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Sample records for input-specific synaptic activity

  1. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

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    Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Synaptic model for spontaneous activity in developing networks

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    Lerchner, Alexander; Rinzel, J.

    2005-01-01

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

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Underlying Mechanisms of Cooperativity, Input Specificity, and Associativity of Long-Term Potentiation Through a Positive Feedback of Local Protein Synthesis

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    Lijie Hao

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP is a specific form of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity that is a leading mechanism of learning and memory in mammals. The properties of cooperativity, input specificity, and associativity are essential for LTP; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, based on experimentally observed phenomena, we introduce a computational model of synaptic plasticity in a pyramidal cell to explore the mechanisms responsible for the cooperativity, input specificity, and associativity of LTP. The model is based on molecular processes involved in synaptic plasticity and integrates gene expression involved in the regulation of neuronal activity. In the model, we introduce a local positive feedback loop of protein synthesis at each synapse, which is essential for bimodal response and synapse specificity. Bifurcation analysis of the local positive feedback loop of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF signaling illustrates the existence of bistability, which is the basis of LTP induction. The local bifurcation diagram provides guidance for the realization of LTP, and the projection of whole system trajectories onto the two-parameter bifurcation diagram confirms the predictions obtained from bifurcation analysis. Moreover, model analysis shows that pre- and postsynaptic components are required to achieve the three properties of LTP. This study provides insights into the mechanisms underlying the cooperativity, input specificity, and associativity of LTP, and the further construction of neural networks for learning and memory.

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

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    Rune W Berg

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

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

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    Clarke, Gwenaëlle L; Chen, Jie; Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    Neural circuits transmit information through synapses, and the efficiency of synaptic transmission is closely related to the density of presynaptic active zones, where synaptic vesicles are released. The goal of this review is to highlight recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the number of active zones per presynaptic terminal (active zone density) during developmental and stimulus-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy. At the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), the active zone density is preserved across species, remains constant during development, and is the same between synapses with different activities. However, the NMJ active zones are not always stable, as exemplified by the change in active zone density during acute experimental manipulation or as a result of aging. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to maintain its density. In the central nervous system (CNS), active zones have restricted maximal size, exist in multiple numbers in larger presynaptic terminals, and maintain a constant density during development. These findings suggest that active zone density in the CNS is also controlled. However, in contrast to the NMJ, active zone density in the CNS can also be increased, as observed in hippocampal synapses in response to synaptic plasticity. Although the numbers of known active zone proteins and protein interactions have increased, less is known about the mechanism that controls the number or spacing of active zones. The following molecules are known to control active zone density and will be discussed herein: extracellular matrix laminins and voltage-dependent calcium channels, amyloid precursor proteins, the small GTPase Rab3, an endocytosis mechanism including synaptojanin, cytoskeleton protein spectrins and β-adducin, and a presynaptic web including spectrins. The molecular mechanisms that organize the active zone density are just beginning to be elucidated.

  9. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

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    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

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

  10. Fluoxetine induces input-specific hippocampal dendritic spine remodeling along the septo-temporal axis in adulthood and middle age

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    McAvoy, Kathleen; Russo, Craig; Kim, Shannen; Rankin, Genelle; Sahay, Amar

    2015-01-01

    Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is known to induce structural rearrangements and changes in synaptic transmission in hippocampal circuitry. In the adult hippocampus, structural changes include neurogenesis, dendritic and axonal plasticity of pyramidal and dentate granule neurons, and dedifferentiation of dentate granule neurons. However, much less is known about how chronic fluoxetine affects these processes along the septo-temporal axis and during the aging process. Importantly, studies documenting the effects of fluoxetine on density and distribution of spines along different dendritic segments of dentate granule neurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons along the septo-temporal axis of hippocampus in adulthood and during aging are conspicuously absent. Here, we use a transgenic mouse line in which mature dentate granule neurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons are genetically labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) to investigate the effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment (18mg/kg/day) on input-specific spine remodeling and mossy fiber structural plasticity in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in adulthood and middle age. In addition, we examine levels of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, maturation state of dentate granule neurons, neuronal activity and glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 expression in response to chronic fluoxetine in adulthood and middle age. Our studies reveal that while chronic fluoxetine fails to augment adult hippocampal neurogenesis in middle age, the middle-aged hippocampus retains high sensitivity to changes in the dentate gyrus (DG) such as dematuration, hypoactivation, and increased glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) expression. Interestingly, the middle-aged hippocampus shows greater sensitivity to fluoxetine-induced input-specific synaptic remodeling than the hippocampus in adulthood with the stratum-oriens of CA1 exhibiting heightened structural plasticity. The input-specific changes and circuit

  11. Fluoxetine induces input-specific hippocampal dendritic spine remodeling along the septotemporal axis in adulthood and middle age.

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    McAvoy, Kathleen; Russo, Craig; Kim, Shannen; Rankin, Genelle; Sahay, Amar

    2015-11-01

    Fluoxetine, a selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is known to induce structural rearrangements and changes in synaptic transmission in hippocampal circuitry. In the adult hippocampus, structural changes include neurogenesis, dendritic, and axonal plasticity of pyramidal and dentate granule neurons, and dedifferentiation of dentate granule neurons. However, much less is known about how chronic fluoxetine affects these processes along the septotemporal axis and during the aging process. Importantly, studies documenting the effects of fluoxetine on density and distribution of spines along different dendritic segments of dentate granule neurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons along the septotemporal axis of hippocampus in adulthood and during aging are conspicuously absent. Here, we use a transgenic mouse line in which mature dentate granule neurons and CA1 pyramidal neurons are genetically labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) to investigate the effects of chronic fluoxetine treatment (18 mg/kg/day) on input-specific spine remodeling and mossy fiber structural plasticity in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus in adulthood and middle age. In addition, we examine levels of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, maturation state of dentate granule neurons, neuronal activity, and glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 expression in response to chronic fluoxetine in adulthood and middle age. Our studies reveal that while chronic fluoxetine fails to augment adult hippocampal neurogenesis in middle age, the middle-aged hippocampus retains high sensitivity to changes in the dentate gyrus (DG) such as dematuration, hypoactivation, and increased glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) expression. Interestingly, the middle-aged hippocampus shows greater sensitivity to fluoxetine-induced input-specific synaptic remodeling than the hippocampus in adulthood with the stratum-oriens of CA1 exhibiting heightened structural plasticity. The input-specific changes and circuit

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-12-15

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Activity-dependent modulation of neural circuit synaptic connectivity

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    Charles R Tessier

    2009-07-01

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

  16. Soluble ectodomain of neuroligin 1 decreases synaptic activity by activating metabotropic glutamate receptor 2

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    Gjørlund, Michelle D.; Carlsen, Eva Maria Meier; Kønig, Andreas Bay

    2017-01-01

    Synaptic cell adhesion molecules represent important targets for neuronal activity-dependent proteolysis. Postsynaptic neuroligins (NLs) form trans-synaptic complexes with presynaptic neurexins (NXs). Both NXs and NLs are cleaved from the cell surface by metalloproteases in an activity-dependent ...

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

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    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Intense synaptic activity enhances temporal resolution in spinal motoneurons

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    Berg, Rune W; Ditlevsen, Susanne; Hounsgaard, Jørn Dybkjær

    2008-01-01

    In neurons, spike timing is determined by integration of synaptic potentials in delicate concert with intrinsic properties. Although the integration time is functionally crucial, it remains elusive during network activity. While mechanisms of rapid processing are well documented in sensory systems...... of their occurrence and detected for less than 10 ms after their occurrence. Being shorter than the average inter-spike interval, the AHP has little effect on integration time and spike timing, which instead is entirely determined by fluctuations in membrane potential caused by the barrage of inhibitory...

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

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    Sears, James C.; Broadie, Kendal

    2018-01-01

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

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

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    Natasha eKhatri

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Serotonin increases synaptic activity in olfactory bulb glomeruli.

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    Brill, Julia; Shao, Zuoyi; Puche, Adam C; Wachowiak, Matt; Shipley, Michael T

    2016-03-01

    Serotoninergic fibers densely innervate olfactory bulb glomeruli, the first sites of synaptic integration in the olfactory system. Acting through 5HT2A receptors, serotonin (5HT) directly excites external tufted cells (ETCs), key excitatory glomerular neurons, and depolarizes some mitral cells (MCs), the olfactory bulb's main output neurons. We further investigated 5HT action on MCs and determined its effects on the two major classes of glomerular interneurons: GABAergic/dopaminergic short axon cells (SACs) and GABAergic periglomerular cells (PGCs). In SACs, 5HT evoked a depolarizing current mediated by 5HT2C receptors but did not significantly impact spike rate. 5HT had no measurable direct effect in PGCs. Serotonin increased spontaneous excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs and sIPSCs) in PGCs and SACs. Increased sEPSCs were mediated by 5HT2A receptors, suggesting that they are primarily due to enhanced excitatory drive from ETCs. Increased sIPSCs resulted from elevated excitatory drive onto GABAergic interneurons and augmented GABA release from SACs. Serotonin-mediated GABA release from SACs was action potential independent and significantly increased miniature IPSC frequency in glomerular neurons. When focally applied to a glomerulus, 5HT increased MC spontaneous firing greater than twofold but did not increase olfactory nerve-evoked responses. Taken together, 5HT modulates glomerular network activity in several ways: 1) it increases ETC-mediated feed-forward excitation onto MCs, SACs, and PGCs; 2) it increases inhibition of glomerular interneurons; 3) it directly triggers action potential-independent GABA release from SACs; and 4) these network actions increase spontaneous MC firing without enhancing responses to suprathreshold sensory input. This may enhance MC sensitivity while maintaining dynamic range. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

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

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

    2012-01-01

    Neurons often receive massive concurrent bombardment of synaptic inhibition and excitation during functional network activity. This increases membrane conductance and causes fluctuations in membrane potential (V(m)) and spike timing. The conductance increase is commonly attributed to synaptic....... If the spikes arrive at random times the changes in synaptic conductance are therefore stochastic and rapid during intense network activity. In comparison, sub-threshold intrinsic conductances vary smoothly in time. In the present study this discrepancy is investigated using two conductance-based models: a (1...... conductance, but also includes the intrinsic conductances recruited during network activity. These two sources of conductance have contrasting dynamic properties at sub-threshold membrane potentials. Synaptic transmitter gated conductance changes abruptly and briefly with each presynaptic action potential...

  3. Reversed synaptic effects of hypocretin and NPY mediated by excitatory GABA-dependent synaptic activity in developing MCH neurons.

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    Li, Ying; Xu, Youfen; van den Pol, Anthony N

    2013-03-01

    In mature neurons, GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. In contrast, in developing neurons, GABA exerts excitatory actions, and in some neurons GABA-mediated excitatory synaptic activity is more prevalent than glutamate-mediated excitation. Hypothalamic neuropeptides that modulate cognitive arousal and energy homeostasis, hypocretin/orexin and neuropeptide Y (NPY), evoked reversed effects on synaptic actions that were dependent on presynaptic GABA release onto melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons. MCH neurons were identified by selective green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in transgenic mice. In adults, hypocretin increased GABA release leading to reduced excitation. In contrast, in the developing brain as studied here with analysis of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, paired-pulse ratios, and evoked potentials, hypocretin acted presynaptically to enhance the excitatory actions of GABA. The ability of hypocretin to enhance GABA release increases inhibition in adult neurons but paradoxically enhances excitation in developing MCH neurons. In contrast, NPY attenuation of GABA release reduced inhibition in mature neurons but enhanced inhibition during development by attenuating GABA excitation. Both hypocretin and NPY also evoked direct actions on developing MCH neurons. Hypocretin excited MCH cells by activating a sodium-calcium exchanger and by reducing potassium currents; NPY reduced activity by increasing an inwardly rectifying potassium current. These data for the first time show that both hypocretin and NPY receptors are functional presynaptically during early postnatal hypothalamic development and that both neuropeptides modulate GABA actions during development with a valence of enhanced excitation or inhibition opposite to that of the adult state, potentially allowing neuropeptide modulation of use-dependent synapse stabilization.

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

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

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    Harish Babu

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is regulated by activity. But how do neural precursor cells in the hippocampus respond to surrounding network activity and translate increased neural activity into a developmental program? Here we show that long-term potential (LTP-like synaptic activity within a cellular network of mature hippocampal neurons promotes neuronal differentiation of newly generated cells. In co-cultures of precursor cells with primary hippocampal neurons, LTP-like synaptic plasticity induced by addition of glycine in Mg2+-free media for 5 min, produced synchronous network activity and subsequently increased synaptic strength between neurons. Furthermore, this synchronous network activity led to a significant increase in neuronal differentiation from the co-cultured neural precursor cells. When applied directly to precursor cells, glycine and Mg2+-free solution did not induce neuronal differentiation. Synaptic plasticity-induced neuronal differentiation of precursor cells was observed in the presence of GABAergic neurotransmission blockers but was dependent on NMDA-mediated Ca2+ influx. Most importantly, neuronal differentiation required the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF from the underlying substrate hippocampal neurons as well as TrkB receptor phosphorylation in precursor cells. This suggests that activity-dependent stem cell differentiation within the hippocampal network is mediated via synaptically evoked BDNF signaling.

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

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

    2014-04-02

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

  7. Nitric oxide regulates input specificity of long-term depression and context dependence of cerebellar learning.

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    Hideaki Ogasawara

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that multiple internal models are acquired in the cerebellum and that these can be switched under a given context of behavior. It has been proposed that long-term depression (LTD of parallel fiber (PF-Purkinje cell (PC synapses forms the cellular basis of cerebellar learning, and that the presynaptically synthesized messenger nitric oxide (NO is a crucial "gatekeeper" for LTD. Because NO diffuses freely to neighboring synapses, this volume learning is not input-specific and brings into question the biological significance of LTD as the basic mechanism for efficient supervised learning. To better characterize the role of NO in cerebellar learning, we simulated the sequence of electrophysiological and biochemical events in PF-PC LTD by combining established simulation models of the electrophysiology, calcium dynamics, and signaling pathways of the PC. The results demonstrate that the local NO concentration is critical for induction of LTD and for its input specificity. Pre- and postsynaptic coincident firing is not sufficient for a PF-PC synapse to undergo LTD, and LTD is induced only when a sufficient amount of NO is provided by activation of the surrounding PFs. On the other hand, above-adequate levels of activity in nearby PFs cause accumulation of NO, which also allows LTD in neighboring synapses that were not directly stimulated, ruining input specificity. These findings lead us to propose the hypothesis that NO represents the relevance of a given context and enables context-dependent selection of internal models to be updated. We also predict sparse PF activity in vivo because, otherwise, input specificity would be lost.

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

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    Marco Emanuele

    2016-05-01

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

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

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

    2016-11-16

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

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

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    Akira Takashima

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

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

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

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    Matamales, Miriam

    2012-12-19

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

  13. Cholinergic induction of input-specific late-phase LTP via localized Ca2+ release in the visual cortex.

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    Cho, Kwang-Hyun; Jang, Hyun-Jong; Jo, Yang-Hyeok; Singer, Wolf; Rhie, Duck-Joo

    2012-03-28

    Acetylcholine facilitates long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), substrates of learning, memory, and sensory processing, in which acetylcholine also plays a crucial role. Ca(2+) ions serve as a canonical regulator of LTP/LTD but little is known about the effect of acetylcholine on intracellular Ca(2+) dynamics. Here, we investigated dendritic Ca(2+) dynamics evoked by synaptic stimulation and the resulting LTP/LTD in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of the rat visual cortex. Under muscarinic stimulation, single-shock electrical stimulation (SES) inducing ∼20 mV EPSP, applied via a glass electrode located ∼10 μm from the basal dendrite, evoked NMDA receptor-dependent fast Ca(2+) transients and the subsequent Ca(2+) release from the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3))-sensitive stores. These secondary dendritic Ca(2+) transients were highly localized within 10 μm from the center (SD = 5.0 μm). The dendritic release of Ca(2+) was a prerequisite for input-specific muscarinic LTP (LTPm). Without the secondary Ca(2+) release, only muscarinic LTD (LTDm) was induced. D(-)-2-amino-5-phosphopentanoic acid and intracellular heparin blocked LTPm as well as dendritic Ca(2+) release. A single burst consisting of 3 EPSPs with weak stimulus intensities instead of the SES also induced secondary Ca(2+) release and LTPm. LTPm and LTDm were protein synthesis-dependent. Furthermore, LTPm was confined to specific dendritic compartments and not inducible in distal apical dendrites. Thus, cholinergic activation facilitated selectively compartment-specific induction of late-phase LTP through IP(3)-dependent Ca(2+) release.

  14. Long lasting protein synthesis- and activity-dependent spine shrinkage and elimination after synaptic depression.

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    Yazmín Ramiro-Cortés

    Full Text Available Neuronal circuits modify their response to synaptic inputs in an experience-dependent fashion. Increases in synaptic weights are accompanied by structural modifications, and activity dependent, long lasting growth of dendritic spines requires new protein synthesis. When multiple spines are potentiated within a dendritic domain, they show dynamic structural plasticity changes, indicating that spines can undergo bidirectional physical modifications. However, it is unclear whether protein synthesis dependent synaptic depression leads to long lasting structural changes. Here, we investigate the structural correlates of protein synthesis dependent long-term depression (LTD mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs through two-photon imaging of dendritic spines on hippocampal pyramidal neurons. We find that induction of mGluR-LTD leads to robust and long lasting spine shrinkage and elimination that lasts for up to 24 hours. These effects depend on signaling through group I mGluRs, require protein synthesis, and activity. These data reveal a mechanism for long lasting remodeling of synaptic inputs, and offer potential insights into mental retardation.

  15. Synaptic activity-related classical protein kinase C isoform localization in the adult rat neuromuscular synapse.

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    Besalduch, Núria; Tomàs, Marta; Santafé, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Tomàs, Josep; Lanuza, Maria Angel

    2010-01-10

    Protein kinase C (PKC) is essential for signal transduction in a variety of cells, including neurons and myocytes, and is involved in both acetylcholine release and muscle fiber contraction. Here, we demonstrate that the increases in synaptic activity by nerve stimulation couple PKC to transmitter release in the rat neuromuscular junction and increase the level of alpha, betaI, and betaII isoforms in the membrane when muscle contraction follows the stimulation. The phosphorylation activity of these classical PKCs also increases. It seems that the muscle has to contract in order to maintain or increase classical PKCs in the membrane. We use immunohistochemistry to show that PKCalpha and PKCbetaI were located in the nerve terminals, whereas PKCalpha and PKCbetaII were located in the postsynaptic and the Schwann cells. Stimulation and contraction do not change these cellular distributions, but our results show that the localization of classical PKC isoforms in the membrane is affected by synaptic activity.

  16. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

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    Julie G Frank

    Full Text Available GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67 gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA. These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+ currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a

  17. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Julie G; Mendelowitz, David

    2012-01-01

    GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67) gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA). These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+) currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a framework for

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

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

    2017-11-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, S M; Delaney, K R

    1997-10-17

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

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

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    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

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

  1. Synaptic and functional linkages between spinal premotor interneurons and hand-muscle activity during precision grip

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    Tomohiko eTakei

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Grasping is a highly complex movement that requires the coordination of a number of hand joints and muscles. Previous studies showed that spinal premotor interneurons (PreM-INs in the primate cervical spinal cord have divergent synaptic effects on hand motoneurons and that they might contribute to hand-muscle synergies. However, the extent to which these PreM-IN synaptic connections functionally contribute to modulating hand-muscle activity is not clear. In this paper, we explored the contribution of spinal PreM-INs to hand-muscle activation by quantifying the synaptic linkage (SL and functional linkage (FL of the PreM-INs with hand-muscle activities. The activity of 23 PreM-INs was recorded from the cervical spinal cord (C6–T1, with EMG signals measured simultaneously from hand and arm muscles in two macaque monkeys performing a precision grip task. Spike-triggered averages (STAs of rectified EMGs were compiled for 456 neuron–muscle pairs; 63 pairs showed significant post-spike effects (i.e., SL. Conversely, 231 of 456 pairs showed significant cross-correlations between the IN firing rate and rectified EMG (i.e., FL. Importantly, a greater proportion of the neuron–muscle pairs with SL showed FL (43/63 pairs, 68% compared with the pairs without SL (203/393, 52%, and the presence of SL was significantly associated with that of FL. However, a significant number of pairs had SL without FL (SL∩!FL, n = 20 or FL without SL (!SL∩FL, n = 203, and the proportions of these incongruities exceeded the number expected by chance. These results suggested that spinal PreM-INs function to significantly modulate hand-muscle activity during precision grip, but the contribution of other neural structures is also needed to recruit an adequate combination of hand-muscle motoneurons.

  2. Overexpression of guanylate cyclase activating protein 2 in rod photoreceptors in vivo leads to morphological changes at the synaptic ribbon.

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    Natalia López-del Hoyo

    Full Text Available Guanylate cyclase activating proteins are EF-hand containing proteins that confer calcium sensitivity to retinal guanylate cyclase at the outer segment discs of photoreceptor cells. By making the rate of cGMP synthesis dependent on the free intracellular calcium levels set by illumination, GCAPs play a fundamental role in the recovery of the light response and light adaptation. The main isoforms GCAP1 and GCAP2 also localize to the synaptic terminal, where their function is not known. Based on the reported interaction of GCAP2 with Ribeye, the major component of synaptic ribbons, it was proposed that GCAP2 could mediate the synaptic ribbon dynamic changes that happen in response to light. We here present a thorough ultrastructural analysis of rod synaptic terminals in loss-of-function (GCAP1/GCAP2 double knockout and gain-of-function (transgenic overexpression mouse models of GCAP2. Rod synaptic ribbons in GCAPs-/- mice did not differ from wildtype ribbons when mice were raised in constant darkness, indicating that GCAPs are not required for ribbon early assembly or maturation. Transgenic overexpression of GCAP2 in rods led to a shortening of synaptic ribbons, and to a higher than normal percentage of club-shaped and spherical ribbon morphologies. Restoration of GCAP2 expression in the GCAPs-/- background (GCAP2 expression in the absence of endogenous GCAP1 had the striking result of shortening ribbon length to a much higher degree than overexpression of GCAP2 in the wildtype background, as well as reducing the thickness of the outer plexiform layer without affecting the number of rod photoreceptor cells. These results indicate that preservation of the GCAP1 to GCAP2 relative levels is relevant for maintaining the integrity of the synaptic terminal. Our demonstration of GCAP2 immunolocalization at synaptic ribbons at the ultrastructural level would support a role of GCAPs at mediating the effect of light on morphological remodeling changes of

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

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    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

    2015-05-19

    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.

  4. Glucose is necessary to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis during synaptic activity in cultured glutamatergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Lasse K; Schousboe, Arne; Sonnewald, Ursula; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2006-10-01

    Glucose is the primary energy substrate for the adult mammalian brain. However, lactate produced within the brain might be able to serve this purpose in neurons. In the present study, the relative significance of glucose and lactate as substrates to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis was investigated. Cultured cerebellar (primarily glutamatergic) neurons were superfused in medium containing [U-13C]glucose (2.5 mmol/L) and lactate (1 or 5 mmol/L) or glucose (2.5 mmol/L) and [U-13C]lactate (1 mmol/L), and exposed to pulses of N-methyl-D-aspartate (300 micromol/L), leading to synaptic activity including vesicular release. The incorporation of 13C label into intracellular lactate, alanine, succinate, glutamate, and aspartate was determined by mass spectrometry. The metabolism of [U-13C]lactate under non-depolarizing conditions was high compared with that of [U-13C]glucose; however, it decreased significantly during induced depolarization. In contrast, at both concentrations of extracellular lactate, the metabolism of [U-13C]glucose was increased during neuronal depolarization. The role of glucose and lactate as energy substrates during vesicular release as well as transporter-mediated influx and efflux of glutamate was examined using preloaded D-[3H]aspartate as a glutamate tracer and DL-threo-beta-benzyloxyaspartate to inhibit glutamate transporters. The results suggest that glucose is essential to prevent depolarization-induced reversal of the transporter (efflux), whereas vesicular release was unaffected by the choice of substrate. In conclusion, the present study shows that glucose is a necessary substrate to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis during synaptic activity and that synaptic activity does not induce an upregulation of lactate metabolism in glutamatergic neurons.

  5. The potential role of postsynaptic phospholipase C activity in synaptic facilitation and behavioral sensitization in Aplysia.

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    Fulton, Daniel; Condro, Michael C; Pearce, Kaycey; Glanzman, David L

    2008-07-01

    Previous findings indicate that synaptic facilitation, a cellular mechanism underlying sensitization of the siphon withdrawal response (SWR) in Aplysia, depends on a cascade of postsynaptic events, including activation of inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptors and release of Ca2+ from postsynaptic intracellular stores. These findings suggest that phospholipase C (PLC), the enzyme that catalyzes IP3 formation, may play an important role in postsynaptic signaling during facilitation and learning in Aplysia. Using the PLC inhibitor U73122, we found that PLC activity is required for synaptic facilitation following a 10-min treatment with 5-HT, as measured at 20 min after 5-HT washout. Prior work has indicated that facilitation at this time is supported primarily by postsynaptic processes. To determine whether postsynaptic PLC activity is involved in 5-HT-mediated facilitatory actions, we examined the effect of U73122 on enhancement of the response of motor neurons isolated in cell culture to glutamate, the sensory neuron transmitter. A 10-min application of 5-HT induced persistent (>40 min) enhancement of glutamate-evoked potentials (Glu-EPs) recorded from isolated motor neurons, and this enhancement was blocked by U73122. Finally, we showed that injecting U73122 into intact animals before behavioral training impaired intermediate-term sensitization, indicating that PLC activity contributes to this form of nonassociative learning.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Henning Piilgaard

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Synaptic input correlations leading to membrane potential decorrelation of spontaneous activity in cortex.

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    Graupner, Michael; Reyes, Alex D

    2013-09-18

    Correlations in the spiking activity of neurons have been found in many regions of the cortex under multiple experimental conditions and are postulated to have important consequences for neural population coding. While there is a large body of extracellular data reporting correlations of various strengths, the subthreshold events underlying the origin and magnitude of signal-independent correlations (called noise or spike count correlations) are unknown. Here we investigate, using intracellular recordings, how synaptic input correlations from shared presynaptic neurons translate into membrane potential and spike-output correlations. Using a pharmacologically activated thalamocortical slice preparation, we perform simultaneous recordings from pairs of layer IV neurons in the auditory cortex of mice and measure synaptic potentials/currents, membrane potentials, and spiking outputs. We calculate cross-correlations between excitatory and inhibitory inputs to investigate correlations emerging from the network. We furthermore evaluate membrane potential correlations near resting potential to study how excitation and inhibition combine and affect spike-output correlations. We demonstrate directly that excitation is correlated with inhibition thereby partially canceling each other and resulting in weak membrane potential and spiking correlations between neurons. Our data suggest that cortical networks are set up to partially cancel correlations emerging from the connections between neurons. This active decorrelation is achieved because excitation and inhibition closely track each other. Our results suggest that the numerous shared presynaptic inputs do not automatically lead to increased spiking correlations.

  8. Platelet activating factor enhances synaptic vesicle exocytosis via PKC, elevated intracellular calcium, and modulation of synapsin 1 dynamics and phosphorylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennetta W Hammond

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Platelet activating factor (PAF is an inflammatory phospholipid signaling molecule implicated in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory and neurotoxicity during neuroinflammation. However, little is known about the intracellular mechanisms mediating PAF’s physiological or pathological effects on synaptic facilitation. We show here that PAF receptors are localized at the synapse. Using fluorescent reporters of presynaptic activity we show that a non-hydrolysable analogue of PAF (cPAF enhances synaptic vesicle release from individual presynaptic boutons by increasing the size or release of the readily releasable pool and the exocytosis rate of the total recycling pool. cPAF also activates previously silent boutons resulting in vesicle release from a larger number of terminals. The underlying mechanism involves elevated calcium within presynaptic boutons and protein kinase C (PKC activation. Furthermore, cPAF increases synapsin I phosphorylation at sites 1 and 3, and increases dispersion of synapsin I from the presynaptic compartment during stimulation, freeing synaptic vesicles for subsequent release. These findings provide a conceptual framework for how PAF, regardless of its cellular origin, can modulate synapses during normal and pathologic synaptic activity.

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

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    Davide eSilingardi

    2011-12-01

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

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

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    Bayraktar, Gonca; Kreutz, Michael R

    2018-04-01

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

  11. Glucose and lactate are equally effective in energizing activity-dependent synaptic vesicle turnover in purified cortical neurons.

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    Morgenthaler, F D; Kraftsik, R; Catsicas, S; Magistretti, P J; Chatton, J-Y

    2006-08-11

    This study examines the role of glucose and lactate as energy substrates to sustain synaptic vesicle cycling. Synaptic vesicle turnover was assessed in a quantitative manner by fluorescence microscopy in primary cultures of mouse cortical neurons. An electrode-equipped perfusion chamber was used to stimulate cells both by electrical field and potassium depolarization during image acquisition. An image analysis procedure was elaborated to select in an unbiased manner synaptic boutons loaded with the fluorescent dye N-(3-triethylammoniumpropyl)-4-(4-(dibutylamino)styryl)pyridinium dibromide (FM1-43). Whereas a minority of the sites fully released their dye content following electrical stimulation, others needed subsequent K(+) depolarization to achieve full release. This functional heterogeneity was not significantly altered by the nature of metabolic substrates. Repetitive stimulation sequences of FM1-43 uptake and release were then performed in the absence of any metabolic substrate and showed that the number of active sites dramatically decreased after the first cycle of loading/unloading. The presence of 1 mM glucose or lactate was sufficient to sustain synaptic vesicle cycling under these conditions. Moreover, both substrates were equivalent for recovery of function after a phase of decreased metabolic substrate availability. Thus, lactate appears to be equivalent to glucose for sustaining synaptic vesicle turnover in cultured cortical neurons during activity.

  12. Activity blockade and GABAA receptor blockade produce synaptic scaling through chloride accumulation in embryonic spinal motoneurons and interneurons.

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    Casie Lindsly

    Full Text Available Synaptic scaling represents a process whereby the distribution of a cell's synaptic strengths are altered by a multiplicative scaling factor. Scaling is thought to be a compensatory response that homeostatically controls spiking activity levels in the cell or network. Previously, we observed GABAergic synaptic scaling in embryonic spinal motoneurons following in vivo blockade of either spiking activity or GABAA receptors (GABAARs. We had determined that activity blockade triggered upward GABAergic scaling through chloride accumulation, thus increasing the driving force for these currents. To determine whether chloride accumulation also underlies GABAergic scaling following GABAAR blockade we have developed a new technique. We expressed a genetically encoded chloride-indicator, Clomeleon, in the embryonic chick spinal cord, which provides a non-invasive fast measure of intracellular chloride. Using this technique we now show that chloride accumulation underlies GABAergic scaling following blockade of either spiking activity or the GABAAR. The finding that GABAAR blockade and activity blockade trigger scaling via a common mechanism supports our hypothesis that activity blockade reduces GABAAR activation, which triggers synaptic scaling. In addition, Clomeleon imaging demonstrated the time course and widespread nature of GABAergic scaling through chloride accumulation, as it was also observed in spinal interneurons. This suggests that homeostatic scaling via chloride accumulation is a common feature in many neuronal classes within the embryonic spinal cord and opens the possibility that this process may occur throughout the nervous system at early stages of development.

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

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    Nicola H. Morgan

    2008-01-01

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

  14. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

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

    2013-09-01

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

  15. 17β-Estradiol-Induced Synaptic Rearrangements Are Accompanied by Altered Ectonucleotidase Activities in Male Rat Hippocampal Synaptosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Gap43 transcription modulation in the adult brain depends on sensory activity and synaptic cooperation.

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    Nicole Rosskothen-Kuhl

    Full Text Available Brain development and learning is accompanied by morphological and molecular changes in neurons. The growth associated protein 43 (Gap43, indicator of neurite elongation and synapse formation, is highly expressed during early stages of development. Upon maturation of the brain, Gap43 is down-regulated by most neurons with the exception of subdivisions such as the CA3 region of hippocampus, the lateral superior olive (LSO and the central inferior colliculus (CIC. Little is known about the regulation of this mRNA in adult brains. We found that the expression of Gap43 mRNA in specific neurons can be modulated by changing sensory activity of the adult brain. Using the central auditory system of rats as a model, Gap43 protein and mRNA levels were determined in LSO and CIC of hearing-experienced rats unilaterally or bilaterally deafened or unilaterally stimulated by a cochlear implant (CI. Our data indicate that Gap43 is a marker useful beyond monitoring neuronal growth and synaptogenesis, reflecting also specific patterns of synaptic activities on specific neurons. Thus, unilateral loss of input to an adult auditory system directly causes asymmetrical expression of Gap43 mRNA between LSOs or CICs on both sides of the brainstem. This consequence can be prevented by simple-patterned stimulation of a dysfunctional ear by way of a CI. We suggest that as a function of input balance and activity pattern, Gap43 mRNA expression changes as cells associate converging afferent signals.

  17. Quantitative monitoring of activity-dependent bulk endocytosis of synaptic vesicle membrane by fluorescent dextran imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Emma Louise; Cousin, Michael Alan

    2012-01-01

    Activity-dependent bulk endocytosis (ADBE) is the dominant synaptic vesicle (SV) retrieval mode in central nerve terminals during periods of intense neuronal activity. Despite this fact there are very few real time assays that report the activity of this critical SV retrieval mode. In this paper we report a simple and quantitative assay of ADBE using uptake of large flourescent dextrans as fluid phase markers. We show that almost all dextran uptake occurs in nerve terminals, using co-localisation with the fluorescent probe FM1-43. We also demonstrate that accumulated dextran cannot be unloaded by neuronal stimulation, indicating its specific loading into bulk endosomes and not SVs. Quantification of dextran uptake was achieved by using thresholding analysis to count the number of loaded nerve terminals, since monitoring the average fluorescence intensity of these nerve terminals did not accurately report the extent of ADBE. Using this analysis we showed that dextran uptake occurs very soon after stimulation and that it does not persist when stimulation terminates. Thus we have devised a simple and quantitative method to monitor ADBE in living neurones, which will be ideal for real time screening of small molecule inhibitors of this key SV retrieval mode. PMID:19766140

  18. Trans-synaptic zinc mobilization improves social interaction in two mouse models of autism through NMDAR activation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun-Jae; Lee, Hyejin; Huang, Tzyy-Nan; Chung, Changuk; Shin, Wangyong; Kim, Kyungdeok; Koh, Jae-Young; Hsueh, Yi-Ping; Kim, Eunjoon

    2015-01-01

    Genetic aspects of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have recently been extensively explored, but environmental influences that affect ASDs have received considerably less attention. Zinc (Zn) is a nutritional factor implicated in ASDs, but evidence for a strong association and linking mechanism is largely lacking. Here we report that trans-synaptic Zn mobilization rapidly rescues social interaction in two independent mouse models of ASD. In mice lacking Shank2, an excitatory postsynaptic scaffolding protein, postsynaptic Zn elevation induced by clioquinol (a Zn chelator and ionophore) improves social interaction. Postsynaptic Zn is mainly derived from presynaptic pools and activates NMDA receptors (NMDARs) through postsynaptic activation of the tyrosine kinase Src. Clioquinol also improves social interaction in mice haploinsufficient for the transcription factor Tbr1, which accompanies NMDAR activation in the amygdala. These results suggest that trans-synaptic Zn mobilization induced by clioquinol rescues social deficits in mouse models of ASD through postsynaptic Src and NMDAR activation. PMID:25981743

  19. Synaptic Mechanisms of Activity-Dependent Remodeling in Visual Cortex during Monocular Deprivation

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    Cynthia D. Rittenhouse

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available It has long been appreciated that in the visual cortex, particularly within a postnatal critical period for experience-dependent plasticity, the closure of one eye results in a shift in the responsiveness of cortical cells toward the experienced eye. While the functional aspects of this ocular dominance shift have been studied for many decades, their cortical substrates and synaptic mechanisms remain elusive. Nonetheless, it is becoming increasingly clear that ocular dominance plasticity is a complex phenomenon that appears to have an early and a late component. Early during monocular deprivation, deprived eye cortical synapses depress, while later during the deprivation open eye synapses potentiate. Here we review current literature on the cortical mechanisms of activity-dependent plasticity in the visual system during the critical period. These studies shed light on the role of activity in shaping neuronal structure and function in general and can lead to insights regarding how learning is acquired and maintained at the neuronal level during normal and pathological brain development.

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

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    Christoph eKoerber

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-24

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

  2. Acutely increasing δGABAA receptor activity impairs memory and inhibits synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whissell, Paul D.; Eng, Dave; Lecker, Irene; Martin, Loren J.; Wang, Dian-Shi; Orser, Beverley A.

    2013-01-01

    Extrasynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors that contain the δ subunit (δGABAA receptors) are expressed in several brain regions including the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA1 subfields of the hippocampus. Drugs that increase δGABAA receptor activity have been proposed as treatments for a variety of disorders including insomnia, epilepsy and chronic pain. Also, long-term pretreatment with the δGABAA receptor–preferring agonist 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol (THIP) enhances discrimination memory and increases neurogenesis in the DG. Despite the potential therapeutic benefits of such treatments, the effects of acutely increasing δGABAA receptor activity on memory behaviors remain unknown. Here, we studied the effects of THIP (4 mg/kg, i.p.) on memory performance in wild-type (WT) and δGABAA receptor null mutant (Gabrd−/−) mice. Additionally, the effects of THIP on long-term potentiation (LTP), a molecular correlate of memory, were studied within the DG and CA1 subfields of the hippocampus using electrophysiological recordings of field potentials in hippocampal slices. The results showed that THIP impaired performance in the Morris water maze, contextual fear conditioning and object recognition tasks in WT mice but not Gabrd−/− mice. Furthermore, THIP inhibited LTP in hippocampal slices from WT but not Gabrd−/− mice, an effect that was blocked by GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline. Thus, acutely increasing δGABAA receptor activity impairs memory behaviors and inhibits synaptic plasticity. These results have important implications for the development of therapies aimed at increasing δGABAA receptor activity. PMID:24062648

  3. Acutely increasing δGABAA receptor activity impairs memory and inhibits synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul David Whissell

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Extrasynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA receptors that contain the δ subunit (δGABAA receptors are expressed in several brain regions including the dentate gyrus (DG and CA1 subfields of the hippocampus. Drugs that increase δGABAA receptor activity have been proposed as treatments for a variety of disorders including insomnia, epilepsy and chronic pain. Also, long-term pretreatment with the δGABAA receptor–preferring agonist 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol (THIP enhances discrimination memory and increases neurogenesis in the DG. Despite the potential therapeutic benefits of such treatments, the effects of acutely increasing δGABAA receptor activity on memory behaviors remain unknown. Here, we studied the effects of THIP (4 mg/kg, i.p. on memory performance in wild-type (WT and δGABAA receptor null mutant (Gabrd–/– mice. Additionally, the effects of THIP on long-term potentiation (LTP, a molecular correlate of memory, were studied within the DG and CA1 subfields of the hippocampus using electrophysiological recordings of field potentials in hippocampal slices. The results showed that THIP impaired performance in the Morris water maze, contextual fear conditioning and object recognition tasks in WT mice but not Gabrd–/– mice. Furthermore, THIP inhibited LTP in hippocampal slices from WT but not Gabrd–/– mice, an effect that was blocked by GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline. Thus, acutely increasing δGABAA receptor activity impairs memory behaviors and inhibits synaptic plasticity. These results have important implications for the development of therapies aimed at increasing δGABAA receptor activity.

  4. Glucose is necessary to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis during synaptic activity in cultured glutamatergic neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Lasse K; Schousboe, Arne; Sonnewald, Ursula

    2006-01-01

    Glucose is the primary energy substrate for the adult mammalian brain. However, lactate produced within the brain might be able to serve this purpose in neurons. In the present study, the relative significance of glucose and lactate as substrates to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis was inves......Glucose is the primary energy substrate for the adult mammalian brain. However, lactate produced within the brain might be able to serve this purpose in neurons. In the present study, the relative significance of glucose and lactate as substrates to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis...... was investigated. Cultured cerebellar (primarily glutamatergic) neurons were superfused in medium containing [U-13C]glucose (2.5 mmol/L) and lactate (1 or 5 mmol/L) or glucose (2.5 mmol/L) and [U-13C]lactate (1 mmol/L), and exposed to pulses of N-methyl-D-aspartate (300 micromol/L), leading to synaptic activity...... significantly during induced depolarization. In contrast, at both concentrations of extracellular lactate, the metabolism of [U-13C]glucose was increased during neuronal depolarization. The role of glucose and lactate as energy substrates during vesicular release as well as transporter-mediated influx...

  5. Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatase-2 Deletion Impairs Synaptic Plasticity and Hippocampal-Dependent Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Rahman, Nor Zaihana; Greenwood, Sam M; Brett, Ros R; Tossell, Kyoko; Ungless, Mark A; Plevin, Robin; Bushell, Trevor J

    2016-02-24

    Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) regulate brain function and their dysfunction is implicated in a number of brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Thus, there is great interest in understanding the signaling systems that control MAPK function. One family of proteins that contribute to this process, the mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatases (MKPs), directly inactivate MAPKs through dephosphorylation. Recent studies have identified novel functions of MKPs in development, the immune system, and cancer. However, a significant gap in our knowledge remains in relation to their role in brain functioning. Here, using transgenic mice where the Dusp4 gene encoding MKP-2 has been knocked out (MKP-2(-/-) mice), we show that long-term potentiation is impaired in MKP-2(-/-) mice compared with MKP-2(+/+) controls whereas neuronal excitability, evoked synaptic transmission, and paired-pulse facilitation remain unaltered. Furthermore, spontaneous EPSC (sEPSC) frequency was increased in acute slices and primary hippocampal cultures prepared from MKP-2(-/-) mice with no effect on EPSC amplitude observed. An increase in synapse number was evident in primary hippocampal cultures, which may account for the increase in sEPSC frequency. In addition, no change in ERK activity was detected in both brain tissue and primary hippocampal cultures, suggesting that the effects of MKP-2 deletion were MAPK independent. Consistent with these alterations in hippocampal function, MKP-2(-/-) mice show deficits in spatial reference and working memory when investigated using the Morris water maze. These data show that MKP-2 plays a role in regulating hippocampal function and that this effect may be independent of MAPK signaling. Copyright © 2016 Abdul Rahman et al.

  6. Valine but not leucine or isoleucine supports neurotransmitter glutamate synthesis during synaptic activity in cultured cerebellar neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Lasse Kristoffer; Johansen, Maja L.; Schousboe, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Synthesis of neuronal glutamate from a-ketoglutarate for neurotransmission necessitates an amino group nitrogen donor; however, it is not clear which amino acid(s) serves this role. Thus, the ability of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine, and valine, to act as amino...... group nitrogen donors for synthesis of vesicular neurotransmitter glutamate was investigated in cultured mouse cerebellar (primarily glutamatergic) neurons. The cultures were superfused in the presence of (15) N-labeled BCAAs, and synaptic activity was induced by pulses of N-methyl-D-aspartate (300 µ......]valine was able to maintain the amount of vesicular glutamate during synaptic activity. This indicates that, among the BCAAs, only valine supports the increased need for synthesis of vesicular glutamate. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc....

  7. Age-related deficits in synaptic plasticity rescued by activating PKA or PKC in sensory neurons of Aplysia californica

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    Andrew T Kempsell

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Brain aging is associated with declines in synaptic function that contribute to memory loss, including reduced postsynaptic response to neurotransmitters and decreased neuronal excitability. To understand how aging affects memory in a simple neural circuit, we studied neuronal proxies of memory for sensitization in mature versus advanced age Aplysia. Glutamate- (L-Glu- evoked excitatory currents were facilitated by the neuromodulator serotonin (5-HT in sensory neurons (SN isolated from mature but not aged animals. Activation of PKA and PKC signaling rescued facilitation of L-Glu currents in aged SN. Similarly, PKA and PKC activators restored increased excitability in aged tail SN. These results suggest that altered synaptic plasticity during aging involves defects in second messenger systems

  8. Age-related deficits in synaptic plasticity rescued by activating PKA or PKC in sensory neurons of Aplysia californica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempsell, Andrew T; Fieber, Lynne A

    2015-01-01

    Brain aging is associated with declines in synaptic function that contribute to memory loss, including reduced postsynaptic response to neurotransmitters and decreased neuronal excitability. To understand how aging affects memory in a simple neural circuit, we studied neuronal proxies of memory for sensitization in mature vs. advanced age Aplysia californica (Aplysia). L-Glutamate- (L-Glu-) evoked excitatory currents were facilitated by the neuromodulator serotonin (5-HT) in sensory neurons (SN) isolated from mature but not aged animals. Activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling rescued facilitation of L-Glu currents in aged SN. Similarly, PKA and PKC activators restored increased excitability in aged tail SN. These results suggest that altered synaptic plasticity during aging involves defects in second messenger systems.

  9. Effects of TRPV1 activation on synaptic excitation in the dentate gyrus of a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhaskaran, Muthu D; Smith, Bret N

    2010-06-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a condition characterized by an imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the temporal lobe. Hallmarks of this change are axon sprouting and accompanying synaptic reorganization in the temporal lobe. Synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids have variable therapeutic potential in treating intractable temporal lobe epilepsy, in part because cannabinoid ligands can bind multiple receptor types. This study utilized in vitro electrophysiological methods to examine the effect of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) activation in dentate gyrus granule cells in a murine model of TLE. Capsaicin, a selective TRPV1 agonist had no measurable effect on overall synaptic input to granule cells in control animals, but significantly enhanced spontaneous and miniature EPSC frequency in mice with TLE. Exogenous application of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid that acts at both TRPV1 and cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1R), also enhanced glutamate release in the presence of a CB1R antagonist. Anandamide reduced the EPSC frequency when TRPV1 were blocked with capsazepine. Western blot analysis of TRPV1 receptor indicated protein expression was significantly greater in the dentate gyrus of mice with TLE compared with control mice. This study indicates that a prominent cannabinoid agonist can increase excitatory circuit activity in the synaptically reorganized dentate gyrus of mice with TLE by activating TRPV1 receptors, and suggests caution in designing anticonvulsant therapy based on modulating the endocannabinoid system. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2013-11-15

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

  11. The Hyperpolarization-Activated Current Determines Synaptic Excitability, Calcium Activity and Specific Viability of Substantia Nigra Dopaminergic Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Carbone

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Differential vulnerability between Substantia Nigra pars compacta (SNpc and Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA dopaminergic (DAergic neurons is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Understanding the molecular bases of this key histopathological aspect would foster the development of much-needed disease-modifying therapies. Non-heterogeneous DAergic degeneration is present in both toxin-based and genetic animal models, suggesting that cellular specificity, rather than causing factors, constitutes the background for differential vulnerability. In this regard, we previously demonstrated that MPP+, a neurotoxin able to cause selective nigrostriatal degeneration in animal rodents and primates, inhibits the Hyperpolarization-activated current (Ih in SNpc DAergic neurons and that pharmacological Ih antagonism causes potentiation of evoked Excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSPs. Of note, the magnitude of such potentiation is greater in the SNpc subfield, consistent with higher Ih density. In the present work, we show that Ih block-induced synaptic potentiation leads to the amplification of somatic calcium responses (SCRs in vitro. This effect is specific for the SNpc subfield and largely mediated by L-Type calcium channels, as indicated by sensitivity to the CaV 1 blocker isradipine. Furthermore, Ih is downregulated by low intracellular ATP and determines the efficacy of GABAergic inhibition in SNpc DAergic neurons. Finally, we show that stereotaxic administration of Ih blockers causes SNpc-specific neurodegeneration and hemiparkinsonian motor phenotype in rats. During PD progression, Ih downregulation may result from mitochondrial dysfunction and, in concert with PD-related disinhibition of excitatory inputs, determine a SNpc-specific disease pathway.

  12. Modulation of synaptic depression of the calyx of Held synapse by GABAB receptors and spontaneous activity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wang, T.; Rusu, S. I.; Hrušková, Bohdana; Tureček, Rostislav; Borst, J. G.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 591, č. 19 (2013), s. 4877-4894 ISSN 0022-3751 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP303/11/0131 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : GABAB * synaptic transmission * auditory Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 4.544, year: 2013

  13. Ethanol extract of the seed of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa potentiates hippocampal synaptic transmission through mitogen-activated protein kinase, adenylyl cyclase, and protein kinase A pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, So Yeon; Jung, In Ho; Yi, Jee Hyun; Choi, Tae Joon; Lee, Seungheon; Jung, Ji Wook; Yun, Jeanho; Lee, Young Choon; Ryu, Jong Hoon; Kim, Dong Hyun

    2017-03-22

    As the seed of Zizyphus jujuba var. spinosa (Bunge) Hu ex H.F. Chow (Rhamnaceae) has been used to sleep disturbances in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine, many previous studies have focused on its sedative effect. Recently, we reported the neuroprotective effect of the effect of Z. jujuba var. spinosa. However, its effects on synaptic function have not yet been studied. In this project, we examined the action of ethanol extract of the seed of Z. jujuba var. spinosa (DHP1401) on synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. To investigate the effects of DHP1401, field recordings were conducted using hippocampal slices (400µm). Object recognition test was introduced to examine whether DHP1401 affect normal recognition memory. DHP1401 (50μg/ml) induced a significant increase in synaptic activity in Shaffer collateral pathway in a concentration-dependent manner. This increase of synaptic responses was blocked by NBQX, a broad spectrum α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor antagonist, but not IEM-1460, a Ca 2+ -permeable AMPAR blocker. Moreover, U0126, a mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor, SQ22536, an adenylyl cyclase inhibitor, and PKI, a protein kinase A inhibitor, blocked DHP1401-induced increase in synaptic transmission. Finally, DHP1401 facilitated object recognition memory. These results suggest that DHP1401 increase synaptic transmission through increase of synaptic AMPAR transmission via MAPK, AC and PAK. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daehun Park

    2018-03-01

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

  15. Modulatory Effect of Aerobic Physical Activity on Synaptic Ultrastructure in the Old Mouse Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrizia Fattoretti

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Aerobic physical exercise (APE leads to improved brain functions. To better understand the beneficial effect of APE on the aging brain, a morphometric study was carried out of changes in hippocampal synapses of old (>27 months Balb/c mice undergoing treadmill training (OTT for 4 weeks in comparison with old sedentary (OS, middle-aged sedentary (MAS and middle-aged treadmill training (MATT mice. The inner molecular layer of the hippocampal dentate gyrus (IMLDG and the molecular stratum of Ammon’s horn1 neurons (SMCA1 were investigated. The number of synapses per cubic micron of tissue (numeric density, Nv, overall synaptic area per cubic micron of tissue (surface density, Sv, average area of synaptic contact zones (S, and frequency (% of perforated synapses (PS were measured in electron micrographs of ethanol-phosphotungstic acid (E-PTA stained tissue. Data were analyzed with analysis of variance (ANOVA. In IMLDG, an effect of age was found for Nv and Sv, but not S and %PS. Similar results were found for exercise and the interaction of age and exercise. In post hoc analysis Nv was higher (60.6% to 75.1%; p < 0.001 in MATT vs. MAS, OS and OTT. Sv was higher (32.3% to 54.6%; p < 0.001 in MATT vs. MAS, OS and OTT. In SMCA1, age affected Nv, Sv and %PS, but not S. The effect of exercise was significant for Sv only. The interaction of age and exercise was significant for Nv, Sv and %PS. In post hoc analysis Nv was lower in OS vs. MAS, MATT and OTT (−26.1% to −32.1%; p < 0.038. MAS and OTT were similar. Sv was lower in OS vs. MAS, MATT and OTT (−23.4 to −30.3%, p < 0.004. MAS and OTT were similar. PS frequency was higher in OS vs. MAS, MATT and OTT (48.3% to +96.6%, p < 0.023. APE positively modulated synaptic structural dynamics in the aging hippocampus, possibly in a region-specific way. The APE-associated reduction in PS frequency in SMCA1 of old mice suggests that an increasing complement of PS is a compensatory phenomenon to maintain

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

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    Christoph Straub

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian G. Hiester

    2017-11-01

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

  18. Activation of the CREB/c-Fos Pathway during Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity in the Cerebellum Granular Layer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Gandolfi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The induction of long-term potentiation and depression (LTP and LTD is thought to trigger gene expression and protein synthesis, leading to consolidation of synaptic and neuronal changes. However, while LTP and LTD have been proposed to play important roles for sensori-motor learning in the cerebellum granular layer, their association with these mechanisms remained unclear. Here, we have investigated phosphorylation of the cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB and activation of the immediate early gene c-Fos pathway following the induction of synaptic plasticity by theta-burst stimulation (TBS in acute cerebellar slices. LTP and LTD were localized using voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDi. At two time points following TBS (15 min and 120 min, corresponding to the early and late phases of plasticity, slices were fixed and processed to evaluate CREB phosphorylation (P-CREB and c-FOS protein levels, as well as Creb and c-Fos mRNA expression. High levels of P-CREB and Creb/c-Fos were detected before those of c-FOS, as expected if CREB phosphorylation triggered gene expression followed by protein synthesis. No differences between control slices and slices stimulated with TBS were observed in the presence of an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR antagonist. Interestingly, activation of the CREB/c-Fos system showed a relevant degree of colocalization with long-term synaptic plasticity. These results show that NMDAR-dependent plasticity at the cerebellum input stage bears about transcriptional and post-transcriptional processes potentially contributing to cerebellar learning and memory consolidation.

  19. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Closas, Pau; Guillamon, Antoni

    2017-12-01

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

  1. Encoding of Discriminative Fear Memory by Input-Specific LTP in the Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Woong Bin; Cho, Jun-Hyeong

    2017-08-30

    In auditory fear conditioning, experimental subjects learn to associate an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. With sufficient training, animals fear conditioned to an auditory CS show fear response to the CS, but not to irrelevant auditory stimuli. Although long-term potentiation (LTP) in the lateral amygdala (LA) plays an essential role in auditory fear conditioning, it is unknown whether LTP is induced selectively in the neural pathways conveying specific CS information to the LA in discriminative fear learning. Here, we show that postsynaptically expressed LTP is induced selectively in the CS-specific auditory pathways to the LA in a mouse model of auditory discriminative fear conditioning. Moreover, optogenetically induced depotentiation of the CS-specific auditory pathways to the LA suppressed conditioned fear responses to the CS. Our results suggest that input-specific LTP in the LA contributes to fear memory specificity, enabling adaptive fear responses only to the relevant sensory cue. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Reactive Oxygen Species-Mediated Loss of Synaptic Akt1 Signaling Leads to Deficient Activity-Dependent Protein Translation Early in Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Faraz; Singh, Kunal; Das, Debajyoti; Gowaikar, Ruturaj; Shaw, Eisha; Ramachandran, Arathy; Rupanagudi, Khader Valli; Kommaddi, Reddy Peera; Bennett, David A; Ravindranath, Vijayalakshmi

    2017-12-01

    Synaptic deficits are known to underlie the cognitive dysfunction seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by β-amyloid has also been implicated in AD pathogenesis. However, it is unclear whether ROS contributes to synaptic dysfunction seen in AD pathogenesis and, therefore, we examined whether altered redox signaling could contribute to synaptic deficits in AD. Activity dependent but not basal translation was impaired in synaptoneurosomes from 1-month old presymptomatic APP Swe /PS1ΔE9 (APP/PS1) mice, and this deficit was sustained till middle age (MA, 9-10 months). ROS generation leads to oxidative modification of Akt1 in the synapse and consequent reduction in Akt1-mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, leading to deficiency in activity-dependent protein translation. Moreover, we found a similar loss of activity-dependent protein translation in synaptoneurosomes from postmortem AD brains. Loss of activity-dependent protein translation occurs presymptomatically early in the pathogenesis of AD. This is caused by ROS-mediated loss of pAkt1, leading to reduced synaptic Akt1-mTOR signaling and is rescued by overexpression of Akt1. ROS-mediated damage is restricted to the synaptosomes, indicating selectivity. We demonstrate that ROS-mediated oxidative modification of Akt1 contributes to synaptic dysfunction in AD, seen as loss of activity-dependent protein translation that is essential for synaptic plasticity and maintenance. Therapeutic strategies promoting Akt1-mTOR signaling at synapses may provide novel target(s) for disease-modifying therapy in AD. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 27, 1269-1280.

  3. Identification of BDNF sensitive electrophysiological markers of synaptic activity and their structural correlates in healthy subjects using a genetic approach utilizing the functional BDNF Val66Met polymorphism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fruzsina Soltész

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that synaptic dysfunction is a core pathophysiological hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders. Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF is key synaptogenic molecule and targeting synaptic repair through modulation of BDNF signalling has been suggested as a potential drug discovery strategy. The development of such "synaptogenic" therapies depend on the availability of BDNF sensitive markers of synaptic function that could be utilized as biomarkers for examining target engagement or drug efficacy in humans. Here we have utilized the BDNF Val66Met genetic polymorphism to examine the effect of the polymorphism and genetic load (i.e. Met allele load on electrophysiological (EEG markers of synaptic activity and their structural (MRI correlates. Sixty healthy adults were prospectively recruited into the three genetic groups (Val/Val, Val/Met, Met/Met. Subjects also underwent fMRI, tDCS/TMS, and cognitive assessments as part of a larger study. Overall, some of the EEG markers of synaptic activity and brain structure measured with MRI were the most sensitive markers of the polymorphism. Met carriers showed decreased oscillatory activity and synchrony in the neural network subserving error-processing, as measured during a flanker task (ERN; and showed increased slow-wave activity during resting. There was no evidence for a Met load effect on the EEG measures and the polymorphism had no effects on MMN and P300. Met carriers also showed reduced grey matter volume in the anterior cingulate and in the (left prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, anterior cingulate grey matter volume, and oscillatory EEG power during the flanker task predicted subsequent behavioural adaptation, indicating a BDNF dependent link between brain structure, function and behaviour associated with error processing and monitoring. These findings suggest that EEG markers such as ERN and resting EEG could be used as BDNF sensitive functional markers in early

  4. LRRK2 phosphorylates pre-synaptic N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion (NSF) protein enhancing its ATPase activity and SNARE complex disassembling rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belluzzi, Elisa; Gonnelli, Adriano; Cirnaru, Maria-Daniela; Marte, Antonella; Plotegher, Nicoletta; Russo, Isabella; Civiero, Laura; Cogo, Susanna; Carrion, Maria Perèz; Franchin, Cinzia; Arrigoni, Giorgio; Beltramini, Mariano; Bubacco, Luigi; Onofri, Franco; Piccoli, Giovanni; Greggio, Elisa

    2016-01-13

    Lrrk2, a gene linked to Parkinson's disease, encodes a large scaffolding protein with kinase and GTPase activities implicated in vesicle and cytoskeletal-related processes. At the presynaptic site, LRRK2 associates with synaptic vesicles through interaction with a panel of presynaptic proteins. Here, we show that LRRK2 kinase activity influences the dynamics of synaptic vesicle fusion. We therefore investigated whether LRRK2 phosphorylates component(s) of the exo/endocytosis machinery. We have previously observed that LRRK2 interacts with NSF, a hexameric AAA+ ATPase that couples ATP hydrolysis to the disassembling of SNARE proteins allowing them to enter another fusion cycle during synaptic exocytosis. Here, we demonstrate that NSF is a substrate of LRRK2 kinase activity. LRRK2 phosphorylates full-length NSF at threonine 645 in the ATP binding pocket of D2 domain. Functionally, NSF phosphorylated by LRRK2 displays enhanced ATPase activity and increased rate of SNARE complex disassembling. Substitution of threonine 645 with alanine abrogates LRRK2-mediated increased ATPase activity. Given that the most common Parkinson's disease LRRK2 G2019S mutation displays increased kinase activity, our results suggest that mutant LRRK2 may impair synaptic vesicle dynamics via aberrant phosphorylation of NSF.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-30

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

  7. Anti-diabetes drug pioglitazone ameliorates synaptic defects in AD transgenic mice by inhibiting cyclin-dependent kinase5 activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinan Chen

    Full Text Available Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5 is a serine/threonine kinase that is activated by the neuron specific activators p35/p39 and plays many important roles in neuronal development. However, aberrant activation of Cdk5 is believed to be associated with the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD and Parkinson's disease (PD. Here in the present study, enhanced Cdk5 activity was observed in mouse models of AD; whereas soluble amyloid-β oligomers (Aβ, which contribute to synaptic failures during AD pathogenesis, induced Cdk5 hyperactivation in cultured hippocampal neurons. Inhibition of Cdk5 activity by pharmacological or genetic approaches reversed dendritic spine loss caused by soluble amyloid-β oligomers (Aβ treatment. Interestingly, we found that the anti-diabetes drug pioglitazone could inhibit Cdk5 activity by decreasing p35 protein level. More importantly, pioglitazone treatment corrected long-term potentiation (LTP deficit caused by Aβ exposure in cultured slices and pioglitazone administration rescued impaired LTP and spatial memory in AD mouse models. Taken together, our study describes an unanticipated role of pioglitazone in alleviating AD and reveals a potential therapeutic drug for AD curing.

  8. Tight coupling of astrocyte energy metabolism to synaptic activity revealed by genetically encoded FRET nanosensors in hippocampal tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruminot, Iván; Schmälzle, Jana; Leyton, Belén; Barros, L Felipe; Deitmer, Joachim W

    2017-01-01

    The potassium ion, K + , a neuronal signal that is released during excitatory synaptic activity, produces acute activation of glucose consumption in cultured astrocytes, a phenomenon mediated by the sodium bicarbonate cotransporter NBCe1 ( SLC4A4). We have explored here the relevance of this mechanism in brain tissue by imaging the effect of neuronal activity on pH, glucose, pyruvate and lactate dynamics in hippocampal astrocytes using BCECF and FRET nanosensors. Electrical stimulation of Schaffer collaterals produced fast activation of glucose consumption in astrocytes with a parallel increase in intracellular pyruvate and biphasic changes in lactate . These responses were blocked by TTX and were absent in tissue slices prepared from NBCe1-KO mice. Direct depolarization of astrocytes with elevated extracellular K + or Ba 2+ mimicked the metabolic effects of electrical stimulation. We conclude that the glycolytic pathway of astrocytes in situ is acutely sensitive to neuronal activity, and that extracellular K + and the NBCe1 cotransporter are involved in metabolic crosstalk between neurons and astrocytes. Glycolytic activation of astrocytes in response to neuronal K + helps to provide an adequate supply of lactate, a metabolite that is released by astrocytes and which acts as neuronal fuel and an intercellular signal.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Matamales

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Stress-induced enhancement of mouse amygdalar synaptic plasticity depends on glucocorticoid and ß-adrenergic activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ratna Angela Sarabdjitsingh

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Glucocorticoid hormones, in interaction with noradrenaline, enable the consolidation of emotionally arousing and stressful experiences in rodents and humans. Such interaction is thought to occur at least partly in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA which is crucially involved in emotional memory formation. Extensive evidence points to long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP as a mechanism contributing to memory formation. Here we determined in adolescent C57/Bl6 mice the effects of stress on LTP in the LA-BLA pathway and the specific roles of corticosteroid and β-adrenergic receptor activation in this process. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Exposure to 20 min of restraint stress (compared to control treatment prior to slice preparation enhanced subsequent LTP induction in vitro, without affecting baseline fEPSP responses. The role of glucocorticoid receptors, mineralocorticoid receptors and β2-adrenoceptors in the effects of stress was studied by treating mice with the antagonists mifepristone, spironolactone or propranolol respectively (or the corresponding vehicles prior to stress or control treatment. In undisturbed controls, mifepristone and propranolol administration in vivo did not influence LTP induced in vitro. By contrast, spironolactone caused a gradually attenuating form of LTP, both in unstressed and stressed mice. Mifepristone treatment prior to stress strongly reduced the ability to induce LTP in vitro. Propranolol normalized the stress-induced enhancement of LTP to control levels during the first 10 min after high frequency stimulation, after which synaptic responses further declined. CONCLUSIONS: Acute stress changes BLA electrical properties such that subsequent LTP induction is facilitated. Both β-adrenergic and glucocorticoid receptors are involved in the development of these changes. Mineralocorticoid receptors are important for the maintenance of LTP in the BLA, irrespective of stress-induced changes in the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Solubilization, partial purification, and reconstitution of glutamate- and N-methyl-D-aspartate-activated cation channels from brain synaptic membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ly, A.M.; Michaelis, E.K.

    1991-01-01

    L-Glutamate-activated cation channel proteins from rat brain synaptic membranes were solubilized, partially purified, and reconstituted into liposomes. Optimal conditions for solubilization and reconstitution included treatment of the membranes with nonionic detergents in the presence of neutral phospholipids plus glycerol. Quench-flow procedures were developed to characterize the rapid kinetics of ion flux induced by receptor agonists. [ 14 C]Methylamine, a cation that permeates through the open channel of both vertebrate and invertebrate glutamate receptors, was used to measure the activity of glutamate receptor-ion channel complexes in reconstituted liposomes. L-Glutamate caused an increase in the rate of [ 14 C]methylamine influx into liposomes reconstituted with either solubilized membrane proteins or partially purified glutamate-binding proteins. Of the major glutamate receptor agonists, only N-methyl-D-aspartate activated cation fluxes in liposomes reconstituted with glutamate-binding proteins. In liposomes reconstituted with glutamate-binding proteins, N-methyl-D-aspartate- or glutamate-induced influx of NA + led to a transient increase in the influx of the lipid-permeable anion probe S 14 CN - . These results indicate the functional reconstitution of N-methyl-D-aspartate-sensitive glutamate receptors and the role of the ∼69-kDa protein in the function of these ion channels

  14. GABAA Receptor-Mediated Bidirectional Control of Synaptic Activity, Intracellular Ca2+, Cerebral Blood Flow, and Oxygen Consumption in Mouse Somatosensory Cortex In Vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Sanne Barsballe; Brazhe, Alexey; Lind, Barbara Lykke

    2015-01-01

    Neural activity regulates local increases in cerebral blood flow (ΔCBF) and the cortical metabolic rate of oxygen (ΔCMRO2) that constitutes the basis of BOLD functional neuroimaging signals. Glutamate signaling plays a key role in brain vascular and metabolic control; however, the modulatory effect...... of GABA is incompletely understood. Here we performed in vivo studies in mice to investigate how THIP (which tonically activates extrasynaptic GABAARs) and Zolpidem (a positive allosteric modulator of synaptic GABAARs) impact stimulation-induced ΔCBF, ΔCMRO2, local field potentials (LFPs), and fluorescent...... cytosolic Ca2+ transients in neurons and astrocytes. Low concentrations of THIP increased ΔCBF and ΔCMRO2 at low stimulation frequencies. These responses were coupled to increased synaptic activity as indicated by LFP responses, and to Ca2+ activities in neurons and astrocytes. Intermediate and high...

  15. 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

  16. Dynamic changes in cytosolic ATP levels in cultured glutamatergic neurons during NMDA-induced synaptic activity supported by glucose or lactate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lange, Sofie Cecilie; Winkler, Ulrike; Andresen, Lars

    2015-01-01

    is supported equally well by both glucose and lactate, and that a pulse of NMDA causes accumulation of Ca(2+) in the mitochondrial matrix. In summary, we have shown that ATP homeostasis during neurotransmission activity in cultured neurons is supported by both glucose and lactate. However, ATP homeostasis...... biosensor Ateam1.03YEMK. While inducing synaptic activity by subjecting cultured neurons to two 30 s pulses of NMDA (30 µM) with a 4 min interval, changes in relative ATP levels were measured in the presence of lactate (1 mM), glucose (2.5 mM) or the combination of the two. ATP levels reversibly declined...... in the presence of glucose following the 2nd pulse of NMDA (approx. 10 vs. 20 %). Further, cytosolic Ca(2+) homeostasis during NMDA-induced synaptic transmission is partially inhibited by verapamil indicating that voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels are activated. Lastly, we showed that cytosolic Ca(2+) homeostasis...

  17. Acutely increasing δGABA(A) receptor activity impairs memory and inhibits synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whissell, Paul D; Eng, Dave; Lecker, Irene; Martin, Loren J; Wang, Dian-Shi; Orser, Beverley A

    2013-01-01

    Extrasynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptors that contain the δ subunit (δGABA(A) receptors) are expressed in several brain regions including the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA1 subfields of the hippocampus. Drugs that increase δGABA(A) receptor activity have been proposed as treatments for a variety of disorders including insomnia, epilepsy and chronic pain. Also, long-term pretreatment with the δGABA(A) receptor-preferring agonist 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol (THIP) enhances discrimination memory and increases neurogenesis in the DG. Despite the potential therapeutic benefits of such treatments, the effects of acutely increasing δGABA(A) receptor activity on memory behaviors remain unknown. Here, we studied the effects of THIP (4 mg/kg, i.p.) on memory performance in wild-type (WT) and δGABA(A) receptor null mutant (Gabrd(-/-)) mice. Additionally, the effects of THIP on long-term potentiation (LTP), a molecular correlate of memory, were studied within the DG and CA1 subfields of the hippocampus using electrophysiological recordings of field potentials in hippocampal slices. The results showed that THIP impaired performance in the Morris water maze, contextual fear conditioning and object recognition tasks in WT mice but not Gabrd(-/-) mice. Furthermore, THIP inhibited LTP in hippocampal slices from WT but not Gabrd(-/-) mice, an effect that was blocked by GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline. Thus, acutely increasing δGABA(A) receptor activity impairs memory behaviors and inhibits synaptic plasticity. These results have important implications for the development of therapies aimed at increasing δGABA(A) receptor activity.

  18. Behavior-Dependent Activity and Synaptic Organization of Septo-hippocampal GABAergic Neurons Selectively Targeting the Hippocampal CA3 Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Abhilasha; Salib, Minas; Viney, Tim James; Dupret, David; Somogyi, Peter

    2017-12-20

    Rhythmic medial septal (MS) GABAergic input coordinates cortical theta oscillations. However, the rules of innervation of cortical cells and regions by diverse septal neurons are unknown. We report a specialized population of septal GABAergic neurons, the Teevra cells, selectively innervating the hippocampal CA3 area bypassing CA1, CA2, and the dentate gyrus. Parvalbumin-immunopositive Teevra cells show the highest rhythmicity among MS neurons and fire with short burst duration (median, 38 ms) preferentially at the trough of both CA1 theta and slow irregular oscillations, coincident with highest hippocampal excitability. Teevra cells synaptically target GABAergic axo-axonic and some CCK interneurons in restricted septo-temporal CA3 segments. The rhythmicity of their firing decreases from septal to temporal termination of individual axons. We hypothesize that Teevra neurons coordinate oscillatory activity across the septo-temporal axis, phasing the firing of specific CA3 interneurons, thereby contributing to the selection of pyramidal cell assemblies at the theta trough via disinhibition. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Enrichment of conserved synaptic activity-responsive element in neuronal genes predicts a coordinated response of MEF2, CREB and SRF.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda M Rodríguez-Tornos

    Full Text Available A unique synaptic activity-responsive element (SARE sequence, composed of the consensus binding sites for SRF, MEF2 and CREB, is necessary for control of transcriptional upregulation of the Arc gene in response to synaptic activity. We hypothesize that this sequence is a broad mechanism that regulates gene expression in response to synaptic activation and during plasticity; and that analysis of SARE-containing genes could identify molecular mechanisms involved in brain disorders. To search for conserved SARE sequences in the mammalian genome, we used the SynoR in silico tool, and found the SARE cluster predominantly in the regulatory regions of genes expressed specifically in the nervous system; most were related to neural development and homeostatic maintenance. Two of these SARE sequences were tested in luciferase assays and proved to promote transcription in response to neuronal activation. Supporting the predictive capacity of our candidate list, up-regulation of several SARE containing genes in response to neuronal activity was validated using external data and also experimentally using primary cortical neurons and quantitative real time RT-PCR. The list of SARE-containing genes includes several linked to mental retardation and cognitive disorders, and is significantly enriched in genes that encode mRNA targeted by FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein. Our study thus supports the idea that SARE sequences are relevant transcriptional regulatory elements that participate in plasticity. In addition, it offers a comprehensive view of how activity-responsive transcription factors coordinate their actions and increase the selectivity of their targets. Our data suggest that analysis of SARE-containing genes will reveal yet-undescribed pathways of synaptic plasticity and additional candidate genes disrupted in mental disease.

  20. The wiring of developing sensory circuits - from patterned spontaneous activity to mechanisms of synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Helen Leighton

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In order to accurately process incoming sensory stimuli, neurons must be organized into functional networks, with both genetic and environmental factors influencing the precise arrangement of connections between cells. Teasing apart the relative contributions of molecular guidance cues, spontaneous activity and visual experience during this maturation is on-going. During development of the sensory system, the first, rough organization of connections is created by molecular factors. These connections are then modulated by the intrinsically generated activity of neurons, even before the senses have become operational. Spontaneous waves of depolarisations sweep across the nervous system, placing them in a prime position to strengthen correct connections and weaken others, shaping synapses into a useful network. A large body of work now supports the idea that, rather than being a mere side-effect of the system, spontaneous activity actually contains information which readies the nervous system so that, as soon as the senses become active, sensory information can be utilized by the animal. An example is the neonatal mouse. As soon as the eyelids first open, neurons in the cortex respond to visual information without the animal having previously encountered structured sensory input (Cang et al., 2005a; Ko et al., 2013; Rochefort et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2012. In vivo imaging techniques have advanced considerably, allowing observation of the natural activity in the brain of living animals down to the level of the individual synapse. New (optogenetic methods make it possible to subtly modulate the spatio-temporal properties of activity, aiding our understanding of how these characteristics relate to the function of spontaneous activity. Such experiments have had a huge impact on our knowledge by permitting direct testing of ideas about the plasticity mechanisms at play in the intact system, opening up a provocative range of fresh questions. Here, we

  1. Chronic copper exposure causes spatial memory impairment, selective loss of hippocampal synaptic proteins, and activation of PKR/eIF2α pathway in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Quan; Ying, Ming; Sui, Xiaojing; Zhang, Huimin; Huang, Haiyan; Yang, Linqing; Huang, Xinfeng; Zhuang, Zhixiong; Liu, Jianjun; Yang, Xifei

    2015-01-01

    Copper is an essential element for human growth and development; however, excessive intake of copper could contribute to neurotoxicity. Here we show that chronic exposure to copper in drinking water impaired spatial memory with simultaneous selective loss of hippocampal pre-synaptic protein synapsin 1, and post-synaptic density protein (PSD)-93/95 in mice. Copper exposure was shown to elevate the levels of nitrotyrosine and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in hippocampus, two markers of oxidative stress. Concurrently, we also found that copper exposure activated double stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) as evidenced by increased ratio of phosphorylated PKR at Thr451 and total PKR and increased the phosphorylation of its downstream signaling molecule eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) at Ser51 in hippocampus. Consistent with activation of PKR/eIF2α signaling pathway which was shown to mediate synaptic deficit and cognitive impairment, the levels of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF-4), a downstream signaling molecule of eIF2α and a repressor of CREB-mediated gene expression, were significantly increased, while the activity of cAMP response elements binding protein (CREB) was inactivated as suggested by decreased phosphorylation of CREB at Ser133 by copper exposure. In addition, the expression of the pro-apoptotic target molecule C/EBP homology protein (CHOP) of ATF-4 was upregulated and hippocampal neuronal apoptosis was induced by copper exposure. Taken together, we propose that chronic copper exposure might cause spatial memory impairment, selective loss of synaptic proteins, and neuronal apoptosis through the mechanisms involving activation of PKR/eIF2α signaling pathway.

  2. Dynamic Changes in Cytosolic ATP Levels in Cultured Glutamatergic Neurons During NMDA-Induced Synaptic Activity Supported by Glucose or Lactate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Sofie C; Winkler, Ulrike; Andresen, Lars; Byhrø, Mathilde; Waagepetersen, Helle S; Hirrlinger, Johannes; Bak, Lasse K

    2015-12-01

    We have previously shown that synaptic transmission fails in cultured neurons in the presence of lactate as the sole substrate. Thus, to test the hypothesis that the failure of synaptic transmission is a consequence of insufficient energy supply, ATP levels were monitored employing the ATP biosensor Ateam1.03YEMK. While inducing synaptic activity by subjecting cultured neurons to two 30 s pulses of NMDA (30 µM) with a 4 min interval, changes in relative ATP levels were measured in the presence of lactate (1 mM), glucose (2.5 mM) or the combination of the two. ATP levels reversibly declined following NMDA-induced neurotransmission activity, as indicated by a reversible 10-20 % decrease in the response of the biosensor. The responses were absent when the NMDA receptor antagonist memantine was present. In the presence of lactate alone, the ATP response dropped significantly more than in the presence of glucose following the 2nd pulse of NMDA (approx. 10 vs. 20 %). Further, cytosolic Ca(2+) homeostasis during NMDA-induced synaptic transmission is partially inhibited by verapamil indicating that voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels are activated. Lastly, we showed that cytosolic Ca(2+) homeostasis is supported equally well by both glucose and lactate, and that a pulse of NMDA causes accumulation of Ca(2+) in the mitochondrial matrix. In summary, we have shown that ATP homeostasis during neurotransmission activity in cultured neurons is supported by both glucose and lactate. However, ATP homeostasis seems to be negatively affected by the presence of lactate alone, suggesting that glucose is needed to support neuronal energy metabolism during activation.

  3. Activation of synaptic and extrasynaptic glycine receptors by taurine in preoptic hypothalamic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattarai, Janardhan Prasad; Park, Soo Joung; Chun, Sang Woo; Cho, Dong Hyu; Han, Seong Kyu

    2015-11-03

    Taurine is an essential amino-sulfonic acid having a fundamental function in the brain, participating in both cell volume regulation and neurotransmission. Using a whole cell voltage patch clamp technique, the taurine-activated neurotransmitter receptors in the preoptic hypothalamic area (PHA) neurons were investigated. In the first set of experiments, different concentrations of taurine were applied on PHA neurons. Taurine-induced responses were concentration-dependent. Taurine-induced currents were action potential-independent and sensitive to strychnine, suggesting the involvement of glycine receptors. In addition, taurine activated not only α-homomeric, but also αβ-heteromeric glycine receptors in PHA neurons. Interestingly, a low concentration of taurine (0.5mM) activated glycine receptors, whereas a higher concentration (3mM) activated both glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptors in PHA neurons. These results suggest that PHA neurons are influenced by taurine and respond via glycine and GABAA receptors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    potentiated NMDAR activity of hypothalamic presympathetic neurons remains unclear. Here we show that the activity of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is increased and plays a key role in the potentiated presynaptic and postsynaptic NMDAR activity of hypothalamic presympathetic neurons in hypertension. Also, the inhibition of CaMKII in the hypothalamus reduces elevated blood pressure and sympathetic nerve discharges in hypertension. This new knowledge extends our understanding of the mechanism of synaptic plasticity in the hypothalamus and suggests new strategies to treat neurogenic hypertension. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/3710690-10$15.00/0.

  5. Non-synaptic signaling from cerebellar climbing fibers modulates Golgi cell activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nietz, Angela K; Vaden, Jada H; Coddington, Luke T; Overstreet-Wadiche, Linda; Wadiche, Jacques I

    2017-10-13

    Golgi cells are the principal inhibitory neurons at the input stage of the cerebellum, providing feedforward and feedback inhibition through mossy fiber and parallel fiber synapses. In vivo studies have shown that Golgi cell activity is regulated by climbing fiber stimulation, yet there is little functional or anatomical evidence for synapses between climbing fibers and Golgi cells. Here, we show that glutamate released from climbing fibers activates ionotropic and metabotropic receptors on Golgi cells through spillover-mediated transmission. The interplay of excitatory and inhibitory conductances provides flexible control over Golgi cell spiking, allowing either excitation or a biphasic sequence of excitation and inhibition following single climbing fiber stimulation. Together with prior studies of spillover transmission to molecular layer interneurons, these results reveal that climbing fibers exert control over inhibition at both the input and output layers of the cerebellar cortex.

  6. Impact of Combined Prenatal Ethanol and Prenatal Stress Exposures on Markers of Activity-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity in Rat Dentate Gyrus

    OpenAIRE

    Staples, Miranda C.; Porch, Morgan W.; Savage, Daniel D.

    2014-01-01

    Prenatal ethanol exposure and prenatal stress can each cause long-lasting deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and disrupt learning and memory processes. However, the mechanisms underlying these perturbations following a learning event are still poorly understood. We examined the effects of prenatal ethanol exposure and prenatal stress exposure, either alone or in combination, on the cytosolic expression of activity-regulated cytoskeletal (ARC) protein and the synaptosomal expression o...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Miriam Matamales

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Enhanced synaptic activity and epileptiform events in the embryonic Kcc2 deficient hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilgam eKhalilov

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The neuronal potassium-chloride co-transporter Kcc2 is thought to play an important role in the post natal excitatory to inhibitory switch of GABA actions in the rodent hippocampus. Here, by studying hippocampi of wild-type (Kcc2+/+ and Kcc2 deficient (Kcc2-/- mouse embryos, we unexpectedly found increased spontaneous neuronal network activity at E18.5, a developmental stage when Kcc2 is thought not to be functional in the hippocampus. Embryonic Kcc2-/- hippocampi have also an augmented synapse density and a higher frequency of spontaneous glutamatergic and GABAergic postsynaptic currents (PSCs than naïve age matched neurons. However, intracellular chloride concentration ([Cl-]i and the reversal potential of GABA-mediated currents (EGABA were similar in embryonic Kcc2+/+ and Kcc2-/- CA3 neurons. In addition, Kcc2 immuno-labelling was cytoplasmic in the majority of neurons suggesting that the molecule is not functional as a plasma membrane chloride co-transporter. Collectively, our results show that already at an embryonic stage, Kcc2 controls the formation of synapses and, when deleted, the hippocampus has a higher density of GABAergic and glutamatergic synapses and generates spontaneous and evoked epileptiform activities. These results may be explained either by a small population of orchestrating neurons in which Kcc2 operates early as a chloride exporter or by transporter independent actions of Kcc2 that are instrumental in synapses formation and networks construction.

  9. Intracellular ATP influences synaptic plasticity in area CA1 of rat hippocampus via metabolism to adenosine and activity-dependent activation of adenosine A1 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    zur Nedden, Stephanie; Hawley, Simon; Pentland, Naomi; Hardie, D Grahame; Doney, Alexander S; Frenguelli, Bruno G

    2011-04-20

    The extent to which brain slices reflect the energetic status of the in vivo brain has been a subject of debate. We addressed this issue to investigate the recovery of energetic parameters and adenine nucleotides in rat hippocampal slices and the influence this has on synaptic transmission and plasticity. We show that, although adenine nucleotide levels recover appreciably within 10 min of incubation, it takes 3 h for a full recovery of the energy charge (to ≥ 0.93) and that incubation of brain slices at 34°C results in a significantly higher ATP/AMP ratio and a threefold lower activity of AMP-activated protein kinase compared with slices incubated at room temperature. Supplementation of artificial CSF with d-ribose and adenine (Rib/Ade) increased the total adenine nucleotide pool of brain slices, which, when corrected for the influence of the dead cut edges, closely approached in vivo values. Rib/Ade did not affect basal synaptic transmission or paired-pulse facilitation but did inhibit long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by tetanic or weak theta-burst stimulation. This decrease in LTP was reversed by strong theta-burst stimulation or antagonizing the inhibitory adenosine A(1) receptor suggesting that the elevated tissue ATP levels had resulted in greater activity-dependent adenosine release during LTP induction. This was confirmed by direct measurement of adenosine release with adenosine biosensors. These observations provide new insight into the recovery of adenine nucleotides after slice preparation, the sources of loss of such compounds in brain slices, the means by which to restore them, and the functional consequences of doing so.

  10. Diacylglycerol kinases in the coordination of synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongwon Lee

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Dopamine modulates persistent synaptic activity and enhances the signal-to-noise ratio in the prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Kroener

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The importance of dopamine (DA for prefrontal cortical (PFC cognitive functions is widely recognized, but its mechanisms of action remain controversial. DA is thought to increase signal gain in active networks according to an inverted U dose-response curve, and these effects may depend on both tonic and phasic release of DA from midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA neurons.We used patch-clamp recordings in organotypic co-cultures of the PFC, hippocampus and VTA to study DA modulation of spontaneous network activity in the form of Up-states and signals in the form of synchronous EPSP trains. These cultures possessed a tonic DA level and stimulation of the VTA evoked DA transients within the PFC. The addition of high (> or = 1 microM concentrations of exogenous DA to the cultures reduced Up-states and diminished excitatory synaptic inputs (EPSPs evoked during the Down-state. Increasing endogenous DA via bath application of cocaine also reduced Up-states. Lower concentrations of exogenous DA (0.1 microM had no effect on the up-state itself, but they selectively increased the efficiency of a train of EPSPs to evoke spikes during the Up-state. When the background DA was eliminated by depleting DA with reserpine and alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine, or by preparing corticolimbic co-cultures without the VTA slice, Up-states could be enhanced by low concentrations (0.1-1 microM of DA that had no effect in the VTA containing cultures. Finally, in spite of the concentration-dependent effects on Up-states, exogenous DA at all but the lowest concentrations increased intracellular current-pulse evoked firing in all cultures underlining the complexity of DA's effects in an active network.Taken together, these data show concentration-dependent effects of DA on global PFC network activity and they demonstrate a mechanism through which optimal levels of DA can modulate signal gain to support cognitive functioning.

  12. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

    Learning and sensory processing in the brain relies on the effective transmission of information across synapses. The strength and efficacy of synaptic transmission is modifiable through training and can be modulated with noninvasive electrical brain stimulation. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), specifically, induces weak intensity and spatially diffuse electric fields in the brain. Despite being weak, electric fields modulate spiking probability and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. These effects critically depend on the direction of the electric field relative to the orientation of the neuron and on the level of endogenous synaptic activity. TES has been used to modulate a wide range of neuropsychiatric indications, for various rehabilitation applications, and cognitive performance in diverse tasks. How can a weak and diffuse electric field, which simultaneously polarizes neurons across the brain, have precise changes in brain function? Designing therapies to maximize desired outcomes and minimize undesired effects presents a challenging problem. A series of experiments and computational models are used to define the anatomical and functional factors leading to specificity of TES. Anatomical specificity derives from guiding current to targeted brain structures and taking advantage of the direction-sensitivity of neurons with respect to the electric field. Functional specificity originates from preferential modulation of neuronal networks that are already active. Diffuse electric fields may recruit connected brain networks involved in a training task and promote plasticity along active synaptic pathways. In vitro, electric fields boost endogenous synaptic plasticity and raise the ceiling for synaptic learning with repeated stimulation sessions. Synapses undergoing strong plasticity are preferentially modulated over weak synapses. Therefore, active circuits that are involved in a task could be more susceptible to stimulation than inactive circuits

  13. Synaptic Activity and Muscle Contraction Increases PDK1 and PKCβI Phosphorylation in the Presynaptic Membrane of the Neuromuscular Junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtado, Erica; Cilleros, Víctor; Just, Laia; Simó, Anna; Nadal, Laura; Tomàs, Marta; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Josep

    2017-01-01

    Conventional protein kinase C βI (cPKCβI) is a conventional protein kinase C (PKC) isoform directly involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release in the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). It is located exclusively at the nerve terminal and both synaptic activity and muscle contraction modulate its protein levels and phosphorylation. cPKCβI molecular maturation includes a series of phosphorylation steps, the first of which is mediated by phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1). Here, we sought to localize PDK1 in the NMJ and investigate the hypothesis that synaptic activity and muscle contraction regulate in parallel PDK1 and cPKCβI phosphorylation in the membrane fraction. To differentiate the presynaptic and postsynaptic activities, we abolished muscle contraction with μ-conotoxin GIIIB (μ-CgTx-GIIIB) in some experiments before stimulation of the phrenic nerve (1 Hz, 30 min). Then, we analyzed total and membrane/cytosol fractions of skeletal muscle by Western blotting. Results showed that PDK1 is located exclusively in the nerve terminal of the NMJ. After nerve stimulation with and without coincident muscle contraction, total PDK1 and phosphorylated PDK1 (pPDK1) protein levels remained unaltered. However, synaptic activity specifically enhanced phosphorylation of PDK1 in the membrane, an important subcellular location for PDK1 function. This increase in pPDK1 coincides with a significant increase in the phosphorylation of its substrate cPKCβI also in the membrane fraction. Moreover, muscle contraction maintains PDK1 and pPDK1 but increases cPKCβI protein levels and its phosphorylation. Thus, even though PDK1 activity is maintained, pcPKCβI levels increase in concordance with total cPKCβI. Together, these results indicate that neuromuscular activity could induce the membrane targeting of pPDK1 in the nerve terminal of the NMJ to promote the phosphorylation of the cPKCβI, which is involved in ACh release.

  14. FLUTAN input specifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borgwaldt, H.; Baumann, W.; Willerding, G.

    1991-05-01

    FLUTAN is a highly vectorized computer code for 3-D fluiddynamic and thermal-hydraulic analyses in cartesian and cylinder coordinates. It is related to the family of COMMIX codes originally developed at Argonne National Laboratory, USA. To a large extent, FLUTAN relies on basic concepts and structures imported from COMMIX-1B and COMMIX-2 which were made available to KfK in the frame of cooperation contracts in the fast reactor safety field. While on the one hand not all features of the original COMMIX versions have been implemented in FLUTAN, the code on the other hand includes some essential innovative options like CRESOR solution algorithm, general 3-dimensional rebalacing scheme for solving the pressure equation, and LECUSSO-QUICK-FRAM techniques suitable for reducing 'numerical diffusion' in both the enthalphy and momentum equations. This report provides users with detailed input instructions, presents formulations of the various model options, and explains by means of comprehensive sample input, how to use the code. (orig.) [de

  15. Synaptic long-term potentiation and depression in the rat medial vestibular nuclei depend on neural activation of estrogenic and androgenic signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarduzio, Mariangela; Panichi, Roberto; Pettorossi, Vito Enrico; Grassi, Silvarosa

    2013-01-01

    Estrogenic and androgenic steroids can be synthesised in the brain and rapidly modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity through direct interaction with membrane receptors for estrogens (ERs) and androgens (ARs). We used whole cell patch clamp recordings in brainstem slices of male rats to explore the influence of ER and AR activation and local synthesis of 17β-estradiol (E2) and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the long-term synaptic changes induced in the neurons of the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN). Long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) caused by different patterns of high frequency stimulation (HFS) of the primary vestibular afferents were assayed under the blockade of ARs and ERs or in the presence of inhibitors for enzymes synthesizing DHT (5α-reductase) and E2 (P450-aromatase) from testosterone (T). We found that LTD is mediated by interaction of locally produced androgens with ARs and LTP by interaction of locally synthesized E2 with ERs. In fact, the AR block with flutamide prevented LTD while did not affect LTP, and the blockade of ERs with ICI 182,780 abolished LTP without influencing LTD. Moreover, the block of P450-aromatase with letrozole not only prevented the LTP induction, but inverted LTP into LTD. This LTD is likely due to the local activation of androgens, since it was abolished under blockade of ARs. Conversely, LTD was still induced in the presence of finasteride the inhibitor of 5α-reductase demonstrating that T is able to activate ARs and induce LTD even when DHT is not synthesized. This study demonstrates a key and opposite role of sex neurosteroids in the long-term synaptic changes of the MVN with a specific role of T-DHT for LTD and of E2 for LTP. Moreover, it suggests that different stimulation patterns can lead to LTD or LTP by specifically activating the enzymes involved in the synthesis of androgenic or estrogenic neurosteroids.

  16. Rivastigmine lowers Aβ and increases sAPPα levels, which parallel elevated synaptic markers and metabolic activity in degenerating primary rat neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason A Bailey

    Full Text Available Overproduction of amyloid-β (Aβ protein in the brain has been hypothesized as the primary toxic insult that, via numerous mechanisms, produces cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD. Cholinesterase inhibition is a primary strategy for treatment of AD, and specific compounds of this class have previously been demonstrated to influence Aβ precursor protein (APP processing and Aβ production. However, little information is available on the effects of rivastigmine, a dual acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitor, on APP processing. As this drug is currently used to treat AD, characterization of its various activities is important to optimize its clinical utility. We have previously shown that rivastigmine can preserve or enhance neuronal and synaptic terminal markers in degenerating primary embryonic cerebrocortical cultures. Given previous reports on the effects of APP and Aβ on synapses, regulation of APP processing represents a plausible mechanism for the synaptic effects of rivastigmine. To test this hypothesis, we treated degenerating primary cultures with rivastigmine and measured secreted APP (sAPP and Aβ. Rivastigmine treatment increased metabolic activity in these cultured cells, and elevated APP secretion. Analysis of the two major forms of APP secreted by these cultures, attributed to neurons or glia based on molecular weight showed that rivastigmine treatment significantly increased neuronal relative to glial secreted APP. Furthermore, rivastigmine treatment increased α-secretase cleaved sAPPα and decreased Aβ secretion, suggesting a therapeutic mechanism wherein rivastigmine alters the relative activities of the secretase pathways. Assessment of sAPP levels in rodent CSF following once daily rivastigmine administration for 21 days confirmed that elevated levels of APP in cell culture translated in vivo. Taken together, rivastigmine treatment enhances neuronal sAPP and shifts APP processing toward the

  17. Activation of Phosphatidylinositol-Linked Dopamine Receptors Induces a Facilitation of Glutamate-Mediated Synaptic Transmission in the Lateral Entorhinal Cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iulia Glovaci

    Full Text Available The lateral entorhinal cortex receives strong inputs from midbrain dopamine neurons that can modulate its sensory and mnemonic function. We have previously demonstrated that 1 µM dopamine facilitates synaptic transmission in layer II entorhinal cortex cells via activation of D1-like receptors, increased cAMP-PKA activity, and a resulting enhancement of AMPA-receptor mediated currents. The present study assessed the contribution of phosphatidylinositol (PI-linked D1 receptors to the dopaminergic facilitation of transmission in layer II of the rat entorhinal cortex, and the involvement of phospholipase C activity and release of calcium from internal stores. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of glutamate-mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents were obtained from pyramidal and fan cells. Activation of D1-like receptors using SKF38393, SKF83959, or 1 µM dopamine induced a reversible facilitation of EPSCs which was abolished by loading cells with either the phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 or the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA. Neither the L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel blocker nifedipine, nor the L/N-type channel blocker cilnidipine, blocked the facilitation of synaptic currents. However, the facilitation was blocked by blocking Ca2+ release from internal stores via inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3 receptors or ryanodine receptors. Follow-up studies demonstrated that inhibiting CaMKII activity with KN-93 failed to block the facilitation, but that application of the protein kinase C inhibitor PKC(19-36 completely blocked the dopamine-induced facilitation. Overall, in addition to our previous report indicating a role for the cAMP-PKA pathway in dopamine-induced facilitation of synaptic transmission, we demonstrate here that the dopaminergic facilitation of synaptic responses in layer II entorhinal neurons also relies on a signaling cascade dependent on PI-linked D1 receptors, PLC, release of Ca2+ from internal stores, and PKC activation which is

  18. Background synaptic activity in rat entorhinal cortex shows a progressively greater dominance of inhibition over excitation from deep to superficial layers.

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    Stuart David Greenhill

    Full Text Available The entorhinal cortex (EC controls hippocampal input and output, playing major roles in memory and spatial navigation. Different layers of the EC subserve different functions and a number of studies have compared properties of neurones across layers. We have studied synaptic inhibition and excitation in EC neurones, and we have previously compared spontaneous synaptic release of glutamate and GABA using patch clamp recordings of synaptic currents in principal neurones of layers II (L2 and V (L5. Here, we add comparative studies in layer III (L3. Such studies essentially look at neuronal activity from a presynaptic viewpoint. To correlate this with the postsynaptic consequences of spontaneous transmitter release, we have determined global postsynaptic conductances mediated by the two transmitters, using a method to estimate conductances from membrane potential fluctuations. We have previously presented some of this data for L3 and now extend to L2 and L5. Inhibition dominates excitation in all layers but the ratio follows a clear rank order (highest to lowest of L2>L3>L5. The variance of the background conductances was markedly higher for excitation and inhibition in L2 compared to L3 or L5. We also show that induction of synchronized network epileptiform activity by blockade of GABA inhibition reveals a relative reluctance of L2 to participate in such activity. This was associated with maintenance of a dominant background inhibition in L2, whereas in L3 and L5 the absolute level of inhibition fell below that of excitation, coincident with the appearance of synchronized discharges. Further experiments identified potential roles for competition for bicuculline by ambient GABA at the GABAA receptor, and strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors in residual inhibition in L2. We discuss our results in terms of control of excitability in neuronal subpopulations of EC neurones and what these may suggest for their functional roles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Overexpression of synapsin Ia in the rat calyx of Held accelerates short-term plasticity and decreases synaptic vesicle volume and active zone area

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    Mariya eVasileva

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Synapsins are synaptic vesicle (SV proteins organizing a component of the reserve pool of vesicles at most central nervous system synapses. Alternative splicing of the three mammalian genes results in multiple isoforms that may differentially contribute to the organization and maintenance of the synaptic vesicle-pools. To address this, we first characterized the expression pattern of synapsin isoforms in the rat calyx of Held. At postnatal day 16, synapsins Ia, Ib, IIb and IIIa were present, while IIa – known to sustain repetitive transmission in glutamatergic terminals – was not detectable. To test if the synapsin I isoforms could mediate IIa-like effect, and if this depends on the presence of the E-domain, we overexpressed either synapsin Ia or synapsin Ib in the rat calyx of Held via recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer. Although the size and overall structure of the perturbed calyces remained unchanged, short-term depression and recovery from depression were accelerated upon overexpression of synapsin I isoforms. Thus, at the calyx of Held, synapsin Ia may not substitute for the synapsin IIa-function reported for hippocampal synapses. Using electron microscopic three-dimensional reconstructions we found a redistribution of SV clusters proximal to the active zones (AZ alongside with a decrease of both AZ area and SV volume. The number of SVs at individual AZs was strongly reduced. Hence, our data indicate that the amount of synapsin Ia expressed in the calyx regulates the rate and extent of short-term synaptic plasticity by affecting vesicle recruitment to the AZ. Finally, our study reveals a novel contribution of synapsin Ia to define the surface area of AZs.

  1. Synaptic Activity and Muscle Contraction Increases PDK1 and PKCβI Phosphorylation in the Presynaptic Membrane of the Neuromuscular Junction

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    Erica Hurtado

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Conventional protein kinase C βI (cPKCβI is a conventional protein kinase C (PKC isoform directly involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release in the neuromuscular junction (NMJ. It is located exclusively at the nerve terminal and both synaptic activity and muscle contraction modulate its protein levels and phosphorylation. cPKCβI molecular maturation includes a series of phosphorylation steps, the first of which is mediated by phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1. Here, we sought to localize PDK1 in the NMJ and investigate the hypothesis that synaptic activity and muscle contraction regulate in parallel PDK1 and cPKCβI phosphorylation in the membrane fraction. To differentiate the presynaptic and postsynaptic activities, we abolished muscle contraction with μ-conotoxin GIIIB (μ-CgTx-GIIIB in some experiments before stimulation of the phrenic nerve (1 Hz, 30 min. Then, we analyzed total and membrane/cytosol fractions of skeletal muscle by Western blotting. Results showed that PDK1 is located exclusively in the nerve terminal of the NMJ. After nerve stimulation with and without coincident muscle contraction, total PDK1 and phosphorylated PDK1 (pPDK1 protein levels remained unaltered. However, synaptic activity specifically enhanced phosphorylation of PDK1 in the membrane, an important subcellular location for PDK1 function. This increase in pPDK1 coincides with a significant increase in the phosphorylation of its substrate cPKCβI also in the membrane fraction. Moreover, muscle contraction maintains PDK1 and pPDK1 but increases cPKCβI protein levels and its phosphorylation. Thus, even though PDK1 activity is maintained, pcPKCβI levels increase in concordance with total cPKCβI. Together, these results indicate that neuromuscular activity could induce the membrane targeting of pPDK1 in the nerve terminal of the NMJ to promote the phosphorylation of the cPKCβI, which is involved in ACh release.

  2. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Synaptic long-term potentiation and depression in the rat medial vestibular nuclei depend on neural activation of estrogenic and androgenic signals.

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    Mariangela Scarduzio

    Full Text Available Estrogenic and androgenic steroids can be synthesised in the brain and rapidly modulate synaptic transmission and plasticity through direct interaction with membrane receptors for estrogens (ERs and androgens (ARs. We used whole cell patch clamp recordings in brainstem slices of male rats to explore the influence of ER and AR activation and local synthesis of 17β-estradiol (E2 and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT on the long-term synaptic changes induced in the neurons of the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN. Long-term depression (LTD and long-term potentiation (LTP caused by different patterns of high frequency stimulation (HFS of the primary vestibular afferents were assayed under the blockade of ARs and ERs or in the presence of inhibitors for enzymes synthesizing DHT (5α-reductase and E2 (P450-aromatase from testosterone (T. We found that LTD is mediated by interaction of locally produced androgens with ARs and LTP by interaction of locally synthesized E2 with ERs. In fact, the AR block with flutamide prevented LTD while did not affect LTP, and the blockade of ERs with ICI 182,780 abolished LTP without influencing LTD. Moreover, the block of P450-aromatase with letrozole not only prevented the LTP induction, but inverted LTP into LTD. This LTD is likely due to the local activation of androgens, since it was abolished under blockade of ARs. Conversely, LTD was still induced in the presence of finasteride the inhibitor of 5α-reductase demonstrating that T is able to activate ARs and induce LTD even when DHT is not synthesized. This study demonstrates a key and opposite role of sex neurosteroids in the long-term synaptic changes of the MVN with a specific role of T-DHT for LTD and of E2 for LTP. Moreover, it suggests that different stimulation patterns can lead to LTD or LTP by specifically activating the enzymes involved in the synthesis of androgenic or estrogenic neurosteroids.

  4. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

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

  5. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Banach Synaptic Algebras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulis, David J.; Pulmannov, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

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

  7. Mutation of the protein kinase C site in borna disease virus phosphoprotein abrogates viral interference with neuronal signaling and restores normal synaptic activity.

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    Christine M A Prat

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the pathogenesis of infection by neurotropic viruses represents a major challenge and may improve our knowledge of many human neurological diseases for which viruses are thought to play a role. Borna disease virus (BDV represents an attractive model system to analyze the molecular mechanisms whereby a virus can persist in the central nervous system (CNS and lead to altered brain function, in the absence of overt cytolysis or inflammation. Recently, we showed that BDV selectively impairs neuronal plasticity through interfering with protein kinase C (PKC-dependent signaling in neurons. Here, we tested the hypothesis that BDV phosphoprotein (P may serve as a PKC decoy substrate when expressed in neurons, resulting in an interference with PKC-dependent signaling and impaired neuronal activity. By using a recombinant BDV with mutated PKC phosphorylation site on P, we demonstrate the central role of this protein in BDV pathogenesis. We first showed that the kinetics of dissemination of this recombinant virus was strongly delayed, suggesting that phosphorylation of P by PKC is required for optimal viral spread in neurons. Moreover, neurons infected with this mutant virus exhibited a normal pattern of phosphorylation of the PKC endogenous substrates MARCKS and SNAP-25. Finally, activity-dependent modulation of synaptic activity was restored, as assessed by measuring calcium dynamics in response to depolarization and the electrical properties of neuronal networks grown on microelectrode arrays. Therefore, preventing P phosphorylation by PKC abolishes viral interference with neuronal activity in response to stimulation. Our findings illustrate a novel example of viral interference with a differentiated neuronal function, mainly through competition with the PKC signaling pathway. In addition, we provide the first evidence that a viral protein can specifically interfere with stimulus-induced synaptic plasticity in neurons.

  8. Pre-synaptic glycine GlyT1 transporter--NMDA receptor interaction: relevance to NMDA autoreceptor activation in the presence of Mg2+ ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musante, Veronica; Summa, Maria; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Raiteri, Maurizio; Pittaluga, Anna

    2011-05-01

    Rat hippocampal glutamatergic terminals possess NMDA autoreceptors whose activation by low micromolar NMDA elicits glutamate exocytosis in the presence of physiological Mg(2+) (1.2 mM), the release of glutamate being significantly reduced when compared to that in Mg(2+)-free condition. Both glutamate and glycine were required to evoke glutamate exocytosis in 1.2 mM Mg(2+), while dizocilpine, cis-4-[phosphomethyl]-piperidine-2-carboxylic acid and 7-Cl-kynurenic acid prevented it, indicating that occupation of both agonist sites is needed for receptor activation. D-serine mimicked glycine but also inhibited the NMDA/glycine-induced release of [(3H]D-aspartate, thus behaving as a partial agonist. The NMDA/glycine-induced release in 1.2 mM Mg(2+) strictly depended on glycine uptake through the glycine transporter type 1 (GlyT1), because the GlyT1 blocker N-[3-(4'-fluorophenyl)-3-(4'-phenylphenoxy)propyl])sarcosine hydrochloride, but not the GlyT2 blocker Org 25534, prevented it. Accordingly, [(3)H]glycine was taken up during superfusion, while lowering the external concentration of Na(+), the monovalent cation co-transported with glycine by GlyT1, abrogated the NMDA-induced effect. Western blot analysis of subsynaptic fractions confirms that GlyT1 and NMDA autoreceptors co-localize at the pre-synaptic level, where GluN3A subunits immunoreactivity was also recovered. It is proposed that GlyT1s coexist with NMDA autoreceptors on rat hippocampal glutamatergic terminals and that glycine taken up by GlyT1 may permit physiological activation of NMDA pre-synaptic autoreceptors. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-10

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

  10. In vivo and in vitro effect of imipramine and fluoxetine on Na+,K+-ATPase activity in synaptic plasma membranes from the cerebral cortex of rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.M. Zanatta

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available The effects of in vivo chronic treatment and in vitro addition of imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant, or fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, on the cortical membrane-bound Na+,K+-ATPase activity were studied. Adult Wistar rats received daily intraperitoneal injections of 10 mg/kg of imipramine or fluoxetine for 14 days. Twelve hours after the last injection rats were decapitated and synaptic plasma membranes (SPM from cerebral cortex were prepared to determine Na+,K+-ATPase activity. There was a significant decrease (10% in enzyme activity after imipramine but fluoxetine treatment caused a significant increase (27% in Na+,K+-ATPase activity compared to control (P<0.05, ANOVA; N = 7 for each group. When assayed in vitro, the addition of both drugs to SPM of naive rats caused a dose-dependent decrease in enzyme activity, with the maximal inhibition (60-80% occurring at 0.5 mM. We suggest that a imipramine might decrease Na+,K+-ATPase activity by altering membrane fluidity, as previously proposed, and b stimulation of this enzyme might contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of fluoxetine, since brain Na+,K+-ATPase activity is decreased in bipolar patients.

  11. Cdk7 Is Required for Activity-Dependent Neuronal Gene Expression, Long-Lasting Synaptic Plasticity and Long-Term Memory

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    Guiqin He

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In the brain, de novo gene expression driven by learning-associated neuronal activities is critical for the formation of long-term memories. However, the signaling machinery mediating neuronal activity-induced gene expression, especially the rapid transcription of immediate-early genes (IEGs remains unclear. Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks are a family of serine/threonine kinases that have been firmly established as key regulators of transcription processes underling coordinated cell cycle entry and sequential progression in nearly all types of proliferative cells. Cdk7 is a subunit of transcriptional initiation factor II-H (TFIIH and the only known Cdk-activating kinase (CAK in metazoans. Recent studies using a novel Cdk7 specific covalent inhibitor, THZ1, revealed important roles of Cdk7 in transcription regulation in cancer cells. However, whether Cdk7 plays a role in the regulation of transcription in neurons remains unknown. In this study, we present evidence demonstrating that, in post-mitotic neurons, Cdk7 activity is positively correlated with neuronal activities in cultured primary neurons, acute hippocampal slices and in the brain. Cdk7 inhibition by THZ1 significantly suppressed mRNA levels of IEGs, selectively impaired long-lasting synaptic plasticity induced by 4 trains of high frequency stimulation (HFS and prevented the formation of long-term memories.

  12. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  13. Astroglial metabolic networks sustain hippocampal synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-05

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

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

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    Zesemdorj Otgon-Uul

    2016-08-01

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

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

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    Sara Calafate

    2015-05-01

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

  16. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlevan, Cengiz; Sengupta, Anirvan

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

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

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    Clarrisa A Bradley

    2012-02-01

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

  18. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Evoked neural activity correlates strongly with rises in cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) and cerebral blood flow. Activity-dependent rises in CMRO2 fluctuate with ATP turnover due to ion pumping. In vitro studies suggest that increases in cytosolic Ca2+ stimulate oxidative metabolism vi...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-05

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

  2. Folate and S-adenosylmethionine modulate synaptic activity in cultured cortical neurons: acute differential impact on normal and apolipoprotein-deficient mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serra, Michael; Chan, Amy; Dubey, Maya; Shea, Thomas B; Gilman, Vladimir

    2008-01-01

    Folate deficiency is accompanied by a decline in the cognitive neurotransmitter acetylcholine and a decline in cognitive performance in mice lacking apolipoprotein E (ApoE−/− mice), a low-density lipoprotein that regulates aspects of lipid metabolism. One direct consequence of folate deficiency is a decline in S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Since dietary SAM supplementation maintains acetylcholine levels and cognitive performance in the absence of folate, we examined herein the impact of folate and SAM on neuronal synaptic activity. Embryonic cortical neurons from mice expressing or lacking ApoE (ApoE+/+ or −/−, respectively) were cultured for 1 month on multi-electrode arrays, and signaling was recorded. ApoE+/+ cultures displayed significantly more frequent spontaneous signals than ApoE−/− cultures. Supplementation with 166 µm SAM (not normally present in culture medium) increased signal frequency and decreased signal amplitude in ApoE+/+ cultures. SAM also increased the frequency of tightly clustered signal bursts. Folate deprivation reversibly reduced signal frequency in ApoE+/+ cultures; SAM supplementation maintained signal frequency despite folate deprivation. These findings support the importance of dietary supplementation with folate and SAM on neuronal health. Supplementation with 166 µm SAM did not alter signaling in ApoE−/− cultures, which may be a reflection of the reduced SAM levels in ApoE−/− mice. The differential impact of SAM on ApoE+/+ and −/− neurons underscores the combined impact of nutritional and genetic deficiencies on neuronal homeostasis. (communication)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-09

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

  4. BDNF-TrkB Signaling Coupled to nPKCε and cPKCβI Modulate the Phosphorylation of the Exocytotic Protein Munc18-1 During Synaptic Activity at the Neuromuscular Junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simó, Anna; Just-Borràs, Laia; Cilleros-Mañé, Víctor; Hurtado, Erica; Nadal, Laura; Tomàs, Marta; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Josep

    2018-01-01

    Munc18-1, a neuron-specific member of the Sec1/Munc18 family, is involved in neurotransmitter release by binding tightly to syntaxin. Munc18-1 is phosphorylated by PKC on Ser-306 and Ser-313 in vitro which reduces the amount of Munc18-1 able to bind syntaxin. We have previously identified that PKC is involved in neurotransmitter release when continuous electrical stimulation imposes a moderate activity on the NMJ and that muscle contraction through TrkB has an important impact on presynaptic PKC isoforms levels, specifically cPKCβI and nPKCε. Therefore, the present study was designed to understand how Munc18-1 phosphorylation is affected by (1) synaptic activity at the neuromuscular junction, (2) nPKCε and cPKCβI isoforms activity, (3) muscle contraction per se , and (4) the BDNF/TrkB signaling in a neuromuscular activity-dependent manner. We performed immunohistochemistry and confocal techniques to evidence the presynaptic location of Munc18-1 in the rat diaphragm muscle. To study synaptic activity, we stimulated the phrenic nerve (1 Hz, 30 min) with or without contraction (abolished by μ-conotoxin GIIIB). Specific inhibitory reagents were used to block nPKCε and cPKCβI activity and to modulate the tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB). Main results obtained from Western blot experiments showed that phosphorylation of Munc18-1 at Ser-313 increases in response to a signaling mechanism initiated by synaptic activity and directly mediated by nPKCε. Otherwise, cPKCβI and TrkB activities work together to prevent this synaptic activity-induced Munc18-1 phosphorylation by a negative regulation of cPKCβI over nPKCε. Therefore, a balance between the activities of these PKC isoforms could be a relevant cue in the regulation of the exocytotic apparatus. The results also demonstrate that muscle contraction prevents the synaptic activity-induced Munc18-1 phosphorylation through a mechanism that opposes the TrkB/cPKCβI/nPKCε signaling.

  5. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and its active peptide (1-3)IGF1 enhance the expression of synaptic markers in neuronal circuits through different cellular mechanisms.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Corvin, Aiden P

    2012-06-27

    Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) and its active peptide (1-3)IGF1 modulate brain growth and plasticity and are candidate molecules for treatment of brain disorders. IGF1 N-terminal portion is naturally cleaved to generate the tri-peptide (1-3)IGF1 (glycine-praline-glutamate). IGF1 and (1-3)IGF have been proposed as treatment for neuropathologies, yet their effect on nerve cells has not been directly compared. In this study we examine the effects of IGF1 and (1-3)IGF1 in primary cortical cultures and measure the expression levels of markers for intracellular pathways and synaptic function. We find that both treatments activate the IGF1 receptor and enhance the expression of synaptic markers, however, they activate different intracellular pathways. Furthermore, (1-3)IGF1 administration increases the expression of endogenous IGF1, suggesting a direct interaction between the two molecules. The results show that the two molecules increase the expression of synaptic proteins through activating different cellular mechanisms.

  6. BDNF-TrkB Signaling Coupled to nPKCε and cPKCβI Modulate the Phosphorylation of the Exocytotic Protein Munc18-1 During Synaptic Activity at the Neuromuscular Junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Simó

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Munc18-1, a neuron-specific member of the Sec1/Munc18 family, is involved in neurotransmitter release by binding tightly to syntaxin. Munc18-1 is phosphorylated by PKC on Ser-306 and Ser-313 in vitro which reduces the amount of Munc18-1 able to bind syntaxin. We have previously identified that PKC is involved in neurotransmitter release when continuous electrical stimulation imposes a moderate activity on the NMJ and that muscle contraction through TrkB has an important impact on presynaptic PKC isoforms levels, specifically cPKCβI and nPKCε. Therefore, the present study was designed to understand how Munc18-1 phosphorylation is affected by (1 synaptic activity at the neuromuscular junction, (2 nPKCε and cPKCβI isoforms activity, (3 muscle contraction per se, and (4 the BDNF/TrkB signaling in a neuromuscular activity-dependent manner. We performed immunohistochemistry and confocal techniques to evidence the presynaptic location of Munc18-1 in the rat diaphragm muscle. To study synaptic activity, we stimulated the phrenic nerve (1 Hz, 30 min with or without contraction (abolished by μ-conotoxin GIIIB. Specific inhibitory reagents were used to block nPKCε and cPKCβI activity and to modulate the tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB. Main results obtained from Western blot experiments showed that phosphorylation of Munc18-1 at Ser-313 increases in response to a signaling mechanism initiated by synaptic activity and directly mediated by nPKCε. Otherwise, cPKCβI and TrkB activities work together to prevent this synaptic activity–induced Munc18-1 phosphorylation by a negative regulation of cPKCβI over nPKCε. Therefore, a balance between the activities of these PKC isoforms could be a relevant cue in the regulation of the exocytotic apparatus. The results also demonstrate that muscle contraction prevents the synaptic activity–induced Munc18-1 phosphorylation through a mechanism that opposes the TrkB/cPKCβI/nPKCε signaling.

  7. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

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

  8. Synaptic synthesis, dephosphorylation, and degradation: a novel paradigm for an activity-dependent neuronal control of CDKL5.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-13

    Mutations in the X-linked CDKL5 (cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5) gene have been associated with several forms of neurodevelopmental disorders, including atypical Rett syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and early infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Accordingly, loss of CDKL5 in mice results in autistic-like features and impaired neuronal communication. Although the biological functions of CDKL5 remain largely unknown, recent pieces of evidence suggest that CDKL5 is involved in neuronal plasticity. Herein, we show that, at all stages of development, neuronal depolarization induces a rapid increase in CDKL5 levels, mostly mediated by extrasomatic synthesis. In young neurons, this induction is prolonged, whereas in more mature neurons, NMDA receptor stimulation induces a protein phosphatase 1-dependent dephosphorylation of CDKL5 that is mandatory for its proteasome-dependent degradation. As a corollary, neuronal activity leads to a prolonged induction of CDKL5 levels in immature neurons but to a short lasting increase of the kinase in mature neurons. Recent results demonstrate that many genes associated with autism spectrum disorders are crucial components of the activity-dependent signaling networks regulating the composition, shape, and strength of the synapse. Thus, we speculate that CDKL5 deficiency disrupts activity-dependent signaling and the consequent synapse development, maturation, and refinement. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  9. Synaptic ribbon. Conveyor belt or safety belt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, T D; Sterling, P

    2003-02-06

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

  10. The coincident activation of lemniscal and paralemniscal inputs can drive synaptic plasticity in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of the mouse somatosensory cortex in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vassilis Kehayas

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Structural plasticity in the somatosensory cortex is maintained throughout life. In adult animals structural changes occur at the level of dendritic spines and axonal boutons in response to alterations in sensory experience. The causal relationship between synaptic activity and structural changes, however, is not clear. Hebbian-plasticity models predict that synapses will be stabilized at the nodes of neuronal networks that display high levels of coincident activity. Here, we aim at studying the effects of a targeted increase in coincident activity between segregated inputs on pyramidal cell synapses of the mouse somatosensory barrel cortex in vivo. Supragranular layers of the barrel cortex receive anatomically distinct inputs from two thalamic pathways: the ‘lemniscal’ pathway that originates in the ventral posteromedial (VPM nucleus and projects in a whisker-specific fashion to the barrel columns, and the ‘paralemniscal’ pathway that originates in the posteromedial (POm nucleus and projects to the cortex in a non-specific manner. Previous work from our lab shows that rhythmic (8Hz whisker stimulation-evoked LTP (RWS-LTP in layer (L 2/3 pyramidal cells relies on the combined activity of lemniscal and paralemniscal pathways. Here, we targeted ChR2 expression to POm neurons using AAV-mediated gene transfer in order to optically control the activity of those inputs. As a first step, we show that photostimulation of the POm nucleus induces NMDA-dependent, sub-threshold responses in L2/3 pyramidal cells similar to those that are required for the induction of RWS-LTP. In addition, simultaneous photostimulation of POm neurons together with whisker stimulation at low frequencies (1Hz can also elicit LTP, suggesting that coincident lemniscal and paralemniscal input can drive LTP induction. Next, we combined the ChR2-tdTomato expression in POm neurons with sparse AAV-mediated eGFP expression in L2/3 pyramidal cells in order to study the effects

  11. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen Rackham

    2010-07-01

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

  13. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marek, Gerard J.; Ramos, Brian P.

    2018-01-01

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

  15. MAGUKs: multifaceted synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Neuromodulation, development and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foehring, R C; Lorenzon, N M

    1999-03-01

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

  18. Long-term fluoxetine treatment induces input-specific LTP and LTD impairment and structural plasticity in the CA1 hippocampal subfield.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco J Rubio

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Antidepressant drugs are usually administered for long time for the treatment of major depressive disorder. However, they are also prescribed in several additional psychiatric conditions as well as during long term maintenance treatments. Antidepressants induce adaptive changes in several forebrain structures which include modifications at glutamatergic synapses. We recently found that repetitive administration of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine to naϊve adult male rats induced an increase of mature, mushroom-type dendritic spines in several forebrain regions. This was associated with an increase of GluA2-containing α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate receptors (AMPA-Rs in telencephalic postsynaptic densities. To unravel the functional significance of such a synaptic re-arrangement, we focused on glutamate neurotransmission in the hippocampus. We evaluated the effect of four weeks of treatment with 0.7 mg/kg of fluoxetine on long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses and the perforant path-CA1 synapses. Recordings in hippocampal slices revealed profound deficits in LTP and LTD at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses associated to increased spine density and enhanced presence of mushroom-type spines, as revealed by Golgi staining. However, the same treatment had neither an effect on spine morphology, nor on LTP and LTD at perforant path-CA1 synapses. Cobalt staining experiments revealed decreased AMPA-R Ca2+ permeability in the stratum radiatum together with increased GluA2-containing, Ca2+-impermeable AMPA-Rs. Therefore, 4 weeks of fluoxetine treatment promoted structural and functional adaptations in CA1 neurons in a pathway-specific manner that were selectively associated with impairment of activity-dependent plasticity at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-27

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

  2. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Freche

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

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

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    Jianmin Yang

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2018-02-10

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

  7. Prostaglandin E2 EP2 activation reduces memory decline in R6/1 mouse model of Huntington's disease by the induction of BDNF-dependent synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anglada-Huguet, Marta; Vidal-Sancho, Laura; Giralt, Albert; García-Díaz Barriga, Gerardo; Xifró, Xavier; Alberch, Jordi

    2016-11-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) patients and mouse models show learning and memory impairment even before the onset of motor symptoms. Deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity have been involved in the HD memory impairment. Several studies show that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) EP2 receptor stimulates synaptic plasticity and memory formation. However, this role was not explored in neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we investigated the capacity of PGE2 EP2 receptor to promote synaptic plasticity and memory improvements in a model of HD, the R6/1 mice, by administration of the agonist misoprostol. We found that misoprostol increases dendritic branching in cultured hippocampal neurons in a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-dependent manner. Then, we implanted an osmotic mini-pump system to chronically administrate misoprostol to R6/1 mice from 14 to 18weeks of age. We observed that misoprostol treatment ameliorates the R6/1 long-term memory deficits as analyzed by the T-maze spontaneous alternation task and the novel object recognition test. Importantly, administration of misoprostol promoted the expression of hippocampal BDNF. Moreover, the treatment with misoprostol in R6/1 mice blocked the reduction in the number of PSD-95 and VGluT-1 positive particles observed in hippocampus of vehicle-R6/1 mice. In addition, we observed an increase of cAMP levels in the dentate ` of WT and R6/1 mice treated with misoprostol. Accordingly, we showed a reduction in the number of mutant huntingtin nuclear inclusions in the dentate gyrus of R6/1 mice. Altogether, these results suggest a putative therapeutic effect of PGE2 EP2 receptor in reducing cognitive deficits in HD. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Assessing the Quality and Potential Efficacy of Commercial Extracts of Rhodiola rosea L. by Analyzing the Salidroside and Rosavin Content and the Electrophysiological Activity in Hippocampal Long-Term Potentiation, a Synaptic Model of Memory

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    Wilfried Dimpfel

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Rhodiola rosea L. roots and rhizome extracts are active ingredients in adaptogenic herbal medicinal products (HMP and dietary supplements for temporary relief of symptoms of stress, such as fatigue and weakness. R. rosea extract has a stimulating effect on the CNS, suggesting potential benefits on cognitive functions, memory, learning, and attention. The reproducible efficacy and quality of preparations of the underground parts of R. rosea depend on the highly variable content of the active markers, salidroside and rosavin, which affect the quality of HMP and dietary supplements. However, it is not clear which analytical markers are important for assessing the efficacy of R. rosea preparations intended for use in aging-induced mild cognitive disorders, such as attenuated memory, attention, and learning. Furthermore, the activity of various commercial R. rosea extracts has not been correlated with their content. Here, the biological activities of salidroside, rosavin, and seven commercial extracts of underground parts of R. rosea were assessed using a synaptic model of memory: long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic transmission in hippocampus slices. A high degree of variation in the content of all active markers was observed. One extract from China lacked rosavin, and there was even variation in the extracts from the Altai geographic region. In vitro, rosavin, salidroside and all tested R. rosea extracts potentiated electric stimulation of an intra-hippocampal electric circuit, which resulted in higher responses of the pyramidal cells in isolated hippocampus slices. Rosavin was more active at higher concentrations than salidroside; while, salidroside was more effective at lower concentrations. The highest content of both active markers was found in the extracts that were active at the lowest concentrations tested; while, some extracts contained some other compounds that presumably reduced the efficacy due to antagonistic interactions

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

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    Melanie A Samuel

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

  10. Secreted factors as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M; Umemori, Hisashi

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. NMDA Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Activity in Dorsal Motor Nucleus of Vagus Mediates the Enhancement of Gastric Motility by Stimulating ST36

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    Xinyan Gao

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of electroacupuncture at ST36 for patients with gastrointestinal motility disorders. While several lines of evidence suggest that the effect may involve vagal reflex, the precise molecular mechanism underlying this process still remains unclear. Here we report that the intragastric pressure increase induced by low frequency electric stimulation at ST36 was blocked by AP-5, an antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs. Indeed, stimulating ST36 enhanced NMDAR-mediated, but not 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-ylpropanoic-acid-(AMPA- receptor-(AMPAR- mediated synaptic transmission in gastric-projecting neurons of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV. We also identified that suppression of presynaptic μ-opioid receptors may contribute to upregulation of NMDAR-mediated synaptic transmission induced by electroacupuncture at ST36. Furthermore, we determined that the glutamate-receptor-2a-(NR2A- containing NMDARs are essential for NMDAR-mediated enhancement of gastric motility caused by stimulating ST36. Taken together, our results reveal an important role of NMDA receptors in mediating enhancement of gastric motility induced by stimulating ST36.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

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    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

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

  15. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

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    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Urbina, Victor; Herrmann, J. Michael

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Jarod Swant

    2010-06-01

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

  1. Electroacupuncture Ameliorates Learning and Memory and Improves Synaptic Plasticity via Activation of the PKA/CREB Signaling Pathway in Cerebral Hypoperfusion

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    Cai-Xia Zheng

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Electroacupuncture (EA has shown protective effects on cognitive decline. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are ill-understood. The present study was undertaken to determine whether the cognitive function was ameliorated in cerebral hypoperfusion rats following EA and to investigate the role of PKA/CREB pathway. We used a rat 2-vessel occlusion (2VO model and delivered EA at Baihui (GV20 and Dazhui (GV14 acupoints. Morris water maze (MWM task, electrophysiological recording, Golgi silver stain, Nissl stain, Western blot, and real-time PCR were employed. EA significantly (1 ameliorated the spatial learning and memory deficits, (2 alleviated long-term potentiation (LTP impairment and the reduction of dendritic spine density, (3 suppressed the decline of phospho-CREB (pCREB protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF protein, and microRNA132 (miR132, and (4 reduced the increase of p250GAP protein of 2VO rats. These changes were partially blocked by a selective protein kinase A (PKA inhibitor, N-[2-(p-bromocinnamylaminoethyl]-5-isoquinoline-sulfonamide (H89, suggesting that the PKA/CREB pathway is potentially involved in the effects of EA. Moreover, any significant damage to the pyramidal cell layer of CA1 subregion was absent. These results demonstrated that EA could ameliorate learning and memory deficits and alleviate hippocampal synaptic plasticity impairment of cerebral hypoperfusion rats, potentially mediated by PKA/CREB signaling pathway.

  2. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

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    Christoph eHartmann

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Taylor Michael R

    2008-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Bressloff, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

    Synaptic democracy concerns the general problem of how regions of an axon or dendrite far from the cell body (soma) of a neuron can play an effective role in neuronal function. For example, stimulated synapses far from the soma are unlikely to influence the firing of a neuron unless some sort of active dendritic processing occurs. Analogously, the motor-driven transport of newly synthesized proteins from the soma to presynaptic targets along the axon tends to favor the delivery of resources to proximal synapses. Both of these phenomena reflect fundamental limitations of transport processes based on a localized source. In this Letter, we show that a more democratic distribution of proteins along an axon can be achieved by making the transport process less efficient. This involves two components: bidirectional or "stop-and-go" motor transport (which can be modeled in terms of advection-diffusion), and reversible interactions between motor-cargo complexes and synaptic targets. Both of these features have recently been observed experimentally. Our model suggests that, just as in human societies, there needs to be a balance between "efficiency" and "equality".

  11. Prepuberal stimulation of 5-HT7-R by LP-211 in a rat model of hyper-activity and attention-deficit: permanent effects on attention, brain amino acids and synaptic markers in the fronto-striatal interface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia A Ruocco

    Full Text Available The cross-talk at the prefronto-striatal interface involves excitatory amino acids, different receptors, transducers and modulators. We investigated long-term effects of a prepuberal, subchronic 5-HT7-R agonist (LP-211 on adult behaviour, amino acids and synaptic markers in a model for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD. Naples High Excitability rats (NHE and their Random Bred controls (NRB were daily treated with LP-211 in the 5th and 6th postnatal week. One month after treatment, these rats were tested for indices of activity, non selective (NSA, selective spatial attention (SSA and emotionality. The quantity of L-Glutamate (L-Glu, L-Aspartate (L-Asp and L-Leucine (L-Leu, dopamine transporter (DAT, NMDAR1 subunit and CAMKIIα, were assessed in prefrontal cortex (PFC, dorsal (DS and ventral striatum (VS, for their role in synaptic transmission, neural plasticity and information processing. Prepuberal LP-211 (at lower dose reduced horizontal activity and (at higher dose increased SSA, only for NHE but not in NRB rats. Prepuberal LP-211 increased, in NHE rats, L-Glu in the PFC and L-Asp in the VS (at 0.250 mg/kg dose, whereas (at 0.125 mg/kg dose it decreased L-Glu and L-Asp in the DS. The L-Glu was decreased, at 0.125 mg/kg, only in the VS of NRB rats. The DAT levels were decreased with the 0.125 mg/kg dose (in the PFC, and increased with the 0.250 mg/kg dose (in the VS, significantly for NHE rats. The basal NMDAR1 level was higher in the PFC of NHE than NRB rats; LP-211 treatment (at 0.125 mg/kg dose decreased NMDAR1 in the VS of NRB rats. This study represents a starting point about the impact of developmental 5-HT7-R activation on neuro-physiology of attentive processes, executive functions and their neural substrates.

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

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    Dougherty Patrick M

    2009-07-01

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

  13. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

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    Hiromi Hirata

    2010-01-01

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

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

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    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Nisticò

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

  18. Inflammation Subverts Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Experimental Multiple Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Abnormal use-dependent synaptic plasticity is universally accepted as the main physiological correlate of memory deficits in neurodegenerative disorders. It is unclear whether synaptic plasticity deficits take place during neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and its mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In EAE mice, we found significant alterations of synaptic plasticity rules in the hippocampus. When compared to control mice, in fact, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) induction was favored over long-term depression (LTD) in EAE, as shown by a significant rightward shift in the frequency–synaptic response function. Notably, LTP induction was also enhanced in hippocampal slices from control mice following interleukin-1β (IL-1β) perfusion, and both EAE and IL-1β inhibited GABAergic spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC) without affecting glutamatergic transmission and AMPA/NMDA ratio. EAE was also associated with selective loss of GABAergic interneurons and with reduced gamma-frequency oscillations in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, we provided evidence that microglial activation in the EAE hippocampus was associated with IL-1β expression, and hippocampal slices from control mice incubated with activated microglia displayed alterations of GABAergic transmission similar to those seen in EAE brains, through a mechanism dependent on enhanced IL-1β signaling. These data may yield novel insights into the basis of cognitive deficits in EAE and possibly of MS. PMID:23355887

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verisokin, Andrey Yu.; Postnov, Dmitry E.; Verveyko, Darya V.; Brazhe, Alexey R.

    2018-04-01

    The most abundant non-neuronal cells in the brain, astrocytes, populate all parts of the central nervous system (CNS). Astrocytic calcium activity ranging from subcellular sparkles to intercellular waves is believed to be the key to a plethora of regulatory pathways in the central nervous system from synaptic plasticity to blood flow regulation. Modeling of the calcium wave initiation and transmission and their spatiotemporal dynamics is therefore an important step stone in understanding the crucial cogs of cognition. Astrocytes are active sensors of ongoing neuronal and synaptic activity, and neurotransmitters diffusing from the synaptic cleft make a strong impact on the astrocytic activity. Here we propose a model describing the patterns of calcium wave formation at a single cell level and discuss the interplay between astrocyte shape the calcium waves dynamics driven by local stochastic surges of glutamate simulating synaptic activity.

  20. Optogenetic acidification of synaptic vesicles and lysosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. [Effect of damage integrity rat brain synaptic membranes on the functional activity GABA(A)-receptor/Cl(-)-ionophore complex in the CNC].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebrov, I G; Kalinina, M V

    2013-01-01

    Functional activity of the CGABA(A)-receptor/Cl(-) ionophore complex was investigated the muscimol-stimulated entry of the radioactive isotope 36Cl(-) in synaptoneurosomes in changing the structure and permeability of neuronal membranes. Integrity of the membranes was damaged by removal of Ca(+2) and Mg(+2) from the incubation medium and by the method of freezing-thawing synaptoneurosomes. In both cases, an increase in basal 36Cl(-) entry into synaptoneurosomes, indicating increased nonspecific permeability of neuronal membranes, and decreased activity the CABA(A)-receptor/Cl(-) ionophore complex. The conclusion about the relationship of processes damage neuronal membranes and reducing the inhibitory processes in the epileptic focus.

  2. The selective alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist PNU-282987 [N-[(3R)-1-Azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl]-4-chlorobenzamide hydrochloride] enhances GABAergic synaptic activity in brain slices and restores auditory gating deficits in anesthetized rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajós, M; Hurst, R S; Hoffmann, W E; Krause, M; Wall, T M; Higdon, N R; Groppi, V E

    2005-03-01

    Schizophrenic patients are thought to have an impaired ability to process sensory information. This deficit leads to disrupted auditory gating measured electrophysiologically as a reduced suppression of the second of paired auditoryevoked responses (P50) and is proposed to be associated with decreased function and/or expression of the homomeric alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). Here, we provide evidence that N-[(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl]-4-chlorobenzamide hydrochloride (PNU-282987), a novel selective agonist of the alpha7 nAChR, evoked whole-cell currents from cultured rat hippocampal neurons that were sensitive to the selective alpha7 nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) and enhanced GABAergic synaptic activity when applied to hippocampal slices. Amphetamine-induced sensory gating deficit, determined by auditory-evoked potentials in hippocampal CA3 region, was restored by systemic administration of PNU-282987 in chloral hydrate-anesthetized rats. Auditory gating of rat reticular thalamic neurons was also disrupted by amphetamine; however, PNU-282987 normalized gating deficit only in a subset of tested neurons (6 of 11). Furthermore, PNU-282987 improved the inherent hippocampal gating deficit occurring in a subpopulation of anesthetized rats, and enhanced amphetamine-induced hippocampal oscillation. We propose that the alpha7 nAChR agonist PNU-282987, via modulating/enhancing hippocampal GABAergic neurotransmission, improves auditory gating and enhances hippocampal oscillatory activity. These results provide further support for the concept that drugs that selectively activate alpha7 nAChRs may offer a novel, potential pharmacotherapy in treatment of schizophrenia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

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

  5. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Zolpidem, a clinical hypnotic that affects electronic transfer, alters synaptic activity through potential GABA receptors in the nervous system without significant free radical generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacic, Peter; Somanathan, Ratnasamy

    2009-01-01

    Zolpidem (trade name Ambien) has attracted much interest as a sleep-inducing agent and also in research. Attention has been centered mainly on receptor binding and electrochemistry in the central nervous system which are briefly addressed herein. A novel integrated approach to mode of action is presented. The pathways to be discussed involve basicity, reduction potential, electrostatics, cell signaling, GABA receptor binding, electron transfer (ET), pharmacodynamics, structure activity relationships (SAR) and side effects. The highly conjugated pyridinium salt formed by protonation of the amidine moiety is proposed to be the active form acting as an ET agent. Extrapolation of reduction potentials for related compounds supports the premise that zolpidem may act as an ET species in vivo. From recent literature reports, electrostatics is believed to play a significant role in drug action. The pyridinium cation displays molecular electrostatic potential which may well play a role energetically or as a bridging mechanism. An SAR analysis points to analogy with other physiologically active xenobiotics, namely benzodiazepines and paraquat in the conjugated iminium category. Inactivity of metabolites indicates that the parent is the active form of zolpidem. Absence of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress is in line with minor side effects. In contrast, generally, the prior literature contains essentially no discussion of these fundamental biochemical relationships. Pharmacodynamics may play an important role. Concerning behavior at the blood-brain barrier, useful insight can be gained from investigations of the related cationic anesthetics that are structurally related to acetyl choline. Evidently, the neutral form of the drug penetrates the neuronal membrane, with the salt form operating at the receptor. The pathways of zolpidem have several clinical implications since the agent affects sedation, electroencephalographic activity, oxidative metabolites and

  7. Zolpidem, A Clinical Hypnotic that Affects Electronic Transfer, Alters Synaptic Activity Through Potential Gaba Receptors in the Nervous System Without Significant Free Radical Generation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Kovacic

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Zolpidem (trade name Ambien has attracted much interest as a sleep-inducing agent and also in research. Attention has been centered mainly on receptor binding and electrochemistry in the central nervous system which are briefly addressed herein. A novel integrated approach to mode of action is presented. The pathways to be discussed involve basicity, reduction potential, electrostatics, cell signaling, GABA receptor binding, electron transfer (ET, pharmacodynamics, structure activity relationships (SAR and side effects. The highly conjugated pyridinium salt formed by protonation of the amidine moiety is proposed to be the active form acting as an ET agent. Extrapolation of reduction potentials for related compounds supports the premise that zolpidem may act as an ET species in vivo. From recent literature reports, electrostatics is believed to play a significant role in drug action.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deidre L Brink

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

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

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    Manami Yamashita

    2018-03-01

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

  10. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-11-01

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

  11. Zolpidem, a clinical hypnotic that affects electronic transfer, alters synaptic activity through potential GABA receptors in the nervous system without significant free radical generation

    OpenAIRE

    Kovacic, Peter; Somanathan, Ratnasamy

    2009-01-01

    Zolpidem (trade name Ambien) has attracted much interest as a sleep-inducing agent and also in research. Attention has been centered mainly on receptor binding and electrochemistry in the central nervous system which are briefly addressed herein. A novel integrated approach to mode of action is presented. The pathways to be discussed involve basicity, reduction potential, electrostatics, cell signaling, GABA receptor binding, electron transfer (ET), pharmacodynamics, structure activity relati...

  12. Synaptic Control of Secretory Trafficking in Dendrites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyril Hanus

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Activity-dependent control of NMDA receptor subunit composition at hippocampal mossy fibre synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carta, Mario; Srikumar, Bettadapura N; Gorlewicz, Adam; Rebola, Nelson; Mulle, Christophe

    2018-02-15

    CA3 pyramidal cells display input-specific differences in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Although at low density, GluN2B contributes significantly to NMDAR-mediated EPSCs at mossy fibre synapses. Long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDARs triggers a modification in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs by insertion of GluN2B. GluN2B subunits are essential for the expression of LTP of NMDARs at mossy fibre synapses. Single neurons express NMDA receptors (NMDARs) with distinct subunit composition and biophysical properties that can be segregated in an input-specific manner. The dynamic control of the heterogeneous distribution of synaptic NMDARs is crucial to control input-dependent synaptic integration and plasticity. In hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells from mice of both sexes, we found that mossy fibre (MF) synapses display a markedly lower proportion of GluN2B-containing NMDARs than associative/commissural synapses. The mechanism involved in such heterogeneous distribution of GluN2B subunits is not known. Here we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDARs, which is selectively expressed at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses, triggers a modification in the subunit composition of synaptic NMDARs by insertion of GluN2B. This activity-dependent recruitment of GluN2B at mature MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses contrasts with the removal of GluN2B subunits at other glutamatergic synapses during development and in response to activity. Furthermore, although expressed at low levels, GluN2B is necessary for the expression of LTP of NMDARs at MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. Altogether, we reveal a previously unknown activity-dependent regulation and function of GluN2B subunits that may contribute to the heterogeneous plasticity induction rules in CA3 pyramidal cells. © 2017 Centre Nationnal de la Recherche Scientifique. The Journal of Physiology © 2017 The Physiological Society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya Kaufman

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-13

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Seok Han

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Tait Sanchez Quinones

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-04

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

  2. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Facilitation of AMPA receptor synaptic delivery as a molecular mechanism for cognitive enhancement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knafo, Shira; Venero, César; Sánchez-Puelles, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    ) that enhances spatial learning and memory in rats. We have now investigated the cellular and molecular basis of this cognitive enhancement, using biochemical, morphological, electrophysiological, and behavioral analyses. We have found that FGL triggers a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission......MKII activation. These results provide a mechanistic link between facilitation of AMPA receptor synaptic delivery and improved hippocampal-dependent learning, induced by a pharmacological cognitive enhancer....

  4. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

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

  5. Synaptic communication between neurons and NG2+ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paukert, Martin; Bergles, Dwight E

    2006-10-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Tetzlaff

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Mechanisms of input and output synaptic specificity: finding partners, building synapses, and fine-tuning communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, Randi L; Martin, E Anne; Williams, Megan E

    2017-08-01

    For most neurons to function properly, they need to develop synaptic specificity. This requires finding specific partner neurons, building the correct types of synapses, and fine-tuning these synapses in response to neural activity. Synaptic specificity is common at both a neuron's input and output synapses, whereby unique synapses are built depending on the partnering neuron. Neuroscientists have long appreciated the remarkable specificity of neural circuits but identifying molecular mechanisms mediating synaptic specificity has only recently accelerated. Here, we focus on recent progress in understanding input and output synaptic specificity in the mammalian brain. We review newly identified circuit examples for both and the latest research identifying molecular mediators including Kirrel3, FGFs, and DGLα. Lastly, we expect the pace of research on input and output specificity to continue to accelerate with the advent of new technologies in genomics, microscopy, and proteomics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

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

  13. FLUTAN 2.0. Input specifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willerding, G.; Baumann, W.

    1996-05-01

    FLUTAN is a highly vectorized computer code for 3D fluiddynamic and thermal-hydraulic analyses in Cartesian or cylinder coordinates. It is related to the family of COMMIX codes originally developed at Argonne National Laboratory, USA, and particularly to COMMIX-1A and COMMIX-1B, which were made available to FZK in the frame of cooperation contracts within the fast reactor safety field. FLUTAN 2.0 is an improved version of the FLUTAN code released in 1992. It offers some additional innovations, e.g. the QUICK-LECUSSO-FRAM techniques for reducing numerical diffusion in the k-ε turbulence model equations; a higher sophisticated wall model for specifying a mass flow outside the surface walls together with its flow path and its associated inlet and outlet flow temperatures; and a revised and upgraded pressure boundary condition to fully include the outlet cells in the solution process of the conservation equations. Last but not least, a so-called visualization option based on VISART standards has been provided. This report contains detailed input instructions, presents formulations of the various model options, and explains how to use the code by means of comprehensive sample input. (orig.) [de

  14. Design principles of electrical synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, John

    2017-09-08

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

  15. Cholesterol asymmetry in synaptic plasma membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  16. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Research in the last two decades has made clear that astrocytes play a crucial role in the brain beyond their functions in energy metabolism and homeostasis. Many studies have shown that astrocytes can dynamically modulate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity, and might participate in higher brain functions like learning and memory. With the plethora of astrocyte-mediated signaling processes described in the literature today, the current challenge is to identify which of these processes happen under what physiological condition, and how this shapes information processing and, ultimately, behavior. To answer these questions will require a combination of advanced physiological, genetical and behavioral experiments. Additionally, mathematical modeling will prove crucial for testing predictions on the possible functions of astrocytes in neuronal networks, and to generate novel ideas as to how astrocytes can contribute to the complexity of the brain. Here, we aim to provide an outline of how astrocytes can interact with neurons. We do this by reviewing recent experimental literature on astrocyte-neuron interactions, discussing the dynamic effects of astrocytes on neuronal excitability and short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Finally, we will outline the potential computational functions that astrocyte-neuron interactions can serve in the brain. We will discuss how astrocytes could govern metaplasticity in the brain, how they might organize the clustering of synaptic inputs, and how they could function as memory elements for neuronal activity. We conclude that astrocytes can enhance the computational power of neuronal networks in previously unexpected ways.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Navarrete

    2012-02-01

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

  19. Prenatal low-dose methylmercury exposure impairs neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression and suppresses TrkA pathway activity and eEF1A1 expression in the rat cerebellum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujimura, Masatake, E-mail: fujimura@nimd.go.jp [Department of Basic Medical Sciences, National Institute for Minamata Disease, Kumamoto (Japan); Usuki, Fusako [Department of Clinical Medicine, National Institute for Minamata Disease, Kumamoto (Japan); Cheng, Jinping; Zhao, Wenchang [School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240 (China)

    2016-05-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a highly neurotoxic environmental chemical that can cause developmental impairments. Human fetuses and neonates are particularly susceptible to MeHg toxicity; however, the mechanisms governing its effects in the developing brain are unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effects of prenatal and lactational MeHg exposure on the developing cerebellum in rats. We demonstrated that exposure to 5 ppm MeHg decreased postnatal expression of pre- and postsynaptic proteins, suggesting an impairment in synaptic development. MeHg exposure also reduced neurite outgrowth, as shown by a decrease in the expression of the neurite marker neurofilament H. These changes were not observed in rats exposed to 1 ppm MeHg. In order to define the underlying mechanism, we investigated the effects of MeHg exposure on the tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk) A pathway, which plays important roles in neuronal differentiation and synapse formation. We demonstrated suppression of the TrkA pathway on gestation day 20 in rats exposed to 5 ppm MeHg. In addition, down-regulation of eukaryotic elongation factor 1A1 (eEF1A1) was observed on postnatal day 1. eEF1A1 knockdown in differentiating PC12 cells impaired neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression, similar to the results of MeHg exposure in the cerebellum. These results suggest that suppression of the TrkA pathway and subsequent decreases in eEF1A1 expression induced by prenatal exposure to MeHg may lead to reduced neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression in the developing cerebellum. - Highlights: • Prenatal exposure to MeHg decreased postnatal expression of synaptic proteins. • MeHg exposure also reduced neurite outgrowth postnatally. • Suppression of the TrkA pathway and eEF1A1 expression was induced by MeHg exposure. • eEF1A1 knockdown impaired neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression.

  20. Prenatal low-dose methylmercury exposure impairs neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression and suppresses TrkA pathway activity and eEF1A1 expression in the rat cerebellum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujimura, Masatake; Usuki, Fusako; Cheng, Jinping; Zhao, Wenchang

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a highly neurotoxic environmental chemical that can cause developmental impairments. Human fetuses and neonates are particularly susceptible to MeHg toxicity; however, the mechanisms governing its effects in the developing brain are unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effects of prenatal and lactational MeHg exposure on the developing cerebellum in rats. We demonstrated that exposure to 5 ppm MeHg decreased postnatal expression of pre- and postsynaptic proteins, suggesting an impairment in synaptic development. MeHg exposure also reduced neurite outgrowth, as shown by a decrease in the expression of the neurite marker neurofilament H. These changes were not observed in rats exposed to 1 ppm MeHg. In order to define the underlying mechanism, we investigated the effects of MeHg exposure on the tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk) A pathway, which plays important roles in neuronal differentiation and synapse formation. We demonstrated suppression of the TrkA pathway on gestation day 20 in rats exposed to 5 ppm MeHg. In addition, down-regulation of eukaryotic elongation factor 1A1 (eEF1A1) was observed on postnatal day 1. eEF1A1 knockdown in differentiating PC12 cells impaired neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression, similar to the results of MeHg exposure in the cerebellum. These results suggest that suppression of the TrkA pathway and subsequent decreases in eEF1A1 expression induced by prenatal exposure to MeHg may lead to reduced neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression in the developing cerebellum. - Highlights: • Prenatal exposure to MeHg decreased postnatal expression of synaptic proteins. • MeHg exposure also reduced neurite outgrowth postnatally. • Suppression of the TrkA pathway and eEF1A1 expression was induced by MeHg exposure. • eEF1A1 knockdown impaired neurite outgrowth and synaptic protein expression.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Je H

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. CNTNAP2 and NRXN1 are mutated in autosomal-recessive Pitt-Hopkins-like mental retardation and determine the level of a common synaptic protein in Drosophila

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zweier, Christiane; de Jong, Eiko K; Zweier, Markus

    2009-01-01

    , phenotypically overlapping with Pitt-Hopkins syndrome. With a frequency of at least 1% in our cohort of 179 patients, recessive defects in CNTNAP2 appear to significantly contribute to severe MR. Whereas the established synaptic role of NRXN1 suggests that synaptic defects contribute to the associated...... protein can reorganize synaptic morphology and induce increased density of active zones, the synaptic domains of neurotransmitter release. Moreover, both Nrx-I and Nrx-IV determine the level of the presynaptic active-zone protein bruchpilot, indicating a possible common molecular mechanism in Nrx...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan Chambers

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal eAbuhassan

    2014-06-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta

    2017-10-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-23

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Vidal

    2017-12-01

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

  16. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

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

  17. Electric Dipole Theory of Chemical Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ling Y.

    1968-01-01

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

  18. Long-term plasticity is proportional to theta-activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marian Tsanov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Theta rhythm in the hippocampal formation is a main feature of exploratory behaviour and is believed to enable the encoding of new spatial information and the modification of synaptic weights. Cyclic changes of dentate gyrus excitability during theta rhythm are related to its function, but whether theta epochs per se are able to alter network properties of dentate gyrus for long time-periods is still poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used low-frequency stimulation protocols that amplify the power of endogenous theta oscillations, in order to estimate the plasticity effect of endogenous theta oscillations on a population level. We found that stimulation-induced augmentation of the theta rhythm is linked to a subsequent increase of neuronal excitability and decrease of the synaptic response. This EPSP-to-Spike uncoupling is related to an increased postsynaptic spiking on the positive phases of theta frequency oscillations. Parallel increase of the field EPSP slope and the population spike occurs only after concurrent pre- and postsynaptic activation. Furthermore, we observed that long-term potentiation (>24 h occurs in the dentate gyrus of freely behaving adult rats after phasic activity of entorhinal afferents in the theta-frequency range. This plasticity is proportional to the field bursting activity of granule cells during the stimulation, and may comprise a key step in spatial information transfer. Long-term potentiation of the synaptic component occurs only when the afferent stimulus precedes the evoked population burst, and is input-specific. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data confirm the role of the dentate gyrus in filtering information to the subsequent network during the activated state of the hippocampus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-01-01

    Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. © 2015 International

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Laithy, Karim; Bogdan, Martin

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-24

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

  4. P2X Receptors and Synaptic Plasticity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Synaptic plasticity and the warburg effect

    KAUST Repository

    Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2014-01-01

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

  6. The effect of acute swim stress and training in the water maze on hippocampal synaptic activity as well as plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats: revisiting swim-induced LTP reinforcement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabassum, Heena; Frey, Julietta U

    2013-12-01

    Hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) is a cellular model of learning and memory. An early form of LTP (E-LTP) can be reinforced into its late form (L-LTP) by various behavioral interactions within a specific time window ("behavioral LTP-reinforcement"). Depending on the type and procedure used, various studies have shown that stress differentially affects synaptic plasticity. Under low stress, such as novelty detection or mild foot shocks, E-LTP can be transformed into L-LTP in the rat dentate gyrus (DG). A reinforcing effect of a 2-min swim, however, has only been shown in (Korz and Frey (2003) J Neurosci 23:7281-7287; Korz and Frey (2005) J Neurosci 25:7393-7400; Ahmed et al. (2006) J Neurosci 26:3951-3958; Sajikumar et al., (2007) J Physiol 584.2:389-400) so far. We have reinvestigated these studies using the same as well as an improved recording technique which allowed the recording of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) and the population spike amplitude (PSA) at their places of generation in freely moving rats. We show that acute swim stress led to a long-term depression (LTD) in baseline values of PSA and partially fEPSP. In contrast to earlier studies a LTP-reinforcement by swimming could never be reproduced. Our results indicate that 2-min swim stress influenced synaptic potentials as well as E-LTP negatively. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Novelty exposure overcomes foot shock-induced spatial-memory impairment by processes of synaptic-tagging in rats

    OpenAIRE

    Almaguer-Melian, William; Bergado-Rosado, Jorge; Pavón-Fuentes, Nancy; Alberti-Amador, Esteban; Mercerón-Martínez, Daymara; Frey, Julietta U.

    2012-01-01

    Novelty processing can transform short-term into long-term memory. We propose that this memory-reinforcing effect of novelty could be explained by mechanisms outlined in the “synaptic tagging hypothesis.” Initial short-term memory is sustained by a transient plasticity change at activated synapses and sets synaptic tags. These tags are later able to capture and process the plasticity-related proteins (PRPs), which are required to transform a short-term synaptic change into a long-term one. No...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki Kawano

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

  10. Structural synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus induced by spatial experience and its implications in information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carasatorre, M; Ramírez-Amaya, V; Díaz Cintra, S

    2016-10-01

    Long-lasting memory formation requires that groups of neurons processing new information develop the ability to reproduce the patterns of neural activity acquired by experience. Changes in synaptic efficiency let neurons organise to form ensembles that repeat certain activity patterns again and again. Among other changes in synaptic plasticity, structural modifications tend to be long-lasting which suggests that they underlie long-term memory. There is a large body of evidence supporting that experience promotes changes in the synaptic structure, particularly in the hippocampus. Structural changes to the hippocampus may be functionally implicated in stabilising acquired memories and encoding new information. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  11. Higher-Order Synaptic Interactions Coordinate Dynamics in Recurrent Networks.

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    Brendan Chambers

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Linking synaptic connectivity to dynamics is key to understanding information processing in neocortex. Circuit dynamics emerge from complex interactions of interconnected neurons, necessitating that links between connectivity and dynamics be evaluated at the network level. Here we map propagating activity in large neuronal ensembles from mouse neocortex and compare it to a recurrent network model, where connectivity can be precisely measured and manipulated. We find that a dynamical feature dominates statistical descriptions of propagating activity for both neocortex and the model: convergent clusters comprised of fan-in triangle motifs, where two input neurons are themselves connected. Fan-in triangles coordinate the timing of presynaptic inputs during ongoing activity to effectively generate postsynaptic spiking. As a result, paradoxically, fan-in triangles dominate the statistics of spike propagation even in randomly connected recurrent networks. Interplay between higher-order synaptic connectivity and the integrative properties of neurons constrains the structure of network dynamics and shapes the routing of information in neocortex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-20

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiqiang Liu

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Synaptic potentiation facilitates memory-like attractor dynamics in cultured in vitro hippocampal networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Niedringhaus

    Full Text Available Collective rhythmic dynamics from neurons is vital for cognitive functions such as memory formation but how neurons self-organize to produce such activity is not well understood. Attractor-based computational models have been successfully implemented as a theoretical framework for memory storage in networks of neurons. Additionally, activity-dependent modification of synaptic transmission is thought to be the physiological basis of learning and memory. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that using a pharmacological treatment that has been shown to increase synaptic strength within in vitro networks of hippocampal neurons follows the dynamical postulates theorized by attractor models. We use a grid of extracellular electrodes to study changes in network activity after this perturbation and show that there is a persistent increase in overall spiking and bursting activity after treatment. This increase in activity appears to recruit more "errant" spikes into bursts. Phase plots indicate a conserved activity pattern suggesting that a synaptic potentiation perturbation to the attractor leaves it unchanged. Lastly, we construct a computational model to demonstrate that these synaptic perturbations can account for the dynamical changes seen within the network.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine L. Dobson

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Chieh Wang

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

  18. Age dependence of the rapid antidepressant and synaptic effects of acute NMDA receptor blockade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena eNosyreva

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Ketamine is a NMDA receptor antagonist that produces rapid antidepressant responses in individuals with major depressive disorder. The antidepressant action of ketamine has been linked to blocking NMDA receptor activation at rest, which inhibits eukaryotic elongation factor2 kinase leading to desuppression of protein synthesis and synaptic potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Here, we investigated ketamine mediated antidepressant response and the resulting synaptic potentiation in juvenile animals. We found that ketamine did not produce an antidepressant response in juvenile animals in the novelty suppressed feeding or the forced swim test. In addition ketamine application failed to trigger synaptic potentiation in hippocampal slices obtained from juvenile animals, unlike its action in slices from older animals (6-9 weeks old. The inability of ketamine to trigger an antidepressant response or subsequent synaptic plasticity processes suggests a developmental component to ketamine mediated antidepressant efficacy. We also show that the NMDAR antagonist AP5 triggers synaptic potentiation in mature hippocampus similar to the action of ketamine, demonstrating that global competitive blockade of NMDA receptors is sufficient to trigger this effect. These findings suggest that global blockade of NMDA receptors in developmentally mature hippocampal synapses are required for the antidepressant efficacy of ketamine.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shlaer, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Hirai, Daichi; Murayama, Masanori

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Miyamoto

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Daniel L; Ballard, Shannon L; Ganetzky, Barry

    2012-10-03

    The Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a powerful system for the genetic and molecular analysis of neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission, and synaptic development. However, its use for studying age-dependent processes, such as maintenance of neuronal viability and synaptic stability, are temporally limited by the onset of pupariation and metamorphosis. Here we characterize larval NMJ growth, growth regulation, structure, and function in a developmental variant with an extended third instar (ETI). RNAi-knockdown of the prothoracicotropic hormone receptor, torso, in the ring gland of developing larvae leaves the timing of first and second instar molts largely unchanged, but triples duration of the third instar from 3 to 9.5 d (McBrayer et al., 2007; Rewitz et al., 2009). During this ETI period, NMJs undergo additional growth (adding >50 boutons/NMJ), and this growth remains under the control of the canonical regulators Highwire and the TGFβ/BMP pathway. NMJ growth during the ETI period occurs via addition of new branches, satellite boutons, and interstitial boutons, and continues even after muscle growth levels off. Throughout the ETI, organization of synapses and active zones remains normal, and synaptic transmission is unchanged. These results establish the ETI larval system as a viable model for studying motor neuron diseases and for investigating time-dependent effects of perturbations that impair mechanisms of neuroprotection, synaptic maintenance, and response to neural injury.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Hu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brenda L Bloodgood

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Excitatory synapses on mammalian principal neurons are typically formed onto dendritic spines, which consist of a bulbous head separated from the parent dendrite by a thin neck. Although activation of voltage-gated channels in the spine and stimulus-evoked constriction of the spine neck can influence synaptic signals, the contribution of electrical filtering by the spine neck to basal synaptic transmission is largely unknown. Here we use spine and dendrite calcium (Ca imaging combined with 2-photon laser photolysis of caged glutamate to assess the impact of electrical filtering imposed by the spine morphology on synaptic Ca transients. We find that in apical spines of CA1 hippocampal neurons, the spine neck creates a barrier to the propagation of current, which causes a voltage drop and results in spatially inhomogeneous activation of voltage-gated Ca channels (VGCCs on a micron length scale. Furthermore, AMPA and NMDA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs and NMDARs, respectively that are colocalized on individual spine heads interact to produce two kinetically and mechanistically distinct phases of synaptically evoked Ca influx. Rapid depolarization of the spine triggers a brief and large Ca current whose amplitude is regulated in a graded manner by the number of open AMPARs and whose duration is terminated by the opening of small conductance Ca-activated potassium (SK channels. A slower phase of Ca influx is independent of AMPAR opening and is determined by the number of open NMDARs and the post-stimulus potential in the spine. Biphasic synaptic Ca influx only occurs when AMPARs and NMDARs are coactive within an individual spine. These results demonstrate that the morphology of dendritic spines endows associated synapses with specialized modes of signaling and permits the graded and independent control of multiple phases of synaptic Ca influx.

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

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    Soonwook eChoi

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Additive effects on the energy barrier for synaptic vesicle fusion cause supralinear effects on the vesicle fusion rate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schotten, Sebastiaan; Meijer, Marieke; Walter, Alexander Matthias

    2015-01-01

    supralinear effects on the fusion rate. To test this prediction experimentally, we developed a method to assess the number of releasable vesicles, rate constants for vesicle priming, unpriming, and fusion, and the activation energy for fusion by fitting a vesicle state model to synaptic responses induced......-linear effects of genetic/pharmacological perturbations on synaptic transmission and a novel interpretation of the cooperative nature of Ca2+-dependent release....

  11. Influence of Synaptic Depression on Memory Storage Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  12. Synaptic Synthesis, Dephosphorylation, and Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y W; Bayliss, D A

    1998-06-01

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

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

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    Christian Bonansco

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Xu, Lei; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Xiaohua; Sun, Huajun; Miao, Xiangshui

    2013-04-01

    Compact and power-efficient plastic electronic synapses are of fundamental importance to overcoming the bottlenecks of developing a neuromorphic chip. Memristor is a strong contender among the various electronic synapses in existence today. However, the speeds of synaptic events are relatively slow in most attempts at emulating synapses due to the material-related mechanism. Here we revealed the intrinsic memristance of stoichiometric crystalline Ge2Sb2Te5 that originates from the charge trapping and releasing by the defects. The device resistance states, representing synaptic weights, were precisely modulated by 30 ns potentiating/depressing electrical pulses. We demonstrated four spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) forms by applying programmed pre- and postsynaptic spiking pulse pairs in different time windows ranging from 50 ms down to 500 ns, the latter of which is 105 times faster than the speed of STDP in human brain. This study provides new opportunities for building ultrafast neuromorphic computing systems and surpassing Von Neumann architecture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, J X; Xiong, J X; Wang, H K; Duan, S M; Ye, J N; Hu, Z A

    2012-01-10

    Hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a new wakefulness-promoting center, have been recently regarded as an important target involved in endogenous adenosine-regulating sleep homeostasis. The GABAergic synaptic transmissions are the main inhibitory afferents to hypocretin neurons, which play an important role in the regulation of excitability of these neurons. The inhibitory effect of adenosine, a homeostatic sleep-promoting factor, on the excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmissions in hypocretin neurons has been well documented, whether adenosine also modulates these inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmissions in these neurons has not been investigated. In this study, the effect of adenosine on inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in hypocretin neurons was examined by using perforated patch-clamp recordings in the acute hypothalamic slices. The findings demonstrated that adenosine suppressed the amplitude of evoked IPSCs in a dose-dependent manner, which was completely abolished by 8-cyclopentyltheophylline (CPT), a selective antagonist of adenosine A1 receptor but not adenosine A2 receptor antagonist 3,7-dimethyl-1-(2-propynyl) xanthine. A presynaptic origin was suggested as following: adenosine increased paired-pulse ratio as well as reduced GABAergic miniature IPSC frequency without affecting the miniature IPSC amplitude. Further findings demonstrated that when the frequency of electrical stimulation was raised to 10 Hz, but not 1 Hz, a time-dependent depression of evoked IPSC amplitude was detected in hypocretin neurons, which could be partially blocked by CPT. However, under a higher frequency at 100 Hz stimulation, CPT had no action on the depressed GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by such tetanic stimulation in these hypocretin neurons. These results suggest that endogenous adenosine generated under certain stronger activities of synaptic transmissions exerts an inhibitory effect on GABAergic synaptic transmission in hypocretin

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

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    Erica L. Gorenberg

    2017-05-01

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

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

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    Ines eHristovska

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS, were traditionally believed to be set into action only in case of injury or disease. Accordingly, microglia were assumed to be inactive or resting in the healthy brain. However, recent studies revealed that microglia carry out active tissue sampling in the intact brain by extending and retracting their ramified processes while periodically contacting synapses. Microglial morphology and motility as well as the frequency and duration of physical contacts with synaptic elements were found to be modulated by neuronal activity, sensory experience and neurotransmission; however findings have not been straightforward. Microglial cells are the most morphologically plastic element of the CNS. This unique feature confers them the possibility to locally sense activity, and to respond adequately by establishing synaptic contacts to regulate synaptic inputs by the secretion of signaling molecules. Indeed, microglial cells can hold new roles as critical players in maintaining brain homeostasis and regulating synaptic number, maturation and plasticity. For this reason, a better characterization of microglial cells and cues mediating neuron-to-microglia communication under physiological conditions may help advance our understanding of the microglial behavior and its regulation in the healthy brain. This review highlights recent findings on the instructive role of neuronal activity on microglial motility and microglia-synapse interactions, focusing on the main transmitters involved in this communication and including newly described communication at the tripartite synapse.

  20. Effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) on synaptogenesis and synaptic function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Belhage, B; Hansen, Gert Helge; Elster, L

    1998-01-01

    , but the intracellular link between GABA receptor activation and DNA transcription is largely unknown. GABA also controls the induction and development of functionally and pharmacologically different GABAA receptor subtypes. The induced receptors are likely to be inserted only into the synaptic membrane domain. However...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Mottahedin

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Synaptic Wnt/GSK3β Signaling Hub in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Oxidative Stress, Synaptic Dysfunction, and Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tönnies, Eric; Trushina, Eugenia

    2017-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder without a cure. Most AD cases are sporadic where age represents the greatest risk factor. Lack of understanding of the disease mechanism hinders the development of efficacious therapeutic approaches. The loss of synapses in the affected brain regions correlates best with cognitive impairment in AD patients and has been considered as the early mechanism that precedes neuronal loss. Oxidative stress has been recognized as a contributing factor in aging and in the progression of multiple neurodegenerative diseases including AD. Increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) associated with age- and disease-dependent loss of mitochondrial function, altered metal homeostasis, and reduced antioxidant defense directly affect synaptic activity and neurotransmission in neurons leading to cognitive dysfunction. In addition, molecular targets affected by ROS include nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, lipids, proteins, calcium homeostasis, mitochondrial dynamics and function, cellular architecture, receptor trafficking and endocytosis, and energy homeostasis. Abnormal cellular metabolism in turn could affect the production and accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated Tau protein, which independently could exacerbate mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS production, thereby contributing to a vicious cycle. While mounting evidence implicates ROS in the AD etiology, clinical trials with antioxidant therapies have not produced consistent results. In this review, we will discuss the role of oxidative stress in synaptic dysfunction in AD, innovative therapeutic strategies evolved based on a better understanding of the complexity of molecular mechanisms of AD, and the dual role ROS play in health and disease.

  6. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C; Martins, Ana Raquel O

    2011-09-01

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

  8. Cocaine Promotes Coincidence Detection and Lowers Induction Threshold during Hebbian Associative Synaptic Potentiation in Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

    Addictive drugs usurp neural plasticity mechanisms that normally serve reward-related learning and memory, primarily by evoking changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuitry. Here, we show that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo does not alter synaptic strength in the mouse prefrontal cortex during an early period of withdrawal, but instead modifies a Hebbian quantitative synaptic learning rule by broadening the temporal window and lowers the induction threshold for spike-timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP). After repeated, but not single, daily cocaine injections, t-LTP in layer V pyramidal neurons is induced at +30 ms, a normally ineffective timing interval for t-LTP induction in saline-exposed mice. This cocaine-induced, extended-timing t-LTP lasts for ∼1 week after terminating cocaine and is accompanied by an increased susceptibility to potentiation by fewer pre-post spike pairs, indicating a reduced t-LTP induction threshold. Basal synaptic strength and the maximal attainable t-LTP magnitude remain unchanged after cocaine exposure. We further show that the cocaine facilitation of t-LTP induction is caused by sensitized D1-cAMP/protein kinase A dopamine signaling in pyramidal neurons, which then pathologically recruits voltage-gated l-type Ca 2+ channels that synergize with GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors to drive t-LTP at extended timing. Our results illustrate a mechanism by which cocaine, acting on a key neuromodulation pathway, modifies the coincidence detection window during Hebbian plasticity to facilitate associative synaptic potentiation in prefrontal excitatory circuits. By modifying rules that govern activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, addictive drugs can derail the experience-driven neural circuit remodeling process important for executive control of reward and addiction. It is believed that addictive drugs often render an addict's brain reward system hypersensitive, leaving the individual more susceptible to

  9. GABA Metabolism and Transport: Effects on Synaptic Efficacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian C. Roth

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Neuronal Depolarization Drives Increased Dopamine Synaptic Vesicle Loading via VGLUT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Jenny I; Dunn, Matthew; Mingote, Susana; Karam, Caline S; Farino, Zachary J; Sonders, Mark S; Choi, Se Joon; Grygoruk, Anna; Zhang, Yuchao; Cela, Carolina; Choi, Ben Jiwon; Flores, Jorge; Freyberg, Robin J; McCabe, Brian D; Mosharov, Eugene V; Krantz, David E; Javitch, Jonathan A; Sulzer, David; Sames, Dalibor; Rayport, Stephen; Freyberg, Zachary

    2017-08-30

    The ability of presynaptic dopamine terminals to tune neurotransmitter release to meet the demands of neuronal activity is critical to neurotransmission. Although vesicle content has been assumed to be static, in vitro data increasingly suggest that cell activity modulates vesicle content. Here, we use a coordinated genetic, pharmacological, and imaging approach in Drosophila to study the presynaptic machinery responsible for these vesicular processes in vivo. We show that cell depolarization increases synaptic vesicle dopamine content prior to release via vesicular hyperacidification. This depolarization-induced hyperacidification is mediated by the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT). Remarkably, both depolarization-induced dopamine vesicle hyperacidification and its dependence on VGLUT2 are seen in ventral midbrain dopamine neurons in the mouse. Together, these data suggest that in response to depolarization, dopamine vesicles utilize a cascade of vesicular transporters to dynamically increase the vesicular pH gradient, thereby increasing dopamine vesicle content. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Spike timing-dependent plasticity as the origin of the formation of clustered synaptic efficacy engrams

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    Nicolangelo L Iannella

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Synapse location, dendritic active properties and synaptic plasticity are all known to play some role in shaping the different input streams impinging onto a neuron. It remains unclear however, how the magnitude and spatial distribution of synaptic efficacies emerge from this interplay. Here, we investigate this interplay using a biophysically detailed neuron model of a reconstructed layer 2/3 pyramidal cell and spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP. Specifically, we focus on the issue of how the efficacy of synapses contributed by different input streams are spatially represented in dendrites after STDP learning. We construct a simple feed forward network where a detailed model neuron receives synaptic inputs independently from multiple yet equally sized groups of afferent fibres with correlated activity, mimicking the spike activity from different neuronal populations encoding, for example, different sensory modalities. Interestingly, ensuing STDP learning, we observe that for all afferent groups, STDP leads to synaptic efficacies arranged into spatially segregated clusters effectively partitioning the dendritic tree. These segregated clusters possess a characteristic global organisation in space, where they form a tessellation in which each group dominates mutually exclusive regions of the dendrite.Put simply, the dendritic imprint from different input streams left after STDP learning effectively forms what we term a dendritic efficacy mosaic. Furthermore, we show how variations of the inputs and STDP rule affect such an organization. Our model suggests that STDP may be an important mechanism for creating a clustered plasticity engram, which shapes how different input streams are spatially represented in dendrite.

  12. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Streeter, K.A.; Baker-Herman, T.L.

    2014-01-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30 min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons...

  13. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Cyclophilin D deficiency rescues Aβ-impaired PKA/CREB signaling and alleviates synaptic degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Heng; Guo, Lan; Wu, Xiaoping; Sosunov, Alexander A; McKhann, Guy M; Chen, John Xi; Yan, Shirley ShiDu

    2014-12-01

    The coexistence of neuronal mitochondrial pathology and synaptic dysfunction is an early pathological feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cyclophilin D (CypD), an integral part of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), is involved in amyloid beta (Aβ)-instigated mitochondrial dysfunction. Blockade of CypD prevents Aβ-induced mitochondrial malfunction and the consequent cognitive impairments. Here, we showed the elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by antioxidants probucol or superoxide dismutase (SOD)/catalase blocks Aβ-mediated inactivation of protein kinase A (PKA)/cAMP regulatory-element-binding (CREB) signal transduction pathway and loss of synapse, suggesting the detrimental effects of oxidative stress on neuronal PKA/CREB activity. Notably, neurons lacking CypD significantly attenuate Aβ-induced ROS. Consequently, CypD-deficient neurons are resistant to Aβ-disrupted PKA/CREB signaling by increased PKA activity, phosphorylation of PKA catalytic subunit (PKA C), and CREB. In parallel, lack of CypD protects neurons from Aβ-induced loss of synapses and synaptic dysfunction. Furthermore, compared to the mAPP mice, CypD-deficient mAPP mice reveal less inactivation of PKA-CREB activity and increased synaptic density, attenuate abnormalities in dendritic spine maturation, and improve spontaneous synaptic activity. These findings provide new insights into a mechanism in the crosstalk between the CypD-dependent mitochondrial oxidative stress and signaling cascade, leading to synaptic injury, functioning through the PKA/CREB signal transduction pathway. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The flavonoid baicalein rescues synaptic plasticity and memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Xun-Hu; Xu, Li-Jun; Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Wei, Bo; Yang, Yuan-Jian; Xu, Guo-Gang; Yin, Xiao-Ping; Wang, Wei

    2016-09-15

    Increasing evidence suggests that disruptions of synaptic functions correlate with the severity of cognitive deficit in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our previous study demonstrated that baicalein enhances long-term potentiation (LTP) in acute rat hippocampal slices and improves hippocampus-dependent contextual fear conditioning in rats. Given that baicalein possess various biological activities, especially its effects on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function, we examined the effect of baicalein on synaptic function both in vitro and in vivo in AD model. The effect of baicalein on Aβ42 oligomer impaired LTP was investigated by electrophysiological methods. Baicalein was administered orally via drinking water to the APP/PS1 mice and sex- and age-matched wild-type mice. Treatment started at 5 months of age and mice were assessed for cognition and AD-like pathology at 7-month-old. Cognition was analyzed by Morris water maze test, fear conditioning test, and novel object recognition test. Changes in hippocampal 12/15 Lipoxygenase (12/15LO) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity, Aβ production, tau phosphorylation, synaptic plasticity, and dendritic spine density were evaluated. Baicalein prevented Aβ-induced impairments in hippocampal LTP through activation of serine threonine Kinase (Akt) phosphorylation. Long-term oral administration of baicalein inhibited 12/15LO and GSK3β activity, reduced β-secretase enzyme (BACE1), decreased the concentration of total Aβ, and prevented phosphorylation of tau in APP/PS1 mice. Meanwhile, baicalein restored spine number, synaptic plasticity, and memory deficits. Our results strengthen the potential of the flavonoid baicalein as a novel and promising oral bioactive therapeutic agent that prevents memory deficits in AD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus A Garrido

    2013-05-01

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

  18. "The seven sins" of the Hebbian synapse: can the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity explain long-term memory consolidation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arshavsky, Yuri I

    2006-10-01

    Memorizing new facts and events means that entering information produces specific physical changes within the brain. According to the commonly accepted view, traces of memory are stored through the structural modifications of synaptic connections, which result in changes of synaptic efficiency and, therefore, in formations of new patterns of neural activity (the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity). Most of the current knowledge on learning and initial stages of memory consolidation ("synaptic consolidation") is based on this hypothesis. However, the hypothesis of synaptic plasticity faces a number of conceptual and experimental difficulties when it deals with potentially permanent consolidation of declarative memory ("system consolidation"). These difficulties are rooted in the major intrinsic self-contradiction of the hypothesis: stable declarative memory is unlikely to be based on such a non-stable foundation as synaptic plasticity. Memory that can last throughout an entire lifespan should be "etched in stone." The only "stone-like" molecules within living cells are DNA molecules. Therefore, I advocate an alternative, genomic hypothesis of memory, which suggests that acquired information is persistently stored within individual neurons through modifications of DNA, and that these modifications serve as the carriers of elementary memory traces.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Belén Pérez-Ramírez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projection neurons (SPNs process motor and cognitive information. Their activity is affected by Parkinson’s disease, in which dopamine concentration is decreased and acetylcholine concentration is increased. Acetylcholine activates muscarinic receptors in SPNs. Its main source is the cholinergic interneuron that responds with a briefer latency than SPNs during a cortical command. Therefore, an important question is whether muscarinic G-protein coupled receptors and their signaling cascades are fast enough to intervene during synaptic responses to regulate synaptic integration and firing. One of the most known voltage dependent channels regulated by muscarinic receptors is the KV7/KCNQ channel. It is not known whether these channels regulate the integration of suprathreshold corticostriatal responses. Here, we study the impact of cholinergic muscarinic modulation on the synaptic response of SPNs by regulating KV7 channels. We found that KV7 channels regulate corticostriatal synaptic integration and that this modulation occurs in the dendritic/spines compartment. In contrast, it is negligible in the somatic compartment. This modulation occurs on sub- and suprathreshold responses and lasts during the whole duration of the responses, hundreds of milliseconds, greatly altering SPNs firing properties. This modulation affected the behavior of the striatal microcircuit.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitry V. Amakhin

    2016-10-01

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

  3. Familiarity Detection is an Intrinsic Property of Cortical Microcircuits with Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaoyu; Ju, Han; Penney, Trevor B; VanDongen, Antonius M J

    2017-01-01

    Humans instantly recognize a previously seen face as "familiar." To deepen our understanding of familiarity-novelty detection, we simulated biologically plausible neural network models of generic cortical microcircuits consisting of spiking neurons with random recurrent synaptic connections. NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic plasticity was implemented to allow for unsupervised learning and bidirectional modifications. Network spiking activity evoked by sensory inputs consisting of face images altered synaptic efficacy, which resulted in the network responding more strongly to a previously seen face than a novel face. Network size determined how many faces could be accurately recognized as familiar. When the simulated model became sufficiently complex in structure, multiple familiarity traces could be retained in the same network by forming partially-overlapping subnetworks that differ slightly from each other, thereby resulting in a high storage capacity. Fisher's discriminant analysis was applied to identify critical neurons whose spiking activity predicted familiar input patterns. Intriguingly, as sensory exposure was prolonged, the selected critical neurons tended to appear at deeper layers of the network model, suggesting recruitment of additional circuits in the network for incremental information storage. We conclude that generic cortical microcircuits with bidirectional synaptic plasticity have an intrinsic ability to detect familiar inputs. This ability does not require a specialized wiring diagram or supervision and can therefore be expected to emerge naturally in developing cortical circuits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-04-27

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyotirmoy Banerjee

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Hippocampal testosterone relates to reference memory performance and synaptic plasticity in male rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina eSchulz

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Steroids are important neuromodulators influencing cognitive performance and synaptic plasticity. While the majority of literature concerns adrenal- and gonadectomized animals, very little is known about the natural endogenous release of hormones during learning. Therefore, we measured blood and brain (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex testosterone, estradiol, and corticosterone concentrations of intact male rats undergoing a spatial learning paradigm which is known to reinforce hippocampal plasticity. We found significant modulations of all investigated hormones over the training course. Corticosterone and testosterone were correlated manifold with behaviour, while estradiol expressed fewer correlations. In the recall session, testosterone was tightly coupled to reference memory performance, which is crucial for reinforcement of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Intriguingly, prefrontal cortex and hippocampal levels related differentially to reference memory performance. Correlations of testosterone and corticosterone switched from unspecific activity to specific cognitive functions over training. Correspondingly, exogenous application of testosterone revealed different effects on synaptic and neuronal plasticity in trained versus untrained animals. While hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP of the field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP was prolonged in untrained rats, both the fEPSP- and the population spike amplitude-LTP was impaired in trained rats. Behavioural performance was unaffected, but correlations of hippocampal field potentials with behaviour were decoupled in treated rats. The data provide important evidence that besides adrenal, also gonadal steroids play a mechanistic role in linking synaptic plasticity to cognitive performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Predicting seizure by modeling synaptic plasticity based on EEG signals - a case study of inherited epilepsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Honghui; Su, Jianzhong; Wang, Qingyun; Liu, Yueming; Good, Levi; Pascual, Juan M.

    2018-03-01

    This paper explores the internal dynamical mechanisms of epileptic seizures through quantitative modeling based on full brain electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. Our goal is to provide seizure prediction and facilitate treatment for epileptic patients. Motivated by an earlier mathematical model with incorporated synaptic plasticity, we studied the nonlinear dynamics of inherited seizures through a differential equation model. First, driven by a set of clinical inherited electroencephalogram data recorded from a patient with diagnosed Glucose Transporter Deficiency, we developed a dynamic seizure model on a system of ordinary differential equations. The model was reduced in complexity after considering and removing redundancy of each EEG channel. Then we verified that the proposed model produces qualitatively relevant behavior which matches the basic experimental observations of inherited seizure, including synchronization index and frequency. Meanwhile, the rationality of the connectivity structure hypothesis in the modeling process was verified. Further, through varying the threshold condition and excitation strength of synaptic plasticity, we elucidated the effect of synaptic plasticity to our seizure model. Results suggest that synaptic plasticity has great effect on the duration of seizure activities, which support the plausibility of therapeutic interventions for seizure control.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayer, Stefanie N; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-02-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayer, Stefanie N.; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  19. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aile evan Huijstee

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Nils

    2009-03-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papper, Marc; Kempter, Richard; Leibold, Christian

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiu Chung Tse

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin; Gao, Jian-Feng

    2017-06-25

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora Prochnow

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

  8. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Efficient Coding and Energy Efficiency Are Promoted by Balanced Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Currents in Neuronal Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lianchun; Shen, Zhou; Wang, Chen; Yu, Yuguo

    2018-01-01

    Selective pressure may drive neural systems to process as much information as possible with the lowest energy cost. Recent experiment evidence revealed that the ratio between synaptic excitation and inhibition (E/I) in local cortex is generally maintained at a certain value which may influence the efficiency of energy consumption and information transmission of neural networks. To understand this issue deeply, we constructed a typical recurrent Hodgkin-Huxley network model and studied the general principles that governs the relationship among the E/I synaptic current ratio, the energy cost and total amount of information transmission. We observed in such a network that there exists an optimal E/I synaptic current ratio in the network by which the information transmission achieves the maximum with relatively low energy cost. The coding energy efficiency which is defined as the mutual information divided by the energy cost, achieved the maximum with the balanced synaptic current. Although background noise degrades information transmission and imposes an additional energy cost, we find an optimal noise intensity that yields the largest information transmission and energy efficiency at this optimal E/I synaptic transmission ratio. The maximization of energy efficiency also requires a certain part of energy cost associated with spontaneous spiking and synaptic activities. We further proved this finding with analytical solution based on the response function of bistable neurons, and demonstrated that optimal net synaptic currents are capable of maximizing both the mutual information and energy efficiency. These results revealed that the development of E/I synaptic current balance could lead a cortical network to operate at a highly efficient information transmission rate at a relatively low energy cost. The generality of neuronal models and the recurrent network configuration used here suggest that the existence of an optimal E/I cell ratio for highly efficient energy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

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

  11. Learning of Precise Spike Times with Homeostatic Membrane Potential Dependent Synaptic Plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Albers

    Full Text Available Precise spatio-temporal patterns of neuronal action potentials underly e.g. sensory representations and control of muscle activities. However, it is not known how the synaptic efficacies in the neuronal networks of the brain adapt such that they can reliably generate spikes at specific points in time. Existing activity-dependent plasticity rules like Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity are agnostic to the goal of learning spike times. On the other hand, the existing formal and supervised learning algorithms perform a temporally precise comparison of projected activity with the target, but there is no known biologically plausible implementation of this comparison. Here, we propose a simple and local unsupervised synaptic plasticity mechanism that is derived from the requirement of a balanced membrane potential. Since the relevant signal for synaptic change is the postsynaptic voltage rather than spike times, we call the plasticity rule Membrane Potential Dependent Plasticity (MPDP. Combining our plasticity mechanism with spike after-hyperpolarization causes a sensitivity of synaptic change to pre- and postsynaptic spike times which can reproduce Hebbian spike timing dependent plasticity for inhibitory synapses as was found in experiments. In addition, the sensitivity of MPDP to the time course of the voltage when generating a spike allows MPDP to distinguish between weak (spurious and strong (teacher spikes, which therefore provides a neuronal basis for the comparison of actual and target activity. For spatio-temporal input spike patterns our conceptually simple plasticity rule achieves a surprisingly high storage capacity for spike associations. The sensitivity of the MPDP to the subthreshold membrane potential during training allows robust memory retrieval after learning even in the presence of activity corrupted by noise. We propose that MPDP represents a biophysically plausible mechanism to learn temporal target activity patterns.

  12. Learning of Precise Spike Times with Homeostatic Membrane Potential Dependent Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Christian; Westkott, Maren; Pawelzik, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Precise spatio-temporal patterns of neuronal action potentials underly e.g. sensory representations and control of muscle activities. However, it is not known how the synaptic efficacies in the neuronal networks of the brain adapt such that they can reliably generate spikes at specific points in time. Existing activity-dependent plasticity rules like Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity are agnostic to the goal of learning spike times. On the other hand, the existing formal and supervised learning algorithms perform a temporally precise comparison of projected activity with the target, but there is no known biologically plausible implementation of this comparison. Here, we propose a simple and local unsupervised synaptic plasticity mechanism that is derived from the requirement of a balanced membrane potential. Since the relevant signal for synaptic change is the postsynaptic voltage rather than spike times, we call the plasticity rule Membrane Potential Dependent Plasticity (MPDP). Combining our plasticity mechanism with spike after-hyperpolarization causes a sensitivity of synaptic change to pre- and postsynaptic spike times which can reproduce Hebbian spike timing dependent plasticity for inhibitory synapses as was found in experiments. In addition, the sensitivity of MPDP to the time course of the voltage when generating a spike allows MPDP to distinguish between weak (spurious) and strong (teacher) spikes, which therefore provides a neuronal basis for the comparison of actual and target activity. For spatio-temporal input spike patterns our conceptually simple plasticity rule achieves a surprisingly high storage capacity for spike associations. The sensitivity of the MPDP to the subthreshold membrane potential during training allows robust memory retrieval after learning even in the presence of activity corrupted by noise. We propose that MPDP represents a biophysically plausible mechanism to learn temporal target activity patterns.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-09-01

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

  14. Ankyrins: Roles in synaptic biology and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katharine R; Penzes, Peter

    2018-05-03

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

  15. Alzheimer's disease: synaptic dysfunction and Abeta

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Shankar, Ganesh M

    2009-11-23

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang XX

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Oridonin Attenuates Synaptic Loss and Cognitive Deficits in an Aβ1-42-Induced Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulei Wang

    Full Text Available Synaptic loss induced by beta-amyloid (Aβ plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD, but the mechanisms underlying this process remain unknown. In this study, we found that oridonin (Ori rescued synaptic loss induced by Aβ1-42 in vivo and in vitro and attenuated the alterations in dendritic structure and spine density observed in the hippocampus of AD mice. In addition, Ori increased the expression of PSD-95 and synaptophysin and promoted mitochondrial activity in the synaptosomes of AD mice. Ori also activated the BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling pathway in the hippocampus of AD mice. Furthermore, in the Morris water maze test, Ori reduced latency and searching distance and increased the number of platform crosses in AD mice. These data suggest that Ori might prevent synaptic loss and improve behavioral symptoms in Aβ1-42-induced AD mice.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milad eLankarany

    2013-09-01

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

  1. Opioid withdrawal for 4 days prevents synaptic depression induced by low dose of morphine or naloxone in rat hippocampal CA1 area in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhifang; Han, Huili; Cao, Jun; Xu, Lin

    2010-02-01

    The formation of memory is believed to depend on experience- or activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, which is exquisitely sensitive to psychological stress since inescapable stress impairs long-term potentiation (LTP) but facilitates long-term depression (LTD). Our recent studies demonstrated that 4 days of opioid withdrawal enables maximal extents of both hippocampal LTP and drug-reinforced behavior; while elevated-platform stress enables these phenomena at 18 h of opioid withdrawal. Here, we examined the effects of low dose of morphine (0.5 mg kg(-1), i.p.) or the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone (1 mg kg(-1), i.p.) on synaptic efficacy in the hippocampal CA1 region of anesthetized rats. A form of synaptic depression was induced by low dose of morphine or naloxone in rats after 18 h but not 4 days of opioid withdrawal. This synaptic depression was dependent on both N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor and synaptic activity, similar to the hippocampal long-term depression induced by low frequency stimulation. Elevated-platform stress given 2 h before experiment prevented the synaptic depression at 18 h of opioid withdrawal; in contrast, the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist RU38486 treatment (20 mg kg(-1), s.c., twice per day for first 3 days of withdrawal), or a high dose of morphine reexposure (15 mg kg(-1), s.c., 12 h before experiment), enabled the synaptic depression on 4 days of opioid withdrawal. This temporal shift of synaptic depression by stress or GR blockade supplements our previous findings of potentially correlated temporal shifts of LTP induction and drug-reinforced behavior during opioid withdrawal. Our results therefore support the idea that stress experience during opioid withdrawal may modify hippocampal synaptic plasticity and play important roles in drug-associated memory. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara

    2014-01-08

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

  4. Stress-Induced Synaptic Dysfunction and Neurotransmitter Release in Alzheimer's Disease: Can Neurotransmitters and Neuromodulators be Potential Therapeutic Targets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, Saurabh Kumar; Jha, Niraj Kumar; Kumar, Dhiraj; Sharma, Renu; Shrivastava, Abhishek; Ambasta, Rashmi K; Kumar, Pravir

    2017-01-01

    The communication between neurons at synaptic junctions is an intriguing process that monitors the transmission of various electro-chemical signals in the central nervous system. Albeit any aberration in the mechanisms associated with transmission of these signals leads to loss of synaptic contacts in both the neocortex and hippocampus thereby causing insidious cognitive decline and memory dysfunction. Compelling evidence suggests that soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau serve as toxins in the dysfunction of synaptic plasticity and aberrant neurotransmitter (NT) release at synapses consequently causing a cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Further, an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission systems induced by impaired redox signaling and altered mitochondrial integrity is also amenable for such abnormalities. Defective NT release at the synaptic junction causes several detrimental effects associated with altered activity of synaptic proteins, transcription factors, Ca2+ homeostasis, and other molecules critical for neuronal plasticity. These detrimental effects further disrupt the normal homeostasis of neuronal cells and thereby causing synaptic loss. Moreover, the precise mechanistic role played by impaired NTs and neuromodulators (NMs) and altered redox signaling in synaptic dysfunction remains mysterious, and their possible interlink still needs to be investigated. Therefore, this review elucidates the intricate role played by both defective NTs/NMs and altered redox signaling in synaptopathy. Further, the involvement of numerous pharmacological approaches to compensate neurotransmission imbalance has also been discussed, which may be considered as a potential therapeutic approach in synaptopathy associated with AD.

  5. Role for astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors in gliotransmission and control of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuriy ePankratov

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Communication between neuronal and glial cells is thought to be very important for many brain functions. Acting via release of gliotransmitters, astrocytes can modulate synaptic strength. The mechanisms underlying gliotransmission remain uncertain with exocytosis being the most intriguing and debated pathway.We demonstrate that astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors are very sensitive to noradrenaline and make a significant contribution to intracellular Ca2+-signalling in layer 2/3 neocortical astrocytes. We also show that astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors are prone to desensitization upon prolonged exposure to noradrenaline.We show that within neocortical slices, α-1adrenoreceptors can activate vesicular release of ATP and D-serine from cortical astrocytes which initiate a burst of ATP receptor-mediated currents in adjacent pyramidal neurons. These purinergic currents can be inhibited by intracellular perfusion of astrocytes with Tetanus Toxin light chain, verifying their origin via astroglial exocytosis.We show that α1 adrenoreceptor-activated release of gliotransmitters is important for the induction of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex:long-term potentiation (LTP of neocortical excitatory synaptic potentials can be abolished by the selective α1-adrenoreceptor antagonist terazosin. We show that weak sub-threshold theta-burst stimulation can induce LTP when astrocytes are additionally activated by 1 μM noradrenaline. This facilitation is dependent on the activation of neuronal ATP receptors and is abolished in neocortical slices from dn-SNARE mice which have impaired glial exocytosis. Importantly, facilitation of LTP by noradrenaline can be significantly reduced by perfusion of individual astrocytes with Tetanus Toxin. Our results strongly support the physiological importance of astroglial adrenergic signalling and exocytosis of gliotransmitters for modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity .

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

    OpenAIRE

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Hirai, Daichi; Murayama, Masanori

    2017-01-01

    Sleep plays important roles in sensory and motor memory consolidation. Sleep oscillations, reflecting neural population activity, involve the reactivation of learning-related neurons and regulate synaptic strength and, thereby affect memory consolidation. Among sleep oscillations, slow waves (0.5–4 Hz) are closely associated with memory consolidation. For example, slow-wave power is regulated in an experience-dependent manner and correlates with acquired memory. Furthermore, manipulating slow...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leon Chua

    2012-03-01

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

  8. Synaptic connectivity and spatial memory: a topological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milton, Russell; Babichev, Andrey; Dabaghian, Yuri

    2015-03-01

    In the hippocampus, a network of place cells generates a cognitive map of space, in which each cell is responsive to a particular area of the environment - its place field. The peak response of each cell and the size of each place field have considerable variability. Experimental evidence suggests that place cells encode a topological map of space that serves as a basis of spatial memory and spatial awareness. Using a computational model based on Persistent Homology Theory we demonstrate that if the parameters of the place cells spiking activity fall inside of the physiological range, the network correctly encodes the topological features of the environment. We next introduce parameters of synaptic connectivity into the model and demonstrate that failures in synapses that detect coincident neuronal activity lead to spatial learning deficiencies similar to the ones that are observed in rodent models of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, we show that these learning deficiencies may be mitigated by increasing the number of active cells and/or by increasing their firing rate, suggesting the existence of a compensatory mechanism inherent to the cognitive map.

  9. Role of mast cell- and non-mast cell-derived inflammatory mediators in immunologic induction of synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A.C. Albuquerque

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available We have previously discovered a long-lasting enhancement of synaptic transmission in mammal autonomic ganglia caused by immunological activation of ganglionic mast cells. Subsequent to mast cell activation, lipid and peptide mediators are released which may modulate synaptic function. In this study we determined whether some mast cell-derived mediators, prostaglandin D2 (PGD2; 1.0 µM, platelet aggregating factor (PAF; 0.3 µM and U44619 (a thromboxane analogue; 1.0 µM, and also endothelin-1 (ET-1; 0.5 µM induce synaptic potentiation in the guinea pig superior cervical ganglion (SCG, and compared their effects on synaptic transmission with those induced by a sensitizing antigen, ovalbumin (OVA; 10 µg/ml. The experiments were carried out on SCGs isolated from adult male guinea pigs (200-250 g actively sensitized to OVA, maintained in oxygenated Locke solution at 37oC. Synaptic potentiation was measured through alterations of the integral of the post-ganglionic compound action potential (CAP. All agents tested caused long-term (LTP; duration ³30 min or short-term (STP; <30 min potentiation of synaptic efficacy, as measured by the increase in the integral of the post-ganglionic CAP. The magnitude of mediator-induced potentiation was never the same as the antigen-induced long-term potentiation (A-LTP. The agent that best mimicked the antigen was PGD2, which induced a 75% increase in CAP integral for LTP (antigen: 94% and a 34% increase for STP (antigen: 91%. PAF-, U44619-, and ET-1-induced increases in CAP integral ranged for LTP from 34 to 47%, and for STP from 0 to 26%. These results suggest that the agents investigated may participate in the induction of A-LTP

  10. Synaptic Modifications in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Susceptibility and Resilience to Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Minghui; Perova, Zinaida; Arenkiel, Benjamin R.

    2014-01-01

    When facing stress, most individuals are resilient whereas others are prone to developing mood disorders. The brain mechanisms underlying such divergent behavioral responses remain unclear. Here we used the learned helplessness procedure in mice to examine the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain region highly implicated in both clinical and animal models of depression, in adaptive and maladaptive behavioral responses to stress. We found that uncontrollable and inescapable stress induced behavioral state-dependent changes in the excitatory synapses onto a subset of mPFC neurons: those that were activated during behavioral responses as indicated by their expression of the activity reporter c-Fos. Whereas synaptic potentiation was linked to learned helplessness, a depression-like behavior, synaptic weakening, was associated with resilience to stress. Notably, enhancing the activity of mPFC neurons using a chemical–genetic method was sufficient to convert the resilient behavior into helplessness. Our results provide direct evidence that mPFC dysfunction is linked to maladaptive behavioral responses to stress, and suggest that enhanced excitatory synaptic drive onto mPFC neurons may underlie the previously reported hyperactivity of this brain region in depression. PMID:24872553

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

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    Keerthi Thirtamara Rajamani

    2018-06-01

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

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

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    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-10

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

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

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    Ruixi eLuo

    2013-11-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and

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

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan; Alshedivat, Maruan; Neftci, Emre; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Salama, Khaled N.

    2016-01-01

    In neuromorphic circuits, stochasticity in the cortex can be mapped into the synaptic or neuronal components. The hardware emulation of these stochastic neural networks are currently being extensively studied using resistive memories or memristors

  17. Neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Multistate Resistive Switching Memory for Synaptic Memory Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Hota, Mrinal Kanti; Hedhili, Mohamed N.; Wehbe, Nimer; McLachlan, Martyn A.; Alshareef, Husam N.

    2016-01-01

    memory performance is observed. Conventional synaptic operation in terms of potentiation, depression plasticity, and Ebbinghaus forgetting process are also studied. The memory mechanism is shown to originate from the migration of the oxygen vacancies

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

    KAUST Repository

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zha Xiang-ming

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zha, Xiang-ming

    2013-01-02

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

  4. Spike timing analysis in neural networks with unsupervised synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizusaki, B. E. P.; Agnes, E. J.; Brunnet, L. G.; Erichsen, R., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    The synaptic plasticity rules that sculpt a neural network architecture are key elements to understand cortical processing, as they may explain the emergence of stable, functional activity, while avoiding runaway excitation. For an associative memory framework, they should be built in a way as to enable the network to reproduce a robust spatio-temporal trajectory in response to an external stimulus. Still, how these rules may be implemented in recurrent networks and the way they relate to their capacity of pattern recognition remains unclear. We studied the effects of three phenomenological unsupervised rules in sparsely connected recurrent networks for associative memory: spike-timing-dependent-plasticity, short-term-plasticity and an homeostatic scaling. The system stability is monitored during the learning process of the network, as the mean firing rate converges to a value determined by the homeostatic scaling. Afterwards, it is possible to measure the recovery efficiency of the activity following each initial stimulus. This is evaluated by a measure of the correlation between spike fire timings, and we analysed the full memory separation capacity and limitations of this system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-17

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Common mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in vertebrates and invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glanzman, David L.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  9. Phase-locking and bistability in neuronal networks with synaptic depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akcay, Zeynep; Huang, Xinxian; Nadim, Farzan; Bose, Amitabha

    2018-02-01

    We consider a recurrent network of two oscillatory neurons that are coupled with inhibitory synapses. We use the phase response curves of the neurons and the properties of short-term synaptic depression to define Poincaré maps for the activity of the network. The fixed points of these maps correspond to phase-locked modes of the network. Using these maps, we analyze the conditions that allow short-term synaptic depression to lead to the existence of bistable phase-locked, periodic solutions. We show that bistability arises when either the phase response curve of the neuron or the short-term depression profile changes steeply enough. The results apply to any Type I oscillator and we illustrate our findings using the Quadratic Integrate-and-Fire and Morris-Lecar neuron models.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    by different neuromodulators. These substances are usually thought of being released by dedicated neurons. However, in other networks from the central nervous system synaptic transmission is also modulated by transmitters released from astrocytes. The star-shaped glial cell responds to neurotransmitters....... Neurons responded to electrical stimulation by monosynaptic EPSCs (excitatory monosynaptic postsynaptic currents). We used mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter of the glial fibrillary acidic protein to identify astrocytes. Chelating calcium with BAPTA in a single...... neighboring astrocyte increased the amplitude of synaptic currents. In contrast, when we selectively stimulated astrocytes by activating PAR-1 receptors with the peptide TFLLR, the amplitude of EPSCs evoked by a paired stimulation protocol was reduced. The paired-pulse ratio was increased, suggesting...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Enhancement of synaptic transmission induced by BDNF in cultured cortical neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Jun; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun; Li, Yanling; Luo, Qingming

    2005-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), like other neurotrophins, has long-term effects on neuronal survival and differentiation; furthermore, BDNF has been reported to exert an acute potentiation of synaptic activity and are critically involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). We found that BDNF rapidly induced potentiation of synaptic activity and an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in cultured cortical neurons. Within minutes of BDNF application to cultured cortical neurons, spontaneous firing rate was dramatically increased as were the frequency and amplitude of excitatory spontaneous postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Fura-2 recordings showed that BDNF acutely elicited an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]c). This effect was partially dependent on [Ca2+]o; The BDNF-induced increase in [Ca2+]c can not be completely blocked by Ca2+-free solution. It was completely blocked by K252a and partially blocked by Cd2+ and TTX. The results demonstrate that BDNF can enhances synaptic transmission and that this effect is accompanied by a rise in [Ca2+]c that requires two route: the release of Ca2+ from intracellular calcium stores and influx of extracellular Ca2+ through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in cultured cortical neurons.

  13. Compensating Level-Dependent Frequency Representation in Auditory Cortex by Synaptic Integration of Corticocortical Input.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max F K Happel

    Full Text Available Robust perception of auditory objects over a large range of sound intensities is a fundamental feature of the auditory system. However, firing characteristics of single neurons across the entire auditory system, like the frequency tuning, can change significantly with stimulus intensity. Physiological correlates of level-constancy of auditory representations hence should be manifested on the level of larger neuronal assemblies or population patterns. In this study we have investigated how information of frequency and sound level is integrated on the circuit-level in the primary auditory cortex (AI of the Mongolian gerbil. We used a combination of pharmacological silencing of corticocortically relayed activity and laminar current source density (CSD analysis. Our data demonstrate that with increasing stimulus intensities progressively lower frequencies lead to the maximal impulse response within cortical input layers at a given cortical site inherited from thalamocortical synaptic inputs. We further identified a temporally precise intercolumnar synaptic convergence of early thalamocortical and horizontal corticocortical inputs. Later tone-evoked activity in upper layers showed a preservation of broad tonotopic tuning across sound levels without shifts towards lower frequencies. Synaptic integration within corticocortical circuits may hence contribute to a level-robust representation of auditory information on a neuronal population level in the auditory cortex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idan eElbaz

    2013-02-01

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

  16. Molecular constraints on synaptic tagging and maintenance of long-term potentiation: a predictive model.

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    Paul Smolen

    Full Text Available Protein synthesis-dependent, late long-term potentiation (LTP and depression (LTD at glutamatergic hippocampal synapses are well characterized examples of long-term synaptic plasticity. Persistent increased activity of protein kinase M ζ (PKMζ is thought essential for maintaining LTP. Additional spatial and temporal features that govern LTP and LTD induction are embodied in the synaptic tagging and capture (STC and cross capture hypotheses. Only synapses that have been "tagged" by a stimulus sufficient for LTP and learning can "capture" PKMζ. A model was developed to simulate the dynamics of key molecules required for LTP and LTD. The model concisely represents relationships between tagging, capture, LTD, and LTP maintenance. The model successfully simulated LTP maintained by persistent synaptic PKMζ, STC, LTD, and cross capture, and makes testable predictions concerning the dynamics of PKMζ. The maintenance of LTP, and consequently of at least some forms of long-term memory, is predicted to require continual positive feedback in which PKMζ enhances its own synthesis only at potentiated synapses. This feedback underlies bistability in the activity of PKMζ. Second, cross capture requires the induction of LTD to induce dendritic PKMζ synthesis, although this may require tagging of a nearby synapse for LTP. The model also simulates the effects of PKMζ inhibition, and makes additional predictions for the dynamics of CaM kinases. Experiments testing the above predictions would significantly advance the understanding of memory maintenance.

  17. Molecular constraints on synaptic tagging and maintenance of long-term potentiation: a predictive model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolen, Paul; Baxter, Douglas A; Byrne, John H

    2012-01-01

    Protein synthesis-dependent, late long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) at glutamatergic hippocampal synapses are well characterized examples of long-term synaptic plasticity. Persistent increased activity of protein kinase M ζ (PKMζ) is thought essential for maintaining LTP. Additional spatial and temporal features that govern LTP and LTD induction are embodied in the synaptic tagging and capture (STC) and cross capture hypotheses. Only synapses that have been "tagged" by a stimulus sufficient for LTP and learning can "capture" PKMζ. A model was developed to simulate the dynamics of key molecules required for LTP and LTD. The model concisely represents relationships between tagging, capture, LTD, and LTP maintenance. The model successfully simulated LTP maintained by persistent synaptic PKMζ, STC, LTD, and cross capture, and makes testable predictions concerning the dynamics of PKMζ. The maintenance of LTP, and consequently of at least some forms of long-term memory, is predicted to require continual positive feedback in which PKMζ enhances its own synthesis only at potentiated synapses. This feedback underlies bistability in the activity of PKMζ. Second, cross capture requires the induction of LTD to induce dendritic PKMζ synthesis, although this may require tagging of a nearby synapse for LTP. The model also simulates the effects of PKMζ inhibition, and makes additional predictions for the dynamics of CaM kinases. Experiments testing the above predictions would significantly advance the understanding of memory maintenance.

  18. A central pattern generator producing alternative outputs: pattern, strength, and dynamics of premotor synaptic input to leech heart motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Brian J; Weaver, Adam L; Wenning, Angela; García, Paul S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2007-11-01

    The central pattern generator (CPG) for heartbeat in medicinal leeches consists of seven identified pairs of segmental heart interneurons and one unidentified pair. Four of the identified pairs and the unidentified pair of interneurons make inhibitory synaptic connections with segmental heart motor neurons. The CPG produces a side-to-side asymmetric pattern of intersegmental coordination among ipsilateral premotor interneurons corresponding to a similarly asymmetric fictive motor pattern in heart motor neurons, and asymmetric constriction pattern of the two tubular hearts, synchronous and peristaltic. Using extracellular recordings from premotor interneurons and voltage-clamp recordings of ipsilateral segmental motor neurons in 69 isolated nerve cords, we assessed the strength and dynamics of premotor inhibitory synaptic output onto the entire ensemble of heart motor neurons and the associated conduction delays in both coordination modes. We conclude that premotor interneurons establish a stereotypical pattern of intersegmental synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics that is invariant across coordination modes, despite wide variations among preparations. These data coupled with a previous description of the temporal pattern of premotor interneuron activity and relative phasing of motor neuron activity in the two coordination modes enable a direct assessment of how premotor interneurons through their temporal pattern of activity and their spatial pattern of synaptic connectivity, strengths, and dynamics coordinate segmental motor neurons into a functional pattern of activity.

  19. The Less Things Change, the More They Are Different: Contributions of Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity and Homeostasis to Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schacher, Samuel; Hu, Jiang-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    An important cellular mechanism contributing to the strength and duration of memories is activity-dependent alterations in the strength of synaptic connections within the neural circuit encoding the memory. Reversal of the memory is typically correlated with a reversal of the cellular changes to levels expressed prior to the stimulation. Thus, for…

  20. All-optical functional synaptic connectivity mapping in acute brain slices using the calcium integrator CaMPARI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolnik, Timothy A; Sha, Fern; Johenning, Friedrich W; Schreiter, Eric R; Looger, Loren L; Larkum, Matthew E; Sachdev, Robert N S

    2017-03-01

    The genetically encoded fluorescent calcium integrator calcium-modulated photoactivatable ratiobetric integrator (CaMPARI) reports calcium influx induced by synaptic and neural activity. Its fluorescence is converted from green to red in the presence of violet light and calcium. The rate of conversion - the sensitivity to activity - is tunable and depends on the intensity of violet light. Synaptic activity and action potentials can independently initiate significant CaMPARI conversion. The level of conversion by subthreshold synaptic inputs is correlated to the strength of input, enabling optical readout of relative synaptic strength. When combined with optogenetic activation of defined presynaptic neurons, CaMPARI provides an all-optical method to map synaptic connectivity. The calcium-modulated photoactivatable ratiometric integrator (CaMPARI) is a genetically encoded calcium integrator that facilitates the study of neural circuits by permanently marking cells active during user-specified temporal windows. Permanent marking enables measurement of signals from large swathes of tissue and easy correlation of activity with other structural or functional labels. One potential application of CaMPARI is labelling neurons postsynaptic to specific populations targeted for optogenetic stimulation, giving rise to all-optical functional connectivity mapping. Here, we characterized the response of CaMPARI to several common types of neuronal calcium signals in mouse acute cortical brain slices. Our experiments show that CaMPARI is effectively converted by both action potentials and subthreshold synaptic inputs, and that conversion level is correlated to synaptic strength. Importantly, we found that conversion rate can be tuned: it is linearly related to light intensity. At low photoconversion light levels CaMPARI offers a wide dynamic range due to slower conversion rate; at high light levels conversion is more rapid and more sensitive to activity. Finally, we employed Ca

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  2. Synaptic dimorphism in Onychophoran cephalic ganglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z Peña-Contreras

    2007-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Identification of synaptic targets of Drosophila pumilio.

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    Gengxin Chen

    2008-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2011-03-01

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

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

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    María-Paz Viveros

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Depotentiation from potentiated synaptic strength in a tristable system of coupled phosphatase and kinase

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    Mengjiao Chen

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic strength is strongly implicated in learning and memory. On the other hand, depotentiation, the reversal of synaptic strength from potentiated LTP state to the pre-LTP level, is required in extinction of the obsolete memory. A generic tristable system, which couples the phosphatase and kinase switches, exclusively explains how moderate and high elevation of intracellular calcium concentration triggers long-term depression (LTD and LTP, respectively. The present study, introducing calcium influx and calcium release from internal store into the tristable system, further show that significant elevation of cytoplasmic calcium concentration switches activation of both kinase and phosphatase to their basal states, thereby depotentiate the synaptic strength. A phase-plane analysis of the combined model was employed to explain the previously reported depotentiation in experiments and predict a threshold-like effect with calcium concentration. The results not only reveal a mechanism of NMDAR- and mGluR-dependent depotentiation, but also predict further experiments about the role of internal calcium store in induction of depotentiation and extinction of established memories.

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

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    Sarah Perry

    2017-02-01

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

  9. Glucose deficit triggers tau pathology and synaptic dysfunction in a tauopathy mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauretti, E; Li, J-G; Di Meco, A; Praticò, D

    2017-01-31

    Clinical investigations have highlighted a biological link between reduced brain glucose metabolism and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previous studies showed that glucose deprivation may influence amyloid beta formation in vivo but no data are available on the effect that this condition might have on tau protein metabolism. In the current paper, we investigated the effect of glucose deficit on tau phosphorylation, memory and learning, and synaptic function in a transgenic mouse model of tauopathy, the h-tau mice. Compared with controls, h-tau mice with brain glucose deficit showed significant memory impairments, reduction of synaptic long-term potentiation, increased tau phosphorylation, which was mediated by the activation of P38 MAPK Kinase pathway. We believe our studies demonstrate for the first time that reduced glucose availability in the central nervous system directly triggers behavioral deficits by promoting the development of tau neuropathology and synaptic dysfunction. Since restoring brain glucose levels and metabolism could afford the opportunity to positively influence the entire AD phenotype, this approach should be considered as a novel and viable therapy for preventing and/or halting the disease progression.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuncai eChen

    2012-04-01

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

  11. Does spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity couple or decouple neurons firing in synchrony?

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    Andreas eKnoblauch

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Spike synchronization is thought to have a constructive role for feature integration, attention, associativelearning, and the formation of bidirectionally connected Hebbian cell assemblies. By contrast, theoreticalstudies on spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP report an inherently decoupling influence of spikesynchronization on synaptic connections of coactivated neurons. For example, bidirectional synapticconnections as found in cortical areas could be reproduced only by assuming realistic models of STDP andrate coding. We resolve this conflict by theoretical analysis and simulation of various simple and realisticSTDP models that provide a more complete characterization of conditions when STDP leads to eithercoupling or decoupling of neurons firing in synchrony. In particular, we show that STDP consistentlycouples synchronized neurons if key model parameters are matched to physiological data: First, synapticpotentiation must be significantly stronger than synaptic depression for small (positive or negative timelags between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Second, spike synchronization must be sufficientlyimprecise, for example, within a time window of 5-10msec instead of 1msec. Third, axonal propagationdelays should not be much larger than dendritic delays. Under these assumptions synchronized neuronswill be strongly coupled leading to a dominance of bidirectional synaptic connections even for simpleSTDP models and low mean firing rates at the level of spontaneous activity.

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

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    María Verónica Baez

    2018-01-01

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

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

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

    2010-08-15

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

  14. Tau oligomers impair memory and induce synaptic and mitochondrial dysfunction in wild-type mice

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    Jackson George R

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The correlation between neurofibrillary tangles of tau and disease progression in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD patients remains an area of contention. Innovative data are emerging from biochemical, cell-based and transgenic mouse studies that suggest that tau oligomers, a pre-filament form of tau, may be the most toxic and pathologically significant tau aggregate. Results Here we report that oligomers of recombinant full-length human tau protein are neurotoxic in vivo after subcortical stereotaxic injection into mice. Tau oligomers impaired memory consolidation, whereas tau fibrils and monomers did not. Additionally, tau oligomers induced synaptic dysfunction by reducing the levels of synaptic vesicle-associated proteins synaptophysin and septin-11. Tau oligomers produced mitochondrial dysfunction by decreasing the levels of NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (electron transport chain complex I, and activated caspase-9, which is related to the apoptotic mitochondrial pathway. Conclusions This study identifies tau oligomers as an acutely toxic tau species in vivo, and suggests that tau oligomers induce neurodegeneration by affecting mitochondrial and synaptic function, both of which are early hallmarks in AD and other tauopathies. These results open new avenues for neuroprotective intervention strategies of tauopathies by targeting tau oligomers.

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

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    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Xiumin; Small, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Magnesium protects cognitive functions and synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer's model.

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    Zhi-Peng Xu

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP, dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy.

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

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    Derek L.F. Garden

    2018-02-01

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

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

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

    2017-09-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Cheryl L Gatto

    2009-08-01

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

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Stereotyped Synaptic Connectivity Is Restored during Circuit Repair in the Adult Mammalian Retina.

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    Beier, Corinne; Palanker, Daniel; Sher, Alexander

    2018-06-04

    Proper function of the central nervous system (CNS) depends on the specificity of synaptic connections between cells of various types. Cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the establishment and refinement of these connections during development are the subject of an active area of research [1-6]. However, it is unknown if the adult mammalian CNS can form new type-selective synapses following neural injury or disease. Here, we assess whether selective synaptic connections can be reestablished after circuit disruption in the adult mammalian retina. The stereotyped circuitry at the first synapse in the retina, as well as the relatively short distances new neurites must travel compared to other areas of the CNS, make the retina well suited to probing for synaptic specificity during circuit reassembly. Selective connections between short-wavelength sensitive cone photoreceptors (S-cones) and S-cone bipolar cells provides the foundation of the primordial blue-yellow vision, common to all mammals [7-18]. We take advantage of the ground squirrel retina, which has a one-to-one S-cone-to-S-cone-bipolar-cell connection, to test if this connectivity can be reestablished following local photoreceptor loss [8, 19]. We find that after in vivo selective photoreceptor ablation, deafferented S-cone bipolar cells expand their dendritic trees. The new dendrites randomly explore the proper synaptic layer, bypass medium-wavelength sensitive cone photoreceptors (M-cones), and selectively synapse with S-cones. However, non-connected dendrites are not pruned back to resemble unperturbed S-cone bipolar cells. We show, for the first time, that circuit repair in the adult mammalian retina can recreate stereotypic selective wiring. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustinaite, Sigita; Heggelund, Paul

    2018-05-24

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

  6. Nicotine Significantly Improves Chronic Stress-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Xueliang; Shang, Yingchun; Fu, Jingxuan; Zhang, Tao

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study was to examine if nicotine was able to improve cognition deficits in a mouse model of chronic mild stress. Twenty-four male C57BL/6 mice were divided into three groups: control, stress, and stress with nicotine treatment. The animal model was established by combining chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and isolated feeding. Mice were exposed to CUMS continued for 28 days, while nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) was also administrated for 28 days. Weight and sucrose consumption were measured during model establishing period. The anxiety and behavioral despair were analyzed using the forced swim test (FST) and open-field test (OFT). Spatial cognition was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM) test. Following behavioral assessment, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP) were recorded in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) region. Both synaptic and Notch1 proteins were measured by Western. Nicotine increased stressed mouse's sucrose consumption. The MWM test showed that spatial learning and reversal learning in stressed animals were remarkably affected relative to controls, whereas nicotine partially rescued cognitive functions. Additionally, nicotine considerably alleviated the level of anxiety and the degree of behavioral despair in stressed mice. It effectively mitigated the depression-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, in which both the LTP and DEP were significantly inhibited in stressed mice. Moreover, nicotine enhanced the expression of synaptic and Notch1 proteins in stressed animals. The results suggest that nicotine ameliorates the depression-like symptoms and improves the hippocampal synaptic plasticity closely associated with activating transmembrane ion channel receptors and Notch signaling components. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

  7. Sleep Dependent Synaptic Down-Selection (II: Single Neuron Level Benefits for Matching, Selectivity, and Specificity

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    Atif eHashmi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In a companion paper (Nere et al., this volume, we used computer simulations to show that a strategy of activity-dependent, on-line net synaptic potentiation during wake, followed by off-line synaptic depression during sleep, can provide a parsimonious account for several memory benefits of sleep at the systems level, including the consolidation of procedural and declarative memories, gist extraction, and integration of new with old memories. In this paper, we consider the theoretical benefits of this two-step process at the single neuron level and employ the theoretical notion of Matching between brain and environment to measure how this process increases the ability of the neuron to capture regularities in the environment and model them internally. We show that down-selection during sleep is beneficial for increasing or restoring Matching after learning, after integrating new with old memories, and after forgetting irrelevant material. By contrast, alternative schemes, such as additional potentiation in wake, potentiation in sleep, or synaptic renormalization in wake, decrease Matching. We also argue that, by selecting appropriate loops through the brain that tie feedforward synapses with feedback ones in the same dendritic domain, different subsets of neurons can learn to specialize for different contingencies and form sequences of nested perception-action loops. By potentiating such loops when interacting with the environment in wake, and depressing them when disconnected from the environment in sleep, neurons can learn to match the long-term statistical structure of the environment while avoiding spurious modes of functioning and catastrophic interference. Finally, such a two-step process has the additional benefit of desaturating the neuron's ability to learn and of maintaining cellular homeostasis. Thus, sleep-dependent synaptic renormalization offers a parsimonious account for both cellular and systems-level effects of sleep on learning

  8. Exocytosis of gliotransmitters from cortical astrocytes: implications for synaptic plasticity and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalo, Ulyana; Rasooli-Nejad, Seyed; Pankratov, Yuriy

    2014-10-01

    Maintaining brain function during aging is very important for mental and physical health. Recent studies showed a crucial importance of communication between two major types of brain cells: neurons transmitting electrical signals, and glial cells, which maintain the well-being and function of neurons. Still, the study of age-related changes in neuron-glia signalling is far from complete. We have shown previously that cortical astrocytes are capable of releasing ATP by a quantal soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex-dependent mechanism. Release of ATP from cortical astrocytes can be activated via various pathways, including direct UV-uncaging of intracellular Ca²⁺ or G-protein-coupled receptors. Importantly, release of both ATP and glutamate from neocortical astrocytes was not observed in brain slices of dominant-negative SNARE (dnSNARE) mice, expressing dnSNARE domain selectively in astrocytes. We also discovered that astrocyte-driven ATP can cause significant attenuation of synaptic inhibition in the pyramidal neurons via Ca²⁺-interaction between the neuronal ATP and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Furthermore, we showed that astrocyte-derived ATP can facilitate the induction of long-term potentiation of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex. Our recent data have shown that an age-related decrease in the astroglial Ca²⁺ signalling can cause a substantial decrease in the exocytosis of gliotransmitters, in particular ATP. Age-related impairment of ATP release from cortical astrocytes can cause a decrease in the extent of astroglial modulation of synaptic transmission in the neocortex and can therefore contribute to the age-related impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive decline. Combined, our results strongly support the physiological relevance of glial exocytosis for glia-neuron communications and brain function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Role of synaptic structural plasticity in impairments of spatial learning and memory induced by developmental lead exposure in Wistar rats.

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    Yongmei Xiao

    Full Text Available Lead (Pb is found to impair cognitive function. Synaptic structural plasticity is considered to be the physiological basis of synaptic functional plasticity and has been recently found to play important roles in learning and memory. To study the effect of Pb on spatial learning and memory at different developmental stages, and its relationship with alterations of synaptic structural plasticity, postnatal rats were randomly divided into three groups: Control; Pre-weaning Pb (Parents were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 3 weeks before mating until weaning of pups; Post-weaning Pb (Weaned pups were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 for 9 weeks. The spatial learning and memory of rats was measured by Morris water maze (MWM on PND 85-90. Rat pups in Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups performed significantly worse than those in Control group (p<0.05. However, there was no significant difference in the performance of MWM between the two Pb-exposure groups. Before MWM (PND 84, the number of neurons and synapses significantly decreased in Pre-weaning Pb group, but not in Post-weaning Pb group. After MWM (PND 91, the number of synapses in Pre-weaning Pb group increased significantly, but it was still less than that of Control group (p<0.05; the number of synapses in Post-weaning Pb group was also less than that of Control group (p<0.05, although the number of synapses has no differences between Post-weaning Pb and Control groups before MWM. In both Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups, synaptic structural parameters such as thickness of postsynaptic density (PSD, length of synaptic active zone and synaptic curvature increased significantly while width of synaptic cleft decreased significantly compared to Control group (p<0.05. Our data demonstrated that both early and late developmental Pb exposure impaired spatial learning and memory as well as synaptic structural plasticity in Wistar rats.

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

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    Tao Tan

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-28

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

  13. Investigation of the ferroelectric switching behavior of P(VDF-TrFE)-PMMA blended films for synaptic device applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, E J; Kim, K A; Yoon, S M

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity can be mimicked by electronic synaptic devices. By using ferroelectric thin films as gate insulator for thin-film transistors (TFT), channel conductance can be defined as the synaptic plasticity, and gradually modulated by the variations in amounts of aligned ferroelectric dipoles. Poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE)]-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) blended films are chosen and their switching kinetics are investigated by using the Kolmogorov-Avrami-Ishibashi model. The switching time for ferroelectric polarization is sensitively influenced by the amplitude of applied electric field and volumetric ratio of ferroelectric beta-phases in the P(VDF-TrFE)-PMMA films. The switching time of the P(VDF-TrFE) increases with decreasing the pulse amplitude and/or the ratio of ferroelectric beta-phases by incorporation of PMMA. The activation electric field is also found to increase as the increase in blended amount of PMMA. Synapse TFTs are fabricated using the P(VDF-TrFE)-PMMA as gate insulator and In-Ga-Zn-O active channels. The drain currents of the synapse TFTs gradually increased when the voltage pulse signals with given duration are repeatedly applied. This suggests that the synaptic weights can be modulated by the number of external pulse signals, and that the proposed synapse TFT can be applied for mimicking the operations of bio-synapses. (paper)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Barbara; Minichiello, Liliana

    2013-10-18

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eZonta

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-30

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

  17. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streeter, K.A.; Baker-Herman, T.L.

    2014-01-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30 min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons from medullary respiratory neurons that innervate one phrenic motor pool; during procaine injections, contralateral phrenic neural activity was maintained. Once axon conduction resumed, a prolonged increase in phrenic burst amplitude was observed in the ipsilateral phrenic nerve, demonstrating inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and atypical PKC (aPKC) activity in spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus impaired ipsilateral iPMF, suggesting a key role for spinal TNFα and aPKC in iPMF following unilateral axon conduction block. A small phrenic burst amplitude facilitation was also observed contralateral to axon conduction block, indicating crossed spinal phrenic motor facilitation (csPMF). csPMF was independent of spinal TNFα and aPKC. Ipsilateral iPMF and csPMF following unilateral withdrawal of phrenic synaptic inputs were associated with proportional increases in phrenic responses to chemoreceptor stimulation (hypercapnia), suggesting iPMF and csPMF increase phrenic dynamic range. These data suggest that local, spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. We hypothesize that iPMF and csPMF may represent compensatory mechanisms that assure adequate motor output is maintained in a physiological system in which prolonged inactivity ends life. PMID:24681155

  18. Decreased spinal synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons elicit localized inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streeter, K A; Baker-Herman, T L

    2014-06-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons from medullary respiratory neurons that innervate one phrenic motor pool; during procaine injections, contralateral phrenic neural activity was maintained. Once axon conduction resumed, a prolonged increase in phrenic burst amplitude was observed in the ipsilateral phrenic nerve, demonstrating inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and atypical PKC (aPKC) activity in spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus impaired ipsilateral iPMF, suggesting a key role for spinal TNFα and aPKC in iPMF following unilateral axon conduction block. A small phrenic burst amplitude facilitation was also observed contralateral to axon conduction block, indicating crossed spinal phrenic motor facilitation (csPMF). csPMF was independent of spinal TNFα and aPKC. Ipsilateral iPMF and csPMF following unilateral withdrawal of phrenic synaptic inputs were associated with proportional increases in phrenic responses to chemoreceptor stimulation (hypercapnia), suggesting iPMF and csPMF increase phrenic dynamic range. These data suggest that local, spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. We hypothesize that iPMF and csPMF may represent compensatory mechanisms that assure adequate motor output is maintained in a physiological system in which prolonged inactivity ends life. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Synaptic Remodeling Generates Synchronous Oscillations in the Degenerated Outer Mouse Retina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wadood eHaq

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available During neuronal degenerative diseases, neuronal microcircuits undergo severe structural alterations, leading to remodeling of synaptic connectivity. The functional consequences of such remodeling are mostly unknown. For instance, in mutant rd1 mouse retina, a common model for Retinitis Pigmentosa, rod bipolar cells (RBCs establish contacts with remnant cone photoreceptors (cones as a consequence of rod photoreceptor cell death and the resulting lack of presynaptic input. To assess the functional connectivity in the remodeled, light-insensitive outer rd1 retina, we recorded spontaneous population activity in retinal wholemounts using Ca2+ imaging and identified the participating cell types. Focusing on cones, RBCs and horizontal cells (HCs, we found that these cell types display spontaneous oscillatory activity and form synchronously active clusters. Overall activity was modulated by GABAergic inhibition from HCs. Many of the activity clusters comprised both cones and RBCs. Opposite to what is expected from the intact (wild-type cone-ON bipolar cell pathway, cone and RBC activity was positively correlated and, at least partially, mediated by glutamate transporters expressed on RBCs. Deletion of gap junctional coupling between cones reduced the number of clusters, indicating that electrical cone coupling plays a crucial role for generating the observed synchronized oscillations. In conclusion, degeneration-induced synaptic remodeling of the rd1 retina results in a complex self-sustained outer retinal oscillatory network, that complements (and potentially modulates the recently described inner retinal oscillatory network consisting of amacrine, bipolar and ganglion cells.

  20. Synaptic proteins and receptors defects in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianling eChen

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eRial

    2016-01-01

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

  6. PKM-ζ is not required for hippocampal synaptic plasticity, learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Lenora J; Bachman, Julia L; Johnson, Richard; Yu, Yilin; Huganir, Richard L

    2013-01-17

    Long-term potentiation (LTP), a well-characterized form of synaptic plasticity, has long been postulated as a cellular correlate of learning and memory. Although LTP can persist for long periods of time, the mechanisms underlying LTP maintenance, in the midst of ongoing protein turnover and synaptic activity, remain elusive. Sustained activation of the brain-specific protein kinase C (PKC) isoform protein kinase M-ζ (PKM-ζ) has been reported to be necessary for both LTP maintenance and long-term memory. Inhibiting PKM-ζ activity using a synthetic zeta inhibitory peptide (ZIP) based on the PKC-ζ pseudosubstrate sequence reverses established LTP in vitro and in vivo. More notably, infusion of ZIP eliminates memories for a growing list of experience-dependent behaviours, including active place avoidance, conditioned taste aversion, fear conditioning and spatial learning. However, most of the evidence supporting a role for PKM-ζ in LTP and memory relies heavily on pharmacological inhibition of PKM-ζ by ZIP. To further investigate the involvement of PKM-ζ in the maintenance of LTP and memory, we generated transgenic mice lacking PKC-ζ and PKM-ζ. We find that both conventional and conditional PKC-ζ/PKM-ζ knockout mice show normal synaptic transmission and LTP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, and have no deficits in several hippocampal-dependent learning and memory tasks. Notably, ZIP still reverses LTP in PKC-ζ/PKM-ζ knockout mice, indicating that the effects of ZIP are independent of PKM-ζ.

  7. Synaptic Mechanisms Generating Orientation Selectivity in the ON Pathway of the Rabbit Retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkataramani, Sowmya; Taylor, W Rowland

    2016-03-16

    Neurons that signal the orientation of edges within the visual field have been widely studied in primary visual cortex. Much less is known about the mechanisms of orientation selectivity that arise earlier in the visual stream. Here we examine the synaptic and morphological properties of a subtype of orientation-selective ganglion cell in the rabbit retina. The receptive field has an excitatory ON center, flanked by excitatory OFF regions, a structure similar to simple cell receptive fields in primary visual cortex. Examination of the light-evoked postsynaptic currents in these ON-type orientation-selective ganglion cells (ON-OSGCs) reveals that synaptic input is mediated almost exclusively through the ON pathway. Orientation selectivity is generated by larger excitation for preferred relative to orthogonal stimuli, and conversely larger inhibition for orthogonal relative to preferred stimuli. Excitatory orientation selectivity arises in part from the morphology of the dendritic arbors. Blocking GABAA receptors reduces orientation selectivity of the inhibitory synaptic inputs and the spiking responses. Negative contrast stimuli in the flanking regions produce orientation-selective excitation in part by disinhibition of a tonic NMDA receptor-mediated input arising from ON bipolar cells. Comparison with earlier studies of OFF-type OSGCs indicates that diverse synaptic circuits have evolved in the retina to detect the orientation of edges in the visual input. A core goal for visual neuroscientists is to understand how neural circuits at each stage of the visual system extract and encode features from the visual scene. This study documents a novel type of orientation-selective ganglion cell in the retina and shows that the receptive field structure is remarkably similar to that of simple cells in primary visual cortex. However, the data indicate that, unlike in the cortex, orientation selectivity in the retina depends on the activity of inhibitory interneurons. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in