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Sample records for mechanisms underlying synaptic

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

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

    2014-02-01

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

  2. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Interaural Level Difference Dependent Gain Control and Synaptic Scaling Underlying Binaural Computation

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    Xiong, Xiaorui R.; Liang, Feixue; Li, Haifu; Mesik, Lukas; Zhang, Ke K.; Polley, Daniel B.; Tao, Huizhong W.; Xiao, Zhongju; Zhang, Li I.

    2013-01-01

    Binaural integration in the central nucleus of inferior colliculus (ICC) plays a critical role in sound localization. However, its arithmetic nature and underlying synaptic mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we showed in mouse ICC neurons that the contralateral dominance is created by a “push-pull”-like mechanism, with contralaterally dominant excitation and more bilaterally balanced inhibition. Importantly, binaural spiking response is generated apparently from an ipsilaterally-mediated scaling of contralateral response, leaving frequency tuning unchanged. This scaling effect is attributed to a divisive attenuation of contralaterally-evoked synaptic excitation onto ICC neurons with their inhibition largely unaffected. Thus, a gain control mediates the linear transformation from monaural to binaural spike responses. The gain value is modulated by interaural level difference (ILD) primarily through scaling excitation to different levels. The ILD-dependent synaptic scaling and gain adjustment allow ICC neurons to dynamically encode interaural sound localization cues while maintaining an invariant representation of other independent sound attributes. PMID:23972599

  4. Synaptic damage underlies EEG abnormalities in postanoxic encephalopathy: A computational study.

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    Ruijter, B J; Hofmeijer, J; Meijer, H G E; van Putten, M J A M

    2017-09-01

    In postanoxic coma, EEG patterns indicate the severity of encephalopathy and typically evolve in time. We aim to improve the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these EEG abnormalities. We used a mean field model comprising excitatory and inhibitory neurons, local synaptic connections, and input from thalamic afferents. Anoxic damage is modeled as aggravated short-term synaptic depression, with gradual recovery over many hours. Additionally, excitatory neurotransmission is potentiated, scaling with the severity of anoxic encephalopathy. Simulations were compared with continuous EEG recordings of 155 comatose patients after cardiac arrest. The simulations agree well with six common categories of EEG rhythms in postanoxic encephalopathy, including typical transitions in time. Plausible results were only obtained if excitatory synapses were more severely affected by short-term synaptic depression than inhibitory synapses. In postanoxic encephalopathy, the evolution of EEG patterns presumably results from gradual improvement of complete synaptic failure, where excitatory synapses are more severely affected than inhibitory synapses. The range of EEG patterns depends on the excitation-inhibition imbalance, probably resulting from long-term potentiation of excitatory neurotransmission. Our study is the first to relate microscopic synaptic dynamics in anoxic brain injury to both typical EEG observations and their evolution in time. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Synaptic E-I Balance Underlies Efficient Neural Coding.

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    Zhou, Shanglin; Yu, Yuguo

    2018-01-01

    Both theoretical and experimental evidence indicate that synaptic excitation and inhibition in the cerebral cortex are well-balanced during the resting state and sensory processing. Here, we briefly summarize the evidence for how neural circuits are adjusted to achieve this balance. Then, we discuss how such excitatory and inhibitory balance shapes stimulus representation and information propagation, two basic functions of neural coding. We also point out the benefit of adopting such a balance during neural coding. We conclude that excitatory and inhibitory balance may be a fundamental mechanism underlying efficient coding.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. An NMDA Receptor-Dependent Mechanism Underlies Inhibitory Synapse Development

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    Xinglong Gu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian brain, GABAergic synaptic transmission provides inhibitory balance to glutamatergic excitatory drive and controls neuronal output. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development of GABAergic synapses remain largely unclear. Here, we report that NMDA-type ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDARs in individual immature neurons are the upstream signaling molecules essential for GABAergic synapse development, which requires signaling via Calmodulin binding motif in the C0 domain of the NMDAR GluN1 subunit. Interestingly, in neurons lacking NMDARs, whereas GABAergic synaptic transmission is strongly reduced, the tonic inhibition mediated by extrasynaptic GABAA receptors is increased, suggesting a compensatory mechanism for the lack of synaptic inhibition. These results demonstrate a crucial role for NMDARs in specifying the development of inhibitory synapses, and suggest an important mechanism for controlling the establishment of the balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition in the developing brain.

  9. Common mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in vertebrates and invertebrates

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    Glanzman, David L.

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Zedong eBi

    2016-02-01

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

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

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    Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Wood, Marcelo A

    2014-05-01

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

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

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    El Laithy, Karim; Bogdan, Martin

    2014-04-01

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

  13. Diacylglycerol kinases in the coordination of synaptic plasticity

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    Dongwon Lee

    2016-08-01

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

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

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    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

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

  15. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

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

    2002-11-01

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

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

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    Zedong Bi

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

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    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

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

  18. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

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    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

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    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-03-01

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

  2. Turing mechanism for homeostatic control of synaptic density during C. elegans growth

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    Brooks, Heather A.; Bressloff, Paul C.

    2017-07-01

    We propose a mechanism for the homeostatic control of synapses along the ventral cord of Caenorhabditis elegans during development, based on a form of Turing pattern formation on a growing domain. C. elegans is an important animal model for understanding cellular mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Our mathematical model consists of two interacting chemical species, where one is passively diffusing and the other is actively trafficked by molecular motors, which switch between forward and backward moving states (bidirectional transport). This differs significantly from the standard mechanism for Turing pattern formation based on the interaction between fast and slow diffusing species. We derive evolution equations for the chemical concentrations on a slowly growing one-dimensional domain, and use numerical simulations to demonstrate the insertion of new concentration peaks as the length increases. Taking the passive component to be the protein kinase CaMKII and the active component to be the glutamate receptor GLR-1, we interpret the concentration peaks as sites of new synapses along the length of C. elegans, and thus show how the density of synaptic sites can be maintained.

  3. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

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

    2017-01-01

    shafts undergo dynamic changes in number, size and shape in response to variations in hormonal status, developmental stage, and changes in afferent input. It is perhaps not unexpected that loss of spine density may be linked to cognitive and memory impairment in AD, although the underlying mechanism(s) remain uncertain. This article aims to present a critical overview of current knowledge on the bases of synaptic dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on AD, and will cover amyloid- and nonamyloid- driven mechanisms. We will consider also emerging data dealing with potential therapeutic approaches for ameliorating the cognitive and memory deficits associated with these disorders. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-08-01

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

  6. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

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    Dominik Freche

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

  7. Mechanism underlying unaltered cortical inhibitory synaptic transmission in contrast with enhanced excitatory transmission in CaV2.1 knockin migraine mice

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    Vecchia, Dania; Tottene, Angelita; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M.J.M.; Pietrobon, Daniela

    2014-01-01

    Familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1), a monogenic subtype of migraine with aura, is caused by gain-of-function mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) calcium channels. In FHM1 knockin mice, excitatory neurotransmission at cortical pyramidal cell synapses is enhanced, but inhibitory neurotransmission at connected pairs of fast-spiking (FS) interneurons and pyramidal cells is unaltered, despite being initiated by CaV2.1 channels. The mechanism underlying the unaltered GABA release at cortical FS interneuron synapses remains unknown. Here, we show that the FHM1 R192Q mutation does not affect inhibitory transmission at autapses of cortical FS and other types of multipolar interneurons in microculture from R192Q knockin mice, and investigate the underlying mechanism. Lowering the extracellular [Ca2+] did not reveal gain-of-function of evoked transmission neither in control nor after prolongation of the action potential (AP) with tetraethylammonium, indicating unaltered AP-evoked presynaptic calcium influx at inhibitory autapses in FHM1 KI mice. Neither saturation of the presynaptic calcium sensor nor short duration of the AP can explain the unaltered inhibitory transmission in the mutant mice. Recordings of the P/Q-type calcium current in multipolar interneurons in microculture revealed that the current density and the gating properties of the CaV2.1 channels expressed in these interneurons are barely affected by the FHM1 mutation, in contrast with the enhanced current density and left-shifted activation gating of mutant CaV2.1 channels in cortical pyramidal cells. Our findings suggest that expression of specific CaV2.1 channels differentially sensitive to modulation by FHM1 mutations in inhibitory and excitatory cortical neurons underlies the gain-of-function of excitatory but unaltered inhibitory synaptic transmission and the likely consequent dysregulation of the cortical excitatory–inhibitory balance in FHM1. PMID:24907493

  8. Stress-triggered synaptic malfunction: a gate along the path from depression to dementia

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    Ioannis Sotiropoulos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Clinical and experimental studies suggest a causal role of chronic stress for brain pathology and diseases e.g. depression and Alzheimer´s disease (AD as stress is strongly associated with neuronal and synaptic atrophy/loss resulting in impaired mood and/or cognition. Indeed, synaptic loss is a key underlying pathomechanism in both disorders while growing clinical evidence supports a pathological link between depression and AD pointing to shared neurobiological underpinnings and pathogenic mechanisms e.g. AD-related mechanisms, such as APP misprocessing, are also found to be affected in depression while depression predisposes individuals to develop AD. Based on the above, our studies have been conceived to contribute towards bridging the current gap monitoring AD-related mechanisms in the CMS (chronic mild stress animal model of depression before and after antidepressant treatment. We found that depressive status in these animals was accompanied by increased APP misprocessing and tau accumulation as well as neuronal atrophy in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Interestingly, antidepressant treatment with two different antidepressants reversed both biochemical and synaptic changes. Furthermore, we demonstrate the blockage of stress-triggered depressive behavior and neuronal/synaptic atrophy in animals lacking APP misprocessing and amyloid beta generation, further supporting the involvement of APP misprocessing in depressive pathology and behavior. Thus, this study forms the first in vivo approach to clarify the involvement of AD-related APP misprocessing on stress-driven synaptic pathology underlying depressive pathology.

  9. Structural Components of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Gilles Erwann Martin

    2015-07-01

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

  11. Synaptic Mechanisms Generating Orientation Selectivity in the ON Pathway of the Rabbit Retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkataramani, Sowmya; Taylor, W Rowland

    2016-03-16

    Neurons that signal the orientation of edges within the visual field have been widely studied in primary visual cortex. Much less is known about the mechanisms of orientation selectivity that arise earlier in the visual stream. Here we examine the synaptic and morphological properties of a subtype of orientation-selective ganglion cell in the rabbit retina. The receptive field has an excitatory ON center, flanked by excitatory OFF regions, a structure similar to simple cell receptive fields in primary visual cortex. Examination of the light-evoked postsynaptic currents in these ON-type orientation-selective ganglion cells (ON-OSGCs) reveals that synaptic input is mediated almost exclusively through the ON pathway. Orientation selectivity is generated by larger excitation for preferred relative to orthogonal stimuli, and conversely larger inhibition for orthogonal relative to preferred stimuli. Excitatory orientation selectivity arises in part from the morphology of the dendritic arbors. Blocking GABAA receptors reduces orientation selectivity of the inhibitory synaptic inputs and the spiking responses. Negative contrast stimuli in the flanking regions produce orientation-selective excitation in part by disinhibition of a tonic NMDA receptor-mediated input arising from ON bipolar cells. Comparison with earlier studies of OFF-type OSGCs indicates that diverse synaptic circuits have evolved in the retina to detect the orientation of edges in the visual input. A core goal for visual neuroscientists is to understand how neural circuits at each stage of the visual system extract and encode features from the visual scene. This study documents a novel type of orientation-selective ganglion cell in the retina and shows that the receptive field structure is remarkably similar to that of simple cells in primary visual cortex. However, the data indicate that, unlike in the cortex, orientation selectivity in the retina depends on the activity of inhibitory interneurons. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

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    Christoph eHartmann

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, MacKenzie A; Baraban, Scott C

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Urbina, Victor; Herrmann, J. Michael

    2016-12-01

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

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

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    Tali eRosenberg

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-20

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

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

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    Jianmin Yang

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

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    Sara Calafate

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-26

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

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

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    John I. Broussard

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine release during reward-driven behaviors influences synaptic plasticity. However, dopamine innervation and release in the hippocampus and its role during aversive behaviors are controversial. Here, we show that in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the CA3-CA1 circuit underlies contextual learning during inhibitory avoidance (IA training. Immunohistochemistry and molecular techniques verified sparse dopaminergic innervation of the hippocampus from the midbrain. The long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP underlying the learning of IA was assessed with a D1-like dopamine receptor agonist or antagonist in ex vivo hippocampal slices and in vivo in freely moving mice. Inhibition of D1-like dopamine receptors impaired memory of the IA task and prevented the training-induced enhancement of both ex vivo and in vivo LTP induction. The results indicate that dopamine-receptor signaling during an aversive contextual task regulates aversive memory retention and regulates associated synaptic mechanisms in the hippocampus that likely underlie learning.

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

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    Lijie Hao

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broek, Jantine A C; Lin, Zhanmin; de Gruiter, H Martijn; van 't Spijker, Heleen; Haasdijk, Elize D; Cox, David; Ozcan, Sureyya; van Cappellen, Gert W A; Houtsmuller, Adriaan B; Willemsen, Rob; de Zeeuw, Chris I; Bahn, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a single-gene disorder that is the most common heritable cause of intellectual disability and the most frequent monogenic cause of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). FXS is caused by an expansion of trinucleotide repeats in the promoter region of the fragile X mental retardation gene (Fmr1). This leads to a lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which regulates translation of a wide range of messenger RNAs (mRNAs). The extent of expression level alterations of synaptic proteins affected by FMRP loss and their consequences on synaptic dynamics in FXS has not been fully investigated. Here, we used an Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying FXS by monitoring protein expression changes using shotgun label-free liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS(E)) in brain tissue and synaptosome fractions. FXS-associated candidate proteins were validated using selected reaction monitoring (SRM) in synaptosome fractions for targeted protein quantification. Furthermore, functional alterations in synaptic release and dynamics were evaluated using live-cell imaging, and interpretation of synaptic dynamics differences was investigated using electron microscopy. Key findings relate to altered levels of proteins involved in GABA-signalling, especially in the cerebellum. Further exploration using microscopy studies found reduced synaptic vesicle unloading of hippocampal neurons and increased vesicle unloading in cerebellar neurons, which suggests a general decrease of synaptic transmission. Our findings suggest that FMRP is a regulator of synaptic vesicle dynamics, which supports the role of FMRP in presynaptic functions. Taken together, these studies provide novel insights into the molecular changes associated with FXS.

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

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    Dmitry V. Amakhin

    2016-10-01

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

  9. Influence of Synaptic Depression on Memory Storage Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

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    Katharine L. Dobson

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Possible Mechanisms Underlying the Therapeutic Effects of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chervyakov, Alexander V.; Chernyavsky, Andrey Yu.; Sinitsyn, Dmitry O.; Piradov, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an effective method used to diagnose and treat many neurological disorders. Although repetitive TMS (rTMS) has been used to treat a variety of serious pathological conditions including stroke, depression, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, pain, and migraines, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of long-term TMS remain unclear. In the present review, the effects of rTMS on neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity are described, including the classic interpretations of TMS effects on synaptic plasticity via long-term potentiation and long-term depression. We also discuss the effects of rTMS on the genetic apparatus of neurons, glial cells, and the prevention of neuronal death. The neurotrophic effects of rTMS on dendritic growth and sprouting and neurotrophic factors are described, including change in brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentration under the influence of rTMS. Also, non-classical effects of TMS related to biophysical effects of magnetic fields are described, including the quantum effects, the magnetic spin effects, genetic magnetoreception, the macromolecular effects of TMS, and the electromagnetic theory of consciousness. Finally, we discuss possible interpretations of TMS effects according to dynamical systems theory. Evidence suggests that a rTMS-induced magnetic field should be considered a separate physical factor that can be impactful at the subatomic level and that rTMS is capable of significantly altering the reactivity of molecules (radicals). It is thought that these factors underlie the therapeutic benefits of therapy with TMS. Future research on these mechanisms will be instrumental to the development of more powerful and reliable TMS treatment protocols. PMID:26136672

  12. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Straub

    2016-07-01

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

  15. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

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    Daniel eRial

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

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

  17. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    edge of chaos, where complex phenomena, including creativity and intelligence, may emerge'. Also in this issue R Stanley Williams and colleagues report results from simulations that demonstrate the potential for using Mott transistors as building blocks for scalable neuristor-based integrated circuits without transistors [5]. The scalability of neural chip designs is also tackled in the design reported by Narayan Srinivasa and colleagues in the US [6]. Meanwhile Carsten Timm and Massimiliano Di Ventra describe simulations of a molecular transistor in which electrons strongly coupled to a vibrational mode lead to a Franck-Condon (FC) blockade that mimics the spiking action potentials in synaptic memory behaviour [7]. The 'atomic switches' used to demonstrate synaptic behaviour by a collaboration of researchers in California and Japan also come under further scrutiny in this issue. James K Gimzewski and colleagues consider the difference between the behaviour of an atomic switch in isolation and in a network [8]. As the authors point out, 'The work presented represents steps in a unified approach of experimentation and theory of complex systems to make atomic switch networks a uniquely scalable platform for neuromorphic computing'. Researchers in Germany [9] and Sweden [10] also report on theoretical approaches to modelling networks of memristive elements and complementary resistive switches for synaptic devices. As Vincent Derycke and colleagues in France point out, 'Actual experimental demonstrations of neural network type circuits based on non-conventional/non-CMOS memory devices and displaying function learning capabilities remain very scarce'. They describe how their work using carbon nanotubes provides a rare demonstration of actual function learning with synapses based on nanoscale building blocks [11]. However, this is far from the only experimental work reported in this issue, others include: short-term memory of TiO2-based electrochemical capacitors [12]; a

  18. POSSIBLE MECHANISMS UNDERLYING THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION

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    Alexander eChervyakov

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS is an effective method used to diagnose and treat many neurological disorders. Although repetitive TMS (rTMS has been used to treat a variety of serious pathological conditions including stroke, depression, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, pain, and migraines, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the effects of long-term TMS remain unclear. In the present review, the effects of rTMS on neurotransmitters and synaptic plasticity are described, including the classic interpretations of TMS effects on synaptic plasticity via long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. We also discuss the effects of rTMS on the genetic apparatus of neurons, glial cells and the prevention of neuronal death. The neurotrophic effects of rTMS on dendritic growth and sprouting and neurotrophic factors are described, including change in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF concentration under the influence of rTMS. Also, non-classical effects of TMS related to biophysical effects of magnetic fields are described, including the quantum effects, the magnetic spin effects, genetic magnetoreception, the macromolecular effects of TMS, and the electromagnetic theory of consciousness. Finally, we discuss possible interpretations of TMS effects according to dynamical systems theory. Evidence suggests that a rTMS-induced magnetic field should be considered a separate physical factor that can be impactful at the subatomic level and that rTMS is capable of significantly altering the reactivity of molecules (radicals. It is thought that these factors underlie the therapeutic benefits of therapy with TMS. Future research on these mechanisms will be instrumental to the development of more powerful and reliable TMS treatment protocols.

  19. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Gina

    distributions of spine head volumes and spine lengths from mouse, rat, monkey, and human brains. We develope a statistical theory in which the equilibrium distribution of dendritic spine shapes is governed by the principle of synaptic entropy maximization under a "generalized cost" constraint. We find the generalized cost of dendritic spines and show that it universally depends on the spine shape, i.e. the dependence is the same in all the considered systems. We show that the modulatory and structural plasticity mechanisms in adults are in a statistical equilibrium with each other, the numbers of dendritic spines in different cortical areas are nearly optimally chosen for memory storage, and the distribution of spine shapes is governed by a single parameter -- the effective temperature. Our results suggest that the effective temperature of a cortical area may be viewed as a measure of longevity of stored memories. Finally, we test the hypothesis that the number of spines in the neuropil is chosen to optimize its storage information capacity.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta

    2017-10-17

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

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

    KAUST Repository

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matamales, Miriam

    2012-12-19

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennetta W Hammond

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Synaptic plasticity and spatial working memory are impaired in the CD mouse model of Williams-Beuren syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borralleras, Cristina; Mato, Susana; Amédée, Thierry; Matute, Carlos; Mulle, Christophe; Pérez-Jurado, Luis A; Campuzano, Victoria

    2016-08-02

    Mice heterozygous for a complete deletion (CD) equivalent to the most common deletion found in individuals with Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) recapitulate relevant features of the neurocognitive phenotype, such as hypersociability, along with some neuroanatomical alterations in specific brain areas. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these phenotypes still remain largely unknown. We have studied the synaptic function and cognition in CD mice using hippocampal slices and a behavioral test sensitive to hippocampal function. We have found that long-term potentiation (LTP) elicited by theta burst stimulation (TBS) was significantly impaired in hippocampal field CA1 of CD animals. This deficit might be associated with the observed alterations in spatial working memory. However, we did not detect changes in presynaptic function, LTP induction mechanisms or AMPA and NMDA receptor function. Reduced levels of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were present in the CA1-CA3 hippocampal region of CD mice, which could account for LTP deficits in these mice. Taken together, these results suggest a defect of CA1 synapses in CD mice to sustain synaptic strength after stimulation. These data represent the first description of synaptic functional deficits in CD mice and further highlights the utility of the CD model to study the mechanisms underlying the WBS neurocognitive profile.

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

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    Yiu Chung Tse

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

  7. Circuit and synaptic mechanisms of repeated stress: Perspectives from differing contexts, duration, and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bath, Kevin G; Russo, Scott J; Pleil, Kristen E; Wohleb, Eric S; Duman, Ronald S; Radley, Jason J

    2017-12-01

    The current review is meant to synthesize research presented as part of a symposium at the 2016 Neurobiology of Stress workshop in Irvine California. The focus of the symposium was "Stress and the Synapse: New Concepts and Methods" and featured the work of several junior investigators. The presentations focused on the impact of various forms of stress (altered maternal care, binge alcohol drinking, chronic social defeat, and chronic unpredictable stress) on synaptic function, neurodevelopment, and behavioral outcomes. One of the goals of the symposium was to highlight the mechanisms accounting for how the nervous system responds to stress and their impact on outcome measures with converging effects on the development of pathological behavior. Dr. Kevin Bath's presentation focused on the impact of disruptions in early maternal care and its impact on the timing of hippocampus maturation in mice, finding that this form of stress drove accelerated synaptic and behavioral maturation, and contributed to the later emergence of risk for cognitive and emotional disturbance. Dr. Scott Russo highlighted the impact of chronic social defeat stress in adolescent mice on the development and plasticity of reward circuity, with a focus on glutamatergic development in the nucleus accumbens and mesolimbic dopamine system, and the implications of these changes for disruptions in social and hedonic response, key processes disturbed in depressive pathology. Dr. Kristen Pleil described synaptic changes in the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis that underlie the behavioral consequences of allostatic load produced by repeated cycles of alcohol binge drinking and withdrawal. Dr. Eric Wohleb and Dr. Ron Duman provided new data associating decreased mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and neurobiological changes in the synapses in response to chronic unpredictable stress, and highlighted the potential for the novel antidepressant ketamine to rescue synaptic and behavioral effects

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen Rackham

    2010-07-01

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

  9. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Johnson

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

  10. Robust short-term memory without synaptic learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Robust Short-Term Memory without Synaptic Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Corticothalamic Synaptic Noise as a Mechanism for Selective Attention in Thalamic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Bal, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    A reason why the thalamus is more than a passive gateway for sensory signals is that two-third of the synapses of thalamocortical neurons are directly or indirectly related to the activity of corticothalamic axons. While the responses of thalamocortical neurons evoked by sensory stimuli are well characterized, with ON- and OFF-center receptive field structures, the prevalence of synaptic noise resulting from neocortical feedback in intracellularly recorded thalamocortical neurons in vivo has attracted little attention. However, in vitro and modeling experiments point to its critical role for the integration of sensory signals. Here we combine our recent findings in a unified framework suggesting the hypothesis that corticothalamic synaptic activity is adapted to modulate the transfer efficiency of thalamocortical neurons during selective attention at three different levels: First, on ionic channels by interacting with intrinsic membrane properties, second at the neuron level by impacting on the input-output gain, and third even more effectively at the cell assembly level by boosting the information transfer of sensory features encoded in thalamic subnetworks. This top-down population control is achieved by tuning the correlations in subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations and is adapted to modulate the transfer of sensory features encoded by assemblies of thalamocortical relay neurons. We thus propose that cortically-controlled (de-)correlation of subthreshold noise is an efficient and swift dynamic mechanism for selective attention in the thalamus. PMID:26733818

  13. Corticothalamic Synaptic Noise as a Mechanism for Selective Attention in Thalamic Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Bal, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    A reason why the thalamus is more than a passive gateway for sensory signals is that two-third of the synapses of thalamocortical neurons are directly or indirectly related to the activity of corticothalamic axons. While the responses of thalamocortical neurons evoked by sensory stimuli are well characterized, with ON- and OFF-center receptive field structures, the prevalence of synaptic noise resulting from neocortical feedback in intracellularly recorded thalamocortical neurons in vivo has attracted little attention. However, in vitro and modeling experiments point to its critical role for the integration of sensory signals. Here we combine our recent findings in a unified framework suggesting the hypothesis that corticothalamic synaptic activity is adapted to modulate the transfer efficiency of thalamocortical neurons during selective attention at three different levels: First, on ionic channels by interacting with intrinsic membrane properties, second at the neuron level by impacting on the input-output gain, and third even more effectively at the cell assembly level by boosting the information transfer of sensory features encoded in thalamic subnetworks. This top-down population control is achieved by tuning the correlations in subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations and is adapted to modulate the transfer of sensory features encoded by assemblies of thalamocortical relay neurons. We thus propose that cortically-controlled (de-)correlation of subthreshold noise is an efficient and swift dynamic mechanism for selective attention in the thalamus.

  14. Corticothalamic Synaptic Noise as a Mechanism for Selective Attention in Thalamic Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien eBéhuret

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A reason why the thalamus is more than a passive gateway for sensory signals is that two-third of the synapses of thalamocortical neurons are directly or indirectly related to the activity of corticothalamic axons. While the responses of thalamocortical neurons evoked by sensory stimuli are well characterized, with ON- and OFF-center receptive field structures, the prevalence of synaptic noise resulting from neocortical feedback in intracellularly recorded thalamocortical neurons in vivo has attracted little attention. However, in vitro and modeling experiments point to its critical role for the integration of sensory signals. Here we combine our recent findings in a unified framework suggesting the hypothesis that corticothalamic synaptic activity is adapted to modulate the transfer efficiency of thalamocortical neurons during selective attention at three different levels: First, on ionic channels by interacting with intrinsic membrane properties, second at the neuron level by impacting on the input-output gain, and third even more effectively at the cell assembly level by boosting the information transfer of sensory features encoded in thalamic subnetworks. This top-down population control is achieved by tuning the correlations in subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations and is adapted to modulate the transfer of sensory features encoded by assemblies of thalamocortical relay neurons. We thus propose that cortically-controlled (de-correlation of subthreshold noise is an efficient and swift dynamic mechanism for selective attention in the thalamus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-01

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

  16. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  17. Astroglial metabolic networks sustain hippocampal synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-05

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

  18. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia D. Rittenhouse

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

    . Moreover, stimulation polarity has asymmetric effects on synaptic strength making it easier to enhance ongoing plasticity. These results suggest that the susceptibility of brain networks to an electric field depends on the state of synaptic activity. Combining a training task, which activates specific circuits, with TES may lead to functionally-specific effects. Given the simplicity of TES and the complexity of brain function, understanding the mechanisms leading to specificity is fundamental to the rational advancement of TES.

  2. Enriched environment ameliorates depression-induced cognitive deficits and restores abnormal hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahati, K; Bhagya, V; Christofer, T; Sneha, A; Shankaranarayana Rao, B S

    2016-10-01

    Severe depression compromises structural and functional integrity of the brain and results in impaired learning and memory, maladaptive synaptic plasticity as well as degenerative changes in the hippocampus and amygdala. The precise mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunctions in depression remain largely unknown. On the other hand, enriched environment (EE) offers beneficial effects on cognitive functions, synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. However, the effect of EE on endogenous depression associated cognitive dysfunction has not been explored. Accordingly, we have attempted to address this issue by investigating behavioural, structural and synaptic plasticity mechanisms in an animal model of endogenous depression after exposure to enriched environment. Our results demonstrate that depression is associated with impaired spatial learning and enhanced anxiety-like behaviour which is correlated with hypotrophy of the dentate gyrus and amygdalar hypertrophy. We also observed a gross reduction in the hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). We report a complete behavioural recovery with reduced indices of anhedonia and behavioural despair, reduced anxiety-like behaviour and improved spatial learning along with a complete restoration of dentate gyrus and amygdalar volumes in depressive rats subjected to EE. Enrichment also facilitated CA3-Schaffer collateral LTP. Our study convincingly proves that depression-induces learning deficits and impairs hippocampal synaptic plasticity. It also highlights the role of environmental stimuli in restoring depression-induced cognitive deficits which might prove vital in outlining more effective strategies to treat major depressive disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Albers

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Christian; Westkott, Maren; Pawelzik, Klaus

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Selective inhibition of phosphodiesterase 5 enhances glutamatergic synaptic plasticity and memory in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthayathas, Subramaniam; Parameshwaran, Kodeeswaran; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar S; Ahuja, Manuj; Dhanasekaran, Muralikrishnan; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu

    2013-11-01

    Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) belong to a family of proteins that control metabolism of cyclic nucleotides. Targeting PDE5, for enhancing cellular function, is one of the therapeutic strategies for male erectile dysfunction. We have investigated whether in vivo inhibition of PDE5, which is expressed in several brain regions, will enhance memory and synaptic transmission in the hippocampus of healthy mice. We have found that acute administration of sildenafil, a specific PDE5 inhibitor, enhanced hippocampus-dependent memory tasks. To elucidate the underlying mechanism in the memory enhancement, effects of sildenafil on long-term potentiation (LTP) were measured. The level of LTP was significantly elevated, with concomitant increases in basal synaptic transmission, in mice treated with sildenafil (1 mg/kg/day) for 15 days compared to control mice. These results suggest that moderate PDE5 inhibition enhances memory by increasing synaptic plasticity and transmission in the hippocampus. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombroso, Paul; Ogren, Marilee

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Circuit and synaptic mechanisms of repeated stress: Perspectives from differing contexts, duration, and development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin G. Bath

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The current review is meant to synthesize research presented as part of a symposium at the 2016 Neurobiology of Stress workshop in Irvine California. The focus of the symposium was “Stress and the Synapse: New Concepts and Methods” and featured the work of several junior investigators. The presentations focused on the impact of various forms of stress (altered maternal care, binge alcohol drinking, chronic social defeat, and chronic unpredictable stress on synaptic function, neurodevelopment, and behavioral outcomes. One of the goals of the symposium was to highlight the mechanisms accounting for how the nervous system responds to stress and their impact on outcome measures with converging effects on the development of pathological behavior. Dr. Kevin Bath's presentation focused on the impact of disruptions in early maternal care and its impact on the timing of hippocampus maturation in mice, finding that this form of stress drove accelerated synaptic and behavioral maturation, and contributed to the later emergence of risk for cognitive and emotional disturbance. Dr. Scott Russo highlighted the impact of chronic social defeat stress in adolescent mice on the development and plasticity of reward circuity, with a focus on glutamatergic development in the nucleus accumbens and mesolimbic dopamine system, and the implications of these changes for disruptions in social and hedonic response, key processes disturbed in depressive pathology. Dr. Kristen Pleil described synaptic changes in the bed nuclei of the stria terminalis that underlie the behavioral consequences of allostatic load produced by repeated cycles of alcohol binge drinking and withdrawal. Dr. Eric Wohleb and Dr. Ron Duman provided new data associating decreased mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR signaling and neurobiological changes in the synapses in response to chronic unpredictable stress, and highlighted the potential for the novel antidepressant ketamine to rescue

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  11. Electric Dipole Theory of Chemical Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ling Y.

    1968-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, James C.; Broadie, Kendal

    2018-01-01

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

  14. pH during non-synaptic epileptiform activity—computational simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Márcio Rodrigues, Antônio; Canton Santos, Luiz Eduardo; Covolan, Luciene; Hamani, Clement; Guimarães de Almeida, Antônio-Carlos

    2015-10-01

    The excitability of neuronal networks is strongly modulated by changes in pH. The origin of these changes, however, is still under debate. The high complexity of neural systems justifies the use of computational simulation to investigate mechanisms that are possibly involved. Simulated neuronal activity includes non-synaptic epileptiform events (NEA) induced in hippocampal slices perfused with high-K+ and zero-Ca2+, therefore in the absence of the synaptic circuitry. A network of functional units composes the NEA model. Each functional unit represents one interface of neuronal/extracellular space/glial segments. Each interface contains transmembrane ionic transports, such as ionic channels, cotransporters, exchangers and pumps. Neuronal interconnections are mediated by gap-junctions, electric field effects and extracellular ionic fluctuations modulated by extracellular electrodiffusion. Mechanisms investigated are those that change intracellular and extracellular ionic concentrations and are able to affect [H+]. Our simulations suggest that the intense fluctuations in intra and extracellular concentrations of Na+, K+ and Cl- that accompany NEA are able to affect the combined action of the Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE), {{{HCO}}}3-/Cl- exchanger (HCE), H+ pump and the catalytic activity of intra and extracellular carbonic anhydrase. Cellular volume changes and extracellular electrodiffusion are responsible for modulating pH.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-23

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Emanuele

    2016-05-01

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

  17. Alzheimer's disease: synaptic dysfunction and Abeta

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Shankar, Ganesh M

    2009-11-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Role for a Novel Usher Protein Complex in Hair Cell Synaptic Maturation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zallocchi, Marisa; Meehan, Daniel T.; Delimont, Duane; Rutledge, Joseph; Gratton, Michael Anne; Flannery, John; Cosgrove, Dominic

    2012-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell synaptic maturation are not well understood. Cadherin-23 (CDH23), protocadherin-15 (PCDH15) and the very large G-protein coupled receptor 1 (VLGR1) have been implicated in the development of cochlear hair cell stereocilia, while clarin-1 has been suggested to also play a role in synaptogenesis. Mutations in CDH23, PCDH15, VLGR1 and clarin-1 cause Usher syndrome, characterized by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Here we show developmental expression of these Usher proteins in afferent spiral ganglion neurons and hair cell synapses. We identify a novel synaptic Usher complex comprised of clarin-1 and specific isoforms of CDH23, PCDH15 and VLGR1. To establish the in vivo relevance of this complex, we performed morphological and quantitative analysis of the neuronal fibers and their synapses in the Clrn1−/− mouse, which was generated by incomplete deletion of the gene. These mice showed a delay in neuronal/synaptic maturation by both immunostaining and electron microscopy. Analysis of the ribbon synapses in Ames waltzerav3J mice also suggests a delay in hair cell synaptogenesis. Collectively, these results show that, in addition to the well documented role for Usher proteins in stereocilia development, Usher protein complexes comprised of specific protein isoforms likely function in synaptic maturation as well. PMID:22363448

  20. Role for a novel Usher protein complex in hair cell synaptic maturation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Zallocchi

    Full Text Available The molecular mechanisms underlying hair cell synaptic maturation are not well understood. Cadherin-23 (CDH23, protocadherin-15 (PCDH15 and the very large G-protein coupled receptor 1 (VLGR1 have been implicated in the development of cochlear hair cell stereocilia, while clarin-1 has been suggested to also play a role in synaptogenesis. Mutations in CDH23, PCDH15, VLGR1 and clarin-1 cause Usher syndrome, characterized by congenital deafness, vestibular dysfunction and retinitis pigmentosa. Here we show developmental expression of these Usher proteins in afferent spiral ganglion neurons and hair cell synapses. We identify a novel synaptic Usher complex comprised of clarin-1 and specific isoforms of CDH23, PCDH15 and VLGR1. To establish the in vivo relevance of this complex, we performed morphological and quantitative analysis of the neuronal fibers and their synapses in the Clrn1-/- mouse, which was generated by incomplete deletion of the gene. These mice showed a delay in neuronal/synaptic maturation by both immunostaining and electron microscopy. Analysis of the ribbon synapses in Ames waltzer(av3J mice also suggests a delay in hair cell synaptogenesis. Collectively, these results show that, in addition to the well documented role for Usher proteins in stereocilia development, Usher protein complexes comprised of specific protein isoforms likely function in synaptic maturation as well.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung-Seok Han

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-09

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

  6. Target-Dependent Structural Changes Accompanying Long-Term Synaptic Facilitation in Aplysia Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glanzman, David L.; Kandel, Eric R.; Schacher, Samuel

    1990-08-01

    The mechanisms underlying structural changes that accompany learning and memory have been difficult to investigate in the intact nervous system. In order to make these changes more accessible for experimental analysis, dissociated cell culture and low-light-level video microscopy were used to examine Aplysia sensory neurons in the presence or absence of their target cells. Repeated applications of serotonin, a facilitating transmitter important in behavioral dishabituation and sensitization, produced growth of the sensory neurons that paralleled the long-term enhancement of synaptic strength. This growth required the presence of the postsynaptic motor neuron. Thus, both the structural changes and the synaptic facilitation of Aplysia sensorimotor synapses accompanying long-term behavioral sensitization can be produced in vitro by applying a single facilitating transmitter repeatedly. These structural changes depend on an interaction of the presynaptic neuron with an appropriate postsynaptic target.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xin; Gao, Jian-Feng

    2017-06-25

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

  8. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and abo...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Joshua G.A Pinto; David G Jones; Kate eWilliams; Kathryn M Murphy; Kathryn M Murphy

    2015-01-01

    Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and a...

  12. Activity-dependent modulation of neural circuit synaptic connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles R Tessier

    2009-07-01

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

  13. High pressure and [Ca2+] produce an inverse modulation of synaptic input strength, network excitability and frequency response in the rat dentate gyrus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas I Talpalar

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Hyperbaric environments induce the high pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS characterized by hyperexcitability of the central nervous system and memory impairment. Human divers and other animals experience the HPNS at pressures beyond 1.1 MPa. High pressure depresses synaptic transmission and alters its dynamics in various animal models. Medial perforant path (MPP synapses connecting the medial entorhinal cortex with the hippocampal formation are suppressed by 50% at 10.1MPa. Reduction of synaptic inputs is paradoxically associated with enhanced ability of dentate gyrus’ granule cells to generate spikes at high pressure. This mechanism allows MPP inputs to elicit standard granule cell outputs at 0.1 -25 Hz frequencies under hyperbaric conditions. An increased postsynaptic gain of MPP inputs probably allows diving animals to perform in hyperbaric environments, but makes them vulnerable to high intensity/frequency stimuli producing hyperexcitability. Increasing extracellular Ca2+ (Ca2+o partially reverted pressure-mediated depression of MPP inputs and increased MPP’s low-pass filter properties. We postulated that raising Ca2+o in addition to increase synaptic inputs may reduce network excitability in the dentate gyrus potentially improving its function and reducing sensitivity to high intensity and pathologic stimuli. For this matter, we activated the MPP with single and 50 Hz frequency stimuli that simulated physiologic and deleterious conditions, while assessing the granule cell’s output under various conditions of pressure and Ca2+o. Our results reveal that pressure and Ca2+o produce an inverse modulation on synaptic input strength and network excitability. These coincident phenomena suggest a potential general mechanism of networks that adjusts gain as an inverse function of synaptic inputs’ strength. Such mechanism may serve for adaptation to variable pressure and other physiological and pathological conditions and may explain the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Tait Sanchez Quinones

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rune W Berg

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

  16. Synaptic plasticity in the medial vestibular nuclei: role of glutamate receptors and retrograde messengers in rat brainstem slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassi, S; Pettorossi, V E

    2001-08-01

    The analysis of cellular-molecular events mediating synaptic plasticity within vestibular nuclei is an attempt to explain the mechanisms underlying vestibular plasticity phenomena. The present review is meant to illustrate the main results, obtained in vitro, on the mechanisms underlying long-term changes in synaptic strength within the medial vestibular nuclei. The synaptic plasticity phenomena taking place at the level of vestibular nuclei could be useful for adapting and consolidating the efficacy of vestibular neuron responsiveness to environmental requirements, as during visuo-vestibular recalibration and vestibular compensation. Following a general introduction on the most salient features of vestibular compensation and visuo-vestibular adaptation, which are two plastic events involving neuronal circuitry within the medial vestibular nuclei, the second and third sections describe the results from rat brainstem slice studies, demonstrating the possibility to induce long-term potentiation and depression in the medial vestibular nuclei, following high frequency stimulation of the primary vestibular afferents. In particular the mechanisms sustaining the induction and expression of vestibular long-term potentiation and depression, such as the role of various glutamate receptors and retrograde messengers have been described. The relevant role of the interaction between the platelet-activating factor, acting as a retrograde messenger, and the presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors, in determining the full expression of vestibular long-term potentiation is also underlined. In addition, the mechanisms involved in vestibular long-term potentiation have been compared with those leading to long-term potentiation in the hippocampus to emphasize the most significant differences emerging from vestibular studies. The fourth part, describes recent results demonstrating the essential role of nitric oxide, another retrograde messenger, in the induction of vestibular

  17. Neuromodulation, development and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foehring, R C; Lorenzon, N M

    1999-03-01

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

  18. Multistate Resistive Switching Memory for Synaptic Memory Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Hota, Mrinal Kanti; Hedhili, Mohamed N.; Wehbe, Nimer; McLachlan, Martyn A.; Alshareef, Husam N.

    2016-01-01

    memory performance is observed. Conventional synaptic operation in terms of potentiation, depression plasticity, and Ebbinghaus forgetting process are also studied. The memory mechanism is shown to originate from the migration of the oxygen vacancies

  19. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan Chambers

    2018-03-01

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

  20. Synaptic Modifications in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Susceptibility and Resilience to Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Minghui; Perova, Zinaida; Arenkiel, Benjamin R.

    2014-01-01

    When facing stress, most individuals are resilient whereas others are prone to developing mood disorders. The brain mechanisms underlying such divergent behavioral responses remain unclear. Here we used the learned helplessness procedure in mice to examine the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain region highly implicated in both clinical and animal models of depression, in adaptive and maladaptive behavioral responses to stress. We found that uncontrollable and inescapable stress induced behavioral state-dependent changes in the excitatory synapses onto a subset of mPFC neurons: those that were activated during behavioral responses as indicated by their expression of the activity reporter c-Fos. Whereas synaptic potentiation was linked to learned helplessness, a depression-like behavior, synaptic weakening, was associated with resilience to stress. Notably, enhancing the activity of mPFC neurons using a chemical–genetic method was sufficient to convert the resilient behavior into helplessness. Our results provide direct evidence that mPFC dysfunction is linked to maladaptive behavioral responses to stress, and suggest that enhanced excitatory synaptic drive onto mPFC neurons may underlie the previously reported hyperactivity of this brain region in depression. PMID:24872553

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabtree, Gregg W.; Gogos, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-27

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

  3. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Banach Synaptic Algebras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulis, David J.; Pulmannov, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

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

  5. Oridonin Attenuates Synaptic Loss and Cognitive Deficits in an Aβ1-42-Induced Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulei Wang

    Full Text Available Synaptic loss induced by beta-amyloid (Aβ plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD, but the mechanisms underlying this process remain unknown. In this study, we found that oridonin (Ori rescued synaptic loss induced by Aβ1-42 in vivo and in vitro and attenuated the alterations in dendritic structure and spine density observed in the hippocampus of AD mice. In addition, Ori increased the expression of PSD-95 and synaptophysin and promoted mitochondrial activity in the synaptosomes of AD mice. Ori also activated the BDNF/TrkB/CREB signaling pathway in the hippocampus of AD mice. Furthermore, in the Morris water maze test, Ori reduced latency and searching distance and increased the number of platform crosses in AD mice. These data suggest that Ori might prevent synaptic loss and improve behavioral symptoms in Aβ1-42-induced AD mice.

  6. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Can; Sun, Jia; Gou, Guangyang; Kong, Ling-An; Qian, Chuan; Dai, Guozhang; Yang, Junliang; Guo, Guang-hua

    2017-09-01

    Polymer-electrolytes are formed by dissolving a salt in polymer instead of water, the conducting mechanism involves the segmental motion-assisted diffusion of ion in the polymer matrix. Here, we report on the fabrication of tin oxide (SnO2) nanowire synaptic transistors using polymer-electrolyte gating. A thin layer of poly(ethylene oxide) and lithium perchlorate (PEO/LiClO4) was deposited on top of the devices, which was used to boost device performances. A voltage spike applied on the in-plane gate attracts ions toward the polymer-electrolyte/SnO2 nanowire interface and the ions are gradually returned after the pulse is removed, which can induce a dynamic excitatory postsynaptic current in the nanowire channel. The SnO2 synaptic transistors exhibit the behavior of short-term plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation and self-adaptation, which is related to the electric double-effect regulation. In addition, the synaptic logic functions and the logical function transformation are also discussed. Such single SnO2 nanowire-based synaptic transistors are of great importance for future neuromorphic devices.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Mehta

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Tetzlaff

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casie Lindsly

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

  19. Mechanisms of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling under high extracellular K(+) concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, Shingo; Kurachi, Yoshihisa

    2016-03-01

    In response to the elevation of extracellular K(+) concentration ([K(+)]out), astrocytes clear excessive K(+) to maintain conditions necessary for neural activity. K(+) clearance in astrocytes occurs via two processes: K(+) uptake and K(+) spatial buffering. High [K(+)]out also induces swelling in astrocytes, leading to edema and cell death in the brain. Despite the importance of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report results from a simulation analysis of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling. Astrocyte models were constructed by incorporating various mechanisms such as intra/extracellular ion concentrations of Na(+), K(+), and Cl(-), cell volume, and models of Na,K-ATPase, Na-K-Cl cotransporter (NKCC), K-Cl cotransporter, inwardly-rectifying K(+) (KIR) channel, passive Cl(-) current, and aquaporin channel. The simulated response of astrocyte models under the uniform distribution of high [K(+)]out revealed significant contributions of NKCC and Na,K-ATPase to increases of intracellular K(+) and Cl(-) concentrations, and swelling. Moreover, we found that, under the non-uniform distribution of high [K(+)]out, KIR channels localized at synaptic clefts absorbed excess K(+) by depolarizing the equivalent potential of K(+) (E K) above membrane potential, while K(+) released through perivascular KIR channels was enhanced by hyperpolarizing E K and depolarizing membrane potential. Further analysis of simulated drug effects revealed that astrocyte swelling was modulated by blocking each of the ion channels and transporters. Our simulation analysis revealed controversial mechanisms of astrocytic K(+) clearance and swelling resulting from complex interactions among ion channels and transporters.

  20. miR-191 and miR-135 are required for long-lasting spine remodelling associated with synaptic long-term depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Zhonghua; Yu, Danni; Gu, Qin-Hua; Yang, Yanqin; Tu, Kang; Zhu, Jun; Li, Zheng

    2014-02-01

    Activity-dependent modification of dendritic spines, subcellular compartments accommodating postsynaptic specializations in the brain, is an important cellular mechanism for brain development, cognition and synaptic pathology of brain disorders. NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression (NMDAR-LTD), a prototypic form of synaptic plasticity, is accompanied by prolonged remodelling of spines. The mechanisms underlying long-lasting spine remodelling in NMDAR-LTD, however, are largely unclear. Here we show that LTD induction causes global changes in miRNA transcriptomes affecting many cellular activities. Specifically, we show that expression changes of miR-191 and miR-135 are required for maintenance but not induction of spine restructuring. Moreover, we find that actin depolymerization and AMPA receptor exocytosis are regulated for extended periods of time by miRNAs to support long-lasting spine plasticity. These findings reveal a miRNA-mediated mechanism and a role for AMPA receptor exocytosis in long-lasting spine plasticity, and identify a number of candidate miRNAs involved in LTD.

  1. A hypothesis regarding the molecular mechanism underlying dietary soy-induced effects on seizure propensity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cara Jean Westmark

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Numerous neurological disorders including fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, autism and Alzheimer’s disease are comorbid with epilepsy. We have observed elevated seizure propensity in mouse models of these disorders dependent on diet. Specifically, soy-based diets exacerbate audiogenic-induced seizures in juvenile mice. We have also found potential associations between the consumption of soy-based infant formula and seizure incidence, epilepsy comorbidity and autism diagnostic scores in autistic children by retrospective analyses of medical record data. In total, these data suggest that consumption of high levels of soy protein during postnatal development may affect neuronal excitability. Herein, we present our theory regarding the molecular mechanism underlying soy-induced effects on seizure propensity. We hypothesize that soy phytoestrogens interfere with metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling through an estrogen receptor-dependent mechanism, which results in elevated production of key synaptic proteins and decreased seizure threshold.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badhwar, Rahul; Bagler, Ganesh

    2017-03-01

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

  4. Contribution of the D-Serine-dependent pathway to the cellular mechanisms underlying cognitive aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie Rouaud

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available An association between age-related memory impairments and changes in functional plasticity in the aging brain has been under intense study within the last decade. In this article, we show that an impaired activation of the strychnine-insensitive glycine site of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDA-R by its agonist D-serine contributes to deficits of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of memory-impaired aged rats. Supplementation with exogenous D-serine prevents the age-related deficits of isolated NMDA-R-dependent synaptic potentials as well as those of theta-burst-induced long-term potentiation and synaptic depotentiation. Endogenous levels of D-serine are reduced in the hippocampus with aging, that correlates with a weaker expression of serine racemase synthesizing the amino acid. On the contrary, the affinity of D-serine binding to NMDA-R is not affected by aging. These results point to a critical role for the D-serine-dependent pathway in the functional alterations of the brain underlying memory impairment and provide key information in the search for new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of memory deficits in the elderly.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idan eElbaz

    2013-02-01

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

  9. Control of synaptic plasticity in deep cortical networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelfsema, Pieter R.; Holtmaat, Anthony

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  12. Synaptic Plasticity in Cardiac Innervation and Its Potential Role in Atrial Fibrillation

    OpenAIRE

    Jesse L. Ashton; Rebecca A. B. Burton; Gil Bub; Bruce H. Smaill; Bruce H. Smaill; Johanna M. Montgomery

    2018-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is defined as the ability of synapses to change their strength of transmission. Plasticity of synaptic connections in the brain is a major focus of neuroscience research, as it is the primary mechanism underpinning learning and memory. Beyond the brain however, plasticity in peripheral neurons is less well understood, particularly in the neurons innervating the heart. The atria receive rich innervation from the autonomic branch of the peripheral nervous system. Sympathetic...

  13. Neuronal inhibition and synaptic plasticity of basal ganglia neurons in Parkinson's disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milosevic, Luka; Kalia, Suneil K; Hodaie, Mojgan; Lozano, Andres M; Fasano, Alfonso; Popovic, Milos R; Hutchison, William D

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus is an effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease symptoms. The therapeutic benefits of deep brain stimulation are frequency-dependent, but the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unclear. To advance deep brain stimulation therapy an understanding of fundamental mechanisms is critical. The objectives of this study were to (i) compare the frequency-dependent effects on cell firing in subthalamic nucleus and substantia nigra pars reticulata; (ii) quantify frequency-dependent effects on short-term plasticity in substantia nigra pars reticulata; and (iii) investigate effects of continuous long-train high frequency stimulation (comparable to conventional deep brain stimulation) on synaptic plasticity. Two closely spaced (600 µm) microelectrodes were advanced into the subthalamic nucleus (n = 27) and substantia nigra pars reticulata (n = 14) of 22 patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s disease. Cell firing and evoked field potentials were recorded with one microelectrode during stimulation trains from the adjacent microelectrode across a range of frequencies (1–100 Hz, 100 µA, 0.3 ms, 50–60 pulses). Subthalamic firing attenuated with ≥20 Hz (P stimulation (silenced at 100 Hz), while substantia nigra pars reticulata decreased with ≥3 Hz (P stimulation. Patients with longer silent periods after 100 Hz stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus tended to have better clinical outcome after deep brain stimulation. At ≥30 Hz the first evoked field potential of the stimulation train in substantia nigra pars reticulata was potentiated (P stimulation (P stimulation-induced inhibition than the substantia nigra pars reticulata likely due to differing ratios of GABA:glutamate terminals on the soma and/or the nature of their GABAergic inputs (pallidal versus striatal). We suggest that enhancement of inhibitory synaptic plasticity, and frequency-dependent potentiation and

  14. Caloric restriction increases learning consolidation and facilitates synaptic plasticity through mechanisms dependent on NR2B subunits of the NMDA receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontán-Lozano, Angela; Sáez-Cassanelli, José Luis; Inda, Mari Carmen; de los Santos-Arteaga, Mercedes; Sierra-Domínguez, Sergio Antonio; López-Lluch, Guillermo; Delgado-García, José María; Carrión, Angel Manuel

    2007-09-19

    One of the main focal points of aging research is the search for treatments that will prevent or ameliorate the learning and memory deficiencies associated with aging. Here we have examined the effects of maintaining mature mice on a long-term intermittent fasting diet (L-IFD). We found that L-IFD enhances learning and consolidation processes. We also assessed the long-term changes in synaptic efficiency in these animals. L-IFD mice showed an increase in low-theta-band oscillations, paired-pulse facilitation, and facilitation of long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus with respect to mice fed ad libitum. In addition, we found an increase in the expression of the NMDA receptor subunit NR2B in some brain areas of L-IFD mice. Specific antagonism of this subunit in the hippocampus reversed the beneficial effects of L-IFD. These data provide a molecular and cellular mechanism by which L-IFD may enhance cognition, ameliorating some aging-associated cognitive deficits.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Stress, trauma and PTSD: translational insights into the core synaptic circuitry and its modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Maxwell R; Hatton, Sean N; Lagopoulos, Jim

    2016-06-01

    Evidence is considered as to whether behavioral criteria for diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are applicable to that of traumatized animals and whether the phenomena of acquisition, extinction and reactivation of fear behavior in animals are also successfully applicable to humans. This evidence suggests an affirmative answer in both cases. Furthermore, the deficits in gray matter found in PTSD, determined with magnetic resonance imaging, are also observed in traumatized animals, lending neuropsychological support to the use of animals to probe what has gone awry in PTSD. Such animal experiments indicate that the core synaptic circuitry mediating behavior following trauma consists of the amygdala, ventral-medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, all of which are modulated by the basal ganglia. It is not clear if this is the case in PTSD as the observations using fMRI are equivocal and open to technical objections. Nevertheless, the effects of the basal ganglia in controlling glutamatergic synaptic transmission through dopaminergic and serotonergic synaptic mechanisms in the core synaptic circuitry provides a ready explanation for why modifying these mechanisms delays extinction in animal models and predisposes towards PTSD. In addition, changes of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the core synaptic circuitry have significant effects on acquisition and extinction in animal experiments with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the BDNF gene predisposing to PTSD.

  17. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Matamales

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-03

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

  2. PKM-ζ is not required for hippocampal synaptic plasticity, learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Lenora J; Bachman, Julia L; Johnson, Richard; Yu, Yilin; Huganir, Richard L

    2013-01-17

    Long-term potentiation (LTP), a well-characterized form of synaptic plasticity, has long been postulated as a cellular correlate of learning and memory. Although LTP can persist for long periods of time, the mechanisms underlying LTP maintenance, in the midst of ongoing protein turnover and synaptic activity, remain elusive. Sustained activation of the brain-specific protein kinase C (PKC) isoform protein kinase M-ζ (PKM-ζ) has been reported to be necessary for both LTP maintenance and long-term memory. Inhibiting PKM-ζ activity using a synthetic zeta inhibitory peptide (ZIP) based on the PKC-ζ pseudosubstrate sequence reverses established LTP in vitro and in vivo. More notably, infusion of ZIP eliminates memories for a growing list of experience-dependent behaviours, including active place avoidance, conditioned taste aversion, fear conditioning and spatial learning. However, most of the evidence supporting a role for PKM-ζ in LTP and memory relies heavily on pharmacological inhibition of PKM-ζ by ZIP. To further investigate the involvement of PKM-ζ in the maintenance of LTP and memory, we generated transgenic mice lacking PKC-ζ and PKM-ζ. We find that both conventional and conditional PKC-ζ/PKM-ζ knockout mice show normal synaptic transmission and LTP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, and have no deficits in several hippocampal-dependent learning and memory tasks. Notably, ZIP still reverses LTP in PKC-ζ/PKM-ζ knockout mice, indicating that the effects of ZIP are independent of PKM-ζ.

  3. Involvement of TrkB- and p75NTR-signaling pathways in two contrasting forms of long-lasting synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakuragi, Shigeo; Tominaga-Yoshino, Keiko; Ogura, Akihiko

    2013-11-01

    The repetition of experience is often necessary to establish long-lasting memory. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying this repetition-dependent consolidation of memory remain unclear. We previously observed in organotypic slice cultures of the rodent hippocampus that repeated inductions of long-term potentiation (LTP) led to a slowly developing long-lasting synaptic enhancement coupled with synaptogenesis. We also reported that repeated inductions of long-term depression (LTD) produced a long-lasting synaptic suppression coupled with synapse elimination. We proposed these phenomena as useful in vitro models for analyzing repetition-dependent consolidation. Here, we hypothesized that the enhancement and suppression are mediated by the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-TrkB signaling pathway and the proBDNF-p75NTR pathway, respectively. When we masked the respective pathways, reversals of the enhancement and suppression resulted. These results suggest the alternative activation of the p75NTR pathway by BDNF under TrkB-masking conditions and of the TrkB pathway by proBDNF under p75NTR-masking conditions, thus supporting the aforementioned hypothesis.

  4. A novel whole-cell mechanism for long-term memory enhancement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris Reuveni

    Full Text Available Olfactory-discrimination learning was shown to induce a profound long-lasting enhancement in the strength of excitatory and inhibitory synapses of pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex. Notably, such enhancement was mostly pronounced in a sub-group of neurons, entailing about a quarter of the cell population. Here we first show that the prominent enhancement in the subset of cells is due to a process in which all excitatory synapses doubled their strength and that this increase was mediated by a single process in which the AMPA channel conductance was doubled. Moreover, using a neuronal-network model, we show how such a multiplicative whole-cell synaptic strengthening in a sub-group of cells that form a memory pattern, sub-serves a profound selective enhancement of this memory. Network modeling further predicts that synaptic inhibition should be modified by complex learning in a manner that much resembles synaptic excitation. Indeed, in a subset of neurons all GABAA-receptors mediated inhibitory synapses also doubled their strength after learning. Like synaptic excitation, Synaptic inhibition is also enhanced by two-fold increase of the single channel conductance. These findings suggest that crucial learning induces a multiplicative increase in strength of all excitatory and inhibitory synapses in a subset of cells, and that such an increase can serve as a long-term whole-cell mechanism to profoundly enhance an existing Hebbian-type memory. This mechanism does not act as synaptic plasticity mechanism that underlies memory formation but rather enhances the response of already existing memory. This mechanism is cell-specific rather than synapse-specific; it modifies the channel conductance rather than the number of channels and thus has the potential to be readily induced and un-induced by whole-cell transduction mechanisms.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Michael R

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-09-01

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

  9. Ablating ErbB4 in PV neurons attenuates synaptic and cognitive deficits in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Heng; Zhang, Ling; Zhou, Dongming; He, Xiao; Wang, Dongpi; Pan, Hongyu; Zhang, Xiaoqin; Mei, Yufei; Qian, Qi; Zheng, Tingting; Jones, Frank E; Sun, Binggui

    2017-10-01

    Accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) induces neuronal, synaptic, and cognitive deficits in patients and animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The underlying mechanisms, however, remain to be fully elucidated. In the present study, we found that Aβ interacted with ErbB4, a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase family and mainly expressed in GABAergic interneurons. Deleting ErbB4 in parvalbumin-expressing neurons (PV neurons) significantly attenuated oligomeric Aβ-induced suppression of long term potentiation (LTP). Furthermore, specific ablation of ErbB4 in PV neurons via Cre/loxP system greatly improved spatial memory and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of hAPP-J20 mice. The deposition of Aβ detected by 3D6 and Thioflavin S staining and the proteolytic processing of hAPP analyzed by western blotting were not affected in the hippocampus of hAPP-J20 mice by deleting ErbB4 in PV neurons. Our data suggested that ErbB4 in PV neurons mediated Aβ-induced synaptic and cognitive dysfunctions without affecting Aβ levels. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dion eDickman

    2013-11-01

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

  11. Reversing the outcome of synapse elimination at developing neuromuscular junctions in vivo: evidence for synaptic competition and its mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turney, Stephen G; Lichtman, Jeff W

    2012-01-01

    During mammalian development, neuromuscular junctions and some other postsynaptic cells transition from multiple- to single-innervation as synaptic sites are exchanged between different axons. It is unclear whether one axon invades synaptic sites to drive off other inputs or alternatively axons expand their territory in response to sites vacated by other axons. Here we show that soon-to-be-eliminated axons rapidly reverse fate and grow to occupy vacant sites at a neuromuscular junction after laser removal of a stronger input. This reversal supports the idea that axons take over sites that were previously vacated. Indeed, during normal development we observed withdrawal followed by takeover. The stimulus for axon growth is not postsynaptic cell inactivity because axons grow into unoccupied sites even when target cells are functionally innervated. These results demonstrate competition at the synaptic level and enable us to provide a conceptual framework for understanding this form of synaptic plasticity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fenglian Xu

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Cysteine string protein (CSPalpha is a synaptic vesicle protein that displays unique anti-neurodegenerative properties. CSPalpha is a member of the conserved J protein family, also called the Hsp40 (heat shock protein of 40 kDa protein family, whose importance in protein folding has been recognized for many years. Deletion of the CSPalpha in mice results in knockout mice that are normal for the first 2-3 weeks of life followed by an unexplained presynaptic neurodegeneration and premature death. How CSPalpha prevents neurodegeneration is currently not known. As a neuroprotective synaptic vesicle protein, CSPalpha represents a promising therapeutic target for the prevention of neurodegenerative disorders.Here, we demonstrate that the flavonoid quercetin promotes formation of stable CSPalpha-CSPalpha dimers and that quercetin-induced dimerization is dependent on the unique cysteine string region. Furthermore, in primary cultures of Lymnaea neurons, quercetin induction of CSPalpha dimers correlates with an inhibition of synapse formation and synaptic transmission suggesting that quercetin interfers with CSPalpha function. Quercetin's action on CSPalpha is concentration dependent and does not promote dimerization of other synaptic proteins or other J protein family members and reduces the assembly of CSPalpha:Hsc70 units (70kDa heat shock cognate protein.Quercetin is a plant derived flavonoid and popular nutritional supplement proposed to prevent memory loss and altitude sickness among other ailments, although its precise mechanism(s of action has been unclear. In view of the therapeutic promise of upregulation of CSPalpha and the undesired consequences of CSPalpha dysfunction, our data establish an essential proof of principle that pharmaceutical agents can selectively target the neuroprotective J protein CSPalpha.

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

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    Robert Nisticò

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

  14. Inflammation Subverts Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Experimental Multiple Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. An integrative view of mechanisms underlying generalized spike-and-wave epileptic seizures and its implication on optimal therapeutic treatments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyuan Yan

    Full Text Available Many types of epileptic seizures are characterized by generalized spike-and-wave discharges. In the past, notable effort has been devoted to understanding seizure dynamics and various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the underlying mechanisms. In this paper, by taking an integrative view of the underlying mechanisms, we demonstrate that epileptic seizures can be generated by many different combinations of synaptic strengths and intrinsic membrane properties. This integrative view has important medical implications: the specific state of a patient characterized by a set of biophysical characteristics ultimately determines the optimal therapeutic treatment. Through the same view, we further demonstrate the potentiation effect of rational polypharmacy in the treatment of epilepsy and provide a new angle to resolve the debate on polypharmacy. Our results underscore the need for personalized medicine and demonstrate that computer modeling and simulation may play an important role in assisting the clinicians in selecting the optimal treatment on an individual basis.

  16. Synaptic Control of Secretory Trafficking in Dendrites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyril Hanus

    2014-06-01

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

  17. Reversing the outcome of synapse elimination at developing neuromuscular junctions in vivo: evidence for synaptic competition and its mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen G Turney

    Full Text Available During mammalian development, neuromuscular junctions and some other postsynaptic cells transition from multiple- to single-innervation as synaptic sites are exchanged between different axons. It is unclear whether one axon invades synaptic sites to drive off other inputs or alternatively axons expand their territory in response to sites vacated by other axons. Here we show that soon-to-be-eliminated axons rapidly reverse fate and grow to occupy vacant sites at a neuromuscular junction after laser removal of a stronger input. This reversal supports the idea that axons take over sites that were previously vacated. Indeed, during normal development we observed withdrawal followed by takeover. The stimulus for axon growth is not postsynaptic cell inactivity because axons grow into unoccupied sites even when target cells are functionally innervated. These results demonstrate competition at the synaptic level and enable us to provide a conceptual framework for understanding this form of synaptic plasticity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-17

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

  19. Bidirectional control of social hierarchy by synaptic efficacy in medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fei; Zhu, Jun; Zhu, Hong; Zhang, Qi; Lin, Zhanmin; Hu, Hailan

    2011-11-04

    Dominance hierarchy has a profound impact on animals' survival, health, and reproductive success, but its neural circuit mechanism is virtually unknown. We found that dominance ranking in mice is transitive, relatively stable, and highly correlates among multiple behavior measures. Recording from layer V pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) showed higher strength of excitatory synaptic inputs in mice with higher ranking, as compared with their subordinate cage mates. Furthermore, molecular manipulations that resulted in an increase and decrease in the synaptic efficacy in dorsal mPFC neurons caused an upward and downward movement in the social rank, respectively. These results provide direct evidence for mPFC's involvement in social hierarchy and suggest that social rank is plastic and can be tuned by altering synaptic strength in mPFC pyramidal cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu

    2017-01-01

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

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

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Corvin, Aiden P

    2012-06-27

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keck, Christian; Savin, Cristina; Lücke, Jörg

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Keck

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-11-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Xiumin; Small, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Status Epilepticus Impairs Synaptic Plasticity in Rat Hippocampus and Is Followed by Changes in Expression of NMDA Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postnikova, T Y; Zubareva, O E; Kovalenko, A A; Kim, K K; Magazanik, L G; Zaitsev, A V

    2017-03-01

    Cognitive deficits and memory loss are frequent in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Persistent changes in synaptic efficacy are considered as a cellular substrate underlying memory processes. Electrophysiological studies have shown that the properties of short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in the cortex and hippocampus may undergo substantial changes after seizures. However, the neural mechanisms responsible for these changes are not clear. In this study, we investigated the properties of short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in rat hippocampal slices 24 h after pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced status epilepticus. We found that the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in CA1 pyramidal cells is reduced compared to the control, while short-term facilitation is increased. The experimental results do not support the hypothesis that status epilepticus leads to background potentiation of hippocampal synapses and further LTP induction becomes weaker due to occlusion, as the dependence of synaptic responses on the strength of input stimulation was not different in the control and experimental animals. The decrease in LTP can be caused by impairment of molecular mechanisms of neuronal plasticity, including those associated with NMDA receptors and/or changes in their subunit composition. Real-time PCR demonstrated significant increases in the expression of GluN1 and GluN2A subunits 3 h after PTZ-induced status epilepticus. The overexpression of obligate GluN1 subunit suggests an increase in the total number of NMDA receptors in the hippocampus. A 3-fold increase in the expression of the GluN2B subunit observed 24 h after PTZ-induced status epilepticus might be indicative of an increase in the proportion of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors. Increased expression of the GluN2B subunit may be a cause for reducing the magnitude of LTP at hippocampal synapses after status epilepticus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-24

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

  12. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejias, J. F.; Kappen, H. J.; Longtin, A.; Torres, J. J.

    2013-01-01

    We review some recent results on neural dynamics and information processing which arise when considering several biophysical factors of interest, in particular, short-term synaptic plasticity and neural heterogeneity. The inclusion of short-term synaptic plasticity leads to enhanced long-term memory capacities, a higher robustness of memory to noise, and irregularity in the duration of the so-called up cortical states. On the other hand, considering some level of neural heterogeneity in neuron models allows neural systems to optimize information transmission in rate coding and temporal coding, two strategies commonly used by neurons to codify information in many brain areas. In all these studies, analytical approximations can be made to explain the underlying dynamics of these neural systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-12-15

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

  17. Secreted factors as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M; Umemori, Hisashi

    2010-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eFassio

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, Thomas; Bullmann, Torsten

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica L. Gorenberg

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y W; Bayliss, D A

    1998-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lücke, Jörg

    2012-01-01

    Feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling are important adaptive processes that control the total input a neuron can receive from its afferents. While often studied in isolation, the two have been reported to co-occur in various brain regions. The functional implications of their interactions remain unclear, however. Based on a probabilistic modeling approach, we show here that fast feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling interact synergistically during unsupervised learning. In technical terms, we model the input to a neural circuit using a normalized mixture model with Poisson noise. We demonstrate analytically and numerically that, in the presence of lateral inhibition introducing competition between different neurons, Hebbian plasticity and synaptic scaling approximate the optimal maximum likelihood solutions for this model. Our results suggest that, beyond its conventional use as a mechanism to remove undesired pattern variations, input normalization can make typical neural interaction and learning rules optimal on the stimulus subspace defined through feedforward inhibition. Furthermore, learning within this subspace is more efficient in practice, as it helps avoid locally optimal solutions. Our results suggest a close connection between feedforward inhibition and synaptic scaling which may have important functional implications for general cortical processing. PMID:22457610

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-28

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

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

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    DiAntonio Aaron

    2007-08-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Burlakov, V. M.

    2012-01-10

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

  11. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

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

  12. Role for astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors in gliotransmission and control of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex

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    Yuriy ePankratov

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Communication between neuronal and glial cells is thought to be very important for many brain functions. Acting via release of gliotransmitters, astrocytes can modulate synaptic strength. The mechanisms underlying gliotransmission remain uncertain with exocytosis being the most intriguing and debated pathway.We demonstrate that astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors are very sensitive to noradrenaline and make a significant contribution to intracellular Ca2+-signalling in layer 2/3 neocortical astrocytes. We also show that astroglial α1-adrenoreceptors are prone to desensitization upon prolonged exposure to noradrenaline.We show that within neocortical slices, α-1adrenoreceptors can activate vesicular release of ATP and D-serine from cortical astrocytes which initiate a burst of ATP receptor-mediated currents in adjacent pyramidal neurons. These purinergic currents can be inhibited by intracellular perfusion of astrocytes with Tetanus Toxin light chain, verifying their origin via astroglial exocytosis.We show that α1 adrenoreceptor-activated release of gliotransmitters is important for the induction of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex:long-term potentiation (LTP of neocortical excitatory synaptic potentials can be abolished by the selective α1-adrenoreceptor antagonist terazosin. We show that weak sub-threshold theta-burst stimulation can induce LTP when astrocytes are additionally activated by 1 μM noradrenaline. This facilitation is dependent on the activation of neuronal ATP receptors and is abolished in neocortical slices from dn-SNARE mice which have impaired glial exocytosis. Importantly, facilitation of LTP by noradrenaline can be significantly reduced by perfusion of individual astrocytes with Tetanus Toxin. Our results strongly support the physiological importance of astroglial adrenergic signalling and exocytosis of gliotransmitters for modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity .

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

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    Schrader Angela

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiaohong; Gu, Ting; Shen, Qiaoqiao

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-10

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

  16. Exogenous α-synuclein hinders synaptic communication in cultured cortical primary rat neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassink, G C; Raiss, C C; Segers-Nolten, I M J; van Wezel, R J A; Subramaniam, V; le Feber, J; Claessens, M M A E

    2018-01-01

    Amyloid aggregates of the protein α-synuclein (αS) called Lewy Bodies (LB) and Lewy Neurites (LN) are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. We have previously shown that high extracellular αS concentrations can be toxic to cells and that neurons take up αS. Here we aimed to get more insight into the toxicity mechanism associated with high extracellular αS concentrations (50-100 μM). High extracellular αS concentrations resulted in a reduction of the firing rate of the neuronal network by disrupting synaptic transmission, while the neuronal ability to fire action potentials was still intact. Furthermore, many cells developed αS deposits larger than 500 nm within five days, but otherwise appeared healthy. Synaptic dysfunction clearly occurred before the establishment of large intracellular deposits and neuronal death, suggesting that an excessive extracellular αS concentration caused synaptic failure and which later possibly contributed to neuronal death.

  17. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlevan, Cengiz; Sengupta, Anirvan

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yazmín Ramiro-Cortés

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

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

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    Mark S. Cooper

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    Veronica Bianchi

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

  2. Immunogold localization of serotonin within synaptic terminals in the rat mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liem, RSB; Copray, JCVM

    1996-01-01

    With the use of postembedding electron-microscopic immunogold cytochemistry, the vesicular distribution of serotonin within serotonergic synaptic terminals in the mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus was determined in order to obtain further insight into the mechanisms and function, significance of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hazem eToutounji

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Tuning synaptic transmission in the hippocampus by stress: The CRH system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuncai eChen

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available To enhance survival, an organism needs to remember--and learn from--threatening or stressful events. This fact necessitates the presence of mechanisms by which stress can influence synaptic transmission in brain regions, such as hippocampus, that subserve learning and memory. A major focus of this series of monographs is on the role and actions of adrenal-derived hormones, corticosteroids, and of brain-derived neurotransmitters, on synaptic function in the stressed hippocampus. Here we focus on the contribution of hippocampus-intrinsic, stress-activated CRH-CRH receptor signaling to the function and structure of hippocampal synapses. CRH is expressed in interneurons of adult hippocampus, and is released from axon terminals during stress. The peptide exerts time- and dose-dependent effects on learning and memory via modulation of synaptic function and plasticity. Whereas physiological levels of CRH, acting over seconds to minutes, augment memory processes, exposure to presumed severe-stress levels of the peptide results in spine retraction and loss of synapses over more protracted time-frames. Loss of dendritic spines (and hence of synapses takes place through actin cytoskeleton collapse downstream of CRHR1 receptors that reside within excitatory synapses on spine heads. Chronic exposure to stress levels of CRH may promote dying-back (atrophy of spine-carrying dendrites. Thus, the acute effects of CRH may contribute to stress-induced adaptive mechanisms, whereas chronic or excessive exposure to the peptide may promote learning problems and premature cognitive decline.

  5. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

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

  6. Deep brain stimulation of the amygdala alleviates fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Li; Huang, SiJia; Peng, BinBin; Ren, Jie; Tian, FuYing; Wang, Yan

    2014-07-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the amygdala has been demonstrated to modulate hyperactivity of the amygdala, which is responsible for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and thus might be used for the treatment of PTSD. However, the underlying mechanism of DBS of the amygdala in the modulation of the amygdala is unclear. The present study investigated the effects of DBS of the amygdala on synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to the amygdala, which is critical for the formation and storage of auditory fear memories, and fear memories. The results demonstrated that auditory fear conditioning increased single-pulse-evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the cortical-amygdala pathway. Furthermore, auditory fear conditioning decreased the induction of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, two neurophysiological models for studying short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, respectively, in the cortical-amygdala pathway. In addition, all these auditory fear conditioning-induced changes could be reversed by DBS of the amygdala. DBS of the amygdala also rescued auditory fear conditioning-induced enhancement of long-term retention of fear memory. These findings suggested that DBS of the amygdala alleviating fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory may underlie the neuromodulatory role of DBS of the amygdala in activities of the amygdala.

  7. Recent advances in understanding synaptic abnormalities in Rett syndrome [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Johnston

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome is an extremely disabling X-linked nervous system disorder that mainly affects girls in early childhood and causes autism-like behavior, severe intellectual disability, seizures, sleep disturbances, autonomic instability, and other disorders due to mutations in the MeCP2 (methyl CpG-binding protein 2 transcription factor. The disorder targets synapses and synaptic plasticity and has been shown to disrupt the balance between glutamate excitatory synapses and GABAergic inhibitory synapses. In fact, it can be argued that Rett syndrome is primarily a disorder of synaptic plasticity and that agents that can correct this imbalance may have beneficial effects on brain development. This review briefly summarizes the link between disrupted synaptic plasticity mechanisms and Rett syndrome and early clinical trials that aim to target these abnormalities to improve the outcome for these severely disabled children.

  8. Robust Synchronization in an E/I Network with Medium Synaptic Delay and High Level of Heterogeneity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han Fang; Wang Zhi-Jie; Gong Tao; Fan Hong

    2015-01-01

    It is known that both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal networks can achieve robust synchronization only under certain conditions, such as long synaptic delay or low level of heterogeneity. In this work, robust synchronization can be found in an excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) neuronal network with medium synaptic delay and high level of heterogeneity, which often occurs in real neuronal networks. Two effects of post-synaptic potentials (PSP) to network synchronization are presented, and the synaptic contribution of excitatory and inhibitory neurons to robust synchronization in this E/I network is investigated. It is found that both excitatory and inhibitory neurons may contribute to robust synchronization in E/I networks, especially the excitatory PSP has a more positive effect on synchronization in E/I networks than that in excitatory networks. This may explain the strong robustness of synchronization in E/I neuronal networks. (paper)

  9. Reduced sensory synaptic excitation impairs motor neuron function via Kv2.1 in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Emily V; Simon, Christian M; Pagiazitis, John G; Chalif, Joshua I; Vukojicic, Aleksandra; Drobac, Estelle; Wang, Xiaojian; Mentis, George Z

    2017-07-01

    Behavioral deficits in neurodegenerative diseases are often attributed to the selective dysfunction of vulnerable neurons via cell-autonomous mechanisms. Although vulnerable neurons are embedded in neuronal circuits, the contributions of their synaptic partners to disease process are largely unknown. Here we show that, in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a reduction in proprioceptive synaptic drive leads to motor neuron dysfunction and motor behavior impairments. In SMA mice or after the blockade of proprioceptive synaptic transmission, we observed a decrease in the motor neuron firing that could be explained by the reduction in the expression of the potassium channel Kv2.1 at the surface of motor neurons. Chronically increasing neuronal activity pharmacologically in vivo led to a normalization of Kv2.1 expression and an improvement in motor function. Our results demonstrate a key role of excitatory synaptic drive in shaping the function of motor neurons during development and the contribution of its disruption to a neurodegenerative disease.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Controllable SET process in O-Ti-Sb-Te based phase change memory for synaptic application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Kun; Li, Ruiheng; Chen, Xin; Wang, Yong; Shen, Jiabin; Xia, Mengjiao; Lv, Shilong; Ji, Zhenguo; Song, Zhitang

    2018-02-01

    The nonlinear resistance change and small bit resolution of phase change memory (PCM) under identical operation pulses will limit its performance as a synaptic device. The octahedral Ti-Te units in Ti-Sb-Te, regarded as nucleation seeds, are degenerated when Ti is bonded with O, causing a slower crystallization and a controllable SET process in PCM cells. A linear resistance change under identical pulses, a resolution of ˜8 bits, and an ON/OFF ratio of ˜102 has been achieved in O-Ti-Sb-Te based PCM, showing its potential application as a synaptic device to improve recognition performance of the neural network.

  13. Synaptic Homeostasis and Allostasis in the Dentate Gyrus Caused by Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain Conditions

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    Rui-Rui Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been generally accepted that pain can cause imbalance between excitation and inhibition (homeostasis at the synaptic level. However, it remains poorly understood how this imbalance (allostasis develops in the CNS under different pain conditions. Here, we analyzed the changes in both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and modulation of the dentate gyrus (DG under two pain conditions with different etiology and duration. First, it was revealed that the functions of the input-output (I/O curves for evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs following the perforant path (PP stimulation were gained under both acute inflammatory and chronic neuropathic pain conditions relative to the controls. However, the functions of I/O curves for the PP-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (eIPSCs differed between the two conditions, namely it was greatly gained under inflammatory condition, but was reduced under neuropathic condition in reverse. Second, both the frequency and amplitude of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs were increased under inflammatory condition, however a decrease in frequency of mIPSCs was observed under neuropathic condition. Finally, the spike discharge of the DG granule cells in response to current injection was significantly increased by neuropathic pain condition, however, no different change was found between inflammatory pain condition and the control. These results provide another line of evidence showing homeostatic and allostatic modulation of excitatory synaptic transmission by inhibitory controls under different pathological pain conditions, hence implicating use of different therapeutic approaches to maintain the homeostasis between excitation and inhibition while treating different conditions of pathological pain.

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

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    Harish Babu

    2009-09-01

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

  15. Identification of dorsal root synaptic terminals on monkey ventral horn cells by electron microscopic autoradiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ralston, H.J.; Ralston, D.D.

    1979-01-01

    The projection of dorsal root fibres to the motor nucleus of the macaque monkey spinal cord has been examined utilizing light and electron microscopic autoradiography. Light microscopy demonstrates a very sparse labelling of primary afferent fibres in the ventral horn. Silver grains overlying radioactive sources are frequently clustered into small groups, often adjacent to dendritic profiles. Under the electron microscope, myelinated axons and a few large synaptic profiles containing rounded synaptic vesicles were overlain by numerous silver grains. These labelled profiles made synaptic contact with dendrites 1 - 3 micrometers in diameter. The labelled profiles did not contact cell bodies or large proximal dendrites of ventral horn neutrons. Frequently, small synaptic profiles containing flattened vesicles were presynaptic to the large labelled terminals and it is suggested that these axoaxonal synapses may mediate presynaptic inhibition of the primary afferent fibres. The relationship of the present findings to previously published physiological and anatomical studies is discussed. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tönnies, Eric; Trushina, Eugenia

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Synaptic Plasticity in the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis: Underlying Mechanisms and Potential Ramifications for Reinstatement of Drug- and Alcohol-Seeking Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Nicholas A; Winder, Danny G

    2018-06-13

    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is a component of the extended amygdala that shows significant changes in activity and plasticity through chronic exposure to drugs and stress. The region is critical for stress- and cue-induced reinstatement of drug-seeking behaviors and is thus a candidate region for the plastic changes that occur in abstinence that prime addicted patients for reinstatement behaviors. Here, we discuss the various forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in the rodent BNST and highlight the way that these changes in excitatory transmission interact with exposure to alcohol and other drugs of abuse, as well as other stressors. In addition, we highlight potential areas for future research in this area, including investigating input- and cell-specific bidirectional changes in activity. As we continue to accrue foundational knowledge in the mechanisms and effects of plasticity in the BNST, molecular targets and treatment strategies that are relevant to reinstatement behaviors will also begin to emerge. Here, we briefly discuss the effects of catecholamine receptor modulators on synaptic plasticity in the BNST due to the role of norepinephrine in LTD and dopamine on the short-term component of LTP as well as the role that signaling at these receptors plays in reinstatement of drug- and alcohol-seeking behaviors. We hope that insights gained on the specific changes in plasticity that occur within the BNST during abstinence from alcohol and other drugs of abuse will provide insight into the biological underpinnings of relapse behavior in human addicts and inform future treatment modalities for addiction that tackle this complex biological problem.

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

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    Bardia F Behabadi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-10

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

  20. Synaptic dysfunction and altered excitability in C9ORF72 ALS/FTD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, Alexander; Sattler, Rita

    2018-02-14

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by a progressive degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons, resulting in fatal paralysis due to denervation of the muscle. Due to genetic, pathological and symptomatic overlap, ALS is now considered a spectrum disease together with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second most common cause of dementia in individuals under the age of 65. Interestingly, in both diseases, there is a large prevalence of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) that are mutated and considered disease-causing, or whose dysfunction contribute to disease pathogenesis. The most common shared genetic mutation in ALS/FTD is a hexanucleuotide repeat expansion within intron 1 of C9ORF72 (C9). Three potentially overlapping, putative toxic mechanisms have been proposed: loss of function due to haploinsufficient expression of the C9ORF72 mRNA, gain of function of the repeat RNA aggregates, or RNA foci, and repeat-associated non-ATG-initiated translation (RAN) of the repeat RNA into toxic dipeptide repeats (DPRs). Regardless of the causative mechanism, disease symptoms are ultimately caused by a failure of neurotransmission in three regions: the brain, the spinal cord, and the neuromuscular junction. Here, we review C9 ALS/FTD-associated synaptic dysfunction and aberrant neuronal excitability in these three key regions, focusing on changes in morphology and synapse formation, excitability, and excitotoxicity in patients, animal models, and in vitro models. We compare these deficits to those seen in other forms of ALS and FTD in search of shared pathways, and discuss the potential targeting of synaptic dysfunctions for therapeutic intervention in ALS and FTD patients. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Neuronal pentraxin 1: A synaptic-derived plasma biomarker in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Qiu-Lan; Teng, Edmond; Zuo, Xiaohong; Jones, Mychica; Teter, Bruce; Zhao, Evan Y; Zhu, Cansheng; Bilousova, Tina; Gylys, Karen H; Apostolova, Liana G; LaDu, Mary Jo; Hossain, Mir Ahamed; Frautschy, Sally A; Cole, Gregory M

    2018-06-01

    Synaptic neurodegeneration is thought to be an early event initiated by soluble β-amyloid (Aβ) aggregates that closely correlates with cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease (AD). Apolipoprotein ε4 (APOE4) is the most common genetic risk factor for both familial AD (FAD) and sporadic AD; it accelerates Aβ aggregation and selectively impairs glutamate receptor function and synaptic plasticity. However, its molecular mechanisms remain elusive and these synaptic deficits are difficult to monitor. AD- and APOE4-dependent plasma biomarkers have been proposed, but synapse-related plasma biomarkers are lacking. We evaluated neuronal pentraxin 1 (NP1), a potential CNS-derived plasma biomarker of excitatory synaptic pathology. NP1 is preferentially expressed in brain and involved in glutamate receptor internalization. NP1 is secreted presynaptically induced by Aβ oligomers, and implicated in excitatory synaptic and mitochondrial deficits. Levels of NP1 and its fragments were increased in a correlated fashion in both brain and plasma of 7-8 month-old E4FAD mice relative to E3FAD mice. NP1 was also found in exosome preparations and reduced by dietary DHA supplementation. Plasma NP1 was higher in E4FAD+ (APOE4 +/+ /FAD +/- ) relative to E4FAD- (non-carrier; APOE4 +/+ /FAD -/- ) mice, suggesting NP1 is modulated by Aβ expression. Finally, relative to normal elderly, plasma NP1 was also elevated in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and elevated further in the subset who progressed to early-stage AD. In those patients, there was a trend towards increased NP1 levels in APOE4 carriers relative to non-carriers. These findings indicate that NP1 may represent a potential synapse-derived plasma biomarker relevant to early alterations in excitatory synapses in MCI and early-stage AD. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

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    Aile evan Huijstee

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  6. Chelation of hippocampal zinc enhances long-term potentiation and synaptic tagging/capture in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged rats: implications to aging and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shetty, Mahesh Shivarama; Sharma, Mahima; Sajikumar, Sreedharan

    2017-02-01

    Aging is associated with decline in cognitive functions, prominently in the memory consolidation and association capabilities. Hippocampus plays a crucial role in the formation and maintenance of long-term associative memories, and a significant body of evidence shows that impairments in hippocampal function correlate with aging-related memory loss. A number of studies have implicated alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), in age-related cognitive decline although exact mechanisms underlying are not completely clear. Zinc deficiency and the resultant adverse effects on cognition have been well studied. However, the role of excess of zinc in synaptic plasticity, especially in aging, is not addressed well. Here, we have investigated the hippocampal zinc levels and the impairments in synaptic plasticity, such as LTP and synaptic tagging and capture (STC), in the CA1 region of acute hippocampal slices from 82- to 84-week-old male Wistar rats. We report increased zinc levels in the hippocampus of aged rats and also deficits in the tetani-induced and dopaminergic agonist-induced late-LTP and STC. The observed deficits in synaptic plasticity were restored upon chelation of zinc using a cell-permeable chelator. These data suggest that functional plasticity and associativity can be successfully established in aged neural networks by chelating zinc with cell-permeable chelating agents. © 2016 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

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    Melanie A Samuel

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

  8. Hyperforin inhibits vesicular uptake of monoamines by dissipating pH gradient across synaptic vesicle membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roz, Netta; Rehavi, Moshe

    2003-06-13

    Extracts of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) have antidepressant properties in depressed patients and exert antidepressant-like action in laboratory animals. The phloroglucinol derivative hyperforin has become a topic of interest, as this Hypericum component is a potent inhibitor of monoamines reuptake. The molecular mechanism by which hyperforin inhibits monoamines uptake is yet unclear. In the present study we try to clarify the mechanism by which hyperforin inhibits the synaptic vesicle transport of monoamines. The pH gradient across the synaptic vesicle membrane, induced by vacuolar type H(+)-ATPase, is the major driving force for vesicular monoamines uptake and storage. We suggest that hyperforin, like the protonophore FCCP, dissipates an existing Delta pH generated by an efflux of inwardly pumped protons. Proton transport was measured by acridine orange fluorescence quenching. Adding Mg-ATP to a medium containing 130 mM KCl and synaptic vesicles caused an immediate decrease in fluorescence of acridine orange and the addition of 1 microM FCCP abolished this effect. H(+)-ATPase dependent proton pumping was inhibited by hyperforin in a dose dependent manner (IC(50) = 1.9 x 10(-7) M). Hyperforin acted similarly to the protonophore FCCP, abolishing the ATP induced fluorescence quenching (IC(50) = 4.3 x 10(-7) M). Hyperforin and FCCP had similar potencies for inhibiting rat brain synaptosomal uptake of [3H]monoamines as well as vesicular monoamine uptake. The efflux of [3H]5HT from synaptic vesicles was sensitive to both drugs, thus 50% of preloaded [3H]5HT was released in the presence of 2.1 x 10(-7) M FCCP and 4 x 10(-7) M hyperforin. The effect of hyperforin on the pH gradient in synaptic vesicle membrane may explain its inhibitory effect on monoamines uptake, but could only partially explain its antidepressant properties.

  9. A Computational Model to Investigate Astrocytic Glutamate Uptake Influence on Synaptic Transmission and Neuronal Spiking

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    Sushmita Lakshmi Allam

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decades, our view of astrocytes has switched from passive support cells to active processing elements in the brain. The current view is that astrocytes shape neuronal communication and also play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the growing awareness of the importance of astrocytes, the exact mechanisms underlying neuron-astrocyte communication and the physiological consequences of astrocytic-neuronal interactions remain largely unclear. In this work, we define a modeling framework that will permit to address unanswered questions regarding the role of astrocytes. Our computational model of a detailed glutamatergic synapse facilitates the analysis of neural system responses to various stimuli and conditions that are otherwise difficult to obtain experimentally, in particular the readouts at the sub-cellular level. In this paper, we extend a detailed glutamatergic synaptic model, to include astrocytic glutamate transporters. We demonstrate how these glial transporters, responsible for the majority of glutamate uptake, modulate synaptic transmission mediated by ionotropic AMPA and NMDA receptors at glutamatergic synapses. Furthermore, we investigate how these local signaling effects at the synaptic level are translated into varying spatio-temporal patterns of neuron firing. Paired pulse stimulation results reveal that the effect of astrocytic glutamate uptake is more apparent when the input inter-spike interval is sufficiently long to allow the receptors to recover from desensitization. These results suggest an important functional role of astrocytes in spike timing dependent processes and demand further investigation of the molecular basis of certain neurological diseases specifically related to alterations in astrocytic glutamate uptake, such as epilepsy.

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

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    Gleb eBarmashenko

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Damage mechanisms in PBT-GF30 under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schaaf, A.; De Monte, M.; Hoffmann, C.; Vormwald, M.; Quaresimin, M.

    2014-01-01

    The scope of this paper is the investigation of damage mechanisms at microscopic scale on a short glass fiber reinforced polybutylene terephthalate (PBT-GF30) under thermo-mechanical cyclic loading. In addition the principal mechanisms are verified through micro mechanical FE models. In order to investigate the fatigue behavior of the material both isothermal strain controlled fatigue (ISCF) tests at three different temperatures and thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF) tests were conducted on plain and notched specimens, manufactured by injection molding. The goal of the work is to determine the damage mechanisms occurring under TMF conditions and to compare them with the mechanisms occurring under ISCF. For this reason fracture surfaces of TMF and ISCF samples loaded at different temperature levels were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, specimens that failed under TMF were examined on microsections revealing insight into both crack initiation and crack propagation. The findings of this investigation give valuable information about the main damage mechanisms of PBT-GF30 under TMF loading and serve as basis for the development of a TMF life estimation methodology

  12. A novel role of dendritic gap junction and mechanisms underlying its interaction with thalamocortical conductance in fast spiking inhibitory neurons

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    Sun Qian-Quan

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about the roles of dendritic gap junctions (GJs of inhibitory interneurons in modulating temporal properties of sensory induced responses in sensory cortices. Electrophysiological dual patch-clamp recording and computational simulation methods were used in combination to examine a novel role of GJs in sensory mediated feed-forward inhibitory responses in barrel cortex layer IV and its underlying mechanisms. Results Under physiological conditions, excitatory post-junctional potentials (EPJPs interact with thalamocortical (TC inputs within an unprecedented few milliseconds (i.e. over 200 Hz to enhance the firing probability and synchrony of coupled fast-spiking (FS cells. Dendritic GJ coupling allows fourfold increase in synchrony and a significant enhancement in spike transmission efficacy in excitatory spiny stellate cells. The model revealed the following novel mechanisms: 1 rapid capacitive current (Icap underlies the activation of voltage-gated sodium channels; 2 there was less than 2 milliseconds in which the Icap underlying TC input and EPJP was coupled effectively; 3 cells with dendritic GJs had larger input conductance and smaller membrane response to weaker inputs; 4 synchrony in inhibitory networks by GJ coupling leads to reduced sporadic lateral inhibition and increased TC transmission efficacy. Conclusion Dendritic GJs of neocortical inhibitory networks can have very powerful effects in modulating the strength and the temporal properties of sensory induced feed-forward inhibitory and excitatory responses at a very high frequency band (>200 Hz. Rapid capacitive currents are identified as main mechanisms underlying interaction between two transient synaptic conductances.

  13. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF FEAR LEARNING AND MEMORY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P.; Cain, Christopher K.; Ostroff, Linnaea E.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Together, this research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals, and potentially for understanding fear related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. PMID:22036561

  15. Molecular mechanisms of fear learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, Joshua P; Cain, Christopher K; Ostroff, Linnaea E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2011-10-28

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a particularly useful behavioral paradigm for exploring the molecular mechanisms of learning and memory because a well-defined response to a specific environmental stimulus is produced through associative learning processes. Synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) underlies this form of associative learning. Here, we summarize the molecular mechanisms that contribute to this synaptic plasticity in the context of auditory fear conditioning, the form of fear conditioning best understood at the molecular level. We discuss the neurotransmitter systems and signaling cascades that contribute to three phases of auditory fear conditioning: acquisition, consolidation, and reconsolidation. These studies suggest that multiple intracellular signaling pathways, including those triggered by activation of Hebbian processes and neuromodulatory receptors, interact to produce neural plasticity in the LA and behavioral fear conditioning. Collectively, this body of research illustrates the power of fear conditioning as a model system for characterizing the mechanisms of learning and memory in mammals and potentially for understanding fear-related disorders, such as PTSD and phobias. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

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

  17. The computational power of astrocyte mediated synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogier eMin

    2012-11-01

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

  18. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

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

  19. The antidepressant tianeptine reverts synaptic AMPA receptor defects caused by deficiency of CDKL5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tramarin, Marco; Rusconi, Laura; Pizzamiglio, Lara; Barbiero, Isabella; Peroni, Diana; Scaramuzza, Linda; Guilliams, Tim; Cavalla, David; Antonucci, Flavia; Kilstrup-Nielsen, Charlotte

    2018-06-15

    Mutations in the X-linked cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene cause a complex neurological disorder, characterized by infantile seizures, impairment of cognitive and motor skills and autistic features. Loss of Cdkl5 in mice affects dendritic spine maturation and dynamics but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still far from fully understood. Here we show that Cdkl5 deficiency in primary hippocampal neurons leads to deranged expression of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-iso-xazole propionic acid receptors (AMPA-R). In particular, a dramatic reduction of expression of the GluA2 subunit occurs concomitantly with its hyper-phosphorylation on Serine 880 and increased ubiquitination. Consequently, Cdkl5 silencing skews the composition of membrane-inserted AMPA-Rs towards the GluA2-lacking calcium-permeable form. Such derangement is likely to contribute, at least in part, to the altered synaptic functions and cognitive impairment linked to loss of Cdkl5. Importantly, we find that tianeptine, a cognitive enhancer and antidepressant drug, known to recruit and stabilise AMPA-Rs at the synaptic sites, can normalise the expression of membrane inserted AMPA-Rs as well as the number of PSD-95 clusters, suggesting its therapeutic potential for patients with mutations in CDKL5.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-05

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

  2. Frequency dependent changes in NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arvind eKumar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity is thought to mediate several forms of learning, and can be induced by spike trains containing a small number of spikes occurring with varying rates and timing, as well as with oscillations. We computed the influence of these variables on the plasticity induced at a single NMDAR containing synapse using a reduced model that was analytically tractable, and these findings were confirmed using detailed, multi-compartment model. In addition to explaining diverse experimental results about the rate and timing dependence of synaptic plasticity, the model made several novel and testable predictions. We found that there was a preferred frequency for inducing long-term potentiation (LTP such that higher frequency stimuli induced lesser LTP, decreasing as 1/f when the number of spikes in the stimulus was kept fixed. Among other things, the preferred frequency for inducing LTP varied as a function of the distance of the synapse from the soma. In fact, same stimulation frequencies could induce LTP or LTD depending on the dendritic location of the synapse. Next, we found that rhythmic stimuli induced greater plasticity then irregular stimuli. Furthermore, brief bursts of spikes significantly expanded the timing dependence of plasticity. Finally, we found that in the ~5-15Hz frequency range both rate- and timing-dependent plasticity mechanisms work synergistically to render the synaptic plasticity most sensitive to spike-timing. These findings provide computational evidence that oscillations can have a profound influence on the plasticity of an NMDAR-dependent synapse, and show a novel role for the dendritic morphology in this process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-29

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

  4. The Impact of Stimulation Induced Short Term Synaptic Plasticity on Firing Patterns in the Globus Pallidus of the Rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenia eBugaysen

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Electrical stimulation in the globus pallidus (GP leads to complex modulations of neuronal activity in the stimulated nucleus. Multiple in-vivo studies have demonstrated the modulation of both firing rates and patterns during and immediately following the GP stimulation. Previous in-vitro studies, together with computational studies, have suggested the involvement of short-term synaptic plasticity (STP during the stimulation. The aim of the current study was to explore in-vitro the effects of STP on neuronal activity of GP neurons during local repetitive stimulation. We recorded synaptic potentials and assessed the modulations of spontaneous firing in a postsynaptic neuron in acute brain slices via a whole-cell pipette. Low-frequency repetitive stimulation locked the firing of the neuron to the stimulus. However, high-frequency repetitive stimulation in the GP generated a biphasic modulation of the firing frequency consisting of inhibitory and excitatory phases. Using blockers of synaptic transmission, we show that GABAergic synapses mediated the inhibitory and glutamatergic synapses the excitatory part of the response. Furthermore, we report that at high stimulation frequencies both types of synapses undergo short-term depression leading to a time dependent modulation of the neuronal firing. These findings indicate that STP modulates the dynamic responses of pallidal activity during electrical stimulation, and may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS like protocols.

  5. Regulation of gene expression and pain states by epigenetic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Géranton, Sandrine M; Tochiki, Keri K

    2015-01-01

    The induction of inflammatory or neuropathic pain states is known to involve molecular activity in the spinal superficial dorsal horn and dorsal root ganglia, including intracellular signaling events which lead to changes in gene expression. These changes ultimately cause alterations in macromolecular synthesis, synaptic transmission, and structural architecture which support central sensitization, a process required for the establishment of long-term pain states. Epigenetic mechanisms are essential for long-term synaptic plasticity and modulation of gene expression. This is because epigenetic modifications are known to regulate gene transcription by aiding the physical relaxation or condensation of chromatin. These processes are therefore potential regulators of the molecular changes underlying permanent pain states. A handful of studies have emerged in the field of pain epigenetics; however, the field is still very much in its infancy. This chapter draws upon other specialities which have extensively investigated epigenetic mechanisms, such as learning and memory and oncology. After defining epigenetics as well as the recent field of "neuroepigenetics" and the main molecular mechanisms involved, this chapter describes the role of these mechanisms in the synaptic plasticity seen in learning and memory, and address those epigenetic mechanisms that have been linked with the development of acute and prolonged pain states. Finally, the idea that long-lasting epigenetic modifications could contribute to the transition from acute to chronic pain states by supporting maladaptive molecular changes is discussed. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines eHristovska

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Amyloid-β Homeostasis Bridges Inflammation, Synaptic Plasticity Deficits and Cognitive Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stampanoni Bassi, Mario; Garofalo, Sara; Marfia, Girolama A; Gilio, Luana; Simonelli, Ilaria; Finardi, Annamaria; Furlan, Roberto; Sancesario, Giulia M; Di Giandomenico, Jonny; Storto, Marianna; Mori, Francesco; Centonze, Diego; Iezzi, Ennio

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive deficits are frequently observed in multiple sclerosis (MS), mainly involving processing speed and episodic memory. Both demyelination and gray matter atrophy can contribute to cognitive deficits in MS. In recent years, neuroinflammation is emerging as a new factor influencing clinical course in MS. Inflammatory cytokines induce synaptic dysfunction in MS. Synaptic plasticity occurring within hippocampal structures is considered as one of the basic physiological mechanisms of learning and memory. In experimental models of MS, hippocampal plasticity is profoundly altered by proinflammatory cytokines. Although mechanisms of inflammation-induced hippocampal pathology in MS are not completely understood, alteration of Amyloid-β (Aβ) metabolism is emerging as a key factor linking together inflammation, synaptic plasticity and neurodegeneration in different neurological diseases. We explored the correlation between concentrations of Aβ 1-42 and the levels of some proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL1-ra, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interferon γ (IFNγ)) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 103 remitting MS patients. CSF levels of Aβ 1-42 were negatively correlated with the proinflammatory cytokine IL-8 and positively correlated with the anti-inflammatory molecules IL-10 and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra). Other correlations, although noticeable, were either borderline or not significant. Our data show that an imbalance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines may lead to altered Aβ homeostasis, representing a key factor linking together inflammation, synaptic plasticity and cognitive dysfunction in MS. This could be relevant to identify novel therapeutic approaches to hinder the progression of cognitive dysfunction in MS.

  10. Amyloid-β Homeostasis Bridges Inflammation, Synaptic Plasticity Deficits and Cognitive Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Stampanoni Bassi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive deficits are frequently observed in multiple sclerosis (MS, mainly involving processing speed and episodic memory. Both demyelination and gray matter atrophy can contribute to cognitive deficits in MS. In recent years, neuroinflammation is emerging as a new factor influencing clinical course in MS. Inflammatory cytokines induce synaptic dysfunction in MS. Synaptic plasticity occurring within hippocampal structures is considered as one of the basic physiological mechanisms of learning and memory. In experimental models of MS, hippocampal plasticity is profoundly altered by proinflammatory cytokines. Although mechanisms of inflammation-induced hippocampal pathology in MS are not completely understood, alteration of Amyloid-β (Aβ metabolism is emerging as a key factor linking together inflammation, synaptic plasticity and neurodegeneration in different neurological diseases. We explored the correlation between concentrations of Aβ1–42 and the levels of some proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β (IL-1β, IL1-ra, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα, interferon γ (IFNγ in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF of 103 remitting MS patients. CSF levels of Aβ1–42 were negatively correlated with the proinflammatory cytokine IL-8 and positively correlated with the anti-inflammatory molecules IL-10 and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra. Other correlations, although noticeable, were either borderline or not significant. Our data show that an imbalance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines may lead to altered Aβ homeostasis, representing a key factor linking together inflammation, synaptic plasticity and cognitive dysfunction in MS. This could be relevant to identify novel therapeutic approaches to hinder the progression of cognitive dysfunction in MS.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-06-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

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    Clarrisa A Bradley

    2012-02-01

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

  14. Citalopram Ameliorates Synaptic Plasticity Deficits in Different Cognition-Associated Brain Regions Induced by Social Isolation in Middle-Aged Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Wei-Gang; Wang, Yan-Juan; Zhou, Hong; Li, Xiao-Li; Bai, Feng; Ren, Qing-Guo; Zhang, Zhi-Jun

    2017-04-01

    Our previous experiments demonstrated that social isolation (SI) caused AD-like tau hyperphosphorylation and spatial memory deficits in middle-aged rats. However, the underlying mechanisms of SI-induced spatial memory deficits remain elusive. Middle-aged rats (10 months) were group or isolation reared for 8 weeks. Following the initial 4-week period of rearing, citalopram (10 mg/kg i.p.) was administered for 28 days. Then, pathophysiological changes were assessed by performing behavioral, biochemical, and pathological analyses. We found that SI could cause cognitive dysfunction and decrease synaptic protein (synaptophysin or PSD93) expression in different brain regions associated with cognition, such as the prefrontal cortex, dorsal hippocampus, ventral hippocampus, amygdala, and caudal putamen, but not in the entorhinal cortex or posterior cingulate. Citalopram could significantly improve learning and memory and partially restore synaptophysin or PSD93 expression in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala in SI rats. Moreover, SI decreased the number of dendritic spines in the prefrontal cortex, dorsal hippocampus, and ventral hippocampus, which could be reversed by citalopram. Furthermore, SI reduced the levels of BDNF, serine-473-phosphorylated Akt (active form), and serine-9-phosphorylated GSK-3β (inactive form) with no significant changes in the levels of total GSK-3β and Akt in the dorsal hippocampus, but not in the posterior cingulate. Our results suggest that decreased synaptic plasticity in cognition-associated regions might contribute to SI-induced cognitive deficits, and citalopram could ameliorate these deficits by promoting synaptic plasticity mainly in the prefrontal cortex, dorsal hippocampus, and ventral hippocampus. The BDNF/Akt/GSK-3β pathway plays an important role in regulating synaptic plasticity in SI rats.

  15. The taurine transporter substrate guanidinoethyl sulfonate mimics the action of taurine on long-term synaptic potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Luz M; Muñoz, María-Dolores; González, José C; Bustamante, Julián; Del Río, Rafael Martín; Solís, José M

    2016-11-01

    Taurine is especially abundant in rodent brain where it appears to be involved in osmoregulation and synaptic plasticity mechanisms. The demonstration of a physiological role for taurine has been hampered by the difficulty in modifying taurine levels in most tissues, including the brain. We used an experimental strategy to reduce taurine levels, involving treatment with guanidinoethyl sulfonate (GES), a structural analogue of taurine that, among other properties, acts as a competitive inhibitor of taurine transport. GES delivered in the drinking water of rats for 1 month effectively reduced taurine levels in brain structures (hippocampus, cerebellum and cortex) and outside the brain (heart, muscle, kidney, liver and plasma) by between 50 and 80 %, depending on the tissue. This partial taurine depletion did not affect either basal synaptic transmission or the late phase of long-term potentiation (late-LTP) in hippocampal slices. In vivo microdialysis studies in the hippocampus revealed that GES treatment reduced extracellular taurine levels and the magnitude of taurine released in response to the application of either N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) or a hypoosmotic solution, without affecting release mechanisms. Finally, we demonstrated in hippocampal slices that a brief GES application can mimic taurine action on the conversion of a decremental LTP into a perdurable late-LTP, concluding that GES might replace taurine function in some mechanisms such as those implicated in synaptic plasticity.

  16. Magnesium protects cognitive functions and synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer's model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Peng Xu

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP, dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayer, Stefanie N; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-02-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayer, Stefanie N.; Bading, Hilmar

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Human-Specific Cortical Synaptic Connections and Their Plasticity: Is That What Makes Us Human?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Lourenço

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available One outstanding difference between Homo sapiens and other mammals is the ability to perform highly complex cognitive tasks and behaviors, such as language, abstract thinking, and cultural diversity. How is this accomplished? According to one prominent theory, cognitive complexity is proportional to the repetition of specific computational modules over a large surface expansion of the cerebral cortex (neocortex. However, the human neocortex was shown to also possess unique features at the cellular and synaptic levels, raising the possibility that expanding the computational module is not the only mechanism underlying complex thinking. In a study published in PLOS Biology, Szegedi and colleagues analyzed a specific cortical circuit from live postoperative human tissue, showing that human-specific, very powerful excitatory connections between principal pyramidal neurons and inhibitory neurons are highly plastic. This suggests that exclusive plasticity of specific microcircuits might be considered among the mechanisms endowing the human neocortex with the ability to perform highly complex cognitive tasks.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-11-01

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

  2. Hydrodynamic flow in a synaptic cleft during exocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shneider, M N; Gimatdinov, R S; Skorinkin, A I; Kovyazina, I V; Nikolsky, E E

    2012-01-01

    It is shown that exocytosis in a chemical synapse may be accompanied by "microjet" formation due to the overpressure that exists in the vesicles. This mechanism may take place either at complete fusion of a vesicle with the presynaptic membrane or in the so-called kiss-and-run mode of neurotransmitter release. A simple hydrodynamic model of the viscous incompressible flow arising in the synaptic cleft is suggested. The occurrence of hydrodynamic flow (microjet) leads to more efficient transport of neurotransmitter than in the case of classical diffusive transport.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

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

  4. Synaptic long-term potentiation realized in Pavlov's dog model based on a NiOx-based memristor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, S. G.; Liu, Y.; Liu, Z.; Chen, T. P.; Yu, Q.; Deng, L. J.; Yin, Y.; Hosaka, Sumio

    2014-12-01

    Synaptic Long-Term Potentiation (LTP), which is a long-lasting enhancement in signal transmission between neurons, is widely considered as the major cellular mechanism during learning and memorization. In this work, a NiOx-based memristor is found to be able to emulate the synaptic LTP. Electrical conductance of the memristor is increased by electrical pulse stimulation and then spontaneously decays towards its initial state, which resembles the synaptic LTP. The lasting time of the LTP in the memristor can be estimated with the relaxation equation, which well describes the conductance decay behavior. The LTP effect of the memristor has a dependence on the stimulation parameters, including pulse height, width, interval, and number of pulses. An artificial network consisting of three neurons and two synapses is constructed to demonstrate the associative learning and LTP behavior in extinction of association in Pavlov's dog experiment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi eUeda

    2015-02-01

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

  6. Modulation of Long-term Potentiation of Cortico-amygdala Synaptic Responses and Auditory Fear Memory by Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid

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    Daisuke Yamada

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Converging evidence suggests that an imbalance of ω3 to ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA in the brain is involved in mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. We previously reported that the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA alters this ratio in the brain, and influences contextual fear memory. In addition to behavioral change, enhancement of cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated short-term synaptic plasticity and facilitation of the agonist sensitivity of CB1 receptors have been observed in excitatory synaptic responses in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. However, it is not known whether long-term synaptic plasticity in the amygdala is influenced by the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA. In the present study, we examined long-term potentiation (LTP of optogenetically–evoked excitatory synaptic responses in synapses between the terminal of the projection from the auditory cortex and the pyramidal cells in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We found that LTP in this pathway was attenuated in mice fed a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.97, compared with mice fed a diet with a low ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.14. Furthermore, mice in the former condition showed reduced fear responses in an auditory fear conditioning test, compared with mice in the latter condition. In both electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, the effect of a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio was completely blocked by treatment with a CB1 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, a significant reduction was observed in cholesterol content, but not in the level of an endogenous CB1 receptor agonist, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, in brain samples containing the amygdala. These results suggest that the balance of ω3 to ω6 PUFA has an impact on fear memory and cortico-amygdala synaptic plasticity, both in a CB1 receptor–dependent manner.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Synaptic Transmission Optimization Predicts Expression Loci of Long-Term Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Rui Ponte; Padamsey, Zahid; D'Amour, James A; Emptage, Nigel J; Froemke, Robert C; Vogels, Tim P

    2017-09-27

    Long-term modifications of neuronal connections are critical for reliable memory storage in the brain. However, their locus of expression-pre- or postsynaptic-is highly variable. Here we introduce a theoretical framework in which long-term plasticity performs an optimization of the postsynaptic response statistics toward a given mean with minimal variance. Consequently, the state of the synapse at the time of plasticity induction determines the ratio of pre- and postsynaptic modifications. Our theory explains the experimentally observed expression loci of the hippocampal and neocortical synaptic potentiation studies we examined. Moreover, the theory predicts presynaptic expression of long-term depression, consistent with experimental observations. At inhibitory synapses, the theory suggests a statistically efficient excitatory-inhibitory balance in which changes in inhibitory postsynaptic response statistics specifically target the mean excitation. Our results provide a unifying theory for understanding the expression mechanisms and functions of long-term synaptic transmission plasticity. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2018-02-10

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

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

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    Akira Takashima

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

  12. The post-synaptic density of human postmortem brain tissues: an experimental study paradigm for neuropsychiatric illnesses.

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    Chang-Gyu Hahn

    Full Text Available Recent molecular genetics studies have suggested various trans-synaptic processes for pathophysiologic mechanisms of neuropsychiatric illnesses. Examination of pre- and post-synaptic scaffolds in the brains of patients would greatly aid further investigation, yet such an approach in human postmortem tissue has yet to be tested. We have examined three methods using density gradient based purification of synaptosomes followed by detergent extraction (Method 1 and the pH based differential extraction of synaptic membranes (Methods 2 and 3. All three methods separated fractions from human postmortem brains that were highly enriched in typical PSD proteins, almost to the exclusion of pre-synaptic proteins. We examined these fractions using electron microscopy (EM and verified the integrity of the synaptic membrane and PSD fractions derived from human postmortem brain tissues. We analyzed protein composition of the PSD fractions using two dimensional liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (2D LC-MS/MS and observed known PSD proteins by mass spectrometry. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblot studies revealed that expected protein-protein interactions and certain posttranscriptional modulations were maintained in PSD fractions. Our results demonstrate that PSD fractions can be isolated from human postmortem brain tissues with a reasonable degree of integrity. This approach may foster novel postmortem brain research paradigms in which the stoichiometry and protein composition of specific microdomains are examined.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhan-chi Zhang

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-13

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinyan Cao

    2018-04-01

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

  18. A CNS-permeable Hsp90 inhibitor rescues synaptic dysfunction and memory loss in APP-overexpressing Alzheimer's mouse model via an HSF1-mediated mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, B; Liu, Y; Huang, L; Chen, J; Li, J J; Wang, R; Kim, E; Chen, Y; Justicia, C; Sakata, K; Chen, H; Planas, A; Ostrom, R S; Li, W; Yang, G; McDonald, M P; Chen, R; Heck, D H; Liao, F-F

    2017-07-01

    Induction of neuroprotective heat-shock proteins via pharmacological Hsp90 inhibitors is currently being investigated as a potential treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. Two major hurdles for therapeutic use of Hsp90 inhibitors are systemic toxicity and limited central nervous system permeability. We demonstrate here that chronic treatment with a proprietary Hsp90 inhibitor compound (OS47720) not only elicits a heat-shock-like response but also offers synaptic protection in symptomatic Tg2576 mice, a model of Alzheimer's disease, without noticeable systemic toxicity. Despite a short half-life of OS47720 in mouse brain, a single intraperitoneal injection induces rapid and long-lasting (>3 days) nuclear activation of the heat-shock factor, HSF1. Mechanistic study indicates that the remedial effects of OS47720 depend upon HSF1 activation and the subsequent HSF1-mediated transcriptional events on synaptic genes. Taken together, this work reveals a novel role of HSF1 in synaptic function and memory, which likely occurs through modulation of the synaptic transcriptome.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-23

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

  1. Depotentiation from potentiated synaptic strength in a tristable system of coupled phosphatase and kinase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengjiao Chen

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic strength is strongly implicated in learning and memory. On the other hand, depotentiation, the reversal of synaptic strength from potentiated LTP state to the pre-LTP level, is required in extinction of the obsolete memory. A generic tristable system, which couples the phosphatase and kinase switches, exclusively explains how moderate and high elevation of intracellular calcium concentration triggers long-term depression (LTD and LTP, respectively. The present study, introducing calcium influx and calcium release from internal store into the tristable system, further show that significant elevation of cytoplasmic calcium concentration switches activation of both kinase and phosphatase to their basal states, thereby depotentiate the synaptic strength. A phase-plane analysis of the combined model was employed to explain the previously reported depotentiation in experiments and predict a threshold-like effect with calcium concentration. The results not only reveal a mechanism of NMDAR- and mGluR-dependent depotentiation, but also predict further experiments about the role of internal calcium store in induction of depotentiation and extinction of established memories.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-12

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

  3. Carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine, but not eslicarbazepine, enhance excitatory synaptic transmission onto hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells through an antagonist action at adenosine A1 receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booker, Sam A; Pires, Nuno; Cobb, Stuart; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício; Vida, Imre

    2015-06-01

    This study assessed the anticonvulsant and seizure generation effects of carbamazepine (CBZ), oxcarbazepine (OXC) and eslicarbazepine (S-Lic) in wild-type mice. Electrophysiological recordings were made to discriminate potential cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying anti- and pro-epileptic actions. The anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant effects were evaluated in the MES, the 6-Hz and the Irwin tests. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were used to investigate the effects on fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1. The safety window for CBZ, OXC and eslicarbazepine (ED50 value against the MES test and the dose that produces grade 5 convulsions in all mice), was 6.3, 6.0 and 12.5, respectively. At high concentrations the three drugs reduced synaptic transmission. CBZ and OXC enhanced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) at low, therapeutically-relevant concentrations. These effects were associated with no change in inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) resulting in altered balance between excitation and inhibition. S-Lic had no effect on EPSC or IPSC amplitudes over the same concentration range. The CBZ mediated enhancement of EPSCs was blocked by DPCPX, a selective antagonist, and occluded by CCPA, a selective agonist of the adenosine A1 receptor. Furthermore, reduction of endogenous adenosine by application of the enzyme adenosine deaminase also abolished the CBZ- and OXC-induced increase of EPSCs, indicating that the two drugs act as antagonists at native adenosine receptors. In conclusion, CBZ and OXC possess pro-epileptic actions at clinically-relevant concentrations through the enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission. S-Lic by comparison has no such effect on synaptic transmission, explaining its lack of seizure exacerbation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Barbara; Minichiello, Liliana

    2013-10-18

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eZonta

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang-Bin Tang

    2017-08-01

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

  7. Amyloid precursor protein overexpression depresses excitatory transmission through both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Ting, Jonathan T.; Kelley, Brooke G.; Lambert, Talley J.; Cook, David G.; Sullivan, Jane M.

    2006-01-01

    Overexpression of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in hippocampal neurons leads to elevated β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) production and consequent depression of excitatory transmission. The precise mechanisms underlying APP-induced synaptic depression are poorly understood. Uncovering these mechanisms could provide insight into how neuronal function is compromised before cell death during the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Here we verify that APP up-regulation leads to depression of transm...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-11

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

  10. Defective glycinergic synaptic transmission in zebrafish motility mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiromi Hirata

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. SynapticDB, effective web-based management and sharing of data from serial section electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Bitao; Bourne, Jennifer; Harris, Kristen M

    2011-03-01

    Serial section electron microscopy (ssEM) is rapidly expanding as a primary tool to investigate synaptic circuitry and plasticity. The ultrastructural images collected through ssEM are content rich and their comprehensive analysis is beyond the capacity of an individual laboratory. Hence, sharing ultrastructural data is becoming crucial to visualize, analyze, and discover the structural basis of synaptic circuitry and function in the brain. We devised a web-based management system called SynapticDB (http://synapses.clm.utexas.edu/synapticdb/) that catalogues, extracts, analyzes, and shares experimental data from ssEM. The management strategy involves a library with check-in, checkout and experimental tracking mechanisms. We developed a series of spreadsheet templates (MS Excel, Open Office spreadsheet, etc) that guide users in methods of data collection, structural identification, and quantitative analysis through ssEM. SynapticDB provides flexible access to complete templates, or to individual columns with instructional headers that can be selected to create user-defined templates. New templates can also be generated and uploaded. Research progress is tracked via experimental note management and dynamic PDF forms that allow new investigators to follow standard protocols and experienced researchers to expand the range of data collected and shared. The combined use of templates and tracking notes ensures that the supporting experimental information is populated into the database and associated with the appropriate ssEM images and analyses. We anticipate that SynapticDB will serve future meta-analyses towards new discoveries about the composition and circuitry of neurons and glia, and new understanding about structural plasticity during development, behavior, learning, memory, and neuropathology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Intense synaptic activity enhances temporal resolution in spinal motoneurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luca A Finelli

    2008-04-01

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

  16. The quantum physics of synaptic communication via the SNARE protein complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiev, Danko D; Glazebrook, James F

    2018-07-01

    Twenty five years ago, Sir John Carew Eccles together with Friedrich Beck proposed a quantum mechanical model of neurotransmitter release at synapses in the human cerebral cortex. The model endorsed causal influence of human consciousness upon the functioning of synapses in the brain through quantum tunneling of unidentified quasiparticles that trigger the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles, thereby initiating the transmission of information from the presynaptic towards the postsynaptic neuron. Here, we provide a molecular upgrade of the Beck and Eccles model by identifying the quantum quasiparticles as Davydov solitons that twist the protein α-helices and trigger exocytosis of synaptic vesicles through helical zipping of the SNARE protein complex. We also calculate the observable probabilities for exocytosis based on the mass of this quasiparticle, along with the characteristics of the potential energy barrier through which tunneling is necessary. We further review the current experimental evidence in support of this novel bio-molecular model as presented. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt; Férézou, Isabelle; Pezet, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is a long-lasting debilitating condition that is particularly difficult to treat due to the lack of identified underlying mechanisms. Although several key contributing processes have been described at the level of the spinal cord, very few studies have investigated the supraspinal mechanisms underlying chronic pain. Using a combination of approaches (cortical intrinsic imaging, immunohistochemical and behavioural analysis), our study aimed to decipher the nature of functional and structural changes in a mouse model of orofacial neuropathic pain, focusing on cortical areas involved in various pain components. Our results show that chronic neuropathic orofacial pain is associated with decreased haemodynamic responsiveness to whisker stimulation in the barrel field cortex. This reduced functional activation is likely due to the increased basal neuronal activity (measured indirectly using cFos and phospho-ERK immunoreactivity) observed in several cortical areas, including the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. In the same animals, immunohistochemical analysis of markers for active pre- or postsynaptic elements (Piccolo and phospho-Cofilin, respectively) revealed an increased immunofluorescence in deep cortical layers of the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. These results suggest that long-lasting orofacial neuropathic pain is associated with exacerbated neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity at the cortical level.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah X. Luo

    2016-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    costs and information maximization is a potential principle for cortical circuit networks. We conducted numerical simulations and mathematical analysis to examine the energy efficiency of neural information transmission in a recurrent network as a function of the ratio of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connections. We obtained a general solution showing that there exists an optimal E/I synaptic ratio in a recurrent network at which the information transmission as well as the energy efficiency of this network achieves a global maximum. These results reflect general mechanisms for sensory coding processes, which may give insight into the energy efficiency of neural communication and coding.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shlaer, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

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

  2. Study of GABAergic extra-synaptic tonic inhibition in single neurons and neural populations by traversing neural scales: application to propofol-induced anaesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutt, Axel; Buhry, Laure

    2014-12-01

    Anaesthetic agents are known to affect extra-synaptic GABAergic receptors, which induce tonic inhibitory currents. Since these receptors are very sensitive to small concentrations of agents, they are supposed to play an important role in the underlying neural mechanism of general anaesthesia. Moreover anaesthetic agents modulate the encephalographic activity (EEG) of subjects and hence show an effect on neural populations. To understand better the tonic inhibition effect in single neurons on neural populations and hence how it affects the EEG, the work considers single neurons and neural populations in a steady-state and studies numerically and analytically the modulation of their firing rate and nonlinear gain with respect to different levels of tonic inhibition. We consider populations of both type-I (Leaky Integrate-and-Fire model) and type-II (Morris-Lecar model) neurons. To bridge the single neuron description to the population description analytically, a recently proposed statistical approach is employed which allows to derive new analytical expressions for the population firing rate for type-I neurons. In addition, the work shows the derivation of a novel transfer function for type-I neurons as considered in neural mass models and studies briefly the interaction of synaptic and extra-synaptic inhibition. We reveal a strong subtractive and divisive effect of tonic inhibition in type-I neurons, i.e. a shift of the firing rate to higher excitation levels accompanied by a change of the nonlinear gain. Tonic inhibition shortens the excitation window of type-II neurons and their populations while maintaining the nonlinear gain. The gained results are interpreted in the context of recent experimental findings under propofol-induced anaesthesia.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, J D; Milton, J G

    2001-08-01

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

  6. Iron mediates N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent stimulation of calcium-induced pathways and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Pablo; Humeres, Alexis; Elgueta, Claudio; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Hidalgo, Cecilia; Núñez, Marco T

    2011-04-15

    Iron deficiency hinders hippocampus-dependent learning processes and impairs cognitive performance, but current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms underlying the unique role of iron in neuronal function is sparse. Here, we investigated the participation of iron on calcium signal generation and ERK1/2 stimulation induced by the glutamate agonist N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), and the effects of iron addition/chelation on hippocampal basal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP). Addition of NMDA to primary hippocampal cultures elicited persistent calcium signals that required functional NMDA receptors and were independent of calcium influx through L-type calcium channels or α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors; NMDA also promoted ERK1/2 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. Iron chelation with desferrioxamine or inhibition of ryanodine receptor (RyR)-mediated calcium release with ryanodine-reduced calcium signal duration and prevented NMDA-induced ERK1/2 activation. Iron addition to hippocampal neurons readily increased the intracellular labile iron pool and stimulated reactive oxygen species production; the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine or the hydroxyl radical trapper MCI-186 prevented these responses. Iron addition to primary hippocampal cultures kept in calcium-free medium elicited calcium signals and stimulated ERK1/2 phosphorylation; RyR inhibition abolished these effects. Iron chelation decreased basal synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices, inhibited iron-induced synaptic stimulation, and impaired sustained LTP in hippocampal CA1 neurons induced by strong stimulation. In contrast, iron addition facilitated sustained LTP induction after suboptimal tetanic stimulation. Together, these results suggest that hippocampal neurons require iron to generate RyR-mediated calcium signals after NMDA receptor stimulation, which in turn promotes ERK1/2 activation, an essential step of sustained LTP.

  7. Decreased synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex underlies short-term memory deficits in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matheus, Filipe C; Rial, Daniel; Real, Joana I; Lemos, Cristina; Ben, Juliana; Guaita, Gisele O; Pita, Inês R; Sequeira, Ana C; Pereira, Frederico C; Walz, Roger; Takahashi, Reinaldo N; Bertoglio, Leandro J; Da Cunha, Cláudio; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Prediger, Rui D

    2016-03-15

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by motor dysfunction associated with dopaminergic degeneration in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS). However, motor symptoms in PD are often preceded by short-term memory deficits, which have been argued to involve deregulation of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We now used a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat PD model to explore if alterations of synaptic plasticity in DLS and mPFC underlie short-term memory impairments in PD prodrome. The bilateral injection of 6-OHDA (20μg/hemisphere) in the DLS caused a marked loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (>80%) and decreased monoamine levels in the striatum and PFC, accompanied by motor deficits evaluated after 21 days in the open field and accelerated rotarod. A lower dose of 6-OHDA (10μg/hemisphere) only induced a partial degeneration (about 60%) of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra with no gross motor impairments, thus mimicking an early premotor stage of PD. Notably, 6-OHDA (10μg)-lesioned rats displayed decreased monoamine levels in the PFC as well as short-term memory deficits evaluated in the novel object discrimination and in the modified Y-maze tasks; this was accompanied by a selective decrease in the amplitude of long-term potentiation in the mPFC, but not in DLS, without changes of synaptic transmission in either brain regions. These results indicate that the short-term memory dysfunction predating the motor alterations in the 6-OHDA model of PD is associated with selective changes of information processing in PFC circuits, typified by persistent changes of synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Synaptic theory of Replicator-like melioration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30 min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons from medullary respiratory neurons that innervate one phrenic motor pool; during procaine injections, contralateral phrenic neural activity was maintained. Once axon conduction resumed, a prolonged increase in phrenic burst amplitude was observed in the ipsilateral phrenic nerve, demonstrating inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and atypical PKC (aPKC) activity in spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus impaired ipsilateral iPMF, suggesting a key role for spinal TNFα and aPKC in iPMF following unilateral axon conduction block. A small phrenic burst amplitude facilitation was also observed contralateral to axon conduction block, indicating crossed spinal phrenic motor facilitation (csPMF). csPMF was independent of spinal TNFα and aPKC. Ipsilateral iPMF and csPMF following unilateral withdrawal of phrenic synaptic inputs were associated with proportional increases in phrenic responses to chemoreceptor stimulation (hypercapnia), suggesting iPMF and csPMF increase phrenic dynamic range. These data suggest that local, spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. We hypothesize that iPMF and csPMF may represent compensatory mechanisms that assure adequate motor output is maintained in a physiological system in which prolonged inactivity ends life. PMID:24681155

  10. Maternal Dexamethasone Exposure Alters Synaptic Inputs to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neurons in the Early Postnatal Rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Ling Lim

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Maternal dexamethasone (DEX; a glucocorticoid receptor agonist exposure delays pubertal onset and alters reproductive behaviour in the adult offspring. However, little is known whether maternal DEX exposure affects the offspring’s reproductive function by disrupting the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neuronal function in the brain. Therefore, this study determined the exposure of maternal DEX on the GnRH neuronal spine development and synaptic cluster inputs to GnRH neurons using transgenic rats expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP under the control of GnRH promoter. Pregnant females were administered with DEX (0.1mg/kg or vehicle (VEH, water daily during gestation day 13-20. Confocal imaging was used to examine the spine density of EGFP-GnRH neurons by three-dimensional rendering and synaptic cluster inputs to EGFP-GnRH neurons by synapsin I immunohistochemistry on postnatal day 0 (P0 males. The spine morphology and number on GnRH neurons did not change between the P0 males following maternal DEX and VEH treatment. The number of synaptic clusters within the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT was decreased by maternal DEX exposure in P0 males. Furthermore, the number and levels of synaptic cluster inputs in close apposition with GnRH neurons was decreased following maternal DEX exposure in the OVLT region of P0 males. In addition, the post synaptic marker molecule, post-synaptic density 95 was observed in GnRH neurons following both DEX and VEH treatment. These results suggest that maternal DEX exposure alters neural afferent inputs to GnRH neurons during early postnatal stage, which could lead to reproductive dysfunction during adulthood.

  11. Stress-Induced Synaptic Dysfunction and Neurotransmitter Release in Alzheimer's Disease: Can Neurotransmitters and Neuromodulators be Potential Therapeutic Targets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, Saurabh Kumar; Jha, Niraj Kumar; Kumar, Dhiraj; Sharma, Renu; Shrivastava, Abhishek; Ambasta, Rashmi K; Kumar, Pravir

    2017-01-01

    The communication between neurons at synaptic junctions is an intriguing process that monitors the transmission of various electro-chemical signals in the central nervous system. Albeit any aberration in the mechanisms associated with transmission of these signals leads to loss of synaptic contacts in both the neocortex and hippocampus thereby causing insidious cognitive decline and memory dysfunction. Compelling evidence suggests that soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau serve as toxins in the dysfunction of synaptic plasticity and aberrant neurotransmitter (NT) release at synapses consequently causing a cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Further, an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission systems induced by impaired redox signaling and altered mitochondrial integrity is also amenable for such abnormalities. Defective NT release at the synaptic junction causes several detrimental effects associated with altered activity of synaptic proteins, transcription factors, Ca2+ homeostasis, and other molecules critical for neuronal plasticity. These detrimental effects further disrupt the normal homeostasis of neuronal cells and thereby causing synaptic loss. Moreover, the precise mechanistic role played by impaired NTs and neuromodulators (NMs) and altered redox signaling in synaptic dysfunction remains mysterious, and their possible interlink still needs to be investigated. Therefore, this review elucidates the intricate role played by both defective NTs/NMs and altered redox signaling in synaptopathy. Further, the involvement of numerous pharmacological approaches to compensate neurotransmission imbalance has also been discussed, which may be considered as a potential therapeutic approach in synaptopathy associated with AD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Anna; de Wit, Joris

    2018-04-09

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya Kaufman

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arruda-Carvalho, Maithe; Wu, Wan-Chen; Cummings, Kirstie A; Clem, Roger L

    2017-03-15

    A brain network comprising the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala plays important roles in developmentally regulated cognitive and emotional processes. However, very little is known about the maturation of mPFC-amygdala circuitry. We conducted anatomical tracing of mPFC projections and optogenetic interrogation of their synaptic connections with neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) at neonatal to adult developmental stages in mice. Results indicate that mPFC-BLA projections exhibit delayed emergence relative to other mPFC pathways and establish synaptic transmission with BLA excitatory and inhibitory neurons in late infancy, events that coincide with a massive increase in overall synaptic drive. During subsequent adolescence, mPFC-BLA circuits are further modified by excitatory synaptic strengthening as well as a transient surge in feedforward inhibition. The latter was correlated with increased spontaneous inhibitory currents in excitatory neurons, suggesting that mPFC-BLA circuit maturation culminates in a period of exuberant GABAergic transmission. These findings establish a time course for the onset and refinement of mPFC-BLA transmission and point to potential sensitive periods in the development of this critical network. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human mPFC-amygdala functional connectivity is developmentally regulated and figures prominently in numerous psychiatric disorders with a high incidence of adolescent onset. However, it remains unclear when synaptic connections between these structures emerge or how their properties change with age. Our work establishes developmental windows and cellular substrates for synapse maturation in this pathway involving both excitatory and inhibitory circuits. The engagement of these substrates by early life experience may support the ontogeny of fundamental behaviors but could also lead to inappropriate circuit refinement and psychopathology in adverse situations. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/372976-10$15.00/0.

  4. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-21

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deidre L Brink

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

  8. Curcumin improves synaptic plasticity impairment induced by HIV-1gp120 V3 loop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling-ling Shen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Curcumin has been shown to significantly improve spatial memory impairment induced by HIV-1 gp120 V3 in rats, but the electrophysiological mechanism remains unknown. Using extracellular microelectrode recording techniques, this study confirmed that the gp120 V3 loop could suppress long-term potentiation in the rat hippocampal CA1 region and synaptic plasticity, and that curcumin could antagonize these inhibitory effects. Using a Fura-2/AM calcium ion probe, we found that curcumin resisted the effects of the gp120 V3 loop on hippocampal synaptosomes and decreased Ca 2+ concentration in synaptosomes. This effect of curcumin was identical to nimodipine, suggesting that curcumin improved the inhibitory effects of gp120 on synaptic plasticity, ameliorated damage caused to the central nervous system, and might be a potential neuroprotective drug.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-02-01

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

  11. Exocytosis of gliotransmitters from cortical astrocytes: implications for synaptic plasticity and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalo, Ulyana; Rasooli-Nejad, Seyed; Pankratov, Yuriy

    2014-10-01

    Maintaining brain function during aging is very important for mental and physical health. Recent studies showed a crucial importance of communication between two major types of brain cells: neurons transmitting electrical signals, and glial cells, which maintain the well-being and function of neurons. Still, the study of age-related changes in neuron-glia signalling is far from complete. We have shown previously that cortical astrocytes are capable of releasing ATP by a quantal soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex-dependent mechanism. Release of ATP from cortical astrocytes can be activated via various pathways, including direct UV-uncaging of intracellular Ca²⁺ or G-protein-coupled receptors. Importantly, release of both ATP and glutamate from neocortical astrocytes was not observed in brain slices of dominant-negative SNARE (dnSNARE) mice, expressing dnSNARE domain selectively in astrocytes. We also discovered that astrocyte-driven ATP can cause significant attenuation of synaptic inhibition in the pyramidal neurons via Ca²⁺-interaction between the neuronal ATP and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Furthermore, we showed that astrocyte-derived ATP can facilitate the induction of long-term potentiation of synaptic plasticity in the neocortex. Our recent data have shown that an age-related decrease in the astroglial Ca²⁺ signalling can cause a substantial decrease in the exocytosis of gliotransmitters, in particular ATP. Age-related impairment of ATP release from cortical astrocytes can cause a decrease in the extent of astroglial modulation of synaptic transmission in the neocortex and can therefore contribute to the age-related impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive decline. Combined, our results strongly support the physiological relevance of glial exocytosis for glia-neuron communications and brain function.

  12. Different synaptic stimulation patterns influence the local androgenic and estrogenic neurosteroid availability triggering hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the male rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Mauro, Michela; Tozzi, Alessandro; Calabresi, Paolo; Pettorossi, Vito Enrico; Grassi, Silvarosa

    2017-02-01

    Electrophysiological recordings were used to investigate the role of the local synthesis of 17β-estradiol (E2) and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on synaptic long-term effects induced in the hippocampal CA1 region of male rat slices. Long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP), induced by different stimulation patterns, were examined under the block of the DHT synthesis by finasteride (FIN), and the E2 synthesis by letrozole (LET). We used low frequency stimulation (LFS) for LTD, high frequency stimulation (HFS) for LTP, and intermediate patterns differing in duration or frequency. We found that FIN reverted the LFS-LTD into LTP and enhanced LTP induced by intermediate and HFSs. These effects were abolished by exogenous DHT at concentration higher than the basal one, suggesting a stimulus dependent increase in DHT availability. No effect on the synaptic responses was observed giving DHT alone. Moreover, we found that the inhibition of E2 synthesis influenced the HFS-LTP by reducing its amplitude, and the exogenous E2 either enhanced HFS-LTP or reverted the LFS-LTD into LTP. The equivalence of the E2 concentration for rescuing the full HFS-LTP under LET and reverting the LFS-LTD into LTP suggests an enhancement of the endogenous E2 availability that is specifically driven by the HFS. No effect of FIN or LET was observed on the responses to stimuli that did not induce either LTD or LTP. This study provides evidence that the E2 and DHT availability combined with specific stimulation patterns is determinant for the sign and amplitude of the long-term effects. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Enhanced Store-Operated Calcium Entry Leads to Striatal Synaptic Loss in a Huntington's Disease Mouse Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jun; Ryskamp, Daniel A; Liang, Xia; Egorova, Polina; Zakharova, Olga; Hung, Gene; Bezprozvanny, Ilya

    2016-01-06

    In Huntington's disease (HD), mutant Huntingtin (mHtt) protein causes striatal neuron dysfunction, synaptic loss, and eventual neurodegeneration. To understand the mechanisms responsible for synaptic loss in HD, we developed a corticostriatal coculture model that features age-dependent dendritic spine loss in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) from YAC128 transgenic HD mice. Age-dependent spine loss was also observed in vivo in YAC128 MSNs. To understand the causes of spine loss in YAC128 MSNs, we performed a series of mechanistic studies. We previously discovered that mHtt protein binds to type 1 inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R1) and increases its sensitivity to activation by InsP3. We now report that the resulting increase in steady-state InsP3R1 activity reduces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) levels. Depletion of ER Ca(2+) leads to overactivation of the neuronal store-operated Ca(2+) entry (nSOC) pathway in YAC128 MSN spines. The synaptic nSOC pathway is controlled by the ER resident protein STIM2. We discovered that STIM2 expression is elevated in aged YAC128 striatal cultures and in YAC128 mouse striatum. Knock-down of InsP3R1 expression by antisense oligonucleotides or knock-down or knock-out of STIM2 resulted in normalization of nSOC and rescue of spine loss in YAC128 MSNs. The selective nSOC inhibitor EVP4593 was identified in our previous studies. We now demonstrate that EVP4593 reduces synaptic nSOC and rescues spine loss in YAC128 MSNs. Intraventricular delivery of EVP4593 in YAC128 mice rescued age-dependent striatal spine loss in vivo. Our results suggest EVP4593 and other inhibitors of the STIM2-dependent nSOC pathway as promising leads for HD therapeutic development. In Huntington's disease (HD) mutant Huntingtin (mHtt) causes early corticostriatal synaptic dysfunction and eventual neurodegeneration of medium spine neurons (MSNs) through poorly understood mechanisms. We report here that corticostriatal cocultures prepared from

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  15. Inhibition of protein kinase C affects on mode of synaptic vesicle exocytosis due to cholesterol depletion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petrov, Alexey M., E-mail: fysio@rambler.ru; Zakyrjanova, Guzalija F., E-mail: guzik121192@mail.ru; Yakovleva, Anastasia A., E-mail: nastya1234qwer@mail.ru; Zefirov, Andrei L., E-mail: zefiroval@rambler.ru

    2015-01-02

    Highlights: • We examine the involvement of PKC in MCD induced synaptic vesicle exocytosis. • PKC inhibitor does not decrease the effect MCD on MEPP frequency. • PKC inhibitor prevents MCD induced FM1-43 unloading. • PKC activation may switch MCD induced exocytosis from kiss-and-run to a full mode. • Inhibition of phospholipase C does not lead to similar change in exocytosis. - Abstract: Previous studies demonstrated that depletion of membrane cholesterol by 10 mM methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MCD) results in increased spontaneous exocytosis at both peripheral and central synapses. Here, we investigated the role of protein kinase C in the enhancement of spontaneous exocytosis at frog motor nerve terminals after cholesterol depletion using electrophysiological and optical methods. Inhibition of the protein kinase C by myristoylated peptide and chelerythrine chloride prevented MCD-induced increases in FM1-43 unloading, whereas the frequency of spontaneous postsynaptic events remained enhanced. The increase in FM1-43 unloading still could be observed if sulforhodamine 101 (the water soluble FM1-43 quencher that can pass through the fusion pore) was added to the extracellular solution. This suggests a possibility that exocytosis of synaptic vesicles under these conditions could occur through the kiss-and-run mechanism with the formation of a transient fusion pore. Inhibition of phospholipase C did not lead to similar change in MCD-induced exocytosis.

  16. Synaptic Dynamics and Neuronal Network Connectivity are reflected in the Distribution of Times in Up states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khanh eDao Duc

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The dynamics of neuronal networks connected by synaptic dynamics can sustain long periods of depolarization that can last for hundreds of milliseconds such as Up states recorded during sleep or anesthesia. Yet the underlying mechanism driving these periods remain unclear. We show here within a mean-field model that the residence times of the neuronal membrane potential in cortical Up states does not follow a Poissonian law, but presents several peaks. Furthermore, the present modeling approach allows extracting some information about the neuronal network connectivity from the time distribution histogram. Based on a synaptic-depression model, we find that these peaks, that can be observed in histograms of patch-clamp recordings are not artifacts of electrophysiological measurements, but rather are an inherent property of the network dynamics. Analysis of the equations reveals a stable focus located close to the unstable limit cycle, delimiting a region that defines the Up state. The model further shows that the peaks observed in the Up state time distribution are due to winding around the focus before escaping from the basin of attraction. Finally, we use in vivo recordings of intracellular membrane potential and we recover from the peak distribution, some information about the network connectivity. We conclude that it is possible to recover the network connectivity from the distribution of times that the neuronal membrane voltage spends in Up states.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal eAbuhassan

    2014-06-01

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

  18. Accumulation of oligomer-prone α-synuclein exacerbates synaptic and neuronal degeneration in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockenstein, Edward; Nuber, Silke; Overk, Cassia R; Ubhi, Kiren; Mante, Michael; Patrick, Christina; Adame, Anthony; Trejo-Morales, Margarita; Gerez, Juan; Picotti, Paola; Jensen, Poul H; Campioni, Silvia; Riek, Roland; Winkler, Jürgen; Gage, Fred H; Winner, Beate; Masliah, Eliezer

    2014-05-01

    In Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, α-synuclein aggregates to form oligomers and fibrils; however, the precise nature of the toxic α-synuclein species remains unclear. A number of synthetic α-synuclein mutations were recently created (E57K and E35K) that produce species of α-synuclein that preferentially form oligomers and increase α-synuclein-mediated toxicity. We have shown that acute lentiviral expression of α-synuclein E57K leads to the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons; however, the effects of chronic expression of oligomer-prone α-synuclein in synapses throughout the brain have not been investigated. Such a study could provide insight into the possible mechanism(s) through which accumulation of α-synuclein oligomers in the synapse leads to neurodegeneration. For this purpose, we compared the patterns of neurodegeneration and synaptic damage between a newly generated mThy-1 α-synuclein E57K transgenic mouse model that is prone to forming oligomers and the mThy-1 α-synuclein wild-type mouse model (Line 61), which accumulates various forms of α-synuclein. Three lines of α-synuclein E57K (Lines 9, 16 and 54) were generated and compared with the wild-type. The α-synuclein E57K Lines 9 and 16 were higher expressings of α-synuclein, similar to α-synuclein wild-type Line 61, and Line 54 was a low expressing of α-synuclein compared to Line 61. By immunoblot analysis, the higher-expressing α-synuclein E57K transgenic mice showed abundant oligomeric, but not fibrillar, α-synuclein whereas lower-expressing mice accumulated monomeric α-synuclein. Monomers, oligomers, and fibrils were present in α-synuclein wild-type Line 61. Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses demonstrated that α-synuclein accumulated in the synapses but not in the neuronal cells bodies, which was different from the α-synuclein wild-type Line 61, which accumulates α-synuclein in the soma. Compared to non-transgenic and lower-expressing mice, the

  19. Stereotyped Synaptic Connectivity Is Restored during Circuit Repair in the Adult Mammalian Retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beier, Corinne; Palanker, Daniel; Sher, Alexander

    2018-06-04

    Proper function of the central nervous system (CNS) depends on the specificity of synaptic connections between cells of various types. Cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the establishment and refinement of these connections during development are the subject of an active area of research [1-6]. However, it is unknown if the adult mammalian CNS can form new type-selective synapses following neural injury or disease. Here, we assess whether selective synaptic connections can be reestablished after circuit disruption in the adult mammalian retina. The stereotyped circuitry at the first synapse in the retina, as well as the relatively short distances new neurites must travel compared to other areas of the CNS, make the retina well suited to probing for synaptic specificity during circuit reassembly. Selective connections between short-wavelength sensitive cone photoreceptors (S-cones) and S-cone bipolar cells provides the foundation of the primordial blue-yellow vision, common to all mammals [7-18]. We take advantage of the ground squirrel retina, which has a one-to-one S-cone-to-S-cone-bipolar-cell connection, to test if this connectivity can be reestablished following local photoreceptor loss [8, 19]. We find that after in vivo selective photoreceptor ablation, deafferented S-cone bipolar cells expand their dendritic trees. The new dendrites randomly explore the proper synaptic layer, bypass medium-wavelength sensitive cone photoreceptors (M-cones), and selectively synapse with S-cones. However, non-connected dendrites are not pruned back to resemble unperturbed S-cone bipolar cells. We show, for the first time, that circuit repair in the adult mammalian retina can recreate stereotypic selective wiring. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streeter, K A; Baker-Herman, T L

    2014-06-01

    Phrenic motor neurons receive rhythmic synaptic inputs throughout life. Since even brief disruption in phrenic neural activity is detrimental to life, on-going neural activity may play a key role in shaping phrenic motor output. To test the hypothesis that spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced phrenic activity, anesthetized, ventilated rats received micro-injections of procaine in the C2 ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) to transiently (~30min) block axon conduction in bulbospinal axons from medullary respiratory neurons that innervate one phrenic motor pool; during procaine injections, contralateral phrenic neural activity was maintained. Once axon conduction resumed, a prolonged increase in phrenic burst amplitude was observed in the ipsilateral phrenic nerve, demonstrating inactivity-induced phrenic motor facilitation (iPMF). Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and atypical PKC (aPKC) activity in spinal segments containing the phrenic motor nucleus impaired ipsilateral iPMF, suggesting a key role for spinal TNFα and aPKC in iPMF following unilateral axon conduction block. A small phrenic burst amplitude facilitation was also observed contralateral to axon conduction block, indicating crossed spinal phrenic motor facilitation (csPMF). csPMF was independent of spinal TNFα and aPKC. Ipsilateral iPMF and csPMF following unilateral withdrawal of phrenic synaptic inputs were associated with proportional increases in phrenic responses to chemoreceptor stimulation (hypercapnia), suggesting iPMF and csPMF increase phrenic dynamic range. These data suggest that local, spinal mechanisms sense and respond to reduced synaptic inputs to phrenic motor neurons. We hypothesize that iPMF and csPMF may represent compensatory mechanisms that assure adequate motor output is maintained in a physiological system in which prolonged inactivity ends life. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-17

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Bressloff, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hui; Bu, Yijie; Dai, Dawei

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  9. Enhanced pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn contributes to calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 protein-mediated spinal sensitization and behavioral hypersensitivity

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    Dickenson Anthony H

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Nerve injury-induced expression of the spinal calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 subunit (Cavα2δ1 has been shown to mediate behavioral hypersensitivity through a yet identified mechanism. We examined if this neuroplasticity modulates behavioral hypersensitivity by regulating spinal glutamatergic neurotransmission in injury-free transgenic mice overexpressing the Cavα2δ1 proteins in neuronal tissues. The transgenic mice exhibited hypersensitivity to mechanical stimulation (allodynia similar to the spinal nerve ligation injury model. Intrathecally delivered antagonists for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA and α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA/kainate receptors, but not for the metabotropic glutamate receptors, caused a dose-dependent allodynia reversal in the transgenic mice without changing the behavioral sensitivity in wild-type mice. This suggests that elevated spinal Cavα2δ1 mediates allodynia through a pathway involving activation of selective glutamate receptors. To determine if this is mediated by enhanced spinal neuronal excitability or pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn, we examined wide-dynamic-range (WDR neuron excitability with extracellular recording and glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents with whole-cell patch recording in deep-dorsal horn of the Cavα2δ1 transgenic mice. Our data indicated that overexpression of Cavα2δ1 in neuronal tissues led to increased frequency, but not amplitude, of miniature excitatory post synaptic currents mediated mainly by AMPA/kainate receptors at physiological membrane potentials, and also by NMDA receptors upon depolarization, without changing the excitability of WDR neurons to high intensity stimulation. Together, these findings support a mechanism of Cavα2δ1-mediated spinal sensitization in which elevated Cavα2δ1 causes increased pre-synaptic glutamate release that leads to reduced excitation thresholds of post-synaptic dorsal

  10. Enhanced pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn contributes to calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 protein-mediated spinal sensitization and behavioral hypersensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, David; Deng, Ping; Matthews, Elizabeth A; Kim, Doo-Sik; Feng, Guoping; Dickenson, Anthony H; Xu, Zao C; Luo, Z David

    2009-01-01

    Nerve injury-induced expression of the spinal calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 subunit (Cavα2δ1) has been shown to mediate behavioral hypersensitivity through a yet identified mechanism. We examined if this neuroplasticity modulates behavioral hypersensitivity by regulating spinal glutamatergic neurotransmission in injury-free transgenic mice overexpressing the Cavα2δ1 proteins in neuronal tissues. The transgenic mice exhibited hypersensitivity to mechanical stimulation (allodynia) similar to the spinal nerve ligation injury model. Intrathecally delivered antagonists for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptors, but not for the metabotropic glutamate receptors, caused a dose-dependent allodynia reversal in the transgenic mice without changing the behavioral sensitivity in wild-type mice. This suggests that elevated spinal Cavα2δ1 mediates allodynia through a pathway involving activation of selective glutamate receptors. To determine if this is mediated by enhanced spinal neuronal excitability or pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn, we examined wide-dynamic-range (WDR) neuron excitability with extracellular recording and glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents with whole-cell patch recording in deep-dorsal horn of the Cavα2δ1 transgenic mice. Our data indicated that overexpression of Cavα2δ1 in neuronal tissues led to increased frequency, but not amplitude, of miniature excitatory post synaptic currents mediated mainly by AMPA/kainate receptors at physiological membrane potentials, and also by NMDA receptors upon depolarization, without changing the excitability of WDR neurons to high intensity stimulation. Together, these findings support a mechanism of Cavα2δ1-mediated spinal sensitization in which elevated Cavα2δ1 causes increased pre-synaptic glutamate release that leads to reduced excitation thresholds of post-synaptic dorsal horn neurons to innocuous

  11. The CaM Kinase CMK-1 Mediates a Negative Feedback Mechanism Coupling the C. elegans Glutamate Receptor GLR-1 with Its Own Transcription.

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    Benjamin J Moss

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Regulation of synaptic AMPA receptor levels is a major mechanism underlying homeostatic synaptic scaling. While in vitro studies have implicated several molecules in synaptic scaling, the in vivo mechanisms linking chronic changes in synaptic activity to alterations in AMPA receptor expression are not well understood. Here we use a genetic approach in C. elegans to dissect a negative feedback pathway coupling levels of the AMPA receptor GLR-1 with its own transcription. GLR-1 trafficking mutants with decreased synaptic receptors in the ventral nerve cord (VNC exhibit compensatory increases in glr-1 mRNA, which can be attributed to increased glr-1 transcription. Glutamatergic transmission mutants lacking presynaptic eat-4/VGLUT or postsynaptic glr-1, exhibit compensatory increases in glr-1 transcription, suggesting that loss of GLR-1 activity is sufficient to trigger the feedback pathway. Direct and specific inhibition of GLR-1-expressing neurons using a chemical genetic silencing approach also results in increased glr-1 transcription. Conversely, expression of a constitutively active version of GLR-1 results in decreased glr-1 transcription, suggesting that bidirectional changes in GLR-1 signaling results in reciprocal alterations in glr-1 transcription. We identify the CMK-1/CaMK signaling axis as a mediator of the glr-1 transcriptional feedback mechanism. Loss-of-function mutations in the upstream kinase ckk-1/CaMKK, the CaM kinase cmk-1/CaMK, or a downstream transcription factor crh-1/CREB, result in increased glr-1 transcription, suggesting that the CMK-1 signaling pathway functions to repress glr-1 transcription. Genetic double mutant analyses suggest that CMK-1 signaling is required for the glr-1 transcriptional feedback pathway. Furthermore, alterations in GLR-1 signaling that trigger the feedback mechanism also regulate the nucleocytoplasmic distribution of CMK-1, and activated, nuclear-localized CMK-1 blocks the feedback pathway. We

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

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    Je H

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Does spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity couple or decouple neurons firing in synchrony?

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    Andreas eKnoblauch

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Spike synchronization is thought to have a constructive role for feature integration, attention, associativelearning, and the formation of bidirectionally connected Hebbian cell assemblies. By contrast, theoreticalstudies on spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP report an inherently decoupling influence of spikesynchronization on synaptic connections of coactivated neurons. For example, bidirectional synapticconnections as found in cortical areas could be reproduced only by assuming realistic models of STDP andrate coding. We resolve this conflict by theoretical analysis and simulation of various simple and realisticSTDP models that provide a more complete characterization of conditions when STDP leads to eithercoupling or decoupling of neurons firing in synchrony. In particular, we show that STDP consistentlycouples synchronized neurons if key model parameters are matched to physiological data: First, synapticpotentiation must be significantly stronger than synaptic depression for small (positive or negative timelags between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Second, spike synchronization must be sufficientlyimprecise, for example, within a time window of 5-10msec instead of 1msec. Third, axonal propagationdelays should not be much larger than dendritic delays. Under these assumptions synchronized neuronswill be strongly coupled leading to a dominance of bidirectional synaptic connections even for simpleSTDP models and low mean firing rates at the level of spontaneous activity.

  15. Maternal care determines rapid effects of stress mediators on synaptic plasticity in adult rat hippocampal dentate gyrus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bagot, R.C.; van Hasselt, F.N.; Champagne, D.L.; Meaney, M.J.; Krugers, H.J.; Joëls, M.

    2009-01-01

    Maternal care in the rat influences hippocampal development, synaptic plasticity and cognition. Previous studies, however, have examined animals under minimally stressful conditions. Here we tested the hypothesis that maternal care influences hippocampal function differently when this structure is

  16. Mechanisms of Neuroplasticity and Ethanol’s Effects on Plasticity in the Striatum and Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovinger, David M.; Kash, Thomas L.

    2015-01-01

    Long-lasting changes in synaptic function (i.e., synaptic plasticity) have long been thought to contribute to information storage in the nervous system. Although synaptic plasticity mainly has adaptive functions that allow the organism to function in complex environments, it is now clear that certain events or exposure to various substances can produce plasticity that has negative consequences for organisms. Exposure to drugs of abuse, in particular ethanol, is a life experience that can activate or alter synaptic plasticity, often resulting in increased drug seeking and taking and in many cases addiction. Two brain regions subject to alcohol’s effects on synaptic plasticity are the striatum and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), both of which have key roles in alcohol’s actions and control of intake. The specific effects depend on both the brain region analyzed (e.g., specific subregions of the striatum and BNST) and the duration of ethanol exposure (i.e., acute vs. chronic). Plastic changes in synaptic transmission in these two brain regions following prolonged ethanol exposure are thought to contribute to excessive alcohol drinking and relapse to drinking. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this plasticity may lead to new therapies for treatment of these and other aspects of alcohol use disorder. PMID:26259092

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Julie G; Mendelowitz, David

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Julie G Frank

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

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

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    Xinyan Gao

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Alzheimer’s disease Aβ assemblies mediating rapid disruption of synaptic plasticity and memory

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    Klyubin Igor

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Alzheimer’s disease (AD is characterized by episodic memory impairment that often precedes clinical diagnosis by many years. Probing the mechanisms of such impairment may provide much needed means of diagnosis and therapeutic intervention at an early, pre-dementia, stage. Prior to the onset of significant neurodegeneration, the structural and functional integrity of synapses in mnemonic circuitry is severely compromised in the presence of amyloidosis. This review examines recent evidence evaluating the role of amyloid-ß protein (Aβ in causing rapid disruption of synaptic plasticity and memory impairment. We evaluate the relative importance of different sizes and conformations of Aβ, including monomer, oligomer, protofibril and fibril. We pay particular attention to recent controversies over the relevance to the pathophysiology of AD of different water soluble Aβ aggregates and the importance of cellular prion protein in mediating their effects. Current data are consistent with the view that both low-n oligomers and larger soluble assemblies present in AD brain, some of them via a direct interaction with cellular prion protein, cause synaptic memory failure. At the two extremes of aggregation, monomers and fibrils appear to act in vivo both as sources and sinks of certain metastable conformations of soluble aggregates that powerfully disrupt synaptic plasticity. The same principle appears to apply to other synaptotoxic amyloidogenic proteins including tau, α-synuclein and prion protein.

  2. Specific interaction of postsynaptic densities with membrane rafts isolated from synaptic plasma membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qian; Yao, Wei-Dong; Suzuki, Tatsuo

    2013-06-01

    Postsynaptic membrane rafts are believed to play important roles in synaptic signaling, plasticity, and maintenance. We recently demonstrated the presence, at the electron microscopic level, of complexes consisting of membrane rafts and postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) prepared from synaptic plasma membranes (SPMs) ( Suzuki et al., 2011 , J Neurochem, 119, 64-77). To further explore these complexes, here we investigated the nature of the binding between purified SPM-DRMs and PSDs in vitro. In binding experiments, we used SPM-DRMs prepared after treating SPMs with n-octyl-β-d-glucoside, because at concentrations of 1.0% or higher it completely separates SPM-DRMs and PSDs, providing substantially PSD-free unique SPM-DRMs as well as DRM-free PSDs. PSD binding to PSD-free DRMs was identified by mass spectrometry, Western blotting, and electron microscopy. PSD proteins were not incorporated into SPMs, and significantly less PSD proteins were incorporated into DRMs prepared from liver membranes, providing in vitro evidence that binding of PSDs to DRMs is specific and suggestion of the presence of specific interacting molecules. These specific interactions may have important roles in synaptic development, function, and plasticity in vivo. In addition, the binding system we developed may be a good tool to search for binding molecules and binding mechanisms between PSDs and rafts.

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

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    Kelly A Hamilton

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

  4. Synaptic Remodeling in the Dentate Gyrus, CA3, CA1, Subiculum, and Entorhinal Cortex of Mice: Effects of Deprived Rearing and Voluntary Running

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    Andrea T. U. Schaefers

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal cell proliferation is strongly increased and synaptic turnover decreased after rearing under social and physical deprivation in gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus. We examined if a similar epigenetic effect of rearing environment on adult neuroplastic responses can be found in mice (Mus musculus. We examined synaptic turnover rates in the dentate gyrus, CA3, CA1, subiculum, and entorhinal cortex. No direct effects of deprived rearing on rates of synaptic turnover were found in any of the studied regions. However, adult wheel running had the effect of leveling layer-specific differences in synaptic remodeling in the dentate gyrus, CA3, and CA1, but not in the entorhinal cortex and subiculum of animals of both rearing treatments. Epigenetic effects during juvenile development affected adult neural plasticity in mice, but seemed to be less pronounced than in gerbils.

  5. Proteomic screen for multiprotein complexes in synaptic plasma membrane from rat hippocampus by blue native gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuanwen; Xie, Chunliang; Jin, Qihui; Liu, Mingjun; He, Quanyuan; Cao, Rui; Lin, Yong; Li, Jianglin; Li, Yan; Chen, Ping; Liang, Songping

    2009-07-01

    Neuronal synapses are specialized sites for information exchange between neurons. Many diseases, such as addiction and mood disorders, likely result from altered expression of synaptic proteins, or altered formation of synaptic complexes involved in neurotransmission or neuroplasticity. A detailed description of native multiprotein complexes in synaptic plasma membranes (PM) is therefore essential for understanding biological mechanisms and disease processes. For the first time in this study, two-dimensional Blue Native/SDS-PAGE electrophoresis, combined with tandem mass spectrometry, was used to screen multiprotein complexes in synaptic plasma membranes from rat hippocampus. As a result, 514 unique proteins were identified, of which 36% were integral membrane proteins. In addition, 19 potentially novel and known heterooligomeric multiprotein complexes were found, such as the SNARE and ATPase complexes. A potentially novel protein complex, involving syntaxin, synapsin I and Na+/K+ ATPase alpha-1, was further confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence staining. As demonstrated here, Blue Native-PAGE is a powerful tool for the separation of hydrophobic membrane proteins. The combination of Blue Native-PAGE and mass spectrometry could systematically identify multiprotein complexes.

  6. Surface Damage Mechanism of Monocrystalline Si Under Mechanical Loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qingliang; Zhang, Quanli; To, Suet; Guo, Bing

    2017-03-01

    Single-point diamond scratching and nanoindentation on monocrystalline silicon wafer were performed to investigate the surface damage mechanism of Si under the contact loading. The results showed that three typical stages of material removal appeared during dynamic scratching, and a chemical reaction of Si with the diamond indenter and oxygen occurred under the high temperature. In addition, the Raman spectra of the various points in the scratching groove indicated that the Si-I to β-Sn structure (Si-II) and the following β-Sn structure (Si-II) to amorphous Si transformation appeared under the rapid loading/unloading condition of the diamond grit, and the volume change induced by the phase transformation resulted in a critical depth (ductile-brittle transition) of cut (˜60 nm ± 15 nm) much lower than the theoretical calculated results (˜387 nm). Moreover, it also led to abnormal load-displacement curves in the nanoindentation tests, resulting in the appearance of elbow and pop-out effects (˜270 nm at 20 s, 50 mN), which were highly dependent on the loading/unloading conditions. In summary, phase transformation of Si promoted surface deformation and fracture under both static and dynamic mechanical loading.

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

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    Amy Nowack

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

  8. Conditioned taste aversion prevents the long-lasting BDNF-induced enhancement of synaptic transmission in the insular cortex: A metaplastic effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Olvera, Alejandro; Rodríguez-Durán, Luis F; Escobar, Martha L

    2016-04-01

    Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms dynamically adjust synaptic strengths to promote stability that is crucial for memory storage. Metaplasticity is an example of these forms of plasticity that modify the capacity of synapses to experience subsequent Hebbian modifications. In particular, training in several behavioral tasks modifies the ability to induce long-term potentiation (LTP). Recently, we have reported that prior training in conditioned taste aversion (CTA) prevents the subsequent induction of LTP generated by high frequency stimulation in the projection from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (Bla) to the insular cortex (IC). One of the key molecular players that underlie long-term synaptic plasticity is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Previous studies from our group reported that acute microinfusion of BDNF in the IC induces a lasting potentiation of synaptic efficacy at the Bla-IC projection. Thus, the aim of the present study was to analyze whether CTA training modifies the ability to induce subsequent BDNF-induced potentiation of synaptic transmission in the Bla-IC projection in vivo. Accordingly, CTA trained rats received intracortical microinfusion of BDNF in order to induce lasting potentiation 48h after the aversion test. Our results show that CTA training prevents the induction of in vivo BDNF-LTP in the Bla-IC projection. The present results provide evidence that CTA modulates BDNF-dependent changes in IC synaptic strength. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Mechanical properties of cork under contact stresses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parralejo, A. D.; Guiberteau, F.; Fortes, M. A.; Rosa, M. E.

    2001-01-01

    In this work our interest is focussed on the mechanical behaviour of natural cork under contact stresses. Many of the applications of this curious material are related with its mechanical response under such a stress field, however this topic has not been still sufficiently considered in the scientific literature. For this purpose, we proposed the use of Hertzian indentation tests. By using this mythology we have investigated the cork structure influence on the corresponding mechanical properties. Our results reveal a clear mechanical anisotropy effect. Moreover, the elastic modulus corresponding to specific directions have been estimated. Several are the main advantages of this specific test mythology versus traditional uniaxial compression tests, specially simplicity and local character. (Author) 9 refs

  10. Synaptic release and extracellular actions of Zn2+ limit propagation of spreading depression and related events in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiba, Isamu; Carlson, Andrew P; Sheline, Christian T; Shuttleworth, C William

    2012-02-01

    Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is a consequence of a slowly propagating wave of neuronal and glial depolarization (spreading depolarization; SD). Massive release of glutamate contributes to SD propagation, and it was recently shown that Zn(2+) is also released from synaptic vesicles during SD. The present study examined consequences of extracellular Zn(2+) accumulation on the propagation of SD. SD mechanisms were studied first in murine brain slices, using focal KCl applications as stimuli and making electrical and optical recordings in hippocampal area CA1. Elevating extracellular Zn(2+) concentrations with exogenous ZnCl(2) reduced SD propagation rates. Selective chelation of endogenous Zn(2+) (using TPEN or CaEDTA) increased SD propagation rates, and these effects appeared due to chelation of Zn(2+) derived from synaptic vesicles. Thus, in tissues where synaptic Zn(2+) release was absent [knockout (KO) of vesicular Zn(2+) transporter ZnT-3], SD propagation rates were increased, and no additional increase was observed following chelation of endogenous Zn(2+) in these tissues. The role of synaptic Zn(2+) was then examined on CSD in vivo. ZnT-3 KO animals had higher susceptibility to CSD than wild-type controls as evidenced by significantly higher propagation rates and frequencies. Studies of candidate mechanisms excluded changes in neuronal excitability, presynaptic release, and GABA receptors but left open a possible contribution of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor inhibition. These results suggest the extracellular accumulation of synaptically released Zn(2+) can serve as an intrinsic inhibitor to limit SD events. The inhibitory action of extracellular Zn(2+) on SD may counteract to some extent the neurotoxic effects of intracellular Zn(2+) accumulation in acute brain injury models.

  11. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-08

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolangelo L Iannella

    2010-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khanmohammadi, Mahdieh

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

  14. High concentration of vitamin E decreases thermosensation and thermotaxis learning and the underlying mechanisms in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiping; Li, Yinxia; Wu, Qiuli; Ye, Huayue; Sun, Lingmei; Ye, Boping; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    α-tocopherol is a powerful liposoluble antioxidant and the most abundant isoform of vitamin E in the body. Under normal physiological conditions, adverse effects of relatively high concentration of vitamin E on organisms and the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. In the present study, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo assay system to investigate the possible adverse effects of high concentration of vitamin E on thermosensation and thermotaxis learning and the underlying mechanisms. Our data show that treatment with 100-200 µg/mL of vitamin E did not noticeably influence both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning; however, treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E altered both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning. The observed decrease in thermotaxis learning in 400 µg/mL of vitamin E treated nematodes might be partially due to the moderate but significant deficits in thermosensation, but not due to deficits in locomotion behavior or perception to food and starvation. Treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E did not noticeably influence the morphology of GABAergic neurons, but significantly decreased fluorescent intensities of the cell bodies in AFD sensory neurons and AIY interneurons, required for thermosensation and thermotaxis learning control. Treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E affected presynaptic function of neurons, but had no remarkable effects on postsynaptic function. Moreover, promotion of synaptic transmission by activating PKC-1 effectively retrieved deficits in both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning induced by 400 µg/mL of vitamin E. Therefore, relatively high concentrations of vitamin E administration may cause adverse effects on thermosensation and thermotaxis learning by inducing damage on the development of specific neurons and presynaptic function under normal physiological conditions in C. elegans.

  15. Icariin Attenuates Synaptic and Cognitive Deficits in an Aβ1–42-Induced Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chenxia Sheng

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Icariin (ICA, a prenylated flavanol glycoside present in abundant quantities in Epimedium sagittatum, has shown promise in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Damage to synaptic plasticity induced by amyloid-beta-mediated neurotoxicity is considered a main pathological mechanism driving the learning and memory deficits present in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This study investigated the neuroprotective effects of icariin in an Aβ1–42-induced rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. Our results showed that Aβ1–42 injection induced loss of learning and memory behaviour in the Morris water maze, which could be reversed with intragastric administration of ICA. Furthermore, ICA reversed decreases in PSD-95, BDNF, pTrkB, pAkt, and pCREB expressions and prevented deterioration of synaptic interface structure. These findings indicate that ICA may improve synaptic plasticity through the BDNF/TrkB/Akt pathway and provide further evidence for its clinical application to improve learning and memory in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurizio De Pittà

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leon Chua

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  19. Research progress of rehabilitation therapy in Parkinson's disease and its mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin LIU

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is characterized by the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta. Rehabilitation therapy can delay the development of disease, improve motor symptoms and non - motor symptoms (NMS, and consequently improve the activities of daily living (ADL in patients with PD. The mechanism of rehabilitation improving the symptoms of PD is very complex, involving a variety of molecular mechanisms. Thus, this review will focus on the effect of rehabilitation therapy on PD and the underlying molecular mechanism including neurotransmitters, trophic factors, synaptic plasticity and immune system. DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-6731.2017.06.003

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manami Yamashita

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papper, Marc; Kempter, Richard; Leibold, Christian

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runchun Mark Wang

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daehun Park

    2018-03-01

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

  5. Ankyrins: Roles in synaptic biology and pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katharine R; Penzes, Peter

    2018-05-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Defective synaptic transmission and structure in the dentate gyrus and selective fear memory impairment in the Rsk2 mutant mouse model of Coffin-Lowry syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morice, Elise; Farley, Séverine; Poirier, Roseline; Dallerac, Glenn; Chagneau, Carine; Pannetier, Solange; Hanauer, André; Davis, Sabrina; Vaillend, Cyrille; Laroche, Serge

    2013-10-01

    The Coffin-Lowry syndrome (CLS) is a syndromic form of intellectual disability caused by loss-of-function of the RSK2 serine/threonine kinase encoded by the rsk2 gene. Rsk2 knockout mice, a murine model of CLS, exhibit spatial learning and memory impairments, yet the underlying neural mechanisms are unknown. In the current study, we examined the performance of Rsk2 knockout mice in cued, trace and contextual fear memory paradigms and identified selective deficits in the consolidation and reconsolidation of hippocampal-dependent fear memories as task difficulty and hippocampal demand increase. Electrophysiological, biochemical and electron microscopy analyses were carried out in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus to explore potential alterations in neuronal functions and structure. In vivo and in vitro electrophysiology revealed impaired synaptic transmission, decreased network excitability and reduced AMPA and NMDA conductance in Rsk2 knockout mice. In the absence of RSK2, standard measures of short-term and long-term potentiation (LTP) were normal, however LTP-induced CREB phosphorylation and expression of the transcription factors EGR1/ZIF268 were reduced and that of the scaffolding protein SHANK3 was blocked, indicating impaired activity-dependent gene regulation. At the structural level, the density of perforated and non-perforated synapses and of multiple spine boutons was not altered, however, a clear enlargement of spine neck width and post-synaptic densities indicates altered synapse ultrastructure. These findings show that RSK2 loss-of-function is associated in the dentate gyrus with multi-level alterations that encompass modifications of glutamate receptor channel properties, synaptic transmission, plasticity-associated gene expression and spine morphology, providing novel insights into the mechanisms contributing to cognitive impairments in CLS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. ApoER2 Function in the Establishment and Maintenance of Retinal Synaptic Connectivity

    OpenAIRE

    Trotter, Justin H.; Klein, Martin; Jinwal, Umesh K.; Abisambra, Jose F.; Dickey, Chad A.; Tharkur, Jeremy; Masiulis, Irene; Ding, Jindong; Locke, Kirstin G.; Rickman, Catherine Bowes; Birch, David G.; Weeber, Edwin J.; Herz, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    The cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of inner retinal circuitry are poorly understood. Reelin and apolipoprotein E (apoE), ligands of apoE receptor 2 (ApoER2), are involved in retinal development and degeneration, respectively. Here we describe the function of ApoER2 in the developing and adult retina. ApoER2 expression was highest during postnatal inner retinal synaptic development and was considerably lower in the mature retina. Both during development and i...

  9. Exclusion of close linkage between the synaptic vesicular monoamine transporter locus and schizophrenia spectrum disorders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Persico, A.M.; Uhl, G.R. [Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (United States); Wang, Zhe Wu [Universitario Campus Bio-Medico, Rome (Italy)] [and others

    1995-12-18

    The principal brain synaptic vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2) is responsible for the reuptake of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and histamine from the cytoplasm into synaptic vesicles, thus contributing to determination of the size of releasable neurotransmitter vesicular pools. Potential involvement of VMAT2 gene variants in the etiology of schizophrenia and related disorders was tested using polymorphic VMAT2 gene markers in 156 subjects from 16 multiplex pedigrees with schizophrenia, schizophreniform, schizoaffective, and schizotypal disorders and mood incongruent psychotic depression. Assuming genetic homogeneity, complete ({theta} = 0.0) linkage to the schizophrenia spectrum was excluded under both dominant and recessive models. Allelic variants at the VMAT2 locus do not appear to provide major genetic contributions to the etiology of schizophrenia spectrum disorders in these pedigrees. 16 refs.

  10. ApoER2 Function in the Establishment and Maintenance of Retinal Synaptic Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trotter, Justin H.; Klein, Martin; Jinwal, Umesh K.; Abisambra, Jose F.; Dickey, Chad A.; Tharkur, Jeremy; Masiulis, Irene; Ding, Jindong; Locke, Kirstin G.; Rickman, Catherine Bowes; Birch, David G.; Weeber, Edwin J.; Herz, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    The cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of inner retinal circuitry are poorly understood. Reelin and apolipoprotein E (apoE), ligands of apoE receptor 2 (ApoER2), are involved in retinal development and degeneration, respectively. Here we describe the function of ApoER2 in the developing and adult retina. ApoER2 expression was highest during postnatal inner retinal synaptic development and was considerably lower in the mature retina. Both during development and in the adult ApoER2 was expressed by A-II amacrine cells. ApoER2 knockout (KO) mice had rod bipolar morphogenic defects, altered A-II amacrine dendritic development, and impaired rod-driven retinal responses. The presence of an intact ApoER2 NPxY motif, necessary for binding disabled-1 (Dab1) and transducing the Reelin signal, was also necessary for development of the rod bipolar pathway while the alternatively-spliced exon19 was not. Mice deficient in another Reelin receptor, very low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), had normal rod bipolar morphology but altered A-II amacrine dendritic development. VLDLR KO mice also had reductions in oscillatory potentials and delayed synaptic response intervals. Interestingly, age-related reductions in rod and cone function were observed in both ApoER2 and VLDLR KOs. These results support a pivotal role for ApoER2 in the establishment and maintenance of normal retinal synaptic connectivity. PMID:21976526

  11. Cholesterol asymmetry in synaptic plasma membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Purines released from astrocytes inhibit excitatory synaptic transmission in the ventral horn of the spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carlsen, Eva Maria Meier; Perrier, Jean-Francois Marie

    2014-01-01

    by different neuromodulators. These substances are usually thought of being released by dedicated neurons. However, in other networks from the central nervous system synaptic transmission is also modulated by transmitters released from astrocytes. The star-shaped glial cell responds to neurotransmitters....... Neurons responded to electrical stimulation by monosynaptic EPSCs (excitatory monosynaptic postsynaptic currents). We used mice expressing the enhanced green fluorescent protein under the promoter of the glial fibrillary acidic protein to identify astrocytes. Chelating calcium with BAPTA in a single...... neighboring astrocyte increased the amplitude of synaptic currents. In contrast, when we selectively stimulated astrocytes by activating PAR-1 receptors with the peptide TFLLR, the amplitude of EPSCs evoked by a paired stimulation protocol was reduced. The paired-pulse ratio was increased, suggesting...

  14. Giant panda׳s tooth enamel: Structure, mechanical behavior and toughening mechanisms under indentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Z Y; Liu, Z Q; Ritchie, R O; Jiao, D; Li, D S; Wu, H L; Deng, L H; Zhang, Z F

    2016-12-01

    The giant panda׳s teeth possess remarkable load-bearing capacity and damage resistance for masticating bamboos. In this study, the hierarchical structure and mechanical behavior of the giant panda׳s tooth enamel were investigated under indentation. The effects of loading orientation and location on mechanical properties of the enamel were clarified and the evolution of damage in the enamel under increasing load evaluated. The nature of the damage, both at and beneath the indentation surfaces, and the underlying toughening mechanisms were explored. Indentation cracks invariably were seen to propagate along the internal interfaces, specifically the sheaths between enamel rods, and multiple extrinsic toughening mechanisms, e.g., crack deflection/twisting and uncracked-ligament bridging, were active to shield the tips of cracks from the applied stress. The giant panda׳s tooth enamel is analogous to human enamel in its mechanical properties, yet it has superior hardness and Young׳s modulus but inferior toughness as compared to the bamboo that pandas primarily feed on, highlighting the critical roles of the integration of underlying tissues in the entire tooth and the highly hydrated state of bamboo foods. Our objective is that this study can aid the understanding of the structure-mechanical property relations in the tooth enamel of mammals and further provide some insight on the food habits of the giant pandas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Optogenetic acidification of synaptic vesicles and lysosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Computational identification of potential multitarget treatments for ameliorating the adverse effects of amyloid-β on synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasio, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The leading hypothesis on Alzheimer Disease (AD) is that it is caused by buildup of the peptide amyloid-β (Aβ), which initially causes dysregulation of synaptic plasticity and eventually causes destruction of synapses and neurons. Pharmacological efforts to limit Aβ buildup have proven ineffective, and this raises the twin challenges of understanding the adverse effects of Aβ on synapses and of suggesting pharmacological means to prevent them. The purpose of this paper is to initiate a computational approach to understanding the dysregulation by Aβ of synaptic plasticity and to offer suggestions whereby combinations of various chemical compounds could be arrayed against it. This data-driven approach confronts the complexity of synaptic plasticity by representing findings from the literature in a course-grained manner, and focuses on understanding the aggregate behavior of many molecular interactions. The same set of interactions is modeled by two different computer programs, each written using a different programming modality: one imperative, the other declarative. Both programs compute the same results over an extensive test battery, providing an essential crosscheck. Then the imperative program is used for the computationally intensive purpose of determining the effects on the model of every combination of ten different compounds, while the declarative program is used to analyze model behavior using temporal logic. Together these two model implementations offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Aβ dysregulates synaptic plasticity and suggest many drug combinations that potentially may reduce or prevent it.

  17. Computational identification of potential multitarget treatments for ameliorating the adverse effects of amyloid-beta on synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas J. Anastasio

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The leading hypothesis on Alzheimer Disease (AD is that it is caused by buildup of the peptide amyloid-beta (Abeta, which initially causes dysregulation of synaptic plasticity and eventually causes destruction of synapses and neurons. Pharmacological efforts to limit Abeta buildup have proven ineffective, and this raises the twin challenges of understanding the adverse effects of Abeta on synapses and of suggesting pharmacological means to prevent it. The purpose of this paper is to initiate a computational approach to understanding the dysregulation by Abeta of synaptic plasticity and to offer suggestions whereby combinations of various chemical compounds could be arrayed against it. This data-driven approach confronts the complexity of synaptic plasticity by representing findings from the literature in a course-grained manner, and focuses on understanding the aggregate behavior of many molecular interactions. The same set of interactions is modeled by two different computer programs, each written using a different programming modality: one imperative, the other declarative. Both programs compute the same results over an extensive test battery, providing an essential crosscheck. Then the imperative program is used for the computationally intensive purpose of determining the effects on the model of every combination of ten different compounds, while the declarative program is used to analyze model behavior using temporal logic. Together these two model implementations offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Abeta dysregulates synaptic plasticity and suggest many drug combinations that potentially may reduce or prevent it.

  18. Synaptic proteins and receptors defects in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianling eChen

    2014-09-01

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

  19. Synaptic model for spontaneous activity in developing networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lerchner, Alexander; Rinzel, J.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda M Rodríguez-Tornos

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Patricia Perissinotti

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Lateral Fluid Percussion Injury Impairs Hippocampal Synaptic Soluble N-Ethylmaleimide Sensitive Factor Attachment Protein Receptor Complex Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun W. Carlson

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI and the activation of secondary injury mechanisms have been linked to impaired cognitive function, which, as observed in TBI patients and animal models, can persist for months and years following the initial injury. Impairments in neurotransmission have been well documented in experimental models of TBI, but the mechanisms underlying this dysfunction are poorly understood. Formation of the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE complex facilitates vesicular docking and neurotransmitter release in the synaptic cleft. Published studies highlight a direct link between reduced SNARE complex formation and impairments in neurotransmitter release. While alterations in the SNARE complex have been described following severe focal TBI, it is not known if deficits in SNARE complex formation manifest in a model with reduced severity. We hypothesized that lateral fluid percussion injury (lFPI reduces the abundance of SNARE proteins, impairs SNARE complex formation, and contributes to impaired neurobehavioral function. To this end, rats were subjected to lFPI or sham injury and tested for acute motor performance and cognitive function at 3 weeks post-injury. lFPI resulted in motor impairment between 1 and 5 days post-injury. Spatial acquisition and spatial memory, as assessed by the Morris water maze, were significantly impaired at 3 weeks after lFPI. To examine the effect of lFPI on synaptic SNARE complex formation in the injured hippocampus, a separate cohort of rats was generated and brains processed to evaluate hippocampal synaptosomal-enriched lysates at 1 week post-injury. lFPI resulted in a significant reduction in multiple monomeric SNARE proteins, including VAMP2, and α-synuclein, and SNARE complex abundance. The findings in this study are consistent with our previously published observations suggesting that impairments in hippocampal SNARE complex formation may contribute to

  4. Harmaline Tremor: Underlying Mechanisms in a Potential Animal Model of Essential Tremor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Handforth

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Harmaline and harmine are tremorigenic β-carbolines that, on administration to experimental animals, induce an acute postural and kinetic tremor of axial and truncal musculature. This drug-induced action tremor has been proposed as a model of essential tremor. Here we review what is known about harmaline tremor.Methods: Using the terms harmaline and harmine on PubMed, we searched for papers describing the effects of these β-carbolines on mammalian tissue, animals, or humans.Results: Investigations over four decades have shown that harmaline induces rhythmic burst-firing activity in the medial and dorsal accessory inferior olivary nuclei that is transmitted via climbing fibers to Purkinje cells and to the deep cerebellar nuclei, then to brainstem and spinal cord motoneurons. The critical structures required for tremor expression are the inferior olive, climbing fibers, and the deep cerebellar nuclei; Purkinje cells are not required. Enhanced synaptic norepinephrine or blockade of ionic glutamate receptors suppresses tremor, whereas enhanced synaptic serotonin exacerbates tremor. Benzodiazepines and muscimol suppress tremor. Alcohol suppresses harmaline tremor but exacerbates harmaline-associated neural damage. Recent investigations on the mechanism of harmaline tremor have focused on the T-type calcium channel.Discussion: Like essential tremor, harmaline tremor involves the cerebellum, and classic medications for essential tremor have been found to suppress harmaline tremor, leading to utilization of the harmaline model for preclinical testing of antitremor drugs. Limitations are that the model is acute, unlike essential tremor, and only approximately half of the drugs reported to suppress harmaline tremor are subsequently found to suppress tremor in clinical trials.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-01-25

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Sweet

    2010-06-01

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

  8. Effects of Fluoxetine and Visual Experience on Glutamatergic and GABAergic Synaptic Proteins in Adult Rat Visual Cortex123

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beshara, Simon; Beston, Brett R.; Pinto, Joshua G. A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Fluoxetine has emerged as a novel treatment for persistent amblyopia because in adult animals it reinstates critical period-like ocular dominance plasticity and promotes recovery of visual acuity. Translation of these results from animal models to the clinic, however, has been challenging because of the lack of understanding of how this selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor affects glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic mechanisms that are essential for experience-dependent plasticity. An appealing hypothesis is that fluoxetine recreates a critical period (CP)-like state by shifting synaptic mechanisms to be more juvenile. To test this we studied the effect of fluoxetine treatment in adult rats, alone or in combination with visual deprivation [monocular deprivation (MD)], on a set of highly conserved presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins (synapsin, synaptophysin, VGLUT1, VGAT, PSD-95, gephyrin, GluN1, GluA2, GluN2B, GluN2A, GABAAα1, GABAAα3). We did not find evidence that fluoxetine shifted the protein amounts or balances to a CP-like state. Instead, it drove the balances in favor of the more mature subunits (GluN2A, GABAAα1). In addition, when fluoxetine was paired with MD it created a neuroprotective-like environment by normalizing the glutamatergic gain found in adult MDs. Together, our results suggest that fluoxetine treatment creates a novel synaptic environment dominated by GluN2A- and GABAAα1-dependent plasticity. PMID:26730408

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Impairments in Motor Neurons, Interneurons and Astrocytes Contribute to Hyperexcitability in ALS: Underlying Mechanisms and Paths to Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do-Ha, Dzung; Buskila, Yossi; Ooi, Lezanne

    2018-02-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease characterised by the loss of motor neurons leading to progressive paralysis and death. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and nerve excitability tests, several clinical studies have identified that cortical and peripheral hyperexcitability are among the earliest pathologies observed in ALS patients. The changes in the electrophysiological properties of motor neurons have been identified in both sporadic and familial ALS patients, despite the diverse etiology of the disease. The mechanisms behind the change in neuronal signalling are not well understood, though current findings implicate intrinsic changes in motor neurons and dysfunction of cells critical in regulating motor neuronal excitability, such as astrocytes and interneurons. Alterations in ion channel expression and/or function in motor neurons has been associated with changes in cortical and peripheral nerve excitability. In addition to these intrinsic changes in motor neurons, inhibitory signalling through GABAergic interneurons is also impaired in ALS, likely contributing to increased neuronal excitability. Astrocytes have also recently been implicated in increasing neuronal excitability in ALS by failing to adequately regulate glutamate levels and extracellular K + concentration at the synaptic cleft. As hyperexcitability is a common and early feature of ALS, it offers a therapeutic and diagnostic target. Thus, understanding the underlying pathways and mechanisms leading to hyperexcitability in ALS offers crucial insight for future development of ALS treatments.

  13. Antidepressant effects of ketamine: mechanisms underlying fast-acting novel antidepressants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Ann Browne

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Newer antidepressants are needed for the many individuals with major depressive disorder that do not respond adequately to treatment and because of a delay of weeks before the emergence of therapeutic effects. Recent evidence from clinical trials shows that the NMDA antagonist ketamine is a revolutionary novel antidepressant because it acts rapidly and is effective for treatment-resistant patients. A single infusion of ketamine alleviates depressive symptoms in treatment-resistant depressed patients within hours and these effects may be sustained for up to 2 weeks. Although the discovery of ketamine’s effects has reshaped drug discovery for antidepressants, the psychotomimetic properties of this compound limit the use of this therapy to the most severely ill patients. In order to develop additional antidepressants like ketamine, adequate preclinical behavioral screening paradigms for fast-acting antidepressants need to be established and used to identify the underlying neural mechanisms. This review examines the preclinical literature attempting to model the antidepressant-like effects of ketamine. Acute administration of ketamine has produced effects in behavioral screens for antidepressants like the forced swim test, novelty suppression of feeding and in rodent models for depression. Protracted behavioral effects of ketamine have been reported to appear after a single treatment that last for days. This temporal pattern is similar to its clinical effects and may serve as a new animal paradigm for rapid antidepressant effects in humans. In addition, protracted changes in molecules mediating synaptic plasticity have been implicated in mediating the antidepressant-like behavioral effects of ketamine. Current preclinical studies are examining compounds with more specific pharmacological effects at glutamate receptors and synapses in order to develop additional rapidly acting antidepressants without the hallucinogenic side effects or abuse

  14. Multistate Resistive Switching Memory for Synaptic Memory Applications

    KAUST Repository

    Hota, Mrinal Kanti

    2016-07-12

    Reproducible low bias bipolar resistive switching memory in HfZnOx based memristors is reported. The modification of the concentration of oxygen vacancies in the ternary oxide film, which is facilitated by adding ZnO into HfO2, results in improved memory operation by the ternary oxide compared to the single binary oxides. A controlled multistate memory operation is achieved by controlling current compliance and RESET stop voltages. A high DC cyclic stability up to 400 cycles in the multistate memory performance is observed. Conventional synaptic operation in terms of potentiation, depression plasticity, and Ebbinghaus forgetting process are also studied. The memory mechanism is shown to originate from the migration of the oxygen vacancies and modulation of the interfacial layers. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Nils

    2009-03-12

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

  16. Peeling mechanism of tomato under infrared heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Critical behaviors of peeling tomatoes using infrared heat are thermally induced peel loosening and subsequent cracking. However, the mechanism of peel loosening and cracking due to infrared heating remains unclear. This study aimed at investigating the mechanism of peeling tomatoes under infrared h...

  17. Involvement of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the functional elimination of synaptic contacts during neuromuscular development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Neus; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Lanuza, Maria A; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Josep

    2010-04-05

    Confocal immunohistochemistry shows that neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and its receptor tropomyosin-related tyrosin kinase C (trkC) are present in both neonatal (P6) and adult (P45) mouse motor nerve terminals in neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) colocalized with several synaptic proteins. NT-3 incubation (1-3h, in the range 10-200ng/ml) does not change the size of the evoked and spontaneous endplate potentials at P45. However, NT-3 (1h, 100ng/ml) strongly potentiates evoked ACh release from the weak (70%) and the strong (50%) axonal inputs on dually innervated postnatal endplates (P6) but not in the most developed postnatal singly innervated synapses at P6. The present results indicate that NT-3 has a role in the developmental mechanism that eliminates redundant synapses though it cannot modulate synaptic transmission locally as the NMJ matures.

  18. Diversity of bilateral synaptic assemblies for binaural computation in midbrain single neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Na; Kong, Lingzhi; Lin, Tao; Wang, Shaohui; Liu, Xiuping; Qi, Jiyao; Yan, Jun

    2017-11-01

    Binaural hearing confers many beneficial functions but our understanding of its underlying neural substrates is limited. This study examines the bilateral synaptic assemblies and binaural computation (or integration) in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICc) of the auditory midbrain, a key convergent center. Using in-vivo whole-cell patch-clamp, the excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs/IPSPs) of single ICc neurons to contralateral, ipsilateral and bilateral stimulation were recorded. According to the contralateral and ipsilateral EPSP/IPSP, 7 types of bilateral synaptic assemblies were identified. These include EPSP-EPSP (EE), E-IPSP (EI), E-no response (EO), II, IE, IO and complex-mode (CM) neurons. The CM neurons showed frequency- and/or amplitude-dependent EPSPs/IPSPs to contralateral or ipsilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation induced EPSPs/IPSPs that could be larger than (facilitation), similar to (ineffectiveness) or smaller than (suppression) those induced by contralateral stimulation. Our findings have allowed our group to characterize novel neural circuitry for binaural computation in the midbrain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H Long

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalisa Alfieri

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. The Thouless-Anderson-Palmer equation for an analogue neural network with temporally fluctuating white synaptic noise

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ichiki, Akihisa; Shiino, Masatoshi

    2007-01-01

    Effects of synaptic noise on the retrieval process of associative memory neural networks are studied from the viewpoint of neurobiological and biophysical understanding of information processing in the brain. We investigate the statistical mechanical properties of stochastic analogue neural networks with temporally fluctuating synaptic noise, which is assumed to be white noise. Such networks, in general, defy the use of the replica method, since they have no energy concept. The self-consistent signal-to-noise analysis (SCSNA), which is an alternative to the replica method for deriving a set of order parameter equations, requires no energy concept and thus becomes available in studying networks without energy functions. Applying the SCSNA to stochastic networks requires the knowledge of the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer (TAP) equation which defines the deterministic networks equivalent to the original stochastic ones. The study of the TAP equation which is of particular interest for the case without energy concept is very less, while it is closely related to the SCSNA in the case with energy concept. This paper aims to derive the TAP equation for networks with synaptic noise together with a set of order parameter equations by a hybrid use of the cavity method and the SCSNA

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

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan

    2016-11-02

    In neuromorphic circuits, stochasticity in the cortex can be mapped into the synaptic or neuronal components. The hardware emulation of these stochastic neural networks are currently being extensively studied using resistive memories or memristors. The ionic process involved in the underlying switching behavior of the memristive elements is considered as the main source of stochasticity of its operation. Building on its inherent variability, the memristor is incorporated into abstract models of stochastic neurons and synapses. Two approaches of stochastic neural networks are investigated. Aside from the size and area perspective, the impact on the system performance, in terms of accuracy, recognition rates, and learning, among these two approaches and where the memristor would fall into place are the main comparison points to be considered.

  5. The genome-wide landscape of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in response to sleep deprivation impacts on synaptic plasticity genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massart, R; Freyburger, M; Suderman, M; Paquet, J; El Helou, J; Belanger-Nelson, E; Rachalski, A; Koumar, O C; Carrier, J; Szyf, M; Mongrain, V

    2014-01-21

    Sleep is critical for normal brain function and mental health. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating the impact of sleep loss on both cognition and the sleep electroencephalogram remain mostly unknown. Acute sleep loss impacts brain gene expression broadly. These data contributed to current hypotheses regarding the role for sleep in metabolism, synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection. These changes in gene expression likely underlie increased sleep intensity following sleep deprivation (SD). Here we tested the hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms coordinate the gene expression response driven by SD. We found that SD altered the cortical genome-wide distribution of two major epigenetic marks: DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation. DNA methylation differences were enriched in gene pathways involved in neuritogenesis and synaptic plasticity, whereas large changes (>4000 sites) in hydroxymethylation where observed in genes linked to cytoskeleton, signaling and neurotransmission, which closely matches SD-dependent changes in the transcriptome. Moreover, this epigenetic remodeling applied to elements previously linked to sleep need (for example, Arc and Egr1) and synaptic partners of Neuroligin-1 (Nlgn1; for example, Dlg4, Nrxn1 and Nlgn3), which we recently identified as a regulator of sleep intensity following SD. We show here that Nlgn1 mutant mice display an enhanced slow-wave slope during non-rapid eye movement sleep following SD but this mutation does not affect SD-dependent changes in gene expression, suggesting that the Nlgn pathway acts downstream to mechanisms triggering gene expression changes in SD. These data reveal that acute SD reprograms the epigenetic landscape, providing a unique molecular route by which sleep can impact brain function and health.

  6. Molecular constraints on synaptic tagging and maintenance of long-term potentiation: a predictive model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolen, Paul; Baxter, Douglas A; Byrne, John H

    2012-01-01

    Protein synthesis-dependent, late long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) at glutamatergic hippocampal synapses are well characterized examples of long-term synaptic plasticity. Persistent increased activity of protein kinase M ζ (PKMζ) is thought essential for maintaining LTP. Additional spatial and temporal features that govern LTP and LTD induction are embodied in the synaptic tagging and capture (STC) and cross capture hypotheses. Only synapses that have been "tagged" by a stimulus sufficient for LTP and learning can "capture" PKMζ. A model was developed to simulate the dynamics of key molecules required for LTP and LTD. The model concisely represents relationships between tagging, capture, LTD, and LTP maintenance. The model successfully simulated LTP maintained by persistent synaptic PKMζ, STC, LTD, and cross capture, and makes testable predictions concerning the dynamics of PKMζ. The maintenance of LTP, and consequently of at least some forms of long-term memory, is predicted to require continual positive feedback in which PKMζ enhances its own synthesis only at potentiated synapses. This feedback underlies bistability in the activity of PKMζ. Second, cross capture requires the induction of LTD to induce dendritic PKMζ synthesis, although this may require tagging of a nearby synapse for LTP. The model also simulates the effects of PKMζ inhibition, and makes additional predictions for the dynamics of CaM kinases. Experiments testing the above predictions would significantly advance the understanding of memory maintenance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C; Martins, Ana Raquel O

    2011-09-01

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

  8. Deciphering the Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms Underlying ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Deciphering the Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms Underlying Auditory Learning. This project seeks to understand the brain mechanisms necessary for people to learn to perceive sounds. Neural circuits and learning. The research team will test people with and without musical training to evaluate their capacity to learn ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Effect of co-transporter blockers on non-synaptic epileptiform activity—computational simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues Lopes, Mariana; Canton Santos, Luiz Eduardo; Márcio Rodrigues, Antônio; Antônio Duarte, Mario; Catelli Infantosi, Antonio Fernando; Alexandre Scorza, Fulvio; Arida, Ricardo Mario; Madureira, Ana Paula; Amaral da Silveira, Gilcélio; dos Santos, Ivans Carlos; Abrão Cavalheiro, Esper; Guimarães de Almeida, Antônio-Carlos

    2013-10-01

    The important role of cation-chloride co-transporters in epilepsy is being supported by an increasing number of investigations. However, enormous complexity is involved since the action of these co-transp