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  1. Distinct Functions of Endophilin Isoforms in Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

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    Jifeng Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Endophilin isoforms perform distinct characteristics in their interactions with N-type Ca2+ channels and dynamin. However, precise functional differences for the endophilin isoforms on synaptic vesicle (SV endocytosis remain unknown. By coupling RNA interference and electrophysiological recording techniques in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, we investigated the functional differences of three isoforms of endophilin in SV endocytosis. The results showed that the amplitude of normalized evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents in endophilin1 knockdown neurons decreased significantly for both single train and multiple train stimulations. Similar results were found using endophilin2 knockdown neurons, whereas endophilin3 siRNA exhibited no change compared with control neurons. Endophilin1 and endophilin2 affected SV endocytosis, but the effect of endophilin1 and endophilin2 double knockdown was not different from that of either knockdown alone. This result suggested that endophilin1 and endophilin2 functioned together but not independently during SV endocytosis. Taken together, our results indicate that SV endocytosis is sustained by endophilin1 and endophilin2 isoforms, but not by endophilin3, in primary cultured hippocampal neurons.

  2. Synaptic Tagging, Evaluation of Memories, and the Distal Reward Problem

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    Papper, Marc; Kempter, Richard; Leibold, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Long-term synaptic plasticity exhibits distinct phases. The synaptic tagging hypothesis suggests an early phase in which synapses are prepared, or "tagged," for protein capture, and a late phase in which those proteins are integrated into the synapses to achieve memory consolidation. The synapse specificity of the tags is consistent with…

  3. proBDNF Negatively Regulates Neuronal Remodeling, Synaptic Transmission, and Synaptic Plasticity in Hippocampus

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    Jianmin Yang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF, which binds p75NTR. In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knockin mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75NTR. Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP, and enhanced long-term depression (LTD in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission, and plasticity, effects that are distinct from those of mature BDNF.

  4. Distinct roles of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA receptors in striatal inhibition dynamics

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    Ruixi eLuo

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Striatonigral and striatopallidal projecting medium spiny neurons (MSNs express dopamine D1 (D1+ and D2 receptors (D2+, respectively. Both classes receive extensive GABAergic input via expression of synaptic, perisynaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA receptors. The activation patterns of different presynaptic GABAergic neurons produce transient and sustained GABAA receptor-mediated conductance that fulfill distinct physiological roles. We performed single and dual whole cell recordings from striatal neurons in mice expressing fluorescent proteins in interneurons and MSNs. We report specific inhibitory dynamics produced by distinct activation patterns of presynaptic GABAergic neurons as source of synaptic, perisynaptic and extrasynaptic inhibition. Synaptic GABAA receptors in MSNs contain the α2, γ2 and a β subunit. In addition, there is evidence for the developmental increase of the α1 subunit that contributes to faster inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC. Tonic GABAergic currents in MSNs from adult mice are carried by extrasynaptic receptors containing the α4 and δ subunit, while in younger mice this current is mediated by receptors that contain the α5 subunit. Both forms of tonic currents are differentially expressed in D1+ and D2+ MSNs. This study extends these findings by relating presynaptic activation with pharmacological analysis of inhibitory conductance in mice where the β3 subunit is conditionally removed in fluorescently labeled D2+ MSNs and in mice with global deletion of the δ subunit. Our results show that responses to low doses of gaboxadol (2μM, a GABAA receptor agonist with preference to δ subunit, are abolished in the δ but not the β3 subunit knock out mice. This suggests that the β3 subunit is not a component of the adult extrasynaptic receptor pool, in contrast to what has been shown for tonic current in young mice. Deletion of the β3 subunit from D2+ MSNs however, removed slow spontaneous IPSCs, implicating its

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

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    Ayla eAksoy Aksel

    2013-08-01

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

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

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    Christoph Straub

    2016-07-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Synaptic scaling enables dynamically distinct short- and long-term memory formation.

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    Christian Tetzlaff

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Memory storage in the brain relies on mechanisms acting on time scales from minutes, for long-term synaptic potentiation, to days, for memory consolidation. During such processes, neural circuits distinguish synapses relevant for forming a long-term storage, which are consolidated, from synapses of short-term storage, which fade. How time scale integration and synaptic differentiation is simultaneously achieved remains unclear. Here we show that synaptic scaling - a slow process usually associated with the maintenance of activity homeostasis - combined with synaptic plasticity may simultaneously achieve both, thereby providing a natural separation of short- from long-term storage. The interaction between plasticity and scaling provides also an explanation for an established paradox where memory consolidation critically depends on the exact order of learning and recall. These results indicate that scaling may be fundamental for stabilizing memories, providing a dynamic link between early and late memory formation processes.

  9. Synaptic scaling enables dynamically distinct short- and long-term memory formation.

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

    2013-10-01

    Memory storage in the brain relies on mechanisms acting on time scales from minutes, for long-term synaptic potentiation, to days, for memory consolidation. During such processes, neural circuits distinguish synapses relevant for forming a long-term storage, which are consolidated, from synapses of short-term storage, which fade. How time scale integration and synaptic differentiation is simultaneously achieved remains unclear. Here we show that synaptic scaling - a slow process usually associated with the maintenance of activity homeostasis - combined with synaptic plasticity may simultaneously achieve both, thereby providing a natural separation of short- from long-term storage. The interaction between plasticity and scaling provides also an explanation for an established paradox where memory consolidation critically depends on the exact order of learning and recall. These results indicate that scaling may be fundamental for stabilizing memories, providing a dynamic link between early and late memory formation processes.

  10. Distinct neuronal coding schemes in memory revealed by selective erasure of fast synchronous synaptic transmission.

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    Xu, Wei; Morishita, Wade; Buckmaster, Paul S; Pang, Zhiping P; Malenka, Robert C; Südhof, Thomas C

    2012-03-08

    Neurons encode information by firing spikes in isolation or bursts and propagate information by spike-triggered neurotransmitter release that initiates synaptic transmission. Isolated spikes trigger neurotransmitter release unreliably but with high temporal precision. In contrast, bursts of spikes trigger neurotransmission reliably (i.e., boost transmission fidelity), but the resulting synaptic responses are temporally imprecise. However, the relative physiological importance of different spike-firing modes remains unclear. Here, we show that knockdown of synaptotagmin-1, the major Ca(2+) sensor for neurotransmitter release, abrogated neurotransmission evoked by isolated spikes but only delayed, without abolishing, neurotransmission evoked by bursts of spikes. Nevertheless, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the hippocampal CA1 region did not impede acquisition of recent contextual fear memories, although it did impair the precision of such memories. In contrast, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the prefrontal cortex impaired all remote fear memories. These results indicate that different brain circuits and types of memory employ distinct spike-coding schemes to encode and transmit information. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

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

  12. Diacylglycerol kinases in the coordination of synaptic plasticity

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    Dongwon Lee

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 evidence 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.

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

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    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

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

  14. Design principles of electrical synaptic plasticity.

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    O'Brien, John

    2017-09-08

    Essentially all animals with nervous systems utilize electrical synapses as a core element of communication. Electrical synapses, formed by gap junctions between neurons, provide rapid, bidirectional communication that accomplishes tasks distinct from and complementary to chemical synapses. These include coordination of neuron activity, suppression of voltage noise, establishment of electrical pathways that define circuits, and modulation of high order network behavior. In keeping with the omnipresent demand to alter neural network function in order to respond to environmental cues and perform tasks, electrical synapses exhibit extensive plasticity. In some networks, this plasticity can have dramatic effects that completely remodel circuits or remove the influence of certain cell types from networks. Electrical synaptic plasticity occurs on three distinct time scales, ranging from milliseconds to days, with different mechanisms accounting for each. This essay highlights principles that dictate the properties of electrical coupling within networks and the plasticity of the electrical synapses, drawing examples extensively from retinal networks. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

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    Hirata, Hiromi; Carta, Eloisa; Yamanaka, Iori; Harvey, Robert J.; Kuwada, John Y.

    2010-01-01

    Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo) mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR) β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic ...

  16. Detergent-dependent separation of postsynaptic density, membrane rafts and other subsynaptic structures from the synaptic plasma membrane of rat forebrain.

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    Zhao, LiYing; Sakagami, Hiroyuki; Suzuki, Tatsuo

    2014-10-01

    We systematically investigated the purification process of post-synaptic density (PSD) and post-synaptic membrane rafts (PSRs) from the rat forebrain synaptic plasma membranes by examining the components and the structures of the materials obtained after the treatment of synaptic plasma membranes with TX-100, n-octyl β-d-glucoside (OG) or 3-([3-cholamidopropyl]dimethylammonio)-2-hydroxy-1-propanesulfonate (CHAPSO). These three detergents exhibited distinct separation profiles for the synaptic subdomains. Type I and type II PSD proteins displayed mutually exclusive distribution. After TX-100 treatment, type I PSD was recovered in two fractions: a pellet and an insoluble fraction 8, which contained partially broken PSD-PSR complexes. Conventional PSD was suggested to be a mixture of these two PSD pools and did not contain type II PSD. An association of type I PSD with PSRs was identified in the TX-100 treatment, and those with type II PSD in the OG and CHAPSO treatments. An association of GABA receptors with gephyrin was easily dissociated. OG at a high concentration solubilized the type I PSD proteins. CHAPSO treatment resulted in a variety of distinct fractions, which contained certain novel structures. Two different pools of GluA, either PSD or possibly raft-associated, were identified in the OG and CHAPSO treatments. These results are useful in advancing our understanding of the structural organization of synapses at the molecular level. We systematically investigated the purification process of post-synaptic density (PSD) and synaptic membrane rafts by examining the structures obtained after treatment of the SPMs with TX-100, n-octyl β-d-glucoside or CHAPSO. Differential distribution of type I and type II PSD, synaptic membrane rafts, and other novel subdomains in the SPM give clues to understand the structural organization of synapses at the molecular level. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  17. Gene regulatory and signaling networks exhibit distinct topological distributions of motifs

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    Ferreira, Gustavo Rodrigues; Nakaya, Helder Imoto; Costa, Luciano da Fontoura

    2018-04-01

    The biological processes of cellular decision making and differentiation involve a plethora of signaling pathways and gene regulatory circuits. These networks in turn exhibit a multitude of motifs playing crucial parts in regulating network activity. Here we compare the topological placement of motifs in gene regulatory and signaling networks and observe that it suggests different evolutionary strategies in motif distribution for distinct cellular subnetworks.

  18. Modulation of synaptic plasticity by stress hormone associates with plastic alteration of synaptic NMDA receptor in the adult hippocampus.

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    Yiu Chung Tse

    Full Text Available Stress exerts a profound impact on learning and memory, in part, through the actions of adrenal corticosterone (CORT on synaptic plasticity, a cellular model of learning and memory. Increasing findings suggest that CORT exerts its impact on synaptic plasticity by altering the functional properties of glutamate receptors, which include changes in the motility and function of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid subtype of glutamate receptor (AMPAR that are responsible for the expression of synaptic plasticity. Here we provide evidence that CORT could also regulate synaptic plasticity by modulating the function of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs, which mediate the induction of synaptic plasticity. We found that stress level CORT applied to adult rat hippocampal slices potentiated evoked NMDAR-mediated synaptic responses within 30 min. Surprisingly, following this fast-onset change, we observed a slow-onset (>1 hour after termination of CORT exposure increase in synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs. To investigate the consequences of the distinct fast- and slow-onset modulation of NMDARs for synaptic plasticity, we examined the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD within relevant time windows. Paralleling the increased NMDAR function, both LTP and LTD were facilitated during CORT treatment. However, 1-2 hours after CORT treatment when synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs is increased, bidirectional plasticity was no longer facilitated. Our findings reveal the remarkable plasticity of NMDARs in the adult hippocampus in response to CORT. CORT-mediated slow-onset increase in GluN2A in hippocampal synapses could be a homeostatic mechanism to normalize synaptic plasticity following fast-onset stress-induced facilitation.

  19. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity

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    Brendan Chambers

    2018-03-01

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

  20. Differential Regulation of Synaptic Vesicle Tethering and Docking by UNC-18 and TOM-1.

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    Gracheva, Elena O; Maryon, Ed B; Berthelot-Grosjean, Martine; Richmond, Janet E

    2010-01-01

    The assembly of SNARE complexes between syntaxin, SNAP-25 and synaptobrevin is required to prime synaptic vesicles for fusion. Since Munc18 and tomosyn compete for syntaxin interactions, the interplay between these proteins is predicted to be important in regulating synaptic transmission. We explored this possibility, by examining genetic interactions between C. elegans unc-18(Munc18), unc-64(syntaxin) and tom-1(tomosyn). We have previously demonstrated that unc-18 mutants have reduced synaptic transmission, whereas tom-1 mutants exhibit enhanced release. Here we show that the unc-18 mutant release defect is associated with loss of two morphologically distinct vesicle pools; those tethered within 25 nm of the plasma membrane and those docked with the plasma membrane. In contrast, priming defective unc-13 mutants accumulate tethered vesicles, while docked vesicles are greatly reduced, indicating tethering is UNC-18-dependent and occurs in the absence of priming. C. elegans unc-64 mutants phenocopy unc-18 mutants, losing both tethered and docked vesicles, whereas overexpression of open syntaxin preferentially increases vesicle docking, suggesting UNC-18/closed syntaxin interactions are responsible for vesicle tethering. Given the competition between vertebrate tomosyn and Munc18, for syntaxin binding, we hypothesized that C. elegans TOM-1 may inhibit both UNC-18-dependent vesicle targeting steps. Consistent with this hypothesis, tom-1 mutants exhibit enhanced UNC-18 plasma membrane localization and a concomitant increase in both tethered and docked synaptic vesicles. Furthermore, in tom-1;unc-18 double mutants the docked, primed vesicle pool is preferentially rescued relative to unc-18 single mutants. Together these data provide evidence for the differential regulation of two vesicle targeting steps by UNC-18 and TOM-1 through competitive interactions with syntaxin.

  1. Differential regulation of synaptic vesicle tethering and docking by UNC-18 and TOM-1

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    Elena O Gracheva

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The assembly of SNARE complexes between syntaxin, SNAP-25 and synaptobrevin is required to prime synaptic vesicles for fusion. Since Munc18 and tomosyn compete for syntaxin interactions, the interplay between these proteins is predicted to be important in regulating synaptic transmission. We explored this possibility, by examining genetic interactions between C. elegans unc-18(Munc18, unc-64(syntaxin and tom-1(tomosyn. We have previously demonstrated that unc-18 mutants have reduced synaptic transmission, whereas tom-1 mutants exhibit enhanced release. Here we show that the unc-18 mutant release defect is associated with loss of two morphologically distinct vesicle pools; those tethered within 25nm of the plasma membrane and those docked with the plasma membrane. In contrast, priming defective unc-13 mutants accumulate tethered vesicles, while docked vesicles are greatly reduced, indicating tethering is UNC-18-dependent and occurs in the absence of priming. C. elegans unc-64 mutants phenocopy unc-18 mutants, losing both tethered and docked vesicles, whereas overexpression of open syntaxin preferentially increases vesicle docking, suggesting UNC-18/closed syntaxin interactions are responsible for vesicle tethering. Given the competition between vertebrate tomosyn and Munc18, for syntaxin binding, we hypothesized that C. elegans TOM-1 may inhibit both UNC-18-dependent vesicle targeting steps. Consistent with this hypothesis, tom-1 mutants exhibit enhanced UNC-18 plasma membrane localization and a concomitant increase in both tethered and docked synaptic vesicles. Furthermore, in tom-1;unc-18 double mutants the docked, primed vesicle pool is preferentially rescued relative to unc-18 single mutants. Together these data provide evidence for the differential regulation of two vesicle targeting steps by UNC-18 and TOM-1 through competitive interactions with syntaxin

  2. Drosophila mutants of the autism candidate gene neurobeachin (rugose) exhibit neuro-developmental disorders, aberrant synaptic properties, altered locomotion, and impaired adult social behavior and activity patterns.

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    Wise, Alexandria; Tenezaca, Luis; Fernandez, Robert W; Schatoff, Emma; Flores, Julian; Ueda, Atsushi; Zhong, Xiaotian; Wu, Chun-Fang; Simon, Anne F; Venkatesh, Tadmiri

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder in humans characterized by complex behavioral deficits, including intellectual disability, impaired social interactions, and hyperactivity. ASD exhibits a strong genetic component with underlying multigene interactions. Candidate gene studies have shown that the neurobeachin (NBEA) gene is disrupted in human patients with idiopathic autism ( Castermans et al., 2003 ). The NBEA gene spans the common fragile site FRA 13A and encodes a signal scaffold protein ( Savelyeva et al., 2006 ). In mice, NBEA has been shown to be involved in the trafficking and function of a specific subset of synaptic vesicles. ( Medrihan et al., 2009 ; Savelyeva et al., 2006 ). Rugose (rg) is the Drosophila homolog of the mammalian and human NBEA. Our previous genetic and molecular analyses have shown that rg encodes an A kinase anchor protein (DAKAP 550), which interacts with components of the epidermal growth factor receptor or EGFR and Notch-mediated signaling pathways, facilitating cross talk between these and other pathways ( Shamloula et al., 2002 ). We now present functional data from studies on the larval neuromuscular junction that reveal abnormal synaptic architecture and physiology. In addition, adult rg loss-of-function mutants exhibit defective social interactions, impaired habituation, aberrant locomotion, and hyperactivity. These results demonstrate that Drosophila NBEA (rg) mutants exhibit phenotypic characteristics reminiscent of human ASD and thus could serve as a genetic model for studying ASDs.

  3. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

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    Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui

    Full Text Available The brain is self-writable; as the brain voluntarily adapts itself to a changing environment, the neural circuitry rearranges its functional connectivity by referring to its own activity. How the internal activity modifies synaptic weights is largely unknown, however. Here we report that spontaneous activity causes complex reorganization of synaptic connectivity without any external (or artificial stimuli. Under physiologically relevant ionic conditions, CA3 pyramidal cells in hippocampal slices displayed spontaneous spikes with bistable slow oscillations of membrane potential, alternating between the so-called UP and DOWN states. The generation of slow oscillations did not require fast synaptic transmission, but their patterns were coordinated by local circuit activity. In the course of generating spontaneous activity, individual neurons acquired bidirectional long-lasting synaptic modification. The spontaneous synaptic plasticity depended on a rise in intracellular calcium concentrations of postsynaptic cells, but not on NMDA receptor activity. The direction and amount of the plasticity varied depending on slow oscillation patterns and synapse locations, and thus, they were diverse in a network. Once this global synaptic refinement occurred, the same neurons now displayed different patterns of spontaneous activity, which in turn exhibited different levels of synaptic plasticity. Thus, active networks continuously update their internal states through ongoing synaptic plasticity. With computational simulations, we suggest that with this slow oscillation-induced plasticity, a recurrent network converges on a more specific state, compared to that with spike timing-dependent plasticity alone.

  4. Activation of extrasynaptic, but not synaptic, NMDA receptors modifies amyloid precursor protein expression pattern and increases amyloid-ß production.

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    Bordji, Karim; Becerril-Ortega, Javier; Nicole, Olivier; Buisson, Alain

    2010-11-24

    Calcium is a key mediator controlling essential neuronal functions depending on electrical activity. Altered neuronal calcium homeostasis affects metabolism of amyloid precursor protein (APP), leading to increased production of β-amyloid (Aβ), and contributing to the initiation of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A linkage between excessive glutamate receptor activation and neuronal Aβ release was established, and recent reports suggest that synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA receptor (NMDAR) activation may have distinct consequences in plasticity, gene regulation, and neuronal death. Here, we report for the first time that prolonged activation of extrasynaptic NMDAR, but not synaptic NMDAR, dramatically increased the neuronal production of Aβ. This effect was preceded by a shift from APP695 to Kunitz protease inhibitory domain (KPI) containing APPs (KPI-APPs), isoforms exhibiting an important amyloidogenic potential. Conversely, after synaptic NMDAR activation, we failed to detect any KPI-APP expression and neuronal Aβ production was not modified. Calcium imaging data showed that intracellular calcium concentration after extrasynaptic NMDAR stimulation was lower than after synaptic activation. This suggests distinct signaling pathways for each pool of receptors. We found that modification of neuronal APP expression pattern triggered by extrasynaptic NMDAR activation was regulated at an alternative splicing level involving calcium-/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV, but overall APP expression remained identical. Finally, memantine dose-dependently inhibited extrasynaptic NMDAR-induced KPI-APPs expression as well as neuronal Aβ release. Altogether, these data suggest that a chronic activation of extrasynaptic NMDAR promotes amyloidogenic KPI-APP expression leading to neuronal Aβ release, representing a causal risk factor for developing AD.

  5. A Distinct Population of Microglia Supports Adult Neurogenesis in the Subventricular Zone

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    Ribeiro Xavier, Anna L.; Kress, Benjamin T.; Goldman, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

    found that microglia residing in the SVZ and adjacent rostral migratory stream (RMS) comprise a morphologically and antigenically distinct phenotype of immune effectors. Whereas exhibiting characteristics of alternatively activated microglia, the SVZ/RMS microglia were clearly distinguished by their low...... STATEMENT: Microglial cells are a specialized population of macrophages in the CNS, playing key roles as immune mediators. As integral components in the CNS, the microglia stand out for using the same mechanisms, phagocytosis and cytochemokine release, to promote homeostasis, synaptic pruning, and neural...... toward olfactory bulb layers. In addition to other unique populations residing in the SVZ niche, microglia display distinct morphofunctional properties that boost neuronal progenitor survival and migration in the mammalian brain....

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Erwann Martin

    2015-07-01

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

  8. Abstract and Effector-Selective Decision Signals Exhibit Qualitatively Distinct Dynamics before Delayed Perceptual Reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twomey, Deirdre M; Kelly, Simon P; O'Connell, Redmond G

    2016-07-13

    Electrophysiological research has isolated neural signatures of decision formation in a variety of brain regions. Studies in rodents and monkeys have focused primarily on effector-selective signals that translate the emerging decision into a specific motor plan, but, more recently, research on the human brain has identified an abstract signature of evidence accumulation that does not appear to play any direct role in action preparation. The functional dissociations between these distinct signal types have only begun to be characterized, and their dynamics during decisions with deferred actions with or without foreknowledge of stimulus-effector mapping, a commonly studied task scenario in single-unit and functional imaging investigations, have not been established. Here we traced the dynamics of distinct abstract and effector-selective decision signals in the form of the broad-band centro-parietal positivity (CPP) and limb-selective β-band (8-16 and 18-30 Hz) EEG activity, respectively, during delayed-reported motion direction decisions with and without foreknowledge of direction-response mapping. With foreknowledge, the CPP and β-band signals exhibited a similar gradual build-up following evidence onset, but whereas choice-predictive β-band activity persisted up until the delayed response, the CPP dropped toward baseline after peaking. Without foreknowledge, the CPP exhibited identical dynamics, whereas choice-selective β-band activity was eliminated. These findings highlight qualitative functional distinctions between effector-selective and abstract decision signals and are of relevance to the assumptions founding functional neuroimaging investigations of decision-making. Neural signatures of evidence accumulation have been isolated in numerous brain regions. Although animal neurophysiology has largely concentrated on effector-selective decision signals that translate the emerging decision into a specific motor plan, recent research on the human brain has

  9. Characterization of beta-adrenergic receptors in synaptic membranes from rat cerebral cortex and cerebellum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lautens, L.

    1986-01-01

    Beta-adrenergic receptor ligand binding sites have been characterized in synaptic membranes from rat cerebral cortex and cerebellum using radioligand binding techniques. The equilibrium and kinetic properties of binding were assessed. The binding sites were non-interacting and exhibited two states of agonist binding which were sensitive to guanyl nucleotide. Synaptic membranes from cerebral cortex contained an equal number of beta 1 - and beta 2 -receptors; membranes from cerebellum possessed more beta 2 -than beta 1 -receptors. Photoaffinity labeling experiments revealed two different beta-adrenergic receptor polypeptides, R 1 and R 2 (and possibly a third, R 3 ) in synaptic membranes. The ratios of incorporation of photoaffinity label into R 1 : 2 were approximately 1:1 (cerebral cortex) and 5:1 (cerebellum). Photoaffinity labeling of R 1 and R 2 was inhibited equally well by both agonist and antagonist in synaptic membranes from cerebellum; whereas agonist was a less potent inhibitor in membranes from cerebral cortex. Both subtypes of beta-adrenergic receptors exhibited the same apparent molecular weight in synaptic membranes from cerebral cortex. The beta-adrenergic receptors in synaptic membranes from cerebral cortex and cerebellum were glycoproteins which exhibited the same apparent molecular weight after exposure to endoglycosidase F. The partial proteolytic digest maps of photoaffinity labeled beta-adrenergic receptors from rat cerebral cortex, cerebellum, lung and heart were compared

  10. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A Samuel

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

  12. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmission in complex animals depends on a choir of functionally distinct synapses releasing neurotransmitters in a highly coordinated manner. During synaptic signaling, vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane to release their contents. The rate of vesicle fusion is high and can exceed the rate at which synaptic vesicles can be re-supplied by distant sources. Thus, local compensatory endocytosis is needed to replenish the synaptic vesicle pools. Over the last four decades, various experimental methods and model systems have been used to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic vesicle cycle. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is thought to be the predominant mechanism for synaptic vesicle recycling. However, recent studies suggest significant contribution from other modes of endocytosis, including fast compensatory endocytosis, activity-dependent bulk endocytosis, ultrafast endocytosis, as well as kiss-and-run. Currently, it is not clear whether a universal model of vesicle recycling exist for all types of synapses. It is possible that each synapse type employs a particular mode of endocytosis. Alternatively, multiple modes of endocytosis operate at the same synapse, and the synapse toggles between different modes depending on its activity level. Here we compile review and research articles based on well-characterized model systems: frog neuromuscular junctions, C. elegans neuromuscular junctions, Drosophila neuromuscular junctions, lamprey reticulospinal giant axons, goldfish retinal ribbon synapses, the calyx of Held, and rodent hippocampal synapses. We will compare these systems in terms of their known modes and kinetics of synaptic vesicle endocytosis, as well as the underlying molecular machineries. We will also provide the future development of this field.

  13. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO_x–Al_2O_3 thin film structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P.; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q.; Hu, S. G.; Liu, Y.; Lee, P. S.

    2016-01-01

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al_2O_3) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al_2O_3 interface and/or in the Al_2O_3 layer.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shlaer, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, MacKenzie A; Baraban, Scott C

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-02

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

  17. Conserved properties of Drosophila Insomniac link sleep regulation and synaptic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiuling; Kellner, David A; Hatch, Hayden A M; Yumita, Tomohiro; Sanchez, Sandrine; Machold, Robert P; Frank, C Andrew; Stavropoulos, Nicholas

    2017-05-01

    Sleep is an ancient animal behavior that is regulated similarly in species ranging from flies to humans. Various genes that regulate sleep have been identified in invertebrates, but whether the functions of these genes are conserved in mammals remains poorly explored. Drosophila insomniac (inc) mutants exhibit severely shortened and fragmented sleep. Inc protein physically associates with the Cullin-3 (Cul3) ubiquitin ligase, and neuronal depletion of Inc or Cul3 strongly curtails sleep, suggesting that Inc is a Cul3 adaptor that directs the ubiquitination of neuronal substrates that impact sleep. Three proteins similar to Inc exist in vertebrates-KCTD2, KCTD5, and KCTD17-but are uncharacterized within the nervous system and their functional conservation with Inc has not been addressed. Here we show that Inc and its mouse orthologs exhibit striking biochemical and functional interchangeability within Cul3 complexes. Remarkably, KCTD2 and KCTD5 restore sleep to inc mutants, indicating that they can substitute for Inc in vivo and engage its neuronal targets relevant to sleep. Inc and its orthologs localize similarly within fly and mammalian neurons and can traffic to synapses, suggesting that their substrates may include synaptic proteins. Consistent with such a mechanism, inc mutants exhibit defects in synaptic structure and physiology, indicating that Inc is essential for both sleep and synaptic function. Our findings reveal that molecular functions of Inc are conserved through ~600 million years of evolution and support the hypothesis that Inc and its orthologs participate in an evolutionarily conserved ubiquitination pathway that links synaptic function and sleep regulation.

  18. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, J D; Milton, J G

    2001-08-01

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

  20. Synaptic communication between neurons and NG2+ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paukert, Martin; Bergles, Dwight E

    2006-10-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission provides the basis for much of the rapid signaling that occurs within neuronal networks. However, recent studies have provided compelling evidence that synapses are not used exclusively for communication between neurons. Physiological and anatomical studies indicate that a distinct class of glia known as NG2(+) cells also forms direct synaptic junctions with both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Glutamatergic signaling can influence intracellular Ca(2+) levels in NG2(+) cells by activating Ca(2+) permeable AMPA receptors, and these inputs can be potentiated through high frequency stimulation. Although the significance of this highly differentiated form of communication remains to be established, these neuro-glia synapses might enable neurons to influence rapidly the behavior of this ubiquitous class of glial progenitors.

  1. Structural Components of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H.; Kandel, Eric R.; Harris, Kristen M.

    2015-01-01

    Consolidation of implicit memory in the invertebrate Aplysia and explicit memory in the mammalian hippocampus are associated with remodeling and growth of preexisting synapses and the formation of new synapses. Here, we compare and contrast structural components of the synaptic plasticity that underlies these two distinct forms of memory. In both cases, the structural changes involve time-dependent processes. Thus, some modifications are transient and may contribute to early formative stages of long-term memory, whereas others are more stable, longer lasting, and likely to confer persistence to memory storage. In addition, we explore the possibility that trans-synaptic signaling mechanisms governing de novo synapse formation during development can be reused in the adult for the purposes of structural synaptic plasticity and memory storage. Finally, we discuss how these mechanisms set in motion structural rearrangements that prepare a synapse to strengthen the same memory and, perhaps, to allow it to take part in other memories as a basis for understanding how their anatomical representation results in the enhanced expression and storage of memories in the brain. PMID:26134321

  2. 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.

  3. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO{sub x}–Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} thin film structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P., E-mail: echentp@ntu.edu.sg; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); Hu, S. G. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Liu, Y. [State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Lee, P. S. [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)

    2016-06-28

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} interface and/or in the Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} layer.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong eBi

    2016-02-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Hiromi; Carta, Eloisa; Yamanaka, Iori; Harvey, Robert J.; Kuwada, John Y.

    2009-01-01

    Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo) mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR) β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic transmission due to a lack of synaptic aggregation of GlyRs. Due to the consequent loss of reciprocal inhibition of motor circuits between the two sides of the spinal cord, motor neurons activate simultaneously on both sides resulting in bilateral contraction of axial muscles of beo mutants, eliciting the so-called ‘accordion’ phenotype. Similar defects in GlyR subunit genes have been observed in several mammals and are the basis for human hyperekplexia/startle disease. By contrast, zebrafish shocked (sho) mutants have a defect in slc6a9, encoding GlyT1, a glycine transporter that is expressed by astroglial cells surrounding the glycinergic synapse in the hindbrain and spinal cord. GlyT1 mediates rapid uptake of glycine from the synaptic cleft, terminating synaptic transmission. In zebrafish sho mutants, there appears to be elevated extracellular glycine resulting in persistent inhibition of postsynaptic neurons and subsequent reduced motility, causing the ‘twitch-once’ phenotype. We review current knowledge regarding zebrafish ‘accordion’ and ‘twitch-once’ mutants, including beo and sho, and report the identification of a new α2 subunit that revises the phylogeny of zebrafish GlyRs. PMID:20161699

  7. Emulating short-term synaptic dynamics with memristive devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdan, Radu; Vasilaki, Eleni; Khiat, Ali; Indiveri, Giacomo; Serb, Alexandru; Prodromakis, Themistoklis

    2016-01-01

    Neuromorphic architectures offer great promise for achieving computation capacities beyond conventional Von Neumann machines. The essential elements for achieving this vision are highly scalable synaptic mimics that do not undermine biological fidelity. Here we demonstrate that single solid-state TiO2 memristors can exhibit non-associative plasticity phenomena observed in biological synapses, supported by their metastable memory state transition properties. We show that, contrary to conventional uses of solid-state memory, the existence of rate-limiting volatility is a key feature for capturing short-term synaptic dynamics. We also show how the temporal dynamics of our prototypes can be exploited to implement spatio-temporal computation, demonstrating the memristors full potential for building biophysically realistic neural processing systems.

  8. Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein Regulates Activity-Dependent Membrane Trafficking and Trans-Synaptic Signaling Mediating Synaptic Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, James C.; Broadie, Kendal

    2018-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading monogenic cause of autism and intellectual disability. The disease arises through loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which normally exhibits peak expression levels in early-use critical periods, and is required for activity-dependent synaptic remodeling during this transient developmental window. FMRP canonically binds mRNA to repress protein translation, with targets that regulate cytoskeleton dynamics, membrane trafficking, and trans-synaptic signaling. We focus here on recent advances emerging in these three areas from the Drosophila disease model. In the well-characterized central brain mushroom body (MB) olfactory learning/memory circuit, FMRP is required for activity-dependent synaptic remodeling of projection neurons innervating the MB calyx, with function tightly restricted to an early-use critical period. FMRP loss is phenocopied by conditional removal of FMRP only during this critical period, and rescued by FMRP conditional expression only during this critical period. Consistent with FXS hyperexcitation, FMRP loss defects are phenocopied by heightened sensory experience and targeted optogenetic hyperexcitation during this critical period. FMRP binds mRNA encoding Drosophila ESCRTIII core component Shrub (human CHMP4 homolog) to restrict Shrub translation in an activity-dependent mechanism only during this same critical period. Shrub mediates endosomal membrane trafficking, and perturbing Shrub expression is known to interfere with neuronal process pruning. Consistently, FMRP loss and Shrub overexpression targeted to projection neurons similarly causes endosomal membrane trafficking defects within synaptic boutons, and genetic reduction of Shrub strikingly rescues Drosophila FXS model defects. In parallel work on the well-characterized giant fiber (GF) circuit, FMRP limits iontophoretic dye loading into central interneurons, demonstrating an FMRP role controlling core neuronal properties through the

  9. Effects of Ethanol Exposure during Distinct Periods of Brain Development on Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian R. Christie

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders occur when a mother drinks during pregnancy and can greatly influence synaptic plasticity and cognition in the offspring. In this study we determined whether there are periods during brain development that are more susceptible to the effects of ethanol exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In particular, we evaluated how the ability to elicit long-term potentiation (LTP in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG was affected in young adult rats that were exposed to ethanol during either the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimester equivalent. As expected, the effects of ethanol on young adult DG LTP were less severe when exposure was limited to a particular trimester equivalent when compared to exposure throughout gestation. In males, ethanol exposure during the 1st, 2nd or 3rd trimester equivalent did not significantly reduce LTP in the DG. In females, ethanol exposure during either the 1st or 2nd trimester equivalents did not impact LTP in early adulthood, but following exposure during the 3rd trimester equivalent alone, LTP was significantly increased in the female DG. These results further exemplify the disparate effects between the ability to elicit LTP in the male and female brain following perinatal ethanol exposure (PNEE.

  10. Unified thalamic model generates multiple distinct oscillations with state-dependent entrainment by stimulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoshi Li

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The thalamus plays a critical role in the genesis of thalamocortical oscillations, yet the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. To understand whether the isolated thalamus can generate multiple distinct oscillations, we developed a biophysical thalamic model to test the hypothesis that generation of and transition between distinct thalamic oscillations can be explained as a function of neuromodulation by acetylcholine (ACh and norepinephrine (NE and afferent synaptic excitation. Indeed, the model exhibited four distinct thalamic rhythms (delta, sleep spindle, alpha and gamma oscillations that span the physiological states corresponding to different arousal levels from deep sleep to focused attention. Our simulation results indicate that generation of these distinct thalamic oscillations is a result of both intrinsic oscillatory cellular properties and specific network connectivity patterns. We then systematically varied the ACh/NE and input levels to generate a complete map of the different oscillatory states and their transitions. Lastly, we applied periodic stimulation to the thalamic network and found that entrainment of thalamic oscillations is highly state-dependent. Our results support the hypothesis that ACh/NE modulation and afferent excitation define thalamic oscillatory states and their response to brain stimulation. Our model proposes a broader and more central role of the thalamus in the genesis of multiple distinct thalamo-cortical rhythms than previously assumed.

  11. Synaptic plasticity, neural circuits, and the emerging role of altered short-term information processing in schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabtree, Gregg W.; Gogos, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity alters the strength of information flow between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons and thus modifies the likelihood that action potentials in a presynaptic neuron will lead to an action potential in a postsynaptic neuron. As such, synaptic plasticity and pathological changes in synaptic plasticity impact the synaptic computation which controls the information flow through the neural microcircuits responsible for the complex information processing necessary to drive adaptive behaviors. As current theories of neuropsychiatric disease suggest that distinct dysfunctions in neural circuit performance may critically underlie the unique symptoms of these diseases, pathological alterations in synaptic plasticity mechanisms may be fundamental to the disease process. Here we consider mechanisms of both short-term and long-term plasticity of synaptic transmission and their possible roles in information processing by neural microcircuits in both health and disease. As paradigms of neuropsychiatric diseases with strongly implicated risk genes, we discuss the findings in schizophrenia and autism and consider the alterations in synaptic plasticity and network function observed in both human studies and genetic mouse models of these diseases. Together these studies have begun to point toward a likely dominant role of short-term synaptic plasticity alterations in schizophrenia while dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) may be due to a combination of both short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity alterations. PMID:25505409

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Irregular activity arises as a natural consequence of synaptic inhibition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terman, D.; Rubin, J. E.; Diekman, C. O.

    2013-01-01

    Irregular neuronal activity is observed in a variety of brain regions and states. This work illustrates a novel mechanism by which irregular activity naturally emerges in two-cell neuronal networks featuring coupling by synaptic inhibition. We introduce a one-dimensional map that captures the irregular activity occurring in our simulations of conductance-based differential equations and mathematically analyze the instability of fixed points corresponding to synchronous and antiphase spiking for this map. We find that the irregular solutions that arise exhibit expansion, contraction, and folding in phase space, as expected in chaotic dynamics. Our analysis shows that these features are produced from the interplay of synaptic inhibition with sodium, potassium, and leak currents in a conductance-based framework and provides precise conditions on parameters that ensure that irregular activity will occur. In particular, the temporal details of spiking dynamics must be present for a model to exhibit this irregularity mechanism and must be considered analytically to capture these effects

  15. Irregular activity arises as a natural consequence of synaptic inhibition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terman, D., E-mail: terman@math.ohio-state.edu [Department of Mathematics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210 (United States); Rubin, J. E., E-mail: jonrubin@pitt.edu [Department of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260 (United States); Diekman, C. O., E-mail: diekman@njit.edu [Department of Mathematical Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102 (United States)

    2013-12-15

    Irregular neuronal activity is observed in a variety of brain regions and states. This work illustrates a novel mechanism by which irregular activity naturally emerges in two-cell neuronal networks featuring coupling by synaptic inhibition. We introduce a one-dimensional map that captures the irregular activity occurring in our simulations of conductance-based differential equations and mathematically analyze the instability of fixed points corresponding to synchronous and antiphase spiking for this map. We find that the irregular solutions that arise exhibit expansion, contraction, and folding in phase space, as expected in chaotic dynamics. Our analysis shows that these features are produced from the interplay of synaptic inhibition with sodium, potassium, and leak currents in a conductance-based framework and provides precise conditions on parameters that ensure that irregular activity will occur. In particular, the temporal details of spiking dynamics must be present for a model to exhibit this irregularity mechanism and must be considered analytically to capture these effects.

  16. C. elegans STRADalpha and SAD cooperatively regulate neuronal polarity and synaptic organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Joanne S M; Hung, Wesley; Narbonne, Patrick; Roy, Richard; Zhen, Mei

    2010-01-01

    Neurons are polarized cells with morphologically and functionally distinct axons and dendrites. The SAD kinases are crucial for establishing the axon-dendrite identity across species. Previous studies suggest that a tumour suppressor kinase, LKB1, in the presence of a pseudokinase, STRADalpha, initiates axonal differentiation and growth through activating the SAD kinases in vertebrate neurons. STRADalpha was implicated in the localization, stabilization and activation of LKB1 in various cell culture studies. Its in vivo functions, however, have not been examined. In our present study, we analyzed the neuronal phenotypes of the first loss-of-function mutants for STRADalpha and examined their genetic interactions with LKB1 and SAD in C. elegans. Unexpectedly, only the C. elegans STRADalpha, STRD-1, functions exclusively through the SAD kinase, SAD-1, to regulate neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. Moreover, STRD-1 tightly associates with SAD-1 to coordinate its synaptic localizations. By contrast, the C. elegans LKB1, PAR-4, also functions in an additional genetic pathway independently of SAD-1 and STRD-1 to regulate neuronal polarity. We propose that STRD-1 establishes neuronal polarity and organizes synaptic proteins in a complex with the SAD-1 kinase. Our findings suggest that instead of a single, linear genetic pathway, STRADalpha and LKB1 regulate neuronal development through multiple effectors that are shared in some cellular contexts but distinct in others.

  17. Drosophila-Cdh1 (Rap/Fzr) a regulatory subunit of APC/C is required for synaptic morphology, synaptic transmission and locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Alexandria; Schatoff, Emma; Flores, Julian; Hua, Shao-Ying; Ueda, Atsushi; Wu, Chun-Fang; Venkatesh, Tadmiri

    2013-11-01

    The assembly of functional synapses requires the orchestration of the synthesis and degradation of a multitude of proteins. Protein degradation and modification by the conserved ubiquitination pathway has emerged as a key cellular regulatory mechanism during nervous system development and function (Kwabe and Brose, 2011). The anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) is a multi-subunit ubiquitin ligase complex primarily characterized for its role in the regulation of mitosis (Peters, 2002). In recent years, a role for APC/C in nervous system development and function has been rapidly emerging (Stegmuller and Bonni, 2005; Li et al., 2008). In the mammalian central nervous system the activator subunit, APC/C-Cdh1, has been shown to be a regulator of axon growth and dendrite morphogenesis (Konishi et al., 2004). In the Drosophila peripheral nervous system (PNS), APC2, a ligase subunit of the APC/C complex has been shown to regulate synaptic bouton size and activity (van Roessel et al., 2004). To investigate the role of APC/C-Cdh1 at the synapse we examined loss-of-function mutants of Rap/Fzr (Retina aberrant in pattern/Fizzy related), a Drosophila homolog of the mammalian Cdh1 during the development of the larval neuromuscular junction in Drosophila. Our cell biological, ultrastructural, electrophysiological, and behavioral data showed that rap/fzr loss-of-function mutations lead to changes in synaptic structure and function as well as locomotion defects. Data presented here show changes in size and morphology of synaptic boutons, and, muscle tissue organization. Electrophysiological experiments show that loss-of-function mutants exhibit increased frequency of spontaneous miniature synaptic potentials, indicating a higher rate of spontaneous synaptic vesicle fusion events. In addition, larval locomotion and peristaltic movement were also impaired. These findings suggest a role for Drosophila APC/C-Cdh1 mediated ubiquitination in regulating synaptic morphology

  18. Endophilin A1 Promotes Actin Polymerization in Dendritic Spines Required for Synaptic Potentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanrui Yang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Endophilin A1 is a member of the N-BAR domain-containing endophilin A protein family that is involved in membrane dynamics and trafficking. At the presynaptic terminal, endophilin As participate in synaptic vesicle recycling and autophagosome formation. By gene knockout studies, here we report that postsynaptic endophilin A1 functions in synaptic plasticity. Ablation of endophilin A1 in the hippocampal CA1 region of mature mouse brain impairs long-term spatial and contextual fear memory. Its loss in CA1 neurons postsynaptic of the Schaffer collateral pathway causes impairment in their AMPA-type glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation. In KO neurons, defects in the structural and functional plasticity of dendritic spines can be rescued by overexpression of endophilin A1 but not A2 or A3. Further, endophilin A1 promotes actin polymerization in dendritic spines during synaptic potentiation. These findings reveal a physiological role of endophilin A1 distinct from that of other endophilin As at the postsynaptic site.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-11-15

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

  20. β-Adrenergic Control of Hippocampal Function: Subserving the Choreography of Synaptic Information Storage and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagena, Hardy; Hansen, Niels; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Noradrenaline (NA) is a key neuromodulator for the regulation of behavioral state and cognition. It supports learning by increasing arousal and vigilance, whereby new experiences are “earmarked” for encoding. Within the hippocampus, experience-dependent information storage occurs by means of synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, novel spatial, contextual, or associative learning drives changes in synaptic strength, reflected by the strengthening of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). NA acting on β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR) is a key determinant as to whether new experiences result in persistent hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This can even dictate the direction of change of synaptic strength. The different hippocampal subfields play different roles in encoding components of a spatial representation through LTP and LTD. Strikingly, the sensitivity of synaptic plasticity in these subfields to β-adrenergic control is very distinct (dentate gyrus > CA3 > CA1). Moreover, NA released from the locus coeruleus that acts on β-AR leads to hippocampal LTD and an enhancement of LTD-related memory processing. We propose that NA acting on hippocampal β-AR, that is graded according to the novelty or saliency of the experience, determines the content and persistency of synaptic information storage in the hippocampal subfields and therefore of spatial memories. PMID:26804338

  1. Inferior Olive HCN1 Channels Coordinate Synaptic Integration and Complex Spike Timing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek L.F. Garden

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cerebellar climbing-fiber-mediated complex spikes originate from neurons in the inferior olive (IO, are critical for motor coordination, and are central to theories of cerebellar learning. Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide-gated (HCN channels expressed by IO neurons have been considered as pacemaker currents important for oscillatory and resonant dynamics. Here, we demonstrate that in vitro, network actions of HCN1 channels enable bidirectional glutamatergic synaptic responses, while local actions of HCN1 channels determine the timing and waveform of synaptically driven action potentials. These roles are distinct from, and may complement, proposed pacemaker functions of HCN channels. We find that in behaving animals HCN1 channels reduce variability in the timing of cerebellar complex spikes, which serve as a readout of IO spiking. Our results suggest that spatially distributed actions of HCN1 channels enable the IO to implement network-wide rules for synaptic integration that modulate the timing of cerebellar climbing fiber signals.

  2. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-27

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

  3. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Banach Synaptic Algebras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulis, David J.; Pulmannov, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

    Using a representation theorem of Erik Alfsen, Frederic Schultz, and Erling Størmer for special JB-algebras, we prove that a synaptic algebra is norm complete (i.e., Banach) if and only if it is isomorphic to the self-adjoint part of a Rickart C∗-algebra. Also, we give conditions on a Banach synaptic algebra that are equivalent to the condition that it is isomorphic to the self-adjoint part of an AW∗-algebra. Moreover, we study some relationships between synaptic algebras and so-called generalized Hermitian algebras.

  5. The Structure of Neurexin 1[alpha] Reveals Features Promoting a Role as Synaptic Organizer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Fang; Venugopal, Vandavasi; Murray, Beverly; Rudenko, Gabby (Michigan)

    2014-10-02

    {alpha}-Neurexins are essential synaptic adhesion molecules implicated in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. The {alpha}-neurexin extracellular domain consists of six LNS domains interspersed by three EGF-like repeats and interacts with many different proteins in the synaptic cleft. To understand how {alpha}-neurexins might function as synaptic organizers, we solved the structure of the neurexin 1{alpha} extracellular domain (n1{alpha}) to 2.65 {angstrom}. The L-shaped molecule can be divided into a flexible repeat I (LNS1-EGF-A-LNS2), a rigid horseshoe-shaped repeat II (LNS3-EGF-B-LNS4) with structural similarity to so-called reelin repeats, and an extended repeat III (LNS5-EGF-B-LNS6) with controlled flexibility. A 2.95 {angstrom} structure of n1{alpha} carrying splice insert SS3 in LNS4 reveals that SS3 protrudes as a loop and does not alter the rigid arrangement of repeat II. The global architecture imposed by conserved structural features enables {alpha}-neurexins to recruit and organize proteins in distinct and variable ways, influenced by splicing, thereby promoting synaptic function.

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Hu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. The Role of Histone Deacetylase 6 in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Perry

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Histone deacetylases (HDACs have been extensively studied as drug targets in neurodegenerative diseases, but less is known about their role in healthy neurons. We tested zinc-dependent HDACs using RNAi in Drosophila melanogaster and found memory deficits with RPD3 and HDAC6. We demonstrate that HDAC6 is required in both the larval and adult stages for normal olfactory memory retention. Neuronal expression of HDAC6 rescued memory deficits, and we demonstrate that the N-terminal deacetylase (DAC domain is required for this ability. This suggests that deacetylation of synaptic targets associated with the first DAC domain, such as the active-zone scaffold Bruchpilot, is required for memory retention. Finally, electrophysiological experiments at the neuromuscular junction reveal that HDAC6 mutants exhibit a partial block of homeostatic plasticity, suggesting that HDAC6 may be required for the stabilization of synaptic strength. The learning deficit we observe in HDAC6 mutants could be a behavioral consequence of these synaptic defects.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry V. Amakhin

    2016-10-01

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

  11. Synaptic transmission modulates while non-synaptic processes govern the transition from pre-ictal to seizure activity in vitro

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferys, John; Fox, John; Jiruska, Premysl; Kronberg, Greg; Miranda, Dolores; Ruiz-Nuño, Ana; Bikson, Marom

    2018-01-01

    It is well established that non-synaptic mechanisms can generate electrographic seizures after blockade of synaptic function. We investigated the interaction of intact synaptic activity with non-synaptic mechanisms in the isolated CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices using the 'elevated-K+' model of epilepsy. Elevated K+ ictal bursts share waveform features with other models of electrographic seizures, including non-synaptic models where chemical synaptic transmission is suppressed, such as t...

  12. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, formingtrans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft orcis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Pam heterozygous mice reveal essential role for Cu in amygdalar behavioral and synaptic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaier, Eric D; Eipper, Betty A; Mains, Richard E

    2014-05-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential element with many biological roles, but its roles in the mammalian nervous system are poorly understood. Mice deficient in the cuproenzyme peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (Pam(+/-) mice) were initially generated to study neuropeptide amidation. Pam(+/-) mice exhibit profound deficits in a few behavioral tasks, including enhancements in innate fear along with deficits in acquired fear. Interestingly, several Pam(+/-) phenotypes were recapitulated in Cu-restricted wild-type mice and rescued in Cu-supplemented Pam(+/-) mice. These behaviors correspond to enhanced excitability and deficient synaptic plasticity in the amygdala of Pam(+/-) mice, which are also rescued by Cu supplementation. Cu and ATP7A are present at synapses, in key positions to respond to and influence synaptic activity. Further study demonstrated that extracellular Cu is necessary for wild-type synaptic plasticity and sufficient to induce long-term potentiation. These experiments support roles for PAM in Cu homeostasis and for synaptic Cu in amygdalar function. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  15. A Single Aplysia Neurotrophin Mediates Synaptic Facilitation via Differentially Processed Isoforms Secreted as Mature or Precursor Forms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassabov, Stefan R.; Choi, Yun-Beom; Karl, Kevin A.; Vishwasrao, Harshad D.; Bailey, Craig H.; Kandel, Eric R.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Neurotrophins control the development and adult plasticity of the vertebrate nervous system. Failure to identify invertebrate neurotrophin orthologs, however, has precluded studies in invertebrate models, limiting understanding of fundamental aspects of neurotrophin biology and function. We identified a neurotrophin (ApNT) and Trk receptor (ApTrk) in the mollusk Aplysia and find they play a central role in learning related synaptic plasticity. ApNT increases the magnitude and lowers the threshold for induction of long-term facilitation and initiates the growth of new synaptic varicosities at the monosynaptic connection between sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex. Unlike vertebrate neurotrophins, ApNT has multiple coding exons and exerts distinct synaptic effects through differentially processed and secreted splice isoforms. Our findings demonstrate the existence of bona-fide neurotrophin signaling in invertebrates and reveal a novel, post-transcriptional mechanism, regulating neurotrophin processing and the release of pro- and mature neurotrophins which differentially modulate synaptic plasticity. PMID:23562154

  16. 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.

  17. Targeting synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease by administering a specific nutrient combination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wijk, Nick; Broersen, Laus M; de Wilde, Martijn C; Hageman, Robert J J; Groenendijk, Martine; Sijben, John W C; Kamphuis, Patrick J G H

    2014-01-01

    Synapse loss and synaptic dysfunction are pathological processes already involved in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Synapses consist principally of neuronal membranes, and the neuronal and synaptic losses observed in AD have been linked to the degeneration and altered composition and structure of these membranes. Consequently, synapse loss and membrane-related pathology provide viable targets for intervention in AD. The specific nutrient combination Fortasyn Connect (FC) is designed to ameliorate synapse loss and synaptic dysfunction in AD by addressing distinct nutritional needs believed to be present in these patients. This nutrient combination comprises uridine, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, choline, phospholipids, folic acid, vitamins B12, B6, C, and E, and selenium, and is present in Souvenaid, a medical food intended for use in early AD. It has been hypothesized that FC counteracts synaptic loss and reduces membrane-related pathology in AD by providing nutritional precursors and cofactors that act together to support neuronal membrane formation and function. Preclinical studies formed the basis of this hypothesis which is being validated in a broad clinical study program investigating the potential of this nutrient combination in AD. Memory dysfunction is one key early manifestation in AD and is associated with synapse loss. The clinical studies to date show that the FC-containing medical food improves memory function and preserves functional brain network organization in mild AD compared with controls, supporting the hypothesis that this intervention counteracts synaptic dysfunction. This review provides a comprehensive overview of basic scientific studies that led to the creation of FC and of its effects in various preclinical models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Characterization and extraction of the synaptic apposition surface for synaptic geometry analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Juan; Rodríguez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Merchán-Pérez, Angel

    2013-01-01

    Geometrical features of chemical synapses are relevant to their function. Two critical components of the synaptic junction are the active zone (AZ) and the postsynaptic density (PSD), as they are related to the probability of synaptic release and the number of postsynaptic receptors, respectively. Morphological studies of these structures are greatly facilitated by the use of recent electron microscopy techniques, such as combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), and software tools that permit reconstruction of large numbers of synapses in three dimensions. Since the AZ and the PSD are in close apposition and have a similar surface area, they can be represented by a single surface—the synaptic apposition surface (SAS). We have developed an efficient computational technique to automatically extract this surface from synaptic junctions that have previously been three-dimensionally reconstructed from actual tissue samples imaged by automated FIB/SEM. Given its relationship with the release probability and the number of postsynaptic receptors, the surface area of the SAS is a functionally relevant measure of the size of a synapse that can complement other geometrical features like the volume of the reconstructed synaptic junction, the equivalent ellipsoid size and the Feret's diameter. PMID:23847474

  20. Differential roles of nonsynaptic and synaptic plasticity in operant reward learning-induced compulsive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieling, Fred; Bédécarrats, Alexis; Simmers, John; Prinz, Astrid A; Nargeot, Romuald

    2014-05-05

    Rewarding stimuli in associative learning can transform the irregularly and infrequently generated motor patterns underlying motivated behaviors into output for accelerated and stereotyped repetitive action. This transition to compulsive behavioral expression is associated with modified synaptic and membrane properties of central neurons, but establishing the causal relationships between cellular plasticity and motor adaptation has remained a challenge. We found previously that changes in the intrinsic excitability and electrical synapses of identified neurons in Aplysia's central pattern-generating network for feeding are correlated with a switch to compulsive-like motor output expression induced by in vivo operant conditioning. Here, we used specific computer-simulated ionic currents in vitro to selectively replicate or suppress the membrane and synaptic plasticity resulting from this learning. In naive in vitro preparations, such experimental manipulation of neuronal membrane properties alone increased the frequency but not the regularity of feeding motor output found in preparations from operantly trained animals. On the other hand, changes in synaptic strength alone switched the regularity but not the frequency of feeding output from naive to trained states. However, simultaneously imposed changes in both membrane and synaptic properties reproduced both major aspects of the motor plasticity. Conversely, in preparations from trained animals, experimental suppression of the membrane and synaptic plasticity abolished the increase in frequency and regularity of the learned motor output expression. These data establish direct causality for the contributions of distinct synaptic and nonsynaptic adaptive processes to complementary facets of a compulsive behavior resulting from operant reward learning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is one of the fields that progresses rapidly and has a lot of success in neuroscience. The two major types of synaptie plasticity: long-term potentiation ( LTP and long-term depression (LTD are thought to be the cellular mochanisms of learning and memory. Recently, accumulating evidence suggests that, besides serving as a cellular model for learning and memory, the synaptic plasticity involves in other physiological or pathophysiological processes, such as the perception of pain and the regulation of cardiovascular system. This minireview will focus on the relationship between synaptic plasticity and nociception.

  2. Fragile X mental retardation protein regulates trans-synaptic signaling in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel H. Friedman

    2013-11-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS, the most common inherited determinant of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders, is caused by loss of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1 gene product (FMRP, an mRNA-binding translational repressor. A number of conserved FMRP targets have been identified in the well-characterized Drosophila FXS disease model, but FMRP is highly pleiotropic in function and the full spectrum of FMRP targets has yet to be revealed. In this study, screens for upregulated neural proteins in Drosophila fmr1 (dfmr1 null mutants reveal strong elevation of two synaptic heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs: GPI-anchored glypican Dally-like protein (Dlp and transmembrane Syndecan (Sdc. Our recent work has shown that Dlp and Sdc act as co-receptors regulating extracellular ligands upstream of intracellular signal transduction in multiple trans-synaptic pathways that drive synaptogenesis. Consistently, dfmr1 null synapses exhibit altered WNT signaling, with changes in both Wingless (Wg ligand abundance and downstream Frizzled-2 (Fz2 receptor C-terminal nuclear import. Similarly, a parallel anterograde signaling ligand, Jelly belly (Jeb, and downstream ERK phosphorylation (dpERK are depressed at dfmr1 null synapses. In contrast, the retrograde BMP ligand Glass bottom boat (Gbb and downstream signaling via phosphorylation of the transcription factor MAD (pMAD seem not to be affected. To determine whether HSPG upregulation is causative for synaptogenic defects, HSPGs were genetically reduced to control levels in the dfmr1 null background. HSPG correction restored both (1 Wg and Jeb trans-synaptic signaling, and (2 synaptic architecture and transmission strength back to wild-type levels. Taken together, these data suggest that FMRP negatively regulates HSPG co-receptors controlling trans-synaptic signaling during synaptogenesis, and that loss of this regulation causes synaptic structure and function defects characterizing the FXS disease state.

  3. Synaptic transistor with a reversible and analog conductance modulation using a Pt/HfOx/n-IGZO memcapacitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Paul; Kim, Hyung Jun; Zheng, Hong; Beom, Geon Won; Park, Jong-Sung; Kang, Chi Jung; Yoon, Tae-Sik

    2017-06-01

    A synaptic transistor emulating the biological synaptic motion is demonstrated using the memcapacitance characteristics in a Pt/HfOx/n-indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO) memcapacitor. First, the metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitor with Pt/HfOx/n-IGZO structure exhibits analog, polarity-dependent, and reversible memcapacitance in capacitance-voltage (C-V), capacitance-time (C-t), and voltage-pulse measurements. When a positive voltage is applied repeatedly to the Pt electrode, the accumulation capacitance increases gradually and sequentially. The depletion capacitance also increases consequently. The capacitances are restored by repeatedly applying a negative voltage, confirming the reversible memcapacitance. The analog and reversible memcapacitance emulates the potentiation and depression synaptic motions. The synaptic thin-film transistor (TFT) with this memcapacitor also shows the synaptic motion with gradually increasing drain current by repeatedly applying the positive gate and drain voltages and reversibly decreasing one by applying the negative voltages, representing synaptic weight modulation. The reversible and analog conductance change in the transistor at both the voltage sweep and pulse operations is obtained through the memcapacitance and threshold voltage shift at the same time. These results demonstrate the synaptic transistor operations with a MOS memcapacitor gate stack consisting of Pt/HfOx/n-IGZO.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Survival motor neuron protein in motor neurons determines synaptic integrity in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Tara L; Kong, Lingling; Wang, Xueyong; Osborne, Melissa A; Crowder, Melissa E; Van Meerbeke, James P; Xu, Xixi; Davis, Crystal; Wooley, Joe; Goldhamer, David J; Lutz, Cathleen M; Rich, Mark M; Sumner, Charlotte J

    2012-06-20

    The inherited motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deficient expression of survival motor neuron (SMN) protein and results in severe muscle weakness. In SMA mice, synaptic dysfunction of both neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) and central sensorimotor synapses precedes motor neuron cell death. To address whether this synaptic dysfunction is due to SMN deficiency in motor neurons, muscle, or both, we generated three lines of conditional SMA mice with tissue-specific increases in SMN expression. All three lines of mice showed increased survival, weights, and improved motor behavior. While increased SMN expression in motor neurons prevented synaptic dysfunction at the NMJ and restored motor neuron somal synapses, increased SMN expression in muscle did not affect synaptic function although it did improve myofiber size. Together these data indicate that both peripheral and central synaptic integrity are dependent on motor neurons in SMA, but SMN may have variable roles in the maintenance of these different synapses. At the NMJ, it functions at the presynaptic terminal in a cell-autonomous fashion, but may be necessary for retrograde trophic signaling to presynaptic inputs onto motor neurons. Importantly, SMN also appears to function in muscle growth and/or maintenance independent of motor neurons. Our data suggest that SMN plays distinct roles in muscle, NMJs, and motor neuron somal synapses and that restored function of SMN at all three sites will be necessary for full recovery of muscle power.

  8. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The brain is bombarded with a continuous stream of sensory events, but retains only a small subset in memory. The selectivity of memory formation prevents our memory from being overloaded with irrelevant items that would rapidly bring the brain to its storage limit; moreover, selectivity also prevents overwriting previously formed memories with new ones. Memory formation in the hippocampus, as well as in other brain regions, is thought to be linked to changes in the synaptic connections between neurons. In this view, sensory events imprint traces at the level of synapses that reflect potential memory items. The question of memory selectivity can therefore be reformulated as follows: what are the reasons and conditions that some synaptic traces fade away whereas others are consolidated and persist? Experimentally, changes in synaptic strength induced by 'Hebbian' protocols fade away over a few hours (early long-term potentiation or e-LTP, unless these changes are consolidated. The experiments and conceptual theory of synaptic tagging and capture (STC provide a mechanistic explanation for the processes involved in consolidation. This theory suggests that the initial trace of synaptic plasticity sets a tag at the synapse, which then serves as a marker for potential consolidation of the changes in synaptic efficacy. The actual consolidation processes, transforming e-LTP into late LTP (l-LTP, require the capture of plasticity-related proteins (PRP. We translate the above conceptual model into a compact computational model that accounts for a wealth of in vitro data including experiments on cross-tagging, tag-resetting and depotentiation. A central ingredient is that synaptic traces are described with several variables that evolve on different time scales. Consolidation requires the transmission of information from a 'fast' synaptic trace to a 'slow' one through a 'write' process, including the formation of tags and the production of PRP for the

  9. Neurotrophin receptor p75NTR mediates Huntington’s disease–associated synaptic and memory dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Verónica; Giralt, Albert; Enriquez-Barreto, Lilian; Puigdellívol, Mar; Suelves, Nuria; Zamora-Moratalla, Alfonsa; Ballesteros, Jesús J.; Martín, Eduardo D.; Dominguez-Iturza, Nuria; Morales, Miguel; Alberch, Jordi; Ginés, Sílvia

    2014-01-01

    Learning and memory deficits are early clinical manifestations of Huntington’s disease (HD). These cognitive impairments have been mainly associated with frontostriatal HD pathology; however, compelling evidence provided by several HD murine models suggests that the hippocampus may contribute to synaptic deficits and memory dysfunction in HD. The neurotrophin receptor p75NTR negatively regulates spine density, which is associated with learning and memory; therefore, we explored whether disturbed p75NTR function in the hippocampus could contribute to synaptic dysfunction and memory deficits in HD. Here, we determined that levels of p75NTR are markedly increased in the hippocampus of 2 distinct mouse models of HD and in HD patients. Normalization of p75NTR levels in HD mutant mice heterozygous for p75NTR prevented memory and synaptic plasticity deficits and ameliorated dendritic spine abnormalities, likely through normalization of the activity of the GTPase RhoA. Moreover, viral-mediated overexpression of p75NTR in the hippocampus of WT mice reproduced HD learning and memory deficits, while knockdown of p75NTR in the hippocampus of HD mice prevented cognitive decline. Together, these findings provide evidence of hippocampus-associated memory deficits in HD and demonstrate that p75NTR mediates synaptic, learning, and memory dysfunction in HD. PMID:25180603

  10. Synaptic Wnt/GSK3β Signaling Hub in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Effects of Cortical Spreading Depression on Synaptic Activity, Blood Flow and Oxygen Consumption in Rat Cerebral Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Henning Piilgaard

    2010-01-01

    As the title of this thesis indicates I have during my PhD studied the effects of cortical spreading depression (CSD) on synaptic activity, blood flow and oxygen consumption in rat cerebral cortex. This was performed in vivo using an open cranial window approach in anesthetized rats. I applied...... parameters of the whisker/infraorbital nerve etwork (IO) targeting the same cortical area. We tested the hypothesis that the relation between increases in CBF and CMRO2 evoked by stimulation and synaptic activity differed for the two activated networks and that activation of two distinct networks activate...

  12. Synaptic remodeling, synaptic growth and the storage of long-term memory in Aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic remodeling and synaptic growth accompany various forms of long-term memory. Storage of the long-term memory for sensitization of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia has been extensively studied in this respect and is associated with the growth of new synapses by the sensory neurons onto their postsynaptic target neurons. Recent time-lapse imaging studies of living sensory-to-motor neuron synapses in culture have monitored both functional and structural changes simultaneously so as to follow remodeling and growth at the same specific synaptic connections continuously over time and to examine the functional contribution of these learning-related structural changes to the different time-dependent phases of memory storage. Insights provided by these studies suggest the synaptic differentiation and growth induced by learning in the mature nervous system are highly dynamic and often rapid processes that can recruit both molecules and mechanisms used for de novo synapse formation during development.

  13. Altered gene regulation and synaptic morphology in Drosophila learning and memory mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Zhuo; Buhl, Lauren K.; Quinn, William G.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2011-01-01

    Genetic studies in Drosophila have revealed two separable long-term memory pathways defined as anesthesia-resistant memory (ARM) and long-lasting long-term memory (LLTM). ARM is disrupted in radish (rsh) mutants, whereas LLTM requires CREB-dependent protein synthesis. Although the downstream effectors of ARM and LLTM are distinct, pathways leading to these forms of memory may share the cAMP cascade critical for associative learning. Dunce, which encodes a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase, and rutabaga, which encodes an adenylyl cyclase, both disrupt short-term memory. Amnesiac encodes a pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide homolog and is required for middle-term memory. Here, we demonstrate that the Radish protein localizes to the cytoplasm and nucleus and is a PKA phosphorylation target in vitro. To characterize how these plasticity pathways may manifest at the synaptic level, we assayed synaptic connectivity and performed an expression analysis to detect altered transcriptional networks in rutabaga, dunce, amnesiac, and radish mutants. All four mutants disrupt specific aspects of synaptic connectivity at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Genome-wide DNA microarray analysis revealed ∼375 transcripts that are altered in these mutants, suggesting defects in multiple neuronal signaling pathways. In particular, the transcriptional target Lapsyn, which encodes a leucine-rich repeat cell adhesion protein, localizes to synapses and regulates synaptic growth. This analysis provides insights into the Radish-dependent ARM pathway and novel transcriptional targets that may contribute to memory processing in Drosophila. PMID:21422168

  14. Circadian clocks, rhythmic synaptic plasticity and the sleep-wake cycle in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbaz, Idan; Foulkes, Nicholas S; Gothilf, Yoav; Appelbaum, Lior

    2013-01-01

    The circadian clock and homeostatic processes are fundamental mechanisms that regulate sleep. Surprisingly, despite decades of research, we still do not know why we sleep. Intriguing hypotheses suggest that sleep regulates synaptic plasticity and consequently has a beneficial role in learning and memory. However, direct evidence is still limited and the molecular regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. The zebrafish provides a powerful vertebrate model system that enables simple genetic manipulation, imaging of neuronal circuits and synapses in living animals, and the monitoring of behavioral performance during day and night. Thus, the zebrafish has become an attractive model to study circadian and homeostatic processes that regulate sleep. Zebrafish clock- and sleep-related genes have been cloned, neuronal circuits that exhibit circadian rhythms of activity and synaptic plasticity have been studied, and rhythmic behavioral outputs have been characterized. Integration of this data could lead to a better understanding of sleep regulation. Here, we review the progress of circadian clock and sleep studies in zebrafish with special emphasis on the genetic and neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate rhythms of melatonin secretion, structural synaptic plasticity, locomotor activity and sleep.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-07-20

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

  18. Synaptic dysbindin-1 reductions in schizophrenia occur in an isoform-specific manner indicating their subsynaptic location.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konrad Talbot

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: An increasing number of studies report associations between variation in DTNBP1, a top candidate gene in schizophrenia, and both the clinical symptoms of the disorder and its cognitive deficits. DTNBP1 encodes dysbindin-1, reduced levels of which have been found in synaptic fields of schizophrenia cases. This study determined whether such synaptic reductions are isoform-specific. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using Western blotting of tissue fractions, we first determined the synaptic localization of the three major dysbindin-1 isoforms (A, B, and C. All three were concentrated in synaptosomes of multiple brain areas, including auditory association cortices in the posterior half of the superior temporal gyrus (pSTG and the hippocampal formation (HF. Tests on the subsynaptic tissue fractions revealed that each isoform is predominantly, if not exclusively, associated with synaptic vesicles (dysbindin-1B or with postsynaptic densities (dysbindin-1A and -1C. Using Western blotting on pSTG (n = 15 and HF (n = 15 synaptosomal fractions from schizophrenia cases and their matched controls, we discovered that synaptic dysbindin-1 is reduced in an isoform-specific manner in schizophrenia without changes in levels of synaptophysin or PSD-95. In pSTG, about 92% of the schizophrenia cases displayed synaptic dysbindin-1A reductions averaging 48% (p = 0.0007 without alterations in other dysbindin-1 isoforms. In the HF, by contrast, schizophrenia cases displayed normal levels of synaptic dysbindin-1A, but 67% showed synaptic reductions in dysbindin-1B averaging 33% (p = 0.0256, while 80% showed synaptic reductions in dysbindin-1C averaging 35% (p = 0.0171. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Given the distinctive subsynaptic localization of dysbindin-1A, -1B, and -1C across brain regions, the observed pSTG reductions in dysbindin-1A are postsynaptic and may promote dendritic spine loss with consequent disruption of auditory information

  19. Dopamine D1/D5, but not D2/D3, receptor dependency of synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses that is enabled by patterned afferent stimulation, or spatial learning

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    Hardy Hagena

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although the mossy fiber (MF synapses of the hippocampal CA3 region display quite distinct properties in terms of the molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity, they nonetheless exhibit persistent (>24h synaptic plasticity that is akin to that observed at the Schaffer collateral (SCH-CA1 and perforant path (PP-dentate gyrus (DG synapses of freely behaving rats. In addition, they also respond to novel spatial learning with very enduring forms of long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. These latter forms of synaptic plasticity are directly related to the learning behavior: novel exploration of generalized changes in space facilitates the expression of LTP at MF-CA3 synapses, whereas exploration of novel configurations of large environmental features facilitates the expression of LTD. In the absence of spatial novelty, synaptic plasticity is not expressed. Motivation is a potent determinant of whether learning about spatial experience effectively occurs and the neuromodulator dopamine plays a key role in motivation-based learning. Prior research on the regulation by dopamine receptors of long-term synaptic plasticity in CA1 and dentate gyrus synapses in vivo suggests that whereas D2/D3 receptors may modulate a general predisposition toward expressing plasticity, D1/D5 receptors may directly regulate the direction of change in synaptic strength that occurs during learning. Although the CA3 region is believed to play a pivotal role in many forms of learning, the role of these receptors in persistent (>24h forms of synaptic plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses is unknown. Here, we report that whereas pharmacological antagonism of D2/D3 receptors had no impact on LTP or LTD, antagonism of D1/D5 receptors significantly impaired LTP and LTD that were induced by solely by means of patterned afferent stimulation, or LTP/LTD that are typically enhanced by the conjunction of afferent stimulation and novel spatial learning. These data

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

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    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

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

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

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    Jinyan Cao

    2018-04-01

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

  2. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Danny G; Egli, Regula E; Schramm, Nicole L; Matthews, Robert T

    2002-11-01

    Drug addiction is a major public health issue worldwide. The persistence of drug craving coupled with the known recruitment of learning and memory centers in the brain has led investigators to hypothesize that the alterations in glutamatergic synaptic efficacy brought on by synaptic plasticity may play key roles in the addiction process. Here we review the present literature, examining the properties of synaptic plasticity within drug reward circuitry, and the effects that drugs of abuse have on these forms of plasticity. Interestingly, multiple forms of synaptic plasticity can be induced at glutamatergic synapses within the dorsal striatum, its ventral extension the nucleus accumbens, and the ventral tegmental area, and at least some of these forms of plasticity are regulated by behaviorally meaningful administration of cocaine and/or amphetamine. Thus, the present data suggest that regulation of synaptic plasticity in reward circuits is a tractable candidate mechanism underlying aspects of addiction.

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

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    Owen Rackham

    2010-07-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Enhancement of signal sensitivity in a heterogeneous neural network refined from synaptic plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Xiumin; Small, Michael, E-mail: ensmall@polyu.edu.h, E-mail: 07901216r@eie.polyu.edu.h [Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon (Hong Kong)

    2010-08-15

    Long-term synaptic plasticity induced by neural activity is of great importance in informing the formation of neural connectivity and the development of the nervous system. It is reasonable to consider self-organized neural networks instead of prior imposition of a specific topology. In this paper, we propose a novel network evolved from two stages of the learning process, which are respectively guided by two experimentally observed synaptic plasticity rules, i.e. the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) mechanism and the burst-timing-dependent plasticity (BTDP) mechanism. Due to the existence of heterogeneity in neurons that exhibit different degrees of excitability, a two-level hierarchical structure is obtained after the synaptic refinement. This self-organized network shows higher sensitivity to afferent current injection compared with alternative archetypal networks with different neural connectivity. Statistical analysis also demonstrates that it has the small-world properties of small shortest path length and high clustering coefficients. Thus the selectively refined connectivity enhances the ability of neuronal communications and improves the efficiency of signal transmission in the network.

  6. Enhancement of signal sensitivity in a heterogeneous neural network refined from synaptic plasticity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Xiumin; Small, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Long-term synaptic plasticity induced by neural activity is of great importance in informing the formation of neural connectivity and the development of the nervous system. It is reasonable to consider self-organized neural networks instead of prior imposition of a specific topology. In this paper, we propose a novel network evolved from two stages of the learning process, which are respectively guided by two experimentally observed synaptic plasticity rules, i.e. the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) mechanism and the burst-timing-dependent plasticity (BTDP) mechanism. Due to the existence of heterogeneity in neurons that exhibit different degrees of excitability, a two-level hierarchical structure is obtained after the synaptic refinement. This self-organized network shows higher sensitivity to afferent current injection compared with alternative archetypal networks with different neural connectivity. Statistical analysis also demonstrates that it has the small-world properties of small shortest path length and high clustering coefficients. Thus the selectively refined connectivity enhances the ability of neuronal communications and improves the efficiency of signal transmission in the network.

  7. Flexible Proton-Gated Oxide Synaptic Transistors on Si Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Chang Jin; Gao, Ping Qi; Liu, Yang Hui; Xiao, Hui; Ye, Ji Chun; Wan, Qing

    2016-08-24

    Ion-conducting materials have received considerable attention for their applications in fuel cells, electrochemical devices, and sensors. Here, flexible indium zinc oxide (InZnO) synaptic transistors with multiple presynaptic inputs gated by proton-conducting phosphorosilicate glass-based electrolyte films are fabricated on ultrathin Si membranes. Transient characteristics of the proton gated InZnO synaptic transistors are investigated, indicating stable proton-gating behaviors. Short-term synaptic plasticities are mimicked on the proposed proton-gated synaptic transistors. Furthermore, synaptic integration regulations are mimicked on the proposed synaptic transistor networks. Spiking logic modulations are realized based on the transition between superlinear and sublinear synaptic integration. The multigates coupled flexible proton-gated oxide synaptic transistors may be interesting for neuroinspired platforms with sophisticated spatiotemporal information processing.

  8. Addiction-like synaptic impairments in diet-induced obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Sade; Garcia-Keller, Constanza; Spanswick, David C; Lawrence, Andrew John; Simonds, Stephanie Elise; Schwartz, Danielle Joy; Jordan, Kelsey Ann; Jhou, Thomas Clayton; Kalivas, Peter William

    2016-01-01

    Background There is increasing evidence that the pathological overeating underlying some forms of obesity is compulsive in nature, and therefore contains elements of an addictive disorder. However, direct physiological evidence linking obesity to synaptic plasticity akin to that occurring in addiction is lacking. We sought to establish whether the propensity to diet-induced obesity (DIO) is associated with addictive-like behavior, as well as synaptic impairments in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcore) considered hallmarks of addiction. Methods Sprague-Dawley rats were allowed free access to a palatable diet for 8 weeks then separated by weight gain into DIO prone (OP) and resistant (OR) subgroups. Access to palatable food was then restricted to daily operant self-administration sessions using fixed (FR1, 3 and 5) and progressive ratio (PR) schedules. Subsequently, NAcore brain slices were prepared and we tested for changes in the ratio between AMPA and NMDA currents (AMPA/NMDA) and the ability to exhibit long-term depression (LTD). Results We found that propensity to develop DIO is linked to deficits in the ability to induce LTD in the NAcore, as well as increased potentiation at these synapses as measured by AMPA/NMDA currents. Consistent with these impairments, we observed addictive-like behavior in OP rats, including i) heightened motivation for palatable food (ii) excessive intake and (iii) increased food-seeking when food was unavailable. Conclusions Our results show overlap between the propensity for DIO and the synaptic changes associated with facets of addictive behavior, supporting partial coincident neurological underpinnings for compulsive overeating and drug addiction. PMID:26826876

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

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    Atsushi eUeda

    2015-02-01

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

  10. Influence of Synaptic Depression on Memory Storage Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsubo, Yosuke; Nagata, Kenji; Oizumi, Masafumi; Okada, Masato

    2011-08-01

    Synaptic efficacy between neurons is known to change within a short time scale dynamically. Neurophysiological experiments show that high-frequency presynaptic inputs decrease synaptic efficacy between neurons. This phenomenon is called synaptic depression, a short term synaptic plasticity. Many researchers have investigated how the synaptic depression affects the memory storage capacity. However, the noise has not been taken into consideration in their analysis. By introducing ``temperature'', which controls the level of the noise, into an update rule of neurons, we investigate the effects of synaptic depression on the memory storage capacity in the presence of the noise. We analytically compute the storage capacity by using a statistical mechanics technique called Self Consistent Signal to Noise Analysis (SCSNA). We find that the synaptic depression decreases the storage capacity in the case of finite temperature in contrast to the case of the low temperature limit, where the storage capacity does not change.

  11. Influence of testosterone on synaptic transmission in the rat medial vestibular nuclei: estrogenic and androgenic effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassi, S; Frondaroli, A; Di Mauro, M; Pettorossi, V E

    2010-12-15

    In brainstem slices of young male rat, we investigated the influence of the neuroactive steroid testosterone (T) on the synaptic responses by analyzing the field potential evoked in the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) by vestibular afferent stimulation. T induced three distinct and independent long-term synaptic changes: fast long-lasting potentiation (fLP), slow long-lasting potentiation (sLP) and long-lasting depression (LD). The fLP was mediated by 17β-estradiol (E(2)) since it was abolished by blocking the estrogen receptors (ERs) or the enzyme converting T to E(2). Conversely, sLP and LD were mediated by 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) since they were prevented by blocking the androgen receptors (ARs) or the enzyme converting T to DHT. Therefore, the synaptic effects of T were mediated by its androgenic or estrogenic metabolites. The pathways leading to estrogenic and androgenic conversion of T might be co-localized since, the occurrence of fLP under block of androgenic pathway, and that of sLP and LD under estrogenic block, were higher than those observed without blocks. In case of co-localization, the effect on synaptic transmission should depend on the prevailing enzymatic activity. We conclude that circulating and neuronal T can remarkably influence synaptic responses of the vestibular neurons in different and opposite ways, depending on its conversion to estrogenic or androgenic metabolites. Copyright © 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Secreted factors as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M; Umemori, Hisashi

    2010-07-01

    A critical step in synaptic development is the differentiation of presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments. This complex process is regulated by a variety of secreted factors that serve as synaptic organizers. Specifically, fibroblast growth factors, Wnts, neurotrophic factors and various other intercellular signaling molecules are proposed to regulate presynaptic and/or postsynaptic differentiation. Many of these factors appear to function at both the neuromuscular junction and in the central nervous system, although the specific function of the molecules differs between the two. Here we review secreted molecules that organize the synaptic compartments and discuss how these molecules shape synaptic development, focusing on mammalian in vivo systems. Their critical role in shaping a functional neural circuit is underscored by their possible link to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders both in animal models and by mutations identified in human patients. © The Authors (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Circadian clocks, rhythmic synaptic plasticity and the sleep-wake cycle in zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idan eElbaz

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The circadian clock and homeostatic processes are fundamental mechanisms that regulate sleep. Surprisingly, despite decades of research, we still do not know why we sleep. Intriguing hypotheses suggest that sleep regulates synaptic plasticity and consequently has a beneficial role in learning and memory. However, direct evidence is still limited and the molecular regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. The zebrafish provides a powerful vertebrate model system that enables simple genetic manipulation, imaging of neuronal circuits and synapses in living animals, and the monitoring of behavioral performance during day and night. Thus, the zebrafish has become an attractive model to study circadian and homeostatic processes that regulate sleep. Zebrafish clock- and sleep-related genes have been cloned, neuronal circuits that exhibit circadian rhythms of activity and synaptic plasticity have been studied, and rhythmic behavioral outputs have been characterized. Integration of this data could lead to a better understanding of sleep regulation. Here, we review the progress of circadian clock and sleep studies in zebrafish with special emphasis on the genetic and neuroendocrine mechanisms that regulate rhythms of melatonin secretion, structural synaptic plasticity, locomotor activity and sleep.

  15. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The trigger for synaptic vesicle exocytosis is Ca2+, which enters the synaptic bouton following action potential stimulation. However, spontaneous release of neurotransmitter also occurs in the absence of stimulation in virtually all synaptic boutons. It has long been thought that this represents exocytosis driven by fluctuations in local Ca2+ levels. The vesicles responding to these fluctuations are thought to be the same ones that release upon stimulation, albeit potentially triggered by different Ca2+ sensors. This view has been challenged by several recent works, which have suggested that spontaneous release is driven by a separate pool of synaptic vesicles. Numerous articles appeared during the last few years in support of each of these hypotheses, and it has been challenging to bring them into accord. We speculate here on the origins of this controversy, and propose a solution that is related to developmental effects. Constitutive membrane traffic, needed for the biogenesis of vesicles and synapses, is responsible for high levels of spontaneous membrane fusion in young neurons, probably independent of Ca2+. The vesicles releasing spontaneously in such neurons are not related to other synaptic vesicle pools and may represent constitutively releasing vesicles (CRVs rather than bona fide synaptic vesicles. In mature neurons, constitutive traffic is much dampened, and the few remaining spontaneous release events probably represent bona fide spontaneously releasing synaptic vesicles (SRSVs responding to Ca2+ fluctuations, along with a handful of CRVs that participate in synaptic vesicle turnover.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Functionally distinct dopamine signals in nucleus accumbens core and shell in the freely moving rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dreyer, Jakob K.; Vander Weele, Caitlin M.; Lovic, Vedran

    2016-01-01

    Dynamic signaling of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) neurons has been implicated in reward learning, drug abuse, and motivation. However, this system is complex because firing patterns of these neurons are heterogeneous; subpopulations receive distinct synaptic inputs, and project to anatomically...

  18. 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.

  19. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Urbina, Victor; Herrmann, J. Michael

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-15

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

  1. Climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synaptic pathology in tremor and cerebellar degenerative diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chi-Ying; Wang, Jie; Sims, Peter A.; Pan, Ming-Kai; Liou, Jyun-you; Lee, Danielle; Tate, William J.; Kelly, Geoffrey C.; Louis, Elan D.; Faust, Phyllis L.

    2017-01-01

    Changes in climbing fiber-Purkinje cell (CF-PC) synaptic connections have been found in the essential tremor (ET) cerebellum, and these changes are correlated with tremor severity. Whether these postmortem changes are specific to ET remains to be investigated. We assessed CF-PC synaptic pathology in the postmortem cerebellum across a range of degenerative movement disorders [10 Parkinson’s disease (PD) cases, 10 multiple system atrophy (MSA) cases, 10 spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) cases, and 20 ET cases] and 25 controls. We observed differences in terms of CF pathological features across these disorders. Specifically, PD cases and ET cases both had more CFs extending into the parallel fiber (PF) territory, but ET cases had more complex branching and increased length of CFs in the PF territory along with decreased CF synaptic density compared to PD cases. MSA cases and SCA1 cases had the most severely reduced CF synaptic density and a marked paucity of CFs extending into the PF territory. Furthermore, CFs in a subset of MSA cases formed collateral branches parallel to the PC layer, a feature not seen in other diagnostic groups. Using unsupervised cluster analysis, the cases and controls could all be categorized into four clusters based on the CF pathology and features of PC pathology, including counts of PCs and their axonal torpedoes. ET cases and PD cases co-segregated into two clusters, whereas SCA1 cases and MSA cases formed another cluster, separate from the control cluster. Interestingly, the presence of resting tremor seemed to be the clinical feature that separated the cases into the two ET-PD clusters. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that these degenerative movement disorders seem to differ with respect to the pattern of CF synaptic pathology they exhibit. It remains to be determined how these differences contribute to the clinical presentations of these diseases. PMID:27704282

  2. A role for thrombospondin-1 deficits in astrocyte-mediated spine and synaptic pathology in Down's syndrome.

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    Octavio Garcia

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Down's syndrome (DS is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation. Reduced number and aberrant architecture of dendritic spines are common features of DS neuropathology. However, the mechanisms involved in DS spine alterations are not known. In addition to a relevant role in synapse formation and maintenance, astrocytes can regulate spine dynamics by releasing soluble factors or by physical contact with neurons. We have previously shown impaired mitochondrial function in DS astrocytes leading to metabolic alterations in protein processing and secretion. In this study, we investigated whether deficits in astrocyte function contribute to DS spine pathology.Using a human astrocyte/rat hippocampal neuron coculture, we found that DS astrocytes are directly involved in the development of spine malformations and reduced synaptic density. We also show that thrombospondin 1 (TSP-1, an astrocyte-secreted protein, possesses a potent modulatory effect on spine number and morphology, and that both DS brains and DS astrocytes exhibit marked deficits in TSP-1 protein expression. Depletion of TSP-1 from normal astrocytes resulted in dramatic changes in spine morphology, while restoration of TSP-1 levels prevented DS astrocyte-mediated spine and synaptic alterations. Astrocyte cultures derived from TSP-1 KO mice exhibited similar deficits to support spine formation and structure than DS astrocytes.These results indicate that human astrocytes promote spine and synapse formation, identify astrocyte dysfunction as a significant factor of spine and synaptic pathology in the DS brain, and provide a mechanistic rationale for the exploration of TSP-1-based therapies to treat spine and synaptic pathology in DS and other neurological conditions.

  3. Addiction-like Synaptic Impairments in Diet-Induced Obesity.

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    Brown, Robyn Mary; Kupchik, Yonatan Michael; Spencer, Sade; Garcia-Keller, Constanza; Spanswick, David C; Lawrence, Andrew John; Simonds, Stephanie Elise; Schwartz, Danielle Joy; Jordan, Kelsey Ann; Jhou, Thomas Clayton; Kalivas, Peter William

    2017-05-01

    There is increasing evidence that the pathological overeating underlying some forms of obesity is compulsive in nature and therefore contains elements of an addictive disorder. However, direct physiological evidence linking obesity to synaptic plasticity akin to that occurring in addiction is lacking. We sought to establish whether the propensity to diet-induced obesity (DIO) is associated with addictive-like behavior, as well as synaptic impairments in the nucleus accumbens core considered hallmarks of addiction. Sprague Dawley rats were allowed free access to a palatable diet for 8 weeks then separated by weight gain into DIO-prone and DIO-resistant subgroups. Access to palatable food was then restricted to daily operant self-administration sessions using fixed ratio 1, 3, and 5 and progressive ratio schedules. Subsequently, nucleus accumbens brain slices were prepared, and we tested for changes in the ratio between α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate currents and the ability to exhibit long-term depression. We found that propensity to develop DIO is linked to deficits in the ability to induce long-term depression in the nucleus accumbens, as well as increased potentiation at these synapses as measured by AMPA/N-methyl-D-aspartate currents. Consistent with these impairments, we observed addictive-like behavior in DIO-prone rats, including 1) heightened motivation for palatable food; 2) excessive intake; and 3) increased food seeking when food was unavailable. Our results show overlap between the propensity for DIO and the synaptic changes associated with facets of addictive behavior, supporting partial coincident neurological underpinnings for compulsive overeating and drug addiction. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. All rights reserved.

  4. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

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    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2003-09-01

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

  6. DPP6 Loss Impacts Hippocampal Synaptic Development and Induces Behavioral Impairments in Recognition, Learning and Memory

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    Lin Lin

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available DPP6 is well known as an auxiliary subunit of Kv4-containing, A-type K+ channels which regulate dendritic excitability in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. We have recently reported, however, a novel role for DPP6 in regulating dendritic filopodia formation and stability, affecting synaptic development and function. These results are notable considering recent clinical findings associating DPP6 with neurodevelopmental and intellectual disorders. Here we assessed the behavioral consequences of DPP6 loss. We found that DPP6 knockout (DPP6-KO mice are impaired in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. Results from the Morris water maze and T-maze tasks showed that DPP6-KO mice exhibit slower learning and reduced memory performance. DPP6 mouse brain weight is reduced throughout development compared with WT, and in vitro imaging results indicated that DPP6 loss affects synaptic structure and motility. Taken together, these results show impaired synaptic development along with spatial learning and memory deficiencies in DPP6-KO mice.

  7. 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.

  8. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

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    Pehlevan, Cengiz; Sengupta, Anirvan

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

  9. A versatile optical tool for studying synaptic GABAA receptor trafficking.

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    Lorenz-Guertin, Joshua M; Wilcox, Madeleine R; Zhang, Ming; Larsen, Mads B; Pilli, Jyotsna; Schmidt, Brigitte F; Bruchez, Marcel P; Johnson, Jon W; Waggoner, Alan S; Watkins, Simon C; Jacob, Tija C

    2017-11-15

    Live-cell imaging methods can provide critical real-time receptor trafficking measurements. Here, we describe an optical tool to study synaptic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) type A receptor (GABA A R) dynamics through adaptable fluorescent-tracking capabilities. A fluorogen-activating peptide (FAP) was genetically inserted into a GABA A R γ2 subunit tagged with pH-sensitive green fluorescent protein (γ2 pH FAP). The FAP selectively binds and activates Malachite Green (MG) dyes that are otherwise non-fluorescent in solution. γ2 pH FAP GABA A Rs are expressed at the cell surface in transfected cortical neurons, form synaptic clusters and do not perturb neuronal development. Electrophysiological studies show γ2 pH FAP GABA A Rs respond to GABA and exhibit positive modulation upon stimulation with the benzodiazepine diazepam. Imaging studies using γ2 pH FAP-transfected neurons and MG dyes show time-dependent receptor accumulation into intracellular vesicles, revealing constitutive endosomal and lysosomal trafficking. Simultaneous analysis of synaptic, surface and lysosomal receptors using the γ2 pH FAP-MG dye approach reveals enhanced GABA A R turnover following a bicucculine-induced seizure paradigm, a finding not detected by standard surface receptor measurements. To our knowledge, this is the first application of the FAP-MG dye system in neurons, demonstrating the versatility to study nearly all phases of GABA A R trafficking. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. Learning and retrieval behavior in recurrent neural networks with pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic plasticity

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    Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.; Agnes, Everton J.; Erichsen, Rubem; Brunnet, Leonardo G.

    2017-08-01

    The plastic character of brain synapses is considered to be one of the foundations for the formation of memories. There are numerous kinds of such phenomenon currently described in the literature, but their role in the development of information pathways in neural networks with recurrent architectures is still not completely clear. In this paper we study the role of an activity-based process, called pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic scaling, in the organization of networks that yield precise-timed spiking patterns. It encodes spatio-temporal information in the synaptic weights as it associates a learned input with a specific response. We introduce a correlation measure to evaluate the precision of the spiking patterns and explore the effects of different inhibitory interactions and learning parameters. We find that large learning periods are important in order to improve the network learning capacity and discuss this ability in the presence of distinct inhibitory currents.

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

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    Hanson Jesse E

    2010-08-01

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

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

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    Christine L. Dixon

    2017-06-01

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

  13. The vestibulo- and preposito-cerebellar cholinergic neurons of a ChAT-tdTomato transgenic rat exhibit heterogeneous firing properties and the expression of various neurotransmitter receptors.

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    Zhang, Yue; Kaneko, Ryosuke; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Saito, Yasuhiko

    2014-04-01

    Cerebellar function is regulated by cholinergic mossy fiber inputs that are primarily derived from the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) and prepositus hypoglossi nucleus (PHN). In contrast to the growing evidence surrounding cholinergic transmission and its functional significance in the cerebellum, the intrinsic and synaptic properties of cholinergic projection neurons (ChPNs) have not been clarified. In this study, we generated choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-tdTomato transgenic rats, which specifically express the fluorescent protein tdTomato in cholinergic neurons, and used them to investigate the response properties of ChPNs identified via retrograde labeling using whole-cell recordings in brainstem slices. In response to current pulses, ChPNs exhibited two afterhyperpolarisation (AHP) profiles and three firing patterns; the predominant AHP and firing properties differed between the MVN and PHN. Morphologically, the ChPNs were separated into two types based on their soma size and dendritic extensions. Analyses of the firing responses to time-varying sinusoidal current stimuli revealed that ChPNs exhibited different firing modes depending on the input frequencies. The maximum frequencies in which each firing mode was observed were different between the neurons that exhibited distinct firing patterns. Analyses of the current responses to the application of neurotransmitter receptor agonists revealed that the ChPNs expressed (i) AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors, (ii) GABAA and glycine receptors, and (iii) muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The current responses mediated by these receptors of MVN ChPNs were not different from those of PHN ChPNs. These findings suggest that ChPNs receive various synaptic inputs and encode those inputs appropriately across different frequencies. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Differential regulation of synaptic and extrasynaptic α4 GABA(A) receptor populations by protein kinase A and protein kinase C in cultured cortical neurons.

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    Bohnsack, John Peyton; Carlson, Stephen L; Morrow, A Leslie

    2016-06-01

    The GABAA α4 subunit exists in two distinct populations of GABAA receptors. Synaptic GABAA α4 receptors are localized at the synapse and mediate phasic inhibitory neurotransmission, while extrasynaptic GABAA receptors are located outside of the synapse and mediate tonic inhibitory transmission. These receptors have distinct pharmacological and biophysical properties that contribute to interest in how these different subtypes are regulated under physiological and pathological states. We utilized subcellular fractionation procedures to separate these populations of receptors in order to investigate their regulation by protein kinases in cortical cultured neurons. Protein kinase A (PKA) activation decreases synaptic α4 expression while protein kinase C (PKC) activation increases α4 subunit expression, and these effects are associated with increased β3 S408/409 or γ2 S327 phosphorylation respectively. In contrast, PKA activation increases extrasynaptic α4 and δ subunit expression, while PKC activation has no effect. Our findings suggest synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA α4 subunit expression can be modulated by PKA to inform the development of more specific therapeutics for neurological diseases that involve deficits in GABAergic transmission. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Forebrain deletion of αGDI in adult mice worsens the pre-synaptic deficit at cortico-lateral amygdala synaptic connections.

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    Veronica Bianchi

    Full Text Available The GDI1 gene encodes αGDI, which retrieves inactive GDP-bound RAB from membranes to form a cytosolic pool awaiting vesicular release. Mutations in GDI1 are responsible for X-linked Intellectual Disability. Characterization of the Gdi1-null mice has revealed alterations in the total number and distribution of hippocampal and cortical synaptic vesicles, hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and specific short-term memory deficits in adult mice, which are possibly caused by alterations of different synaptic vesicle recycling pathways controlled by several RAB GTPases. However, interpretation of these studies is complicated by the complete ablation of Gdi1 in all cells in the brain throughout development. In this study, we generated conditionally gene-targeted mice in which the knockout of Gdi1 is restricted to the forebrain, hippocampus, cortex and amygdala and occurs only during postnatal development. Adult mutant mice reproduce the short-term memory deficit previously reported in Gdi1-null mice. Surprisingly, the delayed ablation of Gdi1 worsens the pre-synaptic phenotype at cortico-amygdala synaptic connections compared to Gdi1-null mice. These results suggest a pivotal role of αGDI via specific RAB GTPases acting specifically in forebrain regions at the pre-synaptic sites involved in memory formation.

  16. Synaptic Correlates of Low-Level Perception in V1.

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    Gerard-Mercier, Florian; Carelli, Pedro V; Pananceau, Marc; Troncoso, Xoana G; Frégnac, Yves

    2016-04-06

    The computational role of primary visual cortex (V1) in low-level perception remains largely debated. A dominant view assumes the prevalence of higher cortical areas and top-down processes in binding information across the visual field. Here, we investigated the role of long-distance intracortical connections in form and motion processing by measuring, with intracellular recordings, their synaptic impact on neurons in area 17 (V1) of the anesthetized cat. By systematically mapping synaptic responses to stimuli presented in the nonspiking surround of V1 receptive fields, we provide the first quantitative characterization of the lateral functional connectivity kernel of V1 neurons. Our results revealed at the population level two structural-functional biases in the synaptic integration and dynamic association properties of V1 neurons. First, subthreshold responses to oriented stimuli flashed in isolation in the nonspiking surround exhibited a geometric organization around the preferred orientation axis mirroring the psychophysical "association field" for collinear contour perception. Second, apparent motion stimuli, for which horizontal and feedforward synaptic inputs summed in-phase, evoked dominantly facilitatory nonlinear interactions, specifically during centripetal collinear activation along the preferred orientation axis, at saccadic-like speeds. This spatiotemporal integration property, which could constitute the neural correlate of a human perceptual bias in speed detection, suggests that local (orientation) and global (motion) information is already linked within V1. We propose the existence of a "dynamic association field" in V1 neurons, whose spatial extent and anisotropy are transiently updated and reshaped as a function of changes in the retinal flow statistics imposed during natural oculomotor exploration. The computational role of primary visual cortex in low-level perception remains debated. The expression of this "pop-out" perception is often assumed

  17. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

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    Dominik Freche

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

  18. Finite post synaptic potentials cause a fast neuronal response

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    Moritz eHelias

    2011-02-01

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

  19. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

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    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

    The equal distribution of synaptic vesicles among synapses along the axon is critical for robust neurotransmission. Wong et al. show that the continuous circulation of synaptic vesicles throughout the axon driven by molecular motors ultimately yields this even distribution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Distal axotomy enhances retrograde presynaptic excitability onto injured pyramidal neurons via trans-synaptic signaling.

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    Nagendran, Tharkika; Larsen, Rylan S; Bigler, Rebecca L; Frost, Shawn B; Philpot, Benjamin D; Nudo, Randolph J; Taylor, Anne Marion

    2017-09-20

    Injury of CNS nerve tracts remodels circuitry through dendritic spine loss and hyper-excitability, thus influencing recovery. Due to the complexity of the CNS, a mechanistic understanding of injury-induced synaptic remodeling remains unclear. Using microfluidic chambers to separate and injure distal axons, we show that axotomy causes retrograde dendritic spine loss at directly injured pyramidal neurons followed by retrograde presynaptic hyper-excitability. These remodeling events require activity at the site of injury, axon-to-soma signaling, and transcription. Similarly, directly injured corticospinal neurons in vivo also exhibit a specific increase in spiking following axon injury. Axotomy-induced hyper-excitability of cultured neurons coincides with elimination of inhibitory inputs onto injured neurons, including those formed onto dendritic spines. Netrin-1 downregulation occurs following axon injury and exogenous netrin-1 applied after injury normalizes spine density, presynaptic excitability, and inhibitory inputs at injured neurons. Our findings show that intrinsic signaling within damaged neurons regulates synaptic remodeling and involves netrin-1 signaling.Spinal cord injury can induce synaptic reorganization and remodeling in the brain. Here the authors study how severed distal axons signal back to the cell body to induce hyperexcitability, loss of inhibition and enhanced presynaptic release through netrin-1.

  1. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

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    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

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    Aile evan Huijstee

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behaviour, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA. This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc and the prefrontal cortex (PFC, with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioural symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodelling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction.

  3. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

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    van Huijstee, Aile N.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behavior, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioral symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodeling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction. PMID:25653591

  4. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

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    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  5. A Combined Optogenetic-Knockdown Strategy Reveals a Major Role of Tomosyn in Mossy Fiber Synaptic Plasticity

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    Yoav Ben-Simon

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmitter release probability (Pr largely determines the dynamic properties of synapses. While much is known about the role of presynaptic proteins in transmitter release, their specific contribution to synaptic plasticity is unclear. One such protein, tomosyn, is believed to reduce Pr by interfering with the SNARE complex formation. Tomosyn is enriched at hippocampal mossy fiber-to-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses (MF-CA3, which characteristically exhibit low Pr, strong synaptic facilitation, and pre-synaptic protein kinase A (PKA-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP. To evaluate tomosyn’s role in MF-CA3 function, we used a combined knockdown (KD-optogenetic strategy whereby presynaptic neurons with reduced tomosyn levels were selectively activated by light. Using this approach in mouse hippocampal slices, we found that facilitation, LTP, and PKA-induced potentiation were significantly impaired at tomosyn-deficient synapses. These findings not only indicate that tomosyn is a key regulator of MF-CA3 plasticity but also highlight the power of a combined KD-optogenetic approach to determine the role of presynaptic proteins.

  6. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Calafate

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology.

  7. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calafate, Sara; Buist, Arjan; Miskiewicz, Katarzyna; Vijayan, Vinoy; Daneels, Guy; de Strooper, Bart; de Wit, Joris; Verstreken, Patrik; Moechars, Diederik

    2015-05-26

    Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. SYNAPTIC DEPRESSION IN DEEP NEURAL NETWORKS FOR SPEECH PROCESSING.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenhao; Li, Hanyu; Yang, Minda; Mesgarani, Nima

    2016-03-01

    A characteristic property of biological neurons is their ability to dynamically change the synaptic efficacy in response to variable input conditions. This mechanism, known as synaptic depression, significantly contributes to the formation of normalized representation of speech features. Synaptic depression also contributes to the robust performance of biological systems. In this paper, we describe how synaptic depression can be modeled and incorporated into deep neural network architectures to improve their generalization ability. We observed that when synaptic depression is added to the hidden layers of a neural network, it reduces the effect of changing background activity in the node activations. In addition, we show that when synaptic depression is included in a deep neural network trained for phoneme classification, the performance of the network improves under noisy conditions not included in the training phase. Our results suggest that more complete neuron models may further reduce the gap between the biological performance and artificial computing, resulting in networks that better generalize to novel signal conditions.

  9. Synaptic and Cellular Organization of Layer 1 of the Developing Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shruti eMuralidhar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We have performed a systematic and quantitative study of the neuronal and synaptic organisation of neocortical layer 1 in the somatosensory cortex in juvenile rats (P13 – P16 using multi-neuron patch-clamp and 3D morphology reconstructions. We used both subjective expert based and objective classification to establish distinct morphological groups. According to expert based subjective classification, the neurons were classified into six morphological types: (1 the dense axon neurogliaform cell (NGC-DA and (2 a sparse axon neurogliaform cell (NGC-SA, (3 the horizontal axon cell (HAC and (4 those with descending axonal colaterals (DAC, (5 the large axon cell (LAC and (6 the small axon cell (SAC. We also used objective supervised and unsupervised analyses that confirmed 4 out of the 6 expert proposed groups, namely, DAC, HAC, LAC and a combined NGC. The cells were also classified into 5 electrophysiological types based on the Petilla convention; classical non-adapting (cNAC, burst non-adapting (bNAC, classical adapting (cAC, classical stuttering (cSTUT and classical irregular spiking (cIR. The most common electrophysiological type was the cNAC type (40% and the most commonly encountered morpho-electrical type of neuron was the NGC-DA - cNAC. Layer 1 cells are connected by GABAergic inhibitory synaptic connections with a 7.9% connection probability, as well gap junctions with 5.2% connection probability. Most synaptic connections were mediated by both GABAA and GABAB receptors (62.6%, as observed from the response characteristics to single pulse and train stimulations. A smaller fraction of synaptic connections were mediated exclusively by GABAA (15.4% or GABAB (21.8% receptors. Based on the morphological reconstructions, we found multi-synapse connections with an average of 9 putative synapses per connection. These putative touches were widely distributed with 39% on somata and 61% on dendrites.

  10. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed throughout the hippocampus, and nicotinic signaling plays an important role in neuronal function. In the context of learning and memory related behaviors associated with hippocampal function, a potentially significant feature of nAChR activity is the impact it has on synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons has long been considered a contributing cellular mechanism of learning and memory. These same kinds of cellular mechanisms are a factor in the development of nicotine addiction. Nicotinic signaling has been demonstrated by in vitro studies to affect synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons via multiple steps, and the signaling has also been shown to evoke synaptic plasticity in vivo. This review focuses on the nAChRs subtypes that contribute to hippocampal synaptic plasticity at the cellular and circuit level. It also considers nicotinic influences over long-term changes in the hippocampus that may contribute to addiction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Soya bean Gα proteins with distinct biochemical properties exhibit differential ability to complement Saccharomyces cerevisiae gpa1 mutant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy Choudhury, Swarup; Wang, Yuqi; Pandey, Sona

    2014-07-01

    Signalling pathways mediated by heterotrimeric G-proteins are common to all eukaryotes. Plants have a limited number of each of the G-protein subunits, with the most elaborate G-protein network discovered so far in soya bean (Glycine max, also known as soybean) which has four Gα, four Gβ and ten Gγ proteins. Biochemical characterization of Gα proteins from plants suggests significant variation in their properties compared with the well-characterized non-plant proteins. Furthermore, the four soya bean Gα (GmGα) proteins exhibit distinct biochemical activities among themselves, but the extent to which such biochemical differences contribute to their in vivo function is also not known. We used the yeast gpa1 mutant which displays constitutive signalling and growth arrest in the pheromone-response pathway as an in vivo model to evaluate the effect of distinct biochemical activities of GmGα proteins. We showed that specific GmGα proteins can be activated during pheromone-dependent receptor-mediated signalling in yeast and they display different strengths towards complementation of yeast gpa1 phenotypes. We also identified amino acids that are responsible for differential complementation abilities of specific Gα proteins. These data establish that specific plant Gα proteins are functional in the receptor-mediated pheromone-response pathway in yeast and that the subtle biochemical differences in their activity are physiologically relevant.

  13. Munc18-1-regulated stage-wise SNARE assembly underlying synaptic exocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Lu; Rebane, Aleksander A; Yang, Guangcan; Xi, Zhiqun; Kang, Yuhao; Gao, Ying; Zhang, Yongli

    2015-12-23

    Synaptic-soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment receptor (SNARE) proteins couple their stage-wise folding/assembly to rapid exocytosis of neurotransmitters in a Munc18-1-dependent manner. The functions of the different assembly stages in exocytosis and the role of Munc18-1 in SNARE assembly are not well understood. Using optical tweezers, we observed four distinct stages of assembly in SNARE N-terminal, middle, C-terminal, and linker domains (or NTD, MD, CTD, and LD, respectively). We found that SNARE layer mutations differentially affect SNARE assembly. Comparison of their effects on SNARE assembly and on exocytosis reveals that NTD and CTD are responsible for vesicle docking and fusion, respectively, whereas MD regulates SNARE assembly and fusion. Munc18-1 initiates SNARE assembly and structures t-SNARE C-terminus independent of syntaxin N-terminal regulatory domain (NRD) and stabilizes the half-zippered SNARE complex dependent upon the NRD. Our observations demonstrate distinct functions of SNARE domains whose assembly is intimately chaperoned by Munc18-1.

  14. 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.

  15. Optogenetic acidification of synaptic vesicles and lysosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rost, Benjamin R; Schneider, Franziska; Grauel, M Katharina; Wozny, Christian; Bentz, Claudia; Blessing, Anja; Rosenmund, Tanja; Jentsch, Thomas J; Schmitz, Dietmar; Hegemann, Peter; Rosenmund, Christian

    2015-12-01

    Acidification is required for the function of many intracellular organelles, but methods to acutely manipulate their intraluminal pH have not been available. Here we present a targeting strategy to selectively express the light-driven proton pump Arch3 on synaptic vesicles. Our new tool, pHoenix, can functionally replace endogenous proton pumps, enabling optogenetic control of vesicular acidification and neurotransmitter accumulation. Under physiological conditions, glutamatergic vesicles are nearly full, as additional vesicle acidification with pHoenix only slightly increased the quantal size. By contrast, we found that incompletely filled vesicles exhibited a lower release probability than full vesicles, suggesting preferential exocytosis of vesicles with high transmitter content. Our subcellular targeting approach can be transferred to other organelles, as demonstrated for a pHoenix variant that allows light-activated acidification of lysosomes.

  16. Neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

    This book summarizes the recent breakthroughs in hardware implementation of neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices. The authors describe how two-terminal solid-state resistive memories can emulate synaptic weights in a neural network. Readers will benefit from state-of-the-art summaries of resistive synaptic devices, from the individual cell characteristics to the large-scale array integration. This book also discusses peripheral neuron circuits design challenges and design strategies. Finally, the authors describe the impact of device non-ideal properties (e.g. noise, variation, yield) and their impact on the learning performance at the system-level, using a device-algorithm co-design methodology. • Provides single-source reference to recent breakthroughs in resistive synaptic devices, not only at individual cell-level, but also at integrated array-level; • Includes detailed discussion of the peripheral circuits and array architecture design of the neuro-crossbar system; • Focuses on...

  17. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

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

  18. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eRial

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processing occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the ‘quad-partite’ synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increase microglia ‘activation’ in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, BDNF affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (SSRIs, electroshock, deep brain stimulation recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication - such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by ATP and adenosine - emerge as promising candidates to re-normalize synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future pharmacological tools to manage depression.

  19. Localization of Presynaptic Plasticity Mechanisms Enables Functional Independence of Synaptic and Ectopic Transmission in the Cerebellum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine L. Dobson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the cerebellar molecular layer parallel fibre terminals release glutamate from both the active zone and from extrasynaptic “ectopic” sites. Ectopic release mediates transmission to the Bergmann glia that ensheathe the synapse, activating Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors and glutamate transporters. Parallel fibre terminals exhibit several forms of presynaptic plasticity, including cAMP-dependent long-term potentiation and endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression, but it is not known whether these presynaptic forms of long-term plasticity also influence ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. Stimulation of parallel fibre inputs at 16 Hz evoked LTP of synaptic transmission, but LTD of ectopic transmission. Pharmacological activation of adenylyl cyclase by forskolin caused LTP at Purkinje neurons, but only transient potentiation at Bergmann glia, reinforcing the concept that ectopic sites lack the capacity to express sustained cAMP-dependent potentiation. Activation of mGluR1 caused depression of synaptic transmission via retrograde endocannabinoid signalling but had no significant effect at ectopic sites. In contrast, activation of NMDA receptors suppressed both synaptic and ectopic transmission. The results suggest that the signalling mechanisms for presynaptic LTP and retrograde depression by endocannabinoids are restricted to the active zone at parallel fibre synapses, allowing independent modulation of synaptic transmission to Purkinje neurons and ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia.

  20. Synaptic organization and division of labor in the exceptionally polymorphic ant Pheidole rhea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Darcy G; Traniello, James F A

    2018-05-29

    Social insect polyphenisms provide models to examine the neural basis of division of labor and anatomy of the invertebrate social brain. Worker size-related behavior is hypothesized to enhance task performance, raising questions concerning the integration of morphology, behavior, and cellular neuroarchitecture, and how variation in sensory inputs and cognitive demands of behaviorally differentiated workers is reflected in higher-order processing ability. We used the highly polymorphic ant Pheidole rhea, which has three distinct worker size classes - minors, soldiers, and supersoldiers - to examine variation in synaptic circuitry across worker size and social role. We hypothesized that the density and size of synaptic complexes (microglomeruli, MG) would be positively associated with behavioral repertoire and the relative size of the mushroom bodies (MB). Supersoldiers had significantly larger and less dense MG in the lip (olfactory region) of the MB calyx (MBC), and larger MG in the collar (visual region) compared to minors. Soldiers were intermediate in synaptic phenotype: they did not differ significantly in MG density from minors and supersoldiers, had MG of similar size to minors in the lip, and did not differ from these two worker groups in MG size in the collar. Results suggest a complex relationship between MG density, size, behavior, and worker body size involving a conserved and plastic neurobiological development plan, although workers show strong variation in size and social role. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Synchronization of map-based neurons with memory and synaptic delay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sausedo-Solorio, J.M. [Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Carretera Pachuca-Tulancingo Km. 4.5, 42074 Pachuca, Hidalgo (Mexico); Pisarchik, A.N., E-mail: apisarch@cio.mx [Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, Loma del Bosque 115, Lomas del Campestre, 37150 Leon, Guanajuato (Mexico); Centre for Biomedical Technology, Technical University of Madrid, Campus Montegancedo, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcon, Madrid (Spain)

    2014-06-13

    Synchronization of two synaptically coupled neurons with memory and synaptic delay is studied using the Rulkov map, one of the simplest neuron models which displays specific features inherent to bursting dynamics. We demonstrate a transition from lag to anticipated synchronization as the relationship between the memory duration and the synaptic delay time changes. The neuron maps synchronize either with anticipation, if the memory is longer than the synaptic delay time, or with lag otherwise. The mean anticipation time is equal to the difference between the memory and synaptic delay independently of the coupling strength. Frequency entrainment and phase-locking phenomena as well as a transition from regular spikes to chaos are demonstrated with respect to the coupling strength. - Highlights: • We study synchronization of neurons with memory and synaptic delay in the map model. • Neurons synchronize either with anticipation or with lag depending on delay time. • Mean anticipation time is equal to the difference between memory and synaptic delay. • Frequency entrainment and phase locking are studied with respect to the coupling.

  3. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clarrisa A Bradley

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. A chemical-genetic strategy reveals distinct temporal requirements for SAD-1 kinase in neuronal polarization and synapse formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shokat Kevan M

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurons assemble into a functional network through a sequence of developmental processes including neuronal polarization and synapse formation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the serine/threonine SAD-1 kinase is essential for proper neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. To determine if SAD-1 activity regulates the establishment or maintenance of these neuronal structures, we examined its temporal requirements using a chemical-genetic method that allows for selective and reversible inactivation of its kinase activity in vivo. Results We generated a PP1 analog-sensitive variant of SAD-1. Through temporal inhibition of SAD-1 kinase activity we show that its activity is required for the establishment of both neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. However, while SAD-1 activity is needed strictly when neurons are polarizing, the temporal requirement for SAD-1 is less stringent in synaptic organization, which can also be re-established during maintenance. Conclusion This study reports the first temporal analysis of a neural kinase activity using the chemical-genetic system. It reveals that neuronal polarity and synaptic organization have distinct temporal requirements for SAD-1.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustinaite, Sigita; Heggelund, Paul

    2018-05-24

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-11-01

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

  9. Impairment of Release Site Clearance within the Active Zone by Reduced SCAMP5 Expression Causes Short-Term Depression of Synaptic Release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daehun Park

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Despite being a highly enriched synaptic vesicle (SV protein and a candidate gene for autism, the physiological function of SCAMP5 remains mostly enigmatic. Here, using optical imaging and electrophysiological experiments, we demonstrate that SCAMP5 plays a critical role in release site clearance at the active zone. Truncation analysis revealed that the 2/3 loop domain of SCAMP5 directly interacts with adaptor protein 2, and this interaction is critical for its role in release site clearance. Knockdown (KD of SCAMP5 exhibited pronounced synaptic depression accompanied by a slower recovery of the SV pool. Moreover, it induced a strong frequency-dependent short-term depression of synaptic release, even under the condition of sufficient release-ready SVs. Super-resolution microscopy further proved the defects in SV protein clearance induced by KD. Thus, reduced expression of SCAMP5 may impair the efficiency of SV clearance at the active zone, and this might relate to the synaptic dysfunction observed in autism. : Park et al. show that SCAMP5 plays an important role in release site clearance during intense neuronal activity. Loss of SCAMP5 results in a traffic jam at release sites, causing aberrant short-term synaptic depression that might be associated with the synaptic dysfunction observed in autism. Keywords: secretory carrier membrane protein, SCAMP5, autism spectrum disorder, adaptor protein 2, release site clearance, presynaptic active zone, short-term depression, endocytosis, super-resolution microscopy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Synaptic conditions for auto-associative memory storage and pattern completion in Jensen et al.'s model of hippocampal area CA3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheu, Eng Yeow; Yu, Jiali; Tan, Chin Hiong; Tang, Huajin

    2012-12-01

    Jensen et al. (Learn Memory 3(2-3):243-256, 1996b) proposed an auto-associative memory model using an integrated short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) spiking neural network. Their model requires that distinct pyramidal cells encoding different STM patterns are fired in different high-frequency gamma subcycles within each low-frequency theta oscillation. Auto-associative LTM is formed by modifying the recurrent synaptic efficacy between pyramidal cells. In order to store auto-associative LTM correctly, the recurrent synaptic efficacy must be bounded. The synaptic efficacy must be upper bounded to prevent re-firing of pyramidal cells in subsequent gamma subcycles. If cells encoding one memory item were to re-fire synchronously with other cells encoding another item in subsequent gamma subcycle, LTM stored via modifiable recurrent synapses would be corrupted. The synaptic efficacy must also be lower bounded so that memory pattern completion can be performed correctly. This paper uses the original model by Jensen et al. as the basis to illustrate the following points. Firstly, the importance of coordinated long-term memory (LTM) synaptic modification. Secondly, the use of a generic mathematical formulation (spiking response model) that can theoretically extend the results to other spiking network utilizing threshold-fire spiking neuron model. Thirdly, the interaction of long-term and short-term memory networks that possibly explains the asymmetric distribution of spike density in theta cycle through the merger of STM patterns with interaction of LTM network.

  12. Spaceflight-induced synaptic modifications within hair cells of the mammalian utricle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultemeier, David R; Choy, Kristel R; Schweizer, Felix E; Hoffman, Larry F

    2017-06-01

    Exposure to the microgravity conditions of spaceflight alleviates the load normally imposed by the Earth's gravitational field on the inner ear utricular epithelia. Previous ultrastructural investigations have shown that spaceflight induces an increase in synapse density within hair cells of the rat utricle. However, the utricle exhibits broad physiological heterogeneity across different epithelial regions, and it is unknown whether capabilities for synaptic plasticity generalize to hair cells across its topography. To achieve systematic and broader sampling of the epithelium than was previously conducted, we used immunohistochemistry and volumetric image analyses to quantify synapse distributions across representative utricular regions in specimens from mice exposed to spaceflight (a 15-day mission of the space shuttle Discovery). These measures were compared with similarly sampled Earth-bound controls. Following paraformaldehyde fixation and microdissection, immunohistochemistry was performed on intact specimens to label presynaptic ribbons (anti-CtBP2) and postsynaptic receptor complexes (anti-Shank1A). Synapses were identified as closely apposed pre- and postsynaptic puncta. Epithelia from horizontal semicircular canal cristae served as "within-specimen" controls, whereas utricles and cristae from Earth-bound cohorts served as experimental controls. We found that synapse densities decreased in the medial extrastriolae of microgravity specimens compared with experimental controls, whereas they were unchanged in the striolae and horizontal cristae from the two conditions. These data demonstrate that structural plasticity was topographically localized to the utricular region that encodes very low frequency and static changes in linear acceleration, and illuminates the remarkable capabilities of utricular hair cells for synaptic plasticity in adapting to novel gravitational environments. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Spaceflight imposes a radically different sensory environment

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C; Martins, Ana Raquel O

    2011-09-01

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

  14. Dbo/Henji Modulates Synaptic dPAK to Gate Glutamate Receptor Abundance and Postsynaptic Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Manyu; Chen, Pei-Yi; Wang, Chien-Hsiang; Lai, Tzu-Ting; Tsai, Pei-I; Cheng, Ying-Ju; Kao, Hsiu-Hua; Chien, Cheng-Ting

    2016-10-01

    In response to environmental and physiological changes, the synapse manifests plasticity while simultaneously maintains homeostasis. Here, we analyzed mutant synapses of henji, also known as dbo, at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). In henji mutants, NMJ growth is defective with appearance of satellite boutons. Transmission electron microscopy analysis indicates that the synaptic membrane region is expanded. The postsynaptic density (PSD) houses glutamate receptors GluRIIA and GluRIIB, which have distinct transmission properties. In henji mutants, GluRIIA abundance is upregulated but that of GluRIIB is not. Electrophysiological results also support a GluR compositional shift towards a higher IIA/IIB ratio at henji NMJs. Strikingly, dPAK, a positive regulator for GluRIIA synaptic localization, accumulates at the henji PSD. Reducing the dpak gene dosage suppresses satellite boutons and GluRIIA accumulation at henji NMJs. In addition, dPAK associated with Henji through the Kelch repeats which is the domain essential for Henji localization and function at postsynapses. We propose that Henji acts at postsynapses to restrict both presynaptic bouton growth and postsynaptic GluRIIA abundance by modulating dPAK.

  15. Two Classes of Secreted Synaptic Organizers in the Central Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2018-02-10

    Research in the last two decades has identified many synaptic organizers in the central nervous system that directly regulate the assembly of pre- and/or postsynaptic molecules, such as synaptic vesicles, active zone proteins, and neurotransmitter receptors. They are classified into secreted factors and cell adhesion molecules, such as neurexins and neuroligins. Certain secreted factors are termed extracellular scaffolding proteins (ESPs) because they are components of the synaptic extracellular matrix and serve as a scaffold at the synaptic cleft. These include Lgi1, Cbln1, neuronal pentraxins, Hevin, thrombospondins, and glypicans. Diffusible secreted factors, such as Wnts, fibroblast growth factors, and semaphorins, tend to act from a distance. In contrast, ESPs remain at the synaptic cleft and often help synaptic adhesion and/or accumulation of postsynaptic receptors. Many fundamental questions remain about when, how, and why various synaptic organizers establish and modify the vast numbers of connections during development and throughout life.

  16. Electric Dipole Theory of Chemical Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ling Y.

    1968-01-01

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

  17. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-01

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  18. Astroglial metabolic networks sustain hippocampal synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-05

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Distinct molecular components for thalamic- and cortical-dependent plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirante, Osvaldo; Brandalise, Federico; Bohacek, Johannes; Mansuy, Isabelle M

    2014-01-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term depression (LTD) in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) is a form of synaptic plasticity thought to be a cellular substrate for the extinction of fear memory. The LA receives converging inputs from the sensory thalamus and neocortex that are weakened following fear extinction. Combining field and patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings in mice, we show that paired-pulse low-frequency stimulation can induce a robust LTD at thalamic and cortical inputs to LA, and we identify different underlying molecular components at these pathways. We show that while LTD depends on NMDARs and activation of the protein phosphatases PP2B and PP1 at both pathways, it requires NR2B-containing NMDARs at the thalamic pathway, but NR2C/D-containing NMDARs at the cortical pathway. LTD appears to be induced post-synaptically at the thalamic input but presynaptically at the cortical input, since post-synaptic calcium chelation and NMDAR blockade prevent thalamic but not cortical LTD. These results highlight distinct molecular features of LTD in LA that may be relevant for traumatic memory and its erasure, and for pathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  1. Phosphodiesterase Inhibition to Target the Synaptic Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bales, Kelly R.; Plath, Niels; Svenstrup, Niels; Menniti, Frank S.

    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a disease of synaptic dysfunction that ultimately proceeds to neuronal death. There is a wealth of evidence that indicates the final common mediator of this neurotoxic process is the formation and actions on synaptotoxic b-amyloid (Aβ). The premise in this review is that synaptic dysfunction may also be an initiating factor in for AD and promote synaptotoxic Aβ formation. This latter hypothesis is consistent with the fact that the most common risk factors for AD, apolipoprotein E (ApoE) allele status, age, education, and fitness, encompass suboptimal synaptic function. Thus, the synaptic dysfunction in AD may be both cause and effect, and remediating synaptic dysfunction in AD may have acute effects on the symptoms present at the initiation of therapy and also slow disease progression. The cyclic nucleotide (cAMP and cGMP) signaling systems are intimately involved in the regulation of synaptic homeostasis. The phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are a superfamily of enzymes that critically regulate spatial and temporal aspects of cyclic nucleotide signaling through metabolic inactivation of cAMP and cGMP. Thus, targeting the PDEs to promote improved synaptic function, or 'synaptic resilience', may be an effective and facile approach to new symptomatic and disease modifying therapies for AD. There continues to be a significant drug discovery effort aimed at discovering PDE inhibitors to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we review the current status of those efforts as they relate to potential new therapies for AD.

  2. Myopic (HD-PTP, PTPN23) selectively regulates synaptic neuropeptide release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Dinara; Jha, Anupma; Deitcher, David L; Levitan, Edwin S

    2018-02-13

    Neurotransmission is mediated by synaptic exocytosis of neuropeptide-containing dense-core vesicles (DCVs) and small-molecule transmitter-containing small synaptic vesicles (SSVs). Exocytosis of both vesicle types depends on Ca 2+ and shared secretory proteins. Here, we show that increasing or decreasing expression of Myopic (mop, HD-PTP, PTPN23), a Bro1 domain-containing pseudophosphatase implicated in neuronal development and neuropeptide gene expression, increases synaptic neuropeptide stores at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). This occurs without altering DCV content or transport, but synaptic DCV number and age are increased. The effect on synaptic neuropeptide stores is accounted for by inhibition of activity-induced Ca 2+ -dependent neuropeptide release. cAMP-evoked Ca 2+ -independent synaptic neuropeptide release also requires optimal Myopic expression, showing that Myopic affects the DCV secretory machinery shared by cAMP and Ca 2+ pathways. Presynaptic Myopic is abundant at early endosomes, but interaction with the endosomal sorting complex required for transport III (ESCRT III) protein (CHMP4/Shrub) that mediates Myopic's effect on neuron pruning is not required for control of neuropeptide release. Remarkably, in contrast to the effect on DCVs, Myopic does not affect release from SSVs. Therefore, Myopic selectively regulates synaptic DCV exocytosis that mediates peptidergic transmission at the NMJ.

  3. Paralogs hnRNP L and hnRNP LL exhibit overlapping but distinct RNA binding constraints.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Smith

    Full Text Available HnRNP (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein proteins are a large family of RNA-binding proteins that regulate numerous aspects of RNA processing. Interestingly, several paralogous pairs of hnRNPs exist that exhibit similar RNA-binding specificity to one another, yet have non-redundant functional targets in vivo. In this study we systematically investigate the possibility that the paralogs hnRNP L and hnRNP LL have distinct RNA binding determinants that may underlie their lack of functional redundancy. Using a combination of RNAcompete and native gel analysis we find that while both hnRNP L and hnRNP LL preferentially bind sequences that contain repeated CA dinucleotides, these proteins differ in their requirement for the spacing of the CAs. Specifically, hnRNP LL has a more stringent requirement for a two nucleotide space between CA repeats than does hnRNP L, resulting in hnRNP L binding more promiscuously than does hnRNP LL. Importantly, this differential requirement for the spacing of CA dinucleotides explains the previously observed differences in the sensitivity of hnRNP L and LL to mutations within the CD45 gene. We suggest that overlapping but divergent RNA-binding preferences, as we show here for hnRNP L and hnRNP LL, may be commonplace among other hnRNP paralogs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiano Baroni

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Statistical mechanics of attractor neural network models with synaptic depression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Igarashi, Yasuhiko; Oizumi, Masafumi; Otsubo, Yosuke; Nagata, Kenji; Okada, Masato

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic depression is known to control gain for presynaptic inputs. Since cortical neurons receive thousands of presynaptic inputs, and their outputs are fed into thousands of other neurons, the synaptic depression should influence macroscopic properties of neural networks. We employ simple neural network models to explore the macroscopic effects of synaptic depression. Systems with the synaptic depression cannot be analyzed due to asymmetry of connections with the conventional equilibrium statistical-mechanical approach. Thus, we first propose a microscopic dynamical mean field theory. Next, we derive macroscopic steady state equations and discuss the stabilities of steady states for various types of neural network models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Barbara; Minichiello, Liliana

    2013-10-18

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eZonta

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rancillac, Armelle; Crépel, Francis

    2004-02-01

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

  12. Distinct patterns of outcome valuation and amygdala-prefrontal cortex synaptic remodeling in adolescence and adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eStolyarova

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Adolescent behavior is typified by increased risk-taking, reward- and novelty-seeking, as well as an augmented need for social and environmental stimulation. This behavioral phenotype may result from alterations in outcome valuation or reward learning. In the present set of experiments, we directly compared adult and adolescent animals on tasks measuring both of these processes. Additionally, we examined developmental differences in dopamine D1-like receptor (D1R, dopamine D2-like receptor (D2R, and polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM expression in animals that were trained on an effortful reward valuation task, given that these proteins play an important role in the functional development of the amygdala-prefrontocortical (PFC circuit and mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. We found that adolescent animals were not different from adults in appetitive associative learning, but exhibited distinct pattern of responses to differences in outcome values, which was paralleled by an enhanced motivation to invest effort to obtain larger rewards. There were no differences in D2 receptor expression, but D1 receptor expression was significantly reduced in the striatum of animals that had experiences with reward learning during adolescence compared to animals that went through the same experiences in adulthood. We observed increased levels of PSA-NCAM expression in both PFC and amygdala of late adolescents compared to adults that were previously trained on an effortful reward valuation task. PSA-NCAM levels in PFC were strongly and positively associated with high effort/reward choices in adolescents, but not in adult animals. Increased levels of PSA-NCAM expression in adolescents may index increased structural plasticity and represent a neural correlate of a reward sensitive endophenotype.

  13. Distinct Hippocampal Pathways Mediate Dissociable Roles of Context in Memory Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chun; Krabbe, Sabine; Gründemann, Jan; Botta, Paolo; Fadok, Jonathan P; Osakada, Fumitaka; Saur, Dieter; Grewe, Benjamin F; Schnitzer, Mark J; Callaway, Edward M; Lüthi, Andreas

    2016-11-03

    Memories about sensory experiences are tightly linked to the context in which they were formed. Memory contextualization is fundamental for the selection of appropriate behavioral reactions needed for survival, yet the underlying neuronal circuits are poorly understood. By combining trans-synaptic viral tracing and optogenetic manipulation, we found that the ventral hippocampus (vHC) and the amygdala, two key brain structures encoding context and emotional experiences, interact via multiple parallel pathways. A projection from the vHC to the basal amygdala mediates fear behavior elicited by a conditioned context, whereas a parallel projection from a distinct subset of vHC neurons onto midbrain-projecting neurons in the central amygdala is necessary for context-dependent retrieval of cued fear memories. Our findings demonstrate that two fundamentally distinct roles of context in fear memory retrieval are processed by distinct vHC output pathways, thereby allowing for the formation of robust contextual fear memories while preserving context-dependent behavioral flexibility. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Mechanism for Selective Synaptic Wiring of Rod Photoreceptors into the Retinal Circuitry and Its Role in Vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yan; Sarria, Ignacio; Fehlhaber, Katherine E; Kamasawa, Naomi; Orlandi, Cesare; James, Kiely N; Hazen, Jennifer L; Gardner, Matthew R; Farzan, Michael; Lee, Amy; Baker, Sheila; Baldwin, Kristin; Sampath, Alapakkam P; Martemyanov, Kirill A

    2015-09-23

    In the retina, rod and cone photoreceptors form distinct connections with different classes of downstream bipolar cells. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for their selective connectivity are unknown. Here we identify a cell-adhesion protein, ELFN1, to be essential for the formation of synapses between rods and rod ON-bipolar cells in the primary rod pathway. ELFN1 is expressed selectively in rods where it is targeted to the axonal terminals by the synaptic release machinery. At the synapse, ELFN1 binds in trans to mGluR6, the postsynaptic receptor on rod ON-bipolar cells. Elimination of ELFN1 in mice prevents the formation of synaptic contacts involving rods, but not cones, allowing a dissection of the contributions of primary and secondary rod pathways to retinal circuit function and vision. We conclude that ELFN1 is necessary for the selective wiring of rods into the primary rod pathway and is required for high sensitivity of vision. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. L-Type Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channels Regulate Synaptic-Activity-Triggered Recycling Endosome Fusion in Neuronal Dendrites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian G. Hiester

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The repertoire and abundance of proteins displayed on the surface of neuronal dendrites are tuned by regulated fusion of recycling endosomes (REs with the dendritic plasma membrane. While this process is critical for neuronal function and plasticity, how synaptic activity drives RE fusion remains unexplored. We demonstrate a multistep fusion mechanism that requires Ca2+ from distinct sources. NMDA receptor Ca2+ initiates RE fusion with the plasma membrane, while L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (L-VGCCs regulate whether fused REs collapse into the membrane or reform without transferring their cargo to the cell surface. Accordingly, NMDA receptor activation triggered AMPA-type glutamate receptor trafficking to the dendritic surface in an L-VGCC-dependent manner. Conversely, potentiating L-VGCCs enhanced AMPA receptor surface expression only when NMDA receptors were also active. Thus L-VGCCs play a role in tuning activity-triggered surface expression of key synaptic proteins by gating the mode of RE fusion.

  16. Decreased astrocytic thrombospondin-1 secretion after chronic ammonia treatment reduces the level of synaptic proteins: in vitro and in vivo studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, Arumugam R; Tong, Xiao Y; Curtis, Kevin M; Ruiz-Cordero, Roberto; Shamaladevi, Nagarajarao; Abuzamel, Missa; Johnstone, Joshua; Gaidosh, Gabriel; Rama Rao, Kakulavarapu V; Norenberg, Michael D

    2014-11-01

    Chronic hepatic encephalopathy (CHE) is a major complication in patients with severe liver disease. Elevated blood and brain ammonia levels have been implicated in its pathogenesis, and astrocytes are the principal neural cells involved in this disorder. Since defective synthesis and release of astrocytic factors have been shown to impair synaptic integrity in other neurological conditions, we examined whether thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), an astrocytic factor involved in the maintenance of synaptic integrity, is also altered in CHE. Cultured astrocytes were exposed to ammonia (NH₄Cl, 0.5-2.5 mM) for 1-10 days, and TSP-1 content was measured in cell extracts and culture media. Astrocytes exposed to ammonia exhibited a reduction in intra- and extracellular TSP-1 levels. Exposure of cultured neurons to conditioned media from ammonia-treated astrocytes showed a decrease in synaptophysin, PSD95, and synaptotagmin levels. Conditioned media from TSP-1 over-expressing astrocytes that were treated with ammonia, when added to cultured neurons, reversed the decline in synaptic proteins. Recombinant TSP-1 similarly reversed the decrease in synaptic proteins. Metformin, an agent known to increase TSP-1 synthesis in other cell types, also reversed the ammonia-induced TSP-1 reduction. Likewise, we found a significant decline in TSP-1 level in cortical astrocytes, as well as a reduction in synaptophysin content in vivo in a rat model of CHE. These findings suggest that TSP-1 may represent an important therapeutic target for CHE. Defective release of astrocytic factors may impair synaptic integrity in chronic hepatic encephalopathy. We found a reduction in the release of the astrocytic matricellular proteins thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) in ammonia-treated astrocytes; such reduction was associated with a decrease in synaptic proteins caused by conditioned media from ammonia-treated astrocytes. Exposure of neurons to CM from ammonia-treated astrocytes, in which TSP-1 is over

  17. βCaMKII plays a nonenzymatic role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning by targeting αCaMKII to synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgesius, Nils Z; van Woerden, Geeske M; Buitendijk, Gabrielle H S; Keijzer, Nanda; Jaarsma, Dick; Hoogenraad, Casper C; Elgersma, Ype

    2011-07-13

    The calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase type II (CaMKII) holoenzyme of the forebrain predominantly consists of heteromeric complexes of the αCaMKII and βCaMKII isoforms. Yet, in contrast to αCaMKII, the role of βCaMKII in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning has not been investigated. Here, we compare two targeted Camk2b mouse mutants to study the role of βCaMKII in hippocampal function. Using a Camk2b(-/-) mutant, in which βCaMKII is absent, we show that both hippocampal-dependent learning and Schaffer collateral-CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) are highly dependent upon the presence of βCaMKII. We further show that βCaMKII is required for proper targeting of αCaMKII to the synapse, indicating that βCaMKII regulates the distribution of αCaMKII between the synaptic pool and the adjacent dendritic shaft. In contrast, localization of αCaMKII, hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning were unaffected in the Camk2b(A303R) mutant, in which the calcium/calmodulin-dependent activation of βCaMKII is prevented, while the F-actin binding and bundling property is preserved. This indicates that the calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase activity of βCaMKII is fully dispensable for hippocampal learning, LTP, and targeting of αCaMKII, but implies a critical role for the F-actin binding and bundling properties of βCaMKII in synaptic function. Together, our data provide compelling support for a model of CaMKII function in which αCaMKII and βCaMKII act in concert, but with distinct functions, to regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning.

  18. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory: New Insights from Hippocampal Left-Right Asymmetries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Gaby, Mohamady; Shipton, Olivia A; Paulsen, Ole

    2015-10-01

    All synapses are not the same. They differ in their morphology, molecular constituents, and malleability. A striking left-right asymmetry in the distribution of different types of synapse was recently uncovered at the CA3-CA1 projection in the mouse hippocampus, whereby afferents from the CA3 in the left hemisphere innervate small, highly plastic synapses on the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons, whereas those originating from the right CA3 target larger, more stable synapses. Activity-dependent modification of these synapses is thought to participate in circuit formation and remodeling during development, and further plastic changes may support memory encoding in adulthood. Therefore, exploiting the CA3-CA1 asymmetry provides a promising opportunity to investigate the roles that different types of synapse play in these fundamental properties of the CNS. Here we describe the discovery of these segregated synaptic populations in the mouse hippocampus, and discuss what we have already learnt about synaptic plasticity from this asymmetric arrangement. We then propose models for how the asymmetry could be generated during development, and how the adult hippocampus might use these distinct populations of synapses differentially during learning and memory. Finally, we outline the potential implications of this left-right asymmetry for human hippocampal function, as well as dysfunction in memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. © The Author(s) 2014.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Compliance-Free, Digital SET and Analog RESET Synaptic Characteristics of Sub-Tantalum Oxide Based Neuromorphic Device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Yawar; Jeon, Yu-Rim; Sokolov, Andrey Sergeevich; Kim, Sohyeon; Ku, Boncheol; Choi, Changhwan

    2018-01-19

    A two terminal semiconducting device like a memristor is indispensable to emulate the function of synapse in the working memory. The analog switching characteristics of memristor play a vital role in the emulation of biological synapses. The application of consecutive voltage sweeps or pulses (action potentials) changes the conductivity of the memristor which is considered as the fundamental cause of the synaptic plasticity. In this study, a neuromorphic device using an in-situ growth of sub-tantalum oxide switching layer is fabricated, which exhibits the digital SET and analog RESET switching with an electroforming process without any compliance current (compliance free). The process of electroforming and SET is observed at the positive sweeps of +2.4 V and +0.86 V, respectively, while multilevel RESET is observed with the consecutive negative sweeps in the range of 0 V to -1.2 V. The movement of oxygen vacancies and gradual change in the anatomy of the filament is attributed to digital SET and analog RESET switching characteristics. For the Ti/Ta 2 O 3-x /Pt neuromorphic device, the Ti top and Pt bottom electrodes are considered as counterparts of the pre-synaptic input terminal and a post-synaptic output terminal, respectively.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-12

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

  2. Fragile X Proteins FMRP and FXR2P Control Synaptic GluA1 Expression and Neuronal Maturation via Distinct Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weixiang Guo

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP and its autosomal paralog FXR2P are selective neuronal RNA-binding proteins, and mice that lack either protein exhibit cognitive deficits. Although double-mutant mice display more severe learning deficits than single mutants, the molecular mechanism behind this remains unknown. In the present study, we discovered that FXR2P (also known as FXR2 is important for neuronal dendritic development. FMRP and FXR2P additively promote the maturation of new neurons by regulating a common target, the AMPA receptor GluA1, but they do so via distinct mechanisms: FXR2P binds and stabilizes GluA1 mRNA and enhances subsequent protein expression, whereas FMRP promotes GluA1 membrane delivery. Our findings unveil important roles for FXR2P and GluA1 in neuronal development, uncover a regulatory mechanism of GluA1, and reveal a functional convergence between fragile X proteins in neuronal development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-09

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

  4. [Involvement of aquaporin-4 in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin; Gao, Jian-Feng

    2017-06-25

    Aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) is the predominant water channel in the central nervous system (CNS) and primarily expressed in astrocytes. Astrocytes have been generally believed to play important roles in regulating synaptic plasticity and information processing. However, the role of AQP-4 in regulating synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, cognitive function is only beginning to be investigated. It is well known that synaptic plasticity is the prime candidate for mediating of learning and memory. Long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) are two forms of synaptic plasticity, and they share some but not all the properties and mechanisms. Hippocampus is a part of limbic system that is particularly important in regulation of learning and memory. This article is to review some research progresses of the function of AQP-4 in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, and propose the possible role of AQP-4 as a new target in the treatment of cognitive dysfunction.

  5. Synaptic excitation in spinal motoneurons alternates with synaptic inhibition and is balanced by outward rectification during rhythmic motor network activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    channels. Intrinsic outward rectification facilitates spiking by focusing synaptic depolarization near threshold for action potentials. By direct recording of synaptic currents, we also show that motoneurons are activated by out-of-phase peaks in excitation and inhibition during network activity, whereas......Regular firing in spinal motoneurons of red-eared turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans, either sex) evoked by steady depolarization at rest is replaced by irregular firing during functional network activity. The transition caused by increased input conductance and synaptic fluctuations in membrane...... potential was suggested to originate from intense concurrent inhibition and excitation. We show that the conductance increase in motoneurons during functional network activity is mainly caused by intrinsic outward rectification near threshold for action potentials by activation of voltage and Ca2+ gated K...

  6. Dbo/Henji Modulates Synaptic dPAK to Gate Glutamate Receptor Abundance and Postsynaptic Response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manyu Wang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In response to environmental and physiological changes, the synapse manifests plasticity while simultaneously maintains homeostasis. Here, we analyzed mutant synapses of henji, also known as dbo, at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ. In henji mutants, NMJ growth is defective with appearance of satellite boutons. Transmission electron microscopy analysis indicates that the synaptic membrane region is expanded. The postsynaptic density (PSD houses glutamate receptors GluRIIA and GluRIIB, which have distinct transmission properties. In henji mutants, GluRIIA abundance is upregulated but that of GluRIIB is not. Electrophysiological results also support a GluR compositional shift towards a higher IIA/IIB ratio at henji NMJs. Strikingly, dPAK, a positive regulator for GluRIIA synaptic localization, accumulates at the henji PSD. Reducing the dpak gene dosage suppresses satellite boutons and GluRIIA accumulation at henji NMJs. In addition, dPAK associated with Henji through the Kelch repeats which is the domain essential for Henji localization and function at postsynapses. We propose that Henji acts at postsynapses to restrict both presynaptic bouton growth and postsynaptic GluRIIA abundance by modulating dPAK.

  7. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available According to the theory of Melioration, organisms in repeated choice settings shift their choice preference in favor of the alternative that provides the highest return. The goal of this paper is to explain how this learning behavior can emerge from microscopic changes in the efficacies of synapses, in the context of two-alternative repeated-choice experiment. I consider a large family of synaptic plasticity rules in which changes in synaptic efficacies are driven by the covariance between reward and neural activity. I construct a general framework that predicts the learning dynamics of any decision-making neural network that implements this synaptic plasticity rule and show that melioration naturally emerges in such networks. Moreover, the resultant learning dynamics follows the Replicator equation which is commonly used to phenomenologically describe changes in behavior in operant conditioning experiments. Several examples demonstrate how the learning rate of the network is affected by its properties and by the specifics of the plasticity rule. These results help bridge the gap between cellular physiology and learning behavior.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Tait Sanchez Quinones

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Shank synaptic scaffold proteins: keys to understanding the pathogenesis of autism and other synaptic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Carlo; Vicidomini, Cinzia; Bigi, Ilaria; Mossa, Adele; Verpelli, Chiara

    2015-12-01

    Shank/ProSAP proteins are essential to synaptic formation, development, and function. Mutations in the family of SHANK genes are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as intellectual disability (ID), and schizophrenia. Thus, the term 'Shankopathies' identifies a number of neuronal diseases caused by alteration of Shank protein expression leading to abnormal synaptic development. With this review we want to summarize the major genetic, molecular, behavior and electrophysiological studies that provide new clues into the function of Shanks and pave the way for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs targeted to treat patients with SHANK mutations and also patients affected by other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Shank/ProSAP proteins are essential to synaptic formation, development, and function. Mutations in the family of SHANK genes are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as intellectual disability (ID), and schizophrenia (SCZ). With this review we want to summarize the major genetic, molecular, behavior and electrophysiological studies that provide new clues into the function of Shanks and pave the way for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs targeted to treat patients with SHANK mutations. © 2015 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-25

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Long-lasting hippocampal synaptic protein loss in a mouse model of posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonie Herrmann

    Full Text Available Despite intensive research efforts, the molecular pathogenesis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD and especially of the hippocampal volume loss found in the majority of patients suffering from this anxiety disease still remains elusive. We demonstrated before that trauma-induced hippocampal shrinkage can also be observed in mice exhibiting a PTSD-like syndrome. Aiming to decipher the molecular correlates of these trans-species posttraumatic hippocampal alterations, we compared the expression levels of a set of neurostructural marker proteins between traumatized and control mice at different time points after their subjection to either an electric footshock or mock treatment which was followed by stressful re-exposure in several experimental groups. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic in vivo study analyzing the long-term neuromolecular sequelae of acute traumatic stress combined with re-exposure. We show here that a PTSD-like syndrome in mice is accompanied by a long-lasting reduction of hippocampal synaptic proteins which interestingly correlates with the strength of the generalized and conditioned fear response but not with the intensity of hyperarousal symptoms. Furthermore, we demonstrate that treatment with the serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI fluoxetine is able to counteract both the PTSD-like syndrome and the posttraumatic synaptic protein loss. Taken together, this study demonstrates for the first time that a loss of hippocampal synaptic proteins is associated with a PTSD-like syndrome in mice. Further studies will have to reveal whether these findings are transferable to PTSD patients.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity serves as a cellular substrate for information storage in the central nervous system. The entorhinal cortex (EC) and hippocampus are interconnected brain areas supporting basic cognitive functions important for the formation and retrieval of declarative memories. Here, we discuss how information flow in the EC–hippocampal loop is organized through circuit design. We highlight recently identified corticohippocampal and intrahippocampal connections and how these long-range and local microcircuits contribute to learning. This review also describes various forms of activity-dependent mechanisms that change the strength of corticohippocampal synaptic transmission. A key point to emerge from these studies is that patterned activity and interaction of coincident inputs gives rise to associational plasticity and long-term regulation of information flow. Finally, we offer insights about how learning-related synaptic plasticity within the corticohippocampal circuit during sensory experiences may enable adaptive behaviors for encoding spatial, episodic, social, and contextual memories. PMID:26525152

  20. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

    important in understanding the transformation of neural activity to motor behavior. Here, we review recent studies on the control of motoneuronal excitability, focusing on synaptic and cellular properties. We first present a background description of motoneurons: their development, anatomical organization......, and membrane properties, both passive and active. We then describe the general anatomical organization of synaptic input to motoneurons, followed by a description of the major transmitter systems that affect motoneuronal excitability, including ligands, receptor distribution, pre- and postsynaptic actions...... and norepinephrine, and neuropeptides, as well as the glutamate and GABA acting at metabotropic receptors, modulate motoneuronal excitability through pre- and postsynaptic actions. Acting principally via second messenger systems, their actions converge on common effectors, e.g., leak K(+) current, cationic inward...

  1. ERK pathway activation bidirectionally affects visual recognition memory and synaptic plasticity in the perirhinal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide eSilingardi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available ERK 1,2 pathway mediates experience-dependent gene transcription in neurons and several studies have identified its pivotal role in experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and in forms of long term memory involving hippocampus, amygdala or striatum. The perirhinal cortex (PRHC plays an essential role in familiarity-based object recognition memory. It is still unknown whether ERK activation in PRHC is necessary for recognition memory consolidation. Most important, it is unknown whether by modulating the gain of the ERK pathway it is possible to bidirectionally affect visual recognition memory and PRHC synaptic plasticity.We have first pharmacologically blocked ERK activation in the PRHC of adult mice and found that this was sufficient to impair long term recognition memory in a familiarity-based task, the Object Recognition Task (ORT. We have then tested performance in the ORT in Ras-GRF1 knock-out (KO mice, which exhibit a reduced activation of ERK by neuronal activity, and in ERK1 KO mice, which have an increased activation of ERK2 and exhibit enhanced striatal plasticity and striatal mediated memory. We found that Ras-GRF1 KO mice have normal short-term memory but display a long term memory deficit; memory reconsolidation is also impaired. On the contrary, ERK1 KO mice exhibit a better performance than WT mice at 72 hour retention interval, suggesting a longer lasting recognition memory. In parallel with behavioural data, LTD was strongly reduced and LTP was significantly smaller in PRHC slices from Ras-GRF1 KO than in WT mice while enhanced LTP and LTD were found in PRHC slices from ERK1 KO mice.

  2. Synaptic vesicle exocytosis in hippocampal synaptosomes correlates directly with total mitochondrial volume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivannikov, Maxim V.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity in many regions of the central nervous system leads to the continuous adjustment of synaptic strength, which is essential for learning and memory. In this study, we show by visualizing synaptic vesicle release in mouse hippocampal synaptosomes that presynaptic mitochondria and specifically, their capacities for ATP production are essential determinants of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and its magnitude. Total internal reflection microscopy of FM1-43 loaded hippocampal synaptosomes showed that inhibition of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation reduces evoked synaptic release. This reduction was accompanied by a substantial drop in synaptosomal ATP levels. However, cytosolic calcium influx was not affected. Structural characterization of stimulated hippocampal synaptosomes revealed that higher total presynaptic mitochondrial volumes were consistently associated with higher levels of exocytosis. Thus, synaptic vesicle release is linked to the presynaptic ability to regenerate ATP, which itself is a utility of mitochondrial density and activity. PMID:22772899

  3. Glial processes at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction match synaptic growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deidre L Brink

    Full Text Available Glia are integral participants in synaptic physiology, remodeling and maturation from blowflies to humans, yet how glial structure is coordinated with synaptic growth is unknown. To investigate the dynamics of glial development at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ, we developed a live imaging system to establish the relationship between glia, neuronal boutons, and the muscle subsynaptic reticulum. Using this system we observed processes from two classes of peripheral glia present at the NMJ. Processes from the subperineurial glia formed a blood-nerve barrier around the axon proximal to the first bouton. Processes from the perineurial glial extended beyond the end of the blood-nerve barrier into the NMJ where they contacted synapses and extended across non-synaptic muscle. Growth of the glial processes was coordinated with NMJ growth and synaptic activity. Increasing synaptic size through elevated temperature or the highwire mutation increased the extent of glial processes at the NMJ and conversely blocking synaptic activity and size decreased the presence and size of glial processes. We found that elevated temperature was required during embryogenesis in order to increase glial expansion at the nmj. Therefore, in our live imaging system, glial processes at the NMJ are likely indirectly regulated by synaptic changes to ensure the coordinated growth of all components of the tripartite larval NMJ.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rune W Berg

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

  5. The brain-tumor related protein podoplanin regulates synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicvaric, Ana; Yang, Jiaye; Krieger, Sigurd; Khan, Deeba; Kim, Eun-Jung; Dominguez-Rodriguez, Manuel; Cabatic, Maureen; Molz, Barbara; Acevedo Aguilar, Juan Pablo; Milicevic, Radoslav; Smani, Tarik; Breuss, Johannes M; Kerjaschki, Dontscho; Pollak, Daniela D; Uhrin, Pavel; Monje, Francisco J

    2016-12-01

    Podoplanin is a cell-surface glycoprotein constitutively expressed in the brain and implicated in human brain tumorigenesis. The intrinsic function of podoplanin in brain neurons remains however uncharacterized. Using an established podoplanin-knockout mouse model and electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral approaches, we investigated the brain neuronal role of podoplanin. Ex-vivo electrophysiology showed that podoplanin deletion impairs dentate gyrus synaptic strengthening. In vivo, podoplanin deletion selectively impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory without affecting amygdala-dependent cued fear conditioning. In vitro, neuronal overexpression of podoplanin promoted synaptic activity and neuritic outgrowth whereas podoplanin-deficient neurons exhibited stunted outgrowth and lower levels of p-Ezrin, TrkA, and CREB in response to nerve growth factor (NGF). Surface Plasmon Resonance data further indicated a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. This work proposes podoplanin as a novel component of the neuronal machinery underlying neuritogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampus-dependent memory functions. The existence of a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and the NGF/TrkA signaling pathway is also for the first time proposed here, thus providing a novel molecular complex as a target for future multidisciplinary studies of the brain function in the physiology and the pathology. Key messages Podoplanin, a protein linked to the promotion of human brain tumors, is required in vivo for proper hippocampus-dependent learning and memory functions. Deletion of podoplanin selectively impairs activity-dependent synaptic strengthening at the neurogenic dentate-gyrus and hampers neuritogenesis and phospho Ezrin, TrkA and CREB protein levels upon NGF stimulation. Surface plasmon resonance data indicates a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. On these grounds, a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and NGF as well

  6. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

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

  7. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Johnson

    Full Text Available Short-term memory in the brain cannot in general be explained the way long-term memory can--as a gradual modification of synaptic weights--since it takes place too quickly. Theories based on some form of cellular bistability, however, do not seem able to account for the fact that noisy neurons can collectively store information in a robust manner. We show how a sufficiently clustered network of simple model neurons can be instantly induced into metastable states capable of retaining information for a short time (a few seconds. The mechanism is robust to different network topologies and kinds of neural model. This could constitute a viable means available to the brain for sensory and/or short-term memory with no need of synaptic learning. Relevant phenomena described by neurobiology and psychology, such as local synchronization of synaptic inputs and power-law statistics of forgetting avalanches, emerge naturally from this mechanism, and we suggest possible experiments to test its viability in more biological settings.

  8. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Samuel; Marro, J; Torres, Joaquín J

    2013-01-01

    Short-term memory in the brain cannot in general be explained the way long-term memory can--as a gradual modification of synaptic weights--since it takes place too quickly. Theories based on some form of cellular bistability, however, do not seem able to account for the fact that noisy neurons can collectively store information in a robust manner. We show how a sufficiently clustered network of simple model neurons can be instantly induced into metastable states capable of retaining information for a short time (a few seconds). The mechanism is robust to different network topologies and kinds of neural model. This could constitute a viable means available to the brain for sensory and/or short-term memory with no need of synaptic learning. Relevant phenomena described by neurobiology and psychology, such as local synchronization of synaptic inputs and power-law statistics of forgetting avalanches, emerge naturally from this mechanism, and we suggest possible experiments to test its viability in more biological settings.

  9. Robust Short-Term Memory without Synaptic Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Samuel; Marro, J.; Torres, Joaquín J.

    2013-01-01

    Short-term memory in the brain cannot in general be explained the way long-term memory can – as a gradual modification of synaptic weights – since it takes place too quickly. Theories based on some form of cellular bistability, however, do not seem able to account for the fact that noisy neurons can collectively store information in a robust manner. We show how a sufficiently clustered network of simple model neurons can be instantly induced into metastable states capable of retaining information for a short time (a few seconds). The mechanism is robust to different network topologies and kinds of neural model. This could constitute a viable means available to the brain for sensory and/or short-term memory with no need of synaptic learning. Relevant phenomena described by neurobiology and psychology, such as local synchronization of synaptic inputs and power-law statistics of forgetting avalanches, emerge naturally from this mechanism, and we suggest possible experiments to test its viability in more biological settings. PMID:23349664

  10. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eHartmann

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that parallel synapses from the same axonal branch onto the same dendritic branch have almost identical strength. It has been proposed that this alignment is only possible through learning rules that integrate activity over long time spans. However, learning mechanisms such as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP are commonly assumed to be temporally local. Here, we propose that the combination of temporally local STDP and a multiplicative synaptic normalization mechanism is sufficient to explain the alignment of parallel synapses.To address this issue, we introduce three increasingly complex models: First, we model the idealized interaction of STDP and synaptic normalization in a single neuron as a simple stochastic process and derive analytically that the alignment effect can be described by a so-called Kesten process. From this we can derive that synaptic efficacy alignment requires potentiation-dominated learning regimes. We verify these conditions in a single-neuron model with independent spiking activities but more realistic synapses. As expected, we only observe synaptic efficacy alignment for long-term potentiation-biased STDP. Finally, we explore how well the findings transfer to recurrent neural networks where the learning mechanisms interact with the correlated activity of the network. We find that due to the self-reinforcing correlations in recurrent circuits under STDP, alignment occurs for both long-term potentiation- and depression-biased STDP, because the learning will be potentiation dominated in both cases due to the potentiating events induced by correlated activity. This is in line with recent results demonstrating a dominance of potentiation over depression during waking and normalization during sleep. This leads us to predict that individual spine pairs will be more similar in the morning than they are after sleep depriviation.In conclusion, we show that synaptic normalization in conjunction with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freed, Michael A

    2017-11-15

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

  13. Strain-dependent variations in spatial learning and in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely behaving rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal synaptic plasticity is believed to comprise the cellular basis for spatial learning. Strain-dependent differences in synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region have been reported. However, it is not known whether these differences extend to other synapses within the trisynaptic circuit, although there is evidence for morphological variations within that path. We investigated whether Wistar and Hooded Lister (HL rat strains express differences in synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in vivo. We also explored whether they exhibit differences in the ability to engage in spatial learning in an 8-arm radial maze. Basal synaptic transmission was stable over a 24h period in both rat strains, and the input-output relationship of both strains was not significantly different. Paired-pulse analysis revealed significantly less paired-pulse facilitation in the Hooded Lister strain when pulses were given 40-100 msec apart. Low frequency stimulation at 1Hz evoked long-term depression (>24h in Wistar and short-term depression (<2h in HL rats; 200Hz stimulation induced long-term potentiation (>24h in Wistar, and a transient, significantly smaller potentiation (<1h in HL rats, suggesting that HL rats have higher thresholds for expression of persistent synaptic plasticity. Training for 10d in an 8-arm radial maze revealed that HL rats master the working memory task faster than Wistar rats, although both strains show an equivalent performance by the end of the trial period. HL rats also perform more efficiently in a double working and reference memory task. On the other hand, Wistar rats show better reference memory performance on the final (8-10 days of training. Wistar rats were less active and more anxious than HL rats.These data suggest that strain-dependent variations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity occur in different hippocampal synapses. A clear correlation with differences in spatial learning is not evident however.

  14. 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

  15. Regulation of synaptic structure by ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Anna E; Djakovic, Stevan N; Salehi, Afshin; Wilson, Scott M; Masliah, Eliezer; Patrick, Gentry N

    2009-06-17

    Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1) is a deubiquitinating enzyme that is selectively and abundantly expressed in the brain, and its activity is required for normal synaptic function. Here, we show that UCH-L1 functions in maintaining normal synaptic structure in hippocampal neurons. We found that UCH-L1 activity is rapidly upregulated by NMDA receptor activation, which leads to an increase in the levels of free monomeric ubiquitin. Conversely, pharmacological inhibition of UCH-L1 significantly reduces monomeric ubiquitin levels and causes dramatic alterations in synaptic protein distribution and spine morphology. Inhibition of UCH-L1 activity increases spine size while decreasing spine density. Furthermore, there is a concomitant increase in the size of presynaptic and postsynaptic protein clusters. Interestingly, however, ectopic expression of ubiquitin restores normal synaptic structure in UCH-L1-inhibited neurons. These findings point to a significant role of UCH-L1 in synaptic remodeling, most likely by modulating free monomeric ubiquitin levels in an activity-dependent manner.

  16. Two-Dimensional Bumps in Piecewise Smooth Neural Fields with Synaptic Depression

    KAUST Repository

    Bressloff, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

    We analyze radially symmetric bumps in a two-dimensional piecewise-smooth neural field model with synaptic depression. The continuum dynamics is described in terms of a nonlocal integrodifferential equation, in which the integral kernel represents the spatial distribution of synaptic weights between populations of neurons whose mean firing rate is taken to be a Heaviside function of local activity. Synaptic depression dynamically reduces the strength of synaptic weights in response to increases in activity. We show that in the case of a Mexican hat weight distribution, sufficiently strong synaptic depression can destabilize a stationary bump solution that would be stable in the absence of depression. Numerically it is found that the resulting instability leads to the formation of a traveling spot. The local stability of a bump is determined by solutions to a system of pseudolinear equations that take into account the sign of perturbations around the circular bump boundary. © 2011 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

  17. Limited distal organelles and synaptic function in extensive monoaminergic innervation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Juan; Bulgari, Dinara; Deitcher, David L; Levitan, Edwin S

    2017-08-01

    Organelles such as neuropeptide-containing dense-core vesicles (DCVs) and mitochondria travel down axons to supply synaptic boutons. DCV distribution among en passant boutons in small axonal arbors is mediated by circulation with bidirectional capture. However, it is not known how organelles are distributed in extensive arbors associated with mammalian dopamine neuron vulnerability, and with volume transmission and neuromodulation by monoamines and neuropeptides. Therefore, we studied presynaptic organelle distribution in Drosophila octopamine neurons that innervate ∼20 muscles with ∼1500 boutons. Unlike in smaller arbors, distal boutons in these arbors contain fewer DCVs and mitochondria, although active zones are present. Absence of vesicle circulation is evident by proximal nascent DCV delivery, limited impact of retrograde transport and older distal DCVs. Traffic studies show that DCV axonal transport and synaptic capture are not scaled for extensive innervation, thus limiting distal delivery. Activity-induced synaptic endocytosis and synaptic neuropeptide release are also reduced distally. We propose that limits in organelle transport and synaptic capture compromise distal synapse maintenance and function in extensive axonal arbors, thereby affecting development, plasticity and vulnerability to neurodegenerative disease. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. Role of DHA in aging-related changes in mouse brain synaptic plasma membrane proteome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Vishaldeep K; Huang, Bill X; Desai, Abhishek; Kevala, Karl; Kim, Hee-Yong

    2016-05-01

    Aging has been related to diminished cognitive function, which could be a result of ineffective synaptic function. We have previously shown that synaptic plasma membrane proteins supporting synaptic integrity and neurotransmission were downregulated in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-deprived brains, suggesting an important role of DHA in synaptic function. In this study, we demonstrate aging-induced synaptic proteome changes and DHA-dependent mitigation of such changes using mass spectrometry-based protein quantitation combined with western blot or messenger RNA analysis. We found significant reduction of 15 synaptic plasma membrane proteins in aging brains including fodrin-α, synaptopodin, postsynaptic density protein 95, synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2B, synaptosomal-associated protein 25, synaptosomal-associated protein-α, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit epsilon-2 precursor, AMPA2, AP2, VGluT1, munc18-1, dynamin-1, vesicle-associated membrane protein 2, rab3A, and EAAT1, most of which are involved in synaptic transmission. Notably, the first 9 proteins were further reduced when brain DHA was depleted by diet, indicating that DHA plays an important role in sustaining these synaptic proteins downregulated during aging. Reduction of 2 of these proteins was reversed by raising the brain DHA level by supplementing aged animals with an omega-3 fatty acid sufficient diet for 2 months. The recognition memory compromised in DHA-depleted animals was also improved. Our results suggest a potential role of DHA in alleviating aging-associated cognitive decline by offsetting the loss of neurotransmission-regulating synaptic proteins involved in synaptic function. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Synaptic pathology in the cerebellar dentate nucleus in chronic multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Monika; Barrantes-Freer, Alonso; Lohrberg, Melanie; Antel, Jack P; Prineas, John W; Palkovits, Miklós; Wolff, Joachim R; Brück, Wolfgang; Stadelmann, Christine

    2017-11-01

    In multiple sclerosis, cerebellar symptoms are associated with clinical impairment and an increased likelihood of progressive course. Cortical atrophy and synaptic dysfunction play a prominent role in cerebellar pathology and although the dentate nucleus is a predilection site for lesion development, structural synaptic changes in this region remain largely unexplored. Moreover, the mechanisms leading to synaptic dysfunction have not yet been investigated at an ultrastructural level in multiple sclerosis. Here, we report on synaptic changes of dentate nuclei in post-mortem cerebella of 16 multiple sclerosis patients and eight controls at the histological level as well as an electron microscopy evaluation of afferent synapses of the cerebellar dentate and pontine nuclei of one multiple sclerosis patient and one control. We found a significant reduction of afferent dentate synapses in multiple sclerosis, irrespective of the presence of demyelination, and a close relationship between glial processes and dentate synapses. Ultrastructurally, we show autophagosomes containing degradation products of synaptic vesicles within dendrites, residual bodies within intact-appearing axons and free postsynaptic densities opposed to astrocytic appendages. Our study demonstrates loss of dentate afferent synapses and provides, for the first time, ultrastructural evidence pointing towards neuron-autonomous and neuroglia-mediated mechanisms of synaptic degradation in chronic multiple sclerosis. © 2016 International Society of Neuropathology.

  20. Sleep and protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity: impacts of sleep loss and stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grønli, Janne; Soulé, Jonathan; Bramham, Clive R.

    2014-01-01

    Sleep has been ascribed a critical role in cognitive functioning. Several lines of evidence implicate sleep in the consolidation of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. Stress disrupts sleep while impairing synaptic plasticity and cognitive performance. Here, we discuss evidence linking sleep to mechanisms of protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity and synaptic scaling. We then consider how disruption of sleep by acute and chronic stress may impair these mechanisms and degrade sleep function. PMID:24478645

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Je H

    2011-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Estrogen's Place in the Family of Synaptic Modulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramár, Enikö A; Chen, Lulu Y; Rex, Christopher S; Gall, Christine M; Lynch, Gary

    2009-01-01

    Estrogen, in addition to its genomic effects, triggers rapid synaptic changes in hippocampus and cortex. Here we summarize evidence that the acute actions of the steroid arise from actin signaling cascades centrally involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). A 10-min infusion of E2 reversibly increased fast EPSPs and promoted theta burst-induced LTP within adult hippocampal slices. The latter effect reflected a lowered threshold and an elevated ceiling for the potentiation effect. E2's actions on transmission and plasticity were completely blocked by latrunculin, a toxin that prevents actin polymerization. E2 also caused a reversible increase in spine concentrations of filamentous (F-) actin and markedly enhanced polymerization caused by theta burst stimulation (TBS). Estrogen activated the small GTPase RhoA, but not the related GTPase Rac, and phosphorylated (inactivated) synaptic cofilin, an actin severing protein targeted by RhoA. An inhibitor of RhoA kinase (ROCK) thoroughly suppressed the synaptic effects of E2. Collectively, these results indicate that E2 engages a RhoA >ROCK> cofilin> actin pathway also used by brain-derived neurotrophic factor and adenosine, and therefore belongs to a family of 'synaptic modulators' that regulate plasticity. Finally, we describe evidence that the acute signaling cascade is critical to the depression of LTP produced by ovariectomy.

  4. The mysterious trace amines: protean neuromodulators of synaptic transmission in mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burchett, Scott A; Hicks, T Philip

    2006-08-01

    The trace amines are a structurally related group of amines and their isomers synthesized in mammalian brain and peripheral nervous tissues. They are closely associated metabolically with the dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin neurotransmitter systems in mammalian brain. Like dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin the trace amines have been implicated in a vast array of human disorders of affect and cognition. The trace amines are unique as they are present in trace concentrations, exhibit high rates of metabolism and are distributed heterogeneously in mammalian brain. While some are synthesized in their parent amine neurotransmitter systems, there is also evidence to suggest other trace amines may comprise their own independent neurotransmitter systems. A substantial body of evidence suggests that the trace amines may play very significant roles in the coordination of biogenic amine-based synaptic physiology. At high concentrations, they have well-characterized presynaptic "amphetamine-like" effects on catecholamine and indolamine release, reuptake and biosynthesis; at lower concentrations, they possess postsynaptic modulatory effects that potentiate the activity of other neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine and serotonin. The trace amines also possess electrophysiological effects that are in opposition to these neurotransmitters, indicating to some researchers the existence of receptors specific for the trace amines. While binding sites or receptors for a few of the trace amines have been advanced, the absence of cloned receptor protein has impeded significant development of their detailed mechanistic roles in the coordination of catecholamine and indolamine synaptic physiology. The recent discovery and characterization of a family of mammalian G protein-coupled receptors responsive to trace amines such as beta-phenylethylamine, tyramine, and octopamine, including socially ingested psychotropic drugs such as amphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, N

  5. Students-exhibits interaction at a science center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botelho, Agostinho; Morais, Ana M.

    2006-12-01

    In this study we investigate students' learning during their interaction with two exhibits at a science center. Specifically, we analyze both students' procedures when interacting with exhibits and their understanding of the scientific concepts presented therein. Bernstein's theory of pedagogic discourse (1990, 2000) provided the sociological foundation to assess the exhibit-student interaction and allowed analysis of the influence of the characteristics of students, exhibits, and interactions on students' learning. Eight students (ages 12ndash;13 years of age) with distinct sociological characteristics participated in the study. Several findings emerged from the results. First, the characteristics of the students, exhibits, and interactions appeared to influence student learning. Second, to most students, what they did interactively (procedures) seems not to have had any direct consequence on what they learned (concept understanding). Third, the data analysis suggest an important role for designers and teachers in overcoming the limitations of exhibit-student interaction.

  6. 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.

  7. Aβ-Induced Synaptic Alterations Require the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Nedd4-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Elizabeth M; Scudder, Samantha L; Goo, Marisa S; Patrick, Gentry N

    2016-02-03

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease in which patients experience progressive cognitive decline. A wealth of evidence suggests that this cognitive impairment results from synaptic dysfunction in affected brain regions caused by cleavage of amyloid precursor protein into the pathogenic peptide amyloid-β (Aβ). Specifically, it has been shown that Aβ decreases surface AMPARs, dendritic spine density, and synaptic strength, and also alters synaptic plasticity. The precise molecular mechanisms by which this occurs remain unclear. Here we demonstrate a role for ubiquitination in Aβ-induced synaptic dysfunction in cultured rat neurons. We find that Aβ promotes the ubiquitination of AMPARs, as well as the redistribution and recruitment of Nedd4-1, a HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase we previously demonstrated to target AMPARs for ubiquitination and degradation. Strikingly, we show that Nedd4-1 is required for Aβ-induced reductions in surface AMPARs, synaptic strength, and dendritic spine density. Our findings, therefore, indicate an important role for Nedd4-1 and ubiquitin in the synaptic alterations induced by Aβ. Synaptic changes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) include surface AMPAR loss, which can weaken synapses. In a cell culture model of AD, we found that AMPAR loss correlates with increased AMPAR ubiquitination. In addition, the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-1, known to ubiquitinate AMPARs, is recruited to synapses in response to Aβ. Strikingly, reducing Nedd4-1 levels in this model prevented surface AMPAR loss and synaptic weakening. These findings suggest that, in AD, Nedd4-1 may ubiquitinate AMPARs to promote their internalization and weaken synaptic strength, similar to what occurs in Nedd4-1's established role in homeostatic synaptic scaling. This is the first demonstration of Aβ-mediated control of a ubiquitin ligase to regulate surface AMPAR expression. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/361590-06$15.00/0.

  8. Synaptic contacts impaired by styrene-7,8-oxide toxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corsi, P.; D'Aprile, A.; Nico, B.; Costa, G.L.; Assennato, G.

    2007-01-01

    Styrene-7,8-oxide (SO), a chemical compound widely used in industrial applications, is a potential hazard for humans, particularly in occupational settings. Neurobehavioral changes are consistently observed in occupationally exposed individuals and alterations of neurotransmitters associated with neuronal loss have been reported in animal models. Although the toxic effects of styrene have been extensively documented, the molecular mechanisms responsible for SO-induced neurotoxicity are still unclear. A possible dopamine-mediated effect of styrene neurotoxicity has been previously demonstrated, since styrene oxide alters dopamine neurotransmission in the brain. Thus, the present study hypothesizes that styrene neurotoxicity may involve synaptic contacts. Primary striatal neurons were exposed to styrene oxide at different concentrations (0.1-1 mM) for different time periods (8, 16, and 24 h) to evaluate the dose able to induce synaptic impairments. The expression of proteins crucial for synaptic transmission such as Synapsin, Synaptophysin, and RAC-1 were considered. The levels of Synaptophysin and RAC-1 decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Accordingly, morphological alterations, observed at the ultrastructural level, primarily involved the pre-synaptic compartment. In SO-exposed cultures, the biochemical cascade of caspases was activated affecting the cytoskeleton components as their target. Thus the impairments in synaptic contacts observed in SO-exposed cultures might reflect a primarily morphological alteration of neuronal cytoskeleton. In addition, our data support the hypothesis developed by previous authors of reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiating events of SO cytotoxicity

  9. Levetiracetam reverses synaptic deficits produced by overexpression of SV2A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Nowack

    Full Text Available Levetiracetam is an FDA-approved drug used to treat epilepsy and other disorders of the nervous system. Although it is known that levetiracetam binds the synaptic vesicle protein SV2A, how drug binding affects synaptic functioning remains unknown. Here we report that levetiracetam reverses the effects of excess SV2A in autaptic hippocampal neurons. Expression of an SV2A-EGFP fusion protein produced a ∼1.5-fold increase in synaptic levels of SV2, and resulted in reduced synaptic release probability. The overexpression phenotype parallels that seen in neurons from SV2 knockout mice, which experience severe seizures. Overexpression of SV2A also increased synaptic levels of the calcium-sensor protein synaptotagmin, an SV2-binding protein whose stability and trafficking are regulated by SV2. Treatment with levetiracetam rescued normal neurotransmission and restored normal levels of SV2 and synaptotagmin at the synapse. These results indicate that changes in SV2 expression in either direction impact neurotransmission, and suggest that levetiracetam may modulate SV2 protein interactions.

  10. Genetic deletion of melanin-concentrating hormone neurons impairs hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent forms of short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Barillier, Léa; Léger, Lucienne; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Fort, Patrice; Malleret, Gaël; Salin, Paul-Antoine

    2015-11-01

    The cognitive role of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons, a neuronal population located in the mammalian postero-lateral hypothalamus sending projections to all cortical areas, remains poorly understood. Mainly activated during paradoxical sleep (PS), MCH neurons have been implicated in sleep regulation. The genetic deletion of the only known MCH receptor in rodent leads to an impairment of hippocampal dependent forms of memory and to an alteration of hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity. By using MCH/ataxin3 mice, a genetic model characterized by a selective deletion of MCH neurons in the adult, we investigated the role of MCH neurons in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent forms of memory. MCH/ataxin3 mice exhibited a deficit in the early part of both long-term potentiation and depression in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. Post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) was diminished while synaptic depression induced by repetitive stimulation was enhanced suggesting an alteration of pre-synaptic forms of short-term plasticity in these mice. Behaviorally, MCH/ataxin3 mice spent more time and showed a higher level of hesitation as compared to their controls in performing a short-term memory T-maze task, displayed retardation in acquiring a reference memory task in a Morris water maze, and showed a habituation deficit in an open field task. Deletion of MCH neurons could thus alter spatial short-term memory by impairing short-term plasticity in the hippocampus. Altogether, these findings could provide a cellular mechanism by which PS may facilitate memory encoding. Via MCH neuron activation, PS could prepare the day's learning by increasing and modulating short-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-08

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

  12. Statistical Modelling of Synaptic Vesicles Distribution and Analysing their Physical Characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh

    transmission electron microscopy is used to acquire images from two experimental groups of rats: 1) rats subjected to a behavioral model of stress and 2) rats subjected to sham stress as the control group. The synaptic vesicle distribution and interactions are modeled by employing a point process approach......This Ph.D. thesis deals with mathematical and statistical modeling of synaptic vesicle distribution, shape, orientation and interactions. The first major part of this thesis treats the problem of determining the effect of stress on synaptic vesicle distribution and interactions. Serial section...... on differences of statistical measures in section and the same measures in between sections. Three-dimensional (3D) datasets are reconstructed by using image registration techniques and estimated thicknesses. We distinguish the effect of stress by estimating the synaptic vesicle densities and modeling...

  13. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity thresholds and changes in exploratory and learning behavior in dominant negative NPR-B mutant rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gleb eBarmashenko

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The second messenger cyclic GMP affects synaptic transmission and modulates synaptic plasticity and certain types of learning and memory processes. The impact of the natriuretic peptide receptor B (NPR-B and its ligand C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP, one of several cGMP producing signalling systems, on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning is, however, less well understood. We have previously shown that the NPR-B ligand CNP increases the magnitude of long-term depression (LTD in hippocampal area CA1, while reducing the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP. We have extended this line of research to show that bidirectional plasticity is affected in the opposite way in rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B (NSE-NPR-BdeltaKC lacking the intracellular guanylyl cyclase domain under control of a promoter for neuron-specific enolase. The brain cells of these transgenic rats express functional dimers of the NPR-B receptor containing the dominant-negative NPR-BdeltaKC mutant, and therefore show decreased CNP-stimulated cGMP-production in brain membranes. The NPR-B transgenic rats display enhanced LTP but reduced LTD in hippocampal slices. When the frequency-dependence of synaptic modification to afferent stimulation in the range of 1-100 Hz was assessed in transgenic rats the threshold for LTP induction was raised, but LTD induction was facilitated. In parallel, NPR-BdeltaKC rats exhibited an enhancement in exploratory and learning behavior. These results indicate that bidirectional plasticity and learning and memory mechanism are affected in transgenic rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B. Our data substantiate the hypothesis that NPR-B-dependent cGMP signalling has a modulatory role for synaptic information storage and learning.

  14. Local establishment of repetitive long-term potentiation-induced synaptic enhancement in cultured hippocampal slices with divided input pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oe, Yuki; Tominaga-Yoshino, Keiko; Ogura, Akihiko

    2011-09-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) in the rodent hippocampus is a popular model for synaptic plasticity, which is considered the cellular basis for brain memory. Because most LTP analysis involves acutely prepared brain slices, however, the longevity of single LTP has not been well documented. Using stable hippocampal slice cultures for long-term examination, we previously found that single LTP disappeared within 1 day. In contrast, repeated induction of LTP led to the development of a distinct type of plasticity that lasted for more than 3 weeks and was accompanied by the formation of new synapses. Naming this novel plastic phenomenon repetitive LTP-induced synaptic enhancement (RISE), we proposed it as a model for the cellular processes involved in long-term memory formation. However, because in those experiments LTP was induced pharmacologically in the whole slice, it is not known whether RISE has input-pathway specificity, an essential property for memory. In this study, we divided the input pathway of CA1 pyramidal neurons by a knife cut and induced LTP three times, the third by tetanic stimulation in one of the divided pathways to express RISE specifically. Voltage-sensitive dye imaging and Golgi-staining performed 2 weeks after the three LTP inductions revealed both enhanced synaptic strength and increased dendritic spine density confined to the tetanized region. These results demonstrate that RISE is a feasible cellular model for long-term memory. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Cyclic-AMP metabolism in synaptic growth, strength and precision: Neural and behavioral phenotype-specific counterbalancing effects between dnc PDE and rut AC mutations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Atsushi; Wu, Chun-Fang

    2012-01-01

    Two classic learning mutants in Drosophila, rutabaga (rut) and dunce (dnc), are defective in cAMP synthesis and degradation, respectively, exhibiting a variety of neuronal and behavioral defects. We ask how the opposing effects of these mutations on cAMP levels modify subsets of phenotypes, and whether any specific phenotypes could be ameliorated by biochemical counter balancing effects in dnc rut double mutants. Our study at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) demonstrate that dnc mutations caused severe defects in nerve terminal morphology, characterized by unusually large synaptic boutons and aberrant innervation patterns. Interestingly, a counterbalancing effect led to rescue of the aberrant innervation patterns but the enlarged boutons in dnc rut double mutant remained as extreme as those in dnc. In contrast to dnc, rut mutations strongly affect synaptic transmission. Focal loose-patch recording data accumulated over 4 years suggest that synaptic currents in rut boutons were characterized by unusually large temporal dispersion and a seasonal variation in the amount of transmitter release, with diminished synaptic currents in summer months. Experiments with different rearing temperatures revealed that high temperature (29–30 °C) decreased synaptic transmission in rut, but did not alter dnc and WT. Importantly, the large temporal dispersion and abnormal temperature dependence of synaptic transmission, characteristic of rut, still persisted in dnc rut double mutants. To interpret these results in a proper perspective, we reviewed previously documented differential effects of dnc and rut mutations and their genetic interactions in double mutants on a variety of physiological and behavioral phenotypes. The cases of rescue in double mutants are associated with gradual developmental and maintenance processes whereas many behavioral and physiological manifestations on faster time scales could not be rescued. We discuss factors that could contribute to the

  16. Hardwiring of fine synaptic layers in the zebrafish visual pathway

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    Taylor Michael R

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuronal connections are often arranged in layers, which are divided into sublaminae harboring synapses with similar response properties. It is still debated how fine-grained synaptic layering is established during development. Here we investigated two stratified areas of the zebrafish visual pathway, the inner plexiform layer (IPL of the retina and the neuropil of the optic tectum, and determined if activity is required for their organization. Results The IPL of 5-day-old zebrafish larvae is composed of at least nine sublaminae, comprising the connections between different types of amacrine, bipolar, and ganglion cells (ACs, BCs, GCs. These sublaminae were distinguished by their expression of cell type-specific transgenic fluorescent reporters and immunohistochemical markers, including protein kinase Cβ (PKC, parvalbumin (Parv, zrf3, and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT. In the tectum, four retinal input layers abut a laminated array of neurites of tectal cells, which differentially express PKC and Parv. We investigated whether these patterns were affected by experimental disruptions of retinal activity in developing fish. Neither elimination of light inputs by dark rearing, nor a D, L-amino-phosphono-butyrate-induced reduction in the retinal response to light onset (but not offset altered IPL or tectal lamination. Moreover, thorough elimination of chemical synaptic transmission with Botulinum toxin B left laminar synaptic arrays intact. Conclusion Our results call into question a role for activity-dependent mechanisms – instructive light signals, balanced on and off BC activity, Hebbian plasticity, or a permissive role for synaptic transmission – in the synaptic stratification we examined. We propose that genetically encoded cues are sufficient to target groups of neurites to synaptic layers in this vertebrate visual system.

  17. Pannexin1 stabilizes synaptic plasticity and is needed for learning.

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    Nora Prochnow

    Full Text Available Pannexin 1 (Panx1 represents a class of vertebrate membrane channels, bearing significant sequence homology with the invertebrate gap junction proteins, the innexins and more distant similarities in the membrane topologies and pharmacological sensitivities with gap junction proteins of the connexin family. In the nervous system, cooperation among pannexin channels, adenosine receptors, and K(ATP channels modulating neuronal excitability via ATP and adenosine has been recognized, but little is known about the significance in vivo. However, the localization of Panx1 at postsynaptic sites in hippocampal neurons and astrocytes in close proximity together with the fundamental role of ATP and adenosine for CNS metabolism and cell signaling underscore the potential relevance of this channel to synaptic plasticity and higher brain functions. Here, we report increased excitability and potently enhanced early and persistent LTP responses in the CA1 region of acute slice preparations from adult Panx1(-/- mice. Adenosine application and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR-blocking normalized this phenotype, suggesting that absence of Panx1 causes chronic extracellular ATP/adenosine depletion, thus facilitating postsynaptic NMDAR activation. Compensatory transcriptional up-regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (grm4 accompanies these adaptive changes. The physiological modification, promoted by loss of Panx1, led to distinct behavioral alterations, enhancing anxiety and impairing object recognition and spatial learning in Panx1(-/- mice. We conclude that ATP release through Panx1 channels plays a critical role in maintaining synaptic strength and plasticity in CA1 neurons of the adult hippocampus. This result provides the rationale for in-depth analysis of Panx1 function and adenosine based therapies in CNS disorders.

  18. A Voltage Mode Memristor Bridge Synaptic Circuit with Memristor Emulators

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    Leon Chua

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available A memristor bridge neural circuit which is able to perform signed synaptic weighting was proposed in our previous study, where the synaptic operation was verified via software simulation of the mathematical model of the HP memristor. This study is an extension of the previous work advancing toward the circuit implementation where the architecture of the memristor bridge synapse is built with memristor emulator circuits. In addition, a simple neural network which performs both synaptic weighting and summation is built by combining memristor emulators-based synapses and differential amplifier circuits. The feasibility of the memristor bridge neural circuit is verified via SPICE simulations.

  19. Network-based characterization of the synaptic proteome reveals that removal of epigenetic regulator Prmt8 restricts proteins associated with synaptic maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Patrick Kia Ming; Goh, Wilson Wen Bin; Sng, Judy Chia Ghee

    2017-02-01

    The brain adapts to dynamic environmental conditions by altering its epigenetic state, thereby influencing neuronal transcriptional programs. An example of an epigenetic modification is protein methylation, catalyzed by protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMT). One member, Prmt8, is selectively expressed in the central nervous system during a crucial phase of early development, but little else is known regarding its function. We hypothesize Prmt8 plays a role in synaptic maturation during development. To evaluate this, we used a proteome-wide approach to characterize the synaptic proteome of Prmt8 knockout versus wild-type mice. Through comparative network-based analyses, proteins and functional clusters related to neurite development were identified to be differentially regulated between the two genotypes. One interesting protein that was differentially regulated was tenascin-R (TNR). Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated binding of PRMT8 to the tenascin-r (Tnr) promoter. TNR, a component of perineuronal nets, preserves structural integrity of synaptic connections within neuronal networks during the development of visual-somatosensory cortices. On closer inspection, Prmt8 removal increased net formation and decreased inhibitory parvalbumin-positive (PV+) puncta on pyramidal neurons, thereby hindering the maturation of circuits. Consequently, visual acuity of the knockout mice was reduced. Our results demonstrated Prmt8's involvement in synaptic maturation and its prospect as an epigenetic modulator of developmental neuroplasticity by regulating structural elements such as the perineuronal nets. © 2016 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  20. Vesicular GABA Uptake Can Be Rate Limiting for Recovery of IPSCs from Synaptic Depression

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    Manami Yamashita

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Synaptic efficacy plays crucial roles in neuronal circuit operation and synaptic plasticity. Presynaptic determinants of synaptic efficacy are neurotransmitter content in synaptic vesicles and the number of vesicles undergoing exocytosis at a time. Bursts of presynaptic firings depress synaptic efficacy, mainly due to depletion of releasable vesicles, whereas recovery from strong depression is initiated by endocytic vesicle retrieval followed by refilling of vesicles with neurotransmitter. We washed out presynaptic cytosolic GABA to induce a rundown of IPSCs at cerebellar inhibitory cell pairs in slices from rats and then allowed fast recovery by elevating GABA concentration using photo-uncaging. The time course of this recovery coincided with that of IPSCs from activity-dependent depression induced by a train of high-frequency stimulation. We conclude that vesicular GABA uptake can be a limiting step for the recovery of inhibitory neurotransmission from synaptic depression. : Recovery of inhibitory synaptic transmission from activity-dependent depression requires refilling of vesicles with GABA. Yamashita et al. find that vesicular uptake rate of GABA is a slow process, limiting the recovery rate of IPSCs from depression.

  1. Brief environmental enrichment elicits metaplasticity of hippocampal synaptic potentiation in vivo

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    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Long-term environmental enrichment (EE elicits enduring effects on the adult brain, including altered synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity may underlie memory formation and includes robust (>24h and weak (<2h forms of long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. Most studies of the effect of EE on synaptic efficacy have examined the consequences of very prolonged EE-exposure. It is unclear whether brief exposure to EE can alter synaptic plasticity. Clarifying this issue could help develop strategies to address cognitive deficits arising from neglect in children or adults.We assessed whether short-term EE elicits alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and if social context may play a role. Adult mice were exposed to EE for 14 consecutive days. We found that robust late-LTP (>24h and short-term depression (<2h at Schaffer-collateral-CA1 synapses in freely behaving mice were unaltered, whereas early-LTP (E-LTP, <2h was significantly enhanced by EE. Effects were transient: E-LTP returned to control levels 1 week after cessation of EE. Six weeks later animals were re-exposed to EE for 14d. Under these conditions, E-LTP was facilitated into L-LTP (>24h, suggesting that metaplasticity was induced during the first EE experience and that EE-mediated modifications are cumulative. Effects were absent in mice that underwent solitary enrichment or were group-housed without EE. These data suggest that EE in naïve animals strengthens E-LTP, and also promotes L-LTP in animals that underwent EE in the past. This indicates that brief exposure to EE, particularly under social conditions can elicit lasting positive effects on synaptic strength that may have beneficial consequences for cognition that depends on synaptic plasticity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Laithy, Karim; Bogdan, Martin

    2014-04-01

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

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

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    Runchun Mark Wang

    2015-05-01

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

  4. Hypocretin/orexin neurons contribute to hippocampus-dependent social memory and synaptic plasticity in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Liya; Zou, Bende; Xiong, Xiaoxing; Pascual, Conrado; Xie, James; Malik, Adam; Xie, Julian; Sakurai, Takeshi; Xie, Xinmin Simon

    2013-03-20

    Hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt)-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus project throughout the brain, including to the hippocampus, where Hcrt receptors are widely expressed. Hcrt neurons activate these targets to orchestrate global arousal state, wake-sleep architecture, energy homeostasis, stress adaptation, and reward behaviors. Recently, Hcrt has been implicated in cognitive functions and social interaction. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Hcrt neurons are critical to social interaction, particularly social memory, using neurobehavioral assessment and electrophysiological approaches. The validated "two-enclosure homecage test" devices and procedure were used to test sociability, preference for social novelty (social novelty), and recognition memory. A conventional direct contact social test was conducted to corroborate the findings. We found that adult orexin/ataxin-3-transgenic (AT) mice, in which Hcrt neurons degenerate by 3 months of age, displayed normal sociability and social novelty with respect to their wild-type littermates. However, AT mice displayed deficits in long-term social memory. Nasal administration of exogenous Hcrt-1 restored social memory to an extent in AT mice. Hippocampal slices taken from AT mice exhibited decreases in degree of paired-pulse facilitation and magnitude of long-term potentiation, despite displaying normal basal synaptic neurotransmission in the CA1 area compared to wild-type hippocampal slices. AT hippocampi had lower levels of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB), an activity-dependent transcription factor important for synaptic plasticity and long-term memory storage. Our studies demonstrate that Hcrt neurons play an important role in the consolidation of social recognition memory, at least in part through enhancements of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation.

  5. Wherefore Art Thou, Homeo(stasis? Functional Diversity in Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bridget N. Queenan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic plasticity has emerged as a fundamental regulatory principle that strives to maintain neuronal activity within optimal ranges by altering diverse aspects of neuronal function. Adaptation to network activity is often viewed as an essential negative feedback restraint that prevents runaway excitation or inhibition. However, the precise importance of these homeostatic functions is often theoretical rather than empirically derived. Moreover, a remarkable multiplicity of homeostatic adaptations has been observed. To clarify these issues, it may prove useful to ask: why do homeostatic mechanisms exist, what advantages do these adaptive responses confer on a given cell population, and why are there so many seemingly divergent effects? Here, we approach these questions by applying the principles of control theory to homeostatic synaptic plasticity of mammalian neurons and suggest that the varied responses observed may represent distinct functional classes of control mechanisms directed toward disparate physiological goals.

  6. Synaptic activity regulates AMPA receptor trafficking through different recycling pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Ning; Jeyifous, Okunola; Munro, Charlotte; Montgomery, Johanna M; Green, William N

    2015-01-01

    Changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in brain are dependent on AMPA-type glutamate receptor (AMPAR) recycling, which is assumed to occur through a single local pathway. In this study, we present evidence that AMPAR recycling occurs through different pathways regulated by synaptic activity. Without synaptic stimulation, most AMPARs recycled in dynamin-independent endosomes containing the GTPase, Arf6. Few AMPARs recycled in dynamin-dependent endosomes labeled by transferrin receptors (TfRs). AMPAR recycling was blocked by alterations in the GTPase, TC10, which co-localized with Arf6 endosomes. TC10 mutants that reduced AMPAR recycling had no effect on increased AMPAR levels with long-term potentiation (LTP) and little effect on decreased AMPAR levels with long-term depression. However, internalized AMPAR levels in TfR-containing recycling endosomes increased after LTP, indicating increased AMPAR recycling through the dynamin-dependent pathway with synaptic plasticity. LTP-induced AMPAR endocytosis is inconsistent with local recycling as a source of increased surface receptors, suggesting AMPARs are trafficked from other sites. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06878.001 PMID:25970033

  7. Activity-dependent modulation of neural circuit synaptic connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles R Tessier

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available In many nervous systems, the establishment of neural circuits is known to proceed via a two-stage process; 1 early, activity-independent wiring to produce a rough map characterized by excessive synaptic connections, and 2 subsequent, use-dependent pruning to eliminate inappropriate connections and reinforce maintained synapses. In invertebrates, however, evidence of the activity-dependent phase of synaptic refinement has been elusive, and the dogma has long been that invertebrate circuits are “hard-wired” in a purely activity-independent manner. This conclusion has been challenged recently through the use of new transgenic tools employed in the powerful Drosophila system, which have allowed unprecedented temporal control and single neuron imaging resolution. These recent studies reveal that activity-dependent mechanisms are indeed required to refine circuit maps in Drosophila during precise, restricted windows of late-phase development. Such mechanisms of circuit refinement may be key to understanding a number of human neurological diseases, including developmental disorders such as Fragile X syndrome (FXS and autism, which are hypothesized to result from defects in synaptic connectivity and activity-dependent circuit function. This review focuses on our current understanding of activity-dependent synaptic connectivity in Drosophila, primarily through analyzing the role of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP in the Drosophila FXS disease model. The particular emphasis of this review is on the expanding array of new genetically-encoded tools that are allowing cellular events and molecular players to be dissected with ever greater precision and detail.

  8. The Role of Co-chaperones in Synaptic Proteostasis and Neurodegenerative Disease

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    Erica L. Gorenberg

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Synapses must be preserved throughout an organism's lifespan to allow for normal brain function and behavior. Synapse maintenance is challenging given the long distances between the termini and the cell body, reliance on axonal transport for delivery of newly synthesized presynaptic proteins, and high rates of synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis. Hence, synapses rely on efficient proteostasis mechanisms to preserve their structure and function. To this end, the synaptic compartment has specific chaperones to support its functions. Without proper synaptic chaperone activity, local proteostasis imbalances lead to neurotransmission deficits, dismantling of synapses, and neurodegeneration. In this review, we address the roles of four synaptic chaperones in the maintenance of the nerve terminal, as well as their genetic links to neurodegenerative disease. Three of these are Hsp40 co-chaperones (DNAJs: Cysteine String Protein alpha (CSPα; DNAJC5, auxilin (DNAJC6, and Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis 8 (RME-8; DNAJC13. These co-chaperones contain a conserved J domain through which they form a complex with heat shock cognate 70 (Hsc70, enhancing the chaperone's ATPase activity. CSPα is a synaptic vesicle protein known to chaperone the t-SNARE SNAP-25 and the endocytic GTPase dynamin-1, thereby regulating synaptic vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis. Auxilin binds assembled clathrin cages, and through its interactions with Hsc70 leads to the uncoating of clathrin-coated vesicles, a process necessary for the regeneration of synaptic vesicles. RME-8 is a co-chaperone on endosomes and may have a role in clathrin-coated vesicle endocytosis on this organelle. These three co-chaperones maintain client function by preserving folding and assembly to prevent client aggregation, but they do not break down aggregates that have already formed. The fourth synaptic chaperone we will discuss is Heat shock protein 110 (Hsp110, which interacts with Hsc70, DNAJAs, and

  9. Bifurcation and synchronization of synaptically coupled FHN models with time delay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Qingyun; Lu Qishao; Chen Guanrong; Feng Zhaosheng; Duan Lixia

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents an investigation of dynamics of the coupled nonidentical FHN models with synaptic connection, which can exhibit rich bifurcation behavior with variation of the coupling strength. With the time delay being introduced, the coupled neurons may display a transition from the original chaotic motions to periodic ones, which is accompanied by complex bifurcation scenario. At the same time, synchronization of the coupled neurons is studied in terms of their mean frequencies. We also find that the small time delay can induce new period windows with the coupling strength increasing. Moreover, it is found that synchronization of the coupled neurons can be achieved in some parameter ranges and related to their bifurcation transition. Bifurcation diagrams are obtained numerically or analytically from the mathematical model and the parameter regions of different behavior are clarified.

  10. Involvement of insulin-like peptide in long-term synaptic plasticity and long-term memory of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, Jun; Okada, Ryuichi; Sadamoto, Hisayo; Kobayashi, Suguru; Mita, Koichi; Sakamoto, Yuki; Yamagishi, Miki; Hatakeyama, Dai; Otsuka, Emi; Okuta, Akiko; Sunada, Hiroshi; Takigami, Satoshi; Sakakibara, Manabu; Fujito, Yutaka; Awaji, Masahiko; Moriyama, Shunsuke; Lukowiak, Ken; Ito, Etsuro

    2013-01-02

    The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis is capable of learning taste aversion and consolidating this learning into long-term memory (LTM) that is called conditioned taste aversion (CTA). Previous studies showed that some molluscan insulin-related peptides (MIPs) were upregulated in snails exhibiting CTA. We thus hypothesized that MIPs play an important role in neurons underlying the CTA-LTM consolidation process. To examine this hypothesis, we first observed the distribution of MIP II, a major peptide of MIPs, and MIP receptor and determined the amounts of their mRNAs in the CNS. MIP II was only observed in the light green cells in the cerebral ganglia, but the MIP receptor was distributed throughout the entire CNS, including the buccal ganglia. Next, when we applied exogenous mammalian insulin, secretions from MIP-containing cells or partially purified MIPs, to the isolated CNS, we observed a long-term change in synaptic efficacy (i.e., enhancement) of the synaptic connection between the cerebral giant cell (a key interneuron for CTA) and the B1 motor neuron (a buccal motor neuron). This synaptic enhancement was blocked by application of an insulin receptor antibody to the isolated CNS. Finally, injection of the insulin receptor antibody into the snail before CTA training, while not blocking the acquisition of taste aversion learning, blocked the memory consolidation process; thus, LTM was not observed. These data suggest that MIPs trigger changes in synaptic connectivity that may be correlated with the consolidation of taste aversion learning into CTA-LTM in the Lymnaea CNS.

  11. Synaptic proteins and receptors defects in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianling eChen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have found that hundreds of genetic variants, including common and rare variants, rare and de novo mutations, and common polymorphisms have contributed to the occurrence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs. The mutations in a number of genes such as neurexin, neuroligin, postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95, SH3 and multiple ankyrin repeat domains 3 (SHANK3, synapsin, gephyrin, cadherin (CDH and protocadherin (PCDH, thousand-and-one-amino acid 2 kinase (TAOK2, and contactin (CNTN, have been shown to play important roles in the development and function of synapses. In addition, synaptic receptors, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA receptors and glutamate receptors, have also been associated with ASDs. This review will primarily focus on the defects of synaptic proteins and receptors associated with ASDs and their roles in the pathogenesis of ASDs via synaptic pathways.

  12. Synaptic model for spontaneous activity in developing networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lerchner, Alexander; Rinzel, J.

    2005-01-01

    Spontaneous rhythmic activity occurs in many developing neural networks. The activity in these hyperexcitable networks is comprised of recurring "episodes" consisting of "cycles" of high activity that alternate with "silent phases" with little or no activity. We introduce a new model of synaptic...... dynamics that takes into account that only a fraction of the vesicles stored in a synaptic terminal is readily available for release. We show that our model can reproduce spontaneous rhythmic activity with the same general features as observed in experiments, including a positive correlation between...

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

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    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

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

  14. Common mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in vertebrates and invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glanzman, David L.

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, the literature on learning-related synaptic plasticity in invertebrates has been dominated by models assuming plasticity is mediated by presynaptic changes, whereas the vertebrate literature has been dominated by models assuming it is mediated by postsynaptic changes. Here I will argue that this situation does not reflect a biological reality and that, in fact, invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems share a common set of mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. PMID:20152143

  15. Organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic transistors gated by proton conducting methylcellulose films

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wan, Chang Jin; Wan, Qing; Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Xiang; Shi, Yi

    2016-01-01

    The idea of building a brain-inspired cognitive system has been around for several decades. Recently, electric-double-layer transistors gated by ion conducting electrolytes were reported as the promising candidates for synaptic electronics and neuromorphic system. In this letter, indium-zinc-oxide transistors gated by proton conducting methylcellulose electrolyte films were experimentally demonstrated with synaptic plasticity including paired-pulse facilitation and spatiotemporal-correlated dynamic logic. More importantly, a model based on proton-related electric-double-layer modulation and stretched-exponential decay function was proposed, and the theoretical results are in good agreement with the experimentally measured synaptic behaviors

  16. Organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic transistors gated by proton conducting methylcellulose films

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, Chang Jin; Wan, Qing, E-mail: wanqing@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: yshi@nju.edu.cn [School of Electronic Science & Engineering, and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China); Zhu, Li Qiang [Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China); Wan, Xiang; Shi, Yi, E-mail: wanqing@nju.edu.cn, E-mail: yshi@nju.edu.cn [School of Electronic Science & Engineering, and Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)

    2016-01-25

    The idea of building a brain-inspired cognitive system has been around for several decades. Recently, electric-double-layer transistors gated by ion conducting electrolytes were reported as the promising candidates for synaptic electronics and neuromorphic system. In this letter, indium-zinc-oxide transistors gated by proton conducting methylcellulose electrolyte films were experimentally demonstrated with synaptic plasticity including paired-pulse facilitation and spatiotemporal-correlated dynamic logic. More importantly, a model based on proton-related electric-double-layer modulation and stretched-exponential decay function was proposed, and the theoretical results are in good agreement with the experimentally measured synaptic behaviors.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Sweet

    2010-06-01

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

  19. An ALS-linked mutant SOD1 produces a locomotor defect associated with aggregation and synaptic dysfunction when expressed in neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiou Wang

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The nature of toxic effects exerted on neurons by misfolded proteins, occurring in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, is poorly understood. One approach to this problem is to measure effects when such proteins are expressed in heterologous neurons. We report on effects of an ALS-associated, misfolding-prone mutant human SOD1, G85R, when expressed in the neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans. Stable mutant transgenic animals, but not wild-type human SOD1 transgenics, exhibited a strong locomotor defect associated with the presence, specifically in mutant animals, of both soluble oligomers and insoluble aggregates of G85R protein. A whole-genome RNAi screen identified chaperones and other components whose deficiency increased aggregation and further diminished locomotion. The nature of the locomotor defect was investigated. Mutant animals were resistant to paralysis by the cholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb, while exhibiting normal sensitivity to the cholinergic agonist levamisole and normal muscle morphology. When fluorescently labeled presynaptic components were examined in the dorsal nerve cord, decreased numbers of puncta corresponding to neuromuscular junctions were observed in mutant animals and brightness was also diminished. At the EM level, mutant animals exhibited a reduced number of synaptic vesicles. Neurotoxicity in this system thus appears to be mediated by misfolded SOD1 and is exerted on synaptic vesicle biogenesis and/or trafficking.

  20. Activity Induces Fmr1-Sensitive Synaptic Capture of Anterograde Circulating Neuropeptide Vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavolo, Samantha L; Bulgari, Dinara; Deitcher, David L; Levitan, Edwin S

    2016-11-16

    Synaptic neuropeptide and neurotrophin stores are maintained by constitutive bidirectional capture of dense-core vesicles (DCVs) as they circulate in and out of the nerve terminal. Activity increases DCV capture to rapidly replenish synaptic neuropeptide stores following release. However, it is not known whether this is due to enhanced bidirectional capture. Here experiments at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where DCVs contain neuropeptides and a bone morphogenic protein, show that activity-dependent replenishment of synaptic neuropeptides following release is evident after inhibiting the retrograde transport with the dynactin disruptor mycalolide B or photobleaching DCVs entering a synaptic bouton by retrograde transport. In contrast, photobleaching anterograde transport vesicles entering a bouton inhibits neuropeptide replenishment after activity. Furthermore, tracking of individual DCVs moving through boutons shows that activity selectively increases capture of DCVs undergoing anterograde transport. Finally, upregulating fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (Fmr1, also called FMRP) acts independently of futsch/MAP-1B to abolish activity-dependent, but not constitutive, capture. Fmr1 also reduces presynaptic neuropeptide stores without affecting activity-independent delivery and evoked release. Therefore, presynaptic motoneuron neuropeptide storage is increased by a vesicle capture mechanism that is distinguished from constitutive bidirectional capture by activity dependence, anterograde selectivity, and Fmr1 sensitivity. These results show that activity recruits a separate mechanism than used at rest to stimulate additional synaptic capture of DCVs for future release of neuropeptides and neurotrophins. Synaptic release of neuropeptides and neurotrophins depends on presynaptic accumulation of dense-core vesicles (DCVs). At rest, DCVs are captured bidirectionally as they circulate through Drosophila motoneuron terminals by anterograde and retrograde

  1. Optimal autaptic and synaptic delays enhanced synchronization transitions induced by each other in Newman–Watts neuronal networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Baoying; Gong, Yubing; Xie, Huijuan; Wang, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Optimal autaptic delay enhanced synchronization transitions induced by synaptic delay in neuronal networks. • Optimal synaptic delay enhanced synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay. • Optimal coupling strength enhanced synchronization transitions induced by autaptic or synaptic delay. - Abstract: In this paper, we numerically study the effect of electrical autaptic and synaptic delays on synchronization transitions induced by each other in Newman–Watts Hodgkin–Huxley neuronal networks. It is found that the synchronization transitions induced by synaptic delay vary with varying autaptic delay and become strongest when autaptic delay is optimal. Similarly, the synchronization transitions induced by autaptic delay vary with varying synaptic delay and become strongest at optimal synaptic delay. Also, there is optimal coupling strength by which the synchronization transitions induced by either synaptic or autaptic delay become strongest. These results show that electrical autaptic and synaptic delays can enhance synchronization transitions induced by each other in the neuronal networks. This implies that electrical autaptic and synaptic delays can cooperate with each other and more efficiently regulate the synchrony state of the neuronal networks. These findings could find potential implications for the information transmission in neural systems.

  2. Synaptogenic proteins and synaptic organizers: "many hands make light work".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Nils

    2009-03-12

    Synaptogenesis is thought to be mediated by cell adhesion proteins, which induce the initial contact between an axon and its target cell and subsequently recruit and organize the presynaptic and postsynaptic protein machinery required for synaptic transmission. A new study by Linhoff and colleagues in this issue of Neuron identifies adhesion proteins of the LRRTM family as novel synaptic organizers.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong Bi

    2016-08-01

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

  4. High-fat diet induces hepatic insulin resistance and impairment of synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhigang Liu

    Full Text Available High-fat diet (HFD-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance, which may affect brain synaptic plasticity through impairment of insulin-sensitive processes underlying neuronal survival, learning, and memory. The experimental model consisted of 3 month-old C57BL/6J mice fed either a normal chow diet (control group or a HFD (60% of calorie from fat; HFD group for 12 weeks. This model was characterized as a function of time in terms of body weight, fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, HOMA-IR values, and plasma triglycerides. IRS-1/Akt pathway was assessed in primary hepatocytes and brain homogenates. The effect of HFD in brain was assessed by electrophysiology, input/output responses and long-term potentiation. HFD-fed mice exhibited a significant increase in body weight, higher fasting glucose- and insulin levels in plasma, lower glucose tolerance, and higher HOMA-IR values. In liver, HFD elicited (a a significant decrease of insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1 phosphorylation on Tyr608 and increase of Ser307 phosphorylation, indicative of IRS-1 inactivation; (b these changes were accompanied by inflammatory responses in terms of increases in the expression of NFκB and iNOS and activation of the MAP kinases p38 and JNK; (c primary hepatocytes from mice fed a HFD showed decreased cellular oxygen consumption rates (indicative of mitochondrial functional impairment; this can be ascribed partly to a decreased expression of PGC1α and mitochondrial biogenesis. In brain, HFD feeding elicited (a an inactivation of the IRS-1 and, consequentially, (b a decreased expression and plasma membrane localization of the insulin-sensitive neuronal glucose transporters GLUT3/GLUT4; (c a suppression of the ERK/CREB pathway, and (d a substantial decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of hippocampus (indicative of impaired synaptic plasticity. It may be surmised that 12 weeks fed with HFD induce a systemic insulin resistance that impacts

  5. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate metabolism in synaptic growth, strength, and precision: neural and behavioral phenotype-specific counterbalancing effects between dnc phosphodiesterase and rut adenylyl cyclase mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Atsushi; Wu, Chun-Fang

    2012-03-01

    Two classic learning mutants in Drosophila, rutabaga (rut) and dunce (dnc), are defective in cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) synthesis and degradation, respectively, exhibiting a variety of neuronal and behavioral defects. We ask how the opposing effects of these mutations on cAMP levels modify subsets of phenotypes, and whether any specific phenotypes could be ameliorated by biochemical counter balancing effects in dnc rut double mutants. Our study at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) demonstrates that dnc mutations caused severe defects in nerve terminal morphology, characterized by unusually large synaptic boutons and aberrant innervation patterns. Interestingly, a counterbalancing effect led to rescue of the aberrant innervation patterns but the enlarged boutons in dnc rut double mutant remained as extreme as those in dnc. In contrast to dnc, rut mutations strongly affect synaptic transmission. Focal loose-patch recording data accumulated over 4 years suggest that synaptic currents in rut boutons were characterized by unusually large temporal dispersion and a seasonal variation in the amount of transmitter release, with diminished synaptic currents in summer months. Experiments with different rearing temperatures revealed that high temperature (29-30°C) decreased synaptic transmission in rut, but did not alter dnc and wild-type (WT). Importantly, the large temporal dispersion and abnormal temperature dependence of synaptic transmission, characteristic of rut, still persisted in dnc rut double mutants. To interpret these results in a proper perspective, we reviewed previously documented differential effects of dnc and rut mutations and their genetic interactions in double mutants on a variety of physiological and behavioral phenotypes. The cases of rescue in double mutants are associated with gradual developmental and maintenance processes whereas many behavioral and physiological manifestations on faster time scales could not be rescued. We discuss

  6. Regulation of Synaptic Structure by the Ubiquitin C-terminal Hydrolase UCH-L1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Anna E.; Djakovic, Stevan N.; Salehi, Afshin; Wilson, Scott M.; Masliah, Eliezer; Patrick, Gentry N.

    2009-01-01

    UCH-L1 is a de-ubiquitinating enzyme that is selectively and abundantly expressed in the brain, and its activity is required for normal synaptic function. Here, we show that UCH-L1 functions in maintaining normal synaptic structure in hippocampal neurons. We have found that UCH-L1 activity is rapidly up-regulated by NMDA receptor activation which leads to an increase in the levels of free monomeric ubiquitin. Conversely, pharmacological inhibition of UCH-L1 significantly reduces monomeric ubiquitin levels and causes dramatic alterations in synaptic protein distribution and spine morphology. Inhibition of UCH-L1 activity increases spine size while decreasing spine density. Furthermore, there is a concomitant increase in the size of pre and postsynaptic protein clusters. Interestingly, however, ectopic expression of ubiquitin restores normal synaptic structure in UCH-L1 inhibited neurons. These findings point to a significant role of UCH-L1 in synaptic remodeling most likely by modulating free monomeric ubiquitin levels in an activity-dependent manner. PMID:19535597

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Emanuele

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Impaired contextual fear extinction and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult rats induced by prenatal morphine exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ji-Wei; Duan, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Ze-Yang; Jing, Liang; Cao, Jun; Wang, Li-Ping; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Prenatal opiate exposure causes a series of neurobehavioral disturbances by affecting brain development. However, the question of whether prenatal opiate exposure increases vulnerability to memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adult offspring remains largely unknown. Here, we found that rats prenatally exposed to morphine (PM) showed impaired acquisition but enhanced maintenance of contextual fear memory compared with control animals that were prenatally exposed to saline (PS). The impairment of acquisition was rescued by increasing the intensity of footshocks (1.2 mA rather than 0.8 mA). Meanwhile, we also found that PM rats exhibited impaired extinction of contextual fear, which is associated with enhanced maintenance of fear memory. The impaired extinction lasted for 1 week following extinction training. Furthermore, PM rats exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze and light/dark box test without differences in locomotor activity. These alterations in PM rats were mirrored by abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus in vivo. PS rats showed blocked long-term potentiation and enabled long-term depression in CA1 synapses following contextual fear conditioning, while prenatal morphine exposure restricted synaptic plasticity in CA1 synapses. The smaller long-term potentiation in PM rats was not further blocked by contextual fear conditioning, and the long-term depression enabled by contextual fear conditioning was abolished. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence suggesting that prenatal morphine exposure may increase vulnerability to fear memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  9. Synaptic characteristics with strong analog potentiation, depression, and short-term to long-term memory transition in a Pt/CeO2/Pt crossbar array structure

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

    A crossbar array of Pt/CeO2/Pt memristors exhibited the synaptic characteristics such as analog, reversible, and strong resistance change with a ratio of ∼103, corresponding to wide dynamic range of synaptic weight modulation as potentiation and depression with respect to the voltage polarity. In addition, it presented timing-dependent responses such as paired-pulse facilitation and the short-term to long-term memory transition by increasing amplitude, width, and repetition number of voltage pulse and reducing the interval time between pulses. The memory loss with a time was fitted with a stretched exponential relaxation model, revealing the relation of memory stability with the input stimuli strength. The resistance change was further enhanced but its stability got worse as increasing measurement temperature, indicating that the resistance was changed as a result of voltage- and temperature-dependent electrical charging and discharging to alter the energy barrier for charge transport. These detailed synaptic characteristics demonstrated the potential of crossbar array of Pt/CeO2/Pt memristors as artificial synapses in highly connected neuron-synapse network.

  10. 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.

  11. Inflammation Subverts Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Experimental Multiple Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandolesi, Georgia; Piccinin, Sonia; Berretta, Nicola; Pignatelli, Marco; Feligioni, Marco; Musella, Alessandra; Gentile, Antonietta; Mori, Francesco; Bernardi, Giorgio; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Mercuri, Nicola B.; Centonze, Diego

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23355887

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Molecular Machines Determining the Fate of Endocytosed Synaptic Vesicles in Nerve Terminals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV) within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions. The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on: (i) the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5) and calcineurin (CN) control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii) the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission.

  14. MOLECULAR MACHINES DETERMINING THE FATE OF ENDOCYTOSED SYNAPTIC VESICLES IN NERVE TERMINALS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eFassio

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions.The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on (i the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 and calcineurin control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission.

  15. Synaptic plasticity, memory and the hippocampus: a neural network approach to causality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, Guilherme; Cooke, Sam F; Bliss, Tim V P

    2008-01-01

    Two facts about the hippocampus have been common currency among neuroscientists for several decades. First, lesions of the hippocampus in humans prevent the acquisition of new episodic memories; second, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity is a prominent feature of hippocampal synapses. Given this background, the hypothesis that hippocampus-dependent memory is mediated, at least in part, by hippocampal synaptic plasticity has seemed as cogent in theory as it has been difficult to prove in practice. Here we argue that the recent development of transgenic molecular devices will encourage a shift from mechanistic investigations of synaptic plasticity in single neurons towards an analysis of how networks of neurons encode and represent memory, and we suggest ways in which this might be achieved. In the process, the hypothesis that synaptic plasticity is necessary and sufficient for information storage in the brain may finally be validated.

  16. Repeated in vivo exposure of cocaine induces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in hypocretin/orexin-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Yan; Mineur, Yann S; Gan, Geliang; Wang, Alex Hanxiang; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Wu, Xinyuan; Suyama, Shigetomo; de Lecea, Luis; Horvath, Tamas L; Picciotto, Marina R; Gao, Xiao-Bing

    2013-04-01

    Hypocretin (orexin), a neuropeptide synthesized exclusively in the perifornical/lateral hypothalamus, is critical for drug seeking and relapse, but it is not clear how the circuitry centred on hypocretin-producing neurons (hypocretin neurons) is modified by drugs of abuse and how changes in this circuit might alter behaviours related to drug addiction. In this study, we show that repeated, but not single, in vivo cocaine administration leads to a long-lasting, experience-dependent potentiation of glutamatergic synapses on hypocretin neurons in mice following a cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP) protocol. The synaptic potentiation occurs postsynaptically and probably involves up-regulation of AMPA-type glutamate receptors on hypocretin neurons. Phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is also significantly increased in hypocretin neurons in cocaine-treated animals, suggesting that CREB-mediated pathways may contribute to synaptic potentiation in these cells. Furthermore, the potentiation of synaptic efficacy in hypocretin neurons persists during cocaine withdrawal, but reverses to baseline levels after prolonged abstinence. Finally, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) triggered by a high-frequency stimulation is facilitated in hypocretin neurons in cocaine-treated mice, suggesting that long-lasting changes in synapses onto hypocretin neurons would probably be further potentiated by other stimuli (such as concurrent environmental cues) paired with the drug. In summary, we show here that hypocretin neurons undergo experience-dependent synaptic potentiation that is distinct from that reported in other reward systems, such as the ventral tegmental area, following exposure to cocaine. These findings support the idea that the hypocretin system is important for behavioural changes associated with cocaine administration in animals and humans.

  17. Neurotrophin-3 Enhances the Synaptic Organizing Function of TrkC-Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase σ in Rat Hippocampal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammendrup-Johnsen, Ina; Naito, Yusuke; Craig, Ann Marie; Takahashi, Hideto

    2015-09-09

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its high-affinity receptor TrkC play crucial trophic roles in neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth, and synapse development and plasticity in the nervous system. We demonstrated previously that postsynaptic TrkC functions as a glutamatergic synapse-inducing (synaptogenic) cell adhesion molecule trans-interacting with presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ). Given that NT-3 and PTPσ bind distinct domains of the TrkC extracellular region, here we tested the hypothesis that NT-3 modulates TrkC/PTPσ binding and synaptogenic activity. NT-3 enhanced PTPσ binding to cell surface-expressed TrkC and facilitated the presynapse-inducing activity of TrkC in rat hippocampal neurons. Imaging of recycling presynaptic vesicles combined with TrkC knockdown and rescue approaches demonstrated that NT-3 rapidly potentiates presynaptic function via binding endogenous postsynaptic TrkC in a tyrosine kinase-independent manner. Thus, NT-3 positively modulates the TrkC-PTPσ complex for glutamatergic presynaptic assembly and function independently from TrkC kinase activation. Our findings provide new insight into synaptic roles of neurotrophin signaling and mechanisms controlling synaptic organizing complexes. Significance statement: Although many synaptogenic adhesion complexes have been identified in recent years, little is known about modulatory mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate a novel role of neurotrophin-3 in synaptic assembly and function as a positive modulator of the TrkC-protein tyrosine phosphatase σ complex. This study provides new insight into the involvement of neurotrophin signaling in synapse development and plasticity, presenting a molecular mechanism that may underlie previous observations of short- and long-term enhancement of presynaptic function by neurotrophin. Given the links of synaptogenic adhesion molecules to autism and schizophrenia, this study might also contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of

  18. Synaptic clustering within dendrites: an emerging theory of memory formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastellakis, George; Cai, Denise J.; Mednick, Sara C.; Silva, Alcino J.; Poirazi, Panayiota

    2015-01-01

    It is generally accepted that complex memories are stored in distributed representations throughout the brain, however the mechanisms underlying these representations are not understood. Here, we review recent findings regarding the subcellular mechanisms implicated in memory formation, which provide evidence for a dendrite-centered theory of memory. Plasticity-related phenomena which affect synaptic properties, such as synaptic tagging and capture, synaptic clustering, branch strength potentiation and spinogenesis provide the foundation for a model of memory storage that relies heavily on processes operating at the dendrite level. The emerging picture suggests that clusters of functionally related synapses may serve as key computational and memory storage units in the brain. We discuss both experimental evidence and theoretical models that support this hypothesis and explore its advantages for neuronal function. PMID:25576663

  19. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Facilitates Massed Pattern-Induced Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Kiran; Sharma, Kaushik P.; Sharma, Shiv K.

    2015-01-01

    Massed training is less effective for long-term memory formation than the spaced training. The role of acetylation in synaptic plasticity and memory is now well established. However, the role of this important protein modification in synaptic plasticity induced by massed pattern of stimulation or memory induced by massed training is not well…

  20. Interregional synaptic maps among engram cells underlie memory formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jun-Hyeok; Sim, Su-Eon; Kim, Ji-Il; Choi, Dong Il; Oh, Jihae; Ye, Sanghyun; Lee, Jaehyun; Kim, TaeHyun; Ko, Hyoung-Gon; Lim, Chae-Seok; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2018-04-27

    Memory resides in engram cells distributed across the brain. However, the site-specific substrate within these engram cells remains theoretical, even though it is generally accepted that synaptic plasticity encodes memories. We developed the dual-eGRASP (green fluorescent protein reconstitution across synaptic partners) technique to examine synapses between engram cells to identify the specific neuronal site for memory storage. We found an increased number and size of spines on CA1 engram cells receiving input from CA3 engram cells. In contextual fear conditioning, this enhanced connectivity between engram cells encoded memory strength. CA3 engram to CA1 engram projections strongly occluded long-term potentiation. These results indicate that enhanced structural and functional connectivity between engram cells across two directly connected brain regions forms the synaptic correlate for memory formation. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  1. Axonal accumulation of synaptic markers in APP transgenic Drosophila depends on the NPTY motif and is paralleled by defects in synaptic plasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rusu, Patricia; Jansen, Anna; Soba, Peter

    2007-01-01

    . Specifically, axonal transport defects have been reported in AD animal models, including mice and flies that overexpress APP and tau. Here we demonstrate that the APP-induced traffic jam of vesicles in peripheral nerves of Drosophila melanogaster larvae depends on the four residues NPTY motif in the APP...... neurotransmission at the neuromuscular junction in transgenic larvae that express human APP. Consistent with the observation that these larvae do not show any obvious movement deficits, we found no changes in basal synaptic transmission. However, short-term synaptic plasticity was affected by overexpression of APP...

  2. Reduced synaptic vesicle protein degradation at lysosomes curbs TBC1D24/sky-induced neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Ana Clara; Uytterhoeven, Valerie; Kuenen, Sabine; Wang, Yu-Chun; Slabbaert, Jan R; Swerts, Jef; Kasprowicz, Jaroslaw; Aerts, Stein; Verstreken, Patrik

    2014-11-24

    Synaptic demise and accumulation of dysfunctional proteins are thought of as common features in neurodegeneration. However, the mechanisms by which synaptic proteins turn over remain elusive. In this paper, we study Drosophila melanogaster lacking active TBC1D24/Skywalker (Sky), a protein that in humans causes severe neurodegeneration, epilepsy, and DOOR (deafness, onychdystrophy, osteodystrophy, and mental retardation) syndrome, and identify endosome-to-lysosome trafficking as a mechanism for degradation of synaptic vesicle-associated proteins. In fly sky mutants, synaptic vesicles traveled excessively to endosomes. Using chimeric fluorescent timers, we show that synaptic vesicle-associated proteins were younger on average, suggesting that older proteins are more efficiently degraded. Using a genetic screen, we find that reducing endosomal-to-lysosomal trafficking, controlled by the homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) complex, rescued the neurotransmission and neurodegeneration defects in sky mutants. Consistently, synaptic vesicle proteins were older in HOPS complex mutants, and these mutants also showed reduced neurotransmission. Our findings define a mechanism in which synaptic transmission is facilitated by efficient protein turnover at lysosomes and identify a potential strategy to suppress defects arising from TBC1D24 mutations in humans. © 2014 Fernandes et al.

  3. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity by Exercise Training as a Basis for Ischemic Stroke Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, rehabilitation of ischemic stroke draws more and more attention in the world, and has been linked to changes of synaptic plasticity. Exercise training improves motor function of ischemia as well as cognition which is associated with formation of learning and memory. The molecular basis of learning and memory might be synaptic plasticity. Research has therefore been conducted in an attempt to relate effects of exercise training to neuroprotection and neurogenesis adjacent to the ischemic injury brain. The present paper reviews the current literature addressing this question and discusses the possible mechanisms involved in modulation of synaptic plasticity by exercise training. This review shows the pathological process of synaptic dysfunction in ischemic roughly and then discusses the effects of exercise training on scaffold proteins and regulatory protein expression. The expression of scaffold proteins generally increased after training, but the effects on regulatory proteins were mixed. Moreover, the compositions of postsynaptic receptors were changed and the strength of synaptic transmission was enhanced after training. Finally, the recovery of cognition is critically associated with synaptic remodeling in an injured brain, and the remodeling occurs through a number of local regulations including mRNA translation, remodeling of cytoskeleton, and receptor trafficking into and out of the synapse. We do provide a comprehensive knowledge of synaptic plasticity enhancement obtained by exercise training in this review.

  4. Cannabinoid CB1 receptors in distinct circuits of the extended amygdala determine fear responsiveness to unpredictable threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, M D; Daldrup, T; Remmers, F; Szkudlarek, H J; Lesting, J; Guggenhuber, S; Ruehle, S; Jüngling, K; Seidenbecher, T; Lutz, B; Pape, H C

    2017-10-01

    The brain circuits underlying behavioral fear have been extensively studied over the last decades. Although the vast majority of experimental studies assess fear as a transient state of apprehension in response to a discrete threat, such phasic states of fear can shift to a sustained anxious apprehension, particularly in face of diffuse cues with unpredictable environmental contingencies. Unpredictability, in turn, is considered an important variable contributing to anxiety disorders. The networks of the extended amygdala have been suggested keys to the control of phasic and sustained states of fear, although the underlying synaptic pathways and mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the endocannabinoid system acting in synaptic circuits of the extended amygdala can explain the fear response profile during exposure to unpredictable threat. Using fear training with predictable or unpredictable cues in mice, combined with local and cell-type-specific deficiency and rescue of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors, we found that presynaptic CB1 receptors on distinct amygdala projections to bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) are both necessary and sufficient for the shift from phasic to sustained fear in response to an unpredictable threat. These results thereby identify the causal role of a defined protein in a distinct brain pathway for the temporal development of a sustained state of anxious apprehension during unpredictability of environmental influences, reminiscent of anxiety symptoms in humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sossin, Wayne S

    2018-01-01

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

  6. The C1q complement family of synaptic organizers: not just complementary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2017-08-01

    Molecules that regulate formation, differentiation, and maintenance of synapses are called synaptic organizers. Recently, various 'C1q family' proteins have been shown to be released from neurons, and serve as a new class of synaptic organizers. Cbln1 and C1ql1 proteins regulate the formation and maintenance of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell and climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synapses, respectively, in the cerebellum. Cbln1 also modulates the function of postsynaptic delta2 glutamate receptors to regulate synaptic plasticity. C1ql2 and C1ql3, released from mossy fibers, determine the synaptic localization of postsynaptic kainate receptors in the hippocampus. C1ql3 also regulates the formation of synapses between the basolateral amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. These findings indicate the diverse functions of C1q family proteins in various brain regions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Synaptic inhibition and excitation estimated via the time constant of membrane potential fluctuations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berg, Rune W.; Ditlevsen, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    When recording the membrane potential, V, of a neuron it is desirable to be able to extract the synaptic input. Critically, the synaptic input is stochastic and non-reproducible so one is therefore often restricted to single trial data. Here, we introduce means of estimating the inhibition and ex...... close to soma (recording site). Though our data is in current-clamp, the method also works in V-clamp recordings, with some minor adaptations. All custom made procedures are provided in Matlab....... and excitation and their confidence limits from single sweep trials. The estimates are based on the mean membrane potential, (V) , and the membrane time constant,τ. The time constant provides the total conductance (G = capacitance/τ) and is extracted from the autocorrelation of V. The synaptic conductances can....... The method gives best results if the synaptic input is large compared to other conductances, the intrinsic conductances have little or no time dependence or are comparably small, the ligand gated kinetics is faster than the membrane time constant, and the majority of synaptic contacts are electrotonically...

  9. Synaptically released zinc triggers metabotropic signaling via a zinc-sensing receptor in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besser, Limor; Chorin, Ehud; Sekler, Israel; Silverman, William F; Atkin, Stan; Russell, James T; Hershfinkel, Michal

    2009-03-04

    Zn(2+) is coreleased with glutamate from mossy fiber terminals and can influence synaptic function. Here, we demonstrate that synaptically released Zn(2+) activates a selective postsynaptic Zn(2+)-sensing receptor (ZnR) in the CA3 region of the hippocampus. ZnR activation induced intracellular release of Ca(2+), as well as phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated kinase and Ca(2+)/calmodulin kinase II. Blockade of synaptic transmission by tetrodotoxin or CdCl inhibited the ZnR-mediated Ca(2+) rises. The responses mediated by ZnR were largely attenuated by the extracellular Zn(2+) chelator, CaEDTA, and in slices from mice lacking vesicular Zn(2+), suggesting that synaptically released Zn(2+) triggers the metabotropic activity. Knockdown of the expression of the orphan G-protein-coupled receptor 39 (GPR39) attenuated ZnR activity in a neuronal cell line. Importantly, we observed widespread GPR39 labeling in CA3 neurons, suggesting a role for this receptor in mediating ZnR signaling in the hippocampus. Our results describe a unique role for synaptic Zn(2+) acting as the physiological ligand of a metabotropic receptor and provide a novel pathway by which synaptic Zn(2+) can regulate neuronal function.

  10. Alteration of synaptic transmission in the hippocampal-mPFC pathway during extinction trials of context-dependent fear memory in juvenile rat stress models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koseki, Hiroyo; Matsumoto, Machiko; Togashi, Hiroko; Miura, Yoshihide; Fukushima, Kazuaki; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro

    2009-09-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been proposed to be essential for extinction of fear memory, but its neural mechanism has been poorly understood. The present study examined whether synaptic transmission in the hippocampal-mPFC pathway is related to extinction of context-dependent fear memory in freely moving rats using electrophysiological approaches combined with behavioral analysis. Population spike amplitude in the mPFC was decreased during the first extinction trial by exposure to contextual fear conditioning. This synaptic inhibition was reversed by repeated extinction trials, accompanied by decreases in fear-related freezing behavior. These results suggest that alteration of synaptic transmission in the hippocampal-mPFC pathway is associated with the extinction processes of context-dependent fear memory. Further experiments were performed to elucidate whether early postnatal stress alters the synaptic response in the mPFC during extinction trials using a juvenile stress model, based on our previous findings that early postnatal stress affects the behavioral response to emotional stress. Adult rats that previously were exposed to five footshocks (FS) (shock intensity, 0.5 mA; intershock interval, 28 seconds; shock duration, 2 seconds) at postnatal day 21 to 25 (week 3; 3W-FS) exhibited impaired reversal of both inhibitory synaptic transmission and freezing behavior induced by repeated extinction trials. The neuronal and behavioral deficits observed in the 3W-FS group were prevented by pretreatment with the serotonin(1A) receptor agonist tandospirone (1 mg/kg, i.p.). These results indicate the possiblity that aversive stress exposure during the third postnatal week impaired extinction processes of context-dependent fear memory. The deficits in extinction observed in the 3W-FS group might be attributable to dysfunction of hippocampal-mPFC neural circuits involving 5-HT(1A) receptor mechanisms. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. Changed Synaptic Plasticity in Neural Circuits of Depressive-Like and Escitalopram-Treated Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Li; Yuan, Yong-Gui; Xu, Hua; Wu, Di; Gong, Wei-Gang; Geng, Lei-Yu; Wu, Fang-Fang; Tang, Hao; Xu, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Background: Although progress has been made in the detection and characterization of neural plasticity in depression, it has not been fully understood in individual synaptic changes in the neural circuits under chronic stress and antidepressant treatment. Methods: Using electron microscopy and Western-blot analyses, the present study quantitatively examined the changes in the Gray’s Type I synaptic ultrastructures and the expression of synapse-associated proteins in the key brain regions of rats’ depressive-related neural circuit after chronic unpredicted mild stress and/or escitalopram administration. Meanwhile, their depressive behaviors were also determined by several tests. Results: The Type I synapses underwent considerable remodeling after chronic unpredicted mild stress, which resulted in the changed width of the synaptic cleft, length of the active zone, postsynaptic density thickness, and/or synaptic curvature in the subregions of medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, as well as the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus of the amygdala, accompanied by changed expression of several synapse-associated proteins. Chronic escitalopram administration significantly changed the above alternations in the chronic unpredicted mild stress rats but had little effect on normal controls. Also, there was a positive correlation between the locomotor activity and the maximal synaptic postsynaptic density thickness in the stratum radiatum of the Cornu Ammonis 1 region and a negative correlation between the sucrose preference and the length of the active zone in the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus region in chronic unpredicted mild stress rats. Conclusion: These findings strongly indicate that chronic stress and escitalopram can alter synaptic plasticity in the neural circuits, and the remodeled synaptic ultrastructure was correlated with the rats’ depressive behaviors, suggesting a therapeutic target for further exploration. PMID:25899067

  12. Prevention of Synaptic Alterations and Neurotoxic Effects of PAMAM Dendrimers by Surface Functionalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Vidal

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the most studied nanocarriers for drug delivery are polyamidoamine (PAMAM dendrimers. However, the alterations produced by PAMAM dendrimers in neuronal function have not been thoroughly investigated, and important aspects such as effects on synaptic transmission remain unexplored. We focused on the neuronal activity disruption induced by dendrimers and the possibility to prevent these effects by surface chemical modifications. Therefore, we studied the effects of fourth generation PAMAM with unmodified positively charged surface (G4 in hippocampal neurons, and compared the results with dendrimers functionalized in 25% of their surface groups with folate (PFO25 and polyethylene glycol (PPEG25. G4 dendrimers significantly reduced cell viability at 1 µM, which was attenuated by both chemical modifications, PPEG25 being the less cytotoxic. Patch clamp recordings demonstrated that G4 induced a 7.5-fold increment in capacitive currents as a measure of membrane permeability. Moreover, treatment with this dendrimer increased intracellular Ca2+ by 8-fold with a complete disruption of transients pattern, having as consequence that G4 treatment increased the synaptic vesicle release and frequency of synaptic events by 2.4- and 3-fold, respectively. PFO25 and PPEG25 treatments did not alter membrane permeability, total Ca2+ intake, synaptic vesicle release or synaptic activity frequency. These results demonstrate that cationic G4 dendrimers have neurotoxic effects and induce alterations in normal synaptic activity, which are generated by the augmentation of membrane permeability and a subsequent intracellular Ca2+ increase. Interestingly, these toxic effects and synaptic alterations are prevented by the modification of 25% of PAMAM surface with either folate or polyethylene glycol.

  13. Distinct kinetics of inhibitory currents in thalamocortical neurons that arise from dendritic or axonal origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunggu Yang

    Full Text Available Thalamocortical neurons in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN transfer visual information from retina to primary visual cortex. This information is modulated by inhibitory input arising from local interneurons and thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN neurons, leading to alterations of receptive field properties of thalamocortical neurons. Local GABAergic interneurons provide two distinct synaptic outputs: axonal (F1 terminals and dendritic (F2 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. By contrast, TRN neurons provide only axonal output (F1 terminals onto dLGN thalamocortical neurons. It is unclear if GABAA receptor-mediated currents originating from F1 and F2 terminals have different characteristics. In the present study, we examined multiple characteristics (rise time, slope, halfwidth and decay τ of GABAA receptor-mediated miniature inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents (mIPSCs originating from F1 and F2 terminals. The mIPSCs arising from F2 terminals showed slower kinetics relative to those from F1 terminals. Such differential kinetics of GABAAR-mediated responses could be an important role in temporal coding of visual signals.

  14. PRRT2: from Paroxysmal Disorders to Regulation of Synaptic Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valtorta, Flavia; Benfenati, Fabio; Zara, Federico; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-10-01

    In the past few years, proline-rich transmembrane protein (PRRT)2 has been identified as the causative gene for several paroxysmal neurological disorders. Recently, an important role of PRRT2 in synapse development and function has emerged. Knock down of the protein strongly impairs the formation of synaptic contacts and neurotransmitter release. At the nerve terminal, PRRT2 endows synaptic vesicle exocytosis with Ca 2+ sensitivity by interacting with proteins of the fusion complex and with the Ca 2+ sensors synaptotagmins (Syts). In the postsynaptic compartment, PRRT2 interacts with glutamate receptors. The study of PRRT2 and of its mutations may help in refining our knowledge of the process of synaptic transmission and elucidating the pathogenetic mechanisms leading to derangement of network function in paroxysmal disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Roles of Cortical Slow Waves in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Hirai, Daichi; Murayama, Masanori

    2017-01-01

    Sleep plays important roles in sensory and motor memory consolidation. Sleep oscillations, reflecting neural population activity, involve the reactivation of learning-related neurons and regulate synaptic strength and, thereby affect memory consolidation. Among sleep oscillations, slow waves (0.5-4 Hz) are closely associated with memory consolidation. For example, slow-wave power is regulated in an experience-dependent manner and correlates with acquired memory. Furthermore, manipulating slow waves can enhance or impair memory consolidation. During slow wave sleep, inter-areal interactions between the cortex and hippocampus (HC) have been proposed to consolidate declarative memory; however, interactions for non-declarative (HC-independent) memory remain largely uninvestigated. We recently showed that the directional influence in a slow-wave range through a top-down cortical long-range circuit is involved in the consolidation of non-declarative memory. At the synaptic level, the average cortical synaptic strength is known to be potentiated during wakefulness and depressed during sleep. Moreover, learning causes plasticity in a subset of synapses, allocating memory to them. Sleep may help to differentiate synaptic strength between allocated and non-allocated synapses (i.e., improving the signal-to-noise ratio, which may facilitate memory consolidation). Herein, we offer perspectives on inter-areal interactions and synaptic plasticity for memory consolidation during sleep.

  16. The Roles of Cortical Slow Waves in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Miyamoto

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Sleep plays important roles in sensory and motor memory consolidation. Sleep oscillations, reflecting neural population activity, involve the reactivation of learning-related neurons and regulate synaptic strength and, thereby affect memory consolidation. Among sleep oscillations, slow waves (0.5–4 Hz are closely associated with memory consolidation. For example, slow-wave power is regulated in an experience-dependent manner and correlates with acquired memory. Furthermore, manipulating slow waves can enhance or impair memory consolidation. During slow wave sleep, inter-areal interactions between the cortex and hippocampus (HC have been proposed to consolidate declarative memory; however, interactions for non-declarative (HC-independent memory remain largely uninvestigated. We recently showed that the directional influence in a slow-wave range through a top-down cortical long-range circuit is involved in the consolidation of non-declarative memory. At the synaptic level, the average cortical synaptic strength is known to be potentiated during wakefulness and depressed during sleep. Moreover, learning causes plasticity in a subset of synapses, allocating memory to them. Sleep may help to differentiate synaptic strength between allocated and non-allocated synapses (i.e., improving the signal-to-noise ratio, which may facilitate memory consolidation. Herein, we offer perspectives on inter-areal interactions and synaptic plasticity for memory consolidation during sleep.

  17. An Attractive Reelin Gradient Establishes Synaptic Lamination in the Vertebrate Visual System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Donato, Vincenzo; De Santis, Flavia; Albadri, Shahad; Auer, Thomas Oliver; Duroure, Karine; Charpentier, Marine; Concordet, Jean-Paul; Gebhardt, Christoph; Del Bene, Filippo

    2018-03-07

    A conserved organizational and functional principle of neural networks is the segregation of axon-dendritic synaptic connections into laminae. Here we report that targeting of synaptic laminae by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) arbors in the vertebrate visual system is regulated by a signaling system relying on target-derived Reelin and VLDLR/Dab1a on the projecting neurons. Furthermore, we find that Reelin is distributed as a gradient on the target tissue and stabilized by heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in the extracellular matrix (ECM). Through genetic manipulations, we show that this Reelin gradient is important for laminar targeting and that it is attractive for RGC axons. Finally, we suggest a comprehensive model of synaptic lamina formation in which attractive Reelin counter-balances repulsive Slit1, thereby guiding RGC axons toward single synaptic laminae. We establish a mechanism that may represent a general principle for neural network assembly in vertebrate species and across different brain areas. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Synaptic activity and bioenergy homeostasis: implications in brain trauma and neurodegenerative diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasha eKhatri

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Powered by glucose metabolism, the brain is the most energy-demanding organ in our body, accounting for a quarter of total oxygen consumption. Adequate ATP production and regulation of the metabolic processes are essential for the maintenance of synaptic transmission and neuronal function. Glutamatergic synaptic activity utilizes the largest portion of bioenergy for synaptic events including neurotransmitter synthesis, vesicle recycling, and most importantly the postsynaptic activities leading to channel activation and rebalancing of ionic gradients. Bioenergy homeostasis is coupled with synaptic function via activities of the sodium pumps, glutamate transporters, glucose transport and mitochondria translocation. Energy insufficiency will be sensed by the AMP-activated dependent protein kinase (AMPK, a master metabolic regulator that stimulates the catalytic process to enhance energy production. A decline in energy supply and a disruption in bioenergy homeostasis play a critical role in multiple neuropathological conditions including ischemia, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injuries.

  19. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpova, Nina N; Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Samia R

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal network and plasticity change as a function of experience. Altered neural connectivity leads to distinct transcriptional programs of neuronal plasticity-related genes. The environmental challenges throughout life may promote long-lasting reprogramming of gene expression and the development of brain disorders. The modifications in neuronal epigenome mediate gene-environmental interactions and are required for activity-dependent regulation of neuronal differentiation, maturation and plasticity. Here, we highlight the latest advances in understanding the role of the main players of epigenetic machinery (DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, transposons, and non-coding RNAs) in activity-dependent and long- term neural and synaptic plasticity. The review focuses on both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression levels, including the processes of promoter activation, alternative splicing, regulation of stability of gene transcripts by natural antisense RNAs, and alternative polyadenylation. Further, we discuss the epigenetic aspects of impaired neuronal plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental (Rett syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, genomic imprinting disorders, schizophrenia, and others), stressrelated (mood disorders) and neurodegenerative Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disorders. The review also highlights the pharmacological compounds that modulate epigenetic programming of gene expression, the potential treatment strategies of discussed brain disorders, and the questions that should be addressed during the development of effective and safe approaches for the treatment of brain disorders.

  20. 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.

  1. Thalamic synaptic transmission of sensory information modulated by synergistic interaction of adenosine and serotonin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ya-Chin; Hu, Chun-Chang; Huang, Chen-Syuan; Chou, Pei-Yu

    2014-03-01

    The thalamic synapses relay peripheral sensory information to the cortex, and constitute an important part of the thalamocortical network that generates oscillatory activities responsible for different vigilance (sleep and wakefulness) states. However, the modulation of thalamic synaptic transmission by potential sleep regulators, especially by combination of regulators in physiological scenarios, is not fully characterized. We found that somnogen adenosine itself acts similar to wake-promoting serotonin, both decreasing synaptic strength as well as short-term depression, at the retinothalamic synapse. We then combined the two modulators considering the coexistence of them in the hypnagogic (sleep-onset) state. Adenosine plus serotonin results in robust synergistic inhibition of synaptic strength and dramatic transformation of short-term synaptic depression to facilitation. These synaptic effects are not achievable with a single modulator, and are consistent with a high signal-to-noise ratio but a low level of signal transmission through the thalamus appropriate for slow-wave sleep. This study for the first time demonstrates that the sleep-regulatory modulators may work differently when present in combination than present singly in terms of shaping information flow in the thalamocortical network. The major synaptic characters such as the strength and short-term plasticity can be profoundly altered by combination of modulators based on physiological considerations. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  2. Reduced Synaptic Vesicle Recycling during Hypoxia in Cultured Cortical Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Fedorovich, Sergei; Hofmeijer, Jeannette; van Putten, Michel Johannes Antonius Maria; le Feber, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    Improvement of neuronal recovery in the ischemic penumbra, an area around the core of a brain infarct with some remaining perfusion, has a large potential for the development of therapy against acute ischemic stroke. However, mechanisms that lead to either recovery or secondary damage in the penumbra largely remain unclear. Recent studies in cultured networks of cortical neurons showed that failure of synaptic transmission (referred to as synaptic failure) is a critical factor in the penumbra...

  3. Integrated neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system with synaptic device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jeong-Jun; Park, Jungjin; Kwon, Min-Woo; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Hyungjin; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, we propose and fabricate Integrate & Fire neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system. Overall operation of the circuit is verified by measuring discrete devices and the output characteristics of the circuit. Since the neuron circuit shows asymmetric output characteristic that can drive synaptic device with Spike-Timing-Dependent-Plasticity (STDP) characteristic, the autonomous weight update process is also verified by connecting the synaptic device and the neuron circuit. The timing difference of the pre-neuron and the post-neuron induce autonomous weight change of the synaptic device. Unlike 2-terminal devices, which is frequently used to implement neuromorphic system, proposed scheme of the system enables autonomous weight update and simple configuration by using 4-terminal synapse device and appropriate neuron circuit. Weight update process in the multi-layer neuron-synapse connection ensures implementation of the hardware-based artificial intelligence, based on Spiking-Neural- Network (SNN).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Chieh Wang

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

  5. The Roles of Protein Expression in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tali eRosenberg

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The amount and availability of proteins are regulated by their synthesis, degradation, and transport. These processes can specifically, locally, and temporally regulate a protein or a population of proteins, thus affecting numerous biological processes in health and disease states. Accordingly, malfunction in the processes of protein turnover and localization underlies different neuronal diseases. However, as early as a century ago, it was recognized that there is a specific need for normal macromolecular synthesis in a specific fragment of the learning process, memory consolidation, which takes place minutes to hours following acquisition. Memory consolidation is the process by which fragile short-term memory is converted into stable long-term memory. It is accepted today that synaptic plasticity is a cellular mechanism of learning and memory processes. Interestingly, similar molecular mechanisms subserve both memory and synaptic plasticity consolidation. In this review, we survey the current view on the connection between memory consolidation processes and proteostasis, i.e., maintaining the protein contents at the neuron and the synapse. In addition, we describe the technical obstacles and possible new methods to determine neuronal proteostasis of synaptic function and better explain the process of memory and synaptic plasticity consolidation.

  6. Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling--two sides of the same coin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keck, Christian; Savin, Cristina; Lücke, Jörg

    2012-01-01

    Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing.

  7. Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling--two sides of the same coin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Keck

    Full Text Available Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing.

  8. Interplay of multiple synaptic plasticity features in filamentary memristive devices for neuromorphic computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Barbera, Selina; Vincent, Adrien F.; Vuillaume, Dominique; Querlioz, Damien; Alibart, Fabien

    2016-12-01

    Bio-inspired computing represents today a major challenge at different levels ranging from material science for the design of innovative devices and circuits to computer science for the understanding of the key features required for processing of natural data. In this paper, we propose a detail analysis of resistive switching dynamics in electrochemical metallization cells for synaptic plasticity implementation. We show how filament stability associated to joule effect during switching can be used to emulate key synaptic features such as short term to long term plasticity transition and spike timing dependent plasticity. Furthermore, an interplay between these different synaptic features is demonstrated for object motion detection in a spike-based neuromorphic circuit. System level simulation presents robust learning and promising synaptic operation paving the way to complex bio-inspired computing systems composed of innovative memory devices.

  9. Does autophagy work in synaptic plasticity and memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehata, Mohammad; Inokuchi, Kaoru

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have reported the roles played by regulated proteolysis in neural plasticity and memory. Within this context, most of the research focused on the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the endosome-lysosome system while giving lesser consideration to another major protein degradation system, namely, autophagy. Although autophagy intersects with many of the pathways known to underlie synaptic plasticity and memory, only few reports related autophagy to synaptic remodeling. These pathways include PI3K-mTOR pathway and endosome-dependent proteolysis. In this review, we will discuss several lines of evidence supporting a physiological role of autophagy in memory processes, and the possible mechanistic scenarios for how autophagy could fulfill this function.

  10. Synaptic neurochemistry: Potential targets for the development of new tracer imaging methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frey, K.A.

    1991-01-01

    Radiotracer techniques for measuring biochemical and pharmacologic processes unique to the synapse and to chemically defined neuronal populations are now under investigation. These methods make use of neuronal biochemical specializations determined by invasive animal experiments and confirmed by human biopsy and autopsy. Early investigators focused on determination of neurotransmitter receptors. More recently, attention has turned to evaluation of presynaptic markers such as steps in neurotransmitter synthesis, storage and degradation, and to the potential evaluation of new postsynaptic markers, including chemical second-messenger activities and receptor-grated ion channel distributions. In this review, synaptic neurochemistry is presented with attention to potential radiotracer imaging methods. Strategies for selecting and applying neuropharmacologic methods to disorders of the human brain are outlined. The methodological requirements of new radiotracer imaging techniques are summarized according to their desired application. Finally, distinctions between in vitro and in vivo measurements of these processes are outlined, along with strategies for detecting such differences

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Axon Termination, Pruning, and Synaptogenesis in the Giant Fiber System of Drosophila melanogaster Is Promoted by Highwire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgen, Melissa; Rowland, Kimberly; Boerner, Jana; Lloyd, Brandon; Khan, Aruna; Murphey, Rodney

    2017-03-01

    The ubiquitin ligase Highwire has a conserved role in synapse formation. Here, we show that Highwire coordinates several facets of central synapse formation in the Drosophila melanogaster giant fiber system, including axon termination, axon pruning, and synaptic function. Despite the similarities to the fly neuromuscular junction, the role of Highwire and the underlying signaling pathways are distinct in the fly's giant fiber system. During development, branching of the giant fiber presynaptic terminal occurs and, normally, the transient branches are pruned away. However, in highwire mutants these ectopic branches persist, indicating that Highwire promotes axon pruning. highwire mutants also exhibit defects in synaptic function. Highwire promotes axon pruning and synaptic function cell-autonomously by attenuating a mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway including Wallenda, c-Jun N-terminal kinase/Basket, and the transcription factor Jun. We also show a novel role for Highwire in non-cell autonomous promotion of synaptic function from the midline glia. Highwire also regulates axon termination in the giant fibers, as highwire mutant axons exhibit severe overgrowth beyond the pruning defect. This excessive axon growth is increased by manipulating Fos expression in the cells surrounding the giant fiber terminal, suggesting that Fos regulates a trans -synaptic signal that promotes giant fiber axon growth. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  13. Odor-Specific Habituation Arises from Interaction of Afferent Synaptic Adaptation and Intrinsic Synaptic Potentiation in Olfactory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linster, Christiane; Menon, Alka V.; Singh, Christopher Y.; Wilson, Donald A.

    2009-01-01

    Segmentation of target odorants from background odorants is a fundamental computational requirement for the olfactory system and is thought to be behaviorally mediated by olfactory habituation memory. Data from our laboratory have shown that odor-specific adaptation in piriform neurons, mediated at least partially by synaptic adaptation between…

  14. Suppression of synaptic plasticity by fullerenol in rat hippocampus in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang XX

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Xin-Xing Wang,1,2,* Ying-Ying Zha,3,* Bo Yang,1 Lin Chen,1,2 Ming Wang1,2 1CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Diseases, 2Auditory Research Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, People’s Republic of China; 3Cell Electrophysiology Laboratory, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Fullerenol, a water-soluble fullerene derivative, has attracted much attention due to its bioactive properties, including the antioxidative properties and free radical scavenging ability. Due to its superior nature, fullerenol represents a promising diagnostic, therapeutic, and protective agent. Therefore, elucidation of the possible side effects of fullerenol is important in determining its potential role. In the present study, we investigated the acute effects of 5 µM fullerenol on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal brain slices of rats. Incubation with fullerenol for 20 minutes significantly decreased the peak of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, indicating that fullerenol suppresses the short- and long-term synaptic plasticity of region I of hippocampus. We found that fullerenol depressed the activity and the expression of nitric oxide (NO synthase in hippocampus. In view of the important role of NO in synaptic plasticity, the inhibition of fullerenol on NO synthase may contribute to the suppression of synaptic plasticity. These findings may facilitate the evaluation of the side effects of fullerenol. Keywords: fullerenol, hippocampal slice, nitric oxide synthase, synaptic plasticity, oxidative stress

  15. Synaptic control of local translation: the plot thickens with new characters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, María Gabriela; Pascual, Malena Lucía; Maschi, Darío; Luchelli, Luciana; Boccaccio, Graciela Lidia

    2014-06-01

    The production of proteins from mRNAs localized at the synapse ultimately controls the strength of synaptic transmission, thereby affecting behavior and cognitive functions. The regulated transcription, processing, and transport of mRNAs provide dynamic control of the dendritic transcriptome, which includes thousands of messengers encoding multiple cellular functions. Translation is locally modulated by synaptic activity through a complex network of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and various types of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) including BC-RNAs, microRNAs, piwi-interacting RNAs, and small interference RNAs. The RBPs FMRP and CPEB play a well-established role in synaptic translation, and additional regulatory factors are emerging. The mRNA repressors Smaug, Nanos, and Pumilio define a novel pathway for local translational control that affects dendritic branching and spines in both flies and mammals. Recent findings support a role for processing bodies and related synaptic mRNA-silencing foci (SyAS-foci) in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and memory formation. The SyAS-foci respond to different stimuli with changes in their integrity thus enabling regulated mRNA release followed by translation. CPEB, Pumilio, TDP-43, and FUS/TLS form multimers through low-complexity regions related to prion domains or polyQ expansions. The oligomerization of these repressor RBPs is mechanistically linked to the aggregation of abnormal proteins commonly associated with neurodegeneration. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on how specificity in mRNA translation is achieved through the concerted action of multiple pathways that involve regulatory ncRNAs and RBPs, the modification of translation factors, and mRNA-silencing foci dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  17. Age-related synaptic loss of the medial olivocochlear efferent innervation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schrader Angela

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Age-related functional decline of the nervous system is consistently observed, though cellular and molecular events responsible for this decline remain largely unknown. One of the most prevalent age-related functional declines is age-related hearing loss (presbycusis, a major cause of which is the loss of outer hair cells (OHCs and spiral ganglion neurons. Previous studies have also identified an age-related functional decline in the medial olivocochlear (MOC efferent system prior to age-related loss of OHCs. The present study evaluated the hypothesis that this functional decline of the MOC efferent system is due to age-related synaptic loss of the efferent innervation of the OHCs. To this end, we used a recently-identified transgenic mouse line in which the expression of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP, under the control of neuron-specific elements from the thy1 gene, permits the visualization of the synaptic connections between MOC efferent fibers and OHCs. In this model, there was a dramatic synaptic loss between the MOC efferent fibers and the OHCs in older mice. However, age-related loss of efferent synapses was independent of OHC status. These data demonstrate for the first time that age-related loss of efferent synapses may contribute to the functional decline of the MOC efferent system and that this synaptic loss is not necessary for age-related loss of OHCs.

  18. P2X Receptors and Synaptic Plasticity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pankratov, Y.; Lalo, U.; Krishtal, A.; Verkhratsky, Alexei

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 158, č. 1 (2009), s. 137-148 ISSN 0306-4522 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390512 Keywords : ATP * P2X receptors * synaptic plasticity Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.292, year: 2009

  19. Differential compartmentalization and distinct functions of GABAB receptor variants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vigot, Réjan; Barbieri, Samuel; Bräuner-Osborne, Hans

    2006-01-01

    , while predominantly GABAB1b mediates postsynaptic inhibition. Electron microscopy reveals a synaptic distribution of GABAB1 isoforms that agrees with the observed functional differences. Transfected CA3 neurons selectively express GABAB1a in distal axons, suggesting that the sushi repeats, a conserved...... protein interaction motif, specify heteroreceptor localization. The constitutive absence of GABAB1a but not GABAB1b results in impaired synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent memory, emphasizing molecular differences in synaptic GABAB functions....

  20. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Regulation in Solution-Gated Indium-Gallium-Zinc-Oxide Electric-Double-Layer Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Chang Jin; Liu, Yang Hui; Zhu, Li Qiang; Feng, Ping; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-04-20

    In the biological nervous system, synaptic plasticity regulation is based on the modulation of ionic fluxes, and such regulation was regarded as the fundamental mechanism underlying memory and learning. Inspired by such biological strategies, indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO) electric-double-layer (EDL) transistors gated by aqueous solutions were proposed for synaptic behavior emulations. Short-term synaptic plasticity, such as paired-pulse facilitation, high-pass filtering, and orientation tuning, was experimentally emulated in these EDL transistors. Most importantly, we found that such short-term synaptic plasticity can be effectively regulated by alcohol (ethyl alcohol) and salt (potassium chloride) additives. Our results suggest that solution gated oxide-based EDL transistors could act as the platforms for short-term synaptic plasticity emulation.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. DFsn collaborates with Highwire to down-regulate the Wallenda/DLK kinase and restrain synaptic terminal growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DiAntonio Aaron

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The growth of new synapses shapes the initial formation and subsequent rearrangement of neural circuitry. Genetic studies have demonstrated that the ubiquitin ligase Highwire restrains synaptic terminal growth by down-regulating the MAP kinase kinase kinase Wallenda/dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK. To investigate the mechanism of Highwire action, we have identified DFsn as a binding partner of Highwire and characterized the roles of DFsn in synapse development, synaptic transmission, and the regulation of Wallenda/DLK kinase abundance. Results We identified DFsn as an F-box protein that binds to the RING-domain ubiquitin ligase Highwire and that can localize to the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Loss-of-function mutants for DFsn have a phenotype that is very similar to highwire mutants – there is a dramatic overgrowth of synaptic termini, with a large increase in the number of synaptic boutons and branches. In addition, synaptic transmission is impaired in DFsn mutants. Genetic interactions between DFsn and highwire mutants indicate that DFsn and Highwire collaborate to restrain synaptic terminal growth. Finally, DFsn regulates the levels of the Wallenda/DLK kinase, and wallenda is necessary for DFsn-dependent synaptic terminal overgrowth. Conclusion The F-box protein DFsn binds the ubiquitin ligase Highwire and is required to down-regulate the levels of the Wallenda/DLK kinase and restrain synaptic terminal growth. We propose that DFsn and Highwire participate in an evolutionarily conserved ubiquitin ligase complex whose substrates regulate the structure and function of synapses.

  3. Neuromodulation of activity-dependent synaptic enhancement at crayfish neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, S M; Delaney, K R

    1997-10-17

    Action potential-evoked transmitter release is enhanced for many seconds after moderate-frequency stimulation (e.g. 15 Hz for 30 s) at the excitor motorneuron synapse of the crayfish dactyl opener muscle. Beginning about 1.5 s after a train, activity-dependent synaptic enhancement (ADSE) is dominated by a process termed augmentation (G.D. Bittner, D.A. Baxter, Synaptic plasticity at crayfish neuromuscular junctions: facilitation and augmentation, Synapse 7 (1991) 235-243'[4]; K.L. Magleby, Short-term changes in synaptic efficacy, in: G.M. Edelman, L.E. Gall, C.W. Maxwell (Eds.), Synaptic Function, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1987, pp. 21-56; K.L. Magleby; J.E. Zengel, Augmentation: a process that acts to increase transmitter release at the frog neuromuscular junction, J. Physiol. (Lond.) 257 (1976) 449-470) which decays approximately exponentially with a time constant of about 10 s at 16 degrees C, reflecting the removal of Ca2+ which accumulates during the train in presynaptic terminals (K.R. Delaney, D.W. Tank, R.S. Zucker, Serotonin-mediated enhancement of transmission at crayfish neuromuscular junction is independent of changes in calcium, J. Neurosci. 11 (1991) 2631-2643). Serotonin (5-HT, 1 microM) increases evoked and spontaneous transmitter release several-fold (D. Dixon, H.L. Atwood, Crayfish motor nerve terminal's response to serotonin examined by intracellular microelectrode, J. Neurobiol. 16 (1985) 409-424; J. Dudel, Modulation of quantal synaptic release by serotonin and forskolin in crayfish motor nerve terminals, in: Modulation of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity in Nervous Systems, G. Hertting, H.-C. Spatz (Eds.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1988; S. Glusman, E.A. Kravitz. The action of serotonin on excitatory nerve terminals in lobster nerve-muscle preparations, J. Physiol. (Lond.) 325 (1982) 223-241). We found that ADSE persists about 2-3 times longer after moderate-frequency presynaptic stimulation in the presence of 5-HT. This slowing of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A Appleby

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-21

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

  8. Synaptic neurotransmission depression in ventral tegmental dopamine neurons and cannabinoid-associated addictive learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhiqiang; Han, Jing; Jia, Lintao; Maillet, Jean-Christian; Bai, Guang; Xu, Lin; Jia, Zhengping; Zheng, Qiaohua; Zhang, Wandong; Monette, Robert; Merali, Zul; Zhu, Zhou; Wang, Wei; Ren, Wei; Zhang, Xia

    2010-12-20

    Drug addiction is an association of compulsive drug use with long-term associative learning/memory. Multiple forms of learning/memory are primarily subserved by activity- or experience-dependent synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent studies suggest LTP expression in locally activated glutamate synapses onto dopamine neurons (local Glu-DA synapses) of the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) following a single or chronic exposure to many drugs of abuse, whereas a single exposure to cannabinoid did not significantly affect synaptic plasticity at these synapses. It is unknown whether chronic exposure of cannabis (marijuana or cannabinoids), the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, induce LTP or LTD at these synapses. More importantly, whether such alterations in VTA synaptic plasticity causatively contribute to drug addictive behavior has not previously been addressed. Here we show in rats that chronic cannabinoid exposure activates VTA cannabinoid CB1 receptors to induce transient neurotransmission depression at VTA local Glu-DA synapses through activation of NMDA receptors and subsequent endocytosis of AMPA receptor GluR2 subunits. A GluR2-derived peptide blocks cannabinoid-induced VTA synaptic depression and conditioned place preference, i.e., learning to associate drug exposure with environmental cues. These data not only provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic depression at VTA dopamine circuitry requires GluR2 endocytosis, but also suggest an essential contribution of such synaptic depression to cannabinoid-associated addictive learning, in addition to pointing to novel pharmacological strategies for the treatment of cannabis addiction.

  9. Synaptic neurotransmission depression in ventral tegmental dopamine neurons and cannabinoid-associated addictive learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiqiang Liu

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Drug addiction is an association of compulsive drug use with long-term associative learning/memory. Multiple forms of learning/memory are primarily subserved by activity- or experience-dependent synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. Recent studies suggest LTP expression in locally activated glutamate synapses onto dopamine neurons (local Glu-DA synapses of the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA following a single or chronic exposure to many drugs of abuse, whereas a single exposure to cannabinoid did not significantly affect synaptic plasticity at these synapses. It is unknown whether chronic exposure of cannabis (marijuana or cannabinoids, the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, induce LTP or LTD at these synapses. More importantly, whether such alterations in VTA synaptic plasticity causatively contribute to drug addictive behavior has not previously been addressed. Here we show in rats that chronic cannabinoid exposure activates VTA cannabinoid CB1 receptors to induce transient neurotransmission depression at VTA local Glu-DA synapses through activation of NMDA receptors and subsequent endocytosis of AMPA receptor GluR2 subunits. A GluR2-derived peptide blocks cannabinoid-induced VTA synaptic depression and conditioned place preference, i.e., learning to associate drug exposure with environmental cues. These data not only provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic depression at VTA dopamine circuitry requires GluR2 endocytosis, but also suggest an essential contribution of such synaptic depression to cannabinoid-associated addictive learning, in addition to pointing to novel pharmacological strategies for the treatment of cannabis addiction.

  10. Synaptic Neurotransmission Depression in Ventral Tegmental Dopamine Neurons and Cannabinoid-Associated Addictive Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhiqiang; Han, Jing; Jia, Lintao; Maillet, Jean-Christian; Bai, Guang; Xu, Lin; Jia, Zhengping; Zheng, Qiaohua; Zhang, Wandong; Monette, Robert; Merali, Zul; Zhu, Zhou; Wang, Wei; Ren, Wei; Zhang, Xia

    2010-01-01

    Drug addiction is an association of compulsive drug use with long-term associative learning/memory. Multiple forms of learning/memory are primarily subserved by activity- or experience-dependent synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Recent studies suggest LTP expression in locally activated glutamate synapses onto dopamine neurons (local Glu-DA synapses) of the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) following a single or chronic exposure to many drugs of abuse, whereas a single exposure to cannabinoid did not significantly affect synaptic plasticity at these synapses. It is unknown whether chronic exposure of cannabis (marijuana or cannabinoids), the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, induce LTP or LTD at these synapses. More importantly, whether such alterations in VTA synaptic plasticity causatively contribute to drug addictive behavior has not previously been addressed. Here we show in rats that chronic cannabinoid exposure activates VTA cannabinoid CB1 receptors to induce transient neurotransmission depression at VTA local Glu-DA synapses through activation of NMDA receptors and subsequent endocytosis of AMPA receptor GluR2 subunits. A GluR2-derived peptide blocks cannabinoid-induced VTA synaptic depression and conditioned place preference, i.e., learning to associate drug exposure with environmental cues. These data not only provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic depression at VTA dopamine circuitry requires GluR2 endocytosis, but also suggest an essential contribution of such synaptic depression to cannabinoid-associated addictive learning, in addition to pointing to novel pharmacological strategies for the treatment of cannabis addiction. PMID:21187978

  11. Impaired recycling of synaptic vesicles after acute perturbation of the presynaptic actin cytoskeleton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shupliakov, Oleg; Bloom, Ona; Gustafsson, Jenny S

    2002-01-01

    Actin is an abundant component of nerve terminals that has been implicated at multiple steps of the synaptic vesicle cycle, including reversible anchoring, exocytosis, and recycling of synaptic vesicles. In the present study we used the lamprey reticulospinal synapse to examine the role of actin ...

  12. ZCCHC17 is a master regulator of synaptic gene expression in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomljanovic, Zeljko; Patel, Mitesh; Shin, William; Califano, Andrea; Teich, Andrew F

    2018-02-01

    In an effort to better understand the molecular drivers of synaptic and neurophysiologic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD), we analyzed neuronal gene expression data from human AD brain tissue to identify master regulators of synaptic gene expression. Master regulator analysis identifies ZCCHC17 as normally supporting the expression of a network of synaptic genes, and predicts that ZCCHC17 dysfunction in AD leads to lower expression of these genes. We demonstrate that ZCCHC17 is normally expressed in neurons and is reduced early in the course of AD pathology. We show that ZCCHC17 loss in rat neurons leads to lower expression of the majority of the predicted synaptic targets and that ZCCHC17 drives the expression of a similar gene network in humans and rats. These findings support a conserved function for ZCCHC17 between species and identify ZCCHC17 loss as an important early driver of lower synaptic gene expression in AD. Matlab and R scripts used in this paper are available at https://github.com/afteich/AD_ZCC. aft25@cumc.columbia.edu. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  13. Synaptic plasticity and the warburg effect

    KAUST Repository

    Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2014-01-01

    Functional brain imaging studies show that in certain brain regions glucose utilization exceeds oxygen consumption, indicating the predominance of aerobic glycolysis. In this issue, Goyal et al. (2014) report that this metabolic profile is associated with an enrichment in the expression of genes involved in synaptic plasticity and remodeling processes. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

  14. Spontaneously immortalised bovine mammary epithelial cells exhibit a distinct gene expression pattern from the breast cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Qianqian

    2010-10-01

    exhibit non-malignant transformation. Although this cell line displays altered patterns of gene expression, it is clearly distinct from malignant breast cancer cell line. It showed that co-inhibition of cellular senescence and mitochondrial apoptosis pathways coordinates BME65Cs cells immortalisation. Additionally, mechanisms other than gene mutation are likely to be involved in regulation of cellular functions. This study provides an insight into the relationship between cell senescence and immortalisation. BME65Cs cells will be useful in future studies of cellular senescence and tumorigenesis.

  15. Reinstatement of long-term memory following erasure of its behavioral and synaptic expression in Aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shanping; Cai, Diancai; Pearce, Kaycey; Sun, Philip Y-W; Roberts, Adam C; Glanzman, David L

    2014-11-17

    Long-term memory (LTM) is believed to be stored in the brain as changes in synaptic connections. Here, we show that LTM storage and synaptic change can be dissociated. Cocultures of Aplysia sensory and motor neurons were trained with spaced pulses of serotonin, which induces long-term facilitation. Serotonin (5HT) triggered growth of new presynaptic varicosities, a synaptic mechanism of long-term sensitization. Following 5HT training, two antimnemonic treatments-reconsolidation blockade and inhibition of PKM--caused the number of presynaptic varicosities to revert to the original, pretraining value. Surprisingly, the final synaptic structure was not achieved by targeted retraction of the 5HT-induced varicosities but, rather, by an apparently arbitrary retraction of both 5HT-induced and original synapses. In addition, we find evidence that the LTM for sensitization persists covertly after its apparent elimination by the same antimnemonic treatments that erase learning-related synaptic growth. These results challenge the idea that stable synapses store long-term memories.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y W; Bayliss, D A

    1998-06-01

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

  17. MAGUKs: multifaceted synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Sehoon; Levy, Jon M; Nicoll, Roger A; Roche, Katherine W

    2017-04-01

    The PSD-95 family of proteins, known as MAGUKs, have long been recognized to be central building blocks of the PSD. They are categorized as scaffolding proteins, which link surface-expressed receptors to the intracellular signaling molecules. Although the four members of the PSD-95 family (PSD-95, PSD-93, SAP102, and SAP97) have many shared roles in regulating synaptic function, recent studies have begun to delineate specific binding partners and roles in plasticity. In the current review, we will highlight the conserved and unique roles of these proteins. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Convergent synaptic and circuit substrates underlying autism genetic risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee, Aaron; Li, Guohui; Lu, Zhongming; Qiu, Shenfeng

    2014-02-01

    There has been a surge of diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past decade. While large, high powered genome screening studies of children with ASD have identified numerous genetic risk factors, research efforts to understanding how each of these risk factors contributes to the development autism has met with limited success. Revealing the mechanisms by which these genetic risk factors affect brain development and predispose a child to autism requires mechanistic understanding of the neurobiological changes underlying this devastating group of developmental disorders at multifaceted molecular, cellular and system levels. It has been increasingly clear that the normal trajectory of neurodevelopment is compromised in autism, in multiple domains as much as aberrant neuronal production, growth, functional maturation, patterned connectivity, and balanced excitation and inhibition of brain networks. Many autism risk factors identified in humans have been now reconstituted in experimental mouse models to allow mechanistic interrogation of the biological role of the risk gene. Studies utilizing these mouse models have revealed that underlying the enormous heterogeneity of perturbed cellular events, mechanisms directing synaptic and circuit assembly may provide a unifying explanation for the pathophysiological changes and behavioral endophenotypes seen in autism, although synaptic perturbations are far from being the only alterations relevant for ASD. In this review, we discuss synaptic and circuit abnormalities obtained from several prevalent mouse models, particularly those reflecting syndromic forms of ASD that are caused by single gene perturbations. These compiled results reveal that ASD risk genes contribute to proper signaling of the developing gene networks that maintain synaptic and circuit homeostasis, which is fundamental to normal brain development.

  19. Behavior control in the sensorimotor loop with short-term synaptic dynamics induced by self-regulating neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hazem eToutounji

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The behavior and skills of living systems depend on the distributed control provided by specialized and highly recurrent neural networks. Learning and memory in these systems is mediated by a set of adaptation mechanisms, known collectively as neuronal plasticity. Translating principles of recurrent neural control and plasticity to artificial agents has seen major strides, but is usually hampered by the complex interactions between the agent's body and its environment. One of the important standing issues is for the agent to support multiple stable states of behavior, so that its behavioral repertoire matches the requirements imposed by these interactions. The agent also must have the capacity to switch between these states in time scales that are comparable to those by which sensory stimulation varies. Achieving this requires a mechanism of short-term memory that allows the neurocontroller to keep track of the recent history of its input, which finds its biological counterpart in short-term synaptic plasticity. This issue is approached here by deriving synaptic dynamics in recurrent neural networks. Neurons are introduced as self-regulating units with a rich repertoire of dynamics. They exhibit homeostatic properties for certain parameter domains, which result in a set of stable states and the required short-term memory. They can also operate as oscillators, which allow them to surpass the level of activity imposed by their homeostatic operation conditions. Neural systems endowed with the derived synaptic dynamics can be utilized for the neural behavior control of autonomous mobile agents. The resulting behavior depends also on the underlying network structure, which is either engineered, or developed by evolutionary techniques. The effectiveness of these self-regulating units is demonstrated by controlling locomotion of a hexapod with eighteen degrees of freedom, and obstacle-avoidance of a wheel-driven robot.

  20. The synaptic properties of cells define the hallmarks of interval timing in a recurrent neural network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Oswaldo; Merchant, Hugo

    2018-04-03

    Extensive research has described two key features of interval timing. The bias property is associated with accuracy and implies that time is overestimated for short intervals and underestimated for long intervals. The scalar property is linked to precision and states that the variability of interval estimates increases as a function of interval duration. The neural mechanisms behind these properties are not well understood. Here we implemented a recurrent neural network that mimics a cortical ensemble and includes cells that show paired-pulse facilitation and slow inhibitory synaptic currents. The network produces interval selective responses and reproduces both bias and scalar properties when a Bayesian decoder reads its activity. Notably, the interval-selectivity, timing accuracy, and precision of the network showed complex changes as a function of the decay time constants of the modeled synaptic properties and the level of background activity of the cells. These findings suggest that physiological values of the time constants for paired-pulse facilitation and GABAb, as well as the internal state of the network, determine the bias and scalar properties of interval timing. Significant Statement Timing is a fundamental element of complex behavior, including music and language. Temporal processing in a wide variety of contexts shows two primary features: time estimates exhibit a shift towards the mean (the bias property) and are more variable for longer intervals (the scalar property). We implemented a recurrent neural network that includes long-lasting synaptic currents, which can not only produce interval selective responses but also follow the bias and scalar properties. Interestingly, only physiological values of the time constants for paired-pulse facilitation and GABAb, as well as intermediate background activity within the network can reproduce the two key features of interval timing. Copyright © 2018 the authors.

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

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    Dougherty Patrick M

    2009-07-01

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

  2. Pinpointing Synaptic Loss Caused by Alzheimer?s Disease with fMRI

    OpenAIRE

    Brickman, Adam M.; Small, Scott A.; Fleisher, Adam

    2009-01-01

    During its earliest stage, before cell loss and independent of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes synaptic loss affecting the basal functional properties of neurons. In principle, synaptic loss can be detected by measuring AD-induced changes in basal function, or by measuring stimulus-evoked responses on top of basal changes. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is sensitive to both basal changes and evoked-responses, and there are therefore t...

  3. Loss of Huntingtin stimulates capture of retrograde dense-core vesicles to increase synaptic neuropeptide stores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Dinara; Deitcher, David L; Levitan, Edwin S

    2017-08-01

    The Huntington's disease protein Huntingtin (Htt) regulates axonal transport of dense-core vesicles (DCVs) containing neurotrophins and neuropeptides. DCVs travel down axons to reach nerve terminals where they are either captured in synaptic boutons to support later release or reverse direction to reenter the axon as part of vesicle circulation. Currently, the impact of Htt on DCV dynamics in the terminal is unknown. Here we report that knockout of Drosophila Htt selectively reduces retrograde DCV flux at proximal boutons of motoneuron terminals. However, initiation of retrograde transport at the most distal bouton and transport velocity are unaffected suggesting that synaptic capture rate of these retrograde DCVs could be altered. In fact, tracking DCVs shows that retrograde synaptic capture efficiency is significantly elevated by Htt knockout or knockdown. Furthermore, synaptic boutons contain more neuropeptide in Htt knockout larvae even though bouton size, single DCV fluorescence intensity, neuropeptide release in response to electrical stimulation and subsequent activity-dependent capture are unaffected. Thus, loss of Htt increases synaptic capture as DCVs travel by retrograde transport through boutons resulting in reduced transport toward the axon and increased neuropeptide in the terminal. These results therefore identify native Htt as a regulator of synaptic capture and neuropeptide storage. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity Emulated in Modified Graphene Oxide Electrolyte Gated IZO-Based Thin-Film Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yi; Wen, Juan; Guo, Liqiang; Wan, Xiang; Du, Peifu; Feng, Ping; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-11-09

    Emulating neural behaviors at the synaptic level is of great significance for building neuromorphic computational systems and realizing artificial intelligence. Here, oxide-based electric double-layer (EDL) thin-film transistors were fabricated using 3-triethoxysilylpropylamine modified graphene oxide (KH550-GO) electrolyte as the gate dielectrics. Resulting from the EDL effect and electrochemical doping between mobile protons and the indium-zinc-oxide channel layer, long-term synaptic plasticity was emulated in our devices. Synaptic functions including long-term memory, synaptic temporal integration, and dynamic filters were successfully reproduced. In particular, spike rate-dependent plasticity (SRDP), one of the basic learning rules of long-term plasticity in the neural network where the synaptic weight changes according to the rate of presynaptic spikes, was emulated in our devices. Our results may facilitate the development of neuromorphic computational systems.

  5. Raindrops of synaptic noise on dual excitability landscape: an approach to astrocyte network modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verisokin, Andrey Yu.; Postnov, Dmitry E.; Verveyko, Darya V.; Brazhe, Alexey R.

    2018-04-01

    The most abundant non-neuronal cells in the brain, astrocytes, populate all parts of the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytic calcium activity ranging from subcellular sparkles to intercellular waves is believed to be the key to a plethora of regulatory pathways in the central nervous system from synaptic plasticity to blood flow regulation. Modeling of the calcium wave initiation and transmission and their spatiotemporal dynamics is therefore an important step stone in understanding the crucial cogs of cognition. Astrocytes are active sensors of ongoing neuronal and synaptic activity, and neurotransmitters diffusing from the synaptic cleft make a strong impact on the astrocytic activity. Here we propose a model describing the patterns of calcium wave formation at a single cell level and discuss the interplay between astrocyte shape the calcium waves dynamics driven by local stochastic surges of glutamate simulating synaptic activity.

  6. Soluble ectodomain of neuroligin 1 decreases synaptic activity by activating metabotropic glutamate receptor 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjørlund, Michelle D.; Carlsen, Eva Maria Meier; Kønig, Andreas Bay

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic cell adhesion molecules represent important targets for neuronal activity-dependent proteolysis. Postsynaptic neuroligins (NLs) form trans-synaptic complexes with presynaptic neurexins (NXs). Both NXs and NLs are cleaved from the cell surface by metalloproteases in an activity-dependent ...

  7. Memristor-based neural networks: Synaptic versus neuronal stochasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan; Alshedivat, Maruan; Neftci, Emre; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Salama, Khaled N.

    2016-01-01

    In neuromorphic circuits, stochasticity in the cortex can be mapped into the synaptic or neuronal components. The hardware emulation of these stochastic neural networks are currently being extensively studied using resistive memories or memristors

  8. Multistate Resistive Switching Memory for Synaptic Memory Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Hota, Mrinal Kanti; Hedhili, Mohamed N.; Wehbe, Nimer; McLachlan, Martyn A.; Alshareef, Husam N.

    2016-01-01

    memory performance is observed. Conventional synaptic operation in terms of potentiation, depression plasticity, and Ebbinghaus forgetting process are also studied. The memory mechanism is shown to originate from the migration of the oxygen vacancies

  9. 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.

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-23

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

  12. Feedforward Inhibition and Synaptic Scaling – Two Sides of the Same Coin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lücke, Jörg

    2012-01-01

    Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing. PMID:22457610

  13. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia S. Estes

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal disease characterized by complex neuronal and glial phenotypes. Recently, RNA-based mechanisms have been linked to ALS via RNA-binding proteins such as TDP-43, which has been studied in vivo using models ranging from yeast to rodents. We have developed a Drosophila model of ALS based on TDP-43 that recapitulates several aspects of pathology, including motor neuron loss, locomotor dysfunction and reduced survival. Here we report the phenotypic consequences of expressing wild-type and four different ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations in neurons and glia. We show that TDP-43-driven neurodegeneration phenotypes are dose- and age-dependent. In motor neurons, TDP-43 appears restricted to nuclei, which are significantly misshapen due to mutant but not wild-type protein expression. In glia and in the developing neuroepithelium, TDP-43 associates with cytoplasmic puncta. TDP-43-containing RNA granules are motile in cultured motor neurons, although wild-type and mutant variants exhibit different kinetic properties. At the neuromuscular junction, the expression of TDP-43 in motor neurons versus glia leads to seemingly opposite synaptic phenotypes that, surprisingly, translate into comparable locomotor defects. Finally, we explore sleep as a behavioral readout of TDP-43 expression and find evidence of sleep fragmentation consistent with hyperexcitability, a suggested mechanism in ALS. These findings support the notion that although motor neurons and glia are both involved in ALS pathology, at the cellular level they can exhibit different responses to TDP-43. In addition, our data suggest that individual TDP-43 alleles utilize distinct molecular mechanisms, which will be important for developing therapeutic strategies.

  14. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, Patricia S; Daniel, Scott G; McCallum, Abigail P; Boehringer, Ashley V; Sukhina, Alona S; Zwick, Rebecca A; Zarnescu, Daniela C

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease characterized by complex neuronal and glial phenotypes. Recently, RNA-based mechanisms have been linked to ALS via RNA-binding proteins such as TDP-43, which has been studied in vivo using models ranging from yeast to rodents. We have developed a Drosophila model of ALS based on TDP-43 that recapitulates several aspects of pathology, including motor neuron loss, locomotor dysfunction and reduced survival. Here we report the phenotypic consequences of expressing wild-type and four different ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations in neurons and glia. We show that TDP-43-driven neurodegeneration phenotypes are dose- and age-dependent. In motor neurons, TDP-43 appears restricted to nuclei, which are significantly misshapen due to mutant but not wild-type protein expression. In glia and in the developing neuroepithelium, TDP-43 associates with cytoplasmic puncta. TDP-43-containing RNA granules are motile in cultured motor neurons, although wild-type and mutant variants exhibit different kinetic properties. At the neuromuscular junction, the expression of TDP-43 in motor neurons versus glia leads to seemingly opposite synaptic phenotypes that, surprisingly, translate into comparable locomotor defects. Finally, we explore sleep as a behavioral readout of TDP-43 expression and find evidence of sleep fragmentation consistent with hyperexcitability, a suggested mechanism in ALS. These findings support the notion that although motor neurons and glia are both involved in ALS pathology, at the cellular level they can exhibit different responses to TDP-43. In addition, our data suggest that individual TDP-43 alleles utilize distinct molecular mechanisms, which will be important for developing therapeutic strategies.

  15. Role of the adhesion molecule F3/Contactin in synaptic plasticity and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulisano, Walter; Bizzoca, Antonella; Gennarini, Gianfranco; Palmeri, Agostino; Puzzo, Daniela

    2017-06-01

    Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) have a pivotal role in building and maintaining synaptic structures during brain development participating in axonal elongation and pathfinding, glial guidance of neuronal migration, as well as myelination. CAMs expression persists in the adult brain particularly in structures undergoing postnatal neurogenesis and involved in synaptic plasticity and memory as the hippocampus. Among the neural CAMs, we have recently focused on F3/Contactin, a glycosylphosphatidyl inositol-anchored glycoprotein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily, involved in neuronal development, synaptic maintenance and organization of neuronal networks. Here, we discuss our recent data suggesting that F3/Contactin exerts a role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory in adult and aged mice. In particular, we have studied long-term potentiation (LTP), spatial and object recognition memory, and phosphorylation of the transcription factor cAMP-Responsive-Element Binding protein (CREB) in a transgenic mouse model of F3/Contactin overexpression. We also investigated whether F3/Contactin might influence neuronal apoptosis and the production of amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ), known to be one of the main pathogenetic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In conclusion, a further understanding of F3/Contactin role in synaptic plasticity and memory might have interesting clinical outcomes in cognitive disorders, such as aging and AD, offering innovative therapeutic opportunities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Analysis of synaptic growth and function in Drosophila with an extended larval stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Daniel L; Ballard, Shannon L; Ganetzky, Barry

    2012-10-03

    The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a powerful system for the genetic and molecular analysis of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, and synaptic development. However, its use for studying age-dependent processes, such as maintenance of neuronal viability and synaptic stability, are temporally limited by the onset of pupariation and metamorphosis. Here we characterize larval NMJ growth, growth regulation, structure, and function in a developmental variant with an extended third instar (ETI). RNAi-knockdown of the prothoracicotropic hormone receptor, torso, in the ring gland of developing larvae leaves the timing of first and second instar molts largely unchanged, but triples duration of the third instar from 3 to 9.5 d (McBrayer et al., 2007; Rewitz et al., 2009). During this ETI period, NMJs undergo additional growth (adding >50 boutons/NMJ), and this growth remains under the control of the canonical regulators Highwire and the TGFβ/BMP pathway. NMJ growth during the ETI period occurs via addition of new branches, satellite boutons, and interstitial boutons, and continues even after muscle growth levels off. Throughout the ETI, organization of synapses and active zones remains normal, and synaptic transmission is unchanged. These results establish the ETI larval system as a viable model for studying motor neuron diseases and for investigating time-dependent effects of perturbations that impair mechanisms of neuroprotection, synaptic maintenance, and response to neural injury.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Neurons often receive massive concurrent bombardment of synaptic inhibition and excitation during functional network activity. This increases membrane conductance and causes fluctuations in membrane potential (V(m)) and spike timing. The conductance increase is commonly attributed to synaptic....... If the spikes arrive at random times the changes in synaptic conductance are therefore stochastic and rapid during intense network activity. In comparison, sub-threshold intrinsic conductances vary smoothly in time. In the present study this discrepancy is investigated using two conductance-based models: a (1...... conductance, but also includes the intrinsic conductances recruited during network activity. These two sources of conductance have contrasting dynamic properties at sub-threshold membrane potentials. Synaptic transmitter gated conductance changes abruptly and briefly with each presynaptic action potential...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cary Soares

    2017-10-01

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

  20. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Xu, Lei; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Xiaohua; Sun, Huajun; Miao, Xiangshui

    2013-04-01

    Compact and power-efficient plastic electronic synapses are of fundamental importance to overcoming the bottlenecks of developing a neuromorphic chip. Memristor is a strong contender among the various electronic synapses in existence today. However, the speeds of synaptic events are relatively slow in most attempts at emulating synapses due to the material-related mechanism. Here we revealed the intrinsic memristance of stoichiometric crystalline Ge2Sb2Te5 that originates from the charge trapping and releasing by the defects. The device resistance states, representing synaptic weights, were precisely modulated by 30 ns potentiating/depressing electrical pulses. We demonstrated four spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) forms by applying programmed pre- and postsynaptic spiking pulse pairs in different time windows ranging from 50 ms down to 500 ns, the latter of which is 105 times faster than the speed of STDP in human brain. This study provides new opportunities for building ultrafast neuromorphic computing systems and surpassing Von Neumann architecture.

  1. Presynaptic Active Zone Density during Development and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Gwenaëlle L; Chen, Jie; Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    Neural circuits transmit information through synapses, and the efficiency of synaptic transmission is closely related to the density of presynaptic active zones, where synaptic vesicles are released. The goal of this review is to highlight recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the number of active zones per presynaptic terminal (active zone density) during developmental and stimulus-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy. At the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), the active zone density is preserved across species, remains constant during development, and is the same between synapses with different activities. However, the NMJ active zones are not always stable, as exemplified by the change in active zone density during acute experimental manipulation or as a result of aging. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to maintain its density. In the central nervous system (CNS), active zones have restricted maximal size, exist in multiple numbers in larger presynaptic terminals, and maintain a constant density during development. These findings suggest that active zone density in the CNS is also controlled. However, in contrast to the NMJ, active zone density in the CNS can also be increased, as observed in hippocampal synapses in response to synaptic plasticity. Although the numbers of known active zone proteins and protein interactions have increased, less is known about the mechanism that controls the number or spacing of active zones. The following molecules are known to control active zone density and will be discussed herein: extracellular matrix laminins and voltage-dependent calcium channels, amyloid precursor proteins, the small GTPase Rab3, an endocytosis mechanism including synaptojanin, cytoskeleton protein spectrins and β-adducin, and a presynaptic web including spectrins. The molecular mechanisms that organize the active zone density are just beginning to be elucidated.

  2. 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-dependent...

  3. Automatic morphometry of synaptic boutons of cultured cells using granulometric analysis of digital images

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prodanov, D.P.; Heeroma, Joost; Marani, Enrico

    2006-01-01

    Numbers, linear density, and surface area of synaptic boutons can be important parameters in studies on synaptic plasticity in cultured neurons. We present a method for automatic identification and morphometry of boutons based on filtering of digital images using granulometric analysis. Cultures of

  4. A light-stimulated synaptic device based on graphene hybrid phototransistor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Shuchao; Wang, Fengqiu; Liu, Yujie; Wan, Qing; Wang, Xinran; Xu, Yongbing; Shi, Yi; Wang, Xiaomu; Zhang, Rong

    2017-09-01

    Neuromorphic chips refer to an unconventional computing architecture that is modelled on biological brains. They are increasingly employed for processing sensory data for machine vision, context cognition, and decision making. Despite rapid advances, neuromorphic computing has remained largely an electronic technology, making it a challenge to access the superior computing features provided by photons, or to directly process vision data that has increasing importance to artificial intelligence. Here we report a novel light-stimulated synaptic device based on a graphene-carbon nanotube hybrid phototransistor. Significantly, the device can respond to optical stimuli in a highly neuron-like fashion and exhibits flexible tuning of both short- and long-term plasticity. These features combined with the spatiotemporal processability make our device a capable counterpart to today’s electrically-driven artificial synapses, with superior reconfigurable capabilities. In addition, our device allows for generic optical spike processing, which provides a foundation for more sophisticated computing. The silicon-compatible, multifunctional photosensitive synapse opens up a new opportunity for neural networks enabled by photonics and extends current neuromorphic systems in terms of system complexities and functionalities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-04

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

  6. Short-term synaptic plasticity and heterogeneity in neural systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejias, J. F.; Kappen, H. J.; Longtin, A.; Torres, J. J.

    2013-01-01

    We review some recent results on neural dynamics and information processing which arise when considering several biophysical factors of interest, in particular, short-term synaptic plasticity and neural heterogeneity. The inclusion of short-term synaptic plasticity leads to enhanced long-term memory capacities, a higher robustness of memory to noise, and irregularity in the duration of the so-called up cortical states. On the other hand, considering some level of neural heterogeneity in neuron models allows neural systems to optimize information transmission in rate coding and temporal coding, two strategies commonly used by neurons to codify information in many brain areas. In all these studies, analytical approximations can be made to explain the underlying dynamics of these neural systems.

  7. Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Cathérine Brandt

    Full Text Available Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics that can be considered motor responses to preceding inner urges. It has been shown that Tourette patients have inferior performance in some motor learning tasks and reduced synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, it has not been investigated whether altered synaptic plasticity is directly linked to impaired motor skill acquisition in Tourette patients. In this study, cortical plasticity was assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials before and after paired associative stimulation in 14 Tourette patients (13 male; age 18-39 and 15 healthy controls (12 male; age 18-33. Tic and urge severity were assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Premonitory Urges for Tics Scale. Motor learning was assessed 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity and 9 months later, using the rotary pursuit task. On average, long-term potentiation-like effects in response to the paired associative stimulation were present in healthy controls but not in patients. In Tourette patients, long-term potentiation-like effects were associated with more and long-term depression-like effects with less severe urges and tics. While motor learning did not differ between patients and healthy controls 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity, the learning curve of the healthy controls started at a significantly higher level than the Tourette patients' 9 months later. Induced synaptic plasticity correlated positively with motor skills in healthy controls 9 months later. The present study confirms previously found long-term improvement in motor performance after paired associative stimulation in healthy controls but not in Tourette patients. Tourette patients did not show long-term potentiation in response to PAS and also showed reduced levels of motor skill consolidation after 9 months compared to healthy controls. Moreover

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Francesco; Yavuz, Utku Şükrü

    2016-01-01

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

  9. PINK1 heterozygous mutations induce subtle alterations in dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeo, G.; Schirinzi, T.; Martella, G.; Latagliata, E.C.; Puglisi, F.; Shen, J.; Valente, E.M.; Federici, M.; Mercuri, N.B.; Puglisi-Allegra, S.; Bonsi, P.; Pisani, A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) gene are causative of autosomal recessive, early onset PD. Single heterozygous mutations have been repeatedly detected in a subset of patients as well as in non-affected subjects, and their significance has long been debated. Several neurophysiological studies from non-manifesting PINK1 heterozygotes have shown the existence of neural plasticity abnormalities, indicating the presence of specific endophenotypic traits in the heterozygous state. Methods In the present study, we performed a functional analysis of corticostriatal synaptic plasticity in heterozygous PINK1 knock-out (PINK1+/−) mice by a multidisciplinary approach. Results We found that, despite a normal motor behavior, repetitive activation of cortical inputs to striatal neurons failed to induce long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas long-term depression (LTD) was normal. Although nigral dopaminergic neurons exhibited normal morphological and electrophysiological properties with normal responses to dopamine receptor activation, we measured a significantly lower dopamine release in the striatum of PINK1+/−, compared to control mice, suggesting that a decrease in stimulus-evoked dopamine overflow acts as a major determinant for the LTP deficit. Accordingly, pharmacological agents capable of increasing the availability of dopamine in the synaptic cleft restored a normal LTP in heterozygous mice. Moreover, MAO-B inhibitors rescued a physiological LTP and a normal dopamine release. Conclusions Our results provide novel evidence for striatal plasticity abnormalities even in the heterozygous disease state. These alterations might be considered an endophenotype to this monogenic form of PD, and a valid tool to characterize early disease stage and design possible disease-modifying therapies. PMID:24167038

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Working memory cells' behavior may be explained by cross-regional networks with synaptic facilitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Verduzco-Flores

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Neurons in the cortex exhibit a number of patterns that correlate with working memory. Specifically, averaged across trials of working memory tasks, neurons exhibit different firing rate patterns during the delay of those tasks. These patterns include: 1 persistent fixed-frequency elevated rates above baseline, 2 elevated rates that decay throughout the tasks memory period, 3 rates that accelerate throughout the delay, and 4 patterns of inhibited firing (below baseline analogous to each of the preceding excitatory patterns. Persistent elevated rate patterns are believed to be the neural correlate of working memory retention and preparation for execution of behavioral/motor responses as required in working memory tasks. Models have proposed that such activity corresponds to stable attractors in cortical neural networks with fixed synaptic weights. However, the variability in patterned behavior and the firing statistics of real neurons across the entire range of those behaviors across and within trials of working memory tasks are typical not reproduced. Here we examine the effect of dynamic synapses and network architectures with multiple cortical areas on the states and dynamics of working memory networks. The analysis indicates that the multiple pattern types exhibited by cells in working memory networks are inherent in networks with dynamic synapses, and that the variability and firing statistics in such networks with distributed architectures agree with that observed in the cortex.

  12. Synaptic genes are extensively downregulated across multiple brain regions in normal human aging and Alzheimer’s disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchtold, Nicole C.; Coleman, Paul D.; Cribbs, David H.; Rogers, Joseph; Gillen, Daniel L.; Cotman, Carl W.

    2014-01-01

    Synapses are essential for transmitting, processing, and storing information, all of which decline in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Because synapse loss only partially accounts for the cognitive declines seen in aging and AD, we hypothesized that existing synapses might undergo molecular changes that reduce their functional capacity. Microarrays were used to evaluate expression profiles of 340 synaptic genes in aging (20–99 years) and AD across 4 brain regions from 81 cases. The analysis revealed an unexpectedly large number of significant expression changes in synapse-related genes in aging, with many undergoing progressive downregulation across aging and AD. Functional classification of the genes showing altered expression revealed that multiple aspects of synaptic function are affected, notably synaptic vesicle trafficking and release, neurotransmitter receptors and receptor trafficking, postsynaptic density scaffolding, cell adhesion regulating synaptic stability, and neuromodulatory systems. The widespread declines in synaptic gene expression in normal aging suggests that function of existing synapses might be impaired, and that a common set of synaptic genes are vulnerable to change in aging and AD. PMID:23273601

  13. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

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    Patrick M Loerch

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4. However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

  14. Kalirin Binds the NR2B Subunit of the NMDA Receptor, Altering Its Synaptic Localization and Function

    KAUST Repository

    Kiraly, D. D.

    2011-08-31

    The ability of dendritic spines to change size and shape rapidly is critical in modulating synaptic strength; these morphological changes are dependent upon rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor localized to the postsynaptic density (PSD), modulates dendritic spine morphology in vitro and in vivo. Kal7 activates Rac and interacts with several PSD proteins, including PSD-95, DISC-1, AF-6, and Arf6. Mice genetically lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO) exhibit deficient hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) as well as behavioral abnormalities in models of addiction and learning. Purified PSDs from Kal7KO mice contain diminished levels of NR2B, an NMDA receptor subunit that plays a critical role in LTP induction. Here we demonstrate that Kal7KO animals have decreased levels of NR2B-dependent NMDA receptor currents in cortical pyramidal neurons as well as a specific deficit in cell surface expression of NR2B. Additionally, we demonstrate that the genotypic differences in conditioned place preference and passive avoidance learning seen in Kal7KO mice are abrogated when animals are treated with an NR2B-specific antagonist during conditioning. Finally, we identify a stable interaction between the pleckstrin homology domain of Kal7 and the juxtamembrane region of NR2B preceding its cytosolic C-terminal domain. Binding of NR2B to a protein that modulates the actin cytoskeleton is important, as NMDA receptors require actin integrity for synaptic localization and function. These studies demonstrate a novel and functionally important interaction between the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor and Kalirin, proteins known to be essential for normal synaptic plasticity.

  15. Kalirin Binds the NR2B Subunit of the NMDA Receptor, Altering Its Synaptic Localization and Function

    KAUST Repository

    Kiraly, D. D.; Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad; Levine, E. S.; Mains, R. E.; Eipper, B. A.

    2011-01-01

    The ability of dendritic spines to change size and shape rapidly is critical in modulating synaptic strength; these morphological changes are dependent upon rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor localized to the postsynaptic density (PSD), modulates dendritic spine morphology in vitro and in vivo. Kal7 activates Rac and interacts with several PSD proteins, including PSD-95, DISC-1, AF-6, and Arf6. Mice genetically lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO) exhibit deficient hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) as well as behavioral abnormalities in models of addiction and learning. Purified PSDs from Kal7KO mice contain diminished levels of NR2B, an NMDA receptor subunit that plays a critical role in LTP induction. Here we demonstrate that Kal7KO animals have decreased levels of NR2B-dependent NMDA receptor currents in cortical pyramidal neurons as well as a specific deficit in cell surface expression of NR2B. Additionally, we demonstrate that the genotypic differences in conditioned place preference and passive avoidance learning seen in Kal7KO mice are abrogated when animals are treated with an NR2B-specific antagonist during conditioning. Finally, we identify a stable interaction between the pleckstrin homology domain of Kal7 and the juxtamembrane region of NR2B preceding its cytosolic C-terminal domain. Binding of NR2B to a protein that modulates the actin cytoskeleton is important, as NMDA receptors require actin integrity for synaptic localization and function. These studies demonstrate a novel and functionally important interaction between the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor and Kalirin, proteins known to be essential for normal synaptic plasticity.

  16. Synaptic Loss and the Pathophysiology of PTSD: Implications for Ketamine as a Prototype Novel Therapeutic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krystal, John H.; Abdallah, Chadi G.; Averill, Lynette A.; Kelmendi, Benjamin; Harpaz-Rotem, Ilan; Sanacora, Gerard; Southwick, Steven M.; Duman, Ronald S.

    2018-01-01

    Purpose of Review Studies of the neurobiology and treatment of PTSD have highlighted many aspects of the pathophysiology of this disorder that might be relevant to treatment. The purpose of this review is to highlight the potential clinical importance of an often-neglected consequence of stress models in animals that may be relevant to PTSD: the stress-related loss of synaptic connectivity. Recent Findings Here, we will briefly review evidence that PTSD might be a “synaptic disconnection syndrome” and highlight the importance of this perspective for the emerging therapeutic application of ketamine as a potential rapid-acting treatment for this disorder that may work, in part, by restoring synaptic connectivity. Summary Synaptic disconnection may contribute to the profile of PTSD symptoms that may be targeted by novel pharmacotherapeutics. PMID:28844076

  17. Synaptic network activity induces neuronal differentiation of adult hippocampal precursor cells through BDNF signaling

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    Harish Babu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is regulated by activity. But how do neural precursor cells in the hippocampus respond to surrounding network activity and translate increased neural activity into a developmental program? Here we show that long-term potential (LTP-like synaptic activity within a cellular network of mature hippocampal neurons promotes neuronal differentiation of newly generated cells. In co-cultures of precursor cells with primary hippocampal neurons, LTP-like synaptic plasticity induced by addition of glycine in Mg2+-free media for 5 min, produced synchronous network activity and subsequently increased synaptic strength between neurons. Furthermore, this synchronous network activity led to a significant increase in neuronal differentiation from the co-cultured neural precursor cells. When applied directly to precursor cells, glycine and Mg2+-free solution did not induce neuronal differentiation. Synaptic plasticity-induced neuronal differentiation of precursor cells was observed in the presence of GABAergic neurotransmission blockers but was dependent on NMDA-mediated Ca2+ influx. Most importantly, neuronal differentiation required the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF from the underlying substrate hippocampal neurons as well as TrkB receptor phosphorylation in precursor cells. This suggests that activity-dependent stem cell differentiation within the hippocampal network is mediated via synaptically evoked BDNF signaling.

  18. Age dependence of the rapid antidepressant and synaptic effects of acute NMDA receptor blockade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena eNosyreva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Ketamine is a NMDA receptor antagonist that produces rapid antidepressant responses in individuals with major depressive disorder. The antidepressant action of ketamine has been linked to blocking NMDA receptor activation at rest, which inhibits eukaryotic elongation factor2 kinase leading to desuppression of protein synthesis and synaptic potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Here, we investigated ketamine mediated antidepressant response and the resulting synaptic potentiation in juvenile animals. We found that ketamine did not produce an antidepressant response in juvenile animals in the novelty suppressed feeding or the forced swim test. In addition ketamine application failed to trigger synaptic potentiation in hippocampal slices obtained from juvenile animals, unlike its action in slices from older animals (6-9 weeks old. The inability of ketamine to trigger an antidepressant response or subsequent synaptic plasticity processes suggests a developmental component to ketamine mediated antidepressant efficacy. We also show that the NMDAR antagonist AP5 triggers synaptic potentiation in mature hippocampus similar to the action of ketamine, demonstrating that global competitive blockade of NMDA receptors is sufficient to trigger this effect. These findings suggest that global blockade of NMDA receptors in developmentally mature hippocampal synapses are required for the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine.

  19. Recombination and synaptic adjustment in oocytes of mice heterozygous for a large paracentric inversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torgasheva, Anna A; Rubtsov, Nikolai B; Borodin, Pavel M

    2013-03-01

    Homologous chromosome synapsis in inversion heterozygotes results in the formation of inversion loops. These loops might be transformed into straight, non-homologously paired bivalents via synaptic adjustment. Synaptic adjustment was discovered 30 years ago; however, its relationship with recombination has remained unclear. We analysed this relationship in female mouse embryos heterozygous for large paracentric inversion In(1)1Rk using immunolocalisation of the synaptonemal complex (SYCP3) and mature recombination nodules (MLH1) proteins. The frequency of cells containing bivalents with inversion loops decreased from 69 % to 28 % during pachytene. If an MLH1 focus was present in the non-homologously paired inverted region of the straight bivalent, it was always located in the middle of the inversion. Most of the small, incompletely adjusted loops contained MLH1 foci near the points at which pairing partners were switched. This observation indicates that the degree of synaptic adjustment depended on the crossover position. Complete synaptic adjustment was only possible if a crossover (CO) was located exactly in the middle of the inversion. If a CO was located at any other site, this interrupted synaptic adjustment and resulted in inversion loops of different sizes with an MLH1 focus at or near the edge of the remaining loop.

  20. Sex differences in the effects of pre- and postnatal caffeine exposure on behavior and synaptic proteins in pubescent rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallaberry, Cássia; Ardais, Ana Paula; Rocha, Andréia; Borges, Maurício Felisberto; Fioreze, Gabriela T; Mioranzza, Sabrina; Nunes, Fernanda; Pagnussat, Natália; Botton, Paulo Henrique S; Porciúncula, Lisiane O

    2018-02-02

    Few studies have addressed the effects of caffeine in the puberty and/or adolescence in a sex dependent manner. Considering that caffeine intake has increased in this population, we investigated the behavioral and synaptic proteins changes in pubescent male and female rats after maternal consumption of caffeine. Adult female Wistar rats started to receive water or caffeine (0.1 and 0.3g/L in drinking water; low and moderate dose, respectively) during the active cycle at weekdays, two weeks before mating. The treatment lasted up to weaning and the offspring received caffeine until the onset of puberty (30-34days old). Behavioral tasks were performed to evaluate locomotor activity (open field task), anxious-like behavior (elevated plus maze task) and recognition memory (object recognition task) and synaptic proteins levels (proBDNF, BDNF, GFAP and SNAP-25) were verified in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. While hyperlocomotion was observed in both sexes after caffeine treatment, anxiety-related behavior was attenuated by caffeine (0.3g/L) only in females. While moderate caffeine worsened recognition memory in females, an improvement in the long-term memory was observed in male rats for both doses. Coincident with memory improvement in males, caffeine increased pro- and BDNF in the hippocampus and cortex. Females presented increased proBDNF levels in both brain regions, with no effects of caffeine. While GFAP was not altered, moderate caffeine intake increased SNAP-25 in the cortex of female rats. Our findings revealed that caffeine promoted cognitive benefits in males associated with increased BDNF levels, while females showed less anxiety. Our findings revealed that caffeine promotes distinct behavioral outcomes and alterations in synaptic proteins during brain development in a sex dependent manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte-mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

  2. Natural Microbial Assemblages Reflect Distinct Organismal and Functional Partitioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmes, P.; Andersson, A.; Kalnejais, L. H.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Lefsrud, M. G.; Wexler, M.; Singer, S. W.; Shah, M.; Bond, P. L.; Thelen, M. P.; Hettich, R. L.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    The ability to link microbial community structure to function has long been a primary focus of environmental microbiology. With the advent of community genomic and proteomic techniques, along with advances in microscopic imaging techniques, it is now possible to gain insights into the organismal and functional makeup of microbial communities. Biofilms growing within highly acidic solutions inside the Richmond Mine (Iron Mountain, Redding, California) exhibit distinct macro- and microscopic morphologies. They are composed of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life, including archaea, bacteria and eukarya. The proportion of each organismal type depends on sampling location and developmental stage. For example, mature biofilms floating on top of acid mine drainage (AMD) pools exhibit layers consisting of a densely packed bottom layer of the chemoautolithotroph Leptospirillum group II, a less dense top layer composed mainly of archaea, and fungal filaments spanning across the entire biofilm. The expression of cytochrome 579 (the most highly abundant protein in the biofilm, believed to be central to iron oxidation and encoded by Leptospirillum group II) is localized at the interface of the biofilm with the AMD solution, highlighting that biofilm architecture is reflected at the functional gene expression level. Distinct functional partitioning is also apparent in a biological wastewater treatment system that selects for distinct polyphosphate accumulating organisms. Community genomic data from " Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis" dominated activated sludge has enabled high mass-accuracy shotgun proteomics for identification of key metabolic pathways. Comprehensive genome-wide alignment of orthologous proteins suggests distinct partitioning of protein variants involved in both core-metabolism and specific metabolic pathways among the dominant population and closely related species. In addition, strain- resolved proteogenomic analysis of the AMD biofilms

  3. Magnetic mirror fusion systems: Characteristics and distinctive features

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Post, R.F.

    1987-01-01

    A tutorial account is given of the main characteristics and distinctive features of conceptual magnetic fusion systems employing the magnetic mirror principle. These features are related to the potential advantages that mirror-based fusion systems may exhibit for the generation of economic fusion power

  4. Intracellular accumulation of amyloid-beta - a predictor for synaptic dysfunction and neuron loss in Alzheimer's disease

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    Thomas A Bayer

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite of long-standing evidence that beta-amyloid (Aβ peptides have detrimental effects on synaptic function, the relationship between Aβ, synaptic and neuron loss is largely unclear. During the last years there is growing evidence that early intraneuronal accumulation of Aβ peptides is one of the key events leading to synaptic and neuronal dysfunction. Many studies have been carried out using transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD which have been proven to be valuable model system in modern AD research. The present review discusses the impact of intraneuronal Aβ accumulation on synaptic impairment and neuron loss and provides an overview of currently available AD mouse models showing these pathological alterations.

  5. Cyclophilin D deficiency rescues Aβ-impaired PKA/CREB signaling and alleviates synaptic degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Heng; Guo, Lan; Wu, Xiaoping; Sosunov, Alexander A; McKhann, Guy M; Chen, John Xi; Yan, Shirley ShiDu

    2014-12-01

    The coexistence of neuronal mitochondrial pathology and synaptic dysfunction is an early pathological feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cyclophilin D (CypD), an integral part of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), is involved in amyloid beta (Aβ)-instigated mitochondrial dysfunction. Blockade of CypD prevents Aβ-induced mitochondrial malfunction and the consequent cognitive impairments. Here, we showed the elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by antioxidants probucol or superoxide dismutase (SOD)/catalase blocks Aβ-mediated inactivation of protein kinase A (PKA)/cAMP regulatory-element-binding (CREB) signal transduction pathway and loss of synapse, suggesting the detrimental effects of oxidative stress on neuronal PKA/CREB activity. Notably, neurons lacking CypD significantly attenuate Aβ-induced ROS. Consequently, CypD-deficient neurons are resistant to Aβ-disrupted PKA/CREB signaling by increased PKA activity, phosphorylation of PKA catalytic subunit (PKA C), and CREB. In parallel, lack of CypD protects neurons from Aβ-induced loss of synapses and synaptic dysfunction. Furthermore, compared to the mAPP mice, CypD-deficient mAPP mice reveal less inactivation of PKA-CREB activity and increased synaptic density, attenuate abnormalities in dendritic spine maturation, and improve spontaneous synaptic activity. These findings provide new insights into a mechanism in the crosstalk between the CypD-dependent mitochondrial oxidative stress and signaling cascade, leading to synaptic injury, functioning through the PKA/CREB signal transduction pathway. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

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

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    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.

  8. Stress-triggered synaptic malfunction: a gate along the path from depression to dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioannis Sotiropoulos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Clinical and experimental studies suggest a causal role of chronic stress for brain pathology and diseases e.g. depression and Alzheimer´s disease (AD as stress is strongly associated with neuronal and synaptic atrophy/loss resulting in impaired mood and/or cognition. Indeed, synaptic loss is a key underlying pathomechanism in both disorders while growing clinical evidence supports a pathological link between depression and AD pointing to shared neurobiological underpinnings and pathogenic mechanisms e.g. AD-related mechanisms, such as APP misprocessing, are also found to be affected in depression while depression predisposes individuals to develop AD. Based on the above, our studies have been conceived to contribute towards bridging the current gap monitoring AD-related mechanisms in the CMS (chronic mild stress animal model of depression before and after antidepressant treatment. We found that depressive status in these animals was accompanied by increased APP misprocessing and tau accumulation as well as neuronal atrophy in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Interestingly, antidepressant treatment with two different antidepressants reversed both biochemical and synaptic changes. Furthermore, we demonstrate the blockage of stress-triggered depressive behavior and neuronal/synaptic atrophy in animals lacking APP misprocessing and amyloid beta generation, further supporting the involvement of APP misprocessing in depressive pathology and behavior. Thus, this study forms the first in vivo approach to clarify the involvement of AD-related APP misprocessing on stress-driven synaptic pathology underlying depressive pathology.

  9. Spiking Neural Networks with Unsupervised Learning Based on STDP Using Resistive Synaptic Devices and Analog CMOS Neuron Circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Min-Woo; Baek, Myung-Hyun; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Sungjun; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-09-01

    We designed the CMOS analog integrate and fire (I&F) neuron circuit can drive resistive synaptic device. The neuron circuit consists of a current mirror for spatial integration, a capacitor for temporal integration, asymmetric negative and positive pulse generation part, a refractory part, and finally a back-propagation pulse generation part for learning of the synaptic devices. The resistive synaptic devices were fabricated using HfOx switching layer by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The resistive synaptic device had gradual set and reset characteristics and the conductance was adjusted by spike-timing-dependent-plasticity (STDP) learning rule. We carried out circuit simulation of synaptic device and CMOS neuron circuit. And we have developed an unsupervised spiking neural networks (SNNs) for 5 × 5 pattern recognition and classification using the neuron circuit and synaptic devices. The hardware-based SNNs can autonomously and efficiently control the weight updates of the synapses between neurons, without the aid of software calculations.

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

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    Alexi Nott

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Dickenson Anthony H

    2009-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. KV7 Channels Regulate Firing during Synaptic Integration in GABAergic Striatal Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Belén Pérez-Ramírez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projection neurons (SPNs process motor and cognitive information. Their activity is affected by Parkinson’s disease, in which dopamine concentration is decreased and acetylcholine concentration is increased. Acetylcholine activates muscarinic receptors in SPNs. Its main source is the cholinergic interneuron that responds with a briefer latency than SPNs during a cortical command. Therefore, an important question is whether muscarinic G-protein coupled receptors and their signaling cascades are fast enough to intervene during synaptic responses to regulate synaptic integration and firing. One of the most known voltage dependent channels regulated by muscarinic receptors is the KV7/KCNQ channel. It is not known whether these channels regulate the integration of suprathreshold corticostriatal responses. Here, we study the impact of cholinergic muscarinic modulation on the synaptic response of SPNs by regulating KV7 channels. We found that KV7 channels regulate corticostriatal synaptic integration and that this modulation occurs in the dendritic/spines compartment. In contrast, it is negligible in the somatic compartment. This modulation occurs on sub- and suprathreshold responses and lasts during the whole duration of the responses, hundreds of milliseconds, greatly altering SPNs firing properties. This modulation affected the behavior of the striatal microcircuit.

  15. Huntingtin is critical both pre- and postsynaptically for long-term learning-related synaptic plasticity in Aplysia.

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    Yun-Beom Choi

    Full Text Available Patients with Huntington's disease exhibit memory and cognitive deficits many years before manifesting motor disturbances. Similarly, several studies have shown that deficits in long-term synaptic plasticity, a cellular basis of memory formation and storage, occur well before motor disturbances in the hippocampus of the transgenic mouse models of Huntington's disease. The autosomal dominant inheritance pattern of Huntington's disease suggests the importance of the mutant protein, huntingtin, in pathogenesis of Huntington's disease, but wild type huntingtin also has been shown to be important for neuronal functions such as axonal transport. Yet, the role of wild type huntingtin in long-term synaptic plasticity has not been investigated in detail. We identified a huntingtin homolog in the marine snail Aplysia, and find that similar to the expression pattern in mammalian brain, huntingtin is widely expressed in neurons and glial cells. Importantly the expression of mRNAs of huntingtin is upregulated by repeated applications of serotonin, a modulatory transmitter released during learning in Aplysia. Furthermore, we find that huntingtin expression levels are critical, not only in presynaptic sensory neurons, but also in the postsynaptic motor neurons for serotonin-induced long-term facilitation at the sensory-to-motor neuron synapse of the Aplysia gill-withdrawal reflex. These results suggest a key role for huntingtin in long-term memory storage.

  16. Abnormal Mitochondrial Dynamics and Synaptic Degeneration as Early Events in Alzheimer’s Disease: Implications to Mitochondria-Targeted Antioxidant Therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, P. Hemachandra; Tripathy, Raghav; Troung, Quang; Thirumala, Karuna; Reddy, Tejaswini P.; Anekonda, Vishwanath; Shirendeb, Ulziibat P.; Calkins, Marcus J.; Reddy, Arubala P.; Mao, Peizhong; Manczak, Maria

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic pathology and mitochondrial oxidative damage are early events in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression. Loss of synapses and synaptic damage are the best correlate of cognitive deficits found in AD patients. Recent research on amyloid bet (Aβ) and mitochondria in AD revealed that Aβ accumulates in synapses and synaptic mitochondria, leading to abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and synaptic degeneration in AD neurons. Further, recent studies using live-cell imaging and primary neurons from amyloid beta precursor protein (AβPP) transgenic mice revealed that reduced mitochondrial mass, defective axonal transport of mitochondria and synaptic degeneration, indicating that Aβ is responsible for mitochondrial and synaptic deficiencies. Tremendous progress has been made in studying antioxidant approaches in mouse models of AD and clinical trials of AD patients. This article highlights the recent developments made in Aβ-induced abnormal mitochondrial dynamics, defective mitochondrial biogenesis, impaired axonal transport and synaptic deficiencies in AD. This article also focuses on mitochondrial approaches in treating AD, and also discusses latest research on mitochondria-targeted antioxidants in AD. PMID:22037588

  17. Synaptic Plasticity in Cardiac Innervation and Its Potential Role in Atrial Fibrillation

    OpenAIRE

    Jesse L. Ashton; Rebecca A. B. Burton; Gil Bub; Bruce H. Smaill; Bruce H. Smaill; Johanna M. Montgomery

    2018-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is defined as the ability of synapses to change their strength of transmission. Plasticity of synaptic connections in the brain is a major focus of neuroscience research, as it is the primary mechanism underpinning learning and memory. Beyond the brain however, plasticity in peripheral neurons is less well understood, particularly in the neurons innervating the heart. The atria receive rich innervation from the autonomic branch of the peripheral nervous system. Sympathetic...

  18. Deciphering resting microglial morphology and process motility from a synaptic prospect

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    Ines eHristovska

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS, were traditionally believed to be set into action only in case of injury or disease. Accordingly, microglia were assumed to be inactive or resting in the healthy brain. However, recent studies revealed that microglia carry out active tissue sampling in the intact brain by extending and retracting their ramified processes while periodically contacting synapses. Microglial morphology and motility as well as the frequency and duration of physical contacts with synaptic elements were found to be modulated by neuronal activity, sensory experience and neurotransmission; however findings have not been straightforward. Microglial cells are the most morphologically plastic element of the CNS. This unique feature confers them the possibility to locally sense activity, and to respond adequately by establishing synaptic contacts to regulate synaptic inputs by the secretion of signaling molecules. Indeed, microglial cells can hold new roles as critical players in maintaining brain homeostasis and regulating synaptic number, maturation and plasticity. For this reason, a better characterization of microglial cells and cues mediating neuron-to-microglia communication under physiological conditions may help advance our understanding of the microglial behavior and its regulation in the healthy brain. This review highlights recent findings on the instructive role of neuronal activity on microglial motility and microglia-synapse interactions, focusing on the main transmitters involved in this communication and including newly described communication at the tripartite synapse.

  19. Quercetin targets cysteine string protein (CSPalpha and impairs synaptic transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fenglian Xu

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Cysteine string protein (CSPalpha is a synaptic vesicle protein that displays unique anti-neurodegenerative properties. CSPalpha is a member of the conserved J protein family, also called the Hsp40 (heat shock protein of 40 kDa protein family, whose importance in protein folding has been recognized for many years. Deletion of the CSPalpha in mice results in knockout mice that are normal for the first 2-3 weeks of life followed by an unexplained presynaptic neurodegeneration and premature death. How CSPalpha prevents neurodegeneration is currently not known. As a neuroprotective synaptic vesicle protein, CSPalpha represents a promising therapeutic target for the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.Here, we demonstrate that the flavonoid quercetin promotes formation of stable CSPalpha-CSPalpha dimers and that quercetin-induced dimerization is dependent on the unique cysteine string region. Furthermore, in primary cultures of Lymnaea neurons, quercetin induction of CSPalpha dimers correlates with an inhibition of synapse formation and synaptic transmission suggesting that quercetin interfers with CSPalpha function. Quercetin's action on CSPalpha is concentration dependent and does not promote dimerization of other synaptic proteins or other J protein family members and reduces the assembly of CSPalpha:Hsc70 units (70kDa heat shock cognate protein.Quercetin is a plant derived flavonoid and popular nutritional supplement proposed to prevent memory loss and altitude sickness among other ailments, although its precise mechanism(s of action has been unclear. In view of the therapeutic promise of upregulation of CSPalpha and the undesired consequences of CSPalpha dysfunction, our data establish an essential proof of principle that pharmaceutical agents can selectively target the neuroprotective J protein CSPalpha.

  20. Paired-pulse facilitation achieved in protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide synaptic transistors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Li Qiang, E-mail: guoliqiang@ujs.edu.cn; Ding, Jian Ning; Huang, Yu Kai [Micro/Nano Science & Technology Center, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013 (China); Zhu, Li Qiang, E-mail: lqzhu@nimte.ac.cn [Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201 (China)

    2015-08-15

    Neuromorphic devices with paired pulse facilitation emulating that of biological synapses are the key to develop artificial neural networks. Here, phosphorus-doped nanogranular SiO{sub 2} electrolyte is used as gate dielectric for protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) synaptic transistor. In such synaptic transistors, protons within the SiO{sub 2} electrolyte are deemed as neurotransmitters of biological synapses. Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) behaviors for the analogous information were mimicked. The temperature dependent PPF behaviors were also investigated systematically. The results indicate that the protonic/electronic hybrid IGZO synaptic transistors would be promising candidates for inorganic synapses in artificial neural network applications.

  1. Paired-pulse facilitation achieved in protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide synaptic transistors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Qiang Guo

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuromorphic devices with paired pulse facilitation emulating that of biological synapses are the key to develop artificial neural networks. Here, phosphorus-doped nanogranular SiO2 electrolyte is used as gate dielectric for protonic/electronic hybrid indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO synaptic transistor. In such synaptic transistors, protons within the SiO2 electrolyte are deemed as neurotransmitters of biological synapses. Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF behaviors for the analogous information were mimicked. The temperature dependent PPF behaviors were also investigated systematically. The results indicate that the protonic/electronic hybrid IGZO synaptic transistors would be promising candidates for inorganic synapses in artificial neural network applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Stress, trauma and PTSD: translational insights into the core synaptic circuitry and its modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Maxwell R; Hatton, Sean N; Lagopoulos, Jim

    2016-06-01

    Evidence is considered as to whether behavioral criteria for diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are applicable to that of traumatized animals and whether the phenomena of acquisition, extinction and reactivation of fear behavior in animals are also successfully applicable to humans. This evidence suggests an affirmative answer in both cases. Furthermore, the deficits in gray matter found in PTSD, determined with magnetic resonance imaging, are also observed in traumatized animals, lending neuropsychological support to the use of animals to probe what has gone awry in PTSD. Such animal experiments indicate that the core synaptic circuitry mediating behavior following trauma consists of the amygdala, ventral-medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, all of which are modulated by the basal ganglia. It is not clear if this is the case in PTSD as the observations using fMRI are equivocal and open to technical objections. Nevertheless, the effects of the basal ganglia in controlling glutamatergic synaptic transmission through dopaminergic and serotonergic synaptic mechanisms in the core synaptic circuitry provides a ready explanation for why modifying these mechanisms delays extinction in animal models and predisposes towards PTSD. In addition, changes of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the core synaptic circuitry have significant effects on acquisition and extinction in animal experiments with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the BDNF gene predisposing to PTSD.

  4. Synaptic potentiation facilitates memory-like attractor dynamics in cultured in vitro hippocampal networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Niedringhaus

    Full Text Available Collective rhythmic dynamics from neurons is vital for cognitive functions such as memory formation but how neurons self-organize to produce such activity is not well understood. Attractor-based computational models have been successfully implemented as a theoretical framework for memory storage in networks of neurons. Additionally, activity-dependent modification of synaptic transmission is thought to be the physiological basis of learning and memory. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that using a pharmacological treatment that has been shown to increase synaptic strength within in vitro networks of hippocampal neurons follows the dynamical postulates theorized by attractor models. We use a grid of extracellular electrodes to study changes in network activity after this perturbation and show that there is a persistent increase in overall spiking and bursting activity after treatment. This increase in activity appears to recruit more "errant" spikes into bursts. Phase plots indicate a conserved activity pattern suggesting that a synaptic potentiation perturbation to the attractor leaves it unchanged. Lastly, we construct a computational model to demonstrate that these synaptic perturbations can account for the dynamical changes seen within the network.

  5. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

    Synaptic democracy concerns the general problem of how regions of an axon or dendrite far from the cell body (soma) of a neuron can play an effective role in neuronal function. For example, stimulated synapses far from the soma are unlikely to influence the firing of a neuron unless some sort of active dendritic processing occurs. Analogously, the motor-driven transport of newly synthesized proteins from the soma to presynaptic targets along the axon tends to favor the delivery of resources to proximal synapses. Both of these phenomena reflect fundamental limitations of transport processes based on a localized source. In this Letter, we show that a more democratic distribution of proteins along an axon can be achieved by making the transport process less efficient. This involves two components: bidirectional or "stop-and-go" motor transport (which can be modeled in terms of advection-diffusion), and reversible interactions between motor-cargo complexes and synaptic targets. Both of these features have recently been observed experimentally. Our model suggests that, just as in human societies, there needs to be a balance between "efficiency" and "equality".

  6. Simulation of synaptic coupling of neuron-like generators via a memristive device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerasimova, S. A.; Mikhaylov, A. N.; Belov, A. I.; Korolev, D. S.; Gorshkov, O. N.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2017-08-01

    A physical model of synaptically coupled neuron-like generators interacting via a memristive device has been presented. The model simulates the synaptic transmission of pulsed signals between brain neurons. The action on the receiving generator has been performed via a memristive device that demonstrates adaptive behavior. It has been established that the proposed coupling channel provides the forced synchronization with the parameters depending on the memristive device sensitivity. Synchronization modes 1: 1 and 2: 1 have been experimentally observed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bardia F Behabadi

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

  8. Facilitation of AMPA receptor synaptic delivery as a molecular mechanism for cognitive enhancement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knafo, Shira; Venero, César; Sánchez-Puelles, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    ) that enhances spatial learning and memory in rats. We have now investigated the cellular and molecular basis of this cognitive enhancement, using biochemical, morphological, electrophysiological, and behavioral analyses. We have found that FGL triggers a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission......MKII activation. These results provide a mechanistic link between facilitation of AMPA receptor synaptic delivery and improved hippocampal-dependent learning, induced by a pharmacological cognitive enhancer....

  9. Frequency dependent changes in NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arvind eKumar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity is thought to mediate several forms of learning, and can be induced by spike trains containing a small number of spikes occurring with varying rates and timing, as well as with oscillations. We computed the influence of these variables on the plasticity induced at a single NMDAR containing synapse using a reduced model that was analytically tractable, and these findings were confirmed using detailed, multi-compartment model. In addition to explaining diverse experimental results about the rate and timing dependence of synaptic plasticity, the model made several novel and testable predictions. We found that there was a preferred frequency for inducing long-term potentiation (LTP such that higher frequency stimuli induced lesser LTP, decreasing as 1/f when the number of spikes in the stimulus was kept fixed. Among other things, the preferred frequency for inducing LTP varied as a function of the distance of the synapse from the soma. In fact, same stimulation frequencies could induce LTP or LTD depending on the dendritic location of the synapse. Next, we found that rhythmic stimuli induced greater plasticity then irregular stimuli. Furthermore, brief bursts of spikes significantly expanded the timing dependence of plasticity. Finally, we found that in the ~5-15Hz frequency range both rate- and timing-dependent plasticity mechanisms work synergistically to render the synaptic plasticity most sensitive to spike-timing. These findings provide computational evidence that oscillations can have a profound influence on the plasticity of an NMDAR-dependent synapse, and show a novel role for the dendritic morphology in this process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  11. Mitochondrial Dysfunction and α-Synuclein Synaptic Pathology in Parkinson’s Disease: Who’s on First?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela Zaltieri

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. Its characteristic neuropathological features encompass the loss of dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal system and the presence of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites. These are intraneuronal and intraneuritic proteinaceous insoluble aggregates whose main constituent is the synaptic protein α-synuclein. Compelling lines of evidence indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction and α-synuclein synaptic deposition may play a primary role in the onset of this disorder. However, it is not yet clear which of these events may come first in the sequel of processes leading to neurodegeneration. Here, we reviewed data supporting either that α-synuclein synaptic deposition precedes and indirectly triggers mitochondrial damage or that mitochondrial deficits lead to neuronal dysfunction and α-synuclein synaptic accumulation. The present overview shows that it is still difficult to establish the exact temporal sequence and contribution of these events to PD.

  12. Motor unit recruitment strategies and muscle properties determine the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dideriksen, Jakob L.; Negro, Francesco; Enoka, Roger M.

    2012-01-01

    Motoneurons receive synaptic inputs from tens of thousands of connections that cause membrane potential to fluctuate continuously (synaptic noise), which introduces variability in discharge times of action potentials. We hypothesized that the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness during voluntary contractions is limited to low muscle forces. The hypothesis was examined with an analytical description of transduction of motor unit spike trains into muscle force, a computational model of motor unit recruitment and rate coding, and experimental analysis of interspike interval variability during steady contractions with the abductor digiti minimi muscle. Simulations varied contraction force, level of synaptic noise, size of motor unit population, recruitment range, twitch contraction times, and level of motor unit short-term synchronization. Consistent with the analytical derivations, simulations and experimental data showed that force variability at target forces above a threshold was primarily due to low-frequency oscillations in neural drive, whereas the influence of synaptic noise was almost completely attenuated by two low-pass filters, one related to convolution of motoneuron spike trains with motor unit twitches (temporal summation) and the other attributable to summation of single motor unit forces (spatial summation). The threshold force above which synaptic noise ceased to influence force steadiness depended on recruitment range, size of motor unit population, and muscle contractile properties. This threshold was low (motor unit recruitment and muscle properties of a typical muscle are tuned to limit the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness to low forces and that the inability to produce a constant force during stronger contractions is mainly attributable to the common low-frequency oscillations in motoneuron discharge rates. PMID:22423000

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-10

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

  14. Novelty exposure overcomes foot shock-induced spatial-memory impairment by processes of synaptic-tagging in rats

    OpenAIRE

    Almaguer-Melian, William; Bergado-Rosado, Jorge; Pavón-Fuentes, Nancy; Alberti-Amador, Esteban; Mercerón-Martínez, Daymara; Frey, Julietta U.

    2012-01-01

    Novelty processing can transform short-term into long-term memory. We propose that this memory-reinforcing effect of novelty could be explained by mechanisms outlined in the “synaptic tagging hypothesis.” Initial short-term memory is sustained by a transient plasticity change at activated synapses and sets synaptic tags. These tags are later able to capture and process the plasticity-related proteins (PRPs), which are required to transform a short-term synaptic change into a long-term one. No...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and abo...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Joshua G.A Pinto; David G Jones; Kate eWilliams; Kathryn M Murphy; Kathryn M Murphy

    2015-01-01

    Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and a...

  17. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-03-24

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this report, natural chicken albumen with high proton conductivity was used as the coupling electrolyte film for organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic devices fabrication. Some important synaptic functions including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering, short-term to long-term memory transition and spatial summation and shunting inhibition were successfully mimicked. Our results are very interesting for biological friendly artificial neuron networks and neuromorphic systems.

  18. Artificial Synaptic Devices Based on Natural Chicken Albumen Coupled Electric-Double-Layer Transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guodong; Feng, Ping; Wan, Xiang; Zhu, Liqiang; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-03-01

    Recent progress in using biomaterials to fabricate functional electronics has got growing attention for the new generation of environmentally friendly and biocompatible electronic devices. As a kind of biological material with rich source, proteins are essential natural component of all organisms. At the same time, artificial synaptic devices are of great significance for neuromorphic systems because they can emulate the signal process and memory behaviors of biological synapses. In this report, natural chicken albumen with high proton conductivity was used as the coupling electrolyte film for organic/inorganic hybrid synaptic devices fabrication. Some important synaptic functions including paired-pulse facilitation, dynamic filtering, short-term to long-term memory transition and spatial summation and shunting inhibition were successfully mimicked. Our results are very interesting for biological friendly artificial neuron networks and neuromorphic systems.

  19. Role for a Novel Usher Protein Complex in Hair Cell Synaptic Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zallocchi, Marisa; Meehan, Daniel T.; Delimont, Duane; Rutledge, Joseph; Gratton, Michael Anne; Flannery, John; Cosgrove, Dominic

    2012-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell synaptic maturation are not well understood. Cadherin-23 (CDH23), protocadherin-15 (PCDH15) and the very large G-protein coupled receptor 1 (VLGR1) have been implicated in the development of cochlear hair cell stereocilia, while clarin-1 has been suggested to also play a role in synaptogenesis. Mutations in CDH23, PCDH15, VLGR1 and clarin-1 cause Usher syndrome, characterized by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Here we show developmental expression of these Usher proteins in afferent spiral ganglion neurons and hair cell synapses. We identify a novel synaptic Usher complex comprised of clarin-1 and specific isoforms of CDH23, PCDH15 and VLGR1. To establish the in vivo relevance of this complex, we performed morphological and quantitative analysis of the neuronal fibers and their synapses in the Clrn1−/− mouse, which was generated by incomplete deletion of the gene. These mice showed a delay in neuronal/synaptic maturation by both immunostaining and electron microscopy. Analysis of the ribbon synapses in Ames waltzerav3J mice also suggests a delay in hair cell synaptogenesis. Collectively, these results show that, in addition to the well documented role for Usher proteins in stereocilia development, Usher protein complexes comprised of specific protein isoforms likely function in synaptic maturation as well. PMID:22363448

  20. Role for a novel Usher protein complex in hair cell synaptic maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Zallocchi

    Full Text Available The molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell synaptic maturation are not well understood. Cadherin-23 (CDH23, protocadherin-15 (PCDH15 and the very large G-protein coupled receptor 1 (VLGR1 have been implicated in the development of cochlear hair cell stereocilia, while clarin-1 has been suggested to also play a role in synaptogenesis. Mutations in CDH23, PCDH15, VLGR1 and clarin-1 cause Usher syndrome, characterized by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Here we show developmental expression of these Usher proteins in afferent spiral ganglion neurons and hair cell synapses. We identify a novel synaptic Usher complex comprised of clarin-1 and specific isoforms of CDH23, PCDH15 and VLGR1. To establish the in vivo relevance of this complex, we performed morphological and quantitative analysis of the neuronal fibers and their synapses in the Clrn1-/- mouse, which was generated by incomplete deletion of the gene. These mice showed a delay in neuronal/synaptic maturation by both immunostaining and electron microscopy. Analysis of the ribbon synapses in Ames waltzer(av3J mice also suggests a delay in hair cell synaptogenesis. Collectively, these results show that, in addition to the well documented role for Usher proteins in stereocilia development, Usher protein complexes comprised of specific protein isoforms likely function in synaptic maturation as well.

  1. Brain-like associative learning using a nanoscale non-volatile phase change synaptic device array

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukru Burc Eryilmaz

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent advances in neuroscience together with nanoscale electronic device technology have resulted in huge interests in realizing brain-like computing hardwares using emerging nanoscale memory devices as synaptic elements. Although there has been experimental work that demonstrated the operation of nanoscale synaptic element at the single device level, network level studies have been limited to simulations. In this work, we demonstrate, using experiments, array level associative learning using phase change synaptic devices connected in a grid like configuration similar to the organization of the biological brain. Implementing Hebbian learning with phase change memory cells, the synaptic grid was able to store presented patterns and recall missing patterns in an associative brain-like fashion. We found that the system is robust to device variations, and large variations in cell resistance states can be accommodated by increasing the number of training epochs. We illustrated the tradeoff between variation tolerance of the network and the overall energy consumption, and found that energy consumption is decreased significantly for lower variation tolerance.

  2. Long lasting protein synthesis- and activity-dependent spine shrinkage and elimination after synaptic depression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yazmín Ramiro-Cortés

    Full Text Available Neuronal circuits modify their response to synaptic inputs in an experience-dependent fashion. Increases in synaptic weights are accompanied by structural modifications, and activity dependent, long lasting growth of dendritic spines requires new protein synthesis. When multiple spines are potentiated within a dendritic domain, they show dynamic structural plasticity changes, indicating that spines can undergo bidirectional physical modifications. However, it is unclear whether protein synthesis dependent synaptic depression leads to long lasting structural changes. Here, we investigate the structural correlates of protein synthesis dependent long-term depression (LTD mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs through two-photon imaging of dendritic spines on hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We find that induction of mGluR-LTD leads to robust and long lasting spine shrinkage and elimination that lasts for up to 24 hours. These effects depend on signaling through group I mGluRs, require protein synthesis, and activity. These data reveal a mechanism for long lasting remodeling of synaptic inputs, and offer potential insights into mental retardation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Distinct expression of synaptic NR2A and NR2B in the central nervous system and impaired morphine tolerance and physical dependence in mice deficient in postsynaptic density-93 protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johns Roger A

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Postsynaptic density (PSD-93, a neuronal scaffolding protein, binds to and clusters N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR subunits NR2A and NR2B at cellular membranes in vitro. However, the roles of PSD-93 in synaptic NR2A and NR2B targeting in the central nervous system and NMDAR-dependent physiologic and pathologic processes are still unclear. We report here that PSD-93 deficiency significantly decreased the amount of NR2A and NR2B in the synaptosomal membrane fractions derived from spinal cord dorsal horn and forebrain cortex but did not change their levels in the total soluble fraction from either region. However, PSD-93 deficiency did not markedly change the amounts of NR2A and NR2B in either synaptosomal or total soluble fractions from cerebellum. In mice deficient in PSD-93, morphine dose-dependent curve failed to shift significantly rightward as it did in wild type (WT mice after acute and chronic morphine challenge. Unlike WT mice, PSD-93 knockout mice also showed marked losses of NMDAR-dependent morphine analgesic tolerance and associated abnormal sensitivity in response to mechanical, noxious thermal, and formalin-induced inflammatory stimuli after repeated morphine injection. In addition, PSD-93 knockout mice displayed dramatic loss of jumping activity, a typical NMDAR-mediated morphine withdrawal abstinence behavior. These findings indicate that impaired NMDAR-dependent neuronal plasticity following repeated morphine injection in PSD-93 knockout mice is attributed to PSD-93 deletion-induced alterations of synaptic NR2A and NR2B expression in dorsal horn and forebrain cortex neurons. The selective effect of PSD-93 deletion on synaptic NMDAR expression in these two major pain-related regions might provide the better strategies for the prevention and treatment of opioid tolerance and physical dependence.

  5. 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.

  6. Neuromimetic Circuits with Synaptic Devices Based on Strongly Correlated Electron Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Sieu D.; Shi, Jian; Meroz, Yasmine; Mahadevan, L.; Ramanathan, Shriram

    2014-12-01

    Strongly correlated electron systems such as the rare-earth nickelates (R NiO3 , R denotes a rare-earth element) can exhibit synapselike continuous long-term potentiation and depression when gated with ionic liquids; exploiting the extreme sensitivity of coupled charge, spin, orbital, and lattice degrees of freedom to stoichiometry. We present experimental real-time, device-level classical conditioning and unlearning using nickelate-based synaptic devices in an electronic circuit compatible with both excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We establish a physical model for the device behavior based on electric-field-driven coupled ionic-electronic diffusion that can be utilized for design of more complex systems. We use the model to simulate a variety of associate and nonassociative learning mechanisms, as well as a feedforward recurrent network for storing memory. Our circuit intuitively parallels biological neural architectures, and it can be readily generalized to other forms of cellular learning and extinction. The simulation of neural function with electronic device analogs may provide insight into biological processes such as decision making, learning, and adaptation, while facilitating advanced parallel information processing in hardware.

  7. Analysing the distribution of synaptic vesicles using a spatial point process model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh; Waagepetersen, Rasmus; Nava, Nicoletta

    2014-01-01

    functionality by statistically modelling the distribution of the synaptic vesicles in two groups of rats: a control group subjected to sham stress and a stressed group subjected to a single acute foot-shock (FS)-stress episode. We hypothesize that the synaptic vesicles have different spatial distributions...... in the two groups. The spatial distributions are modelled using spatial point process models with an inhomogeneous conditional intensity and repulsive pairwise interactions. Our results verify the hypothesis that the two groups have different spatial distributions....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. The Predominance of Electric Transport in Synaptic Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    Hamid Reza Noori

    2008-01-01

    The quantitative description of the motion of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft appears to be one of the most difficult problems in the modeling of synapses. Here we show in contradiction to the common view, that this process is merely governed by electric transport than diffusion forces.

  10. Demonstration of Synaptic Behaviors and Resistive Switching Characterizations by Proton Exchange Reactions in Silicon Oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yao-Feng; Fowler, Burt; Chen, Ying-Chen; Zhou, Fei; Pan, Chih-Hung; Chang, Ting-Chang; Lee, Jack C.

    2016-02-01

    We realize a device with biological synaptic behaviors by integrating silicon oxide (SiOx) resistive switching memory with Si diodes. Minimal synaptic power consumption due to sneak-path current is achieved and the capability for spike-induced synaptic behaviors is demonstrated, representing critical milestones for the use of SiO2-based materials in future neuromorphic computing applications. Biological synaptic behaviors such as long-term potentiation (LTP), long-term depression (LTD) and spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) are demonstrated systematically using a comprehensive analysis of spike-induced waveforms, and represent interesting potential applications for SiOx-based resistive switching materials. The resistive switching SET transition is modeled as hydrogen (proton) release from (SiH)2 to generate the hydrogen bridge defect, and the RESET transition is modeled as an electrochemical reaction (proton capture) that re-forms (SiH)2. The experimental results suggest a simple, robust approach to realize programmable neuromorphic chips compatible with large-scale CMOS manufacturing technology.

  11. Dopamine Regulates Aversive Contextual Learning and Associated In Vivo Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John I. Broussard

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine release during reward-driven behaviors influences synaptic plasticity. However, dopamine innervation and release in the hippocampus and its role during aversive behaviors are controversial. Here, we show that in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the CA3-CA1 circuit underlies contextual learning during inhibitory avoidance (IA training. Immunohistochemistry and molecular techniques verified sparse dopaminergic innervation of the hippocampus from the midbrain. The long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP underlying the learning of IA was assessed with a D1-like dopamine receptor agonist or antagonist in ex vivo hippocampal slices and in vivo in freely moving mice. Inhibition of D1-like dopamine receptors impaired memory of the IA task and prevented the training-induced enhancement of both ex vivo and in vivo LTP induction. The results indicate that dopamine-receptor signaling during an aversive contextual task regulates aversive memory retention and regulates associated synaptic mechanisms in the hippocampus that likely underlie learning.

  12. Identification of dorsal root synaptic terminals on monkey ventral horn cells by electron microscopic autoradiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ralston, H.J.; Ralston, D.D.

    1979-01-01

    The projection of dorsal root fibres to the motor nucleus of the macaque monkey spinal cord has been examined utilizing light and electron microscopic autoradiography. Light microscopy demonstrates a very sparse labelling of primary afferent fibres in the ventral horn. Silver grains overlying radioactive sources are frequently clustered into small groups, often adjacent to dendritic profiles. Under the electron microscope, myelinated axons and a few large synaptic profiles containing rounded synaptic vesicles were overlain by numerous silver grains. These labelled profiles made synaptic contact with dendrites 1 - 3 micrometers in diameter. The labelled profiles did not contact cell bodies or large proximal dendrites of ventral horn neutrons. Frequently, small synaptic profiles containing flattened vesicles were presynaptic to the large labelled terminals and it is suggested that these axoaxonal synapses may mediate presynaptic inhibition of the primary afferent fibres. The relationship of the present findings to previously published physiological and anatomical studies is discussed. (author)

  13. Birth order dependent growth cone segregation determines synaptic layer identity in the Drosophila visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulkarni, Abhishek; Ertekin, Deniz; Lee, Chi-Hon; Hummel, Thomas

    2016-03-17

    The precise recognition of appropriate synaptic partner neurons is a critical step during neural circuit assembly. However, little is known about the developmental context in which recognition specificity is important to establish synaptic contacts. We show that in the Drosophila visual system, sequential segregation of photoreceptor afferents, reflecting their birth order, lead to differential positioning of their growth cones in the early target region. By combining loss- and gain-of-function analyses we demonstrate that relative differences in the expression of the transcription factor Sequoia regulate R cell growth cone segregation. This initial growth cone positioning is consolidated via cell-adhesion molecule Capricious in R8 axons. Further, we show that the initial growth cone positioning determines synaptic layer selection through proximity-based axon-target interactions. Taken together, we demonstrate that birth order dependent pre-patterning of afferent growth cones is an essential pre-requisite for the identification of synaptic partner neurons during visual map formation in Drosophila.

  14. Biophysical synaptic dynamics in an analog VLSI network of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Theodore; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2009-01-01

    We study synaptic dynamics in a biophysical network of four coupled spiking neurons implemented in an analog VLSI silicon microchip. The four neurons implement a generalized Hodgkin-Huxley model with individually configurable rate-based kinetics of opening and closing of Na+ and K+ ion channels. The twelve synapses implement a rate-based first-order kinetic model of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics, accounting for NMDA and non-NMDA type chemical synapses. The implemented models on the chip are fully configurable by 384 parameters accounting for conductances, reversal potentials, and pre/post-synaptic voltage-dependence of the channel kinetics. We describe the models and present experimental results from the chip characterizing single neuron dynamics, single synapse dynamics, and multi-neuron network dynamics showing phase-locking behavior as a function of synaptic coupling strength. The 3mm x 3mm microchip consumes 1.29 mW power making it promising for applications including neuromorphic modeling and neural prostheses.

  15. Exogenous α-synuclein hinders synaptic communication in cultured cortical primary rat neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassink, G C; Raiss, C C; Segers-Nolten, I M J; van Wezel, R J A; Subramaniam, V; le Feber, J; Claessens, M M A E

    2018-01-01

    Amyloid aggregates of the protein α-synuclein (αS) called Lewy Bodies (LB) and Lewy Neurites (LN) are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. We have previously shown that high extracellular αS concentrations can be toxic to cells and that neurons take up αS. Here we aimed to get more insight into the toxicity mechanism associated with high extracellular αS concentrations (50-100 μM). High extracellular αS concentrations resulted in a reduction of the firing rate of the neuronal network by disrupting synaptic transmission, while the neuronal ability to fire action potentials was still intact. Furthermore, many cells developed αS deposits larger than 500 nm within five days, but otherwise appeared healthy. Synaptic dysfunction clearly occurred before the establishment of large intracellular deposits and neuronal death, suggesting that an excessive extracellular αS concentration caused synaptic failure and which later possibly contributed to neuronal death.

  16. Interaural Level Difference Dependent Gain Control and Synaptic Scaling Underlying Binaural Computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Xiaorui R.; Liang, Feixue; Li, Haifu; Mesik, Lukas; Zhang, Ke K.; Polley, Daniel B.; Tao, Huizhong W.; Xiao, Zhongju; Zhang, Li I.

    2013-01-01

    Binaural integration in the central nucleus of inferior colliculus (ICC) plays a critical role in sound localization. However, its arithmetic nature and underlying synaptic mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we showed in mouse ICC neurons that the contralateral dominance is created by a “push-pull”-like mechanism, with contralaterally dominant excitation and more bilaterally balanced inhibition. Importantly, binaural spiking response is generated apparently from an ipsilaterally-mediated scaling of contralateral response, leaving frequency tuning unchanged. This scaling effect is attributed to a divisive attenuation of contralaterally-evoked synaptic excitation onto ICC neurons with their inhibition largely unaffected. Thus, a gain control mediates the linear transformation from monaural to binaural spike responses. The gain value is modulated by interaural level difference (ILD) primarily through scaling excitation to different levels. The ILD-dependent synaptic scaling and gain adjustment allow ICC neurons to dynamically encode interaural sound localization cues while maintaining an invariant representation of other independent sound attributes. PMID:23972599

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milad eLankarany

    2013-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. "The seven sins" of the Hebbian synapse: can the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity explain long-term memory consolidation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arshavsky, Yuri I

    2006-10-01

    Memorizing new facts and events means that entering information produces specific physical changes within the brain. According to the commonly accepted view, traces of memory are stored through the structural modifications of synaptic connections, which result in changes of synaptic efficiency and, therefore, in formations of new patterns of neural activity (the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity). Most of the current knowledge on learning and initial stages of memory consolidation ("synaptic consolidation") is based on this hypothesis. However, the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity faces a number of conceptual and experimental difficulties when it deals with potentially permanent consolidation of declarative memory ("system consolidation"). These difficulties are rooted in the major intrinsic self-contradiction of the hypothesis: stable declarative memory is unlikely to be based on such a non-stable foundation as synaptic plasticity. Memory that can last throughout an entire lifespan should be "etched in stone." The only "stone-like" molecules within living cells are DNA molecules. Therefore, I advocate an alternative, genomic hypothesis of memory, which suggests that acquired information is persistently stored within individual neurons through modifications of DNA, and that these modifications serve as the carriers of elementary memory traces.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miloslav eSedlacek

    2014-07-01

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