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Sample records for human mirror neuron

  1. Why our brains cherish humanity: Mirror neurons and colamus humanitatem

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    John R. Skoyles

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Commonsense says we are isolated. After all, our bodies are physically separate. But Seneca’s colamus humanitatem, and John Donne’s observation that “no man is an island” suggests we are neither entirely isolated nor separate. A recent discovery in neuroscience—that of mirror neurons—argues that the brain and the mind is neither built nor functions remote from what happens in other individuals. What are mirror neurons? They are brain cells that process both what happens to or is done by an individual, and, as it were, its perceived “refl ection,” when that same thing happens or is done by another individual. Thus, mirror neurons are both activated when an individual does a particular action, and when that individual perceives that same action done by another. The discovery of mirror neurons suggests we need to radically revise our notions of human nature since they offer a means by which we may not be so separated as we think. Humans unlike other apes are adapted to mirror interact nonverbally when together. Notably, our faces have been evolved to display agile and nimble movements. While this is usually explained as enabling nonverbal communication, a better description would be nonverbal commune based upon mirror neurons. I argue we cherish humanity, colamus humanitatem, because mirror neurons and our adapted mirror interpersonal interface blur the physical boundaries that separate us.

  2. What do mirror neurons mirror?

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    Uithol, S.; Rooij, I.J.E.I. van; Bekkering, H.; Haselager, W.F.G.

    2011-01-01

    Single cell recordings in monkeys provide strong evidence for an important role of the motor system in action understanding. This evidence is backed up by data from studies of the (human) mirror neuron system using neuroimaging or TMS techniques, and behavioral experiments. Although the data

  3. A human mirror neuron system for language: Perspectives from signed languages of the deaf.

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    Knapp, Heather Patterson; Corina, David P

    2010-01-01

    Language is proposed to have developed atop the human analog of the macaque mirror neuron system for action perception and production [Arbib M.A. 2005. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics (with commentaries and author's response). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 105-167; Arbib M.A. (2008). From grasp to language: Embodied concepts and the challenge of abstraction. Journal de Physiologie Paris 102, 4-20]. Signed languages of the deaf are fully-expressive, natural human languages that are perceived visually and produced manually. We suggest that if a unitary mirror neuron system mediates the observation and production of both language and non-linguistic action, three prediction can be made: (1) damage to the human mirror neuron system should non-selectively disrupt both sign language and non-linguistic action processing; (2) within the domain of sign language, a given mirror neuron locus should mediate both perception and production; and (3) the action-based tuning curves of individual mirror neurons should support the highly circumscribed set of motions that form the "vocabulary of action" for signed languages. In this review we evaluate data from the sign language and mirror neuron literatures and find that these predictions are only partially upheld. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Gender differences in the mu rhythm of the human mirror-neuron system.

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    Yawei Cheng

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Psychologically, females are usually thought to be superior in interpersonal sensitivity than males. The human mirror-neuron system is considered to provide the basic mechanism for social cognition. However, whether the human mirror-neuron system exhibits gender differences is not yet clear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured the electroencephalographic mu rhythm, as a reliable indicator of the human mirror-neuron system activity, when female (N = 20 and male (N = 20 participants watched either hand actions or a moving dot. The display of the hand actions included androgynous, male, and female characteristics. The results demonstrate that females displayed significantly stronger mu suppression than males when watching hand actions. Instead, mu suppression was similar across genders when participants observed the moving dot and between the perceived sex differences (same-sex vs. opposite-sex. In addition, the mu suppressions during the observation of hand actions positively correlated with the personal distress subscale of the interpersonal reactivity index and negatively correlated with the systemizing quotient. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present findings indirectly lend support to the extreme male brain theory put forward by Baron-Cohen (2005, and may cast some light on the mirror-neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. The mu rhythm in the human mirror-neuron system can be a potential biomarker of empathic mimicry.

  5. A Human Mirror Neuron System for Language: Perspectives from Signed Languages of the Deaf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Heather Patterson; Corina, David P.

    2010-01-01

    Language is proposed to have developed atop the human analog of the macaque mirror neuron system for action perception and production [Arbib M.A. 2005. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics (with commentaries and author's response). "Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28", 105-167; Arbib…

  6. Mirror Neurons and Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.

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    Linkovski, Omer; Katzin, Naama; Salti, Moti

    2016-05-30

    Since mirror neurons were introduced to the neuroscientific community more than 20 years ago, they have become an elegant and intuitive account for different cognitive mechanisms (e.g., empathy, goal understanding) and conditions (e.g., autism spectrum disorders). Recently, mirror neurons were suggested to be the mechanism underlying a specific type of synesthesia. Mirror-touch synesthesia is a phenomenon in which individuals experience somatosensory sensations when seeing someone else being touched. Appealing as it is, careful delineation is required when applying this mechanism. Using the mirror-touch synesthesia case, we put forward theoretical and methodological issues that should be addressed before relying on the mirror-neurons account. © The Author(s) 2016.

  7. The mirror neuron system : New frontiers

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    Keysers, Christian; Fadiga, Luciano

    2008-01-01

    Since the discovery of mirror neurons, much effort has been invested into Studying their location and properties in the human brain. Here we review these original findings and introduce the Main topics of this special issue of Social Neuroscience. What does the mirror system code? How is the mirror

  8. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system

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    Jed Donald Burgess

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric. Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS experiment that assessed corticospinal excitability whilst viewing transitive hand gestures from both egocentric (i.e., self and allocentric (i.e., other viewpoints. Although action observation was associated with increases in corticospinal excitability (reflecting putative human mirror neuron activity, there was no effect of visual perspective. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theories of mirror neuron ontogeny, including models concerning associative learning and evolutionary adaptation.

  9. Motor-Auditory-Visual Integration: The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Communication and Communication Disorders

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    Le Bel, Ronald M.; Pineda, Jaime A.; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an…

  10. Exploring associations between gaze patterns and putative human mirror neuron system activity

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    Peter Hugh Donaldson

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The human mirror neuron system (MNS is hypothesised to be crucial to social cognition. Given that key MNS-input regions such as the superior temporal sulcus are involved in biological motion processing, and mirror neuron activity in monkeys has been shown to vary with visual attention, aberrant MNS function may be partly attributable to atypical visual input. To examine the relationship between gaze pattern and interpersonal motor resonance (IMR; an index of putative MNS activity, healthy right-handed participants aged 18-40 (n = 26 viewed videos of transitive grasping actions or static hands, whilst the left primary motor cortex received transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs recorded in contralateral hand muscles were used to determine IMR. Participants also underwent eyetracking analysis to assess gaze patterns whilst viewing the same videos. No relationship was observed between predictive gaze (PG and IMR. However, IMR was positively associated with fixation counts in areas of biological motion in the videos, and negatively associated with object areas. These findings are discussed with reference to visual influences on the MNS, and the possibility that MNS atypicalities might be influenced by visual processes such as aberrant gaze pattern.

  11. Exploring associations between gaze patterns and putative human mirror neuron system activity

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    Donaldson, Peter H.; Gurvich, Caroline; Fielding, Joanne; Enticott, Peter G.

    2015-01-01

    The human mirror neuron system (MNS) is hypothesized to be crucial to social cognition. Given that key MNS-input regions such as the superior temporal sulcus are involved in biological motion processing, and mirror neuron activity in monkeys has been shown to vary with visual attention, aberrant MNS function may be partly attributable to atypical visual input. To examine the relationship between gaze pattern and interpersonal motor resonance (IMR; an index of putative MNS activity), healthy right-handed participants aged 18–40 (n = 26) viewed videos of transitive grasping actions or static hands, whilst the left primary motor cortex received transcranial magnetic stimulation. Motor-evoked potentials recorded in contralateral hand muscles were used to determine IMR. Participants also underwent eyetracking analysis to assess gaze patterns whilst viewing the same videos. No relationship was observed between predictive gaze and IMR. However, IMR was positively associated with fixation counts in areas of biological motion in the videos, and negatively associated with object areas. These findings are discussed with reference to visual influences on the MNS, and the possibility that MNS atypicalities might be influenced by visual processes such as aberrant gaze pattern. PMID:26236215

  12. Sensitivity of the human mirror neuron system for abstract traces of actions: An EEG-study.

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    Hoenen, Matthias; Lübke, Katrin T; Pause, Bettina M

    2017-03-01

    Theories of neuroaesthetics assume, that looking at traces of actions used in creating artwork (e.g. brush marks) is associated with a simulation of these actions in the observer's sensorimotor-cortex. The aim of the current study is to dissociate the activation of the sensorimotor-cortex by the observation of action traces from associated visual processes. Twenty-eight participants observed handmade graphics (acrylic paint on paper) of different complexity (line, triangle, shape of a house) and computer-generated counterparts. Central mu-activity, as an index of sensorimotor-cortex activity, and occipital alpha-activity, as an index of visual cortex activity were recorded in the 8-13Hz EEG-band. In line with the hypothesis, mu-activity at electrode C4 is sensitive for the complexity of handmade (p=0.001), but not computer-generated graphics (p>0.500). In contrast, occipital alpha-activity is sensitive for the complexity of both handmade and computer-generated graphics (pemotional empathy feature a particularly responsive mirror neuron system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Review Essay: Mirror Neurons in the Discourse of Social Sciences

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    Henning Pätzold

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Since their discovery in the mid-1990s, mirror neurons have been the subject of continuous discussions in neurosciences as well as in the social sciences. The interest of scientists outside the life sciences in mirror neurons is primarily based on the fact that mirror neurons not only have epistemological meaning, but also seem to play an important role in processes of social insights and emotions, like empathy. With her book, Nadia ZABOURA provides a new contribution from a social and cultural sciences point of view, which critically reflects the discussion on mirror neurons and its consequences on the social sciences and humanities. Starting off from philosophical approaches to the mind-matter-dualism and the question of intersubjectivity, she explores the meaning of mirror neurons for the debate on empathy and communication. By discussing concepts of philosophy and communication sciences as well as current knowledge on mirror neurons, she concludes that they do not provide a stable basis for any material reductionism, which would explain phenomena like intersubjectivity only by recordable neuronal processes. The book refers to a variety of related theories (ranging from DESCARTES through to MEAD and TOMASELLO; these references are inspiring, yet they stay cursory for the most part. All in all the book offers avenues for further inquiry on the issues in focus, and can rather be taken as "tour of suggestions" through the topical field of mirror neurons and the related research. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1003245

  14. New Reflections on Mirror Neuron Research, the Tower of Babel, and Intercultural Education

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    Westbrook, Timothy Paul

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the human mirror neuron system demonstrate how mental mimicking of one's social environment affects learning. The mirror neuron system also has implications for intercultural encounters. This article explores the common ground between the mirror neuron system and theological principles from the Tower of Babel narrative and applies them…

  15. Action observation: Inferring intentions without mirror neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frith, Christopher; Kilner, James M

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has shown, using fMRI, that the mirror neuron system does not mediate action understanding when the observed action is novel or when it is hard to understand.......A recent study has shown, using fMRI, that the mirror neuron system does not mediate action understanding when the observed action is novel or when it is hard to understand....

  16. Is human imitation based on a mirror-neurone system? Some behavioural evidence

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    Wohlschlager, A; Bekkering, H; Wohlschläger, A

    Recently, a population of neurones was discovered in the monkey's (Macaca nemestrina) ventrolateral part of the pre-motor cortex (area F5). It is specialised for recognising object-oriented actions, regardless of whether these actions are performed or observed by the monkey. The latter observation

  17. Is human imitation based on a mirror-neuron system? Some behavioural evidence

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    Wohlschläger, A.; Bekkering, H.

    2002-01-01

    Recently, a population of neurones was discovered in the monkey's (Macaca nemestrina) ventrolateral part of the pre-motor cortex (area F5). It is specialised for recognising object-oriented actions, regardless of whether these actions are performed or observed by the monkey. The latter observation

  18. What do brain lesions tell us about theories of embodied semantics and the human mirror neuron system?

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    Arévalo, Analia L.; Baldo, Juliana V.; Dronkers, Nina F.

    2013-01-01

    Recent work has been mixed with respect to the notion of embodied semantics, which suggests that processing linguistic stimuli referring to motor-related concepts recruits the same sensorimotor regions of cortex involved in the execution and observation of motor acts or the objects associated with those acts. In this study, we asked whether lesions to key sensorimotor regions would preferentially impact the comprehension of stimuli associated with the use of the hand, mouth or foot. Twenty-seven patients with left-hemisphere strokes and 10 age- and education-matched controls were presented with pictures and words representing objects and actions typically associated with the use of the hand, mouth, foot or no body part at all (i.e., neutral). Picture/sound pairs were presented simultaneously, and participants were required to press a space bar only when the item pairs matched (i.e., congruent trials). We conducted two different analyses: 1) we compared task performance of patients with and without lesions in several key areas previously implicated in the putative human mirror neuron system (i.e., Brodmann areas 4/6, 1/2/3, 21 and 44/45), and 2) we conducted Voxel-based Lesion-Symptom Mapping analyses (VLSM; Bates et al., 2003) to identify additional regions associated with the processing of effector-related versus neutral stimuli. Processing of effector-related stimuli was associated with several regions across the left hemisphere, and not solely with premotor/motor or somatosensory regions. We also did not find support for a somatotopically-organized distribution of effector-specific regions. We suggest that, rather than following the strict interpretation of homuncular somatotopy for embodied semantics, these findings support theories proposing the presence of a greater motor-language network which is associated with, but not restricted to, the network responsible for action execution and observation. PMID:20621292

  19. The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Supporting Communication in a Digital World

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    Kelly Dickerson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Humans use both verbal and non-verbal communication to interact with others and their environment and increasingly these interactions are occurring in a digital medium. Whether live or digital, learning to communicate requires overcoming the correspondence problem: There is no direct mapping, or correspondence between perceived and self-produced signals. Reconciliation of the differences between perceived and produced actions, including linguistic actions, is difficult and requires integration across multiple modalities and neuro-cognitive networks. Recent work on the neural substrates of social learning suggests that there may be a common mechanism underlying the perception-production cycle for verbal and non-verbal communication. The purpose of this paper is to review evidence supporting the link between verbal and non-verbal communications, and to extend the hMNS literature by proposing that recent advances in communication technology, which at times have had deleterious effects on behavioral and perceptual performance, may disrupt the success of the hMNS in supporting social interactions because these technologies are virtual and spatiotemporal distributed nature.

  20. The neuroscience of observing consciousness & mirror neurons in therapeutic hypnosis.

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    Rossi, Ernest L; Rossi, Kathryn L

    2006-04-01

    Neuroscience documents the activity of "mirror neurons" in the human brain as a mechanism whereby we experience empathy and recognize the intentions of others by observing their behavior and automatically matching their brain activity. This neural basis of empathy finds support in research on dysfunctions in the mirror systems of humans with autism and fMRI research on normal subjects designed to assess intentionality, emotions, and complex cognition. Such empathy research now appears to be consistent with the historical and research literature on hypnotic induction, rapport, and many of the classical phenomena of suggestion. A preliminary outline of how mirror neurons may function as a rapport zone mediating between observing consciousness, the gene expression/protein synthesis cycle, and brain plasticity in therapeutic hypnosis and psychosomatic medicine is proposed. Brain plasticity is generalized in the theory, research, and practice of utilizing mirror neurons as an explanatory framework in developing and training new skill sets for facilitating an activity-dependent approach to creative problem solving, mind-body healing, and rehabilitation with therapeutic hypnosis.

  1. Mirror neurons, language, and embodied cognition.

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    Perlovsky, Leonid I; Ilin, Roman

    2013-05-01

    Basic mechanisms of the mind, cognition, language, its semantic and emotional mechanisms are modeled using dynamic logic (DL). This cognitively and mathematically motivated model leads to a dual-model hypothesis of language and cognition. The paper emphasizes that abstract cognition cannot evolve without language. The developed model is consistent with a joint emergence of language and cognition from a mirror neuron system. The dual language-cognition model leads to the dual mental hierarchy. The nature of cognition embodiment in the hierarchy is analyzed. Future theoretical and experimental research is discussed. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Language comprehension warps the mirror neuron system.

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    Zarr, Noah; Ferguson, Ryan; Glenberg, Arthur M

    2013-01-01

    Is the mirror neuron system (MNS) used in language understanding? According to embodied accounts of language comprehension, understanding sentences describing actions makes use of neural mechanisms of action control, including the MNS. Consequently, repeatedly comprehending sentences describing similar actions should induce adaptation of the MNS thereby warping its use in other cognitive processes such as action recognition and prediction. To test this prediction, participants read blocks of multiple sentences where each sentence in the block described transfer of objects in a direction away or toward the reader. Following each block, adaptation was measured by having participants predict the end-point of videotaped actions. The adapting sentences disrupted prediction of actions in the same direction, but (a) only for videos of biological motion, and (b) only when the effector implied by the language (e.g., the hand) matched the videos. These findings are signatures of the MNS.

  3. The mirror-neurons system: data and models.

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    Craighero, Laila; Metta, Giorgio; Sandini, Giulio; Fadiga, Luciano

    2007-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss the mirror-neurons system, a cortical network of areas that enables individuals to understand the meaning of actions performed by others through the activation of internal representations, which motorically code for the observed actions. We review evidence indicating that this capability does not depend on the amount of visual stimulation relative to the observed action, or on the sensory modality specifically addressed (visual, acoustical). Any sensorial cue that can evoke the "idea" of a meaningful action activates the vocabulary of motor representations stored in the ventral premotor cortex and, in humans, especially in Broca's area. This is true also for phonoarticulatory actions, which determine speech production. We present also a model of the mirror-neurons system and its partial implementation in a set of two experiments. The results, according to our model, show that motor information plays a significant role in the interpretation of actions and that a mirror-like representation can be developed autonomously as a result of the interaction between the individual and the environment.

  4. Possible Links among Mirror Neurons and Genes Related to Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Mochizuki, Mai; 望月,麻衣

    2016-01-01

    Autism includes many neurodevelopmental disorders and defi cits in communication. Althoughresearchers have considered various origins, the onset mechanism is still not clear. The aim ofthis article is to provide some clues for interaction of autism with mirror neuronal and geneticfactors. First, the impact of neural brain cells considered to infl uence autism will be discussedwith reference to mirror neurons. Then, the discussion will move to genes related to autism.Consequently, it is argued...

  5. Activation of the human mirror neuron system during the observation of the manipulation of virtual tools in the absence of a visible effector limb.

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    Modroño, Cristián; Navarrete, Gorka; Rodríguez-Hernández, Antonio F; González-Mora, José L

    2013-10-25

    This work explores the mirror neuron system activity produced by the observation of virtual tool manipulations in the absence of a visible effector limb. Functional MRI data was obtained from healthy right-handed participants who manipulated a virtual paddle in the context of a digital game and watched replays of their actions. The results show how action observation produced extended bilateral activations in the parietofrontal mirror neuron system. At the same time, three regions in the left hemisphere (in the primary motor and the primary somatosensory cortex, the supplementary motor area and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) showed a reduced BOLD, possibly related with the prevention of inappropriate motor execution. These results can be of interest for researchers and developers working in the field of action observation neurorehabilitation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The function of mirror neurons in the learning process

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    Mara Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, Neurosciences have developed very much, being elaborated many important theories scientific research in the field. The main goal of neuroscience is to understand how groups of neurons interact to create the behavior. Neuroscientists studying the action of molecules, genes and cells. It also explores the complex interactions involved in motion perception, thoughts, emotions and learning. Brick fundamental nervous system is the nerve cell, neuron. Neurons exchange information by sending electrical signals and chemical through connections called synapses. Discovered by a group of Italian researchers from the University of Parma, neurons - mirror are a special class of nerve cells played an important role in the direct knowledge, automatic and unconscious environment. These cortical neurons are activated not only when an action is fulfilled, but when we see how the same action is performed by someone else, they represent neural mechanism by which the actions, intentions and emotions of others can be understood automatically. In childhood neurons - mirror are extremely important. Thanks to them we learned a lot in the early years: smile, to ask for help and, in fact, all the behaviors and family and group norms. People learn by what they see and sense the others. Neurons - mirror are important to understanding the actions and intentions of other people and learn new skills through mirror image. They are involved in planning and controlling actions, abstract thinking and memory. If a child observes an action, neurons - mirror is activated and forming new neural pathways as if even he takes that action. Efficient activity of mirror neurons leads to good development in all areas at a higher emotional intelligence and the ability to empathize with others.

  7. Mirror neurons and their function in cognitively understood empathy.

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    Corradini, Antonella; Antonietti, Alessandro

    2013-09-01

    The current renewal of interest in empathy is closely connected to the recent neurobiological discovery of mirror neurons. Although the concept of empathy has been widely deployed, we shall focus upon one main psychological function it serves: enabling us to understand other peoples' intentions. In this essay we will draw on neuroscientific, psychological, and philosophical literature in order to investigate the relationships between mirror neurons and empathy as to intention understanding. Firstly, it will be explored whether mirror neurons are the neural basis of our empathic capacities: a vast array of empirical results appears to confirm this hypothesis. Secondly, the higher level capacity of reenactive empathy will be examined and the question will be addressed whether philosophical analysis alone is able to provide a foundation for this more abstract level of empathy. The conclusion will be drawn that both empirical evidence and philosophical analysis can jointly contribute to the clarification of the concept of empathy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The mirror-neuron system: a Bayesian perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kilner, James; Friston, Karl; Frith, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    Is it possible to understand the intentions of other peopleby simply observing their movements? Many neuroscientists believe that this ability depends on the brain’s mirror-neuron system, which provides a direct link between action and observation. Precisely how intentions can be inferred through...... movement-observation, however, has provoked much debate. One problem in inferring the cause of an observed action, is that the problem is ill-posed because identical movements can be made when performing different actions with different goals. Here we suggest that this problem is solved by the mirror-neuron...... identifies a precise role for the mirror-neuron system in our ability to infer intentions from observed movement and outlines possible computational mechanisms....

  9. Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Language

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    Corballis, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    The mirror system provided a natural platform for the subsequent evolution of language. In nonhuman primates, the system provides for the understanding of biological action, and possibly for imitation, both prerequisites for language. I argue that language evolved from manual gestures, initially as a system of pantomime, but with gestures…

  10. The mirror neuron system and the strange case of Broca's area.

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    Cerri, Gabriella; Cabinio, Monia; Blasi, Valeria; Borroni, Paola; Iadanza, Antonella; Fava, Enrica; Fornia, Luca; Ferpozzi, Valentina; Riva, Marco; Casarotti, Alessandra; Martinelli Boneschi, Filippo; Falini, Andrea; Bello, Lorenzo

    2015-03-01

    Mirror neurons, originally described in the monkey premotor area F5, are embedded in a frontoparietal network for action execution and observation. A similar Mirror Neuron System (MNS) exists in humans, including precentral gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, and superior temporal sulcus. Controversial is the inclusion of Broca's area, as homologous to F5, a relevant issue in light of the mirror hypothesis of language evolution, which postulates a key role of Broca's area in action/speech perception/production. We assess "mirror" properties of this area by combining neuroimaging and intraoperative neurophysiological techniques. Our results show that Broca's area is minimally involved in action observation and has no motor output on hand or phonoarticulatory muscles, challenging its inclusion in the MNS. The presence of these functions in premotor BA6 makes this area the likely homologue of F5 suggesting that the MNS may be involved in the representation of articulatory rather than semantic components of speech. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Acting together in and beyond the mirror neuron system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kokal, Idil; Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Moving a set dinner table often takes two people, and doing so without spilling the glasses requires the close coordination of the two agents' actions. It has been argued that the mirror neuron system may be the key neural locus of such coordination. Instead, here we show that such coordination

  12. Mirror Neurons, the Representation of Word meaning, and the Foot of the Third Left Frontal Convolution

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    de Zubicaray, Greig; Postle, Natasha; McMahon, Katie; Meredith, Matthew; Ashton, Roderick

    2010-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging research has attempted to demonstrate a preferential involvement of the human mirror neuron system (MNS) in the comprehension of effector-related action word (verb) meanings. These studies have assumed that Broca's area (or Brodmann's area 44) is the homologue of a monkey premotor area (F5) containing mouth and hand mirror…

  13. [Mirror neurons--novel data on the neurobiology of intersubjectivity].

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    Simon, Mária; Herold, Róbert; Fekete, Sándor; Tényi, Tamás

    2007-01-01

    Social experiences are largely intersubjective in nature, offering an abundance of pre-reflective, simulative knowledge of others' subjective experiences. In the last decades, special mirror neurons have been found in the premotor area and in the posterior parietal cortex. They directly link perception to action: the perception of actions activates the relevant parts of the observer's motor system. Emotional expressions evoke resonance states inside the observer in a similar way. Besides underscoring the prereflective and implicit nature of intersubjectivity, this can provide an access to the neuronal basis of empathy and intuition. Moreover, a new integration of psychoanalysis and neuroscience seems to be possible, which shifts the psychoanalytic technique toward non-verbal and non-interpretative methods, and can explain psychoanalytic phenomena, such as introjection, projection, transference, counter-transference, and the very complex enactments.

  14. Assessing human mirror activity with EEG mu rhythm: A meta-analysis.

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    Fox, Nathan A; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; Yoo, Kathryn H; Bowman, Lindsay C; Cannon, Erin N; Vanderwert, Ross E; Ferrari, Pier F; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H

    2016-03-01

    A fundamental issue in cognitive neuroscience is how the brain encodes others' actions and intentions. In recent years, a potential advance in our knowledge on this issue is the discovery of mirror neurons in the motor cortex of the nonhuman primate. These neurons fire to both execution and observation of specific types of actions. Researchers use this evidence to fuel investigations of a human mirror system, suggesting a common neural code for perceptual and motor processes. Among the methods used for inferring mirror system activity in humans are changes in a particular frequency band in the electroencephalogram (EEG) called the mu rhythm. Mu frequency appears to decrease in amplitude (reflecting cortical activity) during both action execution and action observation. The current meta-analysis reviewed 85 studies (1,707 participants) of mu that infer human mirror system activity. Results demonstrated significant effect sizes for mu during execution (Cohen's d = 0.46, N = 701) as well as observation of action (Cohen's d = 0.31, N = 1,508), confirming a mirroring property in the EEG. A number of moderators were examined to determine the specificity of these effects. We frame these meta-analytic findings within the current discussion about the development and functions of a human mirror system, and conclude that changes in EEG mu activity provide a valid means for the study of human neural mirroring. Suggestions for improving the experimental and methodological approaches in using mu to study the human mirror system are offered. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Mirroring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wegener, Charlotte; Wegener, Gregers

    2016-01-01

    Most definitions of creativity emphasise originality. The creative product is recognised as distinct from other products and the creative person as someone who stands out from the crowd. What tend to be overlooked are acts of mirroring as a crucial element of the creative process. The human ability...

  16. Sensorimotor cortex as a critical component of an 'extended' mirror neuron system: Does it solve the development, correspondence, and control problems in mirroring?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pineda Jaime A

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A core assumption of how humans understand and infer the intentions and beliefs of others is the existence of a functional self-other distinction. At least two neural systems have been proposed to manage such a critical distinction. One system, part of the classic motor system, is specialized for the preparation and execution of motor actions that are self realized and voluntary, while the other appears primarily involved in capturing and understanding the actions of non-self or others. The latter system, of which the mirror neuron system is part, is the canonical action 'resonance' system in the brain that has evolved to share many of the same circuits involved in motor control. Mirroring or 'shared circuit systems' are assumed to be involved in resonating, imitating, and/or simulating the actions of others. A number of researchers have proposed that shared representations of motor actions may form a foundational cornerstone for higher order social processes, such as motor learning, action understanding, imitation, perspective taking, understanding facial emotions, and empathy. However, mirroring systems that evolve from the classic motor system present at least three problems: a development, a correspondence, and a control problem. Developmentally, the question is how does a mirroring system arise? How do humans acquire the ability to simulate through mapping observed onto executed actions? Are mirror neurons innate and therefore genetically programmed? To what extent is learning necessary? In terms of the correspondence problem, the question is how does the observer agent know what the observed agent's resonance activation pattern is? How does the matching of motor activation patterns occur? Finally, in terms of the control problem, the issue is how to efficiently control a mirroring system when it is turned on automatically through observation? Or, as others have stated the problem more succinctly: "Why don't we imitate all the time

  17. Sensorimotor cortex as a critical component of an 'extended' mirror neuron system: Does it solve the development, correspondence, and control problems in mirroring?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Jaime A

    2008-10-18

    A core assumption of how humans understand and infer the intentions and beliefs of others is the existence of a functional self-other distinction. At least two neural systems have been proposed to manage such a critical distinction. One system, part of the classic motor system, is specialized for the preparation and execution of motor actions that are self realized and voluntary, while the other appears primarily involved in capturing and understanding the actions of non-self or others. The latter system, of which the mirror neuron system is part, is the canonical action 'resonance' system in the brain that has evolved to share many of the same circuits involved in motor control. Mirroring or 'shared circuit systems' are assumed to be involved in resonating, imitating, and/or simulating the actions of others. A number of researchers have proposed that shared representations of motor actions may form a foundational cornerstone for higher order social processes, such as motor learning, action understanding, imitation, perspective taking, understanding facial emotions, and empathy. However, mirroring systems that evolve from the classic motor system present at least three problems: a development, a correspondence, and a control problem. Developmentally, the question is how does a mirroring system arise? How do humans acquire the ability to simulate through mapping observed onto executed actions? Are mirror neurons innate and therefore genetically programmed? To what extent is learning necessary? In terms of the correspondence problem, the question is how does the observer agent know what the observed agent's resonance activation pattern is? How does the matching of motor activation patterns occur? Finally, in terms of the control problem, the issue is how to efficiently control a mirroring system when it is turned on automatically through observation? Or, as others have stated the problem more succinctly: "Why don't we imitate all the time?" In this review, we argue

  18. Activity-Dependent Neurorehabilitation Beyond Physical Trainings: "Mental Exercise" Through Mirror Neuron Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Ti-Fei; Chen, Wei; Shan, Chunlei; Rocha, Nuno; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Paes, Flávia; de Sá, Alberto Souza; Machado, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    The activity dependent brain repair mechanism has been widely adopted in many types of neurorehabilitation. The activity leads to target specific and non-specific beneficial effects in different brain regions, such as the releasing of neurotrophic factors, modulation of the cytokines and generation of new neurons in adult hood. However physical exercise program clinically are limited to some of the patients with preserved motor functions; while many patients suffered from paralysis cannot make such efforts. Here the authors proposed the employment of mirror neurons system in promoting brain rehabilitation by "observation based stimulation". Mirror neuron system has been considered as an important basis for action understanding and learning by mimicking others. During the action observation, mirror neuron system mediated the direct activation of the same group of motor neurons that are responsible for the observed action. The effect is clear, direct, specific and evolutionarily conserved. Moreover, recent evidences hinted for the beneficial effects on stroke patients after mirror neuron system activation therapy. Finally some music-relevant therapies were proposed to be related with mirror neuron system.

  19. Granularity of the mirror neuron system: A complex endeavor. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by A. D'Ausilio et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinnen, S. P.; Alaerts, K.

    2015-03-01

    The review paper by D'Ausilio and coauthors [3] is very timely and addresses one of the long-standing issues with respect to the coding features of mirror neurons. Through the history of mirror neuron research, there has been some controversy with respect to the level of granularity of the mirror neuron system, as studied in animal and human systems. While some researchers have suggested that abstract (high level) features of movement are coded, others have claimed evidence for more muscle specific (low level) coding properties (for an example, see [1,2]). D'Ausilio et al. [3] take a strong position in their review, suggesting a convergence between basic mechanisms of movement control and the mirror neuron system. Their suggestion is inspired by Bernstein's influential work on the so-called degrees of freedom problem. Even though a goal can in principle be reached in an infinite number of ways, consistent and stereotypical patterns of kinematics and muscle activation are often observed [4]. This has led to the notion of movement synergies as the basic building blocks for movement control. Even though it is essentially possible to contract isolated muscles or even motor units, Bernstein suggested that control of complex movement relies on movement synergies or coordinative structures, referring to a group of muscles that behave as a functional unit. This reduces the computational demands of the central nervous system considerably by assigning more responsibility to the lower levels of the movement control system. Bernstein's approach has inspired the dynamical systems perspective that has focused on a better understanding of complex biological systems such as interlimb coordination in humans [8]. For example, the upper limbs behave as a coordinative structure whereby simultaneous activation of the homologous muscle groups constitutes the default or preferred coordination mode that has to be defied when alternative patterns of coordination need to be performed or

  20. Universal Connection through Art: Role of Mirror Neurons in Art Production and Reception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piechowski-Jozwiak, Bartlomiej; Boller, François; Bogousslavsky, Julien

    2017-05-05

    Art is defined as expression or application of human creative skill and imagination producing works to be appreciated primarily for their aesthetic value or emotional power. This definition encompasses two very important elements-the creation and reception of art-and by doing so it establishes a link, a dialogue between the artist and spectator. From the evolutionary biological perspective, activities need to have an immediate or remote effect on the population through improving survival, gene selection, and environmental adjustment, and this includes art. It may serve as a universal means of communication bypassing time, cultural, ethnic, and social differences. The neurological mechanisms of both art production and appreciation are researched by neuroscientists and discussed both in terms of healthy brain biology and complex neuronal networking perspectives. In this paper, we describe folk art and the issue of symbolic archetypes in psychoanalytic thought as well as offer neuronal mechanisms for art by emphasizing mirror/neurons and the role they play in it.

  1. Mirror neuron activation of musicians and non-musicians in response to motion captured piano performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hou, Jiancheng; Rajmohan, Ravi; Fang, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Mirror neurons (MNs) activate when performing an action and when an observer witnesses the same action performed by another individual. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and presentation of motion captured piano performances were used to identify differences in MN activation for musici......Mirror neurons (MNs) activate when performing an action and when an observer witnesses the same action performed by another individual. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and presentation of motion captured piano performances were used to identify differences in MN activation...

  2. From music making to speaking: engaging the mirror neuron system in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Catherine Y; Demaine, Krystal; Zipse, Lauryn; Norton, Andrea; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-05-31

    Individuals with autism show impairments in emotional tuning, social interactions and communication. These are functions that have been attributed to the putative human mirror neuron system (MNS), which contains neurons that respond to the actions of self and others. It has been proposed that a dysfunction of that system underlies some of the characteristics of autism. Here, we review behavioral and imaging studies that implicate the MNS (or a brain network with similar functions) in sensory-motor integration and speech representation, and review data supporting the hypothesis that MNS activity could be abnormal in autism. In addition, we propose that an intervention designed to engage brain regions that overlap with the MNS may have significant clinical potential. We argue that this engagement could be achieved through forms of music making. Music making with others (e.g., playing instruments or singing) is a multi-modal activity that has been shown to engage brain regions that largely overlap with the human MNS. Furthermore, many children with autism thoroughly enjoy participating in musical activities. Such activities may enhance their ability to focus and interact with others, thereby fostering the development of communication and social skills. Thus, interventions incorporating methods of music making may offer a promising approach for facilitating expressive language in otherwise nonverbal children with autism. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Dynamic visuomotor transformation involved with remote flying of a plane utilizes the 'Mirror Neuron' system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel E Callan

    Full Text Available Brain regions involved with processing dynamic visuomotor representational transformation are investigated using fMRI. The perceptual-motor task involved flying (or observing a plane through a simulated Red Bull Air Race course in first person and third person chase perspective. The third person perspective is akin to remote operation of a vehicle. The ability for humans to remotely operate vehicles likely has its roots in neural processes related to imitation in which visuomotor transformation is necessary to interpret the action goals in an egocentric manner suitable for execution. In this experiment for 3(rd person perspective the visuomotor transformation is dynamically changing in accordance to the orientation of the plane. It was predicted that 3(rd person remote flying, over 1(st, would utilize brain regions composing the 'Mirror Neuron' system that is thought to be intimately involved with imitation for both execution and observation tasks. Consistent with this prediction differential brain activity was present for 3(rd person over 1(st person perspectives for both execution and observation tasks in left ventral premotor cortex, right dorsal premotor cortex, and inferior parietal lobule bilaterally (Mirror Neuron System (Behaviorally: 1(st>3(rd. These regions additionally showed greater activity for flying (execution over watching (observation conditions. Even though visual and motor aspects of the tasks were controlled for, differential activity was also found in brain regions involved with tool use, motion perception, and body perspective including left cerebellum, temporo-occipital regions, lateral occipital cortex, medial temporal region, and extrastriate body area. This experiment successfully demonstrates that a complex perceptual motor real-world task can be utilized to investigate visuomotor processing. This approach (Aviation Cerebral Experimental Sciences ACES focusing on direct application to lab and field is in contrast to

  4. View-Invariant Visuomotor Processing in Computational Mirror Neuron System for Humanoid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farhan Dawood

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot.

  5. Mirror neuron activity during contagious yawning--an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haker, Helene; Kawohl, Wolfram; Herwig, Uwe; Rössler, Wulf

    2013-03-01

    Yawning is contagious. However, little research has been done to elucidate the neuronal representation of this phenomenon. Our study objective was to test the hypothesis that the human mirror neuron system (MNS) is activated by visually perceived yawning. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess brain activity during contagious yawning (CY). Signal-dependent changes in blood oxygen levels were compared when subjects viewed videotapes of yawning faces as opposed to faces with a neutral expression. In response to yawning, subjects showed unilateral activation of their Brodmann's area 9 (BA 9) portion of the right inferior frontal gyrus, a region of the MNS. In this way, two individuals could share physiological and associated emotional states based on perceived motor patterns. This is one component of empathy (motor empathy) that underlies the development of cognitive empathy. The BA 9 is reportedly active in tasks requiring mentalizing abilities. Our results emphasize the connection between the MNS and higher cognitive empathic functions, including mentalizing. We conclude that CY is based on a functional substrate of empathy.

  6. Differential Patterns of Dysconnectivity in Mirror Neuron and Mentalizing Networks in Schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilbach, Leonhard; Derntl, Birgit; Aleman, Andre; Caspers, Svenja; Clos, Mareike; Diederen, Kelly M. J.; Gruber, Oliver; Kogler, Lydia; Liemburg, Edith J.; Sommer, Iris E.; Mueller, Veronika I.; Cieslik, Edna C.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    Impairments of social cognition are well documented in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ), but the neural basis remains poorly understood. In light of evidence that suggests that the "mirror neuron system" (MNS) and the "mentalizing network" (MENT) are key substrates of intersubjectivity and joint

  7. Mapping the flow of information within the putative mirror neuron system during gesture observation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, Marleen B.; Keysers, Christian

    2011-01-01

    The putative mirror neuron system may either function as a strict feed-forward system or as a dynamic control system. A strict feed-forward system would predict that action observation leads to a predominantly temporal -> parietal -> premotor flow of information in which a visual representation is

  8. Spatio-temporal dynamics of the mirror neuron system during social intentions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacioppo, Stephanie; Bolmont, Mylene; Monteleone, George

    2017-10-27

    Previous research has shown that specific goals and intentions influence a person's allocation of social attention. From a neural viewpoint, a growing body of evidence suggests that the inferior fronto-parietal network, including the mirror neuron system, plays a role in the planning and the understanding of motor intentions. However, it is unclear whether and when the mirror neuron system plays a role in social intentions. Combining a behavioral task with electrical neuroimaging in 22 healthy male participants, the current study investigates whether the temporal brain dynamic of the mirror neuron system differs during two types of social intentions i.e., lust vs. romantic intentions. Our results showed that 62% of the stimuli evoking lustful intentions also evoked romantic intentions, and both intentions were sustained by similar activations of the inferior frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobule/angular gyrus for the first 432 ms after stimulus onset. Intentions to not love or not lust, on the other hand, were characterized by earlier differential activations of the inferior fronto-parietal network i.e., as early as 244 ms after stimulus onset. These results suggest that the mirror neuron system may not only code for the motor correlates of intentions, but also for the social meaning of intentions and its valence at both early/automatic and later/more elaborative stages of information processing.

  9. Sensitivity to perception level differentiates two subnetworks within the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Shiri; Mukamel, Roy

    2017-05-01

    Mirror neurons are a subset of brain cells that discharge during action execution and passive observation of similar actions. An open question concerns the functional role of their ability to match observed and executed actions. Since understanding of goals requires conscious perception of actions, we expect that mirror neurons potentially involved in action goal coding, will be modulated by changes in action perception level. Here, we manipulated perception level of action videos depicting short hand movements and measured the corresponding fMRI BOLD responses in mirror regions. Our results show that activity levels within a network of regions, including the sensorimotor cortex, primary motor cortex, dorsal premotor cortex and posterior superior temporal sulcus, are sensitive to changes in action perception level, whereas activity levels in the inferior frontal gyrus, ventral premotor cortex, supplementary motor area and superior parietal lobule are invariant to such changes. In addition, this parcellation to two sub-networks manifest as smaller functional distances within each group of regions during task and resting state. Our results point to functional differences between regions within the mirror neurons system which may have implications with respect to their possible role in action understanding. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  10. THE ROLE OF THE MIRROR NEURON SYSTEM IN MOTOR LEARNING

    OpenAIRE

    Buccino, Giovanni; Riggio, Lucia

    2006-01-01

    Following a classical perspective, acquiring a new motor skill implies moving from a declarative knowl-edge of the motor task to be learned to a procedural knowledge of it. Some recent research on the motor system challenges this view. In the ventral premotor cortex of a monkey, neurons have been discovered that discharge both when an animal executes a specific goal-directed action (i.e. grasping a piece of food) and when it observes the same or a similar action executed by a conspecific or a...

  11. Dissociating object directed and non-object directed action in the human mirror system; implications for theories of motor simulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarinah K Agnew

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons are single cells found in macaque premotor and parietal cortices that are active during action execution and observation. In non-human primates, mirror neurons have only been found in relation to object-directed movements or communicative gestures, as non-object directed actions of the upper limb are not well characterized in non-human primates. Mirror neurons provide important evidence for motor simulation theories of cognition, sometimes referred to as the direct matching hypothesis, which propose that observed actions are mapped onto associated motor schemata in a direct and automatic manner. This study, for the first time, directly compares mirror responses, defined as the overlap between action execution and observation, during object directed and meaningless non-object directed actions. We present functional MRI data that demonstrate a clear dissociation between object directed and non-object directed actions within the human mirror system. A premotor and parietal network was preferentially active during object directed actions, whether observed or executed. Moreover, we report spatially correlated activity across multiple voxels for observation and execution of an object directed action. In contrast to predictions made by motor simulation theory, no similar activity was observed for non-object directed actions. These data demonstrate that object directed and meaningless non-object directed actions are subserved by different neuronal networks and that the human mirror response is significantly greater for object directed actions. These data have important implications for understanding the human mirror system and for simulation theories of motor cognition. Subsequent theories of motor simulation must account for these differences, possibly by acknowledging the role of experience in modulating the mirror response.

  12. In search of neural mechanisms of mirror neuron dysfunction in schizophrenia: resting state functional connectivity approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaytseva, Yuliya; Bendova, Marie; Garakh, Zhanna; Tintera, Jaroslav; Rydlo, Jan; Spaniel, Filip; Horacek, Jiri

    2015-09-01

    It has been repeatedly shown that schizophrenia patients have immense alterations in goal-directed behaviour, social cognition, and social interactions, cognitive abilities that are presumably driven by the mirror neurons system (MNS). However, the neural bases of these deficits still remain unclear. Along with the task-related fMRI and EEG research tapping into the mirror neuron system, the characteristics of the resting state activity in the particular areas that encompass mirror neurons might be of interest as they obviously determine the baseline of the neuronal activity. Using resting state fMRI, we investigated resting state functional connectivity (FC) in four predefined brain structures, ROIs (inferior frontal gyrus, superior parietal lobule, premotor cortex and superior temporal gyrus), known for their mirror neurons activity, in 12 patients with first psychotic episode and 12 matched healthy individuals. As a specific hypothesis, based on the knowledge of the anatomical inputs of thalamus to all preselected ROIs, we have investigated the FC between thalamus and the ROIs. Of all ROIs included, seed-to-voxel connectivity analysis revealed significantly decreased FC only in left posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG) and the areas in visual cortex and cerebellum in patients as compared to controls. Using ROI-to-ROI analysis (thalamus and selected ROIs), we have found an increased FC of STG and bilateral thalamus whereas the FC of these areas was decreased in controls. Our results suggest that: (1) schizophrenia patients exhibit FC of STG which corresponds to the previously reported changes of superior temporal gyrus in schizophrenia and might contribute to the disturbances of specific functions, such as emotional processing or spatial awareness; (2) as the thalamus plays a pivotal role in the sensory gating, providing the filtering of the redundant stimulation, the observed hyperconnectivity between the thalami and the STGs in patients with schizophrenia

  13. Imagining and Imaging the Social Brain: The Case of Mirror Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanzoni, Susan

    In a contemporary setting in which all things "neuro" have great cultural sway, an analysis of the ways in which neuroscience is indebted to the methods and findings of the social sciences has received less attention. Indeed, in the new specialization of social neuroscience, neuroscientists now collaborate with contemporary psychologists and invoke historical psychological theories to help theorize empathy and social understanding. This article examines the overlap between psychological frameworks of social emotion and neuroscience in the case of mirror neurons, discovered in the 1990s. Some neuroscientists purport that mirror neurons underlie the social behaviours of imitation and empathy, and have found support for this view of theories of simulation and embodied cognition. They have also invoked pragmatic and phenomenological approaches to mind and behaviour dating back to the early 20 th century. Neuroscientists have thus imported, adapted, and interpreted psychological models to help define social understanding, empathy, and imitation in many imaging studies.

  14. Differential Patterns of Dysconnectivity in Mirror Neuron and Mentalizing Networks in Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    L. Schilbach; Derntl, B; Aleman, A.; Caspers, S.; Clos, M.; Diederen, K; Gruber, O; Kogler, L.; Liemburg, E.; Sommer, I.; Mueller, V.; Cieslik, E.; Eickhoff, S.

    2016-01-01

    Impairments of social cognition are well documented in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ), but the neural basis remains poorly understood. In light of evidence that suggests that the "mirror neuron system" (MNS) and the "mentalizing network" (MENT) are key substrates of intersubjectivity and joint action, it has been suggested that dysfunction of these neural networks may underlie social difficulties in SCZ patients. Additionally, MNS and MENT might be associated differently with positive vs n...

  15. Autism, emotion recognition and the mirror neuron system: the case of music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Wang, Martha J; Laugeson, Elizabeth A; Overy, Katie; Wu, Wai-Ling; Piggot, Judith

    2009-11-16

    Understanding emotions is fundamental to our ability to navigate and thrive in a complex world of human social interaction. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are known to experience difficulties with the communication and understanding of emotion, such as the nonverbal expression of emotion and the interpretation of emotions of others from facial expressions and body language. These deficits often lead to loneliness and isolation from peers, and social withdrawal from the environment in general. In the case of music however, there is evidence to suggest that individuals with ASD do not have difficulties recognizing simple emotions. In addition, individuals with ASD have been found to show normal and even superior abilities with specific aspects of music processing, and often show strong preferences towards music. It is possible these varying abilities with different types of expressive communication may be related to a neural system referred to as the mirror neuron system (MNS), which has been proposed as deficient in individuals with autism. Music's power to stimulate emotions and intensify our social experiences might activate the MNS in individuals with ASD, and thus provide a neural foundation for music as an effective therapeutic tool. In this review, we present literature on the ontogeny of emotion processing in typical development and in individuals with ASD, with a focus on the case of music.

  16. Mirror neurons as a model for the science and treatment of stuttering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Gregory J; Waddell, Dwight E; Blanchet, Paul

    2016-01-06

    Persistent developmental stuttering is generally considered a speech disorder and affects ∼1% of the global population. While mainstream treatments continue to rely on unreliable behavioral speech motor targets, an emerging research perspective utilizes the mirror neuron system hypothesis as a neural substrate in the science and treatment of stuttering. The purpose of this exploratory study is to test the viability of the mirror neuron system hypothesis in the fluency enhancement of those who stutter. Participants were asked to speak while they were producing self-generated manual gestures, producing and visually perceiving self-generated manual gestures, and visually perceiving manual gestures, relative to a nonmanual gesture control speaking condition. Data reveal that all experimental speaking conditions enhanced fluent speech in all research participants, and the simultaneous perception and production of manual gesturing trended toward greater efficacious fluency enhancement. Coupled with existing research, we interpret these data as suggestive of fluency enhancement through subcortical involvement within multiple levels of an action understanding mirror neuron network. In addition, incidental findings report that stuttering moments were observed to simultaneously occur both orally and manually. Consequently, these data suggest that stuttering behaviors are compensatory, distal manifestations over multiple expressive modalities to an underlying centralized genetic neural substrate of the disorder.

  17. Reflecting on the mirror neuron system in autism: a systematic review of current theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Antonia F de C

    2013-01-01

    There is much interest in the claim that dysfunction of the mirror neuron system in individuals with autism spectrum condition causes difficulties in social interaction and communication. This paper systematically reviews all published studies using neuroscience methods (EEG/MEG/TMS/eyetracking/EMG/fMRI) to examine the integrity of the mirror system in autism. 25 suitable papers are reviewed. The review shows that current data are very mixed and that studies using weakly localised measures of the integrity of the mirror system are hard to interpret. The only well localised measure of mirror system function is fMRI. In fMRI studies, those using emotional stimuli have reported group differences, but studies using non-emotional hand action stimuli do not. Overall, there is little evidence for a global dysfunction of the mirror system in autism. Current data can be better understood under an alternative model in which social top-down response modulation is abnormal in autism. The implications of this model and future research directions are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Effect of Different Mental Imagery Speeds on the Motor Performance: Investigation of the Role of Mirror Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sajad Parsaei

    2017-09-01

    Conclusion: The results of this study showed that mirror neurons within the premotor cortex are an important neural mechanism in the brain activity pattern, which causes the effectiveness of imagery in the improvement of motor skills.  

  19. A High Performance CMOS Current Mirror Circuit with Neuron MOSFETs and a Transimpedance Amplifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Akio; Ishikawa, Yohei; Fukai, Sumio; Aikawa, Masayoshi

    In this paper, we propose a high accuracy current mirror circuit suitable for a low-voltage operation. The proposed circuit has a novel negative feedback that is composed of neuron MOSFETs and a transimpedance amplifier. As a result, the proposed circuit achieves a high accuracy current mirror circuit. At the same time, the proposed circuit monitors an error current by a low voltage because the negative feedback operates in a current-mode. The performance of the proposed circuit is evaluated using HSPICE simulation with On-Semiconductor 1.48μm CMOS device parameters. Simulation results show that the output resistance of the proposed circuit is 5.79[GΩ] and minimum operating range is 0.3[V].

  20. From muscles synergies and individual goals to interpersonal synergies and shared goals: Mirror neurons and interpersonal action hierarchies. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by D'Ausilio et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candidi, Matteo; Sacheli, Lucia Maria; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2015-03-01

    D'Ausilio et al. [28] must be praised for bringing attention to the important question of how human Mirror Neurons (MNs) may contribute to action perception, prediction and understanding [1] and for linking their role with the granularity of the motor system as conceptualized in the domain of action control theories. Although we think that the Authors are right in saying that the granularity of the motor system constrains the granularity of the MN system, we speculate that the contribution of MNs to action perception, prediction and understanding is also constrained by the connections between MNs and other cortical and subcortical regions, and by the identity of MNs, i.e. whether they are interneurons or pyramidal cells [2]. In other words, the functional contribution of MS depends on whether they are connected to sensory, emotional and cognitive networks for the service of action perception, prediction and understanding.

  1. A developmental approach of imitation to study the emergence of mirror neurons in a sensory-motor controller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaussier Philippe

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons have often been considered as the explanation of how primates can imitate. In this paper, we show that a simple neural network architecture that learns visuo-motor associations can be enough to let low level imitation emerge without a priori mirror neurons. Adding sequence learning mechanisms and action inhibition allows to perform deferred imitation of gestures demonstrated visually or by body manipulation. With the building of a cognitive map giving the capability of learning plans, we can study in our model the emergence of both low level and high level resonances highlighted by Rizzolatti et al.

  2. NEURONAS ESPEJO Y EL APRENDIZAJE EN ANESTESIA Learning anaesthesia and mirror neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Bautista

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Las neuronas espejo fueron descritas inicialmente en primates de la especie Macaca nemestrina hacia el año 1990 por el neurofisiólogo Giacomo Rizzolatti y su grupo de la Universidad de Parma, en Italia. Son neuronas motoras que activan cuando el individuo observa la acción concreta para la que están predeterminadas sin generar ningún tipo de actividad motora. En la actualidad se considera que estas neuronas participan en procesos de adaptación al entorno social ya que permiten no solamente comprender las acciones sino también las intenciones de otros individuos. Se les atribuye función en los procesos de aprendizaje simple a través de la observación y la imitación que pueden ser aprovechados en la enseñanza de la anestesiología.Mirror neurons were initially described in primates from the Macaca nemestrina species around 1990 by the neurophysiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti and his group from Parma University in Italy. They are motor neurons which become activated when an individual observes a concrete action for which they are predetermined without any type of motor activity being produced. It is currently considered that these neurons participate in adapting to the social setting since they lead to understanding other individuals' actions and intensions. A function has been ascribed to them regarding simple learning through observation and imitation which can be exploited in teaching anesthesiology.

  3. Intentional attunement: mirror neurons and the neural underpinnings of interpersonal relations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallese, Vittorio; Eagle, Morris N; Migone, Paolo

    2007-01-01

    The neural circuits activated in a person carrying out actions, expressing emotions, and experiencing sensations are activated also, automatically via a mirror neuron system, in the observer of those actions, emotions, and sensations. It is proposed that this finding of shared activation suggests a functional mechanism of "embodied simulation" that consists of the automatic, unconscious, and noninferential simulation in the observer of actions, emotions, and sensations carried out and experienced by the observed. It is proposed also that the shared neural activation pattern and the accompanying embodied simulation constitute a fundamental biological basis for understanding another's mind. The implications of this perspective for psychoanalysis are discussed, particularly regarding unconscious communication, projective identification, attunement, empathy, autism, therapeutic action, and transference-countertransference interactions.

  4. Mirror neuron dysfunction and ego-boundary disturbances in schizophrenia: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basavaraju, Rakshathi; Mehta, Urvakhsh Meherwan; Thirthalli, Jagadisha; Gangadhar, Bangalore N

    2015-01-01

    Ego-boundary disturbance (EBD) is a unique symptom cluster characterized by passivity experiences (involving thoughts, actions, emotions and sensations) attributed by patients to some external agency. The neurobiology of these "first rank" symptoms is poorly understood. Aberrant mirror neuron activation may explain impaired self-monitoring and agency attribution underlying these symptoms. We aim to study mirror neuron activity (MNA) in schizophrenia patients with and without EBD using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). 50 right-handed schizophrenia patients (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) were evaluated using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. They completed a TMS experiment to assess putative premotor MNA. Motor evoked potential (MEP) was recorded in the right first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) with (a) 120% of resting motor threshold (RMT), (b) stimulus intensity set to evoke MEP of motor threshold 1 mV amplitude (MT1), (c) two paired pulse paradigms (short- and long interval intra-cortical inhibition). These were done in three states: Actual observation of an action using the FDI, virtual-observation (video) of this action and resting state. The percent change of MEP from resting to action-observation states formed the measure of putative MNA. MNA measured using MT1 and 120% RMT paradigms was significantly lower in the 18 patients with EBD (thought-broadcast/withdrawal/insertion, made-act/impulse/affect and somatic passivity) than the 32 patients without EBD (t = 2.431, P = 0.020; t = 2.051, P = 0.04 respectively for the two paradigms). The two groups did not differ on age, gender, education and total symptom scores. Schizophrenia patients with EBD have lower premotor MNA. This highlights the role of MNA dysfunction in the pathophysiology of this unique and intriguing symptom cluster in schizophrenia.

  5. The granularity of grasping. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by A. D'Ausilio et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Antonia F. de C.

    2015-03-01

    The idea that mirror neuron systems in the human and the macaque monkey could provide a link between perceiving an action and performing it has spurred intense research [1,2]. Hundreds of papers now examine if this link exists and what it might contribute to human behaviour. The review article from D'Ausilio et al. [3] highlights how relatively few papers have considered the granularity of coding with mirror neuron systems, and even fewer have directly tested different possibilities. Granularity refers to the critical question of what actually is encoded within the mirror system - are neurons selective for low level kinematic features such as joint angle, or for postural synergies, or for action goals? Focusing on studies of single neurons in macaques and on studies measuring the excitability of primary motor cortex with TMS, the review suggests that it is very hard to distinguish low-level kinematic from goal representations. Furthermore, these two levels are often highly correlated in real-life contexts - the kinematics needed to grasp an apple are defined by the shape of the goal (an apple tends to be a large sphere) and these kinematics differ for other possible goals (a pencil which is a narrow cylinder). In some cases, kinematics may be enough to define a goal [4]. The review suggests that it is therefore arbitrary to distinguish these levels, and that a synergy level might be a better way to understand the mirror system. Synergies are a form of coding based on commonly used hand-shapes or hand postures, which take into account the fact that some joint angles are more likely to co-occur than others. Evidence that different grasp shapes are represented separately in premotor cortex has been found [5]. These could provide an intermediate level of representation between muscle activity and goals. The review proposes that a synergy level of granularity provides the best way to consider both the motor system and the role of the mirror system in understanding

  6. Why is your spouse so predictable? Connecting mirror neuron system and self-expansion model of love.

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    Ortigue, Stephanie; Bianchi-Demicheli, Francesco

    2008-12-01

    The simulation theory assumes we understand actions and intentions of others through a direct matching process. This matching process activates a complex brain network involving the mirror neuron system (MNS), which is self-related and active when one does something or observes someone else acting. Because social psychology admits that mutual intention's understanding grows in close relationship as love grows, we hypothesize that mirror mechanisms take place in love relationships. The similarities between the mirror matching process and the mutual intention's understanding that occurs when two persons are in love suggest that exposure to love might affect functional and neural mechanisms, thus facilitating the understanding of the beloved's intentions. Congruent with our hypothesis, our preliminary results from 38 subjects strongly suggest a significant facilitation effect of love on understanding the intentions of the beloved (as opposed to control stimuli). Based on these phenomenological, and neurofunctional findings we suggest that the mirror mechanisms are involved in the facilitation effects of love for understanding intentions, and might further be extended to any types of love (e.g., passionate love, maternal love). Love experiences are important not only to the beloved himself, but also to any societal, cultural, and institutional patterns that relate to love. Yet, concerning its subjective character, love experiences are difficult to access. The modern procedures and techniques of socio-cognitive neuroscience make it possible to understand love and self-related experiences not only by the analysis of subjective self-reported questionnaires, but also by approaching the automatic (non-conscious) mirror experiences of love in healthy subjects, and neurological patients with a brain damage within the mirror neuron system. Although the psychology of love is now well admitted, the systematic study of the automatic facilitation effect of love through mirror

  7. Mirrored STDP Implements Autoencoder Learning in a Network of Spiking Neurons.

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    Kendra S Burbank

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The autoencoder algorithm is a simple but powerful unsupervised method for training neural networks. Autoencoder networks can learn sparse distributed codes similar to those seen in cortical sensory areas such as visual area V1, but they can also be stacked to learn increasingly abstract representations. Several computational neuroscience models of sensory areas, including Olshausen & Field's Sparse Coding algorithm, can be seen as autoencoder variants, and autoencoders have seen extensive use in the machine learning community. Despite their power and versatility, autoencoders have been difficult to implement in a biologically realistic fashion. The challenges include their need to calculate differences between two neuronal activities and their requirement for learning rules which lead to identical changes at feedforward and feedback connections. Here, we study a biologically realistic network of integrate-and-fire neurons with anatomical connectivity and synaptic plasticity that closely matches that observed in cortical sensory areas. Our choice of synaptic plasticity rules is inspired by recent experimental and theoretical results suggesting that learning at feedback connections may have a different form from learning at feedforward connections, and our results depend critically on this novel choice of plasticity rules. Specifically, we propose that plasticity rules at feedforward versus feedback connections are temporally opposed versions of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP, leading to a symmetric combined rule we call Mirrored STDP (mSTDP. We show that with mSTDP, our network follows a learning rule that approximately minimizes an autoencoder loss function. When trained with whitened natural image patches, the learned synaptic weights resemble the receptive fields seen in V1. Our results use realistic synaptic plasticity rules to show that the powerful autoencoder learning algorithm could be within the reach of real biological

  8. Sensory Neurons in the Human Geniculate Ganglion.

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    Sato, Tadasu; Yamaguma, Yu; Sasaki, Yu; Kanda, Noriyuki; Sasahara, Nobuyuki; Kokubun, Souichi; Yajima, Takehiro; Ichikawa, Hiroyuki

    2017-01-01

    The geniculate ganglion (GG) contains visceral and somatic sensory neurons of the facial nerve. In this study, the number and cell size of sensory neurons in the human GG were investigated. The estimated number of GG neurons ranged from 1,580 to 2,561 (mean ± SD = 1,960 ± 364.6). The cell size of GG neurons ranged from 393.0 to 2,485.4 μm2 (mean ± SD = 1,067.4 ± 99.5 μm2). Sensory neurons in the GG were significantly smaller in size than those in the dorsal root (range = 326.6-5343.4 μm2, mean ± SD = 1,683.2 ± 203.8 μm2) or trigeminal ganglia (range = 349.6-4,889.28 μm2, mean ± SD = 1,529.0 ± 198.48 μm2). Sensory neurons had similar cell body sizes in the GG and nodose ganglion (range = 357.2-3,488.33 μm2, mean ± SD = 1,160.4 ± 156.61 μm2). These findings suggest that viscerosensory neurons have smaller cell bodies than somatosensory neurons. In addition, immunohistochemistry for several neurochemical substances was performed on the human GG. In the ganglion, sensory neurons were mostly immunoreactive for secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine-like 1 (94.3%). One third of GG neurons showed vesicular glutamate transporter 2 immunoreactivity (31.3%). Only 7.3% of GG neurons were immunoreactive for transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1. Sensory neurons in the human GG may respond to gustatory, nociceptive, and/or mechanoreceptive stimuli from tongues, soft palates, and external auditory canals. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Autism and the mirror neuron system: insights from learning and teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivanti, Giacomo; Rogers, Sally J

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with autism have difficulties in social learning domains which typically involve mirror neuron system (MNS) activation. However, the precise role of the MNS in the development of autism and its relevance to treatment remain unclear. In this paper, we argue that three distinct aspects of social learning are critical for advancing knowledge in this area: (i) the mechanisms that allow for the implicit mapping of and learning from others' behaviour, (ii) the motivation to attend to and model conspecifics and (iii) the flexible and selective use of social learning. These factors are key targets of the Early Start Denver Model, an autism treatment approach which emphasizes social imitation, dyadic engagement, verbal and non-verbal communication and affect sharing. Analysis of the developmental processes and treatment-related changes in these different aspects of social learning in autism can shed light on the nature of the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying social learning and positive treatment outcomes in autism. This knowledge in turn may assist in developing more successful pedagogic approaches to autism spectrum disorder. Thus, intervention research can inform the debate on relations among neuropsychology of social learning, the role of the MNS, and educational practice in autism.

  10. A Serious Game for Upper Limb Stroke Rehabilitation Using Biofeedback and Mirror-Neurons Based Training.

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    Cargnin, Diego João; Cordeiro d'Ornellas, Marcos; Cervi Prado, Ana Lúcia

    2015-01-01

    Upper limb stroke rehabilitation requires early, intensive and repetitive practice to be effective. Consequently, it is often difficult to keep patients committed to their rehabilitation regimen. In addition to direct measures of rehabilitation achievable through targeted assessments, other factors can indirectly lead to rehabilitation. Current levels of integration between commodity graphics software, hardware, and body-tracking devices have provided a reliable tool to build what are referred to as serious games, focusing on the rehabilitation paradigm. More specifically, serious games can captivate and engage players for a specific purpose such as developing new knowledge or skills. This paper discusses a serious game application with a focus on upper limb rehabilitation in patients with hemiplegia or hemiparesis. The game makes use of biofeedback and mirror-neurons to enhance the patient's engagement. Results from the application of a quantitative self-report instrument to assess in-game engagement suggest that the serious game is a viable instructional approach rather than an entertaining novelty and, furthermore, demonstrates the future potential for dual action therapy-focused games.

  11. Mirror Neurons System Engagement in Late Adolescents and Adults While Viewing Emotional Gestures.

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    Emilie Salvia

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Observing others’ actions enhances muscle-specific cortico-spinal excitability, reflecting putative mirror neurons activity. The exposure to emotional stimuli also modulates cortico-spinal excitability. We investigated how those two phenomena might interact when they are combined, i.e. while observing a gesture performed with an emotion, and whether they change during the transition between adolescence and adulthood, a period of social and brain maturation.We delivered single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS over the hand area of the left primary motor cortex of 27 healthy adults and adolescents and recorded their right first dorsal interossus (FDI muscle activity (i.e. motor evoked potential – MEP, while they viewed either videos of neutral or angry hand actions and facial expressions, or neutral objects as a control condition. We reproduced the motor resonance and the emotion effects -- hand-actions and emotional stimuli induced greater cortico-spinal excitability than the faces / control condition and neutral videos, respectively. Moreover, the influence of emotion was present for faces but not for hand actions, indicating that the motor resonance and the emotion effect might be non-additive. While motor resonance was observed in both groups, the emotion effect was present only in adults and not in adolescents. We discuss the possible neural bases of these findings.

  12. Modulation of the N30 generators of the somatosensory evoked potentials by the mirror neuron system.

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    Cebolla, A M; Palmero-Soler, E; Dan, B; Cheron, G

    2014-07-15

    The N30 component of the somatosensory evoked potential is known to be modulated by sensory interference, motor action, movement ideation and observation. We introduce a new paradigm in which the observation task of another person's hand movement triggers the somatosensory stimulus, inducing the N30 response in participants. In order to identify the possible contribution of the mirror neuron network (MNN) to this early sensorimotor processing, we analyzed the N30 topography, the event-related spectral perturbation and the inter-trial coherence on single electroencephalogram (EEG) trials, and we applied swLORETA to localize the N30 sources implicated in the time-frequency domain at rest and during observation, as well as the generators differentiating these two contextual brain states. We found that N30 amplitude increase correlated with increased contralateral precentral alpha, frontal beta, and contralateral frontal gamma power spectrum, and with central and precentral alpha and parietal beta phase-locking of ongoing EEG signals. We demonstrate specific activation of the contralateral post-central and parietal cortex where the angular gyrus (BA39), an important MNN node, is implicated in this enhancement during observation. We conclude that this part of the MNN, involved in proprioceptive processing and more complex body-action representations, is already active prior to somatosensory input and may enhance N30. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Mirror neuron activation of musicians and non-musicians in response to motion captured piano performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Jiancheng; Rajmohan, Ravi; Fang, Dan; Kashfi, Karl; Al-Khalil, Kareem; Yang, James; Westney, William; Grund, Cynthia M; O'Boyle, Michael W

    2017-07-01

    Mirror neurons (MNs) activate when performing an action and when an observer witnesses the same action performed by another individual. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and presentation of motion captured piano performances were used to identify differences in MN activation for musicians/non-musicians when viewing piano pieces played in a "Correct" mode (i.e., emphasis on technical correctness) or an "Enjoyment" mode (i.e., simply told to "enjoy" playing the piece). Results showed greater MN activation in a variety of brain regions for musicians, with these differences more pronounced in the "Enjoyment" mode. Our findings suggest that activation of MNs is not only initiated by the imagined action of an observed movement, but such activation is modulated by the level of musical expertise and knowledge of associated motor movements that the observer brings to the viewing situation. Enhanced MN activation in musicians may stem from imagining themselves actually playing the observed piece. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Knowing beans: Human mirror mechanisms revealed through motor adaptation

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    Arthur M Glenberg

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Human mirror mechanisms (MMs respond during both performed and observed action and appear to underlie action goal recognition. We introduce a behavioral procedure for discovering and clarifying functional MM properties: Blindfolded participants repeatedly move beans either toward or away from themselves to induce motor adaptation. Then, the bias for perceiving direction of ambiguous visual movement in depth is measured. Bias is affected by a number of beans moved, b movement direction, and c similarity of the visual stimulus to the hand used to move beans. This cross-modal adaptation pattern supports both the validity of human MMs and functionality of our testing instrument. We also discuss related work that extends the motor adaptation paradigm to investigate contributions of MMs to speech perception and language comprehension.

  15. PELATIHAN MIRROR NEURON SYSTEM SAMA DENGAN PELATIHAN CONSTRAINT INDUCED MOVEMENT THERAPY DALAM MENINGKATKAN KEMAMPUAN FUNGSIONAL ANGGOTA GERAK ATAS PASIEN STROKE

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    Abdul chalik meidian

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Stroke is an interruption of blood vasculature system in the brain that causes suddenly neurological dysfunction, resulted in clinically brain tissue damage in a relatively long time period, decreased physical mobility and functional ability impaired of upper limb. The purpose of this study is to know an increasing in upper limb functional ability among stroke patients after mirror neuron system exercise and constraint induced movement therapy exercise and to know the comparison of both exercise. This study uses an experimental research with pre-test and post-test control group design. Number of samples of the first group is 13 patients given mirror neuron system exercise for 30-60 minutes , while the second group 13 patients were given constraint induced movement therapy exercise for 30-60 minutes. The research was conducted in 2 month period time. Each patient is taught a variety of upper limb functional ability in accordance with the operational concept guidance and patients were asked to repeat the exercise independently at home as directed. Measuring test of upper limb functional ability is using the wolf motor function test instruments. The result is an increase the upper limb functional ability of 21.7% in the mirror neuron system exercise group and proved a significant difference (p<0.05 and an increase in the upper limb functional ability of 17.1% in the constraint induced movement therapy exercise group and proved a significant difference (p<0.05 while the difference of increasing of upper limb functional ability of the two groups showed no significant difference (p>0,05. It was concluded that the mirror neuron system exercise is similar with constraint induced movement therapy exercise in increasing the upper limb functional ability among stroke patients.

  16. Neurodevelopmental investigation of the mirror neurone system in children of women receiving opioid maintenance therapy during pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konijnenberg, Carolien; Melinder, Annika

    2013-01-01

    Opioid maintenance therapy (OMT) is generally recommended for pregnant opioid-dependent women. Previous studies investigating the long-term effects of OMT on children's cognitive development found that children of women in OMT have an increased risk of developing deficits in motor and visual perceptual skills, which are important aspects of the mirror neurone system (MNS), a complex neural circuit involved in learning and social interactions. The aim of the current study was to investigate aspects of the MNS in children of women in OMT. A 2 (control group versus OMT group) × 2 (human versus mechanic) mixed factorial design. The Cognitive Developmental Research Unit at the University of Oslo, Norway. Fifteen children of women in OMT and 15 non-exposed children participated. Goal-directed eye movements were recorded using a Tobii 1750 eye tracker. Neurocognitive tests were employed to map children's cognitive development. The OMT group made fewer proactive goal-directed eye movements [mean = -37.73, standard deviation (SD) = 208.56] compared to the control group (mean = 181.47, SD = 228.65), F((1,28)) = 7.53, P = 0.01, η(2) = 0.21. No differences were found on tests of visual perception or goal understanding. Use of opioid maintenance therapy during pregnancy appears to be associated with impaired goal-directed eye movements in the 4-year-old infant which may affect later social adjustment adversely. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  17. Predominance of lateral over vertical mirror errors in reading: A case for neuronal recycling and inhibition.

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    Ahr, Emmanuel; Houdé, Olivier; Borst, Grégoire

    2017-08-01

    We investigated whether lateral mirror errors could be more prevalent than vertical mirror errors (e.g., p/q vs. p/b confusions) because mirror generalization is harder to inhibit for the discrimination of a reversible letter and its lateral than its vertical mirror-image counterpart. Expert adult readers performed a negative priming task in which they determined on the prime whether two letters and on the probe whether two objects facing opposite directions were identical. We found in both experiments longer response times for objects facing opposite lateral orientations preceded by a reversible letter and its lateral mirror-image counterpart (e.g., p/q) than preceded by perceptually matched non-reversible letters (e.g., g/j). No negative priming effect was observed when objects that were vertical (Experiment 1 & 2) or lateral (Experiment 2) mirror images of each other were preceded by a letter and its vertical mirror-image counterpart (e.g. p/b). Finally, we observed longer response times for objects that were lateral mirror images of each other after lateral than after vertical reversible letters. These results suggest that lateral mirror errors are more prevalent than vertical ones because mirror generalization might be stronger and thus more difficult to inhibit in the context of the former than the latter. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The Age of Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

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    Bhardwaj, R D; Curtis, M A; Spalding, K L; Buchholz, B A; Fink, D; Bjork-Eriksson, T; Nordborg, C; Gage, F H; Druid, H; Eriksson, P S; Frisen, J

    2006-04-06

    The traditional static view of the adult mammalian brain has been challenged by the realization of continuous generation of neurons from stem cells. Based mainly on studies in experimental animals, adult neurogenesis may contribute to recovery after brain insults and decreased neurogenesis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric diseases in man. The extent of neurogenesis in the adult human brain has, however, been difficult to establish. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, in DNA to establish the age of neurons in the major areas of the human cerebral cortex. Together with the analysis of the cortex from patients who received BrdU, which integrates in the DNA of dividing cells, our results demonstrate that whereas non-neuronal cells turn over, neurons in the human cerebral cortex are not generated postnatally at detectable levels, but are as old as the individual.

  19. The Mirror Neurons Network in Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer Disease: A functional MRI Study

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    Elisabetta Farina

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the current study is to investigate the integrity of the Mirror Neurons (MN network in normal aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI, and Alzheimer disease (AD. Although AD and MCI are considered “cognitive” diseases, there has been increasing recognition of a link between motor function and AD. More recently the embodied cognition hypothesis has also been developed: it postulates that a part of cognition results from the coupling between action and perception representations. MN represent a neuronal population which links perception, action, and cognition, therefore we decided to characterize MN functioning in neurodegenerative cognitive decline. Three matched groups of 16 subjects (normal elderly-NE, amnesic MCI with hippocampal atrophy and AD were evaluated with a focused neuropsychological battery and an fMRI task specifically created to test MN: that comprised of an observation run, where subjects were shown movies of a right hand grasping different objects, and of a motor run, where subjects observed visual pictures of objects oriented to be grasped with the right hand. In NE subjects, the conjunction analysis (comparing fMRI activation during observation and execution, showed the activation of a bilateral fronto-parietal network in “classical” MN areas, and of the superior temporal gyrus (STG. The MCI group showed the activation of areas belonging to the same network, however, parietal areas were activated to a lesser extent and the STG was not activated, while the opposite was true for the right Broca's area. We did not observe any activation of the fronto-parietal network in AD participants. They did not perform as well as the NE subjects in all the neuropsychological tests (including tests of functions attributed to MN whereas the MCI subjects were significantly different from the NE subjects only in episodic memory and semantic fluency. Here we show that the MN network is largely preserved in aging, while it appears

  20. Predicting Intentions of a Familiar Significant Other Beyond the Mirror Neuron System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacioppo, Stephanie; Juan, Elsa; Monteleone, George

    2017-01-01

    Inferring intentions of others is one of the most intriguing issues in interpersonal interaction. Theories of embodied cognition and simulation suggest that this mechanism takes place through a direct and automatic matching process that occurs between an observed action and past actions. This process occurs via the reactivation of past self-related sensorimotor experiences within the inferior frontoparietal network (including the mirror neuron system, MNS). The working model is that the anticipatory representations of others' behaviors require internal predictive models of actions formed from pre-established, shared representations between the observer and the actor. This model suggests that observers should be better at predicting intentions performed by a familiar actor, rather than a stranger. However, little is known about the modulations of the intention brain network as a function of the familiarity between the observer and the actor. Here, we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a behavioral intention inference task, in which participants were asked to predict intentions from three types of actors: A familiar actor (their significant other), themselves (another familiar actor), and a non-familiar actor (a stranger). Our results showed that the participants were better at inferring intentions performed by familiar actors than non-familiar actors and that this better performance was associated with greater activation within and beyond the inferior frontoparietal network i.e., in brain areas related to familiarity (e.g., precuneus). In addition, and in line with Hebbian principles of neural modulations, the more the participants reported being cognitively close to their partner, the less the brain areas associated with action self-other comparison (e.g., inferior parietal lobule), attention (e.g., superior parietal lobule), recollection (hippocampus), and pair bond (ventral tegmental area, VTA) were recruited, suggesting that the more a

  1. Predicting Intentions of a Familiar Significant Other Beyond the Mirror Neuron System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Cacioppo

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Inferring intentions of others is one of the most intriguing issues in interpersonal interaction. Theories of embodied cognition and simulation suggest that this mechanism takes place through a direct and automatic matching process that occurs between an observed action and past actions. This process occurs via the reactivation of past self-related sensorimotor experiences within the inferior frontoparietal network (including the mirror neuron system, MNS. The working model is that the anticipatory representations of others' behaviors require internal predictive models of actions formed from pre-established, shared representations between the observer and the actor. This model suggests that observers should be better at predicting intentions performed by a familiar actor, rather than a stranger. However, little is known about the modulations of the intention brain network as a function of the familiarity between the observer and the actor. Here, we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI with a behavioral intention inference task, in which participants were asked to predict intentions from three types of actors: A familiar actor (their significant other, themselves (another familiar actor, and a non-familiar actor (a stranger. Our results showed that the participants were better at inferring intentions performed by familiar actors than non-familiar actors and that this better performance was associated with greater activation within and beyond the inferior frontoparietal network i.e., in brain areas related to familiarity (e.g., precuneus. In addition, and in line with Hebbian principles of neural modulations, the more the participants reported being cognitively close to their partner, the less the brain areas associated with action self-other comparison (e.g., inferior parietal lobule, attention (e.g., superior parietal lobule, recollection (hippocampus, and pair bond (ventral tegmental area, VTA were recruited, suggesting that the

  2. Differential role of the Mentalizing and the Mirror Neuron system in the imitation of communicative gestures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainieri, A G; Heim, S; Straube, B; Binkofski, F; Kircher, T

    2013-11-01

    Successful social interaction requires recognising the intention of another person's communicative gestures. At a neural level, this process may involve neural activity in different systems, such as the mentalizing system (MS) and the mirror neuron system (MNS). The aim of the present study was to explore the neural correlates of communicative gestures during observation and execution of these gestures. Twenty participants watched video clips of an actor executing social gestures (S), non-social gestures (NS) and meaningless gestures (ML). During fMRI data acquisition, participants were asked to observe (O) and subsequently to execute (E) one of two tasks: imitate the gesture presented (IMI) or perform a motor control task (CT). For the contrast IMI>CT we found activations in the core areas of the MNS [inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and inferior frontal cortex, the posterior part of pars opercularis], as well as in areas related to the MS [superior temporal sulcus (STS) and middle cingulate cortex]. For S>NS, we found activations in the left medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), right superior frontal cortex and middle cingulate cortex. The interaction of stimulus condition (S vs NS) and task (IMI vs CT) revealed activation in the right IPL. For the interaction between observation vs execution (O vs E), task (IMI vs CT) and stimulus condition (S vs NS) we found activation in the right mOFC. Our data suggest that imitation is differentially processed in the MNS as well as in the MS. The activation in IPL is enhanced during the processing of social gestures most likely due to their communicative intention. The activation of IPL together with medial frontal areas may contribute to mentalizing processes. The interaction in the mOFC suggests an involvement of self-referential processes in the processing of social gesture. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Modulation in the mirror neuron system when action prediction is not satisfied.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plata Bello, Julio; Modroño, Cristián; Marcano, Francisco; González-Mora, José Luis

    2015-04-01

    The ability to understand competitive games is closely connected to the mirror neuron system (MNS). This network is activated not only when an action is performed, but also when it is observed. Apart from allowing the understanding of actions performed by others, the MNS has been implicated in predicting subsequent actions. However, the results concerning the modulation of this network by the final outcome of these predictions are contradictory. These contradictions may be related to the use of complex experimental conditions. The aim of this research is to identify changes in the activity of the MNS when the predictions are or are not satisfied in a simple intransitive action-based game. An event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study was conducted. It consisted of the observation of videos with two actors playing the well-known rock-paper-scissors game. The participants were asked to predict the response of the second actor when the first actor performed one of the three possible actions. In some videos (congruents) the prediction was satisfied, but in the rest of the videos (incongruents) the prediction was not satisfied. When the result was shown, higher activity in the MNS was observed in the congruent videos than in the incongruent ones. Therefore, the observation of a simple manual game leads to a significant activation of the MNS, and this activity seems to be modulated by the final outcome of a prediction, and when predictions are satisfied the activity is higher. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Aversive learning shapes neuronal orientation tuning in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTeague, Lisa M; Gruss, L Forest; Keil, Andreas

    2015-07-28

    The responses of sensory cortical neurons are shaped by experience. As a result perceptual biases evolve, selectively facilitating the detection and identification of sensory events that are relevant for adaptive behaviour. Here we examine the involvement of human visual cortex in the formation of learned perceptual biases. We use classical aversive conditioning to associate one out of a series of oriented gratings with a noxious sound stimulus. After as few as two grating-sound pairings, visual cortical responses to the sound-paired grating show selective amplification. Furthermore, as learning progresses, responses to the orientations with greatest similarity to the sound-paired grating are increasingly suppressed, suggesting inhibitory interactions between orientation-selective neuronal populations. Changes in cortical connectivity between occipital and fronto-temporal regions mirror the changes in visuo-cortical response amplitudes. These findings suggest that short-term behaviourally driven retuning of human visual cortical neurons involves distal top-down projections as well as local inhibitory interactions.

  5. Role of the Mirror-Neuron System in Cross-Education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zult, Tjerk; Howatson, Glyn; Kadar, Endre E.; Farthing, Jonathan P.; Hortobagyi, Tibor

    The present review proposes the untested hypothesis that cross-education performed with a mirror increases the transfer of motor function to the resting limb compared with standard cross-education interventions without a mirror. The hypothesis is based on neuroanatomical evidence suggesting an

  6. Neuronal correlates to consciousness. The "Hall of Mirrors" metaphor describing consciousness as an epiphenomenon of multiple dynamic mosaics of cortical functional modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnati, Luigi Francesco; Guidolin, Diego; Cortelli, Pietro; Genedani, Susanna; Cela-Conde, Camilo; Fuxe, Kjell

    2012-10-02

    Humans share the common intuition of a self that has access to an inner 'theater of mind' (Baars, 2003). The problem is how this internal theater is formed. Moving from Cook's view (Cook, 2008), we propose that the 'sentience' present in single excitable cells is integrated into units of neurons and glial cells transiently assembled into "functional modules" (FMs) organized as systems of encased networks (from cell networks to molecular networks). In line with Hebb's proposal of 'cell assemblies', FMs can be linked to form higher-order mosaics by means of reverberating circuits. Brain-level subjective awareness results from the binding phenomenon that coordinates several FM mosaics. Thus, consciousness may be thought as the global result of integrative processes taking place at different levels of miniaturization in plastic mosaics. On the basis of these neurobiological data and speculations and of the evidence of 'mirror neurons' the 'Hall of Mirrors' is proposed as a significant metaphor of consciousness. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Brain Integration. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Why our brains cherish humanity: Mirror neurons and colamus humanitatem

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    John R. Skoyles

    2009-01-01

    .... Un descubrimiento reciente de la neurociencia, el de las neuronas espejo, sostiene que el cerebro y la mente no son construidos ni funcionan alejados de lo que pasa en otros individuos. ¿Qué...

  8. Why our brains cherish humanity: Mirror neurons and colamus humanitatem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John R. Skoyles

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available El sentido común dice que estamos aislados. Después de todo, nuestros cuerpos están separados físicamente. Pero la obra Colamus humanitatem de Séneca y la observación de que “ningún hombre es una isla”, que hizo John Donne, sugieren que no estamos ni completamente aislados ni separados. Un descubrimiento reciente de la neurociencia, el de las neuronas espejo, sostiene que el cerebro y la mente no son construidos ni funcionan alejados de lo que pasa en otros individuos. ¿Qué son las neuronas espejo? Son células cerebrales que procesan tanto lo que le pasa como lo que hace un individuo, y, por así decirlo, su “reflexión” percibida cuando esa misma cosa le pasa a, o es hecha por, otro individuo. Por lo tanto, las neuronas espejo se activan cuando una persona realiza una acción específica y cuando percibe la misma acción realizada por otro. El descubrimiento de las neuronas espejo indica que es preciso revisar radicalmente nuestras nociones sobre la naturaleza humana, ya que estas neuronas ofrecen un medio por el cual no concebimos estar tan separados como pensamos. A diferencia de otros simios, los humanos están adaptados a interactuar de forma similar no verbal, cuando están juntos. De manera particular, nuestras caras han evolucionado para mostrar movimientos ágiles y rápidos. Mientras esto usualmente explica cómo se logra la comunicación no verbal, una mejor descripción sería la comunicación no verbal  basada en las neuronas espejo. El autor sostiene que valoramos la humanidad, colamus humanitatem, porque las neuronas espejo y nuestra interfaz interpersonal adaptada de espejo desdibujan las fronteras que nos separan.

  9. Why our brains cherish humanity: Mirror neurons and colamus humanitatem

    OpenAIRE

    Skoyles, John R.

    2009-01-01

    El sentido común dice que estamos aislados. Después de todo, nuestros cuerpos están separados físicamente. Pero la obra Colamus humanitatem de Séneca y la observación de que “ningún hombre es una isla”, que hizo John Donne, sugieren que no estamos ni completamente aislados ni separados. Un descubrimiento reciente de la neurociencia, el de las neuronas espejo, sostiene que el cerebro y la mente no son construidos ni funcionan alejados de lo que pasa en otros individuos. ¿Qué son las neuronas e...

  10. Simulation of developing human neuronal cell networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenk, Kerstin; Priwitzer, Barbara; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Tietz, Lukas H B; Narkilahti, Susanna; Hyttinen, Jari A K

    2016-08-30

    Microelectrode array (MEA) is a widely used technique to study for example the functional properties of neuronal networks derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC-NN). With hESC-NN, we can investigate the earliest developmental stages of neuronal network formation in the human brain. In this paper, we propose an in silico model of maturating hESC-NNs based on a phenomenological model called INEX. We focus on simulations of the development of bursts in hESC-NNs, which are the main feature of neuronal activation patterns. The model was developed with data from developing hESC-NN recordings on MEAs which showed increase in the neuronal activity during the investigated six measurement time points in the experimental and simulated data. Our simulations suggest that the maturation process of hESC-NN, resulting in the formation of bursts, can be explained by the development of synapses. Moreover, spike and burst rate both decreased at the last measurement time point suggesting a pruning of synapses as the weak ones are removed. To conclude, our model reflects the assumption that the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory neurons during the maturation of a neuronal network and the spontaneous emergence of bursts are due to increased connectivity caused by the forming of new synapses.

  11. Accelerated high-yield generation of limb-innervating motor neurons from human stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoroso, Mackenzie W.; Croft, Gist F.; Williams, Damian J.; O’Keeffe, Sean; Carrasco, Monica A.; Davis, Anne R.; Roybon, Laurent; Oakley, Derek H.; Maniatis, Tom; Henderson, Christopher E.; Wichterle, Hynek

    2013-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells are a promising source of differentiated cells for developmental studies, cell transplantation, disease modeling, and drug testing. However, their widespread use even for intensely studied cell types like spinal motor neurons is hindered by the long duration and low yields of existing protocols for in vitro differentiation and by the molecular heterogeneity of the populations generated. We report a combination of small molecules that within 3 weeks induce motor neurons at up to 50% abundance and with defined subtype identities of relevance to neurodegenerative disease. Despite their accelerated differentiation, motor neurons expressed combinations of HB9, ISL1 and column-specific markers that mirror those observed in vivo in human fetal spinal cord. They also exhibited spontaneous and induced activity, and projected axons towards muscles when grafted into developing chick spinal cord. Strikingly, this novel protocol preferentially generates motor neurons expressing markers of limb-innervating lateral motor column motor neurons (FOXP1+/LHX3−). Access to high-yield cultures of human limb-innervating motor neuron subtypes will facilitate in-depth study of motor neuron subtype-specific properties, disease modeling, and development of large-scale cell-based screening assays. PMID:23303937

  12. [The motor organization of cerebral cortex and the role of the mirror neuron system. Clinical impact for rehabilitation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallés, Laia; Gironès, Xavier; Lafuente, José Vicente

    2015-01-06

    The basic characteristics of Penfield homunculus (somatotopy and unique representation) have been questioned. The existence of a defined anatomo-functional organization within different segments of the same region is controversial. The presence of multiple motor representations in the primary motor area and in the parietal lobe interconnected by parieto-frontal circuits, which are widely overlapped, form a complex organization. Both features support the recovery of functions after brain injury. Regarding the movement organization, it is possible to yield a relevant impact through the understanding of actions and intentions of others, which is mediated by the activation of mirror-neuron systems. The implementation of cognitive functions (observation, image of the action and imitation) from the acute treatment phase allows the activation of motor representations without having to perform the action and it plays an important role in learning motor patterns. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  13. Mirror Neurons and Literature: Empathy and the Sympathetic Imagination in the Fiction of J.M. Coetzee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hilmar Heister

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the two essays “The Philosophers and the Animals” and “The Poets and the Animals” (in The Lives of Animals, 1999 J.M. Coetzee lets Elizabeth Costello urge us to use our sympathetic imagination in order to access the experience of others—in particular, animals—and engage with them empathetically. Coetzee’s fiction illustrates how the use of the sympathetic imagination might evoke empathy in the reader. Narrative structure and the character’s mode of introspection engage the reader’s empathy through an ambivalent process of distancing and approximation, as Fritz Breithaupt puts forward in his narrative theory of empathy (Kulturen der Empathie, 2009. The sympathetic imagination and the complementary notion of embodiment feature prominently in Coetzee’s fictional discourse and resonate with neuroscience’s research on mirror neurons and their relation to empathy.

  14. Small molecules enable highly efficient neuronal conversion of human fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladewig, Julia; Mertens, Jerome; Kesavan, Jaideep; Doerr, Jonas; Poppe, Daniel; Glaue, Finnja; Herms, Stefan; Wernet, Peter; Kögler, Gesine; Müller, Franz-Josef; Koch, Philipp; Brüstle, Oliver

    2012-06-01

    Forced expression of proneural transcription factors has been shown to direct neuronal conversion of fibroblasts. Because neurons are postmitotic, conversion efficiencies are an important parameter for this process. We present a minimalist approach combining two-factor neuronal programming with small molecule-based inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3β and SMAD signaling, which converts postnatal human fibroblasts into functional neuron-like cells with yields up to >200% and neuronal purities up to >80%.

  15. Choline acetyltransferase-containing neurons in the human parietal neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V Benagiano

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A number of immunocytochemical studies have indicated the presence of cholinergic neurons in the cerebral cortex of various species of mammals. Whether such cholinergic neurons in the human cerebral cortex are exclusively of subcortical origin is still debated. In this immunocytochemical study, the existence of cortical cholinergic neurons was investigated on surgical samples of human parietal association neocortex using a highly specific monoclonal antibody against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT, the acetylcholine biosynthesising enzyme. ChAT immunoreactivity was detected in a subpopulation of neurons located in layers II and III. These were small or medium-sized pyramidal neurons which showed cytoplasmic immunoreactivity in the perikarya and processes, often in close association to blood microvessels. This study, providing demonstration of ChAT neurons in the human parietal neocortex, strongly supports the existence of intrinsic cholinergic innervation of the human neocortex. It is likely that these neurons contribute to the cholinergic innervation of the intracortical microvessels.

  16. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardy, Cedric; van den Hurk, Mark; Eames, Tameji; Marchand, Cynthia; Hernandez, Ruben V.; Kellogg, Mariko; Gorris, Mark; Galet, Ben; Palomares, Vanessa; Brown, Joshua; Bang, Anne G.; Mertens, Jerome; Böhnke, Lena; Boyer, Leah; Simon, Suzanne; Gage, Fred H.

    2015-01-01

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely used to culture neurons. We found that classic basal media, as well as serum, impair action potential generation and synaptic communication. To overcome this problem, we designed a new neuronal medium (BrainPhys basal + serum-free supplements) in which we adjusted the concentrations of inorganic salts, neuroactive amino acids, and energetic substrates. We then tested that this medium adequately supports neuronal activity and survival of human neurons in culture. Long-term exposure to this physiological medium also improved the proportion of neurons that were synaptically active. The medium was designed to culture human neurons but also proved adequate for rodent neurons. The improvement in BrainPhys basal medium to support neurophysiological activity is an important step toward reducing the gap between brain physiological conditions in vivo and neuronal models in vitro. PMID:25870293

  17. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bardy, C.; Hurk, M. van den; Eames, T.; Marchand, C.; Hernandez, R.V.; Kellogg, M.; Gorris, M.A.J.; Galet, B.; Palomares, V.; Brown, J.; Bang, A.G.; Mertens, J.; Bohnke, L.; Boyer, L.; Simon, S.; Gage, F.H.

    2015-01-01

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely

  18. Generalisation of action sequences in RNNPB networks with mirror properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cuijpers, R.H.; Stuijt, F.H.A.; Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper, I.G.

    2009-01-01

    The human mirror neuron system (MNS) is supposed to be involved in recognition of observed action sequences. However, it remains unclear how such a system could learn to recognise a large variety of action sequences. Here we investigated a neural network with mirror properties, the Recurrent Neural

  19. Neuron-based heredity and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gash, Don M; Deane, Andrew S

    2015-01-01

    It is widely recognized that human evolution has been driven by two systems of heredity: one DNA-based and the other based on the transmission of behaviorally acquired information via nervous system functions. The genetic system is ancient, going back to the appearance of life on Earth. It is responsible for the evolutionary processes described by Darwin. By comparison, the nervous system is relatively newly minted and in its highest form, responsible for ideation and mind-to-mind transmission of information. Here the informational capabilities and functions of the two systems are compared. While employing quite different mechanisms for encoding, storing and transmission of information, both systems perform these generic hereditary functions. Three additional features of neuron-based heredity in humans are identified: the ability to transfer hereditary information to other members of their population, not just progeny; a selection process for the information being transferred; and a profoundly shorter time span for creation and dissemination of survival-enhancing information in a population. The mechanisms underlying neuron-based heredity involve hippocampal neurogenesis and memory and learning processes modifying and creating new neural assemblages changing brain structure and functions. A fundamental process in rewiring brain circuitry is through increased neural activity (use) strengthening and increasing the number of synaptic connections. Decreased activity in circuitry (disuse) leads to loss of synapses. Use and disuse modifying an organ to bring about new modes of living, habits and functions are processes in line with Neolamarckian concepts of evolution (Packard, 1901). Evidence is presented of bipartite evolutionary processes-Darwinian and Neolamarckian-driving human descent from a common ancestor shared with the great apes.

  20. Neuron-Based Heredity and Human Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don Marshall Gash

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract:Abstract: It is widely recognized that human evolution has been driven by two systems of heredity: one DNA-based and the other based on the transmission of behaviorally acquired information via nervous system functions. The genetic system is ancient, going back to the appearance of life on Earth. It is responsible for the evolutionary processes described by Darwin. By comparison, the nervous system is relatively newly minted and in its highest form, responsible for ideation and mind-to-mind transmission of information. Here the informational capabilities and functions of the two systems are compared. While employing quite different mechanisms for encoding, storing and transmission of information, both systems perform these generic hereditary functions. Three additional features of neuron-based heredity in humans are identified: the ability to transfer hereditary information to other members of their population, not just progeny; a selection process for the information being transferred; and a profoundly shorter time span for creation and dissemination of survival-enhancing information in a population. The mechanisms underlying neuron-based heredity involve hippocampal neurogenesis and memory and learning processes modifying and creating new neural assemblages changing brain structure and functions. A fundamental process in rewiring brain circuitry is through increased neural activity (use strengthening and increasing the number of synaptic connections. Decreased activity in circuitry (disuse leads to loss of synapses. Use and disuse modifying an organ to bring about new modes of living, habits and functions are processes are in line with Neolamarckian concepts of evolution (Packard, 1901. Evidence is presented of bipartite evolutionary processes – Darwinian and Neolamarckian – driving human descent from a common ancestor shared with the great apes.

  1. Characterization of neuronal populations in the human trigeminal ganglion and their association with latent herpes simplex virus-1 infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah E Flowerdew

    Full Text Available Following primary infection Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1 establishes lifelong latency in the neurons of human sensory ganglia. Upon reactivation HSV-1 can cause neurological diseases such as facial palsy, vestibular neuritis or encephalitis. Certain populations of sensory neurons have been shown to be more susceptible to latent infection in the animal model, but this has not been addressed in human tissue. In the present study, trigeminal ganglion (TG neurons expressing six neuronal marker proteins were characterized, based on staining with antibodies against the GDNF family ligand receptor Ret, the high-affinity nerve growth factor receptor TrkA, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS, the antibody RT97 against 200 kDa neurofilament, calcitonin gene-related peptide and peripherin. The frequencies of marker-positive neurons and their average neuronal sizes were assessed, with TrkA-positive (61.82% neurons being the most abundant, and Ret-positive (26.93% the least prevalent. Neurons positive with the antibody RT97 (1253 µm(2 were the largest, and those stained against peripherin (884 µm(2 were the smallest. Dual immunofluorescence revealed at least a 4.5% overlap for every tested marker combination, with overlap for the combinations TrkA/Ret, TrkA/RT97 and Ret/nNOS lower, and the overlap between Ret/CGRP being higher than would be expected by chance. With respect to latent HSV-1 infection, latency associated transcripts (LAT were detected using in situ hybridization (ISH in neurons expressing each of the marker proteins. In contrast to the mouse model, co-localization with neuronal markers Ret or CGRP mirrored the magnitude of these neuron populations, whereas for the other four neuronal markers fewer marker-positive cells were also LAT-ISH+. Ret and CGRP are both known to label neurons related to pain signaling.

  2. Neurite outgrowth in human iPSC-derived neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Data on morphology of rat and human neurons in cell cultureThis dataset is associated with the following publication:Druwe, I., T. Freudenrich , K. Wallace , T. Shafer , and W. Mundy. Comparison of Human Induced PluripotentStem Cell-Derived Neurons and Rat Primary CorticalNeurons as In Vitro Models of Neurite Outgrowth. Applied In vitro Toxicology. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Larchmont, NY, USA, 2(1): 26-36, (2016).

  3. Neuronal NOS localises to human airway cilia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Claire L; Lucas, Jane S; Walker, Woolf T; Owen, Holly; Premadeva, Irnthu; Lackie, Peter M

    2015-01-30

    Airway NO synthase (NOS) isoenzymes are responsible for rapid and localised nitric oxide (NO) production and are expressed in airway epithelium. We sought to determine the localisation of neuronal NOS (nNOS) in airway epithelium due to the paucity of evidence. Sections of healthy human bronchial tissue in glycol methacrylate resin and human nasal polyps in paraffin wax were immunohistochemically labelled and reproducibly demonstrated nNOS immunoreactivity, particularly at the proximal portion of cilia; this immunoreactivity was blocked by a specific nNOS peptide fragment. Healthy human epithelial cells differentiated at an air-liquid interface (ALI) confirmed the presence of all three NOS isoenzymes by immunofluorescence labelling. Only nNOS immunoreactivity was specific to the ciliary axonemeand co-localised with the cilia marker β-tubulin in the proximal part of the ciliary axoneme. We report a novel localisation of nNOS at the proximal portion of cilia in airway epithelium and conclude that its independent and local regulation of NO levels is crucial for normal cilia function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Novel transcriptional networks regulated by CLOCK in human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontenot, Miles R; Berto, Stefano; Liu, Yuxiang; Werthmann, Gordon; Douglas, Connor; Usui, Noriyoshi; Gleason, Kelly; Tamminga, Carol A; Takahashi, Joseph S; Konopka, Genevieve

    2017-11-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying human brain evolution are not fully understood; however, previous work suggested that expression of the transcription factor CLOCK in the human cortex might be relevant to human cognition and disease. In this study, we investigated this novel transcriptional role for CLOCK in human neurons by performing chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing for endogenous CLOCK in adult neocortices and RNA sequencing following CLOCK knockdown in differentiated human neurons in vitro. These data suggested that CLOCK regulates the expression of genes involved in neuronal migration, and a functional assay showed that CLOCK knockdown increased neuronal migratory distance. Furthermore, dysregulation of CLOCK disrupts coexpressed networks of genes implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders, and the expression of these networks is driven by hub genes with human-specific patterns of expression. These data support a role for CLOCK-regulated transcriptional cascades involved in human brain evolution and function. © 2017 Fontenot et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  5. Human embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal cells form spontaneously active neuronal networks in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikkilä, Teemu J; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Tanskanen, Jarno M A; Lappalainen, Riikka S; Skottman, Heli; Suuronen, Riitta; Mikkonen, Jarno E; Hyttinen, Jari A K; Narkilahti, Susanna

    2009-07-01

    The production of functional human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived neuronal cells is critical for the application of hESCs in treating neurodegenerative disorders. To study the potential functionality of hESC-derived neurons, we cultured and monitored the development of hESC-derived neuronal networks on microelectrode arrays. Immunocytochemical studies revealed that these networks were positive for the neuronal marker proteins beta-tubulin(III) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2). The hESC-derived neuronal networks were spontaneously active and exhibited a multitude of electrical impulse firing patterns. Synchronous bursts of electrical activity similar to those reported for hippocampal neurons and rodent embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal networks were recorded from the differentiated cultures until up to 4 months. The dependence of the observed neuronal network activity on sodium ion channels was examined using tetrodotoxin (TTX). Antagonists for the glutamate receptors NMDA [D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid] and AMPA/kainate [6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione], and for GABAA receptors [(-)-bicuculline methiodide] modulated the spontaneous electrical activity, indicating that pharmacologically susceptible neuronal networks with functional synapses had been generated. The findings indicate that hESC-derived neuronal cells can generate spontaneously active networks with synchronous communication in vitro, and are therefore suitable for use in developmental and drug screening studies, as well as for regenerative medicine.

  6. Evolution and Mirror Neurons. An Introduction to the Nature of Self-Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Menant, Christophe

    2005-01-01

    Self-consciousness is a product of evolution. Few people today disagree with the evolutionary history of humans. But the nature of self-consciousness is still to be explained, and the story of evolution has rarely been used as a framework for studies on consciousness during the 20th century. This last point may be due to the fact that modern study of consciousness came up at a time where dominant philosophical movements were not in favor of evolutionist theories (Cunningham 1996). Research on...

  7. Generation of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkle, Florian T.; Maroof, Asif; Wataya, Takafumi; Sasai, Yoshiki; Studer, Lorenz; Eggan, Kevin; Schier, Alexander F.

    2015-01-01

    Hypothalamic neurons orchestrate many essential physiological and behavioral processes via secreted neuropeptides, and are relevant to human diseases such as obesity, narcolepsy and infertility. We report the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into many of the major types of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons, including those producing pro-opiolemelanocortin, agouti-related peptide, hypocretin/orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone, oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) or thyrotropin-releasing hormone. Hypothalamic neurons can be generated using a ‘self-patterning’ strategy that yields a broad array of cell types, or via a more reproducible directed differentiation approach. Stem cell-derived human hypothalamic neurons share characteristic morphological properties and gene expression patterns with their counterparts in vivo, and are able to integrate into the mouse brain. These neurons could form the basis of cellular models, chemical screens or cellular therapies to study and treat common human diseases. PMID:25670790

  8. Music Education as a Mirror to Humane Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, David T.

    2017-01-01

    Music and philosophy travel together through time in human culture, and in this article, David Hansen responds to Randall Allsup's recent book, "Remixing the Classroom: Toward an Open Philosophy of Music Education." Hansen says that a singular feature of Randall's new book is how marvelously he demonstrates the organic union between…

  9. Social modeling of eating mediated by mirror neuron activity: A causal model moderated by frontal asymmetry and BMI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGeown, Laura; Davis, Ron

    2018-02-15

    The social modeling of eating effect refers to the consistently demonstrated phenomenon that individuals tend to match their quantity of food intake to their eating companion. The current study sought to explore whether activity within the mirror neuron system (MNS) mediates the social modeling of eating effect as a function of EEG frontal asymmetry and body mass index (BMI). Under the guise of rating empathy, 93 female undergraduates viewed a female video confederate "incidentally" consume either a low or high intake of chips while electroencephalogram (EEG) activity was recorded. Subsequent ad libitum chip consumption was quantified. A first- and second-stage dual moderation model revealed that frontal asymmetry and BMI moderated an indirect effect of model consumption on participants' food consumption as mediated by MNS activity at electrode site C3, a 3 b 3 =-0.718, SE=0.365, 95% CI [-1.632, -0.161]. Left frontal asymmetry was associated with greater mu activity and a positive association between model and participant chip consumption, while right frontal asymmetry was associated with less mu activity and a negative association between model and participant consumption. Across all levels of frontal asymmetry, the effect was only significant among those with a BMI at the 50th percentile or lower. Thus, among leaner individuals, the MNS was demonstrated to mediate social modeling of eating, as moderated by frontal asymmetry. These findings are integrated within the normative account of social modeling of eating. It is proposed that the normative framework may benefit from consideration of both conscious and unconscious operation of intake norms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Action processing and mirror neuron function in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an fMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Jelsone-Swain

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a highly debilitating and rapidly fatal neurodegenerative disease. It has been suggested that social cognition may be affected, such as impairment in theory of mind (ToM ability. Despite these findings, research in this area is scarce and the investigation of neural mechanisms behind such impairment is absent. Nineteen patients with ALS and eighteen healthy controls participated in this study. Because the mirror neuron system (MNS is thought to be involved in theory of mind, we first implemented a straightforward action-execution and observation task to assess basic MNS function. Second, we examined the social-cognitive ability to understand actions of others, which is a component of ToM. We used fMRI to assess BOLD activity differences between groups during both experiments. Theory of mind was also measured behaviorally using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RME. ALS patients displayed greater BOLD activity during the action-execution and observation task, especially throughout right anterior cortical regions. These areas included the right inferior operculum, premotor and primary motor regions, and left inferior parietal lobe. A conjunction analysis showed significantly more co-activated voxels during both the observation and action-execution conditions in the patient group throughout MNS regions. These results support a compensatory response in the MNS during action processing. In the action understanding experiment, healthy controls performed better behaviorally and subsequently recruited greater regions of activity throughout the prefrontal cortex and middle temporal gyrus. Lastly, action understanding performance was able to cluster patients with ALS into high and lower performing groups, which then differentiated RME performance. Collectively, these data suggest that social cognition, particularly theory of mind, may be affected in a subset of patients with ALS. This impairment may be related to

  11. Action processing and mirror neuron function in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelsone-Swain, Laura; Persad, Carol; Burkard, David; Welsh, Robert C

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a highly debilitating and rapidly fatal neurodegenerative disease. It has been suggested that social cognition may be affected, such as impairment in theory of mind (ToM) ability. Despite these findings, research in this area is scarce and the investigation of neural mechanisms behind such impairment is absent. Nineteen patients with ALS and eighteen healthy controls participated in this study. Because the mirror neuron system (MNS) is thought to be involved in theory of mind, we first implemented a straightforward action-execution and observation task to assess basic MNS function. Second, we examined the social-cognitive ability to understand actions of others, which is a component of ToM. We used fMRI to assess BOLD activity differences between groups during both experiments. Theory of mind was also measured behaviorally using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RME). ALS patients displayed greater BOLD activity during the action-execution and observation task, especially throughout right anterior cortical regions. These areas included the right inferior operculum, premotor and primary motor regions, and left inferior parietal lobe. A conjunction analysis showed significantly more co-activated voxels during both the observation and action-execution conditions in the patient group throughout MNS regions. These results support a compensatory response in the MNS during action processing. In the action understanding experiment, healthy controls performed better behaviorally and subsequently recruited greater regions of activity throughout the prefrontal cortex and middle temporal gyrus. Lastly, action understanding performance was able to cluster patients with ALS into high and lower performing groups, which then differentiated RME performance. Collectively, these data suggest that social cognition, particularly theory of mind, may be affected in a subset of patients with ALS. This impairment may be related to functioning of

  12. Qualitative analysis neurons in the adult human dentate nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marić Dušica

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although many relevant findings regarding to the morphology and cytoarchitectural development of the dentate nucleus have been presented so far, very little qualitative information has been collected on neuronal morphology in the adult human dentate nucleus. The neurons were labelled by Golgi staining from thirty human cerebella, obtained from medico-legal forensic autopsies of adult human bodies and free of significant brain pathology. The human dentate neurons were qualitatively analyzed and these cells were classified into two main classes: the small and the large multipolar neurons. Considering the shape of the cell body, number of the primary dendrites, shape of the dendritic tree and their position within the dentate nucleus, three subclasses of the large multipolar neurons have been recognized. The classification of neurons from the human dentate nucleus has been qualitatively confirmed in fetuses and premature infants. This study represents the first qualitative analysis and classification of the large multipolar neurons in the dentate nucleus of the adult human.

  13. Induction of human neuronal cells by defined transcription factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Zhiping P.; Yang, Nan; Vierbuchen, Thomas; Ostermeier, Austin; Fuentes, Daniel R.; Yang, Troy Q.; Citri, Ami; Sebastiano, Vittorio; Marro, Samuele; Südhof, Thomas C.; Wernig, Marius

    2011-01-01

    Summary Somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion, or expression of lineage-specific factors have been shown to induce cell-fate changes in diverse somatic cell types1–12. We recently observed that forced expression of a combination of three transcription factors, Brn2 (also known as Pou3f2), Ascl1, and Myt1l can efficiently convert mouse fibroblasts into functional induced neuronal (iN) cells13. Here, we show that the same three factors can generate functional neurons from human pluripotent stem cells as early as 6 days after transgene activation. When combined with the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NeuroD1, these factors could also convert fetal and postnatal human fibroblasts into iN cells displaying typical neuronal morphologies and expressing multiple neuronal markers, even after downregulation of the exogenous transcription factors. Importantly, the vast majority of human iN cells were able to generate action potentials and many matured to receive synaptic contacts when co-cultured with primary mouse cortical neurons. Our data demonstrate that non-neural human somatic cells, as well as pluripotent stem cells, can be directly converted into neurons by lineage-determining transcription factors. These methods may facilitate robust generation of patient-specific human neurons for in vitro disease modeling or future applications in regenerative medicine. PMID:21617644

  14. Efficient Generation of Hypothalamic Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Liheng; Egli, Dieter; Leibel, Rudolph L

    2016-07-01

    The hypothalamus comprises neuronal clusters that are essential for body weight regulation and other physiological functions. Insights into the complex cellular physiology of this region of the brain are critical to understanding the pathogenesis of obesity, but human hypothalamic cells are largely inaccessible for direct study. Here we describe a technique for generation of arcuate-like hypothalamic neurons from human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells. Early activation of SHH signaling and inhibition of BMP and TGFβ signaling, followed by timed inhibition of NOTCH, can efficiently differentiate hPS cells into NKX2.1+ hypothalamic progenitors. Subsequent incubation with BDNF induces the differentiation and maturation of pro-opiomelanocortin and neuropeptide Y neurons, which are major cell types in the arcuate hypothalamus. These neurons have molecular and cellular characteristics consistent with arcuate neurons. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  15. Neurite outgrowth in human iPSC-derived neurons

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Data on morphology of rat and human neurons in cell culture. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Druwe, I., T. Freudenrich , K. Wallace , T....

  16. Optogenetic control of human neurons in organotypic brain cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersson, My; Avaliani, Natalia; Svensson, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Optogenetics is one of the most powerful tools in neuroscience, allowing for selective control of specific neuronal populations in the brain of experimental animals, including mammals. We report, for the first time, the application of optogenetic tools to human brain tissue providing a proof......-of-concept for the use of optogenetics in neuromodulation of human cortical and hippocampal neurons as a possible tool to explore network mechanisms and develop future therapeutic strategies....

  17. Reduced mirror neuron activity in schizophrenia and its association with theory of mind deficits: evidence from a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Urvakhsh Meherwan; Thirthalli, Jagadisha; Basavaraju, Rakshathi; Gangadhar, Bangalore N; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2014-09-01

    The "mirror-neuron system" has been proposed to be a neurophysiological substrate for social cognition (SC) ability. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) paradigms to compare putative mirror neuron activity (MNA) in 3 groups: antipsychotic-naive, medicated schizophrenia patients, and healthy comparison subjects. We also explored the association between MNA and SC ability in patients. Fifty-four consenting right-handed schizophrenia patients (33 antipsychotic naive) and 45 matched healthy comparison subjects completed a TMS experiment to assess putative premotor MNA. We used 4 TMS paradigms of eliciting motor-evoked potentials (MEP) in the right first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle. These were applied while the subjects observed a goal-directed action involving the FDI (actual action and its video) and a static image. The difference in the amplitude of the MEP while they observed the static image and the action provided a measure of MNA. Subjects also underwent SC assessments (theory of mind [ToM], emotion processing, and social perception). Two-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant group × occasion interaction effect in 3 TMS paradigms, indicating deficient motor facilitation during action observation relative to rest state in antipsychotic-naive schizophrenia patients as compared with the other two groups. Among patients, there were significant direct correlations between measures of MNA and ToM performance. Antipsychotic-naive schizophrenia patients have poorer MNA than medicated patients and healthy controls. Measures of putative MNA had significant and consistent associations with ToM abilities. These findings suggest a possibility of deficient mirror neuron system underlying SC deficits in schizophrenia. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. The emotional tunes and the role of mirror neurons: From primary relationship mother-child relation to rehabilitation and therapeutic music therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania La Porta

    2016-05-01

    His research has been forming the basis of the theoretical and methodological focus of music therapy to psychodynamic. The ability to reproduce the relational process characterized by affective attunements in a rehabilitation setting - music therapy where there are dis-evolution, as in the case of patients with Alzheimer's disease, you can reactivate capacity affective and relational residual strengthening in the subject 'personal and social identity mortified by the disease. Role within that path is done by a very peculiar type of neurons, mirror neurons, the subject of study in recent years by the neurosciences, whose characteristic would be to get excited is when a person performs a certain action, both when it is another to do it before his eyes.

  19. Morphometric characteristics of the neurons of the human subiculum proper

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Živanović-Mačužić Ivana

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The human subiculum is a significant part of the hippocampal formation positioned between the hippocampus proper and the entorhinal and other cortices. It plays an important role in spatial navigation, memory processing and control of the response to stress. The aim of our study was identification of the morphometric characteristics of the neurons of the human subiculum proper: the maximum length and width of cell body and total dendritic length and volume of cell body. Comparing the measured parameters of different types of subicular neurons (bipolar, multipolar, pyramidal neurons with triangular-shaped soma and neurons with oval-shaped soma, we can conclude that bipolar neurons have the lowest values of the measured parameters: the maximum length of their cell body is 14.1 ± 0.2 µm, the maximum width is 13.9 ± 0.5 µm, and total dendritic length is 14597 ± 3.1 µm. The lowest volume value was observed in bipolar neurons; the polymorphic layer is 1152.99 ± 662.69 µm3. The pyramidal neurons of the pyramidal layer have the highest value for the maximal length of the cell body (44.43 ± 7.94 µm, maximum width (23.64 ± 1.89 µm, total dendritic length (1830 ± 466.3 µm and volume (11768.65±4004.9 µm3 These characteristics of the pyramidal neurons indicate their importance, because the axons of these neurons make up the greatest part of the fornix, along with the axons of neurons of the CA1 hippocampal field.

  20. Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV-Human Neuron Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don Gilden

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Varicella zoster virus (VZV is a highly neurotropic, exclusively human herpesvirus. Primary infection causes varicella (chickenpox, wherein VZV replicates in multiple organs, particularly the skin. Widespread infection in vivo is confirmed by the ability of VZV to kill tissue culture cells in vitro derived from any organ. After varicella, VZV becomes latent in ganglionic neurons along the entire neuraxis. During latency, virus DNA replication stops, transcription is restricted, and no progeny virions are produced, indicating a unique virus-cell (neuron relationship. VZV reactivation produces zoster (shingles, often complicated by serious neurological and ocular disorders. The molecular trigger(s for reactivation, and thus the identity of a potential target to prevent it, remains unknown due to an incomplete understanding of the VZV-neuron interaction. While no in vitro system has yet recapitulated the findings in latently infected ganglia, recent studies show that VZV infection of human neurons in SCID mice and of human stem cells, including induced human pluripotent stem cells and normal human neural progenitor tissue-like assemblies, can be established in the absence of a cytopathic effect. Usefulness of these systems in discovering the mechanisms underlying reactivation awaits analyses of VZV-infected, highly pure (>90%, terminally differentiated human neurons capable of prolonged survival in vitro.

  1. Neuronal communication through coherence in the human motor system

    OpenAIRE

    Schoffelen, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis explores the concept of neuronal communication through oscillatory synchronization. For most of the described research, we used the human motor system as a model system, in particular the cortico spinal system, in combination with non invasive recording techniques. Oscillatory synchronization is a well known property of neuronal activity in the motor system, both within brain regions, and between brain regions and the spinal cord. We used the coherence measure to quantify oscillat...

  2. Functional properties of human neuronal Kv11 channels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Einarsen, Karoline; Calloe, Kirstine; Grunnet, Morten

    2009-01-01

    Kv11 potassium channels are important for regulation of the membrane potential. Kv11.2 and Kv11.3 are primarily found in the nervous system, where they most likely are involved in the regulation of neuronal excitability. Two isoforms of human Kv11.2 have been published so far. Here, we present...... current characteristics of the isoforms presented in this work may contribute to the regulation of neuronal excitability....

  3. The age of olfactory bulb neurons in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergmann, Olaf; Liebl, Jakob; Bernard, Samuel; Alkass, Kanar; Yeung, Maggie S Y; Steier, Peter; Kutschera, Walter; Johnson, Lars; Landén, Mikael; Druid, Henrik; Spalding, Kirsty L; Frisén, Jonas

    2012-05-24

    Continuous turnover of neurons in the olfactory bulb is implicated in several key aspects of olfaction. There is a dramatic decline postnatally in the number of migratory neuroblasts en route to the olfactory bulb in humans, and it has been unclear to what extent the small number of neuroblasts at later stages contributes new neurons to the olfactory bulb. We have assessed the age of olfactory bulb neurons in humans by measuring the levels of nuclear bomb test-derived (14)C in genomic DNA. We report that (14)C concentrations correspond to the atmospheric levels at the time of birth of the individuals, establishing that there is very limited, if any, postnatal neurogenesis in the human olfactory bulb. This identifies a fundamental difference in the plasticity of the human brain compared to other mammals. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Dorsomedial SCN neuronal subpopulations subserve different functions in human dementia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, David G.; Stopa, Edward G.; Kuo-Leblanc, Victoria; McKee, Ann C.; Asayama, Kentaro; Volicer, Ladislav; Kowall, Neil; Satlin, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) are necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of circadian rhythms in primate and other mammalian species. The human dorsomedial SCN contains populations of non-species-specific vasopressin and species-specific neurotensin neurons. We made time-series recordings of core body temperature and locomotor activity in 19 elderly, male, end-stage dementia patients and 8 normal elderly controls. Following the death of the dementia patients, neuropathological diagnostic information and tissue samples from the hypothalamus were obtained. Hypothalamic tissue was also obtained from eight normal control cases that had not had activity or core temperature recordings previously. Core temperature was analysed for parametric, circadian features, and activity was analysed for non-parametric and parametric circadian features. These indices were then correlated with the degree of degeneration seen in the SCN (glia/neuron ratio) and neuronal counts from the dorsomedial SCN (vasopressin, neurotensin). Specific loss of SCN neurotensin neurons was associated with loss of activity and temperature amplitude without increase in activity fragmentation. Loss of SCN vasopressin neurons was associated with increased activity fragmentation but not loss of amplitude. Evidence for a circadian rhythm of vasopressinergic activity was seen in the dementia cases but no evidence was seen for a circadian rhythm in neurotensinergic activity. These results provide evidence that the SCN is necessary for the maintenance of the circadian rhythmin humans, information on the role of neuronal subpopulations in subserving this function and the utility of dementia in elaborating brain–behaviour relationships in the human. PMID:18372313

  5. Optogenetic control of human neurons in organotypic brain cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersson, My; Avaliani, Natalia; Svensson, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Optogenetics is one of the most powerful tools in neuroscience, allowing for selective control of specific neuronal populations in the brain of experimental animals, including mammals. We report, for the first time, the application of optogenetic tools to human brain tissue providing a proof-of-c......-of-concept for the use of optogenetics in neuromodulation of human cortical and hippocampal neurons as a possible tool to explore network mechanisms and develop future therapeutic strategies.......Optogenetics is one of the most powerful tools in neuroscience, allowing for selective control of specific neuronal populations in the brain of experimental animals, including mammals. We report, for the first time, the application of optogenetic tools to human brain tissue providing a proof...

  6. Neurons in the white matter of the adult human neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Luisa Suarez-Sola

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The white matter (WM of the adult human neocortex contains the so-called “interstitial neurons”. They are most numerous in the superficial WM underlying the cortical gyri, and decrease in density toward the deep WM. They are morphologically heterogeneous. A subgroup of interstitial neurons display pyramidal-cell like morphologies, characterized by a polarized dendritic tree with a dominant apical dendrite, and covered with a variable number of dendritic spines. In addition, a large contingent of interstitial neurons can be classified as interneurons based on their neurochemical profile as well as on morphological criteria. WM- interneurons have multipolar or bipolar shapes and express GABA and a variety of other neuronal markers, such as calbindin and calretinin, the extracellular matrix protein reelin, or neuropeptide Y, somatostatin, and nitric oxide synthase. The heterogeneity of interstitial neurons may be relevant for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease and schizophrenia. Interstitial neurons are most prominent in human brain, and only rudimentary in the brain of non-primate mammals. These evolutionary differences have precluded adequate experimental work on this cell population, which is usually considered as a relict of the subplate, a transient compartment proper of development and without a known function in the adult brain. The primate-specific prominence of the subplate in late fetal stages points to an important role in the establishment of interstitial neurons. Neurons in the adult WM may be actively involved in coordinating inter-areal connectivity and regulation of blood flow. Further studies in primates will be needed to elucidate the developmental history, adult components and activities of this large neuronal system.

  7. Generalisation of action sequences in RNNPB networks with mirror properties

    OpenAIRE

    Cuijpers, R.H.; Stuijt, F.H.A.; Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper, I.G.

    2009-01-01

    The human mirror neuron system (MNS) is supposed to be involved in recognition of observed action sequences. However, it remains unclear how such a system could learn to recognise a large variety of action sequences. Here we investigated a neural network with mirror properties, the Recurrent Neural Network with Parametric Bias (RNNPB). We show that the network is capable of recognising noisy action sequences and that it is capable of generalising from a few learnt examples. Such a mechanism m...

  8. Human von Economo neurons express transcription factors associated with Layer V subcerebral projection neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobos, Inma; Seeley, William W

    2015-01-01

    The von Economo neurons (VENs) are large bipolar Layer V projection neurons found chiefly in the anterior cingulate and frontoinsular cortices. Although VENs have been linked to prevalent illnesses such as frontotemporal dementia, autism, and schizophrenia, little is known about VEN identity, including their major projection targets. Here, we undertook a developmental transcription factor expression study, focusing on markers associated with specific classes of Layer V projection neurons. Using mRNA in situ hybridization, we found that VENs prominently express FEZF2 and CTIP2, transcription factors that regulate the fate and differentiation of subcerebral projection neurons, in humans aged 3 months to 65 years. In contrast, few VENs expressed markers associated with callosal or corticothalamic projections. These findings suggest that VENs may represent a specialized Layer V projection neuron for linking cortical autonomic control sites to brainstem or spinal cord regions. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Neuronal communication through coherence in the human motor system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoffelen, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis explores the concept of neuronal communication through oscillatory synchronization. For most of the described research, we used the human motor system as a model system, in particular the cortico spinal system, in combination with non invasive recording techniques. Oscillatory

  10. Micropatterning Facilitates the Long-Term Growth and Analysis of iPSC-Derived Individual Human Neurons and Neuronal Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbulla, Lena F; Beaumont, Kristin G; Mrksich, Milan; Krainc, Dimitri

    2016-08-01

    The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their application to patient-specific disease models offers new opportunities for studying the pathophysiology of neurological disorders. However, current methods for culturing iPSC-derived neuronal cells result in clustering of neurons, which precludes the analysis of individual neurons and defined neuronal networks. To address this challenge, cultures of human neurons on micropatterned surfaces are developed that promote neuronal survival over extended periods of time. This approach facilitates studies of neuronal development, cellular trafficking, and related mechanisms that require assessment of individual neurons and specific network connections. Importantly, micropatterns support the long-term stability of cultured neurons, which enables time-dependent analysis of cellular processes in living neurons. The approach described in this paper allows mechanistic studies of human neurons, both in terms of normal neuronal development and function, as well as time-dependent pathological processes, and provides a platform for testing of new therapeutics in neuropsychiatric disorders. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Aluminum in hippocampal neurons from humans with Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, J R

    2006-05-01

    Using a staining technique developed in 2004, we examined hippocampal tissue from autopsy-confirmed cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and controls. The stain disclosed aluminum in cells and subcellular structure. All pyramidal neurons in these aged specimens appeared to exhibit at least some degree of aluminum staining. Many displayed visible aluminum only in their nucleolus. At the other extreme were neurons that stained for aluminum throughout their nucleus and cytoplasm. The remainder exhibited intermediate degrees of staining. On the basis of their aluminum staining patterns, all pyramidal neurons could be classified into stages that indicated two distinct neuropathological processes, either (1) progressive increase of nuclear aluminum (often accompanied by granulovacuolar degeneration with granules that stain for aluminum) or (2) formation of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in regions of aluminum-rich cytoplasm, especially in AD brain tissue. In the latter process, intraneuronal NFTs appeared to displace nuclei and then enucleate the affected neurons during the course of their transformation into extracellular NFTs. Given that the NFTs we observed in human neurons always developed in conjunction with cytoplasmic aluminum, we hypothesize that aluminum plays an important role in their formation and should therefore be reconsidered as a causative factor for AD.

  12. Sensory Neurons Do Not Induce Motor Neuron Loss in a Human Stem Cell Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Andrew J.; Ebert, Allison D.

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder leading to paralysis and early death due to reduced SMN protein. It is unclear why there is such a profound motor neuron loss, but recent evidence from fly and mouse studies indicate that cells comprising the whole sensory-motor circuit may contribute to motor neuron dysfunction and loss. Here, we used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from SMA patients to test whether sensory neurons directly contribute to motor neuron loss. We generated sensory neurons from SMA induced pluripotent stem cells and found no difference in neuron generation or survival, although there was a reduced calcium response to depolarizing stimuli. Using co-culture of SMA induced pluripotent stem cell derived sensory neurons with control induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neurons, we found no significant reduction in motor neuron number or glutamate transporter boutons on motor neuron cell bodies or neurites. We conclude that SMA sensory neurons do not overtly contribute to motor neuron loss in this human stem cell system. PMID:25054590

  13. Maturation of spinal motor neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomonori Takazawa

    Full Text Available Our understanding of motor neuron biology in humans is derived mainly from investigation of human postmortem tissue and more indirectly from live animal models such as rodents. Thus generation of motor neurons from human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells is an important new approach to model motor neuron function. To be useful models of human motor neuron function, cells generated in vitro should develop mature properties that are the hallmarks of motor neurons in vivo such as elaborated neuronal processes and mature electrophysiological characteristics. Here we have investigated changes in morphological and electrophysiological properties associated with maturation of neurons differentiated from human embryonic stem cells expressing GFP driven by a motor neuron specific reporter (Hb9::GFP in culture. We observed maturation in cellular morphology seen as more complex neurite outgrowth and increased soma area over time. Electrophysiological changes included decreasing input resistance and increasing action potential firing frequency over 13 days in vitro. Furthermore, these human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons acquired two physiological characteristics that are thought to underpin motor neuron integrated function in motor circuits; spike frequency adaptation and rebound action potential firing. These findings show that human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons develop functional characteristics typical of spinal motor neurons in vivo and suggest that they are a relevant and useful platform for studying motor neuron development and function and for modeling motor neuron diseases.

  14. Maturation of Spinal Motor Neurons Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takazawa, Tomonori; Croft, Gist F.; Amoroso, Mackenzie W.; Studer, Lorenz; Wichterle, Hynek; MacDermott, Amy B.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of motor neuron biology in humans is derived mainly from investigation of human postmortem tissue and more indirectly from live animal models such as rodents. Thus generation of motor neurons from human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells is an important new approach to model motor neuron function. To be useful models of human motor neuron function, cells generated in vitro should develop mature properties that are the hallmarks of motor neurons in vivo such as elaborated neuronal processes and mature electrophysiological characteristics. Here we have investigated changes in morphological and electrophysiological properties associated with maturation of neurons differentiated from human embryonic stem cells expressing GFP driven by a motor neuron specific reporter (Hb9::GFP) in culture. We observed maturation in cellular morphology seen as more complex neurite outgrowth and increased soma area over time. Electrophysiological changes included decreasing input resistance and increasing action potential firing frequency over 13 days in vitro. Furthermore, these human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons acquired two physiological characteristics that are thought to underpin motor neuron integrated function in motor circuits; spike frequency adaptation and rebound action potential firing. These findings show that human embryonic stem cell derived motor neurons develop functional characteristics typical of spinal motor neurons in vivo and suggest that they are a relevant and useful platform for studying motor neuron development and function and for modeling motor neuron diseases. PMID:22802953

  15. Afferent neuronal control of type-I gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH neurons in the human

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik eHrabovszky

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the regulation of the human menstrual cycle represents an important ultimate challenge of reproductive neuroendocrine research. However, direct translation of information from laboratory animal experiments to the human is often complicated by strikingly different and unique reproductive strategies and central regulatory mechanisms that can be present in even closely related animal species. In all mammals studied so far, type-I gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH synthesizing neurons form the final common output way from the hypothalamus in the neuroendocrine control of the adenohypophysis. Under various physiological and pathological conditions, hormonal and metabolic signals either regulate GnRH neurons directly or act on upstream neuronal circuitries to influence the pattern of pulsatile GnRH secretion into the hypophysial portal circulation. Neuronal afferents to GnRH cells convey important metabolic-, stress-, sex steroid-, lactational- and circadian signals to the reproductive axis, among other effects. This article gives an overview of the available neuroanatomical literature that described the afferent regulation of human GnRH neurons by peptidergic, monoaminergic and amino acidergic neuronal systems. Recent studies of human genetics provided evidence that central peptidergic signaling by kisspeptins and neurokinin B play particularly important roles in puberty onset and later, in the sex steroid-dependent feedback regulation of GnRH neurons. This review article places special emphasis on the topographic distribution, sexual dimorphism, aging-dependent neuroanatomical changes and plastic connectivity to GnRH neurons of the critically important human hypothalamic kisspeptin and neurokinin B systems.

  16. Selective neuronal lapses precede human cognitive lapses following sleep deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nir, Yuval; Andrillon, Thomas; Marmelshtein, Amit; Suthana, Nanthia; Cirelli, Chiara; Tononi, Giulio; Fried, Itzhak

    2017-12-01

    Sleep deprivation is a major source of morbidity with widespread health effects, including increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart attack, and stroke. Moreover, sleep deprivation brings about vehicle accidents and medical errors and is therefore an urgent topic of investigation. During sleep deprivation, homeostatic and circadian processes interact to build up sleep pressure, which results in slow behavioral performance (cognitive lapses) typically attributed to attentional thalamic and frontoparietal circuits, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Recently, through study of electroencephalograms (EEGs) in humans and local field potentials (LFPs) in nonhuman primates and rodents it was found that, during sleep deprivation, regional 'sleep-like' slow and theta (slow/theta) waves co-occur with impaired behavioral performance during wakefulness. Here we used intracranial electrodes to record single-neuron activities and LFPs in human neurosurgical patients performing a face/nonface categorization psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) over multiple experimental sessions, including a session after full-night sleep deprivation. We find that, just before cognitive lapses, the selective spiking responses of individual neurons in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) are attenuated, delayed, and lengthened. These 'neuronal lapses' are evident on a trial-by-trial basis when comparing the slowest behavioral PVT reaction times to the fastest. Furthermore, during cognitive lapses, LFPs exhibit a relative local increase in slow/theta activity that is correlated with degraded single-neuron responses and with baseline theta activity. Our results show that cognitive lapses involve local state-dependent changes in neuronal activity already present in the MTL.

  17. Dorsomedial SCN neuronal subpopulations subserve different functions in human dementia

    OpenAIRE

    Harper, David G.; Stopa, Edward G.; Kuo-Leblanc, Victoria; McKee, Ann C; Asayama, Kentaro; Volicer, Ladislav; Kowall, Neil; Satlin, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) are necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of circadian rhythms in primate and other mammalian species. The human dorsomedial SCN contains populations of non-species-specific vasopressin and species-specific neurotensin neurons. We made time-series recordings of core body temperature and locomotor activity in 19 elderly, male, end-stage dementia patients and 8 normal elderly controls. Following the death of the dementia patients, neuropathological diagno...

  18. Human temporal cortical single neuron activity during working memory maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  19. Mirror and (absence of) counter-mirror responses to action sounds measured with TMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schütz-Bosbach, Simone; Waszak, Florian

    2017-01-01

    Abstract To what extent is the mirror neuron mechanism malleable to experience? The answer to this question can help characterising its ontogeny and its role in social cognition. Some suggest that it develops through sensorimotor associations congruent with our own actions. Others argue for its extreme volatility that will encode any sensorimotor association in the environment. Here, we added to this debate by exploring the effects of short goal-directed ‘mirror’ and ‘counter-mirror’ trainings (a ‘mirror’ training is defined as the first type of training encountered by the participants) on human auditory mirror motor-evoked potentials (MEPs). We recorded MEPs in response to two tones void of previous motor meaning, before and after mirror and counter-mirror trainings in which participants generated two tones of different pitch by performing free-choice button presses. The results showed that mirror MEPs, once established, were protected against an equivalent counter-mirror experience: they became manifest very rapidly and the same number of training trials that lead to the initial association did not suffice to reverse the MEP pattern. This steadiness of the association argues that, by serving direct-matching purposes, the mirror mechanism is a good solution for social cognition. PMID:29036454

  20. Mirroring Facial Expressions and Emotions in Dyadic Conversations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Navarretta, Costanza

    2016-01-01

    found in both animals and humans. Researchers have proposed that the mirror neuron system is an important component behind many cognitive processes such as action learning and understanding the emotions of others. Preceding studies of the first encounters have shown that overlapping speech...

  1. Integrating human stem cell expansion and neuronal differentiation in bioreactors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serra, Margarida; Brito, Catarina; Costa, Eunice M; Sousa, Marcos FQ; Alves, Paula M

    2009-01-01

    Background Human stem cells are cellular resources with outstanding potential for cell therapy. However, for the fulfillment of this application, major challenges remain to be met. Of paramount importance is the development of robust systems for in vitro stem cell expansion and differentiation. In this work, we successfully developed an efficient scalable bioprocess for the fast production of human neurons. Results The expansion of undifferentiated human embryonal carcinoma stem cells (NTera2/cl.D1 cell line) as 3D-aggregates was firstly optimized in spinner vessel. The media exchange operation mode with an inoculum concentration of 4 × 105 cell/mL was the most efficient strategy tested, with a 4.6-fold increase in cell concentration achieved in 5 days. These results were validated in a bioreactor where similar profile and metabolic performance were obtained. Furthermore, characterization of the expanded population by immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry showed that NT2 cells maintained their stem cell characteristics along the bioreactor culture time. Finally, the neuronal differentiation step was integrated in the bioreactor process, by addition of retinoic acid when cells were in the middle of the exponential phase. Neurosphere composition was monitored and neuronal differentiation efficiency evaluated along the culture time. The results show that, for bioreactor cultures, we were able to increase significantly the neuronal differentiation efficiency by 10-fold while reducing drastically, by 30%, the time required for the differentiation process. Conclusion The culture systems developed herein are robust and represent one-step-forward towards the development of integrated bioprocesses, bridging stem cell expansion and differentiation in fully controlled bioreactors. PMID:19772662

  2. Mental rotation and the human body: Children's inflexible use of embodiment mirrors that of adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Markus; Ebersbach, Mirjam

    2017-12-25

    Adults' mental rotation performance with body-like stimuli is enhanced if these stimuli are anatomically compatible with a human body, but decreased by anatomically incompatible stimuli. In this study, we investigated these effects for kindergartners and first-graders: When asked to mentally rotate cube configurations attached with human body parts in an anatomically compatible way, allowing for the projection of a human body, children performed better than with pure cube combinations. By contrast, when body parts were attached in an anatomically incompatible way, disallowing the projection of a human body, children performed worse than with pure combinations. This experiment is of specific interest against the background of two different theoretical approaches concerning imagery and the motor system in development: One approach assumes an increasing integration of motor processes and imagery over time that enables older children and adults to requisition motor resources for imagery processes, while the other postulates that imagery stems from early sensorimotor processes in the first place, and is disentangled from it over time. The finding that children of the two age groups tested show exactly the same effects as adults when mentally rotating anatomically compatible and incompatible stimuli is interpreted in favour of the latter approach. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? In mental rotation, adults perform better when rotating anatomically possible stimuli as compared to rotating standard cube combinations. Performance is worse when rotating anatomically impossible stimuli. What does this study add? The present study shows that children's mental transformations mirror those of adults in these respects. In case of the anatomically impossible stimuli, this highlights an inflexible use of embodiment in both age groups. This is in line with the Piagetian assumption of imagery being based on sensorimotor processes. © 2017 The British

  3. APP Metabolism Regulates Tau Proteostasis in Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

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    Steven Moore

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of Aβ peptide fragments of the APP protein and neurofibrillary tangles of the microtubule-associated protein tau are the cellular hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. To investigate the relationship between APP metabolism and tau protein levels and phosphorylation, we studied human-stem-cell-derived forebrain neurons with genetic forms of AD, all of which increase the release of pathogenic Aβ peptides. We identified marked increases in intracellular tau in genetic forms of AD that either mutated APP or increased its dosage, suggesting that APP metabolism is coupled to changes in tau proteostasis. Manipulating APP metabolism by β-secretase and γ-secretase inhibition, as well as γ-secretase modulation, results in specific increases and decreases in tau protein levels. These data demonstrate that APP metabolism regulates tau proteostasis and suggest that the relationship between APP processing and tau is not mediated solely through extracellular Aβ signaling to neurons.

  4. A proposal for new neurorehabilitative intervention on Moebius Syndrome patients after 'smile surgery'. Proof of concept based on mirror neuron system properties and hand-mouth synergistic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Pier Francesco; Barbot, Anna; Bianchi, Bernardo; Ferri, Andrea; Garofalo, Gioacchino; Bruno, Nicola; Coudé, Gino; Bertolini, Chiara; Ardizzi, Martina; Nicolini, Ylenia; Belluardo, Mauro; Stefani, Elisa De

    2017-05-01

    Studies of the last twenty years on the motor and premotor cortices of primates demonstrated that the motor system is involved in the control and initiation of movements, and in higher cognitive processes, such as action understanding, imitation, and empathy. Mirror neurons are only one example of such theoretical shift. Their properties demonstrate that motor and sensory processing are coupled in the brain. Such knowledge has been also central for designing new neurorehabilitative therapies for patients suffering from brain injuries and consequent motor deficits. Moebius Syndrome patients, for example, are incapable of moving their facial muscles, which are fundamental for affective communication. These patients face an important challenge after having undergone a corrective surgery: reanimating the transplanted muscles to achieve a voluntarily control of smiling. We propose two new complementary rehabilitative approaches on MBS patients based on observation/imitation therapy (Facial Imitation Therapy, FIT) and on hand-mouth motor synergies (Synergistic Activity Therapy, SAT). Preliminary results show that our intervention protocol is a promising approach for neurorehabilitation of patients with facial palsy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Properties of human central nervous system neurons in a glia-depleted (isolated) culture system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Soo Yuen; Kaplan, Andrew; Wang, Li-Chun; Almazan, Guillermina; Fournier, Alyson E; Antel, Jack

    2015-09-30

    Current methods for studying human neurons depend on a feeder layer of astroglia supplemented with animal serum to support the growing neurons. These requirements undermine many of the advantages provided by in vitro cell culture approaches when compared with more complex in vivo techniques. Here, we identified a reliable marker (MHCI) that allows for direct isolation of primary neurons from fetal human brain. We utilized a magnetic labeling and isolation technique to separate neurons from other neural cells. We established a defined condition, omitting the astroglial supports that could maintain the human neurons for varying amounts of time. We showed that the new method significantly improved the purity of human neurons in culture without the need for further chemical/mechanical enrichment. We demonstrated the suitability of these neurons for functional studies including Rho-kinase dependent regulation of neurite outgrowth and ensheathment in co-cultures with oligodendrocyte progenitor cells derived from fetal human brain. The accountability for neuron-only seeding and the controllable density allows for better neuronal maturation and better visualization of the different neuronal compartments. The higher purity culture constitutes an effective system to study and screen for compounds that impact neuron biology without potential confounding effects from glial crowding. High purity human neurons generated using the improved method will enable enhanced reliability in the discovery and development of drugs with neuroregenerative and neuroprotective activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Human Neuron Cultures: Micropatterning Facilitates the Long-Term Growth and Analysis of iPSC-Derived Individual Human Neurons and Neuronal Networks (Adv. Healthcare Mater. 15/2016).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbulla, Lena F; Beaumont, Kristin G; Mrksich, Milan; Krainc, Dimitri

    2016-08-01

    Dimitri Krainc, Milan Mrksich, and co-workers demonstrate the utility of microcontact printing technology for culturing of human neurons in defined patterns over extended periods of time on page 1894. This approach facilitates studies of neuronal development, cellular trafficking, and related mechanisms that require assessment of individual neurons and neuronal networks. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. On the number of preganglionic neurones driving human postganglionic sympathetic neurones: a comparison of modelling and empirical data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaughan G Macefield

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Postganglionic sympathetic axons in awake healthy human subjects, regardless of their identity as muscle vasoconstrictor, cutaneous vasoconstrictor or sudomotor neurones, discharge with a low firing probability (~30%, generate low firing rates (~0.5 Hz and typically fire only once per cardiac interval. The purpose of the present study was to use modelling of spike trains in an attempt to define the number of preganglionic neurones that drive an individual postganglionic neurone. Artificial spike trains were generated in 1-3 preganglionic neurones converging onto a single postganglionic neurone. Each preganglionic input fired with a mean interval distribution of either 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 or 3000 ms and the standard deviation varied between 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 x the mean interval; the discharge frequency of each preganglionic neurone exhibited positive skewness and kurtosis. Of the 45 patterns examined, the mean discharge properties of the postganglionic neurone could only be explained by it being driven by, on average, two preganglionic neurones firing with a mean interspike interval of 2500 ms and SD of 5000 ms. The mean firing rate resulting from this pattern was 0.22 Hz, comparable to that of spontaneously active muscle vasoconstrictor neurones in healthy subjects (0.40 Hz. Likewise, the distribution of the number of spikes per cardiac interval was similar between the modelled and actual data: 0 spikes (69.5 vs 66.6 %, 1 spike (25.6 vs 21.2 %, 2 spikes (4.3 vs 6.4 %, 3 spikes (0.5 vs 1.7 % and 4 spikes (0.1 vs 0.7 %. Although some features of the firing patterns could be explained by the postganglionic neurone being driven by a single preganglionic neurone, none of the emulated firing patterns generated by the firing of three preganglionic neurones matched the discharge of the real neurones. These modelling data indicate that, on average, human postganglionic sympathetic neurones are driven by two preganglionic inputs.

  8. Einstein's Mirror

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gjurchinovski, Aleksandar; Skeparovski, Aleksandar

    2008-01-01

    Reflection of light from a plane mirror in uniform rectilinear motion is a century-old problem, intimately related to the foundations of special relativity. The problem was first investigated by Einstein in his famous 1905 paper by using the Lorentz transformations to switch from the mirror's rest frame to the frame where the mirror moves at a…

  9. Gender differences in human single neuron responses to male emotional faces

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Newhoff, Morgan; Treiman, David M; Smith, Kris A; Steinmetz, Peter N

    2015-01-01

    .... To better understand the neurophysiology of these gender differences, we analyzed recordings of single neuron activity in the human brain as subjects of both genders viewed emotional expressions...

  10. Speech-Associated Gestures, Broca's Area, and the Human Mirror System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skipper, Jeremy I.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Nusbaum, Howard C.; Small, Steven L.

    2007-01-01

    Speech-associated gestures are hand and arm movements that not only convey semantic information to listeners but are themselves actions. Broca's area has been assumed to play an important role both in semantic retrieval or selection (as part of a language comprehension system) and in action recognition (as part of a "mirror" or…

  11. ChAT and NOS in human myenteric neurons: co-existence and co-absence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Martin; Schlabrakowski, Anne; Schrödl, Falk; Neuhuber, Winfried; Brehmer, Axel

    2009-10-01

    Most myenteric neurons contain one of the two generating enzymes for major excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters: choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) or neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Two minor groups of myenteric neurons contain either both enzymes or neither. Our study had two aims: (1) to compare the proportions of neurons stained for ChAT and/or NOS in human small and large intestinal whole-mounts by co-staining with an antibody against the human neuronal protein Hu C/D (HU); (2) to characterize these neurons morphologically by co-staining with a neurofilament (NF) antibody. In small intestinal whole-mounts co-stained with HU, we counted more ChAT-positive (ChAT+) than NOS+ neurons (52% vs. 38%), whereas the large intestine exhibited fewer ChAT+ than NOS+ neurons (38% vs. 50%). Neurons co-reactive for both ChAT and NOS accounted for about 3% in both regions, whereas neurons negative for both enzymes accounted for 7% in the small intestine and 8% in the large intestine. Co-staining with NF revealed that, in both small and large intestine, ChAT+/NOS+ neurons were either spiny (type I) neurons or displayed smaller perikarya that were weakly or not NF-stained. Of all spiny neurons, almost one third was co-reactive for ChAT and NOS, whereas nearly two thirds were positive only for NOS. Neurons negative for both ChAT and NOS were heterogeneous in size and NF reactivity. Thus, neither the co-existence nor the co-absence of ChAT and NOS in human myenteric neurons is indicative for particular neuron types, with several qualitative and quantitative parameters showing a wide range of interindividual variability.

  12. Neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive neurons in the cerebral cortex of humans and other haplorrhine primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghanti, Mary Ann; Conley, Tiffini; Sudduth, Jessica; Erwin, Joseph M.; Stimpson, Cheryl D.; Hof, Patrick R.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the distribution of neurons immunoreactive for neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the posterior part of the superior temporal cortex (Brodmann's area 22 or area Tpt) of humans and nonhuman haplorrhine primates. NPY has been implicated in learning and memory and the density of NPY-expressing cortical neurons and axons is reduced in depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. Due to the role that NPY plays in both cognition and neurodegenerative diseases, we tested the hypothesis that the density of cortical and interstitial neurons expressing NPY was increased in humans relative to other primate species. The study sample included great apes (chimpanzee and gorilla), Old World monkeys (pigtailed macaque, moor macaque, and baboon) and New World monkeys (squirrel monkey and capuchin). Stereologic methods were used to estimate the density of NPY-immunoreactive (-ir) neurons in layers I-VI of area Tpt and the subjacent white matter. Adjacent Nissl-stained sections were used to calculate local densities of all neurons. The ratio of NPY-ir neurons to total neurons within area Tpt and the total density of NPY-ir neurons within the white matter were compared among species. Overall, NPY-ir neurons represented only an average of 0.006% of the total neuron population. While there were significant differences among species, phylogenetic trends in NPY-ir neuron distributions were not observed and humans did not differ from other primates. However, variation among species warrants further investigation into the distribution of this neuromodulator system. PMID:23042407

  13. Patterning human neuronal networks on photolithographically engineered silicon dioxide substrates functionalized with glial analogues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Mark A; Brennan, Paul M; Bunting, Andrew S; Cameron, Katherine; Murray, Alan F; Shipston, Mike J

    2014-05-01

    Interfacing neurons with silicon semiconductors is a challenge being tackled through various bioengineering approaches. Such constructs inform our understanding of neuronal coding and learning and ultimately guide us toward creating intelligent neuroprostheses. A fundamental prerequisite is to dictate the spatial organization of neuronal cells. We sought to pattern neurons using photolithographically defined arrays of polymer parylene-C, activated with fetal calf serum. We used a purified human neuronal cell line [Lund human mesencephalic (LUHMES)] to establish whether neurons remain viable when isolated on-chip or whether they require a supporting cell substrate. When cultured in isolation, LUHMES neurons failed to pattern and did not show any morphological signs of differentiation. We therefore sought a cell type with which to prepattern parylene regions, hypothesizing that this cellular template would enable secondary neuronal adhesion and network formation. From a range of cell lines tested, human embryonal kidney (HEK) 293 cells patterned with highest accuracy. LUHMES neurons adhered to pre-established HEK 293 cell clusters and this coculture environment promoted morphological differentiation of neurons. Neurites extended between islands of adherent cell somata, creating an orthogonally arranged neuronal network. HEK 293 cells appear to fulfill a role analogous to glia, dictating cell adhesion, and generating an environment conducive to neuronal survival. We next replaced HEK 293 cells with slower growing glioma-derived precursors. These primary human cells patterned accurately on parylene and provided a similarly effective scaffold for neuronal adhesion. These findings advance the use of this microfabrication-compatible platform for neuronal patterning. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Recombinant AAV-mediated expression of human BDNF protects neurons against cell apoptosis in Abeta-induced neuronal damage model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhaohui; Ma, Dongliang; Feng, Gaifeng; Ma, Yanbing; Hu, Haitao

    2007-06-01

    The human brain-derived neurotrophic factor (hBDNF) gene was cloned by polymerase chain reaction and the recombinant adeno-associated viral vector inserted with hBDNF gene (AAV-hBDNF) was constructed. Cultured rat hippocampal neurons were treated with Abeta(25-35) and serued as the experimental Abeta-induced neuronal damage model (AD model), and the AD model was infected with AAV-hBDNF to explore neuroprotective effects of expression of BDNF. Cell viability was assayed by MTT. The expression of bcl-2 anti-apoptosis protein was detected by immunocytochemical staining. The change of intracellular free Ca ion ([Ca2+]i) was measured by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The results showed that BDNF had protective effects against A-induced neuronal damage. The expression of the bcl-2 anti-apoptosis protein was raised significantly and the balance of [Ca2+]i was maintained in the AAv-hBDNF treatment group as compared with AD model group. These data suggested that recombinant AAV mediated a stable expression of hBDNF in cultured hippocampal neurons and resulted in significant neuron protective effects in AD model. The BDNF may reduce neuron apoptosis through increasing the expression of the bcl-2 anti-apoptosis protein and inhibiting intracellular calcium overload. The viral vector-mediated gene expression of BDNF may pave the way of a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

  15. Rapid sensing of l-leucine by human and murine hypothalamic neurons: Neurochemical and mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heeley, Nicholas; Kirwan, Peter; Darwish, Tamana; Arnaud, Marion; Evans, Mark L; Merkle, Florian T; Reimann, Frank; Gribble, Fiona M; Blouet, Clemence

    2018-02-07

    Dietary proteins are sensed by hypothalamic neurons and strongly influence multiple aspects of metabolic health, including appetite, weight gain, and adiposity. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which hypothalamic neural circuits controlling behavior and metabolism sense protein availability. The aim of this study is to characterize how neurons from the mediobasal hypothalamus respond to a signal of protein availability: the amino acid l-leucine. We used primary cultures of post-weaning murine mediobasal hypothalamic neurons, hypothalamic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, and calcium imaging to characterize rapid neuronal responses to physiological changes in extracellular l-Leucine concentration. A neurochemically diverse subset of both mouse and human hypothalamic neurons responded rapidly to l-leucine. Consistent with l-leucine's anorexigenic role, we found that 25% of mouse MBH POMC neurons were activated by l-leucine. 10% of MBH NPY neurons were inhibited by l-leucine, and leucine rapidly reduced AGRP secretion, providing a mechanism for the rapid leucine-induced inhibition of foraging behavior in rodents. Surprisingly, none of the candidate mechanisms previously implicated in hypothalamic leucine sensing (K ATP channels, mTORC1 signaling, amino-acid decarboxylation) were involved in the acute activity changes produced by l-leucine. Instead, our data indicate that leucine-induced neuronal activation involves a plasma membrane Ca 2+ channel, whereas leucine-induced neuronal inhibition is mediated by inhibition of a store-operated Ca 2+ current. A subset of neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus rapidly respond to physiological changes in extracellular leucine concentration. Leucine can produce both increases and decreases in neuronal Ca 2+ concentrations in a neurochemically-diverse group of neurons, including some POMC and NPY/AGRP neurons. Our data reveal that leucine can signal through novel mechanisms to rapidly

  16. Neurotrophic requirements of human motor neurons defined using amplified and purified stem cell-derived cultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuno Jorge Lamas

    Full Text Available Human motor neurons derived from embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (hESCs and hiPSCs are a potentially important tool for studying motor neuron survival and pathological cell death. However, their basic survival requirements remain poorly characterized. Here, we sought to optimize a robust survival assay and characterize their response to different neurotrophic factors. First, to increase motor neuron yield, we screened a small-molecule collection and found that the Rho-associated kinase (ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 enhances motor neuron progenitor proliferation up to 4-fold in hESC and hiPSC cultures. Next, we FACS-purified motor neurons expressing the Hb9::GFP reporter from Y-27632-amplified embryoid bodies and cultured them in the presence of mitotic inhibitors to eliminate dividing progenitors. Survival of these purified motor neurons in the absence of any other cell type was strongly dependent on neurotrophic support. GDNF, BDNF and CNTF all showed potent survival effects (EC(50 1-2 pM. The number of surviving motor neurons was further enhanced in the presence of forskolin and IBMX, agents that increase endogenous cAMP levels. As a demonstration of the ability of the assay to detect novel neurotrophic agents, Y-27632 itself was found to support human motor neuron survival. Thus, purified human stem cell-derived motor neurons show survival requirements similar to those of primary rodent motor neurons and can be used for rigorous cell-based screening.

  17. Mirror symmetry

    CERN Document Server

    Voisin, Claire

    1999-01-01

    This is the English translation of Professor Voisin's book reflecting the discovery of the mirror symmetry phenomenon. The first chapter is devoted to the geometry of Calabi-Yau manifolds, and the second describes, as motivation, the ideas from quantum field theory that led to the discovery of mirror symmetry. The other chapters deal with more specialized aspects of the subject: the work of Candelas, de la Ossa, Greene, and Parkes, based on the fact that under the mirror symmetry hypothesis, the variation of Hodge structure of a Calabi-Yau threefold determines the Gromov-Witten invariants of its mirror; Batyrev's construction, which exhibits the mirror symmetry phenomenon between hypersurfaces of toric Fano varieties, after a combinatorial classification of the latter; the mathematical construction of the Gromov-Witten potential, and the proof of its crucial property (that it satisfies the WDVV equation), which makes it possible to construct a flat connection underlying a variation of Hodge structure in the ...

  18. Systematic Three-Dimensional Coculture Rapidly Recapitulates Interactions between Human Neurons and Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Krencik

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Human astrocytes network with neurons in dynamic ways that are still poorly defined. Our ability to model this relationship is hampered by the lack of relevant and convenient tools to recapitulate this complex interaction. To address this barrier, we have devised efficient coculture systems utilizing 3D organoid-like spheres, termed asteroids, containing pre-differentiated human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC-derived astrocytes (hAstros combined with neurons generated from hPSC-derived neural stem cells (hNeurons or directly induced via Neurogenin 2 overexpression (iNeurons. Our systematic methods rapidly produce structurally complex hAstros and synapses in high-density coculture with iNeurons in precise numbers, allowing for improved studies of neural circuit function, disease modeling, and drug screening. We conclude that these bioengineered neural circuit model systems are reliable and scalable tools to accurately study aspects of human astrocyte-neuron functional properties while being easily accessible for cell-type-specific manipulations and observations. : In this article, Krencik and colleagues show that high-density cocultures of pre-differentiated human astrocytes with induced neurons, from pluripotent stem cells, elicit mature characteristics by 3–5 weeks. This provides a faster and more defined alternative method to organoid cultures for investigating human neural circuit function. Keywords: human pluripotent stem cells, neurons, astrocytes, synapses, coculture, three-dimensional spheres, organoids, disease modeling

  19. Specific responses of human hippocampal neurons are associated with better memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suthana, Nanthia A; Parikshak, Neelroop N; Ekstrom, Arne D; Ison, Matias J; Knowlton, Barbara J; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Fried, Itzhak

    2015-08-18

    A population of human hippocampal neurons has shown responses to individual concepts (e.g., Jennifer Aniston) that generalize to different instances of the concept. However, recordings from the rodent hippocampus suggest an important function of these neurons is their ability to discriminate overlapping representations, or pattern separate, a process that may facilitate discrimination of similar events for successful memory. In the current study, we explored whether human hippocampal neurons can also demonstrate the ability to discriminate between overlapping representations and whether this selectivity could be directly related to memory performance. We show that among medial temporal lobe (MTL) neurons, certain populations of neurons are selective for a previously studied (target) image in that they show a significant decrease in firing rate to very similar (lure) images. We found that a greater proportion of these neurons can be found in the hippocampus compared with other MTL regions, and that memory for individual items is correlated to the degree of selectivity of hippocampal neurons responsive to those items. Moreover, a greater proportion of hippocampal neurons showed selective firing for target images in good compared with poor performers, with overall memory performance correlated with hippocampal selectivity. In contrast, selectivity in other MTL regions was not associated with memory performance. These findings show that a substantial proportion of human hippocampal neurons encode specific memories that support the discrimination of overlapping representations. These results also provide previously unidentified evidence consistent with a unique role of the human hippocampus in orthogonalization of representations in declarative memory.

  20. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  1. CB2 receptor agonists protect human dopaminergic neurons against damage from HIV-1 gp120.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuxian Hu

    Full Text Available Despite the therapeutic impact of anti-retroviral therapy, HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND remains a serious threat to AIDS patients, and there currently remains no specific therapy for the neurological manifestations of HIV-1. Recent work suggests that the nigrostriatal dopaminergic area is a critical brain region for the neuronal dysfunction and death seen in HAND and that human dopaminergic neurons have a particular sensitivity to gp120-induced damage, manifested as reduced function (decreased dopamine uptake, morphological changes, and reduced viability. Synthetic cannabinoids inhibit HIV-1 expression in human microglia, suppress production of inflammatory mediators in human astrocytes, and there is substantial literature demonstrating the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids in other neuropathogenic processes. Based on these data, experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that synthetic cannabinoids will protect dopaminergic neurons against the toxic effects of the HIV-1 protein gp120. Using a human mesencephalic neuronal/glial culture model, which contains dopaminergic neurons, microglia, and astrocytes, we were able to show that the CB1/CB2 agonist WIN55,212-2 blunts gp120-induced neuronal damage as measured by dopamine transporter function, apoptosis and lipid peroxidation; these actions were mediated principally by the CB2 receptor. Adding supplementary human microglia to our cultures enhances gp120-induced damage; WIN55,212-2 is able to alleviate this enhanced damage. Additionally, WIN55,212-2 inhibits gp120-induced superoxide production by purified human microglial cells, inhibits migration of human microglia towards supernatants generated from gp120-stimulated human mesencephalic neuronal/glial cultures and reduces chemokine and cytokine production from the human mesencephalic neuronal/glial cultures. These data suggest that synthetic cannabinoids are capable of protecting human dopaminergic neurons from

  2. Microencapsulation of dopamine neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konagaya, Shuhei; Iwata, Hiroo

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells have been widely studied for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. However, various difficulties remain to be overcome, such as tumor formation, fragility of dopamine neurons, difficulty in handling large numbers of dopamine neurons, and immune reactions. In this study, human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived precursors of dopamine neurons were encapsulated in agarose microbeads. Dopamine neurons in microbeads could be handled without specific protocols, because the microbeads protected the fragile dopamine neurons from mechanical stress. hiPS cells were seeded on a Matrigel-coated dish and cultured to induce differentiation into a dopamine neuronal linage. On day 18 of culture, cells were collected from the culture dishes and seeded into U-bottom 96-well plates to induce cell aggregate formation. After 5 days, cell aggregates were collected from the plates and microencapsulated in agarose microbeads. The microencapsulated aggregates were cultured for an additional 45 days to induce maturation of dopamine neurons. Approximately 60% of all cells differentiated into tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in agarose microbeads. The cells released dopamine for more than 40 days. In addition, microbeads containing cells could be cryopreserved. hiPS cells were successfully differentiated into dopamine neurons in agarose microbeads. Agarose microencapsulation provides a good supporting environment for the preparation and storage of dopamine neurons. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Protection of neurons derived from human neural progenitor cells by veratridine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Peter J; Ortinau, Stefanie; Frahm, Jana; Krüger, Norman; Rolfs, Arndt; Frech, Moritz J

    2009-08-26

    The survival of developing dopaminergic neurons has been shown to be modulated by voltage-dependent mechanisms. Manipulation of these mechanisms in human neural progenitor cell cultures could improve the survival of immature dopaminergic neurons, and therefore aid research into pharmacological and cell replacement therapies for Parkinson's disease. Here, we examined the effect of the Na+ channel agonist veratridine on the human fetal neural progenitor ReNcell VM cell line. Neuronal differentiation was determined by immunocytochemistry, whereas patch clamp recordings showed the expression of functional voltage-gated sodium channels. Our results show that veratridine is neuroprotective in human fetal neural progenitor cells, which may benefit studies investigating neuronal development by reducing premature death amongst developing neurons.

  4. Learning of anticipatory responses in single neurons of the human medial temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Leila; Poncet, Marlene; Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Douw, Linda; van Dellen, Edwin; Claus, Steven; Reijneveld, Jaap C; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2015-10-09

    Neuronal processes underlying the formation of new associations in the human brain are not yet well understood. Here human participants, implanted with depth electrodes in the brain, learned arbitrary associations between images presented in an ordered, predictable sequence. During learning we recorded from medial temporal lobe (MTL) neurons that responded to at least one of the pictures in the sequence (the preferred stimulus). We report that as a result of learning, single MTL neurons show asymmetric shifts in activity and start firing earlier in the sequence in anticipation of their preferred stimulus. These effects appear relatively early in learning, after only 11 exposures to the stimulus sequence. The anticipatory neuronal responses emerge while the subjects became faster in reporting the next item in the sequence. These results demonstrate flexible representations that could support learning of new associations between stimuli in a sequence, in single neurons in the human MTL.

  5. Endosomal accumulation of APP in wobbler motor neurons reflects impaired vesicle trafficking: Implications for human motor neuron disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troakes Claire

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is largely unknown but hypotheses about disease mechanisms include oxidative stress, defective axonal transport, mitochondrial dysfunction and disrupted RNA processing. Whereas familial ALS is well represented by transgenic mutant SOD1 mouse models, the mouse mutant wobbler (WR develops progressive motor neuron degeneration due to a point mutation in the Vps54 gene, and provides an animal model for sporadic ALS. VPS54 protein as a component of a protein complex is involved in vesicular Golgi trafficking; impaired vesicle trafficking might also be mechanistic in the pathogenesis of human ALS. Results In motor neurons of homozygous symptomatic WR mice, a massive number of endosomal vesicles significantly enlarged (up to 3 μm in diameter were subjected to ultrastructural analysis and immunohistochemistry for the endosome-specific small GTPase protein Rab7 and for amyloid precursor protein (APP. Enlarged vesicles were neither detected in heterozygous WR nor in transgenic SOD1(G93A mice; in WR motor neurons, numerous APP/Rab7-positive vesicles were observed which were mostly LC3-negative, suggesting they are not autophagosomes. Conclusions We conclude that endosomal APP/Rab7 staining reflects impaired vesicle trafficking in WR mouse motor neurons. Based on these findings human ALS tissues were analysed for APP in enlarged vesicles and were detected in spinal cord motor neurons in six out of fourteen sporadic ALS cases. These enlarged vesicles were not detected in any of the familial ALS cases. Thus our study provides the first evidence for wobbler-like aetiologies in human ALS and suggests that the genes encoding proteins involved in vesicle trafficking should be screened for pathogenic mutations.

  6. Preservation of neuronal functions by exosomes derived from different human neural cell types under ischemic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Mingyang; Xiao, Han; Peng, Hongling; Yuan, Huan; Xu, Yunxiao; Zhang, Guangsen; Tang, Jianguang; Hu, Zhiping

    2017-11-27

    Stem cell-based therapies have been reported in protecting cerebral infarction-induced neuronal dysfunction and death. However, most studies used rat/mouse neuron as model cell when treated with stem cell or exosomes. Whether these findings can be translated from rodent to humans has been in doubt. Here, we used human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons to detect the protective potential of exosomes against ischemia. Neurons were treated with in vitro oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) for 1 h. For treatment group, different exosomes were derived from neuron, embryonic stem cell, neural progenitor cell and astrocyte differentiated from H9 human embryonic stem cell and added to culture medium 30 min after OGD (100 μg/mL). Western blotting was performed 12 h after OGD, while cell counting and electrophysiological recording were performed 48 h after OGD. We found that these exosomes attenuated OGD-induced neuronal death, Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), pro-inflammatory and apoptotic signaling pathway changes, as well as basal spontaneous synaptic transmission inhibition in varying degrees. The results implicate the protective effect of exosomes on OGD-induced neuronal death and dysfunction in human embryonic stem cell-derived neurons, potentially through their modulation on mTOR, pro-inflammatory and apoptotic signaling pathways. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Activity of vasopressinergic neurones of the human supraoptic nucleus is age- and sex-dependent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ishunina, T. A.; Salehi, A.; Hofman, M. A.; Swaab, D. F.

    1999-01-01

    In the human hypothalamus, arginine-vasopressin (AVP) is produced for a major part by the neurones of the supraoptic nucleus (SON). Since plasma AVP levels in men were reported to be higher than those of women and we did not find a sex difference in the neurone number, a higher vasopressinergic

  8. Hallmarks of Alzheimer's Disease in Stem-Cell-Derived Human Neurons Transplanted into Mouse Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espuny-Camacho, Ira; Arranz, Amaia M; Fiers, Mark; Snellinx, An; Ando, Kunie; Munck, Sebastian; Bonnefont, Jerome; Lambot, Laurie; Corthout, Nikky; Omodho, Lorna; Vanden Eynden, Elke; Radaelli, Enrico; Tesseur, Ina; Wray, Selina; Ebneth, Andreas; Hardy, John; Leroy, Karelle; Brion, Jean-Pierre; Vanderhaeghen, Pierre; De Strooper, Bart

    2017-03-08

    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) provide a unique entry to study species-specific aspects of human disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, in vitro culture of neurons deprives them of their natural environment. Here we transplanted human PSC-derived cortical neuronal precursors into the brain of a murine AD model. Human neurons differentiate and integrate into the brain, express 3R/4R Tau splice forms, show abnormal phosphorylation and conformational Tau changes, and undergo neurodegeneration. Remarkably, cell death was dissociated from tangle formation in this natural 3D model of AD. Using genome-wide expression analysis, we observed upregulation of genes involved in myelination and downregulation of genes related to memory and cognition, synaptic transmission, and neuron projection. This novel chimeric model for AD displays human-specific pathological features and allows the analysis of different genetic backgrounds and mutations during the course of the disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Neuropeptide co-expression in hypothalamic kisspeptin neurons of laboratory animals and the human

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katalin eSkrapits

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Hypothalamic peptidergic neurons using kisspeptin (KP and its co-transmitters for communication are critically involved in the regulation of mammalian reproduction and puberty. This article provides an overview of neuropeptides present in KP neurons, with a focus on the human species. Immunohistochemical studies reveal that large subsets of human KP neurons synthesize neurokinin B, as also shown in laboratory species. In contrast, dynorphin described in KP neurons of rodents and sheep is found rarely in KP cells of human males and postmenopausal females. Similarly, galanin is detectable in mouse, but not human, KP cells, whereas substance P, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript and proenkephalin-derived opioids are expressed in varying subsets of KP neurons in humans, but not reported in ARC of other species. Human KP neurons do not contain neurotensin, cholecystokinin, proopiomelanocortin-derivatives, agouti-related protein, neuropeptide Y, somatostatin or tyrosine hydroxylase (dopamine. These data identify the possible co-transmitters of human KP cells. Neurochemical properties distinct from those of laboratory species indicate that humans use considerably different neurotransmitter mechanisms to regulate fertility.

  10. Ex vivo infection of human embryonic spinal cord neurons prior to transplantation into adult mouse cord

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dénes Ádám

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetically modified pseudorabies virus (Prv proved suitable for the delivery of foreign genes to rodent embryonic neurons ex vivo and maintaining foreign gene expression after transplantation into spinal cord in our earlier study. The question arose of whether human embryonic neurons, which are known to be more resistant to Prv, could also be infected with a mutant Prv. Specifically, we investigated whether a mutant Prv with deleted ribonucleotide reductase and early protein 0 genes has the potential to deliver marker genes (gfp and β-gal into human embryonic spinal cord neurons and whether the infected neurons maintain expression after transplantation into adult mouse cord. Results The results revealed that the mutant Prv effectively infected human embryonic spinal cord neurons ex vivo and the grafted cells exhibited reporter gene expression for several weeks. Grafting of infected human embryonic cells into the spinal cord of immunodeficient (rnu-/rnu- mice resulted in the infection of some of the host neurons. Discussion These results suggest that Prv is suitable for the delivery of foreign genes into transplantable human cells. This delivery method may offer a new approach to use genetically modified cells for grafting in animal models where spinal cord neuronal loss or axon degeneration occurs.

  11. Distinct populations of neurons respond to emotional valence and arousal in the human subthalamic nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieger, Tomáš; Serranová, Tereza; Růžička, Filip; Vostatek, Pavel; Wild, Jiří; Štastná, Daniela; Bonnet, Cecilia; Novák, Daniel; Růžička, Evžen; Urgošík, Dušan; Jech, Robert

    2015-03-10

    Both animal studies and studies using deep brain stimulation in humans have demonstrated the involvement of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in motivational and emotional processes; however, participation of this nucleus in processing human emotion has not been investigated directly at the single-neuron level. We analyzed the relationship between the neuronal firing from intraoperative microrecordings from the STN during affective picture presentation in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and the affective ratings of emotional valence and arousal performed subsequently. We observed that 17% of neurons responded to emotional valence and arousal of visual stimuli according to individual ratings. The activity of some neurons was related to emotional valence, whereas different neurons responded to arousal. In addition, 14% of neurons responded to visual stimuli. Our results suggest the existence of neurons involved in processing or transmission of visual and emotional information in the human STN, and provide evidence of separate processing of the affective dimensions of valence and arousal at the level of single neurons as well.

  12. Characterization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Human Serotonergic Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Lining; Hu, Rui; Xu, Ting; Zhang, Zhen-Ning; Li, Weida; Lu, Jianfeng

    2017-01-01

    In the brain, the serotonergic neurons located in the raphe nucleus are the unique resource of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a pivotal role in the regulation of brain development and functions. Dysfunction of the serotonin system is present in many psychiatric disorders. Lack of in vitro functional human model limits the understanding of human central serotonergic system and its related diseases and clinical applications. Previously, we have developed a method generating human serotonergic neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this study, we analyzed the features of these human iPSCs-derived serotonergic neurons both in vitro and in vivo. We found that these human serotonergic neurons are sensitive to the selective neurotoxin 5, 7-Dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) in vitro. After being transplanted into newborn mice, the cells not only expressed their typical molecular markers, but also showed the migration and projection to the host's cerebellum, hindbrain and spinal cord. The data demonstrate that these human iPSCs-derived neurons exhibit the typical features as the serotonergic neurons in the brain, which provides a solid foundation for studying on human serotonin system and its related disorders.

  13. Characterization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Human Serotonergic Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lining Cao

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In the brain, the serotonergic neurons located in the raphe nucleus are the unique resource of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a pivotal role in the regulation of brain development and functions. Dysfunction of the serotonin system is present in many psychiatric disorders. Lack of in vitro functional human model limits the understanding of human central serotonergic system and its related diseases and clinical applications. Previously, we have developed a method generating human serotonergic neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs. In this study, we analyzed the features of these human iPSCs-derived serotonergic neurons both in vitro and in vivo. We found that these human serotonergic neurons are sensitive to the selective neurotoxin 5, 7-Dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT in vitro. After being transplanted into newborn mice, the cells not only expressed their typical molecular markers, but also showed the migration and projection to the host’s cerebellum, hindbrain and spinal cord. The data demonstrate that these human iPSCs-derived neurons exhibit the typical features as the serotonergic neurons in the brain, which provides a solid foundation for studying on human serotonin system and its related disorders.

  14. Human in vitro reporter model of neuronal development and early differentiation processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogdahn Ulrich

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During developmental and adult neurogenesis, doublecortin is an early neuronal marker expressed when neural stem cells assume a neuronal cell fate. To understand mechanisms involved in early processes of neuronal fate decision, we investigated cell lines for their capacity to induce expression of doublecortin upon neuronal differentiation and develop in vitro reporter models using doublecortin promoter sequences. Results Among various cell lines investigated, the human teratocarcinoma cell line NTERA-2 was found to fulfill our criteria. Following induction of differentiation using retinoic acid treatment, we observed a 16-fold increase in doublecortin mRNA expression, as well as strong induction of doublecortin polypeptide expression. The acquisition of a neuronal precursor phenotype was also substantiated by the establishment of a multipolar neuronal morphology and expression of additional neuronal markers, such as Map2, βIII-tubulin and neuron-specific enolase. Moreover, stable transfection in NTERA-2 cells of reporter constructs encoding fluorescent or luminescent genes under the control of the doublecortin promoter allowed us to directly detect induction of neuronal differentiation in cell culture, such as following retinoic acid treatment or mouse Ngn2 transient overexpression. Conclusion Induction of doublecortin expression in differentiating NTERA-2 cells suggests that these cells accurately recapitulate some of the very early events of neuronal determination. Hence, the use of reporter genes under the control of the doublecortin promoter in NTERA-2 cells will help us to investigate factors involved early in the course of neuronal differentiation processes. Moreover the ease to detect the induction of a neuronal program in this model will permit to perform high throughput screening for compounds acting on the early neuronal differentiation mechanisms.

  15. Neuronal subtypes and diversity revealed by single-nucleus RNA sequencing of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lake, Blue B; Ai, Rizi; Kaeser, Gwendolyn E; Salathia, Neeraj S; Yung, Yun C; Liu, Rui; Wildberg, Andre; Gao, Derek; Fung, Ho-Lim; Chen, Song; Vijayaraghavan, Raakhee; Wong, Julian; Chen, Allison; Sheng, Xiaoyan; Kaper, Fiona; Shen, Richard; Ronaghi, Mostafa; Fan, Jian-Bing; Wang, Wei; Chun, Jerold; Zhang, Kun

    2016-06-24

    The human brain has enormously complex cellular diversity and connectivities fundamental to our neural functions, yet difficulties in interrogating individual neurons has impeded understanding of the underlying transcriptional landscape. We developed a scalable approach to sequence and quantify RNA molecules in isolated neuronal nuclei from a postmortem brain, generating 3227 sets of single-neuron data from six distinct regions of the cerebral cortex. Using an iterative clustering and classification approach, we identified 16 neuronal subtypes that were further annotated on the basis of known markers and cortical cytoarchitecture. These data demonstrate a robust and scalable method for identifying and categorizing single nuclear transcriptomes, revealing shared genes sufficient to distinguish previously unknown and orthologous neuronal subtypes as well as regional identity and transcriptomic heterogeneity within the human brain. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. Efficient Generation of Corticofugal Projection Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zhu, Xiaoqing; Ai, Zongyong; Hu, Xintian; Li, Tianqing

    2016-01-01

    Efforts to study development and function of corticofugal projection neurons (CfuPNs) in the human cerebral cortex for health and disease have been limited by the unavailability of highly enriched CfuPNs...

  17. PINK1 is necessary for long term survival and mitochondrial function in human dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Wood-Kaczmar

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is a common age-related neurodegenerative disease and it is critical to develop models which recapitulate the pathogenic process including the effect of the ageing process. Although the pathogenesis of sporadic PD is unknown, the identification of the mendelian genetic factor PINK1 has provided new mechanistic insights. In order to investigate the role of PINK1 in Parkinson's disease, we studied PINK1 loss of function in human and primary mouse neurons. Using RNAi, we created stable PINK1 knockdown in human dopaminergic neurons differentiated from foetal ventral mesencephalon stem cells, as well as in an immortalised human neuroblastoma cell line. We sought to validate our findings in primary neurons derived from a transgenic PINK1 knockout mouse. For the first time we demonstrate an age dependent neurodegenerative phenotype in human and mouse neurons. PINK1 deficiency leads to reduced long-term viability in human neurons, which die via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Human neurons lacking PINK1 demonstrate features of marked oxidative stress with widespread mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial morphology. We report that PINK1 plays a neuroprotective role in the mitochondria of mammalian neurons, especially against stress such as staurosporine. In addition we provide evidence that cellular compensatory mechanisms such as mitochondrial biogenesis and upregulation of lysosomal degradation pathways occur in PINK1 deficiency. The phenotypic effects of PINK1 loss-of-function described here in mammalian neurons provides mechanistic insight into the age-related degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons seen in PD.

  18. Mirror, mirror on the wall

    CERN Multimedia

    2005-01-01

    RICH 2, one of the two Ring Imaging Cherenkov detectors of the LHCb experiment, is being prepared to join the other detector elements ready for the first proton-proton collisions at LHC. The mirrors of the RICH2 detector are meticulously assembled in a clean room.In a large dark room, men in white move around an immense structure some 7 metres high, 10 metres wide and nearly 2.5 metres deep. Apparently effortlessly, they are installing the two large high-precision spherical mirrors. These mirrors will focus Cherenkov light, created by the charged particles that will traverse this detector, onto the photon detectors. Each spherical mirror wall is made up of facets like a fly's eye. Twenty-eight individual thin glass mirrors will all point to the same point in space to within a few micro-radians. The development of these mirrors has been technically demanding : Ideally they should be massless, sturdy, precise and have high reflectivity. In practice, though not massless, they are made from a mere 6 mm thin gl...

  19. Phenotypic and Functional Characterization of Peripheral Sensory Neurons derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Alshawaf, Abdullah Jawad; Viventi, Serena; Qiu, Wanzhi; D’Abaco, Giovanna; Nayagam, Bryony; Erlichster, Michael; Chana, Gursharan; Everall, Ian; Ivanusic, Jason; Skafidas, Efstratios; Dottori, Mirella

    2018-01-01

    The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) consist of a multitude of sensory neuronal subtypes that function to relay sensory stimuli, including temperature, pressure, pain and position to the central nervous system. Our knowledge of DRG sensory neurons have been predominantly driven by animal studies and considerably less is known about the human DRG. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are valuable resource to help close this gap. Our previous studies reported an efficient system for deriving neural crest...

  20. Ketamine Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Hiroyuki; Uchida, Tokujiro; Makita, Koshi

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Ketamine toxicity has been demonstrated in nonhuman mammalian neurons. To study the toxic effect of ketamine on human neurons, an experimental model of cultured neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) was examined, and the mechanism of its toxicity was investigated. Methods Human iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons were treated with 0, 20, 100 or 500 μM ketamine for 6 and 24 h. Ketamine toxicity was evaluated by quantification of caspase 3/7 activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, mitochondrial membrane potential, ATP concentration, neurotransmitter reuptake activity and NADH/NAD+ ratio. Mitochondrial morphological change was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Results Twenty-four-hour exposure of iPSC-derived neurons to 500 μM ketamine resulted in a 40% increase in caspase 3/7 activity (P ketamine (100 μM) decreased the ATP level (22%, P ketamine concentration, which suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction preceded ROS generation and caspase activation. Conclusions We established an in vitro model for assessing the neurotoxicity of ketamine in iPSC-derived neurons. The present data indicate that the initial mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy may be related to its inhibitory effect on the mitochondrial electron transport system, which underlies ketamine-induced neural toxicity. Higher ketamine concentration can induce ROS generation and apoptosis in human neurons. PMID:26020236

  1. Inflammatory mediator-induced modulation of GABAA currents in human sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X-L; Lee, K-Y; Priest, B T; Belfer, I; Gold, M S

    2015-12-03

    The purpose of the present study was to characterize the properties of A-type GABA receptor (GABAA receptor) currents in human sensory neurons. Neurons were obtained from adult organ donors. GABAA currents were recorded in isolated neurons. Both large inactivating low-affinity currents and smaller persistent high-affinity currents were present in all of the 129 neurons studied from 15 donors. The kinetics of human GABAA currents were slower than those in rat sensory neurons. GABA currents were completely blocked by bicuculline (10 μM), and persistent currents were activated by the δ-subunit-preferring agonist, 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridine-3-ol (THIP). The GABA current equilibrium potential was ∼ 20 mV more hyperpolarized than in rat neurons. Both low- and high-affinity currents were increased by inflammatory mediators but via different second messenger pathways. These results highlight potentially important species differences in the properties of ion channels present in their native environment and suggest the use of human sensory neurons may be a valuable tool to test compounds prior to use in humans. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Human-Derived Neurons and Neural Progenitor Cells in High Content Imaging Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrill, Joshua A

    2018-01-01

    Due to advances in the fields of stem cell biology and cellular engineering, a variety of commercially available human-derived neurons and neural progenitor cells (NPCs) are now available for use in research applications, including small molecule efficacy or toxicity screening. The use of human-derived neural cells is anticipated to address some of the uncertainties associated with the use of nonhuman culture models or transformed cell lines derived from human tissues. Many of the human-derived neurons and NPCs currently available from commercial sources recapitulate critical process of nervous system development including NPC proliferation, neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and calcium signaling, each of which can be evaluated using high content image analysis (HCA). Human-derived neurons and NPCs are also amenable to culture in multiwell plate formats and thus may be adapted for use in HCA-based screening applications. This article reviews various types of HCA-based assays that have been used in conjunction with human-derived neurons and NPC cultures. This article also highlights instances where lower throughput analysis of neurodevelopmental processes has been performed and which demonstrate a potential for adaptation to higher-throughout imaging methods. Finally, a generic protocol for evaluating neurite outgrowth in human-derived neurons using a combination of immunocytochemistry and HCA is presented. The information provided in this article is intended to serve as a resource for cell model and assay selection for those interested in evaluating neurodevelopmental processes in human-derived cells.

  3. Gender differences in human single neuron responses to male emotional faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newhoff, Morgan; Treiman, David M; Smith, Kris A; Steinmetz, Peter N

    2015-01-01

    Well-documented differences in the psychology and behavior of men and women have spurred extensive exploration of gender's role within the brain, particularly regarding emotional processing. While neuroanatomical studies clearly show differences between the sexes, the functional effects of these differences are less understood. Neuroimaging studies have shown inconsistent locations and magnitudes of gender differences in brain hemodynamic responses to emotion. To better understand the neurophysiology of these gender differences, we analyzed recordings of single neuron activity in the human brain as subjects of both genders viewed emotional expressions. This study included recordings of single-neuron activity of 14 (6 male) epileptic patients in four brain areas: amygdala (236 neurons), hippocampus (n = 270), anterior cingulate cortex (n = 256), and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (n = 174). Neural activity was recorded while participants viewed a series of avatar male faces portraying positive, negative or neutral expressions. Significant gender differences were found in the left amygdala, where 23% (n = 15∕66) of neurons in men were significantly affected by facial emotion, vs. 8% (n = 6∕76) of neurons in women. A Fisher's exact test comparing the two ratios found a highly significant difference between the two (p genders at the single-neuron level in the human amygdala. These differences may reflect gender-based distinctions in evolved capacities for emotional processing and also demonstrate the importance of including subject gender as an independent factor in future studies of emotional processing by single neurons in the human amygdala.

  4. Characterization of Neuronal Populations in the Human Trigeminal Ganglion and Their Association with Latent Herpes Simplex Virus-1 Infection

    OpenAIRE

    Flowerdew, Sarah E.; Desiree Wick; Susanne Himmelein; Anja K E Horn; Inga Sinicina; Michael Strupp; Thomas Brandt; Diethilde Theil; Katharina Hüfner

    2013-01-01

    Following primary infection Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) establishes lifelong latency in the neurons of human sensory ganglia. Upon reactivation HSV-1 can cause neurological diseases such as facial palsy, vestibular neuritis or encephalitis. Certain populations of sensory neurons have been shown to be more susceptible to latent infection in the animal model, but this has not been addressed in human tissue. In the present study, trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons expressing six neuronal marker...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amber Kerkhofs

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Artificial companions: empathy and vulnerability mirroring in human-robot relations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coeckelbergh, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Under what conditions can robots become companions and what are the ethical issues that might arise in human-robot companionship relations? I argue that the possibility and future of robots as companions depends (among other things) on the robot’s capacity to be a recipient of human empathy, and

  8. Calretinin as a marker for premotor neurons involved in upgaze in human brainstem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher eAdamczyk

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Eye movements are generated by different premotor pathways. Damage to them can cause specific deficits of eye movements, such as saccades. For correlative clinico-anatomical post-mortem studies of cases with eye movement disorders it is essential to identify the functional cell groups of the oculomotor system in the human brain by marker proteins. Based on monkey studies, the premotor neurons of the saccadic system can be identified by the histochemical markers parvalbumin and perineuronal nets in humans. These areas involve the interstitial nucleus of Cajal (INC and the rostral interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fascicle (RIMLF, which both contain premotor neurons for upgaze and downgaze. Recent monkey and human studies revealed a selective excitatory calretinin-positive input to the motoneurons mediating upgaze, but not to those for downgaze. Three premotor regions were identified as sources of calretinin input in monkey: y-group, INC and RIMLF. These findings suggest that the expression pattern of parvalbumin and calretinin may help to identify premotor neurons involved in up- or downgaze. In a post-mortem study of five human cases without neurological diseases we investigated the y-group, INC and RIMLF for the presence of parvalbumin and calretinin positive neurons including their co-expression. Adjacent thin paraffin sections were stained for the aggrecan component of perineuronal nets, parvalbumin or calretinin and glutamate decarboxylase. The comparative analysis of scanned thin sections of INC and RIMLF revealed medium-sized parvalbumin positive neurons with and without calretinin coexpression, which were intermingled. The parvalbumin/calretinin positive neurons in both nuclei are considered as excitatory premotor upgaze neurons. Accordingly, the parvalbumin-positive neurons lacking calretinin are considered as premotor downgaze neurons in RIMLF, but may in addition include inhibitory premotor upgaze neurons in the INC as

  9. Preliminary evidence for human globus pallidus pars interna neurons signaling reward and sensory stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Nicholas A; Prescott, Ian A; Lozano, Andres M; Hodaie, Mojgan; Voon, Valerie; Hutchison, William D

    2016-07-22

    The globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) is a component of the basal ganglia, a network of subcortical nuclei that process motor, associative, and limbic information. While non-human primate studies have suggested a role for the GPi in non-motor functions, there have been no single-unit studies of non-motor electrophysiological behavior of human GPi neurons. We therefore sought to extend these findings by collecting single-unit recordings from awake patients during functional stereotactic neurosurgery targeting the GPi for deep brain stimulation. To assess cellular responses to non-motor information, patients performed a reward task where virtual money could be won, lost, or neither, depending on their performance while cellular activity was monitored. Changes in the firing rates of isolated GPi neurons after the presentation of reward-related stimuli were compared between different reward contingencies (win, loss, null). We observed neurons that modulated their firing rate significantly to the presentation of reward-related stimuli. We furthermore found neurons that responded to visual-stimuli more broadly. This is the first single-unit evidence of human GPi neurons carrying non-motor information. These results are broadly consistent with previous findings in the animal literature and suggest non-motor information may be represented in the single-unit activity of human GPi neurons. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. THE OBSERVATION OF THE HUMAN BEING DIGNITY, AS MIRRORED IN CONVENTIONS, TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoaneta-Laura (MIREA SAVA

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the evolution of the concept of human dignity in conventions, treaties and other international documents, starting from the 13th century, when we meet different references to the human rights in the English Charter from 1215 –Magna Charta, and continuing with the American Declaration of Independence from 1776, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen from 1789 etc. In present times, the most important and relevant documents are The Charter of the United Nations, signed at San Francisco, California, on the 26th of June 1945, The European Convention of Human Rights, signed at Rome, on the 5th of November 1950, the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted in 1963, The Charter of Paris, called “For a new Europe” – 1989, The Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, signed at San José, in Costa Rica, on the 22nd of November 1969, The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted during the Conference for Organisation of African Unity (OAU, on the 27th of June 1981, The Asian Human Rights Charter, elaborated by the Asian Human Rights Commission and proclaimed on the 17th of May 1998 etc.

  11. Canine disorder mirrors human disease: exonic deletion in HES7 causes autosomal recessive spondylocostal dysostosis in miniature Schnauzer dogs.

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    Cali E Willet

    Full Text Available Spondylocostal dysostosis is a congenital disorder of the axial skeleton documented in human families from diverse racial backgrounds. The condition is characterised by truncal shortening, extensive hemivertebrae and rib anomalies including malalignment, fusion and reduction in number. Mutations in the Notch signalling pathway genes DLL3, MESP2, LFNG, HES7 and TBX6 have been associated with this defect. In this study, spondylocostal dysostosis in an outbred family of miniature schnauzer dogs is described. Computed tomography demonstrated that the condition mirrors the skeletal defects observed in human cases, but unlike most human cases, the affected dogs were stillborn or died shortly after birth. Through gene mapping and whole genome sequencing, we identified a single-base deletion in the coding region of HES7. The frameshift mutation causes loss of functional domains essential for the oscillatory transcriptional autorepression of HES7 during somitogenesis. A restriction fragment length polymorphism test was applied within the immediate family and supported a highly penetrant autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. The mutation was not observed in wider testing of 117 randomly sampled adult miniature schnauzer and six adult standard schnauzer dogs; providing a significance of association of Praw = 4.759e-36 (genome-wide significant. Despite this apparently low frequency in the Australian population, the allele may be globally distributed based on its presence in two unrelated sires from geographically distant locations. While isolated hemivertebrae have been observed in a small number of other dog breeds, this is the first clinical and genetic diagnosis of spontaneously occurring spondylocostal dysostosis in a non-human mammal and offers an excellent model in which to study this devastating human disorder. The genetic test can be utilized by dog breeders to select away from the disease and avoid unnecessary neonatal losses.

  12. No relative expansion of the number of prefrontal neurons in primate and human evolution.

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    Gabi, Mariana; Neves, Kleber; Masseron, Carolinne; Ribeiro, Pedro F M; Ventura-Antunes, Lissa; Torres, Laila; Mota, Bruno; Kaas, Jon H; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2016-08-23

    Human evolution is widely thought to have involved a particular expansion of prefrontal cortex. This popular notion has recently been challenged, although controversies remain. Here we show that the prefrontal region of both human and nonhuman primates holds about 8% of cortical neurons, with no clear difference across humans and other primates in the distribution of cortical neurons or white matter cells along the anteroposterior axis. Further, we find that the volumes of human prefrontal gray and white matter match the expected volumes for the number of neurons in the gray matter and for the number of other cells in the white matter compared with other primate species. These results indicate that prefrontal cortical expansion in human evolution happened along the same allometric trajectory as for other primate species, without modification of the distribution of neurons across its surface or of the volume of the underlying white matter. We thus propose that the most distinctive feature of the human prefrontal cortex is its absolute number of neurons, not its relative volume.

  13. Synaptogenesis and development of pyramidal neuron dendritic morphology in the chimpanzee neocortex resembles humans.

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    Bianchi, Serena; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Duka, Tetyana; Larsen, Michael D; Janssen, William G M; Collins, Zachary; Bauernfeind, Amy L; Schapiro, Steven J; Baze, Wallace B; McArthur, Mark J; Hopkins, William D; Wildman, Derek E; Lipovich, Leonard; Kuzawa, Christopher W; Jacobs, Bob; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C

    2013-06-18

    Neocortical development in humans is characterized by an extended period of synaptic proliferation that peaks in mid-childhood, with subsequent pruning through early adulthood, as well as relatively delayed maturation of neuronal arborization in the prefrontal cortex compared with sensorimotor areas. In macaque monkeys, cortical synaptogenesis peaks during early infancy and developmental changes in synapse density and dendritic spines occur synchronously across cortical regions. Thus, relatively prolonged synapse and neuronal maturation in humans might contribute to enhancement of social learning during development and transmission of cultural practices, including language. However, because macaques, which share a last common ancestor with humans ≈ 25 million years ago, have served as the predominant comparative primate model in neurodevelopmental research, the paucity of data from more closely related great apes leaves unresolved when these evolutionary changes in the timing of cortical development became established in the human lineage. To address this question, we used immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and Golgi staining to characterize synaptic density and dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons in primary somatosensory (area 3b), primary motor (area 4), prestriate visual (area 18), and prefrontal (area 10) cortices of developing chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We found that synaptogenesis occurs synchronously across cortical areas, with a peak of synapse density during the juvenile period (3-5 y). Moreover, similar to findings in humans, dendrites of prefrontal pyramidal neurons developed later than sensorimotor areas. These results suggest that evolutionary changes to neocortical development promoting greater neuronal plasticity early in postnatal life preceded the divergence of the human and chimpanzee lineages.

  14. Disruption of Dopamine Neuron Activity Pattern Regulation through Selective Expression of a Human KCNN3 Mutation

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    Soden, Marta E.; Jones, Graham L.; Sanford, Christina A.; Chung, Amanda S.; Güler, Ali D.; Chavkin, Charles; Luján, Rafael; Zweifel, Larry S.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The calcium-activated small conductance potassium channel, SK3, plays an essential role in the regulation of dopamine neuron activity patterns. Here we demonstrate that expression of a human disease-related SK3 mutation (hSK3Δ) in dopamine neurons of mice disrupts the balance between tonic and phasic dopamine neuron activity. Expression of hSK3Δ suppressed endogenous SK currents, reducing coupling between SK channels and NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and increasing permissiveness for burst firing. Consistent with enhanced excitability of dopamine neurons, hSK3Δ increased evoked calcium signals in dopamine neurons in vivo and potentiated evoked dopamine release. Specific expression of hSK3Δ led to deficits in attention and sensory gating and heightened sensitivity to a psychomimetic drug. Sensory-motor alterations and psychomimetic sensitivity were recapitulated in a mouse model of transient, reversible dopamine neuron activation. These results demonstrate the cell-autonomous effects of a human ion channel mutation on dopamine neuron physiology and the impact of activity pattern disruption on behavior. PMID:24206670

  15. Persistently active neurons in human medial frontal and medial temporal lobe support working memory

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    Kamiński, J; Sullivan, S; Chung, JM; Ross, IB; Mamelak, AN; Rutishauser, U

    2017-01-01

    Persistent neural activity is a putative mechanism for the maintenance of working memories. Persistent activity relies on the activity of a distributed network of areas, but the differential contribution of each area remains unclear. We recorded single neurons in the human medial frontal cortex and the medial temporal lobe while subjects held up to three items in memory. We found persistently active neurons in both areas. Persistent activity of hippocampal and amygdala neurons was stimulus-specific, formed stable attractors, and was predictive of memory content. Medial frontal cortex persistent activity, on the other hand, was modulated by memory load and task set but was not stimulus-specific. Trial-by-trial variability in persistent activity in both areas was related to memory strength, because it predicted the speed and accuracy by which stimuli were remembered. This work reveals, in humans, direct evidence for a distributed network of persistently active neurons supporting working memory maintenance. PMID:28218914

  16. Expression of tyrosine hydroxylase in newly differentiated neurons from a human cell line (hNT).

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    Iacovitti, L; Stull, N D

    1997-04-14

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the synergistic interaction of acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) and a number of co-activator molecules (dopamine, TPA, IBMX/forskolin) can induce the novel expression of the catecholamine biosynthetic enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in non-TH-expressing neurons. To date, TH gene induction has been achieved only in cultures of primary brain neurons. In the present study, we investigated whether TH expression could similarly be induced in a cell line derived from human teratocarcinoma cells. Treatment with aFGF and its co-activators resulted in the prolonged expression of TH in newly differentiating human neurons (hNT) but not in their undifferentiated precursors (NT2). These findings suggest that hNTs may serve as a continual source of TH-expressing neurons for cell transplantation and developmental studies.

  17. Genetic geography of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing genotype: a multifacet mirror of human history?

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    Mokrousov, Igor

    2008-12-01

    The Beijing genotype of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been shown in many settings to be hypervirulent and associated with multi-drug resistance. Its presently global and rapid dissemination makes it an important issue of public health. Here, I present a significantly enlarged update of the MIRU-VNTR global database of the M. tuberculosis Beijing genotype (11 loci). I further attempted to link the observed mycobacterial diversity with relevant events of the known human history. Large water masses have been the most efficient and drastic generators of the genetic divergence between human populations. The same situation appears true also for M. tuberculosis, which general diversity pattern amazingly resembles that of its human host. At the same time, less expected affinities observed between distant populations of M. tuberculosis may reflect hidden patterns of human migrations or yet unknown epidemiological links between distant regions.

  18. Isolation of functionally active and highly purified neuronal mitochondria from human cortex.

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    Khattar, Nicolas K; Yablonska, Svitlana; Baranov, Sergei V; Baranova, Oxana V; Kretz, Eric S; Larkin, Timothy M; Carlisle, Diane L; Richardson, R Mark; Friedlander, Robert M

    2016-04-01

    Functional and structural properties of mitochondria are highly tissue and cell dependent, but isolation of highly purified human neuronal mitochondria is not currently available. We developed and validated a procedure to isolate purified neuronal mitochondria from brain tissue. The method combines Percoll gradient centrifugation to obtain synaptosomal fraction with nitrogen cavitation mediated synaptosome disruption and extraction of mitochondria using anti mitochondrial outer membrane protein antibodies conjugated to magnetic beads. The final products of isolation are non-synaptosomal mitochondria, which are a mixture of mitochondria isolated from different brain cells (i.e. neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia) and synaptic mitochondria, which are of neuronal origin. This method is well suited for preparing functional mitochondria from human cortex tissue that is surgically extracted. The procedure produces mitochondria with minimal cytoplasmic contaminations that are functionally active based on measurements of mitochondrial respiration as well as mitochondrial protein import. The procedure requires approximately four hours for the isolation of human neuronal mitochondria and can also be used to isolate mitochondria from mouse/rat/monkey brains. This method will allow researchers to study highly enriched neuronal mitochondria without the confounding effect of cellular and organelle contaminants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Neuronal Migration and Axonal Pathways Linked to Human Fetal Insular Development Revealed by Diffusion MR Tractography.

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    Das, Avilash; Takahashi, Emi

    2017-08-31

    The insula is a multimodal sensory integration structure that, in addition to serving as a gateway between somatosensory areas and limbic structures, plays a crucial role in autonomic nervous system function. While anatomical studies following the development of the insula have been conducted, currently, no studies have been published in human fetuses tracking the development of neuronal migration or of white matter tracts in the cortex. In this study, we aimed to follow the neuronal migration and subsequent maturation of axons in and around the insula in human fetal ages. Using high-angular resolution diffusion magnetic resonance imaging tractography, major white matter pathways to/from the insula and its surrounding operculum were identified at a number of time points during human gestation. Pathways likely linked to neuronal migration from the ventricular zone to the inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal region, and the insular cortex were detected in the earliest gestational age studied (15 GW). Tractography reveals neuronal migration to areas surrounding the insula occurred at different time points. These results, in addition to demonstrating key time points for neuronal migration, suggest that neurons and axonal fiber pathways underlying the insula and its surrounding gyri mature differentially despite their relationship during cortical folding. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Differentiation of hypothalamic-like neurons from human pluripotent stem cells.

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    Wang, Liheng; Meece, Kana; Williams, Damian J; Lo, Kinyui Alice; Zimmer, Matthew; Heinrich, Garrett; Martin Carli, Jayne; Leduc, Charles A; Sun, Lei; Zeltser, Lori M; Freeby, Matthew; Goland, Robin; Tsang, Stephen H; Wardlaw, Sharon L; Egli, Dieter; Leibel, Rudolph L

    2015-02-01

    The hypothalamus is the central regulator of systemic energy homeostasis, and its dysfunction can result in extreme body weight alterations. Insights into the complex cellular physiology of this region are critical to the understanding of obesity pathogenesis; however, human hypothalamic cells are largely inaccessible for direct study. Here, we developed a protocol for efficient generation of hypothalamic neurons from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) obtained from patients with monogenetic forms of obesity. Combined early activation of sonic hedgehog signaling followed by timed NOTCH inhibition in human ESCs/iPSCs resulted in efficient conversion into hypothalamic NKX2.1+ precursors. Application of a NOTCH inhibitor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) further directed the cells into arcuate nucleus hypothalamic-like neurons that express hypothalamic neuron markers proopiomelanocortin (POMC), neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AGRP), somatostatin, and dopamine. These hypothalamic-like neurons accounted for over 90% of differentiated cells and exhibited transcriptional profiles defined by a hypothalamic-specific gene expression signature that lacked pituitary markers. Importantly, these cells displayed hypothalamic neuron characteristics, including production and secretion of neuropeptides and increased p-AKT and p-STAT3 in response to insulin and leptin. Our results suggest that these hypothalamic-like neurons have potential for further investigation of the neurophysiology of body weight regulation and evaluation of therapeutic targets for obesity.

  1. Differentiation of hypothalamic-like neurons from human pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Liheng; Meece, Kana; Williams, Damian J.; Lo, Kinyui Alice; Zimmer, Matthew; Heinrich, Garrett; Martin Carli, Jayne; Leduc, Charles A.; Sun, Lei; Zeltser, Lori M.; Freeby, Matthew; Goland, Robin; Tsang, Stephen H.; Wardlaw, Sharon L.; Egli, Dieter; Leibel, Rudolph L.

    2015-01-01

    The hypothalamus is the central regulator of systemic energy homeostasis, and its dysfunction can result in extreme body weight alterations. Insights into the complex cellular physiology of this region are critical to the understanding of obesity pathogenesis; however, human hypothalamic cells are largely inaccessible for direct study. Here, we developed a protocol for efficient generation of hypothalamic neurons from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) obtained from patients with monogenetic forms of obesity. Combined early activation of sonic hedgehog signaling followed by timed NOTCH inhibition in human ESCs/iPSCs resulted in efficient conversion into hypothalamic NKX2.1+ precursors. Application of a NOTCH inhibitor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) further directed the cells into arcuate nucleus hypothalamic-like neurons that express hypothalamic neuron markers proopiomelanocortin (POMC), neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AGRP), somatostatin, and dopamine. These hypothalamic-like neurons accounted for over 90% of differentiated cells and exhibited transcriptional profiles defined by a hypothalamic-specific gene expression signature that lacked pituitary markers. Importantly, these cells displayed hypothalamic neuron characteristics, including production and secretion of neuropeptides and increased p-AKT and p-STAT3 in response to insulin and leptin. Our results suggest that these hypothalamic-like neurons have potential for further investigation of the neurophysiology of body weight regulation and evaluation of therapeutic targets for obesity. PMID:25555215

  2. Phenotypic and Functional Characterization of Peripheral Sensory Neurons derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

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    Alshawaf, Abdullah Jawad; Viventi, Serena; Qiu, Wanzhi; D'Abaco, Giovanna; Nayagam, Bryony; Erlichster, Michael; Chana, Gursharan; Everall, Ian; Ivanusic, Jason; Skafidas, Efstratios; Dottori, Mirella

    2018-01-12

    The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) consist of a multitude of sensory neuronal subtypes that function to relay sensory stimuli, including temperature, pressure, pain and position to the central nervous system. Our knowledge of DRG sensory neurons have been predominantly driven by animal studies and considerably less is known about the human DRG. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are valuable resource to help close this gap. Our previous studies reported an efficient system for deriving neural crest and DRG sensory neurons from hESC. Here we show that this differentiation system gives rise to heterogeneous populations of sensory neuronal subtypes as demonstrated by phenotypic and functional analyses. Furthermore, using microelectrode arrays the maturation rate of the hESC-derived sensory neuronal cultures was monitored over 8 weeks in culture, showing their spontaneous firing activities starting at about 12 days post-differentiation and reaching maximum firing at about 6 weeks. These studies are highly valuable for developing an in vitro platform to study the diversity of sensory neuronal subtypes found within the human DRG.

  3. Human polymorphisms in nicotinic receptors: a functional analysis in iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.

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    Deflorio, Cristina; Blanchard, Stéphane; Carisì, Maria Carla; Bohl, Delphine; Maskos, Uwe

    2017-02-01

    Tobacco smoking is a public health problem, with ∼5 million deaths per year, representing a heavy burden for many countries. No effective therapeutic strategies are currently available for nicotine addiction, and it is therefore crucial to understand the etiological and pathophysiological factors contributing to this addiction. The neuronal α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit is critically involved in nicotine dependence. In particular, the human polymorphism α5D398N corresponds to the strongest correlation with nicotine dependence risk found to date in occidental populations, according to meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies. To understand the specific contribution of this subunit in the context of nicotine addiction, an efficient screening system for native human nAChRs is needed. We have differentiated human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons and obtained a comprehensive characterization of these neurons by quantitative RT-PCR. The functional properties of nAChRs expressed in these human DA neurons, with or without the polymorphism in the α5 subunit, were studied with the patch-clamp electrophysiological technique. Our results in human DA neurons carrying the polymorphism in the α5 subunit showed an increase in EC50, indicating that, in the presence of the polymorphism, more nicotine or acetylcholine chloride is necessary to obtain the same effect. This human cell culturing system can now be used in drug discovery approaches to screen for compounds that interact specifically with human native and polymorphic nAChRs.-Deflorio, C., Blanchard, S., Carisì, M. C., Bohl, D., Maskos, U. Human polymorphisms in nicotinic receptors: a functional analysis in iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons. © FASEB.

  4. Familial Dysautonomia (FD Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived PNS Neurons Reveal that Synaptic Vesicular and Neuronal Transport Genes Are Directly or Indirectly Affected by IKBKAP Downregulation.

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    Sharon Lefler

    Full Text Available A splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes Familial Dysautonomia (FD, affecting the IKAP protein expression levels and proper development and function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS. Here we found new molecular insights for the IKAP role and the impact of the FD mutation in the human PNS lineage by using a novel and unique human embryonic stem cell (hESC line homozygous to the FD mutation originated by pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD analysis. We found that IKBKAP downregulation during PNS differentiation affects normal migration in FD-hESC derived neural crest cells (NCC while at later stages the PNS neurons show reduced intracellular colocalization between vesicular proteins and IKAP. Comparative wide transcriptome analysis of FD and WT hESC-derived neurons together with the analysis of human brains from FD and WT 12 weeks old embryos and experimental validation of the results confirmed that synaptic vesicular and neuronal transport genes are directly or indirectly affected by IKBKAP downregulation in FD neurons. Moreover we show that kinetin (a drug that corrects IKBKAP alternative splicing promotes the recovery of IKAP expression and these IKAP functional associated genes identified in the study. Altogether, these results support the view that IKAP might be a vesicular like protein that might be involved in neuronal transport in hESC derived PNS neurons. This function seems to be mostly affected in FD-hESC derived PNS neurons probably reflecting some PNS neuronal dysfunction observed in FD.

  5. Familial Dysautonomia (FD) Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived PNS Neurons Reveal that Synaptic Vesicular and Neuronal Transport Genes Are Directly or Indirectly Affected by IKBKAP Downregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefler, Sharon; Cohen, Malkiel A; Kantor, Gal; Cheishvili, David; Even, Aviel; Birger, Anastasya; Turetsky, Tikva; Gil, Yaniv; Even-Ram, Sharona; Aizenman, Einat; Bashir, Nibal; Maayan, Channa; Razin, Aharon; Reubinoff, Benjamim E; Weil, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    A splicing mutation in the IKBKAP gene causes Familial Dysautonomia (FD), affecting the IKAP protein expression levels and proper development and function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Here we found new molecular insights for the IKAP role and the impact of the FD mutation in the human PNS lineage by using a novel and unique human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line homozygous to the FD mutation originated by pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) analysis. We found that IKBKAP downregulation during PNS differentiation affects normal migration in FD-hESC derived neural crest cells (NCC) while at later stages the PNS neurons show reduced intracellular colocalization between vesicular proteins and IKAP. Comparative wide transcriptome analysis of FD and WT hESC-derived neurons together with the analysis of human brains from FD and WT 12 weeks old embryos and experimental validation of the results confirmed that synaptic vesicular and neuronal transport genes are directly or indirectly affected by IKBKAP downregulation in FD neurons. Moreover we show that kinetin (a drug that corrects IKBKAP alternative splicing) promotes the recovery of IKAP expression and these IKAP functional associated genes identified in the study. Altogether, these results support the view that IKAP might be a vesicular like protein that might be involved in neuronal transport in hESC derived PNS neurons. This function seems to be mostly affected in FD-hESC derived PNS neurons probably reflecting some PNS neuronal dysfunction observed in FD.

  6. Neural Progenitor Cells Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells as an Origin of Dopaminergic Neurons

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    Parinya Noisa

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs are able to proliferate in vitro indefinitely without losing their ability to differentiate into multiple cell types upon exposure to appropriate signals. Particularly, the ability of hESCs to differentiate into neuronal subtypes is fundamental to develop cell-based therapies for several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. In this study, we differentiated hESCs to dopaminergic neurons via an intermediate stage, neural progenitor cells (NPCs. hESCs were induced to neural progenitor cells by Dorsomorphin, a small molecule that inhibits BMP signalling. The resulting neural progenitor cells exhibited neural bipolarity with high expression of neural progenitor genes and possessed multipotential differentiation ability. CBF1 and bFGF responsiveness of these hES-NP cells suggested their similarity to embryonic neural progenitor cells. A substantial number of dopaminergic neurons were derived from hES-NP cells upon supplementation of FGF8 and SHH, key dopaminergic neuron inducers. Importantly, multiple markers of midbrain neurons were detected, including NURR1, PITX3, and EN1, suggesting that hESC-derived dopaminergic neurons attained the midbrain identity. Altogether, this work underscored the generation of neural progenitor cells that retain the properties of embryonic neural progenitor cells. These cells will serve as an unlimited source for the derivation of dopaminergic neurons, which might be applicable for treating patients with Parkinson’s disease.

  7. Polyethyleneimine-mediated transfection of cultured postmitotic neurons from rat sympathetic ganglia and adult human retina

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    Higgins Dennis

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chemical methods of transfection that have proven successful with cell lines often do not work with primary cultures of neurons. Recent data, however, suggest that linear polymers of the cation polyethyleneimine (PEI can facilitate the uptake of nucleic acids by neurons. Consequently, we examined the ability of a commercial PEI preparation to allow the introduction of foreign genes into postmitotic mammalian neurons. Sympathetic neurons were obtained from perinatal rat pups and maintained for 5 days in vitro in the absence of nonneuronal cells. Cultures were then transfected with varying amounts of a plasmid encoding either E. coli β-galactosidase or enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP using PEI. Results Optimal transfection efficiency was observed with 1 μg/ml of plasmid DNA and 5 μg/ml PEI. Expression of β-galactosidase was both rapid and stable, beginning within 6 hours and lasting for at least 21 days. A maximum yield was obtained within 72 hours with ∼ 9% of the neurons expressing β-galactosidase, as assessed by both histochemistry and antibody staining. Cotransfection of two plasmids encoding reporter genes was achieved. Postmitotic neurons from adult human retinal cultures also demonstrated an ability to take up and express foreign DNA using PEI as a vector. Conclusions These data suggest that PEI is a useful agent for the stable expression of plasmid-encoded genes in neuronal cultures.

  8. Human resources for health at the district level in Indonesia: the smoke and mirrors of decentralization

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    Harahap Nida P

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2001 Indonesia embarked on a rapid decentralization of government finances and functions to district governments. One of the results is that government has less information about its most valuable resource, the people who provide the services. The objective of the work reported here is to determine the stock of human resources for health in 15 districts, their service status and primary place of work. It also assesses the effect of decentralization on management of human resources and the implications for the future. Methods We enumerated all health care providers (doctors, nurses and midwives, including information on their employment status and primary place of work, in each of 15 districts in Java. Data were collected by three teams, one for each province. Results Provider density (number of doctors, nurses and midwives/1000 population was low by international standards – 11 out of 15 districts had provider densities less than 1.0. Approximately half of all three professional groups were permanent public servants. Contractual employment was also important for both nurses and midwives. The private sector as the primary source of employment is most important for doctors (37% overall and increasingly so for midwives (10%. For those employed in the public sector, two-thirds of doctors and nurses work in health centres, while most midwives are located at village-level health facilities. Conclusion In the health system established after Independence, the facilities established were staffed through a period of obligatory service for all new graduates in medicine, nursing and midwifery. The last elements of that staffing system ended in 2007 and the government has not been able to replace it. The private sector is expanding and, despite the fact that it will be of increasing importance in the coming decades, government information about providers in private practice is decreasing. Despite the promise of decentralization to

  9. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Neuronal Models for the Study of Autophagy Pathways in Human Neurodegenerative Disease.

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    Jiménez-Moreno, Natalia; Stathakos, Petros; Caldwell, Maeve A; Lane, Jon D

    2017-08-11

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are invaluable tools for research into the causes of diverse human diseases, and have enormous potential in the emerging field of regenerative medicine. Our ability to reprogramme patient cells to become hiPSCs, and to subsequently direct their differentiation towards those classes of neurons that are vulnerable to stress, is revealing how genetic mutations cause changes at the molecular level that drive the complex pathogeneses of human neurodegenerative diseases. Autophagy dysregulation is considered to be a major contributor in neural decline during the onset and progression of many human neurodegenerative diseases, meaning that a better understanding of the control of non-selective and selective autophagy pathways (including mitophagy) in disease-affected classes of neurons is needed. To achieve this, it is essential that the methodologies commonly used to study autophagy regulation under basal and stressed conditions in standard cell-line models are accurately applied when using hiPSC-derived neuronal cultures. Here, we discuss the roles and control of autophagy in human stem cells, and how autophagy contributes to neural differentiation in vitro. We also describe how autophagy-monitoring tools can be applied to hiPSC-derived neurons for the study of human neurodegenerative disease in vitro.

  10. Rapid single-step induction of functional neurons from human pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yingsha; Pak, Changhui; Han, Yan; Ahlenius, Henrik; Zhang, Zhenjie; Chanda, Soham; Marro, Samuele; Patzke, Christopher; Acuna, Claudio; Covy, Jason; Xu, Wei; Yang, Nan; Danko, Tamas; Chen, Lu; Wernig, Marius; Südhof, Thomas C

    2013-06-05

    Available methods for differentiating human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs) into neurons are often cumbersome, slow, and variable. Alternatively, human fibroblasts can be directly converted into induced neuronal (iN) cells. However, with present techniques conversion is inefficient, synapse formation is limited, and only small amounts of neurons can be generated. Here, we show that human ESCs and iPSCs can be converted into functional iN cells with nearly 100% yield and purity in less than 2 weeks by forced expression of a single transcription factor. The resulting ES-iN or iPS-iN cells exhibit quantitatively reproducible properties independent of the cell line of origin, form mature pre- and postsynaptic specializations, and integrate into existing synaptic networks when transplanted into mouse brain. As illustrated by selected examples, our approach enables large-scale studies of human neurons for questions such as analyses of human diseases, examination of human-specific genes, and drug screening. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Gene expression profile of neuronal progenitor cells derived from hESCs: activation of chromosome 11p15.5 and comparison to human dopaminergic neurons.

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    William J Freed

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We initiated differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs into dopamine neurons, obtained a purified population of neuronal precursor cells by cell sorting, and determined patterns of gene transcription. METHODOLOGY: Dopaminergic differentiation of hESCs was initiated by culturing hESCs with a feeder layer of PA6 cells. Differentiating cells were then sorted to obtain a pure population of PSA-NCAM-expressing neuronal precursors, which were then analyzed for gene expression using Massive Parallel Signature Sequencing (MPSS. Individual genes as well as regions of the genome which were activated were determined. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A number of genes known to be involved in the specification of dopaminergic neurons, including MSX1, CDKN1C, Pitx1 and Pitx2, as well as several novel genes not previously associated with dopaminergic differentiation, were expressed. Notably, we found that a specific region of the genome located on chromosome 11p15.5 was highly activated. This region contains several genes which have previously been associated with the function of dopaminergic neurons, including the gene for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine biosynthesis, IGF2, and CDKN1C, which cooperates with Nurr1 in directing the differentiation of dopaminergic neurons. Other genes in this region not previously recognized as being involved in the functions of dopaminergic neurons were also activated, including H19, TSSC4, and HBG2. IGF2 and CDKN1C were also found to be highly expressed in mature human TH-positive dopamine neurons isolated from human brain samples by laser capture. CONCLUSIONS: The present data suggest that the H19-IGF2 imprinting region on chromosome 11p15.5 is involved in the process through which undifferentiated cells are specified to become neuronal precursors and/or dopaminergic neurons.

  12. Extensive neuronal differentiation of human neural stem cell grafts in adult rat spinal cord.

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    Jun Yan

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Effective treatments for degenerative and traumatic diseases of the nervous system are not currently available. The support or replacement of injured neurons with neural grafts, already an established approach in experimental therapeutics, has been recently invigorated with the addition of neural and embryonic stem-derived precursors as inexhaustible, self-propagating alternatives to fetal tissues. The adult spinal cord, i.e., the site of common devastating injuries and motor neuron disease, has been an especially challenging target for stem cell therapies. In most cases, neural stem cell (NSC transplants have shown either poor differentiation or a preferential choice of glial lineages.In the present investigation, we grafted NSCs from human fetal spinal cord grown in monolayer into the lumbar cord of normal or injured adult nude rats and observed large-scale differentiation of these cells into neurons that formed axons and synapses and established extensive contacts with host motor neurons. Spinal cord microenvironment appeared to influence fate choice, with centrally located cells taking on a predominant neuronal path, and cells located under the pia membrane persisting as NSCs or presenting with astrocytic phenotypes. Slightly fewer than one-tenth of grafted neurons differentiated into oligodendrocytes. The presence of lesions increased the frequency of astrocytic phenotypes in the white matter.NSC grafts can show substantial neuronal differentiation in the normal and injured adult spinal cord with good potential of integration into host neural circuits. In view of recent similar findings from other laboratories, the extent of neuronal differentiation observed here disputes the notion of a spinal cord that is constitutively unfavorable to neuronal repair. Restoration of spinal cord circuitry in traumatic and degenerative diseases may be more realistic than previously thought, although major challenges remain, especially with respect to the

  13. Gender Differences in Human Single Neuron Responses to Male Emotional Faces

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    Morgan eNewhoff

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Well-documented differences in the psychology and behavior of men and women have spurred extensive exploration of gender's role within the brain, particularly regarding emotional processing. While neuroanatomical studies clearly show differences between the sexes, the functional effects of these differences are less understood. Neuroimaging studies have shown inconsistent locations and magnitudes of gender differences in brain hemodynamic responses to emotion. To better understand the neurophysiology of these gender differences, we analyzed recordings of single neuron activity in the human brain as subjects of both genders viewed emotional expressions.This study included recordings of single-neuron activity of 14 (6 male epileptic patients in four brain areas: amygdala (236 neurons, hippocampus (n=270, anterior cingulate cortex (n=256, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (n=174. Neural activity was recorded while participants viewed a series of avatar male faces portraying positive, negative or neutral expressions.Significant gender differences were found in the left amygdala, where 23% (n=15/66 of neurons in men were significantly affected by facial emotion, versus 8% (n=6/76 of neurons in women. A Fisher's exact test comparing the two ratios found a highly significant difference between the two (p<0.01. These results show specific differences between genders at the single-neuron level in the human amygdala. These differences may reflect gender-based distinctions in evolved capacities for emotional processing and also demonstrate the importance of including subject gender as an independent factor in future studies of emotional processing by single neurons in the human amygdala.

  14. SPARCL1-containing neurons in the human brainstem and sensory ganglion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Naoya; Sato, Tadasu; Yajima, Takehiro; Fujita, Masatoshi; Sato, Ayumi; Shimizu, Yoshinaka; Shimada, Yusuke; Shoji, Noriaki; Sasano, Takashi; Ichikawa, Hiroyuki

    2016-06-01

    Secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine-like 1 (SPARCL1) is a member of the osteonectin family of proteins. In this study, immunohistochemistry for SPARCL1 was performed to obtain its distribution in the human brainstem, cervical spinal cord, and sensory ganglion. SPARCL1-immunoreactivity was detected in neuronal cell bodies including perikarya and proximal dendrites, and the neuropil. The motor nuclei of the IIIrd, Vth, VIth, VIIth, IXth, Xth, XIth, and XIIth cranial nerves and spinal nerves contained many SPARCL1-immunoreactive (-IR) neurons with medium-sized to large cell bodies. Small and medium-sized SPARCL1-IR neurons were distributed in sensory nuclei of the Vth, VIIth, VIIIth, IXth, and Xth cranial nerves. In the medulla oblongata, the dorsal column nuclei also had small to medium-sized SPARCL1-IR neurons. In addition, SPARCL1-IR neurons were detected in the nucleus of the trapezoid body and pontine nucleus within the pons and the arcuate nucleus in the medulla oblongata. In the cervical spinal cord, the ventral horn contained some SPARCL1-IR neurons with large cell bodies. These findings suggest that SPARCL1-containing neurons function to relay and regulate motor and sensory signals in the human brainstem. In the dorsal root (DRG) and trigeminal ganglia (TG), primary sensory neurons contained SPARCL1-immunoreactivity. The proportion of SPARCL1-IR neurons in the TG (mean ± SD, 39.9 ± 2.4%) was higher than in the DRG (30.6 ± 2.1%). SPARCL1-IR neurons were mostly medium-sized to large (mean ± SD, 1494.5 ± 708.3 μm(2); range, 320.4-4353.4 μm(2)) in the DRG, whereas such neurons were of various cell body sizes in the TG (mean ± SD, 1291.2 ± 532.8 μm(2); range, 209.3-4326.4 μm(2)). There appears to be a SPARCL1-containing sensory pathway in the ganglion and brainstem of the spinal and trigeminal nervous systems.

  15. Biogeographic range expansion into South America by Coccidioides immitis mirrors New World patterns of human migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, M C; Koenig, G L; White, T J; San-Blas, G; Negroni, R; Alvarez, I G; Wanke, B; Taylor, J W

    2001-04-10

    Long-distance population dispersal leaves its characteristic signature in genomes, namely, reduced diversity and increased linkage between genetic markers. This signature enables historical patterns of range expansion to be traced. Herein, we use microsatellite loci from the human pathogen Coccidioides immitis to show that genetic diversity in this fungus is geographically partitioned throughout North America. In contrast, analyses of South American C. immitis show that this population is genetically depauperate and was founded from a single North American population centered in Texas. Variances of allele distributions show that South American C. immitis have undergone rapid population growth, consistent with an epidemic increase in postcolonization population size. Herein, we estimate the introduction into South America to have occurred within the last 9,000-140,000 years. This range increase parallels that of Homo sapiens. Because of known associations between Amerindians and this fungus, we suggest that the colonization of South America by C. immitis represents a relatively recent and rapid codispersal of a host and its pathogen.

  16. Adult human bone marrow stromal spheres express neuronal traits in vitro and in a rat model of Parkinson's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Suon, Sokreine; Yang, Ming; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2006-01-01

    Adult human bone marrow stromal cells (hMSCs) grown in suspension culture gave rise to spheres of neural progenitor (NP) cells, capable of expressing both dopaminergic (DA) and GABAergic (GABA) traits. After transplantation into the Parkinsonian rat, human NPs and neurons were present at 2 weeks. Although no DA neurons appeared to survive transplantation, there were abundant GABA neurons present in the graft. By 4 weeks, however, all cells had died. Finding ways to prolong survival and promot...

  17. Cortically evoked responses of human pallidal neurons recorded during stereotactic neurosurgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishibayashi, Hiroki; Ogura, Mitsuhiro; Kakishita, Koji; Tanaka, Satoshi; Tachibana, Yoshihisa; Nambu, Atsushi; Kita, Hitoshi; Itakura, Toru

    2011-02-15

    Responses of neurons in the globus pallidus (GP) to cortical stimulation were recorded for the first time in humans. We performed microelectrode recordings of GP neurons in 10 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and 1 cervical dystonia (CD) patient during surgeries to implant bilateral deep brain stimulation electrodes in the GP. To identify the motor territories in the external (GPe) and internal (GPi) segments of the GP, unitary responses evoked by stimulation of the primary motor cortex were observed by constructing peristimulus time histograms. Neurons in the motor territories of the GPe and GPi responded to cortical stimulation. Response patterns observed in the PD patients were combinations of an early excitation, an inhibition, and a late excitation. In addition, in the CD patient, a long-lasting inhibition was prominent, suggesting increased activity along the cortico-striato-GPe/GPi pathways. The firing rates of GPe and GPi neurons in the CD patient were lower than those in the PD patients. Many GPe and GPi neurons of the PD and CD patients showed burst or oscillatory burst activity. Effective cathodal contacts tended to be located close to the responding neurons. Such unitary responses induced by cortical stimulation may be of use to target motor territories of the GP for stereotactic functional neurosurgery. Future findings utilizing this method may give us new insights into understanding the pathophysiology of movement disorders. Copyright © 2011 Movement Disorder Society.

  18. Modeling chemotherapeutic neurotoxicity with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal cells.

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    Heather E Wheeler

    Full Text Available There are no effective agents to prevent or treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN, the most common non-hematologic toxicity of chemotherapy. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the utility of human neuron-like cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs as a means to study CIPN. We used high content imaging measurements of neurite outgrowth phenotypes to compare the changes that occur to iPSC-derived neuronal cells among drugs and among individuals in response to several classes of chemotherapeutics. Upon treatment of these neuronal cells with the neurotoxic drug paclitaxel, vincristine or cisplatin, we identified significant differences in five morphological phenotypes among drugs, including total outgrowth, mean/median/maximum process length, and mean outgrowth intensity (P < 0.05. The differences in damage among drugs reflect differences in their mechanisms of action and clinical CIPN manifestations. We show the potential of the model for gene perturbation studies by demonstrating decreased expression of TUBB2A results in significantly increased sensitivity of neurons to paclitaxel (0.23 ± 0.06 decrease in total neurite outgrowth, P = 0.011. The variance in several neurite outgrowth and apoptotic phenotypes upon treatment with one of the neurotoxic drugs is significantly greater between than within neurons derived from four different individuals (P < 0.05, demonstrating the potential of iPSC-derived neurons as a genetically diverse model for CIPN. The human neuron model will allow both for mechanistic studies of specific genes and genetic variants discovered in clinical studies and for screening of new drugs to prevent or treat CIPN.

  19. Asymmetry of Radial and Symmetry of Tangential Neuronal Migration Pathways in Developing Human Fetal Brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazaki, Yuta; Song, Jae W; Takahashi, Emi

    2016-01-01

    The radial and tangential neural migration pathways are two major neuronal migration streams in humans that are critical during corticogenesis. Corticogenesis is a complex process of neuronal proliferation that is followed by neuronal migration and the formation of axonal connections. Existing histological assessments of these two neuronal migration pathways have limitations inherent to microscopic studies and are confined to small anatomic regions of interest (ROIs). Thus, little evidence is available about their three-dimensional (3-D) fiber pathways and development throughout the entire brain. In this study, we imaged and analyzed radial and tangential migration pathways in the whole human brain using high-angular resolution diffusion MR imaging (HARDI) tractography. We imaged ten fixed, postmortem fetal (17 gestational weeks (GW), 18 GW, 19 GW, three 20 GW, three 21 GW and 22 GW) and eight in vivo newborn (two 30 GW, 34 GW, 35 GW and four 40 GW) brains with no neurological/pathological conditions. We statistically compared the volume of the left and right radial and tangential migration pathways, and the volume of the radial migration pathways of the anterior and posterior regions of the brain. In specimens 22 GW or younger, the volume of radial migration pathways of the left hemisphere was significantly larger than that of the right hemisphere. The volume of posterior radial migration pathways was also larger when compared to the anterior pathways in specimens 22 GW or younger. In contrast, no significant differences were observed in the radial migration pathways of brains older than 22 GW. Moreover, our study did not identify any significant differences in volumetric laterality in the tangential migration pathways. These results suggest that these two neuronal migration pathways develop and regress differently, and radial neuronal migration varies regionally based on hemispheric and anterior-posterior laterality, potentially explaining regional differences in

  20. Local field potentials primarily reflect inhibitory neuron activity in human and monkey cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teleńczuk, Bartosz; Dehghani, Nima; Le Van Quyen, Michel; Cash, Sydney S; Halgren, Eric; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G; Destexhe, Alain

    2017-01-11

    The local field potential (LFP) is generated by large populations of neurons, but unitary contribution of spiking neurons to LFP is not well characterised. We investigated this contribution in multi-electrode array recordings from human and monkey neocortex by examining the spike-triggered LFP average (st-LFP). The resulting st-LFPs were dominated by broad spatio-temporal components due to ongoing activity, synaptic inputs and recurrent connectivity. To reduce the spatial reach of the st-LFP and observe the local field related to a single spike we applied a spatial filter, whose weights were adapted to the covariance of ongoing LFP. The filtered st-LFPs were limited to the perimeter of 800 μm around the neuron, and propagated at axonal speed, which is consistent with their unitary nature. In addition, we discriminated between putative inhibitory and excitatory neurons and found that the inhibitory st-LFP peaked at shorter latencies, consistently with previous findings in hippocampal slices. Thus, in human and monkey neocortex, the LFP reflects primarily inhibitory neuron activity.

  1. Functional Properties of Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in Health and Disease

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    Jason P. Weick

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Stem cell-derived neurons from various source materials present unique model systems to examine the fundamental properties of central nervous system (CNS development as well as the molecular underpinnings of disease phenotypes. In order to more accurately assess potential therapies for neurological disorders, multiple strategies have been employed in recent years to produce neuronal populations that accurately represent in vivo regional and transmitter phenotypes. These include new technologies such as direct conversion of somatic cell types into neurons and glia which may accelerate maturation and retain genetic hallmarks of aging. In addition, novel forms of genetic manipulations have brought human stem cells nearly on par with those of rodent with respect to gene targeting. For neurons of the CNS, the ultimate phenotypic characterization lies with their ability to recapitulate functional properties such as passive and active membrane characteristics, synaptic activity, and plasticity. These features critically depend on the coordinated expression and localization of hundreds of ion channels and receptors, as well as scaffolding and signaling molecules. In this review I will highlight the current state of knowledge regarding functional properties of human stem cell-derived neurons, with a primary focus on pluripotent stem cells. While significant advances have been made, critical hurdles must be overcome in order for this technology to support progression toward clinical applications.

  2. Development of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone-Secreting Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

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    Carina Lund

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neurons regulate human puberty and reproduction. Modeling their development and function in vitro would be of interest for both basic research and clinical translation. Here, we report a three-step protocol to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs into GnRH-secreting neurons. Firstly, hPSCs were differentiated to FOXG1, EMX2, and PAX6 expressing anterior neural progenitor cells (NPCs by dual SMAD inhibition. Secondly, NPCs were treated for 10 days with FGF8, which is a key ligand implicated in GnRH neuron ontogeny, and finally, the cells were matured with Notch inhibitor to bipolar TUJ1-positive neurons that robustly expressed GNRH1 and secreted GnRH decapeptide into the culture medium. The protocol was reproducible both in human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, and thus provides a translational tool for investigating the mechanisms of human puberty and its disorders.

  3. Characterisation of early mucosal and neuronal lesions following Shigella flexneri infection in human colon.

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    Emmanuel Coron

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Shigella, an enteroinvasive bacteria induces a major inflammatory response responsible for acute rectocolitis in humans. However, early effect of Shigella flexneri (S. flexneri infection upon the human mucosa and its microenvironement, in particular the enteric nervous system, remains currently unknown. Therefore, in this study, we sought to characterize ex vivo the early events of shigellosis in a model of human colonic explants. In particular, we aimed at identifying factors produced by S. flexneri and responsible for the lesions of the barrier. We also aimed at determining the putative lesions of the enteric nervous system induced by S. flexneri. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first showed that, following 3 h of infection, the invasive but not the non-invasive strain of S. flexneri induced significant desquamation of the intestinal epithelial barrier and a reduction of epithelial height. These changes were significantly reduced following infection with SepA deficient S. flexneri strains. Secondly, S. flexneri induced rapid neuronal morphological alterations suggestive of cell death in enteric submucosal neurones. These alterations were associated with a significant increase in the proportion of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP immunoreactive (IR neurons but not in total VIP levels. The NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 blocked neuronal morphological changes induced by S. flexneri, but not the increase in the proportion of VIP-IR. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This human explant model can be used to gain better insight into the early pathogenic events following S. flexneri infection and the mechanisms involved.

  4. Chinese "Magic" Mirrors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinson, Derek B.

    1992-01-01

    Chinese "magic" mirrors are made from bronze with the front side a mirror and the reverse side a molded image. When light is reflected from the mirror,the image on the reverse side appears. Discusses reflections of conventional mirrors, possible explanations for the magic mirror phenomenon, and applications of the phenomenon to…

  5. Specification of neuronal and glial subtypes from human pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huisheng; Zhang, Su-Chun

    2011-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), including embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), provide a dynamic tool for revealing early embryonic development, modeling pathological processes, and developing therapeutics through drug discovery and potential cell replacement. The first step toward the utilities of human PSCs is directed differentiation to functionally specialized cell tissue types. Following developmental principles, human ESCs, and lately iPSCs, have been effectively differentiated to region-and/or transmitter-specific neuronal and glial types, including cerebral glutamatergic, striatal γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic, forebrain cholinergic, midbrain dopaminergic, and spinal motor neurons, as well as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. These studies also reveal unique aspects of human cell biology, including intrinsically programmed developmental course, differential uses of transcription factors for neuroectoderm specification, and distinct responses to extracellular signals in regulating cell fate. Such information will be instrumental for translating biological findings to therapeutic development. PMID:21786144

  6. How brain and neuronal networks explain human reality

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    Javier Monserrat

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available How is human reality presented to us in phenomenological experience? It is the one we see daily in our personal and social life. We are made of matter, we are part of the evolutionary universe. In addition, a psychic life is formed in us: sensation, a system of perceptions, an integrated consciousness, a condition of psychological subject; We produce knowledge, emotions, motivations; But, above all, we have a mind that rationally moves and installs us into a world of human emotions; This emotional reason lies at the base of the search for the truth of the universe, the meaning of life and the moral responsibility, in personal and social life. Our human reality is, therefore, a personal reality. We are persons. Now, how does science, neurology, explain today the fact that our human reality possesses these properties that give us the personal condition? This should be able to be explained (this is the initial assumption from the physical-biological world. Now, in particular, how does science make it possible to explain that evolution has produced us in our condition of ratio-emotional persons? That is, what is the physical support that makes intelligible the psycho-bio-physical ontology that evolutionarily produces our personal phenomenological experience? This is, ultimately, still the fundamental question of human sciences. What science, namely neurology, must explain (that is, know the causes that have produced it is obvious: the fact of our sensibility-consciousness, our condition of psychic subjects, knowledge and emotional reason that have emerged in the universe; In such a way that, once the emotional reason emerges, it leads by itself to constitute the rational activity and the emotions of the human person aimed at building the meaning of his life. These are the issues we address in this article.

  7. Differentiation of hypothalamic-like neurons from human pluripotent stem cells

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Liheng; Meece, Kana; Damian J Williams; Lo, Kinyui Alice; Zimmer, Matthew; Heinrich, Garrett; Martin Carli, Jayne; LeDuc, Charles A.; Sun, Lei; Zeltser, Lori M.; Freeby, Matthew; Goland, Robin; Stephen H. Tsang; Wardlaw, Sharon L.; Egli, Dieter

    2015-01-01

    The hypothalamus is the central regulator of systemic energy homeostasis, and its dysfunction can result in extreme body weight alterations. Insights into the complex cellular physiology of this region are critical to the understanding of obesity pathogenesis; however, human hypothalamic cells are largely inaccessible for direct study. Here, we developed a protocol for efficient generation of hypothalamic neurons from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs...

  8. Neuropeptide S- and Neuropeptide S receptor-expressing neuron populations in the human pons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adori, Csaba; Barde, Swapnali; Bogdanovic, Nenad; Uhlén, Mathias; Reinscheid, Rainer R; Kovacs, Gabor G; Hökfelt, Tomas

    2015-01-01

    Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a regulatory peptide with potent pharmacological effects. In rodents, NPS is expressed in a few pontine cell clusters. Its receptor (NPSR1) is, however, widely distributed in the brain. The anxiolytic and arousal-promoting effects of NPS make the NPS-NPSR1 system an interesting potential drug target in mood-related disorders. However, so far possible disease-related mechanisms involving NPS have only been studied in rodents. To validate the relevance of these animal studies for i.a. drug development, we have explored the distribution of NPS-expressing neurons in the human pons using in situ hybridization and stereological methods and we compared the distribution of NPS mRNA expressing neurons in the human and rat brain. The calculation revealed a total number of 22,317 ± 2411 NPS mRNA-positive neurons in human, bilaterally. The majority of cells (84%) were located in the parabrachial area in human: in the extension of the medial and lateral parabrachial nuclei, in the Kölliker-Fuse nucleus and around the adjacent lateral lemniscus. In human, in sharp contrast to the rodents, only very few NPS-positive cells (5%) were found close to the locus coeruleus. In addition, we identified a smaller cell cluster (11% of all NPS cells) in the pontine central gray matter both in human and rat, which has not been described previously even in rodents. We also examined the distribution of NPSR1 mRNA-expressing neurons in the human pons. These cells were mainly located in the rostral laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, the cuneiform nucleus, the microcellular tegmental nucleus region and in the periaqueductal gray. Our results show that both NPS and NPSR1 in the human pons are preferentially localized in regions of importance for integration of visceral autonomic information and emotional behavior. The reported interspecies differences must, however, be considered when looking for targets for new pharmacotherapeutical interventions.

  9. Althusser's Mirror

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    Carsten Strathausen

    1994-01-01

    Full Text Available Jacques Lacan significantly influenced Althusser's accounts of ideology and the subject. Althusser's belief that science is a discourse without a subject parallels Lacan's belief that in the Symbolic Order the Subject and the Other are alienated. Althusser's account of interpellation, which explains how ideology recognizes individuals as subjects, takes for granted Lacan's notion of the mirror stage. Althusser repudiates the plenitude of the subject, whose interpellation conceals its lack; Lacan shows that the subject's failure to express itself in language makes the subject a void. However, Althusser, whose subject is too much like Lacan's ego, fails to distinguish between the "I" of the split subject and the "ego" of the subject's imaginary self-identity. What is more, Althusser rejects the self-consciousness implied by the subject's lack of plenitude and its suturing interpellation.

  10. Hypertrophy of neurons within cardiac ganglia in human, canine, and rat heart failure: the potential role of nerve growth factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sanjay; Sayers, Scott; Walter, James S; Thomas, Donald; Dieter, Robert S; Nee, Lisa M; Wurster, Robert D

    2013-08-19

    Autonomic imbalances including parasympathetic withdrawal and sympathetic overactivity are cardinal features of heart failure regardless of etiology; however, mechanisms underlying these imbalances remain unknown. Animal model studies of heart and visceral organ hypertrophy predict that nerve growth factor levels should be elevated in heart failure; whether this is so in human heart failure, though, remains unclear. We tested the hypotheses that neurons in cardiac ganglia are hypertrophied in human, canine, and rat heart failure and that nerve growth factor, which we hypothesize is elevated in the failing heart, contributes to this neuronal hypertrophy. Somal morphology of neurons from human (579.54±14.34 versus 327.45±9.17 μm(2); Phypertrophy of neurons in cardiac ganglia compared with controls. Western blot analysis shows that nerve growth factor levels in the explanted, failing human heart are 250% greater than levels in healthy donor hearts. Neurons from cardiac ganglia cultured with nerve growth factor are significantly larger and have greater dendritic arborization than neurons in control cultures. Hypertrophied neurons are significantly less excitable than smaller ones; thus, hypertrophy of vagal postganglionic neurons in cardiac ganglia would help to explain the parasympathetic withdrawal that accompanies heart failure. Furthermore, our observations suggest that nerve growth factor, which is elevated in the failing human heart, causes hypertrophy of neurons in cardiac ganglia.

  11. Metabolic constraint imposes tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons in human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2012-01-01

    Despite a general trend for larger mammals to have larger brains, humans are the primates with the largest brain and number of neurons, but not the largest body mass. Why are great apes, the largest primates, not also those endowed with the largest brains? Recently, we showed that the energetic cost of the brain is a linear function of its numbers of neurons. Here we show that metabolic limitations that result from the number of hours available for feeding and the low caloric yield of raw foo...

  12. Responses of Human Medial Temporal Lobe Neurons Are Modulated by Stimulus Repetition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedreira, Carlos; Mormann, Florian; Kraskov, Alexander; Cerf, Moran; Fried, Itzhak; Koch, Christof

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have reported the presence of single neurons with strong responses to visual inputs in the human medial temporal lobe. Here we show how repeated stimulus presentation—photos of celebrities and familiar individuals, landmark buildings, animals, and objects—modulates the firing rate of these cells: a consistent decrease in the neural activity was registered as images were repeatedly shown during experimental sessions. The effect of repeated stimulus presentation was not the same for all medial temporal lobe areas. These findings are consistent with the view that medial temporal lobe neurons link visual percepts to declarative memory. PMID:19864436

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  14. Through the looking-glass: mirror reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duñabeitia, Jon Andoni; Molinaro, Nicola; Carreiras, Manuel

    2011-02-14

    At early stages of object identification we process correctly oriented and mirrored versions of an object similarly. However, in letter and word perception, such tolerance to mirror reversals is harmful for efficient reading. Do readers successfully develop blindness mechanisms for mirror-letters and words? We conducted two masked priming experiments while recording participants' electrophysiological brain responses to briefly presented primes including mirror-letters (Experiment 1) or to shortly presented mirror-words (Experiment 2). Results showed that the human visual word recognition system is not totally blind to mirror-letters and mirror-words, since the early stages of processing mirror-letters and mirror-words produced effects on target word recognition that were highly similar to the effects produced by identical primes (N250 component). In a posterior stage of processing (N400 epoch), the effect of mirror-letters and mirror-words was different from the effect of identical primes, even though reversed primes still elicited N400 priming effects different from unrelated primes. These results demonstrate that readers perceive mirror-letters and words as correct at initial stages of word recognition, and that the visual word recognition system's neural representation is grounded on basic principles that govern object perception. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons function in a primate Parkinson's disease model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Tetsuhiro; Morizane, Asuka; Doi, Daisuke; Magotani, Hiroaki; Onoe, Hirotaka; Hayashi, Takuya; Mizuma, Hiroshi; Takara, Sayuki; Takahashi, Ryosuke; Inoue, Haruhisa; Morita, Satoshi; Yamamoto, Michio; Okita, Keisuke; Nakagawa, Masato; Parmar, Malin; Takahashi, Jun

    2017-08-30

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are a promising source for a cell-based therapy to treat Parkinson's disease (PD), in which midbrain dopaminergic neurons progressively degenerate. However, long-term analysis of human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons in primate PD models has never been performed to our knowledge. Here we show that human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic progenitor cells survived and functioned as midbrain dopaminergic neurons in a primate model of PD (Macaca fascicularis) treated with the neurotoxin MPTP. Score-based and video-recording analyses revealed an increase in spontaneous movement of the monkeys after transplantation. Histological studies showed that the mature dopaminergic neurons extended dense neurites into the host striatum; this effect was consistent regardless of whether the cells were derived from patients with PD or from healthy individuals. Cells sorted by the floor plate marker CORIN did not form any tumours in the brains for at least two years. Finally, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography were used to monitor the survival, expansion and function of the grafted cells as well as the immune response in the host brain. Thus, this preclinical study using a primate model indicates that human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic progenitors are clinically applicable for the treatment of patients with PD.

  16. Magnetic Force-Driven Graphene Patterns to Direct Synaptogenesis of Human Neuronal Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Joon Min

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Precise control of axonal growth and synaptic junction formation are incredibly important to repair and/or to mimic human neuronal network. Here, we report a graphene oxide (GO-based hybrid patterns that were proven to be excellent for guiding axonal growth and its consequent synapse formation of human neural cells. Unlike the previous method that utilized micro-contacting printing technique to generate GO patterns, here, GO-encapsulated magnetic nanoparticles were first synthesized and utilized as core materials wherein the external magnetic force facilitated the transfer of GO film to the desired substrate. Owing to the intrinsic property of GO that provides stable cell attachment and growth for long-term culture, human neuronal cells could be effectively patterned on the biocompatible polymer substrates with different pattern sizes. By using magnetic force-driven GO hybrid patterns, we demonstrated that accumulation and expression level of Synaptophysin of neurons could be effectively controlled with varying sizes of each pattern. The synaptic network between each neuron could be precisely controlled and matched by guiding axonal direction. This work provides treatment and modeling of brain diseases and spinal cord injuries.

  17. Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer R B Miller

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflict is challenging to quantify because it is shaped by both the realities and people's perceptions of carnivore threats. Whether perceptions align with realities can have implications for conflict mitigation: misalignments can lead to heightened and indiscriminant persecution of carnivores whereas alignments can offer deeper insights into human-carnivore interactions. We applied a landscape-scale spatial analysis of livestock killed by tigers and leopards in India to model and map observed attack risk, and surveyed owners of livestock killed by tigers and leopards for their rankings of threats across habitats to map perceived attack risk. Observed tiger risk to livestock was greatest near dense forests and at moderate distances from human activity while leopard risk was greatest near open vegetation. People accurately perceived spatial differences between tiger and leopard hunting patterns, expected greater threat in areas with high values of observed risk for both carnivores. Owners' perception of threats largely did not depend on environmental conditions surrounding their village (spatial location, dominant land-use or observed carnivore risk. Surveys revealed that owners who previously lost livestock to carnivores used more livestock protection methods than those who had no prior losses, and that owners who had recently lost livestock for the first time expressed greater interest in changing their protection methods than those who experienced prior losses. Our findings suggest that in systems where realities and perceptions of carnivore risk align, conservation programs and policies can optimize conservation outcomes by (1 improving the effectiveness of livestock protection methods and (2 working with owners who have recently lost livestock and are most willing to invest effort in adapting protection strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

  18. Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R. B.; Jhala, Yadvendradev V.; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2016-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict is challenging to quantify because it is shaped by both the realities and people’s perceptions of carnivore threats. Whether perceptions align with realities can have implications for conflict mitigation: misalignments can lead to heightened and indiscriminant persecution of carnivores whereas alignments can offer deeper insights into human-carnivore interactions. We applied a landscape-scale spatial analysis of livestock killed by tigers and leopards in India to model and map observed attack risk, and surveyed owners of livestock killed by tigers and leopards for their rankings of threats across habitats to map perceived attack risk. Observed tiger risk to livestock was greatest near dense forests and at moderate distances from human activity while leopard risk was greatest near open vegetation. People accurately perceived spatial differences between tiger and leopard hunting patterns, expected greater threat in areas with high values of observed risk for both carnivores. Owners’ perception of threats largely did not depend on environmental conditions surrounding their village (spatial location, dominant land-use or observed carnivore risk). Surveys revealed that owners who previously lost livestock to carnivores used more livestock protection methods than those who had no prior losses, and that owners who had recently lost livestock for the first time expressed greater interest in changing their protection methods than those who experienced prior losses. Our findings suggest that in systems where realities and perceptions of carnivore risk align, conservation programs and policies can optimize conservation outcomes by (1) improving the effectiveness of livestock protection methods and (2) working with owners who have recently lost livestock and are most willing to invest effort in adapting protection strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict. PMID:27617831

  19. Sexual dimorphism of medium-sized neurons with spines in human nucleus accumbens

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    Sazdanović Маја

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The nucleus accumbens is a limbic nucleus, representing part of the striatum body, and together with the caudate nucleus and putamen, it lies on the septum. The aim of this study was to examine morphological sexual dimorphism in spine density and also to undertake an immunohistochemical study of expression for estrogen and progesterone receptors in the medium-sized neurons in the nucleus accumbens. The research was conducted on twenty human brains of persons of both sexes, between the age of 20-75 years. The Golgi method was applied to determine the types and subtypes of neurons, morphologies of soma, dendrites and axons, as well as the relations between the cells and glial elements. The following were quantitatively examined: the maximum diameter of the neurons, the minimal diameter of the neurons, and the total length of the dendrites. The expression of receptors for estrogen and progesterone, their distribution and intensity were defined immunohistochemically. The parameters of the bodies of neurons in the shell and core of the nucleus accumbens were studied in both men and women. No statistically significant differences were found. Examination of the spine density showed statistical significance in terms of a higher density of spines in women. Immunohistochemically, in the female brain estrogen expression is diffusely spread in a large number of neurons; it is extra nuclear, of granular appearance and high intensity. In the male brain, expression of estrogen is visible and distributed over about one half of different types of neurons; it is extra nuclear, of granular appearance, mostly of middle and low staining intensity. Expression of progesterone in the female brain was very discreet and on a very small number of neurons; it was extra nuclear and with a weak staining intensity. Expression of progesterone in the male brain was distributed on a small number of neurons. It had a granular appearance, it was extra nuclear, with a very low

  20. Transplantation of neuronal-primed human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in hemiparkinsonian rodents.

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    Khoo, Melissa L M; Tao, Helen; Meedeniya, Adrian C B; Mackay-Sim, Alan; Ma, David D F

    2011-01-01

    Bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have shown promise in in vitro neuronal differentiation and in cellular therapy for neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson' disease. However, the effects of intracerebral transplantation are not well defined, and studies do not agreed on the optimal neuronal differentiation method. Here, we investigated three growth factor-based neuronal differentiation procedures (using FGF-2/EGF/PDGF/SHH/FGF-8/GDNF), and found all to be capable of eliciting an immature neural phenotype, in terms of cell morphology and gene/protein expression. The neuronal-priming (FGF-2/EGF) method induced neurosphere-like formation and the highest NES and NR4A2 expression by hMSCs. Transplantation of undifferentiated and neuronal-primed hMSCs into the striatum and substantia nigra of 6-OHDA-lesioned hemiparkinsonian rats revealed transient graft survival of 7 days, despite the reported immunosuppressive properties of MSCs and cyclosporine-immunosuppression of rats. Neither differentiation of hMSCs nor induction of host neurogenesis was observed at injection sites, and hMSCs continued producing mesodermal fibronectin. Strategies for improving engraftment and differentiation post-transplantation, such as prior in vitro neuronal-priming, nigral and striatal grafting, and co-transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells that promote neural regeneration, were unable to provide advantages. Innate inflammatory responses (Iba-1-positive microglia/macrophage and GFAP-positive astrocyte activation and accumulation) were detected around grafts within 7 days. Our findings indicate that growth factor-based methods allow hMSC differentiation toward immature neuronal-like cells, and contrary to previous reports, only transient survival and engraftment of hMSCs occurs following transplantation in immunosuppressed hemiparkinsonian rats. In addition, suppression of host innate inflammatory responses may be a key factor for improving hMSC survival

  1. Interferon Lambda Inhibits Herpes Simplex Virus Type I Infection of Human Astrocytes and Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    LI, JIELIANG; HU, SHUXIAN; ZHOU, LIN; YE, LI; WANG, XU; HO, JIE; HO, WENZHE

    2010-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) is a neurotropic virus that is capable of infecting not only neurons, but also microglia and astrocytes and can establish latent infection in the central nervous system (CNS). We investigated whether IFN lambda (IFN-λ), a newly identified member of IFN family, has the ability to inhibit HSV-1 infection of primary human astrocytes and neurons. Both astrocytes and neurons were found to be highly susceptible to HSV-1 infection. However, upon IFN-λ treatment, HSV-1 replication in both astrocytes and neurons was significantly suppressed, which was evidenced by the reduced expression of HSV-1 DNA and proteins. This IFN-λ-mediated action on HSV-1 could be partially neutralized by antibody to IFN-λ receptor. Investigation of the mechanisms showed that IFN-λ treatment of astrocytes and neurons resulted in the upregulation of endogenous IFN-α/β and several IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). To block IFN-α/β receptor by a specific antibody could compromise the IFN-λ actions on HSV-1 inhibition and ISG induction. In addition, IFN-λ treatment induced the expression of IFN regulatory factors (IRFs) in astrocytes and neurons. Furthermore, IFN-λ treatment of astrocytes and neurons resulted in the suppression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS-1), a key negative regulator of IFN pathway. These data suggest that IFN-λ possesses the anti-HSV-1 function by promoting type I IFN-mediated innate antiviral immune response in the CNS cells. PMID:20878770

  2. A simplified protocol for differentiation of electrophysiologically mature neuronal networks from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

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    Gunhanlar, N; Shpak, G; van der Kroeg, M; Gouty-Colomer, L A; Munshi, S T; Lendemeijer, B; Ghazvini, M; Dupont, C; Hoogendijk, W J G; Gribnau, J; de Vrij, F M S; Kushner, S A

    2017-04-18

    Progress in elucidating the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders has been hindered by the limited availability of living human brain tissue. The emergence of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has offered a unique alternative strategy using patient-derived functional neuronal networks. However, methods for reliably generating iPSC-derived neurons with mature electrophysiological characteristics have been difficult to develop. Here, we report a simplified differentiation protocol that yields electrophysiologically mature iPSC-derived cortical lineage neuronal networks without the need for astrocyte co-culture or specialized media. This protocol generates a consistent 60:40 ratio of neurons and astrocytes that arise from a common forebrain neural progenitor. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of 114 neurons derived from three independent iPSC lines confirmed their electrophysiological maturity, including resting membrane potential (-58.2±1.0 mV), capacitance (49.1±2.9 pF), action potential (AP) threshold (-50.9±0.5 mV) and AP amplitude (66.5±1.3 mV). Nearly 100% of neurons were capable of firing APs, of which 79% had sustained trains of mature APs with minimal accommodation (peak AP frequency: 11.9±0.5 Hz) and 74% exhibited spontaneous synaptic activity (amplitude, 16.03±0.82 pA; frequency, 1.09±0.17 Hz). We expect this protocol to be of broad applicability for implementing iPSC-based neuronal network models of neuropsychiatric disorders.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 18 April 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.56.

  3. Targeted Differentiation of Regional Ventral Neuroprogenitors and Related Neuronal Subtypes from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

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    Liankai Chi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Embryoid body (EB formation and adherent culture (AD paradigms are equivalently thought to be applicable for neural specification of human pluripotent stem cells. Here, we report that sonic hedgehog-induced ventral neuroprogenitors under EB conditions are fated to medial ganglionic eminence (MGE, while the AD cells mostly adopt a floor-plate (FP fate. The EB-MGE later on differentiates into GABA and cholinergic neurons, while the AD-FP favors dopaminergic neuron specification. Distinct developmental, metabolic, and adhesion traits in AD and EB cells may potentially account for their differential patterning potency. Gene targeting combined with small-molecule screening experiments identified that concomitant inhibition of Wnts, STAT3, and p38 pathways (3i could largely convert FP to MGE under AD conditions. Thus, differentiation paradigms and signaling regulators can be integrated together to specify distinct neuronal subtypes for studying and treating related neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

  4. Lead Exposure Disrupts Global DNA Methylation in Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Alters Their Neuronal Differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senut, Marie-Claude; Sen, Arko; Cingolani, Pablo; Shaik, Asra; Land, Susan J.; Ruden, Douglas M.

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to lead (Pb) during childhood can result in learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Although described in animal models, whether Pb exposure also alters neuronal differentiation in the developing brains of exposed children is unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of physiologically relevant concentrations of Pb (from 0.4 to 1.9μM) on the capacity of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to progress to a neuronal fate. We found that neither acute nor chronic exposure to Pb prevented hESCs from generating neural progenitor cells (NPCs). NPCs derived from hESCs chronically exposed to 1.9μM Pb throughout the neural differentiation process generated 2.5 times more TUJ1-positive neurons than those derived from control hESCs. Pb exposure of hESCs during the stage of neural rosette formation resulted in a significant decrease in the expression levels of the neural marker genes PAX6 and MSI1. Furthermore, the resulting NPCs differentiated into neurons with shorter neurites and less branching than control neurons, as assessed by Sholl analysis. DNA methylation studies of control, acutely treated hESCs and NPCs derived from chronically exposed hESCs using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip demonstrated that Pb exposure induced changes in the methylation status of genes involved in neurogenetic signaling pathways. In summary, our study shows that exposure to Pb subtly alters the neuronal differentiation of exposed hESCs and that these changes could be partly mediated by modifications in the DNA methylation status of genes crucial to brain development. PMID:24519525

  5. Human Cerebral Cortex Cajal-Retzius Neuron: Development, Structure and Function. A Golgi Study

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    Miguel eMarín-Padilla

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The development, morphology and possible functional activity of the Cajal-Retzius cell of the developing human cerebral cortex have been explored herein. The C-RC, of extracortical origin, is the essential neuron of the neocortex first lamina. It receives inputs from subcortical afferent fibers that reach the first lamina early in development. Although the origin and function of these original afferent fibers remain unknown, they target the first lamina sole neuron: the C-RC. The neuron’ orchestrates the arrival, size and stratification of all pyramidal neurons (from ependymal origin of the neocortex gray matter. Its axonic terminals spread radially and horizontally throughout the entire first lamina establishing contacts with the dendritic terminals of all gray matter pyramidal cells regardless of size, location and/or eventual functional roles. While the neuron axonic terminals spread radially and horizontally throughout the first lamina, the neuron’ bodies undergoes progressive developmental dilution and locating any of them in the adult brain become quite difficult. The neuron bodies are probably retained in the older regions of the developing neocortex while their axonic collaterals will spread throughout its more recent ones that, eventually, will represent the great majority of the brain surface. This will explain their bodies progressive dilution in the developing neocortex and, later, in the adult brain. Although quite difficult to locate the body of any of them, they have been described in the adult brain.

  6. Three-dimensional functional human neuronal networks in uncompressed low-density electrospun fiber scaffolds.

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    Jakobsson, Albin; Ottosson, Maximilian; Zalis, Marina Castro; O'Carroll, David; Johansson, Ulrica Englund; Johansson, Fredrik

    2017-05-01

    We demonstrate an artificial three-dimensional (3D) electrical active human neuronal network system, by the growth of brain neural progenitors in highly porous low density electrospun poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) fiber scaffolds. In neuroscience research cell-based assays are important experimental instruments for studying neuronal function in health and disease. Traditional cell culture at 2D-surfaces induces abnormal cell-cell contacts and network formation. Hence, there is a tremendous need to explore in vivo-resembling 3D neural cell culture approaches. We present an improved electrospinning method for fabrication of scaffolds that promote neuronal differentiation into highly 3D integrated networks, formation of inhibitory and excitatory synapses and extensive neurite growth. Notably, in 3D scaffolds in vivo-resembling intermixed neuronal and glial cell network were formed, whereas in parallel 2D cultures a neuronal cell layer grew separated from an underlying glial cell layer. Hence, the use of the 3D cell assay presented will most likely provide more physiological relevant results. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. KCC2 rescues functional deficits in human neurons derived from patients with Rett syndrome.

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    Tang, Xin; Kim, Julie; Zhou, Li; Wengert, Eric; Zhang, Lei; Wu, Zheng; Carromeu, Cassiano; Muotri, Alysson R; Marchetto, Maria C N; Gage, Fred H; Chen, Gong

    2016-01-19

    Rett syndrome is a severe form of autism spectrum disorder, mainly caused by mutations of a single gene methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) on the X chromosome. Patients with Rett syndrome exhibit a period of normal development followed by regression of brain function and the emergence of autistic behaviors. However, the mechanism behind the delayed onset of symptoms is largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that neuron-specific K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter2 (KCC2) is a critical downstream gene target of MeCP2. We found that human neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with Rett syndrome showed a significant deficit in KCC2 expression and consequently a delayed GABA functional switch from excitation to inhibition. Interestingly, overexpression of KCC2 in MeCP2-deficient neurons rescued GABA functional deficits, suggesting an important role of KCC2 in Rett syndrome. We further identified that RE1-silencing transcriptional factor, REST, a neuronal gene repressor, mediates the MeCP2 regulation of KCC2. Because KCC2 is a slow onset molecule with expression level reaching maximum later in development, the functional deficit of KCC2 may offer an explanation for the delayed onset of Rett symptoms. Our studies suggest that restoring KCC2 function in Rett neurons may lead to a potential treatment for Rett syndrome.

  8. Changes in orexin (hypocretin) neuronal expression with normal aging in the human hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Nicholas J; Rodriguez, Michael L; Waters, Karen A; Machaalani, Rita

    2015-01-01

    Animal studies have shown that decreased orexin expression changes sleep regulation with normal aging. This study examined orexin A and B expression in the tuberal hypothalamus in infants (0-1 year; n = 8), children (4-10 years; n = 7), young adults (22-32 years; n = 4), and older (48-60 years; n = 7) adults. Neuronal expression was defined by the percentage positive orexin immunoreactive (Ox-ir) neurons in the whole tuberal hypothalamus, and in the dorsal medial (DMH), perifornical, and lateral hypothalamus. In addition, the number of Ox-ir neurons/mm(2), regional distribution, and co-localization were examined. Within the whole tuberal hypothalamic section, there was a 23% decrease in the percentage of Ox-ir neurons between infants and older adults (p changes were confined to the DMH and/or perifornical hypothalamus. There was a 9%-24% decrease in Ox neurons/mm(2) in adults compared with infants and/or children (p ≤ 0.001). These results demonstrate a decrease in Ox expression with normal human maturation and aging. This may contribute to changes in sleep regulation during development and with aging. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Double arch mirror study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vukobratovich, D.; Hillman, D.

    1983-01-01

    The development of a method of mounting light weight glass mirrors for astronomical telescopes compatible with the goals of the Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) was investigated. A 20 in. diameter double arch lightweight mirror previously fabricated was modified to use a new mount configuration. This mount concept was developed and fabricated. The mounting concept of the double mounting mirror is outlined. The modifications made to the mirror, fabrication of the mirror mount, and room temperature testing of the mirror and mount and the extension of the mirror and mount concept to a full size (40 in. diameter) primary mirror for SIRTF are discussed.

  10. The von Economo neurons in frontoinsular and anterior cingulate cortex in great apes and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allman, John M; Tetreault, Nicole A; Hakeem, Atiya Y; Manaye, Kebreten F; Semendeferi, Katerina; Erwin, Joseph M; Park, Soyoung; Goubert, Virginie; Hof, Patrick R

    2010-06-01

    The von Economo neurons (VENs) are large bipolar neurons located in frontoinsular (FI) and anterior cingulate cortex in great apes and humans, but not other primates. We performed stereological counts of the VENs in FI and LA (limbic anterior, a component of anterior cingulate cortex) in great apes and in humans. The VENs are more numerous in humans than in apes, although one gorilla approached the lower end of the human range. We also examined the ontological development of the VENs in FI and LA in humans. The VENs first appear in small numbers in the 36th week post-conception, are rare at birth, and increase in number during the first 8 months after birth. There are significantly more VENs in the right hemisphere than in the left in FI and LA in postnatal brains of apes and humans. This asymmetry in VEN numbers may be related to asymmetries in the autonomic nervous system. The activity of the inferior anterior insula, which contains FI, is related to physiological changes in the body, decision-making, error recognition, and awareness. The VENs appear to be projection neurons, although their targets are unknown. We made a preliminary study of the connections of FI cortex based on diffusion tensor imaging in the brain of a gorilla. The VEN-containing regions connect to the frontal pole as well as to other parts of frontal and insular cortex, the septum, and the amygdala. It is likely that the VENs in FI are projecting to some or all of these structures and relaying information related to autonomic control, decision-making, or awareness. The VENs selectively express the bombesin peptides neuromedin B (NMB) and gastrin releasing peptide (GRP) which are also expressed in another population of closely related neurons, the fork cells. NMB and GRP signal satiety. The genes for NMB and GRP are expressed selectively in small populations of neurons in the insular cortex in mice. These populations may be related to the VEN and fork cells and may be involved in the regulation

  11. "I feel your disgust and relief": can the action understanding system (mirror neuron system) be recruited to induce disgust and relief from contamination vicariously, in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms?

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    Jalal, Baland; Ramachandran, Vilayanur S

    2017-02-01

    Research has shown that brain regions mediating disgust (e.g., the insula) become activated when viewing others' disgust, a response mediated, perhaps by the mirror neuron system or the Theory of Mind module. In a novel behavioral experiment, we explore vicarious disgust and relief, in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. Participants (N = 10) provided disgust ratings to self-contamination or watching the contamination of an experimenter; and to the experimenter washing his own hands after the subjects had been contaminated. To our surprise, we found that subjects experienced disgust from merely watching the experimenter contaminating himself. More intriguingly, after subjects had contaminated themselves, they obtained relief from merely watching the experimenter washing his own hands; even while recognizing the logical absurdity of this. The result is counterintuitive since neither the subjects nor anyone else would have predicted this. These preliminary findings - if confirmed in placebo-controlled studies - might pave the way toward novel therapeutic approaches for OCD.

  12. Enriched population of PNS neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells as a platform for studying peripheral neuropathies.

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    Moran Valensi-Kurtz

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The absence of a suitable cellular model is a major obstacle for the study of peripheral neuropathies. Human embryonic stem cells hold the potential to be differentiated into peripheral neurons which makes them a suitable candidate for this purpose. However, so far the potential of hESC to differentiate into derivatives of the peripheral nervous system (PNS was not investigated enough and in particular, the few trials conducted resulted in low yields of PNS neurons. Here we describe a novel hESC differentiation method to produce enriched populations of PNS mature neurons. By plating 8 weeks hESC derived neural progenitors (hESC-NPs on laminin for two weeks in a defined medium, we demonstrate that over 70% of the resulting neurons express PNS markers and 30% of these cells are sensory neurons. METHODS/FINDINGS: Our method shows that the hNPs express neuronal crest lineage markers in a temporal manner, and by plating 8 weeks hESC-NPs into laminin coated dishes these hNPs were promoted to differentiate and give rise to homogeneous PNS neuronal populations, expressing several PNS lineage-specific markers. Importantly, these cultures produced functional neurons with electrophysiological activities typical of mature neurons. Moreover, supporting this physiological capacity implantation of 8 weeks old hESC-NPs into the neural tube of chick embryos also produced human neurons expressing specific PNS markers in vivo in just a few days. Having the enriched PNS differentiation system in hand, we show for the first time in human PNS neurons the expression of IKAP/hELP1 protein, where a splicing mutation on the gene encoding this protein causes the peripheral neuropathy Familial Dysautonomia. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that this differentiation system to produce high numbers of human PNS neurons will be useful for studying PNS related neuropathies and for developing future drug screening applications for these diseases.

  13. Combined Single Neuron Unit Activity and Local Field Potential Oscillations in a Human Visual Recognition Memory Task.

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    Kucewicz, Michal T; Michael Berry, B; Bower, Mark R; Cimbalnik, Jan; Svehlik, Vojtech; Matt Stead, S; Worrell, Gregory A

    2016-01-01

    Activities of neuronal networks range from action potential firing of individual neurons, coordinated oscillations of local neuronal assemblies, and distributed neural populations. Here, we describe recordings using hybrid electrodes, containing both micro- and clinical macroelectrodes, to simultaneously sample both large-scale network oscillations and single neuron spiking activity in the medial temporal lobe structures of human subjects during a visual recognition memory task. We quantify and compare single neuron unit activity (SUA) with high-frequency macrofield oscillations (HFOs) for decoding visual images. SUA and HFOs were recorded using hybrid electrodes containing both micro and macroelectrode contacts, implanted in patients with focal epilepsy. Decoding of image properties in different task trials was performed, analyzing SUA and HFO as point processes to capture the dynamics of neurons and their assemblies at different spatiotemporal scales, ranging from submillisecond discharges of single units to fast oscillations across large neuronal populations. Results highlight the limitations and potential complementary use of SUA and HFOs for decoding of general image properties. The dynamics of SUA and HFOs can be used to explore a wide range of neuronal assembly activities engaged in human memory processing. Hybrid electrodes provide a technological bridge for exploring multiscale activity, spanning individual neurons, their assemblies, and large-scale population activity reflected in local field potentials. Analysis of SUA and HFO dynamics as point processes provides a potentially useful signal processing method for exploring the neuronal correlates operating at different spatial scales.

  14. Gender and age related changes in number of dopaminergic neurons in adult human olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizadeh, Rafieh; Hassanzadeh, Gholamreza; Soleimani, Mansoureh; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi; Siavashi, Vahid; Khorgami, Zhinoos; Hadjighassem, Mahmoudreza

    2015-11-01

    Dopamine is one of the major brain neurotransmitters, and the loss of dopaminergic neurons in basal ganglia cause motor deficits in Parkinson's disease. We proposed that the difficulty in olfaction observed in the elderly may be due to an alteration in the number of dopaminergic neurons. Sections were taken from olfactory bulbs of post-mortem tissue specimens of 13 humans, males and females, aged from 19 to 63 years (≤35 and ≥50 years), with no history of neurological disorders. The tissues were fixed, embedded, cut on a freezing microtome, and prepared for immunohistochemical analysis using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) antibodies. The number of positive neurons was counted. TH- and AADC-positive cells were present in the glomerular layer. There was no significant difference between the numbers of TH- and AADC-positive cells, in males and females, and in young and elderly individuals. The quantitative analysis revealed that the number of TH- and AADC-positive neurons were significantly higher in males than in females (Polfactory bulbs of the elderly compared with young individuals (Polfactory performance. Moreover, the increase in dopaminergic cells in the olfactory bulb of the elderly may indicate the existence of rostral migratory stream in adult humans. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Neuronal Network Pharmacodynamics of GABAergic Modulation in the Human Cortex Determined Using Pharmaco-Magnetoencephalography

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    Hall, Stephen D; Barnes, Gareth R; Furlong, Paul L; Seri, Stefano; Hillebrand, Arjan

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal network oscillations are a unifying phenomenon in neuroscience research, with comparable measurements across scales and species. Cortical oscillations are of central importance in the characterization of neuronal network function in health and disease and are influential in effective drug development. Whilst animal in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology is able to characterize pharmacologically induced modulations in neuronal activity, present human counterparts have spatial and temporal limitations. Consequently, the potential applications for a human equivalent are extensive. Here, we demonstrate a novel implementation of contemporary neuroimaging methods called pharmaco-magnetoencephalography. This approach determines the spatial profile of neuronal network oscillatory power change across the cortex following drug administration and reconstructs the time course of these modulations at focal regions of interest. As a proof of concept, we characterize the nonspecific GABAergic modulator diazepam, which has a broad range of therapeutic applications. We demonstrate that diazepam variously modulates θ (4–7 Hz), α (7–14 Hz), β (15–25 Hz), and γ (30–80 Hz) frequency oscillations in specific regions of the cortex, with a pharmacodynamic profile consistent with that of drug uptake. We examine the relevance of these results with regard to the spatial and temporal observations from other modalities and the various therapeutic consequences of diazepam and discuss the potential applications of such an approach in terms of drug development and translational neuroscience. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:19937723

  16. Persistent Single-Neuron Activity during Working Memory in the Human Medial Temporal Lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornblith, Simon; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo; Koch, Christof; Fried, Itzhak; Mormann, Florian

    2017-04-03

    Working memory is an essential component of human cognition. Persistent activity related to working memory has been reported in many brain areas, including the inferior temporal and prefrontal cortex [1-8]. The medial temporal lobe (MTL) contains "concept cells" that respond invariantly to specific individuals or places whether presented as images, text, or speech [9, 10]. It is unknown, however, whether the MTL also participates in working memory processes. We thus sought to determine whether human MTL neurons respond to images held in working memory. We recorded from patients with chronically intractable epilepsy as they performed a task that required them to remember three or four sequentially presented pictures across a brief delay. 48% of visually selective neurons continued to carry image-specific information after image offset, but most ceased to encode previously presented images after a subsequent presentation of a different image. However, 8% of visually selective neurons encoded previously presented images during a final maintenance period, despite presentation of further images in the intervening interval. Population activity of stimulus-selective neurons predicted behavioral outcome in terms of correct and incorrect responses. These findings indicate that the MTL is part of a brain-wide network for working memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Taurine enhances the growth of neural precursors derived from fetal human brain and promotes neuronal specification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Benítez, Reyna; Vangipuram, Sharada D; Ramos-Mandujano, Gerardo; Lyman, William D; Pasantes-Morales, Herminia

    2013-01-01

    Taurine is present at high concentrations in the fetal brain and is required for optimal brain development. Recent studies have reported that taurine causes increased proliferation of neural stem/progenitor neural cells (neural precursor cells, NPCs) obtained from embryonic and adult rodent brain. The present study is the first to show that taurine markedly increases cell numbers in cultures and neuronal generation from human NPCs (hNPCs). hNPCs obtained from 3 fetal brains (14-15 weeks of gestation) were cultured and expanded as neurospheres, which contained 76.3% nestin-positive cells. Taurine (5-20 mM) increased the number of hNPCs in culture, with maximal effect found at 10 mM and 4 days of culture. The taurine-induced increase ranged from 57 to 188% in the 3 brains examined. Taurine significantly enhanced the percentage of neurons formed from hNPCs under differentiating conditions, with increases ranging from 172 to 480% over controls without taurine. Taurine also increased the cell number and neuronal generation in cultures of the immortalized human cell line ReNcell VM. These results suggest that taurine has a positive influence on hNPC growth and neuronal formation. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Ketamine induces toxicity in human neurons differentiated from embryonic stem cells via mitochondrial apoptosis pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosnjak, Zeljko J.; Yan, Yasheng; Canfield, Scott; Muravyeva, Maria Y.; Kikuchi, Chika; Wells, Clive; Corbett, John; Bai, Xiaowen

    2013-01-01

    Ketamine is widely used for anesthesia in pediatric patients. Growing evidence indicates that ketamine causes neurotoxicity in a variety of developing animal models. Our understanding of anesthesia neurotoxicity in humans is currently limited by difficulties in obtaining neurons and performing developmental toxicity studies in fetal and pediatric populations. It may be possible to overcome these challenges by obtaining neurons from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in vitro. hESCs are able to replicate indefinitely and differentiate into every cell type. In this study, we investigated the toxic effect of ketamine on neurons differentiated from hESCs. Two-week-old neurons were treated with different doses and durations of ketamine with or without the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger, Trolox. Cell viability, ultrastructure, mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), cytochrome c distribution within cells, apoptosis, and ROS production were evaluated. Here we show that ketamine induced ultrastructural abnormalities and dose- and time-dependently caused cell death. In addition, ketamine decreased ΔΨm and increased cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Ketamine also increased ROS production and induced differential expression of oxidative stress-related genes. Specifically, abnormal ultrastructural and ΔΨm changes occurred earlier than cell death in the ketamine-induced toxicity process. Furthermore, Trolox significantly decreased ROS generation and attenuated cell death caused by ketamine in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, this study illustrates that ketamine time- and dose-dependently induces human neurotoxicity via ROS-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis pathway and that these side effects can be prevented by the antioxidant agent Trolox. Thus, hESC-derived neurons might provide a promising tool for studying anesthetic-induced developmental neurotoxicity and prevention strategies. PMID:22873495

  19. Glypican 6 Enhances N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Function in Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Kaoru; Takahashi, Kanako; Shigemoto-Mogami, Yukari; Chujo, Kaori; Sekino, Yuko

    2016-01-01

    The in vitro use of neurons that are differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC-neurons) is expected to improve the prediction accuracy of preclinical tests for both screening and safety assessments in drug development. To achieve this goal, hiPSC neurons are required to differentiate into functional neurons that form excitatory networks and stably express N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). Recent studies have identified some astrocyte-derived factors that are important for the functional maturation of neurons. We therefore examined the effects of the astrocyte-derived factor glypican 6 (GPC6) on hiPSC-neurons. When we pharmacologically examined which receptor subtypes mediate L-glutamate (L-Glu)-induced changes in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations in hiPSC neurons using fura-2 Ca(2+) imaging, NMDAR-mediated responses were not detected through 7 days in vitro (DIV). These cells were also not vulnerable to excitotoxicity at 7 DIV. However, a 5-days treatment with GPC6 from 3 DIV induced an NMDAR-mediated Ca(2+) increase in hiPSC-neurons and increased the level of NMDARs on the cell surface. We also found that GPC6-treated hiPSC-neurons became responsive to excitotoxicity. These results suggest that GPC6 increases the level of functional NMDARs in hiPSC-neurons. Glial factors may play a key role in accelerating the functional maturation of hiPSC neurons for drug-development applications.

  20. Neuronal Fibers and Neurotransmitter Receptor Expression in the Human Endolymphatic Sac

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Martin Nue; Kirkeby, Svend; Vikeså, Jonas

    2017-01-01

    in intracranial pressure homeostasis. The anatomical location towards the sigmoid sinus would suggest a possible endo- and/or paracrine signaling. However, neuronal connections may also apply, but it remains very scarcely explored in the human ES. STUDY DESIGN: DNA micro-arrays and immunohistochemistry were used...... for analyses of fresh human ES tissue samples. METHODS: A total of 30 tissue samples from the human ES were obtained during translabyrinthine surgery for vestibular schwannoma. Microarray technology was used to investigate tissue sample gene expression, using adjacent dura mater as control. The expression...

  1. STAT3 modulation to enhance motor neuron differentiation in human neural stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajalaxmi Natarajan

    Full Text Available Spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis damages spinal motor neurons and forms a glial scar, which prevents neural regeneration. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3 plays a critical role in astrogliogenesis and scar formation, and thus a fine modulation of STAT3 signaling may help to control the excessive gliogenic environment and enhance neural repair. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of STAT3 inhibition on human neural stem cells (hNSCs. In vitro hNSCs primed with fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2 exhibited a lower level of phosphorylated STAT3 than cells primed by epidermal growth factor (EGF, which correlated with a higher number of motor neurons differentiated from FGF2-primed hNSCs. Treatment with STAT3 inhibitors, Stattic and Niclosamide, enhanced motor neuron differentiation only in FGF2-primed hNSCs, as shown by increased homeobox gene Hb9 mRNA levels as well as HB9+ and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2+ co-labeled cells. The increased motor neuron differentiation was accompanied by a decrease in the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP-positive astrocytes. Interestingly, Stattic and Niclosamide did not affect the level of STAT3 phosphorylation; rather, they perturbed the nuclear translocation of phosphorylated STAT3. In summary, we demonstrate that FGF2 is required for motor neuron differentiation from hNSCs and that inhibition of STAT3 further increases motor neuron differentiation at the expense of astrogliogenesis. Our study thus suggests a potential benefit of targeting the STAT3 pathway for neurotrauma or neurodegenerative diseases.

  2. [Morphological and laminar distribution of cholecystokinin-immunoreactive neurons in cortex of human inferior parietal lobe and their clinical significance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puskas, Laslo; Draganić-Gajić, Saveta; Malobabić, Slobodan; Puskas, Nela; Krivokuća, Dragan; Stanković, Gordana

    2008-01-01

    Cholecystocinine is a neuropeptide whose function in the cortex has not yet been clarified, although its relation with some psychic disorders has been noticed. Previous studies have not provided detailed data about types, or arrangement of neurons that contain those neuropeptide in the cortex of human inferior parietal lobe. The aim of this study was to examine precisely the morphology and typography of neurons containing cholecytocinine in the human cortex of inferior parietal lobule. There were five human brains on which we did the immunocystochemical research of the shape and laminar distribution of cholecystocinine immunoreactive neurons on serial sections of supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus. The morphological analysis of cholecystocinine-immunoreactive neurons was done on frozen sections using avidin-biotin technique, by antibody to cholecystocinine diluted in the proportion 1:6000 using diamine-benzedine. Cholecystocinine immunoreactive neurons were found in the first three layers of the cortex of inferior parietal lobule, and their densest concentration was in the 2nd and 3rd layer. The following types of neurons were found: bipolar neurons, then its fusiform subtype, Cajal-Retzius neurons (in the 1st layer), reverse pyramidal (triangular) and unipolar neurons. The diameters of some types of neurons were from 15 to 35 microm, and the diameters of dendritic arborization were from 85-207 microm. A special emphasis is put on the finding of Cajal-Retzius neurons that are immunoreactive to cholecystocinine, which demands further research. Bearing in mind numerous clinical studies pointing out the role of cholecystokinine in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, the presence of a great number of cholecystokinine immunoreactive neurons in the cortex of inferior parietal lobule suggests their role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

  3. Neuronal dynamics underlying high- and low-frequency EEG oscillations contribute independently to the human BOLD signal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheeringa, R.; Fries, P.; Petersson, K.M.; Oostenveld, R.; Grothe, I.; Norris, D.G.; Hagoort, P.; Bastiaansen, M.C.

    2011-01-01

    Work on animals indicates that BOLD is preferentially sensitive to local field potentials, and that it correlates most strongly with gamma band neuronal synchronization. Here we investigate how the BOLD signal in humans performing a cognitive task is related to neuronal synchronization across

  4. Morphometric analysis of vasopressin and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide neurons in the human suprachiasmatic nucleus: influence of microwave treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, J. N.; Hofman, M. A.; Swaab, D. F.

    1996-01-01

    The vasopressin (VP) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-expressing neurons in the human suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) were morphometrically determined with or without microwave (MW) treatment. Both an enlarged volume and an increased number of neurons were found in the VP and VIP subnucleus

  5. Comparative anatomical distribution of neuronal calcium-binding protein (NECAB) 1 and -2 in rodent and human spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ming-Dong; Barde, Swapnali; Szodorai, Edit; Josephson, Anna; Mitsios, Nicholas; Watanabe, Masahiko; Attems, Johannes; Lubec, Gert; Kovács, Gábor G; Uhlén, Mathias; Mulder, Jan; Harkany, Tibor; Hökfelt, Tomas

    2016-09-01

    Neuronal calcium-binding protein 1 and -2 (NECAB1/2) localize to multiple excitatory neuron populations in the mouse spinal cord. Here, we analyzed rat and human spinal cord, combining in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, complementing newly collated data on mouse spinal cord for direct comparisons. Necab1/2 mRNA transcripts showed complementary distribution in rodent's spinal cord. Multiple-labeling fluorescence histochemistry with neuronal phenotypic markers localized NECAB1 to a dense fiber plexus in the dorsal horn, to neurons mainly in superficial layers and to commissural interneurons in both rodent species. NECAB1-positive (+) motor neurons were only found in mice. NECAB1 distribution in the human spinal cord was similar with the addition of NECAB1-like immunoreactivity surrounding myelinated axons. NECAB2 was mainly present in excitatory synaptic boutons in the dorsal horn of all three species, and often in calbindin-D28k(+) neuronal somata. Rodent ependymal cells expressed calbindin-D28k. In humans, they instead were NECAB2(+) and/or calretinin(+). Our results reveal that the association of NECAB2 to excitatory neuronal circuits in the spinal cord is evolutionarily conserved across the mammalian species investigated so far. In contrast, NECAB1 expression is more heterogeneous. Thus, our study suggests that the phenotypic segregation of NECAB1 and -2 to respective excitatory and inhibitory spinal systems can underpin functional modalities in determining the fidelity of synaptic neurotransmission and neuronal responsiveness, and might bear translational relevance to humans.

  6. Zinc Deficiency Induces Apoptosis via Mitochondrial p53- and Caspase-Dependent Pathways in Human Neuronal Precursor Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth, Rohit; Corniola, Rikki S.; Gower-Winter, Shannon D.; Morgan, Thomas J., Jr.; Bishop, Brian; Levenson, Cathy W.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that zinc deficiency leads to apoptosis of neuronal precursor cells in vivo and in vitro. In addition to the role of p53 as a nuclear transcription factor in zinc deficient cultured human neuronal precursors (NT-2), we have now identified the translocation of phosphorylated p53 to the mitochondria and p53-dependent…

  7. Magnetic Resonance Microscopy of Human and Porcine Neurons and Cellular Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Jeremy J.; Hansen, Brian; Portnoy, Sharon; Lee, Choong-Heon; King, Michael A.; Fey, Michael; Vincent, Franck; Stanisz, Greg J; Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter; Blackband, Stephen J

    2012-01-01

    With its unparalleled ability to safely generate high-contrast images of soft tissues, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has remained at the forefront of diagnostic clinical medicine. Unfortunately due to resolution limitations, clinical scans are most useful for detecting macroscopic structural changes associated with a small number of pathologies. Moreover, due to a longstanding inability to directly observe magnetic resonance (MR) signal behavior at the cellular level, such information is poorly characterized and generally must be inferred. With the advent of the MR microscope in 1986 came the ability to measure MR signal properties of theretofore unobservable tissue structures. Recently, further improvements in hardware technology have made possible the ability to visualize mammalian cellular structure. In the current study, we expand upon previous work by imaging the neuronal cell bodies and processes of human and porcine α-motor neurons. Complimentary imaging studies are conducted in pig tissue in order to demonstrate qualitative similarities to human samples. Also, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were generated inside porcine α-motor neuron cell bodies and portions of their largest processes (mean = 1.7±0.5 μm2/ms based on 53 pixels) as well as in areas containing a mixture of extracellular space, microvasculature, and neuropil (0.59±0.37 μm2/ms based on 33 pixels). Three-dimensional reconstruction of MR images containing α-motor neurons shows the spatial arrangement of neuronal projections between adjacent cells. Such advancements in imaging portend the ability to construct accurate models of MR signal behavior based on direct observation and measurement of the components which comprise functional tissues. These tools would not only be useful for improving our interpretation of macroscopic MRI performed in the clinic, but they could potentially be used to develop new methods of differential diagnosis to aid in the early detection of a

  8. Synaptogenesis and development of pyramidal neuron dendritic morphology in the chimpanzee neocortex resembles humans

    OpenAIRE

    Bianchi, Serena; Stimpson, Cheryl D.; Duka, Tetyana; Larsen, Michael D.; Janssen, William G. M.; Collins, Zachary; Bauernfeind, Amy L.; Schapiro, Steven J.; Baze, Wallace B.; McArthur, Mark J; Hopkins, William D.; Wildman, Derek E.; Lipovich, Leonard; Kuzawa, Christopher W.; Jacobs, Bob

    2013-01-01

    Neocortical development in humans is characterized by an extended period of synaptic proliferation that peaks in mid-childhood, with subsequent pruning through early adulthood, as well as relatively delayed maturation of neuronal arborization in the prefrontal cortex compared with sensorimotor areas. In macaque monkeys, cortical synaptogenesis peaks during early infancy and developmental changes in synapse density and dendritic spines occur synchronously across cortical regions. Thus, relativ...

  9. Cannabidiol Activates Neuronal Precursor Genes in Human Gingival Mesenchymal Stromal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soundara Rajan, Thangavelu; Giacoppo, Sabrina; Scionti, Domenico; Diomede, Francesca; Grassi, Gianpaolo; Pollastro, Federica; Piattelli, Adriano; Bramanti, Placido; Mazzon, Emanuela; Trubiani, Oriana

    2017-06-01

    In the last years, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from oral tissues have received considerable interest in regenerative medicine since they can be obtained with minimal invasive procedure and exhibit immunomodulatory properties. This study was aimed to investigate whether in vitro pre-treatment of MSCs obtained from human gingiva (hGMSCs) with Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid component produced by the plant Cannabis sativa, may promote human gingiva derived MSCs to differentiate toward neuronal precursor cells. Specifically, we have treated the hGMSCs with CBD (5 µM) for 24 h in order to evaluate the expression of genes involved in cannabidiol signaling, cell proliferation, self-renewal and multipotency, and neural progenitor cells differentiation. Next generation sequencing (NGS) demonstrated that CBD activates genes associated with G protein coupled receptor signaling in hGMSCs. Genes involved in DNA replication, cell cycle, proliferation, and apoptosis were regulated. Moreover, genes associated with the biological process of neuronal progenitor cells (NCPs) proliferation, neuron differentiation, neurogenesis, and nervous system development were significantly modulated. From our results, we hypothesize that human gingiva-derived MSCs conditioned with CBD could represent a valid method for improving the hGMSCs phenotype and thus might be a potential therapeutic tool in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 1531-1546, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Stretch Injury of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Neurons in a 96 Well Format

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Sydney A.; Phillips, Jack K.; Costa, J. Tighe; Cho, Frances S.; Oungoulian, Sevan R.; Finan, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity with limited therapeutic options. Traumatic axonal injury (TAI) is an important component of TBI pathology. It is difficult to reproduce TAI in animal models of closed head injury, but in vitro stretch injury models reproduce clinical TAI pathology. Existing in vitro models employ primary rodent neurons or human cancer cell line cells in low throughput formats. This in vitro neuronal stretch injury model employs human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons (hiPSCNs) in a 96 well format. Silicone membranes were attached to 96 well plate tops to create stretchable, culture substrates. A custom-built device was designed and validated to apply repeatable, biofidelic strains and strain rates to these plates. A high content approach was used to measure injury in a hypothesis-free manner. These measurements are shown to provide a sensitive, dose-dependent, multi-modal description of the response to mechanical insult. hiPSCNs transition from healthy to injured phenotype at approximately 35% Lagrangian strain. Continued development of this model may create novel opportunities for drug discovery and exploration of the role of human genotype in TAI pathology. PMID:27671211

  11. Mathematical model of neuronal morphology: prenatal development of the human dentate nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajković, Katarina; Bačić, Goran; Ristanović, Dušan; Milošević, Nebojša T

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study was to quantify the morphological changes of the human dentate nucleus during prenatal development using mathematical models that take into account main morphometric parameters. The camera lucida drawings of Golgi impregnated neurons taken from human fetuses of gestational ages ranging from 14 to 41 weeks were analyzed. Four morphometric parameters, the size of the neuron, the dendritic complexity, maximum dendritic density, and the position of maximum density, were obtained using the modified Scholl method and fractal analysis. Their increase during the entire prenatal development can be adequately fitted with a simple exponential. The three parameters describing the evolution of branching complexity of the dendritic arbor positively correlated with the increase of the size of neurons, but with different rate constants, showing that the complex development of the dendritic arbor is complete during the prenatal period. The findings of the present study are in accordance with previous crude qualitative data on prenatal development of the human dentate nucleus, but provide much greater amount of fine details. The mathematical model developed here provides a sound foundation enabling further studies on natal development or analyzing neurological disorders during prenatal development.

  12. Neuronal ensemble control of prosthetic devices by a human with tetraplegia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Leigh R.; Serruya, Mijail D.; Friehs, Gerhard M.; Mukand, Jon A.; Saleh, Maryam; Caplan, Abraham H.; Branner, Almut; Chen, David; Penn, Richard D.; Donoghue, John P.

    2006-07-01

    Neuromotor prostheses (NMPs) aim to replace or restore lost motor functions in paralysed humans by routeing movement-related signals from the brain, around damaged parts of the nervous system, to external effectors. To translate preclinical results from intact animals to a clinically useful NMP, movement signals must persist in cortex after spinal cord injury and be engaged by movement intent when sensory inputs and limb movement are long absent. Furthermore, NMPs would require that intention-driven neuronal activity be converted into a control signal that enables useful tasks. Here we show initial results for a tetraplegic human (MN) using a pilot NMP. Neuronal ensemble activity recorded through a 96-microelectrode array implanted in primary motor cortex demonstrated that intended hand motion modulates cortical spiking patterns three years after spinal cord injury. Decoders were created, providing a `neural cursor' with which MN opened simulated e-mail and operated devices such as a television, even while conversing. Furthermore, MN used neural control to open and close a prosthetic hand, and perform rudimentary actions with a multi-jointed robotic arm. These early results suggest that NMPs based upon intracortical neuronal ensemble spiking activity could provide a valuable new neurotechnology to restore independence for humans with paralysis.

  13. Mathematical Model of Neuronal Morphology: Prenatal Development of the Human Dentate Nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarina Rajković

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to quantify the morphological changes of the human dentate nucleus during prenatal development using mathematical models that take into account main morphometric parameters. The camera lucida drawings of Golgi impregnated neurons taken from human fetuses of gestational ages ranging from 14 to 41 weeks were analyzed. Four morphometric parameters, the size of the neuron, the dendritic complexity, maximum dendritic density, and the position of maximum density, were obtained using the modified Scholl method and fractal analysis. Their increase during the entire prenatal development can be adequately fitted with a simple exponential. The three parameters describing the evolution of branching complexity of the dendritic arbor positively correlated with the increase of the size of neurons, but with different rate constants, showing that the complex development of the dendritic arbor is complete during the prenatal period. The findings of the present study are in accordance with previous crude qualitative data on prenatal development of the human dentate nucleus, but provide much greater amount of fine details. The mathematical model developed here provides a sound foundation enabling further studies on natal development or analyzing neurological disorders during prenatal development.

  14. The role of microRNAs in human neural stem cells, neuronal differentiation and subtype specification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stappert, Laura; Roese-Koerner, Beate; Brüstle, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    The impressive neuronal diversity found within the nervous system emerges from a limited pool of neural progenitor cells that proceed through different gene expression programs to acquire distinct cell fates. Here, we review recent evidence indicating that microRNAs (miRNAs) are critically involved in conferring neural cell identities during neural induction, neuronal differentiation and subtype specification. Several studies have shown that miRNAs act in concert with other gene regulatory factors and genetic switches to regulate the spatial and temporal expression profiles of important cell fate determinants. So far, most studies addressing the role of miRNAs during neurogenesis were conducted using animal models. With the advent of human pluripotent stem cells and the possibility to differentiate these into neural stem cells, we now have the opportunity to study miRNAs in a human context. More insight into the impact of miRNA-based regulation during neural fate choice could in the end be exploited to develop new strategies for the generation of distinct human neuronal cell types.

  15. Differentiation of human dopamine neurons from an embryonic carcinomal stem cell line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacovitti, L; Stull, N D; Jin, H

    2001-08-31

    Previous studies from this laboratory have demonstrated that fibroblast growth factor 1 together with a number of co-activator molecules (dopamine, TPA, IBMX/forskolin), will induce the expression of the catecholamine biosynthetic enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in 10% of human neurons (hNTs) derived from the NT2 cell line [10]. In the present study, we found that TH induction was increased to nearly 75% in hNTs when cells were permitted to age 2 weeks in culture prior to treatment with the differentiation cocktail. This high level of TH expression was sustained 7 days after removal of the differentiating agents from the media. Moreover, the induced TH present in these cells was enzymatically active, resulting in the production of low levels of dopamine (DA) and its metabolite DOPAC. These findings suggest that hNTs may provide an important tissue culture model for the study of factors regulating TH gene expression in human neurons. Moreover, hNTs may serve, in vivo, as a source of human DA neurons for use in transplantation therapies.

  16. [Phantom limb pain syndrome: therapeutic approach using mirror therapy in a Geriatric Department].

    Science.gov (United States)

    González García, Paloma; Manzano Hernández, M Pilar; Muñoz Tomás, M Teresa; Martín Hernández, Carlos; Forcano García, Mercedes

    2013-01-01

    The clinical use of mirror visual feedback was initially introduced to alleviate phantom pain by restoring motor function through plastic changes in the human primary motor cortex. It is a promising novel technique that gives a new perspective to neurological rehabilitation. Using this therapy, the mirror neuron system is activated and decrease the activity of those systems that perceive protopathic pain, making somatosensory cortex reorganization possible. This paper reports the results of the mirror therapy in three patients with phantom limb pain after recent lower limb amputation, showing its analgesic effects and its benefits as a comprehensive rehabilitation instrument for lower limb amputee geriatric patients. Copyright © 2012 SEGG. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  17. [A study of selective neuronal vulnerability in the human central nervous system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naudí, Alba; Jové, Mariona; Ayala, Victoria; Cabré, Rosanna; Portero-Otin, Manuel; Ferrer, Isidre; Pamplona, Reinald

    2013-01-01

    The concept of 'selective neuronal vulnerability' refers to the differential sensitivity of neuronal populations in the nervous system to stresses that cause cell damage and lead to neurodegeneration. Because oxidative stress play a causal role in the physiological aging process, and it is often invoked as an aetiopathogenic and/or pathophysiological mechanism for neurodegeneration, in the present work we propose that the molecular bases of selective neuronal vulnerability is linked with cell adaptations related to oxidative stress. The grey substance of 5 different regions from healthy human subjects (n=7) were selected: i) to evaluate their membrane fatty acid profile by chromatographic methods, ii) to determine their membrane susceptibility to peroxidation, and iii) to recognise potential mechanisms involved in its regulation. The results showed significant inter-regional differences in the fatty acid profile, basically due to the content of mono- and highly polyunsaturated fatty acids; changes that, in turn, induce significant differences in theirs susceptibilities to peroxidation, as well as differences that can be ascribed to the desaturase activity. Thus, the cross-regional comparative approach seems to confirm the idea that the level of cell membrane unsaturation may be a key trait associated with selective neuronal vulnerability. Copyright © 2013 SEGG. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  18. Modeling non-syndromic autism and the impact of TRPC6 disruption in human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesi-Oliveira, K; Acab, A; Gupta, A R; Sunaga, D Y; Chailangkarn, T; Nicol, X; Nunez, Y; Walker, M F; Murdoch, J D; Sanders, S J; Fernandez, T V; Ji, W; Lifton, R P; Vadasz, E; Dietrich, A; Pradhan, D; Song, H; Ming, G-L; Gu, X; Haddad, G; Marchetto, M C N; Spitzer, N; Passos-Bueno, M R; State, M W; Muotri, A R

    2015-11-01

    An increasing number of genetic variants have been implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), and the functional study of such variants will be critical for the elucidation of autism pathophysiology. Here, we report a de novo balanced translocation disruption of TRPC6, a cation channel, in a non-syndromic autistic individual. Using multiple models, such as dental pulp cells, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neuronal cells and mouse models, we demonstrate that TRPC6 reduction or haploinsufficiency leads to altered neuronal development, morphology and function. The observed neuronal phenotypes could then be rescued by TRPC6 complementation and by treatment with insulin-like growth factor-1 or hyperforin, a TRPC6-specific agonist, suggesting that ASD individuals with alterations in this pathway may benefit from these drugs. We also demonstrate that methyl CpG binding protein-2 (MeCP2) levels affect TRPC6 expression. Mutations in MeCP2 cause Rett syndrome, revealing common pathways among ASDs. Genetic sequencing of TRPC6 in 1041 ASD individuals and 2872 controls revealed significantly more nonsynonymous mutations in the ASD population, and identified loss-of-function mutations with incomplete penetrance in two patients. Taken together, these findings suggest that TRPC6 is a novel predisposing gene for ASD that may act in a multiple-hit model. This is the first study to use iPSC-derived human neurons to model non-syndromic ASD and illustrate the potential of modeling genetically complex sporadic diseases using such cells.

  19. Transplantation of neurons derived from human iPS cells cultured on collagen matrix into guinea-pig cochleae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishikawa, Masaaki; Ohnishi, Hiroe; Skerleva, Desislava; Sakamoto, Tatsunori; Yamamoto, Norio; Hotta, Akitsu; Ito, Juichi; Nakagawa, Takayuki

    2017-06-01

    The present study examined the efficacy of a neural induction method for human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to eliminate undifferentiated cells and to determine the feasibility of transplanting neurally induced cells into guinea-pig cochleae for replacement of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). A stepwise method for differentiation of human iPS cells into neurons was used. First, a neural induction method was established on Matrigel-coated plates; characteristics of cell populations at each differentiation step were assessed. Second, neural stem cells were differentiated into neurons on a three-dimensional (3D) collagen matrix, using the same protocol of culture on Matrigel-coated plates; neuron subtypes in differentiated cells on a 3D collagen matrix were examined. Then, human iPS cell-derived neurons cultured on a 3D collagen matrix were transplanted into intact guinea-pig cochleae, followed by histological analysis. In vitro analyses revealed successful induction of neural stem cells from human iPS cells, with no retention of undifferentiated cells expressing OCT3/4. After the neural differentiation of neural stem cells, approximately 70% of cells expressed a neuronal marker, 90% of which were positive for vesicular glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1). The expression pattern of neuron subtypes in differentiated cells on a 3D collagen matrix was identical to that of the differentiated cells on Matrigel-coated plates. In addition, the survival of transplant-derived neurons was achieved when inflammatory responses were appropriately controlled. Our preparation method for human iPS cell-derived neurons efficiently eliminated undifferentiated cells and contributed to the settlement of transplant-derived neurons expressing VGLUT1 in guinea-pig cochleae. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. A novel pathway regulates thyroid hormone availability in rat and human hypothalamic neurosecretory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imre Kalló

    Full Text Available Hypothalamic neurosecretory systems are fundamental regulatory circuits influenced by thyroid hormone. Monocarboxylate-transporter-8 (MCT8-mediated uptake of thyroid hormone followed by type 3 deiodinase (D3-catalyzed inactivation represent limiting regulatory factors of neuronal T3 availability. In the present study we addressed the localization and subcellular distribution of D3 and MCT8 in neurosecretory neurons and addressed D3 function in their axons. Intense D3-immunoreactivity was observed in axon varicosities in the external zone of the rat median eminence and the neurohaemal zone of the human infundibulum containing axon terminals of hypophysiotropic parvocellular neurons. Immuno-electronmicroscopy localized D3 to dense-core vesicles in hypophysiotropic axon varicosities. N-STORM-superresolution-microscopy detected the active center containing C-terminus of D3 at the outer surface of these organelles. Double-labeling immunofluorescent confocal microscopy revealed that D3 is present in the majority of GnRH, CRH and GHRH axons but only in a minority of TRH axons, while absent from somatostatin-containing neurons. Bimolecular-Fluorescence-Complementation identified D3 homodimers, a prerequisite for D3 activity, in processes of GT1-7 cells. Furthermore, T3-inducible D3 catalytic activity was detected in the rat median eminence. Triple-labeling immunofluorescence and immuno-electronmicroscopy revealed the presence of MCT8 on the surface of the vast majority of all types of hypophysiotropic terminals. The presence of MCT8 was also demonstrated on the axon terminals in the neurohaemal zone of the human infundibulum. The unexpected role of hypophysiotropic axons in fine-tuned regulation of T3 availability in these cells via MCT8-mediated transport and D3-catalyzed inactivation may represent a novel regulatory core mechanism for metabolism, growth, stress and reproduction in rodents and humans.

  1. Characterization of energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in cortical glutamatergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aldana, Blanca I; Zhang, Yu; Lihme, Maria Fog

    2017-01-01

    Alterations in the cellular metabolic machinery of the brain are associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Novel human cellular disease models are essential in order to study underlying disease mechanisms. In the present study, we characterized major metabolic...... pathways in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). With this aim, cultures of hiPSC-derived neurons were incubated with [U-(13)C]glucose, [U-(13)C]glutamate or [U-(13)C]glutamine. Isotopic labeling in metabolites was determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass...... acid (TCA) cycle. This finding is supported by the extracellular acidification and oxygen consumption rates measured in the cultured human neurons. [U-(13)C]Glutamate and [U-(13)C]glutamine were found to be efficient energy substrates for the neuronal cultures originating from both mice and humans...

  2. Sialylation of neurites inhibits complement-mediated macrophage removal in a human macrophage-neuron co-culture system

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    Linnartz-Gerlach, Bettina; Schuy, Christine; Shahraz, Anahita; Tenner, Andrea J.; Neumann, Harald

    2015-01-01

    The complement system has been implicated in the removal of dysfunctional synapses and neurites during development and in disease processes in the mouse, but it is unclear how far the mouse data can be transferred to humans. Here, we co-cultured macrophages derived from human THP1 monocytes and neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, to study the role of the complement system in a human model. Components of the complement system were expressed by the human macrophages and human neuronal culture, while receptors of the complement cascade were expressed by human macrophages as shown via gene transcript analysis and flow cytometry. We mimicked pathological conditions leading to an altered glycocalyx by treatment of human neurons with sialidases. Desialylated human neurites were opsonized by the complement component C1q. Furthermore, human neurites with an intact sialic acid cap remained untouched, while desialylated human neurites were removed and ingested by human macrophages. While blockage of the complement receptor 1 (CD35) had no effect, blockage of CD11b as part of the complement receptor 3 (CR3) reversed the effect on macrophage phagocytosis of desialylated human neurites. Data demonstrate that in the human system sialylation of the neuronal glycocalyx serves as an inhibitory flag for complement binding and CR3 mediated phagocytosis by macrophages. PMID:26257016

  3. Direct Induction and Functional Maturation of Forebrain GABAergic Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

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    Alfred Xuyang Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-releasing interneurons play an important modulatory role in the cortex and have been implicated in multiple neurological disorders. Patient-derived interneurons could provide a foundation for studying the pathogenesis of these diseases as well as for identifying potential therapeutic targets. Here, we identified a set of genetic factors that could robustly induce human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs into GABAergic neurons (iGNs with high efficiency. We demonstrated that the human iGNs express neurochemical markers and exhibit mature electrophysiological properties within 6–8 weeks. Furthermore, in vitro, iGNs could form functional synapses with other iGNs or with human-induced glutamatergic neurons (iENs. Upon transplantation into immunodeficient mice, human iGNs underwent synaptic maturation and integration into host neural circuits. Taken together, our rapid and highly efficient single-step protocol to generate iGNs may be useful to both mechanistic and translational studies of human interneurons.

  4. Behavioral analysis of Drosophila transformants expressing human taste receptor genes in the gustatory receptor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adachi, Ryota; Sasaki, Yuko; Morita, Hiromi; Komai, Michio; Shirakawa, Hitoshi; Goto, Tomoko; Furuyama, Akira; Isono, Kunio

    2012-06-01

    Transgenic Drosophila expressing human T2R4 and T2R38 bitter-taste receptors or PKD2L1 sour-taste receptor in the fly gustatory receptor neurons and other tissues were prepared using conventional Gal4/UAS binary system. Molecular analysis showed that the transgene mRNAs are expressed according to the tissue specificity of the Gal4 drivers. Transformants expressing the transgene taste receptors in the fly taste neurons were then studied by a behavioral assay to analyze whether transgene chemoreceptors are functional and coupled to the cell response. Since wild-type flies show strong aversion against the T2R ligands as in mammals, the authors analyzed the transformants where the transgenes are expressed in the fly sugar receptor neurons so that they promote feeding ligand-dependently if they are functional and activate the neurons. Although the feeding preference varied considerably among different strains and individuals, statistical analysis using large numbers of transformants indicated that transformants expressing T2R4 showed a small but significant increase in the preference for denatonium and quinine, the T2R4 ligands, as compared to the control flies, whereas transformants expressing T2R38 did not. Similarly, transformants expressing T2R38 and PKD2L1 also showed a similar preference increase for T2R38-specific ligand phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) and a sour-taste ligand, citric acid, respectively. Taken together, the transformants expressing mammalian taste receptors showed a small but significant increase in the feeding preference that is taste receptor and also ligand dependent. Although future improvements are required to attain performance comparable to the endogenous robust response, Drosophila taste neurons may serve as a potential in vivo heterologous expression system for analyzing chemoreceptor function.

  5. Clonal human fetal ventral mesencephalic dopaminergic neuron precursors for cell therapy research.

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    Tania Ramos-Moreno

    Full Text Available A major challenge for further development of drug screening procedures, cell replacement therapies and developmental studies is the identification of expandable human stem cells able to generate the cell types needed. We have previously reported the generation of an immortalized polyclonal neural stem cell (NSC line derived from the human fetal ventral mesencephalon (hVM1. This line has been biochemically, genetically, immunocytochemically and electrophysiologically characterized to document its usefulness as a model system for the generation of A9 dopaminergic neurons (DAn. Long-term in vivo transplantation studies in parkinsonian rats showed that the grafts do not mature evenly. We reasoned that diverse clones in the hVM1 line might have different abilities to differentiate. In the present study, we have analyzed 9 hVM1 clones selected on the basis of their TH generation potential and, based on the number of v-myc copies, v-myc down-regulation after in vitro differentiation, in vivo cell cycle exit, TH⁺ neuron generation and expression of a neuronal mature marker (hNSE, we selected two clones for further in vivo PD cell replacement studies. The conclusion is that homogeneity and clonality of characterized NSCs allow transplantation of cells with controlled properties, which should help in the design of long-term in vivo experiments.

  6. Mutations in Eml1 lead to ectopic progenitors and neuronal heterotopia in mouse and human.

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    Kielar, Michel; Tuy, Françoise Phan Dinh; Bizzotto, Sara; Lebrand, Cécile; de Juan Romero, Camino; Poirier, Karine; Oegema, Renske; Mancini, Grazia Maria; Bahi-Buisson, Nadia; Olaso, Robert; Le Moing, Anne-Gaëlle; Boutourlinsky, Katia; Boucher, Dominique; Carpentier, Wassila; Berquin, Patrick; Deleuze, Jean-François; Belvindrah, Richard; Borrell, Victor; Welker, Egbert; Chelly, Jamel; Croquelois, Alexandre; Francis, Fiona

    2014-07-01

    Neuronal migration disorders such as lissencephaly and subcortical band heterotopia are associated with epilepsy and intellectual disability. DCX, PAFAH1B1 and TUBA1A are mutated in these disorders; however, corresponding mouse mutants do not show heterotopic neurons in the neocortex. In contrast, spontaneously arisen HeCo mice display this phenotype, and our study revealed that misplaced apical progenitors contribute to heterotopia formation. While HeCo neurons migrated at the same speed as wild type, abnormally distributed dividing progenitors were found throughout the cortical wall from embryonic day 13. We identified Eml1, encoding a microtubule-associated protein, as the gene mutated in HeCo mice. Full-length transcripts were lacking as a result of a retrotransposon insertion in an intron. Eml1 knockdown mimicked the HeCo progenitor phenotype and reexpression rescued it. We further found EML1 to be mutated in ribbon-like heterotopia in humans. Our data link abnormal spindle orientations, ectopic progenitors and severe heterotopia in mouse and human.

  7. Timing of single-neuron and local field potential responses in the human medial temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Hernan Gonzalo; Fried, Itzhak; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo

    2014-02-03

    The relationship between the firing of single cells and local field potentials (LFPs) has received increasing attention, with studies in animals [1-11] and humans [12-14]. Recordings in the human medial temporal lobe (MTL) have demonstrated the existence of neurons with selective and invariant responses [15], with a relatively late but precise response onset around 300 ms after stimulus presentation [16-18] and firing only upon conscious recognition of the stimulus [19]. This represents a much later onset than expected from direct projections from inferotemporal cortex [16, 18]. The neural mechanisms underlying this onset remain unclear. To address this issue, we performed a joint analysis of single-cell and LFP responses during a visual recognition task. Single-neuron responses were preceded by a global LFP deflection in the theta range. In addition, there was a local and stimulus-specific increase in the single-trial gamma power. These LFP responses correlated with conscious recognition. The timing of the neurons' firing was phase locked to these LFP responses. We propose that whereas the gamma phase locking reflects the activation of local networks encoding particular recognized stimuli, the theta phase locking reflects a global activation that provides a temporal window for processing consciously perceived stimuli in the MTL. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Adult human bone marrow stromal spheres express neuronal traits in vitro and in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suon, Sokreine; Yang, Ming; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2006-08-23

    Adult human bone marrow stromal cells (hMSCs) grown in suspension culture gave rise to spheres of neural progenitor (NP) cells, capable of expressing both dopaminergic (DA) and GABAergic (GABA) traits. After transplantation into the Parkinsonian rat, human NPs and neurons were present at 2 weeks. Although no DA neurons appeared to survive transplantation, there were abundant GABA neurons present in the graft. By 4 weeks, however, all cells had died. Finding ways to prolong survival and promote the appropriate neurotransmitter phenotype is essential if hMSCs are to be clinically useful.

  9. Detectability of Neuronal Currents in Human Brain with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, Howland D. T. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Thomas, Edward V. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Harper, Jason C. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Mayer, Andrew R. [Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Caprihan, Arvind [Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gasparovic, Charles [Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Blagoev, Krastan B. [Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Haaland, David M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2012-09-01

    Magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been used in a high-risk, high-payoff search for neuronal current (NC) signals in the free induction decay (FID) data from the visual cortex of human subjects during visual stimulation. If successful, this approach could make possible the detection of neuronal currents in the brain at high spatial and temporal resolution. Our initial experiments indicated the presence of a statistically significant change in the FID containing the NC relative to FIDs with the NC absent, and this signal was consistent with the presence of NC. Unfortunately, two follow-on experiments were not able to confirm or replicate the positive findings of the first experiment. However, even if the result from the first experiment were evidence of NC in the FID, it is clear that its effect is so small, that a true NC imaging experiment would not be possible with the current instrumentation and experimental protocol used here.

  10. Differential development of neuronal physiological responsiveness in two human neural stem cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donato, Roberta; Miljan, Erik A; Hines, Susan J; Aouabdi, Sihem; Pollock, Kenneth; Patel, Sara; Edwards, Frances A; Sinden, John D

    2007-05-25

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are powerful research tools for the design and discovery of new approaches to neurodegenerative disease. Overexpression of the myc family transcription factors in human primary cells from developing cortex and mesencephalon has produced two stable multipotential NSC lines (ReNcell VM and CX) that can be continuously expanded in monolayer culture. In the undifferentiated state, both ReNcell VM and CX are nestin positive and have resting membrane potentials of around -60 mV but do not display any voltage-activated conductances. As initially hypothesized, using standard methods (stdD) for differentiation, both cell lines can form neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes according to immunohistological characteristics. However it became clear that this was not true for electrophysiological features which designate neurons, such as the firing of action potentials. We have thus developed a new differentiation protocol, designated 'pre-aggregation differentiation' (preD) which appears to favor development of electrophysiologically functional neurons and to lead to an increase in dopaminergic neurons in the ReNcell VM line. In contrast, the protocol used had little effect on the differentiation of ReNcell CX in which dopaminergic differentiation was not observed. Moreover, after a week of differentiation with the preD protocol, 100% of ReNcell VM featured TTX-sensitive Na+-channels and fired action potentials, compared to 25% after stdD. Currents via other voltage-gated channels did not appear to depend on the differentiation protocol. ReNcell CX did not display the same electrophysiological properties as the VM line, generating voltage-dependant K+ currents but no Na+ currents or action potentials under either stdD or preD differentiation. These data demonstrate that overexpression of myc in NSCs can be used to generate electrophysiologically active neurons in culture. Development of a functional neuronal phenotype may be dependent on parameters

  11. Differential development of neuronal physiological responsiveness in two human neural stem cell lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patel Sara

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neural stem cells (NSCs are powerful research tools for the design and discovery of new approaches to neurodegenerative disease. Overexpression of the myc family transcription factors in human primary cells from developing cortex and mesencephalon has produced two stable multipotential NSC lines (ReNcell VM and CX that can be continuously expanded in monolayer culture. Results In the undifferentiated state, both ReNcell VM and CX are nestin positive and have resting membrane potentials of around -60 mV but do not display any voltage-activated conductances. As initially hypothesized, using standard methods (stdD for differentiation, both cell lines can form neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes according to immunohistological characteristics. However it became clear that this was not true for electrophysiological features which designate neurons, such as the firing of action potentials. We have thus developed a new differentiation protocol, designated 'pre-aggregation differentiation' (preD which appears to favor development of electrophysiologically functional neurons and to lead to an increase in dopaminergic neurons in the ReNcell VM line. In contrast, the protocol used had little effect on the differentiation of ReNcell CX in which dopaminergic differentiation was not observed. Moreover, after a week of differentiation with the preD protocol, 100% of ReNcell VM featured TTX-sensitive Na+-channels and fired action potentials, compared to 25% after stdD. Currents via other voltage-gated channels did not appear to depend on the differentiation protocol. ReNcell CX did not display the same electrophysiological properties as the VM line, generating voltage-dependant K+ currents but no Na+ currents or action potentials under either stdD or preD differentiation. Conclusion These data demonstrate that overexpression of myc in NSCs can be used to generate electrophysiologically active neurons in culture. Development of a

  12. Inducible and Deterministic Forward Programming of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells into Neurons, Skeletal Myocytes, and Oligodendrocytes

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    Matthias Pawlowski

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The isolation or in vitro derivation of many human cell types remains challenging and inefficient. Direct conversion of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs by forced expression of transcription factors provides a potential alternative. However, deficient inducible gene expression in hPSCs has compromised efficiencies of forward programming approaches. We have systematically optimized inducible gene expression in hPSCs using a dual genomic safe harbor gene-targeting strategy. This approach provides a powerful platform for the generation of human cell types by forward programming. We report robust and deterministic reprogramming of hPSCs into neurons and functional skeletal myocytes. Finally, we present a forward programming strategy for rapid and highly efficient generation of human oligodendrocytes.

  13. Inducible and Deterministic Forward Programming of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells into Neurons, Skeletal Myocytes, and Oligodendrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlowski, Matthias; Ortmann, Daniel; Bertero, Alessandro; Tavares, Joana M; Pedersen, Roger A; Vallier, Ludovic; Kotter, Mark R N

    2017-04-11

    The isolation or in vitro derivation of many human cell types remains challenging and inefficient. Direct conversion of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) by forced expression of transcription factors provides a potential alternative. However, deficient inducible gene expression in hPSCs has compromised efficiencies of forward programming approaches. We have systematically optimized inducible gene expression in hPSCs using a dual genomic safe harbor gene-targeting strategy. This approach provides a powerful platform for the generation of human cell types by forward programming. We report robust and deterministic reprogramming of hPSCs into neurons and functional skeletal myocytes. Finally, we present a forward programming strategy for rapid and highly efficient generation of human oligodendrocytes. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. A two-step strategy for neuronal differentiation in vitro of human dental follicle cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Völlner, Florian; Ernst, Wolfgang; Driemel, Oliver; Morsczeck, Christian

    2009-06-01

    Human dental follicle cells (DFCs) derived from wisdom teeth are precursor cells for cementoblasts. In this study, we recognized that naïve DFCs express constitutively the early neural cell marker beta-III-tubulin. Interestingly, DFCs formed beta-III-tubulin-positive neurosphere-like cell clusters (NLCCs) on low-attachment cell culture dishes in serum-replacement medium (SRM). For a detailed examination of the neural differentiation potential, DFCs were cultivated in different compositions of SRM containing supplements such as N2, B27, G5 and the neural stem cell supplement. Moreover, these cell culture media were combined with different cell culture substrates such as gelatin, laminin, poly-L-ornithine or poly-L-lysine. After cultivation in SRM, DFCs differentiated into cells with small cell bodies and long cellular extrusions. The expression of nestin, beta-III-tubulin, neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and neurofilament was up-regulated in SRM supplemented with G5, a cell culture supplement for glial cells, and the neural stem cell supplement. DFCs formed NLCCs and demonstrated an increased gene expression of neural cell markers beta-III-tubulin, NSE, nestin and for small neuron markers such as neuropeptides galanin (GAL) and tachykinin (TAC1) after cultivation on poly-L-lysine. For a further neural differentiation NLCC-derived cells were sub-cultivated on laminin and poly-L-ornithine cell culture substrate. After 2 weeks of differentiation, DFCs exposed neural-like cell morphology with small neurite-like cell extrusions. These cells differentially express neurofilament and NSE, but only low levels of beta-III-tubulin and nestin. In conclusion, we demonstrated the differentiation of human DFCs into neuron-like cells after a two-step strategy for neuronal differentiation.

  15. Human iPSC-Derived Neuronal Model of Tau-A152T Frontotemporal Dementia Reveals Tau-Mediated Mechanisms of Neuronal Vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Catarina Silva

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Frontotemporal dementia (FTD and other tauopathies characterized by focal brain neurodegeneration and pathological accumulation of proteins are commonly associated with tau mutations. However, the mechanism of neuronal loss is not fully understood. To identify molecular events associated with tauopathy, we studied induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC-derived neurons from individuals carrying the tau-A152T variant. We highlight the potential of in-depth phenotyping of human neuronal cell models for pre-clinical studies and identification of modulators of endogenous tau toxicity. Through a panel of biochemical and cellular assays, A152T neurons showed accumulation, redistribution, and decreased solubility of tau. Upregulation of tau was coupled to enhanced stress-inducible markers and cell vulnerability to proteotoxic, excitotoxic, and mitochondrial stressors, which was rescued upon CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeting of tau or by pharmacological activation of autophagy. Our findings unmask tau-mediated perturbations of specific pathways associated with neuronal vulnerability, revealing potential early disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets for FTD and other tauopathies.

  16. Temporally coordinated spiking activity of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons co-cultured with astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayama, Tasuku; Suzuki, Ikuro; Odawara, Aoi; Sasaki, Takuya; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2018-01-01

    In culture conditions, human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC)-derived neurons form synaptic connections with other cells and establish neuronal networks, which are expected to be an in vitro model system for drug discovery screening and toxicity testing. While early studies demonstrated effects of co-culture of hiPSC-derived neurons with astroglial cells on survival and maturation of hiPSC-derived neurons, the population spiking patterns of such hiPSC-derived neurons have not been fully characterized. In this study, we analyzed temporal spiking patterns of hiPSC-derived neurons recorded by a multi-electrode array system. We discovered that specific sets of hiPSC-derived neurons co-cultured with astrocytes showed more frequent and highly coherent non-random synchronized spike trains and more dynamic changes in overall spike patterns over time. These temporally coordinated spiking patterns are physiological signs of organized circuits of hiPSC-derived neurons and suggest benefits of co-culture of hiPSC-derived neurons with astrocytes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Identification of Nucleoside Analogs as Inducers of Neuronal Differentiation in a Human Reporter Cell Line and Adult Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raasch, Katharina; Malecki, Edith; Siemann, Maria; Martinez, Malayko M; Heinisch, Jürgen J; Müller, Janine; Bakota, Lidia; Kaltschmidt, Christian; Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Rosemeyer, Helmut; Brandt, Roland

    2015-08-01

    Nucleoside analogs (NSAs) were among the first chemotherapeutic agents and could also be useful for the manipulation of cell fate. To investigate the potential of NSAs for the induction of neuronal differentiation, we developed a novel phenotypic assay based on a human neuron-committed teratocarcinoma cell line (NT2) as a model for neuronal progenitors and constructed a NT2-based reporter cell line that expressed eGFP under the control of a neuron-specific promoter. We tested 38 structurally related NSAs and determined their activity to induce neuronal differentiation by immunocytochemistry of neuronal marker proteins, live cell imaging, fluorometric detection and immunoblot analysis. We identified twelve NSAs, which induced neuronal differentiation to different extents. NSAs with highest activity carried a halogen substituent at their pyrimidine nucleobase and an unmodified or 2'-O-methyl substituted 2-deoxy-β-D-ribofuranosyl residue as glyconic moiety. Cladribine, a purine nucleoside with similar structural features and in use to treat leukemia and multiple sclerosis, induced also differentiation of adult human neural crest-derived stem cells. Our results suggest that NSAs could be useful for the manipulation of neuronal cell fate in cell replacement therapy or treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. The data on the structure and function relationship will help to design compounds with increased activity and low toxicity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  18. Co-cultures with stem cell-derived human sensory neurons reveal regulators of peripheral myelination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Alex J; Kaller, Malte S; Galino, Jorge; Willison, Hugh J; Rinaldi, Simon; Bennett, David L H

    2017-04-01

    See Saporta and Shy (doi:10.1093/awx048) for a scientific commentary on this article.Effective bidirectional signalling between axons and Schwann cells is essential for both the development and maintenance of peripheral nerve function. We have established conditions by which human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived sensory neurons can be cultured with rat Schwann cells, and have produced for the first time long-term and stable myelinating co-cultures with human neurons. These cultures contain the specialized domains formed by axonal interaction with myelinating Schwann cells, such as clustered voltage-gated sodium channels at the node of Ranvier and Shaker-type potassium channel (Kv1.2) at the juxtaparanode. Expression of type III neuregulin-1 (TIIINRG1) in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived sensory neurons strongly enhances myelination, while conversely pharmacological blockade of the NRG1-ErbB pathway prevents myelination, providing direct evidence for the ability of this pathway to promote the myelination of human sensory axons. The β-secretase, BACE1 is a protease needed to generate active NRG1 from the full-length form. Due to the fact that it also cleaves amyloid precursor protein, BACE1 is a therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease, however, consistent with its role in NRG1 processing we find that BACE1 inhibition significantly impairs myelination in our co-culture system. In order to exploit co-cultures to address other clinically relevant problems, they were exposed to anti-disialosyl ganglioside antibodies, including those derived from a patient with a sensory predominant, inflammatory neuropathy with mixed axonal and demyelinating electrophysiology. The co-cultures reveal that both mouse and human disialosyl antibodies target the nodal axolemma, induce acute axonal degeneration in the presence of complement, and impair myelination. The human, neuropathy-associated IgM antibody is also shown to induce complement-independent demyelination

  19. Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neurons Are Highly Permissive for Varicella-Zoster Virus Lytic Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadaoka, Tomohiko; Schwartz, Cindi L; Rajbhandari, Labchan; Venkatesan, Arun; Cohen, Jeffrey I

    2018-01-01

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is highly cell associated when grown in culture and has a much higher (4,000- to 20,000-fold increased) particle-to-PFU ratio in vitro than herpes simplex virus (HSV). In contrast, VZV is highly infectious in vivo by airborne transmission. Neurons are major targets for VZV in vivo ; in neurons, the virus can establish latency and reactivate to produce infectious virus. Using neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and cell-free wild-type (WT) VZV, we demonstrated that neurons are nearly 100 times more permissive for WT VZV infection than very-early-passage human embryonic lung cells or MRC-5 diploid human fibroblasts, the cells used for vaccine production or virus isolation. The peak titers achieved after infection were ∼10-fold higher in human neurons than in MRC-5 cells, and the viral genome copy number-to-PFU ratio for VZV in human neurons was 500, compared with 50,000 for MRC-5 cells. Thus, VZV may not necessarily have a higher particle-to-PFU ratio than other herpesviruses; instead, the cells previously used to propagate virus in vitro may have been suboptimal. Furthermore, based on electron microscopy, neurons infected with VZV produced fewer defective or incomplete viral particles than MRC-5 cells. Our data suggest that neurons derived from hESC may have advantages compared to other cells for studies of VZV pathogenesis, for obtaining stocks of virus with high titers, and for isolating VZV from clinical specimens. IMPORTANCE Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox and shingles. Cell-free VZV has been difficult to obtain, both for in vitro studies and for vaccine production. While numerous cells lines have been tested for their ability to produce high titers of VZV, the number of total virus particles relative to the number of viral particles that can form plaques in culture has been reported to be extremely high relative to that in other viruses. We show that VZV grows to much higher titers in human

  20. Conceptual Network Model From Sensory Neurons to Astrocytes of the Human Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yiqun; Yeo, Chai Kiat

    2015-07-01

    From a single-cell animal like paramecium to vertebrates like ape, the nervous system plays an important role in responding to the variations of the environment. Compared to animals, the nervous system in the human body possesses more intricate organization and utility. The nervous system anatomy has been understood progressively, yet the explanation at the cell level regarding complete information transmission is still lacking. Along the signal pathway toward the brain, an external stimulus first activates action potentials in the sensing neuron and these electric pulses transmit along the spinal nerve or cranial nerve to the neurons in the brain. Second, calcium elevation is triggered in the branch of astrocyte at the tripartite synapse. Third, the local calcium wave expands to the entire territory of the astrocyte. Finally, the calcium wave propagates to the neighboring astrocyte via gap junction channel. In our study, we integrate the existing mathematical model and biological experiments in each step of the signal transduction to establish a conceptual network model for the human nervous system. The network is composed of four layers and the communication protocols of each layer could be adapted to entities with different characterizations. We verify our simulation results against the available biological experiments and mathematical models and provide a test case of the integrated network. As the production of conscious episode in the human nervous system is still under intense research, our model serves as a useful tool to facilitate, complement and verify current and future study in human cognition.

  1. MHC matching improves engraftment of iPSC-derived neurons in non-human primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morizane, Asuka; Kikuchi, Tetsuhiro; Hayashi, Takuya; Mizuma, Hiroshi; Takara, Sayuki; Doi, Hisashi; Mawatari, Aya; Glasser, Matthew F; Shiina, Takashi; Ishigaki, Hirohito; Itoh, Yasushi; Okita, Keisuke; Yamasaki, Emi; Doi, Daisuke; Onoe, Hirotaka; Ogasawara, Kazumasa; Yamanaka, Shinya; Takahashi, Jun

    2017-08-30

    The banking of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-homozygous-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is considered a future clinical strategy for HLA-matched cell transplantation to reduce immunological graft rejection. Here we show the efficacy of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-matched allogeneic neural cell grafting in the brain, which is considered a less immune-responsive tissue, using iPSCs derived from an MHC homozygous cynomolgus macaque. Positron emission tomography imaging reveals neuroinflammation associated with an immune response against MHC-mismatched grafted cells. Immunohistological analyses reveal that MHC-matching reduces the immune response by suppressing the accumulation of microglia (Iba-1+) and lymphocytes (CD45+) into the grafts. Consequently, MHC-matching increases the survival of grafted dopamine neurons (tyrosine hydroxylase: TH+). The effect of an immunosuppressant, Tacrolimus, is also confirmed in the same experimental setting. Our results demonstrate the rationale for MHC-matching in neural cell grafting to the brain and its feasibility in a clinical setting.Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) matching improves graft survival rates after organ transplantation. Here the authors show that in macaques, MHC-matched iPSC-derived neurons provide better engraftment in the brain, with a lower immune response and higher survival of the transplanted neurons.

  2. Durable solar mirror films

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Mark B.; Henderson, Andrew J.; Hebrink, Timothy J.; Katare, Rajesh K.; Jing, Naiyong; North, Diane; Peterson, Eric M.

    2017-02-14

    The present disclosure generally relates to durable solar mirror films, methods of making durable solar mirror films, and constructions including durable solar mirror films. In one embodiment, the present disclosure relates to a solar mirror film comprising: a multilayer optical film layer including having a coefficient of hygroscopic expansion of less than about 30 ppm per percent relative humidity; and a reflective layer having a coefficient of hygroscopic expansion.

  3. Influence of respiratory motor neurone activity on human autonomic and haemodynamic rhythms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonschorek, A. S.; Lu, L. L.; Halliwill, J. R.; Beightol, L. A.; Taylor, J. A.; Painter, J. A.; Warzel, H.; Eckberg, D. L.

    2001-01-01

    Although humans hold great advantages over other species as subjects for biomedical research, they also bring major disadvantages. One is that among the many rhythmic physiological signals that can be recorded, there is no sure way to know which individual change precedes another, or which change represents cause and which represents effect. In an attempt to deal with the inherent complexity of research conducted in intact human subjects, we developed and used a structural equation model to analyse responses of healthy young men to pharmacological changes of arterial pressure and graded inspiratory resistance, before and after vagomimetic atropine. Our model yielded a good fit of the experimental data, with a system weighted R2 of 0.77, and suggested that our treatments exerted both direct and indirect influences on the variables we measured. Thus, infusions of nitroprusside and phenylephrine exerted all of their direct effects by lowering and raising arterial pressure; the changes of R-R intervals, respiratory sinus arrhythmia and arterial pressure fluctuations that these drugs provoked, were indirect consequences of arterial pressure changes. The only direct effect of increased inspiratory resistance was augmentation of arterial pressure fluctuations. These results may provide a new way to disentangle and understand responses of intact human subjects to experimental forcings. The principal new insight we derived from our modelling is that respiratory gating of vagal-cardiac motor neurone firing is nearly maximal at usual levels of arterial pressure and inspiratory motor neurone activity.

  4. Retinoblastoma protein controls growth, survival and neuronal migration in human cerebral organoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Takeshi; Nieto-Estévez, Vanesa; Kyrychenko, Sergii; Schneider, Jay W; Hsieh, Jenny

    2017-03-15

    The tumor suppressor retinoblastoma protein (RB) regulates S-phase cell cycle entry via E2F transcription factors. Knockout (KO) mice have shown that RB plays roles in cell migration, differentiation and apoptosis, in developing and adult brain. In addition, the RB family is required for self-renewal and survival of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Since little is known about the role of RB in human brain development, we investigated its function in cerebral organoids differentiated from gene-edited hESCs lacking RB. We show that RB is abundantly expressed in neural stem and progenitor cells in organoids at 15 and 28 days of culture. RB loss promoted S-phase entry in DCX + cells and increased apoptosis in Sox2 + neural stem and progenitor cells, and in DCX + and Tuj1 + neurons. Associated with these cell cycle and pro-apoptotic effects, we observed increased CCNA2 and BAX gene expression, respectively. Moreover, we observed aberrant Tuj1 + neuronal migration in RB-KO organoids and upregulation of the gene encoding VLDLR, a receptor important in reelin signaling. Corroborating the results in RB-KO organoids in vitro , we observed ectopically localized Tuj1 + cells in RB-KO teratomas grown in vivo Taken together, these results identify crucial functions for RB in the cerebral organoid model of human brain development. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Sexual dimorphism in the human olfactory bulb: females have more neurons and glial cells than males.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana V Oliveira-Pinto

    Full Text Available Sex differences in the human olfactory function reportedly exist for olfactory sensitivity, odorant identification and memory, and tasks in which odors are rated based on psychological features such as familiarity, intensity, pleasantness, and others. Which might be the neural bases for these behavioral differences? The number of cells in olfactory regions, and especially the number of neurons, may represent a more accurate indicator of the neural machinery than volume or weight, but besides gross volume measures of the human olfactory bulb, no systematic study of sex differences in the absolute number of cells has yet been undertaken. In this work, we investigate a possible sexual dimorphism in the olfactory bulb, by quantifying postmortem material from 7 men and 11 women (ages 55-94 years with the isotropic fractionator, an unbiased and accurate method to estimate absolute cell numbers in brain regions. Female bulbs weighed 0.132 g in average, while male bulbs weighed 0.137 g, a non-significant difference; however, the total number of cells was 16.2 million in females, and 9.2 million in males, a significant difference of 43.2%. The number of neurons in females reached 6.9 million, being no more than 3.5 million in males, a difference of 49.3%. The number of non-neuronal cells also proved higher in women than in men: 9.3 million and 5.7 million, respectively, a significant difference of 38.7%. The same differences remained when corrected for mass. Results demonstrate a sex-related difference in the absolute number of total, neuronal and non-neuronal cells, favoring women by 40-50%. It is conceivable that these differences in quantitative cellularity may have functional impact, albeit difficult to infer how exactly this would be, without knowing the specific circuits cells make. However, the reported advantage of women as compared to men may stimulate future work on sex dimorphism of synaptic microcircuitry in the olfactory bulb.

  6. Regional differentiation of retinoic acid-induced human pluripotent embryonic carcinoma stem cell neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis E Coyle

    Full Text Available The NTERA2 cl D1 (NT2 cell line, derived from human teratocarcinoma, exhibits similar properties as embryonic stem (ES cells or very early neuroepithelial progenitors. NT2 cells can be induced to become postmitotic central nervous system neurons (NT2N with retinoic acid. Although neurons derived from pluripotent cells, such as NT2N, have been characterized for their neurotransmitter phenotypes, their potential suitability as a donor source for neural transplantation also depends on their ability to respond to localized environmental cues from a specific region of the CNS. Therefore, our study aimed to characterize the regional transcription factors that define the rostocaudal and dorsoventral identity of NT2N derived from a monolayer differentiation paradigm using quantitative PCR (qPCR. Purified NT2N mainly expressed both GABAergic and glutamatergic phenotypes and were electrically active but did not form functional synapses. The presence of immature astrocytes and possible radial glial cells was noted. The NT2N expressed a regional transcription factor code consistent with forebrain, hindbrain and spinal cord neural progenitors but showed minimal expression of midbrain phenotypes. In the dorsoventral plane NT2N expressed both dorsal and ventral neural progenitors. Of major interest was that even under the influence of retinoic acid, a known caudalization factor, the NT2N population maintained a rostral phenotype subpopulation which expressed cortical regional transcription factors. It is proposed that understanding the regional differentiation bias of neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells will facilitate their successful integration into existing neuronal networks within the CNS.

  7. Corticospinal inhibition of transmission in propriospinal-like neurones during human walking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iglesias, Caroline; Nielsen, Jens Bo; Marchand-Pauvert, Véronique

    2008-01-01

    It is crucial for human walking that muscles acting at different joints are optimally coordinated in relation to each other. This is ensured by interaction between spinal neuronal networks, sensory feedback and supraspinal control. Here we investigated the cortical control of spinal excitation from...... was enhanced during walking, and when CPN stimulation was combined with FN or TMS, the resulting H-reflexes and MEPs were inhibited. The CPQ-reflex was also depressed when CPN stimulation was combined with subthreshold TMS. The peripheral (in CPN and FN) and corticospinal volleys may activate inhibitory non...

  8. MicroRNA-125b Promotes Neuronal Differentiation in Human Cells by Repressing Multiple Targets▿ †

    OpenAIRE

    Le, Minh T. N.; Xie, Huangming; Zhou, Beiyan; Chia, Poh Hui; Rizk, Pamela; Um, Moonkyoung; Udolph, Gerald; Yang, Henry; Lim, Bing; Lodish, Harvey F.

    2009-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. Research on miRNAs has highlighted their importance in neural development, but the specific functions of neurally enriched miRNAs remain poorly understood. We report here the expression profile of miRNAs during neuronal differentiation in the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Six miRNAs were significantly upregulated during differentiation induced by all-trans-retinoic a...

  9. Human-Specific Histone Methylation Signatures at Transcription Start Sites in Prefrontal Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Iris; Bharadwaj, Rahul; Chou, Hsin-Jung; Houston, Isaac B.; Peter, Cyril J.; Mitchell, Amanda C.; Yao, Wei-Dong; Myers, Richard H.; Chen, Jiang-fan; Preuss, Todd M.; Rogaev, Evgeny I.; Jensen, Jeffrey D.; Weng, Zhiping; Akbarian, Schahram

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive abilities and disorders unique to humans are thought to result from adaptively driven changes in brain transcriptomes, but little is known about the role of cis-regulatory changes affecting transcription start sites (TSS). Here, we mapped in human, chimpanzee, and macaque prefrontal cortex the genome-wide distribution of histone H3 trimethylated at lysine 4 (H3K4me3), an epigenetic mark sharply regulated at TSS, and identified 471 sequences with human-specific enrichment or depletion. Among these were 33 loci selectively methylated in neuronal but not non-neuronal chromatin from children and adults, including TSS at DPP10 (2q14.1), CNTN4 and CHL1 (3p26.3), and other neuropsychiatric susceptibility genes. Regulatory sequences at DPP10 and additional loci carried a strong footprint of hominid adaptation, including elevated nucleotide substitution rates and regulatory motifs absent in other primates (including archaic hominins), with evidence for selective pressures during more recent evolution and adaptive fixations in modern populations. Chromosome conformation capture at two neurodevelopmental disease loci, 2q14.1 and 16p11.2, revealed higher order chromatin structures resulting in physical contact of multiple human-specific H3K4me3 peaks spaced 0.5–1 Mb apart, in conjunction with a novel cis-bound antisense RNA linked to Polycomb repressor proteins and downregulated DPP10 expression. Therefore, coordinated epigenetic regulation via newly derived TSS chromatin could play an important role in the emergence of human-specific gene expression networks in brain that contribute to cognitive functions and neurological disease susceptibility in modern day humans. PMID:23185133

  10. Direct laser writing of microstructures for the growth guidance of human pluripotent stem cell derived neuronal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turunen, S.; Käpylä, E.; Lähteenmäki, M.; Ylä-Outinen, L.; Narkilahti, S.; Kellomäki, M.

    2014-04-01

    Studying neural networks in vivo is very laborious due to the location and immense complexity of the central nervous system. Therefore, neuronal cell culture models have become important tools to study the development of neuronal networks in vitro. We introduce a technique called direct laser writing (DLW) by two-photon polymerization (2PP) as a feasible method for the fabrication of microstructures for studying neuronal cell growth guidance. As human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) can be differentiated into several cell types, such as neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, they are a promising cell source for cell culture models. In this study, three novel designs of neurocage microstructures were fabricated for the first time by 2PP. As a proof of concept, two of the neurocage designs were seeded with hPSC derived neuronal cells to study cell attachment, migration and directed neurite growth. Although the fabricated neurocage structures could not confine the neurons, the preliminary cell culture tests showed that neurons had a tendency to migrate towards the microstructures. In addition, the neurite guidance properties of the structures appeared promising as the neurons inside the cages readily extended their processes along the channels.

  11. MicroRNA-125b promotes neuronal differentiation in human cells by repressing multiple targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Minh T N; Xie, Huangming; Zhou, Beiyan; Chia, Poh Hui; Rizk, Pamela; Um, Moonkyoung; Udolph, Gerald; Yang, Henry; Lim, Bing; Lodish, Harvey F

    2009-10-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. Research on miRNAs has highlighted their importance in neural development, but the specific functions of neurally enriched miRNAs remain poorly understood. We report here the expression profile of miRNAs during neuronal differentiation in the human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Six miRNAs were significantly upregulated during differentiation induced by all-trans-retinoic acid and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. We demonstrated that the ectopic expression of either miR-124a or miR-125b increases the percentage of differentiated SH-SY5Y cells with neurite outgrowth. Subsequently, we focused our functional analysis on miR-125b and demonstrated the important role of this miRNA in both the spontaneous and induced differentiations of SH-SH5Y cells. miR-125b is also upregulated during the differentiation of human neural progenitor ReNcell VM cells, and miR-125b ectopic expression significantly promotes the neurite outgrowth of these cells. To identify the targets of miR-125b regulation, we profiled the global changes in gene expression following miR-125b ectopic expression in SH-SY5Y cells. miR-125b represses 164 genes that contain the seed match sequence of the miRNA and/or that are predicted to be direct targets of miR-125b by conventional methods. Pathway analysis suggests that a subset of miR-125b-repressed targets antagonizes neuronal genes in several neurogenic pathways, thereby mediating the positive effect of miR-125b on neuronal differentiation. We have further validated the binding of miR-125b to the miRNA response elements of 10 selected mRNA targets. Together, we report here for the first time the important role of miR-125b in human neuronal differentiation.

  12. Differentiation of Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells into Dopaminergic Neuron-like Cells in Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, So Young; Soker, Shay; Jang, Yu-Jin; Kwon, Tae Gyun; Yoo, Eun Sang

    2016-02-01

    We investigated the potential of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) to differentiate into dopaminergic neurons in vitro as an autologous stem cell source for Parkinson's disease treatment. The hDPSCs were expanded in knockout-embryonic stem cell (KO-ES) medium containing leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) on gelatin-coated plates for 3-4 days. Then, the medium was replaced with KO-ES medium without LIF to allow the formation of the neurosphere for 4 days. The neurosphere was transferred into ITS medium, containing ITS (human insulin-transferrin-sodium) and fibronectin, to select for Nestin-positive cells for 6-8 days. The cells were then cultured in N-2 medium containing basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF), FGF-8b, sonic hedgehog-N, and ascorbic acid on poly-l-ornithine/fibronectin-coated plates to expand the Nestin-positive cells for up to 2 weeks. Finally, the cells were transferred into N-2/ascorbic acid medium to allow for their differentiation into dopaminergic neurons for 10-15 days. The differentiation stages were confirmed by morphological, immunocytochemical, flow cytometric, real-time PCR, and ELISA analyses. The expressions of mesenchymal stem cell markers were observed at the early stages. The expressions of early neuronal markers were maintained throughout the differentiation stages. The mature neural markers showed increased expression from stage 3 onwards. The percentage of cells positive for tyrosine hydroxylase was 14.49%, and the amount was 0.526 ± 0.033 ng/mL at the last stage. hDPSCs can differentiate into dopaminergic neural cells under experimental cell differentiation conditions, showing potential as an autologous cell source for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

  13. Bispyridinium Compounds Inhibit Both Muscle and Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Human Cell Lines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avi Ring

    Full Text Available Standard treatment of poisoning by organophosphorus anticholinesterases uses atropine to reduce the muscarinic effects of acetylcholine accumulation and oximes to reactivate acetylcholinesterase (the effectiveness of which depends on the specific anticholinesterase, but does not directly address the nicotinic effects of poisoning. Bispyridinium molecules which act as noncompetitive antagonists at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have been identified as promising compounds and one has been shown to improve survival following organophosphorus poisoning in guinea-pigs. Here, we have investigated the structural requirements for antagonism and compared inhibitory potency of these compounds at muscle and neuronal nicotinic receptors and acetylcholinesterase. A series of compounds was synthesised, in which the length of the polymethylene linker between the two pyridinium moieties was increased sequentially from one to ten carbon atoms. Their effects on nicotinic receptor-mediated calcium responses were tested in muscle-derived (CN21 and neuronal (SH-SY5Y cells. Their ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase activity was tested using human erythrocyte ghosts. In both cell lines, the nicotinic response was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner and the inhibitory potency of the compounds increased with greater linker length between the two pyridinium moieties, as did their inhibitory potency for human acetylcholinesterase activity in vitro. These results demonstrate that bispyridinium compounds inhibit both neuronal and muscle nicotinic receptors and that their potency depends on the length of the hydrocarbon chain linking the two pyridinium moieties. Knowledge of structure-activity relationships will aid the optimisation of molecular structures for therapeutic use against the nicotinic effects of organophosphorus poisoning.

  14. Human fetal striatum-derived neural stem (NS) cells differentiate to mature neurons in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monni, Emanuela; Cusulin, Carlo; Cavallaro, Maurizio; Lindvall, Olle; Kokaia, Zaal

    2014-01-01

    Clonogenic neural stem (NS) cell lines grown in adherent cultures have previously been established from embryonic stem cells and fetal and adult CNS in rodents and from human fetal brain and spinal cord. Here we describe the isolation of a new cell line from human fetal striatum (hNS cells). These cells showed properties of NS cells in vitro such as monolayer growth, high proliferation rate and expression of radial glia markers. The hNS cells expressed an early neuronal marker while being in the proliferative state. Under appropriate conditions, the hNS cells were efficiently differentiated to neurons, and after 4 weeks about 50% of the cells were βIII tubulin positive. They also expressed the mature neuronal marker NeuN and markers of neuronal subtypes, GABA, calbindin, and DARPP32. After intrastriatal implantation into newborn rats, the hNS cells survived and many of them migrated outside the transplant core into the surrounding tissue. A high percentage of cells in the grafts expressed the neuroblast marker DCX, indicating their neurogenic potential, and some of the cells differentiated to NeuN+ mature neurons. The human fetal striatum-derived NS cell line described here should be a useful tool for studies on cell replacement strategies in models of the striatal neuronal loss occurring in Huntington's disease and stroke.

  15. Predicting the functional states of human iPSC-derived neurons with single-cell RNA-seq and electrophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardy, C; van den Hurk, M; Kakaradov, B; Erwin, J A; Jaeger, B N; Hernandez, R V; Eames, T; Paucar, A A; Gorris, M; Marchand, C; Jappelli, R; Barron, J; Bryant, A K; Kellogg, M; Lasken, R S; Rutten, B P F; Steinbusch, H W M; Yeo, G W; Gage, F H

    2016-11-01

    Human neural progenitors derived from pluripotent stem cells develop into electrophysiologically active neurons at heterogeneous rates, which can confound disease-relevant discoveries in neurology and psychiatry. By combining patch clamping, morphological and transcriptome analysis on single-human neurons in vitro, we defined a continuum of poor to highly functional electrophysiological states of differentiated neurons. The strong correlations between action potentials, synaptic activity, dendritic complexity and gene expression highlight the importance of methods for isolating functionally comparable neurons for in vitro investigations of brain disorders. Although whole-cell electrophysiology is the gold standard for functional evaluation, it often lacks the scalability required for disease modeling studies. Here, we demonstrate a multimodal machine-learning strategy to identify new molecular features that predict the physiological states of single neurons, independently of the time spent in vitro. As further proof of concept, we selected one of the potential neurophysiological biomarkers identified in this study-GDAP1L1-to isolate highly functional live human neurons in vitro.

  16. Vasopressin immunoreactive fibers and neurons in the dorsal pontine tegmentum of the rat, monkey and human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffé, A R; Holstege, J C; van Leeuwen, F W

    1991-01-01

    It is now well established that extensive extrahypothalamic vasopressin (VP) systems exist in the rat, monkey and human brain. There are marked differences between species, but in each case VP nuclei provide dense afferents to the dorsal pontine tegmentum. Here VP may play a role in the mechanisms exerted by the locus coeruleus (LC) neurons, possibly both as a neurotransmitter and as a neuromodulator. Although we are aware of some properties of VP systems, e.g., gonadal steroid dependency in the rat, major gaps characterize our knowledge of its anatomy. With regard to the interaction of VP with the LC in the brainstem of mammals some of the questions which stand out are: (1) Is VP really being biosynthesized and transported by LC cells and, if not, what is its function within these cells? (2) Is there a structural difference between male and female LC neurons in the rat as a consequence of the sex-dimorphic VP innervation? (3) What is the origin of VP afferents in the dorsal pontine tegmentum of the (non)human primate and are these afferents also controlled by gonadal steroids? Research strategies to answer these questions will provide us with information to resolve some of the current inconsistencies about the anatomy and the function of the VP and LC systems in the brain.

  17. 3K3A-activated protein C stimulates postischemic neuronal repair by human neural stem cells in mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Yaoming; Zhao, Zhen; Rege, Sanket V

    2016-01-01

    profile in humans, 3K3A-APC has advanced to clinical trials as a neuroprotectant in ischemic stroke. Recently, 3K3A-APC has been shown to stimulate neuronal production by human neural stem and progenitor cells (NSCs) in vitro via a PAR1-PAR3-sphingosine-1-phosphate-receptor 1-Akt pathway, which suggests...

  18. Generation of Regionally Specified Neural Progenitors and Functional Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells under Defined Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnete Kirkeby

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available To model human neural-cell-fate specification and to provide cells for regenerative therapies, we have developed a method to generate human neural progenitors and neurons from human embryonic stem cells, which recapitulates human fetal brain development. Through the addition of a small molecule that activates canonical WNT signaling, we induced rapid and efficient dose-dependent specification of regionally defined neural progenitors ranging from telencephalic forebrain to posterior hindbrain fates. Ten days after initiation of differentiation, the progenitors could be transplanted to the adult rat striatum, where they formed neuron-rich and tumor-free grafts with maintained regional specification. Cells patterned toward a ventral midbrain (VM identity generated a high proportion of authentic dopaminergic neurons after transplantation. The dopamine neurons showed morphology, projection pattern, and protein expression identical to that of human fetal VM cells grafted in parallel. VM-patterned but not forebrain-patterned neurons released dopamine and reversed motor deficits in an animal model of Parkinson's disease.

  19. Endosomal accumulation of APP in wobbler motor neurons reflects impaired vesicle trafficking: Implications for human motor neuron disease

    OpenAIRE

    Troakes Claire; Shaw Christopher; Heimann Peter; Golfi Panagiota; Palmisano Ralf; Schmitt-John Thomas; Bartsch Jörg W

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is largely unknown but hypotheses about disease mechanisms include oxidative stress, defective axonal transport, mitochondrial dysfunction and disrupted RNA processing. Whereas familial ALS is well represented by transgenic mutant SOD1 mouse models, the mouse mutant wobbler (WR) develops progressive motor neuron degeneration due to a point mutation in the Vps54 gene, and provides an animal model for sporadic ALS. VP...

  20. Estrogen receptor beta-selective agonists stimulate calcium oscillations in human and mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Zhang

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Estrogens are used extensively to treat hot flashes in menopausal women. Some of the beneficial effects of estrogens in hormone therapy on the brain might be due to nongenomic effects in neurons such as the rapid stimulation of calcium oscillations. Most studies have examined the nongenomic effects of estrogen receptors (ER in primary neurons or brain slices from the rodent brain. However, these cells can not be maintained continuously in culture because neurons are post-mitotic. Neurons derived from embryonic stem cells could be a potential continuous, cell-based model to study nongenomic actions of estrogens in neurons if they are responsive to estrogens after differentiation. In this study ER-subtype specific estrogens were used to examine the role of ERalpha and ERbeta on calcium oscillations in neurons derived from human (hES and mouse embryonic stem cells. Unlike the undifferentiated hES cells the differentiated cells expressed neuronal markers, ERbeta, but not ERalpha. The non-selective ER agonist 17beta-estradiol (E(2 rapidly increased [Ca2+]i oscillations and synchronizations within a few minutes. No change in calcium oscillations was observed with the selective ERalpha agonist 4,4',4''-(4-Propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyltrisphenol (PPT. In contrast, the selective ERbeta agonists, 2,3-bis(4-Hydroxyphenyl-propionitrile (DPN, MF101, and 2-(3-fluoro-4-hydroxyphenyl-7-vinyl-1,3 benzoxazol-5-ol (ERB-041; WAY-202041 stimulated calcium oscillations similar to E(2. The ERbeta agonists also increased calcium oscillations and phosphorylated PKC, AKT and ERK1/2 in neurons derived from mouse ES cells, which was inhibited by nifedipine demonstrating that ERbeta activates L-type voltage gated calcium channels to regulate neuronal activity. Our results demonstrate that ERbeta signaling regulates nongenomic pathways in neurons derived from ES cells, and suggest that these cells might be useful to study the nongenomic mechanisms of estrogenic compounds.

  1. Do the Images of Neuronal Pathways in the Human Central Nervous System Show Feed-back? A Comparative Study in Fifteen Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Pierre; Mouelhi, Lassaad; Kochkar, Momahed; Valanides, Nicos; Nisiforou, Olia; Thiaw, Seyni Mame; Ndiaye, Valdiodio; Jeanbart, Paula; Horvath, Daniel; Ferreira, Claudia; Carvalho, Graca S.

    2010-01-01

    In the human brain, the neuronal pathways are networks which support our learning, memory and thought, and which work with permanent feedback. However, only 19% of illustrations of these neuronal pathways, in the 55 analysed school textbooks coming from 15 countries, were showing feedbacks. The neuronal pathways related to movements were generally…

  2. Hydrophilic, Potent, and Selective 7-Substituted 2-Aminoquinolines as Improved Human Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pensa, Anthony V; Cinelli, Maris A; Li, Huiying; Chreifi, Georges; Mukherjee, Paramita; Roman, Linda J; Martásek, Pavel; Poulos, Thomas L; Silverman, Richard B

    2017-08-24

    Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is a target for development of antineurodegenerative agents. Most nNOS inhibitors mimic l-arginine and have poor bioavailability. 2-Aminoquinolines showed promise as bioavailable nNOS inhibitors but suffered from low human nNOS inhibition, low selectivity versus human eNOS, and significant binding to other CNS targets. We aimed to improve human nNOS potency and selectivity and reduce off-target binding by (a) truncating the original scaffold or (b) introducing a hydrophilic group to interrupt the lipophilic, promiscuous pharmacophore and promote interaction with human nNOS-specific His342. We synthesized both truncated and polar 2-aminoquinoline derivatives and assayed them against recombinant NOS enzymes. Although aniline and pyridine derivatives interact with His342, benzonitriles conferred the best rat and human nNOS inhibition. Both introduction of a hydrophobic substituent next to the cyano group and aminoquinoline methylation considerably improved isoform selectivity. Most importantly, these modifications preserved Caco-2 permeability and reduced off-target CNS binding.

  3. Cajal body number and nucleolar size correlate with the cell body mass in human sensory ganglia neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berciano, Maria T; Novell, Mariona; Villagra, Nuria T; Casafont, Iñigo; Bengoechea, Rocio; Val-Bernal, J Fernado; Lafarga, Miguel

    2007-06-01

    This paper studies the cell size-dependent organization of the nucleolus and Cajal bodies (CBs) in dissociated human dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons from autopsy tissue samples of patients without neurological disease. The quantitative analysis of nucleoli with an anti-fibrillarin antibody showed that all neurons have only one nucleolus. However, the nucleolar volume and the number of fibrillar centers per nucleolus significantly increase as a function of cell body size. Immunostaining for coilin demonstrated the presence of numerous CBs in DRG neurons (up to 20 in large size neurons). The number of CBs per neuron correlated positively with the cell body volume. Light and electron microscopy immunocytochemical analysis revealed the concentration of coilin, snRNPs, SMN and fibrillarin in CBs of DRG neurons. CBs were frequently associated with the nucleolus, active chromatin domains and PML bodies, but not with telomeres. Our results support the view that the nucleolar volume and number of both fibrillar centers and CBs depend on the cell body mass, a parameter closely related to transcriptional and synaptic activity in mammalian neurons. Moreover, the unusual large number of CBs could facilitate the transfer of RNA processing components from CBs to nucleolar and nucleoplasmic sites of RNA processing.

  4. Morphometric analysis of neurons from the marginal and substantia gelatinosa layers of human spinal cord: Classification according to laminar organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milošević Nebojša T.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of morphometric analysis of neuronal images, except for getting information about their geometry and dendritic branching patterns, is their classification based on laminar organization. The majority of contemporary techniques for image analysis are based on the application of fractal theory, which has some limitations on results analysis. For that reasons, the new, mostly nonfractal techniques for image analysis had been designed in the past few years. This study shows the analysis of morphometry of the human spinal cord neurons from the marginal (lamina I and substantia gelatinosa (laminae I-II. For the analysis of neuron images two techniques of morphometric analysis were used: box-counting method as a mainly used technique for fractal analysis, and circle-counting method as a newly designed technique for measuring the length of dendrites. The use of these methods for neurons of the mentioned regions of human spinal cord showed that circlecounting method had given more accurate results than fractal analysis method. When the proposed method was used for the analysis of neuronal images, it was possible to classify neurons according to their laminar position.

  5. The skin as a mirror of the aging process in the human organism ? State of the art and results of the aging research in the German National Genome Research Network 2 (NGFN-2)

    OpenAIRE

    Makrantonaki, Evgenia; Zouboulis, Christos C.

    2007-01-01

    The skin as a mirror of the aging process in the human organism ? State of the art and results of the aging research in the German National Genome Research Network 2 (NGFN-2) correspondence: Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 340 5014000; fax: +49 340 5014025. (Zouboulis, Christos C.) (Zouboulis, Christos C.) Departments of Dermatology and Immunology, Dessau Medical Center - Dessau--> - GERMANY (Makr...

  6. PyramidalExplorer: A New Interactive Tool to Explore Morpho-Functional Relations of Human Pyramidal Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toharia, Pablo; Robles, Oscar D; Fernaud-Espinosa, Isabel; Makarova, Julia; Galindo, Sergio E; Rodriguez, Angel; Pastor, Luis; Herreras, Oscar; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    This work presents PyramidalExplorer, a new tool to interactively explore and reveal the detailed organization of the microanatomy of pyramidal neurons with functionally related models. It consists of a set of functionalities that allow possible regional differences in the pyramidal cell architecture to be interactively discovered by combining quantitative morphological information about the structure of the cell with implemented functional models. The key contribution of this tool is the morpho-functional oriented design that allows the user to navigate within the 3D dataset, filter and perform Content-Based Retrieval operations. As a case study, we present a human pyramidal neuron with over 9000 dendritic spines in its apical and basal dendritic trees. Using PyramidalExplorer, we were able to find unexpected differential morphological attributes of dendritic spines in particular compartments of the neuron, revealing new aspects of the morpho-functional organization of the pyramidal neuron.

  7. Inhibition of apoptosis blocks human motor neuron cell death in a stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhruv Sareen

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a genetic disorder caused by a deletion of the survival motor neuron 1 gene leading to motor neuron loss, muscle atrophy, paralysis, and death. We show here that induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC lines generated from two Type I SMA subjects-one produced with lentiviral constructs and the second using a virus-free plasmid-based approach-recapitulate the disease phenotype and generate significantly fewer motor neurons at later developmental time periods in culture compared to two separate control subject iPSC lines. During motor neuron development, both SMA lines showed an increase in Fas ligand-mediated apoptosis and increased caspase-8 and-3 activation. Importantly, this could be mitigated by addition of either a Fas blocking antibody or a caspase-3 inhibitor. Together, these data further validate this human stem cell model of SMA, suggesting that specific inhibitors of apoptotic pathways may be beneficial for patients.

  8. Exposure to ambient ultrafine particulate matter alters the expression of genes in primary human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solaimani, Parrisa; Saffari, Arian; Sioutas, Constantinos; Bondy, Stephen C; Campbell, Arezoo

    2017-01-01

    Exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) has been associated with the onset of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, but the mechanism of toxicity remains unclear. To gain insight into this neurotoxicity, this study sought to examine global gene expression changes caused by exposure to ambient ultrafine PM. Microarray analysis was performed on primary human neurons derived from fetal brain tissue after a 24h exposure to 20μg/mL of ambient ultrafine particles. We found a majority of the changes in noncoding RNAs, which are involved in epigenetic regulation of gene expression, and thereby could impact the expression of several other protein coding gene targets. Although neurons from biologically different lot numbers were used, we found a significant increase in the expression of metallothionein 1A and 1F in all samples after exposure to particulate matter as confirmed by quantitative PCR. These metallothionein 1 proteins are responsible for neuroprotection after exposure to environmental insult but prolonged induction can be toxic. Epidemiological studies have reported that in utero exposure to ultrafine PM not only leads to neurodevelopmental and behavioral abnormalities, but may also predispose the progeny to neurodegenerative disease later in life by genetic imprinting. Our results pinpoint some of the PM-induced genetic changes that may underlie these findings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Aging and neurodegeneration are associated with increased mutations in single human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lodato, Michael A; Rodin, Rachel E; Bohrson, Craig L; Coulter, Michael E; Barton, Alison R; Kwon, Minseok; Sherman, Maxwell A; Vitzthum, Carl M; Luquette, Lovelace J; Yandava, Chandri N; Yang, Pengwei; Chittenden, Thomas W; Hatem, Nicole E; Ryu, Steven C; Woodworth, Mollie B; Park, Peter J; Walsh, Christopher A

    2018-02-02

    It has long been hypothesized that aging and neurodegeneration are associated with somatic mutation in neurons; however, methodological hurdles have prevented testing this hypothesis directly. We used single-cell whole-genome sequencing to perform genome-wide somatic single-nucleotide variant (sSNV) identification on DNA from 161 single neurons from the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of 15 normal individuals (aged 4 months to 82 years), as well as 9 individuals affected by early-onset neurodegeneration due to genetic disorders of DNA repair (Cockayne syndrome and xeroderma pigmentosum). sSNVs increased approximately linearly with age in both areas (with a higher rate in hippocampus) and were more abundant in neurodegenerative disease. The accumulation of somatic mutations with age-which we term genosenium-shows age-related, region-related, and disease-related molecular signatures and may be important in other human age-associated conditions. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  10. Near infrared laser stimulation of human neural stem cells into neurons on graphene nanomesh semiconductors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhavan, Omid; Ghaderi, Elham; Shirazian, Soheil A

    2015-02-01

    Reduced graphene oxide nanomeshes (rGONMs), as p-type semiconductors with band-gap energy of ∼ 1 eV, were developed and applied in near infrared (NIR) laser stimulation of human neural stem cells (hNSCs) into neurons. The biocompatibility of the rGONMs in growth of hNSCs was found similar to that of the graphene oxide (GO) sheets. Proliferation of the hNSCs on the GONMs was assigned to the excess oxygen functional groups formed on edge defects of the GONMs, resulting in superhydrophilicity of the surface. Under NIR laser stimulation, the graphene layers (especially the rGONMs) exhibited significant cell differentiations, including more elongations of the cells and higher differentiation of neurons than glia. The higher hNSC differentiation on the rGONM than the reduced GO (rGO) was assigned to the stimulation effects of the low-energy photoexcited electrons injected from the rGONM semiconductors into the cells, while the high-energy photoelectrons of the rGO (as a zero band-gap semiconductor) could suppress the cell proliferation and/or even cause cell damages. Using conventional heating of the culture media up to ∼ 43 °C (the temperature typically reached under the laser irradiation), no significant differentiation was observed in dark. This further confirmed the role of photoelectrons in the hNSC differentiation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Directed induction of functional motor neuron-like cells from genetically engineered human mesenchymal stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hwan-Woo Park

    Full Text Available Cell replacement using stem cells is a promising therapeutic approach to treat degenerative motor neuron (MN disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal cord injury. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs are a desirable cell source for autologous cell replacement therapy to treat nervous system injury due to their plasticity, low immunogenicity, and a lower risk of tumor formation than embryonic stem cells. However, hMSCs are inefficient with regards to differentiating into MN-like cells. To solve this limitation, we genetically engineered hMSCs to express MN-associated transcription factors, Olig2 and Hb9, and then treat the hMSCs expressing Olig2 and Hb9 with optimal MN induction medium (MNIM. This method of induction led to higher expression (>30% of total cells of MN markers. Electrophysiological data revealed that the induced hMSCs had the excitable properties of neurons and were able to form functional connections with muscle fibers in vitro. Furthermore, when the induced hMSCs were transplanted into an injured organotypic rat spinal cord slice culture, an ex vivo model of spinal cord injury, they exhibited characteristics of MNs. The data strongly suggest that induced Olig2/Hb9-expressing hMSCs were clearly reprogrammed and directed toward a MN-like lineage. We propose that methods to induce Olig2 and Hb9, followed by further induction with MNIM have therapeutic potential for autologous cell replacement therapy to treat degenerative MN disorders.

  12. L-carnitine exposure and mitochondrial function in human neuronal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geier, David A; Geier, Mark R

    2013-11-01

    L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring substance required in mammalian energy metabolism that functions by facilitating long-chain fatty acid entry into cellular mitochondria, thereby delivering substrate for oxidation and subsequent energy production. It has been purposed that L-carnitine may improve and preserve cognitive performance, and may lead to better cognitive aging through the life span, and several controlled human clinical trials with L-carnitine support the hypothesis that this substance has the ability to improve cognitive function. We further hypothesized that, since L-carnitine is an important co-factor of mammalian mitochondrial energy metabolism, acute administration of L-carnitine to human tissue culture cells should result in detectable increases in mitochondrial function. Cultures of SH-SY-5Y human neuroblastoma and 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells grown in 96-well cell culture plates were acutely administered L-carnitine hydrochloride, and then, mitochondrial function was assayed using the colorimetric 2,3-bis[2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl]-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxyanilide inner salt cell assay kit in a VERSAmax tunable microplate reader. Significant increases in mitochondrial function were observed when human neuroblastoma or human astrocytoma cells were exposed to 100 nM (20 μg L-carnitine hydrochloride/L) to 100 μM (20 mg L-carnitine hydrochloride/L) concentrations of L-carnitine hydrochloride in comparison to unexposed cells, whereas no significant positive effects were observed at lower or higher concentrations of L-carnitine hydrochloride. The results of the present study provide insights for how L-carnitine therapy may significantly improve human neuronal function, but we recommend that future studies further explore different derivatives of L-carnitine compounds in different in vitro cell-based systems using different markers of mitochondrial function.

  13. Transcriptome analysis reveals determinant stages controlling human embryonic stem cell commitment to neuronal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuanyuan; Wang, Ran; Qiao, Nan; Peng, Guangdun; Zhang, Ke; Tang, Ke; Han, Jing-Dong J; Jing, Naihe

    2017-12-01

    Proper neural commitment is essential for ensuring the appropriate development of the human brain and for preventing neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and intellectual disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the neural commitment in humans remain elusive. Here, we report the establishment of a neural differentiation system based on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and on comprehensive RNA sequencing analysis of transcriptome dynamics during early hESC differentiation. Using weighted gene co-expression network analysis, we reveal that the hESC neurodevelopmental trajectory has five stages: pluripotency (day 0); differentiation initiation (days 2, 4, and 6); neural commitment (days 8-10); neural progenitor cell proliferation (days 12, 14, and 16); and neuronal differentiation (days 18, 20, and 22). These stages were characterized by unique module genes, which may recapitulate the early human cortical development. Moreover, a comparison of our RNA-sequencing data with several other transcriptome profiling datasets from mice and humans indicated that Module 3 associated with the day 8-10 stage is a critical window of fate switch from the pluripotency to the neural lineage. Interestingly, at this stage, no key extrinsic signals were activated. In contrast, using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knockouts, we also found that intrinsic hub transcription factors, including the schizophrenia-associated SIX3 gene and septo-optic dysplasia-related HESX1 gene, are required to program hESC neural determination. Our results improve the understanding of the mechanism of neural commitment in the human brain and may help elucidate the etiology of human mental disorders and advance therapies for managing these conditions. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. Do Human-Figure Drawings of Children and Adolescents Mirror Their Cognitive Style and Self-Esteem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Anindita; Ghosh, Paromita

    2016-01-01

    The investigation probed relationships among human-figure drawing, field-dependent-independent cognitive style and self-esteem of 10-15 year olds. It also attempted to predict human-figure drawing scores of participants based on their field-dependence-independence and self-esteem. Area, stratified and multi-stage random sampling were used to…

  15. Neuronal Network Pharmacodynamics of GABAergic Modulation in the Human Cortex Determined Using Pharmaco-Magnetoencephalography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hall, S.D.; Barnes, G.R.; Furlong, P.L.; Seri, S.; Hillebrand, A.

    2010-01-01

    Neuronal network oscillations are a unifying phenomenon in neuroscience research, with comparable measurements across scales and species. Cortical oscillations are of central importance in the characterization of neuronal network function in health and disease and are influential in effective drug

  16. Progesterone promotes neuronal differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in culture conditions that mimic the brain microenvironment★

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xianying; Wu, Honghai; Xue, Gai; Hou, Yanning

    2012-01-01

    In this study, human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells from full-term neonates born by vaginal delivery were cultured in medium containing 150 mg/mL of brain tissue extracts from Sprague-Dawley rats (to mimic the brain microenvironment). Immunocytochemical analysis demonstrated that the cells differentiated into neuron-like cells. To evaluate the effects of progesterone as a neurosteroid on the neuronal differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells, we cultured the cells in medium containing progesterone (0.1, 1, 10 μM) in addition to brain tissue extracts. Reverse transcription-PCR and flow cytometric analysis of neuron specific enolase-positive cells revealed that the percentages of these cells increased significantly following progesterone treatment, with the optimal progesterone concentration for neuron-like differentiation being 1 μM. These results suggest that progesterone can enhance the neuronal differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in culture medium containing brain tissue extracts to mimic the brain microenvironment. PMID:25624820

  17. Amine-storing Organelles in Soma and Dendrites of Human Locus Coeruleus Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismini Kloukina

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have identified in human catecholamine neurons abundant spherical acidophilic protein bodies (PB, which originate from mitochondria retaining the double membrane (Issidorides et al., 1996. In locus coeruleus (LC, PB have somatodendritic distribution and are unequivocal storage vesicles for noradrenaline, as demonstrated by immunolocalization of Dopamine-β-Hydroxylase (Issidorides et al., 2004. This species-specific phenotype in man is the result of important physiological functions, because depletion or missing of PB is accompanied with Parkinson’s disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the composition of PB and their role in normal and pathological conditions. Post mortem brain specimens of LC were collected from 13 control subjects and 12 cases of Parkinson’s disease patients. Human adrenal medulla was used as a model tissue and histochemical and immunohistochemical correlation between PB and chromaffin granules was made. At the ultrastructural level, colloidal gold method was used for the accurate localization of macromolecules, at high resolution. The mitochondrial origin of PB was sealed with their positive immunoreactivity for mitochondrial porin. The next purpose was to reinforce the identity of PB as monoamine storage sites and to assess their potential of somatodendritic release. For this reason we studied the subcellular immunolocalization of Chromogranin A (CgA and Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 (VMAT2, given the fact that their localization defines the vesicles capacity of filling with monoamine and hence exocytotic release (Schafer et al., 2010; Li et al., 2005. The data provided, demonstrate the novel ultrastructural immunolocalization of both CgA and VMAT2 in PB, supporting their involvement in somatodendritic storage and release of noradrenaline in human LC. In Parkinson’s disease, immunolocalization of VMAT2 in the LC revealed the reduction of protein compared to normal controls. Reduced

  18. Recombinant human erythropoietin increases survival and reduces neuronal apoptosis in a murine model of cerebral malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiese, Lothar; Hempel, Casper; Penkowa, Milena

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Cerebral malaria (CM) is an acute encephalopathy with increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, sequestration of parasitized erythrocytes and localized ischaemia. In children CM induces cognitive impairment in about 10% of the survivors. Erythropoietin (Epo) has - besides of its well known...... with recombinant human Epo (rhEpo; 50-5000 U/kg/OD, i.p.) at different time points. The effect on survival was measured. Brain pathology was investigated by TUNEL (Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP)-digoxigenin nick end labelling), as a marker of apoptosis. Gene...... expression in brain tissue was measured by real time PCR. RESULTS: Treatment with rhEpo increased survival in mice with CM in a dose- and time-dependent manner and reduced apoptotic cell death of neurons as well as the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain. This neuroprotective effect...

  19. Characterizing Human Stem Cell–derived Sensory Neurons at the Single-cell Level Reveals Their Ion Channel Expression and Utility in Pain Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Gareth T; Gutteridge, Alex; Fox, Heather DE; Wilbrey, Anna L; Cao, Lishuang; Cho, Lily T; Brown, Adam R; Benn, Caroline L; Kammonen, Laura R; Friedman, Julia H; Bictash, Magda; Whiting, Paul; Bilsland, James G; Stevens, Edward B

    2014-01-01

    The generation of human sensory neurons by directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells opens new opportunities for investigating the biology of pain. The inability to generate this cell type has meant that up until now their study has been reliant on the use of rodent models. Here, we use a combination of population and single-cell techniques to perform a detailed molecular, electrophysiological, and pharmacological phenotyping of sensory neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells. We describe the evolution of cell populations over 6 weeks of directed differentiation; a process that results in the generation of a largely homogeneous population of neurons that are both molecularly and functionally comparable to human sensory neurons derived from mature dorsal root ganglia. This work opens the prospect of using pluripotent stem-cell–derived sensory neurons to study human neuronal physiology and as in vitro models for drug discovery in pain and sensory disorders. PMID:24832007

  20. Risk factors associated with equine motor neuron disease: a possible model for human MND.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, H O; Cummings, J F; Divers, T J; Valentine, B; de Lahunta, A; Summers, B; Farrow, B R; Trembicki-Graves, K; Mauskopf, A

    1993-05-01

    Equine motor neuron disease (EMND), a newly described neurodegenerative disease, bears a striking resemblance to progressive muscular atrophy (PMA) in humans. We present a comparison of the equine and human diseases and the results of a case-control study conducted to identify intrinsic factors associated with EMND. Cases included all horses with a confirmed diagnosis of EMND diagnosed in the United States since 1985 (32 cases). Controls included horses diagnosed with either cervical stenotic myelopathy, equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy, or protozoan myelitis at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University (153 controls). Logistic regression analysis identified factors associated with the risk of EMND. Risk factors considered were age, sex, and breed of the horse. Most cases of EMND (30 of 32) have been sporadic. There was a breed association with the risk of EMND. Quarter horses were at a high risk for developing EMND (odds ratio [OR] = 12.7; 95% confidence interval, 3.3 to 49.6); thoroughbred horses were at increased risk (OR = 2.9, 0.8 to 10.4). There was also an age association with the risk of EMND. The risk increased with age, peaked at 16 years, and then declined, a pattern similar to that for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in humans. There was no sex association with the disease. Despite the breed association, equine lymphocyte antigen studies have not revealed a systematic pattern, suggesting that genetic factors influencing susceptibility to EMND may be outside the major histocompatibility complex.

  1. Castable Amorphous Metal Mirrors and Mirror Assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Douglas C.; Davis, Gregory L.; Agnes, Gregory S.; Shapiro, Andrew A.

    2013-01-01

    A revolutionary way to produce a mirror and mirror assembly is to cast the entire part at once from a metal alloy that combines all of the desired features into the final part: optical smoothness, curvature, flexures, tabs, isogrids, low CTE, and toughness. In this work, it has been demonstrated that castable mirrors are possible using bulk metallic glasses (BMGs, also called amorphous metals) and BMG matrix composites (BMGMCs). These novel alloys have all of the desired mechanical and thermal properties to fabricate an entire mirror assembly without machining, bonding, brazing, welding, or epoxy. BMGs are multi-component metal alloys that have been cooled in such a manner as to avoid crystallization leading to an amorphous (non-crystalline) microstructure. This lack of crystal structure and the fact that these alloys are glasses, leads to a wide assortment of mechanical and thermal properties that are unlike those observed in crystalline metals. Among these are high yield strength, carbide-like hardness, low melting temperatures (making them castable like aluminum), a thermoplastic processing region (for improving smoothness), low stiffness, high strength-to-weight ratios, relatively low CTE, density similar to titanium alloys, high elasticity and ultra-smooth cast parts (as low as 0.2-nm surface roughness has been demonstrated in cast BMGs). BMGMCs are composite alloys that consist of a BMG matrix with crystalline dendrites embedded throughout. BMGMCs are used to overcome the typically brittle failure observed in monolithic BMGs by adding a soft phase that arrests the formation of cracks in the BMG matrix. In some cases, BMGMCs offer superior castability, toughness, and fatigue resistance, if not as good a surface finish as BMGs. This work has demonstrated that BMGs and BMGMCs can be cast into prototype mirrors and mirror assemblies without difficulty.

  2. Impact of morphometry, myelinization and synaptic current strength on spike conduction in human and cat spiral ganglion neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Rattay

    Full Text Available Our knowledge about the neural code in the auditory nerve is based to a large extent on experiments on cats. Several anatomical differences between auditory neurons in human and cat are expected to lead to functional differences in speed and safety of spike conduction.Confocal microscopy was used to systematically evaluate peripheral and central process diameters, commonness of myelination and morphology of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs along the cochlea of three human and three cats. Based on these morphometric data, model analysis reveales that spike conduction in SGNs is characterized by four phases: a postsynaptic delay, constant velocity in the peripheral process, a presomatic delay and constant velocity in the central process. The majority of SGNs are type I, connecting the inner hair cells with the brainstem. In contrast to those of humans, type I neurons of the cat are entirely myelinated. Biophysical model evaluation showed delayed and weak spikes in the human soma region as a consequence of a lack of myelin. The simulated spike conduction times are in accordance with normal interwave latencies from auditory brainstem response recordings from man and cat. Simulated 400 pA postsynaptic currents from inner hair cell ribbon synapses were 15 times above threshold. They enforced quick and synchronous spiking. Both of these properties were not present in type II cells as they receive fewer and much weaker (∼26 pA synaptic stimuli.Wasting synaptic energy boosts spike initiation, which guarantees the rapid transmission of temporal fine structure of auditory signals. However, a lack of myelin in the soma regions of human type I neurons causes a large delay in spike conduction in comparison with cat neurons. The absent myelin, in combination with a longer peripheral process, causes quantitative differences of temporal parameters in the electrically stimulated human cochlea compared to the cat cochlea.

  3. Thiamine deficiency induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and oxidative stress in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Xu, Mei; Frank, Jacqueline A; Ke, Zun-Ji; Luo, Jia

    2017-04-01

    Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency (TD) plays a major role in the etiology of Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) which is a severe neurological disorder. TD induces selective neuronal cell death, neuroinflammation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress in the brain which are commonly observed in many aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The progress in this line of research is hindered due to the lack of appropriate in vitro models. The neurons derived for the human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide a relevant and powerful tool for the research in pharmaceutical and environmental neurotoxicity. In this study, we for the first time used human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)-derived neurons (iCell neurons) to investigate the mechanisms of TD-induced neurodegeneration. We showed that TD caused a concentration- and duration-dependent death of iCell neurons. TD induced ER stress which was evident by the increase in ER stress markers, such as GRP78, XBP-1, CHOP, ATF-6, phosphorylated eIF2α, and cleaved caspase-12. TD also triggered oxidative stress which was shown by the increase in the expression 2,4-dinitrophenyl (DNP) and 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE). ER stress inhibitors (STF-083010 and salubrinal) and antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) were effective in alleviating TD-induced death of iCell neurons, supporting the involvement of ER stress and oxidative stress. It establishes that the iCell neurons are a novel tool to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms for TD-induced neurodegeneration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Cryopreservation Maintains Functionality of Human iPSC Dopamine Neurons and Rescues Parkinsonian Phenotypes In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin R. Wakeman

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A major challenge for clinical application of pluripotent stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD is large-scale manufacturing and cryopreservation of neurons that can be efficiently prepared with minimal manipulation. To address this obstacle, midbrain dopamine neurons were derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-mDA and cryopreserved in large production lots for biochemical and transplantation studies. Cryopreserved, post-mitotic iPSC-mDA neurons retained high viability with gene, protein, and electrophysiological signatures consistent with midbrain floor-plate lineage. To test therapeutic efficacy, cryopreserved iPSC-mDA neurons were transplanted without subculturing into the 6-OHDA-lesioned rat and MPTP-lesioned non-human-primate models of PD. Grafted neurons retained midbrain lineage with extensive fiber innervation in both rodents and monkeys. Behavioral assessment in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats demonstrated significant reversal in functional deficits up to 6 months post transplantation with reinnervation of the host striatum and no aberrant growth, supporting the translational development of pluripotent cell-based therapies in PD.

  5. Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuron as a human model for testing environmentally induced developmental neurotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons as a human model for testing environmentally induced developmental neurotoxicity Ingrid L. Druwe1, Timothy J. Shafer2, Kathleen Wallace2, Pablo Valdivia3 ,and William R. Mundy2. 1University of North Carolina, Curriculum in Toxicology...

  6. Advanced Mirror Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, H. Philip

    2017-01-01

    The Advanced Mirror Technology Development (AMTD) project matures critical technologies required to enable ultra-stable 4-m-or-larger monolithic or segmented ultraviolet, optical, and infrared (UVOIR) space telescope primary-mirror assemblies for general astrophysics and ultra-high-contrast observations of exoplanets.

  7. Bronze rainbow hologram mirrors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, P.

    2006-02-01

    This project draws on holographic embossing techniques, ancient artistic conventions of bronze mirror design and modelling and casting processes to accomplish portraiture of reflection. Laser scanning, 3D computer graphics and holographic imaging are employed to enable a permanent 3D static holographic image to appear integrated with the real-time moving reflection of a viewer's face in a polished bronze disc. The disc and the figure which holds it (caryatid) are cast in bronze from a lost wax model, a technique which has been used for millennia to make personal mirrors. The Caryatid form of bronze mirror which went through many permutations in ancient Egyptian, Greece and Rome shows a plethora of expressive figure poses ranging from sleek nudes to highly embellished multifigure arrangements. The prototype of this series was made for Australian choreographer Graeme Murphy, Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Company. Each subsequent mirror will be unique in figure and holographic imagery as arranged between artist and subject. Conceptually this project references both the modern experience of viewing mirrors retrieved from ancient tombs, which due to deterioration of the surface no longer reflect, and the functioning of Chinese Magic mirrors, which have the ability to project a predetermined image. Inspired by the metaphorical potential of these mirrors, which do not reflect the immediate reality of the viewer, this bronze hologram mirror series enables each viewer to reflect upon himself or herself observing simultaneously the holographic image and their own partially obliterated reflection.

  8. Ex vivo differentiation of human bone marrow-derived stem cells into neuronal cell-like lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al-Zoubi A

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Adeeb Al-Zoubi,1,2 Feras Altwal,3 Farah Khalifeh,2 Jamil Hermas,4 Ziad Al-Zoubi,5 Emad Jafar,5 Mohammed El-Khateeb,6,7 1Department of Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL, USA; 2Stem Cells of Arabia, Amman, Jordan; 3Department of Neuroscience, School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL, USA; 4Stem Cell Division, Al-Yamama Company, 5Jordan Orthopedic and Spinal Center, 6National Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics, 7Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan Background: Methods to obtain safe and practical populations of stem cells (SCs at a clinical grade that are able to differentiate into neuronal cell lineages are yet to be developed. In a previous study, we showed that mouse bone marrow-derived SCs (BM-SCs differentiated into neuronal cell-like lineages when put in a neuronal-like environment, which is a special media supplemented with the necessary growth factors needed for the differentiation of SCs into neuronal cell-like lineages. Aim: In this study, we aim to assess the potentials of adult human CD34+ and CD133+ SCs to differentiate into neuronal cell-like lineages ex vivo when placed in a neuronal-like microenvironment. Methods: The neuronal-like microenvironment was created by culturing cells in nonhematopoietic expansion media (NHEM supplemented with growth factors that favor differentiation into neuronal cell lineages (low-affinity nerve growth factor [LNGF], mouse spinal cord extract [mSpE], or both. Cultured cells were assessed for neuronal differentiation by cell morphologies and by expression of GFAP. Results: Our results show that culturing unpurified human BM-derived mononuclear cells (hBM-MNCs in NHEM+LNGF+mSpE did not lead to neuronal differentiation. In contrast, culturing of purified CD34+ hBM-SCs in NHEM+LNGF+mSpE favored their differentiation into astrocyte

  9. Conditioned medium from human amniotic epithelial cells may induce the differentiation of human umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells into dopaminergic neuron-like cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shu; Sun, Hai-Mei; Yan, Ji-Hong; Xue, Hong; Wu, Bo; Dong, Fang; Li, Wen-Shuai; Ji, Feng-Qing; Zhou, De-Shan

    2013-07-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neuron therapy has been established as a new clinical tool for treating Parkinson's disease (PD). Prior to cell transplantation, there are two primary issues that must be resolved: one is the appropriate seed cell origin, and the other is the efficient inducing technique. In the present study, human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) were used as the available seed cells, and conditioned medium from human amniotic epithelial cells (ACM) was used as the inducing reagent. Results showed that the proportion of DA neuron-like cells from hUCB-MSCs was significantly increased after cultured in ACM, suggested by the upregulation of DAT, TH, Nurr1, and Pitx3. To identify the process by which ACM induces DA neuron differentiation, we pretreated hUCB-MSCs with k252a, the Trk receptor inhibitor of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF), and found that the proportion of DA neuron-like cells was significantly decreased compared with ACM-treated hUCB-MSCs, suggesting that NGF and BDNF in ACM were involved in the differentiation process. However, we could not rule out the involvement of other unidentified factors in the ACM, because ACM + k252a treatment does not fully block DA neuron-like cell differentiation compared with control. The transplantation of ACM-induced hUCB-MSCs could ameliorate behavioral deficits in PD rats, which may be associated with the survival of engrafted DA neuron-like cells. In conclusion, we propose that hUCB-MSCs are a good source of DA neuron-like cells and that ACM is a potential inducer to obtain DA neuron-like cells from hUCB-MSCs in vitro for an ethical and legal cell therapy for PD. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Lymphocyte beta 2-adrenoceptors mirror precisely beta 2-adrenoceptor, but poorly beta 1-adrenoceptor changes in the human heart

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Michel, M. C.; Beckeringh, J. J.; Ikezono, K.; Kretsch, R.; Brodde, O. E.

    1986-01-01

    To study the relationship of changes in human lymphocyte beta-adrenoceptors to changes potentially occurring in solid tissues we studied 16 patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting and determined the density of lymphocyte beta 2-adrenoceptors [by (-)125I-iodocyanopindolol (ICYP)

  11. Anomalous Mirror Symmetry Generated by Optical Illusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kokichi Sugihara

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces a new concept of mirror symmetry, called “anomalous mirror symmetry”, which is physically impossible but can be perceived by human vision systems because of optical illusion. This symmetry is characterized geometrically and a method for creating cylindrical surfaces that create this symmetry is constructed. Examples of solid objects constructed by a 3D printer are also shown.

  12. COI NMSD Hybrid Mirror

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehle, Greg; Stahl, Phil (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This presentation provides an overview of the development of the 1.6 meter hybrid mirror demonstrator for the NGST Mirror System Demonstrator (NMSD) program. The COI design approach for the NGST program combines the optical performance of glass, with the high specific stiffness capabilities of composite materials The foundation technologies being exploited in the development of the hybrid mirror focus upon precision Composite Materials for cryogenic operation, and non-contact optical processing (ion figuring) of the lightweight mirror surface. The NGST Mirror System Demonstrator (NMSD) has been designed and built by Composite Optics, Inc. (COI) with optical processing performed by SAGEM (REOSC). The sponsors of these efforts are the NASA Marshall and Goddard Space Flight Centers.

  13. Enhanced neurite outgrowth of human model (NT2) neurons by small-molecule inhibitors of Rho/ROCK signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roloff, Frank; Scheiblich, Hannah; Dewitz, Carola; Dempewolf, Silke; Stern, Michael; Bicker, Gerd

    2015-01-01

    Axonal injury in the adult human central nervous system often results in loss of sensation and motor functions. Promoting regeneration of severed axons requires the inactivation of growth inhibitory influences from the tissue environment and stimulation of the neuron intrinsic growth potential. Especially glial cell derived factors, such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Nogo-A, myelin-associated glycoprotein, and myelin in general, prevent axon regeneration. Most of the glial growth inhibiting factors converge onto the Rho/ROCK signaling pathway in neurons. Although conditions in the injured nervous system are clearly different from those during neurite outgrowth in vitro, here we use a chemical approach to manipulate Rho/ROCK signalling with small-molecule agents to encourage neurite outgrowth in cell culture. The development of therapeutic treatments requires drug testing not only on neurons of experimental animals, but also on human neurons. Using human NT2 model neurons, we demonstrate that the pain reliever Ibuprofen decreases RhoA (Ras homolog gene family, member A GTPase) activation and promotes neurite growth. Inhibition of the downstream effector Rho kinase by the drug Y-27632 results in a strong increase in neurite outgrowth. Conversely, activation of the Rho pathway by lysophosphatidic acid results in growth cone collapse and eventually to neurite retraction. Finally, we show that blocking of Rho kinase, but not RhoA results in an increase in neurons bearing neurites. Due to its anti-inflammatory and neurite growth promoting action, the use of a pharmacological treatment of damaged neural tissue with Ibuprofen should be explored.

  14. Enhanced neurite outgrowth of human model (NT2 neurons by small-molecule inhibitors of Rho/ROCK signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Roloff

    Full Text Available Axonal injury in the adult human central nervous system often results in loss of sensation and motor functions. Promoting regeneration of severed axons requires the inactivation of growth inhibitory influences from the tissue environment and stimulation of the neuron intrinsic growth potential. Especially glial cell derived factors, such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Nogo-A, myelin-associated glycoprotein, and myelin in general, prevent axon regeneration. Most of the glial growth inhibiting factors converge onto the Rho/ROCK signaling pathway in neurons. Although conditions in the injured nervous system are clearly different from those during neurite outgrowth in vitro, here we use a chemical approach to manipulate Rho/ROCK signalling with small-molecule agents to encourage neurite outgrowth in cell culture. The development of therapeutic treatments requires drug testing not only on neurons of experimental animals, but also on human neurons. Using human NT2 model neurons, we demonstrate that the pain reliever Ibuprofen decreases RhoA (Ras homolog gene family, member A GTPase activation and promotes neurite growth. Inhibition of the downstream effector Rho kinase by the drug Y-27632 results in a strong increase in neurite outgrowth. Conversely, activation of the Rho pathway by lysophosphatidic acid results in growth cone collapse and eventually to neurite retraction. Finally, we show that blocking of Rho kinase, but not RhoA results in an increase in neurons bearing neurites. Due to its anti-inflammatory and neurite growth promoting action, the use of a pharmacological treatment of damaged neural tissue with Ibuprofen should be explored.

  15. Cell culture chamber with gas supply for prolonged recording of human neuronal cells on microelectrode array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreutzer, Joose; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Mäki, Antti-Juhana; Ristola, Mervi; Narkilahti, Susanna; Kallio, Pasi

    2017-03-15

    Typically, live cell analyses are performed outside an incubator in an ambient air, where the lack of sufficient CO2 supply results in a fast change of pH and the high evaporation causes concentration drifts in the culture medium. That limits the experiment time for tens of minutes. In many applications, e.g. in neurotoxicity studies, a prolonged measurement of extracellular activity is, however, essential. We demonstrate a simple cell culture chamber that enables stable culture conditions during prolonged extracellular recordings on a microelectrode array (MEA) outside an incubator. The proposed chamber consists of a gas permeable silicone structure that enables gas transfer into the chamber. We show that the culture chamber supports the growth of the human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived neurons both inside and outside an incubator. The structure provides very low evaporation, stable pH and osmolarity, and maintains strong signaling of hESC-derived neuronal networks over three-day MEA experiments. Existing systems are typically complex including continuous perfusion of medium or relatively large amount of gas to supply. The proposed chamber requires only a supply of very low flow rate (1.5ml/min) of non-humidified 5% CO2 gas. Utilizing dry gas supply makes the proposed chamber simple to use. Using the proposed culture structure on top of MEA, we can maintain hESC-derived neural networks over three days outside an incubator. Technically, the structure requires very low flow rate of dry gas supporting, however, low evaporation and maintaining the pH of the culture. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Characterization of neurons in the cortical white matter in human temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Zsófia; Janszky, József; Sétáló, György; Horváth, Réka; Horváth, Zsolt; Dóczi, Tamás; Seress, László; Ábrahám, Hajnalka

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the present work was to characterize neurons in the archi- and neocortical white matter, and to investigate their distribution in mesial temporal sclerosis. Immunohistochemistry and quantification of neurons were performed on surgically resected tissue sections of patients with therapy-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy. Temporal lobe tissues of patients with tumor but without epilepsy and that from autopsy were used as controls. Neurons were identified with immunohistochemistry using antibodies against NeuN, calcium-binding proteins, transcription factor Tbr1 and neurofilaments. We found significantly higher density of neurons in the archi- and neocortical white matter of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy than in that of controls. Based on their morphology and neurochemical content, both excitatory and inhibitory cells were present among these neurons. A subset of neurons in the white matter was Tbr-1-immunoreactive and these neurons coexpressed NeuN and neurofilament marker SMI311R. No colocalization of Tbr1 was observed with the inhibitory neuronal markers, calcium-binding proteins. We suggest that a large population of white matter neurons comprises remnants of the subplate. Furthermore, we propose that a subset of white matter neurons was arrested during migration, highlighting the role of cortical maldevelopment in epilepsy associated with mesial temporal sclerosis. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The human coronary vasodilatory response to acute mental stress is mediated by neuronal nitric oxide synthase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Sitara G; Melikian, Narbeh; Shabeeh, Husain; Cabaco, Ana R; Martin, Katherine; Khan, Faisal; O'Gallagher, Kevin; Chowienczyk, Philip J; Shah, Ajay M

    2017-09-01

    Mental stress-induced ischemia approximately doubles the risk of cardiac events in patients with coronary artery disease, yet the mechanisms underlying changes in coronary blood flow in response to mental stress are poorly characterized. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) regulates basal coronary blood flow in healthy humans and mediates mental stress-induced vasodilation in the forearm. However, its possible role in mental stress-induced increases in coronary blood flow is unknown. We studied 11 patients (6 men and 5 women, mean age: 58 ± 14 yr) undergoing elective diagnostic cardiac catheterization and assessed the vasodilator response to mental stress elicited by the Stroop color-word test. Intracoronary substance P (20 pmol/min) and isosorbide dinitrate (1 mg) were used to assess endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation, respectively. Coronary blood flow was estimated using intracoronary Doppler recordings and quantitative coronary angiography to measure coronary artery diameter. Mental stress increased coronary flow by 34 ± 7.0% over the preceding baseline during saline infusion (P nitric oxide synthase in the human coronary circulation.Listen to this article's corresponding podcast at http://ajpheart.podbean.com/e/nnos-and-coronary-flow-during-mental-stress/. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  18. Lysophosphatidic acid signaling regulates the KLF9-PPARγ axis in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukahara, Tamotsu; Yamagishi, Shuhei; Matsuda, Yoshikazu; Haniu, Hisao

    2017-09-09

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a lipid signaling molecule that plays several significant roles in the nervous system during development and injury. In this study, we differentiated human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into neurons as an in vitro model to examine the specific effects of LPA. We demonstrated that LPA activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), a ligand-activated nuclear receptor, as well as its cognate receptor LPA1 on human iPSC-derived neurons to enhance proliferation and neurite outgrowth. Furthermore, we found that the gene expression of Kruppel-like factor 9 (KLF9), a member of the large KLF transcription factor family, was induced by LPA treatment. Knockdown of KLF9 decreased proliferation and neurite outgrowth in vehicle- and LPA-treated IPSC-derived neurons compared to cells expressing KLF9. In conclusion, LPA plays dual roles as a ligand mediator through the activation of cell surface G-coupled protein receptors and as an intracellular second messenger through the activation of PPARγ. We discuss the contribution of the LPA1-PPARγ-KLF9 axis to neurite outgrowth and proliferation in human iPSC-derived neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Small Molecules Greatly Improve Conversion of Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to the Neuronal Lineage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally K. Mak

    2012-01-01

    Key success factors for neuronal differentiation are the yield of desired neuronal marker expression, reproducibility, length, and cost. Three main neuronal differentiation approaches are stromal-induced neuronal differentiation, embryoid body (EB differentiation, and direct neuronal differentiation. Here, we describe our neurodifferentiation protocol using small molecules that very efficiently promote neural induction in a 5-stage EB protocol from six induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC lines from patients with Parkinson’s disease and controls. This protocol generates neural precursors using Dorsomorphin and SB431542 and further maturation into dopaminergic neurons by replacing sonic hedgehog with purmorphamine or smoothened agonist. The advantage of this approach is that all patient-specific iPSC lines tested in this study were successfully and consistently coaxed into the neural lineage.

  20. [Component analysis of the reactions of neuronal populations in the human brain during the memorizing of visual stimuli].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kropotov, Iu D

    1984-07-01

    The components of the evoked impulse activity of neurons and neuronal populations were studied in different nuclei of the thalamus and strio-pallidar system of the human brain, in patients treated with indwelled electrodes. The impulse activity was recorded during recognition of polygonal shapes with and without semantic meaning, during memorizing of visual stimuli without meaning. Peri-stimulus-time histograms for the cases of presentations of familiar and unfamiliar patterns, for the cases of stimulus presentation in the initial and terminal parts of the memorizing were computed and compared with each other. In some neuronal populations, a group of late components was revealed, altering during learning and depending upon subject evaluation of the meaning of the stimulus.

  1. Auditory streaming by phase relations between components of harmonic complexes: a comparative study of human subjects and bird forebrain neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolležal, Lena-Vanessa; Itatani, Naoya; Günther, Stefanie; Klump, Georg M

    2012-12-01

    Auditory streaming describes a percept in which a sequential series of sounds either is segregated into different streams or is integrated into one stream based on differences in their spectral or temporal characteristics. This phenomenon has been analyzed in human subjects (psychophysics) and European starlings (neurophysiology), presenting harmonic complex (HC) stimuli with different phase relations between their frequency components. Such stimuli allow evaluating streaming by temporal cues, as these stimuli only vary in the temporal waveform but have identical amplitude spectra. The present study applied the commonly used ABA- paradigm (van Noorden, 1975) and matched stimulus sets in psychophysics and neurophysiology to evaluate the effects of fundamental frequency (f₀), frequency range (f(LowCutoff)), tone duration (TD), and tone repetition time (TRT) on streaming by phase relations of the HC stimuli. By comparing the percept of humans with rate or temporal responses of avian forebrain neurons, a neuronal correlate of perceptual streaming of HC stimuli is described. The differences in the pattern of the neurons' spike rate responses provide for a better explanation for the percept observed in humans than the differences in the temporal responses (i.e., the representation of the periodicity in the timing of the action potentials). Especially for HC stimuli with a short 40-ms duration, the differences in the pattern of the neurons' temporal responses failed to represent the patterns of human perception, whereas the neurons' rate responses showed a good match. These results suggest that differential rate responses are a better predictor for auditory streaming by phase relations than temporal responses.

  2. Human neuron-astrocyte 3D co-culture-based assay for evaluation of neuroprotective compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrasso, Ana Paula; Silva, Ana Carina; Filipe, Augusto; Pedroso, Pedro; Ferreira, Ana Lúcia; Alves, Paula Marques; Brito, Catarina

    Central nervous system drug development has registered high attrition rates, mainly due to the lack of efficacy of drug candidates, highlighting the low reliability of the models used in early-stage drug development and the need for new in vitro human cell-based models and assays to accurately identify and validate drug candidates. 3D human cell models can include different tissue cell types and represent the spatiotemporal context of the original tissue (co-cultures), allowing the establishment of biologically-relevant cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Nevertheless, exploitation of these 3D models for neuroprotection assessment has been limited due to the lack of data to validate such 3D co-culture approaches. In this work we combined a 3D human neuron-astrocyte co-culture with a cell viability endpoint for the implementation of a novel in vitro neuroprotection assay, over an oxidative insult. Neuroprotection assay robustness and specificity, and the applicability of Presto Blue, MTT and CytoTox-Glo viability assays to the 3D co-culture were evaluated. Presto Blue was the adequate endpoint as it is non-destructive and is a simpler and reliable assay. Semi-automation of the cell viability endpoint was performed, indicating that the assay setup is amenable to be transferred to automated screening platforms. Finally, the neuroprotection assay setup was applied to a series of 36 test compounds and several candidates with higher neuroprotective effect than the positive control, Idebenone, were identified. The robustness and simplicity of the implemented neuroprotection assay with the cell viability endpoint enables the use of more complex and reliable 3D in vitro cell models to identify and validate drug candidates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Continuous neuronal ensemble control of simulated arm reaching by a human with tetraplegia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick, E K; Blana, D; Simeral, J D; Lambrecht, J; Kim, S P; Cornwell, A S; Taylor, D M; Hochberg, L R; Donoghue, J P; Kirsch, R F

    2013-01-01

    Functional electrical stimulation (FES), the coordinated electrical activation of multiple muscles, has been used to restore arm and hand function in people with paralysis. User interfaces for such systems typically derive commands from mechanically unrelated parts of the body with retained volitional control, and are unnatural and unable to simultaneously command the various joints of the arm. Neural interface systems, based on spiking intracortical signals recorded from the arm area of motor cortex, have shown the ability to control computer cursors, robotic arms and individual muscles in intact non-human primates. Such neural interface systems may thus offer a more natural source of commands for restoring dexterous movements via FES. However, the ability to use decoded neural signals to control the complex mechanical dynamics of a reanimated human limb, rather than the kinematics of a computer mouse, has not been demonstrated. This study demonstrates the ability of an individual with long-standing tetraplegia to use cortical neuron recordings to command the real-time movements of a simulated dynamic arm. This virtual arm replicates the dynamics associated with arm mass and muscle contractile properties, as well as those of an FES feedback controller that converts user commands into the required muscle activation patterns. An individual with long-standing tetraplegia was thus able to control a virtual, two-joint, dynamic arm in real time using commands derived from an existing human intracortical interface technology. These results show the feasibility of combining such an intracortical interface with existing FES systems to provide a high-performance, natural system for restoring arm and hand function in individuals with extensive paralysis. PMID:21543840

  4. Continuous neuronal ensemble control of simulated arm reaching by a human with tetraplegia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick, E. K.; Blana, D.; Simeral, J. D.; Lambrecht, J.; Kim, S. P.; Cornwell, A. S.; Taylor, D. M.; Hochberg, L. R.; Donoghue, J. P.; Kirsch, R. F.

    2011-06-01

    Functional electrical stimulation (FES), the coordinated electrical activation of multiple muscles, has been used to restore arm and hand function in people with paralysis. User interfaces for such systems typically derive commands from mechanically unrelated parts of the body with retained volitional control, and are unnatural and unable to simultaneously command the various joints of the arm. Neural interface systems, based on spiking intracortical signals recorded from the arm area of motor cortex, have shown the ability to control computer cursors, robotic arms and individual muscles in intact non-human primates. Such neural interface systems may thus offer a more natural source of commands for restoring dexterous movements via FES. However, the ability to use decoded neural signals to control the complex mechanical dynamics of a reanimated human limb, rather than the kinematics of a computer mouse, has not been demonstrated. This study demonstrates the ability of an individual with long-standing tetraplegia to use cortical neuron recordings to command the real-time movements of a simulated dynamic arm. This virtual arm replicates the dynamics associated with arm mass and muscle contractile properties, as well as those of an FES feedback controller that converts user commands into the required muscle activation patterns. An individual with long-standing tetraplegia was thus able to control a virtual, two-joint, dynamic arm in real time using commands derived from an existing human intracortical interface technology. These results show the feasibility of combining such an intracortical interface with existing FES systems to provide a high-performance, natural system for restoring arm and hand function in individuals with extensive paralysis. This paper was originally submitted for the special issue containing contributions from the Fourth International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting.

  5. Β-amyloid 1-42 oligomers impair function of human embryonic stem cell-derived forebrain cholinergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linn Wicklund

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD patients is associated with a decline in the levels of growth factors, impairment of axonal transport and marked degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs. Neurogenesis persists in the adult human brain, and the stimulation of regenerative processes in the CNS is an attractive prospect for neuroreplacement therapy in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. Currently, it is still not clear how the pathophysiological environment in the AD brain affects stem cell biology. Previous studies investigating the effects of the β-amyloid (Aβ peptide on neurogenesis have been inconclusive, since both neurogenic and neurotoxic effects on progenitor cell populations have been reported. In this study, we treated pluripotent human embryonic stem (hES cells with nerve growth factor (NGF as well as with fibrillar and oligomeric Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 (nM-µM concentrations and thereafter studied the differentiation in vitro during 28-35 days. The process applied real time quantitative PCR, immunocytochemistry as well as functional studies of intracellular calcium signaling. Treatment with NGF promoted the differentiation into functionally mature BFCNs. In comparison to untreated cells, oligomeric Aβ1-40 increased the number of functional neurons, whereas oligomeric Aβ1-42 suppressed the number of functional neurons. Interestingly, oligomeric Aβ exposure did not influence the number of hES cell-derived neurons compared with untreated cells, while in contrast fibrillar Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 induced gliogenesis. These findings indicate that Aβ1-42 oligomers may impair the function of stem cell-derived neurons. We propose that it may be possible for future AD therapies to promote the maturation of functional stem cell-derived neurons by altering the brain microenvironment with trophic support and by targeting different aggregation forms of Aβ.

  6. "Mirror agnosia" in a patient with right occipitotemporal infarct

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menon Bijoy

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available We report the clinical profile and investigation of K, a patient suffering from agnosia for the concept of "mirrors". Normal people rarely confuse a mirror image for the real image. Our patient ′K′ has intact attention, memory and language with a left visual neglect with left hemianopia. When shown an object on his left with a mirror kept sagitally on his right, K grabs for the reflection and even gropes behind the mirror for it. Yet, when shown the mirror alone, he is able to tell that it is a mirror. Thus the concept of a ′mirror′ is lost in the experimental paradigm. An explanation for mirror ′agnosia′ is provided and recent controversies in the analysis of visuospatial functions in humans is highlighted.

  7. In vitro system using human neurons demonstrates that varicella-zoster vaccine virus is impaired for reactivation, but not latency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadaoka, Tomohiko; Depledge, Daniel P; Rajbhandari, Labchan; Venkatesan, Arun; Breuer, Judith; Cohen, Jeffrey I

    2016-04-26

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) establishes latency in human sensory and cranial nerve ganglia during primary infection (varicella), and the virus can reactivate and cause zoster after primary infection. The mechanism of how the virus establishes and maintains latency and how it reactivates is poorly understood, largely due to the lack of robust models. We found that axonal infection of neurons derived from hESCs in a microfluidic device with cell-free parental Oka (POka) VZV resulted in latent infection with inability to detect several viral mRNAs by reverse transcriptase-quantitative PCR, no production of infectious virus, and maintenance of the viral DNA genome in endless configuration, consistent with an episome configuration. With deep sequencing, however, multiple viral mRNAs were detected. Treatment of the latently infected neurons with Ab to NGF resulted in production of infectious virus in about 25% of the latently infected cultures. Axonal infection of neurons with vaccine Oka (VOka) VZV resulted in a latent infection similar to infection with POka; however, in contrast to POka, VOka-infected neurons were markedly impaired for reactivation after treatment with Ab to NGF. In addition, viral transcription was markedly reduced in neurons latently infected with VOka compared with POka. Our in vitro system recapitulates both VZV latency and reactivation in vivo and may be used to study viral vaccines for their ability to establish latency and reactivate.

  8. Integrated transcriptome analysis of human iPS cells derived from a fragile X syndrome patient during neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Chen, Xiaolong; Feng, Yun; Zeng, Qiao; Jiang, Cizhong; Zhu, Xianmin; Fan, Guoping; Xue, Zhigang

    2016-11-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) patients carry the expansion of over 200 CGG repeats at the promoter of fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1), leading to decreased or absent expression of its encoded fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). However, the global transcriptional alteration by FMRP deficiency has not been well characterized at single nucleotide resolution, i.e., RNA-seq. Here, we performed in-vitro neuronal differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that were derived from fibroblasts of a FXS patient (FXS-iPSC). We then performed RNA-seq and examined the transcriptional misregulation at each intermediate stage during in-vitro differentiation of FXS-iPSC into neurons. After thoroughly analyzing the transcriptomic data and integrating them with those from other platforms, we found up-regulation of many genes encoding TFs for neuronal differentiation (WNT1, BMP4, POU3F4, TFAP2C, and PAX3), down-regulation of potassium channels (KCNA1, KCNC3, KCNG2, KCNIP4, KCNJ3, KCNK9, and KCNT1) and altered temporal regulation of SHANK1 and NNAT in FXS-iPSC derived neurons, indicating impaired neuronal differentiation and function in FXS patients. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the FMRP deficiency in FXS patients has significant impact on the gene expression patterns during development, which will help to discover potential targeting candidates for the cure of FXS symptoms.

  9. Lipid composition of the human eye: are red blood cells a good mirror of retinal and optic nerve fatty acids?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niyazi Acar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The assessment of blood lipids is very frequent in clinical research as it is assumed to reflect the lipid composition of peripheral tissues. Even well accepted such relationships have never been clearly established. This is particularly true in ophthalmology where the use of blood lipids has become very common following recent data linking lipid intake to ocular health and disease. In the present study, we wanted to determine in humans whether a lipidomic approach based on red blood cells could reveal associations between circulating and tissue lipid profiles. To check if the analytical sensitivity may be of importance in such analyses, we have used a double approach for lipidomics. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Red blood cells, retinas and optic nerves were collected from 9 human donors. The lipidomic analyses on tissues consisted in gas chromatography and liquid chromatography coupled to an electrospray ionization source-mass spectrometer (LC-ESI-MS. Gas chromatography did not reveal any relevant association between circulating and ocular fatty acids except for arachidonic acid whose circulating amounts were positively associated with its levels in the retina and in the optic nerve. In contrast, several significant associations emerged from LC-ESI-MS analyses. Particularly, lipid entities in red blood cells were positively or negatively associated with representative pools of retinal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, retinal very-long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFA or optic nerve plasmalogens. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: LC-ESI-MS is more appropriate than gas chromatography for lipidomics on red blood cells, and further extrapolation to ocular lipids. The several individual lipid species we have identified are good candidates to represent circulating biomarkers of ocular lipids. However, further investigation is needed before considering them as indexes of disease risk and before using them in clinical studies on

  10. Lipid composition of the human eye: are red blood cells a good mirror of retinal and optic nerve fatty acids?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acar, Niyazi; Berdeaux, Olivier; Grégoire, Stéphane; Cabaret, Stéphanie; Martine, Lucy; Gain, Philippe; Thuret, Gilles; Creuzot-Garcher, Catherine P; Bron, Alain M; Bretillon, Lionel

    2012-01-01

    The assessment of blood lipids is very frequent in clinical research as it is assumed to reflect the lipid composition of peripheral tissues. Even well accepted such relationships have never been clearly established. This is particularly true in ophthalmology where the use of blood lipids has become very common following recent data linking lipid intake to ocular health and disease. In the present study, we wanted to determine in humans whether a lipidomic approach based on red blood cells could reveal associations between circulating and tissue lipid profiles. To check if the analytical sensitivity may be of importance in such analyses, we have used a double approach for lipidomics. Red blood cells, retinas and optic nerves were collected from 9 human donors. The lipidomic analyses on tissues consisted in gas chromatography and liquid chromatography coupled to an electrospray ionization source-mass spectrometer (LC-ESI-MS). Gas chromatography did not reveal any relevant association between circulating and ocular fatty acids except for arachidonic acid whose circulating amounts were positively associated with its levels in the retina and in the optic nerve. In contrast, several significant associations emerged from LC-ESI-MS analyses. Particularly, lipid entities in red blood cells were positively or negatively associated with representative pools of retinal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), retinal very-long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFA) or optic nerve plasmalogens. LC-ESI-MS is more appropriate than gas chromatography for lipidomics on red blood cells, and further extrapolation to ocular lipids. The several individual lipid species we have identified are good candidates to represent circulating biomarkers of ocular lipids. However, further investigation is needed before considering them as indexes of disease risk and before using them in clinical studies on optic nerve neuropathies or retinal diseases displaying photoreceptors degeneration.

  11. Classification of neurons by dendritic branching pattern. A categorisation based on Golgi impregnation of spinal and cranial somatic and visceral afferent and efferent cells in the adult human.

    OpenAIRE

    Abdel-Maguid, T E; Bowsher, D

    1984-01-01

    Neurons from adult human brainstem and spinal cord, fixed by immersion in formalin, were impregnated by a Golgi method and examined in sections 100 micron thick. Objective numerical criteria were used to classify completely impregnated neurons. Only the parameters mentioned below were found to be valid. Neurons in 100 micron sections were classified on the basis of (i) the primary dendrite number, indicated by a Roman numeral and called group; (ii) the dendritic branching pattern, comprising ...

  12. Human neural stem cell-derived cultures in three-dimensional substrates form spontaneously functional neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Imogen; Silveirinha, Vasco; Stein, Jason L; de la Torre-Ubieta, Luis; Farrimond, Jonathan A; Williamson, Elizabeth M; Whalley, Benjamin J

    2017-04-01

    Differentiated human neural stem cells were cultured in an inert three-dimensional (3D) scaffold and, unlike two-dimensional (2D) but otherwise comparable monolayer cultures, formed spontaneously active, functional neuronal networks that responded reproducibly and predictably to conventional pharmacological treatments to reveal functional, glutamatergic synapses. Immunocytochemical and electron microscopy analysis revealed a neuronal and glial population, where markers of neuronal maturity were observed in the former. Oligonucleotide microarray analysis revealed substantial differences in gene expression conferred by culturing in a 3D vs a 2D environment. Notable and numerous differences were seen in genes coding for neuronal function, the extracellular matrix and cytoskeleton. In addition to producing functional networks, differentiated human neural stem cells grown in inert scaffolds offer several significant advantages over conventional 2D monolayers. These advantages include cost savings and improved physiological relevance, which make them better suited for use in the pharmacological and toxicological assays required for development of stem cell-based treatments and the reduction of animal use in medical research. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. γ-Secretase modulators reduce endogenous amyloid β42 levels in human neural progenitor cells without altering neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Avanzo, Carla; Sliwinski, Christopher; Wagner, Steven L; Tanzi, Rudolph E; Kim, Doo Yeon; Kovacs, Dora M

    2015-08-01

    Soluble γ-secretase modulators (SGSMs) selectively decrease toxic amyloid β (Aβ) peptides (Aβ42). However, their effect on the physiologic functions of γ-secretase has not been tested in human model systems. γ-Secretase regulates fate determination of neural progenitor cells. Thus, we studied the impact of SGSMs on the neuronal differentiation of ReNcell VM (ReN) human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs). Quantitative PCR analysis showed that treatment of neurosphere-like ReN cell aggregate cultures with γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs), but not SGSMs, induced a 2- to 4-fold increase in the expression of the neuronal markers Tuj1 and doublecortin. GSI treatment also induced neuronal marker protein expression, as shown by Western blot analysis. In the same conditions, SGSM treatment selectively reduced endogenous Aβ42 levels by ∼80%. Mechanistically, we found that Notch target gene expressions were selectively inhibited by a GSI, not by SGSM treatment. We can assert, for the first time, that SGSMs do not affect the neuronal differentiation of hNPCs while selectively decreasing endogenous Aβ42 levels in the same conditions. Our results suggest that our hNPC differentiation system can serve as a useful model to test the impact of GSIs and SGSMs on both endogenous Aβ levels and γ-secretase physiologic functions including endogenous Notch signaling. © FASEB.

  14. Human iPSC-Derived Cerebellar Neurons from a Patient with Ataxia-Telangiectasia Reveal Disrupted Gene Regulatory Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam P. Nayler

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T is a rare genetic disorder caused by loss of function of the ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated kinase and is characterized by a predisposition to cancer, pulmonary disease, immune deficiency and progressive degeneration of the cerebellum. As animal models do not faithfully recapitulate the neurological aspects, it remains unclear whether cerebellar degeneration is a neurodevelopmental or neurodegenerative phenotype. To address the necessity for a human model, we first assessed a previously published protocol for the ability to generate cerebellar neuronal cells, finding it gave rise to a population of precursors highly enriched for markers of the early hindbrain such as EN1 and GBX2, and later more mature cerebellar markers including PTF1α, MATH1, HOXB4, ZIC3, PAX6, and TUJ1. RNA sequencing was used to classify differentiated cerebellar neurons generated from integration-free A-T and control induced pluripotent stem cells. Comparison of RNA sequencing data with datasets from the Allen Brain Atlas reveals in vitro-derived cerebellar neurons are transcriptionally similar to discrete regions of the human cerebellum, and most closely resemble the cerebellum at 22 weeks post-conception. We show that patient-derived cerebellar neurons exhibit disrupted gene regulatory networks associated with synaptic vesicle dynamics and oxidative stress, offering the first molecular insights into early cerebellar pathogenesis of ataxia-telangiectasia.

  15. The obsidian mirror The obsidian mirror

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria do Socorro Reis Amorin

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available The author James Norman is an American who has always lived in Mexico during the summer. He seems to love Mexican - Indian traditions and he is well acquainted with the pre-historic culture as it is shown in his book: "The Obsidian Mirror". "The Obsidian Mirror" is a mysterious story about an archeologist: Quigley that lives in a small village in Mexico-San Marcos. He is searching for antiques that belong to some tribes of pre-historic Indians in order to find out their mysteries. Quigley becomes so engaged in his work that his mind has reached a stage that is impossible to separate between Quigley the archeologist, and Quigley as an ancient Indian. The culture, the myth, the sensation of Omen - characteristics of the Indians are within himself. As a result, Quigley acts sometimes as a real Indian. The author James Norman is an American who has always lived in Mexico during the summer. He seems to love Mexican - Indian traditions and he is well acquainted with the pre-historic culture as it is shown in his book: "The Obsidian Mirror". "The Obsidian Mirror" is a mysterious story about an archeologist: Quigley that lives in a small village in Mexico-San Marcos. He is searching for antiques that belong to some tribes of pre-historic Indians in order to find out their mysteries. Quigley becomes so engaged in his work that his mind has reached a stage that is impossible to separate between Quigley the archeologist, and Quigley as an ancient Indian. The culture, the myth, the sensation of Omen - characteristics of the Indians are within himself. As a result, Quigley acts sometimes as a real Indian.

  16. Adeno-associated virus and lentivirus vectors mediate efficient and sustained transduction of cultured mouse and human dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, J; Ginn, S L; Weinberger, R P; Trahair, T N; Smythe, J A; Alexander, I E

    2001-01-01

    Peripheral nervous system (PNS) sensory neurons are directly involved in the pathophysiology of numerous inherited and acquired neurological conditions. Therefore, efficient and stable gene delivery to these postmitotic cells has significant therapeutic potential. Among contemporary vector systems capable of neuronal transduction, only those based on herpes simplex virus have been extensively evaluated in PNS neurons. We therefore investigated the transduction performance of recombinant adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV) and VSV-G-pseudotyped lentivirus vectors derived from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) in newborn mouse and fetal human dorsal root ganglia (DRG) sensory neurons. In dissociated mouse DRG cultures both vectors achieved efficient transduction of sensory neurons at low multiplicities of infection (MOIs) and sustained transgene expression within a 28-day culture period. Interestingly, the lentivirus vector selectively transduced neurons in murine cultures, in contrast to human cultures, in which Schwann and fibroblast-like cells were also transduced. Recombinant AAV transduced all three cell types in both mouse and human cultures. After direct microinjection of murine DRG explants, maximal transduction efficiencies of 20 and 200 transducing units per neuronal transductant were achieved with AAV and lentivirus vectors, respectively. Most importantly, both vectors achieved efficient and sustained transduction of human sensory neurons in dissociated cultures, thereby directly demonstrating the exciting potential of these vectors for gene therapy applications in the PNS.

  17. Neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells extend long–distance axonal projections through growth along host white matter tracts after intra-cerebral transplantation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark eDenham

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Human pluripotent stem cells have the capacity for directed differentiation into a wide variety of neuronal subtypes that may be useful for brain repair. While a substantial body of research has lead to a detailed understanding of the ability of neurons in fetal tissue grafts to structurally and functionally integrate after intra-cerebral transplantation, we are only just beginning to understand the in vivo properties of neurons derived from human pluripotent stem cells. Here we have utilised the human embryonic stem (ES cell line Envy, which constitutively expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP, in order to study the in vivo properties of neurons derived from human ES cells. Rapid and efficient neural induction, followed by differentiation as neurospheres resulted in a GFP+ neural precursor population with traits of neuroepithelial and dorsal forebrain identity. Ten weeks after transplantation into neonatal rats, GFP+ fibre patterns revealed extensive axonal growth in the host brain, particularly along host white matter tracts, although innervation of adjacent nuclei was limited. The grafts were composed of a mix of neural cell types including differentiated neurons and glia, but also dividing neural progenitors and migrating neuroblasts, indicating an incomplete state of maturation at 10 weeks. This was reflected in patch-clamp recordings showing stereotypical properties appropriate for mature functional neurons, including the ability to generate action potentials, as well profiles consistent for more immature neurons. These findings illustrate the intrinsic capacity for neurons derived from human ES cells to integrate at a structural and functional level following transplantation.

  18. Generative models of rich clubs in Hebbian neuronal networks and large-scale human brain networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vértes, Petra E; Alexander-Bloch, Aaron; Bullmore, Edward T

    2014-10-05

    Rich clubs arise when nodes that are 'rich' in connections also form an elite, densely connected 'club'. In brain networks, rich clubs incur high physical connection costs but also appear to be especially valuable to brain function. However, little is known about the selection pressures that drive their formation. Here, we take two complementary approaches to this question: firstly we show, using generative modelling, that the emergence of rich clubs in large-scale human brain networks can be driven by an economic trade-off between connection costs and a second, competing topological term. Secondly we show, using simulated neural networks, that Hebbian learning rules also drive the emergence of rich clubs at the microscopic level, and that the prominence of these features increases with learning time. These results suggest that Hebbian learning may provide a neuronal mechanism for the selection of complex features such as rich clubs. The neural networks that we investigate are explicitly Hebbian, and we argue that the topological term in our model of large-scale brain connectivity may represent an analogous connection rule. This putative link between learning and rich clubs is also consistent with predictions that integrative aspects of brain network organization are especially important for adaptive behaviour. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Hippo/YAP-mediated rigidity-dependent motor neuron differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yubing; Yong, Koh Meng Aw; Villa-Diaz, Luis G.; Zhang, Xiaoli; Chen, Weiqiang; Philson, Renee; Weng, Shinuo; Xu, Haoxing; Krebsbach, Paul H.; Fu, Jianping

    2014-06-01

    Our understanding of the intrinsic mechanosensitive properties of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), in particular the effects that the physical microenvironment has on their differentiation, remains elusive. Here, we show that neural induction and caudalization of hPSCs can be accelerated by using a synthetic microengineered substrate system consisting of poly(dimethylsiloxane) micropost arrays (PMAs) with tunable mechanical rigidities. The purity and yield of functional motor neurons derived from hPSCs within 23 days of culture using soft PMAs were improved more than fourfold and tenfold, respectively, compared with coverslips or rigid PMAs. Mechanistic studies revealed a multi-targeted mechanotransductive process involving Smad phosphorylation and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, regulated by rigidity-dependent Hippo/YAP activities and actomyosin cytoskeleton integrity and contractility. Our findings suggest that substrate rigidity is an important biophysical cue influencing neural induction and subtype specification, and that microengineered substrates can thus serve as a promising platform for large-scale culture of hPSCs.

  20. Mirror reactor surface study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hunt, A. L.; Damm, C. C.; Futch, A. H.; Hiskes, J. R.; Meisenheimer, R. G.; Moir, R. W.; Simonen, T. C.; Stallard, B. W.; Taylor, C. E.

    1976-09-01

    A general survey is presented of surface-related phenomena associated with the following mirror reactor elements: plasma first wall, ion sources, neutral beams, director converters, vacuum systems, and plasma diagnostics. A discussion of surface phenomena in possible abnormal reactor operation is included. Several studies which appear to merit immediate attention and which are essential to the development of mirror reactors are abstracted from the list of recommended areas for surface work. The appendix contains a discussion of the fundamentals of particle/surface interactions. The interactions surveyed are backscattering, thermal desorption, sputtering, diffusion, particle ranges in solids, and surface spectroscopic methods. A bibliography lists references in a number of categories pertinent to mirror reactors. Several complete published and unpublished reports on surface aspects of current mirror plasma experiments and reactor developments are also included.

  1. The Athena Mirror

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wille, Eric

    2016-07-01

    The Athena mission (Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics) requires lightweight X-ray Wolter optics with a high angular resolution and large effective area. For achieving an effective area of 2 m^2 (at 1 keV) and an angular resolution of below 5 arcsec, the Silicon Pore Optics technology was developed by ESA together with a consortium of European industry. Silicon Pore Optics are made of commercial Si wafers using process technology adapted from the semiconductor industry. We present the current design of the Athena mirror concentrating on the technology development status of the Silicon Pore Optics, ranging from the manufacturing of single mirror plates towards complete focusing mirror modules and their integration into the mirror structure.

  2. Manufacturing parabolic mirrors

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN PhotoLab

    1975-01-01

    The photo shows the construction of a vertical centrifuge mounted on an air cushion, with a precision of 1/10000 during rotation, used for the manufacture of very high=precision parabolic mirrors. (See Annual Report 1974.)

  3. Long-term electrophysiological activity and pharmacological response of a human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuron and astrocyte co-culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odawara, A; Saitoh, Y; Alhebshi, A H; Gotoh, M; Suzuki, I

    2014-01-24

    Human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons may be effectively used for drug discovery and cell-based therapy. However, the immaturity of cultured human iPSC-derived neurons and the lack of established functional evaluation methods are problematic. We here used a multi-electrode array (MEA) system to investigate the effects of the co-culture of rat astrocytes with hiPSC-derived neurons on the long-term culture, spontaneous firing activity, and drug responsiveness effects. The co-culture facilitated the long-term culture of hiPSC-derived neurons for >3 months and long-term spontaneous firing activity was also observed. After >3 months of culture, we observed synchronous burst firing activity due to synapse transmission within neuronal networks. Compared with rat neurons, hiPSC-derived neurons required longer time to mature functionally. Furthermore, addition of the synapse antagonists bicuculline and 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione induced significant changes in the firing rate. In conclusion, we used a MEA system to demonstrate that the co-culture of hiPSC-derived neurons with rat astrocytes is an effective method for studying the function of human neuronal cells, which could be used for drug screening. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Neonatal mouse cortical but not isogenic human astrocyte feeder layers enhance the functional maturation of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lischka, Fritz W; Efthymiou, Anastasia; Zhou, Qiong; Nieves, Michael D; McCormack, Nikki M; Wilkerson, Matthew D; Sukumar, Gauthaman; Dalgard, Clifton L; Doughty, Martin L

    2018-04-01

    Human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived neurons and astrocytes are attractive cellular tools for nervous system disease modeling and drug screening. Optimal utilization of these tools requires differentiation protocols that efficiently generate functional cell phenotypes in vitro. As nervous system function is dependent on networked neuronal activity involving both neuronal and astrocytic synaptic functions, we examined astrocyte effects on the functional maturation of neurons from human iPS cell-derived neural stem cells (NSCs). We first demonstrate human iPS cell-derived NSCs can be rapidly differentiated in culture to either neurons or astrocytes with characteristic cellular, molecular and physiological features. Although differentiated neurons were capable of firing multiple action potentials (APs), few cells developed spontaneous electrical activity in culture. We show spontaneous electrical activity was significantly increased by neuronal differentiation of human NSCs on feeder layers of neonatal mouse cortical astrocytes. In contrast, co-culture on feeder layers of isogenic human iPS cell-derived astrocytes had no positive effect on spontaneous neuronal activity. Spontaneous electrical activity was dependent on glutamate receptor-channel function and occurred without changes in I Na , I K , V m , and AP properties of iPS cell-derived neurons. These data demonstrate co-culture with neonatal mouse cortical astrocytes but not human isogenic iPS cell-derived astrocytes stimulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission between iPS cell-derived neurons in culture. We present RNA-sequencing data for an immature, fetal-like status of our human iPS cell-derived astrocytes as one possible explanation for their failure to enhance synaptic activity in our co-culture system. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Functionalizing Ascl1 with Novel Intracellular Protein Delivery Technology for Promoting Neuronal Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Meghan; Chapani, Parv; Styan, Tara; Vaidyanathan, Ranjani; Willerth, Stephanie Michelle

    2016-08-01

    Pluripotent stem cells can become any cell type found in the body. Accordingly, one of the major challenges when working with pluripotent stem cells is producing a highly homogenous population of differentiated cells, which can then be used for downstream applications such as cell therapies or drug screening. The transcription factor Ascl1 plays a key role in neural development and previous work has shown that Ascl1 overexpression using viral vectors can reprogram fibroblasts directly into neurons. Here we report on how a recombinant version of the Ascl1 protein functionalized with intracellular protein delivery technology (Ascl1-IPTD) can be used to rapidly differentiate human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into neurons. We first evaluated a range of Ascl1-IPTD concentrations to determine the most effective amount for generating neurons from hiPSCs cultured in serum free media. Next, we looked at the frequency of Ascl1-IPTD supplementation in the media on differentiation and found that one time supplementation is sufficient enough to trigger the neural differentiation process. Ascl1-IPTD was efficiently taken up by the hiPSCs and enabled rapid differentiation into TUJ1-positive and NeuN-positive populations with neuronal morphology after 8 days. After 12 days of culture, hiPSC-derived neurons produced by Ascl1-IPTD treatment exhibited greater neurite length and higher numbers of branch points compared to neurons derived using a standard neural progenitor differentiation protocol. This work validates Ascl1-IPTD as a powerful tool for engineering neural tissue from pluripotent stem cells.

  6. Neuronal Subtype and Satellite Cell Tropism Are Determinants of Varicella-Zoster Virus Virulence in Human Dorsal Root Ganglia Xenografts In Vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh Zerboni

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Varicella zoster virus (VZV, a human alphaherpesvirus, causes varicella during primary infection. VZV reactivation from neuronal latency may cause herpes zoster, post herpetic neuralgia (PHN and other neurologic syndromes. To investigate VZV neuropathogenesis, we developed a model using human dorsal root ganglia (DRG xenografts in immunodeficient (SCID mice. The SCID DRG model provides an opportunity to examine characteristics of VZV infection that occur in the context of the specialized architecture of DRG, in which nerve cell bodies are ensheathed by satellite glial cells (SGC which support neuronal homeostasis. We hypothesized that VZV exhibits neuron-subtype specific tropism and that VZV tropism for SGC contributes to VZV-related ganglionopathy. Based on quantitative analyses of viral and cell protein expression in DRG tissue sections, we demonstrated that, whereas DRG neurons had an immature neuronal phenotype prior to implantation, subtype heterogeneity was observed within 20 weeks and SGC retained the capacity to maintain neuronal homeostasis longterm. Profiling VZV protein expression in DRG neurons showed that VZV enters peripherin+ nociceptive and RT97+ mechanoreceptive neurons by both axonal transport and contiguous spread from SGC, but replication in RT97+ neurons is blocked. Restriction occurs even when the SGC surrounding the neuronal cell body were infected and after entry and ORF61 expression, but before IE62 or IE63 protein expression. Notably, although contiguous VZV spread with loss of SGC support would be predicted to affect survival of both nociceptive and mechanoreceptive neurons, RT97+ neurons showed selective loss relative to peripherin+ neurons at later times in DRG infection. Profiling cell factors that were upregulated in VZV-infected DRG indicated that VZV infection induced marked pro-inflammatory responses, as well as proteins of the interferon pathway and neuroprotective responses. These neuropathologic changes

  7. Innervation of Cochlear Hair Cells by Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons In Vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niliksha Gunewardene

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs may serve as an autologous source of replacement neurons in the injured cochlea, if they can be successfully differentiated and reconnected with residual elements in the damaged auditory system. Here, we explored the potential of hiPSC-derived neurons to innervate early postnatal hair cells, using established in vitro assays. We compared two hiPSC lines against a well-characterized hESC line. After ten days’ coculture in vitro, hiPSC-derived neural processes contacted inner and outer hair cells in whole cochlear explant cultures. Neural processes from hiPSC-derived neurons also made contact with hair cells in denervated sensory epithelia explants and expressed synapsin at these points of contact. Interestingly, hiPSC-derived neurons cocultured with hair cells at an early stage of differentiation formed synapses with a higher number of hair cells, compared to hiPSC-derived neurons cocultured at a later stage of differentiation. Notable differences in the innervation potentials of the hiPSC-derived neurons were also observed and variations existed between the hiPSC lines in their innervation efficiencies. Collectively, these data illustrate the promise of hiPSCs for auditory neuron replacement and highlight the need to develop methods to mitigate variabilities observed amongst hiPSC lines, in order to achieve reliable clinical improvements for patients.

  8. The feeling of movement: EEG evidence for mirroring activity during the observations of static, ambiguous stimuli in the Rorschach cards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giromini, Luciano; Porcelli, Piero; Viglione, Donald J; Parolin, Laura; Pineda, Jaime A

    2010-10-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is considered the best explanation for the neural basis of embodied simulation. To date no study has investigated if it may be activated not only by actual but by the "feeling of movement". The Rorschach test cards were used to investigate evidence of EEG mu wave suppression at central areas, an index of MNS activity, since human movement responses (M) to the Rorschach elicit such feelings of movement. Nineteen healthy volunteers observed different sets of Rorschach stimuli during attribution, identification, and observation of human movements and different scenarios while their EEG were recorded. Significant mu suppression occurred when subjects perceived movement, regardless of the experimental condition. These results show that mirroring can be activated by static, ambiguous stimuli such as Rorschach cards, suggesting that internal representation of the "feeling of movement" may be sufficient to trigger MNS activity even when minimal external cues are present. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Differentiation of human neural progenitor cell-derived spiral ganglion-like neurons: a time-lapse video study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edin, Fredrik; Liu, Wei; Boström, Marja; Magnusson, Peetra U; Rask-Andersen, Helge

    2014-05-01

    Human neural progenitor cells can differentiate into spiral ganglion-like cells when exposed to inner ear-associated growth factors. The phenotype bears resemblance to human sphere-derived neurons. To establish an in vitro model for the human auditory nerve to replace and complement in vivo animal experiments and ultimately human in vivo transplantation. Human neural progenitors were differentiated under conditions developed for in vitro survival of human primary spiral ganglion culture with media containing growth factors associated with inner ear development. Differentiation was documented using time-lapse video microscopy. Time-dependent marker expression was evaluated using immunocytochemistry with fluorescence and laser confocal microscopy. Within 14 days of differentiation, neural progenitors adopted neural phenotype and expressed spiral ganglion-associated markers.

  10. Successful function of autologous iPSC-derived dopamine neurons following transplantation in a non-human primate model of Parkinson's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hallett, Penelope J; Deleidi, Michela; Astradsson, Arnar

    2015-01-01

    Autologous transplantation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons is a potential clinical approach for treatment of neurological disease. Preclinical demonstration of long-term efficacy, feasibility, and safety of iPSC-derived dopamine neurons in non-human primat...

  11. Characterization of GABAA receptor ligands with automated patch-clamp using human neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Nina Y; Poe, Michael M; Witzigmann, Christopher; Cook, James M; Stafford, Douglas; Arnold, Leggy A

    Automated patch clamp is a recent but widely used technology to assess pre-clinical drug safety. With the availability of human neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells, this technology can be extended to determine CNS effects of drug candidates, especially those acting on the GABAA receptor. iCell Neurons (Cellular Dynamics International, A Fujifilm Company) were cultured for ten days and analyzed by patch clamp in the presence of agonist GABA or in combination with positive allosteric GABAA receptor modulators. Both efficacy and affinity were determined. In addition, mRNA of GABAA receptor subunits were quantified by qRT-PCR. We have shown that iCell Neurons are compatible with the IonFlux microfluidic system of the automated patch clamp instrument. Resistance ranging from 15 to 25MΩ was achieved for each trap channel of patch clamped cells in a 96-well plate format. GABA induced a robust change of current with an EC50 of 0.43μM. Positive GABAA receptor modulators diazepam, HZ-166, and CW-04-020 exhibited EC50 values of 0.42μM, 1.56μM, and 0.23μM, respectively. The α2/α3/α5 selective compound HZ-166-induced the highest potentiation (efficacy) of 810% of the current induced by 100nM GABA. Quantification of GABAA receptor mRNA in iCell Neurons revealed high levels of α5 and β3 subunits and low levels of α1, which is similar to the configuration in human neonatal brain. iCell Neurons represent a new cellular model to characterize GABAergic compounds using automated patch clamp. These cells have excellent representation of cellular GABAA receptor distribution that enable determination of total small molecule efficacy and affinity as measured by cell membrane current change. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Faster scaling of visual neurons in cortical areas relative to subcortical structures in non-human primate brains

    OpenAIRE

    Collins, C. E.; Leitch, D. B.; Wong, P.; Kaas, J. H.; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2012-01-01

    Cortical expansion, both in absolute terms and in relation to subcortical structures, is considered a major trend in mammalian brain evolution with important functional implications, given that cortical computations should add complexity and flexibility to information processing. Here, we investigate the numbers of neurons that compose 4 structures in the visual pathway across 11 non-human primate species to determine the scaling relationships that apply to these structures and among them. We...

  13. Neurons in the human hippocampus and amygdala respond to both low- and high-level image properties

    OpenAIRE

    Steinmetz, Peter N.; Cabrales, Elaine; Wilson, Michael S.; Baker, Christopher P.; Thorp, Christopher K.; Smith, Kris A.; Treiman, David M.

    2011-01-01

    A large number of studies have demonstrated that structures within the medial temporal lobe, such as the hippocampus, are intimately involved in declarative memory for objects and people. Although these items are abstractions of the visual scene, specific visual details can change the speed and accuracy of their recall. By recording from 415 neurons in the hippocampus and amygdala of human epilepsy patients as they viewed images drawn from 10 image categories, we showed that the firing rates ...

  14. Regulatory consequences of neuronal ELAV-like protein binding to coding and non-coding RNAs in human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheckel, Claudia; Drapeau, Elodie; Frias, Maria A; Park, Christopher Y; Fak, John; Zucker-Scharff, Ilana; Kou, Yan; Haroutunian, Vahram; Ma'ayan, Avi

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal ELAV-like (nELAVL) RNA binding proteins have been linked to numerous neurological disorders. We performed crosslinking-immunoprecipitation and RNAseq on human brain, and identified nELAVL binding sites on 8681 transcripts. Using knockout mice and RNAi in human neuroblastoma cells, we showed that nELAVL intronic and 3' UTR binding regulates human RNA splicing and abundance. We validated hundreds of nELAVL targets among which were important neuronal and disease-associated transcripts, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) transcripts. We therefore investigated RNA regulation in AD brain, and observed differential splicing of 150 transcripts, which in some cases correlated with differential nELAVL binding. Unexpectedly, the most significant change of nELAVL binding was evident on non-coding Y RNAs. nELAVL/Y RNA complexes were specifically remodeled in AD and after acute UV stress in neuroblastoma cells. We propose that the increased nELAVL/Y RNA association during stress may lead to nELAVL sequestration, redistribution of nELAVL target binding, and altered neuronal RNA splicing. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10421.001 PMID:26894958

  15. Direct and crossed effects of somatosensory electrical stimulation on motor learning and neuronal plasticity in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldman, M. P.; Zijdewind, I.; Solnik, S.; Maffiuletti, N. A.; Berghuis, K. M. M.; Javet, M.; Negyesi, J.; Hortobagyi, T.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Sensory input can modify voluntary motor function. We examined whether somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) added to motor practice (MP) could augment motor learning, interlimb transfer, and whether physiological changes in neuronal excitability underlie these changes. Methods

  16. Decreased number of oxytocin neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the human hypothalamus in AIDS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Purba, J. S.; Hofman, M. A.; Portegies, P.; Troost, D.; Swaab, D. F.

    1993-01-01

    The number of immunocytochemically identified vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) neurons was determined morphometrically in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus of 20 acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients and 10 controls. The AIDS group consisted of 14 homosexual males (age

  17. Neuronal differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells: changes in the expression of the Alzheimer's disease-related gene seladin-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benvenuti, Susanna; Saccardi, Riccardo; Luciani, Paola; Urbani, Serena; Deledda, Cristiana; Cellai, Ilaria; Francini, Fabio; Squecco, Roberta; Rosati, Fabiana; Danza, Giovanna; Gelmini, Stefania; Greeve, Isabell; Rossi, Matteo; Maggi, Roberto; Serio, Mario; Peri, Alessandro

    2006-08-01

    Seladin-1 (SELective Alzheimer's Disease INdicator-1) is an anti-apoptotic gene, which is down-regulated in brain regions affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition, seladin-1 catalyzes the conversion of desmosterol into cholesterol. Disruption of cholesterol homeostasis in neurons may increase cell susceptibility to toxic agents. Because the hippocampus and the subventricular zone, which are affected in AD, are the unique regions containing stem cells with neurogenic potential in the adult brain, it might be hypothesized that this multipotent cell compartment is the predominant source of seladin-1 in normal brain. In the present study, we isolated and characterized human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) as a model of cells with the ability to differentiate into neurons. hMSC were then differentiated toward a neuronal phenotype (hMSC-n). These cells were thoroughly characterized and proved to be neurons, as assessed by molecular and electrophysiological evaluation. Seladin-1 expression was determined and found to be significantly reduced in hMSC-n compared to undifferentiated cells. Accordingly, the total content of cholesterol was decreased after differentiation. These original results demonstrate for the first time that seladin-1 is abundantly expressed by stem cells and appear to suggest that reduced expression in AD might be due to an altered pool of multipotent cells.

  18. Human Senataxin Modulates Structural Plasticity of the Neuromuscular Junction in Drosophila through a Neuronally Conserved TGFβ Signalling Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushtaq, Zeeshan; Choudhury, Saumitra Dey; Gangwar, Sri Krishna; Orso, Genny; Kumar, Vimlesh

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in the human Senataxin (hSETX) gene have been shown to cause two forms of neurodegenerative disorders - a dominant form called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 4 (ALS4) and a recessive form called ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 2 (AOA2). SETX is a putative DNA/RNA helicase involved in RNA metabolism. Although several dominant mutations linked with ALS4 have been identified in SETX, their contribution towards ALS4 pathophysiology is still elusive. In order to model ALS4 in Drosophila and to elucidate the morphological, physiological and signalling consequences, we overexpressed the wild-type and pathological forms of hSETX in Drosophila. The pan-neuronal expression of wild-type or mutant forms of hSETX induced morphological plasticity at neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapses. Surprisingly, we found that while the NMJ synapses were increased in number, the neuronal function was normal. Analysis of signalling pathways revealed that hSETX modulates the Highwire (Hiw; a conserved neuronal E3 ubiquitin ligase)-dependent bone morphogenetic protein/TGFβ pathway. Thus, our study could pave the way for a better understanding of ALS4 progression by SETX through the regulation of neuronal E3 ubiquitin pathways. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Detection of error related neuronal responses recorded by electrocorticography in humans during continuous movements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomislav Milekovic

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs can translate the neuronal activity underlying a user's movement intention into movements of an artificial effector. In spite of continuous improvements, errors in movement decoding are still a major problem of current BMI systems. If the difference between the decoded and intended movements becomes noticeable, it may lead to an execution error. Outcome errors, where subjects fail to reach a certain movement goal, are also present during online BMI operation. Detecting such errors can be beneficial for BMI operation: (i errors can be corrected online after being detected and (ii adaptive BMI decoding algorithm can be updated to make fewer errors in the future. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we show that error events can be detected from human electrocorticography (ECoG during a continuous task with high precision, given a temporal tolerance of 300-400 milliseconds. We quantified the error detection accuracy and showed that, using only a small subset of 2×2 ECoG electrodes, 82% of detection information for outcome error and 74% of detection information for execution error available from all ECoG electrodes could be retained. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The error detection method presented here could be used to correct errors made during BMI operation or to adapt a BMI algorithm to make fewer errors in the future. Furthermore, our results indicate that smaller ECoG implant could be used for error detection. Reducing the size of an ECoG electrode implant used for BMI decoding and error detection could significantly reduce the medical risk of implantation.

  20. Some properties of human neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors fused to the green fluorescent protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma, Eleonora; Mileo, Anna M.; Martínez-Torres, Ataúlfo; Eusebi, Fabrizio; Miledi, Ricardo

    2002-01-01

    The functional properties and cellular localization of the human neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine (AcCho) receptor (α7 AcChoR) and its L248T mutated (mut) form were investigated by expressing them alone or as gene fusions with the enhanced version of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Xenopus oocytes injected with wild-type (wt), mutα7, or the chimeric subunit cDNAs expressed receptors that gated membrane currents when exposed to AcCho. As already known, AcCho currents generated by wtα7 receptors decay much faster than those elicited by the mutα7 receptors. Unexpectedly, the fusion of GFP to the wt and mutated α7 receptors led to opposite results: the AcCho-current decay of the wt receptors became slower, whereas that of the mutated receptors was accelerated. Furthermore, repetitive applications of AcCho led to a considerable “run-down” of the AcCho currents generated by mutα7-GFP receptors, whereas those of the wtα7-GFP receptors remained stable or increased in amplitude. The AcCho-current run-down of mutα7-GFP oocytes was accompanied by a marked decrease of α-bungarotoxin binding activity. Fluorescence, caused by the chimeric receptors expressed, was seen over the whole oocyte surface but was more intense and abundant in the animal hemisphere, whereas it was much weaker in the vegetal hemisphere. We conclude that fusion of GFP to wtα7 and mutα7 receptors provides powerful tools to study the distribution and function of α7 receptors. We also conclude that fused genes do not necessarily recapitulate all of the properties of the original receptors. This fact must be borne close in mind whenever reporter genes are attached to proteins. PMID:11891308

  1. Does bladder outlet obstruction alter the non-neuronal cholinergic system of the human urothelium?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bschleipfer, Thomas; Weidner, Wolfgang; Kummer, Wolfgang; Lips, Katrin S

    2012-11-27

    Alterations of the bladder sensory system are considered to contribute to detrusor overactivity (DO) when patients suffer from bladder outlet obstruction (BOO). The urothelium is one part of this sensory system and it harbors a non-neuronal cholinergic system (NNCS). We aimed to investigate if BOO causes alterations in the NNCS. Urothelial specimens were collected by endoscopy from six male controls and eight male patients suffering from BOO and DO. The samples were examined by immunofluorescence (IF) and real-time RT-PCR for high-affinity choline transporter-1 (CHT1), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT), organic cation transporters OCT1-3, muscarinic receptor (mAChR) subtypes M1-M5 and nicotinic receptor (nAChR) subunits α7, α9 and α10. ChAT, VAChT and OCT2 are not present in the male urothelium. Real-time RT-PCR and IF detected all other investigated targets. Rank order of expression was M2≫M3=M5>M4=M1 for mAChR subtypes and α7≫α10>α9 for nAChR subunits. Statistical analysis of RT-PCR results did not detect significant differences between patients and controls. Only IF detected differences between both groups: α9-Immunolabeling was increased in all BOO/DO patients. BOO does not induce considerable alterations of the human urothelial NNCS on mRNA level. Expression of mAChRs, CHT1, OCT1 and OCT3 is not significantly affected by BOO. Thus, transport mechanisms for choline and acetylcholine (ACh) stay unaltered. BOO increases immunolabeling of α9-nAChR but whether this sole finding contributes to the onset of DO seems questionable. Comparing the present results with our previous work, the urothelial NNCS does not differ between men and women. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Brain neuronal CB2 cannabinoid receptors in drug abuse and depression: from mice to human subjects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel S Onaivi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Addiction and major depression are mental health problems associated with stressful events in life with high relapse and reoccurrence even after treatment. Many laboratories were not able to detect the presence of cannabinoid CB2 receptors (CB2-Rs in healthy brains, but there has been demonstration of CB2-R expression in rat microglial cells and other brain associated cells during inflammation. Therefore, neuronal expression of CB2-Rs had been ambiguous and controversial and its role in depression and substance abuse is unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we tested the hypothesis that genetic variants of CB2 gene might be associated with depression in a human population and that alteration in CB2 gene expression may be involved in the effects of abused substances including opiates, cocaine and ethanol in rodents. Here we demonstrate that a high incidence of (Q63R but not (H316Y polymorphism in the CB2 gene was found in Japanese depressed subjects. CB2-Rs and their gene transcripts are expressed in the brains of naïve mice and are modulated following exposure to stressors and administration of abused drugs. Mice that developed alcohol preference had reduced CB2 gene expression and chronic treatment with JWH015 a putative CB2-R agonist, enhanced alcohol consumption in stressed but not in control mice. The direct intracerebroventricular microinjection of CB2 anti-sense oligonucleotide into the mouse brain reduced mouse aversions in the plus-maze test, indicating the functional presence of CB2-Rs in the brain that modifies behavior. We report for the using electron microscopy the sub cellular localization of CB2-Rs that are mainly on post-synaptic elements in rodent brain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data demonstrate the functional expression of CB2-Rs in brain that may provide novel targets for the effects of cannabinoids in depression and substance abuse disorders beyond neuro-immunocannabinoid activity.

  3. Age-related obesity and type 2 diabetes dysregulate neuronal associated genes and proteins in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahimi, Mehran; Vinciguerra, Manlio; Daghighi, Mojtaba; Özcan, Behiye; Akbarkhanzadeh, Vishtaseb; Sheedfar, Fareeba; Amini, Marzyeh; Mazza, Tommaso; Pazienza, Valerio; Motazacker, Mahdi M; Mahmoudi, Morteza; De Rooij, Felix W M; Sijbrands, Eric; Peppelenbosch, Maikel P; Rezaee, Farhad

    2015-10-06

    Despite numerous developed drugs based on glucose metabolism interventions for treatment of age-related diseases such as diabetes neuropathies (DNs), DNs are still increasing in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes (T1D, T2D). We aimed to identify novel candidates in adipose tissue (AT) and pancreas with T2D for targeting to develop new drugs for DNs therapy. AT-T2D displayed 15 (e.g. SYT4 up-regulated and VGF down-regulated) and pancreas-T2D showed 10 (e.g. BAG3 up-regulated, VAV3 and APOA1 down-regulated) highly differentially expressed genes with neuronal functions as compared to control tissues. ELISA was blindly performed to measure proteins of 5 most differentially expressed genes in 41 human subjects. SYT4 protein was upregulated, VAV3 and APOA1 were down-regulated, and BAG3 remained unchanged in 1- Obese and 2- Obese-T2D without insulin, VGF protein was higher in these two groups as well as in group 3- Obese-T2D receiving insulin than 4-lean subjects. Interaction networks analysis of these 5 genes showed several metabolic pathways (e.g. lipid metabolism and insulin signaling). Pancreas is a novel site for APOA1 synthesis. VGF is synthesized in AT and could be considered as good diagnostic, and even prognostic, marker for age-induced diseases obesity and T2D. This study provides new targets for rational drugs development for the therapy of age-related DNs.

  4. Mirror Training Augments the Cross-education of Strength and Affects Inhibitory Paths

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zult, Tjerk; Goodall, Stuart; Thomas, Kevin; Solnik, Stanislaw; Hortobagyi, Tibor; Howatson, Glyn

    2016-01-01

    ...; however, the magnitude of this interlimb cross-education is modest. We tested the hypothesis that heightened sensory feedback by mirror viewing the exercising hand would augment cross education by modulating neuronal excitability...

  5. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate induces oxidative phosphorylation by activating cytochrome c oxidase in human cultured neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano-González, Gloria; Pichaud, Nicolas; Ballard, J William O; Bessede, Alban; Marcal, Helder; Guillemin, Gilles J

    2016-02-16

    Mitochondrial dysfunction and resulting energy impairment have been identified as features of many neurodegenerative diseases. Whether this energy impairment is the cause of the disease or the consequence of preceding impairment(s) is still under discussion, however a recovery of cellular bioenergetics would plausibly prevent or improve the pathology. In this study, we screened different natural molecules for their ability to increase intracellular adenine triphosphate purine (ATP). Among them, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol from green tea, presented the most striking results. We found that it increases ATP production in both human cultured astrocytes and neurons with different kinetic parameters and without toxicity. Specifically, we showed that oxidative phosphorylation in human cultured astrocytes and neurons increased at the level of the routine respiration on the cells pre-treated with the natural molecule. Furthermore, EGCG-induced ATP production was only blocked by sodium azide (NaN3) and oligomycin, inhibitors of cytochrome c oxidase (CcO; complex IV) and ATP synthase (complex V) respectively. These findings suggest that the EGCG modulates CcO activity, as confirmed by its enzymatic activity. CcO is known to be regulated differently in neurons and astrocytes. Accordingly, EGCG treatment is acting differently on the kinetic parameters of the two cell types. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that EGCG promotes CcO activity in human cultured neurons and astrocytes. Considering that CcO dysfunction has been reported in patients having neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), we therefore suggest that EGCG could restore mitochondrial function and prevent subsequent loss of synaptic function.

  6. Dopaminergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells survive and integrate into 6-OHDA-lesioned rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Jingli; Yang, Ming; Poremsky, Elizabeth; Kidd, Sarah; Schneider, Jay S; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2010-07-01

    Cell replacement therapy could be an important treatment strategy for Parkinson's disease (PD), which is caused by the degeneration of dopamine neurons in the midbrain (mDA). The success of this approach greatly relies on the discovery of an abundant source of cells capable of mDAergic function in the brain. With the paucity of available human fetal tissue, efforts have increasingly focused on renewable stem cells. Human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells offer great promise in this regard. If hiPS cells can be differentiated into authentic mDA neuron, hiPS could provide a potential autologous source of transplant tissue when generated from PD patients, a clear advantage over human embryonic stem (hES) cells. Here, we report that mDA neurons can be derived from a commercially available hiPS cell line, IMR90 clone 4, using a modified hES differentiation protocol established in our lab. These cells express all the markers (Lmx1a, Aldh1a1, TH, TrkB), follow the same mDA lineage pathway as H9 hES cells, and have similar expression levels of DA and DOPAC. Moreover, when hiPS mDA progenitor cells are transplanted into 6-OHDA-lesioned PD rats, they survive long term and many develop into bona fide mDA neurons. Despite their differentiation and integration into the brain, many Nestin+ tumor-like cells remain at the site of the graft. Our data suggest that as with hES cells, selecting the appropriate population of mDA lineage cells and eliminating actively dividing hiPS cells before transplantation will be critical for the future success of hiPS cell replacement therapy in PD patients.

  7. γ-Secretase modulators reduce endogenous amyloid β42 levels in human neural progenitor cells without altering neuronal differentiation

    OpenAIRE

    D’Avanzo, Carla; Sliwinski, Christopher; Wagner, Steven L.; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Kim, Doo Yeon; Kovacs, Dora M.

    2015-01-01

    Soluble γ-secretase modulators (SGSMs) selectively decrease toxic amyloid β (Aβ) peptides (Aβ42). However, their effect on the physiologic functions of γ-secretase has not been tested in human model systems. γ-Secretase regulates fate determination of neural progenitor cells. Thus, we studied the impact of SGSMs on the neuronal differentiation of ReNcell VM (ReN) human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs). Quantitative PCR analysis showed that treatment of neurosphere-like ReN cell aggregate cultu...

  8. Spatial distribution of human neocortical neurons and glial cells according to sex and age measured by the saucer method

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stark, Anette Kirstine; Petersen, A O; Gardi, Jonathan Eyal

    2007-01-01

    primary neurons in the human neocortex (divided into frontal-, temporal-, parietal- and occipital cortex) of young and old subjects free of neurological or psychological disease to test if age and gender has any influence on the cell distribution in human neocortex. Plots of the spatial distribution...... of the densities of all cell types did not show any difference between women and men and no difference between brains of young and old subjects. Thus it is concluded that in this small study the spatial distribution of the densities of the different types of cells in brains from individuals free of neurological...... disorders was independent of age and gender....

  9. BDNF Increases Survival and Neuronal Differentiation of Human Neural Precursor Cells Cotransplanted with a Nanofiber Gel to the Auditory Nerve in a Rat Model of Neuronal Damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Jiao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To study possible nerve regeneration of a damaged auditory nerve by the use of stem cell transplantation. Methods. We transplanted HNPCs to the rat AN trunk by the internal auditory meatus (IAM. Furthermore, we studied if addition of BDNF affects survival and phenotypic differentiation of the grafted HNPCs. A bioactive nanofiber gel (PA gel, in selected groups mixed with BDNF, was applied close to the implanted cells. Before transplantation, all rats had been deafened by a round window niche application of β-bungarotoxin. This neurotoxin causes a selective toxic destruction of the AN while keeping the hair cells intact. Results. Overall, HNPCs survived well for up to six weeks in all groups. However, transplants receiving the BDNF-containing PA gel demonstrated significantly higher numbers of HNPCs and neuronal differentiation. At six weeks, a majority of the HNPCs had migrated into the brain stem and differentiated. Differentiated human cells as well as neurites were observed in the vicinity of the cochlear nucleus. Conclusion. Our results indicate that human neural precursor cells (HNPC integration with host tissue benefits from additional brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF treatment and that these cells appear to be good candidates for further regenerative studies on the auditory nerve (AN.

  10. Rapid and efficient CRISPR/Cas9 gene inactivation in human neurons during human pluripotent stem cell differentiation and direct reprogramming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio, Alicia; Luoni, Mirko; Giannelli, Serena G; Radice, Isabella; Iannielli, Angelo; Cancellieri, Cinzia; Di Berardino, Claudia; Regalia, Giulia; Lazzari, Giovanna; Menegon, Andrea; Taverna, Stefano; Broccoli, Vania

    2016-11-18

    The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a rapid and customizable tool for gene editing in mammalian cells. In particular, this approach has widely opened new opportunities for genetic studies in neurological disease. Human neurons can be differentiated in vitro from hPSC (human Pluripotent Stem Cells), hNPCs (human Neural Precursor Cells) or even directly reprogrammed from fibroblasts. Here, we described a new platform which enables, rapid and efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome targeting simultaneously with three different paradigms for in vitro generation of neurons. This system was employed to inactivate two genes associated with neurological disorder (TSC2 and KCNQ2) and achieved up to 85% efficiency of gene targeting in the differentiated cells. In particular, we devised a protocol that, combining the expression of the CRISPR components with neurogenic factors, generated functional human neurons highly enriched for the desired genome modification in only 5 weeks. This new approach is easy, fast and that does not require the generation of stable isogenic clones, practice that is time consuming and for some genes not feasible.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Francesco; Yavuz, Utku Şükrü

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Distribution of neurons in functional areas of the mouse cerebral cortex reveals quantitatively different cortical zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Watson, Charles; Paxinos, George

    2013-01-01

    How are neurons distributed along the cortical surface and across functional areas? Here we use the isotropic fractionator (Herculano-Houzel and Lent, 2005) to analyze the distribution of neurons across the entire isocortex of the mouse, divided into 18 functional areas defined anatomically. We find that the number of neurons underneath a surface area (the N/A ratio) varies 4.5-fold across functional areas and neuronal density varies 3.2-fold. The face area of S1 contains the most neurons, followed by motor cortex and the primary visual cortex. Remarkably, while the distribution of neurons across functional areas does not accompany the distribution of surface area, it mirrors closely the distribution of cortical volumes—with the exception of the visual areas, which hold more neurons than expected for their volume. Across the non-visual cortex, the volume of individual functional areas is a shared linear function of their number of neurons, while in the visual areas, neuronal densities are much higher than in all other areas. In contrast, the 18 functional areas cluster into three different zones according to the relationship between the N/A ratio and cortical thickness and neuronal density: these three clusters can be called visual, sensory, and, possibly, associative. These findings are remarkably similar to those in the human cerebral cortex (Ribeiro et al., 2013) and suggest that, like the human cerebral cortex, the mouse cerebral cortex comprises two zones that differ in how neurons form the cortical volume, and three zones that differ in how neurons are distributed underneath the cortical surface, possibly in relation to local differences in connectivity through the white matter. Our results suggest that beyond the developmental divide into visual and non-visual cortex, functional areas initially share a common distribution of neurons along the parenchyma that become delimited into functional areas according to the pattern of connectivity established later

  13. Distribution of neurons in functional areas of the mouse cerebral cortex reveals quantitatively different cortical zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana eHerculano-Houzel

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available How are neurons distributed along the cortical surface and across functional areas? Here we use the isotropic fractionator (Herculano-Houzel and Lent, 2005 to analyze the distribution of neurons across the entire isocortex of the mouse, divided into 18 functional areas defined anatomically. We find that the number of neurons underneath a surface area (the N/A ratio varies 4.5-fold across functional areas and neuronal density varies 3.2-fold. The face area of S1 contains the most neurons, followed by motor cortex and the primary visual cortex. Remarkably, while the distribution of neurons across functional areas does not accompany the distribution of surface area, it mirrors closely the distribution of cortical volumes – with the exception of the visual areas, which hold more neurons than expected for their volume. Across the non-visual cortex, the volume of individual functional areas is a shared linear function of their number of neurons, while in the visual areas, neuronal densities are much higher than in all other areas. In contrast, the 18 functional areas cluster into three different zones according to the relationship between the N/A ratio and cortical thickness and neuronal density: these three clusters can be called visual, sensory, and, possibly, associative. These findings are remarkably similar to those in the human cerebral cortex (see companion paper and suggest that, like the human cerebral cortex, the mouse cerebral cortex comprises two zones that differ in how neurons form the cortical volume, and three zones that differ in how neurons are distributed underneath the cortical surface, possibly in relation to local differences in connectivity through the white matter. Our results suggest that beyond the developmental divide into visual and non-visual cortex, functional areas initially share a common distribution of neurons along the parenchyma that become delimited into functional areas according to the pattern of connectivity

  14. Differentiating effects of the glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue exendin-4 in a human neuronal cell model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luciani, Paola; Deledda, Cristiana; Benvenuti, Susanna; Cellai, Ilaria; Squecco, Roberta; Monici, Monica; Cialdai, Francesca; Luciani, Giorgia; Danza, Giovanna; Di Stefano, Chiara; Francini, Fabio; Peri, Alessandro

    2010-11-01

    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an insulinotropic peptide with neurotrophic properties, as assessed in animal cell models. Exendin-4, a GLP-1 analogue, has been recently approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to morphologically, structurally, and functionally characterize the differentiating actions of exendin-4 using a human neuronal cell model (i.e., SH-SY5Y cells). We found that exendin-4 increased the number of neurites paralleled by dramatic changes in intracellular actin and tubulin distribution. Electrophysiological analyses showed an increase in cell membrane surface and in stretch-activated-channels sensitivity, an increased conductance of Na(+) channels and amplitude of Ca(++) currents (T- and L-type), typical of a more mature neuronal phenotype. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that exendin-4 promotes neuronal differentiation in human cells. Noteworthy, our data support the claimed favorable role of exendin-4 against diabetic neuropathy as well as against different neurodegenerative diseases.

  15. PC1/3 Deficiency Impacts Pro-opiomelanocortin Processing in Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Hypothalamic Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liheng Wang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available We recently developed a technique for generating hypothalamic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells. Here, as proof of principle, we examine the use of these cells in modeling of a monogenic form of severe obesity: PCSK1 deficiency. The cognate enzyme, PC1/3, processes many prohormones in neuroendocrine and other tissues. We generated PCSK1 (PC1/3-deficient human embryonic stem cell (hESC lines using both short hairpin RNA and CRISPR-Cas9, and investigated pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC processing using hESC-differentiated hypothalamic neurons. The increased levels of unprocessed POMC and the decreased ratios (relative to POMC of processed POMC-derived peptides in both PCSK1 knockdown and knockout hESC-derived neurons phenocopied POMC processing reported in PC1/3-null mice and PC1/3-deficient patients. PC1/3 deficiency was associated with increased expression of melanocortin receptors and PRCP (prolylcarboxypeptidase, a catabolic enzyme for α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (αMSH, and reduced adrenocorticotropic hormone secretion. We conclude that the obesity accompanying PCSK1 deficiency may not be primarily due to αMSH deficiency.

  16. Hypothermic Preconditioning Reverses Tau Ontogenesis in Human Cortical Neurons and is Mimicked by Protein Phosphatase 2A Inhibition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina M. Rzechorzek

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hypothermia is potently neuroprotective, but the molecular basis of this effect remains obscure. Changes in neuronal tau protein are of interest, since tau becomes hyperphosphorylated in injury-resistant, hypothermic brains. Noting inter-species differences in tau isoforms, we have used functional cortical neurons differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells (hCNs to interrogate tau modulation during hypothermic preconditioning at clinically-relevant temperatures. Key tau developmental transitions (phosphorylation status and splicing shift are recapitulated during hCN differentiation and subsequently reversed by mild (32 °C to moderate (28 °C cooling — conditions which reduce oxidative and excitotoxic stress-mediated injury in hCNs. Blocking a major tau kinase decreases hCN tau phosphorylation and abrogates hypothermic neuroprotection, whilst inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A mimics cooling-induced tau hyperphosphorylation and protects normothermic hCNs from oxidative stress. These findings indicate a possible role for phospho-tau in hypothermic preconditioning, and suggest that cooling drives human tau towards an earlier ontogenic phenotype whilst increasing neuronal resilience to common neurotoxic insults. This work provides a critical step forward in understanding how we might exploit the neuroprotective benefits of cooling without cooling patients.

  17. Characterisation Of Forebrain Neurons Derived From Late-Onset Huntington’s Disease Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Christos Niclis

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's Disease (HD is an incurable neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in exon 1 of the Huntingtin gene. Recently, induced pluripotent stem cell lines carrying atypical and aggressive (CAG60+ HD variants have been generated, and perplexingly exhibit disparate molecular pathologies. Here we investigate two human embryonic stem cell (hESC lines carrying CAG37 and CAG51 repeats to assess whether typical late-onset expansions exhibit HD pathologies. HD hESC properties were assessed in comparison to wildtype control lines at undifferentiated states and throughout forebrain neuronal differentiation. Pluripotent HD lines demonstrate growth, viability, pluripotent gene expression, mitochondrial activity and forebrain specification that is indistinguishable from control lines. Expression profiles of crucial genes known to be dysregulated in HD remain unperturbed in the presence of mutant protein and throughout differentiation; however, elevated glutamate responses were observed in HD CAG51 neurons. These findings suggest typical late-onset HD mutations do not alter pluripotent parameters or differentiation mechanics but that neuronal progeny may possess the capacity to recapitulate neuropathologies seen in human patients. Such HD models will help further our understanding of the cascade of pathological events leading to disease onset and progression, while simultaneously facilitating the identification of candidate HD therapeutics.

  18. Utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to understand the actions of estrogens in human neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shum, Carole; Macedo, Sara C.; Warre-Cornish, Katherine; Cocks, Graham; Price, Jack; Srivastava, Deepak P.

    2015-01-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue “Estradiol and Cognition”. Over recent years tremendous progress has been made towards understanding the molecular and cellular mechanism by which estrogens exert enhancing effects on cognition, and how they act as a neuroprotective or neurotrophic agent in disease. Currently, much of this work has been carried out in animal models with only a limited number of studies using native human tissue or cells. Recent advances in stem cell technology now make it possible to reprogram somatic cells from humans into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can subsequently be differentiated into neurons of specific lineages. Importantly, the reprogramming of cells allows for the generation of iPSCs that retain the genetic “makeup” of the donor. Therefore, it is possible to generate iPSC-derived neurons from patients diagnosed with specific diseases, that harbor the complex genetic background associated with the disorder. Here, we review the iPSC technology and how it's currently being used to model neural development and neurological diseases. Furthermore, we explore whether this cellular system could be used to understand the role of estrogens in human neurons, and present preliminary data in support of this. We further suggest that the use of iPSC technology offers a novel system to not only further understand estrogens' effects in human cells, but also to investigate the mechanism by which estrogens are beneficial in disease. Developing a greater understanding of these mechanisms in native human cells will also aid in the development of safer and more effective estrogen-based therapeutics. PMID:26143621

  19. The Rubber-Hand Illusion in a Mirror

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertamini, Marco

    2011-01-01

    In the rubber-hand illusion (RHI) one's hand is hidden, and a fake hand is visible. We explored the situation in which visual information was available indirectly in a mirror. Unlike most species, humans are capable of mirror self-recognition. In the mirror condition, compared to the standard condition (fake hand visible directly), we found no reduction of the RHI following synchronised stimulation, as measured by crossmanual pointing and a questionnaire. We replicated the finding with a smaller mirror that prevented visibility of the face. The RHI was eliminated when a wooden block replaced the fake hand, or when the hand belonged to another person. We conclude that awareness of the reflection is the critical variable, despite the distant visual localisation of the hand in a mirror and the third-person perspective. Stimuli seen in a mirror activate the same response as stimuli seen in peripersonal space, through knowledge that they are near one's body.

  20. Optimized bimorph flexible mirrors for laser beam correction and shaping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobolev, A. S.; Cherezova, T. Y.; Kudryashov, A. V.

    2005-08-01

    In this paper a new algorithm of bimorph deformable mirror the best-suited electrodes shape and position determination is suggested. This algorithm is based on solving an inverse problem of defining the best electrodes position from the required phase distribution formation. The first part of the algorithm is an approximate determination of mirror electrodes position, which is based on linear dependence of electrical field in piezoceramics from laplasian of corresponding mirror deformation. Exact locating of the electrodes is the second part of the algorithm and is performed during iterative procedure. During the procedure relative root mean square deviation of computed mirror profile from the demanded one is minimized. To calculate mirror deformation on every iteration step we use a specially developed finite element model of the bimorph mirror. By using the developed algorithm, we demonstrate possibility to increase quality of reproducing various phase profiles, for example those, corresponding to human eye aberrations and even to form vortex beam.

  1. Dirac quantum time mirror

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reck, Phillipp; Gorini, Cosimo; Goussev, Arseni; Krueckl, Viktor; Fink, Mathias; Richter, Klaus

    2017-04-01

    Both metaphysical and practical considerations related to time inversion have intrigued scientists for generations. Physicists have strived to devise and implement time-inversion protocols, in particular different forms of "time mirrors" for classical waves. Here we propose an instantaneous time mirror for quantum systems, i.e., a controlled time discontinuity generating wave function echoes with high fidelities. This concept exploits coherent particle-hole oscillations in a Dirac spectrum in order to achieve population reversal, and can be implemented in systems such as (real or artificial) graphene.

  2. Surface micromachined scanning mirrors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mattsson, Kent Erik

    1992-01-01

    Both aluminum cantilever and torsional scanning mirrors have been fabricated and their static and dynamic properties are studied experimentally and theoretically. The experiments showed resonance frequencies in the range of 163 k-Hz - 632 kHz for cantilever beams with Q values between 5 and 11....... Torsional mirrors showed resonance frequencies in the range of 410 kHz - 667 kHz with Q values of 10 - 17. All measurements performed at atmospheric pressure. Both types of mechanical structures were deflected electrostatically at large angles (± 5°) more than 1011 times without breaking and without any...

  3. Unification with mirror fermions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Triantaphyllou George

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available We present a new framework unifying interactions in nature by introducing mirror fermions, explaining the hierarchy between the weak scale and the coupling unification scale, which is found to lie close to Planck energies. A novel process leading to the emergence of symmetry is proposed, which not only reduces the arbitrariness of the scenario proposed but is also followed by significant cosmological implications. Phenomenology includes the probability of detection of mirror fermions via the corresponding composite bosonic states and the relevant quantum corrections at the LHC.

  4. Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: a case of cognitive convergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiss, D; Marino, L

    2001-05-08

    The ability to recognize oneself in a mirror is an exceedingly rare capacity in the animal kingdom. To date, only humans and great apes have shown convincing evidence of mirror self-recognition. Two dolphins were exposed to reflective surfaces, and both demonstrated responses consistent with the use of the mirror to investigate marked parts of the body. This ability to use a mirror to inspect parts of the body is a striking example of evolutionary convergence with great apes and humans.

  5. Contextual Modulation of Mirror and Countermirror Sensorimotor Associations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard; Dickinson, Anthony; Heyes, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    Automatic imitation--the unintended copying of observed actions--is thought to be a behavioral product of the mirror neuron system (MNS). Evidence that the MNS develops through associative learning comes from previous research showing that automatic imitation is attenuated by countermirror training, in which the observation of one action is paired…

  6. Human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons respond to convulsant drugs when co-cultured with hiPSC-derived astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, Misawa Niki; Yamamoto, Koji; Shoji, Masanobu; Asami, Asano; Kawamata, Yuji

    2017-08-15

    Accurate risk assessment for drug-induced seizure is expected to be performed before entering clinical studies because of its severity and fatal damage to drug development. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has allowed the use of human neurons and glial cells in toxicology studies. Recently, several studies showed the advantage of co-culture system of human iPSC (hiPSC)-derived neurons with rodent/human primary astrocytes regarding neuronal functions. However, the application of hiPSC-derived neurons for seizure risk assessment has not yet been fully addressed, and not at all when co-cultured with hiPSC-derived astrocytes. Here, we characterized hiPSC-derived neurons co-cultured with hiPSC-derived astrocytes to discuss how hiPSC-derived neurons are useful to assess seizure risk of drugs. First, we detected the frequency of spikes and synchronized bursts hiPSC-derived neurons when co-cultured with hiPSC-derived astrocytes for 8 weeks. This synchronized burst was suppressed by the treatment with 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor antagonist, and D-(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid, an N-Methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. These data suggested that co-cultured hiPSC-derived neurons formed synaptic connections mediated by AMPA and NMDA receptors. We also demonstrated that co-cultured hiPSC-derived neurons showed epileptiform activity upon treatment with gabazine or kaliotoxin. Finally, we performed single-cell transcriptome analysis in hiPSC-derived neurons and found that hiPSC-derived astrocytes activated the pathways involved in the activities of AMPA and NMDA receptor functions, neuronal polarity, and axon guidance in hiPSC-derived neurons. These data suggested that hiPSC-derived astrocytes promoted the development of action potential, synaptic functions, and neuronal networks in hiPSC-derived neurons, and then these functional alterations result in the epileptiform

  7. Neuronal markers are expressed in human gliomas and NSE knockdown sensitizes glioblastoma cells to radiotherapy and temozolomide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Tao

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Expression of neuronal elements has been identified in various glial tumors, and glioblastomas (GBMs with neuronal differentiation patterns have reportedly been associated with longer survival. However, the neuronal class III β-tubulin has been linked to increasing malignancy in astrocytomas. Thus, the significance of neuronal markers in gliomas is not established. Methods The expressions of class III β-tubulin, neurofilament protein (NFP, microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2 and neuron-specific enolase (NSE were investigated in five GBM cell lines and two GBM biopsies with immunocytochemistry and Western blot. Moreover, the expression levels were quantified by real-time qPCR under different culture conditions. Following NSE siRNA treatment we used Electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS to monitor cell growth and migration and MTS assays to study viability after irradiation and temozolomide treatment. Finally, we quantitated NSE expression in a series of human glioma biopsies with immunohistochemistry using a morphometry software, and collected survival data for the corresponding patients. The biopsies were then grouped according to expression in two halves which were compared by survival analysis. Results Immunocytochemistry and Western blotting showed that all markers except NFP were expressed both in GBM cell lines and biopsies. Notably, qPCR demonstrated that NSE was upregulated in cellular stress conditions, such as serum-starvation and hypoxia, while we found no uniform pattern for the other markers. NSE knockdown reduced the migration of glioma cells, sensitized them to hypoxia, radio- and chemotherapy. Furthermore, we found that GBM patients in the group with the highest NSE expression lived significantly shorter than patients in the low-expression group. Conclusions Neuronal markers are aberrantly expressed in human GBMs, and NSE is consistently upregulated in different cellular stress conditions

  8. Human amniotic fluid stem cells do not differentiate into dopamine neurons in vitro or after transplantation in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, Angela E; Cai, Jingli; Yang, Ming; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2009-09-01

    Although embryonic stem (ES) cells can generate dopamine (DA) neurons that are potentially useful as a cell replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD), associated ethical and practical concerns remain major stumbling blocks to their eventual use in humans. In this study, we examined human amniotic fluid stem (hAFS) cells derived from routine amniocenteses for their potential to give rise to DA neurons in vitro and following transplantation into the 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rat brain. We show that undifferentiated hAFS cells constitutively expressed mRNAs and proteins typical of stem cells but also cell derivatives of all three germ layers, including neural progenitors/neurons (nestin, beta-tubulin III, neurofilament). Additionally, these cells expressed mRNAs of an immature DA phenotype (Lmx1a, Pitx-3, Nurr1, Aldh1a1) but not the corresponding proteins. Importantly, treatment with DA differentiation factors using a variety of protocols did not further promote the development of fully differentiated DA neurons from hAFS cells. Thus, Lmx1a, Aldh1a1, AADC, TH, and DAT proteins were not detected in hAFS cells in culture or after transplantation into the PD rat brain. Moreover, by 3 weeks after implantation, there were no surviving AFS cells in the graft, likely as a result of an acute immunorejection response, as evidenced by the abundant presence of CD11+ macrophage/microglia and reactive GFAP+ astrocytes in the host brain. Taken together, these results suggest that further studies will be needed to improve differentiation procedures in culture and to prolong cell survival in vivo if hAFS cells are to be useful as replacement cells in PD.

  9. Firing probability and mean firing rates of human muscle vasoconstrictor neurones are elevated during chronic asphyxia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ashley, Cynthia; Burton, Danielle; Sverrisdottir, Yrsa B

    2010-01-01

    are chronically asphyxic. We tested the hypothesis that this elevated chemical drive would shift the firing pattern from that seen in healthy subjects to that seen in OSAS. The mean firing probability (52%) and mean firing rate (0.92 Hz) of 17 muscle vasoconstrictor neurones recorded in COPD were comparable...... in the obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is associated with an increase in firing probability and mean firing rate, and an increase in multiple within-burst firing. Here we characterize the firing properties of muscle vasoconstrictor neurones in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), who...... in the healthy group (78%). Conversely, single neurones fired twice in 25% of cardiac intervals, similar to OSAS (27%), but significantly higher than in the healthy group (18%). We conclude that the chronic asphyxia associated with COPD results in an increase in the firing probability and mean firing frequency...

  10. Human pluripotent stem cell derived midbrain PITX3eGFP/w neurons: a versatile tool for pharmacological screening and neurodegenerative modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley eWatmuff

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available AbstractPITX3 expression is confined to adult midbrain dopaminergic neurons. In this study we describe the generation and basic functional characteristics of midbrain dopaminergic neurons derived from a human pluripotent stem cell line expressing eGFP under the control of the PITX3 promoter. Flow cytometry shows that eGFP is evident in 15% of the neuron population at day 12 of differentiation and this level is maintained until at least day 80. From day 20-80 of differentiation intracellular chloride decreases and throughout this period around ~20% of PITX3eGFP/w neurons exhibit spontaneous Ca2+ transients (from 3.3+/-0.3 to 5.0+/-0.1 min-1, respectively. These neurons also respond to any of ATP, glutamate, acetylcholine or noradrenaline with elevations of intracellular calcium. As neuronal cultures mature more dopamine is released and single PITX3eGFP/w neurons begin to respond to more than one neurotransmitter. MPP+ and tumor necrosis factor(TNF, but not prostaglandin E2, caused death of the ~50% of PITX3eGFP/w neurons (day 80. Tracking eGFP using time lapse confocal microscopy over 24 hours demonstrated significant TNF-mediated neurite retraction over time. These PITX3eGFP/w neurons are amenable to flow cytometry, release dopamine and respond to multiple neurotransmitters with elevations of intracellular calcium, we believe that they represent a versatile system for neuropharmacological and neurotoxicological studies.

  11. Laminin α5 substrates promote survival, network formation and functional development of human pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyysalo, Anu; Ristola, Mervi; Mäkinen, Meeri E-L; Häyrynen, Sergei; Nykter, Matti; Narkilahti, Susanna

    2017-10-01

    Laminins are one of the major protein groups in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and specific laminin isoforms are crucial for neuronal functions in the central nervous system in vivo. In the present study, we compared recombinant human laminin isoforms (LN211, LN332, LN411, LN511, and LN521) and laminin isoform fragment (LN511-E8) in in vitro cultures of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neurons. We showed that laminin substrates containing the α5-chain are important for neuronal attachment, viability and network formation, as detected by phase contrast imaging, viability staining, and immunocytochemistry. Gene expression analysis showed that the molecular mechanisms involved in the preference of hPSC-derived neurons for specific laminin isoforms could be related to ECM remodeling and cell adhesion. Importantly, the microelectrode array analysis revealed the widest distribution of electrophysiologically active neurons on laminin α5 substrates, indicating most efficient development of neuronal network functionality. This study shows that specific laminin α5 substrates provide a controlled in vitro culture environment for hPSC-derived neurons. These substrates can be utilized not only to enhance the production of functional hPSC-derived neurons for in vitro applications like disease modeling, toxicological studies, and drug discovery, but also for the production of clinical grade hPSC-derived cells for regenerative medicine applications. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Gene expression Analysis of Neurons and Astrocytes Isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection from Frozen Human Brain Tissues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lidia Tagliafierro

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Different cell types and multiple cellular connections characterize the human brain. Gene expression analysis using a specific population of cells is more accurate than conducting analysis of the whole tissue homogenate, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative diseases, where a specific subset of cells is affected by the different pathology. Due to the difficulty to obtain homogenous cell populations, gene expression in specific cell-types (neurons, astrocytes, etc. has been understudied. To leverage the use of archive resources of frozen human brains in studies of neurodegenerative diseases, we developed and calibrated a method to quantify cell-type specific – neuronal, astrocytes – expression profiles of genes implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Archive human frozen brain tissues were used to prepare slides for rapid immunostaining using cell-specific antibodies. The immunoreactive-cells were isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM. The enrichment for a particular cell-type of interest was validated in post-analysis stage by the expression of cell-specific markers. We optimized the technique to preserve the RNA integrity, so that the RNA was suitable for downstream expression analyses. Following RNA extraction, the expression levels were determined digitally using nCounter Single Cell Gene Expression assay (NanoString Technologies®. The results demonstrated that using our optimized technique we successfully isolated single neurons and astrocytes from human frozen brain tissues and obtained RNA of a good quality that was suitable for mRNA expression analysis. We present here new advancements compared to previous reported methods, which improve the method’s feasibility and its applicability for a variety of downstream molecular analyses. Our new developed method can be implemented in genetic and functional genomic research of neurodegenerative diseases and has the

  13. Rearview Mirror Dimming Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layton, William

    2011-01-01

    Students are often unaware of the little tab on a rear-view mirror that is used to dim headlights from the rear. Those who know about this tab are usually interested in knowing how it works. Explanations of the optics involved can be found in Serway and Jewett and Jones and Edge. An alternate explanation is given.

  14. Stereological analysis of neuron, glial and endothelial cell numbers in the human amygdaloid complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Amado, María; Prensa, Lucía

    2012-01-01

    Cell number alterations in the amygdaloid complex (AC) might coincide with neurological and psychiatric pathologies with anxiety imbalances as well as with changes in brain functionality during aging. This stereological study focused on estimating, in samples from 7 control individuals aged 20 to 75 years old, the number and density of neurons, glia and endothelial cells in the entire AC and in its 5 nuclear groups (including the basolateral (BL), corticomedial and central groups), 5 nuclei and 13 nuclear subdivisions. The volume and total cell number in these territories were determined on Nissl-stained sections with the Cavalieri principle and the optical fractionator. The AC mean volume was 956 mm(3) and mean cell numbers (x10(6)) were: 15.3 neurons, 60 glial cells and 16.8 endothelial cells. The numbers of endothelial cells and neurons were similar in each AC region and were one fourth the number of glial cells. Analysis of the influence of the individuals' age at death on volume, cell number and density in each of these 24 AC regions suggested that aging does not affect regional size or the amount of glial cells, but that neuron and endothelial cell numbers respectively tended to decrease and increase in territories such as AC or BL. These accurate stereological measures of volume and total cell numbers and densities in the AC of control individuals could serve as appropriate reference values to evaluate subtle alterations in this structure in pathological conditions.

  15. Neuronal plasticity after a human spinal cord injury: positive and negative effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Volker

    2012-05-01

    In patients suffering an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) an improvement in walking function can be achieved by providing a functional training with an appropriate afferent input. In contrast, in immobilized incomplete and complete subjects a negative neuroplasticity leads to a neuronal dysfunction. After an SCI, neuronal centers below the level of lesion exhibit plasticity that either can be exploited by specific training paradigms or undergo a degradation of function due to the loss of appropriate input. Load- and hip-joint-related afferent inputs seem to be of crucial importance for the generation of a locomotor pattern and, consequently, the effectiveness of the locomotor training. In severely affected SCI subjects rehabilitation robots allow for a longer and more intensive training and can provide feedback information. Conversely, in severely affected chronic SCI individuals without functional training the locomotor activity in the leg muscles exhausts rapidly during assisted locomotion. This is accompanied by a shift from early to dominant late spinal reflex components. The exhaustion of locomotor activity is also observed in non-ambulatory patients with an incomplete SCI. It is assumed that in chronic SCI the patient's immobility results in a reduced input from supraspinal and peripheral sources and leads to a dominance of inhibitory drive within spinal neuronal circuitries underlying locomotor pattern and spinal reflex generation. A training with an enhancement of an appropriate proprioceptive input early after an SCI might serve as an intervention to prevent neuronal dysfunction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Decreased number of oxytocin neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the human hypothalamus in AIDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purba, J S; Hofman, M A; Portegies, P; Troost, D; Swaab, D F

    1993-08-01

    The number of immunocytochemically identified vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OXT) neurons was determined morphometrically in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus of 20 acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients and 10 controls. The AIDS group consisted of 14 homosexual males (age range 25-62 years), four of whom had a probable HIV-1 associated dementia complex, and six non-demented heterosexuals (four males and two females, age range 21-73 years). Ten males without a primary neurological or psychiatric disease served as a control group. The number of OXT-expressing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of both groups of AIDS patients was approximately 40% lower than that of the controls. In contrast, the three groups showed no significant differences in the number of AVP-expressing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus. Since there were no significant differences in the number of AVP and OXT cells between the homosexual and heterosexual subjects with AIDS, the morphological difference in the paraventricular nucleus seems to be related to AIDS and not to sexual orientation. No inflammatory changes were found in the paraventricular nucleus area. The selective changes in the OXT neurons of the paraventricular nucleus may be the basis for part of the neuroendocrine, autonomic dysfunction or vegetative symptoms in AIDS.

  17. Stereological analysis of neuron, glial and endothelial cell numbers in the human amygdaloid complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María García-Amado

    Full Text Available Cell number alterations in the amygdaloid complex (AC might coincide with neurological and psychiatric pathologies with anxiety imbalances as well as with changes in brain functionality during aging. This stereological study focused on estimating, in samples from 7 control individuals aged 20 to 75 years old, the number and density of neurons, glia and endothelial cells in the entire AC and in its 5 nuclear groups (including the basolateral (BL, corticomedial and central groups, 5 nuclei and 13 nuclear subdivisions. The volume and total cell number in these territories were determined on Nissl-stained sections with the Cavalieri principle and the optical fractionator. The AC mean volume was 956 mm(3 and mean cell numbers (x10(6 were: 15.3 neurons, 60 glial cells and 16.8 endothelial cells. The numbers of endothelial cells and neurons were similar in each AC region and were one fourth the number of glial cells. Analysis of the influence of the individuals' age at death on volume, cell number and density in each of these 24 AC regions suggested that aging does not affect regional size or the amount of glial cells, but that neuron and endothelial cell numbers respectively tended to decrease and increase in territories such as AC or BL. These accurate stereological measures of volume and total cell numbers and densities in the AC of control individuals could serve as appropriate reference values to evaluate subtle alterations in this structure in pathological conditions.

  18. Cosmology with liquid mirror telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogg, David W.; Gibson, Brad K.; Hickson, Paul

    1993-01-01

    Liquid mirrors provide an exciting means to obtain large optical telescopes for substantially lower costs than conventional technologies. The liquid mirror concept has been demonstrated in the lab with the construction of a diffraction limited 1.5 m mirror. The mirror surface, using liquid mercury, forms a perfect parabolic shape when the mirror cell is rotated at a uniform velocity. A liquid mirror must be able to support a heavy mercury load with minimal flexure and have a fundamental resonant frequency that is as high as possible, to suppress the amplitude of surface waves caused by small vibrations transmitted to the mirror. To minimize the transmission of vibrations to the liquid surface, the entire mirror rests on an air bearing. This necessitates the mirror cell being lightweight, due to the limited load capabilities of the air bearing. The mirror components must also have physical characteristics which minimize the effects of thermal expansion with ambient temperature fluctuations in the observatory. In addition, the 2.7 m mirror construction is designed so that the techniques used may be readily extended to the construction of large mirrors. To attain the goals of a lightweight, rigid mirror, a composite laminant construction was used. The mirror consists of a foam core cut to the desired parabolic shape, with an accuracy of a few mm. An aluminum hub serves as an anchor for the foam and skin, and allows precise centering of the mirror on the air bearing and drive system. Several plys of Kevlar, covered in an epoxy matrix, are then applied to the foam. A final layer of pure epoxy is formed by spin casting. This final layer is parabolic to within a fraction of a mm. An aluminum ring bonded to the circumference of the mirror retains the mercury, and incorporates stainless-steel hard-points for the attachment of balance weights.

  19. Direct Laser Writing of Tubular Microtowers for 3D Culture of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neuronal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turunen, Sanna; Joki, Tiina; Hiltunen, Maiju L; Ihalainen, Teemu O; Narkilahti, Susanna; Kellomäki, Minna

    2017-08-09

    As the complex structure of nervous tissue cannot be mimicked in two-dimensional (2D) cultures, the development of three-dimensional (3D) neuronal cell culture platforms is a topical issue in the field of neuroscience and neural tissue engineering. Computer-assisted laser-based fabrication techniques such as direct laser writing by two-photon polymerization (2PP-DLW) offer a versatile tool to fabricate 3D cell culture platforms with highly ordered geometries in the size scale of natural 3D cell environments. In this study, we present the design and 2PP-DLW fabrication process of a novel 3D neuronal cell culture platform based on tubular microtowers. The platform facilitates efficient long-term 3D culturing of human neuronal cells and supports neurite orientation and 3D network formation. Microtower designs both with or without intraluminal guidance cues and/or openings in the tower wall are designed and successfully fabricated from Ormocomp. Three of the microtower designs are chosen for the final culture platform: a design with openings in the wall and intralumial guidance cues (webs and pillars), a design with openings but without intraluminal structures, and a plain cylinder design. The proposed culture platform offers a promising concept for future 3D cultures in the field of neuroscience.

  20. Neurons in the human hippocampus and amygdala respond to both low- and high-level image properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmetz, Peter N; Cabrales, Elaine; Wilson, Michael S; Baker, Christopher P; Thorp, Christopher K; Smith, Kris A; Treiman, David M

    2011-06-01

    A large number of studies have demonstrated that structures within the medial temporal lobe, such as the hippocampus, are intimately involved in declarative memory for objects and people. Although these items are abstractions of the visual scene, specific visual details can change the speed and accuracy of their recall. By recording from 415 neurons in the hippocampus and amygdala of human epilepsy patients as they viewed images drawn from 10 image categories, we showed that the firing rates of 8% of these neurons encode image illuminance and contrast, low-level properties not directly pertinent to task performance, whereas in 7% of the neurons, firing rates encode the category of the item depicted in the image, a high-level property pertinent to the task. This simultaneous representation of high- and low-level image properties within the same brain areas may serve to bind separate aspects of visual objects into a coherent percept and allow episodic details of objects to influence mnemonic performance.

  1. A53T Human α-Synuclein Overexpression in Transgenic Mice Induces Pervasive Mitochondria Macroautophagy Defects Preceding Dopamine Neuron Degeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhiguo; Turkson, Susie

    2015-01-01

    In vitro evidence suggests that the inefficient removal of damaged mitochondria by macroautophagy contributes to Parkinson's disease (PD). Using a tissue-specific gene amplification strategy, we generated a transgenic mouse line with human α-synuclein A53T overexpression specifically in dopamine (DA) neurons. Transgenic mice showed profound early-onset mitochondria abnormalities, characterized by macroautophagy marker-positive cytoplasmic inclusions containing mainly mitochondrial remnants, which preceded the degeneration of DA neurons. Genetic deletion of either parkin or PINK1 in these transgenic mice significantly worsened mitochondrial pathologies, including drastically enlarged inclusions and loss of total mitochondria contents. These data suggest that mitochondria are the main targets of α-synuclein and their defective autophagic clearance plays a significant role during pathogenesis. Moreover, endogenous PINK1 or parkin is indispensable for the proper autophagic removal of damaged mitochondria. Our data for the first time establish an essential link between mitochondria macroautophagy impairments and DA neuron degeneration in an in vivo model based on known PD genetics. The model, its well-defined pathologies, and the demonstration of a main pathogenesis pathway in the present study have set the stage and direction of emphasis for future studies. PMID:25609609

  2. Exosomes from dental pulp stem cells rescue human dopaminergic neurons from 6-hydroxy-dopamine-induced apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarmalavičiūtė, Akvilė; Tunaitis, Virginijus; Pivoraitė, Ugnė; Venalis, Algirdas; Pivoriūnas, Augustas

    2015-07-01

    Stem cells derived from the dental pulp of human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHEDs) have unique neurogenic properties that could be potentially exploited for therapeutic use. The importance of paracrine SHED signaling for neuro-regeneration has been recognized, but the exact mechanisms behind these effects are presently unknown. In the present study, we investigated the neuro-protective potential of exosomes and micro-vesicles derived from SHEDs on human dopaminergic neurons during oxidative stress-induced by 6-hydroxy-dopamine (6-OHDA). ReNcell VM human neural stem cells were differentiated into dopaminergic neurons and treated with 100 μmol/L of 6-OHDA alone or in combination with exosomes or micro-vesicles purified by ultracentrifugation from SHEDs cultivated in serum-free medium under two conditions: in standard two-dimensional culture flasks or on laminin-coated micro-carriers in a bioreactor. Real-time monitoring of apoptosis was performed with the use of time-lapse confocal microscopy and the CellEvent Caspase-3/7 green detection reagent. Exosomes but not micro-vesicles derived from SHEDs grown on the laminin-coated three-dimensional alginate micro-carriers suppressed 6-OHDA-induced apoptosis in dopaminergic neurons by approximately 80% throughout the culture period. Strikingly, no such effects were observed for the exosomes derived from SHEDs grown under standard culture conditions. Our results suggest that exosomes derived from SHEDs are considered as new potential therapeutic tool in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2015 International Society for Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Mirror Lake: Past, present and future: Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Likens, Gene E.; LaBaugh, James W.; Winter, Thomas C.; Likens, Gene E.

    2009-01-01

    This chapter discusses the hydrological and biogeochemical characteristics of Mirror Lake and the changes that resulted from air-land-water interactions and human activities. Since the formation of Mirror Lake, both the watershed and the lake have undergone many changes, such as vegetation development and basin filling. These changes are ongoing, and Mirror Lake is continuing along an aging pathway and ultimately, it will fill with sediment and no longer be a lake. The chapter also identifies major factors that affected the hydrology and biogeochemistry of Mirror Lake: acid rain, atmospheric deposition of lead and other heavy metals, increased human settlement around the lake, the construction of an interstate highway through the watershed of the Northeast Tributary, the construction of an access road through the West and Northeast watersheds to the lake, and climate change. The chapter also offers future recommendations for management and protection of Mirror Lake.

  4. The mirror mechanism and mu rhythm in social development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderwert, Ross E; Fox, Nathan A; Ferrari, Pier F

    2013-04-12

    Since the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs) in the monkey there has been a renewed interest in motor theories of cognitive and social development in humans by providing a potential neural mechanism underlying an action observation/execution matching system. It has been proposed that this system plays a fundamental role in the development of complex social and cognitive behaviors such as imitation and action recognition. In this review we discuss what is known about MNs from the work using single-cell recordings in the adult monkey, the evidence for the putative MN system in humans, and the extent to which research using electroencephalography (EEG) methods has contributed to our understanding of the development of these motor systems and their role in the social behaviors postulated by the MN hypothesis. We conclude with directions for future research that will improve our understanding of the putative human MN system and the functional role of MNs in social development. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Directly Converted Human Fibroblasts Mature to Neurons and Show Long-Term Survival in Adult Rodent Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Avaliani

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Direct conversion of human somatic cells to induced neurons (iNs, using lineage-specific transcription factors has opened new opportunities for cell therapy in a number of neurological diseases, including epilepsy. In most severe cases of epilepsy, seizures often originate in the hippocampus, where populations of inhibitory interneurons degenerate. Thus, iNs could be of potential use to replace these lost interneurons. It is not known, however, if iNs survive and maintain functional neuronal properties for prolonged time periods in in vivo. We transplanted human fibroblast-derived iNs into the adult rat hippocampus and observed a progressive morphological differentiation, with more developed dendritic arborisation at six months as compared to one month. This was accompanied by mature electrophysiological properties and fast high amplitude action potentials at six months after transplantation. This proof-of-principle study suggests that human iNs can be developed as a candidate source for cell replacement therapy in temporal lobe epilepsy.

  6. Increased vesicular monoamine transporter binding during early abstinence in human methamphetamine users: Is VMAT2 a stable dopamine neuron biomarker?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boileau, Isabelle; Rusjan, Pablo; Houle, Sylvain; Wilkins, Diana; Tong, Junchao; Selby, Peter; Guttman, Mark; Saint-Cyr, Jean A; Wilson, Alan A; Kish, Stephen J

    2008-09-24

    Animal data indicate that methamphetamine can damage striatal dopamine terminals. Efforts to document dopamine neuron damage in living brain of methamphetamine users have focused on the binding of [(11)C]dihydrotetrabenazine (DTBZ), a vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2) positron emission tomography (PET) radioligand, as a stable dopamine neuron biomarker. Previous PET data report a slight decrease in striatal [(11)C]DTBZ binding in human methamphetamine users after prolonged (mean, 3 years) abstinence, suggesting that the reduction would likely be substantial in early abstinence. We measured striatal VMAT2 binding in 16 recently withdrawn (mean, 19 d; range, 1-90 d) methamphetamine users and in 14 healthy matched-control subjects during a PET scan with (+)[(11)C]DTBZ. Unexpectedly, striatal (+)[(11)C]DTBZ binding was increased in methamphetamine users relative to controls (+22%, caudate; +12%, putamen; +11%, ventral striatum). Increased (+)[(11)C]DTBZ binding in caudate was most marked in methamphetamine users abstinent for 1-3 d (+41%), relative to the 7-21 d (+15%) and >21 d (+9%) groups. Above-normal VMAT2 binding in some drug users suggests that any toxic effect of methamphetamine on dopamine neurons might be masked by an increased (+)[(11)C]DTBZ binding and that VMAT2 radioligand binding might not be, as is generally assumed, a "stable" index of dopamine neuron integrity in vivo. One potential explanation for increased (+)[(11)C]DTBZ binding is that VMAT2 binding is sensitive to changes in vesicular dopamine storage levels, presumably low in drug users. If correct, (+)[(11)C]DTBZ might be a useful imaging probe to correlate changes in brain dopamine stores and behavior in users of methamphetamine.

  7. Neuroprotective Effect of Arctigenin via Upregulation of P-CREB in Mouse Primary Neurons and Human SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Nan; Wen, Qingping; Ren, Lu; Liang, Wenbo; Xia, Yang; Zhang, Xiaodan; Zhao, Dan; Sun, Dong; Hu, Yv; Hao, Haiguang; Yan, Yaping; Zhang, Guangxian; Yang, Jingxian; Kang, Tingguo

    2013-01-01

    Arctigenin (Arc) has been shown to act on scopolamine-induced memory deficit mice and to provide a neuroprotective effect on cultured cortical neurons from glutamate-induced neurodegeneration through mechanisms not completely defined. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of Arc on H89-induced cell damage and its potential mechanisms in mouse cortical neurons and human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. We found that Arc prevented cell viability loss induced by H89 in human SH-SY5Y cells. Moreover, Arc reduced intracellular beta amyloid (Aβ) production induced by H89 in neurons and human SH-SY5Y cells, and Arc also inhibited the presenilin 1(PS1) protein level in neurons. In addition, neural apoptosis in both types of cells, inhibition of neurite outgrowth in human SH-SY5Y cells and reduction of synaptic marker synaptophysin (SYN) expression in neurons were also observed after H89 exposure. All these effects induced by H89 were markedly reversed by Arc treatment. Arc also significantly attenuated downregulation of the phosphorylation of CREB (p-CREB) induced by H89, which may contribute to the neuroprotective effects of Arc. These results demonstrated that Arc exerted the ability to protect neurons and SH-SY5Y cells against H89-induced cell injury via upregulation of p-CREB. PMID:24025424

  8. Neuroprotective Effect of Arctigenin via Upregulation of P-CREB in Mouse Primary Neurons and Human SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingguo Kang

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Arctigenin (Arc has been shown to act on scopolamine-induced memory deficit mice and to provide a neuroprotective effect on cultured cortical neurons from glutamate-induced neurodegeneration through mechanisms not completely defined. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effect of Arc on H89-induced cell damage and its potential mechanisms in mouse cortical neurons and human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. We found that Arc prevented cell viability loss induced by H89 in human SH-SY5Y cells. Moreover, Arc reduced intracellular beta amyloid (Aβ production induced by H89 in neurons and human SH-SY5Y cells, and Arc also inhibited the presenilin 1(PS1 protein level in neurons. In addition, neural apoptosis in both types of cells, inhibition of neurite outgrowth in human SH-SY5Y cells and reduction of synaptic marker synaptophysin (SYN expression in neurons were also observed after H89 exposure. All these effects induced by H89 were markedly reversed by Arc treatment. Arc also significantly attenuated downregulation of the phosphorylation of CREB (p-CREB induced by H89, which may contribute to the neuroprotective effects of Arc. These results demonstrated that Arc exerted the ability to protect neurons and SH-SY5Y cells against H89-induced cell injury via upregulation of p-CREB.

  9. Mirror image agnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandra, Sadanandavalli Retnaswami; Issac, Thomas Gregor

    2014-10-01

    Gnosis is a modality-specific ability to access semantic knowledge of an object or stimulus in the presence of normal perception. Failure of this is agnosia or disorder of recognition. It can be highly selective within a mode. self-images are different from others as none has seen one's own image except in reflection. Failure to recognize this image can be labeled as mirror image agnosia or Prosopagnosia for reflected self-image. Whereas mirror agnosia is a well-recognized situation where the person while looking at reflected images of other objects in the mirror he imagines that the objects are in fact inside the mirror and not outside. Five patients, four females, and one male presented with failure to recognize reflected self-image, resulting in patients conversing with the image as a friend, fighting because the person in mirror is wearing her nose stud, suspecting the reflected self-image to be an intruder; but did not have prosopagnosia for others faces, non living objects on self and also apraxias except dressing apraxia in one patient. This phenomena is new to our knowledge. Mirror image agnosia is an unique phenomena which is seen in patients with parietal lobe atrophy without specificity to a category of dementing illness and seems to disappear as disease advances. Reflected self-images probably have a specific neural substrate that gets affected very early in posterior dementias specially the ones which predominantly affect the right side. At that phase most patients are mistaken as suffering from psychiatric disorder as cognition is moderately preserved. As disease becomes more widespread this symptom becomes masked. A high degree of suspicion and proper assessment might help physicians to recognize the organic cause of the symptom so that early therapeutic interventions can be initiated. Further assessment of the symptom with FMRI and PET scan is likely to solve the mystery of how brain handles reflected self-images. A new observation involving failure

  10. The search for true numbers of neurons and glial cells in the human brain: A review of 150 years of cell counting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bartheld, Christopher S; Bahney, Jami; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2016-12-15

    For half a century, the human brain was believed to contain about 100 billion neurons and one trillion glial cells, with a glia:neuron ratio of 10:1. A new counting method, the isotropic fractionator, has challenged the notion that glia outnumber neurons and revived a question that was widely thought to have been resolved. The recently validated isotropic fractionator demonstrates a glia:neuron ratio of less than 1:1 and a total number of less than 100 billion glial cells in the human brain. A survey of original evidence shows that histological data always supported a 1:1 ratio of glia to neurons in the entire human brain, and a range of 40-130 billion glial cells. We review how the claim of one trillion glial cells originated, was perpetuated, and eventually refuted. We compile how numbers of neurons and glial cells in the adult human brain were reported and we examine the reasons for an erroneous consensus about the relative abundance of glial cells in human brains that persisted for half a century. Our review includes a brief history of cell counting in human brains, types of counting methods that were and are employed, ranges of previous estimates, and the current status of knowledge about the number of cells. We also discuss implications and consequences of the new insights into true numbers of glial cells in the human brain, and the promise and potential impact of the newly validated isotropic fractionator for reliable quantification of glia and neurons in neurological and psychiatric diseases. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3865-3895, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The Search for True Numbers of Neurons and Glial Cells in the Human Brain: A Review of 150 Years of Cell Counting

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bartheld, Christopher S.; Bahney, Jami; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2016-01-01

    For half a century, the human brain was believed to contain about 100 billion neurons and one trillion glial cells, with a glia:neuron ratio of 10:1. A new counting method, the isotropic fractionator, has challenged the notion that glia outnumber neurons and revived a question that was widely thought to have been resolved. The recently validated isotropic fractionator demonstrates a glia:neuron ratio of less than 1:1 and a total number of less than 100 billion glial cells in the human brain. A survey of original evidence shows that histological data always supported a 1:1 ratio of glia to neurons in the entire human brain, and a range of 40–130 billion glial cells. We review how the claim of one trillion glial cells originated, was perpetuated, and eventually refuted. We compile how numbers of neurons and glial cells in the adult human brain were reported and we examine the reasons for an erroneous consensus about the relative abundance of glial cells in human brains that persisted for half a century. Our review includes a brief history of cell counting in human brains, types of counting methods that were and are employed, ranges of previous estimates, and the current status of knowledge about the number of cells. We also discuss implications and consequences of the new insights into true numbers of glial cells in the human brain, and the promise and potential impact of the newly validated isotropic fractionator for reliable quantification of glia and neurons in neurological and psychiatric diseases. PMID:27187682

  12. Dual Inhibition of Activin/Nodal/TGF-β and BMP Signaling Pathways by SB431542 and Dorsomorphin Induces Neuronal Differentiation of Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vedavathi Madhu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Damage to the nervous system can cause devastating diseases or musculoskeletal dysfunctions and transplantation of progenitor stem cells can be an excellent treatment option in this regard. Preclinical studies demonstrate that untreated stem cells, unlike stem cells activated to differentiate into neuronal lineage, do not survive in the neuronal tissues. Conventional methods of inducing neuronal differentiation of stem cells are complex and expensive. We therefore sought to determine if a simple, one-step, and cost effective method, previously reported to induce neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem cells and induced-pluripotent stem cells, can be applied to adult stem cells. Indeed, dual inhibition of activin/nodal/TGF-β and BMP pathways using SB431542 and dorsomorphin, respectively, induced neuronal differentiation of human adipose derived stem cells (hADSCs as evidenced by formation of neurite extensions, protein expression of neuron-specific gamma enolase, and mRNA expression of neuron-specific transcription factors Sox1 and Pax6 and matured neuronal marker NF200. This process correlated with enhanced phosphorylation of p38, Erk1/2, PI3K, and Akt1/3. Additionally, in vitro subcutaneous implants of SB431542 and dorsomorphin treated hADSCs displayed significantly higher expression of active-axonal-growth-specific marker GAP43. Our data offers novel insights into cell-based therapies for the nervous system repair.

  13. Transient differentiation of adult human bone marrow cells into neuron-like cells in culture: development of morphological and biochemical traits is mediated by different molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suon, Sokreine; Jin, Hao; Donaldson, Angela E; Caterson, E J; Tuan, Rocky S; Deschennes, Geoffrey; Marshall, Cheryl; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2004-12-01

    Studies on rodent bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) have revealed a capacity, for at least a portion of cells, to express neuron-like traits after differentiation in culture. Little, however, is known about the ability of human MSCs in this regard. We show here that incubation with certain differentiation cocktails, particularly those that include reagents that increase cellular cAMP levels, produces a rapid (1-4 h) and transient (24-48 h) transformation of nearly all hMSCs into neuron-like cells displaying a complex network of processes using phase or scanning electron microscopic optics. In addition, differentiated human (h) MSCs express increased quantities of neuron-[beta-tubulin III, neurofilament (NF), neuronal-specific enolase (NSE)] and glial- [glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)] specific proteins and mRNAs, which are also expressed in low levels in undifferentiated MSCs. In contrast, the mesenchymal marker, fibronectin, which is highly expressed in the undifferentiated state, is reduced following differentiation. These biochemical changes, but not the acquisition of a neuron-like appearance, are partially inhibited by incubation of hMSCs with protein (cycloheximide) and mRNA (actinomycin D) synthesis inhibitors with differentiating reagents. Only incubation with 100 ng/ml colchicine, which disrupts the microtubular cytoskeleton, prevents the conversion of hMSCs into neuron- like cells. These results demonstrate that hMSCs acquire the morphological appearance and the biochemical makeup typical of neurons by independently regulated mechanisms.

  14. Scene-selective coding by single neurons in the human parahippocampal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mormann, Florian; Kornblith, Simon; Cerf, Moran; Ison, Matias J; Kraskov, Alexander; Tran, Michelle; Knieling, Simeon; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo; Koch, Christof; Fried, Itzhak

    2017-01-31

    Imaging, electrophysiological, and lesion studies have shown a relationship between the parahippocampal cortex (PHC) and the processing of spatial scenes. Our present knowledge of PHC, however, is restricted to the macroscopic properties and dynamics of bulk tissue; the behavior and selectivity of single parahippocampal neurons remains largely unknown. In this study, we analyzed responses from 630 parahippocampal neurons in 24 neurosurgical patients during visual stimulus presentation. We found a spatially clustered subpopulation of scene-selective units with an associated event-related field potential. These units form a population code that is more distributed for scenes than for other stimulus categories, and less sparse than elsewhere in the medial temporal lobe. Our electrophysiological findings provide insight into how individual units give rise to the population response observed with functional imaging in the parahippocampal place area.

  15. Box-Counting Method of 2D Neuronal Image: Method Modification and Quantitative Analysis Demonstrated on Images from the Monkey and Human Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nemanja Rajković

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study calls attention to the difference between traditional box-counting method and its modification. The appropriate scaling factor, influence on image size and resolution, and image rotation, as well as different image presentation, are showed on the sample of asymmetrical neurons from the monkey dentate nucleus. The standard BC method and its modification were evaluated on the sample of 2D neuronal images from the human neostriatum. In addition, three box dimensions (which estimate the space-filling property, the shape, complexity, and the irregularity of dendritic tree were used to evaluate differences in the morphology of type III aspiny neurons between two parts of the neostriatum.

  16. Human Brain Networks: Spiking Neuron Models, Multistability, Synchronization, Thermodynamics, Maximum Entropy Production, and Anesthetic Cascade Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wassim M. Haddad

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Advances in neuroscience have been closely linked to mathematical modeling beginning with the integrate-and-fire model of Lapicque and proceeding through the modeling of the action potential by Hodgkin and Huxley to the current era. The fundamental building block of the central nervous system, the neuron, may be thought of as a dynamic element that is “excitable”, and can generate a pulse or spike whenever the electrochemical potential across the cell membrane of the neuron exceeds a threshold. A key application of nonlinear dynamical systems theory to the neurosciences is to study phenomena of the central nervous system that exhibit nearly discontinuous transitions between macroscopic states. A very challenging and clinically important problem exhibiting this phenomenon is the induction of general anesthesia. In any specific patient, the transition from consciousness to unconsciousness as the concentration of anesthetic drugs increases is very sharp, resembling a thermodynamic phase transition. This paper focuses on multistability theory for continuous and discontinuous dynamical systems having a set of multiple isolated equilibria and/or a continuum of equilibria. Multistability is the property whereby the solutions of a dynamical system can alternate between two or more mutually exclusive Lyapunov stable and convergent equilibrium states under asymptotically slowly changing inputs or system parameters. In this paper, we extend the theory of multistability to continuous, discontinuous, and stochastic nonlinear dynamical systems. In particular, Lyapunov-based tests for multistability and synchronization of dynamical systems with continuously differentiable and absolutely continuous flows are established. The results are then applied to excitatory and inhibitory biological neuronal networks to explain the underlying mechanism of action for anesthesia and consciousness from a multistable dynamical system perspective, thereby providing a

  17. Nanotubes impregnated human olfactory bulb neural stem cells promote neuronal differentiation in Trimethyltin-induced neurodegeneration rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marei, Hany E; Elnegiry, Ahmed A; Zaghloul, Adel; Althani, Asma; Afifi, Nahla; Abd-Elmaksoud, Ahmed; Farag, Amany; Lashen, Samah; Rezk, Shymaa; Shouman, Zeinab; Cenciarelli, Carlo; Hasan, Anwarul

    2017-12-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are multipotent self-renewing cells that could be used in cellular-based therapy for a wide variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's diseases (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis (MS). Being multipotent in nature, they are practically capable of giving rise to major cell types of the nervous tissue including neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. This is in marked contrast to neural progenitor cells which are committed to a specific lineage fate. In previous studies, we have demonstrated the ability of NSCs isolated from human olfactory bulb (OB) to survive, proliferate, differentiate, and restore cognitive and motor deficits associated with AD, and PD rat models, respectively. The use of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to enhance the survivability and differentiation potential of NSCs following their in vivo engraftment have been recently suggested. Here, in order to assess the ability of CNTs to enhance the therapeutic potential of human OBNSCs for restoring cognitive deficits and neurodegenerative lesions, we co-engrafted CNTs and human OBNSCs in TMT-neurodegeneration rat model. The present study revealed that engrafted human OBNSCS-CNTs restored cognitive deficits, and neurodegenerative changes associated with TMT-induced rat neurodegeneration model. Moreover, the CNTs seemed to provide a support for engrafted OBNSCs, with increasing their tendency to differentiate into neurons rather than into glia cells. The present study indicate the marked ability of CNTs to enhance the therapeutic potential of human OBNSCs which qualify this novel therapeutic paradigm as a promising candidate for cell-based therapy of different neurodegenerative diseases. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. BN-350 "Mirror System".

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thornton, A. L. (Angela L.); Halbig, J. K. (James K.)

    2004-01-01

    The BN-350 Unattended Monitoring System plays an important role for the Safeguards Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In 1998, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in conjunction with the IAEA and sponsored by the US Department of Energy, designed and installed an integrated multi-instrument safeguards system at the BN-350 reactor in Aktau, Kazakhstan, to monitor spent-fuel and blanket assembly conditioning and canning activities. The purpose of the system was to provide effective safeguards at this facility while reducing the manpower load on the IAEA. The system is composed of many individual nondestructive analysis and surveillance components, each having a unique function and working together to provide fully unattended measurement of spent-fuel assemblies. The BN-350 ''Mirror System'' was built to provide a similar system with like components at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna to facilitate analysis and/or simulation of problems that might occur in the field and for training inspectors and other technical staff in preparation for their work in the field. In addition, the system is used to test new equipment and qualify new or modified software. This paper describes the main components of the Mirror System, how the components are integrated, and how the Mirror System has benefited the IAEA.

  19. Auditory distance coding in rabbit midbrain neurons and human perception: monaural amplitude modulation depth as a cue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Duck O; Zahorik, Pavel; Carney, Laurel H; Bishop, Brian B; Kuwada, Shigeyuki

    2015-04-01

    Mechanisms underlying sound source distance localization are not well understood. Here we tested the hypothesis that a novel mechanism can create monaural distance sensitivity: a combination of auditory midbrain neurons' sensitivity to amplitude modulation (AM) depth and distance-dependent loss of AM in reverberation. We used virtual auditory space (VAS) methods for sounds at various distances in anechoic and reverberant environments. Stimulus level was constant across distance. With increasing modulation depth, some rabbit inferior colliculus neurons increased firing rates whereas others decreased. These neurons exhibited monotonic relationships between firing rates and distance for monaurally presented noise when two conditions were met: (1) the sound had AM, and (2) the environment was reverberant. The firing rates as a function of distance remained approximately constant without AM in either environment and, in an anechoic condition, even with AM. We corroborated this finding by reproducing the distance sensitivity using a neural model. We also conducted a human psychophysical study using similar methods. Normal-hearing listeners reported perceived distance in response to monaural 1 octave 4 kHz noise source sounds presented at distances of 35-200 cm. We found parallels between the rabbit neural and human responses. In both, sound distance could be discriminated only if the monaural sound in reverberation had AM. These observations support the hypothesis. When other cues are available (e.g., in binaural hearing), how much the auditory system actually uses the AM as a distance cue remains to be determined. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355360-13$15.00/0.

  20. 5-HT2 receptors mediate functional modulation of GABAa receptors and inhibitory synaptic transmissions in human iPS-derived neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-03

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