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Sample records for helps regulate synaptic

  1. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  5. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

    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.

  6. Myostatin-like proteins regulate synaptic function and neuronal morphology.

    Augustin, Hrvoje; McGourty, Kieran; Steinert, Joern R; Cochemé, Helena M; Adcott, Jennifer; Cabecinha, Melissa; Vincent, Alec; Halff, Els F; Kittler, Josef T; Boucrot, Emmanuel; Partridge, Linda

    2017-07-01

    Growth factors of the TGFβ superfamily play key roles in regulating neuronal and muscle function. Myostatin (or GDF8) and GDF11 are potent negative regulators of skeletal muscle mass. However, expression of myostatin and its cognate receptors in other tissues, including brain and peripheral nerves, suggests a potential wider biological role. Here, we show that Myoglianin (MYO), the Drosophila homolog of myostatin and GDF11, regulates not only body weight and muscle size, but also inhibits neuromuscular synapse strength and composition in a Smad2-dependent manner. Both myostatin and GDF11 affected synapse formation in isolated rat cortical neuron cultures, suggesting an effect on synaptogenesis beyond neuromuscular junctions. We also show that MYO acts in vivo to inhibit synaptic transmission between neurons in the escape response neural circuit of adult flies. Thus, these anti-myogenic proteins act as important inhibitors of synapse function and neuronal growth. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Myosin light chain kinase regulates synaptic plasticity and fear learning in the lateral amygdala.

    Lamprecht, R; Margulies, D S; Farb, C R; Hou, M; Johnson, L R; LeDoux, J E

    2006-01-01

    Learning and memory depend on signaling molecules that affect synaptic efficacy. The cytoskeleton has been implicated in regulating synaptic transmission but its role in learning and memory is poorly understood. Fear learning depends on plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We therefore examined whether the cytoskeletal-regulatory protein, myosin light chain kinase, might contribute to fear learning in the rat lateral amygdala. Microinjection of ML-7, a specific inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase, into the lateral nucleus of the amygdala before fear conditioning, but not immediately afterward, enhanced both short-term memory and long-term memory, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase is involved specifically in memory acquisition rather than in posttraining consolidation of memory. Myosin light chain kinase inhibitor had no effect on memory retrieval. Furthermore, ML-7 had no effect on behavior when the training stimuli were presented in a non-associative manner. Anatomical studies showed that myosin light chain kinase is present in cells throughout lateral nucleus of the amygdala and is localized to dendritic shafts and spines that are postsynaptic to the projections from the auditory thalamus to lateral nucleus of the amygdala, a pathway specifically implicated in fear learning. Inhibition of myosin light chain kinase enhanced long-term potentiation, a physiological model of learning, in the auditory thalamic pathway to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. When ML-7 was applied without associative tetanic stimulation it had no effect on synaptic responses in lateral nucleus of the amygdala. Thus, myosin light chain kinase activity in lateral nucleus of the amygdala appears to normally suppress synaptic plasticity in the circuits underlying fear learning, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase may help prevent the acquisition of irrelevant fears. Impairment of this mechanism could contribute to pathological fear learning.

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

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

    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

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

    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.

  11. Absence of synaptic regulation by phosducin in retinal slices.

    James H Long

    Full Text Available Phosducin is an abundant photoreceptor protein that binds G-protein βγ subunits and plays a role in modulating synaptic transmission at photoreceptor synapses under both dark-adapted and light-adapted conditions in vivo. To examine the role of phosducin at the rod-to-rod bipolar cell (RBC synapse, we used whole-cell voltage clamp recordings to measure the light-evoked currents from both wild-type (WT and phosducin knockout (Pd(-/- RBCs, in dark- and light-adapted retinal slices. Pd(-/- RBCs showed smaller dim flash responses and steeper intensity-response relationships than WT RBCs, consistent with the smaller rod responses being selectively filtered out by the non-linear threshold at the rod-to-rod bipolar synapse. In addition, Pd(-/- RBCs showed a marked delay in the onset of the light-evoked currents, similar to that of a WT response to an effectively dimmer flash. Comparison of the changes in flash sensitivity in the presence of steady adapting light revealed that Pd(-/- RBCs desensitized less than WT RBCs to the same intensity. These results are quantitatively consistent with the smaller single photon responses of Pd(-/- rods, owing to the known reduction in rod G-protein expression levels in this line. The absence of an additional synaptic phenotype in these experiments suggests that the function of phosducin at the photoreceptor synapse is abolished by the conditions of retinal slice recordings.

  12. KV7 Channels Regulate Firing during Synaptic Integration in GABAergic Striatal Neurons

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  15. The AMPA receptor-associated protein Shisa7 regulates hippocampal synaptic function and contextual memory

    Schmitz, Leanne J M; Klaassen, Remco V; Ruiperez-Alonso, Marta; Zamri, Azra Elia; Stroeder, Jasper; Rao-Ruiz, Priyanka; Lodder, Johannes C; van der Loo, Rolinka J; Mansvelder, Huib D; Smit, August B; Spijker, Sabine; Verhage, Matthijs

    2017-01-01

    Glutamatergic synapses rely on AMPA receptors (AMPARs) for fast synaptic transmission and plasticity. AMPAR auxiliary proteins regulate receptor trafficking, and modulate receptor mobility and its biophysical properties. The AMPAR auxiliary protein Shisa7 (CKAMP59) has been shown to interact with

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

    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.

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

    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

  18. TrkB and PKMζ regulate synaptic localization of PSD-95 in developing cortex

    Yoshii, Akira; Murata, Yasunobu; Kim, Jihye; Zhang, Chao; Shokat, Kevan M.; Constantine-Paton, Martha

    2011-01-01

    Post-synaptic density 95 (PSD-95), the major scaffold at excitatory synapses, is critical for synapse maturation and learning. In rodents, eye opening, the onset of pattern vision, triggers a rapid movement of PSD-95 from visual neuron somata to synapses. We previously showed that the PI3 kinase-Akt pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB signaling stimulates synaptic delivery of PSD-95 via vesicular transport. However, vesicular transport requires PSD-95 palmitoylation to attach it to a lipid membrane. Also PSD-95 insertion at synapses is known to require this lipid modification. Here, we show that BDNF/TrkB signaling is also necessary for PSD-95 palmitoylation and its transport to synapses in mouse visual cortical layer 2/3 neurons. However, palmitoylation of PSD-95 requires the activation of another pathway downstream of BDNF/TrkB, namely signaling through PLCγ and the brain-specific PKC variant PKMζ. We find that PKMζ selectively regulates phosphorylation of the palmitoylation enzyme ZDHHC8. Inhibition of PKMζ results in a reduction of synaptic PSD-95 accumulation in vivo, which can be rescued by over-expression ZDHHC8. Therefore, TrkB and PKMζ, two critical regulators of synaptic plasticity, facilitate PSD-95 targeting to synapses. These results also indicate that palmitoylation can be regulated by a trophic factor. Our findings have implications for neurodevelopmental disorders as well as ageing brains. PMID:21849550

  19. Dopamine Regulates Aversive Contextual Learning and Associated In Vivo Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  2. Neuronal activity-regulated gene transcription: how are distant synaptic signals conveyed to the nucleus?

    Matamales, Miriam

    2012-12-19

    Synaptic activity can trigger gene expression programs that are required for the stable change of neuronal properties, a process that is essential for learning and memory. Currently, it is still unclear how the stimulation of dendritic synapses can be coupled to transcription in the nucleus in a timely way given that large distances can separate these two cellular compartments. Although several mechanisms have been proposed to explain long distance communication between synapses and the nucleus, the possible co-existence of these models and their relevance in physiological conditions remain elusive. One model suggests that synaptic activation triggers the translocation to the nucleus of certain transcription regulators localised at postsynaptic sites that function as synapto-nuclear messengers. Alternatively, it has been hypothesised that synaptic activity initiates propagating regenerative intracellular calcium waves that spread through dendrites into the nucleus where nuclear transcription machinery is thereby regulated. It has also been postulated that membrane depolarisation of voltage-gated calcium channels on the somatic membrane is sufficient to increase intracellular calcium concentration and activate transcription without the need for transported signals from distant synapses. Here I provide a critical overview of the suggested mechanisms for coupling synaptic stimulation to transcription, the underlying assumptions behind them and their plausible physiological significance.

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

    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.

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  9. Spike timing regulation on the millisecond scale by distributed synaptic plasticity at the cerebellum input stage: a simulation study

    Jesus A Garrido

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The way long-term synaptic plasticity regulates neuronal spike patterns is not completely understood. This issue is especially relevant for the cerebellum, which is endowed with several forms of long-term synaptic plasticity and has been predicted to operate as a timing and a learning machine. Here we have used a computational model to simulate the impact of multiple distributed synaptic weights in the cerebellar granular layer network. In response to mossy fiber bursts, synaptic weights at multiple connections played a crucial role to regulate spike number and positioning in granule cells. The weight at mossy fiber to granule cell synapses regulated the delay of the first spike and the weight at mossy fiber and parallel fiber to Golgi cell synapses regulated the duration of the time-window during which the first-spike could be emitted. Moreover, the weights of synapses controlling Golgi cell activation regulated the intensity of granule cell inhibition and therefore the number of spikes that could be emitted. First spike timing was regulated with millisecond precision and the number of spikes ranged from 0 to 3. Interestingly, different combinations of synaptic weights optimized either first-spike timing precision or spike number, efficiently controlling transmission and filtering properties. These results predict that distributed synaptic plasticity regulates the emission of quasi-digital spike patterns on the millisecond time scale and allows the cerebellar granular layer to flexibly control burst transmission along the mossy fiber pathway.

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

    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.

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

    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

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

    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.

  13. GABA regulates synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.

  14. Focal adhesion kinase regulates neuronal growth, synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory.

    Monje, Francisco J; Kim, Eun-Jung; Pollak, Daniela D; Cabatic, Maureen; Li, Lin; Baston, Arthur; Lubec, Gert

    2012-01-01

    The focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase abundantly expressed in the mammalian brain and highly enriched in neuronal growth cones. Inhibitory and facilitatory activities of FAK on neuronal growth have been reported and its role in neuritic outgrowth remains controversial. Unlike other tyrosine kinases, such as the neurotrophin receptors regulating neuronal growth and plasticity, the relevance of FAK for learning and memory in vivo has not been clearly defined yet. A comprehensive study aimed at determining the role of FAK in neuronal growth, neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons and in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory was therefore undertaken using the mouse model. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments indicated that FAK is a critical regulator of hippocampal cell morphology. FAK mediated neurotrophin-induced neuritic outgrowth and FAK inhibition affected both miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials and activity-dependent hippocampal long-term potentiation prompting us to explore the possible role of FAK in spatial learning and memory in vivo. Our data indicate that FAK has a growth-promoting effect, is importantly involved in the regulation of the synaptic function and mediates in vivo hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Gang-Bin Tang

    2017-08-01

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

  16. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species regulate the strength of inhibitory GABA-mediated synaptic transmission

    Accardi, Michael V.; Daniels, Bryan A.; Brown, Patricia M. G. E.; Fritschy, Jean-Marc; Tyagarajan, Shiva K.; Bowie, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal communication imposes a heavy metabolic burden in maintaining ionic gradients essential for action potential firing and synaptic signalling. Although cellular metabolism is known to regulate excitatory neurotransmission, it is still unclear whether the brain’s energy supply affects inhibitory signalling. Here we show that mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species (mROS) regulate the strength of postsynaptic GABAA receptors at inhibitory synapses of cerebellar stellate cells. Inhibition is strengthened through a mechanism that selectively recruits α3-containing GABAA receptors into synapses with no discernible effect on resident α1-containing receptors. Since mROS promotes the emergence of postsynaptic events with unique kinetic properties, we conclude that newly recruited α3-containing GABAA receptors are activated by neurotransmitter released onto discrete postsynaptic sites. Although traditionally associated with oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disease, our data identify mROS as a putative homeostatic signalling molecule coupling cellular metabolism to the strength of inhibitory transmission.

  17. Mice lacking the transcriptional regulator Bhlhe40 have enhanced neuronal excitability and impaired synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

    Kelly A Hamilton

    Full Text Available Bhlhe40 is a transcription factor that is highly expressed in the hippocampus; however, its role in neuronal function is not well understood. Here, we used Bhlhe40 null mice on a congenic C57Bl6/J background (Bhlhe40 KO to investigate the impact of Bhlhe40 on neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Bhlhe40 KO CA1 neurons had increased miniature excitatory post-synaptic current amplitude and decreased inhibitory post-synaptic current amplitude, indicating CA1 neuronal hyperexcitability. Increased CA1 neuronal excitability was not associated with increased seizure severity as Bhlhe40 KO relative to +/+ (WT control mice injected with the convulsant kainic acid. However, significant reductions in long term potentiation and long term depression at CA1 synapses were observed in Bhlhe40 KO mice, indicating impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Behavioral testing for spatial learning and memory on the Morris Water Maze (MWM revealed that while Bhlhe40 KO mice performed similarly to WT controls initially, when the hidden platform was moved to the opposite quadrant Bhlhe40 KO mice showed impairments in relearning, consistent with decreased hippocampal synaptic plasticity. To investigate possible mechanisms for increased neuronal excitability and decreased synaptic plasticity, a whole genome mRNA expression profile of Bhlhe40 KO hippocampus was performed followed by a chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq screen of the validated candidate genes for Bhlhe40 protein-DNA interactions consistent with transcriptional regulation. Of the validated genes identified from mRNA expression analysis, insulin degrading enzyme (Ide had the most significantly altered expression in hippocampus and was significantly downregulated on the RNA and protein levels; although Bhlhe40 did not occupy the Ide gene by ChIP-Seq. Together, these findings support a role for Bhlhe40 in regulating neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in

  18. Synaptogenesis in visual cortex of normal and preterm monkeys: evidence for intrinsic regulation of synaptic overproduction.

    Bourgeois, J P; Jastreboff, P J; Rakic, P

    1989-01-01

    We used quantitative electron microscopy to determine the effect of precocious visual experience on the time course, magnitude, and pattern of perinatal synaptic overproduction in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus monkey. Fetuses were delivered by caesarean section 3 weeks before term, exposed to normal light intensity and day/night cycles, and killed within the first postnatal month, together with age-matched controls that were delivered at term. We found that premature visual stimulation does not affect the rate of synaptic accretion and overproduction. Both of these processes proceed in relation to the time of conception rather than to the time of delivery. In contrast, the size, type, and laminar distribution of synapses were significantly different between preterm and control infants. The changes and differences in these parameters correlate with the duration of visual stimulation and become less pronounced with age. If visual experience in infancy influences the maturation of the visual cortex, it must do so predominantly by strengthening, modifying, and/or eliminating synapses that have already been formed, rather than by regulating the rate of synapse production. Images PMID:2726773

  19. Shp2 in Forebrain Neurons Regulates Synaptic Plasticity, Locomotion, and Memory Formation in Mice

    Kusakari, Shinya; Saitow, Fumihito; Ago, Yukio; Shibasaki, Koji; Sato-Hashimoto, Miho; Matsuzaki, Yasunori; Kotani, Takenori; Murata, Yoji; Hirai, Hirokazu; Matsuda, Toshio; Suzuki, Hidenori

    2015-01-01

    Shp2 (Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2) regulates neural cell differentiation. It is also expressed in postmitotic neurons, however, and mutations of Shp2 are associated with clinical syndromes characterized by mental retardation. Here we show that conditional-knockout (cKO) mice lacking Shp2 specifically in postmitotic forebrain neurons manifest abnormal behavior, including hyperactivity. Novelty-induced expression of immediate-early genes and activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (Erk) were attenuated in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of Shp2 cKO mice, suggestive of reduced neuronal activity. In contrast, ablation of Shp2 enhanced high-K+-induced Erk activation in both cultured cortical neurons and synaptosomes, whereas it inhibited that induced by brain-derived growth factor in cultured neurons. Posttetanic potentiation and paired-pulse facilitation were attenuated and enhanced, respectively, in hippocampal slices from Shp2 cKO mice. The mutant mice also manifested transient impairment of memory formation in the Morris water maze. Our data suggest that Shp2 contributes to regulation of Erk activation and synaptic plasticity in postmitotic forebrain neurons and thereby controls locomotor activity and memory formation. PMID:25713104

  20. DCC Expression by Neurons Regulates Synaptic Plasticity in the Adult Brain

    Katherine E. Horn

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The transmembrane protein deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC and its ligand, netrin-1, regulate synaptogenesis during development, but their function in the mature central nervous system is unknown. Given that DCC promotes cell-cell adhesion, is expressed by neurons, and activates proteins that signal at synapses, we hypothesized that DCC expression by neurons regulates synaptic function and plasticity in the adult brain. We report that DCC is enriched in dendritic spines of pyramidal neurons in wild-type mice, and we demonstrate that selective deletion of DCC from neurons in the adult forebrain results in the loss of long-term potentiation (LTP, intact long-term depression, shorter dendritic spines, and impaired spatial and recognition memory. LTP induction requires Src activation of NMDA receptor (NMDAR function. DCC deletion severely reduced Src activation. We demonstrate that enhancing NMDAR function or activating Src rescues LTP in the absence of DCC. We conclude that DCC activation of Src is required for NMDAR-dependent LTP and certain forms of learning and memory.

  1. Molecular machines regulating the release probability of synaptic vesicles at the active zone.

    Christoph eKoerber

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs with the plasma membrane of the active zone (AZ upon arrival of an action potential (AP at the presynaptic compartment is a tightly regulated probabil-istic process crucial for information transfer. The probability of a SV to release its transmitter content in response to an AP, termed release probability (Pr, is highly diverse both at the level of entire synapses and individual SVs at a given synapse. Differences in Pr exist between different types of synapses, between synapses of the same type, synapses originating from the same axon and even between different SV subpopulations within the same presynaptic terminal. The Pr of SVs at the AZ is set by a complex interplay of different presynaptic properties including the availability of release-ready SVs, the location of the SVs relative to the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs at the AZ, the magnitude of calcium influx upon arrival of the AP, the buffer-ing of calcium ions as well as the identity and sensitivity of the calcium sensor. These properties are not only interconnected, but can also be regulated dynamically to match the requirements of activity patterns mediated by the synapse. Here, we review recent advances in identifying mole-cules and molecular machines taking part in the determination of vesicular Pr at the AZ.

  2. Presynaptic DLG regulates synaptic function through the localization of voltage-activated Ca2+ Channels

    Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A.; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2016-01-01

    The DLG-MAGUK subfamily of proteins plays a role on the recycling and clustering of glutamate receptors (GLUR) at the postsynaptic density. discs-large1 (dlg) is the only DLG-MAGUK gene in Drosophila and originates two main products, DLGA and DLGS97 which differ by the presence of an L27 domain. Combining electrophysiology, immunostaining and genetic manipulation at the pre and postsynaptic compartments we study the DLG contribution to the basal synaptic-function at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Our results reveal a specific function of DLGS97 in the regulation of the size of GLUR fields and their subunit composition. Strikingly the absence of any of DLG proteins at the presynaptic terminal disrupts the clustering and localization of the calcium channel DmCa1A subunit (Cacophony), decreases the action potential-evoked release probability and alters short-term plasticity. Our results show for the first time a crucial role of DLG proteins in the presynaptic function in vivo. PMID:27573697

  3. Presynaptic DLG regulates synaptic function through the localization of voltage-activated Ca(2+) Channels.

    Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2016-08-30

    The DLG-MAGUK subfamily of proteins plays a role on the recycling and clustering of glutamate receptors (GLUR) at the postsynaptic density. discs-large1 (dlg) is the only DLG-MAGUK gene in Drosophila and originates two main products, DLGA and DLGS97 which differ by the presence of an L27 domain. Combining electrophysiology, immunostaining and genetic manipulation at the pre and postsynaptic compartments we study the DLG contribution to the basal synaptic-function at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Our results reveal a specific function of DLGS97 in the regulation of the size of GLUR fields and their subunit composition. Strikingly the absence of any of DLG proteins at the presynaptic terminal disrupts the clustering and localization of the calcium channel DmCa1A subunit (Cacophony), decreases the action potential-evoked release probability and alters short-term plasticity. Our results show for the first time a crucial role of DLG proteins in the presynaptic function in vivo.

  4. Regulation of Cortical Dynamic Range by Background Synaptic Noise and Feedforward Inhibition.

    Khubieh, Ayah; Ratté, Stéphanie; Lankarany, Milad; Prescott, Steven A

    2016-08-01

    The cortex encodes a broad range of inputs. This breadth of operation requires sensitivity to weak inputs yet non-saturating responses to strong inputs. If individual pyramidal neurons were to have a narrow dynamic range, as previously claimed, then staggered all-or-none recruitment of those neurons would be necessary for the population to achieve a broad dynamic range. Contrary to this explanation, we show here through dynamic clamp experiments in vitro and computer simulations that pyramidal neurons have a broad dynamic range under the noisy conditions that exist in the intact brain due to background synaptic input. Feedforward inhibition capitalizes on those noise effects to control neuronal gain and thereby regulates the population dynamic range. Importantly, noise allows neurons to be recruited gradually and occludes the staggered recruitment previously attributed to heterogeneous excitation. Feedforward inhibition protects spike timing against the disruptive effects of noise, meaning noise can enable the gain control required for rate coding without compromising the precise spike timing required for temporal coding. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    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.

  6. Depression and synaptic zinc regulation in Alzheimer disease, dementia with lewy bodies, and Parkinson disease dementia.

    Whitfield, David R; Vallortigara, Julie; Alghamdi, Amani; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Ballard, Clive; Thomas, Alan J; O'Brien, John T; Aarsland, Dag; Francis, Paul T

    2015-02-01

    Depression is a common symptom in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson disease dementia (PDD), and Alzheimer disease (AD), yet its molecular basis remains unclear and current antidepressants do not appear to be effective. Cerebral zinc has been implicated in depression and synaptic dysfunction. We investigated the relationship between synaptic zinc regulation (for which zinc transporter 3 [ZnT3] is responsible) and depression in a large clinicopathologic study. We examined brains from people with PDD (N = 29), DLB (N = 27), and AD (N = 15) and comparison subjects without depression or dementia (N = 24). Individuals were categorized according to the presence and severity of depression (on a scale of 0-3) based on standardized assessments during life (principally Neuropsychiatric Inventory). Western blotting was used to determine ZnT3 levels in Brodmann area 9 (BA9), and regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between ZnT3 and depression. Reductions in ZnT3 in BA9 were significantly associated with elevated depression scores in the study cohort (β = -0.351, df = 93, t = -3.318 p = 0.0004). This association remained when only individuals with DLB, PDD, and no dementia or depression were examined (β = -0.347, df = 78, t = -3.271, p = 0.002) or only individuals with AD and no dementia or depression were examined (β = -0.433, df = 37, t = -2.924, p = 0.006). Although decreased zinc levels have been implicated in the genesis of depression in animal models and in major depressive disorder in humans, this study provides the first evidence of a role for zinc in depression in people with dementia and highlights zinc metabolism as a therapeutic target. Copyright © 2015 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Expression of the synaptic exocytosis-regulating molecule complexin 2 in taste buds and its participation in peripheral taste transduction.

    Kurokawa, Azusa; Narukawa, Masataka; Ohmoto, Makoto; Yoshimoto, Joto; Abe, Keiko; Misaka, Takumi

    2015-06-01

    Taste information from type III taste cells to gustatory neurons is thought to be transmitted via synapses. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying taste transduction through this pathway have not been fully elucidated. In this study, to identify molecules that participate in synaptic taste transduction, we investigated whether complexins (Cplxs), which play roles in regulating membrane fusion in synaptic vesicle exocytosis, were expressed in taste bud cells. Among four Cplx isoforms, strong expression of Cplx2 mRNA was detected in type III taste cells. To investigate the function of CPLX2 in taste transduction, we observed taste responses in CPLX2-knockout mice. When assessed with electrophysiological and behavioral assays, taste responses to some sour stimuli in CPLX2-knockout mice were significantly lower than those in wild-type mice. These results suggested that CPLX2 participated in synaptic taste transduction from type III taste cells to gustatory neurons. A part of taste information is thought to be transmitted via synapses. However, the molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. To identify molecules that participate in synaptic taste transduction, we investigated complexins (Cplxs) expression in taste bud cells. Strong expression of Cplx2 mRNA was detected in taste bud cells. Furthermore, taste responses to some sour stimuli in CPLX2- knockout mice were significantly lower than those in wild-type mice. These suggested that CPLX2 participated in synaptic taste transduction. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The International Society for Neurochemistry.

  8. Resveratrol Improves Cognitive Impairment by Regulating Apoptosis and Synaptic Plasticity in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

    Zhiyan Tian

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Aims: To investigate the effects of resveratrol on cognitive impairment in streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic rats and to explore the mechanisms of that phenomenon. Methods: Sixty healthy male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: normal control group (Con group, n = 15, Res group (normal Sprague Dawley rats treated with resveratrol, n = 15, diabetes mellitus group (DM group, n = 15 and DM + Res group (diabetic rats treat with resveratrol, n = 15. Streptozotocin (STZ was injected intraperitoneally to establish the diabetic model. One week after diabetic model induction, the animals in the Res group and the DM + Res group received resveratrol intraperitoneally once a day for consecutive 4 weeks. The Morris water maze test was applied to assess the effect of resveratrol on learning and memory. To explore the mechanisms of resveratrol on cognition, we detected the protein expression levels of Caspase-3, Bcl-2, Bax, NMDAR1 (N-Methyl-d-Aspartate receptor and BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor via western blotting analysis. Results: Resveratrol has no obvious effect on normal SD rats. Compared to Con group, cognitive ability was significantly impaired with increased expression of Caspase-3, Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2, NMDAR1 and BDNF in diabetic rats. By contrast, resveratrol treatment improved the cognitive decline. Evidently, resveratrol treatment reversed diabetes-induced changes of protein expression. Conclusions: Resveratrol significantly ameliorates cognitive decline in STZ-induced diabetic model rats. The potential mechanism underlying the protective effect could be attributed to the inhibition of hippocampal apoptosis through the Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3 signaling pathways and improvement of synaptic dysfunction. BDNF may also play an indispensable role in this mechanism.

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

    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.

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

    Sarah X. Luo

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Bacterial cytolysin during meningitis disrupts the regulation of glutamate in the brain, leading to synaptic damage.

    Carolin Wippel

    Full Text Available Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal meningitis is a common bacterial infection of the brain. The cholesterol-dependent cytolysin pneumolysin represents a key factor, determining the neuropathogenic potential of the pneumococci. Here, we demonstrate selective synaptic loss within the superficial layers of the frontal neocortex of post-mortem brain samples from individuals with pneumococcal meningitis. A similar effect was observed in mice with pneumococcal meningitis only when the bacteria expressed the pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin pneumolysin. Exposure of acute mouse brain slices to only pore-competent pneumolysin at disease-relevant, non-lytic concentrations caused permanent dendritic swelling, dendritic spine elimination and synaptic loss. The NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists MK801 and D-AP5 reduced this pathology. Pneumolysin increased glutamate levels within the mouse brain slices. In mouse astrocytes, pneumolysin initiated the release of glutamate in a calcium-dependent manner. We propose that pneumolysin plays a significant synapto- and dendritotoxic role in pneumococcal meningitis by initiating glutamate release from astrocytes, leading to subsequent glutamate-dependent synaptic damage. We outline for the first time the occurrence of synaptic pathology in pneumococcal meningitis and demonstrate that a bacterial cytolysin can dysregulate the control of glutamate in the brain, inducing excitotoxic damage.

  12. DISC1 Protein Regulates γ-Aminobutyric Acid, Type A (GABAA) Receptor Trafficking and Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Cortical Neurons.

    Wei, Jing; Graziane, Nicholas M; Gu, Zhenglin; Yan, Zhen

    2015-11-13

    Association studies have suggested that Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) confers a genetic risk at the level of endophenotypes that underlies many major mental disorders. Despite the progress in understanding the significance of DISC1 at neural development, the mechanisms underlying DISC1 regulation of synaptic functions remain elusive. Because alterations in the cortical GABA system have been strongly linked to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, one potential target of DISC1 that is critically involved in the regulation of cognition and emotion is the GABAA receptor (GABAAR). We found that cellular knockdown of DISC1 significantly reduced GABAAR-mediated synaptic and whole-cell current, whereas overexpression of wild-type DISC1, but not the C-terminal-truncated DISC1 (a schizophrenia-related mutant), significantly increased GABAAR currents in pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex. These effects were accompanied by DISC1-induced changes in surface GABAAR expression. Moreover, the regulation of GABAARs by DISC1 knockdown or overexpression depends on the microtubule motor protein kinesin 1 (KIF5). Our results suggest that DISC1 exerts an important effect on GABAergic inhibitory transmission by regulating KIF5/microtubule-based GABAAR trafficking in the cortex. The knowledge gained from this study would shed light on how DISC1 and the GABA system are linked mechanistically and how their interactions are critical for maintaining a normal mental state. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Helping Others Regulate Emotion Predicts Increased Regulation of One's Own Emotions and Decreased Symptoms of Depression.

    Doré, Bruce P; Morris, Robert R; Burr, Daisy A; Picard, Rosalind W; Ochsner, Kevin N

    2017-05-01

    Although much research considers how individuals manage their own emotions, less is known about the emotional benefits of regulating the emotions of others. We examined this topic in a 3-week study of an online platform providing training and practice in the social regulation of emotion. We found that participants who engaged more by helping others (vs. sharing and receiving support for their own problems) showed greater decreases in depression, mediated by increased use of reappraisal in daily life. Moreover, social regulation messages with more other-focused language (i.e., second-person pronouns) were (a) more likely to elicit expressions of gratitude from recipients and (b) predictive of increased use of reappraisal over time for message composers, suggesting perspective-taking enhances the benefits of practicing social regulation. These findings unpack potential mechanisms of socially oriented training in emotion regulation and suggest that by helping others regulate, we may enhance our own regulatory skills and emotional well-being.

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

    McCrimmon, Donald R.; Martina, Marco

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Neurexin-Neuroligin Synaptic Complex Regulates Schizophrenia-Related DISC1/Kal-7/Rac1 “Signalosome”

    Jacobsen, Sylwia Owczarek; Bang, Marie Louise; Berezin, Vladimir

    2015-01-01

    Neurexins (NXs) and neuroligins (NLs) are cell adhesion molecules that are localized at opposite sites of synaptic membranes. They interact with each other to promote the assembly, maintenance, and function of synapses in the central nervous system. Both NX and NL are cleaved from a membrane......-attached intracellular domain in an activity-dependent manner, generating the soluble ectodomain of NX or NL. Expression of the NX1 and NX3 genes in the brain appears to be regulated by a schizophrenia-related protein, DISC1. Here, we show that soluble ecto-NX1β can regulate the expression of DISC1 and induce signaling...... downstream of DISC1. We also show that NL1 binds to a well-characterized DISC1 interaction partner, Kal-7, and this interaction can be compromised by DISC1. Our results indicate that the NX/NL synaptic complex is intrinsically involved in the regulation of DISC1 function, thus contributing to a better...

  16. Amine Neurotransmitter Regulation of Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity in Hippocampus.

    1987-04-27

    T.H. ontrol theory applied to neural networks illuminates synaptic basis of interictal epileptiform activity. In: Basic Mechanimw of the Epilepsies...the activity of voltage-dqmxfdm* calcium dwas in hixocaupal nerone . Nature (in press). atecir.U P. A., pebeda,# F. J., a nd Jduutoni, D. 4...Annual Synposium on Networks in Brain and ompiter Arhitecture at North Texas State University in Denton. Oct. 22-25 Attended Neurdehavioral Research

  17. Synaptogenesis in visual cortex of normal and preterm monkeys: evidence for intrinsic regulation of synaptic overproduction.

    Bourgeois, J P; Jastreboff, P J; Rakic, P

    1989-01-01

    We used quantitative electron microscopy to determine the effect of precocious visual experience on the time course, magnitude, and pattern of perinatal synaptic overproduction in the primary visual cortex of the rhesus monkey. Fetuses were delivered by caesarean section 3 weeks before term, exposed to normal light intensity and day/night cycles, and killed within the first postnatal month, together with age-matched controls that were delivered at term. We found that premature visual stimulat...

  18. Presynaptic dystroglycan-pikachurin complex regulates the proper synaptic connection between retinal photoreceptor and bipolar cells.

    Omori, Yoshihiro; Araki, Fumiyuki; Chaya, Taro; Kajimura, Naoko; Irie, Shoichi; Terada, Koji; Muranishi, Yuki; Tsujii, Toshinori; Ueno, Shinji; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Tamaki, Yasuhiro; Kondo, Mineo; Amano, Shiro; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2012-05-02

    Dystroglycan (DG) is a key component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) at the neuromuscular junction postsynapse. In the mouse retina, the DGC is localized at the presynapse of photoreceptor cells, however, the function of presynaptic DGC is poorly understood. Here, we developed and analyzed retinal photoreceptor-specific DG conditional knock-out (DG CKO) mice. We found that the DG CKO retina showed a reduced amplitude and a prolonged implicit time of the ERG b-wave. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that bipolar dendrite invagination into the photoreceptor terminus is perturbed in the DG CKO retina. In the DG CKO retina, pikachurin, a DG ligand in the retina, is markedly decreased at photoreceptor synapses. Interestingly, in the Pikachurin(-/-) retina, the DG signal at the ribbon synaptic terminus was severely reduced, suggesting that pikachurin is required for the presynaptic accumulation of DG at the photoreceptor synaptic terminus, and conversely DG is required for pikachurin accumulation. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of pikachurin induces formation and clustering of a DG-pikachurin complex on the cell surface. The Laminin G repeats of pikachurin, which are critical for its oligomerization and interaction with DG, were essential for the clustering of the DG-pikachurin complex as well. These results suggest that oligomerization of pikachurin and its interaction with DG causes DG assembly on the synapse surface of the photoreceptor synaptic terminals. Our results reveal that the presynaptic interaction of pikachurin with DG at photoreceptor terminals is essential for both the formation of proper photoreceptor ribbon synaptic structures and normal retinal electrophysiology.

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

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

    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.

  1. Low-Frequency rTMS Ameliorates Autistic-Like Behaviors in Rats Induced by Neonatal Isolation Through Regulating the Synaptic GABA Transmission

    Tao Tan

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD display abnormalities in neuronal development, synaptic function and neural circuits. The imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory (E/I synaptic transmission has been proposed to cause the main behavioral characteristics of ASD. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS can directly or indirectly induce excitability and synaptic plasticity changes in the brain noninvasively. However, whether rTMS can ameliorate autistic-like behaviors in animal model via regulating the balance of E/I synaptic transmission is unknown. By using our recent reported animal model with autistic-like behaviors induced by neonatal isolation (postnatal days 1–9, we found that low-frequency rTMS (LF-rTMS, 1 Hz treatment for 2 weeks effectively alleviated the acquired autistic-like symptoms, as reflected by an increase in social interaction and decrease in self-grooming, anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in young adult rats compared to those in untreated animals. Furthermore, the amelioration in autistic-like behavior was accompanied by a restoration of the balance between E/I activity, especially at the level of synaptic transmission and receptors in synaptosomes. These findings indicated that LF-rTMS may alleviate the symptoms of ASD-like behaviors caused by neonatal isolation through regulating the synaptic GABA transmission, suggesting that LF-rTMS may be a potential therapeutic technique to treat ASD.

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

    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.

  3. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by the tyrosine kinase receptor, REK7/EphA5, and its ligand, AL-1/Ephrin-A5.

    Gao, W Q; Shinsky, N; Armanini, M P; Moran, P; Zheng, J L; Mendoza-Ramirez, J L; Phillips, H S; Winslow, J W; Caras, I W

    1998-08-01

    The Eph-related tyrosine kinase receptor, REK7/EphA5, mediates the effects of AL-1/Ephrin-A5 and related ligands and is involved in the guidance of retinal, cortical, and hippocampal axons during development. The continued expression of REK7/EphA5 in the adult brain, in particular in areas associated with a high degree of synaptic plasticity such as the hippocampus, raises the question of its function in the mature nervous system. In this report we examined the role of REK7/EphA5 in synaptic remodeling by asking if agents that either block or activate REK7/EphA5 affect synaptic strength in hippocampal slices from adult mouse brain. We show that a REK7/EphA5 antagonist, soluble REK7/EphA5-IgG, impairs the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) without affecting other synaptic parameters such as normal synaptic transmission or paired-pulse facilitation. In contrast, perfusion with AL-1/Ephrin-A5-IgG, an activator of REK7/EphA5, induces a sustained increase in normal synaptic transmission that partially mimics LTP. The sustained elevation of normal synaptic transmission could be attributable to a long-lasting binding of the AL-1/Ephrin-A5-IgG to the endogenous REK7/EphA5 receptor, as revealed by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, maximal electrical induction of LTP occludes the potentiating effects of subsequent treatment with AL-1/Ephrin-A5-IgG. Taken together these results implicate REK7/EphA5 in the regulation of synaptic plasticity in the mature hippocampus and suggest that REK7/EphA5 activation is recruited in the LTP induced by tetanization. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  4. A tale of two stories: astrocyte regulation of synaptic depression and facilitation.

    Maurizio De Pittà

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Short-term presynaptic plasticity designates variations of the amplitude of synaptic information transfer whereby the amount of neurotransmitter released upon presynaptic stimulation changes over seconds as a function of the neuronal firing activity. While a consensus has emerged that the resulting decrease (depression and/or increase (facilitation of the synapse strength are crucial to neuronal computations, their modes of expression in vivo remain unclear. Recent experimental studies have reported that glial cells, particularly astrocytes in the hippocampus, are able to modulate short-term plasticity but the mechanism of such a modulation is poorly understood. Here, we investigate the characteristics of short-term plasticity modulation by astrocytes using a biophysically realistic computational model. Mean-field analysis of the model, supported by intensive numerical simulations, unravels that astrocytes may mediate counterintuitive effects. Depending on the expressed presynaptic signaling pathways, astrocytes may globally inhibit or potentiate the synapse: the amount of released neurotransmitter in the presence of the astrocyte is transiently smaller or larger than in its absence. But this global effect usually coexists with the opposite local effect on paired pulses: with release-decreasing astrocytes most paired pulses become facilitated, namely the amount of neurotransmitter released upon spike i+1 is larger than that at spike i, while paired-pulse depression becomes prominent under release-increasing astrocytes. Moreover, we show that the frequency of astrocytic intracellular Ca(2+ oscillations controls the effects of the astrocyte on short-term synaptic plasticity. Our model explains several experimental observations yet unsolved, and uncovers astrocytic gliotransmission as a possible transient switch between short-term paired-pulse depression and facilitation. This possibility has deep implications on the processing of neuronal spikes

  5. Do Demanding Conditions Help or Hurt Self-Regulation?

    Koole, S.L.; Jostmann, N.B.; Baumann, N.

    2012-01-01

    Although everyday life is often demanding, it remains unclear how demanding conditions impact self-regulation. Some theories suggest that demanding conditions impair self-regulation, by undermining autonomy, interfering with skilled performance and working memory, and depleting energy resources.

  6. Do demanding conditions help or hurt self-regulation?

    Koole, S.L.; Jostmann, N.B.; Baumann, N.

    2012-01-01

    Although everyday life is often demanding, it remains unclear how demanding conditions impact self-regulation. Some theories suggest that demanding conditions impair self-regulation, by undermining autonomy, interfering with skilled performance and working memory, and depleting energy resources.

  7. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    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.

  8. Helping yourself helps others: Linking children's emotion regulation to prosocial behavior through sympathy and trust.

    Song, Ju-Hyun; Colasante, Tyler; Malti, Tina

    2018-06-01

    Although emotionally well-regulated children are more likely to behave prosocially, the psychological processes that connect their emotion regulation abilities and prosocial behavior are less clear. We tested if other-oriented sympathy and trust mediated the links between emotion regulation capacities (i.e., resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA], negative emotional intensity, and sadness regulation) and prosocial behavior in an ethnically diverse sample of 4- and 8-year-olds (N = 131; 49% girls). Resting RSA was calculated from children's electrocardiogram data in response to a nondescript video. Sympathy was child and caregiver reported, whereas negative emotional intensity, sadness regulation, trust, and prosocial behavior were caregiver reported. Regardless of age, higher resting RSA was linked to higher sympathy, which was associated with higher prosocial behavior. The positive link between sadness regulation and prosocial behavior was mediated by higher sympathy and trust. Children's other-oriented psychological processes may play important roles in translating certain emotion regulation capacities into prosocial behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Safeguards of Neurotransmission: Endocytic Adaptors as Regulators of Synaptic Vesicle Composition and Function

    Natalie Kaempf

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Communication between neurons relies on neurotransmitters which are released from synaptic vesicles (SVs upon Ca2+ stimuli. To efficiently load neurotransmitters, sense the rise in intracellular Ca2+ and fuse with the presynaptic membrane, SVs need to be equipped with a stringently controlled set of transmembrane proteins. In fact, changes in SV protein composition quickly compromise neurotransmission and most prominently give rise to epileptic seizures. During exocytosis SVs fully collapse into the presynaptic membrane and consequently have to be replenished to sustain neurotransmission. Therefore, surface-stranded SV proteins have to be efficiently retrieved post-fusion to be used for the generation of a new set of fully functional SVs, a process in which dedicated endocytic sorting adaptors play a crucial role. The question of how the precise reformation of SVs is achieved is intimately linked to how SV membranes are retrieved. For a long time both processes were believed to be two sides of the same coin since Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME, the proposed predominant SV recycling mode, will jointly retrieve SV membranes and proteins. However, with the recent proposal of Clathrin-independent SV recycling pathways SV membrane retrieval and SV reformation turn into separable events. This review highlights the progress made in unraveling the molecular mechanisms mediating the high-fidelity retrieval of SV proteins and discusses how the gathered knowledge about SV protein recycling fits in with the new notions of SV membrane endocytosis.

  10. Selective Enhancement of Synaptic Inhibition by Hypocretin (Orexin) in Rat Vagal Motor Neurons: Implications for Autonomic Regulation

    Davis, Scott F.; Williams, Kevin W.; Xu, Weiye; Glatzer, Nicholas R.; Smith, Bret N.

    2012-01-01

    The hypocretins (orexins) are hypothalamic neuropeptides implicated in feeding, arousal, and autonomic regulation. These studies were designed to determine the actions of hypocretin peptides on synaptic transmission in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMV). Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from DMV neurons in transverse slices of rat brainstem. Some of the neurons were identified as gastric-related by retrograde labeling after inoculation of the stomach wall with pseudorabies virus 152, a viral label that reports enhanced green fluorescent protein. Consistent with previous findings, hypocretins caused an inward current (6–68 pA) in most neurons at holding potentials near rest. In addition, the frequency of spontaneous IPSCs was increased in a concentration-related manner (up to 477%), with little change in EPSCs. This effect was preserved in the presence of tetrodotoxin, suggesting a presynaptic site of action. Hypocretins increased the amplitude of IPSCs evoked by electrical stimulation of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) but not evoked EPSCs. Hypocretin-induced increases in the frequency of IPSCs evoked by photoactivation of caged glutamate within the NTS were also observed. Identical effects of the peptides were observed in identified gastric-related and unlabeled DMV neurons. In contrast to some previous studies, which have reported primarily excitatory actions of the hypocretins in many regions of the CNS, these data support a role for hypocretin in preferentially enhancing synaptic inhibition, including inhibitory inputs arising from neurons in the NTS. These findings indicate that the hypocretins can modulate and coordinate visceral autonomic output by acting directly on central vagal circuits. PMID:12736355

  11. Palmitoylation-dependent CDKL5–PSD-95 interaction regulates synaptic targeting of CDKL5 and dendritic spine development

    Zhu, Yong-Chuan; Li, Dan; Wang, Lu; Lu, Bin; Zheng, Jing; Zhao, Shi-Lin; Zeng, Rong; Xiong, Zhi-Qi

    2013-01-01

    The X-linked gene cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) is mutated in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including some forms of atypical Rett syndrome, but the function and regulation of CDKL5 protein in neurons remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that CDKL5 binds to the scaffolding protein postsynaptic density (PSD)-95, and that this binding promotes the targeting of CDKL5 to excitatory synapses. Interestingly, this binding is not constitutive, but governed by palmitate cycling on PSD-95. Furthermore, pathogenic mutations that truncate the C-terminal tail of CDKL5 diminish its binding to PSD-95 and synaptic accumulation. Importantly, down-regulation of CDKL5 by RNA interference (RNAi) or interference with the CDKL5–PSD-95 interaction inhibits dendritic spine formation and growth. These results demonstrate a critical role of the palmitoylation-dependent CDKL5–PSD-95 interaction in localizing CDKL5 to synapses for normal spine development and suggest that disruption of this interaction by pathogenic mutations may be implicated in the pathogenesis of CDKL5-related disorders. PMID:23671101

  12. Palmitoylation-dependent CDKL5-PSD-95 interaction regulates synaptic targeting of CDKL5 and dendritic spine development.

    Zhu, Yong-Chuan; Li, Dan; Wang, Lu; Lu, Bin; Zheng, Jing; Zhao, Shi-Lin; Zeng, Rong; Xiong, Zhi-Qi

    2013-05-28

    The X-linked gene cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) is mutated in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including some forms of atypical Rett syndrome, but the function and regulation of CDKL5 protein in neurons remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that CDKL5 binds to the scaffolding protein postsynaptic density (PSD)-95, and that this binding promotes the targeting of CDKL5 to excitatory synapses. Interestingly, this binding is not constitutive, but governed by palmitate cycling on PSD-95. Furthermore, pathogenic mutations that truncate the C-terminal tail of CDKL5 diminish its binding to PSD-95 and synaptic accumulation. Importantly, down-regulation of CDKL5 by RNA interference (RNAi) or interference with the CDKL5-PSD-95 interaction inhibits dendritic spine formation and growth. These results demonstrate a critical role of the palmitoylation-dependent CDKL5-PSD-95 interaction in localizing CDKL5 to synapses for normal spine development and suggest that disruption of this interaction by pathogenic mutations may be implicated in the pathogenesis of CDKL5-related disorders.

  13. Rationalizing regulation could help cut US O and M costs

    Olson, E.; Koppe, R.; Waage, J.

    1990-01-01

    Rationalizing safety regulation could dramatically reduce the contractor costs which have become such a large component of rising operating and maintenance costs at nuclear power plants in the United States. Multi-plant operating companies are also a possibility - attractive to utilities because of the economies of scale that they bring and the greater influence that they wield. (author)

  14. LL5beta: a regulator of postsynaptic differentiation identified in a screen for synaptically enriched transcripts at the neuromuscular junction.

    Kishi, Masashi; Kummer, Terrance T; Eglen, Stephen J; Sanes, Joshua R

    2005-04-25

    In both neurons and muscle fibers, specific mRNAs are concentrated beneath and locally translated at synaptic sites. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction, all synaptic RNAs identified to date encode synaptic components. Using microarrays, we compared RNAs in synapse-rich and -free regions of muscles, thereby identifying transcripts that are enriched near synapses and that encode soluble membrane and nuclear proteins. One gene product, LL5beta, binds to both phosphoinositides and a cytoskeletal protein, filamin, one form of which is concentrated at synaptic sites. LL5beta is itself associated with the cytoplasmic face of the postsynaptic membrane; its highest levels border regions of highest acetylcholine receptor (AChR) density, which suggests a role in "corraling" AChRs. Consistent with this idea, perturbing LL5beta expression in myotubes inhibits AChR aggregation. Thus, a strategy designed to identify novel synaptic components led to identification of a protein required for assembly of the postsynaptic apparatus.

  15. Neuronal activity-regulated gene transcription: how are distant synaptic signals conveyed to the nucleus? [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/TYJStu

    Miriam Matamales

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic activity can trigger gene expression programs that are required for the stable change of neuronal properties, a process that is essential for learning and memory. Currently, it is still unclear how the stimulation of dendritic synapses can be coupled to transcription in the nucleus in a timely way given that large distances can separate these two cellular compartments. Although several mechanisms have been proposed to explain long distance communication between synapses and the nucleus, the possible co-existence of these models and their relevance in physiological conditions remain elusive. One model suggests that synaptic activation triggers the translocation to the nucleus of certain transcription regulators localised at postsynaptic sites that function as synapto-nuclear messengers. Alternatively, it has been hypothesised that synaptic activity initiates propagating regenerative intracellular calcium waves that spread through dendrites into the nucleus where nuclear transcription machinery is thereby regulated. It has also been postulated that membrane depolarisation of voltage-gated calcium channels on the somatic membrane is sufficient to increase intracellular calcium concentration and activate transcription without the need for transported signals from distant synapses. Here I provide a critical overview of the suggested mechanisms for coupling synaptic stimulation to transcription, the underlying assumptions behind them and their plausible physiological significance.

  16. Reduced Levels of the Synaptic Functional Regulator FMRP in Dentate Gyrus of the Aging Sprague-Dawley Rat

    Roman Smidak

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP encoded by Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1 gene is a RNA-binding regulator of mRNA translation, transport and stability with multiple targets responsible for proper synaptic function. Epigenetic silencing of FMR1 gene expression leads to the development of Fragile X syndrome (FXS that is characterized by intellectual disability and other behavioral problems including autism. In the rat FXS model, the lack of FMRP caused a deficit in hippocampal-dependent memory. However, the hippocampal changes of FMRP in aging rats are not fully elucidated. The current study addresses the changes in FMRP levels in dentate gyrus (DG from young (17 weeks and aging (22 months Sprague – Dawley rats. The aging animal group showed significant decline in spatial reference memory. Protein samples from five rats per each group were analyzed by quantitative proteomic analysis resulting in 153 significantly changed proteins. FMRP showed significant reduction in aging animals which was confirmed by immunoblotting and immunofluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, bioinformatic analysis of the differential protein dataset revealed several functionally related protein groups with individual interactions with FMRP. These include high representation of the RNA translation and processing machinery connected to FMRP and other RNA-binding regulators including CAPRIN1, the members of Pumilio (PUM and CUG-BP, Elav-like (CELF family, and YTH N(6-methyladenosine RNA-binding proteins (YTHDF. The results of the current study point to the important role of FMRP and regulation of RNA processing in the rat DG and memory decline during the aging process.

  17. Astrocyte-like glial cells physiologically regulate olfactory processing through the modification of ORN-PN synaptic strength in Drosophila.

    Liu, He; Zhou, Bangyu; Yan, Wenjun; Lei, Zhengchang; Zhao, Xiaoliang; Zhang, Ke; Guo, Aike

    2014-09-01

    Astrocyte-like glial cells are abundant in the central nervous system of adult Drosophila and exhibit morphology similar to astrocytes of mammals. Previous evidence has shown that astrocyte-like glial cells are strongly associated with synapses in the antennal lobe (AL), the first relay of the olfactory system, where olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) transmit information into projection neurons (PNs). However, the function of astrocyte-like glia in the AL remains obscure. In this study, using in vivo calcium imaging, we found that astrocyte-like glial cells exhibited spontaneous microdomain calcium elevations. Using simultaneous manipulation of glial activity and monitoring of neuronal function, we found that the astrocyte-like glial activation, but not ensheathing glial activation, could inhibit odor-evoked responses of PNs. Ensheathing glial cells are another subtype of glia, and are of functional importance in the AL. Electrophysiological experiments indicated that astrocyte-like glial activation decreased the amplitude and slope of excitatory postsynaptic potentials evoked through electrical stimulation of the antennal nerve. These results suggest that astrocyte-like glial cells may regulate olfactory processing through negative regulation of ORN-PN synaptic strength. Beyond the antennal lobe we observed astrocyte-like glial spontaneous calcium activities in the ventromedial protocerebrum, indicating that astrocyte-like glial spontaneous calcium elevations might be general in the adult fly brain. Overall, our study demonstrates a new function for astrocyte-like glial cells in the physiological modulation of olfactory information transmission, possibly through regulating ORN-PN synapse strength. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Regulation of synaptic inhibition by phospho-dependent binding of the AP2 complex to a YECL motif in the GABAA receptor γ2 subunit

    Kittler, Josef T.; Chen, Guojun; Kukhtina, Viktoria; Vahedi-Faridi, Ardeschir; Gu, Zhenglin; Tretter, Verena; Smith, Katharine R.; McAinsh, Kristina; Arancibia-Carcamo, I. Lorena; Saenger, Wolfram; Haucke, Volker; Yan, Zhen; Moss, Stephen J.

    2008-01-01

    The regulation of the number of γ2-subunit-containing GABAA receptors (GABAARs) present at synapses is critical for correct synaptic inhibition and animal behavior. This regulation occurs, in part, by the controlled removal of receptors from the membrane in clathrin-coated vesicles, but it remains unclear how clathrin recruitment to surface γ2-subunit-containing GABAARs is regulated. Here, we identify a γ2-subunit-specific Yxxφ-type-binding motif for the clathrin adaptor protein, AP2, which is located within a site for γ2-subunit tyrosine phosphorylation. Blocking GABAAR-AP2 interactions via this motif increases synaptic responses within minutes. Crystallographic and biochemical studies reveal that phosphorylation of the Yxxφ motif inhibits AP2 binding, leading to increased surface receptor number. In addition, the crystal structure provides an explanation for the high affinity of this motif for AP2 and suggests that γ2-subunit-containing heteromeric GABAARs may be internalized as dimers or multimers. These data define a mechanism for tyrosine kinase regulation of GABAAR surface levels and synaptic inhibition. PMID:18305175

  19. Regulation of synaptic inhibition by phospho-dependent binding of the AP2 complex to a YECL motif in the GABAA receptor gamma2 subunit.

    Kittler, Josef T; Chen, Guojun; Kukhtina, Viktoria; Vahedi-Faridi, Ardeschir; Gu, Zhenglin; Tretter, Verena; Smith, Katharine R; McAinsh, Kristina; Arancibia-Carcamo, I Lorena; Saenger, Wolfram; Haucke, Volker; Yan, Zhen; Moss, Stephen J

    2008-03-04

    The regulation of the number of gamma2-subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) present at synapses is critical for correct synaptic inhibition and animal behavior. This regulation occurs, in part, by the controlled removal of receptors from the membrane in clathrin-coated vesicles, but it remains unclear how clathrin recruitment to surface gamma2-subunit-containing GABA(A)Rs is regulated. Here, we identify a gamma2-subunit-specific Yxxvarphi-type-binding motif for the clathrin adaptor protein, AP2, which is located within a site for gamma2-subunit tyrosine phosphorylation. Blocking GABA(A)R-AP2 interactions via this motif increases synaptic responses within minutes. Crystallographic and biochemical studies reveal that phosphorylation of the Yxxvarphi motif inhibits AP2 binding, leading to increased surface receptor number. In addition, the crystal structure provides an explanation for the high affinity of this motif for AP2 and suggests that gamma2-subunit-containing heteromeric GABA(A)Rs may be internalized as dimers or multimers. These data define a mechanism for tyrosine kinase regulation of GABA(A)R surface levels and synaptic inhibition.

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

    Judit Remenyi

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

  1. Phospho-dependent binding of the clathrin AP2 adaptor complex to GABAA receptors regulates the efficacy of inhibitory synaptic transmission

    Kittler, Josef T.; Chen, Guojun; Honing, Stephan; Bogdanov, Yury; McAinsh, Kristina; Arancibia-Carcamo, I. Lorena; Jovanovic, Jasmina N.; Pangalos, Menelas N.; Haucke, Volker; Yan, Zhen; Moss, Stephen J.

    2005-01-01

    The efficacy of synaptic inhibition depends on the number of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) expressed on the cell surface of neurons. The clathrin adaptor protein 2 (AP2) complex is a critical regulator of GABAAR endocytosis and, hence, surface receptor number. Here, we identify a previously uncharacterized atypical AP2 binding motif conserved within the intracellular domains of all GABAAR β subunit isoforms. This AP2 binding motif (KTHLRRRSSQLK in the β3 subunit) incorporates...

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

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

    2016-04-27

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is a secreted neurotrophic factor that binds neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinase C (TrkC), which in turn binds to presynaptic protein tyrosine phosphatase σ (PTPσ) to govern excitatory synapse development. However, whether and how NT-3 cooperates with the TrkC-PTPσ synaptic adhesion pathway and TrkC-mediated intracellular signaling pathways in rat cultured neurons has remained unclear. Here, we report that NT-3 enhances TrkC binding affinity for PTPσ. Strikingly, NT-3 treatment bidirectionally regulates the synaptogenic activity of TrkC: at concentrations of 10-25 ng/ml, NT-3 further enhanced the increase in synapse density induced by TrkC overexpression, whereas at higher concentrations, NT-3 abrogated TrkC-induced increases in synapse density. Semiquantitative immunoblotting and optogenetics-based imaging showed that 25 ng/ml NT-3 or light stimulation at a power that produced a comparable level of NT-3 (6.25 μW) activated only extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and Akt, whereas 100 ng/ml NT-3 (light intensity, 25 μW) further triggered the activation of phospholipase C-γ1 and CREB independently of PTPσ. Notably, disruption of TrkC intracellular signaling pathways, extracellular ligand binding, or kinase activity by point mutations compromised TrkC-induced increases in synapse density. Furthermore, only sparse, but not global, TrkC knock-down in cultured rat neurons significantly decreased synapse density, suggesting that intercellular differences in TrkC expression level are critical for its synapse-promoting action. Together, our data demonstrate that NT-3 is a key factor in excitatory synapse development that may direct higher-order assembly of the TrkC/PTPσ complex and activate distinct intracellular signaling cascades in a concentration-dependent manner to promote competition-based synapse development processes. In this study, we present several lines of experimental evidences to support the conclusion that

  3. Development of TIMP1 magnetic nanoformulation for regulation of synaptic plasticity in HIV-1 infection

    Atluri VSR

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Venkata Subba Rao Atluri* Rahul Dev Jayant* Sudheesh Pilakka-Kanthikeel, Gabriella Garcia, Thangavel Samikkannu, Adriana Yndart, Ajeet Kaushik, Madhavan Nair Center for Personalized Nanomedicine, Department of Immunology, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Although the introduction of antiretroviral therapy has reduced the prevalence of severe forms of neurocognitive disorders, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders were observed in 50% of HIV-infected patients globally. The blood–brain barrier is known to be impermeable to most of antiretroviral drugs. Successful delivery of antiretroviral drugs into the brain may induce an inflammatory response, which may further induce neurotoxicity. Therefore, alternate options to antiretroviral drugs for decreasing the HIV infection and neurotoxicity may help in reducing neurocognitive impairments observed in HIV-infected patients. In this study, we explored the role of magnetic nanoparticle (MNP-bound tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP1 protein in reducing HIV infection levels, oxidative stress, and recovering spine density in HIV-infected SK-N-MC neuroblastoma cells. We did not observe any neuronal cytotoxicity with either the free TIMP1 or MNP-bound TIMP1 used in our study. We observed significantly reduced HIV infection in both solution phase and in MNP-bound TIMP1-exposed neuronal cells. Furthermore, we also observed significantly reduced reactive oxygen species production in both the test groups compared to the neuronal cells infected with HIV alone. To observe the effect of both soluble-phase TIMP1 and MNP-bound TIMP1 on spine density in HIV-infected neuronal cells, confocal microscopy was used. We observed significant recovery of spine density in both the test groups when compared to the cells infected with HIV alone, indicting the

  4. Vorinostat positively regulates synaptic plasticity genes expression and spine density in HIV infected neurons: role of nicotine in progression of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder

    2014-01-01

    Background HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) is characterized by development of cognitive, behavioral and motor abnormalities, and occurs in approximately 50% of HIV infected individuals. In the United States, the prevalence of cigarette smoking ranges from 35-70% in HIV-infected individuals compared to 20% in general population. Cognitive impairment in heavy cigarette smokers has been well reported. However, the synergistic effects of nicotine and HIV infection and the underlying mechanisms in the development of HAND are unknown. Results In this study, we explored the role of nicotine in the progression of HAND using SK-N-MC, a neuronal cell line. SK-N-MC cells were infected with HIV-1 in the presence or absence of nicotine for 7 days. We observed significant increase in HIV infectivity in SK-N-MC treated with nicotine compared to untreated HIV-infected neuronal cells. HIV and nicotine synergize to significantly dysregulate the expression of synaptic plasticity genes and spine density; with a concomitant increase of HDAC2 levels in SK-N-MC cells. In addition, inhibition of HDAC2 up-regulation with the use of vorinostat resulted in HIV latency breakdown and recovery of synaptic plasticity genes expression and spine density in nicotine/HIV alone and in co-treated SK-N-MC cells. Furthermore, increased eIF2 alpha phosphorylation, which negatively regulates eukaryotic translational process, was observed in HIV alone and in co-treatment with nicotine compared to untreated control and nicotine alone treated SK-N-MC cells. Conclusions These results suggest that nicotine and HIV synergize to negatively regulate the synaptic plasticity gene expression and spine density and this may contribute to the increased risk of HAND in HIV infected smokers. Apart from disrupting latency, vorinostat may be a useful therapeutic to inhibit the negative regulatory effects on synaptic plasticity in HIV infected nicotine abusers. PMID:24886748

  5. Regulation of presynaptic Ca2+, synaptic plasticity and contextual fear conditioning by a N-terminal β-amyloid fragment.

    Lawrence, James L M; Tong, Mei; Alfulaij, Naghum; Sherrin, Tessi; Contarino, Mark; White, Michael M; Bellinger, Frederick P; Todorovic, Cedomir; Nichols, Robert A

    2014-10-22

    Soluble β-amyloid has been shown to regulate presynaptic Ca(2+) and synaptic plasticity. In particular, picomolar β-amyloid was found to have an agonist-like action on presynaptic nicotinic receptors and to augment long-term potentiation (LTP) in a manner dependent upon nicotinic receptors. Here, we report that a functional N-terminal domain exists within β-amyloid for its agonist-like activity. This sequence corresponds to a N-terminal fragment generated by the combined action of α- and β-secretases, and resident carboxypeptidase. The N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is present in the brains and CSF of healthy adults as well as in Alzheimer's patients. Unlike full-length β-amyloid, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is monomeric and nontoxic. In Ca(2+) imaging studies using a model reconstituted rodent neuroblastoma cell line and isolated mouse nerve terminals, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment proved to be highly potent and more effective than full-length β-amyloid in its agonist-like action on nicotinic receptors. In addition, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment augmented theta burst-induced post-tetanic potentiation and LTP in mouse hippocampal slices. The N-terminal fragment also rescued LTP inhibited by elevated levels of full-length β-amyloid. Contextual fear conditioning was also strongly augmented following bilateral injection of N-terminal β-amyloid fragment into the dorsal hippocampi of intact mice. The fragment-induced augmentation of fear conditioning was attenuated by coadministration of nicotinic antagonist. The activity of the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment appears to reside largely in a sequence surrounding a putative metal binding site, YEVHHQ. These findings suggest that the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment may serve as a potent and effective endogenous neuromodulator. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3414210-09$15.00/0.

  6. Phospho-dependent binding of the clathrin AP2 adaptor complex to GABAA receptors regulates the efficacy of inhibitory synaptic transmission.

    Kittler, Josef T; Chen, Guojun; Honing, Stephan; Bogdanov, Yury; McAinsh, Kristina; Arancibia-Carcamo, I Lorena; Jovanovic, Jasmina N; Pangalos, Menelas N; Haucke, Volker; Yan, Zhen; Moss, Stephen J

    2005-10-11

    The efficacy of synaptic inhibition depends on the number of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABA(A)Rs) expressed on the cell surface of neurons. The clathrin adaptor protein 2 (AP2) complex is a critical regulator of GABA(A)R endocytosis and, hence, surface receptor number. Here, we identify a previously uncharacterized atypical AP2 binding motif conserved within the intracellular domains of all GABA(A)R beta subunit isoforms. This AP2 binding motif (KTHLRRRSSQLK in the beta3 subunit) incorporates the major sites of serine phosphorylation within receptor beta subunits, and phosphorylation within this site inhibits AP2 binding. Furthermore, by using surface plasmon resonance, we establish that a peptide (pepbeta3) corresponding to the AP2 binding motif in the GABA(A)R beta3 subunit binds to AP2 with high affinity only when dephosphorylated. Moreover, the pepbeta3 peptide, but not its phosphorylated equivalent (pepbeta3-phos), enhanced the amplitude of miniature inhibitory synaptic current and whole cell GABA(A)R current. These effects of pepbeta3 on GABA(A)R current were occluded by inhibitors of dynamin-dependent endocytosis supporting an action of pepbeta3 on GABA(A)R endocytosis. Therefore phospho-dependent regulation of AP2 binding to GABA(A)Rs provides a mechanism to specify receptor cell surface number and the efficacy of inhibitory synaptic transmission.

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

    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.

  8. Neuronal plasticity in hibernation and the proposed role of the microtubule-associated protein tau as a "master switch" regulating synaptic gain in neuronal networks.

    Arendt, Thomas; Bullmann, Torsten

    2013-09-01

    The present paper provides an overview of adaptive changes in brain structure and learning abilities during hibernation as a behavioral strategy used by several mammalian species to minimize energy expenditure under current or anticipated inhospitable environmental conditions. One cellular mechanism that contributes to the regulated suppression of metabolism and thermogenesis during hibernation is reversible phosphorylation of enzymes and proteins, which limits rates of flux through metabolic pathways. Reversible phosphorylation during hibernation also affects synaptic membrane proteins, a process known to be involved in synaptic plasticity. This mechanism of reversible protein phosphorylation also affects the microtubule-associated protein tau, thereby generating a condition that in the adult human brain is associated with aggregation of tau protein to paired helical filaments (PHFs), as observed in Alzheimer's disease. Here, we put forward the concept that phosphorylation of tau is a neuroprotective mechanism to escape NMDA-mediated hyperexcitability of neurons that would otherwise occur during slow gradual cooling of the brain. Phosphorylation of tau and its subsequent targeting to subsynaptic sites might, thus, work as a kind of "master switch," regulating NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic gain in a wide array of neuronal networks, thereby enabling entry into torpor. If this condition lasts too long, however, it may eventually turn into a pathological trigger, driving a cascade of events leading to neurodegeneration, as in Alzheimer's disease or other "tauopathies".

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

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

    2016-07-13

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

  10. A targeted glycan-related gene screen reveals heparan sulfate proteoglycan sulfation regulates WNT and BMP trans-synaptic signaling.

    Neil Dani

    Full Text Available A Drosophila transgenic RNAi screen targeting the glycan genome, including all N/O/GAG-glycan biosynthesis/modification enzymes and glycan-binding lectins, was conducted to discover novel glycan functions in synaptogenesis. As proof-of-product, we characterized functionally paired heparan sulfate (HS 6-O-sulfotransferase (hs6st and sulfatase (sulf1, which bidirectionally control HS proteoglycan (HSPG sulfation. RNAi knockdown of hs6st and sulf1 causes opposite effects on functional synapse development, with decreased (hs6st and increased (sulf1 neurotransmission strength confirmed in null mutants. HSPG co-receptors for WNT and BMP intercellular signaling, Dally-like Protein and Syndecan, are differentially misregulated in the synaptomatrix of these mutants. Consistently, hs6st and sulf1 nulls differentially elevate both WNT (Wingless; Wg and BMP (Glass Bottom Boat; Gbb ligand abundance in the synaptomatrix. Anterograde Wg signaling via Wg receptor dFrizzled2 C-terminus nuclear import and retrograde Gbb signaling via synaptic MAD phosphorylation and nuclear import are differentially activated in hs6st and sulf1 mutants. Consequently, transcriptional control of presynaptic glutamate release machinery and postsynaptic glutamate receptors is bidirectionally altered in hs6st and sulf1 mutants, explaining the bidirectional change in synaptic functional strength. Genetic correction of the altered WNT/BMP signaling restores normal synaptic development in both mutant conditions, proving that altered trans-synaptic signaling causes functional differentiation defects.

  11. CaMKII Regulates Synaptic NMDA Receptor Activity of Hypothalamic Presympathetic Neurons and Sympathetic Outflow in Hypertension.

    Li, De-Pei; Zhou, Jing-Jing; Zhang, Jixiang; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2017-11-01

    NMDAR activity in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) is increased and critically involved in heightened sympathetic vasomotor tone in hypertension. Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) binds to and modulates NMDAR activity. In this study, we determined the role of CaMKII in regulating NMDAR activity of PVN presympathetic neurons in male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). NMDAR-mediated EPSCs and puff NMDA-elicited currents were recorded in spinally projecting PVN neurons in SHRs and male Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. The basal amplitude of evoked NMDAR-EPSCs and puff NMDA currents in retrogradely labeled PVN neurons were significantly higher in SHRs than in WKY rats. The CaMKII inhibitor autocamtide-2-related inhibitory peptide (AIP) normalized the increased amplitude of NMDAR-EPSCs and puff NMDA currents in labeled PVN neurons in SHRs but had no effect in WKY rats. Treatment with AIP also normalized the higher frequency of NMDAR-mediated miniature EPSCs of PVN neurons in SHRs. CaMKII-mediated phosphorylation level of GluN2B serine 1303 (S1303) in the PVN, but not in the hippocampus and frontal cortex, was significantly higher in SHRs than in WKY rats. Lowering blood pressure with celiac ganglionectomy in SHRs did not alter the increased level of phosphorylated GluN2B S1303 in the PVN. In addition, microinjection of AIP into the PVN significantly reduced arterial blood pressure and lumbar sympathetic nerve discharges in SHRs. Our findings suggest that CaMKII activity is increased in the PVN and contributes to potentiated presynaptic and postsynaptic NMDAR activity to elevate sympathetic vasomotor tone in hypertension. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Heightened sympathetic vasomotor tone is a major contributor to the development of hypertension. Although glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated excitatory drive in the hypothalamus plays a critical role in increased sympathetic output in hypertension, the molecular mechanism involved in

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

    Regina A. Mangieri

    2017-08-01

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

  13. Basic roles of key molecules connected with NMDAR signaling pathway on regulating learning and memory and synaptic plasticity

    Hui Wang; Rui-Yun Peng

    2016-01-01

    With key roles in essential brain functions ranging from the long-term potentiation (LTP) to synaptic plasticity,the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) can be considered as one of the fundamental glutamate receptors in the central nervous system.The role of NMDA R was first identified in synaptic plasticity and has been extensively studied.Some molecules,such as Ca2+,postsynaptic density 95 (PSD-95),calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase Ⅱ (CaMK Ⅱ),protein kinase A (PKA),mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) responsive element binding protein (CREB),are of special importance in learning and memory.This review mainly focused on the new research of key molecules connected with learning and memory,which played important roles in the NMDAR signaling pathway.

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

    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

  15. Translational control by eIF2α phosphorylation regulates vulnerability to the synaptic and behavioral effects of cocaine

    Huang, Wei; Placzek, Andon N; Viana Di Prisco, Gonzalo; Khatiwada, Sanjeev; Sidrauski, Carmela; Krnjević, Krešimir; Walter, Peter; Dani, John A; Costa-Mattioli, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    Adolescents are especially prone to drug addiction, but the underlying biological basis of their increased vulnerability remains unknown. We reveal that translational control by phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2α (p-eIF2α) accounts for adolescent hypersensitivity to cocaine. In adolescent (but not adult) mice, a low dose of cocaine reduced p-eIF2α in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), potentiated synaptic inputs to VTA dopaminergic neurons, and induced drug-reinforced behavior. Like adolescents, adult mice with reduced p-eIF2α-mediated translational control were more susceptible to cocaine-induced synaptic potentiation and behavior. Conversely, like adults, adolescent mice with increased p-eIF2α became more resistant to cocaine's effects. Accordingly, metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated long-term depression (mGluR-LTD)—whose disruption is postulated to increase vulnerability to drug addiction—was impaired in both adolescent mice and adult mice with reduced p-eIF2α mediated translation. Thus, during addiction, cocaine hijacks translational control by p-eIF2α, initiating synaptic potentiation and addiction-related behaviors. These insights may hold promise for new treatments for addiction. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12052.001 PMID:26928234

  16. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    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...

  17. Orchestrated regulation of Nogo receptors, LOTUS, AMPA receptors and BDNF in an ECT model suggests opening and closure of a window of synaptic plasticity.

    Max Nordgren

    Full Text Available Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT is an efficient and relatively fast acting treatment for depression. However, one severe side effect of the treatment is retrograde amnesia, which in certain cases can be long-term. The mechanisms behind the antidepressant effect and the amnesia are not well understood. We hypothesized that ECT causes transient downregulation of key molecules needed to stabilize synaptic structure and to prevent Ca2+ influx, and a simultaneous increase in neurotrophic factors, thus providing a short time window of increased structural synaptic plasticity. Here we followed regulation of NgR1, NgR3, LOTUS, BDNF, and AMPA subunits GluR1 and GluR2 flip and flop mRNA levels in hippocampus at 2, 4, 12, 24, and 72 hours after a single episode of induced electroconvulsive seizures (ECS in rats. NgR1 and LOTUS mRNA levels were transiently downregulated in the dentate gyrus 2, 4, 12 and 4, 12, 24 h after ECS treatment, respectively. GluR2 flip, flop and GluR1 flop were downregulated at 4 h. GluR2 flip remained downregulated at 12 h. In contrast, BDNF, NgR3 and GluR1 flip mRNA levels were upregulated. Thus, ECS treatment induces a transient regulation of factors important for neuronal plasticity. Our data provide correlations between ECS treatment and molecular events compatible with the hypothesis that both effects and side effects of ECT may be caused by structural synaptic rearrangements.

  18. Secreted factors as synaptic organizers.

    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.

  19. Diacylglycerol kinases in the coordination of synaptic plasticity

    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.

  20. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

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

    2013-09-01

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

  1. Alteration of synaptic activity-regulating genes underlying functional improvement by long-term exposure to an enriched environment in the adult brain.

    Lee, Min-Young; Yu, Ji Hea; Kim, Ji Yeon; Seo, Jung Hwa; Park, Eun Sook; Kim, Chul Hoon; Kim, Hyongbum; Cho, Sung-Rae

    2013-01-01

    Housing animals in an enriched environment (EE) enhances behavioral function. However, the mechanism underlying this EE-mediated functional improvement and the resultant changes in gene expression have yet to be elucidated. We attempted to investigate the underlying mechanisms associated with long-term exposure to an EE by evaluating gene expression patterns. We housed 6-week-old CD-1 (ICR) mice in standard cages or an EE comprising a running wheel, novel objects, and social interaction for 2 months. Motor and cognitive performances were evaluated using the rotarod test and passive avoidance test, and gene expression profile was investigated in the cerebral hemispheres using microarray and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). In behavioral assessment, an EE significantly enhanced rotarod performance and short-term working memory. Microarray analysis revealed that genes associated with neuronal activity were significantly altered by an EE. GSEA showed that genes involved in synaptic transmission and postsynaptic signal transduction were globally upregulated, whereas those associated with reuptake by presynaptic neurotransmitter transporters were downregulated. In particular, both microarray and GSEA demonstrated that EE exposure increased opioid signaling, acetylcholine release cycle, and postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors but decreased Na+ / Cl- -dependent neurotransmitter transporters, including dopamine transporter Slc6a3 in the brain. Western blotting confirmed that SLC6A3, DARPP32 (PPP1R1B), and P2RY12 were largely altered in a region-specific manner. An EE enhanced motor and cognitive function through the alteration of synaptic activity-regulating genes, improving the efficient use of neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity by the upregulation of genes associated with postsynaptic receptor activity and downregulation of presynaptic reuptake by neurotransmitter transporters.

  2. Do changes in regulation affect employment duration in temporary help agencies?

    Antoni, Manfred; Jahn, Elke

    2009-01-01

    The employment duration of workers in temporary help agencies is seen as an important indicator of their job quality. Most of the countries that regulate temporary agency employment do so to insure at least a minimal level of employment stability. Over the past three decades Germany has repeatedly...

  3. MAGUKs: multifaceted synaptic organizers.

    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.

  4. Differential regulation of polarized synaptic vesicle trafficking and synapse stability in neural circuit rewiring in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Naina Kurup

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits are dynamic, with activity-dependent changes in synapse density and connectivity peaking during different phases of animal development. In C. elegans, young larvae form mature motor circuits through a dramatic switch in GABAergic neuron connectivity, by concomitant elimination of existing synapses and formation of new synapses that are maintained throughout adulthood. We have previously shown that an increase in microtubule dynamics during motor circuit rewiring facilitates new synapse formation. Here, we further investigate cellular control of circuit rewiring through the analysis of mutants obtained in a forward genetic screen. Using live imaging, we characterize novel mutations that alter cargo binding in the dynein motor complex and enhance anterograde synaptic vesicle movement during remodeling, providing in vivo evidence for the tug-of-war between kinesin and dynein in fast axonal transport. We also find that a casein kinase homolog, TTBK-3, inhibits stabilization of nascent synapses in their new locations, a previously unexplored facet of structural plasticity of synapses. Our study delineates temporally distinct signaling pathways that are required for effective neural circuit refinement.

  5. The novel protein kinase C epsilon isoform at the adult neuromuscular synapse: location, regulation by synaptic activity-dependent muscle contraction through TrkB signaling and coupling to ACh release.

    Obis, Teresa; Besalduch, Núria; Hurtado, Erica; Nadal, Laura; Santafe, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Tomàs, Marta; Priego, Mercedes; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Josep

    2015-02-10

    Protein kinase C (PKC) regulates a variety of neural functions, including neurotransmitter release. Although various PKC isoforms can be expressed at the synaptic sites and specific cell distribution may contribute to their functional diversity, little is known about the isoform-specific functions of PKCs in neuromuscular synapse. The present study is designed to examine the location of the novel isoform nPKCε at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), their synaptic activity-related expression changes, its regulation by muscle contraction, and their possible involvement in acetylcholine release. We use immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy to demonstrate that the novel isoform nPKCε is exclusively located in the motor nerve terminals of the adult rat NMJ. We also report that electrical stimulation of synaptic inputs to the skeletal muscle significantly increased the amount of nPKCε isoform as well as its phosphorylated form in the synaptic membrane, and muscle contraction is necessary for these nPKCε expression changes. The results also demonstrate that synaptic activity-induced muscle contraction promotes changes in presynaptic nPKCε through the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-mediated tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) signaling. Moreover, nPKCε activity results in phosphorylation of the substrate MARCKS involved in actin cytoskeleton remodeling and related with neurotransmission. Finally, blocking nPKCε with a nPKCε-specific translocation inhibitor peptide (εV1-2) strongly reduces phorbol ester-induced ACh release potentiation, which further indicates that nPKCε is involved in neurotransmission. Together, these results provide a mechanistic insight into how synaptic activity-induced muscle contraction could regulate the presynaptic action of the nPKCε isoform and suggest that muscle contraction is an important regulatory step in TrkB signaling at the NMJ.

  6. Phospho-regulated Drosophila adducin is a determinant of synaptic plasticity in a complex with Dlg and PIP2 at the larval neuromuscular junction

    Simon Ji Hau Wang

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Adducin is a ubiquitously expressed actin- and spectrin-binding protein involved in cytoskeleton organization, and is regulated through phosphorylation of the myristoylated alanine-rich C-terminal kinase (MARCKS-homology domain by protein kinase C (PKC. We have previously shown that the Drosophila adducin, Hu-li tai shao (Hts, plays a role in larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ growth. Here, we find that the predominant isoforms of Hts at the NMJ contain the MARCKS-homology domain, which is important for interactions with Discs large (Dlg and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2. Through the use of Proximity Ligation Assay (PLA, we show that the adducin-like Hts isoforms are in complexes with Dlg and PIP2 at the NMJ. We provide evidence that Hts promotes the phosphorylation and delocalization of Dlg at the NMJ through regulation of the transcript distribution of the PAR-1 and CaMKII kinases in the muscle. We also show that Hts interactions with Dlg and PIP2 are impeded through phosphorylation of the MARCKS-homology domain. These results are further evidence that Hts is a signaling-responsive regulator of synaptic plasticity in Drosophila.

  7. Optogenetic activation of leptin- and glucose-regulated GABAergic neurons in dorsomedial hypothalamus promotes food intake via inhibitory synaptic transmission to paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus

    Zesemdorj Otgon-Uul

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH has been considered an orexigenic nucleus, since the DMH lesion reduced food intake and body weight and induced resistance to diet-induced obesity. The DMH expresses feeding regulatory neuropeptides and receptors including neuropeptide Y (NPY, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART, cholecystokinin (CCK, leptin receptor, and melanocortin 3/4 receptors. However, the principal neurons generating the orexigenic function in the DMH remain to be defined. This study aimed to clarify the role of the DMH GABAergic neurons in feeding regulation by using optogenetics and electrophysiological techniques. Methods: We generated the mice expressing ChRFR-C167A, a bistable chimeric channelrhodopsin, selectively in GABAergic neurons of DMH via locally injected adeno-associated virus 2. Food intake after optogenetic activation of DMH GABAergic neurons was measured. Electrophysiological properties of DMH GABAergic neurons were measured using slice patch clamp. Results: Optogenetic activation of DMH GABAergic neurons promoted food intake. Leptin hyperpolarized and lowering glucose depolarized half of DMH GABAergic neurons, suggesting their orexigenic property. Optical activation of axonal terminals of DMH GABAergic neurons at the paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus (PVN, where anorexigenic neurons are localized, increased inhibitory postsynaptic currents on PVN neurons and promoted food intake. Conclusion: DMH GABAergic neurons are regulated by metabolic signals leptin and glucose and, once activated, promote food intake via inhibitory synaptic transmission to PVN. Keywords: Dorsomedial hypothalamus, GABAergic neuron, Feeding, Leptin, Glucose, Optogenetics

  8. Implications of emotion regulation strategies for empathic concern, social attitudes, and helping behavior.

    Lebowitz, Matthew S; Dovidio, John F

    2015-04-01

    Empathic concern-a sense of caring and compassion in response to the needs of others-is a type of emotional response to the plights and misfortunes of others that predicts positive social attitudes and altruistic interpersonal behaviors. One psychological process that has been posited to facilitate empathic concern is the ability to regulate one's own emotions. However, existing research links some emotion-regulation approaches (e.g., suppression) to social outcomes that would appear at odds with empathic concern, such as decreased interpersonal closeness. In the present research, we tested whether relying on suppression to regulate one's emotions would lead to decreases in empathic concern-and related downstream variables, such as negative social attitudes and unwillingness to engage in altruistic behavior-when learning about another person's misfortune. In Study 1, dispositional and instructionally induced suppression was negatively associated with empathic concern, which led to increased stigmatizing attitudes. By contrast, instructing participants to use another emotion-regulation strategy examined for comparison-reappraisal-did not decrease empathic concern, and dispositional reliance on reappraisal was actually positively associated with empathic concern. In Study 2, the findings of Study 1 regarding the effects of habitual use of reappraisal and suppression were replicated, and reliance on suppression was also found to be associated with reluctance to engage in helping behaviors. These findings are situated within the existing literature and employed to shed new light on the interpersonal consequences of intrapersonal emotion-regulation strategies. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Propofol prevents electroconvulsive-shock-induced memory impairment through regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity in a rat model of depression

    Luo J

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Jie Luo, Su Min, Ke Wei, Jun Cao, Bin Wang, Ping Li, Jun Dong, Yuanyuan Liu Department of Anesthesiology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China Background: Although a rapid and efficient psychiatric treatment, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT induces memory impairment. Modified ECT requires anesthesia for safety purposes. Although traditionally found to exert amnesic effects in general anesthesia, which is an inherent part of modified ECT, some anesthetics have been found to protect against ECT-induced cognitive impairment. However, the mechanisms remain unclear. We investigated the effects of propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol on memory in depressed rats undergoing electroconvulsive shock (ECS, the analog of ECT in animals, under anesthesia as well as its mechanisms.Methods: Chronic unpredictable mild stresses were adopted to reproduce depression in a rodent model. Rats underwent ECS (or sham ECS with anesthesia with propofol or normal saline. Behavior was assessed in sucrose preference, open field and Morris water maze tests. Hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP was measured using electrophysiological techniques. PSD-95, CREB, and p-CREB protein expression was assayed with western blotting.Results: Depression induced memory damage, and downregulated LTP, PSD-95, CREB, and p-CREB; these effects were exacerbated in depressed rats by ECS; propofol did not reverse the depression-induced changes, but when administered in modified ECS, propofol improved memory and reversed the downregulation of LTP and the proteins. Conclusion: These findings suggest that propofol prevents ECS-induced memory impairment, and modified ECS under anesthesia with propofol improves memory in depressed rats, possibly by reversing the excessive changes in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. These observations provide a novel insight into potential targets for optimizing the clinical use of ECT for psychiatric

  10. Muscle Contraction Regulates BDNF/TrkB Signaling to Modulate Synaptic Function through Presynaptic cPKCα and cPKCβI.

    Hurtado, Erica; Cilleros, Víctor; Nadal, Laura; Simó, Anna; Obis, Teresa; Garcia, Neus; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Halievski, Katherine; Jordan, Cynthia L; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Josep

    2017-01-01

    The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) acts via tropomyosin-related kinase B receptor (TrkB) to regulate synapse maintenance and function in the neuromuscular system. The potentiation of acetylcholine (ACh) release by BDNF requires TrkB phosphorylation and Protein Kinase C (PKC) activation. BDNF is secreted in an activity-dependent manner but it is not known if pre- and/or postsynaptic activities enhance BDNF expression in vivo at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here, we investigated whether nerve and muscle cell activities regulate presynaptic conventional PKC (cPKCα and βI) via BDNF/TrkB signaling to modulate synaptic strength at the NMJ. To differentiate the effects of presynaptic activity from that of muscle contraction, we stimulated the phrenic nerve of rat diaphragms (1 Hz, 30 min) with or without contraction (abolished by μ-conotoxin GIIIB). Then, we performed ELISA, Western blotting, qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence and electrophysiological techniques. We found that nerve-induced muscle contraction: (1) increases the levels of mature BDNF protein without affecting pro-BDNF protein or BDNF mRNA levels; (2) downregulates TrkB.T1 without affecting TrkB.FL or p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75) levels; (3) increases presynaptic cPKCα and cPKCβI protein level through TrkB signaling; and (4) enhances phosphorylation of cPKCα and cPKCβI. Furthermore, we demonstrate that cPKCβI, which is exclusively located in the motor nerve terminals, increases activity-induced acetylcholine release. Together, these results show that nerve-induced muscle contraction is a key regulator of BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway, retrogradely activating presynaptic cPKC isoforms (in particular cPKCβI) to modulate synaptic function. These results indicate that a decrease in neuromuscular activity, as occurs in several neuromuscular disorders, could affect the BDNF/TrkB/PKC pathway that links pre- and postsynaptic activity to maintain neuromuscular function.

  11. Muscle Contraction Regulates BDNF/TrkB Signaling to Modulate Synaptic Function through Presynaptic cPKCα and cPKCβI

    Erica Hurtado

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF acts via tropomyosin-related kinase B receptor (TrkB to regulate synapse maintenance and function in the neuromuscular system. The potentiation of acetylcholine (ACh release by BDNF requires TrkB phosphorylation and Protein Kinase C (PKC activation. BDNF is secreted in an activity-dependent manner but it is not known if pre- and/or postsynaptic activities enhance BDNF expression in vivo at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. Here, we investigated whether nerve and muscle cell activities regulate presynaptic conventional PKC (cPKCα and βI via BDNF/TrkB signaling to modulate synaptic strength at the NMJ. To differentiate the effects of presynaptic activity from that of muscle contraction, we stimulated the phrenic nerve of rat diaphragms (1 Hz, 30 min with or without contraction (abolished by μ-conotoxin GIIIB. Then, we performed ELISA, Western blotting, qRT-PCR, immunofluorescence and electrophysiological techniques. We found that nerve-induced muscle contraction: (1 increases the levels of mature BDNF protein without affecting pro-BDNF protein or BDNF mRNA levels; (2 downregulates TrkB.T1 without affecting TrkB.FL or p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75 levels; (3 increases presynaptic cPKCα and cPKCβI protein level through TrkB signaling; and (4 enhances phosphorylation of cPKCα and cPKCβI. Furthermore, we demonstrate that cPKCβI, which is exclusively located in the motor nerve terminals, increases activity-induced acetylcholine release. Together, these results show that nerve-induced muscle contraction is a key regulator of BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway, retrogradely activating presynaptic cPKC isoforms (in particular cPKCβI to modulate synaptic function. These results indicate that a decrease in neuromuscular activity, as occurs in several neuromuscular disorders, could affect the BDNF/TrkB/PKC pathway that links pre- and postsynaptic activity to maintain neuromuscular function.

  12. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

    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.

  13. The interaction of mammalian Class C Vps with nSec-1/Munc18-a and syntaxin 1A regulates pre-synaptic release

    Kim, Bong Yoon; Sahara, Yoshinori; Yamamoto, Akitsugu; Kominami, Eiki; Kohsaka, Shinichi; Akazawa, Chihiro

    2006-01-01

    Membrane docking and fusion in neurons is a highly regulated process requiring the participation of a large number of SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) and SNARE-interacting proteins. We found that mammalian Class C Vps protein complex associated specifically with nSec-1/Munc18-a, and syntaxin 1A both in vivo and in vitro. In contrast, VAMP2 and SNAP-25, other neuronal core complex proteins, did not interact. When co-transfected with the human growth hormone (hGH) reporter gene, mammalian Class C Vps proteins enhanced Ca 2+ -dependent exocytosis, which was abolished by the Ca 2+ -channel blocker nifedipine. In hippocampal primary cultures, the lentivirus-mediated overexpression of hVps18 increased asynchronous spontaneous synaptic release without changing mEPSCs. These results indicate that mammalian Class C Vps proteins are involved in the regulation of membrane docking and fusion through an interaction with neuronal specific SNARE molecules, nSec-1/Munc18-a and syntaxin 1A

  14. The Serine Protease Inhibitor Neuroserpin Is Required for Normal Synaptic Plasticity and Regulates Learning and Social Behavior

    Reumann, Rebecca; Vierk, Ricardo; Zhou, Lepu; Gries, Frederice; Kraus, Vanessa; Mienert, Julia; Romswinkel, Eva; Morellini, Fabio; Ferrer, Isidre; Nicolini, Chiara; Fahnestock, Margaret; Rune, Gabriele; Glatzel, Markus; Galliciotti, Giovanna

    2017-01-01

    The serine protease inhibitor neuroserpin regulates the activity of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) in the nervous system. Neuroserpin expression is particularly prominent at late stages of neuronal development in most regions of the central nervous system (CNS), whereas it is restricted to regions related to learning and memory in the…

  15. Palmitoylation-dependent CDKL5–PSD-95 interaction regulates synaptic targeting of CDKL5 and dendritic spine development

    Zhu, Yong-Chuan; Li, Dan; Wang, Lu; Lu, Bin; Zheng, Jing; Zhao, Shi-Lin; Zeng, Rong; Xiong, Zhi-Qi

    2013-01-01

    The X-linked gene cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) is mutated in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including some forms of atypical Rett syndrome, but the function and regulation of CDKL5 protein in neurons remain to be elucidated. Here, we show that CDKL5 binds to the scaffolding protein postsynaptic density (PSD)-95, and that this binding promotes the targeting of CDKL5 to excitatory synapses. Interestingly, this binding is not constitutive, but governed by palmitate cycling on PSD...

  16. Modification of a hydrophobic layer by a point mutation in syntaxin 1A regulates the rate of synaptic vesicle fusion.

    Robert D Lagow

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Both constitutive secretion and Ca(2+-regulated exocytosis require the assembly of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE complexes. At present, little is known about how the SNARE complexes mediating these two distinct pathways differ in structure. Using the Drosophila neuromuscular synapse as a model, we show that a mutation modifying a hydrophobic layer in syntaxin 1A regulates the rate of vesicle fusion. Syntaxin 1A molecules share a highly conserved threonine in the C-terminal +7 layer near the transmembrane domain. Mutation of this threonine to isoleucine results in a structural change that more closely resembles those found in syntaxins ascribed to the constitutive secretory pathway. Flies carrying the I254 mutant protein have increased levels of SNARE complexes and dramatically enhanced rate of both constitutive and evoked vesicle fusion. In contrast, overexpression of the T254 wild-type protein in neurons reduces vesicle fusion only in the I254 mutant background. These results are consistent with molecular dynamics simulations of the SNARE core complex, suggesting that T254 serves as an internal brake to dampen SNARE zippering and impede vesicle fusion, whereas I254 favors fusion by enhancing intermolecular interaction within the SNARE core complex.

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

    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.

  18. Influence of Academic Self-Regulation, Critical Thinking, and Age on Online Graduate Students' Academic Help-Seeking

    Dunn, Karee E.; Rakes, Glenda C.; Rakes, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    Academic help-seeking is an invaluable learning strategy that has not yet received much attention in the distance education research literature. The asynchronous nature of distance education and many online courses presents an inherent roadblock to help-seeking. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of academic self-regulation,…

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

    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.

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

    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.

  1. Listening to Music: Helping Children Regulate Their Emotions and Improve Learning in the Classroom

    Foran, Lucille M.

    2009-01-01

    Early education teachers are familiar with using music and rhythm as tools for learning language and building memory. However, the potential of music to help across all special education settings is largely unexplored. Work with music has been widely judged helpful in cases of psychological trauma, yet people do not know why it is helpful. The…

  2. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    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.

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

    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.

  4. Situation selection is a particularly effective emotion regulation strategy for people who need help regulating their emotions.

    Webb, Thomas L; Lindquist, Kristen A; Jones, Katelyn; Avishai, Aya; Sheeran, Paschal

    2018-03-01

    Situation selection involves choosing situations based on their likely emotional impact and may be less cognitively taxing or challenging to implement compared to other strategies for regulating emotion, which require people to regulate their emotions "in the moment"; we thus predicted that individuals who chronically experience intense emotions or who are not particularly competent at employing other emotion regulation strategies would be especially likely to benefit from situation selection. Consistent with this idea, we found that the use of situation selection interacted with individual differences in emotional reactivity and competence at emotion regulation to predict emotional outcomes in both a correlational (Study 1; N = 301) and an experimental field study (Study 2; N = 125). Taken together, the findings suggest that situation selection is an effective strategy for regulating emotions, especially for individuals who otherwise struggle to do so.

  5. Deciphering resting microglial morphology and process motility from a synaptic prospect

    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.

  6. Adaptive and Nonadaptive Help Seeking with Peer Harassment: An Integrative Perspective of Coping and Self-Regulation

    Newman, Richard S.

    2008-01-01

    When harassed by peers, elementary school students often face a dilemma of whether to ask their teacher for help. Assistance may be useful, and perhaps necessary. However, there can be social costs; children generally are expected to resolve interpersonal conflicts on their own. Two theoretical perspectives (i.e., coping and self-regulation)…

  7. How industry can help us fight against botnets : Notes on regulating private-sector intervention

    E Silva, Karine

    2016-01-01

    Could industry improve our response to botnet attacks? If so, how should this private sector participation be regulated? This paper examines how regulation could be used to facilitate private sector intervention against robot networks, also known as botnets. The first part of this paper is dedicated

  8. Banach Synaptic Algebras

    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.

  9. Orchestrated Regulation of Nogo Receptors, Lotus, AMPA Receptors and BDNF in an ECT Model Suggests Opening and Closure of a Window of Synaptic Plasticity

    Nordgren, Max; Karlsson, Tobias; Svensson, Maria; Koczy, Josefin; Josephson, Anna; Olson, Lars; Tingstroem, Anders; Brene, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an efficient and relatively fast acting treatment for depression. However, one severe side effect of the treatment is retrograde amnesia, which in certain cases can be long-term. The mechanisms behind the antidepressant effect and the amnesia are not well understood. We hypothesized that ECT causes transient downregulation of key molecules needed to stabilize synaptic structure and to prevent Ca2+ influx, and a simultaneous increase in neurotrophic factors, ...

  10. Neuronal activity-regulated gene transcription: how are distant synaptic signals conveyed to the nucleus? [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/TYJStu

    Miriam Matamales

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic activity can trigger gene expression programs that are required for the stable change of neuronal properties, a process that is essential for learning and memory. Currently, it is still unclear how the stimulation of dendritic synapses can be coupled to transcription in the nucleus in a timely way given that large distances can separate these two cellular compartments. Although several mechanisms have been proposed to explain long distance communication between synapses and the nucle...

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

    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.

  12. Understanding complexities of synaptic transmission in medically intractable seizures: A paradigm of epilepsy research

    Jyotirmoy Banerjee

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Investigating the changes associated with the development of epileptic state in humans is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Understanding the intricacies of medically intractable epilepsy still remains a challenge for neurosurgeons across the world. A significant number of patients who has undergone resective brain surgery for epilepsy still continue to have seizures. The reason behind this therapy resistance still eludes us. Thus to develop a cure for the difficult to treat epilepsy, we need to comprehensively study epileptogenesis. Although various animal models are developed but none of them replicate the pathological conditions in humans. So the ideal way to understand epileptogenecity is to examine the tissue resected for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Advanced imaging and electrical localization procedures are utilized to establish the epileptogenic zone in epilepsy patients. Further molecular and cytological studies are required for the microscopic analysis of brain samples collected from the epileptogenic focus. As alterations in inhibitory as well as excitatory synaptic transmission are key features of epilepsy, understanding the regulation of neurotransmission in the resected surgery zone is of immense importance. Here we summarize various modalities of in vitro slice analysis from the resected brain specimen to understand the changes in GABAergic and glutamatergic synaptic transmission in epileptogenic zone. We also review evidence pertaining to the proposed role of nicotinic receptors in abnormal synaptic transmission which is one of the major causes of epileptiform activity. Elucidation of current concepts in regulation of synaptic transmission will help develop therapies for epilepsy cases that cannot me managed pharmacologically.

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

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

    2009-10-01

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

  14. Regulating the helping hand: improving legal preparedness for cross-border disaster medicine.

    Fisher, David

    2010-01-01

    Medical care is a highly regulated field in nearly every country. Therefore, it is not surprising that legal issues regularly arise in cross-border disaster operations that have with the potential to profoundly impact the effectiveness of international assistance. Little attention has been paid to preparing for and addressing these kinds of issues. This paper will report on research by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on International Disaster Response Law, and discuss new developments in the international legal framework for addressing these issues. For seven years, the IFRC has studied legal issues in cross-border disaster assistance. Its activities have included several dozen case studies, a global survey of governments and humanitarian stakeholders, and a series of meetings and high-level conferences. The IFRC has found a consistent set of regulatory problems in major disaster relief operations related to the entry and regulation of international relief. These include some issues specific to the health field, such as the regulation of drug donations and the recognition of foreign medical qualifications. To address the gaps in domestic and international regulatory structures, the IFRC spearheaded the development of new international guidelines. The legal risks for international health providers in disaster settings are real and should be better integrated into program planning. Governments must become more proactive in ensuring that legal frameworks are flexible enough to mitigate these problems.

  15. IAEA Assistance in Helping Member States Develop Effectively Independent and Robust Regulators for Nuclear Installation Safety

    Nicic, A., E-mail: A.Nicic@iaea.org [International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, Wagramer Strasse 5, P.O. Box 100, 1400 Vienna (Austria)

    2014-10-15

    Full text: The International Conference on Topical Issues in Nuclear Installation Safety will be focused on the exchange of information on the latest thinking and advances in the implementation of the concept of Defence-in-Depth (DID) in nuclear installations, and the associated challenges. The focus will be on operating nuclear installations, including nuclear power plants, research reactors and fuel cycle facilities, and on how lessons learned from operating experience and recent events (e.g. the Fukushima Daiichi accident) are used to enhance safety. The implementation of DID covers a number of elements that are directly related to the different states and phases of a nuclear facility. This presentation will discuss the importance of the regulatory body in its oversight role as a cross-cutting element of DID in helping to assure the safety of nuclear installations. Taking note of the numerous challenges in developing an effectively independent and robust regulatory body, the presentation will describe how the IAEA assists Member States in their development of the appropriate regulatory infrastructure and necessary capacity to carry out their regulatory responsibilities – consistent with the IAEA Safety Standards. The presentation will describe the importance of the self-assessment process which serves as a starting point for helping Member States gain an understanding of what support they need and when the support should be provided as they develop into a competent regulatory authority. The presentation will discuss recent improvements in the self-assessment process and related IAEA services in this regard. Once regulatory bodies are established, it is essential that they seek continuous improvement. In this regard, the presentation will describe the IAEA’s assistance provided through the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) and recent activities to improve the IRRS, consistent with the IAEA’s Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. (author)

  16. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    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.

  17. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

    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

  18. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    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.

  19. Astroglial metabolic networks sustain hippocampal synaptic transmission.

    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.

  20. Anatomical regulation of ice nucleation and cavitation helps trees to survive freezing and drought stress

    Lintunen, A.; Hölttä, T.; Kulmala, M.

    2013-01-01

    Water in the xylem, the water transport system of plants, is vulnerable to freezing and cavitation, i.e. to phase change from liquid to ice or gaseous phase. The former is a threat in cold and the latter in dry environmental conditions. Here we show that a small xylem conduit diameter, which has previously been shown to be associated with lower cavitation pressure thus making a plant more drought resistant, is also associated with a decrease in the temperature required for ice nucleation in the xylem. Thus the susceptibility of freezing and cavitation are linked together in the xylem of plants. We explain this linkage by the regulation of the sizes of the nuclei catalysing freezing and drought cavitation. Our results offer better understanding of the similarities of adaption of plants to cold and drought stress, and offer new insights into the ability of plants to adapt to the changing environment. PMID:23778457

  1. Can the regulated market help foster a free market for wind energy in Brazil?

    Dalbem, Marta Corrêa; Brandão, Luiz Eduardo Teixeira; Gomes, Leonardo Lima

    2014-01-01

    Wind energy has been negotiated in Brazil's regulated market through auctions organized by the government. Bilateral negotiations in the free market have been scarce. In 2011 wind farms were allowed to bid in ‘A minus 5 (A−5)' auctions, for energy with first delivery date 5 years ahead. This new design was expected to stimulate negotiations in the free market, as the 20-year contract in the regulated market eases financing while the 5-year grace period grants wind farms the option to sell whatever energy is generated beforehand in the free market. We modeled bidders' price decision in A−5 auctions as Real Options and concluded that given the low prices averaging USD 50/MW h, winners are tempted to defer investment, expecting more favorable equipment and energy prices, or a better knowledge of the wind site. Construction is likely to begin in 2–3 years, with little time left for the free market. Bidders that consider the option of eventually abandoning the project are more price competitive, increasing chances that some wind farms will never materialize. Therefore, this attempt to foster the free market may not pay-off and, moreover, it may have the unfavorable effect of turning Brazil's energy expansion planning a more difficult task. - Highlights: • Tight auction prices make winners exercise options to defer construction. • Investors that consider the option to abandon the project tend to win the auction. • High chances of default, when investors take abandonment options into account. • Auctioning wind farms for energy delivery 5 yr later will not foster a free market

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

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

    2016-09-01

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

  5. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    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.

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

    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

  7. βIII Spectrin Is Necessary for Formation of the Constricted Neck of Dendritic Spines and Regulation of Synaptic Activity in Neurons.

    Efimova, Nadia; Korobova, Farida; Stankewich, Michael C; Moberly, Andrew H; Stolz, Donna B; Wang, Junling; Kashina, Anna; Ma, Minghong; Svitkina, Tatyana

    2017-07-05

    Dendritic spines are postsynaptic structures in neurons often having a mushroom-like shape. Physiological significance and cytoskeletal mechanisms that maintain this shape are poorly understood. The spectrin-based membrane skeleton maintains the biconcave shape of erythrocytes, but whether spectrins also determine the shape of nonerythroid cells is less clear. We show that βIII spectrin in hippocampal and cortical neurons from rodent embryos of both sexes is distributed throughout the somatodendritic compartment but is particularly enriched in the neck and base of dendritic spines and largely absent from spine heads. Electron microscopy revealed that βIII spectrin forms a detergent-resistant cytoskeletal network at these sites. Knockdown of βIII spectrin results in a significant decrease in the density of dendritic spines. Surprisingly, the density of presynaptic terminals is not affected by βIII spectrin knockdown. However, instead of making normal spiny synapses, the presynaptic structures in βIII spectrin-depleted neurons make shaft synapses that exhibit increased amplitudes of miniature EPSCs indicative of excessive postsynaptic excitation. Thus, βIII spectrin is necessary for formation of the constricted shape of the spine neck, which in turn controls communication between the synapse and the parent dendrite to prevent excessive excitation. Notably, mutations of SPTNB2 encoding βIII spectrin are associated with neurodegenerative syndromes, spinocerebellar ataxia Type 5, and spectrin-associated autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia Type 1, but molecular mechanisms linking βIII spectrin functions to neuronal pathologies remain unresolved. Our data suggest that spinocerebellar ataxia Type 5 and spectrin-associated autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia Type 1 pathology likely arises from poorly controlled synaptic activity that leads to excitotoxicity and neurodegeneration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Dendritic spines are small protrusions from neuronal

  8. A novel p38α MAPK inhibitor suppresses brain proinflammatory cytokine up-regulation and attenuates synaptic dysfunction and behavioral deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model

    McNamara Laurie K

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An accumulating body of evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that excessive or prolonged increases in proinflammatory cytokine production by activated glia is a contributor to the progression of pathophysiology that is causally linked to synaptic dysfunction and hippocampal behavior deficits in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD. This raises the opportunity for the development of new classes of potentially disease-modifying therapeutics. A logical candidate CNS target is p38α MAPK, a well-established drug discovery molecular target for altering proinflammatory cytokine cascades in peripheral tissue disorders. Activated p38 MAPK is seen in human AD brain tissue and in AD-relevant animal models, and cell culture studies strongly implicate p38 MAPK in the increased production of proinflammatory cytokines by glia activated with human amyloid-beta (Aβ and other disease-relevant stressors. However, the vast majority of small molecule drugs do not have sufficient penetrance of the blood-brain barrier to allow their use as in vivo research tools or as therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that brain p38α MAPK is a potential in vivo target for orally bioavailable, small molecules capable of suppressing excessive cytokine production by activated glia back towards homeostasis, allowing an improvement in neurologic outcomes. Methods A novel synthetic small molecule based on a molecular scaffold used previously was designed, synthesized, and subjected to analyses to demonstrate its potential in vivo bioavailability, metabolic stability, safety and brain uptake. Testing for in vivo efficacy used an AD-relevant mouse model. Results A novel, CNS-penetrant, non-toxic, orally bioavailable, small molecule inhibitor of p38α MAPK (MW01-2-069A-SRM was developed. Oral administration of the compound at a low dose (2.5 mg/kg resulted in attenuation of

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

    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.

  10. Olfactory receptor signaling is regulated by the post-synaptic density 95, Drosophila discs large, zona-occludens 1 (PDZ) scaffold multi-PDZ domain protein 1.

    Dooley, Ruth

    2009-12-01

    The unique ability of mammals to detect and discriminate between thousands of different odorant molecules is governed by the diverse array of olfactory receptors expressed by olfactory sensory neurons in the nasal epithelium. Olfactory receptors consist of seven transmembrane domain G protein-coupled receptors and comprise the largest gene superfamily in the mammalian genome. We found that approximately 30% of olfactory receptors possess a classical post-synaptic density 95, Drosophila discs large, zona-occludens 1 (PDZ) domain binding motif in their C-termini. PDZ domains have been established as sites for protein-protein interaction and play a central role in organizing diverse cell signaling assemblies. In the present study, we show that multi-PDZ domain protein 1 (MUPP1) is expressed in the apical compartment of olfactory sensory neurons. Furthermore, on heterologous co-expression with olfactory sensory neurons, MUPP1 was shown to translocate to the plasma membrane. We found direct interaction of PDZ domains 1 + 2 of MUPP1 with the C-terminus of olfactory receptors in vitro. Moreover, the odorant-elicited calcium response of OR2AG1 showed a prolonged decay in MUPP1 small interfering RNA-treated cells. We have therefore elucidated the first building blocks of the putative \\'olfactosome\\

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

    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.

  12. Neuromodulation, development and synaptic plasticity.

    Foehring, R C; Lorenzon, N M

    1999-03-01

    We discuss parallels in the mechanisms underlying use-dependent synaptic plasticity during development and long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in neocortical synapses. Neuromodulators, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine have also been implicated in regulating both developmental plasticity and LTP/LTD. There are many potential levels of interaction between neuromodulators and plasticity. Ion channels are substrates for modulation in many cell types. We discuss examples of modulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and Ca(2+)-dependent K+ channels and the consequences for neocortical pyramidal cell firing behaviour. At the time when developmental plasticity is most evident in rat cortex, the substrate for modulation is changing as the densities and relative proportions of various ion channels types are altered during ontogeny. We discuss examples of changes in K+ and Ca2+ channels and the consequence for modulation of neuronal activity.

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

    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.

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

    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

  15. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    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.

  16. Angiotensin II Type 1 receptor (AT1) signaling in astrocytes regulates synaptic degeneration-induced leukocyte entry to the central nervous system

    Füchtbauer, L; Groth-Rasmussen, Maria; Holm, Thomas Hellesøe

    2011-01-01

    Astrocytes are the major cellular component of the blood-brain barrier glia limitans and act as regulators of leukocyte infiltration via chemokine expression. We have studied angiotensin-II receptor Type 1 (AT1) and related NF-κB signaling in astrocytes. Angiotensin II derives from cleavage of an...

  17. The Effects of Theory of Mind and Self-Regulation Skills on Helping Behaviors in 3-4-Year-Old Children

    Muhammed Sukru Aydin; Sema Karakelle

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to examine the effects of theory of mind and self-regulation skills on children’s helping behavior. Total of 104 children aging between 36-59 months, participated in the study. Helping behavior was measured with an instrumental helping task. Scaling of Theory-of-Mind tasks were used in measuring theory of mind. As for measuring self-regulation, peg tapping task were used. In order to control receptive language abilities of children, Turkish Expressive a...

  18. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    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.

  19. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    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)

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

    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.

  1. The Effects of Theory of Mind and Self-Regulation Skills on Helping Behaviors in 3-4-Year-Old Children

    Muhammed Sukru Aydin

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to examine the effects of theory of mind and self-regulation skills on children’s helping behavior. Total of 104 children aging between 36-59 months, participated in the study. Helping behavior was measured with an instrumental helping task. Scaling of Theory-of-Mind tasks were used in measuring theory of mind. As for measuring self-regulation, peg tapping task were used. In order to control receptive language abilities of children, Turkish Expressive and Receptive Language Test (TIFALDI was applied. Results of the analyses indicated that there were significant relations between theory of mind and selfregulation skills and helping behavior, however, multiple regression analyses showed that the main predictor of helping behavior was theory of mind, but not self-regulation skills after controlling for age and receptive language. Results were discussed with respect to the literature, in relation to the role of theory of mind and self-regulation skills in explaining helping behavior.

  2. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

    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.

  3. Neurobeachin, a Regulator of Synaptic Protein Targeting, Is Associated with Body Fat Mass and Feeding Behavior in Mice and Body-Mass Index in Humans

    Olszewski, Pawel K.; Rozman, Jan; Jacobsson, Josefin A.; Rathkolb, Birgit; Strömberg, Siv; Hans, Wolfgang; Klockars, Anica; Alsiö, Johan; Risérus, Ulf; Becker, Lore; Hölter, Sabine M.; Elvert, Ralf; Ehrhardt, Nicole; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Fuchs, Helmut; Fredriksson, Robert; Wolf, Eckhard; Klopstock, Thomas; Wurst, Wolfgang; Levine, Allen S.; Marcus, Claude; Hrabě de Angelis, Martin; Klingenspor, Martin; Schiöth, Helgi B.; Kilimann, Manfred W.

    2012-01-01

    Neurobeachin (Nbea) regulates neuronal membrane protein trafficking and is required for the development and functioning of central and neuromuscular synapses. In homozygous knockout (KO) mice, Nbea deficiency causes perinatal death. Here, we report that heterozygous KO mice haploinsufficient for Nbea have higher body weight due to increased adipose tissue mass. In several feeding paradigms, heterozygous KO mice consumed more food than wild-type (WT) controls, and this consumption was primarily driven by calories rather than palatability. Expression analysis of feeding-related genes in the hypothalamus and brainstem with real-time PCR showed differential expression of a subset of neuropeptide or neuropeptide receptor mRNAs between WT and Nbea+/− mice in the sated state and in response to food deprivation, but not to feeding reward. In humans, we identified two intronic NBEA single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are significantly associated with body-mass index (BMI) in adult and juvenile cohorts. Overall, data obtained in mice and humans suggest that variation of Nbea abundance or activity critically affects body weight, presumably by influencing the activity of feeding-related neural circuits. Our study emphasizes the importance of neural mechanisms in body weight control and points out NBEA as a potential risk gene in human obesity. PMID:22438821

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    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.

  6. Study of Relationship Between Illness Perception and Delay in Seeking Help for Breast Cancer Patients Based on Leventhal's Self-Regulation Model.

    Attari, Seyedeh Maryam; Ozgoli, Giti; Solhi, Mahnaz; Alavi Majd, Hamid

    2016-01-01

    One of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in breast cancer patients is delay in seeking help. Leventhal's self-regulation model provides an appropriate framework to assess delay in seeking help. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between "illness perception" and "help seeking delay" in breast cancer patients based on Leventhal's self-regulation model. In this correlational descriptive study with convenience sampling conducted in 2013, participants were 120 women with breast cancer who were diagnosed in the last year and referred to chemotherapy and radiotherapy centers in Rasht, Iran. Data collection scales included demographic data, Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R)and a researcher made questionnaire to measure the delay in seeking help. Pre-hospital delay (help seeking delay) was evaluated in 3 phases (assessment, disease, behavior). The data were analyzed using SPSS-19. The mean (SD) age calculated for the patients was 47.3±10.2. Some 43% of the patients had a high school or higher education level and 82% were married. The "pre-hospital delay" was reported ≥3 months. Logistic regression analysis showed that none of the illness perception components were correlated with appraisal and behavioral delay phases. In the illness delay phase, "time line" (p-value =0.04) and "risk factors"(p-value=0.03) had significant effects on reducing and "psychological attributions" had significant effects on increasing the delay (p-value =0.01). "Illness coherence" was correlated with decreased pre-hospital patient delay (p-valueperceptions of breast cancer influences delay in seeking help. In addition to verifying the validity of Leventhal's self-regulation model in explaining delay in seeking help, the results signify the importance of the "illness delay phase" (decision to seek help) and educational interventions-counseling for women in the community.

  7. Solution scanning as a key policy tool: identifying management interventions to help maintain and enhance regulating ecosystem services

    William J. Sutherland

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The major task of policy makers and practitioners when confronted with a resource management problem is to decide on the potential solution(s to adopt from a range of available options. However, this process is unlikely to be successful and cost effective without access to an independently verified and comprehensive available list of options. There is currently burgeoning interest in ecosystem services and quantitative assessments of their importance and value. Recognition of the value of ecosystem services to human well-being represents an increasingly important argument for protecting and restoring the natural environment, alongside the moral and ethical justifications for conservation. As well as understanding the benefits of ecosystem services, it is also important to synthesize the practical interventions that are capable of maintaining and/or enhancing these services. Apart from pest regulation, pollination, and global climate regulation, this type of exercise has attracted relatively little attention. Through a systematic consultation exercise, we identify a candidate list of 296 possible interventions across the main regulating services of air quality regulation, climate regulation, water flow regulation, erosion regulation, water purification and waste treatment, disease regulation, pest regulation, pollination and natural hazard regulation. The range of interventions differs greatly between habitats and services depending upon the ease of manipulation and the level of research intensity. Some interventions have the potential to deliver benefits across a range of regulating services, especially those that reduce soil loss and maintain forest cover. Synthesis and applications: Solution scanning is important for questioning existing knowledge and identifying the range of options available to researchers and practitioners, as well as serving as the necessary basis for assessing cost effectiveness and guiding implementation strategies. We

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

    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.

  9. How do postgraduate GP trainees regulate their learning and what helps and hinders them? A qualitative study.

    Sagasser, Margaretha H; Kramer, Anneke W M; van der Vleuten, Cees P M

    2012-08-06

    Self-regulation is essential for professional development. It involves monitoring of performance, identifying domains for improvement, undertaking learning activities, applying newly learned knowledge and skills and self-assessing performance. Since self-assessment alone is ineffective in identifying weaknesses, learners should seek external feedback too. Externally regulated educational interventions, like reflection, learning portfolios, assessments and progress meetings, are increasingly used to scaffold self-regulation.The aim of this study is to explore how postgraduate trainees regulate their learning in the workplace, how external regulation promotes self-regulation and which elements facilitate or impede self-regulation and learning. In a qualitative study with a phenomenologic approach we interviewed first- and third-year GP trainees from two universities in the Netherlands. Twenty-one verbatim transcripts were coded. Through iterative discussion the researchers agreed on the interpretation of the data and saturation was reached. Trainees used a short and a long self-regulation loop. The short loop took one week at most and was focused on problems that were easy to resolve and needed minor learning activities. The long loop was focused on complex or recurring problems needing multiple and planned longitudinal learning activities. External assessments and formal training affected the long but not the short loop. The supervisor had a facilitating role in both loops. Self-confidence was used to gauge competence.Elements influencing self-regulation were classified into three dimensions: personal (strong motivation to become a good doctor), interpersonal (stimulation from others) and contextual (organizational and educational features). Trainees did purposefully self-regulate their learning. Learning in the short loop may not be visible to others. Trainees should be encouraged to actively seek and use external feedback in both loops. An important question for

  10. How do postgraduate GP trainees regulate their learning and what helps and hinders them? A qualitative study

    2012-01-01

    Background Self-regulation is essential for professional development. It involves monitoring of performance, identifying domains for improvement, undertaking learning activities, applying newly learned knowledge and skills and self-assessing performance. Since self-assessment alone is ineffective in identifying weaknesses, learners should seek external feedback too. Externally regulated educational interventions, like reflection, learning portfolios, assessments and progress meetings, are increasingly used to scaffold self-regulation. The aim of this study is to explore how postgraduate trainees regulate their learning in the workplace, how external regulation promotes self-regulation and which elements facilitate or impede self-regulation and learning. Methods In a qualitative study with a phenomenologic approach we interviewed first- and third-year GP trainees from two universities in the Netherlands. Twenty-one verbatim transcripts were coded. Through iterative discussion the researchers agreed on the interpretation of the data and saturation was reached. Results Trainees used a short and a long self-regulation loop. The short loop took one week at most and was focused on problems that were easy to resolve and needed minor learning activities. The long loop was focused on complex or recurring problems needing multiple and planned longitudinal learning activities. External assessments and formal training affected the long but not the short loop. The supervisor had a facilitating role in both loops. Self-confidence was used to gauge competence.Elements influencing self-regulation were classified into three dimensions: personal (strong motivation to become a good doctor), interpersonal (stimulation from others) and contextual (organizational and educational features). Conclusions Trainees did purposefully self-regulate their learning. Learning in the short loop may not be visible to others. Trainees should be encouraged to actively seek and use external feedback in

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

    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.

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

    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.

  13. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

    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

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

    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.

  15. How do postgraduate GP trainees regulate their learning and what helps and hinders them? A qualitative study

    Sagasser, M.H.; Kramer, A.W.M.; Vleuten, C.P.M. van der

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Self-regulation is essential for professional development. It involves monitoring of performance, identifying domains for improvement, undertaking learning activities, applying newly learned knowledge and skills and self-assessing performance. Since self-assessment alone is

  16. How do postgraduate GP trainees regulate their learning and what helps and hinders them? A qualitative study

    Sagasser Margaretha H

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Self-regulation is essential for professional development. It involves monitoring of performance, identifying domains for improvement, undertaking learning activities, applying newly learned knowledge and skills and self-assessing performance. Since self-assessment alone is ineffective in identifying weaknesses, learners should seek external feedback too. Externally regulated educational interventions, like reflection, learning portfolios, assessments and progress meetings, are increasingly used to scaffold self-regulation. The aim of this study is to explore how postgraduate trainees regulate their learning in the workplace, how external regulation promotes self-regulation and which elements facilitate or impede self-regulation and learning. Methods In a qualitative study with a phenomenologic approach we interviewed first- and third-year GP trainees from two universities in the Netherlands. Twenty-one verbatim transcripts were coded. Through iterative discussion the researchers agreed on the interpretation of the data and saturation was reached. Results Trainees used a short and a long self-regulation loop. The short loop took one week at most and was focused on problems that were easy to resolve and needed minor learning activities. The long loop was focused on complex or recurring problems needing multiple and planned longitudinal learning activities. External assessments and formal training affected the long but not the short loop. The supervisor had a facilitating role in both loops. Self-confidence was used to gauge competence.Elements influencing self-regulation were classified into three dimensions: personal (strong motivation to become a good doctor, interpersonal (stimulation from others and contextual (organizational and educational features. Conclusions Trainees did purposefully self-regulate their learning. Learning in the short loop may not be visible to others. Trainees should be encouraged to actively seek

  17. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    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

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

    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.

  19. Neurobeachin regulates neurotransmitter receptor trafficking to synapses

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  2. Getting Help

    ... Parents & Students Home > Special Features > Getting Help Getting Help Resources from NIAAA Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding ... and find ways to make a change. Professional help Your doctor. Primary care and mental health practitioners ...

  3. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    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...

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

    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.

  5. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  11. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  14. Random synaptic feedback weights support error backpropagation for deep learning

    Lillicrap, Timothy P.; Cownden, Daniel; Tweed, Douglas B.; Akerman, Colin J.

    2016-01-01

    The brain processes information through multiple layers of neurons. This deep architecture is representationally powerful, but complicates learning because it is difficult to identify the responsible neurons when a mistake is made. In machine learning, the backpropagation algorithm assigns blame by multiplying error signals with all the synaptic weights on each neuron's axon and further downstream. However, this involves a precise, symmetric backward connectivity pattern, which is thought to be impossible in the brain. Here we demonstrate that this strong architectural constraint is not required for effective error propagation. We present a surprisingly simple mechanism that assigns blame by multiplying errors by even random synaptic weights. This mechanism can transmit teaching signals across multiple layers of neurons and performs as effectively as backpropagation on a variety of tasks. Our results help reopen questions about how the brain could use error signals and dispel long-held assumptions about algorithmic constraints on learning. PMID:27824044

  15. Cholesterol asymmetry in synaptic plasma membranes.

    Wood, W Gibson; Igbavboa, Urule; Müller, Walter E; Eckert, Gunter P

    2011-03-01

    Lipids are essential for the structural and functional integrity of membranes. Membrane lipids are not randomly distributed but are localized in different domains. A common characteristic of these membrane domains is their association with cholesterol. Lipid rafts and caveolae are examples of cholesterol enriched domains, which have attracted keen interest. However, two other important cholesterol domains are the exofacial and cytofacial leaflets of the plasma membrane. The two leaflets that make up the bilayer differ in their fluidity, electrical charge, lipid distribution, and active sites of certain proteins. The synaptic plasma membrane (SPM) cytofacial leaflet contains over 85% of the total SPM cholesterol as compared with the exofacial leaflet. This asymmetric distribution of cholesterol is not fixed or immobile but can be modified by different conditions in vivo: (i) chronic ethanol consumption; (ii) statins; (iii) aging; and (iv) apoE isoform. Several potential candidates have been proposed as mechanisms involved in regulation of SPM cholesterol asymmetry: apoE, low-density lipoprotein receptor, sterol carrier protein-2, fatty acid binding proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, P-glycoprotein and caveolin-1. This review examines cholesterol asymmetry in SPM, potential mechanisms of regulation and impact on membrane structure and function. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  16. Identification of synaptic targets of Drosophila pumilio.

    Gengxin Chen

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Drosophila Pumilio (Pum protein is a translational regulator involved in embryonic patterning and germline development. Recent findings demonstrate that Pum also plays an important role in the nervous system, both at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ and in long-term memory formation. In neurons, Pum appears to play a role in homeostatic control of excitability via down regulation of para, a voltage gated sodium channel, and may more generally modulate local protein synthesis in neurons via translational repression of eIF-4E. Aside from these, the biologically relevant targets of Pum in the nervous system remain largely unknown. We hypothesized that Pum might play a role in regulating the local translation underlying synapse-specific modifications during memory formation. To identify relevant translational targets, we used an informatics approach to predict Pum targets among mRNAs whose products have synaptic localization. We then used both in vitro binding and two in vivo assays to functionally confirm the fidelity of this informatics screening method. We find that Pum strongly and specifically binds to RNA sequences in the 3'UTR of four of the predicted target genes, demonstrating the validity of our method. We then demonstrate that one of these predicted target sequences, in the 3'UTR of discs large (dlg1, the Drosophila PSD95 ortholog, can functionally substitute for a canonical NRE (Nanos response element in vivo in a heterologous functional assay. Finally, we show that the endogenous dlg1 mRNA can be regulated by Pumilio in a neuronal context, the adult mushroom bodies (MB, which is an anatomical site of memory storage.

  17. Does autophagy work in synaptic plasticity and memory?

    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.

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

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

    2005-01-01

    Large clostridial cytotoxins and protein overexpression were used to probe for involvement of Ras-related GTPases (guanosine triphosphate) in synaptic transmission in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. The toxins TcdA-10463 (inactivates Rho, Rac, Cdc42, Rap) and TcsL-1522 (inactivates Ral, Rac, Ras......, R-Ras, Rap) both inhibited autaptic responses. In a proportion of the neurons (25%, TcdA-10463; 54%, TcsL-1522), the inhibition was associated with a shift from activity-dependent depression to facilitation, indicating that the synaptic release probability was reduced. Overexpression of a dominant...... negative Ral mutant, Ral A28N, caused a strong inhibition of autaptic responses, which was associated with a shift to facilitation in a majority (80%) of the neurons. These results indicate that Ral, along with at least one other non-Rab GTPase, participates in presynaptic regulation in hippocampal neurons....

  19. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    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. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

    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.

  1. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  7. Upregulation of transmitter release probability improves a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into neuronal digital spikes

    2012-01-01

    Action potentials at the neurons and graded signals at the synapses are primary codes in the brain. In terms of their functional interaction, the studies were focused on the influence of presynaptic spike patterns on synaptic activities. How the synapse dynamics quantitatively regulates the encoding of postsynaptic digital spikes remains unclear. We investigated this question at unitary glutamatergic synapses on cortical GABAergic neurons, especially the quantitative influences of release probability on synapse dynamics and neuronal encoding. Glutamate release probability and synaptic strength are proportionally upregulated by presynaptic sequential spikes. The upregulation of release probability and the efficiency of probability-driven synaptic facilitation are strengthened by elevating presynaptic spike frequency and Ca2+. The upregulation of release probability improves spike capacity and timing precision at postsynaptic neuron. These results suggest that the upregulation of presynaptic glutamate release facilitates a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into digital spikes in postsynaptic neurons, i.e., a functional compatibility between presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. PMID:22852823

  8. Raindrops of synaptic noise on dual excitability landscape: an approach to astrocyte network modelling

    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.

  9. SRC Inhibition Reduces NR2B Surface Expression and Synaptic Plasticity in the Amygdala

    Sinai, Laleh; Duffy, Steven; Roder, John C.

    2010-01-01

    The Src protein tyrosine kinase plays a central role in the regulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity by regulating NMDAR subunit 2B (NR2B) surface expression. In the amygdala, NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity resulting from convergent somatosensory and auditory inputs contributes to emotional memory; however, the role of Src…

  10. Synaptic and genomic responses to JNK and AP-1 signaling in Drosophila neurons

    Bohmann Dirk

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transcription factor AP-1 positively controls synaptic plasticity at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Although in motor neurons, JNK has been shown to activate AP-1, a positive regulator of growth and strength at the larval NMJ, the consequences of JNK activation are poorly studied. In addition, the downstream transcriptional targets of JNK and AP-1 signaling in the Drosophila nervous system have yet to be identified. Here, we further investigated the role of JNK signaling at this model synapse employing an activated form of JNK-kinase; and using Serial Analysis of Gene Expression and oligonucleotide microarrays, searched for candidate early targets of JNK or AP-1 dependent transcription in neurons. Results Temporally-controlled JNK induction in postembryonic motor neurons triggers synaptic growth at the NMJ indicating a role in developmental plasticity rather than synaptogenesis. An unexpected observation that JNK activation also causes a reduction in transmitter release is inconsistent with JNK functioning solely through AP-1 and suggests an additional, yet-unidentified pathway for JNK signaling in motor neurons. SAGE profiling of mRNA expression helps define the neural transcriptome in Drosophila. Though many putative AP-1 and JNK target genes arose from the genomic screens, few were confirmed in subsequent validation experiments. One potentially important neuronal AP-1 target discovered, CG6044, was previously implicated in olfactory associative memory. In addition, 5 mRNAs regulated by RU486, a steroid used to trigger conditional gene expression were identified. Conclusion This study demonstrates a novel role for JNK signaling at the larval neuromuscular junction and provides a quantitative profile of gene transcription in Drosophila neurons. While identifying potential JNK/AP-1 targets it reveals the limitations of genome-wide analyses using complex tissues like the whole brain.

  11. The Chemokine MIP-1α/CCL3 impairs mouse hippocampal synaptic transmission, plasticity and memory.

    Marciniak, Elodie; Faivre, Emilie; Dutar, Patrick; Alves Pires, Claire; Demeyer, Dominique; Caillierez, Raphaëlle; Laloux, Charlotte; Buée, Luc; Blum, David; Humez, Sandrine

    2015-10-29

    Chemokines are signaling molecules playing an important role in immune regulations. They are also thought to regulate brain development, neurogenesis and neuroendocrine functions. While chemokine upsurge has been associated with conditions characterized with cognitive impairments, their ability to modulate synaptic plasticity remains ill-defined. In the present study, we specifically evaluated the effects of MIP1-α/CCL3 towards hippocampal synaptic transmission, plasticity and spatial memory. We found that CCL3 (50 ng/ml) significantly reduced basal synaptic transmission at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapse without affecting NMDAR-mediated field potentials. This effect was ascribed to post-synaptic regulations, as CCL3 did not impact paired-pulse facilitation. While CCL3 did not modulate long-term depression (LTD), it significantly impaired long-term potentiation (LTP), an effect abolished by Maraviroc, a CCR5 specific antagonist. In addition, sub-chronic intracerebroventricular (icv) injections of CCL3 also impair LTP. In accordance with these electrophysiological findings, we demonstrated that the icv injection of CCL3 in mouse significantly impaired spatial memory abilities and long-term memory measured using the two-step Y-maze and passive avoidance tasks. These effects of CCL3 on memory were inhibited by Maraviroc. Altogether, these data suggest that the chemokine CCL3 is an hippocampal neuromodulator able to regulate synaptic plasticity mechanisms involved in learning and memory functions.

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

    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...

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  14. Synaptic Control of Secretory Trafficking in Dendrites

    Cyril Hanus

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Localized signaling in neuronal dendrites requires tight spatial control of membrane composition. Upon initial synthesis, nascent secretory cargo in dendrites exits the endoplasmic reticulum (ER from local zones of ER complexity that are spatially coupled to post-ER compartments. Although newly synthesized membrane proteins can be processed locally, the mechanisms that control the spatial range of secretory cargo transport in dendritic segments are unknown. Here, we monitored the dynamics of nascent membrane proteins in dendritic post-ER compartments under regimes of low or increased neuronal activity. In response to activity blockade, post-ER carriers are highly mobile and are transported over long distances. Conversely, increasing synaptic activity dramatically restricts the spatial scale of post-ER trafficking along dendrites. This activity-induced confinement of secretory cargo requires site-specific phosphorylation of the kinesin motor KIF17 by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaMK. Thus, the length scales of early secretory trafficking in dendrites are tuned by activity-dependent regulation of microtubule-dependent transport.

  15. GABA Metabolism and Transport: Effects on Synaptic Efficacy

    Fabian C. Roth

    2012-01-01

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

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

    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

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

    Maya Kaufman

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

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

    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

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

    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.

  20. Help Helps, but Only so Much: Research on Help Seeking with Intelligent Tutoring Systems

    Aleven, Vincent; Roll, Ido; McLaren, Bruce M.; Koedinger, Kenneth R.

    2016-01-01

    Help seeking is an important process in self-regulated learning (SRL). It may influence learning with intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs), because many ITSs provide help, often at the student's request. The Help Tutor was a tutor agent that gave in-context, real-time feedback on students' help-seeking behavior, as they were learning with an ITS.…

  1. Immune dysregulation and cognitive vulnerability in the aging brain: Interactions of microglia, IL-1β, BDNF and synaptic plasticity.

    Patterson, Susan L

    2015-09-01

    Older individuals often experience declines in cognitive function after events (e.g. infection, or injury) that trigger activation of the immune system. This occurs at least in part because aging sensitizes the response of microglia (the brain's resident immune cells) to signals triggered by an immune challenge. In the aging brain, microglia respond to these signals by producing more pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. interleukin-1beta or IL-1β) and producing them for longer than microglia in younger brains. This exaggerated inflammatory response can compromise processes critical for optimal cognitive functioning. Interleukin-1β is central to the inflammatory response and is a key mediator and modulator of an array of associated biological functions; thus its production and release is usually very tightly regulated. This review will focus on the impact of dysregulated production of IL-1β on hippocampus dependent-memory systems and associated synaptic plasticity processes. The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) helps to protect neurons from damage caused by infection or injury, and it plays a critical role in many of the same memory and hippocampal plasticity processes compromised by dysregulated production of IL-1β. This suggests that an exaggerated brain inflammatory response, arising from aging and a secondary immune challenge, may erode the capacity to provide the BDNF needed for memory-related plasticity processes at hippocampal synapses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Nuclear respiratory factor 2 regulates the expression of the same NMDA receptor subunit genes as NRF-1: both factors act by a concurrent and parallel mechanism to couple energy metabolism and synaptic transmission.

    Priya, Anusha; Johar, Kaid; Wong-Riley, Margaret T T

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal activity and energy metabolism are tightly coupled processes. Previously, we found that nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) transcriptionally co-regulates energy metabolism and neuronal activity by regulating all 13 subunits of the critical energy generating enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase (COX), as well as N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits 1 and 2B, GluN1 (Grin1) and GluN2B (Grin2b). We also found that another transcription factor, nuclear respiratory factor 2 (NRF-2 or GA-binding protein) regulates all subunits of COX as well. The goal of the present study was to test our hypothesis that NRF-2 also regulates specific subunits of NMDA receptors, and that it functions with NRF-1 via one of three mechanisms: complementary, concurrent and parallel, or a combination of complementary and concurrent/parallel. By means of multiple approaches, including in silico analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift and supershift assays, in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation of mouse neuroblastoma cells and rat visual cortical tissue, promoter mutations, real-time quantitative PCR, and western blot analysis, NRF-2 was found to functionally regulate Grin1 and Grin2b genes, but not any other NMDA subunit genes. Grin1 and Grin2b transcripts were up-regulated by depolarizing KCl, but silencing of NRF-2 prevented this up-regulation. On the other hand, over-expression of NRF-2 rescued the down-regulation of these subunits by the impulse blocker TTX. NRF-2 binding sites on Grin1 and Grin2b are conserved among species. Our data indicate that NRF-2 and NRF-1 operate in a concurrent and parallel manner in mediating the tight coupling between energy metabolism and neuronal activity at the molecular level. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Synaptic Wnt/GSK3β Signaling Hub in Autism

    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

  4. Protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B (PTP1B) helps regulate EGF-induced stimulation of S-phase entry in human corneal endothelial cells

    Ishino, Yutaka; Zhu, Cheng; Harris, Deshea L.

    2008-01-01

    expression, but not EGFR expression, was elevated in HCEC from older donors, suggesting that the reduced proliferative activity of these cells in response to EGF is due, at least in part, to increased PTP1B activity. The fact that inhibition of PTP1B increased the relative number of cells entering S-phase strongly suggests that PTP1B helps negatively regulate EGF-stimulated cell cycle entry in HCEC. These results also suggest that it may be possible to increase the proliferative activity of HCEC, particularly in cells from older donors, by inhibiting the activity of this important protein tyrosine phosphatase. PMID:18253097

  5. Analysis of synaptic growth and function in Drosophila with an extended larval stage.

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

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

    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. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity

    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

  10. Presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic synaptic transmission by adenosine in mouse hypothalamic hypocretin neurons.

    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

  11. Effects of active conductance distribution over dendrites on the synaptic integration in an identified nonspiking interneuron.

    Akira Takashima

    Full Text Available The synaptic integration in individual central neuron is critically affected by how active conductances are distributed over dendrites. It has been well known that the dendrites of central neurons are richly endowed with voltage- and ligand-regulated ion conductances. Nonspiking interneurons (NSIs, almost exclusively characteristic to arthropod central nervous systems, do not generate action potentials and hence lack voltage-regulated sodium channels, yet having a variety of voltage-regulated potassium conductances on their dendritic membrane including the one similar to the delayed-rectifier type potassium conductance. It remains unknown, however, how the active conductances are distributed over dendrites and how the synaptic integration is affected by those conductances in NSIs and other invertebrate neurons where the cell body is not included in the signal pathway from input synapses to output sites. In the present study, we quantitatively investigated the functional significance of active conductance distribution pattern in the spatio-temporal spread of synaptic potentials over dendrites of an identified NSI in the crayfish central nervous system by computer simulation. We systematically changed the distribution pattern of active conductances in the neuron's multicompartment model and examined how the synaptic potential waveform was affected by each distribution pattern. It was revealed that specific patterns of nonuniform distribution of potassium conductances were consistent, while other patterns were not, with the waveform of compound synaptic potentials recorded physiologically in the major input-output pathway of the cell, suggesting that the possibility of nonuniform distribution of potassium conductances over the dendrite cannot be excluded as well as the possibility of uniform distribution. Local synaptic circuits involving input and output synapses on the same branch or on the same side were found to be potentially affected under

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

    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

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

    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.

  14. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic signaling systems are ubiquitous forms of biological regulation, having been studied for hundreds of years in the context of diverse physiological processes including body temperature and osmotic balance. However, only recently has this concept been brought to the study of excitatory and inhibitory electrical activity that the nervous system uses to establish and maintain stable communication. Synapses are a primary target of neuronal regulation with a variety of studies over the past 15 years demonstrating that these cellular junctions are under bidirectional homeostatic control. Recent work from an array of diverse systems and approaches has revealed exciting new links between homeostatic synaptic plasticity and a variety of seemingly disparate neurological and psychiatric diseases. These include autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, and Fragile X Syndrome. Although the molecular mechanisms through which defective homeostatic signaling may lead to disease pathogenesis remain unclear, rapid progress is likely to be made in the coming years using a powerful combination of genetic, imaging, electrophysiological, and next generation sequencing approaches. Importantly, understanding homeostatic synaptic plasticity at a cellular and molecular level may lead to developments in new therapeutic innovations to treat these diseases. In this review we will examine recent studies that demonstrate homeostatic control of postsynaptic protein translation, retrograde signaling, and presynaptic function that may contribute to the etiology of complex neurological and psychiatric diseases.

  15. Electric Dipole Theory of Chemical Synaptic Transmission

    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

  16. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

    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.

  17. Synaptic plasticity in the hippocampal area CA1-subiculum projection: implications for theories of memory.

    O'Mara, S M; Commins, S; Anderson, M

    2000-01-01

    This paper reviews investigations of synaptic plasticity in the major, and underexplored, pathway from hippocampal area CA1 to the subiculum. This brain area is the major synaptic relay for the majority of hippocampal area CA1 neurons, making the subiculum the last relay of the hippocampal formation prior to the cortex. The subiculum thus has a very major role in mediating hippocampal-cortical interactions. We demonstrate that the projection from hippocampal area CA1 to the subiculum sustains plasticity on a number of levels. We show that this pathway is capable of undergoing both long-term potentiation (LTP) and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF, a short-term plastic effect). Although we failed to induce long-term depression (LTD) of this pathway with low-frequency stimulation (LFS) and two-pulse stimulation (TPS), both protocols can induce a "late-developing" potentiation of synaptic transmission. We further demonstrate that baseline synaptic transmission can be dissociated from paired-pulse stimulation of the same pathway; we also show that it is possible, using appropriate protocols, to change PPF to paired-pulse depression, thus revealing subtle and previously undescribed mechanisms which regulate short-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we successfully recorded from individual subicular units in the freely-moving animal, and provide a description of the characteristics of such neurons in a pellet-chasing task. We discuss the implications of these findings in relation to theories of the biological consolidation of memory.

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

    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.

  19. Synaptic network activity induces neuronal differentiation of adult hippocampal precursor cells through BDNF signaling

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  2. Nuclear calcium signaling induces expression of the synaptic organizers Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2.

    Hayer, Stefanie N; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-02-27

    Calcium transients in the cell nucleus evoked by synaptic activity in hippocampal neurons function as a signaling end point in synapse-to-nucleus communication. As an important regulator of neuronal gene expression, nuclear calcium is involved in the conversion of synaptic stimuli into functional and structural changes of neurons. Here we identify two synaptic organizers, Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2, as targets of nuclear calcium signaling. Expression of both Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2 increased in a synaptic NMDA receptor- and nuclear calcium-dependent manner in hippocampal neurons within 2-4 h after the induction of action potential bursting. Induction of Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2 occurred independently of the need for new protein synthesis and required calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases and the nuclear calcium signaling target CREB-binding protein. Analysis of reporter gene constructs revealed a functional cAMP response element in the proximal promoter of Lrrtm2, indicating that at least Lrrtm2 is regulated by the classical nuclear Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV-CREB/CREB-binding protein pathway. These results suggest that one mechanism by which nuclear calcium signaling controls neuronal network function is by regulating the expression of Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. Nuclear Calcium Signaling Induces Expression of the Synaptic Organizers Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2*

    Hayer, Stefanie N.; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-01-01

    Calcium transients in the cell nucleus evoked by synaptic activity in hippocampal neurons function as a signaling end point in synapse-to-nucleus communication. As an important regulator of neuronal gene expression, nuclear calcium is involved in the conversion of synaptic stimuli into functional and structural changes of neurons. Here we identify two synaptic organizers, Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2, as targets of nuclear calcium signaling. Expression of both Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2 increased in a synaptic NMDA receptor- and nuclear calcium-dependent manner in hippocampal neurons within 2–4 h after the induction of action potential bursting. Induction of Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2 occurred independently of the need for new protein synthesis and required calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases and the nuclear calcium signaling target CREB-binding protein. Analysis of reporter gene constructs revealed a functional cAMP response element in the proximal promoter of Lrrtm2, indicating that at least Lrrtm2 is regulated by the classical nuclear Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV-CREB/CREB-binding protein pathway. These results suggest that one mechanism by which nuclear calcium signaling controls neuronal network function is by regulating the expression of Lrrtm1 and Lrrtm2. PMID:25527504

  4. Compensating for Thalamocortical Synaptic Loss in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Kamal eAbuhassan

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The study presents a thalamocortical network model which oscillates within the alpha frequency band (8-13 Hz as recorded in the wakeful relaxed state with closed eyes to study the neural causes of abnormal oscillatory activity in Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Incorporated within the model are various types of cortical excitatory and inhibitory neurons, recurrently connected to thalamic and reticular thalamic regions with the ratios and distances derived from the mammalian thalamocortical system. The model is utilized to study the impacts of four types of connectivity loss on the model’s spectral dynamics. The study focuses on investigating degeneration of corticocortical, thalamocortical, corticothalamic and corticoreticular couplings, with an emphasis on the influence of each modelled case on the spectral output of the model. Synaptic compensation has been included in each model to examine the interplay between synaptic deletion and compensation mechanisms, and the oscillatory activity of the network. The results of power spectra and event related desynchronisation/synchronisation (ERD/S analyses show that the dynamics of the thalamic and cortical oscillations are significantly influenced by corticocortical synaptic loss. Interestingly, the patterns of changes in thalamic spectral activity are correlated with those in the cortical model. Similarly, the thalamic oscillatory activity is diminished after partial corticothalamic denervation. The results suggest that thalamic atrophy is a secondary pathology to cortical shrinkage in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, this study finds that the inhibition from neurons in the thalamic reticular nucleus (RTN to thalamic relay (TCR neurons plays a key role in regulating thalamic oscillations; disinhibition disrupts thalamic oscillatory activity even though TCR neurons are more depolarized after being released from RTN inhibition. This study provides information that can be explored experimentally to

  5. Astrocytes mediate in vivo cholinergic-induced synaptic plasticity.

    Marta Navarrete

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic transmission represents the cellular basis of learning and memory. Astrocytes have been shown to regulate synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, their involvement in specific physiological processes that induce LTP in vivo remains unknown. Here we show that in vivo cholinergic activity evoked by sensory stimulation or electrical stimulation of the septal nucleus increases Ca²⁺ in hippocampal astrocytes and induces LTP of CA3-CA1 synapses, which requires cholinergic muscarinic (mAChR and metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR activation. Stimulation of cholinergic pathways in hippocampal slices evokes astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations, postsynaptic depolarizations of CA1 pyramidal neurons, and LTP of transmitter release at single CA3-CA1 synapses. Like in vivo, these effects are mediated by mAChRs, and this cholinergic-induced LTP (c-LTP also involves mGluR activation. Astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations and LTP are absent in IP₃R2 knock-out mice. Downregulating astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal by loading astrocytes with BAPTA or GDPβS also prevents LTP, which is restored by simultaneous astrocyte Ca²⁺ uncaging and postsynaptic depolarization. Therefore, cholinergic-induced LTP requires astrocyte Ca²⁺ elevations, which stimulate astrocyte glutamate release that activates mGluRs. The cholinergic-induced LTP results from the temporal coincidence of the postsynaptic activity and the astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal simultaneously evoked by cholinergic activity. Therefore, the astrocyte Ca²⁺ signal is necessary for cholinergic-induced synaptic plasticity, indicating that astrocytes are directly involved in brain storage information.

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

    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...

  7. Different effects of bisphenol-A on memory behavior and synaptic modification in intact and estrogen-deprived female mice.

    Xu, Xiaohong; Gu, Ting; Shen, Qiaoqiao

    2015-03-01

    Bisphenol-A (BPA) has the capability of interfering with the effects of estrogens on modulating brain function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of BPA on memory and synaptic modification in the hippocampus of female mice under different levels of cycling estrogen. BPA exposure (40, 400 μg/kg/day) for 8 weeks did not affect spatial memory and passive avoidance task of gonadally intact mice but improved ovariectomy (Ovx)-induced memory impairment, whereas co-exposure of BPA with estradiol benzoate (EB) diminished the rescue effect of EB on memory behavior of Ovx mice. The results of morphometric measurement showed that BPA positively modified the synaptic interface structure and increased the synaptic density of CA1 pyramidal cell in the hippocampus of Ovx females, but inhibited the enhancement of EB on synaptic modification and synaptogenesis of Ovx mice. Furthermore, BPA up-regulated synaptic proteins synapsin I and PSD-95 and NMDA receptor NR2B but inhibited EB-induced increase in PSD-95 and NR2B in the hippocampus of Ovx mice. These results suggest that BPA interfered with normal hormonal regulation in synaptic plasticity and memory of female mice as a potent estrogen mimetic and as a disruptor of estrogen under various concentrations of cycling estrogen. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  8. Effect of Neuroinflammation on Synaptic Organization and Function in the Developing Brain: Implications for Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

    Amin Mottahedin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The brain is a plastic organ where both the intrinsic CNS milieu and extrinsic cues play important roles in shaping and wiring neural connections. The perinatal period constitutes a critical time in central nervous system development with extensive refinement of neural connections, which are highly sensitive to fetal and neonatal compromise, such as inflammatory challenges. Emerging evidence suggests that inflammatory cells in the brain such as microglia and astrocytes are pivotal in regulating synaptic structure and function. In this article, we will review the role of glia cells in synaptic physiology and pathophysiology, including microglia-mediated elimination of synapses. We propose that activation of the immune system dynamically affects synaptic organization and function in the developing brain. We will discuss the role of neuroinflammation in altered synaptic plasticity following perinatal inflammatory challenges and potential implications for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

  9. Mammalian Vestibular Macular Synaptic Plasticity: Results from SLS-2 Spaceflight

    Ross, Muriel D.D.

    1994-01-01

    The effects of exposure to microgravity were studied in rat utricular maculas collected inflight (IF, day 13), post-flight on day of orbiter landing (day 14, R+O) and after 14 days (R+ML). Controls were collected at corresponding times. The objectives were 1) to learn whether hair cell ribbon synapses counts would be higher in tissues collected in space than in tissues collected postflight during or after readaptation to Earth's gravity; and 2) to compare results with those of SLS-1. Maculas were fixed by immersion, micro-dissected, dehydrated and prepared for ultrastructural study by usual methods. Synapses were counted in 100 serial sections 150 nm thick and were located to specific hair cells in montages of every 7th section. Counts were analyzed for statistical significance using analysis of variance. Results in maculas of IF dissected rats, one 13 day control (IFC), and one R + 0 rat have been analyzed. Study of an R+ML macula is nearly completed. For type I cells, IF mean is 2.3 +/-1.6; IFC mean is 1.6 +/-1.0; R+O mean is 2.3 +/- 1.6. For type II cells, IF mean is 11.4 +/- 17.1; IFC mean is 5.5 +/-3.5; R+O mean is 10.1 +/- 7.4. The difference between IF and IFC means for type I cells is statistically significant (p less than 0.0464). For type It cells, IF compared to IFC means, p less than 0.0003; and for IFC to R+O means, p less than 0.0139. Shifts toward spheres (p less than 0.0001) and pairs (p less than 0.0139) were significant in type II cells of IF rats. The results are largely replicating findings from SLS-1 and indicate that spaceflight affects synaptic number, form and distribution, particularly in type II hair cells. The increases in synaptic number and in sphere-like ribbons are interpreted to improve synaptic efficacy, to help return afferent discharges to a more normal state. Findings indicate that a great capacity for synaptic plasticity exists in mammalian gravity sensors, and that this plasticity is more dominant in the local circuitry. The

  10. Synaptic ribbon. Conveyor belt or safety belt?

    Parsons, T D; Sterling, P

    2003-02-06

    The synaptic ribbon in neurons that release transmitter via graded potentials has been considered as a conveyor belt that actively moves vesicles toward their release sites. But evidence has accumulated to the contrary, and it now seems plausible that the ribbon serves instead as a safety belt to tether vesicles stably in mutual contact and thus facilitate multivesicular release by compound exocytosis.

  11. P2X Receptors and Synaptic Plasticity

    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

  12. Synaptic plasticity and the warburg effect

    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.

  13. Effects of dopamine and glutamate on synaptic plasticity: a computational modeling approach for drug abuse as comorbidity in mood disorders.

    Qi, Z; Kikuchi, S; Tretter, F; Voit, E O

    2011-05-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects about 16% of the general population and is a leading cause of death in the United States and around the world. Aggravating the situation is the fact that "drug use disorders" are highly comorbid in MDD patients, and VICE VERSA. Drug use and MDD share a common component, the dopamine system, which is critical in many motivation and reward processes, as well as in the regulation of stress responses in MDD. A potentiating mechanism in drug use disorders appears to be synaptic plasticity, which is regulated by dopamine transmission. In this article, we describe a computational model of the synaptic plasticity of GABAergic medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens, which is critical in the reward system. The model accounts for effects of both dopamine and glutamate transmission. Model simulations show that GABAergic medium spiny neurons tend to respond to dopamine stimuli with synaptic potentiation and to glutamate signals with synaptic depression. Concurrent dopamine and glutamate signals cause various types of synaptic plasticity, depending on input scenarios. Interestingly, the model shows that a single 0.5 mg/kg dose of amphetamine can cause synaptic potentiation for over 2 h, a phenomenon that makes synaptic plasticity of medium spiny neurons behave quasi as a bistable system. The model also identifies mechanisms that could potentially be critical to correcting modifications of synaptic plasticity caused by drugs in MDD patients. An example is the feedback loop between protein kinase A, phosphodiesterase, and the second messenger cAMP in the postsynapse. Since reward mechanisms activated by psychostimulants could be crucial in establishing addiction comorbidity in patients with MDD, this model might become an aid for identifying and targeting specific modules within the reward system and lead to a better understanding and potential treatment of comorbid drug use disorders in MDD. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New

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

    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

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

    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.

  16. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    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

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

    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.

  18. Increasing Student Engagement, Self-Efficacy, and Meta-Cognitive Self-Regulation in the High School Geometry Classroom: Do iPads Help?

    Perry, David R.; Steck, Andy K.

    2015-01-01

    Teachers are increasingly integrating mobile digital technology into the classroom. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of incorporating iPads in a secondary-level geometry course on academic achievement, student engagement, self-efficacy, and meta-cognitive self-regulation. Students in the iPad-using classroom experienced lower…

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

    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.

  20. Dendritic calcium channels and their activation by synaptic signals in auditory coincidence detector neurons.

    Blackmer, Trillium; Kuo, Sidney P; Bender, Kevin J; Apostolides, Pierre F; Trussell, Laurence O

    2009-08-01

    The avian nucleus laminaris (NL) encodes the azimuthal location of low-frequency sound sources by detecting the coincidence of binaural signals. Accurate coincidence detection requires precise developmental regulation of the lengths of the fine, bitufted dendrites that characterize neurons in NL. Such regulation has been suggested to be driven by local, synaptically mediated, dendritic signals such as Ca(2+). We examined Ca(2+) signaling through patch clamp and ion imaging experiments in slices containing nucleus laminaris from embryonic chicks. Voltage-clamp recordings of neurons located in the NL showed the presence of large Ca(2+) currents of two types, a low voltage-activated, fast inactivating Ni(2+) sensitive channel resembling mammalian T-type channels, and a high voltage-activated, slowly inactivating Cd(2+) sensitive channel. Two-photon Ca(2+) imaging showed that both channel types were concentrated on dendrites, even at their distal tips. Single action potentials triggered synaptically or by somatic current injection immediately elevated Ca(2+) throughout the entire cell. Ca(2+) signals triggered by subthreshold synaptic activity were highly localized. Thus when electrical activity is suprathreshold, Ca(2+) channels ensure that Ca(2+) rises in all dendrites, even those that are synaptically inactive.

  1. DREAM (Downstream Regulatory Element Antagonist Modulator contributes to synaptic depression and contextual fear memory

    Wu Long-Jun

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM, a multifunctional Ca2+-binding protein, binds specifically to DNA and several nucleoproteins regulating gene expression and with proteins outside the nucleus to regulate membrane excitability or calcium homeostasis. DREAM is highly expressed in the central nervous system including the hippocampus and cortex; however, the roles of DREAM in hippocampal synaptic transmission and plasticity have not been investigated. Taking advantage of transgenic mice overexpressing a Ca2+-insensitive DREAM mutant (TgDREAM, we used integrative methods including electrophysiology, biochemistry, immunostaining, and behavior tests to study the function of DREAM in synaptic transmission, long-term plasticity and fear memory in hippocampal CA1 region. We found that NMDA receptor but not AMPA receptor-mediated current was decreased in TgDREAM mice. Moreover, synaptic plasticity, such as long-term depression (LTD but not long-term potentiation (LTP, was impaired in TgDREAM mice. Biochemical experiments found that DREAM interacts with PSD-95 and may inhibit NMDA receptor function through this interaction. Contextual fear memory was significantly impaired in TgDREAM mice. By contrast, sensory responses to noxious stimuli were not affected. Our results demonstrate that DREAM plays a novel role in postsynaptic modulation of the NMDA receptor, and contributes to synaptic plasticity and behavioral memory.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  4. Biphasic synaptic Ca influx arising from compartmentalized electrical signals in dendritic spines.

    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.

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

    Soonwook eChoi

    2014-02-01

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

  6. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D.; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa++ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5–10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement. PMID:24575037

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

    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.

  8. May a unitary autonomic index help assess autonomic cardiac regulation in elite athletes? Preliminary observations on the national Italian Olympic committee team.

    Sala, Roberto; Malacarne, Mara; Tosi, Fabio; Benzi, Manuela; Solaro, Nadia; Tamorri, Stefano; Spataro, Antonio; Pagani, Massimo; Lucini, Daniela

    2017-12-01

    Long term endurance training, as occurring in elite athletes, is associated to cardiac neural remodeling in favor of cardioprotective vagal mechanisms, resulting in resting bradycardia and augmented contribution of cardiac parasympathetic nerve activity. Autonomic assessment can be performed by way of heart rate variability. This technique however provides multiple indices, and there is not yet complete agreement on their specific significance. Purpose of the study was to assess whether a rank transformation and radar plot could provide a unitary autonomic index, capable to show a correlation between intensity of individual work and quality of autonomic regulation. We studied 711 (23.6±6.2 years) elite athletes that took part in the selection procedure for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games for the National Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). Indices from Heart Rate Variability HRV obtained at rest, during standing up and during recovery from an exercise test were used to compute a percent ranked unitary autonomic index for sport (ANSIs), taken as proxy of quality of autonomic regulation. Within the observed wide range of energy expenditure, the unitary autonomic index ANSIs appears significantly correlated to individual and discipline specific training workloads (r=0.25, P<0.001 and r=0.78, P<0.001, respectively), correcting for possible age and gender bias. ANSIs also positively correlates to lipid profile. Estimated intensity of physical activity correlates with quality of cardiac autonomic regulation, as expressed by a novel unitary index of cardiac autonomic regulation. ANSIs could provide a novel and convenient approach to individual autonomic evaluation in athletes.

  9. Plain packaging and indirect expropriation of trademark rights under BITs: does FCTC help to establish a right to regulate tobacco products?

    Lo, Chang-Fa

    2012-12-01

    Recently the giant tobacco company Philip Morris served its notice to launch an investor-to-state dispute settlement proceeding against the Australian Government for its introduction of plain packaging requirements on tobacco products. It is an important event in the field of intellectual property, investment and international health law. The fundamental questions involved are whether the restriction of trademark rights as a result of the plain packaging requirement is a compensable indirect expropriation under BITs or whether it falls within the scope of government's right to regulate and thus become not compensable. This paper is of the view that the requirement of plain packaging will deprive the essential value or core function of trademark rights and thus constitutes an indirect expropriation under BITs. However, such indirect expropriation meets the public interest requirement and the necessity requirement. The paper further argues that sovereign States have an inherent right to regulate domestic economic activities. Since the pain packaging requirements provided in the FCTC Guidelines are expected to protect the value of human lives and health, the protected values clearly outweigh the affected commercial interests of tobacco companies. Also the justification for host States to adopt a plain packaging policy is strong. Thus, the interpreters of BITs need to pay higher respect to the host State's sovereign power concerning its right to regulate tobacco products for a legitimate purpose. The conclusion of the paper is that the host States should enjoy a defense of the right to regulate to refuse compensation. The author believes that this is the only reasonable conclusion to avoid possible conflicts between different treaty systems (BITs and the FCTC) and between different legal systems and fields (trademark law, investment law and international health law).

  10. Influence of Synaptic Depression on Memory Storage Capacity

    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. Synaptic Synthesis, Dephosphorylation, and Degradation

    La Montanara, Paolo; Rusconi, Laura; Locarno, Albina; Forti, Lia; Barbiero, Isabella; Tramarin, Marco; Chandola, Chetan; Kilstrup-Nielsen, Charlotte; Landsberger, Nicoletta

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the X-linked CDKL5 (cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5) gene have been associated with several forms of neurodevelopmental disorders, including atypical Rett syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and early infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Accordingly, loss of CDKL5 in mice results in autistic-like features and impaired neuronal communication. Although the biological functions of CDKL5 remain largely unknown, recent pieces of evidence suggest that CDKL5 is involved in neuronal plasticity. Herein, we show that, at all stages of development, neuronal depolarization induces a rapid increase in CDKL5 levels, mostly mediated by extrasomatic synthesis. In young neurons, this induction is prolonged, whereas in more mature neurons, NMDA receptor stimulation induces a protein phosphatase 1-dependent dephosphorylation of CDKL5 that is mandatory for its proteasome-dependent degradation. As a corollary, neuronal activity leads to a prolonged induction of CDKL5 levels in immature neurons but to a short lasting increase of the kinase in mature neurons. Recent results demonstrate that many genes associated with autism spectrum disorders are crucial components of the activity-dependent signaling networks regulating the composition, shape, and strength of the synapse. Thus, we speculate that CDKL5 deficiency disrupts activity-dependent signaling and the consequent synapse development, maturation, and refinement. PMID:25555910

  12. Synaptic genes are extensively downregulated across multiple brain regions in normal human aging and Alzheimer’s disease

    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. Disruption of an Evolutionarily Novel Synaptic Expression Pattern in Autism

    Jiang, Xi; Hu, Haiyang; Guijarro, Patricia; Mitchell, Amanda; Ely, John J.; Sherwood, Chet C.; Hof, Patrick R.; Qiu, Zilong; Pääbo, Svante; Akbarian, Schahram; Khaitovich, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive defects in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include socialization and communication: key behavioral capacities that separate humans from other species. Here, we analyze gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of 63 autism patients and control individuals, as well as 62 chimpanzees and macaques, from natal to adult age. We show that among all aberrant expression changes seen in ASD brains, a single aberrant expression pattern overrepresented in genes involved synaptic-related pathways is enriched in nucleotide variants linked to autism. Furthermore, only this pattern contains an excess of developmental expression features unique to humans, thus resulting in the disruption of human-specific developmental programs in autism. Several members of the early growth response (EGR) transcription factor family can be implicated in regulation of this aberrant developmental change. Our study draws a connection between the genetic risk architecture of autism and molecular features of cortical development unique to humans. PMID:27685936

  14. Disruption of an Evolutionarily Novel Synaptic Expression Pattern in Autism.

    Xiling Liu

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive defects in autism spectrum disorder (ASD include socialization and communication: key behavioral capacities that separate humans from other species. Here, we analyze gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of 63 autism patients and control individuals, as well as 62 chimpanzees and macaques, from natal to adult age. We show that among all aberrant expression changes seen in ASD brains, a single aberrant expression pattern overrepresented in genes involved synaptic-related pathways is enriched in nucleotide variants linked to autism. Furthermore, only this pattern contains an excess of developmental expression features unique to humans, thus resulting in the disruption of human-specific developmental programs in autism. Several members of the early growth response (EGR transcription factor family can be implicated in regulation of this aberrant developmental change. Our study draws a connection between the genetic risk architecture of autism and molecular features of cortical development unique to humans.

  15. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

    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.

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  1. Feedforward Inhibition and Synaptic Scaling – Two Sides of the Same Coin?

    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

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

    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrophysiological conversion of chloride-dependent synapses from inhibitory to excitatory function, as a result of aberrant neuronal chloride homeostasis, is a known mechanism for the genesis of neuropathic pain. This paper examines theoretically how this type of synaptic conversion can disrupt circuit logic in spinal nociceptive circuits. First, a mathematical scaling factor is developed to represent local aberration in chloride electrochemical driving potential. Using this mathematical scaling factor, electrophysiological symbols are developed to represent the magnitude of synaptic conversion within nociceptive circuits. When inserted into a nociceptive circuit diagram, these symbols assist in understanding the generation of neuropathic pain associated with the collapse of transmembrane chloride gradients. A more generalized scaling factor is also derived to represent the interplay of chloride and bicarbonate driving potentials on the function of GABAergic and glycinergic synapses. These mathematical and symbolic representations of synaptic conversion help illustrate the critical role that anion driving potentials play in the transduction of pain. Using these representations, we discuss ramifications of glial-mediated synaptic conversion in the genesis, and treatment, of neuropathic pain.

  3. The Set1/COMPASS histone H3 methyltransferase helps regulate mitosis with the CDK1 and NIMA mitotic kinases in Aspergillus nidulans.

    Govindaraghavan, Meera; Anglin, Sarah Lea; Osmani, Aysha H; Osmani, Stephen A

    2014-08-01

    Mitosis is promoted and regulated by reversible protein phosphorylation catalyzed by the essential NIMA and CDK1 kinases in the model filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Protein methylation mediated by the Set1/COMPASS methyltransferase complex has also been shown to regulate mitosis in budding yeast with the Aurora mitotic kinase. We uncover a genetic interaction between An-swd1, which encodes a subunit of the Set1 protein methyltransferase complex, with NIMA as partial inactivation of nimA is poorly tolerated in the absence of swd1. This genetic interaction is additionally seen without the Set1 methyltransferase catalytic subunit. Importantly partial inactivation of NIMT, a mitotic activator of the CDK1 kinase, also causes lethality in the absence of Set1 function, revealing a functional relationship between the Set1 complex and two pivotal mitotic kinases. The main target for Set1-mediated methylation is histone H3K4. Mutational analysis of histone H3 revealed that modifying the H3K4 target residue of Set1 methyltransferase activity phenocopied the lethality seen when either NIMA or CDK1 are partially functional. We probed the mechanistic basis of these genetic interactions and find that the Set1 complex performs functions with CDK1 for initiating mitosis and with NIMA during progression through mitosis. The studies uncover a joint requirement for the Set1 methyltransferase complex with the CDK1 and NIMA kinases for successful mitosis. The findings extend the roles of the Set1 complex to include the initiation of mitosis with CDK1 and mitotic progression with NIMA in addition to its previously identified interactions with Aurora and type 1 phosphatase in budding yeast. Copyright © 2014 by the Genetics Society of America.

  4. Tcf4 Regulates Synaptic Plasticity, DNA Methylation, and Memory Function

    Andrew J. Kennedy

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Human haploinsufficiency of the transcription factor Tcf4 leads to a rare autism spectrum disorder called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS, which is associated with severe language impairment and development delay. Here, we demonstrate that Tcf4 haploinsufficient mice have deficits in social interaction, ultrasonic vocalization, prepulse inhibition, and spatial and associative learning and memory. Despite learning deficits, Tcf4(+/− mice have enhanced long-term potentiation in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. In translationally oriented studies, we found that small-molecule HDAC inhibitors normalized hippocampal LTP and memory recall. A comprehensive set of next-generation sequencing experiments of hippocampal mRNA and methylated DNA isolated from Tcf4-deficient and WT mice before or shortly after experiential learning, with or without administration of vorinostat, identified “memory-associated” genes modulated by HDAC inhibition and dysregulated by Tcf4 haploinsufficiency. Finally, we observed that Hdac2 isoform-selective knockdown was sufficient to rescue memory deficits in Tcf4(+/− mice.

  5. Tcf4 Regulates Synaptic Plasticity, DNA Methylation, and Memory Function.

    Kennedy, Andrew J; Rahn, Elizabeth J; Paulukaitis, Brynna S; Savell, Katherine E; Kordasiewicz, Holly B; Wang, Jing; Lewis, John W; Posey, Jessica; Strange, Sarah K; Guzman-Karlsson, Mikael C; Phillips, Scott E; Decker, Kyle; Motley, S Timothy; Swayze, Eric E; Ecker, David J; Michael, Todd P; Day, Jeremy J; Sweatt, J David

    2016-09-06

    Human haploinsufficiency of the transcription factor Tcf4 leads to a rare autism spectrum disorder called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS), which is associated with severe language impairment and development delay. Here, we demonstrate that Tcf4 haploinsufficient mice have deficits in social interaction, ultrasonic vocalization, prepulse inhibition, and spatial and associative learning and memory. Despite learning deficits, Tcf4(+/-) mice have enhanced long-term potentiation in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. In translationally oriented studies, we found that small-molecule HDAC inhibitors normalized hippocampal LTP and memory recall. A comprehensive set of next-generation sequencing experiments of hippocampal mRNA and methylated DNA isolated from Tcf4-deficient and WT mice before or shortly after experiential learning, with or without administration of vorinostat, identified "memory-associated" genes modulated by HDAC inhibition and dysregulated by Tcf4 haploinsufficiency. Finally, we observed that Hdac2 isoform-selective knockdown was sufficient to rescue memory deficits in Tcf4(+/-) mice. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans intersectin: a synaptic protein regulating neurotransmission

    Rose, Simon; Malabarba, Maria Grazia; Krag, Claudia

    2007-01-01

    the characterization of intersectin function in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nematode intersectin (ITSN-1) is expressed in the nervous system, and it is enriched in presynaptic regions. The C. elegans intersectin gene (itsn-1) is nonessential for viability. In addition, itsn-1-null worms do not display any evident...

  7. Synaptic reorganization of inhibitory hilar interneuron circuitry after traumatic brain injury in mice

    Hunt, Robert F.; Scheff, Stephen W.; Smith, Bret N.

    2011-01-01

    Functional plasticity of synaptic networks in the dentate gyrus has been implicated in the development of posttraumatic epilepsy and in cognitive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury, but little is known about potentially pathogenic changes in inhibitory circuits. We examined synaptic inhibition of dentate granule cells and excitability of surviving GABAergic hilar interneurons 8–13 weeks after cortical contusion brain injury in transgenic mice that express enhanced green fluorescent protein in a subpopulation of inhibitory neurons. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in granule cells revealed a reduction in spontaneous and miniature IPSC frequency after head injury; no concurrent change in paired-pulse ratio was found in granule cells after paired electrical stimulation of the hilus. Despite reduced inhibitory input to granule cells, action potential and EPSC frequencies were increased in hilar GABA neurons from slices ipsilateral to the injury, versus those from control or contralateral slices. Further, increased excitatory synaptic activity was detected in hilar GABA neurons ipsilateral to the injury after glutamate photostimulation of either the granule cell or CA3 pyramidal cell layers. Together, these findings suggest that excitatory drive to surviving hilar GABA neurons is enhanced by convergent input from both pyramidal and granule cells, but synaptic inhibition of granule cells is not fully restored after injury. This rewiring of circuitry regulating hilar inhibitory neurons may reflect an important compensatory mechanism, but it may also contribute to network destabilization by increasing the relative impact of surviving individual interneurons in controlling granule cell excitability in the posttraumatic dentate gyrus. PMID:21543618

  8. Birth order dependent growth cone segregation determines synaptic layer identity in the Drosophila visual system.

    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.

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

    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.

  10. Hsp90 chaperone inhibitor 17-AAG attenuates Aβ-induced synaptic toxicity and memory impairment.

    Chen, Yaomin; Wang, Bin; Liu, Dan; Li, Jing Jing; Xue, Yueqiang; Sakata, Kazuko; Zhu, Ling-qiang; Heldt, Scott A; Xu, Huaxi; Liao, Francesca-Fang

    2014-02-12

    The excessive accumulation of soluble amyloid peptides (Aβ) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), particularly in synaptic dysfunction. The role of the two major chaperone proteins, Hsp70 and Hsp90, in clearing misfolded protein aggregates has been established. Despite their abundant presence in synapses, the role of these chaperones in synapses remains elusive. Here, we report that Hsp90 inhibition by 17-AAG elicited not only a heat shock-like response but also upregulated presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins, such as synapsin I, synaptophysin, and PSD95 in neurons. 17-AAG treatment enhanced high-frequency stimulation-evoked LTP and protected neurons from synaptic damage induced by soluble Aβ. In AD transgenic mice, the daily administration of 17-AAG over 7 d resulted in a marked increase in PSD95 expression in hippocampi. 17-AAG treatments in wild-type C57BL/6 mice challenged by soluble Aβ significantly improved contextual fear memory. Further, we demonstrate that 17-AAG activated synaptic protein expression via transcriptional mechanisms through the heat shock transcription factor HSF1. Together, our findings identify a novel function of Hsp90 inhibition in regulating synaptic plasticity, in addition to the known neuroprotective effects of the chaperones against Aβ and tau toxicity, thus further supporting the potential of Hsp90 inhibitors in treating neurodegenerative diseases.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  14. Dysregulation of autism-associated synaptic proteins by psychoactive pharmaceuticals at environmental concentrations.

    Kaushik, Gaurav; Xia, Yu; Pfau, Jean C; Thomas, Michael A

    2017-11-20

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are complex neurological disorders for which the prevalence in the U.S. is currently estimated to be 1 in 50 children. A majority of cases of idiopathic autism in children likely result from unknown environmental triggers in genetically susceptible individuals. These triggers may include maternal exposure of a developing embryo to environmentally relevant minute concentrations of psychoactive pharmaceuticals through ineffectively purified drinking water. Previous studies in our lab examined the extent to which gene sets associated with neuronal development were up- and down-regulated (enriched) in the brains of fathead minnows treated with psychoactive pharmaceuticals at environmental concentrations. The aim of this study was to determine whether similar treatments would alter in vitro expression of ASD-associated synaptic proteins on differentiated human neuronal cells. Human SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cells were differentiated for two weeks with 10μM retinoic acid (RA) and treated with environmentally relevant concentrations of fluoxetine, carbamazepine or venlafaxine, and flow cytometry technique was used to analyze expression of ASD-associated synaptic proteins. Data showed that carbamazepine individually, venlafaxine individually and mixture treatment at environmental concentrations significantly altered the expression of key synaptic proteins (NMDAR1, PSD95, SV2A, HTR1B, HTR2C and OXTR). Data indicated that psychoactive pharmaceuticals at extremely low concentrations altered the in vitro expression of key synaptic proteins that may potentially contribute to neurological disorders like ASD by disrupting neuronal development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain

    Zhan-chi Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers, to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function.

  16. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain.

    Zhang, Zhan-Chi; Luan, Feng; Xie, Chun-Yan; Geng, Dan-Dan; Wang, Yan-Yong; Ma, Jun

    2015-06-01

    In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz) ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers), to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function.

  17. Endocannabinoid System and Synaptic Plasticity: Implications for Emotional Responses

    María-Paz Viveros

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system has been involved in the regulation of anxiety, and proposed as an inhibitory modulator of neuronal, behavioral and adrenocortical responses to stressful stimuli. Brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and cortex, which are directly involved in the regulation of emotional behavior, contain high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors show anxiogenic and depressive-like behaviors as well as an altered hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis activity, whereas enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling produces anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects. Genetic and pharmacological approaches also support an involvement of endocannabinoids in extinction of aversive memories. Thus, the endocannabinoid system appears to play a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states. Endocannabinoids have emerged as mediators of short- and long- term synaptic plasticity in diverse brain structures. Despite the fact that most of the studies on this field have been performed using in vitro models, endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity might be considered as a plausible candidate underlying some of the diverse physiological functions of the endogenous cannabinoid system, including developmental, affective and cognitive processes. In this paper, we will focus on the functional relevance of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity within the framework of emotional responses. Alterations of the endocannabinoid system may constitute an important factor in the aetiology of certain neuropsychiatric disorders, and, in turn, enhancers of endocannabinoid signaling could represent a potential therapeutical tool in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

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

    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.

  19. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

    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.

  20. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    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 ...

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

    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.

  2. Acute Stress Suppresses Synaptic Inhibition and Increases Anxiety via Endocannabinoid Release in the Basolateral Amygdala.

    Di, Shi; Itoga, Christy A; Fisher, Marc O; Solomonow, Jonathan; Roltsch, Emily A; Gilpin, Nicholas W; Tasker, Jeffrey G

    2016-08-10

    Stress and glucocorticoids stimulate the rapid mobilization of endocannabinoids in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Cannabinoid receptors in the BLA contribute to anxiogenesis and fear-memory formation. We tested for rapid glucocorticoid-induced endocannabinoid regulation of synaptic inhibition in the rat BLA. Glucocorticoid application to amygdala slices elicited a rapid, nonreversible suppression of spontaneous, but not evoked, GABAergic synaptic currents in BLA principal neurons; the effect was also seen with a membrane-impermeant glucocorticoid, but not with intracellular glucocorticoid application, implicating a membrane-associated glucocorticoid receptor. The glucocorticoid suppression of GABA currents was not blocked by antagonists of nuclear corticosteroid receptors, or by inhibitors of gene transcription or protein synthesis, but was blocked by inhibiting postsynaptic G-protein activity, suggesting a postsynaptic nongenomic steroid signaling mechanism that stimulates the release of a retrograde messenger. The rapid glucocorticoid-induced suppression of inhibition was prevented by blocking CB1 receptors and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) synthesis, and it was mimicked and occluded by CB1 receptor agonists, indicating it was mediated by the retrograde release of the endocannabinoid 2-AG. The rapid glucocorticoid effect in BLA neurons in vitro was occluded by prior in vivo acute stress-induced, or prior in vitro glucocorticoid-induced, release of endocannabinoid. Acute stress also caused an increase in anxiety-like behavior that was attenuated by blocking CB1 receptor activation and inhibiting 2-AG synthesis in the BLA. Together, these findings suggest that acute stress causes a long-lasting suppression of synaptic inhibition in BLA neurons via a membrane glucocorticoid receptor-induced release of 2-AG at GABA synapses, which contributes to stress-induced anxiogenesis. We provide a cellular mechanism in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) for the rapid stress

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

    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.

  4. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

    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.

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

    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.

  6. Regulation

    Ballereau, P.

    1999-01-01

    The different regulations relative to nuclear energy since the first of January 1999 are given here. Two points deserve to be noticed: the decree of the third august 1999 authorizing the national Agency for the radioactive waste management to install and exploit on the commune of Bures (Meuse) an underground laboratory destined to study the deep geological formations where could be stored the radioactive waste. The second point is about the uranium residues and the waste notion. The judgment of the administrative tribunal of Limoges ( 9. july 1998) forbidding the exploitation of a storage installation of depleted uranium considered as final waste and qualifying it as an industrial waste storage facility has been annulled bu the Court of Appeal. It stipulated that, according to the law number 75663 of the 15. july 1965, no criteria below can be applied to depleted uranium: production residue (possibility of an ulterior enrichment), abandonment of a personal property or simple intention to do it ( future use aimed in the authorization request made in the Prefecture). This judgment has devoted the primacy of the waste notion on this one of final waste. (N.C.)

  7. Brain Injury-Induced Synaptic Reorganization in Hilar Inhibitory Neurons Is Differentially Suppressed by Rapamycin.

    Butler, Corwin R; Boychuk, Jeffery A; Smith, Bret N

    2017-01-01

    Following traumatic brain injury (TBI), treatment with rapamycin suppresses mammalian (mechanistic) target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity and specific components of hippocampal synaptic reorganization associated with altered cortical excitability and seizure susceptibility. Reemergence of seizures after cessation of rapamycin treatment suggests, however, an incomplete suppression of epileptogenesis. Hilar inhibitory interneurons regulate dentate granule cell (DGC) activity, and de novo synaptic input from both DGCs and CA3 pyramidal cells after TBI increases their excitability but effects of rapamycin treatment on the injury-induced plasticity of interneurons is only partially described. Using transgenic mice in which enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) is expressed in the somatostatinergic subset of hilar inhibitory interneurons, we tested the effect of daily systemic rapamycin treatment (3 mg/kg) on the excitability of hilar inhibitory interneurons after controlled cortical impact (CCI)-induced focal brain injury. Rapamycin treatment reduced, but did not normalize, the injury-induced increase in excitability of surviving eGFP+ hilar interneurons. The injury-induced increase in response to selective glutamate photostimulation of DGCs was reduced to normal levels after mTOR inhibition, but the postinjury increase in synaptic excitation arising from CA3 pyramidal cell activity was unaffected by rapamycin treatment. The incomplete suppression of synaptic reorganization in inhibitory circuits after brain injury could contribute to hippocampal hyperexcitability and the eventual reemergence of the epileptogenic process upon cessation of mTOR inhibition. Further, the cell-selective effect of mTOR inhibition on synaptic reorganization after CCI suggests possible mechanisms by which rapamycin treatment modifies epileptogenesis in some models but not others.

  8. Calcium current homeostasis and synaptic deficits in hippocampal neurons from Kelch-like 1 knockout mice

    Paula Patricia Perissinotti

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Kelch-like 1 (KLHL1 is a neuronal actin-binding protein that modulates voltage-gated CaV2.1 (P/Q-type and CaV3.2 (α1H T-type calcium channels; KLHL1 knockdown experiments (KD cause down-regulation of both channel types and altered synaptic properties in cultured rat hippocampal neurons (Perissinotti et al., 2014. Here, we studied the effect of ablation of KLHL1 on calcium channel function and synaptic properties in cultured hippocampal neurons from KLHL1 knockout (KO mice. Western blot data showed the P/Q-type channel α1A subunit was less abundant in KO hippocampus compared to wildtype (WT; and PQ-type calcium currents were smaller in KO neurons than WT during early days in vitro, although this decrease was compensated for at late stages by increases in L-type calcium current. In contrast, T-type currents did not change in culture. However, biophysical properties and western blot analysis revealed a differential contribution of T-type channel isoforms in the KO, with CaV3.2 α1H subunit being down-regulated and CaV3.1 α1G up-regulated. Synapsin I levels were reduced in the KO hippocampus; cultured neurons displayed a concomitant reduction in synapsin I puncta and decreased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (mEPSC frequency. In summary, genetic ablation of the calcium channel modulator resulted in compensatory mechanisms to maintain calcium current homeostasis in hippocampal KO neurons; however, synaptic alterations resulted in a reduction of excitatory synapse number, causing an imbalance of the excitatory-inhibitory synaptic input ratio favoring inhibition.

  9. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    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".

  10. Silicon synaptic transistor for hardware-based spiking neural network and neuromorphic system

    Kim, Hyungjin; Hwang, Sungmin; Park, Jungjin; Park, Byung-Gook

    2017-10-01

    Brain-inspired neuromorphic systems have attracted much attention as new computing paradigms for power-efficient computation. Here, we report a silicon synaptic transistor with two electrically independent gates to realize a hardware-based neural network system without any switching components. The spike-timing dependent plasticity characteristics of the synaptic devices are measured and analyzed. With the help of the device model based on the measured data, the pattern recognition capability of the hardware-based spiking neural network systems is demonstrated using the modified national institute of standards and technology handwritten dataset. By comparing systems with and without inhibitory synapse part, it is confirmed that the inhibitory synapse part is an essential element in obtaining effective and high pattern classification capability.

  11. Acid-sensing ion channels: trafficking and synaptic function

    Zha Xiang-ming

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Extracellular acidification occurs in the brain with elevated neural activity, increased metabolism, and neuronal injury. This reduction in pH can have profound effects on brain function because pH regulates essentially every single biochemical reaction. Therefore, it is not surprising to see that Nature evolves a family of proteins, the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs, to sense extracellular pH reduction. ASICs are proton-gated cation channels that are mainly expressed in the nervous system. In recent years, a growing body of literature has shown that acidosis, through activating ASICs, contributes to multiple diseases, including ischemia, multiple sclerosis, and seizures. In addition, ASICs play a key role in fear and anxiety related psychiatric disorders. Several recent reviews have summarized the importance and therapeutic potential of ASICs in neurological diseases, as well as the structure-function relationship of ASICs. However, there is little focused coverage on either the basic biology of ASICs or their contribution to neural plasticity. This review will center on these topics, with an emphasis on the synaptic role of ASICs and molecular mechanisms regulating the spatial distribution and function of these ion channels.

  12. Acid-sensing ion channels: trafficking and synaptic function.

    Zha, Xiang-ming

    2013-01-02

    Extracellular acidification occurs in the brain with elevated neural activity, increased metabolism, and neuronal injury. This reduction in pH can have profound effects on brain function because pH regulates essentially every single biochemical reaction. Therefore, it is not surprising to see that Nature evolves a family of proteins, the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), to sense extracellular pH reduction. ASICs are proton-gated cation channels that are mainly expressed in the nervous system. In recent years, a growing body of literature has shown that acidosis, through activating ASICs, contributes to multiple diseases, including ischemia, multiple sclerosis, and seizures. In addition, ASICs play a key role in fear and anxiety related psychiatric disorders. Several recent reviews have summarized the importance and therapeutic potential of ASICs in neurological diseases, as well as the structure-function relationship of ASICs. However, there is little focused coverage on either the basic biology of ASICs or their contribution to neural plasticity. This review will center on these topics, with an emphasis on the synaptic role of ASICs and molecular mechanisms regulating the spatial distribution and function of these ion channels.

  13. Synaptic, transcriptional and chromatin genes disrupted in autism.

    De Rubeis, Silvia; He, Xin; Goldberg, Arthur P; Poultney, Christopher S; Samocha, Kaitlin; Cicek, A Erucment; Kou, Yan; Liu, Li; Fromer, Menachem; Walker, Susan; Singh, Tarinder; Klei, Lambertus; Kosmicki, Jack; Shih-Chen, Fu; Aleksic, Branko; Biscaldi, Monica; Bolton, Patrick F; Brownfeld, Jessica M; Cai, Jinlu; Campbell, Nicholas G; Carracedo, Angel; Chahrour, Maria H; Chiocchetti, Andreas G; Coon, Hilary; Crawford, Emily L; Curran, Sarah R; Dawson, Geraldine; Duketis, Eftichia; Fernandez, Bridget A; Gallagher, Louise; Geller, Evan; Guter, Stephen J; Hill, R Sean; Ionita-Laza, Juliana; Jimenz Gonzalez, Patricia; Kilpinen, Helena; Klauck, Sabine M; Kolevzon, Alexander; Lee, Irene; Lei, Irene; Lei, Jing; Lehtimäki, Terho; Lin, Chiao-Feng; Ma'ayan, Avi; Marshall, Christian R; McInnes, Alison L; Neale, Benjamin; Owen, Michael J; Ozaki, Noriio; Parellada, Mara; Parr, Jeremy R; Purcell, Shaun; Puura, Kaija; Rajagopalan, Deepthi; Rehnström, Karola; Reichenberg, Abraham; Sabo, Aniko; Sachse, Michael; Sanders, Stephan J; Schafer, Chad; Schulte-Rüther, Martin; Skuse, David; Stevens, Christine; Szatmari, Peter; Tammimies, Kristiina; Valladares, Otto; Voran, Annette; Li-San, Wang; Weiss, Lauren A; Willsey, A Jeremy; Yu, Timothy W; Yuen, Ryan K C; Cook, Edwin H; Freitag, Christine M; Gill, Michael; Hultman, Christina M; Lehner, Thomas; Palotie, Aaarno; Schellenberg, Gerard D; Sklar, Pamela; State, Matthew W; Sutcliffe, James S; Walsh, Christiopher A; Scherer, Stephen W; Zwick, Michael E; Barett, Jeffrey C; Cutler, David J; Roeder, Kathryn; Devlin, Bernie; Daly, Mark J; Buxbaum, Joseph D

    2014-11-13

    The genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorder involves the interplay of common and rare variants and their impact on hundreds of genes. Using exome sequencing, here we show that analysis of rare coding variation in 3,871 autism cases and 9,937 ancestry-matched or parental controls implicates 22 autosomal genes at a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05, plus a set of 107 autosomal genes strongly enriched for those likely to affect risk (FDR < 0.30). These 107 genes, which show unusual evolutionary constraint against mutations, incur de novo loss-of-function mutations in over 5% of autistic subjects. Many of the genes implicated encode proteins for synaptic formation, transcriptional regulation and chromatin-remodelling pathways. These include voltage-gated ion channels regulating the propagation of action potentials, pacemaking and excitability-transcription coupling, as well as histone-modifying enzymes and chromatin remodellers-most prominently those that mediate post-translational lysine methylation/demethylation modifications of histones.

  14. Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  17. Synaptic proteome changes in the superior frontal gyrus and occipital cortex of the alcoholic brain.

    Etheridge, Naomi; Lewohl, Joanne M; Mayfield, R Dayne; Harris, R Adron; Dodd, Peter R

    2009-06-24

    Cognitive deficits and behavioral changes that result from chronic alcohol abuse are a consequence of neuropathological changes which alter signal transmission through the neural network. To focus on the changes that occur at the point of connection between the neural network cells, synaptosomal preparations from post-mortem human brain of six chronic alcoholics and six non-alcoholic controls were compared using 2D-DIGE. Functionally affected and spared regions (superior frontal gyrus, SFG, and occipital cortex, OC, respectively) were analyzed from both groups to further investigate the specific pathological response that alcoholism has on the brain. Forty-nine proteins were differentially regulated between the SFG of alcoholics and the SFG of controls and 94 proteins were regulated in the OC with an overlap of 23 proteins. Additionally, the SFG was compared to the OC within each group (alcoholics or controls) to identify region specific differences. A selection were identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry revealing proteins involved in vesicle transport, metabolism, folding and trafficking, and signal transduction, all of which have the potential to influence synaptic activity. A number of proteins identified in this study have been previously related to alcoholism; however, the focus on synaptic proteins has also uncovered novel alcoholism-affected proteins. Further exploration of these proteins will illuminate the mechanisms altering synaptic plasticity, and thus neuronal signaling and response, in the alcoholic brain.

  18. Mechanisms of translation control underlying long-lasting synaptic plasticity and the consolidation of long-term memory.

    Santini, Emanuela; Huynh, Thu N; Klann, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The complexity of memory formation and its persistence is a phenomenon that has been studied intensely for centuries. Memory exists in many forms and is stored in various brain regions. Generally speaking, memories are reorganized into broadly distributed cortical networks over time through systems level consolidation. At the cellular level, storage of information is believed to initially occur via altered synaptic strength by processes such as long-term potentiation. New protein synthesis is required for long-lasting synaptic plasticity as well as for the formation of long-term memory. The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a critical regulator of cap-dependent protein synthesis and is required for numerous forms of long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. As such, the study of mTORC1 and protein factors that control translation initiation and elongation has enhanced our understanding of how the process of protein synthesis is regulated during memory formation. Herein we discuss the molecular mechanisms that regulate protein synthesis as well as pharmacological and genetic manipulations that demonstrate the requirement for proper translational control in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory formation. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Sleep and the price of plasticity: from synaptic and cellular homeostasis to memory consolidation and integration.

    Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara

    2014-01-08

    Sleep is universal, tightly regulated, and its loss impairs cognition. But why does the brain need to disconnect from the environment for hours every day? The synaptic homeostasis hypothesis (SHY) proposes that sleep is the price the brain pays for plasticity. During a waking episode, learning statistical regularities about the current environment requires strengthening connections throughout the brain. This increases cellular needs for energy and supplies, decreases signal-to-noise ratios, and saturates learning. During sleep, spontaneous activity renormalizes net synaptic strength and restores cellular homeostasis. Activity-dependent down-selection of synapses can also explain the benefits of sleep on memory acquisition, consolidation, and integration. This happens through the offline, comprehensive sampling of statistical regularities incorporated in neuronal circuits over a lifetime. This Perspective considers the rationale and evidence for SHY and points to open issues related to sleep and plasticity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

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

    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

  5. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    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.

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

    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

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

    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. CCL2-ethanol interactions and hippocampal synaptic protein expression in a transgenic mouse model

    Donna eGruol

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Chronic exposure to ethanol produces a number of detrimental effects on behavior. Neuroadaptive changes in brain structure or function underlie these behavioral changes and may be transient or persistent in nature. Central to the functional changes are alterations in the biology of neuronal and glial cells of the brain. Recent data show that ethanol induces glial cells of the brain to produce elevated levels of neuroimmune factors including CCL2, a key innate immune chemokine. Depending on the conditions of ethanol exposure, the upregulated levels of CCL2 can be transient or persistent and outlast the period of ethanol exposure. Importantly, results indicate that the upregulated levels of CCL2 may lead to CCL2-ethanol interactions that mediate or regulate the effects of ethanol on the brain. Glial cells are in close association with neurons and regulate many neuronal functions. Therefore, effects of ethanol on glial cells may underlie some of the effects of ethanol on neurons. To investigate this possibility, we are studying the effects of chronic ethanol on hippocampal synaptic function in a transgenic mouse model that expresses elevated levels of CCL2 in the brain through enhanced glial expression, a situation know to occur in alcoholics. Both CCL2 and ethanol have been reported to alter synaptic function in the hippocampus. In the current study, we determined if interactions are evident between CCL2 and ethanol at level of hippocampal synaptic proteins. Two ethanol exposure paradigms were used; the first involved ethanol exposure by drinking and the second involved ethanol exposure in a paradigm that combines drinking plus ethanol vapor. The first paradigm does not produce dependence on ethanol, whereas the second paradigm is commonly used to produce ethanol dependence. Results show modest effects of both ethanol exposure paradigms on the level of synaptic proteins in the hippocampus of CCL2 transgenic mice compared with their non

  9. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains.

    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.

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

    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

  11. Age-related changes in the hippocampus (loss of synaptophysin and glial-synaptic interaction) are modified by systemic treatment with an NCAM-derived peptide, FGL.

    Ojo, Bunmi; Rezaie, Payam; Gabbott, Paul L; Davies, Heather; Colyer, Frances; Cowley, Thelma R; Lynch, Marina; Stewart, Michael G

    2012-07-01

    Altered synaptic morphology, progressive loss of synapses and glial (astrocyte and microglial) cell activation are considered as characteristic hallmarks of aging. Recent evidence suggests that there is a concomitant age-related decrease in expression of the presynaptic protein, synaptophysin, and the neuronal glycoprotein CD200, which, by interacting with its receptor, plays a role in maintaining microglia in a quiescent state. These age-related changes may be indicative of reduced neuroglial support of synapses. FG Loop (FGL) peptide synthesized from the second fibronectin type III module of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), has previously been shown to attenuate age-related glial cell activation, and to 'restore' cognitive function in aged rats. The mechanisms by which FGL exerts these neuroprotective effects remain unclear, but could involve regulation of CD200, modifying glial-synaptic interactions (affecting neuroglial 'support' at synapses), or impacting directly on synaptic function. Light and electron microscopic (EM) analyses were undertaken to investigate whether systemic treatment with FGL (i) alters CD200, synaptophysin (presynaptic) and PSD-95 (postsynaptic) immunohistochemical expression levels, (ii) affects synaptic number, or (iii) exerts any effects on glial-synaptic interactions within young (4 month-old) and aged (22 month-old) rat hippocampus. Treatment with FGL attenuated the age-related loss of synaptophysin immunoreactivity (-ir) within CA3 and hilus (with no major effect on PSD-95-ir), and of CD200-ir specifically in the CA3 region. Ultrastructural morphometric analyses showed that FGL treatment (i) prevented age-related loss in astrocyte-synaptic contacts, (ii) reduced microglia-synaptic contacts in the CA3 stratum radiatum, but (iii) had no effect on the mean number of synapses in this region. These data suggest that FGL mediates its neuroprotective effects by regulating glial-synaptic interaction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All

  12. Ankyrins: Roles in synaptic biology and pathology.

    Smith, Katharine R; Penzes, Peter

    2018-05-03

    Ankyrins are broadly expressed adaptors that organize diverse membrane proteins into specialized domains and link them to the sub-membranous cytoskeleton. In neurons, ankyrins are known to have essential roles in organizing the axon initial segment and nodes of Ranvier. However, recent studies have revealed novel functions for ankyrins at synapses, where they organize and stabilize neurotransmitter receptors, modulate dendritic spine morphology and control adhesion to the presynaptic site. Ankyrin genes have also been highly associated with a range of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric diseases, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism, which all demonstrate overlap in their genetics, mechanisms and phenotypes. This review discusses the novel synaptic functions of ankyrin proteins in neurons, and places these exciting findings in the context of ANK genes as key neuropsychiatric disorder risk-factors. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Alzheimer's disease: synaptic dysfunction and Abeta

    Shankar, Ganesh M

    2009-11-23

    Abstract Synapse loss is an early and invariant feature of Alzheimer\\'s disease (AD) and there is a strong correlation between the extent of synapse loss and the severity of dementia. Accordingly, it has been proposed that synapse loss underlies the memory impairment evident in the early phase of AD and that since plasticity is important for neuronal viability, persistent disruption of plasticity may account for the frank cell loss typical of later phases of the disease. Extensive multi-disciplinary research has implicated the amyloid β-protein (Aβ) in the aetiology of AD and here we review the evidence that non-fibrillar soluble forms of Aβ are mediators of synaptic compromise. We also discuss the possible mechanisms of Aβ synaptotoxicity and potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

  14. Optogenetic acidification of synaptic vesicles and lysosomes.

    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.

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

    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.

  16. A distance constrained synaptic plasticity model of C. elegans neuronal network

    Badhwar, Rahul; Bagler, Ganesh

    2017-03-01

    Brain research has been driven by enquiry for principles of brain structure organization and its control mechanisms. The neuronal wiring map of C. elegans, the only complete connectome available till date, presents an incredible opportunity to learn basic governing principles that drive structure and function of its neuronal architecture. Despite its apparently simple nervous system, C. elegans is known to possess complex functions. The nervous system forms an important underlying framework which specifies phenotypic features associated to sensation, movement, conditioning and memory. In this study, with the help of graph theoretical models, we investigated the C. elegans neuronal network to identify network features that are critical for its control. The 'driver neurons' are associated with important biological functions such as reproduction, signalling processes and anatomical structural development. We created 1D and 2D network models of C. elegans neuronal system to probe the role of features that confer controllability and small world nature. The simple 1D ring model is critically poised for the number of feed forward motifs, neuronal clustering and characteristic path-length in response to synaptic rewiring, indicating optimal rewiring. Using empirically observed distance constraint in the neuronal network as a guiding principle, we created a distance constrained synaptic plasticity model that simultaneously explains small world nature, saturation of feed forward motifs as well as observed number of driver neurons. The distance constrained model suggests optimum long distance synaptic connections as a key feature specifying control of the network.

  17. Fragile X mental retardation protein controls synaptic vesicle exocytosis by modulating N-type calcium channel density

    Ferron, Laurent; Nieto-Rostro, Manuela; Cassidy, John S.; Dolphin, Annette C.

    2014-04-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common heritable form of mental retardation, is characterized by synaptic dysfunction. Synaptic transmission depends critically on presynaptic calcium entry via voltage-gated calcium (CaV) channels. Here we show that the functional expression of neuronal N-type CaV channels (CaV2.2) is regulated by fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). We find that FMRP knockdown in dorsal root ganglion neurons increases CaV channel density in somata and in presynaptic terminals. We then show that FMRP controls CaV2.2 surface expression by targeting the channels to the proteasome for degradation. The interaction between FMRP and CaV2.2 occurs between the carboxy-terminal domain of FMRP and domains of CaV2.2 known to interact with the neurotransmitter release machinery. Finally, we show that FMRP controls synaptic exocytosis via CaV2.2 channels. Our data indicate that FMRP is a potent regulator of presynaptic activity, and its loss is likely to contribute to synaptic dysfunction in FXS.

  18. Going Online: Helping Technical Communicators Help Translators.

    Flint, Patricia; Lord van Slyke, Melanie; Starke-Meyerring, Doreen; Thompson, Aimee

    1999-01-01

    Explains why technical communicators should help translators. Offers tips for creating "translation-friendly" documentation. Describes the research and design process used by the authors to create an online tutorial that provides technical communicators at a medical technology company the information they need to help them write and…

  19. NMDA Receptor Subunits Change after Synaptic Plasticity Induction and Learning and Memory Acquisition

    María Verónica Baez

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available NMDA ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDARs are crucial in activity-dependent synaptic changes and in learning and memory. NMDARs are composed of two GluN1 essential subunits and two regulatory subunits which define their pharmacological and physiological profile. In CNS structures involved in cognitive functions as the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, GluN2A and GluN2B are major regulatory subunits; their expression is dynamic and tightly regulated, but little is known about specific changes after plasticity induction or memory acquisition. Data strongly suggest that following appropriate stimulation, there is a rapid increase in surface GluN2A-NMDAR at the postsynapses, attributed to lateral receptor mobilization from adjacent locations. Whenever synaptic plasticity is induced or memory is consolidated, more GluN2A-NMDARs are assembled likely using GluN2A from a local translation and GluN1 from local ER. Later on, NMDARs are mobilized from other pools, and there are de novo syntheses at the neuron soma. Changes in GluN1 or NMDAR levels induced by synaptic plasticity and by spatial memory formation seem to occur in different waves of NMDAR transport/expression/degradation, with a net increase at the postsynaptic side and a rise in expression at both the spine and neuronal soma. This review aims to put together that information and the proposed hypotheses.

  20. Oxytocin as a Modulator of Synaptic Plasticity: Implications for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Keerthi Thirtamara Rajamani

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT is a crucial mediator of parturition and milk ejection and a major modulator of various social behaviors, including social recognition, aggression and parenting. In the past decade, there has been significant excitement around the possible use of OXT to treat behavioral deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD. Yet, despite the fast move to clinical trials with OXT, little attention has been paid to the possibility that the OXT system in the brain is perturbed in these disorders and to what extent such perturbations may contribute to social behavior deficits. Large-scale whole-exome sequencing studies in subjects with ASD, along with biochemical and electrophysiological studies in animal models of the disorder, indicate several risk genes that play an essential role in brain synapses, suggesting that deficits in synaptic activity and plasticity underlie the pathophysiology in a considerable portion of these cases. OXT has been repeatedly shown, both in vitro and in vivo, to modify synaptic properties and plasticity and to modulate neural activity in circuits that regulate social behavior. Together, these findings led us to hypothesize that failure of the OXT system during early development, as a direct or indirect consequence of genetic mutations, may impact social behavior by altering synaptic activity and plasticity. In this article, we review the evidence that support our hypothesis.

  1. The cumulative analgesic effect of repeated electroacupuncture involves synaptic remodeling in the hippocampal CA3 region☆

    Xu, Qiuling; Liu, Tao; Chen, Shuping; Gao, Yonghui; Wang, Junying; Qiao, Lina; Liu, Junling

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we examined the analgesic effect of repeated electroacupuncture at bilateral Zusanli (ST36) and Yanglingquan (GB34) once a day for 14 consecutive days in a rat model of chronic sciatic nerve constriction injury-induced neuropathic pain. In addition, concomitant changes in calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II expression and synaptic ultrastructure of neurons in the hippocampal CA3 region were examined. The thermal pain threshold (paw withdrawal latency) was increased significantly in both groups at 2 weeks after electroacupuncture intervention compared with 2 days of electroacupuncture. In ovariectomized rats with chronic constriction injury, the analgesic effect was significantly reduced. Electroacupuncture for 2 weeks significantly diminished the injury-induced increase in synaptic cleft width and thinning of the postsynaptic density, and it significantly suppressed the down-regulation of intracellular calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II expression in the hippocampal CA3 region. Repeated electroacupuncture intervention had a cumulative analgesic effect on injury-induced neuropathic pain reactions, and it led to synaptic remodeling of hippocampal neurons and upregulated calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II expression in the hippocampal CA3 region. PMID:25657670

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

    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.

  3. In Sickness and in Health: Perineuronal Nets and Synaptic Plasticity in Psychiatric Disorders

    Harry Pantazopoulos

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly emerging evidence implicates perineuronal nets (PNNs and extracellular matrix (ECM molecules that compose or interact with PNNs, in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders. Studies on schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy point to the involvement of ECM molecules such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Reelin, and matrix metalloproteases, as well as their cell surface receptors. In many of these disorders, PNN abnormalities have also been reported. In the context of the “quadripartite” synapse concept, that is, the functional unit composed of the pre- and postsynaptic terminals, glial processes, and ECM, and of the role that PNNs and ECM molecules play in regulating synaptic functions and plasticity, these findings resonate with one of the most well-replicated aspects of the pathology of psychiatric disorders, that is, synaptic abnormalities. Here we review the evidence for PNN/ECM-related pathology in these disorders, with particular emphasis on schizophrenia, and discuss the hypothesis that such pathology may significantly contribute to synaptic dysfunction.

  4. UV irradiation to mouse skin decreases hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptic protein expression via HPA axis activation.

    Han, Mira; Ban, Jae-Jun; Bae, Jung-Soo; Shin, Chang-Yup; Lee, Dong Hun; Chung, Jin Ho

    2017-11-14

    The skin senses external environment, including ultraviolet light (UV). Hippocampus is a brain region that is responsible for memory and emotion. However, changes in hippocampus by UV irradiation to the skin have not been studied. In this study, after 2 weeks of UV irradiation to the mouse skin, we examined molecular changes related to cognitive functions in the hippocampus and activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. UV exposure to the skin decreased doublecortin-positive immature neurons and synaptic proteins, including N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2 A and postsynaptic density protein-95, in the hippocampus. Moreover, we observed that UV irradiation to the skin down-regulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression and ERK signaling in the hippocampus, which are known to modulate neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. The cutaneous and central HPA axes were activated by UV, which resulted in significant increases in serum levels of corticosterone. Subsequently, UV irradiation to the skin activated the glucocorticoid-signaling pathway in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Interestingly, after 6 weeks of UV irradiation, mice showed depression-like behavior in the tail suspension test. Taken together, our data suggest that repeated UV exposure through the skin may negatively affect hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity along with HPA axis activation.

  5. Synaptic protein changes after a chronic period of sensorimotor perturbation in adult rats: a potential role of phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation interplay.

    Fourneau, Julie; Canu, Marie-Hélène; Cieniewski-Bernard, Caroline; Bastide, Bruno; Dupont, Erwan

    2018-05-28

    In human, a chronic sensorimotor perturbation (SMP) through prolonged body immobilization alters motor task performance through a combination of peripheral and central factors. Studies performed on a rat model of SMP have shown biomolecular changes and a reorganization of sensorimotor cortex through events such as morphological modifications of dendritic spines (number, length, functionality). However, underlying mechanisms are still unclear. It is well known that phosphorylation regulates a wide field of synaptic activity leading to neuroplasticity. Another post-translational modification that interplays with phosphorylation is O-GlcNAcylation. This atypical glycosylation, reversible and dynamic, is involved in essential cellular and physiological processes such as synaptic activity, neuronal morphogenesis, learning and memory. We examined potential roles of phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation interplay in synaptic plasticity within rat sensorimotor cortex after a SMP period. For this purpose, sensorimotor cortex synaptosomes were separated by sucrose gradient, in order to isolate a subcellular compartment enriched in proteins involved in synaptic functions. A period of SMP induced plastic changes at the pre- and postsynaptic levels, characterized by a reduction of phosphorylation (synapsin1, AMPAR GluA2) and expression (synaptophysin, PSD-95, AMPAR GluA2) of synaptic proteins, as well as a decrease in MAPK/ERK42 activation. Expression levels of OGT/OGA enzymes was unchanged but we observed a specific reduction of synapsin1 O-GlcNAcylation in sensorimotor cortex synaptosomes. The synergistic regulation of synapsin1 phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation could affect presynaptic neurotransmitter release. Associated with other pre- and postsynaptic changes, synaptic efficacy could be impaired in somatosensory cortex of SMP rat. Thus, synapsin1 O-GlcNAcylation/phosphorylation interplay also appears to be involved in this synaptic plasticity by finely regulating neural activity

  6. The backbone of the post-synaptic density originated in a unicellular ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans

    Manuel Michaël

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative genomics of the early diverging metazoan lineages and of their unicellular sister-groups opens new window to reconstructing the genetic changes which preceded or accompanied the evolution of multicellular body plans. A recent analysis found that the genome of the nerve-less sponges encodes the homologues of most vertebrate post-synaptic proteins. In vertebrate excitatory synapses, these proteins assemble to form the post-synaptic density, a complex molecular platform linking membrane receptors, components of their signalling pathways, and the cytoskeleton. Newly available genomes from Monosiga brevicollis (a member of Choanoflagellata, the closest unicellular relatives of animals and Trichoplax adhaerens (a member of Placozoa: besides sponges, the only nerve-less metazoans offer an opportunity to refine our understanding of post-synaptic protein evolution. Results Searches for orthologous proteins and reconstruction of gene gains/losses based on the taxon phylogeny indicate that post-synaptic proteins originated in two main steps. The backbone scaffold proteins (Shank, Homer, DLG and some of their partners were acquired in a unicellular ancestor of choanoflagellates and metazoans. A substantial additional set appeared in an exclusive ancestor of the Metazoa. The placozoan genome contains most post-synaptic genes but lacks some of them. Notably, the master-scaffold protein Shank might have been lost secondarily in the placozoan lineage. Conclusions The time of origination of most post-synaptic proteins was not concomitant with the acquisition of synapses or neural-like cells. The backbone of the scaffold emerged in a unicellular context and was probably not involved in cell-cell communication. Based on the reconstructed protein composition and potential interactions, its ancestral function could have been to link calcium signalling and cytoskeleton regulation. The complex later became integrated into the evolving

  7. Effects of 17beta-estradiol on glutamate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability in the rat medial vestibular nuclei.

    Grassi, S; Frondaroli, A; Scarduzio, M; Dutia, M B; Dieni, C; Pettorossi, V E

    2010-02-17

    We investigated the effects of the neurosteroid 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) on the evoked and spontaneous activity of rat medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons in brainstem slices. E(2) enhances the synaptic response to vestibular nerve stimulation in type B neurons and depresses the spontaneous discharge in both type A and B neurons. The amplitude of the field potential, as well as the excitatory post-synaptic potential (EPSP) and current (EPSC), in type B neurons, are enhanced by E(2). Both effects are long-term phenomena since they outlast the drug washout. The enhancement of synaptic response is mainly due to facilitation of glutamate release mediated by pre-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), since the reduction of paired pulse ratio (PPR) and the increase of miniature EPSC frequency after E(2) are abolished under D-(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP-5). E(2) also facilitates post-synaptic NMDARs, but it does not affect directly alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) and group I-metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs-I). In contrast, the depression of the spontaneous discharge of type A and type B neurons appears to depend on E(2) modulation of intrinsic ion conductances, as the effect remains after blockade of glutamate, GABA and glycine receptors (GlyRs). The net effect of E(2) is to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of the synaptic response in type B neurons, relative to resting activity of all MVN neurons. These findings provide evidence for a novel potential mechanism to modulate the responsiveness of vestibular neurons to afferent inputs, and so regulate vestibular function in vivo.

  8. Synaptic Interactome Mining Reveals p140Cap as a New Hub for PSD Proteins Involved in Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders

    Annalisa Alfieri

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Altered synaptic function has been associated with neurological and psychiatric conditions including intellectual disability, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD. Amongst the recently discovered synaptic proteins is p140Cap, an adaptor that localizes at dendritic spines and regulates their maturation and physiology. We recently showed that p140Cap knockout mice have cognitive deficits, impaired long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD, and immature, filopodia-like dendritic spines. Only a few p140Cap interacting proteins have been identified in the brain and the molecular complexes and pathways underlying p140Cap synaptic function are largely unknown. Here, we isolated and characterized the p140Cap synaptic interactome by co-immunoprecipitation from crude mouse synaptosomes, followed by mass spectrometry-based proteomics. We identified 351 p140Cap interactors and found that they cluster to sub complexes mostly located in the postsynaptic density (PSD. p140Cap interactors converge on key synaptic processes, including transmission across chemical synapses, actin cytoskeleton remodeling and cell-cell junction organization. Gene co-expression data further support convergent functions: the p140Cap interactors are tightly co-expressed with each other and with p140Cap. Importantly, the p140Cap interactome and its co-expression network show strong enrichment in genes associated with schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, intellectual disability and epilepsy, supporting synaptic dysfunction as a shared biological feature in brain diseases. Overall, our data provide novel insights into the molecular organization of the synapse and indicate that p140Cap acts as a hub for postsynaptic complexes relevant to psychiatric and neurological disorders.

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

    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.

  10. Temporal requirements of the fragile X mental retardation protein in modulating circadian clock circuit synaptic architecture

    Cheryl L Gatto

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Loss of fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1 gene function is the most common cause of inherited mental retardation and autism spectrum disorders, characterized by attention disorder, hyperactivity and disruption of circadian activity cycles. Pursuit of effective intervention strategies requires determining when the FMR1 product (FMRP is required in the regulation of neuronal circuitry controlling these behaviors. In the well-characterized Drosophila disease model, loss of the highly conserved dFMRP causes circadian arrhythmicity and conspicuous abnormalities in the circadian clock circuitry. Here, a novel Sholl Analysis was used to quantify over-elaborated synaptic architecture in dfmr1-null small ventrolateral neurons (sLNvs, a key subset of clock neurons. The transgenic Gene-Switch system was employed to drive conditional neuronal dFMRP expression in the dfmr1-null mutant background in order to dissect temporal requirements within the clock circuit. Introduction of dFMRP during early brain development, including the stages of neurogenesis, neuronal fate specification and early pathfinding, provided no rescue of dfmr1 mutant phenotypes. Similarly, restoring normal dFMRP expression in the adult failed to restore circadian circuit architecture. In sharp contrast, supplying dFMRP during a transient window of very late brain development, wherein synaptogenesis and substantial subsequent synaptic reorganization (e.g. use-dependent pruning occur, provided strong morphological rescue to reestablish normal sLNvs synaptic arbors. We conclude that dFMRP plays a developmentally restricted role in sculpting synaptic architecture in these neurons that cannot be compensated for by later reintroduction of the protein at maturity.

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

    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.

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

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer H K; Luczak, Vincent; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. Memristor-based neural networks: Synaptic versus neuronal stochasticity

    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

  14. Neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices

    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...

  15. Learning and Memory, Part II: Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

    The molecular events that are responsible for strengthening synaptic connections and how these are linked to memory and learning are discussed. The laboratory preparations that allow the investigation of these events are also described.

  16. Multistate Resistive Switching Memory for Synaptic Memory Applications

    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

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

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2010-01-01

    We study binocular rivalry in a competitive neural network with synaptic depression. In particular, we consider two coupled hypercolums within primary visual cortex (V1), representing orientation selective cells responding to either left or right

  18. Design principles of electrical synaptic plasticity.

    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.

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

    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...

  20. Common mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in vertebrates and invertebrates

    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

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

    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.

  2. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  5. Neutralization of Nogo-A Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in the Rodent Motor Cortex and Improves Motor Learning in Vivo

    Weinmann, Oliver; Kellner, Yves; Yu, Xinzhu; Vicente, Raul; Gullo, Miriam; Kasper, Hansjörg; Lussi, Karin; Ristic, Zorica; Luft, Andreas R.; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia; Zuo, Yi; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    The membrane protein Nogo-A is known as an inhibitor of axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the CNS. However, its physiological functions in the normal adult CNS remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of Nogo-A in cortical synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the uninjured adult rodent motor cortex. Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are present at cortical synapses. Acute treatment of slices with function-blocking antibodies (Abs) against Nogo-A or against NgR1 increased long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by stimulation of layer 2/3 horizontal fibers. Furthermore, anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment increased LTP saturation levels, whereas long-term depression remained unchanged, thus leading to an enlarged synaptic modification range. In vivo, intrathecal application of Nogo-A-blocking Abs resulted in a higher dendritic spine density at cortical pyramidal neurons due to an increase in spine formation as revealed by in vivo two-photon microscopy. To investigate whether these changes in synaptic plasticity correlate with motor learning, we trained rats to learn a skilled forelimb-reaching task while receiving anti-Nogo-A Abs. Learning of this cortically controlled precision movement was improved upon anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment. Our results identify Nogo-A as an influential molecular modulator of synaptic plasticity and as a regulator for learning of skilled movements in the motor cortex. PMID:24966370

  6. Synaptic dimorphism in Onychophoran cephalic ganglia

    Z Peña-Contreras

    2007-03-01

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

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

    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

  8. Help Teens Manage Diabetes

    Skip Navigation Bar Home Current Issue Past Issues Help Teens Manage Diabetes Past Issues / Spring 2008 Table ... healthy behaviors, and conflict resolution. The CST training helps diabetic teens to make good decisions when it ...

  9. Help prevent hospital errors

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000618.htm Help prevent hospital errors To use the sharing features ... in the hospital. If You Are Having Surgery, Help Keep Yourself Safe Go to a hospital you ...

  10. Postnatal Ablation of Synaptic Retinoic Acid Signaling Impairs Cortical Information Processing and Sensory Discrimination in Mice.

    Park, Esther; Tjia, Michelle; Zuo, Yi; Chen, Lu

    2018-06-06

    Retinoic acid (RA) and its receptors (RARs) are well established essential transcriptional regulators during embryonic development. Recent findings in cultured neurons identified an independent and critical post-transcriptional role of RA and RARα in the homeostatic regulation of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in mature neurons. However, the functional relevance of synaptic RA signaling in vivo has not been established. Here, using somatosensory cortex as a model system and the RARα conditional knock-out mouse as a tool, we applied multiple genetic manipulations to delete RARα postnatally in specific populations of cortical neurons, and asked whether synaptic RA signaling observed in cultured neurons is involved in cortical information processing in vivo Indeed, conditional ablation of RARα in mice via a CaMKIIα-Cre or a layer 5-Cre driver line or via somatosensory cortex-specific viral expression of Cre-recombinase impaired whisker-dependent texture discrimination, suggesting a critical requirement of RARα expression in L5 pyramidal neurons of somatosensory cortex for normal tactile sensory processing. Transcranial two-photon imaging revealed a significant increase in dendritic spine elimination on apical dendrites of somatosensory cortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons in these mice. Interestingly, the enhancement of spine elimination is whisker experience-dependent as whisker trimming rescued the spine elimination phenotype. Additionally, experiencing an enriched environment improved texture discrimination in RARα-deficient mice and reduced excessive spine pruning. Thus, RA signaling is essential for normal experience-dependent cortical circuit remodeling and sensory processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The importance of synaptic RA signaling has been demonstrated in in vitro studies. However, whether RA signaling mediated by RARα contributes to neural circuit functions in vivo remains largely unknown. In this study, using a RARα conditional

  11. Help with Hives

    ... Staying Safe Videos for Educators Search English Español Help With Hives KidsHealth / For Kids / Help With Hives What's in this article? What Are ... about what happened. The doctor can try to help figure out what might be causing your hives, ...

  12. A helping hand

    Mirjam de Klerk; Alice de Boer; Sjoerd Kooiker; Inger Plaisier; Peggy Schyns

    2014-01-01

    Original title: Hulp geboden   The help provided to people with a care need is about to undergo major changes in the Netherlands. People who need help will be expected to rely more on help from members of their network. What are the opportunities for informal carers and volunteers, and where

  13. Helping for Change

    Neuringer, Allen; Oleson, Kathryn C.

    2010-01-01

    In "Helping for Change," Allen Neuringer and Kathryn Oleson describe another strategy that individuals can use to achieve their green goals. You might ask, "How can helping someone else help me change when I'm in the habit of not fulfilling my own promises?" The authors answer that question by explaining how the social reinforcement in a helping…

  14. Nucleolar integrity is required for the maintenance of long-term synaptic plasticity.

    Kim D Allen

    Full Text Available Long-term memory (LTM formation requires new protein synthesis and new gene expression. Based on our work in Aplysia, we hypothesized that the rRNA genes, stimulation-dependent targets of the enzyme Poly(ADP-ribose polymerase-1 (PARP-1, are primary effectors of the activity-dependent changes in synaptic function that maintain synaptic plasticity and memory. Using electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, pharmacology and molecular biology techniques, we show here, for the first time, that the maintenance of forskolin-induced late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP in mouse hippocampal slices requires nucleolar integrity and the expression of new rRNAs. The activity-dependent upregulation of rRNA, as well as L-LTP expression, are poly(ADP-ribosylation (PAR dependent and accompanied by an increase in nuclear PARP-1 and Poly(ADP ribose molecules (pADPr after forskolin stimulation. The upregulation of PARP-1 and pADPr is regulated by Protein kinase A (PKA and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK--two kinases strongly associated with long-term plasticity and learning and memory. Selective inhibition of RNA Polymerase I (Pol I, responsible for the synthesis of precursor rRNA, results in the segmentation of nucleoli, the exclusion of PARP-1 from functional nucleolar compartments and disrupted L-LTP maintenance. Taken as a whole, these results suggest that new rRNAs (28S, 18S, and 5.8S ribosomal components--hence, new ribosomes and nucleoli integrity--are required for the maintenance of long-term synaptic plasticity. This provides a mechanistic link between stimulation-dependent gene expression and the new protein synthesis known to be required for memory consolidation.

  15. Differential splicing and glycosylation of Apoer2 alters synaptic plasticity and fear learning.

    Wasser, Catherine R; Masiulis, Irene; Durakoglugil, Murat S; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Beffert, Uwe; Agarwala, Anandita; Hammer, Robert E; Herz, Joachim

    2014-11-25

    Apoer2 is an essential receptor in the central nervous system that binds to the apolipoprotein ApoE. Various splice variants of Apoer2 are produced. We showed that Apoer2 lacking exon 16, which encodes the O-linked sugar (OLS) domain, altered the proteolytic processing and abundance of Apoer2 in cells and synapse number and function in mice. In cultured cells expressing this splice variant, extracellular cleavage of OLS-deficient Apoer2 was reduced, consequently preventing γ-secretase-dependent release of the intracellular domain of Apoer2. Mice expressing Apoer2 lacking the OLS domain had increased Apoer2 abundance in the brain, hippocampal spine density, and glutamate receptor abundance, but decreased synaptic efficacy. Mice expressing a form of Apoer2 lacking the OLS domain and containing an alternatively spliced cytoplasmic tail region that promotes glutamate receptor signaling showed enhanced hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a phenomenon associated with learning and memory. However, these mice did not display enhanced spatial learning in the Morris water maze, and cued fear conditioning was reduced. Reducing the expression of the mutant Apoer2 allele so that the abundance of the protein was similar to that of Apoer2 in wild-type mice normalized spine density, hippocampal LTP, and cued fear learning. These findings demonstrated a role for ApoE receptors as regulators of synaptic glutamate receptor activity and established differential receptor glycosylation as a potential regulator of synaptic function and memory. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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

    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.

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

    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

  18. Voluntary Running Depreciates the Requirement of Ca[superscript 2+]-Stimulated cAMP Signaling in Synaptic Potentiation and Memory Formation

    Zheng, Fei; Zhang, Ming; Ding, Qi; Sethna, Ferzin; Yan, Lily; Moon, Changjong; Yang, Miyoung; Wang, Hongbing

    2016-01-01

    Mental health and cognitive functions are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Although having active lifestyle with physical exercise improves learning and memory, how it interacts with the specific key molecular regulators of synaptic plasticity is largely unknown. Here, we examined the effects of voluntary running on long-term…

  19. Superior Long-Term Synaptic Memory Induced by Combining Dual Pharmacological Activation of PKA and ERK with an Enhanced Training Protocol

    Liu, Rong-Yu; Neveu, Curtis; Smolen, Paul; Cleary, Leonard J.; Byrne, John H.

    2017-01-01

    Developing treatment strategies to enhance memory is an important goal of neuroscience research. Activation of multiple biochemical signaling cascades, such as the protein kinase A (PKA) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways, is necessary to induce long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF), a correlate of long-term memory (LTM).…

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

    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.

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

    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

  2. Readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles measured at single synaptic contacts.

    Trigo, Federico F; Sakaba, Takeshi; Ogden, David; Marty, Alain

    2012-10-30

    To distinguish between different models of vesicular release in brain synapses, it is necessary to know the number of vesicles of transmitter that can be released immediately at individual synapses by a high-calcium stimulus, the readily releasable pool (RRP). We used direct stimulation by calcium uncaging at identified, single-site inhibitory synapses to investigate the statistics of vesicular release and the size of the RRP. Vesicular release, detected as quantal responses in the postsynaptic neuron, showed an unexpected stochastic variation in the number of quanta from stimulus to stimulus at high intracellular calcium, with a mean of 1.9 per stimulus and a maximum of three or four. The results provide direct measurement of the RRP at single synaptic sites. They are consistent with models in which release proceeds from a small number of vesicle docking sites with an average occupancy around 0.7.

  3. A Common STEP in the Synaptic Pathology of Diverse Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    Johnson, Micah A.; Lombroso, Paul J.

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic function is critical for proper cognition, and synaptopathologies have been implicated in diverse neuropsychiatric disorders. STriatal-Enriched protein tyrosine Phosphatase (STEP) is a brain-enriched tyrosine phosphatase that normally opposes synaptic strengthening by dephosphorylating key neuronal signaling molecules. STEP targets include N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs), as well as extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and the tyrosine kinase Fyn. STEP-mediated dephosphorylation promotes the internalization of NMDARs and AMPARs and the inactivation of ERK and Fyn. Regulation of STEP is complex, and recent work has implicated STEP dysregulation in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders. Both high levels and low levels of STEP are found in a diverse group of illnesses. This review focuses on the role of STEP in three disorders in which STEP levels are elevated: Alzheimer’s disease, fragile X syndrome, and schizophrenia. The presence of elevated STEP in all three of these disorders raises the intriguing possibility that cognitive deficits resulting from diverse etiologies may share a common molecular pathway. PMID:23239949

  4. Propagation of Homeostatic Sleep Signals by Segregated Synaptic Microcircuits of the Drosophila Mushroom Body.

    Sitaraman, Divya; Aso, Yoshinori; Jin, Xin; Chen, Nan; Felix, Mario; Rubin, Gerald M; Nitabach, Michael N

    2015-11-16

    The Drosophila mushroom body (MB) is a key associative memory center that has also been implicated in the control of sleep. However, the identity of MB neurons underlying homeostatic sleep regulation, as well as the types of sleep signals generated by specific classes of MB neurons, has remained poorly understood. We recently identified two MB output neuron (MBON) classes whose axons convey sleep control signals from the MB to converge in the same downstream target region: a cholinergic sleep-promoting MBON class and a glutamatergic wake-promoting MBON class. Here, we deploy a combination of neurogenetic, behavioral, and physiological approaches to identify and mechanistically dissect sleep-controlling circuits of the MB. Our studies reveal the existence of two segregated excitatory synaptic microcircuits that propagate homeostatic sleep information from different populations of intrinsic MB "Kenyon cells" (KCs) to specific sleep-regulating MBONs: sleep-promoting KCs increase sleep by preferentially activating the cholinergic MBONs, while wake-promoting KCs decrease sleep by preferentially activating the glutamatergic MBONs. Importantly, activity of the sleep-promoting MB microcircuit is increased by sleep deprivation and is necessary for homeostatic rebound sleep (i.e., the increased sleep that occurs after, and in compensation for, sleep lost during deprivation). These studies reveal for the first time specific functional connections between subsets of KCs and particular MBONs and establish the identity of synaptic microcircuits underlying transmission of homeostatic sleep signals in the MB. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 17β-Estradiol-Induced Synaptic Rearrangements Are Accompanied by Altered Ectonucleotidase Activities in Male Rat Hippocampal Synaptosomes.

    Mitrović, Nataša; Zarić, Marina; Drakulić, Dunja; Martinović, Jelena; Sévigny, Jean; Stanojlović, Miloš; Nedeljković, Nadežda; Grković, Ivana

    2017-03-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) rapidly, by binding to membrane estrogen receptors, activates cell signaling cascades which induce formation of new dendritic spines in the hippocampus of males as in females, but the interaction with other metabolic processes, such as extracellular adenine nucleotides metabolism, are currently unknown. Extracellular adenine nucleotides play significant roles, controlling excitatory glutamatergic synapses and development of neural circuits and synaptic plasticity. Their precise regulation in the synaptic cleft is tightly controlled by ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase)/ecto-5'-nucleotidase (eN) enzyme chain. Therefore, we sought to clarify whether a single systemic injection of E2 in male rats is accompanied by changes in the expression of the pre- and postsynaptic proteins and downstream kinases linked to E2-induced synaptic rearrangement as well as alterations in NTPDase/eN pathway in the hippocampal synaptosomes. Obtained data showed activation of mammalian target of rapamycin and upregulation of key synaptic proteins necessary for spine formation, 24 h after systemic E2 administration. In E2-mediated conditions, we found downregulation of NTPDase1 and NTPDase2 and attenuation of adenine nucleotide hydrolysis by NTPDase/eN enzyme chain, without changes in NTPDase3 properties and augmentation of synaptic tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) activity. Despite reduced NTPDase activities, increased TNAP activity probably prevents toxic accumulation of ATP in the extracellular milieu and also hydrolyzes accumulated ADP due to unchanged NTPDase3 activity. Thus, our initial evaluation supports idea of specific roles of different ectonucleotidases and their coordinated actions in E2-mediated spine remodeling and maintenance.

  6. Single cocaine exposure does not alter striatal pre-synaptic dopamine function in mice: an [18 F]-FDOPA PET study.

    Bonsall, David R; Kokkinou, Michelle; Veronese, Mattia; Coello, Christopher; Wells, Lisa A; Howes, Oliver D

    2017-12-01

    Cocaine is a recreational drug of abuse that binds to the dopamine transporter, preventing reuptake of dopamine into pre-synaptic terminals. The increased presence of synaptic dopamine results in stimulation of both pre- and post-synaptic dopamine receptors, considered an important mechanism by which cocaine elicits its reinforcing properties. However, the effects of acute cocaine administration on pre-synaptic dopamine function remain unclear. Non-invasive imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography have revealed impaired pre-synaptic dopamine function in chronic cocaine users. Similar impairments have been seen in animal studies, with microdialysis experiments indicating decreased basal dopamine release. Here we use micro positron emission tomography imaging techniques in mice to measure dopamine synthesis capacity and determine the effect of acute cocaine administration of pre-synaptic dopamine function. We show that a dose of 20 mg/kg cocaine is sufficient to elicit hyperlocomotor activity, peaking 15-20 min post treatment (p dopamine synthesis capacity in the striatum was not significantly altered by acute cocaine treatment (KiCer: 0.0097 per min vs. 0.0112 per min in vehicle controls, p > 0.05). Furthermore, expression levels of two key enzymes related to dopamine synthesis, tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase, within the striatum of scanned mice were not significantly affected by acute cocaine pre-treatment (p > 0.05). Our findings suggest that while the regulation of dopamine synthesis and release in the striatum have been shown to change with chronic cocaine use, leading to a reduced basal tone, these adaptations to pre-synaptic dopaminergic neurons are not initiated following a single exposure to the drug. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  7. Toddlers Help a Peer.

    Hepach, Robert; Kante, Nadine; Tomasello, Michael

    2017-09-01

    Toddlers are remarkably prosocial toward adults, yet little is known about their helping behavior toward peers. In the present study with 18- and 30-month-old toddlers (n = 192, 48 dyads per age group), one child needed help reaching an object to continue a task that was engaging for both children. The object was within reach of the second child who helped significantly more often compared to a no-need control condition. The helper also fulfilled the peer's need when the task was engaging only for the child needing help. These findings suggest that toddlers' skills and motivations of helping do not depend on having a competent and helpful recipient, such as an adult, but rather they are much more flexible and general. © 2016 The Authors. Child Development © 2016 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  8. Quantum entanglement helps in improving economic efficiency

    Du Jiangfeng; Ju Chenyong; Li Hui

    2005-01-01

    We propose an economic regulation approach based on quantum game theory for the government to reduce the abuses of oligopolistic competition. Theoretical analysis shows that this approach can help government improve the economic efficiency of the oligopolistic market, and help prevent monopoly due to incorrect information. These advantages are completely attributed to the quantum entanglement, a unique quantum mechanical character

  9. Quantum entanglement helps in improving economic efficiency

    Du, Jiangfeng; Ju, Chenyong; Li, Hui

    2005-02-01

    We propose an economic regulation approach based on quantum game theory for the government to reduce the abuses of oligopolistic competition. Theoretical analysis shows that this approach can help government improve the economic efficiency of the oligopolistic market, and help prevent monopoly due to incorrect information. These advantages are completely attributed to the quantum entanglement, a unique quantum mechanical character.

  10. Synaptic proteins and receptors defects in autism spectrum disorders

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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).

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

    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

  14. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

    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.

  15. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

    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

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

    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

  17. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    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.

  18. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    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

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

    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.

  20. Synaptic model for spontaneous activity in developing networks

    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...

  1. Neuronal DNA Methyltransferases: Epigenetic Mediators between Synaptic Activity and Gene Expression?

    Bayraktar, Gonca; Kreutz, Michael R

    2018-04-01

    DNMT3A and 3B are the main de novo DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) in the brain that introduce new methylation marks to non-methylated DNA in postmitotic neurons. DNA methylation is a key epigenetic mark that is known to regulate important cellular processes in neuronal development and brain plasticity. Accumulating evidence disclosed rapid and dynamic changes in DNA methylation of plasticity-relevant genes that are important for learning and memory formation. To understand how DNMTs contribute to brain function and how they are regulated by neuronal activity is a prerequisite for a deeper appreciation of activity-dependent gene expression in health and disease. This review discusses the functional role of de novo methyltransferases and in particular DNMT3A1 in the adult brain with special emphasis on synaptic plasticity, memory formation, and brain disorders.

  2. The Crossroads of Synaptic Growth Signaling, Membrane Traffic and Neurological Disease: Insights from Drosophila.

    Deshpande, Mugdha; Rodal, Avital A

    2016-02-01

    Neurons require target-derived autocrine and paracrine growth factors to maintain proper identity, innervation, homeostasis and survival. Neuronal growth factor signaling is highly dependent on membrane traffic, both for the packaging and release of the growth factors themselves, and for regulation of intracellular signaling by their transmembrane receptors. Here, we review recent findings from the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) that illustrate how specific steps of intracellular traffic and inter-organelle interactions impinge on signaling, particularly in the bone morphogenic protein, Wingless and c-Jun-activated kinase pathways, regulating elaboration and stability of NMJ arbors, construction of synapses and synaptic transmission and homeostasis. These membrane trafficking and signaling pathways have been implicated in human motor neuron diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and hereditary spastic paraplegia, highlighting their importance for neuronal health and survival. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Possible relationship between the stress-induced synaptic response and metaplasticity in the hippocampal CA1 field of freely moving rats.

    Hirata, Riki; Matsumoto, Machiko; Judo, Chika; Yamaguchi, Taku; Izumi, Takeshi; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro; Togashi, Hiroko

    2009-07-01

    Hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) is suppressed not only by stress paradigms but also by low frequency stimulation (LFS) prior to LTP-inducing high frequency stimulation (HFS; tetanus), termed metaplasticity. These synaptic responses are dependent on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, leading to speculations about the possible relationship between metaplasticity and stress-induced LTP impairment. However, the functional significance of metaplasticity has been unclear. The present study elucidated the electrophysiological and neurochemical profiles of metaplasticity in the hippocampal CA1 field, with a focus on the synaptic response induced by the emotional stress, contextual fear conditioning (CFC). The population spike amplitude in the CA1 field was decreased during exposure to CFC, and LTP induction was suppressed after CFC in conscious rats. The synaptic response induced by CFC was mimicked by LFS, i.e., LFS impaired the synaptic transmission and subsequent LTP. Plasma corticosterone levels were increased by both CFC and LFS. Extracellular levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), but not glutamate, in the hippocampus increased during exposure to CFC or LFS. Furthermore, electrical stimulation of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which caused decreases in freezing behavior during exposure to CFC, counteracted the LTP impairment induced by LFS. These findings suggest that metaplasticity in the rat hippocampal CA1 field is related to the neural basis of stress experience-dependent fear memory, and that hippocampal synaptic response associated stress-related processes is under mPFC regulation.

  4. Reward memory relieves anxiety-related behavior through synaptic strengthening and protein kinase C in dentate gyrus.

    Lei, Zhuofan; Liu, Bei; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2016-04-01

    Anxiety disorders are presumably associated with negative memory. Psychological therapies are widely used to treat this mental deficit in human beings based on the view that positive memory competes with negative memory and relieves anxiety status. Cellular and molecular processes underlying psychological therapies remain elusive. Therefore, we have investigated its mechanisms based on a mouse model in which food reward at one open-arm of the elevated plus-maze was used for training mice to form reward memory and challenge the open arms. Mice with the reward training showed increased entries and stay time in reward open-arm versus neutral open-arm as well as in open-arms versus closed-arms. Accompanying with reward memory formation and anxiety relief, glutamatergic synaptic transmission in dentate gyrus in vivo and dendritic spines in granule cells became upregulated. This synaptic up-regulation was accompanied by the expression of more protein kinase C (PKC) in the dendritic spines. The inhibition of PKC by chelerythrine impaired the formation of reward memory, the relief of anxiety-related behavior and the up-regulation of glutamate synapses. Our results suggest that reward-induced positive memory relieves mouse anxiety-related behavior by strengthening synaptic efficacy and PKC in the hippocampus, which imply the underlying cellular and molecular processes involved in the beneficial effects of psychological therapies treating anxiety disorders. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Handi Helps, 1985

    Handi Helps, 1985

    1985-01-01

    The six issues of Handi Helps presented here focus on specific issues of concern to the disabled, parents, and those working with the disabled. The two-page handi help fact sheets focus on the following topics: child sexual abuse prevention, asthma, scoliosis, the role of the occupational therapist, kidnapping, and muscular dystrophy. Each handi…

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

    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

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

    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...

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

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

    2015-01-21

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

  9. Endogenous Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Suppresses High-Fat Food Intake by Reducing Synaptic Drive onto Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons

    Xue-Feng Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 and its analogs act as appetite suppressants and have been proven to be clinically efficacious in reducing body weight in obese individuals. Central GLP-1 is expressed in a small population of brainstem cells located in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS, which project to a wide range of brain areas. However, it remains unclear how endogenous GLP-1 released in the brain contributes to appetite regulation. Using chemogenetic tools, we discovered that central GLP-1 acts on the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA and suppresses high-fat food intake. We used integrated pathway tracing and synaptic physiology to further demonstrate that activation of GLP-1 receptors specifically reduces the excitatory synaptic strength of dopamine (DA neurons within the VTA that project to the nucleus accumbens (NAc medial shell. These data suggest that GLP-1 released from NTS neurons can reduce highly palatable food intake by suppressing mesolimbic DA signaling.

  10. Mice lacking the synaptic adhesion molecule Neph2/Kirrel3 display moderate hyperactivity and defective novel object preference

    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.

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

    Katherine A. McCulloch

    2017-07-01

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

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

    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

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

    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.

  14. Levetiracetam attenuates hippocampal expression of synaptic plasticity-related immediate early and late response genes in amygdala-kindled rats

    Watson William P

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amygdala-kindled rat is a model for human temporal lobe epilepsy and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. Hippocampal RNA isolated from amygdala-kindled rats at different kindling stages was analyzed to identify kindling-induced genes. Furthermore, effects of the anti-epileptic drug levetiracetam on kindling-induced gene expression were examined. Results Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2, Protocadherin-8 (Pcdh8 and TGF-beta-inducible early response gene-1 (TIEG1 were identified and verified as differentially expressed transcripts in the hippocampus of kindled rats by in situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, we identified a panel of 16 additional transcripts which included Arc, Egr3/Pilot, Homer1a, Ania-3, MMP9, Narp, c-fos, NGF, BDNF, NT-3, Synaptopodin, Pim1 kinase, TNF-α, RGS2, Egr2/krox-20 and β-A activin that were differentially expressed in the hippocampus of amygdala-kindled rats. The list consists of many synaptic plasticity-related immediate early genes (IEGs as well as some late response genes encoding transcription factors, neurotrophic factors and proteins that are known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the hippocampus, induction of IEG expression was dependent on the afterdischarge (AD duration. Levetiracetam, 40 mg/kg, suppressed the development of kindling measured as severity of seizures and AD duration. In addition, single animal profiling also showed that levetiracetam attenuated the observed kindling-induced IEG expression; an effect that paralleled the anti-epileptic effect of the drug on AD duration. Conclusions The present study provides mRNA expression data that suggest that levetiracetam attenuates expression of genes known to regulate synaptic remodelling. In the kindled rat, levetiracetam does so by shortening the AD duration thereby reducing the seizure-induced changes in mRNA expression in the hippocampus.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  18. The Predominance of Electric Transport in Synaptic Transmission

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  1. Inflammation Subverts Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Experimental Multiple Sclerosis

    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

  2. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex

    Testa-Silva, Guilherme; Verhoog, Matthijs B; Linaro, Daniele; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Baayen, Johannes C; Meredith, Rhiannon M; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Giugliano, Michele; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from

  3. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex.

    Testa-Silva, G.; Verhoog, M.B.; Linaro, D.; de Kock, C.P.J.; Baayen, J.C.; Meredith, R.M.; Zeeuw, C.I.; Giugliano, M.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from

  4. High Bandwidth Synaptic Communication and Frequency Tracking in Human Neocortex

    G. Testa-Silva (Guilherme); M.B. Verhoog (Matthijs); D. Linaro (Daniele); C.P.J. de Kock (Christiaan); J.C. Baayen; R.M. Meredith (Rhiannon); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); M. Giugliano (Michele); H.D. Mansvelder (Huibert)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractNeuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we

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

    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.

  6. Control of synaptic plasticity in deep cortical networks

    Roelfsema, Pieter R.; Holtmaat, Anthony

    2018-01-01

    Humans and many other animals have an enormous capacity to learn about sensory stimuli and to master new skills. However, many of the mechanisms that enable us to learn remain to be understood. One of the greatest challenges of systems neuroscience is to explain how synaptic connections change to

  7. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction.

    van Huijstee, A.N.; Mansvelder, H.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

  8. Inhibitory Synaptic Plasticity - Spike timing dependence and putative network function.

    Tim P Vogels

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available While the plasticity of excitatory synaptic connections in the brain has been widely studied, the plasticity of inhibitory connections is much less understood. Here, we present recent experimental and theoretical □ndings concerning the rules of spike timing-dependent inhibitory plasticity and their putative network function. This is a summary of a workshop at the COSYNE conference 2012.

  9. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

    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.

  10. Hooked on Helping

    Longhurst, James; McCord, Joan

    2014-01-01

    In this article, teens presenting at a symposium on peer-helping programs describe how caring for others fosters personal growth and builds positive group cultures. Their individual thoughts and opinions are expressed.

  11. Divorce: Helping Children Cope.

    Cook, Alicia S.; McBride, Jean

    1982-01-01

    Examines children's reactions to the divorce process and explores ways in which adults can promote growth and adjustment in children of divorce. Suggests ways in which parents, teachers, and counselors can help children. (RC)

  12. Δ9-THC-caused synaptic and memory impairments are mediated through COX-2 signaling

    Yang, Hongwei; Tang, Ya-ping; Sun, Hao; Song, Yunping; Chen, Chu

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Marijuana has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for medical conditions. However, untoward side effects limit its medical value. Here we show that synaptic and cognitive impairments following repeated exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) are associated with the induction of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an inducible enzyme that converts arachidonic acid to prostanoids, in the brain. COX-2 induction by Δ9-THC is mediated via CB1 receptor-coupled G-protein βγ subunits. Pharmacological or genetic inhibition of COX-2 blocks down-regulation and internalization of glutamate receptor subunits and alterations of the dendritic spine density of hippocampal neurons induced by repeated Δ9-THC exposures. Ablation of COX-2 also eliminates Δ9-THC-impaired hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity, spatial, and fear memories. Importantly, the beneficial effects of decreasing β-amyloid plaques and neurodegeneration by Δ9-THC in Alzheimer’s disease animals are retained in the presence of COX-2 inhibition. These results suggest that the applicability of medical marijuana would be broadened by concurrent inhibition of COX-2. PMID:24267894

  13. Synaptic learning rules and sparse coding in a model sensory system.

    Luca A Finelli

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits exploit numerous strategies for encoding information. Although the functional significance of individual coding mechanisms has been investigated, ways in which multiple mechanisms interact and integrate are not well understood. The locust olfactory system, in which dense, transiently synchronized spike trains across ensembles of antenna lobe (AL neurons are transformed into a sparse representation in the mushroom body (MB; a region associated with memory, provides a well-studied preparation for investigating the interaction of multiple coding mechanisms. Recordings made in vivo from the insect MB demonstrated highly specific responses to odors in Kenyon cells (KCs. Typically, only a few KCs from the recorded population of neurons responded reliably when a specific odor was presented. Different odors induced responses in different KCs. Here, we explored with a biologically plausible model the possibility that a form of plasticity may control and tune synaptic weights of inputs to the mushroom body to ensure the specificity of KCs' responses to familiar or meaningful odors. We found that plasticity at the synapses between the AL and the MB efficiently regulated the delicate tuning necessary to selectively filter the intense AL oscillatory output and condense it to a sparse representation in the MB. Activity-dependent plasticity drove the observed specificity, reliability, and expected persistence of odor representations, suggesting a role for plasticity in information processing and making a testable prediction about synaptic plasticity at AL-MB synapses.

  14. ATM protein is located on presynaptic vesicles and its deficit leads to failures in synaptic plasticity.

    Vail, Graham; Cheng, Aifang; Han, Yu Ray; Zhao, Teng; Du, Shengwang; Loy, Michael M T; Herrup, Karl; Plummer, Mark R

    2016-07-01

    Ataxia telangiectasia is a multisystemic disorder that includes a devastating neurodegeneration phenotype. The ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) protein is well-known for its role in the DNA damage response, yet ATM is also found in association with cytoplasmic vesicular structures: endosomes and lysosomes, as well as neuronal synaptic vesicles. In keeping with this latter association, electrical stimulation of the Schaffer collateral pathway in hippocampal slices from ATM-deficient mice does not elicit normal long-term potentiation (LTP). The current study was undertaken to assess the nature of this deficit. Theta burst-induced LTP was reduced in Atm(-/-) animals, with the reduction most pronounced at burst stimuli that included 6 or greater trains. To assess whether the deficit was associated with a pre- or postsynaptic failure, we analyzed paired-pulse facilitation and found that it too was significantly reduced in Atm(-/-) mice. This indicates a deficit in presynaptic function. As further evidence that these synaptic effects of ATM deficiency were presynaptic, we used stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy. Three-dimensional reconstruction revealed that ATM is significantly more closely associated with Piccolo (a presynaptic marker) than with Homer1 (a postsynaptic marker). These results underline how, in addition to its nuclear functions, ATM plays an important functional role in the neuronal synapse where it participates in the regulation of presynaptic vesicle physiology. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Synaptojanin 1 is required for endolysosomal trafficking of synaptic proteins in cone photoreceptor inner segments.

    Ashley A George

    Full Text Available Highly polarized cells such as photoreceptors require precise and efficient strategies for establishing and maintaining the proper subcellular distribution of proteins. The signals and molecular machinery that regulate trafficking and sorting of synaptic proteins within cone inner segments is mostly unknown. In this study, we show that the polyphosphoinositide phosphatase Synaptojanin 1 (SynJ1 is critical for this process. We used transgenic markers for trafficking pathways, electron microscopy, and immunocytochemistry to characterize trafficking defects in cones of the zebrafish mutant, nrc(a14 , which is deficient in phosphoinositide phosphatase, SynJ1. The outer segments and connecting cilia of nrc(a14 cone photoreceptors are normal, but RibeyeB and VAMP2/synaptobrevin, which normally localize to the synapse, accumulate in the nrc(a14 inner segment. The structure of the Endoplasmic Reticulum in nrc(a14 mutant cones is normal. Golgi develop normally, but later become disordered. Large vesicular structures accumulate within nrc(a14 cone photoreceptor inner segments, particularly after prolonged incubation in darkness. Cone inner segments of nrc (a14 mutants also have enlarged acidic vesicles, abnormal late endosomes, and a disruption in autophagy. This last pathway also appears exacerbated by darkness. Taken altogether, these findings show that SynJ1 is required in cones for normal endolysosomal trafficking of synaptic proteins.

  16. Identifying changes in the synaptic proteome of cirrhotic alcoholic superior frontal gyrus.

    Etheridge, N; Mayfield, R D; Harris, R A; Dodd, P R

    2011-03-01

    Hepatic complications are a common side-effect of alcoholism. Without the detoxification capabilities of the liver, alcohol misuse induces changes in gene and protein expression throughout the body. A global proteomics approach was used to identify these protein changes in the brain. We utilised human autopsy tissue from the superior frontal gyrus (SFG) of six cirrhotic alcoholics, six alcoholics without comorbid disease, and six non-alcoholic non-cirrhotic controls. Synaptic proteins were isolated and used in two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry. Many expression differences were confined to one or other alcoholic sub-group. Cirrhotic alcoholics showed 99 differences in protein expression levels from controls, of which half also differed from non-comorbid alcoholics. This may reflect differences in disease severity between the sub-groups of alcoholics, or differences in patterns of harmful drinking. Alternatively, the protein profiles may result from differences between cirrhotic and non-comorbid alcoholics in subjects' responses to alcohol misuse. Ten proteins were identified in at least two spots on the 2D gel; they were involved in basal energy metabolism, synaptic vesicle recycling, and chaperoning. These post-translationally modified isoforms were differentially regulated in cirrhotic alcoholics, indicating a level of epigenetic control not previously observed in this disorder.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  19. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

    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

  20. Progranulin gene delivery reduces plaque burden and synaptic atrophy in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Jackalina M Van Kampen

    Full Text Available Progranulin (PGRN is a multifunctional protein that is widely expressed throughout the brain, where it has been shown to act as a critical regulator of CNS inflammation and also functions as an autocrine neuronal growth factor, important for long-term neuronal survival. PGRN has been shown to activate cell signaling pathways regulating excitoxicity, oxidative stress, and synaptogenesis, as well as amyloidogenesis. Together, these critical roles in the CNS suggest that PGRN has the potential to be an important therapeutic target for the treatment of various neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Alzheimer's disease (AD. AD is the leading cause of dementia and is marked by the appearance of extracellular plaques consisting of aggregates of amyloid-β (Aβ, as well as neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, neuronal loss and synaptic atrophy. The ability of PGRN to target multiple key features of AD pathophysiology suggests that enhancing its expression may benefit this disease. Here, we describe the application of PGRN gene transfer using in vivo delivery of lentiviral expression vectors in a transgenic mouse model of AD. Viral vector delivery of the PGRN gene effectively enhanced PGRN expression in the hippocampus of Tg2576 mice. This elevated PGRN expression significantly reduced amyloid plaque burden in these mice, accompanied by reductions in markers of inflammation and synaptic atrophy. The overexpression of PGRN was also found to increase activity of neprilysin, a key amyloid beta degrading enzyme. PGRN regulation of neprilysin activity could play a major role in the observed alterations in plaque burden. Thus, PGRN may be an effective therapeutic target for the treatment of AD.

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

    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…

  2. Loss of catecholaminergic neuromodulation of persistent forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity with increasing age

    Hannah Twarkowski

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuromodulation by means of the catecholaminergic system is a key component of motivation-driven learning and behaviorally modulated hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In particular, dopamine acting on D1/D5 receptors and noradrenaline acting on beta-adrenergic receptors exert a very potent regulation of forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity that last for very long-periods of time (>24h, and occur in conjunction with novel spatial learning. Antagonism of these receptors not only prevents long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD, but prevents the memory of the spatial event that, under normal circumstances, leads to the perpetuation of these plasticity forms. Spatial learning behavior that normally comes easily to rats, such as object-place learning and spatial reference learning, becomes increasingly impaired with aging. Middle-aged animals display aging-related deficits of specific, but not all, components of spatial learning, and one possibility is that this initial manifestation of decrements in learning ability that become manifest in middle-age relate to changes in motivation, attention and/or the regulation by neuromodulatory systems of these behavioral states.Here, we compared the regulation by dopaminergic D1/D5 and beta-adrenergic receptors of persistent LTP in young (2-4 month old and middle-aged (8-14 month old rats. We observed in young rats, that weak potentiation that typically lasts for ca. 2h could be strengthened into persistent (>24h LTP by pharmacological activation of either D1/D5 or beta-adrenergic receptors. By contrast, no such facilitation occurred in middle-aged rats. This difference was not related to an ostensible learning deficit: a facilitation of weak potentiation into LTP by spatial learning was possible both in young and middle-aged rats. It was also not directly linked to deficits in LTP: strong afferent stimulation resulted in equivalent LTP in both age groups. We postulate that this change in

  3. Calmodulin-regulated adenylyl cyclases and neuromodulation.

    Xia, Z; Storm, D R

    1997-06-01

    Coincidence detection and crosstalk between signal transduction systems play very important regulatory roles in the nervous system, particularly in the regulation of transcription. Coupling of the Ca2+ and cAMP regulatory systems by calmodulin-regulated adenylyl cyclases is hypothesized to be important for some forms of synaptic plasticity, neuroendocrine function, and olfactory detection. Recent studies of a mutant mouse deficient in type I calmodulin-sensitive adenylyl cyclase have provided the first evidence that adenylyl cyclases are important for synaptic plasticity, as well as for learning and memory in vertebrates.

  4. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

    Escobar, Gina

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

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

    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. Effects of salicylate on the inflammatory genes expression and synaptic ultrastructure in the cochlear nucleus of rats.

    Hu, Shou-Sen; Mei, Ling; Chen, Jian-Yong; Huang, Zhi-Wu; Wu, Hao

    2014-04-01

    Aspirin (salicylate), as a common drug that is frequently used for long-term treatment in a clinical setting, has the potential to cause reversible tinnitus. However, few reports have examined the inflammatory cytokines expression and alteration of synaptic ultrastructure in the cochlear nucleus (CN) in a rat model of tinnitus. The tinnitus-like behavior of rats were detected by the gap prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle (GPIAS) paradigm. We investigated the expression levels of the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), N-methyl D-aspartate receptor subunit 2A (NR2A) mRNA and protein in the CN and compared synapses ultrastructure in the CN of tinnitus rats with normal ones. GPIAS showed that rats with long-term administration of salicylate were experiencing tinnitus, and the mRNA and protein expression levels of TNF-α and NR2A were up-regulated in chronic treatment groups, and they returned to baseline 14 days after cessation of treatment. Furthermore, compared to normal rats, repetitive salicylate-treated rats showed a greater number of presynaptic vesicles, thicker and longer postsynaptic densities, increased synaptic interface curvature. These data revealed that chronic salicylate administration markedly, but reversibly, induces tinnitus possibly via augmentation of the expression of TNF-α and NR2A and cause changes in synaptic ultrastructure in the CN. Long-term administration of salicylate causes neural plasticity changes at the CN level.

  7. σ2-Adaptin Facilitates Basal Synaptic Transmission and Is Required for Regenerating Endo-Exo Cycling Pool Under High-Frequency Nerve Stimulation in Drosophila.

    Choudhury, Saumitra Dey; Mushtaq, Zeeshan; Reddy-Alla, Suneel; Balakrishnan, Sruthi S; Thakur, Rajan S; Krishnan, Kozhalmannom S; Raghu, Padinjat; Ramaswami, Mani; Kumar, Vimlesh

    2016-05-01

    The functional requirement of adapter protein 2 (AP2) complex in synaptic membrane retrieval by clathrin-mediated endocytosis is not fully understood. Here we isolated and functionally characterized a mutation that dramatically altered synaptic development. Based on the aberrant neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapse, we named this mutation angur (a Hindi word meaning "grapes"). Loss-of-function alleles of angur show more than twofold overgrowth in bouton numbers and a dramatic decrease in bouton size. We mapped the angur mutation to σ2-adaptin, the smallest subunit of the AP2 complex. Reducing the neuronal level of any of the subunits of the AP2 complex or disrupting AP2 complex assembly in neurons phenocopied the σ2-adaptin mutation. Genetic perturbation of σ2-adaptin in neurons leads to a reversible temperature-sensitive paralysis at 38°. Electrophysiological analysis of the mutants revealed reduced evoked junction potentials and quantal content. Interestingly, high-frequency nerve stimulation caused prolonged synaptic fatigue at the NMJs. The synaptic levels of subunits of the AP2 complex and clathrin, but not other endocytic proteins, were reduced in the mutants. Moreover, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling was altered in these mutants and was restored by normalizing σ2-adaptin in neurons. Thus, our data suggest that (1) while σ2-adaptin facilitates synaptic vesicle (SV) recycling for basal synaptic transmission, its activity is also required for regenerating SVs during high-frequency nerve stimulation, and (2) σ2-adaptin regulates NMJ morphology by attenuating TGFβ signaling. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  8. Neuron-specific chromatin remodeling: a missing link in epigenetic mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity, memory, and intellectual disability disorders.

    Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Wood, Marcelo A

    2014-05-01

    Long-term memory formation requires the coordinated regulation of gene expression. Until recently nucleosome remodeling, one of the major epigenetic mechanisms for controlling gene expression, had been largely unexplored in the field of neuroscience. Nucleosome remodeling is carried out by chromatin remodeling complexes (CRCs) that interact with DNA and histones to physically alter chromatin structure and ultimately regulate gene expression. Human exome sequencing and gene wide association studies have linked mutations in CRC subunits to intellectual disability disorders, autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. However, how mutations in CRC subunits were related to human cognitive disorders was unknown. There appears to be both developmental and adult specific roles for the neuron specific CRC nBAF (neuronal Brg1/hBrm Associated Factor). nBAF regulates gene expression required for dendritic arborization during development, and in the adult, contributes to long-term potentiation, a form of synaptic plasticity, and long-term memory. We propose that the nBAF complex is a novel epigenetic mechanism for regulating transcription required for long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and memory processes and that impaired nBAF function may result in human cognitive disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Being 'green' helps profitability?

    Austin, D.

    1999-01-01

    Pollution reduction beyond regulatory compliance is gaining momentum among firms, but managers ask if being 'green' helps profitability. Evidence suggests it doesn't hurt, but when we see environmentally attractive firms with sound financial performance, it cannot yet say which is cause and which is effect [it

  10. Helping Students Avoid Plagiarism.

    Wilhoit, Stephen

    1994-01-01

    Discusses how and why college students commit plagiarism, suggesting techniques that instructors can use to help student avoid plagiarism. Instructors should define and discuss plagiarism thoroughly; discuss hypothetical cases; review the conventions of quoting and documenting material; require multiple drafts of essays; and offer responses…

  11. Help with Hearing

    ... be placed early to help speech and language development. If your child needs “tubes” (see below), they can be put ... example, instead of saying the sound /t/, your child may always substitute the sound /k/. The words “toy” and "truck” then come out as “kay” and “ ...

  12. Helping Kids Handle Worry

    ... world around them, preteens also may worry about world events or issues they hear about on the news or at ... the news. Parents can help by discussing these issues, offering accurate ... and stress about a world event that's beyond your control, kids are likely ...

  13. Helping Them Grow.

    Kreidler, William J.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Three articles present suggestions to help elementary teachers promote student development. The first describes games that encourage a sense of community. The second deals with making parent teacher conferences a positive experience. The third discusses how to give confused children who are involved in custody battles an alternative to acting out.…

  14. Helping Struggling Teachers.

    Tucker, Pamela

    2001-01-01

    About 5 to 15 percent of teachers in 2.7 million public-education classrooms are marginal or incompetent. Assistance plans offer structure, purpose, and remedial help. Plans have six components: definition of the problem, statement of objectives, intervention strategies, a timeline, data-collection procedures, and final judgment. (MLH)

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

    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.

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

    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.

  17. Cognition and Synaptic-Plasticity Related Changes in Aged Rats Supplemented with 8- and 10-Carbon Medium Chain Triglycerides.

    Dongmei Wang

    Full Text Available Brain glucose hypometabolism is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD. Previous studies have shown that cognition is improved by providing AD patients with an alternate energy source: ketones derived from either ketogenic diet or supplementation with medium chain triglycerides (MCT. Recently, data on the neuroprotective capacity of MCT-derived medium chain fatty acids (MCFA suggest 8-carbon and 10-carbon MCFA may have cognition-enhancing properties which are not related to ketone production. We investigated the effect of 8 week treatment with MCT8, MCT10 or sunflower oil supplementation (5% by weight of chow diet in 21 month old Wistar rats. Both MCT diets increased ketones plasma similarly compared to control diet, but MCT diets did not increase ketones in the brain. Treatment with MCT10, but not MCT8, significantly improved novel object recognition memory compared to control diet, while social recognition increased in both MCT groups. MCT8 and MCT10 diets decreased weight compared to control diet, where MCFA plasma levels were higher in MCT10 groups than in MCT8 groups. Both MCT diets increased IRS-1 (612 phosphorylation and decreased S6K phosphorylation (240/244 but only MCT10 increased Akt phosphorylation (473. MCT8 supplementation increased synaptophysin, but not PSD-95, in contrast MCT10 had no effect on either synaptic marker. Expression of Ube3a, which controls synaptic stability, was increased by both MCT diets. Cortex transcription via qPCR showed that immediate early genes related to synaptic plasticity (arc, plk3, junb, egr2, nr4a1 were downregulated by both MCT diets while MCT8 additionally down-regulated fosb and egr1 but upregulated grin1 and gba2. These results demonstrate that treatment of 8- and 10-carbon length MCTs in aged rats have slight differential effects on synaptic stability, protein synthesis and behavior that may be independent of brain ketone levels.

  18. Alterations in Brain Inflammation, Synaptic Proteins, and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis during Epileptogenesis in Mice Lacking Synapsin2.

    Deepti Chugh

    Full Text Available Synapsins are pre-synaptic vesicle-associated proteins linked to the pathogenesis of epilepsy through genetic association studies in humans. Deletion of synapsins causes an excitatory/inhibitory imbalance, exemplified by the epileptic phenotype of synapsin knockout mice. These mice develop handling-induced tonic-clonic seizures starting at the age of about 3 months. Hence, they provide an opportunity to study epileptogenic alterations in a temporally controlled manner. Here, we evaluated brain inflammation, synaptic protein expression, and adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the epileptogenic (1 and 2 months of age and tonic-clonic (3.5-4 months phase of synapsin 2 knockout mice using immunohistochemical and biochemical assays. In the epileptogenic phase, region-specific microglial activation was evident, accompanied by an increase in the chemokine receptor CX3CR1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, and a decrease in chemokine keratinocyte chemoattractant/ growth-related oncogene. Both post-synaptic density-95 and gephyrin, scaffolding proteins at excitatory and inhibitory synapses, respectively, showed a significant up-regulation primarily in the cortex. Furthermore, we observed an increase in the inhibitory adhesion molecules neuroligin-2 and neurofascin and potassium chloride co-transporter KCC2. Decreased expression of γ-aminobutyric acid receptor-δ subunit and cholecystokinin was also evident. Surprisingly, hippocampal neurogenesis was reduced in the epileptogenic phase. Taken together, we report molecular alterations in brain inflammation and excitatory/inhibitory balance that could serve as potential targets for therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers. In addition, the regional differences in brain inflammation and synaptic protein expression indicate an epileptogenic zone from where the generalized seizures in synapsin 2 knockout mice may be initiated or spread.

  19. A decision-making model based on a spiking neural circuit and synaptic plasticity.

    Wei, Hui; Bu, Yijie; Dai, Dawei

    2017-10-01

    To adapt to the environment and survive, most animals can control their behaviors by making decisions. The process of decision-making and responding according to cues in the environment is stable, sustainable, and learnable. Understanding how behaviors are regulated by neural circuits and the encoding and decoding mechanisms from stimuli to responses are important goals in neuroscience. From results observed in Drosophila experiments, the underlying decision-making process is discussed, and a neural circuit that implements a two-choice decision-making model is proposed to explain and reproduce the observations. Compared with previous two-choice decision making models, our model uses synaptic plasticity to explain changes in decision output given the same environment. Moreover, biological meanings of parameters of our decision-making model are discussed. In this paper, we explain at the micro-level (i.e., neurons and synapses) how observable decision-making behavior at the macro-level is acquired and achieved.

  20. Synaptic Bistability Due to Nucleation and Evaporation of Receptor Clusters

    Burlakov, V. M.

    2012-01-10

    We introduce a bistability mechanism for long-term synaptic plasticity based on switching between two metastable states that contain significantly different numbers of synaptic receptors. One state is characterized by a two-dimensional gas of mobile interacting receptors and is stabilized against clustering by a high nucleation barrier. The other state contains a receptor gas in equilibrium with a large cluster of immobile receptors, which is stabilized by the turnover rate of receptors into and out of the synapse. Transitions between the two states can be initiated by either an increase (potentiation) or a decrease (depotentiation) of the net receptor flux into the synapse. This changes the saturation level of the receptor gas and triggers nucleation or evaporation of receptor clusters. © 2012 American Physical Society.

  1. Synaptic communication between neurons and NG2+ cells.

    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.

  2. Emulating short-term synaptic dynamics with memristive devices

    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.

  3. Short-term synaptic plasticity and heterogeneity in neural systems

    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.

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

    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

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

    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.

  6. Stochastic learning in oxide binary synaptic device for neuromorphic computing.

    Yu, Shimeng; Gao, Bin; Fang, Zheng; Yu, Hongyu; Kang, Jinfeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-01-01

    Hardware implementation of neuromorphic computing is attractive as a computing paradigm beyond the conventional digital computing. In this work, we show that the SET (off-to-on) transition of metal oxide resistive switching memory becomes probabilistic under a weak programming condition. The switching variability of the binary synaptic device implements a stochastic learning rule. Such stochastic SET transition was statistically measured and modeled for a simulation of a winner-take-all network for competitive learning. The simulation illustrates that with such stochastic learning, the orientation classification function of input patterns can be effectively realized. The system performance metrics were compared between the conventional approach using the analog synapse and the approach in this work that employs the binary synapse utilizing the stochastic learning. The feasibility of using binary synapse in the neurormorphic computing may relax the constraints to engineer continuous multilevel intermediate states and widens the material choice for the synaptic device design.

  7. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to EffEXT™ and “helps to support joint function by maintaining low levels of plasma C-reactive protein” pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

    Tetens, Inge

    Following an application from Nutrilinks Sarl, submitted pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Belgium, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim...... related to EffEXT™ and “helps to support joint function by maintaining low levels of plasma C‑reactive protein”. The Panel considers that EffEXT™, which is standardised pure krill oil, is sufficiently characterised. The claimed effect is “helps to support joint function by maintaining low levels of plasma...

  8. EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to Vitis vinifera L. seeds extract and “helps to decrease swollen legs” pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

    Tetens, Inge

    Following an application from Nutrilinks Sarl, submitted pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Belgium, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim...... related to Vitis vinifera L. seeds extract and “helps to decrease swollen legs”. The Panel considers that the food constituent which is the subject of the health claim is sufficiently characterised. Upon EFSA’s request for clarification, the applicant stated that the claimed effect was “helps to decrease...

  9. Activity-dependent modulation of neural circuit synaptic connectivity

    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.

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

    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.

  11. Quercetin targets cysteine string protein (CSPalpha and impairs synaptic transmission.

    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.

  12. Presynaptic Active Zone Density during Development and Synaptic Plasticity.

    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.

  13. Mechanisms of Synaptic Alterations in a Neuroinflammation Model of Autism

    2015-10-01

    inhibitory presynaptic input in the cortex of MIA offspring To determine if the altered number, shape and dynamic proper- ties of spines are...affects synaptic function in the cortex . We performed whole-cell voltage -clamp recordings from layer 2 pyramidal neurons in the somatosensory cortex ...highly dynamic struc- tures with new spines forming and others disappearing on a time scale of minutes (Dailey and Smith, 1996; Dunaevsky et al., 1999

  14. Dynamic learning and memory, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis: an update

    Stuchlík, Aleš

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 1 (2014), s. 106 ISSN 1662-5153 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-03627S Grant - others:Rada Programu interní podpory projektů mezinárodní spolupráce AV ČR(CZ) M200111204 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : learning * memory * synaptic plasticity * neurogenesis Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.270, year: 2014

  15. Robust Short-Term Memory without Synaptic Learning

    Johnson, Samuel; Marro, J.; Torres, Joaquin 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 inf...

  16. Synaptic metaplasticity underlies tetanic potentiation in Lymnaea: a novel paradigm.

    Anita Mehta

    Full Text Available We present a mathematical model that explains and interprets a novel form of short-term potentiation, which was found to be use-, but not time-dependent, in experiments done on Lymnaea neurons. The high degree of potentiation is explained using a model of synaptic metaplasticity, while the use-dependence (which is critically reliant on the presence of kinase in the experiment is explained using a model of a stochastic and bistable biological switch.

  17. Two Aspects of ASIC Function: Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Injury.

    Huang, Yan; Jiang, Nan; Li, Jun; Ji, Yong-Hua; Xiong, Zhi-Gang; Zha, Xiang-ming

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular brain pH fluctuates in both physiological and disease conditions. The main postsynaptic proton receptor is the acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). During the past decade, much progress has been made on protons, ASICs, and neurological disease. This review summarizes the recent progress on synaptic role of protons and our current understanding of how ASICs contribute to various types of neuronal injury in the brain. PMID:25582290

  18. Bcl-xL-mediated remodeling of rod and cone synaptic mitochondria after postnatal lead exposure: electron microscopy, tomography and oxygen consumption.

    Perkins, Guy A; Scott, Ray; Perez, Alex; Ellisman, Mark H; Johnson, Jerry E; Fox, Donald A

    2012-01-01

    and dark-adapted photoreceptor synaptic terminal QO(2). Bcl-xL partially blocked many of the lead-induced alterations relative to controls. However, spherules still had partially decreased abundance, whereas pedicles still had increased branching, increased crista segments per volume, and increased crista junction diameter. Moreover, photoreceptor and synaptic QO(2) were only partially recovered. These findings reveal cellular and compartmental specific differences in the structure and vulnerability of rod and cone inner segment and synaptic mitochondria to postnatal lead exposure. Spherule and pedicle mitochondria in lead-exposed mice displayed complex and distinguishing patterns of cristae and matrix damage and remodeling consistent with studies showing that synaptic mitochondria are more sensitive to Ca(2+) overload, oxidative stress, and ATP loss than non-synaptic mitochondria. The lead-induced decreases in QO(2) likely resulted from the decreased spherule cristae abundance and smaller cristae, perhaps due to Bax-mediated effects as they occurred in apoptotic rod inner segments. The increase in pedicle cristae abundance and CJ diameter could have resulted from increased Drp1-mediated fission, as small mitochondrial fragments were observed. The mechanisms of Bcl-xL-mediated remodeling might occur via interaction with formation of CJ protein 1 (Fcj1), whereas the partial protection of synaptic QO(2) might result from the enhanced efficiency of energy metabolism via Bcl-xL's direct interaction with the F1F0 ATP synthase and/or regulation of cellular redox status. These lead-induced alterations in photoreceptor synaptic terminal mitochondria likely underlie the persistent scotopic and mesopic deficits in lead-exposed children, workers, and experimental animals. Our findings stress the clinical and scientific importance of examining synaptic dysfunction following injury or disease during development, and developing therapeutic treatments that prevent synaptic

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

    Bardia F Behabadi

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

  20. Robust Short-Term Memory without Synaptic Learning

    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

  1. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    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.

  2. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    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.

  3. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    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.

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

    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.

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

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Structural Components of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    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

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

    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.

  8. Plutonium helps probe protein, superconductor

    Anon.

    1990-01-01

    Scientists are finding that plutonium can be a useful research tool that may help them answer important questions in fields as diverse as biochemistry and solid-state physics. This paper reports that U.S. research involving plutonium is confined to the Department of Energy's national laboratories and centers around nuclear weapons technology, waste cleanup and disposal, and health effects. But at Los Alamos National Laboratory, scientists also are using plutonium to probe the biochemical behavior of calmodulin, a key calcium-binding protein that mediates calcium-regulated processes in biological systems. At Argonne National Laboratory, another team is trying to learn how a superconductor's properties are affected by the 5f electrons of an actinide like plutonium

  9. ) and “maintains the balance of healthy microbiota that helps to strengthen the natural defence” (ID 2942) (further assessment) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

    Tetens, Inge

    of Lactobacillus helveticus CNCM I-1722 and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum CNCM I-3470 and alleviation of psychological stress and “maintains the balance of healthy microbiota that helps to strengthen the natural defence”. The food constituent that is the subject of the health claims, a combination of L...... of the claim. On the basis of the data provided, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of a combination of L. helveticus CNCM I-1722 and B. longum subsp. longum CNCM I-3470 and alleviation of psychological stress. From the information provided...... for the claimed effect “maintains the balance of healthy microbiota that helps to strengthen the natural defence” it was not possible to establish the specific effect which is the subject of the claim. The Panel considers that the claimed effect is general and non-specific, and does not refer to any specific...

  10. Role of the ubiquitin ligase E6AP/UBE3A in controlling levels of the synaptic protein Arc

    Kühnle, Simone; Mothes, Benedikt; Matentzoglu, Konstantin; Scheffner, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Inactivation of the ubiquitin ligase E6 associated protein (E6AP) encoded by the UBE3A gene has been associated with development of the Angelman syndrome. Recently, it was reported that in mice, loss of E6AP expression results in increased levels of the synaptic protein Arc and a concomitant impaired synaptic function, providing an explanation for some phenotypic features of Angelman syndrome patients. Accordingly, E6AP has been shown to negatively regulate activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) and it has been suggested that E6AP targets Arc for ubiquitination and degradation. In our study, we provide evidence that Arc is not a direct substrate for E6AP and binds only weakly to E6AP, if at all. Furthermore, we show that down-regulation of E6AP expression stimulates estradiol-induced transcription of the Arc gene. Thus, we propose that Arc protein levels are controlled by E6AP at the transcriptional rather than at the posttranslational level. PMID:23671107

  11. Evidence for dynamic network regulation of Drosophila photoreceptor function from mutants lacking the neurotransmitter histamine

    An eDau

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic feedback from interneurons to photoreceptors can help to optimize visual information flow by balancing its allocation on retinal pathways under changing light conditions. But little is known about how this critical network operation is regulated dynamically. Here, we investigate this question by comparing signaling properties and performance of wild-type Drosophila R1-R6 photoreceptors to those of the hdcJK910 mutant, which lacks the neurotransmitter histamine and therefore cannot transmit information to interneurons. Recordings show that hdcJK910 photoreceptors sample similar amounts of information from naturalistic stimulation to wild-type photoreceptors, but this information is packaged in smaller responses, especially under bright illumination. Analyses reveal how these altered dynamics primarily resulted from network overload that affected hdcJK910 photoreceptors in two ways. First, the missing inhibitory histamine input to interneurons almost certainly depolarized them irrevocably, which in turn increased their excitatory feedback to hdcJK910 R1-R6s. This tonic excitation depolarized the photoreceptors to artificially high potentials, reducing their operational range. Second, rescuing histamine input to interneurons in hdcJK910 mutant also restored their normal phasic feedback modulation to R1-R6s, causing photoreceptor output to accentuate dynamic intensity differences at bright illumination, similar to the wild-type. These results provide mechanistic explanations of how synaptic feedback connections optimize information packaging in photoreceptor output and novel insight into the operation and design of dynamic network regulation of sensory neurons.

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

    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

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

    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 exc