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Sample records for excitatory synaptic transmission

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

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    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

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

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    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...

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  10. 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.

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    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.

  11. 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.

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    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.

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

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

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    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    Christian Bonansco

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  20. Synaptic adhesion molecule IgSF11 regulates synaptic transmission and plasticity

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    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

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

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    Regina A. Mangieri

    2017-08-01

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

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

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    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefort, Sandrine; Petersen, Carl C H

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Central Cholinesterase Inhibition Enhances Glutamatergic Synaptic Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    Kozhemyakin, Maxim; Rajasekaran, Karthik; Kapur, Jaideep

    2010-01-01

    Central cholinergic overstimulation results in prolonged seizures of status epilepticus in humans and experimental animals. Cellular mechanisms of underlying seizures caused by cholinergic stimulation remain uncertain, but enhanced glutamatergic transmission is a potential mechanism. Paraoxon, an organophosphate cholinesterase inhibitor, enhanced glutamatergic transmission on hippocampal granule cells synapses by increasing the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic cu...

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cho, Youngkwan

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narayan eSrinivasa

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Munenori

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo E Jercog

    2010-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-08

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  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. 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....

  19. Synaptic unreliability facilitates information transmission in balanced cortical populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatys, Leon A; Ecker, Alexander S; Tchumatchenko, Tatjana; Bethge, Matthias

    2015-06-01

    Synaptic unreliability is one of the major sources of biophysical noise in the brain. In the context of neural information processing, it is a central question how neural systems can afford this unreliability. Here we examine how synaptic noise affects signal transmission in cortical circuits, where excitation and inhibition are thought to be tightly balanced. Surprisingly, we find that in this balanced state synaptic response variability actually facilitates information transmission, rather than impairing it. In particular, the transmission of fast-varying signals benefits from synaptic noise, as it instantaneously increases the amount of information shared between presynaptic signal and postsynaptic current. Furthermore we show that the beneficial effect of noise is based on a very general mechanism which contrary to stochastic resonance does not reach an optimum at a finite noise level.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil A. Grajski

    2016-07-01

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

  4. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiromi Hirata

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic transmission due to a lack of synaptic aggregation of GlyRs. Due to the consequent loss of reciprocal inhibition of motor circuits between the two sides of the spinal cord, motor neurons activate simultaneously on both sides resulting in bilateral contraction of axial muscles of beo mutants, eliciting the so-called ‘accordion’ phenotype. Similar defects in GlyR subunit genes have been observed in several mammals and are the basis for human hyperekplexia/startle disease. By contrast, zebrafish shocked (sho mutants have a defect in slc6a9, encoding GlyT1, a glycine transporter that is expressed by astroglial cells surrounding the glycinergic synapse in the hindbrain and spinal cord. GlyT1 mediates rapid uptake of glycine from the synaptic cleft, terminating synaptic transmission. In zebrafish sho mutants, there appears to be elevated extracellular glycine resulting in persistent inhibition of postsynaptic neurons and subsequent reduced motility, causing the ‘twitch once’ phenotype. We review current knowledge regarding zebrafish ‘accordion’ and ‘twitch once’ mutants, including beo and sho, and report the identification of a new α2 subunit that revises the phylogeny of zebrafish GlyRs.

  5. Inhibition of hippocampal synaptic transmission by impairment of Ral function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Owe-Larsson, Björn; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Chauhan, Ashok

    2005-01-01

    Large clostridial cytotoxins and protein overexpression were used to probe for involvement of Ras-related GTPases (guanosine triphosphate) in synaptic transmission in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. The toxins TcdA-10463 (inactivates Rho, Rac, Cdc42, Rap) and TcsL-1522 (inactivates Ral, Rac, Ra...

  6. Progesterone Regulation of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity in Rodent Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foy, Michael R.; Akopian, Garnik; Thompson, Richard F.

    2008-01-01

    Ovarian hormones influence memory formation by eliciting changes in neural activity. The effects of various concentrations of progesterone (P4) on synaptic transmission and plasticity associated with long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were studied using in vitro hippocampal slices. Extracellular studies show that the…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuncai eChen

    2012-04-01

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

  10. Effect of synaptic transmission on viral fitness in HIV infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia L Komarova

    Full Text Available HIV can spread through its target cell population either via cell-free transmission, or by cell-to-cell transmission, presumably through virological synapses. Synaptic transmission entails the transfer of tens to hundreds of viruses per synapse, a fraction of which successfully integrate into the target cell genome. It is currently not understood how synaptic transmission affects viral fitness. Using a mathematical model, we investigate how different synaptic transmission strategies, defined by the number of viruses passed per synapse, influence the basic reproductive ratio of the virus, R(0, and virus load. In the most basic scenario, the model suggests that R(0 is maximized if a single virus particle is transferred per synapse. R(0 decreases and the infection eventually cannot be maintained for larger numbers of transferred viruses, because multiple infection of the same cell wastes viruses that could otherwise enter uninfected cells. To explain the relatively large number of HIV copies transferred per synapse, we consider additional biological assumptions under which an intermediate number of viruses transferred per synapse could maximize R(0. These include an increased burst size in multiply infected cells, the saturation of anti-viral factors upon infection of cells, and rate limiting steps during the process of synapse formation.

  11. Methamphetamine modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuzhuo; Jin, Yuelei; Liu, Xiaoyan; Yang, Lujia; Ge, Zhi juan; Wang, Hui; Li, Jin; Zheng, Jianquan

    2014-09-25

    Methamphetamine (METH) is a psychostimulant drug. Abuse of METH produces long-term behavioral changes including behavioral, sensitization, tolerance, and dependence. It induces neurotoxic effects in several areas of the brain via enhancing dopamine (DA) level abnormally, which may cause a secondary release of glutamate (GLU). However, repeated administration of METH still increases release of GLU even when dopamine content in tissue is significantly depleted. It implies that some other mechanisms are likely to involve in METH-induced GLU release. The goal of this study was to observe METH affected glutamatergic synaptic transmission in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons and to explore the mechanism of METH modulated GLU release. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, we found that METH (0.1-50.0μM) increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). However, METH decreased the frequency of sEPSCs and mEPSCs at high concentration of 100μM. The postsynaptic NMDA receptor currents and P/Q-type calcium channel were not affected by the use of METH (10,100μM). METH did not present visible effect on N-type Ca(2+) channel current at the concentration lower than 50.0μM, but it was inhibited by use of METH at a 100μM. The effect of METH on glutamatergic synaptic transmission was not revered by pretreated with DA receptor antagonist SCH23390. These results suggest that METH directly modulated presynaptic GLU release at a different concentration, while dopaminergic system was not involved in METH modulated release of GLU in rat primary cultured hippocampal neurons. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Regulation and restoration of motoneuronal synaptic transmission during neuromuscular regeneration in the pulmonate snail Helisoma trivolvis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, M B; Szabo-Maas, T M; Poyer, J C; Zoran, M J

    2011-08-01

    Regeneration of motor systems involves reestablishment of central control networks, reinnervation of muscle targets by motoneurons, and reconnection of neuromodulatory circuits. Still, how these processes are integrated as motor function is restored during regeneration remains ill defined. Here, we examined the mechanisms underlying motoneuronal regeneration of neuromuscular synapses related to feeding movements in the pulmonate snail Helisoma trivolvis. Neurons B19 and B110, although activated during different phases of the feeding pattern, innervate similar sets of muscles. However, the percentage of muscle fibers innervated, the efficacy of excitatory junction potentials, and the strength of muscle contractions were different for each cell's specific connections. After peripheral nerve crush, a sequence of transient electrical and chemical connections formed centrally within the buccal ganglia. Neuromuscular synapse regeneration involved a three-phase process: the emergence of spontaneous synaptic transmission (P1), the acquisition of evoked potentials of weak efficacy (P2), and the establishment of functional reinnervation (P3). Differential synaptic efficacy at muscle contacts was recapitulated in cell culture. Differences in motoneuronal presynaptic properties (i.e., quantal content) were the basis of disparate neuromuscular synapse function, suggesting a role for retrograde target influences. We propose a homeostatic model of molluscan motor system regeneration. This model has three restoration events: (1) transient central synaptogenesis during axonal outgrowth, (2) intermotoneuronal inhibitory synaptogenesis during initial neuromuscular synapse formation, and (3) target-dependent regulation of neuromuscular junction formation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-27

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

  17. Regulation of information passing by synaptic transmission: a short review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Maio, Vito

    2008-08-15

    The largest part of information passed among neurons in the brain occurs by the means of chemical synapses connecting the axons of presynaptic neurons to the dendritic tree of the postsynaptic ones. In the present paper, the most relevant open problems related to the mechanisms of control of the information passing among neurons by synaptic transmission will be shortly reviewed. The "cross talking" between synapses, their mutual interactions and the control of the information flow between different areas of the dendritic tree will be also considered. The threshold mechanism based on the "reversal potential" will be considered for its role in the control of information transfer among neurons and also for its contribution to the information flow among different areas of the dendritic tree and to the computational ability of the single neuron. The concept of "competition for plasticity" will be proposed as a mechanism of competition based on the synaptic activation time.

  18. The action of ether and methoxyflurane on synaptic transmission in isolated preparations of the mammalian cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, C D; Russell, W J; Smaje, J C

    1975-06-01

    1. The actions of ether and methoxyflurane on the evoked potentials of in vitro preparations of the guinea-pig olfactory cortex were studied. Following stimulation of the lateral olfactory tract (l.o.t.) evoked potentials could be recorded from the cortical surface; these potentials consisted of an initial wave (the compound action potential of the l.o.t.) followed by a negative field potential which was associated with the synchronous excitation of many superficial excitatory synapses (population e.p.s.p.). Superimposed on the population e.p.s.p. was a number of positive peaks. These positive peaks reflect the synchronous discharge of many neurones and so have been called population spikes. 2. When ether or methoxyflurane was added to the gas stream that superfused the surface of the preparations, the population e.p.s.p.s. and population spikes were depressed at lower concentrations than those required to depress the compound action potential of the afferent fibres. 3. The evoked activity of individual cells in the cortex was depressed by ether and methoxyflurane. However, five of the twelve cells tested in ether showed an increase in their evoked activity at concentrations below 4-5%, but at higher concentrations these cells also became depressed. 4. Both ether and methoxyflurane depressed the sensitivity of cortical neurones to iontophoretically applied L-glutamate and may similarly depress the sensitivity of the post-synaptic membrane to the released transmitter substance. 5. Neither anaesthetic appeared to increase the threshold depolarization required for nerve impulse generation. Thus, the decrease of the discharge of the post-synaptic cells was primarily caused by a depression of chemical transmission. 6. Ether caused some cells in the cortex to alter their normal pattern of synaptically evoked discharge and both anaesthetics induced similar changes during excitation by glutamate.

  19. Dual Influence of Endocannabinoids on Long-Term Potentiation of Synaptic Transmission

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    Armando Silva-Cruz

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R is widely distributed in the central nervous system, in excitatory and inhibitory neurons, and in astrocytes. CB1R agonists impair cognition and prevent long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic transmission, but the influence of endogenously formed cannabinoids (eCBs on hippocampal LTP remains ambiguous. Based on the knowledge that eCBs are released upon high frequency neuronal firing, we hypothesized that the influence of eCBs upon LTP could change according to the paradigm of LTP induction. We thus tested the influence of eCBs on hippocampal LTP using two θ-burst protocols that induce either a weak or a strong LTP. LTP induced by a weak-θ-burst protocol is facilitated while preventing the endogenous activation of CB1Rs. In contrast, the same procedures lead to inhibition of LTP induced by the strong-θ-burst protocol, suggestive of a facilitatory action of eCBs upon strong LTP. Accordingly, an inhibitor of the metabolism of the predominant eCB in the hippocampus, 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG, facilitates strong LTP. The facilitatory action of endogenous CB1R activation does not require the activity of inhibitory A1 adenosine receptors, is not affected by inhibition of astrocytic metabolism, but involves inhibitory GABAergic transmission. The continuous activation of CB1Rs via exogenous cannabinoids, or by drugs known to prevent metabolism of the non-prevalent hippocampal eCB, anandamide, inhibited LTP. We conclude that endogenous activation of CB1Rs by physiologically formed eCBs exerts a fine-tune homeostatic control of LTP in the hippocampus, acting as a high-pass filter, therefore likely reducing the signal-to-noise ratio of synaptic strengthening.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Xu

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrimmon, Donald R.; Martina, Marco

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Increased gene dosage of Ube3a results in autism traits and decreased glutamate synaptic transmission in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Stephen E P; Zhou, Yu-Dong; Zhang, Guangping; Jin, Zhe; Stoppel, David C; Anderson, Matthew P

    2011-10-05

    People with autism spectrum disorder are characterized by impaired social interaction, reduced communication, and increased repetitive behaviors. The disorder has a substantial genetic component, and recent studies have revealed frequent genome copy number variations (CNVs) in some individuals. A common CNV that occurs in 1 to 3% of those with autism--maternal 15q11-13 duplication (dup15) and triplication (isodicentric extranumerary chromosome, idic15)--affects several genes that have been suggested to underlie autism behavioral traits. To test this, we tripled the dosage of one of these genes, the ubiquitin protein ligase Ube3a, which is expressed solely from the maternal allele in mature neurons, and reconstituted the three core autism traits in mice: defective social interaction, impaired communication, and increased repetitive stereotypic behavior. The penetrance of these autism traits depended on Ube3a gene copy number. In animals with increased Ube3a gene dosage, glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, synaptic transmission was suppressed as a result of reduced presynaptic release probability, synaptic glutamate concentration, and postsynaptic action potential coupling. These results suggest that Ube3a gene dosage may contribute to the autism traits of individuals with maternal 15q11-13 duplication and support the idea that increased E3A ubiquitin ligase gene dosage results in reduced excitatory synaptic transmission.

  3. Deletion of CB2 cannabinoid receptors reduces synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the mouse hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yong; Kim, Jimok

    2016-03-01

    The effects of cannabinoids are mostly mediated by two types of cannabinoid receptors--CB1 receptors in the nervous system and CB2 receptors in the immune system. However, CB2 cannabinoid receptors have recently been discovered in the brain and also implicated in neurophysiological functions. The deletion of CB2 receptors in mice induces long-term memory deficits and schizophrenia-like behaviors, implying that endogenous activity of CB2 receptors might be involved in neuropsychiatric effects. Little is known about the cellular mechanisms by which physiological activation of CB2 receptors modulates neuronal functions. We aimed to determine how deletion of CB2 receptors in mice affects synaptic transmission and plasticity. Electrophysiological and morphological studies indicated that CB2 receptor knockout resulted in decreases in excitatory synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation, and dendritic spine density in the hippocampus. Our data imply that endogenous activity of CB2 receptors might contribute to the maintenance of synaptic functions and the expression of normal long-term potentiation. This study provides insights into the role of CB2 cannabinoid receptors in regulating cognitive functions such as long-term memory. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Developmental refinement of synaptic transmission on micropatterned single layer graphene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keshavan, Sandeep; Naskar, Shovan; Diaspro, Alberto; Cancedda, Laura; Dante, Silvia

    2017-11-06

    Interfacing neurons with graphene, a single atomic layer of sp(2) hybridized C-atoms, is a key paradigm in understanding how to exploit the unique properties of such a two-dimensional system for neural prosthetics and biosensors development. In order to fabricate graphene-based circuitry, a reliable large area patterning method is a requirement. Following a previously developed protocol, we monitored the in vitro neuronal development of geometrically ordered neural network growing onto patterned Single Layer Graphene (SLG) coated with poly-D-lysine. The microscale patterns were fabricated via laser micromachining and consisted of SLG stripes separated by micrometric ablated stripes. A comprehensive analysis of the biointerface was carried out combining the surface characterization of SLG transferred on the glass substrates and Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of the developing neural network. Neuronal and glial cells proliferation, as well as cell viability, were compared on glass, SLG and SLG-patterned surfaces. Further, we present a comparative developmental study on the efficacy of synaptic transmission on control glass, on transferred SLG, and on the micropatterned SLG substrates by recording miniature post synaptic currents (mPSCs). The mPSC frequencies and amplitudes obtained on SLG-stripes, SLG only and on glass were compared. Our results indicate a very similar developmental trend in the three groups, indicating that both SLG and patterned SLG preserve synaptic efficacy and can be potentially exploited for the fabrication of large area devices for neuron sensing or stimulation. This paper compares the morphological and functional development of neural networks forming on glass, on Single Layer Graphene (SLG) and on microsized patterned SLG substrates after neuron spontaneous migration. Neurons developing on SLG are viable after two weeks in vitro, and, on SLG, glial cell proliferation is enhanced. The functionality of the neural networks is demonstrated

  6. Effects of alcohol on the membrane excitability and synaptic transmission of medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marty, Vincent N.; Spigelman, Igor

    2013-01-01

    Chronic and excessive alcohol drinking lead to alcohol dependence and loss of control over alcohol consumption, with serious detrimental health consequences. Chronic alcohol exposure followed by protracted withdrawal causes profound alterations in the brain reward system that leads to marked changes in reinforcement mechanisms and motivational state. These long-lasting neuroadaptations are thought to contribute to the development of cravings and relapse. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a central component of the brain reward system, plays a critical role in alcohol-induced neuroadaptive changes underlying alcohol-seeking behaviors. Here we review the findings that chronic alcohol exposure produces long-lasting neuroadaptive changes in various ion channels that govern intrinsic membrane properties and neuronal excitability, as well as excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the NAcc that underlie alcohol-seeking behavior during protracted withdrawal. PMID:22445807

  7. Disrupted-in-schizophrenia1 (DISC1) L100P mutation alters synaptic transmission and plasticity in the hippocampus and causes recognition memory deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Lin; Sun, Wei; Yu, Ming; Li, Nan; Guo, Li; Gu, Huating; Zhou, Yu

    2016-10-12

    Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1(DISC1) is a promising candidate susceptibility gene for a spectrum of psychiatric illnesses that share cognitive impairments in common, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. Here we report that DISC1 L100P homozygous mutant shows normal anxiety- and depression-like behavior, but impaired object recognition which is prevented by administration of atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine. Ca2+ image analysis reveals suppression of glutamate-evoked elevation of cytoplasmic [Ca2+] in L100P hippocampal slices. L100P mutant slices exhibit decreased excitatory synaptic transmission (sEPSCs and mEPSCs) in dentate gyrus (DG) and impaired long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. L100P mutation does not alter proteins expression of the excitatory synaptic markers, PSD95 and synapsin-1; neither does it changes dendrites morphology of primary cultured hippocampal neurons. Our findings suggest that the existence of abnormal synaptic transmission and plasticity in hippocampal network may disrupt declarative information processing and contribute to recognition deficits in DISC1 L100P mutant mice.

  8. 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....

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Séverine M. Sigoillot

    2015-02-01

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

  13. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Use-Dependent Inhibition of Synaptic Transmission by the Secretion of Intravesicularly Accumulated Antipsychotic Drugs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tischbirek, Carsten H.; Wenzel, Eva M.; Zheng, Fang

    2012-01-01

    Tischbirek et al. find that weak-base antipsychotic drugs are accumulated in synaptic vesicles and are secreted upon exocytosis, leading to increased extracellular drug concentrations following neuronal activity. The secretion of the drugs in turn inhibits synaptic transmission in a use...

  16. 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

  17. Extracellular ATP hydrolysis inhibits synaptic transmission by increasing ph buffering in the synaptic cleft.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rozan Vroman

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal computations strongly depend on inhibitory interactions. One such example occurs at the first retinal synapse, where horizontal cells inhibit photoreceptors. This interaction generates the center/surround organization of bipolar cell receptive fields and is crucial for contrast enhancement. Despite its essential role in vision, the underlying synaptic mechanism has puzzled the neuroscience community for decades. Two competing hypotheses are currently considered: an ephaptic and a proton-mediated mechanism. Here we show that horizontal cells feed back to photoreceptors via an unexpected synthesis of the two. The first one is a very fast ephaptic mechanism that has no synaptic delay, making it one of the fastest inhibitory synapses known. The second one is a relatively slow (τ≈200 ms, highly intriguing mechanism. It depends on ATP release via Pannexin 1 channels located on horizontal cell dendrites invaginating the cone synaptic terminal. The ecto-ATPase NTPDase1 hydrolyses extracellular ATP to AMP, phosphate groups, and protons. The phosphate groups and protons form a pH buffer with a pKa of 7.2, which keeps the pH in the synaptic cleft relatively acidic. This inhibits the cone Ca²⁺ channels and consequently reduces the glutamate release by the cones. When horizontal cells hyperpolarize, the pannexin 1 channels decrease their conductance, the ATP release decreases, and the formation of the pH buffer reduces. The resulting alkalization in the synaptic cleft consequently increases cone glutamate release. Surprisingly, the hydrolysis of ATP instead of ATP itself mediates the synaptic modulation. Our results not only solve longstanding issues regarding horizontal cell to photoreceptor feedback, they also demonstrate a new form of synaptic modulation. Because pannexin 1 channels and ecto-ATPases are strongly expressed in the nervous system and pannexin 1 function is implicated in synaptic plasticity, we anticipate that this novel form

  18. 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

  19. Effects of ACTH4–10 on synaptic transmission in frog sympathetic ganglion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wouters, W.; Bercken, J. van den

    1979-01-01

    The influenced of ACHT4−10, a behaviourally active fragment of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) devoid of endocrine activity, on synaptic transmission in the paravertebral sympathetic ganglion of the frog was investigated. Postsynaptic potentials evoked by electrical stimulation of preganglionic

  20. "Self" versus "non-self" connectivity dictates properties of synaptic transmission and plasticity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Liu, Huisheng; Chapman, Edwin R; Dean, Camin

    2013-01-01

    Autapses are connections between a neuron and itself. These connections are morphologically similar to "normal" synapses between two different neurons, and thus were long thought to have similar properties of synaptic transmission...

  1. "Self" versus "Non-Self" Connectivity Dictates Properties of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity: e62414

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Huisheng Liu; Edwin R Chapman; Camin Dean

    2013-01-01

      Autapses are connections between a neuron and itself. These connections are morphologically similar to "normal" synapses between two different neurons, and thus were long thought to have similar properties of synaptic transmission...

  2. Cocaine-induced changes of synaptic transmission in the striatum are modulated by adenosine A2A receptors and involve the tyrosine phosphatase STEP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiodi, Valentina; Mallozzi, Cinzia; Ferrante, Antonella; Chen, Jiang F; Lombroso, Paul J; Di Stasi, Anna Maria Michela; Popoli, Patrizia; Domenici, Maria Rosaria

    2014-02-01

    The striatum is a brain area implicated in the pharmacological action of drugs of abuse. Adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs) are highly expressed in the striatum and mediate, at least in part, cocaine-induced psychomotor effects in vivo. Here we studied the synaptic mechanisms implicated in the pharmacological action of cocaine in the striatum and investigated the influence of A2ARs. We found that synaptic transmission was depressed in corticostriatal slices after perfusion with cocaine (10 μM). This effect was reduced by the A2AR antagonist ZM241385 and almost abolished in striatal A2AR-knockout mice (mice lacking A2ARs in striatal neurons, stA2ARKO). The effect of cocaine on synaptic transmission was also prevented by the protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) inhibitor sodium orthovanadate (Na3VO4). In synaptosomes prepared from striatal slices, we found that the activity of striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP) was upregulated by cocaine, prevented by ZM241385, and absent in synaptosomes from stA2ARKO. The role played by STEP in cocaine modulation of synaptic transmission was investigated in whole-cell voltage clamp recordings from medium spiny neurons of the striatum. We found that TAT-STEP, a peptide that renders STEP enzymatically inactive, prevented cocaine-induced reduction in AMPA- and NMDA-mediated excitatory post-synaptic currents, whereas the control peptide, TAT-myc, had no effect. These results demonstrate that striatal A2ARs modulate cocaine-induced synaptic depression in the striatum and highlight the potential role of PTPs and specifically STEP in the effects of cocaine.

  3. Achieving High-Frequency Optical Control of Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackman, Skyler L.; Beneduce, Brandon M.; Drew, Iain R.

    2014-01-01

    The optogenetic tool channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is widely used to excite neurons to study neural circuits. Previous optogenetic studies of synapses suggest that light-evoked synaptic responses often exhibit artificial synaptic depression, which has been attributed to either the inability of ChR2 to reliably fire presynaptic axons or to ChR2 elevating the probability of release by depolarizing presynaptic boutons. Here, we compare light-evoked and electrically evoked synaptic responses for high-frequency stimulation at three synapses in the mouse brain. At synapses from Purkinje cells to deep cerebellar nuclei neurons (PC→DCN), light- and electrically evoked synaptic currents were remarkably similar for ChR2 expressed transgenically or with adeno-associated virus (AAV) expression vectors. For hippocampal CA3→CA1 synapses, AAV expression vectors of serotype 1, 5, and 8 led to light-evoked synaptic currents that depressed much more than electrically evoked currents, even though ChR2 could fire axons reliably at up to 50 Hz. The disparity between optical and electrical stimulation was eliminated when ChR2 was expressed transgenically or with AAV9. For cerebellar granule cell to stellate cell (grc→SC) synapses, AAV1 also led to artificial synaptic depression and AAV9 provided superior performance. Artificial synaptic depression also occurred when stimulating over presynaptic boutons, rather than axons, at CA3→CA1 synapses, but not at PC→DCN synapses. These findings indicate that ChR2 expression methods and light stimulation techniques influence synaptic responses in a neuron-specific manner. They also identify pitfalls associated with using ChR2 to study synapses and suggest an approach that allows optogenetics to be applied in a manner that helps to avoid potential complications. PMID:24872574

  4. Achieving high-frequency optical control of synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackman, Skyler L; Beneduce, Brandon M; Drew, Iain R; Regehr, Wade G

    2014-05-28

    The optogenetic tool channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is widely used to excite neurons to study neural circuits. Previous optogenetic studies of synapses suggest that light-evoked synaptic responses often exhibit artificial synaptic depression, which has been attributed to either the inability of ChR2 to reliably fire presynaptic axons or to ChR2 elevating the probability of release by depolarizing presynaptic boutons. Here, we compare light-evoked and electrically evoked synaptic responses for high-frequency stimulation at three synapses in the mouse brain. At synapses from Purkinje cells to deep cerebellar nuclei neurons (PC→DCN), light- and electrically evoked synaptic currents were remarkably similar for ChR2 expressed transgenically or with adeno-associated virus (AAV) expression vectors. For hippocampal CA3→CA1 synapses, AAV expression vectors of serotype 1, 5, and 8 led to light-evoked synaptic currents that depressed much more than electrically evoked currents, even though ChR2 could fire axons reliably at up to 50 Hz. The disparity between optical and electrical stimulation was eliminated when ChR2 was expressed transgenically or with AAV9. For cerebellar granule cell to stellate cell (grc→SC) synapses, AAV1 also led to artificial synaptic depression and AAV9 provided superior performance. Artificial synaptic depression also occurred when stimulating over presynaptic boutons, rather than axons, at CA3→CA1 synapses, but not at PC→DCN synapses. These findings indicate that ChR2 expression methods and light stimulation techniques influence synaptic responses in a neuron-specific manner. They also identify pitfalls associated with using ChR2 to study synapses and suggest an approach that allows optogenetics to be applied in a manner that helps to avoid potential complications. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/347704-11$15.00/0.

  5. A Novel Human CAMK2A Mutation Disrupts Dendritic Morphology and Synaptic Transmission, and Causes ASD-Related Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Jason R; Wang, Xiaohan; Perfitt, Tyler L; Parrish, Walker P; Shonesy, Brian C; Marks, Christian R; Mortlock, Douglas P; Nakagawa, Terunaga; Sutcliffe, James S; Colbran, Roger J

    2017-02-22

    Characterizing the functional impact of novel mutations linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) provides a deeper mechanistic understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Here we show that a de novo Glu183 to Val (E183V) mutation in the CaMKIIα catalytic domain, identified in a proband diagnosed with ASD, decreases both CaMKIIα substrate phosphorylation and regulatory autophosphorylation, and that the mutated kinase acts in a dominant-negative manner to reduce CaMKIIα-WT autophosphorylation. The E183V mutation also reduces CaMKIIα binding to established ASD-linked proteins, such as Shank3 and subunits of l-type calcium channels and NMDA receptors, and increases CaMKIIα turnover in intact cells. In cultured neurons, the E183V mutation reduces CaMKIIα targeting to dendritic spines. Moreover, neuronal expression of CaMKIIα-E183V increases dendritic arborization and decreases both dendritic spine density and excitatory synaptic transmission. Mice with a knock-in CaMKIIα-E183V mutation have lower total forebrain CaMKIIα levels, with reduced targeting to synaptic subcellular fractions. The CaMKIIα-E183V mice also display aberrant behavioral phenotypes, including hyperactivity, social interaction deficits, and increased repetitive behaviors. Together, these data suggest that CaMKIIα plays a previously unappreciated role in ASD-related synaptic and behavioral phenotypes.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-linked mutations disrupt the function of synaptic proteins, but no single gene accounts for >1% of total ASD cases. The molecular networks and mechanisms that couple the primary deficits caused by these individual mutations to core behavioral symptoms of ASD remain poorly understood. Here, we provide the first characterization of a mutation in the gene encoding CaMKIIα linked to a specific neuropsychiatric disorder. Our findings demonstrate that this ASD-linked de novo CAMK2A mutation disrupts multiple CaMKII functions

  6. Synaptic Mitochondria in Synaptic Transmission and Organization of Vesicle Pools in Health and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vos, Melissa; Lauwers, Elsa; Verstreken, Patrik

    2010-01-01

    Cell types rich in mitochondria, including neurons, display a high energy demand and a need for calcium buffering. The importance of mitochondria for proper neuronal function is stressed by the occurrence of neurological defects in patients suffering from a great variety of diseases caused by mutations in mitochondrial genes. Genetic and pharmacological evidence also reveal a role of these organelles in various aspects of neuronal physiology and in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Yet the mechanisms by which mitochondria can affect neurotransmission largely remain to be elucidated. In this review we focus on experimental data that suggest a critical function of synaptic mitochondria in the function and organization of synaptic vesicle pools, and in neurotransmitter release during intense neuronal activity. We discuss how calcium handling, ATP production and other mitochondrial mechanisms may influence synaptic vesicle pool organization and synaptic function. Given the link between synaptic mitochondrial function and neuronal communication, efforts toward better understanding mitochondrial biology may lead to novel therapeutic approaches of neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and psychiatric disorders that are at least in part caused by mitochondrial deficits. PMID:21423525

  7. Nootropic dipeptide noopept enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Povarov, I S; Kondratenko, R V; Derevyagin, V I; Ostrovskaya, R U; Skrebitskii, V G

    2015-01-01

    Application of nootropic agent Noopept on hippocampal slices from Wistar rats enhanced the inhibitory component of total current induced by stimulation of Shaffer collaterals in CA1 pyramidal neurons, but did not affect the excitatory component. A direct correlation between the increase in the amplitude of inhibitory current and agent concentration was found. The substance did not affect the release of inhibitory transmitters from terminals in the pyramidal neurons, which indicated changes in GABAergic interneurons.

  8. Elevated interleukin-8 enhances prefrontal synaptic transmission in mice with persistent inflammatory pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cui Guang-bin

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interleukin-8 (IL-8 is known for its roles in inflammation and plays critical roles in the development of pain. Its expression increases in the brain after peripheral inflammation. Prefrontal cortex, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, is a forebrain structure known for its roles in pain transmission and modulation. Painful stimuli potentiate the prefrontal synaptic transmission, however, little is known about the expression of IL-8 and its role in the enhanced ACC synaptic transmission in animals with persistent inflammatory pain. Findings In the present study, we examined IL-8 expression in the ACC, somatosensory cortex (SSC, and the dorsal horn of lumbar spinal cord following hind-paw administration of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA in mice and its effects on the ACC synaptic transmission. Quantification of IL-8 at protein level (by ELISA revealed enhanced expression in the ACC and spinal cord during the chronic phases of CFA-induced peripheral inflammation. In vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings revealed that IL-8 significantly enhanced synaptic transmission through increased probability of neurotransmitter release in the ACC slice. ACC local infusion of repertaxin, a non-competitive allosteric blocker of IL-8 receptors, notably prolonged the paw withdrawal latency to thermal radian heat stimuli bilaterally in mice. Conclusions Our findings suggest that up-regulation of IL-8 in the ACC partly attributable to the enhanced prefrontal synaptic transmission in the mice with persistent inflammatory pain.

  9. 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.

  10. Cannabidiol inhibits synaptic transmission in rat hippocampal cultures and slices via multiple receptor pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledgerwood, CJ; Greenwood, SM; Brett, RR; Pratt, JA; Bushell, TJ

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Cannabidiol (CBD) has emerged as an interesting compound with therapeutic potential in several CNS disorders. However, whether it can modulate synaptic activity in the CNS remains unclear. Here, we have investigated whether CBD modulates synaptic transmission in rat hippocampal cultures and acute slices. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH The effect of CBD on synaptic transmission was examined in rat hippocampal cultures and acute slices using whole cell patch clamp and standard extracellular recordings respectively. KEY RESULTS Cannabidiol decreased synaptic activity in hippocampal cultures in a concentration-dependent and Pertussis toxin-sensitive manner. The effects of CBD in culture were significantly reduced in the presence of the cannabinoid receptor (CB1) inverse agonist, LY320135 but were unaffected by the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, WAY100135. In hippocampal slices, CBD inhibited basal synaptic transmission, an effect that was abolished by the proposed CB1 receptor antagonist, AM251, in addition to LY320135 and WAY100135. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Cannabidiol reduces synaptic transmission in hippocampal in vitro preparations and we propose a role for both 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors in these CBD-mediated effects. These data offer some mechanistic insights into the effects of CBD and emphasize that further investigations into the actions of CBD in the CNS are required in order to elucidate the full therapeutic potential of CBD. PMID:20825410

  11. High-Throughput All-Optical Analysis of Synaptic Transmission and Synaptic Vesicle Recycling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Wabnig

    Full Text Available Synaptic vesicles (SVs undergo a cycle of biogenesis and membrane fusion to release transmitter, followed by recycling. How exocytosis and endocytosis are coupled is intensively investigated. We describe an all-optical method for identification of neurotransmission genes that can directly distinguish SV recycling factors in C. elegans, by motoneuron photostimulation and muscular RCaMP Ca2+ imaging. We verified our approach on mutants affecting synaptic transmission. Mutation of genes affecting SV recycling (unc-26 synaptojanin, unc-41 stonin, unc-57 endophilin, itsn-1 intersectin, snt-1 synaptotagmin showed a distinct 'signature' of muscle Ca2+ dynamics, induced by cholinergic motoneuron photostimulation, i.e. faster rise, and earlier decrease of the signal, reflecting increased synaptic fatigue during ongoing photostimulation. To facilitate high throughput, we measured (3-5 times ~1000 nematodes for each gene. We explored if this method enables RNAi screening for SV recycling genes. Previous screens for synaptic function genes, based on behavioral or pharmacological assays, allowed no distinction of the stage of the SV cycle in which a protein might act. We generated a strain enabling RNAi specifically only in cholinergic neurons, thus resulting in healthier animals and avoiding lethal phenotypes resulting from knockdown elsewhere. RNAi of control genes resulted in Ca2+ measurements that were consistent with results obtained in the respective genomic mutants, albeit to a weaker extent in most cases, and could further be confirmed by opto-electrophysiological measurements for mutants of some of the genes, including synaptojanin. We screened 95 genes that were previously implicated in cholinergic transmission, and several controls. We identified genes that clustered together with known SV recycling genes, exhibiting a similar signature of their Ca2+ dynamics. Five of these genes (C27B7.7, erp-1, inx-8, inx-10, spp-10 were further assessed in

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Group II metabotropic glutamate receptors depress synaptic transmission onto subicular burst firing neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kintscher, M.; Breustedt, J.; Miceli, S.M.; Schmitz, D.; Wozny, C.

    2012-01-01

    The subiculum (SUB) is a pivotal structure positioned between the hippocampus proper and various cortical and subcortical areas. Despite the growing body of anatomical and intrinsic electrophysiological data of subicular neurons, modulation of synaptic transmission in the SUB is not well understood.

  15. 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

  16. Excitatory drive from the Subthalamic nucleus attenuates GABAergic transmission in the Substantia Nigra pars compacta via endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freestone, Peter S; Wu, Xi Hau; de Guzman, Gabriel; Lipski, Janusz

    2015-11-15

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are cannabis-like substances produced in the brain where their primary function is to regulate synaptic transmission by inhibiting neurotransmitter release in a retrograde fashion. We have recently demonstrated a novel mechanism regulating GABAergic transmission from neurons in the Substantia Nigra pars reticulata (SNr) to dopaminergic neurons in the Substantia Nigra pars compacta (SNc) mediated by eCBs. Production of eCBs was initiated by spillover of glutamate, yet the source of the glutamate was not determined (Freestone et al., 2014; Neuropharmacology 79 p467). The present study aimed at elucidating the potential role of glutamatergic terminals arising from neurons in the Subthalamic nucleus (STN) in driving the eCB-mediated modulation of this inhibitory transmission. GABAergic IPSCs or IPSPs evoked in SNc neurons by electrical stimuli delivered to the SNr region were transiently inhibited by electrical or pharmacological (U-tube application of muscarinic agonist carbachol [100 µM]) stimulation of the STN (to 74±5% and 69±4% respectively). In both stimulation protocols, the attenuation of GABAergic transmission was abolished by cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist rimonabant (3 µM), and reduced by group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist CPCCOEt (100 µM), consistent with a glutamate-initiated and eCB-mediated mechanism. The carbachol-induced attenuation of GABAergic transmission was abolished by M3 muscarinic receptor antagonist 4-DAMP (10 µM), confirming a specific activation of STN neurons. These results demonstrate that glutamatergic projection from the STN to dopaminergic SNc neurons underlies an eCB-mediated inhibition of GABAergic input to these neurons. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Nicotine Uses Neuron-Glia Communication to Enhance Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission and Long-term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Salgado-Puga, Karla; Alvarado-Martínez, Reynaldo; Medina, Andrea Cristina; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A.; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions. PMID:23185511

  18. A high-throughput model for investigating neuronal function and synaptic transmission in cultured neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virdee, Jasmeet K; Saro, Gabriella; Fouillet, Antoine; Findlay, Jeremy; Ferreira, Filipa; Eversden, Sarah; O'Neill, Michael J; Wolak, Joanna; Ursu, Daniel

    2017-11-03

    Loss of synapses or alteration of synaptic activity is associated with cognitive impairment observed in a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Therefore successful development of in vitro methods that can investigate synaptic function in a high-throughput format could be highly impactful for neuroscience drug discovery. We present here the development, characterisation and validation of a novel high-throughput in vitro model for assessing neuronal function and synaptic transmission in primary rodent neurons. The novelty of our approach resides in the combination of the electrical field stimulation (EFS) with data acquisition in spatially separated areas of an interconnected neuronal network. We integrated our methodology with state of the art drug discovery instrumentation (FLIPR Tetra) and used selective tool compounds to perform a systematic pharmacological validation of the model. We investigated pharmacological modulators targeting pre- and post-synaptic receptors (AMPA, NMDA, GABA-A, mGluR2/3 receptors and Nav, Cav voltage-gated ion channels) and demonstrated the ability of our model to discriminate and measure synaptic transmission in cultured neuronal networks. Application of the model described here as an unbiased phenotypic screening approach will help with our long term goals of discovering novel therapeutic strategies for treating neurological disorders.

  19. Prenatal melamine exposure impairs spatial cognition and hippocampal synaptic plasticity by presynaptic and postsynaptic inhibition of glutamatergic transmission in adolescent offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Lei; Sun, Wei

    2017-03-05

    Our previous studies showed that prenatal melamine exposure (PME) could impair spatial cognition and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). More importantly, the synaptic dysfunction induced by PME was associated with the probability of presynaptic glutamate release. Considering the crucial role of the other form of synaptic plasticity, long-term depression (LTD), in some types of learning and memory process, the aim of present study was to investigate if the hippocampal LTD and cognitive flexibility were affected. And then we attempted to explore the underlying mechanism. The animal model was produced by melamine exposure throughout gestational period with 400mg/kg bodyweight, the male offspring rats were used in the study. Morris water maze (MWM) test was performed, and then LTD was recorded from Schaffer collaterals to CA1 region in the hippocampus. Behavioral test showed that learning, reference memory and re-acquisition learning abilities were impaired significantly by PME. The field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) slopes of LTD were significantly higher after PME. Furthermore, the data of whole-cell patch-clamp experiments showed that PME markedly diminished the frequencies of spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs) and simultaneously reduced the amplitude of sEPSCs. In conclusion, PME inhibited glutamate transmission presynaptically and postsynaptically which could contribute importantly to the depressed hippocampal synaptic plasticity and further induced cognitive deficits in MWM tests. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Enhanced Synaptic Transmission at the Squid Giant Synapse by Artificial Seawater Based on Physically Modified Saline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soonwook eChoi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa⁺⁺ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5 to 10 minutes of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to one hour. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and clathrin-coated vesicles was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic

  1. 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 neurons receiving baroreceptors inputs are relatively well characterized, their electrophysiological profile has been accepted as a general characteristic for all 2nd-order NTS neurons involved with the processing of different sensorial inputs. On the other hand, the synaptic properties of other afferent systems in NTS, such as the peripheral chemoreceptors, are not yet well understood. In this context, in previous studies we demonstrated that in response to repetitive afferents stimulation, the chemoreceptors 2nd-order NTS neurons also presented high fidelity of synaptic transmission, but with a large variability in the latency of evoked responses. This finding is different in relation to the precise timing transmission for baroreceptor 2nd-order NTS neurons, which was accepted as a general characteristic profile for all 2nd order neurons in the NTS. In this brief review we discuss this new concept as an index of complexity of the sensorial inputs to NTS with focus on the synaptic processing of baro- and chemoreceptor afferents. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Endocannabinoid-Dependent Long-Term Potentiation of Synaptic Transmission at Rat Barrel Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maglio, Laura Eva; Noriega-Prieto, José Antonio; Maraver, Maria Jesús; Fernández de Sevilla, David

    2017-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a critical role in modulating plasticity in sensory cortices. Indeed, a BDNF-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) at distal basal excitatory synapses of Layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PNs) has been demonstrated in disinhibited rat barrel cortex slices. Although it is well established that this LTP requires the pairing of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) with Ca2+ spikes, its induction when synaptic inhibition is working remains unexplored. Here we show that low-frequency stimulation at basal dendrites of L5PNs is able to trigger a PSP followed by an action potential (AP) and a slow depolarization (termed PSP-Ca2+ response) in thalamocortical slices without blocking synaptic inhibition. We demonstrate that AP barrage-mediated release of endocannabinoids (eCBs) from the recorded L5PNs induces PSP-Ca2+ response facilitation and BDNF-dependent LTP. Indeed, this LTP requires the type 1 cannabinoid receptors activation, is prevented by postsynaptic intracellular 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy) ethane-N,N,N,N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA) or the anandamide membrane transporter inhibitor AM404, and only occurs in L5PNs neurons showing depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition. Additionally, electrical stimulation at the posteromedial thalamic nucleus induced similar response and LTP. These results reveal a novel form of eCB-dependent LTP at L5PNs that could be relevant in the processing of sensory information in the barrel cortex. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dania eVecchia; Angelita eTottene; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M. J. M.; Daniela ePietrobon

    2015-01-01

    Familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) Ca2+ channels. Knockin (KI) mice carrying the FHM1 R192Q missense mutation show enhanced cortical excitatory synaptic transmission at pyramidal cell synapses but unaltered cortical inhibitory neurotransmission at fast-spiking interneuron synapses. Enhanced cortical glutamate release was shown to cause the facilitation of cortical spreading depression (CSD) in R192Q KI mice. It, however, rem...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) Ca2+ channels. Knockin (KI) mice carrying the FHM1 R192Q missense mutation show enhanced cortical excitatory synaptic transmission at pyramidal cell synapses but unaltered cortical inhibitory neurotransmission at fast-spiking interneuron synapses. Enhanced cortical glutamate release was shown to cause the facilitation of cortical spreading depression (CSD) in R192Q KI mice. It, however, rem...

  5. Paradoxical (REM) Sleep Deprivation Causes a Large and Rapidly Reversible Decrease in Long-Term Potentiation, Synaptic Transmission, Glutamate Receptor Protein Levels, and ERK/MAPK Activation in the Dorsal Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravassard, Pascal; Pachoud, Bastien; Comte, Jean-Christophe; Mejia-Perez, Camila; Scoté-Blachon, Céline; Gay, Nadine; Claustrat, Bruno; Touret, Monique; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Salin, Paul Antoine

    2009-01-01

    Study Objectives: It has been shown that wake (W) and slow wave sleep (SWS) modulate synaptic transmission in neocortical projections. However the impact of paradoxical sleep (PS) quantities on synaptic transmission remains unknown. We examined whether PS modulated the excitatory transmission and expression of glutamate receptor subtypes and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases (p-ERK1/2). Design: PS deprivation (PSD) was carried out with the multiple platforms method on adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. LTP, late-LTP, and synaptic transmission were studied in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus of controls, 75-h PSD and 150-min PS rebound (PSR). GluR1 and NR1 protein and mRNA expression were evaluated by western blot and real-time PCR. P-ERK1/2 level was quantified by western blot and immunohistochemistry. Measurement and Results: PSD decreased synaptic transmission and LTP selectively in dorsal CA1 and PSR rescued these deficits. PSD-induced synaptic modifications in CA1 were associated with a decrease in GluR1, NR1, and p-ERK1/2 levels in dorsal CA1 without change in GluR1 and NR1 mRNA expression. Regression analysis shows that LTP is positively correlated with both PS quantities and SWS episodes duration, whereas synaptic transmission and late-LTP are positively correlated with PS quantities and negatively correlated with SWS quantities. Conclusions: These findings unveil previously unrecognized roles of PSD on synaptic transmission and LTP in the dorsal, but not in the ventral, hippocampus. The fact that the decrease in protein expression of GluR1 and NR1 was not associated with a change in mRNA expression of these receptors suggests that a sleep-induced modulation of translational mechanisms occurs in dorsal CA1. Citation: Ravassard P; Pachoud B; Comte JC; Mejia-Perez C; Scoté-Blachon C; Gay N; Claustrat B; Touret M; Luppi PH; Salin PA. Paradoxical (REM) sleep deprivation causes a large and rapidly reversible decrease in long-term potentiation

  6. Efficiency of neural transmission as a function of synaptic noise, threshold, and source characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paprocki, Bartosz; Szczepanski, Janusz

    2011-07-01

    There has been a growing interest in the estimation of information carried by a single neuron and multiple single units or population of neurons to specific stimuli. In this paper we analyze, inspired by article of Levy and Baxter (2002), the efficiency of a neuronal communication by considering dendrosomatic summation as a Shannon-type channel (1948) and by considering such uncertain synaptic transmission as part of the dendrosomatic computation. Specifically, we study Mutual Information between input and output signals for different types of neuronal network architectures by applying efficient entropy estimators. We analyze the influence of the following quantities affecting transmission abilities of neurons: synaptic failure, activation threshold, firing rate and type of the input source. We observed a number of surprising non-intuitive effects. It turns out that, especially for lower activation thresholds, significant synaptic noise can lead even to twofold increase of the transmission efficiency. Moreover, the efficiency turns out to be a non-monotonic function of the activation threshold. We find a universal value of threshold for which a local maximum of Mutual Information is achieved for most of the neuronal architectures, regardless of the type of the source (correlated and non-correlated). Additionally, to reach the global maximum the optimal firing rates must increase with the threshold. This effect is particularly visible for lower firing rates. For higher firing rates the influence of synaptic noise on the transmission efficiency is more advantageous. Noise is an inherent component of communication in biological systems, hence, based on our analysis, we conjecture that the neuronal architecture was adjusted to make more effective use of this attribute. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Physiological consequences of selective suppression of synaptic transmission in developing cerebral cortical networks in vitro: differential effects on intrinsically generated bioelectric discharges in a living 'model' system for slow-wave sleep activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corner, Michael A; Baker, Robert E; van Pelt, Jaap

    2008-10-01

    Within the context of an updated thorough review of the literature concerning activity-dependent cerebro-cortical development, a survey is made of recent experiments which utilize spontaneous spike-trains as the dependent variable in rodent neocortex cultures when synaptic transmission is interfered with during early ontogeny. Emphasis is placed on the complexity of homeostatic adaptations to reduced as well as intensified firing. Two kinds of adaptation are distinguished: (i) rapid recovery (within several hours) towards baseline levels despite sustained blockade of excitatory synaptic transmission, and (ii) the generation of essentially normal firing patterns in cultures assayed in control medium following development in the presence of excitatory receptor blockers. The former category of homeostatic responses is strongly dependent on the type of preparation, with isolated organotypic explants showing greatly limited plasticity in comparison with co-cultures of matching contralateral pieces of cortical tissue. In such co-cultures, compensatory excitatory drive manifests itself even when all three known types of ionotropic glutamate receptors are chronically blocked, and is then mediated by (muscarinic) cholinergic mechanisms which normally do not contribute measurably to spontaneous activity. The rapid return of high levels of spontaneous firing during sustained selective glutamatergic receptor blockade appears to protect neuronal cultures treated in this way from becoming hyperexcitable. In particular, quasi-epileptiform paroxysmal bursting upon return to control medium, such as appears in preparations where bioelectric activity has been totally suppressed during network formation, fails to appear in chronically receptor blocked cultures. On the contrary, desensitization of blocked glutamate receptors, as a physiological compensation for the up-regulation of non-blocked receptors, could be demonstrated for both the AMPA and the NMDA glutamate receptor sub

  8. Adult Onset-hypothyroidism has Minimal Effects on Synaptic Transmission in the Hippocampus of Rats Independent of Hypothermia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction: Thyroid hormones (TH) influence central nervous system (CNS) function during development and in adulthood. The hippocampus, a brain area critical for learning and memory is sensitive to TH insufficiency. Synaptic transmission in the hippocampus is impaired following...

  9. Thrombin regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity: implications for health and disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina eBen Shimon

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Thrombin, a serine protease involved in the blood coagulation cascade has been shown to affect neural function following blood-brain barrier breakdown. However, several lines of evidence exist that thrombin is also expressed in the brain under physiological conditions, suggesting an involvement of thrombin in the regulation of normal brain functions. Here, we review ours’ as well as others' recent work on the role of thrombin in synaptic transmission and plasticity through direct or indirect activation of Protease-Activated Receptor-1 (PAR1. These studies propose a novel role of thrombin in synaptic plasticity, both in physiology as well as in neurological diseases associated with increased brain thrombin/PAR1 levels.

  10. Wiring prior to firing: the evolutionary rise of electrical and chemical modes of synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovsepian, Saak V; Vesselkin, Nikolai P

    2014-01-01

    Paracrine signaling and coupling via intercellular conduits are widely utilized for cell-cell interactions from primitive eukaryotes to advanced metazoa. Here, we review the functional and molecular data suggestive of a phylogenic continuum between these primeval forms of communication with the chemical and electrical synaptic transmission of neurons. We discuss selective evidence for the essential role played by the shift of function in early cellular morphologies and protosynaptic scaffolds, with their co-optation for new functionality, which ultimately lead to the rise of the chemical synapse. It is proposed that, rather than representing a transitional element, mixed electrochemical synapses exemplify an exaptive effect. The nonadaptive model of the synaptic origin described herein supports the pluralistic hypothesis of evolutionary change.

  11. 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.

  12. Estradiol attenuates ischemia-induced death of hippocampal neurons and enhances synaptic transmission in aged, long-term hormone-deprived female rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Inagaki

    Full Text Available Transient global forebrain ischemia causes selective, delayed death of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, and the ovarian hormone 17β-estradiol (E2 reduces neuronal loss in young and middle-aged females. The neuroprotective efficacy of E2 after a prolonged period of hormone deprivation is controversial, and few studies examine this issue in aged animals given E2 treatment after induction of ischemia.The present study investigated the neuroprotective effects of E2 administered immediately after global ischemia in aged female rats (15-18 months after 6 months of hormone deprivation. We also used electrophysiological methods to assess whether CA1 synapses in the aging hippocampus remain responsive to E2 after prolonged hormone withdrawal. Animals were ovariohysterectomized and underwent 10 min global ischemia 6 months later. A single dose of E2 (2.25 µg infused intraventricularly after reperfusion significantly increased cell survival, with 45% of CA1 neurons surviving vs 15% in controls. Ischemia also induced moderate loss of CA3/CA4 pyramidal cells. Bath application of 1 nM E2 onto brain slices derived from non-ischemic aged females after 6 months of hormone withdrawal significantly enhanced excitatory transmission at CA1 synapses evoked by Schaffer collateral stimulation, and normal long-term potentiation (LTP was induced. The magnitude of LTP and of E2 enhancement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials was indistinguishable from that recorded in slices from young rats.The data demonstrate that 1 acute post-ischemic infusion of E2 into the brain ventricles is neuroprotective in aged rats after 6 months of hormone deprivation; and 2 E2 enhances synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged long-term hormone deprived females. These findings provide evidence that the aging hippocampus remains responsive to E2 administered either in vivo or in vitro even after prolonged periods of hormone withdrawal.

  13. Novel nootropic dipeptide Noopept increases inhibitory synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondratenko, Rodion V; Derevyagin, Vladimir I; Skrebitsky, Vladimir G

    2010-05-31

    Effects of newly synthesized nootropic and anxiolytic dipeptide Noopept on inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells were investigated using patch-clamp technique in whole-cell configuration. Bath application of Noopept (1 microM) significantly increased the frequency of spike-dependant spontaneous IPSCs whereas spike-independent mIPSCs remained unchanged. It was suggested that Noopept mediates its effect due to the activation of inhibitory interneurons terminating on CA1 pyramidal cells. Results of current clamp recording of inhibitory interneurons residing in stratum radiatum confirmed this suggestion. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Bradykinin produces pain hypersensitivity by potentiating spinal cord glutamatergic synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Haibin; Kohno, Tatsuro; Amaya, Fumimasa; Brenner, Gary J; Ito, Nobuko; Allchorne, Andrew; Ji, Ru-Rong; Woolf, Clifford J

    2005-08-31

    Bradykinin, an inflammatory mediator, sensitizes nociceptor peripheral terminals reducing pain threshold. We now show that the B2 kinin receptor is expressed in rat dorsal horn neurons and that bradykinin, a B2-specific agonist, augments AMPA- and NMDA-induced, and primary afferent-evoked EPSCs, and increases the frequency and amplitude of miniature EPSCs in superficial dorsal horn neurons in vitro. Administration of bradykinin to the spinal cord in vivo produces, moreover, an NMDA-dependent hyperalgesia. We also demonstrate that nociceptive inputs result in the production of bradykinin in the spinal cord and that an intrathecal B2-selective antagonist suppresses behavioral manifestations of central sensitization, an activity-dependent increase in glutamatergic synaptic efficacy. Primary afferent-evoked central sensitization is, in addition, reduced in B2 receptor knock-out mice. We conclude that bradykinin is released in the spinal cord in response to nociceptor inputs and acts as a synaptic neuromodulator, potentiating glutamatergic synaptic transmission to produce pain hypersensitivity.

  15. miR-153 Regulates SNAP-25, Synaptic Transmission, and Neuronal Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olena, Abigail F.; Cha, Diana J.; Perdigoto, Ana L.; Marshall, Andrew F.; Carter, Bruce D.; Broadie, Kendal; Patton, James G.

    2013-01-01

    SNAP-25 is a core component of the trimeric SNARE complex mediating vesicle exocytosis during membrane addition for neuronal growth, neuropeptide/growth factor secretion, and neurotransmitter release during synaptic transmission. Here, we report a novel microRNA mechanism of SNAP-25 regulation controlling motor neuron development, neurosecretion, synaptic activity, and movement in zebrafish. Loss of miR-153 causes overexpression of SNAP-25 and consequent hyperactive movement in early zebrafish embryos. Conversely, overexpression of miR-153 causes SNAP-25 down regulation resulting in near complete paralysis, mimicking the effects of treatment with Botulinum neurotoxin. miR-153-dependent changes in synaptic activity at the neuromuscular junction are consistent with the observed movement defects. Underlying the movement defects, perturbation of miR-153 function causes dramatic developmental changes in motor neuron patterning and branching. Together, our results indicate that precise control of SNAP-25 expression by miR-153 is critically important for proper neuronal patterning as well as neurotransmission. PMID:23451149

  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. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor modulates hippocampal synaptic transmission by increasing N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor activity

    OpenAIRE

    Levine, Eric S; Crozier, Robert A.; Black, Ira B.; Plummer, Mark R.

    1998-01-01

    Neurotrophins (NTs) have recently been found to regulate synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Whole-cell and single-channel recordings from cultured hippocampal neurons revealed a mechanism responsible for enhanced synaptic strength. Specifically, brain-derived neurotrophic factor augmented glutamate-evoked, but not acetylcholine-evoked, currents 3-fold and increased N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor open probability. Activation of trkB NT receptors was critical, as glutamate curr...

  18. The origin of the term plasticity in the neurosciences: Ernesto Lugaro and chemical synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlucchi, Giovanni

    2002-09-01

    The Italian psychiatrist Ernesto Lugaro can be regarded as responsible for introducing the term plasticity into the neurosciences as early as 1906. By this term he meant that throughout life the anatomo-functional relations between neurons can change in an adaptive fashion to enable psychic maturation, learning, and even functional recovery after brain damage. Lugaro's concept of plasticity was strongly inspired by a neural hypothesis of learning and memory put forward in 1893 by his teacher Eugenio Tanzi. Tanzi postulated that practice and experience promote neuronal growth and shorten the minute spatial gaps between functionally associated neurons, thus facilitating their interactions. In addition to discovering the cerebellar cells known by his name and advancing profound speculations about the functions of the glia, Lugaro lucidly foresaw the chemical nature of synaptic transmission in the central nervous system, and was the first to propose the usage of the terms "nervous conduction" and "nervous transmission" in their currently accepted meaning.

  19. Synchronous and asynchronous modes of synaptic transmission utilize different calcium sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Hua; Hubbard, Jeffrey M; Rakela, Benjamin; Linhoff, Michael W; Mandel, Gail; Brehm, Paul

    2013-12-24

    Asynchronous transmission plays a prominent role at certain synapses but lacks the mechanistic insights of its synchronous counterpart. The current view posits that triggering of asynchronous release during repetitive stimulation involves expansion of the same calcium domains underlying synchronous transmission. In this study, live imaging and paired patch clamp recording at the zebrafish neuromuscular synapse reveal contributions by spatially distinct calcium sources. Synchronous release is tied to calcium entry into synaptic boutons via P/Q type calcium channels, whereas asynchronous release is boosted by a propagating intracellular calcium source initiated at off-synaptic locations in the axon and axonal branch points. This secondary calcium source fully accounts for the persistence following termination of the stimulus and sensitivity to slow calcium buffers reported for asynchronous release. The neuromuscular junction and CNS neurons share these features, raising the possibility that secondary calcium sources are common among synapses with prominent asynchronous release. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01206.001.

  20. Toluene decreases Purkinje cell output by enhancing inhibitory synaptic transmission in the cerebellar cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gmaz, Jimmie M; McKay, Bruce E

    2014-02-07

    Toluene belongs to a class of psychoactive drugs known as inhalants. Found in common household products such as adhesives, paint products, and aerosols, toluene is inhaled for its intoxicating and euphoric properties. Additionally, exposure to toluene disrupts motor behaviors in a manner consistent with impairments to cerebellar function. Previous work has suggested a role of GABA in mediating toluene's neurobehavioral effects, but how this manifests in the cerebellar cortex is not yet understood. In the present study, we examined the effects of toluene on cerebellar Purkinje cell action potential output and inhibitory synaptic transmission onto Purkinje cells using patch clamp electrophysiology in acute rat cerebellar slices. Toluene (1mM) reduced the frequency of Purkinje cell action potential output without affecting input resistance. Furthermore, toluene dose-dependently enhanced inhibitory synaptic transmission onto Purkinje cells, increasing the amplitude and frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents; no change in the frequency of action potentials from molecular layer interneurons was noted. The observed decreases in Purkinje cell action potential output could contribute to toluene-evoked impairments in cerebellar and motor functions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Cortical spreading depression modulates synaptic transmission of the rat lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehbandi, Shahab; Speckmann, Erwin-Josef; Pape, Hans Christian; Gorji, Ali

    2008-04-01

    Clinical and pathophysiological evidence connects migraine and the amygdala. Cortical spreading depression (CSD) plays a causative role in the generation of aura symptoms. However, the role of CSD in the pathophysiology of other symptoms of migraine needs to be investigated. An in vitro brain slice technique was used to investigate CSD effects on tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) in the lateral amygdala (LA) of the combined rat amygdala-hippocampus-cortex slices. More than 75% of CSD induced in temporal cortex propagated to LA. Induction of CSD in combined amygdala-hippocampus-cortex slices in which CSD propagated from neocortex to LA significantly augmented LTP in LA. LTP was inhibited when CSD travelled only in the neocortical tissues. Separation of the amygdala from the remaining neocortical part of the slice, in which CSD propagation was limited to the neocortex, increased LTP close to the control levels. Pharmacological manipulations of the slices, in which CSD reached LA, revealed the involvement of NMDA and AMPA glutamate subreceptors as well as dopamine D2 receptors in the enhancement of LTP in LA. However, neither blocking of GABA receptors nor activation of dopamine D1 receptors affected LTP in these slices. The results indicate the disturbances of LA synaptic transmission triggered by propagation of CSD. This perturbation of LA synaptic transmission induced by CSD may relate to some symptoms occurring during migraine attacks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism enhances glutamatergic transmission but diminishes activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the dorsolateral striatum.

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    Jing, Deqiang; Lee, Francis S; Ninan, Ipe

    2017-01-01

    The Val66Met polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene disrupts the activity-dependent release of BDNF, which might underlie its involvement in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Consistent with the potential role of regulated release of BDNF in synaptic functions, earlier studies have demonstrated that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism impairs NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and plasticity in the hippocampus, the medial prefrontal cortex and the central amygdala. However, it is unknown whether the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism affects synapses in the dorsal striatum, which depends on cortical afferents for BDNF. Electrophysiological experiments revealed an enhanced glutamatergic transmission in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) of knock-in mice containing the variant polymorphism (BDNF Met/Met ) compared to the wild-type (BDNF Val/Val ) mice. This increase in glutamatergic transmission is mediated by a potentiation in glutamate release and NMDA receptor transmission in the medium spiny neurons without any alterations in non-NMDA receptor-mediated transmission. We also observed an impairment of synaptic plasticity, both long-term potentiation and depression in the DLS neurons, in BDNF Met/Met mice. Thus, the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism exerts an increase in glutamatergic transmission but impairs synaptic plasticity in the dorsal striatum, which might play a role in its effect on neuropsychiatric symptoms. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Ionotropic glutamate receptors'. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The release and trans-synaptic transmission of Tau via exosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yipeng; Balaji, Varun; Kaniyappan, Senthilvelrajan; Krüger, Lars; Irsen, Stephan; Tepper, Katharina; Chandupatla, RamReddy; Maetzler, Walter; Schneider, Anja; Mandelkow, Eckhard; Mandelkow, Eva-Maria

    2017-01-13

    Tau pathology in AD spreads in a hierarchical pattern, whereby it first appears in the entorhinal cortex, then spreads to the hippocampus and later to the surrounding areas. Based on this sequential appearance, AD can be classified into six stages ("Braak stages"). The mechanisms and agents underlying the progression of Tau pathology are a matter of debate. Emerging evidence indicates that the propagation of Tau pathology may be due to the transmission of Tau protein, but the underlying pathways and Tau species are not well understood. In this study we investigated the question of Tau spreading via small extracellular vesicles called exosomes. Exosomes from different sources were analyzed by biochemical methods and electron microscopy (EM) and cryo-EM. Microfluidic devices that allow the culture of cell populations in different compartments were used to investigate the spreading of Tau. We show that Tau protein is released by cultured primary neurons or by N2a cells overexpressing different Tau constructs via exosomes. Neuron-derived exosomal Tau is hypo-phosphorylated, compared with cytosolic Tau. Depolarization of neurons promotes release of Tau-containing exosomes, highlighting the importance of neuronal activity. Using microfluidic devices we show that exosomes mediate trans-neuronal transfer of Tau depending on synaptic connectivity. Tau spreading is achieved by direct transmission of exosomes between neurons. In organotypic hippocampal slices, Tau-containing exosomes in conditioned medium are taken up by neurons and microglia, not astrocytes. In N2a cells, Tau assemblies are released via exosomes. They can induce inclusions of other Tau molecules in N2a cells expressing mutant human Tau. We also studied exosomes from cerebrospinal fluid in AD and control subjects containing monomeric and oligomeric Tau. Split-luciferase complementation reveals that exosomes from CSF can promote Tau aggregation in cultured cells. Our study demonstrates that exosomes contribute

  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. A Computational Model to Investigate Astrocytic Glutamate Uptake Influence on Synaptic Transmission and Neuronal Spiking

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    Sushmita Lakshmi Allam

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decades, our view of astrocytes has switched from passive support cells to active processing elements in the brain. The current view is that astrocytes shape neuronal communication and also play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the growing awareness of the importance of astrocytes, the exact mechanisms underlying neuron-astrocyte communication and the physiological consequences of astrocytic-neuronal interactions remain largely unclear. In this work, we define a modeling framework that will permit to address unanswered questions regarding the role of astrocytes. Our computational model of a detailed glutamatergic synapse facilitates the analysis of neural system responses to various stimuli and conditions that are otherwise difficult to obtain experimentally, in particular the readouts at the sub-cellular level. In this paper, we extend a detailed glutamatergic synaptic model, to include astrocytic glutamate transporters. We demonstrate how these glial transporters, responsible for the majority of glutamate uptake, modulate synaptic transmission mediated by ionotropic AMPA and NMDA receptors at glutamatergic synapses. Furthermore, we investigate how these local signaling effects at the synaptic level are translated into varying spatio-temporal patterns of neuron firing. Paired pulse stimulation results reveal that the effect of astrocytic glutamate uptake is more apparent when the input inter-spike interval is sufficiently long to allow the receptors to recover from desensitization. These results suggest an important functional role of astrocytes in spike timing dependent processes and demand further investigation of the molecular basis of certain neurological diseases specifically related to alterations in astrocytic glutamate uptake, such as epilepsy.

  8. 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.

  9. New tools for targeted disruption of cholinergic synaptic transmission in Drosophila melanogaster.

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    Monica Mejia

    Full Text Available Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels. The α7 subtype of nAChRs is involved in neurological pathologies such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, addiction, epilepsy and autism spectrum disorders. The Drosophila melanogaster α7 (Dα7 has the closest sequence homology to the vertebrate α7 subunit and it can form homopentameric receptors just as the vertebrate counterpart. The Dα7 subunits are essential for the function of the Giant Fiber circuit, which mediates the escape response of the fly. To further characterize the receptor function, we generated different missense mutations in the Dα7 nAChR's ligand binding domain. We characterized the effects of targeted expression of two UAS-constructs carrying a single mutation, D197A and Y195T, as well as a UAS-construct carrying a triple D77T, L117Q, I196P mutation in a Dα7 null mutant and in a wild type background. Expression of the triple mutation was able to restore the function of the circuit in Dα7 null mutants and had no disruptive effects when expressed in wild type. In contrast, both single mutations severely disrupted the synaptic transmission of Dα7-dependent but not glutamatergic or gap junction dependent synapses in wild type background, and did not or only partially rescued the synaptic defects of the null mutant. These observations are consistent with the formation of hybrid receptors, consisting of D197A or Y195T subunits and wild type Dα7 subunits, in which the binding of acetylcholine or acetylcholine-induced conformational changes of the Dα7 receptor are altered and causes inhibition of cholinergic responses. Thus targeted expression of D197A or Y195T can be used to selectively disrupt synaptic transmission of Dα7-dependent synapses in neuronal circuits. Hence, these constructs can be used as tools to study learning and memory or addiction associated behaviors by allowing the manipulation of neuronal processing in the

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of dieldrin (HEOD) and some of its metabolites on synaptic transmission in the frog motor end-plate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akkermans, L.M.A.; Bercken, J. van den; Zalm, J.M. van der; Straaten, H.W.M. van

    The effects of HEOD and some of its metabolites on synaptic transmission in the frog motor end-plate were studied by means of intracellular microelectrodes. HEOD itself and the metabolites 9-syn-hydroxy-HEOD and the aldrin-derived dicarboxilic acid had no significant effect on frequency and

  12. Relative contribution of free-virus and synaptic transmission to the spread of HIV-1 through target cell populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komarova, Natalia L; Anghelina, Daniela; Voznesensky, Igor; Trinité, Benjamin; Levy, David N; Wodarz, Dominik

    2013-02-23

    Human immunodeficiency virus can spread through target cells by transmission of cell-free virus or directly from cell-to-cell via formation of virological synapses. Although cell-to-cell transmission has been described as much more efficient than cell-free infection, the relative contribution of the two transmission pathways to virus growth during multiple rounds of replication remains poorly defined. Here, we fit a mathematical model to previously published and newly generated in vitro data, and determine that free-virus and synaptic transmission contribute approximately equally to the growth of the virus population.

  13. Syncrip/hnRNP Q influences synaptic transmission and regulates BMP signaling at the Drosophila neuromuscular synapse

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    James M. Halstead

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity involves the modulation of synaptic connections in response to neuronal activity via multiple pathways. One mechanism modulates synaptic transmission by retrograde signals from the post-synapse that influence the probability of vesicle release in the pre-synapse. Despite its importance, very few factors required for the expression of retrograde signals, and proper synaptic transmission, have been identified. Here, we identify the conserved RNA binding protein Syncrip as a new factor that modulates the efficiency of vesicle release from the motoneuron and is required for correct synapse structure. We show that syncrip is required genetically and its protein product is detected only in the muscle and not in the motoneuron itself. This unexpected non-autonomy is at least partly explained by the fact that Syncrip modulates retrograde BMP signals from the muscle back to the motoneuron. We show that Syncrip influences the levels of the Bone Morphogenic Protein ligand Glass Bottom Boat from the post-synapse and regulates the pre-synapse. Our results highlight the RNA-binding protein Syncrip as a novel regulator of synaptic output. Given its known role in regulating translation, we propose that Syncrip is important for maintaining a balance between the strength of presynaptic vesicle release and postsynaptic translation.

  14. 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.

  15. Neuron-astrocyte interaction enhance GABAergic synaptic transmission in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes.

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    Przemysław eKaczor

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain and mechanisms of GABAergic inhibition have been intensely investigated in the past decades. Recent studies provided evidence for an important role of astrocytes in shaping GABAergic currents. One of the most obvious, but yet poorly understood, mechanisms of the cross-talk between GABAergic currents and astrocytes is metabolism including neurotransmitter homeostasis. In particular, how modulation of GABAergic currents by astrocytes depends on key enzymes involved in cellular metabolism remains largely unknown. To address this issue, we have considered two simple models of neuronal cultures: nominally astrocyte-free neuronal culture (NC and neuronal-astrocytic co-cultures (ANCC and miniature Inhibitory Postsynaptic Currents (mIPSCs were recorded in control conditions and in the presence of respective enzyme blockers. We report that enrichment of neuronal culture with astrocytes results in a marked increase in mIPSC frequency. This enhancement of GABAergic activity was accompanied by increased number of GAD65 and vGAT puncta, indicating that at least a part of the frequency enhancement was due to increased number of synaptic contacts. Inhibition of glutamine synthetase (with MSO strongly reduced mIPSC frequency in ANCC but had no effect in NC. Moreover, treatment of ANCC with inhibitor of glycogen phosphorylase (BAYU6751 or with selective inhibitor of astrocytic Krebs cycle,fluoroacetate, resulted in a marked reduction of mIPSC frequency in ANCC having no effect in NC. We conclude that GABAergic synaptic transmission strongly depends on neuron-astrocyte interaction in a manner dependent on key metabolic enzymes as well as on the Krebs cycle.

  16. Novel Mutations in Synaptic Transmission Genes Suppress Neuronal Hyperexcitation in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Katherine A. McCulloch

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh receptors (AChR regulate neural circuit activity in multiple contexts. In humans, mutations in ionotropic acetylcholine receptor (iAChR genes can cause neurological disorders, including myasthenia gravis and epilepsy. In Caenorhabditis elegans, iAChRs play multiple roles in the locomotor circuit. The cholinergic motor neurons express an ACR-2-containing pentameric AChR (ACR-2R comprised of ACR-2, ACR-3, ACR-12, UNC-38, and UNC-63 subunits. A gain-of-function mutation in the non-α subunit gene acr-2 [acr-2(gf] causes defective locomotion as well as spontaneous convulsions. Previous studies of genetic suppressors of acr-2(gf have provided insights into ACR-2R composition and assembly. Here, to further understand how the ACR-2R regulates neuronal activity, we expanded the suppressor screen for acr-2(gf-induced convulsions. The majority of these suppressor mutations affect genes that play critical roles in synaptic transmission, including two novel mutations in the vesicular ACh transporter unc-17. In addition, we identified a role for a conserved major facilitator superfamily domain (MFSD protein, mfsd-6, in regulating neural circuit activity. We further defined a role for the sphingosine (SPH kinase (Sphk sphk-1 in cholinergic neuron activity, independent of previously known signaling pathways. Overall, the genes identified in our study suggest that optimal modulation of synaptic activity is balanced by the differential activities of multiple pathways, and the novel alleles provide valuable reagents to further dissect neuronal mechanisms regulating the locomotor circuit.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Adenosine effects on inhibitory synaptic transmission and excitation–inhibition balance in the rat neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Adenosine might be the most widespread neuromodulator in the brain: as a metabolite of ATP it is present in every neuron and glial cell. However, how adenosine affects operation of neurons and networks in the neocortex is poorly understood, mostly because modulation of inhibitory transmission by adenosine has been so little studied. To clarify adenosine's role at inhibitory synapses, and in excitation–inhibition balance in pyramidal neurons, we recorded pharmacologically isolated inhibitory responses, compound excitatory–inhibitory responses and spontaneous events in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in slices from rat visual cortex. We show that adenosine (1–150 μm) suppresses inhibitory transmission to these neurons in a concentration-dependent and reversible manner. The suppression was mediated by presynaptic A1 receptors (A1Rs) because it was blocked by a selective A1 antagonist, DPCPX, and associated with changes of release indices: paired-pulse ratio, inverse coefficient of variation and frequency of miniature events. At some synapses (12 out of 24) we found evidence for A2ARs: their blockade led to a small but significant increase of the magnitude of adenosine-mediated suppression. This effect of A2AR blockade was not observed when A1Rs were blocked, suggesting that A2ARs do not have their own effect on transmission, but can modulate the A1R-mediated suppression. At both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, the magnitude of A1R-mediated suppression and A2AR–A1R interaction expressed high variability, suggesting high heterogeneity of synapses in the sensitivity to adenosine. Adenosine could change the balance between excitation and inhibition at a set of inputs to a neuron bidirectionally, towards excitation or towards inhibition. On average, however, these bidirectional changes cancelled each other, and the overall balance of excitation and inhibition was maintained during application of adenosine. These results suggest that changes of adenosine

  19. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-15

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

  20. Peptide and lipid modulation of glutamatergic afferent synaptic transmission in the solitary tract nucleus

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    Michael C. Andresen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The brainstem nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS holds the first central neurons in major homeostatic reflex pathways. These homeostatic reflexes regulate and coordinate multiple organ systems from gastrointestinal to cardiopulmonary functions. The core of many of these pathways arise from cranial visceral afferent neurons that enter the brain as the solitary tract (ST with more than two-thirds arising from the gastrointestinal system. About one quarter of ST afferents have myelinated axons but the majority are classed as unmyelinated C-fibers. All ST afferents release the fast neurotransmitter glutamate with remarkably similar, high-probability release characteristics. Second order NTS neurons receive surprisingly limited primary afferent information with one or two individual inputs converging on single second order NTS neurons. A- and C-fiber afferents never mix at NTS second order neurons. Many transmitters modify the basic glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC often by reducing glutamate release or interrupting terminal depolarization. Thus, a distinguishing feature of ST transmission is presynaptic expression of G-protein coupled receptors for peptides common to peripheral or forebrain (e.g. hypothalamus neuron sources. Presynaptic receptors for angiotensin (AT1, vasopressin (V1a, oxytocin (OT, opioid (MOR, ghrelin (GHSR1 and cholecystokinin (CCK differentially control glutamate release on particular subsets of neurons with most other ST afferents unaffected. Lastly, lipid-like signals are transduced by two key ST presynaptic receptors, the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1 and the cannabinoid receptor (CB1 that oppositely control glutamate release. Increasing evidence suggests that peripheral nervous signaling mechanisms are repurposed at central terminals to control excitation and are major sites of signal integration of peripheral and central inputs particularly from the hypothalamus.

  1. Alteration of AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Transmission by Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 in Cerebellar Stellate Cells123

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The fluorescent dyes, Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 are commonly used to visualize dendritic structures and the localization of synapses, both of which are critical for the spatial and temporal integration of synaptic inputs. However, the effect of the dyes on synaptic transmission is not known. Here we investigated whether Alexa Fluor dyes alter the properties of synaptic currents mediated by two subtypes of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at cerebellar stellate cell synapses. In naive mice, GluA2-lacking AMPAR-mediated synaptic currents displayed an inwardly rectifying current–voltage (I–V) relationship due to blockade by cytoplasmic spermine at depolarized potentials. We found that the inclusion of 100 µm Alexa Fluor dye, but not 10 µm, in the pipette solution led to a gradual increase in the amplitude of EPSCs at +40 mV and a change in the I–V relationship from inwardly rectifying to more linear. In mice exposed to an acute stress, AMPARs switched to GluA2-containing receptors, and 100 µm Alexa Fluor 594 did not alter the I–V relationship of synaptic currents. Therefore, a high concentration of Alexa Fluor dye changed the I–V relationship of EPSCs at GluA2-lacking AMPAR synapses. PMID:27280156

  2. Alteration of AMPA Receptor-Mediated Synaptic Transmission by Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 in Cerebellar Stellate Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroteaux, Matthieu; Liu, Siqiong June

    2016-01-01

    The fluorescent dyes, Alexa Fluor 488 and 594 are commonly used to visualize dendritic structures and the localization of synapses, both of which are critical for the spatial and temporal integration of synaptic inputs. However, the effect of the dyes on synaptic transmission is not known. Here we investigated whether Alexa Fluor dyes alter the properties of synaptic currents mediated by two subtypes of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) at cerebellar stellate cell synapses. In naive mice, GluA2-lacking AMPAR-mediated synaptic currents displayed an inwardly rectifying current-voltage (I-V) relationship due to blockade by cytoplasmic spermine at depolarized potentials. We found that the inclusion of 100 µm Alexa Fluor dye, but not 10 µm, in the pipette solution led to a gradual increase in the amplitude of EPSCs at +40 mV and a change in the I-V relationship from inwardly rectifying to more linear. In mice exposed to an acute stress, AMPARs switched to GluA2-containing receptors, and 100 µm Alexa Fluor 594 did not alter the I-V relationship of synaptic currents. Therefore, a high concentration of Alexa Fluor dye changed the I-V relationship of EPSCs at GluA2-lacking AMPAR synapses.

  3. 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.

  4. Xyloside primed glycosaminoglycans alter hair bundle micromechanical coupling and synaptic transmission: Pharmacokinetics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holman, Holly A.; Nguyen, Lynn Y. [Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Tran, Vy M.; Arungundram, Sailaja; Kalita, Mausam [Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Kuberan, Balagurunathan [Medicinal Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Neuroscience Program, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Rabbitt, Richard D. [Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Neuroscience Program, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Otolaryngology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (United States); Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts (United States)

    2015-12-31

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitous in the inner ear, and disorders altering their structure or production often result in debilitating hearing and balance deficits. The specific mechanisms responsible for loss of hair-cell function are not well understood. We recently reported that introduction of a novel BODIPY conjugated xyloside (BX) into the endolymph primes fluorescent GAGs in vivo [6, 15]. Confocal and two-photon fluorescence imaging revealed rapid turnover and assembly of a glycocalyx enveloping the kinocilia and extending into the cupula, a structure that presumably serves as a mechanical link between the hair bundle and the cupula. Extracellular fluorescence was also observed around the basolateral surface of hair cells and surrounding afferent nerve projections into the crista. Single unit afferent recordings during mechanical hair bundle stimulation revealed temporary interruption of synaptic transmission following BX administration followed by recovery, demonstrating an essential role for GAGs in function of the hair cell synapse. In the present work we present a pharmacokinetic model to quantify the time course of BX primed GAG production and turnover in the ear.

  5. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels Activated by Evoked Released Protons Modulate Synaptic Transmission at the Mouse Calyx of Held Synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Inchauspe, Carlota; Urbano, Francisco J; Di Guilmi, Mariano N; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2017-03-08

    Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) regulate synaptic activities and play important roles in neurodegenerative diseases. We found that these channels can be activated in neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) of the auditory system in the CNS. A drop in extracellular pH induces transient inward ASIC currents (IASICs) in postsynaptic MNTB neurons from wild-type mice. The inhibition of IASICs by psalmotoxin-1 (PcTx1) and the absence of these currents in knock-out mice for ASIC-1a subunit (ASIC1a(-/-)) suggest that homomeric ASIC-1as are mediating these currents in MNTB neurons. Furthermore, we detect ASIC1a-dependent currents during synaptic transmission, suggesting an acidification of the synaptic cleft due to the corelease of neurotransmitter and H(+) from synaptic vesicles. These currents are capable of eliciting action potentials in the absence of glutamatergic currents. A significant characteristic of these homomeric ASIC-1as is their permeability to Ca(2+) Activation of ASIC-1a in MNTB neurons by exogenous H(+) induces an increase in intracellular Ca(2+) Furthermore, the activation of postsynaptic ASIC-1as during high-frequency stimulation (HFS) of the presynaptic nerve terminal leads to a PcTx1-sensitive increase in intracellular Ca(2+) in MNTB neurons, which is independent of glutamate receptors and is absent in neurons from ASIC1a(-/-) mice. During HFS, the lack of functional ASICs in synaptic transmission results in an enhanced short-term depression of glutamatergic EPSCs. These results strongly support the hypothesis of protons as neurotransmitters and demonstrate that presynaptic released protons modulate synaptic transmission by activating ASIC-1as at the calyx of Held-MNTB synapse.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The manuscript demonstrates that postsynaptic neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body at the mouse calyx of Held synapse express functional homomeric Acid-sensing ion channel-1a (ASIC-1as) that can be activated by protons

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui-Ching Lin

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

  7. 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.

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

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    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.

  9. 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

  10. Microglia-derived purines modulate mossy fibre synaptic transmission and plasticity through P2X4 and A1 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Jimmy; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Mulle, Christophe; Amédée, Thierry

    2016-05-01

    Recent data have provided evidence that microglia, the brain-resident macrophage-like cells, modulate neuronal activity in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions, and microglia are therefore now recognized as synaptic partners. Among different neuromodulators, purines, which are produced and released by microglia, have emerged as promising candidates to mediate interactions between microglia and synapses. The cellular effects of purines are mediated through a large family of receptors for adenosine and for ATP (P2 receptors). These receptors are present at brain synapses, but it is unknown whether they can respond to microglia-derived purines to modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity. Here, we used a simple model of adding immune-challenged microglia to mouse hippocampal slices to investigate their impact on synaptic transmission and plasticity at hippocampal mossy fibre (MF) synapses onto CA3 pyramidal neurons. MF-CA3 synapses show prominent forms of presynaptic plasticity that are involved in the encoding and retrieval of memory. We demonstrate that microglia-derived ATP differentially modulates synaptic transmission and short-term plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses by acting, respectively, on presynaptic P2X4 receptors and on adenosine A1 receptors after conversion of extracellular ATP to adenosine. We also report that P2X4 receptors are densely located in the mossy fibre tract in the dentate gyrus-CA3 circuitry. In conclusion, this study reveals an interplay between microglia-derived purines and MF-CA3 synapses, and highlights microglia as potent modulators of presynaptic plasticity. © 2016 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Modulation of Network Oscillatory Activity and GABAergic Synaptic Transmission by CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors in the Rat Medial Entorhinal Cortex

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    Nicola H. Morgan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Cannabinoids modulate inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission in many brain regions. Within the temporal lobe, cannabinoid receptors are highly expressed, and are located presynaptically at inhibitory terminals. Here, we have explored the role of type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs at the level of inhibitory synaptic currents and field-recorded network oscillations. We report that arachidonylcyclopropylamide (ACPA; 10 M, an agonist at CB1R, inhibits GABAergic synaptic transmission onto both superficial and deep medial entorhinal (mEC neurones, but this has little effect on network oscillations in beta/gamma frequency bands. By contrast, the CB1R antagonist/inverse agonist LY320135 (500 nM, increased GABAergic synaptic activity and beta/gamma oscillatory activity in superficial mEC, was suppressed, whilst that in deep mEC was enhanced. These data indicate that cannabinoid-mediated effects on inhibitory synaptic activity may be constitutively active in vitro, and that modulation of CB1R activation using inverse agonists unmasks complex effects of CBR function on network activity.

  12. Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Entinostat (MS-275) Restores Anesthesia-induced Alteration of Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in the Developing Rat Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joksimovic, Srdjan M; Osuru, Hari Prasad; Oklopcic, Azra; Beenhakker, Mark P; Jevtovic-Todorovic, Vesna; Todorovic, Slobodan M

    2018-01-01

    Recent evidence strongly supports the idea that common general anesthetics (GAs) such as isoflurane (Iso) and nitrous oxide (N 2 O; laughing gas), as well as sedative drugs such as midazolam are neurotoxic for the developing mammalian brain having deleterious effects on neural circuits involved in cognition, learning and memory. However, to date, very little is known about epigenetic mechanisms involved in GA-induced plasticity of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus, the main memory-processing region in the brain. Here, we used patch-clamp recordings of miniature inhibitory post-synaptic currents (mIPSCs) from hippocampal neurons in slice cultures exposed to the clinically relevant GA combination. We found that in vitro exposure to a combination of midazolam, 0.75% Iso, and 70% N 2 O for 6 h leads to lasting increase in frequency of mIPSCs, while amplitudes and kinetics of the events were spared. Importantly, co-application of entinostat (MS-275), a selective inhibitor of class I histone deacetylases (HDAC), completely reversed GA-induced synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, when given in vivo to P7 pups exposed to GA with midazolam, Iso and N 2 O for 6 h, MS-275 reversed GA-induced histone-3 hypoacetylation as shown by an increase in Ac-H3 protein expression in the hippocampus. We conclude that exposure to a combination of Iso with N 2 O and midazolam causes plasticity of mIPSCs in hippocampal neurons by epigenetic mechanisms that target presynaptic sites. We hypothesize that GA-induced epigenetic alterations in inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus may contribute to altered neuronal excitability and consequently abnormal learning and memory later in life.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopantsev, Valeri; Both, Martin; Draguhn, Andreas

    2009-03-01

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

  14. Ethanol inhibits epileptiform activity and NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in rat amygdaloid slices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gean, P.W. (Cheng-Kung Univ., Tainan (Taiwan))

    1992-02-26

    The effect of ethanol on the epileptiform activity induced by Mg{sup ++}-free solution was studied in rat amygdalar slices using intracellular recording techniques. The spontaneous and evoked epileptiform discharges consisting of an initial burst followed by afterdischarges were observed 20-30 min after switching to Mg{sup ++}-free medium. Superfusion with ethanol reversibly reduced the duration of spontaneous and evoked bursting discharges in a concentration-dependent manner. Synaptic response mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activation was isolated by application of a solution containing the non-NMDA receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) and either in Mg{sup ++}-free solution or in the presence of 50 {mu}M bicuculline. Application of ethanol reversibly suppressed the duration of NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic response. These results suggest that intoxicating concentrations of ethanol possess anticonvulsant activity through blocking the NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic excitation.

  15. Synaptic transmission of chaotic spike trains between primary afferent fiber and spinal dorsal horn neuron in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Y-H; Jian, Z; Wen, Z-H; Wang, Y-Y; Han, S; Duan, Y-B; Xing, J-L; Zhu, J-L; Hu, S-J

    2004-01-01

    Primary sensory neurons can generate irregular burst firings in which the existence of significant deterministic behaviors of chaotic dynamics has been proved with nonlinear time series analysis. But how well the deterministic characteristics and neural information of presynaptic chaotic spike trains were transmitted into postsynaptic spike trains is still an open question. Here we investigated the synaptic transmission of chaotic spike trains between primary Adelta afferent fiber and spinal dorsal horn neuron. Two kinds of basic stimulus unit, brief burst and single pulse, were employed by us to comprise chaotic stimulus trains. For time series analysis, we defined "events" as the longest sequences of spikes with all interspike intervals less than or equal to a certain threshold and extracted the interevent intervals (IEIs) from spike trains. Return map analysis of the IEI series showed that the main temporal structure of chaotic input trains could be detected in postsynaptic output trains, especially under brief-burst stimulation. Using correlation dimension and nonlinear prediction methods, we found that synaptic transmission could influence the nonlinear characteristics of chaotic trains, such as fractal dimension and short-term predictability, with greater influence made under single-pulse stimulation. By calculating the mutual information between input and output trains, we found the information carried by presynaptic spike trains could not be completely transmitted at primary afferent synapses, and that brief bursts could more reliably transmit the information carried by chaotic input trains across synapses. These results indicate that although unreliability exists during synaptic transmission, the main deterministic characteristics of chaotic burst trains can be transmitted across primary afferent synapses. Moreover, brief bursts that come from the periphery can more reliably transmit neural information between primary afferent fibers and spinal dorsal horn

  16. 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.

  17. Potentiation of Schaffer-collateral CA1 synaptic transmission by eEF2K and p38 MAPK mediated mechanisms

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    Weiguang Weng

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The elongation factor 2 kinase (eEF2K, likewise known as CaMKIII, has been demonstrated to be involved in antidepressant responses of NMDA receptor antagonists. Even so, it remains open whether direct inhibition of eEF2K without altering up-flow or other signaling pathways affects hippocampal synaptic transmission and neuronal network synchrony. Inhibition of eEF2K by the selective and potent eEF2K inhibitor A-484954 induced a fast pre-synaptically mediated enhancement of synaptic transmission and synchronization of neural network activity. The eEF2K-inhibition mediated potentiation of synaptic transmission of hippocampal CA1 neurons is most notably independent of protein synthesis and does not rely on protein kinase C, protein kinase A or mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK /extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2. Moreover, the strengthening of synaptic transmission in the response to the inhibition of eEF2K was strongly attenuated by the inhibition of p38 MAPK. In addition, we show the involvement of barium-sensitive and more specific the TWIK-related potassium-1 (TREK-1 channels in the eEF2K-inhibition mediated potentiation of synaptic transmission. These findings reveal a novel pathway of eEF2K mediated regulation of hippocampal synaptic transmission. Further research is required to study whether such compounds could be beneficial for the development of mood disorder treatments with a fast-acting antidepressant response.

  18. Selective optical control of synaptic transmission in the subcortical visual pathway by activation of viral vector-expressed halorhodopsin.

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    Katsuyuki Kaneda

    Full Text Available The superficial layer of the superior colliculus (sSC receives visual inputs via two different pathways: from the retina and the primary visual cortex. However, the functional significance of each input for the operation of the sSC circuit remains to be identified. As a first step toward understanding the functional role of each of these inputs, we developed an optogenetic method to specifically suppress the synaptic transmission in the retino-tectal pathway. We introduced enhanced halorhodopsin (eNpHR, a yellow light-sensitive, membrane-targeting chloride pump, into mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs by intravitreously injecting an adeno-associated virus serotype-2 vector carrying the CMV-eNpHR-EYFP construct. Several weeks after the injection, whole-cell recordings made from sSC neurons in slice preparations revealed that yellow laser illumination of the eNpHR-expressing retino-tectal axons, putatively synapsing onto the recorded cells, effectively inhibited EPSCs evoked by electrical stimulation of the optic nerve layer. We also showed that sSC spike activities elicited by visual stimulation were significantly reduced by laser illumination of the sSC in anesthetized mice. These results indicate that photo-activation of eNpHR expressed in RGC axons enables selective blockade of retino-tectal synaptic transmission. The method established here can most likely be applied to a variety of brain regions for studying the function of individual inputs to these regions.

  19. 3D estimation of synaptic vesicle distributions in serial section transmission electron microscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh; Darkner, Sune; Nava, Nicoletta

    To transfer information between neurons, synaptic vesicles move toward the presynaptic membrane, called the active zone, and fuse with it, releasing neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft. Thus, the shortest distance from vesicles to the active zone affects the speed of signal transportation...... brains. We demonstrate that ssTEM images have an additive bias field, which is well modelled by a quadratic polynomial. ssTEM images make a 3D study on very high-resolution images possible. However, due to the physical cutting of a section from a 3D embedded tissue, the relations between sections...... are lost. To reconstruct the 3D data we register the images in a common coordinate system. The traditional method to measure the distribution of the vesicles is to measure the distance independently of neighbouring sections. This is biased depending on the slope of the active zone with respect...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. EPO induces changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in the dentate gyrus of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almaguer-Melian, William; Mercerón-Martínez, Daymara; Delgado-Ocaña, Susana; Pavón-Fuentes, Nancy; Ledón, Nuris; Bergado, Jorge A

    2016-06-01

    Erythropoietin has shown wide physiological effects on the central nervous system in animal models of disease, and in healthy animals. We have recently shown that systemic EPO administration 15 min, but not 5 h, after daily training in a water maze is able to induce the recovery of spatial memory in fimbria-fornix chronic-lesioned animals, suggesting that acute EPO triggers mechanisms which can modulate the active neural plasticity mechanism involved in spatial memory acquisition in lesioned animals. Additionally, this EPO effect is accompanied by the up-regulation of plasticity-related early genes. More remarkably, this time-dependent effects on learning recovery could signify that EPO in nerve system modulate specific living-cellular processes. In the present article, we focus on the question if EPO could modulate the induction of long-term synaptic plasticity like LTP and LTD, which presumably could support our previous published data. Our results show that acute EPO peripheral administration 15 min before the induction of synaptic plasticity is able to increase the magnitude of the LTP (more prominent in PSA than fEPSP-Slope) to facilitate the induction of LTD, and to protect LTP from depotentiation. These findings showing that EPO modulates in vivo synaptic plasticity sustain the assumption that EPO can act not only as a neuroprotective substance, but is also able to modulate transient neural plasticity mechanisms and therefore to promote the recovery of nerve function after an established chronic brain lesion. According to these results, EPO could be use as a molecular tool for neurorestaurative treatments. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn L Lovero

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

  5. 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....

  6. 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.

  7. [Nonuniform distribution and contribution of the P- and P/Q-type calcium channels to short-term inhibitory synaptic transmission in cultured hippocampal neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizerna, O P; Fedulova, S A; Veselovs'kyĭ, M S

    2010-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the sensitivity of GABAergic short-term plasticity to the selective P- and P/Q-type calcium channels blocker omega-agatoxin-IVA. To block the P-type channels we used 30 nM of this toxin and 200 nM of the toxin was used to block the P/Q channel types. The evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSC) were studied using patch-clamp technique in whole-cell configuration in postsynaptic neuron and local extracellular stimulation of single presynaptic axon by rectangular pulse. The present data show that the contribution of P- and P/Q-types channels to GABAergic synaptic transmission in cultured hippocampal neurons are 30% and 45%, respectively. It was shown that the mediate contribution of the P- and P/Q-types channels to the amplitudes of eIPSC is different to every discovered neuron. It means that distribution of these channels is non-uniform. To study the short-term plasticity of inhibitory synaptic transmission, axons of presynaptic neurons were paired-pulse stimulated with the interpulse interval of 150 ms. Neurons demonstrated both the depression and facilitation. The application of 30 nM and 200 nM of the blocker decreased the depression and increased facilitation to 8% and 11%, respectively. In addition, we found that the mediate contribution of the P- and P/Q-types channels to realization of synaptic transmission after the second stimuli is 4% less compared to that after the first one. Therefore, blocking of both P- and P/Q-types calcium channels can change the efficiency of synaptic transmission. In this instance it facilitates realization of the transmission via decreased depression or increased facilitation. These results confirm that the P- and P/Q-types calcium channels are involved in regulation of the short-term inhibitory synaptic plasticity in cultured hippocampal neurons.

  8. A Genetic Survey of Fluoxetine Action on Synaptic Transmission in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullyev, Andrey; Dempsey, Catherine M.; Miller, Sarah; Kuan, Chih-Jen; Hapiak, Vera M.; Komuniecki, Richard W.; Griffin, Christine T.; Sze, Ji Ying

    2010-01-01

    Fluoxetine is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for many behavioral and neurological disorders. Fluoxetine acts primarily as an inhibitor of the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) to block the removal of serotonin from the synaptic cleft, thereby enhancing serotonin signals. While the effects of fluoxetine on behavior are firmly established, debate is ongoing whether inhibition of serotonin reuptake is a sufficient explanation for its therapeutic action. Here, we provide evidence of two additional aspects of fluoxetine action through genetic analyses in Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that fluoxetine treatment and null mutation in the sole SERT gene mod-5 eliminate serotonin in specific neurons. These neurons do not synthesize serotonin but import extracellular serotonin via MOD-5/SERT. Furthermore, we show that fluoxetine acts independently of MOD-5/SERT to regulate discrete properties of acetylcholine (Ach), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate neurotransmission in the locomotory circuit. We identified that two G-protein–coupled 5-HT receptors, SER-7 and SER-5, antagonistically regulate the effects of fluoxetine and that fluoxetine binds to SER-7. Epistatic analyses suggest that SER-7 and SER-5 act upstream of AMPA receptor GLR-1 signaling. Our work provides genetic evidence that fluoxetine may influence neuronal functions and behavior by directly targeting serotonin receptors. PMID:20739712

  9. Inhibitory synaptic transmission from the substantia nigra pars reticulata to the ventral medial thalamus in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kase, Daisuke; Uta, Daisuke; Ishihara, Hiromi; Imoto, Keiji

    2015-08-01

    The cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loop circuit is involved in variety of motor, association and limbic functions. The basal ganglia receive neural information from various areas of the cerebral cortex and transfer them back to the frontal and motor cortex via the ventral medial (VM), and the anterior-ventral lateral thalamic complex. The projection from the basal ganglia to the thalamus is GABAergic, and, therefore, the output from the basal ganglia cannot directly evoke excitation in the thalamic nuclei. The mechanism underlying the information transfer via the inhibitory projection remains unclear. To address this issue, we recorded electrophysiological properties of nigro-thalamic synapses from the VM neuron. We developed a nigro-thalamic slice preparation, in which the projection from the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) to VM nucleus is stored, to enable the selective activation of the projection from the SNr. We characterized synaptic properties and membrane properties of the VM neuron, and developed a VM neuron model to simulate the impacts of SNr inputs on VM neuron activity. Neural simulation suggested that the inhibitory projection from SNr can control neural activity in two ways: a disinhibition from the spontaneous nigral inhibition and a β-band synchronization evoked by combination of excitation and inhibition of SNr activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  10. GABAergic synaptic transmission regulates calcium influx during spike-timing dependent plasticity

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    Trevor Balena

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Coincident pre- and postsynaptic activity of hippocampal neurons alters the strength of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA-mediated inhibition through a Ca2+-dependent regulation of cation-chloride cotransporters. This long-term synaptic modulation is termed GABAergic spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP. In the present study, we examined whether the properties of the GABAergic synapses themselves modulate the required postsynaptic Ca2+ influx during GABAergic STDP induction. To do this we first identified GABAergic synapses between cultured hippocampal neurons based on their relatively long decay time constants and their reversal potentials which lay close to the resting membrane potential. GABAergic STDP was then induced by coincidentally (± 1 ms firing the pre- and postsynaptic neurons at 5 Hz for 30 seconds, while postsynaptic Ca2+ was imaged with the Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dye Fluo4-AM. In all cases, the induction of GABAergic STDP increased postsynaptic Ca2+ above resting levels. We further found that the magnitude of this increase correlated with the amplitude and polarity of the GABAergic postsynaptic current (GPSC; hyperpolarizing GPSCs reduced the Ca2+ influx in comparison to both depolarizing GPSCs, and postsynaptic neurons spiked alone. This relationship was influenced by both the driving force for Cl- and GABAA conductance (which had positive correlations with the Ca2+ influx. The spike-timing order during STDP induction did not influence the correlation between GPSC amplitude and Ca2+ influx, which is likely accounted for by the symmetrical GABAergic STDP window.

  11. D-cycloserine improves synaptic transmission in an animal model of Rett syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, Elisa S; De Jesús-Cortés, Héctor; Martinez-Rivera, Arlene; Kabir, Zeeba D; Wang, Jieqi; Ramesh, Vijayashree; Onder, Yasemin; Rajadhyaksha, Anjali M; Monteggia, Lisa M; Pieper, Andrew A

    2017-01-01

    Rett syndrome (RTT), a leading cause of intellectual disability in girls, is predominantly caused by mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2. Disruption of Mecp2 in mice recapitulates major features of RTT, including neurobehavioral abnormalities, which can be reversed by re-expression of normal Mecp2. Thus, there is reason to believe that RTT could be amenable to therapeutic intervention throughout the lifespan of patients after the onset of symptoms. A common feature underlying neuropsychiatric disorders, including RTT, is altered synaptic function in the brain. Here, we show that Mecp2tm1.1Jae/y mice display lower presynaptic function as assessed by paired pulse ratio, as well as decreased long term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal Schaffer-collateral-CA1 synapses. Treatment of Mecp2tm1.1Jae/y mice with D-cycloserine (DCS), an FDA-approved analog of the amino acid D-alanine with antibiotic and glycinergic activity, corrected the presynaptic but not LTP deficit without affecting deficient hippocampal BDNF levels. DCS treatment did, however, partially restore lower BDNF levels in the brain stem and striatum. Thus, treatment with DCS may mitigate the severity of some of the neurobehavioral symptoms experienced by patients with Rett syndrome.

  12. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. In vivo synaptic transmission and morphology in mouse models of Tuberous sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome, Neurofibromatosis type 1 and Costello syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiantian eWang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Defects in the rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (Ras/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR signaling pathways are responsible for several neurodevelopmental disorders. These disorders are an important cause for intellectual disability; additional manifestations include autism spectrum disorder, seizures and brain malformations. Changes in synaptic function are thought to underlie the neurological conditions associated with these syndromes. We therefore studied morphology and in vivo synaptic transmission of the calyx of Held synapse, a relay synapse in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB of the auditory brainstem, in mouse models of Tuberous sclerosis (TSC, Fragile X syndrome (FXS, Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1 and Costello syndrome (CS. Calyces from both Tsc1+/- and from Fmr1 knock-out (KO mice showed increased volume and surface area compared to wild-type (WT controls. In addition, in Fmr1 KO animals a larger fraction of calyces showed complex morphology. In MNTB principal neurons of Nf1+/- mice the average delay between EPSPs and APs was slightly smaller compared to wild-type controls, which could indicate an increased excitability. Otherwise, no obvious changes in synaptic transmission or short-term plasticity were observed during juxtacellular recordings in any of the four lines. Our results in these four mutants thus indicate that abnormalities of mTOR or Ras signaling do not necessarily result in changes in in vivo synaptic transmission.

  15. In vivo synaptic transmission and morphology in mouse models of Tuberous sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome, Neurofibromatosis type 1, and Costello syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tiantian; de Kok, Laura; Willemsen, Rob; Elgersma, Ype; Borst, J Gerard G

    2015-01-01

    Defects in the rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (Ras)/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways are responsible for several neurodevelopmental disorders. These disorders are an important cause for intellectual disability; additional manifestations include autism spectrum disorder, seizures, and brain malformations. Changes in synaptic function are thought to underlie the neurological conditions associated with these syndromes. We therefore studied morphology and in vivo synaptic transmission of the calyx of Held synapse, a relay synapse in the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) of the auditory brainstem, in mouse models of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), Fragile X syndrome (FXS), Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), and Costello syndrome. Calyces from both Tsc1(+/-) and from Fmr1 knock-out (KO) mice showed increased volume and surface area compared to wild-type (WT) controls. In addition, in Fmr1 KO animals a larger fraction of calyces showed complex morphology. In MNTB principal neurons of Nf1 (+/) (-) mice the average delay between EPSPs and APs was slightly smaller compared to WT controls, which could indicate an increased excitability. Otherwise, no obvious changes in synaptic transmission, or short-term plasticity were observed during juxtacellular recordings in any of the four lines. Our results in these four mutants thus indicate that abnormalities of mTOR or Ras signaling do not necessarily result in changes in in vivo synaptic transmission.

  16. 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...

  17. Molecular Basis of Ion Channels and Receptors Involved in Nerve Excitation, Synaptic Transmission and Muscle Contraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-12-20

    chemical transmitter theory . He became aware of similarities between the effect of the extract of adrenal gland, now identified as adrenaline, and...transmission theory . This situation continued until the elegant electrophysiological work of P. Fatt and B. Katz in 1951. It seems to me some symbolism...receptors ( mGluRs ).’ 2 The ionotropic receptors can be subdivided into N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and a-amino-3-hydroxy-5- methyl-4

  18. 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.

  19. Biochemical plasticity of synaptic transmission: a critical review of Dale's Principle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabelli, H C; Mosnaim, A D; Vazquez, A J; Giardina, W J; Borison, R L; Pedemonte, W A

    1976-08-01

    "Dale's Principle" states that each neuron releases one and only one synaptic transmitter. Mental disorders and behavioral drug effects are attributed to activation or blockade of one or more of these specific transmitters. A series of biochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral studies suggests the alternative view that at each monoaminergic synapse the action of the transmitter is modulated by several metabolically related substances: amine analogs (2-phenylethylamine [PEA], p-tyramine, etc.), deaminated products (aldehydes, acids, and alcohols), and possibly also amino acid precursors. In support of this view, the authors present evidence for the presence, synthesis, metabolism, and biological activity (at the cellular level, using microelectrode techniques) of amino acid, amines, and deaminated compounds metabolically related to catecholamines and sorotonin. That neuroamino acids exert direct effects (not mediated via their amine metabolites) is illustrated by the rapid effects of microiontophoretic dopa upon cortical unit activity, and by the observation that neither the lethargic effect of 5-hydroxytryptophan (considered to support Jouvet's serotonergic theory of sleep) nor the behavioral stimulant effects of dopa (considered to support the catecholamine theory of affective behavior) are significantly prevented by L-aromatic amino acid decarboxylase inhibitors. The biological activity of the deaminated metabolites of catecholamines and serotonin is illustrated by the effects of their microiontophoretic administration upon cortical units. Further, probenecid (an inhibitor of acid transport across the blood-brain barrier) is shown to qualitatively alter the effects of intraventricularly administered PEA and of its metabolite phenylacetic acid upon visual evoked potentials. Rabbit brain is shown to synthesize a series of pharmacologically active noncatecholic phenylethylamines as by-products of catecholamine metabolism. Amine modulators such as PEA differ

  20. Impaired Synaptic Development, Maintenance, and Neuromuscular Transmission in LRP4-Related Myasthenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selcen, Duygu; Ohkawara, Bisei; Shen, Xin-Ming; McEvoy, Kathleen; Ohno, Kinji; Engel, Andrew G

    2015-08-01

    Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) are heterogeneous disorders. Defining the phenotypic features, genetic basis, and pathomechanisms of a CMS is relevant to prognosis, genetic counseling, and therapy. To characterize clinical, structural, electrophysiologic, and genetic features of a CMS and to search for optimal therapy. Two sisters with CMS affecting the limb-girdle muscles were investigated between 2012 and 2014 at an academic medical center by clinical observation, in vitro analysis of neuromuscular transmission, cytochemical and electron microscopy studies of the neuromuscular junction, exome sequencing, expression studies in HEK293 and COS7 cells, and for response to therapy, and they were compared with 15 historical control participants. We identified the disease gene and mutation, confirmed pathogenicity of the mutation by expression studies, and instituted optimal pharmacotherapy. Quantitative analysis of single EP regions was done for all 15 control participants and microelectrode studies of neuromuscular transmission and α-bgt binding sites per EP was conducted for 13 control participants. Examination of the older sister's intercostal muscle end plates (EPs) showed them to be abnormally small, with attenuated reactivities for the acetylcholine receptor and acetylcholinesterase. Most EPs had poorly differentiated or degenerate junctional folds, and some appeared denuded of nerve terminals. The amplitude of the EP potential (EPP), the miniature EPP, and the quantal content of the EPP were all markedly reduced. Exome sequencing identified a novel homozygous p.Glu1233Ala mutation in low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4), a coreceptor for agrin to activate muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK), which is required for EP development and maintenance. Expression studies indicate that the mutation compromises the ability of LRP4 to bind to, phosphorylate, and activate MuSK. Treatment with albuterol sulfate improved the patients' symptoms

  1. 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.

  2. Impaired Synaptic Development, Maintenance, and Neuromuscular Transmission in LRP4 Myasthenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selcen, Duygu; Ohkawara, Bisei; Shen, Xin-Ming; McEvoy, Kathleen; Ohno, Kinji; Engel, Andrew G.

    2015-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) are heterogeneous disorders. Defining the phenotypic features, genetic basis, and pathomechanisms of a CMS is relevant to prognosis, genetic counseling, and therapy. OBJECTIVE To characterize clinical, structural, electrophysiologic, and genetic features of a CMS and search for optimal therapy. DESIGN, SETTINGS, AND PARTICIPANTS Two sisters, 34 and 20 years of age suffering from a CMS affecting the limb-girdle muscles were investigated at an academic medical center by clinical observation, in vitro analysis of neuromuscular transmission, cytochemical and electron microscopy studies of the neuromuscular junction, exome sequencing, expression studies in HEK293 and COS-7 cells, and for response to therapy. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES We identified the disease gene and mutation, confirmed pathogenicity of the mutation by expression studies, and instituted optimal pharmacotherapy. RESULTS Intercostal muscle endplates (EPs) were abnormally small with attenuated reactivities for the acetylcholine receptor and acetylcholine esterase. Most EPs had poorly differentiated or degenerate junctional folds and some appeared denuded of nerve terminals. The amplitude of the EP potential (EPP), the miniature EPP, and the quantal content of the EPP were all markedly reduced. Exome sequencing identified a novel homozygous p.Glu1233Ala mutation in LRP4, a coreceptor for agrin to activate MuSK, required for EP development and maintenance. Expression studies indicate the mutation compromises ability of LRP4 to bind to, phosphorylate, and activate MuSK. Albuterol improved the patients’ symptoms. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE We identify a second CMS kinship harboring mutations in LRP4, identify the mechanisms that impair neuromuscular transmission, and mitigate the disease by appropriate therapy. PMID:26052878

  3. Reduction of the cholesterol sensor SCAP in the brains of mice causes impaired synaptic transmission and altered cognitive function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryo Suzuki

    Full Text Available The sterol sensor SCAP is a key regulator of SREBP-2, the major transcription factor controlling cholesterol synthesis. Recently, we showed that there is a global down-regulation of cholesterol synthetic genes, as well as SREBP-2, in the brains of diabetic mice, leading to a reduction of cholesterol synthesis. We now show that in mouse models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, this is, in part, the result of a decrease of SCAP. Homozygous disruption of the Scap gene in the brains of mice causes perinatal lethality associated with microcephaly and gliosis. Mice with haploinsufficiency of Scap in the brain show a 60% reduction of SCAP protein and ~30% reduction in brain cholesterol synthesis, similar to what is observed in diabetic mice. This results in impaired synaptic transmission, as measured by decreased paired pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, and is associated with behavioral and cognitive changes. Thus, reduction of SCAP and the consequent suppression of cholesterol synthesis in the brain may play an important role in the increased rates of cognitive decline and Alzheimer disease observed in diabetic states.

  4. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-induced mitochondrial motility arrest and presynaptic docking contribute to BDNF-enhanced synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Bo; Ji, Yun-Song; Sun, Xu-lu; Liu, Xiang-Hua; Chen, Zhe-Yu

    2014-01-17

    Appropriate mitochondrial transport and distribution are essential for neurons because of the high energy and Ca(2+) buffering requirements at synapses. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an essential role in regulating synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, whether and how BDNF can regulate mitochondrial transport and distribution are still unclear. Here, we find that in cultured hippocampal neurons, application of BDNF for 15 min decreased the percentage of moving mitochondria in axons, a process dependent on the activation of the TrkB receptor and its downstream PI3K and phospholipase-Cγ signaling pathways. Moreover, the BDNF-induced mitochondrial stopping requires the activation of transient receptor potential canonical 3 and 6 (TRPC3 and TRPC6) channels and elevated intracellular Ca(2+) levels. The Ca(2+) sensor Miro1 plays an important role in this process. Finally, the BDNF-induced mitochondrial stopping leads to the accumulation of more mitochondria at presynaptic sites. Mutant Miro1 lacking the ability to bind Ca(2+) prevents BDNF-induced mitochondrial presynaptic accumulation and synaptic transmission, suggesting that Miro1-mediated mitochondrial motility is involved in BDNF-induced mitochondrial presynaptic docking and neurotransmission. Together, these data suggest that mitochondrial transport and distribution play essential roles in BDNF-mediated synaptic transmission.

  5. Different forms of glycine- and GABAA-receptor mediated inhibitory synaptic transmission in mouse superficial and deep dorsal horn neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brichta Alan M

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurons in superficial (SDH and deep (DDH laminae of the spinal cord dorsal horn receive sensory information from skin, muscle, joints and viscera. In both regions, glycine- (GlyR and GABAA-receptors (GABAARs contribute to fast synaptic inhibition. For rat, several types of GABAAR coexist in the two regions and each receptor type provides different contributions to inhibitory tone. Recent work in mouse has discovered an additional type of GlyR, (containing alpha 3 subunits in the SDH. The contribution of differing forms of the GlyR to sensory processing in SDH and DDH is not understood. Methods and Results Here we compare fast inhibitory synaptic transmission in mouse (P17-37 SDH and DDH using patch-clamp electrophysiology in transverse spinal cord slices (L3-L5 segments, 23°C. GlyR-mediated mIPSCs were detected in 74% (25/34 and 94% (25/27 of SDH and DDH neurons, respectively. In contrast, GABAAR-mediated mIPSCs were detected in virtually all neurons in both regions (93%, 14/15 and 100%, 18/18. Several Gly- and GABAAR properties also differed in SDH vs. DDH. GlyR-mediated mIPSC amplitude was smaller (37.1 ± 3.9 vs. 64.7 ± 5.0 pA; n = 25 each, decay time was slower (8.5 ± 0.8 vs. 5.5 ± 0.3 ms, and frequency was lower (0.15 ± 0.03 vs. 0.72 ± 0.13 Hz in SDH vs. DDH neurons. In contrast, GABAAR-mediated mIPSCs had similar amplitudes (25.6 ± 2.4, n = 14 vs. 25. ± 2.0 pA, n = 18 and frequencies (0.21 ± 0.08 vs. 0.18 ± 0.04 Hz in both regions; however, decay times were slower (23.0 ± 3.2 vs. 18.9 ± 1.8 ms in SDH neurons. Mean single channel conductance underlying mIPSCs was identical for GlyRs (54.3 ± 1.6 pS, n = 11 vs. 55.7 ± 1.8, n = 8 and GABAARs (22.7 ± 1.7 pS, n = 10 vs. 22.4 ± 2.0 pS, n = 11 in both regions. We also tested whether the synthetic endocanabinoid, methandamide (methAEA, had direct effects on Gly- and GABAARs in each spinal cord region. MethAEA (5 μM reduced GlyR-mediated mIPSC frequency in SDH

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. miR-132/212 knockout mice reveal roles for these miRNAs in regulating cortical synaptic transmission and plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judit Remenyi

    Full Text Available miR-132 and miR-212 are two closely related miRNAs encoded in the same intron of a small non-coding gene, which have been suggested to play roles in both immune and neuronal function. We describe here the generation and initial characterisation of a miR-132/212 double knockout mouse. These mice were viable and fertile with no overt adverse phenotype. Analysis of innate immune responses, including TLR-induced cytokine production and IFNβ induction in response to viral infection of primary fibroblasts did not reveal any phenotype in the knockouts. In contrast, the loss of miR-132 and miR-212, while not overtly affecting neuronal morphology, did affect synaptic function. In both hippocampal and neocortical slices miR-132/212 knockout reduced basal synaptic transmission, without affecting paired-pulse facilitation. Hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP induced by tetanic stimulation was not affected by miR-132/212 deletion, whilst theta burst LTP was enhanced. In contrast, neocortical theta burst-induced LTP was inhibited by loss of miR-132/212. Together these results indicate that miR-132 and/or miR-212 play a significant role in synaptic function, possibly by regulating the number of postsynaptic AMPA receptors under basal conditions and during activity-dependent synaptic plasticity.

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

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    W. Ba

    2016-02-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Co-Application of Corticosterone and Growth Hormone Upregulates NR2B Protein and Increases the NR2B:NR2A Ratio and Synaptic Transmission in the Hippocampus

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    Ghada S. Mahmoud

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: This in vitro study aimed to investigate the possible mechanism underlying the protective effect of growth hormone (GH on hippocampal function during periods of heightened glucocorticoid exposure. Methods: This study was conducted between January and June 2005 at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University, in Huntington, West Virginia, USA. The effects of the co-application of GH and corticosterone (CORT were tested at different concentrations on the field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs of the hippocampal slices of rats in two different age groups. Changes in the protein expression of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR subunits NR1, NR2B and NR2A were measured in hippocampal brain slices treated with either artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF, low doses of CORT alone or both CORT and GH for three hours. Results: The co-application of CORT and GH was found to have an additive effect on hippocampal synaptic transmission compared to either drug alone. Furthermore, the combined use of low concentrations of GH and CORT was found to have significantly higher effects on the enhancement of fEPSPs in older rats compared to young ones. Both GH and CORT enhanced the protein expression of the NR2A subunit. Simultaneous exposure to low concentrations of GH and CORT significantly enhanced NR2B expression and increased the NR2B:NR2A ratio. In contrast, perfusion with CORT alone caused significant suppression in the NR1 and NR2B protein expression and a decrease in the NR2B:NR2A ratio. Conclusion: These results suggest that NMDARs provide a potential target for mediating the GH potential protective effect against stress and age-related memory and cognitive impairment.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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. 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

  18. 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.

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

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

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    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.

  2. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Role of spinal cord glutamate transporter during normal sensory transmission and pathological pain states

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    Stephens Robert L

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Glutamate is a neurotransmitter critical for spinal excitatory synaptic transmission and for generation and maintenance of spinal states of pain hypersensitivity via activation of glutamate receptors. Understanding the regulation of synaptically and non-synaptically released glutamate associated with pathological pain is important in exploring novel molecular mechanisms and developing therapeutic strategies of pathological pain. The glutamate transporter system is the primary mechanism for the inactivation of synaptically released glutamate and the maintenance of glutamate homeostasis. Recent studies demonstrated that spinal glutamate transporter inhibition relieved pathological pain, suggesting that the spinal glutamate transporter might serve as a therapeutic target for treatment of pathological pain. However, the exact function of glutamate transporter in pathological pain is not completely understood. This report will review the evidence for the role of the spinal glutamate transporter during normal sensory transmission and pathological pain conditions and discuss potential mechanisms by which spinal glutamate transporter is involved in pathological pain.

  5. Differential sensitivity of cerebellar purkinje neurons to ethanol in selectively outbred lines of mice: maintenance in vitro independent of synaptic transmission.

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    Basile, A; Hoffer, B; Dunwiddie, T

    1983-03-28

    The effects of ethanol on spontaneous firing of cerebellar Purkinje neurons were examined in outbred lines of mice (short-sleep, SS; and long-sleep, LS) which exhibit differential behavioral sensitivity to ethanol. In order to determine whether the differences in Purkinje cell ethanol sensitivity which are observed in situ reflect differences in intrinsic properties of Purkinje neurons, we developed an isolated in vitro preparation of mouse cerebellum. Even when synaptic transmission was largely inhibited by elevating Mg2+ and decreasing Ca2+ concentrations, Purkinje cells demonstrated stable long-term firing rates quite similar to those observed in vivo. Purkinje cells responded to superfusion of ethanol with both increases and decreases in firing rate. Inhibition of rate was more commonly observed, and was the only response which was demonstrably dose-dependent. The differential sensitivity to ethanol which we have previously reported in vivo was maintained even under under these conditions, with the LS mice being approximately 5 times more sensitive to the depressant effects of ethanol. In addition, it was shown that ethanol, at the concentrations used in these experiments, decreased the amplitude and increased the duration of single action potentials. Thus, taken together, these results suggest that the differential sensitivity of outbred lines to the soporific effects of ethanol are paralleled by differences in the sensitivity of Purkinje neurons in vitro to superfusion with ethanol. Because these differences can be observed even when synaptic transmission is largely suppressed, it would appear that these differences are intrinsic to the purkinje neurons themselves.

  6. The First Alcohol Drink Triggers mTORC1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine D1 Receptor Neurons.

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    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

  7. Neuraminidase Inhibition Primes Short-Term Depression and Suppresses Long-Term Potentiation of Synaptic Transmission in the Rat Hippocampus

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    Alina Savotchenko

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuraminidase (NEU is a key enzyme that cleaves negatively charged sialic acid residues from membrane proteins and lipids. Clinical and basic science studies have shown that an imbalance in NEU metabolism or changes in NEU activity due to various pathological conditions parallel with behavior and cognitive impairment. It has been suggested that the decreases of NEU activity could cause serious neurological consequences. However, there is a lack of direct evidences that modulation of endogenous NEU activity can impair neuronal function. Using combined rat entorhinal cortex/hippocampal slices and a specific inhibitor of NEU, 2-deoxy-2,3-dehydro-N-acetylneuraminic acid (NADNA, we examined the effect of downregulation of NEU activity on different forms of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal CA3-to-CA1 network. We show that NEU inhibition results in a significant decrease in long-term potentiation (LTP and an increase in short-term depression. Synaptic depotentiation restores LTP in NADNA-pretreated slices to the control level. These data suggest that short-term NEU inhibition produces the LTP-like effect on neuronal network, which results in damping of further LTP induction. Our findings demonstrate that downregulation of NEU activity could have a major impact on synaptic plasticity and provide a new insight into the cellular mechanism underlying behavioral and cognitive impairment associated with abnormal metabolism of NEU.

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

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    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.

  9. Selective modulation of excitatory and inhibitory microcircuits by dopamine

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    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.

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

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    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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    Rui-Rui Wang

    2018-01-01

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

  15. A Systematic RNAi Screen Reveals a Novel Role of a Spindle Assembly Checkpoint Protein BuGZ in Synaptic Transmission in C. elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mei Han

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic vesicles (SV store various neurotransmitters that are released at the synapse. The molecular mechanisms of biogenesis, exocytosis, and endocytosis for SV, however, remain largely elusive. In this study, using Complex Object Parametric Analysis and Sorter (COPAS to monitor the fluorescence of synapto-pHluorin (SpH, we performed a whole-genome RNAi screen in C. elegans to identify novel genetic modulators in SV cycling. One hundred seventy six genes that up-regulating SpH fluorescence and 96 genes that down-regulating SpH fluorescence were identified after multi-round screen. Among these genes, B0035.1 (bugz-1 encodes ortholog of mammalian C2H2 zinc-finger protein BuGZ/ZNF207, which is a spindle assembly checkpoint protein essential for mitosis in human cells. Combining electrophysiology, imaging and behavioral assays, we reveal that depletion of BuGZ-1 results in defects in locomotion. We further demonstrate that BuGZ-1 promotes SV recycling by regulating the expression levels of endocytosis-related genes such as rab11.1. Therefore, we have identified a bunch of potential genetic modulators in SV cycling, and revealed an unexpected role of BuGZ-1 in regulating synaptic transmission.

  16. 5-HT7 receptors as modulators of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and plasticity: physiological role and possible implications in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia eCiranna

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Serotonin type 7 receptors (5-HT7 are expressed in several brain areas, regulate brain development, synaptic transmission and plasticity, and therefore are involved in various brain functions such as learning and memory. A number of studies suggest that 5-HT7 receptors could be potential pharmacotherapeutic target for cognitive disorders. Several abnormalities of serotonergic system have been described in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, including abnormal activity of 5-HT transporter, altered blood and brain 5-HT levels, reduced 5-HT synthesis and altered expression of 5-HT receptors in the brain. A specific role for 5-HT7 receptors in ASD has not yet been demonstrated but some evidence implicates their possible involvement. We have recently shown that 5-HT7 receptor activation rescues hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome, a monogenic cause of autism. Several other studies have shown that 5-HT7 receptors modulate behavioral flexibility, exploratory behavior, mood disorders and epilepsy, which include core and co-morbid symptoms of ASD. These findings further suggest an involvement of 5-HT7 receptors in ASD. Here, we review the physiological roles of 5-HT7 receptors and their implications in Fragile X Syndrome and other ASD.

  17. 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

  18. Blocking synaptic transmission with tetanus toxin light chain reveals modes of neurotransmission in the PDF-positive circadian clock neurons of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umezaki, Yujiro; Yasuyama, Kouji; Nakagoshi, Hideki; Tomioka, Kenji

    2011-09-01

    Circadian locomotor rhythms of Drosophila melanogaster are controlled by a neuronal circuit composed of approximately 150 clock neurons that are roughly classified into seven groups. In the circuit, a group of neurons expressing pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) play an important role in organizing the pacemaking system. Recent studies imply that unknown chemical neurotransmitter(s) (UNT) other than PDF is also expressed in the PDF-positive neurons. To explore its role in the circadian pacemaker, we examined the circadian locomotor rhythms of pdf-Gal4/UAS-TNT transgenic flies in which chemical synaptic transmission in PDF-positive neurons was blocked by expressed tetanus toxin light chain (TNT). In constant darkness (DD), the flies showed a free-running rhythm, which was similar to that of wild-type flies but significantly different from pdf null mutants. Under constant light conditions (LL), however, they often showed complex rhythms with a short period and a long period component. The UNT is thus likely involved in the synaptic transmission in the clock network and its release caused by LL leads to arrhythmicity. Immunocytochemistry revealed that LL induced phase separation in TIMELESS (TIM) cycling among some of the PDF-positive and PDF-negative clock neurons in the transgenic flies. These results suggest that both PDF and UNT play important roles in the Drosophila circadian clock, and activation of PDF pathway alone by LL leads to the complex locomotor rhythm through desynchronized oscillation among some of the clock neurons. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Characterization of neuronal intrinsic properties and synaptic transmission in layer I of anterior cingulate cortex from adult mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Xiang-Yao

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The neurons in neocortex layer I (LI provide inhibition to the cortical networks. Despite increasing use of mice for the study of brain functions, few studies were reported about mouse LI neurons. In the present study, we characterized intrinsic properties of LI neurons of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, a key cortical area for sensory and cognitive functions, by using whole-cell patch clamp recording approach. Seventy one neurons in LI and 12 pyramidal neurons in LII/III were recorded. Although all of the LI neurons expressed continuous adapting firing characteristics, the unsupervised clustering results revealed five groups in the ACC, including: Spontaneous firing neurons; Delay-sAHP neurons, Delay-fAHP neurons, and two groups of neurons with ADP, named ADP1 and ADP2, respectively. Using pharmacological approaches, we found that LI neurons received both excitatory (mediated by AMPA, kainate and NMDA receptors, and inhibitory inputs (which were mediated by GABAA receptors. Our studies provide the first report characterizing the electrophysiological properties of neurons in LI of the ACC from adult mice.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Microbial Rhodopsin Optogenetic Tools: Application for Analyses of Synaptic Transmission and of Neuronal Network Activity in Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glock, Caspar; Nagpal, Jatin; Gottschalk, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Optogenetics was introduced as a new technology in the neurosciences about a decade ago (Zemelman et al., Neuron 33:15-22, 2002; Boyden et al., Nat Neurosci 8:1263-1268, 2005; Nagel et al., Curr Biol 15:2279-2284, 2005; Zemelman et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:1352-1357, 2003). It combines optics, genetics, and bioengineering to render neurons sensitive to light, in order to achieve a precise, exogenous, and noninvasive control of membrane potential, intracellular signaling, network activity, or behavior (Rein and Deussing, Mol Genet Genomics 287:95-109, 2012; Yizhar et al., Neuron 71:9-34, 2011). As C. elegans is transparent, genetically amenable, has a small nervous system mapped with synapse resolution, and exhibits a rich behavioral repertoire, it is especially open to optogenetic methods (White et al., Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 314:1-340, 1986; De Bono et al., Optogenetic actuation, inhibition, modulation and readout for neuronal networks generating behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, In: Hegemann P, Sigrist SJ (eds) Optogenetics, De Gruyter, Berlin, 2013; Husson et al., Biol Cell 105:235-250, 2013; Xu and Kim, Nat Rev Genet 12:793-801, 2011). Optogenetics, by now an "exploding" field, comprises a repertoire of different tools ranging from transgenically expressed photo-sensor proteins (Boyden et al., Nat Neurosci 8:1263-1268, 2005; Nagel et al., Curr Biol 15:2279-2284, 2005) or cascades (Zemelman et al., Neuron 33:15-22, 2002) to chemical biology approaches, using photochromic ligands of endogenous channels (Szobota et al., Neuron 54:535-545, 2007). Here, we will focus only on optogenetics utilizing microbial rhodopsins, as these are most easily and most widely applied in C. elegans. For other optogenetic tools, for example the photoactivated adenylyl cyclases (PACs, that drive neuronal activity by increasing synaptic vesicle priming, thus exaggerating rather than overriding the intrinsic activity of a neuron, as occurs with

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Analysis of mutations in 7 genes associated with neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission in a cohort of children with non-syndromic infantile epileptic encephalopathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Ka-Yee Kwong

    Full Text Available Epileptic Encephalopathy (EE is a heterogeneous condition in which cognitive, sensory and/or motor functions deteriorate as a consequence of epileptic activity, which consists of frequent seizures and/or major interictal paroxysmal activity. There are various causes of EE and they may occur at any age in early childhood. Genetic mutations have been identified to contribute to an increasing number of children with early onset EE which had been previously considered as cryptogenic. We identified 26 patients with Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy (IEE of unknown etiology despite extensive workup and without any specific epilepsy syndromic phenotypes. We performed genetic analysis on a panel of 7 genes (ARX, CDKL5, KCNQ2, PCDH19, SCN1A, SCN2A, STXBP1 and identified 10 point mutations [ARX (1, CDKL5 (3, KCNQ2 (2, PCDH19 (1, SCN1A (1, STXBP1 (2] as well as one microdeletion involving both SCN1A and SCN2A. The high rate (42% of mutations suggested that genetic testing of this IEE panel of genes is recommended for cryptogenic IEE with no etiology identified. These 7 genes are associated with channelopathies or synaptic transmission and we recommend early genetic testing if possible to guide the treatment strategy.

  11. 5-HT2 receptors mediate functional modulation of GABAa receptors and inhibitory synaptic transmissions in human iPS-derived neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Haitao; Hu, Lingli; Liu, Chunhua; Su, Zhenghui; Wang, Lihui; Pan, Guangjin; Guo, Yiping; He, Jufang

    2016-02-03

    Neural progenitors differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) hold potentials for treating neurological diseases. Serotonin has potent effects on neuronal functions through multiple receptors, underlying a variety of neural disorders. Glutamate and GABA receptors have been proven functional in neurons differentiated from iPS, however, little is known about 5-HT receptor-mediated modulation in such neuronal networks. In the present study, human iPS were differentiated into cells possessing featured physiological properties of cortical neurons. Whole-cell patch-clamp recording was used to examine the involvement of 5-HT2 receptors in functional modulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission. We found that serotonin and DOI (a selective agonist of 5-HT2A/C receptor) reversibly reduced GABA-activated currents, and this 5-HT2A/C receptor mediated inhibition required G protein, PLC, PKC, and Ca(2+) signaling. Serotonin increased the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs), which could be mimicked by α-methylserotonin, a 5-HT2 receptor agonist. In contrast, DOI reduced both frequency and amplitude of mIPSCs. These findings suggested that in iPS-derived human neurons serotonin postsynaptically reduced GABAa receptor function through 5-HT2A/C receptors, but presynaptically other 5-HT2 receptors counteracted the action of 5-HT2A/C receptors. Functional expression of serotonin receptors in human iPS-derived neurons provides a pre-requisite for their normal behaviors after grafting.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. “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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Changes in hippocampal synaptic functions and protein expression in monosodium glutamate-treated obese mice during development of glucose intolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki-Hamada, Sachie; Hojo, Yuki; Koyama, Hajime; Otsuka, Hayuma; Oka, Jun-Ichiro

    2015-05-01

    Glucose is the sole neural fuel for the brain and is essential for cognitive function. Abnormalities in glucose tolerance may be associated with impairments in cognitive function. Experimental obese model mice can be generated by an intraperitoneal injection of monosodium glutamate (MSG; 2 mg/g) once a day for 5 days from 1 day after birth. MSG-treated mice have been shown to develop glucose intolerance and exhibit chronic neuroendocrine dysfunction associated with marked cognitive malfunctions at 28-29  weeks old. Although hippocampal synaptic plasticity is impaired in MSG-treated mice, changes in synaptic transmission remain unknown. Here, we investigated whether glucose intolerance influenced cognitive function, synaptic properties and protein expression in the hippocampus. We demonstrated that MSG-treated mice developed glucose intolerance due to an impairment in the effectiveness of insulin actions, and showed cognitive impairments in the Y-maze test. Moreover, long-term potentiation (LTP) at Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal synapses in hippocampal slices was impaired, and the relationship between the slope of extracellular field excitatory postsynaptic potential and stimulus intensity of synaptic transmission was weaker in MSG-treated mice. The protein levels of vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and GluA1 glutamate receptor subunits decreased in the CA1 region of MSG-treated mice. These results suggest that deficits in glutamatergic presynapses as well as postsynapses lead to impaired synaptic plasticity in MSG-treated mice during the development of glucose intolerance, though it remains unknown whether impaired LTP is due to altered inhibitory transmission. It may be important to examine changes in glucose tolerance in order to prevent cognitive malfunctions associated with diabetes. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-16

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

  7. The role of ubiquitin‐mediated pathways in regulating synaptic development, axonal degeneration and regeneration: insights from fly and worm

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tian, Xiaolin; Wu, Chunlai

    2013-01-01

    ...‐mediated pathways play important roles in controlling the presynaptic size, synaptic elimination and stabilization, synaptic transmission, postsynaptic receptor abundance, axonal degeneration and regeneration...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Lim, Woochang

    2017-10-01

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

  12. Insulin-Like Growth Factor I Produces an Antidepressant-Like Effect and Elicits N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Independent Long-Term Potentiation of Synaptic Transmission in Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgdorf, Jeffrey; Zhang, Xiao-lei; Colechio, Elizabeth M; Ghoreishi-Haack, Nayereh; Gross, Amanda; Kroes, Roger A; Stanton, Patric K; Moskal, Joseph R

    2015-09-15

    Growth factors play an important role in regulating neurogenesis and synapse formation and may be involved in regulating the antidepressant response to conventional antidepressants. To date, Insulin-like growth factor I (IGFI) is the only growth factor that has shown antidepressant properties in human clinical trials. However, its mechanism of action remains unclear. The antidepressant-like effect of a single IV dose of IGFI was determined using a chronic unpredictable stress paradigm in the rat Porsolt, sucrose preference, novelty-induced hypophagia, and ultrasonic vocalization models. The dependence of the medial prefrontal cortex for these effects was determined by direct medial prefrontal cortex injection followed by Porsolt testing as well as IGFI receptor activation in the medial prefrontal cortex following an optimal IV antidepressant-like dose of IGFI. The effect of IGFI on synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic strength was assessed in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex. The dependence of these effects on IGFI and AMPA receptor activation and protein synthesis were also determined. IGFI produced a rapid-acting and long-lasting antidepressant-like effect in each of the depression models. These effects were blocked by IGFI and AMPA receptor antagonists, and medial prefrontal cortex was localized. IGFI robustly increased synaptic strength in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex and these effects were IGFI receptor and protein synthesis-dependent but N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor independent. IGFI also robustly facilitated hippocampal metaplasticity 24 hours postdosing. These data support the conclusion that the antidepressant-like effects of IGFI are mediated by a persistent, LTP-like enhancement of synaptic strength requiring both IGFIR activation and ongoing protein synthesis. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Choongseok; Terman, David

    2010-06-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Corticotropin-releasing factor-like peptide modifies the AMPA-, NMDA-dependent and GABAB-ergic properties of synaptic transmissions in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokrushin, Anatoly A

    2014-01-10

    The aim of this study was to investigate the neurotrophic effects of the mystixin-7 mini-peptide (MTX, a synthetic corticotrophin-releasing-factor-like peptide-like peptide) using a slice-based system. The technique on-line monitoring of electrophysiological parameters (excitatory glutamatergic AMPAR-, NMDAR-dependent and inhibitory GABAB-ergic postsynaptic mechanisms) in the olfactory cortex slices of the rat brain exposed to varied amounts of MTX was used. MTX in a dose-dependent manner inhibited both the AMPAR- and NMDAR-mediated postsynaptic processes. The peptide caused depression of inhibitory GABAB-ergic processes only at low doses of MTX (10, 25, 50 mg/mL) while at higher doses (100, 250 mg/mL) it enhanced them. These effects of MTX were reversible. AMPA-dependent (but not NMDA-mediated mechanisms) and inhibitory processes were restored after washing. Triple reperfusion of slices with MTX (100 mg/mL) accelerated the inhibitory processes and induced NMDAR desensitization. MTX evoked the long-term depression on θ burst stimulation of the slices. This study did not only lead to the conclusion that the functions of the MTX mini-peptide is not limited to anti-inflammatory effects, but also is included modifications of excitatory glutamatergic AMPAR-, NMDAR-dependent and inhibitory GABAB-ergic postsynaptic mechanisms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang-Bin Tang

    2017-08-01

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

  20. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  1. In vivo synaptic transmission and morphology in mouse models of Tuberous sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome, Neurofibromatosis type 1, and Costello syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Tiantian; de Kok, Laura; Willemsen, Rob; Elgersma, Ype; Borst, J. Gerard G.

    2015-01-01

    Defects in the rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (Ras)/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways are responsible for several neurodevelopmental disorders. These disorders are an important cause for intellectual disability; additional manifestations include autism spectrum disorder, seizures, and brain malformations. Changes in synaptic function are thought to underlie the neurological conditions associa...

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Diacylglycerol Kinases in the Coordination of Synaptic Plasticity.

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    Lee, Dongwon; Kim, Eunjoon; Tanaka-Yamamoto, Keiko

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is activity-dependent modification of the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Although, detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are diverse and vary at different types of synapses, diacylglycerol (DAG)-associated signaling has been considered as an important regulator of many forms of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent evidences indicate that DAG kinases (DGKs), which phosphorylate DAG to phosphatidic acid to terminate DAG signaling, are important regulators of LTP and LTD, as supported by the results from mice lacking specific DGK isoforms. This review will summarize these studies and discuss how specific DGK isoforms distinctly regulate different forms of synaptic plasticity at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In addition, we propose a general role of DGKs as coordinators of synaptic plasticity that make local synaptic environments more permissive for synaptic plasticity by regulating DAG concentration and interacting with other synaptic proteins.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

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    Makoto Nishiyama

    2010-06-01

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

  9. 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

  10. A Model of Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity: From Signaling Network to Channel Conductance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellani, Gastone C.; Quinlan, Elizabeth M.; Bersani, Ferdinando; Cooper, Leon N.; Shouval, Harel Z.

    2005-01-01

    In many regions of the brain, including the mammalian cortex, the strength of synaptic transmission can be bidirectionally regulated by cortical activity (synaptic plasticity). One line of evidence indicates that long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) and long-term synaptic depression (LTD), correlate with the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Efficient transmission of subthreshold signals in complex networks of spiking neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joaquin J Torres

    Full Text Available We investigate the efficient transmission and processing of weak, subthreshold signals in a realistic neural medium in the presence of different levels of the underlying noise. Assuming Hebbian weights for maximal synaptic conductances--that naturally balances the network with excitatory and inhibitory synapses--and considering short-term synaptic plasticity affecting such conductances, we found different dynamic phases in the system. This includes a memory phase where population of neurons remain synchronized, an oscillatory phase where transitions between different synchronized populations of neurons appears and an asynchronous or noisy phase. When a weak stimulus input is applied to each neuron, increasing the level of noise in the medium we found an efficient transmission of such stimuli around the transition and critical points separating different phases for well-defined different levels of stochasticity in the system. We proved that this intriguing phenomenon is quite robust, as it occurs in different situations including several types of synaptic plasticity, different type and number of stored patterns and diverse network topologies, namely, diluted networks and complex topologies such as scale-free and small-world networks. We conclude that the robustness of the phenomenon in different realistic scenarios, including spiking neurons, short-term synaptic plasticity and complex networks topologies, make very likely that it could also occur in actual neural systems as recent psycho-physical experiments suggest.

  16. Efficient transmission of subthreshold signals in complex networks of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Joaquin J; Elices, Irene; Marro, J

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the efficient transmission and processing of weak, subthreshold signals in a realistic neural medium in the presence of different levels of the underlying noise. Assuming Hebbian weights for maximal synaptic conductances--that naturally balances the network with excitatory and inhibitory synapses--and considering short-term synaptic plasticity affecting such conductances, we found different dynamic phases in the system. This includes a memory phase where population of neurons remain synchronized, an oscillatory phase where transitions between different synchronized populations of neurons appears and an asynchronous or noisy phase. When a weak stimulus input is applied to each neuron, increasing the level of noise in the medium we found an efficient transmission of such stimuli around the transition and critical points separating different phases for well-defined different levels of stochasticity in the system. We proved that this intriguing phenomenon is quite robust, as it occurs in different situations including several types of synaptic plasticity, different type and number of stored patterns and diverse network topologies, namely, diluted networks and complex topologies such as scale-free and small-world networks. We conclude that the robustness of the phenomenon in different realistic scenarios, including spiking neurons, short-term synaptic plasticity and complex networks topologies, make very likely that it could also occur in actual neural systems as recent psycho-physical experiments suggest.

  17. Glutamate acts as a neurotransmitter for gastrin releasing peptide-sensitive and insensitive itch-related synaptic transmission in mammalian spinal cord

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Jennifer

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Itch sensation is one of the major sensory experiences of human and animals. Recent studies have proposed that gastrin releasing peptide (GRP is a key neurotransmitter for itch in spinal cord. However, no direct evidence is available to indicate that GRP actually mediate responses between primary afferent fibers and dorsal horn neurons. Here we performed integrative neurobiological experiments to test this question. We found that a small population of rat dorsal horn neurons responded to GRP application with increases in calcium signaling. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings revealed that a part of superficial dorsal horn neurons responded to GRP application with the increase of action potential firing in adult rats and mice, and these dorsal horn neurons received exclusively primary afferent C-fiber inputs. On the other hands, few Aδ inputs receiving cells were found to be GRP positive. Finally, we found that evoked sensory responses between primary afferent C fibers and GRP positive superficial dorsal horn neurons are mediated by glutamate but not GRP. CNQX, a blocker of AMPA and kainate (KA receptors, completely inhibited evoked EPSCs, including in those Fos-GFP positive dorsal horn cells activated by itching. Our findings provide the direct evidence that glutamate is the principal excitatory transmitter between C fibers and GRP positive dorsal horn neurons. Our results will help to understand the neuronal mechanism of itch and aid future treatment for patients with pruritic disease.

  18. Synaptic vesicle proteins and active zone plasticity

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    Robert J Kittel

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmitter is released from synaptic vesicles at the highly specialized presynaptic active zone. The complex molecular architecture of active zones mediates the speed, precision and plasticity of synaptic transmission. Importantly, structural and functional properties of active zones vary significantly, even for a given connection. Thus, there appear to be distinct active zone states, which fundamentally influence neuronal communication by controlling the positioning and release of synaptic vesicles. Vice versa, recent evidence has revealed that synaptic vesicle components also modulate organizational states of the active zone.The protein-rich cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ provides a structural platform for molecular interactions guiding vesicle exocytosis. Studies in Drosophila have now demonstrated that the vesicle proteins Synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1 and Rab3 also regulate glutamate release by shaping differentiation of the CAZ ultrastructure. We review these unexpected findings and discuss mechanistic interpretations of the reciprocal relationship between synaptic vesicles and active zone states, which has heretofore received little attention.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-13

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Deep mRNA sequencing of the Tritonia diomedea brain transcriptome provides access to gene homologues for neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and peptidergic signalling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriano Senatore

    Full Text Available The sea slug Tritonia diomedea (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia, has a simple and highly accessible nervous system, making it useful for studying neuronal and synaptic mechanisms underlying behavior. Although many important contributions have been made using Tritonia, until now, a lack of genetic information has impeded exploration at the molecular level.We performed Illumina sequencing of central nervous system mRNAs from Tritonia, generating 133.1 million 100 base pair, paired-end reads. De novo reconstruction of the RNA-Seq data yielded a total of 185,546 contigs, which partitioned into 123,154 non-redundant gene clusters (unigenes. BLAST comparison with RefSeq and Swiss-Prot protein databases, as well as mRNA data from other invertebrates (gastropod molluscs: Aplysia californica, Lymnaea stagnalis and Biomphalaria glabrata; cnidarian: Nematostella vectensis revealed that up to 76,292 unigenes in the Tritonia transcriptome have putative homologues in other databases, 18,246 of which are below a more stringent E-value cut-off of 1x10-6. In silico prediction of secreted proteins from the Tritonia transcriptome shotgun assembly (TSA produced a database of 579 unique sequences of secreted proteins, which also exhibited markedly higher expression levels compared to other genes in the TSA.Our efforts greatly expand the availability of gene sequences available for Tritonia diomedea. We were able to extract full length protein sequences for most queried genes, including those involved in electrical excitability, synaptic vesicle release and neurotransmission, thus confirming that the transcriptome will serve as a useful tool for probing the molecular correlates of behavior in this species. We also generated a neurosecretome database that will serve as a useful tool for probing peptidergic signalling systems in the Tritonia brain.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Klotho regulates CA1 hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qin; Vo, Hai T; Wang, Jing; Fox-Quick, Stephanie; Dobrunz, Lynn E; King, Gwendalyn D

    2017-04-07

    Global klotho overexpression extends lifespan while global klotho-deficiency shortens it. As well, klotho protein manipulations inversely regulate cognitive function. Mice without klotho develop rapid onset cognitive impairment before they are 2months old. Meanwhile, adult mice overexpressing klotho show enhanced cognitive function, particularly in hippocampal-dependent tasks. The cognitive enhancing effects of klotho extend to humans with a klotho polymorphism that increases circulating klotho and executive function. To affect cognitive function, klotho could act in or on the synapse to modulate synaptic transmission or plasticity. However, it is not yet known if klotho is located at synapses, and little is known about its effects on synaptic function. To test this, we fractionated hippocampi and detected klotho expression in both pre and post-synaptic compartments. We find that loss of klotho enhances both pre and post-synaptic measures of CA1 hippocampal synaptic plasticity at 5weeks of age. However, a rapid loss of synaptic enhancement occurs such that by 7weeks, when mice are cognitively impaired, there is no difference from wild-type controls. Klotho overexpressing mice show no early life effects on synaptic plasticity, but decreased CA1 hippocampal long-term potentiation was measured at 6months of age. Together these data suggest that klotho affects cognition, at least in part, by regulating hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Acute synaptic modulation by nicotinic agonists in developing cerebellar Purkinje cells of the rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawa, Kazuyoshi

    2002-01-01

    The synaptic properties of the immature mammalian cerebellum were studied with a focus on the nicotinic modulation of synaptic transmission. Synaptic currents in Purkinje neurones were recorded using whole-cell patch electrodes applied to cerebellar slices (200 μm thick) obtained from newborn rats at postnatal days 5–10 (P5–P10). When the membrane potential of a Purkinje cell was held at −40 mV, spontaneous synaptic currents occurring in the cell comprised both inward and outward components. The former was glutamatergic and the latter was GABAergic, as confirmed by measuring reversal potentials and by using the specific glutamate and GABA blockers, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoziline-2,3-dione and bicuculline, respectively. Application of ACh (0.1–1000 μm) from a ‘Y tube’ enhanced the occurrence of both glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic currents in Purkinje cells. These responses appeared within 1 s after the application of ACh, and they were mimicked by nicotinic agonists (10 μm nicotine, 10 μm cytisine, 10 μm 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenyl-piperazinium iodide, or 10 nm epibatidine), but were sensitive to a specific nicotinic antagonist (1 μm dihydro-β-erythroidine). When the generation of action potentials by cerebellar neurones in the slice preparation was blocked by the addition of TTX (1 μm) to the external saline, these ACh-induced responses almost disappeared. This indicates that the enhanced synaptic activities in Purkinje cells are induced via presynaptic nicotinic receptors on the excitatory and inhibitory interneurones, presumably on the proximal axons or somatodendritic domains of granule cells and basket cells in the cerebellar cortex. Interestingly, these nicotinic effects were remarkable in immature rats (P5–P10), but were barely detectable in older rats (more than 10 days of age), indicating that nicotinic ACh receptors are regulated developmentally and may play a novel role in the maturing cerebellum. PMID:11773319

  9. From single cells and single columns to cortical networks: dendritic excitability, coincidence detection and synaptic transmission in brain slices and brains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Although patch pipettes were initially designed to record extracellularly the elementary current events from muscle and neuron membranes, the whole‐cell and loose cell‐attached recording configurations proved to be useful tools for examination of signalling within and between nerve cells. In this Paton Prize Lecture, I will initially summarize work on electrical signalling within single neurons, describing communication between the dendritic compartments, soma and nerve terminals via forward‐ and backward‐propagating action potentials. The newly discovered dendritic excitability endows neurons with the capacity for coincidence detection of spatially separated subthreshold inputs. When these are occurring during a time window of tens of milliseconds, this information is broadcast to other cells by the initiation of bursts of action potentials (AP bursts). The occurrence of AP bursts critically impacts signalling between neurons that are controlled by target‐cell‐specific transmitter release mechanisms at downstream synapses even in different terminals of the same neuron. This can, in turn, induce mechanisms that underly synaptic plasticity when AP bursts occur within a short time window, both presynaptically in terminals and postsynaptically in dendrites. A fundamental question that arises from these findings is: ‘what are the possible functions of active dendritic excitability with respect to network dynamics in the intact cortex of behaving animals?’ To answer this question, I highlight in this review the functional and anatomical architectures of an average cortical column in the vibrissal (whisker) field of the somatosensory cortex (vS1), with an emphasis on the functions of layer 5 thick‐tufted cells (L5tt) embedded in this structure. Sensory‐evoked synaptic and action potential responses of these major cortical output neurons are compared with responses in the afferent pathway, viz. the neurons in primary somatosensory thalamus and in one

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  13. Theta frequency background tunes transmission but not summation of spiking responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhanya Parameshwaran

    Full Text Available Hippocampal neurons are known to fire as a function of frequency and phase of spontaneous network rhythms, associated with the animal's behaviour. This dependence is believed to give rise to precise rate and temporal codes. However, it is not well understood how these periodic membrane potential fluctuations affect the integration of synaptic inputs. Here we used sinusoidal current injection to the soma of CA1 pyramidal neurons in the rat brain slice to simulate background oscillations in the physiologically relevant theta and gamma frequency range. We used a detailed compartmental model to show that somatic current injection gave comparable results to more physiological synaptically driven theta rhythms incorporating excitatory input in the dendrites, and inhibitory input near the soma. We systematically varied the phase of synaptic inputs with respect to this background, and recorded changes in response and summation properties of CA1 neurons using whole-cell patch recordings. The response of the cell was dependent on both the phase of synaptic inputs and frequency of the background input. The probability of the cell spiking for a given synaptic input was up to 40% greater during the depolarized phases between 30-135 degrees of theta frequency current injection. Summation gain on the other hand, was not affected either by the background frequency or the phasic afferent inputs. This flat summation gain, coupled with the enhanced spiking probability during depolarized phases of the theta cycle, resulted in enhanced transmission of summed inputs during the same phase window of 30-135 degrees. Overall, our study suggests that although oscillations provide windows of opportunity to selectively boost transmission and EPSP size, summation of synaptic inputs remains unaffected during membrane oscillations.

  14. Early developmental bisphenol-A exposure sex-independently impairs spatial memory by remodeling hippocampal dendritic architecture and synaptic transmission in rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi-Hua; Ding, Jin-Jun; Yang, Qian-Qian; Song, Hua-Zeng; Chen, Xiang-Tao; Xu, Yi; Xiao, Gui-Ran; Wang, Hui-Li

    2016-08-01

    Bisphenol-A (BPA, 4, 4‧-isopropylidene-2-diphenol), a synthetic xenoestrogen that widely used in the production of polycarbonate plastics, has been reported to impair hippocampal development and function. Our previous study has shown that BPA exposure impairs Sprague-Dawley (SD) male hippocampal dendritic spine outgrowth. In this study, the sex-effect of chronic BPA exposure on spatial memory in SD male and female rats and the related synaptic mechanism were further investigated. We found that chronic BPA exposure impaired spatial memory in both SD male and female rats, suggesting a dysfunction of hippocampus without gender-specific effect. Further investigation indicated that BPA exposure causes significant impairment of dendrite and spine structure, manifested as decreased dendritic complexity, dendritic spine density and percentage of mushroom shaped spines in hippocampal CA1 and dentate gyrus (DG) neurons. Furthermore, a significant reduction in Arc expression was detected upon BPA exposure. Strikingly, BPA exposure significantly increased the mIPSC amplitude without altering the mEPSC amplitude or frequency, accompanied by increased GABAARβ2/3 on postsynaptic membrane in cultured CA1 neurons. In summary, our study indicated that Arc, together with the increased surface GABAARβ2/3, contributed to BPA induced spatial memory deficits, providing a novel molecular basis for BPA achieved brain impairment.

  15. Quantitative Proteomics of Synaptic and Nonsynaptic Mitochondria: Insights for Synaptic Mitochondrial Vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic mitochondria are essential for maintaining calcium homeostasis and producing ATP, processes vital for neuronal integrity and synaptic transmission. Synaptic mitochondria exhibit increased oxidative damage during aging and are more vulnerable to calcium insult than nonsynaptic mitochondria. Why synaptic mitochondria are specifically more susceptible to cumulative damage remains to be determined. In this study, the generation of a super-SILAC mix that served as an appropriate internal standard for mouse brain mitochondria mass spectrometry based analysis allowed for the quantification of the proteomic differences between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria isolated from 10-month-old mice. We identified a total of 2260 common proteins between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria of which 1629 were annotated as mitochondrial. Quantitative proteomic analysis of the proteins common between synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria revealed significant differential expression of 522 proteins involved in several pathways including oxidative phosphorylation, mitochondrial fission/fusion, calcium transport, and mitochondrial DNA replication and maintenance. In comparison to nonsynaptic mitochondria, synaptic mitochondria exhibited increased age-associated mitochondrial DNA deletions and decreased bioenergetic function. These findings provide insights into synaptic mitochondrial susceptibility to damage. PMID:24708184

  16. Excitatory amino acid transmission in health and disease

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bridges, Richard J; Balázs, R; Cotman, Carl W

    2006-01-01

    ... Structure of the Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors, 23 3 AMPA RECEPTORS, 36 Molecular Structure, Properties, and Regulation, 36 Distribution of AMPA Receptors, 41 AMPA Receptor Pharmacology, 46 Th...

  17. A Stem Cell-Derived Platform for Studying Single Synaptic Vesicles in Dopaminergic Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Haigang; Lazarenko, Roman M; Koktysh, Dmitry; Iacovitti, Lorraine; Zhang, Qi

    2015-08-01

    The exocytotic release of dopamine is one of the most characteristic but also one of the least appreciated processes in dopaminergic neurotransmission. Fluorescence imaging has yielded rich information about the properties of synaptic vesicles and the release of neurotransmitters in excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In contrast, imaging-based studies for in-depth understanding of synaptic vesicle behavior in dopamine neurons are lagging largely because of a lack of suitable preparations. Midbrain culture has been one of the most valuable preparations for the subcellular investigation of dopaminergic transmission; however, the paucity and fragility of cultured dopaminergic neurons limits their use for live cell imaging. Recent developments in stem cell technology have led to the successful production of dopamine neurons from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. Although the dopaminergic identity of these stem cell-derived neurons has been characterized in different ways, vesicle-mediated dopamine release from their axonal terminals has been barely assessed. We report a more efficient procedure to reliably generate dopamine neurons from embryonic stem cells, and it yields more dopamine neurons with more dopaminergic axon projections than midbrain culture does. Using a collection of functional measurements, we show that stem cell-derived dopamine neurons are indistinguishable from those in midbrain culture. Taking advantage of this new preparation, we simultaneously tracked the turnover of hundreds of synaptic vesicles individually using pH-sensitive quantum dots. By doing so, we revealed distinct fusion kinetics of the dopamine-secreting vesicles, which is consistent within both preparations. ©AlphaMed Press.

  18. Striatal synaptic dysfunction and hippocampal plasticity deficits in the Hu97/18 mouse model of Huntington disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karolina Kolodziejczyk

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the gene (HTT encoding the huntingtin protein (HTT. This mutation leads to multiple cellular and synaptic alterations that are mimicked in many current HD animal models. However, the most commonly used, well-characterized HD models do not accurately reproduce the genetics of human disease. Recently, a new 'humanized' mouse model, termed Hu97/18, has been developed that genetically recapitulates human HD, including two human HTT alleles, no mouse Hdh alleles and heterozygosity of the HD mutation. Previously, behavioral and neuropathological testing in Hu97/18 mice revealed many features of HD, yet no electrophysiological measures were employed to investigate possible synaptic alterations. Here, we describe electrophysiological changes in the striatum and hippocampus of the Hu97/18 mice. At 9 months of age, a stage when cognitive deficits are fully developed and motor dysfunction is also evident, Hu97/18 striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs exhibited small changes in membrane properties and lower amplitude and frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs; however, release probability from presynaptic terminals was unaltered. Strikingly, these mice also exhibited a profound deficiency in long-term potentiation (LTP at CA3-to-CA1 synapses. In contrast, at 6 months of age we found only subtle alterations in SPN synaptic transmission, while 3-month old animals did not display any electrophysiologically detectable changes in the striatum and CA1 LTP was intact. Together, these data reveal robust, progressive deficits in synaptic function and plasticity in Hu97/18 mice, consistent with previously reported behavioral abnormalities, and suggest an optimal age (9 months for future electrophysiological assessment in preclinical studies of HD.

  19. Emergent spatial synaptic structure from diffusive plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeney, Yann; Clopath, Claudia

    2017-04-01

    Some neurotransmitters can diffuse freely across cell membranes, influencing neighbouring neurons regardless of their synaptic coupling. This provides a means of neural communication, alternative to synaptic transmission, which can influence the way in which neural networks process information. Here, we ask whether diffusive neurotransmission can also influence the structure of synaptic connectivity in a network undergoing plasticity. We propose a form of Hebbian synaptic plasticity which is mediated by a diffusive neurotransmitter. Whenever a synapse is modified at an individual neuron through our proposed mechanism, similar but smaller modifications occur in synapses connecting to neighbouring neurons. The effects of this diffusive plasticity are explored in networks of rate-based neurons. This leads to the emergence of spatial structure in the synaptic connectivity of the network. We show that this spatial structure can coexist with other forms of structure in the synaptic connectivity, such as with groups of strongly interconnected neurons that form in response to correlated external drive. Finally, we explore diffusive plasticity in a simple feedforward network model of receptive field development. We show that, as widely observed across sensory cortex, the preferred stimulus identity of neurons in our network become spatially correlated due to diffusion. Our proposed mechanism of diffusive plasticity provides an efficient mechanism for generating these spatial correlations in stimulus preference which can flexibly interact with other forms of synaptic organisation. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Bilinearity in spatiotemporal integration of synaptic inputs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Altered Striatal Synaptic Function and Abnormal Behaviour in Shank3 Exon4-9 Deletion Mouse Model of Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaramillo, Thomas C; Speed, Haley E; Xuan, Zhong; Reimers, Jeremy M; Liu, Shunan; Powell, Craig M

    2016-03-01

    Shank3 is a multi-domain, synaptic scaffolding protein that organizes proteins in the postsynaptic density of excitatory synapses. Clinical studies suggest that ∼ 0.5% of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases may involve SHANK3 mutation/deletion. Patients with SHANK3 mutations exhibit deficits in cognition along with delayed/impaired speech/language and repetitive and obsessive/compulsive-like (OCD-like) behaviors. To examine how mutation/deletion of SHANK3 might alter brain function leading to ASD, we have independently created mice with deletion of Shank3 exons 4-9, a region implicated in ASD patients. We find that homozygous deletion of exons 4-9 (Shank3(e4-9) KO) results in loss of the two highest molecular weight isoforms of Shank3 and a significant reduction in other isoforms. Behaviorally, both Shank3(e4-9) heterozygous (HET) and Shank3(e4-9) KO mice display increased repetitive grooming, deficits in novel and spatial object recognition learning and memory, and abnormal ultrasonic vocalizations. Shank3(e4-9) KO mice also display abnormal social interaction when paired with one another. Analysis of synaptosome fractions from striata of Shank3(e4-9) KO mice reveals decreased Homer1b/c, GluA2, and GluA3 expression. Both Shank3(e4-9) HET and KO demonstrated a significant reduction in NMDA/AMPA ratio at excitatory synapses onto striatal medium spiny neurons. Furthermore, Shank3(e4-9) KO mice displayed reduced hippocampal LTP despite normal baseline synaptic transmission. Collectively these behavioral, biochemical and physiological changes suggest Shank3 isoforms have region-specific roles in regulation of AMPAR subunit localization and NMDAR function in the Shank3(e4-9) mutant mouse model of autism. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. 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...

  6. Transcriptional coupling of synaptic transmission and energy metabolism: role of nuclear respiratory factor 1 in co-regulating neuronal nitric oxide synthase and cytochrome c oxidase genes in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhar, Shilpa S; Liang, Huan Ling; Wong-Riley, Margaret T T

    2009-10-01

    Neuronal activity is highly dependent on energy metabolism; yet, the two processes have traditionally been regarded as independently regulated at the transcriptional level. Recently, we found that the same transcription factor, nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) co-regulates an important energy-generating enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase, as well as critical subunits of glutamatergic receptors. The present study tests our hypothesis that the co-regulation extends to the next level of glutamatergic synapses, namely, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, which generates nitric oxide as a downstream signaling molecule. Using in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation, promoter mutations, and NRF-1 silencing, we documented that NRF-1 functionally bound to Nos1, but not Nos2 (inducible) and Nos3 (endothelial) gene promoters. Both COX and Nos1 transcripts were up-regulated by depolarizing KCl treatment and down-regulated by TTX-mediated impulse blockade in neurons. However, NRF-1 silencing blocked the up-regulation of both Nos1 and COX induced by KCl depolarization, and over-expression of NRF-1 rescued both Nos1 and COX transcripts down-regulated by TTX. These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that synaptic neuronal transmission and energy metabolism are tightly coupled at the molecular level.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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.

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    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.

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

    2016-11-30

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

  13. Altered GABAA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission disrupts the firing of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in male mice under conditions that mimic steroid abuse.

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    Penatti, Carlos A A; Davis, Matthew C; Porter, Donna M; Henderson, Leslie P

    2010-05-12

    Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons are the central regulators of reproduction. GABAergic transmission plays a critical role in pubertal activation of pulsatile GnRH secretion. Self-administration of excessive doses of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) disrupts reproductive function and may have critical repercussions for pubertal onset in adolescent users. Here, we demonstrate that chronic treatment of adolescent male mice with the AAS 17alpha-methyltestosterone significantly decreased action potential frequency in GnRH neurons, reduced the serum gonadotropin levels, and decreased testes mass. AAS treatment did not induce significant changes in GABAA receptor subunit mRNA levels or alter the amplitude or decay kinetics of GABAA receptor-mediated spontaneous postsynaptic currents (sPSCs) or tonic currents in GnRH neurons. However, AAS treatment significantly increased action potential frequency in neighboring medial preoptic area (mPOA) neurons and GABAA receptor-mediated sPSC frequency in GnRH neurons. In addition, physical isolation of the more lateral aspects of the mPOA from the medially localized GnRH neurons abrogated the AAS-induced increase in GABAA receptor-mediated sPSC frequency and the decrease in action potential firing in the GnRH cells. Our results indicate that AAS act predominantly on steroid-sensitive presynaptic neurons within the mPOA to impart significant increases in GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory tone onto downstream GnRH neurons, resulting in diminished activity of these pivotal mediators of reproductive function. These AAS-induced changes in central GABAergic circuits of the forebrain may significantly contribute to the disruptive actions of these drugs on pubertal maturation and the development of reproductive competence in male steroid abusers.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    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

  17. 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

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

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    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

  19. Astrocytes and synaptic plasticity in health and disease.

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    Singh, A; Abraham, Wickliffe C

    2017-06-01

    Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity phenomena such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression are candidate mechanisms for storing information in the brain. Regulation of synaptic plasticity is critical for healthy cognition and learning and this is provided in part by metaplasticity, which can act to maintain synaptic transmission within a dynamic range and potentially prevent excitotoxicity. Metaplasticity mechanisms also allow neurons to integrate plasticity-associated signals over time. Interestingly, astrocytes appear to be critical for certain forms of synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity mechanisms. Synaptic dysfunction is increasingly viewed as an early feature of AD that is correlated with the severity of cognitive decline, and the development of these pathologies is correlated with a rise in reactive astrocytes. This review focuses on the contributions of astrocytes to synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity in normal tissue, and addresses whether astroglial pathology may lead to aberrant engagement of these mechanisms in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

  20. Synaptic Homeostasis and Its Immunological Disturbance in Neuromuscular Junction Disorders

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    Masaharu Takamori

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available In the neuromuscular junction, postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR clustering, trans-synaptic communication and synaptic stabilization are modulated by the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity. The synaptic functions are based presynaptically on the active zone architecture, synaptic vesicle proteins, Ca2+ channels and synaptic vesicle recycling. Postsynaptically, they are based on rapsyn-anchored nAChR clusters, localized sensitivity to ACh, and synaptic stabilization via linkage to the extracellular matrix so as to be precisely opposed to the nerve terminal. Focusing on neural agrin, Wnts, muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (a mediator of agrin and Wnts signalings and regulator of trans-synaptic communication, low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (the receptor of agrin and Wnts and participant in retrograde signaling, laminin-network (including muscle-derived agrin, extracellular matrix proteins (participating in the synaptic stabilization and presynaptic receptors (including muscarinic and adenosine receptors, we review the functional structures of the synapse by making reference to immunological pathogenecities in postsynaptic disease, myasthenia gravis. The synapse-related proteins including cortactin, coronin-6, caveolin-3, doublecortin, R-spondin 2, amyloid precursor family proteins, glia cell-derived neurotrophic factor and neurexins are also discussed in terms of their possible contribution to efficient synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction.

  1. P2X7R modulation of visually evoked synaptic responses in the retina.

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    Chavda, Seetal; Luthert, Philip J; Salt, Thomas E

    2016-12-01

    P2X7Rs are distributed throughout all layers of the retina, and thus, their localisation on various cell types puts into question their specific site(s) of action. Using a dark-adapted, ex vivo mouse retinal whole mount preparation, the present study aimed to characterise the effect of P2X7R activation on light-evoked, excitatory RGC ON-field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) and on outer retinal electroretinogram (ERG) responses under comparable conditions. The pharmacologically isolated NMDA receptor-mediated RGC ON-fEPSP was reduced in the presence of BzATP, an effect which was significantly attenuated by A438079 and other selective P2X7R antagonists A804598 or AF27139. In physiological Krebs medium, BzATP induced a significant potentiation of the ERG a-wave, with a concomitant reduction in the b-wave and the power of the oscillatory potentials. Conversely, in the pharmacologically modified Mg2+-free perfusate, BzATP reduced both the a-wave and b-wave. The effects of BzATP on the ERG components were suppressed by A438079. A role for P2X7R function in visual processing in both the inner and outer retina under physiological conditions remains controversial. The ON-fEPSP was significantly reduced in the presence of A804598 but not by A438079 or AF27139. Furthermore, A438079 did not have any effect on the ERG components in physiological Krebs but potentiated and reduced the a-wave and b-wave, respectively, when applied to the pharmacologically modified medium. Therefore, activation of P2X7Rs affects the function in the retinal ON pathway. The presence of a high concentration of extracellular ATP would most likely contribute to the modulation of visual transmission in the retina in the pathophysiological microenvironment.

  2. Role of Drebrin in Synaptic Plasticity.

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    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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

    2017-08-02

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. 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.

  9. Synaptic dysfunction in the hippocampus accompanies learning and memory deficits in human immunodeficiency virus type-1 Tat transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitting, Sylvia; Ignatowska-Jankowska, Bogna M; Bull, Cecilia; Skoff, Robert P; Lichtman, Aron H; Wise, Laura E; Fox, Michael A; Su, Jianmin; Medina, Alexandre E; Krahe, Thomas E; Knapp, Pamela E; Guido, William; Hauser, Kurt F

    2013-03-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), including memory dysfunction, continue to be a major clinical manifestation of HIV type-1 infection. Viral proteins released by infected glia are thought to be the principal triggers of inflammation and bystander neuronal injury and death, thereby driving key symptomatology of HAND. We used a glial fibrillary acidic protein-driven, doxycycline-inducible HIV type-1 transactivator of transcription (Tat) transgenic mouse model and examined structure-function relationships in hippocampal pyramidal cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) neurons using morphologic, electrophysiological (long-term potentiation [LTP]), and behavioral (Morris water maze, fear-conditioning) approaches. Tat induction caused a variety of different inclusions in astrocytes characteristic of lysosomes, autophagic vacuoles, and lamellar bodies, which were typically present within distal cytoplasmic processes. In pyramidal CA1 neurons, Tat induction reduced the number of apical dendritic spines, while disrupting the distribution of synaptic proteins (synaptotagmin 2 and gephyrin) associated with inhibitory transmission but with minimal dendritic pathology and no evidence of pyramidal neuron death. Electrophysiological assessment of excitatory postsynaptic field potential at Schaffer collateral/commissural fiber-CA1 synapses showed near total suppression of LTP in mice expressing Tat. The loss in LTP coincided with disruptions in learning and memory. Tat expression in the brain results in profound functional changes in synaptic physiology and in behavior that are accompanied by only modest structural changes and minimal pathology. Tat likely contributes to HAND by causing molecular changes that disrupt synaptic organization, with inhibitory presynaptic terminals containing synaptotagmin 2 appearing especially vulnerable. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. 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...

  11. Mild hypoxia affects synaptic connectivity in cultured neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeijer, Jeannette; Mulder, Alex T B; Farinha, Ana C; van Putten, Michel J A M; le Feber, Joost

    2014-04-04

    Eighty percent of patients with chronic mild cerebral ischemia/hypoxia resulting from chronic heart failure or pulmonary disease have cognitive impairment. Overt structural neuronal damage is lacking and the precise cause of neuronal damage is unclear. As almost half of the cerebral energy consumption is used for synaptic transmission, and synaptic failure is the first abrupt consequence of acute complete anoxia, synaptic dysfunction is a candidate mechanism for the cognitive deterioration in chronic mild ischemia/hypoxia. Because measurement of synaptic functioning in patients is problematic, we use cultured networks of cortical neurons from new born rats, grown over a multi-electrode array, as a model system. These were exposed to partial hypoxia (partial oxygen pressure of 150Torr lowered to 40-50Torr) during 3 (n=14) or 6 (n=8) hours. Synaptic functioning was assessed before, during, and after hypoxia by assessment of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses to electrical stimulation. Action potential heights and shapes and non-synaptic stimulus responses were used as measures of individual neuronal integrity. During hypoxia of 3 and 6h, there was a statistically significant decrease of spontaneous network activity, functional connectivity, and synaptically driven network responses, whereas direct responses and action potentials remained unchanged. These changes were largely reversible. Our results indicate that in cultured neuronal networks, partial hypoxia during 3 or 6h causes isolated disturbances of synaptic connectivity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Synaptic dynamics: linear model and adaptation algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousefi, Ali; Dibazar, Alireza A; Berger, Theodore W

    2014-08-01

    In this research, temporal processing in brain neural circuitries is addressed by a dynamic model of synaptic connections in which the synapse model accounts for both pre- and post-synaptic processes determining its temporal dynamics and strength. Neurons, which are excited by the post-synaptic potentials of hundred of the synapses, build the computational engine capable of processing dynamic neural stimuli. Temporal dynamics in neural models with dynamic synapses will be analyzed, and learning algorithms for synaptic adaptation of neural networks with hundreds of synaptic connections are proposed. The paper starts by introducing a linear approximate model for the temporal dynamics of synaptic transmission. The proposed linear model substantially simplifies the analysis and training of spiking neural networks. Furthermore, it is capable of replicating the synaptic response of the non-linear facilitation-depression model with an accuracy better than 92.5%. In the second part of the paper, a supervised spike-in-spike-out learning rule for synaptic adaptation in dynamic synapse neural networks (DSNN) is proposed. The proposed learning rule is a biologically plausible process, and it is capable of simultaneously adjusting both pre- and post-synaptic components of individual synapses. The last section of the paper starts with presenting the rigorous analysis of the learning algorithm in a system identification task with hundreds of synaptic connections which confirms the learning algorithm's accuracy, repeatability and scalability. The DSNN is utilized to predict the spiking activity of cortical neurons and pattern recognition tasks. The DSNN model is demonstrated to be a generative model capable of producing different cortical neuron spiking patterns and CA1 Pyramidal neurons recordings. A single-layer DSNN classifier on a benchmark pattern recognition task outperforms a 2-Layer Neural Network and GMM classifiers while having fewer numbers of free parameters and

  13. 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.

  14. Characterization of auditory synaptic inputs to gerbil perirhinal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiwei; Kahraman, Osman; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2017-05-01

    Neurotransmitter receptor molecules, concentrated in synaptic membrane domains along with scaffolds and other kinds of proteins, are crucial for signal transmission across chemical synapses. In common with other membrane protein domains, synaptic domains are characterized by low protein copy numbers and protein crowding, with rapid stochastic turnover of individual molecules. We study here in detail a stochastic lattice model of the receptor-scaffold reaction-diffusion dynamics at synaptic domains that was found previously to capture, at the mean-field level, the self-assembly, stability, and characteristic size of synaptic domains observed in experiments. We show that our stochastic lattice model yields quantitative agreement with mean-field models of nonlinear diffusion in crowded membranes. Through a combination of analytic and numerical solutions of the master equation governing the reaction dynamics at synaptic domains, together with kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, we find substantial discrepancies between mean-field and stochastic models for the reaction dynamics at synaptic domains. Based on the reaction and diffusion properties of synaptic receptors and scaffolds suggested by previous experiments and mean-field calculations, we show that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic receptors and scaffolds provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the observed single-molecule trajectories, and spatial heterogeneity in the effective rates at which receptors and scaffolds are recycled at the cell membrane. Our work sheds light on the physical mechanisms and principles linking the collective properties of membrane protein domains to the stochastic dynamics that rule their molecular components.

  14. Mitochondria and Synaptic Plasticity in the Mature and Aging Nervous System

    OpenAIRE

    Todorova, Vyara; Blokland, Arjan

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity in the adult brain is believed to represent the cellular mechanisms of learning and memory. Mitochondria are involved in the regulation of the complex processes of synaptic plasticity. This paper reviews the current knowledge on the regulatory roles of mitochondria in the function and plasticity of synapses and the implications of mitochondrial dysfunctions in synaptic transmission. First, the importance of mitochondrial distribution and motility for maintenance and streng...

  15. Measuring Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Seth; Lee, Sung Hoon; Wu, Ling-Gang

    2017-09-04

    During endocytosis, fused synaptic vesicles are retrieved at nerve terminals, allowing for vesicle recycling and thus the maintenance of synaptic transmission during repetitive nerve firing. Impaired endocytosis in pathological conditions leads to decreases in synaptic strength and brain functions. Here, we describe methods used to measure synaptic vesicle endocytosis at the mammalian hippocampal synapse in neuronal culture. We monitored synaptic vesicle protein endocytosis by fusing a synaptic vesicular membrane protein, including synaptophysin and VAMP2/synaptobrevin, at the vesicular lumenal side, with pHluorin, a pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein that increases its fluorescence intensity as the pH increases. During exocytosis, vesicular lumen pH increases, whereas during endocytosis vesicular lumen pH is re-acidified. Thus, an increase of pHluorin fluorescence intensity indicates fusion, whereas a decrease indicates endocytosis of the labelled synaptic vesicle protein. In addition to using the pHluorin imaging method to record endocytosis, we monitored vesicular membrane endocytosis by electron microscopy (EM) measurements of Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) uptake by vesicles. Finally, we monitored the formation of nerve terminal membrane pits at various times after high potassium-induced depolarization. The time course of HRP uptake and membrane pit formation indicates the time course of endocytosis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Optogenetics in the teaching laboratory: using channelrhodopsin-2 to study the neural basis of behavior and synaptic physiology in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulver, Stefan R; Hornstein, Nicholas J; Land, Bruce L; Johnson, Bruce R

    2011-03-01

    Here we incorporate recent advances in Drosophila neurogenetics and "optogenetics" into neuroscience laboratory exercises. We used the light-activated ion channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) and tissue-specific genetic expression techniques to study the neural basis of behavior in Drosophila larvae. We designed and implemented exercises using inexpensive, easy-to-use systems for delivering blue light pulses with fine temporal control. Students first examined the behavioral effects of activating glutamatergic neurons in Drosophila larvae and then recorded excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs) mediated by ChR2 activation at the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Comparison of electrically and light-evoked EJPs demonstrates that the amplitudes and time courses of light-evoked EJPs are not significantly different from those generated by electrical nerve stimulation. These exercises introduce students to new genetic technology for remotely manipulating neural activity, and they simplify the process of recording EJPs at the Drosophila larval NMJ. Relatively little research work has been done using ChR2 in Drosophila, so students have opportunities to test novel hypotheses and make tangible contributions to the scientific record. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of student experiences suggest that these exercises help convey principles of synaptic transmission while also promoting integrative and inquiry-based studies of genetics, cellular physiology, and animal behavior.

  18. 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

  19. Dynamic expression of long noncoding RNAs and repeat elements in synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maag, Jesper L. V.; Panja, Deb; Sporild, Ida; Patil, Sudarshan; Kaczorowski, Dominik C.; Bramham, Clive R.; Dinger, Marcel E.; Wibrand, Karin

    2015-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LIP) of synaptic transmission is recognized as a cellular mechanism for learning and memory storage. Although de novo gene transcription is known to be required in the formation of stable LIP, the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity remain elusive. Noncoding

  20. Effects of decreased inhibition on synaptic plasticity and dendritic morphology in the juvenile prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xanthippi Konstantoudaki

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Excitation-inhibition balance is critical for maintaining proper functioning of the cerebral cortex, as evident from electrophysiological and modeling studies, and it is also important for animal behavior (Yizhar et al., 2011. In the cerebral cortex, excitation is provided by glutamate release from pyramidal neurons, while inhibition is provided by GABA release from several types of interneurons. Many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia and autism exhibit an imbalance between the excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms of cortical circuits within key brain regions as prefrontal cortex or hippocampus, primarily through dysfunctions in the inhibitory system (Lewis, Volk, & Hashimoto, 2003; Marín, 2012 Given the significant role of GABAergic inhibition in shaping proper function of the cerebral cortex, we used a mouse model of developmentally decreased GABAergic inhibition in order to examine its effects in network properties, namely basal synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons. For our study, we used mice (postnatal day 20-30 in which the Rac1 protein was deleted from Nkx2.1-expressing neurons (Vidaki et al., 2012, (Rac1fl/flNkx2.1 +/cre referred as Rac1 KO mice, and heterozygous (Rac1+/flNkx2.1 +/cre or control (Rac1+/flNkx2.1 +/+ mice. The specific ablation of Rac1 protein from NKx2.1-expressing MGE-derived progenitors leads to a perturbation of their cell cycle exit resulting in decreased number of interneurons in the cortex(Vidaki et al, 2012. We prepared brain slices from the prefrontal cortex and recorded field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs from layer II neurons while stimulating axons in layer II. We find that the evoked fEPSPs are decreased in Rac1 KO mice compared to Rac1 heterozygous or control mice. This could suggest that the decreased GABAergic inhibition causes network alterations that result in reduced glutamatergic function. Furthermore

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiantian Wang

    2018-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erwan eLedoux

    2011-05-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta

    2017-10-17

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

  11. Correlating Fluorescence and High-Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (HRSEM) for the study of 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Kehrer

    2008-04-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Homer1a signaling in the amygdala counteracts pain-related synaptic plasticity, mGluR1 function and pain behaviors

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    Kuner Rohini

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR1/5 signaling is an important mechanism of pain-related plasticity in the amygdala that plays a key role in the emotional-affective dimension of pain. Homer1a, the short form of the Homer1 family of scaffolding proteins, disrupts the mGluR-signaling complex and negatively regulates nociceptive plasticity at spinal synapses. Using transgenic mice overexpressing Homer1a in the forebrain (H1a-mice, we analyzed synaptic plasticity, pain behavior and mGluR1 function in the basolateral amygdala (BLA in a model of arthritis pain. Findings In contrast to wild-type mice, H1a-mice mice did not develop increased pain behaviors (spinal reflexes and audible and ultrasonic vocalizations after induction of arthritis in the knee joint. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in brain slices showed that excitatory synaptic transmission from the BLA to the central nucleus (CeA did not change in arthritic H1a-mice but increased in arthritic wild-type mice. A selective mGluR1 antagonist (CPCCOEt had no effect on enhanced synaptic transmission in slices from H1a-BLA mice with arthritis but inhibited transmission in wild-type mice with arthritis as in our previous studies in rats. Conclusions The results show that Homer1a expressed in forebrain neurons, prevents the development of pain hypersensitivity in arthritis and disrupts pain-related plasticity at synapses in amygdaloid nuclei. Furthermore, Homer1a eliminates the effect of an mGluR1 antagonist, which is consistent with the well-documented disruption of mGluR1 signaling by Homer1a. These findings emphasize the important role of mGluR1 in pain-related amygdala plasticity and provide evidence for the involvement of Homer1 proteins in the forebrain in the modulation of pain hypersensitivity.

  19. Studying synaptic efficiency by post-hoc immunolabelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background In terms of vesicular recycling, synaptic efficiency is a key determinant of the fidelity of synaptic transmission. The ability of a presynaptic terminal to reuse its vesicular content is thought to be a signature of synaptic maturity and this process depends on the activity of several proteins that govern exo/endocytosis. Upon stimulation, individual terminals in networks of cultured cerebellar granule neurons exhibit heterogeneous exocytic responses, which reflect the distinct states of maturity and plasticity intrinsic to individual synaptic terminals. This dynamic scenario serves as the substrate for processes such as scaling, plasticity and synaptic weight redistribution. Presynaptic strength has been associated with the activity of several types of proteins, including the scaffolding proteins that form the active zone cytomatrix and the proteins involved in presynaptic exocytosis. Methods We have combined fluorescence imaging techniques using the styryl dye FM1-43 in primary cultures of cerebellar granule cells with subsequent post-hoc immunocytochemistry in order to study synaptic efficiency in terms of vesicular release. We describe a protocol to easily quantify these results with minimal user intervention. Results In this study we describe a technique that specifically correlates presynaptic activity with the levels of presynaptic markers. This method involves the use of the styryl dye FM1-43 to estimate the release capacity of a synaptic terminal, and the subsequent post-hoc immunolabelling of thousands of individual nerve terminals. We observed a strong correlation between the release capacity of the nerve terminal and the levels of the RIM1α but not the Munc13-1 protein in the active zone. Conclusions Our findings support those of previous studies and point out to RIM1α as a crucial factor in determining synaptic efficiency. These results also demonstrate that this technique is a useful tool to analyse the molecular differences

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

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    Abeer Abousaab

    2016-11-01

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

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

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    Malgorzata Jasinska

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

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

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    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

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

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    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

  4. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

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    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…

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

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    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.

  8. GABA Metabolism and Transport: Effects on Synaptic Efficacy

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    Fabian C. Roth

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  12. α2A-Adrenergic Receptors Heterosynaptically Regulate Glutamatergic Transmission in the BNST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Angela D.; Wang, Qin; Winder, Danny G.

    2009-01-01

    Stress is a major driving force in reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) has been identified as a key brain region in this behavior, and receives a dense input of the stress-neurotransmitter norepinephrine through the ventral noradrenergic bundle. Activation of α2-adrenergic receptors (α2-ARs) in the BNST blocks stress-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking, indicating a potentially important role for these receptors. Currently, it is unclear how α2-AR agonists elicit this behavioral action, or through which α2-AR subtype. Activation of α2-ARs decreases glutamatergic transmission in the BNST, an effect which is nearly absent in the α2A-AR knockout mouse. Here, we take advantage of a knockin mouse in which a hemagglutinin-tagged α2A-AR was inserted into the endogenous locus, along with the α2A-AR selective agonist guanfacine, to further study the role of the α2A-AR subtype in modulation of neurotransmission in the BNST. Using immunohistochemistry, we find that α2A-ARs are highly expressed in the BNST, and that this expression is more similar in distribution to the vesicular glutamate transporters than to either norepinephrine transporter or tyrosine hydroxylase positive terminals. Using whole cell patch-clamp recordings, we show that guanfacine causes a depression of evoked excitatory and, to a more limited extent, inhibitory fast synaptic transmission. In total, these data support a prominent heterosynaptic role for α2A-ARs in modulating fast synaptic transmission in the BNST. PMID:19527774

  13. 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

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

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Radix Puerariae modulates glutamatergic synaptic architecture and potentiates functional synaptic plasticity in primary hippocampal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhuiyan, Mohammad Maqueshudul Haque; Haque, Md Nazmul; Mohibbullah, Md; Kim, Yung Kyu; Moon, Il Soo

    2017-09-14

    Neurologic disorders are frequently characterized by synaptic pathology, including abnormal density and morphology of dendritic spines, synapse loss, and aberrant synaptic signaling and plasticity. Therefore, to promote and/or protect synapses by the use of natural molecules capable of modulating neurodevelopmental events, such as, spinogenesis and synaptic plasticity, could offer a preventive and curative strategy for nervous disorders associated with synaptic pathology. Radix Puerariae, the root of Pueraria monatana var. lobata (Willd.) Sanjappa&Pradeep, is a Chinese ethnomedicine, traditionally used for the treatment of memory-related nervous disorders including Alzheimer's disease. In the previous study, we showed that the ethanolic extracts of Radix Puerariae (RPE) and its prime constituent, puerarin induced neuritogenesis and synapse formation in cultured hippocampal neurons, and thus could improve memory functions. In the present study, we specifically investigated the abilities of RPE and puerarin to improve memory-related brain disorders through modulating synaptic maturation and functional potentiation. Rat embryonic (E19) brain neurons were cultured in the absence or presence of RPE or puerarin. At predetermined times, cells were live-stained with DiO or fixed and immunostained to visualize neuronal morphologies, or lysed for protein harvesting. Morphometric analyses of dendritic spines and synaptogenesis were performed using Image J software. Functional pre- and postsynaptic plasticity was measured by FM1-43 staining and whole-cell patch clamping, respectively. RPE or puerarin-mediated changes in actin-related protein 2 were assessed by Western blotting. Neuronal survivals were measured using propidium iodide exclusion assay. RPE and puerarin both: (1) promoted a significant increase in the numbers, and maturation, of dendritic spines; (2) modulated the formation of glutamatergic synapses; (3) potentiated synaptic transmission by increasing the sizes of

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Synaptic plasticity in the auditory system: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friauf, Eckhard; Fischer, Alexander U; Fuhr, Martin F

    2015-07-01

    Synaptic transmission via chemical synapses is dynamic, i.e., the strength of postsynaptic responses may change considerably in response to repeated synaptic activation. Synaptic strength is increased during facilitation, augmentation and potentiation, whereas a decrease in synaptic strength is characteristic for depression and attenuation. This review attempts to discuss the literature on short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in the auditory brainstem of mammals and birds. One hallmark of the auditory system, particularly the inner ear and lower brainstem stations, is information transfer through neurons that fire action potentials at very high frequency, thereby activating synapses >500 times per second. Some auditory synapses display morphological specializations of the presynaptic terminals, e.g., calyceal extensions, whereas other auditory synapses do not. The review focuses on short-term depression and short-term facilitation, i.e., plastic changes with durations in the millisecond range. Other types of short-term synaptic plasticity, e.g., posttetanic potentiation and depolarization-induced suppression of excitation, will be discussed much more briefly. The same holds true for subtypes of long-term plasticity, like prolonged depolarizations and spike-time-dependent plasticity. We also address forms of plasticity in the auditory brainstem that do not comprise synaptic plasticity in a strict sense, namely short-term suppression, paired tone facilitation, short-term adaptation, synaptic adaptation and neural adaptation. Finally, we perform a meta-analysis of 61 studies in which short-term depression (STD) in the auditory system is opposed to short-term depression at non-auditory synapses in order to compare high-frequency neurons with those that fire action potentials at a lower rate. This meta-analysis reveals considerably less STD in most auditory synapses than in non-auditory ones, enabling reliable, failure-free synaptic transmission even at

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

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    Fliza eValiullina

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Concurrent imaging of synaptic vesicle recycling and calcium dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiyan eLi

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission involves the calcium-dependent release of neurotransmitter from synaptic vesicles. Genetically encoded optical probes emitting different wavelengths of fluorescent light in response to neuronal activity offer a powerful approach to understand the spatial and temporal relationship of calcium dynamics to the release of neurotransmitter in defined neuronal populations. To simultaneously image synaptic vesicle recycling and changes in cytosolic calcium, we developed a red-shifted reporter of vesicle recycling based on a vesicular glutamate transporter, VGLUT1-mOrange2 (VGLUT1-mOr2, and a presynaptically-localized green calcium indicator, synaptophysin-GCaMP3 (SyGCaMP3 with a large dynamic range. The fluorescence of VGLUT1-mOr2 is quenched by the low pH of synaptic vesicles. Exocytosis upon electrical stimulation exposes the luminal mOr2 to the neutral extracellular pH and relieves fluorescence quenching. Re-acidification of the vesicle upon endocytosis again reduces fluorescence intensity. Changes in fluorescence intensity thus monitor synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis, as demonstrated previously for the green VGLUT1-pHluorin. To monitor changes in calcium, we fused the synaptic vesicle protein synaptophysin to the recently improved calcium indicator GCaMP3. SyGCaMP3 is targeted to presynaptic varicosities, and exhibits changes in fluorescence in response to electrical stimulation consistent with changes in calcium concentration. Using real-time imaging of both reporters expressed in the same synapses, we determine the time course of changes in VGLUT1 recycling in relation to changes in presynaptic calcium concentration. Inhibition of P/Q- and N-type calcium channels reduces calcium levels, as well as the rate of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and the fraction of vesicles released.

  6. Synaptic vesicle dynamic changes in a model of fragile X.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broek, Jantine A C; Lin, Zhanmin; de Gruiter, H Martijn; van 't Spijker, Heleen; Haasdijk, Elize D; Cox, David; Ozcan, Sureyya; van Cappellen, Gert W A; Houtsmuller, Adriaan B; Willemsen, Rob; de Zeeuw, Chris I; Bahn, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a single-gene disorder that is the most common heritable cause of intellectual disability and the most frequent monogenic cause of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). FXS is caused by an expansion of trinucleotide repeats in the promoter region of the fragile X mental retardation gene (Fmr1). This leads to a lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which regulates translation of a wide range of messenger RNAs (mRNAs). The extent of expression level alterations of synaptic proteins affected by FMRP loss and their consequences on synaptic dynamics in FXS has not been fully investigated. Here, we used an Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying FXS by monitoring protein expression changes using shotgun label-free liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS(E)) in brain tissue and synaptosome fractions. FXS-associated candidate proteins were validated using selected reaction monitoring (SRM) in synaptosome fractions for targeted protein quantification. Furthermore, functional alterations in synaptic release and dynamics were evaluated using live-cell imaging, and interpretation of synaptic dynamics differences was investigated using electron microscopy. Key findings relate to altered levels of proteins involved in GABA-signalling, especially in the cerebellum. Further exploration using microscopy studies found reduced synaptic vesicle unloading of hippocampal neurons and increased vesicle unloading in cerebellar neurons, which suggests a general decrease of synaptic transmission. Our findings suggest that FMRP is a regulator of synaptic vesicle dynamics, which supports the role of FMRP in presynaptic functions. Taken together, these studies provide novel insights into the molecular changes associated with FXS.

  7. 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.

  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. Sensory Deprivation Triggers Synaptic and Intrinsic Plasticity in the Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milshtein-Parush, Hila; Frere, Samuel; Regev, Limor; Lahav, Coren; Benbenishty, Amit; Ben-Eliyahu, Shamgar; Goshen, Inbal; Slutsky, Inna

    2017-06-01

    Hippocampus, a temporal lobe structure involved in learning and memory, receives information from all sensory modalities. Despite extensive research on the role of sensory experience in cortical map plasticity, little is known about whether and how sensory experience regulates functioning of the hippocampal circuits. Here, we show that 9 ± 2 days of whisker deprivation during early mouse development depresses activity of CA3 pyramidal neurons by several principal mechanisms: decrease in release probability, increase in the fraction of silent synapses, and reduction in intrinsic excitability. As a result of deprivation-induced presynaptic inhibition, CA3-CA1 synaptic facilitation was augmented at high frequencies, shifting filtering properties of synapses. The changes in the AMPA-mediated synaptic transmission were accompanied by an increase in NR2B-containing NMDA receptors and a reduction in the AMPA/NMDA ratio. The observed reconfiguration of the CA3-CA1 connections may represent a homeostatic adaptation to augmentation in synaptic activity during the initial deprivation phase. In adult mice, tactile disuse diminished intrinsic excitability without altering synaptic facilitation. We suggest that sensory experience regulates computations performed by the hippocampus by tuning its synaptic and intrinsic characteristics. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  10. 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.

  11. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity in mice devoid of cellular prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maglio, Laura E; Perez, Mariela F; Martins, Vilma R; Brentani, Ricardo R; Ramirez, Oscar A

    2004-11-24

    The cellular prion protein plays a role in the etiology of transmissible and inherited spongiform encephalopathies. However, the physiological role of the cellular prion protein is still under debate. Results regarding the synaptic transmission using the same strain of animals where the cellular prion protein gene was ablated are controversial, and need further investigation. In this work, we have studied the hippocampal synaptic transmission in mice devoid of normal cellular prion protein, and have shown that these animals present an increased excitability in this area by the lower threshold (20 Hz) to generate long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal dentate gyrus when compared to wild-type animals. The mice devoid of normal cellular prion protein are also more sensitive to the blocking effects of dizocilpine and 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid on the hippocampal long-term potentiation generation. In situ hydridization experiments demonstrated overexpression of the mRNAs for the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor NR2A and NR2B subunits in mice devoid of normal cellular prion protein. Therefore, our results indicate that these animals have an increased hippocampal synaptic plasticity which can be explained by a facilitated glutamatergic transmission. The higher expression of specific N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunits may account for these effects.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Temporal firing reliability in response to periodic synaptic inputs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Inflammation subverts hippocampal synaptic plasticity in experimental multiple sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Nisticò

    Full Text Available Abnormal use-dependent synaptic plasticity is universally accepted as the main physiological correlate of memory deficits in neurodegenerative disorders. It is unclear whether synaptic plasticity deficits take place during neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE. In EAE mice, we found significant alterations of synaptic plasticity rules in the hippocampus. When compared to control mice, in fact, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP induction was favored over long-term depression (LTD in EAE, as shown by a significant rightward shift in the frequency-synaptic response function. Notably, LTP induction was also enhanced in hippocampal slices from control mice following interleukin-1β (IL-1β perfusion, and both EAE and IL-1β inhibited GABAergic spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC without affecting glutamatergic transmission and AMPA/NMDA ratio. EAE was also associated with selective loss of GABAergic interneurons and with reduced gamma-frequency oscillations in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, we provided evidence that microglial activation in the EAE hippocampus was associated with IL-1β expression, and hippocampal slices from control mice incubated with activated microglia displayed alterations of GABAergic transmission similar to those seen in EAE brains, through a mechanism dependent on enhanced IL-1β signaling. These data may yield novel insights into the basis of cognitive deficits in EAE and possibly of MS.

  18. Neuronal synaptic outputs determine the sexual fate of postsynaptic targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nojima, Tetsuya; Kimura, Ken-ichi; Koganezawa, Masayuki; Yamamoto, Daisuke

    2010-05-11

    Synapses mediate inductive interactions for the proper development of pre- and postsynaptic cells: presynaptic electrical activities and synaptic transmission ensure the organization of postsynaptic structures, whereas neurotrophins produced in postsynaptic cells support the survival and enlargement of presynaptic partners. In Drosophila, a motor nerve has been implicated in the induction of the muscle of Lawrence (MOL), the formation of which is male specific and depends on the neural expression of fruitless (fru), a neural sex-determinant gene. Here we report the identification of a single motoneuron essential for inducing the MOL, which we call the MOL-inducing (Mind) motoneuron. The MOL is restored in fru mutant males, which otherwise lack the MOL, if the fru(+) transgene is selectively expressed in the Mind motoneuron by mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker. We further demonstrate that synaptic outputs from the Mind motoneuron are indispensable to MOL induction, because the blockage of synaptic transmission by shibire(ts) (shi(ts)) during the critical period in development abolished the MOL formation in males. Our finding that sex-specific neurons instruct sexually dimorphic development of their innervating targets through synaptic interactions points to the novel mechanism whereby the pre- and postsynaptic partners coordinately establish their sexual identity. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Synaptic proteins predict cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease and Lewy body dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bereczki, Erika; Francis, Paul T; Howlett, David; Pereira, Joana B; Höglund, Kina; Bogstedt, Anna; Cedazo-Minguez, Angel; Baek, Jean-Ha; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Attems, Johannes; Ballard, Clive; Aarsland, Dag

    2016-11-01

    Our objective was to compare the levels of three synaptic proteins involved in different steps of the synaptic transmission: Rab3A, SNAP25, and neurogranin, in three common forms of dementia: Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and Parkinson's disease dementia. A total of 129 postmortem human brain samples were analyzed in brain regional specific manner exploring their associations with morphologic changes and cognitive decline. We have observed robust changes reflecting synaptic dysfunction in all studied dementia groups. There were significant associations between the rate of cognitive decline and decreased levels of Rab3 in DLB in the inferior parietal lobe and SNAP25 in AD in the prefrontal cortex. Of particular note, synaptic proteins significantly discriminated between dementia cases and controls with over 90% sensitivity and specificity. Our findings suggest that the proposition that synaptic markers can predict cognitive decline in AD, should be extended to Lewy body diseases. Copyright © 2016 The Alzheimer's Association. All rights reserved.