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Sample records for leech retzius neurons

  1. Effect of low potassium concentration on cadmium induced epileptiform activity of leech retzius neurons

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    Milićević Nebojša

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Epilepsies have a large significance and require detailed investigation of cellular mechanisms that lead to this disorder. Environmental, especially industrial, toxins are having increasingly more prominent role in these investigations. The aim of our research was to investigate the significance of Cd2+ in generation of epileptiform electrical activity of neurons, and the role of Na+/K+ pump in mechanisms that lead to cessation of this activity. Experiments were performed on Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga. Intracellularly placed microelectrodes were used to measure membrane potential changes upon administration of Cd2+ (100 µmol/l, and the same concentration of Cd2+ in low K+ (1 mmol/l solution. In our experiments Cd2+ led to generation of rhythmic repetitive oscillatory activity. This activity closely resembles paroxysmal depolarizing shifts (PDS which represent the cellular basis of epilepsy. Cd2+ induced epileptiform activity had the following characteristics: frequency of 3.9±0.8 PDS/minute, PDS duration of 4.0±0.3 s, and PDS amplitude of 8.1±0.7 mV. Cd2+ induces effects similar to those of Ni2+ and Co2+, but in 30 times smaller concentration. Application of Cd2+ in low K+ solution led to a significant reduction of PDS frequency (by 2.34±0.55 PDS/minute, p<0.05, Student's t-test, highly significant increase in PDS duration (by 2.84±0.23 s, p<0.01, Student's t-test and highly significant reduction in PDS amplitude (by 1.91±0.33 mV, p=0.01, Student's t-test. Our results show that Cd2+ is a potent initiator of epileptiform activity, and that Na+/K+ pump significantly affects this activity and has a potentially important role in mechanisms that lead to its cessation.

  2. Effects of Divalent Cations on Outward Potassium Currents in Leech Retzius Nerve Cells

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    Jovanovic Zorica

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study examines the effects of divalent metals, cadmium (Cd2+ and manganese (Mn2+, on the outward potassium currents of Retzius cells in the hirudinid leeches Haemopis sanguisuga using conventional two-microelectrode voltageclamp techniques. The outward potassium current is activated by depolarization and plays an important role in determining both the neuronal excitability and action potential duration. A strong inhibition of the fast current and a clear reduction in the late currents of the outward current with 1 mM Cd2+ were obtained, which indicated that both components are sensitive to this metal. Complete blockage of the fast and partial reduction of the slow outward currents was observed after adding 1 mM Mn2+ to the extracellular fluid. These data show that the outward K+ current in leech Retzius nerve cells comprises at least two components: a voltage-dependent K+ current and a Ca2+- activated K+ current. These observations also indicate that Cd2+ is more eff ective than Mn2+ in blocking ion fl ow through these channels and that suppressing Ca2+-activated K+ outward currents can prolong the action potential in nerve cells.

  3. The neurotoxic effects of hydrogen peroxide and copper in Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga

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    Zorica D. Jovanovic

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative stress and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS play an important role in cellular damage. Electrophysiological analyses have shown that membrane transport proteins are susceptible to ROS. In the present study, oxidative stress was induced in Retzius nerve cells of the leech Haemopis sanguisuga by bath application of 1 mM of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 and 0.02 mM of copper (Cu for 20 min. The H2O2/Cu(II produced considerable changes in the electrical properties of the Retzius nerve cells. Intracellular recording of the resting membrane potential revealed that the neuronal membrane was depolarized in the presence of H2O2/Cu(II. We found that the amplitude of action potentials decreased, while the duration augmented in a progressive way along the drug exposure time. The combined application of H2O2 and Cu(II caused an initial excitation followed by depression of the spontaneous electrical activity. Voltage-clamp recordings revealed a second effect of the oxidant, a powerful inhibition of the outward potassium channels responsible for the repolarization of action potentials. The neurotoxic effect of H2O2/Cu(II on the spontaneous spike electrogenesis and outward K+ current of Retzius nerve cells was reduced in the presence of hydroxyl radical scavengers, dimethylthiourea and dimethyl sulfoxide, but not mannitol. This study provides evidence for the oxidative modification of outward potassium channels in Retzius nerve cells. The oxidative mechanism of the H2O2/Cu(II system action on the electrical properties of Retzius neurons proposed in this study might have a wider significance, referring not only to leeches but also to mammalian neurons.

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

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    Miguel eMarín-Padilla

    2015-02-01

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

  5. Cycling of dense core vesicles involved in somatic exocytosis of serotonin by leech neurons

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    Citlali eTrueta

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We studied the cycling of dense core vesicles producing somatic exocytosis of serotonin. Our experiments were made using electron microscopy and vesicle staining with fluorescent dye FM1-43 in Retzius neurons of the leech, which secrete serotonin from clusters of dense core vesicles in a frequency-dependent manner. Electron micrographs of neurons at rest or after 1 Hz stimulation showed two pools of dense core vesicles. A perinuclear pool near Golgi apparatuses, from which vesicles apparently form, and a peripheral pool with vesicle clusters at a distance from the plasma membrane. By contrast, after 20 Hz electrical stimulation 47% of the vesicle clusters were apposed to the plasma membrane, with some omega exocytosis structures. Dense core and small clear vesicles apparently originating from endocytosis were incorporated in multivesicular bodies. In another series of experiments, neurons were stimulated at 20 Hz while bathed in a solution containing peroxidase. Electron micrographs of these neurons contained gold particles coupled to anti-peroxidase antibodies in dense core vesicles and multivesicular bodies located near the plasma membrane. Cultured neurons depolarized with high potassium in the presence of FM1-43 displayed superficial fluorescent spots, each reflecting a vesicle cluster. A partial bleaching of the spots followed by another depolarization in the presence of FM1-43 produced restaining of some spots, other spots disappeared, some remained without restaining and new spots were formed. Several hours after electrical stimulation the FM1-43 spots accumulated at the center of the somata. This correlated with electron micrographs of multivesicular bodies releasing their contents near Golgi apparatuses. Our results suggest that dense core vesicle cycling related to somatic serotonin release involves two steps: the production of clear vesicles and multivesicular bodies after exocytosis, and the formation of new dense core vesicles in

  6. Steps in the formation of neurites and synapses studied in cultured leech neurons

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    De-Miguel F.F.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Leech neurons in culture have provided novel insights into the steps in the formation of neurite outgrowth patterns, target recognition and synapse formation. Identified adult neurons from the central nervous system of the leech can be removed individually and plated in culture under well-controlled conditions, where they retain their characteristic physiological properties, grow neurites and form specific chemical or electrical synapses. Different identified neurons develop distinctive outgrowth patterns that depend on their identities and on the molecular composition of the substrate. On native substrates, the patterns displayed by these neurons reproduce characteristics from the adult or the developing neurons. In addition, the substrate may induce selective directed growth between pairs of neurons that normally make contact in the ganglion. Upon contact, pairs of cultured leech neurons form chemical or electrical synapses, or both types depending on the neuronal identities. Anterograde and retrograde signals during membrane contact and synapse formation modify the distribution of synaptic terminals, calcium currents, and responses to 5-hydroxytryptamine.

  7. Intracellular recording, sensory field mapping, and culturing identified neurons in the leech, Hirudo medicinalis.

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    Titlow, Josh; Majeed, Zana R; Nicholls, John G; Cooper, Robin L

    2013-11-04

    The freshwater leech, Hirudo medicinalis, is a versatile model organism that has been used to address scientific questions in the fields of neurophysiology, neuroethology, and developmental biology. The goal of this report is to consolidate experimental techniques from the leech system into a single article that will be of use to physiologists with expertise in other nervous system preparations, or to biology students with little or no electrophysiology experience. We demonstrate how to dissect the leech for recording intracellularly from identified neural circuits in the ganglion. Next we show how individual cells of known function can be removed from the ganglion to be cultured in a Petri dish, and how to record from those neurons in culture. Then we demonstrate how to prepare a patch of innervated skin to be used for mapping sensory or motor fields. These leech preparations are still widely used to address basic electrical properties of neural networks, behavior, synaptogenesis, and development. They are also an appropriate training module for neuroscience or physiology teaching laboratories.

  8. Targeted Inactivation of Bax Reveals a Subtype-Specific Mechanism of Cajal-Retzius Neuron Death in the Postnatal Cerebral Cortex

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    Fanny Ledonne

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Cajal-Retzius cells (CRs, the first-born neurons in the developing cerebral cortex, coordinate crucial steps in the construction of functional circuits. CRs are thought to be transient, as they disappear during early postnatal life in both mice and humans, where their abnormal persistence is associated with pathological conditions. Embryonic CRs comprise at least three molecularly and functionally distinct subtypes: septum, ventral pallium/pallial-subpallial boundary (PSB, and hem. However, whether subtype-specific features exist postnatally and through which mechanisms they disappear remain unknown. We report that CR subtypes display unique distributions and dynamics of death in the postnatal mouse cortex. Surprisingly, although all CR subtypes undergo cell death, septum, but not hem, CRs die in a Bax-dependent manner. Bax-inactivated rescued septum-CRs maintain immature electrophysiological properties. These results underlie the existence of an exquisitely refined control of developmental cell death and provide a model to test the effect of maintaining immature circuits in the adult neocortex.

  9. The stomatogastric nervous system of the medicinal leech: its anatomy, physiology and associated aminergic neurons.

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    Mesce, Karen A; Alania, Magda; Gaudry, Quentin; Puhl, Joshua G

    2018-03-29

    Blood feeding is an essential and signature activity of the medicinal leech species H irudo verbana Despite keen interest in understanding the neuronal substrates of this behavior, a major component of the nervous system associated with feeding has remained overlooked. In this study, for the first time, we report on the presence and characteristics of five stomatogastric ganglia (STGs) comprising the visceral stomatogastric nervous system (STN) of the leech. Although a brief report was published by Ruth Hanke in 1948 indicating that a ring of three ganglia (not five) was associated with the cephalic ganglia, this information was never integrated into subsequent neurobiological studies of feeding. Here, the anatomical features of the STGs are described, as are the morphological and electrophysiological characteristics of neurons originating in them. We also determined that two of the five STGs (STG-1 and STG-3) each contained two relatively large (ca. 40 µm diameter) serotonergic neurons. The STN was also enriched with dopaminergic and serotonergic arborizations; however, no intrinsic dopaminergic somata were observed. The trajectory of the serotonergic large lateral (LL) neuron, a command-like cell for feeding, was documented to project directly to the STN and not to the jaw and pharyngeal musculature as previously reported, thus reopening the important question of how the LL cell activates and coordinates biting activity with pharyngeal swallowing. Additional studies revealed that the LL cell is excited by blood serum applied to the lip and is strongly inhibited by dopamine. These findings provide a new foundation for understanding the regulation and modulation of neural networks involved in feeding. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. Intrinsic frequency response patterns in mechano-sensory neurons of the leech

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    Linda Fischer

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Animals employ mechano-sensory systems to detect and explore their environment. Mechano-sensation encompasses stimuli such as constant pressure, surface movement or vibrations at various intensities that need to be segregated in the central nervous system. Besides different receptor structures, sensory filtering via intrinsic response properties could provide a convenient way to solve this problem. In leech, three major mechano-sensory cell types can be distinguished, according to their stimulus sensitivity, as nociceptive, pressure and touch cells. Using intracellular recordings, we show that the different mechano-sensory neuron classes in Hirudo medicinalis differentially respond supra-threshold to distinct frequencies of sinusoidal current injections between 0.2 and 20 Hz. Nociceptive cells responded with a low-pass filter characteristic, pressure cells as high-pass filters and touch cells as an intermediate band-pass filter. Each class of mechano-sensory neurons is thus intrinsically tuned to a specific frequency range of voltage oscillation that could help segregate mechano-sensory information centrally.

  11. Intrinsic frequency response patterns in mechano-sensory neurons of the leech.

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    Fischer, Linda; Scherbarth, Frank; Chagnaud, Boris; Felmy, Felix

    2017-07-15

    Animals employ mechano-sensory systems to detect and explore their environment. Mechano-sensation encompasses stimuli such as constant pressure, surface movement or vibrations at various intensities that need to be segregated in the central nervous system. Besides different receptor structures, sensory filtering via intrinsic response properties could provide a convenient way to solve this problem. In leech, three major mechano-sensory cell types can be distinguished, according to their stimulus sensitivity, as nociceptive, pressure and touch cells. Using intracellular recordings, we show that the different mechano-sensory neuron classes in Hirudo medicinalis differentially respond supra-threshold to distinct frequencies of sinusoidal current injections between 0.2 and 20 Hz. Nociceptive cells responded with a low-pass filter characteristic, pressure cells as high-pass filters and touch cells as an intermediate band-pass filter. Each class of mechano-sensory neurons is thus intrinsically tuned to a specific frequency range of voltage oscillation that could help segregate mechano-sensory information centrally. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. On the Basis of Synaptic Integration Constancy during Growth of a Neuronal Circuit

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    Adriana De-La-Rosa Tovar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We studied how a neuronal circuit composed of two neuron types connected by chemical and electrical synapses maintains constant its integrative capacities as neurons grow. For this we combined electrophysiological experiments with mathematical modeling in pairs of electrically-coupled Retzius neurons from postnatal to adult leeches. The electrically-coupled dendrites of both Retzius neurons receive a common chemical input, which produces excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs with varying amplitudes. Each EPSP spreads to the soma, but also crosses the electrical synapse to arrive at the soma of the coupled neuron. The leak of synaptic current across the electrical synapse reduces the amplitude of the EPSPs in proportion to the coupling ratio. In addition, summation of EPSPs generated in both neurons generates the baseline action potentials of these serotonergic neurons. To study how integration is adjusted as neurons grow, we first studied the characteristics of the chemical and electrical connections onto the coupled dendrites of neuron pairs with soma diameters ranging from 21 to 75 μm. Then by feeding a mathematical model with the neuronal voltage responses to pseudorandom noise currents we obtained the values of the coupling ratio, the membrane resistance of the soma (rm and dendrites (rdend, the space constant (λ and the characteristic dendritic length (L = l/λ. We found that the EPSPs recorded from the somata were similar regardless on the neuron size. However, the amplitude of the EPSPs and the firing frequency of the neurons were inversely proportional to the coupling ratio of the neuron pair, which also was independent from the neuronal size. This data indicated that the integrative constancy relied on the passive membrane properties. We show that the growth of Retzius neurons was compensated by increasing the membrane resistance of the dendrites and therefore the λ value. By solely increasing the dendrite resistance this circuit

  13. Na(+)/K(+) pump interacts with the h-current to control bursting activity in central pattern generator neurons of leeches.

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    Kueh, Daniel; Barnett, William H; Cymbalyuk, Gennady S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2016-09-02

    The dynamics of different ionic currents shape the bursting activity of neurons and networks that control motor output. Despite being ubiquitous in all animal cells, the contribution of the Na(+)/K(+) pump current to such bursting activity has not been well studied. We used monensin, a Na(+)/H(+) antiporter, to examine the role of the pump on the bursting activity of oscillator heart interneurons in leeches. When we stimulated the pump with monensin, the period of these neurons decreased significantly, an effect that was prevented or reversed when the h-current was blocked by Cs(+). The decreased period could also occur if the pump was inhibited with strophanthidin or K(+)-free saline. Our monensin results were reproduced in model, which explains the pump's contributions to bursting activity based on Na(+) dynamics. Our results indicate that a dynamically oscillating pump current that interacts with the h-current can regulate the bursting activity of neurons and networks.

  14. Novel Sodium Channel Inhibitor From Leeches

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    Gan Wang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Considering blood-sucking habits of leeches from surviving strategy of view, it can be hypothesized that leech saliva has analgesia or anesthesia functions for leeches to stay undetected by the host. However, no specific substance with analgesic function has been reported from leech saliva although clinical applications strongly indicated that leech therapy produces a strong and long lasting pain-reducing effect. Herein, a novel family of small peptides (HSTXs including 11 members which show low similarity with known peptides was identified from salivary glands of the leech Haemadipsa sylvestris. A typical HSTX is composed of 22–25 amino acid residues including four half-cysteines, forming two intra-molecular disulfide bridges, and an amidated C-terminus. HSTX-I exerts significant analgesic function by specifically inhibiting voltage-gated sodium (NaV channels (NaV1.8 and NaV1.9 which contribute to action potential electrogenesis in neurons and potential targets to develop analgesics. This study reveals that sodium channel inhibitors are analgesic substances in the leech. HSTXs are excellent candidates or templates for development of analgesics.

  15. Na+/K+ pump interacts with the h-current to control bursting activity in central pattern generator neurons of leeches

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    Kueh, Daniel; Barnett, William H; Cymbalyuk, Gennady S; Calabrese, Ronald L

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of different ionic currents shape the bursting activity of neurons and networks that control motor output. Despite being ubiquitous in all animal cells, the contribution of the Na+/K+ pump current to such bursting activity has not been well studied. We used monensin, a Na+/H+ antiporter, to examine the role of the pump on the bursting activity of oscillator heart interneurons in leeches. When we stimulated the pump with monensin, the period of these neurons decreased significantly, an effect that was prevented or reversed when the h-current was blocked by Cs+. The decreased period could also occur if the pump was inhibited with strophanthidin or K+-free saline. Our monensin results were reproduced in model, which explains the pump’s contributions to bursting activity based on Na+ dynamics. Our results indicate that a dynamically oscillating pump current that interacts with the h-current can regulate the bursting activity of neurons and networks. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19322.001 PMID:27588351

  16. Comparison of the effects of millimeter wave irradiation, general bath heating, and localized heating on neuronal activity in the leech ganglion

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    Romanenko, Sergii; Siegel, Peter H.; Wagenaar, Daniel A.; Pikov, Victor

    2013-02-01

    The use of electrically-induced neuromodulation has grown in importance in the treatment of multiple neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia, epilepsy, chronic pain, cluster headaches and others. While electrical current can be applied locally, it requires placing stimulation electrodes in direct contact with the neural tissue. Our goal is to develop a method for localized application of electromagnetic energy to the brain without direct tissue contact. Toward this goal, we are experimenting with the wireless transmission of millimeter wave (MMW) energy in the 10-100 GHz frequency range, where penetration and focusing can be traded off to provide non-contact irradiation of the cerebral cortex. Initial experiments have been conducted on freshly-isolated leech ganglia to evaluate the real-time changes in the activity of individual neurons upon exposure to the MMW radiation. The initial results indicate that low-intensity MMWs can partially suppress the neuronal activity. This is in contrast to general bath heating, which had an excitatory effect on the neuronal activity. Further studies are underway to determine the changes in the state of the membrane channels that might be responsible for the observed neuromodulatory effects.

  17. Medical leech therapy (Hirudotherapy

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    Uwe Wollina

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Leeches have been used in medicine long time before BC. In recent years medical leech therapy has gained increasing interest in reconstructive surgery and pain management and other medical fields. The possible indications and success rates of this treatment are discussed. There is a special interest in salvage of flaps and grafts by the use of medical leeches. Retrospective analysis indicates a success rate of >80%. Randomized controlled trials have been performed in osteoarthritis. Case reports and smaller series are available for the treatment of chronic wounds, post-phlebitic syndrome and inflammatory skin diseases. The most common adverse effects are prolonged bleeding and infection by saprophytic intestinal bacteria of leeches. Medical leech therapy is a useful adjunct to other measures wound management.

  18. When Leeches reveal Biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnell, Ida Bærholm

    to provide information about vertebrate biodiversity. This thesis covers the development of a monitoring method based on iDNA extracted from terrestrial haematophagous leeches, a continuation of the work presented in Schnell et al., 2012. The chapters investigate and/or discuss different subjects regarding...

  19. Ocular leech infestation

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    Lee YC

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Yueh-Chang Lee, Cheng-Jen Chiu Department of Ophthalmology, Buddhist Tzu-Chi General Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan, ROC Abstract: This case report describes a female toddler with manifestations of ocular leech infestation. A 2-year-old girl was brought to our outpatient clinic with a complaint of irritable crying after being taken to a stream in Hualien 1 day previous, where she played in the water. The parents noticed that she rubbed her right eye a lot. Upon examination, the girl had good fix and follow in either eye. Slit-lamp examination showed conjunctival injection with a moving dark black–brown foreign body partly attached in the lower conjunctiva. After applying topical anesthetics, the leech, measuring 1 cm in length, was extracted under a microscope. The patient began using topical antibiotic and corticosteroid agents. By 1 week after extraction, the patient had no obvious symptoms or signs, except for a limited subconjunctival hemorrhage, and no corneal/scleral involvement was observed. Keywords: leech, ocular foreign body, conjunctival reaction, pediatric ophthalmology

  20. Retzius' space haematoma after spontaneous delivery: a case report.

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    Fieni, Stefania; Berretta, Roberto; Merisio, Carla; Melpignano, Mauro; Gramellini, Dandolo

    2005-12-01

    We report a case of a haematoma of the Retzius space after spontaneous uncomplicated delivery. In the postpartum period, the patient complained of urinary retention and pain in the hypogastric region radiating to her left hip and leg. The ultrasound examination showed the presence of 160 x 100 x 80 mm confluent solid and liquid areas with peripheral vascularization. At exploratory laparotomy a haemorrhagic infiltration was found in Retzius' space and the anterior wall of the bladder, which appeared thickened and swollen below the peritoneum. We tried to drain the haematoma, however, we failed to drain it completely because of the large blood infiltration in the bladder wall. Clinical and ultrasound follow-up examinations showed a progressive reduction of the haematoma which completely disappeared nine months later. The haemodynamic changes occurring during pregnancy and labour, associated with strong mechanical stress, seem to be among the major causative factors of haematoma formation. Moreover, the venous load in the pelvic vascular system is increased during pregnancy; a stress-induced increase in venous blood pressure might play a prominent role, especially in cases of venous ectasia, where the resistance of blood vessel walls is reduced. Intraoperative evidence seemed to suggest a haemorrhage secondary to the rupture of the venous vessels in the Santorini plexus. The rupture was probably caused by the thrust of the fetal head, associated with abnormality or fragility of the blood vessels, or by some pathologic changes occurring in the anatomical structures during pregnancy, which could not be accurately defined because of the severity and degree of the haematoma infiltration found intraoperatively.

  1. Otorrhagia bleeding due to leech bite

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    Narges Askari

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Leeches are blood-sucking hermaphroditic parasites that attach to vertebrate hosts, bite through the skin, and suck out blood. When leeches feed, they secrete an anticoagulant (hirudin, which helps them get a full meal of blood. This is the first report of leech removal from external auditory canal. Previous leech involvement cases were explained in nasopharynx, larynx, pharynx, eye, and gastrointestinal tract. Prominent sign of all cases was active bleeding from the leech attachment site; that stopped with leech removal. A 24-year-old man was presented to Al-Zahra hospital with left otorrhagia and otalgia from 2 days ago. After suction of ear a small soft foreign body was seen in the external ear near the tympanic membrane, then the ear filled with glycerine phenice, the patient explained decreased movement of foreign body. Four hours later the bloody discharge stopped and otalgia decreased. After suction of clots, a leech was extruded from external auditory canal by alligator. Leech infestation is a rare cause of otorrhagia and should be suspected in the endemic region in all of unusual bleeding; it can be diagnosed and treated by exact inspection and removal.

  2. Biophysics of active vesicle transport, an intermediate step that couples excitation and exocytosis of serotonin in the neuronal soma.

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    Francisco F De-Miguel

    Full Text Available Transmitter exocytosis from the neuronal soma is evoked by brief trains of high frequency electrical activity and continues for several minutes. Here we studied how active vesicle transport towards the plasma membrane contributes to this slow phenomenon in serotonergic leech Retzius neurons, by combining electron microscopy, the kinetics of exocytosis obtained from FM1-43 dye fluorescence as vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane, and a diffusion equation incorporating the forces of local confinement and molecular motors. Electron micrographs of neurons at rest or after stimulation with 1 Hz trains showed cytoplasmic clusters of dense core vesicles at 1.5±0.2 and 3.7±0.3 µm distances from the plasma membrane, to which they were bound through microtubule bundles. By contrast, after 20 Hz stimulation vesicle clusters were apposed to the plasma membrane, suggesting that transport was induced by electrical stimulation. Consistently, 20 Hz stimulation of cultured neurons induced spotted FM1-43 fluorescence increases with one or two slow sigmoidal kinetics, suggesting exocytosis from an equal number of vesicle clusters. These fluorescence increases were prevented by colchicine, which suggested microtubule-dependent vesicle transport. Model fitting to the fluorescence kinetics predicted that 52-951 vesicles/cluster were transported along 0.60-6.18 µm distances at average 11-95 nms(-1 velocities. The ATP cost per vesicle fused (0.4-72.0, calculated from the ratio of the ΔG(process/ΔG(ATP, depended on the ratio of the traveling velocity and the number of vesicles in the cluster. Interestingly, the distance-dependence of the ATP cost per vesicle was bistable, with low energy values at 1.4 and 3.3 µm, similar to the average resting distances of the vesicle clusters, and a high energy barrier at 1.6-2.0 µm. Our study confirms that active vesicle transport is an intermediate step for somatic serotonin exocytosis by Retzius neurons and provides a

  3. 33 CFR 207.330 - Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Mississippi River between Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech Lake and Mississippi River, and Pokegama... Winnibigoshish and Pokegama dams, Leech River between outlet of Leech Lake and Mississippi River, and Pokegama...

  4. Findings of Bone Scintigraphy After Leech Theraphy

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    Sinem Özyurt

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In this case report, we present a 70 year old female patient who had recieved Leech therapy (hirudotherapy on her leg without informing referring physician. In dynamic bone scintigraphy there was increased perfusion and hyperemia in her left ankle and leg, also in late static images moderate increased uptake was seen in soft tissue region and at the fracture site of ankle. We learned that she had Leech therapy applied on her leg, which could explain the increased perfusion and hyperemia in dynamic and blood pool phases of bone scintigraphy because of Leech therapy’s dilatory effects on superficial veins. Leech therapy may lead to an increase in perfusion and hyperemia in blood pool phase of bone scintigraphy, which may cause confusion in differential diagnosis. To our best knowledge this report is the first case that shows the scintigraphic findigs after Leech therapy.

  5. Internal contamination with leech in a turkey

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    Mahmoud Bahmani

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Leech enters to mouth and nose through water. Nose and nasopharynx mucosa are the most preferred places for leech attachment with epistaxis and respiratory distress symptoms. But the leeches may rarely stick deeper to trachea or esophagus which could cause hematemesis, hemoptysis and severe respiratory distress. Leech infestation can cause gastrointestinal, respiratory and genital bleeding in rare cases. Various animals such as ruminants, single-toed and carnivores, are easily infected with leeches. In May 2014, a 2-year-old turkey infected with leeches through the contaminated drinking water was referred to a veterinarian with respiratory distress symptoms, anxiety, bleeding from the mouth in Maze-Abdali Village located at 17 km from Dehloran City of Ilam Province in the west of Iran. After physical observations, a moving dark green particle was seen. Limnatis nilotica were detected after separation from the oral cavity of turkey. Respiratory distress and oral cavity bleeding should be regarded in the areas where spring and flooded water were infested with leeches. Untreated and contaminated waters consumption should be prohibited.

  6. The dynamics of group formation among leeches

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    Giacomo eBisson

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Leeches exploring a new environment continuously meet each other and merge in temporary groups. After 2-3 hours, leeches become attracted to each other eventually forming a large and stable group. When their number is reduced, leeches remain solitary, behaving independently. Group formation is facilitated by body injection of serotonin (5-HT and the level of endogenous 5-HT is elevated in leeches forming a large group. In contrast, intravenous injection of 5-HT antagonists prevented injected leeches from joining a large group of conspecifics. When sensilla near the head were ablated or the supraesophageal ganglion disconnected, leeches remained solitary, but explored the environment swimming and crawling. These results suggest that group formation is initiated by a release of 5-HT triggered by sensilla stimulation and its dynamics can be explained by the establishment of a reinforcement dynamics, as observed during human group formation. As 5-HT affects social interactions also in humans, group formation in leeches and humans share a similar dynamics and hormonal control.

  7. Gametogenesis in the leech Asiaticobdella buntonensis (Meyer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The gametogenic cycle of the leech, Asiaticobdella buntonensisfrom two localities was investigated and found to be simultaneously hermaphroditic. Spermatogenesis reached a state of maturation before oogenesis in a cycle of summer reproductive maturation and winter quiescence comparable to related Hirudinidae.

  8. Leeches as a source of mammalian viral DNA and RNA - a study in medicinal leeches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kampmann, Marie-Louise; Schnell, Ida Bærholm; Jensen, Randi Holm

    2017-01-01

    Surveillance of wild vertebrates can be challenging in remote and inaccessible areas such as tropical rainforests. Blood-feeding parasites, such as leeches, can facilitate wild vertebrate monitoring by targeting residual DNA from the animals the leeches feed on. Successes in detecting host DNA fr...

  9. Simultaneous Retzius-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy and partial nephrectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Abdel Raheem

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available We present a 61-year-old man who was diagnosed with synchronous prostate cancer and suspicious renal cell carcinoma of the right kidney, treated with combined Retzius-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RS-RARP and robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN. The combined approach using RS-RARP and RAPN is technically feasible and safe surgical option for treatment of concomitant prostate cancer and suspicious renal cell carcinoma.

  10. CASE REPORT- Vaginal Leech Infestation: A Rare Cause of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    BACKGROUND: Human leech infestation is a disease of the poor who live in rural areas and use water contaminated with leeches. Like any other body orifices, vagina can also be infested by leech when females use contaminated water for bathing and/or douching. Although this condition is very rare in postmenopausal ...

  11. Leech as a cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding: Presentation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leech bites are a recognized cause of bleeding from any human orifice upon exposure to water which is infested with leeches. A high level of suspicion is necessary to make the diagnosis and institute cost-effective definitive treatment for leech bite induced bleeding including vaginal bleeding as has been revealed by the ...

  12. The leech nervous system: a valuable model to study the microglia involvement in regenerative processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Marrec-Croq, Françoise; Drago, Francesco; Vizioli, Jacopo; Sautière, Pierre-Eric; Lefebvre, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Microglia are intrinsic components of the central nervous system (CNS). During pathologies in mammals, inflammatory processes implicate the resident microglia and the infiltration of blood cells including macrophages. Functions of microglia appear to be complex as they exhibit both neuroprotective and neurotoxic effects during neuropathological conditions in vivo and in vitro. The medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis is a well-known model in neurobiology due to its ability to naturally repair its CNS following injury. Considering the low infiltration of blood cells in this process, the leech CNS is studied to specify the activation mechanisms of only resident microglial cells. The microglia recruitment is known to be essential for the usual sprouting of injured axons and does not require any other glial cells. The present review will describe the questions which are addressed to understand the nerve repair. They will discuss the implication of leech factors in the microglial accumulation, the identification of nerve cells producing these molecules, and the study of different microglial subsets. Those questions aim to better understand the mechanisms of microglial cell recruitment and their crosstalk with damaged neurons. The study of this dialog is necessary to elucidate the balance of the inflammation leading to the leech CNS repair.

  13. The Leech Nervous System: A Valuable Model to Study the Microglia Involvement in Regenerative Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Françoise Le Marrec-Croq

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Microglia are intrinsic components of the central nervous system (CNS. During pathologies in mammals, inflammatory processes implicate the resident microglia and the infiltration of blood cells including macrophages. Functions of microglia appear to be complex as they exhibit both neuroprotective and neurotoxic effects during neuropathological conditions in vivo and in vitro. The medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis is a well-known model in neurobiology due to its ability to naturally repair its CNS following injury. Considering the low infiltration of blood cells in this process, the leech CNS is studied to specify the activation mechanisms of only resident microglial cells. The microglia recruitment is known to be essential for the usual sprouting of injured axons and does not require any other glial cells. The present review will describe the questions which are addressed to understand the nerve repair. They will discuss the implication of leech factors in the microglial accumulation, the identification of nerve cells producing these molecules, and the study of different microglial subsets. Those questions aim to better understand the mechanisms of microglial cell recruitment and their crosstalk with damaged neurons. The study of this dialog is necessary to elucidate the balance of the inflammation leading to the leech CNS repair.

  14. An overview of leech and its therapeutic applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parimannan Sivachandran

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Hirudotherapy has a broad spectrum of therapeutic application in the medical field ranging from cardiology, gynaecology, ophthalmology, plastic and reconstructive surgeries. In medieval and early modern medicine, leeches were used to remove blood from patients in an attempt to balance the biological humours. Leeches are widely used to treat venous congestion in microvascular replantation, free and conventional flap surgery and traumatology. Recently, Food and Drug Administration has approved the usage of live leeches as medical device for therapeutic applications. Presently, some of the leech species have declined dramatically in its population due to the over utilization of leech for medicinal purposes and also due to pollution in several parts of the world particularly in European and Asian countries. This review presents an overview of leech including the history, biology, classification, and its application as medical device. Further, it also covers the controversies and misconception related to leech species identification and complications of post hirudotherapy.

  15. The literature review of Leech therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jang Hyo-kil

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective : To review the trend of the study related to Leech therapy and to establish the hereafter direction for the study on Leech therapy. Methods : I reviewed and analyzed all the theses published in Domestic and Foreign research institution from 1990 to 2009. Results : The following results were obtained in this study. 1. Analyzed number of theses published, there was no significance per year. 2. Classified by theme of journal, journals related to surgery were most(41 journals, 75.92% among 54 kinds. 3. Classified by theses by research method and thesis types, case report accounted for nearly twothirds (52 pieces, 68.42% of all theses and consideration of document was next(9 pieces, 11.84%. 4. With the most case of venous congestion after plastic and reconstructive surgery(33 pieces, 63.46%, leech therapy was effective on illnesses such as haematoma, macroglossia, purpura, varicous vein, avulsion injury, neurovascular compression, diabetic neuropathy, penoscrotal oedema, buerger's disease, rheumatoid arthritis. 5. Two most appeared adverse effects were anemia and infection. Immediate blood transfusion was done for recovering anemia and prophylactic 3rd generation antibiotics to infection were emphasized in more than half of case reports. 6. All of consideration of documents was retrospective study of cases related leech therapy and 3 pieces of them emphasized prophyratic antibiotic treatment for preventing infection. 7. The study of clinical trail type started first in 2002 and osteoarthritis of knee and carpometacarpal joint were main target. As see above result, Leech therapy was effective cure and could be used in disease induced by venous congestion. And I think that it is necessary to perform additional study related to solution of problems about leech therapy and protocol for using in clinical practice.

  16. Building exploration with leeches Hirudo verbana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamatzky, Andrew; Sirakoulis, Georgios Ch

    2015-08-01

    Safe evacuation of people from building and outdoor environments, and search and rescue operations, always will remain actual in course of all socio-technological developments. Modern facilities offer a range of automated systems to guide residents towards emergency exists. The systems are assumed to be infallible. But what if they fail? How occupants not familiar with a building layout will be looking for exits in case of very limited visibility where tactile sensing is the only way to assess the environment? Analogous models of human behaviour, and socio-dynamics in general, are provided to be fruitful ways to explore alternative, or would-be scenarios. Crowd, or a single person, dynamics could be imitated using particle systems, reaction-diffusion chemical medium, electro-magnetic fields, or social insects. Each type of analogous model offer unique insights on behavioural patterns of natural systems in constrained geometries. In this particular paper we have chosen leeches to analyse patterns of exploration. Reasons are two-fold. First, when deprived from other stimuli leeches change their behavioural modes in an automated regime in response to mechanical stimulation. Therefore leeches can give us invaluable information on how human beings might behave under stress and limited visibility. Second, leeches are ideal blueprints of future soft-bodied rescue robots. Leeches have modular nervous circuitry with a rich behavioral spectrum. Leeches are multi-functional, fault-tolerant with autonomous inter-segment coordination and adaptive decision-making. We aim to answer the question: how efficiently a real building can be explored and whether there any dependencies on the pathways of exploration and geometrical complexity of the building. In our case studies we use templates made on the floor plan of real building. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The contact polytope of the leech lattice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sikiric, M.D.; Schürmann, A.; Vallentin, F.

    2010-01-01

    The contact polytope of a lattice is the convex hull of its shortest vectors. In this paper we classify the facets of the contact polytope of the Leech lattice up to symmetry. There are 1, 197, 362, 269, 604, 214, 277, 200 many facets in 232 orbits.

  18. The contact polytope of the Leech lattice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Dutour Sikiric; A. Schuermann; F. Vallentin (Frank)

    2010-01-01

    htmlabstractThe contact polytope of a lattice is the convex hull of its shortest vectors. In this paper we classify the facets of the contact polytope of the Leech lattice up to symmetry. There are 1,197,362,269,604,214,277,200 many facets in 232 orbits.

  19. The contact polytope of the Leech lattice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Dutour Sikiric; A. Schuermann; F. Vallentin (Frank)

    2009-01-01

    htmlabstractThe contact polytope of a lattice is the convex hull of its shortest vectors. In this paper we classify the facets of the contact polytope of the Leech lattice up to symmetry. There are 1,197,362,269,604,214,277,200 many facets in 232 orbits.

  20. Gametogenesis in the leech Asiaticobdella buntonensis (Meyer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Photoperiod, temperature and nutritional state appear to be the most prominent factors influencing the onset and maintenance of reproductive activity in leeches which correlate well with seasonal changes in abiotic conditions. (Malecha 1970a; Hanumante & Kulkarni 1978; Kulkarni et al. 1978; Sawyer et al. 1981; inter alia).

  1. Paradigm shift regarding the transversalis fascia, preperitoneal space, and Retzius' space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asakage, N

    2018-02-27

    There has been confusion in the anatomical recognition when performing inguinal hernia operations in Japan. From now on, a paradigm shift from the concept of two-dimensional layer structure to the three-dimensional space recognition is necessary to promote an understanding of anatomy. Along with the formation of the abdominal wall, the extraperitoneal space is formed by the transversalis fascia and preperitoneal space. The transversalis fascia is a somatic vascular fascia originating from an arteriovenous fascia. It is a dense areolar tissue layer at the outermost of the extraperitoneal space that runs under the diaphragm and widely lines the body wall muscle. The umbilical funiculus is taken into the abdominal wall and transformed into the preperitoneal space that is a local three-dimensional cavity enveloping preperitoneal fasciae composed of the renal fascia, vesicohypogastric fascia, and testiculoeferential fascia. The Retzius' space is an artificial cavity formed at the boundary between the transversalis fascia and preperitoneal space. In the underlay mesh repair, the mesh expands in the range spanning across the Retzius' space and preperitoneal space.

  2. External decontamination of wild leeches with hypochloric acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuncer Serdar

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, has been used in plastic and reconstructive surgery, to relieve venous congestion and to improve the microrevascularization of flaps. In many countries, wild leeches are still provided from local markets and utilised with antibiotic prophylaxies. In this research, results of identification of bacteria in the transport fluid is reported, oral and intestinal floras and the antibiograms of the identified microorganisms are investigated. Also, to avoid possible infections, the ability of hypochloric acid, a disinfectant, to suppress the relevant microorganisms without changing the life style and behavior of leeches in terms of sucking function, is investigated. Methods Bacterial identifications and antibiograms of oral and intestinal flora and transport medium were performed for 10 leeches. The optimum concentration of hypochloric acid which eliminated microorganisms without affecting the viability and sucking function of the leeches were determined by dilution of hypochloric acid to 100, 50, 25, 12.5, 6.25 ppm concentrations in different groups of 25 leeches. Finally, 20 leeches were applied atraumatically to the bleeding areas of rats, the duration of suction was determined and compared statistically between the leeches treated and not treated with hypochloric acid solution. Results Aeromonas hydrophilia was the most commonly identified microorganism and found to be resistant to first generation cephalosporins, frequently used in prophylaxis at surgical wards. In the next stages of the study, the leeches were subjected to a series of diluted hypochloric acid solutions. Although disinfection of the transport material and suppression of the oral flora of hirudo medicinalis were successful in 100, 50, 25, 12.5, 6.25 ppm concentrations; 12.5 ppm solution was the greatest concentration in which hirudo medicinalis could survive and sucking function was not affected significantly. Conclusions

  3. Medicinal leech therapy-an overall perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sig, Ali K; Guney, Mustafa; Uskudar Guclu, Aylin; Ozmen, Erkan

    2017-12-01

    Complementary medicine methods have a long history, but modern medicine has just recently focused on their possible modes of action. Medicinal leech therapy (MLT) or hirudotherapy, an old technique, has been studied by many researchers for possible effects on various diseases such as inflammatory diseases, osteoarthritis, and after different surgeries. Hirudo medicinalis has widest therapeutic usage among the leeches, but worldwide, many different species were tested and studied. Leeches secrete more than 20 identified bioactive substances such as antistasin, eglins, guamerin, hirudin, saratin, bdellins, complement, and carboxypeptidase inhibitors. They have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, platelet inhibitory, anticoagulant, and thrombin regulatory functions, as well as extracellular matrix degradative and antimicrobial effects, but with further studies, the spectrum of effects may widen. The technique is cheap, effective, easy to apply, and its modes of action have been elucidated for certain diseases. In conclusion, for treatment of some diseases, MLT is not an alternative, but is a complementary and/or integrative choice. MLT is a part of multidisciplinary treatments, and secretes various bioactive substances. These substances vary among species and different species should be evaluated for both treatment capability and their particular secreted molecules. There is huge potential for novel substances and these could be future therapeutics.

  4. Recommendations for the Use of Leeches in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A written informed consent should be obtained from the patient before hirudotherapy is initiated. The patients should be treated each day of leech therapy with anti-Aeromonas antibiotics. Leeches should be applied on the darker spots of the reattached body parts or flaps. Usually 1–10 leeches are used for each treatment, while at the beginning, the patient might need two or more treatments per day. Leech therapy is used until venous capillary return is established across the wound border by angiogenesis. Usually the treatment with leeches lasts for 2–6 days. Hematologic evaluations should be performed every 4 hrs and the patient has to receive blood transfusions when the hemoglobin level is lower than 8 g/dL. Signs of regional lymphadenitis, slight swelling, and pain of regional lymph nodes on the side of leech application and subfebrile temperature can occur. Contraindications related to hirudotherapy include arterial insufficiency, hemophilia, hemorrhagic diathesis, hematological malignancies, anemia, hypotension, and sepsis. Leech therapy is not recommended in pregnancy and lactation and in patients with an unstable medical status, history of allergy to leeches or severe allergic diathesis, and disposition to keloid scar formation, as well as in those using anticoagulants and immunosuppressants.

  5. Hunting leeches in the dense forests of Madagascar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohmann, Kristine

    2013-01-01

    Identifying DNA from prey blood stored inside leeches reveals which animals the leeches have preyed on. This can be used to monitor wildlife. To find out whether this new wildlife screening method might be able to aid conservation efforts in Madagascar, the Centre for GeoGenetics has undertaken...

  6. External auditory canal leech: a rare case report of paediatric ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leeches are blood sucking organism feed on human blood. While human bites are common, they rarely cause human internal infestation. We describe a rare case of a parasitic leech infestation of the External Auditory Canal (EAC). A two month old child presented to the Emergency department with a seven day history of ...

  7. Involvement of nitric oxide through endocannabinoids release in microglia activation during the course of CNS regeneration in the medicinal leech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arafah, Karim; Croix, Dominique; Vizioli, Jacopo; Desmons, Annie; Fournier, Isabelle; Salzet, Michel

    2013-04-01

    The medicinal leech is notable for its capacity to regenerate its central nervous system (CNS) following mechanical trauma. Using an electrochemical nitric oxide (NO)-selective electrode to measure NO levels, we found that the time course of NO release in the injured leech CNS is partially under the control of endocannabinoids, namely, N-arachidonyl ethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG). Relative quantification of these endocannabinoids was performed by stable isotope dilution (2AGd8 and AAEd8) coupled to mass spectrometry in course of regeneration process or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) treatment. Data show that 2-AG levels rose to a maximum about 30 min after injury or ATP treatment, and returned to baseline levels 4 h after injury. In same conditions, AEA levels also rapidly (within 5 min) dropped after injury or ATP treatment to the nerve cord, but did not fully return to baseline levels within 4 h of injury. In correlation with these data, chemoattraction activities of endocannabinoids on isolated leech microglial cells have been shown in vitro and in vivo reflecting that control over NO production is accompanied by the controlled chemoattraction of microglia directed from the periphery to the lesion site for neuronal repair purposes. Taken together, our results show that in the leech, after injury concurrent with ATP production, purinergic receptor activation, NO production, microglia recruitment, and accumulation to lesion site, a fine imbalance occurs in the endocannabinoid system. These events can bring explanations about the ability of the leech CNS to regenerate after a trauma and the key role of endocannabinoids in this phenomenon. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Prolonged bleeding on the neck in leech therapy: Case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atakan Savrun

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Superficial skin bleeding can usually be stopped by applying short-time compression, unless the patient suffers from coagulation disorders or uses anticoagulant. Because of the anticoagulant component of leech saliva, a leech bite may cause long-time bleeding, which cannot be stopped via compression. In this study, the case of a patient who applied leech therapy on her neck for the treatment of migraine has been presented. [Arch Clin Exp Surg 2015; 4(4.000: 234-237

  9. Case Study Of Leech Application In Varicose Ulcer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samaranayake G.V.P.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Varicose ulcers are wounds that are thought to occur due to improper functioning of venous valves usually of the legs. They are the major occurrence of chronic wounds occurring in 70 to 90 of leg ulcer cases. In Sushrut Samhita where get the most scientific description of wound and its management. Similarly Sushrut has given the almost importance to Bloodletting therapy and considered leech as the most unique and effective method of bloodletting even in infected wounds and abscesses. Aforesaid description let us to try leech therapy in venous ulcer was advised to continue weekly application of leech around the ulcer which was followed by dressing with Seethodaka oil and Dashanga lepa. This leech therapy proved very effective and the ulcer healed completely within 30 days. However further evaluation is required to be done by taking a large samples size to prove its significant in treating Venous ulcer.

  10. Leeches of the genus Helobdella as model organisms for Evo-Devo studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Weisblat, David A

    2015-12-01

    Model organisms are important tools in modern biology and have been used elucidate mechanism underlying processes, such as development, heredity, neuronal signaling, and phototropism, to name but a few. In this context, the use of model organisms is predicated on uncovering evolutionarily conserved features of biological processes in the expectation that the findings will be applicable to organisms that are either inaccessible or intractable for direct experimentation. For the most part, particular species have been adapted as model organisms because they can be easily reared and manipulated in the laboratory. In contrast, a major goal in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) is to identify and elucidate the differences in developmental processes among species associated with the dramatic range of body plans among organisms, and how these differences have emerged over time in various branches of phylogeny. At first glance then, it would appear that the concept of model organisms for Evo-Devo is oxymoronic. In fact, however, laboratory-compatible, experimentally tractable species are of great use for Evo-Devo, subject to the condition that the ensemble of models investigated should reflect the range of taxonomic diversity, and for this purpose glossiphoniid leeches are useful. Four decades ago (1975), leeches of the species-rich genus Helobdella (Lophotrochozoa; Annelida; Clitellata; Hirudinida; Glossiphoniidae) were collected in Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA (USA). These and other Helobdella species may be taken as Evo-Devo models of leeches, clitellate annelids, and the super-phylum Lophotrochozoa. Here we depict/discuss the biology/taxonomy of these Evo-Devo systems, and the challenges of identifying species within Helobdella. In addition, we document that H. austinensis has been established as a new model organism that can easily be cultivated in the laboratory. Finally, we provide an updated scheme illustrating the unique

  11. effect of physico-chemical parameters of water containing leech in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF EKWUEME

    , University of Port Harcourt, Port. Harcourt, Nigeria. N. C. Eze, Department of Animal and Environmental .... leeches show endogenous rhythm of activity controlled by change in light intensity, therefore inability to recover leeches in station 2 ...

  12. A clinical trial for evaluation of leech application in the management of Vicarcikā (Eczema

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K M Pratap Shankar

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion : Leech application gives significant relief for the symptoms of eczema. The life quality of the patient also improved significantly after leech therapy. No adverse reactions were reported during the entire course of study.

  13. Higher Network Activity Induced by Tactile Compared to Electrical Stimulation of Leech Mechanoreceptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elham Fathiazar

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The tiny ensemble of neurons in the leech ganglion can discriminate the locations of touch stimuli on the skin as precisely as a human fingertip. The leech uses this ability to locally bend the body-wall away from the stimulus. It is assumed that a three-layered feedforward network of pressure mechanoreceptors, interneurons, and motor neurons controls this behavior. Most previous studies identified and characterized the local bend network based on electrical stimulation of a single pressure mechanoreceptor, which was sufficient to trigger the local bend response. Recent studies showed, however, that up to six mechanoreceptors of three types innervating the stimulated patch of skin carry information about both touch intensity and location simultaneously. Therefore, we hypothesized that interneurons involved in the local bend network might require the temporally concerted inputs from the population of mechanoreceptors representing tactile stimuli, to decode the tactile information and to provide appropriate synaptic inputs to the motor neurons. We examined the influence of current injection into a single mechanoreceptor on activity of postsynaptic interneurons in the network and compared it to responses of interneurons to skin stimulation with different pressure intensities. We used voltage-sensitive dye imaging to monitor the graded membrane potential changes of all visible cells on the ventral side of the ganglion. Our results showed that stimulation of a single mechanoreceptor activates several local bend interneurons, consistent with previous intracellular studies. Tactile skin stimulation, however, evoked a more pronounced, longer-lasting, stimulus intensity-dependent network dynamics involving more interneurons. We concluded that the underlying local bend network enables a non-linear processing of tactile information provided by population of mechanoreceptors. This task requires a more complex network structure than previously assumed

  14. First report of freshwater leech Helobdella stagnalis (Rhyncobdellida: Glossiphoniidae as a parasite of an anuran amphibian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocco Tiberti

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The authors describe the first case of parasitism on anuran amphibian, Rana temporaria, by the freshwater leech Helobdella stagnalis, in a mountainous area of northwestern Italy. The presence of skin abrasions and haemorrhages attributable to leech attack discards the hypothesis of a simple phoretic relationship between leech and frog.

  15. effect of physico-chemical parameters of water containing leech in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF EKWUEME

    When a leech is viewed under a microscope, the sediments can be clearly seen. Leeches are also hermaphroditic, like many invertebrates. They tend to be aquatic, living in freshwater, swamps, and marshes. Some leeches are also comfortable on land, especially in humid areas like jungles (Davies and Wilkialis, 2001).

  16. G. N. LEECH - Principles of Pragmatics G. N. LEECH - Principles of Pragmatics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Scott

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available '0 Leão é manso e justo para quem faz tudo direito...' Income tax notice, Brazil 1984. One of the problems for both linguistics and for users of language lies in the difference between what is said and what is meant. As users of language we have to learn that Você não quer me dar uma mãozinha? is not an odd request for information about someone's negative wishes but, by implicature, a request for action -- and that it has nothing to do with transplant operations. One of the jobs of linguistics, and one which has been swept under the carpet until fairly recently, is to elucidate how it is that we can produce and understand such utterances as (1. This is why Professor Leech's book is so timely. Pragmatics, for Leech usefully defined.as the study of how utterances have meanings in situations (Preface, x attempts in a systematic way to find out and set down the principles behind certain choices in language which govern situational meaning. '0 Leão é manso e justo para quem faz tudo direito...' Income tax notice, Brazil 1984. One of the problems for both linguistics and for users of anguage lies in the difference between what is said and what is meant. As users of language we have to learn that Você não quer me dar uma mãozinha? is not an odd request for information about someone's negative wishes but, by implicature, a request for action -- and that it has nothing to do with transplant operations. One of the jobs of linguistics, and one which has been swept under the carpet until fairly recently, is to elucidate how it is that we can produce and understand such utterances as (1. This is why Professor Leech's book is so timely. Pragmatics, for Leech usefully defined.as the study of how utterances have meanings in situations (Preface, x attempts in a systematic way to find out and set down the principles behind certain choices in language which govern situational meaning.

  17. Clinical uses of the medicinal leech: A practical review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B S Porshinsky

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, is an excellent example of the use of invertebrates in the treatment of human disease. Utilized for various medical indications since the ancient times, the medicinal leech is currently being used in a narrow range of well-defined and scientifically-grounded clinical applications. Hirudotherapy is most commonly used in the setting of venous congestion associated with soft tissue replantations and free flap-based reconstructive surgery. This is a comprehensive review of current clinical applications of hirudotherapy, featuring a comprehensive search of all major medical search engines (i.e. PubMed, Google Scholar, ScientificCommons and other cross-referenced sources. The authors focus on indications, contraindications, practical application/handling of the leech, and therapy-related complications.

  18. Leech therapy for epidermoid cysts and review of the literature

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    Abbas Rasi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Hirudo medicinalis sucks blood directly through the external mammalian skin. We recently observed a healthy 64-year-old Iranian man, who presented with numerous asymptomatic multilobular oval-to-round well-defined 0.5 to 1.5 cm cystic lesions with central umbilication (central black eschar over the upper portion of his chest. We made the diagnosis of epidermoid cyst, giant comedone and leech bite on the basis of the constellation of clinical features. The patient was treated with oral ciprofloxacin at a dose of 2 g daily, and 2% topical erythromycin solution. Despite improvement, the evidence of cystic lesions persisted. There was no history of similar lesions in any other family member. There was no history of trauma. The patient was not using any topical or systemic medication. Two weeks before his visit, he had a history of leech therapy under the supervision of a general practitioner. His medical history was significant for leech therapy of the lesions, five days previously. He was followed up for another two weeks and after disappearance of the inflammation, with the patient under local anesthesia, the well-circumscribed mass was completely evacuated with a sharp curette and comedone extractor. The patient was subsequently lost to follow-up. Conclusion: Considering the efficacy of leeches, it would be favorable to breed a germ-free leech. In Iran, the use of the leeches in surgery, in recent years, has been infrequent. It appears that the positive effects of this ancient remedy may now be explained through scientific methods, promising potentially even more uses of this admirable creature in medicine.

  19. Controversy: Hirudotherapy (Leech Therapy as an Alternative Treatment for Osteoarthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicia Gunawan

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis (OA is the most common degenerative joint disease found in the elderly. Drug options that are recommended by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon (AAOS are acetaminophen, NSAIDs, tramadol, capscaicin and intraarticular corticosteroids. However, there is concern for the possible side effects resulting from long term use of those medications. Researchers are searching for a safer treatment modality for OA. Leech therapy (hirudotheraphy is one of the therapies under investigation, given its purported analgesic and antiinflammatory properties. Key words: osteoarthritis, hirudotherapy, leech therapy, NSAIDSs, elderly, alternative terapy.

  20. Leeches as Sensor-bioindicators of River Contamination by PCBs

    OpenAIRE

    Macova, Stanislava; Harustiakova, Danka; Kolarova, Jitka; Machova, Jana; Zlabek, Vladimir; Vykusova, Blanka; Randak, Tomas; Velisek, Josef; Poleszczuk, Gorzyslaw; Hajslova, Jana; Pulkrabova, Jana; Svobodova, Zdenka

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of leeches of the genus Erpobdella as a means of assessing polychlorinated biphenyl contamination of watercourses. The River Skalice, heavily contaminated with PCBs, was selected as a model. The source of contamination was a road gravel processing factory in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem from which an estimated 1 metric ton of PCBs leaked in 1986. Levels of PCB were measured in leeches collected between 1992 to 2003 from 11 sites covering about 50 km of t...

  1. Encoding of tactile stimuli by mechanoreceptors and interneurons of the medicinal leech

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jutta Kretzberg

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available For many animals processing of tactile information is a crucial task in behavioral contexts like exploration, foraging and stimulus avoidance. The leech, having infrequent access to food, developed an energy efficient reaction to tactile stimuli, avoiding unnecessary muscle movements: The local bend behavior moves only a small part of the body wall away from an object touching the skin, while the rest of the animal remains stationary. Amazingly, the precision of this localized behavioral response is similar to the spatial discrimination threshold of the human fingertip, although the leech skin is innervated by an order of magnitude fewer mechanoreceptors and each midbody ganglion contains only 400 individually identified neurons in total. Prior studies suggested that this behavior is controlled by a three-layered feed-forward network, consisting of four mechanoreceptors (P cells, approximately 20 interneurons and 10 individually characterized motor neurons, all of which encode tactile stimulus location by overlapping, symmetrical tuning curves. Additionally, encoding of mechanical force was attributed to three types of mechanoreceptors reacting to distinct intensity ranges: T cells for touch, P cells for pressure and N cells for strong, noxious skin stimulation. In this study, we provide evidences that tactile stimulus encoding in the leech is more complex than previously thought. Combined electrophysiological, anatomical and voltage sensitive dye approaches indicate that P and T cells both play a major role in tactile information processing resulting in local bending. Our results indicate that tactile encoding neither relies on distinct force intensity ranges of different cell types, nor location encoding is restricted to spike count tuning. Instead, we propose that P and T cells form a mixed type population, which simultaneously employs temporal response features and spike counts for multiplexed encoding of touch location and force intensity

  2. Use of the mechanical leech for successful zone I replantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sang Wha; Han, Hyun Ho; Jung, Sung-No

    2014-01-01

    Replantation of zone I finger injuries remains a challenge, particularly if the fingertip was previously scarred or atrophied, which makes it difficult to secure a suitable vein at the amputation site. In cases of artery-only anastomosis, we propose using a mechanical leech technique to maintain sufficient venous outflow until the internal circulation regenerates. We applied this procedure to eight patients who had zone 1 amputations without veins that were suitable for anastomosis. Emergent surgery was performed and an artery-only anastomosis was created. As there were no veins available, we cut a branch of the central artery and anastomosed it with a 24-gauge angioneedle, which served as a conduit for venous drainage. The overall survival rate for zone I replantation using mechanical leech was 87.5% and the average time to maintain the mechanical leech was 5 days. The mechanical leech technique may serve as an alternative option for the management of venous congestion when no viable veins are available.

  3. Use of the Mechanical Leech for Successful Zone I Replantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Wha Kim

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Replantation of zone I finger injuries remains a challenge, particularly if the fingertip was previously scarred or atrophied, which makes it difficult to secure a suitable vein at the amputation site. In cases of artery-only anastomosis, we propose using a mechanical leech technique to maintain sufficient venous outflow until the internal circulation regenerates. We applied this procedure to eight patients who had zone 1 amputations without veins that were suitable for anastomosis. Emergent surgery was performed and an artery-only anastomosis was created. As there were no veins available, we cut a branch of the central artery and anastomosed it with a 24-gauge angioneedle, which served as a conduit for venous drainage. The overall survival rate for zone I replantation using mechanical leech was 87.5% and the average time to maintain the mechanical leech was 5 days. The mechanical leech technique may serve as an alternative option for the management of venous congestion when no viable veins are available.

  4. Hirudotherapy /Leech therapy: Applications and Indications in Surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swaid Abdullah

    2012-06-01

    More recently, HT has found new applications in cancer therapy, hypersensitivity conditions, like asthma, male/female sterility and diabetes. Taking into consideration all the facts, HT efforts should be made in optimizing the success of medicinal leech therapy in clinical and private practice. [Arch Clin Exp Surg 2012; 1(3.000: 172-180

  5. Redescription of the African duck leech Theromyzon cooperi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The African duck leech Theromyzon cooperi, which is the only representative of the genus so far reported in Africa, is redescribed. Aspects of its internal morphology are described for the first time. The conspecificity of the two supposed species T. cooperi and T. lineatum is also indicated.

  6. A leech capable of surviving exposure to extremely low temperatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dai Suzuki

    Full Text Available It is widely considered that most organisms cannot survive prolonged exposure to temperatures below 0°C, primarily because of the damage caused by the water in cells as it freezes. However, some organisms are capable of surviving extreme variations in environmental conditions. In the case of temperature, the ability to survive subzero temperatures is referred to as cryobiosis. We show that the ozobranchid leech, Ozobranchus jantseanus, a parasite of freshwater turtles, has a surprisingly high tolerance to freezing and thawing. This finding is particularly interesting because the leach can survive these temperatures without any acclimation period or pretreatment. Specifically, the leech survived exposure to super-low temperatures by storage in liquid nitrogen (-196°C for 24 hours, as well as long-term storage at temperatures as low as -90°C for up to 32 months. The leech was also capable of enduring repeated freeze-thaw cycles in the temperature range 20°C to -100°C and then back to 20°C. The results demonstrated that the novel cryotolerance mechanisms employed by O. jantseanus enable the leech to withstand a wider range of temperatures than those reported previously for cryobiotic organisms. We anticipate that the mechanism for the observed tolerance to freezing and thawing in O. jantseanus will prove useful for future studies of cryopreservation.

  7. Leech infestation: The unusual cause of upper airway obstruction ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper presents a case of a 7 year-old child who presented with a 14-days history of blood stained saliva and shortness of breath of 3 days with signs of upper airway obstruction. Laryngoscopy revealed a blackish living foreign body in the proximal trachea. Under general anesthesia the leech was removed by applying ...

  8. Medicinal leech therapy—an overall perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali K. Sig

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Complementary medicine methods have a long history, but modern medicine has just recently focused on their possible modes of action. Medicinal leech therapy (MLT or hirudotherapy, an old technique, has been studied by many researchers for possible effects on various diseases such as inflammatory diseases, osteoarthritis, and after different surgeries. Hirudo medicinalis has widest therapeutic usage among the leeches, but worldwide, many different species were tested and studied. Leeches secrete more than 20 identified bioactive substances such as antistasin, eglins, guamerin, hirudin, saratin, bdellins, complement, and carboxypeptidase inhibitors. They have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, platelet inhibitory, anticoagulant, and thrombin regulatory functions, as well as extracellular matrix degradative and antimicrobial effects, but with further studies, the spectrum of effects may widen. The technique is cheap, effective, easy to apply, and its modes of action have been elucidated for certain diseases. In conclusion, for treatment of some diseases, MLT is not an alternative, but is a complementary and/or integrative choice. MLT is a part of multidisciplinary treatments, and secretes various bioactive substances. These substances vary among species and different species should be evaluated for both treatment capability and their particular secreted molecules. There is huge potential for novel substances and these could be future therapeutics. Keywords: Hirudo medicinalis, hirudotherapy, leech

  9. Leech as a cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding: Presentation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    days, menstrual cycle of 80ml. Rather than this specific figures, however, abnormal uterine bleeding should be defined in terms of deviation from an individual patient's established menstrual pattern1,2. Leech bite as a cause pf abnormal vaginal bleeding has been reported in ...

  10. Positive outcome of medical leeches (hirudotherapy) for venous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The pain score decreased to 0-10 mm on a. 100 mm visual analogue scale within 20 days and no further pain relieving medication was required. Over a time interval of nearly 3.5 months, necrotic areas disappeared and the wound was completely healed. Authors from India described a patient with nevus of Ota where leech ...

  11. Serotonin modulates muscle function in the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerry, Shannon P; Ellerby, David J

    2011-12-23

    The body wall muscles of sanguivorous leeches power mechanically diverse behaviours: suction feeding, crawling and swimming. These require longitudinal muscle to exert force over an extremely large length range, from 145 to 46 per cent of the mean segmental swimming length. Previous data, however, suggest that leech body wall muscle has limited capacity for force production when elongated. Serotonin (5-HT) alters the passive properties of the body wall and stimulates feeding. We hypothesized that 5-HT may also have a role in allowing force production in elongated muscle by changing the shape of the length-tension relationship (LTR). LTRs were measured from longitudinal muscle strips in vitro in physiological saline with and without the presence of 10 µM 5-HT. The LTR was much broader than previously measured for leech muscle. Rather than shifting the LTR, 5-HT reduced passive muscle tonus and increased active stress at all lengths. In addition to modulating leech behaviour and passive mechanical properties, 5-HT probably enhances muscle force and work production during locomotion and feeding.

  12. Control of aquatic leeches (Lymnatis nilotica) us- ing Phytolacca ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    also caused mortality of tadpoles, frogs and round worms found in streams while it doesn't cause any visible toxicity to .... immature age died of leech infestation. About 50 calves that were watered at .... vary depending on the type of water medium (Getachew Tilahun et al., 2002) and in cases where higher doses are ...

  13. GABA-ergic neurons in the leach central nervous system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cline, H.T.

    1985-01-01

    GABA is a candidate for an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the leech central nervous system because of the well-documented inhibitory action of GABA in other invertebrates. To demonstrate that GABA meets the criteria used to identify a substance as a neurotransmitter, the author examined GABA metabolism and synaptic interactions of inhibitory motor neurons in two leech species, Hirudo medicinalis and Haementeria ghilianii. Segmental ganglia of the leech ventral nerve cord and identified inhibitors have the capacity to synthesize GABA when incubated in the presence of the precursor glutamate. Application of GABA to cell bodies of excitatory motor neurons or muscle fibers innervated by the inhibitors hyperpolarizes the membrane potential of the target cell and activates a chloride ion conductance channel, similar to the inhibitory membrane response following intracellular stimulation of the inhibitor. Bicuculline methiodide (5 x 10 -5 M), GABA receptor antagonist, blocks reversibly the response to applied GABA and the inhibitory synaptic inputs onto the postsynaptic neurons or muscle fibers without interfering with their excitatory inputs. Furthermore, the inhibitors are included among approximately 25 neurons per segmental ganglion that take up GABA by a high affinity uptake system, as revealed by 3 H-GABA-autoradiography. The development of the capacities to synthesize and to take up GABA were examined in leech embryos. The embryos are able to synthesize GABA at early stages of the development of the nervous system, before any neurons have extended neutrites

  14. Investigation on the Collection and Economy of Medicinal Leeches from Wetlands Around Lake Eğirdir, Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceylan, Mustafa; Çetinkaya, Osman

    2017-06-01

    This study aimed to investigate the collection and economy of medicinal leeches from wetlands around Lake Eğirdir, Turkey. Data used in this study were based on findings, observations, and face-to-face interviews obtained from a research performed between January 2013 - February 2016 on medicinal leech populations. The leech collecting is carried out without any permission, by both local peoples and others especially who are from Afyonkarahisar. This causes legal problems among leech collectors. Leech collecting is not done as main job. Using small leeches (market price. Leeches are sold for 40-1000 TL/kg (1 TL=0.25 €) according to season, product abundance, demand intensity, and leech size. Because of leech collecting is carried out without under an economic organization, there is no effect of leech collectors at determining the sale price of leeches. According to the catchable stock size, the export potential of medicinal leeches is approximately 1,200,000 € from wetlands around Lake Eğirdir. The rational management of medicinal leech populations, socioeconomic benefits, sustainable products, and ecological balance will be provided by operating wetlands around Lake Eğirdir according to stock estimation studies at regular intervals and by evaluating effective marketing options under a cooperative.

  15. Case of buerger's disease Improve by Gi-Chim Treatment (Leech Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwak Byung-min

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective : The purpose of this case is to show a case of buerger's disease improved by leech therapy. Methods : The patient received Leech Therapy and Oreintal medical therapy(acupunture and herb medicine. Result : We evaluate through visual analog scale(VAS, neurophatic total symptom score(TSS, fontaine grade and picture of patient's foot. Conclusion : Leech therapy and Oriental medical therapy had a good effect on buerger's disease.

  16. Comparison of leeching and heparin therapy in management of acute venous congestion of limbs in rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Abdollah Mousavi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Acute venous congestion leads to blood stasis in the tissue and impaired blood perfusion. Using medicinal leech is an old method for reducing tissue congestion. There are numerous factors in leech saliva and hirudin that have important roles in the leeching beneficial effect. In this study, an animal study was performed to compare leech therapy with heparin therapy in the treatment of acute venous congestion. Thirty male rats were divided into three groups. In the first group, an acute venous congestion was induced at the thigh. Decongestion was performed through the touch of hirudo medicinalis leech. In the second group, heparin sodium was injected, after tourniquet removal. Eventually, no treatment or procedure was performed in the third group after opening of tourniquet. Histopathological and biochemical analysis were performed in these rat. Edema size in heparin therapy and control groups was significantly greater than leech therapy group. Creatine phosphokinase blood level in leech therapy group was significantly lower than the control group, but this difference was unobserved between heparin therapy and control. In contrast, the level of lactate dehydrogenase and aldolase greatly increased in the control group, which received no intervention. Also in histopathological assessment, the level of tissue damage in both heparin and leech therapy groups showed a significant decrease as compared to the control group. Leech therapy can probably be more effective in the reducing of cellular damage caused by acute tissue congestion as compare to heparin therapy.

  17. Leech management before application on patient: a nationwide survey of practices in French university hospitals

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    Delphine Grau

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leech therapy in plastic/reconstructive microsurgery significantly improves a successful outcome of flap salvage but the drawback is a risk of severe infection that results in a drop of the salvage rates from 70-80% to below 30%. We report the results of a national survey conducted in all the French university hospitals to assess the current extent of use of leech for medical practices in the hospital and to investigate maintenance, delivery practices and prevention of the risk of infection. Methods Data concerning conditions of storage, leech external decontamination, microbiological controls, mode of delivery and antibiotic prophylaxis were collected from all the French university hospitals in practicing leech therapy, on the basis of a standardized questionnaire. Results Twenty-eight of the 32 centers contacted filled the questionnaire, among which 23 practiced leech therapy, mostly with a centralized storage in the pharmacy; 39.1% of the centers declared to perform leech external decontamination and only 2 centers recurrent microbiological controls of the water storage. Leech delivery was mostly nominally performed (56.5%, but traceability of the leech batch number was achieved in only 39.1% of the cases. Only 5 centers declared that a protocol of antibiotic prophylaxis was systematically administered during leech therapy: either quinolone (2, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (2 or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (1. Conclusions Measures to prevent infectious complications before application to patient have to be better applied and guidelines of good practices are necessary.

  18. Metagenomic Analysis of the Medicinal Leech Gut Microbiota

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    Michele A Maltz

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available There are trillions of microbes found throughout the human body and they exceed the number of eukaryotic cells by ten-fold. Metagenomic studies have revealed that the majority of these microbes are found within the gut, playing an important role in the host’s digestion and nutrition. The complexity of the animal digestive tract, unculturable microbes and the lack of genetic tools for most culturable microbes make it challenging to explore the nature of theses microbial interactions within this niche. The medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, has been shown to be a useful tool in overcoming these challenges, due to the simplicity of the microbiome and the availability of genetic tools for one of the two dominant gut symbionts, Aeromonas veronii. In this study, we utilize 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to further explore the microbial composition of the leech digestive tract, confirming the dominance of two taxa, the Rikenella-like bacterium and A. veronii. The deep sequencing approach revealed the presence of additional members of the microbial community that suggests the presence of a moderately complex microbial community with a richness of 36 taxa. The presence of a Proteus strain as a newly identified resident in the leech crop was confirmed using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH. The metagenome of this community was also pyrosequenced and the contigs were binned into the following taxonomic groups: Rikenella-like (3.1 MB, Aeromonas (4.5 MB, Proteus (2.9 MB, Clostridium (1.8 MB, Eryspelothrix (0.96 MB, Desulfovibrio (0.14 MB and Fusobacterium (0.27 MB. Functional analyses on the leech gut symbionts were explored using the metagenomic data and MG-RAST. A comparison of the COG and KEGG categories of the leech gut metagenome to that of other animal digestive-tract microbiomes revealed that the leech digestive-tract had a similar metabolic potential to the human digestive-tract, supporting the usefulness of this system as a model for studying

  19. An improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianbiao; Zhu, Tong; Zhang, Han; Lin, Li

    2012-01-01

    With the rapid development of information technology and extensive requirement of network resource sharing, plenty of resource hotlinking phenomenons appear on the internet. The hotlinking problem not only harms the interests of legal websites but also leads to a great affection to fair internet environment. The anti-leech technique based on session identifier is highly secure, but the transmission of session identifier in plaintext form causes some security flaws. In this paper, a proxy hotlinking technique based on session identifier is introduced firstly to illustrate these security flaws; next, this paper proposes an improved anti-leech mechanism based on session identifier, the mechanism takes the random factor as the core and detects hotlinking request using a map table that contains random factor, user's information and time stamp; at last the paper analyzes the security of mechanism in theory. The result reveals that the improved mechanism has the merits of simple realization, high security and great flexibility.

  20. Pigment reduction in nevus of Ota following leech therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjeev Rastogi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Nevus of Ota is a congenital blue-gray color nevus afflicting unilaterally, the area near the eyes. It poses a huge cosmetic concern besides being a potential threat for developing melanoma sometime in the course of the disease. The treatment options are neither many nor promising besides they are too expensive. We have treated a case of nevus of Ota with leech therapy where leech was applied upon the lesion for five times spanned in a period of 2 months. The results in terms of change in the color of lesion were evaluated with the help of serial photographs following every treatment session to mark the level of color changes in the lesion. A substantial reduction in color of the nevus was reported following the completion of the therapy. The results were demonstrated with the photographs. Although, recommended as the classical Ayurvedic management for skin diseases, leech therapy is not reported earlier in such conditions. It proposes a novel approach to deal with such congenital pigment lesions where other options are not promising.

  1. Leeches as Sensor-bioindicators of River Contamination by PCBs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gorzyslaw Poleszczuk

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of leeches of the genus Erpobdella as a means of assessing polychlorinated biphenyl contamination of watercourses. The River Skalice, heavily contaminated with PCBs, was selected as a model. The source of contamination was a road gravel processing factory in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem from which an estimated 1 metric ton of PCBs leaked in 1986. Levels of PCB were measured in leeches collected between 1992 to 2003 from 11 sites covering about 50 km of the river (the first sampling site upstream to the source of contamination and 10 sites downstream. The PCB indicator congeners IUPA no. 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, and 180 were measured. Levels were highest at the four sampling sites nearest the source of pollution. The highest values of PCB congeners were found in 1992. PCB content decreased from 1992 to 2003 and with distance from the source. The study indicated that leeches of the genus Erpobdella are a suitable bioindicator of contamination in the surface layer of river sediments.

  2. Leeches as Sensor-bioindicators of River Contamination by PCBs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macova, Stanislava; Harustiakova, Danka; Kolarova, Jitka; Machova, Jana; Zlabek, Vladimir; Vykusova, Blanka; Randak, Tomas; Velisek, Josef; Poleszczuk, Gorzyslaw; Hajslova, Jana; Pulkrabova, Jana; Svobodova, Zdenka

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of leeches of the genus Erpobdella as a means of assessing polychlorinated biphenyl contamination of watercourses. The River Skalice, heavily contaminated with PCBs, was selected as a model. The source of contamination was a road gravel processing factory in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem from which an estimated 1 metric ton of PCBs leaked in 1986. Levels of PCB were measured in leeches collected between 1992 to 2003 from 11 sites covering about 50 km of the river (the first sampling site upstream to the source of contamination and 10 sites downstream). The PCB indicator congeners IUPA no. 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, and 180 were measured. Levels were highest at the four sampling sites nearest the source of pollution. The highest values of PCB congeners were found in 1992. PCB content decreased from 1992 to 2003 and with distance from the source. The study indicated that leeches of the genus Erpobdella are a suitable bioindicator of contamination in the surface layer of river sediments. PMID:22573988

  3. On exploration of geometrically constrained space by medicinal leeches Hirudo verbana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamatzky, Andrew

    2015-04-01

    Leeches are fascinating creatures: they have simple modular nervous circuitry yet exhibit a rich spectrum of behavioural modes. Leeches could be ideal blue-prints for designing flexible soft robots which are modular, multi-functional, fault-tolerant, easy to control, capable for navigating using optical, mechanical and chemical sensorial inputs, have autonomous inter-segmental coordination and adaptive decision-making. With future designs of leech-robots in mind we study how leeches behave in geometrically constrained spaces. Core results of the paper deal with leeches exploring a row of rooms arranged along a narrow corridor. In laboratory experiments we find that rooms closer to ends of the corridor are explored by leeches more often than rooms in the middle of the corridor. Also, in series of scoping experiments, we evaluate leeches capabilities to navigating in mazes towards sources of vibration and chemo-attraction. We believe our results lay foundation for future developments of robots mimicking behaviour of leeches. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Molecular genetic microbiological and clinical analysis of Hirudo species (leeches) : implications for use in surgical practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whitaker, I.S.

    2009-01-01

    The aims of this thesis are to investigate the historical journey of the use of leeches in medicine (Chapter 2) and to review the mechanisms of action relevant to the reconstructive surgeon (Chapter 3). With a specific focus on infective complications following leech therapy, we will investigate the

  5. PREVENTING INFECTIVE COMPLICATIONS FOLLOWING LEECH THERAPY : IS PRACTICE KEEPING PACE WITH CURRENT RESEARCH?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whitaker, Iain S.; Kamya, Cyril; Azzopardi, Ernest A.; Graf, Joerg; Kon, Moshe; Lineaweaver, William C.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Despite several publications strongly advocating prophylactic antibiotics during leech therapy, and recent primary articles shedding new light on the microbiota of leeches, many units either do not use antibiotic prophylaxis, or are continuing to use ineffective agents. Methods: A 5-year

  6. An Array of Opportunities: Building a Sustainable Future at Leech Lake Tribal College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckland, Hannah

    2018-01-01

    With support from Leech Lake Tribal College (LLTC) in Cass Lake, Minnesota, solar energy infrastructure--as well as specialized training and well-paying jobs--are coming to the Leech Lake Nation. Rather than power LLTC's facilities, a 40- kilowatt solar garden installed on the college's campus during the 2017 fall semester, along with four similar…

  7. [A rare case report of laryngeal leech infestation in a 70-year-old man].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anajar, Said; Tatari, Mohammed; Hassnaoui, Jawad; Abada, Reda; Rouadi, Sami; Roubal, Mohammed; Mahtar, Mohammed

    2017-01-01

    Foreign bodies in the upper respiratory tract are one of the most difficult otolaryngological emergencies; leeches are a very rare foreign bodies in the world. We report the case of a 70-year-old man with no past medical history presenting with laryngeal dyspnea associated with low abundant paroxysmal hemoptysis. The patient underwent nasofibroscopy showing the presence of a living and mobile organism at the subglottic level evoking a leech. Extraction was carried out under local anesthesia using laryngoscope and Magill forceps. The presence of a leech as a foreign body in the upper respiratory tract should be suspected in patients with a recent history of consumption of non-potable water.

  8. Determining the appropriate number and duration of leech therapy in congested tissues using tissue spectrophotometry and laser Doppler flowmetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenberger, Jens; Petersen, Wiebke; Schaller, Hans-Eberhard; Held, Manuel

    2016-11-01

    A universal protocol determining the number of leeches and their application time does not exist. The aim of this study, therefore, is to quantify perfusion dynamics in venous congested tissues after leech application to get more detailed information about changes due to leech-induced skin microcirculation and to evaluate the usability of the Oxygen to See (O2C) device in terms of determining the appropriate number of leeches and the duration of therapy. Twelve patients with the need for leech therapy participated in the study. Perfusion dynamics of the congested tissue was assessed using the O2C device, which determines blood flow (BF), the relative amount of hemoglobin (rHB), and the oxygen saturation (SO2). Measurements were carried out before leech application and on various intervals like 10 minutes, one hour, and three hours after leech application. The leech application effectuated after 10 minutes a nonsignificant perfusion improvement, which further increased after one hour with a significant reduction of the relative amount of hemoglobin and a significant increase of blood flow and oxygen saturation (BF= +56.7%; rHB= -25.5%; SO2= +53.7%). After three hours, the values returned to the levels before leech administration. In two cases, in which further administration of leeches within the measurement period was necessary, no substantial perfusion changes were obtained. The results of this study forms a more precise pattern of microcirculatory changes of leech therapy in congested tissues. According to our measurements a venous drainage improvement can be expected in congested tissue one hour after leech administration. The O2C seems to be a useful method to determine the appropriate number and duration of leech therapy. © 2016 by the Wound Healing Society.

  9. Morphometric characteristics of neuropeptide Y immunoreactive neurons in cortex of human inferior parietal lobule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krivokuća, Dragan; Puskas, Laslo; Puskas, Nela; Erić, Mirela

    2010-03-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate and precisely define the morphology of neurons immunoreactive to neuropeptide Y (NPY) in cortex of human inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Five human brains were used for immunohistochemical investigation of the shape and laminar distribution of NPY neurons in serial section in the supramarginal and angular gyrus. Immunoreactivity to NPY was detected in all six layers of the cortex of human IPL. However a great number of NPY immunoreactive neurons were found in the white matter under the IPL cortex. The following types of NPY immunoreactive neurons were found: Cajal-Retzius, pyramidal, inverted pyramidal, "double bouquet" (bitufted), rare type 6, multipolar nonspinous, bipolar, voluminous "basket", and chandelier cells. These informations about morphometric characteristics of NPY immunoreactive neurons in cortical layers, together with morphometric data taken from brains having schizophrenia or Alzheimer's-type dementia may contribute to better understanding patogenesis of these neurological diseases. The finding of Cajal-Retzius neurons immunoreactive to NPY points to the need for further investigations because of great importance of these cells in neurogenesis and involvement in mentioned diseases instead of their rarity.

  10. Host Matters: Medicinal Leech Digestive-Tract Symbionts and their Pathogenic Potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremiah Marden

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Digestive-tract microbiota exert tremendous influence over host health. Host-symbiont model systems are studied to investigate how symbioses are initiated and maintained, as well as to identify host processes affected by resident microbiota. The medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, is an excellent model to address such questions owing to a microbiome that is consistently dominanted by two species, Aeromonas veronii and Mucinivorans hirudinis, both of which are cultivable and have sequenced genomes. This review outlines current knowledge about the dynamics of the H. verbana microbiome. We discuss in depth the factors required for A. veronii colonization and proliferation in the leech crop and summarize the current understanding of interactions between A. veronii and its annelid host. Lastly, we discuss leech usage in modern medicine and highlight how leech-therapy associated infections, often attributable to Aeromonas spp., are of growing clinical concern due in part to an increased prevalence of fluoroquinolone resistant strains.

  11. The Leech with a taste for oranges / Merje Järv-Griffiths

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Järv-Griffiths, Merje

    2007-01-01

    Rockansamblist Leech (kontserdid 23. nov. klubis Rockstar's Tallinnas, 30. nov. Lutsu Teatris Tartus ja 21. dets. festivalil Green Christmas Rakveres), heliplaadist "Tram-O-Gram" (vt. www.leechband.net)

  12. Genetic Diversity of Freshwater Leeches in Lake Gusinoe (Eastern Siberia, Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina A. Kaygorodova

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The study of leeches from Lake Gusinoe and its adjacent area offered us the possibility to determine species diversity. As a result, an updated species list of the Gusinoe Hirudinea fauna (Annelida, Clitellata has been compiled. There are two orders and three families of leeches in the Gusinoe area: order Rhynchobdellida (families Glossiphoniidae and Piscicolidae and order Arhynchobdellida (family Erpobdellidae. In total, 6 leech species belonging to 6 genera have been identified. Of these, 3 taxa belonging to the family Glossiphoniidae (Alboglossiphonia heteroclita f. papillosa, Hemiclepsis marginata, and Helobdella stagnalis and representatives of 3 unidentified species (Glossiphonia sp., Piscicola sp., and Erpobdella sp. have been recorded. The checklist gives a contemporary overview of the species composition of leeches and information on their hosts or substrates. The validity of morphological identification of each taxon has been verified by phylogenetic approach with a molecular marker adopted for a DNA barcoding of most invertebrates.

  13. Propensity for Bistability of Bursting and Silence in the Leech Heart Interneuron

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Dashevskiy

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The coexistence of neuronal activity regimes has been reported under normal and pathological conditions. Such multistability could enhance the flexibility of the nervous system and has many implications for motor control, memory, and decision making. Multistability is commonly promoted by neuromodulation targeting specific membrane ionic currents. Here, we investigated how modulation of different ionic currents could affect the neuronal propensity for bistability. We considered a leech heart interneuron model. It exhibits bistability of bursting and silence in a narrow range of the leak current parameters, conductance (gleak and reversal potential (Eleak. We assessed the propensity for bistability of the model by using bifurcation diagrams. On the diagram (gleak, Eleak, we mapped bursting and silent regimes. For the canonical value of Eleak we determined the range of gleak which supported the bistability. We use this range as an index of propensity for bistability. We investigated how this index was affected by alterations of ionic currents. We systematically changed their conductances, one at a time, and built corresponding bifurcation diagrams in parameter planes of the maximal conductance of a given current and the leak conductance. We found that conductance of only one current substantially affected the index of propensity; the increase of the maximal conductance of the hyperpolarization-activated cationic current increased the propensity index. The second conductance with the strongest effect was the conductance of the low-threshold fast Ca2+ current; its reduction increased the propensity index although the effect was about two times smaller in magnitude. Analyzing the model with both changes applied simultaneously, we found that the diagram (gleak, Eleak showed a progressively expanded area of bistability of bursting and silence.

  14. Cleft lip surgery in Anglo-Saxon Britain: the Leech Book (circa A.D. 920).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrebos, J

    1986-05-01

    The Leech Book, the oldest known Anglo-Saxon herbarium, probably written in Winchester, circa A.D. 920, by Cyril Bald or at his special request, contains a short chapter on the surgical treatment of the cleft lip; this chapter apparently represents the first record in a medical manuscript of this treatment. The original Anglo-Saxon text is presented together with transcriptions into more modern English. The general value of the Leech Book is briefly studied.

  15. Comparison of effect of nicotine and levamisole and ivermectin on mortality of leech

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahmoud Bahmani

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study the effect of different doses of nicotine on Limnatis in comparison with levamisole and ivermectin. Methods: In this interventional experimental study in July 2012, the amount of 61 mature leeches of Limnatis nilotica species were collected and anti-parasitic effects of drug treatments using anti-leech method were assessed. So that, a leech was placed in the dishes with 600 mL spring water and leech's paralysis and death time were recorded accurately for 720 min. A total of 9 replicates were considered for each treatment. Six drug treatments were considered. Pharmacological treatments include nicotine (5, 1 0 and 20 mg doses, levamisole (1 0 mg, ivermectin (10 mg and distilled water. Data were analyzed using the Sigma ASA 2 software and pair t-test method with less than 0.05 confidence levels. Results: The results of present study show that doses of 5, 10 and 20 mg of nicotine, with time average of 2.44依0.52, 1.88依0.78 and 1.55依0.72 min cause to death of leeches. Ivermectin and levamisole cause to death of leeches, averaging 7.44依1.12 and 14.66依5.09 min, respectively. Distilled water treatment has been reported as an ineffective group. Data analysis showed that the group receiving 5 mg nicotine, had minimum time of death and there are statistical differences among all groups (P>0.05, but there are not significant differences between treatments receiving 10 mg nicotine, with 5 and 20 mg nicotine treatments. Conclusions: It appears that nicotine compound as the effective substance of tobacco plant has the strong anti-leech effect on Limnatis nilotica species and can be used as leech purposes in the future.

  16. Tyrannobdella rex n. gen. n. sp. and the evolutionary origins of mucosal leech infestations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna J Phillips

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leeches have gained a fearsome reputation by feeding externally on blood, often from human hosts. Orificial hirudiniasis is a condition in which a leech enters a body orifice, most often the nasopharyngeal region, but there are many cases of leeches infesting the eyes, urethra, vagina, or rectum. Several leech species particularly in Africa and Asia are well-known for their propensity to afflict humans. Because there has not previously been any data suggesting a close relationship for such geographically disparate species, this unnerving tendency to be invasive has been regarded only as a loathsome oddity and not a unifying character for a group of related organisms. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A new genus and species of leech from Perú was found feeding from the nasopharynx of humans. Unlike any other leech previously described, this new taxon has but a single jaw with very large teeth. Phylogenetic analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial genes using parsimony and Bayesian inference demonstrate that the new species belongs among a larger, global clade of leeches, all of which feed from the mucosal surfaces of mammals. CONCLUSIONS: This new species, found feeding from the upper respiratory tract of humans in Perú, clarifies an expansion of the family Praobdellidae to include the new species Tyrannobdella rex n. gen. n. sp., along with others in the genera Dinobdella, Myxobdella, Praobdella and Pintobdella. Moreover, the results clarify a single evolutionary origin of a group of leeches that specializes on mucous membranes, thus, posing a distinct threat to human health.

  17. Leech therapy- a holistic approach of treatment in unani (greeko-arab) medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lone, Azad Hussain; Ahmad, Tanzeel; Anwar, Mohd; Habib, Shahida; Sofi, Gh; Imam, Hashmat

    2011-07-01

    The Unani System of Medicine also known as Greeko-Arab medicine, founded by Hippocrates is based on the concept of equilibrium and balance of natural body humours (blood, bile, black bile and phlegm). The imbalance in the quality and quantity of these humours leads to diseases whereas restoration of this balance maintains health of a person. The treatment methodology of diseases is based on four therapeutic modalities viz. Regimental therapy, Dieto-therapy, Pharmacotherapy and surgery. Irsale Alaq (Leech or Hirudo therapy) is one of the most important and widely practised methods of regimental therapy used for local evacuation of morbid humours. It is a procedure of treatment with the use of medicinal leeches. It has been suggested and successfully practised by Greeko-Arab physicians in the management of musculoskeletal diseases, gynaecological disorders, chronic skin diseases, thromboembolic diseases, varicose veins, ENT disorders etc since long. According to Unani doctrine, the efficacy of leech therapy is attributed to the analgesic and resolvent activities of leeches. However, from modern perspective, the saliva of leech contains about 100 pharmacologically active biological substances like Hirudin, hyaluronidase, vasodilators, anesthetics, antibacterial, fibrinases, collagenase etc. These substances are injected into human body while sucking of the blood and are responsible for the analgesic, anti inflammatory and anesthetic effects of leech therapy.

  18. First Isolation of a Giant Virus from Wild Hirudo medicinalis Leech: Mimiviridae isolation in Hirudo medicinalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mondher Boughalmi

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Giant viruses and amoebae are common in freshwater, where they can coexist with other living multicellular organisms. We screened leeches from the species Hirudo medicinalis for giant viruses. We analyzed five H. medicinalis obtained from Tunisia (3 and France (2. The leeches were decontaminated and then dissected to remove internal parts for co-culture with Acanthamoeba polyphaga. The genomes of isolated viruses were sequenced on a 454 Roche instrument, and a comparative genomics analysis was performed. One Mimivirus was isolated and the strain was named Hirudovirus. The genome assembly generated two scaffolds, which were 1,155,382 and 25,660 base pairs in length. Functional annotations were identified for 47% of the genes, which corresponds to 466 proteins. The presence of Mimividae in the same ecological niche as wild Hirudo may explain the presence of the mimivirus in the digestive tract of the leech, and several studies have already shown that viruses can persist in the digestive tracts of leeches fed contaminated blood. As leeches can be used medically and Mimiviruses have the potential to be an infectious agent in humans, patients treated with leeches should be surveyed to investigate a possible connection.

  19. The Leech method for diagnosing constipation: intra- and interobserver variability and accuracy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lorijn, Fleur de; Voskuijl, Wieger P.; Taminiau, Jan A.; Benninga, Marc A.; Rijn, Rick R. van; Henneman, Onno D.F.; Heijmans, Jarom; Reitsma, Johannes B.

    2006-01-01

    The data concerning the value of a plain abdominal radiograph in childhood constipation are inconsistent. Recently, positive results have been reported of a new radiographic scoring system, ''the Leech method'', for assessing faecal loading. To assess intra- and interobserver variability and determine diagnostic accuracy of the Leech method in identifying children with functional constipation (FC). A total of 89 children (median age 9.8 years) with functional gastrointestinal disorders were included in the study. Based on clinical parameters, 52 fulfilled the criteria for FC, six fulfilled the criteria for functional abdominal pain (FAP), and 31 for functional non-retentive faecal incontinence (FNRFI); the latter two groups provided the controls. To assess intra- and interobserver variability of the Leech method three scorers scored the same abdominal radiograph twice. A Leech score of 9 or more was considered as suggestive of constipation. ROC analysis was used to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the Leech method in separating patients with FC from control patients. Significant intraobserver variability was found between two scorers (P=0.005 and P<0.0001), whereas there was no systematic difference between the two scores of the other scorer (P=0.89). The scores between scorers differed systematically and displayed large variability. The area under the ROC curve was 0.68 (95% CI 0.58-0.80), indicating poor diagnostic accuracy. The Leech scoring method for assessing faecal loading on a plain abdominal radiograph is of limited value in the diagnosis of FC in children. (orig.)

  20. Hemoptysis Caused by Leech Infestation: A Unique Case

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    Latif Moini

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Hemoptysis in the patients suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis (TB may be resulted by active TB or the complications of such disease which appears as bronchiectasis, fungal lesions deployed in tuberculosis cavities or Rasmussen aneurysm, Bronchiolitis or relapse and sometimes, it may be considered as caused by reasons irrelevant to TB. In this report, the patient is a 69-year-old man as complained of hemoptysis with a treated TB experience that was found as normal in the preliminary review of X-ray and CT. During bronchoscopy, a live leech (bloodsucker was found in hypopharynx area that was swallowed after repeated attempts to remove it through the gastrointestinal tract and its suction signs were appeared as a mucosal mass in the hypopharynx area. The patient had no symptoms during his stay in the hospital.

  1. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter the fossil record. Occasionally, however......, exceptional fossil deposits that preserve soft-bodied organisms provide a rare glimpse of the true biodiversity during past periods of Earth history. We here present an extraordinary find of a fossil ciliate that is encased inside the wall layer of a more than 200 Ma leech cocoon from Antarctica...... ecosystems worldwide, but so far have lacked any fossil record. This discovery offers a glimpse of ancient soft-bodied protozoan biotas, and also highlights the potential of clitellate cocoons as microscopic "conservation traps" comparable to amber....

  2. Does prostate volume have an impact on the functional and oncological results of Retzius-sparing robot-assisted radical prostatectomy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galfano, Antonio; Panarello, Daniele; Secco, Silvia; DI Trapani, Dario; Barbieri, Michele; Napoli, Giancarlo; Strada, Elena; Petralia, Giovanni; Bocciardi, Aldo M

    2018-03-28

    The objective of our study is to evaluate the effect of prostatic volume on the outcomes of Retzius-Sparing robot-assisted radical Prostatectomy (RSP). All the consecutive patients undergoing RSP up to January 2015 were included. The series was divided into three groups (60 g). Perioperative, oncological and functional data were prospectively recorded. Potency was defined as erections sufficient for penetration; continence as no pad or 1 safety liner. Oncological results were reported as positive surgical margins (PSMs) and 1-year biochemical disease- free survival (PSA60 g prostates). Median follow-up was 22 months; PSA was higher in larger prostates (6.6 ng/ml vs 6.8 ng/ml vs 8 ng/ml). Nerve-sparing and bladder-neck sparing procedures were in similar percentages. Larger prostates required longer surgeries (90 minutes vs 100 minutes vs 100 minutes, p=0.002). Perioperative results were similar (blood loss, discharge, complications, catheter removal). Larger prostates had more frequently localized disease (pT2 in 49.5% vs 60.7% vs 68.5% - p=0.001); PSMs were similar both in pT2 (15.5% vs 9.4% vs 11.8%) and in pT3 cases (40.1% vs 42% vs 34%). In the 3 groups, immediate continence was reached by 88%, 89.5% and 81.3% (p=0.045), while no differences were observed concerning continence (93.4%, 94.1%, 94.7% - p=0.892) or potency after follow-up. Retzius-sparing prostatectomy is feasible in patients with prostates of any volume, with similar oncological and functional outcomes. Despite being inferior to the figures obtained in low volume prostates, the very high immediate continence rates observed in larger prostates encourage the use of this approach also in larger prostates.

  3. Serotonin as an integrator of leech behavior and muscle mechanical performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerry, Shannon P; Daigle, Amanda J; Feilich, Kara L; Liao, Jessica; Oston, Azzara L; Ellerby, David J

    2012-08-01

    The obliquely striated muscle in the leech body wall has a broad functional repertoire; it provides power for both locomotion and suction feeding. It also operates over an unusually high strain range, undergoing up to threefold changes in length. Serotonin (5-HT) may support this functional flexibility, integrating behavior and biomechanics. It can act centrally, promoting motor outputs that drive body wall movements, and peripherally, modulating the mechanical properties of body wall muscle. During isometric contractions 5-HT enhances active force production and reduces resting muscle tone. We therefore hypothesized that 5-HT would increase net work output during the cyclical contractions associated with locomotion and feeding. Longitudinal strains measured during swimming, crawling and feeding were applied to body wall muscle in vitro with the timing and duration of stimulation selected to maximize net work output. The net work output during all simulated behaviors significantly increased in the presence of 100μM 5-HT relative to the 5-HT-free control condition. Without 5-HT the muscle strips could not achieve a net positive work output during simulated swimming. The decrease in passive tension associated with 5-HT may also be important in reducing muscle antagonist work during longitudinal muscle lengthening. The behavioral and mechanical effects of 5-HT during locomotion are clearly complementary, promoting particular behaviors and enhancing muscle performance during those behaviors. Although 5-HT can enhance muscle mechanical performance during simulated feeding, low in vivo activity in serotonergic neurons during feeding may mean that its mechanical role during this behavior is less important than during locomotion. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. The medical use of leeches in contemporary Spain: between science and tradition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallejo, Jose Ramon; Gonzalez, Jose Antonio

    2015-01-01

    In Spain leeches have been used both in popular and scientific medicine throughout its history. In this study we analyze the historical fluctuations of leech therapy. At the start of the 20th century it was still being used in in scientific medicine, as can be seen in the treatment administered to Germán Gamazo, a minister during the reign of Alfonso XII and the regency of Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, during a serious illness in 1901. Leech therapy was to fall dramatically into disuse and was to survive only in folk medicine, with leeches losing their reputation as a therapeutic agent. The data obtained is the result of a systematic review of the literature and of the major databases in the fields of folklore, ethnography, social anthropology and medical anthropology. Leeches have been used in Spanish folk medicine to treat ailments and disorders in up to 11 categories of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10), particularly in the treatment of diseases of the circulatory, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems. According to the available literature, they were part of the folk therapeutic arsenal, at least until the seventies of the last century. Our study also provides information about the medicinal use, commerce and consumption of these animals in recent years.

  5. Intranasal leech (hirudiniasis) common mode of presentation and sites of lodgment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, K.A.; Rafique, A.; Rafique, A.; Babur, S.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To assess the common mode of presentation and sites of lodgment in cases of nasal leech infestation. Design: Descriptive study. Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted in the ENT Department of Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital (CMH) Muzaffarabad from 10th Jan 2010 to 15th Feb 2012. Patients and Methods: After getting informed consent, total of 70 cases that fulfilled the inclusion criteria i.e patients irrespective of age and gender with a positive history of epistaxis and use of spring water for daily utilities and especially after exclusion of other known causes for epistaxis were included in this study. A thorough history followed by ENT examination including nasal endoscopy was carried out in each case and site of lodgment of leech documented. This was followed by removal of leech from nose. Results: The commonest mode of presentation of nasal leech was epistaxis (54.28%) and the commonest site of lodgment of leech was under the inferior turbinate (inferior meatus) (82.86%). Conclusion: This rare cause of epistaxis should be kept in mind once all other common causes are excluded especially if the patient belongs to low socioeconomic group and using fresh spring water for their consumption. A thorough search in the region of inferior meatus should be under taken aided by nasal endoscope if available. (author)

  6. May salivary gland secretory proteins from hematophagous leeches (Hirudo verbana reach pharmacologically relevant concentrations in the vertebrate host?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Lemke

    Full Text Available Saliva of hematophagous leeches (Hirudo sp. contains bioactive proteins which allow the leech proper feeding and storage of ingested blood, but may also exert effects in the host. Leech therapy is used to treat many different ailments in humans, although only a small fraction of salivary proteins are characterized yet. Moreover, we do not know whether complete transfer of salivary proteins stored in the unicellular salivary glands in a leech to the host during feeding may generate concentrations that are sufficiently high to affect physiological processes in the host. Our 3D reconstruction of a portion of internal leech tissue from histological sections revealed that one leech contains approx. 37,000 salivary gland cells. Using tissue slices from pig liver and mouse skeletal muscle for reference, we obtained data for protein densities in leech salivary gland cells. As individual salivary cells are voluminous (67,000 µm(3 and the stored proteins are densely packed (approx. 500 µg/mm(3, we extrapolated that a single leech may contain up to 1.2 mg of salivary proteins. Analyzing protein extracts of unfed or fed leeches by 2D electrophoresis, we calculated the relative molar amounts of individual salivary proteins in the mass range of 17-60 kDa which may be released from a single leech during feeding. Distribution of these salivary proteins in the host (assumed plasma volume of 5 l may result in concentrations of individual compounds between 3 and 236 pmol/l. Such concentrations seem sufficiently high to exert biochemical interactions with target molecules in the host.

  7. Local (Malaysian Leech as Alternative Healing Treatment and an Islamic Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZULHISYAM, A. K.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The therapy is known from the time of extreme antiquity, dating back more than 2,500 years ago and still being practiced nowadays. This fact testifies to its efficiency in various health problems. In some cases, traditional medical practitioners use leeches for therapeutic healing treatment which is known as ‘cupping’. Such remedial method is quickly gaining acceptance amongst the local folks which is now becoming a thriving business. Some have made this treatment as their main business even though the therapy is quite recent for people in this country. This article discusses the process of cupping by using leech in the Islamic perspective and also the uniqueness of the hirudin protein in leeches respectively.

  8. The Leech method for diagnosing constipation: intra- and interobserver variability and accuracy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lorijn, Fleur de; Voskuijl, Wieger P.; Taminiau, Jan A.; Benninga, Marc A. [Emma Children' s Hospital, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Rijn, Rick R. van; Henneman, Onno D.F. [Academic Medical Centre, Department of Radiology, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Heijmans, Jarom [Emma Children' s Hospital, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Academic Medical Centre, Department of Radiology, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Reitsma, Johannes B. [Academic Medical Centre, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    2006-01-01

    The data concerning the value of a plain abdominal radiograph in childhood constipation are inconsistent. Recently, positive results have been reported of a new radiographic scoring system, ''the Leech method'', for assessing faecal loading. To assess intra- and interobserver variability and determine diagnostic accuracy of the Leech method in identifying children with functional constipation (FC). A total of 89 children (median age 9.8 years) with functional gastrointestinal disorders were included in the study. Based on clinical parameters, 52 fulfilled the criteria for FC, six fulfilled the criteria for functional abdominal pain (FAP), and 31 for functional non-retentive faecal incontinence (FNRFI); the latter two groups provided the controls. To assess intra- and interobserver variability of the Leech method three scorers scored the same abdominal radiograph twice. A Leech score of 9 or more was considered as suggestive of constipation. ROC analysis was used to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the Leech method in separating patients with FC from control patients. Significant intraobserver variability was found between two scorers (P=0.005 and P<0.0001), whereas there was no systematic difference between the two scores of the other scorer (P=0.89). The scores between scorers differed systematically and displayed large variability. The area under the ROC curve was 0.68 (95% CI 0.58-0.80), indicating poor diagnostic accuracy. The Leech scoring method for assessing faecal loading on a plain abdominal radiograph is of limited value in the diagnosis of FC in children. (orig.)

  9. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N; Moestrup, Øjvind; Taylor, Edith L

    2012-12-18

    Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter the fossil record. Occasionally, however, exceptional fossil deposits that preserve soft-bodied organisms provide a rare glimpse of the true biodiversity during past periods of Earth history. We here present an extraordinary find of a fossil ciliate that is encased inside the wall layer of a more than 200 Ma leech cocoon from Antarctica. The microfossil consists of a helically contractile stalk that attaches to a main body with a peristomial feeding apparatus and a large C-shaped macronucleus. It agrees in every aspect with the living bell animals, such as Vorticella. Vorticellids and similar peritrichs are vital constituents of aquatic ecosystems worldwide, but so far have lacked any fossil record. This discovery offers a glimpse of ancient soft-bodied protozoan biotas, and also highlights the potential of clitellate cocoons as microscopic "conservation traps" comparable to amber.

  10. Microsurgical replantation and postoperative leech treatment of a large severed nasal segment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stemann Andersen, Peter; Elberg, Jens Jørgen

    2012-01-01

    The survival of a microsurgically replanted segment of nose in a 41-year-old woman was facilitated by the assistance of the medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis. An arterial microanastomosis was made to a severed partial segment of nose with no possibility of recreating a venous anastomosis. The re....... The resulting venous congestion was treated with nine days of treatment with a medical leech until venous neovascularisation had been achieved. At follow-up six months after discharge there was a well-heeled nasal segment and a satisfying functional - as well as cosmetic - result....

  11. Medicinal Leech Therapy for Glans Penis Congestion After Primary Bladder Exstrophy-Epispadias Repair in an Infant: A Case Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagenheim, Gavin N; Au, Jason; Gargollo, Patricio C

    2016-01-01

    Many postoperative complications have been reported after repair of classic bladder exstrophy. We present a case of medicinal leech therapy for glans penis congestion following exstrophy repair in an infant. A 2-week-old male with classic bladder exstrophy underwent complete primary repair. On postoperative day 1, he developed rapidly worsening glans penis venous congestion. Medicinal leech therapy was instituted with antibiotics and blood transfusions to maintain a hematocrit >30%. After 24 hours, venous congestion improved and therapy was discontinued. The patient's remaining hospital course was uncomplicated. Medicinal leeches are an effective therapy to relieve glans penis venous congestion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. An unusual cause of severe dyspnea: A laryngeal live leech: Case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Said Anajar

    2017-01-01

    Conclusion: Leeches should be suspected as an airway foreign body in patients with a recent history of drinking from stream water. Prevention remains the best treatment for such cases based simply on hygiene measures like not drinking stream water directly and filtering drinking water before it is used.

  13. An unusual cause of severe dyspnea: A laryngeal live leech: Case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anajar, Said; Ansari, Rachid; Hassnaoui, Jawad; Abada, Reda; Roubal, Mohammed; Mahtar, Mohammed

    2017-01-01

    Foreign bodies in the upper airways are one of the most challenging otolaryngology emergencies, leeches present a very rare cause of airway foreign bodies around the world. A 6-year-old girl was referred to our otolaryngology department at a tertiary university hospital with a severe dyspnea and hemoptysis. Nasofibroscopy revealed a dark living leech in the supraglottic area which extends to the glottis. The patient was urgently admitted to the operating room, the leech was grasped and removed with a foreign body forceps with a full length of more than 6cm. All symptoms were relieved post operatively and she was discharged one day later. Leeches should be suspected as an airway foreign body in patients with a recent history of drinking from stream water. Prevention remains the best treatment for such cases based simply on hygiene measures like not drinking stream water directly and filtering drinking water before it is used. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. The Physiology and Mechanics of Undulatory Swimming: A Student Laboratory Exercise Using Medicinal Leeches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellerby, David J.

    2009-01-01

    The medicinal leech is a useful animal model for investigating undulatory swimming in the classroom. Unlike many swimming organisms, its swimming performance can be quantified without specialized equipment. A large blood meal alters swimming behavior in a way that can be used to generate a discussion of the hydrodynamics of swimming, muscle…

  15. The Leech method for diagnosing constipation: intra- and interobserver variability and accuracy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Lorijn, Fleur; van Rijn, Rick R.; Heijmans, Jarom; Reitsma, Johannes B.; Voskuijl, Wieger P.; Henneman, Onno D. F.; Taminiau, Jan A.; Benninga, Marc A.

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The data concerning the value of a plain abdominal radiograph in childhood constipation are inconsistent. Recently, positive results have been reported of a new radiographic scoring system, "the Leech method", for assessing faecal loading. OBJECTIVE: To assess intra- and interobserver

  16. The life-cycle and feeding of the African freshwater leech Helobdella ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The life-cycle, breeding and feeding of the fresh water leech Helobdella conifera were examined in the laboratory. The life-cycle is annual with the young brooded by the parent for the first two months after hatching. Sexual maturity is attained two months after leaving the parent when the first batch of eggs are produced and ...

  17. Local covering optimality of lattices: Leech lattice versus root lattice $E_8$

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A. Schuermann; F. Vallentin (Frank)

    2005-01-01

    textabstractWe show that the Leech lattice gives a sphere covering which is locally least dense among lattice coverings. We show that a similar result is false for the root lattice $E_8$. For this we construct a less dense covering lattice whose Delone subdivision has a common refinement with the

  18. Leech presence on Iberian Brown Frog, Rana iberica, (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae from north-western Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Ayres

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The authors describe a case of parasitism on Rana iberica by two species of leeches, Batracobdella sp. and Hirudo medicinalis, in a mountainous area of north-western Spain. Conservation implications of high parasite load on small and isolated populations are discussed.

  19. The life-cycle and feeding of the African freshwater leech Helobdella ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The life-cycle. breeding and feeding of the freshWater leech Helobdella conifera were examined in the laboratory. The life-cycle is annual .... same day. were maintained for 10 days with 50 small H. duryi before being divided into three equal groups. The first group. R eprodu ced by Sabin et G atew ay u n der licen ce gran.

  20. Infections following the application of leeches: two case reports and review of the literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maetz Benjamin

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Since the 1980s, leeches have been ingeniously used in the management of venous flap congestion. The presence of anticoagulative substances in their saliva improves the blood drainage. Their digestive tract contains several bacterial species, the main ones being Aeromonas hydrophila and Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria, which contribute to the digestion of ingested blood. These bacteria can be the cause of infections. Case presentation We report two cases of septicemia related to Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria that presented after leeches had been applied to congested transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flaps for delayed mammary reconstructions. Patient number 1 was a 55-year-old Caucasian woman who underwent a delayed breast reconstruction procedure. On the sixth postoperative day she showed a clinical presentation of septicemia. Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria was identified in the patient’s skin and blood bacteriological samples. Her fever ceased after 4 days of antibiotic treatment. Patient number 2 was a 56-year-old Caucasian woman who underwent a delayed breast reconstruction procedure. On the seventh postoperative day we noticed that she showed a clinical presentation of septicemia. Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria was identified in the patient’s blood cultures and local bacteriological samples. An antibiogram showed resistance to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. Her fever ceased on the eleventh postoperative day after 4 days of antibiotic treatment. Conclusion The rate of infection after application of leeches is not negligible. The concentration of Aeromonas inside the digestive tracts of leeches largely decreases when the patient is under antibiotic therapy. These germs are sensitive to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones and resistant to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. We recommend preventive treatment based on classical measures of asepsis and on oral antibioprophylaxy with a fluoroquinolone

  1. A comparison study on the anti-leech effects of onion (Allium cepa L and ginger (Zingiber officinale with levamisole and triclabendazole

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bahmani Mahmoud

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Leech may indwell in mucosa of the pharynx, tonsil, esophagus, nose, nasopharyngeal and rarely in larynx of hosts, however, the effective drugs against this parasite is scarce. This study was aimed to evaluate and compare the anti-leech effect of methanolic extract of onion (Allium cepa L and ginger (Zingiber officinale with levamisole and triclabendazole. Materials and Methods: In this study, 60 leeches (Limnatis nilotica were collected from south of Ilam. The anti-leech effect of methanolic extract of onion and ginger in comparison with levamisole and triclabendazole drugs (positive controls were evaluated. Distilled water was used as negative control. Paralysis and death of leeches were recorded in 720 minutes. Results: Lethal effect of methanolic extract of ginger against Limnatis nilotica was equal to levamisole and more than triclabendazole and methanolic extract of onion. Conclusion: Ginger equal to levamisole has anti-leech activity and its methanolic extract might be used against Limnatis nilotica.

  2. A Glutamine-Rich Factor Affects Stem Cell Genesis in Leech

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    Kristi A. Hohenstein

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Leech embryogenesis is a model for investigating cellular and molecular processes of development. Due to the unusually large size of embryonic stem cells (teloblasts: 50–300 μm in the glossiphoniid leech, Theromyzon tessulatum, and the presence of identifiable stem cell precursors (proteloblasts, we previously isolated a group of genes upregulated upon stem cell birth. In the current study, we show that one of these genes, designated Theromyzon proliferation (Tpr, is required for normal stem cell genesis; specifically, transient Tpr knockdown experiments conducted with antisense oligonucleotides and monitored by semiquantitative RT-PCR, caused abnormal proteloblast proliferation leading to embryonic death, but did not overtly affect neuroectodermal or mesodermal stem cell development once these cells were born. Tpr encodes a large glutamine-rich (∼34% domain that shares compositional similarity with strong transcriptional enhancers many of which have been linked with trinucleotide repeat disorders (e.g., Huntington's.

  3. Chromoblastomycosis after a leech bite complicated by myiasis: a case report

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    Marschal Matthias

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chromoblastomycosis is a chronic mycotic infection, most common in the tropics and subtropics, following traumatic fungal implantation. Case presentation A 72 year-old farmer was admitted to Luang Namtha Provincial Hospital, northern Laos, with a growth on the left lower leg which began 1 week after a forefoot leech bite 10 years previously. He presented with a cauliflower-like mass and plaque-like lesions on his lower leg/foot and cellulitis with a purulent tender swelling of his left heel. Twenty-two Chrysomya bezziana larvae were extracted from his heel. PCR of a biopsy of a left lower leg nodule demonstrated Fonsecaea pedrosoi, monophora, or F. nubica. He was successfully treated with long term terbinafin plus itraconazole pulse-therapy and local debridement. Conclusions Chromoblastomycosis is reported for the first time from Laos. It carries the danger of bacterial and myiasis superinfection. Leech bites may facilitate infection.

  4. Reelin secreted by GABAergic neurons regulates glutamate receptor homeostasis.

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    Cecilia Gonzalez Campo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Reelin is a large secreted protein of the extracellular matrix that has been proposed to participate to the etiology of schizophrenia. During development, reelin is crucial for the correct cytoarchitecture of laminated brain structures and is produced by a subset of neurons named Cajal-Retzius. After birth, most of these cells degenerate and reelin expression persists in postnatal and adult brain. The phenotype of neurons that bind secreted reelin and whether the continuous secretion of reelin is required for physiological functions at postnatal stages remain unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Combining immunocytochemical and pharmacological approaches, we first report that two distinct patterns of reelin expression are present in cultured hippocampal neurons. We show that in hippocampal cultures, reelin is secreted by GABAergic neurons displaying an intense reelin immunoreactivity (IR. We demonstrate that secreted reelin binds to receptors of the lipoprotein family on neurons with a punctate reelin IR. Secondly, using calcium imaging techniques, we examined the physiological consequences of reelin secretion blockade. Blocking protein secretion rapidly and reversibly changes the subunit composition of N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors (NMDARs to a predominance of NR2B-containing NMDARs. Addition of recombinant or endogenously secreted reelin rescues the effects of protein secretion blockade and reverts the fraction of NR2B-containing NMDARs to control levels. Therefore, the continuous secretion of reelin is necessary to control the subunit composition of NMDARs in hippocampal neurons. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data show that the heterogeneity of reelin immunoreactivity correlates with distinct functional populations: neurons synthesizing and secreting reelin and/or neurons binding reelin. Furthermore, we show that continuous reelin secretion is a strict requirement to maintain the composition of NMDARs. We propose

  5. In vivo selection of a multidrug-resistant Aeromonas salmonicida during medicinal leech therapy

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    E. Ruppé

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We report the selection in a 15-year-old boy of a multidrug-resistant, extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL-producing Aeromonas salmonicida after medicinal leech therapy that required an antibiotic prophylaxis based on piperacillin/tazobactam and cotrimoxazole. Whole genome sequencing of the strain indeed revealed 13 antibiotic resistance genes, including the ESBL CTX-M-3 and the unusual β-lactamase SCO-1.

  6. Effect of physico-chemical parameters of water containing leech in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The physic-chemical parameters of water samples containing leech from the University of Port Harcourt, Abuja Community were examined, between July – September, 2012. The major findings of the results showed that at a low temperature of 210C the pH was 4.4 – 4.58 a high increase in BOD, 2.60 – 17.8, COD 12.00 ...

  7. Small bite, large impact-saliva and salivary molecules in the medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis

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    Hildebrandt, Jan-Peter; Lemke, Sarah

    2011-12-01

    Blood-sucking leeches have been used for medical purposes in humans for hundreds of years. Accordingly, one of the most prominent species has been named Hirudo medicinalis by Carl Linne in 1758. Feeding on vertebrate blood poses some serious problems to blood-sucking ectoparasites, as they have to penetrate the body surface of the host and to suppress the normal reactions of the host to such injuries (swelling, pain, inflammation) to remain undetected during the feeding period. Furthermore, the parasites have to take measures to inhibit the normal reactions in host tissues to blood vessel damage, namely hemostasis and blood coagulation (platelet aggregation and activation, activation of thrombin and formation of fibrin clots). During evolution, leeches have acquired the ability to control these processes in their hosts by transferring various bioactive substances to the host. These substances are supposedly produced in unicellular salivary gland cells and injected into the wound at the feeding site through tiny salivary ductule openings in the jaws that the leech uses to slice open the host body surface and to cut blood vessels in the depth of the wound. This review summarizes current knowledge about the salivary gland cells and the biological effects of individual saliva components as well as hints to the potential usefulness of some of these compounds for medical purposes.

  8. Experimental Investigation on the Morphology and Adhesion Mechanism of Leech Posterior Suckers.

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    Huashan Feng

    Full Text Available The posterior sucker of a leech represents a fascinating natural system that allows the leech to adhere to different terrains and substrates. However, the mechanism of adhesion and desorption has not yet to be elucidated. In order to better understand how the adhesion is performed, we analyzed the surface structure, adsorption movements, the muscles' distribution, physical characteristics, and the adsorption force of the leech posterior suckers by experimental investigation. Three conclusions can be drawn based on the obtained experimental results. First, the adhesion by the posterior sucker is wet adhesion, because the surface of the posterior sucker is smooth and the sealing can only be achieved on wet surfaces. Second, the deformation texture, consisting of soft collagen tissues and highly ductile epidermal tissues, plays a key role in adhering to rough surfaces. Finally, the adhesion and desorption is achieved by the synergetic operation of six muscle fibers working in different directions. Concrete saying, directional deformation of the collagen/epithermal interface driven by spatially-distributed muscle fibers facilitates the excretion of fluids in the sucker venter, thus allowing liquid sealing. Furthermore, we found that the adhesion strength is directly related to the size of the contact surface which is generated and affected by the sucker deformation. Such an underlying physical mechanism offers potential cues for developing innovative bio-inspired artificial adhesion systems.

  9. Comparative and evaluation of anti-leech (Limnatis Nilotica effect of Olive (Olea Europaea L. with Levamisol and Tiabendazole

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    Majid Gholami-Ahangaran

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Until now, there is no registered drug for treatment of complications with leech in the world. According to the available scientific evidence, Olive is an effective anti-parasitic plant. Hence, in the present experiment we studied the inhibitory and killing effect of Olive methanolic extract on Limnatis nilotica. Methods: In this study, 100 leeches (Limnatis nilotica were collected from some wells in western area of Iran (south region in Ilam province and evaluated the antileech effects of Olive methanolic extract (Olea europaea L. in comparison with levamisole and tinidazole. Results: The results indicated no effect of tinidasole and distilled water on killing or mortality rate of the leeches but Olea europaea L. plant and levamisole have more effect on the L. nilotica. The mean death time of leech for levamisole and Olive determined 10依0.98 and 210依 24.1 minutes, respectively. Conclusions: The results showed that treatments of Olive methanolic extract and levamisole have the most effects on leeches and could be used as natural anti-L. nilotica. However it is necessary to achieve further studies for confirm of this subject.

  10. Morphological and molecular characterization of a new species of leech (Glossiphoniidae, Hirudinida: Implications for the health of its imperiled amphibian host (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis

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    William A. Hopkins

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis is among the most intriguing and imperiled amphibians in North America. Since the 1970s and 80s, western populations of the Ozark and eastern subspecies in Missouri have declined by nearly 80%. As a result of population declines, the Ozark hellbender was recently federally protected as an endangered species, and the eastern subspecies was granted protection under CITES. Although habitat degradation is probably the biggest threat to hellbender populations, recent evidence suggests that pathogens including chytrid fungus and “flesh-eating” bacteria may also contribute to declines in Ozark hellbenders. Leeches, which are very common on Ozark hellbenders, have recently been implicated as possible vectors of disease among Ozark hellbenders but have not been described in eastern hellbenders or outside of Missouri and Arkansas. We discovered a population of leeches on eastern hellbenders in southwest Virginia and confirmed that the species of leech is within the genus Placobdella, but is morphologically and genetically distinct from all previously described leech species. We named the new species Placobdella appalachiensis sp. n. Moser and Hopkins, based on the mountainous region in which it was discovered. Our surveys over a three consecutive year period suggested that this leech species may be patchily distributed and/or have a narrow geographic range. We consistently detected leeches at one site (mean prevalence in 80 hellbenders = 27.5%; median intensity = 3.0 leeches per parasitized hellbender [range 1 - >250 leeches] during three years of surveys, but we never found leeches in any of our other seven study sites in two streams (mean prevalence in 139 hellbenders = 0%. We found a significant positive relationship between hellbender body size and the intensity of parasitism, and we suggest the possibility that the behavioral ecology of adults leading up to reproduction may increase their encounter

  11. ACETYL-L-CARNITINE AFFECTS THE ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY OF MECHANOSENSORY NEURONS IN HIRUDO MEDICINALIS GANGLIA

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    Giovanna Traina

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Was previously discovered that in the leech Hirudo medicinalis, acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC affects forms of non-associative learning, such as sensitization and dishabituation, due to nociceptive stimulation of the dorsal skin in the swim induction behavioural paradigm, likely through modulating the activity of the mechanosensory tactile (T neurons, which initiate swimming. Since was found that ALC impaired sensitization and dishabituation, both of which are mediated by the neurotransmitter serotonin, the present study analyzed how ALC may interfere with the sensitizing response. Was already found that ALC reduced the activity of nociceptive (N neurons, which modulate T cell activity through serotonergic mediation.

  12. Neocortical neuronal morphology in the newborn giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) and African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Bob; Lee, Laura; Schall, Matthew; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H; Kottwitz, Jack J; Roberts, John F; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C

    2016-02-01

    Although neocortical neuronal morphology has been documented in the adult giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) and African elephant (Loxodonta africana), no research has explored the cortical architecture in newborns of these species. To this end, the current study examined the morphology of neurons from several cortical areas in the newborn giraffe and elephant. After cortical neurons were stained with a modified Golgi technique (N = 153), dendritic branching and spine distributions were analyzed by using computer-assisted morphometry. The results showed that newborn elephant neurons were considerably larger in terms of all dendritic and spine measures than newborn giraffe neurons. Qualitatively, neurons in the newborns appeared morphologically comparable to those in their adult counterparts. Neurons in the newborn elephant differed considerably from those observed in other placental mammals, including the giraffe, particularly with regard to the morphology of spiny projection neurons. Projection neurons were observed in both species, with a much larger variety in the elephant (e.g., flattened pyramidal, nonpyramidal multipolar, and inverted pyramidal neurons). Although local circuit neurons (i.e., interneurons, neurogliaform, Cajal-Retzius neurons) resembled those observed in other eutherian mammals, these were usually spiny, which contrasts with their adult, aspiny equivalents. Newborn projection neurons were smaller than the adult equivalents in both species, but newborn interneurons were approximately the same size as their adult counterparts. Cortical neuromorphology in the newborn giraffe is thus generally consistent with what has been observed in other cetartiodactyls, whereas newborn and adult elephant morphology appears to deviate substantially from what is commonly observed in other placental mammals. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. An annotated check list of the leeches (Annelida : Hirudinea of the Kruger National Park with a key to the species

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    J.H. Oosthuizen

    1991-09-01

    Full Text Available The diagnosis, distribution and bionomics of the ten species of leeches occurring in the Kruger National Park and a key to the identification of the species are presented. Seven species belong to the family Glossiphoniidae, two to the family Hirudinidae and one species to the family Salifidae. The African fish leech Batracobdelloides tricarinatus and the reptilian parasite Placobdelloidesmultistriatus are the most common species in the park. Two of the three snail leeches occurring in the reserve, viz. Alboglossiphoniadisjuncta and Helobdella conifera, the predaceous Salifa perspicax and the sanguivorous Hirudo michaelseni are widespread but not common. The snail leech Alboglossiphonia conjugata occurs only in the small Madzaringwi River and its tributaries located in the most northern part of the park. The amphibian parasite Oosthuizobdella stuhlmanni was found only at two adjacent localities in the most southern reaches of the park with the sanguivorous Asiatic obdella buntonensis limited to the southern half of the reserve. The host-specific parasite of hippopotami, Placobdelloidesjaegerskioeldi, is restricted to habitats inhabited by its host.

  14. Comparison of precursor structures of the GGNG peptides derived from the earthworm Eisenia foetida and the leech Hirudo nipponia.

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    Minakata, H; Ikeda, T; Nagahama, T; Oumi, T; Ukena, K; Matsushima, O; Kawano, T; Kimura, Y

    1999-02-01

    Earthworm and leech cDNAs encoding the GGNG peptides, a family of myotropic peptides, were cloned and examined in this study. Both of the predicted precursor proteins are of polyprotein structure and contain several putative peptides distinct from the GGNG peptides. However, the precursors show organizations distinct from each other and no sequence similarity except for the GGNG peptides.

  15. A new molecular logic for BMP-mediated dorsoventral patterning in the leech Helobdella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Dian-Han; Weisblat, David A

    2011-08-09

    Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is broadly implicated in dorsoventral (DV) patterning of bilaterally symmetric animals [1-3], and its role in axial patterning apparently predates the birth of Bilateria [4-7]. In fly and vertebrate embryos, BMPs and their antagonists (primarily Sog/chordin) diffuse and interact to generate signaling gradients that pattern fields of cells [8-10]. Work in other species reveals diversity in essential facets of this ancient patterning process, however. Here, we report that BMP signaling patterns the DV axis of segmental ectoderm in the leech Helobdella, a clitellate annelid (superphylum Lophotrochozoa) featuring stereotyped developmental cell lineages, but the detailed mechanisms of DV patterning in Helobdella differ markedly from fly and vertebrates. In Helobdella, BMP2/4s are expressed broadly, rather than in dorsal territory, whereas a dorsally expressed BMP5-8 specifies dorsal fate by short-range signaling. A BMP antagonist, gremlin, is upregulated by BMP5-8 in dorsolateral, rather than ventral territory, and yet the BMP-antagonizing activity of gremlin is required for normal ventral cell fates. Gremlin promotes ventral fates without disrupting dorsal fates by selectively inhibiting BMP2/4s, not BMP5-8. Thus, DV patterning in the development of the leech revealed unexpected evolutionary plasticity of the conserved BMP patterning system, presumably reflecting its adaptation to different modes of embryogenesis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Decision Points: The factors influencing the decision to feed in the medicinal leech

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    Quentin eGaudry

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The decision to feed is a complex task that requires several small independent choices. Am I hungry? Where do I look for food? Is there something better I’d rather be doing? When should I stop? With all of these questions, it is no wonder that decisions about feeding depend on several sensory modalities and that the influences of these sensory systems would be evident throughout the nervous system. The leech is uniquely well suited for studying these complicated questions due to its relatively simple nervous system, its exceptionally well-characterized behaviors and neural circuits, and the ease with which one can perform semi-intact preparations to study the link between physiology and decision-making. We will begin this review by discussing the cellular substrates that govern the decision to initiate and to terminate a bout of feeding. We will then discuss how feeding temporarily blocks competing behaviors from being expressed while the animal continues to feed. Then we will review what is currently known about how feeding affects long-term behavioral choices of the leech. Finally, we conclude with a short discussion of the advantages of the leech’s decision-making circuit’s design and how this design might be applicable to all decision circuits.

  17. The European land leech: biology and DNA-based taxonomy of a rare species that is threatened by climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutschera, U; Pfeiffer, I; Ebermann, E

    2007-12-01

    The European land leech Xerobdella lecomtei was discovered in 1868 and is one of the rarest animals on Earth. During the 1960s, several individuals of these approx. 40 mm long, cold-adapted terrestrial annelids that inhabit the moist soils of birch forests around Graz, Austria, were investigated. Only one original research paper has been published on the biology of this species. Between 2001 and 2005, we re-investigated the morphology of preserved specimens and searched for living individuals in their natural habitat that appeared to be intact. We found only one juvenile individual (length approx. 10 mm), indicating that this local leech population became largely extinct over the past four decades. The feeding behaviour of our 'lonesome George of the annelids' was studied and is described here in detail. After its death, the Xerobdella individual was used for chemical extraction and molecular studies (deoxyribonucleic acid [DNA] barcoding, based on one gene, the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I). In addition, novel DNA barcodes for a land leech from Madagascar and a recently discovered species from Europe were obtained. Our phylogenetic tree shows that X. lecomtei is not a member of the tropical land leeches (family Haemadipsidae), as previously thought, but represents a separate line of descent (family Xerobdellidae). The decline of the local leech population around Graz correlates with a rise in average summer temperatures of +3 degrees C between 1961 and 2004. This warming led to a drastic reduction in the moisture content of the soil where X. lecomtei lives. We suggest that human-induced climate change without apparent habitat destruction can lead to the extinction of populations of cold-adapted species that have a low colonization ability.

  18. Rediscovery of two rare butterflies Papilio elephenor Doubleday, 1845 and Shijimia moorei Leech, 1889 from proposed Ripu-Chirang Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India

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    K. Choudhury

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Two rare butterflies Papilio elephenor Doubleday, 1886 and Moore’s Cupid Shijimia moorei Leech, 1889 were rediscovered from the proposed Ripu-Chirang Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India.

  19. Leech-Like Parasites (Clitellata, Acanthobdellida Infecting Native and Endemic Eastern Siberian Salmon Fishes

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    Irina A. Kaygorodova

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Salmonoid fish bdellosis is caused by leech-like ectoparasites in the monogenetic order Acanthobdellida. Although Acanthobdella species have been known to infect several threatened species in Eurasia, little is known about their ecology and epidemiology. In this paper, we report on the mass affection (up to 70.7% of fish in lower course of the Chechuj River, a right tributary of the Lena and provide information on finding Acanthobdella peledina on two of six salmonoid fish species inhabiting there: lenok and grayling. New and more specific data on morphological peculiarities and feeding strategy were obtained. The ratio of body length to width in studied acanthobdellid collection is significantly less than one provided for the A. livanowi and the rest A. peledina from other water systems of Eurasia. Biology and lifestyle of the parasite population are revealed for the first time.

  20. The use of medicinal leeches in fingertip replantation without venous anastomosis - case report of a 4-year-old patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streit, L; Dvořák, Z; Novák, O; Stiborová, S; Veselý, J

    2014-01-01

    Replantation of amputated fingertip is a technical challenge to the microsurgeons. The success rate depends directly on the availability and the size of preserved vessels and on the degree of their damage. In distal digital amputations, veins are usually not easily recovered or even absent, and thus high number of replantation procedures fails because of the venous congestion. The use of medicinal leeches is a treatment option for venous congestion of replanted fingers. A case report of a 4-year-old patient after fingertip replantation without venous anastomosis when temporary venous drainage was provided by an application of medicinal leeches is reported together with literature review. We observed an unusually short duration of venous congestion (48 hours) and there was no need of blood transfusion.

  1. From the Worm in a Bottle of Mezcal: iDNA Confirmation of a Leech Parasitizing the Antillean Manatee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Flores, J; Rueda-Calderon, H; Kvist, S; Siddall, M E; Oceguera-Figueroa, A

    2016-10-01

    Invertebrate-derived ingested DNA (iDNA) is quickly proving to be a valuable, non-invasive tool for monitoring vertebrate species of conservation concern. Using the DNA barcoding locus, we successfully identified both the blood-feeding leech Haementeria acuecueyetzin and its blood meal-the latter is shown to be derived from the Caribbean manatee, Trichechus manatus . DNA amplification was successful despite the fact that the specimen was fixed in Mezcal (a beverage distilled from agave). We report the first confirmed case of a leech feeding on a manatee, the first record of H. acuecueyetzin for the State of Chiapas and, to our knowledge, the first case of successful DNA amplification of a biological sample fixed in Mezcal other than the caterpillar "worms" more commonly found in that beverage.

  2. Leech Therapy for the Treatment of Venous Congestion in Flaps, Digital Re-Plants and Revascularizatons - A Two-Year Review from a Regional Centre

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butt, A. M.; Ismail, A.; Lawson-Smith, M.; Shahid, M.; Webb, J.; Chester, D. L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Leeches are a well-recognized treatment for congested tissue. This study reviewed the efficacy of leech therapy for salvage of venous congested flaps and congested replanted or revascularized hand digits over a 2-year period. Methods: All patients treated with leeches between 1 Oct 2010 and 30 Sep 2012 (two years) at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK were included in the study. Details regarding mode of injury requiring reconstruction, surgical procedure, leech therapy duration, subsequent surgery requirement and tissue salvage rates were recorded. Results: Twenty tissues in 18 patients required leeches for tissue congestion over 2 years: 13 men and 5 women. The mean patient age was 41 years (range 17-79). The defect requiring reconstruction was trauma in 16 cases, following tumour resection in two, and two miscellaneous causes. Thirteen cases had flap reconstruction and seven digits in six patients had hand digit replantations or revascularisation. Thirteen of 20 cases (65 percent) had successful tissue salvage following leech therapy for congestion (77 percent in 10 out of 13 flaps, and 43 percent in 3 of 7 digits). The rate of tissue salvage in pedicled flaps was good 6/6 (100 percent) and so was in digital revascularizations 2/3 (67 percent), but poor in digital re-plants 1/4 (25 percent) and free flaps 0/2 (0 percent). Conclusion: Leeches are a helpful tool for congested tissue salvage and in this study, showed a greater survival benefit for pedicled flaps than for free flaps or digital replantations. (author)

  3. A new species of leech of the genus Placobdella (Hirudinida, Glossiphoniidae from the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis in Mississippi, USA

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    Dennis J. Richardson

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available To date, the only species of leech reported from the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis is Placobdella multilineata. Seven specimens of a previously undescribed species of Placobdella were collected from the feet and lower jaw of a single female alligator from the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area, George County, Mississippi. The new species was named Placobdella siddalli Richardson & Moser, sp. n., in honor of the contributions of Dr. Mark Siddall to our understanding of the biology of leeches. Placobdella siddalli Richardson & Moser is similar to other papillated members of the genus Placobdella, but differs from Placobdella ali Hughes & Siddall, 2007, Placobdella rugosa (Verrill, 1874, Placobdella multilineata Moore, 1953, and Placobdella papillifera (Verrill, 1872 in coloration, papillation, ventral striping, and in the possession of a relatively large caudal sucker. In addition, molecular comparison of 626 nucleotides of CO-I between the new species and other papillated leeches (P. ali, P. multilineata, Placobdella ornata, P. papillifera, P. rugosa revealed interspecific differences of 14.0–18.0% (88–113 nucleotides.

  4. Comparative Transcriptomic Analyses of Three Species of Placobdella (Rhynchobdellida: Glossiphoniidae) Confirms a Single Origin of Blood Feeding in Leeches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddall, Mark E; Brugler, Mercer R; Kvist, Sebastian

    2016-02-01

    One of the recalcitrant questions regarding the evolutionary history of clitellate annelids involves the feeding preference of the common ancestor of extant rhynchobdellid (proboscis bearing) and arhynchobdellid (jaw bearing) leeches. Whereas early evidence, based on morphological data, pointed towards independent acquisitions of blood feeding in the 2 orders, molecular-based phylogenetic data suggest that the ancestor of modern leeches was a sanguivore. Here, we use a comparative transcriptomic approach in order to increase our understanding of the diversity of anticoagulation factors for 3 species of the genus Placobdella, for which comparative data have been lacking, and inspect these in light of archetypal anticoagulant data for both arhynchobdellid and other rhynchobdellid species. Notwithstanding the varying levels of host specificity displayed by the 3 different species of Placobdella, transcriptomic profiles with respect to anticoagulation factors were largely similar -this despite the fact that Placobdella kwetlumye only retains a single pair of salivary glands, as opposed to the 2 pairs more common in the genus. Results show that 9 different anticoagulant proteins and an additional 5 putative antihemostasis proteins are expressed in salivary secretions of the 3 species. In particular, an ortholog of the archetypal, single-copy, anticoagulant hirudin (not previously available as comparative data for rhynchobdellids) is present in at least 2 of 3 species examined, corroborating the notion of a single origin of blood feeding in the ancestral leech.

  5. Simple diagnostic approach to childhood fecal retention using the Leech score and Bristol stool form scale in medical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Hong; Lee, Mi Jung; Kim, Myung Joon; Shin, Jae Il; Chung, Ki Sup

    2010-02-01

    To assess fecal retention, plain abdominal radiography is frequently used to complement the clinical history and physical examination, and three scoring systems have been proposed by Barr, Blethyn, and Leech on a single abdominal radiography. The aim of the present study was to find simple and useful diagnostic tools for an approach to fecal retention by correlation of the three scoring systems with the clinical characteristics. This study included 76 children (5.6-15.4 years, male : female = 33:43) who presented with various gastrointestinal complaints and 20 healthy children from the years 2004-2008. Defecation characteristics, abdominal pain, anorexia and nausea, the Bristol stool form scale, and colonic transit time were studied. Plain abdominal radiographs were independently scored with the three scoring systems by a pediatrician and a radiologist. The k-value of the Leech score (0.912) between two of the observers was higher than the others (Barr 0.870 and Blethyn 0.670), and the correlation coefficients of the Leech scoring system by a pediatrician in relation to the colonic transit time (r = 0.861, P Bristol stool form scale (r = -0.818, P Bristol stool form scale may be simple and useful diagnostic tools for pediatricians to access childhood fecal loading in outpatient clinics along with a thorough clinical history.

  6. Construction of a medicinal leech transcriptome database and its application to the identification of leech homologs of neural and innate immune genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wincker Patrick

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis, is an important model system for the study of nervous system structure, function, development, regeneration and repair. It is also a unique species in being presently approved for use in medical procedures, such as clearing of pooled blood following certain surgical procedures. It is a current, and potentially also future, source of medically useful molecular factors, such as anticoagulants and antibacterial peptides, which may have evolved as a result of its parasitizing large mammals, including humans. Despite the broad focus of research on this system, little has been done at the genomic or transcriptomic levels and there is a paucity of openly available sequence data. To begin to address this problem, we constructed whole embryo and adult central nervous system (CNS EST libraries and created a clustered sequence database of the Hirudo transcriptome that is available to the scientific community. Results A total of ~133,000 EST clones from two directionally-cloned cDNA libraries, one constructed from mRNA derived from whole embryos at several developmental stages and the other from adult CNS cords, were sequenced in one or both directions by three different groups: Genoscope (French National Sequencing Center, the University of Iowa Sequencing Facility and the DOE Joint Genome Institute. These were assembled using the phrap software package into 31,232 unique contigs and singletons, with an average length of 827 nt. The assembled transcripts were then translated in all six frames and compared to proteins in NCBI's non-redundant (NR and to the Gene Ontology (GO protein sequence databases, resulting in 15,565 matches to 11,236 proteins in NR and 13,935 matches to 8,073 proteins in GO. Searching the database for transcripts of genes homologous to those thought to be involved in the innate immune responses of vertebrates and other invertebrates yielded a set of nearly one hundred

  7. leech infestation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GB

    2013-03-01

    Mar 1, 2013 ... fish, amphibians, and mammals. Infestation occurs by drinking infested water from quiet streams, pools and springs. They attach to their hosts ... trauma, foreign body ingestion, throat pain, fever, dysphagia and drug intake. He has no malena, haematuria, epistaxis or ecchymotic spots on the body. He had ...

  8. Phylogenetic and morphological characterization of trypanosomes from Brazilian armoured catfishes and leeches reveal high species diversity, mixed infections and a new fish trypanosome species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemos, Moara; Fermino, Bruno R; Simas-Rodrigues, Cíntia; Hoffmann, Luísa; Silva, Rosane; Camargo, Erney P; Teixeira, Marta M G; Souto-Padrón, Thaïs

    2015-11-06

    Several Trypanosoma species transmitted by leeches infect marine and freshwater fish worldwide. To date, all South American fish trypanosome species identified have been based on unreliable morphological parameters. We recently isolated and cultured trypanosomes from the Brazilian armoured catfishes Hypostomus luetkeni and H. affinis. Here, we report the first phylogenetic analyses of South American (Brazilian) trypanosomes isolated from fish, and from leeches removed from these fish. We also analysed morphologically and morphometrically the different forms of fish, leech and cultured trypanosomes. V7V8 SSU rRNA and gGAPDH sequences were used for phylogenetic analysis of Brazilian fish and leech trypanosomes. Trypanosomes from cultures, fish blood and leech samples were also characterized morphologically and morphometrically by light and electron microscopy. In blood smears from fish high trypanosome prevalence (90-100 %) and parasitemia (0.9-1.0x10(2)) were observed. Phylogenetic relationships using SSU rRNA and gGAPDH showed that, despite relevant sequence divergence, all Brazilian fish (and derived cultures) and leech trypanosomes clustered together into a single clade. The Brazilian clade clustered with European, North American and African fish trypanosomes. Based on sequence analysis, we uncovered a new species of Brazilian fish trypanosome, Trypanosoma abeli n. sp. Trypanosoma abeli cultures contained pleomorphic epimastigotes, small trypomastigotes and rare sphaeromastigotes. Ultrastructural features of T. abeli included a cytostome-cytopharynx complex in epi- and trypomastigotes, a compact rod-like kinetoplast, lysosome-related organelles (LROs) and multivesicular bodies. Trypanosomes found in fish blood smears and leech samples were highly pleomorphic, in agreement with sequence data suggesting that catfishes and leeches often have mixed trypanosome infections. Trypanosoma abeli n. sp. is the first trypanosome from South American fishes isolated in

  9. Conversion of recombinant hirudin to the natural form by in vitro tyrosine sulfation. Differential substrate specificities of leech and bovine tyrosylprotein sulfotransferases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niehrs, C; Huttner, W B; Carvallo, D; Degryse, E

    1990-06-05

    Hirudin, a tyrosine-sulfated protein secreted by the leech Hirudo medicinalis, is one of the most potent anticoagulants known. The hirudin cDNA has previously been cloned and has been expressed in yeast, but the resulting recombinant protein was found to be produced in the unsulfated form, which is known to have an at least 10 times lower affinity for thrombin than the naturally occurring tyrosine-sulfated hirudin. Here we describe the in vitro tyrosine sulfation of recombinant hirudin by leech and bovine tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase (TPST). With both enzymes, in vitro sulfation of recombinant hirudin occurred at the physiological site (Tyr-63) and rendered the protein biochemically and biologically indistinguishable from natural hirudin. However, leech TPST had an over 20-fold lower apparent Km value for recombinant hirudin than bovine TPST. Further differences in the catalytic properties of leech and bovine TPSTs were observed when synthetic peptides were tested as substrates. Moreover, a synthetic peptide corresponding to the 9 carboxyl-terminal residues of hirudin (which include Tyr-63) was sulfated by leech TPST with a similar apparent Km value as full length hirudin, indicating that structural determinants residing in the immediate vicinity of Tyr-63 are sufficient for sulfation to occur.

  10. The Ozobranchus leech is a candidate mechanical vector for the fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus found latently infecting skin tumors on Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenblatt, Rebecca J.; Work, Thierry M.; Balazs, George H.; Sutton, Claudia A.; Casey, Rufina N.; Casey, James W.

    2004-01-01

    Fibropapillomatosis (FP) of marine turtles is a neoplastic disease of ecological concern. A fibropapilloma-associated turtle herpesvirus (FPTHV) is consistently present, usually at loads exceeding one virus copy per tumor cell. DNA from an array of parasites of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) was examined with quantitative PCR (qPCR) to determine whether any carried viral loads are sufficient to implicate them as vectors for FPTHV. Marine leeches (Ozobranchus spp.) were found to carry high viral DNA loads; some samples approached 10 million copies per leech. Isopycnic sucrose density gradient/qPCR analysis confirmed that some of these copies were associated with particles of the density of enveloped viruses. The data implicate the marine leech Ozobranchus as a mechanical vector for FPTHV. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of FPTHV gene expression indicated that most of the FPTHV copies in a fibropapilloma have restricted DNA polymerase expression, suggestive of latent infection

  11. [Leeches, phytotherapy and physiotherapy in osteo-arthrosis of the knee--a geriatric case study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teut, Michael; Warning, Albrecht

    2008-10-01

    Chronic pain is a serious problem for geriatric patients. Conventional pharmacotherapy with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opiates is often accompanied by serious side effects. An 87-year-old woman with severe joint pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee presented with side effects from fentanyl therapy. She was subsequently treated in an inpatient setting with leeches, phytotherapy, physiotherapy and three single doses of metamizol. Prospective single-case study. Pain reduction was assessed with a numeric rating scale (0-10; 0 = minimum; 10 = maximum), mobility by walking distance, and activities of daily living by Barthel index. The association between complementary therapy and the changes observed in the patient under treatment were evaluated using cognition-based medicine. Under complementary therapy, the patient experienced a clear reduction in pain (from 8 to 3 points on the numeric rating scale); regained the ability to walk (increase in walking distance from 0 to 70 m); and showed improvements in activities of daily living (increase in Barthel index from 45 to 65). An association between pain reduction and the complementary treatment setting seems likely. The role of complementary pain therapy in geriatric patients should be evaluated systematically. 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

  12. Generation of recombinant destabilase-lysozyme from medicinal leeches in three different expression systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manuvera, Valentin A; Kurdyumov, Alexey S; Filonova, Kseniya A; Lazarev, Vassili N

    2015-12-01

    Destabilase-lysozyme (mlDL) is an enzyme secreted by the salivary gland cells of medicinal leeches. Destabilase-lysozyme possesses lysozyme and isopeptidase activities. We generated recombinant destabilase-lysozyme isoform 2 in three expression systems, i.e., in the bacteria Escherichia coli, in the yeast Pichia pastoris, and in the human cell line Expi293F. In E. coli, we generated both polypeptide in inclusion bodies that was later undergone to the refolding and soluble protein that had been fused with the chaperone SlyD. The chaperone was later cleaved by a specific TEV-protease. In cultures of the yeast P. pastoris and the human cell line Expi293F, the soluble form of destabilase-lysozyme was accumulated in the culture media. For the generated enzymes, we determined the lysozyme, isopeptidase and fibrinolytic activities and tested their general antimicrobial effects. The comparisons of the enzymes generated in the different expression systems revealed that all of the destabilase-lysozymes obtained in the soluble forms possessed equal levels of lysozyme, isopeptidase and fibrinolytic activities that exceeded several to ten times the levels of the same activities of the destabilase-lysozyme renaturated from the inclusion bodies. A similar pattern of the differences in the levels of the general antimicrobial effects was observed for the destabilase-lysozymes generated in the soluble form and as inclusion bodies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Clinical report of still-birth in a goat due to leech infestation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y Gharedaghi

    2010-08-01

    At autumn 2009 a four year old pregnant white indigenous female goat was referred to the veterinary clinic located in Sarab. At initial examinations clinical symptoms such as cachexia, sever pains of parturition, rest less and provocation was seen and as the result of these sever pains tachycardia, tachy pnea, teeth grinding and grades of anemia was seen at mucous membranes and the animal could not stand. The fetus had entered the pelvic canal with flexion of the metacarpus and following correction of this position, it was extracted manually. The newly born kid had anasarcus and generalized edema in the forelimbs, hindlimbs and skull. During manual extraction of the fetus, 20 worms about 10–12 cm in length were discharged from the goats vagina. Isolated parasitic samples from the animal were fixed in %10 formalin and were referred to the parasitological laboratory of veterinary faculty of Islamic Azad university- Tabriz Branch. After further examinations they were identified as limnatis nilotica leeches. The kid goat died hours after birth because of respiratory difficulties.

  14. Noisy Neurons

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Nerves are fibres that conduct electrical signals and hence pass on information from and to the brain. Nerves are made of nerve cells called neurons (Figure 1). Instructions in our body are sent via electrical signals that present themselves as variations in the potential across neuronal membranes. These potential differences ...

  15. [Mirror neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia Vila, Francisco José

    2011-01-01

    Mirror neurons were recently discovered in frontal brain areas of the monkey. They are activated when the animal makes a specific movement, but also when the animal observes the same movement in another animal. Some of them also respond to the emotional expression of other animals of the same species. These mirror neurons have also been found in humans. They respond to or "reflect" actions of other individuals in the brain and are thought to represent the basis for imitation and empathy and hence the neurobiological substrate for "theory of mind", the potential origin of language and the so-called moral instinct.

  16. RELIABILITY OF BARR, LEECH, AND BLETHYN SCORE IN USING OF PLAIN RADIOGRAPHY IN DETERMINING FECAL IMPACTION IN CHILDREN WITH AND WITHOUT CONSTIPATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afshin REZAZADEH

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Background - Several scoring was developed for evaluation of children with fecal retention using plain radiograph. There are controversies about specificity and sensitivity of these scoring system. Objectives - The aim of this study was to evaluate Barr, Blethyn, and Leech score in evaluation of fecal load in plain radiograph. Methods - This case control study was conducted on children aged 2-14 years old with abdominal pain who visited Abuzar children's Hospital of Ahvaz University of Medical Sciences. This study was conducted in fall season. Children with history of previous abdominal surgery, any systemic illness including sickle cell anemia were excluded. Children with constipation were placed in case group. Subjects without constipation were placed in control group. Subjects without exclusion criteria were examined by physician who is blind to aim of the study. Careful history and physical examination was done. Demographic features, history of gastrointestinal problem, duration of abdominal pain, defecation habit, stool consistency (loose, hard, and results of physical examination were recorded. Rome III criteria was used for definition of constipation. Abdominal x-ray was ordered for each patients. Abdominal radiography was reviewed by radiologist. Barr, Leach, and Blethyn scores were calculated for each case. Results - In this study 102 children with functional constipation and 102 children without constipation as a control were included. Mean ±SD for case and control group was 68.39±34.88 and 69.46±32.60 (P=0.82.Leech score (mean ±SD was 11.05±2.177 and 5.67±3.228 for case and control group respectively (P<0.0001. Barr score (mean ±SD was 14.86±3.54 and 7.16±5.59 for case and control group respectively (P=<0.0001. Blethyn (mean ±SD score was 1.97±0.667 and 1.04±0.900 for case and control group respectively (P=0.000. Sensitivity and specificity of Barr score was 83% and 79% respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of

  17. Activation of two forms of locomotion by a previously identified trigger interneuron for swimming in the medicinal leech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodfuehrer, Peter D; McCormick, Kathryn; Tapyrik, Lauren; Albano, Alfonso M; Graybeal, Carolyn

    2008-03-01

    Higher-order projection interneurons that function in more than one behavior have been identified in a number of preparations. In this study, we document that stimulation of cell Tr1, a previously identified trigger interneuron for swimming in the medicinal leech, can also elicit the motor program for crawling in isolated nerve cords. We also show that motor choice is independent of the firing frequency of Tr1 and amount of spiking activity recorded extracellularly at three locations along the ventral nerve cord prior to Tr1 stimulation. On the other hand, during Tr1 stimulation there is a significant difference in the amount of activity elicited in the ventral nerve cord that correlates with the motor program activated. On average, Tr1 stimulation trials that lead to crawling elicit greater amounts of activity than in trials that lead to swimming.

  18. Noisy Neurons

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 1. Noisy Neurons: Hodgkin-Huxley Model and Stochastic Variants. Shurti Paranjape. General Article Volume 20 Issue 1 January 2015 pp 34-43. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  19. Crystalline Repository Project: Review and comment of the Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee: Draft area recommendation report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-09-01

    The Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee (LLRBC) has reviewed five documents related to the US Department of Energy's Crystalline Repository Project (CRP). They are the ''National Survey of Crystalline Rocks,'' ''General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories;' Final Siting Guidelines (10 CFR Part 960),'' ''Regional Characterization Reports for the North Central Region,'' the ''Region to Area Screening Methodology Document'' (SMD) and the ''Draft Area Recommendation Report'' (DARR). The comments and discussions of issues contained in this review will be considered in the preparation of the Final Area Recommendation Report, which will formally identify potentially acceptable sites for a second national repository for the permanent disposal of high level nuclear waste. Following a review of the above referenced documents, the LLRBC has concluded that the identification of potentially acceptable sites in the Draft Area Recommendation Report is based upon inferior and incomplete technical information being applied to a flawed screening process which, among other deficiencies, pays little attention to the importance of hydrological factors in the siting process. Although the DOE prefers that comments from states and tribes be directed at the Draft Area Recommendation Report alone, the Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee is extremely concerned about inadequacies in the ''National Survey of Crystalline Rocks'' (ORCD-1), which serves as the foundation for all siting work done to date. The national survey was conducted utilizing little of the time or staffing required for this important phase of the Crystalline Repository Program. As a result, the national survey is based upon out-of-date scientific literature, exaggerates certain screening variables that favor the selection of regions in the eastern US and arbitrarily eliminated the few western crystalline rock bodies that passed the questionable screening process utilized

  20. Identification of Iron and Heme Utilization Genes in Aeromonas and their Role in the Colonization of the Leech Digestive Tract

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele eMaltz

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available It is known that many pathogens produce high-affinity iron uptake systems like siderophores and/or genes for utilizing iron bound to heme-containing molecules, which facilitate iron-acquisition inside a host. In mutualistic digestive-tract associations, iron uptake systems have not been as well studied. We investigated the importance of two iron utilization systems within the beneficial digestive-tract association Aeromonas veronii and the medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana. Siderophores were detected in A. veronii using chrome azurol S. Using a mTn5, a transposon insertion in viuB generated a mutant unable to acquire iron using siderophores. The A. veronii genome was then searched for genes potentially involved in iron utilization bound to heme-containing molecules. A putative outer membrane heme receptor (hgpB was identified with a transcriptional activator, termed hgpR, downstream. The hgpB gene was interrupted in both the parent strain and the viuB mutant with an antibiotic resistance cassette, yielding a hgpB mutant and a mutant with both iron uptake systems inactivated. In vitro assays indicated that hgpB is involved in utilizing iron bound to heme and that both iron utilization systems are important for A. veronii to grow in blood. In vivo colonization assays revealed that the ability to acquire iron from heme-containing molecules is critical for A.veronii to colonize the leech gut. Since iron and specifically heme utilization is important in this mutualistic relationship and has a role as a possible virulence factor in other organisms, genomes from different Aeromonas strains (both clinical and environmental were queried with iron utilization genes of A. veronii. This analysis revealed the heme utilization genes are widely distributed among aeromonads. In addition, aeromonads posses a suite of genes involved in iron acquisition. These data further confirm symbiotic and pathogenic relationships possess similar mechanisms for interacting with

  1. La sanguijuela, un gusano en la historia de la salud The leeches, a worm in the history of health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Pilar Manrique Sáez

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available El uso de sanguijuelas ha sido una terapia que ha venido usándose desde las antiguas civilizaciones hasta principios del siglo XX como tratamiento indispensable para diversas dolencias, cayendo en desuso como consecuencia del gran avance científico y considerándose un tratamiento sin valor, atrasado y decadente. El presente articulo pretende dar a conocer la terapia con sanguijuelas, su auge desde la antigüedad, su decadencia y el nuevo renacer actual en el postoperatorio de la microcirugía plástica reconstructiva para prevenir el éxtasis venoso, así como en traumatología en el tratamiento de las artrosis. Dicha terapia se está aplicando en numerosos países, incluyendo España en donde su uso es una realidad en Hospitales y servicios muy concretos.The use of leeches is a medical therapy which has been used since ancient civilizations until the first decades of the XXth century. It is an irreplaceable remedy to treat many types of illness, however, it fell into disuse due to the increasing confidence in scientific development and because it became considered old-fashioned, obsolete and valueless. The present paper tries to release the therapy with leeches, its peak in the ancient times, its later disuse and the recent reappearance in the post-operative of plastic microsurgical reconstruction in order to prevent the poisoning ecstasy and also in the degenerative osteoarthritis treatment. This therapy is being applied to numerous countries, Spain included, where it is being used at hospitals in particular medical services.

  2. First record of Stibarobdella moorei (Annelida, Hirudinea, Piscicolidae a marine leech parasitizing Octopus bimaculatus (Mollusca: Octopodidae from the Mexican Pacific coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    López-Peraza D. J.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence of the parasitic marine leech Stibarobdella moorei (Oka, 1910 (Hirudinea: Piscicolidae along the northwest Mexican Pacific coast is described for the first time. This ectoparasite was collected from the skin of the Octopus bimaculatus (Verril, 1983 (Mollusca: Octopodidae. Stibarobdella loricata (Hardig, 1924 is synonymized with S. moorei as this species resembles other species of the genus based on tubercle patterns and the presence of papillae and a marginal fringe on the oral sucker. The present finding throws new light on the biodiversity and host preference of the ectoparasite and suggests a successful migration to unusual host. The coast of the Pacific Ocean, particularly in the Bay of Los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico is a new geographical distribution area for S. moorei, and O. bimaculatus is a new host reported for this leech. The morphology of this ectoparasite is briefly described.

  3. Mechanism of ammonia excretion in the freshwater leech Nephelopsis obscura: characterization of a primitive Rh protein and effects of high environmental ammonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quijada-Rodriguez, Alex R.; Treberg, Jason R.

    2015-01-01

    Remarkably little is known about nitrogenous excretion in freshwater invertebrates. In the current study, the nitrogen excretion mechanism in the carnivorous ribbon leech, Nephelopsis obscura, was investigated. Excretion experiments showed that the ribbon leech is ammonotelic, excreting 166.0 ± 8.6 nmol·grams fresh weight (gFW)−1·h−1 ammonia and 14.7 ± 1.9 nmol·gFW−1·h−1 urea. Exposure to high and low pH hampered and enhanced, respectively, ammonia excretion rates, indicating an acid-linked ammonia trapping mechanism across the skin epithelia. Accordingly, compared with body tissues, the skin exhibited elevated mRNA expression levels of a newly identified Rhesus protein and at least in tendency the Na+/K+-ATPase. Pharmacological experiments and enzyme assays suggested an ammonia excretion mechanism that involves the V-ATPase, Na+/K+-ATPase, and carbonic anhydrase, but not necessarily a functional microtubule system. Most importantly, functional expression studies of the identified Rh protein cloned from leech skin tissue revealed an ammonia transport capability of this protein when expressed in yeast. The leech Rh-ammonia transporter (NoRhp) is a member of the primitive Rh protein family, which is a sister group to the common ancestor of vertebrate ammonia-transporting Rh proteins. Exposure to high environmental ammonia (HEA) caused a new adjustment of body ammonia, accompanied with a decrease in NoRhp and Na+/K+-ATPase mRNA levels, but unaltered ammonia excretion rates. To our knowledge, this is only the second comprehensive study regarding the ammonia excretion mechanisms in a freshwater invertebrate, but our results show that basic processes of ammonia excretion appear to also be comparable to those found in freshwater fish, suggesting an early evolution of ionoregulatory mechanisms in freshwater organisms. PMID:26180186

  4. RELIABILITY OF BARR, LEECH, AND BLETHYN SCORE IN USING OF PLAIN RADIOGRAPHY IN DETERMINING FECAL IMPACTION IN CHILDREN WITH AND WITHOUT CONSTIPATION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezazadeh, Afshin; Javaherizadeh, Hazhir; Chahardahcherik, Farzaneh; Yavarahmadi, Mohammad Hossein; Sadjadei, Nooshin; Tahmasebi, Morteza

    2016-01-01

    - Several scoring was developed for evaluation of children with fecal retention using plain radiograph. There are controversies about specificity and sensitivity of these scoring system. - The aim of this study was to evaluate Barr, Blethyn, and Leech score in evaluation of fecal load in plain radiograph. - This case control study was conducted on children aged 2-14 years old with abdominal pain who visited Abuzar children's Hospital of Ahvaz University of Medical Sciences. This study was conducted in fall season. Children with history of previous abdominal surgery, any systemic illness including sickle cell anemia were excluded. Children with constipation were placed in case group. Subjects without constipation were placed in control group. Subjects without exclusion criteria were examined by physician who is blind to aim of the study. Careful history and physical examination was done. Demographic features, history of gastrointestinal problem, duration of abdominal pain, defecation habit, stool consistency (loose, hard), and results of physical examination were recorded. Rome III criteria was used for definition of constipation. Abdominal x-ray was ordered for each patients. Abdominal radiography was reviewed by radiologist. Barr, Leach, and Blethyn scores were calculated for each case. - In this study 102 children with functional constipation and 102 children without constipation as a control were included. Mean ±SD for case and control group was 68.39±34.88 and 69.46±32.60 (P=0.82).Leech score (mean ±SD) was 11.05±2.177 and 5.67±3.228 for case and control group respectively (Pchildren with abdominal pain and constipation in contrast to children with abdominal pain and without constipation. Sensitivity of Leech score was more than Barr and Blethyn scoring systems. Specificity of Blethyn score was more than Barr and Leech score.

  5. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... properties of this facility in the path from synaptic sites to the motor axon is reviewed with emphasis on voltage sensitive ion channels and regulatory metabotropic transmitter pathways. The catalog of the intrinsic response properties, their underlying mechanisms, and regulation obtained from motoneurons...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  6. Antibiotic susceptibility of body surface and gut micro flora of two aquatic leech species (Hirudinaria manillensis and Hirudinaria javanica in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parimannan Sivachandran

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To elucidate the antibiotic susceptibility of body surface and gut associated microflora of two local aquatic leech species Hirudinaria manillensis and Hirudinaria javanica. Methods: Four commercially available antibiotics (doxycycline, chloramphenicol, tetracycline and ciprofloxacin were used in this study. A total of 13 isolated gut and two surface micro flora from Hirudinaria manillensis and two gut and two surface micro flora from Hirudinaria javanica were tested for their antibiotic susceptibility. Results: Based on the susceptibility, it was observed that all the isolated bacteria were found to be susceptible to at least three of the antibiotics except Microbacterium resistens, Serratia marcescens and Morganella morganii. This study also found that the bacterial species Bacillus fusiformis has displayed resistance against tetracycline and Tsukamurella inchonensis against chloramphenicol. Conclusions: Among all the antibiotics tested, ciprofloxacin was found to be the best bactericidal agent. The immersion of leeches in ciprofloxacin before the application to the patient may be beneficial to prevent invasive infection of the patient. Further study is needed to sterilize the live leech by immersion/oral mode of administration for the tested antibiotics.

  7. Neurons other than motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffoli, Riccardo; Biagioni, Francesca; Busceti, Carla L; Gaglione, Anderson; Ryskalin, Larisa; Gambardella, Stefano; Frati, Alessandro; Fornai, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically defined by a loss of motor neurons in the central nervous system. Accordingly, morphological analysis for decades considered motor neurons (in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord) as the neuronal population selectively involved in ALS. Similarly, this was considered the pathological marker to score disease severity ex vivo both in patients and experimental models. However, the concept of non-autonomous motor neuron death was used recently to indicate the need for additional cell types to produce motor neuron death in ALS. This means that motor neuron loss occurs only when they are connected with other cell types. This concept originally emphasized the need for resident glia as well as non-resident inflammatory cells. Nowadays, the additional role of neurons other than motor neurons emerged in the scenario to induce non-autonomous motor neuron death. In fact, in ALS neurons diverse from motor neurons are involved. These cells play multiple roles in ALS: (i) they participate in the chain of events to produce motor neuron loss; (ii) they may even degenerate more than and before motor neurons. In the present manuscript evidence about multi-neuronal involvement in ALS patients and experimental models is discussed. Specific sub-classes of neurons in the whole spinal cord are reported either to degenerate or to trigger neuronal degeneration, thus portraying ALS as a whole spinal cord disorder rather than a disease affecting motor neurons solely. This is associated with a novel concept in motor neuron disease which recruits abnormal mechanisms of cell to cell communication.

  8. Direct methods for dynamic monitoring of secretions from single cells by capillary electrophoresis and microscopy with laser-induced native fluorescence detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tong, Wei [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    1997-10-08

    Microscale separation and detection methods for real-time monitoring of dynamic cellular processes (e.g., secretion) by capillary electrophoresis (CE) and microscopic imaging were developed. Ultraviolet laser-induced native fluorescence (LINF) provides simple, sensitive and direct detection of neurotransmitters and proteins without any derivatization. An on-column CE-LINF protocol for quantification of the release from single cell was demonstrated. Quantitative measurements of both the amount of insulin released from and the amount remaining in the cell (βTC3) were achieved simultaneously. Secretion of catecholamines (norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (E)) from individual bovine adrenal chromaffin cells was determined using the on-column CE-LINF. Direct visualization of the secretion process of individual bovine adrenal chromaffin cells was achieved by LINF imaging microscopy with high temporal and spatial resolution. The secretion of serotonin from individual leech Retzius neurons was directly characterized by LINF microscopy with high spatial resolution.

  9. Neuronal and microglial regulators of cortical wiring: usual and novel guideposts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola eSquarzoni

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neocortex functioning relies on the formation of complex networks that begins to be assembled during embryogenesis by highly stereotyped processes of cell migration and axonal navigation. The guidance of cells and axons is driven by extracellular cues, released along by final targets or intermediate targets located along specific pathways. In particular, guidepost cells, originally described in the grasshopper, are considered discrete, specialized cell populations located at crucial decision points along axonal trajectories that regulate tract formation. These cells are usually early-born, transient and act at short-range or via cell-cell contact. The vast majority of guidepost cells initially identified were glial cells, which play a role in the formation of important axonal tracts in the forebrain, such as the corpus callosum, anterior and post-optic commissures as well as optic chiasm. In the last decades, tangential migrating neurons have also been found to participate in the guidance of principal axonal tracts in the forebrain. This is the case for several examples such as guideposts for the lateral olfactory tract (LOT, corridor cells, which open an internal path for thalamo-cortical axons and Cajal-Retzius cells that have been involved in the formation of the entorhino-hippocampal connections. More recently, microglia, the resident macrophages of the brain, were specifically observed at the crossroads of important neuronal migratory routes and axonal tract pathways during forebrain development. We furthermore found that microglia participate to the shaping of prenatal forebrain circuits, thereby opening novel perspectives on forebrain development and wiring. Here we will review the last findings on already known guidepost cells populations and will discuss the role of microglia as a potentially new class of atypical guidepost cells.

  10. New tentacled leech Ceratobdella quadricornuta n. g., n. sp. (Hirudinida: Piscicolidae) parasitic on the starry skate Raja georgiana Norman from the Scotia Sea, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utevsky, Andrei; Gordeev, Ilya

    2015-07-01

    A new fish leech Ceratobdella quadricornuta n. g., n. sp. (Hirudinida: Piscicolidae), a parasite of the Antarctic skate Raja georgiana Norman (Rajiformes: Rajidae) collected between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island in the Scotia Sea, is described and compared with related genera. Ceratobdella quadricornuta is characterised by an uncommon appearance of its anterior sucker bearing four well-developed tentacles and a unique combination of features of the reproductive and digestive systems: crop and intestine equally developed, posterior crop caeca separated; accessory glands, conductive tissue and external copulatory area lacking; common part of ejaculatory ducts (common atrium) voluminous and muscular, male copulatory bursa short, small ovisacs opening into female copulatory bursa (vagina).

  11. NEURON and Python

    OpenAIRE

    Michael Hines; Andrew P Davison; Eilif Muller

    2009-01-01

    The NEURON simulation program now allows Python to be used, alone or in combination with NEURON's traditional Hoc interpreter. Adding Python to NEURON has the immediate benefit of making available a very extensive suite of analysis tools written for engineering and science. It also catalyzes NEURON software development by offering users a modern programming tool that is recognized for its flexibility and power to create and maintain complex programs. At the same time, nothing is lost because ...

  12. THE LEECH EXOPLANET IMAGING SURVEY: CHARACTERIZATION OF THE COLDEST DIRECTLY IMAGED EXOPLANET, GJ 504 b, AND EVIDENCE FOR SUPERSTELLAR METALLICITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Leisenring, Jarron; Bailey, Vanessa; Hinz, Philip; Defrére, Denis; Apai, Dániel; Close, Laird; Eisner, Josh [Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Ave. Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Morley, Caroline V.; Fortney, Jonathan [University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High St. Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Zimmerman, Neil T.; Buenzli, Esther; Bonnefoy, Mickael; Biller, Beth; Brandner, Wolfgang [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg (Germany); Skrutskie, Michael F. [University of Virginia, 530 McCormick Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Esposito, Simone [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica-Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125, Florence (Italy); Crepp, Justin R. [Notre Dame University, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States); De Rosa, Robert J. [Arizona State University, 781 South Terrace Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281 (United States); Desidera, Silvano [Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica-Padova Astronomical Observatory, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova (Italy); and others

    2016-02-01

    As gas giant planets and brown dwarfs radiate away the residual heat from their formation, they cool through a spectral type transition from L to T, which encompasses the dissipation of cloud opacity and the appearance of strong methane absorption. While there are hundreds of known T-type brown dwarfs, the first generation of directly imaged exoplanets were all L type. Recently, Kuzuhara et al. announced the discovery of GJ 504 b, the first T dwarf exoplanet. GJ 504 b provides a unique opportunity to study the atmosphere of a new type of exoplanet with a ∼500 K temperature that bridges the gap between the first directly imaged planets (∼1000 K) and our own solar system's Jupiter (∼130 K). We observed GJ 504 b in three narrow L-band filters (3.71, 3.88, and 4.00 μm), spanning the red end of the broad methane fundamental absorption feature (3.3 μm) as part of the LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) exoplanet imaging survey. By comparing our new photometry and literature photometry with a grid of custom model atmospheres, we were able to fit GJ 504 b's unusual spectral energy distribution for the first time. We find that GJ 504 b is well fit by models with the following parameters: T{sub eff} = 544 ± 10 K, g < 600 m s{sup −2}, [M/H] = 0.60 ± 0.12, cloud opacity parameter of f{sub sed} = 2–5, R = 0.96 ± 0.07 R{sub Jup}, and log(L) = −6.13 ± 0.03 L{sub ⊙}, implying a hot start mass of 3–30 M{sub jup} for a conservative age range of 0.1–6.5 Gyr. Of particular interest, our model fits suggest that GJ 504 b has a superstellar metallicity. Since planet formation can create objects with nonstellar metallicities, while binary star formation cannot, this result suggests that GJ 504 b formed like a planet, not like a binary companion.

  13. Statistical identification of stimulus-activated network nodes in multi-neuron voltage-sensitive dye optical recordings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathiazar, Elham; Anemuller, Jorn; Kretzberg, Jutta

    2016-08-01

    Voltage-Sensitive Dye (VSD) imaging is an optical imaging method that allows measuring the graded voltage changes of multiple neurons simultaneously. In neuroscience, this method is used to reveal networks of neurons involved in certain tasks. However, the recorded relative dye fluorescence changes are usually low and signals are superimposed by noise and artifacts. Therefore, establishing a reliable method to identify which cells are activated by specific stimulus conditions is the first step to identify functional networks. In this paper, we present a statistical method to identify stimulus-activated network nodes as cells, whose activities during sensory network stimulation differ significantly from the un-stimulated control condition. This method is demonstrated based on voltage-sensitive dye recordings from up to 100 neurons in a ganglion of the medicinal leech responding to tactile skin stimulation. Without relying on any prior physiological knowledge, the network nodes identified by our statistical analysis were found to match well with published cell types involved in tactile stimulus processing and to be consistent across stimulus conditions and preparations.

  14. Corticospinal mirror neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Kraskov, A.; Philipp, R.; Waldert, S.; Vigneswaran, G.; Quallo, M. M.; Lemon, R. N.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons' discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like p...

  15. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-01-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons ar...

  16. Corticospinal mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraskov, A; Philipp, R; Waldert, S; Vigneswaran, G; Quallo, M M; Lemon, R N

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons' discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like properties (52% F5 and 58% M1). Some PTNs exhibited 'classical' mirror neuron properties, increasing activity for both execution and observation, while others decreased their discharge during observation ('suppression mirror-neurons'). These experiments not only demonstrate the existence of PTNs as mirror neurons in M1, but also reveal some interesting differences between M1 and F5 mirror PTNs. Although observation-related changes in the discharge of PTNs must reach the spinal cord and will include some direct projections to motoneurons supplying grasping muscles, there was no EMG activity in these muscles during action observation. We suggest that the mirror neuron system is involved in the withholding of unwanted movement during action observation. Mirror neurons are differentially recruited in the behaviour that switches rapidly between making your own movements and observing those of others.

  17. NEURON and Python.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Michael L; Davison, Andrew P; Muller, Eilif

    2009-01-01

    The NEURON simulation program now allows Python to be used, alone or in combination with NEURON's traditional Hoc interpreter. Adding Python to NEURON has the immediate benefit of making available a very extensive suite of analysis tools written for engineering and science. It also catalyzes NEURON software development by offering users a modern programming tool that is recognized for its flexibility and power to create and maintain complex programs. At the same time, nothing is lost because all existing models written in Hoc, including graphical user interface tools, continue to work without change and are also available within the Python context. An example of the benefits of Python availability is the use of the xml module in implementing NEURON's Import3D and CellBuild tools to read MorphML and NeuroML model specifications.

  18. Neuronal-glial trafficking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachelard, H.S.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: The name 'glia' originates from the Greek word for glue, because astro glia (or astrocytes) were thought only to provide an anatomical framework for the electrically-excitable neurones. However, awareness that astrocytes perform vital roles in protecting the neurones, which they surround, emerged from evidence that they act as neuroprotective K + -sinks, and that they remove potentially toxic extracellular glutamate from the vicinity of the neurones. The astrocytes convert the glutamate to non-toxic glutamine which is returned to the neurones and used to replenish transmitter glutamate. This 'glutamate-glutamine cycle' (established in the 1960s by Berl and his colleagues) also contributes to protecting the neurones against a build-up of toxic ammonia. Glial cells also supply the neurones with components for free-radical scavenging glutathione. Recent studies have revealed that glial cells play a more positive interactive role in furnishing the neurones with fuels. Studies using radioactive 14 C, 13 C-MRS and 15 N-GCMS have revealed that glia produce alanine, lactate and proline for consumption by neurones, with increased formation of neurotransmitter glutamate. On neuronal activation the release of NH 4 + and glutamate from the neurones stimulates glucose uptake and glycolysis in the glia to produce more alanine, which can be regarded as an 'alanine-glutamate cycle' Use of 14 C-labelled precursors provided early evidence that neurotransmitter GABA may be partly derived from glial glutamine, and this has been confirmed recently in vivo by MRS isotopomer analysis of the GABA and glutamine labelled from 13 C-acetate. Relative rates of intermediary metabolism in glia and neurones can be calculated using a combination of [1- 13 C] glucose and [1,2- 13 C] acetate. When glutamate is released by neurones there is a net neuronal loss of TCA intermediates which have to be replenished. Part of this is derived from carboxylation of pyruvate, (pyruvate carboxylase

  19. Single neuron computation

    CERN Document Server

    McKenna, Thomas M; Zornetzer, Steven F

    1992-01-01

    This book contains twenty-two original contributions that provide a comprehensive overview of computational approaches to understanding a single neuron structure. The focus on cellular-level processes is twofold. From a computational neuroscience perspective, a thorough understanding of the information processing performed by single neurons leads to an understanding of circuit- and systems-level activity. From the standpoint of artificial neural networks (ANNs), a single real neuron is as complex an operational unit as an entire ANN, and formalizing the complex computations performed by real n

  20. Mesmerising mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-06-01

    Mirror neurons have been hailed as the key to understanding social cognition. I argue that three currents of thought-relating to evolution, atomism and telepathy-have magnified the perceived importance of mirror neurons. When they are understood to be a product of associative learning, rather than an adaptation for social cognition, mirror neurons are no longer mesmerising, but they continue to raise important questions about both the psychology of science and the neural bases of social cognition. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Corticospinal mirror neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraskov, A.; Philipp, R.; Waldert, S.; Vigneswaran, G.; Quallo, M. M.; Lemon, R. N.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons’ discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like properties (52% F5 and 58% M1). Some PTNs exhibited ‘classical’ mirror neuron properties, increasing activity for both execution and observation, while others decreased their discharge during observation (‘suppression mirror-neurons’). These experiments not only demonstrate the existence of PTNs as mirror neurons in M1, but also reveal some interesting differences between M1 and F5 mirror PTNs. Although observation-related changes in the discharge of PTNs must reach the spinal cord and will include some direct projections to motoneurons supplying grasping muscles, there was no EMG activity in these muscles during action observation. We suggest that the mirror neuron system is involved in the withholding of unwanted movement during action observation. Mirror neurons are differentially recruited in the behaviour that switches rapidly between making your own movements and observing those of others. PMID:24778371

  2. Differential expression of conserved germ line markers and delayed segregation of male and female primordial germ cells in a hermaphrodite, the leech helobdella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Sung-Jin; Vallès, Yvonne; Weisblat, David A

    2014-02-01

    In sexually reproducing animals, primordial germ cells (PGCs) are often set aside early in embryogenesis, a strategy that minimizes the risk of genomic damage associated with replication and mitosis during the cell cycle. Here, we have used germ line markers (piwi, vasa, and nanos) and microinjected cell lineage tracers to show that PGC specification in the leech genus Helobdella follows a different scenario: in this hermaphrodite, the male and female PGCs segregate from somatic lineages only after more than 20 rounds of zygotic mitosis; the male and female PGCs share the same (mesodermal) cell lineage for 19 rounds of zygotic mitosis. Moreover, while all three markers are expressed in both male and female reproductive tissues of the adult, they are expressed differentially between the male and female PGCs of the developing embryo: piwi and vasa are expressed preferentially in female PGCs at a time when nanos is expressed preferentially in male PGCs. A priori, the delayed segregation of male and female PGCs from somatic tissues and from one another increases the probability of mutations affecting both male and female PGCs of a given individual. We speculate that this suite of features, combined with a capacity for self-fertilization, may contribute to the dramatically rearranged genome of Helobdella robusta relative to other animals.

  3. Description of a new leech species of Helobdella (Clitellata: Glossiphoniidae) from Mexico with a review of Mexican congeners and a taxonomic key.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas-Montiel, Ricardo; Phillips, Anna J; De Leon, Gerardo Perez-Ponce; Oceguera-Figueroa, Alejandro

    2014-12-19

    To date, six species of the leech genus Helobdella have been recorded from Mexico: Helobdella atli, Helobdella elongata, Helobdella octatestisaca, Helobdella socimulcensis, Helobdella virginiae and Helobdella temiscoensis n. sp. This new species is characterized by a lanceolate body, the presence of a nuchal scute, uniform brown pigment on both dorsal and ventral surfaces, the absence of papillae, well-separated eyespots, six pairs of testisacs and five pairs of crop caeca, the last of which forms posterior caeca. In addition, we provide new geographic records for Helobdella species from Mexico resulting from our own collections, vouchers deposited at the Colección Nacional de Helmintos from the Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Mexico and vouchers at the Invertebrate Zoology Collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (USNM) Washington D.C., USA. We present a comprehensive review of Mexican Helobdella species, including the new species, with notes on the characteristic morphology and geographic distribution of each species with 91 new records from 20 states. In addition, we provide a taxonomic key for the identification of the Mexican species.

  4. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arcangelis, Lucilla de, E-mail: dearcangelis@na.infn.it [Department of Information Engineering and CNISM, Second University of Naples, 81031 Aversa (Italy)

    2011-05-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

  5. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Bozorg Nia, Shahrzad; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I

    2014-02-10

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  6. Stochastic neuron models

    CERN Document Server

    Greenwood, Priscilla E

    2016-01-01

    This book describes a large number of open problems in the theory of stochastic neural systems, with the aim of enticing probabilists to work on them. This includes problems arising from stochastic models of individual neurons as well as those arising from stochastic models of the activities of small and large networks of interconnected neurons. The necessary neuroscience background to these problems is outlined within the text, so readers can grasp the context in which they arise. This book will be useful for graduate students and instructors providing material and references for applying probability to stochastic neuron modeling. Methods and results are presented, but the emphasis is on questions where additional stochastic analysis may contribute neuroscience insight. An extensive bibliography is included. Dr. Priscilla E. Greenwood is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Lawrence M. Ward is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Brain...

  7. The marine leech Stibarobdella loricata (Harding, 1924 (Hirudinea, Piscicolidae, parasitic on the angel shark Squatina spp. and sandtiger shark Carcharias taurus Rafinesque, 1810 (Chondrichthyes: Squatinidae, Carchariidae in Southern Brazilian waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soto J. M. R.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The presence of the marine leech, Stibarobdella loricata (Harding, 1924 (Hirudinea, Piscicolidae, is reported on the southern coast of Brazil, based on seven lots with 47 specimens, between 71 and 182 mm in total length, collected on the dorsal region of angel sharks, Squatina argentina (Marini, 1930; S. guggenheim Marini, 1936; S. punctata Marini, 1936 (Chondrichthyes, Squatinidae; and on the head of a sandtiger shark, Carcharias taurus Rafinesque, 1810 (Chondrichthyes, Carchariidae. This is the first record of S. loricata in the western Atlantic and of its parasitic association with S. argentina, S. guggenheim, S. punctata, and C. taurus.

  8. ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES OF THE NEURONAL ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES OF THE NEURONAL COMPONENT IN THE DETRUSOR MUSCLE FOLLOWING SACRAL ROOT STIMULATION OF DECENTRALIZED ... Early sacral root electric stimulation decreased the incidence of neuronal degeneration in decentralized detrusor muscle, together with improving the ...

  9. A comparison of the enzymatic properties of three recombinant isoforms of thrombolytic and antibacterial protein--Destabilase-Lysozyme from medicinal leech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurdyumov, Alexey S; Manuvera, Valentin A; Baskova, Isolda P; Lazarev, Vassili N

    2015-11-21

    Destabilase-Lysozyme (mlDL) is a multifunctional i-type enzyme that has been found in the secretions from the salivary glands of medicinal leeches. mlDL has been shown to exhibit isopeptidase, muramidase and antibacterial activity. This enzyme attracts interest because it expresses thrombolytic activity through isopeptidolysis of the ε-(γ-Glu)-Lys bonds that cross-link polypeptide chains in stabilised fibrin. To date, three isoforms of mlDL have been identified. The enzymatic properties of pure mlDL isoforms have not yet been described because only destabilase complexes containing other proteins could be isolated from the salivary gland secretion and because low product yield from the generation of recombinant proteins has made comprehensive testing difficult. In the present study, we optimised the procedures related to the expression, isolation and purification of active mlDL isoforms (mlDL-Ds1, mlDL-Ds2, mlDL-Ds3) using an Escherichia coli expression system, and we detected and compared their muramidase, lytic, isopeptidase and antimicrobial activities. After optimisation, the product yield was 30 mg per litre of culture. The data obtained in our study led to the suggestion that the recombinant mlDL isoforms isolated from inclusion bodies form stable oligomeric complexes. Analyses of the tested activities revealed that all isoforms exhibited almost identical patterns of pH and ionic strength effects on the activities. We determined that mlDL-Ds1, 2, 3 possessed non-enzymatic antibacterial activity independent of their muramidase activity. For the first time, we demonstrated the fibrinolytic activity of the recombinant mlDL and showed that only intact proteins possessed this activity, suggesting their enzymatic nature. The recombinant Destabilase-Lysozyme isoforms obtained in our study may be considered potential thrombolytic agents that act through a mechanism different from that of common thrombolytics.

  10. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial...... for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various...

  11. Neuronal substrate of eating disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Timofeeva, Elena; Calvez, Juliane

    2014-01-01

    Eating disorders are devastating and life-threatening psychiatric diseases. Although clinical and experimental investigations have significantly progressed in discovering the neuronal causes of eating disorders, the exact neuronal and molecular mechanisms of the development and maintenance of these pathologies are not fully understood. The complexity of the neuronal substrate of eating disorders hampers progress in revealing the precise mechanisms. The present re...

  12. Cultures of Cerebellar Granule Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    sprotocols

    2014-01-01

    Authors: Parizad M. Bilimoria and Azad Bonni1 Corresponding author ([]()) ### INTRODUCTION Primary cultures of granule neurons from the post-natal rat cerebellum provide an excellent model system for molecular and cell biological studies of neuronal development and function. The cerebellar cortex, with its highly organized structure and few neuronal subtypes, offers a well-characterized neural circuitry. Many fundamental insight...

  13. Motor neuron disease in blacks

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-08-19

    Aug 19, 1989 ... We reported earlier that motor neuron disease occurs more commonly among blacks than Parkinson's disease, which is relatively rare in this race group.! The hypothesis that these conditions, and other neuronal abiotrophies, are the result of previous subclinical neuronal insult and subsequent age-related.

  14. Tinbergen on mirror neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology—the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that ...

  15. Blueberries and neuronal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    As the population of people in the United States over the age of 65 years continues to increase, so too will the incidence of age-related pathologies, including decreases in cognitive and motor function. In cases of severe deficits in memory or motor function, hospitalization and/or custodial care would be a likely outcome. This means that unless some way is found to reduce these age-related decrements in neuronal function, health care costs will continue to rise exponentially. Evidence is accumulating that consumption of blueberries may be one strategy to forestall or even reverse age-related neuronal deficits, as well as their subsequent behavioral manifestations, in order to increase healthy aging. Research suggests that the polyphenolic compounds found in blueberries exert their beneficial effects either through their ability to lower oxidative stress and inflammation or directly by altering the signaling involved in neuronal communication. These interventions, in turn, may protect against age-related deficits in cognitive and motor function. Appropriately, the US Department of Agriculture has figured prominently in these discoveries, through the efforts of two USDA researchers who worked for the department 100 years apart. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  16. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M; Hegeman, Daniel J; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A; Fiske, Michael P; Glajch, Kelly E; Pitt, Jason E; Huang, Tina Y; Justice, Nicholas J; Chan, C Savio

    2015-08-26

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping expression of the

  17. Astroglial networks promote neuronal coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chever, Oana; Dossi, Elena; Pannasch, Ulrike; Derangeon, Mickael; Rouach, Nathalie

    2016-01-12

    Astrocytes interact with neurons to regulate network activity. Although the gap junction subunits connexin 30 and connexin 43 mediate the formation of extensive astroglial networks that cover large functional neuronal territories, their role in neuronal synchronization remains unknown. Using connexin 30- and connexin 43-deficient mice, we showed that astroglial networks promoted sustained population bursts in hippocampal slices by setting the basal active state of neurons. Astroglial networks limited excessive neuronal depolarization induced by spontaneous synaptic activity, increased neuronal release probability, and favored the recruitment of neurons during bursting, thus promoting the coordinated activation of neuronal networks. In vivo, this sustained neuronal coordination translated into increased severity of acutely evoked epileptiform events and convulsive behavior. These results revealed that connexin-mediated astroglial networks synchronize bursting of neuronal assemblies, which can exacerbate pathological network activity and associated behavior. Our data thus provide molecular and biophysical evidence predicting selective astroglial gap junction inhibitors as anticonvulsive drugs. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. From Neurons to Newtons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Bjørn Gilbert

    2001-01-01

    proteins generate forces, to the macroscopic levels where overt arm movements are vol- untarily controlled within an unpredictable environment by legions of neurons¯ring in orderly fashion. An extensive computer simulation system has been developed for this thesis, which at present contains a neural...... of phenomena, ranging from the force-velocity and force-length relationships, to tetanic fusion, "catch-like" e®ects and the distinctions between fast and slow muscle ¯ber types. Furthermore the model incorporates su±cient neuromus-cular information as to permit orderly recruitment of motor units, exponential...

  19. Imitation, mirror neurons and autism

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Justin H.G.; Whiten, Andrew; Suddendorf, Thomas; Perrett, David I.

    2001-01-01

    Various deficits in the cognitive functioning of people with autism have been documented in recent years but these provide only partial explanations for the condition. We focus instead on an imitative disturbance involving difficulties both in copying actions and in inhibiting more stereotyped mimicking, such as echolalia. A candidate for the neural basis of this disturbance may be found in a recently discovered class of neurons in frontal cortex, 'mirror neurons' (MNs). These neurons show ac...

  20. The biophysics of neuronal growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franze, Kristian; Guck, Jochen

    2010-01-01

    For a long time, neuroscience has focused on biochemical, molecular biological and electrophysiological aspects of neuronal physiology and pathology. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating the importance of physical stimuli for neuronal growth and development. In this review we briefly summarize the historical background of neurobiophysics and give an overview over the current understanding of neuronal growth from a physics perspective. We show how biophysics has so far contributed to a better understanding of neuronal growth and discuss current inconsistencies. Finally, we speculate how biophysics may contribute to the successful treatment of lesions to the central nervous system, which have been considered incurable until very recently.

  1. Motor neuron disease in blacks

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-08-19

    Aug 19, 1989 ... A series of 86 black, Indian and white patients with motor neuron disease were analysed retrospectively. Although the material does not allow statistically valid conclusions, there are sufficient cases among blacks to allow two prima facie observations in this population group: (~ motor neuron disease.

  2. The Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Michael J.; Rakheja, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL's, Batten disease) represent a group of severe neurodegenerative diseases, which mostly present in childhood. The phenotypes are similar and include visual loss, seizures, loss of motor and cognitive function, and early death. At autopsy, there is massive neuronal loss with characteristic storage in…

  3. Understanding Neuronal Mechanisms of Epilepsy ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Admin

    20 μM glutamate,. Recording epileptogenesis. Long term connectivity c. 10 min neuronal loss. (De Lorenzo et al., 2000) injury epileptogenesis. Neuronal loss .... decay. Control Condition. Relative Increase in τ decay. Values in. Epileptic Condition. The relative contribution of the Na+/Ca2+ exchangers in Ca2+ extrusion.

  4. Orexin neurons receive glycinergic innervations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari Hondo

    Full Text Available Glycine, a nonessential amino-acid that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, is currently used as a dietary supplement to improve the quality of sleep, but its mechanism of action is poorly understood. We confirmed the effects of glycine on sleep/wakefulness behavior in mice when administered peripherally. Glycine administration increased non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep time and decreased the amount and mean episode duration of wakefulness when administered in the dark period. Since peripheral administration of glycine induced fragmentation of sleep/wakefulness states, which is a characteristic of orexin deficiency, we examined the effects of glycine on orexin neurons. The number of Fos-positive orexin neurons markedly decreased after intraperitoneal administration of glycine to mice. To examine whether glycine acts directly on orexin neurons, we examined the effects of glycine on orexin neurons by patch-clamp electrophysiology. Glycine directly induced hyperpolarization and cessation of firing of orexin neurons. These responses were inhibited by a specific glycine receptor antagonist, strychnine. Triple-labeling immunofluorescent analysis showed close apposition of glycine transporter 2 (GlyT2-immunoreactive glycinergic fibers onto orexin-immunoreactive neurons. Immunoelectron microscopic analysis revealed that GlyT2-immunoreactive terminals made symmetrical synaptic contacts with somata and dendrites of orexin neurons. Double-labeling immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that glycine receptor alpha subunits were localized in the postsynaptic membrane of symmetrical inhibitory synapses on orexin neurons. Considering the importance of glycinergic regulation during REM sleep, our observations suggest that glycine injection might affect the activity of orexin neurons, and that glycinergic inhibition of orexin neurons might play a role in physiological sleep regulation.

  5. Tinbergen on mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology-the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that the latter provides the defeasible 'best explanation' for current data on the causation and ontogeny of MNs; and to argue that functional analysis, of the kind that Tinbergen identified somewhat misleadingly with studies of 'survival value', should be a high priority for future research. In this kind of functional analysis, system-level theories would assign MNs a small, but potentially important, role in the achievement of action understanding-or another social cognitive function-by a production line of interacting component processes. These theories would be tested by experimental intervention in human and non-human animal samples with carefully documented and controlled developmental histories.

  6. DNA Damage Induced Neuronal Death

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kisby, Glen

    1999-01-01

    ... (nitrogen mustard or HN2) and the neurotoxic DNA-damaging agent methylazoxymethanol (MAM) using neuronal and astrocyte cell cultures from different brain regions of mice with perturbed DNA repair...

  7. Information processing by neuronal populations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hölscher, Christian; Munk, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    ... simultaneously recorded spike trains 120 Mark Laubach, Nandakumar S. Narayanan, and Eyal Y. Kimchi Part III Neuronal population information coding and plasticity in specific brain areas 149 7 F...

  8. Trafficking of neuronal calcium channels

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Weiss, Norbert; Zamponi, G. W.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 1 (2017), č. článku NS20160003. ISSN 2059-6553 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-13556S; GA MŠk 7AMB15FR015 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : calcium channel * neuron * trafficing Subject RIV: ED - Physiology OBOR OECD: Physiology (including cytology) http://www. neuron alsignaling.org/content/1/1/NS20160003

  9. Pore opening dynamics in the exocytosis of serotonin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Santiago, Guillermo; Cercos, Montserrat G.; Martinez-Valencia, Alejandro; Salinas Hernandez, Israel; Rodríguez-Sosa, Leonardo; de-Miguel, Francisco F.

    2015-03-01

    The current view of the exocytosis of transmitter molecules is that it starts with the formation of a fusion pore that connects the intravesicular and the extracellular spaces, and is completed by the release of the rest of the transmitter contained in the vesicle upon the full fusion and collapse of the vesicle with the plasma membrane. However, under certain circumstances, a rapid closure of the pore before the full vesicle fusion produces only a partial release of the transmitter. Here we show that whole release of the transmitter occurs through fusion pores that remain opened for tens of milliseconds without vesicle collapse. This was demonstrated through amperometric measurements of serotonin release from electrodense vesicles in the axon of leech Retzius neurons and mathematical modelling. By modeling transmitter release with a diffusion equation subjected to boundary conditions that are defined by the experiment, we showed that those pores with a fast half rise time constant remained opened and allowed the full quantum release without vesicle collapse, whereas pores with a slow rise time constant closed rapidly, thus producing partial release. We conclude that a full transmitter release may occur through the fusion pore in the absence of vesicle collapse. This work was founded by a DGAPA-UNAM grants IN200914 and IN118410 CONACYT GRANT 130031, and CONACyT doctoral fellowships.

  10. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dicke, Ursula; Roth, Gerhard

    2016-01-05

    Many attempts have been made to correlate degrees of both animal and human intelligence with brain properties. With respect to mammals, a much-discussed trait concerns absolute and relative brain size, either uncorrected or corrected for body size. However, the correlation of both with degrees of intelligence yields large inconsistencies, because although they are regarded as the most intelligent mammals, monkeys and apes, including humans, have neither the absolutely nor the relatively largest brains. The best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity--factors that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by general intelligence. The highest IPC is found in humans, followed by the great apes, Old World and New World monkeys. The IPC of cetaceans and elephants is much lower because of a thin cortex, low neuron packing density and low axonal conduction velocity. By contrast, corvid and psittacid birds have very small and densely packed pallial neurons and relatively many neurons, which, despite very small brain volumes, might explain their high intelligence. The evolution of a syntactical and grammatical language in humans most probably has served as an additional intelligence amplifier, which may have happened in songbirds and psittacids in a convergent manner. © 2015 The Author(s).

  11. More questions for mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Emma

    2013-09-01

    The mirror neuron system is widely held to provide direct access to the motor goals of others. This paper critically investigates this idea, focusing on the so-called 'intentional worry'. I explore two answers to the intentional worry: first that the worry is premised on too limited an understanding of mirror neuron behaviour (Sections 2 and 3), second that the appeal made to mirror neurons can be refined in such a way as to avoid the worry (Section 4). I argue that the first response requires an account of the mechanism by which small-scale gestures are supposedly mapped to larger chains of actions but that none of the extant accounts of this mechanism are plausible. Section 4 then briefly examines refinements of the mirror neuron-mindreading hypothesis which avoid the intentional worry. I conclude that these refinements may well be plausible but that they undermine many of the claims standardly made for mirror neurons. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Biswa; Tozzi, Arturo; Cooray, Gerald K.; Douglas, Pamela K.; Friston, Karl J.

    2016-01-01

    Given the amount of knowledge and data accruing in the neurosciences, is it time to formulate a general principle for neuronal dynamics that holds at evolutionary, developmental, and perceptual timescales? In this paper, we propose that the brain (and other self-organised biological systems) can be characterised via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we show that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics—based on approximate Bayesian inference—has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception. PMID:26953636

  13. Neuronal oscillations in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witcher, Mark; Moran, Rosalyn; Tatter, Stephen B; Laxton, Adrian W

    2014-06-01

    Parkinson's Disease (PD), characterized by tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia, is one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders in the world. The pathological hallmark of PD is the loss of dopaminergic cells in the substantia nigra and other brain regions. The pathophysiological mechanisms by which dopaminergic cell loss leads to the motor manifestations of PD are yet to be fully elucidated. A growing body of evidence has revealed abnormal neuronal oscillations within and between multiple brain regions in PD. Unique oscillatory patterns are associated with specific motor abnormalities in PD. Therapies, such as dopaminergic medication and deep brain stimulation that disrupt these abnormal neuronal oscillatory patterns produce symptomatic improvement in PD patients. These findings emphasize the importance of abnormal neuronal oscillations in the pathophysiology of PD, making the disruption of these oscillatory patterns a promising target in the development of effective PD treatments.

  14. Prospective Coding by Spiking Neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanni Brea

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Animals learn to make predictions, such as associating the sound of a bell with upcoming feeding or predicting a movement that a motor command is eliciting. How predictions are realized on the neuronal level and what plasticity rule underlies their learning is not well understood. Here we propose a biologically plausible synaptic plasticity rule to learn predictions on a single neuron level on a timescale of seconds. The learning rule allows a spiking two-compartment neuron to match its current firing rate to its own expected future discounted firing rate. For instance, if an originally neutral event is repeatedly followed by an event that elevates the firing rate of a neuron, the originally neutral event will eventually also elevate the neuron's firing rate. The plasticity rule is a form of spike timing dependent plasticity in which a presynaptic spike followed by a postsynaptic spike leads to potentiation. Even if the plasticity window has a width of 20 milliseconds, associations on the time scale of seconds can be learned. We illustrate prospective coding with three examples: learning to predict a time varying input, learning to predict the next stimulus in a delayed paired-associate task and learning with a recurrent network to reproduce a temporally compressed version of a sequence. We discuss the potential role of the learning mechanism in classical trace conditioning. In the special case that the signal to be predicted encodes reward, the neuron learns to predict the discounted future reward and learning is closely related to the temporal difference learning algorithm TD(λ.

  15. Calcium signals in olfactory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tareilus, E; Noé, J; Breer, H

    1995-11-09

    Laser scanning confocal microscopy in combination with the fluorescent calcium indicators Fluo-3 and Fura-Red was employed to estimate the intracellular concentration of free calcium ions in individual olfactory receptor neurons and to monitor temporal and spatial changes in the Ca(2+)-level upon stimulation. The chemosensory cells responded to odorants with a significant increase in the calcium concentration, preferentially in the dendritic knob. Applying various stimulation paradigma, it was found that in a population of isolated cells, subsets of receptor neurons display distinct patterns of responsiveness.

  16. [What mirror neurons have revealed: revisited].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murata, Akira; Maeda, Kazutaka

    2014-06-01

    The first paper on mirror neurons was published in 1992. In the span of over two decades since then, much knowledge about the relationship between social cognitive function and the motor control system has been accumulated. Direct matching of visual actions and their corresponding motor representations is the most important functional property of mirror neuron. Many studies have emphasized intrinsic simulation as a core concept for mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are thought to play a role in social cognitive function. However, the function of mirror neurons in the macaque remains unclear, because such cognitive functions are limited or lacking in macaque monkeys. It is therefore important to discuss these neurons in the context of motor function. Rizzolatti and colleagues have stressed that the most important function of mirror neurons in macaques is recognition of actions performed by other individuals. I suggest that mirror neurons in the Macaque inferior pariental lobule might be correlated with body schema. In the parieto-premotor network, matching of corollary discharge and actual sensory feedback is an essential neuronal operation. Recently, neurons showing mirror properties were found in some cortical areas outside the mirror neuron system. The current work would revisit the outcomes of mirror neuron studies to discuss the function of mirror neurons in the monkey.

  17. What do mirror neurons mirror?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Biomechanics of single cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernick, Kristin B; Prevost, Thibault P; Suresh, Subra; Socrate, Simona

    2011-03-01

    This study presents experimental results and computational analysis of the large strain dynamic behavior of single neurons in vitro with the objective of formulating a novel quantitative framework for the biomechanics of cortical neurons. Relying on the atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique, novel testing protocols are developed to enable the characterization of neural soma deformability over a range of indentation rates spanning three orders of magnitude, 10, 1, and 0.1 μm s(-1). Modified spherical AFM probes were utilized to compress the cell bodies of neonatal rat cortical neurons in load, unload, reload and relaxation conditions. The cell response showed marked hysteretic features, strong non-linearities, and substantial time/rate dependencies. The rheological data were complemented with geometrical measurements of cell body morphology, i.e. cross-diameter and height estimates. A constitutive model, validated by the present experiments, is proposed to quantify the mechanical behavior of cortical neurons. The model aimed to correlate empirical findings with measurable degrees of (hyper)elastic resilience and viscosity at the cell level. The proposed formulation, predicated upon previous constitutive model developments undertaken at the cortical tissue level, was implemented in a three-dimensional finite element framework. The simulated cell response was calibrated to the experimental measurements under the selected test conditions, providing a novel single cell model that could form the basis for further refinements. Copyright © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Optimal compensation for neuron loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, David GT; Denève, Sophie; Machens, Christian K

    2016-01-01

    The brain has an impressive ability to withstand neural damage. Diseases that kill neurons can go unnoticed for years, and incomplete brain lesions or silencing of neurons often fail to produce any behavioral effect. How does the brain compensate for such damage, and what are the limits of this compensation? We propose that neural circuits instantly compensate for neuron loss, thereby preserving their function as much as possible. We show that this compensation can explain changes in tuning curves induced by neuron silencing across a variety of systems, including the primary visual cortex. We find that compensatory mechanisms can be implemented through the dynamics of networks with a tight balance of excitation and inhibition, without requiring synaptic plasticity. The limits of this compensatory mechanism are reached when excitation and inhibition become unbalanced, thereby demarcating a recovery boundary, where signal representation fails and where diseases may become symptomatic. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12454.001 PMID:27935480

  20. Neuronal involvement in cisplatin neuropathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup-Hansen, A; Helweg-Larsen, Susanne Elisabeth; Schmalbruch, H

    2007-01-01

    of large dorsal root ganglion cells. Motor conduction studies, autonomic function and warm and cold temperature sensation remained unchanged at all doses of cisplatin treatment. The results of these studies are consistent with degeneration of large sensory neurons whereas there was no evidence of distal...

  1. Shape, connectedness and dynamics in neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comin, Cesar Henrique; da Fontoura Costa, Luciano

    2013-11-15

    The morphology of neurons is directly related to several aspects of the nervous system, including its connectedness, health, development, evolution, dynamics and, ultimately, behavior. Such interplays of the neuronal morphology can be understood within the more general shape-function paradigm. The current article reviews, in an introductory way, some key issues regarding the role of neuronal morphology in the nervous system, with emphasis on works developed in the authors' group. The following topics are addressed: (a) characterization of neuronal shape; (b) stochastic synthesis of neurons and neuronal systems; (c) characterization of the connectivity of neuronal networks by using complex networks concepts; and (d) investigations of influences of neuronal shape on network dynamics. The presented concepts and methods are useful also for several other multiple object systems, such as protein-protein interaction, tissues, aggregates and polymers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. How Might New Neurons Buffer Against Stress?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Institute Announcements (104 items) How Might New Neurons Buffer Against Stress? Clues Emerging from Studies in New ... better understand how having new neurons appears to buffer against stress effects on behavior, the NIMH researchers ...

  3. [The ontogeny of the mirror neuron system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myowa-Yamakoshi, Masako

    2014-06-01

    Abstract Humans utilize the mirror neuron system to understand and predict others' actions. However, the ontogeny of the mirror neuron system remains unknown. Whether mirror neuron function is an innate trait or whether mirror neurons acquire their sensorimotor matching properties ontogenetically remains to be clarified. In this paper, I review the ontogenetic theory of the mirror neuron system. I then discuss the functioning of the mirror neuron system in the context of social cognitive abilities, which are unique to humans. Recently, some researchers argue that it is too early to interpret the function of mirror neurons as an understanding of the underlying psychological states of others. They imply that such functioning would require inferential cognitive processes that are known to involve areas outside the mirror neuron system. Filling in this missing link may be the key to elucidating the unique ability of humans to understand others' actions.

  4. Spiking Neuron Network Helmholtz Machine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel eSountsov

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available An increasing amount of behavioral and neurophysiological data suggests that the brain performs optimal (or near-optimal probabilistic inference and learning during perception and other tasks. Although many machine learning algorithms exist that perform inference and learning in an optimal way, the complete description of how one of those algorithms (or a novel algorithm can be implemented in the brain is currently incomplete. There have been many proposed solutions that address how neurons can perform optimal inference but the question of how synaptic plasticity can implement optimal learning is rarely addressed. This paper aims to unify the two fields of probabilistic inference and synaptic plasticity by using a neuronal network of realistic model spiking neurons to implement a well studied computational model called the Helmholtz Machine. The Helmholtz Machine is amenable to neural implementation as the algorithm it uses to learn its parameters, called the wake-sleep algorithm, uses a local delta learning rule. Our spiking-neuron network implements both the delta rule and a small example of a Helmholtz machine. This neuronal network can learn an internal model of continuous-valued training data sets without supervision. The network can also perform inference on the learned internal models. We show how various biophysical features of the neural implementation constrain the parameters of the wake-sleep algorithm, such as the duration of the wake and sleep phases of learning and the minimal sample duration. We examine the deviations from optimal performance and tie them to the properties of the synaptic plasticity rule.

  5. BlastNeuron for Automated Comparison, Retrieval and Clustering of 3D Neuron Morphologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Yinan; Long, Fuhui; Qu, Lei; Xiao, Hang; Hawrylycz, Michael; Myers, Eugene W; Peng, Hanchuan

    2015-10-01

    Characterizing the identity and types of neurons in the brain, as well as their associated function, requires a means of quantifying and comparing 3D neuron morphology. Presently, neuron comparison methods are based on statistics from neuronal morphology such as size and number of branches, which are not fully suitable for detecting local similarities and differences in the detailed structure. We developed BlastNeuron to compare neurons in terms of their global appearance, detailed arborization patterns, and topological similarity. BlastNeuron first compares and clusters 3D neuron reconstructions based on global morphology features and moment invariants, independent of their orientations, sizes, level of reconstruction and other variations. Subsequently, BlastNeuron performs local alignment between any pair of retrieved neurons via a tree-topology driven dynamic programming method. A 3D correspondence map can thus be generated at the resolution of single reconstruction nodes. We applied BlastNeuron to three datasets: (1) 10,000+ neuron reconstructions from a public morphology database, (2) 681 newly and manually reconstructed neurons, and (3) neurons reconstructions produced using several independent reconstruction methods. Our approach was able to accurately and efficiently retrieve morphologically and functionally similar neuron structures from large morphology database, identify the local common structures, and find clusters of neurons that share similarities in both morphology and molecular profiles.

  6. Molecular Programming of Mesodiencephalic Dopaminergic Neuronal Subsets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smidt, M.P.

    Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra compacta (SNc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are critical components of the neuronal machinery to control emotion and movement in mammals. The slow and gradual death of these neurons as seen in Parkinson's disease has triggered a large investment in

  7. Effect of Methamidophos on cerebellar neuronal cells

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    olayemitoyin

    Taken together, our study shows that low dose methamidophos may negatively impact. TH-mediated cerebellar neuronal cell development and function, and consequently could interfere with TH-regulated neuronal events. Keywords: Methamidophos, Thyroid hormone, Purkinje cells, Granule cell, Neuronal development.

  8. Cognition and behavior in motor neuron disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raaphorst, J.

    2015-01-01

    Motor neuron disease (MND) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive motor neuron loss, leading to weakness of the muscles of arms and legs, bulbar and respiratory muscles. Depending on the involvement of the lower and the upper motor neuron, amyotrophic lateral

  9. The spectrum of lower motor neuron syndromes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Berg-Vos, R. M.; van den Berg, L. H.; Visser, J.; de Visser, M.; Franssen, H.; Wokke, J. H. J.

    2003-01-01

    This review discusses the most important lower motor neuron syndromes. This relatively rare group of syndromes has not been well described clinically. Two subgroups can be distinguished: patients in whom motor neurons (lower motor neuron disease (LMND)) are primarily affected or motor axons and

  10. Oscillating from Neurosecretion to Multitasking Dopamine Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David R. Grattan

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In this issue of Cell Reports, Stagkourakis et al. (2016 report that oscillating hypothalamic TIDA neurons, previously thought to be simple neurosecretory neurons controlling pituitary prolactin secretion, control dopamine output via autoregulatory mechanisms and thus could potentially regulate other physiologically important hypothalamic neuronal circuits.

  11. Responses of single neurons and neuronal ensembles in frog first- and second-order olfactory neurons

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rospars, J. P.; Šanda, Pavel; Lánský, Petr; Duchamp-Viret, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 1536, NOV 6 (2013), s. 144-158 ISSN 0006-8993 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP304/12/G069; GA ČR(CZ) GAP103/11/0282 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : olfaction * spiking activity * neuronal model Subject RIV: JD - Computer Applications, Robotics Impact factor: 2.828, year: 2013

  12. What We Know Currently about Mirror Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilner, J.M.; Lemon, R.N.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons were discovered over twenty years ago in the ventral premotor region F5 of the macaque monkey. Since their discovery much has been written about these neurons, both in the scientific literature and in the popular press. They have been proposed to be the neuronal substrate underlying a vast array of different functions. Indeed so much has been written about mirror neurons that last year they were referred to, rightly or wrongly, as “The most hyped concept in neuroscience”. Here we try to cut through some of this hyperbole and review what is currently known (and not known) about mirror neurons. PMID:24309286

  13. What we know currently about mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilner, J M; Lemon, R N

    2013-12-02

    Mirror neurons were discovered over twenty years ago in the ventral premotor region F5 of the macaque monkey. Since their discovery much has been written about these neurons, both in the scientific literature and in the popular press. They have been proposed to be the neuronal substrate underlying a vast array of different functions. Indeed so much has been written about mirror neurons that last year they were referred to, rightly or wrongly, as "The most hyped concept in neuroscience". Here we try to cut through some of this hyperbole and review what is currently known (and not known) about mirror neurons. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Oscillatory integration windows in neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Nitin; Singh, Swikriti Saran; Stopfer, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory synchrony among neurons occurs in many species and brain areas, and has been proposed to help neural circuits process information. One hypothesis states that oscillatory input creates cyclic integration windows: specific times in each oscillatory cycle when postsynaptic neurons become especially responsive to inputs. With paired local field potential (LFP) and intracellular recordings and controlled stimulus manipulations we directly test this idea in the locust olfactory system. We find that inputs arriving in Kenyon cells (KCs) sum most effectively in a preferred window of the oscillation cycle. With a computational model, we show that the non-uniform structure of noise in the membrane potential helps mediate this process. Further experiments performed in vivo demonstrate that integration windows can form in the absence of inhibition and at a broad range of oscillation frequencies. Our results reveal how a fundamental coincidence-detection mechanism in a neural circuit functions to decode temporally organized spiking. PMID:27976720

  15. Neuronal involvement in cisplatin neuropathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup-Hansen, A; Helweg-Larsen, Susanne Elisabeth; Schmalbruch, H

    2007-01-01

    Although it is well known that cisplatin causes a sensory neuropathy, the primary site of involvement is not established. The clinical symptoms localized in a stocking-glove distribution may be explained by a length dependent neuronopathy or by a distal axonopathy. To study whether the whole neuron...... nerve were 50-60% reduced, whereas no definite changes occurred at lower doses. The SNAP conduction velocities were reduced by 10-15% at cumulative doses of 400-700 mg/m2 consistent with loss of large myelinated fibres. SNAPs from primarily Pacinian corpuscles in digit 3 and the dorsolateral side...... of large dorsal root ganglion cells. Motor conduction studies, autonomic function and warm and cold temperature sensation remained unchanged at all doses of cisplatin treatment. The results of these studies are consistent with degeneration of large sensory neurons whereas there was no evidence of distal...

  16. Spatially selective photoconductive stimulation of live neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob eCampbell

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic activity is intimately linked to neuronal structure and function. Stimulation of live cultured primary neurons, coupled with fluorescent indicator imaging, is a powerful technique to assess the impact of synaptic activity on neuronal protein trafficking and function. Current technology for neuronal stimulation in culture include chemical techniques or microelectrode or optogenetic based techniques. While technically powerful, chemical stimulation has limited spatial resolution and microelectrode and optogenetic techniques require specialized equipment and expertise. We report an optimized and improved technique for laser based photoconductive stimulation of live neurons using an inverted confocal microscope that overcomes these limitations. The advantages of this approach include its non-invasive nature and adaptability to temporal and spatial manipulation. We demonstrate that the technique can be manipulated to achieve spatially selective stimulation of live neurons. Coupled with live imaging of fluorescent indicators, this simple and efficient technique should allow for significant advances in neuronal cell biology.

  17. Mirror Neurons from Associative Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons fire both when executing actions and observing others perform similar actions. Their sensorimotor matching properties have generally been considered a genetic adaptation for social cognition; however, in the present chapter we argue that the evidence in favor of this account is not compelling. Instead we present evidence supporting an alternative account: that mirror neurons’ matching properties arise from associative learning during individual development. Notably, this proces...

  18. Neurons from the adult human dentate nucleus: neural networks in the neuron classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grbatinić, Ivan; Marić, Dušica L; Milošević, Nebojša T

    2015-04-07

    Topological (central vs. border neuron type) and morphological classification of adult human dentate nucleus neurons according to their quantified histomorphological properties using neural networks on real and virtual neuron samples. In the real sample 53.1% and 14.1% of central and border neurons, respectively, are classified correctly with total of 32.8% of misclassified neurons. The most important result present 62.2% of misclassified neurons in border neurons group which is even greater than number of correctly classified neurons (37.8%) in that group, showing obvious failure of network to classify neurons correctly based on computational parameters used in our study. On the virtual sample 97.3% of misclassified neurons in border neurons group which is much greater than number of correctly classified neurons (2.7%) in that group, again confirms obvious failure of network to classify neurons correctly. Statistical analysis shows that there is no statistically significant difference in between central and border neurons for each measured parameter (p>0.05). Total of 96.74% neurons are morphologically classified correctly by neural networks and each one belongs to one of the four histomorphological types: (a) neurons with small soma and short dendrites, (b) neurons with small soma and long dendrites, (c) neuron with large soma and short dendrites, (d) neurons with large soma and long dendrites. Statistical analysis supports these results (pneurons can be classified in four neuron types according to their quantitative histomorphological properties. These neuron types consist of two neuron sets, small and large ones with respect to their perykarions with subtypes differing in dendrite length i.e. neurons with short vs. long dendrites. Besides confirmation of neuron classification on small and large ones, already shown in literature, we found two new subtypes i.e. neurons with small soma and long dendrites and with large soma and short dendrites. These neurons are

  19. Consciousness from neurons and waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, E. R.

    2004-05-01

    This paper presents a theory of consciousness based on the following evidence: [1] Complex stimuli are decomposed by the exogenous system into attributes transmitted to synapses of pyramidal neurons in lower cortical layers, encoding fragments of sensations as nonrandom synchronization that increases local voltages; [2] Endogenous readouts from representational systems encoding memories in a mesolimbic system are transmitted to synapses of the pyramidal neurons in upper layers; [3] Excitability of pyramidal neurons receiving convergent exogenous and endogenous inputs is enhanced, converting fragments of sensations to fragments of perception and creating high voltage islands of non-random synchrony; [4] Local Field Potential (LFP) oscillations are homeostatically regulated, imposing dynamically maintained local voltage thresholds that define a "Ground State" [5] Deviations from these most probable levels constitute local perturbations of entropy; [6] Modulation of cortex by LFPs, facilitating coherent cortico-thalamic (C-T) volleys of cells with suprathreshold excitability, binds dispersed fragments of local perturbations of entropy; [7] The thalamic cells from which convergence arose respond to these volleys by coherent T-C-T-C reverberations; [8] Sustained reverberation establishes a resonating electromagnetic field of information, the vehicle sustaining unified perception; [9] The resonating field of information constitutes Global Negative and generates the content of consciousness; [10] Invariant reversible LFP changes occur upon loss of consciousness and persistent shifts accompany many clinical disorders.

  20. Selective serotonergic excitation of callosal projection neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eAvesar

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Serotonin (5-HT acting as a neurotransmitter in the cerebral cortex is critical for cognitive function, yet how 5-HT regulates information processing in cortical circuits is not well understood. We tested the serotonergic responsiveness of layer 5 pyramidal neurons (L5PNs of the mouse medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, and found 3 distinct response types: long-lasting 5-HT1A (1A receptor-dependent inhibitory responses (84% of L5PNs, 5-HT2A (2A receptor-dependent excitatory responses (9%, and biphasic responses in which 2A-dependent excitation followed brief inhibition (5%. Relative to 5-HT-inhibited neurons, those excited by 5-HT had physiological properties characteristic of callosal/commissural (COM neurons that project to the contralateral cortex. We tested whether serotonergic responses in cortical pyramidal neurons are correlated with their axonal projection pattern using retrograde fluorescent labeling of COM and corticopontine-projecting (CPn neurons. 5-HT generated excitatory or biphasic responses in all 5-HT-responsive layer 5 COM neurons. Conversely, CPn neurons were universally inhibited by 5-HT. Serotonergic excitation of COM neurons was blocked by the 2A antagonist MDL 11939, while serotonergic inhibition of CPn neurons was blocked by the 1A antagonist WAY 100635, confirming a role for these two receptor subtypes in regulating pyramidal neuron activity. Selective serotonergic excitation of COM neurons was not layer-specific, as COM neurons in layer 2/3 were also selectively excited by 5-HT relative to their non-labeled pyramidal neuron neighbors. Because neocortical 2A receptors are implicated in the etiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia, we propose that COM neurons may represent a novel cellular target for intervention in psychiatric disease.

  1. Motor neurons and the generation of spinal motor neurons diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas eStifani

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Motor neurons (MNs are neuronal cells located in the central nervous system (CNS controlling a variety of downstream targets. This function infers the existence of MN subtypes matching the identity of the targets they innervate. To illustrate the mechanism involved in the generation of cellular diversity and the acquisition of specific identity, this review will focus on spinal motor neurons (SpMNs that have been the core of significant work and discoveries during the last decades. SpMNs are responsible for the contraction of effector muscles in the periphery. Humans possess more than 500 different skeletal muscles capable to work in a precise time and space coordination to generate complex movements such as walking or grasping. To ensure such refined coordination, SpMNs must retain the identity of the muscle they innervate.Within the last two decades, scientists around the world have produced considerable efforts to elucidate several critical steps of SpMNs differentiation. During development, SpMNs emerge from dividing progenitor cells located in the medial portion of the ventral neural tube. MN identities are established by patterning cues working in cooperation with intrinsic sets of transcription factors. As the embryo develop, MNs further differentiate in a stepwise manner to form compact anatomical groups termed pools connecting to a unique muscle target. MN pools are not homogeneous and comprise subtypes according to the muscle fibers they innervate.This article aims to provide a global view of MN classification as well as an up-to-date review of the molecular mechanisms involved in the generation of SpMN diversity. Remaining conundrums will be discussed since a complete understanding of those mechanisms constitutes the foundation required for the elaboration of prospective MN regeneration therapies.

  2. Neuronal Networks on Nanocellulose Scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, Malin; Brackmann, Christian; Puchades, Maja; Brattås, Karoline; Ewing, Andrew; Gatenholm, Paul; Enejder, Annika

    2015-11-01

    Proliferation, integration, and neurite extension of PC12 cells, a widely used culture model for cholinergic neurons, were studied in nanocellulose scaffolds biosynthesized by Gluconacetobacter xylinus to allow a three-dimensional (3D) extension of neurites better mimicking neuronal networks in tissue. The interaction with control scaffolds was compared with cationized nanocellulose (trimethyl ammonium betahydroxy propyl [TMAHP] cellulose) to investigate the impact of surface charges on the cell interaction mechanisms. Furthermore, coatings with extracellular matrix proteins (collagen, fibronectin, and laminin) were investigated to determine the importance of integrin-mediated cell attachment. Cell proliferation was evaluated by a cellular proliferation assay, while cell integration and neurite propagation were studied by simultaneous label-free Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and second harmonic generation microscopy, providing 3D images of PC12 cells and arrangement of nanocellulose fibrils, respectively. Cell attachment and proliferation were enhanced by TMAHP modification, but not by protein coating. Protein coating instead promoted active interaction between the cells and the scaffold, hence lateral cell migration and integration. Irrespective of surface modification, deepest cell integration measured was one to two cell layers, whereas neurites have a capacity to integrate deeper than the cell bodies in the scaffold due to their fine dimensions and amoeba-like migration pattern. Neurites with lengths of >50 μm were observed, successfully connecting individual cells and cell clusters. In conclusion, TMAHP-modified nanocellulose scaffolds promote initial cellular scaffold adhesion, which combined with additional cell-scaffold treatments enables further formation of 3D neuronal networks.

  3. Experiências sôbre a transmissão do Trypanosoma cruzi por sanguessugas e de tripanosomas de vertebrados de sangue frio por triatomíneos Experiments of the transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi by leechs and cold blooded vertebrate trypanosomas by triatominae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel B. Pessôa

    1969-06-01

    Full Text Available Observou-se que o Trypanosoma cruzi não se multiplica na sanguessuga (Haementeria lutzi Pinto; os tripanosomas sugados degeneram após algum tempo; outros permanecem aparentemente normais, porém 48 horas após a ingestão infectante acabam morrendo. Observou-se ainda que os tripanosomas parasitas da rã (T. rotatorium e T. leptodactyli bem como o T. hogei, parasita da serpente Rachidelus brazili, não se multiplicam no intestino dos triatomíneos. O mais resistente (o T. leptodactyli, permanece vivo até 72 horas após a ingestão infectante, porém as outras duas espécies (T. rotatorium e T. hogei não resistem mais de 24 horas após serem sugadas pelos triatomíneos.Trypanosoma cruzi does not reproduce itself in the leech (Haementerm lutzi Pinto; the ingested trypanosomes degenerate after some time; other organisms remain apparently normal, however dying 48 hours after the feeding of the leechs. The parasite trypanosomas of the frog (T. rotatorium and T. leptodactyli as well as those parasiting the ophidian Rachidelus brazili (T. hogei do not multiply in the intestine of the triatominae. The most resistent species (T. leptocbactyli remains alive 72 hours after the feeding of the triatominae; the other two, however, do not survive more than 24 hours.

  4. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L. [School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287-9709 (United States)

    2015-01-15

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an “all or none” phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera)

  5. A chimeric path to neuronal synchronization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Essaki Arumugam, Easwara Moorthy; Spano, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Synchronization of neuronal activity is associated with neurological disorders such as epilepsy. This process of neuronal synchronization is not fully understood. To further our understanding, we have experimentally studied the progression of this synchronization from normal neuronal firing to full synchronization. We implemented nine FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons (a simplified Hodgkin-Huxley model) via discrete electronics. For different coupling parameters (synaptic strengths), the neurons in the ring were either unsynchronized or completely synchronized when locally coupled in a ring. When a single long-range connection (nonlocal coupling) was introduced, an intermediate state known as a chimera appeared. The results indicate that (1) epilepsy is likely not only a dynamical disease but also a topological disease, strongly tied to the connectivity of the underlying network of neurons, and (2) the synchronization process in epilepsy may not be an “all or none” phenomenon, but can pass through an intermediate stage (chimera)

  6. Morphological Neuron Classification Using Machine Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasques, Xavier; Vanel, Laurent; Villette, Guillaume; Cif, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Classification and quantitative characterization of neuronal morphologies from histological neuronal reconstruction is challenging since it is still unclear how to delineate a neuronal cell class and which are the best features to define them by. The morphological neuron characterization represents a primary source to address anatomical comparisons, morphometric analysis of cells, or brain modeling. The objectives of this paper are (i) to develop and integrate a pipeline that goes from morphological feature extraction to classification and (ii) to assess and compare the accuracy of machine learning algorithms to classify neuron morphologies. The algorithms were trained on 430 digitally reconstructed neurons subjectively classified into layers and/or m-types using young and/or adult development state population of the somatosensory cortex in rats. For supervised algorithms, linear discriminant analysis provided better classification results in comparison with others. For unsupervised algorithms, the affinity propagation and the Ward algorithms provided slightly better results. PMID:27847467

  7. Performance limitations of relay neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Agarwal

    Full Text Available Relay cells are prevalent throughout sensory systems and receive two types of inputs: driving and modulating. The driving input contains receptive field properties that must be transmitted while the modulating input alters the specifics of transmission. For example, the visual thalamus contains relay neurons that receive driving inputs from the retina that encode a visual image, and modulating inputs from reticular activating system and layer 6 of visual cortex that control what aspects of the image will be relayed back to visual cortex for perception. What gets relayed depends on several factors such as attentional demands and a subject's goals. In this paper, we analyze a biophysical based model of a relay cell and use systems theoretic tools to construct analytic bounds on how well the cell transmits a driving input as a function of the neuron's electrophysiological properties, the modulating input, and the driving signal parameters. We assume that the modulating input belongs to a class of sinusoidal signals and that the driving input is an irregular train of pulses with inter-pulse intervals obeying an exponential distribution. Our analysis applies to any [Formula: see text] order model as long as the neuron does not spike without a driving input pulse and exhibits a refractory period. Our bounds on relay reliability contain performance obtained through simulation of a second and third order model, and suggest, for instance, that if the frequency of the modulating input increases or the DC offset decreases, then relay increases. Our analysis also shows, for the first time, how the biophysical properties of the neuron (e.g. ion channel dynamics define the oscillatory patterns needed in the modulating input for appropriately timed relay of sensory information. In our discussion, we describe how our bounds predict experimentally observed neural activity in the basal ganglia in (i health, (ii in Parkinson's disease (PD, and (iii in PD during

  8. Neurosemantics, neurons and system theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breidbach, Olaf

    2007-08-01

    Following the concept of internal representations, signal processing in a neuronal system has to be evaluated exclusively based on internal system characteristics. Thus, this approach omits the external observer as a control function for sensory integration. Instead, the configuration of the system and its computational performance are the effects of endogenous factors. Such self-referential operation is due to a strictly local computation in a network and, thereby, computations follow a set of rules that constitute the emergent behaviour of the system. These rules can be shown to correspond to a "logic" that is intrinsic to the system, an idea which provides the basis for neurosemantics.

  9. Novel model of neuronal bioenergetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Lasse Kristoffer; Obel, Linea Lykke Frimodt; Walls, Anne B

    2012-01-01

    matrix thus activating the tricarboxylic acid cycle dehydrogenases. This will lead to a lower activity of the MASH (malate-aspartate shuttle), which in turn will result in anaerobic glycolysis and lactate production rather than lactate utilization. In the present work, we have investigated the effect...... is positively correlated with intracellular Ca2+ whereas lactate utilization is not. This result lends further support for a significant role of glucose in neuronal bioenergetics and that Ca2+ signalling may control the switch between glucose and lactate utilization during synaptic activity. Based...... a positive correlation between oxidative metabolism of glucose and Ca2+ signalling....

  10. Arc - An endogenous neuronal retrovirus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Jason D

    2018-05-01

    The neuronal gene Arc is essential for long-lasting information storage in the mammalian brain and has been implicated in various neurological disorders. However, little is known about Arc's evolutionary origins. Recent studies suggest that mammalian Arc originated from a vertebrate lineage of Ty3/gypsy retrotransposons, which are also ancestral to retroviruses. In particular, Arc contains homology to the Gag polyprotein that forms the viral capsid and is essential for viral infectivity. This surprising connection raises the intriguing possibility that Arc may share molecular characteristics of retroviruses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. High-Degree Neurons Feed Cortical Computations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas M Timme

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent work has shown that functional connectivity among cortical neurons is highly varied, with a small percentage of neurons having many more connections than others. Also, recent theoretical developments now make it possible to quantify how neurons modify information from the connections they receive. Therefore, it is now possible to investigate how information modification, or computation, depends on the number of connections a neuron receives (in-degree or sends out (out-degree. To do this, we recorded the simultaneous spiking activity of hundreds of neurons in cortico-hippocampal slice cultures using a high-density 512-electrode array. This preparation and recording method combination produced large numbers of neurons recorded at temporal and spatial resolutions that are not currently available in any in vivo recording system. We utilized transfer entropy (a well-established method for detecting linear and nonlinear interactions in time series and the partial information decomposition (a powerful, recently developed tool for dissecting multivariate information processing into distinct parts to quantify computation between neurons where information flows converged. We found that computations did not occur equally in all neurons throughout the networks. Surprisingly, neurons that computed large amounts of information tended to receive connections from high out-degree neurons. However, the in-degree of a neuron was not related to the amount of information it computed. To gain insight into these findings, we developed a simple feedforward network model. We found that a degree-modified Hebbian wiring rule best reproduced the pattern of computation and degree correlation results seen in the real data. Interestingly, this rule also maximized signal propagation in the presence of network-wide correlations, suggesting a mechanism by which cortex could deal with common random background input. These are the first results to show that the extent to

  12. Mirror neurons: From origin to function

    OpenAIRE

    Cook, R; Bird, G; Catmur, C; Press, C; Heyes, C

    2014-01-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively...

  13. Do enteric neurons make hypocretin? ☆

    OpenAIRE

    Baumann, Christian R.; Clark, Erika L.; Pedersen, Nigel P.; Hecht, Jonathan L.; Scammell, Thomas E.

    2007-01-01

    Hypocretins (orexins) are wake-promoting neuropeptides produced by hypothalamic neurons. These hypocretin-producing cells are lost in people with narcolepsy, possibly due to an autoimmune attack. Prior studies described hypocretin neurons in the enteric nervous system, and these cells could be an additional target of an autoimmune process. We sought to determine whether enteric hypocretin neurons are lost in narcoleptic subjects. Even though we tried several methods (including whole mounts, s...

  14. Synchronous Behavior of Two Coupled Biological Neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elson, R.C.; Selverston, A.I.; Elson, R.C.; Selverston, A.I.; Huerta, R.; Rulkov, N.F.; Rabinovich, M.I.; Abarbanel, H.D.; Selverston, A.I.; Huerta, R.; Abarbanel, H.D.

    1998-01-01

    We report experimental studies of synchronization phenomena in a pair of biological neurons that interact through naturally occurring, electrical coupling. When these neurons generate irregular bursts of spikes, the natural coupling synchronizes slow oscillations of membrane potential, but not the fast spikes. By adding artificial electrical coupling we studied transitions between synchrony and asynchrony in both slow oscillations and fast spikes. We discuss the dynamics of bursting and synchronization in living neurons with distributed functional morphology. copyright 1998 The American Physical Society

  15. A New Population of Parvocellular Oxytocin Neurons Controlling Magnocellular Neuron Activity and Inflammatory Pain Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliava, Marina; Melchior, Meggane; Knobloch-Bollmann, H Sophie; Wahis, Jérôme; da Silva Gouveia, Miriam; Tang, Yan; Ciobanu, Alexandru Cristian; Triana Del Rio, Rodrigo; Roth, Lena C; Althammer, Ferdinand; Chavant, Virginie; Goumon, Yannick; Gruber, Tim; Petit-Demoulière, Nathalie; Busnelli, Marta; Chini, Bice; Tan, Linette L; Mitre, Mariela; Froemke, Robert C; Chao, Moses V; Giese, Günter; Sprengel, Rolf; Kuner, Rohini; Poisbeau, Pierrick; Seeburg, Peter H; Stoop, Ron; Charlet, Alexandre; Grinevich, Valery

    2016-03-16

    Oxytocin (OT) is a neuropeptide elaborated by the hypothalamic paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic (SON) nuclei. Magnocellular OT neurons of these nuclei innervate numerous forebrain regions and release OT into the blood from the posterior pituitary. The PVN also harbors parvocellular OT cells that project to the brainstem and spinal cord, but their function has not been directly assessed. Here, we identified a subset of approximately 30 parvocellular OT neurons, with collateral projections onto magnocellular OT neurons and neurons of deep layers of the spinal cord. Evoked OT release from these OT neurons suppresses nociception and promotes analgesia in an animal model of inflammatory pain. Our findings identify a new population of OT neurons that modulates nociception in a two tier process: (1) directly by release of OT from axons onto sensory spinal cord neurons and inhibiting their activity and (2) indirectly by stimulating OT release from SON neurons into the periphery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Molecular Programming of Mesodiencephalic Dopaminergic Neuronal Subsets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marten P. Smidt

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra compacta (SNc and ventral tegmental area (VTA are critical components of the neuronal machinery to control emotion and movement in mammals. The slow and gradual death of these neurons as seen in Parkinson's disease has triggered a large investment in research toward unraveling the molecular determinants that are used to generate these neurons and to get an insight in their apparent selective vulnerability. Here, I set out to summarize the current view on the molecular distinctions that exist within this mesodiencephalic dopamine (mdDA system and elaborate on the molecular programming that is responsible for creating such diversity.

  17. Mechanisms of Neuronal Apoptosis In Vivo

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Martin, Lee J

    2004-01-01

    .... Neuronal cell death in the form of apoptosis or necrosis occurs after exposure to neurotoxins, chemical warfare agents, radiation, viruses, and after seizures, trauma, limb amputation, and hypoxic...

  18. Autosomal dominant adult neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijssen, Peter C.G.

    2011-01-01

    this thesis investigates a family with autosomal dominant neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, with chapters on clinical neurology, neuropathology, neurogenetics, neurophysiology, auditory and visual aspects.

  19. Shaping Neuronal Network Activity by Presynaptic Mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayal Lavi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal microcircuits generate oscillatory activity, which has been linked to basic functions such as sleep, learning and sensorimotor gating. Although synaptic release processes are well known for their ability to shape the interaction between neurons in microcircuits, most computational models do not simulate the synaptic transmission process directly and hence cannot explain how changes in synaptic parameters alter neuronal network activity. In this paper, we present a novel neuronal network model that incorporates presynaptic release mechanisms, such as vesicle pool dynamics and calcium-dependent release probability, to model the spontaneous activity of neuronal networks. The model, which is based on modified leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, generates spontaneous network activity patterns, which are similar to experimental data and robust under changes in the model's primary gain parameters such as excitatory postsynaptic potential and connectivity ratio. Furthermore, it reliably recreates experimental findings and provides mechanistic explanations for data obtained from microelectrode array recordings, such as network burst termination and the effects of pharmacological and genetic manipulations. The model demonstrates how elevated asynchronous release, but not spontaneous release, synchronizes neuronal network activity and reveals that asynchronous release enhances utilization of the recycling vesicle pool to induce the network effect. The model further predicts a positive correlation between vesicle priming at the single-neuron level and burst frequency at the network level; this prediction is supported by experimental findings. Thus, the model is utilized to reveal how synaptic release processes at the neuronal level govern activity patterns and synchronization at the network level.

  20. Macroscopic Description for Networks of Spiking Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montbrió, Ernest; Pazó, Diego; Roxin, Alex

    2015-04-01

    A major goal of neuroscience, statistical physics, and nonlinear dynamics is to understand how brain function arises from the collective dynamics of networks of spiking neurons. This challenge has been chiefly addressed through large-scale numerical simulations. Alternatively, researchers have formulated mean-field theories to gain insight into macroscopic states of large neuronal networks in terms of the collective firing activity of the neurons, or the firing rate. However, these theories have not succeeded in establishing an exact correspondence between the firing rate of the network and the underlying microscopic state of the spiking neurons. This has largely constrained the range of applicability of such macroscopic descriptions, particularly when trying to describe neuronal synchronization. Here, we provide the derivation of a set of exact macroscopic equations for a network of spiking neurons. Our results reveal that the spike generation mechanism of individual neurons introduces an effective coupling between two biophysically relevant macroscopic quantities, the firing rate and the mean membrane potential, which together govern the evolution of the neuronal network. The resulting equations exactly describe all possible macroscopic dynamical states of the network, including states of synchronous spiking activity. Finally, we show that the firing-rate description is related, via a conformal map, to a low-dimensional description in terms of the Kuramoto order parameter, called Ott-Antonsen theory. We anticipate that our results will be an important tool in investigating how large networks of spiking neurons self-organize in time to process and encode information in the brain.

  1. Glutamate mediated astrocytic filtering of neuronal activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilad Wallach

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity.

  2. Glutamate Mediated Astrocytic Filtering of Neuronal Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzog, Nitzan; De Pittà, Maurizio; Jacob, Eshel Ben; Berry, Hugues; Hanein, Yael

    2014-01-01

    Neuron-astrocyte communication is an important regulatory mechanism in various brain functions but its complexity and role are yet to be fully understood. In particular, the temporal pattern of astrocyte response to neuronal firing has not been fully characterized. Here, we used neuron-astrocyte cultures on multi-electrode arrays coupled to Ca2+ imaging and explored the range of neuronal stimulation frequencies while keeping constant the amount of stimulation. Our results reveal that astrocytes specifically respond to the frequency of neuronal stimulation by intracellular Ca2+ transients, with a clear onset of astrocytic activation at neuron firing rates around 3-5 Hz. The cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the astrocyte Ca2+ response was however large and increasing with stimulation frequency. Astrocytic activation by neurons was abolished with antagonists of type I metabotropic glutamate receptor, validating the glutamate-dependence of this neuron-to-astrocyte pathway. Using a realistic biophysical model of glutamate-based intracellular calcium signaling in astrocytes, we suggest that the stepwise response is due to the supralinear dynamics of intracellular IP3 and that the heterogeneity of the responses may be due to the heterogeneity of the astrocyte-to-astrocyte couplings via gap junction channels. Therefore our results present astrocyte intracellular Ca2+ activity as a nonlinear integrator of glutamate-dependent neuronal activity. PMID:25521344

  3. Effective stimuli for constructing reliable neuron models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaul Druckmann

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The rich dynamical nature of neurons poses major conceptual and technical challenges for unraveling their nonlinear membrane properties. Traditionally, various current waveforms have been injected at the soma to probe neuron dynamics, but the rationale for selecting specific stimuli has never been rigorously justified. The present experimental and theoretical study proposes a novel framework, inspired by learning theory, for objectively selecting the stimuli that best unravel the neuron's dynamics. The efficacy of stimuli is assessed in terms of their ability to constrain the parameter space of biophysically detailed conductance-based models that faithfully replicate the neuron's dynamics as attested by their ability to generalize well to the neuron's response to novel experimental stimuli. We used this framework to evaluate a variety of stimuli in different types of cortical neurons, ages and animals. Despite their simplicity, a set of stimuli consisting of step and ramp current pulses outperforms synaptic-like noisy stimuli in revealing the dynamics of these neurons. The general framework that we propose paves a new way for defining, evaluating and standardizing effective electrical probing of neurons and will thus lay the foundation for a much deeper understanding of the electrical nature of these highly sophisticated and non-linear devices and of the neuronal networks that they compose.

  4. Spiking Neurons for Analysis of Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntsberger, Terrance

    2008-01-01

    Artificial neural networks comprising spiking neurons of a novel type have been conceived as improved pattern-analysis and pattern-recognition computational systems. These neurons are represented by a mathematical model denoted the state-variable model (SVM), which among other things, exploits a computational parallelism inherent in spiking-neuron geometry. Networks of SVM neurons offer advantages of speed and computational efficiency, relative to traditional artificial neural networks. The SVM also overcomes some of the limitations of prior spiking-neuron models. There are numerous potential pattern-recognition, tracking, and data-reduction (data preprocessing) applications for these SVM neural networks on Earth and in exploration of remote planets. Spiking neurons imitate biological neurons more closely than do the neurons of traditional artificial neural networks. A spiking neuron includes a central cell body (soma) surrounded by a tree-like interconnection network (dendrites). Spiking neurons are so named because they generate trains of output pulses (spikes) in response to inputs received from sensors or from other neurons. They gain their speed advantage over traditional neural networks by using the timing of individual spikes for computation, whereas traditional artificial neurons use averages of activity levels over time. Moreover, spiking neurons use the delays inherent in dendritic processing in order to efficiently encode the information content of incoming signals. Because traditional artificial neurons fail to capture this encoding, they have less processing capability, and so it is necessary to use more gates when implementing traditional artificial neurons in electronic circuitry. Such higher-order functions as dynamic tasking are effected by use of pools (collections) of spiking neurons interconnected by spike-transmitting fibers. The SVM includes adaptive thresholds and submodels of transport of ions (in imitation of such transport in biological

  5. Discrimination of communication vocalizations by single neurons and groups of neurons in the auditory midbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David M; Woolley, Sarah M N

    2010-06-01

    Many social animals including songbirds use communication vocalizations for individual recognition. The perception of vocalizations depends on the encoding of complex sounds by neurons in the ascending auditory system, each of which is tuned to a particular subset of acoustic features. Here, we examined how well the responses of single auditory neurons could be used to discriminate among bird songs and we compared discriminability to spectrotemporal tuning. We then used biologically realistic models of pooled neural responses to test whether the responses of groups of neurons discriminated among songs better than the responses of single neurons and whether discrimination by groups of neurons was related to spectrotemporal tuning and trial-to-trial response variability. The responses of single auditory midbrain neurons could be used to discriminate among vocalizations with a wide range of abilities, ranging from chance to 100%. The ability to discriminate among songs using single neuron responses was not correlated with spectrotemporal tuning. Pooling the responses of pairs of neurons generally led to better discrimination than the average of the two inputs and the most discriminating input. Pooling the responses of three to five single neurons continued to improve neural discrimination. The increase in discriminability was largest for groups of neurons with similar spectrotemporal tuning. Further, we found that groups of neurons with correlated spike trains achieved the largest gains in discriminability. We simulated neurons with varying levels of temporal precision and measured the discriminability of responses from single simulated neurons and groups of simulated neurons. Simulated neurons with biologically observed levels of temporal precision benefited more from pooling correlated inputs than did neurons with highly precise or imprecise spike trains. These findings suggest that pooling correlated neural responses with the levels of precision observed in the

  6. Stages of neuronal network formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woiterski, Lydia; Claudepierre, Thomas; Luxenhofer, Robert; Jordan, Rainer; Käs, Josef A.

    2013-02-01

    Graph theoretical approaches have become a powerful tool for investigating the architecture and dynamics of complex networks. The topology of network graphs revealed small-world properties for very different real systems among these neuronal networks. In this study, we observed the early development of mouse retinal ganglion cell (RGC) networks in vitro using time-lapse video microscopy. By means of a time-resolved graph theoretical analysis of the connectivity, shortest path length and the edge length, we were able to discover the different stages during the network formation. Starting from single cells, at the first stage neurons connected to each other ending up in a network with maximum complexity. In the further course, we observed a simplification of the network which manifested in a change of relevant network parameters such as the minimization of the path length. Moreover, we found that RGC networks self-organized as small-world networks at both stages; however, the optimization occurred only in the second stage.

  7. Differentiating lower motor neuron syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Nidhi; Park, Susanna B; Vucic, Steve; Yiannikas, Con; Spies, Judy; Howells, James; Huynh, William; Matamala, José M; Krishnan, Arun V; Pollard, John D; Cornblath, David R; Reilly, Mary M; Kiernan, Matthew C

    2017-06-01

    Lower motor neuron (LMN) syndromes typically present with muscle wasting and weakness and may arise from pathology affecting the distal motor nerve up to the level of the anterior horn cell. A variety of hereditary causes are recognised, including spinal muscular atrophy, distal hereditary motor neuropathy and LMN variants of familial motor neuron disease. Recent genetic advances have resulted in the identification of a variety of disease-causing mutations. Immune-mediated disorders, including multifocal motor neuropathy and variants of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, account for a proportion of LMN presentations and are important to recognise, as effective treatments are available. The present review will outline the spectrum of LMN syndromes that may develop in adulthood and provide a framework for the clinician assessing a patient presenting with predominantly LMN features. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  8. Essential roles of mitochondrial depolarization in neuron loss through microglial activation and attraction toward neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Min-Kyung; Shin, Hyun-Ah; Han, Ji-Hye; Park, Dae-Wook; Rhim, Hyangshuk

    2013-04-10

    As life spans increased, neurodegenerative disorders that affect aging populations have also increased. Progressive neuronal loss in specific brain regions is the most common cause of neurodegenerative disease; however, key determinants mediating neuron loss are not fully understood. Using a model of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) loss, we found only 25% cell loss in SH-SY5Y (SH) neuronal mono-cultures, but interestingly, 85% neuronal loss occurred when neurons were co-cultured with BV2 microglia. SH neurons overexpressing uncoupling protein 2 exhibited an increase in neuron-microglia interactions, which represent an early step in microglial phagocytosis of neurons. This result indicates that ΔΨm loss in SH neurons is an important contributor to recruitment of BV2 microglia. Notably, we show that ΔΨm loss in BV2 microglia plays a crucial role in microglial activation and phagocytosis of damaged SH neurons. Thus, our study demonstrates that ΔΨm loss in both neurons and microglia is a critical determinant of neuron loss. These findings also offer new insights into neuroimmunological and bioenergetical aspects of neurodegenerative disease. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Cerebellar Nuclear Neurons Use Time and Rate Coding to Transmit Purkinje Neuron Pauses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar, Shyam Kumar; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-12-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei convey the final output of the cerebellum to their targets in various parts of the brain. Within the cerebellum their direct upstream connections originate from inhibitory Purkinje neurons. Purkinje neurons have a complex firing pattern of regular spikes interrupted by intermittent pauses of variable length. How can the cerebellar nucleus process this complex input pattern? In this modeling study, we investigate different forms of Purkinje neuron simple spike pause synchrony and its influence on candidate coding strategies in the cerebellar nuclei. That is, we investigate how different alignments of synchronous pauses in synthetic Purkinje neuron spike trains affect either time-locking or rate-changes in the downstream nuclei. We find that Purkinje neuron synchrony is mainly represented by changes in the firing rate of cerebellar nuclei neurons. Pause beginning synchronization produced a unique effect on nuclei neuron firing, while the effect of pause ending and pause overlapping synchronization could not be distinguished from each other. Pause beginning synchronization produced better time-locking of nuclear neurons for short length pauses. We also characterize the effect of pause length and spike jitter on the nuclear neuron firing. Additionally, we find that the rate of rebound responses in nuclear neurons after a synchronous pause is controlled by the firing rate of Purkinje neurons preceding it.

  10. Cerebellar Nuclear Neurons Use Time and Rate Coding to Transmit Purkinje Neuron Pauses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhakar, Shyam Kumar; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei convey the final output of the cerebellum to their targets in various parts of the brain. Within the cerebellum their direct upstream connections originate from inhibitory Purkinje neurons. Purkinje neurons have a complex firing pattern of regular spikes interrupted by intermittent pauses of variable length. How can the cerebellar nucleus process this complex input pattern? In this modeling study, we investigate different forms of Purkinje neuron simple spike pause synchrony and its influence on candidate coding strategies in the cerebellar nuclei. That is, we investigate how different alignments of synchronous pauses in synthetic Purkinje neuron spike trains affect either time-locking or rate-changes in the downstream nuclei. We find that Purkinje neuron synchrony is mainly represented by changes in the firing rate of cerebellar nuclei neurons. Pause beginning synchronization produced a unique effect on nuclei neuron firing, while the effect of pause ending and pause overlapping synchronization could not be distinguished from each other. Pause beginning synchronization produced better time-locking of nuclear neurons for short length pauses. We also characterize the effect of pause length and spike jitter on the nuclear neuron firing. Additionally, we find that the rate of rebound responses in nuclear neurons after a synchronous pause is controlled by the firing rate of Purkinje neurons preceding it. PMID:26630202

  11. Inhibitory neurons modulate spontaneous signaling in cultured cortical neurons: density-dependent regulation of excitatory neuronal signaling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serra, Michael; Guaraldi, Mary; Shea, Thomas B

    2010-01-01

    Cortical neuronal activity depends on a balance between excitatory and inhibitory influences. Culturing of neurons on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) has provided insight into the development and maintenance of neuronal networks. Herein, we seeded MEAs with murine embryonic cortical/hippocampal neurons at different densities ( 1000 cells mm −2 ) and monitored resultant spontaneous signaling. Sparsely seeded cultures displayed a large number of bipolar, rapid, high-amplitude individual signals with no apparent temporal regularity. By contrast, densely seeded cultures instead displayed clusters of signals at regular intervals. These patterns were observed even within thinner and thicker areas of the same culture. GABAergic neurons (25% of total neurons in our cultures) mediated the differential signal patterns observed above, since addition of the inhibitory antagonist bicuculline to dense cultures and hippocampal slice cultures induced the signal pattern characteristic of sparse cultures. Sparsely seeded cultures likely lacked sufficient inhibitory neurons to modulate excitatory activity. Differential seeding of MEAs can provide a unique model for analyses of pertubation in the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory function during aging and neuropathological conditions where dysregulation of GABAergic neurons is a significant component

  12. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulledge, Allan T; Bravo, Jaime J

    2016-01-01

    In most vertebrate neurons, action potentials are initiated in the axon initial segment (AIS), a specialized region of the axon containing a high density of voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels. It has recently been proposed that neurons use plasticity of AIS length and/or location to regulate their intrinsic excitability. Here we quantify the impact of neuron morphology on AIS plasticity using computational models of simplified and realistic somatodendritic morphologies. In small neurons (e.g., dentate granule neurons), excitability was highest when the AIS was of intermediate length and located adjacent to the soma. Conversely, neurons having larger dendritic trees (e.g., pyramidal neurons) were most excitable when the AIS was longer and/or located away from the soma. For any given somatodendritic morphology, increasing dendritic membrane capacitance and/or conductance favored a longer and more distally located AIS. Overall, changes to AIS length, with corresponding changes in total sodium conductance, were far more effective in regulating neuron excitability than were changes in AIS location, while dendritic capacitance had a larger impact on AIS performance than did dendritic conductance. The somatodendritic influence on AIS performance reflects modest soma-to-AIS voltage attenuation combined with neuron size-dependent changes in AIS input resistance, effective membrane time constant, and isolation from somatodendritic capacitance. We conclude that the impact of AIS plasticity on neuron excitability will depend largely on somatodendritic morphology, and that, in some neurons, a shorter or more distally located AIS may promote, rather than limit, action potential generation.

  13. Interactive Exploration for Continuously Expanding Neuron Databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhongyu; Metaxas, Dimitris N; Lu, Aidong; Zhang, Shaoting

    2017-02-15

    This paper proposes a novel framework to help biologists explore and analyze neurons based on retrieval of data from neuron morphological databases. In recent years, the continuously expanding neuron databases provide a rich source of information to associate neuronal morphologies with their functional properties. We design a coarse-to-fine framework for efficient and effective data retrieval from large-scale neuron databases. In the coarse-level, for efficiency in large-scale, we employ a binary coding method to compress morphological features into binary codes of tens of bits. Short binary codes allow for real-time similarity searching in Hamming space. Because the neuron databases are continuously expanding, it is inefficient to re-train the binary coding model from scratch when adding new neurons. To solve this problem, we extend binary coding with online updating schemes, which only considers the newly added neurons and update the model on-the-fly, without accessing the whole neuron databases. In the fine-grained level, we introduce domain experts/users in the framework, which can give relevance feedback for the binary coding based retrieval results. This interactive strategy can improve the retrieval performance through re-ranking the above coarse results, where we design a new similarity measure and take the feedback into account. Our framework is validated on more than 17,000 neuron cells, showing promising retrieval accuracy and efficiency. Moreover, we demonstrate its use case in assisting biologists to identify and explore unknown neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamphlett, Roger; Kum Jew, Stephen

    2013-12-12

    The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons.

  15. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Results Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Conclusions Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons. PMID:24330485

  16. Intratelencephalic corticostriatal neurons equally excite striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons and their discharge activity is selectively reduced in experimental parkinsonism

    OpenAIRE

    Ballion, B. (B.); Mallet, N. (Nicolas); Bezard, E. (E.); Lanciego, J.L. (José Luis); Gonon, F. (Francois)

    2008-01-01

    Striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons form distinct populations of striatal projection neurons. Their discharge activity is imbalanced after dopaminergic degeneration in Parkinson's disease. Striatal projection neurons receive massive cortical excitatory inputs from bilateral intratelencephalic (IT) neurons projecting to both the ipsilateral and contralateral striatum and from collateral axons of ipsilateral neurons that send their main axon through the pyramidal tract (PT). Previous anat...

  17. Phenolic antioxidants attenuate hippocampal neuronal cell damage ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this regard, certain dietary compounds are begining to receive increased attention, in particular those involving phytochemicals found in medicinal plants in alleviating neuronal injury. In the present study, we examined whether medicinal plant extracts protect neurons against excitotoxic lesions induced by kainic acid (KA) ...

  18. Do mirror neurons subserve action understanding?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickok, Gregory

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons were once widely believed to support action understanding via motor simulation of the observed actions. Recent evidence regarding the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys as well as much neuropsychological evidence in humans has shown that this is not the case. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael A

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons for manipulation fire both when the animal manipulates an object in a specific way and when it sees another animal (or the experimenter) perform an action that is more or less similar. Such neurons were originally found in macaque monkeys, in the ventral premotor cortex, area F5 and later also in the inferior parietal lobule. Recent neuroimaging data indicate that the adult human brain is endowed with a "mirror neuron system," putatively containing mirror neurons and other neurons, for matching the observation and execution of actions. Mirror neurons may serve action recognition in monkeys as well as humans, whereas their putative role in imitation and language may be realized in human but not in monkey. This article shows the important role of computational models in providing sufficient and causal explanations for the observed phenomena involving mirror systems and the learning processes which form them, and underlines the need for additional circuitry to lift up the monkey mirror neuron circuit to sustain the posited cognitive functions attributed to the human mirror neuron system. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Adaptive Neurons For Artificial Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawel, Raoul

    1990-01-01

    Training time decreases dramatically. In improved mathematical model of neural-network processor, temperature of neurons (in addition to connection strengths, also called weights, of synapses) varied during supervised-learning phase of operation according to mathematical formalism and not heuristic rule. Evidence that biological neural networks also process information at neuronal level.

  1. Do Mirror Neurons Subserve Action Understanding?

    OpenAIRE

    Hickok, Gregory

    2012-01-01

    Mirror neurons were once widely believed to support action understanding via motor simulation of the observed actions. Recent evidence regarding the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys as well as much neuropsychological evidence in humans has shown that this is not the case

  2. The Mirror Neuron System and Action Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buccino, Giovanni; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Riggio, Lucia

    2004-01-01

    Mirror neurons, first described in the rostral part of monkey ventral premotor cortex (area F5), discharge both when the animal performs a goal-directed hand action and when it observes another individual performing the same or a similar action. More recently, in the same area mirror neurons responding to the observation of mouth actions have been…

  3. Where do mirror neurons come from?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-03-01

    Debates about the evolution of the 'mirror neuron system' imply that it is an adaptation for action understanding. Alternatively, mirror neurons may be a byproduct of associative learning. Here I argue that the adaptation and associative hypotheses both offer plausible accounts of the origin of mirror neurons, but the associative hypothesis has three advantages. First, it provides a straightforward, testable explanation for the differences between monkeys and humans that have led some researchers to question the existence of a mirror neuron system. Second, it is consistent with emerging evidence that mirror neurons contribute to a range of social cognitive functions, but do not play a dominant, specialised role in action understanding. Finally, the associative hypothesis is supported by recent data showing that, even in adulthood, the mirror neuron system can be transformed by sensorimotor learning. The associative account implies that mirror neurons come from sensorimotor experience, and that much of this experience is obtained through interaction with others. Therefore, if the associative account is correct, the mirror neuron system is a product, as well as a process, of social interaction. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Motors and Adaptors : Transport Regulation within Neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Spronsen, C.S.A.M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/337616655

    2012-01-01

    Human thoughts and behavior are the outcome of communication between neurons in our brains. There is an entire world inside each of these neurons where transactions are established and meeting points are set. By using molecular motors to transport proteins and organelles along cytoskeletal tracks,

  5. Neuronal involvement in cisplatin neuropathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krarup-Hansen, A; Helweg-Larsen, Susanne Elisabeth; Schmalbruch, H

    2007-01-01

    Although it is well known that cisplatin causes a sensory neuropathy, the primary site of involvement is not established. The clinical symptoms localized in a stocking-glove distribution may be explained by a length dependent neuronopathy or by a distal axonopathy. To study whether the whole neuron...... higher than 300 mg/m2 the patients lost distal tendon and H-reflexes and displayed reduced vibration sense in the feet and the fingers. The amplitudes of sensory nerve action potentials (SNAP) from the fingers innervated by the median nerve and the dorsolateral side of the foot innervated by the sural...... of the foot evoked by a tactile probe showed similar changes to those observed in SNAPs evoked by electrical stimulation. At these doses, somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) from the tibial nerve had increased latencies of peripheral, spinal and central responses suggesting loss of central processes...

  6. Nicotinic activation of laterodorsal tegmental neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ishibashi, Masaru; Leonard, Christopher S; Kohlmeier, Kristi A

    2009-01-01

    Identifying the neurological mechanisms underlying nicotine reinforcement is a healthcare imperative, if society is to effectively combat tobacco addiction. The majority of studies of the neurobiology of addiction have focused on dopamine (DA)-containing neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA......). However, recent data suggest that neurons of the laterodorsal tegmental (LDT) nucleus, which sends cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic-containing projections to DA-containing neurons of the VTA, are critical to gating normal functioning of this nucleus. The actions of nicotine on LDT neurons...... are unknown. We addressed this issue by examining the effects of nicotine on identified cholinergic and non-cholinergic LDT neurons using whole-cell patch clamp and Ca(2+)-imaging methods in brain slices from mice (P12-P45). Nicotine applied by puffer pipette or bath superfusion elicited membrane...

  7. Mirror neurons through the lens of epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Pier F; Tramacere, Antonella; Simpson, Elizabeth A; Iriki, Atsushi

    2013-09-01

    The consensus view in mirror neuron research is that mirror neurons comprise a uniform, stable execution-observation matching system. In this opinion article, we argue that, in light of recent evidence, this is at best an incomplete and oversimplified view of mirror neurons, where activity is actually variable and more plastic than previously theorized. We propose an epigenetic account for understanding developmental changes in sensorimotor systems, including variations in mirror neuron activity. Although associative and genetic accounts fail to consider the complexity of genetic and nongenetic interactions, we propose a new evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) perspective, which predicts that environmental differences early in development should produce variations in mirror neuron response patterns, tuning them to the social environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Mirror neurons: their implications for group psychotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schermer, Victor L

    2010-10-01

    Recently discovered mirror neurons in the motor cortex of the brain register the actions and intentions of both the organism and others in the environment. As such, they may play a significant role in social behavior and groups. This paper considers the potential implications of mirror neurons and related neural networks for group therapists, proposing that mirror neurons and mirror systems provide "hard-wired" support for the group therapist's belief in the centrality of relationships in the treatment process and exploring their value in accounting for group-as-a-whole phenomena. Mirror neurons further confirm the holistic, social nature of perception, action, and intention as distinct from a stimulus-response behaviorism. The implications of mirror neurons and mirroring processes for the group therapist role, interventions, and training are also discussed.

  9. Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotto, Andrew J.; Hickok, Gregory S.; Holt, Lori L.

    2010-01-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT. PMID:19223222

  10. Power laws from linear neuronal cable theory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pettersen, Klas H; Lindén, Henrik Anders; Tetzlaff, Tom

    2014-01-01

    suggested to be at the root of this phenomenon, we here demonstrate a possible origin of such power laws in the biophysical properties of single neurons described by the standard cable equation. Taking advantage of the analytical tractability of the so called ball and stick neuron model, we derive general...... expressions for the PSD transfer functions for a set of measures of neuronal activity: the soma membrane current, the current-dipole moment (corresponding to the single-neuron EEG contribution), and the soma membrane potential. These PSD transfer functions relate the PSDs of the respective measurements...... to the PSDs of the noisy input currents. With homogeneously distributed input currents across the neuronal membrane we find that all PSD transfer functions express asymptotic high-frequency [Formula: see text] power laws with power-law exponents analytically identified as [Formula: see text] for the soma...

  11. Attractor dynamics in local neuronal networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Philippe eThivierge

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Patterns of synaptic connectivity in various regions of the brain are characterized by the presence of synaptic motifs, defined as unidirectional and bidirectional synaptic contacts that follow a particular configuration and link together small groups of neurons. Recent computational work proposes that a relay network (two populations communicating via a third, relay population of neurons can generate precise patterns of neural synchronization. Here, we employ two distinct models of neuronal dynamics and show that simulated neural circuits designed in this way are caught in a global attractor of activity that prevents neurons from modulating their response on the basis of incoming stimuli. To circumvent the emergence of a fixed global attractor, we propose a mechanism of selective gain inhibition that promotes flexible responses to external stimuli. We suggest that local neuronal circuits may employ this mechanism to generate precise patterns of neural synchronization whose transient nature delimits the occurrence of a brief stimulus.

  12. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L.F.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations. PMID:25088365

  13. Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotto, Andrew J; Hickok, Gregory S; Holt, Lori L

    2009-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT.

  14. Neuron-derived IgG protects neurons from complement-dependent cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jie; Niu, Na; Li, Bingjie; McNutt, Michael A

    2013-12-01

    Passive immunity of the nervous system has traditionally been thought to be predominantly due to the blood-brain barrier. This concept must now be revisited based on the existence of neuron-derived IgG. The conventional concept is that IgG is produced solely by mature B lymphocytes, but it has now been found to be synthesized by murine and human neurons. However, the function of this endogenous IgG is poorly understood. In this study, we confirm IgG production by rat cortical neurons at the protein and mRNA levels, with 69.0 ± 5.8% of cortical neurons IgG-positive. Injury to primary-culture neurons was induced by complement leading to increases in IgG production. Blockage of neuron-derived IgG resulted in more neuronal death and early apoptosis in the presence of complement. In addition, FcγRI was found in microglia and astrocytes. Expression of FcγR I in microglia was increased by exposure to neuron-derived IgG. Release of NO from microglia triggered by complement was attenuated by neuron-derived IgG, and this attenuation could be reversed by IgG neutralization. These data demonstrate that neuron-derived IgG is protective of neurons against injury induced by complement and microglial activation. IgG appears to play an important role in maintaining the stability of the nervous system.

  15. A single-neuron tracing study of arkypallidal and prototypic neurons in healthy rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiyama, Fumino; Nakano, Takashi; Matsuda, Wakoto; Furuta, Takahiro; Udagawa, Jun; Kaneko, Takeshi

    2016-12-01

    The external globus pallidus (GP) is known as a relay nucleus of the indirect pathway of the basal ganglia. Recent studies in dopamine-depleted and healthy rats indicate that the GP comprises two main types of pallidofugal neurons: the so-called "prototypic" and "arkypallidal" neurons. However, the reconstruction of complete arkypallidal neurons in healthy rats has not been reported. Here we visualized the entire axonal arborization of four single arkypallidal neurons and six single prototypic neurons in rat brain using labeling with a viral vector expressing membrane-targeted green fluorescent protein and examined the distribution of axon boutons in the target nuclei. Results revealed that not only the arkypallidal neurons but nearly all of the prototypic neurons projected to the striatum with numerous axon varicosities. Thus, the striatum is a major target nucleus for pallidal neurons. Arkypallidal and prototypic GP neurons located in the calbindin-positive and calbindin-negative regions mainly projected to the corresponding positive and negative regions in the striatum. Because the GP and striatum calbindin staining patterns reflect the topographic organization of the striatopallidal projection, the striatal neurons in the sensorimotor and associative regions constitute the reciprocal connection with the GP neurons in the corresponding regions.

  16. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation.

  17. 'Infantile convulsions' in the early nineteenth century. Abnormal brain blood flow and leeches, teething and gums' scarification and food and purgatives: the historical contribution of John Clarke (1760-1815).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brigo, Francesco; Lattanzi, Simona; Trinka, Eugen; Nardone, Raffaele; Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi; Ruggieri, Martino; Vecchio, Ignazio; Martini, Mariano

    2018-03-20

    In this article, we discuss on the role of the British physician and midwifery practitioner John Clarke (1760-1815) in the characterisation of the various types of seizures and epilepsy and related phenomena ('convulsions') occurring in children. In his unfinished work Commentaries on Some of the Most Important Diseases of Children (1815), Clarke discussed the pathophysiology of convulsions and was the first to describe, 12 years before the French neurologist Louis Francois Bravais (1801-1843) and more than 30 years before the Irish-born physician Robert Bentley Todd (1809-1860), the postictal paresis. He believed that convulsions originated from changes in pressure within the ventricles as a consequence of abnormal blood flow to the cerebral vessels. In keeping with the theories of his time (e.g. Baumes 1789, 1805; Brachet 1824), Clarke believed that teething was a major cause of 'infantile convulsions'. His proposed remedies ranged from scarification of the gums to ammonia, application of leeches, cold water, and purgatives. The use of antispasmodics, quite popular at the time, was instead questioned. In his Practical Observations on the Convulsions of Infants (1826), the London practitioner and midwifery John North (1790-1873) deeply criticised Clarke's view that convulsions arise inevitably as a consequence of organic brain lesions. North inferred that the results of autopsies of children who had died of convulsions revealed no brain damages, and claimed that cerebral irritation could also occur as the effect of distant lesions. Other Clarke's contemporaries (e.g. Jean Baptiste Timothée Baumes-1756-1828) inferred that all convulsions reflected a hereditary diathesis, which rendered children (especially those with softer and limper nervous and muscular tissues!) extremely sensitive to all sorts of provocation that could trigger convulsions, including bad digestion (more pronounced at the time of teething), loud noise, and bright light. Although almost every

  18. Contribution of synchronized GABAergic neurons to dopaminergic neuron firing and bursting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozova, Ekaterina O; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Zakharov, Denis; di Volo, Matteo; Gutkin, Boris; Lapish, Christopher C; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-10-01

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), interactions between dopamine (DA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are critical for regulating DA neuron activity and thus DA efflux. To provide a mechanistic explanation of how GABA neurons influence DA neuron firing, we developed a circuit model of the VTA. The model is based on feed-forward inhibition and recreates canonical features of the VTA neurons. Simulations revealed that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor (GABAR) stimulation can differentially influence the firing pattern of the DA neuron, depending on the level of synchronization among GABA neurons. Asynchronous activity of GABA neurons provides a constant level of inhibition to the DA neuron and, when removed, produces a classical disinhibition burst. In contrast, when GABA neurons are synchronized by common synaptic input, their influence evokes additional spikes in the DA neuron, resulting in increased measures of firing and bursting. Distinct from previous mechanisms, the increases were not based on lowered firing rate of the GABA neurons or weaker hyperpolarization by the GABAR synaptic current. This phenomenon was induced by GABA-mediated hyperpolarization of the DA neuron that leads to decreases in intracellular calcium (Ca 2+ ) concentration, thus reducing the Ca 2+ -dependent potassium (K + ) current. In this way, the GABA-mediated hyperpolarization replaces Ca 2+ -dependent K + current; however, this inhibition is pulsatile, which allows the DA neuron to fire during the rhythmic pauses in inhibition. Our results emphasize the importance of inhibition in the VTA, which has been discussed in many studies, and suggest a novel mechanism whereby computations can occur locally. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  19. A new leech species of Helobdella (Hirudinea, Glossiphoniidae from San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina Una especie nueva de sanguijuela del género Helobdella (Hirudinea, Glossiphoniidae de San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina S. Gullo

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available A new freshwater leech species Helobdella fantasmae n. sp. is described. This description is based on the examination of 12 specimens collected in Laguna Fantasma, Bariloche (41° 05'S 71° 28'W, during December 2002. Leeches were found attached to submerged plants. They were relaxed with gradual addition of 70% ethanol, fixed in 10% formalin, stored in 70% ethanol and stained with borax carmine. Examination of external morphology, dissections and microphotographs were accomplished with a Leica Wild M3Z stereo microscope aided with an Olympus C-4000 digital camera. H. fantasmae n. sp. differs from other species of the genus by the presence of 1 pair of eyes on somite III, crop without gastric chambers, digitiform caeca and postcaeca., short sperm ducts reaching the back of somite XV, atrium pyriform, short ovisacs reaching somite XIII. This is the first record of leeches from an ephemeral wetland in North Patagonia. This finding expands current knowledge of the biodiversity of Hirudinea in South America, increasing the number of known Helobdella spp. from the Río Negro province (North Patagonia to 10 species.Se describe una especie de sanguijuela dulceacuícola Helobdella fantasmae n. sp. Esta descripción se basa en el examen de 12 ejemplares recolectados en la Laguna Fantasma, Bariloche (41° 05'S 71° 28'O durante diciembre de 2002. Los individuos se hallaron asociados a la vegetación sumergida. Fueron relajados con la adición gradual de etanol 70%, fijados en formalina al 10%, preservados en etanol 70% y teñidos con carmín borácico. El examen de la morfología externa, disecciones y microfotografías fueron realizados con la ayuda de un estereomicroscopio Leica Wild M3Z con cámara digital Olympus C-4000. H. fantasmae n. sp. difiere de otras especies del género por los siguientes caracteres: un par de ojos en el somito III, estómago recto sin cámaras, ciegos laterales ni postciegos, espermiductos cortos que descienden hasta el

  20. Staufen2 Regulates Neuronal Target RNAs

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    Jacki E. Heraud-Farlow

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available RNA-binding proteins play crucial roles in directing RNA translation to neuronal synapses. Staufen2 (Stau2 has been implicated in both dendritic RNA localization and synaptic plasticity in mammalian neurons. Here, we report the identification of functionally relevant Stau2 target mRNAs in neurons. The majority of Stau2-copurifying mRNAs expressed in the hippocampus are present in neuronal processes, further implicating Stau2 in dendritic mRNA regulation. Stau2 targets are enriched for secondary structures similar to those identified in the 3′ UTRs of Drosophila Staufen targets. Next, we show that Stau2 regulates steady-state levels of many neuronal RNAs and that its targets are predominantly downregulated in Stau2-deficient neurons. Detailed analysis confirms that Stau2 stabilizes the expression of one synaptic signaling component, the regulator of G protein signaling 4 (Rgs4 mRNA, via its 3′ UTR. This study defines the global impact of Stau2 on mRNAs in neurons, revealing a role in stabilization of the levels of synaptic targets.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-20

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

  3. Protocol for culturing low density pure rat hippocampal neurons supported by mature mixed neuron cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qian; Ke, Yini; Luo, Jianhong; Tang, Yang

    2017-02-01

    primary hippocampal neuron cultures allow for subcellular morphological dissection, easy access to drug treatment and electrophysiology analysis of individual neurons, and is therefore an ideal model for the study of neuron physiology. While neuron and glia mixed cultures are relatively easy to prepare, pure neurons are particular hard to culture at low densities which are suitable for morphology studies. This may be due to a lack of neurotrophic factors such as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT3) and Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). In this study we used a two step protocol in which neuron-glia mixed cultures were initially prepared for maturation to support the growth of young neurons plated at very low densities. Our protocol showed that neurotrophic support resulted in physiologically functional hippocampal neurons with larger cell body, increased neurite length and decreased branching and complexity compared to cultures prepared using a conventional method. Our protocol provides a novel way to culture highly uniformed hippocampal neurons for acquiring high quality, neuron based data. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Context-aware modeling of neuronal morphologies

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    Benjamin eTorben-Nielsen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal morphologies are pivotal for brain functioning: physical overlap between dendrites and axons constrain the circuit topology, and the precise shape and composition of dendrites determine the integration of inputs to produce an output signal. At the same time, morphologies are highly diverse and variant. The variance, presumably, originates from neurons developing in a densely packed brain substrate where they interact (e.g., repulsion or attraction with other actors in this substrate. However, when studying neurons their context is never part of the analysis and they are treated as if they existed in isolation.Here we argue that to fully understand neuronal morphology and its variance it is important to consider neurons in relation to each other and to other actors in the surrounding brain substrate, i.e., their context. We propose a context-aware computational framework, NeuroMaC, in which large numbers of neurons can be grown simultaneously according to growth rules expressed in terms of interactions between the developing neuron and the surrounding brain substrate.As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that by using NeuroMaC we can generate accurate virtual morphologies of distinct classes both in isolation and as part of neuronal forests. Accuracy is validated against population statistics of experimentally reconstructed morphologies. We show that context-aware generation of neurons can explain characteristics of variation. Indeed, plausible variation is an inherent property of the morphologies generated by context-aware rules. We speculate about the applicability of this framework to investigate morphologies and circuits, to classify healthy and pathological morphologies, and to generate large quantities of morphologies for large-scale modeling.

  5. A novel enteric neuron-glia coculture system reveals the role of glia in neuronal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Berre-Scoul, Catherine; Chevalier, Julien; Oleynikova, Elena; Cossais, François; Talon, Sophie; Neunlist, Michel; Boudin, Hélène

    2017-01-15

    Unlike astrocytes in the brain, the potential role of enteric glial cells (EGCs) in the formation of the enteric neuronal circuit is currently unknown. To examine the role of EGCs in the formation of the neuronal network, we developed a novel neuron-enriched culture model from embryonic rat intestine grown in indirect coculture with EGCs. We found that EGCs shape axonal complexity and synapse density in enteric neurons, through purinergic- and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-dependent pathways. Using a novel and valuable culture model to study enteric neuron-glia interactions, our study identified EGCs as a key cellular actor regulating neuronal network maturation. In the nervous system, the formation of neuronal circuitry results from a complex and coordinated action of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In the CNS, extrinsic mediators derived from astrocytes have been shown to play a key role in neuronal maturation, including dendritic shaping, axon guidance and synaptogenesis. In the enteric nervous system (ENS), the potential role of enteric glial cells (EGCs) in the maturation of developing enteric neuronal circuit is currently unknown. A major obstacle in addressing this question is the difficulty in obtaining a valuable experimental model in which enteric neurons could be isolated and maintained without EGCs. We adapted a cell culture method previously developed for CNS neurons to establish a neuron-enriched primary culture from embryonic rat intestine which was cultured in indirect coculture with EGCs. We demonstrated that enteric neurons grown in such conditions showed several structural, phenotypic and functional hallmarks of proper development and maturation. However, when neurons were grown without EGCs, the complexity of the axonal arbour and the density of synapses were markedly reduced, suggesting that glial-derived factors contribute strongly to the formation of the neuronal circuitry. We found that these effects played by EGCs were

  6. Cellular and molecular neuronal plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesbach, Grace S; Hovda, David A

    2015-01-01

    The brain has the capability to adapt to function when tissue is compromised. This capability of adaptation paves the road to recovery and allows for rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This chapter addresses neuroplasticity within the context of TBI. Here neuroplasticity is defined as changes in neuronal structure and function, including synaptic changes as well as modifications in neural pathways. First, the influence of TBI pathology on neuroplasticity is addressed. Here, proteins that are important in neuroplasticity are introduced and a description given of how these are affected in a temporal and severity-dependent manner. Secondly, given that we are becoming increasingly aware that the brain's response to injury is highly influenced by the environmental milieu, the manner in which behavioral manipulations have an effect on TBI-associated neuroplasticity is addressed. A description is given of how specific environmental qualities may facilitate or hinder neuroplasticity. Finally, the long-term effects of neuroplasticity and the relevance it has to rehabilitation are described. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The Relevance of AgRP Neuron-Derived GABA Inputs to POMC Neurons Differs for Spontaneous and Evoked Release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, Andrew R; Hentges, Shane T

    2017-08-02

    Hypothalamic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons potently stimulate food intake, whereas proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons inhibit feeding. Whether AgRP neurons exert their orexigenic actions, at least in part, by inhibiting anorexigenic POMC neurons remains unclear. Here, the connectivity between GABA-releasing AgRP neurons and POMC neurons was examined in brain slices from male and female mice. GABA-mediated spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs) in POMC neurons were unaffected by disturbing GABA release from AgRP neurons either by cell type-specific deletion of the vesicular GABA transporter or by expression of botulinum toxin in AgRP neurons to prevent vesicle-associated membrane protein 2-dependent vesicle fusion. Additionally, there was no difference in the ability of μ-opioid receptor (MOR) agonists to inhibit sIPSCs in POMC neurons when MORs were deleted from AgRP neurons, and activation of the inhibitory designer receptor hM4Di on AgRP neurons did not affect sIPSCs recorded from POMC neurons. These approaches collectively indicate that AgRP neurons do not significantly contribute to the strong spontaneous GABA input to POMC neurons. Despite these observations, optogenetic stimulation of AgRP neurons reliably produced evoked IPSCs in POMC neurons, leading to the inhibition of POMC neuron firing. Thus, AgRP neurons can potently affect POMC neuron function without contributing a significant source of spontaneous GABA input to POMC neurons. Together, these results indicate that the relevance of GABAergic inputs from AgRP to POMC neurons is state dependent and highlight the need to consider different types of transmitter release in circuit mapping and physiologic regulation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons play an important role in driving food intake, while proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons inhibit feeding. Despite the importance of these two well characterized neuron types in maintaining metabolic homeostasis, communication between these

  8. The ontogenetic origins of mirror neurons: evidence from 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard

    2012-10-23

    Since their discovery, mirror neurons--units in the macaque brain that discharge both during action observation and execution--have attracted considerable interest. Whether mirror neurons are an innate endowment or acquire their sensorimotor matching properties ontogenetically has been the subject of intense debate. It is widely believed that these units are an innate trait; that we are born with a set of mature mirror neurons because their matching properties conveyed upon our ancestors an evolutionary advantage. However, an alternative view is that mirror neurons acquire their matching properties during ontogeny, through correlated experience of observing and performing actions. The present article re-examines frequently overlooked neurophysiological reports of 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons within the context of this debate. It is argued that these findings represent compelling evidence that mirror neurons are a product of sensorimotor experience, and not an innate endowment.

  9. Peripheral Neuron Survival and Outgrowth on Graphene

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    Domenica Convertino

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Graphene displays properties that make it appealing for neuroregenerative medicine, yet its interaction with peripheral neurons has been scarcely investigated. Here, we culture on graphene two established models for peripheral neurons: PC12 cells and DRG primary neurons. We perform a nano-resolved analysis of polymeric coatings on graphene and combine optical microscopy and viability assays to assess the material cytocompatibility and influence on differentiation. We find that differentiated PC12 cells display a remarkably increased neurite length on graphene (up to 27% with respect to controls. Notably, DRG primary neurons survive both on bare and coated graphene. They present dense axonal networks on coated graphene, while they form cell islets characterized by dense axonal bundles on uncoated graphene. These findings indicate that graphene holds potential for nerve tissue regeneration and might pave the road to novel concepts of active nerve conduits.

  10. Review Paper: Polyphenolic Antioxidants and Neuronal Regeneration

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    Amin Ataie

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Many studies indicate that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress can induce neuronal damages, modulate intracellular signaling and ultimately leads to neuronal death by apoptosis or necrosis. To review antioxidants preventive effects on oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases we accumulated data from international medical journals and academic informations' sites. According to many studies, antioxidants could reduce toxic neuronal damages and many studies confirmed the efficacy of polyphenol antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to reduce neuronal death and to diminish oxidative stress. This systematic review showed the antioxidant activities of phytochemicals which play as natural neuroprotectives with low adverse effects against some neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson or Alzheimer diseases.

  11. Review Paper: Polyphenolic Antioxidants and Neuronal Regeneration

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    Amin Ataie

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Many studies indicate that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress can induce neuronal damages, modulate intracellular signaling and ultimately leads to neuronal death by apoptosis or necrosis. To review antioxidants preventive effects on oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases we accumulated data from international medical journals and academic informations' sites. According to many studies, antioxidants could reduce toxic neuronal damages and many studies confirmed the efficacy of polyphenol antioxidants in fruits and vegetables to reduce neuronal death and to diminish oxidative stress. This systematic review showed the antioxidant activities of phytochemicals which play as natural neuroprotectives with low adverse effects against some neurodegenerative diseases as Parkinson or Alzheimer diseases.

  12. Managing Brain Extracellular K(+) during Neuronal Activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Brian Roland; Stoica, Anca; MacAulay, Nanna

    2016-01-01

    isoform compositions of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase remain unresolved. The various cell types in the brain serve a certain temporal contribution in the face of network activity; astrocytes respond directly to the immediate release of K(+) from neurons, whereas the neurons themselves become the primary K......During neuronal activity in the brain, extracellular K(+) rises and is subsequently removed to prevent a widespread depolarization. One of the key players in regulating extracellular K(+) is the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, although the relative involvement and physiological impact of the different subunit......(+) absorbers as activity ends. The kinetic characteristics of the catalytic α subunit isoforms of the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase are, partly, determined by the accessory β subunit with which they combine. The isoform combinations expressed by astrocytes and neurons, respectively, appear to be in line with the kinetic...

  13. Advances in 3D neuronal cell culture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frimat, Jean Philippe; Xie, Sijia; Bastiaens, Alex; Schurink, Bart; Wolbers, Floor; Den Toonder, Jaap; Luttge, Regina

    2015-01-01

    In this contribution, the authors present our advances in three-dimensional (3D) neuronal cell culture platform technology contributing to controlled environments for microtissue engineering and analysis of cellular physiological and pathological responses. First, a micromachined silicon sieving

  14. Imaging neuronal pathways with 52Mn PET

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Napieczynska, Hanna; Severin, Gregory; Fonslet, Jesper

    2017-01-01

    Manganese in its divalent state (Mn2+) has features that make it a unique tool for tracing neuronal pathways. It is taken up and transported by neurons in an activity dependent manner and it can cross synapses. It also acts as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) enabling...... visualization of neuronal tracts. However, due to the limited sensitivity of MRI systems relatively high Mn2+ doses are required. This is undesirable, especially in long-term studies, because of the known toxicity of the metal. In order to overcome this limitation, we propose 52Mn as a positron emission...... tomography (PET) neuronal tract tracer. We used 52Mn for imaging dopaminergic pathways after a unilateral injection into the ventral tegmental area (VTA), as well as the striatonigral pathway after an injection into the dorsal striatum (STR) in rats. Furthermore, we tested potentially noxious effects...

  15. GABAergic actions on cholinergic laterodorsal tegmental neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kohlmeier, K A; Kristiansen, Uffe

    2010-01-01

    Cholinergic neurons of the pontine laterodorsal tegmentum (LDT) play a critical role in regulation of behavioral state. Therefore, elucidation of mechanisms that control their activity is vital for understanding of how switching between wakefulness, sleep and anesthetic states is effectuated...

  16. Do enteric neurons make hypocretin? ☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumann, Christian R.; Clark, Erika L.; Pedersen, Nigel P.; Hecht, Jonathan L.; Scammell, Thomas E.

    2008-01-01

    Hypocretins (orexins) are wake-promoting neuropeptides produced by hypothalamic neurons. These hypocretin-producing cells are lost in people with narcolepsy, possibly due to an autoimmune attack. Prior studies described hypocretin neurons in the enteric nervous system, and these cells could be an additional target of an autoimmune process. We sought to determine whether enteric hypocretin neurons are lost in narcoleptic subjects. Even though we tried several methods (including whole mounts, sectioned tissue, pre-treatment of mice with colchicine, and the use of various primary antisera), we could not identify hypocretin-producing cells in enteric nervous tissue collected from mice or normal human subjects. These results raise doubts about whether enteric neurons produce hypocretin. PMID:18191238

  17. Control of arousal by the orexin neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandre, Chloe; Andermann, Mark L; Scammell, Thomas E

    2013-01-01

    The orexin-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus play an essential role in promoting arousal and maintaining wakefulness. These neurons receive a broad variety of signals related to environmental, physiological and emotional stimuli; they project to almost every brain region involved in the regulation of wakefulness; and they fire most strongly during active wakefulness, high motor activation, and sustained attention. This review focuses on the specific neuronal pathways through which the orexin neurons promote wakefulness and maintain high level of arousal, and how recent studies using optogenetic and pharmacogenetic methods have demonstrated that the locus coeruleus, the tuberomammillary nucleus, and the basal forebrain are some of the key sites mediating the arousing actions of orexins. PMID:23683477

  18. Frizzled-5 receptor is involved in neuronal polarity and morphogenesis of hippocampal neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula G Slater

    Full Text Available The Wnt signaling pathway plays important roles during different stages of neuronal development, including neuronal polarization and dendritic and axonal outgrowth. However, little is known about the identity of the Frizzled receptors mediating these processes. In the present study, we investigated the role of Frizzled-5 (Fzd5 on neuronal development in cultured Sprague-Dawley rat hippocampal neurons. We found that Fzd5 is expressed early in cultured neurons on actin-rich structures localized at minor neurites and axonal growth cones. At 4 DIV, Fzd5 polarizes towards the axon, where its expression is detected mainly at the peripheral zone of axonal growth cones, with no obvious staining at dendrites; suggesting a role of Fzd5 in neuronal polarization. Overexpression of Fzd5 during the acquisition of neuronal polarity induces mislocalization of the receptor and a loss of polarized axonal markers. Fzd5 knock-down leads to loss of axonal proteins, suggesting an impaired neuronal polarity. In contrast, overexpression of Fzd5 in neurons that are already polarized did not alter polarity, but decreased the total length of axons and increased total dendrite length and arborization. Fzd5 activated JNK in HEK293 cells and the effects triggered by Fzd5 overexpression in neurons were partially prevented by inhibition of JNK, suggesting that a non-canonical Wnt signaling mechanism might be involved. Our results suggest that, Fzd5 has a role in the establishment of neuronal polarity, and in the morphogenesis of neuronal processes, in part through the activation of the non-canonical Wnt mechanism involving JNK.

  19. Reconstruction of phrenic neuron identity in embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Carolina Barcellos; Kanning, Kevin C; Kreis, Patricia; Stevenson, Danielle; Crossley, Martin; Nowak, Magdalena; Iacovino, Michelina; Kyba, Michael; Chambers, David; Blanc, Eric; Lieberam, Ivo

    2014-02-01

    Air breathing is an essential motor function for vertebrates living on land. The rhythm that drives breathing is generated within the central nervous system and relayed via specialised subsets of spinal motor neurons to muscles that regulate lung volume. In mammals, a key respiratory muscle is the diaphragm, which is innervated by motor neurons in the phrenic nucleus. Remarkably, relatively little is known about how this crucial subtype of motor neuron is generated during embryogenesis. Here, we used direct differentiation of motor neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells as a tool to identify genes that direct phrenic neuron identity. We find that three determinants, Pou3f1, Hoxa5 and Notch, act in combination to promote a phrenic neuron molecular identity. We show that Notch signalling induces Pou3f1 in developing motor neurons in vitro and in vivo. This suggests that the phrenic neuron lineage is established through a local source of Notch ligand at mid-cervical levels. Furthermore, we find that the cadherins Pcdh10, which is regulated by Pou3f1 and Hoxa5, and Cdh10, which is controlled by Pou3f1, are both mediators of like-like clustering of motor neuron cell bodies. This specific Pcdh10/Cdh10 activity might provide the means by which phrenic neurons are assembled into a distinct nucleus. Our study provides a framework for understanding how phrenic neuron identity is conferred and will help to generate this rare and inaccessible yet vital neuronal subtype directly from pluripotent stem cells, thus facilitating subsequent functional investigations.

  20. Integrated microfluidic platforms for investigating neuronal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyung Joon

    This dissertation describes the development and application of integrated microfluidics-based assay platforms to study neuronal activities in the nervous system in-vitro. The assay platforms were fabricated using soft lithography and micro/nano fabrication including microfluidics, surface patterning, and nanomaterial synthesis. The use of integrated microfluidics-based assay platform allows culturing and manipulating many types of neuronal tissues in precisely controlled microenvironment. Furthermore, they provide organized multi-cellular in-vitro model, long-term monitoring with live cell imaging, and compatibility with molecular biology techniques and electrophysiology experiment. In this dissertation, the integrated microfluidics-based assay platforms are developed for investigation of neuronal activities such as local protein synthesis, impairment of axonal transport by chemical/physical variants, growth cone path finding under chemical/physical cues, and synaptic transmission in neuronal circuit. Chapter 1 describes the motivation, objectives, and scope for developing in-vitro platform to study various neuronal activities. Chapter 2 introduces microfluidic culture platform for biochemical assay with large-scale neuronal tissues that are utilized as model system in neuroscience research. Chapter 3 focuses on the investigation of impaired axonal transport by beta-Amyloid and oxidative stress. The platform allows to control neuronal processes and to quantify mitochondrial movement in various regions of axons away from applied drugs. Chapter 4 demonstrates the development of microfluidics-based growth cone turning assay to elucidate the mechanism underlying axon guidance under soluble factors and shear flow. Using this platform, the behaviors of growth cone of mammalian neurons are verified under the gradient of inhibitory molecules and also shear flow in well-controlled manner. In Chapter 5, I combine in-vitro multicellular model with microfabricated MEA

  1. Neuronal organization of olfactory bulb circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin eNagayama

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory sensory neurons extend their axons solely to the olfactory bulb, which is dedicated to odor information processing. The olfactory bulb is divided into multiple layers, with different types of neurons found in each of the layers. Therefore, neurons in the olfactory bulb have conventionally been categorized based on the layers in which their cell bodies are found; namely, juxtaglomerular cells in the glomerular layer, tufted cells in the external plexiform layer, mitral cells in the mitral cell layer, and granule cells in the granule cell layer. More recently, numerous studies have revealed the heterogeneous nature of each of these cell types, allowing them to be further divided into subclasses based on differences in morphological, molecular, and electrophysiological properties. In addition, technical developments and advances have resulted in an increasing number of studies regarding cell types other than the conventionally categorized ones described above, including short-axon cells and adult-generated interneurons. Thus, the expanding diversity of cells in the olfactory bulb is now being acknowledged. However, our current understanding of olfactory bulb neuronal circuits is mostly based on the conventional and simplest classification of cell types. Few studies have taken neuronal diversity into account for understanding the function of the neuronal circuits in this region of the brain. This oversight may contribute to the roadblocks in developing more precise and accurate models of olfactory neuronal networks. The purpose of this review is therefore to discuss the expanse of existing work on neuronal diversity in the olfactory bulb up to this point, so as to provide an overall picture of the olfactory bulb circuit.

  2. Authors’ response: mirror neurons: tests and testability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    Commentators have tended to focus on the conceptual framework of our article, the contrast between genetic and associative accounts of mirror neurons, and to challenge it with additional possibilities rather than empirical data. This makes the empirically focused comments especially valuable. The mirror neuron debate is replete with ideas; what it needs now are system-level theories and careful experiments – tests and testability.

  3. Action observation: Inferring intentions without mirror neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frith, Christopher; Kilner, James M

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Spatio-Temporal Modeling of Neuron Fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Adam

    The starting point and focal point for this thesis was stochastic dynamical modelling of neuronal imaging data with the declared objective of drawing inference, within this model framework, in a large-scale (high-dimensional) data setting. Implicitly this objective entails carrying out three......-temporal array data. This framework was developed with neuron field models in mind but may in turn be applied to other settings conforming to the spatio-temporal array data setup....

  5. Unidirectional synchronization of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cornejo-Perez, Octavio; Femat, Ricardo

    2005-01-01

    Synchronization dynamics of two noiseless Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neurons under the action of feedback control is studied. The spiking patterns of the action potentials evoked by periodic external modulations attain synchronization states under the feedback action. Numerical simulations for the synchronization dynamics of regular-irregular desynchronized spiking sequences are displayed. The results are discussed in context of generalized synchronization. It is also shown that the HH neurons can be synchronized in face of unmeasured states

  6. Unidirectional synchronization of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cornejo-Perez, Octavio [Division de Matematicas Aplicadas y Sistemas, Computacionales, IPICYT, Apdo. Postal 3-74 Tangamanga, 78231 San Luis Potosi (Mexico)]. E-mail: octavio@ipicyt.edu.mx; Femat, Ricardo [Division de Matematicas Aplicadas y Sistemas, Computacionales, IPICYT, Apdo. Postal 3-74 Tangamanga, 78231 San Luis Potosi (Mexico)]. E-mail: rfemat@ipicyt.edu.mx

    2005-07-01

    Synchronization dynamics of two noiseless Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neurons under the action of feedback control is studied. The spiking patterns of the action potentials evoked by periodic external modulations attain synchronization states under the feedback action. Numerical simulations for the synchronization dynamics of regular-irregular desynchronized spiking sequences are displayed. The results are discussed in context of generalized synchronization. It is also shown that the HH neurons can be synchronized in face of unmeasured states.

  7. Sleep disordered breathing in motor neurone disease

    OpenAIRE

    D’Cruz, Rebecca F.; Murphy, Patrick B.; Kaltsakas, Georgios

    2018-01-01

    Motor neurone disease (MND) is a neurodegenerative disease defined by axonal loss and gliosis of upper and lower motor neurones in the motor cortex, lower brainstem nuclei and ventral horn of the spinal cord. MND is currently incurable and has a poor prognosis, with death typically occurring 3 to 5 years after disease onset. The disease is characterised by rapidly progressive weakness leading to paralysis, fasciculations, bulbar symptoms (including dysarthria and dysphagia) and respiratory co...

  8. Neural network with dynamically adaptable neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tawel, Raoul (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    This invention is an adaptive neuron for use in neural network processors. The adaptive neuron participates in the supervised learning phase of operation on a co-equal basis with the synapse matrix elements by adaptively changing its gain in a similar manner to the change of weights in the synapse IO elements. In this manner, training time is decreased by as much as three orders of magnitude.

  9. Inducible Gene Manipulations in Serotonergic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Tillmann; Böhm, Gerald; Hermann, Elke; Schütz, Günther; Schönig, Kai; Bartsch, Dusan

    2009-01-01

    An impairment of the serotonergic (5-HT) system has been implicated in the etiology of many neuropsychiatric disorders. Despite the considerable genetic evidence, the exact molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this dysfunction remain largely unknown. To address the lack of instruments for the molecular dissection of gene function in serotonergic neurons we have developed a new mouse transgenic tool that allows inducible Cre-mediated recombination of genes selectively in 5-HT neurons of all raphe nuclei. In this transgenic mouse line, the tamoxifen-inducible CreERT2 recombinase is expressed under the regulatory control of the mouse tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) gene locus (177 kb). Tamoxifen treatment efficiently induced recombination selectively in serotonergic neurons with minimal background activity in vehicle-treated mice. These genetic manipulations can be initiated at any desired time during embryonic development, neonatal stage or adulthood. To illustrate the versatility of this new tool, we show that Brainbow-1.0LTPH2-CreERT2 mice display highly efficient recombination in serotonergic neurons with individual 5-HT neurons labeling with multiple distinct fluorescent colors. This labeling is well suited for visualization and tracing of serotonergic neurons and their network architecture. Finally, the applicability of TPH2-CreERT2 for loxP-flanked candidate gene manipulation is evidenced by our successful knockout induction of the ubiquitously expressed glucocorticoid-receptor exclusively in 5-HT neurons of adult mice. The TPH2-CreERT2 line will allow detailed analysis of gene function in both developing and adult serotonergic neurons. PMID:19936315

  10. Statistics of Visual Responses to Image Object Stimuli from Primate AIT Neurons to DNN Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Qiulei; Wang, Hong; Hu, Zhanyi

    2018-02-01

    Under the goal-driven paradigm, Yamins et al. ( 2014 ; Yamins & DiCarlo, 2016 ) have shown that by optimizing only the final eight-way categorization performance of a four-layer hierarchical network, not only can its top output layer quantitatively predict IT neuron responses but its penultimate layer can also automatically predict V4 neuron responses. Currently, deep neural networks (DNNs) in the field of computer vision have reached image object categorization performance comparable to that of human beings on ImageNet, a data set that contains 1.3 million training images of 1000 categories. We explore whether the DNN neurons (units in DNNs) possess image object representational statistics similar to monkey IT neurons, particularly when the network becomes deeper and the number of image categories becomes larger, using VGG19, a typical and widely used deep network of 19 layers in the computer vision field. Following Lehky, Kiani, Esteky, and Tanaka ( 2011 , 2014 ), where the response statistics of 674 IT neurons to 806 image stimuli are analyzed using three measures (kurtosis, Pareto tail index, and intrinsic dimensionality), we investigate the three issues in this letter using the same three measures: (1) the similarities and differences of the neural response statistics between VGG19 and primate IT cortex, (2) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons at different layers from low to high, and (3) the variation trends of the response statistics of VGG19 neurons when the numbers of stimuli and neurons increase. We find that the response statistics on both single-neuron selectivity and population sparseness of VGG19 neurons are fundamentally different from those of IT neurons in most cases; by increasing the number of neurons in different layers and the number of stimuli, the response statistics of neurons at different layers from low to high do not substantially change; and the estimated intrinsic dimensionality values at the low

  11. Neurons and neuronal activity control gene expression in astrocytes to regulate their development and metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasel, Philip; Dando, Owen; Jiwaji, Zoeb; Baxter, Paul; Todd, Alison C; Heron, Samuel; Márkus, Nóra M; McQueen, Jamie; Hampton, David W; Torvell, Megan; Tiwari, Sachin S; McKay, Sean; Eraso-Pichot, Abel; Zorzano, Antonio; Masgrau, Roser; Galea, Elena; Chandran, Siddharthan; Wyllie, David J A; Simpson, T Ian; Hardingham, Giles E

    2017-05-02

    The influence that neurons exert on astrocytic function is poorly understood. To investigate this, we first developed a system combining cortical neurons and astrocytes from closely related species, followed by RNA-seq and in silico species separation. This approach uncovers a wide programme of neuron-induced astrocytic gene expression, involving Notch signalling, which drives and maintains astrocytic maturity and neurotransmitter uptake function, is conserved in human development, and is disrupted by neurodegeneration. Separately, hundreds of astrocytic genes are acutely regulated by synaptic activity via mechanisms involving cAMP/PKA-dependent CREB activation. This includes the coordinated activity-dependent upregulation of major astrocytic components of the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle, leading to a CREB-dependent increase in astrocytic glucose metabolism and elevated lactate export. Moreover, the groups of astrocytic genes induced by neurons or neuronal activity both show age-dependent decline in humans. Thus, neurons and neuronal activity regulate the astrocytic transcriptome with the potential to shape astrocyte-neuron metabolic cooperation.

  12. Intrinsically active and pacemaker neurons in pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Illes, Sebastian; Jakab, Martin; Beyer, Felix; Gelfert, Renate; Couillard-Despres, Sébastien; Schnitzler, Alfons; Ritter, Markus; Aigner, Ludwig

    2014-03-11

    Neurons generated from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) self-organize into functional neuronal assemblies in vitro, generating synchronous network activities. Intriguingly, PSC-derived neuronal assemblies develop spontaneous activities that are independent of external stimulation, suggesting the presence of thus far undetected intrinsically active neurons (IANs). Here, by using mouse embryonic stem cells, we provide evidence for the existence of IANs in PSC-neuronal networks based on extracellular multielectrode array and intracellular patch-clamp recordings. IANs remain active after pharmacological inhibition of fast synaptic communication and possess intrinsic mechanisms required for autonomous neuronal activity. PSC-derived IANs are functionally integrated in PSC-neuronal populations, contribute to synchronous network bursting, and exhibit pacemaker properties. The intrinsic activity and pacemaker properties of the neuronal subpopulation identified herein may be particularly relevant for interventions involving transplantation of neural tissues. IANs may be a key element in the regulation of the functional activity of grafted as well as preexisting host neuronal networks.

  13. A neuron-astrocyte transistor-like model for neuromorphic dressed neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenza, G; Pioggia, G; Armato, A; Ferro, M; Scilingo, E P; De Rossi, D

    2011-09-01

    Experimental evidences on the role of the synaptic glia as an active partner together with the bold synapse in neuronal signaling and dynamics of neural tissue strongly suggest to investigate on a more realistic neuron-glia model for better understanding human brain processing. Among the glial cells, the astrocytes play a crucial role in the tripartite synapsis, i.e. the dressed neuron. A well-known two-way astrocyte-neuron interaction can be found in the literature, completely revising the purely supportive role for the glia. The aim of this study is to provide a computationally efficient model for neuron-glia interaction. The neuron-glia interactions were simulated by implementing the Li-Rinzel model for an astrocyte and the Izhikevich model for a neuron. Assuming the dressed neuron dynamics similar to the nonlinear input-output characteristics of a bipolar junction transistor, we derived our computationally efficient model. This model may represent the fundamental computational unit for the development of real-time artificial neuron-glia networks opening new perspectives in pattern recognition systems and in brain neurophysiology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. NBLAST: Rapid, Sensitive Comparison of Neuronal Structure and Construction of Neuron Family Databases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Marta; Manton, James D; Ostrovsky, Aaron D; Prohaska, Steffen; Jefferis, Gregory S X E

    2016-07-20

    Neural circuit mapping is generating datasets of tens of thousands of labeled neurons. New computational tools are needed to search and organize these data. We present NBLAST, a sensitive and rapid algorithm, for measuring pairwise neuronal similarity. NBLAST considers both position and local geometry, decomposing neurons into short segments; matched segments are scored using a probabilistic scoring matrix defined by statistics of matches and non-matches. We validated NBLAST on a published dataset of 16,129 single Drosophila neurons. NBLAST can distinguish neuronal types down to the finest level (single identified neurons) without a priori information. Cluster analysis of extensively studied neuronal classes identified new types and unreported topographical features. Fully automated clustering organized the validation dataset into 1,052 clusters, many of which map onto previously described neuronal types. NBLAST supports additional query types, including searching neurons against transgene expression patterns. Finally, we show that NBLAST is effective with data from other invertebrates and zebrafish. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2016 MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Labeling of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells with biocompatible fluorescent nanodiamonds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Tzu-Chia; Liu, Kuang-Kai; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Hwang, Eric; Chao, Jui-I

    2014-05-16

    Nanodiamond is a promising carbon nanomaterial developed for biomedical applications. Here, we show fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) with the biocompatible properties that can be used for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation and neuron cells derived from embryonal carcinoma stem (ECS) cells. The fluorescence intensities of FNDs were increased by treatment with FNDs in both the mouse P19 and human NT2/D1 ECS cells. FNDs were taken into ECS cells; however, FNDs did not alter the cellular morphology and growth ability. Moreover, FNDs did not change the protein expression of stem cell marker SSEA-1 of ECS cells. The neuronal differentiation of ECS cells could be induced by retinoic acid (RA). Interestingly, FNDs did not affect on the morphological alteration, cytotoxicity and apoptosis during the neuronal differentiation. Besides, FNDs did not alter the cell viability and the expression of neuron-specific marker β-III-tubulin in these differentiated neuron cells. The existence of FNDs in the neuron cells can be identified by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. Together, FND is a biocompatible and readily detectable nanomaterial for the labeling and tracking of neuronal differentiation process and neuron cells from stem cells.

  16. Arsenic Trioxide Modulates the Central Snail Neuron Action Potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guan-Ling Lu

    2009-09-01

    Conclusion: As2O3 at 10 mM elicits BoPs in central snail neurons and this effect may relate to the PLC activity of the neuron, rather than protein kinase A activity, or calcium influxes of the neuron. As2O3 at higher concentration irreversibly abolishes the spontaneous action potentials of the neuron.

  17. Optimal stimulus shapes for neuronal excitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel B Forger

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available An important problem in neuronal computation is to discern how features of stimuli control the timing of action potentials. One aspect of this problem is to determine how an action potential, or spike, can be elicited with the least energy cost, e.g., a minimal amount of applied current. Here we show in the Hodgkin & Huxley model of the action potential and in experiments on squid giant axons that: 1 spike generation in a neuron can be highly discriminatory for stimulus shape and 2 the optimal stimulus shape is dependent upon inputs to the neuron. We show how polarity and time course of post-synaptic currents determine which of these optimal stimulus shapes best excites the neuron. These results are obtained mathematically using the calculus of variations and experimentally using a stochastic search methodology. Our findings reveal a surprising complexity of computation at the single cell level that may be relevant for understanding optimization of signaling in neurons and neuronal networks.

  18. Information transmission with spiking Bayesian neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lochmann, Timm; Deneve, Sophie

    2008-01-01

    Spike trains of cortical neurons resulting from repeatedpresentations of a stimulus are variable and exhibit Poisson-like statistics. Many models of neural coding therefore assumed that sensory information is contained in instantaneous firing rates, not spike times. Here, we ask how much information about time-varying stimuli can be transmitted by spiking neurons with such input and output variability. In particular, does this variability imply spike generation to be intrinsically stochastic? We consider a model neuron that estimates optimally the current state of a time-varying binary variable (e.g. presence of a stimulus) by integrating incoming spikes. The unit signals its current estimate to other units with spikes whenever the estimate increased by a fixed amount. As shown previously, this computation results in integrate and fire dynamics with Poisson-like output spike trains. This output variability is entirely due to the stochastic input rather than noisy spike generation. As a result such a deterministic neuron can transmit most of the information about the time varying stimulus. This contrasts with a standard model of sensory neurons, the linear-nonlinear Poisson (LNP) model which assumes that most variability in output spike trains is due to stochastic spike generation. Although it yields the same firing statistics, we found that such noisy firing results in the loss of most information. Finally, we use this framework to compare potential effects of top-down attention versus bottom-up saliency on information transfer with spiking neurons

  19. Rewiring of neuronal networks during synaptic silencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrosch, Jana Katharina; Einem, Vicky von; Breininger, Katharina; Dahlmanns, Marc; Maier, Andreas; Kornhuber, Johannes; Groemer, Teja Wolfgang

    2017-09-15

    Analyzing the connectivity of neuronal networks, based on functional brain imaging data, has yielded new insight into brain circuitry, bringing functional and effective networks into the focus of interest for understanding complex neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the analysis of network changes, based on the activity of individual neurons, is hindered by the lack of suitable meaningful and reproducible methodologies. Here, we used calcium imaging, statistical spike time analysis and a powerful classification model to reconstruct effective networks of primary rat hippocampal neurons in vitro. This method enables the calculation of network parameters, such as propagation probability, path length, and clustering behavior through the measurement of synaptic activity at the single-cell level, thus providing a fuller understanding of how changes at single synapses translate to an entire population of neurons. We demonstrate that our methodology can detect the known effects of drug-induced neuronal inactivity and can be used to investigate the extensive rewiring processes affecting population-wide connectivity patterns after periods of induced neuronal inactivity.

  20. Simulation of developing human neuronal cell networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-30

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

  1. Endocannabinoids mediate neuron-astrocyte communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Marta; Araque, Alfonso

    2008-03-27

    Cannabinoid receptors play key roles in brain function, and cannabinoid effects in brain physiology and drug-related behavior are thought to be mediated by receptors present in neurons. Neuron-astrocyte communication relies on the expression by astrocytes of neurotransmitter receptors. Yet, the expression of cannabinoid receptors by astrocytes in situ and their involvement in the neuron-astrocyte communication remain largely unknown. We show that hippocampal astrocytes express CB1 receptors that upon activation lead to phospholipase C-dependent Ca2+ mobilization from internal stores. These receptors are activated by endocannabinoids released by neurons, increasing astrocyte Ca2+ levels, which stimulate glutamate release that activates NMDA receptors in pyramidal neurons. These results demonstrate the existence of endocannabinoid-mediated neuron-astrocyte communication, revealing that astrocytes are targets of cannabinoids and might therefore participate in the physiology of cannabinoid-related addiction. They also reveal the existence of an endocannabinoid-glutamate signaling pathway where astrocytes serve as a bridge for nonsynaptic interneuronal communication.

  2. Mechanical Dissociation of Retinal Neurons with Vibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motomura, Tamami; Hayashida, Yuki; Murayama, Nobuki

    The neuromorphic device, which implements the functions of biological neural circuits by means of VLSI technology, has been collecting much attention in the engineering fields in the last decade. Concurrently, progress in neuroscience research has revealed the nonlinear computation in single neuron levels, suggesting that individual neurons are not merely the circuit elements but computational units. Thus, elucidating the properties of neuronal signal processing is thought to be an essential step for developing the next generation of neuromorphic devices. In the present study, we developed a method for dissociating single neurons from specific sublayers of mammalian retinas with using no proteolytic enzymes but rather combining tissue incubation in a low-Ca2+ medium and the vibro-dissociation technique developed for the slices of brains and spinal cords previously. Our method took shorter time of the procedure, and required less elaborated skill, than the conventional enzymatic method did; nevertheless it yielded enough number of the cells available for acute electrophysiological experiments. The isolated retinal neurons were useful for measuring the nonlinear membrane conductances as well as the spike firing properties under the perforated-patch whole-cell configuration. These neurons also enabled us to examine the effects of proteolytic enzymes on the membrane excitability in those cells.

  3. Neuronal and glial purinergic receptors functions in neuron development and brain disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana edel Puerto

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Brain development requires the interaction of complex signalling pathways, involving different cell types and molecules. For a long time, most attention has focused on neurons in a neuronocentric conceptualization of CNS development, these cells fulfilling an intrinsic programme that establishes the brain’s morphology and function. By contrast, glia have mainly been studied as support cells, offering guidance or as the cells that react to brain injury. However, new evidence is appearing that demonstrates a more fundamental role of glial cells in the control of different aspects of neuronal development and function, events in which the influence of neurons is at best weak. Moreover, it is becoming clear that the function and organization of the nervous system depends heavily on reciprocal neuron-glia interactions. During development, neurons are often generated far from their final destination and while intrinsic mechanisms are responsible for neuronal migration and growth, they need support and regulatory influences from glial cells in order to migrate correctly. Similarly, the axons emitted by neurons often have to reach faraway targets and in this sense, glia help define the way that axons grow. Moreover, oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells ultimately envelop axons, contributing to the generation of Nodes of Ranvier. Finally, recent publications show that astrocytes contribute to the modulation of synaptic transmission. In this sense, purinergic receptors are expressed widely by glial cells and neurons, and recent evidence points to multiple roles of purines and purinergic receptors in neuronal development and function, from neurogenesis to axon growth and functional axonal maturation, as well as in pathological conditions in the brain. This review will focus on the role of glial and neuronal secreted purines, and on the purinergic receptors, fundamentally in the control of neuronal development and function, as well as in diseases of the

  4. Equipment to Support Development of Neuronal Network Controlled Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-25

    growth and training of neuronal neural networks to control robot arms. This work was done to learn the properties of the neurons and neuronal network , by...Equipment to Support Development of Neuronal Network Controlled Robots With this award, our team purchased an ALA 2-channel stimulus generator, an...peer-reviewed journals: Number of Papers published in non peer-reviewed journals: Final Report: Equipment to Support Development of Neuronal Network

  5. A novel perspective on neuron study: damaging and promoting effects in different neurons induced by mechanical stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yazhou; Wang, Wei; Li, Zong; Hao, Shilei; Wang, Bochu

    2016-10-01

    A growing volume of experimental evidence demonstrates that mechanical stress plays a significant role in growth, proliferation, apoptosis, gene expression, electrophysiological properties and many other aspects of neurons. In this review, first, the mechanical microenvironment and properties of neurons under in vivo conditions are introduced and analyzed. Second, research works in recent decades on the effects of different mechanical forces, especially compression and tension, on various neurons, including dorsal root ganglion neurons, retinal ganglion cells, cerebral cortex neurons, hippocampus neurons, neural stem cells, and other neurons, are summarized. Previous research results demonstrate that mechanical stress can not only injure neurons by damaging their morphology, impacting their electrophysiological characteristics and gene expression, but also promote neuron self-repair. Finally, some future perspectives in neuron research are discussed.

  6. Signals and Circuits in the Purkinje Neuron

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ze'ev R Abrams

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Purkinje neurons in the cerebellum have over 100,000 inputs organized in an orthogonal geometry, and a single output channel. As the sole output of the cerebellar cortex layer, their complex firing pattern has been associated with motor control and learning. As such they have been extensively modeled and measured using tools ranging from electrophysiology and neuroanatomy, to dynamic systems and artificial intelligence methods. However, there is an alternative approach to analyze and describe the neuronal output of these cells using concepts from Electrical Engineering, particularly signal processing and digital/analog circuits. By viewing the Purkinje neuron as an unknown circuit to be reverse-engineered, we can use the tools that provide the foundations of today’s integrated circuits and communication systems to analyze the Purkinje system at the circuit level. We use Fourier transforms to analyze and isolate the inherent frequency modes in the Purkinje neuron and define 3 unique frequency ranges associated with the cells’ output. Comparing the Purkinje neuron to a signal generator that can be externally modulated adds an entire level of complexity to the functional role of these neurons both in terms of data analysis and information processing, relying on Fourier analysis methods in place of statistical ones. We also re-describe some of the recent literature in the field, using the nomenclature of signal processing. Furthermore, by comparing the experimental data of the past decade with basic electronic circuitry, we can resolve the outstanding controversy in the field, by recognizing that the Purkinje neuron can act as a multivibrator circuit.

  7. Channel properties of Nax expressed in neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahito Matsumoto

    Full Text Available Nax is a sodium-concentration ([Na+]-sensitive Na channel with a gating threshold of ~150 mM for extracellular [Na+] ([Na+]o in vitro. We previously reported that Nax was preferentially expressed in the glial cells of sensory circumventricular organs including the subfornical organ, and was involved in [Na+] sensing for the control of salt-intake behavior. Although Nax was also suggested to be expressed in the neurons of some brain regions including the amygdala and cerebral cortex, the channel properties of Nax have not yet been adequately characterized in neurons. We herein verified that Nax was expressed in neurons in the lateral amygdala of mice using an antibody that was newly generated against mouse Nax. To investigate the channel properties of Nax expressed in neurons, we established an inducible cell line of Nax using the mouse neuroblastoma cell line, Neuro-2a, which is endogenously devoid of the expression of Nax. Functional analyses of this cell line revealed that the [Na+]-sensitivity of Nax in neuronal cells was similar to that expressed in glial cells. The cation selectivity sequence of the Nax channel in cations was revealed to be Na+ ≈ Li+ > Rb+ > Cs+ for the first time. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Nax bound to postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95 through its PSD95/Disc-large/ZO-1 (PDZ-binding motif at the C-terminus in neurons. The interaction between Nax and PSD95 may be involved in promoting the surface expression of Nax channels because the depletion of endogenous PSD95 resulted in a decrease in Nax at the plasma membrane. These results indicated, for the first time, that Nax functions as a [Na+]-sensitive Na channel in neurons as well as in glial cells.

  8. Neuronal Survival, Morphology and Outgrowth of Spiral Ganglion Neurons Using a Defined Growth Factor Combination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Schwieger

    Full Text Available The functionality of cochlear implants (CI depends, among others, on the number and excitability of surviving spiral ganglion neurons (SGN. The spatial separation between the SGN, located in the bony axis of the inner ear, and the CI, which is inserted in the scala tympani, results in suboptimal performance of CI patients and may be decreased by attracting the SGN neurites towards the electrode contacts. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs can support neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth.Since brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF is well known for its neuroprotective effect and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF increases neurite outgrowth, we evaluated if the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to an enhanced neuronal survival with extended neurite outgrowth. Both NTFs were added in effective high concentrations (BDNF 50 ng/ml, CNTF 100 ng/ml, alone and in combination, to cultured dissociated SGN of neonatal rats for 48 hours.The neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth were significantly higher in SGN treated with the combination of the two NTFs compared to treatment with each factor alone. Additionally, with respect to the morphology, the combination of BDNF and CNTF leads to a significantly higher number of bipolar neurons and a decreased number of neurons without neurites in culture.The combination of BDNF and CNTF shows a great potential to increase the neuronal survival and the number of bipolar neurons in vitro and to regenerate retracted nerve fibers.

  9. Neuron Image Analyzer: Automated and Accurate Extraction of Neuronal Data from Low Quality Images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kwang-Min; Son, Kilho; Palmore, G Tayhas R

    2015-11-23

    Image analysis software is an essential tool used in neuroscience and neural engineering to evaluate changes in neuronal structure following extracellular stimuli. Both manual and automated methods in current use are severely inadequate at detecting and quantifying changes in neuronal morphology when the images analyzed have a low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This inadequacy derives from the fact that these methods often include data from non-neuronal structures or artifacts by simply tracing pixels with high intensity. In this paper, we describe Neuron Image Analyzer (NIA), a novel algorithm that overcomes these inadequacies by employing Laplacian of Gaussian filter and graphical models (i.e., Hidden Markov Model, Fully Connected Chain Model) to specifically extract relational pixel information corresponding to neuronal structures (i.e., soma, neurite). As such, NIA that is based on vector representation is less likely to detect false signals (i.e., non-neuronal structures) or generate artifact signals (i.e., deformation of original structures) than current image analysis algorithms that are based on raster representation. We demonstrate that NIA enables precise quantification of neuronal processes (e.g., length and orientation of neurites) in low quality images with a significant increase in the accuracy of detecting neuronal changes post-stimulation.

  10. Transgenic tools to characterize neuronal properties of discrete populations of zebrafish neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satou, Chie; Kimura, Yukiko; Hirata, Hiromi; Suster, Maximiliano L; Kawakami, Koichi; Higashijima, Shin-ichi

    2013-09-01

    The developing nervous system consists of a variety of cell types. Transgenic animals expressing reporter genes in specific classes of neuronal cells are powerful tools for the study of neuronal network formation. We generated a wide variety of transgenic zebrafish that expressed reporter genes in specific classes of neurons or neuronal progenitors. These include lines in which neurons of specific neurotransmitter phenotypes expressed fluorescent proteins or Gal4, and lines in which specific subsets of the dorsal progenitor domain in the spinal cord expressed fluorescent proteins. Using these, we examined domain organization in the developing dorsal spinal cord, and found that there are six progenitor domains in zebrafish, which is similar to the domain organization in mice. We also systematically characterized neurotransmitter properties of the neurons that are produced from each domain. Given that reporter gene expressions occurs in a wide area of the nervous system in the lines generated, these transgenic fish should serve as powerful tools for the investigation of not only the neurons in the dorsal spinal cord but also neuronal structures and functions in many other regions of the nervous system.

  11. Morphine disinhibits glutamatergic input to VTA dopamine neurons and promotes dopamine neuron excitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ming; Zhao, Yanfang; Yang, Hualan; Luan, Wenjie; Song, Jiaojiao; Cui, Dongyang; Dong, Yi; Lai, Bin; Ma, Lan; Zheng, Ping

    2015-07-24

    One reported mechanism for morphine activation of dopamine (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is the disinhibition model of VTA-DA neurons. Morphine inhibits GABA inhibitory neurons, which shifts the balance between inhibitory and excitatory input to VTA-DA neurons in favor of excitation and then leads to VTA-DA neuron excitation. However, it is not known whether morphine has an additional strengthening effect on excitatory input. Our results suggest that glutamatergic input to VTA-DA neurons is inhibited by GABAergic interneurons via GABAB receptors and that morphine promotes presynaptic glutamate release by removing this inhibition. We also studied the contribution of the morphine-induced disinhibitory effect on the presynaptic glutamate release to the overall excitatory effect of morphine on VTA-DA neurons and related behavior. Our results suggest that the disinhibitory action of morphine on presynaptic glutamate release might be the main mechanism for morphine-induced increase in VTA-DA neuron firing and related behaviors.

  12. CRISPR Epigenome Editing of AKAP150 in DRG Neurons Abolishes Degenerative IVD-Induced Neuronal Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stover, Joshua D; Farhang, Niloofar; Berrett, Kristofer C; Gertz, Jason; Lawrence, Brandon; Bowles, Robby D

    2017-09-06

    Back pain is a major contributor to disability and has significant socioeconomic impacts worldwide. The degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD) has been hypothesized to contribute to back pain, but a better understanding of the interactions between the degenerative IVD and nociceptive neurons innervating the disc and treatment strategies that directly target these interactions is needed to improve our understanding and treatment of back pain. We investigated degenerative IVD-induced changes to dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron activity and utilized CRISPR epigenome editing as a neuromodulation strategy. By exposing DRG neurons to degenerative IVD-conditioned media under both normal and pathological IVD pH levels, we demonstrate that degenerative IVDs trigger interleukin (IL)-6-induced increases in neuron activity to thermal stimuli, which is directly mediated by AKAP and enhanced by acidic pH. Utilizing this novel information on AKAP-mediated increases in nociceptive neuron activity, we developed lentiviral CRISPR epigenome editing vectors that modulate endogenous expression of AKAP150 by targeted promoter histone methylation. When delivered to DRG neurons, these epigenome-modifying vectors abolished degenerative IVD-induced DRG-elevated neuron activity while preserving non-pathologic neuron activity. This work elucidates the potential for CRISPR epigenome editing as a targeted gene-based pain neuromodulation strategy. Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Low genetic diversity and recent demographic expansion in the red starfish Echinaster sepositus (Retzius 1816).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Cisneros, Alex; Palacín, Creu; Ben Khadra, Yousra; Pérez-Portela, Rocío

    2016-09-15

    Understanding the phylogeography and genetic structure of populations and the processes responsible of patterns therein is crucial for evaluating the vulnerability of marine species and developing management strategies. In this study, we explore how past climatic events and ongoing oceanographic and demographic processes have shaped the genetic structure and diversity of the Atlanto-Mediterranean red starfish Echinaster sepositus. The species is relatively abundant in some areas of the Mediterranean Sea, but some populations have dramatically decreased over recent years due to direct extraction for ornamental aquariums and souvenir industries. Analyses across most of the distribution range of the species based on the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene and eight microsatellite loci revealed very low intraspecific genetic diversity. The species showed a weak genetic structure within marine basins despite the a priori low dispersal potential of its lecithotrophic larva. Our results also revealed a very recent demographic expansion across the distribution range of the species. The genetic data presented here indicate that the species might be highly vulnerable, due to its low intraspecific genetic diversity.

  14. On some toxinological aspects of the starfish Stellaster equestris (Retzius, 1805

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U Kanagarajan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Whole-body extracts in methanol were obtained from the starfish Stellaster equestris. The crude toxin was fractionated stepwise using diethylaminoethyl (DEAE cellulose column chromatography. The crude toxin was lethal to male albino mice at a dose of 1.00 mL (containing 531.0 µg/mL protein when injected intraperitoneally (IP but the toxicity was abolished in all cases except one upon fractionation. The crude toxin and all the adsorbed fractions exhibited potent hemolytic activity on chicken, goat and human blood. However, group B human erythrocytes were resistant to lysis by all fractions and group O by most of the fractions. Paw edema in mice was caused by the crude toxin and all fractions. Pheniramine maleate and piroxicam blocked the toxicity when administered earlier than, or along with, the crude or fractionated toxins but not when administered after the envenomation. Pretreatment with either of these drugs also blocked edema formation.

  15. Persistent Histamine Excitation of Glutamatergic Preoptic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabarean, Iustin V.

    2012-01-01

    Thermoregulatory neurons of the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO) represent a target at which histamine modulates body temperature. The mechanism by which histamine excites a population of MnPO neurons is not known. In this study it was found that histamine activated a cationic inward current and increased the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, actions that had a transient component as well as a sustained one that lasted for tens of minutes after removal of the agonist. The sustained component was blocked by TRPC channel blockers. Single-cell reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed expression of TRPC1, TRPC5 and TRPC7 subunits in neurons excited by histamine. These studies also established the presence of transcripts for the glutamatergic marker Vglut2 and for the H1 histamine receptor in neurons excited by histamine. Intracellular application of antibodies directed against cytoplasmic sites of the TRPC1 or TRPC5 channel subunits decreased the histamine-induced inward current. The persistent inward current and elevation in intracellular Ca2+ concentration could be reversed by activating the PKA pathway. This data reveal a novel mechanism by which histamine induces persistent excitation and sustained intracellular Ca2+ elevation in glutamatergic MnPO neurons. PMID:23082195

  16. Neuron-microglia interaction in neuroinflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzumura, Akio

    2013-02-01

    Microglia are monocyte-macrophage lineage cells, while other glial cells are neuroectodermal origin. Accumulation of microglia is commonly observed around degenerating neurons. There, microglia produce a variety of factors and function both neurotoxic and neuroprotective. Thus, accumulation of glia in various neurological disorders is not a static scar, gliosis, but more actively involved in degeneration and regeneration as neuroinflammation. We have shown previously that the most neurotoxic factor from activated microglia is glutamate, and that the suppression of glutamate release from microglia results in amelioration of disease progression in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders. On the other hands, when exposed to harmful stimuli, neurons also produce various factors as "help me" signals. Recently, we found that a CX3C chemokine, fractalkine (FKN), and interleukin-34 (IL-34) were secreted from damaged neurons. FKN and IL-34 differently activated microglia to rescue neurons by upregulating phagocytosis of toxicants or damaged debris, and production of anti-oxidant enzyme. The bi-directional interaction between neurons and microglia is important for understanding of chronic neuroinflammation, and gives us clues for future therapeutic strategy against neurodegenerative disorders.

  17. Disorders of motor neurons manifested by hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grapperon, A M; Attarian, S

    2017-05-01

    Neuronal and/or axonal hyperactivity and hyperexcitability is an important feature of motor neuron diseases. It results clinically in cramps and fasciculations. It is not specific to motor neuron diseases, and can occur in healthy subjects, as well as in various pathologies of the peripheral nervous system, including nerve hyperexcitability syndromes. Hyperexcitability plays an important and debated role in the pathophysiology of motor neuron diseases, especially in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The mechanisms causing hyperexcitability are not yet clearly identified. While most studies favor a distal axonal origin site of fasciculations, some of the fasciculations could be of cortical origin. The consequences of hyperexcitability are also discussed, whether it is rather protective or deleterious in the disease course. Fasciculations are depicted both clinically and using electromyogram, and more recently the interest of ultrasound has been highlighted. The importance of fasciculation potentials in the diagnosis of ALS led to changes in electrophysiological criteria at Awaji consensus conference. The contribution of these modifications to ALS diagnosis has been the subject of several studies. In clinical practice, it is necessary to distinguish fasciculations potentials of motor neuron disease from benign fasciculations. In most studies of fasciculation potentials in ALS, the presence of complex fasciculation potentials appears to be relevant for the diagnosis and the prognosis of the disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. Synchronous behavior of two coupled electronic neurons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pinto, R. D. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Varona, P. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); GNB, Departamento Ingenieria Informatica, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, (Spain); Volkovskii, A. R. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Szuecs, A. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Abarbanel, Henry D. I. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Department of Physics and Marine Physical Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States); Rabinovich, M. I. [Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0402 (United States)

    2000-08-01

    We report on experimental studies of synchronization phenomena in a pair of analog electronic neurons (ENs). The ENs were designed to reproduce the observed membrane voltage oscillations of isolated biological neurons from the stomatogastric ganglion of the California spiny lobster Panulirus interruptus. The ENs are simple analog circuits which integrate four-dimensional differential equations representing fast and slow subcellular mechanisms that produce the characteristic regular/chaotic spiking-bursting behavior of these cells. In this paper we study their dynamical behavior as we couple them in the same configurations as we have done for their counterpart biological neurons. The interconnections we use for these neural oscillators are both direct electrical connections and excitatory and inhibitory chemical connections: each realized by analog circuitry and suggested by biological examples. We provide here quantitative evidence that the ENs and the biological neurons behave similarly when coupled in the same manner. They each display well defined bifurcations in their mutual synchronization and regularization. We report briefly on an experiment on coupled biological neurons and four-dimensional ENs, which provides further ground for testing the validity of our numerical and electronic models of individual neural behavior. Our experiments as a whole present interesting new examples of regularization and synchronization in coupled nonlinear oscillators. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society.

  19. Autapses promote synchronization in neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Huawei; Wang, Yafeng; Wang, Hengtong; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Wang, Xingang

    2018-01-12

    Neurological disorders such as epileptic seizures are believed to be caused by neuronal synchrony. However, to ascertain the causal role of neuronal synchronization in such diseases through the traditional approach of electrophysiological data analysis remains a controversial, challenging, and outstanding problem. We offer an alternative principle to assess the physiological role of neuronal synchrony based on identifying structural anomalies in the underlying network and studying their impacts on the collective dynamics. In particular, we focus on autapses - time delayed self-feedback links that exist on a small fraction of neurons in the network, and investigate their impacts on network synchronization through a detailed stability analysis. Our main finding is that the proper placement of a small number of autapses in the network can promote synchronization significantly, providing the computational and theoretical bases for hypothesizing a high degree of synchrony in real neuronal networks with autapses. Our result that autapses, the shortest possible links in any network, can effectively modulate the collective dynamics provides also a viable strategy for optimal control of complex network dynamics at minimal cost.

  20. Memristors Empower Spiking Neurons With Stochasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Shedivat, Maruan

    2015-06-01

    Recent theoretical studies have shown that probabilistic spiking can be interpreted as learning and inference in cortical microcircuits. This interpretation creates new opportunities for building neuromorphic systems driven by probabilistic learning algorithms. However, such systems must have two crucial features: 1) the neurons should follow a specific behavioral model, and 2) stochastic spiking should be implemented efficiently for it to be scalable. This paper proposes a memristor-based stochastically spiking neuron that fulfills these requirements. First, the analytical model of the memristor is enhanced so it can capture the behavioral stochasticity consistent with experimentally observed phenomena. The switching behavior of the memristor model is demonstrated to be akin to the firing of the stochastic spike response neuron model, the primary building block for probabilistic algorithms in spiking neural networks. Furthermore, the paper proposes a neural soma circuit that utilizes the intrinsic nondeterminism of memristive switching for efficient spike generation. The simulations and analysis of the behavior of a single stochastic neuron and a winner-take-all network built of such neurons and trained on handwritten digits confirm that the circuit can be used for building probabilistic sampling and pattern adaptation machinery in spiking networks. The findings constitute an important step towards scalable and efficient probabilistic neuromorphic platforms. © 2011 IEEE.

  1. WNT signalling in neuronal maturation and synaptogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana Beatriz Rosso

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The Wnt signaling pathway plays a role in the development of the central nervous system (CNS and growing evidence indicates that Wnts also regulates the structure and function of the adult nervous system. Wnt components are key regulators of a variety of developmental processes, including embryonic patterning, cell specification, and cell polarity. In the nervous system, Wnt signaling also regulates the formation and function of neuronal circuits by controlling neuronal differentiation, axon outgrowth and guidance, dendrite development, synaptic function and neuronal plasticity. Wnt factors can signal through three very well characterized cascades: canonical or β-catenin pathway, planar cell polarity pathway and calcium pathway that control different processes. However, divergent downstream cascades have been identified to control neuronal morphogenesis. In the nervous system, the expression of Wnt proteins is a highly controlled process. In addition, deregulation of Wnt signaling has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we will review different aspects of neuronal and dendrite maturation, including spinogenesis and synaptogenesis. Finally, the role of Wnt pathway components on Alzheimer’s disease will be revised.

  2. Quadratic sinusoidal analysis of voltage clamped neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnani, Christophe; Moore, Lee E

    2011-11-01

    Nonlinear biophysical properties of individual neurons are known to play a major role in the nervous system, especially those active at subthreshold membrane potentials that integrate synaptic inputs during action potential initiation. Previous electrophysiological studies have made use of a piecewise linear characterization of voltage clamped neurons, which consists of a sequence of linear admittances computed at different voltage levels. In this paper, a fundamentally new theory is developed in two stages. First, analytical equations are derived for a multi-sinusoidal voltage clamp of a Hodgkin-Huxley type model to reveal the quadratic response at the ionic channel level. Second, the resulting behavior is generalized to a novel Hermitian neural operator, which uses an algebraic formulation capturing the entire quadratic behavior of a voltage clamped neuron. In addition, this operator can also be used for a nonlinear identification analysis directly applicable to experimental measurements. In this case, a Hermitian matrix of interactions is built with paired frequency probing measurements performed at specific harmonic and interactive output frequencies. More importantly, eigenanalysis of the neural operator provides a concise signature of the voltage dependent conductances determined by their particular distribution on the dendritic and somatic membrane regions of neurons. Finally, the theory is concretely illustrated by an analysis of an experimentally measured vestibular neuron, providing a remarkably compact description of the quadratic responses involved in the nonlinear processing underlying the control of eye position during head rotation, namely the neural integrator.

  3. High-Throughput Screening in Primary Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Punita; Ando, D. Michael; Daub, Aaron; Kaye, Julia A.; Finkbeiner, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Despite years of incremental progress in our understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), there are still no disease-modifying therapeutics. The discrepancy between the number of lead compounds and approved drugs may partially be a result of the methods used to generate the leads and highlights the need for new technology to obtain more detailed and physiologically relevant information on cellular processes in normal and diseased states. Our high-throughput screening (HTS) system in a primary neuron model can help address this unmet need. HTS allows scientists to assay thousands of conditions in a short period of time which can reveal completely new aspects of biology and identify potential therapeutics in the span of a few months when conventional methods could take years or fail all together. HTS in primary neurons combines the advantages of HTS with the biological relevance of intact, fully differentiated neurons which can capture the critical cellular events or homeostatic states that make neurons uniquely susceptible to disease-associated proteins. We detail methodologies of our primary neuron HTS assay workflow from sample preparation to data reporting. We also discuss our adaptation of our HTS system into high-content screening (HCS), a type of HTS that uses multichannel fluorescence images to capture biological events in situ, and is uniquely suited to study dynamical processes in living cells. PMID:22341232

  4. Reliable neuronal systems: the importance of heterogeneity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Lengler

    Full Text Available For every engineer it goes without saying: in order to build a reliable system we need components that consistently behave precisely as they should. It is also well known that neurons, the building blocks of brains, do not satisfy this constraint. Even neurons of the same type come with huge variances in their properties and these properties also vary over time. Synapses, the connections between neurons, are highly unreliable in forwarding signals. In this paper we argue that both these fact add variance to neuronal processes, and that this variance is not a handicap of neural systems, but that instead predictable and reliable functional behavior of neural systems depends crucially on this variability. In particular, we show that higher variance allows a recurrently connected neural population to react more sensitively to incoming signals, and processes them faster and more energy efficient. This, for example, challenges the general assumption that the intrinsic variability of neurons in the brain is a defect that has to be overcome by synaptic plasticity in the process of learning.

  5. Learning intrinsic excitability in medium spiny neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheler, Gabriele

    2013-01-01

    We present an unsupervised, local activation-dependent learning rule for intrinsic plasticity (IP) which affects the composition of ion channel conductances for single neurons in a use-dependent way. We use a single-compartment conductance-based model for medium spiny striatal neurons in order to show the effects of parameterization of individual ion channels on the neuronal membrane potential-curent relationship (activation function). We show that parameter changes within the physiological ranges are sufficient to create an ensemble of neurons with significantly different activation functions. We emphasize that the effects of intrinsic neuronal modulation on spiking behavior require a distributed mode of synaptic input and can be eliminated by strongly correlated input. We show how modulation and adaptivity in ion channel conductances can be utilized to store patterns without an additional contribution by synaptic plasticity (SP). The adaptation of the spike response may result in either "positive" or "negative" pattern learning. However, read-out of stored information depends on a distributed pattern of synaptic activity to let intrinsic modulation determine spike response. We briefly discuss the implications of this conditional memory on learning and addiction.

  6. FG-MOS neuron for binary CNN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flak, Jacek; Laiho, Mika; Halonen, Kari

    2005-06-01

    This paper presents a neuron implementation based on floating-gate MOSFET (FG-MOS) structure. The computation is performed by charge distribution at the input of FG-MOS inverter determining the cell state. There is no current-flow through the interconnections after processing is completed, thus a significant reduction in DC power consumption can be achieved. Such neuron can be used to build a capacitively coupled cellular neural/nonlinear network (CNN) for processing black and white (B/W) images. Although the coupling coefficients are basically implemented with capacitances, this approach provides them with 1-bit programmability. Also the neuron's threshold level can be digitally programmed to four different values. The templates operating on the B/W images can be modified to have only binary-valued {0,1} terms or can be split into such (sequentially run) simple subtasks. Therefore, the presented neuron structure is able to perform the evaluation of almost all B/W templates proposed so far. Exploration of FG-MOS structures can help to understand the implementation problems of capacitively coupled CNNs. Such a situation appears, e.g., in nanoelectronic CNNs composed of single-electron tunneling (SET) transistors, which also deal with B/W images only. Moreover, the binary programmability approach utilized here should help to develop an effective programming scheme for future SET or CMOS-SET hybrid CNN implementations. Along with the neuron structure, its operation description and simulation results of the 8 x 8 network are presented.

  7. Binding by asynchrony: the neuronal phase code

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltan Nadasdy

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Neurons display continuous subthreshold oscillations and discrete action potentials. When action potentials are phase-locked to the subthreshold oscillation, we hypothesize they represent two types of information: the presence/absence of a sensory feature and the phase of subthreshold oscillation. If subthreshold oscillation phases are neuron-specific, then the sources of action potentials can be recovered based on the action potential times. If the spatial information about the stimulus is converted to action potential phases, then action potentials from multiple neurons can be combined into a single axon and the spatial configuration reconstructed elsewhere. For the reconstruction to be successful, we introduce two assumptions: that a subthreshold oscillation field has a constant phase gradient and that coincidences between action potentials and intracellular subthreshold oscillations are neuron-specific as defined by the "interference principle." Under these assumptions, a phase coding model enables information transfer between structures and reproduces experimental phenomenons such as phase precession, grid cell architecture, and phase modulation of cortical spikes. This article reviews a recently proposed neuronal algorithm for information encoding and decoding from the phase of action potentials (Nadasdy 2009. The focus is given to the principles common across different systems instead of emphasizing system specific differences.

  8. Energy-efficient neural information processing in individual neurons and neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lianchun; Yu, Yuguo

    2017-11-01

    Brains are composed of networks of an enormous number of neurons interconnected with synapses. Neural information is carried by the electrical signals within neurons and the chemical signals among neurons. Generating these electrical and chemical signals is metabolically expensive. The fundamental issue raised here is whether brains have evolved efficient ways of developing an energy-efficient neural code from the molecular level to the circuit level. Here, we summarize the factors and biophysical mechanisms that could contribute to the energy-efficient neural code for processing input signals. The factors range from ion channel kinetics, body temperature, axonal propagation of action potentials, low-probability release of synaptic neurotransmitters, optimal input and noise, the size of neurons and neuronal clusters, excitation/inhibition balance, coding strategy, cortical wiring, and the organization of functional connectivity. Both experimental and computational evidence suggests that neural systems may use these factors to maximize the efficiency of energy consumption in processing neural signals. Studies indicate that efficient energy utilization may be universal in neuronal systems as an evolutionary consequence of the pressure of limited energy. As a result, neuronal connections may be wired in a highly economical manner to lower energy costs and space. Individual neurons within a network may encode independent stimulus components to allow a minimal number of neurons to represent whole stimulus characteristics efficiently. This basic principle may fundamentally change our view of how billions of neurons organize themselves into complex circuits to operate and generate the most powerful intelligent cognition in nature. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Optogenetic identification of hypothalamic orexin neuron projections to paraventricular spinally projecting neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dergacheva, Olga; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Schwartz, Alan R; Polotsky, Vsevolod Y; Mendelowitz, David

    2017-04-01

    Orexin neurons, and activation of orexin receptors, are generally thought to be sympathoexcitatory; however, the functional connectivity between orexin neurons and a likely sympathetic target, the hypothalamic spinally projecting neurons (SPNs) in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) has not been established. To test the hypothesis that orexin neurons project directly to SPNs in the PVN, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) was selectively expressed in orexin neurons to enable photoactivation of ChR2-expressing fibers while examining evoked postsynaptic currents in SPNs in rat hypothalamic slices. Selective photoactivation of orexin fibers elicited short-latency postsynaptic currents in all SPNs tested ( n = 34). These light-triggered responses were heterogeneous, with a majority being excitatory glutamatergic responses (59%) and a minority of inhibitory GABAergic (35%) and mixed glutamatergic and GABAergic currents (6%). Both glutamatergic and GABAergic responses were present in the presence of tetrodotoxin and 4-aminopyridine, suggesting a monosynaptic connection between orexin neurons and SPNs. In addition to generating postsynaptic responses, photostimulation facilitated action potential firing in SPNs (current clamp configuration). Glutamatergic, but not GABAergic, postsynaptic currents were diminished by application of the orexin receptor antagonist almorexant, indicating orexin release facilitates glutamatergic neurotransmission in this pathway. This work identifies a neuronal circuit by which orexin neurons likely exert sympathoexcitatory control of cardiovascular function. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study to establish, using innovative optogenetic approaches in a transgenic rat model, that there are robust heterogeneous projections from orexin neurons to paraventricular spinally projecting neurons, including excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission. Endogenous orexin release modulates glutamatergic, but not

  10. Selective loss of alpha motor neurons with sparing of gamma motor neurons and spinal cord cholinergic neurons in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powis, Rachael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H

    2016-03-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterised primarily by loss of lower motor neurons from the ventral grey horn of the spinal cord and proximal muscle atrophy. Recent experiments utilising mouse models of SMA have demonstrated that not all motor neurons are equally susceptible to the disease, revealing that other populations of neurons can also be affected. Here, we have extended investigations of selective vulnerability of neuronal populations in the spinal cord of SMA mice to include comparative assessments of alpha motor neuron (α-MN) and gamma motor neuron (γ-MN) pools, as well as other populations of cholinergic neurons. Immunohistochemical analyses of late-symptomatic SMA mouse spinal cord revealed that numbers of α-MNs were significantly reduced at all levels of the spinal cord compared with controls, whereas numbers of γ-MNs remained stable. Likewise, the average size of α-MN cell somata was decreased in SMA mice with no change occurring in γ-MNs. Evaluation of other pools of spinal cord cholinergic neurons revealed that pre-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, central canal cluster interneurons, partition interneurons and preganglionic autonomic dorsal commissural nucleus neuron numbers all remained unaffected in SMA mice. Taken together, these findings indicate that α-MNs are uniquely vulnerable among cholinergic neuron populations in the SMA mouse spinal cord, with γ-MNs and other cholinergic neuronal populations being largely spared. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  11. Neuronal replacement therapy: previous achievements and challenges ahead

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grade, Sofia; Götz, Magdalena

    2017-10-01

    Lifelong neurogenesis and incorporation of newborn neurons into mature neuronal circuits operates in specialized niches of the mammalian brain and serves as role model for neuronal replacement strategies. However, to which extent can the remaining brain parenchyma, which never incorporates new neurons during the adulthood, be as plastic and readily accommodate neurons in networks that suffered neuronal loss due to injury or neurological disease? Which microenvironment is permissive for neuronal replacement and synaptic integration and which cells perform best? Can lost function be restored and how adequate is the participation in the pre-existing circuitry? Could aberrant connections cause malfunction especially in networks dominated by excitatory neurons, such as the cerebral cortex? These questions show how important connectivity and circuitry aspects are for regenerative medicine, which is the focus of this review. We will discuss the impressive advances in neuronal replacement strategies and success from exogenous as well as endogenous cell sources. Both have seen key novel technologies, like the groundbreaking discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells and direct neuronal reprogramming, offering alternatives to the transplantation of fetal neurons, and both herald great expectations. For these to become reality, neuronal circuitry analysis is key now. As our understanding of neuronal circuits increases, neuronal replacement therapy should fulfill those prerequisites in network structure and function, in brain-wide input and output. Now is the time to incorporate neural circuitry research into regenerative medicine if we ever want to truly repair brain injury.

  12. Characteristics of sodium currents in rat geniculate ganglion neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Shiro; Bradley, Robert M

    2011-12-01

    Geniculate ganglion (GG) cell bodies of chorda tympani (CT), greater superficial petrosal (GSP), and posterior auricular (PA) nerves transmit orofacial sensory information to the rostral nucleus of the solitary tract. We have used whole cell recording to investigate the characteristics of the Na(+) channels in isolated Fluorogold-labeled GG neurons that innervate different peripheral receptive fields. GG neurons expressed two classes of Na(+) channels, TTX sensitive (TTX-S) and TTX resistant (TTX-R). The majority of GG neurons expressed TTX-R currents of different amplitudes. TTX-R currents were relatively small in 60% of the neurons but were large in 12% of the sampled population. In a further 28% of the neurons, TTX completely abolished all Na(+) currents. Application of TTX completely inhibited action potential generation in all CT and PA neurons but had little effect on the generation of action potentials in 40% of GSP neurons. Most CT, GSP, and PA neurons stained positively with IB(4), and 27% of the GSP neurons were capsaicin sensitive. The majority of IB(4)-positive GSP neurons with large TTX-R Na(+) currents responded to capsaicin, whereas IB(4)-positive GSP neurons with small TTX-R Na(+) currents were capsaicin insensitive. These data demonstrate the heterogeneity of GG neurons and indicate the existence of a subset of GSP neurons sensitive to capsaicin, usually associated with nociceptors. Since there are no reports of nociceptors in the GSP receptive field, the role of these capsaicin-sensitive neurons is not clear.

  13. Neuronal Circuitry Mechanisms Regulating Adult Mammalian Neurogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Juan; Olsen, Reid H.J.; Sun, Jiaqi; Ming, Guo-li; Song, Hongjun

    2017-01-01

    The adult mammalian brain is a dynamic structure, capable of remodeling in response to various physiological and pathological stimuli. One dramatic example of brain plasticity is the birth and subsequent integration of newborn neurons into the existing circuitry. This process, termed adult neurogenesis, recapitulates neural developmental events in two specialized adult brain regions: the lateral ventricles of the forebrain. Recent studies have begun to delineate how the existing neuronal circuits influence the dynamic process of adult neurogenesis, from activation of quiescent neural stem cells (NSCs) to the integration and survival of newborn neurons. Here, we review recent progress toward understanding the circuit-based regulation of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb. PMID:27143698

  14. Merkel cells and neurons keep in touch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Seung-Hyun; Lumpkin, Ellen A.; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2014-01-01

    The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a unique vertebrate touch receptor comprising two distinct cell types in the skin. Its presence in touch-sensitive skin areas was recognized more than a century ago, but the functions of each cell type in sensory transduction have been unclear. Three recent studies demonstrate that Merkel cells are mechanosensitive cells that function in touch transduction via Piezo2. One study concludes that Merkel cells rather than sensory neurons are principal sites of mechanotransduction, whereas the other two studies report that both Merkel cells and neurons encode mechanical inputs. Together, these studies settle a longstanding debate on whether Merkel cells are mechanosensory cells, and enable future investigations of how these skin cells communicate with neurons. PMID:25480024

  15. Mirror Neurons and Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linkovski, Omer; Katzin, Naama; Salti, Moti

    2016-05-30

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

  16. Current Source Density Estimation for Single Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorottya Cserpán

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent developments of multielectrode technology made it possible to measure the extracellular potential generated in the neural tissue with spatial precision on the order of tens of micrometers and on submillisecond time scale. Combining such measurements with imaging of single neurons within the studied tissue opens up new experimental possibilities for estimating distribution of current sources along a dendritic tree. In this work we show that if we are able to relate part of the recording of extracellular potential to a specific cell of known morphology we can estimate the spatiotemporal distribution of transmembrane currents along it. We present here an extension of the kernel CSD method (Potworowski et al., 2012 applicable in such case. We test it on several model neurons of progressively complicated morphologies from ball-and-stick to realistic, up to analysis of simulated neuron activity embedded in a substantial working network (Traub et al, 2005. We discuss the caveats and possibilities of this new approach.

  17. Dynamics of a structured neuron population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pakdaman, Khashayar; Salort, Delphine; Perthame, Benoît

    2010-01-01

    We study the dynamics of assemblies of interacting neurons. For large fully connected networks, the dynamics of the system can be described by a partial differential equation reminiscent of age-structure models used in mathematical ecology, where the 'age' of a neuron represents the time elapsed since its last discharge. The nonlinearity arises from the connectivity J of the network. We prove some mathematical properties of the model that are directly related to qualitative properties. On the one hand, we prove that it is well-posed and that it admits stationary states which, depending upon the connectivity, can be unique or not. On the other hand, we study the long time behaviour of solutions; both for small and large J, we prove the relaxation to the steady state describing asynchronous firing of the neurons. In the middle range, numerical experiments show that periodic solutions appear expressing re-synchronization of the network and asynchronous firing

  18. Runx transcription factors in neuronal development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiga Takashi

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Runt-related (Runx transcription factors control diverse aspects of embryonic development and are responsible for the pathogenesis of many human diseases. In recent years, the functions of this transcription factor family in the nervous system have just begun to be understood. In dorsal root ganglion neurons, Runx1 and Runx3 play pivotal roles in the development of nociceptive and proprioceptive sensory neurons, respectively. Runx appears to control the transcriptional regulation of neurotrophin receptors, numerous ion channels and neuropeptides. As a consequence, Runx contributes to diverse aspects of the sensory system in higher vertebrates. In this review, we summarize recent progress in determining the role of Runx in neuronal development.

  19. Microglia in neuronal plasticity: Influence of stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delpech, Jean-Christophe; Madore, Charlotte; Nadjar, Agnes; Joffre, Corinne; Wohleb, Eric S; Layé, Sophie

    2015-09-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) has previously been regarded as an immune-privileged site with the absence of immune cell responses but this dogma was not entirely true. Microglia are the brain innate immune cells and recent findings indicate that they participate both in CNS disease and infection as well as facilitate normal CNS function. Microglia are highly plastic and play integral roles in sculpting the structure of the CNS, refining neuronal circuitry and connectivity, and contribute actively to neuronal plasticity in the healthy brain. Interestingly, psychological stress can perturb the function of microglia in association with an impaired neuronal plasticity and the development of emotional behavior alterations. As a result it seemed important to describe in this review some findings indicating that the stress-induced microglia dysfunction may underlie neuroplasticity deficits associated to many mood disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Neuroimmunology and Synaptic Function'. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Mechanosensor Channels in Mammalian Somatosensory Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Delmas

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Mechanoreceptive sensory neurons innervating the skin, skeletal muscles andviscera signal both innocuous and noxious information necessary for proprioception, touchand pain. These neurons are responsible for the transduction of mechanical stimuli intoaction potentials that propagate to the central nervous system. The ability of these cells todetect mechanical stimuli impinging on them relies on the presence of mechanosensitivechannels that transduce the external mechanical forces into electrical and chemical signals.Although a great deal of information regarding the molecular and biophysical properties ofmechanosensitive channels in prokaryotes has been accumulated over the past two decades,less is known about the mechanosensitive channels necessary for proprioception and thesenses of touch and pain. This review summarizes the most pertinent data onmechanosensitive channels of mammalian somatosensory neurons, focusing on theirproperties, pharmacology and putative identity.

  1. Neuronal glycogen synthesis contributes to physiological aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinadinos, Christopher; Valles-Ortega, Jordi; Boulan, Laura; Solsona, Estel; Tevy, Maria F; Marquez, Mercedes; Duran, Jordi; Lopez-Iglesias, Carmen; Calbó, Joaquim; Blasco, Ester; Pumarola, Marti; Milán, Marco; Guinovart, Joan J

    2014-10-01

    Glycogen is a branched polymer of glucose and the carbohydrate energy store for animal cells. In the brain, it is essentially found in glial cells, although it is also present in minute amounts in neurons. In humans, loss-of-function mutations in laforin and malin, proteins involved in suppressing glycogen synthesis, induce the presence of high numbers of insoluble polyglucosan bodies in neuronal cells. Known as Lafora bodies (LBs), these deposits result in the aggressive neurodegeneration seen in Lafora's disease. Polysaccharide-based aggregates, called corpora amylacea (CA), are also present in the neurons of aged human brains. Despite the similarity of CA to LBs, the mechanisms and functional consequences of CA formation are yet unknown. Here, we show that wild-type laboratory mice also accumulate glycogen-based aggregates in the brain as they age. These structures are immunopositive for an array of metabolic and stress-response proteins, some of which were previously shown to aggregate in correlation with age in the human brain and are also present in LBs. Remarkably, these structures and their associated protein aggregates are not present in the aged mouse brain upon genetic ablation of glycogen synthase. Similar genetic intervention in Drosophila prevents the accumulation of glycogen clusters in the neuronal processes of aged flies. Most interestingly, targeted reduction of Drosophila glycogen synthase in neurons improves neurological function with age and extends lifespan. These results demonstrate that neuronal glycogen accumulation contributes to physiological aging and may therefore constitute a key factor regulating age-related neurological decline in humans. © 2014 The Authors. Aging cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Nuclear Calcium Buffering Capacity Shapes Neuronal Architecture*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauceri, Daniela; Hagenston, Anna M.; Schramm, Kathrin; Weiss, Ursula; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-01-01

    Calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs) such as parvalbumin are part of the cellular calcium buffering system that determines intracellular calcium diffusion and influences the spatiotemporal dynamics of calcium signals. In neurons, CaBPs are primarily localized to the cytosol and function, for example, in nerve terminals in short-term synaptic plasticity. However, CaBPs are also expressed in the cell nucleus, suggesting that they modulate nuclear calcium signals, which are key regulators of neuronal gene expression. Here we show that the calcium buffering capacity of the cell nucleus in mouse hippocampal neurons regulates neuronal architecture by modulating the expression levels of VEGFD and the complement factor C1q-c, two nuclear calcium-regulated genes that control dendrite geometry and spine density, respectively. Increasing the levels of nuclear calcium buffers by means of expression of a nuclearly targeted form of parvalbumin fused to mCherry (PV.NLS-mC) led to a reduction in VEGFD expression and, as a result, to a decrease in total dendritic length and complexity. In contrast, mRNA levels of the synapse pruning factor C1q-c were increased in neurons expressing PV.NLS-mC, causing a reduction in the density and size of dendritic spines. Our results establish a close link between nuclear calcium buffering capacity and the transcription of genes that determine neuronal structure. They suggest that the development of cognitive deficits observed in neurological conditions associated with CaBP deregulation may reflect the loss of necessary structural features of dendrites and spines. PMID:26231212

  3. Mirror neurons: Enigma of the metaphysical modular brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Sourya; Shukla, Samarth

    2012-07-01

    Mirror neurons are one of the most important discoveries in the last decade of neuroscience. These are a variety of visuospatial neurons which indicate fundamentally about human social interaction. Essentially, mirror neurons respond to actions that we observe in others. The interesting part is that mirror neurons fire in the same way when we actually recreate that action ourselves. Apart from imitation, they are responsible for myriad of other sophisticated human behavior and thought processes. Defects in the mirror neuron system are being linked to disorders like autism. This review is a brief introduction to the neurons that shaped our civilization.

  4. Descending Command Neurons in the Brainstem that Halt Locomotion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bouvier, Julien; Caggiano, Vittorio; Leiras, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    identifiable brainstem populations to a potential locomotor stop signal, we used developmental genetics and considered a discrete neuronal population in the reticular formation: the V2a neurons. We find that those neurons constitute a major excitatory pathway to locomotor areas of the ventral spinal cord....... Selective activation of V2a neurons of the rostral medulla stops ongoing locomotor activity, owing to an inhibition of premotor locomotor networks in the spinal cord. Moreover, inactivation of such neurons decreases spontaneous stopping in vivo. Therefore, the V2a "stop neurons" represent a glutamatergic...

  5. An introduction to modeling neuronal dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Börgers, Christoph

    2017-01-01

    This book is intended as a text for a one-semester course on Mathematical and Computational Neuroscience for upper-level undergraduate and beginning graduate students of mathematics, the natural sciences, engineering, or computer science. An undergraduate introduction to differential equations is more than enough mathematical background. Only a slim, high school-level background in physics is assumed, and none in biology. Topics include models of individual nerve cells and their dynamics, models of networks of neurons coupled by synapses and gap junctions, origins and functions of population rhythms in neuronal networks, and models of synaptic plasticity. An extensive online collection of Matlab programs generating the figures accompanies the book. .

  6. Astroglial gap junctions shape neuronal network activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannasch, Ulrike; Derangeon, Mickael; Chever, Oana; Rouach, Nathalie

    2012-05-01

    Astrocytes, the third element of the tripartite synapse, are active players in neurotransmission. Up to now, their involvement in neuronal functions has primarily been investigated at the single cell level. However, a key property of astrocytes is that they communicate via extensive networks formed by gap junction channels. Recently, we have shown that this networking modulates the moment to moment basal synaptic transmission and plasticity via the regulation of extracellular potassium and glutamate levels. Here we show that astroglial gap junctional communication also regulates neuronal network activity. We discuss these findings and their implications for brain information processing.

  7. Towards neuronal organoids: a method for long-term culturing of high-density hippocampal neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George K Todd

    Full Text Available One of the goals in neuroscience is to obtain tractable laboratory cultures that closely recapitulate in vivo systems while still providing ease of use in the lab. Because neurons can exist in the body over a lifetime, long-term culture systems are necessary so as to closely mimic the physiological conditions under laboratory culture conditions. Ideally, such a neuronal organoid culture would contain multiple cell types, be highly differentiated, and have a high density of interconnected cells. However, before these types of cultures can be created, certain problems associated with long-term neuronal culturing must be addressed. We sought to develop a new protocol which may further prolong the duration and integrity of E18 rat hippocampal cultures. We have developed a protocol that allows for culturing of E18 hippocampal neurons at high densities for more than 120 days. These cultured hippocampal neurons are (i well differentiated with high numbers of synapses, (ii anchored securely to their substrate, (iii have high levels of functional connectivity, and (iv form dense multi-layered cellular networks. We propose that our culture methodology is likely to be effective for multiple neuronal subtypes-particularly those that can be grown in Neurobasal/B27 media. This methodology presents new avenues for long-term functional studies in neurons.

  8. Optophysiological approach to resolve neuronal action potentials with high spatial and temporal resolution in cultured neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephane ePages

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Cell to cell communication in the central nervous system is encoded into transient and local membrane potential changes (ΔVm. Deciphering the rules that govern synaptic transmission and plasticity entails to be able to perform Vm recordings throughout the entire neuronal arborization. Classical electrophysiology is, in most cases, not able to do so within small and fragile neuronal subcompartments. Thus, optical techniques based on the use of fluorescent voltage-sensitive dyes (VSDs have been developed. However, reporting spontaneous or small ΔVm from neuronal ramifications has been challenging, in part due to the limited sensitivity and phototoxicity of VSD-based optical measurements. Here we demonstrate the use of water soluble VSD, ANNINE-6plus, with laser scanning microscopy to optically record ΔVm in cultured neurons. We show that the sensitivity (> 10 % of fluorescence change for 100 mV depolarization and time response (submillisecond of the dye allows the robust detection of action potentials (APs even without averaging, allowing the measurement of spontaneous neuronal firing patterns. In addition, we show that back-propagating APs can be recorded, along distinct dendritic sites and within dendritic spines. Importantly, our approach does not induce any detectable phototoxic effect on cultured neurons. This optophysiological approach provides a simple, minimally invasive and versatile optical method to measure electrical activity in cultured neurons with high temporal (ms resolution and high spatial (µm resolution.

  9. Direct Neuronal Reprogramming for Disease Modeling Studies Using Patient-Derived Neurons: What Have We Learned?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janelle Drouin-Ouellet

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Direct neuronal reprogramming, by which a neuron is formed via direct conversion from a somatic cell without going through a pluripotent intermediate stage, allows for the possibility of generating patient-derived neurons. A unique feature of these so-called induced neurons (iNs is the potential to maintain aging and epigenetic signatures of the donor, which is critical given that many diseases of the CNS are age related. Here, we review the published literature on the work that has been undertaken using iNs to model human brain disorders. Furthermore, as disease-modeling studies using this direct neuronal reprogramming approach are becoming more widely adopted, it is important to assess the criteria that are used to characterize the iNs, especially in relation to the extent to which they are mature adult neurons. In particular: i what constitutes an iN cell, ii which stages of conversion offer the earliest/optimal time to assess features that are specific to neurons and/or a disorder and iii whether generating subtype-specific iNs is critical to the disease-related features that iNs express. Finally, we discuss the range of potential biomedical applications that can be explored using patient-specific models of neurological disorders with iNs, and the challenges that will need to be overcome in order to realize these applications.

  10. Identification of Neuronal Network Properties from the Spectral Analysis of Calcium Imaging Signals in Neuronal Cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisenda eTibau

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal networks in vitro are prominent systems to study the development of connections in living neuronal networks and the interplay between connectivity, activity and function. These cultured networks show a rich spontaneous activity that evolves concurrently with the connectivity of the underlying network. In this work we monitor the development of neuronal cultures, and record their activity using calcium fluorescence imaging. We use spectral analysis to characterize global dynamical and structural traits of the neuronal cultures. We first observe that the power spectrum can be used as a signature of the state of the network, for instance when inhibition is active or silent, as well as a measure of the network's connectivity strength. Second, the power spectrum identifies prominent developmental changes in the network such as GABAA switch. And third, the analysis of the spatial distribution of the spectral density, in experiments with a controlled disintegration of the network through CNQX, an AMPA-glutamate receptor antagonist in excitatory neurons, reveals the existence of communities of strongly connected, highly active neurons that display synchronous oscillations. Our work illustrates the interest of spectral analysis for the study of in vitro networks, and its potential use as a network-state indicator, for instance to compare healthy and diseased neuronal networks.

  11. Axonal regeneration and neuronal function are preserved in motor neurons lacking ß-actin in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Cheever

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The proper localization of ß-actin mRNA and protein is essential for growth cone guidance and axon elongation in cultured neurons. In addition, decreased levels of ß-actin mRNA and protein have been identified in the growth cones of motor neurons cultured from a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA, suggesting that ß-actin loss-of-function at growth cones or pre-synaptic nerve terminals could contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease. However, the role of ß-actin in motor neurons in vivo and its potential relevance to disease has yet to be examined. We therefore generated motor neuron specific ß-actin knock-out mice (Actb-MNsKO to investigate the function of ß-actin in motor neurons in vivo. Surprisingly, ß-actin was not required for motor neuron viability or neuromuscular junction maintenance. Skeletal muscle from Actb-MNsKO mice showed no histological indication of denervation and did not significantly differ from controls in several measurements of physiologic function. Finally, motor axon regeneration was unimpaired in Actb-MNsKO mice, suggesting that ß-actin is not required for motor neuron function or regeneration in vivo.

  12. Direct projections from hypothalamic orexin neurons to brainstem cardiac vagal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dergacheva, Olga; Yamanaka, Akihiro; Schwartz, Alan R; Polotsky, Vsevolod Y; Mendelowitz, David

    2016-12-17

    Orexin neurons are known to augment the sympathetic control of cardiovascular function, however the role of orexin neurons in parasympathetic cardiac regulation remains unclear. To test the hypothesis that orexin neurons contribute to parasympathetic control we selectively expressed channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in orexin neurons in orexin-Cre transgenic rats and examined postsynaptic currents in cardiac vagal neurons (CVNs) in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). Simultaneous photostimulation and recording in ChR2-expressing orexin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus resulted in reliable action potential firing as well as large whole-cell currents suggesting a strong expression of ChR2 and reliable optogenetic excitation. Photostimulation of ChR2-expressing fibers in the DMV elicited short-latency (ranging from 3.2ms to 8.5ms) postsynaptic currents in 16 out of 44 CVNs tested. These responses were heterogeneous and included excitatory glutamatergic (63%) and inhibitory GABAergic (37%) postsynaptic currents. The results from this study suggest different sub-population of orexin neurons may exert diverse influences on brainstem CVNs and therefore may play distinct functional roles in parasympathetic control of the heart. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Recurrently connected and localized neuronal communities initiate coordinated spontaneous activity in neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonardoni, Davide; Amin, Hayder; Di Marco, Stefano; Maccione, Alessandro; Berdondini, Luca; Nieus, Thierry

    2017-07-01

    Developing neuronal systems intrinsically generate coordinated spontaneous activity that propagates by involving a large number of synchronously firing neurons. In vivo, waves of spikes transiently characterize the activity of developing brain circuits and are fundamental for activity-dependent circuit formation. In vitro, coordinated spontaneous spiking activity, or network bursts (NBs), interleaved within periods of asynchronous spikes emerge during the development of 2D and 3D neuronal cultures. Several studies have investigated this type of activity and its dynamics, but how a neuronal system generates these coordinated events remains unclear. Here, we investigate at a cellular level the generation of network bursts in spontaneously active neuronal cultures by exploiting high-resolution multielectrode array recordings and computational network modelling. Our analysis reveals that NBs are generated in specialized regions of the network (functional neuronal communities) that feature neuronal links with high cross-correlation peak values, sub-millisecond lags and that share very similar structural connectivity motifs providing recurrent interactions. We show that the particular properties of these local structures enable locally amplifying spontaneous asynchronous spikes and that this mechanism can lead to the initiation of NBs. Through the analysis of simulated and experimental data, we also show that AMPA currents drive the coordinated activity, while NMDA and GABA currents are only involved in shaping the dynamics of NBs. Overall, our results suggest that the presence of functional neuronal communities with recurrent local connections allows a neuronal system to generate spontaneous coordinated spiking activity events. As suggested by the rules used for implementing our computational model, such functional communities might naturally emerge during network development by following simple constraints on distance-based connectivity.

  14. Recurrently connected and localized neuronal communities initiate coordinated spontaneous activity in neuronal networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Lonardoni

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Developing neuronal systems intrinsically generate coordinated spontaneous activity that propagates by involving a large number of synchronously firing neurons. In vivo, waves of spikes transiently characterize the activity of developing brain circuits and are fundamental for activity-dependent circuit formation. In vitro, coordinated spontaneous spiking activity, or network bursts (NBs, interleaved within periods of asynchronous spikes emerge during the development of 2D and 3D neuronal cultures. Several studies have investigated this type of activity and its dynamics, but how a neuronal system generates these coordinated events remains unclear. Here, we investigate at a cellular level the generation of network bursts in spontaneously active neuronal cultures by exploiting high-resolution multielectrode array recordings and computational network modelling. Our analysis reveals that NBs are generated in specialized regions of the network (functional neuronal communities that feature neuronal links with high cross-correlation peak values, sub-millisecond lags and that share very similar structural connectivity motifs providing recurrent interactions. We show that the particular properties of these local structures enable locally amplifying spontaneous asynchronous spikes and that this mechanism can lead to the initiation of NBs. Through the analysis of simulated and experimental data, we also show that AMPA currents drive the coordinated activity, while NMDA and GABA currents are only involved in shaping the dynamics of NBs. Overall, our results suggest that the presence of functional neuronal communities with recurrent local connections allows a neuronal system to generate spontaneous coordinated spiking activity events. As suggested by the rules used for implementing our computational model, such functional communities might naturally emerge during network development by following simple constraints on distance-based connectivity.

  15. Temporal characteristics of gustatory responses in rat parabrachial neurons vary by stimulus and chemosensitive neuron type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geran, Laura; Travers, Susan

    2013-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that temporal features of spike trains can increase the amount of information available for gustatory processing. However, the nature of these temporal characteristics and their relationship to different taste qualities and neuron types are not well-defined. The present study analyzed the time course of taste responses from parabrachial (PBN) neurons elicited by multiple applications of "sweet" (sucrose), "salty" (NaCl), "sour" (citric acid), and "bitter" (quinine and cycloheximide) stimuli in an acute preparation. Time course varied significantly by taste stimulus and best-stimulus classification. Across neurons, the ensemble code for the three electrolytes was similar initially but quinine diverged from NaCl and acid during the second 500 ms of stimulation and all four qualities became distinct just after 1s. This temporal evolution was reflected in significantly broader tuning during the initial response. Metric space analyses of quality discrimination by individual neurons showed that increases in information (H) afforded by temporal factors was usually explained by differences in rate envelope, which had a greater impact during the initial 2s (22.5% increase in H) compared to the later response (9.5%). Moreover, timing had a differential impact according to cell type, with between-quality discrimination in neurons activated maximally by NaCl or citric acid most affected. Timing was also found to dramatically improve within-quality discrimination (80% increase in H) in neurons that responded optimally to bitter stimuli (B-best). Spikes from B-best neurons were also more likely to occur in bursts. These findings suggest that among PBN taste neurons, time-dependent increases in mutual information can arise from stimulus- and neuron-specific differences in response envelope during the initial dynamic period. A stable rate code predominates in later epochs.

  16. Understanding metal homeostasis in primary cultured neurons. Studies using single neuron subcellular and quantitative metallomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colvin, Robert A; Lai, Barry; Holmes, William R; Lee, Daewoo

    2015-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how single cell quantitative and subcellular metallomics inform us about both the spatial distribution and cellular mechanisms of metal buffering and homeostasis in primary cultured neurons from embryonic rat brain, which are often used as models of human disease involving metal dyshomeostasis. The present studies utilized synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence (SRXRF) and focused primarily on zinc and iron, two abundant metals in neurons that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Total single cell contents for calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and nickel were determined. Resting steady state zinc showed a diffuse distribution in both soma and processes, best defined by the mass profile of the neuron with an enrichment in the nucleus compared with the cytoplasm. Zinc buffering and homeostasis was studied using two modes of cellular zinc loading - transporter and ionophore (pyrithione) mediated. Single neuron zinc contents were shown to statistically significantly increase by either loading method - ionophore: 160 million to 7 billion; transporter 160 million to 280 million atoms per neuronal soma. The newly acquired and buffered zinc still showed a diffuse distribution. Soma and processes have about equal abilities to take up zinc via transporter mediated pathways. Copper levels are distributed diffusely as well, but are relatively higher in the processes relative to zinc levels. Prior studies have observed iron puncta in certain cell types, but others have not. In the present study, iron puncta were characterized in several primary neuronal types. The results show that iron puncta could be found in all neuronal types studied and can account for up to 50% of the total steady state content of iron in neuronal soma. Although other metals can be present in iron puncta, they are predominantly iron containing and do not appear to be

  17. Characterization of astrocytic and neuronal benzodiazepine receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bender, A.S.

    1988-01-01

    Primary cultures of astrocytes and neurons express benzodiazepine receptors. Neuronal benzodiazepine receptors were of high-affinity, K{sub D} values were 7.5-43 nM and the densities of receptors (B{sub max}) were 924-4131 fmol/mg protein. Astrocytes posses a high-affinity benzodiazepine receptor, K{sub D} values were 6.6-13 nM. The B{sub max} values were 6,033-12,000 fmol/mg protein. The pharmacological profile of the neuronal benzodiazepine receptor was that of the central-type benzodiazepine receptor, where clonazepam has a high-affinity and Ro 5-4864 (4{prime}-chlorodiazepam) has a low-affinity. Whereas astrocytic benzoidazepine receptor was characteristic of the so called peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptors, which shows a high-affinity towards Ro 5-4863, and a low-affinity towards clonazepam. The astrocytic benzodiazepine receptors was functionally correlated with voltage dependent calcium channels, since dihydropyridines and benzodiazepines interacted with ({sup 3}H) diazepam and ({sup 3}H) nitrendipine receptors with the same rank order of potency, showing a statistically significant correlation. No such correlation was observed in neurons.

  18. Efficient information transfer by Poisson neurons

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Košťál, Lubomír; Shinomoto, S.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 3 (2016), s. 509-520 ISSN 1547-1063 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-08066S Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : information capacity * Poisson neuron * metabolic cost * decoding error Subject RIV: BD - Theory of Information Impact factor: 1.035, year: 2016

  19. The mirror neuron system : New frontiers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keysers, Christian; Fadiga, Luciano

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Neurons under viral attack: victims or warriors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Swarupa; Nazmi, Arshed; Dutta, Kallol; Basu, Anirban

    2010-01-01

    When the central nervous system (CNS) is under viral attack, defensive antiviral responses must necessarily arise from the CNS itself to rapidly and efficiently curb infections with minimal collateral damage to the sensitive, specialized and non-regenerating neural tissue. This presents a unique challenge because an intact blood-brain barrier (BBB) and lack of proper lymphatic drainage keeps the CNS virtually outside the radar of circulating immune cells that are at constant vigilance for antigens in peripheral tissues. Limited antigen presentation skills of CNS cells in comparison to peripheral tissues is because of a total lack of dendritic cells and feeble expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins in neurons and glia. However, research over the past two decades has identified immune effector mechanisms intrinsic to the CNS for immediate tackling, attenuating and clearing of viral infections, with assistance pouring in from peripheral circulation in the form of neutralizing antibodies and cytotoxic T cells at a later stage. Specialized CNS cells, microglia and astrocytes, were regarded as sole sentinels of the brain for containing a viral onslaught but neurons held little recognition as a potential candidate for protecting itself from the proliferation and pathogenesis of neurotropic viruses. Accumulating evidence however indicates that extracellular insult causes neurons to express immune factors characteristic of lymphoid tissues. This article aims to comprehensively analyze current research on this conditional alteration in the protein expression repertoire of neurons and the role it plays in CNS innate immune response to counter viral infections. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Unbroken Mirror Neurons in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yang-Teng; Decety, Jean; Yang, Chia-Yen; Liu, Ji-Lin; Cheng, Yawei

    2010-01-01

    Background: The "broken mirror" theory of autism, which proposes that a dysfunction of the human mirror neuron system (MNS) is responsible for the core social and cognitive deficits in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), has received considerable attention despite weak empirical evidence. Methods: In this electroencephalographic…

  2. Taurine Biosynthesis by Neurons and Astrocytes*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitvitsky, Victor; Garg, Sanjay K.; Banerjee, Ruma

    2011-01-01

    The physiological roles of taurine, a product of cysteine degradation and one of the most abundant amino acids in the body, remain elusive. Taurine deficiency leads to heart dysfunction, brain development abnormalities, retinal degradation, and other pathologies. The taurine synthetic pathway is proposed to be incomplete in astrocytes and neurons, and metabolic cooperation between these cell types is reportedly needed to complete the pathway. In this study, we analyzed taurine synthesis capability as reported by incorporation of radioactivity from [35S]cysteine into taurine, in primary murine astrocytes and neurons, and in several transformed cell lines (human (SH-SY5Y) and murine (N1E-115) neuroblastoma, human astrocytoma (U-87MG and 1321 N1), and rat glioma (C6)). Extensive incorporation of radioactivity from [35S]cysteine into taurine was observed in rat glioma cells as well as in primary mouse astrocytes and neurons, establishing the presence of an intact taurine synthesis pathway in these cells. Interestingly, exposure of cells to cysteine or cysteamine resulted in elevated intracellular hypotaurine without a corresponding increase in taurine levels, suggesting that oxidation of hypotaurine limits taurine synthesis in cells. Consistent with its role as an organic osmolyte, taurine synthesis was stimulated under hypertonic conditions in neurons. PMID:21778230

  3. Suicide in patients with motor neuron disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Søren; Stenager, E N; Stenager, Egon

    1994-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess, through an epidemiological study, whether suicide risk is increased in patients with motor neuron disease (MND). The study involved 116 patients with MND. In the study period 92 patients died, 47 males and 45 females. No patients committed suicide...

  4. The Mirror Neuron System: A Fresh View

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casile, Antonino; Caggiano, Vittorio; Ferrari, Pier Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of visuomotor neurons in the monkey premotor and parietal cortices that discharge during the execution and observation of goal-directed motor acts. They are deemed to be at the basis of primates’ social abilities. In this review, the authors provide a fresh view about two still open questions about mirror neurons. The first question is their possible functional role. By reviewing recent neurophysiological data, the authors suggest that mirror neurons might represent a flexible system that encodes observed actions in terms of several behaviorally relevant features. The second question concerns the possible developmental mechanisms responsible for their initial emergence. To provide a possible answer to question, the authors review two different aspects of sensorimotor development: facial and hand movements, respectively. The authors suggest that possibly two different “mirror” systems might underlie the development of action understanding and imitative abilities in the two cases. More specifically, a possibly prewired system already present at birth but shaped by the social environment might underlie the early development of facial imitative abilities. On the contrary, an experience-dependent system might subserve perception-action couplings in the case of hand movements. The development of this latter system might be critically dependent on the observation of own movements. PMID:21467305

  5. Motor aging results from cerebellar neuron death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisgontier, Matthieu P

    2015-03-01

    As we age, movements become slower and inconsistent and require more attention. These hallmarks of aging suggest a switch from predictive to reactive motor control. Here I examine evidence supporting the hypothesis that motor aging is primarily determined by the early death of neurons in the cerebellum, a critical structure for predictive motor control. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Beyond the frontiers of neuronal types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Demian eBattaglia

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Cortical neurons and, particularly, inhibitory interneurons display a large diversity of morphological, synaptic, electrophysiological and molecular properties, as well as diverse embryonic origins. Various authors have proposed alternative classification schemes that rely on the concomitant observation of several multimodal features. However, a broad variability is generally observed even among cells that are grouped into a same class. Furthermore, the attribution of specific neurons to a single defined class is often difficult, because individual properties vary in a highly graded fashion, suggestive of continua of features between types. Going beyond the description of representative traits of distinct classes, we focus here on the analysis of atypical cells. We introduce a novel paradigm for neuronal type classification, assuming explicitly the existence of a structured continuum of diversity. Our approach, grounded on the theory of fuzzy sets, identifies a small optimal number of model archetypes. At the same time, it quantifies the degree of similarity between these archetypes and each considered neuron. This allows highlighting archetypal cells, which bear a clear similarity to a single model archetype, and edge cells, which manifest a convergence of traits from multiple archetypes.

  7. Beyond the frontiers of neuronal types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, Demian; Karagiannis, Anastassios; Gallopin, Thierry; Gutch, Harold W.; Cauli, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Cortical neurons and, particularly, inhibitory interneurons display a large diversity of morphological, synaptic, electrophysiological, and molecular properties, as well as diverse embryonic origins. Various authors have proposed alternative classification schemes that rely on the concomitant observation of several multimodal features. However, a broad variability is generally observed even among cells that are grouped into a same class. Furthermore, the attribution of specific neurons to a single defined class is often difficult, because individual properties vary in a highly graded fashion, suggestive of continua of features between types. Going beyond the description of representative traits of distinct classes, we focus here on the analysis of atypical cells. We introduce a novel paradigm for neuronal type classification, assuming explicitly the existence of a structured continuum of diversity. Our approach, grounded on the theory of fuzzy sets, identifies a small optimal number of model archetypes. At the same time, it quantifies the degree of similarity between these archetypes and each considered neuron. This allows highlighting archetypal cells, which bear a clear similarity to a single model archetype, and edge cells, which manifest a convergence of traits from multiple archetypes. PMID:23403725

  8. Immunology: The Neuronal Pathway to Mucosal Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löser, Stephan; Maizels, Rick M

    2018-01-08

    Type 2 immunity at mucosal surfaces is thought to be initiated by type 2 innate lymphoid cells. New studies report that these cells are themselves activated by the neuropeptide neuromedin U, produced by cholinergic neurons in the gut and in airways. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Immunology: the neuronal pathway to mucosal immunity

    OpenAIRE

    Löser, Stephan; Maizels, Rick M.

    2018-01-01

    Type 2 immunity at mucosal surfaces is thought to be initiated by type 2 innate lymphoid cells. New studies report that these cells are themselves activated by the neuropeptide neuromedin U, produced by cholinergic neurons in the gut and in airways.

  10. Numbers, Neurons and Tides, Oh My!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Mary Theresa

    2006-01-01

    Mathematical applications to biology are presented in Anatomy & Physiology, General and Marine Biology. Body measurements and anatomical terminology are integrated, and problems involving neuron conduction speed, red blood cells, hemoglobin and glomerular filtration presented. General Biology applications include trans-membrane potential and…

  11. Training a Single Sigmoidal Neuron is Hard

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šíma, Jiří

    2002-01-01

    Roč. 14, č. 11 (2002), s. 2709-2729 ISSN 0899-7667 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LN00A056 Keywords : sigmoidal neuron * loading problem * NP-hardness Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics Impact factor: 2.313, year: 2002

  12. Modulation of neuronal network activity with ghrelin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoyanova, Irina; Rutten, Wim; le Feber, Jakob

    2012-01-01

    Ghrelin is a neuropeptide regulating multiple physiological processes, including high brain functions such as learning and memory formation. However, the effect of ghrelin on network activity patterns and developments has not been studied yet. Therefore, we used dissociated cortical neurons plated

  13. Neuron-glia metabolic coupling and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistretti, Pierre J

    2006-06-01

    The coupling between synaptic activity and glucose utilization (neurometabolic coupling) is a central physiological principle of brain function that has provided the basis for 2-deoxyglucose-based functional imaging with positron emission tomography (PET). Astrocytes play a central role in neurometabolic coupling, and the basic mechanism involves glutamate-stimulated aerobic glycolysis; the sodium-coupled reuptake of glutamate by astrocytes and the ensuing activation of the Na-K-ATPase triggers glucose uptake and processing via glycolysis, resulting in the release of lactate from astrocytes. Lactate can then contribute to the activity-dependent fuelling of the neuronal energy demands associated with synaptic transmission. An operational model, the 'astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle', is supported experimentally by a large body of evidence, which provides a molecular and cellular basis for interpreting data obtained from functional brain imaging studies. In addition, this neuron-glia metabolic coupling undergoes plastic adaptations in parallel with adaptive mechanisms that characterize synaptic plasticity. Thus, distinct subregions of the hippocampus are metabolically active at different time points during spatial learning tasks, suggesting that a type of metabolic plasticity, involving by definition neuron-glia coupling, occurs during learning. In addition, marked variations in the expression of genes involved in glial glycogen metabolism are observed during the sleep-wake cycle, with in particular a marked induction of expression of the gene encoding for protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) following sleep deprivation. These data suggest that glial metabolic plasticity is likely to be concomitant with synaptic plasticity.

  14. Coupling Perception with Actions via Mirror Neurons

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wiedermann, Jiří

    č. 55 (2003), s. 11-12 ISSN 0926-4981 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/02/1456 Institutional research plan: AV0Z1030915 Keywords : mirror neurons * cognitive agents * neural nets Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics http://www.ercim.eu/publication/Ercim_News/enw55/wiedermann.html

  15. Protective effect of parvalbumin on excitotoxic motor neuron death

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van den Bosch, L.; Schwaller, B.; Vleminckx, V.

    2002-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, AMPA receptor, calcium-binding proteins, calcium buffering, excitotoxity, kainic acid, motor neuron, parvalbumin......Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, AMPA receptor, calcium-binding proteins, calcium buffering, excitotoxity, kainic acid, motor neuron, parvalbumin...

  16. Synaptic glutamate release by postnatal rat serotonergic neurons in microculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, M D

    1994-02-01

    Serotonergic neurons are thought to play a role in depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. However, their functional transmitter repertoire is incompletely known. To investigate this repertoire, intracellular recordings were obtained from 132 cytochemically identified rat mesopontine serotonergic neurons that had re-established synapses in microcultures. Approximately 60% of the neurons evoked excitatory glutamatergic potentials in themselves or in target neurons. Glutamatergic transmission was frequently observed in microcultures containing a solitary serotonergic neuron. Evidence for co-release of serotonin and glutamate from single raphe neurons was also obtained. However, evidence for gamma-aminobutyric acid release by serotonergic neurons was observed in only two cases. These findings indicate that many cultured serotonergic neurons form glutamatergic synapses and may explain several observations in slices and in vivo.

  17. What the training of a neuronal network optimizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabor, Zbisław

    2007-09-01

    In the study a model of training of neuronal networks built of integrate-and-fire neurons is investigated. Neurons are assembled into complex networks of Watts-Strogatz type. Every neuronal network contains a single receptor neuron. The receptor neuron, stimulated by an external signal, evokes spikes in equal time intervals. The spikes generated by the receptor neuron induce subsequent activity of a whole network. The depolarization signals, traveling the network, modify synaptic couplings according to a kick-and-delay rule, whose process is termed "training." It is shown that the training decreases the mean length of paths along which a depolarization signal is transmitted from the receptor neuron. Consequently, the training also decreases the reaction time and the energy expense necessary for the network to react to the external stimulus. It is shown that the initial distribution of synaptic couplings crucially determines the performance of trained networks.

  18. GABAA receptor-expressing neurons promote consumption in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Samantha K; Scott, Kristin

    2017-01-01

    Feeding decisions are highly plastic and bidirectionally regulated by neurons that either promote or inhibit feeding. In Drosophila melanogaster, recent studies have identified four GABAergic interneurons that act as critical brakes to prevent incessant feeding. These GABAergic neurons may inhibit target neurons that drive consumption. Here, we tested this hypothesis by examining GABA receptors and neurons that promote consumption. We find that Resistance to dieldrin (RDL), a GABAA type receptor, is required for proper control of ingestion. Knockdown of Rdl in a subset of neurons causes overconsumption of tastants. Acute activation of these neurons is sufficient to drive consumption of appetitive substances and non-appetitive substances and acute silencing of these neurons decreases consumption. Taken together, these studies identify GABAA receptor-expressing neurons that promote Drosophila ingestive behavior and provide insight into feeding regulation.

  19. Neurons versus Networks: The Interplay between Individual Neurons and Neural Networks in Cognitive Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arshavsky, Yuri I

    2016-09-22

    The main paradigm of cognitive neuroscience is the connectionist concept postulating that the higher nervous activity is performed through interactions of neurons forming complex networks, whereas the function of individual neurons is restricted to generating electrical potentials and transmitting signals to other cells. In this article, I describe the observations from three fields-neurolinguistics, physiology of memory, and sensory perception-that can hardly be explained within the constraints of a purely connectionist concept. Rather, these examples suggest that cognitive functions are determined by specific properties of individual neurons and, therefore, are likely to be accomplished primarily at the intracellular level. This view is supported by the recent discovery that the brain's ability to create abstract concepts of particular individuals, animals, or places is performed by neurons ("concept cells") sparsely distributed in the medial temporal lobe. © The Author(s) 2016.

  20. Lucifer yellow filling of immunohistochemically pre-labeled neurons: a new method to characterize neuronal subpopulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galuske, R A; Delius, J A; Singer, W

    1993-07-01

    We describe a new technique for the morphological characterization of immunohistochemically labeled neuron populations. We demonstrate that it is possible to fill neurons iontophoretically with Lucifer Yellow (LY) in fixed slices of cat visual cortex after the respective cells have been identified by indirect immunofluorescence for the neural cell adhesion molecule N-CAM 180, with the VC1.1 antibody or with an antibody against glutamate dehydrogenase (GAD). Morphological analysis of the injected cells at the light and electron microscopic level revealed that the N-CAM 180-positive neurons share the features of neuropeptidergic cortical interneurons. Depending on the antibody applied, the immunohistochemical treatment had little or no noticeable effect on the quality of LY filling or on the preservation of morphological details of the pre-labeled cells. This makes the method described ideally suited for the light and electron microscopic examination of selected, immunologically characterized neuron subpopulations.

  1. PYRETHROID MODULATION OF SPONTANEOUS NEURONAL EXCITABILITY AND NEUROTRANSMISSION IN HIPPOCAMPAL NEURONS IN CULTURE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyrethroid insecticides have potent actions on voltage-gated sodium channels, inhibiting inactivation and increasing channel open times. These are thought to underlie, at least in part, the clinical symptoms of pyrethroid intoxication. However, disruption of neuronal activity at ...

  2. Phagocytosis of neuronal debris by microglia is associated with neuronal damage in multiple sclerosis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huizinga, R.; van der Star, B.J.; Kipp, M.; Jong, R.; Gerritsen, W.H.; Clarner, T.; Puentes, F.; Dijkstra, C.D.; van der Valk, P.; Amor, S.

    2012-01-01

    Neuroaxonal degeneration is a pathological hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS) contributing to irreversible neurological disability. Pathological mechanisms leading to axonal damage include autoimmunity to neuronal antigens. In actively demyelinating lesions, myelin is phagocytosed by microglia and

  3. Neuronal networks and energy bursts in epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Y; Liu, D; Song, Z

    2015-02-26

    Epilepsy can be defined as the abnormal activities of neurons. The occurrence, propagation and termination of epileptic seizures rely on the networks of neuronal cells that are connected through both synaptic- and non-synaptic interactions. These complicated interactions contain the modified functions of normal neurons and glias as well as the mediation of excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms with feedback homeostasis. Numerous spread patterns are detected in disparate networks of ictal activities. The cortical-thalamic-cortical loop is present during a general spike wave seizure. The thalamic reticular nucleus (nRT) is the major inhibitory input traversing the region, and the dentate gyrus (DG) controls CA3 excitability. The imbalance between γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic inhibition and glutamatergic excitation is the main disorder in epilepsy. Adjustable negative feedback that mediates both inhibitory and excitatory components affects neuronal networks through neurotransmission fluctuation, receptor and transmitter signaling, and through concomitant influences on ion concentrations and field effects. Within a limited dynamic range, neurons slowly adapt to input levels and have a high sensitivity to synaptic changes. The stability of the adapting network depends on the ratio of the adaptation rates of both the excitatory and inhibitory populations. Thus, therapeutic strategies with multiple effects on seizures are required for the treatment of epilepsy, and the therapeutic functions on networks are reviewed here. Based on the high-energy burst theory of epileptic activity, we propose a potential antiepileptic therapeutic strategy to transfer the high energy and extra electricity out of the foci. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. GM2 ganglioside and pyramidal neuron dendritogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walkley, S U; Siegel, D A; Dobrenis, K

    1995-11-01

    GM2 ganglioside, although scarce in normal adult brain, is the predominant ganglioside accumulating in several types of lysosomal disorders, most notably Tay-Sachs disease. Pyramidal neurons of cerebral cortex in Tay-Sachs, as well as many other types of neuronal storage disorders, are known to exhibit a phenomenon believed unique to storage disorders: growth of ectopic dendrites. Recent studies have shown that a common metabolic abnormality shared by storage diseases with ectopic dendrite growth is the abnormal accumulation of GM2 ganglioside. The correlation between increased levels of GM2 and the presence of ectopic dendrites has been found in both ganglioside and nonganglioside storage disorders, the latter including sphingomyelin-cholesterol lipidosis, mucopolysaccharidosis, and alpha-mannosidosis. Quantitative HPTLC analysis has shown that increases in GM2 occur in proportion to the incidence of ectopic dendrite growth, whereas other gangliosides, including GM1, lack similar increases. Immunocytochemical studies of all nonganglioside storage diseases which exhibit ectopic dendritogenesis have revealed heightened GM2 ganglioside-immunoreactivity in the cortical pyramidal cell population, whereas nerurons in normal adult brain exhibit little or no staining for this ganglioside. Further, studies examining disease development have consistently shown that accumulation of GM2 ganglioside precedes growth of ectopic dendrites, indicating that it is not simply occurring secondary to new membrane production. These findings have prompted an examination for a similar relationship between GM2 ganglioside and dendritogenesis in cortical neurons of normal developing brain. Results show that GM2 ganglioside-immunoreactivity is consistently elevated in immature neurons during the period when they are undergoing active dendritic initiation, but this staining diminishes dramatically as the dendritic trees of these cells mature. Collectively, these studies on diseased and normal

  5. A new model of artificial neuron: cyberneuron and its use

    OpenAIRE

    Polikarpov, S. V.; Dergachev, V. S.; Rumyantsev, K. E.; Golubchikov, D. M.

    2009-01-01

    This article describes a new type of artificial neuron, called the authors "cyberneuron". Unlike classical models of artificial neurons, this type of neuron used table substitution instead of the operation of multiplication of input values for the weights. This allowed to significantly increase the information capacity of a single neuron, but also greatly simplify the process of learning. Considered an example of the use of "cyberneuron" with the task of detecting computer viruses.

  6. Gene Expression and the Diversity of Identified Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Buck, L.; Stein, R.; Palazzolo, M.; Anderson, D. J.; Axel, R.

    1983-01-01

    Nervous systems consist of diverse populations of neurons that are anatomically and functionally distinct. The diversity of neurons and the precision with which they are interconnected suggest that specific genes or sets of genes are activated in some neurons but not expressed in others. Experimentally, this problem may be considered at two levels. First, what is the total number of genes expressed in the brain, and how are they distributed among the different populations of neurons? Second, ...

  7. Hybrid independent component analysis by adaptive LUT activation function neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiori, Simone

    2002-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to present an efficient implementation of unsupervised adaptive-activation function neurons dedicated to one-dimensional probability density estimation, with application to independent component analysis. The proposed implementation is a computationally light improvement to adaptive pseudo-polynomial neurons, recently presented in Fiori, S. (2000a). Blind signal processing by the adaptive activation function neurons. Neural Networks, 13(6), 597-611, and is based upon the concept of 'look-up table' (LUT) neurons.

  8. Optophysiological Approach to Resolve Neuronal Action Potentials with High Spatial and Temporal Resolution in Cultured Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Pagès, Stéphane; Côté, Daniel; De Koninck, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Cell to cell communication in the central nervous system is encoded into transient and local membrane potential changes (?Vm). Deciphering the rules that govern synaptic transmission and plasticity entails to be able to perform V m recordings throughout the entire neuronal arborization. Classical electrophysiology is, in most cases, not able to do so within small and fragile neuronal subcompartments. Thus, optical techniques based on the use of fluorescent voltage-sensitive dyes (VSDs) have b...

  9. Modeling of inter-neuronal coupling medium and its impact on neuronal synchronization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Iqbal

    Full Text Available In this paper, modeling of the coupling medium between two neurons, the effects of the model parameters on the synchronization of those neurons, and compensation of coupling strength deficiency in synchronization are studied. Our study exploits the inter-neuronal coupling medium and investigates its intrinsic properties in order to get insight into neuronal-information transmittance and, there from, brain-information processing. A novel electrical model of the coupling medium that represents a well-known RLC circuit attributable to the coupling medium's intrinsic resistive, inductive, and capacitive properties is derived. Surprisingly, the integration of such properties reveals the existence of a natural three-term control strategy, referred to in the literature as the proportional integral derivative (PID controller, which can be responsible for synchronization between two neurons. Consequently, brain-information processing can rely on a large number of PID controllers based on the coupling medium properties responsible for the coherent behavior of neurons in a neural network. Herein, the effects of the coupling model (or natural PID controller parameters are studied and, further, a supervisory mechanism is proposed that follows a learning and adaptation policy based on the particle swarm optimization algorithm for compensation of the coupling strength deficiency.

  10. Beyond Neuronal Activity Markers: Select Immediate Early Genes in Striatal Neuron Subtypes Functionally Mediate Psychostimulant Addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramesh Chandra

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Immediate early genes (IEGs were traditionally used as markers of neuronal activity in striatum in response to stimuli including drugs of abuse such as psychostimulants. Early studies using these neuronal activity markers led to important insights in striatal neuron subtype responsiveness to psychostimulants. Such studies have helped identify striatum as a critical brain center for motivational, reinforcement and habitual behaviors in psychostimulant addiction. While the use of IEGs as neuronal activity markers in response to psychostimulants and other stimuli persists today, the functional role and implications of these IEGs has often been neglected. Nonetheless, there is a subset of research that investigates the functional role of IEGs in molecular, cellular and behavioral alterations by psychostimulants through striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN subtypes, the two projection neuron subtypes in striatum. This review article will address and highlight the studies that provide a functional mechanism by which IEGs mediate psychostimulant molecular, cellular and behavioral plasticity through MSN subtypes. Insight into the functional role of IEGs in striatal MSN subtypes could provide improved understanding into addiction and neuropsychiatric diseases affecting striatum, such as affective disorders and compulsive disorders characterized by dysfunctional motivation and habitual behavior.

  11. An FPGA-Based Silicon Neuronal Network with Selectable Excitability Silicon Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing; Katori, Yuichi; Kohno, Takashi

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a digital silicon neuronal network which simulates the nerve system in creatures and has the ability to execute intelligent tasks, such as associative memory. Two essential elements, the mathematical-structure-based digital spiking silicon neuron (DSSN) and the transmitter release based silicon synapse, allow us to tune the excitability of silicon neurons and are computationally efficient for hardware implementation. We adopt mixed pipeline and parallel structure and shift operations to design a sufficient large and complex network without excessive hardware resource cost. The network with 256 full-connected neurons is built on a Digilent Atlys board equipped with a Xilinx Spartan-6 LX45 FPGA. Besides, a memory control block and USB control block are designed to accomplish the task of data communication between the network and the host PC. This paper also describes the mechanism of associative memory performed in the silicon neuronal network. The network is capable of retrieving stored patterns if the inputs contain enough information of them. The retrieving probability increases with the similarity between the input and the stored pattern increasing. Synchronization of neurons is observed when the successful stored pattern retrieval occurs.

  12. Metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation from aerobic glycolysis to neuronal oxidative phosphorylation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xinde; Boyer, Leah; Jin, Mingji; Mertens, Jerome; Kim, Yongsung; Ma, Li; Ma, Li; Hamm, Michael; Gage, Fred H; Hunter, Tony

    2016-01-01

    How metabolism is reprogrammed during neuronal differentiation is unknown. We found that the loss of hexokinase (HK2) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDHA) expression, together with a switch in pyruvate kinase gene splicing from PKM2 to PKM1, marks the transition from aerobic glycolysis in neural progenitor cells (NPC) to neuronal oxidative phosphorylation. The protein levels of c-MYC and N-MYC, transcriptional activators of the HK2 and LDHA genes, decrease dramatically. Constitutive expression of HK2 and LDHA during differentiation leads to neuronal cell death, indicating that the shut-off aerobic glycolysis is essential for neuronal survival. The metabolic regulators PGC-1α and ERRγ increase significantly upon neuronal differentiation to sustain the transcription of metabolic and mitochondrial genes, whose levels are unchanged compared to NPCs, revealing distinct transcriptional regulation of metabolic genes in the proliferation and post-mitotic differentiation states. Mitochondrial mass increases proportionally with neuronal mass growth, indicating an unknown mechanism linking mitochondrial biogenesis to cell size. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13374.001 PMID:27282387

  13. Distortion of neuronal geometry and formation of aberrant synapses in neuronal storage disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purpura, D P; Suzuki, K

    1976-10-29

    Golgi and electron microscope studies of cortical neurons in several lysosomal storage diseases were carried out to elucidate structural features of the large neural processes (meganeurites) that develop as storage sites for accumulated undigestible substrates. Meganeurites occur preferentially in pyramidal neurons wherein they develop between the base of the perikaryon and the initial portion of the axon. They frequently give rise to secondary neurites which bear filopodium-like processes. Meganeurites may possess spines some of which are contacted by presynaptic processes containing synaptic vesicles. The extent of meganeurite development is related to the onset, severity and clinical course of neuronal storage disease. Extensive development of bizarre and pleomorphic meganeurites occurs in classical Tay-Sachs disease (infantile GM2-gangliosidosis, B variant), whereas a smaller proportion of neurons exhibits meganeurites in juvenile GM2-hangliosidosis and Hurler's disease. Meganeurites with spines and spine synapses were prominent in GM2-gangliosidosis, AB variant. It is proposed that meganeurites and meganeurite synapses contribute to the onset and progression of neuronal dysfunction in storage diseases by altering electrical properties of the neuron and modifying integrative operations of somadendritic synaptic inputs.

  14. Population model of hippocampal pyramidal neurons, linking a refractory density approach to conductance-based neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chizhov, Anton V.; Graham, Lyle J.

    2007-01-01

    We propose a macroscopic approach toward realistic simulations of the population activity of hippocampal pyramidal neurons, based on the known refractory density equation with a different hazard function and on a different single-neuron threshold model. The threshold model is a conductance-based model taking into account adaptation-providing currents, which is reduced by omitting the fast sodium current and instead using an explicit threshold criterion for action potential events. Compared to the full pyramidal neuron model, the threshold model well approximates spike-time moments, postspike refractory states, and postsynaptic current integration. The dynamics of a neural population continuum are described by a set of one-dimensional partial differential equations in terms of the distributions of the refractory density (where the refractory state is defined by the time elapsed since the last action potential), the membrane potential, and the gating variables of the voltage-dependent channels, across the entire population. As the source term in the density equation, the probability density of firing, or hazard function, is derived from the Fokker-Planck (FP) equation, assuming that a single neuron is governed by a deterministic average-across-population input and a noise term. A self-similar solution of the FP equation in the subthreshold regime is obtained. Responses of the ensemble to stimulation by a current step and oscillating current are simulated and compared with individual neuron simulations. An example of interictal-like activity of a population of all-to-all connected excitatory neurons is presented.

  15. Synaptic plasticity and neuronal refractory time cause scaling behaviour of neuronal avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michiels van Kessenich, L.; de Arcangelis, L.; Herrmann, H. J.

    2016-08-01

    Neuronal avalanches measured in vitro and in vivo in different cortical networks consistently exhibit power law behaviour for the size and duration distributions with exponents typical for a mean field self-organized branching process. These exponents are also recovered in neuronal network simulations implementing various neuronal dynamics on different network topologies. They can therefore be considered a very robust feature of spontaneous neuronal activity. Interestingly, this scaling behaviour is also observed on regular lattices in finite dimensions, which raises the question about the origin of the mean field behavior observed experimentally. In this study we provide an answer to this open question by investigating the effect of activity dependent plasticity in combination with the neuronal refractory time in a neuronal network. Results show that the refractory time hinders backward avalanches forcing a directed propagation. Hebbian plastic adaptation plays the role of sculpting these directed avalanche patterns into the topology of the network slowly changing it into a branched structure where loops are marginal.

  16. Effect of Methamidophos on cerebellar neuronal cells | Ibhazehiebo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effect of Methamidophos on cerebellar neuronal cells. ... Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences ... Taken together, our study shows that low dose methamidophos may negatively impact TH-mediated cerebellar neuronal cell development and function, and consequently could interfere with TH-regulated neuronal events ...

  17. Synchronization properties of heterogeneous neuronal networks with mixed excitability type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leone, Michael J; Schurter, Brandon N; Letson, Benjamin; Booth, Victoria; Zochowski, Michal; Fink, Christian G

    2015-03-01

    We study the synchronization of neuronal networks with dynamical heterogeneity, showing that network structures with the same propensity for synchronization (as quantified by master stability function analysis) may develop dramatically different synchronization properties when heterogeneity is introduced with respect to neuronal excitability type. Specifically, we investigate networks composed of neurons with different types of phase response curves (PRCs), which characterize how oscillating neurons respond to excitatory perturbations. Neurons exhibiting type 1 PRC respond exclusively with phase advances, while neurons exhibiting type 2 PRC respond with either phase delays or phase advances, depending on when the perturbation occurs. We find that Watts-Strogatz small world networks transition to synchronization gradually as the proportion of type 2 neurons increases, whereas scale-free networks may transition gradually or rapidly, depending upon local correlations between node degree and excitability type. Random placement of type 2 neurons results in gradual transition to synchronization, whereas placement of type 2 neurons as hubs leads to a much more rapid transition, showing that type 2 hub cells easily "hijack" neuronal networks to synchronization. These results underscore the fact that the degree of synchronization observed in neuronal networks is determined by a complex interplay between network structure and the dynamical properties of individual neurons, indicating that efforts to recover structural connectivity from dynamical correlations must in general take both factors into account.

  18. The origin and function of mirror neurons: the missing link.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingnau, Angelika; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2014-04-01

    We argue, by analogy to the neural organization of the object recognition system, that demonstration of modulation of mirror neurons by associative learning does not imply absence of genetic adaptation. Innate connectivity defines the types of processes mirror neurons can participate in while allowing for extensive local plasticity. However, the proper function of these neurons remains to be worked out.

  19. The role of mirror neurons in language acquisition and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behme, Christina

    2014-04-01

    I argue that Cook et al.'s attack of the genetic hypothesis of mirror neurons misses its target because the authors miss the point that genetics may specify how neurons may learn, not what they learn. Paying more attention to recent work linking mirror neurons to language acquisition and evolution would strengthen Cook et al.'s arguments against a rigid genetic hypothesis.

  20. Asynchronous updating of threshold-coupled chaotic neurons

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. We study a network of chaotic model neurons incorporating threshold- activated coupling. We obtain a wide range of spatiotemporal patterns under varying degrees of asynchronicity in the evolution of the neuronal components. For instance, we find that sequential updating of threshold-coupled chaotic neurons ...

  1. Developmental time windows for axon growth influence neuronal network topology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Sol; Kaiser, Marcus

    2015-04-01

    Early brain connectivity development consists of multiple stages: birth of neurons, their migration and the subsequent growth of axons and dendrites. Each stage occurs within a certain period of time depending on types of neurons and cortical layers. Forming synapses between neurons either by growing axons starting at similar times for all neurons (much-overlapped time windows) or at different time points (less-overlapped) may affect the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks. Here, we explore the extreme cases of axon formation during early development, either starting at the same time for all neurons (parallel, i.e., maximally overlapped time windows) or occurring for each neuron separately one neuron after another (serial, i.e., no overlaps in time windows). For both cases, the number of potential and established synapses remained comparable. Topological and spatial properties, however, differed: Neurons that started axon growth early on in serial growth achieved higher out-degrees, higher local efficiency and longer axon lengths while neurons demonstrated more homogeneous connectivity patterns for parallel growth. Second, connection probability decreased more rapidly with distance between neurons for parallel growth than for serial growth. Third, bidirectional connections were more numerous for parallel growth. Finally, we tested our predictions with C. elegans data. Together, this indicates that time windows for axon growth influence the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks opening up the possibility to a posteriori estimate developmental mechanisms based on network properties of a developed network.

  2. Dcc regulates asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingxia Gao

    Full Text Available The guidance receptor DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer ortholog UNC-40 regulates neuronal asymmetry development in Caenorhabditis elegans, but it is not known whether DCC plays a role in the specification of neuronal polarity in vertebrates. To examine the roles of DCC in neuronal asymmetry regulation in vertebrates, we studied zebrafish anterior dorsal telencephalon (ADt neuronal axons. We generated transgenic zebrafish animals expressing the photo-convertible fluorescent protein Kaede in ADt neurons and then photo-converted Kaede to label specifically the ADt neuron axons. We found that ADt axons normally project ventrally. Knock down of Dcc function by injecting antisense morpholino oligonucleotides caused the ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. To examine the axon projection pattern of individual ADt neurons, we labeled single ADt neurons using a forebrain-specific promoter to drive fluorescent protein expression. We found that individual ADt neurons projected axons dorsally or formed multiple processes after morpholino knock down of Dcc function. We further found that knock down of the Dcc ligand, Netrin1, also caused ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. Knockdown of Neogenin1, a guidance receptor closely related to Dcc, enhanced the formation of aberrant dorsal axons in embryos injected with Dcc morpholino. These experiments provide the first evidence that Dcc regulates polarized axon initiation and asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in vertebrates.

  3. Reliable activation of immature neurons in the adult hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas A Mongiat

    Full Text Available Neurons born in the adult dentate gyrus develop, mature, and connect over a long interval that can last from six to eight weeks. It has been proposed that, during this period, developing neurons play a relevant role in hippocampal signal processing owing to their distinctive electrical properties. However, it has remained unknown whether immature neurons can be recruited into a network before synaptic and functional maturity have been achieved. To address this question, we used retroviral expression of green fluorescent protein to identify developing granule cells of the adult mouse hippocampus and investigate the balance of afferent excitation, intrinsic excitability, and firing behavior by patch clamp recordings in acute slices. We found that glutamatergic inputs onto young neurons are significantly weaker than those of mature cells, yet stimulation of cortical excitatory axons elicits a similar spiking probability in neurons at either developmental stage. Young neurons are highly efficient in transducing ionic currents into membrane depolarization due to their high input resistance, which decreases substantially in mature neurons as the inward rectifier potassium (Kir conductance increases. Pharmacological blockade of Kir channels in mature neurons mimics the high excitability characteristic of young neurons. Conversely, Kir overexpression induces mature-like firing properties in young neurons. Therefore, the differences in excitatory drive of young and mature neurons are compensated by changes in membrane excitability that render an equalized firing activity. These observations demonstrate that the adult hippocampus continuously generates a population of highly excitable young neurons capable of information processing.

  4. Parameter estimation in neuronal stochastic differential equation models from intracellular recordings of membrane potentials in single neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ditlevsen, Susanne; Samson, Adeline

    2016-01-01

    Dynamics of the membrane potential in a single neuron can be studied by estimating biophysical parameters from intracellular recordings. Diffusion processes, given as continuous solutions to stochastic differential equations, are widely applied as models for the neuronal membrane potential evolut...

  5. Neurochemistry of neurons in the ventrolateral medulla activated by hypotension: Are the same neurons activated by glucoprivation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Lindsay M; Le, Sheng; Wearne, Travis A; Hardwick, Kate; Kumar, Natasha N; Robinson, Katherine J; McMullan, Simon; Goodchild, Ann K

    2017-06-15

    Previous studies have demonstrated that a range of stimuli activate neurons, including catecholaminergic neurons, in the ventrolateral medulla. Not all catecholaminergic neurons are activated and other neurochemical content is largely unknown hence whether stimulus specific populations exist is unclear. Here we determine the neurochemistry (using in situ hybridization) of catecholaminergic and noncatecholaminergic neurons which express c-Fos immunoreactivity throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the ventrolateral medulla, in Sprague Dawley rats treated with hydralazine or saline. Distinct neuronal populations containing PPCART, PPPACAP, and PPNPY mRNAs, which were largely catecholaminergic, were activated by hydralazine but not saline. Both catecholaminergic and noncatecholaminergic neurons containing preprotachykinin and prepro-enkephalin (PPE) mRNAs were also activated, with the noncatecholaminergic population located in the rostral C1 region. Few GlyT2 neurons were activated. A subset of these data was then used to compare the neuronal populations activated by 2-deoxyglucose evoked glucoprivation (Brain Structure and Function (2015) 220:117). Hydralazine activated more neurons than 2-deoxyglucose but similar numbers of catecholaminergic neurons. Commonly activated populations expressing PPNPY and PPE mRNAs were defined. These likely include PPNPY expressing catecholaminergic neurons projecting to vasopressinergic and corticotrophin releasing factor neurons in the paraventricular nucleus, which when activated result in elevated plasma vasopressin and corticosterone. Stimulus specific neurons included noncatecholaminergic neurons and a few PPE positive catecholaminergic neuron but neurochemical codes were largely unidentified. Reasons for the lack of identification of stimulus specific neurons, readily detectable using electrophysiology in anaesthetized preparations and for which neural circuits can be defined, are discussed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Progranulin is expressed within motor neurons and promotes neuronal cell survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kay Denis G

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Progranulin is a secreted high molecular weight growth factor bearing seven and one half copies of the cysteine-rich granulin-epithelin motif. While inappropriate over-expression of the progranulin gene has been associated with many cancers, haploinsufficiency leads to atrophy of the frontotemporal lobes and development of a form of dementia (frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin positive inclusions, FTLD-U associated with the formation of ubiquitinated inclusions. Recent reports indicate that progranulin has neurotrophic effects, which, if confirmed would make progranulin the only neuroprotective growth factor that has been associated genetically with a neurological disease in humans. Preliminary studies indicated high progranulin gene expression in spinal cord motor neurons. However, it is uncertain what the role of Progranulin is in normal or diseased motor neuron function. We have investigated progranulin gene expression and subcellular localization in cultured mouse embryonic motor neurons and examined the effect of progranulin over-expression and knockdown in the NSC-34 immortalized motor neuron cell line upon proliferation and survival. Results In situ hybridisation and immunohistochemical techniques revealed that the progranulin gene is highly expressed by motor neurons within the mouse spinal cord and in primary cultures of dissociated mouse embryonic spinal cord-dorsal root ganglia. Confocal microscopy coupled to immunocytochemistry together with the use of a progranulin-green fluorescent protein fusion construct revealed progranulin to be located within compartments of the secretory pathway including the Golgi apparatus. Stable transfection of the human progranulin gene into the NSC-34 motor neuron cell line stimulates the appearance of dendritic structures and provides sufficient trophic stimulus to survive serum deprivation for long periods (up to two months. This is mediated at least in part through

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Sensory neurons do not induce motor neuron loss in a human stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Serotonin modulation of cortical neurons and networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celada, Pau; Puig, M. Victoria; Artigas, Francesc

    2013-01-01

    The serotonergic pathways originating in the dorsal and median raphe nuclei (DR and MnR, respectively) are critically involved in cortical function. Serotonin (5-HT), acting on postsynaptic and presynaptic receptors, is involved in cognition, mood, impulse control and motor functions by (1) modulating the activity of different neuronal types, and (2) varying the release of other neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine and dopamine. Also, 5-HT seems to play an important role in cortical development. Of all cortical regions, the frontal lobe is the area most enriched in serotonergic axons and 5-HT receptors. 5-HT and selective receptor agonists modulate the excitability of cortical neurons and their discharge rate through the activation of several receptor subtypes, of which the 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, and 5-HT3 subtypes play a major role. Little is known, however, on the role of other excitatory receptors moderately expressed in cortical areas, such as 5-HT2C, 5-HT4, 5-HT6, and 5-HT7. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptors are key players and exert opposite effects on the activity of pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The activation of 5-HT1A receptors in mPFC hyperpolarizes pyramidal neurons whereas that of 5-HT2A receptors results in neuronal depolarization, reduction of the afterhyperpolarization and increase of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and of discharge rate. 5-HT can also stimulate excitatory (5-HT2A and 5-HT3) and inhibitory (5-HT1A) receptors in GABA interneurons to modulate synaptic GABA inputs onto pyramidal neurons. Likewise, the pharmacological manipulation of various 5-HT receptors alters oscillatory activity in PFC, suggesting that 5-HT is also involved in the control of cortical network activity. A better understanding of the actions of 5-HT in PFC may help to develop treatments for mood and cognitive disorders associated with an abnormal function of the frontal lobe

  10. Nonspatial Sequence Coding in CA1 Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Timothy A; Salz, Daniel M; McKenzie, Sam; Fortin, Norbert J

    2016-02-03

    The hippocampus is critical to the memory for sequences of events, a defining feature of episodic memory. However, the fundamental neuronal mechanisms underlying this capacity remain elusive. While considerable research indicates hippocampal neurons can represent sequences of locations, direct evidence of coding for the memory of sequential relationships among nonspatial events remains lacking. To address this important issue, we recorded neural activity in CA1 as rats performed a hippocampus-dependent sequence-memory task. Briefly, the task involves the presentation of repeated sequences of odors at a single port and requires rats to identify each item as "in sequence" or "out of sequence". We report that, while the animals' location and behavior remained constant, hippocampal activity differed depending on the temporal context of items-in this case, whether they were presented in or out of sequence. Some neurons showed this effect across items or sequence positions (general sequence cells), while others exhibited selectivity for specific conjunctions of item and sequence position information (conjunctive sequence cells) or for specific probe types (probe-specific sequence cells). We also found that the temporal context of individual trials could be accurately decoded from the activity of neuronal ensembles, that sequence coding at the single-cell and ensemble level was linked to sequence memory performance, and that slow-gamma oscillations (20-40 Hz) were more strongly modulated by temporal context and performance than theta oscillations (4-12 Hz). These findings provide compelling evidence that sequence coding extends beyond the domain of spatial trajectories and is thus a fundamental function of the hippocampus. The ability to remember the order of life events depends on the hippocampus, but the underlying neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we addressed this issue by recording neural activity in hippocampal region CA1 while rats performed a

  11. Noninvasive in vivo monitoring of neuronal differentiation using reporter driven by a neuronal promoter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hwang, Do Won; Kang, Joo Hyun; Lee, Myung Chul; Jeong, Jae Min; Chung, June-Key; Kim, Soonhag; Lee, Dong Soo

    2008-01-01

    We imaged neuronal differentiation in vivo using dual reporters (sodium iodide symporter [NIS] and luciferase) coupled to a neuron-specific enolase (NSE) promoter. PC12 (NSE positive) and F11 cells were transfected with a bicistronic (NIS and luciferase; pNSE-NF) or a luciferase (pNSE-Fluc) reporter coupled to the NSE promoter. Weak NSE promoter activity was overcome by a two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) system (pNSE-TSTA-Fluc). In vivo, NIS and luciferase expression were examined using a 99m Tc-pertechnetate gamma camera and bioluminescence imaging, respectively. pNSE-NF-transfected PC12 cells showed 3-fold higher radioiodine uptakes and >100-fold higher luciferase activity than parental cells. NIS or luciferase activity was not detected in pNSE-NF-transfected HeLa cells. When F11 cells were differentiated into neurons by db-cAMP, NIS and luciferase activities increased 4-fold compared to those without treatment, which was confirmed by Western blot and RT-PCR of NSE. In vivo in pNSE-NF-transfected F11 cells, db-cAMP treatment increased the luciferase activity but not the scintigraphic activity. In vitro, pNSE-TSTA-Fluc produced 130-fold higher luciferase activity than pNSE-Fluc and neuronal differentiation showed 4-fold higher activity from both pNSE-TSTA-Fluc and pNSE-Fluc than before differentiation. In vivo, in pNSE-TSTA-Fluc-transfected F11 cells, luciferase activity increased after neuronal differentiation. In vivo luciferase activity persisted up to 2 days after db-cAMP-induced neuronal differentiation. NSE promoter-driven dual reporter transgenes revealed the possibility of in vivo imaging of neuronal differentiation, which was further enabled by high amplification using a TSTA system. We propose that this strategy be used to follow the transplanted stem cells during differentiation in live animals. (orig.)

  12. Noninvasive in vivo monitoring of neuronal differentiation using reporter driven by a neuronal promoter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hwang, Do Won [Seoul National University, Programs in Neuroscience, Seoul (Korea); Seoul National University College of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul (Korea); Seoul National University College of Medicine, Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Therapy of Cancer Research Institute, Seoul (Korea); Kang, Joo Hyun; Lee, Myung Chul [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul (Korea); Jeong, Jae Min; Chung, June-Key [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul (Korea); Seoul National University College of Medicine, Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Therapy of Cancer Research Institute, Seoul (Korea); Kim, Soonhag [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul (Korea); Seoul National University College of Medicine, Medical Research Center, Seoul (Korea); Lee, Dong Soo [Seoul National University, Programs in Neuroscience, Seoul (Korea); Seoul National University College of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul (Korea); Seoul National University Hospital, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Seoul (Korea)

    2008-01-15

    We imaged neuronal differentiation in vivo using dual reporters (sodium iodide symporter [NIS] and luciferase) coupled to a neuron-specific enolase (NSE) promoter. PC12 (NSE positive) and F11 cells were transfected with a bicistronic (NIS and luciferase; pNSE-NF) or a luciferase (pNSE-Fluc) reporter coupled to the NSE promoter. Weak NSE promoter activity was overcome by a two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) system (pNSE-TSTA-Fluc). In vivo, NIS and luciferase expression were examined using a {sup 99m}Tc-pertechnetate gamma camera and bioluminescence imaging, respectively. pNSE-NF-transfected PC12 cells showed 3-fold higher radioiodine uptakes and >100-fold higher luciferase activity than parental cells. NIS or luciferase activity was not detected in pNSE-NF-transfected HeLa cells. When F11 cells were differentiated into neurons by db-cAMP, NIS and luciferase activities increased 4-fold compared to those without treatment, which was confirmed by Western blot and RT-PCR of NSE. In vivo in pNSE-NF-transfected F11 cells, db-cAMP treatment increased the luciferase activity but not the scintigraphic activity. In vitro, pNSE-TSTA-Fluc produced 130-fold higher luciferase activity than pNSE-Fluc and neuronal differentiation showed 4-fold higher activity from both pNSE-TSTA-Fluc and pNSE-Fluc than before differentiation. In vivo, in pNSE-TSTA-Fluc-transfected F11 cells, luciferase activity increased after neuronal differentiation. In vivo luciferase activity persisted up to 2 days after db-cAMP-induced neuronal differentiation. NSE promoter-driven dual reporter transgenes revealed the possibility of in vivo imaging of neuronal differentiation, which was further enabled by high amplification using a TSTA system. We propose that this strategy be used to follow the transplanted stem cells during differentiation in live animals. (orig.)

  13. Quinolinic acid induces disrupts cytoskeletal homeostasis in striatal neurons. Protective role of astrocyte-neuron interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierozan, Paula; Ferreira, Fernanda; de Lima, Bárbara Ortiz; Pessoa-Pureur, Regina

    2015-02-01

    Quinolinic acid (QUIN) is an endogenous metabolite of the kynurenine pathway involved in several neurological disorders. Among the several mechanisms involved in QUIN-mediated toxicity, disruption of the cytoskeleton has been demonstrated in striatally injected rats and in striatal slices. The present work searched for the actions of QUIN in primary striatal neurons. Neurons exposed to 10 µM QUIN presented hyperphosphorylated neurofilament (NF) subunits (NFL, NFM, and NFH). Hyperphosphorylation was abrogated in the presence of protein kinase A and protein kinase C inhibitors H89 (20 μM) and staurosporine (10 nM), respectively, as well as by specific antagonists to N-methyl-D-aspartate (50 µM DL-AP5) and metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (100 µM MPEP). Also, intra- and extracellular Ca(2+) chelators (10 µM BAPTA-AM and 1 mM EGTA, respectively) and Ca(2+) influx through L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel (10 µM verapamil) are implicated in QUIN-mediated effects. Cells immunostained for the neuronal markers βIII-tubulin and microtubule-associated protein 2 showed altered neurite/neuron ratios and neurite outgrowth. NF hyperphosphorylation and morphological alterations were totally prevented by conditioned medium from QUIN-treated astrocytes. Cocultured astrocytes and neurons interacted with one another reciprocally, protecting them against QUIN injury. Cocultured cells preserved their cytoskeletal organization and cell morphology together with unaltered activity of the phosphorylating system associated with the cytoskeleton. This article describes cytoskeletal disruption as one of the most relevant actions of QUIN toxicity in striatal neurons in culture with soluble factors secreted by astrocytes, with neuron-astrocyte interaction playing a role in neuroprotection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Abnormal neuronal migration: radiologic-clinic study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez Fernandez, M.; Menor Serrano, F.; Bordon Ferre, F.; Garcia Tena, J.; Esteban Hernandez, E.; Sanguesa Nebot, C.; Marti Bonnati, L.

    1994-01-01

    We present our experience in 18 pediatric patients with abnormal neuronal migration. Seven cases of heterotopia of the gray matter, 7 agyria-pachygyria complexes, 1 case of polymicrogyria, 2 cases of schizencephaly and 1 case of hemimegalencephaly were diagnosed by means of ultrasonography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance. The clinical picture was reviewed in each case, with special attention to the occurrence of convulsions, psycho motor development and visual changes. In general, the greater the morphological change, the greater the neurological involvement in these patients. However, the two cases of schizencephaly presented mild clinical expression. Magnetic resonance increases the diagnostic yield in neuronal migration disorders. Nevertheless, either ultrasonography or, especially, computed tomography is useful as a first diagnostic approach in these malformative disorders. (Author)

  15. Language comprehension warps the mirror neuron system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noah eZarr

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Transition to Chaos in Random Neuronal Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Kadmon

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Firing patterns in the central nervous system often exhibit strong temporal irregularity and considerable heterogeneity in time-averaged response properties. Previous studies suggested that these properties are the outcome of the intrinsic chaotic dynamics of the neural circuits. Indeed, simplified rate-based neuronal networks with synaptic connections drawn from Gaussian distribution and sigmoidal nonlinearity are known to exhibit chaotic dynamics when the synaptic gain (i.e., connection variance is sufficiently large. In the limit of an infinitely large network, there is a sharp transition from a fixed point to chaos, as the synaptic gain reaches a critical value. Near the onset, chaotic fluctuations are slow, analogous to the ubiquitous, slow irregular fluctuations observed in the firing rates of many cortical circuits. However, the existence of a transition from a fixed point to chaos in neuronal circuit models with more realistic architectures and firing dynamics has not been established. In this work, we investigate rate-based dynamics of neuronal circuits composed of several subpopulations with randomly diluted connections. Nonzero connections are either positive for excitatory neurons or negative for inhibitory ones, while single neuron output is strictly positive with output rates rising as a power law above threshold, in line with known constraints in many biological systems. Using dynamic mean field theory, we find the phase diagram depicting the regimes of stable fixed-point, unstable-dynamic, and chaotic-rate fluctuations. We focus on the latter and characterize the properties of systems near this transition. We show that dilute excitatory-inhibitory architectures exhibit the same onset to chaos as the single population with Gaussian connectivity. In these architectures, the large mean excitatory and inhibitory inputs dynamically balance each other, amplifying the effect of the residual fluctuations. Importantly, the existence of a

  17. Developmental regulation of a local positive autocontrol of supraoptic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevaleyre, V; Dayanithi, G; Moos, F C; Desarmenien, M G

    2000-08-01

    Mature oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) magnocellular neurons of the hypothalamic supraoptic nuclei (SON) autocontrol their electrical activity via somatodendritic release of their respective peptides. Because OT and AVP are synthesized early in development and could play an important role in the maturation of these neurons, we checked whether the peptides are released within the SON and act on their secreting neurons during 3 weeks of postnatal development. We used patch-clamp recordings from SON neurons in rat hypothalamic horizontal slices to show that the spontaneous electrical activity of immature SON neurons is blocked by OT or AVP receptor antagonists, demonstrating a basal somatodendritic release of the peptides. Application of OT or AVP depolarizes SON neurons and stimulates activity typical of the corresponding mature neurons. This effect is directly on SON neurons because it is recorded in dissociated neurons. Radioimmunoassays from isolated SON were used to show that each peptide facilitates its own release at a somatodendritic level, exhibiting a self-sustaining positive feedback loop. This autocontrol is not uniform during development because the proportion of neurons depolarized by the peptides, the amplitude of the depolarization, and the propensity of the peptides to facilitate their own release are maximal during the second postnatal week and decrease thereafter. These data are consistent with a role of autocontrol in the maturation of SON neurons because it is maximal during the delimited period of postnatal development that corresponds to the period of major synapse formation.

  18. Cortical cell and neuron density estimates in one chimpanzee hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Christine E; Turner, Emily C; Sawyer, Eva Kille; Reed, Jamie L; Young, Nicole A; Flaherty, David K; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-01-19

    The density of cells and neurons in the neocortex of many mammals varies across cortical areas and regions. This variability is, perhaps, most pronounced in primates. Nonuniformity in the composition of cortex suggests regions of the cortex have different specializations. Specifically, regions with densely packed neurons contain smaller neurons that are activated by relatively few inputs, thereby preserving information, whereas regions that are less densely packed have larger neurons that have more integrative functions. Here we present the numbers of cells and neurons for 742 discrete locations across the neocortex in a chimpanzee. Using isotropic fractionation and flow fractionation methods for cell and neuron counts, we estimate that neocortex of one hemisphere contains 9.5 billion cells and 3.7 billion neurons. Primary visual cortex occupies 35 cm(2) of surface, 10% of the total, and contains 737 million densely packed neurons, 20% of the total neurons contained within the hemisphere. Other areas of high neuron packing include secondary visual areas, somatosensory cortex, and prefrontal granular cortex. Areas of low levels of neuron packing density include motor and premotor cortex. These values reflect those obtained from more limited samples of cortex in humans and other primates.

  19. A Primal Analysis System of Brain Neurons Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Mei Pu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available It is a very challenging work to classify the 86 billions of neurons in the human brain. The most important step is to get the features of these neurons. In this paper, we present a primal system to analyze and extract features from brain neurons. First, we make analysis on the original data of neurons in which one neuron contains six parameters: room type, X, Y, Z coordinate range, total number of leaf nodes, and fuzzy volume of neurons. Then, we extract three important geometry features including rooms type, number of leaf nodes, and fuzzy volume. As application, we employ the feature database to fit the basic procedure of neuron growth. The result shows that the proposed system is effective.

  20. 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).

  1. The Hypocretin/Orexin Neuronal Networks in Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elbaz, Idan; Levitas-Djerbi, Talia; Appelbaum, Lior

    2017-01-01

    The hypothalamic Hypocretin/Orexin (Hcrt) neurons secrete two Hcrt neuropeptides. These neurons and peptides play a major role in the regulation of feeding, sleep wake cycle, reward-seeking, addiction, and stress. Loss of Hcrt neurons causes the sleep disorder narcolepsy. The zebrafish has become an attractive model to study the Hcrt neuronal network because it is a transparent vertebrate that enables simple genetic manipulation, imaging of the structure and function of neuronal circuits in live animals, and high-throughput monitoring of behavioral performance during both day and night. The zebrafish Hcrt network comprises ~16-60 neurons, which similar to mammals, are located in the hypothalamus and widely innervate the brain and spinal cord, and regulate various fundamental behaviors such as feeding, sleep, and wakefulness. Here we review how the zebrafish contributes to the study of the Hcrt neuronal system molecularly, anatomically, physiologically, and pathologically.

  2. Neuronal Rac1 is required for learning-evoked neurogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haditsch, Ursula; Anderson, Matthew P; Freewoman, Julia

    2013-01-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning and memory relies on synaptic plasticity as well as network adaptations provided by the addition of adult-born neurons. We have previously shown that activity-induced intracellular signaling through the Rho family small GTPase Rac1 is necessary in forebrain projection...... neurons for normal synaptic plasticity in vivo, and here we show that selective loss of neuronal Rac1 also impairs the learning-evoked increase in neurogenesis in the adult mouse hippocampus. Earlier work has indicated that experience elevates the abundance of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus...... primarily by enhancing the survival of neurons produced just before the learning event. Loss of Rac1 in mature projection neurons did reduce learning-evoked neurogenesis but, contrary to our expectations, these effects were not mediated by altering the survival of young neurons in the hippocampus. Instead...

  3. Neuron-glia metabolic coupling and plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Magistretti PJ

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The focus of the current research projects in my laboratory revolves around the question of metabolic plasticity of neuron glia coupling. Our hypothesis is that behavioural conditions such as for example learning or the sleep wake cycle in which synaptic plasticity is well documented or during specific pathological conditions are accompanied by changes in the regulation of energy metabolism of astrocytes. We have indeed observed that the 'metabolic profile' of astrocytes is modified...

  4. HIV, opiates, and enteric neuron dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galligan, J J

    2015-04-01

    Human immune deficient virus (HIV) is an immunosuppressive virus that targets CD4(+) T-lymphocytes. HIV infections cause increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and cancer. HIV infection can also alter central nervous system (CNS) function causing cognitive impairment. HIV does not infect neurons but it does infect astrocytes and microglia in the CNS. HIV can also infect enteric glia initiating an intestinal inflammatory response which causes enteric neural injury and gut dysfunction. Part of the inflammatory response is HIV induced production of proteins including, Transactivator of transcription (Tat) which contribute to neuronal injury after release from HIV infected glial cells. A risk factor for HIV infection is intravenous drug use with contaminated needles and chronic opiate use can exacerbate neural injury in the nervous system. While most research focuses on the actions of Tat and other HIV related proteins and opiates on the brain, recent data indicate that Tat can cause intestinal inflammation and disruption of enteric neuron function, including alteration of Na(+) channel activity and action potential generation. A paper published in this issue of Neurogastroenterology and Motility extends these findings by identifying an interaction between Tat and morphine on enteric neuron Na(+) channels and on intestinal motility in vivo using a Tat expressing transgenic mouse model. These new data show that Tat protein can enhance the inhibitory actions of morphine on action potential generation and propulsive motility. These findings are important to our understanding of how HIV causes diarrhea in infected patients and for the use of opioid drugs to treat HIV-induced diarrhea. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Neuron-glia interactions in glutamatergic neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, A; Sickmann, H M; Bak, Lasse Kristoffer

    2011-01-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission accounts for a considerable part of energy consumption related to signaling in the brain. Chemical energy is provided by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) formed in glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle combined with oxidative phosphorylation. It is not clear...... theses processes also has not been fully elucidated. Cultured astrocytes and neurons were utilized to monitor these processes related to glutamatergic neurotransmission. Inhibitors of glycolysis and TCA cycle in combination with pathway-selective substrates were used to study glutamate uptake and release...

  6. Cognitive and neuronal correlates of videogaming

    OpenAIRE

    Schlüter, Kim-John

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Within the past few decades video gaming has become a popular recreational activity all over the world and throughout all social classes. Nevertheless distinct scientific conclusions about potential harm or more importantly benefits of video gaming are lacking. However, recent studies point to possible improvements of some cognitive abilities through the high mental demands of modern games. The prefrontal cortex is the essential neuronal correlate of cognitive processing. Scientif...

  7. Effects of Hallucinogens on Neuronal Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lladó-Pelfort, L; Celada, P; Riga, M S; Troyano-Rodríguez, E; Santana, N; Artigas, F

    2017-02-26

    Hallucinogens evoke sensory, perceptual, affective, and cognitive effects that may be useful to understand the neurobiological basis of mood and psychotic disorders. The present chapter reviews preclinical research carried out in recent years in order to better understand the action of psychotomimetic agents such as the noncompetitive NMDA receptor (NMDA-R) antagonists and serotonergic hallucinogens. Our studies have focused on the mechanisms through which these agents alter cortical activity. Noncompetitive NMDA-R antagonists, such as phencyclidine (PCP) and MK-801 (dizocilpine), as well as the serotonergic hallucinogens DOI and 5-MeO-DMT, produce similar effects on cellular and population activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC); these effects include alterations of pyramidal neuron discharge (with an overall increase in firing), as well as a marked attenuation of the low frequency oscillations (0.2-4 Hz) to which neuronal discharge is coupled in anesthetized rodents. PCP increases c-fos expression in excitatory neurons from various cortical and subcortical areas, particularly the thalamus. This effect of PCP involves the preferential blockade of NMDA-R on GABAergic neurons of the reticular nucleus of the thalamus, which provides feedforward inhibition to the rest of thalamic nuclei. It is still unknown whether serotonergic hallucinogens also affect thalamocortical networks. However, when examined, similar alterations in other cortical areas, such as the primary visual cortex (V1), have been observed, suggesting that these agents affect cortical activity in sensory and associative areas. Interestingly, the disruption of PFC activity induced by PCP, DOI and 5-MeO-DMT is reversed by classical and atypical antipsychotic drugs. This effect suggests a possible link between the mechanisms underlying the disruption of perception by multiple classes of hallucinogenic agents and the therapeutic efficacy of antipsychotic agents.

  8. Effects of irradiation on neuronal dopamine uptake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, C.; Pham, H.T.; Becker, C.; Fatome, M.

    1996-01-01

    The aim of this study was to better understand the mechanism of action of gamma and neutron radiation on the central nervous system, particularly the dopaminergic system. The influence of the two irradiation modalities on the 3 H-DA uptake by synaptosomes prepared from striatum was studied in mice. Four hours after increase of neuronal dopamine uptake is observed. (Authors). 6 refs., 2 figs

  9. Towards reproducible descriptions of neuronal network models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eilen Nordlie

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Progress in science depends on the effective exchange of ideas among scientists. New ideas can be assessed and criticized in a meaningful manner only if they are formulated precisely. This applies to simulation studies as well as to experiments and theories. But after more than 50 years of neuronal network simulations, we still lack a clear and common understanding of the role of computational models in neuroscience as well as established practices for describing network models in publications. This hinders the critical evaluation of network models as well as their re-use. We analyze here 14 research papers proposing neuronal network models of different complexity and find widely varying approaches to model descriptions, with regard to both the means of description and the ordering and placement of material. We further observe great variation in the graphical representation of networks and the notation used in equations. Based on our observations, we propose a good model description practice, composed of guidelines for the organization of publications, a checklist for model descriptions, templates for tables presenting model structure, and guidelines for diagrams of networks. The main purpose of this good practice is to trigger a debate about the communication of neuronal network models in a manner comprehensible to humans, as opposed to machine-readable model description languages. We believe that the good model description practice proposed here, together with a number of other recent initiatives on data-, model-, and software-sharing, may lead to a deeper and more fruitful exchange of ideas among computational neuroscientists in years to come. We further hope that work on standardized ways of describing--and thinking about--complex neuronal networks will lead the scientific community to a clearer understanding of high-level concepts in network dynamics, and will thus lead to deeper insights into the function of the brain.

  10. Mechanisms of Neuronal Apoptosis In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-02-01

    microtubules. J. Biol. loss of cytochrome c. Thus, mitochondrial accumula- Chem. 264, 16083-16092.Bolaflos, J. P., Heales , S . J. R., Land, J. M., & Clark, J. B...Nakazato, Y., and Hirai, S . (1992) Ultra- structural localization of Alzheimer amyloidf3/A4 protein precursor in the cytoplasm of neurons and senile plaque...plaques. Initial stage of senile plaque formation in the Alzheimer brain. Am. J. Pathol. 135, 593-597. 229. Probst, A., Langui, D., Ipsen, S ., Robakis, N

  11. Orofacial Apraxia in Motor Neuron Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Patrícia Pita Lobo; Susana Pinto; Luz Rocha; Sofia Reimão; Mamede de Carvalho

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Cognitive and behavioral impairments are considered to occur frequently in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (MND). Rarely, apraxia has been reported in MND. Orofacial, or buccofacial, apraxia is characterized by a loss of voluntary control of facial, lingual, pharyngeal and masticatory muscles in the presence of preserved reflexive and automatic functions of the same muscles. Methods: We report a patient with MND who presented with spastic dysarthria and asymme...

  12. Diffusion approximation of neuronal models revisited

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Čupera, Jakub

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 1 (2014), s. 11-25 ISSN 1547-1063. [International Workshop on Neural Coding (NC) /10./. Praha, 02.09.2012-07.09.2012] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP103/11/0282 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : stochastic model * neuronal activity * first-passage time Subject RIV: JD - Computer Applications, Robotics Impact factor: 0.840, year: 2014

  13. Beta-amyloid and cholinergic neurons

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Doležal, Vladimír; Kašparová, Jana

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 28, 3-4 (2003), s. 499-506 ISSN 0364-3190 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA305/01/0283; GA AV ČR IAA5011206 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5011922 Keywords : cholinergic neurons * AlzheimerŽs disease * beta-amyloid Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 1.511, year: 2003

  14. Neuron-glia metabolic coupling and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistretti, Pierre J

    2011-04-01

    The focus of the current research projects in my laboratory revolves around the question of metabolic plasticity of neuron-glia coupling. Our hypothesis is that behavioural conditions, such as for example learning or the sleep-wake cycle, in which synaptic plasticity is well documented, or during specific pathological conditions, are accompanied by changes in the regulation of energy metabolism of astrocytes. We have indeed observed that the 'metabolic profile' of astrocytes is modified during the sleep-wake cycle and during conditions mimicking neuroinflammation in the presence or absence of amyloid-β. The effect of amyloid-β on energy metabolism is dependent on its state of aggregation and on internalization of the peptide by astrocytes. Distinct patterns of metabolic activity could be observed during the learning and recall phases in a spatial learning task. Gene expression analysis in activated areas, notably hippocampous and retrosplenial cortex, demonstrated that the expression levels of several genes implicated in astrocyte-neuron metabolic coupling are enhanced by learning. Regarding metabolic plasticity during the sleep-wake cycle, we have observed that the level of expression of a panel of selected genes, which we know are key for neuron-glia metabolic coupling, is modulated by sleep deprivation.

  15. Santiago Ramon y Cajal and Neuron Doctrine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simge Aykan Zergeroğlu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Santiago Ramon y Cajal’s emergence in the world of science has led to a new era in neuroscience. He was the founder of modern neuroscience with the neuron doctrine he revealed. He showed that nervous system was not a continuum network structure as it is believed to that day, but consists of individual cell as in all other tissues. His contribution to modern neuroscience was not limited to the neuron doctrine, he also contributed to neuronal morphology, communication and development. All of these contributions was honored with a shared Nobel Prize Award with Camillo Golgi in 1906, for their studies on the nervous system. Santiago Ramon y Cajal, was a scientist with unusual observation and interpretation talents, who pushed the conditions until the end to access to information and share his findings in the underdeveloped scientific environment of Spain. Besides, he was involved in scientific breakthroughs of his country. Ramon y Cajal was not only a scientist but also a multi-faceted personality; a passionate chess player, gymnast, a very talented painter and photographer.

  16. Enteric neurons show a primary cilium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luesma, Ma José; Cantarero, Irene; Castiella, Tomás; Soriano, Mario; Garcia-Verdugo, José Manuel; Junquera, Concepción

    2013-01-01

    The primary cilium is a non-motile cilium whose structure is 9+0. It is involved in co-ordinating cellular signal transduction pathways, developmental processes and tissue homeostasis. Defects in the structure or function of the primary cilium underlie numerous human diseases, collectively termed ciliopathies. The presence of single cilia in the central nervous system (CNS) is well documented, including some choroid plexus cells, neural stem cells, neurons and astrocytes, but the presence of primary cilia in differentiated neurons of the enteric nervous system (ENS) has not yet been described in mammals to the best of our knowledge. The enteric nervous system closely resembles the central nervous system. In fact, the ultrastructure of the ENS is more similar to the CNS ultrastructure than to the rest of the peripheral nervous system. This research work describes for the first time the ultrastructural characteristics of the single cilium in neurons of rat duodenum myenteric plexus, and reviews the cilium function in the CNS to propose the possible role of cilia in the ENS cells. © 2012 The Authors. Published by Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

  17. Necrostatin-1 protection of dopaminergic neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing-ru Wu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Necroptosis is characterized by programmed necrotic cell death and autophagic activation and might be involved in the death process of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson′s disease. We hypothesized that necrostatin-1 could block necroptosis and give protection to dopaminergic neurons. There is likely to be crosstalk between necroptosis and other cell death pathways, such as apoptosis and autophagy. PC12 cells were pretreated with necroststin-1 1 hour before exposure to 6-hydroxydopamine. We examined cell viability, mitochondrial membrane potential and expression patterns of apoptotic and necroptotic death signaling proteins. The results showed that the autophagy/lysosomal pathway is involved in the 6-hydroxydopamine-induced death process of PC12 cells. Mitochondrial disability induced overactive autophagy, increased cathepsin B expression, and diminished Bcl-2 expression. Necrostatin-1 within a certain concentration range (5-30 μM elevated the viability of PC12 cells, stabilized mitochondrial membrane potential, inhibited excessive autophagy, reduced the expression of LC3-II and cathepsin B, and increased Bcl-2 expression. These findings suggest that necrostatin-1 exerted a protective effect against injury on dopaminergic neurons. Necrostatin-1 interacts with the apoptosis signaling pathway during this process. This pathway could be a new neuroprotective and therapeutic target in Parkinson′s disease.

  18. Critical behavior in networks of real neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkacik, Gasper

    2014-03-01

    The patterns of joint activity in a population of retinal ganglion cells encode the complete information about the visual world, and thus place limits on what could be learned about the environment by the brain. We analyze the recorded simultaneous activity of more than a hundred such neurons from an interacting population responding to naturalistic stimuli, at the single spike level, by constructing accurate maximum entropy models for the distribution of network activity states. This - essentially an ``inverse spin glass'' - construction reveals strong frustration in the pairwise couplings between the neurons that results in a rugged energy landscape with many local extrema; strong collective interactions in subgroups of neurons despite weak individual pairwise correlations; and a joint distribution of activity that has an extremely wide dynamic range characterized by a zipf-like power law, strong deviations from ``typicality,'' and a number of signatures of critical behavior. We hypothesize that this tuning to a critical operating point might be a dynamic property of the system and suggest experiments to test this hypothesis.

  19. Automating NEURON Simulation Deployment in Cloud Resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockton, David B; Santamaria, Fidel

    2017-01-01

    Simulations in neuroscience are performed on local servers or High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities. Recently, cloud computing has emerged as a potential computational platform for neuroscience simulation. In this paper we compare and contrast HPC and cloud resources for scientific computation, then report how we deployed NEURON, a widely used simulator of neuronal activity, in three clouds: Chameleon Cloud, a hybrid private academic cloud for cloud technology research based on the OpenStack software; Rackspace, a public commercial cloud, also based on OpenStack; and Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing, based on Amazon's proprietary software. We describe the manual procedures and how to automate cloud operations. We describe extending our simulation automation software called NeuroManager (Stockton and Santamaria, Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 2015), so that the user is capable of recruiting private cloud, public cloud, HPC, and local servers simultaneously with a simple common interface. We conclude by performing several studies in which we examine speedup, efficiency, total session time, and cost for sets of simulations of a published NEURON model.

  20. Visualization of cyclic nucleotide dynamics in neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirill eGorshkov

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The second messengers cAMP and cGMP transduce many neuromodulatory signals from hormones and neurotransmitters into specific functional outputs. Their production, degradation and signaling are spatiotemporally regulated to achieve high specificity in signal transduction. The development of genetically encodable fluorescent biosensors has provided researchers with useful tools to study these versatile second messengers and their downstream effectors with unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution in cultured cells and living animals. In this review, we introduce the general design of these fluorescent biosensors and describe several of them in more detail. Then we discuss a few examples of using cyclic nucleotide fluorescent biosensors to study regulation of neuronal function and finish with a discussion of advances in the field. Although there has been significant progress made in understanding how the specific signaling of cyclic nucleotide second messengers is achieved, the mechanistic details in complex cell types like neurons are only just beginning to surface. Current and future fluorescent protein reporters will be essential to elucidate the role of cyclic nucleotide signaling dynamics in the functions of individual neurons and their networks.

  1. Automatically tracking neurons in a moving and deforming brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Jeffrey P; Linder, Ashley N; Plummer, George S; Shaevitz, Joshua W; Leifer, Andrew M

    2017-05-01

    Advances in optical neuroimaging techniques now allow neural activity to be recorded with cellular resolution in awake and behaving animals. Brain motion in these recordings pose a unique challenge. The location of individual neurons must be tracked in 3D over time to accurately extract single neuron activity traces. Recordings from small invertebrates like C. elegans are especially challenging because they undergo very large brain motion and deformation during animal movement. Here we present an automated computer vision pipeline to reliably track populations of neurons with single neuron resolution in the brain of a freely moving C. elegans undergoing large motion and deformation. 3D volumetric fluorescent images of the animal's brain are straightened, aligned and registered, and the locations of neurons in the images are found via segmentation. Each neuron is then assigned an identity using a new time-independent machine-learning approach we call Neuron Registration Vector Encoding. In this approach, non-rigid point-set registration is used to match each segmented neuron in each volume with a set of reference volumes taken from throughout the recording. The way each neuron matches with the references defines a feature vector which is clustered to assign an identity to each neuron in each volume. Finally, thin-plate spline interpolation is used to correct errors in segmentation and check consistency of assigned identities. The Neuron Registration Vector Encoding approach proposed here is uniquely well suited for tracking neurons in brains undergoing large deformations. When applied to whole-brain calcium imaging recordings in freely moving C. elegans, this analysis pipeline located 156 neurons for the duration of an 8 minute recording and consistently found more neurons more quickly than manual or semi-automated approaches.

  2. Automatically tracking neurons in a moving and deforming brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey P Nguyen

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Advances in optical neuroimaging techniques now allow neural activity to be recorded with cellular resolution in awake and behaving animals. Brain motion in these recordings pose a unique challenge. The location of individual neurons must be tracked in 3D over time to accurately extract single neuron activity traces. Recordings from small invertebrates like C. elegans are especially challenging because they undergo very large brain motion and deformation during animal movement. Here we present an automated computer vision pipeline to reliably track populations of neurons with single neuron resolution in the brain of a freely moving C. elegans undergoing large motion and deformation. 3D volumetric fluorescent images of the animal's brain are straightened, aligned and registered, and the locations of neurons in the images are found via segmentation. Each neuron is then assigned an identity using a new time-independent machine-learning approach we call Neuron Registration Vector Encoding. In this approach, non-rigid point-set registration is used to match each segmented neuron in each volume with a set of reference volumes taken from throughout the recording. The way each neuron matches with the references defines a feature vector which is clustered to assign an identity to each neuron in each volume. Finally, thin-plate spline interpolation is used to correct errors in segmentation and check consistency of assigned identities. The Neuron Registration Vector Encoding approach proposed here is uniquely well suited for tracking neurons in brains undergoing large deformations. When applied to whole-brain calcium imaging recordings in freely moving C. elegans, this analysis pipeline located 156 neurons for the duration of an 8 minute recording and consistently found more neurons more quickly than manual or semi-automated approaches.

  3. How neurons migrate: a dynamic in-silico model of neuronal migration in the developing cortex

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Setty, Yaki

    2011-09-30

    Abstract Background Neuronal migration, the process by which neurons migrate from their place of origin to their final position in the brain, is a central process for normal brain development and function. Advances in experimental techniques have revealed much about many of the molecular components involved in this process. Notwithstanding these advances, how the molecular machinery works together to govern the migration process has yet to be fully understood. Here we present a computational model of neuronal migration, in which four key molecular entities, Lis1, DCX, Reelin and GABA, form a molecular program that mediates the migration process. Results The model simulated the dynamic migration process, consistent with in-vivo observations of morphological, cellular and population-level phenomena. Specifically, the model reproduced migration phases, cellular dynamics and population distributions that concur with experimental observations in normal neuronal development. We tested the model under reduced activity of Lis1 and DCX and found an aberrant development similar to observations in Lis1 and DCX silencing expression experiments. Analysis of the model gave rise to unforeseen insights that could guide future experimental study. Specifically: (1) the model revealed the possibility that under conditions of Lis1 reduced expression, neurons experience an oscillatory neuron-glial association prior to the multipolar stage; and (2) we hypothesized that observed morphology variations in rats and mice may be explained by a single difference in the way that Lis1 and DCX stimulate bipolar motility. From this we make the following predictions: (1) under reduced Lis1 and enhanced DCX expression, we predict a reduced bipolar migration in rats, and (2) under enhanced DCX expression in mice we predict a normal or a higher bipolar migration. Conclusions We present here a system-wide computational model of neuronal migration that integrates theory and data within a precise

  4. Carbon nanotubes: artificial nanomaterials to engineer single neurons and neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabbro, Alessandra; Bosi, Susanna; Ballerini, Laura; Prato, Maurizio

    2012-08-15

    In the past decade, nanotechnology applications to the nervous system have often involved the study and the use of novel nanomaterials to improve the diagnosis and therapy of neurological diseases. In the field of nanomedicine, carbon nanotubes are evaluated as promising materials for diverse therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Besides, carbon nanotubes are increasingly employed in basic neuroscience approaches, and they have been used in the design of neuronal interfaces or in that of scaffolds promoting neuronal growth in vitro. Ultimately, carbon nanotubes are thought to hold the potential for the development of innovative neurological implants. In this framework, it is particularly relevant to document the impact of interfacing such materials with nerve cells. Carbon nanotubes were shown, when modified with biologically active compounds or functionalized in order to alter their charge, to affect neurite outgrowth and branching. Notably, purified carbon nanotubes used as scaffolds can promote the formation of nanotube-neuron hybrid networks, able per se to affect neuron integrative abilities, network connectivity, and synaptic plasticity. We focus this review on our work over several years directed to investigate the ability of carbon nanotube platforms in providing a new tool for nongenetic manipulations of neuronal performance and network signaling.

  5. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Neuronal Mechanisms in Temporal Coding: A Further Look at Neuronal Oscillations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rémy Lestienne

    1999-01-01

    case to case. Also, the functions of oscillations in the brain are multiple and are not confined to synchronization. The paradigmatic instantiation of oscillation in physics is given by the harmonic oscillator, a device particularly suited to tell the time, as in clocks. We will thus examine first the case of oscillations or cycling discharges of neurones, which provide a clock or impose a “tempo” for various kinds of information processing. Neuronal oscillators are rarely just clocks clicking at a fixed frequency. Instead, their frequency is often adjustable and controllable, as in the example of the “chattering cells” discovered in the superficial layers of the visual cortex. Moreover, adjustable frequency oscillators are suitable for use in “phase locked loops” (PLL networks, a device that can convert time coding to frequency coding; such PLL units have been found in the somatosensory cortex of guinea pigs. Finally, are oscillations stricto sensu necessary to induce synchronization in the discharges of downstream neurones? We know that this is not the case, at least not for local populations of neurones. As a contribution to this question, we propose that repeating patterns in neuronal discharges production may be looked at as one such alternative solution in relation to the processing of information. We review here the case of precisely repeating triplets, detected in the discharges of olfactory mitral cells of a freely breathing rat under odor stimulation.

  6. Myelin basic protein induces neuron-specific toxicity by directly damaging the neuronal plasma membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Zhang

    Full Text Available The central nervous system (CNS insults may cause massive demyelination and lead to the release of myelin-associated proteins including its major component myelin basic protein (MBP. MBP is reported to induce glial activation but its effect on neurons is still little known. Here we found that MBP specifically bound to the extracellular surface of the neuronal plasma membrane and induced neurotoxicity in vitro. This effect of MBP on neurons was basicity-dependent because the binding was blocked by acidic lipids and competed by other basic proteins. Further studies revealed that MBP induced damage to neuronal membrane integrity and function by depolarizing the resting membrane potential, increasing the permeability to cations and other molecules, and decreasing the membrane fluidity. At last, artificial liposome vesicle assay showed that MBP directly disturbed acidic lipid bilayer and resulted in increased membrane permeability. These results revealed that MBP induces neurotoxicity through its direct interaction with acidic components on the extracellular surface of neuronal membrane, which may suggest a possible contribution of MBP to the pathogenesis in the CNS disorders with myelin damage.

  7. An FPGA-based silicon neuronal network with selectable excitability silicon neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing eLi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a digital silicon neuronal network which simulates the nerve system in creatures and has the ability to execute intelligent tasks, such as associative memory. Two essential elements, the mathematical-structure-based digital spiking silicon neuron (DSSN and the transmitter release based silicon synapse, allow the network to show rich dynamic behaviors and are computationally efficient for hardware implementation. We adopt mixed pipeline and parallel structure and shift operations to design a sufficient large and complex network without excessive hardware resource cost. The network with $256$ full-connected neurons is built on a Digilent Atlys board equipped with a Xilinx Spartan-6 LX45 FPGA. Besides, a memory control block and USB control block are designed to accomplish the task of data communication between the network and the host PC. This paper also describes the mechanism of associative memory performed in the silicon neuronal network. The network is capable of retrieving stored patterns if the inputs contain enough information of them. The retrieving probability increases with the similarity between the input and the stored pattern increasing. Synchronization of neurons is observed when the successful stored pattern retrieval occurs.

  8. Scaling of brain metabolism with a fixed energy budget per neuron: implications for neuronal activity, plasticity and evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana Herculano-Houzel

    Full Text Available It is usually considered that larger brains have larger neurons, which consume more energy individually, and are therefore accompanied by a larger number of glial cells per neuron. These notions, however, have never been tested. Based on glucose and oxygen metabolic rates in awake animals and their recently determined numbers of neurons, here I show that, contrary to the expected, the estimated glucose use per neuron is remarkably constant, varying only by 40% across the six species of rodents and primates (including humans. The estimated average glucose use per neuron does not correlate with neuronal density in any structure. This suggests that the energy budget of the whole brain per neuron is fixed across species and brain sizes, such that total glucose use by the brain as a whole, by the cerebral cortex and also by the cerebellum alone are linear functions of the number of neurons in the structures across the species (although the average glucose consumption per neuron is at least 10× higher in the cerebral cortex than in the cerebellum. These results indicate that the apparently remarkable use in humans of 20% of the whole body energy budget by a brain that represents only 2% of body mass is explained simply by its large number of neurons. Because synaptic activity is considered the major determinant of metabolic cost, a conserved energy budget per neuron has several profound implications for synaptic homeostasis and the regulation of firing rates, synaptic plasticity, brain imaging, pathologies, and for brain scaling in evolution.

  9. Nitric Oxide in Astrocyte-Neuron Signaling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Nianzhen [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Astrocytes, a subtype of glial cell, have recently been shown to exhibit Ca2+ elevations in response to neurotransmitters. A Ca2+ elevation can propagate to adjacent astrocytes as a Ca2+ wave, which allows an astrocyte to communicate with its neighbors. Additionally, glutamate can be released from astrocytes via a Ca2+-dependent mechanism, thus modulating neuronal activity and synaptic transmission. In this dissertation, the author investigated the roles of another endogenous signal, nitric oxide (NO), in astrocyte-neuron signaling. First the author tested if NO is generated during astrocytic Ca2+ signaling by imaging NO in purified murine cortical astrocyte cultures. Physiological concentrations of a natural messenger, ATP, caused a Ca2+-dependent NO production. To test the roles of NO in astrocytic Ca2+ signaling, the author applied NO to astrocyte cultures via addition of a NO donor, S-nitrosol-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP). NO induced an influx of external Ca2+, possibly through store-operated Ca2+ channels. The NO-induced Ca2+ signaling is cGMP-independent since 8-Br-cGMP, an agonistic analog of cGMP, did not induce a detectable Ca2+ change. The consequence of this NO-induced Ca2+ influx was assessed by simultaneously monitoring of cytosolic and internal store Ca2+ using fluorescent Ca2+ indicators x-rhod-1 and mag-fluo-4. Blockage of NO signaling with the NO scavenger PTIO significantly reduced the refilling percentage of internal stores following ATP-induced Ca2+ release, suggesting that NO modulates internal store refilling. Furthermore, locally photo-release of NO to a single astrocyte led to a Ca2+ elevation in the stimulated astrocyte and a subsequent Ca2+ wave to neighbors. Finally, the author tested the role of NO inglutamate-mediated astrocyte-neuron signaling by

  10. Chaotic neuron dynamics, synchronization and feature binding

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    Arecchi, F. T.

    2004-07-01

    Neuroscience studies how a large collection of coupled neurons combines external data with internal memories into coherent patterns of meaning. Such a process is called “feature binding”, insofar as the coherent patterns combine together features which are extracted separately by specialized cells, but which do not make sense as isolated items. A powerful conjecture, with experimental confirmation, is that feature binding implies the mutual synchronization of axonal spike trains in neurons which can be far away and yet contribute to a well defined perception by sharing the same time code. Based on recent investigations of homoclinic chaotic systems, and how they mutually synchronize, a novel conjecture on the dynamics of the single neuron is formulated. Homoclinic chaos implies the recurrent return of the dynamical trajectory to a saddle focus, in whose neighbourhood the system susceptibility (response to an external perturbation) is very high and hence it is very easy to lock to an external stimulus. Thus homoclinic chaos appears as the easiest way to encode information by a train of equal spikes occurring at erratic times. In conventional measurements we read the number indicated by a meter's pointer and assign to the measured object a set position corresponding to that number. On the contrary, a time code requires a decision time T¯ sufficiently longer than the minimal interspike separation t1, so that the total number of different set elements is related in some way to the size T¯/t 1. In neuroscience it has been shown that T¯≃200 ms while t 1≃3 ms. In a sensory layer of the brain neocortex an external stimulus spreads over a large assembly of neurons building up a collective state, thus synchronization of trains of different individual neurons is the basis of a coherent perception. The percept space can be given a metric structure by introducing a distance measure. This distance is conjugate of the duration time in the sense that an uncertainty

  11. Tetracycline inducible gene manipulation in serotonergic neurons.

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    Tillmann Weber

    Full Text Available The serotonergic (5-HT neuronal system has important and diverse physiological functions throughout development and adulthood. Its dysregulation during development or later in adulthood has been implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Transgenic animal models designed to study the contribution of serotonergic susceptibility genes to a pathological phenotype should ideally allow to study candidate gene overexpression or gene knockout selectively in serotonergic neurons at any desired time during life. For this purpose, conditional expression systems such as the tet-system are preferable. Here, we generated a transactivator (tTA mouse line (TPH2-tTA that allows temporal and spatial control of tetracycline (Ptet controlled transgene expression as well as gene deletion in 5-HT neurons. The tTA cDNA was inserted into a 196 kb PAC containing a genomic mouse Tph2 fragment (177 kb by homologous recombination in E. coli. For functional analysis of Ptet-controlled transgene expression, TPH2-tTA mice were crossed to a Ptet-regulated lacZ reporter line (Ptet-nLacZ. In adult double-transgenic TPH2-tTA/Ptet-nLacZ mice, TPH2-tTA founder line L62-20 showed strong serotonergic β-galactosidase expression which could be completely suppressed with doxycycline (Dox. Furthermore, Ptet-regulated gene expression could be reversibly activated or inactivated when Dox was either withdrawn or added to the system. For functional analysis of Ptet-controlled, Cre-mediated gene deletion, TPH2-tTA mice (L62-20 were crossed to double transgenic Ptet-Cre/R26R reporter mice to generate TPH2-tTA/Ptet-Cre/R26R mice. Without Dox, 5-HT specific recombination started at E12.5. With permanent Dox administration, Ptet-controlled Cre-mediated recombination was absent. Dox withdrawal either postnatally or during adulthood induced efficient recombination in serotonergic neurons of all raphe nuclei, respectively. In the enteric nervous system, recombination could not be detected. We

  12. Linking Memories across Time via Neuronal and Dendritic Overlaps in Model Neurons with Active Dendrites

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    George Kastellakis

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Memories are believed to be stored in distributed neuronal assemblies through activity-induced changes in synaptic and intrinsic properties. However, the specific mechanisms by which different memories become associated or linked remain a mystery. Here, we develop a simplified, biophysically inspired network model that incorporates multiple plasticity processes and explains linking of information at three different levels: (1 learning of a single associative memory, (2 rescuing of a weak memory when paired with a strong one, and (3 linking of multiple memories across time. By dissecting synaptic from intrinsic plasticity and neuron-wide from dendritically restricted protein capture, the model reveals a simple, unifying principle: linked memories share synaptic clusters within the dendrites of overlapping populations of neurons. The model generates numerous experimentally testable predictions regarding the cellular and sub-cellular properties of memory engrams as well as their spatiotemporal interactions.

  13. Neuronal and non-neuronal Trk neurotrophin receptor-like proteins in Eisenia foetida (Annelida Oligochaeta).

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    Lucini, C; Castaldo, L; Lamanna, C; Maruccio, L; Vega, J A; Gargiulo, G

    1999-02-19

    The occurrence and distribution of Trk proteins, which are the high-affinity signal-transducing receptors for neurotrophins, have been investigated in earthworms (Eisenia foetida) using polyclonal antibodies which map within their catalytic domain. Western-blot analysis identified major protein bands whose estimated molecular masses were consistent with those of the full-length Trk proteins in vertebrates. Specific immunoreactivity for TrkA-, TrkB-, and TrkC-like was observed in neuronal populations of the dorsal cerebral, subpharyngeal and ventral cord ganglia. Furthermore, TrkA-like immunoreactivity was observed in subcutaneous neurons and nerve fibers between muscle layers in the peripheral nervous system. TrkB- and TrkC-like immunoreactivity was observed in the gut innervation. Non-neuronal expression of TrkB and TrkC proteins was found in epidermal cells, and TrkC-like immunoreactivity was detected in the gut epithelium.

  14. Prolactin induces a hyperpolarizing current in rat paraventricular oxytocinergic neurons

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    Sirzen-Zelenskaya, Alexandra; Gonzalez-Iglesias, Arturo E.; de Monvel, Jacques Boutet; Bertram, Richard; Freeman, Marc E.; Gerber, Urs; Egli, Marcel

    2011-01-01

    Prolactin and oxytocin are important reproductive hormones implicated in several common adaptive functions during pregnancy, pseudopregnancy and lactation. Recently, extracellular recordings of supraoptic neurons have shown that prolactin may modulate electrical activity of oxytocinergic neurons. However, no study has been conducted to establish whether prolactin directly influences this activity in oxytocinergic paraventricular neurons. Here we addressed this question by studying the effects of prolactin on the electrical activity and voltage-current relationship of identified paraventricular neurons in rat brain slices. Whole-cell recordings were obtained and neurons were classified on the basis of their morphological and electrophysiological fingerprint (magnocellular or parvicellular) and neuropeptide phenotype (oxytocinergic or non-oxytocinergic). We report that prolactin elicited a hyperpolarizating current in 37% of the neurons in this nucleus, of which the majority (67%) were identified as putative magnocellular oxytocin neurons and the reminder (33%) were regarded as oxytocin-negative, parvicellular neuroendocrine neurons. Our results suggest that, in addition to the well-established negative feedback loop between prolactin-secreting lactotrophs and dopaminergic neurons in the arcuate nucleus, an inhibitory feedback loop also exists between lactotrophs and oxytocinergic paraventricular neurons. PMID:21851427

  15. Neuronal Rac1 Is Required for Learning-Evoked Neurogenesis

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    Anderson, Matthew P.; Freewoman, Julia; Cord, Branden; Babu, Harish; Brakebusch, Cord

    2013-01-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning and memory relies on synaptic plasticity as well as network adaptations provided by the addition of adult-born neurons. We have previously shown that activity-induced intracellular signaling through the Rho family small GTPase Rac1 is necessary in forebrain projection neurons for normal synaptic plasticity in vivo, and here we show that selective loss of neuronal Rac1 also impairs the learning-evoked increase in neurogenesis in the adult mouse hippocampus. Earlier work has indicated that experience elevates the abundance of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus primarily by enhancing the survival of neurons produced just before the learning event. Loss of Rac1 in mature projection neurons did reduce learning-evoked neurogenesis but, contrary to our expectations, these effects were not mediated by altering the survival of young neurons in the hippocampus. Instead, loss of neuronal Rac1 activation selectively impaired a learning-evoked increase in the proliferation and accumulation of neural precursors generated during the learning event itself. This indicates that experience-induced alterations in neurogenesis can be mechanistically resolved into two effects: (1) the well documented but Rac1-independent signaling cascade that enhances the survival of young postmitotic neurons; and (2) a previously unrecognized Rac1-dependent signaling cascade that stimulates the proliferative production and retention of new neurons generated during learning itself. PMID:23884931

  16. Spike Frequency Adaptation in Neurons of the Central Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Go Eun; Cheong, Eunji

    2017-08-01

    Neuronal firing patterns and frequencies determine the nature of encoded information of the neurons. Here we discuss the molecular identity and cellular mechanisms of spike-frequency adaptation in central nervous system (CNS) neurons. Calcium-activated potassium (K Ca ) channels such as BK Ca and SK Ca channels have long been known to be important mediators of spike adaptation via generation of a large afterhyperpolarization when neurons are hyper-activated. However, it has been shown that a strong hyperpolarization via these K Ca channels would cease action potential generation rather than reducing the frequency of spike generation. In some types of neurons, the strong hyperpolarization is followed by oscillatory activity in these neurons. Recently, spike-frequency adaptation in thalamocortical (TC) and CA1 hippocampal neurons is shown to be mediated by the Ca 2+ -activated Cl- channel (CACC), anoctamin-2 (ANO2). Knockdown of ANO2 in these neurons results in significantly reduced spike-frequency adaptation accompanied by increased number of spikes without shifting the firing mode, which suggests that ANO2 mediates a genuine form of spike adaptation, finely tuning the frequency of spikes in these neurons. Based on the finding of a broad expression of this new class of CACC in the brain, it can be proposed that the ANO2-mediated spike-frequency adaptation may be a general mechanism to control information transmission in the CNS neurons.

  17. Population activity structure of excitatory and inhibitory neurons.

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    Bittner, Sean R; Williamson, Ryan C; Snyder, Adam C; Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Doiron, Brent; Chase, Steven M; Smith, Matthew A; Yu, Byron M

    2017-01-01

    Many studies use population analysis approaches, such as dimensionality reduction, to characterize the activity of large groups of neurons. To date, these methods have treated each neuron equally, without taking into account whether neurons are excitatory or inhibitory. We studied population activity structure as a function of neuron type by applying factor analysis to spontaneous activity from spiking networks with balanced excitation and inhibition. Throughout the study, we characterized population activity structure by measuring its dimensionality and the percentage of overall activity variance that is shared among neurons. First, by sampling only excitatory or only inhibitory neurons, we found that the activity structures of these two populations in balanced networks are measurably different. We also found that the population activity structure is dependent on the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory neurons sampled. Finally we classified neurons from extracellular recordings in the primary visual cortex of anesthetized macaques as putative excitatory or inhibitory using waveform classification, and found similarities with the neuron type-specific population activity structure of a balanced network with excitatory clustering. These results imply that knowledge of neuron type is important, and allows for stronger statistical tests, when interpreting population activity structure.

  18. Bidirectional Microglia-Neuron Communication in the Healthy Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ukpong B. Eyo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike other resident neural cells that are of neuroectodermal origin, microglia are resident neural cells of mesodermal origin. Traditionally recognized for their immune functions during disease, new roles are being attributed to these cells in the development and maintenance of the central nervous system (CNS including specific communication with neurons. In this review, we highlight some of the recent findings on the bidirectional interaction between neurons and microglia. We discuss these interactions along two lines. First, we review data that suggest that microglial activity is modulated by neuronal signals, focusing on evidence that (i neurons are capable of regulating microglial activation state and influence basal microglial activities; (ii classic neurotransmitters affect microglial behavior; (iii chemotactic signals attract microglia during acute neuronal injury. Next, we discuss some of the recent data on how microglia signal to neurons. Signaling mechanisms include (i direct physical contact of microglial processes with neuronal elements; (ii microglial regulation of neuronal synapse and circuit by fractalkine, complement, and DAP12 signaling. In addition, we discuss the use of microglial depletion strategies in studying the role of microglia in neuronal development and synaptic physiology. Deciphering the mechanisms of bidirectional microglial-neuronal communication provides novel insights in understanding microglial function in both the healthy and diseased brain.

  19. A phase plane analysis of neuron-astrocyte interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiri, Mahmood; Montaseri, Ghazal; Bahrami, Fariba

    2013-08-01

    Intensive experimental studies have shown that astrocytes are active partners in modulation of synaptic transmission. In the present research, we study neuron-astrocyte signaling using a biologically inspired model of one neuron synapsing one astrocyte. In this model, the firing dynamics of the neuron is described by the Morris-Lecar model and the Ca(2+) dynamics of a single astrocyte explained by a functional model introduced by Postnov and colleagues. Using the coupled neuron-astrocyte model and based on the results of the phase plane analyses, it is demonstrated that the astrocyte is able to activate the silent neuron or change the neuron spiking frequency through bidirectional communication. This suggests that astrocyte feedback signaling is capable of modulating spike transmission frequency by changing neuron spiking frequency. This effect is described by a saddle-node on invariant circle bifurcation in the coupled neuron-astrocyte model. In this way, our results suggest that the neuron-astrocyte crosstalk has a fundamental role in producing diverse neuronal activities and therefore enhances the information processing capabilities of the brain. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Neuronal Mechanisms in Temporal Coding: A Further Look at Neuronal Oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestienne, Rémy

    1999-01-01

    Many studies in recent years have been devoted to the detection of fast oscillations in the Central Nervous System (CNS), interpreting them as synchronizing devices. We should, however, refrain from associating too closely the two concepts of synchronization and oscillation. Whereas synchronization is a relatively well-defined concept, by contrast oscillation of a population of neurones in the CNS looks loosely defined, in the sense that both its frequency sharpness and the duration of the oscillatory episodes vary widely from case to case. Also, the functions of oscillations in the brain are multiple and are not confined to synchronization. The paradigmatic instantiation of oscillation in physics is given by the harmonic oscillator, a device particularly suited to tell the time, as in clocks. We will thus examine first the case of oscillations or cycling discharges of neurones, which provide a clock or impose a “tempo” for various kinds of information processing. Neuronal oscillators are rarely just clocks clicking at a fixed frequency. Instead, their frequency is often adjustable and controllable, as in the example of the “chattering cells” discovered in the superficial layers of the visual cortex. Moreover, adjustable frequency oscillators are suitable for use in “phase locked loops” (PLL) networks, a device that can convert time coding to frequency coding; such PLL units have been found in the somatosensory cortex of guinea pigs. Finally, are oscillations stricto sensu necessary to induce synchronization in the discharges of downstream neurones? We know that this is not the case, at least not for local populations of neurones. As a contribution to this question, we propose that repeating patterns in neuronal discharges production may be looked at as one such alternative solution in relation to the processing of information. We review here the case of precisely repeating triplets, detected in the discharges of olfactory mitral cells of a freely