected to synaptic bombardment exhibits a minimum as the spike transmission probability varies. We also demonstrate that the occurrence of ISR strongly depends on the synaptic input regime, where it is most prominent in the balanced state of excitatory and inhibitory inputs.

  17. Inhibitory Synaptic Plasticity - Spike timing dependence and putative network function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim P Vogels

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available While the plasticity of excitatory synaptic connections in the brain has been widely studied, the plasticity of inhibitory connections is much less understood. Here, we present recent experimental and theoretical □ndings concerning the rules of spike timing-dependent inhibitory plasticity and their putative network function. This is a summary of a workshop at the COSYNE conference 2012.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  19. Layer- and Cell Type-Specific Modulation of Excitatory Neuronal Activity in the Neocortex

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    Gabriele Radnikow

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available From an anatomical point of view the neocortex is subdivided into up to six layers depending on the cortical area. This subdivision has been described already by Meynert and Brodmann in the late 19/early 20. century and is mainly based on cytoarchitectonic features such as the size and location of the pyramidal cell bodies. Hence, cortical lamination is originally an anatomical concept based on the distribution of excitatory neuron. However, it has become apparent in recent years that apart from the layer-specific differences in morphological features, many functional properties of neurons are also dependent on cortical layer or cell type. Such functional differences include changes in neuronal excitability and synaptic activity by neuromodulatory transmitters. Many of these neuromodulators are released from axonal afferents from subcortical brain regions while others are released intrinsically. In this review we aim to describe layer- and cell-type specific differences in the effects of neuromodulator receptors in excitatory neurons in layers 2–6 of different cortical areas. We will focus on the neuromodulator systems using adenosine, acetylcholine, dopamine, and orexin/hypocretin as examples because these neuromodulator systems show important differences in receptor type and distribution, mode of release and functional mechanisms and effects. We try to summarize how layer- and cell type-specific neuromodulation may affect synaptic signaling in cortical microcircuits.

  20. Synaptic responses evoked by tactile stimuli in Purkinje cells in mouse cerebellar cortex Crus II in vivo.

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    Chun-Ping Chu

    Full Text Available Sensory stimuli evoke responses in cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs via the mossy fiber-granule cell pathway. However, the properties of synaptic responses evoked by tactile stimulation in cerebellar PCs are unknown. The present study investigated the synaptic responses of PCs in response to an air-puff stimulation on the ipsilateral whisker pad in urethane-anesthetized mice.Thirty-three PCs were recorded from 48 urethane-anesthetized adult (6-8-week-old HA/ICR mice by somatic or dendritic patch-clamp recording and pharmacological methods. Tactile stimulation to the ipsilateral whisker pad was delivered by an air-puff through a 12-gauge stainless steel tube connected with a pressurized injection system. Under current-clamp conditions (I = 0, the air-puff stimulation evoked strong inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs in the somata of PCs. Application of SR95531, a specific GABA(A receptor antagonist, blocked IPSPs and revealed stimulation-evoked simple spike firing. Under voltage-clamp conditions, tactile stimulation evoked a sequence of transient inward currents followed by strong outward currents in the somata and dendrites in PCs. Application of SR95531 blocked outward currents and revealed excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs in somata and a temporal summation of parallel fiber EPSCs in PC dendrites. We also demonstrated that PCs respond to both the onset and offset of the air-puff stimulation.These findings indicated that tactile stimulation induced asynchronous parallel fiber excitatory inputs onto the dendrites of PCs, and failed to evoke strong EPSCs and spike firing in PCs, but induced the rapid activation of strong GABA(A receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents in the somata and dendrites of PCs in the cerebellar cortex Crus II in urethane-anesthetized mice.

  1. Genetic targeting of NRXN2 in mice unveils role in excitatory cortical synapse function and social behaviors

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    Gesche eBorn

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Human genetics has identified rare copy number variations and deleterious mutations for all neurexin genes (NRXN1-3 in patients with neurodevelopmental diseases, and electrophysiological recordings in animal brains have shown that Nrxns are important for synaptic transmission. While several mouse models for Nrxn1α inactivation have previously been studied for behavioral changes, very little information is available for other variants. Here, we validate that mice lacking Nrxn2α exhibit behavioral abnormalities, characterized by social interaction deficits and increased anxiety-like behavior, which partially overlap, partially differ from Nrxn1α mutant behaviors. Using patch-clamp recordings in Nrxn2α knockout brains, we observe reduced spontaneous transmitter release at excitatory synapses in the neocortex. We also analyse at this cellular level a novel NRXN2 mouse model that carries a combined deletion of Nrxn2α and Nrxn2β. Electrophysiological analysis of this Nrxn2-mutant mouse shows surprisingly similar defects of excitatory release to Nrxn2α, indicating that the β-variant of Nrxn2 has no strong function in basic transmission at these synapses. Inhibitory transmission as well as synapse densities and ultrastructure remain unchanged in the neocortex of both models. Furthermore, at Nrxn2α and Nrxn2-mutant excitatory synapses we find an altered facilitation and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR function because NMDAR-dependent decay time and NMDAR-mediated responses are reduced. As Nrxn can indirectly be linked to NMDAR via neuroligin and PSD-95, the trans-synaptic nature of this complex may help to explain occurrence of presynaptic and postsynaptic effects. Since excitatory/inhibitory imbalances and impairment of NMDAR function are alledged to have a role in autism and schizophrenia, our results support the idea of a related pathomechanism in these disorders.

  2. Multivesicular release underlies short term synaptic potentiation independent of release probability change in the supraoptic nucleus.

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    Michelle E Quinlan

    Full Text Available Magnocellular neurons of the supraoptic nucleus receive glutamatergic excitatory inputs that regulate the firing activity and hormone release from these neurons. A strong, brief activation of these excitatory inputs induces a lingering barrage of tetrodotoxin-resistant miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs that lasts for tens of minutes. This is known to accompany an immediate increase in large amplitude mEPSCs. However, it remains unknown how long this amplitude increase can last and whether it is simply a byproduct of greater release probability. Using in vitro patch clamp recording on acute rat brain slices, we found that a brief, high frequency stimulation (HFS of afferents induced a potentiation of mEPSC amplitude lasting up to 20 min. This amplitude potentiation did not correlate with changes in mEPSC frequency, suggesting that it does not reflect changes in presynaptic release probability. Nonetheless, neither postsynaptic calcium chelator nor the NMDA receptor antagonist blocked the potentiation. Together with the known calcium dependency of HFS-induced potentiation of mEPSCs, our results imply that mEPSC amplitude increase requires presynaptic calcium. Further analysis showed multimodal distribution of mEPSC amplitude, suggesting that large mEPSCs were due to multivesicular glutamate release, even at late post-HFS when the frequency is no longer elevated. In conclusion, high frequency activation of excitatory synapses induces lasting multivesicular release in the SON, which is independent of changes in release probability. This represents a novel form of synaptic plasticity that may contribute to prolonged excitatory tone necessary for generation of burst firing of magnocellular neurons.

  3. Spike Pattern Structure Influences Synaptic Efficacy Variability Under STDP and Synaptic Homeostasis. II: Spike Shuffling Methods on LIF Networks

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    Zedong Bi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Synapses may undergo variable changes during plasticity because of the variability of spike patterns such as temporal stochasticity and spatial randomness. Here, we call the variability of synaptic weight changes during plasticity to be efficacy variability. In this paper, we investigate how four aspects of spike pattern statistics (i.e., synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations influence the efficacy variability under pair-wise additive spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP and synaptic homeostasis (the mean strength of plastic synapses into a neuron is bounded, by implementing spike shuffling methods onto spike patterns self-organized by a network of excitatory and inhibitory leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF neurons. With the increase of the decay time scale of the inhibitory synaptic currents, the LIF network undergoes a transition from asynchronous state to weak synchronous state and then to synchronous bursting state. We first shuffle these spike patterns using a variety of methods, each designed to evidently change a specific pattern statistics; and then investigate the change of efficacy variability of the synapses under STDP and synaptic homeostasis, when the neurons in the network fire according to the spike patterns before and after being treated by a shuffling method. In this way, we can understand how the change of pattern statistics may cause the change of efficacy variability. Our results are consistent with those of our previous study which implements spike-generating models on converging motifs. We also find that burstiness/regularity is important to determine the efficacy variability under asynchronous states, while heterogeneity of cross-correlations is the main factor to cause efficacy variability when the network moves into synchronous bursting states (the states observed in epilepsy.

  4. A presynaptic role for PKA in synaptic tagging and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer Hk; Luczak, Vince; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-10-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and memory because PKA also regulates presynaptic transmitter release. Here, we examine this issue using genetic and pharmacological application of Ht31, a PKA anchoring disrupting peptide. At the hippocampal Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, Ht31 treatment elicits a rapid decay of synaptic responses to repetitive stimuli, indicating a fast depletion of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. The interaction between PKA and proteins involved in producing this pool of synaptic vesicles is supported by biochemical assays showing that synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2), Rim1, and SNAP25 are components of a complex that interacts with cAMP. Moreover, acute treatment with Ht31 reduces the levels of SV2. Finally, experiments with transgenic mouse lines, which express Ht31 in excitatory neurons at the Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, highlight a requirement for presynaptically anchored PKA in pathway-specific synaptic tagging and long-term contextual fear memory. These results suggest that a presynaptically compartmentalized PKA is critical for synaptic plasticity and memory by regulating the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton during dendritic spine morphological remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chazeau, Anaël; Giannone, Grégory

    2016-08-01

    In the central nervous system, most excitatory post-synapses are small subcellular structures called dendritic spines. Their structure and morphological remodeling are tightly coupled to changes in synaptic transmission. The F-actin cytoskeleton is the main driving force of dendritic spine remodeling and sustains synaptic plasticity. It is therefore essential to understand how changes in synaptic transmission can regulate the organization and dynamics of actin binding proteins (ABPs). In this review, we will provide a detailed description of the organization and dynamics of F-actin and ABPs in dendritic spines and will discuss the current models explaining how the actin cytoskeleton sustains both structural and functional synaptic plasticity.

  6. The influence of single bursts versus single spikes at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masurkar, Arjun V; Chen, Wei R

    2012-02-01

    The synchronization of neuronal activity is thought to enhance information processing. There is much evidence supporting rhythmically bursting external tufted cells (ETCs) of the rodent olfactory bulb glomeruli coordinating the activation of glomerular interneurons and mitral cells via dendrodendritic excitation. However, as bursting has variable significance at axodendritic cortical synapses, it is not clear if ETC bursting imparts a specific functional advantage over the preliminary spike in dendrodendritic synaptic networks. To answer this question, we investigated the influence of single ETC bursts and spikes with the in vitro rat olfactory bulb preparation at different levels of processing, via calcium imaging of presynaptic ETC dendrites, dual electrical recording of ETC -interneuron synaptic pairs, and multicellular calcium imaging of ETC-induced population activity. Our findings supported single ETC bursts, versus single spikes, driving robust presynaptic calcium signaling, which in turn was associated with profound extension of the initial monosynaptic spike-driven dendrodendritic excitatory postsynaptic potential. This extension could be driven by either the spike-dependent or spike-independent components of the burst. At the population level, burst-induced excitation was more widespread and reliable compared with single spikes. This further supports the ETC network, in part due to a functional advantage of bursting at excitatory dendrodendritic synapses, coordinating synchronous activity at behaviorally relevant frequencies related to odor processing in vivo. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. NPY gene transfer in the hippocampus attenuates synaptic plasticity and learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Andreas T; Kanter-Schlifke, Irene; Carli, Mirjana

    2008-01-01

    -mediated mechanisms. In addition, transgene NPY seems to be released during high frequency neuronal activity, leading to decreased glutamate release in excitatory synapses. Importantly, memory consolidation appears to be affected by the treatment. We found that long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 area...... processing. Here we show, by electrophysiological recordings in CA1 of the hippocampal formation of rats, that hippocampal NPY gene transfer into the intact brain does not affect basal synaptic transmission, but slightly alters short-term synaptic plasticity, most likely via NPY Y2 receptor....... Future clinical progress, however, requires more detailed evaluation of possible side effects of this treatment. Until now it has been unknown whether rAAV vector-based NPY overexpression in the hippocampus alters normal synaptic transmission and plasticity, which could disturb learning and memory...

  8. An excitatory paraventricular nucleus to AgRP neuron circuit that drives hunger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krashes, Michael J; Shah, Bhavik P; Madara, Joseph C; Olson, David P; Strochlic, David E; Garfield, Alastair S; Vong, Linh; Pei, Hongjuan; Watabe-Uchida, Mitsuko; Uchida, Naoshige; Liberles, Stephen D; Lowell, Bradford B

    2014-03-13

    Hunger is a hard-wired motivational state essential for survival. Agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) at the base of the hypothalamus are crucial to the control of hunger. They are activated by caloric deficiency and, when naturally or artificially stimulated, they potently induce intense hunger and subsequent food intake. Consistent with their obligatory role in regulating appetite, genetic ablation or chemogenetic inhibition of AgRP neurons decreases feeding. Excitatory input to AgRP neurons is important in caloric-deficiency-induced activation, and is notable for its remarkable degree of caloric-state-dependent synaptic plasticity. Despite the important role of excitatory input, its source(s) has been unknown. Here, through the use of Cre-recombinase-enabled, cell-specific neuron mapping techniques in mice, we have discovered strong excitatory drive that, unexpectedly, emanates from the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, specifically from subsets of neurons expressing thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP, also known as ADCYAP1). Chemogenetic stimulation of these afferent neurons in sated mice markedly activates AgRP neurons and induces intense feeding. Conversely, acute inhibition in mice with caloric-deficiency-induced hunger decreases feeding. Discovery of these afferent neurons capable of triggering hunger advances understanding of how this intense motivational state is regulated.

  9. Identification of Chloride Channels CLCN3 and CLCN5 Mediating the Excitatory Cl− Currents Activated by Sphingosine-1-Phosphate in Sensory Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yanmei; Mair, Norbert; Kummer, Kai K.; Leitner, Michael G.; Camprubí-Robles, María; Langeslag, Michiel; Kress, Michaela

    2018-01-01

    Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid involved in numerous physiological and pathophysiological processes. We have previously reported a S1P-induced nocifensive response in mice by excitation of sensory neurons via activation of an excitatory chloride current. The underlying molecular mechanism for the S1P-induced chloride conductance remains elusive. In the present study, we identified two CLCN voltage-gated chloride channels, CLCN3 and CLCN5, which mediated a S1P-induced excitatory Cl− current in sensory neurons by combining RNA-seq, adenovirus-based gene silencing and whole-cell electrophysiological voltage-clamp recordings. Downregulation of CLCN3 and CLCN5 channels by adenovirus-mediated delivery of shRNA dramatically reduced S1P-induced Cl− current and membrane depolarization in sensory neurons. The mechanism of S1P-induced activation of the chloride current involved Rho GTPase but not Rho-associated protein kinase. Although S1P-induced potentiation of TRPV1-mediated ionic currents also involved Rho-dependent process, the lack of correlation of the S1P-activated Cl− current and the potentiation of TRPV1 by S1P suggests that CLCN3 and CLCN5 are necessary components for S1P-induced excitatory Cl− currents but not for the amplification of TRPV1-mediated currents in sensory neurons. This study provides a novel mechanistic insight into the importance of bioactive sphingolipids in nociception. PMID:29479306

  10. Identification of Chloride Channels CLCN3 and CLCN5 Mediating the Excitatory Cl− Currents Activated by Sphingosine-1-Phosphate in Sensory Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanmei Qi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P is a bioactive sphingolipid involved in numerous physiological and pathophysiological processes. We have previously reported a S1P-induced nocifensive response in mice by excitation of sensory neurons via activation of an excitatory chloride current. The underlying molecular mechanism for the S1P-induced chloride conductance remains elusive. In the present study, we identified two CLCN voltage-gated chloride channels, CLCN3 and CLCN5, which mediated a S1P-induced excitatory Cl− current in sensory neurons by combining RNA-seq, adenovirus-based gene silencing and whole-cell electrophysiological voltage-clamp recordings. Downregulation of CLCN3 and CLCN5 channels by adenovirus-mediated delivery of shRNA dramatically reduced S1P-induced Cl− current and membrane depolarization in sensory neurons. The mechanism of S1P-induced activation of the chloride current involved Rho GTPase but not Rho-associated protein kinase. Although S1P-induced potentiation of TRPV1-mediated ionic currents also involved Rho-dependent process, the lack of correlation of the S1P-activated Cl− current and the potentiation of TRPV1 by S1P suggests that CLCN3 and CLCN5 are necessary components for S1P-induced excitatory Cl− currents but not for the amplification of TRPV1-mediated currents in sensory neurons. This study provides a novel mechanistic insight into the importance of bioactive sphingolipids in nociception.

  11. Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of amitriptyline and fluoxetine on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of hippocampal formation in rats

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    Ghasem Zarei

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Several studies have been shown that antidepressant drugs have contradictory effects on cognitive processes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of amitriptyline and fluoxetine on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampal formation in rat. Materials and Methods: Experimental groups were the control, the fluoxetine, and amitriptyline. The rats were treated for 21 days and then, paired pulse facilitation/inhibition (PPF/I and long-term potentiation (LTP in perforant path-DG synapses were assessed (by 400 Hz tetanization. Field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP slope and population spike (PS amplitude were measured. Results: The results of PPF/I showed that PS amplitude ratios were increased in 10-70 ms inter-stimulus intervals in the amitriptyline group compared to the control group. In the fluoxetine group, EPSP slope ratios were decreased in intervals 30, 40, and 50 ms inter-stimulus intervals compared to the control group. The PS-LTP was significantly lower in the fluoxetine and the amitriptyline groups with respect to the control group. Conclusion: The results showed that fluoxetine and amitriptyline affect synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and these effects is probably due to the impact on the number of active neurons.

  13. MPTP-meditated hippocampal dopamine deprivation modulates synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Guoqi; Chen Ying; Huang Yuying; Li Qinglin; Behnisch, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms including learning deficits are inducible by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Therefore, it is possible that MPTP may disturb hippocampal memory processing by modulation of dopamine (DA)- and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate here that intraperitoneal (i.p.) MPTP injection reduces the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) within 7 days. Subsequently, the TH expression level in SN and hippocampus and the amount of DA and its metabolite DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus decrease. DA depletion does not alter basal synaptic transmission and changes pair-pulse facilitation (PPF) of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) only at the 30 ms inter-pulse interval. In addition, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) is impaired whereas the duration of long-term depression (LTD) becomes prolonged. Since both LTP and LTD depend critically on activation of NMDA and DA receptors, we also tested the effect of DA depletion on NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Seven days after MPTP injection, the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSPs are decreased by about 23%. Blocking the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSP does not mimic the MPTP-LTP. Only co-application of D1/D5 and NMDA receptor antagonists during tetanization resembled the time course of fEPSP potentiation as observed 7 days after i.p. MPTP injection. Together, our data demonstrate that MPTP-induced degeneration of DA neurons and the subsequent hippocampal DA depletion alter NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. - Highlights: → I.p. MPTP-injection mediates death of dopaminergic neurons. → I.p. MPTP-injection depletes DA and DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus. → I.p. MPTP-injection does not alter basal synaptic transmission. → Reduction of LTP and enhancement of LTD after i.p. MPTP-injection. → Attenuation of NMDA-receptors mediated

  14. Bidirectional control of social hierarchy by synaptic efficacy in medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fei; Zhu, Jun; Zhu, Hong; Zhang, Qi; Lin, Zhanmin; Hu, Hailan

    2011-11-04

    Dominance hierarchy has a profound impact on animals' survival, health, and reproductive success, but its neural circuit mechanism is virtually unknown. We found that dominance ranking in mice is transitive, relatively stable, and highly correlates among multiple behavior measures. Recording from layer V pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) showed higher strength of excitatory synaptic inputs in mice with higher ranking, as compared with their subordinate cage mates. Furthermore, molecular manipulations that resulted in an increase and decrease in the synaptic efficacy in dorsal mPFC neurons caused an upward and downward movement in the social rank, respectively. These results provide direct evidence for mPFC's involvement in social hierarchy and suggest that social rank is plastic and can be tuned by altering synaptic strength in mPFC pyramidal cells.

  15. Synaptic reorganization of inhibitory hilar interneuron circuitry after traumatic brain injury in mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Robert F.; Scheff, Stephen W.; Smith, Bret N.

    2011-01-01

    Functional plasticity of synaptic networks in the dentate gyrus has been implicated in the development of posttraumatic epilepsy and in cognitive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury, but little is known about potentially pathogenic changes in inhibitory circuits. We examined synaptic inhibition of dentate granule cells and excitability of surviving GABAergic hilar interneurons 8–13 weeks after cortical contusion brain injury in transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein in a subpopulation of inhibitory neurons. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in granule cells revealed a reduction in spontaneous and miniature IPSC frequency after head injury; no concurrent change in paired-pulse ratio was found in granule cells after paired electrical stimulation of the hilus. Despite reduced inhibitory input to granule cells, action potential and EPSC frequencies were increased in hilar GABA neurons from slices ipsilateral to the injury, versus those from control or contralateral slices. Further, increased excitatory synaptic activity was detected in hilar GABA neurons ipsilateral to the injury after glutamate photostimulation of either the granule cell or CA3 pyramidal cell layers. Together, these findings suggest that excitatory drive to surviving hilar GABA neurons is enhanced by convergent input from both pyramidal and granule cells, but synaptic inhibition of granule cells is not fully restored after injury. This rewiring of circuitry regulating hilar inhibitory neurons may reflect an important compensatory mechanism, but it may also contribute to network destabilization by increasing the relative impact of surviving individual interneurons in controlling granule cell excitability in the posttraumatic dentate gyrus. PMID:21543618

  16. Plastic changes in spinal synaptic transmission following botulinum toxin A in patients with post-stroke spasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerzoncuf, Marjorie; Bensoussan, Laurent; Delarque, Alain; Durand, Jacques; Viton, Jean-Michel; Rossi-Durand, Christiane

    2015-11-01

    The therapeutic effects of intramuscular injections of botulinum toxin-type A on spasticity can largely be explained by its blocking action at the neuromuscular junction. Botulinum toxin-type A is also thought to have a central action on the functional organization of the central nervous system. This study assessed the action of botulinum toxin-type A on spinal motor networks by investigating post-activation depression of the soleus H-reflex in post-stroke patients. Post-activation depression, a presynaptic mechanism controlling the synaptic efficacy of Ia-motoneuron transmission, is involved in the pathophysiology of spasticity. Eight patients with chronic hemiplegia post-stroke presenting with lower limb spasticity and requiring botulinum toxin-type A injection in the ankle extensor muscle. Post-activation depression of soleus H-reflex assessed as frequency-related depression of H-reflex was investigated before and 3, 6 and 12 weeks after botulinum toxin-type A injections in the triceps surae. Post-activation depression was quantified as the ratio between H-reflex amplitude at 0.5 and 0.1 Hz. Post-activation depression of soleus H-reflex, which is reduced on the paretic leg, was affected 3 weeks after botulinum toxin-type A injection. Depending on the residual motor capacity of the post-stroke patients, post-activation depression was either restored in patients with preserved voluntary motor control or further reduced in patients with no residual voluntary control. Botulinum toxin treatment induces synaptic plasticity at the Ia-motoneuron synapse in post-stroke paretic patients, which suggests that the effectiveness of botulinum toxin-type A in post-stroke rehabilitation might be partly due to its central effects.

  17. APP Homodimers Transduce an Amyloid-β-Mediated Increase in Release Probability at Excitatory Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hilla Fogel

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of amyloid-β peptides (Aβ, the proteolytic products of the amyloid precursor protein (APP, induces a variety of synaptic dysfunctions ranging from hyperactivity to depression that are thought to cause cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. While depression of synaptic transmission has been extensively studied, the mechanisms underlying synaptic hyperactivity remain unknown. Here, we show that Aβ40 monomers and dimers augment release probability through local fine-tuning of APP-APP interactions at excitatory hippocampal boutons. Aβ40 binds to the APP, increases the APP homodimer fraction at the plasma membrane, and promotes APP-APP interactions. The APP activation induces structural rearrangements in the APP/Gi/o-protein complex, boosting presynaptic calcium flux and vesicle release. The APP growth-factor-like domain (GFLD mediates APP-APP conformational changes and presynaptic enhancement. Thus, the APP homodimer constitutes a presynaptic receptor that transduces signal from Aβ40 to glutamate release. Excessive APP activation may initiate a positive feedback loop, contributing to hippocampal hyperactivity in Alzheimer’s disease.

  18. pH modulation of glial glutamate transporters regulates synaptic transmission in the nucleus of the solitary tract

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrimmon, Donald R.; Martina, Marco

    2013-01-01

    The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is the major site for termination of visceral sensory afferents contributing to homeostatic regulation of, for example, arterial pressure, gastric motility, and breathing. Whereas much is known about how different neuronal populations influence these functions, information about the role of glia remains scant. In this article, we propose that glia may contribute to NTS functions by modulating excitatory neurotransmission. We found that acidification (pH 7.0) depolarizes NTS glia by inhibiting K+-selective membrane currents. NTS glia also showed functional expression of voltage-sensitive glutamate transporters, suggesting that extracellular acidification regulates synaptic transmission by compromising glial glutamate uptake. To test this hypothesis, we evoked glutamatergic slow excitatory potentials (SEPs) in NTS neurons with repetitive stimulation (20 pulses at 10 Hz) of the solitary tract. This SEP depends on accumulation of glutamate following repetitive stimulation, since it was potentiated by blocking glutamate uptake with dl-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartic acid (TBOA) or a glia-specific glutamate transport blocker, dihydrokainate (DHK). Importantly, extracellular acidification (pH 7.0) also potentiated the SEP. This effect appeared to be mediated through a depolarization-induced inhibition of glial transporter activity, because it was occluded by TBOA and DHK. In agreement, pH 7.0 did not directly alter d-aspartate-induced responses in NTS glia or properties of presynaptic glutamate release. Thus acidification-dependent regulation of glial function affects synaptic transmission within the NTS. These results suggest that glia play a modulatory role in the NTS by integrating local tissue signals (such as pH) with synaptic inputs from peripheral afferents. PMID:23615553

  19. An unbiased expression screen for synaptogenic proteins identifies the LRRTM protein family as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linhoff, Michael W; Laurén, Juha; Cassidy, Robert M; Dobie, Frederick A; Takahashi, Hideto; Nygaard, Haakon B; Airaksinen, Matti S; Strittmatter, Stephen M; Craig, Ann Marie

    2009-03-12

    Delineating the molecular basis of synapse development is crucial for understanding brain function. Cocultures of neurons with transfected fibroblasts have demonstrated the synapse-promoting activity of candidate molecules. Here, we performed an unbiased expression screen for synaptogenic proteins in the coculture assay using custom-made cDNA libraries. Reisolation of NGL-3/LRRC4B and neuroligin-2 accounts for a minority of positive clones, indicating that current understanding of mammalian synaptogenic proteins is incomplete. We identify LRRTM1 as a transmembrane protein that induces presynaptic differentiation in contacting axons. All four LRRTM family members exhibit synaptogenic activity, LRRTMs localize to excitatory synapses, and artificially induced clustering of LRRTMs mediates postsynaptic differentiation. We generate LRRTM1(-/-) mice and reveal altered distribution of the vesicular glutamate transporter VGLUT1, confirming an in vivo synaptic function. These results suggest a prevalence of LRR domain proteins in trans-synaptic signaling and provide a cellular basis for the reported linkage of LRRTM1 to handedness and schizophrenia.

  20. Qualitative and quantitative estimation of comprehensive synaptic connectivity in short- and long-term cultured rat hippocampal neurons with new analytical methods inspired by Scatchard and Hill plots

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tanamoto, Ryo; Shindo, Yutaka; Niwano, Mariko [Department of Biosciences and Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University (Japan); Matsumoto, Yoshinori [Department of Applied Physics and Physico-Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University (Japan); Miki, Norihisa [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 223-8522 (Japan); Hotta, Kohji [Department of Biosciences and Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University (Japan); Oka, Kotaro, E-mail: oka@bio.keio.ac.jp [Department of Biosciences and Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University (Japan)

    2016-03-18

    To investigate comprehensive synaptic connectivity, we examined Ca{sup 2+} responses with quantitative electric current stimulation by indium-tin-oxide (ITO) glass electrode with transparent and high electro-conductivity. The number of neurons with Ca{sup 2+} responses was low during the application of stepwise increase of electric current in short-term cultured neurons (less than 17 days in-vitro (DIV)). The neurons cultured over 17 DIV showed two-type responses: S-shaped (sigmoid) and monotonous saturated responses, and Scatchard plots well illustrated the difference of these two responses. Furthermore, sigmoid like neural network responses over 17 DIV were altered to the monotonous saturated ones by the application of the mixture of AP5 and CNQX, specific blockers of NMDA and AMPA receptors, respectively. This alternation was also characterized by the change of Hill coefficients. These findings indicate that the neural network with sigmoid-like responses has strong synergetic or cooperative synaptic connectivity via excitatory glutamate synapses. - Highlights: • We succeed to evaluate the maturation of neural network by Scathard and Hill Plots. • Long-term cultured neurons showed two-type responses: sigmoid and monotonous. • The sigmoid-like increase indicates the cooperatevity of neural networks. • Excitatory glutamate synapses cause the cooperatevity of neural networks.

  1. Deconvolution of Voltage Sensor Time Series and Electro-diffusion Modeling Reveal the Role of Spine Geometry in Controlling Synaptic Strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartailler, Jerome; Kwon, Taekyung; Yuste, Rafael; Holcman, David

    2018-03-07

    Most synaptic excitatory connections are made on dendritic spines. But how the voltage in spines is modulated by its geometry remains unclear. To investigate the electrical properties of spines, we combine voltage imaging data with electro-diffusion modeling. We first present a temporal deconvolution procedure for the genetically encoded voltage sensor expressed in hippocampal cultured neurons and then use electro-diffusion theory to compute the electric field and the current-voltage conversion. We extract a range for the neck resistances of 〈R〉=100±35MΩ. When a significant current is injected in a spine, the neck resistance can be inversely proportional to its radius, but not to the radius square, as predicted by Ohm's law. We conclude that the postsynaptic voltage cannot only be modulated by changing the number of receptors, but also by the spine geometry. Thus, spine morphology could be a key component in determining synaptic transduction and plasticity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Synaptic energy drives the information processing mechanisms in spiking neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Laithy, Karim; Bogdan, Martin

    2014-04-01

    Flow of energy and free energy minimization underpins almost every aspect of naturally occurring physical mechanisms. Inspired by this fact this work establishes an energy-based framework that spans the multi-scale range of biological neural systems and integrates synaptic dynamic, synchronous spiking activity and neural states into one consistent working paradigm. Following a bottom-up approach, a hypothetical energy function is proposed for dynamic synaptic models based on the theoretical thermodynamic principles and the Hopfield networks. We show that a synapse exposes stable operating points in terms of its excitatory postsynaptic potential as a function of its synaptic strength. We postulate that synapses in a network operating at these stable points can drive this network to an internal state of synchronous firing. The presented analysis is related to the widely investigated temporal coherent activities (cell assemblies) over a certain range of time scales (binding-by-synchrony). This introduces a novel explanation of the observed (poly)synchronous activities within networks regarding the synaptic (coupling) functionality. On a network level the transitions from one firing scheme to the other express discrete sets of neural states. The neural states exist as long as the network sustains the internal synaptic energy.

  3. Sex Differences in Medium Spiny Neuron Excitability and Glutamatergic Synaptic Input: Heterogeneity Across Striatal Regions and Evidence for Estradiol-Dependent Sexual Differentiation

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    Jinyan Cao

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Steroid sex hormones and biological sex influence how the brain regulates motivated behavior, reward, and sensorimotor function in both normal and pathological contexts. Investigations into the underlying neural mechanisms have targeted the striatal brain regions, including the caudate–putamen, nucleus accumbens core (AcbC, and shell. These brain regions are of particular interest to neuroendocrinologists given that they express membrane-associated but not nuclear estrogen receptors, and also the well-established role of the sex steroid hormone 17β-estradiol (estradiol in modulating striatal dopamine systems. Indeed, output neurons of the striatum, the medium spiny neurons (MSNs, exhibit estradiol sensitivity and sex differences in electrophysiological properties. Here, we review sex differences in rat MSN glutamatergic synaptic input and intrinsic excitability across striatal regions, including evidence for estradiol-mediated sexual differentiation in the nucleus AcbC. In prepubertal animals, female MSNs in the caudate–putamen exhibit a greater intrinsic excitability relative to male MSNs, but no sex differences are detected in excitatory synaptic input. Alternatively, female MSNs in the nucleus AcbC exhibit increased excitatory synaptic input relative to male MSNs, but no sex differences in intrinsic excitability were detected. Increased excitatory synaptic input onto female MSNs in the nucleus AcbC is abolished after masculinizing estradiol or testosterone exposure during the neonatal critical period. No sex differences are detected in MSNs in prepubertal nucleus accumbens shell. Thus, despite possessing the same neuron type, striatal regions exhibit heterogeneity in sex differences in MSN electrophysiological properties, which likely contribute to the sex differences observed in striatal function.

  4. Glutamatergic synaptic currents of nigral dopaminergic neurons follow a postnatal developmental sequence

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    Edouard ePearlstein

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The spontaneous activity pattern of adult dopaminergic (DA neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc results from interactions between intrinsic membrane conductances and afferent inputs. In adult SNc DA neurons, low-frequency tonic background activity is generated by intrinsic pacemaker mechanisms, whereas burst generation depends on intact synaptic inputs in particular the glutamatergic ones. Tonic DA release in the striatum during pacemaking is required to maintain motor activity, and burst firing evokes phasic DA release, necessary for cue-dependent learning tasks. However, it is still unknown how the firing properties of SNc DA neurons mature during postnatal development before reaching the adult state. We studied the postnatal developmental profile of spontaneous and evoked AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs in SNc DA neurons in brain slices from immature (postnatal days P4-10 and young adult (P30-50 tyrosine hydroxylase (TH-GFP mice. We found that somato-dendritic fields of SNc DA neurons are already mature at P4-10. In contrast, spontaneous glutamatergic EPSCs show a developmental sequence. Spontaneous NMDA EPSCs in particular are larger and more frequent in immature SNc DA neurons than in young adult ones and have a bursty pattern. They are mediated by GluN2B and GluN2D subunit-containing NMDA receptors. The latter generate long-lasting, DQP1105-sensitive, spontaneous EPSCs, which are transiently recorded during this early period. Due to high NMDA activity, immature SNc DA neurons generate large and long lasting NMDA receptor-dependent (APV-sensitive bursts in response to the stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. We conclude that the transient high NMDA activity allows calcium influx into the dendrites of developing SNc DA neurons.

  5. Miniature excitatory synaptic ion currents in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris body wall muscles

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Volkov, E. M.; Nurullin, L. F.; Nikolsky, E.; Vyskočil, František

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 56, č. 5 (2007), s. 655-658 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA5011411 Grant - others:RFBR(RU) 06-04-48458; Nsh(RU) 4444.2006.4 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : ion currents * muscle cells * acetylcholine receptor Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.505, year: 2007

  6. Orientation selectivity of synaptic input to neurons in mouse and cat primary visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Andrew Y Y; Brown, Brandon D; Scholl, Benjamin; Mohanty, Deepankar; Priebe, Nicholas J

    2011-08-24

    Primary visual cortex (V1) is the site at which orientation selectivity emerges in mammals: visual thalamus afferents to V1 respond equally to all stimulus orientations, whereas their target V1 neurons respond selectively to stimulus orientation. The emergence of orientation selectivity in V1 has long served as a model for investigating cortical computation. Recent evidence for orientation selectivity in mouse V1 opens cortical computation to dissection by genetic and imaging tools, but also raises two essential questions: (1) How does orientation selectivity in mouse V1 neurons compare with that in previously described species? (2) What is the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity in mouse V1? A comparison of orientation selectivity in mouse and in cat, where such measures have traditionally been made, reveals that orientation selectivity in mouse V1 is weaker than in cat V1, but that spike threshold plays a similar role in narrowing selectivity between membrane potential and spike rate. To uncover the synaptic basis for orientation selectivity, we made whole-cell recordings in vivo from mouse V1 neurons, comparing neuronal input selectivity-based on membrane potential, synaptic excitation, and synaptic inhibition-to output selectivity based on spiking. We found that a neuron's excitatory and inhibitory inputs are selective for the same stimulus orientations as is its membrane potential response, and that inhibitory selectivity is not broader than excitatory selectivity. Inhibition has different dynamics than excitation, adapting more rapidly. In neurons with temporally modulated responses, the timing of excitation and inhibition was different in mice and cats.

  7. Comparison of the dynamics of neural interactions in integrate-and-fire networks with current-based and conductance-based synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano eCavallari

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Models of networks of Leaky Integrate-and-Fire neurons (LIF are a widely used tool for theoretical investigations of brain function. These models have been used both with current- and conductance-based synapses. However, the differences in the dynamics expressed by these two approaches have been so far mainly studied at the single neuron level. To investigate how these synaptic models affect network activity, we compared the single-neuron and neural population dynamics of conductance-based networks (COBN and current-based networks (CUBN of LIF neurons. These networks were endowed with sparse excitatory and inhibitory recurrent connections, and were tested in conditions including both low- and high-conductance states. We developed a novel procedure to obtain comparable networks by properly tuning the synaptic parameters not shared by the models. The so defined comparable networks displayed an excellent and robust match of first order statistics (average single neuron firing rates and average frequency spectrum of network activity. However, these comparable networks showed profound differences in the second order statistics of neural population interactions and in the modulation of these properties by external inputs. The correlation between inhibitory and excitatory synaptic currents and the cross-neuron correlation between synaptic inputs, membrane potentials and spike trains were stronger and more stimulus-sensitive in the COBN. Because of these properties, the spike train correlation carried more information about the strength of the input in the COBN, although the firing rates were equally informative in both network models. Moreover, COBN showed stronger neuronal population synchronization in the gamma band, and their spectral information about the network input was higher and spread over a broader range of frequencies. These results suggest that second order properties of network dynamics depend strongly on the choice of synaptic model.

  8. Segmental, synaptic actions of commissural interneurons in the mouse spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quinlan, Katharina A.; Kiehn, Ole

    2007-01-01

    outlines the basic connectivity pattern of CINs in the mouse spinal cord on a segmental level. Our study suggests that, based on observed synaptic connectivity, both short- and long-range CINs are likely involved in segmental left-right coordination and that the CIN system is organized into a dual......-inhibitory and single-excitatory system. These systems are organized in a way that they could provide appropriate coordination during locomotion....

  9. GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors blockade rescues bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of cocaine self-administering rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    deBacker, Julian; Hawken, Emily R; Normandeau, Catherine P; Jones, Andrea A; Di Prospero, Cynthia; Mechefske, Elysia; Gardner Gregory, James; Hayton, Scott J; Dumont, Éric C

    2015-01-01

    Drugs of abuse have detrimental effects on homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the motivational brain network. Bidirectional plasticity at excitatory synapses helps keep neural circuits within a functional range to allow for behavioral flexibility. Therefore, impaired bidirectional plasticity of excitatory synapses may contribute to the behavioral hallmarks of addiction, yet this relationship remains unclear. Here we tracked excitatory synaptic strength in the oval bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (ovBNST) using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in brain slices from rats self-administering sucrose or cocaine. In the cocaine group, we measured both a persistent increase in AMPA to NMDA ratio (A:N) and slow decay time of NMDA currents throughout the self-administration period and after withdrawal from cocaine. In contrast, the sucrose group exhibited an early increase in A:N ratios (acquisition) that returned toward baseline values with continued self-administration (maintenance) and after withdrawal. The sucrose rats also displayed a decrease in NMDA current decay time with continued self-administration (maintenance), which normalized after withdrawal. Cocaine self-administering rats exhibited impairment in NMDA-dependent long-term depression (LTD) that could be rescued by GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor blockade. Sucrose self-administering rats demonstrated no impairment in NMDA-dependent LTD. During the maintenance period of self-administration, in vivo (daily intraperitoneally for 5 days) pharmacologic blockade of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors did not reduce lever pressing for cocaine. However, in vivo GluN2B blockade did normalize A:N ratios in cocaine self-administrating rats, and dissociated the magnitude of ovBNST A:N ratios from drug-seeking behavior after protracted withdrawal. Altogether, our data demonstrate when and how bidirectional plasticity at ovBNST excitatory synapses becomes dysfunctional with cocaine self-administration and that NMDA

  10. Alteration of synaptic connectivity of oligodendrocyte precursor cells following demyelination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahel, Aurélia; Ortiz, Fernando C.; Kerninon, Christophe; Maldonado, Paloma P.; Angulo, María Cecilia; Nait-Oumesmar, Brahim

    2015-01-01

    Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) are a major source of remyelinating oligodendrocytes in demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While OPCs are innervated by unmyelinated axons in the normal brain, the fate of such synaptic contacts after demyelination is still unclear. By combining electrophysiology and immunostainings in different transgenic mice expressing fluorescent reporters, we studied the synaptic innervation of OPCs in the model of lysolecithin (LPC)-induced demyelination of corpus callosum. Synaptic innervation of reactivated OPCs in the lesion was revealed by the presence of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic currents, VGluT1+ axon-OPC contacts in 3D confocal reconstructions and synaptic junctions observed by electron microscopy. Moreover, 3D confocal reconstructions of VGluT1 and NG2 immunolabeling showed the existence of glutamatergic axon-OPC contacts in post-mortem MS lesions. Interestingly, patch-clamp recordings in LPC-induced lesions demonstrated a drastic decrease in spontaneous synaptic activity of OPCs early after demyelination that was not caused by an impaired conduction of compound action potentials. A reduction in synaptic connectivity was confirmed by the lack of VGluT1+ axon-OPC contacts in virtually all rapidly proliferating OPCs stained with EdU (50-ethynyl-20-deoxyuridine). At the end of the massive proliferation phase in lesions, the proportion of innervated OPCs rapidly recovers, although the frequency of spontaneous synaptic currents did not reach control levels. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that newly-generated OPCs do not receive synaptic inputs during their active proliferation after demyelination, but gain synapses during the remyelination process. Hence, glutamatergic synaptic inputs may contribute to inhibit OPC proliferation and might have a physiopathological relevance in demyelinating disorders. PMID:25852473

  11. The post-synaptic density of human postmortem brain tissues: an experimental study paradigm for neuropsychiatric illnesses.

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    Chang-Gyu Hahn

    Full Text Available Recent molecular genetics studies have suggested various trans-synaptic processes for pathophysiologic mechanisms of neuropsychiatric illnesses. Examination of pre- and post-synaptic scaffolds in the brains of patients would greatly aid further investigation, yet such an approach in human postmortem tissue has yet to be tested. We have examined three methods using density gradient based purification of synaptosomes followed by detergent extraction (Method 1 and the pH based differential extraction of synaptic membranes (Methods 2 and 3. All three methods separated fractions from human postmortem brains that were highly enriched in typical PSD proteins, almost to the exclusion of pre-synaptic proteins. We examined these fractions using electron microscopy (EM and verified the integrity of the synaptic membrane and PSD fractions derived from human postmortem brain tissues. We analyzed protein composition of the PSD fractions using two dimensional liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (2D LC-MS/MS and observed known PSD proteins by mass spectrometry. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblot studies revealed that expected protein-protein interactions and certain posttranscriptional modulations were maintained in PSD fractions. Our results demonstrate that PSD fractions can be isolated from human postmortem brain tissues with a reasonable degree of integrity. This approach may foster novel postmortem brain research paradigms in which the stoichiometry and protein composition of specific microdomains are examined.

  12. Effects of chronic stress in adolescence on learned fear, anxiety, and synaptic transmission in the rat prelimbic cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negrón-Oyarzo, Ignacio; Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Terreros, Gonzalo; Muñoz, Pablo; Dagnino-Subiabre, Alexies

    2014-02-01

    The prelimbic cortex and amygdala regulate the extinction of conditioned fear and anxiety, respectively. In adult rats, chronic stress affects the dendritic morphology of these brain areas, slowing extinction of learned fear and enhancing anxiety. The aim of this study was to determine whether rats subjected to chronic stress in adolescence show changes in learned fear, anxiety, and synaptic transmission in the prelimbic cortex during adulthood. Male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to seven days of restraint stress on postnatal day forty-two (PND 42, adolescence). Afterward, the fear-conditioning paradigm was used to study conditioned fear extinction. Anxiety-like behavior was measured one day (PND 50) and twenty-one days (PND 70, adulthood) after stress using the elevated-plus maze and dark-light box tests, respectively. With another set of rats, excitatory synaptic transmission was analyzed with slices of the prelimbic cortex. Rats that had been stressed during adolescence and adulthood had higher anxiety-like behavior levels than did controls, while stress-induced slowing of learned fear extinction in adolescence was reversed during adulthood. As well, the field excitatory postsynaptic potentials of stressed adolescent rats had significantly lower amplitudes than those of controls, although the amplitudes were higher in adulthood. Our results demonstrate that short-term stress in adolescence induces strong effects on excitatory synaptic transmission in the prelimbic cortex and extinction of learned fear, where the effect of stress on anxiety is more persistent than on the extinction of learned fear. These data contribute to the understanding of stress neurobiology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Deep brain stimulation of the amygdala alleviates fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Li; Huang, SiJia; Peng, BinBin; Ren, Jie; Tian, FuYing; Wang, Yan

    2014-07-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the amygdala has been demonstrated to modulate hyperactivity of the amygdala, which is responsible for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and thus might be used for the treatment of PTSD. However, the underlying mechanism of DBS of the amygdala in the modulation of the amygdala is unclear. The present study investigated the effects of DBS of the amygdala on synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to the amygdala, which is critical for the formation and storage of auditory fear memories, and fear memories. The results demonstrated that auditory fear conditioning increased single-pulse-evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the cortical-amygdala pathway. Furthermore, auditory fear conditioning decreased the induction of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, two neurophysiological models for studying short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, respectively, in the cortical-amygdala pathway. In addition, all these auditory fear conditioning-induced changes could be reversed by DBS of the amygdala. DBS of the amygdala also rescued auditory fear conditioning-induced enhancement of long-term retention of fear memory. These findings suggested that DBS of the amygdala alleviating fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory may underlie the neuromodulatory role of DBS of the amygdala in activities of the amygdala.

  15. Up-Regulation of Excitatory Amino Acid Transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2 by ß-Klotho

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamshed Warsi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Klotho, a transmembrane protein expressed in chorioid plexus of the brain, kidney, and several other tissues, is required for inhibition of 1,25(OH2D3 formation by FGF23. The extracellular domain of Klotho protein could be cleaved off, thus being released into blood or cerebrospinal fluid. At least in part by exerting β-glucuronidase activity, soluble klotho regulates several ion channels and carriers. Klotho protein deficiency accelerates the appearance of age related disorders including neurodegeneration and muscle wasting and eventually leads to premature death. The present study explored the effect of Klotho protein on the excitatory glutamate transporters EAAT1 (SLC1A3 and EAAT2 (SLC1A2, Na+ coupled carriers clearing excitatory amino acids from the synaptic cleft and thus participating in the regulation of neuronal excitability. Methods: cRNA encoding EAAT1 or EAAT2 was injected into Xenopus laevis oocytes and glutamate (2 mM-induced inward current (IGlu taken as measure of glutamate transport. Measurements were made without or with prior 24 h treatment with soluble ß-Klotho protein (30 ng/ml in the absence and presence of β-glucuronidase inhibitor D-saccharic acid 1,4-lactone monohydrate (DSAL,10 µM. Results: IGlu was observed in EAAT1 and in EAAT2 expressing oocytes but not in water injected oocytes. In both, EAAT1 and EAAT2 expressing oocytes IGlu was significantly increased by treatment with soluble ß-Klotho protein, an effect reversed by DSAL. Treatment with ß-klotho protein increased significantly the maximal transport rate without significantly modifying the affinity of the carriers. Conclusion: ß-Klotho up-regulates the excitatory glutamate transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2 and thus participates in the regulation of neuronal excitation.

  16. Effects of homeostatic constraints on associative memory storage and synaptic connectivity of cortical circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio eChapeton

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The impact of learning and long-term memory storage on synaptic connectivity is not completely understood. In this study, we examine the effects of associative learning on synaptic connectivity in adult cortical circuits by hypothesizing that these circuits function in a steady-state, in which the memory capacity of a circuit is maximal and learning must be accompanied by forgetting. Steady-state circuits should be characterized by unique connectivity features. To uncover such features we developed a biologically constrained, exactly solvable model of associative memory storage. The model is applicable to networks of multiple excitatory and inhibitory neuron classes and can account for homeostatic constraints on the number and the overall weight of functional connections received by each neuron. The results show that in spite of a large number of neuron classes, functional connections between potentially connected cells are realized with less than 50% probability if the presynaptic cell is excitatory and generally a much greater probability if it is inhibitory. We also find that constraining the overall weight of presynaptic connections leads to Gaussian connection weight distributions that are truncated at zero. In contrast, constraining the total number of functional presynaptic connections leads to non-Gaussian distributions, in which weak connections are absent. These theoretical predictions are compared with a large dataset of published experimental studies reporting amplitudes of unitary postsynaptic potentials and probabilities of connections between various classes of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the cerebellum, neocortex, and hippocampus.

  17. Synaptic impairment in layer 1 of the prefrontal cortex induced by repeated stress during adolescence is reversed in adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio eNegron-Oyarzo

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Chronic stress is a risk factor for the development of psychiatric disorders, some of which involve dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex (PFC. There is a higher prevalence of these chronic stress-related psychiatric disorders during adolescence, when the PFC has not yet fully matured. In the present work we studied the effect of repeated stress during adolescence on synaptic function in the PFC in adolescence and adulthood. To this end, adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to seven consecutive days of restraint stress. Afterward, both synaptic transmission and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity were evaluated in layer 1 of medial-PFC (mPFC slices from adolescent and adult rats. We found that repeated stress significantly reduced the amplitude of evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP in the mPFC. Isolation of excitatory transmission reveled that lower-amplitude fEPSPs were associated with a reduction in AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated transmission. We also found that repeated stress significantly decreased long-term depression (LTD. Interestingly, AMPA/kainate receptor-mediated transmission and LTD were recovered in adult animals that experienced a three-week stress-free recovery period. The data indicates that the changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in the mPFC induced by repeated stress during adolescence are reversed in adulthood after a stress-free period.

  18. Decreased expression of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and complexin II mRNAs in schizophrenia: further evidence for a synaptic pathology affecting glutamate neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, S L; Harrison, P J

    2005-03-01

    Synaptic protein gene expression is altered in schizophrenia. In the hippocampal formation there may be particular involvement of glutamatergic neurons and their synapses, but overall the profile remains unclear. In this in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISHH) study, we examined four informative synaptic protein transcripts: vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) 1, VGLUT2, complexin I, and complexin II, in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DPFC), superior temporal cortex (STC), and hippocampal formation, in 13 subjects with schizophrenia and 18 controls. In these areas, VGLUT1 and complexin II are expressed primarily by excitatory neurons, whereas complexin I is mainly expressed by inhibitory neurons. In schizophrenia, VGLUT1 mRNA was decreased in hippocampal formation and DPFC, complexin II mRNA was reduced in DPFC and STC, and complexin I mRNA decreased in STC. Hippocampal VGLUT1 mRNA declined with age selectively in the schizophrenia group. VGLUT2 mRNA was not quantifiable due to its low level. The data provide additional evidence for a synaptic pathology in schizophrenia, in terms of a reduced expression of three synaptic protein genes. In the hippocampus, the loss of VGLUT1 mRNA supports data indicating that glutamatergic presynaptic deficits are prominent, whereas the pattern of results in temporal and frontal cortex suggests broadly similar changes may affect inhibitory and excitatory neurons. The impairment of synaptic transmission implied by the synaptic protein reductions may contribute to the dysfunction of cortical neural circuits that characterises the disorder.

  19. HDAC2 expression in parvalbumin interneurons regulates synaptic plasticity in the mouse visual cortex

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    Alexi Nott

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of parvalbumin (Pv–expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2, has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice and coincides with enhanced long-term depression that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

  20. HDAC2 expression in parvalbumin interneurons regulates synaptic plasticity in the mouse visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nott, Alexi; Cho, Sukhee; Seo, Jinsoo; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2015-01-01

    An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of Parvalbumin (Pv)-expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv-interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice, and coincides with enhanced long-term depression (LTD) that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv-interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

  1. Modulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors by synaptic and tonic zinc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Charles T; Radford, Robert J; Zastrow, Melissa L; Zhang, Daniel Y; Apfel, Ulf-Peter; Lippard, Stephen J; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-05-19

    Many excitatory synapses contain high levels of mobile zinc within glutamatergic vesicles. Although synaptic zinc and glutamate are coreleased, it is controversial whether zinc diffuses away from the release site or whether it remains bound to presynaptic membranes or proteins after its release. To study zinc transmission and quantify zinc levels, we required a high-affinity rapid zinc chelator as well as an extracellular ratiometric fluorescent zinc sensor. We demonstrate that tricine, considered a preferred chelator for studying the role of synaptic zinc, is unable to efficiently prevent zinc from binding low-nanomolar zinc-binding sites, such as the high-affinity zinc-binding site found in NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Here, we used ZX1, which has a 1 nM zinc dissociation constant and second-order rate constant for binding zinc that is 200-fold higher than those for tricine and CaEDTA. We find that synaptic zinc is phasically released during action potentials. In response to short trains of presynaptic stimulation, synaptic zinc diffuses beyond the synaptic cleft where it inhibits extrasynaptic NMDARs. During higher rates of presynaptic stimulation, released glutamate activates additional extrasynaptic NMDARs that are not reached by synaptically released zinc, but which are inhibited by ambient, tonic levels of nonsynaptic zinc. By performing a ratiometric evaluation of extracellular zinc levels in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, we determined the tonic zinc levels to be low nanomolar. These results demonstrate a physiological role for endogenous synaptic as well as tonic zinc in inhibiting extrasynaptic NMDARs and thereby fine tuning neuronal excitability and signaling.

  2. Modulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors by synaptic and tonic zinc

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    Anderson, Charles T.; Radford, Robert J.; Zastrow, Melissa L.; Zhang, Daniel Y.; Apfel, Ulf-Peter; Lippard, Stephen J.; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-01-01

    Many excitatory synapses contain high levels of mobile zinc within glutamatergic vesicles. Although synaptic zinc and glutamate are coreleased, it is controversial whether zinc diffuses away from the release site or whether it remains bound to presynaptic membranes or proteins after its release. To study zinc transmission and quantify zinc levels, we required a high-affinity rapid zinc chelator as well as an extracellular ratiometric fluorescent zinc sensor. We demonstrate that tricine, considered a preferred chelator for studying the role of synaptic zinc, is unable to efficiently prevent zinc from binding low-nanomolar zinc-binding sites, such as the high-affinity zinc-binding site found in NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Here, we used ZX1, which has a 1 nM zinc dissociation constant and second-order rate constant for binding zinc that is 200-fold higher than those for tricine and CaEDTA. We find that synaptic zinc is phasically released during action potentials. In response to short trains of presynaptic stimulation, synaptic zinc diffuses beyond the synaptic cleft where it inhibits extrasynaptic NMDARs. During higher rates of presynaptic stimulation, released glutamate activates additional extrasynaptic NMDARs that are not reached by synaptically released zinc, but which are inhibited by ambient, tonic levels of nonsynaptic zinc. By performing a ratiometric evaluation of extracellular zinc levels in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, we determined the tonic zinc levels to be low nanomolar. These results demonstrate a physiological role for endogenous synaptic as well as tonic zinc in inhibiting extrasynaptic NMDARs and thereby fine tuning neuronal excitability and signaling. PMID:25947151

  3. Adenosine Inhibits the Excitatory Synaptic Inputs to Basal Forebrain Cholinergic, GABAergic and Parvalbumin Neurons in mice

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    Chun eYang

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Coffee and tea contain the stimulants caffeine and theophylline. These compounds act as antagonists of adenosine receptors. Adenosine promotes sleep and its extracellular concentration rises in association with prolonged wakefulness, particularly in the basal forebrain (BF region involved in activating the cerebral cortex. However, the effect of adenosine on identified BF neurons, especially non-cholinergic neurons, is incompletely understood. Here we used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in mouse brain slices prepared from two validated transgenic mouse lines with fluorescent proteins expressed in GABAergic or parvalbumin (PV neurons to determine the effect of adenosine. Whole-cell recordings were made BF cholinergic neurons and from BF GABAergic & PV neurons with the size (>20 µm and intrinsic membrane properties (prominent H-currents corresponding to cortically projecting neurons. A brief (2 min bath application of adenosine (100 μM decreased the frequency but not the amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents in all groups of BF cholinergic, GABAergic and PV neurons we recorded. In addition, adenosine decreased the frequency of miniature EPSCs in BF cholinergic neurons. Adenosine had no effect on the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in cholinergic neurons or GABAergic neurons with large H-currents but reduced them in a group of GABAergic neurons with smaller H-currents. All effects of adenosine were blocked by a selective, adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, cyclopentyltheophylline (CPT, 1 μM. Adenosine had no postsynaptic effects. Taken together, our work suggests that adenosine promotes sleep by an A1-receptor mediated inhibition of glutamatergic inputs to cortically-projecting cholinergic and GABA/PV neurons. Conversely, caffeine and theophylline promote attentive wakefulness by inhibiting these A1 receptors in BF thereby promoting the high-frequency oscillations in the cortex required for

  4. Postnatal Ablation of Synaptic Retinoic Acid Signaling Impairs Cortical Information Processing and Sensory Discrimination in Mice.

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    Park, Esther; Tjia, Michelle; Zuo, Yi; Chen, Lu

    2018-06-06

    Retinoic acid (RA) and its receptors (RARs) are well established essential transcriptional regulators during embryonic development. Recent findings in cultured neurons identified an independent and critical post-transcriptional role of RA and RARα in the homeostatic regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in mature neurons. However, the functional relevance of synaptic RA signaling in vivo has not been established. Here, using somatosensory cortex as a model system and the RARα conditional knock-out mouse as a tool, we applied multiple genetic manipulations to delete RARα postnatally in specific populations of cortical neurons, and asked whether synaptic RA signaling observed in cultured neurons is involved in cortical information processing in vivo Indeed, conditional ablation of RARα in mice via a CaMKIIα-Cre or a layer 5-Cre driver line or via somatosensory cortex-specific viral expression of Cre-recombinase impaired whisker-dependent texture discrimination, suggesting a critical requirement of RARα expression in L5 pyramidal neurons of somatosensory cortex for normal tactile sensory processing. Transcranial two-photon imaging revealed a significant increase in dendritic spine elimination on apical dendrites of somatosensory cortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons in these mice. Interestingly, the enhancement of spine elimination is whisker experience-dependent as whisker trimming rescued the spine elimination phenotype. Additionally, experiencing an enriched environment improved texture discrimination in RARα-deficient mice and reduced excessive spine pruning. Thus, RA signaling is essential for normal experience-dependent cortical circuit remodeling and sensory processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The importance of synaptic RA signaling has been demonstrated in in vitro studies. However, whether RA signaling mediated by RARα contributes to neural circuit functions in vivo remains largely unknown. In this study, using a RARα conditional

  5. Reduced post-synaptic serotonin type 1A receptor binding in bipolar depression

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    Nugent, Allison C.; Bain, Earle E.; Carlson, Paul J.; Neumeister, Alexander; Bonne, Omer; Carson, Richard E.; Eckelman, William; Herscovitch, Peter; Zarate, Carlos A.; Charney, Dennis S.; Drevets, Wayne C.

    2013-01-01

    Multiple lines of evidence suggest that serotonin type 1A (5-HT1A) receptor dysfunction is involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, and that alterations in 5-HT1A receptor function play a role in the mechanisms of antidepressant and mood stabilizer treatment. The literature is in disagreement, however, as to whether 5-HT1A receptor binding abnormalities exist in bipolar disorder (BD). We acquired PET images of 5-HT1A receptor binding in 26 unmedicated BD subjects and 37 healthy controls using [18F]FCWAY, a highly selective 5-HT1A receptor radio-ligand. The mean 5-HT1A receptor binding potential (BPP) was significantly lower in BD subjects compared to controls in cortical regions where 5-HT1A receptors are expressed post-synaptically, most prominently in the mesiotemporal cortex. Post-hoc assessments involving other receptor specific binding parameters suggested that this difference particularly affected the females with BD. The mean BPP did not differ between groups in the raphe nucleus, however, where 5-HT1A receptors are predominantly expressed pre-synaptically. Across subjects the BPP in the mesiotemporal cortex was inversely correlated with trough plasma cortisol levels, consistent with preclinical literature indicating that hippocampal 5-HT1A receptor expression is inhibited by glucocorticoid receptor stimulation. These findings suggest that 5-HT1A receptor binding is abnormally reduced in BD, and this abnormality may particularly involve the postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptor system of individuals with a tendency toward cortisol hypersecretion. PMID:23434290

  6. Synaptic Basis for Differential Orientation Selectivity between Complex and Simple Cells in Mouse Visual Cortex.

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    Li, Ya-tang; Liu, Bao-hua; Chou, Xiao-lin; Zhang, Li I; Tao, Huizhong W

    2015-08-05

    In the primary visual cortex (V1), orientation-selective neurons can be categorized into simple and complex cells primarily based on their receptive field (RF) structures. In mouse V1, although previous studies have examined the excitatory/inhibitory interplay underlying orientation selectivity (OS) of simple cells, the synaptic bases for that of complex cells have remained obscure. Here, by combining in vivo loose-patch and whole-cell recordings, we found that complex cells, identified by their overlapping on/off subfields, had significantly weaker OS than simple cells at both spiking and subthreshold membrane potential response levels. Voltage-clamp recordings further revealed that although excitatory inputs to complex and simple cells exhibited a similar degree of OS, inhibition in complex cells was more narrowly tuned than excitation, whereas in simple cells inhibition was more broadly tuned than excitation. The differential inhibitory tuning can primarily account for the difference in OS between complex and simple cells. Interestingly, the differential synaptic tuning correlated well with the spatial organization of synaptic input: the inhibitory visual RF in complex cells was more elongated in shape than its excitatory counterpart and also was more elongated than that in simple cells. Together, our results demonstrate that OS of complex and simple cells is differentially shaped by cortical inhibition based on its orientation tuning profile relative to excitation, which is contributed at least partially by the spatial organization of RFs of presynaptic inhibitory neurons. Simple and complex cells, two classes of principal neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1), are generally thought to be equally selective for orientation. In mouse V1, we report that complex cells, identified by their overlapping on/off subfields, has significantly weaker orientation selectivity (OS) than simple cells. This can be primarily attributed to the differential tuning selectivity

  7. Recent advances in understanding synaptic abnormalities in Rett syndrome [version 1; referees: 2 approved

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    Michael Johnston

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome is an extremely disabling X-linked nervous system disorder that mainly affects girls in early childhood and causes autism-like behavior, severe intellectual disability, seizures, sleep disturbances, autonomic instability, and other disorders due to mutations in the MeCP2 (methyl CpG-binding protein 2 transcription factor. The disorder targets synapses and synaptic plasticity and has been shown to disrupt the balance between glutamate excitatory synapses and GABAergic inhibitory synapses. In fact, it can be argued that Rett syndrome is primarily a disorder of synaptic plasticity and that agents that can correct this imbalance may have beneficial effects on brain development. This review briefly summarizes the link between disrupted synaptic plasticity mechanisms and Rett syndrome and early clinical trials that aim to target these abnormalities to improve the outcome for these severely disabled children.

  8. Role for astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors in gliotransmission and control of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex

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    Yuriy ePankratov

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Communication between neuronal and glial cells is thought to be very important for many brain functions. Acting via release of gliotransmitters, astrocytes can modulate synaptic strength. The mechanisms underlying gliotransmission remain uncertain with exocytosis being the most intriguing and debated pathway.We demonstrate that astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors are very sensitive to noradrenaline and make a significant contribution to intracellular Ca2+-signalling in layer 2/3 neocortical astrocytes. We also show that astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors are prone to desensitization upon prolonged exposure to noradrenaline.We show that within neocortical slices, α-1adrenoreceptors can activate vesicular release of ATP and D-serine from cortical astrocytes which initiate a burst of ATP receptor-mediated currents in adjacent pyramidal neurons. These purinergic currents can be inhibited by intracellular perfusion of astrocytes with Tetanus Toxin light chain, verifying their origin via astroglial exocytosis.We show that α1 adrenoreceptor-activated release of gliotransmitters is important for the induction of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex:long-term potentiation (LTP of neocortical excitatory synaptic potentials can be abolished by the selective α1-adrenoreceptor antagonist terazosin. We show that weak sub-threshold theta-burst stimulation can induce LTP when astrocytes are additionally activated by 1 μM noradrenaline. This facilitation is dependent on the activation of neuronal ATP receptors and is abolished in neocortical slices from dn-SNARE mice which have impaired glial exocytosis. Importantly, facilitation of LTP by noradrenaline can be significantly reduced by perfusion of individual astrocytes with Tetanus Toxin. Our results strongly support the physiological importance of astroglial adrenergic signalling and exocytosis of gliotransmitters for modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity .

  9. Pathway and Cell-Specific Kappa-Opioid Receptor Modulation of Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance Differentially Gates D1 and D2 Accumbens Neuron Activity

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    Tejeda, Hugo A.; Wu, Jocelyn; Kornspun, Alana R.; Pignatelli, Marco; Kashtelyan, Vadim; Krashes, Michael J.; Lowell, Brad B.; Carlezon, William A.; Bonci, Antonello

    2018-01-01

    Endogenous dynorphin signaling via the kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) powerfully mediates negative affective states and stress reactivity. Excitatory inputs from the hippocampus and amygdala play a fundamental role in shaping the activity of both NAcc D1 and D2 MSNs, which encode positive and negative motivational valences, respectively. However, a circuit-based mechanism by which KOR modulation of excitation-inhibition balance modifies D1 and D2 MSN activity is lacking. Here, we provide a comprehensive synaptic framework wherein presynaptic KOR inhibition decreases excitatory drive of D1 MSN activity by the amygdala, but not hippocampus. Conversely, presynaptic inhibition by KORs of inhibitory synapses on D2 MSNs enhances integration of excitatory drive by the amygdala and hippocampus. In conclusion, we describe a circuit-based mechanism showing differential gating of afferent control of D1 and D2 MSN activity by KORs in a pathway specific manner. PMID:28056342

  10. Enhanced Excitatory Connectivity and Disturbed Sound Processing in the Auditory Brainstem of Fragile X Mice.

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    Garcia-Pino, Elisabet; Gessele, Nikodemus; Koch, Ursula

    2017-08-02

    Hypersensitivity to sounds is one of the prevalent symptoms in individuals with Fragile X syndrome (FXS). It manifests behaviorally early during development and is often used as a landmark for treatment efficacy. However, the physiological mechanisms and circuit-level alterations underlying this aberrant behavior remain poorly understood. Using the mouse model of FXS ( Fmr1 KO ), we demonstrate that functional maturation of auditory brainstem synapses is impaired in FXS. Fmr1 KO mice showed a greatly enhanced excitatory synaptic input strength in neurons of the lateral superior olive (LSO), a prominent auditory brainstem nucleus, which integrates ipsilateral excitation and contralateral inhibition to compute interaural level differences. Conversely, the glycinergic, inhibitory input properties remained unaffected. The enhanced excitation was the result of an increased number of cochlear nucleus fibers converging onto one LSO neuron, without changing individual synapse properties. Concomitantly, immunolabeling of excitatory ending markers revealed an increase in the immunolabeled area, supporting abnormally elevated excitatory input numbers. Intrinsic firing properties were only slightly enhanced. In line with the disturbed development of LSO circuitry, auditory processing was also affected in adult Fmr1 KO mice as shown with single-unit recordings of LSO neurons. These processing deficits manifested as an increase in firing rate, a broadening of the frequency response area, and a shift in the interaural level difference function of LSO neurons. Our results suggest that this aberrant synaptic development of auditory brainstem circuits might be a major underlying cause of the auditory processing deficits in FXS. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common inheritable form of intellectual impairment, including autism. A core symptom of FXS is extreme sensitivity to loud sounds. This is one reason why individuals with FXS tend to avoid social

  11. Understanding complexities of synaptic transmission in medically intractable seizures: A paradigm of epilepsy research

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    Jyotirmoy Banerjee

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Investigating the changes associated with the development of epileptic state in humans is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Understanding the intricacies of medically intractable epilepsy still remains a challenge for neurosurgeons across the world. A significant number of patients who has undergone resective brain surgery for epilepsy still continue to have seizures. The reason behind this therapy resistance still eludes us. Thus to develop a cure for the difficult to treat epilepsy, we need to comprehensively study epileptogenesis. Although various animal models are developed but none of them replicate the pathological conditions in humans. So the ideal way to understand epileptogenecity is to examine the tissue resected for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Advanced imaging and electrical localization procedures are utilized to establish the epileptogenic zone in epilepsy patients. Further molecular and cytological studies are required for the microscopic analysis of brain samples collected from the epileptogenic focus. As alterations in inhibitory as well as excitatory synaptic transmission are key features of epilepsy, understanding the regulation of neurotransmission in the resected surgery zone is of immense importance. Here we summarize various modalities of in vitro slice analysis from the resected brain specimen to understand the changes in GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in epileptogenic zone. We also review evidence pertaining to the proposed role of nicotinic receptors in abnormal synaptic transmission which is one of the major causes of epileptiform activity. Elucidation of current concepts in regulation of synaptic transmission will help develop therapies for epilepsy cases that cannot me managed pharmacologically.

  12. 17β-Estradiol-Induced Synaptic Rearrangements Are Accompanied by Altered Ectonucleotidase Activities in Male Rat Hippocampal Synaptosomes.

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    Mitrović, Nataša; Zarić, Marina; Drakulić, Dunja; Martinović, Jelena; Sévigny, Jean; Stanojlović, Miloš; Nedeljković, Nadežda; Grković, Ivana

    2017-03-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) rapidly, by binding to membrane estrogen receptors, activates cell signaling cascades which induce formation of new dendritic spines in the hippocampus of males as in females, but the interaction with other metabolic processes, such as extracellular adenine nucleotides metabolism, are currently unknown. Extracellular adenine nucleotides play significant roles, controlling excitatory glutamatergic synapses and development of neural circuits and synaptic plasticity. Their precise regulation in the synaptic cleft is tightly controlled by ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase)/ecto-5'-nucleotidase (eN) enzyme chain. Therefore, we sought to clarify whether a single systemic injection of E2 in male rats is accompanied by changes in the expression of the pre- and postsynaptic proteins and downstream kinases linked to E2-induced synaptic rearrangement as well as alterations in NTPDase/eN pathway in the hippocampal synaptosomes. Obtained data showed activation of mammalian target of rapamycin and upregulation of key synaptic proteins necessary for spine formation, 24 h after systemic E2 administration. In E2-mediated conditions, we found downregulation of NTPDase1 and NTPDase2 and attenuation of adenine nucleotide hydrolysis by NTPDase/eN enzyme chain, without changes in NTPDase3 properties and augmentation of synaptic tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) activity. Despite reduced NTPDase activities, increased TNAP activity probably prevents toxic accumulation of ATP in the extracellular milieu and also hydrolyzes accumulated ADP due to unchanged NTPDase3 activity. Thus, our initial evaluation supports idea of specific roles of different ectonucleotidases and their coordinated actions in E2-mediated spine remodeling and maintenance.

  13. ATM and ATR play complementary roles in the behavior of excitatory and inhibitory vesicle populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Aifang; Zhao, Teng; Tse, Kai-Hei; Chow, Hei-Man; Cui, Yong; Jiang, Liwen; Du, Shengwang; Loy, Michael M T; Herrup, Karl

    2018-01-09

    ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) and ATR (ATM and Rad3-related) are large PI3 kinases whose human mutations result in complex syndromes that include a compromised DNA damage response (DDR) and prominent nervous system phenotypes. Both proteins are nuclear-localized in keeping with their DDR functions, yet both are also found in cytoplasm, including on neuronal synaptic vesicles. In ATM- or ATR-deficient neurons, spontaneous vesicle release is reduced, but a drop in ATM or ATR level also slows FM4-64 dye uptake. In keeping with this, both proteins bind to AP-2 complex components as well as to clathrin, suggesting roles in endocytosis and vesicle recycling. The two proteins play complementary roles in the DDR; ATM is engaged in the repair of double-strand breaks, while ATR deals mainly with single-strand damage. Unexpectedly, this complementarity extends to these proteins' synaptic function as well. Superresolution microscopy and coimmunoprecipitation reveal that ATM associates exclusively with excitatory (VGLUT1 + ) vesicles, while ATR associates only with inhibitory (VGAT + ) vesicles. The levels of ATM and ATR respond to each other; when ATM is deficient, ATR levels rise, and vice versa. Finally, blocking NMDA, but not GABA, receptors causes ATM levels to rise while ATR levels respond to GABA, but not NMDA, receptor blockade. Taken together, our data suggest that ATM and ATR are part of the cellular "infrastructure" that maintains the excitatory/inhibitory balance of the nervous system. This idea has important implications for the human diseases resulting from their genetic deficiency.

  14. The temporoammonic input to the hippocampal CA1 region displays distinctly different synaptic plasticity compared to the Schaffer collateral input in vivo: significance for synaptic information processing

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    Ayla eAksoy Aksel

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available In terms of its sub-regional differentiation, the hippocampal CA1 region receives cortical information directly via the perforant (temporoammonic path (pp-CA1 synapse and indirectly via the tri-synaptic pathway where the last relay station is the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapse (Sc-CA1 synapse. Research to date on pp-CA1 synapses has been conducted predominantly in vitro and never in awake animals, but these studies hint that information processing at this synapse might be distinct to processing at the Sc-CA1 synapse. Here, we characterized synaptic properties and synaptic plasticity at the pp-CA1 synapse of freely behaving adult rats. We established that field excitatory postsynaptic potentials at the pp-CA1 have longer onset latencies and a shorter time-to-peak compared to the Sc-CA1 synapse. LTP (> 24h was successfully evoked by tetanic afferent stimulation of pp-CA1 synapses. Low frequency stimulation evoked synaptic depression at Sc-CA1 synapses, but did not elicit LTD at pp-CA1 synapses unless the Schaffer collateral afferents to the CA1 region had been severed. Paired-pulse responses also showed significant differences. Our data suggest that synaptic plasticity at the pp-CA1 synapse is distinct from the Sc-CA1 synapse and that this may reflect its specific role in hippocampal information processing.

  15. 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.

  16. Presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic synaptic transmission by adenosine in mouse hypothalamic hypocretin neurons.

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    Xia, J X; Xiong, J X; Wang, H K; Duan, S M; Ye, J N; Hu, Z A

    2012-01-10

    Hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a new wakefulness-promoting center, have been recently regarded as an important target involved in endogenous adenosine-regulating sleep homeostasis. The GABAergic synaptic transmissions are the main inhibitory afferents to hypocretin neurons, which play an important role in the regulation of excitability of these neurons. The inhibitory effect of adenosine, a homeostatic sleep-promoting factor, on the excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmissions in hypocretin neurons has been well documented, whether adenosine also modulates these inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmissions in these neurons has not been investigated. In this study, the effect of adenosine on inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in hypocretin neurons was examined by using perforated patch-clamp recordings in the acute hypothalamic slices. The findings demonstrated that adenosine suppressed the amplitude of evoked IPSCs in a dose-dependent manner, which was completely abolished by 8-cyclopentyltheophylline (CPT), a selective antagonist of adenosine A1 receptor but not adenosine A2 receptor antagonist 3,7-dimethyl-1-(2-propynyl) xanthine. A presynaptic origin was suggested as following: adenosine increased paired-pulse ratio as well as reduced GABAergic miniature IPSC frequency without affecting the miniature IPSC amplitude. Further findings demonstrated that when the frequency of electrical stimulation was raised to 10 Hz, but not 1 Hz, a time-dependent depression of evoked IPSC amplitude was detected in hypocretin neurons, which could be partially blocked by CPT. However, under a higher frequency at 100 Hz stimulation, CPT had no action on the depressed GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by such tetanic stimulation in these hypocretin neurons. These results suggest that endogenous adenosine generated under certain stronger activities of synaptic transmissions exerts an inhibitory effect on GABAergic synaptic transmission in hypocretin

  17. Synaptic Conversion of Chloride-Dependent Synapses in Spinal Nociceptive Circuits: Roles in Neuropathic Pain

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    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrophysiological conversion of chloride-dependent synapses from inhibitory to excitatory function, as a result of aberrant neuronal chloride homeostasis, is a known mechanism for the genesis of neuropathic pain. This paper examines theoretically how this type of synaptic conversion can disrupt circuit logic in spinal nociceptive circuits. First, a mathematical scaling factor is developed to represent local aberration in chloride electrochemical driving potential. Using this mathematical scaling factor, electrophysiological symbols are developed to represent the magnitude of synaptic conversion within nociceptive circuits. When inserted into a nociceptive circuit diagram, these symbols assist in understanding the generation of neuropathic pain associated with the collapse of transmembrane chloride gradients. A more generalized scaling factor is also derived to represent the interplay of chloride and bicarbonate driving potentials on the function of GABAergic and glycinergic synapses. These mathematical and symbolic representations of synaptic conversion help illustrate the critical role that anion driving potentials play in the transduction of pain. Using these representations, we discuss ramifications of glial-mediated synaptic conversion in the genesis, and treatment, of neuropathic pain.

  18. Intrinsically-generated fluctuating activity in excitatory-inhibitory networks

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    Mastrogiuseppe, Francesca; Ostojic, Srdjan

    2017-01-01

    Recurrent networks of non-linear units display a variety of dynamical regimes depending on the structure of their synaptic connectivity. A particularly remarkable phenomenon is the appearance of strongly fluctuating, chaotic activity in networks of deterministic, but randomly connected rate units. How this type of intrinsically generated fluctuations appears in more realistic networks of spiking neurons has been a long standing question. To ease the comparison between rate and spiking networks, recent works investigated the dynamical regimes of randomly-connected rate networks with segregated excitatory and inhibitory populations, and firing rates constrained to be positive. These works derived general dynamical mean field (DMF) equations describing the fluctuating dynamics, but solved these equations only in the case of purely inhibitory networks. Using a simplified excitatory-inhibitory architecture in which DMF equations are more easily tractable, here we show that the presence of excitation qualitatively modifies the fluctuating activity compared to purely inhibitory networks. In presence of excitation, intrinsically generated fluctuations induce a strong increase in mean firing rates, a phenomenon that is much weaker in purely inhibitory networks. Excitation moreover induces two different fluctuating regimes: for moderate overall coupling, recurrent inhibition is sufficient to stabilize fluctuations; for strong coupling, firing rates are stabilized solely by the upper bound imposed on activity, even if inhibition is stronger than excitation. These results extend to more general network architectures, and to rate networks receiving noisy inputs mimicking spiking activity. Finally, we show that signatures of the second dynamical regime appear in networks of integrate-and-fire neurons. PMID:28437436

  19. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

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    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the 4 proteins and include a stage during early development (<1 year when only Gephyrin has high inter-individual variability. We also found that pre- and post-synaptic protein balances develop quickly, suggesting that maturation of certain synaptic functions happens within the first year or two of life. A multidimensional analysis (principle component analysis showed that most of the variance was captured by the sum of the 4 synaptic proteins. We used that sum to compare development of human and rat visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic.

  20. Noise Trauma-Induced Behavioral Gap Detection Deficits Correlate with Reorganization of Excitatory and Inhibitory Local Circuits in the Inferior Colliculus and Are Prevented by Acoustic Enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturm, Joshua J; Zhang-Hooks, Ying-Xin; Roos, Hannah; Nguyen, Tuan; Kandler, Karl

    2017-06-28

    Hearing loss leads to a host of cellular and synaptic changes in auditory brain areas that are thought to give rise to auditory perception deficits such as temporal processing impairments, hyperacusis, and tinnitus. However, little is known about possible changes in synaptic circuit connectivity that may underlie these hearing deficits. Here, we show that mild hearing loss as a result of brief noise exposure leads to a pronounced reorganization of local excitatory and inhibitory circuits in the mouse inferior colliculus. The exact nature of these reorganizations correlated with the presence or absence of the animals' impairments in detecting brief sound gaps, a commonly used behavioral sign for tinnitus in animal models. Mice with gap detection deficits (GDDs) showed a shift in the balance of synaptic excitation and inhibition that was present in both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, whereas mice without GDDs showed stable excitation-inhibition balances. Acoustic enrichment (AE) with moderate intensity, pulsed white noise immediately after noise trauma prevented both circuit reorganization and GDDs, raising the possibility of using AE immediately after cochlear damage to prevent or alleviate the emergence of central auditory processing deficits. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Noise overexposure is a major cause of central auditory processing disorders, including tinnitus, yet the changes in synaptic connectivity underlying these disorders remain poorly understood. Here, we find that brief noise overexposure leads to distinct reorganizations of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs onto glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and that the nature of these reorganizations correlates with animals' impairments in detecting brief sound gaps, which is often considered a sign of tinnitus. Acoustic enrichment immediately after noise trauma prevents circuit reorganizations and gap detection deficits, highlighting the potential for using sound therapy soon after cochlear damage

  1. Generalization of the event-based Carnevale-Hines integration scheme for integrate-and-fire models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Elburg, R.A.J.; van Ooyen, A.

    2009-01-01

    An event-based integration scheme for an integrate-and-fire neuron model with exponentially decaying excitatory synaptic currents and double exponential inhibitory synaptic currents has been introduced by Carnevale and Hines. However, the integration scheme imposes nonphysiological constraints on

  2. Generalization of the Event-Based Carnevale-Hines Integration Scheme for Integrate-and-Fire Models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Elburg, Ronald A. J.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    An event-based integration scheme for an integrate-and-fire neuron model with exponentially decaying excitatory synaptic currents and double exponential inhibitory synaptic currents has been introduced by Carnevale and Hines. However, the integration scheme imposes nonphysiological constraints on

  3. Impact of adaptation currents on synchronization of coupled exponential integrate-and-fire neurons.

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    Josef Ladenbauer

    Full Text Available The ability of spiking neurons to synchronize their activity in a network depends on the response behavior of these neurons as quantified by the phase response curve (PRC and on coupling properties. The PRC characterizes the effects of transient inputs on spike timing and can be measured experimentally. Here we use the adaptive exponential integrate-and-fire (aEIF neuron model to determine how subthreshold and spike-triggered slow adaptation currents shape the PRC. Based on that, we predict how synchrony and phase locked states of coupled neurons change in presence of synaptic delays and unequal coupling strengths. We find that increased subthreshold adaptation currents cause a transition of the PRC from only phase advances to phase advances and delays in response to excitatory perturbations. Increased spike-triggered adaptation currents on the other hand predominantly skew the PRC to the right. Both adaptation induced changes of the PRC are modulated by spike frequency, being more prominent at lower frequencies. Applying phase reduction theory, we show that subthreshold adaptation stabilizes synchrony for pairs of coupled excitatory neurons, while spike-triggered adaptation causes locking with a small phase difference, as long as synaptic heterogeneities are negligible. For inhibitory pairs synchrony is stable and robust against conduction delays, and adaptation can mediate bistability of in-phase and anti-phase locking. We further demonstrate that stable synchrony and bistable in/anti-phase locking of pairs carry over to synchronization and clustering of larger networks. The effects of adaptation in aEIF neurons on PRCs and network dynamics qualitatively reflect those of biophysical adaptation currents in detailed Hodgkin-Huxley-based neurons, which underscores the utility of the aEIF model for investigating the dynamical behavior of networks. Our results suggest neuronal spike frequency adaptation as a mechanism synchronizing low frequency

  4. Excitatory transmission from the amygdala to nucleus accumbens facilitates reward seeking.

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    Stuber, Garret D; Sparta, Dennis R; Stamatakis, Alice M; van Leeuwen, Wieke A; Hardjoprajitno, Juanita E; Cho, Saemi; Tye, Kay M; Kempadoo, Kimberly A; Zhang, Feng; Deisseroth, Karl; Bonci, Antonello

    2011-06-29

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) has a crucial role in emotional learning irrespective of valence. The BLA projection to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) is thought to modulate cue-triggered motivated behaviours, but our understanding of the interaction between these two brain regions has been limited by the inability to manipulate neural-circuit elements of this pathway selectively during behaviour. To circumvent this limitation, we used in vivo optogenetic stimulation or inhibition of glutamatergic fibres from the BLA to the NAc, coupled with intracranial pharmacology and ex vivo electrophysiology. Here we show that optical stimulation of the pathway from the BLA to the NAc in mice reinforces behavioural responding to earn additional optical stimulation of these synaptic inputs. Optical stimulation of these glutamatergic fibres required intra-NAc dopamine D1-type receptor signalling, but not D2-type receptor signalling. Brief optical inhibition of fibres from the BLA to the NAc reduced cue-evoked intake of sucrose, demonstrating an important role of this specific pathway in controlling naturally occurring reward-related behaviour. Moreover, although optical stimulation of glutamatergic fibres from the medial prefrontal cortex to the NAc also elicited reliable excitatory synaptic responses, optical self-stimulation behaviour was not observed by activation of this pathway. These data indicate that whereas the BLA is important for processing both positive and negative affect, the glutamatergic pathway from the BLA to the NAc, in conjunction with dopamine signalling in the NAc, promotes motivated behavioural responding. Thus, optogenetic manipulation of anatomically distinct synaptic inputs to the NAc reveals functionally distinct properties of these inputs in controlling reward-seeking behaviours.

  5. Operant conditioning of synaptic and spiking activity patterns in single hippocampal neurons.

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    Ishikawa, Daisuke; Matsumoto, Nobuyoshi; Sakaguchi, Tetsuya; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2014-04-02

    Learning is a process of plastic adaptation through which a neural circuit generates a more preferable outcome; however, at a microscopic level, little is known about how synaptic activity is patterned into a desired configuration. Here, we report that animals can generate a specific form of synaptic activity in a given neuron in the hippocampus. In awake, head-restricted mice, we applied electrical stimulation to the lateral hypothalamus, a reward-associated brain region, when whole-cell patch-clamped CA1 neurons exhibited spontaneous synaptic activity that met preset criteria. Within 15 min, the mice learned to generate frequently the excitatory synaptic input pattern that satisfied the criteria. This reinforcement learning of synaptic activity was not observed for inhibitory input patterns. When a burst unit activity pattern was conditioned in paired and nonpaired paradigms, the frequency of burst-spiking events increased and decreased, respectively. The burst reinforcement occurred in the conditioned neuron but not in other adjacent neurons; however, ripple field oscillations were concomitantly reinforced. Neural conditioning depended on activation of NMDA receptors and dopamine D1 receptors. Acutely stressed mice and depression model mice that were subjected to forced swimming failed to exhibit the neural conditioning. This learning deficit was rescued by repetitive treatment with fluoxetine, an antidepressant. Therefore, internally motivated animals are capable of routing an ongoing action potential series into a specific neural pathway of the hippocampal network.

  6. Lack of paternal care affects synaptic development in the anterior cingulate cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovtscharoff, Wladimir; Helmeke, Carina; Braun, Katharina

    2006-10-20

    Exposure to enriched or impoverished environmental conditions, experience and learning are factors which influence brain development, and it has been shown that neonatal emotional experience significantly interferes with the synaptic development of higher associative forebrain areas. Here, we analyzed the impact of paternal care, i.e. the father's emotional contribution towards his offspring, on the synaptic development of the anterior cingulate cortex. Our light and electron microscopic comparison of biparentally raised control animals and animals which were raised in single-mother families revealed no significant differences in spine densities on the apical dendrites of layer II/III pyramidal neurons and of asymmetric and symmetric spine synapses. However, significantly reduced densities (-33%) of symmetric shaft synapses were found in layer II of the fatherless animals compared to controls. This finding indicates an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the anterior cingulate cortex of father-deprived animals. Our results query the general assumption that a father has less impact on the synaptic maturation of his offspring's brain than the mother.

  7. Somatodendritic and excitatory postsynaptic distribution of neuron-type dystrophin isoform, Dp40, in hippocampal neurons

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    Fujimoto, Takahiro; Itoh, Kyoko, E-mail: kxi14@koto.kpu-m.ac.jp; Yaoi, Takeshi; Fushiki, Shinji

    2014-09-12

    Highlights: • Identification of dystrophin (Dp) shortest isoform, Dp40, is a neuron-type Dp. • Dp40 expression is temporally and differentially regulated in comparison to Dp71. • Somatodendritic and nuclear localization of Dp40. • Dp40 is localized to excitatory postsynapses. • Dp40 might play roles in dendritic and synaptic functions. - Abstract: The Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene produces multiple dystrophin (Dp) products due to the presence of several promoters. We previously reported the existence of a novel short isoform of Dp, Dp40, in adult mouse brain. However, the exact biochemical expression profile and cytological distribution of the Dp40 protein remain unknown. In this study, we generated a polyclonal antibody against the NH{sub 2}-terminal region of the Dp40 and identified the expression profile of Dp40 in the mouse brain. Through an analysis using embryonic and postnatal mouse cerebrums, we found that Dp40 emerged from the early neonatal stages until adulthood, whereas Dp71, an another Dp short isoform, was highly detected in both prenatal and postnatal cerebrums. Intriguingly, relative expressions of Dp40 and Dp71 were prominent in cultured dissociated neurons and non-neuronal cells derived from mouse hippocampus, respectively. Furthermore, the immunocytological distribution of Dp40 was analyzed in dissociated cultured neurons, revealing that Dp40 is detected in the soma and its dendrites, but not in the axon. It is worthy to note that Dp40 is localized along the subplasmalemmal region of the dendritic shafts, as well as at excitatory postsynaptic sites. Thus, Dp40 was identified as a neuron-type Dp possibly involving dendritic and synaptic functions.

  8. Somatodendritic and excitatory postsynaptic distribution of neuron-type dystrophin isoform, Dp40, in hippocampal neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujimoto, Takahiro; Itoh, Kyoko; Yaoi, Takeshi; Fushiki, Shinji

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Identification of dystrophin (Dp) shortest isoform, Dp40, is a neuron-type Dp. • Dp40 expression is temporally and differentially regulated in comparison to Dp71. • Somatodendritic and nuclear localization of Dp40. • Dp40 is localized to excitatory postsynapses. • Dp40 might play roles in dendritic and synaptic functions. - Abstract: The Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene produces multiple dystrophin (Dp) products due to the presence of several promoters. We previously reported the existence of a novel short isoform of Dp, Dp40, in adult mouse brain. However, the exact biochemical expression profile and cytological distribution of the Dp40 protein remain unknown. In this study, we generated a polyclonal antibody against the NH 2 -terminal region of the Dp40 and identified the expression profile of Dp40 in the mouse brain. Through an analysis using embryonic and postnatal mouse cerebrums, we found that Dp40 emerged from the early neonatal stages until adulthood, whereas Dp71, an another Dp short isoform, was highly detected in both prenatal and postnatal cerebrums. Intriguingly, relative expressions of Dp40 and Dp71 were prominent in cultured dissociated neurons and non-neuronal cells derived from mouse hippocampus, respectively. Furthermore, the immunocytological distribution of Dp40 was analyzed in dissociated cultured neurons, revealing that Dp40 is detected in the soma and its dendrites, but not in the axon. It is worthy to note that Dp40 is localized along the subplasmalemmal region of the dendritic shafts, as well as at excitatory postsynaptic sites. Thus, Dp40 was identified as a neuron-type Dp possibly involving dendritic and synaptic functions

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa eMapelli

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapelli, Lisa; Pagani, Martina; Garrido, Jesus A; D'Angelo, Egidio

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

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    Aincy, Marianne; Meziane, Hamid; Herault, Yann; Humeau, Yann

    2018-06-08

    The amygdala is a part of the limbic circuit that has been extensively studied in terms of synaptic connectivity, plasticity and cellular organization since decades (Ehrlich et al., 2009; Ledoux, 2000; Maren, 2001). Amygdala sub-nuclei, including lateral, basolateral and central amygdala appear now as "hubs" providing in parallel and in series neuronal processing enabling the animal to elicit freezing or escaping behavior in response to external threats. In rodents, these behaviors are easily observed and quantified following associative fear conditioning. Thus, studies on amygdala circuit in association with threat/fear behavior became very popular in laboratories and are often used among other behavioral tests to evaluate learning abilities of mouse models for various neuropsychiatric conditions including genetically encoded intellectual disabilities (ID). Yet, more than 100 human X-linked genes - and several hundreds of autosomal genes - have been associated with ID in humans. These mutations introduced in mice can generate social deficits, anxiety dysregulations and fear learning impairments (McNaughton et al., 2008; Houbaert et al., 2013; Jayachandran et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2015). Noteworthy, a significant proportion of the coded ID gene products are synaptic proteins. It is postulated that the loss of function of these proteins could destabilize neuronal circuits by global changes of the balance between inhibitory and excitatory drives onto neurons. However, whereas amygdala related behavioral deficits are commonly observed in ID models, the role of most of these ID-genes in synaptic function and plasticity in the amygdala are only sparsely studied. We will here discuss some of the concepts that emerged from amygdala-targeted studies examining the role of syndromic and non-syndromic ID genes in fear-related behaviors and/or synaptic function. Along describing these cases, we will discuss how synaptic deficits observed in amygdala circuits could impact

  12. Agrin and synaptic laminin are required to maintain adult neuromuscular junctions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A Samuel

    Full Text Available As synapses form and mature the synaptic partners produce organizing molecules that regulate each other's differentiation and ensure precise apposition of pre- and post-synaptic specializations. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction (NMJ, these molecules include agrin, a nerve-derived organizer of postsynaptic differentiation, and synaptic laminins, muscle-derived organizers of presynaptic differentiation. Both become concentrated in the synaptic cleft as the NMJ develops and are retained in adulthood. Here, we used mutant mice to ask whether these organizers are also required for synaptic maintenance. Deletion of agrin from a subset of adult motor neurons resulted in the loss of acetylcholine receptors and other components of the postsynaptic apparatus and synaptic cleft. Nerve terminals also atrophied and eventually withdrew from muscle fibers. On the other hand, mice lacking the presynaptic organizer laminin-α4 retained most of the synaptic cleft components but exhibited synaptic alterations reminiscent of those observed in aged animals. Although we detected no marked decrease in laminin or agrin levels at aged NMJs, we observed alterations in the distribution and organization of these synaptic cleft components suggesting that such changes could contribute to age-related synaptic disassembly. Together, these results demonstrate that pre- and post-synaptic organizers actively function to maintain the structure and function of adult NMJs.

  13. Isolation of Synaptosomes, Synaptic Plasma Membranes, and Synaptic Junctional Complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelis, Mary L; Jiang, Lei; Michaelis, Elias K

    2017-01-01

    Isolation of synaptic nerve terminals or synaptosomes provides an opportunity to study the process of neurotransmission at many levels and with a variety of approaches. For example, structural features of the synaptic terminals and the organelles within them, such as synaptic vesicles and mitochondria, have been elucidated with electron microscopy. The postsynaptic membranes are joined to the presynaptic "active zone" of transmitter release through cell adhesion molecules and remain attached throughout the isolation of synaptosomes. These "post synaptic densities" or "PSDs" contain the receptors for the transmitters released from the nerve terminals and can easily be seen with electron microscopy. Biochemical and cell biological studies with synaptosomes have revealed which proteins and lipids are most actively involved in synaptic release of neurotransmitters. The functional properties of the nerve terminals, such as responses to depolarization and the uptake or release of signaling molecules, have also been characterized through the use of fluorescent dyes, tagged transmitters, and transporter substrates. In addition, isolated synaptosomes can serve as the starting material for the isolation of relatively pure synaptic plasma membranes (SPMs) that are devoid of organelles from the internal environment of the nerve terminal, such as mitochondria and synaptic vesicles. The isolated SPMs can reseal and form vesicular structures in which transport of ions such as sodium and calcium, as well as solutes such as neurotransmitters can be studied. The PSDs also remain associated with the presynaptic membranes during isolation of SPM fractions, making it possible to isolate the synaptic junctional complexes (SJCs) devoid of the rest of the plasma membranes of the nerve terminals and postsynaptic membrane components. Isolated SJCs can be used to identify the proteins that constitute this highly specialized region of neurons. In this chapter, we describe the steps involved

  14. Synaptic Transmission Optimization Predicts Expression Loci of Long-Term Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Rui Ponte; Padamsey, Zahid; D'Amour, James A; Emptage, Nigel J; Froemke, Robert C; Vogels, Tim P

    2017-09-27

    Long-term modifications of neuronal connections are critical for reliable memory storage in the brain. However, their locus of expression-pre- or postsynaptic-is highly variable. Here we introduce a theoretical framework in which long-term plasticity performs an optimization of the postsynaptic response statistics toward a given mean with minimal variance. Consequently, the state of the synapse at the time of plasticity induction determines the ratio of pre- and postsynaptic modifications. Our theory explains the experimentally observed expression loci of the hippocampal and neocortical synaptic potentiation studies we examined. Moreover, the theory predicts presynaptic expression of long-term depression, consistent with experimental observations. At inhibitory synapses, the theory suggests a statistically efficient excitatory-inhibitory balance in which changes in inhibitory postsynaptic response statistics specifically target the mean excitation. Our results provide a unifying theory for understanding the expression mechanisms and functions of long-term synaptic transmission plasticity. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Spine Calcium Transients Induced by Synaptically-Evoked Action Potentials Can Predict Synapse Location and Establish Synaptic Democracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

    CA1 pyramidal neurons receive hundreds of synaptic inputs at different distances from the soma. Distance-dependent synaptic scaling enables distal and proximal synapses to influence the somatic membrane equally, a phenomenon called “synaptic democracy”. How this is established is unclear. The backpropagating action potential (BAP) is hypothesised to provide distance-dependent information to synapses, allowing synaptic strengths to scale accordingly. Experimental measurements show that a BAP evoked by current injection at the soma causes calcium currents in the apical shaft whose amplitudes decay with distance from the soma. However, in vivo action potentials are not induced by somatic current injection but by synaptic inputs along the dendrites, which creates a different excitable state of the dendrites. Due to technical limitations, it is not possible to study experimentally whether distance information can also be provided by synaptically-evoked BAPs. Therefore we adapted a realistic morphological and electrophysiological model to measure BAP-induced voltage and calcium signals in spines after Schaffer collateral synapse stimulation. We show that peak calcium concentration is highly correlated with soma-synapse distance under a number of physiologically-realistic suprathreshold stimulation regimes and for a range of dendritic morphologies. Peak calcium levels also predicted the attenuation of the EPSP across the dendritic tree. Furthermore, we show that peak calcium can be used to set up a synaptic democracy in a homeostatic manner, whereby synapses regulate their synaptic strength on the basis of the difference between peak calcium and a uniform target value. We conclude that information derived from synaptically-generated BAPs can indicate synapse location and can subsequently be utilised to implement a synaptic democracy. PMID:22719238

  17. Astrocyte matricellular proteins that control excitatory synaptogenesis are regulated by inflammatory cytokines and correlate with paralysis severity during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

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    Pennelope K. Blakely

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The matricellular proteins, secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC and SPARC-like 1 (SPARCL1, are produced by astrocytes and control excitatory synaptogenesis in the central nervous system. While SPARCL1 directly promotes excitatory synapse formation in vitro and in the developing nervous system in vivo, SPARC specifically antagonizes the synaptogenic actions of SPARCL1. We hypothesized these proteins also help maintain existing excitatory synapses in adult hosts, and that local inflammation in the spinal cord alters their production in a way that dynamically modulates motor synapses and impacts the severity of paralysis during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE in mice. Using a spontaneously remitting EAE model, paralysis severity correlated inversely with both expression of synaptic proteins and the number of synapses in direct contact with the perikarya of motor neurons in spinal grey matter. In both remitting and non-remitting EAE models, paralysis severity also correlated inversely with sparcl1:sparc transcript and SPARCL1:SPARC protein ratios directly in lumbar spinal cord tissue. In vitro, astrocyte production of both SPARCL1 and SPARC was regulated by T cell-derived cytokines, causing dynamic modulation of the SPARCL1:SPARC expression ratio. Taken together, these data support a model whereby proinflammatory cytokines inhibit SPARCL1 and/or augment SPARC expression by astrocytes in spinal grey matter that, in turn, cause either transient or sustained synaptic retraction from lumbar spinal motor neurons thereby regulating hind limb paralysis during EAE. Ongoing studies seek ways to alter this SPARCL1:SPARC expression ratio in favor of synapse reformation/maintenance and thus help to modulate neurologic deficits during times of inflammation. This could identify new astrocyte-targeted therapies for diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

  18. Lead Exposure Impairs Hippocampus Related Learning and Memory by Altering Synaptic Plasticity and Morphology During Juvenile Period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tao; Guan, Rui-Li; Liu, Ming-Chao; Shen, Xue-Feng; Chen, Jing Yuan; Zhao, Ming-Gao; Luo, Wen-Jing

    2016-08-01

    Lead (Pb) is an environmental neurotoxic metal. Pb exposure may cause neurobehavioral changes, such as learning and memory impairment, and adolescence violence among children. Previous animal models have largely focused on the effects of Pb exposure during early development (from gestation to lactation period) on neurobehavior. In this study, we exposed Sprague-Dawley rats during the juvenile stage (from juvenile period to adult period). We investigated the synaptic function and structural changes and the relationship of these changes to neurobehavioral deficits in adult rats. Our results showed that juvenile Pb exposure caused fear-conditioned memory impairment and anxiety-like behavior, but locomotion and pain behavior were indistinguishable from the controls. Electrophysiological studies showed that long-term potentiation induction was affected in Pb-exposed rats, and this was probably due to excitatory synaptic transmission impairment in Pb-exposed rats. We found that NMDA and AMPA receptor-mediated current was inhibited, whereas the GABA synaptic transmission was normal in Pb-exposed rats. NR2A and phosphorylated GluR1 expression decreased. Moreover, morphological studies showed that density of dendritic spines declined by about 20 % in the Pb-treated group. The spine showed an immature form in Pb-exposed rats, as indicated by spine size measurements. However, the length and arborization of dendrites were unchanged. Our results suggested that juvenile Pb exposure in rats is associated with alterations in the glutamate receptor, which caused synaptic functional and morphological changes in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, thereby leading to behavioral changes.

  19. Methamphetamine reduces LTP and increases baseline synaptic transmission in the CA1 region of mouse hippocampus.

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    Jarod Swant

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Methamphetamine (METH is an addictive psychostimulant whose societal impact is on the rise. Emerging evidence suggests that psychostimulants alter synaptic plasticity in the brain--which may partly account for their adverse effects. While it is known that METH increases the extracellular concentration of monoamines dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, it is not clear how METH alters glutamatergic transmission. Within this context, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and systemic METH on basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP; an activity-induced increase in synaptic efficacy in CA1 sub-field in the hippocampus. Both the acute ex vivo application of METH to hippocampal slices and systemic administration of METH decreased LTP. Interestingly, the acute ex vivo application of METH at a concentration of 30 or 60 microM increased baseline synaptic transmission as well as decreased LTP. Pretreatment with eticlopride (D2-like receptor antagonist did not alter the effects of METH on synaptic transmission or LTP. In contrast, pretreatment with D1/D5 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390 or 5-HT1A receptor antagonist NAN-190 abrogated the effect of METH on synaptic transmission. Furthermore, METH did not increase baseline synaptic transmission in D1 dopamine receptor haploinsufficient mice. Our findings suggest that METH affects excitatory synaptic transmission via activation of dopamine and serotonin receptor systems in the hippocampus. This modulation may contribute to synaptic maladaption induced by METH addiction and/or METH-mediated cognitive dysfunction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Chiye; Sherpa, Ang D

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Pre- and post-synaptic sympathetic function in human hibernating myocardium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    John, Anna S.; Pepper, John R.; Dreyfus, Gilles D.; Pennell, Dudley J.; Mongillo, Marco; Khan, Muhammad T.; Depre, Christophe; Rimoldi, Ornella E.; Camici, Paolo G.

    2007-01-01

    Impaired pre-synaptic noradrenaline uptake-1 mechanism has been reported in a swine model of hibernating myocardium (HM). To ascertain whether adrenergic neuroeffector abnormalities are present in human HM, we combined functional measurements in vivo using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and positron emission tomography (PET) to assess pre- and post-synaptic sympathetic function. Twelve patients with coronary artery disease and chronic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction underwent CMR at baseline and 6 months after bypass for assessment of regional and global LV function and identification of segments with reversible dysfunction. Before surgery, myocardial noradrenaline uptake-1 ([ 11 C]meta-hydroxy-ephedrine; HED) and β-adrenoceptor (β-AR) density ([ 11 C]CGP-12177) were measured with PET. Patient PET data were compared with those in 18 healthy controls. The volume of distribution (V d ) of HED in HM (47.95±28.05 ml/g) and infarcted myocardium (42.69±25.76 ml/g) was significantly reduced compared with controls (66.09±14.48 ml/g). The V d of HED in normal myocardium (49.93±20.48 ml/g) of patients was also lower than that in controls and the difference was close to statistical significance (p=0.06). Myocardial β-AR density was significantly lower in HM (5.49±2.35 pmol/g), infarcted (4.82±2.61 pmol/g) and normal (5.86±1.81 pmol/g) segments of patients compared with healthy controls (8.61±1.32 pmol/g). Noradrenaline uptake-1 mechanism and β-AR density are reduced in the myocardium of patients with chronic LV dysfunction and evidence of HM. The increased sympathetic activity to the heart in these patients is a generalised rather than regional phenomenon which is likely to contribute to the remodelling process of the whole LV rather than playing a causative role in HM. (orig.)

  2. Pre- and post-synaptic sympathetic function in human hibernating myocardium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John, Anna S.; Pepper, John R.; Dreyfus, Gilles D.; Pennell, Dudley J. [Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, London (United Kingdom); Mongillo, Marco; Khan, Muhammad T. [Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, London (United Kingdom); Depre, Christophe [University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, New Jersey, NJ (United States); University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Medicine, New Jersey, NJ (United States); Rimoldi, Ornella E. [Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, London (United Kingdom); Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, London (United Kingdom); New York Medical College, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Medicine, Valhalla, NY (United States); Camici, Paolo G. [Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, London (United Kingdom); Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, London (United Kingdom)

    2007-12-15

    Impaired pre-synaptic noradrenaline uptake-1 mechanism has been reported in a swine model of hibernating myocardium (HM). To ascertain whether adrenergic neuroeffector abnormalities are present in human HM, we combined functional measurements in vivo using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and positron emission tomography (PET) to assess pre- and post-synaptic sympathetic function. Twelve patients with coronary artery disease and chronic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction underwent CMR at baseline and 6 months after bypass for assessment of regional and global LV function and identification of segments with reversible dysfunction. Before surgery, myocardial noradrenaline uptake-1 ([{sup 11}C]meta-hydroxy-ephedrine; HED) and {beta}-adrenoceptor ({beta}-AR) density ([{sup 11}C]CGP-12177) were measured with PET. Patient PET data were compared with those in 18 healthy controls. The volume of distribution (V{sub d}) of HED in HM (47.95{+-}28.05 ml/g) and infarcted myocardium (42.69{+-}25.76 ml/g) was significantly reduced compared with controls (66.09{+-}14.48 ml/g). The V{sub d} of HED in normal myocardium (49.93{+-}20.48 ml/g) of patients was also lower than that in controls and the difference was close to statistical significance (p=0.06). Myocardial {beta}-AR density was significantly lower in HM (5.49{+-}2.35 pmol/g), infarcted (4.82{+-}2.61 pmol/g) and normal (5.86{+-}1.81 pmol/g) segments of patients compared with healthy controls (8.61{+-}1.32 pmol/g). Noradrenaline uptake-1 mechanism and {beta}-AR density are reduced in the myocardium of patients with chronic LV dysfunction and evidence of HM. The increased sympathetic activity to the heart in these patients is a generalised rather than regional phenomenon which is likely to contribute to the remodelling process of the whole LV rather than playing a causative role in HM. (orig.)

  3. Synaptic Wnt/GSK3β Signaling Hub in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caracci, Mario O.; Ávila, Miguel E.; De Ferrari, Giancarlo V.

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of genes have been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and the interaction of weak and de novo variants derive from distinct autistic phenotypes thus making up the “spectrum.” The convergence of these variants in networks of genes associated with synaptic function warrants the study of cell signaling pathways involved in the regulation of the synapse. The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a central role in the development and regulation of the central nervous system and several genes belonging to the cascade have been genetically associated with ASDs. In the present paper, we review basic information regarding the role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in excitatory/inhibitory balance (E/I balance) through the regulation of pre- and postsynaptic compartments. Furthermore, we integrate information supporting the role of the glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in the onset/development of ASDs through direct modulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Finally, given GSK3β activity as key modulator of synaptic plasticity, we explore the potential of this kinase as a therapeutic target for ASD. PMID:26881141

  4. A neuromorphic implementation of multiple spike-timing synaptic plasticity rules for large-scale neural networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runchun Mark Wang

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available We present a neuromorphic implementation of multiple synaptic plasticity learning rules, which include both Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP and Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity (STDDP. We present a fully digital implementation as well as a mixed-signal implementation, both of which use a novel dynamic-assignment time-multiplexing approach and support up to 2^26 (64M synaptic plasticity elements. Rather than implementing dedicated synapses for particular types of synaptic plasticity, we implemented a more generic synaptic plasticity adaptor array that is separate from the neurons in the neural network. Each adaptor performs synaptic plasticity according to the arrival times of the pre- and post-synaptic spikes assigned to it, and sends out a weighted and/or delayed pre-synaptic spike to the target synapse in the neural network. This strategy provides great flexibility for building complex large-scale neural networks, as a neural network can be configured for multiple synaptic plasticity rules without changing its structure. We validate the proposed neuromorphic implementations with measurement results and illustrate that the circuits are capable of performing both STDP and STDDP. We argue that it is practical to scale the work presented here up to 2^36 (64G synaptic adaptors on a current high-end FPGA platform.

  5. Synaptic membrane rafts: traffic lights for local neurotrophin signaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Barbara; Minichiello, Liliana

    2013-10-18

    Lipid rafts, cholesterol and lipid rich microdomains, are believed to play important roles as platforms for the partitioning of transmembrane and synaptic proteins involved in synaptic signaling, plasticity, and maintenance. There is increasing evidence of a physical interaction between post-synaptic densities and post-synaptic lipid rafts. Localization of proteins within lipid rafts is highly regulated, and therefore lipid rafts may function as traffic lights modulating and fine-tuning neuronal signaling. The tyrosine kinase neurotrophin receptors (Trk) and the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) are enriched in neuronal lipid rafts together with the intermediates of downstream signaling pathways, suggesting a possible role of rafts in neurotrophin signaling. Moreover, neurotrophins and their receptors are involved in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol is an important component of lipid rafts and its depletion leads to gradual loss of synapses, underscoring the importance of lipid rafts for proper neuronal function. Here, we review and discuss the idea that translocation of neurotrophin receptors in synaptic rafts may account for the selectivity of their transduced signals.

  6. Synaptic membrane rafts: traffic lights for local neurotrophin signalling?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eZonta

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Lipid rafts, cholesterol and lipid rich microdomains, are believed to play important roles as platforms for the partitioning of transmembrane and synaptic proteins involved in synaptic signalling, plasticity and maintenance. There is increasing evidence of a physical interaction between post-synaptic densities and post-synaptic lipid rafts. Localization of proteins within lipid rafts is highly regulated, and therefore lipid rafts may function as traffic lights modulating and fine-tuning neuronal signalling. The tyrosine kinase neurotrophin receptors (Trk and the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR are enriched in neuronal lipid rafts together with the intermediates of downstream signalling pathways, suggesting a possible role of rafts in neurotrophin signalling. Moreover, neurotrophins and their receptors are involved in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol is an important component of lipid rafts and its depletion leads to gradual loss of synapses, underscoring the importance of lipid rafts for proper neuronal function. Here, we review and discuss the idea that translocation of neurotrophin receptors in synaptic rafts may account for the selectivity of their transduced signals.

  7. Impact of weak excitatory synapses on chaotic transients in a diffusively coupled Morris-Lecar neuronal network

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lafranceschina, Jacopo, E-mail: jlafranceschina@alaska.edu; Wackerbauer, Renate, E-mail: rawackerbauer@alaska.edu [Department of Physics, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-5920 (United States)

    2015-01-15

    Spatiotemporal chaos collapses to either a rest state or a propagating pulse solution in a ring network of diffusively coupled, excitable Morris-Lecar neurons. Weak excitatory synapses can increase the Lyapunov exponent, expedite the collapse, and promote the collapse to the rest state rather than the pulse state. A single traveling pulse solution may no longer be asymptotic for certain combinations of network topology and (weak) coupling strengths, and initiate spatiotemporal chaos. Multiple pulses can cause chaos initiation due to diffusive and synaptic pulse-pulse interaction. In the presence of chaos initiation, intermittent spatiotemporal chaos exists until typically a collapse to the rest state.

  8. Impact of weak excitatory synapses on chaotic transients in a diffusively coupled Morris-Lecar neuronal network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lafranceschina, Jacopo; Wackerbauer, Renate

    2015-01-01

    Spatiotemporal chaos collapses to either a rest state or a propagating pulse solution in a ring network of diffusively coupled, excitable Morris-Lecar neurons. Weak excitatory synapses can increase the Lyapunov exponent, expedite the collapse, and promote the collapse to the rest state rather than the pulse state. A single traveling pulse solution may no longer be asymptotic for certain combinations of network topology and (weak) coupling strengths, and initiate spatiotemporal chaos. Multiple pulses can cause chaos initiation due to diffusive and synaptic pulse-pulse interaction. In the presence of chaos initiation, intermittent spatiotemporal chaos exists until typically a collapse to the rest state

  9. Human limbic encephalitis serum enhances hippocampal mossy fiber-CA3 pyramidal cell synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalic, Tatjana; Pettingill, Philippa; Vincent, Angela; Capogna, Marco

    2011-01-01

    Limbic encephalitis (LE) is a central nervous system (CNS) disease characterized by subacute onset of memory loss and epileptic seizures. A well-recognized form of LE is associated with voltage-gated potassium channel complex antibodies (VGKC-Abs) in the patients' sera. We aimed to test the hypothesis that purified immunoglobulin G (IgG) from a VGKC-Ab LE serum would excite hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells by reducing VGKC function at mossy-fiber (MF)-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. We compared the effects of LE and healthy control IgG by whole-cell patch-clamp and extracellular recordings from CA3 pyramidal cells of rat hippocampal acute slices. We found that the LE IgG induced epileptiform activity at a population level, since synaptic stimulation elicited multiple population spikes extracellularly recorded in the CA3 area. Moreover, the LE IgG increased the rate of tonic firing and strengthened the MF-evoked synaptic responses. The synaptic failure of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) was significantly lower in the presence of the LE IgG compared to the control IgG. This suggests that the LE IgG increased the release probability on MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses compared to the control IgG. Interestingly, α-dendrotoxin (120 nm), a selective Kv1.1, 1.2, and 1.6 subunit antagonist of VGKC, mimicked the LE IgG-mediated effects. This is the first functional demonstration that LE IgGs reduce VGKC function at CNS synapses and increase cell excitability. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2010 International League Against Epilepsy.

  10. Brain injury impairs working memory and prefrontal circuit function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin James Smith

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available More than 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI each year. Even mild to moderate traumatic brain injury causes long-lasting neurological effects. Despite its prevalence, no therapy currently exists to treat the underlying cause of cognitive impairment suffered by TBI patients. Following lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI, the most widely used experimental model of TBI, we investigated alterations in working memory and excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in the prefrontal cortex. LFPI impaired working memory as assessed with a T-maze behavioral task. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials recorded in the prefrontal cortex were reduced in slices derived from brain-injured mice. Spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were more frequent in slices derived from LFPI mice while inhibitory currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were smaller after LFPI. Additionally, an increase in action potential threshold and concomitant decrease in firing rate was observed in layer 2/3 neurons in slices from injured animals. Conversely, no differences in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic transmission onto layer 5 neurons were observed; however, layer 5 neurons demonstrated a decrease in input resistance and action potential duration after LFPI. These results demonstrate synaptic and intrinsic alterations in prefrontal circuitry that may underlie working memory impairment caused by TBI.

  11. Abnormal cortical synaptic transmission in CaV2.1 knockin mice with the S218L missense mutation which causes a severe familial hemiplegic migraine syndrome in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchia, Dania; Tottene, Angelita; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M.J.M.; Pietrobon, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) Ca2+ channels. Knockin (KI) mice carrying the FHM1 R192Q missense mutation show enhanced cortical excitatory synaptic transmission at pyramidal cell synapses but unaltered cortical inhibitory neurotransmission at fast-spiking interneuron synapses. Enhanced cortical glutamate release was shown to cause the facilitation of cortical spreading depression (CSD) in R192Q KI mice. It, however, remains unknown how other FHM1 mutations affect cortical synaptic transmission. Here, we studied neurotransmission in cortical neurons in microculture from KI mice carrying the S218L mutation, which causes a severe FHM syndrome in humans and an allele-dosage dependent facilitation of experimental CSD in KI mice, which is larger than that caused by the R192Q mutation. We show gain-of-function of excitatory neurotransmission, due to increased action-potential evoked Ca2+ influx and increased probability of glutamate release at pyramidal cell synapses, but unaltered inhibitory neurotransmission at multipolar interneuron synapses in S218L KI mice. In contrast with the larger gain-of-function of neuronal CaV2.1 current in homozygous than heterozygous S218L KI mice, the gain-of-function of evoked glutamate release, the paired-pulse ratio and the Ca2+ dependence of the excitatory postsynaptic current were similar in homozygous and heterozygous S218L KI mice, suggesting compensatory changes in the homozygous mice. Furthermore, we reveal a unique feature of S218L KI cortical synapses which is the presence of a fraction of mutant CaV2.1 channels being open at resting potential. Our data suggest that, while the gain-of-function of evoked glutamate release may explain the facilitation of CSD in heterozygous S218L KI mice, the further facilitation of CSD in homozygous S218L KI mice is due to other CaV2.1-dependent mechanisms, that likely include Ca2+ influx at voltages sub-threshold for action

  12. Early-life seizures alter synaptic calcium-permeable AMPA receptor function and plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippman-Bell, Jocelyn J.; Zhou, Chengwen; Sun, Hongyu; Feske, Joel S.; Jensen, Frances E.

    2016-01-01

    Calcium (Ca2+)-mediated1 signaling pathways are critical to synaptic plasticity. In adults, the NMDA glutamate receptor (NMDAR) represents a major route for activity-dependent synaptic Ca2+ entry. However, during neonatal development, when synaptic plasticity is high, many AMPA glutamate receptors (AMPARs) are also permeable to Ca2+ (CP-AMPAR) due to low GluA2 subunit expression, providing an additional route for activity- and glutamate-dependent Ca2+ influx and subsequent signaling. Therefore, altered hippocampal Ca2+ signaling may represent an age-specific pathogenic mechanism. We thus aimed to assess Ca2+ responses 48 hours after hypoxia-induced neonatal seizures (HS) in postnatal day (P)10 rats, a post-seizure time point at which we previously reported LTP attenuation. We found that Ca2+ responses were higher in brain slices from post-HS rats than in controls and this increase was CP-AMPAR-dependent. To determine whether synaptic CP-AMPAR expression was also altered post-HS, we assessed the expression of GluA2 at hippocampal synapses and the expression of long-term depression (LTD), which has been linked to the presence of synaptic GluA2. Here we report a decrease 48 hours after HS in synaptic GluA2 expression at synapses and LTD in hippocampal CA1. Given the potentially critical role of AMPAR trafficking in disease progression, we aimed to establish whether post-seizure in vivo AMPAR antagonist treatment prevented the enhanced Ca2+ responses, changes in GluA2 synaptic expression, and diminished LTD. We found that NBQX treatment prevents all three of these post-seizure consequences, further supporting a critical role for AMPARs as an age-specific therapeutic target. PMID:27521497

  13. Long-term culture of astrocytes attenuates the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki Kawano

    Full Text Available The astrocyte is a major glial cell type of the brain, and plays key roles in the formation, maturation, stabilization and elimination of synapses. Thus, changes in astrocyte condition and age can influence information processing at synapses. However, whether and how aging astrocytes affect synaptic function and maturation have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Here, we show the effects of prolonged culture on the ability of astrocytes to induce synapse formation and to modify synaptic transmission, using cultured autaptic neurons. By 9 weeks in culture, astrocytes derived from the mouse cerebral cortex demonstrated increases in β-galactosidase activity and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP expression, both of which are characteristic of aging and glial activation in vitro. Autaptic hippocampal neurons plated on these aging astrocytes showed a smaller amount of evoked release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and a lower frequency of miniature release of glutamate, both of which were attributable to a reduction in the pool of readily releasable synaptic vesicles. Other features of synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission were retained, for example the ability to induce structural synapses, the presynaptic release probability, the fraction of functional presynaptic nerve terminals, and the ability to recruit functional AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptors to synapses. Thus the presence of aging astrocytes affects the efficiency of synaptic transmission. Given that the pool of readily releasable vesicles is also small at immature synapses, our results are consistent with astrocytic aging leading to retarded synapse maturation.

  14. Age- and Sex-Dependent Impact of Repeated Social Stress on Intrinsic and Synaptic Excitability of the Rat Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Kimberly R; Valentino, Rita J

    2017-01-01

    Stress is implicated in psychiatric illnesses that are characterized by impairments in cognitive functions that are mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Because sex and age determine stress vulnerability, the effects of repeated social stress occurring during early adolescence, mid-adolescence, or adulthood on the cellular properties of male and female rat mPFC Layer V neurons in vitro were examined. Repeated resident-intruder stress produced age- and sex-specific effects on mPFC intrinsic and synaptic excitability. Mid-adolescents were particularly vulnerable to effects on intrinsic excitability. The maximum number of action potentials (APs) evoked by increasing current intensity was robustly decreased in stressed male and female mid-adolescent rats compared with age-matched controls. These effects were associated with stress-induced changes in AP half-width, amplitude, threshold, and input resistance. Social stress at all ages generally decreased synaptic excitability by decreasing the amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic potentials. The results suggest that whereas social stress throughout life can diminish the influence of afferents driving the mPFC, social stress during mid-adolescence additionally affects intrinsic characteristics of mPFC neurons that determine excitability. The depressant effects of social stress on intrinsic and synaptic mPFC neurons may underlie its ability to affect executive functions and emotional responses, particularly during adolescence. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  15. Strong, reliable and precise synaptic connections between thalamic relay cells and neurones of the nucleus reticularis in juvenile rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentet, Luc J; Ulrich, Daniel

    2003-01-01

    The thalamic reticular nucleus (nRT) is composed entirely of GABAergic inhibitory neurones that receive input from pyramidal cortical neurones and excitatory relay cells of the ventrobasal complex of the thalamus (VB). It plays a major role in the synchrony of thalamic networks, yet the synaptic connections it receives from VB cells have never been fully physiologically characterised. Here, whole-cell current-clamp recordings were obtained from 22 synaptically connected VB-nRT cell pairs in slices of juvenile (P14–20) rats. At 34–36 °C, single presynaptic APs evoked unitary EPSPs in nRT cells with a peak amplitude of 7.4 ± 1.5 mV (mean ± s.e.m.) and a decay time constant of 15.1 ± 0.9 ms. Only four out of 22 pairs showed transmission failures at a mean rate of 6.8 ± 1.1 %. An NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated component was significant at rest and subsequent EPSPs in a train were depressed. Only one out of 14 pairs tested was reciprocally connected; the observed IPSPs in the VB cell had a peak amplitude of 0.8 mV and were completely abolished in the presence of 10 μm bicuculline. Thus, synaptic connections from VB cells to nRT neurones are mainly ‘drivers’, while a small subset of cells form closed disynaptic loops. PMID:12563005

  16. Identification of a novel synaptic protein, TMTC3, involved in periventricular nodular heterotopia with intellectual disability and epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farhan, Sali M K; Nixon, Kevin C J; Everest, Michelle; Edwards, Tara N; Long, Shirley; Segal, Dmitri; Knip, Maria J; Arts, Heleen H; Chakrabarti, Rana; Wang, Jian; Robinson, John F; Lee, Donald; Mirsattari, Seyed M; Rupar, C Anthony; Siu, Victoria M; Poulter, Michael O; Hegele, Robert A; Kramer, Jamie M

    2017-11-01

    Defects in neuronal migration cause brain malformations, which are associated with intellectual disability (ID) and epilepsy. Using exome sequencing, we identified compound heterozygous variants (p.Arg71His and p. Leu729ThrfsTer6) in TMTC3, encoding transmembrane and tetratricopeptide repeat containing 3, in four siblings with nocturnal seizures and ID. Three of the four siblings have periventricular nodular heterotopia (PVNH), a common brain malformation caused by failure of neurons to migrate from the ventricular zone to the cortex. Expression analysis using patient-derived cells confirmed reduced TMTC3 transcript levels and loss of the TMTC3 protein compared to parental and control cells. As TMTC3 function is currently unexplored in the brain, we gathered support for a neurobiological role for TMTC3 by generating flies with post-mitotic neuron-specific knockdown of the highly conserved Drosophila melanogaster TMTC3 ortholog, CG4050/tmtc3. Neuron-specific knockdown of tmtc3 in flies resulted in increased susceptibility to induced seizures. Importantly, this phenotype was rescued by neuron-specific expression of human TMTC3, suggesting a role for TMTC3 in seizure biology. In addition, we observed co-localization of TMTC3 in the rat brain with vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT), a presynaptic marker for inhibitory synapses. TMTC3 is localized at VGAT positive pre-synaptic terminals and boutons in the rat hypothalamus and piriform cortex, suggesting a role for TMTC3 in the regulation of GABAergic inhibitory synapses. TMTC3 did not co-localize with Vglut2, a presynaptic marker for excitatory neurons. Our data identified TMTC3 as a synaptic protein that is involved in PVNH with ID and epilepsy, in addition to its previously described association with cobblestone lissencephaly. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-20

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

  18. Factors Influencing Short-term Synaptic Plasticity in the Avian Cochlear Nucleus Magnocellularis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Tait Sanchez Quinones

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Defined as reduced neural responses during high rates of activity, synaptic depression is a form of short-term plasticity important for the temporal filtering of sound. In the avian cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM, an auditory brainstem structure, mechanisms regulating short-term synaptic depression include pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors. Using varied paired-pulse stimulus intervals, we found that the time course of synaptic depression lasts up to four seconds at late-developing NM synapses. Synaptic depression was largely reliant on exogenous Ca 2+ -dependent probability of presynaptic neurotransmitter release, and to a lesser extent, on the desensitization of postsynaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptor (AMPA-R. Interestingly, although extrasynaptic glutamate clearance did not play a significant role in regulating synaptic depression, blocking glutamate clearance at early-developing synapses altered synaptic dynamics, changing responses from depression to facilitation. These results suggest a developmental shift in the relative reliance on pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors in regulating short-term synaptic plasticity in NM.

  19. Nitric oxide-related species inhibit evoked neurotransmission but enhance spontaneous miniature synaptic currents in central neuronal cultures

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Zhuo-Hua; Segal, Michael M.; Lipton, Stuart A.

    1996-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO·) does not react significantly with thiol groups under physiological conditions, whereas a variety of endogenous NO donor molecules facilitate rapid transfer to thiol of nitrosonium ion (NO+, with one less electron than NO·). Here, nitrosonium donors are shown to decrease the efficacy of evoked neurotransmission while increasing the frequency of spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). In contrast, pure NO· donors have littl...

  20. Synaptic input correlations leading to membrane potential decorrelation of spontaneous activity in cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graupner, Michael; Reyes, Alex D

    2013-09-18

    Correlations in the spiking activity of neurons have been found in many regions of the cortex under multiple experimental conditions and are postulated to have important consequences for neural population coding. While there is a large body of extracellular data reporting correlations of various strengths, the subthreshold events underlying the origin and magnitude of signal-independent correlations (called noise or spike count correlations) are unknown. Here we investigate, using intracellular recordings, how synaptic input correlations from shared presynaptic neurons translate into membrane potential and spike-output correlations. Using a pharmacologically activated thalamocortical slice preparation, we perform simultaneous recordings from pairs of layer IV neurons in the auditory cortex of mice and measure synaptic potentials/currents, membrane potentials, and spiking outputs. We calculate cross-correlations between excitatory and inhibitory inputs to investigate correlations emerging from the network. We furthermore evaluate membrane potential correlations near resting potential to study how excitation and inhibition combine and affect spike-output correlations. We demonstrate directly that excitation is correlated with inhibition thereby partially canceling each other and resulting in weak membrane potential and spiking correlations between neurons. Our data suggest that cortical networks are set up to partially cancel correlations emerging from the connections between neurons. This active decorrelation is achieved because excitation and inhibition closely track each other. Our results suggest that the numerous shared presynaptic inputs do not automatically lead to increased spiking correlations.

  1. Cocaine Promotes Coincidence Detection and Lowers Induction Threshold during Hebbian Associative Synaptic Potentiation in Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

    Addictive drugs usurp neural plasticity mechanisms that normally serve reward-related learning and memory, primarily by evoking changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuitry. Here, we show that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo does not alter synaptic strength in the mouse prefrontal cortex during an early period of withdrawal, but instead modifies a Hebbian quantitative synaptic learning rule by broadening the temporal window and lowers the induction threshold for spike-timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP). After repeated, but not single, daily cocaine injections, t-LTP in layer V pyramidal neurons is induced at +30 ms, a normally ineffective timing interval for t-LTP induction in saline-exposed mice. This cocaine-induced, extended-timing t-LTP lasts for ∼1 week after terminating cocaine and is accompanied by an increased susceptibility to potentiation by fewer pre-post spike pairs, indicating a reduced t-LTP induction threshold. Basal synaptic strength and the maximal attainable t-LTP magnitude remain unchanged after cocaine exposure. We further show that the cocaine facilitation of t-LTP induction is caused by sensitized D1-cAMP/protein kinase A dopamine signaling in pyramidal neurons, which then pathologically recruits voltage-gated l-type Ca 2+ channels that synergize with GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors to drive t-LTP at extended timing. Our results illustrate a mechanism by which cocaine, acting on a key neuromodulation pathway, modifies the coincidence detection window during Hebbian plasticity to facilitate associative synaptic potentiation in prefrontal excitatory circuits. By modifying rules that govern activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, addictive drugs can derail the experience-driven neural circuit remodeling process important for executive control of reward and addiction. It is believed that addictive drugs often render an addict's brain reward system hypersensitive, leaving the individual more susceptible to

  2. Huntingtin-Interacting Protein 1-Related Protein Plays a Critical Role in Dendritic Development and Excitatory Synapse Formation in Hippocampal Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Peng

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Huntingtin-interacting protein 1-related (HIP1R protein is considered to be an endocytic adaptor protein like the other two members of the Sla2 family, Sla2p and HIP1. They all contain homology domains responsible for the binding of clathrin, inositol lipids and F-actin. Previous studies have revealed that HIP1R is highly expressed in different regions of the mouse brain and localizes at synaptic structures. However, the function of HIP1R in the nervous system remains unknown. In this study, we investigated HIP1R function in cultured rat hippocampal neurons using an shRNA knockdown approach. We found that, after HIP1R knockdown, the dynamics and density of dendritic filopodia, and dendritic branching and complexity were significantly reduced in developing neurons, as well as the densities of dendritic spines and PSD95 clusters in mature neurons. Moreover, HIP1R deficiency led to significantly reduced expression of the ionotropic glutamate receptor GluA1, GluN2A and GluN2B subunits, but not the GABAA receptor α1 subunit. Similarly, HIP1R knockdown reduced the amplitude and frequency of the miniature excitatory postsynaptic current, but not of the miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current. In addition, the C-terminal proline-rich region of HIP1R responsible for cortactin binding was found to confer a dominant-negative effect on dendritic branching in cultured developing neurons, implying a critical role of cortactin binding in HIP1R function. Taken together, the results of our study suggest that HIP1R plays important roles in dendritic development and excitatory synapse formation and function.

  3. Modulation of Long-term Potentiation of Cortico-amygdala Synaptic Responses and Auditory Fear Memory by Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Yamada

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Converging evidence suggests that an imbalance of ω3 to ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA in the brain is involved in mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. We previously reported that the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA alters this ratio in the brain, and influences contextual fear memory. In addition to behavioral change, enhancement of cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated short-term synaptic plasticity and facilitation of the agonist sensitivity of CB1 receptors have been observed in excitatory synaptic responses in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. However, it is not known whether long-term synaptic plasticity in the amygdala is influenced by the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA. In the present study, we examined long-term potentiation (LTP of optogenetically–evoked excitatory synaptic responses in synapses between the terminal of the projection from the auditory cortex and the pyramidal cells in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We found that LTP in this pathway was attenuated in mice fed a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.97, compared with mice fed a diet with a low ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.14. Furthermore, mice in the former condition showed reduced fear responses in an auditory fear conditioning test, compared with mice in the latter condition. In both electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, the effect of a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio was completely blocked by treatment with a CB1 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, a significant reduction was observed in cholesterol content, but not in the level of an endogenous CB1 receptor agonist, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, in brain samples containing the amygdala. These results suggest that the balance of ω3 to ω6 PUFA has an impact on fear memory and cortico-amygdala synaptic plasticity, both in a CB1 receptor–dependent manner.

  4. Activation of Phosphatidylinositol-Linked Dopamine Receptors Induces a Facilitation of Glutamate-Mediated Synaptic Transmission in the Lateral Entorhinal Cortex.

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    Iulia Glovaci

    Full Text Available The lateral entorhinal cortex receives strong inputs from midbrain dopamine neurons that can modulate its sensory and mnemonic function. We have previously demonstrated that 1 µM dopamine facilitates synaptic transmission in layer II entorhinal cortex cells via activation of D1-like receptors, increased cAMP-PKA activity, and a resulting enhancement of AMPA-receptor mediated currents. The present study assessed the contribution of phosphatidylinositol (PI-linked D1 receptors to the dopaminergic facilitation of transmission in layer II of the rat entorhinal cortex, and the involvement of phospholipase C activity and release of calcium from internal stores. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of glutamate-mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents were obtained from pyramidal and fan cells. Activation of D1-like receptors using SKF38393, SKF83959, or 1 µM dopamine induced a reversible facilitation of EPSCs which was abolished by loading cells with either the phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 or the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA. Neither the L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel blocker nifedipine, nor the L/N-type channel blocker cilnidipine, blocked the facilitation of synaptic currents. However, the facilitation was blocked by blocking Ca2+ release from internal stores via inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3 receptors or ryanodine receptors. Follow-up studies demonstrated that inhibiting CaMKII activity with KN-93 failed to block the facilitation, but that application of the protein kinase C inhibitor PKC(19-36 completely blocked the dopamine-induced facilitation. Overall, in addition to our previous report indicating a role for the cAMP-PKA pathway in dopamine-induced facilitation of synaptic transmission, we demonstrate here that the dopaminergic facilitation of synaptic responses in layer II entorhinal neurons also relies on a signaling cascade dependent on PI-linked D1 receptors, PLC, release of Ca2+ from internal stores, and PKC activation which is

  5. Azadirachtin blocks the calcium channel and modulates the cholinergic miniature synaptic current in the central nervous system of Drosophila.

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    Qiao, Jingda; Zou, Xiaolu; Lai, Duo; Yan, Ying; Wang, Qi; Li, Weicong; Deng, Shengwen; Xu, Hanhong; Gu, Huaiyu

    2014-07-01

    Azadirachtin is a botanical pesticide, which possesses conspicuous biological actions such as insecticidal, anthelmintic, antifeedancy, antimalarial effects as well as insect growth regulation. Deterrent for chemoreceptor functions appears to be the main mechanism involved in the potent biological actions of Azadirachtin, although the cytotoxicity and subtle changes to skeletal muscle physiology may also contribute to its insecticide responses. In order to discover the effects of Azadirachtin on the central nervous system (CNS), patch-clamp recording was applied to Drosophila melanogaster, which has been widely used in neurological research. Here, we describe the electrophysiological properties of a local neuron located in the suboesophageal ganglion region of D. melanogaster using the whole brain. The patch-clamp recordings suggested that Azadirachtin modulates the properties of cholinergic miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) and calcium currents, which play important roles in neural activity of the CNS. The frequency of mEPSC and the peak amplitude of the calcium currents significantly decreased after application of Azadirachtin. Our study indicates that Azadirachtin can interfere with the insect's CNS via inhibition of excitatory cholinergic transmission and partly blocking the calcium channel. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

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    Hernandez-Urbina, Victor; Herrmann, J. Michael

    2016-12-01

    The brain is a complex system par excellence. In the last decade the observation of neuronal avalanches in neocortical circuits suggested the presence of self-organised criticality in brain networks. The occurrence of this type of dynamics implies several benefits to neural computation. However, the mechanisms that give rise to critical behaviour in these systems, and how they interact with other neuronal processes such as synaptic plasticity are not fully understood. In this paper, we present a long-term plasticity rule based on retro-synaptic signals that allows the system to reach a critical state in which clusters of activity are distributed as a power-law, among other observables. Our synaptic plasticity rule coexists with other synaptic mechanisms such as spike-timing-dependent plasticity, which implies that the resulting synaptic modulation captures not only the temporal correlations between spiking times of pre- and post-synaptic units, which has been suggested as requirement for learning and memory in neural systems, but also drives the system to a state of optimal neural information processing.

  7. Fine structure of long-term changes in the cochlear nucleus after acoustic overstimulation: chronic degeneration and new growth of synaptic endings.

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    Kim, J J; Gross, J; Potashner, S J; Morest, D K

    2004-09-15

    The companion study showed that acoustic overstimulation of adult chinchillas, with a noise level sufficient to damage the cochlea, led to cytological changes and degeneration of synaptic endings in the cochlear nucleus within 1-16 weeks. In the present study, the same stimulus was used to study the long-term effects on the fine structure of synaptic endings in the cochlear nucleus. For periods of 6 and 8 months after a single exposure to a damaging noise level, there ensued a chronic, continuing process of neurodegeneration involving excitatory and inhibitory synaptic endings. Electron microscopic observations demonstrated freshly occurring degeneration even as late as 8 months. Degeneration was widespread in the neuropil and included the synapses on the globular bushy cell, which forms part of the main ascending auditory pathway. Neurodegeneration was accompanied by newly formed synaptic endings, which repopulated some of the sites vacated previously by axosomatic endings on globular bushy cells. Many of these synaptic endings must arise from central interneurons. The findings suggest that overstimulation can induce a self-sustaining condition of progressive neurodegeneration accompanied by a new growth of synaptic endings. Noise-induced hearing loss thus may progress as a neurodegenerative disease with the capacity for synaptic reorganization within the cochlear nucleus.

  8. Molecular components and functions of the endocannabinoid system in mouse prefrontal cortex.

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    Mathieu Lafourcade

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids have deleterious effects on prefrontal cortex (PFC-mediated functions and multiple evidences link the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid system, cannabis use and schizophrenia, a disease in which PFC functions are altered. Nonetheless, the molecular composition and the physiological functions of the endocannabinoid system in the PFC are unknown.Here, using electron microscopy we found that key proteins involved in endocannabinoid signaling are expressed in layers v/vi of the mouse prelimbic area of the PFC: presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1R faced postsynaptic mGluR5 while diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DGL-alpha, the enzyme generating the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG was expressed in the same dendritic processes as mGluR5. Activation of presynaptic CB1R strongly inhibited evoked excitatory post-synaptic currents. Prolonged synaptic stimulation at 10Hz induced a profound long-term depression (LTD of layers V/VI excitatory inputs. The endocannabinoid -LTD was presynaptically expressed and depended on the activation of postsynaptic mGluR5, phospholipase C and a rise in postsynaptic Ca(2+ as predicted from the localization of the different components of the endocannabinoid system. Blocking the degradation of 2-AG (with URB 602 but not of anandamide (with URB 597 converted subthreshold tetanus to LTD-inducing ones. Moreover, inhibiting the synthesis of 2-AG with Tetrahydrolipstatin, blocked endocannabinoid-mediated LTD. All together, our data show that 2-AG mediates LTD at these synapses.Our data show that the endocannabinoid -retrograde signaling plays a prominent role in long-term synaptic plasticity at the excitatory synapses of the PFC. Alterations of endocannabinoid -mediated synaptic plasticity may participate to the etiology of PFC-related pathologies.

  9. Metabolic Turnover of Synaptic Proteins: Kinetics, Interdependencies and Implications for Synaptic Maintenance

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    Cohen, Laurie D.; Zuchman, Rina; Sorokina, Oksana; Müller, Anke; Dieterich, Daniela C.; Armstrong, J. Douglas; Ziv, Tamar; Ziv, Noam E.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synapses contain multitudes of proteins, which in common with all proteins, have finite lifetimes and therefore need to be continuously replaced. Given the huge numbers of synaptic connections typical neurons form, the demand to maintain the protein contents of these connections might be expected to place considerable metabolic demands on each neuron. Moreover, synaptic proteostasis might differ according to distance from global protein synthesis sites, the availability of distributed protein synthesis facilities, trafficking rates and synaptic protein dynamics. To date, the turnover kinetics of synaptic proteins have not been studied or analyzed systematically, and thus metabolic demands or the aforementioned relationships remain largely unknown. In the current study we used dynamic Stable Isotope Labeling with Amino acids in Cell culture (SILAC), mass spectrometry (MS), Fluorescent Non–Canonical Amino acid Tagging (FUNCAT), quantitative immunohistochemistry and bioinformatics to systematically measure the metabolic half-lives of hundreds of synaptic proteins, examine how these depend on their pre/postsynaptic affiliation or their association with particular molecular complexes, and assess the metabolic load of synaptic proteostasis. We found that nearly all synaptic proteins identified here exhibited half-lifetimes in the range of 2–5 days. Unexpectedly, metabolic turnover rates were not significantly different for presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins, or for proteins for which mRNAs are consistently found in dendrites. Some functionally or structurally related proteins exhibited very similar turnover rates, indicating that their biogenesis and degradation might be coupled, a possibility further supported by bioinformatics-based analyses. The relatively low turnover rates measured here (∼0.7% of synaptic protein content per hour) are in good agreement with imaging-based studies of synaptic protein trafficking, yet indicate that the metabolic load

  10. Binocular Rivalry in a Competitive Neural Network with Synaptic Depression

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2010-01-01

    We study binocular rivalry in a competitive neural network with synaptic depression. In particular, we consider two coupled hypercolums within primary visual cortex (V1), representing orientation selective cells responding to either left or right eye inputs. Coupling between hypercolumns is dominated by inhibition, especially for neurons with dissimilar orientation preferences. Within hypercolumns, recurrent connectivity is excitatory for similar orientations and inhibitory for different orientations. All synaptic connections are modifiable by local synaptic depression. When the hypercolumns are driven by orthogonal oriented stimuli, it is possible to induce oscillations that are representative of binocular rivalry. We first analyze the occurrence of oscillations in a space-clamped version of the model using a fast-slow analys is, taking advantage of the fact that depression evolves much slower than population activity. We th en analyze the onset of oscillations in the full spatially extended system by carrying out a piecewise smooth stability analysis of single (winner-take-all) and double (fusion) bumps within the network. Although our stability analysis takes into account only instabilities associated with real eigenvalues, it identifies points of instability that are consistent with what is found numerically. In particular, we show that, in regions of parameter space where double bumps are unstable and no single bumps exist, binocular rivalry can arise as a slow alternation between either population supporting a bump. © 2010 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

  11. The Histone H3K27 Demethylase UTX Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Behaviors in Mice

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    Gang-Bin Tang

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Histone demethylase UTX mediates removal of repressive trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3 to establish a mechanistic switch to activate large sets of genes. Mutation of Utx has recently been shown to be associated with Kabuki syndrome, a rare congenital anomaly syndrome with dementia. However, its biological function in the brain is largely unknown. Here, we observe that deletion of Utx results in increased anxiety-like behaviors and impaired spatial learning and memory in mice. Loss of Utx in the hippocampus leads to reduced long-term potentiation and amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic current, aberrant dendrite development and defective synapse formation. Transcriptional profiling reveals that Utx regulates a subset of genes that are involved in the regulation of dendritic morphology, synaptic transmission, and cognition. Specifically, Utx deletion disrupts expression of neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 5B (Htr5b. Restoration of Htr5b expression in newborn hippocampal neurons rescues the defects of neuronal morphology by Utx ablation. Therefore, we provide evidence that Utx plays a critical role in modulating synaptic transmission and cognitive behaviors. Utx cKO mouse models like ours provide a valuable means to study the underlying mechanisms of the etiology of Kabuki syndrome.

  12. Behavioral and electrophysiological characterization of Dyt1 heterozygous knockout mice.

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    Yokoi, Fumiaki; Chen, Huan-Xin; Dang, Mai Tu; Cheetham, Chad C; Campbell, Susan L; Roper, Steven N; Sweatt, J David; Li, Yuqing

    2015-01-01

    DYT1 dystonia is an inherited movement disorder caused by mutations in DYT1 (TOR1A), which codes for torsinA. Most of the patients have a trinucleotide deletion (ΔGAG) corresponding to a glutamic acid in the C-terminal region (torsinA(ΔE)). Dyt1 ΔGAG heterozygous knock-in (KI) mice, which mimic ΔGAG mutation in the endogenous gene, exhibit motor deficits and deceased frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSCs) and normal theta-burst-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampal CA1 region. Although Dyt1 KI mice show decreased hippocampal torsinA levels, it is not clear whether the decreased torsinA level itself affects the synaptic plasticity or torsinA(ΔE) does it. To analyze the effect of partial torsinA loss on motor behaviors and synaptic transmission, Dyt1 heterozygous knock-out (KO) mice were examined as a model of a frame-shift DYT1 mutation in patients. Consistent with Dyt1 KI mice, Dyt1 heterozygous KO mice showed motor deficits in the beam-walking test. Dyt1 heterozygous KO mice showed decreased hippocampal torsinA levels lower than those in Dyt1 KI mice. Reduced sEPSCs and normal miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) were also observed in the acute hippocampal brain slices from Dyt1 heterozygous KO mice, suggesting that the partial loss of torsinA function in Dyt1 KI mice causes action potential-dependent neurotransmitter release deficits. On the other hand, Dyt1 heterozygous KO mice showed enhanced hippocampal LTP, normal input-output relations and paired pulse ratios in the extracellular field recordings. The results suggest that maintaining an appropriate torsinA level is important to sustain normal motor performance, synaptic transmission and plasticity. Developing therapeutics to restore a normal torsinA level may help to prevent and treat the symptoms in DYT1 dystonia.

  13. Behavioral and electrophysiological characterization of Dyt1 heterozygous knockout mice.

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    Fumiaki Yokoi

    Full Text Available DYT1 dystonia is an inherited movement disorder caused by mutations in DYT1 (TOR1A, which codes for torsinA. Most of the patients have a trinucleotide deletion (ΔGAG corresponding to a glutamic acid in the C-terminal region (torsinA(ΔE. Dyt1 ΔGAG heterozygous knock-in (KI mice, which mimic ΔGAG mutation in the endogenous gene, exhibit motor deficits and deceased frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSCs and normal theta-burst-induced long-term potentiation (LTP in the hippocampal CA1 region. Although Dyt1 KI mice show decreased hippocampal torsinA levels, it is not clear whether the decreased torsinA level itself affects the synaptic plasticity or torsinA(ΔE does it. To analyze the effect of partial torsinA loss on motor behaviors and synaptic transmission, Dyt1 heterozygous knock-out (KO mice were examined as a model of a frame-shift DYT1 mutation in patients. Consistent with Dyt1 KI mice, Dyt1 heterozygous KO mice showed motor deficits in the beam-walking test. Dyt1 heterozygous KO mice showed decreased hippocampal torsinA levels lower than those in Dyt1 KI mice. Reduced sEPSCs and normal miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs were also observed in the acute hippocampal brain slices from Dyt1 heterozygous KO mice, suggesting that the partial loss of torsinA function in Dyt1 KI mice causes action potential-dependent neurotransmitter release deficits. On the other hand, Dyt1 heterozygous KO mice showed enhanced hippocampal LTP, normal input-output relations and paired pulse ratios in the extracellular field recordings. The results suggest that maintaining an appropriate torsinA level is important to sustain normal motor performance, synaptic transmission and plasticity. Developing therapeutics to restore a normal torsinA level may help to prevent and treat the symptoms in DYT1 dystonia.

  14. Regulation of hippocampus-dependent memory by the zinc finger protein Zbtb20 in mature CA1 neurons.

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    Ren, Anjing; Zhang, Huan; Xie, Zhifang; Ma, Xianhua; Ji, Wenli; He, David Z Z; Yuan, Wenjun; Ding, Yu-Qiang; Zhang, Xiao-Hui; Zhang, Weiping J

    2012-10-01

    The mammalian hippocampus harbours neural circuitry that is crucial for associative learning and memory. The mechanisms that underlie the development and regulation of this complex circuitry are not fully understood. Our previous study established an essential role for the zinc finger protein Zbtb20 in the specification of CA1 field identity in the developing hippocampus. Here, we show that conditionally deleting Zbtb20 specifically in mature CA1 pyramidal neurons impaired hippocampus-dependent memory formation, without affecting hippocampal architecture or the survival, identity and basal excitatory synaptic activity of CA1 pyramidal neurons. We demonstrate that mature CA1-specific Zbtb20 knockout mice exhibited reductions in long-term potentiation (LTP) and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitatory post-synaptic currents. Furthermore, we show that activity-induced phosphorylation of ERK and CREB is impaired in the hippocampal CA1 of Zbtb20 mutant mice. Collectively, these results indicate that Zbtb20 in mature CA1 plays an important role in LTP and memory by regulating NMDAR activity, and activation of ERK and CREB.

  15. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

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    Pinto, Joshua G. A.; Jones, David G.; Williams, C. Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M.

    2015-01-01

    Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin) and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex (V1) continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the four proteins and include a stage during early development (visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic. PMID:25729353

  16. Excitatory amino acid receptors and disease.

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    Meldrum, B S

    1992-08-01

    Recent advances in the molecular biology of excitatory amino acid receptors are reviewed. Evidence that drugs blocking the excitatory action of glutamate at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors may be of clinical use in epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, cerebral ischaemia and trauma, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) encephalopathy and neuropathic pain is summarized.

  17. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity

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    Brendan Chambers

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A promising alternative to directly measuring the anatomical connections in a neuronal population is inferring the connections from the activity. We employ simulated spiking neuronal networks to compare and contrast commonly used inference methods that identify likely excitatory synaptic connections using statistical regularities in spike timing. We find that simple adjustments to standard algorithms improve inference accuracy: A signing procedure improves the power of unsigned mutual-information-based approaches and a correction that accounts for differences in mean and variance of background timing relationships, such as those expected to be induced by heterogeneous firing rates, increases the sensitivity of frequency-based methods. We also find that different inference methods reveal distinct subsets of the synaptic network and each method exhibits different biases in the accurate detection of reciprocity and local clustering. To correct for errors and biases specific to single inference algorithms, we combine methods into an ensemble. Ensemble predictions, generated as a linear combination of multiple inference algorithms, are more sensitive than the best individual measures alone, and are more faithful to ground-truth statistics of connectivity, mitigating biases specific to single inference methods. These weightings generalize across simulated datasets, emphasizing the potential for the broad utility of ensemble-based approaches. Mapping the routing of spikes through local circuitry is crucial for understanding neocortical computation. Under appropriate experimental conditions, these maps can be used to infer likely patterns of synaptic recruitment, linking activity to underlying anatomical connections. Such inferences help to reveal the synaptic implementation of population dynamics and computation. We compare a number of standard functional measures to infer underlying connectivity. We find that regularization impacts measures

  18. Spike Pattern Structure Influences Synaptic Efficacy Variability Under STDP and Synaptic Homeostasis. I: Spike Generating Models on Converging Motifs

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    Zedong eBi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In neural systems, synaptic plasticity is usually driven by spike trains. Due to the inherent noises of neurons and synapses as well as the randomness of connection details, spike trains typically exhibit variability such as spatial randomness and temporal stochasticity, resulting in variability of synaptic changes under plasticity, which we call efficacy variability. How the variability of spike trains influences the efficacy variability of synapses remains unclear. In this paper, we try to understand this influence under pair-wise additive spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP when the mean strength of plastic synapses into a neuron is bounded (synaptic homeostasis. Specifically, we systematically study, analytically and numerically, how four aspects of statistical features, i.e. synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations, as well as their interactions influence the efficacy variability in converging motifs (simple networks in which one neuron receives from many other neurons. Neurons (including the post-synaptic neuron in a converging motif generate spikes according to statistical models with tunable parameters. In this way, we can explicitly control the statistics of the spike patterns, and investigate their influence onto the efficacy variability, without worrying about the feedback from synaptic changes onto the dynamics of the post-synaptic neuron. We separate efficacy variability into two parts: the drift part (DriftV induced by the heterogeneity of change rates of different synapses, and the diffusion part (DiffV induced by weight diffusion caused by stochasticity of spike trains. Our main findings are: (1 synchronous firing and burstiness tend to increase DiffV, (2 heterogeneity of rates induces DriftV when potentiation and depression in STDP are not balanced, and (3 heterogeneity of cross-correlations induces DriftV together with heterogeneity of rates. We anticipate our

  19. γ1-Containing GABA-A Receptors Cluster at Synapses Where they Mediate Slower Synaptic Currents than γ2-Containing GABA-A Receptors

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    Christine L. Dixon

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available GABA-A receptors (GABAARs are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels that are assembled mainly from α (α1–6, β (β1–3 and γ (γ1–3 subunits. Although GABAARs containing γ2L subunits mediate most of the inhibitory neurotransmission in the brain, significant expression of γ1 subunits is seen in the amygdala, pallidum and substantia nigra. However, the location and function of γ1-containing GABAARs in these regions remains unclear. In “artificial” synapses, where the subunit composition of postsynaptic receptors is specifically controlled, γ1 incorporation slows the synaptic current decay rate without affecting channel deactivation, suggesting that γ1-containing receptors are not clustered and therefore activated by diffuse neurotransmitter. However, we show that γ1-containing receptors are localized at neuronal synapses and form clusters in both synaptic and extrasynaptic regions. In addition, they exhibit rapid membrane diffusion and a higher frequency of exchange between synaptic and perisynaptic populations compared to γ2L-containing GABAARs. A point mutation in the large intracellular domain and a pharmacological analysis reveal that when a single non-conserved γ2L residue is mutated to its γ1 counterpart (T349L, the synaptic current decay is slowed from γ2L- to γ1-like without changing the clustering or diffusion properties of the receptors. In addition, previous fast perfusion and single channel kinetic experiments revealed no difference in the intrinsic closing rates of γ2L- and γ1-containing receptors when expressed in HEK293 cells. These observations together with Monte Carlo simulations of synaptic function confirm that decreased clustering does not control γ1-containing GABAAR kinetics. Rather, they suggest that γ1- and γ2L-containing receptors exhibit differential synaptic current decay rates due to differential gating dynamics when localized at the synapse.

  20. Developmental changes in electrophysiological properties and a transition from electrical to chemical coupling between excitatory layer 4 neurons in the rat barrel cortex

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    Fliza eValiullina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available During development, sensory systems switch from an immature to an adult mode of function along with the emergence of the active cortical states. Here, we used patch-clamp recordings from neocortical slices in vitro to characterize the developmental changes in the basic electrophysiological properties of excitatory L4 neurons and their connectivity before and after the developmental switch, which occurs in the rat barrel cortex in vivo at postnatal day P8. Prior to the switch, L4 neurons had lower resting membrane potentials, higher input resistance, lower membrane capacity, as well as action potentials (APs with smaller amplitudes, longer durations and higher AP thresholds compared to the neurons after the switch. A sustained firing pattern also emerged around the switch. Dual patch-clamp recordings from L4 neurons revealed that recurrent connections between L4 excitatory cells do not exist before and develop rapidly across the switch. In contrast, electrical coupling between these neurons waned around the switch. We suggest that maturation of electrophysiological features, particularly acquisition of a sustained firing pattern, and a transition from the immature electrical to mature chemical synaptic coupling between excitatory L4 neurons, contributes to the developmental switch in the cortical mode of function.

  1. Hippocampal testosterone relates to reference memory performance and synaptic plasticity in male rats

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    Kristina eSchulz

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Steroids are important neuromodulators influencing cognitive performance and synaptic plasticity. While the majority of literature concerns adrenal- and gonadectomized animals, very little is known about the natural endogenous release of hormones during learning. Therefore, we measured blood and brain (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex testosterone, estradiol, and corticosterone concentrations of intact male rats undergoing a spatial learning paradigm which is known to reinforce hippocampal plasticity. We found significant modulations of all investigated hormones over the training course. Corticosterone and testosterone were correlated manifold with behaviour, while estradiol expressed fewer correlations. In the recall session, testosterone was tightly coupled to reference memory performance, which is crucial for reinforcement of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Intriguingly, prefrontal cortex and hippocampal levels related differentially to reference memory performance. Correlations of testosterone and corticosterone switched from unspecific activity to specific cognitive functions over training. Correspondingly, exogenous application of testosterone revealed different effects on synaptic and neuronal plasticity in trained versus untrained animals. While hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP was prolonged in untrained rats, both the fEPSP- and the population spike amplitude-LTP was impaired in trained rats. Behavioural performance was unaffected, but correlations of hippocampal field potentials with behaviour were decoupled in treated rats. The data provide important evidence that besides adrenal, also gonadal steroids play a mechanistic role in linking synaptic plasticity to cognitive performance.

  2. Synaptic reorganization in the adult rat's ventral cochlear nucleus following its total sensory deafferentation.

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    Heika Hildebrandt

    Full Text Available Ablation of a cochlea causes total sensory deafferentation of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem, providing a model to investigate nervous degeneration and formation of new synaptic contacts in the adult brain. In a quantitative electron microscopical study on the plasticity of the central auditory system of the Wistar rat, we first determined what fraction of the total number of synaptic contact zones (SCZs in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN is attributable to primary sensory innervation and how many synapses remain after total unilateral cochlear ablation. Second, we attempted to identify the potential for a deafferentation-dependent synaptogenesis. SCZs were ultrastructurally identified before and after deafferentation in tissue treated for ethanolic phosphotungstic acid (EPTA staining. This was combined with pre-embedding immunocytochemistry for gephyrin identifying inhibitory SCZs, the growth-associated protein GAP-43, glutamate, and choline acetyltransferase. A stereological analysis of EPTA stained sections revealed 1.11±0.09 (S.E.M.×10(9 SCZs per mm(3 of AVCN tissue. Within 7 days of deafferentation, this number was down by 46%. Excitatory and inhibitory synapses were differentially affected on the side of deafferentation. Excitatory synapses were quickly reduced and then began to increase in number again, necessarily being complemented from sources other than cochlear neurons, while inhibitory synapses were reduced more slowly and continuously. The result was a transient rise of the relative fraction of inhibitory synapses with a decline below original levels thereafter. Synaptogenesis was inferred by the emergence of morphologically immature SCZs that were consistently associated with GAP-43 immunoreactivity. SCZs of this type were estimated to make up a fraction of close to 30% of the total synaptic population present by ten weeks after sensory deafferentation. In conclusion, there appears to be a substantial potential

  3. Imbalanced pattern completion vs. separation in cognitive disease: network simulations of synaptic pathologies predict a personalized therapeutics strategy

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    Hanson Jesse E

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Diverse Mouse genetic models of neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative causes of impaired cognition exhibit at least four convergent points of synaptic malfunction: 1 Strength of long-term potentiation (LTP, 2 Strength of long-term depression (LTD, 3 Relative inhibition levels (Inhibition, and 4 Excitatory connectivity levels (Connectivity. Results To test the hypothesis that pathological increases or decreases in these synaptic properties could underlie imbalances at the level of basic neural network function, we explored each type of malfunction in a simulation of autoassociative memory. These network simulations revealed that one impact of impairments or excesses in each of these synaptic properties is to shift the trade-off between pattern separation and pattern completion performance during memory storage and recall. Each type of synaptic pathology either pushed the network balance towards intolerable error in pattern separation or intolerable error in pattern completion. Imbalances caused by pathological impairments or excesses in LTP, LTD, inhibition, or connectivity, could all be exacerbated, or rescued, by the simultaneous modulation of any of the other three synaptic properties. Conclusions Because appropriate modulation of any of the synaptic properties could help re-balance network function, regardless of the origins of the imbalance, we propose a new strategy of personalized cognitive therapeutics guided by assay of pattern completion vs. pattern separation function. Simulated examples and testable predictions of this theorized approach to cognitive therapeutics are presented.

  4. Low-Frequency rTMS Ameliorates Autistic-Like Behaviors in Rats Induced by Neonatal Isolation Through Regulating the Synaptic GABA Transmission

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    Tao Tan

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD display abnormalities in neuronal development, synaptic function and neural circuits. The imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory (E/I synaptic transmission has been proposed to cause the main behavioral characteristics of ASD. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS can directly or indirectly induce excitability and synaptic plasticity changes in the brain noninvasively. However, whether rTMS can ameliorate autistic-like behaviors in animal model via regulating the balance of E/I synaptic transmission is unknown. By using our recent reported animal model with autistic-like behaviors induced by neonatal isolation (postnatal days 1–9, we found that low-frequency rTMS (LF-rTMS, 1 Hz treatment for 2 weeks effectively alleviated the acquired autistic-like symptoms, as reflected by an increase in social interaction and decrease in self-grooming, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in young adult rats compared to those in untreated animals. Furthermore, the amelioration in autistic-like behavior was accompanied by a restoration of the balance between E/I activity, especially at the level of synaptic transmission and receptors in synaptosomes. These findings indicated that LF-rTMS may alleviate the symptoms of ASD-like behaviors caused by neonatal isolation through regulating the synaptic GABA transmission, suggesting that LF-rTMS may be a potential therapeutic technique to treat ASD.

  5. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

    Psychological studies indicate that human ability to keep information in readily accessible working memory is limited to four items for most people. This extremely low capacity severely limits execution of many cognitive tasks, but its neuronal underpinnings remain unclear. Here we show that in the framework of synaptic theory of working memory, capacity can be analytically estimated to scale with characteristic time of short-term synaptic depression relative to synaptic current time constant. The number of items in working memory can be regulated by external excitation, enabling the system to be tuned to the desired load and to clear the working memory of currently held items to make room for new ones. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Diversity of bilateral synaptic assemblies for binaural computation in midbrain single neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Na; Kong, Lingzhi; Lin, Tao; Wang, Shaohui; Liu, Xiuping; Qi, Jiyao; Yan, Jun

    2017-11-01

    Binaural hearing confers many beneficial functions but our understanding of its underlying neural substrates is limited. This study examines the bilateral synaptic assemblies and binaural computation (or integration) in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICc) of the auditory midbrain, a key convergent center. Using in-vivo whole-cell patch-clamp, the excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs/IPSPs) of single ICc neurons to contralateral, ipsilateral and bilateral stimulation were recorded. According to the contralateral and ipsilateral EPSP/IPSP, 7 types of bilateral synaptic assemblies were identified. These include EPSP-EPSP (EE), E-IPSP (EI), E-no response (EO), II, IE, IO and complex-mode (CM) neurons. The CM neurons showed frequency- and/or amplitude-dependent EPSPs/IPSPs to contralateral or ipsilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation induced EPSPs/IPSPs that could be larger than (facilitation), similar to (ineffectiveness) or smaller than (suppression) those induced by contralateral stimulation. Our findings have allowed our group to characterize novel neural circuitry for binaural computation in the midbrain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. F42. CHONDROTIN-6 SULFATE CLUSTERS: ASSOCIATION OF SYNAPTIC DOMAINS AND REGULATION OF SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY DURING FEAR LEARNING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelini, Gabriele; Berciu, Cristina; Pilobello, Kanoelani; Peter, Durning; Rachel, Jenkins; Kahn, Moazzzam; Ramikie, Teniel; Subramanian, Siva; Ressler, Kerry; Pantazopoulos, Charalampos; Berretta, Sabina

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Emerging evidence from our group and others has brought the brain extracellular matrix (ECM) to the forefront of investigations on brain disorders. Our group has shown that organized perisynaptic ECM aggregates, i.e. perineuronal nets (PNNs) are decreased in several brain regions in people with schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). PNNs were detected by their expression of specific chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), main components of the ECM, thought to play a key role in synaptic regulation during development and adulthood. Our studies have also shown that glial cells expressing CSPGs are altered in these disorders, suggesting a link between glial cell and PNN abnormalities. Finally, we have recently shown that novel CSPG structures, bearing a distinct CS-6 sulfation pattern and named CS-6 glial clusters, are decreased in the amygdala of people with SZ and BD. The morphology and function of CS-6 glial clusters is not currently known, but evidence from rodents and on the role of CSPGs in regulating synaptic functions strongly suggest that they may affect synaptic plasticity. We tested this hypothesis using a combination of human postmortem and rodent brain studies. Methods High Resolution electron microscopy was used to investigate the ultrastructural organization of CS-6 glia clusters. A transgenic mouse model expressing green fluorescent protein in a subset of excitatory pyramidal neurons was used to investigate dendritic spines association with CS-6 glia clusters. Mice were exposed to a single session of auditory fear conditioning for a total of 15 minutes. Animals were euthanized 4 hours after behavioral test. Multiplex immunocytochemistry was used to visualize CS-6 clusters. Results In human tissue, we show that CS-6 glia clusters are widespread in several brain regions, including the amygdala, entorhinal cortex, thalamus and hippocampus. Ultrastructural results show that CS-6 glia clusters are formed by CS-6 accumulations

  8. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Brendan; Levy, Maayan; Dechery, Joseph B; MacLean, Jason N

    2018-01-01

    A promising alternative to directly measuring the anatomical connections in a neuronal population is inferring the connections from the activity. We employ simulated spiking neuronal networks to compare and contrast commonly used inference methods that identify likely excitatory synaptic connections using statistical regularities in spike timing. We find that simple adjustments to standard algorithms improve inference accuracy: A signing procedure improves the power of unsigned mutual-information-based approaches and a correction that accounts for differences in mean and variance of background timing relationships, such as those expected to be induced by heterogeneous firing rates, increases the sensitivity of frequency-based methods. We also find that different inference methods reveal distinct subsets of the synaptic network and each method exhibits different biases in the accurate detection of reciprocity and local clustering. To correct for errors and biases specific to single inference algorithms, we combine methods into an ensemble. Ensemble predictions, generated as a linear combination of multiple inference algorithms, are more sensitive than the best individual measures alone, and are more faithful to ground-truth statistics of connectivity, mitigating biases specific to single inference methods. These weightings generalize across simulated datasets, emphasizing the potential for the broad utility of ensemble-based approaches.

  9. Population activity structure of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittner, Sean R; Williamson, Ryan C; Snyder, Adam C; Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Doiron, Brent; Chase, Steven M; Smith, Matthew A; Yu, Byron M

    2017-01-01

    Many studies use population analysis approaches, such as dimensionality reduction, to characterize the activity of large groups of neurons. To date, these methods have treated each neuron equally, without taking into account whether neurons are excitatory or inhibitory. We studied population activity structure as a function of neuron type by applying factor analysis to spontaneous activity from spiking networks with balanced excitation and inhibition. Throughout the study, we characterized population activity structure by measuring its dimensionality and the percentage of overall activity variance that is shared among neurons. First, by sampling only excitatory or only inhibitory neurons, we found that the activity structures of these two populations in balanced networks are measurably different. We also found that the population activity structure is dependent on the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory neurons sampled. Finally we classified neurons from extracellular recordings in the primary visual cortex of anesthetized macaques as putative excitatory or inhibitory using waveform classification, and found similarities with the neuron type-specific population activity structure of a balanced network with excitatory clustering. These results imply that knowledge of neuron type is important, and allows for stronger statistical tests, when interpreting population activity structure.

  10. Population activity structure of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean R Bittner

    Full Text Available Many studies use population analysis approaches, such as dimensionality reduction, to characterize the activity of large groups of neurons. To date, these methods have treated each neuron equally, without taking into account whether neurons are excitatory or inhibitory. We studied population activity structure as a function of neuron type by applying factor analysis to spontaneous activity from spiking networks with balanced excitation and inhibition. Throughout the study, we characterized population activity structure by measuring its dimensionality and the percentage of overall activity variance that is shared among neurons. First, by sampling only excitatory or only inhibitory neurons, we found that the activity structures of these two populations in balanced networks are measurably different. We also found that the population activity structure is dependent on the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory neurons sampled. Finally we classified neurons from extracellular recordings in the primary visual cortex of anesthetized macaques as putative excitatory or inhibitory using waveform classification, and found similarities with the neuron type-specific population activity structure of a balanced network with excitatory clustering. These results imply that knowledge of neuron type is important, and allows for stronger statistical tests, when interpreting population activity structure.

  11. Population activity structure of excitatory and inhibitory neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doiron, Brent

    2017-01-01

    Many studies use population analysis approaches, such as dimensionality reduction, to characterize the activity of large groups of neurons. To date, these methods have treated each neuron equally, without taking into account whether neurons are excitatory or inhibitory. We studied population activity structure as a function of neuron type by applying factor analysis to spontaneous activity from spiking networks with balanced excitation and inhibition. Throughout the study, we characterized population activity structure by measuring its dimensionality and the percentage of overall activity variance that is shared among neurons. First, by sampling only excitatory or only inhibitory neurons, we found that the activity structures of these two populations in balanced networks are measurably different. We also found that the population activity structure is dependent on the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory neurons sampled. Finally we classified neurons from extracellular recordings in the primary visual cortex of anesthetized macaques as putative excitatory or inhibitory using waveform classification, and found similarities with the neuron type-specific population activity structure of a balanced network with excitatory clustering. These results imply that knowledge of neuron type is important, and allows for stronger statistical tests, when interpreting population activity structure. PMID:28817581

  12. Circadian Regulation of Glutamate Transporters

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    Donají Chi-Castañeda

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available L-glutamate is the major excitatory amino acid in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS. This neurotransmitter is essential for higher brain functions such as learning, cognition and memory. A tight regulation of extra-synaptic glutamate levels is needed to prevent a neurotoxic insult. Glutamate removal from the synaptic cleft is carried out by a family of sodium-dependent high-affinity transporters, collectively known as excitatory amino acid transporters. Dysfunction of glutamate transporters is generally involved in acute neuronal injury and neurodegenerative diseases, so characterizing and understanding the mechanisms that lead to the development of these disorders is an important goal in the design of novel treatments for the neurodegenerative diseases. Increasing evidence indicates glutamate transporters are controlled by the circadian system in direct and indirect manners, so in this contribution we focus on the mechanisms of circadian regulation (transcriptional, translational, post-translational and post-transcriptional regulation of glutamate transport in neuronal and glial cells, and their consequence in brain function.

  13. Inhibition linearizes firing rate responses in human motor units: implications for the role of persistent inward currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revill, Ann L; Fuglevand, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons are the output neurons of the central nervous system and are responsible for controlling muscle contraction. When initially activated during voluntary contraction, firing rates of motor neurons increase steeply but then level out at modest rates. Activation of an intrinsic source of excitatory current at recruitment onset may underlie the initial steep increase in firing rate in motor neurons. We attempted to disable this intrinsic excitatory current by artificially activating an inhibitory reflex. When motor neuron activity was recorded while the inhibitory reflex was engaged, firing rates no longer increased steeply, suggesting that the intrinsic excitatory current was probably responsible for the initial sharp rise in motor neuron firing rate. During graded isometric contractions, motor unit (MU) firing rates increase steeply upon recruitment but then level off at modest rates even though muscle force continues to increase. The mechanisms underlying such firing behaviour are not known although activation of persistent inward currents (PICs) might be involved. PICs are intrinsic, voltage-dependent currents that activate strongly when motor neurons (MNs) are first recruited. Such activation might cause a sharp escalation in depolarizing current and underlie the steep initial rise in MU firing rate. Because PICs can be disabled with synaptic inhibition, we hypothesized that artificial activation of an inhibitory pathway might curb this initial steep rise in firing rate. To test this, human subjects performed slow triangular ramp contractions of the ankle dorsiflexors in the absence and presence of tonic synaptic inhibition delivered to tibialis anterior (TA) MNs by sural nerve stimulation. Firing rate profiles (expressed as a function of contraction force) of TA MUs recorded during these tasks were compared for control and stimulation conditions. Under control conditions, during the ascending phase of the triangular contractions, 93% of the firing

  14. Stress-Induced Synaptic Dysfunction and Neurotransmitter Release in Alzheimer's Disease: Can Neurotransmitters and Neuromodulators be Potential Therapeutic Targets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, Saurabh Kumar; Jha, Niraj Kumar; Kumar, Dhiraj; Sharma, Renu; Shrivastava, Abhishek; Ambasta, Rashmi K; Kumar, Pravir

    2017-01-01

    The communication between neurons at synaptic junctions is an intriguing process that monitors the transmission of various electro-chemical signals in the central nervous system. Albeit any aberration in the mechanisms associated with transmission of these signals leads to loss of synaptic contacts in both the neocortex and hippocampus thereby causing insidious cognitive decline and memory dysfunction. Compelling evidence suggests that soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau serve as toxins in the dysfunction of synaptic plasticity and aberrant neurotransmitter (NT) release at synapses consequently causing a cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Further, an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission systems induced by impaired redox signaling and altered mitochondrial integrity is also amenable for such abnormalities. Defective NT release at the synaptic junction causes several detrimental effects associated with altered activity of synaptic proteins, transcription factors, Ca2+ homeostasis, and other molecules critical for neuronal plasticity. These detrimental effects further disrupt the normal homeostasis of neuronal cells and thereby causing synaptic loss. Moreover, the precise mechanistic role played by impaired NTs and neuromodulators (NMs) and altered redox signaling in synaptic dysfunction remains mysterious, and their possible interlink still needs to be investigated. Therefore, this review elucidates the intricate role played by both defective NTs/NMs and altered redox signaling in synaptopathy. Further, the involvement of numerous pharmacological approaches to compensate neurotransmission imbalance has also been discussed, which may be considered as a potential therapeutic approach in synaptopathy associated with AD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-15

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

  16. Tuning synaptic transmission in the hippocampus by stress: The CRH system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuncai eChen

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available To enhance survival, an organism needs to remember--and learn from--threatening or stressful events. This fact necessitates the presence of mechanisms by which stress can influence synaptic transmission in brain regions, such as hippocampus, that subserve learning and memory. A major focus of this series of monographs is on the role and actions of adrenal-derived hormones, corticosteroids, and of brain-derived neurotransmitters, on synaptic function in the stressed hippocampus. Here we focus on the contribution of hippocampus-intrinsic, stress-activated CRH-CRH receptor signaling to the function and structure of hippocampal synapses. CRH is expressed in interneurons of adult hippocampus, and is released from axon terminals during stress. The peptide exerts time- and dose-dependent effects on learning and memory via modulation of synaptic function and plasticity. Whereas physiological levels of CRH, acting over seconds to minutes, augment memory processes, exposure to presumed severe-stress levels of the peptide results in spine retraction and loss of synapses over more protracted time-frames. Loss of dendritic spines (and hence of synapses takes place through actin cytoskeleton collapse downstream of CRHR1 receptors that reside within excitatory synapses on spine heads. Chronic exposure to stress levels of CRH may promote dying-back (atrophy of spine-carrying dendrites. Thus, the acute effects of CRH may contribute to stress-induced adaptive mechanisms, whereas chronic or excessive exposure to the peptide may promote learning problems and premature cognitive decline.

  17. Kalirin-7 is necessary for normal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity

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    Lemtiri-Chlieh Fouad

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dendritic spines represent the postsynaptic component of the vast majority of excitatory synapses present in the mammalian forebrain. The ability of spines to rapidly alter their shape, size, number and receptor content in response to stimulation is considered to be of paramount importance during the development of synaptic plasticity. Indeed, long-term potentiation (LTP, widely believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, has been repeatedly shown to induce both spine enlargement and the formation of new dendritic spines. In our studies, we focus on Kalirin-7 (Kal7, a Rho GDP/GTP exchange factor (Rho-GEF localized to the postsynaptic density that plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of dendritic spines both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO have decreased dendritic spine density in the hippocampus as well as focal hippocampal-dependent learning impairments. Results We have performed a detailed electrophysiological characterization of the role of Kal7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We show that loss of Kal7 results in impaired NMDA receptor-dependent LTP and long-term depression, whereas a NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP is shown to be normal in the absence of Kal7. Conclusions These results indicate that Kal7 is an essential and selective modulator of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

  18. Kalirin-7 is necessary for normal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad

    2011-12-19

    Background: Dendritic spines represent the postsynaptic component of the vast majority of excitatory synapses present in the mammalian forebrain. The ability of spines to rapidly alter their shape, size, number and receptor content in response to stimulation is considered to be of paramount importance during the development of synaptic plasticity. Indeed, long-term potentiation (LTP), widely believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, has been repeatedly shown to induce both spine enlargement and the formation of new dendritic spines. In our studies, we focus on Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho GDP/GTP exchange factor (Rho-GEF) localized to the postsynaptic density that plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of dendritic spines both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking Kal7 (Kal7 KO) have decreased dendritic spine density in the hippocampus as well as focal hippocampal-dependent learning impairments.Results: We have performed a detailed electrophysiological characterization of the role of Kal7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We show that loss of Kal7 results in impaired NMDA receptor-dependent LTP and long-term depression, whereas a NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP is shown to be normal in the absence of Kal7.Conclusions: These results indicate that Kal7 is an essential and selective modulator of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. 2011 Lemtiri-Chlieh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    OpenAIRE

    Missler, Markus; Südhof, Thomas C.; Biederer, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions that mediate synaptic transmission. Synaptic junctions are organized by trans-synaptic cell adhesion molecules bridging the synaptic cleft. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules not only connect pre- and postsynaptic compartments, but also mediate trans-synaptic recognition and signaling processes that are essential for the establishment, specification, and plasticity of synapses. A growing number of synaptic cell adhesion molecules that inc...

  1. Synaptic vesicle proteins under conditions of rest and activation: analysis by 2-D difference gel electrophoresis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burré, Jacqueline; Beckhaus, Tobias; Corvey, Carsten; Karas, Michael; Zimmermann, Herbert; Volknandt, Walter

    2006-09-01

    Synaptic vesicles are organelles of the nerve terminal that secrete neurotransmitters by fusion with the presynaptic plasma membrane. Vesicle fusion is tightly controlled by depolarization of the plasma membrane and a set of proteins that may undergo post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation. In order to identify proteins that undergo modifications as a result of synaptic activation, we induced massive exocytosis and analysed the synaptic vesicle compartment by benzyldimethyl-n-hexadecylammonium chloride (BAC)/SDS-PAGE and difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) followed by MALDI-TOF-MS. We identified eight proteins that revealed significant changes in abundance following nerve terminal depolarization. Of these, six were increased and two were decreased in abundance. Three of these proteins were phosphorylated as detected by Western blot analysis. In addition, we identified an unknown synaptic vesicle protein whose abundance increased on synaptic activation. Our results demonstrate that depolarization of the presynaptic compartment induces changes in the abundance of synaptic vesicle proteins and post-translational protein modification.

  2. GABA Metabolism and Transport: Effects on Synaptic Efficacy

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    Fabian C. Roth

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available GABAergic inhibition is an important regulator of excitability in neuronal networks. In addition, inhibitory synaptic signals contribute crucially to the organization of spatiotemporal patterns of network activity, especially during coherent oscillations. In order to maintain stable network states, the release of GABA by interneurons must be plastic in timing and amount. This homeostatic regulation is achieved by several pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms and is triggered by various activity-dependent local signals such as excitatory input or ambient levels of neurotransmitters. Here, we review findings on the availability of GABA for release at presynaptic terminals of interneurons. Presynaptic GABA content seems to be an important determinant of inhibitory efficacy and can be differentially regulated by changing synthesis, transport, and degradation of GABA or related molecules. We will discuss the functional impact of such regulations on neuronal network patterns and, finally, point towards pharmacological approaches targeting these processes.

  3. Nutritional State-Dependent Ghrelin Activation of Vasopressin Neurons via Retrograde Trans-Neuronal–Glial Stimulation of Excitatory GABA Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haam, Juhee; Halmos, Katalin C.; Di, Shi

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral and physiological coupling between energy balance and fluid homeostasis is critical for survival. The orexigenic hormone ghrelin has been shown to stimulate the secretion of the osmoregulatory hormone vasopressin (VP), linking nutritional status to the control of blood osmolality, although the mechanism of this systemic crosstalk is unknown. Here, we show using electrophysiological recordings and calcium imaging in rat brain slices that ghrelin stimulates VP neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in a nutritional state-dependent manner by activating an excitatory GABAergic synaptic input via a retrograde neuronal–glial circuit. In slices from fasted rats, ghrelin activation of a postsynaptic ghrelin receptor, the growth hormone secretagogue receptor type 1a (GHS-R1a), in VP neurons caused the dendritic release of VP, which stimulated astrocytes to release the gliotransmitter adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP activation of P2X receptors excited presynaptic GABA neurons to increase GABA release, which was excitatory to the VP neurons. This trans-neuronal–glial retrograde circuit activated by ghrelin provides an alternative means of stimulation of VP release and represents a novel mechanism of neuronal control by local neuronal–glial circuits. It also provides a potential cellular mechanism for the physiological integration of energy and fluid homeostasis. PMID:24790191

  4. Up-Regulation of the Excitatory Amino Acid Transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2 by Mammalian Target of Rapamycin

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    Abeer Abousaab

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: The excitatory amino-acid transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2 clear glutamate from the synaptic cleft and thus terminate neuronal excitation. The carriers are subject to regulation by various kinases. The EAAT3 isoform is regulated by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR. The present study thus explored whether mTOR influences transport by EAAT1 and/or EAAT2. Methods: cRNA encoding wild type EAAT1 (SLC1A3 or EAAT2 (SLC1A2 was injected into Xenopus oocytes without or with additional injection of cRNA encoding mTOR. Dual electrode voltage clamp was performed in order to determine electrogenic glutamate transport (IEAAT. EAAT2 protein abundance was determined utilizing chemiluminescence. Results: Appreciable IEAAT was observed in EAAT1 or EAAT2 expressing but not in water injected oocytes. IEAAT was significantly increased by coexpression of mTOR. Coexpression of mTOR increased significantly the maximal IEAAT in EAAT1 or EAAT2 expressing oocytes, without significantly modifying affinity of the carriers. Moreover, coexpression of mTOR increased significantly EAAT2 protein abundance in the cell membrane. Conclusions: The kinase mTOR up-regulates the excitatory amino acid transporters EAAT1 and EAAT2.

  5. Finite post synaptic potentials cause a fast neuronal response

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    Moritz eHelias

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available A generic property of the communication between neurons is the exchange of pulsesat discrete time points, the action potentials. However, the prevalenttheory of spiking neuronal networks of integrate-and-fire model neuronsrelies on two assumptions: the superposition of many afferent synapticimpulses is approximated by Gaussian white noise, equivalent to avanishing magnitude of the synaptic impulses, and the transfer oftime varying signals by neurons is assessable by linearization. Goingbeyond both approximations, we find that in the presence of synapticimpulses the response to transient inputs differs qualitatively fromprevious predictions. It is instantaneous rather than exhibiting low-passcharacteristics, depends non-linearly on the amplitude of the impulse,is asymmetric for excitation and inhibition and is promoted by a characteristiclevel of synaptic background noise. These findings resolve contradictionsbetween the earlier theory and experimental observations. Here wereview the recent theoretical progress that enabled these insights.We explain why the membrane potential near threshold is sensitiveto properties of the afferent noise and show how this shapes the neuralresponse. A further extension of the theory to time evolution in discretesteps quantifies simulation artifacts and yields improved methodsto cross check results.

  6. Dendritic excitability modulates dendritic information processing in a purkinje cell model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coop, Allan D; Cornelis, Hugo; Santamaria, Fidel

    2010-01-01

    Using an electrophysiological compartmental model of a Purkinje cell we quantified the contribution of individual active dendritic currents to processing of synaptic activity from granule cells. We used mutual information as a measure to quantify the information from the total excitatory input current (I(Glu)) encoded in each dendritic current. In this context, each active current was considered an information channel. Our analyses showed that most of the information was encoded by the calcium (I(CaP)) and calcium activated potassium (I(Kc)) currents. Mutual information between I(Glu) and I(CaP) and I(Kc) was sensitive to different levels of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity that, at the same time, resulted in the same firing rate at the soma. Since dendritic excitability could be a mechanism to regulate information processing in neurons we quantified the changes in mutual information between I(Glu) and all Purkinje cell currents as a function of the density of dendritic Ca (g(CaP)) and Kca (g(Kc)) conductances. We extended our analysis to determine the window of temporal integration of I(Glu) by I(CaP) and I(Kc) as a function of channel density and synaptic activity. The window of information integration has a stronger dependence on increasing values of g(Kc) than on g(CaP), but at high levels of synaptic stimulation information integration is reduced to a few milliseconds. Overall, our results show that different dendritic conductances differentially encode synaptic activity and that dendritic excitability and the level of synaptic activity regulate the flow of information in dendrites.

  7. Trans-synaptic zinc mobilization improves social interaction in two mouse models of autism through NMDAR activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun-Jae; Lee, Hyejin; Huang, Tzyy-Nan; Chung, Changuk; Shin, Wangyong; Kim, Kyungdeok; Koh, Jae-Young; Hsueh, Yi-Ping; Kim, Eunjoon

    2015-01-01

    Genetic aspects of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have recently been extensively explored, but environmental influences that affect ASDs have received considerably less attention. Zinc (Zn) is a nutritional factor implicated in ASDs, but evidence for a strong association and linking mechanism is largely lacking. Here we report that trans-synaptic Zn mobilization rapidly rescues social interaction in two independent mouse models of ASD. In mice lacking Shank2, an excitatory postsynaptic scaffolding protein, postsynaptic Zn elevation induced by clioquinol (a Zn chelator and ionophore) improves social interaction. Postsynaptic Zn is mainly derived from presynaptic pools and activates NMDA receptors (NMDARs) through postsynaptic activation of the tyrosine kinase Src. Clioquinol also improves social interaction in mice haploinsufficient for the transcription factor Tbr1, which accompanies NMDAR activation in the amygdala. These results suggest that trans-synaptic Zn mobilization induced by clioquinol rescues social deficits in mouse models of ASD through postsynaptic Src and NMDAR activation. PMID:25981743

  8. Glutamatergic postsynaptic block by Pamphobeteus spider venoms in crayfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araque, A; Ferreira, W; Lucas, S; Buño, W

    1992-01-31

    The effects of toxins from venom glands of two south american spiders (Pamphobeteus platyomma and P. soracabae) on glutamatergic excitatory synaptic transmission were studied in the neuromuscular junction of the opener muscle of crayfish. The toxins selectively and reversibly blocked both excitatory postsynaptic currents and potentials in a dose-dependent manner. They also reversibly abolished glutamate-induced postsynaptic membrane depolarization. They had no effect on resting postsynaptic membrane conductance nor on postsynaptic voltage-gated currents. The synaptic facilitation and the frequency of miniature postsynaptic potentials were unaffected by the toxins, indicating that presynaptic events were not modified. Picrotoxin, a selective antagonist of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor, did not modify toxin effects. We conclude that both toxins specifically block the postsynaptic glutamate receptor-channel complex.

  9. Changes in cortical N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and post-synaptic density protein 95 in schizophrenia, mood disorders and suicide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Brian; Gibbons, Andrew S; Boer, Simone; Uezato, Akihito; Meador-Woodruff, James; Scarr, Elizabeth; McCullumsmith, Robert E

    2016-03-01

    In humans, depending on dose, blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) with ketamine can cause psychomimetic or antidepressant effects. The overall outcome for drugs such as ketamine depends on dose and the number of its available binding sites in the central nervous system, and to understand something of the latter variable we measure NMDAR in the frontal pole, dorsolateral prefrontal, anterior cingulate and parietal cortices from people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorders and age/sex matched controls. We measured levels of NMDARs (using [(3)H]MK-801 binding) and NMDAR sub-unit mRNAs (GRINs: using in situ hybridisation) as well as post-synaptic density protein 95 (anterior cingulate cortex only; not major depressive disorders: an NMDAR post-synaptic associated protein) in bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and controls. Compared to controls, levels of NMDAR were lower in the outer laminae of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (-17%, p = 0.01) in people with schizophrenia. In bipolar disorder, levels of NMDAR binding (laminae IV-VI; -19%, p disorders, levels of GRIN2D mRNA were higher in frontal pole (+22%, p suicide completers, levels of GRIN2B mRNA were higher in parietal cortex (+20%, p disorders and suicide completion and may contribute to different responses to ketamine. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2015.

  10. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo; Piriz, Joaquin; Mirrione, Martine; Chung, ChiHye; Proulx, Christophe D; Schulz, Daniela; Henn, Fritz; Malinow, Roberto

    2011-02-24

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (that is, disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome). LHb neurons project to, and modulate, dopamine-rich regions, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), that control reward-seeking behaviour and participate in depressive disorders. Here we show that in two learned helplessness models of depression, excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal's helplessness behaviour and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective for patients who are depressed, markedly suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behaviour in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression.

  11. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, B.; Schulz, D.; Piriz, J.; Mirrione, M.; Chung, C.H.; Proulx, C.D.; Schulz, D.; Henn, F.; Malinow, R.

    2011-01-01

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (that is, disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome). LHb neurons project to, and modulate, dopamine-rich regions, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), that control reward-seeking behaviour and participate in depressive disorders. Here we show that in two learned helplessness models of depression, excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal's helplessness behaviour and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective for patients who are depressed, markedly suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behaviour in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression.

  12. Mice lacking the synaptic adhesion molecule Neph2/Kirrel3 display moderate hyperactivity and defective novel object preference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Yeon eChoi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate diverse aspects of neuronal synapse development, including synapse specificity, formation, and maturation. Neph2, also known as Kirrel3, is an immunoglobulin superfamily adhesion molecule implicated in intellectual disability, neurocognitive delay associated with Jacobsen syndrome, and autism spectrum disorders. We here report mice lacking Neph2 (Neph2–/– mice display moderate hyperactivity in a familiar but not novel environment and novel object recognition deficit with normal performances in Morris water maze spatial learning and memory, contextual fear conditioning and extinction, and pattern separation tests. These mice show normal levels of anxiety-like behaviors, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. At the synapse level, Neph2–/– dentate gyrus granule cells exhibit unaltered dendritic spine density and spontaneous excitatory synaptic transmission. These results suggest that Neph2 is important for normal locomotor activity and object recognition memory.

  13. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic signaling systems are ubiquitous forms of biological regulation, having been studied for hundreds of years in the context of diverse physiological processes including body temperature and osmotic balance. However, only recently has this concept been brought to the study of excitatory and inhibitory electrical activity that the nervous system uses to establish and maintain stable communication. Synapses are a primary target of neuronal regulation with a variety of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating that these cellular junctions are under bidirectional homeostatic control. Recent work from an array of diverse systems and approaches has revealed exciting new links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and a variety of seemingly disparate neurological and psychiatric diseases. These include autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, and Fragile X Syndrome. Although the molecular mechanisms through which defective homeostatic signaling may lead to disease pathogenesis remain unclear, rapid progress is likely to be made in the coming years using a powerful combination of genetic, imaging, electrophysiological, and next generation sequencing approaches. Importantly, understanding homeostatic synaptic plasticity at a cellular and molecular level may lead to developments in new therapeutic innovations to treat these diseases. In this review we will examine recent studies that demonstrate homeostatic control of postsynaptic protein translation, retrograde signaling, and presynaptic function that may contribute to the etiology of complex neurological and psychiatric diseases.

  14. BDNF-induced local protein synthesis and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Graciano; Comprido, Diogo; Duarte, Carlos B

    2014-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important regulator of synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus and in other brain regions, playing a role in the formation of certain forms of memory. The effects of BDNF in LTP are mediated by TrkB (tropomyosin-related kinase B) receptors, which are known to be coupled to the activation of the Ras/ERK, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and phospholipase C-γ (PLC-γ) pathways. The role of BDNF in LTP is best studied in the hippocampus, where the neurotrophin acts at pre- and post-synaptic levels. Recent studies have shown that BDNF regulates the transport of mRNAs along dendrites and their translation at the synapse, by modulating the initiation and elongation phases of protein synthesis, and by acting on specific miRNAs. Furthermore, the effect of BDNF on transcription regulation may further contribute to long-term changes in the synaptic proteome. In this review we discuss the recent progress in understanding the mechanisms contributing to the short- and long-term regulation of the synaptic proteome by BDNF, and the role in synaptic plasticity, which is likely to influence learning and memory formation. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'BDNF Regulation of Synaptic Structure, Function, and Plasticity'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Oscillations, complex spatiotemporal behavior, and information transport in networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Destexhe, A.

    1994-01-01

    Various types of spatiotemporal behavior are described for two-dimensional networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons with time delayed interactions. It is described how the network behaves as several structural parameters are varied, such as the number of neurons, the connectivity, and the values of synaptic weights. A transition from spatially uniform oscillations to spatiotemporal chaos via intermittentlike behavior is observed. The properties of spatiotemporally chaotic solutions are investigated by evaluating the largest positive Lyapunov exponent and the loss of correlation with distance. Finally, properties of information transport are evaluated during uniform oscillations and spatiotemporal chaos. It is shown that the diffusion coefficient increases significantly in the spatiotemporal phase similar to the increase of transport coefficients at the onset of fluid turbulence. It is proposed that such a property should be seen in other media, such as chemical turbulence or networks of oscillators. The possibility of measuring information transport from appropriate experiments is also discussed

  16. Decrement of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents in dentate granule cells in epileptic hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isokawa, M

    1996-05-01

    1. Inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) were studied in hippocampal dentate granule cells (DGCs) in the pilocarpine model and human temporal lobe epilepsy, with the use of the whole cell patch-clamp recording technique in slice preparations. 2. In the pilocarpine model, hippocampal slices were prepared from rats that were allowed to experience spontaneous seizures for 2 mo. Human hippocampal specimens were obtained from epileptic patients who underwent surgical treatment for medically intractable seizures. 3. IPSCs were generated by single perforant path stimulation and recorded at a membrane potential (Vm) of 0 mV near the reversal potential of glutamate excitatory postsynaptic currents in the voltage-clamp recording. IPSCs were pharmacologically identified as gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) IPSCs by 10 microM bicuculline methiodide. 4. During low-frequency stimulation, IPSCs were not different in amplitude among non-seizure-experienced rat hippocampi, human nonsclerotic hippocampi, seizure-experienced rat hippocampi, and human sclerotic hippocampi. In the last two groups of DGCs, current-clamp recordings indicated the presence of prolonged excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) mediated by the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. 5. High-frequency stimulation, administered at Vm = -30 mV to activate NMDA currents, reduced GABAA IPSC amplitude specifically in seizure-experienced rat hippocampi (t = 2.5, P < 0.03) and human sclerotic hippocampi (t = 7.7, P < 0.01). This reduction was blocked by an NMDA receptor antagonist, 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) (50 microM). The time for GABAA IPSCs to recover to their original amplitude was also shortened by the application of APV. 6. I conclude that, when intensively activated, NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory transmission may interact with GABAergic synaptic inhibition in DGCs in seizure-experienced hippocampus to transiently reduce GABA(A) receptor-channel function. Such interactions may contribute to

  17. Stimulus number, duration and intensity encoding in randomly connected attractor networks with synaptic depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eMiller

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Randomly connected recurrent networks of excitatory groups of neurons can possess a multitude of attractor states. When the internal excitatory synapses of these networks are depressing, the attractor states can be destabilized with increasing input. This leads to an itinerancy, where with either repeated transient stimuli, or increasing duration of a single stimulus, the network activity advances through sequences of attractor states. We find that the resulting network state, which persists beyond stimulus offset, can encode the number of stimuli presented via a distributed representation of neural activity with non-monotonic tuning curves for most neurons. Increased duration of a single stimulus is encoded via different distributed representations, so unlike an integrator, the network distinguishes separate successive presentations of a short stimulus from a single presentation of a longer stimulus with equal total duration. Moreover, different amplitudes of stimulus cause new, distinct activity patterns, such that changes in stimulus number, duration and amplitude can be distinguished from each other. These properties of the network depend on dynamic depressing synapses, as they disappear if synapses are static. Thus short-term synaptic depression allows a network to store separately the different dynamic properties of a spatially constant stimulus.

  18. Synaptic Plasticity and Spike Synchronisation in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Rafael R.; Borges, Fernando S.; Lameu, Ewandson L.; Protachevicz, Paulo R.; Iarosz, Kelly C.; Caldas, Iberê L.; Viana, Ricardo L.; Macau, Elbert E. N.; Baptista, Murilo S.; Grebogi, Celso; Batista, Antonio M.

    2017-12-01

    Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, is a fundamental mechanism of neuronal adaptation in response to changes in the environment or due to brain injury. In this review, we show our results about the effects of synaptic plasticity on neuronal networks composed by Hodgkin-Huxley neurons. We show that the final topology of the evolved network depends crucially on the ratio between the strengths of the inhibitory and excitatory synapses. Excitation of the same order of inhibition revels an evolved network that presents the rich-club phenomenon, well known to exist in the brain. For initial networks with considerably larger inhibitory strengths, we observe the emergence of a complex evolved topology, where neurons sparsely connected to other neurons, also a typical topology of the brain. The presence of noise enhances the strength of both types of synapses, but if the initial network has synapses of both natures with similar strengths. Finally, we show how the synchronous behaviour of the evolved network will reflect its evolved topology.

  19. The excitatory/inhibitory input to orexin/hypocretin neuron soma undergoes day/night reorganization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laperchia, Claudia; Imperatore, Roberta; Azeez, Idris A; Del Gallo, Federico; Bertini, Giuseppe; Grassi-Zucconi, Gigliola; Cristino, Luigia; Bentivoglio, Marina

    2017-11-01

    Orexin (OX)/hypocretin-containing neurons are main regulators of wakefulness stability, arousal, and energy homeostasis. Their activity varies in relation to the animal's behavioral state. We here tested whether such variation is subserved by synaptic plasticity phenomena in basal conditions. Mice were sacrificed during day or night, at times when sleep or wake, respectively, predominates, as assessed by electroencephalography in matched mice. Triple immunofluorescence was used to visualize OX-A perikarya and varicosities containing the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGluT)2 or the vesicular GABA transporter (VGAT) combined with synaptophysin (Syn) as a presynaptic marker. Appositions on OX-A + somata were quantitatively analyzed in pairs of sections in epifluorescence and confocal microscopy. The combined total number of glutamatergic (Syn + /VGluT2 + ) and GABAergic (Syn + /VGAT + ) varicosities apposed to OX-A somata was similar during day and night. However, glutamatergic varicosities were significantly more numerous at night, whereas GABAergic varicosities prevailed in the day. Triple immunofluorescence in confocal microscopy was employed to visualize synapse scaffold proteins as postsynaptic markers and confirmed the nighttime prevalence of VGluT2 + together with postsynaptic density protein 95 + excitatory contacts, and daytime prevalence of VGAT + together with gephyrin + inhibitory contacts, while also showing that they formed synapses on OX-A + cell bodies. The findings reveal a daily reorganization of axosomatic synapses in orexinergic neurons, with a switch from a prevalence of excitatory innervation at a time corresponding to wakefulness to a prevalence of inhibitory innervations in the antiphase, at a time corresponding to sleep. This reorganization could represent a key mechanism of plasticity of the orexinergic network in basal conditions.

  20. Compensating for Thalamocortical Synaptic Loss in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal eAbuhassan

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The study presents a thalamocortical network model which oscillates within the alpha frequency band (8-13 Hz as recorded in the wakeful relaxed state with closed eyes to study the neural causes of abnormal oscillatory activity in Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Incorporated within the model are various types of cortical excitatory and inhibitory neurons, recurrently connected to thalamic and reticular thalamic regions with the ratios and distances derived from the mammalian thalamocortical system. The model is utilized to study the impacts of four types of connectivity loss on the model’s spectral dynamics. The study focuses on investigating degeneration of corticocortical, thalamocortical, corticothalamic and corticoreticular couplings, with an emphasis on the influence of each modelled case on the spectral output of the model. Synaptic compensation has been included in each model to examine the interplay between synaptic deletion and compensation mechanisms, and the oscillatory activity of the network. The results of power spectra and event related desynchronisation/synchronisation (ERD/S analyses show that the dynamics of the thalamic and cortical oscillations are significantly influenced by corticocortical synaptic loss. Interestingly, the patterns of changes in thalamic spectral activity are correlated with those in the cortical model. Similarly, the thalamic oscillatory activity is diminished after partial corticothalamic denervation. The results suggest that thalamic atrophy is a secondary pathology to cortical shrinkage in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, this study finds that the inhibition from neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus (RTN to thalamic relay (TCR neurons plays a key role in regulating thalamic oscillations; disinhibition disrupts thalamic oscillatory activity even though TCR neurons are more depolarized after being released from RTN inhibition. This study provides information that can be explored experimentally to

  1. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in learned helplessness model of depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo; Piriz, Joaquin; Mirrione, Martine; Chung, ChiHye; Proulx, Christophe D.; Schulz, Daniela; Henn, Fritz; Malinow, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood1. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (i.e. disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome)2, 3, 4. LHb neurons project to and modulate dopamine-rich regions such as the ventral-tegmental area (VTA)2, 5 that control reward-seeking behavior6 and participate in depressive disorders7. Here we show in two learned helplessness models of depression that excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal’s helplessness behavior and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective on depressed patients8, 9, dramatically suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behavior in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression. PMID:21350486

  2. Changes in inhibitory CA1 network in dual pathology model of epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouardouz, Mohamed; Carmant, Lionel

    2012-01-01

    The combination of two precipitating factors appears to be more and more recognized in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Using a two-hit rat model, with a neonatal freeze lesion mimicking a focal cortical malformation combined with hyperthermia-induced seizures mimicking febrile seizures, we have previously reported an increase of inhibition in CA1 pyramidal cells at P20. Here, we investigated the changes affecting excitatory and inhibitory drive onto CA1 interneurons to better define the changes in CA1 inhibitory networks and their paradoxical role in epileptogenesis, using electrophysiological recordings in CA1 hippocampus from rat pups (16-20 d old). We investigated interneurons in CA1 hippocampal area located in stratum oriens (Or) and at the border of strata lacunosum and moleculare (L-M). Our results revealed an increase of the excitatory drive to both types of interneurons with no change in the inhibitory drive. The mechanisms underlying the increase of excitatory synaptic currents (EPSCs) in both types of interneurons are different. In Or interneurons, the amplitude of spontaneous and miniature EPSCs increased, while their frequency was not affected suggesting changes at the post-synaptic level. In L-M interneurons, the frequency of spontaneous EPSCs increases, but the amplitude is not affected. Analyses of miniature EPSCs showed no changes in both their frequency and amplitude. We concluded that L-M interneurons increase in excitatory drive is due to a change in Shaffer collateral axon excitability. The changes described here in CA1 inhibitory network may actually contribute to the epileptogenicity observed in this dual pathology model by increasing pyramidal cell synchronization.

  3. The BDNF val-66-met Polymorphism Affects Neuronal Morphology and Synaptic Transmission in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons from Rett Syndrome Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Xu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf has been implicated in several neurological disorders including Rett syndrome (RTT, an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in the transcriptional modulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2. The human BDNF gene has a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP—a methionine (met substitution for valine (val at codon 66—that affects BDNF’s trafficking and activity-dependent release and results in cognitive dysfunction. Humans that are carriers of the met-BDNF allele have subclinical memory deficits and reduced hippocampal volume and activation. It is still unclear whether this BDNF SNP affects the clinical outcome of RTT individuals. To evaluate whether this BDNF SNP contributes to RTT pathophysiology, we examined the consequences of expression of either val-BDNF or met-BDNF on dendrite and dendritic spine morphology, and synaptic function in cultured hippocampal neurons from wildtype (WT and Mecp2 knockout (KO mice. Our findings revealed that met-BDNF does not increase dendritic growth and branching, dendritic spine density and individual spine volume, and the number of excitatory synapses in WT neurons, as val-BDNF does. Furthermore, met-BDNF reduces dendritic complexity, dendritic spine volume and quantal excitatory synaptic transmission in Mecp2 KO neurons. These results suggest that the val-BDNF variant contributes to RTT pathophysiology, and that BDNF-based therapies should take into consideration the BDNF genotype of the RTT individuals.

  4. Role of synaptic structural plasticity in impairments of spatial learning and memory induced by developmental lead exposure in Wistar rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongmei Xiao

    Full Text Available Lead (Pb is found to impair cognitive function. Synaptic structural plasticity is considered to be the physiological basis of synaptic functional plasticity and has been recently found to play important roles in learning and memory. To study the effect of Pb on spatial learning and memory at different developmental stages, and its relationship with alterations of synaptic structural plasticity, postnatal rats were randomly divided into three groups: Control; Pre-weaning Pb (Parents were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 3 weeks before mating until weaning of pups; Post-weaning Pb (Weaned pups were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 for 9 weeks. The spatial learning and memory of rats was measured by Morris water maze (MWM on PND 85-90. Rat pups in Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups performed significantly worse than those in Control group (p<0.05. However, there was no significant difference in the performance of MWM between the two Pb-exposure groups. Before MWM (PND 84, the number of neurons and synapses significantly decreased in Pre-weaning Pb group, but not in Post-weaning Pb group. After MWM (PND 91, the number of synapses in Pre-weaning Pb group increased significantly, but it was still less than that of Control group (p<0.05; the number of synapses in Post-weaning Pb group was also less than that of Control group (p<0.05, although the number of synapses has no differences between Post-weaning Pb and Control groups before MWM. In both Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups, synaptic structural parameters such as thickness of postsynaptic density (PSD, length of synaptic active zone and synaptic curvature increased significantly while width of synaptic cleft decreased significantly compared to Control group (p<0.05. Our data demonstrated that both early and late developmental Pb exposure impaired spatial learning and memory as well as synaptic structural plasticity in Wistar rats.

  5. Electrical coupling and excitatory synaptic transmission between rhythmogenic respiratory neurons in the preBötzinger complex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C; Shao, X M; Feldman, J L

    2000-01-01

    Breathing pattern is postulated to be generated by brainstem neurons. However, determination of the underlying cellular mechanisms, and in particular the synaptic interactions between respiratory neurons, has been difficult. Here we used dual recordings from two distinct populations of brainstem...... respiratory neurons, hypoglossal (XII) motoneurons, and rhythmogenic (type-1) neurons in the preBötzinger complex (preBötC), the hypothesized site for respiratory rhythm generation, to determine whether electrical and chemical transmission is present. Using an in vitro brainstem slice preparation from newborn...... mice, we found that intracellularly recorded pairs of XII motoneurons and pairs of preBötC inspiratory type-1 neurons showed bidirectional electrical coupling. Coupling strength was low (neurons was heavily filtered (corner frequency,

  6. Synapses between parallel fibres and stellate cells express long-term changes in synaptic efficacy in rat cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rancillac, Armelle; Crépel, Francis

    2004-02-01

    Various forms of synaptic plasticity underlying motor learning have already been well characterized at cerebellar parallel fibre (PF)-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses. Inhibitory interneurones play an important role in controlling the excitability and synchronization of PCs. We have therefore tested the possibility that excitatory synapses between PFs and stellate cells (SCs) are also able to exhibit long-term changes in synaptic efficacy. In the present study, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were induced at these synapses by a low frequency stimulation protocol (2 Hz for 60 s) and that pairing this low frequency stimulation protocol with postsynaptic depolarization induced a marked shift of synaptic plasticity in favour of LTP. This LTP was cAMP independent, but required nitric oxide (NO) production from pre- and/or postsynaptic elements, depending on the stimulation or pairing protocol used, respectively. In contrast, LTD was not dependent on NO production but it required activation of postsynaptic group II and possibly of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. Finally, stimulation of PFs at 8 Hz for 15 s also induced LTP at PF-SC synapses. But in this case, LTP was cAMP dependent, as was also observed at PF-PC synapses for presynaptic LTP induced in the same conditions. Thus, long-term changes in synaptic efficacy can be accomplished by PF-SCs synapses as well as by PF-PC synapses, suggesting that both types of plasticity might co-operate during cerebellar motor learning.

  7. A pivotal role of GSK-3 in synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clarrisa A Bradley

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 has many cellular functions. Recent evidence suggests that it plays a key role in certain types of synaptic plasticity, in particular a form of long-term depression (LTD that is induced by the synaptic activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors. In the present article we summarise what is currently known concerning the roles of GSK-3 in synaptic plasticity at both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. We summarise its role in cognition and speculate on how alterations in the synaptic functioning of GSK-3 may be a major factor in certain neurodegenerative disorders.

  8. Endogenous Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Suppresses High-Fat Food Intake by Reducing Synaptic Drive onto Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xue-Feng Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 and its analogs act as appetite suppressants and have been proven to be clinically efficacious in reducing body weight in obese individuals. Central GLP-1 is expressed in a small population of brainstem cells located in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS, which project to a wide range of brain areas. However, it remains unclear how endogenous GLP-1 released in the brain contributes to appetite regulation. Using chemogenetic tools, we discovered that central GLP-1 acts on the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA and suppresses high-fat food intake. We used integrated pathway tracing and synaptic physiology to further demonstrate that activation of GLP-1 receptors specifically reduces the excitatory synaptic strength of dopamine (DA neurons within the VTA that project to the nucleus accumbens (NAc medial shell. These data suggest that GLP-1 released from NTS neurons can reduce highly palatable food intake by suppressing mesolimbic DA signaling.

  9. Analysis of shape and spatial interaction of synaptic vesicles using data from focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh; Waagepetersen, Rasmus Plenge; Sporring, Jon

    2015-01-01

    deviations from spherical shape and systematic trends in their orientation. We studied three-dimensional representations of synapses obtained by manual annotation of focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) images of male mouse brain. The configurations of synaptic vesicles were regarded...... in excitatory synapses appeared to be of oblate ellipsoid shape and in inhibitory synapses appeared to be of cigar ellipsoid shape, and followed a systematic pattern regarding their orientation towards the active zone. Moreover, there was strong evidence of spatial alignment in the orientations of pairs...

  10. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

    During development, dynamic changes in the axonal growth cone and dendrite are necessary for exploratory movements underlying initial axo-dendritic contact and ultimately the formation of a functional synapse. In the adult central nervous system, an impressive degree of plasticity is retained through morphological and molecular rearrangements in the pre- and post-synaptic compartments that underlie the strengthening or weakening of synaptic pathways. Plasticity is regulated by the interplay of permissive and inhibitory extracellular cues, which signal through receptors at the synapse to regulate the closure of critical periods of developmental plasticity as well as by acute changes in plasticity in response to experience and activity in the adult. The molecular underpinnings of synaptic plasticity are actively studied and it is clear that the cytoskeleton is a key substrate for many cues that affect plasticity. Many of the cues that restrict synaptic plasticity exhibit residual activity in the injured adult CNS and restrict regenerative growth by targeting the cytoskeleton. Here, we review some of the latest insights into how cytoskeletal remodeling affects neuronal plasticity and discuss how the cytoskeleton is being targeted in an effort to promote plasticity and repair following traumatic injury in the central nervous system. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  11. The role of c-AMP-dependent protein kinase in spinal cord and post synaptic dorsal column neurons in a rat model of visceral pain

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Jing; Su, Guangxiao; Ma, Long; Zhang, Xuan; Lei, Yongzhong; Lin, Qing; Nauta, Haring J.W.; Li, Junfa; Fang, Li

    2007-01-01

    Visceral noxious stimulation induces central neuronal plasticity changes and suggests that the c-AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signal transduction cascade contributes to long-term changes in nociceptive processing at the spinal cord level. Our previous studies reported the clinical neurosurgical interruption of post synaptic dorsal column neuron (PSDC) pathway by performing midline myelotomy effectively alleviating the intractable visceral pain in patients with severe pain. However, the ...

  12. Short-term ionic plasticity at GABAergic synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Valentino Raimondo

    2012-10-01

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

  13. Spectrotemporal dynamics of auditory cortical synaptic receptive field plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C; Martins, Ana Raquel O

    2011-09-01

    The nervous system must dynamically represent sensory information in order for animals to perceive and operate within a complex, changing environment. Receptive field plasticity in the auditory cortex allows cortical networks to organize around salient features of the sensory environment during postnatal development, and then subsequently refine these representations depending on behavioral context later in life. Here we review the major features of auditory cortical receptive field plasticity in young and adult animals, focusing on modifications to frequency tuning of synaptic inputs. Alteration in the patterns of acoustic input, including sensory deprivation and tonal exposure, leads to rapid adjustments of excitatory and inhibitory strengths that collectively determine the suprathreshold tuning curves of cortical neurons. Long-term cortical plasticity also requires co-activation of subcortical neuromodulatory control nuclei such as the cholinergic nucleus basalis, particularly in adults. Regardless of developmental stage, regulation of inhibition seems to be a general mechanism by which changes in sensory experience and neuromodulatory state can remodel cortical receptive fields. We discuss recent findings suggesting that the microdynamics of synaptic receptive field plasticity unfold as a multi-phase set of distinct phenomena, initiated by disrupting the balance between excitation and inhibition, and eventually leading to wide-scale changes to many synapses throughout the cortex. These changes are coordinated to enhance the representations of newly-significant stimuli, possibly for improved signal processing and language learning in humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. GABA regulates synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.

  15. Chemical Synaptic and Gap Junctional Interactions Between Principal Neurons: Partners in Epileptogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Roger D.; Cunningham, Mark O.; Whittington, Miles A.

    2010-01-01

    Field potential signals, corresponding to electrographic seizures in cortical structures, often contain two components, which sometimes appear to be separable and other times to be superimposed. The first component consists of low-amplitude very fast oscillations (VFO, > 70–80 Hz); the second component consists of larger amplitude transients, lasting tens to hundreds of ms, and variously called population spikes, EEG spikes, or bursts – terms chosen in part because of the cellular correlates of the field events. To first approximation, the two components arise because of distinctive types of cellular interactions: gap junctions for VFO (a model of which is reviewed in the following), and recurrent synaptic excitation and/or inhibition for the transients. With in vitro studies of epileptic human neocortical tissue, it is possible to elicit VFO alone, or VFO superimposed on a large transient, but not a large transient without the VFO. If such observations prove to be general, they would imply that gap junction-mediated interactions are the primary factor in epileptogenesis. It appears to be the case then, that in the setting of seizure initiation (but not necessarily under physiological conditions), the gain of gap junction-mediated circuits can actually be larger than the gain in excitatory synaptic circuits. PMID:21168305

  16. Presynaptic protein synthesis required for NT-3-induced long-term synaptic modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Je H

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurotrophins elicit both acute and long-term modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Previously, we demonstrated that the long-term synaptic modulation requires the endocytosis of neurotrophin-receptor complex, the activation of PI3K and Akt, and mTOR mediated protein synthesis. However, it is unclear whether the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins depends on protein synthesis in pre- or post-synaptic cells. Results Here we have developed an inducible protein translation blocker, in which the kinase domain of protein kinase R (PKR is fused with bacterial gyrase B domain (GyrB-PKR, which could be dimerized upon treatment with a cell permeable drug, coumermycin. By genetically targeting GyrB-PKR to specific cell types, we show that NT-3 induced long-term synaptic modulation requires presynaptic, but not postsynaptic protein synthesis. Conclusions Our results provide mechanistic insights into the cell-specific requirement for protein synthesis in the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins. The GyrB-PKR system may be useful tool to study protein synthesis in a cell-specific manner.

  17. A kinetic model of dopamine- and calcium-dependent striatal synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Nakano

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Corticostriatal synapse plasticity of medium spiny neurons is regulated by glutamate input from the cortex and dopamine input from the substantia nigra. While cortical stimulation alone results in long-term depression (LTD, the combination with dopamine switches LTD to long-term potentiation (LTP, which is known as dopamine-dependent plasticity. LTP is also induced by cortical stimulation in magnesium-free solution, which leads to massive calcium influx through NMDA-type receptors and is regarded as calcium-dependent plasticity. Signaling cascades in the corticostriatal spines are currently under investigation. However, because of the existence of multiple excitatory and inhibitory pathways with loops, the mechanisms regulating the two types of plasticity remain poorly understood. A signaling pathway model of spines that express D1-type dopamine receptors was constructed to analyze the dynamic mechanisms of dopamine- and calcium-dependent plasticity. The model incorporated all major signaling molecules, including dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein with a molecular weight of 32 kDa (DARPP32, as well as AMPA receptor trafficking in the post-synaptic membrane. Simulations with dopamine and calcium inputs reproduced dopamine- and calcium-dependent plasticity. Further in silico experiments revealed that the positive feedback loop consisted of protein kinase A (PKA, protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A, and the phosphorylation site at threonine 75 of DARPP-32 (Thr75 served as the major switch for inducing LTD and LTP. Calcium input modulated this loop through the PP2B (phosphatase 2B-CK1 (casein kinase 1-Cdk5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5-Thr75 pathway and PP2A, whereas calcium and dopamine input activated the loop via PKA activation by cyclic AMP (cAMP. The positive feedback loop displayed robust bi-stable responses following changes in the reaction parameters. Increased basal dopamine levels disrupted this dopamine-dependent plasticity. The

  18. A scalable neural chip with synaptic electronics using CMOS integrated memristors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cruz-Albrecht, Jose M; Derosier, Timothy; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2013-01-01

    The design and simulation of a scalable neural chip with synaptic electronics using nanoscale memristors fully integrated with complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) is presented. The circuit consists of integrate-and-fire neurons and synapses with spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP). The synaptic conductance values can be stored in memristors with eight levels, and the topology of connections between neurons is reconfigurable. The circuit has been designed using a 90 nm CMOS process with via connections to on-chip post-processed memristor arrays. The design has about 16 million CMOS transistors and 73 728 integrated memristors. We provide circuit level simulations of the entire chip performing neuronal and synaptic computations that result in biologically realistic functional behavior. (paper)

  19. Interplay of intrinsic and synaptic conductances in the generation of high-frequency oscillations in interneuronal networks with irregular spiking.

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    Fabiano Baroni

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available High-frequency oscillations (above 30 Hz have been observed in sensory and higher-order brain areas, and are believed to constitute a general hallmark of functional neuronal activation. Fast inhibition in interneuronal networks has been suggested as a general mechanism for the generation of high-frequency oscillations. Certain classes of interneurons exhibit subthreshold oscillations, but the effect of this intrinsic neuronal property on the population rhythm is not completely understood. We study the influence of intrinsic damped subthreshold oscillations in the emergence of collective high-frequency oscillations, and elucidate the dynamical mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon. We simulate neuronal networks composed of either Integrate-and-Fire (IF or Generalized Integrate-and-Fire (GIF neurons. The IF model displays purely passive subthreshold dynamics, while the GIF model exhibits subthreshold damped oscillations. Individual neurons receive inhibitory synaptic currents mediated by spiking activity in their neighbors as well as noisy synaptic bombardment, and fire irregularly at a lower rate than population frequency. We identify three factors that affect the influence of single-neuron properties on synchronization mediated by inhibition: i the firing rate response to the noisy background input, ii the membrane potential distribution, and iii the shape of Inhibitory Post-Synaptic Potentials (IPSPs. For hyperpolarizing inhibition, the GIF IPSP profile (factor iii exhibits post-inhibitory rebound, which induces a coherent spike-mediated depolarization across cells that greatly facilitates synchronous oscillations. This effect dominates the network dynamics, hence GIF networks display stronger oscillations than IF networks. However, the restorative current in the GIF neuron lowers firing rates and narrows the membrane potential distribution (factors i and ii, respectively, which tend to decrease synchrony. If inhibition is shunting instead

  20. Interplay of intrinsic and synaptic conductances in the generation of high-frequency oscillations in interneuronal networks with irregular spiking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baroni, Fabiano; Burkitt, Anthony N; Grayden, David B

    2014-05-01

    High-frequency oscillations (above 30 Hz) have been observed in sensory and higher-order brain areas, and are believed to constitute a general hallmark of functional neuronal activation. Fast inhibition in interneuronal networks has been suggested as a general mechanism for the generation of high-frequency oscillations. Certain classes of interneurons exhibit subthreshold oscillations, but the effect of this intrinsic neuronal property on the population rhythm is not completely understood. We study the influence of intrinsic damped subthreshold oscillations in the emergence of collective high-frequency oscillations, and elucidate the dynamical mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon. We simulate neuronal networks composed of either Integrate-and-Fire (IF) or Generalized Integrate-and-Fire (GIF) neurons. The IF model displays purely passive subthreshold dynamics, while the GIF model exhibits subthreshold damped oscillations. Individual neurons receive inhibitory synaptic currents mediated by spiking activity in their neighbors as well as noisy synaptic bombardment, and fire irregularly at a lower rate than population frequency. We identify three factors that affect the influence of single-neuron properties on synchronization mediated by inhibition: i) the firing rate response to the noisy background input, ii) the membrane potential distribution, and iii) the shape of Inhibitory Post-Synaptic Potentials (IPSPs). For hyperpolarizing inhibition, the GIF IPSP profile (factor iii)) exhibits post-inhibitory rebound, which induces a coherent spike-mediated depolarization across cells that greatly facilitates synchronous oscillations. This effect dominates the network dynamics, hence GIF networks display stronger oscillations than IF networks. However, the restorative current in the GIF neuron lowers firing rates and narrows the membrane potential distribution (factors i) and ii), respectively), which tend to decrease synchrony. If inhibition is shunting instead of

  1. When is an Inhibitory Synapse Effective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Ning; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    1990-10-01

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

  2. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

    Learning and sensory processing in the brain relies on the effective transmission of information across synapses. The strength and efficacy of synaptic transmission is modifiable through training and can be modulated with noninvasive electrical brain stimulation. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), specifically, induces weak intensity and spatially diffuse electric fields in the brain. Despite being weak, electric fields modulate spiking probability and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. These effects critically depend on the direction of the electric field relative to the orientation of the neuron and on the level of endogenous synaptic activity. TES has been used to modulate a wide range of neuropsychiatric indications, for various rehabilitation applications, and cognitive performance in diverse tasks. How can a weak and diffuse electric field, which simultaneously polarizes neurons across the brain, have precise changes in brain function? Designing therapies to maximize desired outcomes and minimize undesired effects presents a challenging problem. A series of experiments and computational models are used to define the anatomical and functional factors leading to specificity of TES. Anatomical specificity derives from guiding current to targeted brain structures and taking advantage of the direction-sensitivity of neurons with respect to the electric field. Functional specificity originates from preferential modulation of neuronal networks that are already active. Diffuse electric fields may recruit connected brain networks involved in a training task and promote plasticity along active synaptic pathways. In vitro, electric fields boost endogenous synaptic plasticity and raise the ceiling for synaptic learning with repeated stimulation sessions. Synapses undergoing strong plasticity are preferentially modulated over weak synapses. Therefore, active circuits that are involved in a task could be more susceptible to stimulation than inactive circuits

  3. Synaptic transmission block by presynaptic injection of oligomeric amyloid beta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Herman; Yu, Eunah; Pigino, Gustavo; Hernandez, Alejandro I.; Kim, Natalia; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2009-01-01

    Early Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathophysiology is characterized by synaptic changes induced by degradation products of amyloid precursor protein (APP). The exact mechanisms of such modulation are unknown. Here, we report that nanomolar concentrations of intraaxonal oligomeric (o)Aβ42, but not oAβ40 or extracellular oAβ42, acutely inhibited synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse. Further characterization of this phenotype demonstrated that presynaptic calcium currents were unaffected. However, electron microscopy experiments revealed diminished docked synaptic vesicles in oAβ42-microinjected terminals, without affecting clathrin-coated vesicles. The molecular events of this modulation involved casein kinase 2 and the synaptic vesicle rapid endocytosis pathway. These findings open the possibility of a new therapeutic target aimed at ameliorating synaptic dysfunction in AD. PMID:19304802

  4. Excitatory Neuronal Hubs Configure Multisensory Integration of Slow Waves in Association Cortex

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    Satoshi Kuroki

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Multisensory integration (MSI is a fundamental emergent property of the mammalian brain. During MSI, perceptual information encoded in patterned activity is processed in multimodal association cortex. The systems-level neuronal dynamics that coordinate MSI, however, are unknown. Here, we demonstrate intrinsic hub-like network activity in the association cortex that regulates MSI. We engineered calcium reporter mouse lines based on the fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor yellow cameleon (YC2.60 expressed in excitatory or inhibitory neurons. In medial and parietal association cortex, we observed spontaneous slow waves that self-organized into hubs defined by long-range excitatory and local inhibitory circuits. Unlike directional source/sink-like flows in sensory areas, medial/parietal excitatory and inhibitory hubs had net-zero balanced inputs. Remarkably, multisensory stimulation triggered rapid phase-locking mainly of excitatory hub activity persisting for seconds after the stimulus offset. Therefore, association cortex tends to form balanced excitatory networks that configure slow-wave phase-locking for MSI. Video Abstract: : Kuroki et al. performed cell-type-specific, wide-field FRET-based calcium imaging to visualize cortical network activity induced by multisensory inputs. They observed phase-locking of cortical slow waves in excitatory neuronal hubs in association cortical areas that may underlie multisensory integration. Keywords: wide-field calcium imaging, multisensory integration, cortical slow waves, association cortex, phase locking, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, spontaneous activity, excitatory neuron, inhibitory neuron, mouse

  5. Selective Enhancement of Synaptic Inhibition by Hypocretin (Orexin) in Rat Vagal Motor Neurons: Implications for Autonomic Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Scott F.; Williams, Kevin W.; Xu, Weiye; Glatzer, Nicholas R.; Smith, Bret N.

    2012-01-01

    The hypocretins (orexins) are hypothalamic neuropeptides implicated in feeding, arousal, and autonomic regulation. These studies were designed to determine the actions of hypocretin peptides on synaptic transmission in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMV). Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from DMV neurons in transverse slices of rat brainstem. Some of the neurons were identified as gastric-related by retrograde labeling after inoculation of the stomach wall with pseudorabies virus 152, a viral label that reports enhanced green fluorescent protein. Consistent with previous findings, hypocretins caused an inward current (6–68 pA) in most neurons at holding potentials near rest. In addition, the frequency of spontaneous IPSCs was increased in a concentration-related manner (up to 477%), with little change in EPSCs. This effect was preserved in the presence of tetrodotoxin, suggesting a presynaptic site of action. Hypocretins increased the amplitude of IPSCs evoked by electrical stimulation of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) but not evoked EPSCs. Hypocretin-induced increases in the frequency of IPSCs evoked by photoactivation of caged glutamate within the NTS were also observed. Identical effects of the peptides were observed in identified gastric-related and unlabeled DMV neurons. In contrast to some previous studies, which have reported primarily excitatory actions of the hypocretins in many regions of the CNS, these data support a role for hypocretin in preferentially enhancing synaptic inhibition, including inhibitory inputs arising from neurons in the NTS. These findings indicate that the hypocretins can modulate and coordinate visceral autonomic output by acting directly on central vagal circuits. PMID:12736355

  6. Synaptic pathology in the cerebellar dentate nucleus in chronic multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Monika; Barrantes-Freer, Alonso; Lohrberg, Melanie; Antel, Jack P; Prineas, John W; Palkovits, Miklós; Wolff, Joachim R; Brück, Wolfgang; Stadelmann, Christine

    2017-11-01

    In multiple sclerosis, cerebellar symptoms are associated with clinical impairment and an increased likelihood of progressive course. Cortical atrophy and synaptic dysfunction play a prominent role in cerebellar pathology and although the dentate nucleus is a predilection site for lesion development, structural synaptic changes in this region remain largely unexplored. Moreover, the mechanisms leading to synaptic dysfunction have not yet been investigated at an ultrastructural level in multiple sclerosis. Here, we report on synaptic changes of dentate nuclei in post-mortem cerebella of 16 multiple sclerosis patients and eight controls at the histological level as well as an electron microscopy evaluation of afferent synapses of the cerebellar dentate and pontine nuclei of one multiple sclerosis patient and one control. We found a significant reduction of afferent dentate synapses in multiple sclerosis, irrespective of the presence of demyelination, and a close relationship between glial processes and dentate synapses. Ultrastructurally, we show autophagosomes containing degradation products of synaptic vesicles within dendrites, residual bodies within intact-appearing axons and free postsynaptic densities opposed to astrocytic appendages. Our study demonstrates loss of dentate afferent synapses and provides, for the first time, ultrastructural evidence pointing towards neuron-autonomous and neuroglia-mediated mechanisms of synaptic degradation in chronic multiple sclerosis. © 2016 International Society of Neuropathology.

  7. A family of photoswitchable NMDA receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlin, Shai; Szobota, Stephanie; Reiner, Andreas; Carroll, Elizabeth C; Kienzler, Michael A; Guyon, Alice; Xiao, Tong; Trauner, Dirk; Isacoff, Ehud Y

    2016-01-01

    NMDA receptors, which regulate synaptic strength and are implicated in learning and memory, consist of several subtypes with distinct subunit compositions and functional properties. To enable spatiotemporally defined, rapid and reproducible manipulation of function of specific subtypes, we engineered a set of photoswitchable GluN subunits ('LiGluNs'). Photo-agonism of GluN2A or GluN2B elicits an excitatory drive to hippocampal neurons that can be shaped in time to mimic synaptic activation. Photo-agonism of GluN2A at single dendritic spines evokes spine-specific calcium elevation and expansion, the morphological correlate of LTP. Photo-antagonism of GluN2A alone, or in combination with photo-antagonism of GluN1a, reversibly blocks excitatory synaptic currents, prevents the induction of long-term potentiation and prevents spine expansion. In addition, photo-antagonism in vivo disrupts synaptic pruning of developing retino-tectal projections in larval zebrafish. By providing precise and rapidly reversible optical control of NMDA receptor subtypes, LiGluNs should help unravel the contribution of specific NMDA receptors to synaptic transmission, integration and plasticity. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12040.001 PMID:26929991

  8. Neuromodulation by Mg2+ and polyamines of excitatory amino acid currents in rodent neurones in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumamoto, E

    1996-12-01

    Excitatory amino-acid currents in rodent central neurones are mediated by the activation of glutamate receptors. Ionotropic types of the receptors are divided into alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA), kainate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, and the former two are collectively called non-NMDA receptors. The NMDA receptor is modulated by a number of endogenous neuromodulators including Mg2+, polyamines, glycine and protons in extracellular solutions. Although it has been generally thought that each of the neuromodulators acts on a distinct site in the NMDA receptor, recent studies have revealed that these actions may be not necessarily independent of each other. The NMDA receptor response is not only inhibited but also potentiated by Mg2+, and the latter action is due to an interaction of a Mg2+ site with either glycine- or proton-binding site. In the presence of polyamines, a tonic inhibition by protons of the NMDA receptor response is relieved, resulting in a potentiation of the response. Alternatively, it has been recently revealed that there are some subtypes of non-NMDA receptors which are negatively modulated by polyamines in either extra- or intra cellular solutions. The difference in polyamine sensitivity among non-NMDA receptors is attributed to a distinction in their constituted subunits. The inhibition of non-NMDA receptor by intracellular polyamines results in inward rectification of the current-voltage relation which is not seen for polyamine-insensitive ones. This polyamine action is not mimicked by intracellular Mg2+.

  9. Sequential estimation of intrinsic activity and synaptic input in single neurons by particle filtering with optimal importance density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Closas, Pau; Guillamon, Antoni

    2017-12-01

    This paper deals with the problem of inferring the signals and parameters that cause neural activity to occur. The ultimate challenge being to unveil brain's connectivity, here we focus on a microscopic vision of the problem, where single neurons (potentially connected to a network of peers) are at the core of our study. The sole observation available are noisy, sampled voltage traces obtained from intracellular recordings. We design algorithms and inference methods using the tools provided by stochastic filtering that allow a probabilistic interpretation and treatment of the problem. Using particle filtering, we are able to reconstruct traces of voltages and estimate the time course of auxiliary variables. By extending the algorithm, through PMCMC methodology, we are able to estimate hidden physiological parameters as well, like intrinsic conductances or reversal potentials. Last, but not least, the method is applied to estimate synaptic conductances arriving at a target cell, thus reconstructing the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory input traces. Notably, the performance of these estimations achieve the theoretical lower bounds even in spiking regimes.

  10. Neuromodulation of activity-dependent synaptic enhancement at crayfish neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, S M; Delaney, K R

    1997-10-17

    Action potential-evoked transmitter release is enhanced for many seconds after moderate-frequency stimulation (e.g. 15 Hz for 30 s) at the excitor motorneuron synapse of the crayfish dactyl opener muscle. Beginning about 1.5 s after a train, activity-dependent synaptic enhancement (ADSE) is dominated by a process termed augmentation (G.D. Bittner, D.A. Baxter, Synaptic plasticity at crayfish neuromuscular junctions: facilitation and augmentation, Synapse 7 (1991) 235-243'[4]; K.L. Magleby, Short-term changes in synaptic efficacy, in: G.M. Edelman, L.E. Gall, C.W. Maxwell (Eds.), Synaptic Function, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1987, pp. 21-56; K.L. Magleby; J.E. Zengel, Augmentation: a process that acts to increase transmitter release at the frog neuromuscular junction, J. Physiol. (Lond.) 257 (1976) 449-470) which decays approximately exponentially with a time constant of about 10 s at 16 degrees C, reflecting the removal of Ca2+ which accumulates during the train in presynaptic terminals (K.R. Delaney, D.W. Tank, R.S. Zucker, Serotonin-mediated enhancement of transmission at crayfish neuromuscular junction is independent of changes in calcium, J. Neurosci. 11 (1991) 2631-2643). Serotonin (5-HT, 1 microM) increases evoked and spontaneous transmitter release several-fold (D. Dixon, H.L. Atwood, Crayfish motor nerve terminal's response to serotonin examined by intracellular microelectrode, J. Neurobiol. 16 (1985) 409-424; J. Dudel, Modulation of quantal synaptic release by serotonin and forskolin in crayfish motor nerve terminals, in: Modulation of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity in Nervous Systems, G. Hertting, H.-C. Spatz (Eds.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988; S. Glusman, E.A. Kravitz. The action of serotonin on excitatory nerve terminals in lobster nerve-muscle preparations, J. Physiol. (Lond.) 325 (1982) 223-241). We found that ADSE persists about 2-3 times longer after moderate-frequency presynaptic stimulation in the presence of 5-HT. This slowing of the

  11. Excitatory amino acid neurotoxicity and neurodegenerative disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, B; Garthwaite, J

    1990-09-01

    The progress over the last 30 years in defining the role of excitatory amino acids in normal physiological function and in the abnormal neuronal activity of epilepsy has been reviewed in earlier articles in this series. In the last five years it has become clear that excitatory amino acids also play a role in a wide range of neurodegenerative processes. The evidence is clearest where the degenerative process is acute, but is more controversial for slow degenerative processes. In this article Brian Meldrum and John Garthwaite review in vivo and in vitro studies of the cytotoxicity of amino acids and summarize the contribution of such toxicity to acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders.

  12. Adiponectin modulates synaptic plasticity in hippocampal dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pousti, Farideh; Ahmadi, Ramesh; Mirahmadi, Fatemeh; Hosseinmardi, Narges; Rohampour, Kambiz

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested the involvement of some metabolic hormones in memory formation and synaptic plasticity. Insulin dysfunction is known as an essential process in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study we examined whether adiponectin (ADN), as an insulin-sensitizing adipokine, could affect hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Field potential recordings were performed on intracerebroventricular (icv) cannulated urethane anesthetized rats. After baseline recording from dentate gyrus (DG) and 10min prior to high/low frequency stimulation (HFS/LFS), 10μl icv ADN (600nm) were injected. The slope of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) and the amplitude of population spikes (PS) were recorded in response to perforanth path (PP) stimulation. Paired pulse stimuli and ADN injection without any stimulation protocols were also evaluated. Application of ADN before HFS increased PS amplitude recorded in DG significantly (P≤0.05) in comparison to HFS only group. ADN suppressed the potency of LFS to induce long-term depression (LTD), causing a significant difference between fEPSP slope (P≤0.05) and PS amplitude (P≤0.01) between ADN+LFS and ADN group. Paired pulse stimuli applied at 20ms intervals showed more paired pulse facilitation (PPF), when applied after ADN (P≤0.05). ADN induced a chemical long-term potentiation (LTP) in which fEPSP slope and PS amplitude increased significantly (P≤0.01 and P≤0.05, respectively). It is concluded that ADN is able to potentiate the HFS-induced LTP and suppress LFS-induced LTD. ADN caused a chemical LTP, when applied without any tetanic protocol. ADN may enhance the presynaptic release probability. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Amino acid neurotransmitters and new approaches to anticonvulsant drug action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, B

    1984-01-01

    Amino acids provide the most universal and important inhibitory (gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glycine) and excitatory (glutamate, aspartate, cysteic acid, cysteine sulphinic acid) neurotransmitters in the brain. An anticonvulsant action may be produced (1) by enhancing inhibitory (GABAergic) processes, and (2) by diminishing excitatory transmission. Possible pharmacological mechanisms for enhancing GABA-mediated inhibition include (1) GABA agonist action, (2) GABA prodrugs, (3) drugs facilitating GABA release from terminals, (4) inhibition of GABA-transaminase, (5) allosteric enhancement of the efficacy of GABA at the receptor complex, (6) direction action on the chloride ionophore, and (7) inhibition of GABA reuptake. Examples of these approaches include the use of irreversible GABA-transaminase inhibitors, such as gamma-vinyl GABA, and the development of anticonvulsant beta-carbolines that interact with the "benzodiazepine receptor." Pharmacological mechanisms for diminishing excitatory transmission include (1) enzyme inhibitors that decrease the maximal rate of synthesis of glutamate or aspartate, (2) drugs that decrease the synaptic release of glutamate or aspartate, and (3) drugs that block the post-synaptic action of excitatory amino acids. Compounds that selectively antagonise excitation due to dicarboxylic amino acids have recently been developed. Those that selectively block excitation produced by N-methyl-D-aspartate (and aspartate) have proved to be potent anticonvulsants in many animal models of epilepsy. This provides a novel approach to the design of anticonvulsant drugs.

  14. Ischemic long-term-potentiation (iLTP: perspectives to set the threshold of neural plasticity toward therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian Lenz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The precise role of neural plasticity under pathological conditions remains not well understood. It appears to be well accepted, however, that changes in the ability of neurons to express plasticity accompany neurological diseases. Here, we discuss recent experimental evidence, which suggests that synaptic plasticity induced by a pathological stimulus, i.e., ischemic long-term-potentiation (iLTP of excitatory synapses, could play an important role for post-stroke recovery by influencing the post-lesional reorganization of surviving neuronal networks.

  15. Glycine receptors support excitatory neurotransmitter release in developing mouse visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunz, Portia A; Burette, Alain C; Weinberg, Richard J; Philpot, Benjamin D

    2012-01-01

    Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are found in most areas of the brain, and their dysfunction can cause severe neurological disorders. While traditionally thought of as inhibitory receptors, presynaptic-acting GlyRs (preGlyRs) can also facilitate glutamate release under certain circumstances, although the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. In the current study, we sought to better understand the role of GlyRs in the facilitation of excitatory neurotransmitter release in mouse visual cortex. Using whole-cell recordings, we found that preGlyRs facilitate glutamate release in developing, but not adult, visual cortex. The glycinergic enhancement of neurotransmitter release in early development depends on the high intracellular to extracellular Cl− gradient maintained by the Na+–K+–2Cl− cotransporter and requires Ca2+ entry through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. The glycine transporter 1, localized to glial cells, regulates extracellular glycine concentration and the activation of these preGlyRs. Our findings demonstrate a developmentally regulated mechanism for controlling excitatory neurotransmitter release in the neocortex. PMID:22988142

  16. Computer simulations of neural mechanisms explaining upper and lower limb excitatory neural coupling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferris Daniel P

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When humans perform rhythmic upper and lower limb locomotor-like movements, there is an excitatory effect of upper limb exertion on lower limb muscle recruitment. To investigate potential neural mechanisms for this behavioral observation, we developed computer simulations modeling interlimb neural pathways among central pattern generators. We hypothesized that enhancement of muscle recruitment from interlimb spinal mechanisms was not sufficient to explain muscle enhancement levels observed in experimental data. Methods We used Matsuoka oscillators for the central pattern generators (CPG and determined parameters that enhanced amplitudes of rhythmic steady state bursts. Potential mechanisms for output enhancement were excitatory and inhibitory sensory feedback gains, excitatory and inhibitory interlimb coupling gains, and coupling geometry. We first simulated the simplest case, a single CPG, and then expanded the model to have two CPGs and lastly four CPGs. In the two and four CPG models, the lower limb CPGs did not receive supraspinal input such that the only mechanisms available for enhancing output were interlimb coupling gains and sensory feedback gains. Results In a two-CPG model with inhibitory sensory feedback gains, only excitatory gains of ipsilateral flexor-extensor/extensor-flexor coupling produced reciprocal upper-lower limb bursts and enhanced output up to 26%. In a two-CPG model with excitatory sensory feedback gains, excitatory gains of contralateral flexor-flexor/extensor-extensor coupling produced reciprocal upper-lower limb bursts and enhanced output up to 100%. However, within a given excitatory sensory feedback gain, enhancement due to excitatory interlimb gains could only reach levels up to 20%. Interconnecting four CPGs to have ipsilateral flexor-extensor/extensor-flexor coupling, contralateral flexor-flexor/extensor-extensor coupling, and bilateral flexor-extensor/extensor-flexor coupling could enhance

  17. Non-linear leak currents affect mammalian neuron physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiwei eHuang

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In their seminal works on squid giant axons, Hodgkin and Huxley approximated the membrane leak current as Ohmic, i.e. linear, since in their preparation, sub-threshold current rectification due to the influence of ionic concentration is negligible. Most studies on mammalian neurons have made the same, largely untested, assumption. Here we show that the membrane time constant and input resistance of mammalian neurons (when other major voltage-sensitive and ligand-gated ionic currents are discounted varies non-linearly with membrane voltage, following the prediction of a Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz-based passive membrane model. The model predicts that under such conditions, the time constant/input resistance-voltage relationship will linearize if the concentration differences across the cell membrane are reduced. These properties were observed in patch-clamp recordings of cerebellar Purkinje neurons (in the presence of pharmacological blockers of other background ionic currents and were more prominent in the sub-threshold region of the membrane potential. Model simulations showed that the non-linear leak affects voltage-clamp recordings and reduces temporal summation of excitatory synaptic input. Together, our results demonstrate the importance of trans-membrane ionic concentration in defining the functional properties of the passive membrane in mammalian neurons as well as other excitable cells.

  18. Subregion-specific modulation of excitatory input and dopaminergic output in the striatum by tonically activated glycine and GABAA receptors

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    Louise eAdermark

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The flow of cortical information through the basal ganglia is a complex spatiotemporal pattern of increased and decreased firing. The striatum is the biggest input nucleus to the basal ganglia and the aim of this study was to assess the role of inhibitory GABAA and glycine receptors in regulating synaptic activity in the dorsolateral (DLS and ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens, nAc. Local field potential recordings from coronal brain slices of juvenile and adult Wistar rats showed that GABAA receptors and strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors are tonically activated and inhibit excitatory input to the DLS and to the nAc. Strychnine-induced disinhibition of glutamatergic transmission was insensitive to the muscarinic receptor inhibitor scopolamine (10 µM, inhibited by the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist mecamylamine (10 µM and blocked by GABAA receptor inhibitors, suggesting that tonically activated glycine receptors depress excitatory input to the striatum through modulation of cholinergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. As an end-product example of striatal GABAergic output in vivo we measured dopamine release in the DLS and nAc by microdialysis in the awake and freely moving rat. Reversed dialysis of bicuculline (50 μM in perfusate only increased extrasynaptic dopamine levels in the nAc, while strychnine administered locally (200 μM in perfusate decreased dopamine output by 60% in both the DLS and nAc. Our data suggest that GABAA and glycine receptors are tonically activated and modulate striatal transmission in a partially sub-region specific manner.

  19. The Glycolytic Metabolite, Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate, Blocks Epileptiform Bursts by Attenuating Voltage-Activated Calcium Currents in Hippocampal Slices

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    Li-Rong Shao

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Manipulation of metabolic pathways (e.g., ketogenic diet (KD, glycolytic inhibition alters neural excitability and represents a novel strategy for treatment of drug-refractory seizures. We have previously shown that inhibition of glycolysis suppresses epileptiform activity in hippocampal slices. In the present study, we aimed to examine the role of a “branching” metabolic pathway stemming off glycolysis (i.e., the pentose-phosphate pathway, PPP in regulating seizure activity, by using a potent PPP stimulator and glycolytic intermediate, fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (F1,6BP. Employing electrophysiological approaches, we investigated the action of F1,6BP on epileptiform population bursts, intrinsic neuronal firing, glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission and voltage-activated calcium currents (ICa in the CA3 area of hippocampal slices. Bath application of F1,6BP (2.5–5 mM blocked epileptiform population bursts induced in Mg2+-free medium containing 4-aminopyridine, in ~2/3 of the slices. The blockade occurred relatively rapidly (~4 min, suggesting an extracellular mechanism. However, F1,6BP did not block spontaneous intrinsic firing of the CA3 neurons (when synaptic transmission was eliminated with DNQX, AP-5 and SR95531, nor did it significantly reduce AMPA or NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCAMPA and EPSCNMDA. In contrast, F1,6BP caused moderate reduction (~50% in GABAA receptor-mediated current, suggesting it affects excitatory and inhibitory synapses differently. Finally and unexpectedly, F1,6BP consistently attenuated ICa by ~40% without altering channel activation or inactivation kinetics, which may explain its anticonvulsant action, at least in this in vitro seizure model. Consistent with these results, epileptiform population bursts in CA3 were readily blocked by the nonspecific Ca2+ channel blocker, CdCl2 (20 μM, suggesting that these bursts are calcium dependent. Altogether, these data

  20. Modulation of AMPA excitatory postsynaptic currents in the spinal cord dorsal horn neurons by insulin

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Špicarová, Diana; Paleček, Jiří

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 166, č. 1 (2010), s. 305-311 ISSN 0306-4522 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA305/06/1115; GA ČR GA305/09/1228; GA MŠk(CZ) LC554 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : pain * synaptic modulation * insulin Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.215, year: 2010

  1. Synaptic excitation in spinal motoneurons alternates with synaptic inhibition and is balanced by outward rectification during rhythmic motor network activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    channels. Intrinsic outward rectification facilitates spiking by focusing synaptic depolarization near threshold for action potentials. By direct recording of synaptic currents, we also show that motoneurons are activated by out-of-phase peaks in excitation and inhibition during network activity, whereas......Regular firing in spinal motoneurons of red-eared turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans, either sex) evoked by steady depolarization at rest is replaced by irregular firing during functional network activity. The transition caused by increased input conductance and synaptic fluctuations in membrane...... potential was suggested to originate from intense concurrent inhibition and excitation. We show that the conductance increase in motoneurons during functional network activity is mainly caused by intrinsic outward rectification near threshold for action potentials by activation of voltage and Ca2+ gated K...

  2. Excitatory/inhibitory imbalance in autism spectrum disorders: Implications for interventions and therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzunova, Genoveva; Pallanti, Stefano; Hollander, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Imbalance between excitation and inhibition and increased excitatory-inhibitory (E-I) ratio is a common mechanism in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that is responsible for the learning and memory, cognitive, sensory, motor deficits, and seizures occurring in these disorders. ASD are very heterogeneous and better understanding of E-I imbalance in brain will lead to better diagnosis and treatments. We perform a critical literature review of the causes and presentations of E-I imbalance in ASD. E-I imbalance in ASD is due primarily to abnormal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in key brain regions such as neocortex, hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebellum. Other causes are due to dysfunction of neuropeptides (oxytocin), synaptic proteins (neuroligins), and immune system molecules (cytokines). At the neuropathological level E-I imbalance in ASD is presented as a "minicolumnopathy". E-I imbalance alters the manner by which the brain processes information and regulates behaviour. New developments for investigating E-I imbalance such as optogenetics and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are presented. Non-invasive brain stimulation methods such as TMS for treatment of the core symptoms of ASD are discussed. Understanding E-I imbalance has important implications for developing better pharmacological and behavioural treatments for ASD, including TMS, new drugs, biomarkers and patient stratification.

  3. Integrated neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system with synaptic device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jeong-Jun; Park, Jungjin; Kwon, Min-Woo; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Hyungjin; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, we propose and fabricate Integrate & Fire neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system. Overall operation of the circuit is verified by measuring discrete devices and the output characteristics of the circuit. Since the neuron circuit shows asymmetric output characteristic that can drive synaptic device with Spike-Timing-Dependent-Plasticity (STDP) characteristic, the autonomous weight update process is also verified by connecting the synaptic device and the neuron circuit. The timing difference of the pre-neuron and the post-neuron induce autonomous weight change of the synaptic device. Unlike 2-terminal devices, which is frequently used to implement neuromorphic system, proposed scheme of the system enables autonomous weight update and simple configuration by using 4-terminal synapse device and appropriate neuron circuit. Weight update process in the multi-layer neuron-synapse connection ensures implementation of the hardware-based artificial intelligence, based on Spiking-Neural- Network (SNN).

  4. Detergent-dependent separation of postsynaptic density, membrane rafts and other subsynaptic structures from the synaptic plasma membrane of rat forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, LiYing; Sakagami, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tatsuo

    2014-10-01

    We systematically investigated the purification process of post-synaptic density (PSD) and post-synaptic membrane rafts (PSRs) from the rat forebrain synaptic plasma membranes by examining the components and the structures of the materials obtained after the treatment of synaptic plasma membranes with TX-100, n-octyl β-d-glucoside (OG) or 3-([3-cholamidopropyl]dimethylammonio)-2-hydroxy-1-propanesulfonate (CHAPSO). These three detergents exhibited distinct separation profiles for the synaptic subdomains. Type I and type II PSD proteins displayed mutually exclusive distribution. After TX-100 treatment, type I PSD was recovered in two fractions: a pellet and an insoluble fraction 8, which contained partially broken PSD-PSR complexes. Conventional PSD was suggested to be a mixture of these two PSD pools and did not contain type II PSD. An association of type I PSD with PSRs was identified in the TX-100 treatment, and those with type II PSD in the OG and CHAPSO treatments. An association of GABA receptors with gephyrin was easily dissociated. OG at a high concentration solubilized the type I PSD proteins. CHAPSO treatment resulted in a variety of distinct fractions, which contained certain novel structures. Two different pools of GluA, either PSD or possibly raft-associated, were identified in the OG and CHAPSO treatments. These results are useful in advancing our understanding of the structural organization of synapses at the molecular level. We systematically investigated the purification process of post-synaptic density (PSD) and synaptic membrane rafts by examining the structures obtained after treatment of the SPMs with TX-100, n-octyl β-d-glucoside or CHAPSO. Differential distribution of type I and type II PSD, synaptic membrane rafts, and other novel subdomains in the SPM give clues to understand the structural organization of synapses at the molecular level. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  5. Changes in hippocampal synaptic functions and protein expression in monosodium glutamate-treated obese mice during development of glucose intolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki-Hamada, Sachie; Hojo, Yuki; Koyama, Hajime; Otsuka, Hayuma; Oka, Jun-Ichiro

    2015-05-01

    Glucose is the sole neural fuel for the brain and is essential for cognitive function. Abnormalities in glucose tolerance may be associated with impairments in cognitive function. Experimental obese model mice can be generated by an intraperitoneal injection of monosodium glutamate (MSG; 2 mg/g) once a day for 5 days from 1 day after birth. MSG-treated mice have been shown to develop glucose intolerance and exhibit chronic neuroendocrine dysfunction associated with marked cognitive malfunctions at 28-29  weeks old. Although hippocampal synaptic plasticity is impaired in MSG-treated mice, changes in synaptic transmission remain unknown. Here, we investigated whether glucose intolerance influenced cognitive function, synaptic properties and protein expression in the hippocampus. We demonstrated that MSG-treated mice developed glucose intolerance due to an impairment in the effectiveness of insulin actions, and showed cognitive impairments in the Y-maze test. Moreover, long-term potentiation (LTP) at Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal synapses in hippocampal slices was impaired, and the relationship between the slope of extracellular field excitatory postsynaptic potential and stimulus intensity of synaptic transmission was weaker in MSG-treated mice. The protein levels of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and GluA1 glutamate receptor subunits decreased in the CA1 region of MSG-treated mice. These results suggest that deficits in glutamatergic presynapses as well as postsynapses lead to impaired synaptic plasticity in MSG-treated mice during the development of glucose intolerance, though it remains unknown whether impaired LTP is due to altered inhibitory transmission. It may be important to examine changes in glucose tolerance in order to prevent cognitive malfunctions associated with diabetes. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Maresin 1 Inhibits TRPV1 in Temporomandibular Joint-Related Trigeminal Nociceptive Neurons and TMJ Inflammation-Induced Synaptic Plasticity in the Trigeminal Nucleus

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    Chul-Kyu Park

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the trigeminal system, disruption of acute resolution processing may lead to uncontrolled inflammation and chronic pain associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ. Currently, there are no effective treatments for TMJ pain. Recently, it has been recognized that maresin 1, a newly identified macrophage-derived mediator of inflammation resolution, is a potent analgesic for somatic inflammatory pain without noticeable side effects in mice and a potent endogenous inhibitor of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1 in the somatic system. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the analgesic actions of maresin 1 on TMJ pain are unclear in the trigeminal system. Here, by performing TMJ injection of a retrograde labeling tracer DiI (a fluorescent dye, I showed that maresin 1 potently inhibits capsaicin-induced TRPV1 currents and neuronal activity via Gαi-coupled G-protein coupled receptors in DiI-labeled trigeminal nociceptive neurons. Further, maresin 1 blocked TRPV1 agonist-evoked increases in spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current frequency and abolished TMJ inflammation-induced synaptic plasticity in the trigeminal nucleus. These results demonstrate the potent actions of maresin 1 in regulating TRPV1 in the trigeminal system. Thus, maresin 1 may serve as a novel endogenous inhibitor for treating TMJ-inflammatory pain in the orofacial region.

  7. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C; Funk, G D; Bayliss, D A

    2000-01-01

    important in understanding the transformation of neural activity to motor behavior. Here, we review recent studies on the control of motoneuronal excitability, focusing on synaptic and cellular properties. We first present a background description of motoneurons: their development, anatomical organization......, and membrane properties, both passive and active. We then describe the general anatomical organization of synaptic input to motoneurons, followed by a description of the major transmitter systems that affect motoneuronal excitability, including ligands, receptor distribution, pre- and postsynaptic actions...... and norepinephrine, and neuropeptides, as well as the glutamate and GABA acting at metabotropic receptors, modulate motoneuronal excitability through pre- and postsynaptic actions. Acting principally via second messenger systems, their actions converge on common effectors, e.g., leak K(+) current, cationic inward...

  8. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

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    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmission in complex animals depends on a choir of functionally distinct synapses releasing neurotransmitters in a highly coordinated manner. During synaptic signaling, vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane to release their contents. The rate of vesicle fusion is high and can exceed the rate at which synaptic vesicles can be re-supplied by distant sources. Thus, local compensatory endocytosis is needed to replenish the synaptic vesicle pools. Over the last four decades, various experimental methods and model systems have been used to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic vesicle cycle. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is thought to be the predominant mechanism for synaptic vesicle recycling. However, recent studies suggest significant contribution from other modes of endocytosis, including fast compensatory endocytosis, activity-dependent bulk endocytosis, ultrafast endocytosis, as well as kiss-and-run. Currently, it is not clear whether a universal model of vesicle recycling exist for all types of synapses. It is possible that each synapse type employs a particular mode of endocytosis. Alternatively, multiple modes of endocytosis operate at the same synapse, and the synapse toggles between different modes depending on its activity level. Here we compile review and research articles based on well-characterized model systems: frog neuromuscular junctions, C. elegans neuromuscular junctions, Drosophila neuromuscular junctions, lamprey reticulospinal giant axons, goldfish retinal ribbon synapses, the calyx of Held, and rodent hippocampal synapses. We will compare these systems in terms of their known modes and kinetics of synaptic vesicle endocytosis, as well as the underlying molecular machineries. We will also provide the future development of this field.

  9. Cortical synaptic transmission in CaV2.1 knockin mice with the S218L missense mutation which causes a severe familial hemiplegic migraine syndrome in humans.

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    Dania eVecchia

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1 is caused by gain-of-function mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type Ca2+ channels. Knockin (KI mice carrying the FHM1 R192Q missense mutation show enhanced cortical excitatory synaptic transmission at pyramidal cell synapses but unaltered cortical inhibitory neurotransmission at fast-spiking interneuron synapses. Enhanced cortical glutamate release was shown to cause the facilitation of cortical spreading depression (CSD in R192Q KI mice. It, however, remains unknown how other FHM1 mutations affect cortical synaptic transmission. Here, we studied neurotransmission in cortical neurons in microculture from KI mice carrying the S218L mutation, which causes a severe FHM syndrome in humans and an allele-dosage dependent facilitation of experimental CSD in KI mice, which is larger than that caused by the R192Q mutation. We show gain-of-function of excitatory neurotransmission, due to increased action-potential evoked Ca2+ influx and increased probability of glutamate release at pyramidal cell synapses, but unaltered inhibitory neurotransmission at multipolar interneuron synapses in S218L KI mice. In contrast with the larger gain-of-function of neuronal CaV2.1 current in homozygous than heterozygous S218L KI mice, the gain-of-function of evoked glutamate release, the paired-pulse ratio and the Ca2+ dependence of the EPSC were all similar in homozygous and heterozygous S218L KI mice, suggesting compensatory changes in the homozygous mice. Furthermore, we reveal a unique feature of S218L KI cortical synapses which is the presence of a fraction of mutant CaV2.1 channels being open at resting potential. Our data suggest that, while the gain-of-function of evoked glutamate release may explain the facilitation of CSD in heterozygous S218L KI mice, the further facilitation of CSD in homozygous S218L KI mice is due to other CaV2.1-dependent mechanisms, that likely include Ca2+ influx at voltages sub-threshold for action

  10. Role for excitatory amino acids in methamphetamine-induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonsalla, P K; Nicklas, W J; Heikkila, R E

    1989-01-20

    The systemic administration of either methamphetamine or 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) to experimental animals produces degenerative changes in nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons or their axon terminals. This study was conducted to determine if excitatory amino acids, which appear to be involved in various neurodegenerative disorders, might also contribute to the dopaminergic neurotoxicity produced in mice by either methamphetamine or MPTP. MK-801, phencyclidine, and ketamine, noncompetitive antagonists of one subtype of excitatory amino acid receptor, the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, provided substantial protection against neurotoxicity produced by methamphetamine but not that produced by MPTP. These findings indicate that excitatory amino acids play an important role in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic damage induced by methamphetamine.

  11. The Synaptic and Morphological Basis of Orientation Selectivity in a Polyaxonal Amacrine Cell of the Rabbit Retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy-Baum, Benjamin L; Taylor, W Rowland

    2015-09-30

    Much of the computational power of the retina derives from the activity of amacrine cells, a large and diverse group of GABAergic and glycinergic inhibitory interneurons. Here, we identify an ON-type orientation-selective, wide-field, polyaxonal amacrine cell (PAC) in the rabbit retina and demonstrate how its orientation selectivity arises from the structure of the dendritic arbor and the pattern of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Excitation from ON bipolar cells and inhibition arising from the OFF pathway converge to generate a quasi-linear integration of visual signals in the receptive field center. This serves to suppress responses to high spatial frequencies, thereby improving sensitivity to larger objects and enhancing orientation selectivity. Inhibition also regulates the magnitude and time course of excitatory inputs to this PAC through serial inhibitory connections onto the presynaptic terminals of ON bipolar cells. This presynaptic inhibition is driven by graded potentials within local microcircuits, similar in extent to the size of single bipolar cell receptive fields. Additional presynaptic inhibition is generated by spiking amacrine cells on a larger spatial scale covering several hundred microns. The orientation selectivity of this PAC may be a substrate for the inhibition that mediates orientation selectivity in some types of ganglion cells. Significance statement: The retina comprises numerous excitatory and inhibitory circuits that encode specific features in the visual scene, such as orientation, contrast, or motion. Here, we identify a wide-field inhibitory neuron that responds to visual stimuli of a particular orientation, a feature selectivity that is primarily due to the elongated shape of the dendritic arbor. Integration of convergent excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the ON and OFF visual pathways suppress responses to small objects and fine textures, thus enhancing selectivity for larger objects. Feedback inhibition regulates the

  12. Adolescent Social Stress Increases Anxiety-like Behavior and Alters Synaptic Transmission, Without Influencing Nicotine Responses, in a Sex-Dependent Manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Michael J; Crowley, Nicole A; Reiss, Dana E; Caulfield, Jasmine I; Luscher, Bernhard; Cavigelli, Sonia A; Kamens, Helen M

    2018-03-01

    Early-life stress is a risk factor for comorbid anxiety and nicotine use. Because little is known about the factors underlying this comorbidity, we investigated the effects of adolescent stress on anxiety-like behavior and nicotine responses within individual animals. Adolescent male and female C57BL/6J mice were exposed to chronic variable social stress (CVSS; repeated cycles of social isolation + social reorganization) or control conditions from postnatal days (PND) 25-59. Anxiety-like behavior and social avoidance were measured in the elevated plus-maze (PND 61-65) and social approach-avoidance test (Experiment 1: PND 140-144; Experiment 2: 95-97), respectively. Acute nicotine-induced locomotor, hypothermic, corticosterone responses, (Experiment 1: PND 56-59; Experiment 2: PND 65-70) and voluntary oral nicotine consumption (Experiment 1: PND 116-135; Experiment 2: 73-92) were also examined. Finally, we assessed prefrontal cortex (PFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAC) synaptic transmission (PND 64-80); brain regions that are implicated in anxiety and addiction. Mice exposed to adolescent CVSS displayed increased anxiety-like behavior relative to controls. Further, CVSS altered synaptic excitability in PFC and NAC neurons in a sex-specific manner. For males, CVSS decreased the amplitude and frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents in the PFC and NAC, respectively. In females, CVSS decreased the amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in the NAC. Adolescent CVSS did not affect social avoidance or nicotine responses and anxiety-like behavior was not reliably associated with nicotine responses within individual animals. Taken together, complex interactions between PFC and NAC function may contribute to adolescent stress-induced anxiety-like behavior without influencing nicotine responses. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Focal adhesion kinase regulates neuronal growth, synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monje, Francisco J; Kim, Eun-Jung; Pollak, Daniela D; Cabatic, Maureen; Li, Lin; Baston, Arthur; Lubec, Gert

    2012-01-01

    The focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase abundantly expressed in the mammalian brain and highly enriched in neuronal growth cones. Inhibitory and facilitatory activities of FAK on neuronal growth have been reported and its role in neuritic outgrowth remains controversial. Unlike other tyrosine kinases, such as the neurotrophin receptors regulating neuronal growth and plasticity, the relevance of FAK for learning and memory in vivo has not been clearly defined yet. A comprehensive study aimed at determining the role of FAK in neuronal growth, neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons and in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory was therefore undertaken using the mouse model. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments indicated that FAK is a critical regulator of hippocampal cell morphology. FAK mediated neurotrophin-induced neuritic outgrowth and FAK inhibition affected both miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials and activity-dependent hippocampal long-term potentiation prompting us to explore the possible role of FAK in spatial learning and memory in vivo. Our data indicate that FAK has a growth-promoting effect, is importantly involved in the regulation of the synaptic function and mediates in vivo hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Pharmacology of morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide at opioid, excitatory amino acid, GABA and glycine binding sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartlett, S.E.; Smith, M.T. (Department of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland (Australia)); Dood, P.R. (Clinical Research Centre, Royal Brisbane Hospital Foundation, Brisbane (Australia))

    1994-07-01

    Morphine in high doses and its major metabolite, morphine-3-glucuronide, cause CNS excitation following intrathecal and intracerebroventricular administration by an unknown mechanism. This study investigated whether morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide interact at major excitatory (glutamate), major inhibitory (GABA or glycine), or opioid binding sites. Homogenate binding assays were performed using specific radioligands. At opioid receptors, morphine-3-glucuronide and morphine caused an equipotent sodium shift, consistent with morphine-3-glucuronide behaving as an agonist. This suggests that morphine-3-glucuronide-mediated excitation is not caused by an interaction at opioid receptors. Morphine-3-glucuronide and morphine caused a weak inhibition of the binding of [sup 3]H-MK801 (non-competitive antagonist) and [sup 125]I-ifenprodil (polyamine site antagonist), but at unphysiologically high concentrations. This suggests that CNS excitation would not result from an interaction of morphine-3-glucuronide and high-dose morphine with these sites on the NMDA receptor. Morphine-3-glucuronide and morphine inhibited the binding of [sup 3]H-muscimol (GABA receptor agonist), [sup 3]H-diazepam and [sup 3]H-flunitraxepam (benzodiazepine agonists) binding very weakly, suggesting the excitatory effects of morphine-3-glucuronide and high-dose morphine are not elicited through GABA[sub A] receptors. Morphine-3-glucuronide and high-dose morphine did not prevent re-uptake of glutamate into presynaptic nerve terminals. In addition, morphine-3-glucuronide and morphine did not inhibit the binding of [sup 3]H-strychnine (glycine receptor antagonist) to synaptic membranes prepared from bovine spinal cord. It is concluded that excitation caused by high-dose morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide is not mediated by an interaction with postsynaptic amino acid receptors. (au) (30 refs.).

  15. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eHartmann

    2016-01-01

    coordinated potentiation -- in this case, from STDP in the presence of correlated pre- and post-synaptic activity -- naturally leads to an alignment of parallel synapses.

  16. Loss of mTOR-dependent macroautophagy causes autistic-like synaptic pruning deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Guomei; Gudsnuk, Kathryn; Kuo, Sheng-Han; Cotrina, Marisa L; Rosoklija, Gorazd; Sosunov, Alexander; Sonders, Mark S; Kanter, Ellen; Castagna, Candace; Yamamoto, Ai; Yue, Zhenyu; Arancio, Ottavio; Peterson, Bradley S; Champagne, Frances; Dwork, Andrew J; Goldman, James; Sulzer, David

    2014-09-03

    Developmental alterations of excitatory synapses are implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Here, we report increased dendritic spine density with reduced developmental spine pruning in layer V pyramidal neurons in postmortem ASD temporal lobe. These spine deficits correlate with hyperactivated mTOR and impaired autophagy. In Tsc2 ± ASD mice where mTOR is constitutively overactive, we observed postnatal spine pruning defects, blockade of autophagy, and ASD-like social behaviors. The mTOR inhibitor rapamycin corrected ASD-like behaviors and spine pruning defects in Tsc2 ± mice, but not in Atg7(CKO) neuronal autophagy-deficient mice or Tsc2 ± :Atg7(CKO) double mutants. Neuronal autophagy furthermore enabled spine elimination with no effects on spine formation. Our findings suggest that mTOR-regulated autophagy is required for developmental spine pruning, and activation of neuronal autophagy corrects synaptic pathology and social behavior deficits in ASD models with hyperactivated mTOR. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Compliance-Free, Digital SET and Analog RESET Synaptic Characteristics of Sub-Tantalum Oxide Based Neuromorphic Device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Yawar; Jeon, Yu-Rim; Sokolov, Andrey Sergeevich; Kim, Sohyeon; Ku, Boncheol; Choi, Changhwan

    2018-01-19

    A two terminal semiconducting device like a memristor is indispensable to emulate the function of synapse in the working memory. The analog switching characteristics of memristor play a vital role in the emulation of biological synapses. The application of consecutive voltage sweeps or pulses (action potentials) changes the conductivity of the memristor which is considered as the fundamental cause of the synaptic plasticity. In this study, a neuromorphic device using an in-situ growth of sub-tantalum oxide switching layer is fabricated, which exhibits the digital SET and analog RESET switching with an electroforming process without any compliance current (compliance free). The process of electroforming and SET is observed at the positive sweeps of +2.4 V and +0.86 V, respectively, while multilevel RESET is observed with the consecutive negative sweeps in the range of 0 V to -1.2 V. The movement of oxygen vacancies and gradual change in the anatomy of the filament is attributed to digital SET and analog RESET switching characteristics. For the Ti/Ta 2 O 3-x /Pt neuromorphic device, the Ti top and Pt bottom electrodes are considered as counterparts of the pre-synaptic input terminal and a post-synaptic output terminal, respectively.

  18. Phosphodiesterase Inhibition to Target the Synaptic Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bales, Kelly R.; Plath, Niels; Svenstrup, Niels; Menniti, Frank S.

    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a disease of synaptic dysfunction that ultimately proceeds to neuronal death. There is a wealth of evidence that indicates the final common mediator of this neurotoxic process is the formation and actions on synaptotoxic b-amyloid (Aβ). The premise in this review is that synaptic dysfunction may also be an initiating factor in for AD and promote synaptotoxic Aβ formation. This latter hypothesis is consistent with the fact that the most common risk factors for AD, apolipoprotein E (ApoE) allele status, age, education, and fitness, encompass suboptimal synaptic function. Thus, the synaptic dysfunction in AD may be both cause and effect, and remediating synaptic dysfunction in AD may have acute effects on the symptoms present at the initiation of therapy and also slow disease progression. The cyclic nucleotide (cAMP and cGMP) signaling systems are intimately involved in the regulation of synaptic homeostasis. The phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are a superfamily of enzymes that critically regulate spatial and temporal aspects of cyclic nucleotide signaling through metabolic inactivation of cAMP and cGMP. Thus, targeting the PDEs to promote improved synaptic function, or 'synaptic resilience', may be an effective and facile approach to new symptomatic and disease modifying therapies for AD. There continues to be a significant drug discovery effort aimed at discovering PDE inhibitors to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we review the current status of those efforts as they relate to potential new therapies for AD.

  19. Synaptic Control of Secretory Trafficking in Dendrites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyril Hanus

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Localized signaling in neuronal dendrites requires tight spatial control of membrane composition. Upon initial synthesis, nascent secretory cargo in dendrites exits the endoplasmic reticulum (ER from local zones of ER complexity that are spatially coupled to post-ER compartments. Although newly synthesized membrane proteins can be processed locally, the mechanisms that control the spatial range of secretory cargo transport in dendritic segments are unknown. Here, we monitored the dynamics of nascent membrane proteins in dendritic post-ER compartments under regimes of low or increased neuronal activity. In response to activity blockade, post-ER carriers are highly mobile and are transported over long distances. Conversely, increasing synaptic activity dramatically restricts the spatial scale of post-ER trafficking along dendrites. This activity-induced confinement of secretory cargo requires site-specific phosphorylation of the kinesin motor KIF17 by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaMK. Thus, the length scales of early secretory trafficking in dendrites are tuned by activity-dependent regulation of microtubule-dependent transport.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory R Rompala

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Degree of synchronization modulated by inhibitory neurons in clustered excitatory-inhibitory recurrent networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Huiyan; Sun, Xiaojuan; Xiao, Jinghua

    2018-01-01

    An excitatory-inhibitory recurrent neuronal network is established to numerically study the effect of inhibitory neurons on the synchronization degree of neuronal systems. The obtained results show that, with the number of inhibitory neurons and the coupling strength from an inhibitory neuron to an excitatory neuron increasing, inhibitory neurons can not only reduce the synchronization degree when the synchronization degree of the excitatory population is initially higher, but also enhance it when it is initially lower. Meanwhile, inhibitory neurons could also help the neuronal networks to maintain moderate synchronized states. In this paper, we call this effect as modulation effect of inhibitory neurons. With the obtained results, it is further revealed that the ratio of excitatory neurons to inhibitory neurons being nearly 4 : 1 is an economic and affordable choice for inhibitory neurons to realize this modulation effect.

  3. The role of gamma-aminobutyric acid/glycinergic synaptic transmission in mediating bilirubin-induced hyperexcitation in developing auditory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Xin-Lu; Liang, Min; Shi, Hai-Bo; Wang, Lu-Yang; Li, Chun-Yan; Yin, Shan-Kai

    2016-01-05

    Hyperbilirubinemia is a common clinical phenomenon observed in human newborns. A high level of bilirubin can result in severe jaundice and bilirubin encephalopathy. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying bilirubin excitotoxicity are unclear. Our previous studies showed the action of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)/glycine switches from excitatory to inhibitory during development in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN), one of the most sensitive auditory nuclei to bilirubin toxicity. In the present study, we investigated the roles of GABAA/glycine receptors in the induction of bilirubin hyperexcitation in early developing neurons. Using the patch clamp technique, GABAA/glycine receptor-mediated spontaneous inhibitory synaptic currents (sIPSCs) were recorded from bushy and stellate cells in acute brainstem slices from young mice (postnatal day 2-6). Bilirubin significantly increased the frequency of sIPSCs, and this effect was prevented by pretreatments of slices with either fast or slow Ca(2+) chelators BAPTA-AM and EGTA-AM suggesting that bilirubin can increase the release of GABA/glycine via Ca(2+)-dependent mechanisms. Using cell-attached recording configuration, we found that antagonists of GABAA and glycine receptors strongly attenuated spontaneous spiking firings in P2-6 neurons but produced opposite effect in P15-19 neurons. Furthermore, these antagonists reversed bilirubin-evoked hyperexcitability in P2-6 neurons, indicating that excitatory action of GABA/glycinergic transmission specifically contribute to bilirubin-induced hyperexcitability in the early stage of development. Our results suggest that bilirubin-induced enhancement of presynaptic release GABA/Glycine via Ca(2+)-dependent mechanisms may play a critical role in mediating neuronal hyperexcitation associated with jaundice, implicating potential new strategies for predicting, preventing, and treating bilirubin neurotoxicity. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  4. Neurotrophin-3 Regulates Synapse Development by Modulating TrkC-PTPσ Synaptic Adhesion and Intracellular Signaling Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Kyung Ah; Woo, Doyeon; Kim, Seungjoon; Choii, Gayoung; Jeon, Sangmin; Won, Seoung Youn; Kim, Ho Min; Heo, Won Do; Um, Ji Won; Ko, Jaewon

    2016-04-27

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is a secreted neurotrophic factor that binds neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinase C (TrkC), which in turn binds to presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ) to govern excitatory synapse development. However, whether and how NT-3 cooperates with the TrkC-PTPσ synaptic adhesion pathway and TrkC-mediated intracellular signaling pathways in rat cultured neurons has remained unclear. Here, we report that NT-3 enhances TrkC binding affinity for PTPσ. Strikingly, NT-3 treatment bidirectionally regulates the synaptogenic activity of TrkC: at concentrations of 10-25 ng/ml, NT-3 further enhanced the increase in synapse density induced by TrkC overexpression, whereas at higher concentrations, NT-3 abrogated TrkC-induced increases in synapse density. Semiquantitative immunoblotting and optogenetics-based imaging showed that 25 ng/ml NT-3 or light stimulation at a power that produced a comparable level of NT-3 (6.25 μW) activated only extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt, whereas 100 ng/ml NT-3 (light intensity, 25 μW) further triggered the activation of phospholipase C-γ1 and CREB independently of PTPσ. Notably, disruption of TrkC intracellular signaling pathways, extracellular ligand binding, or kinase activity by point mutations compromised TrkC-induced increases in synapse density. Furthermore, only sparse, but not global, TrkC knock-down in cultured rat neurons significantly decreased synapse density, suggesting that intercellular differences in TrkC expression level are critical for its synapse-promoting action. Together, our data demonstrate that NT-3 is a key factor in excitatory synapse development that may direct higher-order assembly of the TrkC/PTPσ complex and activate distinct intracellular signaling cascades in a concentration-dependent manner to promote competition-based synapse development processes. In this study, we present several lines of experimental evidences to support the conclusion that

  5. Pyk2 modulates hippocampal excitatory synapses and contributes to cognitive deficits in a Huntington’s disease model

    KAUST Repository

    Giralt, Albert; Brito, Veronica; Chevy, Quentin; Simonnet, Clé mence; Otsu, Yo; Cifuentes-Dí az, Carmen; Pins, Benoit de; Coura, Renata; Alberch, Jordi; Giné s, Sí lvia; Poncer, Jean-Christophe; Girault, Jean-Antoine

    2017-01-01

    The structure and function of spines and excitatory synapses are under the dynamic control of multiple signalling networks. Although tyrosine phosphorylation is involved, its regulation and importance are not well understood. Here we study the role of Pyk2, a non-receptor calcium-dependent protein-tyrosine kinase highly expressed in the hippocampus. Hippocampal-related learning and CA1 long-term potentiation are severely impaired in Pyk2-deficient mice and are associated with alterations in NMDA receptors, PSD-95 and dendritic spines. In cultured hippocampal neurons, Pyk2 has autophosphorylation-dependent and -independent roles in determining PSD-95 enrichment and spines density. Pyk2 levels are decreased in the hippocampus of individuals with Huntington and in the R6/1 mouse model of the disease. Normalizing Pyk2 levels in the hippocampus of R6/1 mice rescues memory deficits, spines pathology and PSD-95 localization. Our results reveal a role for Pyk2 in spine structure and synaptic function, and suggest that its deficit contributes to Huntington’s disease cognitive impairments.

  6. Pyk2 modulates hippocampal excitatory synapses and contributes to cognitive deficits in a Huntington’s disease model

    KAUST Repository

    Giralt, Albert

    2017-05-30

    The structure and function of spines and excitatory synapses are under the dynamic control of multiple signalling networks. Although tyrosine phosphorylation is involved, its regulation and importance are not well understood. Here we study the role of Pyk2, a non-receptor calcium-dependent protein-tyrosine kinase highly expressed in the hippocampus. Hippocampal-related learning and CA1 long-term potentiation are severely impaired in Pyk2-deficient mice and are associated with alterations in NMDA receptors, PSD-95 and dendritic spines. In cultured hippocampal neurons, Pyk2 has autophosphorylation-dependent and -independent roles in determining PSD-95 enrichment and spines density. Pyk2 levels are decreased in the hippocampus of individuals with Huntington and in the R6/1 mouse model of the disease. Normalizing Pyk2 levels in the hippocampus of R6/1 mice rescues memory deficits, spines pathology and PSD-95 localization. Our results reveal a role for Pyk2 in spine structure and synaptic function, and suggest that its deficit contributes to Huntington’s disease cognitive impairments.

  7. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented.

  8. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Philip Wong, H-S

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented. (topical review)

  9. Banach Synaptic Algebras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulis, David J.; Pulmannov, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

    Using a representation theorem of Erik Alfsen, Frederic Schultz, and Erling Størmer for special JB-algebras, we prove that a synaptic algebra is norm complete (i.e., Banach) if and only if it is isomorphic to the self-adjoint part of a Rickart C∗-algebra. Also, we give conditions on a Banach synaptic algebra that are equivalent to the condition that it is isomorphic to the self-adjoint part of an AW∗-algebra. Moreover, we study some relationships between synaptic algebras and so-called generalized Hermitian algebras.

  10. Vasopressin facilitates excitatory transmission in slices of the rat dorso-lateral septum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Hooff, P; Urban, I J

    1990-01-01

    The effect of vasopressin on neurons of the rat dorso-lateral septum (DLS) was studied in brain slices with intracellular microelectrodes. Two out of 13 neurons showed a small depolarization, spontaneous activity, and increased input resistances following a 15 min exposure to 10(-6) to 10(-8) M vasopressin (VP). These membrane effects disappeared completely within 3-5 min after the application. The remaining DLS neurons treated with these vasopressin concentrations showed an increase in glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs), evoked by stimulation of the fimbria fibers. As little as 10(-12) MVP increased these EPSPs markedly in nearly 80% of the cells studied. This increase in most of the cells disappeared within 15 min after the application period, whereas the increase in EPSPs induced by 10(-10) M VP outlasted the peptide application period for more than 30 min. Neither the blockade of GABA-ergic synaptic inhibition nor the pre-treatment of the neurons with d(CH2)5-Tyr(Me)-arginine vasopressin or 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (2-APV), antagonists for the V1 type of vasopressin receptor and NMDA receptors, respectively, interfered with the EPSPs potentiating effect of the peptide. It is concluded that a type of vasopressin receptor other then the V1 type is involved in the long-lasting potentiation of the primarily non-NMDA receptor mediated transmission in DLS neurons.

  11. Excitatory components of the mammalian locomotor CPG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, Ole; Quinlan, Katharina A.; Restrepo, Carlos Ernesto

    2008-01-01

    Locomotion in mammals is to a large degree controlled directly by intrinsic spinal networks, called central pattern generators (CPGs). The overall function of these networks is governed by interaction between inhibitory and excitatory neurons. In the present review, we will discuss recent finding...

  12. Maternal Dexamethasone Exposure Alters Synaptic Inputs to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neurons in the Early Postnatal Rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Ling Lim

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Maternal dexamethasone (DEX; a glucocorticoid receptor agonist exposure delays pubertal onset and alters reproductive behaviour in the adult offspring. However, little is known whether maternal DEX exposure affects the offspring’s reproductive function by disrupting the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neuronal function in the brain. Therefore, this study determined the exposure of maternal DEX on the GnRH neuronal spine development and synaptic cluster inputs to GnRH neurons using transgenic rats expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP under the control of GnRH promoter. Pregnant females were administered with DEX (0.1mg/kg or vehicle (VEH, water daily during gestation day 13-20. Confocal imaging was used to examine the spine density of EGFP-GnRH neurons by three-dimensional rendering and synaptic cluster inputs to EGFP-GnRH neurons by synapsin I immunohistochemistry on postnatal day 0 (P0 males. The spine morphology and number on GnRH neurons did not change between the P0 males following maternal DEX and VEH treatment. The number of synaptic clusters within the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT was decreased by maternal DEX exposure in P0 males. Furthermore, the number and levels of synaptic cluster inputs in close apposition with GnRH neurons was decreased following maternal DEX exposure in the OVLT region of P0 males. In addition, the post synaptic marker molecule, post-synaptic density 95 was observed in GnRH neurons following both DEX and VEH treatment. These results suggest that maternal DEX exposure alters neural afferent inputs to GnRH neurons during early postnatal stage, which could lead to reproductive dysfunction during adulthood.

  13. Memristor-based neural networks: Synaptic versus neuronal stochasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan; Alshedivat, Maruan; Neftci, Emre; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Salama, Khaled N.

    2016-01-01

    In neuromorphic circuits, stochasticity in the cortex can be mapped into the synaptic or neuronal components. The hardware emulation of these stochastic neural networks are currently being extensively studied using resistive memories or memristors

  14. Do personality traits predict individual differences in excitatory and inhibitory learning?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhimin eHe

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Conditioned inhibition (CI is demonstrated in classical conditioning when a stimulus is used to signal the omission of an otherwise expected outcome. This basic learning ability is involved in a wide range of normal behaviour - and thus its disruption could produce a correspondingly wide range of behavioural deficits. The present study employed a computer-based task to measure conditioned excitation and inhibition in the same discrimination procedure. Conditioned inhibition by summation test was clearly demonstrated. Additionally summary measures of excitatory and inhibitory learning (difference scores were calculated in order to explore how performance related to individual differences in a large sample of normal participants (n=176 following exclusion of those not meeting the basic learning criterion. The individual difference measures selected derive from two biologically-based personality theories, Gray’s reinforcement sensitivity theory (1982 and Eysenck’s psychoticism, extraversion and neuroticism theory (1991. Following the behavioural tasks, participants completed the behavioural inhibition system/behavioural activation system scales (BIS/BAS and the Eysenck personality questionnaire revised short scale (EPQ-RS. Analyses of the relationship between scores on each of the scales and summary measures of excitatory and inhibitory learning suggested that those with higher BAS (specifically the drive sub-scale and higher EPQ-RS neuroticism showed reduced levels of excitatory conditioning. Inhibitory conditioning was similarly attenuated in those with higher EPQ-RS neuroticism, as well as in those with higher BIS scores. Thus the findings are consistent with higher levels of neuroticism being accompanied by generally impaired associative learning, both inhibitory and excitatory. There was also evidence for some dissociation in the effects of behavioural activation and behavioural inhibition on excitatory and inhibitory learning respectively.

  15. Nootropic dipeptide noopept enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Povarov, I S; Kondratenko, R V; Derevyagin, V I; Ostrovskaya, R U; Skrebitskii, V G

    2015-01-01

    Application of nootropic agent Noopept on hippocampal slices from Wistar rats enhanced the inhibitory component of total current induced by stimulation of Shaffer collaterals in CA1 pyramidal neurons, but did not affect the excitatory component. A direct correlation between the increase in the amplitude of inhibitory current and agent concentration was found. The substance did not affect the release of inhibitory transmitters from terminals in the pyramidal neurons, which indicated changes in GABAergic interneurons.

  16. Synaptic dimorphism in Onychophoran cephalic ganglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z Peña-Contreras

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The taxonomic location of the Onychophora has been controversial because of their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, related to both annelids and arthropods. We analyzed the ultrastructure of the neurons and their synapses in the cephalic ganglion of a poorly known invertebrate, the velvet worm Peripatus sedgwicki, from the mountainous region of El Valle, Mérida, Venezuela. Cephalic ganglia were dissected, fixed and processed for transmission electron microscopy. The animal has a high degree of neurobiological development, as evidenced by the presence of asymmetric (excitatory and symmetric (inhibitory synapses, as well as the existence of glial cell processes in a wide neuropile zone. The postsynaptic terminals were seen to contain subsynaptic cisterns formed by membranes of smooth endoplasmic reticulum beneath the postsynaptic density, whereas the presynaptic terminal showed numerous electron transparent synaptic vesicles. From the neurophylogenetic perspectives, the ultrastructural characteristics of the central nervous tissue of the Onychophora show important evolutionary acquirements, such as the presence of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, indicating functional synaptic transmission, and the appearance of mature glial cells. Rev. Biol . Trop. 55 (1: 261-267. Epub 2007 March. 31.Estudiamos la ultraestructura de las neuronas y sus sinapsis del ganglio cefálico de un invertebrado poco conocido del phylum Onychophora: Peripatus sedgwicki de los Andes Venezolanos, utilizando para ello la microscopía electrónica de transmisión. La localización taxonómica de los onicóforos ha sido controversial debido a sus características fenotípicas y genotípicas que los relacionan tanto con los anélidos como con los artrópodos. Para este trabajo se estudió el ganglio cefálico de P. sedgwicki de la zona montañosa de El Valle, Mérida, Venezuela. El ganglio cefálico se localiza en la región anterior del animal y fue diseccionado

  17. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  18. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species regulate the strength of inhibitory GABA-mediated synaptic transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accardi, Michael V.; Daniels, Bryan A.; Brown, Patricia M. G. E.; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Tyagarajan, Shiva K.; Bowie, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal communication imposes a heavy metabolic burden in maintaining ionic gradients essential for action potential firing and synaptic signalling. Although cellular metabolism is known to regulate excitatory neurotransmission, it is still unclear whether the brain’s energy supply affects inhibitory signalling. Here we show that mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species (mROS) regulate the strength of postsynaptic GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses of cerebellar stellate cells. Inhibition is strengthened through a mechanism that selectively recruits α3-containing GABAA receptors into synapses with no discernible effect on resident α1-containing receptors. Since mROS promotes the emergence of postsynaptic events with unique kinetic properties, we conclude that newly recruited α3-containing GABAA receptors are activated by neurotransmitter released onto discrete postsynaptic sites. Although traditionally associated with oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disease, our data identify mROS as a putative homeostatic signalling molecule coupling cellular metabolism to the strength of inhibitory transmission.

  19. Conditional RARα Knockout Mice Reveal Acute Requirement for Retinoic Acid and RARα in Homeostatic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica eSarti

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available All-trans retinoic acid (RA plays important roles in brain development through regulating gene transcription. Recently, a novel postdevelopmental role of RA in mature brain was proposed. Specifically, RA rapidly enhanced excitatory synaptic transmission independent of transcriptional regulation. RA synthesis was induced when excitatory synaptic transmission was chronically blocked, and RA then activated dendritic protein synthesis and synaptic insertion of homomeric GluA1 AMPA receptors, thereby compensating for the loss of neuronal activity in a homeostatic fashion. This action of RA was suggested to be mediated by its canonical receptor RARα but no genetic evidence was available. Thus, we here tested the fundamental requirement of RARα in homeostatic plasticity using conditional RARα knockout mice, and additionally performed a structure-function analysis of RARα. We show that acutely deleting RARα in neurons eliminated RA’s effect on excitatory synaptic transmission, and inhibited activity blockade-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. By expressing various RARα rescue constructs in RARα knockout neurons, we found that the DNA-binding domain of RARα was dispensable for its role in regulating synaptic strength, further supporting the notion that RA and RARα act in a non-transcriptional manner in this context. By contrast, the ligand-binding domain (LBD and the mRNA-binding domain (F-domain are both necessary and sufficient for the function of RARα in homeostatic plasticity. Furthermore, we found that homeostatic regulation performed by the LBD/F domains leads to insertion of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors. Our results confirm with unequivocal genetic approaches that RA and RARα perform essential non-transcriptional functions in regulating synaptic strength, and establish a functional link between the various domains of RARα and their involvement in regulating protein synthesis and excitatory synaptic transmission during

  20. Mechanism of Transport Modulation by an Extracellular Loop in an Archaeal Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter (EAAT) Homolog*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Christopher; Mindell, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Secondary transporters in the excitatory amino acid transporter family terminate glutamatergic synaptic transmission by catalyzing Na+-dependent removal of glutamate from the synaptic cleft. Recent structural studies of the aspartate-specific archaeal homolog, GltPh, suggest that transport is achieved by a rigid body, piston-like movement of the transport domain, which houses the substrate-binding site, between the extracellular and cytoplasmic sides of the membrane. This transport domain is connected to an immobile scaffold by three loops, one of which, the 3–4 loop (3L4), undergoes substrate-sensitive conformational change. Proteolytic cleavage of the 3L4 was found to abolish transport activity indicating an essential function for this loop in the transport mechanism. Here, we demonstrate that despite the presence of fully cleaved 3L4, GltPh is still able to sample conformations relevant for transport. Optimized reconstitution conditions reveal that fully cleaved GltPh retains some transport activity. Analysis of the kinetics and temperature dependence of transport accompanied by direct measurements of substrate binding reveal that this decreased transport activity is not due to alteration of the substrate binding characteristics but is caused by the significantly reduced turnover rate. By measuring solute counterflow activity and cross-link formation rates, we demonstrate that cleaving 3L4 severely and specifically compromises one or more steps contributing to the movement of the substrate-loaded transport domain between the outward- and inward-facing conformational states, sparing the equivalent step(s) during the movement of the empty transport domain. These results reveal a hitherto unknown role for the 3L4 in modulating an essential step in the transport process. PMID:24155238

  1. Neuromimetic Circuits with Synaptic Devices Based on Strongly Correlated Electron Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Sieu D.; Shi, Jian; Meroz, Yasmine; Mahadevan, L.; Ramanathan, Shriram

    2014-12-01

    Strongly correlated electron systems such as the rare-earth nickelates (R NiO3 , R denotes a rare-earth element) can exhibit synapselike continuous long-term potentiation and depression when gated with ionic liquids; exploiting the extreme sensitivity of coupled charge, spin, orbital, and lattice degrees of freedom to stoichiometry. We present experimental real-time, device-level classical conditioning and unlearning using nickelate-based synaptic devices in an electronic circuit compatible with both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We establish a physical model for the device behavior based on electric-field-driven coupled ionic-electronic diffusion that can be utilized for design of more complex systems. We use the model to simulate a variety of associate and nonassociative learning mechanisms, as well as a feedforward recurrent network for storing memory. Our circuit intuitively parallels biological neural architectures, and it can be readily generalized to other forms of cellular learning and extinction. The simulation of neural function with electronic device analogs may provide insight into biological processes such as decision making, learning, and adaptation, while facilitating advanced parallel information processing in hardware.

  2. Synaptic transmission modulates while non-synaptic processes govern the transition from pre-ictal to seizure activity in vitro

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferys, John; Fox, John; Jiruska, Premysl; Kronberg, Greg; Miranda, Dolores; Ruiz-Nuño, Ana; Bikson, Marom

    2018-01-01

    It is well established that non-synaptic mechanisms can generate electrographic seizures after blockade of synaptic function. We investigated the interaction of intact synaptic activity with non-synaptic mechanisms in the isolated CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices using the 'elevated-K+' model of epilepsy. Elevated K+ ictal bursts share waveform features with other models of electrographic seizures, including non-synaptic models where chemical synaptic transmission is suppressed, such as t...

  3. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, formingtrans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft orcis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics.

  4. Synthetic ciguatoxin CTX 3C induces a rapid imbalance in neuronal excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Victor; Vale, Carmen; Hirama, Masahiro; Yamashita, Shuji; Rubiolo, Juan Andrés; Vieytes, Mercedes R; Botana, Luis M

    2015-06-15

    Ciguatera is a human global disease caused by the consumption of contaminated fish that have accumulated ciguatoxins (CTXs), sodium channel activator toxins. Symptoms of ciguatera include neurological alterations such as paraesthesiae, dysaesthesiae, depression, and heightened nociperception, among others. An important issue to understand these long-term neurological alterations is to establish the role that changes in activity produced by CTX 3C represent to neurons. Here, the effects of synthetic ciguatoxin CTX 3C on membrane potential, spontaneous spiking, and properties of synaptic transmission in cultured cortical neurons of 11-18 days in vitro (DIV) were evaluated using electrophysiological approaches. CTX 3C induced a large depolarization that decreased neuronal firing and caused a rapid inward tonic current that was primarily GABAergic. Moreover, the toxin enhanced the amplitude of miniature postsynaptic inhibitory currents (mIPSCs), whereas it decreased the amplitude of miniature postsynaptic excitatory currents (mEPSCs). The frequency of mIPSCs increased, whereas the frequency of mEPSCs remained unaltered. We describe, for the first time, that a rapid membrane depolarization caused by CTX 3C in cortical neurons activates mechanisms that tend to suppress electrical activity by shifting the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission toward inhibition. Indeed, these results suggest that the acute effects of CTX on synaptic transmission could underlie some of the neurological symptoms caused by ciguatera in humans.

  5. A realistic neural mass model of the cortex with laminar-specific connections and synaptic plasticity - evaluation with auditory habituation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Wang

    Full Text Available In this work we propose a biologically realistic local cortical circuit model (LCCM, based on neural masses, that incorporates important aspects of the functional organization of the brain that have not been covered by previous models: (1 activity dependent plasticity of excitatory synaptic couplings via depleting and recycling of neurotransmitters and (2 realistic inter-laminar dynamics via laminar-specific distribution of and connections between neural populations. The potential of the LCCM was demonstrated by accounting for the process of auditory habituation. The model parameters were specified using Bayesian inference. It was found that: (1 besides the major serial excitatory information pathway (layer 4 to layer 2/3 to layer 5/6, there exists a parallel "short-cut" pathway (layer 4 to layer 5/6, (2 the excitatory signal flow from the pyramidal cells to the inhibitory interneurons seems to be more intra-laminar while, in contrast, the inhibitory signal flow from inhibitory interneurons to the pyramidal cells seems to be both intra- and inter-laminar, and (3 the habituation rates of the connections are unsymmetrical: forward connections (from layer 4 to layer 2/3 are more strongly habituated than backward connections (from Layer 5/6 to layer 4. Our evaluation demonstrates that the novel features of the LCCM are of crucial importance for mechanistic explanations of brain function. The incorporation of these features into a mass model makes them applicable to modeling based on macroscopic data (like EEG or MEG, which are usually available in human experiments. Our LCCM is therefore a valuable building block for future realistic models of human cognitive function.

  6. Estradiol attenuates ischemia-induced death of hippocampal neurons and enhances synaptic transmission in aged, long-term hormone-deprived female rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Inagaki

    Full Text Available Transient global forebrain ischemia causes selective, delayed death of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, and the ovarian hormone 17β-estradiol (E2 reduces neuronal loss in young and middle-aged females. The neuroprotective efficacy of E2 after a prolonged period of hormone deprivation is controversial, and few studies examine this issue in aged animals given E2 treatment after induction of ischemia.The present study investigated the neuroprotective effects of E2 administered immediately after global ischemia in aged female rats (15-18 months after 6 months of hormone deprivation. We also used electrophysiological methods to assess whether CA1 synapses in the aging hippocampus remain responsive to E2 after prolonged hormone withdrawal. Animals were ovariohysterectomized and underwent 10 min global ischemia 6 months later. A single dose of E2 (2.25 µg infused intraventricularly after reperfusion significantly increased cell survival, with 45% of CA1 neurons surviving vs 15% in controls. Ischemia also induced moderate loss of CA3/CA4 pyramidal cells. Bath application of 1 nM E2 onto brain slices derived from non-ischemic aged females after 6 months of hormone withdrawal significantly enhanced excitatory transmission at CA1 synapses evoked by Schaffer collateral stimulation, and normal long-term potentiation (LTP was induced. The magnitude of LTP and of E2 enhancement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials was indistinguishable from that recorded in slices from young rats.The data demonstrate that 1 acute post-ischemic infusion of E2 into the brain ventricles is neuroprotective in aged rats after 6 months of hormone deprivation; and 2 E2 enhances synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged long-term hormone deprived females. These findings provide evidence that the aging hippocampus remains responsive to E2 administered either in vivo or in vitro even after prolonged periods of hormone withdrawal.

  7. Distributed Cerebellar Motor Learning; a Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niceto Rafael Luque

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Deep cerebellar nuclei neurons receive both inhibitory (GABAergic synaptic currents from Purkinje cells (within the cerebellar cortex and excitatory (glutamatergic synaptic currents from mossy fibres. Those two deep cerebellar nucleus inputs are thought to be also adaptive, embedding interesting properties in the framework of accurate movements. We show that distributed spike-timing-dependent plasticity mechanisms (STDP located at different cerebellar sites (parallel fibres to Purkinje cells, mossy fibres to deep cerebellar nucleus cells, and Purkinje cells to deep cerebellar nucleus cells in close-loop simulations provide an explanation for the complex learning properties of the cerebellum in motor learning. Concretely, we propose a new mechanistic cerebellar spiking model. In this new model, deep cerebellar nuclei embed a dual functionality: deep cerebellar nuclei acting as a gain adaptation mechanism and as a facilitator for the slow memory consolidation at mossy fibres to deep cerebellar nucleus synapses. Equipping the cerebellum with excitatory (e-STDP and inhibitory (i-STDP mechanisms at deep cerebellar nuclei afferents allows the accommodation of synaptic memories that were formed at parallel fibres to Purkinje cells synapses and then transferred to mossy fibres to deep cerebellar nucleus synapses. These adaptive mechanisms also contribute to modulate the deep-cerebellar-nucleus-output firing rate (output gain modulation towards optimising its working range.

  8. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiromi Hirata

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic transmission due to a lack of synaptic aggregation of GlyRs. Due to the consequent loss of reciprocal inhibition of motor circuits between the two sides of the spinal cord, motor neurons activate simultaneously on both sides resulting in bilateral contraction of axial muscles of beo mutants, eliciting the so-called ‘accordion’ phenotype. Similar defects in GlyR subunit genes have been observed in several mammals and are the basis for human hyperekplexia/startle disease. By contrast, zebrafish shocked (sho mutants have a defect in slc6a9, encoding GlyT1, a glycine transporter that is expressed by astroglial cells surrounding the glycinergic synapse in the hindbrain and spinal cord. GlyT1 mediates rapid uptake of glycine from the synaptic cleft, terminating synaptic transmission. In zebrafish sho mutants, there appears to be elevated extracellular glycine resulting in persistent inhibition of postsynaptic neurons and subsequent reduced motility, causing the ‘twitch once’ phenotype. We review current knowledge regarding zebrafish ‘accordion’ and ‘twitch once’ mutants, including beo and sho, and report the identification of a new α2 subunit that revises the phylogeny of zebrafish GlyRs.

  9. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Hiromi; Carta, Eloisa; Yamanaka, Iori; Harvey, Robert J.; Kuwada, John Y.

    2009-01-01

    Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo) mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR) β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic transmission due to a lack of synaptic aggregation of GlyRs. Due to the consequent loss of reciprocal inhibition of motor circuits between the two sides of the spinal cord, motor neurons activate simultaneously on both sides resulting in bilateral contraction of axial muscles of beo mutants, eliciting the so-called ‘accordion’ phenotype. Similar defects in GlyR subunit genes have been observed in several mammals and are the basis for human hyperekplexia/startle disease. By contrast, zebrafish shocked (sho) mutants have a defect in slc6a9, encoding GlyT1, a glycine transporter that is expressed by astroglial cells surrounding the glycinergic synapse in the hindbrain and spinal cord. GlyT1 mediates rapid uptake of glycine from the synaptic cleft, terminating synaptic transmission. In zebrafish sho mutants, there appears to be elevated extracellular glycine resulting in persistent inhibition of postsynaptic neurons and subsequent reduced motility, causing the ‘twitch-once’ phenotype. We review current knowledge regarding zebrafish ‘accordion’ and ‘twitch-once’ mutants, including beo and sho, and report the identification of a new α2 subunit that revises the phylogeny of zebrafish GlyRs. PMID:20161699

  10. Electrical field stimulation-induced excitatory responses of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    effect of the endothelium on electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced excitatory responses of pulmonary artery segments from pulmonary hypertensive rats. Methods: Pulmonary hypertension was induced in rats with a single dose of monocrotaline (60 mg/kg) and 21 days later, arterial rings were set up for isometric tension ...

  11. Effects of TRPV1 activation on synaptic excitation in the dentate gyrus of a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhaskaran, Muthu D; Smith, Bret N

    2010-06-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a condition characterized by an imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the temporal lobe. Hallmarks of this change are axon sprouting and accompanying synaptic reorganization in the temporal lobe. Synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids have variable therapeutic potential in treating intractable temporal lobe epilepsy, in part because cannabinoid ligands can bind multiple receptor types. This study utilized in vitro electrophysiological methods to examine the effect of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) activation in dentate gyrus granule cells in a murine model of TLE. Capsaicin, a selective TRPV1 agonist had no measurable effect on overall synaptic input to granule cells in control animals, but significantly enhanced spontaneous and miniature EPSC frequency in mice with TLE. Exogenous application of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid that acts at both TRPV1 and cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1R), also enhanced glutamate release in the presence of a CB1R antagonist. Anandamide reduced the EPSC frequency when TRPV1 were blocked with capsazepine. Western blot analysis of TRPV1 receptor indicated protein expression was significantly greater in the dentate gyrus of mice with TLE compared with control mice. This study indicates that a prominent cannabinoid agonist can increase excitatory circuit activity in the synaptically reorganized dentate gyrus of mice with TLE by activating TRPV1 receptors, and suggests caution in designing anticonvulsant therapy based on modulating the endocannabinoid system. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Sequential dynamics in the motif of excitatory coupled elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korotkov, Alexander G.; Kazakov, Alexey O.; Osipov, Grigory V.

    2015-11-01

    In this article a new model of motif (small ensemble) of neuron-like elements is proposed. It is built with the use of the generalized Lotka-Volterra model with excitatory couplings. The main motivation for this work comes from the problems of neuroscience where excitatory couplings are proved to be the predominant type of interaction between neurons of the brain. In this paper it is shown that there are two modes depending on the type of coupling between the elements: the mode with a stable heteroclinic cycle and the mode with a stable limit cycle. Our second goal is to examine the chaotic dynamics of the generalized three-dimensional Lotka-Volterra model.

  13. Isoflurane reversibly destabilizes hippocampal dendritic spines by an actin-dependent mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jimcy Platholi

    Full Text Available General anesthetics produce a reversible coma-like state through modulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission. Recent evidence suggests that anesthetic exposure can also lead to sustained cognitive dysfunction. However, the subcellular effects of anesthetics on the structure of established synapses are not known. We investigated effects of the widely used volatile anesthetic isoflurane on the structural stability of hippocampal dendritic spines, a postsynaptic structure critical to excitatory synaptic transmission in learning and memory. Exposure to clinical concentrations of isoflurane induced rapid and non-uniform shrinkage and loss of dendritic spines in mature cultured rat hippocampal neurons. Spine shrinkage was associated with a reduction in spine F-actin concentration. Spine loss was prevented by either jasplakinolide or cytochalasin D, drugs that prevent F-actin disassembly. Isoflurane-induced spine shrinkage and loss were reversible upon isoflurane elimination. Thus, isoflurane destabilizes spine F-actin, resulting in changes to dendritic spine morphology and number. These findings support an actin-based mechanism for isoflurane-induced alterations of synaptic structure in the hippocampus. These reversible alterations in dendritic spine structure have important implications for acute anesthetic effects on excitatory synaptic transmission and synaptic stability in the hippocampus, a locus for anesthetic-induced amnesia, and have important implications for anesthetic effects on synaptic plasticity.

  14. Single cocaine exposure does not alter striatal pre-synaptic dopamine function in mice: an [18 F]-FDOPA PET study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonsall, David R; Kokkinou, Michelle; Veronese, Mattia; Coello, Christopher; Wells, Lisa A; Howes, Oliver D

    2017-12-01

    Cocaine is a recreational drug of abuse that binds to the dopamine transporter, preventing reuptake of dopamine into pre-synaptic terminals. The increased presence of synaptic dopamine results in stimulation of both pre- and post-synaptic dopamine receptors, considered an important mechanism by which cocaine elicits its reinforcing properties. However, the effects of acute cocaine administration on pre-synaptic dopamine function remain unclear. Non-invasive imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography have revealed impaired pre-synaptic dopamine function in chronic cocaine users. Similar impairments have been seen in animal studies, with microdialysis experiments indicating decreased basal dopamine release. Here we use micro positron emission tomography imaging techniques in mice to measure dopamine synthesis capacity and determine the effect of acute cocaine administration of pre-synaptic dopamine function. We show that a dose of 20 mg/kg cocaine is sufficient to elicit hyperlocomotor activity, peaking 15-20 min post treatment (p dopamine synthesis capacity in the striatum was not significantly altered by acute cocaine treatment (KiCer: 0.0097 per min vs. 0.0112 per min in vehicle controls, p > 0.05). Furthermore, expression levels of two key enzymes related to dopamine synthesis, tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase, within the striatum of scanned mice were not significantly affected by acute cocaine pre-treatment (p > 0.05). Our findings suggest that while the regulation of dopamine synthesis and release in the striatum have been shown to change with chronic cocaine use, leading to a reduced basal tone, these adaptations to pre-synaptic dopaminergic neurons are not initiated following a single exposure to the drug. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  15. Biophysical synaptic dynamics in an analog VLSI network of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Theodore; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2009-01-01

    We study synaptic dynamics in a biophysical network of four coupled spiking neurons implemented in an analog VLSI silicon microchip. The four neurons implement a generalized Hodgkin-Huxley model with individually configurable rate-based kinetics of opening and closing of Na+ and K+ ion channels. The twelve synapses implement a rate-based first-order kinetic model of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics, accounting for NMDA and non-NMDA type chemical synapses. The implemented models on the chip are fully configurable by 384 parameters accounting for conductances, reversal potentials, and pre/post-synaptic voltage-dependence of the channel kinetics. We describe the models and present experimental results from the chip characterizing single neuron dynamics, single synapse dynamics, and multi-neuron network dynamics showing phase-locking behavior as a function of synaptic coupling strength. The 3mm x 3mm microchip consumes 1.29 mW power making it promising for applications including neuromorphic modeling and neural prostheses.

  16. Bi-directional astrocytic regulation of neuronal activity within a network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Yu Gordleeva

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The concept of a tripartite synapse holds that astrocytes can affect both the pre- and postsynaptic compartments through the Ca2+-dependent release of gliotransmitters. Because astrocytic Ca2+ transients usually last for a few seconds, we assumed that astrocytic regulation of synaptic transmission may also occur on the scale of seconds. Here, we considered the basic physiological functions of tripartite synapses and investigated astrocytic regulation at the level of neural network activity. The firing dynamics of individual neurons in a spontaneous firing network was described by the Hodgkin-Huxley model. The neurons received excitatory synaptic input driven by the Poisson spike train with variable frequency. The mean field concentration of the released neurotransmitter was used to describe the presynaptic dynamics. The amplitudes of the excitatory postsynaptic currents (PSCs obeyed the gamma distribution law. In our model, astrocytes depressed the presynaptic release and enhanced the postsynaptic currents. As a result, low frequency synaptic input was suppressed while high frequency input was amplified. The analysis of the neuron spiking frequency as an indicator of network activity revealed that tripartite synaptic transmission dramatically changed the local network operation compared to bipartite synapses. Specifically, the astrocytes supported homeostatic regulation of the network activity by increasing or decreasing firing of the neurons. Thus, the astrocyte activation may modulate a transition of neural network into bistable regime of activity with two stable firing levels and spontaneous transitions between them.

  17. Presynaptic Regulation of Leptin in a Defined Lateral Hypothalamus-Ventral Tegmental Area Neurocircuitry Depends on Energy State.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing-Jing; Bello, Nicholas T; Pang, Zhiping P

    2017-12-06

    Synaptic transmission controls brain activity and behaviors, including food intake. Leptin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, acts on neurons located in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) to maintain energy homeostasis and regulate food intake behavior. The specific synaptic mechanisms, cell types, and neural projections mediating this effect remain unclear. In male mice, using pathway-specific retrograde tracing, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and post hoc cell type identification, we found that leptin reduces excitatory synaptic strength onto both melanin-concentrating hormone- and orexin-expressing neurons projecting from the LHA to the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which may affect dopamine signaling and motivation for feeding. A presynaptic mechanism mediated by distinct intracellular signaling mechanisms may account for this regulation by leptin. The regulatory effects of leptin depend on intact leptin receptor signaling. Interestingly, the synaptic regulatory function of leptin in the LHA-to-VTA neuronal pathway is highly sensitive to energy states: both energy deficiency (acute fasting) and excessive energy storage (high-fat diet-induced obesity) blunt the effect of leptin. These data revealed that leptin may regulate synaptic transmission in the LHA-to-VTA neurocircuitry in an inverted "U-shape" fashion dependent on plasma glucose levels and related to metabolic states. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) to ventral tegmental area (VTA) projection is an important neural pathway involved in balancing whole-body energy states and reward. We found that the excitatory synaptic inputs to both orexin- and melanin-concentrating hormone expressing LHA neurons projecting to the VTA were suppressed by leptin, a peptide hormone derived from adipocytes that signals peripheral energy status to the brain. Interestingly, energy states seem to affect how leptin regulates synaptic transmission since both the depletion of energy induced by acute food

  18. Synchronization in a non-uniform network of excitatory spiking neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeveste, Rodrigo; Gros, Claudius

    Spontaneous synchronization of pulse coupled elements is ubiquitous in nature and seems to be of vital importance for life. Networks of pacemaker cells in the heart, extended populations of southeast asian fireflies, and neuronal oscillations in cortical networks, are examples of this. In the present work, a rich repertoire of dynamical states with different degrees of synchronization are found in a network of excitatory-only spiking neurons connected in a non-uniform fashion. In particular, uncorrelated and partially correlated states are found without the need for inhibitory neurons or external currents. The phase transitions between these states, as well the robustness, stability, and response of the network to external stimulus are studied.

  19. Wavy multistratified amacrine cells in the monkey retina contain immunoreactive secretoneurin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bordt, Andrea S; Long, Ye; Kouyama, Nobuo

    2017-01-01

    synaptic ribbons; their synaptic densities were asymmetric like those of excitatory synapses in the brain. Amacrine cells made and received conventional synapses with symmetric synaptic densities, like those of inhibitory synapses in the brain. Ganglion cell dendrites were identified by their absence...

  20. Post-transcriptional trafficking and regulation of neuronal gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldie, Belinda J; Cairns, Murray J

    2012-02-01

    Intracellular messenger RNA (mRNA) traffic and translation must be highly regulated, both temporally and spatially, within eukaryotic cells to support the complex functional partitioning. This capacity is essential in neurons because it provides a mechanism for rapid input-restricted activity-dependent protein synthesis in individual dendritic spines. While this feature is thought to be important for synaptic plasticity, the structures and mechanisms that support this capability are largely unknown. Certainly specialized RNA binding proteins and binding elements in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of translationally regulated mRNA are important, but the subtlety and complexity of this system suggests that an intermediate "specificity" component is also involved. Small non-coding microRNA (miRNA) are essential for CNS development and may fulfill this role by acting as the guide strand for mediating complex patterns of post-transcriptional regulation. In this review we examine post-synaptic gene regulation, mRNA trafficking and the emerging role of post-transcriptional gene silencing in synaptic plasticity.

  1. Propagation of Homeostatic Sleep Signals by Segregated Synaptic Microcircuits of the Drosophila Mushroom Body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitaraman, Divya; Aso, Yoshinori; Jin, Xin; Chen, Nan; Felix, Mario; Rubin, Gerald M; Nitabach, Michael N

    2015-11-16

    The Drosophila mushroom body (MB) is a key associative memory center that has also been implicated in the control of sleep. However, the identity of MB neurons underlying homeostatic sleep regulation, as well as the types of sleep signals generated by specific classes of MB neurons, has remained poorly understood. We recently identified two MB output neuron (MBON) classes whose axons convey sleep control signals from the MB to converge in the same downstream target region: a cholinergic sleep-promoting MBON class and a glutamatergic wake-promoting MBON class. Here, we deploy a combination of neurogenetic, behavioral, and physiological approaches to identify and mechanistically dissect sleep-controlling circuits of the MB. Our studies reveal the existence of two segregated excitatory synaptic microcircuits that propagate homeostatic sleep information from different populations of intrinsic MB "Kenyon cells" (KCs) to specific sleep-regulating MBONs: sleep-promoting KCs increase sleep by preferentially activating the cholinergic MBONs, while wake-promoting KCs decrease sleep by preferentially activating the glutamatergic MBONs. Importantly, activity of the sleep-promoting MB microcircuit is increased by sleep deprivation and is necessary for homeostatic rebound sleep (i.e., the increased sleep that occurs after, and in compensation for, sleep lost during deprivation). These studies reveal for the first time specific functional connections between subsets of KCs and particular MBONs and establish the identity of synaptic microcircuits underlying transmission of homeostatic sleep signals in the MB. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Human-Specific Cortical Synaptic Connections and Their Plasticity: Is That What Makes Us Human?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Lourenço

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available One outstanding difference between Homo sapiens and other mammals is the ability to perform highly complex cognitive tasks and behaviors, such as language, abstract thinking, and cultural diversity. How is this accomplished? According to one prominent theory, cognitive complexity is proportional to the repetition of specific computational modules over a large surface expansion of the cerebral cortex (neocortex. However, the human neocortex was shown to also possess unique features at the cellular and synaptic levels, raising the possibility that expanding the computational module is not the only mechanism underlying complex thinking. In a study published in PLOS Biology, Szegedi and colleagues analyzed a specific cortical circuit from live postoperative human tissue, showing that human-specific, very powerful excitatory connections between principal pyramidal neurons and inhibitory neurons are highly plastic. This suggests that exclusive plasticity of specific microcircuits might be considered among the mechanisms endowing the human neocortex with the ability to perform highly complex cognitive tasks.

  3. Neurotrophin and FGF Signaling Adapter Proteins, FRS2 and FRS3, Regulate Dentate Granule Cell Maturation and Excitatory Synaptogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandi, Sayan; Alviña, Karina; Lituma, Pablo J; Castillo, Pablo E; Hébert, Jean M

    2018-01-15

    Dentate granule cells (DGCs) play important roles in cognitive processes. Knowledge about how growth factors such as FGFs and neurotrophins contribute to the maturation and synaptogenesis of DGCs is limited. Here, using brain-specific and germline mouse mutants we show that a module of neurotrophin and FGF signaling, the FGF Receptor Substrate (FRS) family of intracellular adapters, FRS2 and FRS3, are together required for postnatal brain development. In the hippocampus, FRS promotes dentate gyrus morphogenesis and DGC maturation during developmental neurogenesis, similar to previously published functions for both neurotrophins and FGFs. Consistent with a role in DGC maturation, two-photon imaging revealed that Frs2,3-double mutants have reduced numbers of dendritic branches and spines in DGCs. Functional analysis further showed that double-mutant mice exhibit fewer excitatory synaptic inputs onto DGCs. These observations reveal roles for FRS adapters in DGC maturation and synaptogenesis and suggest that FRS proteins may act as an important node for FGF and neurotrophin signaling in postnatal hippocampal development. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Characterization and extraction of the synaptic apposition surface for synaptic geometry analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Juan; Rodríguez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Merchán-Pérez, Angel

    2013-01-01

    Geometrical features of chemical synapses are relevant to their function. Two critical components of the synaptic junction are the active zone (AZ) and the postsynaptic density (PSD), as they are related to the probability of synaptic release and the number of postsynaptic receptors, respectively. Morphological studies of these structures are greatly facilitated by the use of recent electron microscopy techniques, such as combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), and software tools that permit reconstruction of large numbers of synapses in three dimensions. Since the AZ and the PSD are in close apposition and have a similar surface area, they can be represented by a single surface—the synaptic apposition surface (SAS). We have developed an efficient computational technique to automatically extract this surface from synaptic junctions that have previously been three-dimensionally reconstructed from actual tissue samples imaged by automated FIB/SEM. Given its relationship with the release probability and the number of postsynaptic receptors, the surface area of the SAS is a functionally relevant measure of the size of a synapse that can complement other geometrical features like the volume of the reconstructed synaptic junction, the equivalent ellipsoid size and the Feret's diameter. PMID:23847474

  5. Increased Cortical Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Precedes Incomplete Extinction of Conditioned Fear and Increased Hippocampal Excitatory Tone in a Mouse Model of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Brandy L; Ghoddoussi, Farhad; Charlton, Jennifer L; Kohler, Robert J; Galloway, Matthew P; Perrine, Shane A; Conti, Alana C

    2016-09-01

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) contributes to development of affective disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychiatric symptoms typically emerge in a tardive fashion post-TBI, with negative effects on recovery. Patients with PTSD, as well as rodent models of PTSD, demonstrate structural and functional changes in brain regions mediating fear learning, including prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala (AMYG), and hippocampus (HC). These changes may reflect loss of top-down control by which PFC normally exhibits inhibitory influence over AMYG reactivity to fearful stimuli, with HC contribution. Considering the susceptibility of these regions to injury, we examined fear conditioning (FC) in the delayed post-injury period, using a mouse model of mTBI. Mice with mTBI displayed enhanced acquisition and delayed extinction of FC. Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ex vivo, we examined PFC, AMYG, and HC levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate as surrogate measures of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission, respectively. Eight days post-injury, GABA was increased in PFC, with no significant changes in AMYG. In animals receiving FC and mTBI, glutamate trended toward an increase and the GABA/glutamate ratio decreased in ventral HC at 25 days post-injury, whereas GABA decreased and GABA/glutamate decreased in dorsal HC. These neurochemical changes are consistent with early TBI-induced PFC hypoactivation facilitating the fear learning circuit and exacerbating behavioral fear responses. The latent emergence of overall increased excitatory tone in the HC, despite distinct plasticity in dorsal and ventral HC fields, may be associated with disordered memory function, manifested as incomplete extinction and enhanced FC recall.

  6. Influence of active dendritic currents on input-output processing in spinal motoneurons in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, R H; Kuo, J J; Jiang, M C; Heckman, C J

    2003-01-01

    The extensive dendritic tree of the adult spinal motoneuron generates a powerful persistent inward current (PIC). We investigated how this dendritic PIC influenced conversion of synaptic input to rhythmic firing. A linearly increasing, predominantly excitatory synaptic input was generated in triceps ankle extensor motoneurons by slow stretch (duration: 2-10 s) of the Achilles tendon in the decerebrate cat preparation. The firing pattern evoked by stretch was measured by injecting a steady current to depolarize the cell to threshold for firing. The effective synaptic current (I(N), the net synaptic current reaching the soma of the cell) evoked by stretch was measured during voltage clamp. Hyperpolarized holding potentials were used to minimize the activation of the dendritic PIC and thus estimate stretch-evoked I(N) for a passive dendritic tree (I(N,PASS)). Depolarized holding potentials that approximated the average membrane potential during rhythmic firing allowed strong activation of the dendritic PIC and thus resulted in marked enhancement of the total stretch-evoked I(N) (I(N,TOT)). The net effect of the dendritic PIC on the generation of rhythmic firing was assessed by plotting stretch-evoked firing (strong PIC activation) versus stretch-evoked I(N,PASS) (minimal PIC activation). The gain of this input-output function for the neuron (I-O(N)) was found to be ~2.7 times as high as for the standard injected frequency current (F-I) function in low-input conductance neurons. However, about halfway through the stretch, firing rate tended to become constant, resulting in a sharp saturation in I-O(N) that was not present in F-I. In addition, the gain of I-O(N) decreased sharply with increasing input conductance, resulting in much lower stretch-evoked firing rates in high-input conductance cells. All three of these phenomena (high initial gain, saturation, and differences in low- and high-input conductance cells) were also readily apparent in the differences between

  7. Role of mast cell- and non-mast cell-derived inflammatory mediators in immunologic induction of synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A.C. Albuquerque

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available We have previously discovered a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission in mammal autonomic ganglia caused by immunological activation of ganglionic mast cells. Subsequent to mast cell activation, lipid and peptide mediators are released which may modulate synaptic function. In this study we determined whether some mast cell-derived mediators, prostaglandin D2 (PGD2; 1.0 µM, platelet aggregating factor (PAF; 0.3 µM and U44619 (a thromboxane analogue; 1.0 µM, and also endothelin-1 (ET-1; 0.5 µM induce synaptic potentiation in the guinea pig superior cervical ganglion (SCG, and compared their effects on synaptic transmission with those induced by a sensitizing antigen, ovalbumin (OVA; 10 µg/ml. The experiments were carried out on SCGs isolated from adult male guinea pigs (200-250 g actively sensitized to OVA, maintained in oxygenated Locke solution at 37oC. Synaptic potentiation was measured through alterations of the integral of the post-ganglionic compound action potential (CAP. All agents tested caused long-term (LTP; duration ³30 min or short-term (STP; <30 min potentiation of synaptic efficacy, as measured by the increase in the integral of the post-ganglionic CAP. The magnitude of mediator-induced potentiation was never the same as the antigen-induced long-term potentiation (A-LTP. The agent that best mimicked the antigen was PGD2, which induced a 75% increase in CAP integral for LTP (antigen: 94% and a 34% increase for STP (antigen: 91%. PAF-, U44619-, and ET-1-induced increases in CAP integral ranged for LTP from 34 to 47%, and for STP from 0 to 26%. These results suggest that the agents investigated may participate in the induction of A-LTP

  8. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is one of the fields that progresses rapidly and has a lot of success in neuroscience. The two major types of synaptie plasticity: long-term potentiation ( LTP and long-term depression (LTD are thought to be the cellular mochanisms of learning and memory. Recently, accumulating evidence suggests that, besides serving as a cellular model for learning and memory, the synaptic plasticity involves in other physiological or pathophysiological processes, such as the perception of pain and the regulation of cardiovascular system. This minireview will focus on the relationship between synaptic plasticity and nociception.

  9. Retinal input to efferent target amacrine cells in the avian retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Sarah H.; Azizi, Nason; Weller, Cynthia; Wilson, Martin

    2012-01-01

    The bird visual system includes a substantial projection, of unknown function, from a midbrain nucleus to the contralateral retina. Every centrifugal, or efferent, neuron originating in the midbrain nucleus makes synaptic contact with the soma of a single, unique amacrine cell, the target cell (TC). By labeling efferent neurons in the midbrain we have been able to identify their terminals in retinal slices and make patch clamp recordings from TCs. TCs generate Na+ based action potentials triggered by spontaneous EPSPs originating from multiple classes of presynaptic neurons. Exogenously applied glutamate elicited inward currents having the mixed pharmacology of NMDA, kainate and inward rectifying AMPA receptors. Exogenously applied GABA elicited currents entirely suppressed by GABAzine, and therefore mediated by GABAA receptors. Immunohistochemistry showed the vesicular glutamate transporter, vGluT2, to be present in the characteristic synaptic boutons of efferent terminals, whereas the GABA synthetic enzyme, GAD, was present in much smaller processes of intrinsic retinal neurons. Extracellular recording showed that exogenously applied GABA was directly excitatory to TCs and, consistent with this, NKCC, the Cl− transporter often associated with excitatory GABAergic synapses, was identified in TCs by antibody staining. The presence of excitatory retinal input to TCs implies that TCs are not merely slaves to their midbrain input; instead, their output reflects local retinal activity and descending input from the midbrain. PMID:20650017

  10. Tourette syndrome and excitatory substances: is there a connection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Li-Ping; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Li-Ping; Zhao, Jian-Bo; Lu, Jin-Fang; Liu, Qun; Wang, Hang-Yan

    2011-05-01

    The objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between excitatory substances by testing the urine in children with Tourette syndrome (TS). We performed a control study involving 44 patients with TS and 44 normal children by investigating the children's daily eating habits. We used the gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer from Agilent. Substances for detection included 197 excitatory substances prohibited by the International Olympic Committee and other substances with similar chemical structures or biological functions for urine samples. Forty-four patients who did not take any drugs in the past 2 weeks enrolled in the study. The positive rate in the experiment group was three cases, while it was negative in the control group. The level of 1-testosterone increased in one extremely severe TS patient who ate large amounts of puffed food and drank an average of 350 ml of cola per day. Cathine and other substances with similar chemical constitution or similar biological effects increased in one severe TS patient who ate bags of instant noodles daily, according to the high score of the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale. An increase in ephedrine type, testosterone, and stimulants may be related to the pathogenesis of TS. Unhealthy food possibly causes TS. The relationship between excitatory substances and TS needs to be explored with the goal of providing more information on diagnosing and treating TS.

  11. MAGUKs: multifaceted synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Sehoon; Levy, Jon M; Nicoll, Roger A; Roche, Katherine W

    2017-04-01

    The PSD-95 family of proteins, known as MAGUKs, have long been recognized to be central building blocks of the PSD. They are categorized as scaffolding proteins, which link surface-expressed receptors to the intracellular signaling molecules. Although the four members of the PSD-95 family (PSD-95, PSD-93, SAP102, and SAP97) have many shared roles in regulating synaptic function, recent studies have begun to delineate specific binding partners and roles in plasticity. In the current review, we will highlight the conserved and unique roles of these proteins. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Signaling in large-scale neural networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)<