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Sample records for excitatory synapse organization

  1. ARHGAP12 functions as a developmental brake on excitatory synapse function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ba, W.; Selten, M.M.; van der Raadt, J.; van Veen, H.; Li, L.L.; Benevento, M.; Oudakker, A.R.; Lasabuda, R.S.E.; Letteboer, S.J.; Roepman, R.; van Wezel, Richard Jack Anton; Courtney, M.J.; van Bokhoven, H.; Nadif Kasri, N.

    2016-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms that promote excitatory synapse development have been extensively studied. However, the molecular events preventing precocious excitatory synapse development so that synapses form at the correct time and place are less well understood. Here, we report the functional

  2. Presynaptic LRP4 promotes synapse number and function of excitatory CNS neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosca, Timothy J; Luginbuhl, David J; Wang, Irving E; Luo, Liqun

    2017-06-13

    Precise coordination of synaptic connections ensures proper information flow within circuits. The activity of presynaptic organizing molecules signaling to downstream pathways is essential for such coordination, though such entities remain incompletely known. We show that LRP4, a conserved transmembrane protein known for its postsynaptic roles, functions presynaptically as an organizing molecule. In the Drosophila brain, LRP4 localizes to the nerve terminals at or near active zones. Loss of presynaptic LRP4 reduces excitatory (not inhibitory) synapse number, impairs active zone architecture, and abolishes olfactory attraction - the latter of which can be suppressed by reducing presynaptic GABA B receptors. LRP4 overexpression increases synapse number in excitatory and inhibitory neurons, suggesting an instructive role and a common downstream synapse addition pathway. Mechanistically, LRP4 functions via the conserved kinase SRPK79D to ensure normal synapse number and behavior. This highlights a presynaptic function for LRP4, enabling deeper understanding of how synapse organization is coordinated.

  3. Age-related changes in cerebellar and hypothalamic function accompany non-microglial immune gene expression, altered synapse organization, and excitatory amino acid neurotransmission deficits.

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    Bonasera, Stephen J; Arikkath, Jyothi; Boska, Michael D; Chaudoin, Tammy R; DeKorver, Nicholas W; Goulding, Evan H; Hoke, Traci A; Mojtahedzedah, Vahid; Reyelts, Crystal D; Sajja, Balasrinivasa; Schenk, A Katrin; Tecott, Laurence H; Volden, Tiffany A

    2016-09-20

    We describe age-related molecular and neuronal changes that disrupt mobility or energy balance based on brain region and genetic background. Compared to young mice, aged C57BL/6 mice exhibit marked locomotor (but not energy balance) impairments. In contrast, aged BALB mice exhibit marked energy balance (but not locomotor) impairments. Age-related changes in cerebellar or hypothalamic gene expression accompany these phenotypes. Aging evokes upregulation of immune pattern recognition receptors and cell adhesion molecules. However, these changes do not localize to microglia, the major CNS immunocyte. Consistent with a neuronal role, there is a marked age-related increase in excitatory synapses over the cerebellum and hypothalamus. Functional imaging of these regions is consistent with age-related synaptic impairments. These studies suggest that aging reactivates a developmental program employed during embryogenesis where immune molecules guide synapse formation and pruning. Renewed activity in this program may disrupt excitatory neurotransmission, causing significant behavioral deficits.

  4. The Role of TSC1 in the Formation and Maintenance of Excitatory Synapses

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sabatini, Bernardo L

    2005-01-01

    .... Functional analysis reveals these morphological changes are accompanied by perturbation of electrophysiological properties, including changes in strength and glutamate receptor composition of excitatory synapses...

  5. ARHGAP12 Functions as a Developmental Brake on Excitatory Synapse Function

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    W. Ba

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The molecular mechanisms that promote excitatory synapse development have been extensively studied. However, the molecular events preventing precocious excitatory synapse development so that synapses form at the correct time and place are less well understood. Here, we report the functional characterization of ARHGAP12, a previously uncharacterized Rho GTPase-activating protein (RhoGAP in the brain. ARHGAP12 is specifically expressed in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, where it localizes to the postsynaptic compartment of excitatory synapses. ARHGAP12 negatively controls spine size via its RhoGAP activity and promotes, by interacting with CIP4, postsynaptic AMPA receptor endocytosis. Arhgap12 knockdown results in precocious maturation of excitatory synapses, as indicated by a reduction in the proportion of silent synapses. Collectively, our data show that ARHGAP12 is a synaptic RhoGAP that regulates excitatory synaptic structure and function during development.

  6. 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.

  7. Role of mental retardation-associated dystrophin-gene product Dp71 in excitatory synapse organization, synaptic plasticity and behavioral functions.

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    Fatma Daoud

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD is caused by deficient expression of the cytoskeletal protein, dystrophin. One third of DMD patients also have mental retardation (MR, likely due to mutations preventing expression of dystrophin and other brain products of the DMD gene expressed from distinct internal promoters. Loss of Dp71, the major DMD-gene product in brain, is thought to contribute to the severity of MR; however, the specific function of Dp71 is poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Complementary approaches were used to explore the role of Dp71 in neuronal function and identify mechanisms by which Dp71 loss may impair neuronal and cognitive functions. Besides the normal expression of Dp71 in a subpopulation of astrocytes, we found that a pool of Dp71 colocalizes with synaptic proteins in cultured neurons and is expressed in synaptic subcellular fractions in adult brains. We report that Dp71-associated protein complexes interact with specialized modular scaffolds of proteins that cluster glutamate receptors and organize signaling in postsynaptic densities. We then undertook the first functional examination of the brain and cognitive alterations in the Dp71-null mice. We found that these mice display abnormal synapse organization and maturation in vitro, altered synapse density in the adult brain, enhanced glutamatergic transmission and reduced synaptic plasticity in CA1 hippocampus. Dp71-null mice show selective behavioral disturbances characterized by reduced exploratory and novelty-seeking behavior, mild retention deficits in inhibitory avoidance, and impairments in spatial learning and memory. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results suggest that Dp71 expression in neurons play a regulatory role in glutamatergic synapse organization and function, which provides a new mechanism by which inactivation of Dp71 in association with that of other DMD-gene products may lead to increased severity of MR.

  8. N-cofilin can compensate for the loss of ADF in excitatory synapses.

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    Görlich, Andreas; Wolf, Michael; Zimmermann, Anika-Maria; Gurniak, Christine B; Al Banchaabouchi, Mumna; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Witke, Walter; Friauf, Eckhard; Rust, Marco B

    2011-01-01

    Actin plays important roles in a number of synaptic processes, including synaptic vesicle organization and exocytosis, mobility of postsynaptic receptors, and synaptic plasticity. However, little is known about the mechanisms that control actin at synapses. Actin dynamics crucially depend on LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1) that controls the activity of the actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family. While analyses of mouse mutants revealed the importance of LIMK1 for both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms, the ADF/cofilin family member n-cofilin appears to be relevant merely for postsynaptic plasticity, and not for presynaptic physiology. By means of immunogold electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry, we here demonstrate the presence of ADF (actin depolymerizing factor), a close homolog of n-cofilin, in excitatory synapses, where it is particularly enriched in presynaptic terminals. Surprisingly, genetic ablation of ADF in mice had no adverse effects on synapse structure or density as assessed by electron microscopy and by the morphological analysis of Golgi-stained hippocampal pyramidal cells. Moreover, a series of electrophysiological recordings in acute hippocampal slices revealed that presynaptic recruitment and exocytosis of synaptic vesicles as well as postsynaptic plasticity were unchanged in ADF mutant mice. The lack of synaptic defects may be explained by the elevated n-cofilin levels observed in synaptic structures of ADF mutants. Indeed, synaptic actin regulation was impaired in compound mutants lacking both ADF and n-cofilin, but not in ADF single mutants. From our results we conclude that n-cofilin can compensate for the loss of ADF in excitatory synapses. Further, our data suggest that ADF and n-cofilin cooperate in controlling synaptic actin content.

  9. N-cofilin can compensate for the loss of ADF in excitatory synapses.

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    Andreas Görlich

    Full Text Available Actin plays important roles in a number of synaptic processes, including synaptic vesicle organization and exocytosis, mobility of postsynaptic receptors, and synaptic plasticity. However, little is known about the mechanisms that control actin at synapses. Actin dynamics crucially depend on LIM kinase 1 (LIMK1 that controls the activity of the actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family. While analyses of mouse mutants revealed the importance of LIMK1 for both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms, the ADF/cofilin family member n-cofilin appears to be relevant merely for postsynaptic plasticity, and not for presynaptic physiology. By means of immunogold electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry, we here demonstrate the presence of ADF (actin depolymerizing factor, a close homolog of n-cofilin, in excitatory synapses, where it is particularly enriched in presynaptic terminals. Surprisingly, genetic ablation of ADF in mice had no adverse effects on synapse structure or density as assessed by electron microscopy and by the morphological analysis of Golgi-stained hippocampal pyramidal cells. Moreover, a series of electrophysiological recordings in acute hippocampal slices revealed that presynaptic recruitment and exocytosis of synaptic vesicles as well as postsynaptic plasticity were unchanged in ADF mutant mice. The lack of synaptic defects may be explained by the elevated n-cofilin levels observed in synaptic structures of ADF mutants. Indeed, synaptic actin regulation was impaired in compound mutants lacking both ADF and n-cofilin, but not in ADF single mutants. From our results we conclude that n-cofilin can compensate for the loss of ADF in excitatory synapses. Further, our data suggest that ADF and n-cofilin cooperate in controlling synaptic actin content.

  10. 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.

  11. Novel functions for ADF/cofilin in excitatory synapses - lessons from gene-targeted mice.

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    Rust, Marco B

    2015-01-01

    Actin filaments (F-actin) are the major structural component of excitatory synapses. In excitatory synapses, F-actin is enriched in presynaptic terminals and in postsynaptic dendritic spines, and actin dynamics - the spatiotemporally controlled assembly and disassembly of F-actin - have been implicated in pre- and postsynaptic physiology, additionally to their function in synapse morphology. Hence, actin binding proteins that control actin dynamics have moved into the focus as regulators of synapse morphology and physiology. Actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family are important regulators of actin dynamics, and several recent studies highlighted the relevance of cofilin 1 for dendritic spine morphology, trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors, and synaptic plasticity. Conversely, almost nothing was known about the synaptic function of ADF, a second ADF/cofilin family member present at excitatory synapses, and it remained unknown whether ADF/cofilin is relevant for presynaptic physiology. To comprehensively characterize the synaptic function of ADF/cofilin we made use of mutant mice lacking either ADF or cofilin 1 or both proteins. Our analysis revealed presynaptic defects (altered distribution and enhanced exocytosis of synaptic vesicles) and behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in double mutants that were not present in single mutants. Hence, by exploiting gene-targeted mice, we demonstrated the relevance of ADF for excitatory synapses, and we unraveled novel functions for ADF/cofilin in presynaptic physiology and behavior.

  12. Model of an excitatory synapse based on stochastic processes.

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    L'Espérance, Pierre-Yves; Labib, Richard

    2013-09-01

    We present a mathematical model of a biological synapse based on stochastic processes to establish the temporal behavior of the postsynaptic potential following a quantal synaptic transmission. This potential form is the basis of the neural code. We suppose that the release of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft follows a Poisson process, and that they diffuse according to integrated Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes in 3-D with random initial positions and velocities. The diffusion occurs in an isotropic environment between two infinite parallel planes representing the pre- and postsynaptic membrane. We state that the presynaptic membrane is perfectly reflecting and that the other is perfectly absorbing. The activation of the receptors polarizes the postsynaptic membrane according to a parallel RC circuit scheme. We present the results obtained by simulations according to a Gillespie algorithm and we show that our model exhibits realistic postsynaptic behaviors from a simple quantal occurrence.

  13. Reelin: Neurodevelopmental Architect and Homeostatic Regulator of Excitatory Synapses.

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    Wasser, Catherine R; Herz, Joachim

    2017-01-27

    Over half a century ago, D. S. Falconer first reported a mouse with a reeling gate. Four decades later, the Reln gene was isolated and identified as the cause of the reeler phenotype. Initial studies found that loss of Reelin, a large, secreted glycoprotein encoded by the Reln gene, results in abnormal neuronal layering throughout several regions of the brain. In the years since, the known functions of Reelin signaling in the brain have expanded to include multiple postdevelopmental neuromodulatory roles, revealing an ever increasing body of evidence to suggest that Reelin signaling is a critical player in the modulation of synaptic function. In writing this review, we intend to highlight the most fundamental aspects of Reelin signaling and integrate how these various neuromodulatory effects shape and protect synapses. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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

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    El-Husseini Alaa

    2005-03-01

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

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

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

    2016-06-02

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

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

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    Malgorzata Jasinska

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

  17. Cerebellar Shank2 Regulates Excitatory Synapse Density, Motor Coordination, and Specific Repetitive and Anxiety-Like Behaviors.

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    Ha, Seungmin; Lee, Dongwon; Cho, Yi Sul; Chung, Changuk; Yoo, Ye-Eun; Kim, Jihye; Lee, Jiseok; Kim, Woohyun; Kim, Hyosang; Bae, Yong Chul; Tanaka-Yamamoto, Keiko; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-11-30

    Shank2 is a multidomain scaffolding protein implicated in the structural and functional coordination of multiprotein complexes at excitatory postsynaptic sites as well as in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders. While Shank2 is strongly expressed in the cerebellum, whether Shank2 regulates cerebellar excitatory synapses, or contributes to the behavioral abnormalities observed in Shank2-/- mice, remains unexplored. Here we show that Shank2-/- mice show reduced excitatory synapse density in cerebellar Purkinje cells in association with reduced levels of excitatory postsynaptic proteins, including GluD2 and PSD-93, and impaired motor coordination in the Erasmus test. Shank2 deletion restricted to Purkinje cells (Pcp2-Cre;Shank2fl/fl mice) leads to similar reductions in excitatory synapse density, synaptic protein levels, and motor coordination. Pcp2-Cre;Shank2fl/fl mice do not recapitulate autistic-like behaviors observed in Shank2-/- mice, such as social interaction deficits, altered ultrasonic vocalizations, repetitive behaviors, and hyperactivity. However, Pcp2-Cre;Shank2fl/fl mice display enhanced repetitive behavior in the hole-board test and anxiety-like behavior in the light-dark test, which are not observed in Shank2-/- mice. These results implicate Shank2 in the regulation of cerebellar excitatory synapse density, motor coordination, and specific repetitive and anxiety-like behaviors. The postsynaptic side of excitatory synapses contains multiprotein complexes, termed the postsynaptic density, which contains receptors, scaffolding/adaptor proteins, and signaling molecules. Shank2 is an excitatory postsynaptic scaffolding protein implicated in the formation and functional coordination of the postsynaptic density and has been linked to autism spectrum disorders. Using Shank2-null mice and Shank2-conditional knock-out mice with a gene deletion restricted to cerebellar Purkinje cells, we explored functions of Shank2 in the cerebellum. We

  18. Splicing-Dependent Trans-synaptic SALM3–LAR-RPTP Interactions Regulate Excitatory Synapse Development and Locomotion

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    Yan Li

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate diverse aspects of synapse development and plasticity. SALM3 is a PSD-95-interacting synaptic adhesion molecule known to induce presynaptic differentiation in contacting axons, but little is known about its presynaptic receptors and in vivo functions. Here, we identify an interaction between SALM3 and LAR family receptor protein tyrosine phosphatases (LAR-RPTPs that requires the mini-exon B splice insert in LAR-RPTPs. In addition, SALM3-dependent presynaptic differentiation requires all three types of LAR-RPTPs. SALM3 mutant (Salm3−/− mice display markedly reduced excitatory synapse number but normal synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal CA1 region. Salm3−/− mice exhibit hypoactivity in both novel and familiar environments but perform normally in learning and memory tests administered. These results suggest that SALM3 regulates excitatory synapse development and locomotion behavior.

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

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    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.

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

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    Shapiro-Reznik, Mika; Jilg, Anje; Lerner, Hadas; Earnest, David J; Zisapel, Nava

    2012-01-01

    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 scaffolding proteins

  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. Organic electronics: Battery-like artificial synapses

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    Yang, J. Joshua; Xia, Qiangfei

    2017-04-01

    Borrowing the operating principles of a battery, a three-terminal organic switch has been developed on a flexible plastic substrate. The device consumes very little power and can be used as an artificial synapse for brain-inspired computing.

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

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

    2009-12-01

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

  4. High-Throughput Genetic Screen for Synaptogenic Factors: Identification of LRP6 as Critical for Excitatory Synapse Development

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    Kamal Sharma

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Genetic screens in invertebrates have discovered many synaptogenic genes and pathways. However, similar genetic studies have not been possible in mammals. We have optimized an automated high-throughput platform that employs automated liquid handling and imaging of primary mammalian neurons. Using this platform, we have screened 3,200 shRNAs targeting 800 proteins. One of the hits identified was LRP6, a coreceptor for canonical Wnt ligands. LRP6 regulates excitatory synaptogenesis and is selectively localized to excitatory synapses. In vivo knockdown of LRP6 leads to a reduction in the number of functional synapses. Moreover, we show that the canonical Wnt ligand, Wnt8A, promotes synaptogenesis via LRP6. These results provide a proof of principle for using a high-content approach to screen for synaptogenic factors in the mammalian nervous system and identify and characterize a Wnt ligand receptor complex that is critical for the development of functional synapses in vivo.

  5. Differential changes in thalamic and cortical excitatory synapses onto striatal spiny projection neurons in a Huntington disease mouse model.

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    Kolodziejczyk, Karolina; Raymond, Lynn A

    2016-02-01

    Huntington disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder caused by CAG repeat expansion in the gene encoding huntingtin, predominantly affects the striatum, especially the spiny projection neurons (SPN). The striatum receives excitatory input from cortex and thalamus, and the role of the former has been well-studied in HD. Here, we report that mutated huntingtin alters function of thalamostriatal connections. We used a novel thalamostriatal (T-S) coculture and an established corticostriatal (C-S) coculture, generated from YAC128 HD and WT (FVB/NJ background strain) mice, to investigate excitatory neurotransmission onto striatal SPN. SPN in T-S coculture from WT mice showed similar mini-excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency and amplitude as in C-S coculture; however, both the frequency and amplitude were significantly reduced in YAC128 T-S coculture. Further investigation in T-S coculture showed similar excitatory synapse density in WT and YAC128 SPN dendrites by immunostaining, suggesting changes in total dendritic length or probability of release as possible explanations for mEPSC frequency changes. Synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) current was similar, but extrasynaptic current, associated with cell death signaling, was enhanced in YAC128 SPN in T-S coculture. Employing optical stimulation of cortical versus thalamic afferents and recording from striatal SPN in brain slice, we found increased glutamate release probability and reduced AMPAR/NMDAR current ratios in thalamostriatal synapses, most prominently in YAC128. Enhanced extrasynaptic NMDAR current in YAC128 SPN was apparent with both cortical and thalamic stimulation. We conclude that thalamic afferents to the striatum are affected early, prior to an overt HD phenotype; however, changes in NMDAR localization in SPN are independent of the source of glutamatergic input. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Short-term high-fat diet primes excitatory synapses for long-term depression in orexin neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linehan, Victoria; Fang, Lisa Z; Hirasawa, Michiru

    2018-01-15

    High-fat diet consumption is a major cause of obesity. Orexin neurons are known to be activated by a high-fat diet and in turn promote further consumption of a high-fat diet. Our study shows that excitatory synapses to orexin neurons become amenable to long-term depression (LTD) after 1 week of high-fat diet feeding. However, this effect reverses after 4 weeks of a high-fat diet. This LTD may be a homeostatic response to a high-fat diet to curb the activity of orexin neurons and hence caloric consumption. Adaptation seen after prolonged high-fat diet intake may contribute to the development of obesity. Overconsumption of high-fat diets is one of the strongest contributing factors to the rise of obesity rates. Orexin neurons are known to be activated by a palatable high-fat diet and mediate the activation of the mesolimbic reward pathway, resulting in further food intake. While short-term exposure to a high-fat diet is known to induce synaptic plasticity within the mesolimbic pathway, it is unknown if such changes occur in orexin neurons. To investigate this, 3-week-old male rats were fed a palatable high-fat western diet (WD) or control chow for 1 week and then in vitro patch clamp recording was performed. In the WD condition, an activity-dependent long-term depression (LTD) of excitatory synapses was observed in orexin neurons, but not in chow controls. This LTD was presynaptic and depended on postsynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) and retrograde endocannabinoid signalling. WD also increased extracellular glutamate levels, suggesting that glutamate spillover and subsequent activation of perisynaptic mGluR5 may occur more readily in the WD condition. In support of this, pharmacological inhibition of glutamate uptake was sufficient to prime chow control synapses to undergo a presynaptic LTD. Interestingly, these WD effects are transient, as extracellular glutamate levels were similar to controls and LTD was no longer observed in orexin neurons

  8. SYNGAP1 links the maturation rate of excitatory synapses to the duration of critical-period synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, James P; Ozkan, Emin D; Aceti, Massimiliano; Miller, Courtney A; Rumbaugh, Gavin

    2013-06-19

    Critical periods of developmental plasticity contribute to the refinement of neural connections that broadly shape brain development. These windows of plasticity are thought to be important for the maturation of perception, language, and cognition. Synaptic properties in cortical regions that underlie critical periods influence the onset and duration of windows, although it remains unclear how mechanisms that shape synapse development alter critical-period properties. In this study, we demonstrate that inactivation of a single copy of syngap1, which causes a surprisingly common form of sporadic, non-syndromic intellectual disability with autism in humans, induced widespread early functional maturation of excitatory connections in the mouse neocortex. This accelerated functional maturation was observed across distinct areas and layers of neocortex and directly influenced the duration of a critical-period synaptic plasticity associated with experience-dependent refinement of cortical maps. These studies support the idea that genetic control over synapse maturation influences the duration of critical-period plasticity windows. These data also suggest that critical-period duration links synapse maturation rates to the development of intellectual ability.

  9. Plasticity of Cortical Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25897875

  10. Morphological changes associated with the genesis and development of an excitatory glutemergic synapse: An integrated framework model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkateswaran Nagarajan

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The genesis of an excitatory synapse has its inception when a dendritic filopodium makes a tactile contact with a presynaptic specialisation (bouton. The subsequent maturation of the synapse takes place via a series of interrelated biochemical and biophysical signalling pathways which controls the actin polymerisation in the presynaptic and the postsynaptic sites. Although individual models of many of these signalling transductions have been proposed, a holistic model integrating the various signalling pathways to the morphological plasticity associated with the genesis and development of synapses has not. In this poster an attempt has been made towards establishing a framework for an integrated model such as the one aforementioned, encompassing several signalling pathways which control the morphology and the efficacy of the synapse. Predominant pathways include those triggered by NMDA and AMPA receptors, Trkb-BDNF, Integrin and Epherin. Also, steps towards a model that elucidates the change in shape of the synapse carried out by zonal actin polymerisation (ZAP governed by the "wastage" of neurotransmitters during exo cum endocytosis processes and the assimilation of the postsynaptic density (PSD and cell adhesion molecules with emphasis on Neurexin-Neuriligin, have been explored. The cannabinoid receptors in the PAZ have extracellular lipophilic domains. Endocannabinoid receptors are triggered by the retrograde signalling cues which negatively affect the cAMP dependent mechanisms. Apart from this, autoreceptors also pilot a feedback mechanism via secondary messengers with Ca 2+ ion concentration and neurotransmitter concentration in the synaptic cleft as its stakeholders. Feedback signals of autoreceptors which functions in accordance to “Lock and Key Mechanism” plays a vital role in fine-tuning the plasticity of the synapse and in controlling the presynaptic release probability by invoking PKA dependent pathways. In a future continuation

  11. Chemosensory organs as models of neuronal synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaham, Shai

    2010-03-01

    Neuronal synapses are important microstructures that underlie complex cognitive capacities. Recent studies, primarily in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, have revealed surprising parallels between these synapses and the 'chemosensory synapses' that reside at the tips of chemosensory cells that respond to environmental stimuli. Similarities in the structures, mechanisms of action and specific molecules found at these sites extend to the presynaptic, postsynaptic and glial entities composing both synapse types. In this article I propose that chemosensory synapses may serve as useful models of neuronal synapses, and consider the possibility that the two synapse types derive from a common ancestral structure.

  12. Rapid plasticity at inhibitory and excitatory synapses in the hippocampus induced by ictal epileptiform discharges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopantsev, Valeri; Both, Martin; Draguhn, Andreas

    2009-03-01

    Epileptic seizures can induce pathological processes of plasticity in the brain that tend to promote the generation of further seizures. However, the immediate impact of epileptic seizures on cellular excitability remains poorly understood. In order to unravel such early mechanisms of epilepsy-induced plasticity, we studied synaptic transmission before and shortly after three ictal discharges induced by transient elevation of extracellular K(+) in mouse hippocampal slices. Discharges were initiated in the CA3 region and propagated via the Schaffer collaterals into CA1 where they were associated with sustained membrane depolarization and bursts of action potentials in CA1 pyramidal cells. Subsequently, discharges were followed by long-term potentiation (LTP) of Schaffer collateral-evoked field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs) in the CA1. The ability to generate epileptiform activity in response to repetitive stimulation was enhanced during LTP. Changes in both inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission contributed to LTP in CA1 pyramidal cells. Discharges reduced gamma-aminobutyric acid-A receptor-mediated hyperpolarizing inhibitory post-synaptic potentials by shifting their reversal potentials in a positive direction. At the same time, the amplitudes of Schaffer collateral-evoked RS-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor-mediated EPSPs and action potential-independent miniature EPSPs were enhanced. However, N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor-mediated EPSPs remained unchanged. Paired-pulse stimulation revealed a reduced probability of glutamate release. Together, these changes in synaptic transmission produce a sustained increase in hippocampal excitability. We conclude that a few seizure-like ictal episodes are sufficient to cause fast and lasting changes in the excitation/inhibition balance in hippocampal networks, and therefore may contribute to early phases of progressive epileptogenesis.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mind the GAPs (and GEFs)! Rho GTPase signaling in excitatory synapse development and intellectual disability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ba, W.

    2017-01-01

    The human brain is one of the most complex and fascinating organs, which governs fundamental processes including learning and memory. It is now widely believed that synaptic plasticity, the ability of the brain to modify the efficacy of neuronal communication in response to experience, is the

  16. N-cadherin regulates molecular organization of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic circuits in adult hippocampus in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikitczuk, Jessica S; Patil, Shekhar B; Matikainen-Ankney, Bridget A; Scarpa, Joseph; Shapiro, Matthew L; Benson, Deanna L; Huntley, George W

    2014-08-01

    N-Cadherin and β-catenin form a transsynaptic adhesion complex required for spine and synapse development. In adulthood, N-cadherin mediates persistent synaptic plasticity, but whether the role of N-cadherin at mature synapses is similar to that at developing synapses is unclear. To address this, we conditionally ablated N-cadherin from excitatory forebrain synapses in mice starting in late postnatal life and examined hippocampal structure and function in adulthood. In the absence of N-cadherin, β-catenin levels were reduced, but numbers of excitatory synapses were unchanged, and there was no impact on number or shape of dendrites or spines. However, the composition of synaptic molecules was altered. Levels of GluA1 and its scaffolding protein PSD95 were diminished and the density of immunolabeled puncta was decreased, without effects on other glutamate receptors and their scaffolding proteins. Additionally, loss of N-cadherin at excitatory synapses triggered increases in the density of markers for inhibitory synapses and decreased severity of hippocampal seizures. Finally, adult mutant mice were profoundly impaired in hippocampal-dependent memory for spatial episodes. These results demonstrate a novel function for the N-cadherin/β-catenin complex in regulating ionotropic receptor composition of excitatory synapses, an appropriate balance of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic proteins and the maintenance of neural circuitry necessary to generate flexible yet persistent cognitive and synaptic function. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Genetic rescue of CB1 receptors on medium spiny neurons prevents loss of excitatory striatal synapses but not motor impairment in HD mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naydenov, Alipi V; Sepers, Marja D; Swinney, Katie; Raymond, Lynn A; Palmiter, Richard D; Stella, Nephi

    2014-11-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by an expanded polyglutamine repeat in huntingtin protein that disrupts synaptic function in specific neuronal populations and results in characteristic motor, cognitive and affective deficits. Histopathological hallmarks observed in both HD patients and genetic mouse models include the reduced expression of synaptic proteins, reduced medium spiny neuron (MSN) dendritic spine density and decreased frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSCs). Early down-regulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor expression on MSN (CB1(MSN)) is thought to participate in HD pathogenesis. Here we present a cell-specific genetic rescue of CB1(MSN) in R6/2 mice and report that treatment prevents the reduction of excitatory synaptic markers in the striatum (synaptophysin, vGLUT1 and vGLUT2), of dendritic spine density on MSNs and of MSN sEPSCs, but does not prevent motor impairment. We conclude that loss of excitatory striatal synapses in HD mice is controlled by CB1(MSN) and can be uncoupled from the motor phenotype. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Presynaptic development at L4 to l2/3 excitatory synapses follows different time courses in visual and somatosensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheetham, Claire E J; Fox, Kevin

    2010-09-22

    Visual and somatosensory cortices exhibit profound experience-dependent plasticity during development and adulthood and are common model systems for probing the synaptic and molecular mechanisms of plasticity. However, comparisons between the two areas may be confounded by a lack of accurate information on their relative rates of development. In this study, we used whole-cell recording in acute brain slices to study synaptic development in mouse barrel and visual cortex. We found that short-term plasticity (STP) switched from strong depression at postnatal day (P)12 to weaker depression and facilitation in mature cortex. However, presynaptic maturation was delayed by ∼2 weeks at layer (L)4 to L2/3 excitatory synapses in visual cortex relative to barrel cortex. This developmental delay was pathway-specific; maturation of L2/3 to L2/3 synapses occurred over similar timescales in barrel and visual cortex. The developmental increase in the paired-pulse ratio to values greater than unity was mirrored by a developmental decrease in presynaptic release probability. Therefore, L4 to L2/3 excitatory synapses had lower release probabilities and showed greater short-term facilitation in barrel cortex than in visual cortex at P28. Postsynaptic mechanisms could not account for the delayed maturation of STP in visual cortex. These findings indicate that synaptic development is delayed in the L4 to L2/3 pathway in visual cortex, and emphasize the need to take into account the changes in synaptic properties that occur during development when comparing plasticity mechanisms in different cortical areas.

  20. Electrolyte-gated organic synapse transistor interfaced with neurons

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. SYNGAP1 Links the Maturation Rate of Excitatory Synapses to the Duration of Critical-Period Synaptic Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Clement, James P.; Ozkan, Emin D.; Aceti, Massimiliano; Miller, Courtney A.; Rumbaugh, Gavin

    2013-01-01

    Critical periods of developmental plasticity contribute to the refinement of neural connections that broadly shape brain development. These windows of plasticity are thought to be important for the maturation of perception, language, and cognition. Synaptic properties in cortical regions that underlie critical periods influence the onset and duration of windows, although it remains unclear how mechanisms that shape synapse development alter critical-period properties. In this study, we demons...

  2. Gephyrin, the enigmatic organizer at GABAergic synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tretter, Verena; Mukherjee, Jayanta; Maric, Hans-Michael

    2012-01-01

    GABA(A) receptors are clustered at synaptic sites to achieve a high density of postsynaptic receptors opposite the input axonal terminals. This allows for an efficient propagation of GABA mediated signals, which mostly result in neuronal inhibition. A key organizer for inhibitory synaptic receptors...

  3. Synapse Pathology in Psychiatric and Neurologic Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. van Spronsen (Myrrhe); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractInhibitory and excitatory synapses play a fundamental role in information processing in the brain. Excitatory synapses usually are situated on dendritic spines, small membrane protrusions that harbor glutamate receptors and postsynaptic density components and help transmit electrical

  4. Layer-Specific Organization of Local Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Connectivity in the Rat Presubiculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yangfan; Barreda Tomás, Federico J.; Klisch, Constantin; Vida, Imre

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The presubiculum is part of the parahippocampal spatial navigation system and contains head direction and grid cells upstream of the medial entorhinal cortex. This position within the parahippocampal cortex renders the presubiculum uniquely suited for analyzing the circuit requirements underlying the emergence of spatially tuned neuronal activity. To identify the local circuit properties, we analyzed the topology of synaptic connections between pyramidal cells and interneurons in all layers of the presubiculum by testing 4250 potential synaptic connections using multiple whole-cell recordings of up to 8 cells simultaneously. Network topology showed layer-specific organization of microcircuits consistent with the prevailing distinction of superficial and deep layers. While connections among pyramidal cells were almost absent in superficial layers, deep layers exhibited an excitatory connectivity of 3.9%. In contrast, synaptic connectivity for inhibition was higher in superficial layers though markedly lower than in other cortical areas. Finally, synaptic amplitudes of both excitatory and inhibitory connections showed log-normal distributions suggesting a nonrandom functional connectivity. In summary, our study provides new insights into the microcircuit organization of the presubiculum by revealing area- and layer-specific connectivity rules and sets new constraints for future models of the parahippocampal navigation system. PMID:28334142

  5. Gephyrin phosphorylation in the functional organization and plasticity of GABAergic synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola eZacchi

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Gephyrin is a multifunctional scaffold protein essential for the postsynaptic accumulation of inhibitory glycine and GABAA receptors at synaptic sites. The molecular events involved in gephyrin-dependent GABAA receptor clustering are still unclear. Evidence has been recently provided that gephyrin phosphorylation plays a key role in these processes. By impinging upon its post-synaptic scaffolding properties as well as its stability, gephyrin post-translational modifications have been shown to impact on the structural remodeling of GABAergic synapses leading to synaptic plasticity. In addition, not only gephyrin phosphorylation per se but also the subsequent phosphorylation-dependent recruitment of the chaperone molecule Pin1 represents an emerging mechanism to regulate GABAergic signaling. Extensively characterized as pivotal enzyme controlling cell proliferation and differentiation, the prolyl-isomerase activity of Pin1 has been shown to regulate protein synthesis necessary to sustain the late phase of long-term potentiation at excitatory synapses, thus suggesting its involvement at synaptic sites. In this review we will summarize the current state of knowledge on the signaling pathways responsible for gephyrin post-translational modifications. We will also outline future lines of research that might contribute to better unveil the molecular mechanisms by which gephyrin regulates synaptic plasticity processes at GABAergic synapses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-07

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

  8. Diffusion barriers constrain receptors at synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Renner

    Full Text Available The flux of neurotransmitter receptors in and out of synapses depends on receptor interaction with scaffolding molecules. However, the crowd of transmembrane proteins and the rich cytoskeletal environment may constitute obstacles to the diffusion of receptors within the synapse. To address this question, we studied the membrane diffusion of the γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor (GABA(AR subunits clustered (γ2 or not (α5 at inhibitory synapses in rat hippocampal dissociated neurons. Relative to the extrasynaptic region, γ2 and α5 showed reduced diffusion and increased confinement at both inhibitory and excitatory synapses but they dwelled for a short time at excitatory synapses. In contrast, γ2 was ~3-fold more confined and dwelled ~3-fold longer in inhibitory synapses than α5, indicating faster synaptic escape of α5. Furthermore, using a gephyrin dominant-negative approach, we showed that the increased residency time of γ2 at inhibitory synapses was due to receptor-scaffold interactions. As shown for GABA(AR, the excitatory glutamate receptor 2 subunit (GluA2 of the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR had lower mobility in both excitatory and inhibitory synapses but a higher residency time at excitatory synapses. Therefore barriers impose significant diffusion constraints onto receptors at synapses where they accumulate or not. Our data further reveal that the confinement and the dwell time but not the diffusion coefficient report on the synapse specific sorting, trapping and accumulation of receptors.

  9. The columnar and laminar organization of inhibitory connections to neocortical excitatory cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kätzel, Dennis; Zemelman, Boris V; Buetfering, Christina; Wölfel, Markus; Miesenböck, Gero

    2011-01-01

    The cytoarchitectonic similarities of different neocortical regions have given rise to the idea of 'canonical' connectivity between excitatory neurons of different layers within a column. It is unclear whether similarly general organizational principles also exist for inhibitory neocortical circuits. Here we delineate and compare local inhibitory-to-excitatory wiring patterns in all principal layers of primary motor (M1), somatosensory (S1) and visual (V1) cortex, using genetically targeted photostimulation in a mouse knock-in line that conditionally expresses channelrhodopsin-2 in GABAergic neurons. Inhibitory inputs to excitatory neurons derived largely from the same cortical layer within a three-column diameter. However, subsets of pyramidal cells in layers 2/3 and 5B received extensive translaminar inhibition. These neurons were prominent in V1, where they might correspond to complex cells, less numerous in barrel cortex and absent in M1. Although inhibitory connection patterns were stereotypical, the abundance of individual motifs varied between regions and cells, potentially reflecting functional specializations.

  10. Excitatory neurotransmitters in the tentacle flexor muscles responsible for space positioning of the snail olfactory organ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krajcs, N; Hernádi, L; Elekes, K; Kimura, S; Kiss, T

    2014-03-01

    Recently, three novel flexor muscles (M1, M2 and M3) in the posterior tentacles of the snail have been described, which are responsible for the patterned movements of the tentacles of the snail, Helix pomatia. In this study, we have demonstrated that the muscles received a complex innervation pattern via the peritentacular and olfactory nerves originating from different clusters of motoneurons of the cerebral ganglia. The innervating axons displayed a number of varicosities and established neuromuscular contacts of different ultrastructural forms. Contractions evoked by nerve stimulation could be mimicked by external acetylcholine (ACh) and glutamate (Glu), suggesting that ACh and Glu are excitatory transmitters at the neuromuscular contacts. Choline acetyltransferase and vesicular glutamate transporter immunolabeled axons innervating flexor muscles were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and in Western blot experiments. Nerve- and transmitter-evoked contractions were similarly attenuated by cholinergic and glutamatergic antagonists supporting the dual excitatory innervation. Dopamine (DA, 10⁻⁵ M) oppositely modulated thin (M1/M2) and thick (M3) muscle responses evoked by stimulation of the olfactory nerve, decreasing the contractions of the M1/M2 and increasing those of M3. In both cases, the modulation site was presynaptic. Serotonin (5-HT) at high concentration (10⁻⁵ M) increased the amplitude of both the nerve- and the ACh-evoked contractions in all muscles. The relaxation rate was facilitated suggesting pre- and postsynaptic site of action. Our data provided evidence for a DAergic and 5-HTergic modulation of cholinergic nerves innervating flexor muscles of the tentacles as well as the muscles itself. These effects of DA and 5-HT may contribute to the regulation of sophisticated movements of tentacle muscles lacking inhibitory innervation.

  11. Organization of binaural excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the inferior colliculus from the superior olive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loftus, William C; Bishop, Deborah C; Saint Marie, Richard L; Oliver, Douglas L

    2004-05-03

    The major excitatory, binaural inputs to the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC) are from two groups of neurons with different functions-the ipsilateral medial superior olive (MSO) and the contralateral lateral superior olive (LSO). A major inhibitory, binaural input emerges from glycinergic neurons in the ipsilateral LSO. To determine whether these inputs converge on the same postsynaptic targets in the ICC, two different anterograde tracers were injected in tonotopically matched areas of the MSO and the LSO on the opposite side in the same animal. The main findings were that the boutons from MSO axons terminated primarily in the central and caudal parts of the ICC laminae but that contralateral LSO terminals were concentrated more rostrally and on the ventral margins of the MSO inputs. In contrast, the ipsilateral LSO projection converged with the MSO inputs and was denser than the contralateral LSO projection. Consistent with this finding, retrograde transport experiments showed that the very low-frequency areas of the ICC with dense MSO inputs also received inputs from greater numbers of ipsilateral LSO neurons than from contralateral LSO neurons. The results suggest that different binaural pathways through the low-frequency ICC may be formed by the segregation of excitatory inputs to ICC from the MSO and the contralateral LSO. At the same time, the ipsilateral LSO is a major inhibitory influence in the target region of the MSO. These data support the concept that each frequency-band lamina in the ICC may comprise several functional modules with different combinations of inputs. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Correlations induced by depressing synapses in critically self-organized networks with quenched dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, João Guilherme Ferreira; Costa, Ariadne de Andrade; Copelli, Mauro; Kinouchi, Osame

    2017-04-01

    In a recent work, mean-field analysis and computer simulations were employed to analyze critical self-organization in networks of excitable cellular automata where randomly chosen synapses in the network were depressed after each spike (the so-called annealed dynamics). Calculations agree with simulations of the annealed version, showing that the nominal branching ratio σ converges to unity in the thermodynamic limit, as expected of a self-organized critical system. However, the question remains whether the same results apply to the biological case where only the synapses of firing neurons are depressed (the so-called quenched dynamics). We show that simulations of the quenched model yield significant deviations from σ =1 due to spatial correlations. However, the model is shown to be critical, as the largest eigenvalue of the synaptic matrix approaches unity in the thermodynamic limit, that is, λc=1 . We also study the finite size effects near the critical state as a function of the parameters of the synaptic dynamics.

  13. Microtubule-organizing center polarity and the immunological synapse: protein kinase C and beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan eHuse

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Cytoskeletal polarization is crucial for many aspects of immune function, ranging from neutrophil migration to the sampling of gut flora by intestinal dendritic cells. It also plays a key role during lymphocyte cell-cell interactions, the most conspicuous of which is perhaps the immunological synapse (IS formed between a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell (APC. IS formation is associated with the reorientation of the T cell’s microtubule-organizing center (MTOC to a position just beneath the cell-cell interface. This cytoskeletal remodeling event aligns secretory organelles inside the T cell with the IS, enabling the directional release of cytokines and cytolytic factors toward the APC. MTOC polarization is therefore crucial for maintaining the specificity of a T cell’s secretory and cytotoxic responses. It has been known for some time that T cell receptor (TCR stimulation activates the MTOC polarization response. It has been difficult, however, to identify the machinery that couples early TCR signaling to cytoskeletal remodeling. Over the past few years, considerable progress has been made in this area. This review will present an overview of recent advances, touching on both the mechanisms that drive MTOC polarization and the effector responses that require it. Particular attention will be paid to both novel and atypical members of the protein kinase C family, which are now known to play important roles in both the establishment and the maintenance of the polarized state.

  14. Self-Organization of Microcircuits in Networks of Spiking Neurons with Plastic Synapses.

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    Gabriel Koch Ocker

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The synaptic connectivity of cortical networks features an overrepresentation of certain wiring motifs compared to simple random-network models. This structure is shaped, in part, by synaptic plasticity that promotes or suppresses connections between neurons depending on their joint spiking activity. Frequently, theoretical studies focus on how feedforward inputs drive plasticity to create this network structure. We study the complementary scenario of self-organized structure in a recurrent network, with spike timing-dependent plasticity driven by spontaneous dynamics. We develop a self-consistent theory for the evolution of network structure by combining fast spiking covariance with a slow evolution of synaptic weights. Through a finite-size expansion of network dynamics we obtain a low-dimensional set of nonlinear differential equations for the evolution of two-synapse connectivity motifs. With this theory in hand, we explore how the form of the plasticity rule drives the evolution of microcircuits in cortical networks. When potentiation and depression are in approximate balance, synaptic dynamics depend on weighted divergent, convergent, and chain motifs. For additive, Hebbian STDP these motif interactions create instabilities in synaptic dynamics that either promote or suppress the initial network structure. Our work provides a consistent theoretical framework for studying how spiking activity in recurrent networks interacts with synaptic plasticity to determine network structure.

  15. TCR signalling network organization at the immunological synapses of murine regulatory T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ham, Marco; Teich, René; Philipsen, Lars; Niemz, Jana; Amsberg, Nicole; Wissing, Josef; Nimtz, Manfred; Gröbe, Lothar; Kliche, Stefanie; Thiel, Nadine; Klawonn, Frank; Hubo, Mario; Jonuleit, Helmut; Reichardt, Peter; Müller, Andreas J; Huehn, Jochen; Jänsch, Lothar

    2017-08-17

    Regulatory T (Treg) cells require T-cell receptor (TCR) signalling to exert their immunosuppressive activity, but the precise organization of the TCR signalling network compared to conventional T (Tconv) cells remains elusive. By using accurate mass spectrometry and multi-epitope ligand cartography (MELC) we characterized TCR signalling and recruitment of TCR signalling components to the immunological synapse (IS) in Treg cells and Tconv cells. With the exception of Themis which we detected in lower amounts in Treg cells, other major TCR signalling components were found equally abundant, however, their phosphorylation-status notably discriminates Treg cells from Tconv cells. Overall, this study identified 121 Treg cell-specific phosphorylations. Short-term triggering of T cell subsets via CD3 and CD28 widely harmonized these variations with the exception of eleven TCR signalling components that mainly regulate cytoskeleton dynamics and molecular transport. Accordingly, conjugation with B cells indeed caused variant cellular morphology and revealed a Treg cell-specific recruitment of TCR signalling components such as PKCθ, PLCγ1 and ZAP70 as well as B cell-derived CD86 into the IS. Together, results from this study support the existence of a Treg cell-specific IS and suggest Treg cell-specific cytoskeleton dynamics as a novel determinant for the unique functional properties of Treg cells. © 2017 The Authors. European Journal of Immunology published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Tuning afferent synapses of hippocampal interneurons by neuropeptide Y

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ledri, Marco; Sørensen, Andreas Toft; Erdelyi, Ferenc

    2011-01-01

    extrahippocampal afferents. Various excitatory and inhibitory afferent and efferent synapses of the hippocampal CCK basket cells express serotoninergic, cholinergic, cannabinoid, and benzodiazepine sensitive receptors, all contributing to their functional plasticity. We explored whether CCK basket cells...

  17. Altered Cortical Dynamics and Cognitive Function upon Haploinsufficiency of the Autism-Linked Excitatory Synaptic Suppressor MDGA2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Steven A; Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Chan, Allen W; Kishimoto, Yasushi; Murayama, Chiaki; Kurihara, Naokazu; Tada, Atsushi; Ge, Yuan; Lu, Hong; Yan, Ryan; LeDue, Jeffrey M; Matsumoto, Hirotaka; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Kirino, Yutaka; Matsuzaki, Fumio; Suzuki, Toshiharu; Murphy, Timothy H; Wang, Yu Tian; Yamamoto, Tohru; Craig, Ann Marie

    2016-09-07

    Mutations in a synaptic organizing pathway contribute to autism. Autism-associated mutations in MDGA2 (MAM domain containing glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor 2) are thought to reduce excitatory/inhibitory transmission. However, we show that mutation of Mdga2 elevates excitatory transmission, and that MDGA2 blocks neuroligin-1 interaction with neurexins and suppresses excitatory synapse development. Mdga2(+/-) mice, modeling autism mutations, demonstrated increased asymmetric synapse density, mEPSC frequency and amplitude, and altered LTP, with no change in measures of inhibitory synapses. Behavioral assays revealed an autism-like phenotype including stereotypy, aberrant social interactions, and impaired memory. In vivo voltage-sensitive dye imaging, facilitating comparison with fMRI studies in autism, revealed widespread increases in cortical spontaneous activity and intracortical functional connectivity. These results suggest that mutations in MDGA2 contribute to altered cortical processing through the dual disadvantages of elevated excitation and hyperconnectivity, and indicate that perturbations of the NRXN-NLGN pathway in either direction from the norm increase risk for autism. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Diversity of Spine Synapses in Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ya-Xian; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2016-01-01

    Here we examine the structure of the various types of spine synapses throughout the animal kingdom. Based on available evidence, we suggest that there are two major categories of spine synapses: invaginating and non-invaginating, with distributions that vary among different groups of animals. In the simplest living animals with definitive nerve cells and synapses, the cnidarians and ctenophores, most chemical synapses do not form spine synapses. But some cnidarians have invaginating spine synapses, especially in photoreceptor terminals of motile cnidarians with highly complex visual organs, and also in some mainly sessile cnidarians with rapid prey capture reflexes. This association of invaginating spine synapses with complex sensory inputs is retained in the evolution of higher animals in photoreceptor terminals and some mechanoreceptor synapses. In contrast to invaginating spine synapse, non-invaginating spine synapses have been described only in animals with bilateral symmetry, heads and brains, associated with greater complexity in neural connections. This is apparent already in the simplest bilaterians, the flatworms, which can have well-developed non-invaginating spine synapses in some cases. Non-invaginating spine synapses diversify in higher animal groups. We also discuss the functional advantages of having synapses on spines and more specifically, on invaginating spines. And finally we discuss pathologies associated with spine synapses, concentrating on those systems and diseases where invaginating spine synapses are involved. PMID:27230661

  19. Potentiation decay of synapses and length distributions of synfire chains self-organized in recurrent neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Aaron; Jin, Dezhe Z.

    2013-12-01

    Synfire chains are thought to underlie precisely timed sequences of spikes observed in various brain regions and across species. How they are formed is not understood. Here we analyze self-organization of synfire chains through the spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) of the synapses, axon remodeling, and potentiation decay of synaptic weights in networks of neurons driven by noisy external inputs and subject to dominant feedback inhibition. Potentiation decay is the gradual, activity-independent reduction of synaptic weights over time. We show that potentiation decay enables a dynamic and statistically stable network connectivity when neurons spike spontaneously. Periodic stimulation of a subset of neurons leads to formation of synfire chains through a random recruitment process, which terminates when the chain connects to itself and forms a loop. We demonstrate that chain length distributions depend on the potentiation decay. Fast potentiation decay leads to long chains with wide distributions, while slow potentiation decay leads to short chains with narrow distributions. We suggest that the potentiation decay, which corresponds to the decay of early long-term potentiation of synapses, is an important synaptic plasticity rule in regulating formation of neural circuity through STDP.

  20. Changes in rat hippocampal CA1 synapses following imipramine treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    of synapses) in subregions of the hippocampus by quantifying number of neurons and synapses. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with imipramine or saline (i.p.) daily for 14 days. Unbiased stereological methods were used to quantify the number of neurons and synapses. No differences in the volume...... and number of neurons of hippocampal subregions following imipramine treatment were found. However, the number and percentage of CA1 asymmetric spine synapses increased significantly and, conversely, the percentage of asymmetric shaft synapses significantly decreased in the imipramine treated group. Our...... results indicate that administration of imipramine for 14 days in normal rats could significantly increase the excitatory spine synapses, and change the relative distribution of spine and shaft synapses. We speculate that the present findings may be explained by the establishment of new synaptic...

  1. Cdk5-dependent phosphorylation of liprinα1 mediates neuronal activity-dependent synapse development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Huiqian; Lin, Xiaochen; Liang, Zhuoyi; Zhao, Teng; Du, Shengwang; Loy, Michael M T; Lai, Kwok-On; Fu, Amy K Y; Ip, Nancy Y

    2017-08-15

    The experience-dependent modulation of brain circuitry depends on dynamic changes in synaptic connections that are guided by neuronal activity. In particular, postsynaptic maturation requires changes in dendritic spine morphology, the targeting of postsynaptic proteins, and the insertion of synaptic neurotransmitter receptors. Thus, it is critical to understand how neuronal activity controls postsynaptic maturation. Here we report that the scaffold protein liprinα1 and its phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) are critical for the maturation of excitatory synapses through regulation of the synaptic localization of the major postsynaptic organizer postsynaptic density (PSD)-95. Whereas Cdk5 phosphorylates liprinα1 at Thr701, this phosphorylation decreases in neurons in response to neuronal activity. Blockade of liprinα1 phosphorylation enhances the structural and functional maturation of excitatory synapses. Nanoscale superresolution imaging reveals that inhibition of liprinα1 phosphorylation increases the colocalization of liprinα1 with PSD-95. Furthermore, disruption of liprinα1 phosphorylation by a small interfering peptide, siLIP, promotes the synaptic localization of PSD-95 and enhances synaptic strength in vivo. Our findings collectively demonstrate that the Cdk5-dependent phosphorylation of liprinα1 is important for the postsynaptic organization during activity-dependent synapse development.

  2. The Diversity of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

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    Yoshiyuki eKubota

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The most typical and well known inhibitory action in the cortical microcircuit is a strong inhibition on the target neuron by axo-somatic synapses. However, it has become clear that synaptic inhibition in the cortex is much more diverse and complicated. Firstly, at least ten or more inhibitory non-pyramidal cell subtypes engage in diverse inhibitory functions to produce the elaborate activity characteristic of the different cortical states. Each distinct non-pyramidal cell subtype has its own independent inhibitory function. Secondly, the inhibitory synapses innervate different neuronal domains, such as axons, spines, dendrites and soma, and their IPSP size is not uniform. Thus cortical inhibition is highly complex, with a wide variety of anatomical and physiological modes. Moreover, the functional significance of the various inhibitory synapse innervation styles and their unique structural dynamic behaviors differ from those of excitatory synapses. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the inhibitory mechanisms of the cortical microcircuit.

  3. The Biochemical Anatomy of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, Elizabeth A.; Zhang, Wenzhu; Selimi, Fekrije; Earnheart, John C.; Ślimak, Marta A.; Santos-Torres, Julio; Ibañez-Tallon, Ines; Aoki, Chiye; Chait, Brian T.; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2012-01-01

    Classical electron microscopic studies of the mammalian brain revealed two major classes of synapses, distinguished by the presence of a large postsynaptic density (PSD) exclusively at type 1, excitatory synapses. Biochemical studies of the PSD have established the paradigm of the synapse as a complex signal-processing machine that controls synaptic plasticity. We report here the results of a proteomic analysis of type 2, inhibitory synaptic complexes isolated by affinity purification from the cerebral cortex. We show that these synaptic complexes contain a variety of neurotransmitter receptors, neural cell-scaffolding and adhesion molecules, but that they are entirely lacking in cell signaling proteins. This fundamental distinction between the functions of type 1 and type 2 synapses in the nervous system has far reaching implications for models of synaptic plasticity, rapid adaptations in neural circuits, and homeostatic mechanisms controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the mature brain. PMID:22768092

  4. The integration of signalling and the spatial organization of the T cell synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremie eRossy

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Engagement of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR triggers signalling pathways that lead to T cell selection, differentiation and clonal expansion. Superimposed onto the biochemical network is a spatial organization that describes individual receptor molecules, dimers, oligomers and higher order structures. Here we review recent finding about TCR organization in naïve and memory T cells. A key question that has emerged is how antigen-TCR interactions encode spatial information to direct T cell activation and differentiation. Single molecule super-resolution microscopy may become an important tool in decoding receptor organization at the molecular level.

  5. Short-term synaptic plasticity at interneuronal synapses could sculpt rhythmic motor patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eJia

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The output of a neuronal network depends on the organization and functional properties of its component cells and synapses. While the characterization of synaptic properties has lagged cellular analyses, a potentially important aspect in rhythmically active networks is how network synapses affect, and are in turn affected by, network activity. This could lead to a potential circular interaction where short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is both influenced by and influences the network output. The analysis of synaptic plasticity in the lamprey locomotor network was extended here to characterize the short-term plasticity of connections between network interneurons and to try and address its potential network role. Paired recordings from identified interneurons in quiescent networks showed synapse-specific synaptic properties and plasticity that supported the presence of two hemisegmental groups that could influence bursting: depression in an excitatory interneuron group, and facilitation in an inhibitory feedback circuit. The influence of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity on network activity was investigated experimentally by changing Ringer Ca2+ levels, and in a simple computer model. A potential caveat of the experimental analyses was that changes in Ringer Ca2+ (and compensatory adjustments in Mg2+ in some cases could alter several other cellular and synaptic properties. Several of these properties were tested, and while there was some variability, these were not usually significantly affected by the Ringer changes. The experimental analyses suggested that depression of excitatory inputs had the strongest influence on the patterning of network activity. The simulation supported a role for this effect, and also suggested that the inhibitory facilitating group could modulate the influence of the excitatory synaptic depression. Short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has not generally been considered in spinal cord

  6. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Interneuronal Synapses Could Sculpt Rhythmic Motor Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

    The output of a neuronal network depends on the organization and functional properties of its component cells and synapses. While the characterization of synaptic properties has lagged cellular analyses, a potentially important aspect in rhythmically active networks is how network synapses affect, and are in turn affected by, network activity. This could lead to a potential circular interaction where short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is both influenced by and influences the network output. The analysis of synaptic plasticity in the lamprey locomotor network was extended here to characterize the short-term plasticity of connections between network interneurons and to try and address its potential network role. Paired recordings from identified interneurons in quiescent networks showed synapse-specific synaptic properties and plasticity that supported the presence of two hemisegmental groups that could influence bursting: depression in an excitatory interneuron group, and facilitation in an inhibitory feedback circuit. The influence of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity on network activity was investigated experimentally by changing Ringer Ca(2+) levels, and in a simple computer model. A potential caveat of the experimental analyses was that changes in Ringer Ca(2+) (and compensatory adjustments in Mg(2+) in some cases) could alter several other cellular and synaptic properties. Several of these properties were tested, and while there was some variability, these were not usually significantly affected by the Ringer changes. The experimental analyses suggested that depression of excitatory inputs had the strongest influence on the patterning of network activity. The simulation supported a role for this effect, and also suggested that the inhibitory facilitating group could modulate the influence of the excitatory synaptic depression. Short-term activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has not generally been considered in spinal cord models. These

  7. Optimal properties of analog perceptrons with excitatory weights.

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    Claudia Clopath

    Full Text Available The cerebellum is a brain structure which has been traditionally devoted to supervised learning. According to this theory, plasticity at the Parallel Fiber (PF to Purkinje Cell (PC synapses is guided by the Climbing fibers (CF, which encode an 'error signal'. Purkinje cells have thus been modeled as perceptrons, learning input/output binary associations. At maximal capacity, a perceptron with excitatory weights expresses a large fraction of zero-weight synapses, in agreement with experimental findings. However, numerous experiments indicate that the firing rate of Purkinje cells varies in an analog, not binary, manner. In this paper, we study the perceptron with analog inputs and outputs. We show that the optimal input has a sparse binary distribution, in good agreement with the burst firing of the Granule cells. In addition, we show that the weight distribution consists of a large fraction of silent synapses, as in previously studied binary perceptron models, and as seen experimentally.

  8. Piccolo Promotes Vesicle Replenishment at a Fast Central Auditory Synapse

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    Tanvi Butola

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Piccolo and Bassoon are the two largest cytomatrix of the active zone (CAZ proteins involved in scaffolding and regulating neurotransmitter release at presynaptic active zones (AZs, but have long been discussed as being functionally redundant. We employed genetic manipulation to bring forth and segregate the role of Piccolo from that of Bassoon at central auditory synapses of the cochlear nucleus—the endbulbs of Held. These synapses specialize in high frequency synaptic transmission, ideally poised to reveal even subtle deficits in the regulation of neurotransmitter release upon molecular perturbation. Combining semi-quantitative immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology we first studied signal transmission in Piccolo-deficient mice. Our analysis was not confounded by a cochlear deficit, as a short isoform of Piccolo (“Piccolino” present at the upstream ribbon synapses of cochlear inner hair cells (IHC, is unaffected by the mutation. Disruption of Piccolo increased the abundance of Bassoon at the AZs of endbulbs, while that of RIM1 was reduced and other CAZ proteins remained unaltered. Presynaptic fiber stimulation revealed smaller amplitude of the evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSC, while eEPSC kinetics as well as miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs remained unchanged. Cumulative analysis of eEPSC trains indicated that the reduced eEPSC amplitude of Piccolo-deficient endbulb synapses is primarily due to a reduced readily releasable pool (RRP of synaptic vesicles (SV, as was corroborated by a reduction of vesicles at the AZ found on an ultrastructural level. Release probability seemed largely unaltered. Recovery from short-term depression was slowed. We then performed a physiological analysis of endbulb synapses from mice which, in addition to Piccolo deficiency, lacked one functional allele of the Bassoon gene. Analysis of the double-mutant endbulbs revealed an increase in release probability

  9. Biphasic Alteration of the Inhibitory Synapse Scaffold Protein Gephyrin in Early and Late Stages of an Alzheimer Disease Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiss, Eva; Gorgas, Karin; Schlicksupp, Andrea; Groß, Dagmar; Kins, Stefan; Kirsch, Joachim; Kuhse, Jochen

    2016-09-01

    The pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) is thought to begin many years before the diagnosis of dementia. Accumulating evidence indicates the involvement of GABAergic neurotransmission in the physiopathology of AD. However, in comparison to excitatory synapses, the structural and functional alterations of inhibitory synapses in AD are less well characterized. We studied the expression and distribution of proteins specific for inhibitory synapses in hippocampal areas of APPPS1 mice at different ages. Interestingly, by immunoblotting and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we disclosed a robust increase in the expression of gephyrin, an organizer of ligand-gated ion channels at inhibitory synapses in hippocampus CA1 and dentate gyrus of young presymptomatic APPPS1 mice (1 to 3 months) as compared to controls. The postsynaptic γ2-GABA(A)-receptor subunit and the presynaptic vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter protein showed similar expression patterns. In contrast, adult transgenic animals (12 months) displayed decreased levels of these proteins in comparison to wild type in hippocampus areas devoid of amyloid plaques. Within most plaques, strong gephyrin immunoreactivity was detected, partially colocalizing with vesicular amino acid transporter and GABA(A)-receptor γ2 subunit immunoreactivities. Our results indicate a biphasic alteration in expression of hippocampal inhibitory synapse components in AD. Altered inhibition of neurotransmission might be an early prognostic marker and might even be involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Selective modulation of excitatory and inhibitory microcircuits by dopamine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wen-Jun; Goldman-Rakic, Patricia S.

    2003-03-01

    Dopamine plays an important role in the working memory functions of the prefrontal cortex, functions that are impacted in age-related memory decline, drug abuse, and a wide variety of disorders, including schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. We have previously reported that dopamine depresses excitatory transmission between pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex. Here, using paired recordings, we have investigated dopaminergic modulation of excitatory transmission from pyramidal neurons to fast-spiking (FS) interneurons. In contrast to its effect on recurrent excitation, dopamine was without effect on excitatory transmission to FS interneurons. However, dopamine has directly enhanced the excitability of the FS interneurons to the extent that even a single excitatory postsynaptic potential could initiate spiking with great temporal precision in some of them. These results indicate that dopamine's effects on excitatory transmission are target-specific and that the axon terminals of pyramidal neurons can be selectively regulated at the level of individual synapses. Thus, dopamine's net inhibitory effect on cortical function is remarkably constrained by the nature of the microcircuit elements on which it acts.

  11. ADF/cofilin: a crucial regulator of synapse physiology and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rust, Marco B

    2015-09-01

    Actin filaments (F-actin) are the major structural component of excitatory synapses, being present in presynaptic terminals and in postsynaptic dendritic spines. In the last decade, it has been appreciated that actin dynamics, the assembly and disassembly of F-actin, is crucial not only for the structure of excitatory synapses, but also for pre- and postsynaptic physiology. Hence, regulators of actin dynamics take a central role in mediating neurotransmitter release, synaptic plasticity, and ultimately behavior. Actin depolymerizing proteins of the ADF/cofilin family are essential regulators of actin dynamics, and a number of recent studies highlighted their crucial functions in excitatory synapses. In dendritic spines, ADF/cofilin activity is required for spine enlargement during initial long-term potentiation (LTP), but needs to be switched off during spine stabilization and LTP consolidation. Conversely, active ADF/cofilin is needed for spine pruning during long-term depression (LTD). Moreover, ADF/cofilin controls activity-induced synaptic availability of glutamate receptors, and exocytosis of synaptic vesicles. These data show that the activity of ADF/cofilin in synapses needs to be spatially and temporally tightly controlled through several upstream regulatory pathways, which have been identified recently. Hence, ADF/cofilin-controlled actin dynamics emerged as a critical and central regulator of synapse physiology. In this review, I will summarize and discuss our current knowledge on the roles of ADF/cofilin in synapse physiology and behavior, by focusing on excitatory synapses of the mammalian central nervous system.

  12. Impaired excitatory drive to spinal GABAergic neurons of neuropathic mice.

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    Jörg Leitner

    Full Text Available Adequate pain sensitivity requires a delicate balance between excitation and inhibition in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. This balance is severely impaired in neuropathy leading to enhanced pain sensations (hyperalgesia. The underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here we explored the hypothesis that the excitatory drive to spinal GABAergic neurons might be impaired in neuropathic animals. Transgenic adult mice expressing EGFP under the promoter for GAD67 underwent either chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve or sham surgery. In transverse slices from lumbar spinal cord we performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from identified GABAergic neurons in lamina II. In neuropathic animals rates of mEPSC were reduced indicating diminished global excitatory input. This downregulation of excitatory drive required a rise in postsynaptic Ca(2+. Neither the density and morphology of dendritic spines on GABAergic neurons nor the number of excitatory synapses contacting GABAergic neurons were affected by neuropathy. In contrast, paired-pulse ratio of Aδ- or C-fiber-evoked monosynaptic EPSCs following dorsal root stimulation was increased in neuropathic animals suggesting reduced neurotransmitter release from primary afferents. Our data indicate that peripheral neuropathy triggers Ca(2+-dependent signaling pathways in spinal GABAergic neurons. This leads to a global downregulation of the excitatory drive to GABAergic neurons. The downregulation involves a presynaptic mechanism and also applies to the excitation of GABAergic neurons by presumably nociceptive Aδ- and C-fibers. This then leads to an inadequately low recruitment of inhibitory interneurons during nociception. We suggest that this previously unrecognized mechanism of impaired spinal inhibition contributes to hyperalgesia in neuropathy.

  13. BAR-SH3 sorting nexins are conserved interacting proteins of Nervous wreck that organize synapses and promote neurotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ukken, Fiona P; Bruckner, Joseph J; Weir, Kurt L; Hope, Sarah J; Sison, Samantha L; Birschbach, Ryan M; Hicks, Lawrence; Taylor, Kendra L; Dent, Erik W; Gonsalvez, Graydon B; O'Connor-Giles, Kate M

    2016-01-01

    Nervous wreck (Nwk) is a conserved F-BAR protein that attenuates synaptic growth and promotes synaptic function in Drosophila. In an effort to understand how Nwk carries out its dual roles, we isolated interacting proteins using mass spectrometry. We report a conserved interaction between Nwk proteins and BAR-SH3 sorting nexins, a family of membrane-binding proteins implicated in diverse intracellular trafficking processes. In mammalian cells, BAR-SH3 sorting nexins induce plasma membrane tubules that localize NWK2, consistent with a possible functional interaction during the early stages of endocytic trafficking. To study the role of BAR-SH3 sorting nexins in vivo, we took advantage of the lack of genetic redundancy in Drosophila and employed CRISPR-based genome engineering to generate null and endogenously tagged alleles of SH3PX1. SH3PX1 localizes to neuromuscular junctions where it regulates synaptic ultrastructure, but not synapse number. Consistently, neurotransmitter release was significantly diminished in SH3PX1 mutants. Double-mutant and tissue-specific-rescue experiments indicate that SH3PX1 promotes neurotransmitter release presynaptically, at least in part through functional interactions with Nwk, and might act to distinguish the roles of Nwk in regulating synaptic growth and function. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Prevention of Noise Damage to Cochlear Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    neurotrophic factor CNTF in promoting synapse regeneration. KEYWORDS Anandamide Auditory Brainstem Response Calcium Ion Calcium-Permeable AMPA Receptors...excitotoxic trauma (kainic acid) in vitro? f) Does CNTF promote synapse regeneration in vitro as does NT-3? W81XWH-14-1-0494 Annual Progress Report 29... CNTF ) is expressed in the organ of Corti at high levels, comparable to NT-3. We have also found that CNTF is approximately as effective as NT-3 in

  15. Comparative anatomy of phagocytic and immunological synapses

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    Florence eNiedergang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The generation of phagocytic cups and immunological synapses are crucial events of the innate and adaptive immune responses, respectively. They are triggered by distinct immune receptors and performed by different cell types. However, growing experimental evidence shows that a very close series of molecular and cellular events control these two processes. Thus, the tight and dynamic interplay between receptor signaling, actin and microtubule cytoskeleton, and targeted vesicle traffic are all critical features to build functional phagosomes and immunological synapses. Interestingly, both phagocytic cups and immunological synapses display particular spatial and temporal patterns of receptors and signaling molecules, leading to the notion of phagocytic synapse. Here we discuss both types of structures, their organization and the mechanisms by which they are generated and regulated.

  16. An NMDA Receptor-Dependent Mechanism Underlies Inhibitory Synapse Development

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    Xinglong Gu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian brain, GABAergic synaptic transmission provides inhibitory balance to glutamatergic excitatory drive and controls neuronal output. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development of GABAergic synapses remain largely unclear. Here, we report that NMDA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDARs in individual immature neurons are the upstream signaling molecules essential for GABAergic synapse development, which requires signaling via Calmodulin binding motif in the C0 domain of the NMDAR GluN1 subunit. Interestingly, in neurons lacking NMDARs, whereas GABAergic synaptic transmission is strongly reduced, the tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors is increased, suggesting a compensatory mechanism for the lack of synaptic inhibition. These results demonstrate a crucial role for NMDARs in specifying the development of inhibitory synapses, and suggest an important mechanism for controlling the establishment of the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in the developing brain.

  17. Synapses and Memory Storage

    OpenAIRE

    Mayford, Mark; Siegelbaum, Steven A.; Kandel, Eric R.

    2012-01-01

    The synapse is the functional unit of the brain. During the last several decades we have acquired a great deal of information on its structure, molecular components, and physiological function. It is clear that synapses are morphologically and molecularly diverse and that this diversity is recruited to different functions. One of the most intriguing findings is that the size of the synaptic response in not invariant, but can be altered by a variety of homo- and heterosynaptic factors such as ...

  18. Experience-Dependent Regulation of Presynaptic NMDARs Enhances Neurotransmitter Release at Neocortical Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban-Ciecko, Joanna; Wen, Jing A.; Parekh, Puja K.; Barth, Alison L.

    2015-01-01

    Sensory experience can selectively alter excitatory synaptic strength at neocortical synapses. The rapid increase in synaptic strength induced by selective whisker stimulation (single-row experience/SRE, where all but one row of whiskers has been removed from the mouse face) is due, at least in part, to the trafficking of AMPA receptors (AMPARs)…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dannette S Richards

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

  20. The dendritic cell side of the immunological synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verboogen, D.R.J.; Dingjan, I.; Revelo, N.H.; Visser, L.J.; Beest, M.B.A. ter; Bogaart, G. van den

    2016-01-01

    Immune responses are initiated by the interactions between antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as dendritic cells (DCs), with responder cells, such as T cells, via a tight cellular contact interface called the immunological synapse. The immunological synapse is a highly organized subcellular

  1. A non-volatile organic electrochemical device as a low-voltage artificial synapse for neuromorphic computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Burgt, Yoeri; Lubberman, Ewout; Fuller, Elliot J.; Keene, Scott T.; Faria, Grégorio C.; Agarwal, Sapan; Marinella, Matthew J.; Alec Talin, A.; Salleo, Alberto

    2017-04-01

    The brain is capable of massively parallel information processing while consuming only ~1-100 fJ per synaptic event. Inspired by the efficiency of the brain, CMOS-based neural architectures and memristors are being developed for pattern recognition and machine learning. However, the volatility, design complexity and high supply voltages for CMOS architectures, and the stochastic and energy-costly switching of memristors complicate the path to achieve the interconnectivity, information density, and energy efficiency of the brain using either approach. Here we describe an electrochemical neuromorphic organic device (ENODe) operating with a fundamentally different mechanism from existing memristors. ENODe switches at low voltage and energy (500 distinct, non-volatile conductance states within a ~1 V range, and achieves high classification accuracy when implemented in neural network simulations. Plastic ENODes are also fabricated on flexible substrates enabling the integration of neuromorphic functionality in stretchable electronic systems. Mechanical flexibility makes ENODes compatible with three-dimensional architectures, opening a path towards extreme interconnectivity comparable to the human brain.

  2. A bionics chemical synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thanapitak, Surachoke; Toumazou, Christofer

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Unsupervised Discrimination of Patterns in Spiking Neural Networks with Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narayan eSrinivasa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Cadmium action in synapses in the brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Minami, Akira; Takeda, Atsushi; Nishibaba, Daisuke; Tekefuta, Sachiyo; Oku, Naoto [Department of Radiobiochemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka (Japan)

    2001-05-01

    Chronic exposure to cadmium causes central nervous system disorders, e.g., olfactory dysfunction. To clarify cadmium toxicity in synaptic neurotransmission in the brain, the movement and action of cadmium in the synapses was examined using in vivo microdialysis. One and 24 h after injection of {sup 109}CdCl{sub 2} into the amygdala of rats, {sup 109}Cd release into the extracellular space was facilitated by stimulation with high K{sup +}, suggesting that cadmium taken up in amygdalar neurons is released into the synaptic clefts in a calcium- and impulse-dependent manner. To examine the action of cadmium in the synapses, the amygdala was perfused with artificial cerebrospinal fluid containing 10-30 {mu}M CdCl{sub 2}. The release of excitatory neurotransmitters, i.e., glutamate and aspartate, into the extracellular space was decreased during perfusion with cadmium, while the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters, i.e., glycine and {gamma}-amino butyric acid (GABA), into the extracellular space was increased during the period. These results suggest that cadmium released from the amygdalar neuron terminals affects the degree and balance of excitation-inhibition in synaptic neurotransmission. (author)

  6. The Many Forms and Functions of Long Term Plasticity at GABAergic Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arianna Maffei

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available On February 12th 1973, Bliss and Lomo submitted their findings on activity-dependent plasticity of glutamatergic synapses. After this groundbreaking discovery, long-term potentiation (LTP and depression (LTD gained center stage in the study of learning, memory, and experience-dependent refinement of neural circuits. While LTP and LTD are extensively studied and their relevance to brain function is widely accepted, new experimental and theoretical work recently demonstrates that brain development and function relies on additional forms of plasticity, some of which occur at nonglutamatergic synapses. The strength of GABAergic synapses is modulated by activity, and new functions for inhibitory synaptic plasticity are emerging. Together with excitatory neurons, inhibitory neurons shape the excitability and dynamic range of neural circuits. Thus, the understanding of inhibitory synaptic plasticity is crucial to fully comprehend the physiology of brain circuits. Here, I will review recent findings about plasticity at GABAergic synapses and discuss how it may contribute to circuit function.

  7. SynDIG1 promotes excitatory synaptogenesis independent of AMPA receptor trafficking and biophysical regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn L Lovero

    Full Text Available AMPA receptors-mediators of fast, excitatory transmission and synaptic plasticity in the brain-achieve great functional diversity through interaction with different auxiliary subunits, which alter both the trafficking and biophysical properties of these receptors. In the past several years an abundance of new AMPA receptor auxiliary subunits have been identified, adding astounding variety to the proteins known to directly bind and modulate AMPA receptors. SynDIG1 was recently identified as a novel AMPA receptor interacting protein that directly binds to the AMPA receptor subunit GluA2 in heterologous cells. Functionally, SynDIG1 was found to regulate the strength and density of AMPA receptor containing synapses in hippocampal neurons, though the way in which SynDIG1 exerts these effects remains unknown. Here, we aimed to determine if SynDIG1 acts as a traditional auxiliary subunit, directly regulating the function and localization of AMPA receptors in the rat hippocampus. We find that, unlike any of the previously characterized AMPA receptor auxiliary subunits, SynDIG1 expression does not impact AMPA receptor gating, pharmacology, or surface trafficking. Rather, we show that SynDIG1 regulates the number of functional excitatory synapses, altering both AMPA and NMDA receptor mediated transmission. Our findings suggest that SynDIG1 is not a typical auxiliary subunit to AMPA receptors, but instead is a protein critical to excitatory synaptogenesis.

  8. Synapses and memory storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayford, Mark; Siegelbaum, Steven A; Kandel, Eric R

    2012-06-01

    The synapse is the functional unit of the brain. During the last several decades we have acquired a great deal of information on its structure, molecular components, and physiological function. It is clear that synapses are morphologically and molecularly diverse and that this diversity is recruited to different functions. One of the most intriguing findings is that the size of the synaptic response in not invariant, but can be altered by a variety of homo- and heterosynaptic factors such as past patterns of use or modulatory neurotransmitters. Perhaps the most difficult challenge in neuroscience is to design experiments that reveal how these basic building blocks of the brain are put together and how they are regulated to mediate the information flow through neural circuits that is necessary to produce complex behaviors and store memories. In this review we will focus on studies that attempt to uncover the role of synaptic plasticity in the regulation of whole-animal behavior by learning and memory.

  9. 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.

  10. Mitochondrial synapses: intracellular communication and signal integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, Martin

    2015-08-01

    Communication is a central theme in biology. Consequently, specialized structures have evolved to permit rapid communication among cells, tissues, organs, and physiological systems, thus enhancing the overall function and adaptation of the organism. A prime example is the neuronal synapse. In the brain, synaptic communication establishes neuronal networks with the capacity to integrate, process, and store information, giving rise to complex output signals capable of orchestrating functions across the organism. At the intracellular level, discoveries now reveal the existence of 'mitochondrial synapses' establishing mitochondrial networks, with defined chromatin-modifying mitochondrial output signals capable of orchestrating gene expression across the genome. These discoveries raise the possibility that in addition to their role as powerhouses and neuromodulators, mitochondria behave as intracellular signal-processing networks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The sticky synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owczarek, Sylwia Elzbieta; Kristiansen, Lars Villiam; Hortsch, Michael

    NCAM-type proteins modulate multiple neuronal functions, including the outgrowth and guidance of neurites, the formation, maturation, and plasticity of synapses, and the induction of both long-term potentiation and long-term depression. The ectodomains of NCAM proteins have a basic structure...... signal transduction. A central feature of the synaptic function of NCAM proteins is the regulation of their extracellular interactions by adhesion-modulating glycoepitopes, their removal from the cell surface by endocytosis, and the elimination of their adhesion-mediating interactions by the proteolytic...

  12. Unsupervised learning in neural networks with short range synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunnet, L. G.; Agnes, E. J.; Mizusaki, B. E. P.; Erichsen, R., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    Different areas of the brain are involved in specific aspects of the information being processed both in learning and in memory formation. For example, the hippocampus is important in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, while emotional memory seems to be dealt by the amygdala. On the microscopic scale the underlying structures in these areas differ in the kind of neurons involved, in their connectivity, or in their clustering degree but, at this level, learning and memory are attributed to neuronal synapses mediated by longterm potentiation and long-term depression. In this work we explore the properties of a short range synaptic connection network, a nearest neighbor lattice composed mostly by excitatory neurons and a fraction of inhibitory ones. The mechanism of synaptic modification responsible for the emergence of memory is Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP), a Hebbian-like rule, where potentiation/depression is acquired when causal/non-causal spikes happen in a synapse involving two neurons. The system is intended to store and recognize memories associated to spatial external inputs presented as simple geometrical forms. The synaptic modifications are continuously applied to excitatory connections, including a homeostasis rule and STDP. In this work we explore the different scenarios under which a network with short range connections can accomplish the task of storing and recognizing simple connected patterns.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Mark S; Przebinda, Adam S.

    2011-01-01

    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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Marie Louise; Owczarek, Sylwia

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Meier Carlsen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Spinal neuronal networks are essential for motor function. They are involved in the integration of sensory inputs and the generation of rhythmic motor outputs. They continuously adapt their activity to the internal state of the organism and to the environment. This plasticity can be provided 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 by releasing gliotransmitters, which in turn modulate synaptic transmission. Here we investigated if astrocytes present in the ventral horn of the spinal cord modulate synaptic transmission. We evoked synaptic inputs in ventral horn neurons recorded in a slice preparation from the spinal cord of neonatal mice. Neurons responded to electrical stimulation by monosynaptic EPSCs. 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 an inhibition occurring at the presynaptic side of synapses. In the presence of blockers for extracellular ectonucleotidases, TFLLR did not induce presynaptic inhibition. Puffing adenosine reproduced the effect of TFLLR and blocking adenosine A1 receptors with DPCPX prevented it. Altogether our results show that ventral horn astrocytes are responsible for a tonic and a phasic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by releasing ATP, which gets converted into adenosine that binds to inhibitory

  16. Effects of Hebbian learning on the dynamics and structure of random networks with inhibitory and excitatory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siri, Benoît; Quoy, Mathias; Delord, Bruno; Cessac, Bruno; Berry, Hugues

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present paper is to study the effects of Hebbian learning in random recurrent neural networks with biological connectivity, i.e. sparse connections and separate populations of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We furthermore consider that the neuron dynamics may occur at a (shorter) time scale than synaptic plasticity and consider the possibility of learning rules with passive forgetting. We show that the application of such Hebbian learning leads to drastic changes in the network dynamics and structure. In particular, the learning rule contracts the norm of the weight matrix and yields a rapid decay of the dynamics complexity and entropy. In other words, the network is rewired by Hebbian learning into a new synaptic structure that emerges with learning on the basis of the correlations that progressively build up between neurons. We also observe that, within this emerging structure, the strongest synapses organize as a small-world network. The second effect of the decay of the weight matrix spectral radius consists in a rapid contraction of the spectral radius of the Jacobian matrix. This drives the system through the "edge of chaos" where sensitivity to the input pattern is maximal. Taken together, this scenario is remarkably predicted by theoretical arguments derived from dynamical systems and graph theory.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Lim Kim

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

  18. The space where aging acts: focus on the GABAergic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozycka, Aleksandra; Liguz-Lecznar, Monika

    2017-08-01

    As it was established that aging is not associated with massive neuronal loss, as was believed in the mid-20th Century, scientific interest has addressed the influence of aging on particular neuronal subpopulations and their synaptic contacts, which constitute the substrate for neural plasticity. Inhibitory neurons represent the most complex and diverse group of neurons, showing distinct molecular and physiological characteristics and possessing a compelling ability to control the physiology of neural circuits. This review focuses on the aging of GABAergic neurons and synapses. Understanding how aging affects synapses of particular neuronal subpopulations may help explain the heterogeneity of aging-related effects. We reviewed the literature concerning the effects of aging on the numbers of GABAergic neurons and synapses as well as aging-related alterations in their presynaptic and postsynaptic components. Finally, we discussed the influence of those changes on the plasticity of the GABAergic system, highlighting our results concerning aging in mouse somatosensory cortex and linking them to plasticity impairments and brain disorders. We posit that aging-induced impairments of the GABAergic system lead to an inhibitory/excitatory imbalance, thereby decreasing neuron's ability to respond with plastic changes to environmental and cellular challenges, leaving the brain more vulnerable to cognitive decline and damage by synaptopathic diseases. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Synapse-specific astrocyte gating of amygdala-related behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Fernandez, Mario; Jamison, Stephanie; Robin, Laurie M; Zhao, Zhe; Martin, Eduardo D; Aguilar, Juan; Benneyworth, Michael A; Marsicano, Giovanni; Araque, Alfonso

    2017-11-01

    The amygdala plays key roles in fear and anxiety. Studies of the amygdala have largely focused on neuronal function and connectivity. Astrocytes functionally interact with neurons, but their role in the amygdala remains largely unknown. We show that astrocytes in the medial subdivision of the central amygdala (CeM) determine the synaptic and behavioral outputs of amygdala circuits. To investigate the role of astrocytes in amygdala-related behavior and identify the underlying synaptic mechanisms, we used exogenous or endogenous signaling to selectively activate CeM astrocytes. Astrocytes depressed excitatory synapses from basolateral amygdala via A 1 adenosine receptor activation and enhanced inhibitory synapses from the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala via A 2A receptor activation. Furthermore, astrocytic activation decreased the firing rate of CeM neurons and reduced fear expression in a fear-conditioning paradigm. Therefore, we conclude that astrocyte activity determines fear responses by selectively regulating specific synapses, which indicates that animal behavior results from the coordinated activity of neurons and astrocytes.

  20. Fear extinction causes target-specific remodeling of perisomatic inhibitory synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trouche, Stéphanie; Sasaki, Jennifer M.; Tu, Tiffany; Reijmers, Leon G.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY A more complete understanding of how fear extinction alters neuronal activity and connectivity within fear circuits may aid in the development of strategies to treat human fear disorders. Using a c-fos based transgenic mouse, we found that contextual fear extinction silenced basal amygdala (BA) excitatory neurons that had been previously activated during fear conditioning. We hypothesized that the silencing of BA fear neurons was caused by an action of extinction on BA inhibitory synapses. In support of this hypothesis, we found extinction-induced target-specific remodeling of BA perisomatic inhibitory synapses originating from parvalbumin and cholecystokinin-positive interneurons. Interestingly, the predicted changes in the balance of perisomatic inhibition matched the silent and active states of the target BA fear neurons. These observations suggest that target-specific changes in perisomatic inhibitory synapses represent a mechanism through which experience can sculpt the activation patterns within a neural circuit. PMID:24183705

  1. Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Persistently Alters Endocannabinoid Signaling and Endocannabinoid-Mediated Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in Ventral Tegmental Area Dopamine Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausknecht, Kathryn; Shen, Ying-Ling; Wang, Rui-Xiang; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Shen, Roh-Yu

    2017-06-14

    Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) leads to increased addiction risk which could be mediated by enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. Previous studies have shown that PE enhances excitatory synaptic strength by facilitating an anti-Hebbian form of long-term potentiation (LTP). In this study, we investigated the effect of PE on endocannabinoid-mediated long-term depression (eCB-LTD) in VTA DA neurons. Rats were exposed to moderate (3 g/kg/d) or high (6 g/kg/d) levels of ethanol during gestation. Whole-cell recordings were conducted in male offspring between 4 and 10 weeks old.We found that PE led to increased amphetamine self-administration. Both moderate and high levels of PE persistently reduced low-frequency stimulation-induced eCB-LTD. Furthermore, action potential-independent glutamate release was regulated by tonic eCB signaling in PE animals. Mechanistic studies for impaired eCB-LTD revealed that PE downregulated CB1 receptor function. Interestingly, eCB-LTD in PE animals was rescued by metabotropic glutamate receptor I activation, suggesting that PE did not impair the synthesis/release of eCBs. In contrast, eCB-LTD in PE animals was not rescued by increasing presynaptic activity, which actually led to LTP in PE animals, whereas LTD was still observed in controls. This result shows that the regulation of excitatory synaptic plasticity is fundamentally altered in PE animals. Together, PE leads to impaired eCB-LTD at the excitatory synapses of VTA DA neurons primarily due to CB1 receptor downregulation. This effect could contribute to enhanced LTP and the maintenance of augmented excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons and increased addiction risk after PE. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prenatal ethanol exposure (PE) is among many adverse developmental factors known to increase drug addiction risk. Increased excitatory synaptic strength in VTA DA neurons is a critical cellular mechanism for addiction risk. Our

  2. Alzheimer's disease: synapses gone cold

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyman Bradley T

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Alzheimer's disease (AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by insidious cognitive decline and memory dysfunction. Synapse loss is the best pathological correlate of cognitive decline in AD and mounting evidence suggests that AD is primarily a disease of synaptic dysfunction. Soluble oligomeric forms of amyloid beta (Aβ, the peptide that aggregates to form senile plaques in the brain of AD patients, have been shown to be toxic to neuronal synapses both in vitro and in vivo. Aβ oligomers inhibit long-term potentiation (LTP and facilitate long-term depression (LTD, electrophysiological correlates of memory formation. Furthermore, oligomeric Aβ has also been shown to induce synapse loss and cognitive impairment in animals. The molecular underpinnings of these observations are now being elucidated, and may provide clear therapeutic targets for effectively treating the disease. Here, we review recent findings concerning AD pathogenesis with a particular focus on how Aβ impacts synapses.

  3. Rab3B protein is required for long-term depression of hippocampal inhibitory synapses and for normal reversal learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsetsenis, Theodoros; Younts, Thomas J.; Chiu, Chiayu Q.; Kaeser, Pascal S.; Castillo, Pablo E.; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2011-01-01

    Rab3B, similar to other Rab3 isoforms, is a synaptic vesicle protein that interacts with the Rab3-interacting molecule (RIM) isoforms RIM1α and RIM2α as effector proteins in a GTP-dependent manner. Previous studies showed that at excitatory synapses, Rab3A and RIM1α are essential for presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas at inhibitory synapses RIM1α is required for endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression (referred to as “i-LTD”). However, it remained unknown whether i-LTD also involves a Rab3 isoform and whether i-LTD, similar to other forms of long-term plasticity, is important for learning and memory. Here we show that Rab3B is highly enriched in inhibitory synapses in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Using electrophysiological recordings in acute slices, we demonstrate that knockout (KO) of Rab3B does not alter the strength or short-term plasticity of excitatory or inhibitory synapses but does impair i-LTD significantly without changing classical NMDA receptor-dependent LTP. Behaviorally, we found that Rab3B KO mice exhibit no detectable changes in all basic parameters tested, including the initial phase of learning and memory. However, Rab3B KO mice did display a selective enhancement in reversal learning, as measured using Morris water-maze and fear-conditioning assays. Our data support the notion that presynaptic forms of long-term plasticity at excitatory and inhibitory synapses generally are mediated by a common Rab3/RIM-dependent pathway, with various types of synapses using distinct Rab3 isoforms. Moreover, our results suggest that i-LTD contributes to learning and memory, presumably by stabilizing circuits established in previous learning processes. PMID:21844341

  4. Repetitive magnetic stimulation induces plasticity of excitatory postsynapses on proximal dendrites of cultured mouse CA1 pyramidal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenz, Maximilian; Platschek, Steffen; Priesemann, Viola; Becker, Denise; Willems, Laurent M; Ziemann, Ulf; Deller, Thomas; Müller-Dahlhaus, Florian; Jedlicka, Peter; Vlachos, Andreas

    2015-11-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the human brain can lead to long-lasting changes in cortical excitability. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms which underlie rTMS-induced plasticity remain incompletely understood. Here, we used repetitive magnetic stimulation (rMS) of mouse entorhino-hippocampal slice cultures to study rMS-induced plasticity of excitatory postsynapses. By employing whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of CA1 pyramidal neurons, local electrical stimulations, immunostainings for the glutamate receptor subunit GluA1 and compartmental modeling, we found evidence for a preferential potentiation of excitatory synapses on proximal dendrites of CA1 neurons (2-4 h after stimulation). This rMS-induced synaptic potentiation required the activation of voltage-gated sodium channels, L-type voltage-gated calcium channels and N-methyl-D-aspartate-receptors. In view of these findings we propose a cellular model for the preferential strengthening of excitatory synapses on proximal dendrites following rMS in vitro, which is based on a cooperative effect of synaptic glutamatergic transmission and postsynaptic depolarization.

  5. The therapeutic effect of memantine through the stimulation of synapse formation and dendritic spine maturation in autism and fragile X syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongen Wei

    Full Text Available Although the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie autism are not well understood, there is evidence showing that metabotropic and ionotropic glutamate receptors are hyper-stimulated and the GABAergic system is hypo-stimulated in autism. Memantine is an uncompetitive antagonist of NMDA receptors and is widely prescribed for treatment of Alzheimer's disease treatment. Recently, it has been shown to improve language function, social behavior, and self-stimulatory behaviors of some autistic subjects. However the mechanism by which memantine exerts its effect remains to be elucidated. In this study, we used cultured cerebellar granule cells (CGCs from Fmr1 knockout (KO mice, a mouse model for fragile X syndrome (FXS and syndromic autism, to examine the effects of memantine on dendritic spine development and synapse formation. Our results show that the maturation of dendritic spines is delayed in Fmr1-KO CGCs. We also detected reduced excitatory synapse formation in Fmr1-KO CGCs. Memantine treatment of Fmr1-KO CGCs promoted cell adhesion properties. Memantine also stimulated the development of mushroom-shaped mature dendritic spines and restored dendritic spine to normal levels in Fmr1-KO CGCs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that memantine treatment promoted synapse formation and restored the excitatory synapses to a normal range in Fmr1-KO CGCs. These findings suggest that memantine may exert its therapeutic capacity through a stimulatory effect on dendritic spine maturation and excitatory synapse formation, as well as promoting adhesion of CGCs.

  6. The therapeutic effect of memantine through the stimulation of synapse formation and dendritic spine maturation in autism and fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hongen; Dobkin, Carl; Sheikh, Ashfaq M; Malik, Mazhar; Brown, W Ted; Li, Xiaohong

    2012-01-01

    Although the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie autism are not well understood, there is evidence showing that metabotropic and ionotropic glutamate receptors are hyper-stimulated and the GABAergic system is hypo-stimulated in autism. Memantine is an uncompetitive antagonist of NMDA receptors and is widely prescribed for treatment of Alzheimer's disease treatment. Recently, it has been shown to improve language function, social behavior, and self-stimulatory behaviors of some autistic subjects. However the mechanism by which memantine exerts its effect remains to be elucidated. In this study, we used cultured cerebellar granule cells (CGCs) from Fmr1 knockout (KO) mice, a mouse model for fragile X syndrome (FXS) and syndromic autism, to examine the effects of memantine on dendritic spine development and synapse formation. Our results show that the maturation of dendritic spines is delayed in Fmr1-KO CGCs. We also detected reduced excitatory synapse formation in Fmr1-KO CGCs. Memantine treatment of Fmr1-KO CGCs promoted cell adhesion properties. Memantine also stimulated the development of mushroom-shaped mature dendritic spines and restored dendritic spine to normal levels in Fmr1-KO CGCs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that memantine treatment promoted synapse formation and restored the excitatory synapses to a normal range in Fmr1-KO CGCs. These findings suggest that memantine may exert its therapeutic capacity through a stimulatory effect on dendritic spine maturation and excitatory synapse formation, as well as promoting adhesion of CGCs.

  7. ESPINA: a tool for the automated segmentation and counting of synapses in large stacks of electron microscopy images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan eMorales

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The synapses in the cerebral cortex can be classified into two main types, Gray’s type I and type II, which correspond to asymmetric (mostly glutamatergic excitatory and symmetric (inhibitory GABAergic synapses, respectively. Hence, the quantification and identification of their different types and the proportions in which they are found, is extraordinarily important in terms of brain function. The ideal approach to calculate the number of synapses per unit volume is to analyze three-dimensional samples reconstructed from serial sections. However, obtaining serial sections by transmission electron microscopy is an extremely time consuming and technically demanding task. Using FIB/SEM microscopy, we recently showed that virtually all synapses can be accurately identified as asymmetric or symmetric synapses when they are visualized, reconstructed and quantified from large three-dimensional tissue samples obtained in an automated manner. Nevertheless, the analysis, segmentation and quantification of synapses is still a labor intensive procedure. Thus, novel solutions are currently necessary to deal with the large volume of data that is being generated by automated 3D electron microscopy. Accordingly, we have developed ESPINA, a software tool that performs the automated segmentation and counting of synapses in a reconstructed 3D volume of the cerebral cortex, and that greatly facilitates and accelerates these processes.

  8. Espina: A Tool for the Automated Segmentation and Counting of Synapses in Large Stacks of Electron Microscopy Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Juan; Alonso-Nanclares, Lidia; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Rodríguez, Ángel; Merchán-Pérez, Ángel

    2011-01-01

    The synapses in the cerebral cortex can be classified into two main types, Gray's type I and type II, which correspond to asymmetric (mostly glutamatergic excitatory) and symmetric (inhibitory GABAergic) synapses, respectively. Hence, the quantification and identification of their different types and the proportions in which they are found, is extraordinarily important in terms of brain function. The ideal approach to calculate the number of synapses per unit volume is to analyze 3D samples reconstructed from serial sections. However, obtaining serial sections by transmission electron microscopy is an extremely time consuming and technically demanding task. Using focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope microscopy, we recently showed that virtually all synapses can be accurately identified as asymmetric or symmetric synapses when they are visualized, reconstructed, and quantified from large 3D tissue samples obtained in an automated manner. Nevertheless, the analysis, segmentation, and quantification of synapses is still a labor intensive procedure. Thus, novel solutions are currently necessary to deal with the large volume of data that is being generated by automated 3D electron microscopy. Accordingly, we have developed ESPINA, a software tool that performs the automated segmentation and counting of synapses in a reconstructed 3D volume of the cerebral cortex, and that greatly facilitates and accelerates these processes. PMID:21633491

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Different neuropeptides are expressed in different functional subsets of cholinergic excitatory motorneurons in the nematode Ascaris suum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konop, Christopher J; Knickelbine, Jennifer J; Sygulla, Molly S; Vestling, Martha M; Stretton, Antony O W

    2015-06-17

    Neuropeptides are known to have dramatic effects on neurons and synapses; however, despite extensive studies of the motorneurons in the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum, their peptide content had not yet been described. We determined the peptide content of single excitatory motorneurons by mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry. There are two subsets of ventral cord excitatory motorneurons, each with neuromuscular output either anterior or posterior to their cell body, mediating forward or backward locomotion, respectively. Strikingly, the two sets of neurons contain different neuropeptides, with AF9 and six novel peptides (As-NLP-21.1-6) in anterior projectors, and the six afp-1 peptides in addition to AF2 in posterior projectors. In situ hybridization confirmed the expression of these peptides, validating the integrity of the dissection technique. This work identifies new components of the functional behavioral circuit, as well as potential targets for antiparasitic drug development.

  11. Calcium Channel α2δ1 Proteins Mediate Trigeminal Neuropathic Pain States Associated with Aberrant Excitatory Synaptogenesis*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kang-Wu; Yu, Yanhui Peter; Zhou, Chunyi; Kim, Doo-Sik; Lin, Bin; Sharp, Kelli; Steward, Oswald; Luo, Z. David

    2014-01-01

    To investigate a potential mechanism underlying trigeminal nerve injury-induced orofacial hypersensitivity, we used a rat model of chronic constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION) to study whether CCI-ION caused calcium channel α2δ1 (Cavα2δ1) protein dysregulation in trigeminal ganglia and associated spinal subnucleus caudalis and C1/C2 cervical dorsal spinal cord (Vc/C2). Furthermore, we studied whether this neuroplasticity contributed to spinal neuron sensitization and neuropathic pain states. CCI-ION caused orofacial hypersensitivity that correlated with Cavα2δ1 up-regulation in trigeminal ganglion neurons and Vc/C2. Blocking Cavα2δ1 with gabapentin, a ligand for the Cavα2δ1 proteins, or Cavα2δ1 antisense oligodeoxynucleotides led to a reversal of orofacial hypersensitivity, supporting an important role of Cavα2δ1 in orofacial pain processing. Importantly, increased Cavα2δ1 in Vc/C2 superficial dorsal horn was associated with increased excitatory synaptogenesis and increased frequency, but not the amplitude, of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in dorsal horn neurons that could be blocked by gabapentin. Thus, CCI-ION-induced Cavα2δ1 up-regulation may contribute to orofacial neuropathic pain states through abnormal excitatory synapse formation and enhanced presynaptic excitatory neurotransmitter release in Vc/C2. PMID:24459143

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. The Angelman Syndrome-associated ubiquitin ligase Ube3A regulates synapse development by ubiquitinating Arc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greer, Paul L.; Hanayama, Rikinari; Bloodgood, Brenda L.; Mardinly, Alan R.; Lipton, David M.; Flavell, Steven W.; Kim, Tae-Kyung; Griffith, Eric C.; Waldon, Zachary; Maehr, Rene; Ploegh, Hidde L.; Chowdhury, Shoaib; Worley, Paul F.; Steen, Judith; Greenberg, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    Angelman Syndrome is a debilitating neurological disorder caused by mutation of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Ube3A, a gene whose mutation has also recently been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The function of Ube3A during nervous system development, and how Ube3A mutations give rise to cognitive impairment in individuals with Angleman Syndrome and ASDs are not clear. We report here that experience-driven neuronal activity induces Ube3A transcription and that Ube3A then regulates excitatory synapse development by controlling the degradation of Arc, a synaptic protein that promotes the internalization of the AMPA sub-type of glutamate receptors. We find that disruption of Ube3A function in neurons leads to an increase in Arc expression and a concomitant decrease in the number of AMPA receptors at excitatory synapses. We propose that this deregulation of AMPA receptor expression at synapses may contribute to the cognitive dysfunction that occurs in Angelman Syndrome and possible other ASDs. PMID:20211139

  14. ELKS2α/CAST Deletion Selectively Increases Neurotransmitter Release at Inhibitory Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaeser, Pascal S.; Deng, Lunbin; Chávez, Andrés E.; Liu, Xinran; Castillo, Pablo E.; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY The presynaptic active zone is composed of a protein-network that contains ELKS2α (a.k.a. CAST) as a central component. Here we demonstrate that in mice, deletion of ELKS2α caused a large increase in inhibitory but not excitatory neurotransmitter release, and potentiated the size, but not the properties, of the readily-releasable pool of vesicles at inhibitory synapses. Quantitative electron-microscopy revealed that the ELKS2α deletion did not change the number of docked vesicles or other ultrastructural parameters of synapses, except for a small decrease in synaptic vesicle numbers. The ELKS2α deletion did, however, alter the excitatory/inhibitory balance and exploratory behaviors, possibly as a result of the increased synaptic inhibition. Thus, different from previous studies indicating that ELKS2α is essential for mediating neurotransmitter release, our results suggest that ELKS2α normally restricts release and limits the size of the readily-releasable pool of synaptic vesicles at the active zone of inhibitory synapses. PMID:19874790

  15. ELKS2alpha/CAST deletion selectively increases neurotransmitter release at inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaeser, Pascal S; Deng, Lunbin; Chávez, Andrés E; Liu, Xinran; Castillo, Pablo E; Südhof, Thomas C

    2009-10-29

    The presynaptic active zone is composed of a protein network that contains ELKS2alpha (a.k.a. CAST) as a central component. Here we demonstrate that in mice, deletion of ELKS2alpha caused a large increase in inhibitory, but not excitatory, neurotransmitter release, and potentiated the size, but not the properties, of the readily-releasable pool of vesicles at inhibitory synapses. Quantitative electron microscopy revealed that the ELKS2alpha deletion did not change the number of docked vesicles or other ultrastructural parameters of synapses, except for a small decrease in synaptic vesicle numbers. The ELKS2alpha deletion did, however, alter the excitatory/inhibitory balance and exploratory behaviors, possibly as a result of the increased synaptic inhibition. Thus, as opposed to previous studies indicating that ELKS2alpha is essential for mediating neurotransmitter release, our results suggest that ELKS2alpha normally restricts release and limits the size of the readily-releasable pool of synaptic vesicles at the active zone of inhibitory synapses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. Optimal learning rules for discrete synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam B Barrett

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available There is evidence that biological synapses have a limited number of discrete weight states. Memory storage with such synapses behaves quite differently from synapses with unbounded, continuous weights, as old memories are automatically overwritten by new memories. Consequently, there has been substantial discussion about how this affects learning and storage capacity. In this paper, we calculate the storage capacity of discrete, bounded synapses in terms of Shannon information. We use this to optimize the learning rules and investigate how the maximum information capacity depends on the number of synapses, the number of synaptic states, and the coding sparseness. Below a certain critical number of synapses per neuron (comparable to numbers found in biology, we find that storage is similar to unbounded, continuous synapses. Hence, discrete synapses do not necessarily have lower storage capacity.

  18. Local and global synchronization transitions induced by time delays in small-world neuronal networks with chemical synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haitao; Wang, Jiang; Du, Jiwei; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile

    2015-02-01

    Effects of time delay on the local and global synchronization in small-world neuronal networks with chemical synapses are investigated in this paper. Numerical results show that, for both excitatory and inhibitory coupling types, the information transmission delay can always induce synchronization transitions of spiking neurons in small-world networks. In particular, regions of in-phase and out-of-phase synchronization of connected neurons emerge intermittently as the synaptic delay increases. For excitatory coupling, all transitions to spiking synchronization occur approximately at integer multiples of the firing period of individual neurons; while for inhibitory coupling, these transitions appear at the odd multiples of the half of the firing period of neurons. More importantly, the local synchronization transition is more profound than the global synchronization transition, depending on the type of coupling synapse. For excitatory synapses, the local in-phase synchronization observed for some values of the delay also occur at a global scale; while for inhibitory ones, this synchronization, observed at the local scale, disappears at a global scale. Furthermore, the small-world structure can also affect the phase synchronization of neuronal networks. It is demonstrated that increasing the rewiring probability can always improve the global synchronization of neuronal activity, but has little effect on the local synchronization of neighboring neurons.

  19. Prevention of Noise Damage to Cochlear Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    deafness still suffices to cause a significant hearing impairment by destroying synapses between hair cells and cochlear (spiral ganglion) neurons. This...localized PSD and ribbon. Synapses are counted in the confocal image stacks with an optical disector technique. The total number of synapses on IHCs in each

  20. Endocannabinoid-dependent plasticity at spinal nociceptor synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Ako; Punnakkal, Pradeep; Pernía-Andrade, Alejandro Javier; von Schoultz, Carolin; Sharopov, Salim; Nyilas, Rita; Katona, István; Zeilhofer, Hanns Ulrich

    2012-01-01

    Neuroplastic changes at the spinal synapses between primary nociceptors and second order dorsal horn neurons play key roles in pain and analgesia. NMDA receptor-dependent forms of long-term plasticity have been studied extensively at these synapses, but little is known about possible contributions of the endocannabinoid system. Here, we addressed the role of cannabinoid (CB)1 receptors in activity-dependent plasticity at these synapses. We report that conditional low-frequency stimulation of high-threshold primary sensory nerve fibres paired with depolarisation of the postsynaptic neuron evoked robust long-term depression (LTD) of excitatory synaptic transmission by about 40% in the vast majority (90%) of recordings made in wild-type mice. When recordings were made from global or nociceptor-specific CB1 receptor-deficient mice (CB1−/− mice and sns-CB1−/− mice), the portion of neurons exhibiting LTD was strongly reduced to about 25%. Accordingly, LTD was prevented to a similar extent by the CB1 receptor antagonist AM 251 and mimicked by pharmacological activation of CB1 receptors. In a subset of neurons with EPSCs of particularly high stimulation thresholds, we furthermore found that the absence of CB1 receptors in CB1−/− and sns-CB1−/− mice converted the response to the paired conditioning stimulation protocol from LTD to long-term potentiation (LTP). Our results identify CB1 receptor-dependent LTD as a form of synaptic plasticity previously unknown in spinal nociceptors. They furthermore suggest that prevention of LTP may be a second hitherto unknown function of CB1 receptors in primary nociceptors. Both findings may have important implications for our understanding of endogenous pain control mechanisms and of analgesia evoked by cannabinoid receptor agonists. PMID:22826132

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    by releasing gliotransmitters, which in turn modulate synaptic transmission. Here we investigated if astrocytes present in the ventral horn of the spinal cord modulate synaptic transmission. We evoked synaptic inputs in ventral horn neurons recorded in a slice preparation from the spinal cord of neonatal mice...... an inhibition occurring at the presynaptic side of synapses. In the presence of blockers for extracellular ectonucleotidases, TFLLR did not induce presynaptic inhibition. Puffing adenosine reproduced the effect of TFLLR and blocking adenosine A1 receptors with 8-Cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine prevented it....... Altogether our results show that ventral horn astrocytes are responsible for a tonic and a phasic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by releasing ATP, which gets converted into adenosine that binds to inhibitory presynaptic A1 receptors....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-28

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

  3. A compound memristive synapse model for statistical learning through STDP in spiking neural networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes eBill

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Memristors have recently emerged as promising circuit elements to mimic the function of biological synapses in neuromorphic computing. The fabrication of reliable nanoscale memristive synapses, that feature continuous conductance changes based on the timing of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, has however turned out to be challenging. In this article, we propose an alternative approach, the compound memristive synapse, that circumvents this problem by the use of memristors with binary memristive states. A compound memristive synapse employs multiple bistable memristors in parallel to jointly form one synapse, thereby providing a spectrum of synaptic efficacies. We investigate the computational implications of synaptic plasticity in the compound synapse by integrating the recently observed phenomenon of stochastic filament formation into an abstract model of stochastic switching. Using this abstract model, we first show how standard pulsing schemes give rise to spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP with a stabilizing weight dependence in compound synapses. In a next step, we study unsupervised learning with compound synapses in networks of spiking neurons organized in a winner-take-all architecture. Our theoretical analysis reveals that compound-synapse STDP implements generalized Expectation-Maximization in the spiking network. Specifically, the emergent synapse configuration represents the most salient features of the input distribution in a Mixture-of-Gaussians generative model. Furthermore, the network’s spike response to spiking input streams approximates a well-defined Bayesian posterior distribution. We show in computer simulations how such networks learn to represent high-dimensional distributions over images of handwritten digits with high fidelity even in presence of substantial device variations and under severe noise conditions. Therefore, the compound memristive synapse may provide a synaptic design principle for future neuromorphic

  4. Reduction in size of perforated postsynaptic densities in hippocampal axospinous synapses and age-related spatial learning impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel A; Yoshida, Rie; Berry, Robert W; Gallagher, Michela; Geinisman, Yuri

    2004-09-01

    A central problem in the neurobiology of normal aging is why learning is preserved in some aged individuals yet impaired in others. To investigate this issue, we examined whether age-related deficits in spatial learning are associated with a reduction in postsynaptic density (PSD) area in hippocampal excitatory synapses (i.e., with a structural modification that is likely to have a deleterious effect on synaptic function). A hippocampus-dependent version of the Morris water maze task was used to separate Long-Evans male rats into young adult, aged learning-unimpaired, and equally aged learning-impaired groups. Axospinous synapses from the CA1 stratum radiatum were analyzed using systematic random sampling and serial section analyses. We report that aged learning-impaired rats exhibit a marked ( approximately 30%) and significant reduction in PSD area, whereas aged learning-unimpaired rats do not. The observed structural alteration involves a substantial proportion of perforated synapses but is not observed in nonperforated synapses. These findings support the notion that many hippocampal perforated synapses become less efficient in aged learning-impaired rats, which may contribute to cognitive decline during normal aging.

  5. Estradiol modulates the efficacy of synaptic inhibition by decreasing the dwell time of GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Jayanta; Cardarelli, Ross A; Cantaut-Belarif, Yasmine; Deeb, Tarek Z; Srivastava, Deepak P; Tyagarajan, Shiva K; Pangalos, Menelas N; Triller, Antoine; Maguire, Jamie; Brandon, Nicholas J; Moss, Stephen J

    2017-10-31

    Estrogen plays a critical role in many physiological processes and exerts profound effects on behavior by regulating neuronal excitability. While estrogen has been established to exert effects on dendritic morphology and excitatory neurotransmission its role in regulating neuronal inhibition is poorly understood. Fast synaptic inhibition in the adult brain is mediated by specialized populations of γ-c aA receptors (GABAARs) that are selectively enriched at synapses, a process dependent upon their interaction with the inhibitory scaffold protein gephyrin. Here we have assessed the role that estradiol (E2) plays in regulating the dynamics of GABAARs and stability of inhibitory synapses. Treatment of cultured cortical neurons with E2 reduced the accumulation of GABAARs and gephyrin at inhibitory synapses. However, E2 exposure did not modify the expression of either the total or the plasma membrane GABAARs or gephyrin. Mechanistically, single-particle tracking revealed that E2 treatment selectively reduced the dwell time and thereby decreased the confinement of GABAARs at inhibitory synapses. Consistent with our cell biology measurements, we observed a significant reduction in amplitude of inhibitory synaptic currents in both cultured neurons and hippocampal slices exposed to E2, while their frequency was unaffected. Collectively, our results suggest that acute exposure of neurons to E2 leads to destabilization of GABAARs and gephyrin at inhibitory synapses, leading to reductions in the efficacy of GABAergic inhibition via a postsynaptic mechanism. Published under the PNAS license.

  6. Anterior cingulate synapses in prefrontal areas 10 and 46 suggest differential influence in cognitive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medalla, Maria; Barbas, Helen

    2010-12-01

    Dorsolateral prefrontal areas 46 and 10 are involved in distinct aspects of cognition. Area 46 has a key role in working memory tasks, and frontopolar area 10 is recruited in complex multitask operations. Both areas are innervated by the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a region associated with emotions and memory but is also important for attentional control through unknown synaptic mechanisms. Here, we found that in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) most axon terminals labeled from tracers injected into ACC area 32 innervated spines of presumed excitatory neurons, but ∼20-30% formed mostly large synapses with dendritic shafts of presumed inhibitory neurons in the upper layers (I-IIIa) of dorsolateral areas 10, 46, and 9. Moreover, area 32 terminals targeted preferentially calbindin and, to a lesser extent, calretinin neurons, which are thought to be inhibitory neurons that modulate the gain of task-relevant activity during working memory tasks. Area 46 was distinguished as a recipient of more (by ∼40%) area 32 synapses on putative inhibitory neurons. Area 10 stood apart as recipient of significantly larger (by ∼40% in volume) area 32 terminals on spines of putative excitatory neurons. These synaptic specializations suggest that area 32 has complementary roles, potentially enhancing inhibition in area 46 and strengthening excitation in area 10, which may help direct attention to new tasks while temporarily holding in memory another task.

  7. Synaptic organizations and dynamical properties of weakly connected neural oscillators. II. Learning phase information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppensteadt, F C; Izhikevich, E M

    1996-08-01

    This is the second of two articles devoted to analyzing the relationship between synaptic organizations (anatomy) and dynamical properties (function) of networks of neural oscillators near multiple supercritical Andronov-Hopf bifurcation points. Here we analyze learning processes in such networks. Regarding learning dynamics, we assume (1) learning is local (i.e. synaptic modification depends on pre- and postsynaptic neurons but not on others), (2) synapses modify slowly relative to characteristic neuron response times, (3) in the absence of either pre- or postsynaptic activity, the synapse weakens (forgets). Our major goal is to analyze all synaptic organizations of oscillatory neural networks that can memorize and retrieve phase information or time delays. We show that such network have the following attributes: (1) the rate of synaptic plasticity connected with learning is determined locally by the presynaptic neurons, (2) the excitatory neurons must be long-axon relay neurons capable of forming distant connections with other excitatory and inhibitory neurons, (3) if inhibitory neurons have long axons, then the network can learn, passively forget and actively unlearn information by adjusting synaptic plasticity rates.

  8. Face classification using electronic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Peng; Wu, Huaqiang; Gao, Bin; Eryilmaz, Sukru Burc; Huang, Xueyao; Zhang, Wenqiang; Zhang, Qingtian; Deng, Ning; Shi, Luping; Wong, H.-S. Philip; Qian, He

    2017-05-01

    Conventional hardware platforms consume huge amount of energy for cognitive learning due to the data movement between the processor and the off-chip memory. Brain-inspired device technologies using analogue weight storage allow to complete cognitive tasks more efficiently. Here we present an analogue non-volatile resistive memory (an electronic synapse) with foundry friendly materials. The device shows bidirectional continuous weight modulation behaviour. Grey-scale face classification is experimentally demonstrated using an integrated 1024-cell array with parallel online training. The energy consumption within the analogue synapses for each iteration is 1,000 × (20 ×) lower compared to an implementation using Intel Xeon Phi processor with off-chip memory (with hypothetical on-chip digital resistive random access memory). The accuracy on test sets is close to the result using a central processing unit. These experimental results consolidate the feasibility of analogue synaptic array and pave the way toward building an energy efficient and large-scale neuromorphic system.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Proteomic Studies of a Single CNS Synapse Type: The Parallel Fiber/Purkinje Cell Synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Precise neuronal networks underlie normal brain function and require distinct classes of synaptic connections. Although it has been shown that certain individual proteins can localize to different classes of synapses, the biochemical composition of specific synapse types is not known. Here, we have used a combination of genetically engineered mice, affinity purification, and mass spectrometry to profile proteins at parallel fiber/Purkinje cell synapses. We identify approximately 60 candidate postsynaptic proteins that can be classified into 11 functional categories. Proteins involved in phospholipid metabolism and signaling, such as the protein kinase MRCKγ, are major unrecognized components of this synapse type. We demonstrate that MRCKγ can modulate maturation of dendritic spines in cultured cortical neurons, and that it is localized specifically to parallel fiber/Purkinje cell synapses in vivo. Our data identify a novel synapse-specific signaling pathway, and provide an approach for detailed investigations of the biochemical complexity of central nervous system synapse types. PMID:19402746

  11. Bifurcation Analysis on Phase-Amplitude Cross-Frequency Coupling in Neural Networks with Dynamic Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sase, Takumi; Katori, Yuichi; Komuro, Motomasa; Aihara, Kazuyuki

    2017-01-01

    We investigate a discrete-time network model composed of excitatory and inhibitory neurons and dynamic synapses with the aim at revealing dynamical properties behind oscillatory phenomena possibly related to brain functions. We use a stochastic neural network model to derive the corresponding macroscopic mean field dynamics, and subsequently analyze the dynamical properties of the network. In addition to slow and fast oscillations arising from excitatory and inhibitory networks, respectively, we show that the interaction between these two networks generates phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (CFC), in which multiple different frequency components coexist and the amplitude of the fast oscillation is modulated by the phase of the slow oscillation. Furthermore, we clarify the detailed properties of the oscillatory phenomena by applying the bifurcation analysis to the mean field model, and accordingly show that the intermittent and the continuous CFCs can be characterized by an aperiodic orbit on a closed curve and one on a torus, respectively. These two CFC modes switch depending on the coupling strength from the excitatory to inhibitory networks, via the saddle-node cycle bifurcation of a one-dimensional torus in map (MT1SNC), and may be associated with the function of multi-item representation. We believe that the present model might have potential for studying possible functional roles of phase-amplitude CFC in the cerebral cortex. PMID:28424606

  12. Neonatal Masculinization Blocks Increased Excitatory Synaptic Input in Female Rat Nucleus Accumbens Core.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jinyan; Dorris, David M; Meitzen, John

    2016-08-01

    Steroid sex hormones and genetic sex regulate the phenotypes of motivated behaviors and relevant disorders. Most studies seeking to elucidate the underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms have focused on how 17β-estradiol modulates the role of dopamine in striatal brain regions, which express membrane-associated estrogen receptors. Dopamine action is an important component of striatal function, but excitatory synaptic neurotransmission has also emerged as a key striatal substrate and target of estradiol action. Here, we focus on excitatory synaptic input onto medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the striatal region nucleus accumbens core (AcbC). In adult AcbC, miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency is increased in female compared with male MSNs. We tested whether increased mEPSC frequency in female MSNs exists before puberty, whether this increased excitability is due to the absence of estradiol or testosterone during the early developmental critical period, and whether it is accompanied by stable neuron intrinsic membrane properties. We found that mEPSC frequency is increased in female compared with male MSNs before puberty. Increased mEPSC frequency in female MSNs is abolished after neonatal estradiol or testosterone exposure. MSN intrinsic membrane properties did not differ by sex. These data indicate that neonatal masculinization via estradiol and/or testosterone action is sufficient for down-regulating excitatory synaptic input onto MSNs. We conclude that excitatory synaptic input onto AcbC MSNs is organized long before adulthood via steroid sex hormone action, providing new insight into a mechanism by which sex differences in motivated behavior and other AbcC functions may be generated or compromised.

  13. Stable learning of functional maps in self-organizing spiking neural networks with continuous synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Jiang, Qin

    2013-01-01

    This study describes a spiking model that self-organizes for stable formation and maintenance of orientation and ocular dominance maps in the visual cortex (V1). This self-organization process simulates three development phases: an early experience-independent phase, a late experience-independent phase and a subsequent refinement phase during which experience acts to shape the map properties. The ocular dominance maps that emerge accommodate the two sets of monocular inputs that arise from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) to layer 4 of V1. The orientation selectivity maps that emerge feature well-developed iso-orientation domains and fractures. During the last two phases of development the orientation preferences at some locations appear to rotate continuously through ±180° along circular paths and referred to as pinwheel-like patterns but without any corresponding point discontinuities in the orientation gradient maps. The formation of these functional maps is driven by balanced excitatory and inhibitory currents that are established via synaptic plasticity based on spike timing for both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. The stability and maintenance of the formed maps with continuous synaptic plasticity is enabled by homeostasis caused by inhibitory plasticity. However, a prolonged exposure to repeated stimuli does alter the formed maps over time due to plasticity. The results from this study suggest that continuous synaptic plasticity in both excitatory neurons and interneurons could play a critical role in the formation, stability, and maintenance of functional maps in the cortex.

  14. 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

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    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.

  15. Excitatory and inhibitory effects of opiates in the rat vas deferens: a dual mechanism of opiate action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacquet, Y F

    1980-10-03

    Both natural (-)-morphine and its unnatural enantiomer (+)-morphine exert an excitatory action on electrically stimulated contractions of rat vas deferens. Preexposure to (-)-morphine results in cross-tolerance to the inhibitory action of beta-endorphin. (-)-Naloxone and its stereoisomer (+)-naloxone also exert an excitatory action, but only (-)-naloxone bocks the inhibtory action of beta-endorphin. Thus morphine exerts a dual action on a peripheral organ: one an inhibitory action mediated by the stereospecific endorphin receptor that is blocked stereospecifically by naloxone, the other an excitatory action mediated by a nonstereospecific receptor that is not blocked by naloxone. The opiate abstinence syndrome is seen as due to the unmasking of the excitatory action of opiates when its concomitant inhibitory influence is removed by selective blockade by naloxone or weakened by selective tolerance. The view that the rat vas deferens is devoid of morphine receptors is now seen as arising from a reverse example of morphine's dual action: the masking of the inhibitory action of morphine by its concomitant and more potent excitatory action.

  16. Size and receptor density of glutamatergic synapses: a viewpoint from left-right asymmetry of CA3-CA1 connections

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    Yoshiaki Shinohara

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is considered to be the main mechanism for learning and memory. Excitatory synapses in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus undergo plastic changes during development and in response to electric stimulation. It is widely accepted that this process is mediated by insertion and elimination of various glutamate receptors. In a series of recent investigations on left-right asymmetry of hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses, glutamate receptor subunits have been found to have distinctive expression patterns that depend on the postsynaptic density (PSD area. Particularly notable are the GluR1 AMPA receptor subunit and NR2B NMDA receptor subunit, where receptor density has either a supra-linear (GluR1 AMPA or inverse (NR2B NMDAR relationship to the PSD area. We review current understanding of structural and physiological synaptic plasticity and propose a scheme to classify receptor subtypes by their expression pattern with respect to PSD area.

  17. Specification of excitatory neurons in the developing cerebral cortex: progenitor diversity and environmental influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Marcos R; Müller, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    The mature cerebral cortex harbors a heterogeneous population of glutamatergic neurons, organized into a highly intricate histological architecture. Classically, this mixed population of neurons was thought to be generated sequentially from a seemingly homogenous group of progenitors under the influence of external cues. This view, however, has been challenged in the last decade by evidences pointing to the existence of fate-restricted neuronal progenitors in the developing neocortex. Here, we review classical studies using cell transplantation, retroviral labeling and cell culture, as well as new data from genetic fate-mapping analysis, to discuss the lineage relationships between neocortical progenitors and subclasses of excitatory neurons. We also propose a temporal model to conciliate the existence of fate-restricted progenitors alongside multipotent progenitors in the neocortex. Finally, we discuss evidences for a critical period of plasticity among post mitotic excitatory cortical neurons when environmental influences could change neuronal cell fate.

  18. A new measure for the strength of electrical synapses

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    Julie S Haas

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Electrical synapses, like chemical synapses, mediate intraneuronal communication. Electrical synapses are typically quantified by subthreshold measurements of coupling, which fall short in describing their impact on spiking activity in coupled neighbors. Here we describe a novel measurement for electrical synapse strength that directly evaluates the effect of synaptically transmitted activity on spike timing. This method, also applicable to neurotransmitter-based synapses, communicates the considerable strength of electrical synapses. For electrical synapses measured in rodent slices of the thalamic reticular nucleus, spike timing is modulated by tens of ms by activity in a coupled neighbor.

  19. Synapse proteomics: current status and quantitative applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, K.W.; Jimenez, C.R.

    2008-01-01

    Chemical synapses are key organelles for neurotransmission. The coordinated actions of protein networks in diverse synaptic subdomains drive the sequential molecular events of transmitter release from the presynaptic bouton, activation of transmitter receptors located in the postsynaptic density and

  20. The Synapse : volume 14 : issue 5

    OpenAIRE

    Galea, Wilfred; Ellul, Ian C.

    2015-01-01

    Apart from the normal articles regarding medicine, this issue contains also the following: The Synapse eLearning Videos; Editor’s pick for bookworms; Heard in the Grapevine - swabbing of newborns with vaginas effluvia and smelling tuberculosis

  1. A microRNA-129-5p/Rbfox crosstalk coordinates homeostatic downscaling of excitatory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajman, Marek; Metge, Franziska; Fiore, Roberto; Khudayberdiev, Sharof; Aksoy-Aksel, Ayla; Bicker, Silvia; Ruedell Reschke, Cristina; Raoof, Rana; Brennan, Gary P; Delanty, Norman; Farrell, Michael A; O'Brien, Donncha F; Bauer, Sebastian; Norwood, Braxton; Veno, Morten T; Krüger, Marcus; Braun, Thomas; Kjems, Jørgen; Rosenow, Felix; Henshall, David C; Dieterich, Christoph; Schratt, Gerhard

    2017-06-14

    Synaptic downscaling is a homeostatic mechanism that allows neurons to reduce firing rates during chronically elevated network activity. Although synaptic downscaling is important in neural circuit development and epilepsy, the underlying mechanisms are poorly described. We performed small RNA profiling in picrotoxin (PTX)-treated hippocampal neurons, a model of synaptic downscaling. Thereby, we identified eight microRNAs (miRNAs) that were increased in response to PTX, including miR-129-5p, whose inhibition blocked synaptic downscaling in vitro and reduced epileptic seizure severity in vivo Using transcriptome, proteome, and bioinformatic analysis, we identified the calcium pump Atp2b4 and doublecortin (Dcx) as miR-129-5p targets. Restoring Atp2b4 and Dcx expression was sufficient to prevent synaptic downscaling in PTX-treated neurons. Furthermore, we characterized a functional crosstalk between miR-129-5p and the RNA-binding protein (RBP) Rbfox1. In the absence of PTX, Rbfox1 promoted the expression of Atp2b4 and Dcx. Upon PTX treatment, Rbfox1 expression was downregulated by miR-129-5p, thereby allowing the repression of Atp2b4 and Dcx. We therefore identified a novel activity-dependent miRNA/RBP crosstalk during synaptic scaling, with potential implications for neural network homeostasis and epileptogenesis. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. Phencyclidine-induced Loss of Asymmetric Spine Synapses in Rodent Prefrontal Cortex is Reversed by Acute and Chronic Treatment with Olanzapine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsworth, John D; Morrow, Bret A; Hajszan, Tibor; Leranth, Csaba; Roth, Robert H

    2011-01-01

    Enduring cognitive deficits exist in schizophrenic patients, long-term abusers of phencyclidine (PCP), as well as in animal PCP models of schizophrenia. It has been suggested that cognitive performance and memory processes are coupled with remodeling of pyramidal dendritic spine synapses in prefrontal cortex (PFC), and that reduced spine density and number of spine synapses in the medial PFC of PCP-treated rats may potentially underlie, at least partially, the cognitive dysfunction previously observed in this animal model. The present data show that the decrease in number of asymmetric (excitatory) spine synapses in layer II/III of PFC, previously noted at 1-week post PCP treatment also occurs, to a lesser degree, in layer V. The decrease in the number of spine synapses in layer II/III was sustained and persisted for at least 4 weeks, paralleling the observed cognitive deficits. Both acute and chronic treatment with the atypical antipsychotic drug, olanzapine, starting at 1 week after PCP treatment at doses that restore cognitive function, reversed the asymmetric spine synapse loss in PFC of PCP-treated rats. Olanzapine had no significant effect on spine synapse number in saline-treated controls. These studies demonstrate that the effect of PCP on asymmetric spine synapse number in PFC lasts at least 4 weeks in this model. This spine synapse loss in PFC is reversed by acute treatment with olanzapine, and this reversal is maintained by chronic oral treatment, paralleling the time course of the restoration of the dopamine deficit, and normalization of cognitive function produced by olanzapine. PMID:21677652

  3. The Stress-Induced Transcription Factor NR4A1 Adjusts Mitochondrial Function and Synapse Number in Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanneteau, Freddy; Barrère, Christian; Vos, Mariska; De Vries, Carlie J M; Rouillard, Claude; Levesque, Daniel; Dromard, Yann; Moisan, Marie-Pierre; Duric, Vanja; Franklin, Tina C; Duman, Ronald S; Lewis, David A; Ginsberg, Stephen D; Arango-Lievano, Margarita

    2018-02-07

    The energetic costs of behavioral chronic stress are unlikely to be sustainable without neuronal plasticity. Mitochondria have the capacity to handle synaptic activity up to a limit before energetic depletion occurs. Protective mechanisms driven by the induction of neuronal genes likely evolved to buffer the consequences of chronic stress on excitatory neurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC), as this circuitry is vulnerable to excitotoxic insults. Little is known about the genes involved in mitochondrial adaptation to the buildup of chronic stress. Using combinations of genetic manipulations and stress for analyzing structural, transcriptional, mitochondrial, and behavioral outcomes, we characterized NR4A1 as a stress-inducible modifier of mitochondrial energetic competence and dendritic spine number in PFC. NR4A1 acted as a transcription factor for changing the expression of target genes previously involved in mitochondrial uncoupling, AMP-activated protein kinase activation, and synaptic growth. Maintenance of NR4A1 activity by chronic stress played a critical role in the regressive synaptic organization in PFC of mouse models of stress (male only). Knockdown, dominant-negative approach, and knockout of Nr4a1 in mice and rats (male only) protected pyramidal neurons against the adverse effects of chronic stress. In human PFC tissues of men and women, high levels of the transcriptionally active NR4A1 correlated with measures of synaptic loss and cognitive impairment. In the context of chronic stress, prolonged expression and activity of NR4A1 may lead to responses of mitochondria and synaptic connectivity that do not match environmental demand, resulting in circuit malfunction between PFC and other brain regions, constituting a pathological feature across disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The bioenergetic cost of chronic stress is too high to be sustainable by pyramidal prefrontal neurons. Cellular checkpoints have evolved to adjust the responses of mitochondria and

  4. Synapse Formation in Monosynaptic Sensory–Motor Connections Is Regulated by Presynaptic Rho GTPase Cdc42

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imai, Fumiyasu; Ladle, David R.; Leslie, Jennifer R.; Duan, Xin; Rizvi, Tilat A.; Ciraolo, Georgianne M.; Zheng, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spinal reflex circuit development requires the precise regulation of axon trajectories, synaptic specificity, and synapse formation. Of these three crucial steps, the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation between group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons and motor neurons is the least understood. Here, we show that the Rho GTPase Cdc42 controls synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor connections in presynaptic, but not postsynaptic, neurons. In mice lacking Cdc42 in presynaptic sensory neurons, proprioceptive sensory axons appropriately reach the ventral spinal cord, but significantly fewer synapses are formed with motor neurons compared with wild-type mice. Concordantly, electrophysiological analyses show diminished EPSP amplitudes in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits in these mutants. Temporally targeted deletion of Cdc42 in sensory neurons after sensory–motor circuit establishment reveals that Cdc42 does not affect synaptic transmission. Furthermore, addition of the synaptic organizers, neuroligins, induces presynaptic differentiation of wild-type, but not Cdc42-deficient, proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro. Together, our findings demonstrate that Cdc42 in presynaptic neurons is required for synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons form direct synapses with motor neurons, but the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation in these monosynaptic sensory–motor connections are unknown. We show that deleting Cdc42 in sensory neurons does not affect proprioceptive sensory axon targeting because axons reach the ventral spinal cord appropriately, but these neurons form significantly fewer presynaptic terminals on motor neurons. Electrophysiological analysis further shows that EPSPs are decreased in these mice. Finally, we demonstrate that Cdc42 is involved in neuroligin-dependent presynaptic differentiation of proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro

  5. Regulation of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Exocytosis and Gamma-Aminobutyric Acidergic Interneuron Synapse by the Schizophrenia Susceptibility Gene Dysbindin-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Qiang; Yang, Feng; Xiao, Yixin; Tan, Shawn; Husain, Nilofer; Ren, Ming; Hu, Zhonghua; Martinowich, Keri; Ng, Julia S; Kim, Paul J; Han, Weiping; Nagata, Koh-Ichi; Weinberger, Daniel R; Je, H Shawn

    2016-08-15

    Genetic variations in dystrobrevin binding protein 1 (DTNBP1 or dysbindin-1) have been implicated as risk factors in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. The encoded protein dysbindin-1 functions in the regulation of synaptic activity and synapse development. Intriguingly, a loss of function mutation in Dtnbp1 in mice disrupted both glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic transmission in the cerebral cortex; pyramidal neurons displayed enhanced excitability due to reductions in inhibitory synaptic inputs. However, the mechanism by which reduced dysbindin-1 activity causes inhibitory synaptic deficits remains unknown. We investigated the role of dysbindin-1 in the exocytosis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) from cortical excitatory neurons, organotypic brain slices, and acute slices from dysbindin-1 mutant mice and determined how this change in BDNF exocytosis transsynaptically affected the number of inhibitory synapses formed on excitatory neurons via whole-cell recordings, immunohistochemistry, and live-cell imaging using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. A decrease in dysbindin-1 reduces the exocytosis of BDNF from cortical excitatory neurons, and this reduction in BDNF exocytosis transsynaptically resulted in reduced inhibitory synapse numbers formed on excitatory neurons. Furthermore, application of exogenous BDNF rescued the inhibitory synaptic deficits caused by the reduced dysbindin-1 level in both cultured cortical neurons and slice cultures. Taken together, our results demonstrate that these two genes linked to risk for schizophrenia (BDNF and dysbindin-1) function together to regulate interneuron development and cortical network activity. This evidence supports the investigation of the association between dysbindin-1 and BDNF in humans with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. Synergistic effect of repulsive inhibition in synchronization of excitatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belykh, Igor; Reimbayev, Reimbay; Zhao, Kun

    2015-06-01

    We show that the addition of pairwise repulsive inhibition to excitatory networks of bursting neurons induces synchrony, in contrast to one's expectations. Through stability analysis, we reveal the mechanism underlying this purely synergistic phenomenon and demonstrate that it originates from the transition between different types of bursting, caused by excitatory-inhibitory synaptic coupling. This effect is generic and observed in different models of bursting neurons and fast synaptic interactions. We also find a universal scaling law for the synchronization stability condition for large networks in terms of the number of excitatory and inhibitory inputs each neuron receives, regardless of the network size and topology. This general law is in sharp contrast with linearly coupled networks with positive (attractive) and negative (repulsive) coupling where the placement and structure of negative connections heavily affect synchronization.

  8. Evidence that protons act as neurotransmitters at vestibular hair cell-calyx afferent synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Highstein, Stephen M; Holstein, Gay R; Mann, Mary Anne; Rabbitt, Richard D

    2014-04-08

    Present data support the conclusion that protons serve as an important neurotransmitter to convey excitatory stimuli from inner ear type I vestibular hair cells to postsynaptic calyx nerve terminals. Time-resolved pH imaging revealed stimulus-evoked extrusion of protons from hair cells and a subsequent buildup of [H(+)] within the confined chalice-shaped synaptic cleft (ΔpH ∼ -0.2). Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings revealed a concomitant nonquantal excitatory postsynaptic current in the calyx terminal that was causally modulated by cleft acidification. The time course of [H(+)] buildup limits the speed of this intercellular signaling mechanism, but for tonic signals such as gravity, protonergic transmission offers a significant metabolic advantage over quantal excitatory postsynaptic currents--an advantage that may have driven the proliferation of postsynaptic calyx terminals in the inner ear vestibular organs of contemporary amniotes.

  9. Criticality predicts maximum irregularity in recurrent networks of excitatory nodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yahya Karimipanah

    Full Text Available A rigorous understanding of brain dynamics and function requires a conceptual bridge between multiple levels of organization, including neural spiking and network-level population activity. Mounting evidence suggests that neural networks of cerebral cortex operate at a critical regime, which is defined as a transition point between two phases of short lasting and chaotic activity. However, despite the fact that criticality brings about certain functional advantages for information processing, its supporting evidence is still far from conclusive, as it has been mostly based on power law scaling of size and durations of cascades of activity. Moreover, to what degree such hypothesis could explain some fundamental features of neural activity is still largely unknown. One of the most prevalent features of cortical activity in vivo is known to be spike irregularity of spike trains, which is measured in terms of the coefficient of variation (CV larger than one. Here, using a minimal computational model of excitatory nodes, we show that irregular spiking (CV > 1 naturally emerges in a recurrent network operating at criticality. More importantly, we show that even at the presence of other sources of spike irregularity, being at criticality maximizes the mean coefficient of variation of neurons, thereby maximizing their spike irregularity. Furthermore, we also show that such a maximized irregularity results in maximum correlation between neuronal firing rates and their corresponding spike irregularity (measured in terms of CV. On the one hand, using a model in the universality class of directed percolation, we propose new hallmarks of criticality at single-unit level, which could be applicable to any network of excitable nodes. On the other hand, given the controversy of the neural criticality hypothesis, we discuss the limitation of this approach to neural systems and to what degree they support the criticality hypothesis in real neural networks. Finally

  10. Mammalian Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration and Ribbon Synapse Reformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoling Lu

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Synapses of horizontal connections in adult rat somatosensory cortex have different properties depending on the source of their axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickmott, Peter W

    2010-03-01

    In somatosensory cortex (S1) tactile stimulation activates specific regions. The borders between representations of different body parts constrain the spread of excitation and inhibition: connections that cross from one representation to another (cross-border, CB) are weaker than those remaining within the representation (noncross border, NCB). Thus, physiological properties of CB and NCB synapses onto layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons were compared using whole-cell recordings in layer 2/3 neurons close to the border between the forepaw and lower jaw representations. Electrical stimulation of CB and NCB connections was used to activate synaptic potentials. Properties of excitatory (EPSPs) and inhibitory (IPSPs) postsynaptic potentials (PSP) were determined using 3 methods: 1) minimal stimulation to elicit single-fiber responses; 2) stimulation in the presence of extracellular Sr(2+) to elicit asynchronous quantal responses; 3) short trains of stimulation at various frequencies to examine postsynaptic potential (PSP) dynamics. Both minimal and asynchronous quantal EPSPs were smaller when evoked by CB than NCB stimulation. However, the dynamics of EPSP and IPSP trains were not different between CB and NCB stimulation. These data suggest that individual excitatory synapses from connections that cross a border (CB) have smaller amplitudes than those that come from within a representation (NCB), and suggest a postsynaptic locus for the difference.

  12. Layer-Dependent Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Between Excitatory Neurons in the C2 Barrel Column of Mouse Primary Somatosensory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefort, Sandrine; Petersen, Carl C H

    2017-07-01

    Neurons process information through spatiotemporal integration of synaptic input. Synaptic transmission between any given pair of neurons is typically a dynamic process with presynaptic action potentials (APs) evoking depressing or facilitating postsynaptic potentials when presynaptic APs occur within hundreds of milliseconds of each other. In order to understand neocortical function, it is therefore important to investigate such short-term synaptic plasticity at synapses between different types of neocortical neurons. Here, we examine short-term synaptic dynamics between excitatory neurons in different layers of the mouse C2 barrel column through in vitro whole-cell recordings. We find layer-dependent short-term plasticity, with depression being dominant at many synaptic connections. Interestingly, however, presynaptic layer 2 neurons predominantly give rise to facilitating excitatory synaptic output at short interspike intervals of 10 and 30 ms. Previous studies have found prominent burst firing of excitatory neurons in supragranular layers of awake mice. The facilitation we observed in the synaptic output of layer 2 may, therefore, be functionally relevant, possibly serving to enhance the postsynaptic impact of burst firing. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Excitatory Neuromodulator Reduces Dopamine Release, Enhancing Prolactin Secretion

    OpenAIRE

    van den Pol, Anthony N.

    2010-01-01

    Hypothalamic dopamine neurons inhibit pituitary prolactin secretion. In this issue, Lyons et al provide evidence for a novel model, whereby the excitatory neuropeptide TRH depolarizes gap junction-coupled dopamine neurons, leading to a shift in the population pattern of action potentials from phasic burst firing to regular tonic firing, hypothetically reducing dopamine release while increasing total spike number.

  16. Electrical field stimulation-induced excitatory responses of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the 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 ...

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

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    Daniela eNeuhofer

    2015-03-01

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

  18. Artificial neuron synapse transistor based on silicon nanomembrane on plastic substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Minjie; Huang, Gaoshan; Feng, Ping; Guo, Qinglei; Shao, Feng; Tian, Ziao; Li, Gongjin; Wan, Qing; Mei, Yongfeng

    2017-06-01

    Silicon nanomembrane (SiNM) transistors gated by chitosan membrane were fabricated on plastic substrate to mimic synapse behaviors. The device has both a bottom proton gate (BG) and multiple side gates (SG). Electrical transfer properties of BG show hysteresis curves different from those of typical SiO2 gate dielectric. Synaptic behaviors and functions by linear accumulation and release of protons have been mimicked on this device: excitatory post-synaptic current (EPSC) and paired pulse facilitation behavior of biological synapses were mimicked and the paired-pulse facilitation index could be effectively tuned by the spike interval applied on the BG. Synaptic behaviors and functions, including short-term memory and long-term memory, were also experimentally demonstrated in BG mode. Meanwhile, spiking logic operation and logic modulation were realized in SG mode. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51322201), the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (No. 20120071110025), and Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No. 14JC1400200).

  19. Activity-dependent transport of the transcriptional coactivator CRTC1 from synapse to nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ch'ng, Toh Hean; Uzgil, Besim; Lin, Peter; Avliyakulov, Nuraly K; O'Dell, Thomas J; Martin, Kelsey C

    2012-07-06

    Long-lasting changes in synaptic efficacy, such as those underlying long-term memory, require transcription. Activity-dependent transport of synaptically localized transcriptional regulators provides a direct means of coupling synaptic stimulation with changes in transcription. The CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC1), which is required for long-term hippocampal plasticity, binds CREB to potently promote transcription. We show that CRTC1 localizes to synapses in silenced hippocampal neurons but translocates to the nucleus in response to localized synaptic stimulation. Regulated nuclear translocation occurs only in excitatory neurons and requires calcium influx and calcineurin activation. CRTC1 is controlled in a dual fashion with activity regulating CRTC1 nuclear translocation and cAMP modulating its persistence in the nucleus. Neuronal activity triggers a complex change in CRTC1 phosphorylation, suggesting that CRTC1 may link specific types of stimuli to specific changes in gene expression. Together, our results indicate that synapse-to-nuclear transport of CRTC1 dynamically informs the nucleus about synaptic activity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Multiple forms of metaplasticity at a single hippocampal synapse during late postnatal development

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    Daniel G. McHail

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Metaplasticity refers to adjustment in the requirements for induction of synaptic plasticity based on the prior history of activity. Numerous forms of developmental metaplasticity are observed at Schaffer collateral synapses in the rat hippocampus at the end of the third postnatal week. Emergence of spatial learning and memory at this developmental stage suggests possible involvement of metaplasticity in the final maturation of the hippocampus. Three distinct metaplastic phenomena are apparent. (1 As transmitter release probability increases with increasing age, presynaptic potentiation is reduced. (2 Alterations in the composition and channel conductance properties of AMPARs facilitate the induction of postsynaptic potentiation with increasing age. (3 Low frequency stimulation inhibits subsequent induction of potentiation in animals older but not younger than 3 weeks of age. Thus, many forms of plasticity expressed at SC-CA1 synapses are different in rats younger and older than 3 weeks of age, illustrating the complex orchestration of physiological modifications that underlie the maturation of hippocampal excitatory synaptic transmission. This review paper describes three late postnatal modifications to synaptic plasticity induction in the hippocampus and attempts to relate these metaplastic changes to developmental alterations in hippocampal network activity and the maturation of contextual learning.

  1. 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.

  2. Enhanced Transmission at the Calyx of Held Synapse in a Mouse Model for Angelman Syndrome

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    Tiantian Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The neurodevelopmental disorder Angelman syndrome (AS is characterized by intellectual disability, motor dysfunction, distinct behavioral aspects, and epilepsy. AS is caused by a loss of the maternally expressed UBE3A gene, and many of the symptoms are recapitulated in a Ube3a mouse model of this syndrome. At the cellular level, changes in the axon initial segment (AIS have been reported, and changes in vesicle cycling have indicated the presence of presynaptic deficits. Here we studied the role of UBE3A in the auditory system by recording synaptic transmission at the calyx of Held synapse in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB through in vivo whole cell and juxtacellular recordings. We show that MNTB principal neurons in Ube3a mice exhibit a hyperpolarized resting membrane potential, an increased action potential (AP amplitude and a decreased AP half width. Moreover, both the pre- and postsynaptic AP in the calyx of Held synapse of Ube3a mice showed significantly faster recovery from spike depression. An increase in AIS length was observed in the principal MNTB neurons of Ube3a mice, providing a possible substrate for these gain-of-function changes. Apart from the effect on APs, we also observed that EPSPs showed decreased short-term synaptic depression (STD during long sound stimulations in AS mice, and faster recovery from STD following these tones, which is suggestive of a presynaptic gain-of-function. Our findings thus provide in vivo evidence that UBE3A plays a critical role in controlling synaptic transmission and excitability at excitatory synapses.

  3. Excitatory actions of GABA in developing chick vestibular afferents: effects on resting electrical activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortes, Celso; Galindo, Fabian; Galicia, Salvador; Cebada, Jorge; Flores, Amira

    2013-07-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the effect of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the resting multiunit activity of the vestibular afferents during development using the isolated inner ear of embryonic and postnatal chickens (E15-E21 and P5). GABA (10(-3) to 10(-5) M; n = 133) and muscimol (10(-3) M) elicited an increase in the frequency of the basal discharge of the vestibular afferents. We found that GABA action was dose-dependent and inversely related to animal age. Thus, the largest effect was observed in embryonic ages such as E15 and E17 and decreases in E21 and P5. The GABAA receptor antagonists, bicuculline (10(-5) M; n = 10) and picrotoxin (10(-4) M; n = 10), significantly decreased the excitatory action of GABA and muscimol (10(-3) M). Additionally, CNQX 10(-6) M, MCPG 10(-5) M and 7ClKyn 10(-5) M (n = 5) were co-applied by bath substitution (n = 5). Both the basal discharge and the GABA action significantly decreased in these experimental conditions. The chloride channel blocker 9-AC 0.5 mM produced an important reduction in the effect of GABA 10(-3) (n = 5) and 10(-4) M (n = 5). Thus, our results suggest an excitatory role of GABA in the resting activity of the vestibular afferents that can be explained by changes in the gradient of concentration of Cl(-) during development. We show for the first time that the magnitude of this GABA effect decreases at later stages of embryonic and early postnatal development. Taking into account the results with glutamatergic antagonists, we conclude that GABA has a presynaptic action but is not the neurotransmitter in the vestibular afferent synapses, although it could act as a facilitator of the spontaneous activity and may regulate glutamate release. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Traveling wave front solutions in lateral-excitatory neuronal networks

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    Sittipong Ruktamatakul

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we discuss the shape of traveling wave front solutions to a neuronal model with the connection function to be of lateral excitation type. This means that close connecting cells have an inhibitory influence, while cells that aremore distant have an excitatory influence. We give results on the shape of the wave fronts solutions, which exhibit different shapes depend ing on the size of a threshold parameter.

  5. Positioning of AMPA Receptor-Containing Endosomes Regulates Synapse Architecture

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    Marta Esteves da Silva

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Lateral diffusion in the membrane and endosomal trafficking both contribute to the addition and removal of AMPA receptors (AMPARs at postsynaptic sites. However, the spatial coordination between these mechanisms has remained unclear, because little is known about the dynamics of AMPAR-containing endosomes. In addition, how the positioning of AMPAR-containing endosomes affects synapse organization and functioning has never been directly explored. Here, we used live-cell imaging in hippocampal neuron cultures to show that intracellular AMPARs are transported in Rab11-positive recycling endosomes, which frequently enter dendritic spines and depend on the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton. By using chemically induced dimerization systems to recruit kinesin (KIF1C or myosin (MyosinV/VI motors to Rab11-positive recycling endosomes, we controlled their trafficking and found that induced removal of recycling endosomes from spines decreases surface AMPAR expression and PSD-95 clusters at synapses. Our data suggest a mechanistic link between endosome positioning and postsynaptic structure and composition.

  6. 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.

  7. A novel excitatory network for the control of breathing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Tatiana M.; Garcia, Alfredo J.; Baertsch, Nathan A.; Pollak, Julia; Bloom, Jacob C.; Wei, Aguan D.; Rai, Karan G.; Ramirez, Jan-Marino

    2017-01-01

    Breathing must be tightly coordinated with other behaviors such as vocalization, swallowing, and coughing. These behaviors occur after inspiration, during a respiratory phase termed postinspiration1. Failure to coordinate postinspiration with inspiration can result in aspiration pneumonia, the leading cause of death in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases2. Here we describe an excitatory network that generates the neuronal correlate for postinspiratory activity. Glutamatergic-cholinergic neurons form the basis of this network, while GABAergic inhibition establishes the timing and coordination with inspiration. We refer to this novel network as the postinspiratory complex (PiCo). PiCo has autonomous rhythm generating properties and is necessary and sufficient for postinspiratory activity in vivo. PiCo also has distinct responses to neuromodulators when compared with other excitatory brainstem networks. Based on the discovery of PiCo we propose that each of the three phases of breathing is generated by a distinct excitatory network: The preBötzinger complex, which has been linked to inspiration3,4, the PiCo as described here for the neuronal control of postinspiration, and the Lateral parafacial region (pFL) which has been associated with active expiration, a respiratory phase recruited during high metabolic demand4,5,. PMID:27462817

  8. Double inverse stochastic resonance with dynamic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Analysis of synapse assembly in Drosophila melanogaster

    OpenAIRE

    Fouquet, Wernher

    2009-01-01

    The majority of rapid cell-to-cell communication mechanisms and information processing within the nervous system makes use of chemical synapses. Fast neurotransmission on these sites not only requires very close apposition of pre- and postsynaptic partners, but also depends on an effective structural arrangement of cellular components on both sides of the synaptic cleft. Synaptic vesicles fuse at active zones (AZs), characterized by an electron-dense protein mesh of insufficiently characteriz...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Energy-efficient neuron, synapse and STDP integrated circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Albrecht, Jose M; Yung, Michael W; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2012-06-01

    Ultra-low energy biologically-inspired neuron and synapse integrated circuits are presented. The synapse includes a spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) learning rule circuit. These circuits have been designed, fabricated and tested using a 90 nm CMOS process. Experimental measurements demonstrate proper operation. The neuron and the synapse with STDP circuits have an energy consumption of around 0.4 pJ per spike and synaptic operation respectively.

  12. Automated determination of excitatory amino acid neurotoxicity in cortical culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klingman, J G; Hartley, D M; Choi, D W

    1990-01-01

    We used a commercially available robotic laboratory workstation to quantitatively study excitotoxic neuronal injury in cell culture. A Beckman Instruments Biomek 1000 was programmed to perform both timed exposures to excitatory amino acid agonists, and kinetic assay of the resultant efflux of lactic dehydrogenase from damaged neurons, using 96-well culture plates. Examination of homocysteate neurotoxicity utilizing this automated method produced results similar to those obtained earlier using manual techniques. The method described here may facilitate the characterization of neurotoxic agonist or antagonist activity.

  13. How synapses can enhance sensibility of a neural network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protachevicz, P. R.; Borges, F. S.; Iarosz, K. C.; Caldas, I. L.; Baptista, M. S.; Viana, R. L.; Lameu, E. L.; Macau, E. E. N.; Batista, A. M.

    2018-02-01

    In this work, we study the dynamic range in a neural network modelled by cellular automaton. We consider deterministic and non-deterministic rules to simulate electrical and chemical synapses. Chemical synapses have an intrinsic time-delay and are susceptible to parameter variations guided by learning Hebbian rules of behaviour. The learning rules are related to neuroplasticity that describes change to the neural connections in the brain. Our results show that chemical synapses can abruptly enhance sensibility of the neural network, a manifestation that can become even more predominant if learning rules of evolution are applied to the chemical synapses.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abigail Kalmbach

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Knox

    2007-04-01

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

  16. From synapse to nucleus: calcium-dependent gene transcription in the control of synapse development and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greer, Paul L; Greenberg, Michael E

    2008-09-25

    One of the unique characteristics of higher organisms is their ability to learn and adapt to changes in their environment. This plasticity is largely a result of the brain's ability to convert transient stimuli into long-lasting alterations in neuronal structure and function. This process is complex and involves changes in receptor trafficking, local mRNA translation, protein turnover, and new gene synthesis. Here, we review how neuronal activity triggers calcium-dependent gene expression to regulate synapse development, maturation, and refinement. Interestingly, many components of the activity-dependent gene expression program are mutated in human cognitive disorders, which suggest that this program is essential for proper brain development and function.

  17. GLIA: listening and talking to the synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haydon, P G

    2001-03-01

    Glial cells are emerging from the background to become more prominent in our thinking about integration in the nervous system. Given that glial cells associated with synapses integrate neuronal inputs and can release transmitters that modulate synaptic activity, it is time to rethink our understanding of the wiring diagram of the nervous system. It is no longer appropriate to consider solely neuron-neuron connections; we also need to develop a view of the intricate web of active connections among glial cells, and between glia and neurons. Without such a view, it might be impossible to decode the language of the brain.

  18. The neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+ alters hippocampal excitatory synaptic transmission by modulation of the GABAergic system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YuYing eHuang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP induces Parkinson’s disease (PD-like symptoms following administration to mice, monkeys and humans. A common view is that MPTP is metabolized to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+ to induce its neurodegenerative effects on dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Moreover, the hippocampus contains dopaminergic fibers, which are projecting from the ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra and pars compacta and contain the whole machinery required for dopamine synthesis making them sensitive to MPTP and MPP+. Here we present data showing that acute bath-application of MPP+ elicited a dose-dependent facilitation followed by a depression of synaptic transmission of hippocampal Schaffer collaterals-CA1 synapses in mice. The effects of MPP+ were not mediated by D1/D5- and D2-like receptor activation. Inhibition of the dopamine transporters (DAT did not prevent but increased the depression of excitatory postsynaptic field potentials. In the search for a possible mechanism, we observed that MPP+ reduced the appearance of polyspikes in population spikes recorded in str. pyramidale and increased the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. The acute effect of MPP+ on synaptic transmission was attenuated by co-application of a GABAA receptor antagonist. Taking these data together, we suggest that MPP+ affects hippocampal synaptic transmission by enhancing some aspects of

  19. Toxoplasma gondii Infections Alter GABAergic Synapses and Signaling in the Central Nervous System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Justin M.; Carrillo, Gabriela L.; Su, Jianmin; Lindsay, David S.; Blader, Ira J.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT During infections with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is utilized as a carbon source for parasite metabolism and also to facilitate parasite dissemination by stimulating dendritic-cell motility. The best-recognized function for GABA, however, is its role in the nervous system as an inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates the flow and timing of excitatory neurotransmission. When this pathway is altered, seizures develop. Human toxoplasmosis patients suffer from seizures, suggesting that Toxoplasma interferes with GABA signaling in the brain. Here, we show that while excitatory glutamatergic presynaptic proteins appeared normal, infection with type II ME49 Toxoplasma tissue cysts led to global changes in the distribution of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67), a key enzyme that catalyzes GABA synthesis in the brain. Alterations in GAD67 staining were not due to decreased expression but rather to a change from GAD67 clustering at presynaptic termini to a more diffuse localization throughout the neuropil. Consistent with a loss of GAD67 from the synaptic terminals, Toxoplasma-infected mice develop spontaneous seizures and are more susceptible to drugs that induce seizures by antagonizing GABA receptors. Interestingly, GABAergic protein mislocalization and the response to seizure-inducing drugs were observed in mice infected with type II ME49 but not type III CEP strain parasites, indicating a role for a polymorphic parasite factor(s) in regulating GABAergic synapses. Taken together, these data support a model in which seizures and other neurological complications seen in Toxoplasma-infected individuals are due, at least in part, to changes in GABAergic signaling. PMID:26507232

  20. Witnessing stressful events induces glutamatergic synapse pathway alterations and gene set enrichment of positive EPSP regulation within the VTA of adult mice: An ontology based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Jacob S.

    It is well known that exposure to severe stress increases the risk for developing mood disorders. Currently, the neurobiological and genetic mechanisms underlying the functional effects of psychological stress are poorly understood. Presenting a major obstacle to the study of psychological stress is the inability of current animal models of stress to distinguish between physical and psychological stressors. A novel paradigm recently developed by Warren et al., is able to tease apart the effects of physical and psychological stress in adult mice by allowing these mice to "witness," the social defeat of another mouse thus removing confounding variables associated with physical stressors. Using this 'witness' model of stress and RNA-Seq technology, the current study aims to study the genetic effects of psychological stress. After, witnessing the social defeat of another mouse, VTA tissue was extracted, sequenced, and analyzed for differential expression. Since genes often work together in complex networks, a pathway and gene ontology (GO) analysis was performed using data from the differential expression analysis. The pathway and GO analyzes revealed a perturbation of the glutamatergic synapse pathway and an enrichment of positive excitatory post-synaptic potential regulation. This is consistent with the excitatory synapse theory of depression. Together these findings demonstrate a dysregulation of the mesolimbic reward pathway at the gene level as a result of psychological stress potentially contributing to depressive like behaviors.

  1. Axonal dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in somatosensory cortex.

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    Sally A Marik

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Cortical topography can be remapped as a consequence of sensory deprivation, suggesting that cortical circuits are continually modified by experience. To see the effect of altered sensory experience on specific components of cortical circuits, we imaged neurons, labeled with a genetically modified adeno-associated virus, in the intact mouse somatosensory cortex before and after whisker plucking. Following whisker plucking we observed massive and rapid reorganization of the axons of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons, accompanied by a transient increase in bouton density. For horizontally projecting axons of excitatory neurons there was a net increase in axonal projections from the non-deprived whisker barrel columns into the deprived barrel columns. The axon collaterals of inhibitory neurons located in the deprived whisker barrel columns retracted in the vicinity of their somata and sprouted long-range projections beyond their normal reach towards the non-deprived whisker barrel columns. These results suggest that alterations in the balance of excitation and inhibition in deprived and non-deprived barrel columns underlie the topographic remapping associated with sensory deprivation.

  2. Irregular behavior in an excitatory-inhibitory neuronal network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Choongseok; Terman, David

    2010-06-01

    Excitatory-inhibitory networks arise in many regions throughout the central nervous system and display complex spatiotemporal firing patterns. These neuronal activity patterns (of individual neurons and/or the whole network) are closely related to the functional status of the system and differ between normal and pathological states. For example, neurons within the basal ganglia, a group of subcortical nuclei that are responsible for the generation of movement, display a variety of dynamic behaviors such as correlated oscillatory activity and irregular, uncorrelated spiking. Neither the origins of these firing patterns nor the mechanisms that underlie the patterns are well understood. We consider a biophysical model of an excitatory-inhibitory network in the basal ganglia and explore how specific biophysical properties of the network contribute to the generation of irregular spiking. We use geometric dynamical systems and singular perturbation methods to systematically reduce the model to a simpler set of equations, which is suitable for analysis. The results specify the dependence on the strengths of synaptic connections and the intrinsic firing properties of the cells in the irregular regime when applied to the subthalamopallidal network of the basal ganglia. (c) 2010 American Institute of Physics.

  3. Spiking and Excitatory/Inhibitory Input Dynamics of Barrel Cells in Response to Whisker Deflections of Varying Velocity and Angular Direction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Mainak

    2018-01-15

    The spiking of barrel regular-spiking (RS) cells is tuned for both whisker deflection direction and velocity. Velocity tuning arises due to thalamocortical (TC) synchrony (but not spike quantity) varying with deflection velocity, coupled with feedforward inhibition, while direction selectivity is not fully understood, though may be due partly to direction tuning of TC spiking. Data show that as deflection direction deviates from the preferred direction of an RS cell, excitatory input to the RS cell diminishes minimally, but temporally shifts to coincide with the time-lagged inhibitory input. This work constructs a realistic large-scale model of a barrel; model RS cells exhibit velocity and direction selectivity due to TC input dynamics, with the experimentally observed sharpening of direction tuning with decreasing velocity. The model puts forth the novel proposal that RS→RS synapses can naturally and simply account for the unexplained direction dependence of RS cell inputs - as deflection direction deviates from the preferred direction of an RS cell, and TC input declines, RS→RS synaptic transmission buffers the decline in total excitatory input and causes a shift in timing of the excitatory input peak from the peak in TC input to the delayed peak in RS input. The model also provides several experimentally testable predictions on the velocity dependence of RS cell inputs. This model is the first, to my knowledge, to study the interaction of direction and velocity and propose physiological mechanisms for the stimulus dependence in the timing and amplitude of RS cell inputs. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The role of presynaptic dynamics in processing of natural spike trains in hippocampal synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandaswamy, Umasankar; Deng, Pan-Yue; Stevens, Charles F; Klyachko, Vitaly A

    2010-11-24

    Short-term plasticity (STP) represents a key neuronal mechanism of information processing. In excitatory hippocampal synapses, STP serves as a high-pass filter optimized for the transmission of information-carrying place-field discharges. This STP filter enables synapses to perform a highly nonlinear, switch-like operation permitting the passage and amplification of signals with place-field-like characteristics. Because of the complexity of interactions among STP processes, the synaptic mechanisms underlying this filtering paradigm remain poorly understood. Here, we describe a simple mechanistic model of STP, derived in large part from basic principles of synaptic function, that reproduces this highly nonlinear synaptic behavior. The model, formulated in terms of release probability, considers the interactions between calcium-dependent forms of presynaptic enhancement and their impact on vesicle pool dynamics, which is described using a two-pool model of vesicle recruitment. By considering the interdependency between release probability and various forms of STP, the model attempts to provide a realistic coupling among major presynaptic processes. The model parameters are first determined using synaptic dynamics during constant-frequency stimulation. The model then accurately reproduces all major characteristics of the synaptic filtering paradigm during natural stimulus patterns without free parameters. An elimination approach is then used to identify the contribution of each STP component to synaptic dynamics. Based on this analysis, the model predicts strong calcium dependence of synaptic filtering properties, which is verified experimentally in rat hippocampal slices. This simple model may thus offer a useful framework to further investigate the role of STP in neural computations.

  5. Contact time periods in immunological synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Daniel R.; Chattopadhyay, Amit K.

    2014-10-01

    This paper resolves the long standing debate as to the proper time scale of the onset of the immunological synapse bond, the noncovalent chemical bond defining the immune pathways involving T cells and antigen presenting cells. Results from our model calculations show to be of the order of seconds instead of minutes. Close to the linearly stable regime, we show that in between the two critical spatial thresholds defined by the integrin:ligand pair (Δ2˜ 40-45 nm) and the T-cell receptor TCR:peptide-major-histocompatibility-complex pMHC bond (Δ1˜ 14-15 nm), grows monotonically with increasing coreceptor bond length separation δ (= Δ2-Δ1˜ 26-30 nm) while decays with Δ1 for fixed Δ2. The nonuniversal δ-dependent power-law structure of the probability density function further explains why only the TCR:pMHC bond is a likely candidate to form a stable synapse.

  6. Coordinated Plasticity among Glutamatergic and GABAergic Neurons and Synapses in the Barrel Cortex Is Correlated to Learning Efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Functional plasticity at cortical synapses and neurons is presumably associated with learning and memory. Additionally, coordinated refinement between glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons occurs in associative memory. If these assumptions are present, neuronal plasticity strength and learning efficiency should be correlated. We have examined whether neuronal plasticity strength and learning efficiency are quantitatively correlated in a mouse model of associative learning. Paired whisker and odor stimulations in mice induce odorant-induced whisker motions. The fully establishment of this associative memory appears fast and slow, which are termed as high learning efficiency and low learning efficiency, respectively. In the study of cellular mechanisms underlying this differential learning efficiency, we have compared the strength of neuronal plasticity in the barrel cortices that store associative signals from the mice with high vs. low learning efficiencies. Our results indicate that the levels of learning efficiency are linearly correlated with the upregulated strengths of excitatory synaptic transmission on glutamatergic neurons and their excitability, as well as the downregulated strengths of GABAergic neurons' excitability, their excitatory synaptic inputs and inhibitory synaptic outputs in layers II~III of barrel cortices. The correlations between learning efficiency in associative memory formation and coordinated plasticity at cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons support the notion that the plasticity of associative memory cells is a basis for memory strength. PMID:28798668

  7. Rhythmic changes in synapse numbers in Drosophila melanogaster motor terminals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Ruiz

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that the morphology of the neuromuscular junction of the flight motor neuron MN5 in Drosophila melanogaster undergoes daily rhythmical changes, with smaller synaptic boutons during the night, when the fly is resting, than during the day, when the fly is active. With electron microscopy and laser confocal microscopy, we searched for a rhythmic change in synapse numbers in this neuron, both under light:darkness (LD cycles and constant darkness (DD. We expected the number of synapses to increase during the morning, when the fly has an intense phase of locomotion activity under LD and DD. Surprisingly, only our DD data were consistent with this hypothesis. In LD, we found more synapses at midnight than at midday. We propose that under LD conditions, there is a daily rhythm of formation of new synapses in the dark phase, when the fly is resting, and disassembly over the light phase, when the fly is active. Several parameters appeared to be light dependent, since they were affected differently under LD or DD. The great majority of boutons containing synapses had only one and very few had either two or more, with a 70∶25∶5 ratio (one, two and three or more synapses in LD and 75∶20∶5 in DD. Given the maintenance of this proportion even when both bouton and synapse numbers changed with time, we suggest that there is a homeostatic mechanism regulating synapse distribution among MN5 boutons.

  8. The number and distribution of AMPA receptor channels containing fast kinetic GluA3 and GluA4 subunits at auditory nerve synapses depend on the target cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio, María E; Matsui, Ko; Fukazawa, Yugo; Kamasawa, Naomi; Harada, Harumi; Itakura, Makoto; Molnár, Elek; Abe, Manabu; Sakimura, Kenji; Shigemoto, Ryuichi

    2017-11-01

    The neurotransmitter receptor subtype, number, density, and distribution relative to the location of transmitter release sites are key determinants of signal transmission. AMPA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPARs) containing GluA3 and GluA4 subunits are prominently expressed in subsets of neurons capable of firing action potentials at high frequencies, such as auditory relay neurons. The auditory nerve (AN) forms glutamatergic synapses on two types of relay neurons, bushy cells (BCs) and fusiform cells (FCs) of the cochlear nucleus. AN-BC and AN-FC synapses have distinct kinetics; thus, we investigated whether the number, density, and localization of GluA3 and GluA4 subunits in these synapses are differentially organized using quantitative freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling. We identify a positive correlation between the number of AMPARs and the size of AN-BC and AN-FC synapses. Both types of AN synapses have similar numbers of AMPARs; however, the AN-BC have a higher density of AMPARs than AN-FC synapses, because the AN-BC synapses are smaller. A higher number and density of GluA3 subunits are observed at AN-BC synapses, whereas a higher number and density of GluA4 subunits are observed at AN-FC synapses. The intrasynaptic distribution of immunogold labeling revealed that AMPAR subunits, particularly GluA3, are concentrated at the center of the AN-BC synapses. The central distribution of AMPARs is absent in GluA3-knockout mice, and gold particles are evenly distributed along the postsynaptic density. GluA4 gold labeling was homogenously distributed along both synapse types. Thus, GluA3 and GluA4 subunits are distributed at AN synapses in a target-cell-dependent manner.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-11-01

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

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

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    Watabe Ayako M

    2010-10-01

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

  11. Glutamatergic modulation of separation distress: profound emotional effects of excitatory amino acids in chicks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Normansell, Larry; Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-10-01

    Pre-clinical models of brain affective circuits provide relevant evidence for understanding the brain systems that figure heavily in psychiatric disorders. Social isolation and the resulting separation distress contribute to the onset of depression. In this work, the effects of excitatory amino acids (EAA) on isolation-induced distress vocalization (DV) were assessed in young domestic chicks. Both glutamate and quisqualate (QA) produced dose-dependent reductions in DVs, while N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and kainate (KA) increased DVs. Such a differential pattern of responsiveness may indicate the presence of reciprocal or interacting EAA systems in the brain control of separation distress. Administration of either the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate (APV) or the broad-spectrum antagonist gamma-d-glutamylglycine (DGG) greatly reduced DVs, as did the antagonist 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (APB). APV did not attenuate the increase in vocalizations seen after NMDA or KA administration. DGG, however, was able to block the increase in calling produced by either of these agonists, suggesting a KA receptor mechanism. KA treatment inhibited the ability of other chicks, or auditory and somatosensory information, to suppress DVs. KA-treated animals exhibited a hyperemotional behavior pattern during which a variety of motivated behaviors were disrupted including reactions to novel objects, approaching the flock, and foraging. They could not sustain a coherent flock-like social cohesion, but exhibited strong fixed-action patterns of flight interspersed with hiding and crouching behaviors. The evident behavioral changes suggest that glutamatergic synapses directly influence sensory, motor and emotional processes in the brain and may be especially important in the integration of environmental stimuli with emotional central state processes of animals. Considering that unresolved social loss and grief have been deemed to be among the main precipitating causes

  12. Synaptotagmin 7 confers frequency invariance onto specialized depressing synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turecek, Josef; Jackman, Skyler L.; Regehr, Wade G.

    2017-11-01

    At most synapses in the brain, short-term plasticity dynamically modulates synaptic strength. Rapid frequency-dependent changes in synaptic strength have key roles in sensory adaptation, gain control and many other neural computations. However, some auditory, vestibular and cerebellar synapses maintain constant strength over a wide range of firing frequencies, and as a result efficiently encode firing rates. Despite its apparent simplicity, frequency-invariant transmission is difficult to achieve because of inherent synaptic nonlinearities. Here we study frequency-invariant transmission at synapses from Purkinje cells to deep cerebellar nuclei and at vestibular synapses in mice. Prolonged activation of these synapses leads to initial depression, which is followed by steady-state responses that are frequency invariant for their physiological activity range. We find that synaptotagmin 7 (Syt7), a calcium sensor for short-term facilitation, is present at both synapses. It was unclear why a sensor for facilitation would be present at these and other depressing synapses. We find that at Purkinje cell and vestibular synapses, Syt7 supports facilitation that is normally masked by depression, which can be revealed in wild-type mice but is absent in Syt7 knockout mice. In wild-type mice, facilitation increases with firing frequency and counteracts depression to produce frequency-invariant transmission. In Syt7-knockout mice, Purkinje cell and vestibular synapses exhibit conventional use-dependent depression, weakening to a greater extent as the firing frequency is increased. Presynaptic rescue of Syt7 expression restores both facilitation and frequency-invariant transmission. Our results identify a function for Syt7 at synapses that exhibit overall depression, and demonstrate that facilitation has an unexpected and important function in producing frequency-invariant transmission.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric eHu

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Psychopathology of excitatory and compulsive aspects of vandalistic graffiti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pani, Roberto; Sagliaschi, Samanta

    2009-12-01

    In this paper were explored psychological themes underlying vandalistic graffiti by 162 Italian adolescents (154 boys, 8 girls; M age = 17.5 yr., SD = 2.3) who "felt hooked" on vandalistic graffiti and agreed to participate in an interview with a graffiti writer. Use of this interview could clarify the motivations which led these youths to write on walls, the meaning they give to that act, the emotions they feel as they write, and their perception of risks and excitement involved. Qualitative analysis of their responses suggested these adolescents present a marked excitatory-compulsive trait, report a sense of emptiness, boredom, loneliness, and a lack of internal points of reference, and adopt behaviors linked to a pressing need for immediate gratification.

  15. HIV-1 Virological Synapse is not Simply a Copycat of the Immunological Synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaia Vasiliver-Shamis

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The virological synapse (VS is a tight adhesive junction between an HIV-infected cell and an uninfected target cell, across which virus can be efficiently transferred from cell to cell in the absence of cell-cell fusion. The VS has been postulated to resemble, in its morphology, the well-studied immunological synapse (IS. This review article discusses the structural similarities between IS and VS and the shared T cell receptor (TCR signaling components that are found in the VS. However, the IS and the VS display distinct kinetics in disassembly and intracellular signaling events, possibly leading to different biological outcomes. Hence, HIV-1 exploits molecular components of IS and TCR signaling machinery to trigger unique changes in cellular morphology, migration, and activation that facilitate its transmission and cell-to-cell spread.

  16. Tunnel junction based memristors as artificial synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Andy; Niehörster, Stefan; Fabretti, Savio; Shepheard, Norman; Kuschel, Olga; Küpper, Karsten; Wollschläger, Joachim; Krzysteczko, Patryk; Chicca, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Sniff-Like Patterned Input Results in Long-Term Plasticity at the Rat Olfactory Bulb Mitral and Tufted Cell to Granule Cell Synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Mahua; Perez de Los Cobos Pallares, Fernando; Loebel, Alex; Lukas, Michael; Egger, Veronica

    2016-01-01

    During odor sensing the activity of principal neurons of the mammalian olfactory bulb, the mitral and tufted cells (MTCs), occurs in repetitive bursts that are synchronized to respiration, reminiscent of hippocampal theta-gamma coupling. Axonless granule cells (GCs) mediate self- and lateral inhibitory interactions between the excitatory MTCs via reciprocal dendrodendritic synapses. We have explored long-term plasticity at this synapse by using a theta burst stimulation (TBS) protocol and variations thereof. GCs were excited via glomerular stimulation in acute brain slices. We find that TBS induces exclusively long-term depression in the majority of experiments, whereas single bursts ("single-sniff paradigm") can elicit both long-term potentiation and depression. Statistical analysis predicts that the mechanism underlying this bidirectional plasticity involves the proportional addition or removal of presynaptic release sites. Gamma stimulation with the same number of APs as in TBS was less efficient in inducing plasticity. Both TBS- and "single-sniff paradigm"-induced plasticity depend on NMDA receptor activation. Since the onset of plasticity is very rapid and requires little extra activity, we propose that these forms of plasticity might play a role already during an ongoing search for odor sources. Our results imply that components of both short-term and long-term olfactory memory may be encoded at this synapse.

  18. Sniff-Like Patterned Input Results in Long-Term Plasticity at the Rat Olfactory Bulb Mitral and Tufted Cell to Granule Cell Synapse

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    Mahua Chatterjee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available During odor sensing the activity of principal neurons of the mammalian olfactory bulb, the mitral and tufted cells (MTCs, occurs in repetitive bursts that are synchronized to respiration, reminiscent of hippocampal theta-gamma coupling. Axonless granule cells (GCs mediate self- and lateral inhibitory interactions between the excitatory MTCs via reciprocal dendrodendritic synapses. We have explored long-term plasticity at this synapse by using a theta burst stimulation (TBS protocol and variations thereof. GCs were excited via glomerular stimulation in acute brain slices. We find that TBS induces exclusively long-term depression in the majority of experiments, whereas single bursts (“single-sniff paradigm” can elicit both long-term potentiation and depression. Statistical analysis predicts that the mechanism underlying this bidirectional plasticity involves the proportional addition or removal of presynaptic release sites. Gamma stimulation with the same number of APs as in TBS was less efficient in inducing plasticity. Both TBS- and “single-sniff paradigm”-induced plasticity depend on NMDA receptor activation. Since the onset of plasticity is very rapid and requires little extra activity, we propose that these forms of plasticity might play a role already during an ongoing search for odor sources. Our results imply that components of both short-term and long-term olfactory memory may be encoded at this synapse.

  19. Inhibition potentiates the synchronizing action of electrical synapses

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    Benjamin Pfeuty

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available In vivo and in vitro experimental studies have found that blocking electrical interactions connecting GABAergic interneurons reduces oscillatory activity in the µ range in cortex. However, recent theoretical works have shown that the ability of electrical synapses to promote or impede synchrony, when alone, depends on their location on the dendritic tree of the neurons, the intrinsic properties of the neurons and the connectivity of the network. The goal of the present paper is to show that this versatility in the synchronizing ability of electrical synapses is greatly reduced when the neurons also interact via inhibition. To this end, we study a model network comprising two-compartment conductance-based neurons interacting with both types of synapses. We investigate the effect of electrical synapses on the dynamical state of the network as a function of the strength of the inhibition. We find that for weak inhibition, electrical synapses reinforce inhibition-generated synchrony only if they promote synchrony when they are alone. In contrast, when inhibition is sufficiently strong, electrical synapses improve synchrony even if when acting alone they would stabilize asynchronous firing. We clarify the mechanism underlying this cooperative interplay between electrical and inhibitory synapses. We show that it is relevant in two physiologically observed regimes: spike-to-spike synchrony, where neurons fire at almost every cycle of the population oscillations, and stochastic synchrony, where neurons fire irregularly and at a rate which is substantially lower than the frequency of the global population rhythm.

  20. The cytotoxic T lymphocyte immune synapse at a glance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieckmann, Nele M G; Frazer, Gordon L; Asano, Yukako; Stinchcombe, Jane C; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2016-08-01

    The immune synapse provides an important structure for communication with immune cells. Studies on immune synapses formed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) highlight the dynamic changes and specialised mechanisms required to facilitate focal signalling and polarised secretion in immune cells. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we illustrate the different steps that reveal the specialised mechanisms used to focus secretion at the CTL immune synapse and allow CTLs to be such efficient and precise serial killers. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.A. Spangler (Samantha)

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Climbing fiber synapse elimination in cerebellar Purkinje cells

    OpenAIRE

    Watanabe, Masahiko; Kano, Masanobu

    2011-01-01

    Innervation of Purkinje cells (PCs) by multiple climbing fibers (CFs) is refined into mono-innervation during the first three postnatal weeks of rodents' life. In this review article, we will integrate the current knowledge on developmental process and mechanisms of CF synapse elimination. In the "creeper" stage of CF innervation (postnatal day 0 (P0)∼), CFs creep among PC somata to form transient synapses on immature dendrites. In the "pericellular nest" stage (P5∼), CFs densely surround and...

  3. The central role of the cytoskeleton in mechanisms and functions of the NK cell immune synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagrue, Kathryn; Carisey, Alex; Oszmiana, Anna; Kennedy, Philippa R; Williamson, David J; Cartwright, Adam; Barthen, Charlotte; Davis, Daniel M

    2013-11-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells discriminate between healthy and unhealthy target cells through a balance of activating and inhibitory signals at direct intercellular contacts called immune synapses. Rearrangements in the cellular cytoskeleton have long been known to be critical in assembly of immune synapses. Here, through bringing together the vast literature on this subject, the number of different ways in which the cytoskeleton is important becomes evident. The dynamics of filamentous actin are critical in (i) creating the nanometer-scale organization of NK cell receptors, (ii) establishing cellular polarity, (iii) coordinating immune receptor and integrin-mediated signaling, and (iv) directing secretion of lytic granules and cytokines. The microtubule network also is important in the delivery of lytic granules and vesicles containing cytokines to the immune synapse. Together, these data establish that the cytoskeleton acts as a central regulator of this complex and dynamic process - and an enormous amount of NK cell biology is controlled through the cytoskeleton. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

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    Rickmann Michael

    2008-10-01

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

  5. On the road towards the global analysis of human synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, G Aleph; Cotman, Carl W

    2017-10-01

    Synapses are essential units for the flow of information in the brain. Over the last 70 years, synapses have been widely studied in multiple animal models including worms, fruit flies, and rodents. In comparison, the study of human synapses has evolved significantly slower, mainly because of technical limitations. However, three novel methods allowing the analysis of molecular, morphological, and functional properties of human synapses may expand our knowledge of the human brain. Here, we briefly describe these methods, and evaluate how the information provided by each unique approach may contribute to the functional and anatomical analysis of the synaptic component of human brain circuitries. In particular, using tissue from cryopreserved human brains, synaptic plasticity can be studied in isolated synaptosomes by fluorescence analysis of single-synapse long-term potentiation (FASS-LTP), and subpopulations of synapses can be thoroughly assessed in the ribbons of brain tissue by array tomography (AT). Currently, it is also possible to quantify synaptic density in the living human brain by positron emission tomography (PET), using a novel synaptic radio-ligand. Overall, data provided by FASS-LTP, AT, and PET may significantly contribute to the global understanding of synaptic structure and function in both healthy and diseased human brains, thus directly impacting translational research.

  6. On the road towards the global analysis of human synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Aleph Prieto

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Synapses are essential units for the flow of information in the brain. Over the last 70 years, synapses have been widely studied in multiple animal models including worms, fruit flies, and rodents. In comparison, the study of human synapses has evolved significantly slower, mainly because of technical limitations. However, three novel methods allowing the analysis of molecular, morphological, and functional properties of human synapses may expand our knowledge of the human brain. Here, we briefly describe these methods, and evaluate how the information provided by each unique approach may contribute to the functional and anatomical analysis of the synaptic component of human brain circuitries. In particular, using tissue from cryopreserved human brains, synaptic plasticity can be studied in isolated synaptosomes by fluorescence analysis of single-synapse long-term potentiation (FASS-LTP, and subpopulations of synapses can be thoroughly assessed in the ribbons of brain tissue by array tomography (AT. Currently, it is also possible to quantify synaptic density in the living human brain by positron emission tomography (PET, using a novel synaptic radio-ligand. Overall, data provided by FASS-LTP, AT, and PET may significantly contribute to the global understanding of synaptic structure and function in both healthy and diseased human brains, thus directly impacting translational research.

  7. CNS Neurons Deposit Laminin α5 to Stabilize Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omar, Mitchell H; Campbell, Meghan Kerrisk; Xiao, Xiao; Zhong, Qiaonan; Brunken, William J; Miner, Jeffrey H; Greer, Charles A; Koleske, Anthony J

    2017-10-31

    Synapses in the developing brain are structurally dynamic but become stable by early adulthood. We demonstrate here that an α5-subunit-containing laminin stabilizes synapses during this developmental transition. Hippocampal neurons deposit laminin α5 at synapses during adolescence as connections stabilize. Disruption of laminin α5 in neurons causes dramatic fluctuations in dendritic spine head size that can be rescued by exogenous α5-containing laminin. Conditional deletion of laminin α5 in vivo increases dendritic spine size and leads to an age-dependent loss of synapses accompanied by behavioral defects. Remaining synapses have larger postsynaptic densities and enhanced neurotransmission. Finally, we provide evidence that laminin α5 acts through an integrin α3β1-Abl2 kinase-p190RhoGAP signaling cascade and partners with laminin β2 to regulate dendritic spine density and behavior. Together, our results identify laminin α5 as a stabilizer of dendritic spines and synapses in the brain and elucidate key cellular and molecular mechanisms by which it acts. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Calcium channel-dependent molecular maturation of photoreceptor synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawal Zabouri

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown the importance of calcium channels in the development and/or maturation of synapses. The Ca(V1.4(α(1F knockout mouse is a unique model to study the role of calcium channels in photoreceptor synapse formation. It features abnormal ribbon synapses and aberrant cone morphology. We investigated the expression and targeting of several key elements of ribbon synapses and analyzed the cone morphology in the Ca(V1.4(α(1F knockout retina. Our data demonstrate that most abnormalities occur after eye opening. Indeed, scaffolding proteins such as Bassoon and RIM2 are properly targeted at first, but their expression and localization are not maintained in adulthood. This indicates that either calcium or the Ca(V1.4 channel, or both are necessary for the maintenance of their normal expression and distribution in photoreceptors. Other proteins, such as Veli3 and PSD-95, also display abnormal expression in rods prior to eye opening. Conversely, vesicle related proteins appear normal. Our data demonstrate that the Ca(V1.4 channel is important for maintaining scaffolding proteins in the ribbon synapse but less vital for proteins related to vesicular release. This study also confirms that in adult retinae, cones show developmental features such as sprouting and synaptogenesis. Overall we present evidence that in the absence of the Ca(V1.4 channel, photoreceptor synapses remain immature and are unable to stabilize.

  9. What came first: PKCtheta or the immune synapse?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villalba, Martin

    2004-01-01

    Stimulation of T cells by peptide-presenting antigen-presenting cells (APCs) induces formation of a highly organized complex of receptors, signaling molecules and cytoskeleton components at the immune synapse (IS), the contact site between T cells and APCs. Conjugate formation between T cells and APCs initiates the formation of the IS. After this event, micrometer-scale molecular movements occur in the T cell plasma membrane and the actin cytoskeleton undergoes reorganization. Our current knowledge suggests that formation of the IS is an essential step during T cell activation. This is probably related to the proper localization of certain proteins in specific compartments. One of these proteins is protein kinase Ctheta (PKCtheta), which is absolutely required for T cell activation. During the last years we have made great advances in understanding the function and targets of this kinase, and recent reviews have summarized these findings. In contrast, we do not know the exact mechanism that activates PKCtheta after TCR engagement and the role of PKCtheta activation in the formation of the IS. In this review I analyze the mechanism of the translocation of PKCtheta and discuss the function of PKCtheta in the formation of the IS and, vice versa, the role of the IS in the translocation of PKCtheta.

  10. Slow excitatory synaptic potentials evoked by distension in myenteric descending interneurones of guinea-pig ileum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, P D J; Bornstein, J C

    2002-01-01

    The functional significance of the slow excitatory synaptic potentials (EPSPs) in myenteric neurones is unknown. We investigated this using intracellular recording from myenteric neurones in guinea-pig ileum, in vitro. In all, 121 neurones responded with fast EPSPs to distension of the intestine oral to the recording site. In 28 of these neurones, distension also evoked depolarizations similar to the slow EPSPs evoked by electrical stimulation in the same neurones. Intracellular injection of biocytin and immunohistochemistry revealed that neurones responding to distension with slow EPSPs were descending interneurones, which were immunoreactive for nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Other neurones, including inhibitory motor neurones and interneurones lacking NOS, did not respond to distension with slow EPSPs, but many had slow EPSPs evoked electrically. Slow EPSPs evoked electrically or by distension in NOS-immunoreactive descending interneurones were resistant to blockade of NK1 or NK3 tachykinin receptors (SR 140333, 100 nm; SR 142801, 100 nm, respectively) and group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (PHCCC, 10–30 μm), when the antagonists were applied in the recording chamber of a two-chambered organ bath. However, slow EPSPs evoked electrically in inhibitory motor neurones were substantially depressed by SR 140333 (100 nm). Blockade of synaptic transmission in the stimulation chamber of the organ bath abolished slow EPSPs evoked by distension, indicating that they arose from activity in interneurones, and not from anally directed, intrinsic sensory neurones. Thus, distension evokes slow EPSPs in a subset of myenteric neurones, which may be important for intestinal motility. PMID:11882690

  11. Motor effects of intracaudate injection of excitatory amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, E; Lajtha, A

    1989-05-01

    In a study of the role of excitatory amino acid receptors in movement disorders, the effect of the injection of glutamate (Glu), aspartate (Asp), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), quisqualate (Qu), or kainate (K) into the rat striatum was investigated. Rats were microinjected unilaterally through chronically implanted guide cannulas and their motor behavior was recorded. After 10-25 min L-Glu produced reversible periodic choreiform movements lasting 5-10 sec and contraversive rotation lasting 1-2 min. Both episodes were repeated every 2-3 min: the duration of motor effects was 60-80 min. L-Asp had an effect similar to that of L-Glu and in addition produced barrel rolling. The L-isomers of both Glu and Asp were active and the D-isomers were inactive. NMDA, Qu, and K were more potent than Glu or Asp. Each produced effects similar to that of Glu, and in addition NMDA and K produced wet-dog-shakes and masticatory movements. The motor behavior produced by Qu was identical to that of Glu, but it lasted longer. The motor effects of L-Glu were blocked by L-glutamic acid diethyl ester (GDEE) and by a larger sedative dose of 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5), but not by haloperidol, GABA, glycine (Gly), or a smaller nonsedative dose of AP5. The results suggest that the motor effects of L-Glu were produced by activation of the Qu-type (glutamatergic) receptors, not involving the dopamine and GABA systems. However, activation of the K-type receptors by L-Glu cannot be ruled out.

  12. Control of excitatory CNS synaptogenesis by astrocyte-secreted proteins Hevin and SPARC

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hakan Kucukdereli; Nicola J. Allen; Anthony T. Lee; Ava Feng; M. Ilcim Ozlu; Laura M. Conatser; Chandrani Chakraborty; Gail Workman; Matthew Weaver; E. Helene Sage; Ben A. Barres; Cagla Eroglu

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes regulate synaptic connectivity in the CNS through secreted signals. Here we identified two astrocyte-secreted proteins, hevin and SPARC, as regulators of excitatory synaptogenesis in vitro and in vivo...

  13. Effects of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission on motor patterns of human sigmoid colon in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulí, M; Martínez, E; Gallego, D; Opazo, A; Espín, F; Martí-Gallostra, M; Jiménez, M; Clavé, P

    2008-01-01

    Background and purpose: To characterize the in vitro motor patterns and the neurotransmitters released by enteric motor neurons (EMNs) in the human sigmoid colon. Experimental approach: Sigmoid circular strips were studied in organ baths. EMNs were stimulated by electrical field stimulation (EFS) and through nicotinic ACh receptors. Key results: Strips developed weak spontaneous rhythmic contractions (3.67±0.49 g, 2.54±0.15 min) unaffected by the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX; 1 μM). EFS induced strong contractions during (on, 56%) or after electrical stimulus (off, 44%), both abolished by TTX. Nicotine (1–100 μM) inhibited spontaneous contractions. Latency of off-contractions and nicotine responses were reduced by NG-nitro-L-arginine (1 mM) and blocked after further addition of apamin (1 μM) or the P2Y1 receptor antagonist MRS 2179 (10 μM) and were unaffected by the P2X antagonist NF279 (10 μM) or α-chymotrypsin (10 U mL−1). Amplitude of on- and off-contractions was reduced by atropine (1 μM) and the selective NK2 receptor antagonist Bz-Ala-Ala-D-Trp-Phe-D-Pro-Pro-Nle-NH2 (1 μM). MRS 2179 reduced the amplitude of EFS on- and off-contractions without altering direct muscular contractions induced by ACh (1 nM–1 mM) or substance P (1 nM–10 μM). Conclusions and implications: Latency of EFS-induced off-contractions and inhibition of spontaneous motility by nicotine are caused by stimulation of inhibitory EMNs coreleasing NO and a purine acting at muscular P2Y1 receptors through apamin-sensitive K+ channels. EFS-induced on- and off-contractions are caused by stimulation of excitatory EMNs coreleasing ACh and tachykinins acting on muscular muscarinic and NK2 receptors. Prejunctional P2Y1 receptors might modulate the activity of excitatory EMNs. P2Y1 and NK2 receptors might be therapeutic targets for colonic motor disorders. PMID:18846038

  14. A family of excitatory peptide toxins from venomous crassispirine snails: using Constellation Pharmacology to assess bioactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imperial, Julita S; Cabang, April B; Song, Jie; Raghuraman, Shrinivasan; Gajewiak, Joanna; Watkins, Maren; Showers-Corneli, Patrice; Fedosov, Alexander; Concepcion, Gisela P; Terlau, Heinrich; Teichert, Russell W; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2014-10-01

    The toxinology of the crassispirine snails, a major group of venomous marine gastropods within the superfamily Conoidea, is largely unknown. Here we define the first venom peptide superfamily, the P-like crassipeptides, and show that the organization of their gene sequences is similar to conotoxin precursors. We provide evidence that one peptide family within the P-like crassipeptide superfamily includes potassium-channel (K-channel) blockers, the κP-crassipeptides. Three of these peptides were chemically synthesized (cce9a, cce9b and iqi9a). Using conventional electrophysiology, cce9b was shown to be an antagonist of both a human Kv1.1 channel isoform (Shaker subfamily of voltage-gated K channels) and a Drosophila K-channel isoform. We assessed the bioactivity of these peptides in native mammalian dorsal root ganglion neurons in culture. We demonstrate that two of these crassipeptides, cce9a and cce9b, elicited an excitatory phenotype in a subset of small-diameter capsaicin-sensitive mouse DRG neurons that were also affected by κJ-conotoxin PlXIVA (pl14a), a blocker of Kv1.6 channels. Given the vast complexity of heteromeric K-channel isoforms, this study demonstrates that the crassispirine venoms are a potentially rich source for discovering novel peptides that can help to identify and characterize the diversity of K-channel subtypes expressed in native neurons and other cell types. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. 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.

  16. Federated healthcare record server--the Synapses paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimson, W; Berry, D; Grimson, J; Stephens, G; Felton, E; Given, P; O'Moore, R

    1998-01-01

    The delivery of healthcare relies on the sharing of patient information between those who are providing for the care of the patient and this information is increasingly being expressed in terms of a 'record'. Further, it is desirable that these records are available in electronic form as Electronic HealthCare Records. As it is likely that patient records or parts of records will be stored in many different information systems and in the form of disparate record architectures, uniform access to patient records would be problematic. This paper presents an overview of the Synapses computing environment in which a Federated Healthcare Record Server provides uniform access to patient information stored in connected heterogeneous autonomous information systems and other Synapses servers. The Synapses record architecture is based on the architecture proposed by the Technical Committee 251 of the European Committee for Standardisation and the interfaces to the Synapses server are specified in the ISO standard Interface Definition Language. Synapses is a pan-European project involving a number of hospitals, software companies, universities and research institutes and is partly funded by the EU Health Telematics Programme. The overview is described in terms of the Open Distributed Processing Reference Model.

  17. Fundamental Molecules and Mechanisms for Forming and Maintaining Neuromuscular Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J. Burden

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The neuromuscular synapse is a relatively large synapse with hundreds of active zones in presynaptic motor nerve terminals and more than ten million acetylcholine receptors (AChRs in the postsynaptic membrane. The enrichment of proteins in presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes ensures a rapid, robust, and reliable synaptic transmission. Over fifty years ago, classic studies of the neuromuscular synapse led to a comprehensive understanding of how a synapse looks and works, but these landmark studies did not reveal the molecular mechanisms responsible for building and maintaining a synapse. During the past two-dozen years, the critical molecular players, responsible for assembling the specialized postsynaptic membrane and regulating nerve terminal differentiation, have begun to be identified and their mechanism of action better understood. Here, we describe and discuss five of these key molecular players, paying heed to their discovery as well as describing their currently understood mechanisms of action. In addition, we discuss the important gaps that remain to better understand how these proteins act to control synaptic differentiation and maintenance.

  18. 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

  19. Learning through ferroelectric domain dynamics in solid-state synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyn, Sören; Grollier, Julie; Lecerf, Gwendal; Xu, Bin; Locatelli, Nicolas; Fusil, Stéphane; Girod, Stéphanie; Carrétéro, Cécile; Garcia, Karin; Xavier, Stéphane; Tomas, Jean; Bellaiche, Laurent; Bibes, Manuel; Barthélémy, Agnès; Saïghi, Sylvain; Garcia, Vincent

    2017-04-01

    In the brain, learning is achieved through the ability of synapses to reconfigure the strength by which they connect neurons (synaptic plasticity). In promising solid-state synapses called memristors, conductance can be finely tuned by voltage pulses and set to evolve according to a biological learning rule called spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). Future neuromorphic architectures will comprise billions of such nanosynapses, which require a clear understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible for plasticity. Here we report on synapses based on ferroelectric tunnel junctions and show that STDP can be harnessed from inhomogeneous polarization switching. Through combined scanning probe imaging, electrical transport and atomic-scale molecular dynamics, we demonstrate that conductance variations can be modelled by the nucleation-dominated reversal of domains. Based on this physical model, our simulations show that arrays of ferroelectric nanosynapses can autonomously learn to recognize patterns in a predictable way, opening the path towards unsupervised learning in spiking neural networks.

  20. Functional and structural remodeling of glutamate synapses in prefrontal and frontal cortex induced by behavioral stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eMusazzi

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence has shown that the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, is associated with abnormal function and regulation of the glutamatergic system. Consistently, preclinical studies on stress-based animal models of pathology showed that glucocorticoids and stress exert crucial effects on neuronal excitability and function, especially in cortical and limbic areas. In prefrontal and frontal cortex, acute stress was shown to induce enhancement of glutamate release/transmission dependent on activation of corticosterone receptors. Although the mechanisms whereby stress affects glutamate transmission have not yet been fully understood, it was shown that synaptic, non-genomic action of corticosterone is required to increase the readily releasable pool of glutamate vesicles but is not sufficient to enhance transmission in prefrontal and frontal cortex. Slower, partly genomic mechanisms are probably necessary for the enhancement of glutamate transmission induced by stress.Combined evidence has suggested that the changes in glutamate release and transmission are responsible for the dendritic remodeling and morphological changes induced by stress and it has been argued that sustained alterations of glutamate transmission may play a key role in the long-term structural/functional changes associated with mood disorders in patients. Intriguingly, modifications of the glutamatergic system induced by stress in the prefrontal cortex seem to be biphasic. Indeed, while the fast response to stress suggests an enhancement in the number of excitatory synapses, synaptic transmission and working memory, long-term adaptive changes -including those consequent to chronic stress- induce opposite effects. Better knowledge of the cellular effectors involved in this biphasic effect of stress may be useful to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, and open new paths for the development of therapeutic approaches.

  1. Effect of xenon on excitatory and inhibitory transmission in rat spinal ventral horn neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Tomohiro; Honda, Hiroyuki; Baba, Hiroshi; Kohno, Tatsuro

    2012-05-01

    The minimum alveolar concentration is determined in the spinal cord rather than in the brain. Xenon inhibits glutamatergic excitatory synaptic transmission in the dorsal horn neurons. However, its actions in the ventral horn neurons have not been investigated. The effects of 50 or 75% xenon on excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission were examined in the spinal lamina IX neurons of neonatal rats by using a whole cell patch clamp technique. Fifty percent xenon inhibited the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-4-propionic acid-induced currents (amplitudes = 72 ± 9% and integrated area = 73 ± 13% of the control values), and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-4-propionic acid receptor-mediated electrically evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (amplitudes = 69 ± 13% of the control values). Seventy-five percent xenon similarly inhibited α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-4-propionic acid-induced currents. However, xenon had no effect on the N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced currents or N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated electrically evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents. Xenon decreased the amplitude, but not the frequency, of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. There were no discernible effects on the currents induced by γ-aminobutyric acid or glycine or on miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents. Xenon inhibits α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-4-propionic acid receptor-mediated glutamatergic excitatory transmission in the spinal lamina IX neurons via a postsynaptic mechanism. In contrast, there are no substantial effects on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated or inhibitory synaptic transmission. The suppressive effects on excitatory synaptic transmission in the ventral horn neurons partly account for the mechanism behind xenon's ability to produce immobility in response to noxious stimuli and to determine the minimum alveolar concentration.

  2. Climbing fiber synapse elimination in cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Masahiko; Kano, Masanobu

    2011-11-01

    Innervation of Purkinje cells (PCs) by multiple climbing fibers (CFs) is refined into mono-innervation during the first three postnatal weeks of rodents' lives. In this review article, we will integrate the current knowledge on developmental process and mechanisms of CF synapse elimination. In the 'creeper' stage of CF innervation (postnatal day 0 (P0)∼), CFs creep among PC somata to form transient synapses on immature dendrites. In the 'pericellular nest' stage (P5∼), CFs densely surround and innervate PC somata. CF innervation is then displaced to the apical portion of PC somata in the 'capuchon' stage (P9∼), and translocate to dendrites in the 'dendritic' (P12∼) stage. Along with the developmental changes in CF wiring, functional and morphological distinctions become larger among CF inputs. PCs are initially innervated by more than five CFs with similar strengths (∼P3). During P3-7 only a single CF is selectively strengthened (functional differentiation), and it undergoes dendritic translocation from P9 on (dendritic translocation). Following the functional differentiation, perisomatic CF synapses are eliminated nonselectively; this proceeds in two distinct phases. The early phase (P7-11) is conducted independently of parallel fiber (PF)-PC synapse formation, while the late phase (P12-17) critically depends on it. The P/Q-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel in PCs triggers selective strengthening of single CF inputs, promotes dendritic translocation of the strengthened CFs, and drives the early phase of CF synapse elimination. In contrast, the late phase is mediated by the mGluR1-Gαq-PLCβ4-PKCγ signaling cascade in PCs driven at PF-PC synapses, whose structural connectivity is stabilized and maintained by the GluRδ2-Cbln1-neurexin system. © 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Ève Tremblay

    2010-11-01

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

  4. Immunogold electron microscopic evidence of differential regulation of GluN1, GluN2A, and GluN2B, NMDA-type glutamate receptor subunits in rat hippocampal CA1 synapses during benzodiazepine withdrawal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Paromita; Zerda, Ricardo; Alvarez, Francisco J; Tietz, Elizabeth I

    2010-11-01

    Benzodiazepine withdrawal-anxiety is associated with enhanced α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptor (AMPAR)-mediated glutamatergic transmission in rat hippocampal CA1 synapses due to enhanced synaptic insertion and phosphorylation of GluA1 homomers. Interestingly, attenuation of withdrawal-anxiety is associated with a reduction in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-mediated currents and subunit expression, secondary to AMPA receptor potentiation. Therefore, in this study ultrastructural evidence for possible reductions in NMDAR GluN1, GluN2A, and GluN2B subunits was sought at CA1 stratum radiatum synapses in proximal dendrites using postembedding immunogold labeling of tissues from rats withdrawn for 2 days from 1-week daily oral administration of the benzodiazepine, flurazepam (FZP). GluN1-immunogold density and the percentage of immunopositive synapses were significantly decreased in tissues from FZP-withdrawn rats. Similar decreases were observed for GluN2B subunits; however, the relative lateral distribution of GluN2B-immunolabeling within the postsynaptic density did not change after BZ withdrawal. In contrast to the GluN2B subunit, the percentage of synapses labeled with the GluN2A subunit antibody and the density of immunogold labeling for this subunit was unchanged. The spatial localization of immunogold particles associated with each NMDAR subunit was consistent with a predominantly postsynaptic localization. The data therefore provide direct evidence for reduced synaptic GluN1/GluN2B receptors and preservation of GluN1/GluN2A receptors in the CA1 stratum radiatum region during BZ withdrawal. Based on collective findings in this benzodiazepine withdrawal-anxiety model, we propose a functional model illustrating the changes in glutamate receptor populations at excitatory synapses during benzodiazepine withdrawal. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Meet the players: local translation at the synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra eFernandez Moya

    2014-11-01

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

  6. Multiprocessor and memory architecture of the neurocomputer SYNAPSE-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramacher, U; Raab, W; Anlauf, J; Hachmann, U; Beichter, J; Brüls, N; Wesseling, M; Sicheneder, E; Männer, R; Glass, J

    1993-12-01

    A general purpose neurocomputer, SYNAPSE-1, which exhibits a multiprocessor and memory architecture is presented. It offers wide flexibility with respect to neural algorithms and a speed-up factor of several orders of magnitude--including learning. The computational power is provided by a 2-dimensional systolic array of neural signal processors. Since the weights are stored outside these NSPs, memory size and processing power can be adapted individually to the application needs. A neural algorithms programming language, embedded in C(+2) has been defined for the user to cope with the neurocomputer. In a benchmark test, the prototype of SYNAPSE-1 was 8000 times as fast as a standard workstation.

  7. Deletion of the amyloid precursor-like protein 1 (APLP1) enhances excitatory synaptic transmission, reduces network inhibition but does not impair synaptic plasticity in the mouse dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vnencak, Matej; Paul, Mandy H; Hick, Meike; Schwarzacher, Stephan W; Del Turco, Domenico; Müller, Ulrike C; Deller, Thomas; Jedlicka, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Amyloid precursor-like protein 1 (APLP1) is a transmembrane synaptic protein belonging to the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene family. Although the role of this gene family-in particular of APP-has been intensely studied in the context of Alzheimer's disease, the physiological roles of its family members remain poorly understood. In particular, the function of APLP1, which is predominantly expressed in the nervous system, has remained enigmatic. Since APP has been implicated in synaptic plasticity, we wondered whether APLP1 could play a similar role. First, using in situ hybridization and laser microdissection combined with reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) we observed that Aplp1 mRNA is highly expressed in dentate granule cells. Having this examined, we studied synaptic plasticity at the perforant path-granule cell synapses in the dentate gyrus of APLP1-deficient mice in vivo. Analysis of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials evoked by stimulation of perforant path fibers revealed increased excitatory transmission in APLP1-deficient mice. Moreover, we observed decreased paired-pulse inhibition of population spikes indicating a decrease in network inhibition upon deletion of APLP1. In contrast, short-term presynaptic plasticity (STP) as well as long-term synaptic plasticity (LTP) was unchanged in the absence of APLP1. Based on these results we conclude that APLP1 deficiency on its own does not lead to defects in synaptic plasticity, but affects synaptic transmission and network inhibition in the dentate gyrus. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Probing the mechanism of exocytosis at the hair cell ribbon synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neef, Andreas; Khimich, Darina; Pirih, Primoz; Riedel, Dietmar; Wolf, Fred; Moser, Tobias

    2007-01-01

    Hearing relies on faithful synaptic transmission at the ribbon synapse of cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs). Postsynaptic recordings from this synapse in prehearing animals had delivered strong indications for synchronized release of several vesicles. The underlying mechanism, however, remains

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Extensive excitatory network interactions shape temporal processing of communication signals in a model sensory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaofeng; Kohashi, Tsunehiko; Carlson, Bruce A

    2013-07-01

    Many sensory brain regions are characterized by extensive local network interactions. However, we know relatively little about the contribution of this microcircuitry to sensory coding. Detailed analyses of neuronal microcircuitry are usually performed in vitro, whereas sensory processing is typically studied by recording from individual neurons in vivo. The electrosensory pathway of mormyrid fish provides a unique opportunity to link in vitro studies of synaptic physiology with in vivo studies of sensory processing. These fish communicate by actively varying the intervals between pulses of electricity. Within the midbrain posterior exterolateral nucleus (ELp), the temporal filtering of afferent spike trains establishes interval tuning by single neurons. We characterized pairwise neuronal connectivity among ELp neurons with dual whole cell recording in an in vitro whole brain preparation. We found a densely connected network in which single neurons influenced the responses of other neurons throughout the network. Similarly tuned neurons were more likely to share an excitatory synaptic connection than differently tuned neurons, and synaptic connections between similarly tuned neurons were stronger than connections between differently tuned neurons. We propose a general model for excitatory network interactions in which strong excitatory connections both reinforce and adjust tuning and weak excitatory connections make smaller modifications to tuning. The diversity of interval tuning observed among this population of neurons can be explained, in part, by each individual neuron receiving a different complement of local excitatory inputs.

  11. Spinal Hb9::Cre-derived excitatory interneurons contribute to rhythm generation in the mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldeira, Vanessa; Dougherty, Kimberly J; Borgius, Lotta; Kiehn, Ole

    2017-01-27

    Rhythm generating neurons are thought to be ipsilaterally-projecting excitatory neurons in the thoracolumbar mammalian spinal cord. Recently, a subset of Shox2 interneurons (Shox2 non-V2a INs) was found to fulfill these criteria and make up a fraction of the rhythm-generating population. Here we use Hb9::Cre mice to genetically manipulate Hb9::Cre-derived excitatory interneurons (INs) in order to determine the role of these INs in rhythm generation. We demonstrate that this line captures a consistent population of spinal INs which is mixed with respect to neurotransmitter phenotype and progenitor domain, but does not overlap with the Shox2 non-V2a population. We also show that Hb9::Cre-derived INs include the comparatively small medial population of INs which continues to express Hb9 postnatally. When excitatory neurotransmission is selectively blocked by deleting Vglut2 from Hb9::Cre-derived INs, there is no difference in left-right and/or flexor-extensor phasing between these cords and controls, suggesting that excitatory Hb9::Cre-derived INs do not affect pattern generation. In contrast, the frequencies of locomotor activity are significantly lower in cords from Hb9::Cre-Vglut2(Δ/Δ) mice than in cords from controls. Collectively, our findings indicate that excitatory Hb9::Cre-derived INs constitute a distinct population of neurons that participates in the rhythm generating kernel for spinal locomotion.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Distribution and Structure of Synapses on Medial Vestibular Nuclear Neurons Targeted by Cerebellar Flocculus Purkinje Cells and Vestibular Nerve in Mice: Light and Electron Microscopy Studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hitomi Matsuno

    the function of neighboring excitatory synapses of vestibular nerve in the parvocellular MVN/PrH neurons.

  14. 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 ...... of EAATs and their intricate transport process, the novel approaches to pharmacological modulation of the transporters that have emerged, and interesting new perspectives in EAAT as drug targets proposed in recent years....

  15. Does Cell Lineage in the Developing Cerebral Cortex Contribute to its Columnar Organization?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Marcos R.; Hedin-Pereira, Cecilia

    2010-01-01

    Since the pioneer work of Lorente de Nó, Ramón y Cajal, Brodmann, Mountcastle, Hubel and Wiesel and others, the cerebral cortex has been seen as a jigsaw of anatomic and functional modules involved in the processing of different sets of information. In fact, a columnar distribution of neurons displaying similar functional properties throughout the cerebral cortex has been observed by many researchers. Although it has been suggested that much of the anatomical substrate for such organization would be already specified at early developmental stages, before activity-dependent mechanisms could take place, it is still unclear whether gene expression in the ventricular zone (VZ) could play a role in the development of discrete functional units, such as minicolumns or columns. Cell lineage experiments using replication-incompetent retroviral vectors have shown that the progeny of a single neuroepithelial/radial glial cell in the dorsal telencephalon is organized into discrete radial clusters of sibling excitatory neurons, which have a higher propensity for developing chemical synapses with each other rather than with neighboring non-siblings. Here, we will discuss the possibility that the cell lineage of single neuroepithelial/radial glia cells could contribute for the columnar organization of the neocortex by generating radial columns of sibling, interconnected neurons. Borrowing some concepts from the studies on cell–cell recognition and transcription factor networks, we will also touch upon the potential molecular mechanisms involved in the establishment of sibling-neuron circuits. PMID:20676384

  16. Does cell lineage in the developing cerebral cortex contribute to its columnar organization?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos R Costa

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the pioneer work of Lorente de Nó, Ramón y Cajal, Brodmann, Mountcastle, Hubel and Wiesel and others, the cerebral cortex has been seen as a jigsaw of anatomic and functional modules involved in the processing of different sets of information. In fact, a columnar distribution of neurons displaying similar functional properties throughout the cerebral cortex has been observed by many researchers. Although it has been suggested that much of the anatomical substrate for such organization would be already specified at early developmental stages, before activity-dependent mechanisms could take place, it is still unclear whether gene expression in the ventricular zone could play a role in the development of discrete functional units, such as minicolumns or columns. Cell lineage experiments using replication-incompetent retroviral vectors have shown that the progeny of a single neuroepithelial/radial glial cell in the dorsal telencephalon is organized into discrete radial clusters of sibling excitatory neurons, which have a higher propensity for developing chemical synapses with each other rather than with neighbouring non-siblings. Here, we will discuss the possibility that the cell lineage of single neuroepithelial/radial glia cells could contribute for the columnar organization of the neocortex by generating radial columns of sibling, interconnected neurons. Borrowing some concepts from the studies on cell-cell recognition and transcription factor networks, we will also touch upon the potential molecular mechanisms involved in the establishment of sibling-neuron circuits.

  17. Developmental changes in short-term plasticity at the rat calyx of Held synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T.T.H. Crins (Tom); S.I. Rusu (Silviu); A. Rodríguez-Contreras (Adrián); J.G.G. Borst (Gerard)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractThe calyx of Held synapse of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body functions as a relay synapse in the auditory brainstem. In vivo recordings have shown that this synapse displays low release probability and that the average size of synaptic potentials does not depend on recent

  18. A Nutrient Combination that Can Affect Synapse Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J. Wurtman

    2014-04-01

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

  19. Distribution and structure of efferent synapses in the chicken retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, SH; Nacsa, N; Blankenship, T; Fitzgerald, PG; Weller, C; Vaney, DI; Wilson, M

    2012-01-01

    The visual system of birds includes an efferent projection from a visual area, the isthmooptic nucleus in the midbrain, back to the retina. Using a combination of anterograde labeling of efferent fibers, reconstruction of dye-filled neurons, NADPH-diaphorase staining, and transmission electron microscopy we have examined the distribution of efferent fibers and their synaptic structures in the chicken retina. We show that efferent fibers terminate strictly within the ventral retina. In 2 completely mapped retinas, only 2 fibers from a total of 15,359 terminated in the dorsal retina. The major synapse made by each efferent fiber is with a single Efferent Target Amacrine Cell (TC). This synapse consists of 5-25 boutons of 2μm diameter, each with multiple active zones, pressed into the TC soma or synapsing with a basketwork of rudimentary TC dendrites in the inner nuclear layer (INL). This basketwork, which is sheathed by Muller cells processes, defines a private neuropil in the INL within which TCs were also seen to receive input from retinal neurons. In addition to the major synapse, efferent fibers typically produce several very thin processes that terminate nearby in single small boutons and for which the soma of a local amacrine cell is one of the likely postsynaptic partners. A minority of efferent fibers also give rise to a thicker process terminating in a strongly diaphorase positive ball about 5μm in diameter. PMID:19439107

  20. Efficient supervised learning in networks with binary synapses

    CERN Document Server

    Baldassi, Carlo; Brunel, Nicolas; Zecchina, Riccardo

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Remodeling of Hippocampal Synapses After Hippocampus-Dependent Associative Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geinisman, Yuri; Disterhoft, John F.; Gundersen, Hans Jørgen G.; McEchron, Matthew D.; Persina, Inna S.; Power, John M.; Zee, Eddy A. van der; West, Mark J.

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether hippocampus-dependent associative learning involves changes in the number and/or structure of hippocampal synapses. A behavioral paradigm of trace eyeblink conditioning was used. Young adult rabbits were given daily 80 trial sessions to a criterion of

  2. Complement System in Neural Synapse Elimination in Development and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presumey, Jessy; Bialas, Allison R; Carroll, Michael C

    2017-01-01

    Recent discoveries implicate the classical complement cascade in normal brain development and in disease. Complement proteins C1q, C3, and C4 participate in synapse elimination, tagging inappropriate synaptic connections between neurons for removal by phagocytic microglia that exist in a special, highly phagocytic state during the synaptic pruning period. Several neurodevelopmental disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, are thought to be caused by an imbalance in synaptic pruning, and recent studies suggest that dysregulation of complement could promote this synaptic pruning imbalance. Moreover, in the mature brain, complement can be aberrantly activated in early stages of neurodegenerative diseases to stimulate synapse loss. Similar pathways can also be activated in response to inflammation, as in West Nile Virus infection or in lupus, where peripheral inflammation can promote microglia-mediated synapse loss. Whether synapse loss in disease is a true reactivation of developmental synaptic pruning programs remains unclear; nonetheless, complement proteins represent potential therapeutic targets for both neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Amphetamine modulates excitatory neurotransmission through endocytosis of the glutamate transporter EAAT3 in dopamine neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Underhill, Suzanne M; Wheeler, David S; Li, Minghua; Watts, Spencer D; Ingram, Susan L; Amara, Susan G

    2014-07-16

    Amphetamines modify the brain and alter behavior through mechanisms generally attributed to their ability to regulate extracellular dopamine concentrations. However, the actions of amphetamine are also linked to adaptations in glutamatergic signaling. We report here that when amphetamine enters dopamine neurons through the dopamine transporter, it stimulates endocytosis of an excitatory amino acid transporter, EAAT3, in dopamine neurons. Consistent with this decrease in surface EAAT3, amphetamine potentiates excitatory synaptic responses in dopamine neurons. We also show that the process of internalization is dynamin- and Rho-mediated and requires a unique sequence in the cytosolic C terminus of EAAT3. Introduction of a peptide based on this motif into dopamine neurons blocks the effects of amphetamine on EAAT3 internalization and its action on excitatory responses. These data indicate that the internalization of EAAT3 triggered by amphetamine increases glutamatergic signaling and thus contributes to the effects of amphetamine on neurotransmission. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Distribution and Structure of Synapses on Medial Vestibular Nuclear Neurons Targeted by Cerebellar Flocculus Purkinje Cells and Vestibular Nerve in Mice: Light and Electron Microscopy Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuno, Hitomi; Kudoh, Moeko; Watakabe, Akiya; Yamamori, Tetsuo; Shigemoto, Ryuichi; Nagao, Soichi

    2016-01-01

    Adaptations of vestibulo-ocular and optokinetic response eye movements have been studied as an experimental model of cerebellum-dependent motor learning. Several previous physiological and pharmacological studies have consistently suggested that the cerebellar flocculus (FL) Purkinje cells (P-cells) and the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons targeted by FL (FL-targeted MVN neurons) may respectively maintain the memory traces of short- and long-term adaptation. To study the basic structures of the FL-MVN synapses by light microscopy (LM) and electron microscopy (EM), we injected green florescence protein (GFP)-expressing lentivirus into FL to anterogradely label the FL P-cell axons in C57BL/6J mice. The FL P-cell axonal boutons were distributed in the magnocellular MVN and in the border region of parvocellular MVN and prepositus hypoglossi (PrH). In the magnocellular MVN, the FL-P cell axons mainly terminated on somata and proximal dendrites. On the other hand, in the parvocellular MVN/PrH, the FL P-cell axonal synaptic boutons mainly terminated on the relatively small-diameter (cells and those of vestibular nerve on the neurons of the parvocellular MVN/PrH, we added injections of biotinylated dextran amine into the semicircular canal and anterogradely labeled vestibular nerve axons in some mice. The MVN dendrites receiving the FL P-cell axonal synaptic boutons often closely apposed vestibular nerve synaptic boutons in both LM and EM studies. Such a partial overlap of synaptic boutons of FL P-cell axons with those of vestibular nerve axons in the distal dendrites of MVN neurons suggests that inhibitory synapses of FL P-cells may influence the function of neighboring excitatory synapses of vestibular nerve in the parvocellular MVN/PrH neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursino, Mauro; Cuppini, Cristiano; Magosso, Elisa

    2017-03-01

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

  6. Analog memristive synapse in spiking networks implementing unsupervised learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Covi

    2016-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    localization can buffer nearby glutamate receptors and modulate excitatory neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. It is also the main neuronal cysteine uptake system acting as the rate-limiting factor for the synthesis of glutathione, a potent antioxidant, in EAAT3 expressing neurons, while on GABAergic......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...

  8. Xenon inhibits excitatory but not inhibitory transmission in rat spinal cord dorsal horn neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background The molecular targets for the promising gaseous anaesthetic xenon are still under investigation. Most studies identify N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors as the primary molecular target for xenon, but the role of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors is less clear. In this study we evaluated the effect of xenon on excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord using in vitro patch-clamp recordings from rat spinal cord slices. We further evaluated the effects of xenon on innocuous and noxious stimuli using in vivo patch-clamp method. Results In vitro, xenon decreased the amplitude and area under the curve of currents induced by exogenous NMDA and AMPA and inhibited dorsal root stimulation-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents. Xenon decreased the amplitude, but not the frequency, of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. There was no discernible effect on miniature or evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents or on the current induced by inhibitory neurotransmitters. In vivo, xenon inhibited responses to tactile and painful stimuli even in the presence of NMDA receptor antagonist. Conclusions Xenon inhibits glutamatergic excitatory transmission in the superficial dorsal horn via a postsynaptic mechanism. There is no substantial effect on inhibitory synaptic transmission at the concentration we used. The blunting of excitation in the dorsal horn lamina II neurons could underlie the analgesic effect of xenon. PMID:20444263

  9. Excitatory effects of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) in hypoglossal motoneurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C

    1990-01-01

    The effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) was studied in 30 hypoglossal motoneurons from brainstem slices of guinea pigs. Bath application of TRH resulted in an increase of the spontaneous excitatory synaptic activity, depolarization of the neurons, increase of the input resistance...

  10. Excitatory amino acid release and electrocortical brain activity after hypoxemia in near-term lambs.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Os, S.H.G. van; Ruitenbeek, W.; Hopman, J.; Bor, M. van de

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Energy failure due to insufficient cerebral O(2)-supply leads to excess accumulation of calcium ions in presynaptic neurons, followed by excess release of excitatory amino acids (EAAs), which are potent neurotoxins, into the synaptic cleft. AIM: The aim of the present study was to

  11. mGluR5 in cortical excitatory neurons exerts both cell autonomous and nonautonomous influences on cortical somatosensory circuit formation

    OpenAIRE

    Ballester-Rosado, Carlos J.; Albright, Michael J.; Wu, Chia-Shan; Liao, Chun-Chieh; Zhu, Jie; Xu, Jian; Lee, Li-Jen; Lu, Hui-Chen

    2010-01-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission plays important roles in sensory map formation. The absence of the group I metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) leads to abnormal sensory map formation throughout the mouse somatosensory pathway. To examine the role of cortical mGluR5 expression on barrel map formation, we generated cortex-specific mGluR5 KO mice. Eliminating mGluR5 function solely in cortical excitatory neurons, not only affects the whisker-related organization of cortical neurons (barre...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lansner, John; Lehmann, Torsten

    1992-01-01

    A cascadable, analog, CMOS chip set has been developed for hardware implementations of artificial neural networks (ANN's):I) a neuron chip containing an array of neurons with hyperbolic tangent activation functions and adjustable gains, and II) a synapse chip (or a matrix-vector multiplier) where...... the matrix is stored on-chip as differential voltages on capacitors. In principal any ANN configuration can be made using these chips. A neuron array of 4 neurons and a 4 × 4 matrix-vector multiplier has been fabricated in a standard 2.4 ¿m CMOS process for test purposes. The propagation time through...... the synapse and neuron chips is less than 4 ¿s and the weight matrix has a 10 bit resolution....

  13. Actions of snake neurotoxins on an insect nicotinic cholinergic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hue, Bernard; Buckingham, Steven D; Buckingham, David; Sattelle, David B

    2007-09-01

    Here we examine the actions of six snake neurotoxins (alpha-cobratoxin from Naja naja siamensis, erabutoxin-a and b from Laticauda semifasciata; CM12 from N. haje annulifera, toxin III 4 from Notechis scutatus and a long toxin from N. haje) on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the cercal afferent, giant interneuron 2 synapse of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana. All toxins tested reduced responses to directly-applied ACh as well as EPSPs evoked by electrical stimulation of nerve XI with similar time courses, suggesting that their action is postsynaptic. Thus, these nicotinic receptors in a well-characterized insect synapse are sensitive to both long and short chain neurotoxins. This considerably expands the range of snake toxins that block insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and may enable further pharmacological distinctions between nAChR subtypes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, Naina; Jin, Yishi

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Microorganism and Fungi Drive Evolution of Plant Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frantisek eBaluska

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available In the course of plant evolution, there is an obvious trend toward an increased complexity of plant bodies, as well as an increased sophistication of plant behavior and communication. Phenotypic plasticity of plants is based on the polar auxin transport machinery that is directly linked with plant sensory systems impinging on plant behavior and adaptive responses. Similar to the emergence and evolution of eukaryotic cells, evolution of land plants was also shaped and driven by infective and symbiotic microorganisms. These microorganisms are the driving force behind the evolution of plant synapses and other neuronal aspects of higher plants; this is especially pronounced in the root apices. Plant synapses allow synaptic cell-cell communication and coordination in plants, as well as sensory-motor integration in root apices searching for water and mineral nutrition. These neuronal aspects of higher plants are closely linked with their unique ability to adapt to environmental changes.

  16. Microorganism and filamentous fungi drive evolution of plant synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In the course of plant evolution, there is an obvious trend toward an increased complexity of plant bodies, as well as an increased sophistication of plant behavior and communication. Phenotypic plasticity of plants is based on the polar auxin transport machinery that is directly linked with plant sensory systems impinging on plant behavior and adaptive responses. Similar to the emergence and evolution of eukaryotic cells, evolution of land plants was also shaped and driven by infective and symbiotic microorganisms. These microorganisms are the driving force behind the evolution of plant synapses and other neuronal aspects of higher plants; this is especially pronounced in the root apices. Plant synapses allow synaptic cell-cell communication and coordination in plants, as well as sensory-motor integration in root apices searching for water and mineral nutrition. These neuronal aspects of higher plants are closely linked with their unique ability to adapt to environmental changes.

  17. 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.

  18. Motor cortex broadly engages excitatory and inhibitory neurons in somatosensory barrel cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnischtzke, Amanda K; Simons, Daniel J; Fanselow, Erika E

    2014-08-01

    Anatomical studies have shown that primary somatosensory (S1) and primary motor (M1) cortices are reciprocally connected. The M1 to S1 projection is thought to represent a modulatory signal that conveys motor-related information to S1. Here, we investigated M1 synaptic inputs to S1 by injecting an AAV virus containing channelrhodopsin-2 and a fluorescent tag into M1. Consistent with previous results, we found labeling of M1 axons within S1 that was most robust in the deep layers and in L1. Labeling was sparse in L4 and was concentrated in the interbarrel septa, largely avoiding barrel centers. In S1, we recorded in vitro from regular-spiking excitatory neurons and fast-spiking and somatostatin-expressing inhibitory interneurons. All 3 cell types had a high probability of receiving direct excitatory M1 input. Both excitatory and inhibitory cells within L4 were the least likely to receive such input from M1. Disynaptic inhibition was observed frequently, indicating that M1 recruits substantial inhibition within S1. Additionally, a subpopulation of L6 regular-spiking excitatory neurons received exceptionally strong M1 input. Overall, our results suggest that activation of M1 evokes within S1 a bombardment of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity that could contribute in a layer-specific manner to state-dependent changes in S1. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Dynamic Excitatory and Inhibitory Gain Modulation Can Produce Flexible, Robust and Optimal Decision-making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niyogi, Ritwik K.; Wong-Lin, KongFatt

    2013-01-01

    Behavioural and neurophysiological studies in primates have increasingly shown the involvement of urgency signals during the temporal integration of sensory evidence in perceptual decision-making. Neuronal correlates of such signals have been found in the parietal cortex, and in separate studies, demonstrated attention-induced gain modulation of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Although previous computational models of decision-making have incorporated gain modulation, their abstract forms do not permit an understanding of the contribution of inhibitory gain modulation. Thus, the effects of co-modulating both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal gains on decision-making dynamics and behavioural performance remain unclear. In this work, we incorporate time-dependent co-modulation of the gains of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons into our previous biologically based decision circuit model. We base our computational study in the context of two classic motion-discrimination tasks performed in animals. Our model shows that by simultaneously increasing the gains of both excitatory and inhibitory neurons, a variety of the observed dynamic neuronal firing activities can be replicated. In particular, the model can exhibit winner-take-all decision-making behaviour with higher firing rates and within a significantly more robust model parameter range. It also exhibits short-tailed reaction time distributions even when operating near a dynamical bifurcation point. The model further shows that neuronal gain modulation can compensate for weaker recurrent excitation in a decision neural circuit, and support decision formation and storage. Higher neuronal gain is also suggested in the more cognitively demanding reaction time than in the fixed delay version of the task. Using the exact temporal delays from the animal experiments, fast recruitment of gain co-modulation is shown to maximize reward rate, with a timescale that is surprisingly near the experimentally fitted

  20. Do personality traits predict individual differences in excitatory and inhibitory learning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhimin; Cassaday, Helen J; Bonardi, Charlotte; Bibby, Peter A

    2013-01-01

    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 behavior - and thus its disruption could produce a correspondingly wide range of behavioral deficits. The present study employed a computer-based task to measure conditioned excitation and inhibition in the same discrimination procedure. CI 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 (1982) reinforcement sensitivity theory and Eysenck and Eysenck (1991) psychoticism, extraversion, and neuroticism theory. Following the behavioral tasks, participants completed the behavioral inhibition system/behavioral activation system (BIS/BAS) scales 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 behavioral activation and behavioral inhibition on excitatory and inhibitory learning respectively.

  1. Natural killer cell signal integration balances synapse symmetry and migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culley, Fiona J; Johnson, Matthew; Evans, J Henry; Kumar, Sunil; Crilly, Rupert; Casasbuenas, Juan; Schnyder, Tim; Mehrabi, Maryam; Deonarain, Mahendra P; Ushakov, Dmitry S; Braud, Veronique; Roth, Günter; Brock, Roland; Köhler, Karsten; Davis, Daniel M

    2009-07-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells discern the health of other cells by recognising the balance of activating and inhibitory ligands expressed by each target cell. However, how the integration of activating and inhibitory signals relates to formation of the NK cell immune synapse remains a central question in our understanding of NK cell recognition. Here we report that ligation of LFA-1 on NK cells induced asymmetrical cell spreading and migration. In contrast, ligation of the activating receptor NKG2D induced symmetrical spreading of ruffled lamellipodia encompassing a dynamic ring of f-actin, concurrent with polarization towards a target cell and a "stop" signal. Ligation of both LFA-1 and NKG2D together resulted in symmetrical spreading but co-ligation of inhibitory receptors reverted NK cells to an asymmetrical migratory configuration leading to inhibitory synapses being smaller and more rapidly disassembled. Using micropatterned activating and inhibitory ligands, signals were found to be continuously and locally integrated during spreading. Together, these data demonstrate that NK cells spread to form large, stable, symmetrical synapses if activating signals dominate, whereas asymmetrical migratory "kinapses" are favoured if inhibitory signals dominate. This clarifies how the integration of activating and inhibitory receptor signals is translated to an appropriate NK cell response.

  2. Memory-Relevant Mushroom Body Output Synapses Are Cholinergic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnstedt, Oliver; Owald, David; Felsenberg, Johannes; Brain, Ruth; Moszynski, John-Paul; Talbot, Clifford B; Perrat, Paola N; Waddell, Scott

    2016-03-16

    Memories are stored in the fan-out fan-in neural architectures of the mammalian cerebellum and hippocampus and the insect mushroom bodies. However, whereas key plasticity occurs at glutamatergic synapses in mammals, the neurochemistry of the memory-storing mushroom body Kenyon cell output synapses is unknown. Here we demonstrate a role for acetylcholine (ACh) in Drosophila. Kenyon cells express the ACh-processing proteins ChAT and VAChT, and reducing their expression impairs learned olfactory-driven behavior. Local ACh application, or direct Kenyon cell activation, evokes activity in mushroom body output neurons (MBONs). MBON activation depends on VAChT expression in Kenyon cells and is blocked by ACh receptor antagonism. Furthermore, reducing nicotinic ACh receptor subunit expression in MBONs compromises odor-evoked activation and redirects odor-driven behavior. Lastly, peptidergic corelease enhances ACh-evoked responses in MBONs, suggesting an interaction between the fast- and slow-acting transmitters. Therefore, olfactory memories in Drosophila are likely stored as plasticity of cholinergic synapses. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Remote tactile sensing system integrated with magnetic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Sunjong; Jung, Youngdo; Kim, Seonggi; Kim, SungJoon; Hu, Xinghao; Lim, Hyuneui; Kim, CheolGi

    2017-12-05

    Mechanoreceptors in a fingertip convert external tactile stimulations into electrical signals, which are transmitted by the nervous system through synaptic transmitters and then perceived by the brain with high accuracy and reliability. Inspired by the human synapse system, this paper reports a robust tactile sensing system consisting of a remote touch tip and a magnetic synapse. External pressure on the remote touch tip is transferred in the form of air pressure to the magnetic synapse, where its variation is converted into electrical signals. The developed system has high sensitivity and a wide dynamic range. The remote sensing system demonstrated tactile capabilities over wide pressure range with a minimum detectable pressure of 6 Pa. In addition, it could measure tactile stimulation up to 1,000 Hz without distortion and hysteresis, owing to the separation of the touching and sensing parts. The excellent performance of the system in terms of surface texture discrimination, heartbeat measurement from the human wrist, and satisfactory detection quality in water indicates that it has considerable potential for various mechanosensory applications in different environments.

  4. TFH-derived dopamine accelerates productive synapses in germinal centres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papa, Ilenia; Saliba, David; Ponzoni, Maurilio; Bustamante, Sonia; Canete, Pablo F; Gonzalez-Figueroa, Paula; McNamara, Hayley A; Valvo, Salvatore; Grimbaldeston, Michele; Sweet, Rebecca A; Vohra, Harpreet; Cockburn, Ian A; Meyer-Hermann, Michael; Dustin, Michael L; Doglioni, Claudio; Vinuesa, Carola G

    2017-07-20

    Protective high-affinity antibody responses depend on competitive selection of B cells carrying somatically mutated B-cell receptors by follicular helper T (TFH) cells in germinal centres. The rapid T-B-cell interactions that occur during this process are reminiscent of neural synaptic transmission pathways. Here we show that a proportion of human TFH cells contain dense-core granules marked by chromogranin B, which are normally found in neuronal presynaptic terminals storing catecholamines such as dopamine. TFH cells produce high amounts of dopamine and release it upon cognate interaction with B cells. Dopamine causes rapid translocation of intracellular ICOSL (inducible T-cell co-stimulator ligand, also known as ICOSLG) to the B-cell surface, which enhances accumulation of CD40L and chromogranin B granules at the human TFH cell synapse and increases the synapse area. Mathematical modelling suggests that faster dopamine-induced T-B-cell interactions increase total germinal centre output and accelerate it by days. Delivery of neurotransmitters across the T-B-cell synapse may be advantageous in the face of infection.

  5. Untangling the two-way signalling route from synapses to the nucleus, and from the nucleus back to the synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, Mio; Fujii, Hajime; Kim, Ryang; Kawashima, Takashi; Okuno, Hiroyuki; Bito, Haruhiko

    2014-01-05

    During learning and memory, it has been suggested that the coordinated electrical activity of hippocampal neurons translates information about the external environment into internal neuronal representations, which then are stored initially within the hippocampus and subsequently into other areas of the brain. A widely held hypothesis posits that synaptic plasticity is a key feature that critically modulates the triggering and the maintenance of such representations, some of which are thought to persist over time as traces or tags. However, the molecular and cell biological basis for these traces and tags has remained elusive. Here, we review recent findings that help clarify some of the molecular and cellular mechanisms critical for these events, by untangling a two-way signalling crosstalk route between the synapses and the neuronal soma. In particular, a detailed interrogation of the soma-to-synapse delivery of immediate early gene product Arc/Arg3.1, whose induction is triggered by heightened synaptic activity in many brain areas, teases apart an unsuspected 'inverse' synaptic tagging mechanism that likely contributes to maintaining the contrast of synaptic weight between strengthened and weak synapses within an active ensemble.

  6. Communication between the synapse and the nucleus in neuronal development, plasticity, and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Sonia; Greenberg, Michael E

    2008-01-01

    Sensory experience is critical for the proper development and plasticity of the brain throughout life. Successful adaptation to the environment is necessary for the survival of an organism, and this process requires the translation of specific sensory stimuli into changes in the structure and function of relevant neural circuits. Sensory-evoked activity drives synaptic input onto neurons within these behavioral circuits, initiating membrane depolarization and calcium influx into the cytoplasm. Calcium signaling triggers the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal adaptation, including the activity-dependent transcriptional programs that drive the synthesis of the effector molecules required for long-term changes in neuronal function. Insight into the signaling pathways between the synapse and the nucleus that translate specific stimuli into altered patterns of connectivity within a circuit provides clues as to how activity-dependent programs of gene expression are coordinated and how disruptions in this process may contribute to disorders of cognitive function.

  7. Resolving dynamics of cell signaling via real-time imaging of the immunological synapse.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevens, Mark A.; Pfeiffer, Janet R. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Wilson, Bridget S. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Timlin, Jerilyn Ann; Thomas, James L. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Lidke, Keith A. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Spendier, Kathrin (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Oliver, Janet M. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Carroll-Portillo, Amanda (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Aaron, Jesse S.; Mirijanian, Dina T.; Carson, Bryan D.; Burns, Alan Richard; Rebeil, Roberto

    2009-10-01

    This highly interdisciplinary team has developed dual-color, total internal reflection microscopy (TIRF-M) methods that enable us to optically detect and track in real time protein migration and clustering at membrane interfaces. By coupling TIRF-M with advanced analysis techniques (image correlation spectroscopy, single particle tracking) we have captured subtle changes in membrane organization that characterize immune responses. We have used this approach to elucidate the initial stages of cell activation in the IgE signaling network of mast cells and the Toll-like receptor (TLR-4) response in macrophages stimulated by bacteria. To help interpret these measurements, we have undertaken a computational modeling effort to connect the protein motion and lipid interactions. This work provides a deeper understanding of the initial stages of cellular response to external agents, including dynamics of interaction of key components in the signaling network at the 'immunological synapse,' the contact region of the cell and its adversary.

  8. The Circuit Realization of a Neuromorphic Computing System with Memristor-Based Synapse Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-01

    memristor-based neural networks mainly fo- cused on system-level simulations using high level languages [11][12] or restricted the synapse design to...BASED SYNAPSE DESIGN 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA8750-11-1-0271 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 62788F 6. AUTHOR(S) Beiye Liu (UPitt...artificial neural systems. In this work, we propose a memristor-based design of bidirectional transmission excitation/inhibition synapses and implement a

  9. Electrical stimulation of dog pudendal nerve regulates the excitatory pudendal-to-bladder reflex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-he Ju

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Pudendal nerve plays an important role in urine storage and voiding. Our hypothesis is that a neuroprosthetic device placed in the pudendal nerve trunk can modulate bladder function after suprasacral spinal cord injury. We had confirmed the inhibitory pudendal-to-bladder reflex by stimulating either the branch or the trunk of the pudendal nerve. This study explored the excitatory pudendal-to-bladder reflex in beagle dogs, with intact or injured spinal cord, by electrical stimulation of the pudendal nerve trunk. The optimal stimulation frequency was approximately 15-25 Hz. This excitatory effect was dependent to some extent on the bladder volume. We conclude that stimulation of the pudendal nerve trunk is a promising method to modulate bladder function.

  10. Tertiary Oximes on Brain Acetylcholinesterase and Central Excitatory Effects of Nerve Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Tertiary Oximes on Brain Acetylcholinesterase and Central Excitatory Effects of Nerve 5a...pralidoxime (2-PAM) to reactivate inhibited AChE. The quaternary structure of this oxime does not allow it to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) to...propan-1-aminium chloride (DHAP), two tertiary oximes that can penetrate the BBB, could prevent or reverse the central toxic effects of three nerve

  11. 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.

  12. Model-Free Reconstruction of Excitatory Neuronal Connectivity from Calcium Imaging Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stetter, Olav; Battaglia, Demian; Soriano, Jordi; Geisel, Theo

    2012-01-01

    A systematic assessment of global neural network connectivity through direct electrophysiological assays has remained technically infeasible, even in simpler systems like dissociated neuronal cultures. We introduce an improved algorithmic approach based on Transfer Entropy to reconstruct structural connectivity from network activity monitored through calcium imaging. We focus in this study on the inference of excitatory synaptic links. Based on information theory, our method requires no prior assumptions on the statistics of neuronal firing and neuronal connections. The performance of our algorithm is benchmarked on surrogate time series of calcium fluorescence generated by the simulated dynamics of a network with known ground-truth topology. We find that the functional network topology revealed by Transfer Entropy depends qualitatively on the time-dependent dynamic state of the network (bursting or non-bursting). Thus by conditioning with respect to the global mean activity, we improve the performance of our method. This allows us to focus the analysis to specific dynamical regimes of the network in which the inferred functional connectivity is shaped by monosynaptic excitatory connections, rather than by collective synchrony. Our method can discriminate between actual causal influences between neurons and spurious non-causal correlations due to light scattering artifacts, which inherently affect the quality of fluorescence imaging. Compared to other reconstruction strategies such as cross-correlation or Granger Causality methods, our method based on improved Transfer Entropy is remarkably more accurate. In particular, it provides a good estimation of the excitatory network clustering coefficient, allowing for discrimination between weakly and strongly clustered topologies. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of our method to analyses of real recordings of in vitro disinhibited cortical cultures where we suggest that excitatory connections are characterized

  13. Model-free reconstruction of excitatory neuronal connectivity from calcium imaging signals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olav Stetter

    Full Text Available A systematic assessment of global neural network connectivity through direct electrophysiological assays has remained technically infeasible, even in simpler systems like dissociated neuronal cultures. We introduce an improved algorithmic approach based on Transfer Entropy to reconstruct structural connectivity from network activity monitored through calcium imaging. We focus in this study on the inference of excitatory synaptic links. Based on information theory, our method requires no prior assumptions on the statistics of neuronal firing and neuronal connections. The performance of our algorithm is benchmarked on surrogate time series of calcium fluorescence generated by the simulated dynamics of a network with known ground-truth topology. We find that the functional network topology revealed by Transfer Entropy depends qualitatively on the time-dependent dynamic state of the network (bursting or non-bursting. Thus by conditioning with respect to the global mean activity, we improve the performance of our method. This allows us to focus the analysis to specific dynamical regimes of the network in which the inferred functional connectivity is shaped by monosynaptic excitatory connections, rather than by collective synchrony. Our method can discriminate between actual causal influences between neurons and spurious non-causal correlations due to light scattering artifacts, which inherently affect the quality of fluorescence imaging. Compared to other reconstruction strategies such as cross-correlation or Granger Causality methods, our method based on improved Transfer Entropy is remarkably more accurate. In particular, it provides a good estimation of the excitatory network clustering coefficient, allowing for discrimination between weakly and strongly clustered topologies. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of our method to analyses of real recordings of in vitro disinhibited cortical cultures where we suggest that excitatory connections

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Although the cellular prion protein (PrPC) is concentrated at synapses, the factors that target PrPC to synapses are not understood. Here we demonstrate that exogenous PrPC was rapidly targeted to synapses in recipient neurons derived from Prnp knock-out(0/0) mice. The targeting of PrPC to synapses was dependent upon both neuronal cholesterol concentrations and the lipid and glycan composition of its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. Thus, the removal of either an acyl chain or siali...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-12

    Although the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) is concentrated at synapses, the factors that target PrP(C) to synapses are not understood. Here we demonstrate that exogenous PrP(C) was rapidly targeted to synapses in recipient neurons derived from Prnp knock-out((0/0)) mice. The targeting of PrP(C) to synapses was dependent upon both neuronal cholesterol concentrations and the lipid and glycan composition of its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. Thus, the removal of either an acyl chain or sialic acid from the GPI anchor reduced the targeting of PrP(C) to synapses. Isolated GPIs (derived from PrP(C)) were also targeted to synapses, as was IgG conjugated to these GPIs. The removal of sialic acid from GPIs prevented the targeting of either the isolated GPIs or the IgG-GPI conjugate to synapses. Competition studies showed that pretreatment with sialylated GPIs prevented the targeting of PrP(C) to synapses. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the sialylated GPI anchor attached to PrP(C) acts as a synapse homing signal. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  18. Microglia-Synapse Pathways: Promising Therapeutic Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingdun Xie

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The main hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD are extracellular deposits of amyloid plaques and intracellular accumulation of hyperphosphorylated neurofibrillary tangles (tau. However, the mechanisms underlying these neuropathological changes remain largely unclear. To date, plenty of studies have shown that microglia-mediated neuroinflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of AD, and the microglia-synapse pathways have been repeatedly identified as the crucial factor in the disease process. In this review, evidences from microglia and synapse studies are presented, and the role of microglia in the pathogenesis of AD, the contributing factors to synapse dysfunction, and the role and mechanisms of microglia-synapse pathways will be discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana L Luz

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

  1. Hippocampal mossy fiber sprouting and synapse formation after status epilepticus in rats: visualization after retrograde transport of biocytin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okazaki, M M; Evenson, D A; Nadler, J V

    1995-02-20

    In complex partial epilepsy and in animal models of epilepsy, hippocampal mossy fibers appear to develop recurrent collaterals that invade the dentate molecular layer. Mossy fiber collaterals have been proposed to subserve recurrent excitation by forming granule cell-granule cell synapses. This hypothesis was tested by visualizing dentate granule cells and their mossy fibers after terminal uptake and retrograde transport of biocytin. Labeling studies were performed with transverse slices of the caudal rat hippocampal formation prepared 2.6-70.0 weeks after pilocarpine-induced or kainic acid-induced status epilepticus. Light microscopy demonstrated the progressive growth of recurrent mossy fibers into the molecular layer; the densest innervation was observed in slices from pilocarpine-treated rats that had survived 10 weeks or longer after status epilepticus. Thin mossy fiber collaterals originated predominantly from deep within the hilar region, crossed the granule cell body layer, and formed an axonal plexus oriented parallel to the cell body layer within the inner one-third of the molecular layer. When sprouting was most robust, some recurrent mossy fibers at the apex of the dentate gyrus reached the outer two-thirds of the molecular layer. The distribution and density of mossy fiber-like Timm staining correlated with the biocytin labeling. When viewed with the electron microscope, the inner one-third of the dentate molecular layer contained numerous mossy fiber boutons. In some instances, biocytin-labeled mossy fiber boutons were engaged in synaptic contact with biocytin-labeled granule cell dendrites. Granule cell dendrites did not develop large complex spines ("thorny excrescences") at the site of synapse formation, and they did not appear to have been permanently damaged by seizure activity. These results establish the validity of Timm staining as a marker for mossy fiber sprouting and support the view that status epilepticus provokes the formation of a novel

  2. 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.

  3. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor signaling dichotomously modulates inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in rat inner retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Han; Wu, Yi; Yang, Xiao-Fang; Miao, Yanying; Zhang, Chuan-Qiang; Dong, Ling-Dan; Yang, Xiong-Li; Wang, Zhongfeng

    2016-01-01

    In the inner retina, ganglion cells (RGCs) integrate and process excitatory signal from bipolar cells (BCs) and inhibitory signal from amacrine cells (ACs). Using multiple labeling immunohistochemistry, we first revealed the expression of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) at the terminals of ACs and BCs in rat retina. By patch-clamp techniques, we then showed how the activation of this receptor dichotomously regulated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), mediated by GABAA receptors and glycine receptors, and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), mediated by AMPA receptors, of RGCs in rat retinal slices. WIN55212-2 (WIN), a CB1R agonist, reduced the mIPSC frequency due to an inhibition of L-type Ca(2+) channels no matter whether AMPA receptors were blocked. In contrast, WIN reduced the mEPSC frequency by suppressing T-type Ca(2+) channels only when inhibitory inputs to RGCs were present, which could be in part due to less T-type Ca(2+) channels of cone BCs, presynaptic to RGCs, being in an inactivation state under such condition. This unique feature of CB1R-mediated retrograde regulation provides a novel mechanism for modulating excitatory synaptic transmission in the inner retina. Moreover, depolarization of RGCs suppressed mIPSCs of these cells, an effect that was eliminated by the CB1R antagonist SR141716, suggesting that endocannabinoid is indeed released from RGCs.

  4. The amygdala excitatory/inhibitory balance in a valproate-induced rat autism model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui-Ching Lin

    Full Text Available The amygdala is an important structure contributing to socio-emotional behavior. However, the role of the amygdala in autism remains inconclusive. In this study, we used the 28-35 days valproate (VPA-induced rat model of autism to observe the autistic phenotypes and evaluate their synaptic characteristics in the lateral nucleus (LA of the amygdala. The VPA-treated offspring demonstrated less social interaction, increased anxiety, enhanced fear learning and impaired fear memory extinction. Slice preparation and electrophysiological recordings of the amygdala showed significantly enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP while stimulating the thalamic-amygdala pathway of the LA. In addition, the pair pulse facilitation (PPF at 30- and 60-ms intervals decreased significantly. Whole-cell recordings of the LA pyramidal neurons showed an increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC frequency and amplitude. The relative contributions of the AMPA receptor and NMDA receptor to the EPSCs did not differ significantly between groups. These results suggested that the enhancement of the presynaptic efficiency of excitatory synaptic transmission might be associated with hyperexcitibility and enhanced LTP in LA pyramidal neurons. Disruption of the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory (E/I balance in the LA of VPA-treated rats might play certain roles in the development of behaviors in the rat that may be relevant to autism. Further experiments to demonstrate the direct link are warranted.

  5. Live cell linear dichroism imaging reveals extensive membrane ruffling within the docking structure of natural killer cell immune synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benninger, Richard K P; Vanherberghen, Bruno; Young, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    We have applied fluorescence imaging of two-photon linear dichroism to measure the subresolution organization of the cell membrane during formation of the activating (cytolytic) natural killer (NK) cell immune synapse (IS). This approach revealed that the NK cell plasma membrane is convoluted...... into ruffles at the periphery, but not in the center of a mature cytolytic NK cell IS. Time-lapse imaging showed that the membrane ruffles formed at the initial point of contact between NK cells and target cells and then spread radialy across the intercellular contact as the size of the IS increased, becoming...

  6. 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.

  7. From brain synapses to systems for learning and memory: Object recognition, spatial navigation, timed conditioning, and movement control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossberg, Stephen

    2015-09-24

    This article provides an overview of neural models of synaptic learning and memory whose expression in adaptive behavior depends critically on the circuits and systems in which the synapses are embedded. It reviews Adaptive Resonance Theory, or ART, models that use excitatory matching and match-based learning to achieve fast category learning and whose learned memories are dynamically stabilized by top-down expectations, attentional focusing, and memory search. ART clarifies mechanistic relationships between consciousness, learning, expectation, attention, resonance, and synchrony. ART models are embedded in ARTSCAN architectures that unify processes of invariant object category learning, recognition, spatial and object attention, predictive remapping, and eye movement search, and that clarify how conscious object vision and recognition may fail during perceptual crowding and parietal neglect. The generality of learned categories depends upon a vigilance process that is regulated by acetylcholine via the nucleus basalis. Vigilance can get stuck at too high or too low values, thereby causing learning problems in autism and medial temporal amnesia. Similar synaptic learning laws support qualitatively different behaviors: Invariant object category learning in the inferotemporal cortex; learning of grid cells and place cells in the entorhinal and hippocampal cortices during spatial navigation; and learning of time cells in the entorhinal-hippocampal system during adaptively timed conditioning, including trace conditioning. Spatial and temporal processes through the medial and lateral entorhinal-hippocampal system seem to be carried out with homologous circuit designs. Variations of a shared laminar neocortical circuit design have modeled 3D vision, speech perception, and cognitive working memory and learning. A complementary kind of inhibitory matching and mismatch learning controls movement. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory

  8. Cell-type specific short-term plasticity at auditory nerve synapses controls feed-forward inhibition in the dorsal cochlear nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedlacek, Miloslav; Brenowitz, Stephan D

    2014-01-01

    Feed-forward inhibition (FFI) represents a powerful mechanism by which control of the timing and fidelity of action potentials in local synaptic circuits of various brain regions is achieved. In the cochlear nucleus, the auditory nerve provides excitation to both principal neurons and inhibitory interneurons. Here, we investigated the synaptic circuit associated with fusiform cells (FCs), principal neurons of the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) that receive excitation from auditory nerve fibers and inhibition from tuberculoventral cells (TVCs) on their basal dendrites in the deep layer of DCN. Despite the importance of these inputs in regulating fusiform cell firing behavior, the mechanisms determining the balance of excitation and FFI in this circuit are not well understood. Therefore, we examined the timing and plasticity of auditory nerve driven FFI onto FCs. We find that in some FCs, excitatory and inhibitory components of FFI had the same stimulation thresholds indicating they could be triggered by activation of the same fibers. In other FCs, excitation and inhibition exhibit different stimulus thresholds, suggesting FCs and TVCs might be activated by different sets of fibers. In addition, we find that during repetitive activation, synapses formed by the auditory nerve onto TVCs and FCs exhibit distinct modes of short-term plasticity. Feed-forward inhibitory post-synaptic currents (IPSCs) in FCs exhibit short-term depression because of prominent synaptic depression at the auditory nerve-TVC synapse. Depression of this feedforward inhibitory input causes a shift in the balance of fusiform cell synaptic input towards greater excitation and suggests that fusiform cell spike output will be enhanced by physiological patterns of auditory nerve activity.

  9. Cell-type specific short-term plasticity at auditory nerve synapses controls feed-forward inhibition in the dorsal cochlear nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miloslav eSedlacek

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Feedforward inhibition represents a powerful mechanism by which control of the timing and fidelity of action potentials in local synaptic circuits of various brain regions is achieved. In the cochlear nucleus, the auditory nerve provides excitation to both principal neurons and inhibitory interneurons. Here, we investigated the synaptic circuit associated with fusiform cells (FCs, principal neurons of the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN that receive excitation from auditory nerve fibers and inhibition from tuberculoventral cells (TVCs on their basal dendrites in the deep layer of DCN. Despite the importance of these inputs in regulating fusiform cell firing behavior, the mechanisms determining the balance of excitation and feed-forward inhibition in this circuit are not well understood. Therefore, we examined the timing and plasticity of auditory nerve driven feed-forward inhibition (FFI onto FCs. We find that in some FCs, excitatory and inhibitory components of feed-forward inhibition had the same stimulation thresholds indicating they could be triggered by activation of the same fibers. In other FCs, excitation and inhibition exhibit different stimulus thresholds, suggesting FCs and TVCs might be activated by different sets of fibers. In addition we find that during repetitive activation, synapses formed by the auditory nerve onto TVCs and FCs exhibit distinct modes of short-term plasticity. Feed-forward inhibitory post-synaptic currents (IPSCs in FCs exhibit short-term depression because of prominent synaptic depression at the auditory nerve-TVC synapse. Depression of this feedforward inhibitory input causes a shift in the balance of fusiform cell synaptic input towards greater excitation and suggests that fusiform cell spike output will be enhanced by physiological patterns of auditory nerve activity.

  10. Integration of nanoscale memristor synapses in neuromorphic computing architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-27

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

  11. Integration of nanoscale memristor synapses in neuromorphic computing architectures

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  12. A Reinforcement Learning Framework for Spiking Networks with Dynamic Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karim El-Laithy

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available An integration of both the Hebbian-based and reinforcement learning (RL rules is presented for dynamic synapses. The proposed framework permits the Hebbian rule to update the hidden synaptic model parameters regulating the synaptic response rather than the synaptic weights. This is performed using both the value and the sign of the temporal difference in the reward signal after each trial. Applying this framework, a spiking network with spike-timing-dependent synapses is tested to learn the exclusive-OR computation on a temporally coded basis. Reward values are calculated with the distance between the output spike train of the network and a reference target one. Results show that the network is able to capture the required dynamics and that the proposed framework can reveal indeed an integrated version of Hebbian and RL. The proposed framework is tractable and less computationally expensive. The framework is applicable to a wide class of synaptic models and is not restricted to the used neural representation. This generality, along with the reported results, supports adopting the introduced approach to benefit from the biologically plausible synaptic models in a wide range of intuitive signal processing.

  13. Lack of Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Causes Synapse Dysfunction in the Drosophila Visual System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna B Ziegler

    Full Text Available Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs are essential nutrients for animals and necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system. A lack of PUFAs can result from the consumption of a deficient diet or genetic factors, which impact PUFA uptake and metabolism. Both can cause synaptic dysfunction, which is associated with numerous disorders. However, there is a knowledge gap linking these neuronal dysfunctions and their underlying molecular mechanisms. Because of its genetic manipulability and its easy, fast, and cheap breeding, Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as an excellent model organism for genetic screens, helping to identify the genetic bases of such events. As a first step towards the understanding of PUFA implications in Drosophila synaptic physiology we designed a breeding medium containing only very low amounts of PUFAs. We then used the fly's visual system, a well-established model for studying signal transmission and neurological disorders, to measure the effects of a PUFA deficiency on synaptic function. Using both visual performance and eye electrophysiology, we found that PUFA deficiency strongly affected synaptic transmission in the fly's visual system. These defects were rescued by diets containing omega-3 or omega-6 PUFAs alone or in combination. In summary, manipulating PUFA contents in the fly's diet was powerful to investigate the role of these nutrients on the fly´s visual synaptic function. This study aims at showing how the first visual synapse of Drosophila can serve as a simple model to study the effects of PUFAs on synapse function. A similar approach could be further used to screen for genetic factors underlying the molecular mechanisms of synaptic dysfunctions associated with altered PUFA levels.

  14. Ephaptic interactions within a chemical synapse: hemichannel-mediated ephaptic inhibition in the retina

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamermans, Maarten; Fahrenfort, Iris

    2004-01-01

    The two best-known types of cell-cell communication are chemical synapses and electrical synapses, which are formed by gap junctions. A third, less well known, form of communication is ephaptic transmission, in which electric fields generated by a specific neuron alter the excitability of

  15. The GABAB1a isoform mediates heterosynaptic depression at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guetg, Nicole; Seddik, Riad; Vigot, Réjan

    2009-01-01

    neuron synapses more GABA(B1a) than GABA(B1b) protein is present at presynaptic sites, consistent with the findings at other glutamatergic synapses. In the presence of baclofen at concentrations >or=1 microm, both GABA(B(1a,2)) and GABA(B(1b,2)) receptors contribute to presynaptic inhibition of glutamate...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uzi eHadad

    2015-09-01

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

  17. Synapses, spines and kinases in mammalian learning and memory, and the impact of aging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Zee, Eddy A

    Synapses are the building blocks of neuronal networks. Spines, the postsynaptic elements, are morphologically the most plastic part of the synapse. It is thought that spine plasticity underlies learning and memory processes, driven by kinases and cytoskeleton protein reorganization. Spine strength

  18. Remodeling of Hippocampal Spine Synapses in the Rat Learned Helplessness Model of Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajszan, Tibor; Dow, Antonia; Warner-Schmidt, Jennifer L.; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Sallam, Nermin L.; Parducz, Arpad; Leranth, Csaba; Duman, Ronald S.

    2009-01-01

    Background Although it has been postulated for many years that depression is associated with loss of synapses, primarily in the hippocampus, and that antidepressants facilitate synapse growth, we still lack ultrastructural evidence that changes in depressive behavior are indeed correlated with structural synaptic modifications. Methods We analyzed hippocampal spine synapses of male rats (n=127) with electron microscopic stereology in association with performance in the learned helplessness paradigm. Results Inescapable footshock (IES) caused an acute and persistent loss of spine synapses in each of CA1, CA3, and dentate gyrus, which was associated with a severe escape deficit in learned helplessness. On the other hand, IES elicited no significant synaptic alterations in motor cortex. A single injection of corticosterone reproduced both the hippocampal synaptic changes and the behavioral responses induced by IES. Treatment of IES-exposed animals for six days with desipramine reversed both the hippocampal spine synapse loss and the escape deficit in learned helplessness. We noted, however, that desipramine failed to restore the number of CA1 spine synapses to nonstressed levels, which was associated with a minor escape deficit compared to nonstressed controls. Shorter, one-day or three-day desipramine treatments, however, had neither synaptic nor behavioral effects. Conclusions These results indicate that changes in depressive behavior are associated with remarkable remodeling of hippocampal spine synapses at the ultrastructural level. Because spine synapse loss contributes to hippocampal dysfunction, this cellular mechanism may be an important component in the neurobiology of stress-related disorders such as depression. PMID:19006787

  19. Emulation with Organic Memristive Devices of Impairment of LTP Mechanism in Neurodegenerative Disease Pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Battistoni

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We explore and demonstrate the extension of the synapse-mimicking properties of memristive devices to a dysfunctional synapse as it occurs in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD pathology. The ability of memristive devices to reproduce synapse properties such as LTP, LTD, and STDP has been already widely demonstrated, and moreover, they were used for developing artificial neuron networks (perceptrons able to simulate the information transmission in a cell network. However, a major progress would be to extend the common sense of neuromorphic device even to the case of dysfunction of natural synapses. Can memristors efficiently simulate them? We provide here evidences of the ability of emulating the dysfunctional synaptic behavior typical of the AD pathology with organic memristive devices considering the effect of the disease not only on a single synapse but also in the case of a neural network, composed by numerous synapses.

  20. Relationship between the mechanisms of gamma rhythm generation and the magnitude of the macroscopic phase response function in a population of excitatory and inhibitory modified quadratic integrate-and-fire neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akao, Akihiko; Ogawa, Yutaro; Jimbo, Yasuhiko; Ermentrout, G. Bard; Kotani, Kiyoshi

    2018-01-01

    Gamma oscillations are thought to play an important role in brain function. Interneuron gamma (ING) and pyramidal interneuron gamma (PING) mechanisms have been proposed as generation mechanisms for these oscillations. However, the relation between the generation mechanisms and the dynamical properties of the gamma oscillation are still unclear. Among the dynamical properties of the gamma oscillation, the phase response function (PRF) is important because it encodes the response of the oscillation to inputs. Recently, the PRF for an inhibitory population of modified theta neurons that generate an ING rhythm was computed by the adjoint method applied to the associated Fokker-Planck equation (FPE) for the model. The modified theta model incorporates conductance-based synapses as well as the voltage and current dynamics. Here, we extended this previous work by creating an excitatory-inhibitory (E-I) network using the modified theta model and described the population dynamics with the corresponding FPE. We conducted a bifurcation analysis of the FPE to find parameter regions which generate gamma oscillations. In order to label the oscillatory parameter regions by their generation mechanisms, we defined ING- and PING-type gamma oscillation in a mathematically plausible way based on the driver of the inhibitory population. We labeled the oscillatory parameter regions by these generation mechanisms and derived PRFs via the adjoint method on the FPE in order to investigate the differences in the responses of each type of oscillation to inputs. PRFs for PING and ING mechanisms are derived and compared. We found the amplitude of the PRF for the excitatory population is larger in the PING case than in the ING case. Finally, the E-I population of the modified theta neuron enabled us to analyze the PRFs of PING-type gamma oscillation and the entrainment ability of E and I populations. We found a parameter region in which PRFs of E and I are both purely positive in the case of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  2. Three-dimensional distribution of cortical synapses: a replicated point pattern-based analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton-Sanchez, Laura; Bielza, Concha; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Larrañaga, Pedro

    2014-01-01

    The biggest problem when analyzing the brain is that its synaptic connections are extremely complex. Generally, the billions of neurons making up the brain exchange information through two types of highly specialized structures: chemical synapses (the vast majority) and so-called gap junctions (a substrate of one class of electrical synapse). Here we are interested in exploring the three-dimensional spatial distribution of chemical synapses in the cerebral cortex. Recent research has showed that the three-dimensional spatial distribution of synapses in layer III of the neocortex can be modeled by a random sequential adsorption (RSA) point process, i.e., synapses are distributed in space almost randomly, with the only constraint that they cannot overlap. In this study we hypothesize that RSA processes can also explain the distribution of synapses in all cortical layers. We also investigate whether there are differences in both the synaptic density and spatial distribution of synapses between layers. Using combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), we obtained three-dimensional samples from the six layers of the rat somatosensory cortex and identified and reconstructed the synaptic junctions. A total volume of tissue of approximately 4500μm3 and around 4000 synapses from three different animals were analyzed. Different samples, layers and/or animals were aggregated and compared using RSA replicated spatial point processes. The results showed no significant differences in the synaptic distribution across the different rats used in the study. We found that RSA processes described the spatial distribution of synapses in all samples of each layer. We also found that the synaptic distribution in layers II to VI conforms to a common underlying RSA process with different densities per layer. Interestingly, the results showed that synapses in layer I had a slightly different spatial distribution from the other layers. PMID:25206325

  3. Enhancement by citral of glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission in adult rat substantia gelatinosa neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Lan; Fujita, Tsugumi; Jiang, Chang-Yu; Kumamoto, Eiichi

    2016-02-10

    Although citral, which is abundantly present in lemongrass, has various actions including antinociception, how citral affects synaptic transmission has not been examined as yet. Citral activates in heterologous cells transient receptor potential vanilloid-1, ankyrin-1, and melastatin-8 (TRPV1, TRPA1, and TRPM8, respectively) channels, the activation of which in the spinal lamina II [substantia gelatinosa (SG)] increases the spontaneous release of L-glutamate from nerve terminals. It remains to be examined what types of transient receptor potential channel in native neurons are activated by citral. With a focus on transient receptor potential activation, we examined the effect of citral on glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique to SG neurons in adult rat spinal cord slices. Bath-applied citral for 3 min increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current in a concentration-dependent manner (half-maximal effective concentration=0.58 mM), with a small increase in its amplitude. The spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current frequency increase produced by citral was repeated at a time interval of 30 min, albeit this action recovered with a slow time course after washout. The presynaptic effect of citral was inhibited by TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031, but not by voltage-gated Na-channel blocker tetrodotoxin, TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine, and TRPM8 antagonist BCTC. It is concluded that citral increases spontaneous L-glutamate release in SG neurons by activating TRPA1 channels. Considering that the SG plays a pivotal role in modulating nociceptive transmission from the periphery, the citral activity could contribute toward at least a part of the modulation.

  4. The actin-binding protein Abp1 controls dendritic spine morphology and is important for spine head and synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeckel, Akvile; Ahuja, Rashmi; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Qualmann, Britta; Kessels, Michael M

    2008-10-01

    Polymerization and organization of actin into complex superstructures, including those found in dendritic spines, is indispensable for structure and function of neuronal networks. Here we show that the filamentous actin (F-actin)-binding protein 1 (Abp1), which controls Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin nucleation and binds to postsynaptic scaffold proteins of the ProSAP (proline-rich synapse-associated protein 1)/Shank family, has a profound impact on synaptic organization. Overexpression of the two Abp1 F-actin-binding domains increases the length of thin, filopodia-like and mushroom-type spines but dramatically reduces mushroom spine density, attributable to lack of the Abp1 Src homology 3 (SH3) domain. In contrast, overexpression of full-length Abp1 increases mushroom spine and synapse density. The SH3 domain alone has a dominant-negative effect on mushroom spines, whereas the density of filopodia and thin, immature spines remains unchanged. This suggests that both actin-binding and SH3 domain interactions are crucial for the role of Abp1 in spine maturation. Indeed, Abp1 knockdown significantly reduces mushroom spine and synapse density. Abp1 hereby works in close conjunction with ProSAP1/Shank2 and ProSAP2/Shank3, because Abp1 effects were suppressed by ProSAP2 RNA interference and the ProSAP/Shank-induced increase of spine head width is further promoted by Abp1 cooverexpression and reduced on Abp1 knockdown. Also, interfering with the formation of functional Abp1-ProSAP protein complexes prevents ProSAP-mediated spine head extension. Spine head extension furthermore depends on local Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin polymerization, which is controlled by Abp1 via the Arp2/3 complex activator N-WASP (neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein). Abp1 thus plays an important role in the formation and morphology control of synapses by making a required functional connection between postsynaptic density components and postsynaptic actin dynamics.

  5. Dopamine synapse is a neuroligin-2–mediated contact between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchigashima, Motokazu; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons project densely to the striatum and form so-called dopamine synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSNs), principal neurons in the striatum. Because dopamine receptors are widely expressed away from dopamine synapses, it remains unclear how dopamine synapses are involved in dopaminergic transmission. Here we demonstrate that dopamine synapses are contacts formed between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures. The presynaptic structure expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, vesicular monoamine transporter-2, and plasmalemmal dopamine transporter, which are essential for dopamine synthesis, vesicular filling, and recycling, but was below the detection threshold for molecules involving GABA synthesis and vesicular filling or for GABA itself. In contrast, the postsynaptic structure of dopamine synapses expressed GABAergic molecules, including postsynaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin-2, postsynaptic scaffolding molecule gephyrin, and GABAA receptor α1, without any specific clustering of dopamine receptors. Of these, neuroligin-2 promoted presynaptic differentiation in axons of midbrain dopamine neurons and striatal GABAergic neurons in culture. After neuroligin-2 knockdown in the striatum, a significant decrease of dopamine synapses coupled with a reciprocal increase of GABAergic synapses was observed on MSN dendrites. This finding suggests that neuroligin-2 controls striatal synapse formation by giving competitive advantage to heterologous dopamine synapses over conventional GABAergic synapses. Considering that MSN dendrites are preferential targets of dopamine synapses and express high levels of dopamine receptors, dopamine synapse formation may serve to increase the specificity and potency of dopaminergic modulation of striatal outputs by anchoring dopamine release sites to dopamine-sensing targets. PMID:27035941

  6. A Pixel-Encoder Retinal Ganglion Cell with Spatially Offset Excitatory and Inhibitory Receptive Fields

    OpenAIRE

    Keith P. Johnson; Lei Zhao; Daniel Kerschensteiner

    2018-01-01

    The spike trains of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the only source of visual information to the brain. Here, we genetically identify an RGC type in mice that functions as a pixel encoder and increases firing to light increments (PixON-RGC). PixON-RGCs have medium-sized dendritic arbors and non-canonical center-surround receptive fields. From their receptive field center, PixON-RGCs receive only excitatory input, which encodes contrast and spatial information linearly. From their receptive ...

  7. Coordinated Feeding Behavior in Trichoplax, an Animal without Synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn L Smith

    Full Text Available Trichoplax is a small disk-shaped marine metazoan that adheres to substrates and locomotes by ciliary gliding. Despite having only six cell types and lacking synapses Trichoplax coordinates a complex sequence of behaviors culminating in external digestion of algae. We combine live cell imaging with electron microscopy to show how this is accomplished. When Trichoplax glides over a patch of algae, its cilia stop beating so it ceases moving. A subset of one of the cell types, lipophils, simultaneously secretes granules whose content rapidly lyses algae. This secretion is accurately targeted, as only lipophils located near algae release granules. The animal pauses while the algal content is ingested, and then resumes gliding. Global control of gliding is coordinated with precise local control of lipophil secretion suggesting the presence of mechanisms for cellular communication and integration.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Carlson, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Spin switches for compact implementation of neuron and synapse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quang Diep, Vinh, E-mail: vdiep@purdue.edu; Sutton, Brian; Datta, Supriyo [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907 (United States); Behin-Aein, Behtash [GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Inc., Sunnyvale, California 94085 (United States)

    2014-06-02

    Nanomagnets driven by spin currents provide a natural implementation for a neuron and a synapse: currents allow convenient summation of multiple inputs, while the magnet provides the threshold function. The objective of this paper is to explore the possibility of a hardware neural network implementation using a spin switch (SS) as its basic building block. SS is a recently proposed device based on established technology with a transistor-like gain and input-output isolation. This allows neural networks to be constructed with purely passive interconnections without intervening clocks or amplifiers. The weights for the neural network are conveniently adjusted through analog voltages that can be stored in a non-volatile manner in an underlying CMOS layer using a floating gate low dropout voltage regulator. The operation of a multi-layer SS neural network designed for character recognition is demonstrated using a standard simulation model based on coupled Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equations, one for each magnet in the network.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    Myelinated axons efficiently transmit information over long distances. The apposed myelin sheath confers favorable electrical properties, but restricts access of the axon to its extracellular milieu. Therefore, axonal metabolic support may require specific axo-myelinic communication. Here we explored activity-dependent glutamate-mediated signaling from axon to myelin. 2-Photon microscopy was used to image Ca(2+) changes in myelin in response to electrical stimulation of optic nerve axons ex vivo. We show that optic nerve myelin responds to axonal action potentials by a rise in Ca(2+) levels mediated by GluN2D and GluN3A-containing NMDA receptors. Glutamate is released from axons in a vesicular manner that is tetanus toxin-sensitive. The Ca(2+) source for vesicular fusion is provided by ryanodine receptors on axonal Ca(2+) stores, controlled by L-type Ca(2+) channels that sense depolarization of the internodal axolemma. Genetic ablation of GluN2D and GluN3A subunits results in greater lability of the compact myelin. Our results support the existence of a novel synapse between the axon and its myelin, suggesting a means by which traversing action potentials can signal the overlying myelin sheath. This may be an important physiological mechanism by which an axon can signal companion glia for metabolic support or adjust properties of its myelin in a dynamic manner. The axo-myelinic synapse may contribute to learning, while its disturbances may play a role in the pathophysiology of central nervous system disorders such as schizophrenia, where subtle abnormalities of myelinated white matter tracts have been shown in the human, or to frank demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, Leonid L; Kohn, Andrea B

    2016-01-05

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

  12. FGF22 protects hearing function from gentamycin ototoxicity by maintaining ribbon synapse number.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shuna; Hang, Lihua; Ma, Yongming

    2016-02-01

    Inner hair cell (IHC) ribbon synapses of cochlea play important role in transmitting sound signal into auditory nerve and are sensitive to ototoxicity. However, ototoxic damage of ribbon synapses is not understood clearly. Roles of fibroblast growth factor 22 (FGF22) on synapse formation were explored under gentamycin ototoxicity. 6-week-old mice were injected intraperitoneally once daily with 50-150 mg/kg gentamicin for 10 days. Immunostaining with anti- GluR2&3/CtBP2 was used to estimate the number of ribbon synapses in the cochlea. Expression of FGF22 and myocyte enhancer factor 2D (MEF2D) was assayed with RT-PCR. Expression and localization of FGF22 protein were visualized with anti-FGF22 immunostaining. Hearing thresholds were assessed using auditory brainstem responses. Gentamicin administration caused reduction in ribbon synapse number and hearing impairment without effect on hair cells in CBA/J mouse model. Immunohistochemistry showed that FGF22 protein was expressed in IHCs, but not OHCs of cochlea. Gentamycin attenuated expression of FGF22 but enhanced expression of MEF2D. Cochlear infusion of recombinant FGF22 inhibited expression of MEF2D, preserved ribbon synapses, and restored hearing function impaired by gentamycin. FGF22 restores hearing loss through maintaining ribbon synapse number, likely via inhibition of MEF2D. Activating FGF22 might provide the conceptual basis for the therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Excitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to left dorsal premotor cortex enhances motor consolidation of new skills

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    Boyd Lara A

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Following practice of skilled movements, changes continue to take place in the brain that both strengthen and modify memory for motor learning. These changes represent motor memory consolidation a process whereby new memories are transformed from a fragile to a more permanent, robust and stable state. In the present study, the neural correlates of motor memory consolidation were probed using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS to the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd. Participants engaged in four days of continuous tracking practice that immediately followed either excitatory 5 HZ, inhibitory 1 HZ or control, sham rTMS. A delayed retention test assessed motor learning of repeated and random sequences of continuous movement; no rTMS was applied at retention. Results We discovered that 5 HZ excitatory rTMS to PMd stimulated motor memory consolidation as evidenced by off-line learning, whereas only memory stabilization was noted following 1 Hz inhibitory or sham stimulation. Conclusion Our data support the hypothesis that PMd is important for continuous motor learning, specifically via off-line consolidation of learned motor behaviors.

  14. The Balance of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Inputs for Coding Sound Location

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Munenori

    2014-01-01

    The localization of high-frequency sounds in the horizontal plane uses an interaural-level difference (ILD) cue, yet little is known about the synaptic mechanisms that underlie processing this cue in the inferior colliculus (IC) of mouse. Here, we study the synaptic currents that process ILD in vivo and use stimuli in which ILD varies around a constant average binaural level (ABL) to approximate sounds on the horizontal plane. Monaural stimulation in either ear produced EPSCs and IPSCs in most neurons. The temporal properties of monaural responses were well matched, suggesting connected functional zones with matched inputs. The EPSCs had three patterns in response to ABL stimuli, preference for the sound field with the highest level stimulus: (1) contralateral; (2) bilateral highly lateralized; or (3) at the center near 0 ILD. EPSCs and IPSCs were well correlated except in center-preferred neurons. Summation of the monaural EPSCs predicted the binaural excitatory response but less well than the summation of monaural IPSCs. Binaural EPSCs often showed a nonlinearity that strengthened the response to specific ILDs. Extracellular spike and intracellular current recordings from the same neuron showed that the ILD tuning of the spikes was sharper than that of the EPSCs. Thus, in the IC, balanced excitatory and inhibitory inputs may be a general feature of synaptic coding for many types of sound processing. PMID:24599475

  15. Asymmetric excitatory synaptic dynamics underlie interaural time difference processing in the auditory system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo E Jercog

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Low-frequency sound localization depends on the neural computation of interaural time differences (ITD and relies on neurons in the auditory brain stem that integrate synaptic inputs delivered by the ipsi- and contralateral auditory pathways that start at the two ears. The first auditory neurons that respond selectively to ITD are found in the medial superior olivary nucleus (MSO. We identified a new mechanism for ITD coding using a brain slice preparation that preserves the binaural inputs to the MSO. There was an internal latency difference for the two excitatory pathways that would, if left uncompensated, position the ITD response function too far outside the physiological range to be useful for estimating ITD. We demonstrate, and support using a biophysically based computational model, that a bilateral asymmetry in excitatory post-synaptic potential (EPSP slopes provides a robust compensatory delay mechanism due to differential activation of low threshold potassium conductance on these inputs and permits MSO neurons to encode physiological ITDs. We suggest, more generally, that the dependence of spike probability on rate of depolarization, as in these auditory neurons, provides a mechanism for temporal order discrimination between EPSPs.

  16. Altered excitatory-inhibitory balance in the NMDA-hypofunction model of schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Kehrer

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is a common psychiatric disorder of high incidence, affecting approximately 1% of the world population. The essential neurotransmitter pathology of schizophrenia remains poorly defined, despite huge advances over the past half-century in identifying neurochemical and pathological abnormalities in the disease. The dopamine/serotonin hypothesis has originally provided much of the momentum for neurochemical research in schizophrenia. In recent years, the attention has, however, shifted to the glutamate system, the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the CNS and towards a concept of functional imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory transmission at the network level in various brain regions in schizophrenia. The evidence indicating a central role for the NMDAreceptor subtype in the etiology of schizophrenia has led to the NMDA-hypofunction model of this disease and the use of phencyclidines as a means to induce the NMDA-hypofunction state in animal models. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent findings highlighting the importance of the NMDA-hypofunction model of schizophrenia, both from a clinical perspective, as well as in opening a line of research, which enables electrophysiological studies at the cellular and network level in vitro. In particular, changes in excitation-inhibition (E/I balance in the NMDA-hypofunction model of the disease and the resulting changes in network behaviours, particularly in gamma frequency oscillatory activity, will be discussed.

  17. 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

  18. Organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callison, Daniel

    2000-01-01

    Focuses on "organizers," tools or techniques that provide identification and classification along with possible relationships or connections among ideas, concepts, and issues. Discusses David Ausubel's research and ideas concerning advance organizers; the implications of Ausubel's theory to curriculum and teaching; "webbing," a…

  19. NR2 subunits and NMDA receptors on lamina II inhibitory and excitatory interneurons of the mouse dorsal horn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MacDermott Amy B

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background NMDA receptors expressed by spinal cord neurons in the superficial dorsal horn are involved in the development of chronic pain associated with inflammation and nerve injury. The superficial dorsal horn has a complex and still poorly understood circuitry that is mainly populated by inhibitory and excitatory interneurons. Little is known about how NMDA receptor subunit composition, and therefore pharmacology and voltage dependence, varies with neuronal cell type. NMDA receptors are typically composed of two NR1 subunits and two of four NR2 subunits, NR2A-2D. We took advantage of the differences in Mg2+ sensitivity of the NMDA receptor subtypes together with subtype preferring antagonists to identify the NR2 subunit composition of NMDA receptors expressed on lamina II inhibitory and excitatory interneurons. To distinguish between excitatory and inhibitory interneurons, we used transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein driven by the GAD67 promoter. Results Analysis of conductance ratio and selective antagonists showed that lamina II GABAergic interneurons express both the NR2A/B containing Mg2+ sensitive receptors and the NR2C/D containing NMDA receptors with less Mg2+ sensitivity. In contrast, excitatory lamina II interneurons express primarily NR2A/B containing receptors. Despite this clear difference in NMDA receptor subunit expression in the two neuronal populations, focally stimulated synaptic input is mediated exclusively by NR2A and 2B containing receptors in both neuronal populations. Conclusions Stronger expression of NMDA receptors with NR2C/D subunits by inhibitory interneurons compared to excitatory interneurons may provide a mechanism to selectively increase activity of inhibitory neurons during intense excitatory drive that can provide inhibitory feedback.

  20. Early structural and functional defects in synapses and myelinated axons in stratum lacunosum moleculare in two preclinical models for tauopathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hervé Maurin

    Full Text Available The stratum lacunosum moleculare (SLM is the connection hub between entorhinal cortex and hippocampus, two brain regions that are most vulnerable in Alzheimer's disease. We recently identified a specific synaptic deficit of Nectin-3 in transgenic models for tauopathy. Here we defined cognitive impairment and electrophysiological problems in the SLM of Tau.P301L mice, which corroborated the structural defects in synapses and dendritic spines. Reduced diffusion of DiI from the ERC to the hippocampus indicated defective myelinated axonal pathways. Ultrastructurally, myelinated axons in the temporoammonic pathway (TA that connects ERC to CA1 were damaged in Tau.P301L mice at young age. Unexpectedly, the myelin defects were even more severe in bigenic biGT mice that co-express GSK3β with Tau.P301L in neurons. Combined, our data demonstrate that neuronal expression of protein Tau profoundly affected the functional and structural organization of the entorhinal-hippocampal complex, in particular synapses and myelinated axons in the SLM. White matter pathology deserves further attention in patients suffering from tauopathy and Alzheimer's disease.

  1. Early Structural and Functional Defects in Synapses and Myelinated Axons in Stratum Lacunosum Moleculare in Two Preclinical Models for Tauopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurin, Hervé; Chong, Seon-Ah; Kraev, Igor; Davies, Heather; Kremer, Anna; Seymour, Claire Marie; Lechat, Benoit; Jaworski, Tomasz; Borghgraef, Peter; Devijver, Herman; Callewaert, Geert; Stewart, Michael G.; Van Leuven, Fred

    2014-01-01

    The stratum lacunosum moleculare (SLM) is the connection hub between entorhinal cortex and hippocampus, two brain regions that are most vulnerable in Alzheimer’s disease. We recently identified a specific synaptic deficit of Nectin-3 in transgenic models for tauopathy. Here we defined cognitive impairment and electrophysiological problems in the SLM of Tau.P301L mice, which corroborated the structural defects in synapses and dendritic spines. Reduced diffusion of DiI from the ERC to the hippocampus indicated defective myelinated axonal pathways. Ultrastructurally, myelinated axons in the temporoammonic pathway (TA) that connects ERC to CA1 were damaged in Tau.P301L mice at young age. Unexpectedly, the myelin defects were even more severe in bigenic biGT mice that co-express GSK3β with Tau.P301L in neurons. Combined, our data demonstrate that neuronal expression of protein Tau profoundly affected the functional and structural organization of the entorhinal-hippocampal complex, in particular synapses and myelinated axons in the SLM. White matter pathology deserves further attention in patients suffering from tauopathy and Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:24498342

  2. Excitatory Hindbrain-Forebrain Communication Is Required for Cisplatin-Induced Anorexia and Weight Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhadeff, Amber L; Holland, Ruby A; Zheng, Huiyuan; Rinaman, Linda; Grill, Harvey J; De Jonghe, Bart C

    2017-01-11

    Cisplatin chemotherapy is commonly used to treat cancer despite severe energy balance side effects. In rats, cisplatin activates nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) projections to the lateral parabrachial nucleus (lPBN) and calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP) projections from the lPBN to the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA). We demonstrated previously that CeA glutamate receptor signaling mediates cisplatin-induced anorexia and body weight loss. Here, we used neuroanatomical tracing, immunofluorescence, and confocal imaging to demonstrate that virtually all NTS→lPBN and lPBN→CeA CGRP projections coexpress vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2), providing evidence that excitatory projections mediate cisplatin-induced energy balance dysregulation. To test whether lPBN→CeA projection neurons are required for cisplatin-induced anorexia and weight loss, we inhibited these neurons chemogenetically using a retrograde Cre-recombinase-expressing canine adenovirus-2 in combination with Cre-dependent inhibitory Designer Receptors Exclusive Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) before cisplatin treatment. Inhibition of lPBN→CeA neurons attenuated cisplatin-induced anorexia and body weight loss significantly. Using a similar approach, we additionally demonstrated that inhibition of NTS→lPBN neurons attenuated cisplatin-induced anorexia and body weight loss significantly. Together, our data support the view that excitatory hindbrain-forebrain projections are necessary for cisplatin's untoward effects on energy intake, elucidating a key neuroanatomical circuit driving pathological anorexia and weight loss that accompanies chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy treatments are commonly used to treat cancers despite accompanying anorexia and weight loss that may limit treatment adherence and reduce patient quality of life. Strikingly, we lack a neural understanding of, and effective treatments for, chemotherapy-induced anorexia and weight loss. The current data

  3. Action of thymol on spontaneous excitatory transmission in adult rat spinal substantia gelatinosa neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhi-Hao; Wang, Chong; Fujita, Tsugumi; Jiang, Chang-Yu; Kumamoto, Eiichi

    2015-10-08

    Thymol, which is contained in thyme essential oil, has various actions including antinociception and nerve conduction inhibition. Although thymol activates transient receptor potential (TRP) channels expressed in heterologous cells, it remains to be examined whether this is so in native neurons. It has not yet been examined how thymol affects synaptic transmission. In order to know how thymol modulates excitatory transmission with a focus on TRP activation, we investigated its effect on glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission in lamina II (substantia gelatinosa; SG) neurons with which nerve terminals expressing TRP channels make synaptic contacts. The experiment was performed by using the blind whole-cell patch-clamp technique in adult rat spinal cord slices. Superfusing thymol (1 mM) for 3 min reversibly increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) with a minimal increase in its amplitude in all neurons examined. Seventy-seven% of the neurons produced an outward current at a holding potential of -70 mV. The sEPSC frequency increase and outward current produced by thymol were concentration-dependent with almost the same half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) values of 0.18 and 0.14 mM, respectively. These activities were repeated at a time interval of 30 min, although the sEPSC frequency increase but not outward current recovered with a slow time course. Voltage-gated Na(+)-channel blocker tetrodotoxin did not affect the thymol activities. The sEPSC frequency increase was inhibited by TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031 but not TRPV1 and TRPM8 antagonist (capsazepine and BCTC, respectively), while these antagonists had no effect on the outward current. This was so, albeit the two thymol activities had similar EC50 values. It is concluded that thymol increases the spontaneous release of L-glutamate onto SG neurons by activating TRPA1 channels while producing an outward current without TRP activation. Considering that the SG

  4. Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatch, Mary Jo

    Most of us recognize that organizations are everywhere. You meet them on every street corner in the form of families and shops, study in them, work for them, buy from them, pay taxes to them. But have you given much thought to where they came from, what they are today, and what they might become...... and considers many more. Mary Jo Hatch introduces the concept of organizations by presenting definitions and ideas drawn from the a variety of subject areas including the physical sciences, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, literature, and the visual and performing arts. Drawing on examples from...... prehistory and everyday life, from the animal kingdom as well as from business, government, and other formal organizations, Hatch provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the process of organization....

  5. Cytoskeletal actin dynamics shape a ramifying actin network underpinning immunological synapse formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritzsche, Marco; Fernandes, Ricardo A.; Chang, Veronica T.

    2017-01-01

    T cell activation and especially trafficking of T cell receptor microclusters during immunological synapse formation are widely thought to rely on cytoskeletal remodeling. However, important details on the involvement of actin in the latter transport processes are missing. Using a suite of advanced...... optical microscopes to analyze resting and activated T cells, we show that, following contact formation with activating surfaces, these cells sequentially rearrange their cortical actin across the entire cell, creating a previously unreported ramifying actin network above the immunological synapse...... lengths of two differently sized filamentous actin populations, wherein forminmediated long actin filaments support a very flat and stiff contact at the immunological synapse interface. The initiation of immunological synapse formation, as highlighted by calcium release, requires markedly little contact...

  6. Actin is crucial for all kinetically distinguishable forms of endocytosis at synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin-Sheng; Lee, Sunghoon; Sheng, Jiansong; Zhang, Zhen; Zhao, Weidong; Wang, Dongsheng; Jin, Yinghui; Charnay, Patrick; Ervasti, James M.; Wu, Ling-Gang

    2016-01-01

    Summary Mechanical force is needed to mediate endocytosis. Whether actin, the most abundant force-generating molecule, is essential for endocytosis is highly controversial in mammalian cells, particularly synapses, likely due to the use of actin blockers, the efficiency and specificity of which are often unclear in the studied cell. Here we addressed this issue using knockout approach combined with measurements of membrane capacitance and fission pore conductance, imaging of vesicular protein endocytosis, and electron microscopy. We found that two actin isoforms, β- and γ-actin, are crucial for slow, rapid, bulk, and overshoot endocytosis at large calyx-type synapses, and for slow endocytosis and bulk endocytosis at small hippocampal synapses. Polymerized actin provides mechanical force to form endocytic pits. Actin also facilitates replenishment of the readily releasable vesicle pool, likely via endocytic clearance of active zones. We conclude that polymerized actin provides mechanical force essential for all kinetically distinguishable forms of endocytosis at synapses. PMID:27840001

  7. Actin Is Crucial for All Kinetically Distinguishable Forms of Endocytosis at Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin-Sheng; Lee, Sung Hoon; Sheng, Jiansong; Zhang, Zhen; Zhao, Wei-Dong; Wang, Dongsheng; Jin, Yinghui; Charnay, Patrick; Ervasti, James M; Wu, Ling-Gang

    2016-12-07

    Mechanical force is needed to mediate endocytosis. Whether actin, the most abundant force-generating molecule, is essential for endocytosis is highly controversial in mammalian cells, particularly synapses, likely due to the use of actin blockers, the efficiency and specificity of which are often unclear in the studied cell. Here we addressed this issue using a knockout approach combined with measurements of membrane capacitance and fission pore conductance, imaging of vesicular protein endocytosis, and electron microscopy. We found that two actin isoforms, β- and γ-actin, are crucial for slow, rapid, bulk, and overshoot endocytosis at large calyx-type synapses, and for slow endocytosis and bulk endocytosis at small hippocampal synapses. Polymerized actin provides mechanical force to form endocytic pits. Actin also facilitates replenishment of the readily releasable vesicle pool, likely via endocytic clearance of active zones. We conclude that polymerized actin provides mechanical force essential for all kinetically distinguishable forms of endocytosis at synapses. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Changes in the response to excitatory antagonists, agonists, and spasmolytic agents in circular colonic smooth muscle strips from patients with diverticulosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Berdugo, D; Espín, F; Arenas, C; López, I; Clavé, P; Gallego, D

    2015-11-01

    Colonic samples from asymptomatic diverticulosis (DS) patients presented enhanced electrical field stimulation (EFS)-contractions, in an earlier study of ours, suggesting increased endogenous responses. The aim of this study was to explore changes in excitatory neuromuscular transmission and to assess the pharmacodynamics of spasmolytic agents in DS. Circular muscle strips from sigmoid colon of DS patients (n = 30; 69.5 ± 14.8 years) and controls (n = 32; 64.7 ± 16.2 years) were studied using organ baths to evaluate the direct effect of excitatory agonists (carbachol, neurokinin A [NKA] and substance P [SP]), and the effect of antagonists (atropine and NK2 antagonist GR94800) and spasmolytic drugs (otilonium bromide [OB] and N-butyl-hyoscine) on the contractions induced by EFS-stimulation of excitatory motorneurons. qRT-PCR was also performed to compare mRNA expression of M2 , M3 , NK2 receptors and L-type calcium channels. Contractions to carbachol (Emax : 663.7 ± 305.6% control vs 2698.0 ± 439.5% DS; p curves for atropine (pIC50  = 8.56 ± 0.15 control vs pIC50  = 9.95 ± 0.18 DS group; p < 0.005) and slightly higher for GR94800 (pIC50  = 7.21 ± 0.18 control vs pIC50  = 7.97 ± 0.32 group; p < 0.0001). Lower efficacy (Emax ) and potency (pIC50 ) was observed for spasmolytic drugs in DS, whereas no differences were found regarding the relative expression of the receptors evaluated between groups. The greater response to cholinergic and tachykinergic agonists and greater potency for muscarinic and NK2 antagonists observed in DS might play a role in the spasticity found in diverticular disease. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. How the immune system talks to itself: the varied role of synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Xie, Jianming; Tato, Cristina M.; Davis, Mark M

    2013-01-01

    Using an elaborately evolved language of cytokines and chemokines as well as cell-cell interactions, the different components of the immune system communicate with each other and orchestrate a response (or wind one down). Immunological synapses are a key feature of the system in the ways in which they can facilitate and direct these responses. Studies analyzing the structure of an immune synapse as it forms between two cells have provided insight into how the stability and kinetics of this in...

  10. The Extracellular Region of Lrp4 is Sufficient to Mediate Neuromuscular Synapse Formation

    OpenAIRE

    Gomez, Andrea; Burden, Steven J.

    2011-01-01

    Neuromuscular synapse formation requires an exchange of signals between motor neurons and muscle. Agrin, supplied by motor neurons, binds to Lrp4 in muscle, stimulating phosphorylation of MuSK and recruitment of a signaling complex essential for synapse-specific transcription and anchoring of key proteins in the postsynaptic membrane. Lrp4, like the LDLR and other Lrp-family members, contains an intracellular region with motifs that can regulate receptor trafficking, as well as assembly of an...

  11. Glutathione in Cellular Redox Homeostasis: Association with the Excitatory Amino Acid Carrier 1 (EAAC1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koji Aoyama

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Reactive oxygen species (ROS are by-products of the cellular metabolism of oxygen consumption, produced mainly in the mitochondria. ROS are known to be highly reactive ions or free radicals containing oxygen that impair redox homeostasis and cellular functions, leading to cell death. Under physiological conditions, a variety of antioxidant systems scavenge ROS to maintain the intracellular redox homeostasis and normal cellular functions. This review focuses on the antioxidant system’s roles in maintaining redox homeostasis. Especially, glutathione (GSH is the most important thiol-containing molecule, as it functions as a redox buffer, antioxidant, and enzyme cofactor against oxidative stress. In the brain, dysfunction of GSH synthesis leading to GSH depletion exacerbates oxidative stress, which is linked to a pathogenesis of aging-related neurodegenerative diseases. Excitatory amino acid carrier 1 (EAAC1 plays a pivotal role in neuronal GSH synthesis. The regulatory mechanism of EAAC1 is also discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

    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.

  13. Domestication of the dog from the wolf was promoted by enhanced excitatory synaptic plasticity: a hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yan; Wang, Guo-Dong; Wang, Ming-Shan; Irwin, David M; Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-11-05

    Dogs shared a much closer relationship with humans than any other domesticated animals, probably due to their unique social cognitive capabilities, which were hypothesized to be a by-product of selection for tameness toward humans. Here, we demonstrate that genes involved in glutamate metabolism, which account partially for fear response, indeed show the greatest population differentiation by whole-genome comparison of dogs and wolves. However, the changing direction of their expression supports a role in increasing excitatory synaptic plasticity in dogs rather than reducing fear response. Because synaptic plasticity are widely believed to be cellular correlates of learning and memory, this change may alter the learning and memory abilities of ancient scavenging wolves, weaken the fear reaction toward humans, and prompt the initial interspecific contact. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  14. Ionotropic excitatory amino acid receptor ligands. Synthesis and pharmacology of a new amino acid AMPA antagonist

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, U; Sløk, F A; Stensbøl, T B

    2000-01-01

    We have previously described the potent and selective (RS)-2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolyl)propionic acid (AMPA) receptor agonist, (RS)-2-amino-3-(3-carboxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolyl)propionic acid (ACPA), and the AMPA receptor antagonist (RS)-2-amino-3-[3-(carboxymethoxy)-5-methyl-4......-isoxazolyl]propionic acid (AMOA). Using these AMPA receptor ligands as leads, a series of compounds have been developed as tools for further elucidation of the structural requirements for activation and blockade of AMPA receptors. The synthesized compounds have been tested for activity at ionotropic...... excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptors using receptor binding and electrophysiological techniques, and for activity at metabotropic EAA receptors using second messenger assays. Compounds 1 and 4 were essentially inactive. (RS)-2-Amino-3-[3-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-methyl-4-isoxazolyl]propionic acid (ACMP, 2...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Chaos and Correlated Avalanches in Excitatory Neural Networks with Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittorino, Fabrizio; Ibáñez-Berganza, Miguel; di Volo, Matteo; Vezzani, Alessandro; Burioni, Raffaella

    2017-03-01

    A collective chaotic phase with power law scaling of activity events is observed in a disordered mean field network of purely excitatory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with short-term synaptic plasticity. The dynamical phase diagram exhibits two transitions from quasisynchronous and asynchronous regimes to the nontrivial, collective, bursty regime with avalanches. In the homogeneous case without disorder, the system synchronizes and the bursty behavior is reflected into a period doubling transition to chaos for a two dimensional discrete map. Numerical simulations show that the bursty chaotic phase with avalanches exhibits a spontaneous emergence of persistent time correlations and enhanced Kolmogorov complexity. Our analysis reveals a mechanism for the generation of irregular avalanches that emerges from the combination of disorder and deterministic underlying chaotic dynamics.

  17. Localized chemical release from an artificial synapse chip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterman, Mark C.; Noolandi, Jaan; Blumenkranz, Mark S.; Fishman, Harvey A.

    2004-07-01

    A device that releases chemical compounds in small volumes and at multiple, well defined locations would be a powerful tool for clinical therapeutics and biological research. Many biomedical devices such as neurotransmitter-based prostheses or drug delivery devices require precise release of chemical compounds. Additionally, the ability to control chemical gradients will have applications in basic research such as studies of cell microenvironments, stem cell niches, metaplasia, or chemotaxis. We present such a device with repeatable delivery of chemical compounds at multiple locations on a chip surface. Using electroosmosis to drive flow through microfluidic channels, we pulse minute quantities of a bradykinin solution through four 5-µm apertures onto PC12 cells and show stimulation of individual cells using a Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye. We also present basic computational results with experimental verification of both fluid ejection and fluid withdrawal by imaging pH changes by using a fluorescent dye. This "artificial synapse chip" is a prototype neural interface that introduces a new paradigm for neural stimulation, with eventual application in treating macular degeneration and other neurological disorders.

  18. Neuronal LRP4 regulates synapse formation in the developing CNS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karakatsani, Andromachi; Marichal, Nicolás; Urban, Severino; Kalamakis, Georgios; Ghanem, Alexander; Schick, Anna; Zhang, Yina; Conzelmann, Karl-Klaus; Rüegg, Markus A; Berninger, Benedikt; Ruiz de Almodovar, Carmen; Gascón, Sergio; Kröger, Stephan

    2017-12-15

    The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4) is essential in muscle fibers for the establishment of the neuromuscular junction. Here, we show that LRP4 is also expressed by embryonic cortical and hippocampal neurons, and that downregulation of LRP4 in these neurons causes a reduction in density of synapses and number of primary dendrites. Accordingly, overexpression of LRP4 in cultured neurons had the opposite effect inducing more but shorter primary dendrites with an increased number of spines. Transsynaptic tracing mediated by rabies virus revealed a reduced number of neurons presynaptic to the cortical neurons in which LRP4 was knocked down. Moreover, neuron-specific knockdown of LRP4 by in utero electroporation of LRP4 miRNA in vivo also resulted in neurons with fewer primary dendrites and a lower density of spines in the developing cortex and hippocampus. Collectively, our results demonstrate an essential and novel role of neuronal LRP4 in dendritic development and synaptogenesis in the CNS. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Calcium signaling in synapse-to-nucleus communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagenston, Anna M; Bading, Hilmar

    2011-11-01

    Changes in the intracellular concentration of calcium ions in neurons are involved in neurite growth, development, and remodeling, regulation of neuronal excitability, increases and decreases in the strength of synaptic connections, and the activation of survival and programmed cell death pathways. An important aspect of the signals that trigger these processes is that they are frequently initiated in the form of glutamatergic neurotransmission within dendritic trees, while their completion involves specific changes in the patterns of genes expressed within neuronal nuclei. Accordingly, two prominent aims of research concerned with calcium signaling in neurons are determination of the mechanisms governing information conveyance between synapse and nucleus, and discovery of the rules dictating translation of specific patterns of inputs into appropriate and specific transcriptional responses. In this article, we present an overview of the avenues by which glutamatergic excitation of dendrites may be communicated to the neuronal nucleus and the primary calcium-dependent signaling pathways by which synaptic activity can invoke changes in neuronal gene expression programs.

  20. The Drosophila Postsynaptic DEG/ENaC Channel ppk29 Contributes to Excitatory Neurotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Alexis; Zheng, Xingguo; Li, Xiling; McKinney, Ross; Dickman, Dion; Ben-Shahar, Yehuda

    2017-03-22

    The protein family of degenerin/epithelial sodium channels (DEG/ENaCs) is composed of diverse animal-specific, non-voltage-gated ion channels that play important roles in regulating cationic gradients across epithelial barriers. Some family members are also enriched in neural tissues in both vertebrates and invertebrates. However, the specific neurophysiological functions of most DEG/ENaC-encoding genes remain poorly understood. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model for deciphering the functions of DEG/ENaC genes because its genome encodes an exceptionally large number of DEG/ENaC subunits termed pickpocket (ppk) 1-31 Here we demonstrate that ppk29 contributes specifically to the postsynaptic modulation of excitatory synaptic transmission at the larval neuromuscular junction. Electrophysiological data indicate that the function of ppk29 in muscle is necessary for normal postsynaptic responsivity to neurotransmitter release and for normal coordinated larval movement. The ppk29 mutation does not affect gross synaptic morphology and ultrastructure, which indicates that the observed phenotypes are likely due to defects in glutamate receptor function. Together, our data indicate that DEG/ENaC ion channels play a fundamental role in the postsynaptic regulation of excitatory neurotransmission.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Members of the degenerin/epithelial sodium channel (DEG/ENaC) family are broadly expressed in epithelial and neuronal tissues. To date, the neurophysiological functions of most family members remain unknown. Here, by using the power of Drosophila genetics in combination with electrophysiological and behavioral approaches, we demonstrate that the DEG/ENaC-encoding gene pickpocket 29 contributes to baseline neurotransmission, possibly via the modulation of postsynaptic glutamate receptor functionality. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/373171-10$15.00/0.

  1. Opioid Tolerance and Physical Dependence: Role of Spinal Neuropeptides, Excitatory Amino Acids and Their Messengers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khem Jhamandas

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic opioid treatment results in the development of tolerance and physical dependence. The mechanisms underlying opioid tolerance and/or physical dependence are unclear. Recent studies suggest that opioid receptor or nociceptive, neural network-based adaptations contribute to this phenomenon. At the spinal level, the genesis of tolerance and physical dependence is associated with increased excitatory amino acid activity expressed through N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the dorsal horn. However, recent evidence also implicates spinal neuropeptide transmitters such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP and  substance P in the development of opioid tolerance. Long term spinal morphine treatment increases CGRP-like immunostaining in the dorsal horn, and coadministration of morphine with CGRP8-37, a competitive CGRP1 receptor antagonist, prevents this response as well as loss of the analgesic potency. CGRP8-37, like N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists, has the potential to restore morphine potency in experimental animals who are already tolerant to the opioid agonist. Recent evidence suggests that the effects of excitatory amino acid and neuropeptide receptor activity may be expressed through the generation of messengers such as nitric oxide and prostanoids. Agents that inhibit the synthesis of nitric oxide and prostanoids have the potential to inhibit and reverse spinal opioid tolerance, suggesting that this phenomenon may be expressed through the activity of these mediators. Nociceptive transmission in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord also involves activity of a number of other mediators including morphine modulatory neuropeptides, neuropeptide FF  and neuropeptide SF. The role of these mediators and their relationship with other factors implicated in tolerance remain to be determined.

  2. Training Excitatory-Inhibitory Recurrent Neural Networks for Cognitive Tasks: A Simple and Flexible Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Jing

    2016-01-01

    The ability to simultaneously record from large numbers of neurons in behaving animals has ushered in a new era for the study of the neural circuit mechanisms underlying cognitive functions. One promising approach to uncovering the dynamical and computational principles governing population responses is to analyze model recurrent neural networks (RNNs) that have been optimized to perform the same tasks as behaving animals. Because the optimization of network parameters specifies the desired output but not the manner in which to achieve this output, “trained” networks serve as a source of mechanistic hypotheses and a testing ground for data analyses that link neural computation to behavior. Complete access to the activity and connectivity of the circuit, and the ability to manipulate them arbitrarily, make trained networks a convenient proxy for biological circuits and a valuable platform for theoretical investigation. However, existing RNNs lack basic biological features such as the distinction between excitatory and inhibitory units (Dale’s principle), which are essential if RNNs are to provide insights into the operation of biological circuits. Moreover, trained networks can achieve the same behavioral performance but differ substantially in their structure and dynamics, highlighting the need for a simple and flexible framework for the exploratory training of RNNs. Here, we describe a framework for gradient descent-based training of excitatory-inhibitory RNNs that can incorporate a variety of biological knowledge. We provide an implementation based on the machine learning library Theano, whose automatic differentiation capabilities facilitate modifications and extensions. We validate this framework by applying it to well-known experimental paradigms such as perceptual decision-making, context-dependent integration, multisensory integration, parametric working memory, and motor sequence generation. Our results demonstrate the wide range of neural activity

  3. Neurotransmitters involved in fast excitatory neurotransmission directly activate enteric glial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boesmans, W; Cirillo, C; Van den Abbeel, V; Van den Haute, C; Depoortere, I; Tack, J; Vanden Berghe, P

    2013-02-01

    The intimate association between glial cells and neurons within the enteric nervous system has confounded careful examination of the direct responsiveness of enteric glia to different neuroligands. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether neurotransmitters known to elicit fast excitatory potentials in enteric nerves also activate enteric glia directly. We studied the effect of acetylcholine (ACh), serotonin (5-HT), and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) on intracellular Ca(2+) signaling using aequorin-expressing and Fluo-4 AM-loaded CRL-2690 rat and human enteric glial cell cultures devoid of neurons. The influence of these neurotransmitters on the proliferation of glia was measured and their effect on the expression of c-Fos as well as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), Sox10, and S100 was examined by immunohistochemistry and quantitative RT-PCR. Apart from ATP, also ACh and 5-HT induced a dose-dependent increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration in CRL-2690 cells. Similarly, these neurotransmitters also evoked Ca(2+) transients in human primary enteric glial cells obtained from mucosal biopsies. In contrast with ATP, stimulation with ACh and 5-HT induced early gene expression in CRL-2690 cells. The proliferation of enteric glia and their expression of GFAP, Sox10, and S100 were not affected following stimulation with these neurotransmitters. We provide evidence that enteric glial cells respond to fast excitatory neurotransmitters by changes in intracellular Ca(2+). On the basis of our experimental in vitro setting, we show that enteric glia are not only directly responsive to purinergic but also to serotonergic and cholinergic signaling mechanisms. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Dynamics of networks of excitatory and inhibitory neuronsin response to time-dependent inputs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erwan eLedoux

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the dynamics of recurrent networks of excitatory (E and inhibitory(I neurons in the presence of time-dependent inputs. The dynamics is characterizedby the network dynamical transfer function, i.e. how the population firing rate ismodulated by sinusoidal inputs at arbitrary frequencies. Two types of networks arestudied and compared: (i a Wilson-Cowan type firing rate model; and (ii a fullyconnected network of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, in a strong noise regime. Wefirst characterize the region of stability of the ‘asynchronous state’ (a state in whichpopulation activity is constant in time when external inputs are constant in the spaceof parameters characterizing the connectivity of the network. We then systematicallycharacterize the qualitative behaviors of the dynamical transfer function, as a functionof the connectivity. We find that the transfer function can be either low-pass, or witha single or double resonance, depending on the connection strengths and synaptic timeconstants. Resonances appear when the system is close to Hopf bifurcations, that canbe induced by two separate mechanisms: the I-I connectivity and the E-I connectivity.Double resonances can appear when excitatory delays are larger than inhibitory delays,due to the fact that two distinct instabilities exist with a finite gap between thecorresponding frequencies. In networks of LIF neurons, changes in external inputs andexternal noise are shown to be able to change qualitatively the network transfer function.Firing rate models are shown to exhibit the same diversity of transfer functions asthe LIF network, provided delays are present. They can also exhibit input-dependentchanges of the transfer function, provided a suitable static nonlinearity is incorporated.

  5. Adolescent chronic mild stress alters hippocampal CB1 receptor-mediated excitatory neurotransmission and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reich, C G; Mihalik, G R; Iskander, A N; Seckler, J C; Weiss, M S

    2013-12-03

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are involved in the stress response and alterations in eCB signaling may contribute to the etiology of mood disorders. Exposure to chronic mild stress (CMS), a model of depression, produces downregulation of the cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor in the hippocampus of male rats. However, it is unknown how this stress-induced change in CB1 levels affects eCB-mediated neurotransmission. In vitro, field potential recordings from CMS-exposed (21-days) rats were performed to assess the effects of stress on eCB-regulated glutamatergic neurotransmission in/on hippocampal area CA1. We observed that application of the CB1 agonist, WIN 55,212-5 (1 μM), in stress animals resulted in a ∼135% increase in excitatory neurotransmission, whereas CB1 activation in non-stress animals leads to a ∼30% decrease. However, during blockade of GABA(A) neurotransmission with picrotoxin, CB1 activation yielded a ∼35% decrease in stress animals. These findings indicate that CMS does not directly affect glutamatergic neurotransmission. Rather, CMS sensitizes CB1 function on GABAergic terminals, leading to less inhibition and an increase in excitatory neurotransmission. This finding is reinforced in that induction of weak long-term-potentiation (LTP) is enhanced in CMS-exposed animals compared to controls and this enhancement is CB1-dependent. Lastly, we observed that the LTP-blocking property of WIN 55,212-5 shifts from being glutamate-dependent in non-stress animals to being GABA-dependent in stress animals. These results effectively demonstrate that CMS significantly alters hippocampal eCB-mediated neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Excitatory and inhibitory actions of isoprostanes in human and canine airway smooth muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssen, L J; Premji, M; Netherton, S; Catalli, A; Cox, G; Keshavjee, S; Crankshaw, D J

    2000-11-01

    Isoprostanes are generated nonenzymatically during free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation, and are used clinically and experimentally as markers of oxidative stress. However, their biological effects are poorly understood. We examined the effects of seven different 8-isoprostanes in human and canine airway smooth muscles. In large order airways (carina) of the human, several isoprostanes evoked powerful contractions, with 8-iso-prostaglandin (PG) E(2), 8-iso-PGF(1 alpha), and 8-iso-PGF(2 alpha) being the most efficacious (and with logEC(50) values of 7.0, 5.9, and 6.2 microM, respectively). These contractions were sensitive to the prostanoid TP receptor antagonist ICI 192,605 (0.1-1 microM), but not the EP prostanoid receptor antagonist AH-6809 (50 microM), or the leukotriene receptor antagonists monteleukast or ICI 198,615 (both 1 microM). Qualitatively similar results were obtained in small order human airways (<2 mm o.d.), except that the isoprostanes were generally slightly less potent. None of the isoprostanes had any marked excitatory effect in canine airways. In carbachol-preconstricted tissues (pretreated with ICI 192,605 to block any potential contraction), several isoprostanes completely relaxed canine airways: 8-iso-PGE(1), 8-iso-PGE(2), and 8-iso-PGF(3 alpha) were the most potent, with logIC(50) values of 6.9, 6.9, and 5.7, respectively. Only 8-iso-PGF(3 alpha) relaxed human airways (logIC(50) = 4.9). Our results show that several 8-isoprostanes are highly biologically active in human and canine airways, evoking both excitatory and/or inhibitory effects, and that these effects are compound, species, and tissue dependent.

  7. Therapeutic testosterone administration preserves excitatory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus during autoimmune demyelinating disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziehn, Marina O; Avedisian, Andrea A; Dervin, Shannon M; Umeda, Elizabeth A; O'Dell, Thomas J; Voskuhl, Rhonda R

    2012-09-05

    Over 50% of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients experience cognitive deficits, and hippocampal-dependent memory impairment has been reported in >30% of these patients. While postmortem pathology studies and in vivo magnetic resonance imaging demonstrate that the hippocampus is targeted in MS, the neuropathology underlying hippocampal dysfunction remains unknown. Furthermore, there are no treatments available to date to effectively prevent neurodegeneration and associated cognitive dysfunction in MS. We have recently demonstrated that the hippocampus is also targeted in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the most widely used animal model of MS. The objective of this study was to assess whether a candidate treatment (testosterone) could prevent hippocampal synaptic dysfunction and underlying pathology when administered in either a preventative or a therapeutic (postdisease induction) manner. Electrophysiological studies revealed impairments in basal excitatory synaptic transmission that involved both AMPA receptor-mediated changes in synaptic currents, and faster decay rates of NMDA receptor-mediated currents in mice with EAE. Neuropathology revealed atrophy of the pyramidal and dendritic layers of hippocampal CA1, decreased presynaptic (Synapsin-1) and postsynaptic (postsynaptic density 95; PSD-95) staining, diffuse demyelination, and microglial activation. Testosterone treatment administered either before or after disease induction restores excitatory synaptic transmission as well as presynaptic and postsynaptic protein levels within the hippocampus. Furthermore, cross-modality correlations demonstrate that fluctuations in EPSPs are significantly correlated to changes in postsynaptic protein levels and suggest that PSD-95 is a neuropathological substrate to impaired synaptic transmission in the hippocampus during EAE. This is the first report demonstrating that testosterone is a viable therapeutic treatment option that can restore both hippocampal

  8. Training Excitatory-Inhibitory Recurrent Neural Networks for Cognitive Tasks: A Simple and Flexible Framework.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Francis Song

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The ability to simultaneously record from large numbers of neurons in behaving animals has ushered in a new era for the study of the neural circuit mechanisms underlying cognitive functions. One promising approach to uncovering the dynamical and computational principles governing population responses is to analyze model recurrent neural networks (RNNs that have been optimized to perform the same tasks as behaving animals. Because the optimization of network parameters specifies the desired output but not the manner in which to achieve this output, "trained" networks serve as a source of mechanistic hypotheses and a testing ground for data analyses that link neural computation to behavior. Complete access to the activity and connectivity of the circuit, and the ability to manipulate them arbitrarily, make trained networks a convenient proxy for biological circuits and a valuable platform for theoretical investigation. However, existing RNNs lack basic biological features such as the distinction between excitatory and inhibitory units (Dale's principle, which are essential if RNNs are to provide insights into the operation of biological circuits. Moreover, trained networks can achieve the same behavioral performance but differ substantially in their structure and dynamics, highlighting the need for a simple and flexible framework for the exploratory training of RNNs. Here, we describe a framework for gradient descent-based training of excitatory-inhibitory RNNs that can incorporate a variety of biological knowledge. We provide an implementation based on the machine learning library Theano, whose automatic differentiation capabilities facilitate modifications and extensions. We validate this framework by applying it to well-known experimental paradigms such as perceptual decision-making, context-dependent integration, multisensory integration, parametric working memory, and motor sequence generation. Our results demonstrate the wide range of neural

  9. Maternal Immune Activation Delays Excitatory-to-Inhibitory Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Switch in Offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corradini, Irene; Focchi, Elisa; Rasile, Marco; Morini, Raffaella; Desiato, Genni; Tomasoni, Romana; Lizier, Michela; Ghirardini, Elsa; Fesce, Riccardo; Morone, Diego; Barajon, Isabella; Antonucci, Flavia; Pozzi, Davide; Matteoli, Michela

    2017-11-14

    The association between maternal infection and neurodevelopmental defects in progeny is well established, although the biological mechanisms and the pathogenic trajectories involved have not been defined. Pregnant dams were injected intraperitoneally at gestational day 9 with polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid. Neuronal development was assessed by means of electrophysiological, optical, and biochemical analyses. Prenatal exposure to polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid causes an imbalanced expression of the Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter 1 and the K+-Cl- cotransporter 2 (KCC2). This results in delayed gamma-aminobutyric acid switch and higher susceptibility to seizures, which endures up to adulthood. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments reveal increased binding of the repressor factor RE1-silencing transcription (also known as neuron-restrictive silencer factor) to position 509 of the KCC2 promoter that leads to downregulation of KCC2 transcription in prenatally exposed offspring. Interleukin-1 receptor type I knockout mice, which display braked immune response and no brain cytokine elevation upon maternal immune activation, do not display KCC2/Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter 1 imbalance when implanted in a wild-type dam and prenatally exposed. Notably, pretreatment of pregnant dams with magnesium sulfate is sufficient to prevent the early inflammatory state and the delay in excitatory-to-inhibitory switch associated to maternal immune activation. We provide evidence that maternal immune activation hits a key neurodevelopmental process, the excitatory-to-inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid switch; defects in this switch have been unequivocally linked to diseases such as autism spectrum disorder or epilepsy. These data open the avenue for a safe pharmacological treatment that may prevent the neurodevelopmental defects caused by prenatal immune activation in a specific pregnancy time window. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights

  10. 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.

  11. Excitatory effects induced by carbachol on bursting neurons of the rat subiculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawasaki, H; Avoli, M

    1996-11-15

    Conventional intracellular recordings were made from neurons of the rat subiculum in an in vitro slice preparation. Intracellular pulses of depolarizing current (duration, 10-120 ms) delivered at a resting membrane potential of -62.2 +/- 7.7 mV (mean +/- SD, n = 14) induced bursts of 3-5 fast, action potentials riding on a slow depolarization. The burst was terminated by an afterhyperpolarization (burst AHP) that lasted 117 +/- 26 ms and reached peak amplitude of 5.1 +/- 1.8 mV (n = 8). Bath application of the cholinergic agonist carbachol (CCh; 30-100 microM; n = 20) in the presence of ionotropic excitatory amino acid receptor antagonists induced a steady depolarization (4.6 +/- 2.7 mV) of the membrane potential, and a small increase in input resistance. Action potential bursts continued to occur in response to intracellular depolarizing pulses during CCh application. However, this cholinergic agonist reduced and eventually blocked the burst AHP, which was replaced by action potentials firing. In the presence of CCh (> 70 microM; n = 9) the burst response, was followed by a depolarizing plateau potential (PP) that outlasted the intracellular depolarizing pulse by 731 +/- 386 ms (range 160-1900 ms), and could trigger repetitive action potential firing at 35-116 Hz. The effects induced by CCh were reversed by bath application of the muscarinic antagonist atropine (0.5-1 microM; n = 4). Our findings demonstrate that CCh exerts in the rat subiculum an excitatory action that is dependent upon muscarinic receptor stimulation. This cholinergic mechanism may play a physiological role in the subicular processing of signals arising from the hippocampus proper, and may also contribute to the generation of sustained epileptiform discharges induced in the limbic system by cholinergic agents.

  12. Metaplasticity at CA1 Synapses by Homeostatic Control of Presynaptic Release Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cary Soares

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Hebbian and homeostatic forms of plasticity operate on different timescales to regulate synaptic strength. The degree of mechanistic overlap between these processes and their mutual influence are still incompletely understood. Here, we report that homeostatic synaptic strengthening induced by prolonged network inactivity compromised the ability of CA1 synapses to exhibit LTP. This effect could not be accounted for by an obvious deficit in the postsynaptic capacity for LTP expression, since neither the fraction of silent synapses nor the ability to induce LTP by two-photon glutamate uncaging were reduced by the homeostatic process. Rather, optical quantal analysis reveals that homeostatically strengthened synapses display a reduced capacity to maintain glutamate release fidelity during repetitive stimulation, ultimately impeding the induction, and thus expression, of LTP. By regulating the short-term dynamics of glutamate release, the homeostatic process thus influences key aspects of dynamic network function and exhibits features of metaplasticity. : Several forms of synaptic plasticity operating over distinct spatiotemporal scales have been described at hippocampal synapses. Whether these distinct plasticity mechanisms interact and influence one another remains incompletely understood. Here, Soares et al. show that homeostatic plasticity induced by network silencing influences short-term release dynamics and Hebbian plasticity rules at hippocampal synapses. Keywords: synapse, LTP, homeostatic plasticity, metaplasticity, iGluSNFR

  13. Effects of Estradiol on Learned Helplessness and Associated Remodeling of Hippocampal Spine Synapses in Female Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajszan, Tibor; Szigeti-Buck, Klara; Sallam, Nermin L; Bober, Jeremy; Parducz, Arpad; MacLusky, Neil J; Leranth, Csaba; Duman, Ronald S

    2009-01-01

    Background Despite the fact that women are twice as likely to develop depression as men, our understanding of depression neurobiology in females is limited. We have recently reported in male rats that development of helpless behavior is associated with a severe loss of hippocampal spine synapses, which is reversed by treatment with the antidepressant, desipramine. Considering the fact that estradiol has a hippocampal synaptogenic effect similar to those of antidepressants, the presence of estradiol during the female reproductive life may influence behavioral and synaptic responses to stress and depression. Methods Using electron microscopic stereology, we analyzed hippocampal spine synapses in association with helpless behavior in ovariectomized female rats (n=70), under different conditions of estradiol exposure. Results Stress induced an acute and persistent loss of hippocampal spine synapses, while subchronic treatment with desipramine reversed the stress-induced synaptic loss. Estradiol supplementation given either prior to stress or prior to escape testing of nonstressed animals both increased the number of hippocampal spine synapses. Correlation analysis demonstrated a statistically significant negative correlation between the severity of helpless behavior and hippocampal spine synapse numbers. Conclusions These findings suggest that hippocampal spine synapse remodeling may be a critical factor underlying learned helplessness and, possibly, the neurobiology of depression. PMID:19811775

  14. The dendritic cell synapse: a life dedicated to T cell activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica eBenvenuti

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available T cell activation within immunological synapses is a complex process whereby different types of signals are transmitted from antigen presenting cells to T cells. The molecular strategies developed by T cells to interpret and integrate these signals have been systematically dissected in recent years and are now in large part understood. On the other side of the immune synapse dendritic cells (DCs participate actively to synapse formation and maintenance by remodeling of membrane receptors and intracellular content. However the details of such changes have been only partially characterized. The DCs actin cytoskeleton has been one of the first systems to be identified as playing an important role in T cell priming and some of the underlying mechanisms have been elucidated. Similarly, the DCs microtubule cytoskeleton undergoes major spatial changes during synapse formation that favor polarization of the DCs subcellular space toward the interacting T cell. Recently we have begun to investigate the trafficking machinery that controls polarized delivery of endosomal vesicles at the DC-T immune synapse with the aim of understanding the functional relevance of polarized secretion of soluble factors during T cell priming. Here we will review the current knowledge of events occurring in DCs during synapse formation and discuss the open questions that still remains unanswered.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Ladepeche

    Full Text Available Dopamine receptor potently modulates glutamate signalling, synaptic plasticity and neuronal network adaptations in various pathophysiological processes. Although key intracellular signalling cascades have been identified, the cellular mechanism by which dopamine and glutamate receptor-mediated signalling interplay at glutamate synapse remain poorly understood. Among the cellular mechanisms proposed to aggregate D1R in glutamate synapses, the direct interaction between D1R and the scaffold protein PSD95 or the direct interaction with the glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR have been proposed. To tackle this question we here used high-resolution single nanoparticle imaging since it provides a powerful way to investigate at the sub-micron resolution the dynamic interaction between these partners in live synapses. We demonstrate in hippocampal neuronal networks that dopamine D1 receptors (D1R laterally diffuse within glutamate synapses, in which their diffusion is reduced. Disrupting the interaction between D1R and PSD95, through genetical manipulation and competing peptide, did not affect D1R dynamics in glutamatergic synapses. However, preventing the physical interaction between D1R and the GluN1 subunit of NMDAR abolished the synaptic stabilization of diffusing D1R. Together, these data provide direct evidence that the interaction between D1R and NMDAR in synapses participate in the building of the dopamine-receptor-mediated signalling, and most likely to the glutamate-dopamine cross-talk.

  16. A Reaction-Diffusion Model for Synapse Growth and Long-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kang; Lisman, John; Hagan, Michael

    Memory storage involves strengthening of synaptic transmission known as long-term potentiation (LTP). The late phase of LTP is associated with structural processes that enlarge the synapse. Yet, synapses must be stable, despite continual subunit turnover, over the lifetime of an encoded memory. These considerations suggest that synapses are variable-size stable structure (VSSS), meaning they can switch between multiple metastable structures with different sizes. The mechanisms underlying VSSS are poorly understood. While experiments and theory have suggested that the interplay between diffusion and receptor-scaffold interactions can lead to a preferred stable size for synaptic domains, such a mechanism cannot explain how synapses adopt widely different sizes. Here we develop a minimal reaction-diffusion model of VSSS for synapse growth, incorporating the recent observation from super-resolution microscopy that neural activity can build compositional heterogeneities within synaptic domains. We find that introducing such heterogeneities can change the stable domain size in a controlled manner. We discuss a potential connection between this model and experimental data on synapse sizes, and how it provides a possible mechanism to structurally encode graded long-term memory. We acknowledge the support from NSF INSPIRE Award number IOS-1526941 (KL, MFH, JL) and the Brandeis Center for Bioinspired Soft Materials, an NSF MRSEC, DMR- 1420382 (MFH).

  17. The adaptor molecule SAP plays essential roles during invariant NKT cell cytotoxicity and lytic synapse formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Rupali; Bassiri, Hamid; Guan, Peng; Wiener, Susan; Banerjee, Pinaki P; Zhong, Ming-Chao; Veillette, André; Orange, Jordan S; Nichols, Kim E

    2013-04-25

    The adaptor molecule signaling lymphocytic activation molecule-associated protein (SAP) plays critical roles during invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell ontogeny. As a result, SAP-deficient humans and mice lack iNKT cells. The strict developmental requirement for SAP has made it difficult to discern its possible involvement in mature iNKT cell functions. By using temporal Cre recombinase-mediated gene deletion to ablate SAP expression after completion of iNKT cell development, we demonstrate that SAP is essential for T-cell receptor (TCR)-induced iNKT cell cytotoxicity against T-cell and B-cell leukemia targets in vitro and iNKT-cell-mediated control of T-cell leukemia growth in vivo. These findings are not restricted to the murine system: silencing RNA-mediated suppression of SAP expression in human iNKT cells also significantly impairs TCR-induced cytolysis. Mechanistic studies reveal that iNKT cell killing requires the tyrosine kinase Fyn, a known SAP-binding protein. Furthermore, SAP expression is required within iNKT cells to facilitate their interaction with T-cell targets and induce reorientation of the microtubule-organizing center to the immunologic synapse (IS). Collectively, these studies highlight a novel and essential role for SAP during iNKT cell cytotoxicity and formation of a functional IS.

  18. The Abused Inhalant Toluene Differentially Modulates Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Deep-Layer Neurons of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckley, Jacob T; Woodward, John J

    2011-01-01

    Volatile organic solvents such as toluene are voluntarily inhaled for their intoxicating effects. Solvent use is especially prevalent among adolescents, and is associated with deficits in a wide range of cognitive tasks including attention, behavioral control, and risk assessment. Despite these findings, little is known about the effects of toluene on brain areas mediating these behaviors. In this study, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were used to determine the effect toluene on neurons within the medial PFC, a region critically involved in cognitive function. Toluene had no effect on measures of intrinsic excitability, but enhanced stimulus-evoked γ-amino butyric acid A-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). In the presence of tetrodotoxin (TTX) to block action potentials, toluene increased the frequency and amplitude of miniature IPSCs. In contrast, toluene induced a delayed but persistent decrease in evoked or spontaneous AMPA-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). This effect was prevented by an intracellular calcium chelator or by the ryanodine receptor and SERCA inhibitors, dantrolene or thapsigargin, respectively, suggesting that toluene may mobilize intracellular calcium pools. The toluene-induced reduction in AMPA EPSCs was also prevented by a cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) antagonist, and was occluded by the CB1 agonist WIN 55,212-2 that itself induced a profound decrease in AMPA-mediated EPSCs. Toluene had no effect on the frequency or amplitude of miniature EPSCs recorded in the presence of TTX. Finally, toluene dose-dependently inhibited N-methyl--aspartate (NMDA)-mediated EPSCs and the magnitude and reversibility of this effect was CB1R sensitive indicating both direct and indirect actions of toluene on NMDA-mediated responses. Together, these results suggest that the effect of toluene on cognitive behaviors may result from its action on inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission of PFC neurons. PMID:21430649

  19. A new structural class of subtype-selective inhibitor of cloned excitatory amino acid transporter, EAAT2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bräuner-Osborne, Hans; Hermit, M B; Nielsen, B

    2000-01-01

    We have studied the pharmacological effects of (RS)-2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazol-4-yl)propionic acid (AMPA) and the enantiomers of (RS)-2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-1,2, 5-thiadiazol-4-yl)propionic acid (TDPA) on cloned human excitatory amino acid transporter subtypes 1, 2 and 3 (EAAT1...

  20. Synaptic Impairment and Robustness of Excitatory Neuronal Networks with Different Topologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirzakhalili, Ehsan; Gourgou, Eleni; Booth, Victoria; Epureanu, Bogdan

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic deficiencies are a known hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, but the diagnosis of impaired synapses on the cellular level is not an easy task. Nonetheless, changes in the system-level dynamics of neuronal networks with damaged synapses can be detected using techniques that do not require high spatial resolution. This paper investigates how the structure/topology of neuronal networks influences their dynamics when they suffer from synaptic loss. We study different neuronal network structures/topologies by specifying their degree distributions. The modes of the degree distribution can be used to construct networks that consist of rich clubs and resemble small world networks, as well. We define two dynamical metrics to compare the activity of networks with different structures: persistent activity (namely, the self-sustained activity of the network upon removal of the initial stimulus) and quality of activity (namely, percentage of neurons that participate in the persistent activity of the network). Our results show that synaptic loss affects the persistent activity of networks with bimodal degree distributions less than it affects random networks. The robustness of neuronal networks enhances when the distance between the modes of the degree distribution increases, suggesting that the rich clubs of networks with distinct modes keep the whole network active. In addition, a tradeoff is observed between the quality of activity and the persistent activity. For a range of distributions, both of these dynamical metrics are considerably high for networks with bimodal degree distribution compared to random networks. We also propose three different scenarios of synaptic impairment, which may correspond to different pathological or biological conditions. Regardless of the network structure/topology, results demonstrate that synaptic loss has more severe effects on the activity of the network when impairments are correlated with the activity of the neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  2. Transcellular communication at the immunological synapse: a vesicular traffic-mediated mutual exchange [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Finetti

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The cell’s ability to communicate with the extracellular environment, with other cells, and with itself is a crucial feature of eukaryotic organisms. In the immune system, T lymphocytes assemble a specialized structure upon contact with antigen-presenting cells bearing a peptide-major histocompatibility complex ligand, known as the immunological synapse (IS. The IS has been extensively characterized as a signaling platform essential for T-cell activation. Moreover, emerging evidence identifies the IS as a device for vesicular traffic-mediated cell-to-cell communication as well as an active release site of soluble molecules. Here, we will review recent advances in the role of vesicular trafficking in IS assembly and focused secretion of microvesicles at the synaptic area in naïve T cells and discuss the role of the IS in transcellular communication.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank eSchmitz

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemarie eGrantyn

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Functional impairment of the adult brain can result from deficits in the ontogeny of GABAergic synaptic transmission. Gene defects underlying autism spectrum disorders, Rett’s syndrome or some forms of epilepsy, but also a diverse set of syndromes accompanying perinatal trauma, hormonal imbalances, intake of sleep-inducing or mood-improving drugs or, quite common, alcohol intake during pregnancy can alter GABA signaling early in life. The search for therapeutically relevant endogenous molecules or exogenous compounds able to alleviate the consequences of dysfunction of GABAergic transmission in the embryonic or postnatal brain requires a clear understanding of its site- and state-dependent development. At the level of single synapses, it is necessary to discriminate between presynaptic and postsynaptic alterations, and to define parameters that can be regarded as both suitable and accessible for the quantification of developmental changes. Here we focus on the performance of GABAergic synapses in two brain structures, the hippocampus and the superior colliculus, describe some novel aspects of neurotrophin effects during the development of GABAergic synaptic transmission and examine the applicability of the following rules: 1 Synaptic transmission starts with GABA, 2 Nascent/immature GABAergic synapses operate in a ballistic mode (multivesicular release, 3 Immature synaptic terminals release vesicles with higher probability than mature synapses, 4 Immature GABAergic synapses are prone to paired pulse and tetanic depression, 5 Synapse maturation is characterized by an increasing dominance of synchronous over asynchronous release, 6 In immature neurons GABA acts as a depolarizing transmitter, 7 Synapse maturation implies IPSC shortening due to an increase in alpha1 subunit expression, 8 Extrasynaptic (tonic conductances can inhibit the development of synaptic (phasic GABA actions.

  5. Postsynaptic mechanisms underlying the excitatory action of histamine on medial vestibular nucleus neurons in rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Yang; Yu, Lei; Zhuang, Qian-Xing; Peng, Shi-Yu; Zhu, Jing-Ning; Wang, Jian-Jun

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Anti-histaminergic drugs have been widely used in the clinical treatment of vestibular disorders and most studies concentrate on their presynaptic actions. The present study investigated the postsynaptic effect of histamine on medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons and the underlying mechanisms. Experimental Approach Histamine-induced postsynaptic actions on MVN neurons and the corresponding receptor and ionic mechanisms were detected by whole-cell patch-clamp recordings on rat brain slices. The distribution of postsynaptic histamine H1, H2 and H4 receptors was mapped by double and single immunostaining. Furthermore, the expression of mRNAs for H1, H2 and H4 receptors and for subtypes of Na+–Ca2+ exchangers (NCXs) and hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels was assessed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Key Results A marked postsynaptic excitatory effect, co-mediated by histamine H1 and H2 receptors, was involved in the histamine-induced depolarization of MVN neurons. Postsynaptic H1 and H2 rather than H4 receptors were co-localized in the same MVN neurons. NCXs contributed to the inward current mediated by H1 receptors, whereas HCN channels were responsible for excitation induced by activation of H2 receptors. Moreover, NCX1 and NCX3 rather than NCX2, and HCN1 rather than HCN2-4 mRNAs, were abundantly expressed in MVN. Conclusion and Implications NCXs coupled to H1 receptors and HCN channels linked to H2 receptors co-mediate the strong postsynaptic excitatory action of histamine on MVN neurons. These results highlight an active role of postsynaptic mechanisms in the modulation by central histaminergic systems of vestibular functions and suggest potential targets for clinical treatment of vestibular disorders. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed issue on Histamine Pharmacology Update. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2013.170.issue-1 PMID:23713466

  6. Optimal and Local Connectivity Between Neuron and Synapse Array in the Quantum Dot/Silicon Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duong, Tuan A.; Assad, Christopher; Thakoor, Anikumar P.

    2010-01-01

    This innovation is used to connect between synapse and neuron arrays using nanowire in quantum dot and metal in CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technology to enable the density of a brain-like connection in hardware. The hardware implementation combines three technologies: 1. Quantum dot and nanowire-based compact synaptic cell (50x50 sq nm) with inherently low parasitic capacitance (hence, low dynamic power approx.l0(exp -11) watts/synapse), 2. Neuron and learning circuits implemented in 50-nm CMOS technology, to be integrated with quantum dot and nanowire synapse, and 3. 3D stacking approach to achieve the overall numbers of high density O(10(exp 12)) synapses and O(10(exp 8)) neurons in the overall system. In a 1-sq cm of quantum dot layer sitting on a 50-nm CMOS layer, innovators were able to pack a 10(exp 6)-neuron and 10(exp 10)-synapse array; however, the constraint for the connection scheme is that each neuron will receive a non-identical 10(exp 4)-synapse set, including itself, via its efficacy of the connection. This is not a fully connected system where the 100x100 synapse array only has a 100-input data bus and 100-output data bus. Due to the data bus sharing, it poses a great challenge to have a complete connected system, and its constraint within the quantum dot and silicon wafer layer. For an effective connection scheme, there are three conditions to be met: 1. Local connection. 2. The nanowire should be connected locally, not globally from which it helps to maximize the data flow by sharing the same wire space location. 3. Each synapse can have an alternate summation line if needed (this option is doable based on the simple mask creation). The 10(exp 3)x10(exp 3)-neuron array was partitioned into a 10-block, 10(exp 2)x10(exp 3)-neuron array. This building block can be completely mapped within itself (10,000 synapses to a neuron).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Haitao; Guo, Xinmeng; Wang, Jiang

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz eWiera

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed LTP that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tPA/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1 and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  9. 3D reconstruction of synapses with deep learning based on EM Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Chi; Rao, Qiang; Zhang, Dandan; Chen, Xi; Han, Hua; Xie, Qiwei

    2017-03-01

    Recently, due to the rapid development of electron microscope (EM) with its high resolution, stacks delivered by EM can be used to analyze a variety of components that are critical to understand brain function. Since synaptic study is essential in neurobiology and can be analyzed by EM stacks, the automated routines for reconstruction of synapses based on EM Images can become a very useful tool for analyzing large volumes of brain tissue and providing the ability to understand the mechanism of brain. In this article, we propose a novel automated method to realize 3D reconstruction of synapses for Automated Tapecollecting Ultra Microtome Scanning Electron Microscopy (ATUM-SEM) with deep learning. Being different from other reconstruction algorithms, which employ classifier to segment synaptic clefts directly. We utilize deep learning method and segmentation algorithm to obtain synaptic clefts as well as promote the accuracy of reconstruction. The proposed method contains five parts: (1) using modified Moving Least Square (MLS) deformation algorithm and Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) features to register adjacent sections, (2) adopting Faster Region Convolutional Neural Networks (Faster R-CNN) algorithm to detect synapses, (3) utilizing screening method which takes context cues of synapses into consideration to reduce the false positive rate, (4) combining a practical morphology algorithm with a suitable fitting function to segment synaptic clefts and optimize the shape of them, (5) applying the plugin in FIJI to show the final 3D visualization of synapses. Experimental results on ATUM-SEM images demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method.

  10. Molecular switches at the synapse emerge from receptor and kinase traffic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnold Hayer

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the synaptic connection strengths between neurons are believed to play a role in memory formation. An important mechanism for changing synaptic strength is through movement of neurotransmitter receptors and regulatory proteins to and from the synapse. Several activity-triggered biochemical events control these movements. Here we use computer models to explore how these putative memory-related changes can be stabilised long after the initial trigger, and beyond the lifetime of synaptic molecules. We base our models on published biochemical data and experiments on the activity-dependent movement of a glutamate receptor, AMPAR, and a calcium-dependent kinase, CaMKII. We find that both of these molecules participate in distinct bistable switches. These simulated switches are effective for long periods despite molecular turnover and biochemical fluctuations arising from the small numbers of molecules in the synapse. The AMPAR switch arises from a novel self-recruitment process where the presence of sufficient receptors biases the receptor movement cycle to insert still more receptors into the synapse. The CaMKII switch arises from autophosphorylation of the kinase. The switches may function in a tightly coupled manner, or relatively independently. The latter case leads to multiple stable states of the synapse. We propose that similar self-recruitment cycles may be important for maintaining levels of many molecules that undergo regulated movement, and that these may lead to combinatorial possible stable states of systems like the synapse.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian-Kun Yang

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Melanie A Gainey

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-12

    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 NH2-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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Coupling-induced population synchronization in an excitatory population of subthreshold Izhikevich neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Lim, Woochang

    2013-12-01

    We consider an excitatory population of subthreshold Izhikevich neurons which exhibit noise-induced firings. By varying the coupling strength J, we investigate population synchronization between the noise-induced firings which may be used for efficient cognitive processing such as sensory perception, multisensory binding, selective attention, and memory formation. As J is increased, rich types of population synchronization (e.g., spike, burst, and fast spike synchronization) are found to occur. Transitions between population synchronization and incoherence are well described in terms of an order parameter [Formula: see text]. As a final step, the coupling induces oscillator death (quenching of noise-induced spikings) because each neuron is attracted to a noisy equilibrium state. The oscillator death leads to a transition from firing to non-firing states at the population level, which may be well described in terms of the time-averaged population spike rate [Formula: see text]. In addition to the statistical-mechanical analysis using [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], each population and individual state are also characterized by using the techniques of nonlinear dynamics such as the raster plot of neural spikes, the time series of the membrane potential, and the phase portrait. We note that population synchronization of noise-induced firings may lead to emergence of synchronous brain rhythms in a noisy environment, associated with diverse cognitive functions.

  15. The relative contribution of NMDARs to excitatory postsynaptic currents is controlled by Ca2+-induced inactivation.

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    Fliza eValiullina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available NMDA receptors (NMDARs are important mediators of excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity. A hallmark of these channels is their high permeability to Ca2+. At the same time, they are themselves inhibited by the elevation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration. It is unclear however, whether the Ca2+ entry associated with single NMDAR mediated synaptic events is sufficient to self-inhibit their activation. Such auto-regulation would have important effects on the dynamics of synaptic excitation in several central networks. Therefore, we studied NMDAR-mediated synaptic currents in mouse hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Postsynaptic responses to subthreshold Schaffer collateral stimulation depended strongly on the absence or presence of intracellular Ca2+ buffers. Loading of pyramidal cells with exogenous Ca2+ buffers increased the amplitude and decay time of NMDAR mediated EPSCs (EPSP and prolonged the time window for action potential generation.Our data indicate that the Ca2+ influx mediated by unitary synaptic events is sufficient to produce detectable self-inhibition of NMDARs even at a physiological Mg2+ concentration. Therefore, the contribution of NMDARs to synaptic excitation is strongly controlled by both previous synaptic activity as well as by the Ca2+ buffer capacity of postsynaptic neurons.

  16. Designing Novel Nanoformulations Targeting Glutamate Transporter Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2: Implications in Treating Drug Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Pss; Yallapu, Murali M; Sari, Youssef; Fisher, Paul B; Kumar, Santosh

    Chronic drug abuse is associated with elevated extracellular glutamate concentration in the brain reward regions. Deficit of glutamate clearance has been identified as a contributing factor that leads to enhanced glutamate concentration following extended drug abuse. Importantly, normalization of glutamate level through induction of glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1)/ excitatory amino acid transporter 2 (EAAT2) expression has been described in several in vivo studies. GLT1 upregulators including ceftriaxone, a beta-lactam antibiotic, have been effective in attenuating drug-seeking and drug-consumption behavior in rodent models. However, potential obstacles toward clinical translation of GLT1 (EAAT2) upregulators as treatment for drug addiction might include poor gastrointestinal absorption, serious peripheral adverse effects, and/or suboptimal CNS concentrations. Given the growing success of nanotechnology in targeting CNS ailments, nanoformulating known GLT1 (EAAT2) upregulators for selective uptake across the blood brain barrier presents an ideal therapeutic approach for treating drug addiction. In this review, we summarize the results obtained with promising GLT1 (EAAT2) inducing compounds in animal models recapitulating drug addiction. Additionally, the various nanoformulations that can be employed for selectively increasing the CNS bioavailability of GLT1 (EAAT2) upregulators are discussed. Finally, the applicability of GLT1 (EAAT2) induction via central delivery of drug-loaded nanoformulations is described.

  17. Common circuit defect of excitatory-inhibitory balance in mouse models of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogolla, Nadine; Leblanc, Jocelyn J; Quast, Kathleen B; Südhof, Thomas C; Fagiolini, Michela; Hensch, Takao K

    2009-06-01

    One unifying explanation for the complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may lie in the disruption of excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) circuit balance during critical periods of development. We examined whether Parvalbumin (PV)-positive inhibitory neurons, which normally drive experience-dependent circuit refinement (Hensch Nat Rev Neurosci 6:877-888, 1), are disrupted across heterogeneous ASD mouse models. We performed a meta-analysis of PV expression in previously published ASD mouse models and analyzed two additional models, reflecting an embryonic chemical insult (prenatal valproate, VPA) or single-gene mutation identified in human patients (Neuroligin-3, NL-3 R451C). PV-cells were reduced in the neocortex across multiple ASD mouse models. In striking contrast to controls, both VPA and NL-3 mouse models exhibited an asymmetric PV-cell reduction across hemispheres in parietal and occipital cortices (but not the underlying area CA1). ASD mouse models may share a PV-circuit disruption, providing new insight into circuit development and potential prevention by treatment of autism. The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11689-009-9023-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  18. [Ischemic Stroke, Excitatory Amino Acids Toxicity and the Adjustment of Acupuncture Intervention].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-xiao; Lu, Sheng-feng; Zhu, Bing-mei; Fu, Shu-ping

    2016-04-01

    Excitatory amino acids toxicity is an onset causation of cerebral ischemia injury cascade reaction, and eventually leading to brain cell necrosis and apoptosis. Acupuncture is reported to be effective for ischemic stroke in clinical practice and animal experiments, but its mechanism is still under exploring. In this paper the authors introduce the research status of antiexcitatory amino acids toxicity effect of acupuncture in ischemic stroke animals by summarizing its effects on subunits of ionotropic glutamate receptor (NMDA/AMPA) and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), and on astrocyte activities. Results indicated that acupuncture intervention may down-regulate the expression levels of cerebral multi-types (NR 1, NR 2 B) of glutamate NMDA receptors, up-regulate expression of glutamate transporter-1, NR 2 A, cannabinoid receptor (CBR) type 1 and 2, and suppress activities of cerebral astrocytes, reduce the content of extracellular glutamate to lower its toxicity and to improve stroke at last. The present paper may provide a reference for acupuncture research on ischemic brain injury.

  19. Layer 3 Excitatory and Inhibitory Circuitry in the Prefrontal Cortex: Developmental Trajectories and Alterations in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoftman, Gil D; Datta, Dibyadeep; Lewis, David A

    2017-05-15

    Convergent evidence suggests that schizophrenia is a disorder of neurodevelopment with alterations in both early and late developmental processes hypothesized to contribute to the disease process. Abnormalities in certain clinical features of schizophrenia, such as working memory impairments, depend on distributed neural circuitry including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and appear to arise during the protracted maturation of this circuitry across childhood and adolescence. In particular, the neural circuitry substrate for working memory in primates involves the coordinated activity of excitatory pyramidal neurons and a specific population of inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid neurons (i.e., parvalbumin-containing basket cells) in layer 3 of the DLPFC. Understanding the relationships between the normal development of-and the schizophrenia-associated alterations in-the DLPFC circuitry that subserves working memory could provide new insights into the nature of schizophrenia as a neurodevelopmental disorder. Consequently, we review the following in this article: 1) recent findings regarding alterations of DLPFC layer 3 circuitry in schizophrenia, 2) the developmental refinements in this circuitry that occur during the period when the working memory alterations in schizophrenia appear to arise and progress, and 3) how various adverse environmental exposures could contribute to developmental disturbances of this circuitry in individuals with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Beyond blow-up in excitatory integrate and fire neuronal networks: Refractory period and spontaneous activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cáceres, María J; Perthame, Benoît

    2014-06-07

    The Network Noisy Leaky Integrate and Fire equation is among the simplest model allowing for a self-consistent description of neural networks and gives a rule to determine the probability to find a neuron at the potential v. However, its mathematical structure is still poorly understood and, concerning its solutions, very few results are available. In the midst of them, a recent result shows blow-up in finite time for fully excitatory networks. The intuitive explanation is that each firing neuron induces a discharge of the others; thus increases the activity and consequently the discharge rate of the full network. In order to better understand the details of the phenomena and show that the equation is more complex and fruitful than expected, we analyze further the model. We extend the finite time blow-up result to the case when neurons, after firing, enter a refractory state for a given period of time. We also show that spontaneous activity may occur when, additionally, randomness is included on the firing potential VF in regimes where blow-up occurs for a fixed value of VF. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. An Excitatory Neural Assembly Encodes Short-Term Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

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    Yonglu Tian

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Short-term memory (STM is crucial for animals to hold information for a small period of time. Persistent or recurrent neural activity, together with neural oscillations, is known to encode the STM at the cellular level. However, the coding mechanisms at the microcircuitry level remain a mystery. Here, we performed two-photon imaging on behaving mice to monitor the activity of neuronal microcircuitry. We discovered a neuronal subpopulation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC that exhibited emergent properties in a context-dependent manner underlying a STM-like behavior paradigm. These neuronal subpopulations exclusively comprise excitatory neurons and mainly represent a group of neurons with stronger functional connections. Microcircuitry plasticity was maintained for minutes and was absent in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Thus, these results point to a functional coding mechanism that relies on the emergent behavior of a functionally defined neuronal assembly to encode STM.

  2. Theta-burst repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation suppresses specific excitatory circuits in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Lazzaro, V; Pilato, F; Saturno, E; Oliviero, A; Dileone, M; Mazzone, P; Insola, A; Tonali, P A; Ranieri, F; Huang, Y Z; Rothwell, J C

    2005-06-15

    In four conscious patients who had electrodes implanted in the cervical epidural space for the control of pain, we recorded corticospinal volleys evoked by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the motor cortex before and after a 20 s period of continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS). It has previously been reported that this form of repetitive TMS reduces the amplitude of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), with the maximum effect occurring at 5-10 min after the end of stimulation. The present results show that cTBS preferentially decreases the amplitude of the corticospinal I1 wave, with approximately the same time course. This is consistent with a cortical origin of the effect on the MEP. However, other protocols that lead to MEP suppression, such as short-interval intracortical inhibition, are characterized by reduced excitability of late I waves (particularly I3), suggesting that cTBS suppresses MEPs through different mechanisms, such as long-term depression in excitatory synaptic connections.

  3. Plasticity during motherhood: changes in excitatory and inhibitory layer 2/3 neurons in auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Lior; Mizrahi, Adi

    2015-01-28

    Maternal behavior can be triggered by auditory and olfactory cues originating from the newborn. Here we report how the transition to motherhood affects excitatory and inhibitory neurons in layer 2/3 (L2/3) of the mouse primary auditory cortex. We used in vivo two-photon targeted cell-attached recording to compare the response properties of parvalbumin-expressing neurons (PVNs) and pyramidal glutamatergic neurons (PyrNs). The transition to motherhood shifts the average best frequency of PVNs to higher frequency by a full octave, with no significant effect on average best frequency of PyrNs. The presence of pup odors significantly reduced the spontaneous and evoked activity of PVN. This reduction of feedforward inhibition coincides with a complimentary increase in spontaneous and evoked activity of PyrNs. The selective shift of PVN frequency tuning should render pup odor-induced disinhibition more effective for high-frequency stimuli, such as ultrasonic vocalizations. Indeed, pup odors increased neuronal responses of PyrNs to pup ultrasonic vocalizations. We conclude that plasticity in the mothers is mediated, at least in part, via modulation of the feedforward inhibition circuitry in the auditory cortex. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/351806-10$15.00/0.

  4. Plant synapses: actin-based domains for cell-to-cell communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baluska, Frantisek; Volkmann, Dieter; Menzel, Diedrik

    2005-03-01

    For many years it has been known that plants perform rapid long-distance signalling using classical action potentials that have impacts on diverse processes in plants. Plants also synthesize numerous neuronal molecules and fulfill some criteria for intelligent behaviour. Analysis of recent breakthrough data from ecophysiology studies has revealed that plant roots can discriminate between 'self' and 'non-self'; in animals, this ability to discriminate is dependent on the activities of neuronal synapses. Here, we propose that plant cells establish modes of information exchange between each other that have properties in common with neuronal synapses. Moreover, plants also assemble adhesive contacts that orchestrate cell-to-cell communication between the host cells when challenged with pathogens, parasites and potential symbionts. We propose that these adhesive contacts resemble the immunological synapses found in animals.

  5. Unsupervised learning by spike timing dependent plasticity in phase change memory (PCM synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano eAmbrogio

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available We present a novel one-transistor/one-resistor (1T1R synapse for neuromorphic networks, based on phase change memory (PCM technology. The synapse is capable of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP, where gradual potentiation relies on set transition, namely crystallization, in the PCM, while depression is achieved via reset or amorphization of a chalcogenide active volume. STDP characteristics are demonstrated by experiments under variable initial conditions and number of pulses. Finally, we support the applicability of the 1T1R synapse for learning and recognition of visual patterns by simulations of fully connected neuromorphic networks with 2 or 3 layers with high recognition efficiency. The proposed scheme provides a feasible low-power solution for on-line unsupervised machine learning in smart reconfigurable sensors.

  6. δ-Catenin Regulates Spine and Synapse Morphogenesis and Function in Hippocampal Neurons during Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arikkath, Jyothi; Peng, I-Feng; Ng, Yu Gie; Israely, Inbal; Liu, Xin; Ullian, Erik M.; Reichardt, Louis F.

    2009-01-01

    The maintenance of spine and synapse number during development is critical for neuronal circuit formation and function. Here we show that δ-catenin, a component of the cadherin-catenin cell adhesion complex, regulates spine and synapse morphogenesis during development. Genetic ablation or acute knockdown of δ-catenin leads to increases in spine and synapse density, accompanied by a decrease in tetrodotoxin induced spine plasticity. Our results indicate that δ-catenin may mediate conversion of activity-dependent signals to morphological spine plasticity. The functional role of δ-catenin in regulating spine density does not require binding to cadherins, but does require interactions with PDZ domain-containing proteins. We propose that the perturbations in spine and synaptic structure and function observed after depletion of δ-catenin during development may contribute to functional alterations in neural circuitry, the cognitive deficits observed in mutant mice, and the mental retardation pathology of Cri-du-chat syndrome. PMID:19403811

  7. Estimation of quantal size and number of functional active zones at the calyx of Held synapse by nonstationary EPSC variance analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, A C; Neher, E; Schneggenburger, R

    2001-10-15

    At the large excitatory calyx of Held synapse, the quantal size during an evoked EPSC and the number of active zones contributing to transmission are not known. We developed a nonstationary variant of EPSC fluctuation analysis to determine these quantal parameters. AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs were recorded in slices of young (postnatal 8-10 d) rats after afferent fiber stimulation, delivered in trains to induce synaptic depression. The means and the variances of EPSC amplitudes were calculated across trains for each stimulus number. During 10 Hz trains at 2 mm Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]), we found linear EPSC variance-mean relationships, with a slope that was in good agreement with the quantal size obtained from amplitude distributions of spontaneous miniature EPSCs. At high release probability with 10 or 15 mm [Ca(2+)], competitive antagonists were used to partially block EPSCs. Under these conditions, the EPSC variance-mean plots could be fitted with parabolas, giving estimates of quantal size and of the binomial parameter N. With the rapidly dissociating antagonist kynurenic acid, quantal sizes were larger than with a slowly dissociating antagonist, suggesting that the effective glutamate concentration was increased at high release probability. Considering the possibility of multivesicular release and moderate saturation of postsynaptic AMPA receptors, we conclude that the binomial parameter N (637 +/- 117; mean +/- SEM) represents an upper limit estimate of the number of functional active zones. We estimate that during normal synaptic transmission, the probability of vesicle fusion at single active zones is in the range of 0.25-0.4.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shokat Kevan M

    2008-09-01

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

  9. Firing clamp: A novel method for single-trial estimation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic neuronal conductances

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    Anton eChizhov

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Understanding non-stationary neuronal activity as seen in vivo requires estimation of both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances from a single trial of recording. We propose a new intracellular recording method for this purpose called firing clamp. Synaptic conductances are estimated from the characteristics of artificially evoked probe spikes, namely the spike amplitude and the mean subthreshold potential, which are sensitive to both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input signals. The probe spikes, timed at a fixed rate, are evoked in the dynamic-clamp mode by injected meander-like current steps, with the step duration depending on neuronal membrane voltage. We test the method with perforated-patch recordings from isolated cells stimulated by external application or synaptic release of transmitter, and validate the method with simulations of a biophysically-detailed neuron model. The results are compared with the conductance estimates based on conventional current-clamp recordings.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Li

    2010-07-01

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

  11. Meclofenamic acid blocks electrical synapses of retinal AII amacrine and on-cone bipolar cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veruki, Margaret Lin; Hartveit, Espen

    2009-05-01

    Gap junction channels constitute specialized intercellular contacts that can serve as electrical synapses. In the rod pathway of the retina, electrical synapses between AII amacrine cells express connexin 36 (Cx36) and electrical synapses between AII amacrines and on-cone bipolar cells express Cx36 on the amacrine side and Cx36 or Cx45 on the bipolar side. For physiological investigations of the properties and functions of these electrical synapses, it is highly desirable to have access to potent pharmacological blockers with selective and reversible action. Here we use dual whole cell voltage-clamp recordings of pairs of AII amacrine cells and pairs of AII amacrine and on-cone bipolar cells in rat retinal slices to directly measure the junctional conductance (G(j)) between electrically coupled cells and to study the effect of the drug meclofenamic acid (MFA) on G(j). Consistent with previous tracer coupling studies, we found that MFA reversibly blocked the electrical synapse currents in a concentration-dependent manner, with complete block at 100 muM. Whereas MFA evoked a detectable decrease in G(j) within minutes of application, the time to complete block of G(j) was considerably longer, typically 20-40 min. After washout, G(j) recovered to 20-90% of the control level, but the time to maximum recovery was typically >1 h. These results suggest that MFA can be a useful drug to investigate the physiological functions of electrical synapses in the rod pathway, but that the slow kinetics of block and reversal might compromise interpretation of the results and that explicit monitoring of G(j) is desirable.

  12. Disruption of basal lamina components in neuromotor synapses of children with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

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    Karyn G Robinson

    Full Text Available Cerebral palsy (CP is a static encephalopathy occurring when a lesion to the developing brain results in disordered movement and posture. Patients present with sometimes overlapping spastic, athetoid/dyskinetic, and ataxic symptoms. Spastic CP, which is characterized by stiff muscles, weakness, and poor motor control, accounts for ∼80% of cases. The detailed mechanisms leading to disordered movement in spastic CP are not completely understood, but clinical experience and recent studies suggest involvement of peripheral motor synapses. For example, it is recognized that CP patients have altered sensitivities to drugs that target neuromuscular junctions (NMJs, and protein localization studies suggest that NMJ microanatomy is disrupted in CP. Since CP originates during maturation, we hypothesized that NMJ disruption in spastic CP is associated with retention of an immature neuromotor phenotype later in life. Scoliosis patients with spastic CP or idiopathic disease were enrolled in a prospective, partially-blinded study to evaluate NMJ organization and neuromotor maturation. The localization of synaptic acetylcholine esterase (AChE relative to postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor (AChR, synaptic laminin β2, and presynaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2 appeared mismatched in the CP samples; whereas, no significant disruption was found between AChR and SV2. These data suggest that pre- and postsynaptic NMJ components in CP children were appropriately distributed even though AChE and laminin β2 within the synaptic basal lamina appeared disrupted. Follow up electron microscopy indicated that NMJs from CP patients appeared generally mature and similar to controls with some differences present, including deeper postsynaptic folds and reduced presynaptic mitochondria. Analysis of maturational markers, including myosin, syntrophin, myogenin, and AChR subunit expression, and telomere lengths, all indicated similar levels of motor maturation in the two groups

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sackmann, Erich

    2011-06-01

    Adhesion micro-domains (ADs) formed during encounters of lymphocytes with antigen-presenting cells (APC) mediate the genetic expression of quanta of cytokines interleukin-2 (IL-2). The IL-2-induced activation of IL-2 receptors promotes the stepwise progression of the T-cells through the cell cycle, hence their name, immunological synapses. The ADs form short-lived reaction centres controlling the recruitment of activators of the biochemical pathway (the kinases Lck and ZAP) while preventing the access of inhibitors (phosphatase CD45) through steric repulsion forces. CD45 acts as the generator of adhesion domains and, through its role as a spacer protein, also as the promoter of the reaction. In a second phase of T-cell-APC encounters, long-lived global reaction spaces (called supramolecular activation complexes (SMAC)) form by talin-mediated binding of the T-cell integrin (LFA-1) to the counter-receptor ICAM-1, resulting in the formation of ring-like tight adhesion zones (peripheral SMAC). The ADs move to the centre of the intercellular adhesion zone forming the central SMAC, which serve in the recycling of the AD. We propose that cell stimulation is triggered by integrating the effect evoked by the short-lived adhesion domains. Similar global reaction platforms are formed by killer cells to destruct APC. We present a testable mechanical model showing that global reaction spaces (SMAC or dome-like contacts between cytotoxic cells and APC) form by self-organization through delayed activation of the integrin-binding affinity and stabilization of the adhesion zones by F-actin recruitment. The mechanical stability and the polarization of the adhering T-cells are mediated by microtubule-actin cross-talk.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-06-15

    Adhesion micro-domains (ADs) formed during encounters of lymphocytes with antigen-presenting cells (APC) mediate the genetic expression of quanta of cytokines interleukin-2 (IL-2). The IL-2-induced activation of IL-2 receptors promotes the stepwise progression of the T-cells through the cell cycle, hence their name, immunological synapses. The ADs form short-lived reaction centres controlling the recruitment of activators of the biochemical pathway (the kinases Lck and ZAP) while preventing the access of inhibitors (phosphatase CD45) through steric repulsion forces. CD45 acts as the generator of adhesion domains and, through its role as a spacer protein, also as the promoter of the reaction. In a second phase of T-cell-APC encounters, long-lived global reaction spaces (called supramolecular activation complexes (SMAC)) form by talin-mediated binding of the T-cell integrin (LFA-1) to the counter-receptor ICAM-1, resulting in the formation of ring-like tight adhesion zones (peripheral SMAC). The ADs move to the centre of the intercellular adhesion zone forming the central SMAC, which serve in the recycling of the AD. We propose that cell stimulation is triggered by integrating the effect evoked by the short-lived adhesion domains. Similar global reaction platforms are formed by killer cells to destruct APC. We present a testable mechanical model showing that global reaction spaces (SMAC or dome-like contacts between cytotoxic cells and APC) form by self-organization through delayed activation of the integrin-binding affinity and stabilization of the adhesion zones by F-actin recruitment. The mechanical stability and the polarization of the adhering T-cells are mediated by microtubule-actin cross-talk.

  15. Proteome rearrangements after auditory learning: high-resolution profiling of synapse-enriched protein fractions from mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kähne, Thilo; Richter, Sandra; Kolodziej, Angela; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Pielot, Rainer; Engler, Alexander; Ohl, Frank W; Dieterich, Daniela C; Seidenbecher, Constanze; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang; Naumann, Michael; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2016-07-01

    Learning and memory processes are accompanied by rearrangements of synaptic protein networks. While various studies have demonstrated the regulation of individual synaptic proteins during these processes, much less is known about the complex regulation of synaptic proteomes. Recently, we reported that auditory discrimination learning in mice is associated with a relative down-regulation of proteins involved in the structural organization of synapses in various brain regions. Aiming at the identification of biological processes and signaling pathways involved in auditory memory formation, here, a label-free quantification approach was utilized to identify regulated synaptic junctional proteins and phosphoproteins in the auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum of mice 24 h after the learning experiment. Twenty proteins, including postsynaptic scaffolds, actin-remodeling proteins, and RNA-binding proteins, were regulated in at least three brain regions pointing to common, cross-regional mechanisms. Most of the detected synaptic proteome changes were, however, restricted to individual brain regions. For example, several members of the Septin family of cytoskeletal proteins were up-regulated only in the hippocampus, while Septin-9 was down-regulated in the hippocampus, the frontal cortex, and the striatum. Meta analyses utilizing several databases were employed to identify underlying cellular functions and biological pathways. Data are available via ProteomeExchange with identifier PXD003089. How does the protein composition of synapses change in different brain areas upon auditory learning? We unravel discrete proteome changes in mouse auditory cortex, frontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum functionally implicated in the learning process. We identify not only common but also area-specific biological pathways and cellular processes modulated 24 h after training, indicating individual contributions of the regions to memory processing. © 2016 The

  16. Excitatory and inhibitory effects of prolactin release activated by nerve stimulation in rat anterior pituitary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gao Li-Zhi

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A series of studies showed the presence of substantial amount of nerve fibers and their close relationship with the anterior pituitary gland cells. Our previous studies have suggested that aside from the classical theory of humoral regulation, the rat anterior pituitary has direct neural regulation on adrenocorticotropic hormone release. In rat anterior pituitary, typical synapses are found on every type of the hormone-secreting cells, many on lactotrophs. The present study was aimed at investigating the physiological significance of this synaptic relationship on prolactin release. Methods The anterior pituitary of rat was sliced and stimulated with electrical field in a self-designed perfusion chamber. The perfusate was continuously collected in aliquots and measured by radioimmunoassay for prolactin levels. After statistic analysis, differences of prolactin concentrations within and between groups were outlined. Results The results showed that stimulation at frequency of 2 Hz caused a quick enhancement of prolactin release, when stimulated at 10 Hz, prolactin release was found to be inhibited which came slower and lasted longer. The effect of nerve stimulation on prolactin release is diphasic and frequency dependent. Conclusions The present in vitro study offers the first physiological evidence that stimulation of nerve fibers can affect prolactin release in rat anterior pituitary. Low frequency stimulation enhances prolactin release and high frequency mainly inhibits it.

  17. Are dragon-king neuronal avalanches dungeons for self-organized brain activity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Arcangelis, L.

    2012-05-01

    Recent experiments have detected a novel form of spontaneous neuronal activity both in vitro and in vivo: neuronal avalanches. The statistical properties of this activity are typical of critical phenomena, with power laws characterizing the distributions of avalanche size and duration. A critical behaviour for the spontaneous brain activity has important consequences on stimulated activity and learning. Very interestingly, these statistical properties can be altered in significant ways in epilepsy and by pharmacological manipulations. In particular, there can be an increase in the number of large events anticipated by the power law, referred to herein as dragon-king avalanches. This behaviour, as verified by numerical models, can originate from a number of different mechanisms. For instance, it is observed experimentally that the emergence of a critical behaviour depends on the subtle balance between excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms acting in the system. Perturbing this balance, by increasing either synaptic excitation or the incidence of depolarized neuronal up-states causes frequent dragon-king avalanches. Conversely, an unbalanced GABAergic inhibition or long periods of low activity in the network give rise to sub-critical behaviour. Moreover, the existence of power laws, common to other stochastic processes, like earthquakes or solar flares, suggests that correlations are relevant in these phenomena. The dragon-king avalanches may then also be the expression of pathological correlations leading to frequent avalanches encompassing all neurons. We will review the statistics of neuronal avalanches in experimental systems. We then present numerical simulations of a neuronal network model introducing within the self-organized criticality framework ingredients from the physiology of real neurons, as the refractory period, synaptic plasticity and inhibitory synapses. The avalanche critical behaviour and the role of dragon-king avalanches will be discussed in

  18. Distributed Bayesian Computation and Self-Organized Learning in Sheets of Spiking Neurons with Local Lateral Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Johannes; Buesing, Lars; Habenschuss, Stefan; Nessler, Bernhard; Maass, Wolfgang; Legenstein, Robert

    2015-01-01

    During the last decade, Bayesian probability theory has emerged as a framework in cognitive science and neuroscience for describing perception, reasoning and learning of mammals. However, our understanding of how probabilistic computations could be organized in the brain, and how the observed connectivity structure of cortical microcircuits supports these calculations, is rudimentary at best. In this study, we investigate statistical inference and self-organized learning in a spatially extended spiking network model, that accommodates both local competitive and large-scale associative aspects of neural information processing, under a unified Bayesian account. Specifically, we show how the spiking dynamics of a recurrent network with lateral excitation and local inhibition in response to distributed spiking input, can be understood as sampling from a variational posterior distribution of a well-defined implicit probabilistic model. This interpretation further permits a rigorous analytical treatment of experience-dependent plasticity on the network level. Using machine learning theory, we derive update rules for neuron and synapse parameters which equate with Hebbian synaptic and homeostatic intrinsic plasticity rules in a neural implementation. In computer simulations, we demonstrate that the interplay of these plasticity rules leads to the emergence of probabilistic local experts that form distributed assemblies of similarly tuned cells communicating through lateral excitatory connections. The resulting sparse distributed spike code of a well-adapted network carries compressed information on salient input features combined with prior experience on correlations among them. Our theory predicts that the emergence of such efficient representations benefits from network architectures in which the range of local inhibition matches the spatial extent of pyramidal cells that share common afferent input. PMID:26284370

  19. Paramembranous densities of 'C' terminal-motoneuron synapses in the spinal cord of the rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D

    1979-01-01

    A category of large boutons forming synapses with the soma and proximal dendrites of spinal motoneurons was studied in glutaraldehyde-fixed, non-osmicated tissue stained with uranyl acetate and lead citrate. The identity of these boutons with 'C' boutons was indicated by their shape, frequency...... and distribution as well as by the ultrastructural characteristics of the boutons and the associated postsynaptic structures. In contrast to previous descriptions based on osmicated tissue, this study demonstrates that paramembranous densities are a feature of 'C' terminal-motoneuron synapses....

  20. A trace of silence: memory and microRNA at the synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashraf, Shovon I; Kunes, Sam

    2006-10-01

    Identifying the neural circuits that mediate particular behaviors and uncovering their plasticity is an endeavor at the heart of neuroscience. This effort is allied with the elucidation of plasticity mechanisms, because the molecular determinants of plasticity can be markers for the neurons and synapses that are modified by experience. Of particular interest is protein synthesis localized to the synapse, which might establish and maintain the stable modification of neuronal properties, including the pattern and strength of synaptic connections. Recent studies reveal that microRNAs and the RISC pathway regulate synaptic protein synthesis. Is synaptic activity of the RISC pathway a molecular signature of memory?

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Circuits that Innervate Excitatory-Inhibitory Cells in the Inferior Colliculus Obtained with In-Vivo Whole Cell Recordings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Na; Pollak, George D.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons excited by stimulation of one ear and suppressed by the other, called EI neurons, are sensitive to interaural intensity disparities (IIDs), the cues animals use to localize high frequencies. EI neurons are first formed in lateral superior olive (LSO), which then sends excitatory projections to the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (DNLL) and the inferior colliculus (IC), both of which contain large populations of EI cells. We evaluate the inputs that innervate EI cells in the IC of Mexican free-tailed bats, Tadarida brasilensis mexicana, with in vivo whole cell recordings from which we derived excitatory and inhibitory conductances. We show that the basic EI property in the majority of IC cells is inherited from LSO, but each type of EI cell is also innervated by the ipsi- or contralateral DNLL, as well as additional excitatory and inhibitory inputs from monaural nuclei. We identify three EI types, where each type receives a set of projections that are different from the other types. To evaluate the role that the various projections played in generating binaural responses, we used modeling to compute a predicted response from the conductances. We then omitted one of the conductances from the computation to evaluate the degree to which that input contributed to the binaural response. We show that formation of the EI property in the various types is complex, and that some projections exert such subtle influences that they could not have been detected with extracellular recordings or even from intracellular recordings of post-synaptic potentials. PMID:23575835

  3. Preferential labeling of inhibitory and excitatory cortical neurons by endogenous tropism of adeno-associated virus and lentivirus vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathanson, J L; Yanagawa, Y; Obata, K; Callaway, E M

    2009-06-30

    Despite increasingly widespread use of recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) and lentiviral (LV) vectors for transduction of neurons in a wide range of brain structures and species, the diversity of cell types within a given brain structure is rarely considered. For example, the ability of a vector to transduce neurons within a brain structure is often assumed to indicate that all neuron types within the structure are transduced. We have characterized the transduction of mouse somatosensory cortical neuron types by recombinant AAV pseudotyped with serotype 1 capsid (rAAV2/1) and by recombinant lentivirus pseudotyped with the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) glycoprotein. Both vectors used human synapsin (hSyn) promoter driving DsRed-Express. We demonstrate that high titer rAAV2/1-hSyn efficiently transduces both cortical excitatory and inhibitory neuronal populations, but use of lower titers exposes a strong preference for transduction of cortical inhibitory neurons and layer 5 pyramidal neurons. In contrast, we find that VSV-G-LV-hSyn principally labels excitatory cortical neurons at the highest viral titer generated. These findings demonstrate that endogenous tropism of rAAV2/1 and VSV-G-LV can be used to obtain preferential gene expression in mouse somatosensory cortical inhibitory and excitatory neuron populations, respectively.

  4. Reduced cortical distribution volume of iodine-123 iomazenil in Alzheimer's disease as a measure of loss of synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soricelli, A; Postiglione, A; Grivet-Fojaja, M R

    1996-01-01

    Iodine-123 labelled iomazenil (IMZ) is a specific tracer for the GABAA receptor, the dominant inhibitory synapse of the brain. The cerebral distribution volume (Vd) of IMZ may be taken as a quantitative measure of these synapses in Alzheimer's disease (AD), where synaptic loss tends...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clive Bate

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available A key event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD is the production of amyloid-β (Aβ peptides and the loss of synapses. In cultured neurons Aβ triggered synapse damage as measured by the loss of synaptic proteins. α-synuclein (αSN, aggregates of which accumulate in Parkinson’s disease, also caused synapse damage. Synapse damage was associated with activation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2, an enzyme that regulates synapse function and structure, and the production of prostaglandin (PG E2. In synaptosomes PGE2 increased concentrations of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP which suppressed the activation of cPLA2 demonstrating an inhibitory feedback system. Thus, Aβ/αSN-induced activated cPLA2 produces PGE2 which increases cAMP which in turn suppresses cPLA2 and, hence, its own production. Neurons pre-treated with pentoxifylline and caffeine (broad spectrum phosphodiesterase (PDE inhibitors or the PDE4 specific inhibitor rolipram significantly increased the Aβ/αSN-induced increase in cAMP and consequently protected neurons against synapse damage. The addition of cAMP analogues also inhibited cPLA2 and protected neurons against synapse damage. These results suggest that drugs that inhibit Aβ-induced activation of cPLA2 and cross the blood–brain barrier may reduce synapse damage in AD.

  6. Neurotransmitter alterations in embryonic succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH deficiency suggest a heightened excitatory state during development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Snead O Carter

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SSADH (aldehyde dehydrogenase 5a1 (Aldh5a1; γ-hydroxybutyric (GHB aciduria deficiency is a defect of GABA degradation in which the neuromodulators GABA and GHB accumulate. The human phenotype is that of nonprogressive encephalopathy with prominent bilateral discoloration of the globi pallidi and variable seizures, the latter displayed prominently in Aldh5a1-/- mice with lethal convulsions. Metabolic studies in murine neural tissue have revealed elevated GABA [and its derivatives succinate semialdehyde (SSA, homocarnosine (HC, 4,5-dihydroxyhexanoic acid (DHHA and guanidinobutyrate (GB] and GHB [and its analogue D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2-HG] at birth. Because of early onset seizures and the neurostructural anomalies observed in patients, we examined metabolite features during Aldh5a1-/- embryo development. Methods Embryos were obtained from pregnant dams sacrificed at E (embryo day of life 10–13, 14–15, 16–17, 18–19 and newborn mice. Intact embryos were extracted and metabolites quantified by isotope dilution mass spectrometry (n = 5–15 subjects, Aldh5a1+/+ and Aldh5a1-/- for each gestational age group. Data was evaluated using the t test and one-way ANOVA with Tukey post hoc analysis. Significance was set at the 95th centile. Results GABA and DHHA were significantly elevated at all gestational ages in Aldh5a1-/- mice, while GB was increased only late in gestation; SSA was not elevated at any time point. GHB and D-2-HG increased in an approximately linear fashion with gestational age. Correlative studies in human amniotic fluid from SSADH-deficient pregnancies (n = 5 also revealed significantly increased GABA. Conclusion Our findings indicate early GABAergic alterations in Aldh5a1-/- mice, possibly exacerbated by other metabolites, which likely induce a heightened excitatory state that may predispose neural networks to epilepsy in these animals.

  7. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor calibrates excitatory synaptic balance in the mouse hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monory, Krisztina; Polack, Martin; Remus, Anita; Lutz, Beat; Korte, Martin

    2015-03-04

    The endocannabinoid system negatively regulates the release of various neurotransmitters in an activity-dependent manner, thereby influencing the excitability of neuronal circuits. In the hippocampus, cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor is present on both GABAergic and glutamatergic axon terminals. CB1 receptor-deficient mice were previously shown to have increased hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). In this study, we have investigated the consequences of cell-type-specific deletion of the CB1 receptor on the induction of hippocampal LTP and on CA1 pyramidal cell morphology. Deletion of CB1 receptor in GABAergic neurons in GABA-CB1-KO mice leads to a significantly decreased hippocampal LTP compared with WT controls. Concomitantly, CA1 pyramidal neurons have a significantly reduced dendritic branching both on the apical and on the basal dendrites. Moreover, the average spine density on the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons is significantly diminished. In contrast, in mice lacking CB1 receptor in glutamatergic cells (Glu-CB1-KO), hippocampal LTP is significantly enhanced and CA1 pyramidal neurons show an increased branching and an increased spine density in the apical dendritic region. Together, these results indicate that the CB1 receptor signaling system both on inhibitory and excitatory neurons controls functional and structural synaptic plasticity of pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region to maintain an appropriate homeostatic state upon neuronal activation. Consequently, if the CB1 receptor is lost in either neuronal population, an allostatic shift will occur leading to a long-term dysregulation of neuronal functions. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353842-09$15.00/0.

  8. Impaired Excitatory Neurotransmission in the Urinary Bladder from the Obese Zucker Rat: Role of Cannabinoid Receptors.

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    Igor Blaha

    Full Text Available Metabolic syndrome (MS is a known risk factor for lower urinary tract symptoms. This study investigates whether functional and expression changes of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors are involved in the bladder dysfunction in an obese rat model with insulin resistance. Bladder samples from obese Zucker rat (OZR and their respective controls lean Zucker rat (LZR were processed for immunohistochemistry and western blot for studying the cannabinoid receptors expression. Detrusor smooth muscle (DSM strips from LZR and OZR were also mounted in myographs for isometric force recordings. Neuronal and smooth muscle CB1 and CB2 receptor expression and the nerve fiber density was diminished in the OZR bladder. Electrical field stimulation (EFS and acetylcholine (ACh induced frequency- and concentration-dependent contractions of LZR and OZR DSM. ACh contractile responses were similar in LZR and OZR. EFS-elicited contractions, however, were reduced in OZR bladder. Cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists failed to modify the DSM basal tension in LZR and OZR In LZR bladder, EFS responses were inhibited by ACEA and SER-601, CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists, respectively, these effects being reversed by ACEA plus the CB1 antagonist, AM-251 or SER-601 plus the CB2 antagonist, AM-630. In OZR bladder, the inhibitory action of ACEA on nerve-evoked contractions was diminished, whereas that SER-601 did not change EFS responses. These results suggest that a diminished function and expression of neuronal cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well as a lower nerve fiber density is involved in the impaired excitatory neurotransmission of the urinary bladder from the OZR.

  9. The Effects of Excitatory and Inhibitory Social Cues on Cocaine-Seeking Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Andrew Smith

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Social partners influence the likelihood of using drugs, developing a substance use disorder, and relapse to drug use after a period of abstinence. Preclinical studies report that social cues influence the acquisition of cocaine use, the escalation of cocaine use over time, and the compulsive patterns of cocaine use that emerge during an extended binge. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of social cues on the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior after a period of abstinence. Male rats were obtained at weaning, assigned to triads (3 rats/cage, reared to adulthood, and implanted with intravenous catheters. Rats from each triad were then assigned to one of three conditions: (1 test rats were trained to self-administer cocaine and were tested for reinstatement, (2 cocaine partners were trained to self-administer cocaine and were predictive of response-contingent cocaine delivery, and (3 abstinent partners were not given access to cocaine and were predictive of extinction. Test rats alternated social partners every 5 days for 20 days such that responding was reinforced with cocaine in the presence of the cocaine partner (S+ for 10 days and not reinforced with cocaine in the presence of the abstinent partner (S- for 10 days. Responding of the test rats was then extinguished over 7 days under isolated conditions. Tests of reinstatement were then conducted in the presence of the cocaine partner and abstinent partner under extinction conditions. Neither social partner reinstated responding relative to that observed on the final day of extinction; however, responding was greater in the presence of the cocaine partner (S+ than the abstinent partner (S- during the reinstatement test. These data fail to demonstrate that a social partner reinstates cocaine-seeking behavior after a period of abstinence, but they do indicate that social partners can serve as either excitatory or inhibitory discriminative stimuli to influence drug

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Blakely, Pennelope K; Hussain, Shabbir; Carlin, Lindsey E; Irani, David N

    2015-01-01

    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...

  11. Altered neural connectivity in excitatory and inhibitory cortical circuits in autism

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    Basilis eZikopoulos

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Converging evidence from diverse studies suggests that atypical brain connectivity in autism affects in distinct ways short- and long-range cortical pathways, disrupting neural communication and the balance of excitation and inhibition. This hypothesis is based mostly on functional non-invasive studies that show atypical synchronization and connectivity patterns between cortical areas in children and adults with autism. Indirect methods to study the course and integrity of major brain pathways at low resolution show changes in fractional anisotropy or diffusivity of the white matter in autism. Findings in post-mortem brains of adults with autism provide evidence of changes in the fine structure of axons below prefrontal cortices, which communicate over short- or long-range pathways with other cortices and subcortical structures. Here we focus on evidence of cellular and axon features that likely underlie the changes in short- and long-range communication in autism. We review recent findings of changes in the shape, thickness, and volume of brain areas, cytoarchitecture, neuronal morphology, cellular elements, and structural and neurochemical features of individual axons in the white matter, where pathology is evident even in gross images. We relate cellular and molecular features to imaging and genetic studies that highlight a variety of polymorphisms and epigenetic factors that primarily affect neurite growth and synapse formation and function in autism. We report preliminary findings of changes in autism in the ratio of distinct types of inhibitory neurons in prefrontal cortex, known to shape network dynamics and the balance of excitation and inhibition. Finally we present a model that synthesizes diverse findings by relating them to developmental events, with a goal to identify common processes that perturb development in autism and affect neural communication, reflected in altered patterns of attention, social interactions, and language.

  12. Autophagy Attenuates the Adaptive Immune Response by Destabilizing the Immunologic Synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wildenberg, Manon E.; Vos, Anne Christine W.; Wolfkamp, Simone C. S.; Duijvestein, Marjolijn; Verhaar, Auke P.; te Velde, Anje A.; van den Brink, Gijs R.; Hommes, Daniel W.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Variants in the genes ATG16L1 and IRGM affect autophagy and are associated with the development of Crohn's disease. It is not clear how autophagy is linked to loss of immune tolerance in the intestine. We investigated the involvement of the immunologic synapse-the site of contact

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Laura Dixon

    2015-12-01

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

  14. How the immune system talks to itself: the varied role of synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Jianming; Tato, Cristina M; Davis, Mark M

    2013-01-01

    Using an elaborately evolved language of cytokines and chemokines as well as cell-cell interactions, the different components of the immune system communicate with each other and orchestrate a response (or wind one down). Immunological synapses are a key feature of the system in the ways in which they can facilitate and direct these responses. Studies analyzing the structure of an immune synapse as it forms between two cells have provided insight into how the stability and kinetics of this interaction ultimately affect the sensitivity, potency, and magnitude of a given response. Furthermore, we have gained an appreciation of how the immunological synapse provides directionality and contextual cues for downstream signaling and cellular decision-making. In this review, we discuss how using a variety of techniques, developed over the last decade, have allowed us to visualize and quantify key aspects of the dynamic synaptic interface and have furthered our understanding of their function. We describe some of the many characteristics of the immunological synapse that make it a vital part of intercellular communication and some of the questions that remain to be answered. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Presynaptic Membrane Receptors Modulate ACh Release, Axonal Competition and Synapse Elimination during Neuromuscular Junction Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Tomàs

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available During the histogenesis of the nervous system a lush production of neurons, which establish an excessive number of synapses, is followed by a drop in both neurons and synaptic contacts as maturation proceeds. Hebbian competition between axons with different activities leads to the loss of roughly half of the neurons initially produced so connectivity is refined and specificity gained. The skeletal muscle fibers in the newborn neuromuscular junction (NMJ are polyinnervated but by the end of the competition, 2 weeks later, the NMJ are innervated by only one axon. This peripheral synapse has long been used as a convenient model for synapse development. In the last few years, we have studied transmitter release and the local involvement of the presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine autoreceptors (mAChR, adenosine autoreceptors (AR and trophic factor receptors (TFR, for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines during the development of NMJ and in the adult. This review article brings together previously published data and proposes a molecular background for developmental axonal competition and loss. At the end of the first week postnatal, these receptors modulate transmitter release in the various nerve terminals on polyinnervated NMJ and contribute to axonal competition and synapse elimination.

  16. Role of perisynaptic parameters in neurotransmitter homeostasis - computational study of a general synapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pendyam, Sandeep; Mohan, Ashwin; Kalivas, Peter W.; Nair, Satish S.

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations vary over a wide range depending on the type of neurotransmitter and location in the brain. Neurotransmitter homeostasis near a synapse is achieved by a balance of several mechanisms including vesicular release from the presynapse, diffusion, uptake by transporters, non-synaptic production, and regulation of release by autoreceptors. These mechanisms are also affected by the glia surrounding the synapse. However, the role of these mechanisms in achieving neurotransmitter homeostasis is not well understood. A biophysical modeling framework was proposed to reverse engineer glial configurations and parameters related to homeostasis for synapses that support a range of neurotransmitter gradients. Model experiments reveal that synapses with extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations in the micromolar range require non-synaptic neurotransmitter sources and tight synaptic isolation by extracellular glial formations. The model was used to identify the role of perisynaptic parameters on neurotransmitter homeostasis, and to propose glial configurations that could support different levels of extracellular neurotransmitter concentrations. Ranking the parameters based on their effect on neurotransmitter homeostasis, non-synaptic sources were found to be the most important followed by transporter concentration and diffusion coefficient. PMID:22460547

  17. Thrombospondins 1 and 2 are important for afferent synapse formation and function in the inner ear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendus, Diana; Sundaresan, Srividya; Grillet, Nicolas; Wangsawihardja, Felix; Leu, Rose; Müller, Ulrich; Jones, Sherri M.; Mustapha, Mirna

    2014-01-01

    Thrombospondins (TSPs) are a family of secreted extracellular matrix proteins that have been shown to be involved in the formation of synapses in the central nervous system. In this study, we show that TSP1 and TSP2 are expressed in the cochlea, and offer the first description of their putative roles in afferent synapse development and function in the inner ear. We examined mice with deletions of TSP1, TSP2, and both (TSP1/2), for inner ear development and function. Immunostaining for synaptic markers indicated a significant decrease in the number of formed afferent synapses in the cochlea of TSP2 and TSP1/2 knockout (KO) mice at P29. In functional studies, TSP2 and TSP1/2 KO mice showed elevated auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds compared to wild type littermates starting at postnatal (P) day 15 with the most severe phenotype for the TSP1/2 KO mice. TSP1/2 KO mice also showed reduced wave I amplitudes of ABR and vestibular evoked potential suggesting a synaptic dysfunction in both the auditory and vestibular systems. While ABR thresholds in TSP1 KO mice were relatively unaffected at early ages, TSP1/2 double mutants exhibited the most severe phenotype among all the genotypes tested, suggesting functional redundancy between these two genes. Based on the above results, we propose that TSPs play an important role in afferent synapse development and function of the inner ear. PMID:24460873

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergerot, Astrid; Rigby, Mark; Bouvier, Guy; Marcaggi, Païkan

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-24

    HIV efficiently spreads in lymphocytes, likely through virological synapses (VSs). These cell-cell junctions share some characteristics with immunological synapses, but cellular proteins required for their constitution remain poorly characterized. We have examined here the role of ZAP-70, a key kinase regulating T-cell activation and immunological synapse formation, in HIV replication. In lymphocytes deficient for ZAP-70, or expressing a kinase-dead mutant of the protein, HIV replication was strikingly delayed. We have characterized further this replication defect. ZAP-70 was dispensable for the early steps of viral cycle, from entry to expression of viral proteins. However, in the absence of ZAP-70, intracellular Gag localization was impaired. ZAP-70 was required in infected donor cells for efficient cell-to-cell HIV transmission to recipients and for formation of VSs. These results bring novel insights into the links that exist between T-cell activation and HIV spread, and suggest that HIV usurps components of the immunological synapse machinery to ensure its own spread through cell-to-cell contacts.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Ayumi Spühler

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding synaptic connectivity and plasticity within brain circuits and their relationship to learning and behavior is a fundamental quest in neuroscience. Visualizing the fine details of synapses using optical microscopy remains however a major technical challenge. Super resolution microscopy opens the possibility to reveal molecular features of synapses beyond the diffraction limit. With direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, dSTORM, we image synaptic proteins in the brain tissue of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Super resolution imaging of brain tissue harbors difficulties due to light scattering and the density of signals. In order to reduce out of focus signal, we take advantage of the genetic tools available in the Drosophila and have fluorescently tagged synaptic proteins expressed in only a small number of neurons. These neurons form synapses within the calyx of the mushroom body, a distinct brain region involved in associative memory formation. Our results show that super resolution microscopy, in combination with genetically labelled synaptic proteins, is a powerful tool to investigate synapses in a quantitative fashion providing an entry point for studies on synaptic plasticity during learning and memory formation

  1. Short-term plasticity and long-term potentiation mimicked in single inorganic synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohno, Takeo; Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi; Tsuruoka, Tohru; Terabe, Kazuya; Gimzewski, James K.; Aono, Masakazu

    2011-08-01

    Memory is believed to occur in the human brain as a result of two types of synaptic plasticity: short-term plasticity (STP) and long-term potentiation (LTP; refs , , , ). In neuromorphic engineering, emulation of known neural behaviour has proven to be difficult to implement in software because of the highly complex interconnected nature of thought processes. Here we report the discovery of a Ag2S inorganic synapse, which emulates the synaptic functions of both STP and LTP characteristics through the use of input pulse repetition time. The structure known as an atomic switch, operating at critical voltages, stores information as STP with a spontaneous decay of conductance level in response to intermittent input stimuli, whereas frequent stimulation results in a transition to LTP. The Ag2S inorganic synapse has interesting characteristics with analogies to an individual biological synapse, and achieves dynamic memorization in a single device without the need of external preprogramming. A psychological model related to the process of memorizing and forgetting is also demonstrated using the inorganic synapses. Our Ag2S element indicates a breakthrough in mimicking synaptic behaviour essential for the further creation of artificial neural systems that emulate characteristics of human memory.

  2. NeuroD2 regulates the development of hippocampal mossy fiber synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilke Scott A

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The assembly of neural circuits requires the concerted action of both genetically determined and activity-dependent mechanisms. Calcium-regulated transcription may link these processes, but the influence of specific transcription factors on the differentiation of synapse-specific properties is poorly understood. Here we characterize the influence of NeuroD2, a calcium-dependent transcription factor, in regulating the structural and functional maturation of the hippocampal mossy fiber (MF synapse. Results Using NeuroD2 null mice and in vivo lentivirus-mediated gene knockdown, we demonstrate a critical role for NeuroD2 in the formation of CA3 dendritic spines receiving MF inputs. We also use electrophysiological recordings from CA3 neurons while stimulating MF axons to show that NeuroD2 regulates the differentiation of functional properties at the MF synapse. Finally, we find that NeuroD2 regulates PSD95 expression in hippocampal neurons and that PSD95 loss of function in vivo reproduces CA3 neuron spine defects observed in NeuroD2 null mice. Conclusion These experiments identify NeuroD2 as a key transcription factor that regulates the structural and functional differentiation of MF synapses in vivo.

  3. A Preferentially Segregated Recycling Vesicle Pool of Limited Size Supports Neurotransmission in Native Central Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marra, Vincenzo; Burden, Jemima J.; Thorpe, Julian R.; Smith, Ikuko T.; Smith, Spencer L.; Häusser, Michael; Branco, Tiago; Staras, Kevin

    2012-01-01

    Summary At small central synapses, efficient turnover of vesicles is crucial for stimulus-driven transmission, but how the structure of this recycling pool relates to its functional role remains unclear. Here we characterize the organizational principles of functional vesicles at native hippocampal synapses with nanoscale resolution using fluorescent dye labeling and electron microscopy. We show that the recycling pool broadly scales with the magnitude of the total vesicle pool, but its average size is small (∼45 vesicles), highly variable, and regulated by CDK5/calcineurin activity. Spatial analysis demonstrates that recycling vesicles are preferentially arranged near the active zone and this segregation is abolished by actin stabilization, slowing the rate of activity-driven exocytosis. Our approach reveals a similarly biased recycling pool distribution at synapses in visual cortex activated by sensory stimulation in vivo. We suggest that in small native central synapses, efficient release of a limited pool of vesicles relies on their favored spatial positioning within the terminal. PMID:23141069

  4. Electron Microscopic Analysis of Hippocampal Axo-Somatic Synapses in a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Csabai, David; Seress, Laszlo; Varga, Zsofia

    2017-01-01

    %; Synapse number/100 terminal=120; Average terminal length=920nm. None of these parameters were affected by the stress exposure. Overall, these data indicate that despite the depressivelike behavior and the decrease in the number of perisomatic PV+ neurons in the light microscopic preparations, the number...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT T cell activation requires sustained signaling at the immune synapse, a specialized interface with the antigen-presenting cell (APC) that assembles following T cell antigen receptor (TCR) engagement by major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-bound peptide. Central to sustained signaling is the continuous recruitment of TCRs to the immune synapse. These TCRs are partly mobilized from an endosomal pool by polarized recycling. We have identified IFT20, a component of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system that controls ciliogenesis, as a central regulator of TCR recycling to the immune synapse. Here, we have investigated the interplay of IFT20 with the Rab GTPase network that controls recycling. We found that IFT20 forms a complex with Rab5 and the TCR on early endosomes. IFT20 knockdown (IFT20KD) resulted in a block in the recycling pathway, leading to a build-up of recycling TCRs in Rab5+ endosomes. Recycling of the transferrin receptor (TfR), but not of CXCR4, was disrupted by IFT20 deficiency. The IFT components IFT52 and IFT57 were found to act together with IFT20 to regulate TCR and TfR recycling. The results provide novel insights into the mechanisms that control TCR recycling and immune synapse assembly, and underscore the trafficking-related function of the IFT system beyond ciliogenesis. PMID:24554435

  6. Diversity in Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity at Inhibitory Synapses of Striatal Spiny Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueda-Orozco, Pavel E.; Mendoza, Ernesto; Hernandez, Ricardo; Aceves, Jose J.; Ibanez-Sandoval, Osvaldo; Galarraga, Elvira; Bargas, Jose

    2009-01-01

    Procedural memories and habits are posited to be stored in the basal ganglia, whose intrinsic circuitries possess important inhibitory connections arising from striatal spiny neurons. However, no information about long-term plasticity at these synapses is available. Therefore, this work describes a novel postsynaptically dependent long-term…

  7. Deafferented Adult Rod Bipolar Cells Create New Synapses with Photoreceptors to Restore Vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beier, Corinne; Hovhannisyan, Anahit; Weiser, Sydney; Kung, Jennifer; Lee, Seungjun; Lee, Dae Yeong; Huie, Philip; Dalal, Roopa; Palanker, Daniel; Sher, Alexander

    2017-04-26

    Upon degeneration of photoreceptors in the adult retina, interneurons, including bipolar cells, exhibit a plastic response leading to their aberrant rewiring. Photoreceptor reintroduction has been suggested as a potential approach to sight restoration, but the ability of deafferented bipolar cells to establish functional synapses with photoreceptors is poorly understood. Here we use photocoagulation to selectively destroy photoreceptors in adult rabbits while preserving the inner retina. We find that rods and cones shift into the ablation zone over several weeks, reducing the blind spot at scotopic and photopic luminances. During recovery, rod and cone bipolar cells exhibit markedly different responses to deafferentation. Rod bipolar cells extend their dendrites to form new synapses with healthy photoreceptors outside the lesion, thereby restoring visual function in the deafferented retina. Secretagogin-positive cone bipolar cells did not exhibit such obvious dendritic restructuring. These findings are encouraging to the idea of photoreceptor reintroduction for vision restoration in patients blinded by retinal degeneration. At the same time, they draw attention to the postsynaptic side of photoreceptor reintroduction; various bipolar cell types, representing different visual pathways, vary in their response to the photoreceptor loss and in their consequent dendritic restructuring.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Loss of photoreceptors during retinal degeneration results in permanent visual impairment. Strategies for vision restoration based on the reintroduction of photoreceptors inherently rely on the ability of the remaining retinal neurons to correctly synapse with new photoreceptors. We show that deafferented bipolar cells in the adult mammalian retina can reconnect to rods and cones and restore retinal sensitivity at scotopic and photopic luminances. Rod bipolar cells extend their dendrites to form new synapses with healthy rod photoreceptors. These findings support the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michihito Ueda

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

  9. A Machine Learning Method for the Prediction of Receptor Activation in the Simulation of Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes, Jesus; Gomez, Elena; Merchán-Pérez, Angel; DeFelipe, Javier; Peña, Jose-Maria

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of synapses and it is

  10. A biogenic amine-synapse mechanism for mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okado, N; Narita, M; Narita, N

    2001-12-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that biogenic amines have a function of facilitating formation and maintenance of synapses in diverse regions of the central nervous system in developing and adult animals. The normal number of synapses maintained by biogenic amines are crucial to acquire learning and memory. The level of biogenic amines was reported to decrease in the brain by several neurodevelopmental disorders associated with mental retardation and developmental disabilities such as Rett syndrome, autism and Down syndrome. Taken into consideration this fact together with the function of biogenic amines for synapses, the density of synapses appears to decrease considerably in the brains of patients suffered from the neurodevelopmental disorders. The synaptic overproduction during the critical period of development especially 1 year after birth has been considered as a background mechanism to provide plasticity for the developing brain. Synaptic overproduction does not appear to occur in the brains of patients suffered from the neurodevelopmental disorders, which they are observed mental retardation occurring in the first 1 year after birth. Along with the neurodevelopmental disorders, environmental factors (stress, drugs and nutrition) during pre- and post-natal critical developmental periods are known to change levels of biogenic amines in the brain. In fact, maternal stress has been shown to decrease the levels of serotonin and the density of synapses in the hippocampus of the offspring, and they showed developmental disabilities in the spatial learning and memory. A cascade appears to exist from either the child neurological disorders or the environmental factors to mental retardation and developmental disabilities by decreases in the levels of biogenic amines and synaptic density.

  11. Despite disorganized synapse structure, Th2 cells maintain directional delivery of CD40L to antigen-presenting B cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardell, Jennifer L; Parker, David C

    2017-01-01

    Upon recognition of peptide displayed on MHC molecules, Th1 and Th2 cells form distinct immunological synapse structures. Th1 cells have a bull's eye synapse structure with TCR/ MHC-peptide interactions occurring central to a ring of adhesion molecules, while Th2 cells have a multifocal synapse with small clusters of TCR/MHC interactions throughout the area of T cell/antigen-presenting cell interaction. In this study, we investigated whether this structural difference in the immunological synapse affects delivery of T cell help. The immunological synapse is thought to ensure antigen-specific delivery of cytolytic granules and killing of target cells by NK cells and cytolytic T cells. In helper T cells, it has been proposed that the immunological synapse may direct delivery of other effector molecules including cytokines. CD40 ligand (CD40L) is a membrane-bound cytokine essential for antigen-specific T cell help for B cells in the antibody response. We incubated Th1 and Th2 cells overnight with a mixture of antigen-presenting and bystander B cells, and the delivery of CD40L to B cells and subsequent B cell responses were compared. Despite distinct immunological synapse structures, Th1 and Th2 cell do not differ in their ability to deliver CD40L and T cell help in an antigen-specific fashion, or in their susceptibility to inhibition of help by a blocking anti-CD40L antibody.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Terry

    2016-09-01

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

  13. Maternal dietary loads of alpha-tocopherol increase synapse density and glial synaptic coverage in the hippocampus of adult offspring

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    S. Salucci

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available An increased intake of the antioxidant α-Tocopherol (vitamin E is recommended in complicated pregnancies, to prevent free radical damage to mother and fetus. However, the anti-PKC and antimitotic activity of α-Tocopherol raises concerns about its potential effects on brain development. Recently, we found that maternal dietary loads of α-Tocopherol through pregnancy and lactation cause developmental deficit in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rat offspring. The defect persisted into adulthood, with behavioral alterations in hippocampus-dependent learning. Here, using the same rat model of maternal supplementation, ultrastructural morphometric studies were carried out to provide mechanistic interpretation to such a functional impairment in adult offspring by the occurrence of long-term changes in density and morphological features of hippocampal synapses. Higher density of axo-spinous synapses was found in CA1 stratum radiatum of α-Tocopherol-exposed rats compared to controls, pointing to a reduced synapse pruning. No morphometric changes were found in synaptic ultrastructural features, i.e., perimeter of axon terminals, length of synaptic specializations, extension of bouton-spine contact. Glia-synapse anatomical relationship was also affected. Heavier astrocytic coverage of synapses was observed in Tocopherol-treated offspring, notably surrounding axon terminals; moreover, the percentage of synapses contacted by astrocytic endfeet at bouton-spine interface (tripartite synapses was increased. These findings indicate that gestational and neonatal exposure to supranutritional tocopherol intake can result in anatomical changes of offspring hippocampus that last through adulthood. These include a surplus of axo-spinous synapses and an aberrant glia-synapse relationship, which may represent the morphological signature of previously described alterations in synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning.

  14. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallière, Nicolas; Bhatla, Nikhil; Luedtke, Zara; Ma, Dengke K.; Woolman, Jonathan; Walker, Robert J.; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O’Connor, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    How an animal matches feeding to food availability is a key question for energy homeostasis. We addressed this in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which couples feeding to the presence of its food (bacteria) by regulating pharyngeal activity (pumping). We scored pumping in the presence of food and over an extended time course of food deprivation in wild-type and mutant worms to determine the neural substrates of adaptive behavior. Removal of food initially suppressed pumping but after 2 h this was accompanied by intermittent periods of high activity. We show pumping is fine-tuned by context-specific neural mechanisms and highlight a key role for inhibitory glutamatergic and excitatory cholinergic/peptidergic drives in the absence of food. Additionally, the synaptic protein UNC-31 [calcium-activated protein for secretion (CAPS)] acts through an inhibitory pathway not explained by previously identified contributions of UNC-31/CAPS to neuropeptide or glutamate transmission. Pumping was unaffected by laser ablation of connectivity between the pharyngeal and central nervous system indicating signals are either humoral or intrinsic to the enteric system. This framework in which control is mediated through finely tuned excitatory and inhibitory drives resonates with mammalian hypothalamic control of feeding and suggests that fundamental regulation of this basic animal behavior may be conserved through evolution from nematode to human.—Dallière, N., Bhatla, N., Luedtke, Z., Ma, D. K., Woolman, J., Walker, R. J., Holden-Dye, L., O’Connor, V. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability. PMID:26514165

  15. 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.

  16. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csabai, Dávid; Wiborg, Ove; Czéh, Boldizsár

    2018-01-01

    Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I) and symmetric (Type II) synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 10 9 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 10 8 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 10 8 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm 3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm 3 . Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network connectivity is

  17. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csabai, Dávid; Wiborg, Ove; Czéh, Boldizsár

    2018-01-01

    Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I) and symmetric (Type II) synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 109 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 108 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 108 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm3. Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network connectivity is likely

  18. Bioavailability Studies and in vitro Profiling of the Selective Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter Subtype 1 (EAAT1) Inhibitor UCPH‐102

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haym, Isabell; Huynh, Tri H. V.; Hansen, Stinne W.

    2016-01-01

    Although the selective excitatory amino acid transporter subtype 1 (EAAT1) inhibitor UCPH‐101 has become a standard pharmacological tool compound for in vitro and ex vivo studies in the EAAT research field, its inability to penetrate the blood–brain barrier makes it unsuitable for in vivo studies...... displayed substantially improved properties in this respect. In vitro profiling of UCPH‐102 (10 μm) at 51 central nervous system targets in radioligand binding assays strongly suggests that the compound is completely selective for EAAT1. Finally, in a rodent locomotor model, p.o. administration of UCPH‐102...

  19. 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, the af...... that the afferent nerve provides powerful and reliable excitatory input as well as a feed-forward inhibitory input, which is partially presynaptic in origin. These results question the cellular location within the DON where cancelation of expected incoming signals occurs....

  20. Excitatory amino acid transporters EAAT-1 and EAAT-2 in temporal lobe and hippocampus in intractable temporal lobe epilepsy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sarac, Sinan; Afzal, Shoaib; Broholm, Helle

    2009-01-01

    Intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is an invalidating disease and many patients are resistant to medical treatment. Increased glutamate concentration has been found in epileptogenic foci and may induce local over-excitation and cytotoxicity; one of the proposed mechanisms involves reduced...... extra-cellular clearance of glutamate by excitatory amino acid transporters (EAAT-1 to EAAT-5). EAAT-1 and EAAT-2 are mainly expressed on astroglial cells for the reuptake of glutamate from the extra-cellular space. We have studied the expression of EAAT-1 and EAAT-2 in the hippocampus and temporal lobe...

  1. Pharmacological Rescue of Long-Term Potentiation in Alzheimer Diseased Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, G Aleph; Trieu, Brian H; Dang, Cindy T; Bilousova, Tina; Gylys, Karen H; Berchtold, Nicole C; Lynch, Gary; Cotman, Carl W

    2017-02-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) is an activity-dependent and persistent increase in synaptic transmission. Currently available techniques to measure LTP are time-intensive and require highly specialized expertise and equipment, and thus are not well suited for screening of multiple candidate treatments, even in animal models. To expand and facilitate the analysis of LTP, here we use a flow cytometry-based method to track chemically induced LTP by detecting surface AMPA receptors in isolated synaptosomes: fluorescence analysis of single-synapse long-term potentiation (FASS-LTP). First, we demonstrate that FASS-LTP is simple, sensitive, and models electrically induced LTP recorded in intact circuitries. Second, we conducted FASS-LTP analysis in two well-characterized Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse models (3xTg and Tg2576) and, importantly, in cryopreserved human AD brain samples. By profiling hundreds of synaptosomes, our data provide the first direct evidence to support the idea that synapses from AD brain are intrinsically defective in LTP. Third, we used FASS-LTP for drug evaluation in human synaptosomes. Testing a panel of modulators of cAMP and cGMP signaling pathways, FASS-LTP identified vardenafil and Bay-73-6691 (phosphodiesterase-5 and -9 inhibitors, respectively) as potent enhancers of LTP in synaptosomes from AD cases. These results indicate that our approach could provide the basis for protocols to study LTP in both healthy and diseased human brains, a previously unattainable goal. Learning and memory depend on the ability of synapses to strengthen in response to activity. Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a rapid and persistent increase in synaptic transmission that is thought to be affected in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, direct evidence of LTP deficits in human AD brain has been elusive, primarily due to methodological limitations. Here, we analyze LTP in isolated synapses from AD brain using a novel approach that allows testing LTP in cryopreserved

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

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    Olga eWoznicka

    2015-06-01

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

  3. The regulated secretory pathway in CD4(+ T cells contributes to human immunodeficiency virus type-1 cell-to-cell spread at the virological synapse.

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    Clare Jolly

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Direct cell-cell spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type-1 (HIV-1 at the virological synapse (VS is an efficient mode of dissemination between CD4(+ T cells but the mechanisms by which HIV-1 proteins are directed towards intercellular contacts is unclear. We have used confocal microscopy and electron tomography coupled with functional virology and cell biology of primary CD4(+ T cells from normal individuals and patients with Chediak-Higashi Syndrome and report that the HIV-1 VS displays a regulated secretion phenotype that shares features with polarized secretion at the T cell immunological synapse (IS. Cell-cell contact at the VS re-orientates the microtubule organizing center (MTOC and organelles within the HIV-1-infected T cell towards the engaged target T cell, concomitant with polarization of viral proteins. Directed secretion of proteins at the T cell IS requires specialized organelles termed secretory lysosomes (SL and we show that the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env localizes with CTLA-4 and FasL in SL-related compartments and at the VS. Finally, CD4(+ T cells that are disabled for regulated secretion are less able to support productive cell-to-cell HIV-1 spread. We propose that HIV-1 hijacks the regulated secretory pathway of CD4(+ T cells to enhance its dissemination.

  4. Network models predict that reduced excitatory fluctuations can give rise to hippocampal network hyper-excitability in MeCP2-null mice.

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    Ernest C Y Ho

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome is a severe pediatric neurological disorder caused by loss of function mutations within the gene encoding methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2. Although MeCP2 is expressed near ubiquitously, the primary pathophysiology of Rett syndrome stems from impairments of nervous system function. One alteration within different regions of the MeCP2-deficient brain is the presence of hyper-excitable network responses. In the hippocampus, such responses exist despite there being an overall decrease in spontaneous excitatory drive within the network. In this study, we generated and used mathematical, neuronal network models to resolve this apparent paradox. We did this by taking advantage of previous mathematical modelling insights that indicated that decreased excitatory fluctuations, but not mean excitatory drive, more critically explain observed changes in hippocampal network oscillations from MeCP2-null mouse slices. Importantly, reduced excitatory fluctuations could also bring about hyper-excitable responses in our network models. Therefore, these results indicate that diminished excitatory fluctuations may be responsible for the hyper-excitable state of MeCP2-deficient hippocampal circuitry.

  5. The proportion of common synaptic input to motor neurons increases with an increase in net excitatory input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castronovo, Anna Margherita; Negro, Francesco; Conforto, Silvia; Farina, Dario

    2015-12-01

    α-Motor neurons receive synaptic inputs from spinal and supraspinal centers that comprise components either common to the motor neuron pool or independent. The input shared by motor neurons--common input--determines force control. The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in the strength of common synaptic input delivered to motor neurons with changes in force and with fatigue, two conditions that underlie an increase in the net excitatory drive to the motor neurons. High-density surface electromyogram (EMG) signals were recorded from the tibialis anterior muscle during contractions at 20, 50, and 75% of the maximal voluntary contraction force (in 3 sessions separated by at least 2 days), all sustained until task failure. EMG signal decomposition identified the activity of a total of 1,245 motor units. The coherence values between cumulative motor unit spike trains increased with increasing force, especially for low frequencies. This increase in coherence was not observed when comparing two subsets of motor units having different recruitment thresholds, but detected at the same force level. Moreover, the coherence values for frequencies input to motor neurons increases with respect to independent input when the net excitatory drive to motor neurons increases as a consequence of a change in force and fatigue. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  6. 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.

  7. Medial superior olivary neurons receive surprisingly few excitatory and inhibitory inputs with balanced strength and short-term dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couchman, Kiri; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix

    2010-12-15

    Neurons in the medial superior olive (MSO) process microsecond interaural time differences, the major cue for localizing low-frequency sounds, by comparing the relative arrival time of binaural, glutamatergic excitatory inputs. This coincidence detection mechanism is additionally shaped by highly specialized glycinergic inhibition. Traditionally, it is assumed that the binaural inputs are conveyed by many independent fibers, but such an anatomical arrangement may decrease temporal precision. Short-term depression on the other hand might enhance temporal fidelity during ongoing activity. For the first time we show that binaural coincidence detection in MSO neurons may require surprisingly few but strong inputs, challenging long-held assumptions about mammalian coincidence detection. This study exclusively uses adult gerbils for in vitro electrophysiology, single-cell electroporation and immunohistochemistry to characterize the size and short-term plasticity of inputs to the MSO. We find that the excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the MSO are well balanced both in strength and short-term dynamics, redefining this fastest of all mammalian coincidence detector circuits.

  8. Potentiation of excitatory transmission in substantia gelatinosa neurons of rat spinal cord by inhibition of estrogen receptor alpha

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    Li Kai-Cheng

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been shown that estrogen is synthesized in the spinal dorsal horn and plays a role in modulating pain transmission. One of the estrogen receptor (ER subtypes, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα, is expressed in the spinal laminae I-V, including substantia gelatinosa (SG, lamina II. However, it is unclear how ERs are involved in the modulation of nociceptive transmission. Results In the present study, a selective ERα antagonist, methyl-piperidino-pyrazole (MPP, was used to test the potential functional roles of spinal ERα in the nociceptive transmission. Using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique, we examined the effects of MPP on SG neurons in the dorsal root-attached spinal cord slice prepared from adult rats. We found that MPP increased glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs evoked by the stimulation of either Aδ- or C-afferent fibers. Further studies showed that MPP treatment dose-dependently increased spontaneous EPSCs frequency in SG neurons, while not affecting the amplitude. In addition, the PKC was involved in the MPP-induced enhancement of synaptic transmission. Conclusions These results suggest that the selective ERα antagonist MPP pre-synaptically facilitates the excitatory synaptic transmission to SG neurons. The nociceptive transmission evoked by Aδ- and C-fiber stimulation could be potentiated by blocking ERα in the spinal neurons. Thus, the spinal estrogen may negatively regulate the nociceptive transmission through the activation of ERα.

  9. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallière, Nicolas; Bhatla, Nikhil; Luedtke, Zara; Ma, Dengke K; Woolman, Jonathan; Walker, Robert J; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O'Connor, Vincent

    2016-02-01

    How an animal matches feeding to food availability is a key question for energy homeostasis. We addressed this in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which couples feeding to the presence of its food (bacteria) by regulating pharyngeal activity (pumping). We scored pumping in the presence of food and over an extended time course of food deprivation in wild-type and mutant worms to determine the neural substrates of adaptive behavior. Removal of food initially suppressed pumping but after 2 h this was accompanied by intermittent periods of high activity. We show pumping is fine-tuned by context-specific neural mechanisms and highlight a key role for inhibitory glutamatergic and excitatory cholinergic/peptidergic drives in the absence of food. Additionally, the synaptic protein UNC-31 [calcium-activated protein for secretion (CAPS)] acts through an inhibitory pathway not explained by previously identified contributions of UNC-31/CAPS to neuropeptide or glutamate transmission. Pumping was unaffected by laser ablation of connectivity between the pharyngeal and central nervous system indicating signals are either humoral or intrinsic to the enteric system. This framework in which control is mediated through finely tuned excitatory and inhibitory drives resonates with mammalian hypothalamic control of feeding and suggests that fundamental regulation of this basic animal behavior may be conserved through evolution from nematode to human. © FASEB.

  10. Examining the limits of cellular adaptation bursting mechanisms in biologically-based excitatory networks of the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, K A; Njap, F; Nicola, W; Skinner, F K; Campbell, S A

    2015-12-01

    Determining the biological details and mechanisms that are essential for the generation of population rhythms in the mammalian brain is a challenging problem. This problem cannot be addressed either by experimental or computational studies in isolation. Here we show that computational models that are carefully linked with experiment provide insight into this problem. Using the experimental context of a whole hippocampus preparation in vitro that spontaneously expresses theta frequency (3-12 Hz) population bursts in the CA1 region, we create excitatory network models to examine whether cellular adaptation bursting mechanisms could critically contribute to the generation of this rhythm. We use biologically-based cellular models of CA1 pyramidal cells and network sizes and connectivities that correspond to the experimental context. By expanding our mean field analyses to networks with heterogeneity and non all-to-all coupling, we allow closer correspondence with experiment, and use these analyses to greatly extend the range of parameter values that are explored. We find that our model excitatory networks can produce theta frequency population bursts in a robust fashion.Thus, even though our networks are limited by not including inhibition at present, our results indicate that cellular adaptation in pyramidal cells could be an important aspect for the occurrence of theta frequency population bursting in the hippocampus. These models serve as a starting framework for the inclusion of inhibitory cells and for the consideration of additional experimental features not captured in our present network models.

  11. Neonatal maternal separation delays the GABA excitatory-to-inhibitory functional switch by inhibiting KCC2 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furukawa, Minami; Tsukahara, Takao; Tomita, Kazuo; Iwai, Haruki; Sonomura, Takahiro; Miyawaki, Shouichi; Sato, Tomoaki

    2017-11-25

    The excitatory-to-inhibitory functional switch of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA; GABA switch), which normally occurs in the first to the second postnatal week in the hippocampus, is necessary for the development of appropriate central nervous system function. A deficit in GABAergic inhibitory function could cause excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) neuron imbalance that is found in many neurodegenerative disorders. In the present study, we examined whether neonatal stress can affect the timing of the GABA functional switch and cause disorders during adolescence. Neonatal stress was induced in C57BL/6J male mouse pups by maternal separation (MS) on postnatal days (PND) 1-21. Histological quantification of K+-Cl- co-transporter (KCC2) and Ca2+ imaging were performed to examine the timing of the GABA switch during the MS period. To evaluate the influence of neonatal MS on adolescent hippocampal function, we quantified KCC2 expression and evaluated hippocampal-related behavioral tasks at PND35-38. We showed that MS delayed the timing of the GABA switch in the hippocampus and inhibited the increase in membrane KCC2 expression, with KCC2 expression inhibition persisting until adolescence. Behavioral tests showed impaired cognition, declined attention, hyperlocomotion, and aggressive character in maternally separated mice. Taken together, our results show that neonatal stress delayed the timing of the GABA switch, which could change the E/I balance and cause neurodegenerative disorders in later life. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Loss of asymmetric spine synapses in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of cognitively-impaired phencyclidine-treated monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsworth, John D.; Hajszan, Tibor; Leranth, Csaba; Roth, Robert H.

    2012-01-01

    Schizophrenic patients, long-term abusers of phencyclidine (PCP), and monkeys treated with PCP all exhibit enduring cognitive deficits. Evidence indicates that loss of prefrontal cortex spine synapses results in cognitive dysfunction, suggesting the presence of synaptic pathology in the monkey PCP model; however, there is no direct evidence of such changes. Here we use the monkey PCP model of schizophrenia to investigate at the ultrastructural level whether remodeling of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) asymmetric spine synapses occurs following PCP. Subchronic PCP treatment resulted in a decrease in the number of asymmetric spine synapses, which was greater in layer II/III than V of DLPFC, compared to vehicle-treated controls. This decrease may contribute to PCP-induced cognitive dysfunction in the nonhuman primate model and perhaps in schizophrenia. Thus, the synapse loss in the PCP model provides a novel target for the development of potential treatments of cognitive dysfunction in this model and in schizophrenia. PMID:21733230

  14. Antigp41 antibodies fail to block early events of virological synapses but inhibit HIV spread between T cells

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Massanella, Marta; Puigdomènech, Isabel; Cabrera, Cecilia; Fernandez-Figueras, Maria Teresa; Aucher, Anne; Gaibelet, Gerald; Hudrisier, Denis; García, Elisabet; Bofill, Margarita; Clotet, Bonaventura; Blanco, Julià

    2009-01-01

    Compared with cell-free viral infection, virological synapses increase HIV capture by target cells, viral infectivity and cytopathicity, and are believed to be less sensitive to antibody neutralization...

  15. MTM-6, a phosphoinositide phosphatase, is required to promote synapse formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ericson, Vivian R; Spilker, Kerri A; Tugizova, Madina S; Shen, Kang

    2014-01-01

    Forming the proper number of synapses is crucial for normal neuronal development. We found that loss of function of the phosphoinositide phosphatase mtm-6 results in a reduction in the number of synaptic puncta. The reduction in synapses is partially the result of MTM-6 regulation of the secretion of the Wnt ligand EGL-20 from cells in the tail and partially the result of neuronal action. MTM-6 shows relative specificity for EGL-20 over the other Wnt ligands. We suggest that the ability of MTM-6 to regulate EGL-20 secretion is a function of its expression pattern. We conclude that regulation of secretion of different Wnt ligands can use different components. Additionally, we present a novel neuronal function for MTM-6.

  16. Retrogradely Transported TrkA Endosomes Signal Locally within Dendrites to Maintain Sympathetic Neuron Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn M. Lehigh

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Sympathetic neurons require NGF from their target fields for survival, axonal target innervation, dendritic growth and formation, and maintenance of synaptic inputs from preganglionic neurons. Target-derived NGF signals are propagated retrogradely, from distal axons to somata of sympathetic neurons via TrkA signaling endosomes. We report that a subset of TrkA endosomes that are transported from distal axons to cell bodies translocate into dendrites, where they are signaling competent and move bidirectionally, in close proximity to synaptic protein clusters. Using a strategy for spatially confined inhibition of TrkA kinase activity, we found that distal-axon-derived TrkA signaling endosomes are necessary within sympathetic neuron dendrites for maintenance of synapses. Thus, TrkA signaling endosomes have unique functions in different cellular compartments. Moreover, target-derived NGF mediates circuit formation and synapse maintenance through TrkA endosome signaling within dendrites to promote aggregation of postsynaptic protein complexes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-22

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

  18. Reciprocal synapses between mushroom body and dopamine neurons form a positive feedback loop required for learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervantes-Sandoval, Isaac; Phan, Anna; Chakraborty, Molee; Davis, Ronald L

    2017-05-10

    Current thought envisions dopamine neurons conveying the reinforcing effect of the unconditioned stimulus during associative learning to the axons of Drosophila mushroom body Kenyon cells for normal olfactory learning. Here, we show using functional GFP reconstitution experiments that Kenyon cells and dopamine neurons from axoaxonic reciprocal synapses. The dopamine neurons receive cholinergic input via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from the Kenyon cells; knocking down these receptors impairs olfactory learning revealing the importance of these receptors at the synapse. Blocking the synaptic output of Kenyon cells during olfactory conditioning reduces presynaptic calcium transients in dopamine neurons, a finding consistent with reciprocal communication. Moreover, silencing Kenyon cells decreases the normal chronic activity of the dopamine neurons. Our results reveal a new and critical role for positive feedback onto dopamine neurons through reciprocal connections with Kenyon cells for normal olfactory learning.

  19. Simultaneous Membrane Capacitance Measurements and TIRF Microscopy to Study Granule Trafficking at Immune Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleiman, Marwa; Stevens, David R; Rettig, Jens

    2017-01-01

    Whole-cell capacitance measurements allow the direct measurement of exocytosis with high temporal resolution. An added benefit of the whole-cell configuration is the possibility to control the cytosolic free calcium concentration allowing examination of the role of intracellular calcium in a variety of processes. We have coupled this method with imaging of cytotoxic granule release using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) to identify the capacitance steps associated with cytotoxic granule release identified by TIRFM. This requires the use of fluorescent granule markers to identify cytotoxic granules and allows characterization of cytotoxic granule fusion and of the behavior of cytotoxic granules at the immune synapse prior to fusion. Combination of these methods enables the study of a number of processes relevant to the function of the immune synapse.

  20. Physical aspects of low power synapses based on phase change memory devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suri, Manan; Bichler, Olivier; Querlioz, Damien; Traoré, Boubacar; Cueto, Olga; Perniola, Luca; Sousa, Veronique; Vuillaume, Dominique; Gamrat, Christian; DeSalvo, Barbara

    2012-09-01

    In this work, we demonstrate how phase change memory (PCM) devices can be used to emulate biologically inspired synaptic functions in particular, potentiation and depression, important for implementing neuromorphic hardware. PCM devices with different chalcogenide materials are fabricated and characterized. The asymmetry between the potentiation and depression behaviors of the PCM is stressed. Detailed multi-physical simulations are performed to study the underlying physics of the synaptic behavior of PCM. A versatile behavioral model and a multi-level circuit-compatible model are developed for system and circuit-level neuromorphic simulations. We propose a unique low-power methodology named the 2-PCM Synapse, to use PCM devices as synapses in large scale neuromorphic systems. To show the strength of our proposed solution, we efficiently simulated fully connected feed-forward spiking neural network capable of complex visual pattern extraction from real world data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The morphology of neurons and networks plays an important role in processing electrical and biochemical signals. Based on neuronal reconstructions, which are becoming abundantly available through databases such as NeuroMorpho.org, numerical simulations of Hodgkin-Huxley-type equations, coupled to biochemical models, can be performed in order to systematically investigate the influence of cellular morphology and the connectivity pattern in networks on the underlying function. Development in the area of synthetic neural network generation and morphology reconstruction from microscopy data has brought forth the software tool NeuGen. Coupling this morphology data (either from databases, synthetic, or reconstruction) to the simulation platform UG 4 (which harbors a neuroscientific portfolio) and VRL-Studio, has brought forth the extendible toolbox NeuroBox. NeuroBox allows users to perform numerical simulations on hybrid-dimensional morphology representations. The code basis is designed in a modular way, such that e.g., new channel or synapse types can be added to the library. Workflows can be specified through scripts or through the VRL-Studio graphical workflow representation. Third-party tools, such as ImageJ, can be added to NeuroBox workflows. In this paper, NeuroBox is used to study the electrical and biochemical effects of synapse loss vs. synchrony in neurons, to investigate large morphology data sets within detailed biophysical simulations, and used to demonstrate the capability of utilizing high-performance computing infrastructure for large scale network simulations. Using new synapse distribution methods and Finite Volume based numerical solvers for compartment-type models, our results demonstrate how an increase in synaptic synchronization can compensate synapse loss at the electrical and calcium level, and how detailed neuronal morphology can be integrated in large-scale network simulations. PMID:26903818

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus eBreit

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The morphology of neurons and networks plays an important role in processing electrical and biochemical signals. Based on neuronal reconstructions, which are becoming abundantly available through databases such as NeuroMorpho.org, numerical simulations of Hodgkin-Huxley-type equations, coupled to biochemical models, can be performed in order to systematically investigate the influence of cellular morphology and the connectivity pattern in networks on the underlying function. Development in the area of synthetic neural network generation and morphology reconstruction from microscopy data has brought forth the software tool NeuGen. Coupling this morphology data (either from databases, synthetic or reconstruction to the simulation platform UG 4 (which harbors a neuroscientific portfolio and VRL-Studio, has brought forth the extendible toolbox NeuroBox. NeuroBox allows users to perform numerical simulations on hybrid-dimensional morphology representations. The code basis is designed in a modular way, such that e.g. new channel or synapse types can be added to the library. Workflows can be specified through scripts or through the VRL-Studio graphical workflow representation. Third-party tools, such as ImageJ, can be added to NeuroBox workflows. In this paper, NeuroBox is used to study the electrical and biochemical effects of synapse loss vs. synchrony in neurons, to investigate large morphology data sets within detailed biophysical simulations, and used to demonstrate the capability of utilizing high-performance computing infrastructure for large scale network simulations. Using new synapse distribution methods and Finite Volume based numerical solvers for compartment-type models, our results demonstrate how an increase in synaptic synchronization can compensate synapse loss at the electrical and calcium level, and how detailed neuronal morphology can be integrated in large-scale network simulations.

  3. Natural Killer Cell Lytic Granule Secretion Occurs through a Pervasive Actin Network at the Immune Synapse

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Natural Killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that secrete lytic granules to directly kill virus-infected or transformed cells across an immune synapse. However, a major gap in understanding this process is in establishing how lytic granules pass through the mesh of cortical actin known to underlie the NK cell membrane. Research has been hampered by the resolution of conventional light microscopy, which is too low to resolve cortical actin during lytic granule secretion. Here we use two h...

  4. Temporal dynamics in an immunological synapse: Role of thermal fluctuations in signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Daniel R.; Chattopadhyay, Amit K.

    2015-07-01

    The article analyzes the contribution of stochastic thermal fluctuations in the attachment times of the immature T-cell receptor TCR: peptide-major-histocompatibility-complex pMHC immunological synapse bond. The key question addressed here is the following: how does a synapse bond remain stabilized in the presence of high-frequency thermal noise that potentially equates to a strong detaching force? Focusing on the average time persistence of an immature synapse, we show that the high-frequency nodes accompanying large fluctuations are counterbalanced by low-frequency nodes that evolve over longer time periods, eventually leading to signaling of the immunological synapse bond primarily decided by nodes of the latter type. Our analysis shows that such a counterintuitive behavior could be easily explained from the fact that the survival probability distribution is governed by two distinct phases, corresponding to two separate time exponents, for the two different time regimes. The relatively shorter timescales correspond to the cohesion:adhesion induced immature bond formation whereas the larger time reciprocates the association:dissociation regime leading to TCR:pMHC signaling. From an estimate of the bond survival probability, we show that, at shorter timescales, this probability PΔ(τ ) scales with time τ as a universal function of a rescaled noise amplitude D/Δ2, such that PΔ(τ ) ˜τ-(Δ/√{D }+1/2 ) ,Δ being the distance from the mean intermembrane (T cell:Antigen Presenting Cell) separation distance. The crossover from this shorter to a longer time regime leads to a universality in the dynamics, at which point the survival probability shows a different power-law scaling compared to the one at shorter timescales. In biological terms, such a crossover indicates that the TCR:pMHC bond has a survival probability with a slower decay rate than the longer LFA-1:ICAM-1 bond justifying its stability.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pradeep Krishnamurthy

    Full Text Available The population of pyramidal cells significantly outnumbers the inhibitory interneurons in the neocortex, while at the same time the diversity of interneuron types is much more pronounced. One acknowledged key role of inhibition is to control the rate and patterning of pyramidal cell firing via negative feedback, but most likely the diversity of inhibitory pathways is matched by a corresponding diversity of functional roles. An important distinguishing feature of cortical interneurons is the variability of the short-term plasticity properties of synapses received from pyramidal cells. The Martinotti cell type has recently come under scrutiny due to the distinctly facilitating nature of the synapses they receive from pyramidal cells. This distinguishes these neurons from basket cells and other inhibitory interneurons typically targeted by depressing synapses. A key aspect of the work reported here has been to pinpoint the role of this variability. We first set out to reproduce quantitatively based on in vitro data the di-synaptic inhibitory microcircuit connecting two pyramidal cells via one or a few Martinotti cells. In a second step, we embedded this microcircuit in a previously developed attractor memory network model of neocortical layers 2/3. This model network demonstrated that basket cells with their characteristic depressing synapses are the first to discharge when the network enters an attractor state and that Martinotti cells respond with a delay, thereby shifting the excitation-inhibition balance and acting to terminate the attractor state. A parameter sensitivity analysis suggested that Martinotti cells might, in fact, play a dominant role in setting the attractor dwell time and thus cortical speed of processing, with cellular adaptation and synaptic depression having a less prominent role than previously thought.

  6. Nonnociceptive afferent activity depresses nocifensive behavior and nociceptive synapses via an endocannabinoid-dependent mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Sharleen; Burrell, Brian D

    2013-12-01

    Previously, low-frequency stimulation (LFS) of a nonnociceptive touch-sensitive neuron has been found to elicit endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression (eCB-LTD) in nociceptive synapses in the leech central nervous system (CNS) that requires activation of a presynaptic transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV)-like receptor by postsynaptically synthesized 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG). This capacity of nonnociceptive afferent activity to reduce nociceptive signaling resembles gate control of pain, albeit longer lasting in these synaptic experiments. Since eCB-LTD has been observed at a single sensory-motor synapse, this study examines the functional relevance of this mechanism, specifically whether this form of synaptic plasticity has similar effects at the behavioral level in which additional, intersegmental neural circuits are engaged. Experiments were carried out using a semi-intact preparation that permitted both synaptic recordings and monitoring of the leech whole body shortening, a defensive withdrawal reflex that was elicited via intracellular stimulation of a single nociceptive neuron (the N cell). The same LFS of a nonnociceptive afferent that induced eCB-LTD in single synapses also produced an attenuation of the shortening reflex. Similar attenuation of behavior was also observed when 2-AG was applied. LFS-induced behavioral and synaptic depression was blocked by tetrahydrolipstatin (THL), a diacylglycerol lipase inhibitor, and by SB366791, a TRPV1 antagonist. The effects of both THL and SB366791 were observed following either bath application of the drug or intracellular injection into the presynaptic (SB366791) or postsynaptic (THL) neuron. These findings demonstrate a novel, endocannabinoid-based mechanism by which nonnociceptive afferent activity may modulate nocifensive behaviors via action on primary afferent synapses.

  7. Flavonoid Hesperidin Induces Synapse Formation and Improves Memory Performance through the Astrocytic TGF-β1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isadora Matias

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Synapse formation and function are critical events for the brain function and cognition. Astrocytes are active participants in the control of synapses during development and adulthood, but the mechanisms underlying astrocyte synaptogenic potential only began to be better understood recently. Currently, new drugs and molecules, including the flavonoids, have been studied as therapeutic alternatives for modulation of cognitive processes in physiological and pathological conditions. However, the cellular targets and mechanisms of actions of flavonoids remain poorly elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the effects of hesperidin on memory and its cellular and molecular targets in vivo and in vitro, by using a short-term protocol of treatment. The novel object recognition test (NOR was used to evaluate memory performance of mice intraperitoneally treated with hesperidin 30 min before the training and again before the test phase. The direct effects of hesperidin on synapses and astrocytes were also investigated using in vitro approaches. Here, we described hesperidin as a new drug able to improve memory in healthy adult mice by two main mechanisms: directly, by inducing synapse formation and function between hippocampal and cortical neurons; and indirectly, by enhancing the synaptogenic ability of cortical astrocytes mainly due to increased secretion of transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1 by these cells. Our data reinforces the known neuroprotective effect of hesperidin and, by the first time, characterizes its synaptogenic action on the central nervous system (CNS, pointing astrocytes and TGF-β1 signaling as new cellular and molecular targets of hesperidin. Our work provides not only new data regarding flavonoid’s actions on the CNS but also shed light on possible new therapeutic alternative based on astrocyte biology.

  8. Flavonoid Hesperidin Induces Synapse Formation and Improves Memory Performance through the Astrocytic TGF-β1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Isadora; Diniz, Luan P.; Buosi, Andrea; Neves, Gilda; Stipursky, Joice; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2017-01-01

    Synapse formation and function are critical events for the brain function and cognition. Astrocytes are active participants in the control of synapses during development and adulthood, but the mechanisms underlying astrocyte synaptogenic potential only began to be better understood recently. Currently, new drugs and molecules, including the flavonoids, have been studied as therapeutic alternatives for modulation of cognitive processes in physiological and pathological conditions. However, the cellular targets and mechanisms of actions of flavonoids remain poorly elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the effects of hesperidin on memory and its cellular and molecular targets in vivo and in vitro, by using a short-term protocol of treatment. The novel object recognition test (NOR) was used to evaluate memory performance of mice intraperitoneally treated with hesperidin 30 min before the training and again before the test phase. The direct effects of hesperidin on synapses and astrocytes were also investigated using in vitro approaches. Here, we described hesperidin as a new drug able to improve memory in healthy adult mice by two main mechanisms: directly, by inducing synapse formation and function between hippocampal and cortical neurons; and indirectly, by enhancing the synaptogenic ability of cortical astrocytes mainly due to increased secretion of transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) by these cells. Our data reinforces the known neuroprotective effect of hesperidin and, by the first time, characterizes its synaptogenic action on the central nervous system (CNS), pointing astrocytes and TGF-β1 signaling as new cellular and molecular targets of hesperidin. Our work provides not only new data regarding flavonoid’s actions on the CNS but also shed light on possible new therapeutic alternative based on astrocyte biology. PMID:28659786

  9. Three-terminal ferroelectric synapse device with concurrent learning function for artificial neural networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nishitani, Y.; Kaneko, Y.; Ueda, M.; Fujii, E. [Advanced Technology Research Laboratories, Panasonic Corporation, Seika, Kyoto 619-0237 (Japan); Morie, T. [Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu 808-0196 (Japan)

    2012-06-15

    Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is demonstrated in a synapse device based on a ferroelectric-gate field-effect transistor (FeFET). STDP is a key of the learning functions observed in human brains, where the synaptic weight changes only depending on the spike timing of the pre- and post-neurons. The FeFET is composed of the stacked oxide materials with ZnO/Pr(Zr,Ti)O{sub 3} (PZT)/SrRuO{sub 3}. In the FeFET, the channel conductance can be altered depending on the density of electrons induced by the polarization of PZT film, which can be controlled by applying the gate voltage in a non-volatile manner. Applying a pulse gate voltage enables the multi-valued modulation of the conductance, which is expected to be caused by a change in PZT polarization. This variation depends on the height and the duration of the pulse gate voltage. Utilizing these characteristics, symmetric and asymmetric STDP learning functions are successfully implemented in the FeFET-based synapse device by applying the non-linear pulse gate voltage generated from a set of two pulses in a sampling circuit, in which the two pulses correspond to the spikes from the pre- and post-neurons. The three-terminal structure of the synapse device enables the concurrent learning, in which the weight update can be performed without canceling signal transmission among neurons, while the neural networks using the previously reported two-terminal synapse devices need to stop signal transmission for learning.

  10. Developmental refinement of hair cell synapses tightens the coupling of Ca2+ influx to exocytosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Aaron B; Rutherford, Mark A; Gabrielaitis, Mantas; Pangršič, Tina; Göttfert, Fabian; Frank, Thomas; Michanski, Susann; Hell, Stefan; Wolf, Fred; Wichmann, Carolin; Moser, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) develop from pre-sensory pacemaker to sound transducer. Here, we report that this involves changes in structure and function of the ribbon synapses between IHCs and spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) around hearing onset in mice. As synapses matured they changed from holding several small presynaptic active zones (AZs) and apposed postsynaptic densities (PSDs) to one large AZ/PSD complex per SGN bouton. After the onset of hearing (i) IHCs had fewer and larger ribbons; (ii) CaV1.3 channels formed stripe-like clusters rather than the smaller and round clusters at immature AZs; (iii) extrasynaptic CaV1.3-channels were selectively reduced, (iv) the intrinsic Ca2+ dependence of fast exocytosis probed by Ca2+ uncaging remained unchanged but (v) the apparent Ca2+ dependence of exocytosis linearized, when assessed by progressive dihydropyridine block of Ca2+ influx. Biophysical modeling of exocytosis at mature and immature AZ topographies suggests that Ca2+ influx through an individual channel dominates the [Ca2+] driving exocytosis at each mature release site. We conclude that IHC synapses undergo major developmental refinements, resulting in tighter spatial coupling between Ca2+ influx and exocytosis. PMID:24442635

  11. Selective block of postsynaptic kainate receptors reveals their function at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinheiro, Paulo S; Lanore, Frédéric; Veran, Julien; Artinian, Julien; Blanchet, Christophe; Crépel, Valérie; Perrais, David; Mulle, Christophe

    2013-02-01

    Progress in understanding the roles of kainate receptors (KARs) in synaptic integration, synaptic networks, and higher brain function has been hampered by the lack of selective pharmacological tools. We have found that UBP310 and related willardiine derivatives, previously characterized as selective GluK1 and GluK3 KAR antagonists, block postsynaptic KARs at hippocampal mossy fiber (MF) CA3 synapses while sparing AMPA and NMDA receptors. We further show that UBP310 is an antagonist of recombinant GluK2/GluK5 receptors, the major population of KARs in the brain. Postsynaptic KAR receptor blockade at MF synapses significantly reduces the sustained depolarization, which builds up during repetitive activity, and impacts on spike transmission mediated by heterosynaptic signals. In addition, KARs present in aberrant MF synapses in the epileptic hippocampus were also blocked by UBP310. Our results support a specific role for postsynaptic KARs in synaptic integration of CA3 pyramidal cells and describe a tool that will be instrumental in understanding the physiopathological role of KARs in the brain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Kreshuk

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreshuk, Anna; Koethe, Ullrich; Pax, Elizabeth; Bock, Davi D; Hamprecht, Fred A

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanaka Mika

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuronal activity alters calcium ion (Ca2+ dynamics in astrocytes, but the physiologic relevance of these changes is controversial. To examine this issue further, we generated an inducible transgenic mouse model in which the expression of an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate absorbent, “IP3 sponge”, attenuates astrocytic Ca2+ signaling. Results Attenuated Ca2+ activity correlated with reduced astrocytic coverage of asymmetric synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in these animals. The decreased astrocytic ‘protection’ of the synapses facilitated glutamate ‘spillover’, which was reflected by prolonged glutamate transporter currents in stratum radiatum astrocytes and enhanced N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons in response to burst stimulation. These mice also exhibited behavioral impairments in spatial reference memory and remote contextual fear memory, in which hippocampal circuits are involved. Conclusions Our findings suggest that IP3-mediated astrocytic Ca2+ signaling correlates with the formation of functional tripartite synapses in the hippocampus.

  15. The Demise of the Synapse As the Locus of Memory: A Looming Paradigm Shift?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trettenbrein, Patrick C

    2016-01-01

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