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Sample records for motoneuron synaptic plasticity

  1. 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...

  2. Spinal motoneuron synaptic plasticity after axotomy in the absence of inducible nitric oxide synthase

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    Zanon Renata G

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Astrocytes play a major role in preserving and restoring structural and physiological integrity following injury to the nervous system. After peripheral axotomy, reactive gliosis propagates within adjacent spinal segments, influenced by the local synthesis of nitric oxide (NO. The present work investigated the importance of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS activity in acute and late glial responses after injury and in major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I expression and synaptic plasticity of inputs to lesioned alpha motoneurons. Methods In vivo analyses were carried out using C57BL/6J-iNOS knockout (iNOS-/- and C57BL/6J mice. Glial response after axotomy, glial MHC I expression, and the effects of axotomy on synaptic contacts were measured using immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. For this purpose, 2-month-old animals were sacrificed and fixed one or two weeks after unilateral sciatic nerve transection, and spinal cord sections were incubated with antibodies against classical MHC I, GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein - an astroglial marker, Iba-1 (an ionized calcium binding adaptor protein and a microglial marker or synaptophysin (a presynaptic terminal marker. Western blotting analysis of MHC I and nNOS expression one week after lesion were also performed. The data were analyzed using a two-tailed Student's t test for parametric data or a two-tailed Mann-Whitney U test for nonparametric data. Results A statistical difference was shown with respect to astrogliosis between strains at the different time points studied. Also, MHC I expression by iNOS-/- microglial cells did not increase at one or two weeks after unilateral axotomy. There was a difference in synaptophysin expression reflecting synaptic elimination, in which iNOS-/- mice displayed a decreased number of the inputs to alpha motoneurons, in comparison to that of C57BL/6J. Conclusion The findings herein indicate that i

  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. Voltage-dependent amplification of synaptic inputs in respiratory motoneurones

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    Enríquez Denton, M; Wienecke, J; Zhang, M; Hultborn, H; Kirkwood, P A

    2012-01-01

    The role of persistent inward currents (PICs) in cat respiratory motoneurones (phrenic inspiratory and thoracic expiratory) was investigated by studying the voltage-dependent amplification of central respiratory drive potentials (CRDPs), recorded intracellularly, with action potentials blocked with the local anaesthetic derivative, QX-314. Decerebrate unanaesthetized or barbiturate-anaesthetized preparations were used. In expiratory motoneurones, plateau potentials were observed in the decerebrates, but not under anaesthesia. For phrenic motoneurones, no plateau potentials were observed in either state (except in one motoneurone after the abolition of the respiratory drive by means of a medullary lesion), but all motoneurones showed voltage-dependent amplification of the CRDPs, over a wide range of membrane potentials, too wide to result mainly from PIC activation. The measurements of the amplification were restricted to the phase of excitation, thus excluding the inhibitory phase. Amplification was found to be greatest for the smallest CRDPs in the lowest resistance motoneurones and was reduced or abolished following intracellular injection of the NMDA channel blocker, MK-801. Plateau potentials were readily evoked in non-phrenic cervical motoneurones in the same (decerebrate) preparations. We conclude that the voltage-dependent amplification of synaptic excitation in phrenic motoneurones is mainly the result of NMDA channel modulation rather than the activation of Ca2+ channel mediated PICs, despite phrenic motoneurones being strongly immunohistochemically labelled for CaV1.3 channels. The differential PIC activation in different motoneurones, all of which are CaV1.3 positive, leads us to postulate that the descending modulation of PICs is more selective than has hitherto been believed. PMID:22495582

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

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    Rune W Berg

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

  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. Neural control of phrenic motoneuron discharge

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    Lee, Kun-Ze; Fuller, David D.

    2011-01-01

    Phrenic motoneurons (PMNs) provide a synaptic relay between bulbospinal respiratory pathways and the diaphragm muscle. PMNs also receive propriospinal inputs, although the functional role of these interneuronal projections has not been established. Here we review the literature regarding PMN discharge patterns during breathing and the potential mechanisms that underlie PMN recruitment. Anatomical and neurophysiological studies indicate that PMNs form a heterogeneous pool, with respiratory-related PMN discharge and recruitment patterns likely determined by a balance between intrinsic MN properties and extrinsic synaptic inputs. We also review the limited literature regarding PMN bursting during respiratory plasticity. Differential recruitment or rate modulation of PMN subtypes may underlie phrenic motor plasticity following neural injury and/or respiratory stimulation; however this possibility remains relatively unexplored. PMID:21376841

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Voltage-dependent amplification of synaptic inputs in respiratory motoneurones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enríquez Denton, M; Wienecke, Jacob; Zhang, Mengliang

    2012-01-01

    time, the likely amplifying processes at work in respiratory motoneurones. In phrenic motoneurones, which control the most important respiratory muscle, the diaphragm, we found that the mechanism most favoured by investigations in other motoneurones, the activation of persistent inward currents via...

  12. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

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    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.

  13. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Irregular Firing and High-Conductance States in Spinal Motoneurons during Scratching and Swimming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn; Alaburda, Aidas

    2016-01-01

    UNLABELLED: Intense synaptic transmission during scratch network activity increases conductance and induces irregular firing in spinal motoneurons. It is not known whether this high-conductance state is a select feature for scratching or a property that goes with spinal motor network activity...... in general. Here we compare conductance and firing patterns in spinal motoneurons during network activity for scratching and swimming in an ex vivo carapace-spinal cord preparation from adult turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans). The pattern and relative engagement of motoneurons are distinctly different...... in scratching and swimming. Nevertheless, we found increased synaptic fluctuations in membrane potential, irregular firing, and increased conductance in spinal motoneurons during scratch and swim network activity. Our finding indicates that intense synaptic activation of motoneurons is a general feature...

  15. 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.

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

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    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.

  17. The Corticohippocampal Circuit, Synaptic Plasticity, and Memory

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    Basu, Jayeeta; Siegelbaum, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Reduction of common synaptic drive to ankle dorsiflexor motoneurons during walking in patients with spinal cord lesion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, N.L.; Conway, B.A.; Halliday, D.M.

    2005-01-01

    It is possible to obtain information about the synaptic drive to motoneurons during walking by analyzing motor-unit coupling in the time and frequency domains. The purpose of the present study was to compare motor-unit coupling during walking in healthy subjects and patients with incomplete spina...... as physiological markers of impaired supraspinal control of gait in SCL patients. Such markers could have diagnostic and prognostic value in relation to the recovery of locomotion in patients with central motor lesions....

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Plastic changes in spinal synaptic transmission following botulinum toxin A in patients with post-stroke spasticity.

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    Kerzoncuf, Marjorie; Bensoussan, Laurent; Delarque, Alain; Durand, Jacques; Viton, Jean-Michel; Rossi-Durand, Christiane

    2015-11-01

    The therapeutic effects of intramuscular injections of botulinum toxin-type A on spasticity can largely be explained by its blocking action at the neuromuscular junction. Botulinum toxin-type A is also thought to have a central action on the functional organization of the central nervous system. This study assessed the action of botulinum toxin-type A on spinal motor networks by investigating post-activation depression of the soleus H-reflex in post-stroke patients. Post-activation depression, a presynaptic mechanism controlling the synaptic efficacy of Ia-motoneuron transmission, is involved in the pathophysiology of spasticity. Eight patients with chronic hemiplegia post-stroke presenting with lower limb spasticity and requiring botulinum toxin-type A injection in the ankle extensor muscle. Post-activation depression of soleus H-reflex assessed as frequency-related depression of H-reflex was investigated before and 3, 6 and 12 weeks after botulinum toxin-type A injections in the triceps surae. Post-activation depression was quantified as the ratio between H-reflex amplitude at 0.5 and 0.1 Hz. Post-activation depression of soleus H-reflex, which is reduced on the paretic leg, was affected 3 weeks after botulinum toxin-type A injection. Depending on the residual motor capacity of the post-stroke patients, post-activation depression was either restored in patients with preserved voluntary motor control or further reduced in patients with no residual voluntary control. Botulinum toxin treatment induces synaptic plasticity at the Ia-motoneuron synapse in post-stroke paretic patients, which suggests that the effectiveness of botulinum toxin-type A in post-stroke rehabilitation might be partly due to its central effects.

  2. 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

  3. Frequency dependent changes in NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity

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    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.

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

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    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

  5. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Monosynaptic inputs from the nucleus tractus solitarii to the laryngeal motoneurons in the nucleus ambiguus of the rat.

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    Hayakawa, T; Takanaga, A; Maeda, S; Ito, H; Seki, M

    2000-11-01

    The cricothyroid (CT) and the posterior cricoarytenoid (PCA) muscles in the larynx are activated by the laryngeal motoneurons located within the nucleus ambiguus; these motoneurons receive the laryngeal sensory information from the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) during respiration and swallowing. We investigated whether the neurons in the NTS projected directly to the laryngeal motoneurons, and what is the synaptic organization of their nerve terminals on the laryngeal motoneurons using the electron microscope. When wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) was injected into the NTS after cholera toxin subunit B-conjugated HRP (CT-HRP) was injected into the CT muscle or the PCA muscle, the anterogradely WGA-HRP-labeled terminals from the NTS were found to directly contact the retrogradely CT-HRP-labeled dendrites and soma of both the CT and the PCA motoneurons. The labeled NTS terminals comprised about 4% of the axosomatic terminals in a section through the CT motoneurons, and about 9% on both the small (PCA-A) and the large (PCA-B) PCA motoneurons. The number of labeled axosomatic terminals containing round vesicles and making asymmetric synaptic contacts (Gray's type I) was almost equal to that of the labeled terminals containing pleomorphic vesicles and making symmetric synaptic contacts (Gray's type II) on the CT motoneurons. The labeled axosomatic terminals were mostly Gray's type II on the PCA-A motoneurons, while the majority of them were Gray's type I on the PCA-B motoneurons. These results indicate that the laryngeal CT and PCA motoneurons receive a few direct excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the neurons in the NTS.

  7. A neuromorphic implementation of multiple spike-timing synaptic plasticity rules for large-scale neural networks

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    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.

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

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    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aile evan Huijstee

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Facilitates Massed Pattern-Induced Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Kiran; Sharma, Kaushik P.; Sharma, Shiv K.

    2015-01-01

    Massed training is less effective for long-term memory formation than the spaced training. The role of acetylation in synaptic plasticity and memory is now well established. However, the role of this important protein modification in synaptic plasticity induced by massed pattern of stimulation or memory induced by massed training is not well…

  15. 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.

  16. Divisive gain modulation of motoneurons by inhibition optimizes muscular control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vestergaard, Mikkel; Berg, Rune W.

    2015-01-01

    unclear whether the motoneuron gain, i.e., the slope of the transformation between synaptic input and spiking output, is also modulated to reduce variability in force. To address this issue, we use turtle hindlimb scratching as a model for fine motor control, since this behavior involves precise limb...... movement to rub the location of somatic nuisance touch. We recorded intracellularly from motoneurons in a reduced preparation where the limbs were removed to increase mechanical stability and the motor nerve activity served as a surrogate for muscle force. We found that not only is the gain of motoneurons...

  17. 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

  18. Functional recovery after cervical spinal cord injury: Role of neurotrophin and glutamatergic signaling in phrenic motoneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Luther C; Gransee, Heather M; Sieck, Gary C; Mantilla, Carlos B

    2016-06-01

    Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) interrupts descending neural drive to phrenic motoneurons causing diaphragm muscle (DIAm) paralysis. Recent studies using a well-established model of SCI, unilateral spinal hemisection of the C2 segment of the cervical spinal cord (SH), provide novel information regarding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of functional recovery after SCI. Over time post-SH, gradual recovery of rhythmic ipsilateral DIAm activity occurs. Recovery of ipsilateral DIAm electromyogram (EMG) activity following SH is enhanced by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the region of the phrenic motoneuron pool. Delivery of exogenous BDNF either via intrathecal infusion or via mesenchymal stem cells engineered to release BDNF similarly enhance recovery. Conversely, recovery after SH is blunted by quenching endogenous BDNF with the fusion-protein TrkB-Fc in the region of the phrenic motoneuron pool or by selective inhibition of TrkB kinase activity using a chemical-genetic approach in TrkB(F616A) mice. Furthermore, the importance of BDNF signaling via TrkB receptors at phrenic motoneurons is highlighted by the blunting of recovery by siRNA-mediated downregulation of TrkB receptor expression in phrenic motoneurons and by the enhancement of recovery evident following virally-induced increases in TrkB expression specifically in phrenic motoneurons. BDNF/TrkB signaling regulates synaptic plasticity in various neuronal systems, including glutamatergic pathways. Glutamatergic neurotransmission constitutes the main inspiratory-related, excitatory drive to motoneurons, and following SH, spontaneous neuroplasticity is associated with increased expression of ionotropic N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in phrenic motoneurons. Evidence for the role of BDNF/TrkB and glutamatergic signaling in recovery of DIAm activity following cervical SCI is reviewed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Does autophagy work in synaptic plasticity and memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehata, Mohammad; Inokuchi, Kaoru

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have reported the roles played by regulated proteolysis in neural plasticity and memory. Within this context, most of the research focused on the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the endosome-lysosome system while giving lesser consideration to another major protein degradation system, namely, autophagy. Although autophagy intersects with many of the pathways known to underlie synaptic plasticity and memory, only few reports related autophagy to synaptic remodeling. These pathways include PI3K-mTOR pathway and endosome-dependent proteolysis. In this review, we will discuss several lines of evidence supporting a physiological role of autophagy in memory processes, and the possible mechanistic scenarios for how autophagy could fulfill this function.

  20. P2X Receptors and Synaptic Plasticity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Suppression of synaptic plasticity by fullerenol in rat hippocampus in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang XX

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Xin-Xing Wang,1,2,* Ying-Ying Zha,3,* Bo Yang,1 Lin Chen,1,2 Ming Wang1,2 1CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Diseases, 2Auditory Research Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, People’s Republic of China; 3Cell Electrophysiology Laboratory, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Fullerenol, a water-soluble fullerene derivative, has attracted much attention due to its bioactive properties, including the antioxidative properties and free radical scavenging ability. Due to its superior nature, fullerenol represents a promising diagnostic, therapeutic, and protective agent. Therefore, elucidation of the possible side effects of fullerenol is important in determining its potential role. In the present study, we investigated the acute effects of 5 µM fullerenol on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal brain slices of rats. Incubation with fullerenol for 20 minutes significantly decreased the peak of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, indicating that fullerenol suppresses the short- and long-term synaptic plasticity of region I of hippocampus. We found that fullerenol depressed the activity and the expression of nitric oxide (NO synthase in hippocampus. In view of the important role of NO in synaptic plasticity, the inhibition of fullerenol on NO synthase may contribute to the suppression of synaptic plasticity. These findings may facilitate the evaluation of the side effects of fullerenol. Keywords: fullerenol, hippocampal slice, nitric oxide synthase, synaptic plasticity, oxidative stress

  2. Functional plasticity in the respiratory drive to thoracic motoneurons in the segment above a chronic lateral spinal cord lesion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ford, T W; Anissimova, Natalia P; Meehan, Claire Francesca

    2016-01-01

    A previous neurophysiological investigation demonstrated an increase in functional projections of expiratory bulbospinal neurons (EBSNs) in the segment above a chronic lateral thoracic spinal cord lesion that severed their axons. We have now investigated how this plasticity might be manifested...... in thoracic motoneurons by measuring their respiratory drive and the connections to them from individual EBSNs. In anesthetized cats, simultaneous recordings were made intracellularly from motoneurons in the segment above a left-side chronic (16 wk) lesion of the spinal cord in the rostral part of T8, T9......, or T10 and extracellularly from EBSNs in the right caudal medulla, antidromically excited from just above the lesion but not from below. Spike-triggered averaging was used to measure the connections between pairs of EBSNs and motoneurons. Connections were found to have a very similar distribution...

  3. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Nisticò

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

  5. 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

  6. Dysregulated Expression of Neuregulin-1 by Cortical Pyramidal Neurons Disrupts Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Agarwal

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Neuregulin-1 (NRG1 gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an “optimal” level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect.

  7. Dysregulated expression of neuregulin-1 by cortical pyramidal neurons disrupts synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Amit; Zhang, Mingyue; Trembak-Duff, Irina; Unterbarnscheidt, Tilmann; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Dibaj, Payam; Martins de Souza, Daniel; Boretius, Susann; Brzózka, Magdalena M; Steffens, Heinz; Berning, Sebastian; Teng, Zenghui; Gummert, Maike N; Tantra, Martesa; Guest, Peter C; Willig, Katrin I; Frahm, Jens; Hell, Stefan W; Bahn, Sabine; Rossner, Moritz J; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Zhang, Weiqi; Schwab, Markus H

    2014-08-21

    Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) gene variants are associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia. It is unclear whether risk haplotypes cause elevated or decreased expression of NRG1 in the brains of schizophrenia patients, given that both findings have been reported from autopsy studies. To study NRG1 functions in vivo, we generated mouse mutants with reduced and elevated NRG1 levels and analyzed the impact on cortical functions. Loss of NRG1 from cortical projection neurons resulted in increased inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, and hypoactivity. Neuronal overexpression of cysteine-rich domain (CRD)-NRG1, the major brain isoform, caused unbalanced excitatory-inhibitory neurotransmission, reduced synaptic plasticity, abnormal spine growth, altered steady-state levels of synaptic plasticity-related proteins, and impaired sensorimotor gating. We conclude that an "optimal" level of NRG1 signaling balances excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the cortex. Our data provide a potential pathomechanism for impaired synaptic plasticity and suggest that human NRG1 risk haplotypes exert a gain-of-function effect. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Synaptic plasticity and the warburg effect

    KAUST Repository

    Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Cathérine Brandt

    Full Text Available Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics that can be considered motor responses to preceding inner urges. It has been shown that Tourette patients have inferior performance in some motor learning tasks and reduced synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, it has not been investigated whether altered synaptic plasticity is directly linked to impaired motor skill acquisition in Tourette patients. In this study, cortical plasticity was assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials before and after paired associative stimulation in 14 Tourette patients (13 male; age 18-39 and 15 healthy controls (12 male; age 18-33. Tic and urge severity were assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Premonitory Urges for Tics Scale. Motor learning was assessed 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity and 9 months later, using the rotary pursuit task. On average, long-term potentiation-like effects in response to the paired associative stimulation were present in healthy controls but not in patients. In Tourette patients, long-term potentiation-like effects were associated with more and long-term depression-like effects with less severe urges and tics. While motor learning did not differ between patients and healthy controls 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity, the learning curve of the healthy controls started at a significantly higher level than the Tourette patients' 9 months later. Induced synaptic plasticity correlated positively with motor skills in healthy controls 9 months later. The present study confirms previously found long-term improvement in motor performance after paired associative stimulation in healthy controls but not in Tourette patients. Tourette patients did not show long-term potentiation in response to PAS and also showed reduced levels of motor skill consolidation after 9 months compared to healthy controls. Moreover

  12. Plasticity resembling spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity: the evidence in human cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Müller-Dahlhaus

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP has been studied extensively in a variety of animal models during the past decade but whether it can be studied at the systems level of the human cortex has been a matter of debate. Only recently newly developed non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS have made it possible to induce and assess timing dependent plasticity in conscious human subjects. This review will present a critical synopsis of these experiments, which suggest that several of the principal characteristics and molecular mechanisms of TMS-induced plasticity correspond to those of STDP as studied at a cellular level. TMS combined with a second phasic stimulation modality can induce bidirectional long-lasting changes in the excitability of the stimulated cortex, whose polarity depends on the order of the associated stimulus-evoked events within a critical time window of tens of milliseconds. Pharmacological evidence suggests an NMDA receptor mediated form of synaptic plasticity. Studies in human motor cortex demonstrated that motor learning significantly modulates TMS-induced timing dependent plasticity, and, conversely, may be modulated bidirectionally by prior TMS-induced plasticity, providing circumstantial evidence that long-term potentiation-like mechanisms may be involved in motor learning. In summary, convergent evidence is being accumulated for the contention that it is now possible to induce STDP-like changes in the intact human central nervous system by means of TMS to study and interfere with synaptic plasticity in neural circuits in the context of behaviour such as learning and memory.

  13. Modulation of the intrinsic properties of motoneurons by serotonin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perrier, Jean-François; Rasmussen, Hanne Borger; Christensen, Rasmus Kordt

    2013-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) is one of the main transmitters in the nervous system. Serotonergic neurons in the raphe nuclei in the brainstem innervate most parts of the central nervous system including motoneurons in the spinal cord and brainstem. This review will focus on the modulatory role that 5-HT exerts...... a sustained depolarization and an amplification of synaptic inputs. Under pathological conditions, such as after a spinal cord injury, the promotion of persistent inward currents by serotonin and/or the overexpression of autoactive serotonergic receptors may contribute to motoneuronal excitability, muscle...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Interplay of multiple synaptic plasticity features in filamentary memristive devices for neuromorphic computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Barbera, Selina; Vincent, Adrien F.; Vuillaume, Dominique; Querlioz, Damien; Alibart, Fabien

    2016-12-01

    Bio-inspired computing represents today a major challenge at different levels ranging from material science for the design of innovative devices and circuits to computer science for the understanding of the key features required for processing of natural data. In this paper, we propose a detail analysis of resistive switching dynamics in electrochemical metallization cells for synaptic plasticity implementation. We show how filament stability associated to joule effect during switching can be used to emulate key synaptic features such as short term to long term plasticity transition and spike timing dependent plasticity. Furthermore, an interplay between these different synaptic features is demonstrated for object motion detection in a spike-based neuromorphic circuit. System level simulation presents robust learning and promising synaptic operation paving the way to complex bio-inspired computing systems composed of innovative memory devices.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Bonansco

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim P Vogels

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexi Nott

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of parvalbumin (Pv–expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2, has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice and coincides with enhanced long-term depression that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nott, Alexi; Cho, Sukhee; Seo, Jinsoo; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2015-01-01

    An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of Parvalbumin (Pv)-expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv-interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice, and coincides with enhanced long-term depression (LTD) that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv-interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

  7. Effects of the pyrethroid insecticide, deltamethrin, on respiratory modulated hypoglossal motoneurons in a brain stem slice from newborn mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C; Theophilidis, G

    1995-01-01

    We have studied the action of deltamethrin on respiratory modulated hypoglossal motoneurons in a brain stem slice from newborn mice. Deltamethrin depolarized the hypoglossal motoneurons, increased the background synaptic noise and reduced the frequency and amplitude of current elicited action...

  8. 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...

  9. Plateau potentials in alpha‐motoneurones induced by intravenous injection of L‐dopa and clonidine in the spinal cat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conway, B. A.; Hultborn, H.; Kiehn, O.

    1988-01-01

    1. Intracellular recordings were made from lumbar alpha‐motoneurones in unanaesthetized decerebrate acute spinal cats. The response of motoneurones to direct current pulse injection or synaptic excitation was investigated following intravenous injection of L‐beta‐3,4‐dihydroxyphenylalanine (L....... It is demonstrated that plateau potentials in the motoneurones contribute to the late long‐lasting reflexes observed in L‐DOPA‐treated spinal cats. 7. It is concluded that L‐DOPA (and clonidine) change the response properties of the motoneurones in an analogous way to 5‐hydroxy‐DL‐tryptophan (5‐HTP...

  10. Design principles of electrical synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, John

    2017-09-08

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

  11. Loss of Cdc42 leads to defects in synaptic plasticity and remote memory recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Il Hwan; Wang, Hong; Soderling, Scott H; Yasuda, Ryohei

    2014-07-08

    Cdc42 is a signaling protein important for reorganization of actin cytoskeleton and morphogenesis of cells. However, the functional role of Cdc42 in synaptic plasticity and in behaviors such as learning and memory are not well understood. Here we report that postnatal forebrain deletion of Cdc42 leads to deficits in synaptic plasticity and in remote memory recall using conditional knockout of Cdc42. We found that deletion of Cdc42 impaired LTP in the Schaffer collateral synapses and postsynaptic structural plasticity of dendritic spines in CA1 pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus. Additionally, loss of Cdc42 did not affect memory acquisition, but instead significantly impaired remote memory recall. Together these results indicate that the postnatal functions of Cdc42 may be crucial for the synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons, which contribute to the capacity for remote memory recall.

  12. Intrinsic membrane properties causing a bistable behaviour of α-motoneurones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J.; Hultborn, H.; Jespersen, B.

    1984-01-01

    injected depolarizing current pulse and is terminated by a short train of inhibitory synaptic potentials or a hyperpolarizing current pulse. It is concluded that maintained motor unit firing triggered by a brief train of impulses in Ia afferent reflects an intrinsic bistable behaviour of α-motoneurones....

  13. The effects of aging on hypoglossal motoneurons in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Emilie C; Thompson, Jodi M; Connor, Nadine P; Behan, Mary

    2009-03-01

    Aging can result in a loss of neuronal cell bodies and a decrease in neuronal size in some regions of the brain and spinal cord. Motoneuron loss in the spinal cord is thought to contribute to the progressive decline in muscle mass and strength that occurs with age (sarcopenia). Swallowing disorders represent a large clinical problem in elderly persons; however, age-related alterations in cranial motoneurons that innervate muscles involved in swallowing have been understudied. We aimed to determine if age-related alterations occurred in the hypoglossal nucleus in the brainstem. If present, these changes might help explain alterations at the neuromuscular junction and changes in the contractile properties of tongue muscle that have been reported in older rats. We hypothesized that with increasing age there would be a loss of motoneurons and a reduction in neuronal size and the number of primary dendrites associated with each hypoglossal motoneuron. Neurons in the hypoglossal nucleus were visualized with the neuronal marker NeuN in young (9-10 months), middle-aged (24-25 months), and old (32-33 months) male F344/BN rats. Hypoglossal motoneurons were retrograde-labeled with injections of Cholera Toxin beta into the genioglossus muscle of the tongue and visualized using immunocytochemistry. Results indicated that the number of primary dendrites of hypoglossal motoneurons decreased significantly with age, while no age-associated changes were found in the number or size of hypoglossal motoneurons. Loss of primary dendrites could reduce the number of synaptic inputs and thereby impair function.

  14. Bistability of alpha‐motoneurones in the decerebrate cat and in the acute spinal cat after intravenous 5‐hydroxytryptophan

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J.; Hultborn, H.; Jespersen, B.

    1988-01-01

    1. In the preceding paper (Crone, Hultborn, Kiehn, Mazieres & Wigström, 1988) it was shown that a short‐lasting synaptic excitation (‘on’ stimulus) of extensor motoneurones (primarily triceps surae) in the decerebrate cat often resulted in a maintained excitability increase, which could be reset...... be triggered by short‐lasting excitation and inhibition of the motoneurones is referred to as ‘bistable’ behaviour of the motoneurones. 4. After an acute spinal transection, in the unanaesthetized cat, the bistable behaviour of the motoneurones disappeared. However, it reappears following intravenous injection...

  15. Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity Emulated in Modified Graphene Oxide Electrolyte Gated IZO-Based Thin-Film Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yi; Wen, Juan; Guo, Liqiang; Wan, Xiang; Du, Peifu; Feng, Ping; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-11-09

    Emulating neural behaviors at the synaptic level is of great significance for building neuromorphic computational systems and realizing artificial intelligence. Here, oxide-based electric double-layer (EDL) thin-film transistors were fabricated using 3-triethoxysilylpropylamine modified graphene oxide (KH550-GO) electrolyte as the gate dielectrics. Resulting from the EDL effect and electrochemical doping between mobile protons and the indium-zinc-oxide channel layer, long-term synaptic plasticity was emulated in our devices. Synaptic functions including long-term memory, synaptic temporal integration, and dynamic filters were successfully reproduced. In particular, spike rate-dependent plasticity (SRDP), one of the basic learning rules of long-term plasticity in the neural network where the synaptic weight changes according to the rate of presynaptic spikes, was emulated in our devices. Our results may facilitate the development of neuromorphic computational systems.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina eSchulz

    2010-12-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. RNA-Dependent Intergenerational Inheritance of Enhanced Synaptic Plasticity after Environmental Enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benito, Eva; Kerimoglu, Cemil; Ramachandran, Binu; Pena-Centeno, Tonatiuh; Jain, Gaurav; Stilling, Roman Manuel; Islam, Md Rezaul; Capece, Vincenzo; Zhou, Qihui; Edbauer, Dieter; Dean, Camin; Fischer, André

    2018-04-10

    Physical exercise in combination with cognitive training is known to enhance synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory and lower the risk for various complex diseases including Alzheimer's disease. Here, we show that exposure of adult male mice to an environmental enrichment paradigm leads to enhancement of synaptic plasticity and cognition also in the next generation. We show that this effect is mediated through sperm RNA and especially miRs 212/132. In conclusion, our study reports intergenerational inheritance of an acquired cognitive benefit and points to specific miRs as candidates mechanistically involved in this type of transmission. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Developmental plasticity of phrenic motoneuron and diaphragm properties with the inception of inspiratory drive transmission in utero.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greer, John J; Martin-Caraballo, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    The review outlines data consistent with the hypothesis that inspiratory drive transmission that generates fetal breathing movements (FBMs) is essential for the developmental plasticity of phrenic motoneurons (PMNs) and diaphragm musculature prior to birth. A systematic examination during the perinatal period demonstrated a very marked transformation of PMN and diaphragm properties coinciding with the onset and strengthening of inspiratory drive and FBMs in utero. This included studies of age-dependent changes of: i) morphology, neuronal coupling, passive and electrophysiological properties of PMNs; ii) rhythmic inspiratory activity in vitro; iii) FBMs generated in vivo detected by ultrasonography; iv) contractile and end-plate potential properties of diaphragm musculature. We also propose how the hypothesis can be further evaluated with studies of perinatal hypoglossal motoneuron-tongue musculature and the use of Dbx1 null mice that provide an experimental model lacking descending inspiratory drive transmission in utero. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The influence of increased membrane conductance on response properties of spinal motoneurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grigonis, Ramunas; Guzulaitis, Robertas; Buisas, Rokas

    2016-01-01

    During functional spinal neural network activity motoneurons receive massive synaptic excitation and inhibition, and their membrane conductance increases considerably – they are switched to a high-conductance state. High-conductance states can substantially alter response properties of motoneurons....... In the present study we investigated how an increase in membrane conductance affects spike frequency adaptation, the gain (i.e., the slope of the frequency-current relationship) and the threshold for action potential generation. We used intracellular recordings from adult turtle motoneurons in spinal cord slices....... Membrane conductance was increased pharmacologically by extracellular application of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol. Our findings suggest that an increase in membrane conductance of about 40–50% increases the magnitude of spike frequency adaptation, but does not change the threshold for action...

  6. Segregation of glutamatergic and cholinergic transmission at the mixed motoneuron Renshaw cell synapse.

    OpenAIRE

    Lamotte d Incamps, B.; Bhumbra, G. S.; Foster, J. D.; Beato, M.; Ascher, P.

    2017-01-01

    In neonatal mice motoneurons excite Renshaw cells by releasing both acetylcholine (ACh) and glutamate. These two neurotransmitters activate two types of nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) (the homomeric α7 receptors and the heteromeric α*ß* receptors) as well as the two types of glutamate receptors (GluRs) (AMPARs and NMDARs). Using paired recordings, we confirm that a single motoneuron can release both transmitters on a single post-synaptic Renshaw cell. We then show that co-transmission is prese...

  7. 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.

  8. Perineuronal Nets in Spinal Motoneurones: Chondroitin Sulphate Proteoglycan around Alpha Motoneurones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sian F. Irvine

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Perineuronal nets (PNNs are extracellular matrix structures surrounding neuronal sub-populations throughout the central nervous system, regulating plasticity. Enzymatically removing PNNs successfully enhances plasticity and thus functional recovery, particularly in spinal cord injury models. While PNNs within various brain regions are well studied, much of the composition and associated populations in the spinal cord is yet unknown. We aim to investigate the populations of PNN neurones involved in this functional motor recovery. Immunohistochemistry for choline acetyltransferase (labelling motoneurones, PNNs using Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA and chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs, including aggrecan, was performed to characterise the molecular heterogeneity of PNNs in rat spinal motoneurones (Mns. CSPG-positive PNNs surrounded ~70–80% of Mns. Using WFA, only ~60% of the CSPG-positive PNNs co-localised with WFA in the spinal Mns, while ~15–30% of Mns showed CSPG-positive but WFA-negative PNNs. Selective labelling revealed that aggrecan encircled ~90% of alpha Mns. The results indicate that (1 aggrecan labels spinal PNNs better than WFA, and (2 there are differences in PNN composition and their associated neuronal populations between the spinal cord and cortex. Insights into the role of PNNs and their molecular heterogeneity in the spinal motor pools could aid in designing targeted strategies to enhance functional recovery post-injury.

  9. Role of the adhesion molecule F3/Contactin in synaptic plasticity and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulisano, Walter; Bizzoca, Antonella; Gennarini, Gianfranco; Palmeri, Agostino; Puzzo, Daniela

    2017-06-01

    Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) have a pivotal role in building and maintaining synaptic structures during brain development participating in axonal elongation and pathfinding, glial guidance of neuronal migration, as well as myelination. CAMs expression persists in the adult brain particularly in structures undergoing postnatal neurogenesis and involved in synaptic plasticity and memory as the hippocampus. Among the neural CAMs, we have recently focused on F3/Contactin, a glycosylphosphatidyl inositol-anchored glycoprotein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily, involved in neuronal development, synaptic maintenance and organization of neuronal networks. Here, we discuss our recent data suggesting that F3/Contactin exerts a role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory in adult and aged mice. In particular, we have studied long-term potentiation (LTP), spatial and object recognition memory, and phosphorylation of the transcription factor cAMP-Responsive-Element Binding protein (CREB) in a transgenic mouse model of F3/Contactin overexpression. We also investigated whether F3/Contactin might influence neuronal apoptosis and the production of amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ), known to be one of the main pathogenetic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In conclusion, a further understanding of F3/Contactin role in synaptic plasticity and memory might have interesting clinical outcomes in cognitive disorders, such as aging and AD, offering innovative therapeutic opportunities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Hirai, Daichi; Murayama, Masanori

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Miyamoto

    2017-11-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Ultrastructure and synaptic organization of the spinal accessory nucleus of the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa, Tetsu; Takanaga, Akinori; Tanaka, Koichi; Maeda, Seishi; Seki, Makoto

    2002-06-01

    The accessory nucleus is composed of neurons in the medial column that innervate the sternocleidomastoid muscle, and neurons in the lateral column that innervate the trapezius muscle. We retrogradely labeled these neurons by injection of cholera toxin conjugated horseradish peroxidase into the sternomastoid (SM) or the clavotrapezius (CT) muscles, and investigated fine structure and synaptology of these neurons. Almost all SM and CT motoneurons had the appearance of alpha-motoneurons, i.e., large, oval or polygonal cells containing well-developed organelles, Nissl bodies, and a prominent spherical nucleus. More than 60% of the somatic membrane was covered with terminals. The SM motoneurons (34.4 x 52.2 microm, 1,363.1 microm(2) in a section) were slightly larger than the CT motoneurons (32.8 x 54.2 microm, 1,180.8 microm(2)). The average number of axosomatic terminals in a section was 52.2 for the SM, and 54.2 for the CT motoneurons. More than half of them (58.0%) contained pleomorphic vesicles and made symmetric synaptic contacts (Gray's type II) with the SM motoneurons, while 57.9% of them contained round vesicles and made asymmetric synaptic contacts (Gray's type I) with the CT motoneurons. A few C-terminals were present on the SM (3.5) and the CT (3.7) motoneurons. About 60% of the axodendritic terminals were Gray's type I in both the SM and the CT motoneurons. A few labeled small motoneurons were also found among the SM and the CT motoneurons. They were small (19.2 x 26.2 microm, 367.0 microm(2)), round cells containing poorly developed organelles with a few axosomatic terminals (9.3). Only 20% of the somatic membrane was covered with the terminals. Thus, these neurons were presumed to be gamma-motoneurons. These results indicate that the motoneurons in the medial and the lateral column of the accessory nucleus have different ultrastructural characteristics.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keerthi Thirtamara Rajamani

    2018-06-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS quantum dots impaired synaptic plasticity and spatial memory process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao Xiaoyan [Center for Molecular Neurobiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany); Tang Mingliang [Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China); Li Zhifeng; Zha Yingying [University of Science and Technology of China, CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, and School of Life Sciences (China); Cheng Guosheng [Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bionics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China); Yin Shuting [Center for Molecular Neurobiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany); Chen Jutao; Ruan Diyun; Chen Lin; Wang Ming, E-mail: wming@ustc.edu.cn [University of Science and Technology of China, CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, and School of Life Sciences (China)

    2013-04-15

    Studies reported that quantum dots (QDs), as a novel probe, demonstrated a promising future for in vivo imaging, but also showed potential toxicity. This study is mainly to investigate in vivo response in the central nervous system (CNS) after exposure to QDs in a rat model of synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Adult rats were exposed to streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS QDs (Qdots 525, purchased from Molecular Probes Inc.) by intraperitoneal injection for 7 days, followed by behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical examinations. The electrophysiological results show that input/output (I/O) functions were increased, while the peak of paired-pulse reaction and long-term potentiation were decreased after QDs insult, indicating synaptic transmission was enhanced and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus was impaired. Meanwhile, behavioral experiments provide the evidence that QDs could impair rats' spatial memory process. All the results present evidences of interference of synaptic transmission and plasticity in rat hippocampal dentate gyrus area by QDs insult and suggest potential adverse issues which should be considered in QDs applications.

  4. Streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS quantum dots impaired synaptic plasticity and spatial memory process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xiaoyan; Tang, Mingliang; Li, Zhifeng; Zha, Yingying; Cheng, Guosheng; Yin, Shuting; Chen, Jutao; Ruan, Di-yun; Chen, Lin; Wang, Ming

    2013-04-01

    Studies reported that quantum dots (QDs), as a novel probe, demonstrated a promising future for in vivo imaging, but also showed potential toxicity. This study is mainly to investigate in vivo response in the central nervous system (CNS) after exposure to QDs in a rat model of synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Adult rats were exposed to streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS QDs (Qdots 525, purchased from Molecular Probes Inc.) by intraperitoneal injection for 7 days, followed by behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical examinations. The electrophysiological results show that input/output ( I/ O) functions were increased, while the peak of paired-pulse reaction and long-term potentiation were decreased after QDs insult, indicating synaptic transmission was enhanced and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus was impaired. Meanwhile, behavioral experiments provide the evidence that QDs could impair rats' spatial memory process. All the results present evidences of interference of synaptic transmission and plasticity in rat hippocampal dentate gyrus area by QDs insult and suggest potential adverse issues which should be considered in QDs applications.

  5. Streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS quantum dots impaired synaptic plasticity and spatial memory process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Xiaoyan; Tang Mingliang; Li Zhifeng; Zha Yingying; Cheng Guosheng; Yin Shuting; Chen Jutao; Ruan Diyun; Chen Lin; Wang Ming

    2013-01-01

    Studies reported that quantum dots (QDs), as a novel probe, demonstrated a promising future for in vivo imaging, but also showed potential toxicity. This study is mainly to investigate in vivo response in the central nervous system (CNS) after exposure to QDs in a rat model of synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Adult rats were exposed to streptavidin-conjugated CdSe/ZnS QDs (Qdots 525, purchased from Molecular Probes Inc.) by intraperitoneal injection for 7 days, followed by behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical examinations. The electrophysiological results show that input/output (I/O) functions were increased, while the peak of paired-pulse reaction and long-term potentiation were decreased after QDs insult, indicating synaptic transmission was enhanced and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus was impaired. Meanwhile, behavioral experiments provide the evidence that QDs could impair rats’ spatial memory process. All the results present evidences of interference of synaptic transmission and plasticity in rat hippocampal dentate gyrus area by QDs insult and suggest potential adverse issues which should be considered in QDs applications.

  6. Motor recovery and synaptic preservation after ventral root avulsion and repair with a fibrin sealant derived from snake venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Barbizan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ventral root avulsion is an experimental model of proximal axonal injury at the central/peripheral nervous system interface that results in paralysis and poor clinical outcome after restorative surgery. Root reimplantation may decrease neuronal degeneration in such cases. We describe the use of a snake venom-derived fibrin sealant during surgical reconnection of avulsed roots at the spinal cord surface. The present work investigates the effects of this fibrin sealant on functional recovery, neuronal survival, synaptic plasticity, and glial reaction in the spinal motoneuron microenvironment after ventral root reimplantation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Female Lewis rats (7 weeks old were subjected to VRA and root replantation. The animals were divided into two groups: 1 avulsion only and 2 replanted roots with fibrin sealant derived from snake venom. Post-surgical motor performance was evaluated using the CatWalk system twice a week for 12 weeks. The rats were sacrificed 12 weeks after surgery, and their lumbar intumescences were processed for motoneuron counting and immunohistochemistry (GFAP, Iba-1 and synaptophysin antisera. Array based qRT-PCR was used to evaluate gene regulation of several neurotrophic factors and receptors as well as inflammatory related molecules. The results indicated that the root reimplantation with fibrin sealant enhanced motor recovery, preserved the synaptic covering of the motoneurons and improved neuronal survival. The replanted group did not show significant changes in microglial response compared to VRA-only. However, the astroglial reaction was significantly reduced in this group. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In conclusion, the present data suggest that the repair of avulsed roots with snake venom fibrin glue at the exact point of detachment results in neuroprotection and preservation of the synaptic network at the microenvironment of the lesioned motoneurons. Also such procedure reduced the

  7. Motor Recovery and Synaptic Preservation after Ventral Root Avulsion and Repair with a Fibrin Sealant Derived from Snake Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbizan, Roberta; Castro, Mateus V.; Rodrigues, Antônio C.; Barraviera, Benedito; Ferreira, Rui S.; Oliveira, Alexandre L. R.

    2013-01-01

    Background Ventral root avulsion is an experimental model of proximal axonal injury at the central/peripheral nervous system interface that results in paralysis and poor clinical outcome after restorative surgery. Root reimplantation may decrease neuronal degeneration in such cases. We describe the use of a snake venom-derived fibrin sealant during surgical reconnection of avulsed roots at the spinal cord surface. The present work investigates the effects of this fibrin sealant on functional recovery, neuronal survival, synaptic plasticity, and glial reaction in the spinal motoneuron microenvironment after ventral root reimplantation. Methodology/Principal Findings Female Lewis rats (7 weeks old) were subjected to VRA and root replantation. The animals were divided into two groups: 1) avulsion only and 2) replanted roots with fibrin sealant derived from snake venom. Post-surgical motor performance was evaluated using the CatWalk system twice a week for 12 weeks. The rats were sacrificed 12 weeks after surgery, and their lumbar intumescences were processed for motoneuron counting and immunohistochemistry (GFAP, Iba-1 and synaptophysin antisera). Array based qRT-PCR was used to evaluate gene regulation of several neurotrophic factors and receptors as well as inflammatory related molecules. The results indicated that the root reimplantation with fibrin sealant enhanced motor recovery, preserved the synaptic covering of the motoneurons and improved neuronal survival. The replanted group did not show significant changes in microglial response compared to VRA-only. However, the astroglial reaction was significantly reduced in this group. Conclusions/Significance In conclusion, the present data suggest that the repair of avulsed roots with snake venom fibrin glue at the exact point of detachment results in neuroprotection and preservation of the synaptic network at the microenvironment of the lesioned motoneurons. Also such procedure reduced the astroglial reaction and

  8. Organization of common synaptic drive to motoneurones during fictive locomotion in the spinal cat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, J B; Conway, B A; Halliday, D M; Perreault, M-C; Hultborn, H

    2005-11-15

    The basic locomotor rhythm in the cat is generated by a neuronal network in the spinal cord. The exact organization of this network and its drive to the spinal motoneurones is unknown. The purpose of the present study was to use time (cumulant density) and frequency domain (coherence) analysis to examine the organization of the last order drive to motoneurones during fictive locomotion (evoked by application of nialamide and dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)) in the spinal cat. In all cats, narrow central synchronization peaks (half-width synchronization was observed between the individual intracellular recordings and the ENGs recorded from nerves of the same pool and of close synergists. Recordings from 34 pairs of motoneurones (10 pairs belonged to the same motor pool, 11 pairs to close synergists and 13 pairs to antagonistic pools) failed to reveal any short-lasting synchronization. These data demonstrate that short-term synchronization during fictive locomotion is relatively weak and is restricted to close synergists. In addition, coherence analysis failed to identify any specific rhythmic component in the locomotor drive that could be associated with this synchronization. These results resemble findings obtained during human treadmill walking and imply that the spinal interneurones participating in the generation of the locomotor rhythm are themselves weakly synchronized. The restricted synchronization within the locomotor drive to motoneuronal pools may be a feature of the locomotor generating networks that is related to the ability of these networks to produce highly adaptive patterns of muscle activity during locomotion.

  9. Activation properties of trigeminal motoneurons in participants with and without bruxism

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amico, Jessica M.; Yavuz, Ş. Utku; Saraçoğlu, Ahmet; Atiş, Elif Sibel; Türker, Kemal S.

    2013-01-01

    In animals, sodium- and calcium-mediated persistent inward currents (PICs), which produce long-lasting periods of depolarization under conditions of low synaptic drive, can be activated in trigeminal motoneurons following the application of the monoamine serotonin. Here we examined if PICs are activated in human trigeminal motoneurons during voluntary contractions and under physiological levels of monoaminergic drive (e.g., serotonin and norepinephrine) using a paired motor unit analysis technique. We also examined if PICs activated during voluntary contractions are larger in participants who demonstrate involuntary chewing during sleep (bruxism), which is accompanied by periods of high monoaminergic drive. In control participants, during a slowly increasing and then decreasing isometric contraction, the firing rate of an earlier-recruited masseter motor unit, which served as a measure of synaptic input to a later-recruited test unit, was consistently lower during derecruitment of the test unit compared with at recruitment (ΔF = 4.6 ± 1.5 imp/s). The ΔF, therefore, is a measure of the reduction in synaptic input needed to counteract the depolarization from the PIC to provide an indirect estimate of PIC amplitude. The range of ΔF values measured in the bruxer participants during similar voluntary contractions was the same as in controls, suggesting that abnormally high levels of monoaminergic drive are not continually present in the absence of involuntary motor activity. We also observed a consistent “onion skin effect” during the moderately sized contractions (motor units discharged at slower rates (by 4–7 imp/s) compared with motor units with relatively lower thresholds. The presence of lower firing rates in the more fatigue-prone, higher threshold trigeminal motoneurons, in addition to the activation of PICs, likely facilitates the activation of the masseter muscle during motor activities such as eating, nonnutritive chewing, clenching, and yawning

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of Sirtuin-1 on Synaptic Plasticity in Nucleus Accumbens in a Rat Model of Heroin Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Baijuan; Li, Yixin; Li, Rongrong; Yin, Dan; Chen, Xingqiang; Li, Jie; Liang, Wenmei

    2018-06-05

    BACKGROUND Synaptic plasticity plays an important role in the process of addiction. This study investigated the relationship between synaptic plasticity and changes in addictive behavior and examined the expression of synaptic plasticity-associated proteins and genes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) region in different rat models. MATERIAL AND METHODS Heroin addiction, SIRT1-overexpression, and SIRT1-silenced rat models were established. Polymerase chain reaction gene chip technology, immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, and transmission electron microscopy were used to detect changes in synaptic plasticity-related gene and protein expression, and changes in the ultrastructure of synapses, in the NAc. RESULTS Naloxone withdrawal symptoms appeared in the SIRT1-overexpression group. In the SIRT1-silenced group the symptoms were reduced. Immunohistochemistry and Western blotting results showed that FOXO1 expression decreased in the heroin addiction (HA) group but increased in the SIRT1-silenced group (paddiction. SIRT1 overexpression can increase behavioral sensitization in the NAc of rats, and SIRT1 silencing might ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce conditioned place preferences.

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

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    Marta Navarrete

    2012-02-01

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

  13. Lavandula angustifolia extract improves deteriorated synaptic plasticity in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soheili, Masoud; Tavirani, Mostafa Rezaei; Salami, Mahmoud

    2015-11-01

    Neurodegenerative Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with profound deficits in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Long-term potentiation (LTP), an experimental form of synaptic plasticity, is intensively examined in hippocampus. In this study we evaluated the effect of aqueous extract of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) on induction of LTP in the CA1 area of hippocampus. In response to stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals the baseline or tetanized field extracellular postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were recorded in the CA1 area. The electrophysiological recordings were carried out in four groups of rats; two control groups including the vehicle (CON) and lavender (CE) treated rats and two Alzheimeric groups including the vehicle (ALZ) and lavender (AE) treated animals. The extract inefficiently affected the baseline responses in the four testing groups. While the fEPSPs displayed a considerable LTP in the CON animals, no potentiation was evident in the tetanized responses in the ALZ rats. The herbal medicine effectively restored LTP in the AE group and further potentiated fEPSPs in the CE group. The positive effect of the lavender extract on the plasticity of synaptic transmission supports its previously reported behavioral effects on improvement of impaired spatial memory in the Alzheimeric animals.

  14. Kalirin-7 is necessary for normal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity

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    Lemtiri-Chlieh Fouad

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dendritic spines represent the postsynaptic component of the vast majority of excitatory synapses present in the mammalian forebrain. The ability of spines to rapidly alter their shape, size, number and receptor content in response to stimulation is considered to be of paramount importance during the development of synaptic plasticity. Indeed, long-term potentiation (LTP, widely believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, has been repeatedly shown to induce both spine enlargement and the formation of new dendritic spines. In our studies, we focus on Kalirin-7 (Kal7, a Rho GDP/GTP exchange factor (Rho-GEF localized to the postsynaptic density that plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of dendritic spines both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking Kal7 (Kal7KO have decreased dendritic spine density in the hippocampus as well as focal hippocampal-dependent learning impairments. Results We have performed a detailed electrophysiological characterization of the role of Kal7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We show that loss of Kal7 results in impaired NMDA receptor-dependent LTP and long-term depression, whereas a NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP is shown to be normal in the absence of Kal7. Conclusions These results indicate that Kal7 is an essential and selective modulator of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.

  15. Kalirin-7 is necessary for normal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad

    2011-12-19

    Background: Dendritic spines represent the postsynaptic component of the vast majority of excitatory synapses present in the mammalian forebrain. The ability of spines to rapidly alter their shape, size, number and receptor content in response to stimulation is considered to be of paramount importance during the development of synaptic plasticity. Indeed, long-term potentiation (LTP), widely believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, has been repeatedly shown to induce both spine enlargement and the formation of new dendritic spines. In our studies, we focus on Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a Rho GDP/GTP exchange factor (Rho-GEF) localized to the postsynaptic density that plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of dendritic spines both in vitro and in vivo. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking Kal7 (Kal7 KO) have decreased dendritic spine density in the hippocampus as well as focal hippocampal-dependent learning impairments.Results: We have performed a detailed electrophysiological characterization of the role of Kal7 in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. We show that loss of Kal7 results in impaired NMDA receptor-dependent LTP and long-term depression, whereas a NMDA receptor-independent form of LTP is shown to be normal in the absence of Kal7.Conclusions: These results indicate that Kal7 is an essential and selective modulator of NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. 2011 Lemtiri-Chlieh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  16. Opiate-induced suppression of rat hypoglossal motoneuron activity and its reversal by ampakine therapy.

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    Amanda R Lorier

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Hypoglossal (XII motoneurons innervate tongue muscles and are vital for maintaining upper-airway patency during inspiration. Depression of XII nerve activity by opioid analgesics is a significant clinical problem, but underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Currently there are no suitable pharmacological approaches to counter opiate-induced suppression of XII nerve activity while maintaining analgesia. Ampakines accentuate alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA receptor responses. The AMPA family of glutamate receptors mediate excitatory transmission to XII motoneurons. Therefore the objectives were to determine whether the depressant actions of mu-opioid receptor activation on inspiratory activity includes a direct inhibitory action at the inspiratory premotoneuron to XII motoneuron synapse, and to identify underlying mechanism(s. We then examined whether ampakines counteract opioid-induced depression of XII motoneuron activity.A medullary slice preparation from neonatal rat that produces inspiratory-related output in vitro was used. Measurements of inspiratory burst amplitude and frequency were made from XII nerve roots. Whole-cell patch recordings from XII motoneurons were used to measure membrane currents and synaptic events. Application of the mu-opioid receptor agonist, DAMGO, to the XII nucleus depressed the output of inspiratory XII motoneurons via presynaptic inhibition of excitatory glutamatergic transmission. Ampakines (CX614 and CX717 alleviated DAMGO-induced depression of XII MN activity through postsynaptic actions on XII motoneurons.The inspiratory-depressant actions of opioid analgesics include presynaptic inhibition of XII motoneuron output. Ampakines counteract mu-opioid receptor-mediated depression of XII motoneuron inspiratory activity. These results suggest that ampakines may be beneficial in countering opiate-induced suppression of XII motoneuron activity and resultant impairment of airway patency.

  17. Epigenetic Basis of Neuronal and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Kalirin-7 is necessary for normal NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Lemtiri-Chlieh, Fouad; Zhao, Liangfang; Kiraly, Drew D; Eipper, Betty A; Mains, Richard E; Levine, Eric S

    2011-01-01

    to stimulation is considered to be of paramount importance during the development of synaptic plasticity. Indeed, long-term potentiation (LTP), widely believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, has been repeatedly shown to induce both spine

  20. 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.

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

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    Jesse L. Ashton

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 neurons are clustered in stellate and cervical ganglia alongside the spinal cord and extend fibers to the heart directly innervating the myocardium. These neurons are major drivers of hyperactive sympathetic activity observed in heart disease, ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. Both pre- and postsynaptic changes have been observed to occur at synapses formed by sympathetic ganglion neurons, suggesting that plasticity at sympathetic neuro-cardiac synapses is a major contributor to arrhythmias. Less is known about the plasticity in parasympathetic neurons located in clusters on the heart surface. These neuronal clusters, termed ganglionated plexi, or “little brains,” can independently modulate neural control of the heart and stimulation that enhances their excitability can induce arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation. The ability of these neurons to alter parasympathetic activity suggests that plasticity may indeed occur at the synapses formed on and by ganglionated plexi neurons. Such changes may not only fine-tune autonomic innervation of the heart, but could also be a source of maladaptive plasticity during atrial fibrillation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arshavsky, Yuri I

    2006-10-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Learning, memory and synaptic plasticity in hippocampus in rats exposed to sevoflurane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Hongyan; Liu, Bing; Chen, Yali; Zhang, Jun

    2016-02-01

    Developmental exposure to volatile anesthetics has been associated with cognitive deficits at adulthood. Rodent studies have revealed impairments in performance in learning tasks involving the hippocampus. However, how the duration of anesthesia exposure impact on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is as yet not fully elucidated. On postnatal day 7(P7), rat pups were divided into 3 groups: control group (n=30), 3% sevoflurane treatment for 1h (Sev 1h group, n=30) and 3% sevoflurane treatment for 6h (Sev 6h group, n=28). Following anesthesia, synaptic vesicle-associated proteins and dendrite spine density and synapse ultrastructure were measured using western blotting, Golgi staining, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on P21. In addition, the effects of sevoflurane treatment on long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), two molecular correlates of memory, were studied in CA1 subfields of the hippocampus, using electrophysiological recordings of field potentials in hippocampal slices on P35-42. Rats' neurocognitive performance was assessed at 2 months of age, using the Morris water maze and novel-object recognition tasks. Our results showed that neonatal exposure to 3% sevoflurane for 6h results in reduced spine density of apical dendrites along with elevated expression of synaptic vesicle-associated proteins (SNAP-25 and syntaxin), and synaptic ultrastructure damage in the hippocampus. The electrophysiological evidence indicated that hippocampal LTP, but not LTD, was inhibited and that learning and memory performance were impaired in two behavioral tasks in the Sev 6h group. In contrast, lesser structural and functional damage in the hippocampus was observed in the Sev 1h group. Our data showed that 6-h exposure of the developing brain to 3% sevoflurane could result in synaptic plasticity impairment in the hippocampus and spatial and nonspatial hippocampal-dependent learning and memory deficits. In contrast, shorter

  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. Lavandula angustifolia extract improves deteriorated synaptic plasticity in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soheili, Masoud; Tavirani, Mostafa Rezaei; Salami, Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    Objective(s): Neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is associated with profound deficits in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Long-term potentiation (LTP), an experimental form of synaptic plasticity, is intensively examined in hippocampus. In this study we evaluated the effect of aqueous extract of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) on induction of LTP in the CA1 area of hippocampus. In response to stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals the baseline or tetanized field extracellular postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were recorded in the CA1 area. Materials and Methods: The electrophysiological recordings were carried out in four groups of rats; two control groups including the vehicle (CON) and lavender (CE) treated rats and two Alzheimeric groups including the vehicle (ALZ) and lavender (AE) treated animals. Results: The extract inefficiently affected the baseline responses in the four testing groups. While the fEPSPs displayed a considerable LTP in the CON animals, no potentiation was evident in the tetanized responses in the ALZ rats. The herbal medicine effectively restored LTP in the AE group and further potentiated fEPSPs in the CE group. Conclusion: The positive effect of the lavender extract on the plasticity of synaptic transmission supports its previously reported behavioral effects on improvement of impaired spatial memory in the Alzheimeric animals. PMID:26949505

  7. Lavandula angustifolia extract improves deteriorated synaptic plasticity in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masoud Soheili

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective(s:Neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease (AD is associated with profound deficits in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Long-term potentiation (LTP, an experimental form of synaptic plasticity, is intensively examined in hippocampus. In this study we evaluated the effect of aqueous extract of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia on induction of LTP in the CA1 area of hippocampus. In response to stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals the baseline or tetanized field extracellular postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs were recorded in the CA1 area. Materials and Methods: The electrophysiological recordings were carried out in four groups of rats; two control groups including the vehicle (CON and lavender (CE treated rats and two Alzheimeric groups including the vehicle (ALZ and lavender (AE treated animals. Results: The extract inefficiently affected the baseline responses in the four testing groups. While the fEPSPs displayed a considerable LTP in the CON animals, no potentiation was evident in the tetanized responses in the ALZ rats. The herbal medicine effectively restored LTP in the AE group and further potentiated fEPSPs in the CE group. Conclusion:The positive effect of the lavender extract on the plasticity of synaptic transmission supports its previously reported behavioral effects on improvement of impaired spatial memory in the Alzheimeric animals.

  8. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Inhibition of DNA Methylation Impairs Synaptic Plasticity during an Early Time Window in Rats

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    Pablo Muñoz

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the importance of DNA methylation-dependent gene expression to neuronal plasticity is well established, the dynamics of methylation and demethylation during the induction and expression of synaptic plasticity have not been explored. Here, we combined electrophysiological, pharmacological, molecular, and immunohistochemical approaches to examine the contribution of DNA methylation and the phosphorylation of Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2 to synaptic plasticity. We found that, at twenty minutes after theta burst stimulation (TBS, the DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5AZA impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP. Surprisingly, after two hours of TBS, when LTP had become a transcription-dependent process, 5AZA treatment had no effect. By comparing these results to those in naive slices, we found that, at two hours after TBS, an intergenic region of the RLN gene was hypomethylated and that the phosphorylation of residue S80 of MeCP2 was decreased, while the phosphorylation of residue S421 was increased. As expected, 5AZA affected only the methylation of the RLN gene and exerted no effect on MeCP2 phosphorylation patterns. In summary, our data suggest that tetanic stimulation induces critical changes in synaptic plasticity that affects both DNA methylation and the phosphorylation of MeCP2. These data also suggest that early alterations in DNA methylation are sufficient to impair the full expression of LTP.

  12. Inhibition of DNA Methylation Impairs Synaptic Plasticity during an Early Time Window in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Pablo; Estay, Carolina; Díaz, Paula; Elgueta, Claudio; Ardiles, Álvaro O; Lizana, Pablo A

    2016-01-01

    Although the importance of DNA methylation-dependent gene expression to neuronal plasticity is well established, the dynamics of methylation and demethylation during the induction and expression of synaptic plasticity have not been explored. Here, we combined electrophysiological, pharmacological, molecular, and immunohistochemical approaches to examine the contribution of DNA methylation and the phosphorylation of Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) to synaptic plasticity. We found that, at twenty minutes after theta burst stimulation (TBS), the DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine (5AZA) impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). Surprisingly, after two hours of TBS, when LTP had become a transcription-dependent process, 5AZA treatment had no effect. By comparing these results to those in naive slices, we found that, at two hours after TBS, an intergenic region of the RLN gene was hypomethylated and that the phosphorylation of residue S80 of MeCP2 was decreased, while the phosphorylation of residue S421 was increased. As expected, 5AZA affected only the methylation of the RLN gene and exerted no effect on MeCP2 phosphorylation patterns. In summary, our data suggest that tetanic stimulation induces critical changes in synaptic plasticity that affects both DNA methylation and the phosphorylation of MeCP2. These data also suggest that early alterations in DNA methylation are sufficient to impair the full expression of LTP.

  13. RNA-Dependent Intergenerational Inheritance of Enhanced Synaptic Plasticity after Environmental Enrichment

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    Eva Benito

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Physical exercise in combination with cognitive training is known to enhance synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory and lower the risk for various complex diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. Here, we show that exposure of adult male mice to an environmental enrichment paradigm leads to enhancement of synaptic plasticity and cognition also in the next generation. We show that this effect is mediated through sperm RNA and especially miRs 212/132. In conclusion, our study reports intergenerational inheritance of an acquired cognitive benefit and points to specific miRs as candidates mechanistically involved in this type of transmission. : Environmental enrichment (EE, a combination of physical and mental exercise, has been shown to increase cognitive abilities in mice and in humans. Benito et al. find that offspring of male mice subjected to EE also show this increase. This effect is dependent on sperm RNA and involves microRNA212/132. Keywords: epigenetics, brain, microRNA, memory, intergenerational, transgenerational, exercise, environmental enrichment, cognition

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

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    Zhi-Peng Xu

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

  17. 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

  18. Plasticity and mTOR: Towards Restoration of Impaired Synaptic Plasticity in mTOR-Related Neurogenetic Disorders

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    Tanjala T. Gipson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To review the recent literature on the clinical features, genetic mutations, neurobiology associated with dysregulation of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin, and clinical trials for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC, neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1 and fragile X syndrome (FXS, and phosphatase and tensin homolog hamartoma syndromes (PTHS, which are neurogenetic disorders associated with abnormalities in synaptic plasticity and mTOR signaling. Methods. Pubmed and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched using specific search strategies. Results/Conclusions. Although traditionally thought of as irreversible disorders, significant scientific progress has been made in both humans and preclinical models to understand how pathologic features of these neurogenetic disorders can be reduced or reversed. This paper revealed significant similarities among the conditions. Not only do they share features of impaired synaptic plasticity and dysregulation of mTOR, but they also share clinical features—autism, intellectual disability, cutaneous lesions, and tumors. Although scientific advances towards discovery of effective treatment in some disorders have outpaced others, progress in understanding the signaling pathways that connect the entire group indicates that the lesser known disorders will become treatable as well.

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

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    María Verónica Baez

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Motor unit recruitment strategies and muscle properties determine the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dideriksen, Jakob L.; Negro, Francesco; Enoka, Roger M.

    2012-01-01

    Motoneurons receive synaptic inputs from tens of thousands of connections that cause membrane potential to fluctuate continuously (synaptic noise), which introduces variability in discharge times of action potentials. We hypothesized that the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness during voluntary contractions is limited to low muscle forces. The hypothesis was examined with an analytical description of transduction of motor unit spike trains into muscle force, a computational model of motor unit recruitment and rate coding, and experimental analysis of interspike interval variability during steady contractions with the abductor digiti minimi muscle. Simulations varied contraction force, level of synaptic noise, size of motor unit population, recruitment range, twitch contraction times, and level of motor unit short-term synchronization. Consistent with the analytical derivations, simulations and experimental data showed that force variability at target forces above a threshold was primarily due to low-frequency oscillations in neural drive, whereas the influence of synaptic noise was almost completely attenuated by two low-pass filters, one related to convolution of motoneuron spike trains with motor unit twitches (temporal summation) and the other attributable to summation of single motor unit forces (spatial summation). The threshold force above which synaptic noise ceased to influence force steadiness depended on recruitment range, size of motor unit population, and muscle contractile properties. This threshold was low (motor unit recruitment and muscle properties of a typical muscle are tuned to limit the influence of synaptic noise on force steadiness to low forces and that the inability to produce a constant force during stronger contractions is mainly attributable to the common low-frequency oscillations in motoneuron discharge rates. PMID:22423000

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stuchlík, Aleš

    2014-01-01

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

  4. A role for calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in synaptic plasticity and learning.

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    Brian J Wiltgen

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available A central concept in the field of learning and memory is that NMDARs are essential for synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Surprisingly then, multiple studies have found that behavioral experience can reduce or eliminate the contribution of these receptors to learning. The cellular mechanisms that mediate learning in the absence of NMDAR activation are currently unknown. To address this issue, we examined the contribution of Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs to learning and plasticity in the hippocampus. Mutant mice were engineered with a conditional genetic deletion of GluR2 in the CA1 region of the hippocampus (GluR2-cKO mice. Electrophysiology experiments in these animals revealed a novel form of long-term potentiation (LTP that was independent of NMDARs and mediated by GluR2-lacking Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs. Behavioral analyses found that GluR2-cKO mice were impaired on multiple hippocampus-dependent learning tasks that required NMDAR activation. This suggests that AMPAR-mediated LTP interferes with NMDAR-dependent plasticity. In contrast, NMDAR-independent learning was normal in knockout mice and required the activation of Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs. These results suggest that GluR2-lacking AMPARs play a functional and previously unidentified role in learning; they appear to mediate changes in synaptic strength that occur after plasticity has been established by NMDARs.

  5. Emerging Links between Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity and Neurological Disease

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    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.

  6. Age-dependent modulation of synaptic plasticity and insulin mimetic effect of lipoic acid on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

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    Harsh Sancheti

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that entails impairments of memory, thinking and behavior and culminates into brain atrophy. Impaired glucose uptake (accumulating into energy deficits and synaptic plasticity have been shown to be affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This study examines the ability of lipoic acid to increase brain glucose uptake and lead to improvements in synaptic plasticity on a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (3xTg-AD that shows progression of pathology as a function of age; two age groups: 6 months (young and 12 months (old were used in this study. 3xTg-AD mice fed 0.23% w/v lipoic acid in drinking water for 4 weeks showed an insulin mimetic effect that consisted of increased brain glucose uptake, activation of the insulin receptor substrate and of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Lipoic acid supplementation led to important changes in synaptic function as shown by increased input/output (I/O and long term potentiation (LTP (measured by electrophysiology. Lipoic acid was more effective in stimulating an insulin-like effect and reversing the impaired synaptic plasticity in the old mice, wherein the impairment of insulin signaling and synaptic plasticity was more pronounced than those in young mice.

  7. Tonically Active α5GABAA Receptors Reduce Motoneuron Excitability and Decrease the Monosynaptic Reflex

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    Martha Canto-Bustos

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Motoneurons, the final common path of the Central Nervous System (CNS, are under a complex control of its excitability in order to precisely translate the interneuronal pattern of activity into skeletal muscle contraction and relaxation. To fulfill this relevant function, motoneurons are provided with a vast repertoire of receptors and channels, including the extrasynaptic GABAA receptors which have been poorly investigated. Here, we confirmed that extrasynaptic α5 subunit-containing GABAA receptors localize with choline acetyltransferase (ChAT positive cells, suggesting that these receptors are expressed in turtle motoneurons as previously reported in rodents. In these cells, α5GABAA receptors are activated by ambient GABA, producing a tonic shunt that reduces motoneurons’ membrane resistance and affects their action potential firing properties. In addition, α5GABAA receptors shunted the synaptic excitatory inputs depressing the monosynaptic reflex (MSR induced by activation of primary afferents. Therefore, our results suggest that α5GABAA receptors may play a relevant physiological role in motor control.

  8. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory: New Insights from Hippocampal Left-Right Asymmetries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Gaby, Mohamady; Shipton, Olivia A; Paulsen, Ole

    2015-10-01

    All synapses are not the same. They differ in their morphology, molecular constituents, and malleability. A striking left-right asymmetry in the distribution of different types of synapse was recently uncovered at the CA3-CA1 projection in the mouse hippocampus, whereby afferents from the CA3 in the left hemisphere innervate small, highly plastic synapses on the apical dendrites of CA1 pyramidal neurons, whereas those originating from the right CA3 target larger, more stable synapses. Activity-dependent modification of these synapses is thought to participate in circuit formation and remodeling during development, and further plastic changes may support memory encoding in adulthood. Therefore, exploiting the CA3-CA1 asymmetry provides a promising opportunity to investigate the roles that different types of synapse play in these fundamental properties of the CNS. Here we describe the discovery of these segregated synaptic populations in the mouse hippocampus, and discuss what we have already learnt about synaptic plasticity from this asymmetric arrangement. We then propose models for how the asymmetry could be generated during development, and how the adult hippocampus might use these distinct populations of synapses differentially during learning and memory. Finally, we outline the potential implications of this left-right asymmetry for human hippocampal function, as well as dysfunction in memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. © The Author(s) 2014.

  9. Serotonergic synaptic input to facial motoneurons: localization by electron-microscopic autoradiography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aghajanian, G K; McCall, R B [Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (USA). School of Medicine

    1980-12-01

    Serotonergic nerve terminals in the facial motor nucleus were labelled with (/sup 3/H)5-hydroxytryptamine. When serotonergic nerve terminals were destroyed (by the selective neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine) the labelling was lost. By electron-microscopic autoradiography, labelled serotonergic terminals were found to make axo-dendritic or axo-somatic junctions with facial motor neurons. No axo-axonic junctions were observed. These morphological findings are consistent with physiological studies which indicate that 5-hydroxytryptamine facilitates the excitation of facial motoneurons through a direct postsynaptic action.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The Role of Histone Deacetylase 6 in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory

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    Sarah Perry

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Histone deacetylases (HDACs have been extensively studied as drug targets in neurodegenerative diseases, but less is known about their role in healthy neurons. We tested zinc-dependent HDACs using RNAi in Drosophila melanogaster and found memory deficits with RPD3 and HDAC6. We demonstrate that HDAC6 is required in both the larval and adult stages for normal olfactory memory retention. Neuronal expression of HDAC6 rescued memory deficits, and we demonstrate that the N-terminal deacetylase (DAC domain is required for this ability. This suggests that deacetylation of synaptic targets associated with the first DAC domain, such as the active-zone scaffold Bruchpilot, is required for memory retention. Finally, electrophysiological experiments at the neuromuscular junction reveal that HDAC6 mutants exhibit a partial block of homeostatic plasticity, suggesting that HDAC6 may be required for the stabilization of synaptic strength. The learning deficit we observe in HDAC6 mutants could be a behavioral consequence of these synaptic defects.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim D Allen

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

  14. Synaptic Plasticity and Spike Synchronisation in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Rafael R.; Borges, Fernando S.; Lameu, Ewandson L.; Protachevicz, Paulo R.; Iarosz, Kelly C.; Caldas, Iberê L.; Viana, Ricardo L.; Macau, Elbert E. N.; Baptista, Murilo S.; Grebogi, Celso; Batista, Antonio M.

    2017-12-01

    Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, is a fundamental mechanism of neuronal adaptation in response to changes in the environment or due to brain injury. In this review, we show our results about the effects of synaptic plasticity on neuronal networks composed by Hodgkin-Huxley neurons. We show that the final topology of the evolved network depends crucially on the ratio between the strengths of the inhibitory and excitatory synapses. Excitation of the same order of inhibition revels an evolved network that presents the rich-club phenomenon, well known to exist in the brain. For initial networks with considerably larger inhibitory strengths, we observe the emergence of a complex evolved topology, where neurons sparsely connected to other neurons, also a typical topology of the brain. The presence of noise enhances the strength of both types of synapses, but if the initial network has synapses of both natures with similar strengths. Finally, we show how the synchronous behaviour of the evolved network will reflect its evolved topology.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-15

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

  19. Adiponectin modulates synaptic plasticity in hippocampal dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pousti, Farideh; Ahmadi, Ramesh; Mirahmadi, Fatemeh; Hosseinmardi, Narges; Rohampour, Kambiz

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested the involvement of some metabolic hormones in memory formation and synaptic plasticity. Insulin dysfunction is known as an essential process in the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study we examined whether adiponectin (ADN), as an insulin-sensitizing adipokine, could affect hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Field potential recordings were performed on intracerebroventricular (icv) cannulated urethane anesthetized rats. After baseline recording from dentate gyrus (DG) and 10min prior to high/low frequency stimulation (HFS/LFS), 10μl icv ADN (600nm) were injected. The slope of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSP) and the amplitude of population spikes (PS) were recorded in response to perforanth path (PP) stimulation. Paired pulse stimuli and ADN injection without any stimulation protocols were also evaluated. Application of ADN before HFS increased PS amplitude recorded in DG significantly (P≤0.05) in comparison to HFS only group. ADN suppressed the potency of LFS to induce long-term depression (LTD), causing a significant difference between fEPSP slope (P≤0.05) and PS amplitude (P≤0.01) between ADN+LFS and ADN group. Paired pulse stimuli applied at 20ms intervals showed more paired pulse facilitation (PPF), when applied after ADN (P≤0.05). ADN induced a chemical long-term potentiation (LTP) in which fEPSP slope and PS amplitude increased significantly (P≤0.01 and P≤0.05, respectively). It is concluded that ADN is able to potentiate the HFS-induced LTP and suppress LFS-induced LTD. ADN caused a chemical LTP, when applied without any tetanic protocol. ADN may enhance the presynaptic release probability. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Strain-dependent variations in spatial learning and in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely behaving rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal synaptic plasticity is believed to comprise the cellular basis for spatial learning. Strain-dependent differences in synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region have been reported. However, it is not known whether these differences extend to other synapses within the trisynaptic circuit, although there is evidence for morphological variations within that path. We investigated whether Wistar and Hooded Lister (HL rat strains express differences in synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in vivo. We also explored whether they exhibit differences in the ability to engage in spatial learning in an 8-arm radial maze. Basal synaptic transmission was stable over a 24h period in both rat strains, and the input-output relationship of both strains was not significantly different. Paired-pulse analysis revealed significantly less paired-pulse facilitation in the Hooded Lister strain when pulses were given 40-100 msec apart. Low frequency stimulation at 1Hz evoked long-term depression (>24h in Wistar and short-term depression (<2h in HL rats; 200Hz stimulation induced long-term potentiation (>24h in Wistar, and a transient, significantly smaller potentiation (<1h in HL rats, suggesting that HL rats have higher thresholds for expression of persistent synaptic plasticity. Training for 10d in an 8-arm radial maze revealed that HL rats master the working memory task faster than Wistar rats, although both strains show an equivalent performance by the end of the trial period. HL rats also perform more efficiently in a double working and reference memory task. On the other hand, Wistar rats show better reference memory performance on the final (8-10 days of training. Wistar rats were less active and more anxious than HL rats.These data suggest that strain-dependent variations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity occur in different hippocampal synapses. A clear correlation with differences in spatial learning is not evident however.

  1. Axonal accumulation of synaptic markers in APP transgenic Drosophila depends on the NPTY motif and is paralleled by defects in synaptic plasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rusu, Patricia; Jansen, Anna; Soba, Peter

    2007-01-01

    . Specifically, axonal transport defects have been reported in AD animal models, including mice and flies that overexpress APP and tau. Here we demonstrate that the APP-induced traffic jam of vesicles in peripheral nerves of Drosophila melanogaster larvae depends on the four residues NPTY motif in the APP...... neurotransmission at the neuromuscular junction in transgenic larvae that express human APP. Consistent with the observation that these larvae do not show any obvious movement deficits, we found no changes in basal synaptic transmission. However, short-term synaptic plasticity was affected by overexpression of APP...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesus A Garrido

    2013-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Role of synaptic structural plasticity in impairments of spatial learning and memory induced by developmental lead exposure in Wistar rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongmei Xiao

    Full Text Available Lead (Pb is found to impair cognitive function. Synaptic structural plasticity is considered to be the physiological basis of synaptic functional plasticity and has been recently found to play important roles in learning and memory. To study the effect of Pb on spatial learning and memory at different developmental stages, and its relationship with alterations of synaptic structural plasticity, postnatal rats were randomly divided into three groups: Control; Pre-weaning Pb (Parents were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 3 weeks before mating until weaning of pups; Post-weaning Pb (Weaned pups were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 for 9 weeks. The spatial learning and memory of rats was measured by Morris water maze (MWM on PND 85-90. Rat pups in Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups performed significantly worse than those in Control group (p<0.05. However, there was no significant difference in the performance of MWM between the two Pb-exposure groups. Before MWM (PND 84, the number of neurons and synapses significantly decreased in Pre-weaning Pb group, but not in Post-weaning Pb group. After MWM (PND 91, the number of synapses in Pre-weaning Pb group increased significantly, but it was still less than that of Control group (p<0.05; the number of synapses in Post-weaning Pb group was also less than that of Control group (p<0.05, although the number of synapses has no differences between Post-weaning Pb and Control groups before MWM. In both Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups, synaptic structural parameters such as thickness of postsynaptic density (PSD, length of synaptic active zone and synaptic curvature increased significantly while width of synaptic cleft decreased significantly compared to Control group (p<0.05. Our data demonstrated that both early and late developmental Pb exposure impaired spatial learning and memory as well as synaptic structural plasticity in Wistar rats.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chih-Chieh Wang

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

  6. 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.

  7. Electroacupuncture Ameliorates Cognitive Deficit and Improves Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Adult Rat with Neonatal Maternal Separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Guo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Exposure to adverse early-life events is thought to be the risk factors for the development of psychiatric and altered cognitive function in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether electroacupuncture (EA treatment in young adult rat would improve impaired cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in adult rat with neonatal maternal separation (MS. Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups: control group, MS group, MS with EA treatment (MS + EA group, and MS with Sham-EA treatment (MS + Sham-EA group. We evaluated the cognitive function by using Morris water maze and fear conditioning tests. Electrophysiology experiment used in vivo long-term potentiation (LTP at Schaffer Collateral-CA1 synapses was detected to assess extent of synaptic plasticity. Repeated EA stimulation at Baihui (GV 20 and Yintang (GV 29 during postnatal 9 to 11 weeks was identified to significantly ameliorate poor performance in behavior tests and improve the impaired LTP induction detected at Schaffer Collateral-CA1 synapse in hippocampus. Collectively, the findings suggested that early-life stress due to MS may induce adult cognitive deficit associated with hippocampus, and EA in young adult demonstrated that its therapeutic efficacy may be via ameliorating deficit of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  8. Cell-Specific PKM Isoforms Contribute to the Maintenance of Different Forms of Persistent Long-Term Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jiangyuan; Adler, Kerry; Farah, Carole Abi; Hastings, Margaret H; Sossin, Wayne S; Schacher, Samuel

    2017-03-08

    Multiple kinase activations contribute to long-term synaptic plasticity, a cellular mechanism mediating long-term memory. The sensorimotor synapse of Aplysia expresses different forms of long-term facilitation (LTF)-nonassociative and associative LTF-that require the timely activation of kinases, including protein kinase C (PKC). It is not known which PKC isoforms in the sensory neuron or motor neuron L7 are required to sustain each form of LTF. We show that different PKMs, the constitutively active isoforms of PKCs generated by calpain cleavage, in the sensory neuron and L7 are required to maintain each form of LTF. Different PKMs or calpain isoforms were blocked by overexpressing specific dominant-negative constructs in either presynaptic or postsynaptic neurons. Blocking either PKM Apl I in L7, or PKM Apl II or PKM Apl III in the sensory neuron 2 d after 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) treatment reversed persistent nonassociative LTF. In contrast, blocking either PKM Apl II or PKM Apl III in L7, or PKM Apl II in the sensory neuron 2 d after paired stimuli reversed persistent associative LTF. Blocking either classical calpain or atypical small optic lobe (SOL) calpain 2 d after 5-HT treatment or paired stimuli did not disrupt the maintenance of persistent LTF. Soon after 5-HT treatment or paired stimuli, however, blocking classical calpain inhibited the expression of persistent associative LTF, while blocking SOL calpain inhibited the expression of persistent nonassociative LTF. Our data suggest that different stimuli activate different calpains that generate specific sets of PKMs in each neuron whose constitutive activities sustain long-term synaptic plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Persistent synaptic plasticity contributes to the maintenance of long-term memory. Although various kinases such as protein kinase C (PKC) contribute to the expression of long-term plasticity, little is known about how constitutive activation of specific kinase isoforms sustains long

  9. Adenosine A2A Receptors Control Glutamatergic Synaptic Plasticity in Fast Spiking Interneurons of the Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amber Kerkhofs

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR are activated upon increased synaptic activity to assist in the implementation of long-term plastic changes at synapses. While it is reported that A2AR are involved in the control of prefrontal cortex (PFC-dependent behavior such as working memory, reversal learning and effort-based decision making, it is not known whether A2AR control glutamatergic synapse plasticity within the medial PFC (mPFC. To elucidate that, we tested whether A2AR blockade affects long-term plasticity (LTP of excitatory post-synaptic potentials in pyramidal neurons and fast spiking (FS interneurons in layer 5 of the mPFC and of population spikes. Our results show that A2AR are enriched at mPFC synapses, where their blockade reversed the direction of plasticity at excitatory synapses onto layer 5 FS interneurons from LTP to long-term depression, while their blockade had no effect on the induction of LTP at excitatory synapses onto layer 5 pyramidal neurons. At the network level, extracellularly induced LTP of population spikes was reduced by A2AR blockade. The interneuron-specificity of A2AR in controlling glutamatergic synapse LTP may ensure that during periods of high synaptic activity, a proper excitation/inhibition balance is maintained within the mPFC.

  10. Alzheimer’s disease Aβ assemblies mediating rapid disruption of synaptic plasticity and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. The temporoammonic input to the hippocampal CA1 region displays distinctly different synaptic plasticity compared to the Schaffer collateral input in vivo: significance for synaptic information processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayla eAksoy Aksel

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available In terms of its sub-regional differentiation, the hippocampal CA1 region receives cortical information directly via the perforant (temporoammonic path (pp-CA1 synapse and indirectly via the tri-synaptic pathway where the last relay station is the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapse (Sc-CA1 synapse. Research to date on pp-CA1 synapses has been conducted predominantly in vitro and never in awake animals, but these studies hint that information processing at this synapse might be distinct to processing at the Sc-CA1 synapse. Here, we characterized synaptic properties and synaptic plasticity at the pp-CA1 synapse of freely behaving adult rats. We established that field excitatory postsynaptic potentials at the pp-CA1 have longer onset latencies and a shorter time-to-peak compared to the Sc-CA1 synapse. LTP (> 24h was successfully evoked by tetanic afferent stimulation of pp-CA1 synapses. Low frequency stimulation evoked synaptic depression at Sc-CA1 synapses, but did not elicit LTD at pp-CA1 synapses unless the Schaffer collateral afferents to the CA1 region had been severed. Paired-pulse responses also showed significant differences. Our data suggest that synaptic plasticity at the pp-CA1 synapse is distinct from the Sc-CA1 synapse and that this may reflect its specific role in hippocampal information processing.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina A. Mangieri

    2017-08-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Genetic deletion of melanin-concentrating hormone neurons impairs hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent forms of short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Barillier, Léa; Léger, Lucienne; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Fort, Patrice; Malleret, Gaël; Salin, Paul-Antoine

    2015-11-01

    The cognitive role of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons, a neuronal population located in the mammalian postero-lateral hypothalamus sending projections to all cortical areas, remains poorly understood. Mainly activated during paradoxical sleep (PS), MCH neurons have been implicated in sleep regulation. The genetic deletion of the only known MCH receptor in rodent leads to an impairment of hippocampal dependent forms of memory and to an alteration of hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity. By using MCH/ataxin3 mice, a genetic model characterized by a selective deletion of MCH neurons in the adult, we investigated the role of MCH neurons in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent forms of memory. MCH/ataxin3 mice exhibited a deficit in the early part of both long-term potentiation and depression in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. Post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) was diminished while synaptic depression induced by repetitive stimulation was enhanced suggesting an alteration of pre-synaptic forms of short-term plasticity in these mice. Behaviorally, MCH/ataxin3 mice spent more time and showed a higher level of hesitation as compared to their controls in performing a short-term memory T-maze task, displayed retardation in acquiring a reference memory task in a Morris water maze, and showed a habituation deficit in an open field task. Deletion of MCH neurons could thus alter spatial short-term memory by impairing short-term plasticity in the hippocampus. Altogether, these findings could provide a cellular mechanism by which PS may facilitate memory encoding. Via MCH neuron activation, PS could prepare the day's learning by increasing and modulating short-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Spike timing analysis in neural networks with unsupervised synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizusaki, B. E. P.; Agnes, E. J.; Brunnet, L. G.; Erichsen, R., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    The synaptic plasticity rules that sculpt a neural network architecture are key elements to understand cortical processing, as they may explain the emergence of stable, functional activity, while avoiding runaway excitation. For an associative memory framework, they should be built in a way as to enable the network to reproduce a robust spatio-temporal trajectory in response to an external stimulus. Still, how these rules may be implemented in recurrent networks and the way they relate to their capacity of pattern recognition remains unclear. We studied the effects of three phenomenological unsupervised rules in sparsely connected recurrent networks for associative memory: spike-timing-dependent-plasticity, short-term-plasticity and an homeostatic scaling. The system stability is monitored during the learning process of the network, as the mean firing rate converges to a value determined by the homeostatic scaling. Afterwards, it is possible to measure the recovery efficiency of the activity following each initial stimulus. This is evaluated by a measure of the correlation between spike fire timings, and we analysed the full memory separation capacity and limitations of this system.

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

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    Yoav Ben-Simon

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmitter release probability (Pr largely determines the dynamic properties of synapses. While much is known about the role of presynaptic proteins in transmitter release, their specific contribution to synaptic plasticity is unclear. One such protein, tomosyn, is believed to reduce Pr by interfering with the SNARE complex formation. Tomosyn is enriched at hippocampal mossy fiber-to-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses (MF-CA3, which characteristically exhibit low Pr, strong synaptic facilitation, and pre-synaptic protein kinase A (PKA-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP. To evaluate tomosyn’s role in MF-CA3 function, we used a combined knockdown (KD-optogenetic strategy whereby presynaptic neurons with reduced tomosyn levels were selectively activated by light. Using this approach in mouse hippocampal slices, we found that facilitation, LTP, and PKA-induced potentiation were significantly impaired at tomosyn-deficient synapses. These findings not only indicate that tomosyn is a key regulator of MF-CA3 plasticity but also highlight the power of a combined KD-optogenetic approach to determine the role of presynaptic proteins.

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

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    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

  19. High-fat diet induces hepatic insulin resistance and impairment of synaptic plasticity.

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    Zhigang Liu

    Full Text Available High-fat diet (HFD-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance, which may affect brain synaptic plasticity through impairment of insulin-sensitive processes underlying neuronal survival, learning, and memory. The experimental model consisted of 3 month-old C57BL/6J mice fed either a normal chow diet (control group or a HFD (60% of calorie from fat; HFD group for 12 weeks. This model was characterized as a function of time in terms of body weight, fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, HOMA-IR values, and plasma triglycerides. IRS-1/Akt pathway was assessed in primary hepatocytes and brain homogenates. The effect of HFD in brain was assessed by electrophysiology, input/output responses and long-term potentiation. HFD-fed mice exhibited a significant increase in body weight, higher fasting glucose- and insulin levels in plasma, lower glucose tolerance, and higher HOMA-IR values. In liver, HFD elicited (a a significant decrease of insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1 phosphorylation on Tyr608 and increase of Ser307 phosphorylation, indicative of IRS-1 inactivation; (b these changes were accompanied by inflammatory responses in terms of increases in the expression of NFκB and iNOS and activation of the MAP kinases p38 and JNK; (c primary hepatocytes from mice fed a HFD showed decreased cellular oxygen consumption rates (indicative of mitochondrial functional impairment; this can be ascribed partly to a decreased expression of PGC1α and mitochondrial biogenesis. In brain, HFD feeding elicited (a an inactivation of the IRS-1 and, consequentially, (b a decreased expression and plasma membrane localization of the insulin-sensitive neuronal glucose transporters GLUT3/GLUT4; (c a suppression of the ERK/CREB pathway, and (d a substantial decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of hippocampus (indicative of impaired synaptic plasticity. It may be surmised that 12 weeks fed with HFD induce a systemic insulin resistance that impacts

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Muriel D.D.

    1994-01-01

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

  1. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

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    Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui

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

  2. Possible Contributions of a Novel Form of Synaptic Plasticity in "Aplysia" to Reward, Memory, and Their Dysfunctions in Mammalian Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies in "Aplysia" have identified a new variation of synaptic plasticity in which modulatory transmitters enhance spontaneous release of glutamate, which then acts on postsynaptic receptors to recruit mechanisms of intermediate- and long-term plasticity. In this review I suggest the hypothesis that similar plasticity occurs in…

  3. Unsupervised discrimination of patterns in spiking neural networks with excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Cho, Youngkwan

    2014-01-01

    A spiking neural network model is described for learning to discriminate among spatial patterns in an unsupervised manner. The network anatomy consists of source neurons that are activated by external inputs, a reservoir that resembles a generic cortical layer with an excitatory-inhibitory (EI) network and a sink layer of neurons for readout. Synaptic plasticity in the form of STDP is imposed on all the excitatory and inhibitory synapses at all times. While long-term excitatory STDP enables sparse and efficient learning of the salient features in inputs, inhibitory STDP enables this learning to be stable by establishing a balance between excitatory and inhibitory currents at each neuron in the network. The synaptic weights between source and reservoir neurons form a basis set for the input patterns. The neural trajectories generated in the reservoir due to input stimulation and lateral connections between reservoir neurons can be readout by the sink layer neurons. This activity is used for adaptation of synapses between reservoir and sink layer neurons. A new measure called the discriminability index (DI) is introduced to compute if the network can discriminate between old patterns already presented in an initial training session. The DI is also used to compute if the network adapts to new patterns without losing its ability to discriminate among old patterns. The final outcome is that the network is able to correctly discriminate between all patterns-both old and new. This result holds as long as inhibitory synapses employ STDP to continuously enable current balance in the network. The results suggest a possible direction for future investigation into how spiking neural networks could address the stability-plasticity question despite having continuous synaptic plasticity.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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    Emily Petrus

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Jun Hu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Nicotine Significantly Improves Chronic Stress-Induced Impairments of Cognition and Synaptic Plasticity in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Xueliang; Shang, Yingchun; Fu, Jingxuan; Zhang, Tao

    2017-08-01

    The aim of this study was to examine if nicotine was able to improve cognition deficits in a mouse model of chronic mild stress. Twenty-four male C57BL/6 mice were divided into three groups: control, stress, and stress with nicotine treatment. The animal model was established by combining chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) and isolated feeding. Mice were exposed to CUMS continued for 28 days, while nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) was also administrated for 28 days. Weight and sucrose consumption were measured during model establishing period. The anxiety and behavioral despair were analyzed using the forced swim test (FST) and open-field test (OFT). Spatial cognition was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM) test. Following behavioral assessment, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and depotentiation (DEP) were recorded in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) region. Both synaptic and Notch1 proteins were measured by Western. Nicotine increased stressed mouse's sucrose consumption. The MWM test showed that spatial learning and reversal learning in stressed animals were remarkably affected relative to controls, whereas nicotine partially rescued cognitive functions. Additionally, nicotine considerably alleviated the level of anxiety and the degree of behavioral despair in stressed mice. It effectively mitigated the depression-induced impairment of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, in which both the LTP and DEP were significantly inhibited in stressed mice. Moreover, nicotine enhanced the expression of synaptic and Notch1 proteins in stressed animals. The results suggest that nicotine ameliorates the depression-like symptoms and improves the hippocampal synaptic plasticity closely associated with activating transmembrane ion channel receptors and Notch signaling components. Graphical Abstract ᅟ.

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

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    Daniela Gandolfi

    2017-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Sharp-Wave Ripples Orchestrate the Induction of Synaptic Plasticity during Reactivation of Place Cell Firing Patterns in the Hippocampus

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    Josef H.L.P. Sadowski

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Place cell firing patterns reactivated during hippocampal sharp-wave ripples (SWRs in rest or sleep are thought to induce synaptic plasticity and thereby promote the consolidation of recently encoded information. However, the capacity of reactivated spike trains to induce plasticity has not been directly tested. Here, we show that reactivated place cell firing patterns simultaneously recorded from CA3 and CA1 of rat dorsal hippocampus are able to induce long-term potentiation (LTP at synapses between CA3 and CA1 cells but only if accompanied by SWR-associated synaptic activity and resulting dendritic depolarization. In addition, we show that the precise timing of coincident CA3 and CA1 place cell spikes in relation to SWR onset is critical for the induction of LTP and predictive of plasticity generated by reactivation. Our findings confirm an important role for SWRs in triggering and tuning plasticity processes that underlie memory consolidation in the hippocampus during rest or sleep.

  13. SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY IN THE DENTATE GYRUS OF AGED RATS IS ALTERED AFTER CHRONIC NIMODIPINE APPLICATION

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DEJONG, GI; BUWALDA, B; SCHUURMAN, T; LUITEN, PGM

    1992-01-01

    We examined ultrastructural correlates of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of young (3 months) vs aged (30 months) Wistar rats and established the effects of the calcium antagonist nimodipine in animals chronically treated from 24 to 30 months. The effects of nimodipine was studied since this

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Correlation between synaptic plasticity, associated proteins, and rehabilitation training in a rat model of cerebral infarction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dan Yang; Qian Yu

    2008-01-01

    All motions provide sensory, motoric, and reflexive input to the central nervous system, as well as playing an important role in cerebral functional plasticity and compensation. Cerebral plasticity has become the theoretical basis of neurorehabilitation. Studies of cerebrovascular disease, in particular, demonstrate that regeneration is accompanied by multiple forms of plasticity, such as functional and structural, in different phases of stroke rehabilitation. This study was designed to measure synaptic plasticity and expression of associated proteins to analyze the effect of rehabilitation training on learning and memory in a rat model of cerebral infarction. Results suggest that rehabilitation training increases expression of nerve growth factor associated protein 43, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and neural cell adhesion molecules, and also promotes cerebral functional plasticity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. The role of extracellular proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the central nervous system 

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    Anna Konopka

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The extracellular matrix (ECM of the central nervous system has a specific structure and protein composition that are different from those in other organs. Today we know that the ECM not only provides physical scaffolding for the neurons and glia, but also actively modifies their functions. Over the last two decades, a growing body of research evidence has been collected, suggesting an important role of ECM proteolysis in synaptic plasticity of the brain. So far the majority of data concern two large families of proteases: the serine proteases and the matrix metalloproteinases. The members of these families are localized at the synapses, and are secreted into the extracellular space in an activity-dependent manner. The proteases remodel the local environment as well as influencing synapse structure and function. The structural modifications induced by proteases include shape and size changes, as well as synapse elimination, and synaptogenesis. The functional changes include modifications of receptor function in the postsynaptic part of the synapse, as well as the potentiation or depression of neurotransmitter secretion by the presynaptic site. The present review summarizes the current view on the role of extracellular proteolysis in the physiological synaptic plasticity underlying the phenomena of learning and memory, as well as in the pathological plasticity occurring during epileptogenesis or development of drug addiction. 

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

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    Harry Pantazopoulos

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara

    2014-01-08

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

  3. PINK1 heterozygous mutations induce subtle alterations in dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeo, G.; Schirinzi, T.; Martella, G.; Latagliata, E.C.; Puglisi, F.; Shen, J.; Valente, E.M.; Federici, M.; Mercuri, N.B.; Puglisi-Allegra, S.; Bonsi, P.; Pisani, A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) gene are causative of autosomal recessive, early onset PD. Single heterozygous mutations have been repeatedly detected in a subset of patients as well as in non-affected subjects, and their significance has long been debated. Several neurophysiological studies from non-manifesting PINK1 heterozygotes have shown the existence of neural plasticity abnormalities, indicating the presence of specific endophenotypic traits in the heterozygous state. Methods In the present study, we performed a functional analysis of corticostriatal synaptic plasticity in heterozygous PINK1 knock-out (PINK1+/−) mice by a multidisciplinary approach. Results We found that, despite a normal motor behavior, repetitive activation of cortical inputs to striatal neurons failed to induce long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas long-term depression (LTD) was normal. Although nigral dopaminergic neurons exhibited normal morphological and electrophysiological properties with normal responses to dopamine receptor activation, we measured a significantly lower dopamine release in the striatum of PINK1+/−, compared to control mice, suggesting that a decrease in stimulus-evoked dopamine overflow acts as a major determinant for the LTP deficit. Accordingly, pharmacological agents capable of increasing the availability of dopamine in the synaptic cleft restored a normal LTP in heterozygous mice. Moreover, MAO-B inhibitors rescued a physiological LTP and a normal dopamine release. Conclusions Our results provide novel evidence for striatal plasticity abnormalities even in the heterozygous disease state. These alterations might be considered an endophenotype to this monogenic form of PD, and a valid tool to characterize early disease stage and design possible disease-modifying therapies. PMID:24167038

  4. Effect of Aggregated β-Amyloid (1-42 on Synaptic Plasticity of Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus Granule Cells in Vivo

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    Shirin Babri

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD is a common neurodegenerative disorder in elderly people with an impairment of cognitive decline and memory loss. β-amyloid (Aβ as a potent neurotoxic peptide has a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of AD. This disease begins with impairment in synaptic functions before developing into later neuro­degeneration and neuronal loss. The aim of this study was to evaluate the synaptic plasticity and electrophysiological function of granule cells in hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG after intracerebroventricular (i.c.v. administration of aggregated Aβ (1-42 peptide in vivo. Methods: Animals were divided to control and Aβ (1-42 groups. Long-term potentia­tion (LTP in perforant path-DG synapses was assessed in order to investigate the effect of aggregated Aβ (1-42 on synaptic plasticity. Field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP slope and population spike (PS amplitude were measured. Results: Administration of Aβ (1-42 significantly decreased fEPSP slope and PS amplitude in Aβ (1-42 group comparing with the control group and had no effect on baseline activity of neurons. Conclusion: The present study indicates that administration of aggregated form of Aβ (1-42 into the lateral ventricle effectively inhibits LTP in granular cells of the DG in hippocampus in vivo.

  5. 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

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

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    Nora Prochnow

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

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

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    Hannah Twarkowski

    2016-09-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

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

  10. 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

  11. Wherefore Art Thou, Homeo(stasis? Functional Diversity in Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

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    Bridget N. Queenan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic plasticity has emerged as a fundamental regulatory principle that strives to maintain neuronal activity within optimal ranges by altering diverse aspects of neuronal function. Adaptation to network activity is often viewed as an essential negative feedback restraint that prevents runaway excitation or inhibition. However, the precise importance of these homeostatic functions is often theoretical rather than empirically derived. Moreover, a remarkable multiplicity of homeostatic adaptations has been observed. To clarify these issues, it may prove useful to ask: why do homeostatic mechanisms exist, what advantages do these adaptive responses confer on a given cell population, and why are there so many seemingly divergent effects? Here, we approach these questions by applying the principles of control theory to homeostatic synaptic plasticity of mammalian neurons and suggest that the varied responses observed may represent distinct functional classes of control mechanisms directed toward disparate physiological goals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgesius, Nils Z; van Woerden, Geeske M; Buitendijk, Gabrielle H S; Keijzer, Nanda; Jaarsma, Dick; Hoogenraad, Casper C; Elgersma, Ype

    2011-07-13

    The calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase type II (CaMKII) holoenzyme of the forebrain predominantly consists of heteromeric complexes of the αCaMKII and βCaMKII isoforms. Yet, in contrast to αCaMKII, the role of βCaMKII in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning has not been investigated. Here, we compare two targeted Camk2b mouse mutants to study the role of βCaMKII in hippocampal function. Using a Camk2b(-/-) mutant, in which βCaMKII is absent, we show that both hippocampal-dependent learning and Schaffer collateral-CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP) are highly dependent upon the presence of βCaMKII. We further show that βCaMKII is required for proper targeting of αCaMKII to the synapse, indicating that βCaMKII regulates the distribution of αCaMKII between the synaptic pool and the adjacent dendritic shaft. In contrast, localization of αCaMKII, hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning were unaffected in the Camk2b(A303R) mutant, in which the calcium/calmodulin-dependent activation of βCaMKII is prevented, while the F-actin binding and bundling property is preserved. This indicates that the calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase activity of βCaMKII is fully dispensable for hippocampal learning, LTP, and targeting of αCaMKII, but implies a critical role for the F-actin binding and bundling properties of βCaMKII in synaptic function. Together, our data provide compelling support for a model of CaMKII function in which αCaMKII and βCaMKII act in concert, but with distinct functions, to regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning.

  13. 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.

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

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    María-Paz Viveros

    2007-01-01

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

  15. An intracellular threonine of amyloid-β precursor protein mediates synaptic plasticity deficits and memory loss.

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    Franco Lombino

    Full Text Available Mutations in Amyloid-ß Precursor Protein (APP and BRI2/ITM2b genes cause Familial Alzheimer and Danish Dementias (FAD/FDD, respectively. APP processing by BACE1, which is inhibited by BRI2, yields sAPPß and ß-CTF. ß-CTF is cleaved by gamma-secretase to produce Aß. A knock-in mouse model of FDD, called FDDKI, shows deficits in memory and synaptic plasticity, which can be attributed to sAPPß/ß-CTF but not Aß. We have investigated further the pathogenic function of ß-CTF focusing on Thr(668 of ß-CTF because phosphorylation of Thr(668 is increased in AD cases. We created a knock-in mouse bearing a Thr(668Ala mutation (APP(TA mice that prevents phosphorylation at this site. This mutation prevents the development of memory and synaptic plasticity deficits in FDDKI mice. These data are consistent with a role for the carboxyl-terminal APP domain in the pathogenesis of dementia and suggest that averting the noxious role of Thr(668 is a viable therapeutic strategy for human dementias.

  16. Calcium/Calmodulin-dependent Protein Kinase II is a Ubiquitous Molecule in Human Long-term Memory Synaptic Plasticity: A Systematic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ataei, Negar; Sabzghabaee, Ali Mohammad; Movahedian, Ahmad

    2015-01-01

    Background: Long-term memory is based on synaptic plasticity, a series of biochemical mechanisms include changes in structure and proteins of brain's neurons. In this article, we systematically reviewed the studies that indicate calcium/calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII) is a ubiquitous molecule among different enzymes involved in human long-term memory and the main downstream signaling pathway of long-term memory. Methods: All of the observational, case–control and review studies were considered and evaluated by the search engines PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and ScienceDirect Scopus between 1990 and February 2015. We did not carry out meta-analysis. Results: At the first search, it was fined 1015 articles which included “synaptic plasticity” OR “neuronal plasticity” OR “synaptic density” AND memory AND “molecular mechanism” AND “calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II” OR CaMKII as the keywords. A total of 335 articles were duplicates in the databases and eliminated. A total of 680 title articles were evaluated. Finally, 40 articles were selected as reference. Conclusions: The studies have shown the most important intracellular signal of long-term memory is calcium-dependent signals. Calcium linked calmodulin can activate CaMKII. After receiving information for learning and memory, CaMKII is activated by Glutamate, the most important neurotransmitter for memory-related plasticity. Glutamate activates CaMKII and it plays some important roles in synaptic plasticity modification and long-term memory. PMID:26445635

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui Wang; Rui-Yun Peng

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Dopamine D1/D5, but not D2/D3, receptor dependency of synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses that is enabled by patterned afferent stimulation, or spatial learning

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    Hardy Hagena

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although the mossy fiber (MF synapses of the hippocampal CA3 region display quite distinct properties in terms of the molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity, they nonetheless exhibit persistent (>24h synaptic plasticity that is akin to that observed at the Schaffer collateral (SCH-CA1 and perforant path (PP-dentate gyrus (DG synapses of freely behaving rats. In addition, they also respond to novel spatial learning with very enduring forms of long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. These latter forms of synaptic plasticity are directly related to the learning behavior: novel exploration of generalized changes in space facilitates the expression of LTP at MF-CA3 synapses, whereas exploration of novel configurations of large environmental features facilitates the expression of LTD. In the absence of spatial novelty, synaptic plasticity is not expressed. Motivation is a potent determinant of whether learning about spatial experience effectively occurs and the neuromodulator dopamine plays a key role in motivation-based learning. Prior research on the regulation by dopamine receptors of long-term synaptic plasticity in CA1 and dentate gyrus synapses in vivo suggests that whereas D2/D3 receptors may modulate a general predisposition toward expressing plasticity, D1/D5 receptors may directly regulate the direction of change in synaptic strength that occurs during learning. Although the CA3 region is believed to play a pivotal role in many forms of learning, the role of these receptors in persistent (>24h forms of synaptic plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses is unknown. Here, we report that whereas pharmacological antagonism of D2/D3 receptors had no impact on LTP or LTD, antagonism of D1/D5 receptors significantly impaired LTP and LTD that were induced by solely by means of patterned afferent stimulation, or LTP/LTD that are typically enhanced by the conjunction of afferent stimulation and novel spatial learning. These data

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicvaric, Ana; Yang, Jiaye; Krieger, Sigurd; Khan, Deeba; Kim, Eun-Jung; Dominguez-Rodriguez, Manuel; Cabatic, Maureen; Molz, Barbara; Acevedo Aguilar, Juan Pablo; Milicevic, Radoslav; Smani, Tarik; Breuss, Johannes M; Kerjaschki, Dontscho; Pollak, Daniela D; Uhrin, Pavel; Monje, Francisco J

    2016-12-01

    Podoplanin is a cell-surface glycoprotein constitutively expressed in the brain and implicated in human brain tumorigenesis. The intrinsic function of podoplanin in brain neurons remains however uncharacterized. Using an established podoplanin-knockout mouse model and electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral approaches, we investigated the brain neuronal role of podoplanin. Ex-vivo electrophysiology showed that podoplanin deletion impairs dentate gyrus synaptic strengthening. In vivo, podoplanin deletion selectively impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory without affecting amygdala-dependent cued fear conditioning. In vitro, neuronal overexpression of podoplanin promoted synaptic activity and neuritic outgrowth whereas podoplanin-deficient neurons exhibited stunted outgrowth and lower levels of p-Ezrin, TrkA, and CREB in response to nerve growth factor (NGF). Surface Plasmon Resonance data further indicated a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. This work proposes podoplanin as a novel component of the neuronal machinery underlying neuritogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampus-dependent memory functions. The existence of a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and the NGF/TrkA signaling pathway is also for the first time proposed here, thus providing a novel molecular complex as a target for future multidisciplinary studies of the brain function in the physiology and the pathology. Key messages Podoplanin, a protein linked to the promotion of human brain tumors, is required in vivo for proper hippocampus-dependent learning and memory functions. Deletion of podoplanin selectively impairs activity-dependent synaptic strengthening at the neurogenic dentate-gyrus and hampers neuritogenesis and phospho Ezrin, TrkA and CREB protein levels upon NGF stimulation. Surface plasmon resonance data indicates a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. On these grounds, a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and NGF as well

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A neonatal mouse spinal cord injury model for assessing post-injury adaptive plasticity and human stem cell integration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Luc Boulland

    Full Text Available Despite limited regeneration capacity, partial injuries to the adult mammalian spinal cord can elicit variable degrees of functional recovery, mediated at least in part by reorganization of neuronal circuitry. Underlying mechanisms are believed to include synaptic plasticity and collateral sprouting of spared axons. Because plasticity is higher in young animals, we developed a spinal cord compression (SCC injury model in the neonatal mouse to gain insight into the potential for reorganization during early life. The model provides a platform for high-throughput assessment of functional synaptic connectivity that is also suitable for testing the functional integration of human stem and progenitor cell-derived neurons being considered for clinical cell replacement strategies. SCC was generated at T9-T11 and functional recovery was assessed using an integrated approach including video kinematics, histology, tract tracing, electrophysiology, and high-throughput optical recording of descending inputs to identified spinal neurons. Dramatic degeneration of axons and synaptic contacts was evident within 24 hours of SCC, and loss of neurons in the injured segment was evident for at least a month thereafter. Initial hindlimb paralysis was paralleled by a loss of descending inputs to lumbar motoneurons. Within 4 days of SCC and progressively thereafter, hindlimb motility began to be restored and descending inputs reappeared, but with examples of atypical synaptic connections indicating a reorganization of circuitry. One to two weeks after SCC, hindlimb motility approached sham control levels, and weight-bearing locomotion was virtually indistinguishable in SCC and sham control mice. Genetically labeled human fetal neural progenitor cells injected into the injured spinal cord survived for at least a month, integrated into the host tissue and began to differentiate morphologically. This integrative neonatal mouse model provides opportunities to explore early

  3. Effects of amitriptyline and fluoxetine on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of hippocampal formation in rats

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    Ghasem Zarei

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Several studies have been shown that antidepressant drugs have contradictory effects on cognitive processes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of amitriptyline and fluoxetine on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampal formation in rat. Materials and Methods: Experimental groups were the control, the fluoxetine, and amitriptyline. The rats were treated for 21 days and then, paired pulse facilitation/inhibition (PPF/I and long-term potentiation (LTP in perforant path-DG synapses were assessed (by 400 Hz tetanization. Field excitatory post-synaptic potential (fEPSP slope and population spike (PS amplitude were measured. Results: The results of PPF/I showed that PS amplitude ratios were increased in 10-70 ms inter-stimulus intervals in the amitriptyline group compared to the control group. In the fluoxetine group, EPSP slope ratios were decreased in intervals 30, 40, and 50 ms inter-stimulus intervals compared to the control group. The PS-LTP was significantly lower in the fluoxetine and the amitriptyline groups with respect to the control group. Conclusion: The results showed that fluoxetine and amitriptyline affect synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and these effects is probably due to the impact on the number of active neurons.

  4. Organization of common synaptic drive to motoneurones during fictive locomotion in the spinal cat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens Bo; Conway, B.A.; Halliday, D.M.

    2005-01-01

    pairs to antagonistic pools) failed to reveal any short-lasting synchronization. These data demonstrate that short-term synchronization during fictive locomotion is relatively weak and is restricted to close synergists. In addition, coherence analysis failed to identify any specific rhythmic component......The basic locomotor rhythm in the cat is generated by a neuronal network in the spinal cord. The exact organization of this network and its drive to the spinal motoneurones is unknown. The purpose of the present study was to use time (cumulant density) and frequency domain (coherence) analysis...

  5. 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 .

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Hypocretin/orexin neurons contribute to hippocampus-dependent social memory and synaptic plasticity in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Liya; Zou, Bende; Xiong, Xiaoxing; Pascual, Conrado; Xie, James; Malik, Adam; Xie, Julian; Sakurai, Takeshi; Xie, Xinmin Simon

    2013-03-20

    Hypocretin/orexin (Hcrt)-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus project throughout the brain, including to the hippocampus, where Hcrt receptors are widely expressed. Hcrt neurons activate these targets to orchestrate global arousal state, wake-sleep architecture, energy homeostasis, stress adaptation, and reward behaviors. Recently, Hcrt has been implicated in cognitive functions and social interaction. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Hcrt neurons are critical to social interaction, particularly social memory, using neurobehavioral assessment and electrophysiological approaches. The validated "two-enclosure homecage test" devices and procedure were used to test sociability, preference for social novelty (social novelty), and recognition memory. A conventional direct contact social test was conducted to corroborate the findings. We found that adult orexin/ataxin-3-transgenic (AT) mice, in which Hcrt neurons degenerate by 3 months of age, displayed normal sociability and social novelty with respect to their wild-type littermates. However, AT mice displayed deficits in long-term social memory. Nasal administration of exogenous Hcrt-1 restored social memory to an extent in AT mice. Hippocampal slices taken from AT mice exhibited decreases in degree of paired-pulse facilitation and magnitude of long-term potentiation, despite displaying normal basal synaptic neurotransmission in the CA1 area compared to wild-type hippocampal slices. AT hippocampi had lower levels of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB), an activity-dependent transcription factor important for synaptic plasticity and long-term memory storage. Our studies demonstrate that Hcrt neurons play an important role in the consolidation of social recognition memory, at least in part through enhancements of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation.

  9. 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...

  10. Effects of Ethanol Exposure during Distinct Periods of Brain Development on Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity

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    Brian R. Christie

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders occur when a mother drinks during pregnancy and can greatly influence synaptic plasticity and cognition in the offspring. In this study we determined whether there are periods during brain development that are more susceptible to the effects of ethanol exposure on hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In particular, we evaluated how the ability to elicit long-term potentiation (LTP in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG was affected in young adult rats that were exposed to ethanol during either the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimester equivalent. As expected, the effects of ethanol on young adult DG LTP were less severe when exposure was limited to a particular trimester equivalent when compared to exposure throughout gestation. In males, ethanol exposure during the 1st, 2nd or 3rd trimester equivalent did not significantly reduce LTP in the DG. In females, ethanol exposure during either the 1st or 2nd trimester equivalents did not impact LTP in early adulthood, but following exposure during the 3rd trimester equivalent alone, LTP was significantly increased in the female DG. These results further exemplify the disparate effects between the ability to elicit LTP in the male and female brain following perinatal ethanol exposure (PNEE.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. HuD and the Survival Motor Neuron Protein Interact in Motoneurons and Are Essential for Motoneuron Development, Function, and mRNA Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao le, Thi; Duy, Phan Q; An, Min; Talbot, Jared; Iyer, Chitra C; Wolman, Marc; Beattie, Christine E

    2017-11-29

    Motoneurons establish a critical link between the CNS and muscles. If motoneurons do not develop correctly, they cannot form the required connections, resulting in movement defects or paralysis. Compromised development can also lead to degeneration because the motoneuron is not set up to function properly. Little is known, however, regarding the mechanisms that control vertebrate motoneuron development, particularly the later stages of axon branch and dendrite formation. The motoneuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein leading to defects in vertebrate motoneuron development and synapse formation. Here we show using zebrafish as a model system that SMN interacts with the RNA binding protein (RBP) HuD in motoneurons in vivo during formation of axonal branches and dendrites. To determine the function of HuD in motoneurons, we generated zebrafish HuD mutants and found that they exhibited decreased motor axon branches, dramatically fewer dendrites, and movement defects. These same phenotypes are present in animals expressing low levels of SMN, indicating that both proteins function in motoneuron development. HuD binds and transports mRNAs and one of its target mRNAs, Gap43 , is involved in axonal outgrowth. We found that Gap43 was decreased in both HuD and SMN mutants. Importantly, transgenic expression of HuD in motoneurons of SMN mutants rescued the motoneuron defects, the movement defects, and Gap43 mRNA levels. These data support that the interaction between SMN and HuD is critical for motoneuron development and point to a role for RBPs in SMA. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In zebrafish models of the motoneuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), motor axons fail to form the normal extent of axonal branches and dendrites leading to decreased motor function. SMA is caused by low levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. We show in motoneurons in vivo that SMN interacts with the RNA binding

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelini, Gabriele; Berciu, Cristina; Pilobello, Kanoelani; Peter, Durning; Rachel, Jenkins; Kahn, Moazzzam; Ramikie, Teniel; Subramanian, Siva; Ressler, Kerry; Pantazopoulos, Charalampos; Berretta, Sabina

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Emerging evidence from our group and others has brought the brain extracellular matrix (ECM) to the forefront of investigations on brain disorders. Our group has shown that organized perisynaptic ECM aggregates, i.e. perineuronal nets (PNNs) are decreased in several brain regions in people with schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). PNNs were detected by their expression of specific chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs), main components of the ECM, thought to play a key role in synaptic regulation during development and adulthood. Our studies have also shown that glial cells expressing CSPGs are altered in these disorders, suggesting a link between glial cell and PNN abnormalities. Finally, we have recently shown that novel CSPG structures, bearing a distinct CS-6 sulfation pattern and named CS-6 glial clusters, are decreased in the amygdala of people with SZ and BD. The morphology and function of CS-6 glial clusters is not currently known, but evidence from rodents and on the role of CSPGs in regulating synaptic functions strongly suggest that they may affect synaptic plasticity. We tested this hypothesis using a combination of human postmortem and rodent brain studies. Methods High Resolution electron microscopy was used to investigate the ultrastructural organization of CS-6 glia clusters. A transgenic mouse model expressing green fluorescent protein in a subset of excitatory pyramidal neurons was used to investigate dendritic spines association with CS-6 glia clusters. Mice were exposed to a single session of auditory fear conditioning for a total of 15 minutes. Animals were euthanized 4 hours after behavioral test. Multiplex immunocytochemistry was used to visualize CS-6 clusters. Results In human tissue, we show that CS-6 glia clusters are widespread in several brain regions, including the amygdala, entorhinal cortex, thalamus and hippocampus. Ultrastructural results show that CS-6 glia clusters are formed by CS-6 accumulations

  16. Abnormal cortical synaptic plasticity in primary motor area in progressive supranuclear palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conte, Antonella; Belvisi, Daniele; Bologna, Matteo; Ottaviani, Donatella; Fabbrini, Giovanni; Colosimo, Carlo; Williams, David R; Berardelli, Alfredo

    2012-03-01

    No study has yet investigated whether cortical plasticity in primary motor area (M1) is abnormal in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). We studied M1 plasticity in 15 PSP patients and 15 age-matched healthy subjects. We used intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) to investigate long-term potentiation (LTP) and continuous TBS (cTBS) to investigate long-term depression (LTD)-like cortical plasticity in M1. Ten patients underwent iTBS again 1 year later. We also investigated short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) in M1 with paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation, tested H reflex from upper limb flexor muscles before and after iTBS, and measured motor evoked potential (MEP) input-output (I/O) curves before and after iTBS. iTBS elicited a significantly larger MEP facilitation after iTBS in patients than in healthy subjects. Whereas in healthy subjects, cTBS inhibited MEP, in patients it significantly facilitated MEPs. In patients, SICI was reduced, whereas ICF was normal. H reflex size remained unchanged after iTBS. Patients had steeper MEP I/O slopes than healthy subjects at baseline and became even more steeper after iTBS only in patients. The iTBS-induced abnormal MEP facilitation in PSP persisted at 1-year follow-up. In conclusion, patients with PSP have abnormal M1 LTP/LTD-like plasticity. The enhanced LTP-like cortical synaptic plasticity parallels disease progression.

  17. Does spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity couple or decouple neurons firing in synchrony?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. hnRNP R and its main interactor, the noncoding RNA 7SK, coregulate the axonal transcriptome of motoneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briese, Michael; Saal-Bauernschubert, Lena; Ji, Changhe; Moradi, Mehri; Ghanawi, Hanaa; Uhl, Michael; Appenzeller, Silke; Backofen, Rolf; Sendtner, Michael

    2018-03-20

    Disturbed RNA processing and subcellular transport contribute to the pathomechanisms of motoneuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy. RNA-binding proteins are involved in these processes, but the mechanisms by which they regulate the subcellular diversity of transcriptomes, particularly in axons, are not understood. Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein R (hnRNP R) interacts with several proteins involved in motoneuron diseases. It is located in axons of developing motoneurons, and its depletion causes defects in axon growth. Here, we used individual nucleotide-resolution cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP) to determine the RNA interactome of hnRNP R in motoneurons. We identified ∼3,500 RNA targets, predominantly with functions in synaptic transmission and axon guidance. Among the RNA targets identified by iCLIP, the noncoding RNA 7SK was the top interactor of hnRNP R. We detected 7SK in the nucleus and also in the cytosol of motoneurons. In axons, 7SK localized in close proximity to hnRNP R, and depletion of hnRNP R reduced axonal 7SK. Furthermore, suppression of 7SK led to defective axon growth that was accompanied by axonal transcriptome alterations similar to those caused by hnRNP R depletion. Using a series of 7SK-deletion mutants, we show that the function of 7SK in axon elongation depends on its interaction with hnRNP R but not with the PTEF-B complex involved in transcriptional regulation. These results propose a role for 7SK as an essential interactor of hnRNP R to regulate its function in axon maintenance. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  19. Synaptic Plasticity and Learning Behaviors Mimicked in Single Inorganic Synapses of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN Memristive System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lai-Guo; Zhang, Wei; Chen, Yan; Cao, Yan-Qiang; Li, Ai-Dong; Wu, Di

    2017-01-01

    In this work, a kind of new memristor with the simple structure of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN was fabricated completely via combination of thermal-atomic layer deposition (TALD) and plasma-enhanced ALD (PEALD). The synaptic plasticity and learning behaviors of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN memristive system have been investigated deeply. Multilevel resistance states are obtained by varying the programming voltage amplitudes during the pulse cycling. The device conductance can be continuously increased or decreased from cycle to cycle with better endurance characteristics up to about 3 × 103 cycles. Several essential synaptic functions are simultaneously achieved in such a single double-layer of HfOx/ZnOx device, including nonlinear transmission properties, such as long-term plasticity (LTP), short-term plasticity (STP), and spike-timing-dependent plasticity. The transformation from STP to LTP induced by repetitive pulse stimulation is confirmed in Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN memristive device. Above all, simple structure of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN by ALD technique is a kind of promising memristor device for applications in artificial neural network.

  20. A kinetic model of dopamine- and calcium-dependent striatal synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Nakano

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Corticostriatal synapse plasticity of medium spiny neurons is regulated by glutamate input from the cortex and dopamine input from the substantia nigra. While cortical stimulation alone results in long-term depression (LTD, the combination with dopamine switches LTD to long-term potentiation (LTP, which is known as dopamine-dependent plasticity. LTP is also induced by cortical stimulation in magnesium-free solution, which leads to massive calcium influx through NMDA-type receptors and is regarded as calcium-dependent plasticity. Signaling cascades in the corticostriatal spines are currently under investigation. However, because of the existence of multiple excitatory and inhibitory pathways with loops, the mechanisms regulating the two types of plasticity remain poorly understood. A signaling pathway model of spines that express D1-type dopamine receptors was constructed to analyze the dynamic mechanisms of dopamine- and calcium-dependent plasticity. The model incorporated all major signaling molecules, including dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein with a molecular weight of 32 kDa (DARPP32, as well as AMPA receptor trafficking in the post-synaptic membrane. Simulations with dopamine and calcium inputs reproduced dopamine- and calcium-dependent plasticity. Further in silico experiments revealed that the positive feedback loop consisted of protein kinase A (PKA, protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A, and the phosphorylation site at threonine 75 of DARPP-32 (Thr75 served as the major switch for inducing LTD and LTP. Calcium input modulated this loop through the PP2B (phosphatase 2B-CK1 (casein kinase 1-Cdk5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5-Thr75 pathway and PP2A, whereas calcium and dopamine input activated the loop via PKA activation by cyclic AMP (cAMP. The positive feedback loop displayed robust bi-stable responses following changes in the reaction parameters. Increased basal dopamine levels disrupted this dopamine-dependent plasticity. The

  1. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

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

  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. Learning and retrieval behavior in recurrent neural networks with pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.; Agnes, Everton J.; Erichsen, Rubem; Brunnet, Leonardo G.

    2017-08-01

    The plastic character of brain synapses is considered to be one of the foundations for the formation of memories. There are numerous kinds of such phenomenon currently described in the literature, but their role in the development of information pathways in neural networks with recurrent architectures is still not completely clear. In this paper we study the role of an activity-based process, called pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic scaling, in the organization of networks that yield precise-timed spiking patterns. It encodes spatio-temporal information in the synaptic weights as it associates a learned input with a specific response. We introduce a correlation measure to evaluate the precision of the spiking patterns and explore the effects of different inhibitory interactions and learning parameters. We find that large learning periods are important in order to improve the network learning capacity and discuss this ability in the presence of distinct inhibitory currents.

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Developing electrical properties of postnatal mouse lumbar motoneurons

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    Jacques eDurand

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available We studied the rapid changes in electrical properties of lumbar motoneurons between postnatal days 3 and 9 just before mice weight-bear and walk. The input conductance and rheobase significantly increased up to P8. A negative correlation exists between the input resistance and rheobase. Both parameters are significantly correlated with the total dendritic surface area of motoneurons, the largest motoneurons having the lowest input resistance and the highest rheobase. We classified the motoneurons into three groups according to their discharge firing patterns during current pulse injection (transient, delayed onset, sustained. The delayed onset firing type has the highest rheobase and the fastest action potential whereas the transient firing group has the lowest rheobase and the less mature action potential. We found 32% and 10 % of motoneurons with a transient firing at P3-P5 and P8, respectively. About 20% of motoneurons with delayed onset firing were detected at P8. At P9, all motoneurons exhibit a sustained firing. We defined five groups of motoneurons according to their discharge firing patterns in response to ascending and descending current ramps. In addition to the four classical types, we defined a fifth type called transient for the quasi-absence of discharge during the descending phase of the ramp. This transient type represents about 40% between P3-P5 and tends to disappear with age. Types 1 and 2 (linear and clockwise hysteresis are the most preponderant at P6-P7. Types 3 and 4 (prolonged sustained and counter clockwise hysteresis emerge at P8-P9. The emergence of type 3 and 4 probably depends on the maturation of L type calcium channels in the dendrites of motoneurons. No correlation was found between groups defined by step or triangular ramp of currents with the exception of transient firing patterns. Our data support the idea that a switch in the electrical properties of lumbar motoneurons might exist in the second postnatal week

  6. Short-term exposure to enriched environment rescues chronic stress-induced impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity, anxiety, and memory deficits.

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    Bhagya, Venkanna Rao; Srikumar, Bettadapura N; Veena, Jayagopalan; Shankaranarayana Rao, Byrathnahalli S

    2017-08-01

    Exposure to prolonged stress results in structural and functional alterations in the hippocampus including reduced long-term potentiation (LTP), neurogenesis, spatial learning and working memory impairments, and enhanced anxiety-like behavior. On the other hand, enriched environment (EE) has beneficial effects on hippocampal structure and function, such as improved memory, increased hippocampal neurogenesis, and progressive synaptic plasticity. It is unclear whether exposure to short-term EE for 10 days can overcome restraint stress-induced cognitive deficits and impaired hippocampal plasticity. Consequently, the present study explored the beneficial effects of short-term EE on chronic stress-induced impaired LTP, working memory, and anxiety-like behavior. Male Wistar rats were subjected to chronic restraint stress (6 hr/day) over a period of 21 days, and then they were exposed to EE (6 hr/day) for 10 days. Restraint stress reduced hippocampal CA1-LTP, increased anxiety-like symptoms in elevated plus maze, and impaired working memory in T-maze task. Remarkably, EE facilitated hippocampal LTP, improved working memory performance, and completely overcame the effect of chronic stress on anxiety behavior. In conclusion, exposure to EE can bring out positive effects on synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and thereby elicit its beneficial effects on cognitive functions. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Persistent deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity accompany losses of hippocampus-dependent memory in a rodent model of psychosis

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    Valentina eWiescholleck

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Irreversible N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR antagonism is known to provoke symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia in healthy humans. NMDAR hypofunction is believed to play a central role in the pathophysiology of both disorders and in an animal model of psychosis, that is based on irreversible antagonism of NMDARs, pronounced deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity have been reported shortly after antagonist treatment. Here, we examined the long-term consequences for long-term potentiation (LTP of a single acute treatment with an irreversible antagonist and investigated whether deficits are associated with memory impairments.The ability to express long-term potentiation (LTP at the perforant pathway – dentate gyrus synapse, as well as object recognition memory was assessed 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks after a single -treatment of the antagonist, MK801. Here, LTP in freely behaving rats was significantly impaired at all time-points compared to control LTP before treatment. Object recognition memory was also significantly poorer in MK801-treated compared to vehicle-treated animals for several weeks after treatment. Histological analysis revealed no changes in brain tissue.Taken together, these data support that acute treatment with an irreversible NMDAR antagonist persistently impairs hippocampal functioning on behavioral, as well as synaptic levels. The long-term deficits in synaptic plasticity may underlie the cognitive impairments that are associated with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

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

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

    1998-08-01

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

  9. Nicotinic receptor activation contrasts pathophysiological bursting and neurodegeneration evoked by glutamate uptake block on rat hypoglossal motoneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsini, Silvia; Tortora, Maria; Nistri, Andrea

    2016-11-15

    facilitated burst emergence in non-burster cells. Furthermore, nicotine inhibited excitatory transmission and enhanced synaptic inhibition. Strong neuroprotection by nicotine prevented the HM loss observed after 4 h of TBOA exposure. This neuroprotective action was due to suppression of downstream effectors of neurotoxicity such as increased intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species, impaired energy metabolism and upregulated genes involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. In addition, HMs surviving TBOA toxicity often expressed UDP-glucose glycoprotein glucosyltransferase, a key element in repair of misfolded proteins: this phenomenon was absent after nicotine application, indicative of ER stress prevention. Our results suggest nAChRs to be potential targets for inhibiting excitotoxic damage of motoneurons at an early stage of the neurodegenerative process. © 2016 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2016 The Physiological Society.

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

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    Davide eSilingardi

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Neuroprotective effects of testosterone metabolites and dependency on receptor action on the morphology of somatic motoneurons following the death of neighboring motoneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Yi; Chew, Cory; Muñoz, Fernando; Sengelaub, Dale R

    2017-06-01

    Partial depletion of spinal motoneuron populations induces dendritic atrophy in neighboring motoneurons, and treatment with testosterone is neuroprotective, attenuating induced dendritic atrophy. In this study we examined whether the protective effects of testosterone could be mediated via its androgenic or estrogenic metabolites. Furthermore, to assess whether these neuroprotective effects were mediated through steroid hormone receptors, we used receptor antagonists to attempt to prevent the neuroprotective effects of hormones after partial motoneuron depletion. Motoneurons innervating the vastus medialis muscles of adult male rats were selectively killed by intramuscular injection of cholera toxin-conjugated saporin. Simultaneously, some saporin-injected rats were treated with either dihydrotestosterone or estradiol, alone or in combination with their respective receptor antagonists, or left untreated. Four weeks later, motoneurons innervating the ipsilateral vastus lateralis muscle were labeled with cholera toxin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase, and dendritic arbors were reconstructed in three dimensions. Compared with intact normal animals, partial motoneuron depletion resulted in decreased dendritic length in remaining quadriceps motoneurons. Dendritic atrophy was attenuated with both dihydrotestosterone and estradiol treatment to a degree similar to that seen with testosterone, and attenuation of atrophy was prevented by receptor blockade. Together, these findings suggest that neuroprotective effects on motoneurons can be mediated by either androgenic or estrogenic hormones and require action via steroid hormone receptors, further supporting a role for hormones as neurotherapeutic agents in the injured nervous system. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 691-707, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Simulation of synaptic short-term plasticity using Ba(CF3SO3)2-doped polyethylene oxide electrolyte film.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, C T; Zeng, F; Li, X J; Dong, W S; Lu, S H; Gao, S; Pan, F

    2016-01-07

    The simulation of synaptic plasticity using new materials is critical in the study of brain-inspired computing. Devices composed of Ba(CF3SO3)2-doped polyethylene oxide (PEO) electrolyte film were fabricated and with pulse responses found to resemble the synaptic short-term plasticity (STP) of both short-term depression (STD) and short-term facilitation (STF) synapses. The values of the charge and discharge peaks of the pulse responses did not vary with input number when the pulse frequency was sufficiently low(~1 Hz). However, when the frequency was increased, the charge and discharge peaks decreased and increased, respectively, in gradual trends and approached stable values with respect to the input number. These stable values varied with the input frequency, which resulted in the depressed and potentiated weight modifications of the charge and discharge peaks, respectively. These electrical properties simulated the high and low band-pass filtering effects of STD and STF, respectively. The simulations were consistent with biological results and the corresponding biological parameters were successfully extracted. The study verified the feasibility of using organic electrolytes to mimic STP.

  13. Modulatory role of androgenic and estrogenic neurosteroids in determining the direction of synaptic plasticity in the CA1 hippocampal region of male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettorossi, Vito Enrico; Di Mauro, Michela; Scarduzio, Mariangela; Panichi, Roberto; Tozzi, Alessandro; Calabresi, Paolo; Grassi, Silvarosa

    2013-12-01

    Estrogenic and androgenic neurosteroids can rapidly modulate synaptic plasticity in the brain through interaction with membrane receptors for estrogens (ERs) and androgens (ARs). We used electrophysiological recordings in slices of young and adolescent male rats to explore the influence of sex neurosteroids on synaptic plasticity in the CA1 hippocampal region, by blocking ARs or ERs during induction of long-term depression (LTD) and depotentiation (DP) by low-frequency stimulation (LFS) and long-term potentiation (LTP) by high-frequency stimulation (HFS). We found that LTD and DP depend on ARs, while LTP on ERs in both age groups. Accordingly, the AR blocker flutamide affected induction of LTD reverting it into LTP, and prevented DP, while having no effect on HFS-dependent LTP. Conversely, ER blockade with ICI 182,780 (ICI) markedly reduced LTP, but did not influence LTD and DP. However, the receptor blockade did not affect the maintenance of either LTD or LTP. Moreover, we found that similar to LTP and LTD induced in control condition, the LTP unveiled by flutamide during LFS and residual LTP induced by HFS under ICI depended on N-methyl-d aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activation. Furthermore, as the synaptic paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) was not affected by either AR or ER blockade, we suggest that sex neurosteroids act primarily at a postsynaptic level. This study demonstrates for the first time the crucial role of estrogenic and androgenic neurosteroids in determining the sign of hippocampal synaptic plasticity in male rat and the activity-dependent recruitment of androgenic and estrogenic pathways leading to LTD and LTP, respectively.

  14. Caspase-9 mediates synaptic plasticity and memory deficits of Danish dementia knock-in mice: caspase-9 inhibition provides therapeutic protection

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    Tamayev Robert

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutations in either Aβ Precursor protein (APP or genes that regulate APP processing, such as BRI2/ITM2B and PSEN1/PSEN2, cause familial dementias. Although dementias due to APP/PSEN1/PSEN2 mutations are classified as familial Alzheimer disease (FAD and those due to mutations in BRI2/ITM2B as British and Danish dementias (FBD, FDD, data suggest that these diseases have a common pathogenesis involving toxic APP metabolites. It was previously shown that FAD mutations in APP and PSENs promote activation of caspases leading to the hypothesis that aberrant caspase activation could participate in AD pathogenesis. Results Here, we tested whether a similar mechanism applies to the Danish BRI2/ITM2B mutation. We have generated a genetically congruous mouse model of FDD, called FDDKI, which presents memory and synaptic plasticity deficits. We found that caspase-9 is activated in hippocampal synaptic fractions of FDDKI mice and inhibition of caspase-9 activity rescues both synaptic plasticity and memory deficits. Conclusion These data directly implicate caspase-9 in the pathogenesis of Danish dementia and suggest that reducing caspase-9 activity is a valid therapeutic approach to treating human dementias.

  15. Effects of exercise and diet change on cognition function and synaptic plasticity in high fat diet induced obese rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Nutritional imbalance-induced obesity causes a variety of diseases and in particular is an important cause of cognitive function decline. This study was performed on Sprague Dawley (SD) rats with 13-weeks of high fat diet-induced obesity in connection to the effects of regular exercise and dietary control for 8 weeks on the synaptic plasticity and cognitive abilities of brain. Methods Four weeks-old SD rats were adopted classified into normal-normal diet-sedentary (NNS, n = 8), obesity-high fat diet-sedentary (OHS, n = 8), obesity-high fat diet-training (OHT, n = 8), obesity-normal diet-sedentary (ONS, n = 8) and obesity- normal diet-training (ONT, n = 8). The exercise program consisted of a treadmill exercise administered at a speed of 8 m/min for 1–4 weeks, and 14 m/min for 5–8 weeks. The Western blot method was used to measure the expression of NGF, BDNF, p38MAPK and p-p38MAPK proteins in hippocampus of the brain, and expressions of NGF, BDNF, TrkA, TrkB, CREB and synapsin1 mRNA were analyzed through qRT-PCR. Results The results suggest cognitive function-related protein levels and mRNA expression to be significantly decreased in the hippocampus of obese rats, and synaptic plasticity as well as cognitive function signaling sub-pathway factors were also significantly decreased. In addition, 8-weeks exercises and treatment by dietary change had induced significant increase of cognitive function-related protein levels and mRNA expression as well as synaptic plasticity and cognitive function signaling sub-pathway factors in obese rats. In particular, the combined treatment had presented even more positive effect. Conclusions Therefore, it was determined that the high fat diet-induced obesity decreases plasticity and cognitive function of the brain, but was identified as being improved by exercises and dietary changes. In particular, it is considered that regular exercise has positive effects on memory span and learning

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

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    Watson William P

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Feedback Signal from Motoneurons Influences a Rhythmic Pattern Generator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotstein, Horacio G; Schneider, Elisa; Szczupak, Lidia

    2017-09-20

    Motoneurons are not mere output units of neuronal circuits that control motor behavior but participate in pattern generation. Research on the circuit that controls the crawling motor behavior in leeches indicated that motoneurons participate as modulators of this rhythmic motor pattern. Crawling results from successive bouts of elongation and contraction of the whole leech body. In the isolated segmental ganglia, dopamine can induce a rhythmic antiphasic activity of the motoneurons that control contraction (DE-3 motoneurons) and elongation (CV motoneurons). The study was performed in isolated ganglia where manipulation of the activity of specific motoneurons was performed in the course of fictive crawling ( crawling ). In this study, the membrane potential of CV was manipulated while crawling was monitored through the rhythmic activity of DE-3. Matching behavioral observations that show that elongation dominates the rhythmic pattern, the electrophysiological activity of CV motoneurons dominates the cycle. Brief excitation of CV motoneurons during crawling episodes resets the rhythmic activity of DE-3, indicating that CV feeds back to the rhythmic pattern generator. CV hyperpolarization accelerated the rhythm to an extent that depended on the magnitude of the cycle period, suggesting that CV exerted a positive feedback on the unit(s) of the pattern generator that controls the elongation phase. A simple computational model was implemented to test the consequences of such feedback. The simulations indicate that the duty cycle of CV depended on the strength of the positive feedback between CV and the pattern generator circuit. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Rhythmic movements of animals are controlled by neuronal networks that have been conceived as hierarchical structures. At the basis of this hierarchy, we find the motoneurons, few neurons at the top control global aspects of the behavior (e.g., onset, duration); and within these two ends, specific neuronal circuits control

  18. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

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    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Coupling an aVLSI neuromorphic vision chip to a neurotrophic model of synaptic plasticity: the development of topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Terry; Kramer, Jörg

    2002-10-01

    We couple a previously studied, biologically inspired neurotrophic model of activity-dependent competitive synaptic plasticity and neuronal development to a neuromorphic retina chip. Using this system, we examine the development and refinement of a topographic mapping between an array of afferent neurons (the retinal ganglion cells) and an array of target neurons. We find that the plasticity model can indeed drive topographic refinement in the presence of afferent activity patterns generated by a real-world device. We examine the resilience of the developing system to the presence of high levels of noise by adjusting the spontaneous firing rate of the silicon neurons.

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

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    Andrew T Kempsell

    2015-09-01

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

  2. 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,

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Pharmacological rescue of Ras signaling, GluA1-dependent synaptic plasticity, and learning deficits in a fragile X model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Chae-Seok; Hoang, Elizabeth T; Viar, Kenneth E; Stornetta, Ruth L; Scott, Michael M; Zhu, J Julius

    2014-02-01

    Fragile X syndrome, caused by the loss of Fmr1 gene function, is the most common form of inherited mental retardation, with no effective treatment. Using a tractable animal model, we investigated mechanisms of action of a few FDA-approved psychoactive drugs that modestly benefit the cognitive performance in fragile X patients. Here we report that compounds activating serotonin (5HT) subtype 2B receptors (5HT2B-Rs) or dopamine (DA) subtype 1-like receptors (D1-Rs) and/or those inhibiting 5HT2A-Rs or D2-Rs moderately enhance Ras-PI3K/PKB signaling input, GluA1-dependent synaptic plasticity, and learning in Fmr1 knockout mice. Unexpectedly, combinations of these 5HT and DA compounds at low doses synergistically stimulate Ras-PI3K/PKB signal transduction and GluA1-dependent synaptic plasticity and remarkably restore normal learning in Fmr1 knockout mice without causing anxiety-related side effects. These findings suggest that properly dosed and combined FDA-approved psychoactive drugs may effectively treat the cognitive impairment associated with fragile X syndrome.

  6. 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.

  7. Compartmentalized PDE4A5 Signaling Impairs Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity and Long-Term Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havekes, Robbert; Park, Alan J; Tolentino, Rosa E; Bruinenberg, Vibeke M; Tudor, Jennifer C; Lee, Yool; Hansen, Rolf T; Guercio, Leonardo A; Linton, Edward; Neves-Zaph, Susana R; Meerlo, Peter; Baillie, George S; Houslay, Miles D; Abel, Ted

    2016-08-24

    Alterations in cAMP signaling are thought to contribute to neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Members of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family, which contains >25 different isoforms, play a key role in determining spatial cAMP degradation so as to orchestrate compartmentalized cAMP signaling in cells. Each isoform binds to a different set of protein complexes through its unique N-terminal domain, thereby leading to targeted degradation of cAMP in specific intracellular compartments. However, the functional role of specific compartmentalized PDE4 isoforms has not been examined in vivo Here, we show that increasing protein levels of the PDE4A5 isoform in mouse hippocampal excitatory neurons impairs a long-lasting form of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and attenuates hippocampus-dependent long-term memories without affecting anxiety. In contrast, viral expression of a truncated version of PDE4A5, which lacks the unique N-terminal targeting domain, does not affect long-term memory. Further, overexpression of the PDE4A1 isoform, which targets a different subset of signalosomes, leaves memory undisturbed. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer sensor-based cAMP measurements reveal that the full-length PDE4A5, in contrast to the truncated form, hampers forskolin-mediated increases in neuronal cAMP levels. Our study indicates that the unique N-terminal localization domain of PDE4A5 is essential for the targeting of specific cAMP-dependent signaling underlying synaptic plasticity and memory. The development of compounds to disrupt the compartmentalization of individual PDE4 isoforms by targeting their unique N-terminal domains may provide a fruitful approach to prevent cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive disorders that are associated with alterations in cAMP signaling. Neurons exhibit localized signaling processes that enable biochemical cascades to be activated selectively in specific subcellular compartments. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel-Ciernia, Annie; Wood, Marcelo A

    2014-05-01

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

  9. Huntingtin is critical both pre- and postsynaptically for long-term learning-related synaptic plasticity in Aplysia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun-Beom Choi

    Full Text Available Patients with Huntington's disease exhibit memory and cognitive deficits many years before manifesting motor disturbances. Similarly, several studies have shown that deficits in long-term synaptic plasticity, a cellular basis of memory formation and storage, occur well before motor disturbances in the hippocampus of the transgenic mouse models of Huntington's disease. The autosomal dominant inheritance pattern of Huntington's disease suggests the importance of the mutant protein, huntingtin, in pathogenesis of Huntington's disease, but wild type huntingtin also has been shown to be important for neuronal functions such as axonal transport. Yet, the role of wild type huntingtin in long-term synaptic plasticity has not been investigated in detail. We identified a huntingtin homolog in the marine snail Aplysia, and find that similar to the expression pattern in mammalian brain, huntingtin is widely expressed in neurons and glial cells. Importantly the expression of mRNAs of huntingtin is upregulated by repeated applications of serotonin, a modulatory transmitter released during learning in Aplysia. Furthermore, we find that huntingtin expression levels are critical, not only in presynaptic sensory neurons, but also in the postsynaptic motor neurons for serotonin-induced long-term facilitation at the sensory-to-motor neuron synapse of the Aplysia gill-withdrawal reflex. These results suggest a key role for huntingtin in long-term memory storage.

  10. Long-term plasticity determines the postsynaptic response to correlated afferents with multivesicular short-term synaptic depression

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    Alexander David Bird

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Synchrony in a presynaptic population leads to correlations in vesicle occupancy at the active sites for neurotransmitter release. The number of independent release sites per presynaptic neuron, a synaptic parameter recently shown to be modifed during long-term plasticity, will modulate these correlations and therefore have a significant effect on the firing rate of the postsynaptic neuron. To understand how correlations from synaptic dynamics and from presynaptic synchrony shape the postsynaptic response, we study a model of multiple release site short-term plasticity and derive exact results for the crosscorrelation function of vesicle occupancy and neurotransmitter release, as well as the postsynaptic voltage variance. Using approximate forms for the postsynaptic firing rate in the limits of low and high correlations, we demonstrate that short-term depression leads to a maximum response for an intermediate number of presynaptic release sites, and that this leads to a tuning-curve response peaked at an optimal presynaptic synchrony setby the number of neurotransmitter release sites per presynaptic neuron. These effects arise because, above a certain level of correlation, activity in the presynaptic population is overly strong resulting in wastage of the pool of releasable neurotransmitter. As the nervous system operates under constraints of efficient metabolism it is likely that this phenomenon provides an activity-dependent constraint on network architecture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempsell, Andrew T; Fieber, Lynne A

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Visual recognition memory, manifest as long-term habituation, requires synaptic plasticity in V1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Sam F.; Komorowski, Robert W.; Kaplan, Eitan S.; Gavornik, Jeffrey P.; Bear, Mark F.

    2015-01-01

    Familiarity with stimuli that bring neither reward nor punishment, manifested through behavioural habituation, enables organisms to detect novelty and devote cognition to important elements of the environment. Here we describe in mice a form of long-term behavioural habituation to visual grating stimuli that is selective for stimulus orientation. Orientation-selective habituation (OSH) can be observed both in exploratory behaviour in an open arena, and in a stereotyped motor response to visual stimuli in head-restrained mice. We show that the latter behavioural response, termed a vidget, requires V1. Parallel electrophysiological recordings in V1 reveal that plasticity, in the form of stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP), occurs in layer 4 of V1 as OSH develops. Local manipulations of V1 that prevent and reverse electrophysiological modifications likewise prevent and reverse memory demonstrated behaviourally. These findings suggest that a form of long-term visual recognition memory is stored via synaptic plasticity in primary sensory cortex. PMID:25599221

  13. Visual recognition memory, manifested as long-term habituation, requires synaptic plasticity in V1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Sam F; Komorowski, Robert W; Kaplan, Eitan S; Gavornik, Jeffrey P; Bear, Mark F

    2015-02-01

    Familiarity with stimuli that bring neither reward nor punishment, manifested through behavioral habituation, enables organisms to detect novelty and devote cognition to important elements of the environment. Here we describe in mice a form of long-term behavioral habituation to visual grating stimuli that is selective for stimulus orientation. Orientation-selective habituation (OSH) can be observed both in exploratory behavior in an open arena and in a stereotyped motor response to visual stimuli in head-restrained mice. We found that the latter behavioral response, termed a 'vidget', requires V1. Parallel electrophysiological recordings in V1 revealed that plasticity, in the form of stimulus-selective response potentiation (SRP), occurred in layer 4 of V1 as OSH developed. Local manipulations of V1 that prevented and reversed electrophysiological modifications likewise prevented and reversed memory demonstrated behaviorally. These findings suggest that a form of long-term visual recognition memory is stored via synaptic plasticity in primary sensory cortex.

  14. 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.

  15. Role of standardized grape polyphenol preparation as a novel treatment to improve synaptic plasticity through attenuation of features of metabolic syndrome in a mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tang, Cheuk; Ferruzzi, Mario G; Gong, Bing; Song, Brian J; Janle, Elsa M; Chen, Tzu-Ying; Cooper, Bruce; Varghese, Merina; Cheng, Alice; Freire, Daniel; Bilski, Amanda; Roman, Jessica; Nguyen, Tuyen; Ho, Lap; Talcott, Stephen T; Simon, James E; Wu, Qingli; Pasinetti, Giulio M

    2013-12-01

    Metabolic syndrome has become an epidemic and poses tremendous burden on the health system. People with metabolic syndrome are more likely to experience cognitive decline. As obesity and sedentary lifestyles become more common, the development of early prevention strategies is critical. In this study, we explore the potential beneficial effects of a combinatory polyphenol preparation composed of grape seed extract, Concord purple grape juice extract, and resveratrol, referred to as standardized grape polyphenol preparation (SGP), on peripheral as well as brain dysfunction induced by metabolic syndrome. We found dietary fat content had minimal effect on absorption of metabolites of major polyphenols derived from SGP. Using a diet-induced animal model of metabolic syndrome (DIM), we found that brain functional connectivity and synaptic plasticity are compromised in the DIM mice. Treatment with SGP not only prevented peripheral metabolic abnormality but also improved brain synaptic plasticity. Our study demonstrated that SGP, comprised of multiple bioavailable and bioactive components targeting a wide range of metabolic syndrome related pathological features, provides greater global protection against peripheral and central nervous system dysfunctions and can be potentially developed as a novel prevention/treatment for improving brain connectivity and synaptic plasticity important for learning and memory. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Synaptic plasticity in a recurrent neural network for versatile and adaptive behaviors of a walking robot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grinke, Eduard; Tetzlaff, Christian; Wörgötter, Florentin

    2015-01-01

    correlation-based learning with synaptic scaling is applied to adequately change the connections of the network. By doing so, we can effectively exploit neural dynamics (i.e., hysteresis effects and single attractors) in the network to generate different turning angles with short-term memory for a walking...... dynamics, plasticity, sensory feedback, and biomechanics. Generating such versatile and adaptive behaviors for a many degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) walking robot is a challenging task. Thus, in this study, we present a bio-inspired approach to solve this task. Specifically, the approach combines neural...... mechanisms with plasticity, exteroceptive sensory feedback, and biomechanics. The neural mechanisms consist of adaptive neural sensory processing and modular neural locomotion control. The sensory processing is based on a small recurrent neural network consisting of two fully connected neurons. Online...

  17. Homeostatic role of heterosynaptic plasticity: Models and experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina eChistiakova

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Homosynaptic Hebbian-type plasticity provides a cellular mechanism of learning and refinement of connectivity during development in a variety of biological systems. In this review we argue that a complimentary form of plasticity - heterosynaptic plasticity - represents a necessary cellular component for homeostatic regulation of synaptic weights and neuronal activity. The required properties of a homeostatic mechanism which acutely constrains the runaway dynamics imposed by Hebbian associative plasticity have been well-articulated by theoretical and modeling studies. Such mechanism(s should robustly support the stability of operation of neuronal networks and synaptic competition, include changes at non-active synapses, and operate on a similar time scale to Hebbian-type plasticity. The experimentally observed properties of heterosynaptic plasticity have introduced it as a strong candidate to fulfill this homeostatic role. Subsequent modeling studies which incorporate heterosynaptic plasticity into model neurons with Hebbian synapses (utilizing an STDP learning rule have confirmed its ability to robustly provide stability and competition. In contrast, properties of homeostatic synaptic scaling, which is triggered by extreme and long lasting (hours and days changes of neuronal activity, do not fit two crucial requirements for a hypothetical homeostatic mechanism needed to provide stability of operation in the face of on-going synaptic changes driven by Hebbian-type learning rules. Both the trigger and the time scale of homeostatic synaptic scaling are fundamentally different from those of the Hebbian-type plasticity. We conclude that heterosynaptic plasticity, which is triggered by the same episodes of strong postsynaptic activity and operates on the same time scale as Hebbian-type associative plasticity, is ideally suited to serve homeostatic role during on-going synaptic plasticity.

  18. Precise-spike-driven synaptic plasticity: learning hetero-association of spatiotemporal spike patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Yu

    Full Text Available A new learning rule (Precise-Spike-Driven (PSD Synaptic Plasticity is proposed for processing and memorizing spatiotemporal patterns. PSD is a supervised learning rule that is analytically derived from the traditional Widrow-Hoff rule and can be used to train neurons to associate an input spatiotemporal spike pattern with a desired spike train. Synaptic adaptation is driven by the error between the desired and the actual output spikes, with positive errors causing long-term potentiation and negative errors causing long-term depression. The amount of modification is proportional to an eligibility trace that is triggered by afferent spikes. The PSD rule is both computationally efficient and biologically plausible. The properties of this learning rule are investigated extensively through experimental simulations, including its learning performance, its generality to different neuron models, its robustness against noisy conditions, its memory capacity, and the effects of its learning parameters. Experimental results show that the PSD rule is capable of spatiotemporal pattern classification, and can even outperform a well studied benchmark algorithm with the proposed relative confidence criterion. The PSD rule is further validated on a practical example of an optical character recognition problem. The results again show that it can achieve a good recognition performance with a proper encoding. Finally, a detailed discussion is provided about the PSD rule and several related algorithms including tempotron, SPAN, Chronotron and ReSuMe.

  19. Precise-spike-driven synaptic plasticity: learning hetero-association of spatiotemporal spike patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qiang; Tang, Huajin; Tan, Kay Chen; Li, Haizhou

    2013-01-01

    A new learning rule (Precise-Spike-Driven (PSD) Synaptic Plasticity) is proposed for processing and memorizing spatiotemporal patterns. PSD is a supervised learning rule that is analytically derived from the traditional Widrow-Hoff rule and can be used to train neurons to associate an input spatiotemporal spike pattern with a desired spike train. Synaptic adaptation is driven by the error between the desired and the actual output spikes, with positive errors causing long-term potentiation and negative errors causing long-term depression. The amount of modification is proportional to an eligibility trace that is triggered by afferent spikes. The PSD rule is both computationally efficient and biologically plausible. The properties of this learning rule are investigated extensively through experimental simulations, including its learning performance, its generality to different neuron models, its robustness against noisy conditions, its memory capacity, and the effects of its learning parameters. Experimental results show that the PSD rule is capable of spatiotemporal pattern classification, and can even outperform a well studied benchmark algorithm with the proposed relative confidence criterion. The PSD rule is further validated on a practical example of an optical character recognition problem. The results again show that it can achieve a good recognition performance with a proper encoding. Finally, a detailed discussion is provided about the PSD rule and several related algorithms including tempotron, SPAN, Chronotron and ReSuMe.

  20. Gain control mechanisms in spinal motoneurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael David Johnson

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Motoneurons provide the only conduit for motor commands to reach muscles. For many years, motoneurons were in fact considered to be little more than passive wires. Systematic studies in the past 25 years however have clearly demonstrated that the intrinsic electrical properties of motoneurons are under strong neuromodulatory control via multiple sources. The discovery of potent neuromodulation from the brainstem and its ability to change the gain of motoneurons shows that the passive view of the motor output stage is no longer tenable. A mechanism for gain control at the motor output stage makes good functional sense considering our capability of generating an enormous range of forces, from very delicate (e.g. putting in a contact lens to highly forceful (emergency reactions. Just as sensory systems need gain control to deal with a wide dynamic range of inputs, so to might motor output need gain control to deal with the wide dynamic range of the normal movement repertoire. Two problems emerge from the potential use of the brainstem monoaminergic projection to motoneurons for gain control. First, the projection is highly diffuse anatomically, so that independent control of the gains of different motor pools is not feasible. In fact, the system is so diffuse that gain for all the motor pools in a limb likely increases in concert. Second, if there is a system that increases gain, probably a system to reduce gain is also needed. In this review, we summarize recent studies that show local inhibitory circuits within the spinal cord, especially reciprocal and recurrent inhibition, have the potential to solve both of these problems as well as constitute another source of gain modulation.

  1. Reversal of Cocaine-Associated Synaptic Plasticity in Medial Prefrontal Cortex Parallels Elimination of Memory Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otis, James M; Mueller, Devin

    2017-09-01

    Addiction is characterized by abnormalities in prefrontal cortex that are thought to allow drug-associated cues to drive compulsive drug seeking and taking. Identification and reversal of these pathologic neuroadaptations are therefore critical for treatment of addiction. Previous studies using rodents reveal that drugs of abuse cause dendritic spine plasticity in prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PL-mPFC) pyramidal neurons, a phenomenon that correlates with the strength of drug-associated memories in vivo. Thus, we hypothesized that cocaine-evoked plasticity in PL-mPFC may underlie cocaine-associated memory retrieval, and therefore disruption of this plasticity would prevent retrieval. Indeed, using patch clamp electrophysiology we find that cocaine place conditioning increases excitatory presynaptic and postsynaptic transmission in rat PL-mPFC pyramidal neurons. This was accounted for by increases in excitatory presynaptic release, paired-pulse facilitation, and increased AMPA receptor transmission. Noradrenergic signaling is known to maintain glutamatergic plasticity upon reactivation of modified circuits, and we therefore next determined whether inhibition of noradrenergic signaling during memory reactivation would reverse the cocaine-evoked plasticity and/or disrupt the cocaine-associated memory. We find that administration of the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol before memory retrieval, but not after (during memory reconsolidation), reverses the cocaine-evoked presynaptic and postsynaptic modifications in PL-mPFC and causes long-lasting memory impairments. Taken together, these data reveal that cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in PL-mPFC is reversible in vivo, and suggest a novel strategy that would allow normalization of prefrontal circuitry in addiction.

  2. Synaptic Plasticity and Excitation-Inhibition Balance in the Dentate Gyrus: Insights from In Vivo Recordings in Neuroligin-1, Neuroligin-2, and Collybistin Knockouts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedlicka, Peter; Muellerleile, Julia; Schwarzacher, Stephan W

    2018-01-01

    The hippocampal dentate gyrus plays a role in spatial learning and memory and is thought to encode differences between similar environments. The integrity of excitatory and inhibitory transmission and a fine balance between them is essential for efficient processing of information. Therefore, identification and functional characterization of crucial molecular players at excitatory and inhibitory inputs is critical for understanding the dentate gyrus function. In this minireview, we discuss recent studies unraveling molecular mechanisms of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic transmission, long-term synaptic plasticity, and dentate granule cell excitability in the hippocampus of live animals. We focus on the role of three major postsynaptic proteins localized at excitatory (neuroligin-1) and inhibitory synapses (neuroligin-2 and collybistin). In vivo recordings of field potentials have the advantage of characterizing the effects of the loss of these proteins on the input-output function of granule cells embedded in a network with intact connectivity. The lack of neuroligin-1 leads to deficient synaptic plasticity and reduced excitation but normal granule cell output, suggesting unaltered excitation-inhibition ratio. In contrast, the lack of neuroligin-2 and collybistin reduces inhibition resulting in a shift towards excitation of the dentate circuitry.

  3. Synaptic Plasticity and Excitation-Inhibition Balance in the Dentate Gyrus: Insights from In Vivo Recordings in Neuroligin-1, Neuroligin-2, and Collybistin Knockouts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Jedlicka

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampal dentate gyrus plays a role in spatial learning and memory and is thought to encode differences between similar environments. The integrity of excitatory and inhibitory transmission and a fine balance between them is essential for efficient processing of information. Therefore, identification and functional characterization of crucial molecular players at excitatory and inhibitory inputs is critical for understanding the dentate gyrus function. In this minireview, we discuss recent studies unraveling molecular mechanisms of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic transmission, long-term synaptic plasticity, and dentate granule cell excitability in the hippocampus of live animals. We focus on the role of three major postsynaptic proteins localized at excitatory (neuroligin-1 and inhibitory synapses (neuroligin-2 and collybistin. In vivo recordings of field potentials have the advantage of characterizing the effects of the loss of these proteins on the input-output function of granule cells embedded in a network with intact connectivity. The lack of neuroligin-1 leads to deficient synaptic plasticity and reduced excitation but normal granule cell output, suggesting unaltered excitation-inhibition ratio. In contrast, the lack of neuroligin-2 and collybistin reduces inhibition resulting in a shift towards excitation of the dentate circuitry.

  4. Influence of active dendritic currents on input-output processing in spinal motoneurons in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, R H; Kuo, J J; Jiang, M C; Heckman, C J

    2003-01-01

    The extensive dendritic tree of the adult spinal motoneuron generates a powerful persistent inward current (PIC). We investigated how this dendritic PIC influenced conversion of synaptic input to rhythmic firing. A linearly increasing, predominantly excitatory synaptic input was generated in triceps ankle extensor motoneurons by slow stretch (duration: 2-10 s) of the Achilles tendon in the decerebrate cat preparation. The firing pattern evoked by stretch was measured by injecting a steady current to depolarize the cell to threshold for firing. The effective synaptic current (I(N), the net synaptic current reaching the soma of the cell) evoked by stretch was measured during voltage clamp. Hyperpolarized holding potentials were used to minimize the activation of the dendritic PIC and thus estimate stretch-evoked I(N) for a passive dendritic tree (I(N,PASS)). Depolarized holding potentials that approximated the average membrane potential during rhythmic firing allowed strong activation of the dendritic PIC and thus resulted in marked enhancement of the total stretch-evoked I(N) (I(N,TOT)). The net effect of the dendritic PIC on the generation of rhythmic firing was assessed by plotting stretch-evoked firing (strong PIC activation) versus stretch-evoked I(N,PASS) (minimal PIC activation). The gain of this input-output function for the neuron (I-O(N)) was found to be ~2.7 times as high as for the standard injected frequency current (F-I) function in low-input conductance neurons. However, about halfway through the stretch, firing rate tended to become constant, resulting in a sharp saturation in I-O(N) that was not present in F-I. In addition, the gain of I-O(N) decreased sharply with increasing input conductance, resulting in much lower stretch-evoked firing rates in high-input conductance cells. All three of these phenomena (high initial gain, saturation, and differences in low- and high-input conductance cells) were also readily apparent in the differences between

  5. 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.

  6. The role of additive neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in a hippocampal memory model with grid-cell like input.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A Appleby

    Full Text Available Recently, we presented a study of adult neurogenesis in a simplified hippocampal memory model. The network was required to encode and decode memory patterns despite changing input statistics. We showed that additive neurogenesis was a more effective adaptation strategy compared to neuronal turnover and conventional synaptic plasticity as it allowed the network to respond to changes in the input statistics while preserving representations of earlier environments. Here we extend our model to include realistic, spatially driven input firing patterns in the form of grid cells in the entorhinal cortex. We compare network performance across a sequence of spatial environments using three distinct adaptation strategies: conventional synaptic plasticity, where the network is of fixed size but the connectivity is plastic; neuronal turnover, where the network is of fixed size but units in the network may die and be replaced; and additive neurogenesis, where the network starts out with fewer initial units but grows over time. We confirm that additive neurogenesis is a superior adaptation strategy when using realistic, spatially structured input patterns. We then show that a more biologically plausible neurogenesis rule that incorporates cell death and enhanced plasticity of new granule cells has an overall performance significantly better than any one of the three individual strategies operating alone. This adaptation rule can be tailored to maximise performance of the network when operating as either a short- or long-term memory store. We also examine the time course of adult neurogenesis over the lifetime of an animal raised under different hypothetical rearing conditions. These growth profiles have several distinct features that form a theoretical prediction that could be tested experimentally. Finally, we show that place cells can emerge and refine in a realistic manner in our model as a direct result of the sparsification performed by the dentate gyrus

  7. Effects of stevia on synaptic plasticity and NADPH oxidase level of CNS in conditions of metabolic disorders caused by fructose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavushyan, V A; Simonyan, K V; Simonyan, R M; Isoyan, A S; Simonyan, G M; Babakhanyan, M A; Hovhannisyian, L E; Nahapetyan, Kh H; Avetisyan, L G; Simonyan, M A

    2017-12-19

    Excess dietary fructose intake associated with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Previous animal studies have reported that diabetic animals have significantly impaired behavioural and cognitive functions, pathological synaptic function and impaired expression of glutamate receptors. Correction of the antioxidant status of laboratory rodents largely prevents the development of fructose-induced plurimetabolic changes in the nervous system. We suggest a novel concept of efficiency of Stevia leaves for treatment of central diabetic neuropathy. By in vivo extracellular studies induced spike activity of hippocampal neurons during high frequency stimulation of entorhinal cortex, as well as neurons of basolateral amygdala to high-frequency stimulation of the hippocampus effects of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant evaluated in synaptic activity in the brain of fructose-enriched diet rats. In the conditions of metabolic disorders caused by fructose, antioxidant activity of Stevia rebaudiana was assessed by measuring the NOX activity of the hippocampus, amygdala and spinal cord. In this study, the characteristic features of the metabolic effects of dietary fructose on synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons and basolateral amygdala and the state of the NADPH oxidase (NOX) oxidative system of these brain formations are revealed, as well as the prospects for development of multitarget and polyfunctional phytopreparations (with adaptogenic, antioxidant, antidiabetic, nootropic activity) from native raw material of Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia modulates degree of expressiveness of potentiation/depression (approaches but fails to achieve the norm) by shifting the percentage balance in favor of depressor type of responses during high-frequency stimulation, indicating its adaptogenic role in plasticity of neural networks. Under the action of fructose an increase (3-5 times) in specific quantity of total fraction of NOX

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Susan L

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Proteolytic Remodeling of Perineuronal Nets: Effects on Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Population Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Lorenzo Bozzelli

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The perineuronal net (PNN represents a lattice-like structure that is prominently expressed along the soma and proximal dendrites of parvalbumin- (PV- positive interneurons in varied brain regions including the cortex and hippocampus. It is thus apposed to sites at which PV neurons receive synaptic input. Emerging evidence suggests that changes in PNN integrity may affect glutamatergic input to PV interneurons, a population that is critical for the expression of synchronous neuronal population discharges that occur with gamma oscillations and sharp-wave ripples. The present review is focused on the composition of PNNs, posttranslation modulation of PNN components by sulfation and proteolysis, PNN alterations in disease, and potential effects of PNN remodeling on neuronal plasticity at the single-cell and population level.

  13. Spinal Cord Injury-Induced Dysautonomia via Plasticity in Paravertebral Sympathetic Postganglionic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    previous annual report (2016) provided details of our recordings of spontaneous and optogenetically evoked synaptic responses. This past year was associated...studies to examine network and cellular plasticity induced by SCI to answer the following two questions : (a) Does SCI lead to plasticity in synaptic...network and cellular plasticity induced by SCI to answer the following two questions : (a) Does SCI lead to plasticity in synaptic interactions between

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  15. Synaptic defects in the spinal and neuromuscular circuitry in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

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    Karen K Y Ling

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a major genetic cause of death in childhood characterized by marked muscle weakness. To investigate mechanisms underlying motor impairment in SMA, we examined the spinal and neuromuscular circuitry governing hindlimb ambulatory behavior in SMA model mice (SMNΔ7. In the neuromuscular circuitry, we found that nearly all neuromuscular junctions (NMJs in hindlimb muscles of SMNΔ7 mice remained fully innervated at the disease end stage and were capable of eliciting muscle contraction, despite a modest reduction in quantal content. In the spinal circuitry, we observed a ∼28% loss of synapses onto spinal motoneurons in the lateral column of lumbar segments 3-5, and a significant reduction in proprioceptive sensory neurons, which may contribute to the 50% reduction in vesicular glutamate transporter 1(VGLUT1-positive synapses onto SMNΔ7 motoneurons. In addition, there was an increase in the association of activated microglia with SMNΔ7 motoneurons. Together, our results present a novel concept that synaptic defects occur at multiple levels of the spinal and neuromuscular circuitry in SMNΔ7 mice, and that proprioceptive spinal synapses could be a potential target for SMA therapy.

  16. Is a 4-bit synaptic weight resolution enough? - constraints on enabling spike-timing dependent plasticity in neuromorphic hardware.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeil, Thomas; Potjans, Tobias C; Schrader, Sven; Potjans, Wiebke; Schemmel, Johannes; Diesmann, Markus; Meier, Karlheinz

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale neuromorphic hardware systems typically bear the trade-off between detail level and required chip resources. Especially when implementing spike-timing dependent plasticity, reduction in resources leads to limitations as compared to floating point precision. By design, a natural modification that saves resources would be reducing synaptic weight resolution. In this study, we give an estimate for the impact of synaptic weight discretization on different levels, ranging from random walks of individual weights to computer simulations of spiking neural networks. The FACETS wafer-scale hardware system offers a 4-bit resolution of synaptic weights, which is shown to be sufficient within the scope of our network benchmark. Our findings indicate that increasing the resolution may not even be useful in light of further restrictions of customized mixed-signal synapses. In addition, variations due to production imperfections are investigated and shown to be uncritical in the context of the presented study. Our results represent a general framework for setting up and configuring hardware-constrained synapses. We suggest how weight discretization could be considered for other backends dedicated to large-scale simulations. Thus, our proposition of a good hardware verification practice may rise synergy effects between hardware developers and neuroscientists.

  17. The genome-wide landscape of DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in response to sleep deprivation impacts on synaptic plasticity genes

    OpenAIRE

    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

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  18. R-Modafinil exerts weak effects on spatial memory acquisition and dentate gyrus synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bharanidharan Shanmugasundaram

    Full Text Available Modafinil is a wake promoting drug approved for clinical use and also has cognitive enhancing properties. Its enantiomer R-Modafinil (R-MO is not well studied in regard to cognitive enhancing properties. Hence we studied its effect in a spatial memory paradigm and its possible effects on dentate gyrus long-term potentiation (DG-LTP. Clinically relevant doses of R-MO, vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO or saline were administered for three days during the hole-board test and in in vivo DG-LTP. Synaptic levels of dopamine receptors D1R, D2R, dopamine transporter (DAT, and its phosphorylated form (ph-DAT in DG tissue 4 h after LTP induction were quantified by western blot analysis. Monoamine reuptake and release assays were performed by using transfected HEK-293 cells. Possible neurotoxic side effects on general behaviour were also studied. R-MO at both doses significantly enhanced spatial reference memory during the last training session and during memory retrieval compared to DMSO vehicle but not when compared to saline treated rats. Similarly, R-MO rescues DG-LTP from impairing effects of DMSO. DMSO reduced memory performance and LTP magnitude when compared to saline treated groups. The synaptic DR1 levels in R-MO groups were significantly decreased compared to DMSO group but were comparable with saline treated animals. We found no effect of R-MO in neurotoxicity tests. Thus, our results support the notion that LTP-like synaptic plasticity processes could be one of the factors contributing to the cognitive enhancing effects of spatial memory traces. D1R may play an important regulatory role in these processes.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Impaired contextual fear extinction and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult rats induced by prenatal morphine exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Ji-Wei; Duan, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Qi-Xin; Ding, Ze-Yang; Jing, Liang; Cao, Jun; Wang, Li-Ping; Mao, Rong-Rong; Xu, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Prenatal opiate exposure causes a series of neurobehavioral disturbances by affecting brain development. However, the question of whether prenatal opiate exposure increases vulnerability to memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adult offspring remains largely unknown. Here, we found that rats prenatally exposed to morphine (PM) showed impaired acquisition but enhanced maintenance of contextual fear memory compared with control animals that were prenatally exposed to saline (PS). The impairment of acquisition was rescued by increasing the intensity of footshocks (1.2 mA rather than 0.8 mA). Meanwhile, we also found that PM rats exhibited impaired extinction of contextual fear, which is associated with enhanced maintenance of fear memory. The impaired extinction lasted for 1 week following extinction training. Furthermore, PM rats exhibited reduced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus-maze and light/dark box test without differences in locomotor activity. These alterations in PM rats were mirrored by abnormalities in synaptic plasticity in the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampus in vivo. PS rats showed blocked long-term potentiation and enabled long-term depression in CA1 synapses following contextual fear conditioning, while prenatal morphine exposure restricted synaptic plasticity in CA1 synapses. The smaller long-term potentiation in PM rats was not further blocked by contextual fear conditioning, and the long-term depression enabled by contextual fear conditioning was abolished. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence suggesting that prenatal morphine exposure may increase vulnerability to fear memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders in adulthood. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  2. Inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission in the trigeminal motor nucleus by the nitric oxide-cyclic GMP signaling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pose, Inés; Silveira, Valentina; Morales, Francisco R

    2011-06-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) suppressed glutamatergic synaptic transmission to trigeminal motoneurons in brain stem slices of neonatal rats. Histological studies showed guanylate cyclase (GC) containing fibers in the trigeminal motor pool. Glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded from neonatal trigeminal motoneurons in response to stimulation of the supratrigeminal nucleus (SuV). The NO donors DETA/NONOate (DETA/NO), at a concentration which released 275.1 nM of NO, and Spermine/NONOate (Sper/NO) reduced the amplitude of the EPSC to 52.7±0.6% and 60.1±10.8% of control values, respectively. These actions were not blocked by the GC inhibitors, ODQ or NS-2028. However, in the presence of YC-1 or BAY41-2272, modulators of GC that act as NO sensitizers, lower and otherwise ineffective concentrations of DETA/NO induced a reduction of the EPSC to 60.6±5.2%. Moreover, NO effects were mimicked by 8BrcGMP and by Zaprinast, an inhibitor of Phosphodiesterase 5. Glutamatergic currents evoked by exogenous glutamate were not reduced by DETA/NO nor 8BrcGMP. Paired-pulse facilitation was increased by NO donors. Under "minimal stimulation" conditions NO donors and cGMP increased the failure rate of evoked EPSCs. Protein kinase inhibitors antagonized cGMP effects. The results suggest that NO, through the synthesis of cGMP, presynaptically inhibits glutamatergic synaptic transmission on trigeminal motoneurons. We propose that NO has complex actions on motor pools; specific studies are needed to elucidate their physiological significance in the behaving animal. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Short-term ionic plasticity at GABAergic synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Valentino Raimondo

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Fast synaptic inhibition in the brain is mediated by the pre-synaptic release of the neurotransmitter γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA and the post-synaptic activation of GABA-sensitive ionotropic receptors. As with excitatory synapses, it is being increasinly appreciated that a variety of plastic processes occur at inhibitory synapses, which operate over a range of timescales. Here we examine a form of activity-dependent plasticity that is somewhat unique to GABAergic transmission. This involves short-lasting changes to the ionic driving force for the postsynaptic receptors, a process referred to as short-term ionic plasticity. These changes are directly related to the history of activity at inhibitory synapses and are influenced by a variety of factors including the location of the synapse and the post-synaptic cell’s ion regulation mechanisms. We explore the processes underlying this form of plasticity, when and where it can occur, and how it is likely to impact network activity.

  4. Electrical stimulation of transplanted motoneurons improves motor unit formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Grumbles, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Motoneurons die following spinal cord trauma and with neurological disease. Intact axons reinnervate nearby muscle fibers to compensate for the death of motoneurons, but when an entire motoneuron pool dies, there is complete denervation. To reduce denervation atrophy, we have reinnervated muscles in Fisher rats from local transplants of embryonic motoneurons in peripheral nerve. Since growth of axons from embryonic neurons is activity dependent, our aim was to test whether brief electrical stimulation of the neurons immediately after transplantation altered motor unit numbers and muscle properties 10 wk later. All surgical procedures and recordings were done in anesthetized animals. The muscle consequences of motoneuron death were mimicked by unilateral sciatic nerve section. One week later, 200,000 embryonic day 14 and 15 ventral spinal cord cells, purified for motoneurons, were injected into the tibial nerve 10–15 mm from the gastrocnemii muscles as the only neuron source for muscle reinnervation. The cells were stimulated immediately after transplantation for up to 1 h using protocols designed to examine differential effects due to pulse number, stimulation frequency, pattern, and duration. Electrical stimulation that included short rests and lasted for 1 h resulted in higher motor unit counts. Muscles with higher motor unit counts had more reinnervated fibers and were stronger. Denervated muscles had to be stimulated directly to evoke contractions. These results show that brief electrical stimulation of embryonic neurons, in vivo, has long-term effects on motor unit formation and muscle force. This muscle reinnervation provides the opportunity to use patterned electrical stimulation to produce functional movements. PMID:24848463

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judit Remenyi

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

  6. Ca++ dependent bistability induced by serotonin in spinal motoneurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J.; Kiehn, O.

    1985-01-01

    The plateau potential, responsible for the bistable state of spinal motoneurons, recently described in the decerebrate cat, was suggested to depend on serotonin (Hounsgaard et al. 1984). In an in vitro preparation of the spinal cord of the turtle we now show that serotonin, applied directly...... to the bath, transforms the intrinsic response properties of motoneurons, uncovering a plateau potential and voltage sensitive bistability. The changes induced by serotonin were blocked by Mn++, while the plateau potential and the bistability remained after application of tetrodotoxin. We conclude...... that serotonin controls the expression of a Ca++ dependent plateau potential in motoneurons....

  7. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Gina

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

  8. The Met receptor tyrosine kinase prevents zebrafish primary motoneurons from expressing an incorrect neurotransmitter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eisen Judith S

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Expression of correct neurotransmitters is crucial for normal nervous system function. How neurotransmitter expression is regulated is not well-understood; however, previous studies provide evidence that both environmental signals and intrinsic differentiation programs are involved. One environmental signal known to regulate neurotransmitter expression in vertebrate motoneurons is Hepatocyte growth factor, which acts through the Met receptor tyrosine kinase and also affects other aspects of motoneuron differentiation, including axonal extension. Here we test the role of Met in development of motoneurons in embryonic zebrafish. Results We found that met is expressed in all early developing, individually identified primary motoneurons and in at least some later developing secondary motoneurons. We used morpholino antisense oligonucleotides to knock down Met function and found that Met has distinct roles in primary and secondary motoneurons. Most secondary motoneurons were absent from met morpholino-injected embryos, suggesting that Met is required for their formation. We used chemical inhibitors to test several downstream pathways activated by Met and found that secondary motoneuron development may depend on the p38 and/or Akt pathways. In contrast, primary motoneurons were present in met morpholino-injected embryos. However, a significant fraction of them had truncated axons. Surprisingly, some CaPs in met morpholino antisense oligonucleotide (MO-injected embryos developed a hybrid morphology in which they had both a peripheral axon innervating muscle and an interneuron-like axon within the spinal cord. In addition, in met MO-injected embryos primary motoneurons co-expressed mRNA encoding Choline acetyltransferase, the synthetic enzyme for their normal neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, and mRNA encoding Glutamate decarboxylase 1, the synthetic enzyme for GABA, a neurotransmitter never normally found in these motoneurons, but

  9. Myosin phosphatase Fine-tunes Zebrafish Motoneuron Position during Axonogenesis.

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    Juliane Bremer

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available During embryogenesis the spinal cord shifts position along the anterior-posterior axis relative to adjacent tissues. How motor neurons whose cell bodies are located in the spinal cord while their axons reside in adjacent tissues compensate for such tissue shift is not well understood. Using live cell imaging in zebrafish, we show that as motor axons exit from the spinal cord and extend through extracellular matrix produced by adjacent notochord cells, these cells shift several cell diameters caudally. Despite this pronounced shift, individual motoneuron cell bodies stay aligned with their extending axons. We find that this alignment requires myosin phosphatase activity within motoneurons, and that mutations in the myosin phosphatase subunit mypt1 increase myosin phosphorylation causing a displacement between motoneuron cell bodies and their axons. Thus, we demonstrate that spinal motoneurons fine-tune their position during axonogenesis and we identify the myosin II regulatory network as a key regulator.

  10. Development and regulation of response properties in spinal cord motoneurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perrier, J F; Hounsgaard, J

    2000-01-01

    The intrinsic response properties of spinal motoneurons determine how converging premotor neuronal input is translated into the final motor command transmitted to muscles. From the patchy data available it seems that these properties and their underlying currents are highly conserved in terrestrial...... vertebrates in terms of both phylogeny and ontogeny. Spinal motoneurons in adults are remarkably similar in many respects ranging from the resting membrane potential to pacemaker properties. Apart from the axolotls, spinal motoneurons from all species investigated have latent intrinsic response properties...... mediated by L-type Ca2+ channels. This mature phenotype is reached gradually during development through phases in which A-type potassium channels and T-type calcium channels are transiently expressed. The intrinsic response properties of mature spinal motoneurons are subject to short-term adjustments via...

  11. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

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    Melissa S Monsey

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

  12. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine E. Horn

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Human motoneurone excitability is depressed by activation of serotonin 1A receptors with buspirone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Amico, Jessica M; Butler, Annie A; Héroux, Martin E

    2017-01-01

    that activation of 5-HT1Areceptors depresses human motoneurone excitability. Such a depression could contribute to decreased motoneurone output during fatiguing exercise if there is high serotonergic drive to the motoneurones. ABSTRACT: Intense serotonergic drive in the turtle spinal cord results in serotonin...... motoneurone output. Such a mechanism could potentially contribute to fatigue with exercise....

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Association of contextual cues with morphine reward increases neural and synaptic plasticity in the ventral hippocampus of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvandi, Mina Sadighi; Bourmpoula, Maria; Homberg, Judith R; Fathollahi, Yaghoub

    2017-11-01

    Drug addiction is associated with aberrant memory and permanent functional changes in neural circuits. It is known that exposure to drugs like morphine is associated with positive emotional states and reward-related memory. However, the underlying mechanisms in terms of neural plasticity in the ventral hippocampus, a region involved in associative memory and emotional behaviors, are not fully understood. Therefore, we measured adult neurogenesis, dendritic spine density and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and TrkB mRNA expression as parameters for synaptic plasticity in the ventral hippocampus. Male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to the CPP (conditioned place preference) paradigm and received 10 mg/kg morphine. Half of the rats were used to evaluate neurogenesis by immunohistochemical markers Ki67 and doublecortin (DCX). The other half was used for Golgi staining to measure spine density and real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to assess BDNF/TrkB expression levels. We found that morphine-treated rats exhibited more place conditioning as compared with saline-treated rats and animals that were exposed to the CPP without any injections. Locomotor activity did not change significantly. Morphine-induced CPP significantly increased the number of Ki67 and DCX-labeled cells in the ventral dentate gyrus. Additionally, we found increased dendritic spine density in both CA1 and dentate gyrus and an enhancement of BDNF/TrkB mRNA levels in the whole ventral hippocampus. Ki67, DCX and spine density were significantly correlated with CPP scores. In conclusion, we show that morphine-induced reward-related memory is associated with neural and synaptic plasticity changes in the ventral hippocampus. Such neural changes could underlie context-induced drug relapse. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  18. The Role of GluK4 in Synaptic Plasticity and Affective Behavior in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catches, Justin Samuel

    Kainate receptors (KARs) are glutamate-gated ion channels that signal through both ionotropic and metabotropic pathways (Contractor et al., 2011). Combinations of five KAR subunits (GluK1-5) form tetrameric receptors with GluK1, GluK2, and GluK3 able to form functional homomeric channels. The high-affinity subunits, GluK4 and GluK5, do not form homomeric channels but modify the properties of heteromeric receptors. Expression of the GluK4 receptor subunit in the forebrain is restricted to the CA3 region of the hippocampus and dentate gyrus regions where KARs modulate synaptic plasticity. In this study, ablation of Grik4, which encodes GluK4, in mice reduced KAR synaptic currents and altered activation properties of postsynaptic receptors but left two forms of presynaptic short-term plasticity intact. Disruption of both Grik4 and Grik5 caused complete loss of the postsynaptic ionotropic KAR current and impaired presynaptic frequency facilitation. Additionally, KAR surface expression was altered at pre- and postsynaptic sites at the MF synapse. Despite the loss of ionotropic signaling, KAR-mediated inhibition of the slow afterhyperpolarization current, which is dependent on metabotropic signaling, was intact in CA3 neurons. Long-term potentiation at the MF-CA3 synapse was reduced, likely through a loss of KAR modulation of excitability of the presynaptic MF axons. Genetic variants in the human GRIK4 gene alter the susceptibility for affective disorders (Bloss and Hunter, 2010). We found that ablation of Grik4 in mice resulted in reduced anxiety and an antidepressant-like phenotype. In the elevated zero-maze, a test for anxiety and risk taking behavior, and in two anxiogenic tests, marble-burying and novelty-induced suppression of feeding, anxiety-like behavior was consistently reduced in knockout animals. In the forced swim, a test of learned helplessness used to determine depression-like behavior, knockout mice demonstrated significantly less immobility suggesting

  19. Zebrafish Mnx proteins specify one motoneuron subtype and suppress acquisition of interneuron characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seredick Steve D

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Precise matching between motoneuron subtypes and the muscles they innervate is a prerequisite for normal behavior. Motoneuron subtype identity is specified by the combination of transcription factors expressed by the cell during its differentiation. Here we investigate the roles of Mnx family transcription factors in specifying the subtypes of individually identified zebrafish primary motoneurons. Results Zebrafish has three Mnx family members. We show that each of them has a distinct and temporally dynamic expression pattern in each primary motoneuron subtype. We also show that two Mnx family members are expressed in identified VeLD interneurons derived from the same progenitor domain that generates primary motoneurons. Surprisingly, we found that Mnx proteins appear unnecessary for differentiation of VeLD interneurons or the CaP motoneuron subtype. Mnx proteins are, however, required for differentiation of the MiP motoneuron subtype. We previously showed that MiPs require two temporally-distinct phases of Islet1 expression for normal development. Here we show that in the absence of Mnx proteins, the later phase of Islet1 expression is initiated but not sustained, and MiPs become hybrids that co-express morphological and molecular features of motoneurons and V2a interneurons. Unexpectedly, these hybrid MiPs often extend CaP-like axons, and some MiPs appear to be entirely transformed to a CaP morphology. Conclusions Our results suggest that Mnx proteins promote MiP subtype identity by suppressing both interneuron development and CaP axon pathfinding. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of transcription factors that act to distinguish CaP and MiP subtype identities. Our results also suggest that MiP motoneurons are more similar to V2 interneurons than are CaP motoneurons.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomohiko eTakei

    2013-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Announced reward counteracts the effects of chronic social stress on anticipatory behavior and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamal, Amer; Van der Harst, Johanneke E; Kapteijn, Chantal M; Baars, Annemarie J M; Spruijt, Berry M; Ramakers, Geert M J

    2010-04-01

    Chronic stress causes insensitivity to rewards (anhedonia) in rats, reflected by the absence of anticipatory behavior for a sucrose-reward, which can be reversed by antidepressant treatment or repeated announced transfer to an enriched cage. It was, however, not clear whether the highly rewarding properties of the enriched cage alone caused this reversal or whether the anticipation of this reward as such had an additional effect. Therefore, the present study compared the consequences of the announcement of a reward to the mere effect of a reward alone with respect to their efficacy to counteract the consequences of chronic stress. Two forms of synaptic plasticity, long-term potentiation and long-term depression were investigated in area CA1 of the hippocampus. This was done in socially stressed rats (induced by defeat and subsequent long-term individual housing), socially stressed rats that received a reward (short-term enriched housing) and socially stressed rats to which this reward was announced by means of a stimulus that was repeatedly paired to the reward. The results were compared to corresponding control rats. We show that announcement of enriched housing appeared to have had an additional effect compared to the enriched housing per se as indicated by a significant higher amount of LTP. In conclusion, announced short-term enriched housing has a high and long-lasting counteracting efficacy on stress-induced alterations of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This information is important for counteracting the consequences of chronic stress in both human and captive rats.

  3. Possible contributions of a novel form of synaptic plasticity in Aplysia to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Robert D

    2013-09-18

    Recent studies in Aplysia have identified a new variation of synaptic plasticity in which modulatory transmitters enhance spontaneous release of glutamate, which then acts on postsynaptic receptors to recruit mechanisms of intermediate- and long-term plasticity. In this review I suggest the hypothesis that similar plasticity occurs in mammals, where it may contribute to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in several psychiatric disorders. In Aplysia, spontaneous release is enhanced by activation of presynaptic serotonin receptors, but presynaptic D1 dopamine receptors or nicotinic acetylcholine receptors could play a similar role in mammals. Those receptors enhance spontaneous release of glutamate in hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area, and nucleus accumbens. In all of those brain areas, glutamate can activate postsynaptic receptors to elevate Ca(2+) and engage mechanisms of early-phase long-term potentiation (LTP), including AMPA receptor insertion, and of late-phase LTP, including protein synthesis and growth. Thus, presynaptic receptors and spontaneous release may contribute to postsynaptic mechanisms of plasticity in brain regions involved in reward and memory, and could play roles in disorders that affect plasticity in those regions, including addiction, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  4. Inhibition of Sirt1 promotes neural progenitors toward motoneuron differentiation from human embryonic stem cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yun; Wang, Jing [Department of Neurology, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Clinical Stem Cell Center, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Chen, Guian [Clinical Stem Cell Center, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Reproductive Medical Center, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Fan, Dongsheng, E-mail: dsfan@yahoo.cn [Department of Neurology, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Clinical Stem Cell Center, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Deng, Min, E-mail: dengmin1706@yahoo.com.cn [Department of Neurology, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191 (China); Clinical Stem Cell Center, Peking University Third Hospital, 49 North Garden Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191 (China)

    2011-01-14

    Research highlights: {yields} Nicotinamide inhibit Sirt1. {yields} MASH1 and Ngn2 activation. {yields} Increase the expression of HB9. {yields} Motoneurons formation increases significantly. -- Abstract: Several protocols direct human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) toward differentiation into functional motoneurons, but the efficiency of motoneuron generation varies based on the human ESC line used. We aimed to develop a novel protocol to increase the formation of motoneurons from human ESCs. In this study, we tested a nuclear histone deacetylase protein, Sirt1, to promote neural precursor cell (NPC) development during differentiation of human ESCs into motoneurons. A specific inhibitor of Sirt1, nicotinamide, dramatically increased motoneuron formation. We found that about 60% of the cells from the total NPCs expressed HB9 and {beta}III-tubulin, commonly used motoneuronal markers found in neurons derived from ESCs following nicotinamide treatment. Motoneurons derived from ESC expressed choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), a positive marker of mature motoneuron. Moreover, we also examined the transcript levels of Mash1, Ngn2, and HB9 mRNA in the differentiated NPCs treated with the Sirt1 activator resveratrol (50 {mu}M) or inhibitor nicotinamide (100 {mu}M). The levels of Mash1, Ngn2, and HB9 mRNA were significantly increased after nicotinamide treatment compared with control groups, which used the traditional protocol. These results suggested that increasing Mash1 and Ngn2 levels by inhibiting Sirt1 could elevate HB9 expression, which promotes motoneuron differentiation. This study provides an alternative method for the production of transplantable motoneurons, a key requirement in the development of hESC-based cell therapy in motoneuron disease.

  5. Inhibition of Sirt1 promotes neural progenitors toward motoneuron differentiation from human embryonic stem cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Yun; Wang, Jing; Chen, Guian; Fan, Dongsheng; Deng, Min

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: → Nicotinamide inhibit Sirt1. → MASH1 and Ngn2 activation. → Increase the expression of HB9. → Motoneurons formation increases significantly. -- Abstract: Several protocols direct human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) toward differentiation into functional motoneurons, but the efficiency of motoneuron generation varies based on the human ESC line used. We aimed to develop a novel protocol to increase the formation of motoneurons from human ESCs. In this study, we tested a nuclear histone deacetylase protein, Sirt1, to promote neural precursor cell (NPC) development during differentiation of human ESCs into motoneurons. A specific inhibitor of Sirt1, nicotinamide, dramatically increased motoneuron formation. We found that about 60% of the cells from the total NPCs expressed HB9 and βIII-tubulin, commonly used motoneuronal markers found in neurons derived from ESCs following nicotinamide treatment. Motoneurons derived from ESC expressed choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), a positive marker of mature motoneuron. Moreover, we also examined the transcript levels of Mash1, Ngn2, and HB9 mRNA in the differentiated NPCs treated with the Sirt1 activator resveratrol (50 μM) or inhibitor nicotinamide (100 μM). The levels of Mash1, Ngn2, and HB9 mRNA were significantly increased after nicotinamide treatment compared with control groups, which used the traditional protocol. These results suggested that increasing Mash1 and Ngn2 levels by inhibiting Sirt1 could elevate HB9 expression, which promotes motoneuron differentiation. This study provides an alternative method for the production of transplantable motoneurons, a key requirement in the development of hESC-based cell therapy in motoneuron disease.

  6. Phrenic motoneuron expression of serotonergic and glutamatergic receptors following upper cervical spinal cord injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantilla, Carlos B.; Bailey, Jeffrey P.; Zhan, Wen-Zhi; Sieck, Gary C.

    2012-01-01

    Following cervical spinal cord injury at C2 (SH hemisection model) there is progressive recovery of phrenic activity. Neuroplasticity in the postsynaptic expression of neurotransmitter receptors may contribute to functional recovery. Phrenic motoneurons express multiple serotonergic (5-HTR) and glutamatergic (GluR) receptors, but the timing and possible role of these different neurotransmitter receptor subtypes in the neuroplasticity following SH are not clear. The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that there is an increased expression of serotonergic and glutamatergic neurotransmitter receptors within phrenic motoneurons after SH. In adult male rats, phrenic motoneurons were labeled retrogradely by intrapleural injection of Alexa 488-conjugated cholera toxin B. In thin (10 μm) frozen sections of the spinal cord, fluorescently-labeled phrenic motoneurons were visualized for laser capture microdissection (LCM). Using quantitative real-time RT-PCR in LCM samples, the time course of changes in 5-HTR and GluR mRNA expression was determined in phrenic motoneurons up to 21 days post-SH. Expression of 5-HTR subtypes 1b, 2a and 2c and GluR subtypes AMPA, NMDA, mGluR1 and mGluR5 was evident in phrenic motoneurons from control and SH rats. Phrenic motoneuron expression of 5-HTR2a increased ~8-fold (relative to control) at 14 days post-SH, whereas NMDA expression increased ~16-fold by 21-days post-SH. There were no other significant changes in receptor expression at any time post-SH. This is the first study to systematically document changes in motoneuron expression of multiple neurotransmitter receptors involved in regulation of motoneuron excitability. By providing information on the neuroplasticity of receptors expressed in a motoneuron pool that is inactivated by a higher-level spinal cord injury, appropriate pharmacological targets can be identified to alter motoneuron excitability. PMID:22227062

  7. Development and regulation of response properties in spinal cord motoneurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perrier, J F; Hounsgaard, J

    2000-01-01

    vertebrates in terms of both phylogeny and ontogeny. Spinal motoneurons in adults are remarkably similar in many respects ranging from the resting membrane potential to pacemaker properties. Apart from the axolotls, spinal motoneurons from all species investigated have latent intrinsic response properties...

  8. Modeling motoneuron firing properties: dependency on size and calcium dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heyden, M. J.; Hilgevoord, A. A.; Bour, L. J.; Ongerboer de Visser, B. W.

    1994-01-01

    The origin of functional differences between motoneurons of varying size was investigated by employing a one-compartmental motoneuron model containing a slow K+ conductance dependent on the intracellular calcium concentration. The size of the cell was included as an explicit parameter. Simulations

  9. Drosophila Syd-1, liprin-α, and protein phosphatase 2A B' subunit Wrd function in a linear pathway to prevent ectopic accumulation of synaptic materials in distal axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Long; Tian, Xiaolin; Zhu, Mingwei; Bulgari, Dinara; Böhme, Mathias A; Goettfert, Fabian; Wichmann, Carolin; Sigrist, Stephan J; Levitan, Edwin S; Wu, Chunlai

    2014-06-18

    During synaptic development, presynaptic differentiation occurs as an intrinsic property of axons to form specialized areas of plasma membrane [active zones (AZs)] that regulate exocytosis and endocytosis of synaptic vesicles. Genetic and biochemical studies in vertebrate and invertebrate model systems have identified a number of proteins involved in AZ assembly. However, elucidating the molecular events of AZ assembly in a spatiotemporal manner remains a challenge. Syd-1 (synapse defective-1) and Liprin-α have been identified as two master organizers of AZ assembly. Genetic and imaging analyses in invertebrates show that Syd-1 works upstream of Liprin-α in synaptic assembly through undefined mechanisms. To understand molecular pathways downstream of Liprin-α, we performed a proteomic screen of Liprin-α-interacting proteins in Drosophila brains. We identify Drosophila protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit B' [Wrd (Well Rounded)] as a Liprin-α-interacting protein, and we demonstrate that it mediates the interaction of Liprin-α with PP2A holoenzyme and the Liprin-α-dependent synaptic localization of PP2A. Interestingly, loss of function in syd-1, liprin-α, or wrd shares a common defect in which a portion of synaptic vesicles, dense-core vesicles, and presynaptic cytomatrix proteins ectopically accumulate at the distal, but not proximal, region of motoneuron axons. Strong genetic data show that a linear syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway in the motoneuron antagonizes glycogen synthase kinase-3β kinase activity to prevent the ectopic accumulation of synaptic materials. Furthermore, we provide data suggesting that the syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway stabilizes AZ specification at the nerve terminal and that such a novel function is independent of the roles of syd-1/liprin-α in regulating the morphology of the T-bar structural protein BRP (Bruchpilot). Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/348474-14$15.00/0.

  10. Drosophila Syd-1, Liprin-α, and Protein Phosphatase 2A B′ Subunit Wrd Function in a Linear Pathway to Prevent Ectopic Accumulation of Synaptic Materials in Distal Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Long; Tian, Xiaolin; Zhu, Mingwei; Bulgari, Dinara; Böhme, Mathias A.; Goettfert, Fabian; Wichmann, Carolin; Sigrist, Stephan J.; Levitan, Edwin S.

    2014-01-01

    During synaptic development, presynaptic differentiation occurs as an intrinsic property of axons to form specialized areas of plasma membrane [active zones (AZs)] that regulate exocytosis and endocytosis of synaptic vesicles. Genetic and biochemical studies in vertebrate and invertebrate model systems have identified a number of proteins involved in AZ assembly. However, elucidating the molecular events of AZ assembly in a spatiotemporal manner remains a challenge. Syd-1 (synapse defective-1) and Liprin-α have been identified as two master organizers of AZ assembly. Genetic and imaging analyses in invertebrates show that Syd-1 works upstream of Liprin-α in synaptic assembly through undefined mechanisms. To understand molecular pathways downstream of Liprin-α, we performed a proteomic screen of Liprin-α-interacting proteins in Drosophila brains. We identify Drosophila protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit B′ [Wrd (Well Rounded)] as a Liprin-α-interacting protein, and we demonstrate that it mediates the interaction of Liprin-α with PP2A holoenzyme and the Liprin-α-dependent synaptic localization of PP2A. Interestingly, loss of function in syd-1, liprin-α, or wrd shares a common defect in which a portion of synaptic vesicles, dense-core vesicles, and presynaptic cytomatrix proteins ectopically accumulate at the distal, but not proximal, region of motoneuron axons. Strong genetic data show that a linear syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway in the motoneuron antagonizes glycogen synthase kinase-3β kinase activity to prevent the ectopic accumulation of synaptic materials. Furthermore, we provide data suggesting that the syd-1/liprin-α/wrd pathway stabilizes AZ specification at the nerve terminal and that such a novel function is independent of the roles of syd-1/liprin-α in regulating the morphology of the T-bar structural protein BRP (Bruchpilot). PMID:24948803

  11. 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.

  12. Hebbian Plasticity Guides Maturation of Glutamate Receptor Fields In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dmitrij Ljaschenko

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity shapes the development of functional neural circuits and provides a basis for cellular models of learning and memory. Hebbian plasticity describes an activity-dependent change in synaptic strength that is input-specific and depends on correlated pre- and postsynaptic activity. Although it is recognized that synaptic activity and synapse development are intimately linked, our mechanistic understanding of the coupling is far from complete. Using Channelrhodopsin-2 to evoke activity in vivo, we investigated synaptic plasticity at the glutamatergic Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Remarkably, correlated pre- and postsynaptic stimulation increased postsynaptic sensitivity by promoting synapse-specific recruitment of GluR-IIA-type glutamate receptor subunits into postsynaptic receptor fields. Conversely, GluR-IIA was rapidly removed from synapses whose activity failed to evoke substantial postsynaptic depolarization. Uniting these results with developmental GluR-IIA dynamics provides a comprehensive physiological concept of how Hebbian plasticity guides synaptic maturation and sparse transmitter release controls the stabilization of the molecular composition of individual synapses.

  13. Ketamine facilitates extinction of avoidance behavior and enhances synaptic plasticity in a rat model of anxiety vulnerability: Implications for the pathophysiology and treatment of anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortress, Ashley M; Smith, Ian M; Pang, Kevin C H

    2018-05-08

    Anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) share a common feature of pathological avoidance behavior. The Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat has been used as a model of anxiety vulnerability, expressing a behaviorally inhibited temperament, acquiring avoidance behavior more rapidly and displaying extinction-resistant avoidance compared to Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. Subanesthetic levels of ketamine have gained attention as a rapid antidepressant in treatment-resistant depression. While traditional antidepressants are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and PTSD, the therapeutic utility of ketamine for these disorders is much less understood. The hippocampus is critical for the actions of antidepressants, is a structure of implicated in anxiety disorders and PTSD, and is necessary for extinction of avoidance in SD rats. WKY rats have impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), suggesting that persistent avoidance in WKY rats may be due to deficient hippocampal synaptic plasticity. In the present study, we hypothesized that ketamine would facilitate extinction of avoidance learning in WKY rats, and do so by enhancing hippocampal synaptic plasticity. As predicted, ketamine facilitated extinction of avoidance behavior in a subset of WKY rats (responders), with effects lasting at least three weeks. Additionally, LTP in these rats was enhanced by ketamine. Ketamine was not effective in facilitating avoidance extinction or in modifying LTP in WKY non-responders. The results suggest that subanesthetic levels of ketamine may be useful for treating anxiety disorders by reducing avoidance behaviors when combined with extinction conditions. Moreover, ketamine may have its long-lasting behavioral effects through enhancing hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The malleable brain: plasticity of neural circuits and behavior - a review from students to students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Natascha; Rotermund, Carola; Blumrich, Eva-Maria; Lourenco, Mychael V; Joshi, Pooja; Hegemann, Regina U; Jamwal, Sumit; Ali, Nilufar; García Romero, Ezra Michelet; Sharma, Sorabh; Ghosh, Shampa; Sinha, Jitendra K; Loke, Hannah; Jain, Vishal; Lepeta, Katarzyna; Salamian, Ahmad; Sharma, Mahima; Golpich, Mojtaba; Nawrotek, Katarzyna; Paidi, Ramesh K; Shahidzadeh, Sheila M; Piermartiri, Tetsade; Amini, Elham; Pastor, Veronica; Wilson, Yvette; Adeniyi, Philip A; Datusalia, Ashok K; Vafadari, Benham; Saini, Vedangana; Suárez-Pozos, Edna; Kushwah, Neetu; Fontanet, Paula; Turner, Anthony J

    2017-06-20

    One of the most intriguing features of the brain is its ability to be malleable, allowing it to adapt continually to changes in the environment. Specific neuronal activity patterns drive long-lasting increases or decreases in the strength of synaptic connections, referred to as long-term potentiation and long-term depression, respectively. Such phenomena have been described in a variety of model organisms, which are used to study molecular, structural, and functional aspects of synaptic plasticity. This review originated from the first International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN) and Journal of Neurochemistry (JNC) Flagship School held in Alpbach, Austria (Sep 2016), and will use its curriculum and discussions as a framework to review some of the current knowledge in the field of synaptic plasticity. First, we describe the role of plasticity during development and the persistent changes of neural circuitry occurring when sensory input is altered during critical developmental stages. We then outline the signaling cascades resulting in the synthesis of new plasticity-related proteins, which ultimately enable sustained changes in synaptic strength. Going beyond the traditional understanding of synaptic plasticity conceptualized by long-term potentiation and long-term depression, we discuss system-wide modifications and recently unveiled homeostatic mechanisms, such as synaptic scaling. Finally, we describe the neural circuits and synaptic plasticity mechanisms driving associative memory and motor learning. Evidence summarized in this review provides a current view of synaptic plasticity in its various forms, offers new insights into the underlying mechanisms and behavioral relevance, and provides directions for future research in the field of synaptic plasticity. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on doi: 10.1111/jnc.14102. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  17. Long-term social recognition memory is mediated by oxytocin-dependent synaptic plasticity in the medial amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gur, Rotem; Tendler, Alex; Wagner, Shlomo

    2014-09-01

    Recognition of specific individuals is fundamental to mammalian social behavior and is mediated in most mammals by the main and accessory olfactory systems. Both these systems innervate the medial amygdala (MeA), where activity of the neuropeptide oxytocin is thought to mediate social recognition memory (SRM). The specific contribution of the MeA to SRM formation and the specific actions of oxytocin in the MeA are unknown. We used the social discrimination test to evaluate short-term and long-term SRM in adult Sprague-Dawley male rats (n = 38). The role of protein synthesis in the MeA was investigated by local application of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin (n = 11). Synaptic plasticity was assessed in vivo by recording the MeA evoked field potential responses to stimulation of the main (n = 21) and accessory (n = 56) olfactory bulbs before and after theta burst stimulation. Intracerebroventricular administration of saline, oxytocin, or oxytocin receptor antagonist was used to measure the effect of oxytocin on synaptic plasticity. Anisomycin application to the MeA prevented the formation of long-term SRM. In addition, the responses of MeA neurons underwent long-term depression (LTD) after theta burst stimulation of the accessory olfactory bulb, but not the main accessory bulb, in an oxytocin-dependent manner. No LTD was found in socially isolated rats, which are known to lack long-term SRM. Finally, accessory olfactory bulb stimulation before SRM acquisition blocked long-term SRM, supporting the involvement of LTD in the MeA in formation of long-term SRM. Our results indicate that long-term SRM in rats involves protein synthesis and oxytocin-dependent LTD in the MeA. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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…

  19. Neuronal Kmt2a/Mll1 histone methyltransferase is essential for prefrontal synaptic plasticity and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakovcevski, Mira; Ruan, Hongyu; Shen, Erica Y; Dincer, Aslihan; Javidfar, Behnam; Ma, Qi; Peter, Cyril J; Cheung, Iris; Mitchell, Amanda C; Jiang, Yan; Lin, Cong L; Pothula, Venu; Stewart, A Francis; Ernst, Patricia; Yao, Wei-Dong; Akbarian, Schahram

    2015-04-01

    Neuronal histone H3-lysine 4 methylation landscapes are defined by sharp peaks at gene promoters and other cis-regulatory sequences, but molecular and cellular phenotypes after neuron-specific deletion of H3K4 methyl-regulators remain largely unexplored. We report that neuronal ablation of the H3K4-specific methyltransferase, Kmt2a/Mixed-lineage leukemia 1 (Mll1), in mouse postnatal forebrain and adult prefrontal cortex (PFC) is associated with increased anxiety and robust cognitive deficits without locomotor dysfunction. In contrast, only mild behavioral phenotypes were observed after ablation of the Mll1 ortholog Kmt2b/Mll2 in PFC. Impaired working memory after Kmt2a/Mll1 ablation in PFC neurons was associated with loss of training-induced transient waves of Arc immediate early gene expression critical for synaptic plasticity. Medial prefrontal layer V pyramidal neurons, a major output relay of the cortex, demonstrated severely impaired synaptic facilitation and temporal summation, two forms of short-term plasticity essential for working memory. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing in Mll1-deficient cortical neurons revealed downregulated expression and loss of the transcriptional mark, trimethyl-H3K4, at <50 loci, including the homeodomain transcription factor Meis2. Small RNA-mediated Meis2 knockdown in PFC was associated with working memory defects similar to those elicited by Mll1 deletion. Therefore, mature prefrontal neurons critically depend on maintenance of Mll1-regulated H3K4 methylation at a subset of genes with an essential role in cognition and emotion. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355097-12$15.00/0.

  20. Haploinsufficiency of the 22q11.2 microdeletion gene Mrpl40 disrupts short-term synaptic plasticity and working memory through dysregulation of mitochondrial calcium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devaraju, P; Yu, J; Eddins, D; Mellado-Lagarde, M M; Earls, L R; Westmoreland, J J; Quarato, G; Green, D R; Zakharenko, S S

    2017-09-01

    Hemizygous deletion of a 1.5- to 3-megabase region on chromosome 22 causes 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), which constitutes one of the strongest genetic risks for schizophrenia. Mouse models of 22q11DS have abnormal short-term synaptic plasticity that contributes to working-memory deficiencies similar to those in schizophrenia. We screened mutant mice carrying hemizygous deletions of 22q11DS genes and identified haploinsufficiency of Mrpl40 (mitochondrial large ribosomal subunit protein 40) as a contributor to abnormal short-term potentiation (STP), a major form of short-term synaptic plasticity. Two-photon imaging of the genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicator GCaMP6, expressed in presynaptic cytosol or mitochondria, showed that Mrpl40 haploinsufficiency deregulates STP via impaired calcium extrusion from the mitochondrial matrix through the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This led to abnormally high cytosolic calcium transients in presynaptic terminals and deficient working memory but did not affect long-term spatial memory. Thus, we propose that mitochondrial calcium deregulation is a novel pathogenic mechanism of cognitive deficiencies in schizophrenia.

  1. The effects of model composition design choices on high-fidelity simulations of motoneuron recruitment and firing behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, John M.; Elbasiouny, Sherif M.

    2018-06-01

    Objective. Computational models often require tradeoffs, such as balancing detail with efficiency; yet optimal balance should incorporate sound design features that do not bias the results of the specific scientific question under investigation. The present study examines how model design choices impact simulation results. Approach. We developed a rigorously-validated high-fidelity computational model of the spinal motoneuron pool to study three long-standing model design practices which have yet to be examined for their impact on motoneuron recruitment, firing rate, and force simulations. The practices examined were the use of: (1) generic cell models to simulate different motoneuron types, (2) discrete property ranges for different motoneuron types, and (3) biological homogeneity of cell properties within motoneuron types. Main results. Our results show that each of these practices accentuates conditions of motoneuron recruitment based on the size principle, and minimizes conditions of mixed and reversed recruitment orders, which have been observed in animal and human recordings. Specifically, strict motoneuron orderly size recruitment occurs, but in a compressed range, after which mixed and reverse motoneuron recruitment occurs due to the overlap in electrical properties of different motoneuron types. Additionally, these practices underestimate the motoneuron firing rates and force data simulated by existing models. Significance. Our results indicate that current modeling practices increase conditions of motoneuron recruitment based on the size principle, and decrease conditions of mixed and reversed recruitment order, which, in turn, impacts the predictions made by existing models on motoneuron recruitment, firing rate, and force. Additionally, mixed and reverse motoneuron recruitment generated higher muscle force than orderly size motoneuron recruitment in these simulations and represents one potential scheme to increase muscle efficiency. The examined model

  2. Neuron-glia metabolic coupling and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistretti, Pierre J

    2006-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Pharmacological rescue of Ras signaling, GluA1-dependent synaptic plasticity, and learning deficits in a fragile X model

    OpenAIRE

    Lim, Chae-Seok; Hoang, Elizabeth T.; Viar, Kenneth E.; Stornetta, Ruth L.; Scott, Michael M.; Zhu, J. Julius

    2014-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome, caused by the loss of Fmr1 gene function, is the most common form of inherited mental retardation. Lim et al. find that compounds activating serotonin (5HT) subtype 2B receptors or dopamine (DA) subtype 1-like receptors and those inhibiting 5HT2A-Rs or D2-Rs enhance Ras signaling, GluA1-dependent synaptic plasticity, and learning in Fmr1 knockout mice. Combining 5HT and DA compounds at low doses synergistically restored normal learning. This suggests that properly dosed an...

  6. Self-Organization of Microcircuits in Networks of Spiking Neurons with Plastic Synapses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Koch Ocker

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The synaptic connectivity of cortical networks features an overrepresentation of certain wiring motifs compared to simple random-network models. This structure is shaped, in part, by synaptic plasticity that promotes or suppresses connections between neurons depending on their joint spiking activity. Frequently, theoretical studies focus on how feedforward inputs drive plasticity to create this network structure. We study the complementary scenario of self-organized structure in a recurrent network, with spike timing-dependent plasticity driven by spontaneous dynamics. We develop a self-consistent theory for the evolution of network structure by combining fast spiking covariance with a slow evolution of synaptic weights. Through a finite-size expansion of network dynamics we obtain a low-dimensional set of nonlinear differential equations for the evolution of two-synapse connectivity motifs. With this theory in hand, we explore how the form of the plasticity rule drives the evolution of microcircuits in cortical networks. When potentiation and depression are in approximate balance, synaptic dynamics depend on weighted divergent, convergent, and chain motifs. For additive, Hebbian STDP these motif interactions create instabilities in synaptic dynamics that either promote or suppress the initial network structure. Our work provides a consistent theoretical framework for studying how spiking activity in recurrent networks interacts with synaptic plasticity to determine network structure.

  7. Self-Organization of Microcircuits in Networks of Spiking Neurons with Plastic Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocker, Gabriel Koch; Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Doiron, Brent

    2015-08-01

    The synaptic connectivity of cortical networks features an overrepresentation of certain wiring motifs compared to simple random-network models. This structure is shaped, in part, by synaptic plasticity that promotes or suppresses connections between neurons depending on their joint spiking activity. Frequently, theoretical studies focus on how feedforward inputs drive plasticity to create this network structure. We study the complementary scenario of self-organized structure in a recurrent network, with spike timing-dependent plasticity driven by spontaneous dynamics. We develop a self-consistent theory for the evolution of network structure by combining fast spiking covariance with a slow evolution of synaptic weights. Through a finite-size expansion of network dynamics we obtain a low-dimensional set of nonlinear differential equations for the evolution of two-synapse connectivity motifs. With this theory in hand, we explore how the form of the plasticity rule drives the evolution of microcircuits in cortical networks. When potentiation and depression are in approximate balance, synaptic dynamics depend on weighted divergent, convergent, and chain motifs. For additive, Hebbian STDP these motif interactions create instabilities in synaptic dynamics that either promote or suppress the initial network structure. Our work provides a consistent theoretical framework for studying how spiking activity in recurrent networks interacts with synaptic plasticity to determine network structure.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Max Nordgren

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagena, Hardy; Hansen, Niels; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Noradrenaline (NA) is a key neuromodulator for the regulation of behavioral state and cognition. It supports learning by increasing arousal and vigilance, whereby new experiences are “earmarked” for encoding. Within the hippocampus, experience-dependent information storage occurs by means of synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, novel spatial, contextual, or associative learning drives changes in synaptic strength, reflected by the strengthening of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). NA acting on β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR) is a key determinant as to whether new experiences result in persistent hippocampal synaptic plasticity. This can even dictate the direction of change of synaptic strength. The different hippocampal subfields play different roles in encoding components of a spatial representation through LTP and LTD. Strikingly, the sensitivity of synaptic plasticity in these subfields to β-adrenergic control is very distinct (dentate gyrus > CA3 > CA1). Moreover, NA released from the locus coeruleus that acts on β-AR leads to hippocampal LTD and an enhancement of LTD-related memory processing. We propose that NA acting on hippocampal β-AR, that is graded according to the novelty or saliency of the experience, determines the content and persistency of synaptic information storage in the hippocampal subfields and therefore of spatial memories. PMID:26804338

  10. 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.

  11. Timed Synaptic Inhibition Shapes NMDA Spikes, Influencing Local Dendritic Processing and Global I/O Properties of Cortical Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Doron

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The NMDA spike is a long-lasting nonlinear phenomenon initiated locally in the dendritic branches of a variety of cortical neurons. It plays a key role in synaptic plasticity and in single-neuron computations. Combining dynamic system theory and computational approaches, we now explore how the timing of synaptic inhibition affects the NMDA spike and its associated membrane current. When impinging on its early phase, individual inhibitory synapses strongly, but transiently, dampen the NMDA spike; later inhibition prematurely terminates it. A single inhibitory synapse reduces the NMDA-mediated Ca2+ current, a key player in plasticity, by up to 45%. NMDA spikes in distal dendritic branches/spines are longer-lasting and more resilient to inhibition, enhancing synaptic plasticity at these branches. We conclude that NMDA spikes are highly sensitive to dendritic inhibition; sparse weak inhibition can finely tune synaptic plasticity both locally at the dendritic branch level and globally at the level of the neuron’s output.

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Long-Jun

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Age-Related Alterations in the Expression of Genes and Synaptic Plasticity Associated with Nitric Oxide Signaling in the Mouse Dorsal Striatum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aisa N. Chepkova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Age-related alterations in the expression of genes and corticostriatal synaptic plasticity were studied in the dorsal striatum of mice of four age groups from young (2-3 months old to old (18–24 months of age animals. A significant decrease in transcripts encoding neuronal nitric oxide (NO synthase and receptors involved in its activation (NR1 subunit of the glutamate NMDA receptor and D1 dopamine receptor was found in the striatum of old mice using gene array and real-time RT-PCR analysis. The old striatum showed also a significantly higher number of GFAP-expressing astrocytes and an increased expression of astroglial, inflammatory, and oxidative stress markers. Field potential recordings from striatal slices revealed age-related alterations in the magnitude and dynamics of electrically induced long-term depression (LTD and significant enhancement of electrically induced long-term potentiation in the middle-aged striatum (6-7 and 12-13 months of age. Corticostriatal NO-dependent LTD induced by pharmacological activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors underwent significant reduction with aging and could be restored by inhibition of cGMP hydrolysis indicating that its age-related deficit is caused by an altered NO-cGMP signaling cascade. It is suggested that age-related alterations in corticostriatal synaptic plasticity may result from functional alterations in receptor-activated signaling cascades associated with increasing neuroinflammation and a prooxidant state.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Maladaptive synaptic plasticity in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia

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    Qiang Wang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The emergence of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID in patients with Parkinson disease (PD could be due to maladaptive plasticity of corticostriatal synapses in response to L-DOPA treatment. A series of recent studies has revealed that LID is associated with marked morphological plasticity of striatal dendritic spines, particularly cell type-specific structural plasticity of medium spiny neurons (MSNs in the striatum. In addition, evidence demonstrating the occurrence of plastic adaptations, including aberrant morphological and functional features, in multiple components of cortico-basal ganglionic circuitry, such as primary motor cortex (M1 and basal ganglia (BG output nuclei. These adaptations have been implicated in the pathophysiology of LID. Here, we briefly review recent studies that have addressed maladaptive plastic changes within the cortico-BG loop in dyskinetic animal models of PD and patients with PD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  1. Defective Ca2+ channel clustering in axon terminals disturbs excitability in motoneurons in spinal muscular atrophy

    OpenAIRE

    Jablonka, Sibylle; Beck, Marcus; Lechner, Barbara Dorothea; Mayer, Christine; Sendtner, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a motoneuron disease for which there is currently no effective treatment. In animal models of SMA, spinal motoneurons exhibit reduced axon elongation and growth cone size. These defects correlate with reduced β-actin messenger RNA and protein levels in distal axons. We show that survival motoneuron gene (Smn)–deficient motoneurons exhibit severe defects in clustering Cav2.2 channels in axonal growth cones. These defects also correlate with a reduced f...

  2. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    neuromorphic circuit composed of a nanoscale 1-kbit resistive random-access memory (RRAM) cross-point array of synapses and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) neuron circuits [13]; a WO3-x-based nanoionics device from Masakazu Aono's group with a wide scale of reprogrammable memorization functions [14]; a new spike-timing dependent plasticity scheme based on a MOS transistor as a selector and a RRAM as a variable resistance device [15]; a new hybrid memristor-CMOS neuromorphic circuit [16]; and a photo-assisted atomic switch [17]. Synaptic electronics evidently has many emerging facets, and Duygu Kuzum, Shimeng Yu, and H-S Philip Wong in the US provide a review of the field, including the materials, devices and applications [18]. In embracing the expertise acquired over thousands of years of evolution, biomimetics and bio-inspired design is a common, smart approach to technological innovation. Yet in successfully mimicking the physiological mechanisms of the human mind synaptic electronics research has a potential impact that is arguably unprecedented. That the quirks and eccentricities recently unearthed in the behaviour of nanomaterials should lend themselves so accommodatingly to emulating synaptic functions promises some very exciting developments in the field, as the articles in this special issue emphasize. References [1] von Neumann J (ed) 2012 The Computer and the Brain 3rd edn (Yale: Yale University Press) [2] Strukov D B, Snider G S, Stewart D R and Williams R S 2008 The missing memristor found Nature 453 80-3 [3] Chua L O 1971 Memristor—the missing circuit element IEEE Trans. Circuit Theory 18 507-19 [4] Chua L O 2013 Memristor, Hodgkin-Huxley, and Edge of Chaos Nanotechnology 24 383001 [5] Pickett M D and Williams R S 2013 Phase transitions enable computational universality in neuristor-based cellular automata Nanotechnology 24 384002 [6] Cruz-Albrecht J M, Derosier T and Srinivasa N 2013 Scalable neural chip with synaptic electronics using CMOS

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Simulating the Effects of Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity on Postsynaptic Dynamics in the Globus Pallidus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moran eBrody

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The rat globus pallidus (GP is one of the nuclei of the basal ganglia and plays an important role in a variety of motor and cognitive processes. In vivo studies have shown that repetitive stimulation evokes complex modulations of GP activity. In vitro and computational studies have suggested that short-term synaptic plasticity (STP could be one of the underlying mechanisms. The current study used simplified single compartment modeling to explore the possible effect of STP on the activity of GP neurons during low and high frequency stimulation. To do this we constructed a model of a GP neuron connected to a small network of neurons from the three major input sources to GP neurons: striatum (Str, subthalamic nucleus (STN and GP collaterals. All synapses were implemented with a kinetic model of STP. The in vitro recordings of responses to low frequency repetitive stimulation were highly reconstructed, including rate changes and locking to the stimulus. Mainly involved were fast forms of plasticity which have been found at these synapses. . The simulations were qualitatively compared to a data set previously recorded in vitro in our lab. Reconstructions of experimental responses to high frequency stimulation required adding slower forms of plasticity to the STN and GP collateral synapses, as well as adding metabotropic receptors to the STN-GP synapses. These finding suggest the existence of as yet unreported slower short-term dynamics in the GP. The computational model made additional predictions about GP activity during low and high frequency stimulation that may further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying repetative stimulation of the GP.

  6. Mechanisms of GABAergic Homeostatic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Wenner

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic plasticity ensures that appropriate levels of activity are maintained through compensatory adjustments in synaptic strength and cellular excitability. For instance, excitatory glutamatergic synapses are strengthened following activity blockade and weakened following increases in spiking activity. This form of plasticity has been described in a wide array of networks at several different stages of development, but most work and reviews have focussed on the excitatory inputs of excitatory neurons. Here we review homeostatic plasticity of GABAergic neurons and their synaptic connections. We propose a simplistic model for homeostatic plasticity of GABAergic components of the circuitry (GABAergic synapses onto excitatory neurons, excitatory connections onto GABAergic neurons, cellular excitability of GABAergic neurons: following chronic activity blockade there is a weakening of GABAergic inhibition, and following chronic increases in network activity there is a strengthening of GABAergic inhibition. Previous work on GABAergic homeostatic plasticity supports certain aspects of the model, but it is clear that the model cannot fully account for some results which do not appear to fit any simplistic rule. We consider potential reasons for these discrepancies.

  7. Effects of metabotropic glutamate receptor block on the synaptic transmission and plasticity in the rat medial vestibular nuclei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassi, S; Malfagia, C; Pettorossi, V E

    1998-11-01

    In rat brainstem slices, we investigated the possible role of metabotropic glutamate receptors in modulating the synaptic transmission within the medial vestibular nuclei, under basal and plasticity inducing conditions. We analysed the effect of the metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist (R,S)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine on the amplitude of the field potentials and latency of unitary potentials evoked in the ventral portion of the medial vestibular nuclei by primary vestibular afferent stimulation, and on the induction and maintenance of long-term potentiation, after high-frequency stimulation. Two effects were observed, consisting of a slight increase of the field potentials and reduction of unit latency during the drug infusion, and a further long-lasting development of these modifications after the drug wash-out. The long-term effect depended on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation, as D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid prevented its development. We suggest that (R,S)-alpha-methyl-4carboxyphenylglycine enhances the vestibular responses and induces N-methyl-D-aspartate-dependent long-term potentiation by increasing glutamate release, through the block of presynaptic metabotropic glutamate receptors which actively inhibit it. The block of these receptors was indirectly supported by the fact that the agonist (1S,3R)-1-aminocyclopentane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid reduced the vestibular responses and blocked the induction of long-term potentiation by high-frequency stimulation. The simultaneous block of metabotropic glutamate receptors facilitating synaptic plasticity, impedes the full expression of the long-term effect throughout the (R,S)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine infusion. The involvement of such a facilitatory mechanism in the potentiation is supported by its reversible reduction following a second (R,S)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine infusion. The drug also reduced the expression of potentiation induced by high-frequency stimulation

  8. Automatic morphometry of synaptic boutons of cultured cells using granulometric analysis of digital images

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prodanov, D.P.; Heeroma, Joost; Marani, Enrico

    2006-01-01

    Numbers, linear density, and surface area of synaptic boutons can be important parameters in studies on synaptic plasticity in cultured neurons. We present a method for automatic identification and morphometry of boutons based on filtering of digital images using granulometric analysis. Cultures of

  9. L-type Ca²⁺ channel blockade with antihypertensive medication disrupts VTA synaptic plasticity and drug-associated contextual memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degoulet, M; Stelly, C E; Ahn, K-C; Morikawa, H

    2016-03-01

    Drug addiction is driven, in part, by powerful and enduring memories of sensory cues associated with drug intake. As such, relapse to drug use during abstinence is frequently triggered by an encounter with drug-associated cues, including the drug itself. L-type Ca(2+) channels (LTCCs) are known to regulate different forms of synaptic plasticity, the major neural substrate for learning and memory, in various brain areas. Long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated glutamatergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) may contribute to the increased motivational valence of drug-associated cues triggering relapse. In this study, using rat brain slices, we found that isradipine, a general LTCC antagonist used as antihypertensive medication, not only blocks the induction of NMDAR LTP but also promotes the reversal of previously induced LTP in the VTA. In behaving rats, isradipine injected into the VTA suppressed the acquisition of cocaine-paired contextual cue memory assessed using a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Furthermore, administration of isradipine or a CaV1.3 subtype-selective LTCC antagonist (systemic or intra-VTA) before a single extinction or reinstatement session, while having no immediate effect at the time of administration, abolished previously acquired cocaine and alcohol (ethanol) CPP on subsequent days. Notably, CPP thus extinguished cannot be reinstated by drug re-exposure, even after 2 weeks of withdrawal. These results suggest that LTCC blockade during exposure to drug-associated cues may cause unlearning of the increased valence of those cues, presumably via reversal of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the VTA.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongmei Wang

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

  11. Cellular Signal Mechanisms of Reward-Related Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Isokawa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus has the extraordinary capacity to process and store information. Consequently, there is an intense interest in the mechanisms that underline learning and memory. Synaptic plasticity has been hypothesized to be the neuronal substrate for learning. Ca2+ and Ca2+-activated kinases control cellular processes of most forms of hippocampal synapse plasticity. In this paper, I aim to integrate our current understanding of Ca2+-mediated synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity in motivational and reward-related learning in the hippocampus. I will introduce two representative neuromodulators that are widely studied in reward-related learning (e.g., ghrelin and endocannabinoids and show how they might contribute to hippocampal neuron activities and Ca2+-mediated signaling processes in synaptic plasticity. Additionally, I will discuss functional significance of these two systems and their signaling pathways for its relevance to maladaptive reward learning leading to addiction.

  12. Serotonin‐induced bistability of turtle motoneurones caused by a nifedipine‐sensitive calcium plateau potential

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J.; Kiehn, O.

    1989-01-01

    1. The effect of serotonin on the firing properties of motoneurones was studied in transverse sections of the adult turtle spinal cord in vitro with intracellular recording techniques. 2. In normal medium, turtle motoneurones adapt from an initial high frequency to a low steady firing during...... of the frequency jump was shortened as the amplitude of the activation pulse was increased. From a positive holding potential the after‐depolarization exceeded spike threshold and its duration increased with an increase in steady bias current. The effect of serotonin on turtle motoneurones could be blocked....... It is concluded that serotonin induces a Ca2+‐dependent and nifedipine‐sensitive plateau potential in turtle motoneurones primarily by reducing a K+‐current responsible for the slow after‐hyperpolarization....

  13. Characterization of axon formation in the embryonic stem cell-derived motoneuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Hung-Chuan; Wu, Ya-Ting; Shen, Shih-Cheng; Wang, Chi-Chung; Tsai, Ming-Shiun; Cheng, Fu-Chou; Lin, Shinn-Zong; Chen, Ching-Wen; Liu, Ching-San; Su, Hong-Lin

    2011-01-01

    The developing neural cell must form a highly organized architecture to properly receive and transmit nerve signals. Neural formation from embryonic stem (ES) cells provides a novel system for studying axonogenesis, which are orchestrated by polarity-regulating molecules. Here the ES-derived motoneurons, identified by HB9 promoter-driven green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression, showed characteristics of motoneuron-specific gene expression. In the majority of motoneurons, one of the bilateral neurites developed into an axon that featured with axonal markers, including Tau1, vesicle acetylcholine transporter, and synaptophysin. Interestingly, one third of the motoneurons developed bi-axonal processes but no multiple axonal GFP cell was found. The neuronal polarity-regulating proteins, including the phosphorylated AKT and ERK, were compartmentalized into both of the bilateral axonal tips. Importantly, this aberrant axon morphology was still present after the engraftment of GFP(+) neurons into the spinal cord, suggesting that even a mature neural environment fails to provide a proper niche to guide normal axon formation. These findings underscore the necessity for evaluating the morphogenesis and functionality of neurons before the clinical trials using ES or somatic stem cells.

  14. Uncoupling nicotine mediated motoneuron axonal pathfinding errors and muscle degeneration in zebrafish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welsh, Lillian; Tanguay, Robert L.; Svoboda, Kurt R.

    2009-01-01

    Zebrafish embryos offer a unique opportunity to investigate the mechanisms by which nicotine exposure impacts early vertebrate development. Embryos exposed to nicotine become functionally paralyzed by 42 hpf suggesting that the neuromuscular system is compromised in exposed embryos. We previously demonstrated that secondary spinal motoneurons in nicotine-exposed embryos were delayed in development and that their axons made pathfinding errors (Svoboda, K.R., Vijayaraghaven, S., Tanguay, R.L., 2002. Nicotinic receptors mediate changes in spinal motoneuron development and axonal pathfinding in embryonic zebrafish exposed to nicotine. J. Neurosci. 22, 10731-10741). In that study, we did not consider the potential role that altered skeletal muscle development caused by nicotine exposure could play in contributing to the errors in spinal motoneuron axon pathfinding. In this study, we show that an alteration in skeletal muscle development occurs in tandem with alterations in spinal motoneuron development upon exposure to nicotine. The alteration in the muscle involves the binding of nicotine to the muscle-specific AChRs. The nicotine-induced alteration in muscle development does not occur in the zebrafish mutant (sofa potato, [sop]), which lacks muscle-specific AChRs. Even though muscle development is unaffected by nicotine exposure in sop mutants, motoneuron axonal pathfinding errors still occur in these mutants, indicating a direct effect of nicotine exposure on nervous system development.

  15. Normally occurring intersexuality and testosterone induced plasticity in the copulatory system of adult leopard geckos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Melissa M; Putz, Oliver; Crews, David; Wade, Juli

    2005-04-01

    The copulatory neuromuscular system of lizards is highly sexually dimorphic. Adult males possess bilateral penises called hemipenes, which are independently controlled by two muscles, the retractor penis magnus (RPM) and transversus penis (TPN). These structures are not obvious in adult females. However, in adult female leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius), testosterone induces hemipene growth. We investigated whether these structures develop de novo in adulthood or are histologically present as rudimentary structures in the female leopard gecko. We also investigated the extent of sexual dimorphisms and plasticity in the associated neuromuscular components. To do this, we compared copulatory morphology (sizes of hemipenes, RPM and TPN muscle fibers, and associated motoneurons, as well as motoneuron and RPM fiber number) in adult females treated with testosterone, control females, and control males. All of the geckos possessed hemipenes, RPMs and TPNs, but these structures were indeed vestigial in control females. Testosterone induced striking increases in hemipene and copulatory muscle fiber size in females, but not to levels equivalent to control males. In parallel, males with increased levels of androgenic activity had larger hemipenes, suggesting naturally occurring steroid-induced plasticity. Copulatory motoneurons were not sexually dimorphic in size or number, and these measures did not respond to testosterone. The data demonstrate that the copulatory system of leopard geckos, in which gonadal sex is determined by egg incubation temperature, differs from that of many species (both reptilian and mammalian) with genotypic sex determination. Indeed, the system is remarkable in that adult females have normally occurring intersex characteristics and they exhibit substantial steroid-induced morphological plasticity in adulthood.

  16. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  17. Plasticity-Related Gene Expression During Eszopiclone-Induced Sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerashchenko, Dmitry; Pasumarthi, Ravi K; Kilduff, Thomas S

    2017-07-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that restorative processes depend on synaptic plasticity changes in the brain during sleep. We used the expression of plasticity-related genes to assess synaptic plasticity changes during drug-induced sleep. We first characterized sleep induced by eszopiclone in mice during baseline conditions and during the recovery from sleep deprivation. We then compared the expression of 18 genes and two miRNAs critically involved in synaptic plasticity in these mice. Gene expression was assessed in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus by the TaqMan reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and correlated with sleep parameters. Eszopiclone reduced the latency to nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and increased NREM sleep amounts. Eszopiclone had no effect on slow wave activity (SWA) during baseline conditions but reduced the SWA increase during recovery sleep (RS) after sleep deprivation. Gene expression analyses revealed three distinct patterns: (1) four genes had higher expression either in the cortex or hippocampus in the group of mice with increased amounts of wakefulness; (2) a large proportion of plasticity-related genes (7 out of 18 genes) had higher expression during RS in the cortex but not in the hippocampus; and (3) six genes and the two miRNAs showed no significant changes across conditions. Even at a relatively high dose (20 mg/kg), eszopiclone did not reduce the expression of plasticity-related genes during RS period in the cortex. These results indicate that gene expression associated with synaptic plasticity occurs in the cortex in the presence of a hypnotic medication. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Freche

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

  20. Role of motoneuron-derived neurotrophin 3 in survival and axonal projection of sensory neurons during neural circuit formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usui, Noriyoshi; Watanabe, Keisuke; Ono, Katsuhiko; Tomita, Koichi; Tamamaki, Nobuaki; Ikenaka, Kazuhiro; Takebayashi, Hirohide

    2012-03-01

    Sensory neurons possess the central and peripheral branches and they form unique spinal neural circuits with motoneurons during development. Peripheral branches of sensory axons fasciculate with the motor axons that extend toward the peripheral muscles from the central nervous system (CNS), whereas the central branches of proprioceptive sensory neurons directly innervate motoneurons. Although anatomically well documented, the molecular mechanism underlying sensory-motor interaction during neural circuit formation is not fully understood. To investigate the role of motoneuron on sensory neuron development, we analyzed sensory neuron phenotypes in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of Olig2 knockout (KO) mouse embryos, which lack motoneurons. We found an increased number of apoptotic cells in the DRG of Olig2 KO embryos at embryonic day (E) 10.5. Furthermore, abnormal axonal projections of sensory neurons were observed in both the peripheral branches at E10.5 and central branches at E15.5. To understand the motoneuron-derived factor that regulates sensory neuron development, we focused on neurotrophin 3 (Ntf3; NT-3), because Ntf3 and its receptors (Trk) are strongly expressed in motoneurons and sensory neurons, respectively. The significance of motoneuron-derived Ntf3 was analyzed using Ntf3 conditional knockout (cKO) embryos, in which we observed increased apoptosis and abnormal projection of the central branch innervating motoneuron, the phenotypes being apparently comparable with that of Olig2 KO embryos. Taken together, we show that the motoneuron is a functional source of Ntf3 and motoneuron-derived Ntf3 is an essential pre-target neurotrophin for survival and axonal projection of sensory neurons.

  1. 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

  2. Synaptic plasticity and sensory-motor improvement following fibrin sealant dorsal root reimplantation and mononuclear cell therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benitez, Suzana U.; Barbizan, Roberta; Spejo, Aline B.; Ferreira, Rui S.; Barraviera, Benedito; Góes, Alfredo M.; de Oliveira, Alexandre L. R.

    2014-01-01

    Root lesions may affect both dorsal and ventral roots. However, due to the possibility of generating further inflammation and neuropathic pain, surgical procedures do not prioritize the repair of the afferent component. The loss of such sensorial input directly disturbs the spinal circuits thus affecting the functionality of the injuried limb. The present study evaluated the motor and sensory improvement following dorsal root reimplantation with fibrin sealant (FS) plus bone marrow mononuclear cells (MC) after dorsal rhizotomy. MC were used to enhance the repair process. We also analyzed changes in the glial response and synaptic circuits within the spinal cord. Female Lewis rats (6–8 weeks old) were divided in three groups: rhizotomy (RZ group), rhizotomy repaired with FS (RZ+FS group) and rhizotomy repaired with FS and MC (RZ+FS+MC group). The behavioral tests electronic von-Frey and Walking track test were carried out. For immunohistochemistry we used markers to detect different synapse profiles as well as glial reaction. The behavioral results showed a significant decrease in sensory and motor function after lesion. The reimplantation decreased glial reaction and improved synaptic plasticity of afferent inputs. Cell therapy further enhanced the rewiring process. In addition, both reimplanted groups presented twice as much motor control compared to the non-treated group. In conclusion, the reimplantation with FS and MC is efficient and may be considered an approach to improve sensory-motor recovery following dorsal rhizotomy. PMID:25249946

  3. Response properties of motoneurones in a slice preparation of the turtle spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J.; Kiehn, O.; Mintz, I.

    1988-01-01

    1. Motoneurones in transverse sections of the turtle spinal cord were investigated in vitro with intracellular recording techniques. 2. Turtle motoneurones had a resting membrane potential of ‐60 to ‐80 mV, spike height of 90‐110 mV and were able to maintain rhythmic firing during depolarization......‐dependent inward rectification was selectively blocked by extracellular Cs+ at concentrations below 1 mM. 6. The results show that the response properties of spinal motoneurones of the turtle are closely similar to those known from mammals in vivo. The experiments confirm and extend the identification of the ionic...

  4. Is a 4-bit synaptic weight resolution enough? - Constraints on enabling spike-timing dependent plasticity in neuromorphic hardware

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas ePfeil

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Large-scale neuromorphic hardware systems typically bear the trade-off be-tween detail level and required chip resources. Especially when implementingspike-timing-dependent plasticity, reduction in resources leads to limitations ascompared to floating point precision. By design, a natural modification that savesresources would be reducing synaptic weight resolution. In this study, we give anestimate for the impact of synaptic weight discretization on different levels, rangingfrom random walks of individual weights to computer simulations of spiking neuralnetworks. The FACETS wafer-scale hardware system offers a 4-bit resolution ofsynaptic weights, which is shown to be sufficient within the scope of our networkbenchmark. Our findings indicate that increasing the resolution may not even beuseful in light of further restrictions of customized mixed-signal synapses. In ad-dition, variations due to production imperfections are investigated and shown tobe uncritical in the context of the presented study. Our results represent a generalframework for setting up and configuring hardware-constrained synapses. We sug-gest how weight discretization could be considered for other backends dedicatedto large-scale simulations. Thus, our proposition of a good hardware verificationpractice may rise synergy effects between hardware developers and neuroscientists.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Activity-Dependent Plasticity of Spike Pauses in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio Grasselli

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The plasticity of intrinsic excitability has been described in several types of neurons, but the significance of non-synaptic mechanisms in brain plasticity and learning remains elusive. Cerebellar Purkinje cells are inhibitory neurons that spontaneously fire action potentials at high frequencies and regulate activity in their target cells in the cerebellar nuclei by generating a characteristic spike burst-pause sequence upon synaptic activation. Using patch-clamp recordings from mouse Purkinje cells, we find that depolarization-triggered intrinsic plasticity enhances spike firing and shortens the duration of spike pauses. Pause plasticity is absent from mice lacking SK2-type potassium channels (SK2−/− mice and in occlusion experiments using the SK channel blocker apamin, while apamin wash-in mimics pause reduction. Our findings demonstrate that spike pauses can be regulated through an activity-dependent, exclusively non-synaptic, SK2 channel-dependent mechanism and suggest that pause plasticity—by altering the Purkinje cell output—may be crucial to cerebellar information storage and learning.

  7. Research progress on the roles of microRNAs in governing synaptic plasticity, learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Chang-Wei; Luo, Ting; Zou, Shan-Shan; Wu, An-Shi

    2017-11-01

    The importance of non-coding RNA involved in biological processes has become apparent in recent years and the mechanism of transcriptional regulation has also been identified. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of small regulatory non-coding RNAs of 22bp in length that mediate gene silencing by identifying specific sequences in the target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Many miRNAs are highly expressed in the central nervous system in a spatially and temporally controlled manner in normal physiology, as well as in certain pathological conditions. There is growing evidence that a considerable number of specific miRNAs play important roles in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory function. In addition, the dysfunction of these molecules may also contribute to the etiology of several neurodegenerative diseases. Here we provide an overview of the current literatures, which support non-coding RNA-mediated gene function regulation represents an important but underappreciated, layer of epigenetic control that facilitates learning and memory functions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Self-organization in Balanced State Networks by STDP and Homeostatic Plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Effenberger

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Structural inhomogeneities in synaptic efficacies have a strong impact on population response dynamics of cortical networks and are believed to play an important role in their functioning. However, little is known about how such inhomogeneities could evolve by means of synaptic plasticity. Here we present an adaptive model of a balanced neuronal network that combines two different types of plasticity, STDP and synaptic scaling. The plasticity rules yield both long-tailed distributions of synaptic weights and firing rates. Simultaneously, a highly connected subnetwork of driver neurons with strong synapses emerges. Coincident spiking activity of several driver cells can evoke population bursts and driver cells have similar dynamical properties as leader neurons found experimentally. Our model allows us to observe the delicate interplay between structural and dynamical properties of the emergent inhomogeneities. It is simple, robust to parameter changes and able to explain a multitude of different experimental findings in one basic network.

  9. Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Chapuis, Sandrine; Panjkovich, Alejandro; Fregeac, Julien; Nagy, James I.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2014-08-01

    Neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin36 (Cx36) play an important role in neuronal synchronization and network dynamics. Here we show that Cx36-containing electrical synapses between inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus are bidirectionally modulated by changes in intracellular free magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i). Chimeragenesis demonstrates that the first extracellular loop of Cx36 contains a Mg2+-sensitive domain, and site-directed mutagenesis shows that the pore-lining residue D47 is critical in determining high Mg2+-sensitivity. Single-channel analysis of Mg2+-sensitive chimeras and mutants reveals that [Mg2+]i controls the strength of electrical coupling mostly via gating mechanisms. In addition, asymmetric transjunctional [Mg2+]i induces strong instantaneous rectification, providing a novel mechanism for electrical rectification in homotypic Cx36 GJs. We suggest that Mg2+-dependent synaptic plasticity of Cx36-containing electrical synapses could underlie neuronal circuit reconfiguration via changes in brain energy metabolism that affects neuronal levels of intracellular ATP and [Mg2+]i.

  10. Notch Signaling Pathway Is Activated in Motoneurons of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Olmos

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a neurodegenerative disease produced by low levels of Survival Motor Neuron (SMN protein that affects alpha motoneurons in the spinal cord. Notch signaling is a cell-cell communication system well known as a master regulator of neural development, but also with important roles in the adult central nervous system. Aberrant Notch function is associated with several developmental neurological disorders; however, the potential implication of the Notch pathway in SMA pathogenesis has not been studied yet. We report here that SMN deficiency, induced in the astroglioma cell line U87MG after lentiviral transduction with a shSMN construct, was associated with an increase in the expression of the main components of Notch signaling pathway, namely its ligands, Jagged1 and Delta1, the Notch receptor and its active intracellular form (NICD. In the SMNΔ7 mouse model of SMA we also found increased astrocyte processes positive for Jagged1 and Delta1 in intimate contact with lumbar spinal cord motoneurons. In these motoneurons an increased Notch signaling was found, as denoted by increased NICD levels and reduced expression of the proneural gene neurogenin 3, whose transcription is negatively regulated by Notch. Together, these findings may be relevant to understand some pathologic attributes of SMA motoneurons.

  11. Endophilin A1 Promotes Actin Polymerization in Dendritic Spines Required for Synaptic Potentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanrui Yang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Endophilin A1 is a member of the N-BAR domain-containing endophilin A protein family that is involved in membrane dynamics and trafficking. At the presynaptic terminal, endophilin As participate in synaptic vesicle recycling and autophagosome formation. By gene knockout studies, here we report that postsynaptic endophilin A1 functions in synaptic plasticity. Ablation of endophilin A1 in the hippocampal CA1 region of mature mouse brain impairs long-term spatial and contextual fear memory. Its loss in CA1 neurons postsynaptic of the Schaffer collateral pathway causes impairment in their AMPA-type glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation. In KO neurons, defects in the structural and functional plasticity of dendritic spines can be rescued by overexpression of endophilin A1 but not A2 or A3. Further, endophilin A1 promotes actin polymerization in dendritic spines during synaptic potentiation. These findings reveal a physiological role of endophilin A1 distinct from that of other endophilin As at the postsynaptic site.

  12. Plasticity of cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froemke, Robert C

    2015-07-08

    Synapses are highly plastic and are modified by changes in patterns of neural activity or sensory experience. Plasticity of cortical excitatory synapses is thought to be important for learning and memory, leading to alterations in sensory representations and cognitive maps. However, these changes must be coordinated across other synapses within local circuits to preserve neural coding schemes and the organization of excitatory and inhibitory inputs, i.e., excitatory-inhibitory balance. Recent studies indicate that inhibitory synapses are also plastic and are controlled directly by a large number of neuromodulators, particularly during episodes of learning. Many modulators transiently alter excitatory-inhibitory balance by decreasing inhibition, and thus disinhibition has emerged as a major mechanism by which neuromodulation might enable long-term synaptic modifications naturally. This review examines the relationships between neuromodulation and synaptic plasticity, focusing on the induction of long-term changes that collectively enhance cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance for improving perception and behavior.

  13. Obesogenic diet intake during pregnancy programs aberrant synaptic plasticity and addiction-like behavior to a palatable food in offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Alberto; Montalvo-Martinez, Larisa; Cardenas-Perez, Robbi E; Fuentes-Mera, Lizeth; Garza-Ocañas, Lourdes

    2017-07-14

    Contextual food conditioned behaviors require plasticity of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the reward system, involving changes in the expression of including a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole 4-propionate receptors (AMPA), N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) and metabotropic glutamate 2,3 (mGlur 2,3). However, the role of changes in glutamatergic synaptic markers on energy-dense palatable food preference during development has not been described. Here, we determine the effect of nutritional programing during gestation on fat food choices using a conditioned place preference (CPP) test and an operant training response and its effect on glutamatergic markers in the nucleus accumbens (Nac) shell and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Our data showed that rats displayed preference for palatable fat food and an increase in caloric intake when compared to a chow diet. Notably, 74% of rats showing a preference for fat food intake correlate with a positive HFD-paired score whereas 26% failed to get HFD-conditioned. Also, male rats trained under an operant training response schedule (FR1, FR5 and PR) showed high and low responder groups to work for food. Notably, hypercaloric nutritional programing of female rats leads to exacerbation for reinforcers in female offspring compared to offspring from chow diet. Finally, we found that an operant training response to palatable reinforcers correlates with upregulation of mGlur 2,3 in the NAc shell and PFC of male rats and female offspring. Also, we found selective Nr1 upregulation in NAc shell and the PFC of female offspring. Our data suggest that nutritional programing by hypercaloric intake leads to incentive motivation to work for food and synaptic plasticity alteration in the mesolimbic system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Stress-altered synaptic plasticity and DAMP signaling in the hippocampus-PFC axis; elucidating the significance of IGF-1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα expression in neural changes associated with a prolonged exposure therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogundele, Olalekan M; Ebenezer, Philip J; Lee, Charles C; Francis, Joseph

    2017-06-14

    Traumatic stress patients showed significant improvement in behavior after a prolonged exposure to an unrelated stimulus. This treatment method attempts to promote extinction of the fear memory associated with the initial traumatic experience. However, the subsequent prolonged exposure to such stimulus creates an additional layer of neural stress. Although the mechanism remains unclear, prolonged exposure therapy (PET) likely involves changes in synaptic plasticity, neurotransmitter function and inflammation; especially in parts of the brain concerned with the formation and retrieval of fear memory (Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex: PFC). Since certain synaptic proteins are also involved in danger-associated molecular pattern signaling (DAMP), we identified the significance of IGF-1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα expression as a potential link between the concurrent progression of synaptic and inflammatory changes in stress. Thus, a comparison between IGF-1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα, synaptic and DAMP proteins in stress and PET may highlight the significance of PET on synaptic morphology and neuronal inflammatory response. In behaviorally characterized Sprague-Dawley rats, there was a significant decline in neural IGF-1 (pIGF-1R expression. These animals showed a significant loss of presynaptic markers (synaptophysin; pIGF-1 (pIGF-1R was recorded in the Stress-PET group (pIGF-1/IGF-1R, an increase in activated hippocampal and cortical microglia was seen in stress (pIGF1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα. Firstly, we showed a direct relationship between IGF-1/IGF-1R expression, presynaptic function (synaptophysin) and neurotransmitter activity in stress and PET. Secondly, we identified the possible role of CaMKIIα in post-synaptic function and regulation of small ion conductance channels. Lastly, we highlighted some of the possible links between IGF1/IGF-1R/CaMKIIα, the expression of DAMP proteins, Microglia activation, and its implication on synaptic plasticity during stress and PET. Copyright © 2017

  19. The respiratory drive to thoracic motoneurones in the cat and its relation to the connections from expiratory bulbospinal neurones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saywell, S A; Anissimova, N P; Ford, T W; Meehan, C F; Kirkwood, P A

    2007-01-01

    The descending control of respiratory-related motoneurones in the thoracic spinal cord remains the subject of some debate. In this study, direct connections from expiratory bulbospinal neurones to identified motoneurones were investigated using spike-triggered averaging and the strengths of connection revealed were related to the presence and size of central respiratory drive potentials in the same motoneurones. Intracellular recordings were made from motoneurones in segments T5–T9 of the spinal cord of anaesthetized cats. Spike-triggered averaging from expiratory bulbospinal neurones in the caudal medulla revealed monosynaptic EPSPs in all groups of motoneurones, with the strongest connections to expiratory motoneurones with axons in the internal intercostal nerve. In the latter, connection strength was similar irrespective of the target muscle (e.g. external abdominal oblique or internal intercostal) and the EPSP amplitude was positively correlated with the amplitude of the central respiratory drive potential of the motoneurone. For this group, EPSPs were found in 45/83 bulbospinal neurone/motoneurone pairs, with a mean amplitude of 40.5 μV. The overall strength of the connection supports previous measurements made by cross-correlation, but is about 10 times stronger than that reported in the only previous similar survey to use spike-triggered averaging. Calculations are presented to suggest that this input alone is sufficient to account for all the expiratory depolarization seen in the recorded motoneurones. However, extra sources of input, or amplification of this one, are likely to be necessary to produce a useful motoneurone output. PMID:17204500

  20. Serotonin differentially modulates the intrinsic properties of spinal motoneurons from the adult turtle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perrier, Jean-Francois Marie; Cotel, Florence

    2007-01-01

    turtle. In agreement with previous studies, we had found that 5-HT applied to the extracellular medium promoted a voltage sensitive plateau potential. However, we also reported that this effect was only observed in half of the motoneurons; 5-HT inhibited the firing of the other half of the motoneurons...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. A framework for plasticity implementation on the SpiNNaker neural architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galluppi, Francesco; Lagorce, Xavier; Stromatias, Evangelos; Pfeiffer, Michael; Plana, Luis A; Furber, Steve B; Benosman, Ryad B

    2014-01-01

    Many of the precise biological mechanisms of synaptic plasticity remain elusive, but simulations of neural networks have greatly enhanced our understanding of how specific global functions arise from the massively parallel computation of neurons and local Hebbian or spike-timing dependent plasticity rules. For simulating large portions of neural tissue, this has created an increasingly strong need for large scale simulations of plastic neural networks on special purpose hardware platforms, because synaptic transmissions and updates are badly matched to computing style supported by current architectures. Because of the great diversity of biological plasticity phenomena and the corresponding diversity of models, there is a great need for testing various hypotheses about plasticity before committing to one hardware implementation. Here we present a novel framework for investigating different plasticity approaches on the SpiNNaker distributed digital neural simulation platform. The key innovation of the proposed architecture is to exploit the reconfigurability of the ARM processors inside SpiNNaker, dedicating a subset of them exclusively to process synaptic plasticity updates, while the rest perform the usual neural and synaptic simulations. We demonstrate the flexibility of the proposed approach by showing the implementation of a variety of spike- and rate-based learning rules, including standard Spike-Timing dependent plasticity (STDP), voltage-dependent STDP, and the rate-based BCM rule. We analyze their performance and validate them by running classical learning experiments in real time on a 4-chip SpiNNaker board. The result is an efficient, modular, flexible and scalable framework, which provides a valuable tool for the fast and easy exploration of learning models of very different kinds on the parallel and reconfigurable SpiNNaker system.

  4. 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.

  5. Diet and cognition: interplay between cell metabolism and neuronal plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Tyagi, Ethika

    2013-11-01

    To discuss studies in humans and animals revealing the ability of foods to benefit the brain: new information with regards to mechanisms of action and the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Dietary factors exert their effects on the brain by affecting molecular events related to the management of energy metabolism and synaptic plasticity. Energy metabolism influences neuronal function, neuronal signaling, and synaptic plasticity, ultimately affecting mental health. Epigenetic regulation of neuronal plasticity appears as an important mechanism by which foods can prolong their effects on long-term neuronal plasticity. The prime focus of the discussion is to emphasize the role of cell metabolism as a mediator for the action of foods on the brain. Oxidative stress promotes damage to phospholipids present in the plasma membrane such as the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexenoic acid, disrupting neuronal signaling. Thus, dietary docosahexenoic acid seems crucial for supporting plasma membrane function, interneuronal signaling, and cognition. The dual action of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in neuronal metabolism and synaptic plasticity is crucial for activating signaling cascades under the action of diet and other environmental factors, using mechanisms of epigenetic regulation.

  6. Lack of Pannexin 1 Alters Synaptic GluN2 Subunit Composition and Spatial Reversal Learning in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajardo, Ivana; Salazar, Claudia S; Lopez-Espíndola, Daniela; Estay, Carolina; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Elgueta, Claudio; Gonzalez-Jamett, Arlek M; Martínez, Agustín D; Muñoz, Pablo; Ardiles, Álvaro O

    2018-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are two forms of synaptic plasticity that have been considered as the cellular substrate of memory formation. Although LTP has received considerable more attention, recent evidences indicate that LTD plays also important roles in the acquisition and storage of novel information in the brain. Pannexin 1 (Panx1) is a membrane protein that forms non-selective channels which have been shown to modulate the induction of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Animals lacking Panx1 or blockade of Pannexin 1 channels precludes the induction of LTD and facilitates LTP. To evaluate if the absence of Panx1 also affects the acquisition of rapidly changing information we trained Panx1 knockout (KO) mice and wild type (WT) littermates in a visual and hidden version of the Morris water maze (MWM). We found that KO mice find the hidden platform similarly although slightly quicker than WT animals, nonetheless, when the hidden platform was located in the opposite quadrant (OQ) to the previous learned location, KO mice spent significantly more time in the previous quadrant than in the new location indicating that the absence of Panx1 affects the reversion of a previously acquired spatial memory. Consistently, we observed changes in the content of synaptic proteins critical to LTD, such as GluN2 subunits of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), which changed their contribution to synaptic plasticity in conditions of Panx1 ablation. Our findings give further support to the role of Panx1 channels on the modulation of synaptic plasticity induction, learning and memory processes.

  7. Chronic stress enhances synaptic plasticity due to disinhibition in the anterior cingulate cortex and induces hyper-locomotion in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Hiroshi; Nagano, Masatoshi; Suzuki, Hidenori; Murakoshi, Takayuki

    2010-01-01

    The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is involved in the pathophysiology of a variety of mental disorders, many of which are exacerbated by stress. There are few studies, however, of stress-induced modification of synaptic function in the ACC that is relevant to emotional behavior. We investigated the effects of chronic restraint stress (CRS) on behavior and synaptic function in layers II/III of the ACC in mice. The duration of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) was longer in CRS mice than in control mice. The frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (mIPSCs) recorded by whole-cell patch-clamping was reduced in CRS mice, while miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) remained unchanged. Paired-pulse ratios (PPRs) of the fEPSP and evoked EPSC were larger in CRS. There was no difference in NMDA component of evoked EPSCs between the groups. Both long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression of fEPSP were larger in CRS mice than in control mice. The differences between the groups in fEPSP duration, PPRs and LTP level were not observed when the GABA(A) receptor was blocked by bicuculline. Compared to control mice, CRS mice exhibited hyper-locomotive activity in an open field test, while no difference was observed between the groups in anxiety-like behavior in a light/dark choice test. CRS mice displayed decreased freezing behavior in fear conditioning tests compared to control mice. These findings suggest that CRS facilitates synaptic plasticity in the ACC via increased excitability due to disinhibition of GABA(A) receptor signalling, which may underlie induction of behavioral hyper-locomotive activity after CRS. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Diversification of intrinsic motoneuron electrical properties during normal development and botulinum toxin-induced muscle paralysis in early postnatal mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakanishi, S T; Whelan, P J

    2010-05-01

    During early postnatal development, between birth and postnatal days 8-11, mice start to achieve weight-bearing locomotion. In association with the progression of weight-bearing locomotion there are presumed developmental changes in the intrinsic electrical properties of spinal -motoneurons. However, these developmental changes in the properties of -motoneuron properties have not been systematically explored in mice. Here, data are presented documenting the developmental changes of selected intrinsic motoneuron electrical properties, including statistically significant changes in action potential half-width, intrinsic excitability and diversity (quantified as coefficient of variation) of rheobase current, afterhyperpolarization half-decay time, and input resistance. In various adult mammalian preparations, the maintenance of intrinsic motoneuron electrical properties is dependent on activity and/or transmission-sensitive motoneuron-muscle interactions. In this study, we show that botulinum toxin-induced muscle paralysis led to statistically significant changes in the normal development of intrinsic motoneuron electrical properties in the postnatal mouse. This suggests that muscle activity during early neonatal life contributes to the development of normal motoneuron electrical properties.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. The respiratory drive to thoracic motoneurones in the cat and its relation to the connections from expiratory bulbospinal neurones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saywell, S A; Anissimova, N P; Ford, T W

    2007-01-01

    of connection revealed were related to the presence and size of central respiratory drive potentials in the same motoneurones. Intracellular recordings were made from motoneurones in segments T5-T9 of the spinal cord of anaesthetized cats. Spike-triggered averaging from expiratory bulbospinal neurones...... in the caudal medulla revealed monosynaptic EPSPs in all groups of motoneurones, with the strongest connections to expiratory motoneurones with axons in the internal intercostal nerve. In the latter, connection strength was similar irrespective of the target muscle (e.g. external abdominal oblique or internal...... intercostal) and the EPSP amplitude was positively correlated with the amplitude of the central respiratory drive potential of the motoneurone. For this group, EPSPs were found in 45/83 bulbospinal neurone/motoneurone pairs, with a mean amplitude of 40.5 microV. The overall strength of the connection supports...

  13. Reciprocal Ia inhibition contributes to motoneuronal hyperpolarisation during the inactive phase of locomotion and scratching in the cat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geertsen, Svend Sparre; Stecina, Katinka; Meehan, Claire Francesca

    2011-01-01

    Despite decades of research, the classical idea that "reciprocal inhibition" is involved in the hyperpolarisation of motoneurones in their inactive phase during rhythmic activity is still under debate. Here, we investigated the contribution of reciprocal Ia inhibition to the hyperpolarisation...... of motoneurones during fictive locomotion (evoked either by electrical stimulation of the brainstem or by L-DOPA administration following a spinal transection at the cervical level) and fictive scratching (evoked by stimulation of the pinna) in decerebrate cats. Simultaneous extracellular recordings of Ia...... inhibitory interneurones and intracellular recordings of lumbar motoneurones revealed the interneurones to be most active when their target motoneurones were hyperpolarised (i.e. in the inactive phase of the target motoneurones). To date, these results are the most direct evidence that Ia inhibitory...

  14. Remote memory and cortical synaptic plasticity require neuronal CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Somi; Yu, Nam-Kyung; Shim, Kyu-Won; Kim, Ji-Il; Kim, Hyopil; Han, Dae Hee; Choi, Ja Eun; Lee, Seung-Woo; Choi, Dong Il; Kim, Myung Won; Lee, Dong-Sung; Lee, Kyungmin; Galjart, Niels; Lee, Yong-Seok; Lee, Jae-Hyung; Kaang, Bong-Kiun

    2018-04-30

    The molecular mechanism of long-term memory has been extensively studied in the context of the hippocampus-dependent recent memory examined within several days. However, months-old remote memory maintained in the cortex for long-term has not been investigated much at the molecular level yet. Various epigenetic mechanisms are known to be important for long-term memory, but how the three-dimensional (3D) chromatin architecture and its regulator molecules contribute to neuronal plasticity and systems consolidation are still largely unknown. CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is an eleven-zinc finger protein well known for its role as a genome architecture molecule. Male conditional knockout (cKO) mice in which CTCF is lost in excitatory neurons during adulthood showed normal recent memory in the contextual fear conditioning and spatial water maze tasks. However, they showed remarkable impairments in remote memory in both tasks. Underlying the remote memory-specific phenotypes, we observed that female CTCF cKO mice exhibit disrupted cortical long-term potentiation (LTP), but not hippocampal LTP. Similarly, we observed that CTCF deletion in inhibitory neurons caused partial impairment of remote memory. Through RNA-sequencing, we observed that CTCF knockdown in cortical neuron culture caused altered expression of genes that are highly involved in cell adhesion, synaptic plasticity, and memory. These results suggest that remote memory storage in the cortex requires CTCF-mediated gene regulation in neurons while recent memory formation in the hippocampus does not. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT CTCF is a well-known 3D genome architectural protein that regulates gene expression. Here, we use two different CTCF conditional knockout mouse lines and reveal for the first time that CTCF is critically involved in the regulation of remote memory. We also show that CTCF is necessary for appropriate expression of genes, many of which we found to be involved in the learning and memory related

  15. Stochastic synaptic plasticity with memristor crossbar arrays

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan

    2016-11-01

    Memristive devices have been shown to exhibit slow and stochastic resistive switching behavior under low-voltage, low-current operating conditions. Here we explore such mechanisms to emulate stochastic plasticity in memristor crossbar synapse arrays. Interfaced with integrate-and-fire spiking neurons, the memristive synapse arrays are capable of implementing stochastic forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity which parallel mean-rate models of stochastic learning with binary synapses. We present theory and experiments with spike-based stochastic learning in memristor crossbar arrays, including simplified modeling as well as detailed physical simulation of memristor stochastic resistive switching characteristics due to voltage and current induced filament formation and collapse. © 2016 IEEE.

  16. Stochastic synaptic plasticity with memristor crossbar arrays

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan; Al-Shedivat, Maruan; Neftci, Emre; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Salama, Khaled N.

    2016-01-01

    Memristive devices have been shown to exhibit slow and stochastic resistive switching behavior under low-voltage, low-current operating conditions. Here we explore such mechanisms to emulate stochastic plasticity in memristor crossbar synapse arrays. Interfaced with integrate-and-fire spiking neurons, the memristive synapse arrays are capable of implementing stochastic forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity which parallel mean-rate models of stochastic learning with binary synapses. We present theory and experiments with spike-based stochastic learning in memristor crossbar arrays, including simplified modeling as well as detailed physical simulation of memristor stochastic resistive switching characteristics due to voltage and current induced filament formation and collapse. © 2016 IEEE.

  17. Selective loss of bi-directional synaptic plasticity in the direct and indirect striatal output pathways accompanies generation of parkinsonism and l-DOPA induced dyskinesia in mouse models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiele, Sherri L; Chen, Betty; Lo, Charlotte; Gertler, Tracey S; Warre, Ruth; Surmeier, James D; Brotchie, Jonathan M; Nash, Joanne E

    2014-11-01

    Parkinsonian symptoms arise due to over-activity of the indirect striatal output pathway, and under-activity of the direct striatal output pathway. l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID) is caused when the opposite circuitry problems are established, with the indirect pathway becoming underactive, and the direct pathway becoming over-active. Here, we define synaptic plasticity abnormalities in these pathways associated with parkinsonism, symptomatic benefits of l-DOPA, and LID. We applied spike-timing dependent plasticity protocols to cortico-striatal synapses in slices from 6-OHDA-lesioned mouse models of parkinsonism and LID, generated in BAC transgenic mice with eGFP targeting the direct or indirect output pathways, with and without l-DOPA present. In naïve mice, bidirectional synaptic plasticity, i.e. LTP and LTD, was induced, resulting in an EPSP amplitude change of approximately 50% in each direction in both striatal output pathways, as shown previously. In parkinsonism and dyskinesia, both pathways exhibited unidirectional plasticity, irrespective of stimulation paradigm. In parkinsonian animals, the indirect pathway only exhibited LTP (LTP protocol: 143.5±14.6%; LTD protocol 177.7±22.3% of baseline), whereas the direct pathway only showed LTD (LTP protocol: 74.3±4.0% and LTD protocol: 63.3±8.7%). A symptomatic dose of l-DOPA restored bidirectional plasticity on both pathways to levels comparable to naïve animals (Indirect pathway: LTP protocol: 124.4±22.0% and LTD protocol: 52.1±18.5% of baseline. Direct pathway: LTP protocol: 140.7±7.3% and LTD protocol: 58.4±6.0% of baseline). In dyskinesia, in the presence of l-DOPA, the indirect pathway exhibited only LTD (LTP protocol: 68.9±21.3% and LTD protocol 52.0±14.2% of baseline), whereas in the direct pathway, only LTP could be induced (LTP protocol: 156.6±13.2% and LTD protocol 166.7±15.8% of baseline). We conclude that normal motor control requires bidirectional plasticity of both striatal outputs

  18. Synaptic molecular imaging in spared and deprived columns of mouse barrel cortex with array tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiler, Nicholas C; Collman, Forrest; Vogelstein, Joshua T; Burns, Randal; Smith, Stephen J

    2014-01-01

    A major question in neuroscience is how diverse subsets of synaptic connections in neural circuits are affected by experience dependent plasticity to form the basis for behavioral learning and memory. Differences in protein expression patterns at individual synapses could constitute a key to understanding both synaptic diversity and the effects of plasticity at different synapse populations. Our approach to this question leverages the immunohistochemical multiplexing capability of array tomography (ATomo) and the columnar organization of mouse barrel cortex to create a dataset comprising high resolution volumetric images of spared and deprived cortical whisker barrels stained for over a dozen synaptic molecules each. These dataset has been made available through the Open Connectome Project for interactive online viewing, and may also be downloaded for offline analysis using web, Matlab, and other interfaces.

  19. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz eWiera

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed LTP that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tPA/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1 and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  20. Motoneuron survival is promoted by specific exercise in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deforges, Séverine; Branchu, Julien; Biondi, Olivier; Grondard, Clément; Pariset, Claude; Lécolle, Sylvie; Lopes, Philippe; Vidal, Pierre-Paul; Chanoine, Christophe; Charbonnier, Frédéric

    2009-07-15

    Several studies using transgenic mouse models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have reported a life span increase in exercised animals, as long as animals are submitted to a moderate-intensity training protocol. However, the neuroprotective potential of exercise is still questionable. To gain further insight into the cellular basis of the exercise-induced effects in neuroprotection, we compared the efficiency of a swimming-based training, a high-frequency and -amplitude exercise that preferentially recruits the fast motor units, and of a moderate running-based training, that preferentially triggers the slow motor units, in an ALS mouse model. Surprisingly, we found that the swimming-induced benefits sustained the motor function and increased the ALS mouse life span by about 25 days. The magnitude of this beneficial effect is one of the highest among those induced by any therapeutic strategy in this disease. We have shown that, unlike running, swimming significantly delays spinal motoneuron death and, more specifically, the motoneurons of large soma area. Analysis of the muscular phenotype revealed a swimming-induced relative maintenance of the fast phenotype in fast-twitch muscles. Furthermore, the swimming programme preserved astrocyte and oligodendrocyte populations in ALS spinal cord. As a whole, these data are highly suggestive of a causal relationship not only linking motoneuron activation and protection, but also motoneuron protection and the maintenance of the motoneuron surrounding environment. Basically, exercise-induced neuroprotective mechanisms provide an example of the molecular adaptation of activated motoneurons.

  1. Realization of synaptic learning and memory functions in Y2O3 based memristive device fabricated by dual ion beam sputtering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Mangal; Kumar, Amitesh; Singh, Rohit; Than Htay, Myo; Mukherjee, Shaibal

    2018-02-01

    Single synaptic device with inherent learning and memory functions is demonstrated based on a forming-free amorphous Y2O3 (yttria) memristor fabricated by dual ion beam sputtering system. Synaptic functions such as nonlinear transmission characteristics, long-term plasticity, short-term plasticity and ‘learning behavior (LB)’ are achieved using a single synaptic device based on cost-effective metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) structure. An ‘LB’ function is demonstrated, for the first time in the literature, for a yttria based memristor, which bears a resemblance to certain memory functions of biological systems. The realization of key synaptic functions in a cost-effective MIS structure would promote much cheaper synapse for artificial neural network.

  2. Influence of proprioceptive feedback on the firing rate and recruitment of motoneurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, C. J.; Kline, J. C.

    2012-02-01

    We investigated the relationships of the firing rate and maximal recruitment threshold of motoneurons recorded during isometric contraction with the number of spindles in individual muscles. At force levels above 10% of maximal voluntary contraction, the firing rate was inversely related to the number of spindles in a muscle, with the slope of the relationship increasing with force. The maximal recruitment threshold of motor units increased linearly with the number of spindles in the muscle. Thus, muscles with a greater number of spindles had lower firing rates and a greater maximal recruitment threshold. These findings may be explained by a mechanical interaction between muscle fibres and adjacent spindles. During low-level (0% to 10%) voluntary contractions, muscle fibres of recruited motor units produce force twitches that activate nearby spindles to respond with an immediate excitatory feedback that reaches maximal level. As the force increases further, the twitches overlap and tend towards tetanization, the muscle fibres shorten, the spindles slacken, their excitatory firings decrease, and the net excitation to the homonymous motoneurons decreases. Motoneurons of muscles with greater number of spindles receive a greater decrease in excitation which reduces their firing rates, increases their maximal recruitment threshold, and changes the motoneuron recruitment distribution.

  3. Spaceflight-induced synaptic modifications within hair cells of the mammalian utricle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultemeier, David R; Choy, Kristel R; Schweizer, Felix E; Hoffman, Larry F

    2017-06-01

    Exposure to the microgravity conditions of spaceflight alleviates the load normally imposed by the Earth's gravitational field on the inner ear utricular epithelia. Previous ultrastructural investigations have shown that spaceflight induces an increase in synapse density within hair cells of the rat utricle. However, the utricle exhibits broad physiological heterogeneity across different epithelial regions, and it is unknown whether capabilities for synaptic plasticity generalize to hair cells across its topography. To achieve systematic and broader sampling of the epithelium than was previously conducted, we used immunohistochemistry and volumetric image analyses to quantify synapse distributions across representative utricular regions in specimens from mice exposed to spaceflight (a 15-day mission of the space shuttle Discovery). These measures were compared with similarly sampled Earth-bound controls. Following paraformaldehyde fixation and microdissection, immunohistochemistry was performed on intact specimens to label presynaptic ribbons (anti-CtBP2) and postsynaptic receptor complexes (anti-Shank1A). Synapses were identified as closely apposed pre- and postsynaptic puncta. Epithelia from horizontal semicircular canal cristae served as "within-specimen" controls, whereas utricles and cristae from Earth-bound cohorts served as experimental controls. We found that synapse densities decreased in the medial extrastriolae of microgravity specimens compared with experimental controls, whereas they were unchanged in the striolae and horizontal cristae from the two conditions. These data demonstrate that structural plasticity was topographically localized to the utricular region that encodes very low frequency and static changes in linear acceleration, and illuminates the remarkable capabilities of utricular hair cells for synaptic plasticity in adapting to novel gravitational environments. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Spaceflight imposes a radically different sensory environment

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Mottahedin

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harish Babu

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Motoneuron axon pathfinding errors in zebrafish: Differential effects related to concentration and timing of nicotine exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menelaou, Evdokia; Paul, Latoya T.; Perera, Surangi N.; Svoboda, Kurt R.

    2015-01-01

    Nicotine exposure during embryonic stages of development can affect many neurodevelopmental processes. In the developing zebrafish, exposure to nicotine was reported to cause axonal pathfinding errors in the later born secondary motoneurons (SMNs). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30 μM). Previous work showed that the paralytic mutant zebrafish known as sofa potato exhibited nicotine-induced effects onto SMN axons at these high concentrations but in the absence of any muscle deficits, indicating that pathfinding errors could occur independent of muscle effects. In this study, we used varying concentrations of nicotine at different developmental windows of exposure to specifically isolate its effects onto subpopulations of motoneuron axons. We found that nicotine exposure can affect SMN axon morphology in a dose-dependent manner. At low concentrations of nicotine, SMN axons exhibited pathfinding errors, in the absence of any nicotine-induced muscle abnormalities. Moreover, the nicotine exposure paradigms used affected the 3 subpopulations of SMN axons differently, but the dorsal projecting SMN axons were primarily affected. We then identified morphologically distinct pathfinding errors that best described the nicotine-induced effects on dorsal projecting SMN axons. To test whether SMN pathfinding was potentially influenced by alterations in the early born primary motoneuron (PMN), we performed dual labeling studies, where both PMN and SMN axons were simultaneously labeled with antibodies. We show that only a subset of the SMN axon pathfinding errors coincided with abnormal PMN axonal targeting in nicotine-exposed zebrafish. We conclude that nicotine exposure can exert differential effects depending on the levels of nicotine and developmental exposure window. - Highlights: • Embryonic nicotine exposure can specifically affect secondary motoneuron axons in a dose-dependent manner.

  9. Motoneuron axon pathfinding errors in zebrafish: Differential effects related to concentration and timing of nicotine exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menelaou, Evdokia; Paul, Latoya T. [Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Perera, Surangi N. [Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53205 (United States); Svoboda, Kurt R., E-mail: svobodak@uwm.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53205 (United States)

    2015-04-01

    Nicotine exposure during embryonic stages of development can affect many neurodevelopmental processes. In the developing zebrafish, exposure to nicotine was reported to cause axonal pathfinding errors in the later born secondary motoneurons (SMNs). These alterations in SMN axon morphology coincided with muscle degeneration at high nicotine concentrations (15–30 μM). Previous work showed that the paralytic mutant zebrafish known as sofa potato exhibited nicotine-induced effects onto SMN axons at these high concentrations but in the absence of any muscle deficits, indicating that pathfinding errors could occur independent of muscle effects. In this study, we used varying concentrations of nicotine at different developmental windows of exposure to specifically isolate its effects onto subpopulations of motoneuron axons. We found that nicotine exposure can affect SMN axon morphology in a dose-dependent manner. At low concentrations of nicotine, SMN axons exhibited pathfinding errors, in the absence of any nicotine-induced muscle abnormalities. Moreover, the nicotine exposure paradigms used affected the 3 subpopulations of SMN axons differently, but the dorsal projecting SMN axons were primarily affected. We then identified morphologically distinct pathfinding errors that best described the nicotine-induced effects on dorsal projecting SMN axons. To test whether SMN pathfinding was potentially influenced by alterations in the early born primary motoneuron (PMN), we performed dual labeling studies, where both PMN and SMN axons were simultaneously labeled with antibodies. We show that only a subset of the SMN axon pathfinding errors coincided with abnormal PMN axonal targeting in nicotine-exposed zebrafish. We conclude that nicotine exposure can exert differential effects depending on the levels of nicotine and developmental exposure window. - Highlights: • Embryonic nicotine exposure can specifically affect secondary motoneuron axons in a dose-dependent manner.

  10. Lack of Pannexin 1 Alters Synaptic GluN2 Subunit Composition and Spatial Reversal Learning in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajardo, Ivana; Salazar, Claudia S.; Lopez-Espíndola, Daniela; Estay, Carolina; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Elgueta, Claudio; Gonzalez-Jamett, Arlek M.; Martínez, Agustín D.; Muñoz, Pablo; Ardiles, Álvaro O.

    2018-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are two forms of synaptic plasticity that have been considered as the cellular substrate of memory formation. Although LTP has received considerable more attention, recent evidences indicate that LTD plays also important roles in the acquisition and storage of novel information in the brain. Pannexin 1 (Panx1) is a membrane protein that forms non-selective channels which have been shown to modulate the induction of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Animals lacking Panx1 or blockade of Pannexin 1 channels precludes the induction of LTD and facilitates LTP. To evaluate if the absence of Panx1 also affects the acquisition of rapidly changing information we trained Panx1 knockout (KO) mice and wild type (WT) littermates in a visual and hidden version of the Morris water maze (MWM). We found that KO mice find the hidden platform similarly although slightly quicker than WT animals, nonetheless, when the hidden platform was located in the opposite quadrant (OQ) to the previous learned location, KO mice spent significantly more time in the previous quadrant than in the new location indicating that the absence of Panx1 affects the reversion of a previously acquired spatial memory. Consistently, we observed changes in the content of synaptic proteins critical to LTD, such as GluN2 subunits of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), which changed their contribution to synaptic plasticity in conditions of Panx1 ablation. Our findings give further support to the role of Panx1 channels on the modulation of synaptic plasticity induction, learning and memory processes. PMID:29692709

  11. Lack of Pannexin 1 Alters Synaptic GluN2 Subunit Composition and Spatial Reversal Learning in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivana Gajardo

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD are two forms of synaptic plasticity that have been considered as the cellular substrate of memory formation. Although LTP has received considerable more attention, recent evidences indicate that LTD plays also important roles in the acquisition and storage of novel information in the brain. Pannexin 1 (Panx1 is a membrane protein that forms non-selective channels which have been shown to modulate the induction of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Animals lacking Panx1 or blockade of Pannexin 1 channels precludes the induction of LTD and facilitates LTP. To evaluate if the absence of Panx1 also affects the acquisition of rapidly changing information we trained Panx1 knockout (KO mice and wild type (WT littermates in a visual and hidden version of the Morris water maze (MWM. We found that KO mice find the hidden platform similarly although slightly quicker than WT animals, nonetheless, when the hidden platform was located in the opposite quadrant (OQ to the previous learned location, KO mice spent significantly more time in the previous quadrant than in the new location indicating that the absence of Panx1 affects the reversion of a previously acquired spatial memory. Consistently, we observed changes in the content of synaptic proteins critical to LTD, such as GluN2 subunits of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs, which changed their contribution to synaptic plasticity in conditions of Panx1 ablation. Our findings give further support to the role of Panx1 channels on the modulation of synaptic plasticity induction, learning and memory processes.

  12. The super-Turing computational power of plastic recurrent neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabessa, Jérémie; Siegelmann, Hava T

    2014-12-01

    We study the computational capabilities of a biologically inspired neural model where the synaptic weights, the connectivity pattern, and the number of neurons can evolve over time rather than stay static. Our study focuses on the mere concept of plasticity of the model so that the nature of the updates is assumed to be not constrained. In this context, we show that the so-called plastic recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are capable of the precise super-Turing computational power--as the static analog neural networks--irrespective of whether their synaptic weights are modeled by rational or real numbers, and moreover, irrespective of whether their patterns of plasticity are restricted to bi-valued updates or expressed by any other more general form of updating. Consequently, the incorporation of only bi-valued plastic capabilities in a basic model of RNNs suffices to break the Turing barrier and achieve the super-Turing level of computation. The consideration of more general mechanisms of architectural plasticity or of real synaptic weights does not further increase the capabilities of the networks. These results support the claim that the general mechanism of plasticity is crucially involved in the computational and dynamical capabilities of biological neural networks. They further show that the super-Turing level of computation reflects in a suitable way the capabilities of brain-like models of computation.

  13. Neuromodulated Synaptic Plasticity on the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mantas Mikaitis

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available SpiNNaker is a digital neuromorphic architecture, designed specifically for the low power simulation of large-scale spiking neural networks at speeds close to biological real-time. Unlike other neuromorphic systems, SpiNNaker allows users to develop their own neuron and synapse models as well as specify arbitrary connectivity. As a result SpiNNaker has proved to be a powerful tool for studying different neuron models as well as synaptic plasticity—believed to be one of the main mechanisms behind learning and memory in the brain. A number of Spike-Timing-Dependent-Plasticity(STDP rules have already been implemented on SpiNNaker and have been shown to be capable of solving various learning tasks in real-time. However, while STDP is an important biological theory of learning, it is a form of Hebbian or unsupervised learning and therefore does not explain behaviors that depend on feedback from the environment. Instead, learning rules based on neuromodulated STDP (three-factor learning rules have been shown to be capable of solving reinforcement learning tasks in a biologically plausible manner. In this paper we demonstrate for the first time how a model of three-factor STDP, with the third-factor representing spikes from dopaminergic neurons, can be implemented on the SpiNNaker neuromorphic system. Using this learning rule we first show how reward and punishment signals can be delivered to a single synapse before going on to demonstrate it in a larger network which solves the credit assignment problem in a Pavlovian conditioning experiment. Because of its extra complexity, we find that our three-factor learning rule requires approximately 2× as much processing time as the existing SpiNNaker STDP learning rules. However, we show that it is still possible to run our Pavlovian conditioning model with up to 1 × 104 neurons in real-time, opening up new research opportunities for modeling behavioral learning on SpiNNaker.

  14. GABAergic inhibition of leg motoneurons is required for normal walking behavior in freely moving Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowda, Swetha B M; Paranjpe, Pushkar D; Reddy, O Venkateswara; Thiagarajan, Devasena; Palliyil, Sudhir; Reichert, Heinrich; VijayRaghavan, K

    2018-02-27

    Walking is a complex rhythmic locomotor behavior generated by sequential and periodical contraction of muscles essential for coordinated control of movements of legs and leg joints. Studies of walking in vertebrates and invertebrates have revealed that premotor neural circuitry generates a basic rhythmic pattern that is sculpted by sensory feedback and ultimately controls the amplitude and phase of the motor output to leg muscles. However, the identity and functional roles of the premotor interneurons that directly control leg motoneuron activity are poorly understood. Here we take advantage of the powerful genetic methodology available in Drosophila to investigate the role of premotor inhibition in walking by genetically suppressing inhibitory input to leg motoneurons. For this, we have developed an algorithm for automated analysis of leg motion to characterize the walking parameters of wild-type flies from high-speed video recordings. Further, we use genetic reagents for targeted RNAi knockdown of inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors in leg motoneurons together with quantitative analysis of resulting changes in leg movement parameters in freely walking Drosophila Our findings indicate that targeted down-regulation of the GABA A receptor Rdl (Resistance to Dieldrin) in leg motoneurons results in a dramatic reduction of walking speed and step length without the loss of general leg coordination during locomotion. Genetically restricting the knockdown to the adult stage and subsets of motoneurons yields qualitatively identical results. Taken together, these findings identify GABAergic premotor inhibition of motoneurons as an important determinant of correctly coordinated leg movements and speed of walking in freely behaving Drosophila . Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  15. Motor Training Promotes Both Synaptic and Intrinsic Plasticity of Layer II/III Pyramidal Neurons in the Primary Motor Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kida, Hiroyuki; Tsuda, Yasumasa; Ito, Nana; Yamamoto, Yui; Owada, Yuji; Kamiya, Yoshinori; Mitsushima, Dai

    2016-08-01

    Motor skill training induces structural plasticity at dendritic spines in the primary motor cortex (M1). To further analyze both synaptic and intrinsic plasticity in the layer II/III area of M1, we subjected rats to a rotor rod test and then prepared acute brain slices. Motor skill consistently improved within 2 days of training. Voltage clamp analysis showed significantly higher α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid/N-methyl-d-aspartate (AMPA/NMDA) ratios and miniature EPSC amplitudes in 1-day trained rats compared with untrained rats, suggesting increased postsynaptic AMPA receptors in the early phase of motor learning. Compared with untrained controls, 2-days trained rats showed significantly higher miniature EPSC amplitude and frequency. Paired-pulse analysis further demonstrated lower rates in 2-days trained rats, suggesting increased presynaptic glutamate release during the late phase of learning. One-day trained rats showed decreased miniature IPSC frequency and increased paired-pulse analysis of evoked IPSC, suggesting a transient decrease in presynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release. Moreover, current clamp analysis revealed lower resting membrane potential, higher spike threshold, and deeper afterhyperpolarization in 1-day trained rats-while 2-days trained rats showed higher membrane potential, suggesting dynamic changes in intrinsic properties. Our present results indicate dynamic changes in glutamatergic, GABAergic, and intrinsic plasticity in M1 layer II/III neurons after the motor training. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  16. GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors blockade rescues bidirectional synaptic plasticity in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis of cocaine self-administering rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    deBacker, Julian; Hawken, Emily R; Normandeau, Catherine P; Jones, Andrea A; Di Prospero, Cynthia; Mechefske, Elysia; Gardner Gregory, James; Hayton, Scott J; Dumont, Éric C

    2015-01-01

    Drugs of abuse have detrimental effects on homeostatic synaptic plasticity in the motivational brain network. Bidirectional plasticity at excitatory synapses helps keep neural circuits within a functional range to allow for behavioral flexibility. Therefore, impaired bidirectional plasticity of excitatory synapses may contribute to the behavioral hallmarks of addiction, yet this relationship remains unclear. Here we tracked excitatory synaptic strength in the oval bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (ovBNST) using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in brain slices from rats self-administering sucrose or cocaine. In the cocaine group, we measured both a persistent increase in AMPA to NMDA ratio (A:N) and slow decay time of NMDA currents throughout the self-administration period and after withdrawal from cocaine. In contrast, the sucrose group exhibited an early increase in A:N ratios (acquisition) that returned toward baseline values with continued self-administration (maintenance) and after withdrawal. The sucrose rats also displayed a decrease in NMDA current decay time with continued self-administration (maintenance), which normalized after withdrawal. Cocaine self-administering rats exhibited impairment in NMDA-dependent long-term depression (LTD) that could be rescued by GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor blockade. Sucrose self-administering rats demonstrated no impairment in NMDA-dependent LTD. During the maintenance period of self-administration, in vivo (daily intraperitoneally for 5 days) pharmacologic blockade of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors did not reduce lever pressing for cocaine. However, in vivo GluN2B blockade did normalize A:N ratios in cocaine self-administrating rats, and dissociated the magnitude of ovBNST A:N ratios from drug-seeking behavior after protracted withdrawal. Altogether, our data demonstrate when and how bidirectional plasticity at ovBNST excitatory synapses becomes dysfunctional with cocaine self-administration and that NMDA

  17. MAGUKs: multifaceted synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  18. Dysfunction of the RAR/RXR signaling pathway in the forebrain impairs hippocampal memory and synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nomoto Masanori

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Retinoid signaling pathways mediated by retinoic acid receptor (RAR/retinoid × receptor (RXR-mediated transcription play critical roles in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that treatment with retinoic acid alleviates age-related deficits in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP and memory performance and, furthermore, memory deficits in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. However, the roles of the RAR/RXR signaling pathway in learning and memory at the behavioral level have still not been well characterized in the adult brain. We here show essential roles for RAR/RXR in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. In the current study, we generated transgenic mice in which the expression of dominant-negative RAR (dnRAR could be induced in the mature brain using a tetracycline-dependent transcription factor and examined the effects of RAR/RXR loss. Results The expression of dnRAR in the forebrain down-regulated the expression of RARβ, a target gene of RAR/RXR, indicating that dnRAR mice exhibit dysfunction of the RAR/RXR signaling pathway. Similar with previous findings, dnRAR mice displayed impaired LTP and AMPA-mediated synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. More importantly, these mutant mice displayed impaired hippocampus-dependent social recognition and spatial memory. However, these deficits of LTP and memory performance were rescued by stronger conditioning stimulation and spaced training, respectively. Finally, we found that pharmacological blockade of RARα in the hippocampus impairs social recognition memory. Conclusions From these observations, we concluded that the RAR/RXR signaling pathway greatly contributes to learning and memory, and LTP in the hippocampus in the adult brain.

  19. Plasticity of Neuron-Glial Transmission: Equipping Glia for Long-Term Integration of Network Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Croft

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The capacity of synaptic networks to express activity-dependent changes in strength and connectivity is essential for learning and memory processes. In recent years, glial cells (most notably astrocytes have been recognized as active participants in the modulation of synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity, implicating these electrically nonexcitable cells in information processing in the brain. While the concept of bidirectional communication between neurons and glia and the mechanisms by which gliotransmission can modulate neuronal function are well established, less attention has been focussed on the computational potential of neuron-glial transmission itself. In particular, whether neuron-glial transmission is itself subject to activity-dependent plasticity and what the computational properties of such plasticity might be has not been explored in detail. In this review, we summarize current examples of plasticity in neuron-glial transmission, in many brain regions and neurotransmitter pathways. We argue that induction of glial plasticity typically requires repetitive neuronal firing over long time periods (minutes-hours rather than the short-lived, stereotyped trigger typical of canonical long-term potentiation. We speculate that this equips glia with a mechanism for monitoring average firing rates in the synaptic network, which is suited to the longer term roles proposed for astrocytes in neurophysiology.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-20

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiqiang Liu

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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