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Sample records for excitatory synapse organization

  1. Lack of Cdkl5 disrupts the organization of excitatory and inhibitory synapses and parvalbumin interneurons in the primary visual cortex

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    Riccardo Pizzo

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available CDKL5 (cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 mutations are found in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including the Hanefeld variant of Rett syndrome (CDKL5 disorder. CDKL5 loss-of-function murine models recapitulate pathological signs of the human disease, such as visual attention deficits and reduced visual acuity. Here we investigated the cellular and synaptic substrates of visual defects by studying the organization of the primary visual cortex (V1 of Cdkl5-/y mice. We found a severe reduction of c-fos expression in V1 of Cdkl5-/y mutants, suggesting circuit hypoactivity. Glutamatergic presynaptic structures were increased, but postsynaptic PSD-95 and Homer were significantly downregulated in CDKL5 mutants. Interneurons expressing parvalbumin, but not other types of interneuron, had a higher density in mutant V1, and were hyperconnected with pyramidal neurons. Finally, the developmental trajectory of pavalbumin-containing cells was also affected in Cdkl5-/y mice, as revealed by fainter appearance perineuronal nets at the closure of the critical period. The present data reveal an overall disruption of V1 cellular and synaptic organization that may cause a shift in the excitation/inhibition balance likely to underlie the visual deficits characteristic of CDKL5 disorder. Moreover, ablation of CDKL5 is likely to tamper with the mechanisms underlying experience-dependent refinement of cortical circuits during the critical period of development.

  2. Lack of Cdkl5 Disrupts the Organization of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses and Parvalbumin Interneurons in the Primary Visual Cortex.

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    Pizzo, Riccardo; Gurgone, Antonia; Castroflorio, Enrico; Amendola, Elena; Gross, Cornelius; Sassoè-Pognetto, Marco; Giustetto, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) mutations are found in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including the Hanefeld variant of Rett syndrome (RTT; CDKL5 disorder). CDKL5 loss-of-function murine models recapitulate pathological signs of the human disease, such as visual attention deficits and reduced visual acuity. Here we investigated the cellular and synaptic substrates of visual defects by studying the organization of the primary visual cortex (V1) of Cdkl5 -/y mice. We found a severe reduction of c-Fos expression in V1 of Cdkl5 -/y mutants, suggesting circuit hypoactivity. Glutamatergic presynaptic structures were increased, but postsynaptic PSD-95 and Homer were significantly downregulated in CDKL5 mutants. Interneurons expressing parvalbumin, but not other types of interneuron, had a higher density in mutant V1, and were hyperconnected with pyramidal neurons. Finally, the developmental trajectory of pavalbumin-containing cells was also affected in Cdkl5 -/y mice, as revealed by fainter appearance perineuronal nets at the closure of the critical period (CP). The present data reveal an overall disruption of V1 cellular and synaptic organization that may cause a shift in the excitation/inhibition balance likely to underlie the visual deficits characteristic of CDKL5 disorder. Moreover, ablation of CDKL5 is likely to tamper with the mechanisms underlying experience-dependent refinement of cortical circuits during the CP of development.

  3. 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.

  4. Organization of central synapses by adhesion molecules.

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    Tallafuss, Alexandra; Constable, John R L; Washbourne, Philip

    2010-07-01

    Synapses are the primary means for transmitting information from one neuron to the next. They are formed during the development of the nervous system, and the formation of appropriate synapses is crucial for the establishment of neuronal circuits that underlie behavior and cognition. Understanding how synapses form and are maintained will allow us to address developmental disorders such as autism, mental retardation and possibly also psychological disorders. A number of biochemical and proteomic studies have revealed a diverse and vast assortment of molecules that are present at the synapse. It is now important to untangle this large array of proteins and determine how it assembles into a functioning unit. Here we focus on recent reports describing how synaptic cell adhesion molecules interact with and organize the presynaptic and postsynaptic specializations of both excitatory and inhibitory central synapses. © The Authors (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

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    Yin-Peng Chen

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

  6. 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.

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

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    Aoki, Chiye; Sherpa, Ang D

    2017-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-15

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

  9. 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.

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

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    Lisa eMapelli

    2015-05-01

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

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

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    Dai Mitsushima

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. Organizers of inhibitory synapses come of age.

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    Krueger-Burg, Dilja; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Brose, Nils

    2017-08-01

    While the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses is known to encompass a highly complex molecular machinery, the equivalent organizational structure of inhibitory synapses has long remained largely undefined. In recent years, however, substantial progress has been made towards identifying the full complement of organizational proteins present at inhibitory synapses, including submembranous scaffolds, intracellular signaling proteins, transsynaptic adhesion proteins, and secreted factors. Here, we summarize these findings and discuss future challenges in assigning synapse-specific functions to the newly discovered catalog of proteins, an endeavor that will depend heavily on newly developed technologies such as proximity biotinylation. Further advances are made all the more essential by growing evidence that links inhibitory synapses to psychiatric and neurological disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Masurkar, Arjun V.; Chen, Wei R.

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Masurkar, Arjun V; Chen, Wei R

    2012-02-01

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

  17. The balancing act of GABAergic synapse organizers.

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    Ko, Jaewon; Choii, Gayoung; Um, Ji Won

    2015-04-01

    GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) is the main neurotransmitter at inhibitory synapses in the mammalian brain. It is essential for maintaining the excitation and inhibition (E/I) ratio, whose imbalance underlies various brain diseases. Emerging information about inhibitory synapse organizers provides a novel molecular framework for understanding E/I balance at the synapse, circuit, and systems levels. This review highlights recent advances in deciphering these components of the inhibitory synapse and their roles in the development, transmission, and circuit properties of inhibitory synapses. We also discuss how their dysfunction may lead to a variety of brain disorders, suggesting new therapeutic strategies based on balancing the E/I ratio.

  18. 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.

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

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    Mika Shapiro-Reznik

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

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

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    Lucas Matt

    2018-02-01

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

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

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    Holly Stefen

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-15

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

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

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    Lafranceschina, Jacopo; Wackerbauer, Renate

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Plasticity of cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C

    2015-07-08

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

  7. 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.

  8. Pyk2 modulates hippocampal excitatory synapses and contributes to cognitive deficits in a Huntington’s disease model

    KAUST Repository

    Giralt, Albert; Brito, Veronica; Chevy, Quentin; Simonnet, Clé mence; Otsu, Yo; Cifuentes-Dí az, Carmen; Pins, Benoit de; Coura, Renata; Alberch, Jordi; Giné s, Sí lvia; Poncer, Jean-Christophe; Girault, Jean-Antoine

    2017-01-01

    The structure and function of spines and excitatory synapses are under the dynamic control of multiple signalling networks. Although tyrosine phosphorylation is involved, its regulation and importance are not well understood. Here we study the role of Pyk2, a non-receptor calcium-dependent protein-tyrosine kinase highly expressed in the hippocampus. Hippocampal-related learning and CA1 long-term potentiation are severely impaired in Pyk2-deficient mice and are associated with alterations in NMDA receptors, PSD-95 and dendritic spines. In cultured hippocampal neurons, Pyk2 has autophosphorylation-dependent and -independent roles in determining PSD-95 enrichment and spines density. Pyk2 levels are decreased in the hippocampus of individuals with Huntington and in the R6/1 mouse model of the disease. Normalizing Pyk2 levels in the hippocampus of R6/1 mice rescues memory deficits, spines pathology and PSD-95 localization. Our results reveal a role for Pyk2 in spine structure and synaptic function, and suggest that its deficit contributes to Huntington’s disease cognitive impairments.

  9. 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.

  10. Organization of central synapses by adhesion molecules

    OpenAIRE

    Tallafuss, Alexandra; Constable, John R.L.; Washbourne, Philip

    2010-01-01

    Synapses are the primary means for transmitting information from one neuron to the next. They are formed during development of the nervous system, and formation of appropriate synapses is crucial for establishment of neuronal circuits that underlie behavior and cognition. Understanding how synapses form and are maintained will allow us to address developmental disorders such as autism, mental retardation and possibly also psychological disorders. A number of biochemical and proteomic studies ...

  11. Presynaptic proteoglycans: sweet organizers of synapse development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yoo Sung; Kim, Eunjoon

    2013-08-21

    Synaptic adhesion molecules control neuronal synapse development. In this issue of Neuron, Siddiqui et al. (2013) and de Wit et al. (2013) demonstrate that LRRTM4, a postsynaptic adhesion molecule, trans-synaptically interacts with presynaptic heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) to promote synapse development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. CDKL5 ensures excitatory synapse stability by reinforcing NGL-1-PSD95 interaction in the postsynaptic compartment and is impaired in patient iPSC-derived neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricciardi, Sara; Ungaro, Federica; Hambrock, Melanie; Rademacher, Nils; Stefanelli, Gilda; Brambilla, Dario; Sessa, Alessandro; Magagnotti, Cinzia; Bachi, Angela; Giarda, Elisa; Verpelli, Chiara; Kilstrup-Nielsen, Charlotte; Sala, Carlo; Kalscheuer, Vera M; Broccoli, Vania

    2012-09-01

    Mutations of the cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) and netrin-G1 (NTNG1) genes cause a severe neurodevelopmental disorder with clinical features that are closely related to Rett syndrome, including intellectual disability, early-onset intractable epilepsy and autism. We report here that CDKL5 is localized at excitatory synapses and contributes to correct dendritic spine structure and synapse activity. To exert this role, CDKL5 binds and phosphorylates the cell adhesion molecule NGL-1. This phosphorylation event ensures a stable association between NGL-1 and PSD95. Accordingly, phospho-mutant NGL-1 is unable to induce synaptic contacts whereas its phospho-mimetic form binds PSD95 more efficiently and partially rescues the CDKL5-specific spine defects. Interestingly, similarly to rodent neurons, iPSC-derived neurons from patients with CDKL5 mutations exhibit aberrant dendritic spines, thus suggesting a common function of CDKL5 in mice and humans.

  13. Artificial Synapses Based on in-Plane Gate Organic Electrochemical Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Chuan; Sun, Jia; Kong, Ling-An; Gou, Guangyang; Yang, Junliang; He, Jun; Gao, Yongli; Wan, Qing

    2016-10-05

    Realization of biological synapses using electronic devices is regarded as the basic building blocks for neuromorphic engineering and artificial neural network. With the advantages of biocompatibility, low cost, flexibility, and compatible with printing and roll-to-roll processes, the artificial synapse based on organic transistor is of great interest. In this paper, the artificial synapse simulation by ion-gel gated organic field-effect transistors (FETs) with poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) active channel is demonstrated. Key features of the synaptic behaviors, such as paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), short-term plasticity (STP), self-tuning, the spike logic operation, spatiotemporal dentritic integration, and modulation are successfully mimicked. Furthermore, the interface doping processes of electrolyte ions between the active P3HT layer and ion gels is comprehensively studied for confirming the operating processes underlying the conductivity and excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) variations in the organic synaptic devices. This study represents an important step toward building future artificial neuromorphic systems with newly emerged ion gel gated organic synaptic devices.

  14. Emerging roles of the neurotrophin receptor TrkC in synapse organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yusuke; Lee, Alfred Kihoon; Takahashi, Hideto

    2017-03-01

    Tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk) receptors have been extensively studied for their roles in kinase-dependent signaling cascades in nervous system development. Synapse organization is coordinated by trans-synaptic interactions of various cell adhesion proteins, a representative example of which is the neurexin-neuroligin complex. Recently, a novel role for TrkC as a synapse organizing protein has been established. Post-synaptic TrkC binds to pre-synaptic type-IIa receptor-type protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPσ). TrkC-PTPσ specifically induces excitatory synapses in a kinase domain-independent manner. TrkC has distinct extracellular domains for PTPσ- and NT-3-binding and thus may bind both ligands simultaneously. Indeed, NT-3 enhances the TrkC-PTPσ interaction, thus facilitating synapse induction at the pre-synaptic side and increasing pre-synaptic vesicle recycling in a kinase-independent fashion. A crystal structure study has revealed the detailed structure of the TrkC-PTPσ complex as well as competitive modulation of TrkC-mediated synaptogenesis by heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), which bind the same domain of TrkC as PTPσ. Thus, there is strong evidence supporting a role for the TrkC-PTPσ complex in mechanisms underlying the fine turning of neural connectivity. Furthermore, disruption of the TrkC-PTPσ complex may be the underlying cause of certain psychiatric disorders caused by mutations in the gene encoding TrkC (NTRK3), supporting its role in cognitive functions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  15. LKB1 Regulates Mitochondria-Dependent Presynaptic Calcium Clearance and Neurotransmitter Release Properties at Excitatory Synapses along Cortical Axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Seok-Kyu; Sando, Richard; Lewis, Tommy L; Hirabayashi, Yusuke; Maximov, Anton; Polleux, Franck

    2016-07-01

    Individual synapses vary significantly in their neurotransmitter release properties, which underlie complex information processing in neural circuits. Presynaptic Ca2+ homeostasis plays a critical role in specifying neurotransmitter release properties, but the mechanisms regulating synapse-specific Ca2+ homeostasis in the mammalian brain are still poorly understood. Using electrophysiology and genetically encoded Ca2+ sensors targeted to the mitochondrial matrix or to presynaptic boutons of cortical pyramidal neurons, we demonstrate that the presence or absence of mitochondria at presynaptic boutons dictates neurotransmitter release properties through Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter (MCU)-dependent Ca2+ clearance. We demonstrate that the serine/threonine kinase LKB1 regulates MCU expression, mitochondria-dependent Ca2+ clearance, and thereby, presynaptic release properties. Re-establishment of MCU-dependent mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake at glutamatergic synapses rescues the altered neurotransmitter release properties characterizing LKB1-null cortical axons. Our results provide novel insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms whereby mitochondria control neurotransmitter release properties in a bouton-specific way through presynaptic Ca2+ clearance.

  16. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Peng

    2017-06-01

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

  18. Emergent Synapse Organizers: LAR-RPTPs and Their Companions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, K A; Jeon, S; Um, J W; Ko, J

    2016-01-01

    Leukocyte common antigen-related receptor tyrosine phosphatases (LAR-RPTPs) have emerged as key players that organize various aspects of neuronal development, including axon guidance, neurite extension, and synapse formation and function. Recent research has highlighted the roles of LAR-RPTPs at neuronal synapses in mediating distinct synaptic adhesion pathways through interactions with a host of extracellular ligands and in governing a variety of intracellular signaling cascades through binding to various scaffolds and signaling proteins. In this chapter, we review and update current research progress on the extracellular ligands of LAR-RPTPs, regulation of their extracellular interactions by alternative splicing and heparan sulfates, and their intracellular signaling machineries. In particular, we review structural insights on complexes of LAR-RPTPs with their various ligands. These studies lend support to general molecular mechanisms underlying LAR-RPTP-mediated synaptic adhesion and signaling pathways. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity: Spotlight on Hippocampal and Cerebellar Synapse Organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Dongseok; Bae, Sungwon; Yoon, Taek Han; Ko, Jaewon

    2018-04-18

    Synapses and neural circuits form with exquisite specificity during brain development to allow the precise and appropriate flow of neural information. Although this property of synapses and neural circuits has been extensively investigated for more than a century, molecular mechanisms underlying this property are only recently being unveiled. Recent studies highlight several classes of cell-surface proteins as organizing hubs in building structural and functional architectures of specific synapses and neural circuits. In the present minireview, we discuss recent findings on various synapse organizers that confer the distinct properties of specific synapse types and neural circuit architectures in mammalian brains, with a particular focus on the hippocampus and cerebellum.

  1. Immunostaining for Homer reveals the majority of excitatory synapses in laminae I?III of the mouse spinal dorsal horn

    OpenAIRE

    Gutierrez-Mecinas, Maria; Kuehn, Emily D.; Abraira, Victoria E.; Polg?r, Erika; Watanabe, Masahiko; Todd, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    The spinal dorsal horn processes somatosensory information before conveying it to the brain. The neuronal organization of the dorsal horn is still poorly understood, although recent studies have defined several distinct populations among the interneurons, which account for most of its constituent neurons. All primary afferents, and the great majority of neurons in laminae I–III are glutamatergic, and a major factor limiting our understanding of the synaptic circuitry has been the difficulty i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2010-07-01

    Several C1q family members, especially the Cbln and C1q-like subfamilies, are highly and predominantly expressed in the central nervous system. Cbln1, a member of the Cbln subfamily, plays two unique roles at parallel fiber (PF)-Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum: the formation and stabilization of synaptic contact, and the control of functional synaptic plasticity by regulating the postsynaptic endocytotic pathway. The delta2 glutamate receptor (GluD2), which is predominantly expressed in Purkinje cells, plays similar critical roles in the cerebellum. In addition, viral expression of GluD2 or the application of recombinant Cbln1 induces PF-Purkinje cell synaptogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Antigen-unmasking methods were necessary to reveal the immunoreactivities for endogenous Cbln1 and GluD2 at the synaptic junction of PF synapses. We propose that Cbln1 and GluD2 are located at the synaptic cleft, where various proteins undergo intricate molecular interactions with each other, and serve as a bidirectional synaptic organizer. © The Author (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocker, Gabriel Koch; Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Doiron, Brent

    2015-08-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-13

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

  6. The organization of plasticity in the cerebellar cortex: from synapses to control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, Egidio

    2014-01-01

    The cerebellum is thought to play a critical role in procedural learning, but the relationship between this function and the underlying cellular and synaptic mechanisms remains largely speculative. At present, at least nine forms of long-term synaptic and nonsynaptic plasticity (some of which are bidirectional) have been reported in the cerebellar cortex and deep cerebellar nuclei. These include long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression at the mossy fiber-granule cell synapse, at the synapses formed by parallel fibers, climbing fibers, and molecular layer interneurons on Purkinje cells, and at the synapses formed by mossy fibers and Purkinje cells on deep cerebellar nuclear cells, as well as LTP of intrinsic excitability in granule cells, Purkinje cells, and deep cerebellar nuclear cells. It is suggested that the complex properties of cerebellar learning would emerge from the distribution of plasticity in the network and from its dynamic remodeling during the different phases of learning. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors may hold the key to explain how the different forms of plasticity cooperate to select specific transmission channels and to regulate the signal-to-noise ratio through the cerebellar cortex. These factors include regulation of neuronal excitation by local inhibitory networks, engagement of specific molecular mechanisms by spike bursts and theta-frequency oscillations, and gating by external neuromodulators. Therefore, a new and more complex view of cerebellar plasticity is emerging with respect to that predicted by the original "Motor Learning Theory," opening issues that will require experimental and computational testing. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Astrocytes mediate synapse elimination through MEGF10 and MERTK pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Won-Suk; Clarke, Laura E.; Wang, Gordon X.; Stafford, Benjamin K.; Sher, Alexander; Chakraborty, Chandrani; Joung, Julia; Foo, Lynette C.; Thompson, Andrew; Chen, Chinfei; Smith, Stephen J.; Barres, Ben A.

    2013-12-01

    To achieve its precise neural connectivity, the developing mammalian nervous system undergoes extensive activity-dependent synapse remodelling. Recently, microglial cells have been shown to be responsible for a portion of synaptic pruning, but the remaining mechanisms remain unknown. Here we report a new role for astrocytes in actively engulfing central nervous system synapses. This process helps to mediate synapse elimination, requires the MEGF10 and MERTK phagocytic pathways, and is strongly dependent on neuronal activity. Developing mice deficient in both astrocyte pathways fail to refine their retinogeniculate connections normally and retain excess functional synapses. Finally, we show that in the adult mouse brain, astrocytes continuously engulf both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. These studies reveal a novel role for astrocytes in mediating synapse elimination in the developing and adult brain, identify MEGF10 and MERTK as critical proteins in the synapse remodelling underlying neural circuit refinement, and have important implications for understanding learning and memory as well as neurological disease processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-04

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

  9. The Diversity of Cortical Inhibitory Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. The biochemical anatomy of cortical inhibitory synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A Heller

    Full Text Available 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.

  11. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Freche

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

  12. Loss of Synapse Repressor MDGA1 Enhances Perisomatic Inhibition, Confers Resistance to Network Excitation, and Impairs Cognitive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven A. Connor

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Synaptopathies contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders are linked to mutations in synaptic organizing molecules, including postsynaptic neuroligins, presynaptic neurexins, and MDGAs, which regulate their interaction. The role of MDGA1 in suppressing inhibitory versus excitatory synapses is controversial based on in vitro studies. We show that genetic deletion of MDGA1 in vivo elevates hippocampal CA1 inhibitory, but not excitatory, synapse density and transmission. Furthermore, MDGA1 is selectively expressed by pyramidal neurons and regulates perisomatic, but not distal dendritic, inhibitory synapses. Mdga1−/− hippocampal networks demonstrate muted responses to neural excitation, and Mdga1−/− mice are resistant to induced seizures. Mdga1−/− mice further demonstrate compromised hippocampal long-term potentiation, consistent with observed deficits in spatial and context-dependent learning and memory. These results suggest that mutations in MDGA1 may contribute to cognitive deficits through altered synaptic transmission and plasticity by loss of suppression of inhibitory synapse development in a subcellular domain- and cell-type-selective manner.

  13. 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.

  14. Self-organized criticality in a network of interacting neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cowan, J.D.; Neuman, J.; Kiewiet, B.; van Drongelen, W.

    2013-01-01

    This paper contains an analysis of a simple neural network that exhibits self-organized criticality. Such criticality follows from the combination of a simple neural network with an excitatory feedback loop that generates bistability, in combination with an anti-Hebbian synapse in its input pathway.

  15. Zinc at glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paoletti, P; Vergnano, A M; Barbour, B; Casado, M

    2009-01-12

    It has long been known that the mammalian forebrain contains a subset of glutamatergic neurons that sequester zinc in their synaptic vesicles. This zinc may be released into the synaptic cleft upon neuronal activity. Extracellular zinc has the potential to interact with and modulate many different synaptic targets, including glutamate receptors and transporters. Among these targets, NMDA receptors appear particularly interesting because certain NMDA receptor subtypes (those containing the NR2A subunit) contain allosteric sites exquisitely sensitive to extracellular zinc. The existence of these high-affinity zinc binding sites raises the possibility that zinc may act both in a phasic and tonic mode. Changes in zinc concentration and subcellular zinc distribution have also been described in several pathological conditions linked to glutamatergic transmission dysfunctions. However, despite intense investigation, the functional significance of vesicular zinc remains largely a mystery. In this review, we present the anatomy and the physiology of the glutamatergic zinc-containing synapse. Particular emphasis is put on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the putative roles of zinc as a messenger involved in excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity. We also highlight the many controversial issues and unanswered questions. Finally, we present and compare two widely used zinc chelators, CaEDTA and tricine, and show why tricine should be preferred to CaEDTA when studying fast transient zinc elevations as may occur during synaptic activity.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rich, Scott; Zochowski, Michal; Booth, Victoria

    2018-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Glutamate synapses in human cognitive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Lenora; Chiu, Shu-Ling; Sharma, Kamal; Huganir, Richard L

    2015-07-08

    Accumulating data, including those from large genetic association studies, indicate that alterations in glutamatergic synapse structure and function represent a common underlying pathology in many symptomatically distinct cognitive disorders. In this review, we discuss evidence from human genetic studies and data from animal models supporting a role for aberrant glutamatergic synapse function in the etiology of intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and schizophrenia (SCZ), neurodevelopmental disorders that comprise a significant proportion of human cognitive disease and exact a substantial financial and social burden. The varied manifestations of impaired perceptual processing, executive function, social interaction, communication, and/or intellectual ability in ID, ASD, and SCZ appear to emerge from altered neural microstructure, function, and/or wiring rather than gross changes in neuron number or morphology. Here, we review evidence that these disorders may share a common underlying neuropathy: altered excitatory synapse function. We focus on the most promising candidate genes affecting glutamatergic synapse function, highlighting the likely disease-relevant functional consequences of each. We first present a brief overview of glutamatergic synapses and then explore the genetic and phenotypic evidence for altered glutamate signaling in ID, ASD, and SCZ.

  20. Distinct transmitter release properties determine differences in short-term plasticity at functional and silent synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabezas, Carolina; Buño, Washington

    2006-05-01

    Recent evidence suggests that functional and silent synapses are not only postsynaptically different but also presynaptically distinct. The presynaptic differences may be of functional importance in memory formation because a proposed mechanism for long-term potentiation is the conversion of silent synapses into functional ones. However, there is little direct experimentally evidence of these differences. We have investigated the transmitter release properties of functional and silent Schaffer collateral synapses and show that on the average functional synapses displayed a lower percentage of failures and higher excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) amplitudes than silent synapses at +60 mV. Moreover, functional but not silent synapses show paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) at +60 mV and thus presynaptic short-term plasticity will be distinct in the two types of synapse. We examined whether intraterminal endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores influenced the release properties of these synapses. Ryanodine (100 microM) and thapsigargin (1 microM) increased the percentage of failures and decreased both the EPSC amplitude and PPF in functional synapses. Caffeine (10 mM) had the opposite effects. In contrast, silent synapses were insensitive to both ryanodine and caffeine. Hence we have identified differences in the release properties of functional and silent synapses, suggesting that synaptic terminals of functional synapses express regulatory molecular mechanisms that are absent in silent synapses.

  1. Neurotrophin-3 Regulates Synapse Development by Modulating TrkC-PTPσ Synaptic Adhesion and Intracellular Signaling Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Kyung Ah; Woo, Doyeon; Kim, Seungjoon; Choii, Gayoung; Jeon, Sangmin; Won, Seoung Youn; Kim, Ho Min; Heo, Won Do; Um, Ji Won; Ko, Jaewon

    2016-04-27

    neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) modulates the synaptic adhesion pathway involving neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinase C (TrkC) and presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ) in a bidirectional manner at excitatory synapses. NT-3 acts in concentration-independent manner to facilitate TrkC-mediated presynaptic differentiation, whereas it acts in a concentration-dependent manner to exert differential effects on TrkC-mediated organization of postsynaptic development. We further investigated TrkC extracellular ligand binding, intracellular signaling pathways, and kinase activity in NT-3-induced synapse development. Last, we found that interneuronal differences in TrkC levels regulate the synapse number. Overall, these results suggest that NT-3 functions as a positive modulator of synaptogenesis involving TrkC and PTPσ. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/364817-16$15.00/0.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Ming-Gao

    2009-01-01

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

  4. When is an Inhibitory Synapse Effective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Ning; Sejnowski, Terrence J.

    1990-10-01

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

  5. Localization of mineralocorticoid receptors at mammalian synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric M Prager

    Full Text Available In the brain, membrane associated nongenomic steroid receptors can induce fast-acting responses to ion conductance and second messenger systems of neurons. Emerging data suggest that membrane associated glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors may directly regulate synaptic excitability during times of stress when adrenal hormones are elevated. As the key neuron signaling interface, the synapse is involved in learning and memory, including traumatic memories during times of stress. The lateral amygdala is a key site for synaptic plasticity underlying conditioned fear, which can both trigger and be coincident with the stress response. A large body of electrophysiological data shows rapid regulation of neuronal excitability by steroid hormone receptors. Despite the importance of these receptors, to date, only the glucocorticoid receptor has been anatomically localized to the membrane. We investigated the subcellular sites of mineralocorticoid receptors in the lateral amygdala of the Sprague-Dawley rat. Immunoblot analysis revealed the presence of mineralocorticoid receptors in the amygdala. Using electron microscopy, we found mineralocorticoid receptors expressed at both nuclear including: glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons and extra nuclear sites including: presynaptic terminals, neuronal dendrites, and dendritic spines. Importantly we also observed mineralocorticoid receptors at postsynaptic membrane densities of excitatory synapses. These data provide direct anatomical evidence supporting the concept that, at some synapses, synaptic transmission is regulated by mineralocorticoid receptors. Thus part of the stress signaling response in the brain is a direct modulation of the synapse itself by adrenal steroids.

  6. Stabilization of memory States by stochastic facilitating synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Paul

    2013-12-06

    Bistability within a small neural circuit can arise through an appropriate strength of excitatory recurrent feedback. The stability of a state of neural activity, measured by the mean dwelling time before a noise-induced transition to another state, depends on the neural firing-rate curves, the net strength of excitatory feedback, the statistics of spike times, and increases exponentially with the number of equivalent neurons in the circuit. Here, we show that such stability is greatly enhanced by synaptic facilitation and reduced by synaptic depression. We take into account the alteration in times of synaptic vesicle release, by calculating distributions of inter-release intervals of a synapse, which differ from the distribution of its incoming interspike intervals when the synapse is dynamic. In particular, release intervals produced by a Poisson spike train have a coefficient of variation greater than one when synapses are probabilistic and facilitating, whereas the coefficient of variation is less than one when synapses are depressing. However, in spite of the increased variability in postsynaptic input produced by facilitating synapses, their dominant effect is reduced synaptic efficacy at low input rates compared to high rates, which increases the curvature of neural input-output functions, leading to wider regions of bistability in parameter space and enhanced lifetimes of memory states. Our results are based on analytic methods with approximate formulae and bolstered by simulations of both Poisson processes and of circuits of noisy spiking model neurons.

  7. The immunological synapse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2003-01-01

    . A distinct 3-dimensional supramolecular structure at the T cell/APC interface has been suggested to be involved in the information transfer. Due to its functional analogy to the neuronal synapse, the structure has been termed the "immunological synapse" (IS). Here, we review molecular aspects concerning...

  8. Comparative anatomy of phagocytic and immunological synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Sleep: The hebbian reinforcement of the local inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touzet, Claude

    2015-09-01

    Sleep is ubiquitous among the animal realm, and represents about 30% of our lives. Despite numerous efforts, the reason behind our need for sleep is still unknown. The Theory of neuronal Cognition (TnC) proposes that sleep is the period of time during which the local inhibitory synapses (in particular the cortical ones) are replenished. Indeed, as long as the active brain stays awake, hebbian learning guarantees that efficient inhibitory synapses lose their efficiency – just because they are efficient at avoiding the activation of the targeted neurons. Since hebbian learning is the only known mechanism of synapse modification, it follows that to replenish the inhibitory synapses' efficiency, source and targeted neurons must be activated together. This is achieved by a local depolarization that may travel (wave). The period of time during which such slow waves are experienced has been named the "slow-wave sleep" (SWS). It is cut into several pieces by shorter periods of paradoxical sleep (REM) which activity resembles that of the awake state. Indeed, SWS – because it only allows local neural activation – decreases the excitatory long distance connections strength. To avoid losing the associations built during the awake state, these long distance activations are played again during the REM sleep. REM and SWS sleeps act together to guarantee that when the subject awakes again, his inhibitory synaptic efficiency is restored and his (excitatory) long distance associations are still there. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinglong Gu

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl L Gatto

    2010-06-01

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

  12. 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)…

  13. Merkel disc is a serotonergic synapse in the epidermis for transmitting tactile signals in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Weipang; Kanda, Hirosato; Ikeda, Ryo; Ling, Jennifer; DeBerry, Jennifer J; Gu, Jianguo G

    2016-09-13

    The evolution of sensory systems has let mammals develop complicated tactile end organs to enable sophisticated sensory tasks, including social interaction, environmental exploration, and tactile discrimination. The Merkel disc, a main type of tactile end organ consisting of Merkel cells (MCs) and Aβ-afferent endings, are highly abundant in fingertips, touch domes, and whisker hair follicles of mammals. The Merkel disc has high tactile acuity for an object's physical features, such as texture, shape, and edges. Mechanisms underlying the tactile function of Merkel discs are obscured as to how MCs transmit tactile signals to Aβ-afferent endings leading to tactile sensations. Using mouse whisker hair follicles, we show herein that tactile stimuli are transduced by MCs into excitatory signals that trigger vesicular serotonin release from MCs. We identify that both ionotropic and metabotropic 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptors are expressed on whisker Aβ-afferent endings and that their activation by serotonin released from MCs initiates Aβ-afferent impulses. Moreover, we demonstrate that these ionotropic and metabotropic 5-HT receptors have a synergistic effect that is critical to both electrophysiological and behavioral tactile responses. These findings elucidate that the Merkel disc is a unique serotonergic synapse located in the epidermis and plays a key role in tactile transmission. The epidermal serotonergic synapse may have important clinical implications in sensory dysfunctions, such as the loss of tactile sensitivity and tactile allodynia seen in patients who have diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and undergo chemotherapy. It may also have implications in the exaggerated tactile sensations induced by recreational drugs that act on serotoninergic synapses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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)

  16. Cadmium action in synapses in the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minami, Akira; Takeda, Atsushi; Nishibaba, Daisuke; Tekefuta, Sachiyo; Oku, Naoto

    2001-01-01

    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 109 CdCl 2 into the amygdala of rats, 109 Cd release into the extracellular space was facilitated by stimulation with high K + , 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 μM CdCl 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 γ-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)

  17. 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.

  18. Miniature excitatory synaptic currents in cultured hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-06-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. IR wireless cluster synapses of HYDRA very large neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannson, Tomasz; Forrester, Thomas

    2008-04-01

    RF/IR wireless (virtual) synapses are critical components of HYDRA (Hyper-Distributed Robotic Autonomy) neural networks, already discussed in two earlier papers. The HYDRA network has the potential to be very large, up to 10 11-neurons and 10 18-synapses, based on already established technologies (cellular RF telephony and IR-wireless LANs). It is organized into almost fully connected IR-wireless clusters. The HYDRA neurons and synapses are very flexible, simple, and low-cost. They can be modified into a broad variety of biologically-inspired brain-like computing capabilities. In this third paper, we focus on neural hardware in general, and on IR-wireless synapses in particular. Such synapses, based on LED/LD-connections, dominate the HYDRA neural cluster.

  1. Neuroglial plasticity at striatal glutamatergic synapses in Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa M Villalba

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Striatal dopamine denervation is the pathological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Another major pathological change described in animal models and PD patients is a significant reduction in the density of dendritic spines on medium spiny striatal projection neurons. Simultaneously, the ultrastructural features of the neuronal synaptic elements at the remaining corticostriatal and thalamostriatal glutamatergic axo-spinous synapses undergo complex ultrastructural remodeling consistent with increased synaptic activity (Villalba et al., 2011. The concept of tripartite synapses (TS was introduced a decade ago, according to which astrocytes process and exchange information with neuronal synaptic elements at glutamatergic synapses (Araque et al., 1999a. Although there has been compelling evidence that astrocytes are integral functional elements of tripartite glutamatergic synaptic complexes in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, their exact functional role, degree of plasticity and preponderance in other CNS regions remain poorly understood. In this review, we discuss our recent findings showing that neuronal elements at cortical and thalamic glutamatergic synapses undergo significant plastic changes in the striatum of MPTP-treated parkinsonian monkeys. We also present new ultrastructural data that demonstrate a significant expansion of the astrocytic coverage of striatal TS synapses in the parkinsonian state, providing further evidence for ultrastructural compensatory changes that affect both neuronal and glial elements at TS. Together with our limited understanding of the mechanisms by which astrocytes respond to changes in neuronal activity and extracellular transmitter homeostasis, the role of both neuronal and glial components of excitatory synapses must be considered, if one hopes to take advantage of glia-neuronal communication knowledge to better understand the pathophysiology of striatal processing in parkinsonism, and develop new PD

  2. Dynamic Information Encoding With Dynamic Synapses in Neural Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Luozheng; Mi, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Wenhao; Wang, Da-Hui; Wu, Si

    2018-01-01

    Adaptation refers to the general phenomenon that the neural system dynamically adjusts its response property according to the statistics of external inputs. In response to an invariant stimulation, neuronal firing rates first increase dramatically and then decrease gradually to a low level close to the background activity. This prompts a question: during the adaptation, how does the neural system encode the repeated stimulation with attenuated firing rates? It has been suggested that the neural system may employ a dynamical encoding strategy during the adaptation, the information of stimulus is mainly encoded by the strong independent spiking of neurons at the early stage of the adaptation; while the weak but synchronized activity of neurons encodes the stimulus information at the later stage of the adaptation. The previous study demonstrated that short-term facilitation (STF) of electrical synapses, which increases the synchronization between neurons, can provide a mechanism to realize dynamical encoding. In the present study, we further explore whether short-term plasticity (STP) of chemical synapses, an interaction form more common than electrical synapse in the cortex, can support dynamical encoding. We build a large-size network with chemical synapses between neurons. Notably, facilitation of chemical synapses only enhances pair-wise correlations between neurons mildly, but its effect on increasing synchronization of the network can be significant, and hence it can serve as a mechanism to convey the stimulus information. To read-out the stimulus information, we consider that a downstream neuron receives balanced excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the network, so that the downstream neuron only responds to synchronized firings of the network. Therefore, the response of the downstream neuron indicates the presence of the repeated stimulation. Overall, our study demonstrates that STP of chemical synapse can serve as a mechanism to realize dynamical neural

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter D J Thornton

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

  5. Excitatory amino acid receptors and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, B S

    1992-08-01

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

  6. Kalirin, a key player in synapse formation, is implicated in human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandela, Prashant; Ma, Xin-Ming

    2012-01-01

    Synapse formation is considered to be crucial for learning and memory. Understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms of synapse formation is a key to understanding learning and memory. Kalirin-7, a major isoform of Kalirin in adult rodent brain, is an essential component of mature excitatory synapses. Kalirin-7 interacts with multiple PDZ-domain-containing proteins including PSD95, spinophilin, and GluR1 through its PDZ-binding motif. In cultured hippocampal/cortical neurons, overexpression of Kalirin-7 increases spine density and spine size whereas reduction of endogenous Kalirin-7 expression decreases synapse number, and spine density. In Kalirin-7 knockout mice, spine length, synapse number, and postsynaptic density (PSD) size are decreased in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons; these morphological alterations are accompanied by a deficiency in long-term potentiation (LTP) and a decreased spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency. Human Kalirin-7, also known as Duo or Huntingtin-associated protein-interacting protein (HAPIP), is equivalent to rat Kalirin-7. Recent studies show that Kalirin is relevant to many human diseases such as Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, ischemic stroke, schizophrenia, depression, and cocaine addiction. This paper summarizes our recent understanding of Kalirin function.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. On-chip photonic synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zengguang; Ríos, Carlos; Pernice, Wolfram H P; Wright, C David; Bhaskaran, Harish

    2017-09-01

    The search for new "neuromorphic computing" architectures that mimic the brain's approach to simultaneous processing and storage of information is intense. Because, in real brains, neuronal synapses outnumber neurons by many orders of magnitude, the realization of hardware devices mimicking the functionality of a synapse is a first and essential step in such a search. We report the development of such a hardware synapse, implemented entirely in the optical domain via a photonic integrated-circuit approach. Using purely optical means brings the benefits of ultrafast operation speed, virtually unlimited bandwidth, and no electrical interconnect power losses. Our synapse uses phase-change materials combined with integrated silicon nitride waveguides. Crucially, we can randomly set the synaptic weight simply by varying the number of optical pulses sent down the waveguide, delivering an incredibly simple yet powerful approach that heralds systems with a continuously variable synaptic plasticity resembling the true analog nature of biological synapses.

  10. Excitatory and inhibitory pathways modulate kainate excitotoxicity in hippocampal slice cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casaccia-Bonnefil, P; Benedikz, Eirikur; Rai, R

    1993-01-01

    In organotypic hippocampal slice cultures, kainate (KA) specifically induces cell loss in the CA3 region while N-methyl-D-aspartate induces cell loss in the CA1 region. The sensitivity of slice cultures to KA toxicity appears only after 2 weeks in vitro which parallels the appearance of mossy...... fibers. KA toxicity is potentiated by co-application with the GABA-A antagonist, picrotoxin. These data suggest that the excitotoxicity of KA in slice cultures is modulated by both excitatory and inhibitory synapses....

  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...... mediate cell-cell adhesion through homophilic interactions and bind to growth factors, growth factor receptors, glutamate receptors, other CAMs, and components of the extracellular matrix. Intracellularly, NCAM-type proteins interact with various cytoskeletal proteins and regulators of intracellular...... 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. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satoshi Kuroki

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Multisensory integration (MSI is a fundamental emergent property of the mammalian brain. During MSI, perceptual information encoded in patterned activity is processed in multimodal association cortex. The systems-level neuronal dynamics that coordinate MSI, however, are unknown. Here, we demonstrate intrinsic hub-like network activity in the association cortex that regulates MSI. We engineered calcium reporter mouse lines based on the fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor yellow cameleon (YC2.60 expressed in excitatory or inhibitory neurons. In medial and parietal association cortex, we observed spontaneous slow waves that self-organized into hubs defined by long-range excitatory and local inhibitory circuits. Unlike directional source/sink-like flows in sensory areas, medial/parietal excitatory and inhibitory hubs had net-zero balanced inputs. Remarkably, multisensory stimulation triggered rapid phase-locking mainly of excitatory hub activity persisting for seconds after the stimulus offset. Therefore, association cortex tends to form balanced excitatory networks that configure slow-wave phase-locking for MSI. Video Abstract: : Kuroki et al. performed cell-type-specific, wide-field FRET-based calcium imaging to visualize cortical network activity induced by multisensory inputs. They observed phase-locking of cortical slow waves in excitatory neuronal hubs in association cortical areas that may underlie multisensory integration. Keywords: wide-field calcium imaging, multisensory integration, cortical slow waves, association cortex, phase locking, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, spontaneous activity, excitatory neuron, inhibitory neuron, mouse

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-20

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-20

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Pursuit of Neurotransmitter Functions: Being Attracted with Fascination of the Synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konishi, Shiro

    2017-01-01

    In the beginning of the 1970s, only two chemical substances, acetylcholine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), had been definitely established as neurotransmitters. Under such circumstances, I started my scientific career in Professor Masanori Otsuka's lab searching for the transmitter of primary sensory neurons. Until 1976, lines of evidence had accumulated indicating that the undecapeptide substance P could be released as a transmitter from primary afferent fibers into spinal synapses, although the substance P-mediated synaptic response had yet to be identified. Peripheral synapses could serve as a good model and thus, it was demonstrated in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia by1985 that substance P released from axon collaterals of primary sensory neurons acts as the transmitter mediating non-cholinergic slow excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). At that time, we also found that autonomic synapses were useful to uncover the transmitter role of the opioid peptide enkephalins, whose functions had been unknown since their discovery in 1975. Accordingly, enkephalins were found to serve a transmitter role in mediating presynaptic inhibition of cholinergic fast and non-cholinergic slow transmission in the prevertebral sympathetic ganglia. In 1990s, we attempted to devise a combined technique of brain slices and patch-clamp recordings. We applied it to study the regulatory mechanisms that operate around cerebellar GABAergic inhibitory synapses, because most of the studies then had centered on excitatory synapses and because inhibitory synapses are crucially involved in brain functions and disorders. Consequently, we discovered novel forms of heterosynaptic interactions, dual actions of a single transmitter, and receptor crosstalk, the details of which are described in this review.

  19. Excitatory amino acid neurotoxicity and neurodegenerative disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, B; Garthwaite, J

    1990-09-01

    The progress over the last 30 years in defining the role of excitatory amino acids in normal physiological function and in the abnormal neuronal activity of epilepsy has been reviewed in earlier articles in this series. In the last five years it has become clear that excitatory amino acids also play a role in a wide range of neurodegenerative processes. The evidence is clearest where the degenerative process is acute, but is more controversial for slow degenerative processes. In this article Brian Meldrum and John Garthwaite review in vivo and in vitro studies of the cytotoxicity of amino acids and summarize the contribution of such toxicity to acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chazeau, Anaël; Giannone, Grégory

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Excitatory components of the mammalian locomotor CPG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, Ole; Quinlan, Katharina A.; Restrepo, Carlos Ernesto

    2008-01-01

    Locomotion in mammals is to a large degree controlled directly by intrinsic spinal networks, called central pattern generators (CPGs). The overall function of these networks is governed by interaction between inhibitory and excitatory neurons. In the present review, we will discuss recent finding...

  7. Impacts of hybrid synapses on the noise-delayed decay in scale-free neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yilmaz, Ergin

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We investigate the NDD phenomenon in a hybrid scale-free network. • Electrical synapses are more impressive on the emergence of NDD. • Electrical synapses are more efficient in suppressing of the NDD. • Average degree has two opposite effects on the appearance time of the first spike. - Abstract: We study the phenomenon of noise-delayed decay in a scale-free neural network consisting of excitable FitzHugh–Nagumo neurons. In contrast to earlier works, where only electrical synapses are considered among neurons, we primarily examine the effects of hybrid synapses on the noise-delayed decay in this study. We show that the electrical synaptic coupling is more impressive than the chemical coupling in determining the appearance time of the first-spike and more efficient on the mitigation of the delay time in the detection of a suprathreshold input signal. We obtain that hybrid networks including inhibitory chemical synapses have higher signal detection capabilities than those of including excitatory ones. We also find that average degree exhibits two different effects, which are strengthening and weakening the noise-delayed decay effect depending on the noise intensity

  8. Stability and Function of Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses Depend on Bcl11b/Ctip2

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    Elodie De Bruyckere

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Structural and functional plasticity of synapses are critical neuronal mechanisms underlying learning and memory. While activity-dependent regulation of synaptic strength has been extensively studied, much less is known about the transcriptional control of synapse maintenance and plasticity. Hippocampal mossy fiber (MF synapses connect dentate granule cells to CA3 pyramidal neurons and are important for spatial memory formation and consolidation. The transcription factor Bcl11b/Ctip2 is expressed in dentate granule cells and required for postnatal hippocampal development. Ablation of Bcl11b/Ctip2 in the adult hippocampus results in impaired adult neurogenesis and spatial memory. The molecular mechanisms underlying the behavioral impairment remained unclear. Here we show that selective deletion of Bcl11b/Ctip2 in the adult mouse hippocampus leads to a rapid loss of excitatory synapses in CA3 as well as reduced ultrastructural complexity of remaining mossy fiber boutons (MFBs. Moreover, a dramatic decline of long-term potentiation (LTP of the dentate gyrus-CA3 (DG-CA3 projection is caused by adult loss of Bcl11b/Ctip2. Differential transcriptomics revealed the deregulation of genes associated with synaptic transmission in mutants. Together, our data suggest Bcl11b/Ctip2 to regulate maintenance and function of MF synapses in the adult hippocampus.

  9. NMDA receptor content of synapses in stratum radiatum of the hippocampal CA1 area.

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    Racca, C; Stephenson, F A; Streit, P; Roberts, J D; Somogyi, P

    2000-04-01

    Glutamate receptors activated by NMDA (NMDARs) or AMPA (AMPARs) are clustered on dendritic spines of pyramidal cells. Both the AMPAR-mediated postsynaptic responses and the synaptic AMPAR immunoreactivity show a large intersynapse variability. Postsynaptic responses mediated by NMDARs show less variability. To assess the variability in NMDAR content and the extent of their coexistence with AMPARs in Schaffer collateral-commissural synapses of adult rat CA1 pyramidal cells, electron microscopic immunogold localization of receptors has been used. Immunoreactivity of NMDARs was detected in virtually all synapses on spines, but AMPARs were undetectable, on average, in 12% of synapses. A proportion of synapses had a very high AMPAR content relative to the mean content, resulting in a distribution more skewed toward larger values than that of NMDARs. The variability of synaptic NMDAR content [coefficient of variation (CV), 0.64-0.70] was much lower than that of the AMPAR content (CV, 1.17-1.45). Unlike the AMPAR content, the NMDAR content showed only a weak correlation with synapse size. As reported previously for AMPARs, the immunoreactivity of NMDARs was also associated with the spine apparatus within spines. The results demonstrate that the majority of the synapses made by CA3 pyramidal cells onto spines of CA1 pyramids express both NMDARs and AMPARs, but with variable ratios. A less-variable NMDAR content is accompanied by a wide variability of AMPAR content, indicating that the regulation of expression of the two receptors is not closely linked. These findings support reports that fast excitatory transmission at some of these synapses is mediated by activation mainly of NMDARs.

  10. Parallel prefrontal pathways reach distinct excitatory and inhibitory systems in memory-related rhinal cortices.

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    Bunce, Jamie G; Zikopoulos, Basilis; Feinberg, Marcia; Barbas, Helen

    2013-12-15

    To investigate how prefrontal cortices impinge on medial temporal cortices we labeled pathways from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and posterior orbitofrontal cortex (pOFC) in rhesus monkeys to compare their relationship with excitatory and inhibitory systems in rhinal cortices. The ACC pathway terminated mostly in areas 28 and 35 with a high proportion of large terminals, whereas the pOFC pathway terminated mostly through small terminals in area 36 and sparsely in areas 28 and 35. Both pathways terminated in all layers. Simultaneous labeling of pathways and distinct neurochemical classes of inhibitory neurons, followed by analyses of appositions of presynaptic and postsynaptic fluorescent signal, or synapses, showed overall predominant association with spines of putative excitatory neurons, but also significant interactions with presumed inhibitory neurons labeled for calretinin, calbindin, or parvalbumin. In the upper layers of areas 28 and 35 the ACC pathway was associated with dendrites of neurons labeled with calretinin, which are thought to disinhibit neighboring excitatory neurons, suggesting facilitated hippocampal access. In contrast, in area 36 pOFC axons were associated with dendrites of calbindin neurons, which are poised to reduce noise and enhance signal. In the deep layers, both pathways innervated mostly dendrites of parvalbumin neurons, which strongly inhibit neighboring excitatory neurons, suggesting gating of hippocampal output to other cortices. These findings suggest that the ACC, associated with attention and context, and the pOFC, associated with emotional valuation, have distinct contributions to memory in rhinal cortices, in processes that are disrupted in psychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Prevention of Noise Damage to Cochlear Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    Assessment of synapse regeneration : Twelve week old CBA/CaJ mice are exposed to a moderate noise that destroys synapses on inner hair cells (IHCs) but spares...result of excitotoxic trauma to cochlear synapses due to glutamate released from the hair cells . Excitotoxic trauma damages the postsynaptic cell by...components ............................................. 12 d) Quantitative analysis of effects of neurotrophic factors on synapse regeneration in vitro

  12. Spontaneous Vesicle Fusion Is Differentially Regulated at Cholinergic and GABAergic Synapses

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    Haowen Liu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The locomotion of C. elegans is balanced by excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter release at neuromuscular junctions. However, the molecular mechanisms that maintain the balance of synaptic transmission remain enigmatic. Here, we investigated the function of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in triggering spontaneous release at cholinergic and GABAergic synapses. Recordings of the miniature excitatory/inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs and mIPSCs, respectively showed that UNC-2/CaV2 and EGL-19/CaV1 channels are the two major triggers for spontaneous release. Notably, however, Ca2+-independent spontaneous release was observed at GABAergic but not cholinergic synapses. Functional screening led to the identification of hypomorphic unc-64/Syntaxin-1A and snb-1/VAMP2 mutants in which mEPSCs are severely impaired, whereas mIPSCs remain unaltered, indicating differential regulation of these currents at cholinergic and GABAergic synapses. Moreover, Ca2+-independent spontaneous GABA release was nearly abolished in the hypomorphic unc-64 and snb-1 mutants, suggesting distinct mechanisms for Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-independent spontaneous release.

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

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    Pennelope K. Blakely

    2015-10-01

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

  14. Visualization by high resolution immunoelectron microscopy of the transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 at inhibitory synapses of the mouse dentate gyrus.

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    Miren-Josune Canduela

    Full Text Available We have recently shown that the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1, a non-selective cation channel in the peripheral and central nervous system, is localized at postsynaptic sites of the excitatory perforant path synapses in the hippocampal dentate molecular layer (ML. In the present work, we have studied the distribution of TRPV1 at inhibitory synapses in the ML. With this aim, a preembedding immunogold method for high resolution electron microscopy was applied to mouse hippocampus. About 30% of the inhibitory synapses in the ML are TRPV1 immunopositive, which is mostly localized perisynaptically (∼60% of total immunoparticles at postsynaptic dendritic membranes receiving symmetric synapses in the inner 1/3 of the layer. This TRPV1 pattern distribution is not observed in the ML of TRPV1 knock-out mice. These findings extend the knowledge of the subcellular localization of TRPV1 to inhibitory synapses of the dentate molecular layer where the channel, in addition to excitatory synapses, is present.

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Spatially restricted actin-regulatory signaling contributes to synapse morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel A.; Cahill, Michael E.; Tulisiak, Christopher T.; Geinisman, Yuri; Penzes, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines is organized into microdomains, but how signaling molecules that regulate actin are spatially governed is incompletely understood. Here we examine how the localization of the RacGEF kalirin-7, a well-characterized regulator of actin in spines, varies as a function of postsynaptic density (PSD) area and spine volume. Using serial section electron microscopy (EM), we find that extrasynaptic, but not synaptic, expression of kalirin-7 varies directly with synapse size and spine volume. Moreover, we find that overall expression levels of kalirin-7 differ in spines bearing perforated and non-perforated synapses, due primarily to extrasynaptic pools of kalirin-7 expression in the former. Overall, our findings indicate that kalirin-7 is differentially compartmentalized in spines as a function of both synapse morphology and spine size. PMID:22458534

  17. Excitatory amino acid transmitters in epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, B S

    1991-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-08-02

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

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

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    Johannes eBill

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill, Johannes; Legenstein, Robert

    2014-01-01

    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 architectures.

  1. 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 MoS 2 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 MoS 2 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.

  2. MET receptor tyrosine kinase controls dendritic complexity, spine morphogenesis, and glutamatergic synapse maturation in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Shenfeng; Lu, Zhongming; Levitt, Pat

    2014-12-03

    The MET receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), implicated in risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in functional and structural circuit integrity in humans, is a temporally and spatially regulated receptor enriched in dorsal pallial-derived structures during mouse forebrain development. Here we report that loss or gain of function of MET in vitro or in vivo leads to changes, opposite in nature, in dendritic complexity, spine morphogenesis, and the timing of glutamatergic synapse maturation onto hippocampus CA1 neurons. Consistent with the morphological and biochemical changes, deletion of Met in mutant mice results in precocious maturation of excitatory synapse, as indicated by a reduction of the proportion of silent synapses, a faster GluN2A subunit switch, and an enhanced acquisition of AMPA receptors at synaptic sites. Thus, MET-mediated signaling appears to serve as a mechanism for controlling the timing of neuronal growth and functional maturation. These studies suggest that mistimed maturation of glutamatergic synapses leads to the aberrant neural circuits that may be associated with ASD risk. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3416166-14$15.00/0.

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

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    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

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

  4. 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.

  5. Inference of topology and the nature of synapses, and the flow of information in neuronal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

    The characterization of neuronal connectivity is one of the most important matters in neuroscience. In this work, we show that a recently proposed informational quantity, the causal mutual information, employed with an appropriate methodology, can be used not only to correctly infer the direction of the underlying physical synapses, but also to identify their excitatory or inhibitory nature, considering easy to handle and measure bivariate time series. The success of our approach relies on a surprising property found in neuronal networks by which nonadjacent neurons do "understand" each other (positive mutual information), however, this exchange of information is not capable of causing effect (zero transfer entropy). Remarkably, inhibitory connections, responsible for enhancing synchronization, transfer more information than excitatory connections, known to enhance entropy in the network. We also demonstrate that our methodology can be used to correctly infer directionality of synapses even in the presence of dynamic and observational Gaussian noise, and is also successful in providing the effective directionality of intermodular connectivity, when only mean fields can be measured.

  6. Muscarinic receptors modulate dendrodendritic inhibitory synapses to sculpt glomerular output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shaolin; Shao, Zuoyi; Puche, Adam; Wachowiak, Matt; Rothermel, Markus; Shipley, Michael T

    2015-04-08

    Cholinergic [acetylcholine (ACh)] axons from the basal forebrain innervate olfactory bulb glomeruli, the initial site of synaptic integration in the olfactory system. Both nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) are expressed in glomeruli. The activation of nAChRs directly excites both mitral/tufted cells (MTCs) and external tufted cells (ETCs), the two major excitatory neurons that transmit glomerular output. The functional roles of mAChRs in glomerular circuits are unknown. We show that the restricted glomerular application of ACh causes rapid, brief nAChR-mediated excitation of both MTCs and ETCs in the mouse olfactory bulb. This excitation is followed by mAChR-mediated inhibition, which is blocked by GABAA receptor antagonists, indicating the engagement of periglomerular cells (PGCs) and/or short axon cells (SACs), the two major glomerular inhibitory neurons. Indeed, selective activation of glomerular mAChRs, with ionotropic GluRs and nAChRs blocked, increased IPSCs in MTCs and ETCs, indicating that mAChRs recruit glomerular inhibitory circuits. Selective activation of glomerular mAChRs in the presence of tetrodotoxin increased IPSCs in all glomerular neurons, indicating action potential-independent enhancement of GABA release from PGC and/or SAC dendrodendritic synapses. mAChR-mediated enhancement of GABA release also presynaptically suppressed the first synapse of the olfactory system via GABAB receptors on sensory terminals. Together, these results indicate that cholinergic modulation of glomerular circuits is biphasic, involving an initial excitation of MTC/ETCs mediated by nAChRs followed by inhibition mediated directly by mAChRs on PGCs/SACs. This may phasically enhance the sensitivity of glomerular outputs to odorants, an action that is consistent with recent in vivo findings. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355680-13$15.00/0.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rancillac, Armelle; Crépel, Francis

    2004-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  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. Astrocytic glutamate transport regulates a Drosophila CNS synapse that lacks astrocyte ensheathment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamee, Sarah E; Liu, Kendra E; Gerhard, Stephan; Tran, Cathy T; Fetter, Richard D; Cardona, Albert; Tolbert, Leslie P; Oland, Lynne A

    2016-07-01

    Anatomical, molecular, and physiological interactions between astrocytes and neuronal synapses regulate information processing in the brain. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable experimental system for genetic manipulation of the nervous system and has enormous potential for elucidating mechanisms that mediate neuron-glia interactions. Here, we show the first electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila astrocytes and characterize their spatial and physiological relationship with particular synapses. Astrocyte intrinsic properties were found to be strongly analogous to those of vertebrate astrocytes, including a passive current-voltage relationship, low membrane resistance, high capacitance, and dye-coupling to local astrocytes. Responses to optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic premotor neurons were correlated directly with anatomy using serial electron microscopy reconstructions of homologous identified neurons and surrounding astrocytic processes. Robust bidirectional communication was present: neuronal activation triggered astrocytic glutamate transport via excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (Eaat1), and blocking Eaat1 extended glutamatergic interneuron-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents in motor neurons. The neuronal synapses were always located within 1 μm of an astrocytic process, but none were ensheathed by those processes. Thus, fly astrocytes can modulate fast synaptic transmission via neurotransmitter transport within these anatomical parameters. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1979-1998, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. A new measure for the strength of electrical synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie S Haas

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Neurobeachin regulates neurotransmitter receptor trafficking to synapses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nair, R.; Lauks, J.; Jung, S; Cooke, N.E.; de Wit, H.; Brose, N.; Kilimann, M.W.; Verhage, M.; Rhee, J.

    2013-01-01

    The surface density of neurotransmitter receptors at synapses is a key determinant of synaptic efficacy. Synaptic receptor accumulation is regulated by the transport, postsynaptic anchoring, and turnover of receptors, involving multiple trafficking, sorting, motor, and scaffold proteins. We found

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sossin, Wayne S

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish

    OpenAIRE

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nocicepti...

  16. Communication, the centrosome and the immunological synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, Jane C; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2014-09-05

    Recent findings on the behaviour of the centrosome at the immunological synapse suggest a critical role for centrosome polarization in controlling the communication between immune cells required to generate an effective immune response. The features observed at the immunological synapse show parallels to centrosome (basal body) polarization seen in cilia and flagella, and the cellular communication that is now known to occur at all of these sites.

  17. Diversity in immunological synapse structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thauland, Timothy J; Parker, David C

    2010-01-01

    Immunological synapses (ISs) are formed at the T cell–antigen-presenting cell (APC) interface during antigen recognition, and play a central role in T-cell activation and in the delivery of effector functions. ISs were originally described as a peripheral ring of adhesion molecules surrounding a central accumulation of T-cell receptor (TCR)–peptide major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) interactions. Although the structure of these ‘classical’ ISs has been the subject of intense study, non-classical ISs have also been observed under a variety of conditions. Multifocal ISs, characterized by adhesion molecules dispersed among numerous small accumulations of TCR–pMHC, and motile ‘immunological kinapses’ have both been described. In this review, we discuss the conditions under which non-classical ISs are formed. Specifically, we explore the profound effect that the phenotypes of both T cells and APCs have on IS structure. We also comment on the role that IS structure may play in T-cell function. PMID:21039474

  18. Excitatory amino acid transporters as potential drug targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-21

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil A. Grajski

    2016-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Anatomical and pharmacological characterization of excitatory amino acid receptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monaghan, D.T.

    1985-01-01

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

  6. Population activity structure of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean R Bittner

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

  7. Population activity structure of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Population activity structure of excitatory and inhibitory neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doiron, Brent

    2017-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Shaping Synapses by the Neural Extracellular Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maura Ferrer-Ferrer

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating data support the importance of interactions between pre- and postsynaptic neuronal elements with astroglial processes and extracellular matrix (ECM for formation and plasticity of chemical synapses, and thus validate the concept of a tetrapartite synapse. Here we outline the major mechanisms driving: (i synaptogenesis by secreted extracellular scaffolding molecules, like thrombospondins (TSPs, neuronal pentraxins (NPs and cerebellins, which respectively promote presynaptic, postsynaptic differentiation or both; (ii maturation of synapses via reelin and integrin ligands-mediated signaling; and (iii regulation of synaptic plasticity by ECM-dependent control of induction and consolidation of new synaptic configurations. Particularly, we focused on potential importance of activity-dependent concerted activation of multiple extracellular proteases, such as ADAMTS4/5/15, MMP9 and neurotrypsin, for permissive and instructive events in synaptic remodeling through localized degradation of perisynaptic ECM and generation of proteolytic fragments as inducers of synaptic plasticity.

  11. Cell Biology of Astrocyte-Synapse Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Nicola J; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-11-01

    Astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the mammalian brain, are critical regulators of brain development and physiology through dynamic and often bidirectional interactions with neuronal synapses. Despite the clear importance of astrocytes for the establishment and maintenance of proper synaptic connectivity, our understanding of their role in brain function is still in its infancy. We propose that this is at least in part due to large gaps in our knowledge of the cell biology of astrocytes and the mechanisms they use to interact with synapses. In this review, we summarize some of the seminal findings that yield important insight into the cellular and molecular basis of astrocyte-neuron communication, focusing on the role of astrocytes in the development and remodeling of synapses. Furthermore, we pose some pressing questions that need to be addressed to advance our mechanistic understanding of the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Simulations of centriole of polarized centrosome as a monopole antenna in immune and viral synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvorak, Josef; Melichar, Bohuslav; Filipova, Alzbeta; Grimova, Jana; Grimova, Nela; Rozsypalova, Aneta; Buka, David; Voboril, Rene; Zapletal, Radek; Buchler, Tomas; Richter, Igor; Buka, David

    2018-01-01

    The immune synapse (IS) is a temporary interface between an antigen-presenting cell and an effector lymphocyte. Viral synapse is a molecularly organized cellular junction that is structurally similar to the IS. Primary cilium is considered as a functional homologue of the IS due to the morphological and functional similarities in architecture between both micotubule structures. It has been hypothesized that endogenous electromagnetic field in the cell is generated by a unique cooperating system between mitochondria and microtubules. We are extending this prior hypothesis of the endogenous electromagnetic field in the cell postulating that polarized centriole in immune and viral synapse could serve as a monopole antenna. This is an addition to our hypothesis that primary cilium could serve as a monopole antenna. We simulated the distribution of electric field of centriole of polarized centrosome as a monopole antenna in immune and viral synapse. Very weak electromagnetic field of polarized centriole of CD8+ T lymphocyte in IS can contribute to the transport of cytolytic granules into the attacked (cancer) cell. Analogically, very weak electromagnetic field of polarized centriole in viral synapse of infected CD4 cells can aid the transport of viruses (human immunodeficiency virus) to non-infected CD4 cells. We hypothesized that healthy organisms need these monopole antennas. If, during the neoplastic transformation, healthy cells lose monopole antennas in form of primary cilia, the IS aims to replace them by monopole antennas of polarized centrioles in IS to restore homeostasis.

  13. Chronic Fluoxetine Induces the Enlargement of Perforant Path-Granule Cell Synapses in the Mouse Dentate Gyrus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitahara, Yosuke; Ohta, Keisuke; Hasuo, Hiroshi; Shuto, Takahide; Kuroiwa, Mahomi; Sotogaku, Naoki; Togo, Akinobu; Nakamura, Kei-ichiro; Nishi, Akinori

    2016-01-01

    A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant for the treatment of major depression. However, the mechanisms underlying the actions of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are not fully understood. In the dentate gyrus, chronic fluoxetine treatment induces increased excitability of mature granule cells (GCs) as well as neurogenesis. The major input to the dentate gyrus is the perforant path axons (boutons) from the entorhinal cortex (layer II). Through voltage-sensitive dye imaging, we found that the excitatory neurotransmission of the perforant path synapse onto the GCs in the middle molecular layer of the mouse dentate gyrus (perforant path-GC synapse) is enhanced after chronic fluoxetine treatment (15 mg/kg/day, 14 days). Therefore, we further examined whether chronic fluoxetine treatment affects the morphology of the perforant path-GC synapse, using FIB/SEM (focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy). A three-dimensional reconstruction of dendritic spines revealed the appearance of extremely large-sized spines after chronic fluoxetine treatment. The large-sized spines had a postsynaptic density with a large volume. However, chronic fluoxetine treatment did not affect spine density. The presynaptic boutons that were in contact with the large-sized spines were large in volume, and the volumes of the mitochondria and synaptic vesicles inside the boutons were correlated with the size of the boutons. Thus, the large-sized perforant path-GC synapse induced by chronic fluoxetine treatment contains synaptic components that correlate with the synapse size and that may be involved in enhanced glutamatergic neurotransmission. PMID:26788851

  14. Wireless synapses in bio-inspired neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannson, Tomasz; Forrester, Thomas; Degrood, Kevin

    2009-05-01

    Wireless (virtual) synapses represent a novel approach to bio-inspired neural networks that follow the infrastructure of the biological brain, except that biological (physical) synapses are replaced by virtual ones based on cellular telephony modeling. Such synapses are of two types: intracluster synapses are based on IR wireless ones, while intercluster synapses are based on RF wireless ones. Such synapses have three unique features, atypical of conventional artificial ones: very high parallelism (close to that of the human brain), very high reconfigurability (easy to kill and to create), and very high plasticity (easy to modify or upgrade). In this paper we analyze the general concept of wireless synapses with special emphasis on RF wireless synapses. Also, biological mammalian (vertebrate) neural models are discussed for comparison, and a novel neural lensing effect is discussed in detail.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Otanps synapse linear relation multiplier circuit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chible, H.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, a four quadrant VLSI analog multiplier will be proposed, in order to be used in the implementation of the neurons and synapses modules of the artificial neural networks. The main characteristics of this multiplier are the small silicon area and the low power consumption and the high value of the weight input voltage. (author)

  18. Intercellular protein-protein interactions at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaofei; Hou, Dongmei; Jiang, Wei; Zhang, Chen

    2014-06-01

    Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions through which neurons send nerve impulses to communicate with other neurons or excitable cells. The appropriate formation of synapses, both spatially and temporally, is essential for brain function and depends on the intercellular protein-protein interactions of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) at synaptic clefts. The CAM proteins link pre- and post-synaptic sites, and play essential roles in promoting synapse formation and maturation, maintaining synapse number and type, accumulating neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels, controlling neuronal differentiation, and even regulating synaptic plasticity directly. Alteration of the interactions of CAMs leads to structural and functional impairments, which results in many neurological disorders, such as autism, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the functions of CAMs during development and in the mature neural system, as well as in the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders. Here, we review the function of the major classes of CAMs, and how dysfunction of CAMs relates to several neurological disorders.

  19. Silent synapses in neuromuscular junction development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Santafé, Manel M; Lanuza, Maria A; García, Neus; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Marta

    2011-01-01

    In the last few years, evidence has been found to suggest that some synaptic contacts become silent but can be functionally recruited before they completely retract during postnatal synapse elimination in muscle. The physiological mechanism of developmental synapse elimination may be better understood by studying this synapse recruitment. This Mini-Review collects previously published data and new results to propose a molecular mechanism for axonal disconnection. The mechanism is based on protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent inhibition of acetylcholine (ACh) release. PKC activity may be stimulated by a methoctramine-sensitive M2-type muscarinic receptor and by calcium inflow though P/Q- and L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels. In addition, tropomyosin-related tyrosine kinase B (trkB) receptor-mediated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity may oppose the PKC-mediated ACh release depression. Thus, a balance between trkB and muscarinic pathways may contribute to the final functional suppression of some neuromuscular synapses during development. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. Neural Activity During The Formation Of A Giant Auditory Synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.C. Sierksma (Martijn)

    2018-01-01

    markdownabstractThe formation of synapses is a critical step in the development of the brain. During this developmental stage neural activity propagates across the brain from synapse to synapse. This activity is thought to instruct the precise, topological connectivity found in the sensory central

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengdong Yuan

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Astrocyte-secreted thrombospondin-1 modulates synapse and spine defects in the fragile X mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Connie; Lau, Sally K M; Doering, Laurie C

    2016-08-02

    Astrocytes are key participants in various aspects of brain development and function, many of which are executed via secreted proteins. Defects in astrocyte signaling are implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by abnormal neural circuitry such as Fragile X syndrome (FXS). In animal models of FXS, the loss in expression of the Fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (FMRP) from astrocytes is associated with delayed dendrite maturation and improper synapse formation; however, the effect of astrocyte-derived factors on the development of neurons is not known. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is an important astrocyte-secreted protein that is involved in the regulation of spine development and synaptogenesis. In this study, we found that cultured astrocytes isolated from an Fmr1 knockout (Fmr1 KO) mouse model of FXS displayed a significant decrease in TSP-1 protein expression compared to the wildtype (WT) astrocytes. Correspondingly, Fmr1 KO hippocampal neurons exhibited morphological deficits in dendritic spines and alterations in excitatory synapse formation following long-term culture. All spine and synaptic abnormalities were prevented in the presence of either astrocyte-conditioned media or a feeder layer derived from FMRP-expressing astrocytes, or following the application of exogenous TSP-1. Importantly, this work demonstrates the integral role of astrocyte-secreted signals in the establishment of neuronal communication and identifies soluble TSP-1 as a potential therapeutic target for Fragile X syndrome.

  4. A Population of Projection Neurons that Inhibits the Lateral Horn but Excites the Antennal Lobe through Chemical Synapses in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazumichi Shimizu

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In the insect olfactory system, odor information is transferred from the antennal lobe (AL to higher brain areas by projection neurons (PNs in multiple AL tracts (ALTs. In several species, one of the ALTs, the mediolateral ALT (mlALT, contains some GABAergic PNs; in the Drosophila brain, the great majority of ventral PNs (vPNs are GABAergic and project through this tract to the lateral horn (LH. Most excitatory PNs (ePNs, project through the medial ALT (mALT to the mushroom body (MB and the LH. Recent studies have shown that GABAergic vPNs play inhibitory roles at their axon terminals in the LH. However, little is known about the properties and functions of vPNs at their dendritic branches in the AL. Here, we used optogenetic and patch clamp techniques to investigate the functional roles of vPNs in the AL. Surprisingly, our results show that specific activation of vPNs reliably elicits strong excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs in ePNs. Moreover, the connections between vPNs and ePNs are mediated by direct chemical synapses. Neither pulses of GABA, nor pharmagological, or genetic blockade of GABAergic transmission gave results consistent with the involvement of GABA in vPN-ePN excitatory transmission. These unexpected results suggest new roles for the vPN population in olfactory information processing.

  5. Defects of the Glycinergic Synapse in Zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogino, Kazutoyo; Hirata, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Glycine mediates fast inhibitory synaptic transmission. Physiological importance of the glycinergic synapse is well established in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In humans, the loss of glycinergic function in the spinal cord and brainstem leads to hyperekplexia, which is characterized by an excess startle reflex to sudden acoustic or tactile stimulation. In addition, glycinergic synapses in this region are also involved in the regulation of respiration and locomotion, and in the nociceptive processing. The importance of the glycinergic synapse is conserved across vertebrate species. A teleost fish, the zebrafish, offers several advantages as a vertebrate model for research of glycinergic synapse. Mutagenesis screens in zebrafish have isolated two motor defective mutants that have pathogenic mutations in glycinergic synaptic transmission: bandoneon (beo) and shocked (sho). Beo mutants have a loss-of-function mutation of glycine receptor (GlyR) β-subunit b, alternatively, sho mutant is a glycinergic transporter 1 (GlyT1) defective mutant. These mutants are useful animal models for understanding of glycinergic synaptic transmission and for identification of novel therapeutic agents for human diseases arising from defect in glycinergic transmission, such as hyperekplexia or glycine encephalopathy. Recent advances in techniques for genome editing and for imaging and manipulating of a molecule or a physiological process make zebrafish more attractive model. In this review, we describe the glycinergic defective zebrafish mutants and the technical advances in both forward and reverse genetic approaches as well as in vivo visualization and manipulation approaches for the study of the glycinergic synapse in zebrafish. PMID:27445686

  6. Synapse:neural network for predict power consumption: users guide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muller, C; Mangeas, M; Perrot, N

    1994-08-01

    SYNAPSE is forecasting tool designed to predict power consumption in metropolitan France on the half hour time scale. Some characteristics distinguish this forecasting model from those which already exist. In particular, it is composed of numerous neural networks. The idea for using many neural networks arises from past tests. These tests showed us that a single neural network is not able to solve the problem correctly. From this result, we decided to perform unsupervised classification of the 24 consumption curves. From this classification, six classes appeared, linked with the weekdays: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and bridge days. For each class and for each half hour, two multilayer perceptrons are built. The two of them forecast the power for one particular half hour, and for a day including one of the determined class. The input of these two network are different: the first one (short time forecasting) includes the powers for the most recent half hour and relative power of the previous day; the second (medium time forecasting) includes only the relative power of the previous day. A process connects the results of every networks and allows one to forecast more than one half-hour in advance. In this process, short time forecasting networks and medium time forecasting networks are used differently. The first kind of neural networks gives good results on the scale of one day. The second one gives good forecasts for the next predicted powers. In this note, the organization of the SYNAPSE program is detailed, and the user`s menu is described. This first version of synapse works and should allow the APC group to evaluate its utility. (authors). 6 refs., 2 appends.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    effect of the endothelium on electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced excitatory responses of pulmonary artery segments from pulmonary hypertensive rats. Methods: Pulmonary hypertension was induced in rats with a single dose of monocrotaline (60 mg/kg) and 21 days later, arterial rings were set up for isometric tension ...

  8. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Diurnal inhibition of NMDA-EPSCs at rat hippocampal mossy fibre synapses through orexin-2 receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perin, Martina; Longordo, Fabio; Massonnet, Christine; Welker, Egbert; Lüthi, Anita

    2014-01-01

    Diurnal release of the orexin neuropeptides orexin-A (Ox-A, hypocretin-1) and orexin-B (Ox-B, hypocretin-2) stabilises arousal, regulates energy homeostasis and contributes to cognition and learning. However, whether cellular correlates of brain plasticity are regulated through orexins, and whether they do so in a time-of-day-dependent manner, has never been assessed. Immunohistochemically we found sparse but widespread innervation of hippocampal subfields through Ox-A- and Ox-B-containing fibres in young adult rats. The actions of Ox-A were studied on NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitatory synaptic transmission in acute hippocampal slices prepared around the trough (Zeitgeber time (ZT) 4–8, corresponding to 4–8 h into the resting phase) and peak (ZT 23) of intracerebroventricular orexin levels. At ZT 4–8, exogenous Ox-A (100 nm in bath) inhibited NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (NMDA-EPSCs) at mossy fibre (MF)–CA3 (to 55.6 ± 6.8% of control, P = 0.0003) and at Schaffer collateral–CA1 synapses (70.8 ± 6.3%, P = 0.013), whereas it remained ineffective at non-MF excitatory synapses in CA3. Ox-A actions were mediated postsynaptically and blocked by the orexin-2 receptor (OX2R) antagonist JNJ10397049 (1 μm), but not by orexin-1 receptor inhibition (SB334867, 1 μm) or by adrenergic and cholinergic antagonists. At ZT 23, inhibitory effects of exogenous Ox-A were absent (97.6 ± 2.9%, P = 0.42), but reinstated (87.2 ± 3.3%, P = 0.002) when endogenous orexin signalling was attenuated for 5 h through i.p. injections of almorexant (100 mg kg−1), a dual orexin receptor antagonist. In conclusion, endogenous orexins modulate hippocampal NMDAR function in a time-of-day-dependent manner, suggesting that they may influence cellular plasticity and consequent variations in memory performance across the sleep–wake cycle. PMID:25085886

  10. Zinc-mediated transactivation of TrkB potentiates the hippocampal mossy fiber-CA3 pyramid synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yang Z; Pan, Enhui; Xiong, Zhi-Qi; McNamara, James O

    2008-02-28

    The receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkB, is critical to diverse functions of the mammalian nervous system in health and disease. Evidence of TrkB activation during epileptogenesis in vivo despite genetic deletion of its prototypic neurotrophin ligands led us to hypothesize that a non-neurotrophin, the divalent cation zinc, can transactivate TrkB. We found that zinc activates TrkB through increasing Src family kinase activity by an activity-regulated mechanism independent of neurotrophins. One subcellular locale at which zinc activates TrkB is the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Exogenous zinc potentiates the efficacy of the hippocampal mossy fiber (mf)-CA3 pyramid synapse by a TrkB-requiring mechanism. Long-term potentiation of this synapse is impaired by deletion of TrkB, inhibition of TrkB kinase activity, and by CaEDTA, a selective chelator of zinc. The activity-dependent activation of synaptic TrkB in a neurotrophin-independent manner provides a mechanism by which this receptor can regulate synaptic plasticity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Mitochondria and Neurotransmission: Evacuating the Synapse

    OpenAIRE

    Hollenbeck, Peter J.

    2005-01-01

    An abundance of mitochondria has been the hallmark of synapses since their first ultrastructural description 50 years ago. Mitochondria have been shown to be essential for synaptic form and function in many systems, but until recently it has not been clear exactly what role(s) they play in neurotransmission. Now, evidence from the nervous system of Drosophila identifies the specific subcellular events that are most dependent upon nearby mitochondria.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Ca(2+) influx and neurotransmitter release at ribbon synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Soyoun; von Gersdorff, Henrique

    2012-01-01

    Ca(2+) influx through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels triggers the release of neurotransmitters at presynaptic terminals. Some sensory receptor cells in the peripheral auditory and visual systems have specialized synapses that express an electron-dense organelle called a synaptic ribbon. Like conventional synapses, ribbon synapses exhibit SNARE-mediated exocytosis, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and short-term plasticity. However, unlike non-ribbon synapses, voltage-gated L-type Ca(2+) channel opening at ribbon synapses triggers a form of multiquantal release that can be highly synchronous. Furthermore, ribbon synapses appear to be specialized for fast and high throughput exocytosis controlled by graded membrane potential changes. Here we will discuss some of the basic aspects of synaptic transmission at different types of ribbon synapses, and we will emphasize recent evidence that auditory and retinal ribbon synapses have marked differences. This will lead us to suggest that ribbon synapses are specialized for particular operating ranges and frequencies of stimulation. We propose that different types of ribbon synapses transfer diverse rates of sensory information by expressing a particular repertoire of critical components, and by placing them at precise and strategic locations, so that a continuous supply of primed vesicles and Ca(2+) influx leads to fast, accurate, and ongoing exocytosis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Sequential dynamics in the motif of excitatory coupled elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korotkov, Alexander G.; Kazakov, Alexey O.; Osipov, Grigory V.

    2015-11-01

    In this article a new model of motif (small ensemble) of neuron-like elements is proposed. It is built with the use of the generalized Lotka-Volterra model with excitatory couplings. The main motivation for this work comes from the problems of neuroscience where excitatory couplings are proved to be the predominant type of interaction between neurons of the brain. In this paper it is shown that there are two modes depending on the type of coupling between the elements: the mode with a stable heteroclinic cycle and the mode with a stable limit cycle. Our second goal is to examine the chaotic dynamics of the generalized three-dimensional Lotka-Volterra model.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Estradiol pretreatment ameliorates impaired synaptic plasticity at synapses of insulted CA1 neurons after transient global ischemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Koichi; Yang, Yupeng; Takayasu, Yukihiro; Gertner, Michael; Hwang, Jee-Yeon; Aromolaran, Kelly; Bennett, Michael V.L.; Zukin, R. Suzanne

    2015-01-01

    Global ischemia in humans or induced experimentally in animals causes selective and delayed neuronal death in pyramidal neurons of the hippocampal CA1. The ovarian hormone estradiol administered before or immediately after insult affords histological protection in experimental models of focal and global ischemia and ameliorates the cognitive deficits associated with ischemic cell death. However, the impact of estradiol on the functional integrity of Schaffer collateral to CA1 (Sch-CA1) pyramidal cell synapses following global ischemia is not clear. Here we show that long term estradiol treatment initiated 14 days prior to global ischemia in ovariectomized female rats acts via the IGF-1 receptor to protect the functional integrity of CA1 neurons. Global ischemia impairs basal synaptic transmission, assessed by the input/output relation at Sch-CA1 synapses, and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long term potentiation (LTP), assessed at 3 days after surgery. Presynaptic function, assessed by fiber volley and paired pulse facilitation, is unchanged. To our knowledge, our results are the first to demonstrate that estradiol at near physiological concentrations enhances basal excitatory synaptic transmission and ameliorates deficits in LTP at synapses onto CA1 neurons in a clinically-relevant model of global ischemia. Estradiol-induced rescue of LTP requires the IGF-1 receptor, but not the classical estrogen receptors (ER)-α or β. These findings support a model whereby estradiol acts via the IGF-1 receptor to maintain the functional integrity of hippocampal CA1 synapses in the face of global ischemia. PMID:25463028

  18. Tourette syndrome and excitatory substances: is there a connection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Li-Ping; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Li-Ping; Zhao, Jian-Bo; Lu, Jin-Fang; Liu, Qun; Wang, Hang-Yan

    2011-05-01

    The objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between excitatory substances by testing the urine in children with Tourette syndrome (TS). We performed a control study involving 44 patients with TS and 44 normal children by investigating the children's daily eating habits. We used the gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer from Agilent. Substances for detection included 197 excitatory substances prohibited by the International Olympic Committee and other substances with similar chemical structures or biological functions for urine samples. Forty-four patients who did not take any drugs in the past 2 weeks enrolled in the study. The positive rate in the experiment group was three cases, while it was negative in the control group. The level of 1-testosterone increased in one extremely severe TS patient who ate large amounts of puffed food and drank an average of 350 ml of cola per day. Cathine and other substances with similar chemical constitution or similar biological effects increased in one severe TS patient who ate bags of instant noodles daily, according to the high score of the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale. An increase in ephedrine type, testosterone, and stimulants may be related to the pathogenesis of TS. Unhealthy food possibly causes TS. The relationship between excitatory substances and TS needs to be explored with the goal of providing more information on diagnosing and treating TS.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracho, H.; Orkand, R. K.

    1970-01-01

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

  1. Bidirectional Signaling of Neuregulin-2 Mediates Formation of GABAergic Synapses and Maturation of Glutamatergic Synapses in Newborn Granule Cells of Postnatal Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyu-Hee; Lee, Hyunsu; Yang, Che Ho; Ko, Jeong-Soon; Park, Chang-Hwan; Woo, Ran-Sook; Kim, Joo Yeon; Sun, Woong; Kim, Joung-Hun; Ho, Won-Kyung; Lee, Suk-Ho

    2015-12-16

    Expression of neuregulin-2 (NRG2) is intense in a few regions of the adult brain where neurogenesis persists; however, little is understood about its role in developments of newborn neurons. To study the role of NRG2 in synaptogenesis at different developmental stages, newborn granule cells in rat hippocampal slice cultures were labeled with retrovirus encoding tetracycline-inducible microRNA targeting NRG2 and treated with doxycycline (Dox) at the fourth or seventh postinfection day (dpi). The developmental increase of GABAergic postsynaptic currents (GPSCs) was suppressed by the early Dox treatment (4 dpi), but not by late treatment (7 dpi). The late Dox treatment was used to study the effect of NRG2 depletion specific to excitatory synaptogenesis. The Dox effect on EPSCs emerged 4 d after the impairment in dendritic outgrowth became evident (10 dpi). Notably, Dox treatment abolished the developmental increases of AMPA-receptor mediated EPSCs and the AMPA/NMDA ratio, indicating impaired maturation of glutamatergic synapses. In contrast to GPSCs, Dox effects on EPSCs and dendritic growth were independent of ErbB4 and rescued by concurrent overexpression of NRG2 intracellular domain. These results suggest that forward signaling of NRG2 mediates GABAergic synaptogenesis and its reverse signaling contributes to dendritic outgrowth and maturation of glutamatergic synapses. The hippocampal dentate gyrus is one of special brain regions where neurogenesis persists throughout adulthood. Synaptogenesis is a critical step for newborn neurons to be integrated into preexisting neural network. Because neuregulin-2 (NRG2), a growth factor, is intensely expressed in these regions, we investigated whether it plays a role in synaptogenesis and dendritic growth. We found that NRG2 has dual roles in the development of newborn neurons. For GABAergic synaptogenesis, the extracellular domain of NRG2 acts as a ligand for a receptor on GABAergic neurons. In contrast, its intracellular

  2. 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.

  3. Communication Breakdown: The Impact of Ageing on Synapse Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Mattson, Mark P.; Yao, Pamela J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired synaptic plasticity is implicated in the functional decline of the nervous system associated with ageing. Understanding the structure of ageing synapses is essential to understanding the functions of these synapses and their role in the ageing nervous system. In this review, we summarize studies on ageing synapses in vertebrates and invertebrates, focusing on changes in morphology and ultrastructure. We cover different parts of the nervous system, including the brain, the retina, the cochlea, and the neuromuscular junction. The morphological characteristics of aged synapses could shed light on the underlying molecular changes and their functional consequences. PMID:24495392

  4. 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.

  5. Fine structure of synapses on dendritic spines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eFrotscher

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Camillo Golgi’s Reazione Nera led to the discovery of dendritic spines, small appendages originating from dendritic shafts. With the advent of electron microscopy (EM they were identified as sites of synaptic contact. Later it was found that changes in synaptic strength were associated with changes in the shape of dendritic spines. While live-cell imaging was advantageous in monitoring the time course of such changes in spine structure, EM is still the best method for the simultaneous visualization of all cellular components, including actual synaptic contacts, at high resolution. Immunogold labeling for EM reveals the precise localization of molecules in relation to synaptic structures. Previous EM studies of spines and synapses were performed in tissue subjected to aldehyde fixation and dehydration in ethanol, which is associated with protein denaturation and tissue shrinkage. It has remained an issue to what extent fine structural details are preserved when subjecting the tissue to these procedures. In the present review, we report recent studies on the fine structure of spines and synapses using high-pressure freezing (HPF, which avoids protein denaturation by aldehydes and results in an excellent preservation of ultrastructural detail. In these studies, HPF was used to monitor subtle fine-structural changes in spine shape associated with chemically induced long-term potentiation (cLTP at identified hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. Changes in spine shape result from reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. We report that cLTP was associated with decreased immunogold labeling for phosphorylated cofilin (p-cofilin, an actin-depolymerizing protein. Phosphorylation of cofilin renders it unable to depolymerize F-actin, which stabilizes the actin cytoskeleton. Decreased levels of p-cofilin, in turn, suggest increased actin turnover, possibly underlying the changes in spine shape associated with cLTP. The findings reviewed here establish HPF as

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith P. Johnson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 field surround, PixON-RGCs receive only inhibitory input, which is temporally matched to the excitatory center input. As a result, the firing rate of PixON-RGCs linearly encodes local image contrast. Spatially offset (i.e., truly lateral inhibition of PixON-RGCs arises from spiking GABAergic amacrine cells. The receptive field organization of PixON-RGCs is independent of stimulus wavelength (i.e., achromatic. PixON-RGCs project predominantly to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN of the thalamus and likely contribute to visual perception.

  7. Biochemistry of an olfactory purinergic system: dephosphorylation of excitatory nucleotides and uptake of adenosine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trapido-Rosenthal, H G; Carr, W E; Gleeson, R A

    1987-10-01

    The olfactory organ of the spiny lobster, Panulirus argus, is composed of chemosensory sensilla containing the dendrites of primary chemosensory neurons. Receptors on these dendrites are activated by the nucleotides AMP, ADP, and ATP but not by the nucleoside adenosine. It is shown here that the lobster chemosensory sensilla contain enzymes that dephosphorylate excitatory nucleotides and an uptake system that internalizes the nonexcitatory dephosphorylated product adenosine. The uptake of (/sup 3/H)-adenosine is saturable with increasing concentration, linear with time for up to 3 h, sodium dependent, insensitive to moderate pH changes and has a Km of 7.1 microM and a Vmax of 5.2 fmol/sensillum/min (573 fmol/micrograms of protein/min). Double-label experiments show that sensilla dephosphorylate nucleotides extracellularly; /sup 3/H from adenine-labeled AMP or ATP is internalized, whereas 32P from phosphate-labeled nucleotides is not. The dephosphorylation of AMP is very rapid; /sup 3/H from AMP is internalized at the same rate as /sup 3/H from adenosine. Sensillar 5'-ectonucleotidase activity is inhibited by ADP and the ADP analog alpha, beta-methylene ADP. Collectively, these results indicate that the enzymes and the uptake system whereby chemosensory sensilla of the lobster inactivate excitatory nucleotides and clear adenosine from extracellular spaces are very similar to those present in the internal tissues of vertebrates, where nucleotides have many neuroactive effects.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Excitatory amino acids in epilepsy and potential novel therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, B S

    1992-07-01

    Evidence that an abnormality of excitatory neurotransmission may contribute to the epileptic phenomena in various animal and human syndromes is reviewed. Altered glutamate transport or metabolism may be a contributory factor in some genetic syndromes and enhanced responsiveness to activation of NMDA receptors may be significant in various acquired forms of epilepsy. Decreasing glutamatergic neurotransmission provides a rational therapeutic approach to epilepsy. Potent anticonvulsant effects are seen with the acute administration of NMDA antagonists in a wide range of animal models. Some competitive antagonists acting at the NMDA/glutamate site show prolonged anticonvulsant activity following oral administration at doses free of motor side effects and appear suitable for clinical trial.

  11. A Role for Excitatory Amino Acids in Diabetic Eye Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose E. Pulido

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of vision loss. The primary clinical hallmarks are vascular changes that appear to contribute to the loss of sight. In a number of neurodegenerative disorders there is an appreciation that increased levels of excitatory amino acids are excitotoxic. The primary amino acid responsible appears to be the neurotransmitter glutamate. This review examines the nature of glutamatergic signaling at the retina and the growing evidence from clinical and animal model studies that glutamate may be playing similar excitotoxic roles at the diabetic retina.

  12. Cell adhesion and matricellular support by astrocytes of the tripartite synapse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hillen, Anne E J; Burbach, J Peter H; Hol, Elly M

    2018-01-01

    Astrocytes contribute to the formation, function, and plasticity of synapses. Their processes enwrap the neuronal components of the tripartite synapse, and due to this close interaction they are perfectly positioned to modulate neuronal communication. The interaction between astrocytes and synapses

  13. 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.

  14. The neuregulin receptor ErbB-4 interacts with PDZ-containing proteins at neuronal synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Rolando A. G.; Vasudevan, Kuzhalini; Buonanno, Andres

    2000-01-01

    Neuregulins regulate the expression of ligand- and voltage-gated channels in neurons and skeletal muscle by the activation of their cognate tyrosine kinase receptors, ErbB 1–4. The subcellular distribution and mechanisms that regulate the localization of ErbB receptors are unknown. We have found that ErbB receptors are present in brain subcellular fractions enriched for postsynaptic densities (PSD). The ErbB-4 receptor is unique among the ErbB proteins because its C-terminal tail (T-V-V) conforms to a sequence that binds to a protein motif known as the PDZ domain. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we found that the C-terminal region of ErbB-4 interacts with the three related membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs) PSD-95/SAP90, PSD-93/chapsyn-110, and SAP 102, which harbor three PDZ domains, as well as with β2-syntrophin, which has a single PDZ domain. As with N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, ErbB4 interacts with the first two PDZ domains of PSD-95. Using coimmunoprecipitation assays, we confirmed the direct interactions between ErbB-4 and PSD-95 in transfected heterologous cells, as well as in vivo, where both proteins are coimmunoprecipitated from brain lysates. Moreover, evidence for colocalization of these proteins was also observed by immunofluorescence in cultured hippocampal neurons. ErbB-4 colocalizes with PSD-95 and NMDA receptors at a subset of excitatory synapses apposed to synaptophysin-positive presynaptic terminals. The capacity of ErbB receptors to interact with PDZ-domain proteins at cell junctions is conserved from invertebrates to mammals. As discussed, the interactions found between receptor tyrosine kinases and MAGUKs at neuronal synapses may have important implications for activity-dependent plasticity. PMID:10725395

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...... absent from the center of the mature synapse. Understanding the role of such extensive membrane ruffling in the assembly of cytolytic synapses is an intriguing new goal....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Recruitment of activation receptors at inhibitory NK cell immune synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Schleinitz

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Natural killer (NK cell activation receptors accumulate by an actin-dependent process at cytotoxic immune synapses where they provide synergistic signals that trigger NK cell effector functions. In contrast, NK cell inhibitory receptors, including members of the MHC class I-specific killer cell Ig-like receptor (KIR family, accumulate at inhibitory immune synapses, block actin dynamics, and prevent actin-dependent phosphorylation of activation receptors. Therefore, one would predict inhibition of actin-dependent accumulation of activation receptors when inhibitory receptors are engaged. By confocal imaging of primary human NK cells in contact with target cells expressing physiological ligands of NK cell receptors, we show here that this prediction is incorrect. Target cells included a human cell line and transfected Drosophila insect cells that expressed ligands of NK cell activation receptors in combination with an MHC class I ligand of inhibitory KIR. The two NK cell activation receptors CD2 and 2B4 accumulated and co-localized with KIR at inhibitory immune synapses. In fact, KIR promoted CD2 and 2B4 clustering, as CD2 and 2B4 accumulated more efficiently at inhibitory synapses. In contrast, accumulation of KIR and of activation receptors at inhibitory synapses correlated with reduced density of the integrin LFA-1. These results imply that inhibitory KIR does not prevent CD2 and 2B4 signaling by blocking their accumulation at NK cell immune synapses, but by blocking their ability to signal within inhibitory synapses.

  20. A shared synapse architecture for efficient FPGA implementation of autoencoders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Akihiro; Morie, Takashi; Tamukoh, Hakaru

    2018-01-01

    This paper proposes a shared synapse architecture for autoencoders (AEs), and implements an AE with the proposed architecture as a digital circuit on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). In the proposed architecture, the values of the synapse weights are shared between the synapses of an input and a hidden layer, and between the synapses of a hidden and an output layer. This architecture utilizes less of the limited resources of an FPGA than an architecture which does not share the synapse weights, and reduces the amount of synapse modules used by half. For the proposed circuit to be implemented into various types of AEs, it utilizes three kinds of parameters; one to change the number of layers' units, one to change the bit width of an internal value, and a learning rate. By altering a network configuration using these parameters, the proposed architecture can be used to construct a stacked AE. The proposed circuits are logically synthesized, and the number of their resources is determined. Our experimental results show that single and stacked AE circuits utilizing the proposed shared synapse architecture operate as regular AEs and as regular stacked AEs. The scalability of the proposed circuit and the relationship between the bit widths and the learning results are also determined. The clock cycles of the proposed circuits are formulated, and this formula is used to estimate the theoretical performance of the circuit when the circuit is used to construct arbitrary networks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aristizabal, F; Glavinovic, M I

    2003-10-01

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

  2. IGF-1 Receptor Differentially Regulates Spontaneous and Evoked Transmission via Mitochondria at Hippocampal Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazit, Neta; Vertkin, Irena; Shapira, Ilana; Helm, Martin; Slomowitz, Edden; Sheiba, Maayan; Mor, Yael; Rizzoli, Silvio; Slutsky, Inna

    2016-01-01

    Summary The insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) signaling is a key regulator of lifespan, growth, and development. While reduced IGF-1R signaling delays aging and Alzheimer’s disease progression, whether and how it regulates information processing at central synapses remains elusive. Here, we show that presynaptic IGF-1Rs are basally active, regulating synaptic vesicle release and short-term plasticity in excitatory hippocampal neurons. Acute IGF-1R blockade or transient knockdown suppresses spike-evoked synaptic transmission and presynaptic cytosolic Ca2+ transients, while promoting spontaneous transmission and resting Ca2+ level. This dual effect on transmitter release is mediated by mitochondria that attenuate Ca2+ buffering in the absence of spikes and decrease ATP production during spiking activity. We conclude that the mitochondria, activated by IGF-1R signaling, constitute a critical regulator of information processing in hippocampal neurons by maintaining evoked-to-spontaneous transmission ratio, while constraining synaptic facilitation at high frequencies. Excessive IGF-1R tone may contribute to hippocampal hyperactivity associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Video Abstract PMID:26804996

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Evidence for presynaptically silent synapses in the immature hippocampus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoon, Jae Young; Choi, Sukwoo

    2017-01-01

    Silent synapses show NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses, but not AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses. A prevailing hypothesis states that silent synapses contain NMDARs, but not AMPARs. However, alternative presynaptic hypotheses, according to which AMPARs are present at silent synapses, have been proposed; silent synapses show slow glutamate release via a fusion pore, and glutamate spillover from the neighboring synaptic terminals. Consistent with these presynaptic hypotheses, the peak glutamate concentrations at silent synapses have been estimated to be ≪170 μM, much lower than those seen at functional synapses. Glutamate transients predicted based on the two presynaptic mechanisms have been shown to activate only high-affinity NMDARs, but not low-affinity AMPARs. Interestingly, a previous study has developed a new approach to distinguish between the two presynaptic mechanisms using dextran, an inert macromolecule that reduces the diffusivity of released glutamate: postsynaptic responses through the fusion pore mechanism, but not through the spillover mechanism, are potentiated by reduced glutamate diffusivity. Therefore, we reasoned that if the fusion pore mechanism underlies silent synapses, dextran application would reveal AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses at silent synapses. In the present study, we recorded AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses at the CA3-CA1 synapses in neonatal rats in the presence of blockers for NMDARs and GABAARs. Bath application of dextran revealed synaptic responses at silent synapses. GYKI53655, a selective AMPAR-antagonist, completely inhibited the unsilenced synaptic responses, indicating that the unsilenced synaptic responses are mediated by AMPARs. The dextran-mediated reduction in glutamate diffusivity would also lead to the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which might induce unsilencing via the activation of unknown intracellular signaling. Hence, we determined whether mGluR-blockers alter

  5. The immunological synapse: a focal point for endocytosis and exocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Gillian M; Tsun, Andy; Stinchcombe, Jane C

    2010-05-03

    There are many different cells in the immune system. To mount an effective immune response, they need to communicate with each other. One way in which this is done is by the formation of immunological synapses between cells. Recent developments show that the immune synapse serves as a focal point for exocytosis and endocytosis, directed by centrosomal docking at the plasma membrane. In this respect, formation of the immunological synapse bears striking similarities to cilia formation and cytokinesis. These intriguing observations suggest that the centrosome may play a conserved role in designating a specialized area of membrane for localized endocytosis and exocytosis.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrogiuseppe, Francesca; Ostojic, Srdjan

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Advances in synapse formation: forging connections in the worm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherra, Salvatore J; Jin, Yishi

    2015-01-01

    Synapse formation is the quintessential process by which neurons form specific connections with their targets to enable the development of functional circuits. Over the past few decades, intense research efforts have identified thousands of proteins that localize to the pre- and postsynaptic compartments. Genetic dissection has provided important insights into the nexus of the molecular and cellular network, and has greatly advanced our knowledge about how synapses form and function physiologically. Moreover, recent studies have highlighted the complex regulation of synapse formation with the identification of novel mechanisms involving cell interactions from non-neuronal sources. In this review, we cover the conserved pathways required for synaptogenesis and place specific focus on new themes of synapse modulation arising from studies in Caenorhabditis elegans. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Silent Synapse-Based Circuitry Remodeling in Drug Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yan

    2016-05-01

    Exposure to cocaine, and likely other drugs of abuse, generates α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor-silent glutamatergic synapses in the nucleus accumbens. These immature synaptic contacts evolve after drug withdrawal to redefine the neurocircuital properties. These results raise at least three critical questions: (1) what are the molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced generation of silent synapses; (2) how are neurocircuits remodeled upon generation and evolution of drug-generated silent synapses; and (3) what behavioral consequences are produced by silent synapse-based circuitry remodeling? This short review analyzes related experimental results, and extends them to some speculations. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  10. Changes in rat hippocampal CA1 synapses following imipramine treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity in hippocampus is hypothesized to play an important role in both the pathophysiology of depressive disorders and the treatment. In this study, we investigated the consequences of imipramine treatment on neuroplasticity (including neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and remodelling...... 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...

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabouri, Nawal; Haverkamp, Silke

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown the importance of calcium channels in the development and/or maturation of synapses. The Ca(V)1.4(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(V)1.4(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(V)1.4 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(V)1.4 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(V)1.4 channel, photoreceptor synapses remain immature and are unable to stabilize.

  13. Transglial transmission at the dorsal root ganglion sandwich synapse: glial cell to postsynaptic neuron communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanski, Gabriela M; Li, Qi; Stanley, Elise F

    2013-04-01

    The dorsal root ganglion (DRG) contains a subset of closely-apposed neuronal somata (NS) separated solely by a thin satellite glial cell (SGC) membrane septum to form an NS-glial cell-NS trimer. We recently reported that stimulation of one NS with an impulse train triggers a delayed, noisy and long-lasting response in its NS pair via a transglial signaling pathway that we term a 'sandwich synapse' (SS). Transmission could be unidirectional or bidirectional and facilitated in response to a second stimulus train. We have shown that in chick or rat SS the NS-to-SGC leg of the two-synapse pathway is purinergic via P2Y2 receptors but the second SGC-to-NS synapse mechanism remained unknown. A noisy evoked current in the target neuron, a reversal potential close to 0 mV, and insensitivity to calcium scavengers or G protein block favored an ionotropic postsynaptic receptor. Selective block by D-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (AP5) implicated glutamatergic transmission via N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. This agent also blocked NS responses evoked by puff of UTP, a P2Y2 agonist, directly onto the SGC cell, confirming its action at the second synapse of the SS transmission pathway. The N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor NR2B subunit was implicated by block of transmission with ifenprodil and by its immunocytochemical localization to the NS membrane, abutting the glial septum P2Y2 receptor. Isolated DRG cell clusters exhibited daisy-chain and branching NS-glial cell-NS contacts, suggestive of a network organization within the ganglion. The identification of the glial-to-neuron transmitter and receptor combination provides further support for transglial transmission and completes the DRG SS molecular transmission pathway. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Age-related decreased inhibitory vs. excitatory gene expression in the adult autistic brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Lagemaat, Louie N; Nijhof, Bonnie; Bosch, Daniëlle G M; Kohansal-Nodehi, Mahdokht; Keerthikumar, Shivakumar; Heimel, J.A.

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted behavior and interests. A disruption in the balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission has been hypothesized to underlie these disorders. Here

  15. Degree of synchronization modulated by inhibitory neurons in clustered excitatory-inhibitory recurrent networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Huiyan; Sun, Xiaojuan; Xiao, Jinghua

    2018-01-01

    An excitatory-inhibitory recurrent neuronal network is established to numerically study the effect of inhibitory neurons on the synchronization degree of neuronal systems. The obtained results show that, with the number of inhibitory neurons and the coupling strength from an inhibitory neuron to an excitatory neuron increasing, inhibitory neurons can not only reduce the synchronization degree when the synchronization degree of the excitatory population is initially higher, but also enhance it when it is initially lower. Meanwhile, inhibitory neurons could also help the neuronal networks to maintain moderate synchronized states. In this paper, we call this effect as modulation effect of inhibitory neurons. With the obtained results, it is further revealed that the ratio of excitatory neurons to inhibitory neurons being nearly 4 : 1 is an economic and affordable choice for inhibitory neurons to realize this modulation effect.

  16. Elementary properties of Ca(2+) channels and their influence on multivesicular release and phase-locking at auditory hair cell ribbon synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistretti, Jacopo; Spaiardi, Paolo; Johnson, Stuart L; Masetto, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-gated calcium (Cav1.3) channels in mammalian inner hair cells (IHCs) open in response to sound and the resulting Ca(2+) entry triggers the release of the neurotransmitter glutamate onto afferent terminals. At low to mid sound frequencies cell depolarization follows the sound sinusoid and pulses of transmitter release from the hair cell generate excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in the afferent fiber that translate into a phase-locked pattern of action potential activity. The present article summarizes our current understanding on the elementary properties of single IHC Ca(2+) channels, and how these could have functional implications for certain, poorly understood, features of synaptic transmission at auditory hair cell ribbon synapses.

  17. Elementary properties of Ca2+ channels and their influence on multivesicular release and phase-locking at auditory hair cell ribbon synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistretti, Jacopo; Spaiardi, Paolo; Johnson, Stuart L.; Masetto, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-gated calcium (Cav1.3) channels in mammalian inner hair cells (IHCs) open in response to sound and the resulting Ca2+ entry triggers the release of the neurotransmitter glutamate onto afferent terminals. At low to mid sound frequencies cell depolarization follows the sound sinusoid and pulses of transmitter release from the hair cell generate excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in the afferent fiber that translate into a phase-locked pattern of action potential activity. The present article summarizes our current understanding on the elementary properties of single IHC Ca2+ channels, and how these could have functional implications for certain, poorly understood, features of synaptic transmission at auditory hair cell ribbon synapses. PMID:25904847

  18. Dynamic mobility of functional GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Philip; Mortensen, Martin; Hosie, Alastair M; Smart, Trevor G

    2005-07-01

    Importing functional GABAA receptors into synapses is fundamental for establishing and maintaining inhibitory transmission and for controlling neuronal excitability. By introducing a binding site for an irreversible inhibitor into the GABAA receptor alpha1 subunit channel lining region that can be accessed only when the receptor is activated, we have determined the dynamics of receptor mobility between synaptic and extrasynaptic locations in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We demonstrate that the cell surface GABAA receptor population shows no fast recovery after irreversible inhibition. In contrast, after selective inhibition, the synaptic receptor population rapidly recovers by the import of new functional entities within minutes. The trafficking pathways that promote rapid importation of synaptic receptors do not involve insertion from intracellular pools, but reflect receptor diffusion within the plane of the membrane. This process offers the synapse a rapid mechanism to replenish functional GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses and a means to control synaptic efficacy.

  19. Neuromorphic function learning with carbon nanotube based synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gacem, Karim; Filoramo, Arianna; Derycke, Vincent; Retrouvey, Jean-Marie; Chabi, Djaafar; Zhao, Weisheng; Klein, Jacques-Olivier

    2013-01-01

    The principle of using nanoscale memory devices as artificial synapses in neuromorphic circuits is recognized as a promising way to build ground-breaking circuit architectures tolerant to defects and variability. Yet, actual experimental demonstrations of the neural network type of circuits based on non-conventional/non-CMOS memory devices and displaying function learning capabilities remain very scarce. We show here that carbon-nanotube-based memory elements can be used as artificial synapses, combined with conventional neurons and trained to perform functions through the application of a supervised learning algorithm. The same ensemble of eight devices can notably be trained multiple times to code successively any three-input linearly separable Boolean logic function despite device-to-device variability. This work thus represents one of the very few demonstrations of actual function learning with synapses based on nanoscale building blocks. The potential of such an approach for the parallel learning of multiple and more complex functions is also evaluated. (paper)

  20. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2009-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Intracortical inhibitory and excitatory circuits in subjects with minimal hepatic encephalopathy: a TMS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nardone, Raffaele; De Blasi, Pierpaolo; Höller, Yvonne; Brigo, Francesco; Golaszewski, Stefan; Frey, Vanessa N; Orioli, Andrea; Trinka, Eugen

    2016-10-01

    Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is the earliest form of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and affects up to 80 % of patients with liver cirrhosis. By definition, MHE is characterized by psychomotor slowing and subtle cognitive deficits,  but obvious clinical manifestations are lacking. Given its covert nature, MHE is often underdiagnosed. This study was aimed at detecting neurophysiological changes, as assessed by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), involved in the early pathogenesis of the HE. We investigated motor cortex excitability in 15 patients with MHE and in 15 age-matched age-matched cirrhotic patients without MHE; the resting motor threshold, the short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and the intracortical facilitation (ICF) were examined. Paired-pulse TMS revealed significant increased SICI and reduced ICF in the patients with MHE. These findings may reflect abnormalities in intrinsic brain activity and altered organization of functional connectivity networks. In particular, the results suggest a shift in the balance between intracortical inhibitory and excitatory mechanisms towards a net increase of inhibitory neurotransmission. Together with other neurophysiological (in particular EEG) and neuroimaging techniques, TMS may thus provide early markers of cerebral dysfunction in cirrhotic patients with MHE.

  4. 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

  5. Ultralow power artificial synapses using nanotextured magnetic Josephson junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Michael L.; Donnelly, Christine A.; Russek, Stephen E.; Baek, Burm; Pufall, Matthew R.; Hopkins, Peter F.; Dresselhaus, Paul D.; Benz, Samuel P.; Rippard, William H.

    2018-01-01

    Neuromorphic computing promises to markedly improve the efficiency of certain computational tasks, such as perception and decision-making. Although software and specialized hardware implementations of neural networks have made tremendous accomplishments, both implementations are still many orders of magnitude less energy efficient than the human brain. We demonstrate a new form of artificial synapse based on dynamically reconfigurable superconducting Josephson junctions with magnetic nanoclusters in the barrier. The spiking energy per pulse varies with the magnetic configuration, but in our demonstration devices, the spiking energy is always less than 1 aJ. This compares very favorably with the roughly 10 fJ per synaptic event in the human brain. Each artificial synapse is composed of a Si barrier containing Mn nanoclusters with superconducting Nb electrodes. The critical current of each synapse junction, which is analogous to the synaptic weight, can be tuned using input voltage spikes that change the spin alignment of Mn nanoclusters. We demonstrate synaptic weight training with electrical pulses as small as 3 aJ. Further, the Josephson plasma frequencies of the devices, which determine the dynamical time scales, all exceed 100 GHz. These new artificial synapses provide a significant step toward a neuromorphic platform that is faster, more energy-efficient, and thus can attain far greater complexity than has been demonstrated with other technologies. PMID:29387787

  6. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen E Flores

    2014-10-01

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

  8. Cell Adhesion, the Backbone of the Synapse: “Vertebrate” and “Invertebrate” Perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    Giagtzoglou, Nikolaos; Ly, Cindy V.; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2009-01-01

    Synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions that mediate neuronal communication. The number, type, and connectivity patterns of synapses determine the formation, maintenance, and function of neural circuitries. The complexity and specificity of synaptogenesis relies upon modulation of adhesive properties, which regulate contact initiation, synapse formation, maturation, and functional plasticity. Disruption of adhesion may result in structural and functional imbalance that may lead to neu...

  9. Treating the Synapse in Major Psychiatric Disorders: The Role of Postsynaptic Density Network in Dopamine-Glutamate Interplay and Psychopharmacologic Drugs Molecular Actions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmine Tomasetti

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine-glutamate interplay dysfunctions have been suggested as pathophysiological key determinants of major psychotic disorders, above all schizophrenia and mood disorders. For the most part, synaptic interactions between dopamine and glutamate signaling pathways take part in the postsynaptic density, a specialized ultrastructure localized under the membrane of glutamatergic excitatory synapses. Multiple proteins, with the role of adaptors, regulators, effectors, and scaffolds compose the postsynaptic density network. They form structural and functional crossroads where multiple signals, starting at membrane receptors, are received, elaborated, integrated, and routed to appropriate nuclear targets. Moreover, transductional pathways belonging to different receptors may be functionally interconnected through postsynaptic density molecules. Several studies have demonstrated that psychopharmacologic drugs may differentially affect the expression and function of postsynaptic genes and proteins, depending upon the peculiar receptor profile of each compound. Thus, through postsynaptic network modulation, these drugs may induce dopamine-glutamate synaptic remodeling, which is at the basis of their long-term physiologic effects. In this review, we will discuss the role of postsynaptic proteins in dopamine-glutamate signals integration, as well as the peculiar impact of different psychotropic drugs used in clinical practice on postsynaptic remodeling, thereby trying to point out the possible future molecular targets of “synapse-based” psychiatric therapeutic strategies.

  10. 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%.

  11. Analog Memristive Synapse in Spiking Networks Implementing Unsupervised Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covi, Erika; Brivio, Stefano; Serb, Alexander; Prodromakis, Themis; Fanciulli, Marco; Spiga, Sabina

    2016-01-01

    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 HfO 2 -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 images are displayed and it is robust to a device-to-device variability of up to ±30%.

  12. 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.

  13. IL-1 receptor accessory protein-like 1 associated with mental retardation and autism mediates synapse formation by trans-synaptic interaction with protein tyrosine phosphatase δ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Tomoyuki; Yasumura, Misato; Uemura, Takeshi; Lee, Sung-Jin; Ra, Moonjin; Taguchi, Ryo; Iwakura, Yoichiro; Mishina, Masayoshi

    2011-09-21

    Mental retardation (MR) and autism are highly heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders. IL-1-receptor accessory protein-like 1 (IL1RAPL1) is responsible for nonsyndromic MR and is associated with autism. Thus, the elucidation of the functional role of IL1RAPL1 will contribute to our understanding of the pathogenesis of these mental disorders. Here, we showed that knockdown of endogenous IL1RAPL1 in cultured cortical neurons suppressed the accumulation of punctate staining signals for active zone protein Bassoon and decreased the number of dendritic protrusions. Consistently, the expression of IL1RAPL1 in cultured neurons stimulated the accumulation of Bassoon and spinogenesis. The extracellular domain (ECD) of IL1RAPL1 was required and sufficient for the presynaptic differentiation-inducing activity, while both the ECD and cytoplasmic domain were essential for the spinogenic activity. Notably, the synaptogenic activity of IL1RAPL1 was specific for excitatory synapses. Furthermore, we identified presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) δ as a major IL1RAPL1-ECD interacting protein by affinity chromatography. IL1RAPL1 interacted selectively with certain forms of PTPδ splice variants carrying mini-exon peptides in Ig-like domains. The synaptogenic activity of IL1RAPL1 was abolished in primary neurons from PTPδ knock-out mice. IL1RAPL1 showed robust synaptogenic activity in vivo when transfected into the cortical neurons of wild-type mice but not in PTPδ knock-out mice. These results suggest that IL1RAPL1 mediates synapse formation through trans-synaptic interaction with PTPδ. Our findings raise an intriguing possibility that the impairment of synapse formation may underlie certain forms of MR and autism as a common pathogenic pathway shared by these mental disorders.

  14. 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.

  15. Role for excitatory amino acids in methamphetamine-induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonsalla, P K; Nicklas, W J; Heikkila, R E

    1989-01-20

    The systemic administration of either methamphetamine or 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) to experimental animals produces degenerative changes in nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons or their axon terminals. This study was conducted to determine if excitatory amino acids, which appear to be involved in various neurodegenerative disorders, might also contribute to the dopaminergic neurotoxicity produced in mice by either methamphetamine or MPTP. MK-801, phencyclidine, and ketamine, noncompetitive antagonists of one subtype of excitatory amino acid receptor, the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, provided substantial protection against neurotoxicity produced by methamphetamine but not that produced by MPTP. These findings indicate that excitatory amino acids play an important role in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic damage induced by methamphetamine.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caldeira, Vanessa; Dougherty, Kimberly J.; Borgius, Lotta

    2017-01-01

    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...... 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....... 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Bistability Analysis of Excitatory-Inhibitory Neural Networks in Limited-Sustained-Activity Regime

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ni Yun; Wu Liang; Wu Dan; Zhu Shiqun

    2011-01-01

    Bistable behavior of neuronal complex networks is investigated in the limited-sustained-activity regime when the network is composed of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. The standard stability analysis is performed on the two metastable states separately. Both theoretical analysis and numerical simulations show consistently that the difference between time scales of excitatory and inhibitory populations can influence the dynamical behaviors of the neuronal networks dramatically, leading to the transition from bistable behaviors with memory effects to the collapse of bistable behaviors. These results may suggest one possible neuronal information processing by only tuning time scales. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Interlaminar and lateral excitatory amino acid connections in the striate cortex of monkey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kisvarday, Z.F.; Cowey, A.; Smith, A.D.; Somogyi, P.

    1989-01-01

    The intrinsic excitatory amino acid pathways within the striate cortex of monkeys were studied by autoradiographic detection of retrogradely labeled somata following microinjections of D-3H-aspartate (D-3H-Asp) into different layers. The labeled amino acid was selectively accumulated by subpopulations of neurons and, to a small extent, by glial cells, the latter mainly in the supragranular layers. Immunocytochemical detection of neurons containing GABA showed that, apart from a few cells exclusively in layer I, GABAergic neurons do not accumulate D-3H-Asp. Several lines of evidence suggest that D-3H-Asp uptake occurred only at nerve terminals; thus, the pattern of perikaryal labeling allowed the delineation of interlaminar and lateral projections. Neurons in layer I probably project laterally, and layer I receives wide-ranging projections from layer IVB and layer V from cells up to 1300 microns laterally. Some neurons in layer II send a focused projection to lower layer VI. Some neurons in layers II/III project up to 1 mm laterally within their own layer, but relatively few neurons can be labeled in these projections. Similarly, in layers II/III few neurons can be retrogradely labeled from layers V and upper VI, and this projection is organized such that cells closer to the pia project deeper in layer V/VI. The connections of layer IVA could not be revealed separately because of the difficulty of confining injections to this thin sublamina. Neurons in layer IVB project up to 1300 microns within IVB itself. A small number of cells from IVB also project to layers III, IVC-alpha, V, and VI with much more restricted lateral spread. Neurons in upper IVC-alpha send axons to layer IVB with at least 600-800 microns lateral spread. Neurons in lower IVC-alpha/upper IVC-beta project to layer III with at least 300-500 microns lateral spread

  1. Role of cyclooxygenase isoforms in the altered excitatory motor pathways of human colon with diverticular disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornai, M; Colucci, R; Antonioli, L; Ippolito, C; Segnani, C; Buccianti, P; Marioni, A; Chiarugi, M; Villanacci, V; Bassotti, G; Blandizzi, C; Bernardini, N

    2014-08-01

    The COX isoforms (COX-1, COX-2) regulate human gut motility, although their role under pathological conditions remains unclear. This study examines the effects of COX inhibitors on excitatory motility in colonic tissue from patients with diverticular disease (DD). Longitudinal muscle preparations, from patients with DD or uncomplicated cancer (controls), were set up in organ baths and connected to isotonic transducers. Indomethacin (COX-1/COX-2 inhibitor), SC-560 (COX-1 inhibitor) or DFU (COX-2 inhibitor) were assayed on electrically evoked, neurogenic, cholinergic and tachykininergic contractions, or carbachol- and substance P (SP)-induced myogenic contractions. Distribution and expression of COX isoforms in the neuromuscular compartment were assessed by RT-PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis. In control preparations, neurogenic cholinergic contractions were enhanced by COX inhibitors, whereas tachykininergic responses were blunted. Carbachol-evoked contractions were increased by indomethacin or SC-560, but not DFU, whereas all inhibitors reduced SP-induced motor responses. In preparations from DD patients, COX inhibitors did not affect electrically evoked cholinergic contractions. Both indomethacin and DFU, but not SC-560, decreased tachykininergic responses. COX inhibitors did not modify carbachol-evoked motor responses, whereas they counteracted SP-induced contractions. COX-1 expression was decreased in myenteric neurons, whereas COX-2 was enhanced in glial cells and smooth muscle. In control colon, COX-1 and COX-2 down-regulate cholinergic motility, whereas both isoforms enhance tachykininergic motor activity. In the presence of DD, there is a loss of modulation by both COX isoforms on the cholinergic system, whereas COX-2 displays an enhanced facilitatory control on tachykininergic contractile activity. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  2. Interlaminar and lateral excitatory amino acid connections in the striate cortex of monkey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kisvarday, Z.F.; Cowey, A.; Smith, A.D.; Somogyi, P.

    1989-02-01

    The intrinsic excitatory amino acid pathways within the striate cortex of monkeys were studied by autoradiographic detection of retrogradely labeled somata following microinjections of D-3H-aspartate (D-3H-Asp) into different layers. The labeled amino acid was selectively accumulated by subpopulations of neurons and, to a small extent, by glial cells, the latter mainly in the supragranular layers. Immunocytochemical detection of neurons containing GABA showed that, apart from a few cells exclusively in layer I, GABAergic neurons do not accumulate D-3H-Asp. Several lines of evidence suggest that D-3H-Asp uptake occurred only at nerve terminals; thus, the pattern of perikaryal labeling allowed the delineation of interlaminar and lateral projections. Neurons in layer I probably project laterally, and layer I receives wide-ranging projections from layer IVB and layer V from cells up to 1300 microns laterally. Some neurons in layer II send a focused projection to lower layer VI. Some neurons in layers II/III project up to 1 mm laterally within their own layer, but relatively few neurons can be labeled in these projections. Similarly, in layers II/III few neurons can be retrogradely labeled from layers V and upper VI, and this projection is organized such that cells closer to the pia project deeper in layer V/VI. The connections of layer IVA could not be revealed separately because of the difficulty of confining injections to this thin sublamina. Neurons in layer IVB project up to 1300 microns within IVB itself. A small number of cells from IVB also project to layers III, IVC-alpha, V, and VI with much more restricted lateral spread. Neurons in upper IVC-alpha send axons to layer IVB with at least 600-800 microns lateral spread. Neurons in lower IVC-alpha/upper IVC-beta project to layer III with at least 300-500 microns lateral spread.

  3. Autaptic effects on synchrony of neurons coupled by electrical synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Youngtae

    2017-07-01

    In this paper, we numerically study the effects of a special synapse known as autapse on synchronization of population of Morris-Lecar (ML) neurons coupled by electrical synapses. Several configurations of the ML neuronal populations such as a pair or a ring or a globally coupled network with and without autapses are examined. While most of the papers on the autaptic effects on synchronization have used networks of neurons of same spiking rate, we use the network of neurons of different spiking rates. We find that the optimal autaptic coupling strength and the autaptic time delay enhance synchronization in our neural networks. We use the phase response curve analysis to explain the enhanced synchronization by autapses. Our findings reveal the important relationship between the intraneuronal feedback loop and the interneuronal coupling.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The State of Synapses in Fragile X Syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Pfeiffer, Brad E.; Huber, Kimberly M.

    2009-01-01

    Fragile X Syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation and a leading genetic cause of autism. There is increasing evidence in both FXS and other forms of autism that alterations in synapse number, structure and function are associated and contribute to these prevalent diseases. FXS is caused by loss of function of the Fmr1 gene which encodes the RNA binding protein, FMRP. Therefore, FXS is a tractable model to understand synaptic dysfunction in cognitive disorders. FMRP is...

  7. Storage capacity of attractor neural networks with depressing synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, Joaquin J.; Pantic, Lovorka; Kappen, Hilbert J.

    2002-01-01

    We compute the capacity of a binary neural network with dynamic depressing synapses to store and retrieve an infinite number of patterns. We use a biologically motivated model of synaptic depression and a standard mean-field approach. We find that at T=0 the critical storage capacity decreases with the degree of the depression. We confirm the validity of our main mean-field results with numerical simulations

  8. Process for forming synapses in neural networks and resistor therefor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Chi Y.

    1996-01-01

    Customizable neural network in which one or more resistors form each synapse. All the resistors in the synaptic array are identical, thus simplifying the processing issues. Highly doped, amorphous silicon is used as the resistor material, to create extremely high resistances occupying very small spaces. Connected in series with each resistor in the array is at least one severable conductor whose uppermost layer has a lower reflectivity of laser energy than typical metal conductors at a desired laser wavelength.

  9. 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 (T FH ) 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 T FH cells contain dense-core granules marked by chromogranin B, which are normally found in neuronal presynaptic terminals storing catecholamines such as dopamine. T FH 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 T FH 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona J Culley

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. T cells' immunological synapses induce polarization of brain astrocytes in vivo and in vitro: a novel astrocyte response mechanism to cellular injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcia, Carlos; Sanderson, Nicholas S R; Barrett, Robert J; Wawrowsky, Kolja; Kroeger, Kurt M; Puntel, Mariana; Liu, Chunyan; Castro, Maria G; Lowenstein, Pedro R

    2008-08-20

    Astrocytes usually respond to trauma, stroke, or neurodegeneration by undergoing cellular hypertrophy, yet, their response to a specific immune attack by T cells is poorly understood. Effector T cells establish specific contacts with target cells, known as immunological synapses, during clearance of virally infected cells from the brain. Immunological synapses mediate intercellular communication between T cells and target cells, both in vitro and in vivo. How target virally infected astrocytes respond to the formation of immunological synapses established by effector T cells is unknown. Herein we demonstrate that, as a consequence of T cell attack, infected astrocytes undergo dramatic morphological changes. From normally multipolar cells, they become unipolar, extending a major protrusion towards the immunological synapse formed by the effector T cells, and withdrawing most of their finer processes. Thus, target astrocytes become polarized towards the contacting T cells. The MTOC, the organizer of cell polarity, is localized to the base of the protrusion, and Golgi stacks are distributed throughout the protrusion, reaching distally towards the immunological synapse. Thus, rather than causing astrocyte hypertrophy, antiviral T cells cause a major structural reorganization of target virally infected astrocytes. Astrocyte polarization, as opposed to hypertrophy, in response to T cell attack may be due to T cells providing a very focused attack, and thus, astrocytes responding in a polarized manner. A similar polarization of Golgi stacks towards contacting T cells was also detected using an in vitro allogeneic model. Thus, different T cells are able to induce polarization of target astrocytes. Polarization of target astrocytes in response to immunological synapses may play an important role in regulating the outcome of the response of astrocytes to attacking effector T cells, whether during antiviral (e.g. infected during HIV, HTLV-1, HSV-1 or LCMV infection), anti

  13. T cells' immunological synapses induce polarization of brain astrocytes in vivo and in vitro: a novel astrocyte response mechanism to cellular injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Barcia

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes usually respond to trauma, stroke, or neurodegeneration by undergoing cellular hypertrophy, yet, their response to a specific immune attack by T cells is poorly understood. Effector T cells establish specific contacts with target cells, known as immunological synapses, during clearance of virally infected cells from the brain. Immunological synapses mediate intercellular communication between T cells and target cells, both in vitro and in vivo. How target virally infected astrocytes respond to the formation of immunological synapses established by effector T cells is unknown.Herein we demonstrate that, as a consequence of T cell attack, infected astrocytes undergo dramatic morphological changes. From normally multipolar cells, they become unipolar, extending a major protrusion towards the immunological synapse formed by the effector T cells, and withdrawing most of their finer processes. Thus, target astrocytes become polarized towards the contacting T cells. The MTOC, the organizer of cell polarity, is localized to the base of the protrusion, and Golgi stacks are distributed throughout the protrusion, reaching distally towards the immunological synapse. Thus, rather than causing astrocyte hypertrophy, antiviral T cells cause a major structural reorganization of target virally infected astrocytes.Astrocyte polarization, as opposed to hypertrophy, in response to T cell attack may be due to T cells providing a very focused attack, and thus, astrocytes responding in a polarized manner. A similar polarization of Golgi stacks towards contacting T cells was also detected using an in vitro allogeneic model. Thus, different T cells are able to induce polarization of target astrocytes. Polarization of target astrocytes in response to immunological synapses may play an important role in regulating the outcome of the response of astrocytes to attacking effector T cells, whether during antiviral (e.g. infected during HIV, HTLV-1, HSV-1 or LCMV

  14. The 'disector' a tool for quantitative assessment of synaptic plasticity an example on hippocampal synapses and synapse-perforations in ageing rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, D.M.G. de; Bierman, E.P.B.; Bruijnzeel, P.L.B.; Woutersen, R.A.

    1995-01-01

    The 'disector' method was used to estimate number and size of simple non-perforated and complex 'perforated' synapses and their 'perforations' in the hippocampal CA3 area of 3, 12, 24 and 30 months old rats. A decrease with age from 3 to 24 months of age in the number of non-perforated synapses per

  15. Stochastic resonance in small-world neuronal networks with hybrid electrical–chemical synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jiang; Guo, Xinmeng; Yu, Haitao; Liu, Chen; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile; Chen, Yingyuan

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: •We study stochastic resonance in small-world neural networks with hybrid synapses. •The resonance effect depends largely on the probability of chemical synapse. •An optimal chemical synapse probability exists to evoke network resonance. •Network topology affects the stochastic resonance in hybrid neuronal networks. - Abstract: The dependence of stochastic resonance in small-world neuronal networks with hybrid electrical–chemical synapses on the probability of chemical synapse and the rewiring probability is investigated. A subthreshold periodic signal is imposed on one single neuron within the neuronal network as a pacemaker. It is shown that, irrespective of the probability of chemical synapse, there exists a moderate intensity of external noise optimizing the response of neuronal networks to the pacemaker. Moreover, the effect of pacemaker driven stochastic resonance of the system depends largely on the probability of chemical synapse. A high probability of chemical synapse will need lower noise intensity to evoke the phenomenon of stochastic resonance in the networked neuronal systems. In addition, for fixed noise intensity, there is an optimal chemical synapse probability, which can promote the propagation of the localized subthreshold pacemaker across neural networks. And the optimal chemical synapses probability turns even larger as the coupling strength decreases. Furthermore, the small-world topology has a significant impact on the stochastic resonance in hybrid neuronal networks. It is found that increasing the rewiring probability can always enhance the stochastic resonance until it approaches the random network limit

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  17. Dynamic excitatory and inhibitory gain modulation can produce flexible, robust and optimal decision-making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritwik K Niyogi

    Full Text Available 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

  18. Expression of gastrin-releasing peptide by excitatory interneurons in the mouse superficial dorsal horn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Mecinas, Maria; Watanabe, Masahiko; Todd, Andrew J

    2014-12-11

    Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) and its receptor have been shown to play an important role in the sensation of itch. However, although GRP immunoreactivity has been detected in the spinal dorsal horn, there is debate about whether this originates from primary afferents or local excitatory interneurons. We therefore examined the relation of GRP immunoreactivity to that seen with antibodies that label primary afferent or excitatory interneuron terminals. We tested the specificity of the GRP antibody by preincubating with peptides with which it could potentially cross-react. We also examined tissue from a mouse line in which enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) is expressed under control of the GRP promoter. GRP immunoreactivity was seen in both primary afferent and non-primary glutamatergic axon terminals in the superficial dorsal horn. However, immunostaining was blocked by pre-incubation of the antibody with substance P, which is present at high levels in many nociceptive primary afferents. EGFP+ cells in the GRP-EGFP mouse did not express Pax2, and their axons contained the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (VGLUT2), indicating that they are excitatory interneurons. In most cases, their axons were also GRP-immunoreactive. Multiple-labelling immunocytochemical studies indicated that these cells did not express either of the preprotachykinin peptides, and that they generally lacked protein kinase Cγ, which is expressed by a subset of the excitatory interneurons in this region. These results show that GRP is expressed by a distinct population of excitatory interneurons in laminae I-II that are likely to be involved in the itch pathway. They also suggest that the GRP immunoreactivity seen in primary afferents in previous studies may have resulted from cross-reaction of the GRP antibody with substance P or the closely related peptide neurokinin A.

  19. 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.

  20. Role of the MAGUK protein family in synapse formation and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliva, Carlos; Escobedo, Pía; Astorga, César; Molina, Claudia; Sierralta, Jimena

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic function is crucially dependent on the spatial organization of the presynaptic and postsynaptic apparatuses and the juxtaposition of both membrane compartments. This precise arrangement is achieved by a protein network at the submembrane region of each cell that is built around scaffold proteins. The membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) family of proteins is a widely expressed and well-conserved group of proteins that plays an essential role in the formation and regulation of this scaffolding. Here, we review general features of this protein family, focusing on the discs large and calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase subfamilies of MAGUKs in the formation, function, and plasticity of synapses. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

  3. Neuron array with plastic synapses and programmable dendrites.

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    Ramakrishnan, Shubha; Wunderlich, Richard; Hasler, Jennifer; George, Suma

    2013-10-01

    We describe a novel neuromorphic chip architecture that models neurons for efficient computation. Traditional architectures of neuron array chips consist of large scale systems that are interfaced with AER for implementing intra- or inter-chip connectivity. We present a chip that uses AER for inter-chip communication but uses fast, reconfigurable FPGA-style routing with local memory for intra-chip connectivity. We model neurons with biologically realistic channel models, synapses and dendrites. This chip is suitable for small-scale network simulations and can also be used for sequence detection, utilizing directional selectivity properties of dendrites, ultimately for use in word recognition.

  4. Interlaminar and lateral excitatory amino acid connections in the striate cortex of monkey.

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    Kisvarday, Z F; Cowey, A; Smith, A D; Somogyi, P

    1989-02-01

    The intrinsic excitatory amino acid pathways within the striate cortex of monkeys were studied by autoradiographic detection of retrogradely labeled somata following microinjections of D-3H-aspartate (D-3H-Asp) into different layers. The labeled amino acid was selectively accumulated by subpopulations of neurons and, to a small extent, by glial cells, the latter mainly in the supragranular layers. Immunocytochemical detection of neurons containing GABA showed that, apart from a few cells exclusively in layer I, GABAergic neurons do not accumulate D-3H-Asp. Several lines of evidence suggest that D-3H-Asp uptake occurred only at nerve terminals; thus, the pattern of perikaryal labeling allowed the delineation of interlaminar and lateral projections. Neurons in layer I probably project laterally, and layer I receives wide-ranging projections from layer IVB and layer V from cells up to 1300 microns laterally. Some neurons in layer II send a focused projection to lower layer VI. Some neurons in layers II/III project up to 1 mm laterally within their own layer, but relatively few neurons can be labeled in these projections. Similarly, in layers II/III few neurons can be retrogradely labeled from layers V and upper VI, and this projection is organized such that cells closer to the pia project deeper in layer V/VI. The connections of layer IVA could not be revealed separately because of the difficulty of confining injections to this thin sublamina. Neurons in layer IVB project up to 1300 microns within IVB itself. A small number of cells from IVB also project to layers III, IVC-alpha, V, and VI with much more restricted lateral spread. Neurons in upper IVC-alpha send axons to layer IVB with at least 600-800 microns lateral spread. Neurons in lower IVC-alpha/upper IVC-beta project to layer III with at least 300-500 microns lateral spread. The bottom 50-80 microns of layer IVC-beta contains neurons with a very focused projection, apparently exclusively to the layer III

  5. Dexmedetomidine decreases inhibitory but not excitatory neurotransmission to cardiac vagal neurons in the nucleus ambiguus.

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    Sharp, Douglas B; Wang, Xin; Mendelowitz, David

    2014-07-29

    Dexmedetomidine, an α2 adrenergic agonist, is a useful sedative but can also cause significant bradycardia. This decrease in heart rate may be due to decreased central sympathetic output as well as increased parasympathetic output from brainstem cardiac vagal neurons. In this study, using whole cell voltage clamp methodology, the actions of dexmedetomidine on excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic and glycinergic neurotransmission to parasympathetic cardiac vagal neurons in the rat nucleus ambiguus was determined. The results indicate that dexmedetomidine decreases both GABAergic and glycinergic inhibitory input to cardiac vagal neurons, with no significant effect on excitatory input. These results provide a mechanism for dexmedetomidine induced bradycardia and has implications for the management of this potentially harmful side effect. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  7. Dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory networks are differentially altered by selective attention

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    Snyder, Adam C.; Morais, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Inhibition and excitation form two fundamental modes of neuronal interaction, yet we understand relatively little about their distinct roles in service of perceptual and cognitive processes. We developed a multidimensional waveform analysis to identify fast-spiking (putative inhibitory) and regular-spiking (putative excitatory) neurons in vivo and used this method to analyze how attention affects these two cell classes in visual area V4 of the extrastriate cortex of rhesus macaques. We found that putative inhibitory neurons had both greater increases in firing rate and decreases in correlated variability with attention compared with putative excitatory neurons. Moreover, the time course of attention effects for putative inhibitory neurons more closely tracked the temporal statistics of target probability in our task. Finally, the session-to-session variability in a behavioral measure of attention covaried with the magnitude of this effect. Together, these results suggest that selective targeting of inhibitory neurons and networks is a critical mechanism for attentional modulation. PMID:27466133

  8. GLUT4 Mobilization Supports Energetic Demands of Active Synapses.

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    Ashrafi, Ghazaleh; Wu, Zhuhao; Farrell, Ryan J; Ryan, Timothy A

    2017-02-08

    The brain is highly sensitive to proper fuel availability as evidenced by the rapid decline in neuronal function during ischemic attacks and acute severe hypoglycemia. We previously showed that sustained presynaptic function requires activity-driven glycolysis. Here, we provide strong evidence that during action potential (AP) firing, nerve terminals rely on the glucose transporter GLUT4 as a glycolytic regulatory system to meet the activity-driven increase in energy demands. Activity at synapses triggers insertion of GLUT4 into the axonal plasma membrane driven by activation of the metabolic sensor AMP kinase. Furthermore, we show that genetic ablation of GLUT4 leads to an arrest of synaptic vesicle recycling during sustained AP firing, similar to what is observed during acute glucose deprivation. The reliance on this biochemical regulatory system for "exercising" synapses is reminiscent of that occurring in exercising muscle to sustain cellular function and identifies nerve terminals as critical sites of proper metabolic control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Power-law forgetting in synapses with metaplasticity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehta, A; Luck, J M

    2011-01-01

    The idea of using metaplastic synapses to incorporate the separate storage of long- and short-term memories via an array of hidden states was put forward in the cascade model of Fusi et al. In this paper, we devise and investigate two models of a metaplastic synapse based on these general principles. The main difference between the two models lies in their available mechanisms of decay, when a contrarian event occurs after the build-up of a long-term memory. In one case, this leads to the conversion of the long-term memory to a short-term memory of the opposite kind, while in the other, a long-term memory of the opposite kind may be generated as a result. Appropriately enough, the response of both models to short-term events is not affected by this difference in architecture. On the contrary, the transient response of both models, after long-term memories have been created by the passage of sustained signals, is rather different. The asymptotic behaviour of both models is, however, characterised by power-law forgetting with the same universal exponent

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

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    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.

  11. Building blocks of temporal filters in retinal synapses.

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    Bongsoo Suh

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Sensory systems must be able to extract features of a stimulus to detect and represent properties of the world. Because sensory signals are constantly changing, a critical aspect of this transformation relates to the timing of signals and the ability to filter those signals to select dynamic properties, such as visual motion. At first assessment, one might think that the primary biophysical properties that construct a temporal filter would be dynamic mechanisms such as molecular concentration or membrane electrical properties. However, in the current issue of PLOS Biology, Baden et al. identify a mechanism of temporal filtering in the zebrafish and goldfish retina that is not dynamic but is in fact a structural building block-the physical size of a synapse itself. The authors observe that small, bipolar cell synaptic terminals are fast and highly adaptive, whereas large ones are slower and adapt less. Using a computational model, they conclude that the volume of the synaptic terminal influences the calcium concentration and the number of available vesicles. These results indicate that the size of the presynaptic terminal is an independent control for the dynamics of a synapse and may reveal aspects of synaptic function that can be inferred from anatomical structure.

  12. Optogenetic Activation of the Sensorimotor Cortex Reveals "Local Inhibitory and Global Excitatory" Inputs to the Basal Ganglia.

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    Ozaki, Mitsunori; Sano, Hiromi; Sato, Shigeki; Ogura, Mitsuhiro; Mushiake, Hajime; Chiken, Satomi; Nakao, Naoyuki; Nambu, Atsushi

    2017-12-01

    To understand how information from different cortical areas is integrated and processed through the cortico-basal ganglia pathways, we used optogenetics to systematically stimulate the sensorimotor cortex and examined basal ganglia activity. We utilized Thy1-ChR2-YFP transgenic mice, in which channelrhodopsin 2 is robustly expressed in layer V pyramidal neurons. We applied light spots to the sensorimotor cortex in a grid pattern and examined neuronal responses in the globus pallidus (GP) and entopeduncular nucleus (EPN), which are the relay and output nuclei of the basal ganglia, respectively. Light stimulation typically induced a triphasic response composed of early excitation, inhibition, and late excitation in GP/EPN neurons. Other response patterns lacking 1 or 2 of the components were also observed. The distribution of the cortical sites whose stimulation induced a triphasic response was confined, whereas stimulation of the large surrounding areas induced early and late excitation without inhibition. Our results suggest that cortical inputs to the GP/EPN are organized in a "local inhibitory and global excitatory" manner. Such organization seems to be the neuronal basis for information processing through the cortico-basal ganglia pathways, that is, releasing and terminating necessary information at an appropriate timing, while simultaneously suppressing other unnecessary information. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  13. CA1 Pyramidal Cell Theta-Burst Firing Triggers Endocannabinoid-Mediated Long-Term Depression at Both Somatic and Dendritic Inhibitory Synapses

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    Younts, Thomas J.; Chevaleyre, Vivien

    2013-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are retrograde lipid messengers that, by targeting presynaptic type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs), mediate short- and long-term synaptic depression of neurotransmitter release throughout the brain. Short-term depression is typically triggered by postsynaptic, depolarization-induced calcium rises, whereas long-term depression is induced by synaptic activation of Gq/11 protein-coupled receptors. Here we report that a physiologically relevant pattern of postsynaptic activity, in the form of theta-burst firing (TBF) of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, can trigger long-term depression of inhibitory transmission (iLTD) in rat hippocampal slices. Paired recordings between CA1 interneurons and pyramidal cells, followed by post hoc morphological reconstructions of the interneurons' axon, revealed that somatic and dendritic inhibitory synaptic inputs equally expressed TBF-induced iLTD. Simultaneous recordings from neighboring pyramidal cells demonstrated that eCB signaling triggered by TBF was highly restricted to only a single, active cell. Furthermore, pairing submaximal endogenous activation of metabotropic glutamate or muscarinic acetylcholine receptors with submaximal TBF unmasked associative iLTD. Although CB1Rs are also expressed at Schaffer-collateral excitatory terminals, long-term plasticity under various recording conditions was spared at these synapses. Consistent with this observation, TBF also shifted the balance of excitation and inhibition in favor of excitatory throughput, thereby altering information flow through the CA1 circuit. Given the near ubiquity of burst-firing activity patterns and CB1R expression in the brain, the properties described here may be a general means by which neurons fine tune the strength of their inputs in a cell-wide and cell-specific manner. PMID:23966696

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  16. Astrocytic energetics during excitatory neurotransmission: What are contributions of glutamate oxidation and glycolysis?

    OpenAIRE

    Dienel, Gerald A.

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytic energetics of excitatory neurotransmission is controversial due to discrepant findings in different experimental systems in vitro and in vivo. The energy requirements of glutamate uptake are believed by some researchers to be satisfied by glycolysis coupled with shuttling of lactate to neurons for oxidation. However, astrocytes increase glycogenolysis and oxidative metabolism during sensory stimulation in vivo, indicating that other sources of energy are used by astrocytes during b...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. Function and Dynamics of Tetraspanins during Antigen Recognition and Immunological Synapse Formation

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    Vera eRocha-Perugini

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs are specialized membrane platforms driven by protein-protein interactions that integrate membrane receptors and adhesion molecules. Tetraspanins participate in antigen recognition and presentation by antigen presenting cells (APCs through the organization of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs and their downstream induced-signaling, as well as the regulation of MHC-II-peptide trafficking. T lymphocyte activation is triggered upon specific recognition of antigens present on the APC surface during immunological synapse (IS formation. This dynamic process is characterized by a defined spatial organization involving the compartmentalization of receptors and adhesion molecules in specialized membrane domains that are connected to the underlying cytoskeleton and signaling molecules. Tetraspanins contribute to the spatial organization and maturation of the IS by controlling receptor clustering and local accumulation of adhesion receptors and integrins, their downstream signaling and linkage to the actin cytoskeleton. This review offers a perspective on the important role of TEMs in the regulation of antigen recognition and presentation, and in the dynamics of IS architectural organization.

  1. Function and Dynamics of Tetraspanins during Antigen Recognition and Immunological Synapse Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha-Perugini, Vera; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Martínez del Hoyo, Gloria

    2016-01-01

    Tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs) are specialized membrane platforms driven by protein–protein interactions that integrate membrane receptors and adhesion molecules. Tetraspanins participate in antigen recognition and presentation by antigen-­presenting cells (APCs) through the organization of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and their downstream-induced signaling, as well as the regulation of MHC-II–peptide trafficking. T lymphocyte activation is triggered upon specific recognition of antigens present on the APC surface during immunological synapse (IS) formation. This dynamic process is characterized by a defined spatial organization involving the compartmentalization of receptors and adhesion molecules in specialized membrane domains that are connected to the underlying cytoskeleton and signaling molecules. Tetraspanins contribute to the spatial organization and maturation of the IS by controlling receptor clustering and local accumulation of adhesion receptors and integrins, their downstream signaling, and linkage to the actin cytoskeleton. This review offers a perspective on the important role of TEMs in the regulation of antigen recognition and presentation and in the dynamics of IS architectural organization. PMID:26793193

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

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

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    Jun Hu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. Isolation of TRPV1 independent mechanisms of spontaneous and asynchronous glutamate release at primary afferent to NTS synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel J. Fenwick

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Cranial visceral afferents contained within the solitary tract (ST contact second-order neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS and release the excitatory amino acid glutamate via three distinct exocytosis pathways; synchronous, asynchronous, and spontaneous release. The presence of TRPV1 in the central terminals of a majority of ST afferents conveys activity-dependent asynchronous glutamate release and provides a temperature sensitive calcium conductance which largely determines the rate of spontaneous vesicle fusion. TRPV1 is present in unmyelinated C-fiber afferents and these facilitated forms of glutamate release may underlie the relative strength of C-fibers in activating autonomic reflex pathways. However, pharmacological blockade of TRPV1 signaling eliminates only ~50% of the asynchronous profile and attenuates the temperature sensitivity of spontaneous release indicating additional thermosensitive calcium influx pathways may exist which mediate these forms of vesicle release. In the present study we isolate the contribution of TRPV1 independent forms of glutamate release at ST-NTS synapses. We found ST afferent innervation at NTS neurons and synchronous vesicle release from TRPV1 KO mice was not different to control animals; however, only half of TRPV1 KO ST afferents completely lacked asynchronous glutamate release. Further, temperature driven spontaneous rates of vesicle release were not different from 33˚ - 37˚C between control and TRPV1 KO afferents. These findings suggest additional temperature dependent mechanisms controlling asynchronous and thermosensitive spontaneous release at physiological temperatures, possibly mediated by additional thermosensitive TRP channels in primary afferent terminals.

  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. 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.

  11. Differential gene expression patterns in developing sexually dimorphic rat brain regions exposed to antiandrogenic, estrogenic, or complex endocrine disruptor mixtures: glutamatergic synapses as target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtensteiger, Walter; Bassetti-Gaille, Catherine; Faass, Oliver; Axelstad, Marta; Boberg, Julie; Christiansen, Sofie; Rehrauer, Hubert; Georgijevic, Jelena Kühn; Hass, Ulla; Kortenkamp, Andreas; Schlumpf, Margret

    2015-04-01

    The study addressed the question whether gene expression patterns induced by different mixtures of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) administered in a higher dose range, corresponding to 450×, 200×, and 100× high-end human exposure levels, could be characterized in developing brain with respect to endocrine activity of mixture components, and which developmental processes were preferentially targeted. Three EDC mixtures, A-Mix (anti-androgenic mixture) with 8 antiandrogenic chemicals (di-n-butylphthalate, diethylhexylphthalate, vinclozolin, prochloraz, procymidone, linuron, epoxiconazole, and DDE), E-Mix (estrogenic mixture) with 4 estrogenic chemicals (bisphenol A, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate, and butylparaben), a complex mixture, AEP-Mix, containing the components of A-Mix and E-Mix plus paracetamol, and paracetamol alone, were administered by oral gavage to rat dams from gestation day 7 until weaning. General developmental endpoints were not affected by EDC mixtures or paracetamol. Gene expression was analyzed on postnatal day 6, during sexual brain differentiation, by exon microarray in medial preoptic area in the high-dose group, and by real-time RT-PCR in medial preoptic area and ventromedial hypothalamus in all dose groups. Expression patterns were mixture, sex, and region specific. Effects of the analgesic drug paracetamol, which exhibits antiandrogenic activity in peripheral systems, differed from those of A-Mix. All mixtures had a strong, mixture-specific impact on genes encoding for components of excitatory glutamatergic synapses and genes controlling migration and pathfinding of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, as well as genes linked with increased risk of autism spectrum disorders. Because development of glutamatergic synapses is regulated by sex steroids also in hippocampus, this may represent a general target of ECD mixtures.

  12. Release from the cone ribbon synapse under bright light conditions can be controlled by the opening of only a few Ca(2+) channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartoletti, Theodore M; Jackman, Skyler L; Babai, Norbert; Mercer, Aaron J; Kramer, Richard H; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2011-12-01

    Light hyperpolarizes cone photoreceptors, causing synaptic voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels to open infrequently. To understand neurotransmission under these conditions, we determined the number of L-type Ca(2+) channel openings necessary for vesicle fusion at the cone ribbon synapse. Ca(2+) currents (I(Ca)) were activated in voltage-clamped cones, and excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded from horizontal cells in the salamander retina slice preparation. Ca(2+) channel number and single-channel current amplitude were calculated by mean-variance analysis of I(Ca). Two different comparisons-one comparing average numbers of release events to average I(Ca) amplitude and the other involving deconvolution of both EPSCs and simultaneously recorded cone I(Ca)-suggested that fewer than three Ca(2+) channel openings accompanied fusion of each vesicle at the peak of release during the first few milliseconds of stimulation. Opening fewer Ca(2+) channels did not enhance fusion efficiency, suggesting that few unnecessary channel openings occurred during strong depolarization. We simulated release at the cone synapse, using empirically determined synaptic dimensions, vesicle pool size, Ca(2+) dependence of release, Ca(2+) channel number, and Ca(2+) channel properties. The model replicated observations when a barrier was added to slow Ca(2+) diffusion. Consistent with the presence of a diffusion barrier, dialyzing cones with diffusible Ca(2+) buffers did not affect release efficiency. The tight clustering of Ca(2+) channels, along with a high-Ca(2+) affinity release mechanism and diffusion barrier, promotes a linear coupling between Ca(2+) influx and vesicle fusion. This may improve detection of small light decrements when cones are hyperpolarized by bright light.

  13. Autism-Associated Chromatin Regulator Brg1/SmarcA4 Is Required for Synapse Development and Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2-Mediated Synapse Remodeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zilai; Cao, Mou; Chang, Chia-Wei; Wang, Cindy; Shi, Xuanming; Zhan, Xiaoming; Birnbaum, Shari G; Bezprozvanny, Ilya; Huber, Kimberly M; Wu, Jiang I

    2016-01-01

    Synapse development requires normal neuronal activities and the precise expression of synapse-related genes. Dysregulation of synaptic genes results in neurological diseases such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Mutations in genes encoding chromatin-remodeling factor Brg1/SmarcA4 and its associated proteins are the genetic causes of several developmental diseases with neurological defects and autistic symptoms. Recent large-scale genomic studies predicted Brg1/SmarcA4 as one of the key nodes of the ASD gene network. We report that Brg1 deletion in early postnatal hippocampal neurons led to reduced dendritic spine density and maturation and impaired synapse activities. In developing mice, neuronal Brg1 deletion caused severe neurological defects. Gene expression analyses indicated that Brg1 regulates a significant number of genes known to be involved in synapse function and implicated in ASD. We found that Brg1 is required for dendritic spine/synapse elimination mediated by the ASD-associated transcription factor myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) and that Brg1 regulates the activity-induced expression of a specific subset of genes that overlap significantly with the targets of MEF2. Our analyses showed that Brg1 interacts with MEF2 and that MEF2 is required for Brg1 recruitment to target genes in response to neuron activation. Thus, Brg1 plays important roles in both synapse development/maturation and MEF2-mediated synapse remodeling. Our study reveals specific functions of the epigenetic regulator Brg1 in synapse development and provides insights into its role in neurological diseases such as ASD. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. 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

    2009-03-01

    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. We analyzed hippocampal spine synapses of male rats (n=127) with electron microscopic stereology in association with performance in the learned helplessness paradigm. 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 6 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 with nonstressed control rats. Shorter, 1-day or 3-day desipramine treatments, however, had neither synaptic nor behavioral effects. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Synapse-specific and compartmentalized expression of presynaptic homeostatic potentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiling; Goel, Pragya; Chen, Catherine; Angajala, Varun; Chen, Xun

    2018-01-01

    Postsynaptic compartments can be specifically modulated during various forms of synaptic plasticity, but it is unclear whether this precision is shared at presynaptic terminals. Presynaptic homeostatic plasticity (PHP) stabilizes neurotransmission at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release compensates for diminished postsynaptic receptor functionality. To test the specificity of PHP induction and expression, we have developed a genetic manipulation to reduce postsynaptic receptor expression at one of the two muscles innervated by a single motor neuron. We find that PHP can be induced and expressed at a subset of synapses, over both acute and chronic time scales, without influencing transmission at adjacent release sites. Further, homeostatic modulations to CaMKII, vesicle pools, and functional release sites are compartmentalized and do not spread to neighboring pre- or post-synaptic structures. Thus, both PHP induction and expression mechanisms are locally transmitted and restricted to specific synaptic compartments. PMID:29620520

  19. 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.

  20. Synchrony detection and amplification by silicon neurons with STDP synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bofill-i-petit, Adria; Murray, Alan F

    2004-09-01

    Spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is a form of plasticity driven by precise spike-timing differences between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Thus, the learning rules underlying STDP are suitable for learning neuronal temporal phenomena such as spike-timing synchrony. It is well known that weight-independent STDP creates unstable learning processes resulting in balanced bimodal weight distributions. In this paper, we present a neuromorphic analog very large scale integration (VLSI) circuit that contains a feedforward network of silicon neurons with STDP synapses. The learning rule implemented can be tuned to have a moderate level of weight dependence. This helps stabilise the learning process and still generates binary weight distributions. From on-chip learning experiments we show that the chip can detect and amplify hierarchical spike-timing synchrony structures embedded in noisy spike trains. The weight distributions of the network emerging from learning are bimodal.

  1. Spin switches for compact implementation of neuron and synapse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quang Diep, Vinh; Sutton, Brian; Datta, Supriyo; Behin-Aein, Behtash

    2014-01-01

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Blocking PirB up-regulates spines and functional synapses to unlock visual cortical plasticity and facilitate recovery from amblyopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochner, David N.; Sapp, Richard W.; Adelson, Jaimie D.; Zhang, Siyu; Lee, Hanmi; Djurisic, Maja; Syken, Josh; Dan, Yang; Shatz, Carla J.

    2015-01-01

    During critical periods of development, the brain easily changes in response to environmental stimuli, but this neural plasticity declines by adulthood. By acutely disrupting paired immunoglobulin-like receptor B(PirB) function at specific ages, we show that PirB actively represses neural plasticity throughout life. We disrupted PirB function either by genetically introducing a conditional PirB allele into mice or by minipump infusion of a soluble PirB ectodomain (sPirB) into mouse visual cortex. We found that neural plasticity, as measured by depriving mice of vision in one eye and testing ocular dominance, was enhanced by this treatment both during the critical period and when PirB function was disrupted in adulthood. Acute blockade of PirB triggered the formation of new functional synapses, as indicated by increases in miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC) frequency and spine density on dendrites of layer 5 pyramidal neurons. In addition, recovery from amblyopia— the decline in visual acuity and spine density resulting from long-term monocular deprivation— was possible after a 1-week infusion of sPirB after the deprivation period. Thus, neural plasticity in adult visual cortex is actively repressed and can be enhanced by blocking PirB function. PMID:25320232

  5. Opiate-like excitatory effects of steroid sulfates and calcium-complexing agents given cerebroventricularly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaBella, F S; Havlicek, V; Pinsky, C

    1979-01-12

    Intracerebroventricular administration of 10--20 microgram of steroid-O-sulfates induced hypermotility, agitation, salivation, EEG abnormalities, stereotypies, wet dog shakes and seizures. Equivalent effects resulted from 30--200 microgram morphine sulfate (H2SO4 salt), 50 microgram EGTA or 300--400 microgram of sodium sulfate or phosphate, but not chloride, nitrate or acetate. Non-steroid sulfates, steroid glucuronides and steroid phosphates were inactive. Naloxone, previously found to antagonize the excitatory effects of androsterone sulfate, failed to antagonize those of cortisol sulfate, sodium sulfate or EGTA. These findings suggest a role for extracellular calcium ions and for sulfate derived from circulating steroids in central responses to opiates.

  6. Discovery of the first selective inhibitor of excitatory amino acid transporter subtype 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Anders Asbjørn; Erichsen, Mette Navy; Nielsen, Christina Wøhlk

    2009-01-01

    The discovery of the first class of subtype-selective inhibitors of the human excitatory amino acid transporter subtype 1 (EAAT1) and its rat orthologue GLAST is reported. An opening structure-activity relationship of 25 analogues is presented that addresses the influence of substitutions at the 4......- and 7-positions of the parental skeleton 2-amino-5-oxo-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-4H-chromene-3-carbonitrile. The most potent analogue 1o displays high nanomolar inhibitory activity at EAAT1 and a >400-fold selectivity over EAAT2 and EAAT3, making it a highly valuable pharmacological tool....

  7. Measurement of insulin and C-peptide excitatory test levels in gestational diabetes mellitus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Du Tongxin; Wang Zizheng

    2001-01-01

    To investigate the function of islet β cells in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), serum insulin and C-peptide (C-P) excitatory test levels were measured dynamically by radioimmunoassay in 41 patients with GDM and 30 normal pregnant controls. The results showed that there were significant difference in insulin and C-peptide excitatory test levels between normal pregnancy for 32-40 weeks and patients with GDM (P < 0.001). The secretory peak of insulin occurred at 60 min in normal pregnancy, while at 120 min in patients with GDM, and the recovery postponed in patients with GDM. The peak time for C-P was just as same as that of insulin, but the peak error for C-P between normal pregnant controls and patients with GDM was more larger than that for insulin and it recovered more slowly. It suggested that majority of islet β cells in patients with GDM were good enough for response to islet resistance factors and big stress from pregnancy, and also suggested a relation between pregnancy and islet β cells function

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Radnikow

    2018-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory networks are differentially altered by selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Adam C; Morais, Michael J; Smith, Matthew A

    2016-10-01

    Inhibition and excitation form two fundamental modes of neuronal interaction, yet we understand relatively little about their distinct roles in service of perceptual and cognitive processes. We developed a multidimensional waveform analysis to identify fast-spiking (putative inhibitory) and regular-spiking (putative excitatory) neurons in vivo and used this method to analyze how attention affects these two cell classes in visual area V4 of the extrastriate cortex of rhesus macaques. We found that putative inhibitory neurons had both greater increases in firing rate and decreases in correlated variability with attention compared with putative excitatory neurons. Moreover, the time course of attention effects for putative inhibitory neurons more closely tracked the temporal statistics of target probability in our task. Finally, the session-to-session variability in a behavioral measure of attention covaried with the magnitude of this effect. Together, these results suggest that selective targeting of inhibitory neurons and networks is a critical mechanism for attentional modulation. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Circuit variability interacts with excitatory-inhibitory diversity of interneurons to regulate network encoding capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Kuo-Ting; Hu, Chin-Kun; Li, Kuan-Wei; Hwang, Wen-Liang; Chou, Ya-Hui

    2018-05-23

    Local interneurons (LNs) in the Drosophila olfactory system exhibit neuronal diversity and variability, yet it is still unknown how these features impact information encoding capacity and reliability in a complex LN network. We employed two strategies to construct a diverse excitatory-inhibitory neural network beginning with a ring network structure and then introduced distinct types of inhibitory interneurons and circuit variability to the simulated network. The continuity of activity within the node ensemble (oscillation pattern) was used as a readout to describe the temporal dynamics of network activity. We found that inhibitory interneurons enhance the encoding capacity by protecting the network from extremely short activation periods when the network wiring complexity is very high. In addition, distinct types of interneurons have differential effects on encoding capacity and reliability. Circuit variability may enhance the encoding reliability, with or without compromising encoding capacity. Therefore, we have described how circuit variability of interneurons may interact with excitatory-inhibitory diversity to enhance the encoding capacity and distinguishability of neural networks. In this work, we evaluate the effects of different types and degrees of connection diversity on a ring model, which may simulate interneuron networks in the Drosophila olfactory system or other biological systems.

  13. On the Universality and Non-Universality of Spiking Neural P Systems With Rules on Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Tao; Xu, Jinbang; Pan, Linqiang

    2015-12-01

    Spiking neural P systems with rules on synapses are a new variant of spiking neural P systems. In the systems, the neuron contains only spikes, while the spiking/forgetting rules are moved on the synapses. It was obtained that such system with 30 neurons (using extended spiking rules) or with 39 neurons (using standard spiking rules) is Turing universal. In this work, this number is improved to 6. Specifically, we construct a Turing universal spiking neural P system with rules on synapses having 6 neurons, which can generate any set of Turing computable natural numbers. As well, it is obtained that spiking neural P system with rules on synapses having less than two neurons are not Turing universal: i) such systems having one neuron can characterize the family of finite sets of natural numbers; ii) the family of sets of numbers generated by the systems having two neurons is included in the family of semi-linear sets of natural numbers.

  14. Mechanisms of input and output synaptic specificity: finding partners, building synapses, and fine-tuning communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, Randi L; Martin, E Anne; Williams, Megan E

    2017-08-01

    For most neurons to function properly, they need to develop synaptic specificity. This requires finding specific partner neurons, building the correct types of synapses, and fine-tuning these synapses in response to neural activity. Synaptic specificity is common at both a neuron's input and output synapses, whereby unique synapses are built depending on the partnering neuron. Neuroscientists have long appreciated the remarkable specificity of neural circuits but identifying molecular mechanisms mediating synaptic specificity has only recently accelerated. Here, we focus on recent progress in understanding input and output synaptic specificity in the mammalian brain. We review newly identified circuit examples for both and the latest research identifying molecular mediators including Kirrel3, FGFs, and DGLα. Lastly, we expect the pace of research on input and output specificity to continue to accelerate with the advent of new technologies in genomics, microscopy, and proteomics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Alpha-Bungarotoxin labeling and acetylcholinesterase localization at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse in the hatchetfish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, J.W.; Hall, D.H.; Hall, L.M.; Bennett, M.V.

    1983-01-01

    Autoradiographic and histochemical techniques have been used to characterize further the pharmacology of transmission at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the South American hatchetfish. [ 125 I]alpha-Bungarotoxin was applied to hatchetfish medullae and a standard autoradiographic procedure was carried out on 3- to 4-microns sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. All Mauthner fiber giant synapses, as identified by light microscopic criteria, had closely associated silver grains. Labeling was blocked by d-tubocurarine. Glutaraldehyde-fixed slices of hatchetfish medulla were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase; all giant synapses that could be identified in the light microscope showed heavy deposits of reaction product. Staining was blocked by diisopropyl-fluorophosphate, which inhibits both pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase, but was not blocked by tetraisopropylpyrophosphoramide, a specific pseudocholinesterase inhibitor. This evidence strongly supports the suggestion that the Mauthner fiber giant synapse is nicotinic cholinergic

  16. alpha-Bungarotoxin labeling and acetylcholinesterase localization at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse in the hatchetfish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, J.W.; Hall, D.H.; Hall, L.M.; Bennett, M.V.

    1983-01-01

    Autoradiographic and histochemical techniques have been used to characterize further the pharmacology of transmission at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the South American hatchetfish. [ 125 I]alpha-Bungarotoxin was applied to hatchetfish medullae and a standard autoradiographic procedure was carried out on 3- to 4-microns sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. All Mauthner fiber giant synapses, as identified by light microscopic criteria, had closely associated silver grains. Labeling was blocked by d-tubocurarine. Glutaraldehyde-fixed slices of hatchetfish medulla were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase; all giant synapses that could be identified in the light microscope showed heavy deposits of reaction product. Staining was blocked by diisopropyl-fluorophosphate, which inhibits both pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase, but was not blocked by tetraisopropylpyrophosphoramide, a specific pseudocholinesterase inhibitor. This evidence strongly supports the suggestion that the Mauthner fiber giant synapse is nicotinic cholinergic

  17. Alpha-Bungarotoxin labeling and acetylcholinesterase localization at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse in the hatchetfish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, J.W.; Hall, D.H.; Hall, L.M.; Bennett, M.V.

    1983-02-01

    Autoradiographic and histochemical techniques have been used to characterize further the pharmacology of transmission at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the South American hatchetfish. (/sup 125/I)alpha-Bungarotoxin was applied to hatchetfish medullae and a standard autoradiographic procedure was carried out on 3- to 4-microns sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. All Mauthner fiber giant synapses, as identified by light microscopic criteria, had closely associated silver grains. Labeling was blocked by d-tubocurarine. Glutaraldehyde-fixed slices of hatchetfish medulla were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase; all giant synapses that could be identified in the light microscope showed heavy deposits of reaction product. Staining was blocked by diisopropyl-fluorophosphate, which inhibits both pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase, but was not blocked by tetraisopropylpyrophosphoramide, a specific pseudocholinesterase inhibitor. This evidence strongly supports the suggestion that the Mauthner fiber giant synapse is nicotinic cholinergic.

  18. alpha-Bungarotoxin labeling and acetylcholinesterase localization at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse in the hatchetfish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, J.W.; Hall, D.H.; Hall, L.M.; Bennett, M.V.

    1983-02-01

    Autoradiographic and histochemical techniques have been used to characterize further the pharmacology of transmission at the Mauthner fiber giant synapse of the South American hatchetfish. (/sup 125/I)alpha-Bungarotoxin was applied to hatchetfish medullae and a standard autoradiographic procedure was carried out on 3- to 4-microns sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. All Mauthner fiber giant synapses, as identified by light microscopic criteria, had closely associated silver grains. Labeling was blocked by d-tubocurarine. Glutaraldehyde-fixed slices of hatchetfish medulla were stained histochemically for acetylcholinesterase; all giant synapses that could be identified in the light microscope showed heavy deposits of reaction product. Staining was blocked by diisopropyl-fluorophosphate, which inhibits both pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase, but was not blocked by tetraisopropylpyrophosphoramide, a specific pseudocholinesterase inhibitor. This evidence strongly supports the suggestion that the Mauthner fiber giant synapse is nicotinic cholinergic.

  19. 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

    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...

  20. Poisson-Like Spiking in Circuits with Probabilistic Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Bote, Rubén

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal activity in cortex is variable both spontaneously and during stimulation, and it has the remarkable property that it is Poisson-like over broad ranges of firing rates covering from virtually zero to hundreds of spikes per second. The mechanisms underlying cortical-like spiking variability over such a broad continuum of rates are currently unknown. We show that neuronal networks endowed with probabilistic synaptic transmission, a well-documented source of variability in cortex, robustly generate Poisson-like variability over several orders of magnitude in their firing rate without fine-tuning of the network parameters. Other sources of variability, such as random synaptic delays or spike generation jittering, do not lead to Poisson-like variability at high rates because they cannot be sufficiently amplified by recurrent neuronal networks. We also show that probabilistic synapses predict Fano factor constancy of synaptic conductances. Our results suggest that synaptic noise is a robust and sufficient mechanism for the type of variability found in cortex. PMID:25032705

  1. Resolution enhancement in neural networks with dynamical synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. C. Alan Fung

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Conventionally, information is represented by spike rates in the neural system. Here, we consider the ability of temporally modulated activities in neuronal networks to carry information extra to spike rates. These temporal modulations, commonly known as population spikes, are due to the presence of synaptic depression in a neuronal network model. We discuss its relevance to an experiment on transparent motions in macaque monkeys by Treue et al. in 2000. They found that if the moving directions of objects are too close, the firing rate profile will be very similar to that with one direction. As the difference in the moving directions of objects is large enough, the neuronal system would respond in such a way that the network enhances the resolution in the moving directions of the objects. In this paper, we propose that this behavior can be reproduced by neural networks with dynamical synapses when there are multiple external inputs. We will demonstrate how resolution enhancement can be achieved, and discuss the conditions under which temporally modulated activities are able to enhance information processing performances in general.

  2. Dysfunctional synapse in Alzheimer's disease - A focus on NMDA receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mota, Sandra I; Ferreira, Ildete L; Rego, A Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia in the elderly. Alterations capable of causing brain circuitry dysfunctions in AD may take several years to develop. Oligomeric amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) plays a complex role in the molecular events that lead to progressive loss of function and eventually to neurodegeneration in this devastating disease. Moreover, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs) activation has been recently implicated in AD-related synaptic dysfunction. Thus, in this review we focus on glutamatergic neurotransmission impairment and the changes in NMDAR regulation in AD, following the description on the role and location of NMDARs at pre- and post-synaptic sites under physiological conditions. In addition, considering that there is currently no effective ways to cure AD or stop its progression, we further discuss the relevance of NMDARs antagonists to prevent AD symptomatology. This review posits additional information on the role played by Aβ in AD and the importance of targeting the tripartite glutamatergic synapse in early asymptomatic and possible reversible stages of the disease through preventive and/or disease-modifying therapeutic strategies. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Synaptic Basis of Neurodegenerative Disorders'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Stochastic Synapses Enable Efficient Brain-Inspired Learning Machines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neftci, Emre O.; Pedroni, Bruno U.; Joshi, Siddharth; Al-Shedivat, Maruan; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that synaptic unreliability is a robust and sufficient mechanism for inducing the stochasticity observed in cortex. Here, we introduce Synaptic Sampling Machines (S2Ms), a class of neural network models that uses synaptic stochasticity as a means to Monte Carlo sampling and unsupervised learning. Similar to the original formulation of Boltzmann machines, these models can be viewed as a stochastic counterpart of Hopfield networks, but where stochasticity is induced by a random mask over the connections. Synaptic stochasticity plays the dual role of an efficient mechanism for sampling, and a regularizer during learning akin to DropConnect. A local synaptic plasticity rule implementing an event-driven form of contrastive divergence enables the learning of generative models in an on-line fashion. S2Ms perform equally well using discrete-timed artificial units (as in Hopfield networks) or continuous-timed leaky integrate and fire neurons. The learned representations are remarkably sparse and robust to reductions in bit precision and synapse pruning: removal of more than 75% of the weakest connections followed by cursory re-learning causes a negligible performance loss on benchmark classification tasks. The spiking neuron-based S2Ms outperform existing spike-based unsupervised learners, while potentially offering substantial advantages in terms of power and complexity, and are thus promising models for on-line learning in brain-inspired hardware. PMID:27445650

  4. 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.

  5. Multiple synchronization transitions in scale-free neuronal networks with electrical and chemical hybrid synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Chen; Wang, Jiang; Wang, Lin; Yu, Haitao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile; Tsang, Kaiming; Chan, Wailok

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Synchronization transitions in hybrid scale-free neuronal networks are investigated. • Multiple synchronization transitions can be induced by the time delay. • Effect of synchronization transitions depends on the ratio of the electrical and chemical synapses. • Coupling strength and the density of inter-neuronal links can enhance the synchronization. -- Abstract: The impacts of information transmission delay on the synchronization transitions in scale-free neuronal networks with electrical and chemical hybrid synapses are investigated. Numerical results show that multiple appearances of synchronization regions transitions can be induced by different information transmission delays. With the time delay increasing, the synchronization of neuronal activities can be enhanced or destroyed, irrespective of the probability of chemical synapses in the whole hybrid neuronal network. In particular, for larger probability of electrical synapses, the regions of synchronous activities appear broader with stronger synchronization ability of electrical synapses compared with chemical ones. Moreover, it can be found that increasing the coupling strength can promote synchronization monotonously, playing the similar role of the increasing the probability of the electrical synapses. Interestingly, the structures and parameters of the scale-free neuronal networks, especially the structural evolvement plays a more subtle role in the synchronization transitions. In the network formation process, it is found that every new vertex is attached to the more old vertices already present in the network, the more synchronous activities will be emerge

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-30

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

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. Distinct structural and catalytic roles for Zap70 in formation of the immunological synapse in CTL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Misty R; Stinchcombe, Jane C; Au-Yeung, Byron B; Asano, Yukako; Ritter, Alex T; Weiss, Arthur; Griffiths, Gillian M

    2014-01-01

    T cell receptor (TCR) activation leads to a dramatic reorganisation of both membranes and receptors as the immunological synapse forms. Using a genetic model to rapidly inhibit Zap70 catalytic activity we examined synapse formation between cytotoxic T lymphocytes and their targets. In the absence of Zap70 catalytic activity Vav-1 activation occurs and synapse formation is arrested at a stage with actin and integrin rich interdigitations forming the interface between the two cells. The membranes at the synapse are unable to flatten to provide extended contact, and Lck does not cluster to form the central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC). Centrosome polarisation is initiated but aborts before reaching the synapse and the granules do not polarise. Our findings reveal distinct roles for Zap70 as a structural protein regulating integrin-mediated control of actin vs its catalytic activity that regulates TCR-mediated control of actin and membrane remodelling during formation of the immunological synapse. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01310.001 PMID:24596147

  11. Imaging Polarized Secretory Traffic at the Immune Synapse in Living T Lymphocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Víctor; Izquierdo, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    Immune synapse (IS) formation by T lymphocytes constitutes a crucial event involved in antigen-specific, cellular and humoral immune responses. After IS formation by T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells, the convergence of secretory vesicles toward the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) and MTOC polarization to the IS are involved in polarized secretion at the synaptic cleft. This specialized mechanism appears to specifically provide the immune system with a fine strategy to increase the efficiency of crucial secretory effector functions of T lymphocytes, while minimizing non-specific, cytokine-mediated stimulation of bystander cells, target cell killing and activation-induced cell death. The molecular bases involved in the polarized secretory traffic toward the IS in T lymphocytes have been the focus of interest, thus different models and several imaging strategies have been developed to gain insights into the mechanisms governing directional secretory traffic. In this review, we deal with the most widely used, state-of-the-art approaches to address the molecular mechanisms underlying this crucial, immune secretory response.

  12. 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.

  13. Organization of left-right coordination of neuronal activity in the mammalian spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shevtsova, Natalia A.; Talpalar, Adolfo E.; Markin, Sergey N.

    2015-01-01

    and the left-right synchronous hopping-like pattern in mutants lacking specific neuron classes, and speed-dependent asymmetric changes of flexor and extensor phase durations. The models provide insights into the architecture of spinal network and the organization of parallel inhibitory and excitatory CIN....... In this study, we construct and analyse two computational models of spinal locomotor circuits consisting of left and right rhythm generators interacting bilaterally via several neuronal pathways mediated by different CINs. The CIN populations incorporated in the models include the genetically identified...... inhibitory (V0D) and excitatory (V0V) subtypes of V0 CINs and excitatory V3 CINs. The model also includes the ipsilaterally projecting excitatory V2a interneurons mediating excitatory drive to the V0V CINs. The proposed network architectures and CIN connectivity allow the models to closely reproduce...

  14. Effects of NR1 splicing on NR1/NR3B-type excitatory glycine receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orth Angela

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs are the most complex of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs. Subunits of this subfamily assemble into heteromers, which – depending on the subunit combination – may display very different pharmacological and electrophysiological properties. The least studied members of the NMDAR family, the NR3 subunits, have been reported to assemble with NR1 to form excitatory glycine receptors in heterologous expression systems. The heterogeneity of NMDARs in vivo is in part conferred to the receptors by splicing of the NR1 subunit, especially with regard to proton sensitivity. Results Here, we have investigated whether the NR3B subunit is capable of assembly with each of the eight functional NR1 splice variants, and whether the resulting receptors share the unique functional properties described for NR1-1a/NR3. We provide evidence that functional excitatory glycine receptors formed regardless of the NR1 isoform, and their pharmacological profile matched the one reported for NR1-1a/NR3: glycine alone fully activated the receptors, which were insensitive to glutamate and block by Mg2+. Surprisingly, amplitudes of agonist-induced currents showed little dependency on the C-terminally spliced NR1 variants in NR1/NR3B diheteromers. Even more strikingly, NR3B conferred proton sensitivity also to receptors containing NR1b variants – possibly via disturbing the "proton shield" of NR1b splice variants. Conclusion While functional assembly could be demonstrated for all combinations, not all of the specific interactions seen for NR1 isoforms with coexpressed NR2 subunits could be corroborated for NR1 assembly with NR3. Rather, NR3 abates trafficking effects mediated by the NR1 C terminus as well as the N-terminally mediated proton insensitivity. Thus, this study establishes that NR3B overrides important NR1 splice variant-specific receptor properties in NR1/NR3B excitatory glycine receptors.

  15. Synchronization in a non-uniform network of excitatory spiking neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeveste, Rodrigo; Gros, Claudius

    Spontaneous synchronization of pulse coupled elements is ubiquitous in nature and seems to be of vital importance for life. Networks of pacemaker cells in the heart, extended populations of southeast asian fireflies, and neuronal oscillations in cortical networks, are examples of this. In the present work, a rich repertoire of dynamical states with different degrees of synchronization are found in a network of excitatory-only spiking neurons connected in a non-uniform fashion. In particular, uncorrelated and partially correlated states are found without the need for inhibitory neurons or external currents. The phase transitions between these states, as well the robustness, stability, and response of the network to external stimulus are studied.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Destexhe, A.

    1994-01-01

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

  17. Locally excitatory, globally inhibitory oscillator networks: theory and application to scene segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, DeLiang; Terman, David

    1995-01-01

    A novel class of locally excitatory, globally inhibitory oscillator networks (LEGION) is proposed and investigated analytically and by computer simulation. The model of each oscillator corresponds to a standard relaxation oscillator with two time scales. The network exhibits a mechanism of selective gating, whereby an oscillator jumping up to its active phase rapidly recruits the oscillators stimulated by the same pattern, while preventing other oscillators from jumping up. We show analytically that with the selective gating mechanism the network rapidly achieves both synchronization within blocks of oscillators that are stimulated by connected regions and desynchronization between different blocks. Computer simulations demonstrate LEGION's promising ability for segmenting multiple input patterns in real time. This model lays a physical foundation for the oscillatory correlation theory of feature binding, and may provide an effective computational framework for scene segmentation and figure/ground segregation.

  18. 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.

  19. A transgenic mouse line for molecular genetic analysis of excitatory glutamatergic neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borgius, Lotta; Restrepo, C. Ernesto; Leao, Richardson N.

    2010-01-01

    Excitatory glutamatergic neurons are part of most of the neuronal circuits in the mammalian nervous system. We have used BAC-technology to generate a BAC-Vglut2::Cre mouse line where Cre expression is driven by the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (Vglut2) promotor. This BAC-Vglut2::Cre mouse line...... showed specific expression of Cre in Vglut2 positive cells in the spinal cord with no ectopic expression in GABAergic or glycinergic neurons. This mouse line also showed specific Cre expression in Vglut2 positive structures in the brain such as thalamus, hypothalamus, superior colliculi, inferior...... colliculi and deep cerebellar nuclei together with nuclei in the midbrain and hindbrain. Cre-mediated recombination was restricted to Cre expressing cells in the spinal cord and brain and occurred as early as E 12.5. Known Vglut2 positive neurons showed normal electrophysiological properties in the BAC...

  20. 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.

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

  2. 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...... 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......-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...

  3. Glucose level determines excitatory or inhibitory effects of adiponectin on arcuate POMC neuron activity and feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suyama, Shigetomo; Maekawa, Fumihiko; Maejima, Yuko; Kubota, Naoto; Kadowaki, Takashi; Yada, Toshihiko

    2016-08-09

    Adiponectin regulates glucose and lipid metabolism, acting against metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis. Accumulating evidence suggest that adiponectin acts on the brain including hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), where proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons play key roles in feeding regulation. Several studies have examined intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of adiponectin and reported opposite effects, increase or decrease of food intake. These reports used different nutritional states. The present study aimed to clarify whether adiponectin exerts distinct effects on food intake and ARC POMC neurons depending on the glucose concentration. Adiponectin was ICV injected with or without glucose for feeding experiments and administered to ARC slices with high or low glucose for patch clamp experiments. We found that adiponectin at high glucose inhibited POMC neurons and increased food intake while at low glucose it exerted opposite effects. The results demonstrate that glucose level determines excitatory or inhibitory effects of adiponectin on arcuate POMC neuron activity and feeding.

  4. β-Secretase BACE1 Promotes Surface Expression and Function of Kv3.4 at Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Stephanie; Zheng, Fang; Kyncl, Michele C; Karch, Sandra; Voelkl, Kerstin; Zott, Benedikt; D'Avanzo, Carla; Lomoio, Selene; Tesco, Giuseppina; Kim, Doo Y; Alzheimer, Christian; Huth, Tobias

    2018-04-04

    The β-secretase β-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is deemed a major culprit in Alzheimer's disease, but accumulating evidence indicates that there is more to the enzyme than driving the amyloidogenic processing of the amyloid precursor protein. For example, BACE1 has emerged as an important regulator of neuronal activity through proteolytic and, most unexpectedly, also through nonproteolytic interactions with several ion channels. Here, we identify and characterize the voltage-gated K + channel 3.4 (Kv3.4) as a new and functionally relevant interaction partner of BACE1. Kv3.4 gives rise to A-type current with fast activating and inactivating kinetics and serves to repolarize the presynaptic action potential. We found that BACE1 and Kv3.4 are highly enriched and remarkably colocalized in hippocampal mossy fibers (MFs). In BACE1 -/- mice of either sex, Kv3.4 surface expression was significantly reduced in the hippocampus and, in synaptic fractions thereof, Kv3.4 was specifically diminished, whereas protein levels of other presynaptic K + channels such as K Ca 1.1 and K Ca 2.3 remained unchanged. The apparent loss of presynaptic Kv3.4 affected the strength of excitatory transmission at the MF-CA3 synapse in hippocampal slices of BACE1 -/- mice when probed with the Kv3 channel blocker BDS-I. The effect of BACE1 on Kv3.4 expression and function should be bidirectional, as predicted from a heterologous expression system, in which BACE1 cotransfection produced a concomitant upregulation of Kv3.4 surface level and current based on a physical interaction between the two proteins. Our data show that, by targeting Kv3.4 to presynaptic sites, BACE1 endows the terminal with a powerful means to regulate the strength of transmitter release. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The β-secretase β-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is infamous for its crucial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, but its physiological functions in the intact nervous system are only gradually

  5. Ligand mobility modulates immunological synapse formation and T cell activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Jung Hsu

    Full Text Available T cell receptor (TCR engagement induces clustering and recruitment to the plasma membrane of many signaling molecules, including the protein tyrosine kinase zeta-chain associated protein of 70 kDa (ZAP70 and the adaptor SH2 domain-containing leukocyte protein of 76 kDa (SLP76. This molecular rearrangement results in formation of the immunological synapse (IS, a dynamic protein array that modulates T cell activation. The current study investigates the effects of apparent long-range ligand mobility on T cell signaling activity and IS formation. We formed stimulatory lipid bilayers on glass surfaces from binary lipid mixtures with varied composition, and characterized these surfaces with respect to diffusion coefficient and fluid connectivity. Stimulatory ligands coupled to these surfaces with similar density and orientation showed differences in their ability to activate T cells. On less mobile membranes, central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC formation was delayed and the overall accumulation of CD3ζ at the IS was reduced. Analysis of signaling microcluster (MC dynamics showed that ZAP70 MCs exhibited faster track velocity and longer trajectories as a function of increased ligand mobility, whereas movement of SLP76 MCs was relatively insensitive to this parameter. Actin retrograde flow was observed on all surfaces, but cell spreading and subsequent cytoskeletal contraction were more pronounced on mobile membranes. Finally, increased tyrosine phosphorylation and persistent elevation of intracellular Ca(2+ were observed in cells stimulated on fluid membranes. These results point to ligand mobility as an important parameter in modulating T cell responses.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-09

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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. 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

  12. Resting-state hemodynamics are spatiotemporally coupled to synchronized and symmetric neural activity in excitatory neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ying; Shaik, Mohammed A.; Kozberg, Mariel G.; Portes, Jacob P.; Timerman, Dmitriy

    2016-01-01

    Brain hemodynamics serve as a proxy for neural activity in a range of noninvasive neuroimaging techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In resting-state fMRI, hemodynamic fluctuations have been found to exhibit patterns of bilateral synchrony, with correlated regions inferred to have functional connectivity. However, the relationship between resting-state hemodynamics and underlying neural activity has not been well established, making the neural underpinnings of functional connectivity networks unclear. In this study, neural activity and hemodynamics were recorded simultaneously over the bilateral cortex of awake and anesthetized Thy1-GCaMP mice using wide-field optical mapping. Neural activity was visualized via selective expression of the calcium-sensitive fluorophore GCaMP in layer 2/3 and 5 excitatory neurons. Characteristic patterns of resting-state hemodynamics were accompanied by more rapidly changing bilateral patterns of resting-state neural activity. Spatiotemporal hemodynamics could be modeled by convolving this neural activity with hemodynamic response functions derived through both deconvolution and gamma-variate fitting. Simultaneous imaging and electrophysiology confirmed that Thy1-GCaMP signals are well-predicted by multiunit activity. Neurovascular coupling between resting-state neural activity and hemodynamics was robust and fast in awake animals, whereas coupling in urethane-anesthetized animals was slower, and in some cases included lower-frequency (resting-state hemodynamics in the awake and anesthetized brain are coupled to underlying patterns of excitatory neural activity. The patterns of bilaterally-symmetric spontaneous neural activity revealed by wide-field Thy1-GCaMP imaging may depict the neural foundation of functional connectivity networks detected in resting-state fMRI. PMID:27974609

  13. Organics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chian, Edward S. K.; DeWalle, Foppe B.

    1978-01-01

    Presents water analysis literature for 1978. This review is concerned with organics, and it covers: (1) detergents and surfactants; (2) aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons; (3) pesticides and chlorinated hydrocarbons; and (4) naturally occurring organics. A list of 208 references is also presented. (HM)

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; van den Pol, Anthony N.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; van den Pol, Anthony N

    2009-12-02

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

  19. Organizations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hatch, Mary Jo

    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......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...... 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....

  20. 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).

  1. ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple glutamatergic synapses in amygdala network is required for fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Po-Han; Chien, Ta-Chun; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Lien, Cheng-Chang

    2015-05-19

    Genetic variants in the human ortholog of acid-sensing ion channel-1a subunit (ASIC1a) gene are associated with panic disorder and amygdala dysfunction. Both fear learning and activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of cortico-basolateral amygdala (BLA) synapses are impaired in ASIC1a-null mice, suggesting a critical role of ASICs in fear memory formation. In this study, we found that ASICs were differentially expressed within the amygdala neuronal population, and the extent of LTP at various glutamatergic synapses correlated with the level of ASIC expression in postsynaptic neurons. Importantly, selective deletion of ASIC1a in GABAergic cells, including amygdala output neurons, eliminated LTP in these cells and reduced fear learning to the same extent as that found when ASIC1a was selectively abolished in BLA glutamatergic neurons. Thus, fear learning requires ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple amygdala synapses, including both cortico-BLA input synapses and intra-amygdala synapses on output neurons.

  2. Synchronization of the small-world neuronal network with unreliable synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Chunguang; Zheng, Qunxian

    2010-01-01

    As is well known, synchronization phenomena are ubiquitous in neuronal systems. Recently a lot of work concerning the synchronization of the neuronal network has been accomplished. In these works, the synapses are usually considered reliable, but experimental results show that, in biological neuronal networks, synapses are usually unreliable. In our previous work, we have studied the synchronization of the neuronal network with unreliable synapses; however, we have not paid attention to the effect of topology on the synchronization of the neuronal network. Several recent studies have found that biological neuronal networks have typical properties of small-world networks, characterized by a short path length and high clustering coefficient. In this work, mainly based on the small-world neuronal network (SWNN) with inhibitory neurons, we study the effect of network topology on the synchronization of the neuronal network with unreliable synapses. Together with the network topology, the effects of the GABAergic reversal potential, time delay and noise are also considered. Interestingly, we found a counter-intuitive phenomenon for the SWNN with specific shortcut adding probability, that is, the less reliable the synapses, the better the synchronization performance of the SWNN. We also consider the effects of both local noise and global noise in this work. It is shown that these two different types of noise have distinct effects on the synchronization: one is negative and the other is positive

  3. Abundance of gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in adult Mosquitofish spinal cord neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose L Serrano-Velez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Dye-coupling, whole-mount immunohistochemistry for gap junction channel protein connexin 35 (Cx35, and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling (FRIL reveal an abundance of electrical synapses/gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in the 14th spinal segment that innervates the adult male gonopodium of Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis (Mosquitofish.To study gap junctions’ role in fast motor behavior, we used a minimally-invasive neural-tract-tracing technique to introduce gap junction-permeant or -impermeant dyes into deep muscles controlling the gonopodium of the adult male Mosquitofish, a teleost fish that rapidly transfers (complete in 50 of the 62 gap junctions at mixed synapses are in the 14th spinal segment.Our results support and extend studies showing gap junctions at mixed synapses in spinal cord segments involved in control of genital reflexes in rodents, and they suggest a link between mixed synapses and fast motor behavior. The findings provide a basis for studies of specific roles of spinal neurons in the generation/regulation of sex-specific behavior and for studies of gap junctions’ role in regulating fast motor behavior. Finally, the CoPA IN provides a novel candidate neuron for future studies of gap junctions and neural control of fast motor behaviors.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Optimal recall from bounded metaplastic synapses: predicting functional adaptations in hippocampal area CA3.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Savin

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available A venerable history of classical work on autoassociative memory has significantly shaped our understanding of several features of the hippocampus, and most prominently of its CA3 area, in relation to memory storage and retrieval. However, existing theories of hippocampal memory processing ignore a key biological constraint affecting memory storage in neural circuits: the bounded dynamical range of synapses. Recent treatments based on the notion of metaplasticity provide a powerful model for individual bounded synapses; however, their implications for the ability of the hippocampus to retrieve memories well and the dynamics of neurons associated with that retrieval are both unknown. Here, we develop a theoretical framework for memory storage and recall with bounded synapses. We formulate the recall of a previously stored pattern from a noisy recall cue and limited-capacity (and therefore lossy synapses as a probabilistic inference problem, and derive neural dynamics that implement approximate inference algorithms to solve this problem efficiently. In particular, for binary synapses with metaplastic states, we demonstrate for the first time that memories can be efficiently read out with biologically plausible network dynamics that are completely constrained by the synaptic plasticity rule, and the statistics of the stored patterns and of the recall cue. Our theory organises into a coherent framework a wide range of existing data about the regulation of excitability, feedback inhibition, and network oscillations in area CA3, and makes novel and directly testable predictions that can guide future experiments.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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 ).

  10. Long-term potentiation expands information content of hippocampal dentate gyrus synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromer, Cailey; Bartol, Thomas M; Bowden, Jared B; Hubbard, Dusten D; Hanka, Dakota C; Gonzalez, Paola V; Kuwajima, Masaaki; Mendenhall, John M; Parker, Patrick H; Abraham, Wickliffe C; Sejnowski, Terrence J; Harris, Kristen M

    2018-03-06

    An approach combining signal detection theory and precise 3D reconstructions from serial section electron microscopy (3DEM) was used to investigate synaptic plasticity and information storage capacity at medial perforant path synapses in adult hippocampal dentate gyrus in vivo. Induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) markedly increased the frequencies of both small and large spines measured 30 minutes later. This bidirectional expansion resulted in heterosynaptic counterbalancing of total synaptic area per unit length of granule cell dendrite. Control hemispheres exhibited 6.5 distinct spine sizes for 2.7 bits of storage capacity while LTP resulted in 12.9 distinct spine sizes (3.7 bits). In contrast, control hippocampal CA1 synapses exhibited 4.7 bits with much greater synaptic precision than either control or potentiated dentate gyrus synapses. Thus, synaptic plasticity altered total capacity, yet hippocampal subregions differed dramatically in their synaptic information storage capacity, reflecting their diverse functions and activation histories.

  11. Dynamic Observation of Brain-Like Learning in a Ferroelectric Synapse Device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishitani, Yu; Kaneko, Yukihiro; Ueda, Michihito; Fujii, Eiji; Tsujimura, Ayumu

    2013-04-01

    A brain-like learning function was implemented in an electronic synapse device using a ferroelectric-gate field effect transistor (FeFET). The FeFET was a bottom-gate type FET with a ZnO channel and a ferroelectric Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) gate insulator. The synaptic weight, which is represented by the channel conductance of the FeFET, is updated by applying a gate voltage through a change in the ferroelectric polarization in the PZT. A learning function based on the symmetric spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity was implemented in the synapse device using the multilevel weight update by applying a pulse gate voltage. The dynamic weighting and learning behavior in the synapse device was observed as a change in the membrane potential in a spiking neuron circuit.

  12. Eph receptors and ephrins in neuron-astrocyte communication at synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murai, Keith K; Pasquale, Elena B

    2011-11-01

    Neuron-glia communication is essential for regulating the properties of synaptic connections in the brain. Astrocytes, in particular, play a critical and complex role in synapse development, maintenance, and plasticity. Likewise, neurons reciprocally influence astrocyte physiology. However, the molecular signaling events that enable astrocytes and neurons to effectively communicate with each other are only partially defined. Recent findings have revealed that Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrins play an important role in contact-dependent neuron-glia communication at synapses. Upon binding, these two families of cell surface-associated proteins trigger bidirectional signaling events that regulate the structural and physiological properties of both neurons and astrocytes. This review will focus on the emerging role of Eph receptors and ephrins in neuron-astrocyte interaction at synapses and discuss implications for synaptic plasticity, behavior, and disease. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. 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.

  14. Preferential loss of dorsal-hippocampus synapses underlies memory impairments provoked by short, multimodal stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maras, P M; Molet, J; Chen, Y; Rice, C; Ji, S G; Solodkin, A; Baram, T Z

    2014-07-01

    The cognitive effects of stress are profound, yet it is unknown if the consequences of concurrent multiple stresses on learning and memory differ from those of a single stress of equal intensity and duration. We compared the effects on hippocampus-dependent memory of concurrent, hours-long light, loud noise, jostling and restraint (multimodal stress) with those of restraint or of loud noise alone. We then examined if differences in memory impairment following these two stress types might derive from their differential impact on hippocampal synapses, distinguishing dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Mice exposed to hours-long restraint or loud noise were modestly or minimally impaired in novel object recognition, whereas similar-duration multimodal stress provoked severe deficits. Differences in memory were not explained by differences in plasma corticosterone levels or numbers of Fos-labeled neurons in stress-sensitive hypothalamic neurons. However, although synapses in hippocampal CA3 were impacted by both restraint and multimodal stress, multimodal stress alone reduced synapse numbers severely in dorsal CA1, a region crucial for hippocampus-dependent memory. Ventral CA1 synapses were not significantly affected by either stress modality. Probing the basis of the preferential loss of dorsal synapses after multimodal stress, we found differential patterns of neuronal activation by the two stress types. Cross-correlation matrices, reflecting functional connectivity among activated regions, demonstrated that multimodal stress reduced hippocampal correlations with septum and thalamus and increased correlations with amygdala and BST. Thus, despite similar effects on plasma corticosterone and on hypothalamic stress-sensitive cells, multimodal and restraint stress differ in their activation of brain networks and in their impact on hippocampal synapses. Both of these processes might contribute to amplified memory impairments following short, multimodal stress.

  15. Preferential loss of dorsal-hippocampus synapses underlies memory impairments provoked by short, multimodal stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maras, P M; Molet, J; Chen, Y; Rice, C; Ji, S G; Solodkin, A; Baram, T Z

    2014-01-01

    The cognitive effects of stress are profound, yet it is unknown if the consequences of concurrent multiple stresses on learning and memory differ from those of a single stress of equal intensity and duration. We compared the effects on hippocampus-dependent memory of concurrent, hours-long light, loud noise, jostling and restraint (multimodal stress) with those of restraint or of loud noise alone. We then examined if differences in memory impairment following these two stress types might derive from their differential impact on hippocampal synapses, distinguishing dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Mice exposed to hours-long restraint or loud noise were modestly or minimally impaired in novel object recognition, whereas similar-duration multimodal stress provoked severe deficits. Differences in memory were not explained by differences in plasma corticosterone levels or numbers of Fos-labeled neurons in stress-sensitive hypothalamic neurons. However, although synapses in hippocampal CA3 were impacted by both restraint and multimodal stress, multimodal stress alone reduced synapse numbers severely in dorsal CA1, a region crucial for hippocampus-dependent memory. Ventral CA1 synapses were not significantly affected by either stress modality. Probing the basis of the preferential loss of dorsal synapses after multimodal stress, we found differential patterns of neuronal activation by the two stress types. Cross-correlation matrices, reflecting functional connectivity among activated regions, demonstrated that multimodal stress reduced hippocampal correlations with septum and thalamus and increased correlations with amygdala and BST. Thus, despite similar effects on plasma corticosterone and on hypothalamic stress-sensitive cells, multimodal and restraint stress differ in their activation of brain networks and in their impact on hippocampal synapses. Both of these processes might contribute to amplified memory impairments following short, multimodal stress. PMID:24589888

  16. Disruption of basal lamina components in neuromotor synapses of children with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  17. Quantal concept of T-cell activation: adhesion domains as immunological synapses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sackmann, Erich

    2011-01-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Astrocyte Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 Protects Synapses against Aβ Oligomers in Alzheimer's Disease Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Luan Pereira; Tortelli, Vanessa; Matias, Isadora; Morgado, Juliana; Bérgamo Araujo, Ana Paula; Melo, Helen M; Seixas da Silva, Gisele S; Alves-Leon, Soniza V; de Souza, Jorge M; Ferreira, Sergio T; De Felice, Fernanda G; Gomes, Flávia Carvalho Alcantara

    2017-07-12

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, increasingly attributed to neuronal dysfunction induced by amyloid-β oligomers (AβOs). Although the impact of AβOs on neurons has been extensively studied, only recently have the possible effects of AβOs on astrocytes begun to be investigated. Given the key roles of astrocytes in synapse formation, plasticity, and function, we sought to investigate the impact of AβOs on astrocytes, and to determine whether this impact is related to the deleterious actions of AβOs on synapses. We found that AβOs interact with astrocytes, cause astrocyte activation and trigger abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species, which is accompanied by impairment of astrocyte neuroprotective potential in vitro We further show that both murine and human astrocyte conditioned media (CM) increase synapse density, reduce AβOs binding, and prevent AβO-induced synapse loss in cultured hippocampal neurons. Both a neutralizing anti-transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) antibody and siRNA-mediated knockdown of TGF-β1, previously identified as an important synaptogenic factor secreted by astrocytes, abrogated the protective action of astrocyte CM against AβO-induced synapse loss. Notably, TGF-β1 prevented hippocampal dendritic spine loss and memory impairment in mice that received an intracerebroventricular infusion of AβOs. Results suggest that astrocyte-derived TGF-β1 is part of an endogenous mechanism that protects synapses against AβOs. By demonstrating that AβOs decrease astrocyte ability to protect synapses, our results unravel a new mechanism underlying the synaptotoxic action of AβOs in AD. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Alzheimer's disease is characterized by progressive cognitive decline, mainly attributed to synaptotoxicity of the amyloid-β oligomers (AβOs). Here, we investigated the impact of AβOs in astrocytes, a less known subject. We show that astrocytes prevent synapse loss induced by A

  20. Modulation, plasticity and pathophysiology of the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse

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    Eriola Hoxha

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse represents the point of maximal signal divergence in the cerebellar cortex with an estimated number of about 60 billion synaptic contacts in the rat and 100,000 billions in humans. At the same time, the Purkinje cell dendritic tree is a site of remarkable convergence of more than 100,000 parallel fiber synapses. Parallel fibers activity generates fast postsynaptic currents via AMPA receptors, and slower signals, mediated by mGlu1 receptors, resulting in Purkinje cell depolarization accompanied by sharp calcium elevation within dendritic regions. Long-term depression and long-term potentiation have been widely described for the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and have been proposed as mechanisms for motor learning. The mechanisms of induction for LTP and LTD involve different signaling mechanisms within the presynaptic terminal and/or at the postsynaptic site, promoting enduring modification in the neurotransmitter release and change in responsiveness to the neurotransmitter. The parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse is finely modulated by several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, noradrenaline, and acetylcholine. The ability of these neuromodulators to gate LTP and LTD at the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse could, at least in part, explain their effect on cerebellar-dependent learning and memory paradigms. Overall, these findings have important implications for understanding the cerebellar involvement in a series of pathological conditions, ranging from ataxia to autism. For example, parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse dysfunctions have been identified in several murine models of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA types 1, 3, 5 and 27. In some cases, the defect is specific for the AMPA receptor signaling (SCA27, while in others the mGlu1 pathway is affected (SCA1, 3, 5. Interestingly, the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse has been shown to be hyper-functional in a mutant mouse model of autism

  1. Label-free visualization of ultrastructural features of artificial synapses via cryo-EM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, Gopakumar; Yam, Patricia T; Madwar, Carolin; Bostina, Mihnea; Rouiller, Isabelle; Colman, David R; Lennox, R Bruce

    2011-12-21

    The ultrastructural details of presynapses formed between artificial substrates of submicrometer silica beads and hippocampal neurons are visualized via cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The silica beads are derivatized by poly-d-lysine or lipid bilayers. Molecular features known to exist at presynapses are clearly present at these artificial synapses, as visualized by cryo-EM. Key synaptic features such as the membrane contact area at synaptic junctions, the presynaptic bouton containing presynaptic vesicles, as well as microtubular structures can be identified. This is the first report of the direct, label-free observation of ultrastructural details of artificial synapses.

  2. Activity-dependent control of NMDA receptor subunit composition at hippocampal mossy fibre synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carta, Mario; Srikumar, Bettadapura N; Gorlewicz, Adam; Rebola, Nelson; Mulle, Christophe

    2018-02-15

    CA3 pyramidal cells display input-specific differences in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Although at low density, GluN2B contributes significantly to NMDAR-mediated EPSCs at mossy fibre synapses. Long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDARs triggers a modification in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs by insertion of GluN2B. GluN2B subunits are essential for the expression of LTP of NMDARs at mossy fibre synapses. Single neurons express NMDA receptors (NMDARs) with distinct subunit composition and biophysical properties that can be segregated in an input-specific manner. The dynamic control of the heterogeneous distribution of synaptic NMDARs is crucial to control input-dependent synaptic integration and plasticity. In hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells from mice of both sexes, we found that mossy fibre (MF) synapses display a markedly lower proportion of GluN2B-containing NMDARs than associative/commissural synapses. The mechanism involved in such heterogeneous distribution of GluN2B subunits is not known. Here we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDARs, which is selectively expressed at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses, triggers a modification in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs by insertion of GluN2B. This activity-dependent recruitment of GluN2B at mature MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses contrasts with the removal of GluN2B subunits at other glutamatergic synapses during development and in response to activity. Furthermore, although expressed at low levels, GluN2B is necessary for the expression of LTP of NMDARs at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. Altogether, we reveal a previously unknown activity-dependent regulation and function of GluN2B subunits that may contribute to the heterogeneous plasticity induction rules in CA3 pyramidal cells. © 2017 Centre Nationnal de la Recherche Scientifique. The Journal of Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society.

  3. Layer 2/3 synapses in monocular and binocular regions of tree shrew visual cortex express mAChR-dependent long-term depression and long-term potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Portia; Norton, Thomas T; McMahon, Lori L

    2008-07-01

    Acetylcholine is an important modulator of synaptic efficacy and is required for learning and memory tasks involving the visual cortex. In rodent visual cortex, activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) induces a persistent long-term depression (LTD) of transmission at synapses recorded in layer 2/3 of acute slices. Although the rodent studies expand our knowledge of how the cholinergic system modulates synaptic function underlying learning and memory, they are not easily extrapolated to more complex visual systems. Here we used tree shrews for their similarities to primates, including a visual cortex with separate, defined regions of monocular and binocular innervation, to determine whether mAChR activation induces long-term plasticity. We find that the cholinergic agonist carbachol (CCh) not only induces long-term plasticity, but the direction of the plasticity depends on the subregion. In the monocular region, CCh application induces LTD of the postsynaptic potential recorded in layer 2/3 that requires activation of m3 mAChRs and a signaling cascade that includes activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2. In contrast, layer 2/3 postsynaptic potentials recorded in the binocular region express long-term potentiation (LTP) following CCh application that requires activation of m1 mAChRs and phospholipase C. Our results show that activation of mAChRs induces long-term plasticity at excitatory synapses in tree shrew visual cortex. However, depending on the ocular inputs to that region, variation exists as to the direction of plasticity, as well as to the specific mAChR and signaling mechanisms that are required.

  4. Effects of Some Neurobiological Factors in a Self-organized Critical Model Based on Neural Networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou Liming; Zhang Yingyue; Chen Tianlun

    2005-01-01

    Based on an integrate-and-fire mechanism, we investigate the effect of changing the efficacy of the synapse, the transmitting time-delayed, and the relative refractoryperiod on the self-organized criticality in our neural network model.

  5. The chemical component of the mixed GF-TTMn synapse in Drosophila melanogaster uses acetylcholine as its neurotransmitter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Marcus J; Murphey, R K

    2007-07-01

    The largest central synapse in adult Drosophila is a mixed electro-chemical synapse whose gap junctions require the product of the shaking-B (shak-B) gene. Shak-B(2) mutant flies lack gap junctions at this synapse, which is between the giant fibre (GF) and the tergotrochanteral motor neuron (TTMn), but it still exhibits a long latency response upon GF stimulation. We have targeted the expression of the light chain of tetanus toxin to the GF, to block chemical transmission, in shak-B(2) flies. The long latency response in the tergotrochanteral muscle (TTM) was abolished indicating that the chemical component of the synapse mediates this response. Attenuation of GAL4-mediated labelling by a cha-GAL80 transgene, reveals the GF to be cholinergic. We have used a temperature-sensitive allele of the choline acetyltransferase gene (cha(ts2)) to block cholinergic synapses in adult flies and this also abolished the long latency response in shak-B(2) flies. Taken together the data provide evidence that both components of this mixed synapse are functional and that the chemical neurotransmitter between the GF and the TTMn is acetylcholine. Our findings show that the two components of this synapse can be separated to allow further studies into the mechanisms by which mixed synapses are built and function.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  8. An Excitatory Neural Assembly Encodes Short-Term Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Prenatal ethanol exposure reduces the effects of excitatory amino acids in the rat hippocampus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, E.P.; Ritchie, T.

    1989-01-01

    Chronic alcohol ingestion during pregnancy can lead to the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), a disorder marked by learning disabilities. A rat model of FAS was used by introducing pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats to a liquid diet containing 35% ethanol-derived calories (E), while a second group was pair-fed an isocaloric liquid diet without ethanol (P). A third group of pregnant dams received ad libitum lab chow (C). At parturition, pups from the E and P groups were cross fostered by C mothers and all groups received lab chow. During adulthood, male offspring were sacrificed and hippocampal and prefrontal cortical slices were prelabeled with [3H]inositol. Phosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis was determined by measuring the accumulation of [3H]inositol phosphates in the presence of LiCl in response to activation of various excitatory amino acid (EAA) receptors. In hippocampal slices, ibotenate- and quisqualate-induced PI hydrolysis was reduced in E compared to P and C animals. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) on carbachol-induced PI hydrolysis, evident in P and C animals, was completely abolished in the hippocampus of E animals. In contrast, in the prefrontal cerebral cortex, this inhibitory effect of NMDA prevailed even in the E animals. The evidence suggests that prenatal ethanol exposure alters the activity of EAA receptors in the hippocampal generation of 2nd messengers

  10. 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.

  11. Excitatory/inhibitory imbalance in autism spectrum disorders: Implications for interventions and therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzunova, Genoveva; Pallanti, Stefano; Hollander, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Imbalance between excitation and inhibition and increased excitatory-inhibitory (E-I) ratio is a common mechanism in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that is responsible for the learning and memory, cognitive, sensory, motor deficits, and seizures occurring in these disorders. ASD are very heterogeneous and better understanding of E-I imbalance in brain will lead to better diagnosis and treatments. We perform a critical literature review of the causes and presentations of E-I imbalance in ASD. E-I imbalance in ASD is due primarily to abnormal glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission in key brain regions such as neocortex, hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebellum. Other causes are due to dysfunction of neuropeptides (oxytocin), synaptic proteins (neuroligins), and immune system molecules (cytokines). At the neuropathological level E-I imbalance in ASD is presented as a "minicolumnopathy". E-I imbalance alters the manner by which the brain processes information and regulates behaviour. New developments for investigating E-I imbalance such as optogenetics and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) are presented. Non-invasive brain stimulation methods such as TMS for treatment of the core symptoms of ASD are discussed. Understanding E-I imbalance has important implications for developing better pharmacological and behavioural treatments for ASD, including TMS, new drugs, biomarkers and patient stratification.

  12. Vasopressin facilitates excitatory transmission in slices of the rat dorso-lateral septum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Hooff, P; Urban, I J

    1990-01-01

    The effect of vasopressin on neurons of the rat dorso-lateral septum (DLS) was studied in brain slices with intracellular microelectrodes. Two out of 13 neurons showed a small depolarization, spontaneous activity, and increased input resistances following a 15 min exposure to 10(-6) to 10(-8) M vasopressin (VP). These membrane effects disappeared completely within 3-5 min after the application. The remaining DLS neurons treated with these vasopressin concentrations showed an increase in glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs), evoked by stimulation of the fimbria fibers. As little as 10(-12) MVP increased these EPSPs markedly in nearly 80% of the cells studied. This increase in most of the cells disappeared within 15 min after the application period, whereas the increase in EPSPs induced by 10(-10) M VP outlasted the peptide application period for more than 30 min. Neither the blockade of GABA-ergic synaptic inhibition nor the pre-treatment of the neurons with d(CH2)5-Tyr(Me)-arginine vasopressin or 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (2-APV), antagonists for the V1 type of vasopressin receptor and NMDA receptors, respectively, interfered with the EPSPs potentiating effect of the peptide. It is concluded that a type of vasopressin receptor other then the V1 type is involved in the long-lasting potentiation of the primarily non-NMDA receptor mediated transmission in DLS neurons.

  13. Comparing the Efficacy of Excitatory Transcranial Stimulation Methods Measuring Motor Evoked Potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Moliadze

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The common aim of transcranial stimulation methods is the induction or alterations of cortical excitability in a controlled way. Significant effects of each individual stimulation method have been published; however, conclusive direct comparisons of many of these methods are rare. The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of three widely applied stimulation methods inducing excitability enhancement in the motor cortex: 1 mA anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (atDCS, intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS, and 1 mA transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS within one subject group. The effect of each stimulation condition was quantified by evaluating motor-evoked-potential amplitudes (MEPs in a fixed time sequence after stimulation. The analyses confirmed a significant enhancement of the M1 excitability caused by all three types of active stimulations compared to sham stimulation. There was no significant difference between the types of active stimulations, although the time course of the excitatory effects slightly differed. Among the stimulation methods, tRNS resulted in the strongest and atDCS significantly longest MEP increase compared to sham. Different time courses of the applied stimulation methods suggest different underlying mechanisms of action. Better understanding may be useful for better targeting of different transcranial stimulation techniques.

  14. A Cyfip2-Dependent Excitatory Interneuron Pathway Establishes the Innate Startle Threshold.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsden, Kurt C; Jain, Roshan A; Wolman, Marc A; Echeverry, Fabio A; Nelson, Jessica C; Hayer, Katharina E; Miltenberg, Ben; Pereda, Alberto E; Granato, Michael

    2018-04-17

    Sensory experiences dynamically modify whether animals respond to a given stimulus, but it is unclear how innate behavioral thresholds are established. Here, we identify molecular and circuit-level mechanisms underlying the innate threshold of the zebrafish startle response. From a forward genetic screen, we isolated five mutant lines with reduced innate startle thresholds. Using whole-genome sequencing, we identify the causative mutation for one line to be in the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP)-interacting protein cyfip2. We show that cyfip2 acts independently of FMRP and that reactivation of cyfip2 restores the baseline threshold after phenotype onset. Finally, we show that cyfip2 regulates the innate startle threshold by reducing neural activity in a small group of excitatory hindbrain interneurons. Thus, we identify a selective set of genes critical to establishing an innate behavioral threshold and uncover a circuit-level role for cyfip2 in this process. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Differences in context sensitivity for second-learned inhibitory and excitatory stimuli in AAB and ABC designs

    OpenAIRE

    Elgueta, Tito

    2014-01-01

    Bouton (1997) proposed a model to explain Pavlovian conditioning according to which the order of the associations (first-learned or second-learned), not the valence of the associations (inhibitory or excitatory), determines context sensitivity in AAB and ABC renewal designs. As a consequence, Bouton’s model does not predict important differences in context sensitivity between AAB and ABC designs. However, evidence suggests that there are indeed differences in context sensitivity between these...

  17. Excitatory inputs to four types of spinocerebellar tract neurons in the cat and the rat thoraco-lumbar spinal cord

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrestha, Sony Shakya; Bannatyne, B Anne; Jankowska, Elzbieta; Hammar, Ingela; Nilsson, Elin; Maxwell, David J

    2012-01-01

    The cerebellum receives information from the hindlimbs through several populations of spinocerebellar tract neurons. Although the role of these neurons has been established in electrophysiological experiments, the relative contribution of afferent fibres and central neurons to their excitatory input has only been estimated approximately so far. Taking advantage of differences in the immunohistochemistry of glutamatergic terminals of peripheral afferents and of central neurons (with vesicular glutamate transporters VGLUT1 or VGLUT2, respectively), we compared sources of excitatory input to four populations of spinocerebellar neurons in the thoraco-lumbar spinal cord: dorsal spinocerebellar tract neurons located in Clarke's column (ccDSCT) and in the dorsal horn (dhDSCT) and ventral spinocerebellar tract (VSCT) neurons including spinal border (SB) neurons. This was done on 22 electrophysiologically identified intracellularly labelled neurons in cats and on 80 neurons labelled by retrograde transport of cholera toxin b subunit injected into the cerebellum of rats. In both species distribution of antibodies against VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 on SB neurons (which have dominating inhibitory input from limb muscles), revealed very few VGLUT1 contacts and remarkably high numbers of VGLUT2 contacts. In VSCT neurons with excitatory afferent input, the number of VGLUT1 contacts was relatively high although VGLUT2 contacts likewise dominated, while the proportions of VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 immunoreactive terminals were the reverse on the two populations of DSCT neurons. These findings provide morphological evidence that SB neurons principally receive excitatory inputs from central neurons and provide the cerebellum with information regarding central neuronal activity. PMID:22371473

  18. Hierarchical clustering of gene expression patterns in the Eomes + lineage of excitatory neurons during early neocortical development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cameron David A

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cortical neurons display dynamic patterns of gene expression during the coincident processes of differentiation and migration through the developing cerebrum. To identify genes selectively expressed by the Eomes + (Tbr2 lineage of excitatory cortical neurons, GFP-expressing cells from Tg(Eomes::eGFP Gsat embryos were isolated to > 99% purity and profiled. Results We report the identification, validation and spatial grouping of genes selectively expressed within the Eomes + cortical excitatory neuron lineage during early cortical development. In these neurons 475 genes were expressed ≥ 3-fold, and 534 genes ≤ 3-fold, compared to the reference population of neuronal precursors. Of the up-regulated genes, 328 were represented at the Genepaint in situ hybridization database and 317 (97% were validated as having spatial expression patterns consistent with the lineage of differentiating excitatory neurons. A novel approach for quantifying in situ hybridization patterns (QISP across the cerebral wall was developed that allowed the hierarchical clustering of genes into putative co-regulated groups. Forty four candidate genes were identified that show spatial expression with Intermediate Precursor Cells, 49 candidate genes show spatial expression with Multipolar Neurons, while the remaining 224 genes achieved peak expression in the developing cortical plate. Conclusions This analysis of differentiating excitatory neurons revealed the expression patterns of 37 transcription factors, many chemotropic signaling molecules (including the Semaphorin, Netrin and Slit signaling pathways, and unexpected evidence for non-canonical neurotransmitter signaling and changes in mechanisms of glucose metabolism. Over half of the 317 identified genes are associated with neuronal disease making these findings a valuable resource for studies of neurological development and disease.

  19. The role of neurexins and neuroligins in the formation, maturation, and function of vertebrate synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger, Dilja D; Tuffy, Liam P; Papadopoulos, Theofilos; Brose, Nils

    2012-06-01

    Neurexins (NXs) and neuroligins (NLs) are transsynaptically interacting cell adhesion proteins that play a key role in the formation, maturation, activity-dependent validation, and maintenance of synapses. As complex alternative splicing processes in nerve cells generate a large number of NX and NLs variants, it has been proposed that a combinatorial interaction code generated by these variants may determine synapse identity and network connectivity during brain development. The functional importance of NXs and NLs is exemplified by the fact that mutations in NX and NL genes are associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders, most notably with autism. Accordingly, major research efforts have focused on the molecular mechanisms by which NXs and NLs operate at synapses. In this review, we summarize recent progress in this field and discuss emerging topics, such as the role of alternative interaction partners of NXs and NLs in synapse formation and function, and their relevance for synaptic plasticity in the mature brain. The novel findings highlight the fundamental importance of NX-NL interactions in a wide range of synaptic functions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Human synapses show a wide temporal window for spike-timing-dependent plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Testa-Silva, G.; Verhoog, M.B.; Goriounova, N.A.; Loebel, A.; Hjorth, J.; Baayen, J.C.; de Kock, C.P.J.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2010-01-01

    Throughout our lifetime, activity-dependent changes in neuronal connection strength enable the brain to refine neural circuits and learn based on experience. Synapses can bi-directionally alter strength and the magnitude and sign depend on the millisecond timing of presynaptic and postsynaptic

  1. 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

  2. The cAMP cascade modulates the neuroinformative impact of quantal release at cholinergic synapse

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vyskočil, František; Bukcharaeva, E.; Samigullin, D. V.; Nikolsky, E. E.

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 2 (2001), s. 317-323 ISSN 1539-2791 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA7011902 Grant - others:EU(XX) Nesting; RFBR(RU) 99-04-48286 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5011922 Keywords : frog neuromuscular synapse * noradrenaline Subject RIV: ED - Physiology

  3. 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…

  4. GABAergic Synapses at the Axon Initial Segment of Basolateral Amygdala Projection Neurons Modulate Fear Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Rinki; Knapp, Stephanie; Chakraborty, Darpan; Horovitz, Omer; Albrecht, Anne; Kriebel, Martin; Kaphzan, Hanoch; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Volkmer, Hansjürgen; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2017-01-01

    Inhibitory synaptic transmission in the amygdala has a pivotal role in fear learning and its extinction. However, the local circuits formed by GABAergic inhibitory interneurons within the amygdala and their detailed function in shaping these behaviors are not well understood. Here we used lentiviral-mediated knockdown of the cell adhesion molecule neurofascin in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to specifically remove inhibitory synapses at the axon initial segment (AIS) of BLA projection neurons. Quantitative analysis of GABAergic synapse markers and measurement of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA projection neurons after neurofascin knockdown ex vivo confirmed the loss of GABAergic input. We then studied the impact of this manipulation on anxiety-like behavior and auditory cued fear conditioning and its extinction as BLA related behavioral paradigms, as well as on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the ventral subiculum-BLA pathway in vivo. BLA knockdown of neurofascin impaired ventral subiculum-BLA-LTP. While this manipulation did not affect anxiety-like behavior and fear memory acquisition and consolidation, it specifically impaired extinction. Our findings indicate that modification of inhibitory synapses at the AIS of BLA projection neurons is sufficient to selectively impair extinction behavior. A better understanding of the role of distinct GABAergic synapses may provide novel and more specific targets for therapeutic interventions in extinction-based therapies.

  5. Synaptic heterogeneity and stimulus-induced modulation of depression in central synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, J D; Milton, J G

    2001-08-01

    Short-term plasticity is a pervasive feature of synapses. Synapses exhibit many forms of plasticity operating over a range of time scales. We develop an optimization method that allows rapid characterization of synapses with multiple time scales of facilitation and depression. Investigation of paired neurons that are postsynaptic to the same identified interneuron in the buccal ganglion of Aplysia reveals that the responses of the two neurons differ in the magnitude of synaptic depression. Also, for single neurons, prolonged stimulation of the presynaptic neuron causes stimulus-induced increases in the early phase of synaptic depression. These observations can be described by a model that incorporates two availability factors, e.g., depletable vesicle pools or desensitizing receptor populations, with different time courses of recovery, and a single facilitation component. This model accurately predicts the responses to novel stimuli. The source of synaptic heterogeneity is identified with variations in the relative sizes of the two availability factors, and the stimulus-induced decrement in the early synaptic response is explained by a slowing of the recovery rate of one of the availability factors. The synaptic heterogeneity and stimulus-induced modifications in synaptic depression observed here emphasize that synaptic efficacy depends on both the individual properties of synapses and their past history.

  6. Memory and pattern storage in neural networks with activity dependent synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejias, J. F.; Torres, J. J.

    2009-01-01

    We present recently obtained results on the influence of the interplay between several activity dependent synaptic mechanisms, such as short-term depression and facilitation, on the maximum memory storage capacity in an attractor neural network [1]. In contrast with the case of synaptic depression, which drastically reduces the capacity of the network to store and retrieve activity patterns [2], synaptic facilitation is able to enhance the memory capacity in different situations. In particular, we find that a convenient balance between depression and facilitation can enhance the memory capacity, reaching maximal values similar to those obtained with static synapses, that is, without activity-dependent processes. We also argue, employing simple arguments, that this level of balance is compatible with experimental data recorded from some cortical areas, where depression and facilitation may play an important role for both memory-oriented tasks and information processing. We conclude that depressing synapses with a certain level of facilitation allow to recover the good retrieval properties of networks with static synapses while maintaining the nonlinear properties of dynamic synapses, convenient for information processing and coding.

  7. 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

  8. Super Resolution Imaging of Genetically Labeled Synapses in Drosophila Brain Tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spühler, Isabelle A; Conley, Gaurasundar M; Scheffold, Frank; Sprecher, Simon G

    2016-01-01

    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 labeled 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.

  9. Astrocyte lipid metabolism is critical for synapse development and function in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Deijk, Anne-Lieke F; Camargo, Nutabi; Timmerman, Jaap; Heistek, Tim; Brouwers, Jos F; Mogavero, Floriana; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Smit, August B; Verheijen, Mark H G

    2017-04-01

    The brain is considered to be autonomous in lipid synthesis with astrocytes producing lipids far more efficiently than neurons. Accordingly, it is generally assumed that astrocyte-derived lipids are taken up by neurons to support synapse formation and function. Initial confirmation of this assumption has been obtained in cell cultures, but whether astrocyte-derived lipids support synapses in vivo is not known. Here, we address this issue and determined the role of astrocyte lipid metabolism in hippocampal synapse formation and function in vivo. Hippocampal protein expression for the sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) and its target gene fatty acid synthase (Fasn) was found in astrocytes but not in neurons. Diminishing SREBP activity in astrocytes using mice in which the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) was deleted from GFAP-expressing cells resulted in decreased cholesterol and phospholipid secretion by astrocytes. Interestingly, SCAP mutant mice showed more immature synapses, lower presynaptic protein SNAP-25 levels as well as reduced numbers of synaptic vesicles, indicating impaired development of the presynaptic terminal. Accordingly, hippocampal short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity were defective in mutant mice. These findings establish a critical role for astrocyte lipid metabolism in presynaptic terminal development and function in vivo. GLIA 2017;65:670-682. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-15

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

  13. 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.

  14. Presynaptic Membrane Receptors Modulate ACh Release, Axonal Competition and Synapse Elimination during Neuromuscular Junction Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Nadal, Laura; Hurtado, Erica; Simó, Anna; Cilleros, Víctor

    2017-01-01

    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.

  15. Blocking p75 (NTR) receptors alters polyinnervationz of neuromuscular synapses during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Neus; Tomàs, Marta; Santafe, Manel M; Lanuza, Maria A; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Josep

    2011-09-01

    High-resolution immunohistochemistry shows that the receptor protein p75(NTR) is present in the nerve terminal, muscle cell, and glial Schwann cell at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of postnatal rats (P4-P6) during the synapse elimination period. Blocking the receptor with the antibody anti-p75-192-IgG (1-5 μg/ml, 1 hr) results in reduced endplate potentials (EPPs) in mono- and polyinnervated synapses ex vivo, but the mean number of functional inputs per NMJ does not change for as long as 3 hr. Incubation with exogenous brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) for 1 hr (50 nM) resulted in a significant increase in the size of the EPPs in all nerve terminals, and preincubation with anti-p75-192-IgG prevented this potentiation. Long exposure (24 hr) in vivo of the NMJs to the antibody anti-p75-192-IgG (1-2 μg/ml) results in a delay of postnatal synapse elimination and even some regrowth of previously withdrawn axons, but also in some acceleration of the morphologic maturation of the postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) clusters. The results indicate that p75(NTR) is involved in both ACh release and axonal retraction during postnatal axonal competition and synapse elimination. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Orchestrating cytoskeleton and intracellular vesicle traffic to build functional immunological synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Helena; Lasserre, Rémi; Alcover, Andrés

    2013-11-01

    Immunological synapses are specialized cell-cell contacts formed between T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells. They are induced upon antigen recognition and are crucial for T-cell activation and effector functions. The generation and function of immunological synapses depend on an active T-cell polarization process, which results from a finely orchestrated crosstalk between the antigen receptor signal transduction machinery, the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, and controlled vesicle traffic. Although we understand how some of these particular events are regulated, we still lack knowledge on how these multiple cellular elements are harmonized to ensure appropriate T-cell responses. We discuss here our view on how T-cell receptor signal transduction initially commands cytoskeletal and vesicle traffic polarization, which in turn sets the immunological synapse molecular design that regulates T-cell activation. We also discuss how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) hijacks some of these processes impairing immunological synapse generation and function. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Mixed Analog/Digital Matrix-Vector Multiplier for Neural Network Synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehmann, Torsten; Bruun, Erik; Dietrich, Casper

    1996-01-01

    In this work we present a hardware efficient matrix-vector multiplier architecture for artificial neural networks with digitally stored synapse strengths. We present a novel technique for manipulating bipolar inputs based on an analog two's complements method and an accurate current rectifier...

  1. Impact of delays on the synchronization transitions of modular neuronal networks with hybrid synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chen; Wang, Jiang; Yu, Haitao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xile; Tsang, Kaiming; Chan, Wailok

    2013-09-01

    The combined effects of the information transmission delay and the ratio of the electrical and chemical synapses on the synchronization transitions in the hybrid modular neuronal network are investigated in this paper. Numerical results show that the synchronization of neuron activities can be either promoted or destroyed as the information transmission delay increases, irrespective of the probability of electrical synapses in the hybrid-synaptic network. Interestingly, when the number of the electrical synapses exceeds a certain level, further increasing its proportion can obviously enhance the spatiotemporal synchronization transitions. Moreover, the coupling strength has a significant effect on the synchronization transition. The dominated type of the synapse always has a more profound effect on the emergency of the synchronous behaviors. Furthermore, the results of the modular neuronal network structures demonstrate that excessive partitioning of the modular network may result in the dramatic detriment of neuronal synchronization. Considering that information transmission delays are inevitable in intra- and inter-neuronal networks communication, the obtained results may have important implications for the exploration of the synchronization mechanism underlying several neural system diseases such as Parkinson's Disease.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Evidence for an excitatory amino acid pathway in the brainstem and for its involvement in cardiovascular control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somogyi, P; Minson, J B; Morilak, D; Llewellyn-Smith, I; McIlhinney, J R; Chalmers, J

    1989-09-04

    The source and possible role of excitatory amino acid projections to areas of the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) involved in cardiovascular control were studied. Following the injection of [3H]D-aspartate ([3H]D-Asp), a selective tracer for excitatory amino acid pathways, into vasopressor or vasodepressor areas of the VLM in rats, more than 90% of retrogradely labelled neurones were found in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). Very few of the [3H]D-Asp-labelled cells were immunoreactive for tyrosine hydroxylase, none for phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase or gamma-aminobutyric acid. The density of labelled cells in the NTS was similar to that obtained with the non-selective tracers wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) and WGA-colloidal gold, but these tracers also labelled other cell groups in the medulla. Furthermore, the decrease in blood pressure, caused by pharmacological activation of neurones in the NTS of rats, or by electrical stimulation of the aortic depressor nerve in rabbits could be blocked by the selective N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovalerate injected into the caudal vasodepressor area of the VLM. This area corresponds to the termination of [3H]D-Asp transporting NTS neurones. These results provide evidence that a population of NTS neurones projecting to the VLM use excitatory amino acids as transmitters. Among other possible functions, this pathway may mediate tonic and reflex control of blood pressure via NMDA receptors in the VLM.

  5. 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

  6. Distributed Bayesian Computation and Self-Organized Learning in Sheets of Spiking Neurons with Local Lateral Inhibition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Bill

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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

  8. Cholinergic Inputs from Basal Forebrain Add an Excitatory Bias to Odor Coding in the Olfactory Bulb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothermel, Markus; Carey, Ryan M.; Puche, Adam; Shipley, Michael T.

    2014-01-01

    Cholinergic modulation of central circuits is associated with active sensation, attention, and learning, yet the neural circuits and temporal dynamics underlying cholinergic effects on sensory processing remain unclear. Understanding the effects of cholinergic modulation on particular circuits is complicated by the widespread projections of cholinergic neurons to telencephalic structures that themselves are highly interconnected. Here we examined how cholinergic projections from basal forebrain to the olfactory bulb (OB) modulate output from the first stage of sensory processing in the mouse olfactory system. By optogenetically activating their axons directly in the OB, we found that cholinergic projections from basal forebrain regulate OB output by increasing the spike output of presumptive mitral/tufted cells. Cholinergic stimulation increased mitral/tufted cell spiking in the absence of inhalation-driven sensory input and further increased spiking responses to inhalation of odorless air and to odorants. This modulation was rapid and transient, was dependent on local cholinergic signaling in the OB, and differed from modulation by optogenetic activation of cholinergic neurons in basal forebrain, which led to a mixture of mitral/tufted cell excitation and suppression. Finally, bulbar cholinergic enhancement of mitral/tufted cell odorant responses was robust and occurred independent of the strength or even polarity of the odorant-evoked response, indicating that cholinergic modulation adds an excitatory bias to mitral/tufted cells as opposed to increasing response gain or sharpening response spectra. These results are consistent with a role for the basal forebrain cholinergic system in dynamically regulating the sensitivity to or salience of odors during active sensing of the olfactory environment. PMID:24672011

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-29

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun eYang

    2013-06-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Neuromodulation by Mg2+ and polyamines of excitatory amino acid currents in rodent neurones in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumamoto, E

    1996-12-01

    Excitatory amino-acid currents in rodent central neurones are mediated by the activation of glutamate receptors. Ionotropic types of the receptors are divided into alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA), kainate and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, and the former two are collectively called non-NMDA receptors. The NMDA receptor is modulated by a number of endogenous neuromodulators including Mg2+, polyamines, glycine and protons in extracellular solutions. Although it has been generally thought that each of the neuromodulators acts on a distinct site in the NMDA receptor, recent studies have revealed that these actions may be not necessarily independent of each other. The NMDA receptor response is not only inhibited but also potentiated by Mg2+, and the latter action is due to an interaction of a Mg2+ site with either glycine- or proton-binding site. In the presence of polyamines, a tonic inhibition by protons of the NMDA receptor response is relieved, resulting in a potentiation of the response. Alternatively, it has been recently revealed that there are some subtypes of non-NMDA receptors which are negatively modulated by polyamines in either extra- or intra cellular solutions. The difference in polyamine sensitivity among non-NMDA receptors is attributed to a distinction in their constituted subunits. The inhibition of non-NMDA receptor by intracellular polyamines results in inward rectification of the current-voltage relation which is not seen for polyamine-insensitive ones. This polyamine action is not mimicked by intracellular Mg2+.

  13. Calcium-dependent smooth muscle excitatory effect elicited by the venom of the hydrocoral Millepora complanata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, Alejandra; Torres, Mónica; Rojas, J Isela; Feregrino, Angélica; Heimer-de la Cotera, Edgar P

    2002-06-01

    In the present paper, we describe the results obtained from a preliminary pharmacological and biochemical study of the fire coral Millepora complanata, a regular component of coral reefs in the Mexican Caribbean. The protein-containing crude extract obtained from M. complanata (tested from 0.001 to 1000 microg protein/ml) caused a concentration-dependent stimulation of spontaneous contractions of the guinea pig ileum. The extract (EC(50)=11.55+/-2.36 microg/ml) was approximately 12-fold less potent than ionomycin (EC(50)=0.876+/-0.25 microg/ml) and its maximum induced contraction (1mg protein/ml) was equivalent to 68% of the response to 60mM KCl. FPLC size exclusion chromatography of the M. complanta extract afforded 12 primary fractions, of which only FV (containing proteins with molecular weights ranging from 17 to 44 kDa) and FVIII (consisting of peptides with molecular weights lesser than 1.8k Da) elicited an excitatory effect when tested at the EC(50) of the original extract. After incubation in Ca(2+)-free medium, the ileal response to FV and FVIII was significantly reduced. Blockage of L-type Ca(2+) channels with nifedipine (1 microM) inhibited FV and FVIII-evoked contractions. Cd(2+) (10 microM), an unspecific blocker of voltage-activated calcium channels, also antagonized FV and FVIII-induced effects, whereas the Na(+) channel blocker tetrodotoxin (10nM) did not significantly affect FV and FVIII responses. These results suggest that the contractions induced by the bioactive fractions obtained from the crude extract of M. complanata are caused mainly by a direct action on smooth muscle cells, via an increase in Ca(2+) permeability that occurs, at least partly, through L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels found in the cell membrane of smooth muscle. Copright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  14. Effects of sarcosine and N, N-dimethylglycine on NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory field potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mei-Yi; Lin, Yi-Ruu; Tu, Yi-Shu; Tseng, Yufeng Jane; Chan, Ming-Huan; Chen, Hwei-Hsien

    2017-02-28

    Sarcosine, a glycine transporter type 1 inhibitor and an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor co-agonist at the glycine binding site, potentiates NMDA receptor function. Structurally similar to sarcosine, N,N-dimethylglycine (DMG) is also N-methyl glycine-derivative amino acid and commonly used as a dietary supplement. The present study compared the effects of sarcosine and DMG on NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory field potentials (EFPs) in mouse medial prefrontal cortex brain slices using a multi-electrode array system. Glycine, sarcosine and DMG alone did not alter the NMDA receptor-mediated EFPs, but in combination with glutamate, glycine and its N-methyl derivatives significantly increased the frequency and amplitude of EFPs. The enhancing effects of glycine analogs in combination with glutamate on EFPs were remarkably reduced by the glycine binding site antagonist 7-chlorokynurenate (7-CK). However, DMG, but not sarcosine, reduced the frequency and amplitude of EFPs elicited by co-application of glutamate plus glycine. D-cycloserine, a partial agonist at the glycine binding site on NMDA receptors, affected EFPs in a similar manner to DMG. Furthermore, DMG, but not sarcosine, reduced the frequencies and amplitudes of EFPs elicited by glutamate plus D-serine, another endogenous ligand for glycine binding site. These findings suggest that sarcosine acts as a full agonist, yet DMG is a partial agonist at glycine binding site of NMDA receptors. The molecular docking analysis indicated that the interactions of glycine, sarcosine, and DMG to NMDA receptors are highly similar, supporting that the glycine binding site of NMDA receptors is a critical target site for sarcosine and DMG.

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

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    James Courtney Knight

    2016-09-01

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

  16. P2X7 Receptors Drive Spine Synapse Plasticity in the Learned Helplessness Model of Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otrokocsi, Lilla; Kittel, Ágnes; Sperlágh, Beáta

    2017-10-01

    Major depressive disorder is characterized by structural and functional abnormalities of cortical and limbic brain areas, including a decrease in spine synapse number in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Recent studies highlighted that both genetic and pharmacological invalidation of the purinergic P2X7 receptor (P2rx7) leads to antidepressant-like phenotype in animal experiments; however, the impact of P2rx7 on depression-related structural changes in the hippocampus is not clarified yet. Effects of genetic deletion of P2rx7s on depressive-like behavior and spine synapse density in the dentate gyrus were investigated using the learned helplessness mouse model of depression. We demonstrate that in wild-type animals, inescapable footshocks lead to learned helplessness behavior reflected in increased latency and number of escape failures to subsequent escapable footshocks. This behavior is accompanied with downregulation of mRNA encoding P2rx7 and decrease of spine synapse density in the dentate gyrus as determined by electron microscopic stereology. In addition, a decrease in synaptopodin but not in PSD95 and NR2B/GluN2B protein level was also observed under these conditions. Whereas the absence of P2rx7 was characterized by escape deficit, no learned helpless behavior is observed in these animals. Likewise, no decrease in spine synapse number and synaptopodin protein levels was detected in response to inescapable footshocks in P2rx7-deficient animals. Our findings suggest the endogenous activation of P2rx7s in the learned helplessness model of depression and decreased plasticity of spine synapses in P2rx7-deficient mice might explain the resistance of these animals to repeated stressful stimuli. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  17. 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

  18. A machine learning method for the prediction of receptor activation in the simulation of synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus Montes

    Full Text Available Chemical synaptic transmission involves the release of a neurotransmitter that diffuses in the extracellular space and interacts with specific receptors located on the postsynaptic membrane. Computer simulation approaches provide fundamental tools for exploring various aspects of the synaptic transmission under different conditions. In particular, Monte Carlo methods can track the stochastic movements of neurotransmitter molecules and their interactions with other discrete molecules, the receptors. However, these methods are computationally expensive, even when used with simplified models, preventing their use in large-scale and multi-scale simulations of complex neuronal systems that may involve large numbers of synaptic connections. We have developed a machine-learning based method that can accurately predict relevant aspects of the behavior of synapses, such as the percentage of open synaptic receptors as a function of time since the release of the neurotransmitter, with considerably lower computational cost compared with the conventional Monte Carlo alternative. The method is designed to learn patterns and general principles from a corpus of previously generated Monte Carlo simulations of synapses covering a wide range of structural and functional characteristics. These patterns are later used as a predictive model of the behavior of synapses under different conditions without the need for additional computationally expensive Monte Carlo simulations. This is performed in five stages: data sampling, fold creation, machine learning, validation and curve fitting. The resulting procedure is accurate, automatic, and it is general enough to predict synapse behavior under experimental conditions that are different to the ones it has been trained on. Since our method efficiently reproduces the results that can be obtained with Monte Carlo simulations at a considerably lower computational cost, it is suitable for the simulation of high numbers of

  19. Effects of neonatal. gamma. -ray irradiation on rat hippocampus: Pt. 2; Development of excitatory amino acid binding sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dessi, F; Represa, A; Ben-Ari, Y [Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM), 75 - Paris (France)

    1991-01-01

    In the rat, neonatal irradiation produces a destruction of denate granule cells and prevents the development of the mossy fibre-CA3 pyramidal cell synapse. The developmental increase of high affinity kainate binding sites in the stratum lucidum was reduced on the irradiated side as compared with the control side. This suggests that a proportion of high affinity kainate binding sites is associated with mossy fibres. In contrast, the development profile of N-methyl-D-aspartate binding sites, which are associated with associational and commissural synapses in CA3, was not affected by irradiation. The role that afferent fibres may play in the development of pyramidal cells is discussed in connection with the modulatory effects of glutamate receptors on the development of neurons. (author).

  20. 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.

  1. Constancy and variability in cortical structure. A study on synapses and dendritic spines in hedgehog and monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schüz, A; Demianenko, G P

    1995-01-01

    Synapses and dendritic spines were investigated in the parietal cortex of the hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) and the monkey (Macaca mulatta). There was no significant difference in the density of synapses between the two species (14 synapses/100 microns2 in the hedgehog, 15/100 microns2 in the monkey), neither in the size of the synaptic junctions, in the proportion of Type I and Type II synapses (8-10% were of Type II in the hedgehog, 10-14% in the monkey) nor in the proportion of perforated synapses (8% in the hedgehog, 5% in the monkey). The only striking difference at the electron microscopic level concerned the frequency of synapses in which the postsynaptic profile was deeply indented into the presynaptic terminal. Such synapses were 10 times more frequent in the monkey. Dendritic spines were investigated in Golgi-preparations. The density of spines along dendrites was similar in both species. The results are discussed with regard to connectivity in the cortex of small and large brains.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dávid Csabai

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available 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

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

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    Neugebauer Volker

    2010-12-01

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

  6. The Reorientation of T-Cell Polarity and Inhibition of Immunological Synapse Formation by CD46 Involves Its Recruitment to Lipid Rafts

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    Mandy J. Ludford-Menting

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Many infectious agents utilize CD46 for infection of human cells, and therapeutic applications of CD46-binding viruses are now being explored. Besides mediating internalization to enable infection, binding to CD46 can directly alter immune function. In particular, ligation of CD46 by antibodies or by measles virus can prevent activation of T cells by altering T-cell polarity and consequently preventing the formation of an immunological synapse. Here, we define a mechanism by which CD46 reorients T-cell polarity to prevent T-cell receptor signaling in response to antigen presentation. We show that CD46 associates with lipid rafts upon ligation, and that this reduces recruitment of both lipid rafts and the microtubule organizing centre to the site of receptor cross-linking. These data combined indicate that polarization of T cells towards the site of CD46 ligation prevents formation of an immunological synapse, and this is associated with the ability of CD46 to recruit lipid rafts away from the site of TCR ligation.

  7. 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.

  8. Loss of perforated synapses in the dentate gyrus: morphological substrate of memory deficit in aged rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geinisman, Y; de Toledo-Morrell, L; Morrell, F

    1986-01-01

    Most, but not all, aged rats exhibit a profound deficit in spatial memory when tested in a radial maze--a task known to depend on the integrity of the hippocampal formation. In this study, animals were divided into three groups based on their spatial memory capacity: young adult rats with good memory, aged rats with impaired memory, and aged rats with good memory. Memory-impaired aged animals showed a loss of perforated axospinous synapses in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation in comparison with either young adults or aged rats with good memory. This finding suggests that the loss of perforated axospinous synapses in the hippocampal formation underlies the age-related deficit in spatial memory. Images PMID:3458260

  9. Retrogradely Transported TrkA Endosomes Signal Locally within Dendrites to Maintain Sympathetic Neuron Synapses

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    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.

  10. The interplay between neurons and glia in synapse development and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stogsdill, Jeff A; Eroglu, Cagla

    2017-02-01

    In the brain, the formation of complex neuronal networks amenable to experience-dependent remodeling is complicated by the diversity of neurons and synapse types. The establishment of a functional brain depends not only on neurons, but also non-neuronal glial cells. Glia are in continuous bi-directional communication with neurons to direct the formation and refinement of synaptic connectivity. This article reviews important findings, which uncovered cellular and molecular aspects of the neuron-glia cross-talk that govern the formation and remodeling of synapses and circuits. In vivo evidence demonstrating the critical interplay between neurons and glia will be the major focus. Additional attention will be given to how aberrant communication between neurons and glia may contribute to neural pathologies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. From synapse to nucleus and back again--communication over distance within neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fainzilber, Mike; Budnik, Vivian; Segal, Rosalind A; Kreutz, Michael R

    2011-11-09

    How do neurons integrate intracellular communication from synapse to nucleus and back? Here we briefly summarize aspects of this topic covered by a symposium at Neuroscience 2011. A rich repertoire of signaling mechanisms link both dendritic terminals and axon tips with neuronal soma and nucleus, using motor-dependent transport machineries to traverse the long intracellular distances along neuronal processes. Activation mechanisms at terminals include localized translation of dendritic or axonal RNA, proteolytic cleavage of receptors or second messengers, and differential phosphorylation of signaling moieties. Signaling complexes may be transported in endosomes, or as non-endosomal complexes associated with importins and dynein. Anterograde transport of RNA granules from the soma to neuronal processes, coupled with retrograde transport of proteins translated locally at terminals or within processes, may fuel ongoing bidirectional communication between soma and synapse to modulate synaptic plasticity as well as neuronal growth and survival decisions.

  12. Navigating barriers: the challenge of directed secretion at the natural killer cell lytic immunological synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanborn, Keri B; Orange, Jordan S

    2010-05-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells have an inherent ability to recognize and destroy a wide array of cells rendered abnormal by stress or disease. NK cells can kill a targeted cell by forming a tight interface-the lytic immunological synapse. This represents a dynamic molecular arrangement that over time progresses through a series of steps to ultimately deliver the contents of specialized organelles known as lytic granules. In order to mediate cytotoxicity, the NK cell faces the challenge of mobilizing the lytic granules, polarizing them to the targeted cell, facilitating their approximation to the NK cell membrane, and releasing their contents. This review is focused upon the final steps in accessing function through the lytic immunological synapse.

  13. Synapses of the rat end brain in response to flight effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antipov, V.V.; Tikhonchuk, V.S.; Ushakov, I.B.; Fedorov, V.P.

    1988-01-01

    Using electron microscopy, synapses of different structures of the rat end brain related to cognitive and motor acts (sensorimotor cortex, caudate nucleus) as well as memory and behavior (hippocampus) were examined. Rats were exposed to ionizing radiation, superhigh frequency, hypoxia, hyperoxia, vibration and acceleration (applied separately or in combination) which have been traditionally in the focus of space and aviation medicine. Brain internuronal junctions were found to be very sensitive to the above effects, particularly ionizing radiation and hypoxia. Conversely, synapses were shown to be highly resistant to short-term hyperoxia and electromagnetic radiation. When combined effects were used, response of interneuronal junctions depended on the irradiation dose and order of application of radiation and other flight factors

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

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    Jamshed Warsi

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Three-terminal ferroelectric synapse device with concurrent learning function for artificial neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishitani, Y.; Kaneko, Y.; Ueda, M.; Fujii, E.; Morie, T.

    2012-01-01

    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 3 (PZT)/SrRuO 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.

  19. The interplay between neurons and glia in synapse development and plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Stogsdill, Jeff A; Eroglu, Cagla

    2016-01-01

    In the brain, the formation of complex neuronal networks amenable to experience-dependent remodeling is complicated by the diversity of neurons and synapse types. The establishment of a functional brain depends not only on neurons, but also non-neuronal glial cells. Glia are in continuous bi-directional communication with neurons to direct the formation and refinement of synaptic connectivity. This article reviews important findings, which uncovered cellular and molecular aspects of the neuro...

  20. 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

    2014-04-01

    Thrombospondins (TSPs) constitute 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/TSP2) for inner ear development and function. Immunostaining for synaptic markers indicated a significant decrease in the number of formed afferent synapses in the cochleae of TSP2 and TSP1/TSP2 knockout (KO) mice at postnatal day (P)29. In functional studies, TSP2 and TSP1/TSP2 KO mice showed elevated auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds as compared with wild-type littermates, starting at P15, with the most severe phenotype being seen for TSP1/TSP2 KO mice. TSP1/TSP2 KO mice also showed reduced wave I amplitudes of ABRs and vestibular evoked potentials, suggesting synaptic dysfunction in both the auditory and vestibular systems. Whereas ABR thresholds in TSP1 KO mice were relatively unaffected at early ages, TSP1/TSP2 KO mice showed the most severe phenotype among all of the genotypes tested, suggesting functional redundancy between the two genes. On the basis of the above results, we propose that TSPs play an important role in afferent synapse development and function of the inner ear. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. Coexisting chaotic attractors in a single neuron model with adapting feedback synapse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Chunguang; Chen Guanrong

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, we consider the nonlinear dynamical behavior of a single neuron model with adapting feedback synapse, and show that chaotic behaviors exist in this model. In some parameter domain, we observe two coexisting chaotic attractors, switching from the coexisting chaotic attractors to a connected chaotic attractor, and then switching back to the two coexisting chaotic attractors. We confirm the chaoticity by simulations with phase plots, waveform plots, and power spectra

  3. 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...

  4. The anticonvulsant action of the galanin receptor agonist NAX-5055 involves modulation of both excitatory- and inhibitory neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Walls, Anne B; Flynn, Sean P; West, Peter J

    2016-01-01

    -based anti-convulsant drugs was prompted. Based on this, a rationally designed GalR1 preferring galanin analogue, NAX-5055, was synthesized. This compound demonstrates anti-convulsant actions in several animal models of epilepsy. However, the alterations at the cellular level leading to this anti......-convulsant action of NAX-5055 are not known. Here we investigate the action of NAX-5055 at the cellular level by determining its effects on excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, i.e. vesicular release of glutamate and GABA, respectively, in cerebellar, neocortical and hippocampal preparations. In addition...

  5. Role of Ca+2 and other second messengers in excitatory amino acid receptor mediated neurodegeneration: clinical perspectives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, A; Belhage, B; Frandsen, A

    1997-01-01

    Neurodegeneration associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy, Huntington's Chorea, Alzheimer's disease, and olivoponto cerebellar atrophy or with energy failure such as ischemia, hypoxia, and hypoglycemia proceeds subsequent to overexposure of neurons to excitatory amino acids of which...... glutamate and aspartate may be quantitatively the most important. The toxic action of glutamate and aspartate is mediated through activation of glutamate receptors of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA subtypes. Antagonists for these receptors can act as neuroprotectants both in in vitro model...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-23

    administered BoNT can lead to central nervous system intoxication is currently being debated. Recent findings in vitro and in vivo suggest that BoNT...Literature 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by botulinum neurotoxin A disinhibits 5a...April 2015 Published: 23 April 2015 Citation: Beske PH, Scheeler SM, AdlerM and McNutt PM (2015) Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by

  7. Reciprocal synapses between outer hair cells and their afferent terminals: evidence for a local neural network in the mammalian cochlea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiers, Fabio A; Nadol, Joseph B; Liberman, M Charles

    2008-12-01

    Cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs) serve both as sensory receptors and biological motors. Their sensory function is poorly understood because their afferent innervation, the type-II spiral ganglion cell, has small unmyelinated axons and constitutes only 5% of the cochlear nerve. Reciprocal synapses between OHCs and their type-II terminals, consisting of paired afferent and efferent specialization, have been described in the primate cochlea. Here, we use serial and semi-serial-section transmission electron microscopy to quantify the nature and number of synaptic interactions in the OHC area of adult cats. Reciprocal synapses were found in all OHC rows and all cochlear frequency regions. They were more common among third-row OHCs and in the apical half of the cochlea, where 86% of synapses were reciprocal. The relative frequency of reciprocal synapses was unchanged following surgical transection of the olivocochlear bundle in one cat, confirming that reciprocal synapses were not formed by efferent fibers. In the normal ear, axo-dendritic synapses between olivocochlear terminals and type-II terminals and/or dendrites were as common as synapses between olivocochlear terminals and OHCs, especially in the first row, where, on average, almost 30 such synapses were seen in the region under a single OHC. The results suggest that a complex local neuronal circuitry in the OHC area, formed by the dendrites of type-II neurons and modulated by the olivocochlear system, may be a fundamental property of the mammalian cochlea, rather than a curiosity of the primate ear. This network may mediate local feedback control of, and bidirectional communication among, OHCs throughout the cochlear spiral.

  8. 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 indiscriminat...... simultaneously. Reduced values were found in all regions except in the occipital (visual) cortex. In particular, temporal and parietal cortex Vd was significantly (P...

  9. Multiple cell adhesion molecules shaping a complex nicotinic synapse on neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triana-Baltzer, Gallen B; Liu, Zhaoping; Gounko, Natalia V; Berg, Darwin K

    2008-09-01

    Neuroligin, SynCAM, and L1-CAM are cell adhesion molecules with synaptogenic roles in glutamatergic pathways. We show here that SynCAM is expressed in the chick ciliary ganglion, embedded in a nicotinic pathway, and, as shown previously for neuroligin and L1-CAM, acts transcellularly to promote synaptic maturation on the neurons in culture. Moreover, we show that electroporation of chick embryos with dominant negative constructs disrupting any of the three molecules in vivo reduces the total amount of presynaptic SV2 overlaying the neurons expressing the constructs. Only disruption of L1-CAM and neuroligin, however, reduces the number of SV2 puncta specifically overlaying nicotinic receptor clusters. Disrupting L1-CAM and neuroligin together produces no additional decrement, indicating that they act on the same subset of synapses. SynCAM may affect synaptic maturation rather than synapse formation. The results indicate that individual neurons can express multiple synaptogenic molecules with different effects on the same class of nicotinic synapses.

  10. High resolution in situ zymography reveals matrix metalloproteinase activity at glutamatergic synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawlak, M; Górkiewicz, T; Gorlewicz, A; Konopacki, F A; Kaczmarek, L; Wilczynski, G M

    2009-01-12

    Synaptic plasticity involves remodeling of extracellular matrix. This is mediated, in part, by enzymes of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family, in particular by gelatinase MMP-9. Accordingly, there is a need of developing methods to visualize gelatinolytic activity at the level of individual synapses, especially in the context of neurotransmitters receptors. Here we present a high-resolution fluorescent in situ zymography (ISZ), performed in thin sections of the alcohol-fixed and polyester wax-embedded brain tissue of the rat (Rattus norvegicus), which is superior to the current ISZ protocols. The method allows visualization of structural details up to the resolution-limit of light microscopy, in conjunction with immunofluorescent labeling. We used this technique to visualize and quantify gelatinolytic activity at the synapses in control and seizure-affected rat brain. In particular, we demonstrated, for the first time, frequent colocalization of gelatinase(s) with synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA)- and AMPA-type glutamate receptors. We believe that our method represents a valuable tool to study extracellular proteolytic processes at the synapses, it could be used, as well, to investigate proteinase involvement in a range of physiological and pathological phenomena in the nervous system.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick C. Trettenbrein

    2016-11-01

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

  12. Retrograde Signaling from Progranulin to Sort1 Counteracts Synapse Elimination in the Developing Cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uesaka, Naofumi; Abe, Manabu; Konno, Kohtarou; Yamazaki, Maya; Sakoori, Kazuto; Watanabe, Takaki; Kao, Tzu-Huei; Mikuni, Takayasu; Watanabe, Masahiko; Sakimura, Kenji; Kano, Masanobu

    2018-02-21

    Elimination of redundant synapses formed early in development and strengthening of necessary connections are crucial for shaping functional neural circuits. Purkinje cells (PCs) in the neonatal cerebellum are innervated by multiple climbing fibers (CFs) with similar strengths. A single CF is strengthened whereas the other CFs are eliminated in each PC during postnatal development. The underlying mechanisms, particularly for the strengthening of single CFs, are poorly understood. Here we report that progranulin, a multi-functional growth factor implicated in the pathogenesis of frontotemporal dementia, strengthens developing CF synaptic inputs and counteracts their elimination from postnatal day 11 to 16. Progranulin derived from PCs acts retrogradely onto its putative receptor Sort1 on CFs. This effect is independent of semaphorin 3A, another retrograde signaling molecule that counteracts CF synapse elimination. We propose that progranulin-Sort1 signaling strengthens and maintains developing CF inputs, and may contribute to selection of single "winner" CFs that survive synapse elimination. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Early Seizures Prematurely Unsilence Auditory Synapses to Disrupt Thalamocortical Critical Period Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyu Sun

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Heightened neural excitability in infancy and childhood results in increased susceptibility to seizures. Such early-life seizures are associated with language deficits and autism that can result from aberrant development of the auditory cortex. Here, we show that early-life seizures disrupt a critical period (CP for tonotopic map plasticity in primary auditory cortex (A1. We show that this CP is characterized by a prevalence of “silent,” NMDA-receptor (NMDAR-only, glutamate receptor synapses in auditory cortex that become “unsilenced” due to activity-dependent AMPA receptor (AMPAR insertion. Induction of seizures prior to this CP occludes tonotopic map plasticity by prematurely unsilencing NMDAR-only synapses. Further, brief treatment with the AMPAR antagonist NBQX following seizures, prior to the CP, prevents synapse unsilencing and permits subsequent A1 plasticity. These findings reveal that early-life seizures modify CP regulators and suggest that therapeutic targets for early post-seizure treatment can rescue CP plasticity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Emerging phenomena in neural networks with dynamic synapses and their computational implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joaquin J. eTorres

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we review our research on the effect and computational role of dynamical synapses on feed-forward and recurrent neural networks. Among others, we report on the appearance of a new class of dynamical memories which result from the destabilisation of learned memory attractors. This has important consequences for dynamic information processing allowing the system to sequentially access the information stored in the memories under changing stimuli. Although storage capacity of stable memories also decreases, our study demonstrated the positive effect of synaptic facilitation to recover maximum storage capacity and to enlarge the capacity of the system for memory recall in noisy conditions. Possibly, the new dynamical behaviour can be associated with the voltage transitions between up and down states observed in cortical areas in the brain. We investigated the conditions for which the permanence times in the up state are power-law distributed, which is a sign for criticality, and concluded that the experimentally observed large variability of permanence times could be explained as the result of noisy dynamic synapses with large recovery times. Finally, we report how short-term synaptic processes can transmit weak signals throughout more than one frequency range in noisy neural networks, displaying a kind of stochastic multi-resonance. This effect is due to competition between activity-dependent synaptic fluctuations (due to dynamic synapses and the existence of neuron firing threshold which adapts to the incoming mean synaptic input.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Specific Disruption of Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses in a Mouse Model of Familial Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by deficits in memory and cognition indicating hippocampal pathology. While it is now recognized that synapse dysfunction precedes the hallmark pathological findings of AD, it is unclear if specific hippocampal synapses are particularly vulnerable. Since the mossy fiber (MF) synapse between dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 regions underlies critical functions disrupted in AD, we utilized serial block-face electron microscopy (SBEM) to analyze MF microcircuitry in a mouse model of familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). FAD mutant MF terminal complexes were severely disrupted compared to control – they were smaller, contacted fewer postsynaptic spines and had greater numbers of presynaptic filopodial processes. Multi-headed CA3 dendritic spines in the FAD mutant condition were reduced in complexity and had significantly smaller sites of synaptic contact. Significantly, there was no change in the volume of classical dendritic spines at neighboring inputs to CA3 neurons suggesting input-specific defects in the early course of AD related pathology. These data indicate a specific vulnerability of the DG-CA3 network in AD pathogenesis and demonstrate the utility of SBEM to assess circuit specific alterations in mouse models of human disease. PMID:24454724

  19. Low-doses of cisplatin injure hippocampal synapses: a mechanism for 'chemo' brain?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andres, Adrienne L; Gong, Xing; Di, Kaijun; Bota, Daniela A

    2014-05-01

    Chemotherapy-related cognitive deficits are a major neurological problem, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. The death of neural stem/precursor cell (NSC) by cisplatin has been reported as a potential cause, but this requires high doses of chemotherapeutic agents. Cisplatin is frequently used in modern oncology, and it achieves high concentrations in the patient's brain. Here we report that exposure to low concentrations of cisplatin (0.1μM) causes the loss of dendritic spines and synapses within 30min. Longer exposures injured dendritic branches and reduced dendritic complexity. At this low concentration, cisplatin did not affect NSC viability nor provoke apoptosis. However, higher cisplatin levels (1μM) led to the rapid loss of synapses and dendritic disintegration, and neuronal-but not NSC-apoptosis. In-vivo treatment with cisplatin at clinically relevant doses also caused a reduction of dendritic branches and decreased spine density in CA1 and CA3 hippocampal neurons. An acute increase in cell death was measured in the CA1 and CA3 neurons, as well as in the NSC population located in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus in the cisplatin treated animals. The density of dendritic spines is related to the degree of neuronal connectivity and function, and pathological changes in spine number or structure have significant consequences for brain function. Therefore, this synapse and dendritic damage might contribute to the cognitive impairment observed after cisplatin treatment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard eMiles

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In the CA3 region of the hippocampus, pyramidal cells excite other pyramidal cells and interneurons. The axons of CA3 pyramidal cells spread throughout most of the region to form an associative network. These connections were first drawn by Cajal and Lorente de No. Their physiological properties were explored to understand epileptiform discharges generated in the region. Synapses between pairs of pyramidal cells involve one or few release sites and are weaker than connections made by mossy fibres on CA3 pyramidal cells. Synapses with interneurons are rather effective, as needed to control unchecked excitation. We examine contributions of recurrent synapses to epileptiform synchrony, to the genesis of sharp waves in the CA3 region and to population oscillations at theta and gamma frequencies. Recurrent connections in CA3, as other associative cortices, have a lower connectivity spread over a larger area than in primary sensory cortices. This sparse, but wide-ranging connectivity serves the functions of an associative network, including acquisition of neuronal representations as activity in groups of CA3 cells and completion involving the recall from partial cues of these ensemble firing patterns.

  1. Chimeric antigen receptor T cells form nonclassical and potent immune synapses driving rapid cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, A J; Cross, R S; Watson, K A; Liao, Y; Shi, W; Prince, H M; Beavis, P A; Trapani, J A; Kershaw, M H; Ritchie, D S; Darcy, P K; Neeson, P J; Jenkins, M R

    2018-02-27

    Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells are effective serial killers with a faster off-rate from dying tumor cells than CAR-T cells binding target cells through their T cell receptor (TCR). Here we explored the functional consequences of CAR-mediated signaling using a dual-specific CAR-T cell, where the same cell was triggered via TCR (tcrCTL) or CAR (carCTL). The carCTL immune synapse lacked distinct LFA-1 adhesion rings and was less reliant on LFA to form stable conjugates with target cells. carCTL receptors associated with the synapse were found to be disrupted and formed a convoluted multifocal pattern of Lck microclusters. Both proximal and distal receptor signaling pathways were induced more rapidly and subsequently decreased more rapidly in carCTL than in tcrCTL. The functional consequence of this rapid signaling in carCTL cells included faster lytic granule recruitment to the immune synapse, correlating with faster detachment of the CTL from the target cell. This study