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Sample records for excitatory synaptic input

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

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

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    Ono, Munenori

    2014-01-01

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

  3. The proportion of common synaptic input to motor neurons increases with an increase in net excitatory input.

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    Castronovo, Anna Margherita; Negro, Francesco; Conforto, Silvia; Farina, Dario

    2015-12-01

    α-Motor neurons receive synaptic inputs from spinal and supraspinal centers that comprise components either common to the motor neuron pool or independent. The input shared by motor neurons--common input--determines force control. The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in the strength of common synaptic input delivered to motor neurons with changes in force and with fatigue, two conditions that underlie an increase in the net excitatory drive to the motor neurons. High-density surface electromyogram (EMG) signals were recorded from the tibialis anterior muscle during contractions at 20, 50, and 75% of the maximal voluntary contraction force (in 3 sessions separated by at least 2 days), all sustained until task failure. EMG signal decomposition identified the activity of a total of 1,245 motor units. The coherence values between cumulative motor unit spike trains increased with increasing force, especially for low frequencies. This increase in coherence was not observed when comparing two subsets of motor units having different recruitment thresholds, but detected at the same force level. Moreover, the coherence values for frequencies input to motor neurons increases with respect to independent input when the net excitatory drive to motor neurons increases as a consequence of a change in force and fatigue. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

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

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    Milad eLankarany

    2013-09-01

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

  5. Surviving mossy cells enlarge and receive more excitatory synaptic input in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

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    Zhang, Wei; Thamattoor, Ajoy K; LeRoy, Christopher; Buckmaster, Paul S

    2015-05-01

    Numerous hypotheses of temporal lobe epileptogenesis have been proposed, and several involve hippocampal mossy cells. Building on previous hypotheses we sought to test the possibility that after epileptogenic injuries surviving mossy cells develop into super-connected seizure-generating hub cells. If so, they might require more cellular machinery and consequently have larger somata, elongate their dendrites to receive more synaptic input, and display higher frequencies of miniature excitatory synaptic currents (mEPSCs). To test these possibilities pilocarpine-treated mice were evaluated using GluR2-immunocytochemistry, whole-cell recording, and biocytin-labeling. Epileptic pilocarpine-treated mice displayed substantial loss of GluR2-positive hilar neurons. Somata of surviving neurons were 1.4-times larger than in controls. Biocytin-labeled mossy cells also were larger in epileptic mice, but dendritic length per cell was not significantly different. The average frequency of mEPSCs of mossy cells recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin and bicuculline was 3.2-times higher in epileptic pilocarpine-treated mice as compared to controls. Other parameters of mEPSCs were similar in both groups. Average input resistance of mossy cells in epileptic mice was reduced to 63% of controls, which is consistent with larger somata and would tend to make surviving mossy cells less excitable. Other intrinsic physiological characteristics examined were similar in both groups. Increased excitatory synaptic input is consistent with the hypothesis that surviving mossy cells develop into aberrantly super-connected seizure-generating hub cells, and soma hypertrophy is indirectly consistent with the possibility of axon sprouting. However, no obvious evidence of hyperexcitable intrinsic physiology was found. Furthermore, similar hypertrophy and hyper-connectivity has been reported for other neuron types in the dentate gyrus, suggesting mossy cells are not unique in this regard. Thus

  6. Serotonin differentially modulates excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to putative sleep-promoting neurons of the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus.

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    Sangare, Aude; Dubourget, Romain; Geoffroy, Hélène; Gallopin, Thierry; Rancillac, Armelle

    2016-10-01

    The role of serotonin (5-HT) in sleep-wake regulation has been a subject of intense debate and remains incompletely understood. In the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO), the main structure that triggers non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, putative sleep-promoting (PSP) neurons were shown ex vivo to be either inhibited (Type-1) or excited (Type-2) by 5-HT application. To determine the complex action of this neurotransmitter on PSP neurons, we recorded spontaneous and miniature excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs, sIPSCs, mEPSCs and mIPSCs) in response to bath application of 5-HT. We established in mouse acute VLPO slices that 5-HT reduces spontaneous and miniature EPSC and IPSC frequencies to Type-1 neurons, whereas 5-HT selectively increases sIPSC and mIPSC frequencies to Type-2 VLPO neurons. We further determined that Type-1 neurons display a lower action potential threshold and a smaller soma size than Type-2 neurons. Finally, single-cell RT-PCR designed to identify the 13 serotonergic receptor subtypes revealed the specific mRNA expression of the 5-HT1A,B,D,F receptors by Type-1 neurons. Furthermore, the 5-HT2A-C,4,7 receptors were found to be equivalently expressed by both neuronal types. Altogether, our results establish that the excitatory and inhibitory inputs to Type-1 and Type-2 VLPO PSP neurons are differentially regulated by 5-HT. Electrophysiological, morphological and molecular differences were also identified between these two neuronal types. Our results provide new insights regarding the orchestration of sleep regulation by 5-HT release, and strongly suggest that Type-2 neurons could play a permissive role, whereas Type-1 neurons could have an executive role in sleep induction and maintenance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Bardia F Behabadi

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

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

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    Séverine M. Sigoillot

    2015-02-01

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

  9. Bilinearity in spatiotemporal integration of synaptic inputs.

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    Songting Li

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Neurons process information via integration of synaptic inputs from dendrites. Many experimental results demonstrate dendritic integration could be highly nonlinear, yet few theoretical analyses have been performed to obtain a precise quantitative characterization analytically. Based on asymptotic analysis of a two-compartment passive cable model, given a pair of time-dependent synaptic conductance inputs, we derive a bilinear spatiotemporal dendritic integration rule. The summed somatic potential can be well approximated by the linear summation of the two postsynaptic potentials elicited separately, plus a third additional bilinear term proportional to their product with a proportionality coefficient [Formula: see text]. The rule is valid for a pair of synaptic inputs of all types, including excitation-inhibition, excitation-excitation, and inhibition-inhibition. In addition, the rule is valid during the whole dendritic integration process for a pair of synaptic inputs with arbitrary input time differences and input locations. The coefficient [Formula: see text] is demonstrated to be nearly independent of the input strengths but is dependent on input times and input locations. This rule is then verified through simulation of a realistic pyramidal neuron model and in electrophysiological experiments of rat hippocampal CA1 neurons. The rule is further generalized to describe the spatiotemporal dendritic integration of multiple excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. The integration of multiple inputs can be decomposed into the sum of all possible pairwise integration, where each paired integration obeys the bilinear rule. This decomposition leads to a graph representation of dendritic integration, which can be viewed as functionally sparse.

  10. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

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    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cho, Youngkwan

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Narayan eSrinivasa

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Firing clamp: A novel method for single-trial estimation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic neuronal conductances

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    Anton eChizhov

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Understanding non-stationary neuronal activity as seen in vivo requires estimation of both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances from a single trial of recording. We propose a new intracellular recording method for this purpose called firing clamp. Synaptic conductances are estimated from the characteristics of artificially evoked probe spikes, namely the spike amplitude and the mean subthreshold potential, which are sensitive to both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input signals. The probe spikes, timed at a fixed rate, are evoked in the dynamic-clamp mode by injected meander-like current steps, with the step duration depending on neuronal membrane voltage. We test the method with perforated-patch recordings from isolated cells stimulated by external application or synaptic release of transmitter, and validate the method with simulations of a biophysically-detailed neuron model. The results are compared with the conductance estimates based on conventional current-clamp recordings.

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

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    Pablo E Jercog

    2010-06-01

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

  16. Synaptic control of the shape of the motoneuron pool input-output function.

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    Powers, Randall K; Heckman, Charles J

    2017-03-01

    Although motoneurons have often been considered to be fairly linear transducers of synaptic input, recent evidence suggests that strong persistent inward currents (PICs) in motoneurons allow neuromodulatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to induce large nonlinearities in the relation between the level of excitatory input and motor output. To try to estimate the possible extent of this nonlinearity, we developed a pool of model motoneurons designed to replicate the characteristics of motoneuron input-output properties measured in medial gastrocnemius motoneurons in the decerebrate cat with voltage-clamp and current-clamp techniques. We drove the model pool with a range of synaptic inputs consisting of various mixtures of excitation, inhibition, and neuromodulation. We then looked at the relation between excitatory drive and total pool output. Our results revealed that the PICs not only enhance gain but also induce a strong nonlinearity in the relation between the average firing rate of the motoneuron pool and the level of excitatory input. The relation between the total simulated force output and input was somewhat more linear because of higher force outputs in later-recruited units. We also found that the nonlinearity can be increased by increasing neuromodulatory input and/or balanced inhibitory input and minimized by a reciprocal, push-pull pattern of inhibition. We consider the possibility that a flexible input-output function may allow motor output to be tuned to match the widely varying demands of the normal motor repertoire. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Motoneuron activity is generally considered to reflect the level of excitatory drive. However, the activation of voltage-dependent intrinsic conductances can distort the relation between excitatory drive and the total output of a pool of motoneurons. Using a pool of realistic motoneuron models, we show that pool output can be a highly nonlinear function of synaptic input but linearity can be achieved through adjusting the

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

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    Eva Meier Carlsen

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Spinal neuronal networks are essential for motor function. They are involved in the integration of sensory inputs and the generation of rhythmic motor outputs. They continuously adapt their activity to the internal state of the organism and to the environment. This plasticity can be provided by different neuromodulators. These substances are usually thought of being released by dedicated neurons. However, in other networks from the central nervous system synaptic transmission is also modulated by transmitters released from astrocytes. The star-shaped glial cell responds to neurotransmitters by releasing gliotransmitters, which in turn modulate synaptic transmission. Here we investigated if astrocytes present in the ventral horn of the spinal cord modulate synaptic transmission. We evoked synaptic inputs in ventral horn neurons recorded in a slice preparation from the spinal cord of neonatal mice. Neurons responded to electrical stimulation by monosynaptic EPSCs. We used mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter of the glial fibrillary acidic protein to identify astrocytes. Chelating calcium with BAPTA in a single neighboring astrocyte increased the amplitude of synaptic currents. In contrast, when we selectively stimulated astrocytes by activating PAR-1 receptors with the peptide TFLLR, the amplitude of EPSCs evoked by a paired stimulation protocol was reduced. The paired-pulse ratio was increased, suggesting an inhibition occurring at the presynaptic side of synapses. In the presence of blockers for extracellular ectonucleotidases, TFLLR did not induce presynaptic inhibition. Puffing adenosine reproduced the effect of TFLLR and blocking adenosine A1 receptors with DPCPX prevented it. Altogether our results show that ventral horn astrocytes are responsible for a tonic and a phasic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by releasing ATP, which gets converted into adenosine that binds to inhibitory

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

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    Sarah X. Luo

    2016-12-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Characterization of auditory synaptic inputs to gerbil perirhinal cortex

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    Vibhakar C Kotak

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The representation of acoustic cues involves regions downstream from the auditory cortex (ACx. One such area, the perirhinal cortex (PRh, processes sensory signals containing mnemonic information. Therefore, our goal was to assess whether PRh receives auditory inputs from the auditory thalamus (MG and ACx in an auditory thalamocortical brain slice preparation and characterize these afferent-driven synaptic properties. When the MG or ACx was electrically stimulated, synaptic responses were recorded from the PRh neurons. Blockade of GABA-A receptors dramatically increased the amplitude of evoked excitatory potentials. Stimulation of the MG or ACx also evoked calcium transients in most PRh neurons. Separately, when fluoro ruby was injected in ACx in vivo, anterogradely labeled axons and terminals were observed in the PRh. Collectively, these data show that the PRh integrates auditory information from the MG and ACx and that auditory driven inhibition dominates the postsynaptic responses in a non-sensory cortical region downstream from the auditory cortex.

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

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    Lefort, Sandrine; Petersen, Carl C H

    2017-07-01

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

  2. Temporal firing reliability in response to periodic synaptic inputs

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    Hunter, John D.; Milton, John G.

    1998-03-01

    Reliable spike timing in the presence of noise is a prerequisite for a spike timing code. Previously we demonstrated that there is an intimate relationship between the phase locked firing patterns and spike timing reliability in the presence of noise: stable 1:m phase-locking generate reliable firing times; n:m phase-locked solutions where n neq 1 generate significantly less reliable spike times, where n is the number of spikes in m cycles of the stimulus. Here we compare spike timing reliability in an Aplysia motoneuron to that in a leaky integrate-and-fire neuron receiving either realistic periodic excitatory (EPSC) or inhibitory (IPSC) post-synaptic currents. For the same frequency and for identical synaptic time courses, EPSCs and IPSCs have opposite effects on spike timing reliability. This effect is shown to be a direct consequence of changes in the DC component of the input. Thus spike-time reliability is sensitively controlled by the interplay between the frequency and DC component of input to the neuron.

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

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    Erwan eLedoux

    2011-05-01

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

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

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    Kamil A. Grajski

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Functional localization of neurotransmitter receptors and synaptic inputs to mature neurons of the medial superior olive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couchman, Kiri; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix

    2012-02-01

    Neurons of the medial superior olive (MSO) code for the azimuthal location of low-frequency sound sources via a binaural coincidence detection system operating on microsecond time scales. These neurons are morphologically simple and stereotyped, and anatomical studies have indicated a functional segregation of excitatory and inhibitory inputs between cellular compartments. It is thought that this morphological arrangement holds important implications for the computational task of these cells. To date, however, there has been no functional investigation into synaptic input sites or functional receptor distributions on mature neurons of the MSO. Here, functional neurotransmitter receptor maps for amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), glycine (Gly), and ionotropic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptors (Rs) were compared and complemented by their corresponding synaptic input map. We find in MSO neurons from postnatal day 20-35 gerbils that AMPARs and their excitatory inputs target the soma and dendrites. Functional GlyRs and their inhibitory inputs are predominantly refined to the somata, although a pool of functional GlyRs is present extrasynaptically on MSO dendrites. GABA(A)R responses are present throughout the cell but lack direct synaptic contact indicating an involvement in volume transmission. NMDARs are present both synaptically and extrasynaptically with an overall distribution similar to GlyRs. Interestingly, even at physiological temperatures these functional NMDARs can be potentiated by synaptically released Gly. The functional receptor and synaptic input maps produced here led to the identification of a cross talk between transmitter systems and raises the possibility that extrasynaptic receptors could be modulating leak conductances as a homeostatic mechanism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Identifying and tracking simulated synaptic inputs from neuronal firing: insights from in vitro experiments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxim Volgushev

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Accurately describing synaptic interactions between neurons and how interactions change over time are key challenges for systems neuroscience. Although intracellular electrophysiology is a powerful tool for studying synaptic integration and plasticity, it is limited by the small number of neurons that can be recorded simultaneously in vitro and by the technical difficulty of intracellular recording in vivo. One way around these difficulties may be to use large-scale extracellular recording of spike trains and apply statistical methods to model and infer functional connections between neurons. These techniques have the potential to reveal large-scale connectivity structure based on the spike timing alone. However, the interpretation of functional connectivity is often approximate, since only a small fraction of presynaptic inputs are typically observed. Here we use in vitro current injection in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons to validate methods for inferring functional connectivity in a setting where input to the neuron is controlled. In experiments with partially-defined input, we inject a single simulated input with known amplitude on a background of fluctuating noise. In a fully-defined input paradigm, we then control the synaptic weights and timing of many simulated presynaptic neurons. By analyzing the firing of neurons in response to these artificial inputs, we ask 1 How does functional connectivity inferred from spikes relate to simulated synaptic input? and 2 What are the limitations of connectivity inference? We find that individual current-based synaptic inputs are detectable over a broad range of amplitudes and conditions. Detectability depends on input amplitude and output firing rate, and excitatory inputs are detected more readily than inhibitory. Moreover, as we model increasing numbers of presynaptic inputs, we are able to estimate connection strengths more accurately and detect the presence of connections more quickly. These results

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-05

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

  11. 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

    Spinal neuronal networks are essential for motor function. They are involved in the integration of sensory inputs and the generation of rhythmic motor outputs. They continuously adapt their activity to the internal state of the organism and to the environment. This plasticity can be provided...... by different neuromodulators. These substances are usually thought of being released by dedicated neurons. However, in other networks from the central nervous system synaptic transmission is also modulated by transmitters released from astrocytes. The star-shaped glial cell responds to neurotransmitters...... by releasing gliotransmitters, which in turn modulate synaptic transmission. Here we investigated if astrocytes present in the ventral horn of the spinal cord modulate synaptic transmission. We evoked synaptic inputs in ventral horn neurons recorded in a slice preparation from the spinal cord of neonatal mice...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-05

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

  13. Spike train statistics and dynamics with synaptic input from any renewal process: a population density approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ly, Cheng; Tranchina, Daniel

    2009-02-01

    In the probability density function (PDF) approach to neural network modeling, a common simplifying assumption is that the arrival times of elementary postsynaptic events are governed by a Poisson process. This assumption ignores temporal correlations in the input that sometimes have important physiological consequences. We extend PDF methods to models with synaptic event times governed by any modulated renewal process. We focus on the integrate-and-fire neuron with instantaneous synaptic kinetics and a random elementary excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP), A. Between presynaptic events, the membrane voltage, v, decays exponentially toward rest, while s, the time since the last synaptic input event, evolves with unit velocity. When a synaptic event arrives, v jumps by A, and s is reset to zero. If v crosses the threshold voltage, an action potential occurs, and v is reset to v(reset). The probability per unit time of a synaptic event at time t, given the elapsed time s since the last event, h(s, t), depends on specifics of the renewal process. We study how regularity of the train of synaptic input events affects output spike rate, PDF and coefficient of variation (CV) of the interspike interval, and the autocorrelation function of the output spike train. In the limit of a deterministic, clocklike train of input events, the PDF of the interspike interval converges to a sum of delta functions, with coefficients determined by the PDF for A. The limiting autocorrelation function of the output spike train is a sum of delta functions whose coefficients fall under a damped oscillatory envelope. When the EPSP CV, sigma A/mu A, is equal to 0.45, a CV for the intersynaptic event interval, sigma T/mu T = 0.35, is functionally equivalent to a deterministic periodic train of synaptic input events (CV = 0) with respect to spike statistics. We discuss the relevance to neural network simulations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-14

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

  17. Input significance analysis: feature selection through synaptic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This work is interested in ISA methods that can manipulate synaptic weights namely. Connection Weights (CW) and Garson's Algorithm (GA) and the classifier selected is. Evolving Fuzzy Neural Networks (EFuNNs). Firstly, it test FS method on a dataset selected from the UCI Machine Learning Repository and executed in an ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, P D J; Bornstein, J C

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Voltage-dependent amplification of synaptic inputs in respiratory motoneurones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enríquez Denton, M; Wienecke, Jacob; Zhang, Mengliang

    2012-01-01

    Key points The processes whereby various excitatory and inhibitory inputs are integrated in spinal motoneurones during naturally occurring motor acts are not well understood, largely because there are amplifying mechanisms within the motoneurone that can control the effective strengths of the inp......Key points The processes whereby various excitatory and inhibitory inputs are integrated in spinal motoneurones during naturally occurring motor acts are not well understood, largely because there are amplifying mechanisms within the motoneurone that can control the effective strengths...... of the inputs. Knowledge of these processes is important in understanding conditions such as motoneurone disease, or the spasticity that can follow spinal cord injury or stroke Respiration is a natural motor act that continues normally under experimental conditions, and this study investigated, for the first...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Li

    2015-09-01

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

  2. Efferent Vestibular Neurons Show Homogenous Discharge Output But Heterogeneous Synaptic Input Profile In Vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miranda A Mathews

    Full Text Available Despite the importance of our sense of balance we still know remarkably little about the central control of the peripheral balance system. While previous work has shown that activation of the efferent vestibular system results in modulation of afferent vestibular neuron discharge, the intrinsic and synaptic properties of efferent neurons themselves are largely unknown. Here we substantiate the location of the efferent vestibular nucleus (EVN in the mouse, before characterizing the input and output properties of EVN neurons in vitro. We made transverse serial sections through the brainstem of 4-week-old mice, and performed immunohistochemistry for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT, both expressed in the EVN of other species. We also injected fluorogold into the posterior canal and retrogradely labelled neurons in the EVN of ChAT:: tdTomato mice expressing tdTomato in all cholinergic neurons. As expected the EVN lies dorsolateral to the genu of the facial nerve (CNVII. We then made whole-cell current-, and voltage-clamp recordings from visually identified EVN neurons. In current-clamp, EVN neurons display a homogeneous discharge pattern. This is characterized by a high frequency burst of action potentials at the onset of a depolarizing stimulus and the offset of a hyperpolarizing stimulus that is mediated by T-type calcium channels. In voltage-clamp, EVN neurons receive either exclusively excitatory or inhibitory inputs, or a combination of both. Despite this heterogeneous mixture of inputs, we show that synaptic inputs onto EVN neurons are predominantly excitatory. Together these findings suggest that the inputs onto EVN neurons, and more specifically the origin of these inputs may underlie EVN neuron function.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Mainak

    2018-01-15

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-03

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

  7. Membrane potential-dependent integration of synaptic inputs in entorhinal stellate neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Economo, Michael N; Martínez, Joan José; White, John A

    2014-12-01

    Stellate cells (SCs) of the medial entorhinal cortex exhibit robust spontaneous membrane-potential oscillations (MPOs) in the theta (4-12 Hz) frequency band as well as theta-frequency resonance in their membrane impedance spectra. Past experimental and modeling work suggests that these features may contribute to the phase-locking of SCs to the entorhinal theta rhythm and may be important for forming the hexagonally tiled grid cell place fields exhibited by these neurons in vivo. Among the major biophysical mechanisms contributing to MPOs is a population of persistent (non-inactivating or slowly inactivating) sodium channels. The resulting persistent sodium conductance (GNaP ) gives rise to an apparent increase in input resistance as the cell approaches threshold. In this study, we used dynamic clamp to test the hypothesis that this increased input resistance gives rise to voltage-dependent, and thus MPO phase-dependent, changes in the amplitude of excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic potential (PSP) amplitudes. We find that PSP amplitude depends on membrane potential, exhibiting a 5-10% increase in amplitude per mV depolarization. The effect is larger than-and sums quasi-linearly with-the effect of the synaptic driving force, V - Esyn . Given that input-driven MPOs 10 mV in amplitude are commonly observed in MEC stellate cells in vivo, this voltage- and phase-dependent synaptic gain is large enough to modulate PSP amplitude by over 50% during theta-frequency MPOs. Phase-dependent synaptic gain may therefore impact the phase locking and phase precession of grid cells in vivo to ongoing network oscillations. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Cannabinoid CB1 receptor calibrates excitatory synaptic balance in the mouse hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monory, Krisztina; Polack, Martin; Remus, Anita; Lutz, Beat; Korte, Martin

    2015-03-04

    The endocannabinoid system negatively regulates the release of various neurotransmitters in an activity-dependent manner, thereby influencing the excitability of neuronal circuits. In the hippocampus, cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor is present on both GABAergic and glutamatergic axon terminals. CB1 receptor-deficient mice were previously shown to have increased hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). In this study, we have investigated the consequences of cell-type-specific deletion of the CB1 receptor on the induction of hippocampal LTP and on CA1 pyramidal cell morphology. Deletion of CB1 receptor in GABAergic neurons in GABA-CB1-KO mice leads to a significantly decreased hippocampal LTP compared with WT controls. Concomitantly, CA1 pyramidal neurons have a significantly reduced dendritic branching both on the apical and on the basal dendrites. Moreover, the average spine density on the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons is significantly diminished. In contrast, in mice lacking CB1 receptor in glutamatergic cells (Glu-CB1-KO), hippocampal LTP is significantly enhanced and CA1 pyramidal neurons show an increased branching and an increased spine density in the apical dendritic region. Together, these results indicate that the CB1 receptor signaling system both on inhibitory and excitatory neurons controls functional and structural synaptic plasticity of pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region to maintain an appropriate homeostatic state upon neuronal activation. Consequently, if the CB1 receptor is lost in either neuronal population, an allostatic shift will occur leading to a long-term dysregulation of neuronal functions. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353842-09$15.00/0.

  9. A 2D Material based Gate Tunable Memristive Device for Emulating Modulatory Input-dependent Hetero-synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xiaodong; Tian, He; Xie, Yujun; Kostelec, Andrew; Zhao, Huan; Cha, Judy J.; Tice, Jesse; Wang, Han

    Modulatory input-dependent plasticity is a well-known type of hetero-synaptic response where the release of neuromodulators can alter the efficacy of neurotransmission in a nearby chemical synapse. Solid-state devices that can mimic such phenomenon are desirable for enhancing the functionality and reconfigurability of neuromorphic electronics. In this work, we demonstrated a tunable artificial synaptic device concept based on the properties of graphene and tin oxide that can mimic the modulatory input-dependent plasticity. By using graphene as the contact electrode, a third electrode terminal can be used to modulate the conductive filament formation in the vertical tin oxide based resistive memory device. The resulting synaptic characteristics of this device, in terms of the profile of synaptic weight change and the spike-timing-dependent-plasticity, is tunable with the bias at the modulating terminal. Furthermore, the synaptic response can be reconfigured between excitatory and inhibitory modes by this modulating bias. The operation mechanism of the device is studied with combined experimental and theoretical analysis. The device is attractive for application in neuromorphic electronics. This work is supported by ARO and NG-ION2 at USC.

  10. A stochastic mean field model for an excitatory and inhibitory synaptic drive cortical neuronal network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Qing; Haddad, Wassim M; Bailey, James M; Hayakawa, Tomohisa

    2014-04-01

    With the advances in biochemistry, molecular biology, and neurochemistry there has been impressive progress in understanding the molecular properties of anesthetic agents. However, there has been little focus on how the molecular properties of anesthetic agents lead to the observed macroscopic property that defines the anesthetic state, that is, lack of responsiveness to noxious stimuli. In this paper, we develop a mean field synaptic drive firing rate cortical neuronal model and demonstrate how the induction of general anesthesia can be explained using multistability; the property whereby the solutions of a dynamical system exhibit multiple attracting equilibria under asymptotically slowly changing inputs or system parameters. In particular, we demonstrate multistability in the mean when the system initial conditions or the system coefficients of the neuronal connectivity matrix are random variables. Uncertainty in the system coefficients is captured by representing system uncertain parameters by a multiplicative white noise model wherein stochastic integration is interpreted in the sense of Itô. Modeling a priori system parameter uncertainty using a multiplicative white noise model is motivated by means of the maximum entropy principle of Jaynes and statistical analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-07

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

  12. Synaptic connections and small circuits involving excitatory and inhibitory neurons in layers 2-5 of adult rat and cat neocortex: triple intracellular recordings and biocytin labelling in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, Alex M; West, David C; Wang, Yun; Bannister, A Peter

    2002-09-01

    Dual and triple intracellular recordings with biocytin labelling in slices of adult neocortex explored small circuits of synaptically connected neurons. 679 paired recordings in rat and 319 in cat yielded 135 and 42 excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and 37 and 26 inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs), respectively. Patterns of connectivity and synaptic properties were similar in the two species, although differences of scale and in the range of morphologies were observed. Excitatory 'forward' projections from layer 4 to 3, like those from layer 3 to 5, targeted pyramidal cells and a small proportion of interneurons, while excitatory 'back' projections from layer 3 to 4 selected interneurons, including parvalbumin immuno-positive basket cells. Layer 4 interneurons that inhibited layer 3 pyramidal cells included both basket cells and dendrite-targeting cells. Large interneurons, resembling cells previously described as large basket cells, in layers 4 and 3 (cat), with long myelinated horizontal axon collaterals received frequent excitatory inputs from both layers. A very high rate of connectivity was observed between pairs of interneurons, often with quite different morphologies, and the resultant IPSPs, like the EPSPs recorded in interneurons, were brief compared with those recorded in pyramidal and spiny stellate cells.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    High impulse rate in afferent nerves is a common feature in many sensory systems that serve to accommodate a wide dynamic range. However, the first stage of integration should be endowed with specific properties that enable efficient handling of the incoming information. In elasmobranches, the af...... that the afferent nerve provides powerful and reliable excitatory input as well as a feed-forward inhibitory input, which is partially presynaptic in origin. These results question the cellular location within the DON where cancelation of expected incoming signals occurs....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YuYing eHuang

    2015-08-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

    Breathing pattern is postulated to be generated by brainstem neurons. However, determination of the underlying cellular mechanisms, and in particular the synaptic interactions between respiratory neurons, has been difficult. Here we used dual recordings from two distinct populations of brainstem...... respiratory neurons, hypoglossal (XII) motoneurons, and rhythmogenic (type-1) neurons in the preBötzinger complex (preBötC), the hypothesized site for respiratory rhythm generation, to determine whether electrical and chemical transmission is present. Using an in vitro brainstem slice preparation from newborn...... recordings also demonstrated unidirectional excitatory chemical transmission (EPSPs of approximately 3 mV) between type-1 neurons. These data indicate that respiratory motor output from the brainstem involves gap junction-mediated current transfer between motoneurons. Furthermore, bidirectional electrical...

  16. Plasticity of Cortical Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Synapses are highly plastic and are modified by changes in patterns of neural activity or sensory experience. Plasticity of cortical excitatory synapses is thought to be important for learning and memory, leading to alterations in sensory representations and cognitive maps. However, these changes must be coordinated across other synapses within local circuits to preserve neural coding schemes and the organization of excitatory and inhibitory inputs, i.e., excitatory-inhibitory balance. Recent studies indicate that inhibitory synapses are also plastic and are controlled directly by a large number of neuromodulators, particularly during episodes of learning. Many modulators transiently alter excitatory-inhibitory balance by decreasing inhibition, and thus disinhibition has emerged as a major mechanism by which neuromodulation might enable long-term synaptic modifications naturally. This review examines the relationships between neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity, focusing on the induction of long-term changes that collectively enhance cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance for improving perception and behavior. PMID:25897875

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-19

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayla eAksoy Aksel

    2013-08-01

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

  1. L-DOPA inhibits excitatory synaptic transmission in the rat nucleus tractus solitarius through release of dopamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohi, Y; Kodama, D; Haji, A

    2017-09-30

    The mode of action of L-DOPA on excitatory synaptic transmission in second-order neurons of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) was studied using the rat brainstem slices. Superfusion of L-DOPA (10μM) reduced the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) without any effect on the amplitude. A low concentration (1μM) was ineffective on the mEPSCs, and the highest concentration (100μM) exerted a stronger inhibitory effect. L-DOPA (10μM) decreased the amplitude of EPSCs (eEPSCs) evoked by electrical stimulation of the tractus solitarius and increased the paired-pulse ratio. The inhibitory effects of L-DOPA on mEPSCs and eEPSCs were similar to those of dopamine (100μM). The effects of L-DOPA were blocked by a competitive antagonist, L-DOPA methyl ester (100μM) and also by a D2 receptor antagonist, sulpiride (10μM), while those of dopamine were blocked by the latter but not by the former. In reserpine (5mg/kg, s.c.)-treated rats, the effects of L-DOPA on both mEPSCs and eEPSCs were completely abolished, but those of dopamine remained unchanged. The present results suggest a possibility that L-DOPA may induce the release of dopamine from the axon terminals in the NTS and the released dopamine suppresses the glutamatergic transmission through activation of the presynaptic D2 receptors. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Medial superior olivary neurons receive surprisingly few excitatory and inhibitory inputs with balanced strength and short-term dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couchman, Kiri; Grothe, Benedikt; Felmy, Felix

    2010-12-15

    Neurons in the medial superior olive (MSO) process microsecond interaural time differences, the major cue for localizing low-frequency sounds, by comparing the relative arrival time of binaural, glutamatergic excitatory inputs. This coincidence detection mechanism is additionally shaped by highly specialized glycinergic inhibition. Traditionally, it is assumed that the binaural inputs are conveyed by many independent fibers, but such an anatomical arrangement may decrease temporal precision. Short-term depression on the other hand might enhance temporal fidelity during ongoing activity. For the first time we show that binaural coincidence detection in MSO neurons may require surprisingly few but strong inputs, challenging long-held assumptions about mammalian coincidence detection. This study exclusively uses adult gerbils for in vitro electrophysiology, single-cell electroporation and immunohistochemistry to characterize the size and short-term plasticity of inputs to the MSO. We find that the excitatory and inhibitory inputs to the MSO are well balanced both in strength and short-term dynamics, redefining this fastest of all mammalian coincidence detector circuits.

  3. Differential effects of tetanus toxin on inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in mammalian spinal cord neurons in culture: a presynaptic locus of action for tetanus toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergey, G K; Bigalke, H; Nelson, P G

    1987-01-01

    Tetanus toxin reduces monosynaptic inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in mouse spinal cord neurons in culture. Inhibitory transmission is preferentially reduced by the toxin; however, excitatory transmission is also ultimately reduced and blocked by the concentrations of toxin used in these studies. Recordings from monosynaptically connected cell pairs revealed a marked diminution in amplitude of evoked monosynaptic inhibitory postsynaptic potentials coincident with the onset of convulsant action at a time when evoked monosynaptic EPSPs were relatively unaffected. Increased polysynaptic excitation occurred as a result of diminished inhibition. This supports the reduction of inhibition as an important mechanism in the convulsant action of tetanus toxin. Quantal analysis of the late effects of tetanus toxin on the monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic potential revealed a reduction in quantal number with no reduction in quantal size, thus demonstrating a presynaptic locus of action for the toxin on spinal neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. Synchronized Bilateral Synaptic Inputs to Drosophila melanogaster Neuropeptidergic Rest/Arousal Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McCarthy, E. V.; Wu, Y.; deCarvalho, T.

    2011-01-01

    into one neuron of the pair had no effect on the membrane activity of the other neuron of the pair, this suggests that the synchrony is attributable to bilateral inputs and not coupling between the pairs of lLN(v)s. To further elucidate the nature of these synaptic inputs to lLN(v)s, we blocked....... We demonstrate that cholinergic input, but not GABAergic input, is required for synchronous membrane activity, whereas GABA can modulate firing patterns. We conclude that neuropeptidergic lLN(v)s that control rest and arousal receive synchronous synaptic inputs mediated by ACh....

  6. The human motor neuron pools receive a dominant slow‐varying common synaptic input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Francesco; Yavuz, Utku Şükrü

    2016-01-01

    Key points Motor neurons in a pool receive both common and independent synaptic inputs, although the proportion and role of their common synaptic input is debated.Classic correlation techniques between motor unit spike trains do not measure the absolute proportion of common input and have limitations as a result of the non‐linearity of motor neurons.We propose a method that for the first time allows an accurate quantification of the absolute proportion of low frequency common synaptic input (60%) of common input, irrespective of their different functional and control properties.These results increase our knowledge about the role of common and independent input to motor neurons in force control. Abstract Motor neurons receive both common and independent synaptic inputs. This observation is classically based on the presence of a significant correlation between pairs of motor unit spike trains. The functional significance of different relative proportions of common input across muscles, individuals and conditions is still debated. One of the limitations in our understanding of correlated input to motor neurons is that it has not been possible so far to quantify the absolute proportion of common input with respect to the total synaptic input received by the motor neurons. Indeed, correlation measures of pairs of output spike trains only allow for relative comparisons. In the present study, we report for the first time an approach for measuring the proportion of common input in the low frequency bandwidth (60%) proportion of common low frequency oscillations with respect to their total synaptic input. These results suggest that the central nervous system provides a large amount of common input to motor neuron pools, in a similar way to that for muscles with different functional and control properties. PMID:27151459

  7. Postnatal subventricular zone progenitors switch their fate to generate neurons with distinct synaptic input patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravi, Namasivayam; Li, Zhijun; Oettl, Lars-Lennart; Bartsch, Dusan; Schönig, Kai; Kelsch, Wolfgang

    2015-01-15

    New granule cell neurons (GCs) generated in the neonatal and adult subventricular zone (SVZ) have distinct patterns of input synapses in their dendritic domains. These synaptic input patterns determine the computations that the neurons eventually perform in the olfactory bulb. We observed that GCs generated earlier in postnatal life had acquired an 'adult' synaptic development only in one dendritic domain, and only later-born GCs showed an 'adult' synaptic development in both dendritic domains. It is unknown to what extent the distinct synaptic input patterns are already determined in SVZ progenitors and/or by the brain circuit into which neurons integrate. To distinguish these possibilities, we heterochronically transplanted retrovirally labeled SVZ progenitor cells. Once these transplanted progenitors, which mainly expressed Mash1, had differentiated into GCs, their glutamatergic input synapses were visualized by genetic tags. We observed that GCs derived from neonatal progenitors differentiating in the adult maintained their characteristic neonatal synapse densities. Grafting of adult SVZ progenitors to the neonate had a different outcome. These GCs formed synaptic densities that corresponded to neither adult nor neonatal patterns in two dendritic domains. In summary, progenitors in the neonatal and adult brain generate distinct GC populations and switch their fate to generate neurons with specific synaptic input patterns. Once they switch, adult progenitors require specific properties of the circuit to maintain their characteristic synaptic input patterns. Such determination of synaptic input patterns already at the progenitor-cell level may be exploited for brain repair to engineer neurons with defined wiring patterns. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Sequential estimation of intrinsic activity and synaptic input in single neurons by particle filtering with optimal importance density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Closas, Pau; Guillamon, Antoni

    2017-12-01

    This paper deals with the problem of inferring the signals and parameters that cause neural activity to occur. The ultimate challenge being to unveil brain's connectivity, here we focus on a microscopic vision of the problem, where single neurons (potentially connected to a network of peers) are at the core of our study. The sole observation available are noisy, sampled voltage traces obtained from intracellular recordings. We design algorithms and inference methods using the tools provided by stochastic filtering that allow a probabilistic interpretation and treatment of the problem. Using particle filtering, we are able to reconstruct traces of voltages and estimate the time course of auxiliary variables. By extending the algorithm, through PMCMC methodology, we are able to estimate hidden physiological parameters as well, like intrinsic conductances or reversal potentials. Last, but not least, the method is applied to estimate synaptic conductances arriving at a target cell, thus reconstructing the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory input traces. Notably, the performance of these estimations achieve the theoretical lower bounds even in spiking regimes.

  9. Learning structure of sensory inputs with synaptic plasticity leads to interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrol-Cannon, Joseph; Jin, Yaochu

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is often explored as a form of unsupervised adaptation in cortical microcircuits to learn the structure of complex sensory inputs and thereby improve performance of classification and prediction. The question of whether the specific structure of the input patterns is encoded in the structure of neural networks has been largely neglected. Existing studies that have analyzed input-specific structural adaptation have used simplified, synthetic inputs in contrast to complex and noisy patterns found in real-world sensory data. In this work, input-specific structural changes are analyzed for three empirically derived models of plasticity applied to three temporal sensory classification tasks that include complex, real-world visual and auditory data. Two forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and the Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM) plasticity rule are used to adapt the recurrent network structure during the training process before performance is tested on the pattern recognition tasks. It is shown that synaptic adaptation is highly sensitive to specific classes of input pattern. However, plasticity does not improve the performance on sensory pattern recognition tasks, partly due to synaptic interference between consecutively presented input samples. The changes in synaptic strength produced by one stimulus are reversed by the presentation of another, thus largely preventing input-specific synaptic changes from being retained in the structure of the network. To solve the problem of interference, we suggest that models of plasticity be extended to restrict neural activity and synaptic modification to a subset of the neural circuit, which is increasingly found to be the case in experimental neuroscience.

  10. Differential influence of sinusoidal and noisy inputs on synaptic connections in a network with STDP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, J.; Schuster, H. G.; Ngo, H.-V. V.; Mölle, M.; Born, J.

    2012-05-01

    We hypothesize that the type of cortical network activation influences synaptic connectivity in the network, eventually expressed in an altered responsiveness to external stimuli. Our predictions are based on a time discrete canonical model of spike-time-dependent plasticity. The results show that, at a given synaptic connection strength in the network, sinusoidal input to the network can decrease synaptic potentiation whereas uncorrelated noise increases synaptic potentiation, implying that these opposing effects manifest themselves in respective decreases and increases of the network response to an external stimulus. These predictions are in qualitative agreement with visually evoked responses obtained in humans after 9 hour periods of visual deprivation (used to increase sinusoidal EEG alpha-activity in cortical networks) or normal daytime vision (as an approximate of noise input).

  11. Learning Structure of Sensory Inputs with Synaptic Plasticity Leads to Interference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is often explored as a form of unsupervised adaptationin cortical microcircuits to learn the structure of complex sensoryinputs and thereby improve performance of classification and prediction. The question of whether the specific structure of the input patterns is encoded in the structure of neural networks has been largely neglected. Existing studies that have analyzed input-specific structural adaptation have used simplified, synthetic inputs in contrast to complex and noisy patterns found in real-world sensory data.In this work, input-specific structural changes are analyzed forthree empirically derived models of plasticity applied to three temporal sensory classification tasks that include complex, real-world visual and auditory data. Two forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP and the Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM plasticity rule are used to adapt the recurrent network structure during the training process before performance is tested on the pattern recognition tasks.It is shown that synaptic adaptation is highly sensitive to specific classes of input pattern. However, plasticity does not improve the performance on sensory pattern recognition tasks, partly due to synaptic interference between consecutively presented input samples. The changes in synaptic strength produced by one stimulus are reversed by thepresentation of another, thus largely preventing input-specific synaptic changes from being retained in the structure of the network.To solve the problem of interference, we suggest that models of plasticitybe extended to restrict neural activity and synaptic modification to a subset of the neural circuit, which is increasingly found to be the casein experimental neuroscience.

  12. Cell-type-specific resonances shape the responses of striatal neurons to synaptic input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatty, Joseph A; Song, Soomin C; Wilson, Charles J

    2015-02-01

    Neurons respond to synaptic inputs in cell-type-specific ways. Each neuron type may thus respond uniquely to shared patterns of synaptic input. We applied statistically identical barrages of artificial synaptic inputs to four striatal cell types to assess differences in their responses to a realistic input pattern. Each interneuron type fired in phase with a specific input-frequency component. The fast-spiking interneuron fired in relation to the gamma-band (and higher) frequencies, the low-threshold spike interneuron to the beta-band frequencies, and the cholinergic neurons to the delta-band frequencies. Low-threshold spiking and cholinergic interneurons showed input impedance resonances at frequencies matching their spiking resonances. Fast-spiking interneurons showed resonance of input impedance but at lower than gamma frequencies. The spiny projection neuron's frequency preference did not have a fixed frequency but instead tracked its own firing rate. Spiny cells showed no input impedance resonance. Striatal interneurons are each tuned to a specific frequency band corresponding to the major frequency components of local field potentials. Their influence in the circuit may fluctuate along with the contribution of that frequency band to the input. In contrast, spiny neurons may tune to any of the frequency bands by a change in firing rate. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Voltage-dependent amplification of synaptic inputs in respiratory motoneurones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enríquez Denton, M; Wienecke, J; Zhang, M; Hultborn, H; Kirkwood, P A

    2012-01-01

    The role of persistent inward currents (PICs) in cat respiratory motoneurones (phrenic inspiratory and thoracic expiratory) was investigated by studying the voltage-dependent amplification of central respiratory drive potentials (CRDPs), recorded intracellularly, with action potentials blocked with the local anaesthetic derivative, QX-314. Decerebrate unanaesthetized or barbiturate-anaesthetized preparations were used. In expiratory motoneurones, plateau potentials were observed in the decerebrates, but not under anaesthesia. For phrenic motoneurones, no plateau potentials were observed in either state (except in one motoneurone after the abolition of the respiratory drive by means of a medullary lesion), but all motoneurones showed voltage-dependent amplification of the CRDPs, over a wide range of membrane potentials, too wide to result mainly from PIC activation. The measurements of the amplification were restricted to the phase of excitation, thus excluding the inhibitory phase. Amplification was found to be greatest for the smallest CRDPs in the lowest resistance motoneurones and was reduced or abolished following intracellular injection of the NMDA channel blocker, MK-801. Plateau potentials were readily evoked in non-phrenic cervical motoneurones in the same (decerebrate) preparations. We conclude that the voltage-dependent amplification of synaptic excitation in phrenic motoneurones is mainly the result of NMDA channel modulation rather than the activation of Ca2+ channel mediated PICs, despite phrenic motoneurones being strongly immunohistochemically labelled for CaV1.3 channels. The differential PIC activation in different motoneurones, all of which are CaV1.3 positive, leads us to postulate that the descending modulation of PICs is more selective than has hitherto been believed. PMID:22495582

  14. Short- and long-term modulation of synaptic inputs to brain reward areas by nicotine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fagen, Z.M.; Mansvelder, H.D.; Keath, R.; McGehee, D.S.

    2003-01-01

    Dopamine signaling in brain reward areas is a key element in the development of drug abuse and dependence. Recent anatomical and electrophysiological research has begun to elucidate both complexity and specificity In synaptic connections between ventral tegmental neurons and their inputs.

  15. Input specificity and dependence of spike timing-dependent plasticity on preceding postsynaptic activity at unitary connections between neocortical layer 2/3 pyramidal cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zilberter, M.; Holmgren, C.D.; Shemer, I.; Silberberg, G.; Grillner, S.; Harkany, T.; Zilberter, Y.

    2009-01-01

    Layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal cells receive excitatory afferent input both from neighbouring pyramidal cells and from cortical and subcortical regions. The efficacy of these excitatory synaptic inputs is modulated by spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). Here we report that synaptic connections

  16. Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors in homeostatic synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hey-Kyoung eLee

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Neurons possess diverse mechanisms of homeostatic adaptation to overall changes in neural and synaptic activity, which are critical for proper brain functions. Homeostatic regulation of excitatory synapses has been studied in the context of synaptic scaling, which allows neurons to adjust their excitatory synaptic gain to maintain their activity within a dynamic range. Recent evidence suggests that one of the main mechanisms underlying synaptic scaling is by altering the function of postsynaptic AMPA receptors (AMPARs, including synaptic expression of Ca2+-permeable (CP- AMPARs. CP-AMPARs endow synapses with unique properties, which may benefit adaptation of neurons to periods of inactivity as would occur when a major input is lost. This review will summarize how synaptic expression of CP-AMPARs is regulated during homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the context of synaptic scaling, and will address the potential functional consequences of altering synaptic CP-AMPAR content.

  17. Real-time Monitoring of Discrete Synaptic Release Events and Excitatory Potentials within Self-reconstructed Neuromuscular Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yu-Tao; Zhang, Shu-Hui; Wang, Xue-Ying; Zhang, Xin-Wei; Oleinick, Alexander I; Svir, Irina; Amatore, Christian; Huang, Wei-Hua

    2015-08-03

    Chemical synaptic transmission is central to the brain functions. In this regard, real-time monitoring of chemical synaptic transmission during neuronal communication remains a great challenge. In this work, in vivo-like oriented neural networks between superior cervical ganglion (SCG) neurons and their effector smooth muscle cells (SMC) were assembled in a microfluidic device. This allowed amperometric detection of individual neurotransmitter release events inside functional SCG-SMC synapse with carbon fiber nanoelectrodes as well as recording of postsynaptic potential using glass nanopipette electrodes. The high vesicular release activities essentially involved complex events arising from flickering fusion pores as quantitatively established based on simulations. This work allowed for the first time monitoring in situ chemical synaptic transmission under conditions close to those found in vivo, which may yield important and new insights into the nature of neuronal communications. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. 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.

  19. Remodeling of inhibitory synaptic connections in developing ferret visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dalva Matthew B

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the visual cortex, as in many other regions of the developing brain, excitatory synaptic connections undergo substantial remodeling during development. While evidence suggests that local inhibitory synapses may behave similarly, the extent and mechanisms that mediate remodeling of inhibitory connections are not well understood. Results Using scanning laser photostimulation in slices of developing ferret visual cortex, we assessed the overall patterns of developing inhibitory and excitatory synaptic connections converging onto individual neurons. Inhibitory synaptic inputs onto pyramidal neurons in cortical layers 2 and 3 were already present as early as postnatal day 20, well before eye opening, and originated from regions close to the recorded neurons. During the ensuing 2 weeks, the numbers of synaptic inputs increased, with the numbers of inhibitory (and excitatory synaptic inputs peaking near the time of eye opening. The pattern of inhibitory inputs refined rapidly prior to the refinement of excitatory inputs. By uncaging the neurotransmtter GABA in brain slices from animals of different ages, we find that this rapid refinement correlated with a loss of excitatory activity by GABA. Conclusion Inhibitory synapses, like excitatory synapses, undergo significant postnatal remodeling. The time course of the remodeling of inhibitory connections correlates with the emergence of orientation tuning in the visual cortex, implicating these rearrangements in the genesis of adult cortical response properties.

  20. Cerebellar input to magnocellular neurons in the red nucleus of the mouse: synaptic analysis in horizontal brain slices incorporating cerebello-rubral pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, M C; Alheid, G F; Nunzi, M G; Houk, J C

    2002-01-01

    We studied the synaptic input from the nucleus interpositus of the cerebellum to the magnocellular division of the red nucleus (RNm) in the mouse using combined electrophysiological and neuroanatomical methods. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from brain slices (125-150 microm) cut in a horizontal plane oriented to pass through both red nucleus and nucleus interpositus. Large cells that were visually selected and patched were injected with Lucifer Yellow and identified as RNm neurons. Using anterograde tracing from nucleus interpositus in vitro, we examined the course of interposito-rubral axons which are dispersed in the superior cerebellar peduncle. In vitro monosynaptic responses in RNm were elicited by an electrode array placed contralaterally in this pathway but near the midline. Mixed excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs)/inhibitory post-synaptic potentials (IPSPs) were observed in 48 RNm neurons. Excitatory components of the evoked potentials were studied after blocking inhibitory components with picrotoxin (100 microM) and strychnine (5 microM). All RNm neurons examined continued to show monosynaptic EPSPs after non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor components were blocked with 10 microM 6,7-dinitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione or 5 microM 2,3-dihydro-6-nitro-7-sulfamoyl-benzo(f)-quinoxaline (NBQX; n=12). The residual potentials were identified as NMDA receptor components since they (i) were blocked by the addition of the NMDA receptor antagonist, D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV), (ii) were voltage-dependent, and (iii) were enhanced by Mg(2+) removal. Inhibitory components of the evoked potentials were studied after blocking excitatory components with NBQX and APV. Under these conditions, all RNm neurons studied continued to show IPSPs. Blockade of GABA(A) receptors reduced but did not eliminate the IPSPs. These were eliminated when GABA(A) receptor blockade was combined with strychnine to eliminate glycine components of the

  1. Role of the origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs in controlling synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Erwann Martin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the nucleus accumbens receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g. the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus, each region providing different information (e.g. spatial, emotional and cognitive. Combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and the optogenetic technique, we examined synaptic plasticity, and its regulation by alcohol, at cortical, hippocampal and amygdala inputs in fresh slices of mouse tissue. We showed that the origin of synaptic inputs determines the basic properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission, the expression of spike-timing dependent long-term depression (tLTD and long-term potentiation (tLTP and their regulation by alcohol. While we observed both tLTP and tLTD at amygadala and hippocampal synapses, we showed that cortical inputs only undergo tLTD. Functionally, we provide evidence that acute EtOH has little effects on higher order information coming from the prefrontal cortex (PFCx, while severely impacting the ability of emotional and contextual information to induce long-lasting changes of synaptic strength.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckley, Jacob T; Woodward, John J

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Synaptic input sequence discrimination on behavioral timescales mediated by reaction-diffusion chemistry in dendrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Upinder Singh

    2017-01-01

    Sequences of events are ubiquitous in sensory, motor, and cognitive function. Key computational operations, including pattern recognition, event prediction, and plasticity, involve neural discrimination of spatio-temporal sequences. Here, we show that synaptically-driven reaction-diffusion pathways on dendrites can perform sequence discrimination on behaviorally relevant time-scales. We used abstract signaling models to show that selectivity arises when inputs at successive locations are aligned with, and amplified by, propagating chemical waves triggered by previous inputs. We incorporated biological detail using sequential synaptic input onto spines in morphologically, electrically, and chemically detailed pyramidal neuronal models based on rat data. Again, sequences were recognized, and local channel modulation downstream of putative sequence-triggered signaling could elicit changes in neuronal firing. We predict that dendritic sequence-recognition zones occupy 5 to 30 microns and recognize time-intervals of 0.2 to 5 s. We suggest that this mechanism provides highly parallel and selective neural computation in a functionally important time range. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25827.001 PMID:28422010

  5. Common Synaptic Input to Motor Neurons and Neural Drive to Targeted Reinnervated Muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farina, Dario; Castronovo, Anna Margherita; Vujaklija, Ivan; Sturma, Agnes; Salminger, Stefan; Hofer, Christian; Aszmann, Oskar

    2017-11-15

    We compared the behavior of motor neurons innervating their physiological muscle targets with motor neurons from the same spinal segment whose axons were surgically redirected to remnant muscles (targeted muscle reinnervation). The objective was to assess whether motor neurons with nonphysiological innervation receive similar synaptic input and could be voluntary controlled as motor neurons with natural innervation. For this purpose, we acquired high-density EMG signals from the biceps brachii in 5 male transhumeral amputees who underwent targeted reinnervation of this muscle by the ulnar nerve and from the first dorsal interosseous muscle of 5 healthy individuals to investigate the natural innervation of the ulnar nerve. The same recordings were also performed from the biceps brachii muscle of additional 5 able-bodied individuals. The EMG signals were decomposed into discharges of motor unit action potentials. Motor neurons were progressively recruited for the full range of submaximal muscle activation in all conditions. Moreover, their discharge rate significantly increased from recruitment to target activation level in a similar way across the subject groups. Motor neurons across all subject groups received common synaptic input as identified by coherence analysis of their spike trains. However, the relative strength of common input in both the delta (0.5-5 Hz) and alpha (5-13 Hz) bands was significantly smaller for the surgically reinnervated motor neuron pool with respect to the corresponding physiologically innervated one. The results support the novel approach of motor neuron interfacing for prosthesis control and provide new insights into the role of afferent input on motor neuron activity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Targeted muscle reinnervation surgically redirects nerves that lost their target in the amputation into redundant muscles in the region of the stump. The study of the behavior of motor neurons following this surgery is needed for designing

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belykh, Igor; Reimbayev, Reimbay; Zhao, Kun

    2015-06-01

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

  7. Synaptic potentials in nerve cells of the stellate ganglion of the squid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miledi, R.

    1972-01-01

    1. Intracellular recordings were made from nerve cells in the stellate ganglion of the squid. 2. Stimulation of the preganglionic nerve evoked excitatory or inhibitory synaptic potentials, or a combination of both. Antidromic stimulation of the stellar nerves also evoked excitatory and inhibitory potentials in the cells. With both types of stimulation the synaptic potentials were built up of contributions from several axons indicating considerable convergence of excitatory and inhibitory inputs on the cells. 3. Inhibitory, as well as excitatory, miniature synaptic potentials were recorded from the cells even after impulse activity had been blocked by tetrodotoxin. 4. Glutamate applied iontophoretically to some cells produced a depolarization of their membranes. In other cases glutamate evoked a hyperpolarizing potential. Application of glutamate caused a decrease in the amplitude of excitatory synaptic potentials. PMID:5074410

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C

    1990-01-01

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

  11. α-Motor neurons are spared from aging while their synaptic inputs degenerate in monkeys and mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Nicholas; Castro, Ryan W; Sutherland, Natalia M; Vaughan, Kelli L; Szarowicz, Mark D; de Cabo, Rafael; Mattison, Julie A; Valdez, Gregorio

    2018-02-04

    Motor function deteriorates with advancing age, increasing the risk of adverse health outcomes. While it is well established that skeletal muscles and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) degenerate with increasing age, the effect of aging on α-motor neurons and their innervating synaptic inputs remains largely unknown. In this study, we examined the soma of α-motor neurons and innervating synaptic inputs in the spinal cord of aged rhesus monkeys and mice, two species with vastly different lifespans. We found that, in both species, α-motor neurons retain their soma size despite an accumulation of large amounts of cellular waste or lipofuscin. Interestingly, the lipofuscin profile varied considerably, indicating that α-motor neurons age at different rates. Although the rate of aging varies, α-motor neurons do not atrophy in old age. In fact, there is no difference in the number of motor axons populating ventral roots in old mice compared to adult mice. Moreover, the transcripts and proteins associated with α-motor neurons do not decrease in the spinal cord of old mice. However, in aged rhesus monkeys and mice, there were fewer cholinergic and glutamatergic synaptic inputs directly abutting α-motor neurons, evidence that aging causes α-motor neurons to shed synaptic inputs. Thus, the loss of synaptic inputs may contribute to age-related dysfunction of α-motor neurons. These findings broaden our understanding of the degeneration of the somatic motor system that precipitates motor dysfunction with advancing age. © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerard J. Marek

    2018-02-01

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

  13. Superficially projecting principal neurons in layer V of medial entorhinal cortex in the rat receive excitatory retrosplenial input

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A. Czajkowski; J. Sugar (Jørgen); S.-J. Zhang (Sheng-Jia); J.J. Couey (Jonathan J); J. Ye (Jian); M.P. Witter (Menno)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractPrincipal cells in layer V of the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) have a nodal position in the cortical-hippocampal network. They are the main recipients of hippocampal output and receive inputs from several cortical areas, including a prominent one from the retrosplenial cortex (RSC),

  14. How pattern formation in ring networks of excitatory and inhibitory spiking neurons depends on the input current regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriener, Birgit; Helias, Moritz; Rotter, Stefan; Diesmann, Markus; Einevoll, Gaute T.

    2014-01-01

    Pattern formation, i.e., the generation of an inhomogeneous spatial activity distribution in a dynamical system with translation invariant structure, is a well-studied phenomenon in neuronal network dynamics, specifically in neural field models. These are population models to describe the spatio-temporal dynamics of large groups of neurons in terms of macroscopic variables such as population firing rates. Though neural field models are often deduced from and equipped with biophysically meaningful properties, a direct mapping to simulations of individual spiking neuron populations is rarely considered. Neurons have a distinct identity defined by their action on their postsynaptic targets. In its simplest form they act either excitatorily or inhibitorily. When the distribution of neuron identities is assumed to be periodic, pattern formation can be observed, given the coupling strength is supracritical, i.e., larger than a critical weight. We find that this critical weight is strongly dependent on the characteristics of the neuronal input, i.e., depends on whether neurons are mean- or fluctuation driven, and different limits in linearizing the full non-linear system apply in order to assess stability. In particular, if neurons are mean-driven, the linearization has a very simple form and becomes independent of both the fixed point firing rate and the variance of the input current, while in the very strongly fluctuation-driven regime the fixed point rate, as well as the input mean and variance are important parameters in the determination of the critical weight. We demonstrate that interestingly even in “intermediate” regimes, when the system is technically fluctuation-driven, the simple linearization neglecting the variance of the input can yield the better prediction of the critical coupling strength. We moreover analyze the effects of structural randomness by rewiring individual synapses or redistributing weights, as well as coarse-graining on the formation of

  15. How pattern formation in ring networks of excitatory and inhibitoryspiking neurons depends on the input current regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgit eKriener

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Pattern formation, i.e., the generation of an inhomogeneous spatial activity distribution in a dynamical system with translation invariant structure, is a well-studied phenomenon in neuronal network dynamics,specifically in neural field models. These are population models to describe the spatio-temporal dynamics of large groups of neurons in terms of macroscopic variables such as population firing rates. Though neural field models are often deduced from and equipped with biophysically meaningfulproperties, a direct mapping to simulations of individual spiking neuron populations is rarely considered. Neurons have a distinct identity defined by their action on their postsynaptic targets. In its simplest form they act either excitatorily or inhibitorily.When the distribution of neuron identities is assumed to be periodic, pattern formation can be observed, given the coupling strength is supercritical, i.e., larger than a critical weight. We find that this critical weight is strongly dependent on the characteristics of the neuronal input, i.e., depends on whether neurons are mean- orfluctuation driven, and different limits in linearizing the full non-linear system apply in order to assess stability.In particular, if neurons are mean-driven, the linearization has a very simple form and becomesindependent of both the fixed point firing rate and the variance of the input current, while in the very strongly fluctuation-driven regime the fixed point rate, as well as the input mean and variance areimportant parameters in the determination of the critical weight.We demonstrate that interestingly even in ``intermediate'' regimes, when the system is technically fluctuation-driven, the simple linearization neglecting the variance of the input can yield the better prediction of the critical couplingstrength. We moreover analyze the effects of structural randomness by rewiring individualsynapses or redistributing weights, as well as coarse-graining on pattern

  16. Synaptic inputs from stroke-injured brain to grafted human stem cell-derived neurons activated by sensory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tornero, Daniel; Tsupykov, Oleg; Granmo, Marcus; Rodriguez, Cristina; Grønning-Hansen, Marita; Thelin, Jonas; Smozhanik, Ekaterina; Laterza, Cecilia; Wattananit, Somsak; Ge, Ruimin; Tatarishvili, Jemal; Grealish, Shane; Brüstle, Oliver; Skibo, Galina; Parmar, Malin; Schouenborg, Jens; Lindvall, Olle; Kokaia, Zaal

    2017-03-01

    Transplanted neurons derived from stem cells have been proposed to improve function in animal models of human disease by various mechanisms such as neuronal replacement. However, whether the grafted neurons receive functional synaptic inputs from the recipient's brain and integrate into host neural circuitry is unknown. Here we studied the synaptic inputs from the host brain to grafted cortical neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells after transplantation into stroke-injured rat cerebral cortex. Using the rabies virus-based trans-synaptic tracing method and immunoelectron microscopy, we demonstrate that the grafted neurons receive direct synaptic inputs from neurons in different host brain areas located in a pattern similar to that of neurons projecting to the corresponding endogenous cortical neurons in the intact brain. Electrophysiological in vivo recordings from the cortical implants show that physiological sensory stimuli, i.e. cutaneous stimulation of nose and paw, can activate or inhibit spontaneous activity in grafted neurons, indicating that at least some of the afferent inputs are functional. In agreement, we find using patch-clamp recordings that a portion of grafted neurons respond to photostimulation of virally transfected, channelrhodopsin-2-expressing thalamo-cortical axons in acute brain slices. The present study demonstrates, for the first time, that the host brain regulates the activity of grafted neurons, providing strong evidence that transplanted human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cortical neurons can become incorporated into injured cortical circuitry. Our findings support the idea that these neurons could contribute to functional recovery in stroke and other conditions causing neuronal loss in cerebral cortex. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Opposing Effects of Intrinsic Conductance and Correlated Synaptic Input on V-Fluctuations during Network Activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kolind, Jens; Hounsgaard, Jørn Dybkjær; Berg, Rune W

    2012-01-01

    Neurons often receive massive concurrent bombardment of synaptic inhibition and excitation during functional network activity. This increases membrane conductance and causes fluctuations in membrane potential (V(m)) and spike timing. The conductance increase is commonly attributed to synaptic......(m) -fluctuations and conductance observed experimentally during functional network activity leave little room for intrinsic conductance to contribute. Even without intrinsic conductances the variance in V(m) -fluctuations can only be explained by a high degree of correlated firing among presynaptic neurons....... conductance, but also includes the intrinsic conductances recruited during network activity. These two sources of conductance have contrasting dynamic properties at sub-threshold membrane potentials. Synaptic transmitter gated conductance changes abruptly and briefly with each presynaptic action potential...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  19. T-type calcium channels cause bursts of spikes in motor but not sensory thalamic neurons during mimicry of natural patterns of synaptic input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Haram R.; Hong, Su Z.; Fiorillo, Christopher D.

    2015-01-01

    Although neurons within intact nervous systems can be classified as ‘sensory’ or ‘motor,’ it is not known whether there is any general distinction between sensory and motor neurons at the cellular or molecular levels. Here, we extend and test a theory according to which activation of certain subtypes of voltage-gated ion channel (VGC) generate patterns of spikes in neurons of motor systems, whereas VGC are proposed to counteract patterns in sensory neurons. We previously reported experimental evidence for the theory from visual thalamus, where we found that T-type calcium channels (TtCCs) did not cause bursts of spikes but instead served the function of ‘predictive homeostasis’ to maximize the causal and informational link between retinogeniculate excitation and spike output. Here, we have recorded neurons in brain slices from eight sensory and motor regions of rat thalamus while mimicking key features of natural excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic potentials. As predicted by theory, TtCC did cause bursts of spikes in motor thalamus. TtCC-mediated responses in motor thalamus were activated at more hyperpolarized potentials and caused larger depolarizations with more spikes than in visual and auditory thalamus. Somatosensory thalamus is known to be more closely connected to motor regions relative to auditory and visual thalamus, and likewise the strength of its TtCC responses was intermediate between these regions and motor thalamus. We also observed lower input resistance, as well as limited evidence of stronger hyperpolarization-induced (‘H-type’) depolarization, in nuclei closer to motor output. These findings support our theory of a specific difference between sensory and motor neurons at the cellular level. PMID:26582654

  20. T-type calcium channels cause bursts of spikes in motor but not sensory thalamic neurons during mimicry of natural patterns of synaptic input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Haram R; Hong, Su Z; Fiorillo, Christopher D

    2015-01-01

    Although neurons within intact nervous systems can be classified as 'sensory' or 'motor,' it is not known whether there is any general distinction between sensory and motor neurons at the cellular or molecular levels. Here, we extend and test a theory according to which activation of certain subtypes of voltage-gated ion channel (VGC) generate patterns of spikes in neurons of motor systems, whereas VGC are proposed to counteract patterns in sensory neurons. We previously reported experimental evidence for the theory from visual thalamus, where we found that T-type calcium channels (TtCCs) did not cause bursts of spikes but instead served the function of 'predictive homeostasis' to maximize the causal and informational link between retinogeniculate excitation and spike output. Here, we have recorded neurons in brain slices from eight sensory and motor regions of rat thalamus while mimicking key features of natural excitatory and inhibitory post-synaptic potentials. As predicted by theory, TtCC did cause bursts of spikes in motor thalamus. TtCC-mediated responses in motor thalamus were activated at more hyperpolarized potentials and caused larger depolarizations with more spikes than in visual and auditory thalamus. Somatosensory thalamus is known to be more closely connected to motor regions relative to auditory and visual thalamus, and likewise the strength of its TtCC responses was intermediate between these regions and motor thalamus. We also observed lower input resistance, as well as limited evidence of stronger hyperpolarization-induced ('H-type') depolarization, in nuclei closer to motor output. These findings support our theory of a specific difference between sensory and motor neurons at the cellular level.

  1. Strategies for mapping synaptic inputs on dendrites in vivo by combining two-photon microscopy, sharp intracellular recording and pharmacology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel eLevy

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Uncovering the functional properties of individual synaptic inputs on single neurons is critical for understanding the computational role of synapses and dendrites. Previous studies combined whole-cell patch recording to load neurons with a fluorescent calcium indicator and two-photon imaging to map subcellular changes in fluorescence upon sensory stimulation. By hyperpolarizing the neuron below spike threshold, the patch electrode ensured that changes in fluorescence associated with synaptic events were isolated from those caused by back-propagating action potentials. This technique holds promise for determining whether the existence of unique cortical feature maps across different species may be associated with distinct wiring diagrams. However, the use of whole-cell patch for mapping inputs on dendrites is challenging in large mammals, due to brain pulsations and the accumulation of fluorescent dye in the extracellular milieu. Alternatively, sharp intracellular electrodes have been used to label neurons with fluorescent dyes, but the current passing capabilities of these high impedance electrodes may be insufficient to prevent spiking. In this study, we tested whether sharp electrode recording is suitable for mapping functional inputs on dendrites in the cat visual cortex. We compared three different strategies for suppressing visually evoked spikes: (1 hyperpolarization by intracellular current injection, (2 pharmacological blockade of voltage-gated sodium channels by intracellular QX-314, and (3 GABA iontophoresis from a perisomatic electrode glued to the intracellular electrode. We found that functional inputs on dendrites could be successfully imaged using all three strategies. However, the best method for preventing spikes was GABA iontophoresis with low currents (5 to 10 nA, which minimally affected the local circuit. Our methods advance the possibility of determining functional connectivity in preparations where whole-cell patch may be

  2. The role of additive neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in a hippocampal memory model with grid-cell like input.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A Appleby

    Full Text Available Recently, we presented a study of adult neurogenesis in a simplified hippocampal memory model. The network was required to encode and decode memory patterns despite changing input statistics. We showed that additive neurogenesis was a more effective adaptation strategy compared to neuronal turnover and conventional synaptic plasticity as it allowed the network to respond to changes in the input statistics while preserving representations of earlier environments. Here we extend our model to include realistic, spatially driven input firing patterns in the form of grid cells in the entorhinal cortex. We compare network performance across a sequence of spatial environments using three distinct adaptation strategies: conventional synaptic plasticity, where the network is of fixed size but the connectivity is plastic; neuronal turnover, where the network is of fixed size but units in the network may die and be replaced; and additive neurogenesis, where the network starts out with fewer initial units but grows over time. We confirm that additive neurogenesis is a superior adaptation strategy when using realistic, spatially structured input patterns. We then show that a more biologically plausible neurogenesis rule that incorporates cell death and enhanced plasticity of new granule cells has an overall performance significantly better than any one of the three individual strategies operating alone. This adaptation rule can be tailored to maximise performance of the network when operating as either a short- or long-term memory store. We also examine the time course of adult neurogenesis over the lifetime of an animal raised under different hypothetical rearing conditions. These growth profiles have several distinct features that form a theoretical prediction that could be tested experimentally. Finally, we show that place cells can emerge and refine in a realistic manner in our model as a direct result of the sparsification performed by the dentate gyrus

  3. Functional properties of GABA synaptic inputs onto GABA neurons in monkey prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.C. Rotaru (Diana C.); C. Olezene (Cameron); T. Miyamae (Takeaki); N.V. Povysheva (Nadezhda V.); A.V. Zaitsev (Aleksey V.); D.A. Lewis (David A.); G. Gonzalez-Burgos (Guillermo)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractIn rodent cortex GABAA receptor (GABAAR)-mediated synapses are a significant source of input onto GABA neurons, and the properties of these inputs vary among GABA neuron subtypes that differ in molecular markers and firing patterns. Some features of cortical

  4. Directional hearing by linear summation of binaural inputs at the medial superior olive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Heijden, Marcel; Lorteije, Jeannette A M; Plauška, Andrius; Roberts, Michael T; Golding, Nace L; Borst, J Gerard G

    2013-06-05

    Neurons in the medial superior olive (MSO) enable sound localization by their remarkable sensitivity to submillisecond interaural time differences (ITDs). Each MSO neuron has its own "best ITD" to which it responds optimally. A difference in physical path length of the excitatory inputs from both ears cannot fully account for the ITD tuning of MSO neurons. As a result, it is still debated how these inputs interact and whether the segregation of inputs to opposite dendrites, well-timed synaptic inhibition, or asymmetries in synaptic potentials or cellular morphology further optimize coincidence detection or ITD tuning. Using in vivo whole-cell and juxtacellular recordings, we show here that ITD tuning of MSO neurons is determined by the timing of their excitatory inputs. The inputs from both ears sum linearly, whereas spike probability depends nonlinearly on the size of synaptic inputs. This simple coincidence detection scheme thus makes accurate sound localization possible. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Control of submillisecond synaptic timing in binaural coincidence detectors by K(v)1 channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Paul J; Jercog, Pablo E; Rinzel, John; Scott, Luisa L; Golding, Nace L

    2010-05-01

    Neurons in the medial superior olive process sound-localization cues via binaural coincidence detection, in which excitatory synaptic inputs from each ear are segregated onto different branches of a bipolar dendritic structure and summed at the soma and axon with submillisecond time resolution. Although synaptic timing and dynamics critically shape this computation, synaptic interactions with intrinsic ion channels have received less attention. Using paired somatic and dendritic patch-clamp recordings in gerbil brainstem slices together with compartmental modeling, we found that activation of K(v)1 channels by dendritic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) accelerated membrane repolarization in a voltage-dependent manner and actively improved the time resolution of synaptic integration. We found that a somatically biased gradient of K(v)1 channels underlies the degree of compensation for passive cable filtering during propagation of EPSPs in dendrites. Thus, both the spatial distribution and properties of K(v)1 channels are important for preserving binaural synaptic timing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatma Daoud

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

  8. Development of inhibitory synaptic inputs on layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the rat medial prefrontal cortex

    KAUST Repository

    Virtanen, Mari A.

    2018-01-10

    Inhibitory control of pyramidal neurons plays a major role in governing the excitability in the brain. While spatial mapping of inhibitory inputs onto pyramidal neurons would provide important structural data on neuronal signaling, studying their distribution at the single cell level is difficult due to the lack of easily identifiable anatomical proxies. Here, we describe an approach where in utero electroporation of a plasmid encoding for fluorescently tagged gephyrin into the precursors of pyramidal cells along with ionotophoretic injection of Lucifer Yellow can reliably and specifically detect GABAergic synapses on the dendritic arbour of single pyramidal neurons. Using this technique and focusing on the basal dendritic arbour of layer 2/3 pyramidal cells of the medial prefrontal cortex, we demonstrate an intense development of GABAergic inputs onto these cells between postnatal days 10 and 20. While the spatial distribution of gephyrin clusters was not affected by the distance from the cell body at postnatal day 10, we found that distal dendritic segments appeared to have a higher gephyrin density at later developmental stages. We also show a transient increase around postnatal day 20 in the percentage of spines that are carrying a gephyrin cluster, indicative of innervation by a GABAergic terminal. Since the precise spatial arrangement of synaptic inputs is an important determinant of neuronal responses, we believe that the method described in this work may allow a better understanding of how inhibition settles together with excitation, and serve as basics for further modelling studies focusing on the geometry of dendritic inhibition during development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Phase dependent sign changes of GABAergic synaptic input explored in-silicio and in-vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiefel, Klaus M; Wespatat, Valérie; Gutkin, Boris; Tennigkeit, Frank; Singer, Wolf

    2005-08-01

    Inhibitory interactions play a crucial role in the synchronization of neuronal activity. Here we investigate the effect of GABAergic PSPs on spike timing in cortical neurons that exhibit an oscillatory modulation of their membrane potential. To this end we combined numerical simulations with in-vitro patch-clamp recordings from layer II/III pyramidal cells of the rat visual cortex. Special emphasis was placed on exploring how the reversal potential of the GABAergic synaptic currents (EGABA) and the phase relations of the PSPs relative to the oscillation cycles affect the timing of spikes riding on the depolarizing peaks of the oscillations. The simulations predicted: (1) With EGABA more negative than the oscillation minima PSPs are hyperpolarizing at all phases and thus delay or prevent spikes. (2) With EGABA being more positive than the oscillation maxima PSPs are depolarizing in a phase-independent way and lead to a phase advance of spikes. (3) In the intermediate case where EGABA lies within oscillation maxima and minima PSPs are either hyper- or depolarizing depending on their phase relations to the V(m) oscillations and can therefore either delay or advance spikes. Experiments conducted in this most interesting last configuration with biphasic PSPs agreed with the model predictions. Additional theoretical investigations revealed the effect of these PSP induced shifts in spike timing on synchronization in neuronal circuits. The results suggest that GABAergic mechanisms can assume highly specific timing functions in oscillatory networks.

  12. Asymmetry between ON and OFF α ganglion cells of mouse retina: integration of signal and noise from synaptic inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freed, Michael A

    2017-11-15

    Bipolar and amacrine cells presynaptic to the ON sustained α cell of mouse retina provide currents with a higher signal-to-noise power ratio (SNR) than those presynaptic to the OFF sustained α cell. Yet the ON cell loses proportionately more SNR from synaptic inputs to spike output than the OFF cell does. The higher SNR of ON bipolar cells at the beginning of the ON pathway compensates for losses incurred by the ON ganglion cell, and improves the processing of positive contrasts. ON and OFF pathways in the retina include functional pairs of neurons that, at first glance, appear to have symmetrically similar responses to brightening and darkening, respectively. Upon careful examination, however, functional pairs exhibit asymmetries in receptive field size and response kinetics. Until now, descriptions of how light-adapted retinal circuitry maintains a preponderance of signal over the noise have not distinguished between ON and OFF pathways. Here I present evidence of marked asymmetries between members of a functional pair of sustained α ganglion cells in the mouse retina. The ON cell exhibited a proportionately greater loss of signal-to-noise power ratio (SNR) from its presynaptic arrays to its postsynaptic currents. Thus the ON cell combines signal and noise from its presynaptic arrays of bipolar and amacrine cells less efficiently than the OFF cell does. Yet the inefficiency of the ON cell is compensated by its presynaptic arrays providing a higher SNR than the arrays presynaptic to the OFF cell, apparently to improve visual processing of positive contrasts. Dynamic clamp experiments were performed that introduced synaptic conductances into ON and OFF cells. When the amacrine-modulated conductance was removed, the ON cell's spike train exhibited an increase in SNR. The OFF cell, however, showed the opposite effect of removing amacrine input, which was a decrease in SNR. Thus ON and OFF cells have different modes of synaptic integration with direct effects on

  13. Implementing dynamic clamp with synaptic and artificial conductances in mouse retinal ganglion cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jin Y; Stiefel, Klaus M; Protti, Dario A

    2013-05-16

    Ganglion cells are the output neurons of the retina and their activity reflects the integration of multiple synaptic inputs arising from specific neural circuits. Patch clamp techniques, in voltage clamp and current clamp configurations, are commonly used to study the physiological properties of neurons and to characterize their synaptic inputs. Although the application of these techniques is highly informative, they pose various limitations. For example, it is difficult to quantify how the precise interactions of excitatory and inhibitory inputs determine response output. To address this issue, we used a modified current clamp technique, dynamic clamp, also called conductance clamp (1, 2, 3) and examined the impact of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs on neuronal excitability. This technique requires the injection of current into the cell and is dependent on the real-time feedback of its membrane potential at that time. The injected current is calculated from predetermined excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances, their reversal potentials and the cell's instantaneous membrane potential. Details on the experimental procedures, patch clamping cells to achieve a whole-cell configuration and employment of the dynamic clamp technique are illustrated in this video article. Here, we show the responses of mouse retinal ganglion cells to various conductance waveforms obtained from physiological experiments in control conditions or in the presence of drugs. Furthermore, we show the use of artificial excitatory and inhibitory conductances generated using alpha functions to investigate the responses of the cells.

  14. Differential effects of prenatal chronic high-decibel noise and music exposure on the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic components of the auditory cortex analog in developing chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, V; Nag, T C; Sharma, U; Jagannathan, N R; Wadhwa, S

    2014-06-06

    Proper development of the auditory cortex depends on early acoustic experience that modulates the balance between excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) circuits. In the present social and occupational environment exposure to chronic loud sound in the form of occupational or recreational noise, is becoming inevitable. This could especially disrupt the functional auditory cortex development leading to altered processing of complex sound and hearing impairment. Here we report the effects of prenatal chronic loud sound (110-dB sound pressure level (SPL)) exposure (rhythmic [music] and arrhythmic [noise] forms) on the molecular components involved in regulation of the E/I balance in the developing auditory cortex analog/Field L (AuL) in domestic chicks. Noise exposure at 110-dB SPL significantly enhanced the E/I ratio (increased expression of AMPA receptor GluR2 subunit and glutamate with decreased expression of GABA(A) receptor gamma 2 subunit and GABA), whereas loud music exposure maintained the E/I ratio. Expressions of markers of synaptogenesis, synaptic stability and plasticity i.e., synaptophysin, PSD-95 and gephyrin were reduced with noise but increased with music exposure. Thus our results showed differential effects of prenatal chronic loud noise and music exposures on the E/I balance and synaptic function and stability in the developing auditory cortex. Loud music exposure showed an overall enrichment effect whereas loud noise-induced significant alterations in E/I balance could later impact the auditory function and associated cognitive behavior. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. In the Piriform Cortex, the Primary Impetus for Information Encoding through Synaptic Plasticity Is Provided by Descending Rather than Ascending Olfactory Inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauch, Christina; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2018-02-01

    Information encoding by means of persistent changes in synaptic strength supports long-term information storage and memory in structures such as the hippocampus. In the piriform cortex (PC), that engages in the processing of associative memory, only short-term synaptic plasticity has been described to date, both in vitro and in anesthetized rodents in vivo. Whether the PC maintains changes in synaptic strength for longer periods of time is unknown: Such a property would indicate that it can serve as a repository for long-term memories. Here, we report that in freely behaving animals, frequency-dependent synaptic plasticity does not occur in the anterior PC (aPC) following patterned stimulation of the olfactory bulb (OB). Naris closure changed action potential properties of aPC neurons and enabled expression of long-term potentiation (LTP) by OB stimulation, indicating that an intrinsic ability to express synaptic plasticity is present. Odor discrimination and categorization in the aPC is supported by descending inputs from the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Here, OFC stimulation resulted in LTP (>4 h), suggesting that this structure plays an important role in promoting information encoding through synaptic plasticity in the aPC. These persistent changes in synaptic strength are likely to comprise a means through which long-term memories are encoded and/or retained in the PC. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  17. High-density surface electromyography improves the identification of oscillatory synaptic inputs to motoneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steeg, Chiel van de; Daffertshofer, Andreas; Stegeman, Dick F; Boonstra, Tjeerd W

    2014-05-15

    Many studies have addressed corticomuscular coherence (CMC), but broad applications are limited by low coherence values and the variability across subjects and recordings. Here, we investigated how the use of high-density surface electromyography (HDsEMG) can improve the detection of CMC. Sixteen healthy subjects performed isometric contractions at six low-force levels using a pinch-grip, while HDsEMG of the adductor pollicis transversus and flexor and abductor pollicis brevis and whole-head magnetoencephalography were recorded. Different configurations were constructed from the HDsEMG grid, such as a bipolar and Laplacian montage, as well as a montage based on principal component analysis (PCA). CMC was estimated for each configuration, and the strength of coherence was compared across configurations. As expected, performance of the precision-grip task resulted in significant CMC in the β-frequency band (16-26 Hz). Compared with a bipolar EMG montage, all multichannel configurations obtained from the HDsEMG grid revealed a significant increase in CMC. The configuration, based on PCA, showed the largest (37%) increase. HDsEMG did not reduce the between-subject variability; rather, many configurations showed an increased coefficient of variation. Increased CMC presumably reflects the ability of HDsEMG to counteract inherent EMG signal factors-such as amplitude cancellation-which impact the detection of oscillatory inputs. In contrast, the between-subject variability of CMC most likely has a cortical origin. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  18. Kindling-induced potentiation of excitatory and inhibitory inputs to hippocampal dentate granule cells. II. Effects of the NMDA antagonist MK-801.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Robinson, G B

    1991-10-18

    The effect of the non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist MK-801 on the early development of kindling-induced potentiation was examined in the rabbit hippocampal dentate gyrus. MK-801 (0.5 mg\\/kg) was administered 2 h before each daily kindling stimulation was applied to the perforant path. This treatment continued for the first 10 days of kindling. MK-801 depressed the growth of the afterdischarge duration and suppressed development of behavioral seizures. MK-801 did not block kindling-induced potentiation of either the perforant path-dentate granule cell population spike or excitatory postsynaptic potential. Random impulse train stimulation and non-linear systems analytic techniques were used to examine kindling-induced potentiation of presumed GABAergic recurrent inhibitory circuits. Both the magnitude and duration of kindling-induced response inhibition, to the second of each pair of impulses within the train, were reduced in rabbits pretreated with MK-801. These results suggest that MK-801 differentially affects kindling-induced potentiation of excitatory and inhibitory circuits within the rabbit hippocampal dentate gyrus.

  19. Plasticity in respiratory motor neurons in response to reduced synaptic inputs: A form of homeostatic plasticity in respiratory control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braegelmann, K M; Streeter, K A; Fields, D P; Baker, T L

    2017-01-01

    For most individuals, the respiratory control system produces a remarkably stable and coordinated motor output-recognizable as a breath-from birth until death. Very little is understood regarding the processes by which the respiratory control system maintains network stability in the presence of changing physiological demands and network properties that occur throughout life. An emerging principle of neuroscience is that neural activity is sensed and adjusted locally to assure that neurons continue to operate in an optimal range, yet to date, it is unknown whether such homeostatic plasticity is a feature of the neurons controlling breathing. Here, we review the evidence that local mechanisms sense and respond to perturbations in respiratory neural activity, with a focus on plasticity in respiratory motor neurons. We discuss whether these forms of plasticity represent homeostatic plasticity in respiratory control. We present new analyses demonstrating that reductions in synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit a compensatory enhancement of phrenic inspiratory motor output, a form of plasticity termed inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF), that is proportional to the magnitude of activity deprivation. Although the physiological role of iPMF is not understood, we hypothesize that it has an important role in protecting the drive to breathe during conditions of prolonged or intermittent reductions in respiratory neural activity, such as following spinal cord injury or during central sleep apnea. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Evidence for Changes in Numbers of Synaptic Inputs onto KNDy and GnRH Neurones during the Preovulatory LH Surge in the Ewe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkley, C M; Coolen, L M; Goodman, R L; Lehman, M N

    2015-07-01

    Kisspeptin neurones located in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and preoptic area (POA) are critical mediators of gonadal steroid feedback onto gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurones. ARC kisspeptin cells that co-localise neurokinin B (NKB) and dynorphin (Dyn), are collectively referred to as KNDy (Kisspeptin/NKB/Dyn) neurones, and have been shown in mice to also co-express the vesicular glutamate transporter, vGlut2, an established glutamatergic marker. The ARC in rodents has long been known as a site of hormone-induced neuroplasticity, and changes in synaptic inputs to ARC neurones in rodents occur over the oestrous cycle. Based on this evidence, the the present study aimed to examine possible changes across the ovine oestrous cycle in synaptic inputs onto kisspeptin cells in the ARC (KNDy) and POA, and inputs onto GnRH neurones. Gonadal-intact breeding season ewes were perfused using 4% paraformaldehyde during either the luteal or follicular phase of the oestrous cycle, with the latter group killed at the time of the luteinising hormone (LH) surge. Hypothalamic sections were processed for triple-label immunodetection of kisspeptin/vGlut2/synaptophysin or kisspeptin/vGlut2/GnRH. The total numbers of synaptophysin- and vGlut2-positive inputs to ARC KNDy neurones were significantly increased at the time of the LH surge compared to the luteal phase; because these did not contain kisspeptin, they do not arise from KNDy neurones. By contrast to the ARC, the total number of synaptophysin-positive inputs onto POA kisspeptin neurones did not differ between luteal phase and surge animals. The total number of kisspeptin and vGlut2 inputs onto GnRH neurones in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) was also increased during the LH surge, and could be attributed to an increase in the number of KNDy (double-labelled kisspeptin + vGlut2) inputs. Taken together, these results provide novel evidence of synaptic plasticity at the level of inputs onto KNDy and GnRH neurones during

  1. Inverse modulation of motor neuron cellular and synaptic properties can maintain the same motor output.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClelland, Thomas James; Parker, David

    2017-09-30

    Although often examined in isolation, a single neuromodulator typically has multiple cellular and synaptic effects. Here, we have examined the interaction of the cellular and synaptic effects of 5-HT in the lamprey spinal cord. 5-HT reduces the amplitude of glutamatergic synaptic inputs and the slow post-spike afterhyperpolarization (sAHP) in motor neurons. We examined the interaction between these effects using ventral root activity evoked by stimulation of the spinal cord. While 5-HT reduced excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs in motor neurons to approximately 60% of control, ventral root activity was not significantly affected. The reduction of the sAHP by 5-HT increased motor neuron excitability by reducing spike frequency adaptation, an effect that could in principle have opposed the reduction of the excitatory synaptic input. Support for this was sought by reducing the amplitude of the sAHP by applying the toxin apamin before 5-HT application. In these experiments, 5-HT reduced the ventral root response, presumably because the reduction of the synaptic input now dominated. This was supported by computer simulations that showed that the motor output could be maintained over a wide range of synaptic input values if they were matched by changes in postsynaptic excitability. The effects of 5-HT on ventral root responses were altered by spinal cord lesions: 5-HT significantly increased ventral root responses in animals that recovered good locomotor function, consistent with a lesion-induced reduction in the synaptic effects of 5-HT, which thus biases its effects to the increase in motor neuron excitability. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yotam Luz

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

  3. Functional dissection of synaptic circuits: in vivo patch-clamp recording in neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Can; Zhang, Guangwei; Xiong, Ying; Zhou, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal activity is dominated by synaptic inputs from excitatory or inhibitory neural circuits. With the development of in vivo patch-clamp recording, especially in vivo voltage-clamp recording, researchers can not only directly measure neuronal activity, such as spiking responses or membrane potential dynamics, but also quantify synaptic inputs from excitatory and inhibitory circuits in living animals. This approach enables researchers to directly unravel different synaptic components and to understand their underlying roles in particular brain functions. Combining in vivo patch-clamp recording with other techniques, such as two-photon imaging or optogenetics, can provide even clearer functional dissection of the synaptic contributions of different neurons or nuclei. Here, we summarized current applications and recent research progress using the in vivo patch-clamp recording method and focused on its role in the functional dissection of different synaptic inputs. The key factors of a successful in vivo patch-clamp experiment and possible solutions based on references and our experiences were also discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eJia

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Yan; Parker, David

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. TRH modulates glutamatergic synaptic inputs on CA1 neurons of the mouse hippocampus in a biphasic manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarif, Hadi; Petit-Paitel, Agnès; Heurteaux, Catherine; Chabry, Joëlle; Guyon, Alice

    2016-11-01

    Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone (TRH) is a tripeptide that induces the release of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in the blood. Besides its role in the thyroid system, TRH has been shown to regulate several neuronal systems in the brain however its role in hippocampus remains controversial. Using electrophysiological recordings in acute mouse brain slices, we show that TRH depresses glutamate responses at the CA3-CA1 synapse through an action on NMDA receptors, which, as a consequence, decreases the ability of the synapse to establish a long term potentiation (LTP). TRH also induces a late increase in AMPA/kainate responses. Together, these results suggest that TRH plays an important role in the modulation of hippocampal neuronal activities, and they contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which TRH impacts synaptic function underlying emotional states, learning and memory processes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    The five excitatory amino acid transporters (EAAT1–5) mediating the synaptic uptake of the major excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate are differently expressed throughout the CNS and at the synaptic level. Although EAATs are crucial for normal excitatory neurotransmission, explorations into the ...... of EAATs and their intricate transport process, the novel approaches to pharmacological modulation of the transporters that have emerged, and interesting new perspectives in EAAT as drug targets proposed in recent years....

  10. Long-Term Synaptic Changes in Two Input Pathways into the Lateral Nucleus of the Amygdala Underlie Fear Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Junchol; Choi, June-Seek

    2010-01-01

    Plasticity in two input pathways into the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the sensory thalamus, have been suggested to underlie extinction, suppression of a previously acquired conditioned response (CR) following repeated presentations of the conditioned stimulus (CS). However, little is known about…

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Correlation between discharge timings of pairs of motor units reveals the presence but not the proportion of common synaptic input to motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Falces, Javier; Negro, Francesco; Farina, Dario

    2017-04-01

    We investigated whether correlation measures derived from pairs of motor unit (MU) spike trains are reliable indicators of the degree of common synaptic input to motor neurons. Several 50-s isometric contractions of the biceps brachii muscle were performed at different target forces ranging from 10 to 30% of the maximal voluntary contraction relying on force feedback. Forty-eight pairs of MUs were examined at various force levels. Motor unit synchrony was assessed by cross-correlation analysis using three indexes: the output correlation as the peak of the cross-histogram (ρ) and the number of synchronous spikes per second (CIS) and per trigger (E). Individual analysis of MU pairs revealed that ρ, CIS, and E were most often positively associated with discharge rate (87, 85, and 76% of the MU pairs, respectively) and negatively with interspike interval variability (69, 65, and 62% of the MU pairs, respectively). Moreover, the behavior of synchronization indexes with discharge rate (and interspike interval variability) varied greatly among the MU pairs. These results were consistent with theoretical predictions, which showed that the output correlation between pairs of spike trains depends on the statistics of the input current and motor neuron intrinsic properties that differ for different motor neuron pairs. In conclusion, the synchronization between MU firing trains is necessarily caused by the (functional) common input to motor neurons, but it is not possible to infer the degree of shared common input to a pair of motor neurons on the basis of correlation measures of their output spike trains. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The strength of correlation between output spike trains is only poorly associated with the degree of common input to the population of motor neurons. The synchronization between motor unit firing trains is necessarily caused by the (functional) common input to motor neurons, but it is not possible to infer the degree of shared common input to a pair of

  13. Circuits that Innervate Excitatory-Inhibitory Cells in the Inferior Colliculus Obtained with In-Vivo Whole Cell Recordings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Na; Pollak, George D.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons excited by stimulation of one ear and suppressed by the other, called EI neurons, are sensitive to interaural intensity disparities (IIDs), the cues animals use to localize high frequencies. EI neurons are first formed in lateral superior olive (LSO), which then sends excitatory projections to the dorsal nucleus of the lateral lemniscus (DNLL) and the inferior colliculus (IC), both of which contain large populations of EI cells. We evaluate the inputs that innervate EI cells in the IC of Mexican free-tailed bats, Tadarida brasilensis mexicana, with in vivo whole cell recordings from which we derived excitatory and inhibitory conductances. We show that the basic EI property in the majority of IC cells is inherited from LSO, but each type of EI cell is also innervated by the ipsi- or contralateral DNLL, as well as additional excitatory and inhibitory inputs from monaural nuclei. We identify three EI types, where each type receives a set of projections that are different from the other types. To evaluate the role that the various projections played in generating binaural responses, we used modeling to compute a predicted response from the conductances. We then omitted one of the conductances from the computation to evaluate the degree to which that input contributed to the binaural response. We show that formation of the EI property in the various types is complex, and that some projections exert such subtle influences that they could not have been detected with extracellular recordings or even from intracellular recordings of post-synaptic potentials. PMID:23575835

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-02

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Husseini Alaa

    2005-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MacDermott Amy B

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Jedlicka

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Obesity-driven synaptic remodeling affects endocannabinoid control of orexinergic neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristino, Luigia; Busetto, Giuseppe; Imperatore, Roberta; Ferrandino, Ida; Palomba, Letizia; Silvestri, Cristoforo; Petrosino, Stefania; Orlando, Pierangelo; Bentivoglio, Marina; Mackie, Kenneth; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2013-01-01

    Acute or chronic alterations in energy status alter the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and associated synaptic plasticity to allow for the adaptation of energy metabolism to new homeostatic requirements. The impact of such changes on endocannabinoid and cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission and strength is not known, despite the fact that this signaling system is an important target for the development of new drugs against obesity. We investigated whether CB1-expressing excitatory vs. inhibitory inputs to orexin-A–containing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus are altered in obesity and how this modifies endocannabinoid control of these neurons. In lean mice, these inputs are mostly excitatory. By confocal and ultrastructural microscopic analyses, we observed that in leptin-knockout (ob/ob) obese mice, and in mice with diet-induced obesity, orexinergic neurons receive predominantly inhibitory CB1-expressing inputs and overexpress the biosynthetic enzyme for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which retrogradely inhibits synaptic transmission at CB1-expressing axon terminals. Patch-clamp recordings also showed increased CB1-sensitive inhibitory innervation of orexinergic neurons in ob/ob mice. These alterations are reversed by leptin administration, partly through activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway in neuropeptide-Y-ergic neurons of the arcuate nucleus, and are accompanied by CB1-mediated enhancement of orexinergic innervation of target brain areas. We propose that enhanced inhibitory control of orexin-A neurons, and their CB1-mediated disinhibition, are a consequence of leptin signaling impairment in the arcuate nucleus. We also provide initial evidence of the participation of this phenomenon in hyperphagia and hormonal dysregulation in obesity. PMID:23630288

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Jiang, Qin

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Fast synaptic subcortical control of hippocampal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varga, Viktor; Losonczy, Attila; Zemelman, Boris V; Borhegyi, Zsolt; Nyiri, Gábor; Domonkos, Andor; Hangya, Balázs; Holderith, Noémi; Magee, Jeffrey C; Freund, Tamás F

    2009-10-16

    Cortical information processing is under state-dependent control of subcortical neuromodulatory systems. Although this modulatory effect is thought to be mediated mainly by slow nonsynaptic metabotropic receptors, other mechanisms, such as direct synaptic transmission, are possible. Yet, it is currently unknown if any such form of subcortical control exists. Here, we present direct evidence of a strong, spatiotemporally precise excitatory input from an ascending neuromodulatory center. Selective stimulation of serotonergic median raphe neurons produced a rapid activation of hippocampal interneurons. At the network level, this subcortical drive was manifested as a pattern of effective disynaptic GABAergic inhibition that spread throughout the circuit. This form of subcortical network regulation should be incorporated into current concepts of normal and pathological cortical function.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Ba

    2016-02-01

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

  2. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolodziejczyk, Karolina; Raymond, Lynn A

    2016-02-01

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

  4. Deletion of presynaptic adenosine A1 receptors impairs the recovery of synaptic transmission after hypoxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigoni, E; Crocker, A J; Saper, C B; Greene, R W; Scammell, T E

    2005-01-01

    Adenosine protects neurons during hypoxia by inhibiting excitatory synaptic transmission and preventing NMDA receptor activation. Using an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector containing Cre recombinase, we have focally deleted adenosine A(1) receptors in specific hippocampal regions of adult mice. Recently, we found that deletion of A(1) receptors in the CA1 area blocks the postsynaptic responses to adenosine in CA1 pyramidal neurons, and deletion of A(1) receptors in CA3 neurons abolishes the presynaptic effects of adenosine on the Schaffer collateral input [J Neurosci 23 (2003) 5762]. In the current study, we used this technique to delete A(1) receptors focally from CA3 neurons to investigate whether presynaptic A(1) receptors protect synaptic transmission from hypoxia. We studied the effects of prolonged (1 h) hypoxia on the evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in the CA1 region using in vitro slices. Focal deletion of the presynaptic A(1) receptors on the Schaffer collateral input slowed the depression of the fEPSPs in response to hypoxia and impaired the recovery of the fEPSPs after hypoxia. Delayed responses to hypoxia linearly correlated with impaired recovery. These findings provide direct evidence that the neuroprotective role of adenosine during hypoxia depends on the rapid inhibition of synaptic transmission by the activation of presynaptic A(1) receptors.

  5. Retinal input to efferent target amacrine cells in the avian retina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Sarah H.; Azizi, Nason; Weller, Cynthia; Wilson, Martin

    2012-01-01

    The bird visual system includes a substantial projection, of unknown function, from a midbrain nucleus to the contralateral retina. Every centrifugal, or efferent, neuron originating in the midbrain nucleus makes synaptic contact with the soma of a single, unique amacrine cell, the target cell (TC). By labeling efferent neurons in the midbrain we have been able to identify their terminals in retinal slices and make patch clamp recordings from TCs. TCs generate Na+ based action potentials triggered by spontaneous EPSPs originating from multiple classes of presynaptic neurons. Exogenously applied glutamate elicited inward currents having the mixed pharmacology of NMDA, kainate and inward rectifying AMPA receptors. Exogenously applied GABA elicited currents entirely suppressed by GABAzine, and therefore mediated by GABAA receptors. Immunohistochemistry showed the vesicular glutamate transporter, vGluT2, to be present in the characteristic synaptic boutons of efferent terminals, whereas the GABA synthetic enzyme, GAD, was present in much smaller processes of intrinsic retinal neurons. Extracellular recording showed that exogenously applied GABA was directly excitatory to TCs and, consistent with this, NKCC, the Cl− transporter often associated with excitatory GABAergic synapses, was identified in TCs by antibody staining. The presence of excitatory retinal input to TCs implies that TCs are not merely slaves to their midbrain input; instead, their output reflects local retinal activity and descending input from the midbrain. PMID:20650017

  6. Regulation of spike timing-dependent plasticity of olfactory inputs in mitral cells in the rat olfactory bulb.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teng-Fei Ma

    Full Text Available The recent history of activity input onto granule cells (GCs in the main olfactory bulb can affect the strength of lateral inhibition, which functions to generate contrast enhancement. However, at the plasticity level, it is unknown whether and how the prior modification of lateral inhibition modulates the subsequent induction of long-lasting changes of the excitatory olfactory nerve (ON inputs to mitral cells (MCs. Here we found that the repetitive stimulation of two distinct excitatory inputs to the GCs induced a persistent modification of lateral inhibition in MCs in opposing directions. This bidirectional modification of inhibitory inputs differentially regulated the subsequent synaptic plasticity of the excitatory ON inputs to the MCs, which was induced by the repetitive pairing of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs with postsynaptic bursts. The regulation of spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP was achieved by the regulation of the inter-spike-interval (ISI of the postsynaptic bursts. This novel form of inhibition-dependent regulation of plasticity may contribute to the encoding or processing of olfactory information in the olfactory bulb.

  7. Hunger states switch a flip-flop memory circuit via a synaptic AMPK-dependent positive feedback loop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yunlei; Atasoy, Deniz; Su, Helen H; Sternson, Scott M

    2011-09-16

    Synaptic plasticity in response to changes in physiologic state is coordinated by hormonal signals across multiple neuronal cell types. Here, we combine cell-type-specific electrophysiological, pharmacological, and optogenetic techniques to dissect neural circuits and molecular pathways controlling synaptic plasticity onto AGRP neurons, a population that regulates feeding. We find that food deprivation elevates excitatory synaptic input, which is mediated by a presynaptic positive feedback loop involving AMP-activated protein kinase. Potentiation of glutamate release was triggered by the orexigenic hormone ghrelin and exhibited hysteresis, persisting for hours after ghrelin removal. Persistent activity was reversed by the anorexigenic hormone leptin, and optogenetic photostimulation demonstrated involvement of opioid release from POMC neurons. Based on these experiments, we propose a memory storage device for physiological state constructed from bistable synapses that are flipped between two sustained activity states by transient exposure to hormones signaling energy levels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-28

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    localization can buffer nearby glutamate receptors and modulate excitatory neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. It is also the main neuronal cysteine uptake system acting as the rate-limiting factor for the synthesis of glutathione, a potent antioxidant, in EAAT3 expressing neurons, while on GABAergic......Abstract The neuronal excitatory amino acid transporter 3 (EAAT3) is fairly ubiquitously expressed in the brain, though it does not necessarily maintain the same function everywhere. It is important in maintaining low local concentrations of glutamate, where its predominant post-synaptic...

  10. Inter-Synaptic Lateral Diffusion of GABAA Receptors Shapes Inhibitory Synaptic Currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Luca, Emanuela; Ravasenga, Tiziana; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Polenghi, Alice; Nieus, Thierry; Guazzi, Stefania; Barberis, Andrea

    2017-07-05

    The lateral mobility of neurotransmitter receptors has been shown to tune synaptic signals. Here we report that GABAA receptors (GABAARs) can diffuse between adjacent dendritic GABAergic synapses in long-living desensitized states, thus laterally spreading "activation memories" between inhibitory synapses. Glutamatergic activity limits this inter-synaptic diffusion by trapping GABAARs at excitatory synapses. This novel form of activity-dependent hetero-synaptic interplay is likely to modulate dendritic synaptic signaling. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The discovery of GluA3-dependent synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Renner, M.C.

    2016-01-01

    AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are responsible for fast excitatory synaptic transmission. GluA1-containing AMPARs have been extensively studied and play a key role in several forms of synaptic plasticity and memory. In contrast, GluA3-containing AMPARs have historically been ignored because they have

  12. Altered balance of glutamatergic/GABAergic synaptic input and associated changes in dendrite morphology after BDNF expression in BDNF-deficient hippocampal neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, B.; Henneberger, C.; Betances, D.; Arevalo, M.A.; Rodriguez-Tebar, A.; Meier, J.C.; Grantyn, R.

    2006-01-01

    Cultured neurons from bdnf-/- mice display reduced densities of synaptic terminals, although in vivo these deficits are small or absent. Here we aimed at clarifying the local responses to postsynaptic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). To this end, solitary enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-labeled hippocampal neurons from bdnf-/- mice were compared with bdnf-/- neurons after transfection with BDNF, bdnf-/- neurons after transient exposure to exogenous BDNF, and bdnf+/+ neurons...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  14. The transformation of synaptic to system plasticity in motor output from the sacral cord of the adult mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Mingchen C; Elbasiouny, Sherif M; Collins, William F; Heckman, C J

    2015-09-01

    Synaptic plasticity is fundamental in shaping the output of neural networks. The transformation of synaptic plasticity at the cellular level into plasticity at the system level involves multiple factors, including behavior of local networks of interneurons. Here we investigate the synaptic to system transformation for plasticity in motor output in an in vitro preparation of the adult mouse spinal cord. System plasticity was assessed from compound action potentials (APs) in spinal ventral roots, which were generated simultaneously by the axons of many motoneurons (MNs). Synaptic plasticity was assessed from intracellular recordings of MNs. A computer model of the MN pool was used to identify the middle steps in the transformation from synaptic to system behavior. Two input systems that converge on the same MN pool were studied: one sensory and one descending. The two synaptic input systems generated very different motor outputs, with sensory stimulation consistently evoking short-term depression (STD) whereas descending stimulation had bimodal plasticity: STD at low frequencies but short-term facilitation (STF) at high frequencies. Intracellular and pharmacological studies revealed contributions from monosynaptic excitation and stimulus time-locked inhibition but also considerable asynchronous excitation sustained from local network activity. The computer simulations showed that STD in the monosynaptic excitatory input was the primary driver of the system STD in the sensory input whereas network excitation underlies the bimodal plasticity in the descending system. These results provide insight on the roles of plasticity in the monosynaptic and polysynaptic inputs converging on the same MN pool to overall motor plasticity. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2010-01-01

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

  16. GABA Metabolism and Transport: Effects on Synaptic Efficacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian C. Roth

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi eUeda

    2015-02-01

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

  18. A synaptic trek to autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeron, Thomas

    2009-04-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are diagnosed on the basis of three behavioral features namely deficits in social communication, absence or delay in language, and stereotypy. The susceptibility genes to ASD remain largely unknown, but two major pathways are emerging. Mutations in TSC1/TSC2, NF1, or PTEN activate the mTOR/PI3K pathway and lead to syndromic ASD with tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, or macrocephaly. Mutations in NLGN3/4, SHANK3, or NRXN1 alter synaptic function and lead to mental retardation, typical autism, or Asperger syndrome. The mTOR/PI3K pathway is associated with abnormal cellular/synaptic growth rate, whereas the NRXN-NLGN-SHANK pathway is associated with synaptogenesis and imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory currents. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that abnormal synaptic homeostasis represent a risk factor to ASD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rust, Marco B

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui-Rui Wang

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fliza eValiullina

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C; Martins, Ana Raquel O

    2011-09-01

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

  4. Synaptic adhesion molecule IgSF11 regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Hyewon; van Riesen, Christoph; Whitcomb, Daniel; Warburton, Julia M.; Jo, Jihoon; Kim, Doyoun; Kim, Sun Gyun; Um, Seung Min; Kwon, Seok-kyu; Kim, Myoung-Hwan; Roh, Junyeop Daniel; Woo, Jooyeon; Jun, Heejung; Lee, Dongmin; Mah, Won; Kim, Hyun; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Cho, Kwangwook; Rhee, Jeong-Seop; Choquet, Daniel; Kim, Eunjoon

    2016-01-01

    Summary Synaptic adhesion molecules regulate synapse development and plasticity through mechanisms including trans-synaptic adhesion and recruitment of diverse synaptic proteins. We report here that the immunoglobulin superfamily member 11 (IgSF11), a homophilic adhesion molecule preferentially expressed in the brain, is a novel and dual-binding partner of the postsynaptic scaffolding protein PSD-95 and AMPAR glutamate receptors (AMPARs). IgSF11 requires PSD-95 binding for its excitatory synaptic localization. In addition, IgSF11 stabilizes synaptic AMPARs, as shown by IgSF11 knockdown-induced suppression of AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission and increased surface mobility of AMPARs, measured by high-throughput, single-molecule tracking. IgSF11 deletion in mice leads to suppression of AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus and long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. IgSF11 does not regulate the functional characteristics of AMPARs, including desensitization, deactivation, or recovery. These results suggest that IgSF11 regulates excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity through its tripartite interactions with PSD-95 and AMPARs. PMID:26595655

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Control of Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity by AKAP-Anchored Kinase and Phosphatase Regulation of Ca2+-Permeable AMPA Receptors.

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    Sanderson, Jennifer L; Scott, John D; Dell'Acqua, Mark L

    2018-02-13

    Neuronal information processing requires multiple forms of synaptic plasticity mediated by NMDA and AMPA-type glutamate receptors (NMDAR, AMPAR). These plasticity mechanisms include long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD), which are Hebbian, homosynaptic mechanisms locally regulating synaptic strength of specific inputs, and homeostatic synaptic scaling, which is a heterosynaptic mechanism globally regulating synaptic strength across all inputs. In many cases, LTP and homeostatic scaling regulate AMPAR subunit composition to increase synaptic strength via incorporation of Ca 2+ -permeable receptors (CP-AMPAR) containing GluA1, but lacking GluA2, subunits. Previous work by our group and others demonstrated that anchoring of the kinase PKA and the phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) to A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP) 150 play opposing roles in regulation of GluA1 Ser845 phosphorylation and CP-AMPAR synaptic incorporation during hippocampal LTP and LTD. Here, using both male and female knock-in mice that are deficient in PKA or CaN anchoring, we show that AKAP150-anchored PKA and CaN also play novel roles in controlling CP-AMPAR synaptic incorporation during homeostatic plasticity in hippocampal neurons. We found that genetic disruption of AKAP-PKA anchoring prevented increases in Ser845 phosphorylation and CP-AMPAR synaptic recruitment during rapid homeostatic synaptic scaling-up induced by combined blockade of action potential firing and NMDAR activity. In contrast, genetic disruption of AKAP-CaN anchoring resulted in basal increases in Ser845 phosphorylation and CP-AMPAR synaptic activity that blocked subsequent scaling-up by preventing additional CP-AMPAR recruitment. Thus, the balanced, opposing phospho-regulation provided by AKAP-anchored PKA and CaN is essential for control of both Hebbian and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms that require CP-AMPARs. Significance statement: Neuronal circuit function is shaped by multiple forms of activity

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

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    Alexi Nott

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Developmental expression of inhibitory synaptic long-term potentiation in the lateral superior olive

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    Vibhakar C. Kotak

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Principal neurons of the lateral superior olivary nucleus (LSO respond selectively to interaural level differences (ILD. To perform this computation, LSO neurons integrate excitatory synaptic drive from the ipsilateral ear with inhibitory synaptic drive from the contralateral ear via the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB. Previous research demonstrated that inhibitory terminals from the MNTB to the LSO are eliminated during development. Furthermore, MNTB synapses display an activity- and age-dependent long-term depression (iLTD which may contribute to inhibitory synapse elimination. However, inhibitory synapses that are stabilized become stronger. Here, we asked whether MNTB synapses displayed activity-dependent strengthening. Whole-cell recordings were obtained from LSO neurons in a gerbil brain slice before and after hearing onset. The inhibitory MNTB afferents were stimulated at a low rate, similar to spontaneous discharge rates observed in vivo. The MNTB-evoked inhibitory responses were strengthened by 40-300% when synaptic activity was coupled with postsynaptic membrane depolarization, exogenous glutamate application, or activation of ipsilateral excitatory synaptic inputs. This inhibitory long-term potentiation (iLTP was associated with increased spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC amplitude and frequency. One hour after iLTP induction, IPSCs could not be de-potentiated by the MNTB stimulation pattern that induces iLTD in control slices. iLTP could only be induced after hearing onset (>P12, and was blocked in the presence of a GABAB receptor antagonist. Together, these results suggest a developmental period during which the induction of iLTP depends on the conjoint activation of GABAB receptors and postsynaptic depolarization. We propose that iLTP may support stabilization of un-pruned MNTB connections and contribute to the emergence of ILD processing in the mature LSO.

  10. Calcium-Activated Chloride Channels (CaCCs) Regulate Action Potential and Synaptic Response in Hippocampal Neurons

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    Huang, Wendy C.; Xiao, Shaohua; Huang, Fen; Harfe, Brian D.; Jan, Yuh Nung; Jan, Lily Yeh

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Central neurons respond to synaptic inputs from other neurons by generating synaptic potentials. Once the summated synaptic potentials reach threshold for action potential firing, the signal propagates leading to transmitter release at the synapse. The calcium influx accompanying such signaling opens calcium-activated ion channels for feedback regulation. Here we report a novel mechanism for modulating hippocampal neuronal signaling that involves calcium-activated chloride channels (CaCCs). We present the first evidence that CaCCs reside in hippocampal neurons and are in close proximity of calcium channels and NMDA receptors to shorten action potential duration, dampen excitatory synaptic potentials, impede temporal summation, and raise the threshold for action potential generation by synaptic potential. Having recently identified TMEM16A and TMEM16B as CaCCs, we further show that TMEM16B but not TMEM16A is important for hippocampal CaCC, laying the groundwork for deciphering the dynamic CaCC modulation of neuronal signaling in neurons important for learning and memory. PMID:22500639

  11. Ibogaine and a total alkaloidal extract of Voacanga africana modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission in the rat parabrachial nucleus in vitro.

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    Kombian, S B; Saleh, T M; Fiagbe, N I; Chen, X; Akabutu, J J; Buolamwini, J K; Pittman, Q J

    1997-01-01

    Ibogaine is a natural alkaloid of Voacanga africana that is effective in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms and craving in drug addicts. As the synaptic and cellular basis of ibogaine's actions are not well understood, this study tested the hypothesis that ibogaine and Voacanga africana extract modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission in the parabrachial nucleus using the nystatin perforated patch-recording technique. Ibogaine and Voacanga africana extract dose dependently, reversibly, and consistently attenuate evoked excitatory synaptic currents recorded in parabrachial neurons. The ED50 of ibogaine's effect is 5 microM, while that of Voacanga africana extract is 170 micrograms/ml. At higher concentrations, ibogaine and Voacanga africana extract induce inward currents or depolarization that are accompanied by increases in evoked and spontaneous firing rate. The depolarization or inward current is also accompanied by an increase in input resistance and reverses polarity around 0 mV. The depolarization and synaptic depression were blocked by the dopamine receptor antagonist haloperidol. These results indicate that ibogaine and Voacanga africana extract 1) depolarize parabrachial neurons with increased excitability and firing rate; 2) depress non-NMDA receptor-mediated fast synaptic transmission; 3) involve dopamine receptor activation in their actions. These results further reveal that the Voacanga africana extract has one-hundredth the activity of ibogaine in depressing synaptic responses. Thus, ibogaine and Voacanga africana extract may produce their central effects by altering dopaminergic and glutamatergic processes.

  12. Pannexin 1 Regulates Bidirectional Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Adult Mice

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    Alvaro O. Ardiles

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1, a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP, it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory.

  13. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice.

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    Ardiles, Alvaro O; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M; Palacios, Adrian G; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C; Martínez, Agustín D

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca(2+) concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory.

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

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Estriol preserves synaptic transmission in the hippocampus during autoimmune demyelinating disease.

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

    2012-08-01

    Cognitive deficits occur in over half of multiple sclerosis patients, with hippocampal-dependent learning and memory commonly impaired. Data from in vivo MRI and post-mortem studies in MS indicate that the hippocampus is targeted. However, the relationship between structural pathology and dysfunction of the hippocampus in MS remains unclear. Hippocampal neuropathology also occurs in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the most commonly used animal model of MS. Although estrogen treatment of EAE has been shown to be anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective in the spinal cord, it is unknown if estrogen treatment may prevent hippocampal pathology and dysfunction. In the current study we examined excitatory synaptic transmission during EAE and focused on pathological changes in synaptic protein complexes known to orchestrate functional synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. We then determined if estriol, a candidate hormone treatment, was capable of preventing functional changes in synaptic transmission and corresponding hippocampal synaptic pathology. Electrophysiological studies revealed altered excitatory synaptic transmission and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) during EAE. Neuropathological experiments demonstrated that there were decreased levels of pre- and post-synaptic proteins in the hippocampus, diffuse loss of myelin staining and atrophy of the pyramidal layers of hippocampal cornu ammonis 1 (CA1). Estriol treatment prevented decreases in excitatory synaptic transmission and lessened the effect of EAE on PPF. In addition, estriol treatment prevented several neuropathological alterations that occurred in the hippocampus during EAE. Cross-modality correlations revealed that deficits in excitatory synaptic transmission were significantly correlated with reductions in trans-synaptic protein binding partners known to modulate excitatory synaptic transmission. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing a functional correlate to hippocampal

  16. Interactions between behaviorally relevant rhythms and synaptic plasticity alter coding in the piriform cortex.

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    Oswald, Anne-Marie M; Urban, Nathaniel N

    2012-05-02

    Understanding how neural and behavioral timescales interact to influence cortical activity and stimulus coding is an important issue in sensory neuroscience. In air-breathing animals, voluntary changes in respiratory frequency alter the temporal patterning olfactory input. In the olfactory bulb, these behavioral timescales are reflected in the temporal properties of mitral/tufted (M/T) cell spike trains. As the odor information contained in these spike trains is relayed from the bulb to the cortex, interactions between presynaptic spike timing and short-term synaptic plasticity dictate how stimulus features are represented in cortical spike trains. Here, we demonstrate how the timescales associated with respiratory frequency, spike timing, and short-term synaptic plasticity interact to shape cortical responses. Specifically, we quantified the timescales of short-term synaptic facilitation and depression at excitatory synapses between bulbar M/T cells and cortical neurons in slices of mouse olfactory cortex. We then used these results to generate simulated M/T population synaptic currents that were injected into real cortical neurons. M/T population inputs were modulated at frequencies consistent with passive respiration or active sniffing. We show how the differential recruitment of short-term plasticity at breathing versus sniffing frequencies alters cortical spike responses. For inputs at sniffing frequencies, cortical neurons linearly encoded increases in presynaptic firing rates with increased phase-locked, firing rates. In contrast, at passive breathing frequencies, cortical responses saturated with changes in presynaptic rate. Our results suggest that changes in respiratory behavior can gate the transfer of stimulus information between the olfactory bulb and cortex.

  17. 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.

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    Andreas Görlich

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

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

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

    2014-07-16

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

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

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    Jörg Leitner

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

  2. Synaptic mechanisms underlying interaural level difference selectivity in rat auditory cortex

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    Kyweriga, Michael; Stewart, Whitney; Cahill, Carolyn

    2014-01-01

    The interaural level difference (ILD) is a sound localization cue that is extensively processed in the auditory brain stem and midbrain and is also represented in the auditory cortex. Here, we asked whether neurons in the auditory cortex passively inherit their ILD tuning from subcortical sources or whether their spiking preferences were actively shaped by local inhibition. If inherited, the ILD selectivity of spiking output should match that of excitatory synaptic input. If shaped by local inhibition, by contrast, excitation should be more broadly tuned than spiking output with inhibition suppressing spiking for nonpreferred stimuli. To distinguish between these two processing strategies, we compared spiking responses with excitation and inhibition in the same neurons across a range of ILDs and average binaural sound levels. We found that cells preferring contralateral ILDs (often called EI cells) followed the inheritance strategy. In contrast, cells that were unresponsive to monaural sounds but responded predominantly to near-zero ILDs (PB cells) instead showed evidence of the local processing strategy. These PB cells received excitatory inputs that were similar to those received by the EI cells. However, contralateral monaural sounds and ILDs >0 dB elicited strong inhibition, quenching the spiking output. These results suggest that in the rat auditory cortex, EI cells do not utilize inhibition to shape ILD sensitivity, whereas PB cells do. We conclude that an auditory cortical circuit computes sensitivity for near-zero ILDs. PMID:25185807

  3. Synaptic plasticity in medial vestibular nucleus neurons: comparison with computational requirements of VOR adaptation.

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    John R W Menzies

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR gain adaptation, a longstanding experimental model of cerebellar learning, utilizes sites of plasticity in both cerebellar cortex and brainstem. However, the mechanisms by which the activity of cortical Purkinje cells may guide synaptic plasticity in brainstem vestibular neurons are unclear. Theoretical analyses indicate that vestibular plasticity should depend upon the correlation between Purkinje cell and vestibular afferent inputs, so that, in gain-down learning for example, increased cortical activity should induce long-term depression (LTD at vestibular synapses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we expressed this correlational learning rule in its simplest form, as an anti-Hebbian, heterosynaptic spike-timing dependent plasticity interaction between excitatory (vestibular and inhibitory (floccular inputs converging on medial vestibular nucleus (MVN neurons (input-spike-timing dependent plasticity, iSTDP. To test this rule, we stimulated vestibular afferents to evoke EPSCs in rat MVN neurons in vitro. Control EPSC recordings were followed by an induction protocol where membrane hyperpolarizing pulses, mimicking IPSPs evoked by flocculus inputs, were paired with single vestibular nerve stimuli. A robust LTD developed at vestibular synapses when the afferent EPSPs coincided with membrane hyperpolarization, while EPSPs occurring before or after the simulated IPSPs induced no lasting change. Furthermore, the iSTDP rule also successfully predicted the effects of a complex protocol using EPSP trains designed to mimic classical conditioning. CONCLUSIONS: These results, in strong support of theoretical predictions, suggest that the cerebellum alters the strength of vestibular synapses on MVN neurons through hetero-synaptic, anti-Hebbian iSTDP. Since the iSTDP rule does not depend on post-synaptic firing, it suggests a possible mechanism for VOR adaptation without compromising gaze-holding and VOR

  4. Fasting Activation of AgRP Neurons Requires NMDA Receptors and Involves Spinogenesis and Increased Excitatory Tone

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    Liu, Tiemin; Kong, Dong; Shah, Bhavik P.; Ye, Chianping; Koda, Shuichi; Saunders, Arpiar; Ding, Jun B.; Yang, Zongfang; Sabatini, Bernardo L.; Lowell, Bradford B.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY AgRP neuron activity drives feeding and weight gain while that of nearby POMC neurons does the opposite. However, the role of excitatory glutamatergic input in controlling these neurons is unknown. To address this question, we generated mice lacking NMDA receptors (NMDARs) on either AgRP or POMC neurons. Deletion of NMDARs from AgRP neurons markedly reduced weight, body fat and food intake whereas deletion from POMC neurons had no effect. Activation of AgRP neurons by fasting, as assessed by c-Fos, Agrp and Npy mRNA expression, AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs, depolarization and firing rates, required NMDARs. Furthermore, AgRP but not POMC neurons have dendritic spines and increased glutamatergic input onto AgRP neurons caused by fasting was paralleled by an increase in spines, suggesting fasting induced synaptogenesis and spinogenesis. Thus glutamatergic synaptic transmission and its modulation by NMDARs play key roles in controlling AgRP neurons and determining the cellular and behavioral response to fasting. PMID:22325203

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

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    Hui-Ching Lin

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

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

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    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Lim, Woochang

    2017-10-01

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

  8. The relative contribution of NMDARs to excitatory postsynaptic currents is controlled by Ca2+-induced inactivation.

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    Fliza eValiullina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available NMDA receptors (NMDARs are important mediators of excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity. A hallmark of these channels is their high permeability to Ca2+. At the same time, they are themselves inhibited by the elevation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration. It is unclear however, whether the Ca2+ entry associated with single NMDAR mediated synaptic events is sufficient to self-inhibit their activation. Such auto-regulation would have important effects on the dynamics of synaptic excitation in several central networks. Therefore, we studied NMDAR-mediated synaptic currents in mouse hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Postsynaptic responses to subthreshold Schaffer collateral stimulation depended strongly on the absence or presence of intracellular Ca2+ buffers. Loading of pyramidal cells with exogenous Ca2+ buffers increased the amplitude and decay time of NMDAR mediated EPSCs (EPSP and prolonged the time window for action potential generation.Our data indicate that the Ca2+ influx mediated by unitary synaptic events is sufficient to produce detectable self-inhibition of NMDARs even at a physiological Mg2+ concentration. Therefore, the contribution of NMDARs to synaptic excitation is strongly controlled by both previous synaptic activity as well as by the Ca2+ buffer capacity of postsynaptic neurons.

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

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    Park, Choongseok; Terman, David

    2010-06-01

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

  10. Oxide-based synaptic transistors gated by solution-processed gelatin electrolytes

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    He, Yinke; Sun, Jia; Qian, Chuan; Kong, Ling-An; Gou, Guangyang; Li, Hongjian

    2017-04-01

    In human brain, a large number of neurons are connected via synapses. Simulation of the synaptic behaviors using electronic devices is the most important step for neuromorphic systems. In this paper, proton conducting gelatin electrolyte-gated oxide field-effect transistors (FETs) were used for emulating synaptic functions, in which the gate electrode is regarded as pre-synaptic neuron and the channel layer as the post-synaptic neuron. In analogy to the biological synapse, a potential spike can be applied at the gate electrode and trigger ionic motion in the gelatin electrolyte, which in turn generates excitatory post-synaptic current (EPSC) in the channel layer. Basic synaptic behaviors including spike time-dependent EPSC, paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), self-adaptation, and frequency-dependent synaptic transmission were successfully mimicked. Such ionic/electronic hybrid devices are beneficial for synaptic electronics and brain-inspired neuromorphic systems.

  11. 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.

  12. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

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    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  13. Synaptic Homeostasis and Restructuring across the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

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    Wilfredo Blanco

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Sleep is critical for hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation. However, the underlying mechanisms of synaptic plasticity are poorly understood. The central controversy is on whether long-term potentiation (LTP takes a role during sleep and which would be its specific effect on memory. To address this question, we used immunohistochemistry to measure phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKIIα in the rat hippocampus immediately after specific sleep-wake states were interrupted. Control animals not exposed to novel objects during waking (WK showed stable pCaMKIIα levels across the sleep-wake cycle, but animals exposed to novel objects showed a decrease during subsequent slow-wave sleep (SWS followed by a rebound during rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM. The levels of pCaMKIIα during REM were proportional to cortical spindles near SWS/REM transitions. Based on these results, we modeled sleep-dependent LTP on a network of fully connected excitatory neurons fed with spikes recorded from the rat hippocampus across WK, SWS and REM. Sleep without LTP orderly rescaled synaptic weights to a narrow range of intermediate values. In contrast, LTP triggered near the SWS/REM transition led to marked swaps in synaptic weight ranking. To better understand the interaction between rescaling and restructuring during sleep, we implemented synaptic homeostasis and embossing in a detailed hippocampal-cortical model with both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Synaptic homeostasis was implemented by weakening potentiation and strengthening depression, while synaptic embossing was simulated by evoking LTP on selected synapses. We observed that synaptic homeostasis facilitates controlled synaptic restructuring. The results imply a mechanism for a cognitive synergy between SWS and REM, and suggest that LTP at the SWS/REM transition critically influences the effect of sleep: Its lack determines synaptic homeostasis, its presence causes

  14. Synaptic Homeostasis and Restructuring across the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

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    Blanco, Wilfredo; Pereira, Catia M; Cota, Vinicius R; Souza, Annie C; Rennó-Costa, César; Santos, Sharlene; Dias, Gabriella; Guerreiro, Ana M G; Tort, Adriano B L; Neto, Adrião D; Ribeiro, Sidarta

    2015-05-01

    Sleep is critical for hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation. However, the underlying mechanisms of synaptic plasticity are poorly understood. The central controversy is on whether long-term potentiation (LTP) takes a role during sleep and which would be its specific effect on memory. To address this question, we used immunohistochemistry to measure phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (pCaMKIIα) in the rat hippocampus immediately after specific sleep-wake states were interrupted. Control animals not exposed to novel objects during waking (WK) showed stable pCaMKIIα levels across the sleep-wake cycle, but animals exposed to novel objects showed a decrease during subsequent slow-wave sleep (SWS) followed by a rebound during rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM). The levels of pCaMKIIα during REM were proportional to cortical spindles near SWS/REM transitions. Based on these results, we modeled sleep-dependent LTP on a network of fully connected excitatory neurons fed with spikes recorded from the rat hippocampus across WK, SWS and REM. Sleep without LTP orderly rescaled synaptic weights to a narrow range of intermediate values. In contrast, LTP triggered near the SWS/REM transition led to marked swaps in synaptic weight ranking. To better understand the interaction between rescaling and restructuring during sleep, we implemented synaptic homeostasis and embossing in a detailed hippocampal-cortical model with both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Synaptic homeostasis was implemented by weakening potentiation and strengthening depression, while synaptic embossing was simulated by evoking LTP on selected synapses. We observed that synaptic homeostasis facilitates controlled synaptic restructuring. The results imply a mechanism for a cognitive synergy between SWS and REM, and suggest that LTP at the SWS/REM transition critically influences the effect of sleep: Its lack determines synaptic homeostasis, its presence causes synaptic

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

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    Paul eMiller

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Calcineurin mediates homeostatic synaptic plasticity by regulating retinoic acid synthesis.

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    Arendt, Kristin L; Zhang, Zhenjie; Ganesan, Subhashree; Hintze, Maik; Shin, Maggie M; Tang, Yitai; Cho, Ahryon; Graef, Isabella A; Chen, Lu

    2015-10-20

    Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a form of non-Hebbian plasticity that maintains stability of the network and fidelity for information processing in response to prolonged perturbation of network and synaptic activity. Prolonged blockade of synaptic activity decreases resting Ca(2+) levels in neurons, thereby inducing retinoic acid (RA) synthesis and RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity; however, the signal transduction pathway that links reduced Ca(2+)-levels to RA synthesis remains unknown. Here we identify the Ca(2+)-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin (CaN) as a key regulator for RA synthesis and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Prolonged inhibition of CaN activity promotes RA synthesis in neurons, and leads to increased excitatory and decreased inhibitory synaptic transmission. These effects of CaN inhibitors on synaptic transmission are blocked by pharmacological inhibitors of RA synthesis or acute genetic deletion of the RA receptor RARα. Thus, CaN, acting upstream of RA, plays a critical role in gating RA signaling pathway in response to synaptic activity. Moreover, activity blockade-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity is absent in CaN knockout neurons, demonstrating the essential role of CaN in RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Interestingly, in GluA1 S831A and S845A knockin mice, CaN inhibitor- and RA-induced regulation of synaptic transmission is intact, suggesting that phosphorylation of GluA1 C-terminal serine residues S831 and S845 is not required for CaN inhibitor- or RA-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Thus, our study uncovers an unforeseen role of CaN in postsynaptic signaling, and defines CaN as the Ca(2+)-sensing signaling molecule that mediates RA-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

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

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    McCrimmon, Donald R.; Martina, Marco

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-07-01

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

  19. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

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

    2017-03-15

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

  20. The Cellular and Synaptic Architecture of the Mechanosensory Dorsal Horn.

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    Abraira, Victoria E; Kuehn, Emily D; Chirila, Anda M; Springel, Mark W; Toliver, Alexis A; Zimmerman, Amanda L; Orefice, Lauren L; Boyle, Kieran A; Bai, Ling; Song, Bryan J; Bashista, Karleena A; O'Neill, Thomas G; Zhuo, Justin; Tsan, Connie; Hoynoski, Jessica; Rutlin, Michael; Kus, Laura; Niederkofler, Vera; Watanabe, Masahiko; Dymecki, Susan M; Nelson, Sacha B; Heintz, Nathaniel; Hughes, David I; Ginty, David D

    2017-01-12

    The deep dorsal horn is a poorly characterized spinal cord region implicated in processing low-threshold mechanoreceptor (LTMR) information. We report an array of mouse genetic tools for defining neuronal components and functions of the dorsal horn LTMR-recipient zone (LTMR-RZ), a role for LTMR-RZ processing in tactile perception, and the basic logic of LTMR-RZ organization. We found an unexpectedly high degree of neuronal diversity in the LTMR-RZ: seven excitatory and four inhibitory subtypes of interneurons exhibiting unique morphological, physiological, and synaptic properties. Remarkably, LTMRs form synapses on between four and 11 LTMR-RZ interneuron subtypes, while each LTMR-RZ interneuron subtype samples inputs from at least one to three LTMR classes, as well as spinal cord interneurons and corticospinal neurons. Thus, the LTMR-RZ is a somatosensory processing region endowed with a neuronal complexity that rivals the retina and functions to pattern the activity of ascending touch pathways that underlie tactile perception. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Caffeine Controls Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission and Pyramidal Neuron Excitability in Human Neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerkhofs, Amber; Xavier, Ana C.; da Silva, Beatriz S.; Canas, Paula M.; Idema, Sander; Baayen, Johannes C.; Ferreira, Samira G.; Cunha, Rodrigo A.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2018-01-01

    Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug, bolstering attention and normalizing mood and cognition, all functions involving cerebral cortical circuits. Whereas studies in rodents showed that caffeine acts through the antagonism of inhibitory A1 adenosine receptors (A1R), neither the role of A1R nor the impact of caffeine on human cortical neurons is known. We here provide the first characterization of the impact of realistic concentrations of caffeine experienced by moderate coffee drinkers (50 μM) on excitability of pyramidal neurons and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex. Moderate concentrations of caffeine disinhibited several of the inhibitory A1R-mediated effects of adenosine, similar to previous observations in the rodent brain. Thus, caffeine restored the adenosine-induced decrease of both intrinsic membrane excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human pyramidal neurons through antagonism of post-synaptic A1R. Indeed, the A1R-mediated effects of endogenous adenosine were more efficient to inhibit synaptic transmission than neuronal excitability. This was associated with a distinct affinity of caffeine for synaptic versus extra-synaptic human cortical A1R, probably resulting from a different molecular organization of A1R in human cortical synapses. These findings constitute the first neurophysiological description of the impact of caffeine on pyramidal neuron excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex, providing adequate ground for the effects of caffeine on cognition in humans. PMID:29354052

  2. Caffeine Controls Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission and Pyramidal Neuron Excitability in Human Neocortex

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    Amber Kerkhofs

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug, bolstering attention and normalizing mood and cognition, all functions involving cerebral cortical circuits. Whereas studies in rodents showed that caffeine acts through the antagonism of inhibitory A1 adenosine receptors (A1R, neither the role of A1R nor the impact of caffeine on human cortical neurons is known. We here provide the first characterization of the impact of realistic concentrations of caffeine experienced by moderate coffee drinkers (50 μM on excitability of pyramidal neurons and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex. Moderate concentrations of caffeine disinhibited several of the inhibitory A1R-mediated effects of adenosine, similar to previous observations in the rodent brain. Thus, caffeine restored the adenosine-induced decrease of both intrinsic membrane excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human pyramidal neurons through antagonism of post-synaptic A1R. Indeed, the A1R-mediated effects of endogenous adenosine were more efficient to inhibit synaptic transmission than neuronal excitability. This was associated with a distinct affinity of caffeine for synaptic versus extra-synaptic human cortical A1R, probably resulting from a different molecular organization of A1R in human cortical synapses. These findings constitute the first neurophysiological description of the impact of caffeine on pyramidal neuron excitability and excitatory synaptic transmission in the human temporal cortex, providing adequate ground for the effects of caffeine on cognition in humans.

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

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    Lopantsev, Valeri; Both, Martin; Draguhn, Andreas

    2009-03-01

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

  5. Cocaine Exposure Reorganizes Cell-Type and Input-Specific Connectivity in the Nucleus Accumbens

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    MacAskill, Andrew F.; Cassel, John M.; Carter, Adam G.

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to cocaine alters the structural and functional properties of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc). These changes suggest a rewiring of the NAc circuit, with an enhancement of excitatory synaptic connections onto MSNs. However, it is unknown how drug exposure alters the balance of long-range afferents onto different cell types in the NAc. Here we use whole-cell recordings, two-photon microscopy, optogenetics and pharmacogenetics to show how repeated cocaine alters connectivity in the mouse NAc medial shell. We first determine that cocaine selectively enhances amygdala innervation of D1-MSNs relative to D2-MSNs. We then show that amygdala activity is required for cocaine-induced changes to behavior and connectivity. Finally, we establish how heightened amygdala innervation can explain the structural and functional changes induced by cocaine. Our findings reveal how exposure to drugs of abuse fundamentally reorganizes cell-type and input-specific connectivity in the NAc. PMID:25108911

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

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

    2017-06-13

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

  7. Data-driven modeling of synaptic transmission and integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothman, Jason S; Silver, R Angus

    2014-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe how to create mathematical models of synaptic transmission and integration. We start with a brief synopsis of the experimental evidence underlying our current understanding of synaptic transmission. We then describe synaptic transmission at a particular glutamatergic synapse in the mammalian cerebellum, the mossy fiber to granule cell synapse, since data from this well-characterized synapse can provide a benchmark comparison for how well synaptic properties are captured by different mathematical models. This chapter is structured by first presenting the simplest mathematical description of an average synaptic conductance waveform and then introducing methods for incorporating more complex synaptic properties such as nonlinear voltage dependence of ionotropic receptors, short-term plasticity, and stochastic fluctuations. We restrict our focus to excitatory synaptic transmission, but most of the modeling approaches discussed here can be equally applied to inhibitory synapses. Our data-driven approach will be of interest to those wishing to model synaptic transmission and network behavior in health and disease. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Growth hormone rescues hippocampal synaptic function after sleep deprivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eunyoung; Bertolotti, Don; Green, Todd L.

    2010-01-01

    Sleep is required for, and sleep loss impairs, normal hippocampal synaptic N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor function and expression, hippocampal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity, and hippocampal-dependent memory function. Although sleep is essential, the signals linking sleep to hippocampal function are not known. One potential signal is growth hormone. Growth hormone is released during sleep, and its release is suppressed during sleep deprivation. If growth hormone links sleep to hippocampal function, then restoration of growth hormone during sleep deprivation should prevent adverse consequences of sleep loss. To test this hypothesis, we examined rat hippocampus for spontaneous excitatory synaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons, long-term potentiation in area CA1, and NMDA receptor subunit proteins in synaptic membranes. Three days of sleep deprivation caused a significant reduction in NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic currents compared with control treatments. When rats were injected with growth hormone once per day during sleep deprivation, the loss of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic currents was prevented. Growth hormone injections also prevented the impairment of long-term potentiation that normally follows sleep deprivation. In addition, sleep deprivation led to a selective loss of NMDA receptor 2B (NR2B) from hippocampal synaptic membranes, but normal NR2B expression was restored by growth hormone injection. Our results identify growth hormone as a critical mediator linking sleep to normal synaptic function of the hippocampus. PMID:20237303

  9. Cadherins mediate cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity and behavioral conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Fergil; Globa, Andrea K; Liu, Shuai; Cowan, Catherine M; Mobasser, Mahsan; Phillips, Anthony G; Borgland, Stephanie L; Bamji, Shernaz X

    2017-04-01

    Drugs of abuse alter synaptic connections in the reward circuitry of the brain, which leads to long-lasting behavioral changes that underlie addiction. Here we show that cadherin adhesion molecules play a critical role in mediating synaptic plasticity and behavioral changes driven by cocaine. We demonstrate that cadherin is essential for long-term potentiation in the ventral tegmental area and is recruited to the synaptic membranes of excitatory synapses onto dopaminergic neurons following cocaine-mediated behavioral conditioning. Furthermore, we show that stabilization of cadherin at the membrane of these synapses blocks cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity, leading to a reduction in conditioned place preference induced by cocaine. Our findings identify cadherins and associated molecules as targets of interest for understanding pathological plasticity associated with addiction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-02

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

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

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    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Exercise-Induced Fatigue Impairs Bidirectional Corticostriatal Synaptic Plasticity.

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    Ma, Jing; Chen, Huimin; Liu, Xiaoli; Zhang, Lingtao; Qiao, Decai

    2018-01-01

    Exercise-induced fatigue (EF) is a ubiquitous phenomenon in sports competition and training. It can impair athletes' motor skill execution and cognition. Corticostriatal synaptic plasticity is considered to be the cellular mechanism of movement control and motor learning. However, the effect of EF on corticostriatal synaptic plasticity remains elusive. In the present study, using field excitatory postsynaptic potential recording, we found that the corticostriatal long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were both impaired in EF mice. To further investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying the impaired synaptic plasticity in corticostriatal pathway, whole-cell patch clamp recordings were carried out on striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). MSNs in EF mice exhibited increased spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency and decreased paired-pulse ratio (PPR), while with normal basic electrophysiological properties and normal sEPSC amplitude. Furthermore, the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)/α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate (AMPA) ratio of MSNs was reduced in EF mice. These results suggest that the enhanced presynaptic glutamate (Glu) release and downregulated postsynaptic NMDA receptor function lead to the impaired corticostriatal plasticity in EF mice. Taken together, our findings for the first time show that the bidirectional corticostriatal synaptic plasticity is impaired after EF, and suggest that the aberrant corticostriatal synaptic plasticity may be involved in the production and/or maintenance of EF.

  13. The Interplay between Synaptic Activity and Neuroligin Function in the CNS

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    Xiaoge Hu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuroligins (NLs are postsynaptic transmembrane cell-adhesion proteins that play a key role in the regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that NLs contribute to synapse formation and synaptic transmission. Consistent with their localization, NL1 and NL3 selectively affect excitatory synapses, whereas NL2 specifically affects inhibitory synapses. Deletions or mutations in NL genes have been found in patients with autism spectrum disorders or mental retardations, and mice harboring the reported NL deletions or mutations exhibit autism-related behaviors and synapse dysfunction. Conversely, synaptic activity can regulate the phosphorylation, expression, and cleavage of NLs, which, in turn, can influence synaptic activity. Thus, in clinical research, identifying the relationship between NLs and synapse function is critical. In this review, we primarily discuss how NLs and synaptic activity influence each other.

  14. Computer simulations of neural mechanisms explaining upper and lower limb excitatory neural coupling

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    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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Arc protein: a flexible hub for synaptic plasticity and cognition.

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    Nikolaienko, Oleksii; Patil, Sudarshan; Eriksen, Maria Steene; Bramham, Clive R

    2017-09-07

    Mammalian excitatory synapses express diverse types of synaptic plasticity. A major challenge in neuroscience is to understand how a neuron utilizes different types of plasticity to sculpt brain development, function, and behavior. Neuronal activity-induced expression of the immediate early protein, Arc, is critical for long-term potentiation and depression of synaptic transmission, homeostatic synaptic scaling, and adaptive functions such as long-term memory formation. However, the molecular basis of Arc protein function as a regulator of synaptic plasticity and cognition remains a puzzle. Recent work on the biophysical and structural properties of Arc, its protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications have shed light on the issue. Here, we present Arc protein as a flexible, multifunctional and interactive hub. Arc interacts with specific effector proteins in neuronal compartments (dendritic spines, nuclear domains) to bidirectionally regulate synaptic strength by distinct molecular mechanisms. Arc stability, subcellular localization, and interactions are dictated by synaptic activity and post-translational modification of Arc. This functional versatility and context-dependent signaling supports a view of Arc as a highly specialized master organizer of long-term synaptic plasticity, critical for information storage and cognition. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Potential Role of Drebrin A, an F-Actin Binding Protein, in Reactive Synaptic Plasticity after Pilocarpine-Induced Seizures: Functional Implications in Epilepsy

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    Lotfi Ferhat

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Several neurological disorders characterized by cognitive deficits, including Alzheimer's disease, down syndrome, and epilepsy exhibit abnormal spine density and/or morphology. Actin-based cytoskeleton network dynamics is critical for the regulation of spine morphology and synaptic function. In this paper, I consider the functions of drebrin A in cell shaping, spine plasticity, and synaptic function. Developmentally regulated brain protein (drebrin A is one of the most abundant neuron-specific binding proteins of F-actin and its expression is increased in parallel with synapse formation. Drebrin A is particularly concentrated in dendritic spines receiving excitatory inputs. Our recent findings point to a critical role of DA in dendritic spine structural integrity and stabilization, likely via regulation of actin cytoskeleton dynamics, and glutamatergic synaptic function that underlies the development of spontaneous recurrent seizures in pilocarpine-treated animals. Further research into this area may provide useful insights into the pathology of status epilepticus and epileptogenic mechanisms and ultimately may provide the basis for future treatment options.

  18. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

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    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-01-01

    Neurons can sustain high rates of synaptic transmission without exhausting their supply of synaptic vesicles. This property relies on a highly efficient local endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicle membranes, which can be reused for hundreds, possibly thousands, of exo-endocytic cycles. Morphological, physiological, molecular, and genetic studies over the last four decades have provided insight into the membrane traffic reactions that govern this recycling and its regulation. These studies have shown that synaptic vesicle endocytosis capitalizes on fundamental and general endocytic mechanisms but also involves neuron-specific adaptations of such mechanisms. Thus, investigations of these processes have advanced not only the field of synaptic transmission but also, more generally, the field of endocytosis. This article summarizes current information on synaptic vesicle endocytosis with an emphasis on the underlying molecular mechanisms and with a special focus on clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the predominant pathway of synaptic vesicle protein internalization. PMID:22763746

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

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    Chun-Ping Chu

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

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

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    Kathryn L Lovero

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

  1. Disruption of cortical synaptic homeostasis in individuals with chronic low back pain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thapa, Tribikram; Graven-Nielsen, Thomas; Chipchase, Lucinda S.

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms regulate synaptic plasticity in the human brain. Impaired homeostatic plasticity may contribute to maladaptive synaptic plasticity and symptom persistence in chronic musculoskeletal pain. METHODS: We examined homeostatic plasticity in fifty individuals...... with baseline (P plasticity in the primary motor cortex of individuals with cLBP. SIGNIFICANCE: Impaired homeostatic plasticity could explain maladaptive synaptic plasticity and symptom persistence in cLBP....... an excitatory response to tDCS applied alone, and evaluate homeostatic plasticity, respectively. Corticomotor excitability was assessed in the corticomotor representation of the first dorsal interosseous muscle by transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced motor evoked potentials (MEPs) recorded before and 0, 10...

  2. Synaptic plasticity of the CA3 commissural projection in epileptic rats: an in vivo electrophysiological study.

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    Queiroz, Claudio M T; Mello, Luiz Eugênio

    2007-05-01

    The hippocampal commissural system has recently been found to participate in the generation of mirror foci after kainate-induced epileptiform discharges. In the present study we have evaluated the electrophysiological alterations in the ventral commissural hippocampal system that originates in the pyramidal CA3 cells and connects to the contralateral CA3 pyramidal cells. The recordings were performed in epileptic rats 24 h after an early behavioural spontaneous seizure between 5 and 21 days after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. Epileptic animals presented a marked increase in neuronal excitability after contralateral CA3 stimulation, characterized by a shift to the left in the input-output curve and the clear appearance of a population spike. Input-output curves showed that maximum population excitatory postsynaptic potential (pEPSP) amplitude was decreased by 30%, which could be related to cell death in these regions. Using paired-pulse protocols to evaluate a fast form of synaptic plasticity (i.e. paired-pulse facilitation) we observed that, despite the similar pEPSP amplitude between control and experimental groups, only epileptic animals showed strong paired-pulse population spike facilitation up to 500 ms interstimulus intervals. Despite increased excitability and pyramidal cell death, epileptic animals presented a more robust potentiation after high-frequency stimulation than controls, a protocol used to evaluate a slow form of synaptic plasticity (i.e. long-term potentiation). The increased excitability in CA3 pyramidal neurons enhanced the probability of burst activity in these neurons; this could lead to greater CA1 synchronization. The present results might have relevance for the understanding of epileptogenesis and of learning and memory deficits seen in temporal lobe epilepsy.

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

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

    2014-11-01

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

  4. The Role of Short Term Synaptic Plasticity in Temporal Coding of Neuronal Networks

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    Chandrasekaran, Lakshmi

    2008-01-01

    Short term synaptic plasticity is a phenomenon which is commonly found in the central nervous system. It could contribute to functions of signal processing namely, temporal integration and coincidence detection by modulating the input synaptic strength. This dissertation has two parts. First, we study the effects of short term synaptic plasticity…

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

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    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

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

  6. Phosphorylation of AMPA receptors is required for sensory deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

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    Anubhuti Goel

    Full Text Available Sensory experience, and the lack thereof, can alter the function of excitatory synapses in the primary sensory cortices. Recent evidence suggests that changes in sensory experience can regulate the synaptic level of Ca(2+-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such a process have not been determined. We found that binocular visual deprivation, which is a well-established in vivo model to produce multiplicative synaptic scaling in visual cortex of juvenile rodents, is accompanied by an increase in the phosphorylation of AMPAR GluR1 (or GluA1 subunit at the serine 845 (S845 site and the appearance of CP-AMPARs at synapses. To address the role of GluR1-S845 in visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity, we used mice lacking key phosphorylation sites on the GluR1 subunit. We found that mice specifically lacking the GluR1-S845 site (GluR1-S845A mutants, which is a substrate of cAMP-dependent kinase (PKA, show abnormal basal excitatory synaptic transmission and lack visual deprivation-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity. We also found evidence that increasing GluR1-S845 phosphorylation alone is not sufficient to produce normal multiplicative synaptic scaling. Our study provides concrete evidence that a GluR1 dependent mechanism, especially S845 phosphorylation, is a necessary pre-requisite step for in vivo homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

  7. Decorrelated Input Dissociates Narrow Band γ Power and BOLD in Human Visual Cortex.

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    Butler, Russell; Bernier, Pierre-Michel; Lefebvre, Jérémie; Gilbert, Guillaume; Whittingstall, Kevin

    2017-05-31

    Although fMRI using the BOLD contrast is widely used for noninvasively mapping hemodynamic brain activity in humans, its exact link to underlying neural processing is poorly understood. Whereas some studies have reported that BOLD signals measured in visual cortex are tightly linked to neural activity in the narrow band γ (NBG) range, others have found a weak correlation between the two. To elucidate the mechanisms behind these conflicting findings, we hypothesized that BOLD reflects the strength of synaptic inputs to cortex, whereas NBG is more dependent on how well these inputs are correlated. To test this, we measured NBG, BOLD, and cerebral blood flow responses to stimuli that either correlate or decorrelate neural activity in human visual cortex. Next, we simulated a recurrent network model of excitatory and inhibitory neurons that reproduced in detail the experimental NBG and BOLD data. Results show that the visually evoked BOLD response was solely predicted by the sum of local inputs, whereas NBG was critically dependent on how well these inputs were correlated. In summary, the NBG-BOLD relationship strongly depends on the nature of sensory input to cortex: stimuli that increase the number of correlated inputs to visual cortex will increase NBG and BOLD in a similar manner, whereas stimuli that increase the number of decorrelated inputs will dissociate the two. The NBG-BOLD relationship is therefore not fixed but is rather highly dependent on input correlations that are both stimulus- and state-dependent. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT It is widely believed that γ oscillations in cortex are tightly linked to local hemodynamic activity. Here, we present experimental evidence showing how a stimulus can increase local blood flow to the brain despite suppressing γ power. Moreover, using a sophisticated model of cortical neurons, it is proposed that this occurs when synaptic input to cortex is strong yet decorrelated. Because input correlations are largely determined

  8. Bone cancer induces a unique central sensitization through synaptic changes in a wide area of the spinal cord

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    Uta Daisuke

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chronic bone cancer pain is thought to be partly due to central sensitization. Although murine models of bone cancer pain revealed significant neurochemical changes in the spinal cord, it is not known whether this produces functional alterations in spinal sensory synaptic transmission. In this study, we examined excitatory synaptic responses evoked in substantia gelatinosa (SG, lamina II neurons in spinal cord slices of adult mice bearing bone cancer, using whole-cell voltage-clamp recording techniques. Results Mice at 14 to 21 days after sarcoma implantation into the femur exhibited hyperalgesia to mechanical stimuli applied to the skin of the ipsilateral hind paw, as well as showing spontaneous and movement evoked pain-related behaviors. SG neurons exhibited spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs. The amplitudes of spontaneous EPSCs were significantly larger in cancer-bearing than control mice without any changes in passive membrane properties of SG neurons. In the presence of TTX, the amplitude of miniature EPSCs in SG neurons was increased in cancer-bearing mice and this was observed for cells sampled across a wide range of lumbar segmental levels. Alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA receptor- and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs evoked by focal stimulation were also enhanced in cancer-bearing mice. Dorsal root stimulation elicited mono- and/or polysynaptic EPSCs that were caused by the activation of Aδ and/or C afferent fibers in SG neurons from both groups of animals. The number of cells receiving monosynaptic inputs from Aδ and C fibers was not different between the two groups. However, the amplitude of the monosynaptic C fiber-evoked EPSCs and the number of SG neurons receiving polysynaptic inputs from Aδ and C fibers were increased in cancer-bearing mice. Conclusions These results show that spinal synaptic transmission mediated through Aδ and C fibers is

  9. Bone cancer induces a unique central sensitization through synaptic changes in a wide area of the spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagisawa, Yoshikazu; Furue, Hidemasa; Kawamata, Tomoyuki; Uta, Daisuke; Yamamoto, Jun; Furuse, Shingo; Katafuchi, Toshihiko; Imoto, Keiji; Iwamoto, Yukihide; Yoshimura, Megumu

    2010-07-05

    Chronic bone cancer pain is thought to be partly due to central sensitization. Although murine models of bone cancer pain revealed significant neurochemical changes in the spinal cord, it is not known whether this produces functional alterations in spinal sensory synaptic transmission. In this study, we examined excitatory synaptic responses evoked in substantia gelatinosa (SG, lamina II) neurons in spinal cord slices of adult mice bearing bone cancer, using whole-cell voltage-clamp recording techniques. Mice at 14 to 21 days after sarcoma implantation into the femur exhibited hyperalgesia to mechanical stimuli applied to the skin of the ipsilateral hind paw, as well as showing spontaneous and movement evoked pain-related behaviors. SG neurons exhibited spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). The amplitudes of spontaneous EPSCs were significantly larger in cancer-bearing than control mice without any changes in passive membrane properties of SG neurons. In the presence of TTX, the amplitude of miniature EPSCs in SG neurons was increased in cancer-bearing mice and this was observed for cells sampled across a wide range of lumbar segmental levels. Alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor- and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated EPSCs evoked by focal stimulation were also enhanced in cancer-bearing mice. Dorsal root stimulation elicited mono- and/or polysynaptic EPSCs that were caused by the activation of Adelta and/or C afferent fibers in SG neurons from both groups of animals. The number of cells receiving monosynaptic inputs from Adelta and C fibers was not different between the two groups. However, the amplitude of the monosynaptic C fiber-evoked EPSCs and the number of SG neurons receiving polysynaptic inputs from Adelta and C fibers were increased in cancer-bearing mice. These results show that spinal synaptic transmission mediated through Adelta and C fibers is enhanced in the SG across a wide area of

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olav Stetter

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. How secure is in vivo synaptic transmission at the calyx of Held?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Mc Laughlin (Myles); M. van der Heijden (Marcel); P.X. Joris (Philip)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractThe medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) receives excitatory input from giant presynaptic terminals, the calyces of Held. The MNTB functions as a sign inverter giving inhibitory input to the lateral and medial superior olive, where its input is important in the generation of

  15. Role of Drebrin in Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekino, Yuko; Koganezawa, Noriko; Mizui, Toshiyuki; Shirao, Tomoaki

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity underlies higher brain function such as learning and memory, and the actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines composing excitatory postsynaptic sites plays a pivotal role in synaptic plasticity. In this chapter, we review the role of drebrin in the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton during synaptic plasticity, under long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Dendritic spines have two F-actin pools, drebrin-decorated stable F-actin (DF-actin) and drebrin-free dynamic F-actin (FF-actin). Resting dendritic spines change their shape, but are fairly constant over time at steady state because of the presence of DF-actin. Accumulation of DF-actin is inversely regulated by the intracellular Ca 2+ concentration. However, LTP and LTD stimulation induce Ca 2+ influx through N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors into the potentiated spines, resulting in drebrin exodus via myosin II ATPase activation. The potentiated spines change to excited state because of the decrease in DF-actin and thus change their shape robustly. In LTP, the Ca 2+ increase via NMDA receptors soon returns to the basal level, and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) expression at the postsynaptic membrane is increased. The Ca 2+ recovery and AMPAR increase coordinately induce the re-accumulation of DF-actin and change the dendritic spines from the excited state to steady state during LTP maintenance. During LTD, the prolonged intracellular Ca 2+ increase inhibits the re-accumulation of DF-actin, resulting in facilitation of AMPAR endocytosis. Because of the positive feedback loop of the AMPAR decrease and drebrin re-accumulation inhibition, the dendritic spines are instable during LTD maintenance. Taken together, we propose the presence of resilient spines at steady state and plastic spines at excited state and discuss the physiological and pathological relevance of the two-state model to synaptic plasticity.

  16. Potentiation of excitatory transmission in substantia gelatinosa neurons of rat spinal cord by inhibition of estrogen receptor alpha

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    Li Kai-Cheng

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been shown that estrogen is synthesized in the spinal dorsal horn and plays a role in modulating pain transmission. One of the estrogen receptor (ER subtypes, estrogen receptor alpha (ERα, is expressed in the spinal laminae I-V, including substantia gelatinosa (SG, lamina II. However, it is unclear how ERs are involved in the modulation of nociceptive transmission. Results In the present study, a selective ERα antagonist, methyl-piperidino-pyrazole (MPP, was used to test the potential functional roles of spinal ERα in the nociceptive transmission. Using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique, we examined the effects of MPP on SG neurons in the dorsal root-attached spinal cord slice prepared from adult rats. We found that MPP increased glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs evoked by the stimulation of either Aδ- or C-afferent fibers. Further studies showed that MPP treatment dose-dependently increased spontaneous EPSCs frequency in SG neurons, while not affecting the amplitude. In addition, the PKC was involved in the MPP-induced enhancement of synaptic transmission. Conclusions These results suggest that the selective ERα antagonist MPP pre-synaptically facilitates the excitatory synaptic transmission to SG neurons. The nociceptive transmission evoked by Aδ- and C-fiber stimulation could be potentiated by blocking ERα in the spinal neurons. Thus, the spinal estrogen may negatively regulate the nociceptive transmission through the activation of ERα.

  17. Imaging synaptic plasticity

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    Padamsey Zahid

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Over the past decade, the use and development of optical imaging techniques has advanced our understanding of synaptic plasticity by offering the spatial and temporal resolution necessary to examine long-term changes at individual synapses. Here, we review the use of these techniques in recent studies of synaptic plasticity and, in particular, long-term potentiation in the hippocampus.

  18. Synaptic tagging and capture in a biophysical model

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    Benjamin Auffarth

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available There is wide consensus that synaptic plasticity (prominently long-term potentiation; LTP is the underlying mechanism for learning and memory storage (cf Nabavi 2014. Open issues include the molecular pathways and networks and structural processes leading to functional and structural changes at the synaptic and dendritic levels in terms of channels and spines. Synaptic tagging and capture (STC; Frey and Morris 1997; Redondo and Morris 2011 is a predominant model for investigating LTP. According to the STC hypothesis, the mechanisms underlying LTP can be separated into independent processes for the generation of plasticity-related products (PRPs and the setting of a synaptic tag. We know from many studies that dendritic branches act as computational units, given the availability of ionic mechanisms and local compartmentalization of synaptic interactions (Branco and Hausser 2010; Poirazi et al 2003; Frey, 2001. In order to investigate the effects of dendritic compartmentalization on memory formation, we implemented a model of STC in the NEURON platform, incorporating both mechanisms for short-term plasticity and late LTP (l-LTP. Synapses are confined within spines and include numerous biophysical channels and receptors. Our l-LTP mechanism demonstrates the association of memories to synapses and dendrites. We show that local diffusion leads to increases in synaptic weights for neighboring spines, showing the plausibility of the synaptic clustering in memory storage (Poirazi 2001; Govindarajan 2006. The first figure shows the dendritic excitatory postsynaptic potential on tetanic stimulation of 2x100Hz. The second figure shows consolidated synaptic plasticity at the stimulated synapse (blue, and two neighboring synapses (green and red.

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

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    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.

  20. Synaptic Scaling in Combination with Many Generic Plasticity Mechanisms Stabilizes Circuit Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tetzlaff, Christian; Kolodziejski, Christoph; Timme, Marc; Wörgötter, Florentin

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic scaling is a slow process that modifies synapses, keeping the firing rate of neural circuits in specific regimes. Together with other processes, such as conventional synaptic plasticity in the form of long term depression and potentiation, synaptic scaling changes the synaptic patterns in a network, ensuring diverse, functionally relevant, stable, and input-dependent connectivity. How synaptic patterns are generated and stabilized, however, is largely unknown. Here we formally describe and analyze synaptic scaling based on results from experimental studies and demonstrate that the combination of different conventional plasticity mechanisms and synaptic scaling provides a powerful general framework for regulating network connectivity. In addition, we design several simple models that reproduce experimentally observed synaptic distributions as well as the observed synaptic modifications during sustained activity changes. These models predict that the combination of plasticity with scaling generates globally stable, input-controlled synaptic patterns, also in recurrent networks. Thus, in combination with other forms of plasticity, synaptic scaling can robustly yield neuronal circuits with high synaptic diversity, which potentially enables robust dynamic storage of complex activation patterns. This mechanism is even more pronounced when considering networks with a realistic degree of inhibition. Synaptic scaling combined with plasticity could thus be the basis for learning structured behavior even in initially random networks. PMID:22203799

  1. Loss of GABAergic inputs in APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

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    Tutu Oyelami

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is characterized by symptoms which include seizures, sleep disruption, loss of memory as well as anxiety in patients. Of particular importance is the possibility of preventing the progressive loss of neuronal projections in the disease. Transgenic mice overexpressing EOFAD mutant PS1 (L166P and mutant APP (APP KM670/671NL Swedish (APP/PS1 develop a very early and robust Amyloid pathology and display synaptic plasticity impairments and cognitive dysfunction. Here we investigated GABAergic neurotransmission, using multi-electrode array (MEA technology and pharmacological manipulation to quantify the effect of GABA Blockers on field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP, and immunostaining of GABAergic neurons. Using MEA technology we confirm impaired LTP induction by high frequency stimulation in APPPS1 hippocampal CA1 region that was associated with reduced alteration of the pair pulse ratio after LTP induction. Synaptic dysfunction was also observed under manipulation of external Calcium concentration and input-output curve. Electrophysiological recordings from brain slice of CA1 hippocampus area, in the presence of GABAergic receptors blockers cocktails further demonstrated significant reduction in the GABAergic inputs in APP/PS1 mice. Moreover, immunostaining of GAD65 a specific marker for GABAergic neurons revealed reduction of the GABAergic inputs in CA1 area of the hippocampus. These results might be linked to increased seizure sensitivity, premature death and cognitive dysfunction in this animal model of AD. Further in depth analysis of GABAergic dysfunction in APP/PS1 mice is required and may open new perspectives for AD therapy by restoring GABAergic function.

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

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    Jarod Swant

    2010-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. EEA1 restores homeostatic synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons from Rett syndrome mice.

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    Xu, Xin; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2017-08-15

    Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in MECP2, the gene encoding the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Mecp2 deletion in mice results in an imbalance of excitation and inhibition in hippocampal neurons, which affects 'Hebbian' synaptic plasticity. We show that Mecp2-deficient neurons also lack homeostatic synaptic plasticity, likely due to reduced levels of EEA1, a protein involved in AMPA receptor endocytosis. Expression of EEA1 restored homeostatic synaptic plasticity in Mecp2-deficient neurons, providing novel targets of intervention in Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in MECP2, the gene encoding the transcriptional regulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Deletion of Mecp2 in mice results in an imbalance of synaptic excitation and inhibition in hippocampal pyramidal neurons, which affects 'Hebbian' long-term synaptic plasticity. Since the excitatory-inhibitory balance is maintained by homeostatic mechanisms, we examined the role of MeCP2 in homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP) at excitatory synapses. Negative feedback HSP, also known as synaptic scaling, maintains the global synaptic strength of individual neurons in response to sustained alterations in neuronal activity. Hippocampal neurons from Mecp2 knockout (KO) mice do not show the characteristic homeostatic scaling up of the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) and of synaptic levels of the GluA1 subunit of AMPA-type glutamate receptors after 48 h silencing with the Na + channel blocker tetrodotoxin. This deficit in HSP is bidirectional because Mecp2 KO neurons also failed to scale down mEPSC amplitudes and GluA1 synaptic levels after 48 h blockade of type A GABA receptor (GABA A R)-mediated inhibition with bicuculline. Consistent with the role of synaptic trafficking of AMPA-type of glutamate receptors in HSP, Mecp2 KO neurons

  5. Electrophysiology and Pharmacology of the Corticothalamic Input to Lateral Thalamic Nuclei: an Intracellular Study in the Cat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deschêenes, Martin; Hu, Bin

    1990-02-01

    Though most experimental evidence indicates that the corticothalamic (CT) pathway would exert a direct excitatory action on thalamic relay neurons, the electrophysiological features of this excitation have never been clearly described. A methodological problem in previous electrophysiological studies was that direct corticofugal effects on relay cells could not be separated from those mediated by collateral activation of reticular thalamic neurons. In the present study, the reticular complex was lesioned by kainic acid and the CT response of relay neurons of the ventral lateral nucleus was recorded intracellularly in cats under pentobarbital or urethane anaesthesia. Following reticular thalamic lesions, a prominent depolarization was triggered in thalamic relay cells by stimulation of the CT pathway. This depolarization strongly drove spike discharges, and its amplitude augmented when the stimulation rate exceeded 2 Hz. Tetanizing the CT input with short trains (100 - 200 Hz for 200 - 300 ms) produced a similar augmentation to test volleys for 15 - 30 s after the tetanos. The CT excitation and its frequency-dependent augmentation were depressed by ketamine injection or by local application of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists. The augmenting phenomenon appeared strictly homosynaptic. For instance, it did not appear during repetitive stimulation of the cerebellar input, nor did the CT input potentiate subthreshold synaptic potentials of cerebellar origin during a conditioning procedure. Conversely, the cerebellar excitation was depressed when it occurred during the CT depolarization. It is concluded that the direct synaptic responses induced by CT fibres in relay neurons are mediated at least partly by the activation of NMDA receptors. Moreover, the marked non-linear additivity of cerebellar and CT synaptic potentials raises questions concerning the presumed improvement of thalamic transmission of peripheral informations ensured by the CT input. Instead, both

  6. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarnadze, Shota; Bäuerle, Peter; Santos-Torres, Julio; Böhm, Claudia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Geiger, Jörg Rp; Dugladze, Tamar; Gloveli, Tengis

    2016-05-24

    Gamma rhythms are known to contribute to the process of memory encoding. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and network levels. Using local field potential recording in awake behaving mice and concomitant field potential and whole-cell recordings in slice preparations we found that gamma rhythms lead to activity-dependent modification of hippocampal networks, including alterations in sharp wave-ripple complexes. Network plasticity, expressed as long-lasting increases in sharp wave-associated synaptic currents, exhibits enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in pyramidal cells that is induced postsynaptically and depends on metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 activation. In sharp contrast, alteration of inhibitory synaptic strength is independent of postsynaptic activation and less pronounced. Further, we found a cell type-specific, directionally biased synaptic plasticity of two major types of GABAergic cells, parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons. Thus, we propose that gamma frequency oscillations represent a network state that introduces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in a cell-specific manner.

  7. Differential Effect of Neuropeptides on Excitatory Synaptic Transmission in Human Epileptic Hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ledri, Marco; Sorensen, Andreas T.; Madsen, Marita G.

    2015-01-01

    Development of novel disease-modifying treatment strategies for neurological disorders, which at present have no cure, represents a major challenge for today's neurology. Translation of findings from animal models to humans represents an unresolved gap in most of the preclinical studies. Gene the...

  8. Functional rescue of excitatory synaptic transmission in the developing hippocampus in Fmr1-KO mouse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meredith, R.M.; de Jong, R.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2011-01-01

    Pharmaceutical treatments are being developed to correct specific behavioural and morphological aspects of neurodevelopmental disorders such as mental retardation. Fragile X syndrome is an X-linked mental retardation with abnormal dendritic protrusions from neurons in the brain. Increased signalling

  9. Activity-dependent increases in local oxygen consumption correlate with post-synaptic currents in the mouse cerebellum in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mathiesen, Claus; Caesar, Kirsten; Thomsen, Kirsten Joan

    2011-01-01

    fiber pathway (CF). Blocking stimulus-evoked rises in cytosolic Ca2+ in PCs with the P/Q-type channel blocker ¿-agatoxin-IVA (¿-AGA), or the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol, did not lead to a time-locked reduction in CMRO2, excitatory synaptic or action potential currents. During stimulation, neither...

  10. Modulation of synaptic transmission by adenosine in layer 2/3 of the rat visual cortex in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannon, Nicholas; Zhang, Pei; Ilin, Vladimir; Chistiakova, Marina; Volgushev, Maxim

    2014-01-01

    Adenosine is a wide-spread endogenous neuromodulator. In the central nervous system it activates A1 and A2A receptors (A1Rs and A2ARs) which have differential distributions, different affinities to adenosine, are coupled to different G-proteins, and have opposite effects on synaptic transmission. Although effects of adenosine are studied in detail in several brain areas, such as hippocampus and striatum, the heterogeneity of the effects of A1R and A 2A R activation and their differential distribution preclude generalization over brain areas and cell types. Here we study adenosine's effects on excitatory synaptic transmission to layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in slices of the rat visual cortex. We measured effects of bath application of adenosine receptor ligands on evoked EPSPs, miniature EPSPs (mEPSPs), and membrane properties. Adenosine reduced the amplitude of evoked EPSPs and EPSCs, and reduced frequency of mEPSPs in a concentration dependent and reversible manner. Concurrent with EPSP/C amplitude reduction was an increase in the paired-pulse ratio. These effects were blocked by application of the selective A1R antagonist DPCPX, suggesting that activation of presynaptic A1Rs suppresses excitatory transmission by reducing release probability. Adenosine (20 μM) hyperpolarized the cell membrane from 65.3±1.5 to -67.7±1.8 mV, and reduced input resistance from 396.5±44.4 to 314.0±36.3 MOhm (~20%). These effects were also abolished by DPCPX, suggesting postsynaptic A1Rs. Application of the selective A2AR antagonist SCH-58261 on the background of high adenosine concentrations revealed an additional decrease in EPSP amplitude. Moreover, application of the A2AR agonist CGS-21680 led to an A1R-dependent increase in mEPSP frequency. Dependence of the A2AR effects on the A1R availability suggests interaction between these receptors, whereby A2ARs exert their facilitatory effect on synaptic transmission by inhibiting the A1R mediated suppression. Our results demonstrate

  11. A unifying theory of synaptic long-term plasticity based on a sparse distribution of synaptic strength

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    Daniel eKrieg

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Long-term synaptic plasticity is fundamental to learning and network function. It has been studied under various induction protocols and depends on firing rates, membrane voltage, and precise timing of action potentials.These protocols show different facets of a common underlying mechanism but they are mostly modeled as distinct phenomena.Here, we show that all of these different dependencies can be explained from a single computational principle.The objective is a sparse distribution of excitatory synaptic strength, which may help to reduce metabolic costs associated with synaptic transmission.Based on this objective we derive a stochastic gradient ascent learning rule which is of differential-Hebbian type.It is formulated in biophysical quantities and can be related to current mechanistic theories of synaptic plasticity.The learning rule accounts for experimental findings from all major induction protocols and explains a classic phenomenon of metaplasticity.Furthermore, our model predicts the existence of metaplasticity for STDP.Thus, we provide a theory of long-term synaptic plasticity that unifies different induction protocols and provides a connection between functional and mechanistic levels of description.

  12. Neuropeptide S-mediated facilitation of synaptic transmission enforces subthreshold theta oscillations within the lateral amygdala.

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    Susanne Meis

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide S (NPS receptor system modulates neuronal circuit activity in the amygdala in conjunction with fear, anxiety and the expression and extinction of previously acquired fear memories. Using in vitro brain slice preparations of transgenic GAD67-GFP (Δneo mice, we investigated the effects of NPS on neural activity in the lateral amygdala as a key region for the formation and extinction of fear memories. We are able to demonstrate that NPS augments excitatory glutamatergic synaptic input onto both projection neurons and interneurons of the lateral amygdala, resulting in enhanced spike activity of both types of cells. These effects were at least in part mediated by presynaptic mechanisms. In turn, inhibition of projection neurons by local interneurons was augmented by NPS, and subthreshold oscillations were strengthened, leading to their shift into the theta frequency range. These data suggest that the multifaceted effects of NPS on amygdaloid circuitry may shape behavior-related network activity patterns in the amygdala and reflect the peptide's potent activity in various forms of affective behavior and emotional memory.

  13. Measuring brain synaptic vesicle protein 2A with positron emission tomography and [18F]UCB-H

    OpenAIRE

    Bahri, Mohamed Ali; Plenevaux, Alain; Aerts, Joël; Bastin, Christine; Becker, Guillaume; Mercier, Joël; Valade, Anne; Buchanan, Tim; Mestdagh, Nathalie; Ledoux, Didier; Seret, Alain; Luxen, André; Salmon, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Brain distribution of synaptic vesicle protein 2Awas measured with fluorine-18 UCBH ([18F]UCB-H) and positron emission tomography (PET). Methods: Images of synaptic density were acquired in healthy volunteers (two young participants and two seniors). Input function was measured by arterial blood sampling (arterial input function) and derived from PET images using carotid activity (image-derived input function). Logan graphical analysis was used to estimate regional synaptic v...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-22

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

  16. 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.

  17. Synaptic Mechanisms of Memory Consolidation during Sleep Slow Oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yina; Krishnan, Giri P; Bazhenov, Maxim

    2016-04-13

    Sleep is critical for regulation of synaptic efficacy, memories, and learning. However, the underlying mechanisms of how sleep rhythms contribute to consolidating memories acquired during wakefulness remain unclear. Here we studied the role of slow oscillations, 0.2-1 Hz rhythmic transitions between Up and Down states during stage 3/4 sleep, on dynamics of synaptic connectivity in the thalamocortical network model implementing spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity. We found that the spatiotemporal pattern of Up-state propagation determines the changes of synaptic strengths between neurons. Furthermore, an external input, mimicking hippocampal ripples, delivered to the cortical network results in input-specific changes of synaptic weights, which persisted after stimulation was removed. These synaptic changes promoted replay of specific firing sequences of the cortical neurons. Our study proposes a neuronal mechanism on how an interaction between hippocampal input, such as mediated by sharp wave-ripple events, cortical slow oscillations, and synaptic plasticity, may lead to consolidation of memories through preferential replay of cortical cell spike sequences during slow-wave sleep. Sleep is critical for memory and learning. Replay during sleep of temporally ordered spike sequences related to a recent experience was proposed to be a neuronal substrate of memory consolidation. However, specific mechanisms of replay or how spike sequence replay leads to synaptic changes that underlie memory consolidation are still poorly understood. Here we used a detailed computational model of the thalamocortical system to report that interaction between slow cortical oscillations and synaptic plasticity during deep sleep can underlie mapping hippocampal memory traces to persistent cortical representation. This study provided, for the first time, a mechanistic explanation of how slow-wave sleep may promote consolidation of recent memory events. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/364231-17$15.00/0.

  18. Multiquantal release underlies the distribution of synaptic efficacies in the neocortex

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    Alex Loebel

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Inter-pyramidal synaptic connections are characterized by a wide range of EPSP amplitudes. Although repeatedly observed at different brain regions and across layers, little is known about the synaptic characteristics that contribute to this wide range. In particular, the range could potentially be accounted for by differences in all three parameters of the quantal model of synaptic transmission, i.e. the number of release sites, release probability and quantal size. Here, we present a rigorous statistical analysis of the transmission properties of excitatory synaptic connections between layer-5 pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex. Our central finding is that the EPSP amplitude is strongly correlated with the number of estimated release sites, but not with the release probability or quantal size. In addition, we found that the number of release sites can be more than an order of magnitude higher than the typical number of synaptic contacts for this type of connection. Our findings indicate that transmission at stronger synaptic connections is mediated by multiquantal release from their synaptic contacts. We propose that modulating the number of release sites could be an important mechanism in regulating neocortical synaptic transmission.

  19. Activity Dependent Synaptic Plasticity Mimicked on Indium-Tin-Oxide Electric-Double-Layer Transistor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Juan; Zhu, Li Qiang; Fu, Yang Ming; Xiao, Hui; Guo, Li Qiang; Wan, Qing

    2017-10-25

    Ion coupling has provided an additional method to modulate electric properties for solid-state materials. Here, phosphorosilicate glass (PSG)-based electrolyte gated protonic/electronic coupled indium-tin-oxide electric-double-layer (EDL) transistors are fabricated. The oxide transistor exhibits good electrical performances due to an extremely strong proton gating behavior for the electrolyte. With interfacial electrochemical doping, channel conductances of the oxide EDL transistor can be regulated to different levels, corresponding to different initial synaptic weights. Thus, activity dependent synaptic responses such as excitatory postsynaptic current, paired-pulse facilitation, and high-pass filtering are discussed in detail. The proposed proton conductor gated oxide EDL synaptic transistors with activity dependent synaptic plasticities may act as fundamental building blocks for neuromorphic system applications.

  20. AMPA Receptor Trafficking in Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity: Functional Molecules and Signaling Cascades

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    Guan Wang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic synaptic plasticity is a negative-feedback response employed to compensate for functional disturbances in the nervous system. Typically, synaptic activity is strengthened when neuronal firing is chronically suppressed or weakened when neuronal activity is chronically elevated. At both the whole cell and entire network levels, activity manipulation leads to a global up- or downscaling of the transmission efficacy of all synapses. However, the homeostatic response can also be induced locally at subcellular regions or individual synapses. Homeostatic synaptic scaling is expressed mainly via the regulation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR trafficking and synaptic expression. Here we review the recently identified functional molecules and signaling pathways that are involved in homeostatic plasticity, especially the homeostatic regulation of AMPAR localization at excitatory synapses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C; Funk, G D; Bayliss, D A

    2000-01-01

    Movement, the fundamental component of behavior and the principal extrinsic action of the brain, is produced when skeletal muscles contract and relax in response to patterns of action potentials generated by motoneurons. The processes that determine the firing behavior of motoneurons are therefore...... important in understanding the transformation of neural activity to motor behavior. Here, we review recent studies on the control of motoneuronal excitability, focusing on synaptic and cellular properties. We first present a background description of motoneurons: their development, anatomical organization...... current, hyperpolarization-activated inward current, Ca(2+) channels, or presynaptic release processes. Together, these numerous inputs mediate and modify incoming motor commands, ultimately generating the coordinated firing patterns that underlie muscle contractions during motor behavior....

  3. Inferring synaptic structure in presence of neural interaction time scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiano Capone

    Full Text Available Biological networks display a variety of activity patterns reflecting a web of interactions that is complex both in space and time. Yet inference methods have mainly focused on reconstructing, from the network's activity, the spatial structure, by assuming equilibrium conditions or, more recently, a probabilistic dynamics with a single arbitrary time-step. Here we show that, under this latter assumption, the inference procedure fails to reconstruct the synaptic matrix of a network of integrate-and-fire neurons when the chosen time scale of interaction does not closely match the synaptic delay or when no single time scale for the interaction can be identified; such failure, moreover, exposes a distinctive bias of the inference method that can lead to infer as inhibitory the excitatory synapses with interaction time scales longer than the model's time-step. We therefore introduce a new two-step method, that first infers through cross-correlation profiles the delay-structure of the network and then reconstructs the synaptic matrix, and successfully test it on networks with different topologies and in different activity regimes. Although step one is able to accurately recover the delay-structure of the network, thus getting rid of any a priori guess about the time scales of the interaction, the inference method introduces nonetheless an arbitrary time scale, the time-bin dt used to binarize the spike trains. We therefore analytically and numerically study how the choice of dt affects the inference in our network model, finding that the relationship between the inferred couplings and the real synaptic efficacies, albeit being quadratic in both cases, depends critically on dt for the excitatory synapses only, whilst being basically independent of it for the inhibitory ones.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Postnatal maturation of GABAergic modulation of sensory inputs onto lateral amygdala principal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Daniel; Ehrlich, Ingrid

    2015-10-01

    Throughout life, fear learning is indispensable for survival and neural plasticity in the lateral amygdala underlies this learning and storage of fear memories. During development, properties of fear learning continue to change into adulthood, but currently little is known about changes in amygdala circuits that enable these behavioural transitions. In recordings from neurons in lateral amygdala brain slices from infant up to adult mice, we show that spontaneous and evoked excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmissions mature into adolescence. At this time, increased inhibitory activity and signalling has the ability to restrict the function of excitation by presynaptic modulation, and may thus enable precise stimulus associations to limit fear generalization from adolescence onward. Our results provide a basis for addressing plasticity mechanisms that underlie altered fear behaviour in young animals. Convergent evidence suggests that plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA) participates in acquisition and storage of fear memory. Sensory inputs from thalamic and cortical areas activate principal neurons and local GABAergic interneurons, which provide feed-forward inhibition that tightly controls LA activity and plasticity via pre- and postsynaptic GABAA and GABAB receptors. GABAergic control is also critical during fear expression, generalization and extinction in adult animals. During rodent development, properties of fear and extinction learning continue to change into early adulthood. Currently, few studies have assessed physiological changes in amygdala circuits that may enable these behavioural transitions. To obtain first insights, we investigated changes in spontaneous and sensory input-evoked inhibition onto LA principal neurons and then focused on GABAB receptor-mediated modulation of excitatory sensory inputs in infant, juvenile, adolescent and young adult mice. We found that spontaneous and sensory-evoked inhibition increased during development

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya Kaufman

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppensteadt, F C; Izhikevich, E M

    1996-08-01

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

  8. Chondroitin Sulfate Induces Depression of Synaptic Transmission and Modulation of Neuronal Plasticity in Rat Hippocampal Slices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa Albiñana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available It is currently known that in CNS the extracellular matrix is involved in synaptic stabilization and limitation of synaptic plasticity. However, it has been reported that the treatment with chondroitinase following injury allows the formation of new synapses and increased plasticity and functional recovery. So, we hypothesize that some components of extracellular matrix may modulate synaptic transmission. To test this hypothesis we evaluated the effects of chondroitin sulphate (CS on excitatory synaptic transmission, cellular excitability, and neuronal plasticity using extracellular recordings in the CA1 area of rat hippocampal slices. CS caused a reversible depression of evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in a concentration-dependent manner. CS also reduced the population spike amplitude evoked after orthodromic stimulation but not when the population spikes were antidromically evoked; in this last case a potentiation was observed. CS also enhanced paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation. Our study provides evidence that CS, a major component of the brain perineuronal net and extracellular matrix, has a function beyond the structural one, namely, the modulation of synaptic transmission and neuronal plasticity in the hippocampus.

  9. Interaction between the glutamate transporter GLT1b and the synaptic PDZ domain protein PICK1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bassan, Merav; Liu, Hongguang; Madsen, Kenneth L

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is implemented by the interaction of glutamate receptors with PDZ domain proteins. Glutamate transporters provide the only known mechanism of clearance of glutamate from excitatory synapses, and GLT1 is the major glutamate transporter. We show here that GLT1 interacts...... expressing PICK1 and GLT1b. In addition, expression of GLT1b in COS7 cells changed the distribution of PICK1, bringing it to the surface. GLT1b and PICK1 co-localized with each other and with synaptic markers in hippocampal neurons in culture. Phorbol ester, an activator of protein kinase C (PKC), a known...

  10. Diverse synaptic plasticity mechanisms orchestrated to form and retrieve memories in spiking neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenke, Friedemann; Agnes, Everton J; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2015-04-21

    Synaptic plasticity, the putative basis of learning and memory formation, manifests in various forms and across different timescales. Here we show that the interaction of Hebbian homosynaptic plasticity with rapid non-Hebbian heterosynaptic plasticity is, when complemented with slower homeostatic changes and consolidation, sufficient for assembly formation and memory recall in a spiking recurrent network model of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In the model, assemblies were formed during repeated sensory stimulation and characterized by strong recurrent excitatory connections. Even days after formation, and despite ongoing network activity and synaptic plasticity, memories could be recalled through selective delay activity following the brief stimulation of a subset of assembly neurons. Blocking any component of plasticity prevented stable functioning as a memory network. Our modelling results suggest that the diversity of plasticity phenomena in the brain is orchestrated towards achieving common functional goals.

  11. Diverse synaptic plasticity mechanisms orchestrated to form and retrieve memories in spiking neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenke, Friedemann; Agnes, Everton J.; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity, the putative basis of learning and memory formation, manifests in various forms and across different timescales. Here we show that the interaction of Hebbian homosynaptic plasticity with rapid non-Hebbian heterosynaptic plasticity is, when complemented with slower homeostatic changes and consolidation, sufficient for assembly formation and memory recall in a spiking recurrent network model of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In the model, assemblies were formed during repeated sensory stimulation and characterized by strong recurrent excitatory connections. Even days after formation, and despite ongoing network activity and synaptic plasticity, memories could be recalled through selective delay activity following the brief stimulation of a subset of assembly neurons. Blocking any component of plasticity prevented stable functioning as a memory network. Our modelling results suggest that the diversity of plasticity phenomena in the brain is orchestrated towards achieving common functional goals. PMID:25897632

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-08

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

  13. NMDA receptors mediate synaptic competition in culture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin She

    Full Text Available Activity through NMDA type glutamate receptors sculpts connectivity in the developing nervous system. This topic is typically studied in the visual system in vivo, where activity of inputs can be differentially regulated, but in which individual synapses are difficult to visualize and mechanisms governing synaptic competition can be difficult to ascertain. Here, we develop a model of NMDA-receptor dependent synaptic competition in dissociated cultured hippocampal neurons.GluN1 -/- (KO mouse hippocampal neurons lacking the essential NMDA receptor subunit were cultured alone or cultured in defined ratios with wild type (WT neurons. The absence of functional NMDA receptors did not alter neuron survival. Synapse development was assessed by immunofluorescence for postsynaptic PSD-95 family scaffold and apposed presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter VGlut1. Synapse density was specifically enhanced onto minority wild type neurons co-cultured with a majority of GluN1 -/- neighbour neurons, both relative to the GluN1 -/- neighbours and relative to sister pure wild type cultures. This form of synaptic competition was dependent on NMDA receptor activity and not conferred by the mere physical presence of GluN1. In contrast to these results in 10% WT and 90% KO co-cultures, synapse density did not differ by genotype in 50% WT and 50% KO co-cultures or in 90% WT and 10% KO co-cultures.The enhanced synaptic density onto NMDA receptor-competent neurons in minority coculture with GluN1 -/- neurons represents a cell culture paradigm for studying synaptic competition. Mechanisms involved may include a retrograde 'reward' signal generated by WT neurons, although in this paradigm there was no 'punishment' signal against GluN1 -/- neurons. Cell culture assays involving such defined circuits may help uncover the rules and mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic competition in the developing nervous system.

  14. Heterosynaptic Plasticity Prevents Runaway Synaptic Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jen-Yung; Lonjers, Peter; Lee, Christopher; Chistiakova, Marina; Volgushev, Maxim

    2013-01-01

    Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) and other conventional Hebbian-type plasticity rules are prone to produce runaway dynamics of synaptic weights. Once potentiated, a synapse would have higher probability to lead to spikes and thus to be further potentiated, but once depressed, a synapse would tend to be further depressed. The runaway synaptic dynamics can be prevented by precisely balancing STDP rules for potentiation and depression; however, experimental evidence shows a great variety of potentiation and depression windows and magnitudes. Here we show that modifications of synapses to layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons from rat visual and auditory cortices in slices can be induced by intracellular tetanization: bursts of postsynaptic spikes without presynaptic stimulation. Induction of these heterosynaptic changes depended on the rise of intracellular calcium, and their direction and magnitude correlated with initial state of release mechanisms. We suggest that this type of plasticity serves as a mechanism that stabilizes the distribution of synaptic weights and prevents their runaway dynamics. To test this hypothesis, we develop a cortical neuron model implementing both homosynaptic (STDP) and heterosynaptic plasticity with properties matching the experimental data. We find that heterosynaptic plasticity effectively prevented runaway dynamics for the tested range of STDP and input parameters. Synaptic weights, although shifted from the original, remained normally distributed and nonsaturated. Our study presents a biophysically constrained model of how the interaction of different forms of plasticity—Hebbian and heterosynaptic—may prevent runaway synaptic dynamics and keep synaptic weights unsaturated and thus capable of further plastic changes and formation of new memories. PMID:24089497

  15. Synaptic Scaling in Combination with many Generic Plasticity Mechanisms Stabilizes Circuit Connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian eTetzlaff

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic scaling is a slow process that modifies synapses, keeping the firing rate of neural circuits in specific regimes. Together with other processes, such as conventional synaptic plasticity in the form of long term depression and potentiation, this changes the synaptic patterns in a network, ensuring diverse, functionally relevant, stable and input-dependent connectivity. How synaptic patterns are generated and stabilized, however, is largely unknown. Here we formally describe and analyze synaptic scaling based on results from experimental studies and demonstrate that the combination of different conventional plasticity mechanisms and synaptic scaling provides a powerful general framework for regulating network connectivity. In addition, we design several simple models, which reproduce experimentally observed synaptic distributions as well as the observed synaptic modifications during sustained activity changes. These models predict that the combination of plasticity with scaling generates globally stable, input-controlled synaptic patterns, also in recurrent networks. Thus, in combination with other forms of plasticity, synaptic scaling can robustly yield neuronal circuits with high synaptic diversity, which potentially allows in a more robust way for the dynamic storage of complex activation patterns. This mechanism is even more pronounced when considering networks with a realistic degree of inhibition. This, could be the basis for the learning of structured behavior even in initially random networks.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Keith P. Johnson; Lei Zhao; Daniel Kerschensteiner

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  18. Emerging Link between Alzheimer's Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Chung, Hee Jung

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and neurodegeneration of brain regions that are crucial for learning and memory. Although intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques, composed of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, have been the hallmarks of postmortem AD brains, memory impairment in early AD correlates better with pathological accumulation of soluble Aβ oligomers and persistent weakening of excitatory synaptic strength, which is demonstrated by inhibition of long-term potentiation, enhancement of long-term depression, and loss of synapses. However, current, approved interventions aiming to reduce Aβ levels have failed to retard disease progression; this has led to a pressing need to identify and target alternative pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Recently, it has been suggested that the disruption of Hebbian synaptic plasticity in AD is due to aberrant metaplasticity, which is a form of homeostatic plasticity that tunes the magnitude and direction of future synaptic plasticity based on previous neuronal or synaptic activity. This review examines emerging evidence for aberrant metaplasticity in AD. Putative mechanisms underlying aberrant metaplasticity in AD will also be discussed. We hope this review inspires future studies to test the extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the etiology of AD and offer therapeutic targets. PMID:27019755

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

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Mark S; Przebinda, Adam S.

    2011-01-01

    Electrophysiological conversion of chloride-dependent synapses from inhibitory to excitatory function, as a result of aberrant neuronal chloride homeostasis, is a known mechanism for the genesis of neuropathic pain. This paper examines theoretically how this type of synaptic conversion can disrupt circuit logic in spinal nociceptive circuits. First, a mathematical scaling factor is developed to represent local aberration in chloride electrochemical driving potential. Using this mathematical ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Subthreshold fluctuations in neuronal membrane potential traces contain nonlinear components, and employing nonlinear models might improve the statistical inference. We propose a new strategy to estimate synaptic conductances, which has been tested using in silico data and applied to in vivo...... recordings. The model is constructed to capture the nonlinearities caused by subthreshold activated currents, and the estimation procedure can discern between excitatory and inhibitory conductances using only one membrane potential trace. More precisely, we perform second order approximations of biophysical...

  1. Nitric oxide in the afferent synaptic transmission of the axolotl vestibular system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, A; Soto, E; Vega, R

    2001-01-01

    This study was performed using intracellular and multiunit extracellular recording techniques in order to characterize the role of nitric oxide in the afferent synaptic transmission of the vestibular system of the axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum). Bath application of nitric oxide synthase inhibitors N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (0.01microM to 10microM) and N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (0.1microM to 1000microM) elicited a dose-dependent decrease in the basal discharge of the semicircular canal afferent fibers. N(G)-Nitro-L-arginine also diminished the response to mechanical stimuli. Moreover, N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (1microM) produced a hyperpolarization associated with a decrease in the spike discharge and diminished the frequency of the excitatory postsynaptic potentials on afferent fibers recorded intracellularly. Nitric oxide donors were also tested: (i) S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine (0.1microM to 100microM) increased the basal discharge and the response to mechanical stimuli. At the maximum effective concentration (100microM) this drug affected neither the amplitude nor the frequency of the excitatory postsynaptic potentials. However, it slightly depolarized the afferent neurons and decreased their input resistance. (ii) 3-Morpholino-sydnonimine hydrochloride did not significantly affect the basal discharge or the mechanically evoked peak response of afferent neurons at any of the concentrations used (1microM to 1000microM). However, after 10min of perfusion in the bath, 1microM and 10microM 3-morpholino-sydnonimine hydrochloride significantly modified the baseline of the mechanically evoked response, producing an increase in the mean spike discharge of the afferent fibers. These results indicate that nitric oxide may have a facilitatory role on the basal discharge and on the response to mechanical stimuli of the vestibular afferent fibers. Thus, nitric oxide probably participates in the sensory coding and adaptative changes of vestibular input in

  2. Astrocytes: Orchestrating synaptic plasticity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Pittà, M; Brunel, N; Volterra, A

    2016-05-26

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity of a preexisting connection between two neurons to change in strength as a function of neural activity. Because synaptic plasticity is the major candidate mechanism for learning and memory, the elucidation of its constituting mechanisms is of crucial importance in many aspects of normal and pathological brain function. In particular, a prominent aspect that remains debated is how the plasticity mechanisms, that encompass a broad spectrum of temporal and spatial scales, come to play together in a concerted fashion. Here we review and discuss evidence that pinpoints to a possible non-neuronal, glial candidate for such orchestration: the regulation of synaptic plasticity by astrocytes. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edouard ePearlstein

    2015-05-01

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

  4. Distinct Subunit Domains Govern Synaptic Stability and Specificity of the Kainate Receptor

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    Christoph Straub

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic communication between neurons requires the precise localization of neurotransmitter receptors to the correct synapse type. Kainate-type glutamate receptors restrict synaptic localization that is determined by the afferent presynaptic connection. The mechanisms that govern this input-specific synaptic localization remain unclear. Here, we examine how subunit composition and specific subunit domains contribute to synaptic localization of kainate receptors. The cytoplasmic domain of the GluK2 low-affinity subunit stabilizes kainate receptors at synapses. In contrast, the extracellular domain of the GluK4/5 high-affinity subunit synergistically controls the synaptic specificity of kainate receptors through interaction with C1q-like proteins. Thus, the input-specific synaptic localization of the native kainate receptor complex involves two mechanisms that underlie specificity and stabilization of the receptor at synapses.

  5. On the estimation of population-specific synaptic currents from laminar multielectrode recordings

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    Sergey L Gratiy

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Multielectrode array recordings of extracellular electrical field potentials along the depth axis of the cerebral cortex is an up-and-coming approach for investigating activity of cortical neuronal circuits. The low-frequency band of extracellular potential, i.e., the local field potential (LFP, is assumed to reflect the synaptic activity and can be used to extract the current source density (CSD profile. However, physiological interpretation of CSD profiles is uncertain because the analysis does not disambiguate synaptic inputs from passive return currents. Here we present a novel mathematical framework for identifying excited neuronal populations and for separating synaptic input currents from return currents based on LFP recordings. This involves a combination of the linear forward model, which predicts population-specific laminar LFP in response to sinusoidal synaptic inputs applied at different locations along the population cells having realistic morphologies and the linear inverse model, which reconstructs laminar profiles of synaptic inputs from the Fourier spectrum of the laminar LFP data based on the forward prediction. The model allows reconstruction of synaptic input profiles on a spatial scale comparable to known anatomical organization of synaptic projections within a cortical column. Assuming spatial correlation of synaptic inputs within individual populations, the model decomposes the columnar LFP into population-specific contributions. Constraining the solution with a priori knowledge of the spatial distribution of synaptic connectivity further allows prediction of active projections from the composite LFP profile. This modeling framework successfully delineates the main relationships between the synaptic input currents and the evoked LFP and can serve as a foundation for modeling more realistic processing of active dendritic conductances.

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

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    Kyung-Seok Han

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Haploinsufficiency of the autism-associated Shank3 gene leads to deficits in synaptic function, social interaction, and social communication

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    Bozdagi Ozlem

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SHANK3 is a protein in the core of the postsynaptic density (PSD and has a critical role in recruiting many key functional elements to the PSD and to the synapse, including components of α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA, metabotropic glutamate (mGlu and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA glutamate receptors, as well as cytoskeletal elements. Loss of a functional copy of the SHANK3 gene leads to the neurobehavioral manifestations of 22q13 deletion syndrome and/or to autism spectrum disorders. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of haploinsufficiency of full-length Shank3 in mice, focusing on synaptic development, transmission and plasticity, as well as on social behaviors, as a model for understanding SHANK3 haploinsufficiency in humans. Methods We used mice with a targeted disruption of Shank3 in which exons coding for the ankyrin repeat domain were deleted and expression of full-length Shank3 was disrupted. We studied synaptic transmission and plasticity by multiple methods, including patch-clamp whole cell recording, two-photon time-lapse imaging and extracellular recordings of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials. We also studied the density of GluR1-immunoreactive puncta in the CA1 stratum radiatum and carried out assessments of social behaviors. Results In Shank3 heterozygous mice, there was reduced amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents from hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons and the input-output (I/O relationship at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses in acute hippocampal slices was significantly depressed; both of these findings indicate a reduction in basal neurotransmission. Studies with specific inhibitors demonstrated that the decrease in basal transmission reflected reduced AMPA receptor-mediated transmission. This was further supported by the observation of reduced numbers of GluR1-immunoreactive puncta in the stratum radiatum. Long-term potentiation (LTP

  8. Passive and synaptic properties of hippocampal neurons grown in microcultures and in mass cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mennerick, S; Que, J; Benz, A; Zorumski, C F

    1995-01-01

    1. We used whole cell recordings to compare passive membrane properties and synaptic properties of postnatal rat hippocampal neurons grown for 7-15 days in either conventional mass cultures or on physically restricted microisland cultures. Despite matching microisland and mass culture cell across several variables, there were significant differences between neurons in the two groups regarding passive membrane characteristics and synaptic properties. 2. Microisland neurons displayed significantly faster charging of the membrane capacitance than mass culture counterparts matched with microisland neurons for age, somal diameter, and transmitter phenotype. When we used a two-compartment equivalent circuit model to quantify this result, microisland neurons displayed approximately half the distal capacitance of mass culture neurons. These data suggest that microisland neurons elaborate less extensive neuritic arborizations than mass culture neurons. 3. Evoked synaptic responses were enhanced on microislands compared with mass cultures. Excitatory and inhibitory autaptic currents were more frequent and displayed larger amplitudes on single-neuron microislands than in matched mass culture neurons. 4. In recordings from pairs of neurons in the two environments, we observed a significantly higher probability of obtaining a monosynaptic response on two-neuron microislands than in matched mass culture pairs (85% vs. 42%). Evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents were also significantly larger in the microisland environment, with evoked excitatory synaptic currents from two-neuron microislands exhibiting a mean amplitude 20-fold larger than mass culture monosynaptic responses. 5. The differences in evoked synaptic responses were not reflected in differences in the amplitude or frequency of spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). Analysis of mEPSC rise times, decay times, and peak amplitudes within individual cells suggests that electrotonic filtering is

  9. Regulation of STEP61 and tyrosine-phosphorylation of NMDA and AMPA receptors during homeostatic synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Royston, Sara E; Xu, Jian; Cavaretta, John P; Vest, Max O; Lee, Kwan Young; Lee, Seungbae; Jeong, Han Gil; Lombroso, Paul J; Chung, Hee Jung

    2015-09-22

    Sustained changes in network activity cause homeostatic synaptic plasticity in part by altering the postsynaptic accumulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) and α-amino-3-hydroxyle-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPAR), which are primary mediators of excitatory synaptic transmission. A key trafficking modulator of NMDAR and AMPAR is STriatal-Enriched protein tyrosine Phosphatase (STEP61) that opposes synaptic strengthening through dephosphorylation of NMDAR subunit GluN2B and AMPAR subunit GluA2. However, the role of STEP61 in homeostatic synaptic plasticity is unknown. We demonstrate here that prolonged activity blockade leads to synaptic scaling, and a concurrent decrease in STEP61 level and activity in rat dissociated hippocampal cultured neurons. Consistent with STEP61 reduction, prolonged activity blockade enhances the tyrosine phosphorylation of GluN2B and GluA2 whereas increasing STEP61 activity blocks this regulation and synaptic scaling. Conversely, prolonged activity enhancement increases STEP61 level and activity, and reduces the tyrosine phosphorylation and level of GluN2B as well as GluA2 expression in a STEP61-dependent manner. Given that STEP61-mediated dephosphorylation of GluN2B and GluA2 leads to their internalization, our results collectively suggest that activity-dependent regulation of STEP61 and its substrates GluN2B and GluA2 may contribute to homeostatic stabilization of excitatory synapses.

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

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    Takashi Nakano

    2010-02-01

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

  11. Input significance analysis: feature ranking through synaptic weights ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    a selected dataset taken from the UCI Machine Learning Repository and in an online environment and lastly to attest the FR results by using another selected dataset taken from the same source and in the same environment. There are three groups of experiments conducted to accomplish these goals. The results are ...

  12. Experience-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity in neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitt, Jessica L; Petrus, Emily; Lee, Hey-Kyoung

    2014-03-01

    The organism's ability to adapt to the changing sensory environment is due in part to the ability of the nervous system to change with experience. Input and synapse specific Hebbian plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), are critical for sculpting the nervous system to wire its circuit in tune with the environment and for storing memories. However, these synaptic plasticity mechanisms are innately unstable and require another mode of plasticity that maintains homeostasis to allow neurons to function within a desired dynamic range. Several modes of homeostatic adaptation are known, some of which work at the synaptic level. This review will focus on the known mechanisms of experience-induced homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the neocortex and their potential function in sensory cortex plasticity. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

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

  14. Selective modulation of excitatory and inhibitory microcircuits by dopamine

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-03-01

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

  15. Identification of synaptic pattern of NMDA receptor subunits upon direction-selective retinal ganglion cells in developing and adult mouse retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jun-Seok; Kim, Hang-Gu; Jeon, Chang-Jin

    2017-06-01

    Direction selectivity of the retina is a unique mechanism and critical function of eyes for surviving. Direction-selective retinal ganglion cells (DS RGCs) strongly respond to preferred directional stimuli, but rarely respond to the opposite or null directional stimuli. These DS RGCs are sensitive to glutamate, which is secreted from bipolar cells. Using immunocytochemistry, we studied with the distributions of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits on the dendrites of DS RGCs in the developing and adult mouse retina. DS RGCs were injected with Lucifer yellow for identification of dendritic morphology. The triple-labeled images of dendrites, kinesin II, and NMDA receptor subunits were visualized using confocal microscopy and were reconstructed from high-resolution confocal images. Although our results revealed that the synaptic pattern of NMDA receptor subunits on dendrites of DS RGCs was not asymmetric in developing and adult mouse retina, they showed the anatomical connectivity of NMDA glutamatergic synapses onto DS RGCs and the developmental formation of the direction selectivity in the mouse retina. Through the comprehensive interpretation of the direction-selective neural circuit, this study, therefore, implies that the direction selectivity may be generated by the asymmetry of the excitatory glutamatergic inputs and the inhibitory inputs onto DS RGCs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-20

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

  17. Phasic Dopamine Modifies Sensory-Driven Output of Striatal Neurons through Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieland, Sebastian; Schindler, Sebastian; Huber, Cathrin; Köhr, Georg; Oswald, Manfred J; Kelsch, Wolfgang

    2015-07-08

    Animals are facing a complex sensory world in which only few stimuli are relevant to guide behavior. Value has to be assigned to relevant stimuli such as odors to select them over concurring information. Phasic dopamine is involved in the value assignment to stimuli in the ventral striatum. The underlying cellular mechanisms are incompletely understood. In striatal projection neurons of the ventral striatum in adult mice, we therefore examined the features and dynamics of phasic dopamine-induced synaptic plasticity and how this plasticity may modify the striatal output. Phasic dopamine is predicted to tag inputs that occur in temporal proximity. Indeed, we observed D1 receptor-dependent synaptic potentiation only when odor-like bursts and optogenetically evoked phasic dopamine release were paired within a time window of synaptic potentiation persisted after the phasic dopamine signal had ceased, but gradually reversed when odor-like bursts continued to be presented. The synaptic plasticity depended on the sensory input rate and was input specific. Importantly, synaptic plasticity amplified the firing response to a given olfactory input as the dendritic integration and the firing threshold remained unchanged during synaptic potentiation. Thus, phasic dopamine-induced synaptic plasticity can change information transfer through dynamic increases of the output of striatal projection neurons to specific sensory inputs. This plasticity may provide a neural substrate for dynamic value assignment in the striatum. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/359946-11$15.00/0.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-03

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

  19. Transcriptional Control of Synaptic Plasticity by Transcription Factor NF-κB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelmann, Christian; Haenold, Ronny

    2016-01-01

    Activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factors is required for the induction of synaptic plasticity and memory formation. All components of this signaling pathway are localized at synapses, and transcriptionally active NF-κB dimers move to the nucleus to translate synaptic signals into altered gene expression. Neuron-specific inhibition results in altered connectivity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses and functionally in selective learning deficits. Recent research on transgenic mice with impaired or hyperactivated NF-κB gave important insights into plasticity-related target gene expression that is regulated by NF-κB. In this minireview, we update the available data on the role of this transcription factor for learning and memory formation and comment on cross-sectional activation of NF-κB in the aged and diseased brain that may directly or indirectly affect κB-dependent transcription of synaptic genes. PMID:26881128

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Johnston

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor eSpigelman

    2012-06-01

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

  2. Structure–Activity Relationship Study of Selective Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter Subtype 1 (EAAT1) Inhibitor 2-Amino-4-(4-methoxyphenyl)-7-(naphthalen-1-yl)-5-oxo-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-4H-chromene-3-carbonitrile (UCPH-101) and Absolute Configurational Assignment Using Infrared and Vibrational

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huynh, Tri H.V.; Shim, Irene; Bohr, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    The excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) play essential roles in regulating the synaptic concentration of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the mammalian central nervous system. To date, five subtypes have been identified, named EAAT1–5 in humans, and GLAST, GLT-1, EAAC1, EAAT4, and EAAT5...

  3. The potential role of exercise in chronic stress-related changes in AMPA receptor phenotype underlying synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leem, Yea-Hyun

    2017-12-31

    Chronic stress can cause disturbances in synaptic plasticity, such as longterm potentiation, along with behavioral defects including memory deficits. One major mechanism sustaining synaptic plasticity involves the dynamics and contents of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) in the central nervous system. In particular, chronic stress-induced disruption of AMPARs includes it abnormal expression, trafficking, and calcium conductance at glutamatergic synapses, which contributes to synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses. Exercise has the effect of promoting synaptic plasticity in neurons. However, the contribution of exercise to AMPAR behavior under chronic stressful maladaptation remains unclear. The present article reviews the information about the chronic stress-related synaptic plasticity and the role of exercise from the previous-published articles. AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission is an important for chronic stress-related changes of synaptic plasticity, and exercise may at least partly contribute to these episodes. The present article discusses the relationship between AMPARs and synaptic plasticity in chronic stress, as well as the potential role of exercise.

  4. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Gina

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

  5. Input-output organization of inhibitory neurons in the interstitial nucleus of Cajal projecting to the contralateral trochlear and oculomotor nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiuchi, Y; Takahashi, M; Shinoda, Y

    2013-08-01

    Neurons in the interstitial nucleus of Cajal (INC) that are known to be involved in eye and head movements are excitatory. We investigated the input-output organization of inhibitory INC neurons involved in controlling vertical saccades. Intracellular recordings were made in INC neurons activated antidromically by stimulation of the contralateral trochlear or oculomotor nucleus, and their synaptic input properties from the superior colliculi (SCs) and the contralateral INC were analyzed in anesthetized cats. Many INC neurons projected to the contralateral trochlear nucleus, Forel's field H, INC, and oculomotor nucleus, and mainly received monosynaptic excitation followed by disynaptic inhibition from the ipsi- and contralateral SCs. After sectioning the commissural connections between the SCs, these neurons received monosynaptic excitation from the ipsilateral medial SC and disynaptic inhibition via the INC from the contralateral lateral SC. Another group of INC neurons were antidromically activated from the contralateral oculomotor nucleus, INC and Forel's field H, but not from the trochlear nucleus, and received monosynaptic excitation from the ipsilateral lateral SC and disynaptic inhibition from the contralateral medial SC. The former group was considered to inhibit contralateral trochlear and inferior rectus motoneurons in upward saccades, whereas the latter was considered to inhibit contralateral superior rectus and inferior oblique motoneurons in downward saccades. The mutual inhibition existed between these two groups of INC neurons for upward saccades on one side and downward saccades on the other. This pattern of input-output organization of inhibitory INC neurons suggests that the basic neural circuits for horizontal and vertical saccades are similar.

  6. GIT1 and βPIX Are Essential for GABAA Receptor Synaptic Stability and Inhibitory Neurotransmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine R. Smith

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Effective inhibitory synaptic transmission requires efficient stabilization of GABAA receptors (GABAARs at synapses, which is essential for maintaining the correct excitatory-inhibitory balance in the brain. However, the signaling mechanisms that locally regulate synaptic GABAAR membrane dynamics remain poorly understood. Using a combination of molecular, imaging, and electrophysiological approaches, we delineate a GIT1/βPIX/Rac1/PAK signaling pathway that modulates F-actin and is important for maintaining surface GABAAR levels, inhibitory synapse integrity, and synapse strength. We show that GIT1 and βPIX are required for synaptic GABAAR surface stability through the activity of the GTPase Rac1 and downstream effector PAK. Manipulating this pathway using RNAi, dominant-negative and pharmacological approaches leads to a disruption of GABAAR clustering and decrease in the strength of synaptic inhibition. Thus, the GIT1/βPIX/Rac1/PAK pathway plays a crucial role in regulating GABAAR synaptic stability and hence inhibitory synaptic transmission with important implications for inhibitory plasticity and information processing in the brain.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta

    2017-10-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. On the Basis of Synaptic Integration Constancy during Growth of a Neuronal Circuit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana De-La-Rosa Tovar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We studied how a neuronal circuit composed of two neuron types connected by chemical and electrical synapses maintains constant its integrative capacities as neurons grow. For this we combined electrophysiological experiments with mathematical modeling in pairs of electrically-coupled Retzius neurons from postnatal to adult leeches. The electrically-coupled dendrites of both Retzius neurons receive a common chemical input, which produces excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs with varying amplitudes. Each EPSP spreads to the soma, but also crosses the electrical synapse to arrive at the soma of the coupled neuron. The leak of synaptic current across the electrical synapse reduces the amplitude of the EPSPs in proportion to the coupling ratio. In addition, summation of EPSPs generated in both neurons generates the baseline action potentials of these serotonergic neurons. To study how integration is adjusted as neurons grow, we first studied the characteristics of the chemical and electrical connections onto the coupled dendrites of neuron pairs with soma diameters ranging from 21 to 75 μm. Then by feeding a mathematical model with the neuronal voltage responses to pseudorandom noise currents we obtained the values of the coupling ratio, the membrane resistance of the soma (rm and dendrites (rdend, the space constant (λ and the characteristic dendritic length (L = l/λ. We found that the EPSPs recorded from the somata were similar regardless on the neuron size. However, the amplitude of the EPSPs and the firing frequency of the neurons were inversely proportional to the coupling ratio of the neuron pair, which also was independent from the neuronal size. This data indicated that the integrative constancy relied on the passive membrane properties. We show that the growth of Retzius neurons was compensated by increasing the membrane resistance of the dendrites and therefore the λ value. By solely increasing the dendrite resistance this circuit

  11. Alterations in Striatal Synaptic Transmission are Consistent across Genetic Mouse Models of Huntington's Disease

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    Damian M Cummings

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Since the identification of the gene responsible for HD (Huntington's disease, many genetic mouse models have been generated. Each employs a unique approach for delivery of the mutated gene and has a different CAG repeat length and background strain. The resultant diversity in the genetic context and phenotypes of these models has led to extensive debate regarding the relevance of each model to the human disorder. Here, we compare and contrast the striatal synaptic phenotypes of two models of HD, namely the YAC128 mouse, which carries the full-length huntingtin gene on a yeast artificial chromosome, and the CAG140 KI*** (knock-in mouse, which carries a human/mouse chimaeric gene that is expressed in the context of the mouse genome, with our previously published data obtained from the R6/2 mouse, which is transgenic for exon 1 mutant huntingtin. We show that striatal MSNs (medium-sized spiny neurons in YAC128 and CAG140 KI mice have similar electrophysiological phenotypes to that of the R6/2 mouse. These include a progressive increase in membrane input resistance, a reduction in membrane capacitance, a lower frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents and a greater frequency of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in a subpopulation of striatal neurons. Thus, despite differences in the context of the inserted gene between these three models of HD, the primary electrophysiological changes observed in striatal MSNs are consistent. The outcomes suggest that the changes are due to the expression of mutant huntingtin and such alterations can be extended to the human condition.

  12. Abnormal climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synaptic connections in the essential tremor cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chi-Ying; Louis, Elan D; Faust, Phyllis L; Koeppen, Arnulf H; Vonsattel, Jean-Paul G; Kuo, Sheng-Han

    2014-12-01

    Structural changes in Purkinje cells have been identified in the essential tremor cerebellum, although the mechanisms that underlie these changes remain poorly understood. Climbing fibres provide one of the major excitatory inputs to Purkinje cells, and climbing fibre-Purkinje cell connections are essential for normal cerebellar-mediated motor control. The distribution of climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses on Purkinje cell dendrites is dynamically regulated and may be altered in disease states. The aim of the present study was to examine the density and distribution of climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses using post-mortem cerebellar tissue of essential tremor cases and controls. Using vesicular glutamate transporter type 2 immunohistochemistry, we labelled climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses of 12 essential tremor cases and 13 age-matched controls from the New York Brain Bank. Normally, climbing fibres form synapses mainly on the thick, proximal Purkinje cell dendrites in the inner portion of the molecular layer, whereas parallel fibres form synapses on the thin, distal Purkinje cell spiny branchlets. We observed that, compared with controls, essential tremor cases had decreased climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synaptic density, more climbing fibres extending to the outer portion of the molecular layer, and more climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses on the thin Purkinje cell spiny branchlets. Interestingly, in essential tremor, the increased distribution of climbing fibre-Purkinje cell synapses on the thin Purkinje cell branchlets was inversely associated with clinical tremor severity, indicating a close relationship between the altered distribution of climbing fibre-Purkinje cell connections and tremor. These findings suggest that abnormal climbing fibre-Purkinje cell connections could be of importance in the pathogenesis of essential tremor. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved

  13. Adolescent maturation of inhibitory inputs onto cingulate cortex neurons is cell-type specific and TrkB dependent

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    Angela eVandenberg

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The maturation of inhibitory circuits during adolescence may be tied to the onset of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia. Neurotrophin signaling likely plays a critical role in supporting inhibitory circuit development and is also implicated in psychiatric disease. Within the neocortex, subcircuits may mature at different times and show differential sensitivity to neurotrophin signaling. We measured miniature inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic currents (mIPSC and mEPSCs in Layer 5 cell-types in the mouse anterior cingulate across the periadolescent period. We differentiated cell-types mainly by Thy1 YFP transgene expression and also retrobead injection labeling in the contralateral cingulate and ipsilateral pons. We found that YFP- neurons and commissural projecting neurons had lower frequency of mIPSCs than neighboring YFP+ neurons or pons projecting neurons in juvenile mice (P21-25. YFP- neurons and to a lesser extent commissural projecting neurons also showed a significant increase in mIPSC amplitude during the periadolescent period (P21-25 vs. P40-50, which was not seen in YFP+ neurons or pons projecting neurons. Systemic disruption of tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB signaling during P23-50 in TrkBF616A mice blocked developmental changes in mIPSC amplitude, without affecting miniature excitatory post synaptic currents (mEPSCs. Our data suggest that the maturation of inhibitory inputs onto layer 5 pyramidal neurons is cell-type specific. These data may inform our understanding of adolescent brain development across species and aid in identifying candidate subcircuits that may show greater vulnerability in mental illness.

  14. Excitatory Neuromodulator Reduces Dopamine Release, Enhancing Prolactin Secretion

    OpenAIRE

    van den Pol, Anthony N.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of the endothelium on electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced excitatory responses of pulmonary artery segments from pulmonary hypertensive rats. Methods: Pulmonary hypertension was induced in rats with a single dose of monocrotaline (60 mg/kg) and 21 days ...

  16. Learning to discriminate through long-term changes of dynamical synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leibold, Christian; Bendels, Michael H K

    2009-12-01

    Short-term synaptic plasticity is modulated by long-term synaptic changes. There is, however, no general agreement on the computational role of this interaction. Here, we derive a learning rule for the release probability and the maximal synaptic conductance in a circuit model with combined recurrent and feedforward connections that allows learning to discriminate among natural inputs. Short-term synaptic plasticity thereby provides a nonlinear expansion of the input space of a linear classifier, whereas the random recurrent network serves to decorrelate the expanded input space. Computer simulations reveal that the twofold increase in the number of input dimensions through short-term synaptic plasticity improves the performance of a standard perceptron up to 100%. The distributions of release probabilities and maximal synaptic conductances at the capacity limit strongly depend on the balance between excitation and inhibition. The model also suggests a new computational interpretation of spikes evoked by stimuli outside the classical receptive field. These neuronal activities may reflect decorrelation of the expanded stimulus space by intracortical synaptic connections.

  17. Synaptic and Nonsynaptic Plasticity Approximating Probabilistic Inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip Joseph Tully

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The brain stores and retrieves information by initiating cascades of molecular changes that lead to a diverse repertoire of dynamical phenomena at higher levels of processing. Hebbian plasticity, neuromodulation, and homeostatic synaptic and intrinsic excitability all conspire to form and maintain memories. But it is still unclear how these seemingly redundant mechanisms could jointly orchestrate learning in a more unified system. To address this, we propose a Hebbian learning rule for spiking neurons inspired by Bayesian statistics. Synaptic weights and intrinsic currents are adapted on-line upon arrival of single spikes, which initiate a cascade of temporally interacting memory traces that locally estimate probabilities associated with relative neuronal activation levels. We show that the dynamics of these traces readily demonstrate a spike-timing dependence that stably returns to a set-point over long time scales, and that synaptic learning remains competitive despite this stability. Beyond unsupervised learning, we show how linking the traces with an externally driven signal could enable spike-based reinforcement learning. Neuronally, the traces are represented by an activity-dependent ion channel that is shown to regulate the input received by a postsynaptic cell and generate intrinsic graded persistent firing levels. We perform spike-based Bayesian learning in a simulated inference task using integrate and fire neurons that are Poisson-firing and fluctuation-driven, similar to the preferred regime of cortical neurons. Our results support the view that neurons can represent information in the form of probability distributions and that probabilistic inference can be a functional by-product of coupled synaptic and nonsynaptic mechanisms operating over several timescales. The model provides a biophysical realization of Bayesian computation by reconciling several observed neural phenomena whose functional effects are only partially understood

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio eChapeton

    2015-06-01

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

  19. Deletion of glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (Glud1) in the central nervous system affects glutamate handling without altering synaptic transmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frigerio, Francesca; Karaca, Melis; De Roo, Mathias

    2012-01-01

    Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), encoded by GLUD1, participates in the breakdown and synthesis of glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter. In the CNS, besides its primary signaling function, glutamate is also at the crossroad of metabolic and neurotransmitter pathways. Importance of brain G...... transporters and of glutamine synthetase. Present data show that the lack of GDH in the CNS modifies the metabolic handling of glutamate without altering synaptic transmission....

  20. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallière, Nicolas; Bhatla, Nikhil; Luedtke, Zara; Ma, Dengke K.; Woolman, Jonathan; Walker, Robert J.; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O’Connor, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    How an animal matches feeding to food availability is a key question for energy homeostasis. We addressed this in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which couples feeding to the presence of its food (bacteria) by regulating pharyngeal activity (pumping). We scored pumping in the presence of food and over an extended time course of food deprivation in wild-type and mutant worms to determine the neural substrates of adaptive behavior. Removal of food initially suppressed pumping but after 2 h this was accompanied by intermittent periods of high activity. We show pumping is fine-tuned by context-specific neural mechanisms and highlight a key role for inhibitory glutamatergic and excitatory cholinergic/peptidergic drives in the absence of food. Additionally, the synaptic protein UNC-31 [calcium-activated protein for secretion (CAPS)] acts through an inhibitory pathway not explained by previously identified contributions of UNC-31/CAPS to neuropeptide or glutamate transmission. Pumping was unaffected by laser ablation of connectivity between the pharyngeal and central nervous system indicating signals are either humoral or intrinsic to the enteric system. This framework in which control is mediated through finely tuned excitatory and inhibitory drives resonates with mammalian hypothalamic control of feeding and suggests that fundamental regulation of this basic animal behavior may be conserved through evolution from nematode to human.—Dallière, N., Bhatla, N., Luedtke, Z., Ma, D. K., Woolman, J., Walker, R. J., Holden-Dye, L., O’Connor, V. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability. PMID:26514165

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abeer Abousaab

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malgorzata Jasinska

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

  3. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallière, Nicolas; Bhatla, Nikhil; Luedtke, Zara; Ma, Dengke K; Woolman, Jonathan; Walker, Robert J; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O'Connor, Vincent

    2016-02-01

    How an animal matches feeding to food availability is a key question for energy homeostasis. We addressed this in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which couples feeding to the presence of its food (bacteria) by regulating pharyngeal activity (pumping). We scored pumping in the presence of food and over an extended time course of food deprivation in wild-type and mutant worms to determine the neural substrates of adaptive behavior. Removal of food initially suppressed pumping but after 2 h this was accompanied by intermittent periods of high activity. We show pumping is fine-tuned by context-specific neural mechanisms and highlight a key role for inhibitory glutamatergic and excitatory cholinergic/peptidergic drives in the absence of food. Additionally, the synaptic protein UNC-31 [calcium-activated protein for secretion (CAPS)] acts through an inhibitory pathway not explained by previously identified contributions of UNC-31/CAPS to neuropeptide or glutamate transmission. Pumping was unaffected by laser ablation of connectivity between the pharyngeal and central nervous system indicating signals are either humoral or intrinsic to the enteric system. This framework in which control is mediated through finely tuned excitatory and inhibitory drives resonates with mammalian hypothalamic control of feeding and suggests that fundamental regulation of this basic animal behavior may be conserved through evolution from nematode to human. © FASEB.

  4. Effects of Context-Drug Learning on Synaptic Connectivity in the Basolateral Nucleus of the Amygdala in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rademacher, David J.; Mendoza-Elias, Nasya; Meredith, Gloria E.

    2014-01-01

    Context-drug learning produces structural and functional synaptic changes in the circuitry of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA). However, how the synaptic changes translated to the neuronal targets was not established. Thus, in the present study, immunohistochemistry with a cell specific marker and the stereological quantification of synapses was used to determine if context-drug learning increases the number of excitatory and inhibitory/modulatory synapses contacting the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons and/or the pyramidal neurons in the BLA circuitry. Amphetamine conditioned place preference (AMPH CPP) increased the number of asymmetric (excitatory) synapses contacting the spines and dendrites of pyramidal neurons and the number of multisynaptic boutons contacting pyramidal neurons and GABA interneurons. Context-drug learning increased asymmetric (excitatory) synapses onto dendrites of GABA interneurons and increased symmetric (inhibitory or modulatory) synapses onto dendrites but not perikarya of these same interneurons. The formation of context-drug associations alters the synaptic connectivity in the BLA circuitry, findings that have important implications for drug-seeking behavior. PMID:25359418

  5. Synaptic state matching: a dynamical architecture for predictive internal representation and feature detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavazoie, Saeed

    2013-01-01

    Here we explore the possibility that a core function of sensory cortex is the generation of an internal simulation of sensory environment in real-time. A logical elaboration of this idea leads to a dynamical neural architecture that oscillates between two fundamental network states, one driven by external input, and the other by recurrent synaptic drive in the absence of sensory input. Synaptic strength is modified by a proposed synaptic state matching (SSM) process that ensures equivalence of spike statistics between the two network states. Remarkably, SSM, operating locally at individual synapses, generates accurate and stable network-level predictive internal representations, enabling pattern completion and unsupervised feature detection from noisy sensory input. SSM is a biologically plausible substrate for learning and memory because it brings together sequence learning, feature detection, synaptic homeostasis, and network oscillations under a single unifying computational framework.

  6. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klann, Eric; Antion, Marcia D.; Banko, Jessica L.; Hou, Lingfei

    2004-01-01

    It is widely accepted that protein synthesis, including local protein synthesis at synapses, is required for several forms of synaptic plasticity. Local protein synthesis enables synapses to control synaptic strength independent of the cell body via rapid protein production from pre-existing mRNA. Therefore, regulation of translation initiation is…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Theta-burst repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation suppresses specific excitatory circuits in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Lazzaro, V; Pilato, F; Saturno, E; Oliviero, A; Dileone, M; Mazzone, P; Insola, A; Tonali, P A; Ranieri, F; Huang, Y Z; Rothwell, J C

    2005-06-15

    In four conscious patients who had electrodes implanted in the cervical epidural space for the control of pain, we recorded corticospinal volleys evoked by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the motor cortex before and after a 20 s period of continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS). It has previously been reported that this form of repetitive TMS reduces the amplitude of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), with the maximum effect occurring at 5-10 min after the end of stimulation. The present results show that cTBS preferentially decreases the amplitude of the corticospinal I1 wave, with approximately the same time course. This is consistent with a cortical origin of the effect on the MEP. However, other protocols that lead to MEP suppression, such as short-interval intracortical inhibition, are characterized by reduced excitability of late I waves (particularly I3), suggesting that cTBS suppresses MEPs through different mechanisms, such as long-term depression in excitatory synaptic connections.

  10. Spatial signal correlation from an III-nitride synaptic device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuai; Zhu, Bingcheng; Shi, Zheng; Yuan, Jialei; Jiang, Yuan; Shen, Xiangfei; Cai, Wei; Yang, Yongchao; Wang, Yongjin

    2017-10-01

    The mechanism by which the external environment affects the internal nervous system is investigated via the spatial correlation of an III-nitride synaptic device, which combines in-plane and out-of-plane illumination. The InGaN/GaN multiple-quantum-well collector (MQW-collector) demonstrates a simultaneous light emission and light detection mode due to the unique property of the MQW-diode. The MQW-collector absorbs the internal incoming light and the external illumination at the same time to generate an integration of the excitatory postsynaptic voltages (EPSVs). Signal cognition can be distinctly decoded from the integrated EPSVs because the signal differences are maintained, which is in good agreement with the simulation results. These results suggest that the nervous system can simultaneously amplify the EPSV amplitude and achieve signal cognition by spatial EPSV summation, which can be further optimized to explore the connections between the internal nervous system and the external environment.

  11. Pain-related synaptic plasticity in spinal dorsal horn neurons: role of CGRP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willis William D

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The synaptic and cellular mechanisms of pain-related central sensitization in the spinal cord are not fully understood yet. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP has been identified as an important molecule in spinal nociceptive processing and ensuing behavioral responses, but its contribution to synaptic plasticity, cellular mechanisms and site of action in the spinal cord remain to be determined. Here we address the role of CGRP in synaptic plasticity in the spinal dorsal horn in a model of arthritic pain. Results Whole-cell current- and voltage-clamp recordings were made from substantia gelatinosa (SG neurons in spinal cord slices from control rats and arthritic rats (> 6 h postinjection of kaolin/carrageenan into the knee. Monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs were evoked by electrical stimulation of afferents in the dorsal root near the dorsal root entry zone. Neurons in slices from arthritic rats showed increased synaptic transmission and excitability compared to controls. A selective CGRP1 receptor antagonist (CGRP8-37 reversed synaptic plasticity in neurons from arthritic rats but had no significant effect on normal transmission. CGRP facilitated synaptic transmission in the arthritis pain model more strongly than under normal conditions where both facilitatory and inhibitory effects were observed. CGRP also increased neuronal excitability. Miniature EPSC analysis suggested a post- rather than pre-synaptic mechanism of CGRP action. Conclusion This study is the first to show synaptic plasticity in the spinal dorsal horn in a model of arthritic pain that involves a postsynaptic action of CGRP on SG neurons.

  12. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheetham, Claire E J; Fox, Kevin

    2010-09-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Zedong; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-01-01

    Synapses may undergo variable changes during plasticity because of the variability of spike patterns such as temporal stochasticity and spatial randomness. Here, we call the variability of synaptic weight changes during plasticity to be efficacy variability. In this paper, we investigate how four aspects of spike pattern statistics (i.e., synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations) influence the efficacy variability under pair-wise additive spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and synaptic homeostasis (the mean strength of plastic synapses into a neuron is bounded), by implementing spike shuffling methods onto spike patterns self-organized by a network of excitatory and inhibitory leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) neurons. With the increase of the decay time scale of the inhibitory synaptic currents, the LIF network undergoes a transition from asynchronous state to weak synchronous state and then to synchronous bursting state. We first shuffle these spike patterns using a variety of methods, each designed to evidently change a specific pattern statistics; and then investigate the change of efficacy variability of the synapses under STDP and synaptic homeostasis, when the neurons in the network fire according to the spike patterns before and after being treated by a shuffling method. In this way, we can understand how the change of pattern statistics may cause the change of efficacy variability. Our results are consistent with those of our previous study which implements spike-generating models on converging motifs. We also find that burstiness/regularity is important to determine the efficacy variability under asynchronous states, while heterogeneity of cross-correlations is the main factor to cause efficacy variability when the network moves into synchronous bursting states (the states observed in epilepsy). PMID:27555816

  15. Electrostimulation to reduce synaptic scaling driven progression of Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark eRowan

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Cell death and synapse dysfunction are two likely causes of cognitive decline in AD. As cells die and synapses lose their drive, remaining cells suffer an initial decrease in activity. Neuronal homeostatic synaptic scaling then provides a feedback mechanism to restore activity. This homeostatic mechanism is believed to sense levels of activity-dependent cytosolic calcium within the cell and to adjust neuronal firing activity by increasing the density of AMPA synapses at remaining synapses to achieve balance. The scaling mechanism increases the firing rates of remaining cells in the network to compensate for decreases in network activity. However, this effect can itself become a pathology, as it produces increased imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory circuits, leading to greater susceptibility to further cell loss via calcium-mediated excitotoxicity.Here, we present a mechanistic explanation of how directed brain stimulation might be expected to slow AD progression based on computational simulations in a 470-neuron biomimetic model of a neocortical column. The simulations demonstrate that the addition of low-intensity electrostimulation (neuroprosthesis to a network undergoing AD-like cell death can raise global activity and break this homeostatic-excitotoxic cascade. The increase in activity within the remaining cells in the column results in lower scaling-driven AMPAR upregulation, reduced imbalances in excitatory and inhibitory circuits, and lower susceptibility to ongoing damage.

  16. Isoflurane inhibits synaptic vesicle exocytosis through reduced Ca2+ influx, not Ca2+-exocytosis coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgart, Joel P; Zhou, Zhen-Yu; Hara, Masato; Cook, Daniel C; Hoppa, Michael B; Ryan, Timothy A; Hemmings, Hugh C

    2015-09-22

    Identifying presynaptic mechanisms of general anesthetics is critical to understanding their effects on synaptic transmission. We show that the volatile anesthetic isoflurane inhibits synaptic vesicle (SV) exocytosis at nerve terminals in dissociated rat hippocampal neurons through inhibition of presynaptic Ca(2+) influx without significantly altering the Ca(2+) sensitivity of SV exocytosis. A clinically relevant concentration of isoflurane (0.7 mM) inhibited changes in [Ca(2+)]i driven by single action potentials (APs) by 25 ± 3%, which in turn led to 62 ± 3% inhibition of single AP-triggered exocytosis at 4 mM extracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)]e). Lowering external Ca(2+) to match the isoflurane-induced reduction in Ca(2+) entry led to an equivalent reduction in exocytosis. These data thus indicate that anesthetic inhibition of neurotransmitter release from small SVs occurs primarily through reduced axon terminal Ca(2+) entry without significant direct effects on Ca(2+)-exocytosis coupling or on the SV fusion machinery. Isoflurane inhibition of exocytosis and Ca(2+) influx was greater in glutamatergic compared with GABAergic nerve terminals, consistent with selective inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission. Such alteration in the balance of excitatory to inhibitory transmission could mediate reduced neuronal interactions and network-selective effects observed in the anesthetized central nervous system.

  17. Hippocampal ischemia causes deficits in local field potential and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shaoli; Zhang, Jingyun; Sheng, Tao; Lu, Wei; Miao, Dengshun

    2015-09-01

    The long-term enhancement in glutamate receptor mediated excitatory responses has been observed in stroke model. This pathological form of plasticity, termed post-ischemic long-term potentiation (i-LTP), points to functional reorganization after stroke. Little is known, however, about whether and how this i-LTP would affect subsequent induction of synaptic plasticity. Here, we first directly confirmed that i-LTP was induced in the endothelin-1-induced ischemia model as in other in vitro models. We also demonstrated increased expression of NR2B, CaMKII and p-CaMKII, which are reminiscent of i-LTP. We further induced LTP of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) on CA1 hippocampal neurons in peri-infarct regions of the endothelin-1-induced mini-stroke model. We found that LTP of fEPSPs, induced by high-frequency stimulation, displayed a progressive impairment at 12 and 24 hours after ischemia. Moreover, using in vivo multi-channel recording, we found that the local field potential, which represents electrical property of cell ensembles in more restricted regions, was also dampened at these two time points. These results suggest that i-LTP elevates the induction threshold of subsequent synaptic plasticity. Our data helps to deepen the knowledge of meta-synaptic regulation of plasticity after focal ischemia.

  18. Effects of Modafinil on Behavioral Learning and Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Wen-Wen; Yao, Li-Hua; Chen, Chong; Wang, Hai-Xia; Li, Chu-Hua; Huang, Jun-Ni; Xiao, Peng; Liu, Cheng-Yi

    2015-12-01

    Modafinil is a wake-promoting agent that has been proposed to improve cognitive performance at the preclinical and clinical levels. Since there is insufficient evidence for modafinil to be regarded as a cognitive enhancer, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic modafinil administration on behavioral learning in healthy adult rats. Y-maze training was used to assess learning performance, and the whole-cell patch clamp technique was used to assess synaptic transmission in pyramidal neurons of the hippocampal CA1 region of rats. Intraperitoneal administration of modafinil at 200 mg/kg or 300 mg/kg significantly improved learning performance. Furthermore, perfusion with 1mM modafinil enhanced the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous postsynaptic currents and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices. However, the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in CA1 pyramidal neurons were inhibited by treatment with 1mM modafinil. These results indicate that modafinil improves learning and memory in rats possibly by enhancing glutamatergic excitatory synaptic transmission and inhibiting GABAergic (gamma-aminobutyric acid-ergic) inhibitory synaptic transmission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, S L; Harrison, P J

    2005-03-01

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

  20. Slit2/Robo1 Mediation of Synaptic Plasticity Contributes to Bone Cancer Pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Changbin; Gao, Feng; Tian, Xuebi; Li, Caijuan; Shi, Dai; He, Wensheng; Tian, Yuke

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is fundamental to spinal sensitivity of bone cancer pain. Here, we have shown that excitatory synaptogenesis contributes to bone cancer pain. New synapse formation requires neurite outgrowth and an interaction between axons and dendrites, accompanied by the appositional organization of presynaptic and postsynaptic specializations. We have shown that Slit2, Robo1, and RhoA act as such cues that promote neurite outgrowth and guide the axon for synapse formation. Sarcoma inoculation induces excitatory synaptogenesis and bone cancer pain which are reversed by Slit2 knockdown but aggravated by Robo1 knockdown. Synaptogenesis of cultured neurons are inhibited by Slit2 knockdown but enhanced by Robo1 knockdown. Sarcoma implantation induces an increase in Slit2 and decreases Robo1 and RhoA, while Slit2 knockdown results in an increase of Robo1 and RhoA. These results have demonstrated a molecular mechanism of synaptogenesis in bone cancer pain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki Kawano

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

  2. 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.

  3. Synaptic dimorphism in Onychophoran cephalic ganglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z Peña-Contreras

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The taxonomic location of the Onychophora has been controversial because of their phenotypic and genotypic characteristics, related to both annelids and arthropods. We analyzed the ultrastructure of the neurons and their synapses in the cephalic ganglion of a poorly known invertebrate, the velvet worm Peripatus sedgwicki, from the mountainous region of El Valle, Mérida, Venezuela. Cephalic ganglia were dissected, fixed and processed for transmission electron microscopy. The animal has a high degree of neurobiological development, as evidenced by the presence of asymmetric (excitatory and symmetric (inhibitory synapses, as well as the existence of glial cell processes in a wide neuropile zone. The postsynaptic terminals were seen to contain subsynaptic cisterns formed by membranes of smooth endoplasmic reticulum beneath the postsynaptic density, whereas the presynaptic terminal showed numerous electron transparent synaptic vesicles. From the neurophylogenetic perspectives, the ultrastructural characteristics of the central nervous tissue of the Onychophora show important evolutionary acquirements, such as the presence of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, indicating functional synaptic transmission, and the appearance of mature glial cells. Rev. Biol . Trop. 55 (1: 261-267. Epub 2007 March. 31.Estudiamos la ultraestructura de las neuronas y sus sinapsis del ganglio cefálico de un invertebrado poco conocido del phylum Onychophora: Peripatus sedgwicki de los Andes Venezolanos, utilizando para ello la microscopía electrónica de transmisión. La localización taxonómica de los onicóforos ha sido controversial debido a sus características fenotípicas y genotípicas que los relacionan tanto con los anélidos como con los artrópodos. Para este trabajo se estudió el ganglio cefálico de P. sedgwicki de la zona montañosa de El Valle, Mérida, Venezuela. El ganglio cefálico se localiza en la región anterior del animal y fue diseccionado

  4. A novel excitatory network for the control of breathing

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Molecular Recognition within Synaptic Scaffolds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erlendsson, Simon

    domains, responsible for tethering their respective synaptic protein ligands. Therefore, understanding the specificity and binding mechanisms of PDZ domain proteins is essential to understand regulation of synaptic plasticity. PICK1 is a PDZ domain-containing scaffolding protein predominantly expressed...... and characterized in the postsynaptic neurons, where it is involved in regulating processes underlying LTP and LTD. However, PICK1 has also been found to interact with a wide range of other regulatory proteins, receptors and transporters, which implicates PICK1 in several processes important for proper synaptic...

  6. Regulation of neuronal input transformations by tunable dendritic inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovett-Barron, Matthew; Turi, Gergely F; Kaifosh, Patrick; Lee, Peter H; Bolze, Frédéric; Sun, Xiao-Hua; Nicoud, Jean-François; Zemelman, Boris V; Sternson, Scott M; Losonczy, Attila

    2012-01-15

    Transforming synaptic input into action potential output is a fundamental function of neurons. The pattern of action potential output from principal cells of the mammalian hippocampus encodes spatial and nonspatial information, but the cellular and circuit mechanisms by which neurons transform their synaptic input into a given output are unknown. Using a combination of optical activation and cell type-specific pharmacogenetic silencing in vitro, we found that dendritic inhibition is the primary regulator of input-output transformations in mouse hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells, and acts by gating the dendritic electrogenesis driving burst spiking. Dendrite-targeting interneurons are themselves modulated by interneurons targeting pyramidal cell somata, providing a synaptic substrate for tuning pyramidal cell output through interactions in the local inhibitory network. These results provide evidence for a division of labor in cortical circuits, where distinct computational functions are implemented by subtypes of local inhibitory neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. Synaptic Mitochondrial Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Heng; Guo, Lan

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Synaptic degeneration, an early pathological feature in Alzheimer's disease (AD), is closely correlated to impaired cognitive function and memory loss. Recent studies suggest that involvement of amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) in synaptic mitochondrial alteration underlies these synaptic lesions. Thus, to understand the Aβ-associated synaptic mitochondrial perturbations would fortify our understanding of synaptic stress in the pathogenesis of AD. Recent Advances: Increasing evidence suggests that synaptic mitochondrial dysfunction is strongly associated with synaptic failure in many neurodegenerative diseases including AD. Based on recent findings in human AD subjects, AD animal models, and AD cellular models, synaptic mitochondria undergo multiple malfunctions including Aβ accumulation, increased oxidative stress, decreased respiration, and compromised calcium handling capacity, all of which occur earlier than changes seen in nonsynaptic mitochondria before predominant AD pathology. Of note, the impact of Aβ on mitochondrial motility and dynamics exacerbates synaptic mitochondrial alterations. Critical Issues: Synaptic mitochondria demonstrate early deficits in AD; in combination with the role that synaptic mitochondria play in sustaining synaptic functions, deficits in synaptic mitochondria may be a key factor involved in an early synaptic pathology in AD. Future Directions: The importance of synaptic mitochondria in supporting synapses and the high vulnerability of synaptic mitochondria to Aβ make them a promising target of new therapeutic strategy for AD. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 16, 1467–1475. PMID:21942330

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pennelope K. Blakely

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Synaptic maturation at cortical projections to the lateral amygdala in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Gambino

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome (RTT is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by loss of function of Mecp2--methyl-CpG-binding protein 2--an epigenetic factor controlling DNA transcription. In mice, removal of Mecp2 in the forebrain recapitulates most of behavioral deficits found in global Mecp2 deficient mice, including amygdala-related hyper-anxiety and lack of social interaction, pointing a role of Mecp2 in emotional learning. Yet very little is known about the establishment and maintenance of synaptic function in the adult amygdala and the role of Mecp2 in these processes. Here, we performed a longitudinal examination of synaptic properties at excitatory projections to principal cells of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in Mecp2 mutant mice and their wild-type littermates. We first show that during animal life, Cortico-LA projections switch from a tonic to a phasic mode, whereas Thalamo-LA synapses are phasic at all ages. In parallel, we observed a specific elimination of Cortico-LA synapses and a decrease in their ability of generating presynaptic long term potentiation. In absence of Mecp2, both synaptic maturation and synaptic elimination were exaggerated albeit still specific to cortical projections. Surprisingly, associative LTP was unaffected at Mecp2 deficient synapses suggesting that synaptic maintenance rather than activity-dependent synaptic learning may be causal in RTT physiopathology. Finally, because the timing of synaptic evolution was preserved, we propose that some of the developmental effects of Mecp2 may be exerted within an endogenous program and restricted to synapses which maturate during animal life.

  11. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

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

  12. The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckley, Jacob T; Laguesse, Sophie; Phamluong, Khanhky; Morisot, Nadege; Wegner, Scott A; Ron, Dorit

    2016-01-20

    Early binge-like alcohol drinking may promote the development of hazardous intake. However, the enduring cellular alterations following the first experience with alcohol consumption are not fully understood. We found that the first binge-drinking alcohol session produced enduring enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission onto dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons (D1+ neurons) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell but not the core in mice, which required D1 receptors (D1Rs) and mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Furthermore, inhibition of mTORC1 activity during the first alcohol drinking session reduced alcohol consumption and preference of a subsequent drinking session. mTORC1 is critically involved in RNA-to-protein translation, and we found that the first alcohol session rapidly activated mTORC1 in NAc shell D1+ neurons and increased synaptic expression of the AMPAR subunit GluA1 and the scaffolding protein Homer. Finally, D1R stimulation alone was sufficient to activate mTORC1 in the NAc to promote mTORC1-dependent translation of the synaptic proteins GluA1 and Homer. Together, our results indicate that the first alcohol drinking session induces synaptic plasticity in NAc D1+ neurons via enhanced mTORC1-dependent translation of proteins involved in excitatory synaptic transmission that in turn drives the reinforcement learning associated with the first alcohol experience. Thus, the alcohol-dependent D1R/mTORC1-mediated increase in synaptic function in the NAc may reflect a neural imprint of alcohol's reinforcing properties, which could promote subsequent alcohol intake. Significance statement: Consuming alcohol for the first time is a learning event that drives further drinking. Here, we identified a mechanism that may underlie the reinforcing learning associated with the initial alcohol experience. We show that the first alcohol experience induces a persistent enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission on NAc shell D1+ neurons

  13. Synaptic Plasticity, Metaplasticity and Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vose, Linnea R; Stanton, Patric K

    2017-01-01

    The development of a persistent depressive affective state has for some time been thought to result from persistent alterations in neurotransmitter-mediated synaptic transmission. While the identity of those transmitters has changed over the years, the literature has lacked mechanistic connections between the neurophysiological mechanisms they regulate, and how these mechanisms alter neuronal function, and, hence, affective homeostasis. This review will examine recent work that suggests that both long-term activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength ("plasticity"), and shifting set points for the ease of induction of future long-term changes ("metaplasticity"), may be critical to establishing and reversing a depressive behavioral state. Activitydependent long-term synaptic plasticity involves both strengthening and weakening of synaptic connections associated with a dizzying array of neurochemical alterations that include synaptic insertion and removal of a number of subtypes of AMPA, NMDA and metabotropic glutamate receptors, changes in presynaptic glutamate release, and structural changes in dendritic spines. Cellular mechanisms of metaplasticity are far less well understood. Here, we will review the growing evidence that long-term synaptic changes in glutamatergic transmission, in brain regions that regulate mood, are key determinants of affective homeostasis and therapeutic targets with immense potential for drug development.

  14. A Quantal Analysis of the Synaptic Depression Underlying Habituation of the Gill-Withdrawal Reflex in Aplysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellucci, Vincent F.; Kandel, Eric R.

    1974-01-01

    Habituation, one of the simplest behavioral paradigms for studying memory, has recently been examined on the cellular level in the gill-withdrawal reflex in the mollusc Aplysia and in the escape response in cray-fish. In both cases short-term habituation involved a decrease in excitatory synaptic transmission at the synapses between the sensory neurons and their central target cells. To analyze the mechanisms of the synaptic depression in Aplysia, we applied a quantal analysis to synaptic transmission between the sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex. Our results indicate that short-term habituation results from a presynaptic mechanism: a decrease in the number of transmitter quanta released per impulse. The sensitivity of the postsynaptic receptor remains unaltered. PMID:4373738

  15. Presynaptically localized cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase 1 is a key determinant of spinal synaptic potentiation and pain hypersensitivity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Luo, Ceng; Gangadharan, Vijayan; Bali, Kiran Kumar; Xie, Rou-Gang; Agarwal, Nitin; Kurejova, Martina; Tappe-Theodor, Anke; Tegeder, Irmgard; Feil, Susanne; Lewin, Gary; Polgar, Erika; Todd, Andrew J; Schlossmann, Jens; Hofmann, Franz; Liu, Da-Lu; Hu, San-Jue; Feil, Robert; Kuner, Thomas; Kuner, Rohini

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) at spinal neurons directly communicating pain-specific inputs from the periphery to the brain has been proposed to serve as a trigger for pain hypersensitivity in pathological states...

  16. Emerging Synaptic Molecules as Candidates in the Etiology of Neurological Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Viviana I.; Vallejo, Daniela

    2017-01-01

    Synapses are complex structures that allow communication between neurons in the central nervous system. Studies conducted in vertebrate and invertebrate models have contributed to the knowledge of the function of synaptic proteins. The functional synapse requires numerous protein complexes with specialized functions that are regulated in space and time to allow synaptic plasticity. However, their interplay during neuronal development, learning, and memory is poorly understood. Accumulating evidence links synapse proteins to neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we describe the way in which several proteins that participate in cell adhesion, scaffolding, exocytosis, and neurotransmitter reception from presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments, mainly from excitatory synapses, have been associated with several synaptopathies, and we relate their functions to the disease phenotype. PMID:28331639

  17. Emerging Synaptic Molecules as Candidates in the Etiology of Neurological Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana I. Torres

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Synapses are complex structures that allow communication between neurons in the central nervous system. Studies conducted in vertebrate and invertebrate models have contributed to the knowledge of the function of synaptic proteins. The functional synapse requires numerous protein complexes with specialized functions that are regulated in space and time to allow synaptic plasticity. However, their interplay during neuronal development, learning, and memory is poorly understood. Accumulating evidence links synapse proteins to neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we describe the way in which several proteins that participate in cell adhesion, scaffolding, exocytosis, and neurotransmitter reception from presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments, mainly from excitatory synapses, have been associated with several synaptopathies, and we relate their functions to the disease phenotype.

  18. Gastrin-releasing peptide facilitates glutamatergic transmission in the hippocampus and effectively prevents vascular dementia induced cognitive and synaptic plasticity deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jiajia; Yao, Yang; Wang, Ling; Yang, Chunxiao; Wang, Faqi; Guo, Jie; Wang, Zhiyun; Yang, Zhuo; Ming, Dong

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) has been proved to be an important neuromodulator in the brain and involved in a variety of neurological diseases. Whether GRP could attenuate cognition impairment induced by vascular dementia (VD) in rats, and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity and GRP's action on synaptic efficiency are still poorly understood. In this study, we first investigated the effects of GRP on glutamatergic transmission with patch-clamp recording. We found that acute application of GRP enhanced the excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 neurons via GRPR in a presynaptic mechanism. Secondly, we examined whether exogenous GRP or its analogue neuromedin B (NMB) could prevent VD-induced cognitive deficits and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity. By using Morris water maze, long-term potentiation (LTP) recording, western blot assay and immunofluorescent staining, we verified for the first time that GRP or NMB substantially improved the spatial learning and memory abilities in VD rats, restored the impaired synaptic plasticity and was able to elevate the expression of synaptic proteins, synaptophysin (SYP) and CaMKII, which play pivotal roles in synaptic plasticity. These results suggest that the facilitatory effects of GRP on glutamate release may contribute to its long-term action on synaptic efficacy which is essential in cognitive function. Our findings present a new entry point for a better understanding of physiological function of GRP and raise the possibility that GRPR agonists might ameliorate cognitive deficits associated with neurological diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawasaki, H; Avoli, M

    1996-11-15

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

  20. Synaptic inhibition and excitation estimated via the time constant of membrane potential fluctuations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.; Ditlevsen, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    and excitation and their confidence limits from single sweep trials. The estimates are based on the mean membrane potential, (V) , and the membrane time constant,τ. The time constant provides the total conductance (G = capacitance/τ) and is extracted from the autocorrelation of V. The synaptic conductances can....... The method gives best results if the synaptic input is large compared to other conductances, the intrinsic conductances have little or no time dependence or are comparably small, the ligand gated kinetics is faster than the membrane time constant, and the majority of synaptic contacts are electrotonically...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chugh, Deepti; Ali, Idrish; Bakochi, Anahita; Bahonjic, Elma; Etholm, Lars; Ekdahl, Christine T.

    2015-01-01

    Synapsins are pre-synaptic vesicle-associated proteins linked to the pathogenesis of epilepsy through genetic association studies in humans. Deletion of synapsins causes an excitatory/inhibitory imbalance, exemplified by the epileptic phenotype of synapsin knockout mice. These mice develop handling-induced tonic-clonic seizures starting at the age of about 3 months. Hence, they provide an opportunity to study epileptogenic alterations in a temporally controlled manner. Here, we evaluated brain inflammation, synaptic protein expression, and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the epileptogenic (1 and 2 months of age) and tonic-clonic (3.5-4 months) phase of synapsin 2 knockout mice using immunohistochemical and biochemical assays. In the epileptogenic phase, region-specific microglial activation was evident, accompanied by an increase in the chemokine receptor CX3CR1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, and a decrease in chemokine keratinocyte chemoattractant/ growth-related oncogene. Both post-synaptic density-95 and gephyrin, scaffolding proteins at excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, showed a significant up-regulation primarily in the cortex. Furthermore, we observed an increase in the inhibitory adhesion molecules neuroligin-2 and neurofascin and potassium chloride co-transporter KCC2. Decreased expression of γ-aminobutyric acid receptor-δ subunit and cholecystokinin was also evident. Surprisingly, hippocampal neurogenesis was reduced in the epileptogenic phase. Taken together, we report molecular alterations in brain inflammation and excitatory/inhibitory balance that could serve as potential targets for therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers. In addition, the regional differences in brain inflammation and synaptic protein expression indicate an epileptogenic zone from where the generalized seizures in synapsin 2 knockout mice may be initiated or spread. PMID:26177381

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deepti Chugh

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

  3. 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

    , the afferent nerve originating from the ampullae of Lorenzini targets specific neurons located at the Dorsal Octavolateral Nucleus (DON), the first stage of integration in the electroreception system. Using intracellular recordings in an isolated brainstem preparation from the shark we analyze the properties...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  5. Synaptic determinants of Rett syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena M B Boggio

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available There is mounting evidence showing that the structural and molecular organization of synaptic connections are affected both in human patients and in animal models of neurological and psychiatric diseases. As a consequence of these experimental observations, it has been introduced the concept of synapsopathies, a notion describing brain disorders of synaptic function and plasticity. A close correlation between neurological diseases and synaptic abnormalities is especially relevant for those syndromes including also mental retardation in their symptomatology, such as Rett Syndrome (RS. RS (MIM312750 is an X-linked dominant neurological disorder that is caused, in the majority of cases by mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2. This review will focus on the current knowledge of the synaptic alterations produced by mutations of the gene MeCP2 in mouse models of RS and will highlight prospects experimental therapies currently in use. Different experimental approaches have revealed that RS could be the consequence of an impairment in the homeostasis of synaptic transmission in specific brain regions. Indeed, several forms of experience-induced neuronal plasticity are impaired in the absence of MeCP2. Based on the results presented in this review, it is reasonable to propose that understanding how the brain is affected by diseases such as RS is at reach. This effort will bring us closer to identify the neurobiological bases of human cognition.

  6. INVOLVEMENT OF SYNAPTIC GENES IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS: THE CASE OF SYNAPSINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia eGiovedi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs are heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social interaction and social communication, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. Many synaptic protein genes are linked to the pathogenesis of ASDs, making them prototypical synaptopathies. An array of mutations in the synapsin (Syn genes in humans have been recently associated with ASD and epilepsy, diseases that display a frequent comorbidity. Synapsins are presynaptic proteins regulating synaptic vesicle traffic, neurotransmitter release and short-term synaptic plasticity. In doing so, Syn isoforms control the tone of activity of neural circuits and the balance between excitation and inhibition. As ASD pathogenesis is believed to result from dysfunctions in the balance between excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in neocortical areas, Syns are novel ASD candidate genes. Accordingly, deletion of single Syn genes in mice, in addition to epilepsy, causes core symptoms of ASD by affecting social behavior, social communication and repetitive behaviors. Thus, Syn knockout mice represent a good experimental model to define synaptic alterations involved in the pathogenesis of ASD and epilepsy.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina eSchulz

    2010-12-01

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

  8. GRASP1 Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning through Endosomal Recycling of AMPA Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Shu-Ling; Diering, Graham Hugh; Ye, Bing; Takamiya, Kogo; Chen, Chih-Ming; Jiang, Yuwu; Niranjan, Tejasvi; Schwartz, Charles E; Wang, Tao; Huganir, Richard L

    2017-03-22

    Learning depends on experience-dependent modification of synaptic efficacy and neuronal connectivity in the brain. We provide direct evidence for physiological roles of the recycling endosome protein GRASP1 in glutamatergic synapse function and animal behavior. Mice lacking GRASP1 showed abnormal excitatory synapse number, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory due to a failure in learning-induced synaptic AMPAR incorporation. We identified two GRASP1 point mutations from intellectual disability (ID) patients that showed convergent disruptive effects on AMPAR recycling and glutamate uncaging-induced structural and functional plasticity. Wild-type GRASP1, but not ID mutants, rescued spine loss in hippocampal CA1 neurons in Grasp1 knockout mice. Together, these results demonstrate a requirement for normal recycling endosome function in AMPAR-dependent synaptic function and neuronal connectivity in vivo, and suggest a potential role for GRASP1 in the pathophysiology of human cognitive disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Prior regular exercise prevents synaptic plasticity impairment in sleep deprived female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saadati, Hakimeh; Sheibani, Vahid; Esmaeili-Mahani, Saeed; Hajali, Vahid; Mazhari, Shahrzad

    2014-09-01

    Previous studies have indicated that physical exercise plays a preventive role in synaptic plasticity deficits in the hippocampus of sleep-deprived male rats. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of treadmill running on early long term potentiation (E-LTP) at the Cornu Ammonis (CA1) area of the hippocampus in sleep-deprived female rats. Intact and ovariectomiezed (OVX) female Wistar rats were used in the present study. The exercise protocol was four weeks treadmill running and the multiple platform method was applied to induce 72 h sleep deprivation (SD). We examine the effect of exercise and/or SD on synaptic plasticity using in vivo extracellular recording in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. The field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP) slope was measured before and 2h after high frequency stimulation (HFS) in the experimental groups. Field potential recording indicated that the induction and maintenance phase of E-LTP impaired in the sleep deprived animals compared to the other groups. After 72 h SD, E-LTP impairments were prevented by 4 weeks of regular treadmill exercise. In conclusion, the synaptic plasticity deficit in sleep-deprived female rats was improved by regular physical exercise. Further studies are suggested to evaluate the possible underlying mechanisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Emerging Link between Alzheimer’s Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Soo Jang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and neurodegeneration of brain regions that are crucial for learning and memory. Although intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques, composed of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ peptides, have been the hallmarks of postmortem AD brains, memory impairment in early AD correlates better with pathological accumulation of soluble Aβ oligomers and persistent weakening of excitatory synaptic strength, which is demonstrated by inhibition of long-term potentiation, enhancement of long-term depression, and loss of synapses. However, current, approved interventions aiming to reduce Aβ levels have failed to retard disease progression; this has led to a pressing need to identify and target alternative pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Recently, it has been suggested that the disruption of Hebbian synaptic plasticity in AD is due to aberrant metaplasticity, which is a form of homeostatic plasticity that tunes the magnitude and direction of future synaptic plasticity based on previous neuronal or synaptic activity. This review examines emerging evidence for aberrant metaplasticity in AD. Putative mechanisms underlying aberrant metaplasticity in AD will also be discussed. We hope this review inspires future studies to test the extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the etiology of AD and offer therapeutic targets.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyotirmoy Banerjee

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry V. Amakhin

    2016-10-01

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

  13. Crucial Roles for SIRT2 and AMPA Receptor Acetylation in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guan; Li, Shaomin; Gilbert, James; Gritton, Howard J; Wang, Zemin; Li, Zhangyuan; Han, Xue; Selkoe, Dennis J; Man, Heng-Ye

    2017-08-08

    AMPA receptors (AMPARs) mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission and are crucial for synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. However, the molecular control of AMPAR stability and its neurophysiological significance remain unclear. Here, we report that AMPARs are subject to lysine acetylation at their C termini. Acetylation reduces AMPAR internalization and degradation, leading to increased cell-surface localization and prolonged receptor half-life. Through competition for the same lysine residues, acetylation intensity is inversely related to the levels of AMPAR ubiquitination. We find that sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) acts as an AMPAR deacetylase regulating AMPAR trafficking and proteostasis. SIRT2 knockout mice (Sirt2 -/- ) show marked upregulation in AMPAR acetylation and protein accumulation. Both Sirt2 -/- mice and mice expressing acetylation mimetic GluA1 show aberrant synaptic plasticity, accompanied by impaired learning and memory. These findings establish SIRT2-regulated lysine acetylation as a form of AMPAR post-translational modification that regulates its turnover, as well as synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Complement emerges as a masterful regulator of CNS homeostasis, neural synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastellos, Dimitrios C

    2014-11-01

    Growing evidence points to a previously elusive role of complement-modulated pathways in CNS development, neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Distinct complement effectors appear to play a multifaceted role in brain homeostasis by regulating synaptic pruning in the retinogeniculate system and sculpting functional neural circuits both in the developing and adult mammalian brain. A recent study by Perez-Alcazar et al. (2014) provides novel insights into this intricate interplay between complement and the dynamically regulated brain synaptic circuitry, by reporting that mice deficient in C3 exhibit enhanced hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and cognitive performance. This behavioral pattern is associated with an impact of C3 on the functional capacity of glutamatergic synapses, supporting a crucial role for complement in excitatory synapse elimination in the hippocampus. These findings add a fresh twist to this rapidly evolving research field, suggesting that discrete complement components may differentially modulate synaptic connectivity by wiring up with diverse neural effectors in different regions of the brain. The emerging role of complement in synaptogenesis and neural network plasticity opens new conceptual avenues for considering complement interception as a potential therapeutic modality for ameliorating progressive cognitive impairment in age-related, debilitating brain diseases with a prominent inflammatory signature. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Acute and Chronic Effects of Ethanol on Learning-Related Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorumski, Charles F.; Mennerick, Steven; Izumi, Yukitoshi

    2014-01-01

    Alcoholism is associated with acute and long-term cognitive dysfunction including memory impairment, resulting in substantial disability and cost to society. Thus, understanding how ethanol impairs cognition is essential for developing treatment strategies to dampen its adverse impact. Memory processing is thought to involve persistent, use-dependent changes in synaptic transmission, and ethanol alters the activity of multiple signaling molecules involved in synaptic processing, including modulation of the glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transmitter systems that mediate most fast excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the brain. Effects on glutamate and GABA receptors contribute to ethanol-induced changes in long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), forms of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie memory acquisition. In this paper, we review the effects of ethanol on learning-related forms of synaptic plasticity with emphasis on changes observed in the hippocampus, a brain region that is critical for encoding contextual and episodic memories. We also include studies in other brain regions as they pertain to altered cognitive and mental function. Comparison of effects in the hippocampus to other brain regions is instructive for understanding the complexities of ethanol’s acute and long-term pharmacological consequences. PMID:24447472

  16. 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.

  17. Experimental diabetes in rats causes hippocampal dendritic and synaptic reorganization and increased glucocorticoid reactivity to stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    María Magariños, Ana; McEwen, Bruce S.

    2000-09-01

    We report that 9 d of uncontrolled experimental diabetes induced by streptozotocin (STZ) in rats is an endogenous chronic stressor that produces retraction and simplification of apical dendrites of hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons, an effect also observed in nondiabetic rats after 21 d of repeated restraint stress or chronic corticosterone (Cort) treatment. Diabetes also induces morphological changes in the presynaptic mossy fiber terminals (MFT) that form excitatory synaptic contacts with the proximal CA3 apical dendrites. One effect, synaptic vesicle depletion, occurs in diabetes as well as after repeated stress and Cort treatment. However, diabetes produced other MFT structural changes that differ qualitatively and quantitatively from other treatments. Furthermore, whereas 7 d of repeated stress was insufficient to produce dendritic or synaptic remodeling in nondiabetic rats, it potentiated both dendritic atrophy and MFT synaptic vesicle depletion in STZ rats. These changes occurred in concert with adrenal hypertrophy and elevated basal Cort release as well as hypersensitivity and defective shutoff of Cort secretion after stress. Thus, as an endogenous stressor, STZ diabetes not only accelerates the effects of exogenous stress to alter hippocampal morphology; it also produces structural changes that overlap only partially with those produced by stress and Cort in the nondiabetic state.

  18. Synaptic plasticity through activation of GluA3-containing AMPA-receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Castellanos, Nicolas; Reinders, Niels R; van Huijstee, Aile N; Xiong, Hui; Lodder, Tessa R

    2017-01-01

    Excitatory synaptic transmission is mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs). In CA1 pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus two types of AMPARs predominate: those that contain subunits GluA1 and GluA2 (GluA1/2), and those that contain GluA2 and GluA3 (GluA2/3). Whereas subunits GluA1 and GluA2 have been extensively studied, the contribution of GluA3 to synapse physiology has remained unclear. Here we show in mice that GluA2/3s are in a low-conductance state under basal conditions, and although present at synapses they contribute little to synaptic currents. When intracellular cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels rise, GluA2/3 channels shift to a high-conductance state, leading to synaptic potentiation. This cAMP-driven synaptic potentiation requires the activation of both protein kinase A (PKA) and the GTPase Ras, and is induced upon the activation of β-adrenergic receptors. Together, these experiments reveal a novel type of plasticity at CA1 hippocampal synapses that is expressed by the activation of GluA3-containing AMPARs. PMID:28762944

  19. AMPA receptor trafficking and the mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity and cognitive aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henley, Jeremy M.; Wilkinson, Kevin A.

    2013-01-01

    Even in healthy individuals there is an inexorable agerelated decline in cognitive function. This is due, in large part, to reduced synaptic plasticity caused by changes in the molecular composition of the postsynaptic membrane. AMPA receptors (AMPARs) are glutamate-gated cation channels that mediate the overwhelming majority of fast excitatory transmission in the brain. Changes in AMPAR number and/or function are a core feature of synaptic plasticity and age-related cognitive decline, AMPARs are highly dynamic proteins that are subject to highly controlled trafficking, recycling, and/or degradation and replacement. This active regulation of AMPAR synthesis, targeting, synaptic dwell time, and degradation is fundamentally important for memory formation and storage. Further, aberrant AMPAR trafficking and consequent detrimental changes in synapses are strongly implicated in many brain diseases, which represent a vast social and economic burden. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the molecular and cellular AMPA receptor trafficking events that control synaptic responsiveness and plasticity, and highlight what is known currently known about how these processes change with age and disease. PMID:23576886

  20. Acute and chronic effects of ethanol on learning-related synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorumski, Charles F; Mennerick, Steven; Izumi, Yukitoshi

    2014-02-01

    Alcoholism is associated with acute and long-term cognitive dysfunction including memory impairment, resulting in substantial disability and cost to society. Thus, understanding how ethanol impairs cognition is essential for developing treatment strategies to dampen its adverse impact. Memory processing is thought to involve persistent, use-dependent changes in synaptic transmission, and ethanol alters the activity of multiple signaling molecules involved in synaptic processing, including modulation of the glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transmitter systems that mediate most fast excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the brain. Effects on glutamate and GABA receptors contribute to ethanol-induced changes in long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), forms of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie memory acquisition. In this paper, we review the effects of ethanol on learning-related forms of synaptic plasticity with emphasis on changes observed in the hippocampus, a brain region that is critical for encoding contextual and episodic memories. We also include studies in other brain regions as they pertain to altered cognitive and mental function. Comparison of effects in the hippocampus to other brain regions is instructive for understanding the complexities of ethanol's acute and long-term pharmacological consequences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally A Marik

    2010-06-01

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

  2. The Formation of Multi-synaptic Connections by the Interaction of Synaptic and Structural Plasticity and Their Functional Consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauth, Michael; Wörgötter, Florentin; Tetzlaff, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Cortical connectivity emerges from the permanent interaction between neuronal activity and synaptic as well as structural plasticity. An important experimentally observed feature of this connectivity is the distribution of the number of synapses from one neuron to another, which has been measured in several cortical layers. All of these distributions are bimodal with one peak at zero and a second one at a small number (3–8) of synapses. In this study, using a probabilistic model of structural plasticity, which depends on the synaptic weights, we explore how these distributions can emerge and which functional consequences they have. We find that bimodal distributions arise generically from the interaction of structural plasticity with synaptic plasticity rules that fulfill the following biological realistic constraints: First, the synaptic weights have to grow with the postsynaptic activity. Second, this growth curve and/or the input-output relation of the postsynaptic neuron have to change sub-linearly (negative curvature). As most neurons show such input-output-relations, these constraints can be fulfilled by many biological reasonable systems. Given such a system, we show that the different activities, which can explain the layer-specific distributions, correspond to experimentally observed activities. Considering these activities as working point of the system and varying the pre- or postsynaptic stimulation reveals a hysteresis in the number of synapses. As a consequence of this, the connectivity between two neurons can be controlled by activity but is also safeguarded against overly fast changes. These results indicate that the complex dynamics between activity and plasticity will, already between a pair of neurons, induce a variety of possible stable synaptic distributions, which could support memory mechanisms. PMID:25590330

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brenda L Bloodgood

    2009-09-01

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

  4. Pharmacology of morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide at opioid, excitatory amino acid, GABA and glycine binding sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartlett, S.E.; Smith, M.T. (Department of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland (Australia)); Dood, P.R. (Clinical Research Centre, Royal Brisbane Hospital Foundation, Brisbane (Australia))

    1994-07-01

    Morphine in high doses and its major metabolite, morphine-3-glucuronide, cause CNS excitation following intrathecal and intracerebroventricular administration by an unknown mechanism. This study investigated whether morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide interact at major excitatory (glutamate), major inhibitory (GABA or glycine), or opioid binding sites. Homogenate binding assays were performed using specific radioligands. At opioid receptors, morphine-3-glucuronide and morphine caused an equipotent sodium shift, consistent with morphine-3-glucuronide behaving as an agonist. This suggests that morphine-3-glucuronide-mediated excitation is not caused by an interaction at opioid receptors. Morphine-3-glucuronide and morphine caused a weak inhibition of the binding of [sup 3]H-MK801 (non-competitive antagonist) and [sup 125]I-ifenprodil (polyamine site antagonist), but at unphysiologically high concentrations. This suggests that CNS excitation would not result from an interaction of morphine-3-glucuronide and high-dose morphine with these sites on the NMDA receptor. Morphine-3-glucuronide and morphine inhibited the binding of [sup 3]H-muscimol (GABA receptor agonist), [sup 3]H-diazepam and [sup 3]H-flunitraxepam (benzodiazepine agonists) binding very weakly, suggesting the excitatory effects of morphine-3-glucuronide and high-dose morphine are not elicited through GABA[sub A] receptors. Morphine-3-glucuronide and high-dose morphine did not prevent re-uptake of glutamate into presynaptic nerve terminals. In addition, morphine-3-glucuronide and morphine did not inhibit the binding of [sup 3]H-strychnine (glycine receptor antagonist) to synaptic membranes prepared from bovine spinal cord. It is concluded that excitation caused by high-dose morphine and morphine-3-glucuronide is not mediated by an interaction with postsynaptic amino acid receptors. (au) (30 refs.).

  5. Activity-dependent endogenous taurine release facilitates excitatory neurotransmission in the neocortical marginal zone of neonatal rats

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    Taizhe eQian

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In the developing cerebral cortex, the marginal zone (MZ, consisting of early-generated neurons such as Cajal-Retzius cells, plays an important role in cell migration and lamination. There is accumulating evidence of widespread excitatory neurotransmission mediated by γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA in the MZ. Cajal-Retzius cells express not only GABAA receptors but also α2/β subunits of glycine receptors, and exhibit glycine receptor-mediated depolarization due to high [Cl−]i. However, the physiological roles of glycine receptors and their endogenous agonists during neurotransmission in the MZ are yet to be elucidated. To address this question, we performed optical imaging from the MZ using the voltage-sensitive dye JPW1114 on tangential neocortical slices of neonatal rats. A single electrical stimulus evoked an action-potential-dependent optical signal that spread radially over the MZ. The amplitude of the signal was not affected by glutamate receptor blockers, but was suppressed by either GABAA or glycine receptor antagonists. Combined application of both antagonists nearly abolished the signal. Inhibition of Na+, K+-2Cl− cotransporter by 20 µM bumetanide reduced the signal, indicating that this transporter contributes to excitation. Analysis of the interstitial fluid obtained by microdialysis from tangential neocortical slices with high-performance liquid chromatography revealed that GABA and taurine, but not glycine or glutamate, were released in the MZ in response to the electrical stimulation. The ambient release of taurine was reduced by the addition of a voltage-sensitive Na+ channel blocker. Immunohistochemistry and immunoelectron microscopy indicated that taurine was stored both in Cajal-Retzius and non-Cajal-Retzius cells in the MZ, but was not localized in presynaptic structures. Our results suggest that activity-dependent non-synaptic release of endogenous taurine facilitates excitatory neurotransmission through activation of

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sabatini, Bernardo L

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Spike timing-dependent plasticity as the origin of the formation of clustered synaptic efficacy engrams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolangelo L Iannella

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Synapse location, dendritic active properties and synaptic plasticity are all known to play some role in shaping the different input streams impinging onto a neuron. It remains unclear however, how the magnitude and spatial distribution of synaptic efficacies emerge from this interplay. Here, we investigate this interplay using a biophysically detailed neuron model of a reconstructed layer 2/3 pyramidal cell and spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP. Specifically, we focus on the issue of how the efficacy of synapses contributed by different input streams are spatially represented in dendrites after STDP learning. We construct a simple feed forward network where a detailed model neuron receives synaptic inputs independently from multiple yet equally sized groups of afferent fibres with correlated activity, mimicking the spike activity from different neuronal populations encoding, for example, different sensory modalities. Interestingly, ensuing STDP learning, we observe that for all afferent groups, STDP leads to synaptic efficacies arranged into spatially segregated clusters effectively partitioning the dendritic tree. These segregated clusters possess a characteristic global organisation in space, where they form a tessellation in which each group dominates mutually exclusive regions of the dendrite.Put simply, the dendritic imprint from different input streams left after STDP learning effectively forms what we term a dendritic efficacy mosaic. Furthermore, we show how variations of the inputs and STDP rule affect such an organization. Our model suggests that STDP may be an important mechanism for creating a clustered plasticity engram, which shapes how different input streams are spatially represented in dendrite.

  8. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'Espérance, Pierre-Yves; Labib, Richard

    2013-09-01

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

  10. How do astrocytes shape synaptic transmission? Insights from electrophysiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn eDallérac

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A major breakthrough in neuroscience has been the realization in the last decades that the dogmatic view of astroglial cells as being merely fostering and buffering elements of the nervous system is simplistic. A wealth of investigations now shows that astrocytes actually participate in the control of synaptic transmission in an active manner. This was first hinted by the intimate contacts glial processes make with neurons, particularly at the synaptic level, and evidenced using electrophysiological and calcium imaging techniques. Calcium imaging has provided critical evidence demonstrating that astrocytic regulation of synaptic efficacy is not a passive phenomenon. However, given that cellular activation is not only represented by calcium signaling, it is also crucial to assess concomitant mechanisms. We and others have used electrophysiological techniques to simultaneously record neuronal and astrocytic activity, thus enabling the study of multiple ionic currents and in depth investigation of neuro-glial dialogues. In the current review, we focus on the input such approach has provided in the understanding of astrocyte-neuron interactions underlying control of synaptic efficacy.

  11. Directional hearing by linear summation of binaural inputs at the medial superior olive

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. van der Heijden (Marcel); J. Lorteije (Jeannette); A. Plauška (Andrius); M.T. Roberts (Michael); N.L. Golding (Nace); J.G.G. Borst (Gerard)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractNeurons in the medial superior olive (MSO) enable sound localization by their remarkable sensitivity to submillisecond interaural time differences (ITDs). Each MSO neuron has its own "best ITD" to which it responds optimally. A difference in physical path length of the excitatory inputs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-15

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

  13. Inhibitory Gating of Input Comparison in the CA1 Microcircuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milstein, Aaron D; Bloss, Erik B; Apostolides, Pierre F; Vaidya, Sachin P; Dilly, Geoffrey A; Zemelman, Boris V; Magee, Jeffrey C

    2015-09-23

    Spatial and temporal features of synaptic inputs engage integration mechanisms on multiple scales, including presynaptic release sites, postsynaptic dendrites, and networks of inhibitory interneurons. Here we investigate how these mechanisms cooperate to filter synaptic input in hippocampal area CA1. Dendritic recordings from CA1 pyramidal neurons reveal that proximal inputs from CA3 as well as distal inputs from entorhinal cortex layer III (ECIII) sum sublinearly or linearly at low firing rates due to feedforward inhibition, but sum supralinearly at high firing rates due to synaptic facilitation, producing a high-pass filter. However, during ECIII and CA3 input comparison, supralinear dendritic integration is dynamically balanced by feedforward and feedback inhibition, resulting in suppression of dendritic complex spiking. We find that a particular subpopulation of CA1 interneurons expressing neuropeptide Y (NPY) contributes prominently to this dynamic filter by integrating both ECIII and CA3 input pathways and potently inhibiting CA1 pyramidal neuron dendrites. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Jenia eBugaysen

    2011-03-01

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

  15. Ca2+ Dependence of Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitz, Jeremy; Kavalali, Ege T

    2016-10-01

    Ca(2+)-dependent synaptic vesicle recycling is essential for structural homeostasis of synapses and maintenance of neurotransmission. Although, the executive role of intrasynaptic Ca(2+) transients in synaptic vesicle exocytosis is well established, identifying the exact role of Ca(2+) in endocytosis has been difficult. In some studies, Ca(2+) has been suggested as an essential trigger required to initiate synaptic vesicle retrieval, whereas others manipulating synaptic Ca(2+) concentrations reported a modulatory role for Ca(2+) leading to inhibition or acceleration of endocytosis. Molecular studies of synaptic vesicle endocytosis, on the other hand, have consistently focused on the roles of Ca(2+)-calmodulin dependent phosphatase calcineurin and synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin as potential Ca(2+) sensors for endocytosis. Most studies probing the role of Ca(2+) in endocytosis have relied on measurements of synaptic vesicle retrieval after strong stimulation. Strong stimulation paradigms elicit fusion and retrieval of multiple synaptic vesicles and therefore can be affected by several factors besides the kinetics and duration of Ca(2+) signals that include the number of exocytosed vesicles and accumulation of released neurotransmitters thus altering fusion and retrieval processes indirectly via retrograde signaling. Studies monitoring single synaptic vesicle endocytosis may help resolve this conundrum as in these settings the impact of Ca(2+) on synaptic fusion probability can be uncoupled from its putative role on synaptic vesicle retrieval. Future experiments using these single vesicle approaches will help dissect the specific role(s) of Ca(2+) and its sensors in synaptic vesicle endocytosis. © The Author(s) 2015.

  16. Synaptic AMPA receptor plasticity and behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessels, Helmut W.; Malinow, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The ability to change behavior likely depends on the selective strengthening and weakening of brain synapses. The cellular models of synaptic plasticity, long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) of synaptic strength, can be expressed by the synaptic insertion or removal of AMPA receptors

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pani, Roberto; Sagliaschi, Samanta

    2009-12-01

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

  18. Sensitivity to Interaural Time Differences Conveyed in the Stimulus Envelope: Estimating Inputs of Binaural Neurons Through the Temporal Analysis of Spike Trains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Mathias; Wang, Le; Greenberg, David; McAlpine, David

    2016-08-01

    Sound-source localization in the horizontal plane relies on detecting small differences in the timing and level of the sound at the two ears, including differences in the timing of the modulated envelopes of high-frequency sounds (envelope interaural time differences (ITDs)). We investigated responses of single neurons in the inferior colliculus (IC) to a wide range of envelope ITDs and stimulus envelope shapes. By a novel means of visualizing neural activity relative to different portions of the periodic stimulus envelope at each ear, we demonstrate the role of neuron-specific excitatory and inhibitory inputs in creating ITD sensitivity (or the lack of it) depending on the specific shape of the stimulus envelope. The underlying binaural brain circuitry and synaptic parameters were modeled individually for each neuron to account for neuron-specific activity patterns. The model explains the effects of envelope shapes on sensitivity to envelope ITDs observed in both normal-hearing listeners and in neural data, and has consequences for understanding how ITD information in stimulus envelopes might be maximized in users of bilateral cochlear implants-for whom ITDs conveyed in the stimulus envelope are the only ITD cues available.

  19. Impact of Vortioxetine on Synaptic Integration in Prefrontal-Subcortical Circuits: Comparisons with Escitalopram

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakroborty, Shreaya; Geisbush, Thomas R.; Dale, Elena; Pehrson, Alan L.; Sánchez, Connie; West, Anthony R.

    2017-01-01

    complex modulation of 5-HT receptors by vortioxetine may offset SSRI-like effects in this region. Lastly, neurons in the msNAc were more responsive to stimulation of the HF following both vortioxetine and escitalopram administration, indicating that elevation of 5-HT tone and 5-HT receptor modulation may facilitate excitatory hippocampal synaptic drive in this region. The above findings point to complex 5-HT receptor-dependent effects of vortioxetine which may contribute to its unique impact on the function of prefrontal-subcortical circuits and the development of novel strategies for treating mood disorders. PMID:29123483

  20. Impact of Vortioxetine on Synaptic Integration in Prefrontal-Subcortical Circuits: Comparisons with Escitalopram

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shreaya Chakroborty

    2017-10-01

    , indicating that complex modulation of 5-HT receptors by vortioxetine may offset SSRI-like effects in this region. Lastly, neurons in the msNAc were more responsive to stimulation of the HF following both vortioxetine and escitalopram administration, indicating that elevation of 5-HT tone and 5-HT receptor modulation may facilitate excitatory hippocampal synaptic drive in this region. The above findings point to complex 5-HT receptor-dependent effects of vortioxetine which may contribute to its unique impact on the function of prefrontal-subcortical circuits and the development of novel strategies for treating mood disorders.

  1. Impact of Vortioxetine on Synaptic Integration in Prefrontal-Subcortical Circuits: Comparisons with Escitalopram.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakroborty, Shreaya; Geisbush, Thomas R; Dale, Elena; Pehrson, Alan L; Sánchez, Connie; West, Anthony R

    2017-01-01

    complex modulation of 5-HT receptors by vortioxetine may offset SSRI-like effects in this region. Lastly, neurons in the msNAc were more responsive to stimulation of the HF following both vortioxetine and escitalopram administration, indicating that elevation of 5-HT tone and 5-HT receptor modulation may facilitate excitatory hippocampal synaptic drive in this region. The above findings point to complex 5-HT receptor-dependent effects of vortioxetine which may contribute to its unique impact on the function of prefrontal-subcortical circuits and the development of novel strategies for treating mood disorders.

  2. Mechanism of Transport Modulation by an Extracellular Loop in an Archaeal Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter (EAAT) Homolog*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Christopher; Mindell, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Secondary transporters in the excitatory amino acid transporter family terminate glutamatergic synaptic transmission by catalyzing Na+-dependent removal of glutamate from the synaptic cleft. Recent structural studies of the aspartate-specific archaeal homolog, GltPh, suggest that transport is achieved by a rigid body, piston-like movement of the transport domain, which houses the substrate-binding site, between the extracellular and cytoplasmic sides of the membrane. This transport domain is connected to an immobile scaffold by three loops, one of which, the 3–4 loop (3L4), undergoes substrate-sensitive conformational change. Proteolytic cleavage of the 3L4 was found to abolish transport activity indicating an essential function for this loop in the transport mechanism. Here, we demonstrate that despite the presence of fully cleaved 3L4, GltPh is still able to sample conformations relevant for transport. Optimized reconstitution conditions reveal that fully cleaved GltPh retains some transport activity. Analysis of the kinetics and temperature dependence of transport accompanied by direct measurements of substrate binding reveal that this decreased transport activity is not due to alteration of the substrate binding characteristics but is caused by the significantly reduced turnover rate. By measuring solute counterflow activity and cross-link formation rates, we demonstrate that cleaving 3L4 severely and specifically compromises one or more steps contributing to the movement of the substrate-loaded transport domain between the outward- and inward-facing conformational states, sparing the equivalent step(s) during the movement of the empty transport domain. These results reveal a hitherto unknown role for the 3L4 in modulating an essential step in the transport process. PMID:24155238

  3. Glutamatergic input is coded by spike frequency at the soma and proximal dendrite of AII amacrine cells in the mouse retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamalu, Fuminobu; Watanabe, Shu-Ichi

    2007-06-01

    In the mammalian retina, AII amacrine cells play a crucial role in scotopic vision. They transfer rod signals from rod bipolar cells to the cone circuit, and divide these signals into the ON and OFF pathways at the discrete synaptic layers. AII amacrine cells have been reported to generate tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive repetitive spikes of small amplitude. To investigate the properties of the spikes, we performed whole-cell patch-clamping of AII amacrine cells in mouse retinal slices. The spike frequency increased in proportion to the concentration of glutamate puffer-applied to the arboreal dendrite and to the intensity of the depolarizing current injection. The spike activity was suppressed by L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid, a glutamate analogue that hyperpolarizes rod bipolar cells, puffer-applied to the outer plexiform layer. Therefore, it is most likely that the spike frequency generated by AII amacrine cells is dependent on the excitatory glutamatergic input from rod bipolar cells. Gap junction blockers reduced the range of intensity of input with which spike frequency varies. Application of TTX to the soma and the proximal dendrite of AII amacrine cells blocked the voltage-gated Na(+) current significantly more than application to the arboreal dendrite, indicating that the Na(+) channels are mainly localized in these regions. Our results suggest that the intensity of the glutamatergic input from rod bipolar cells is coded by the spike frequency at the soma and the proximal dendrite of AII amacrine cells, raising the possibility that the spikes could contribute to the OFF pathway to enhance release of neurotransmitter.

  4. Stochastic Learning in Oxide Binary Synaptic Device for Neuromorphic Computing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimeng eYu

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Hardware implementation of neuromorphic computing is attractive as a computing paradigm beyond the conventional digital computing. In this work, we show that the SET (off-to-on transition of metal oxide resistance switching memory becomes probabilistic under a weak programming condition. The switching variability of the binary synaptic device implements a stochastic learning rule. Such stochastic SET transition was statistically measured and modeled for a simulation of a winner-take-all network for competitive learning. The simulation illustrates that with such stochastic learning, the orientation classification function of input patterns can be effectively realized. The system performance metrics were compared between the conventional approach using the analog synapse and the approach in this work that employs the binary synapse utilizing the stochastic learning. The feasibility of using binary synapse in the neurormorphic computing may relax the constraints to engineer continuous multilevel intermediate states and widens the material choice for the synaptic device design.

  5. Cerebellar nuclei neurons show only small excitatory responses to optogenetic olivary stimulation in transgenic mice: in vivo and in vitro studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huo eLu

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available To study the olivary input to the cerebellar nuclei (CN we used optogenetic stimulation in transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 in olivary neurons. We obtained in vivo extracellular Purkinje cell (PC and CN recordings in anesthetized mice while stimulating the contralateral inferior olive (IO with a blue laser (single pulse, 10 - 50 ms duration. Peri-stimulus histograms were constructed to show the spike rate changes after optical stimulation. Among 29 CN neurons recorded, 15 showed a decrease in spike rate of variable strength and duration, and only 1 showed a transient spiking response. These results suggest that direct olivary input to CN neurons is usually overridden by stronger Purkinje cell inhibition triggered by climbing fiber responses. To further investigate the direct input from the climbing fiber collaterals we also conducted whole cell recordings in brain slices, where we used local stimulation with blue light. Due to the expression of ChR2 in Purkinje cell axons as well as the IO in our transgenic line, strong inhibitory responses could be readily triggered with optical stimulation (13 of 15 neurons. After blocking this inhibition with GABAzine, only in 5 of 13 CN neurons weak excitatory responses were revealed. Therefore our in vitro results support the in vivo findings that the excitatory input to CN neurons from climbing fiber collaterals in adult mice is masked by the inhibition under normal conditions.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heika Hildebrandt

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

  7. Adiponectin modulates synaptic plasticity in hippocampal dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pousti, Farideh; Ahmadi, Ramesh; Mirahmadi, Fatemeh; Hosseinmardi, Narges; Rohampour, Kambiz

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested the involvement of some metabolic hormones in memory formation and synaptic plasticity. Insulin dysfunction is known as an essential process in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study we examined whether adiponectin (ADN), as an insulin-sensitizing adipokine, could affect hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Field potential recordings were performed on intracerebroventricular (icv) cannulated urethane anesthetized rats. After baseline recording from dentate gyrus (DG) and 10min prior to high/low frequency stimulation (HFS/LFS), 10μl icv ADN (600nm) were injected. The slope of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) and the amplitude of population spikes (PS) were recorded in response to perforanth path (PP) stimulation. Paired pulse stimuli and ADN injection without any stimulation protocols were also evaluated. Application of ADN before HFS increased PS amplitude recorded in DG significantly (P≤0.05) in comparison to HFS only group. ADN suppressed the potency of LFS to induce long-term depression (LTD), causing a significant difference between fEPSP slope (P≤0.05) and PS amplitude (P≤0.01) between ADN+LFS and ADN group. Paired pulse stimuli applied at 20ms intervals showed more paired pulse facilitation (PPF), when applied after ADN (P≤0.05). ADN induced a chemical long-term potentiation (LTP) in which fEPSP slope and PS amplitude increased significantly (P≤0.01 and P≤0.05, respectively). It is concluded that ADN is able to potentiate the HFS-induced LTP and suppress LFS-induced LTD. ADN caused a chemical LTP, when applied without any tetanic protocol. ADN may enhance the presynaptic release probability. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Synaptic organizations and dynamical properties of weakly connected neural oscillators. I. Analysis of a canonical model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppensteadt, F C; Izhikevich, E M

    1996-08-01

    We study weakly connected networks of neural oscillators near multiple Andronov-Hopf bifurcation points. We analyze relationships between synaptic organizations (anatomy) of the networks and their dynamical properties (function). Our principal assumptions are: (1) Each neural oscillator comprises two populations of neurons; excitatory and inhibitory ones; (2) activity of each population of neurons is described by a scalar (one-dimensional) variable; (3) each neural oscillator is near a nondegenerate supercritical Andronov-Hopf bifurcation point; (4) the synaptic connections between the neural oscillators are weak. All neural networks satisfying these hypotheses are governed by the same dynamical system, which we call the canonical model. Studying the canonical model shows that: (1) A neural oscillator can communicate only with those oscillators which have roughly the same natural frequency. That is, synaptic connections between a pair of oscillators having different natural frequencies are functionally insignificant. (2) Two neural oscillators having the same natural frequencies might not communicate if the connections between them are from among a class of pathological synaptic configurations. In both cases the anatomical presence of synaptic connections between neural oscillators does not necessarily guarantee that the connections are functionally significant. (3) There can be substantial phase differences (time delays) between the neural oscillators, which result from the synaptic organization of the network, not from the transmission delays. Using the canonical model we can illustrate self-ignition and autonomous quiescence (oscillator death) phenomena. That is, a network of passive elements can exhibit active properties and vice versa. We also study how Dale's principle affects dynamics of the networks, in particular, the phase differences that the network can reproduce. We present a complete classification of all possible synaptic organizations from this

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

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

  10. 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.

  11. Synaptic rewiring of stress-sensitive neurons by early-life experience: a mechanism for resilience?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh-Taylor, Akanksha; Korosi, Aniko; Molet, Jenny; Gunn, Benjamin G; Baram, Tallie Z

    2015-01-01

    Genes and environment interact to influence cognitive and emotional functions throughout life. Early-life experiences in particular contribute to vulnerability or resilience to a number of emotional and cognitive illnesses in humans. In rodents, early-life experiences directly lead to resilience or vulnerability to stress later in life, and influence the development of cognitive and emotional deficits. The mechanisms for the enduring effects of early-life experiences on cognitive and emotional outcomes are not completely understood. Here, we present emerging information supporting experience-dependent modulation of the number and efficacy of synaptic inputs onto stress-sensitive neurons. This synaptic 'rewiring', in turn, may influence the expression of crucial neuronal genes. The persistent changes in gene expression in resilient versus vulnerable rodent models are likely maintained via epigenetic mechanisms. Thus, early-life experience may generate resilience by altering synaptic input to neurons, which informs them to modulate their epigenetic machinery.

  12. Effects of active conductance distribution over dendrites on the synaptic integration in an identified nonspiking interneuron.

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    Akira Takashima

    Full Text Available The synaptic integration in individual central neuron is critically affected by how active conductances are distributed over dendrites. It has been well known that the dendrites of central neurons are richly endowed with voltage- and ligand-regulated ion conductances. Nonspiking interneurons (NSIs, almost exclusively characteristic to arthropod central nervous systems, do not generate action potentials and hence lack voltage-regulated sodium channels, yet having a variety of voltage-regulated potassium conductances on their dendritic membrane including the one similar to the delayed-rectifier type potassium conductance. It remains unknown, however, how the active conductances are distributed over dendrites and how the synaptic integration is affected by those conductances in NSIs and other invertebrate neurons where the cell body is not included in the signal pathway from input synapses to output sites. In the present study, we quantitatively investigated the functional significance of active conductance distribution pattern in the spatio-temporal spread of synaptic potentials over dendrites of an identified NSI in the crayfish central nervous system by computer simulation. We systematically changed the distribution pattern of active conductances in the neuron's multicompartment model and examined how the synaptic potential waveform was affected by each distribution pattern. It was revealed that specific patterns of nonuniform distribution of potassium conductances were consistent, while other patterns were not, with the waveform of compound synaptic potentials recorded physiologically in the major input-output pathway of the cell, suggesting that the possibility of nonuniform distribution of potassium conductances over the dendrite cannot be excluded as well as the possibility of uniform distribution. Local synaptic circuits involving input and output synapses on the same branch or on the same side were found to be potentially affected under

  13. Synaptic Plasticity and Spike Synchronisation in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  14. Distinct Functions of Endophilin Isoforms in Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

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    Jifeng Zhang

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Towards a quantitative model of the post-synaptic proteome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorokina, Oksana; Sorokin, Anatoly; Armstrong, J Douglas

    2011-10-01

    The postsynaptic compartment of the excitatory glutamatergic synapse contains hundreds of distinct polypeptides with a wide range of functions (signalling, trafficking, cell-adhesion, etc.). Structural dynamics in the post-synaptic density (PSD) are believed to underpin cognitive processes. Although functionally and morphologically diverse, PSD proteins are generally enriched with specific domains, which precisely define the mode of clustering essential for signal processing. We applied a stochastic calculus of domain binding provided by a rule-based modelling approach to formalise the highly combinatorial signalling pathway in the PSD and perform the numerical analysis of the relative distribution of protein complexes and their sizes. We specified the combinatorics of protein interactions in the PSD by rules, taking into account protein domain structure, specific domain affinity and relative protein availability. With this model we interrogated the critical conditions for the protein aggregation into large complexes and distribution of both size and composition. The presented approach extends existing qualitative protein-protein interaction maps by considering the quantitative information for stoichiometry and binding properties for the elements of the network. This results in a more realistic view of the postsynaptic proteome at the molecular level.

  16. Synaptic Plasticity and Spike Synchronisation in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad

    2011-12-19

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

  18. Calcium-induced calcium release supports recruitment of synaptic vesicles in auditory hair cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano-Muñoz, Manuel; Schnee, Michael E; Ricci, Anthony J

    2016-01-01

    Hair cells from auditory and vestibular systems transmit continuous sound and balance information to the central nervous system through the release of synaptic vesicles at ribbon synapses. The high activity experienced by hair cells requires a unique mechanism to sustain recruitment and replenishment of synaptic vesicles for continuous release. Using pre- and postsynaptic electrophysiological recordings, we explored the potential contribution of calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) in modulating the recruitment of vesicles to auditory hair cell ribbon synapses. Pharmacological manipulation of CICR with agents targeting endoplasmic reticulum calcium stores reduced both spontaneous postsynaptic multiunit activity and the frequency of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Pharmacological treatments had no effect on hair cell resting potential or activation curves for calcium and potassium channels. However, these drugs exerted a reduction in vesicle release measured by dual-sine capacitance methods. In addition, calcium substitution by barium reduced release efficacy by delaying release onset and diminishing vesicle recruitment. Together these results demonstrate a role for calcium stores in hair cell ribbon synaptic transmission and suggest a novel contribution of CICR in hair cell vesicle recruitment. We hypothesize that calcium entry via calcium channels is tightly regulated to control timing of vesicle fusion at the synapse, whereas CICR is used to maintain a tonic calcium signal to modulate vesicle trafficking. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

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    Yuncai eChen

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemtiri-Chlieh Fouad

    2011-12-01

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

  3. SRC Inhibition Reduces NR2B Surface Expression and Synaptic Plasticity in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinai, Laleh; Duffy, Steven; Roder, John C.

    2010-01-01

    The Src protein tyrosine kinase plays a central role in the regulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity by regulating NMDAR subunit 2B (NR2B) surface expression. In the amygdala, NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity resulting from convergent somatosensory and auditory inputs contributes to emotional memory; however, the role of Src…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Yeon eChoi

    2015-07-01

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

  5. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity in the Cortex Needs to Understand All the Players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, Claire N J; Chameau, Pascal; Fossier, Philippe M

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in cognitive tasks such as working memory, decision making, risk assessment and regulation of attention. These functions performed by the PFC are supposed to rely on rhythmic electrical activity generated by neuronal network oscillations determined by a precise balance between excitation and inhibition balance (E/I balance) resulting from the coordinated activities of recurrent excitation and feedback and feedforward inhibition. Functional alterations in PFC functions have been associated with cognitive deficits in several pathologies such as major depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. These pathological situations are correlated with alterations of different neurotransmitter systems (i.e., serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), acetylcholine…) that result in alterations of the E/I balance. The aim of this review article is to cover the basic aspects of the regulation of the E/I balance as well as to highlight the importance of the complementarity role of several neurotransmitters in the modulation of the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We illustrate our purpose by recent findings that demonstrate that 5-HT and DA cooperate to regulate the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses targeting layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PyNs) of the PFC and to fine tune the E/I balance. Using a method based on the decomposition of the synaptic conductance into its excitatory and inhibitory components, we show that concomitant activation of D1-like receptors (D1Rs) and 5-HT1ARs, through a modulation of NMDA receptors, favors long term potentiation (LTP) of both excitation and inhibition and consequently does not modify the E/I balance. We also demonstrate that activation of D2-receptors requires functional 5-HT1ARs to shift the E-I balance towards more inhibition and to favor long term depression (LTD) of excitatory synapses through the activation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). This cooperation between different

  6. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity in the Cortex Needs to Understand All the Players

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meunier, Claire N. J.; Chameau, Pascal; Fossier, Philippe M.

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in cognitive tasks such as working memory, decision making, risk assessment and regulation of attention. These functions performed by the PFC are supposed to rely on rhythmic electrical activity generated by neuronal network oscillations determined by a precise balance between excitation and inhibition balance (E/I balance) resulting from the coordinated activities of recurrent excitation and feedback and feedforward inhibition. Functional alterations in PFC functions have been associated with cognitive deficits in several pathologies such as major depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. These pathological situations are correlated with alterations of different neurotransmitter systems (i.e., serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), acetylcholine…) that result in alterations of the E/I balance. The aim of this review article is to cover the basic aspects of the regulation of the E/I balance as well as to highlight the importance of the complementarity role of several neurotransmitters in the modulation of the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. We illustrate our purpose by recent findings that demonstrate that 5-HT and DA cooperate to regulate the plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses targeting layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PyNs) of the PFC and to fine tune the E/I balance. Using a method based on the decomposition of the synaptic conductance into its excitatory and inhibitory components, we show that concomitant activation of D1-like receptors (D1Rs) and 5-HT1ARs, through a modulation of NMDA receptors, favors long term potentiation (LTP) of both excitation and inhibition and consequently does not modify the E/I balance. We also demonstrate that activation of D2-receptors requires functional 5-HT1ARs to shift the E-I balance towards more inhibition and to favor long term depression (LTD) of excitatory synapses through the activation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β). This cooperation between different

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasser, Catherine R; Herz, Joachim

    2017-01-27

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

  8. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

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    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte-mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  9. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

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    Samuel Johnson

    Full Text Available Short-term memory in the brain cannot in general be explained the way long-term memory can--as a gradual modification of synaptic weights--since it takes place too quickly. Theories based on some form of cellular bistability, however, do not seem able to account for the fact that noisy neurons can collectively store information in a robust manner. We show how a sufficiently clustered network of simple model neurons can be instantly induced into metastable states capable of retaining information for a short time (a few seconds. The mechanism is robust to different network topologies and kinds of neural model. This could constitute a viable means available to the brain for sensory and/or short-term memory with no need of synaptic learning. Relevant phenomena described by neurobiology and psychology, such as local synchronization of synaptic inputs and power-law statistics of forgetting avalanches, emerge naturally from this mechanism, and we suggest possible experiments to test its viability in more biological settings.

  10. Network response synchronization enhanced by synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobov, S.; Simonov, A.; Kastalskiy, I.; Kazantsev, V.

    2016-02-01

    Synchronization of neural network response on spatially localized periodic stimulation was studied. The network consisted of synaptically coupled spiking neurons with spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP). Network connectivity was defined by time evolving matrix of synaptic weights. We found that the steady-state spatial pattern of the weights could be rearranged due to locally applied external periodic stimulation. A method for visualization of synaptic weights as vector field was introduced to monitor the evolving connectivity matrix. We demonstrated that changes in the vector field and associated weight rearrangements underlay an enhancement of synchronization range.

  11. How connectivity, background activity, and synaptic properties shape the cross-correlation between spike trains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostojic, Srdjan; Brunel, Nicolas; Hakim, Vincent

    2009-08-19

    Functional interactions between neurons in vivo are often quantified by cross-correlation functions (CCFs) between their spike trains. It is therefore essential to understand quantitatively how CCFs are shaped by different factors, such as connectivity, synaptic parameters, and background activity. Here, we study the CCF between two neurons using analytical calculations and numerical simulations. We quantify the role of synaptic parameters, such as peak conductance, decay time, and reversal potential, and analyze how various patterns of connectivity influence CCF shapes. In particular, we find that the symmetry of the CCF distinguishes in general, but not always, the case of shared inputs between two neurons from the case in which they are directly synaptically connected. We systematically examine the influence of background synaptic inputs from the surrounding network that set the baseline firing statistics of the neurons and modulate their response properties. We find that variations in the background noise modify the amplitude of the cross-correlation function as strongly as variations of synaptic strength. In particular, we show that the postsynaptic neuron spiking regularity has a pronounced influence on CCF amplitude. This suggests an efficient and flexible mechanism for modulating functional interactions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, E; Lajtha, A

    1989-05-01

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

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

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    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

  14. Optogenetic Stimulation of Arcuate Nucleus Kiss1 Neurons Reveals a Steroid-Dependent Glutamatergic Input to POMC and AgRP Neurons in Male Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestor, Casey C; Qiu, Jian; Padilla, Stephanie L; Zhang, Chunguang; Bosch, Martha A; Fan, Wei; Aicher, Sue A; Palmiter, Richard D; Rønnekleiv, Oline K; Kelly, Martin J

    2016-06-01

    Kisspeptin (Kiss1) neurons are essential for reproduction, but their role in the control of energy balance and other homeostatic functions remains unclear. Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons, located in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus, integrate numerous excitatory and inhibitory inputs to ultimately regulate energy homeostasis. Given that POMC and AgRP neurons are contacted by Kiss1 neurons in the ARC (Kiss1(ARC)) and they express androgen receptors, Kiss1(ARC) neurons may mediate the orexigenic action of testosterone via POMC and/or AgRP neurons. Quantitative PCR analysis of pooled Kiss1(ARC) neurons revealed that mRNA levels for Kiss1 and vesicular glutamate transporter 2 were higher in castrated male mice compared with gonad-intact males. Single-cell RT-PCR analysis of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) ARC neurons harvested from males injected with AAV1-EF1α-DIO-ChR2:YFP revealed that 100% and 88% expressed mRNAs for Kiss1 and vesicular glutamate transporter 2, respectively. Whole-cell, voltage-clamp recordings from nonfluorescent postsynaptic ARC neurons showed that low frequency photo-stimulation (0.5 Hz) of Kiss1-ChR2:YFP neurons elicited a fast glutamatergic inward current in POMC and AgRP neurons. Paired-pulse, photo-stimulation revealed paired-pulse depression, which is indicative of greater glutamate release, in the castrated male mice compared with gonad-intact male mice. Group I and group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists depolarized and hyperpolarized POMC and AgRP neurons, respectively, which was mimicked by high frequency photo-stimulation (20 Hz) of Kiss1(ARC) neurons. Therefore, POMC and AgRP neurons receive direct steroid- and frequency-dependent glutamatergic synaptic input from Kiss1(ARC) neurons in male mice, which may be a critical pathway for Kiss1 neurons to help coordinate energy homeostasis and reproduction.

  15. Development of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in binaural auditory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Jason Tait; Wang, Yuan; Rubel, Edwin W; Barria, Andres

    2010-09-01

    Glutamatergic synaptic transmission is essential for binaural auditory processing in birds and mammals. Using whole cell voltage clamp recordings, we characterized the development of synaptic ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR) function from auditory neurons in the chick nucleus laminaris (NL), the first nucleus responsible for binaural processing. We show that synaptic transmission is mediated by AMPA- and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptors (AMPA-R and NMDA-R, respectively) when hearing is first emerging and dendritic morphology is being established across different sound frequency regions. Puff application of glutamate agonists at embryonic day 9 (E9) revealed that both iGluRs are functionally present prior to synapse formation (E10). Between E11 and E19, the amplitude of isolated AMPA-R currents from high-frequency (HF) neurons increased 14-fold. A significant increase in the frequency of spontaneous events is also observed. Additionally, AMPA-R currents become faster and more rectifying, suggesting developmental changes in subunit composition. These developmental changes were similar in all tonotopic regions examined. However, mid- and low-frequency neurons exhibit fewer spontaneous events and evoked AMPA-R currents are smaller, slower, and less rectifying than currents from age-matched HF neurons. The amplitude of isolated NMDA-R currents from HF neurons also increased, reaching a peak at E17 and declining sharply by E19, a trend consistent across tonotopic regions. With age, NMDA-R kinetics become significantly faster, indicating a developmental switch in receptor subunit composition. Dramatic increases in the amplitude and speed of glutamatergic synaptic transmission occurs in NL during embryonic development. These changes are first seen in HF neurons suggesting regulation by peripheral inputs and may be necessary to enhance coincidence detection of binaural auditory information.

  16. Input parameters and scenarios, including economic inputs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boklund, Anette; Hisham Beshara Halasa, Tariq

    2012-01-01

    to day 8 after the herd was infected, and increased to 1 after day 8. The outputs from the epidemiological models were used as inputs in an economic model to calculate costs and losses for each epidemic. The costs of an epidemic were divided into direct and indirect costs. The direct costs consisted...

  17. Medial prefrontal cortex inversely regulates toluene-induced changes in markers of synaptic plasticity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckley, Jacob T.; Evins, Caitlin E.; Fedarovich, Hleb; Gilstrap, Meghin J.; Woodward, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Toluene is a volatile solvent that is intentionally inhaled by children, adolescents and adults for its intoxicating effects. While voluntary use of toluene suggests that it possesses rewarding properties and abuse potential, it is unknown whether toluene alters excitatory synaptic transmission in reward sensitive dopamine neurons like other drugs of abuse. Here, using a combination of retrograde labeling and slice electrophysiology, we show that a brief in vivo exposure of rats to a behaviorally relevant concentration of toluene vapor enhances glutamatergic synaptic strength of dopamine (DA) neurons projecting to nucleus accumbens core and medial shell neurons. This effect persisted for up to 3 days in mesoaccumbens core DA neurons and for at least 21 days in those projecting to the medial shell. In contrast, toluene vapor exposure had no effect on synaptic strength of DA neurons that project to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Furthermore, infusion of GABAergic modulators into the mPFC prior to vapor exposure to pharmacologically manipulate output, inhibited or potentiated toluene's action on mesoaccumbens DA neurons. Taken together, the results of these studies indicate that toluene induces a target-selective increase in mesolimbic DA neuron synaptic transmission and strongly implicates the mPFC as an important regulator of drug-induced plasticity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons. PMID:23303956

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Michaël

    2010-02-01

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

  19. “The CUB domain protein Neto1 is an auxiliary protein of native synaptic kainate receptors”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Man; Pelkey, Kenneth A.; Ng, David; Ivakine, Evgueni; McBain, Chris J.; Salter, Michael W.; McInnes, Roderick R.

    2011-01-01

    Ionotropic glutamate receptors of AMPA, NMDA and kainate receptor (KAR) subtypes mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission in the vertebrate CNS. Auxiliary proteins have been identified for AMPA and NMDA receptor complexes, but little is known about KAR complex proteins. We previously identified the CUB-domain protein, Neto1, as an NMDA receptor-associated polypeptide. Here, we show that Neto1 is also an auxiliary subunit for endogenous synaptic KARs. We found that Neto1 and KARs co-immunoprecipitated from brain lysates, from post-synaptic densities (PSDs) and, in a manner dependent on Neto1 CUB domains, when co-expressed in heterologous cells. In Neto1-null mice, there was an ~50% reduction in the abundance of GluK2-KARs in hippocampal PSDs. Neto1 strongly localized to CA3 stratum lucidum and loss of Neto1 resulted in a selective deficit in KAR-mediated neurotransmission at mossy fiber-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses (MF-CA3): KAR-mediated EPSCs in Neto1-null mice were reduced in amplitude and decayed more rapidly than did those in wild-type mice. In contrast, the loss of Neto2, which also localizes to stratum lucidum and interacts with KARs, had no effect on KAR synaptic abundance or MF-CA3 transmission. Indeed MF-CA3 KAR deficits in Neto1/2 double null mutant mice were indistinguishable from Neto1 single null mice. Thus, our findings establish Neto1 as an auxiliary protein required for synaptic function of KARs. The ability of Neto1 to regulate both NMDARs and KARs reveals a unique dual role in controlling synaptic transmission by serving as an auxiliary protein for these two classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors in a synapse specific fashion. PMID:21734292

  20. The Effect of Tongue Exercise on Serotonergic Input to the Hypoglossal Nucleus in Young and Old Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behan, Mary; Moeser, Adam E.; Thomas, Cathy F.; Russell, John A.; Wang, Hao; Leverson, Glen E.; Connor, Nadine P.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Breathing and swallowing problems affect elderly people and may be related to age-associated tongue dysfunction. Hypoglossal motoneurons that innervate the tongue receive a robust, excitatory serotonergic (5HT) input and may be affected by aging. We used a rat model of aging and progressive resistance tongue exercise to determine whether…

  1. Neuronal BDNF Signaling Is Necessary for the Effects of Treadmill Exercise on Synaptic Stripping of Axotomized Motoneurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joey Krakowiak

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The withdrawal of synaptic inputs from the somata and proximal dendrites of spinal motoneurons following peripheral nerve injury could contribute to poor functional recovery. Decreased availability of neurotrophins to afferent terminals on axotomized motoneurons has been implicated as one cause of the withdrawal. No reduction in contacts made by synaptic inputs immunoreactive to the vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 is noted on axotomized motoneurons if modest treadmill exercise, which stimulates the production of neurotrophins by spinal motoneurons, is applied after nerve injury. In conditional, neuron-specific brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF knockout mice, a reduction in synaptic contacts onto motoneurons was noted in intact animals which was similar in magnitude to that observed after nerve transection in wild-type controls. No further reduction in coverage was found if nerves were cut in knockout mice. Two weeks of moderate daily treadmill exercise following nerve injury in these BDNF knockout mice did not affect synaptic inputs onto motoneurons. Treadmill exercise has a profound effect on synaptic inputs to motoneurons after peripheral nerve injury which requires BDNF production by those postsynaptic cells.

  2. TNF-α Differentially Regulates Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus and Spinal Cord by Microglia-Dependent Mechanisms after Peripheral Nerve Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yong; Zhou, Li-Jun; Wang, Jun; Li, Dai; Ren, Wen-Jie; Peng, Jiyun; Wei, Xiao; Xu, Ting; Xin, Wen-Jun; Pang, Rui-Ping; Li, Yong-Yong; Qin, Zhi-Hai; Murugan, Madhuvika; Mattson, Mark P; Wu, Long-Jun; Liu, Xian-Guo

    2017-01-25

    Clinical studies show that chronic pain is accompanied by memory deficits and reduction in hippocampal volume. Experimental studies show that spared nerve injury (SNI) of the sciatic nerve induces long-term potentiation (LTP) at C-fiber synapses in spinal dorsal horn, but impairs LTP in the hippocampus. The opposite changes may contribute to neuropathic pain and memory deficits, respectively. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the functional synaptic changes are unclear. Here, we show that the dendrite lengths and spine densities are reduced significantly in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, but increased in spinal neurokinin-1-positive neurons in mice after SNI, indicating that the excitatory synaptic connectivity is reduced in hippocampus but enhanced in spinal dorsal horn in this neuropathic pain model. Mechanistically, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is upregulated in bilateral hippocampus and in ipsilateral spinal dorsal horn, whereas brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is decreased in the hippocampus but increased in the ipsilateral spinal dorsal horn after SNI. Importantly, the SNI-induced opposite changes in synaptic connectivity and BDNF expression are prevented by genetic deletion of TNF receptor 1 in vivo and are mimicked by TNF-α in cultured slices. Furthermore, SNI activated microglia in both spinal dorsal horn and hippocampus; pharmacological inhibition or genetic ablation of microglia prevented the region-dependent synaptic changes, neuropathic pain, and memory deficits induced by SNI. The data suggest that neuropathic pain involves different structural synaptic alterations in spinal and hippocampal neurons that are mediated by overproduction of TNF-α and microglial activation and may underlie chronic pain and memory deficits. Chronic pain is often accompanied by memory deficits. Previous studies have shown that peripheral nerve injury produces both neuropathic pain and memory deficits and induces long

  3. Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling--two sides of the same coin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Keck

    Full Text Available Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing.

  4. Familiarity Detection is an Intrinsic Property of Cortical Microcircuits with Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Humans instantly recognize a previously seen face as “familiar.” To deepen our understanding of familiarity-novelty detection, we simulated biologically plausible neural network models of generic cortical microcircuits consisting of spiking neurons with random recurrent synaptic connections. NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic plasticity was implemented to allow for unsupervised learning and bidirectional modifications. Network spiking activity evoked by sensory inputs consisting of face images altered synaptic efficacy, which resulted in the network responding more strongly to a previously seen face than a novel face. Network size determined how many faces could be accurately recognized as familiar. When the simulated model became sufficiently complex in structure, multiple familiarity traces could be retained in the same network by forming partially-overlapping subnetworks that differ slightly from each other, thereby resulting in a high storage capacity. Fisher’s discriminant analysis was applied to identify critical neurons whose spiking activity predicted familiar input patterns. Intriguingly, as sensory exposure was prolonged, the selected critical neurons tended to appear at deeper layers of the network model, suggesting recruitment of additional circuits in the network for incremental information storage. We conclude that generic cortical microcircuits with bidirectional synaptic plasticity have an intrinsic ability to detect familiar inputs. This ability does not require a specialized wiring diagram or supervision and can therefore be expected to emerge naturally in developing cortical circuits. PMID:28534043

  5. Synaptic transmission of baro- and chemoreceptors afferents in the NTS second order neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accorsi-Mendonça, Daniela; Machado, Benedito H

    2013-04-01

    Second order neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) process and integrate the afferent information from arterial baroreceptors with high fidelity and precise timing synaptic transmission. Since 2nd-order NTS